Posts Tagged With: Author

Just Show Up–A Book Review

Just Show Up

“Most often it’s those who come without answers or agendas who are the most helpful.”

Just. Show. Up.

Sometimes we just need someone to “be”. We don’t need them to solve our problems. We don’t need them to out “do” someone else. We just need THEM.

I started reading Just Show Up with a lump in my throat. I knew it was about cancer and friendship–and I wasn’t sure I could handle the emotion of it. But, I had promised Jill I would read her special gift–the book she wrote with her now Heavenly sister-friend. So, I dove in, ready for whatever she had in store for me.

I wrote down some quotes as I read:

“Showing up in suffering benefits both sides, and it has to be entered in from both sides.”

“Fear is a lonely companion.”

“Grace is the glue that holds relationships together as we walk through suffering with one another.”

I had a friend suffer through an agonizing battle with cancer. She finally won the battle when she went home with her Savior. Guilt took root inside my heart during her fight as I felt like I wasn’t “showing up” the way I thought I was supposed to. I didn’t feel I gave her what she needed from me. I wasn’t “that” person. But, after allowing the words in Just Show Up to sink in–really SINK IN–I realized I did show up. I showed up in the way I was gifted. I showed up in the way I knew how. I did what I do well. And, looking back, I realize that she had a community of women surrounding her. Each of those women had a special gift, a way they showed up. Together, we walked the journey with her.

Just Show Up speaks from the heart of Kara Tippetts as she goes through her hard journey and from the hearts of the women who came around her to support her and each other as they worked toward one purpose–Showing Up. Jill gives practical advice on what to say and what not to say when people are hurting as well as how to do what you do well and allow others to do their “thing”.

Just when I thought my heart couldn’t take anymore, Jill would throw in little bits of humor. (I loved that by the way.) I totally could relate when she said, “I’m an introvert (text, don’t call) and I prefer to enjoy my misery alone.” GUILTY!  Seriously though, it reminded me that we all deal with hurt and pain in different ways and we need to be open to it. God made us all unique for a reason!

I began the journey with Jill and Kara with a lump in my throat, cautious of where they were going to take me. I laughed here and there and (I have to admit) I cried in the end. This book was healing to my heart.

Just Show Up. It’s about Community. It’s about Friendship. It’s about women loving women. It’s about BEING.

About the Authors

The late Kara Tippetts was the author of The Hardest Peace and blogged faithfully at Cancer was only a part of Kara’s story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of Falling for Texas, an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children. Connect with her on social media and at

Instagram: @JillLynnAuthor
Pinterest: @JillLynnAuthor
Twitter: @JillLynnAuthor
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Sarah Price~~Author Interview


Sarah Price

Long time no see! Of course, I still can’t see you, but…anyway…I’m so excited to interview you!

Let’s start with a little background. I first “met” you after becoming hopelessly attached to the two main characters in your Plain Fame Trilogy, Alejandro and Amanda. After meeting them, I knew I had to find out more about Sarah Price. I never would have dreamed we would soon become friends. (amazing how things work out)
I’m still convinced you were that girl pushing me in the little red wagon, Lisa. (I CAN’T FIND THE PHOTO!!!!!)


Speaking of your Plain Fame Trilogy, do you feel like that series brought you a whole new fan base from what you had before?
Oh, I do! And that’s what I wanted. My first four novels in this genre (Fields of Corn, Hills of Wheat, Pastures of Faith, and Valley of Hope) were a little more “vanilla” although I did start testing some previously unwritten scenarios. The Plain Fame Series was an idea that occurred to me on the streets of Manhattan when I was walking to work, grumbling about how my favorite singer, Pitbull, was performing at Rockefeller Plaza and I couldn’t attend because I was scheduled to teach a class. As I crossed a street, the entire story popped into my head. What if Pitbull’s limousine hit me? BAM! The entire series materialized in that moment.
One of the key things that I wanted to achieve was incorporating different cultures, particularly Americans that are from Cuba, Latin America, and Mexico. We do not see that culture in popular media too often.
I’ve heard a rumor that there is a fourth book in the making. (I’ve lost sleep since I heard that). Is it true? Want to give as a little nibble from it?
Hmmmmmmm could be! Wait. Did you say a fifth book? Oh. Hmmmmmm….could be!


