A Not so Ordinary Interview of author Melissa Tagg

New_Made to Last2You know that moment when the Hollywood hottie in the long evening gown gets to introduce the nominees of the next Grammy? Well, this is that moment, minus the long dress (wearing sweats right now) and the lady you’re about to meet is more fun than a night at the Grammy’s any day. Seriously love this chica and excited for her writer journey to take off. Her debut book, Made To Last, is available now for your reading pleasure.  So… without further delay, please pull up a chair, read on, and get to know the lovely Melissa Tagg.


Raj: When you were six months old, [think hard, the memories are there somewhere,] did you find a nut and then attach it to a bolt, and think right there on the spot, one day, I will write a book that involves tools? Kidding. But as a kid, did you mess with your dad’s toolbox, help him change the oil on the car? Did you have brothers or a boyfriend that sparked the whole Home Depot play in Made to Last? In essence, what inspired the setting or set in your case of the story?

Melissa: Haha, umm…here’s the thing: Continue reading

Swimming Through Clouds… The Road to June 1st

sun rises every day2June 1st.

Who would have thought that when I signed up for the Tough Mudder nine months ago, that this day would also mark the launch of my first book, Swimming Through Clouds.

So for the past months, I’ve been alternating, not always equally, push ups and pen marks. Rewrites and runs. Marketing and marathons. And just when I was supposed to run my first half, my calf gave way. And seconds after I turned in the manuscript for Swimming, I had a name crisis. And for the last two weeks, my neck and left shoulder have been all out of whack. Stress, perhaps? Anxiety over the book release? Definitely.

But the truth is, the day my first book appeared on Amazon, I was fine. No cartwheels or cork popping. Just another day really. Filled with two dozen roses from Mom and Dad and some extra huge smiles and hugs from girls and Hubby, but besides that, the day felt fairly normal.

I’m guessing it’s not too different from a grand opening to a store. Just because the doors swing wide, and several browsers mosey on in, doesn’t mean they’ll buy anything. Or like it enough to come back and tell you. Or even better, tell others to shop there.

So it’s a lot more like a waiting room experience, now that I think about it. But it’s not a bad place to be. Feel so aware that to arrive this far is a blessing beyond measure already. So aware.

Here are the five things I’ve learned about myself this past year and a half from when my dream to be a published author really started to roll out of my  dreams and into reality.

1.  When I think I’ll get more done by not working out and just writing with that time, my back and neck remind me that they will not continue to be nice to me unless I give them chances to stretch and loosen up. Always a fail.

2. Sometimes I enjoy hanging out with my make-believe friends more than real people. Not often. But occasionally :) !

3.  I’m a much better mom when my laptop battery runs out, and I can’t find my iPhone. Yep. It’s true.

4. When I do take time away from a story to play and live and date and play. Did I say that one already? I return to my story with fresh eyes, new experiences, and a refilled tank of energy and enthusiasm. Breaks are crucial!

5. I can lose sight of what’s important when I get caught up in the journey, and I don’t want to be that person. Hot air balloons look pretty in Oz, but don’t let me get carried away. And there’s only one thing. One person. That grounds me. God.

So on June 1st, when the sun rises and I’m tanking up on a high-protein breakfast of Hubby’s famous eggs. When I’m out on the course and swimming in mud up to my elbows, I’ll think of you. As you dive in and go Swimming Through Clouds. :)


Happy Birthday Book Baby #1! Sending you out into the world with kisses!

To find your place. And remember, you’ll always have a special spot on the bookshelf of my writer’s heart.

It’s your time. Make a splash! And swim on.


And you? What have you learned about yourself lately? Any life insights that have dawned on you as you take up life’s latest challenge? Are you a survivor and proud owner of an orange Tough Mudder headband? Any last second advice for this “Not feelin’ so Tough” soon to be Mudder?


If You could “Revise” your Life, Would You?



Stephanie Morrill, Creator of GoTeenWriters, wrote a new book. Within a book. Sort of. Think Inception with a YA twist, but no one wakes up tied to a chair or sitting at a desk spinning a top. But her main character, Ellie Sweet, is a writer. And Ellie takes her “real” world and rewrites it into a fictional piece full of Lady’s, Princes, catty dames, sword duels and the whole nine yards. The people in her life, high schoolers in and out of her circle of friends, become fodder for her characters and scenes.

But the funny thing is her Prince Charming changes names. Because just when she thought she knew who she was falling in love with, at her high school, she finds herself drawn to another Prince, the kind whose crown isn’t apparent to the naked eye.

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet is not your typical YA Read but I simply loved it. And I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I can tell you this: For a writer/reader who tends to choose sides (Team Edward, Team Gale, and Team Sawyer *from Lost) within the first few encounters of a story, I can say that this is the first time I didn’t choose. Because I couldn’t. Until right near the end of the book. I totally fell in love. Twice! I guess there’s always a first time for everything.

Stephanie Morrill Low ResMorrill’s fun YARead is available to DOWNLOAD Tomorrow at www.playlistfiction.com – a clickity click away! And you can always peruse the first pages on Amazon to get a taste test! Reviews are up too if you’re interested. Excited for you all to meet Ellie. She’s Sweet, in the most wonderful way! :)


Have you read anything good lately, Young Adult-Fictionally speaking? Do Share! Have you checked out the other selections at Playlist Fiction? The library is a’ growin! :)

Meet Laura Anderson Kurk, Author of Glass Girl


I was a thinker from a young age. So I resent the suggestion that young people don’t think. Or have irrelevant experiences. Or just need to grow up. Because those very tender and vulnerable years are when I learned so much about myself. My needs. My fears. My dreams.

