Please welcome Melissa Jagears to Ladies in Defiance! Her latest book, A Heart Most Certain, has just released and it looks to be another winner!!!
Please check out the other giveaways going on at my site ———————————->
How was one of your book heroines, “A Lady in Defiance” of the times or circumstances in which she lived?
In A Heart Most Certain, my heroine becomes a lady of defiance in the book–that’s her main growth arc through the novel. She starts out believing what most do about the poor and unlovely in town and doesn’t want to disturb the waters within her moral society group. But my hero–as a requirement for obtaining the donation she wants–brings her face to face with how the church treats the sinners in town and calls for compassion….though he does it in a rather Mr. Darcy-ish way, and they butt heads. But working together makes them realize they have to defy the social mores of the day and be bold about it.
Your husband sounds like quite the adventurous guy with his love of blacksmithing, knife-smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Have you ever needed him to give you insight on “mountain man” workings for your books?
He comes in handy for so many things! Along with the list you have, he also has a martial arts and military background and he was a bouncer once . . . he’s like a literal Jack of all trades. So in A Bride for Keeps I said “I need a guy who is drunk with a knife, in this sort of space, and I want another character to do this and that, but I don’t want this to happen, etc. etc.” He came back the next day with a choreographed fight scene for me. He led me through the paces as victim and aggressor (hopefully no one was looking in through our windows) and then after I wrote it, he “signed off” on the fact that I had described it right. I also always ask him my gun questions. I have a blacksmithing novel in my “want to write” box, and you better believe I’ll be getting his help!
Being that you are a former English teacher, I’m sure that you’re a stickler for the wording and grammar in your writing. Have you ever been stuck on trying to find just the perfect word or phrasing to put into your story? Any examples to share?
I LOVE grammar. I am probably the only college student in the world whose grammar professor told me I needed a life after listening to me excitedly explain how I’d thought all weekend about a more precise way to diagram a sentence that had stumped everyone including the professor. But you’ll find out I’m not a grammatical purist in informal settings (which fiction is). I speak ungrammatically a lot. If someone is communicating well enough in an informal situation, I don’t want to pull my hair out over occasional incorrect grammatical usages. When my students would catch me saying something wrong, I’d always say, “I know it’s wrong, but I know the rule behind it, can fix my mistake, and diagram the sentence, can you?” 🙂 Sometimes I want to write things ungrammatically for reasons of cadence and intonation. Sometimes writing grammatically makes fiction sound stilted.
There is often a war between my writer side that wants things to roll off the tongue nicely and my grammar side that wants everything perfect. I even tend to edit emails 4-5 times before I send them, though I’ll leave some things ungrammatical, because if it was perfect it wouldn’t look like I was simply having a conversation anymore. But I do tend to write as grammatically perfect as possible, though I am not adverse to breaking the rules for good reason. Deciding if I can live with myself for breaking the rules and putting it in print is a struggle!
I see that up to now, your published writing has been historical fiction. Have you thought to dabble in a non-fiction book of some kind?
I have all kinds of stories in my head. The first book I wrote was a young adult romance, but early on, I realized that I had to build an audience with one genre first. I chose historical fiction because that’s my favorite genre to read, and I have tons of historical story ideas. But I have a few books of different genres in my head that I may write one day.
The only books I’ve ever wanted to write non-fiction-wise were textbooks for high school English language learners because I didn’t like any of the textbooks on the market when I was teaching. But since I haven’t taught ESL for over a decade, that’s not something I’ll be pursuing anymore!
Do you have a favorite quote from A Heart Most Certain, your latest book, you can leave us with?
I am never good at picking quotes from my books. All the lines I like that don’t require context are quips. So can I leave you with a line from my RT Review that made me all warm and fuzzy? “The romance is a real treat here, and the story has an almost fairy-tale like quality to it, plus an utterly romantic ending.” Sigh, that line right there would put any book on top of my To Be Read pile, and so it makes me happy that it’s mine!
A Fresh Voice in Historical Romance!
While Lydia King’s reasons for joining the Teaville Moral Society might be suspect to some members, her heart is in the right place. Because of her father’s debts and her mother’s persistent illness, her best chance at a secure future and curing her mother is to impress the politician courting her. Her first task–to ask the town’s wealthiest man to donate–seems simple enough . . . until he refuses.
Despite appearances, Nicholas Lowe wants to help others, but prefers to keep his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, but Nicholas still intends to do things his own way. Neither predicts what they’ll learn about true charity or foresee the complications their actions will bring to the town, forcing Lydia to decide where her beliefs and heart truly align.
Thank you so much Melissa, and as a bonus, she has offered to giveaway a copy of A Most Certain Heart to one lucky winner. Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US address. Enter through the Rafflecopter below:
The giveaway will run through August 16, 2016 and the winner will be announced on August 17.