One of the things I love about your books is the way you dig into the human side of the Amish. I think many people put them in some kind of saint category. But, you remind us that people are just people. We all suffer in the same ways. What has been the driving force for you to push into stories about depression, insecurity, abuse…?
Personal experience. I draw a lot from personal experience.
A more detailed answer, however, is that I believe that many readers have this vision of the Amish as being “one.” They are not shaped from a cookie cutter. There are things that I know about Amish people that many of my readers would neither like nor believe. The bottom line is that they are people. There are people in their communities who experience every single thing that we experience. By incorporating these situations into my novels, I want my readers to understand that. I also want the readers to relate to the different situations and realize that they are not alone in experiencing these tough situations.
Tell me about the books you have coming up and where people can find them. I know many of your readers just sit biting their nails waiting on your next release.
I’m continuing with my adaptations of Jane Austen’s books and moving onto the Bronte sisters. That’s with my one publisher, Realms (an imprint of Charisma House). And I have a few secret projects with Waterfall Press (an imprint of Brilliance Publishing). I owe my readers the next three books in the Amish Seasons series. Finally, I’m working on a book with Erin Brady called Into the Amish.
Of course, my next “big thing” is that I’m moving into the Young Adult genre. FINALLY Diehard Fangirl is going to hit the shelves this summer. That’s about my daughter and her obsession with fangirling social media celebrities…one in particular. Her friends love going with her to the different concerts and events because we do the backstage hang-out thing and…well, to a teenager, that’s cool. Cat has a nice little posse of sweet girlfriends. It’s a joy to take these girls and see how silly they are! It’s a whole new world that parents have no idea exists. And these girls are soooo appreciative. That makes the pounding headache from the thousands of screaming girls totally worth it!
Anyway, I think that should keep me busy until 2017.
And, of course, I’m already working on ideas for my next round of contracts.

You also have a website, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account, right? Where can people find and follow Sarah Price?
I have to confess that I’m not a big Twitter fan. Facebook and Instagram are my find me “hanging out.” And, on occasion,


I’m a visual person so you can see (pun intended) why I prefer these social media platforms to Twitter.
You and I share a love of coffee. In September you brought me some special coffee to try. Why don’t you tell my readers about that? (It was delicious by the way)
Ah, the kopi luwak coffee.
While attending at a meeting at my publisher, Waterfall Press, in Grand Harbor, Michigan, another author began telling me about the world’s most expensive coffee. So, of course, I had to taste this coffee. Since her husband was returning from a mission in the Far East, she told me that she would send me a bag—it’s apparently less expensive there.
Well, let me tell you…
It was amazing. Really. I found a source, bought a few bags of it, and I managed to get a few people to try it and they, too, loved it.
…they found out that it is from a bean that is digested and pooped out by cat in Indonesia. At that point, the only person who would join me in a cup was my son. Oh, and this adorable little blond from Missouri named Lisa.
P.S. I didn’t tell you that I found a bag of it just the other day in my pantry. I am totally hoarding it.

Coffee with a Friend

You love animals. You live with a pig and how many cats and dogs? I know you love horses as well. (People, she pretty much loves them all. When we were on vacation she fed opossums. OPOSSUMS. They are–well–they are icky. But, they were fed well while Sarah was here. I think she fed a few racoons as well.) So, why don’t you tell us about your animal family that lives in your home with you.

Well…let’s leave it at “I love animals.”
Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, donkeys, horses, ponies…Overall, I suspect we tend to 100 animals in our daily life. Many of them are rescue animals. We even had a zebra for a while.

ZebIn the Book of Genesis, God told us to take care of the animals. I may have taken that just a wee bit too far!
Seriously, we have several farms where most of these animals reside. Possibly a new farm on the horizon, too. I’m hoping to continue my efforts rescuing animals, especially the wild mustangs. But I don’t want to speak too soon.