Allow me to introduce you to my friend and co-author at Playlist Fiction, Laura Anderson Kurk. She gets teens. But not only that, she’s a superb writer who has a gift with words. She’s taught me so much in a short amount of time. On top of giving me a story that will stay with me forever. Glass Girl is an incredibly beautiful story of how something new can come of something broken. Life after loss. Love that shows up when you least expect it. But need it most. Meg’s story will take you by the hand and walk you through her journey of pain. And healing. And hope. A story that continues in the sequel Perfect Glass, which I am just as eager to pick up this June. On or around the same time as Swimming Through Clouds, my first YA Book. Ever! Yikes!  Continue reading

One Day. Three Books.

April 1 releasesI interrupt this BLOG to make a Public Service Announcement. Two, in fact.

After threats to give my laptop a bubble bath by my princesses who are home 24/7, Spring-breaking, I have been warned not to spend too many minutes writing. So, for the most part, besides a tiny bit of this and that, In Search of Waterfalls is In Search of a Vacation this week. 

And the SECOND Big Announcement is the Launch of a NEW, very cool, Website called, PlayList Fiction. <—– This is what happens when a very coolio Lit Agency rounds up five aspiring Young Adult Fiction authors and creates a hot E-Book Line! Books! Giveaways! Every Month!! 

Today’s the day! April 1st! 

One Day! Three Books! Are now available to Download the Drama

So connect with us ON Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and let’s get acquainted! 

And that’s it! Happy Spring Break, All! Off to Shake it UP and learn from the Dog with a Blog. World of Tweens I live in. What can I say?


And you, how are you spending your Spring Break? Any news you want to share? Do you watch Dog with a Blog? Come on… I admitted it! 


A New Pope and YOLO Thinks


I know, I know, the big news of the day is the New Pope! For the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, this is Huge, really. And he’s Latino! Heard all about the white smoke and his unique entry, when Jorge Mario Bergoglio asked for prayer rather than expressing the traditional blessing in his opening greeting. Wonder if he knew when he was a little boy that some day he’d be making his debut as the Pope? Did he ever attend a Career Day at his school, walk by the Faith Pathways booth and linger, feeling drawn to the calling, long before he knew this was the path he’d take? And quite honestly, I need to do a bit more research, because I still can’t figure out why he’s going to be called Pope Francis. I’m sure it has something to do with tradition and history and inspiration. Forgive me for my ignorance. 

According to the CNN report, “Francis has a reputation for being a voice for the poor.” And the new Pope refused to elevate himself on a platform above other leaders on stage. I’m not Catholic, but I like the guy already. He has definitely made a splash in his first moments.

Bringing me to a perfect place of transition. Sort of! :) I’m in the process of having a few months of firsts as an author, and I can honestly say that I never imagined it quite like this. Had my first Book Reading last Thursday, and I didn’t faint! Actually gave the audience permission to push me over and take the mic and finish the reading in case I did. Faint, that is.  Continue reading

Fare Thee Well 2012 … Hello ’13!


 Copyright: Google Images

Copyright: Google Images



Hi All You Lovely Readers out there! :)

Looking back on this first full year of Blogging and writing, I am amazed at how much we’ve been through. Together. As I continue to throw my life up on-screen, you surprise me, time and time again, by returning to read about my journey, share in my joys and heartaches, and write back to let me know I’m not alone.

This past year, you joined me on many waterfall adventures, both local and across the country. Continue reading

Two Words… *ACFW Post-Conference Reflections


My Spec-Fic Peeps! Andrew Winch, Adam Weisenburger, Charis Seeley, Ben Erlichman & John Otte!

When I landed in Dallas, I felt rested, pumped, and…lost. What was the name of the hotel I was staying at?

I knew it was a big one, one right near the airport, and everyone with a “writer-look” would be headed there too. So it would be easy to find out.

Since I don’t own a “smart” phone yet [emphasis on the yet] I picked up an airport phone after deciding the ACFW Conference must be at the Hilton. Nope. Then I tried the Marriot. No again. I had two left to try that seemed plausible, but they were two different branches of the Hyatt. I ended up finding the right one and the shuttle brought me over, easy peasy. Came to find out later that several of my writer buds went to the wrong Hyatt and had to drag their luggage all over Dallas before arriving at the DFW Hyatt Regency. Whew. We all made it.

Before I left, a friend had asked me if I was looking forward to my writing conference. I said, Yes. And no. Yes, because I had specific goals for myself and what I wanted to learn and accomplish. No, because so many of my friends that I made last year weren’t returning :(

On that first day, I ran into one friend I made last September, and I am so glad I did. We shared a pizza and joined a group to get rid of some nervous energy through the ultimate work-out: swing dancing. Not the same as Punjabi Bhanghra, but a fun start to my four nights at ACFW’s Annual writing conference. Continue reading

ACFW Conference…Getting There

On Flight 6011 from New York to Dallas for my second ever writing conference. The plane hasn’t even left the runway and I feel a, shall we say, “Fortunately… Unfortunately” blog coming on. Ahhh, why not. If you insist…

Hannah decorated my suitcase for me! So I wouldn’t lose it!
Fortunately, two days ago, I thought to prepare the girls for mommy being away for four sleeps, so sat with them on the couch and told them, “Remember when Mommy went to her writing conference last year and we did FaceTime to keep in touch?”

Unfortunately, my third princess chimed in, “Yeah. I remember how Sarah wouldn’t stop crying the whole time you were gone.” Not exactly how I wanted to begin this conversation. Continue reading