Book Review & Author Interview: ‘A Promise To Keep’ by Melony Teague

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. With foamy lattes in-hand, she writes Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor. Though she has no hobbies outside of reading, writing, and eating chocolate, she is a member of ACFW and teaches seniors in her community to write their memoirs. She confesses with no shame that she has a strong belief that pumpkin pie is an acceptable breakfast food since it’s mostly vegetables. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in the melting pot that is Toronto with her husband, their two teenagers, and two cats who think they’re humans.

I am super happy to welcome Melony Teague to my blog today! A Promise To Keep is Melony’s debut novel and she has done a great job! Thanks so much for being with me today, Melony.

1. When and how did you decide to write?
I have been a freelance writer for ten years and it was only three years ago that I decided to allow more time for my fiction writing. It’s such a different animal to writing nonfiction. But I have always loved stories, whether fiction or nonfiction and the idea of telling one of my own, combining all the elements of what I love in stories was impossibly appealing. It’s a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself. Now my little book is out in the wild and I pray it blesses those who read it.

2. How much does prayer play a part in your writing?
Oh goodness, a lot of prayer went into A Promise To Keep at every stage of development. This story was very close to my heart, so I wanted to get it right. But over and above that, I wanted to write a story that would make people laugh, yes, but also have a strong message of hope and healing. Many people prayed this story into existence along with me. I am so grateful to my prayer partners and my writing sisters.

3. How do you get ideas for a book?
Usually a story comes out of something real that has happened in real life that has fascinated me. When I brainstorm, I do a lot of day dreaming and thinking. It takes me a while to come up with anything that I don’t consider lame or boring or been-there-done-that, so I tend to wrestle long and hard with the story before I start writing. Once I get to know the characters a bit, and I start to fall in love with their quirky ways, things move more quickly.

4. Is there any of yourself in your books?
I guess my sense of humor is in the books, at least, I hope it comes through. Savannah Sanderson and I are both South African, so you’ll see some of that come through. We both live in countries which are not our places of birth, so I guess she and I share the same perspective. Savannah and I also share a need and love for coffee and slow, quiet mornings. Michael McCann shares my sense of adventure, although I share Savannah’s fear of heights and spiders.

5. How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends. The first draft for A Promise To Keep took around 8-10 months, and then came revisions and rewriting before I was offered a contract. Once the contract with Anaiah Press was signed, things happened quickly and we headed straight into developmental edits and many rounds of edits and proofreading that became the story you read, Susan. This book was a bit different in that I had a synopsis figured out before I wrote it, which helped guide the story and keep me on track. I had never written that way before. My former manuscripts were mostly written by the seat of my pants. This one was plotted with a tiny bit of pantsing added in when the characters showed with a mind of their own. Like Donovan Radcliffe, he wasn’t in the original syonpsis, but he insisted on making an appearance.

6. What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I really hope that readers will enjoy this story for the entertainment value because life is messy and hard. We could all use a bit of an escape and a laugh. Also, I would want readers to come away with healing for yesterday, courage for today, and hope for tomorrow.
Thank you, Susan, for having me on your blog. What an honor!

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘She wouldn’t cry. She was done with tears…..with the fortitude of fragile glass.’

Savannah Sanderson promises her late husband that she will go to her 20th year high school reunion, which is the absolute last thing she wants to do. She finds a hiding spot behind a fern and that’s where she plans to stay until the night is over. Then another classmate, Michael McCann, spots her and drags her out. He’s changed his life completely since high school, too. He and Savannah decide to visit some old favorite spots from their high school years and soon their adventure turns into an emotional journey they are not sure they can navigate past.

Well written, poignantly told, this debut novel from Melony Teague will touch your heart and have you cheering for these two. Watching them reconnect after 20 years and seeing their hearts shine is something you don’t want to miss. Don’t miss this one, folks. Recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher and author for a preview copy of this book. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


FOLLOW ON TWITTER  Twitter Handle: @MelonyTeague


For More Visit the A Promise to Keep page

Book: A Promise to Keep

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Anaiah Press

Release Date: Jan 21, 2020 (E-book and Print)

ISBN: 978-1-947327-72-6