In a dance-off, who would win, you or me? Oh, you don’t have to answer that–but, seriously, who?
You. You have some amazing moves, girl.
If we were to dance a Viennese Waltz or Tango, I would totally win.
I have to tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE ballroom dancing. I started dancing when I was invited to participate in Dancing with the Survivors for the Pink Fund. At first I made a face when I received the invitation. As you know, Lisa, from our time at the lake house, I am not a great dancer. Not like you. Anyway, after thinking about it, I decided, “Why not?”
Next thing you know, I’m dancing almost every day, taking lessons at my home away from home, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and practicing all over the house! I even have a Line of Dance (LOD) duct-taped across my bedroom rug and I’m installing a dance mirror in my office.
I prefer the smooth dances (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz). They are just so pretty to watch and, let’s be honest, the ballgowns rock!
Now I’m learning rhythm dances like the cha cha, hustle, mambo, and swing. Once I master those (ten years from now…ha ha), I will most definitely change my answer!

Okay, now the fun part. Time for my quick-answer questions:
Where did you meet Marc?
Marc is my barnyard find of the century! Seriously, I met him at the horse stables. My daughter, Cat, and son, Alex, are the reasons that we met. I was returning Alex’s baseball uniform and took a short cut through a parking lot. I always say that Cat saw a fly land on a pony’s butt (meaning she zoned right in on those ponies). She was three and a half years old and started screaming her head off, unbuckling her car seat and clawing at the door to get out. She continued to scream and cry for the ponies until I finally took her there just to make her stop.
She became the first paying customer at the barn before it even officially opened. Today, ten years later, she’s working with a mustang that was born wild.
When I met Marc, I did not like him. At. All. In fact, I used to mimic his French accent behind his back. One time, when I was entertaining a group of people at the barn by imitating him, and, suddenly, I noticed everyone stiffened up and the color drained from their faces. And I knew that he was behind me.
Instead of yelling at me, which he was prone to do, he laughed and told me that I almost nailed his accent.
The rest is history. We became friends, he helped me through a rough patch in my life, and BAM! (play romantic music).
Favorite artist? (any kind of art)
Johannes Vermeer. And yes, The Girl with a Pearl Earring is the reason why I fell in love with his work. That book is just amazing. Tracy Chevalier is my spirit animal (that’s urban lingo, and with lower case S and A). I can imagine how she came up with the idea for that book. I bet she was sitting somewhere, say that painting, and just wondered “What led up to this moment?” It’s absolutely something I would think.
I can overhear a sentence from a conversation and a book idea pops into my head. I might meet someone who has an amazing accent and BAM! My neurons start making up that person’s past. There are stories all around us. You just have to pay attention and let them appear.
Celebrity crush? (you have to pick just one)
And I don’t mean Pitbull the singer. I mean Pitbull the person. What he has done for the Latino community is amazing. Literally, he went from being a thug on the streets to being an international superstar with a huge propensity for philanthropy. He is a true role model of someone who gives back.
Plus, he gives great hugs and wears amazing cologne.


What was your favorite dessert as a child?Funny Cake. It’s a Mennonite dessert. It has a chocolatey bottom and a fluffy cake like top, baked in a pie crust. Serve that with one scoop of vanilla ice cream and I’m in heaven.
By the way, I always thought funny cake was Amish. Most of my Amish friends never heard of it. They didn’t believe me when I told them about it. I had to FedEx a few funny cakes to them so that they believed me!

Barbie or Skipper?
Seriously? Do you have to ask? Barbie. I like her clothes.
However, if I had to be stuck on an island with someone, totally Skipper. Barbie would get on my nerves if I had to hang out with her. Plus she’d probably fall over because of her out-of-promotion dimensions and I’d get really tired of picking her up.
I know you didn’t love the 80’s, but favorite 80’s movie?
Uh…Little House on the Prairie? Was that in the 80s?
OK…how about…(pauses to use Google)…
When Harry Met Sally. I have definitely watched that over two dozen times! Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are perfect in that movie. The development of their friendship is so honest, from a writer’s perspective. I love the scene where they are walking on the moving walkway. And, of course, his reaction to her restaurant theatrics. Hilarious.
Now that I have a list on my screen of movies, the 80s had some amazing movies: Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club (another contender for most watched), Indiana Jones (LOVED), Tootsie, Dirty Dancing (which would only be my favorite NOW because I love dancing), Footloose, Say Anything, Big, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (oooo, another favorite), and so on.

