This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Made to Last
Bethany House Publishers (September 15, 2013)
Melissa Tagg

A Word From The Author:

I’m a former reporter turned author who loves all things funny and romancey. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to my nonprofit day job, I’m also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists.

It all started when my dad, at the ripe old age of sixteen, picked up my mom up for their first date. She was thirteen. Thirteen!* Dad drove a cherry red car up the lane to my grandparents big ol’ green house and honked his horn…whereupon Mom jumped out of the apple tree she’d been waiting in and off they went…fishing. True story. (I’d give more details, but I’m saving it for a novella I plan to entitle Two Leaves. Mom, I really hope you read this.)

Four years of college, a few trips abroad and a stint as a reporter later, that dream is soon to be a reality. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, is now out from Bethany House. Book two, Here to Stay, comes out on May 1, 2014.

In between writing and staring out the window brainstorming, I also work as a grant-writer at one of Iowa’s largest private nonprofits and serve as the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists founded by Susan May Warren.

And I love, love, love talking about finding our purpose and identity in Christ. (And well, okay, food, old movies, boots and scarves, my awesome nephew Ollie, and, fine, Tim Tebow, too.)

Learn more about Melissa and her books on her Website.


Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that’s how it looks when she’s starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she’ll do anything to boost ratings and save her show–even if it means pretending to be married to a man who’s definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda’s every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth–and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she’s built come crashing down just as she’s found a love to last?

If you’d like to read the first chapter of Made to Last, go HERE.

divider2MY REVIEW:

Made to Last is a fun to read romantic novel that is based on a classic theme of one woman juggling multiple men. Often humorous and definitely romantic, the story also has a more serious side that looks into what can happen when a person attempts to construct a successful life on their own terms.

Miranda Woodruff is the star of her own TV show  in which she teaches home building and repairs to her audience. Ratings are down and in an attempt to keep her show on the air, Miranda agrees to a pretend marriage to provide a face to the nonexistent husband she talks about on the program. Matthew Knox is a struggling journalist who had actually been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize before a misguided decision cost him his credibility and now he can’t seem to get anything right. As a final chance He accepts a job blogging about Miranda, hoping to get a scoop that will put him back on top. What he actually finds may just change his life.

Several of the characters in Made to Last have secrets  – some are revealed in the course of the story and others can only be imagined by the reader. Miranda’s secrets contribute to the load of guilt she carries everywhere, guilt that hinders her relationship to God. It also seems that each lie she tells requires another lie, then another lie – lies that could destroy any chance she has for future happiness. Matthew has a few secrets of his own but strangely finds it difficult to forgive Miranda for her shortcomings. Then there is Blaze, Miranda’s pretend husband. He’s a great guy as long as no one gets too close. He is definitely hiding something too.

Although some of the situations in Made to Last are just a bit over-the-top, the characters and their  response to their personal problems and to others is so very human. We each have our own struggles but often judge others in similar circumstances. Made to Last brilliantly illustrates the need for forgiveness and the need to let the Lord direct our lives. It is an excellent first novel and I look forward to future books by Melissa. I hope she will tell more of Blaze’s story in her next one.