Good day friends! I am so excited to have a guest on my blog today… my friend and upcoming author, Melissa Tagg! Melissa writes in a way that is laugh-out-loud funny and does her book not have one of the CUTEST covers ever?!

Melissa is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My BookTherapy. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at




There’s this guy… 🙂

His name is Matthew Knox. While he’d be the first one to acknowledge his flaws and failures, he is attractive in about 101 ways.

I should know. I created him.


Figuring out this guy at the center of my debut novel, Made to Last, was a pretty fun process. From the beginning, I knew he was a journalist-turned-magazine-blogger out to revive his wobbly career by uncovering my celebrity heroine’s secrets. (I also knew he had dimples and wit as many a good hero does. Haha!)


But playing nosy reporter with a mistake-filled past couldn’t be the whole story. The author in me knew Matthew needed a noble cause or motivation driving his ambition. The girl in me knew there was more to this guy than meets the eye—because isn’t there always in the great guys? 🙂


Enter Matthew’s nine-year-old niece. She’s in need of special surgery—one insurance isn’t inclined to cover. Matthew’s brother and sister-in-law are near the end of their rope financially. So while kitschy celebrity reporting is so not his thing, Matthew knows it’s a quick and easy way to boost his cash flow. As he sees it, it’s worth temporarily trading his journalistic integrity to help this little girl he loves so much.


Matthew’s love for his niece and his desire to help her, those are the whys behind his what. It makes all the difference in his character and in the way the heroine of the story sees him. Suddenly he’s not just a reporter out to spill her secrets. He’s a man with a huge heart trying to make up for an iffy past by playing hero in his niece’s life.


And this is where I stopped and had one of probably a dozen life lessons that came along with the writing of Made to Last:


When I get to know the motivations, the special causes, the values that drive a friend or family member forward…that’s when we’ve connected at a deeper level. Sometimes a person will freely offer that inside peek of his or her heart—which is quite the gift.


But probably more often than not, getting those glimpses of another’s vulnerable places means time and patience and intentional interest on my part. It means investing in that person. It means being willing to be vulnerable myself. It means really listening…both to what the other person is saying, but also what they’re not.


Which is exactly how my heroine starts to discover (and, yes, fall for) the sweet and layered guy that is Matthew Knox. And which is exactly how I want to interact with the people in my life.


Here’s the extra cool thing: When I take the time to see past the surface whats in the people around me to the whys on their heart…then I’ve learned to see people a little more like Christ does.


What’s one why behind your what—the motivation or value or special cause behind your career, goal or dream? How does uncovering someone else’s motivation change how you see their actions?