Actually, I think Little House on the Prairie was in the 80’s…but not really a movie…(Shakes head)
Red or pink?
Red. I always get red manicures and pedicures. #93. That’s what my nail salon calls me because they don’t remember my name, just the color. It’s sparkly, like Dorothy’s shoes from the Wizard of Oz movie. You cannot beat sparkly red nail polish. It’s just…perfect!
Honestly, I’m sick of pink. BLAH! I think I banned it from my wardrobe, with the exception of a really cute Kate Spade dress.
Interesting fact for you: Pink used to be the recommended color for little boys. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that it switched to girls.
Pepsi or Coke? (you have to choose)
Diet Dr. Pepper.

(Shakes head again)
First boy who kissed you?Uh…can I write that???? Stephen Keller. He was my best friend. We built stick forts in our backyard and he’d sleep over (we were like five or six!). We’d sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and polish off a pack of Yodels or Ring Dings.
Did you have a banana seat on your bike in the 70’s? (mine was totes red, white, and blue)
I don’t remember. But I did have a cool pool bubble so I wouldn’t drown.

Sarah Bubble Girl

Favorite coffee cafe’?
At the risk of being stereotyped, Starbucks. It’s a great place to write and I LOVE their Pumpkin Spice coffee in the autumn. I get a tummy ache from the Peppermint coffee which stinks because it tastes soooooo good. And I always get Venti (large) because I cannot pronounce the other two sizes. Plus they have a really cool logo which, as a former marketing professional, is always important to me.
Bargain hunter or brand name buyer?
Both. I learned a long time ago that bargains are often not bargains. Buying bargain jeans often means they are made of a poor quality material and they rip…usually right under the butt at very embarrassing moments. But I do love brand names in shoes, sunglasses, and purses. Michael Kors is my latest infatuation along with Alexander Wang (but only if on a major sale).
Funny story. When I worked in Manhattan, I liked to shop at Lord and Taylor on Fifth Avenue (again, sounds better than saying Lord and Taylor at the Livingston Mall). I developed a thing for shoes. Growing up, I wore penny loafers, jeans, and a sweatshirt. That was my de facto outfit.
So developing any type of “thing” for fashion in my 40s is very delayed.
Anyway, the salesman in the shoe department became my BFF for a while. I’d bring him coffee and he used to pass his employee discount along to me.
Morning person or night owl?
Both. That’s terrible, right? I can write until 3am in the morning or I can go to bed early and wake up at 3am to write. Just last night, I woke up around 3am or 4am and started to reach for my laptop. Marc groaned, grabbed it, and mumbled, “No.”
Comedy or Drama?
Both. I’m soooooo sorry! I don’t mean to be difficult. The things that happen in my life are a true sitcom. Let’s face it…I have a pig in my house. That alone is enough comedy. She loves to rearrange my furniture when she’s bored. Drives me insane. And then we have Cat, Alex, and Marc…each one is novel-worthy.
But there is also a lot of drama. One thing I have learned is that you need to surround yourself with good people and weed your garden of toxic people.
I’ve also learned that when you live life large (my expression, totally trademarked), you are a target for other people. Cat is learning that, too. She works really hard, gets good grades, and she rides horses. Put all of that together and you encounter a lot of jealousy. A LOT. And not always from other 13-year-olds. Parents also can jump into the mix because their daughters aren’t getting the same publicity in the media. They have even asked me who she has in her back pocket to get so much attention from the public.
Hello???? Her mother is a former marketing professor and a published author with an amazing fanbase.
It stinks. It’s as if people are waiting for you to do something…anything…that they can pounce on and say, “Ah ha! You are bad!”
Girls are taught to share and take turns from an early age. As toddlers they are told to take turns with the baby doll and stroller. Later as young children, it becomes “Ok, now it’s Jane’s turn to be the teacher and you be the student.” Older children who excel at a sport are talked about behind their back (or in front of them). Later in life, a woman who gets promoted is often scorned by her female colleagues. She’s seen as a turncoat to her former peers.
Life is not about taking turns.
It’s about hard work, talent, education, values, morals, and being a God-loving person. You can’t take short-cuts in life. No one should have to apologize for having good grades, earning multiple degrees, and experiencing professional success.
Crowds or serenity?
Crowds only at book signings, concerts, and when fangirling with my daughter. Serenity is my 18 month goal.
Sunglasses or shoes? (you have to choose!)
Really? I HAVE to choose? You are a tough interviewer. Sunglasses.
If you had to choose between fixing up your eyes or your lips, which would you choose?
This one is easy. Lips. I always have about twenty lipsticks with me. I hate hate hate dry lips and once you start wearing lipstick, you just can’t go back.
Your favorite thing about your: 20’s?
My education. Because of having multiple degrees (and graduating early from high school and my undergraduate college), I had so many opportunities that I simply wouldn’t have had without it.
That was a nondescript decade for me. I honestly cannot think of one thing that was my favorite about my 30s. Maybe rediscovering my love of horses?
Feeling like I am 20. I think my 40s rock! And frankly, I’m not so concerned about 50s creeping up. Someone mistook me for my son’s girlfriend in Colorado last week. #totallyserious. I suspect he should have been offended, but I was tickled pink for two days!

