Please help me welcome contemporary romance author, Melony Teague, to the blog this week!
Author Name: Melony Teague
Book Title: A Promise to Keep
Book Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Out Now
Publisher: Anaiah Press Publishing
We’d love to hear about your book!
A Promise to Keep is about second chances, living without regrets, and learning to live again after loss. It’s about promises made and kept.
What sparked the idea for A Promise to Keep?
This is a great question. Around about the time as I was looking for ideas for a new manuscript, my high school reunion was coming up. The reunion was held in South Africa where I attended high school. I now live in Canada, so there was no way I’d be able to fly back to attend. This got me thinking about what would happen if high school wasn’t a great experience, but you had to attend your 20-year high school reunion anyway? What would make you go back? A promise maybe? Then I thought about what it would be like to meet your old high school crush. What if you had a second chance at love, would you take it? I loved the idea of seeing where all the fictional classmates ended up in life and how different that was to the “most likely to win an Oscar” predictions in the yearbook. Michael was a trouble maker at school, but at the reunion, we see obvious changes. I loved that he didn’t let his high school persona define him. Savannah Sanderson and Michael McCann quickly formed in my mind and I wanted to tell their story. I may or may not have a large crush on my fictional hero, but I don’t think anyone can blame me. He’s a technical rescuer, he’s brave and skillful in his job. Underneath it all, he’s a funny, soft-hearted, compassionate, and wonderful guy. He’s just what Savannah needs because life has dealt her a few tough blows. Around the time I began writing, the news was full of the famous and miraculous Thai cave rescue and so I wanted my hero, Michael, to be a rescuer like those inspiring men. I found the contrast in how the general public sees rescuers as heroes but they only saw themselves as doing their job. I wanted to explore that idea more too.
How long did it take for you to write it? Did you do have to do any research?
It took me eight months to write the first draft, then add on more time for beta reader feedback and more edits. All in all, it took about a year until I signed the contract. I had a great time doing research for this book. I have a local technical rescuer/firefighter who advised me on the rescue scenarios and he helped me make sure that the scenarios and decision making were plausible. In doing my research for the rock-climbing bits I dragged my husband downtown to watch the amazing documentary, Free Solo, about Alex Honnold and it was quite a thing because I’m afraid of heights. But, in the name of research, I braved it. A friend and fellow author, Tara Ross helped me on the technical terms for the climbing gear since she and her husband are climbers. Some of the book is set in Niagara Falls, Canada, so my family took a day trip down there to enjoy the sights. We did the journey behind the falls tour and got thoroughly soaked. When I can, I like to be on location to inspire a more realistic feel to a scene. The cave scene was based on how I felt visiting the Cango Caves in South Africa in my early twenties.
What drew you to the romance genre?
Great question, although I read Historical fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Romantic Suspense and YA, I am a romantic at heart and I love to laugh. I wanted to write a contemporary romance with a healthy dash of humor. I feel that life is so messy and hard sometimes that diving into a book that will entertain and make you laugh is a gift we can all use these days. Life these days is just plain weird as it is, so more now than ever, we need to laugh more and love more. We can handle so much more in life when we can laugh about our faults. My husband and I love to laugh together, so I know how much it strengthens a relationship too. He’s got an amazing sense of humor, which was one of the things that snagged my attention when we first met. We’ve laughed together for over twenty-six years now.
I do love happy endings too, but that’s not to say there is no struggles and conflict before that happens.
For you, what’s the hardest thing about writing?
My biggest struggle is not getting distracted. But I must say the pandemic sidelined my writing and creativity for a few months while we all switched into high-alert survival mode. I had to accept that I had to take a step back from my fiction writing during those months and concentrate on my freelance writing when my husband was temporarily laid off, but I’m getting back into the swing of things now. I still have to minimize distractions. I’m an extrovert, so if there is someone else in the room, I MUST talk to them. The struggle is real. I have to switch my phone onto airplane mode and close all the hundreds of tabs on my desktop, pop in some earbuds, fire up my writing playlist on Spotify and meet my word count goal – otherwise, days fly by and no progress is made. When there is no progress, I can get a bit grumpy.
What do you love most about it?
I love getting to know my characters. I love it when a character just shows up on the page and demands attention. That happened with A Promise to Keep. Donovan Radcliffe was never in the synopsis, he just showed up and was so endearing that I had to let him stay. Maybe he’ll get his own story one day.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)? Feel free to include any upcoming, live/online events, too!
Readers can find me here:
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Thank you, Melony! A Promise to Keep is out NOW.
Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, drinking ghastly punch, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it.
Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah.
Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?
Melony Teague is a freelance writer who believes everyone has a story to tell. As co-author of As the Ink Flows, she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words. She writes Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor. Member of ACFW and The Word Guild. She has never met a Starbucks she didn’t love and has been known to eat vegetables for breakfast—well, pumpkin pie—same thing. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her husband, their two teenagers, and two cats.