I agree, there is freedom in your 40’s! 40’s Girls Rock!Sarah, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Hope you enjoyed some coffee!

Please follow Sarah Price. She loves hearing from her fans!

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Author Chat Party with Melissa Tagg

vintage suitcase with pink scarf on alley in autumn park

I’m excited to host a Facebook Chat Party with Melissa Tagg. We’ll be getting together in the Hens Chicks and Bookworms Group from 7:00-8:00 CENTRAL, tonight, April 28th. (If you are not part of the group, please message me at and I will get you added)

This is not just a book discussion. This is a get-to-know-you let’s-have-fun party! Melissa will be giving away goodies every fifteen minutes between 7 and 8 (CENTRAL).

SO! Grab a cup of coffee…a snack…put on your sweats or pj’s and let’s chat! 🙂

Hope to “see” you there!


Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

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Chatting it Up with Melissa Tagg (Author Interview)

Melissa Tagg Profile

I was lucky enough to snag an interview with Melissa Tagg, author of From the Start.  Be jealous (little j). Just so you don’t become too jealous, I’m going to share our chat with you! I hope you enjoy it. We would love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment. Sharing is FABULOUS as well…so click away.



Finally, I have the chance to chat with you a bit. I’m excited! I think I first discovered you through Rachel Hauck. How do you know Rachel? 

I had the fun of meeting Rachel through My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers founded by Susan May Warren. MBT is a HUGE part of the reason I’m published today and both Rachel and Susie are some of the most amazing teachers, writers and women I know. I hugely look up to both of them. I’m like an eager golden retriever who just wants to follow them around…  🙂 

One of our first interactions was on Twitter. You were talking about giving up coffee or caffeine in general. (gasp) That was some time ago. Is that still a “thing” for you? And, if so, um, WHY?

Haha wellll…I tend to go through phases with my caffeine intake. So I think when we first connected, yes, I gave it up…for like three days! But it’s funny you should ask this now of all times because just a few days ago I decided to quit pop cold turkey. Not for long…probably just a few weeks. This time it’s not so much that I’m trying to get away from caffeine as I am trying drink water…’cause, you know, I hear that’s a good thing to do.


I have a favorite quote of yours. It’s not from a book, but from a blog you wrote. You said, “Have you ever had a dream go a little beige on you? Something once all sparkly and rainbow-like that somehow lost its color? And you worried it might be gone forever?” I read that and thought, “What a perfect word-picture of how so many of us feel when life “happens””. What advice do you have for women who find themselves in that beige place right now? 

I’m glad you like that quote and yeah, I think it’s something that hits women in all kinds of circumstances or callings—not just writers. We all sort of have pictures in our head of what life should look like…and when it suddenly doesn’t look like that, everything does just get bland and beige.

One of my biggest pieces of advice: Don’t listen to everyone’s advice. LOL! But seriously, sometimes when you’re in a blah season, well-meaning people want to give you fixes. Get more rest, they’ll say. Do a new Bible study. Exercise. Listen to good music. It’s all wonderful advice, yes. But it’s not always about what we do…but about what God does. And it can be very frustrating to try to do everything right and still wonder why nothing’s changing. Sometimes I think God just has his own time for working on our hearts…and the best thing we can do is wait and trust and cut ourselves a little slack.

All that said, when I was at my beigest last year, two amazing books really helped: Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined by Jonathan Merritt and Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs.

I read your blog on your top ten classic rom-coms. I was happy to see Cary Grant in there because he is just dreamy.  You didn’t have any Doris Day/Cary Grant or Doris Day/Rock Hudson flicks listed. Why??? (I’m just curious). 

Oh, I do LOVE Doris Day movies. I’m more of a 1930s and 40s girl when it comes to classics—to me they’re just the wittiest and best—so that’s probably by no Doris Day films made the list. But I do love hers. One of my favorites with her is Send Me No Flowers. That’s the one where Rock Hudson is a hypochondriac and thinks he’s dying and goes searching for a new husband for Doris for after he’s dead. Tony Randall is a riot in that one!

What about more modern day rom-coms? I love You’ve Got Mail (although it’s about old enough to be a classic now, I guess) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Do you have any more current favorites?

Confession: I’m pretty much the most picky person in the world when it comes to current rom-coms. Almost annoyingly so. But I do really enjoy the two you mentioned. My other current-ish favorites are Dan in Real Life (looooove!) and Decoy Bride, which is this random small film with David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald. I thought it was going to be ridiculous, but the humor was just right for me…and the setting was gorgeous. It was quirky and off-beat. 

You have an awesome sense of humor. You always make me giggle whether I’m reading one of your books or a blog. Did your friends and family find you funny as you were growing up? Do you find your personality is the same now as when you were younger or has it developed into something completely different? 

Oh yay for getting share laughs with friends! You know, I don’t know if people would’ve at all said I was funny growing up. I was actually a pretty reserved kid much of the time. I was a total bookworm.   

I do think in high school my funny side came out more. I remember taking a college prep class my senior year of high school and we had to give this speech about our future career. I tried to write something ultra serious but got bored with my own speech. So for the fun of it, instead I started out my speech talking about my plans to become a journalist…and halfway through revealed my plans to become Superman. I took off my top shirt to reveal a Superman shirt underneath, actually got up on a chair and jumped off like I was attempting to fly. Basically I made an idiot of myself—but all day I had people coming up to me saying they’d heard about that speech. I think that might’ve been when my love for making people laugh was born.

Okay. Some quick questions:

Movie out or at home?

Ooh, hard one! I do love going to movies, but I’m also a huge fan of being in my pajamas while watching movies…so we’ll go with at home.

Heels or flats?

Flats forever and always!

Pizza or Chinese?

This might literally be the hardest question ever because I’m fairly sure I could live forever off both. But, hmm, I’ll go with pizza. It’s just classic.  

Facebook or Twitter?

Instagram! Oh, that’s cheating. 🙂 Facebook, definitely. Twitter is fun, but Facebook is more relational.

Cake or cookies?

Does ice cream cake count as cake? If so, cake. If not, cookies all the way.

Make-up or natural?

I wish I was one of those girls who could say natural but I really don’t like scaring people. So at least a dab of makeup.

Pj’s or t-shirt?

Both!! I would wear flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt every day of the year if I could.

Beach or mountains? 

I want it all! But if I HAD to choose, probably mountains. Preferably the Blue Ridge Mountains…and within driving distance of the coast. 🙂 

Melissa, Thank you again for visiting with me!

You can find Melissa on:


Twitter– @Melissa_Tagg



For a list of her books please check out her web page:

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I Call Them Melissa-isms–From the Start


“I’m just saying, you guys were laughing and talking and hobnobbing all coupley-like”. This is what I’m talking about. This is a Melissa-ism. It’s the way she talks. It’s the way she writes. Cute, endearing, smile-provoking Melissa-isms.

Each book Melissa writes gets better and better. Her characters continue to become more developed and From the Start is no exception. The story is sweet. The humor is gigglicious. The characters–well–swoonily romantic. But, their stories. Their stores are so real. Like many of us, their pasts are a roadblock to their futures.

From the Start will take your heart in many directions…and you will find yourself beginning to wonder the final destination.

Melissa writes beautiful love stories. Love of family. Love of friends. Love of the dreamy guy (smiles). Most of all, she tells the story of God’s love and how all other love flows through Him.





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Three Little Words *Deep Sigh*

Three Little Words

Melissa Tagg.

Um. Yes.

You must read her.

Love Gilmore Girls? You’ve Got Mail? My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Do you like to smile while you read? Fan yourself because you just can’t believe how sweet and romantic the characters are?


She delivers all of these things in a clean unique way. I was concerned when I saw this was a novella. But the length wasn’t a problem. The characters were fully developed and the story told in lovely detail.

Melissa Tagg is God’s little gift to RomCom lovers.

Check out Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg! Did I mention it is FREE right now?

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Meet my Friend, Lue!

Looking in the Rearview Mirror

Today I invited Lue Shetler from Looking in my Rear View Mirror to sit down and chat with me. I hope you enjoy our talk. Be sure to leave lots of questions for Lue in my comments section!

Lisa: Lue! Why don’t you tell everyone how we “met” each other.
     Lue: First of all, thank you for having me here today. How much fun this is! I hope to meet some of your friends and get to know them as well. Now, to answer your question, there is this group called the Whoopie Pie Book Club on Facebook. You commented on a few of my links I had shared and it seemed like we became fast and furious friends after that. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your funny yet caring disposition.

Lisa: Did you just a call me, “funny”? I’ll take that as a compliment. 🙂 You were born into an Amish family. What is your funniest memory as a little girl?
     Lue: Well, let’s see. My brother and I spent a lot of time at my maternal grandparent’s house in the Summer. My uncle and his family lived there as well and his youngest daughter and I were the same age and got into trouble from time to time. The funniest memory I have stems from one of those visits. One day it rained and my cousin, Esta, and I, roughly four or five years old, decided we would go play in the mud puddles in the rugged and pot-hole filled lane going back to the big chicken houses on the farm. The puddles were huge and muddy and we were a little constrained with our long skirts on our dresses so we got innovative and tucked our skirts in our panties and we played to our heart’s content….until…..our grandmother found us out. Oh my goodness, she had a conniption, she stood there in the yard with her hands on her hips and yelled at us to get out of the mud and then made us come in the basement laundry room and she took the hose and a very bristly broom and washed us off, all the while scolding us for getting muddy and having our skirts tucked in our panties. I can still feel the bristles of that broom whisking over my skin. Whew! She was one hot grandma that day and we were not her favorite granddaughters for sure. It cracks me up today, but at that time it was not funny.

Lisa: Oh my goodness! That is such a cute story! Is Lue your real name or is it short for something?
     Lue: It is short for Luella. I shortened it when I began my career. The reason being that when you have to introduce yourself with a three syllable name folks tend to want to know the spelling, tell me how much they like it or that it sounds like something else and on and on. I love the short, one syllable and almost no need for explanations kind of name. Some folks can’t get used to the Lue spelling versus the more common Lou spelling. I don’t have an “o” in my name, so I don’t use it. I wish I had started writing it “Lu” though. Just because.

Lisa: If you could have picked your own name, what would it have been?
     Lue: Ellie. It is also a version of part of my real name and in some ways I wish I would have started using it rather than Lue.

Lisa: Ellie is sweet. But, Lue makes you more original, I think. What would you say you miss most about the Amish?
     Lue: Nothing. ha ha..that was quick! Well, to be more honest, I like the idea of being a stay at home wife. I miss being home. But to be even more honest, having a career helped save my life. I have lived a life of depression and having to get up and keep a routine has been one tool that has been helpful for me to keep the depression at bay.

Lisa: I can relate to that. So, what would you say you miss the least about the Amish?
    Lue: The rules and rituals of the church. I’ve come to understand that I have to have a relationship with God to know what His rules are versus obeying the often legalistic rules of the Amish church. When we left the Amish a former Amish couple mentored us and they encouraged us to “forget all we had learned from the Amish and start over using the Bible as our guideline.” It was difficult to learn how to do this without feeling intense guilt because guilt and shame were how we had learned to gauge right from wrong on many levels.Once we understood God’s love, grace and mercy for us it lent us much freedom and we have never looked back.

Lisa: What is one thing about you most people would never guess?
     Lue: Deep inside I am a perfectionist and there was a time in my life when I wouldn’t leave my home without every dish being in place, every pillow fluffed and bathroom sinks spotless. I’ve come a long way from those days. There is still a part of me that despises when I can’t do things “right.” If I have to give my home a “lick and a promise” kind of cleaning it doesn’t sit well with my soul and I would prefer not to clean at all and wait until I can do it “right.” I struggle with this when it comes to writing as well. I hate to stop mid-chapter and go to bed and have to pick up the next night or time I have a free moment. I’ve not figured out how to master this issue thus far.

Lisa: That leads me to my next question. You like to write. Is there anything we can look forward to in the future?
     Lue: Yes, I hope so. I am currently writing a biography. My Amish friend, Elizabeth, has quite a layered story and she has been so open and vulnerable and has been telling me her story. We are digging in, talking about some hard things, remembering things, and laughing a lot. We both have full time jobs and so it is slow going. I don’t have a book deal or a dead line so when the manuscript is finished I hope to shop it around, possibly find an agent who can advise me and help me get it in with a good publisher. Honestly, I don’t know the first thing about all that and keep praying and hoping that once it is finished that God will have prepared a path for me to follow to get it published. Life is an adventure every day. Whatever God’s will is and in his timing I believe things will happen as they should.

Lisa: Tell us about your blog and Facebook page. I love the name of it, by the way.
     Lue: Well, thank you my friend. The title, “Looking in My Rear View Mirror” seemed appropriate for me to use because so often when I look into my rear view mirror I see shadows of my past. An Amish buggy, an Amish walker, an Amish farm, and on and on. The title also symbolizes that I have moved forward in my life and that the Amish lifestyle is behind me. If you click on the link and look at the header I chose you will see both of those symbolism’s.
My website showcases two of my loves. 1. A blog for my words and 2. A gallery to showcase my favorite photos. I love business and I love Amish Country and so I feature local businesses and artisans and my own experiences on my blog. I invite anybody reading this to stop by and see what it is all about. I do regret to have to add that I absent-minded-ly deleted some of my photos and now a few of my blog posts are devoid of photos. One day I will have to fix that. Made me sick when I figured that out. Sigh.
Website:  I update as I am inspired, so you won’t get something every day or even every week, but there are some good articles there if you are interested in the Amish or Amish Country, Ohio and my life experiences.
Facebook Page:  I usually put something on my page about once a day. Lately I’ve been sharing a lot of videos because that is what gets the most activity over there. I don’t understand why, but it is what it is.
Facebook – Personal Wall:  This is my personal Facebook link and I am all “chatty” on my wall. I share things like my “Muddy Lane Saga” with my Amish friend or post a selfie of myself making those “duck lips.” I just like to have fun sometimes and always try to be positive because we have so much negativity out there in social media land. Folks seem to want to connect more with me on my wall than on my page, so that is what I am giving them. If you would like to be friends and be a part of the fun, send me a request. Would love to be your friend too.
Pinterest:  I have a few boards where I only pin things that are my own creations. My words, my photos.
Instagram:  I love instagram. I post photos there as well.
Twitter:  This is my least favorite social media vehicle and I’ve not figured it out and I almost never post there or even go there. But, I HAVE an account! lol (Makes me feel so important….kidding!!)

Lisa: Okay. Some fun facts. What is your favorite snack?
     Lue: Kettle corn or cheese, depending on my mood, or a chocolate bar, wait a minute, it could be an apple and peanut butter too. Gah! I can’t choose. It depends on my mood.

Lisa: Coffee or tea?
     Lue: I love the smell and taste of coffee, but it doesn’t make me feel good, so I drink more tea (no sugar) than coffee.

Lisa: Cake or cookies? (pretend we’re not on diets)
     Lue: Cake. My favorite dessert to make and eat. Coconut cake…yum!

Lisa: Um. I. Love. Coconut cake. Favorite movie?
     Lue: She-Devil only because that woman was a survivor and she did it in a way that was comical yet effective. Pretty Woman is a close second, but She-Devil wins as favorite for the reasons cited.

Lisa: Favorite book genre?
     Lue: Not sure if I have a favorite. I do enjoy a good autobiography or biography. But then I can also while the day away in a historical romance novel.

Lisa: Summer or winter?
     Lue: Summer. Don’t even get me started on Winter.

Lisa: What country would you most like to visit?
     Lue: Italy. I want to see the Tuscan sun.

Lisa: What would your dream job be?
     Lue: Full time writer and paid freelance photographer.

Lisa: Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time visit with me. I wanted to share you with all of my friends. You are such a special person. I hope everyone will stop by to read your stories and view your pictures. Most of all, thank you for our friendship! ❤
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