About the Book
Book: Heart Pressed
Author: Melissa Wardwell
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 23, 2021
Crushes are great for grapes, wine, and romance—not so great for hearts.
The Sweetheart Festival, an Elnora Island institution, has sparked more than a few romances over the years, but who would have thought it would light a fire in two hearts from two of the island’s oldest families. When Amara Martin and Dante Greco meet, sparks fly that may ignite more than romance.
Two wineries, old feuds, generations of traditions.
Seeing the attraction at Amara and Dante’s chance meeting, Beth Stevens and Scott Anderson join forces to do a little matchmaking, not realizing the pressure it would bring to both households and their own hearts. The new couple must decide if they will adhere to tradition or break free from expectations and choose love. Pressure on every side threatens a love that hasn’t yet had a chance to ripen—for both Amara and Dante as well as for Beth and Scott.
In this “forbidden love” novel, Heart Pressed continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing. Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads. To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit http://www.melissawardwell.com
More from Melissa
“Life never goes as planned.”
That is the understatement of the century. 2020 has been the perfect example of it. Around the world, plans were made on January 1st to do this or that. Plans to use the year as a spring board for something new, better, or just a change.
Then that virus dashed all those plans. We were shut out from the world with only our books, our televisions, and our families. Some battled the shut down alone, while others had a house full (one friend of mine had eleven people in her house and only one was not her child). I know a couple of single friends who decided to stay at one house for the few weeks that Michigan was closed. Others, like myself, may not have done as well as everyone thought they were. Brave face and all. But we survived. We persevered. We adapted.
“Heart Pressed” is my covid story. It is about the unexpected way life change while you are in the middle of making plans for the future. How some changes are wonderful and rewarding, while others will bring you to the ground, begging for mercy.
Take Amara, for instance. She had a plan and put things into motion to make that plan come to fruition, but God (don’t you love those two words?) had a different plan and took hold of her heart. He softened it, molded it, made it a place where He could reside. Then life came knocking. The one person she thought would be there, couldn’t be, but God (there it is again) gave her someone to count on, hold her hand, and help her through the storms. He showed her that she wasn’t alone in this world by surrounding her with new people who loved her and cared for her.
(Disclaimer – I know God didn’t do anything, but we all have those stories in our own lives where God intervened on our behalf.)
Did you find a way to survive the storm? Did God bring people into your life, even at a distance, that made things better? Did your faith strengthen to new levels? I hope so because life never goes as we plan, but it sure is nice to have someone to hold your hand.
Interview with Melissa
- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Melissa: I am a people watcher. Not in a creepy way like some might think. I listen to their stories, I watch how they move and their faces change as they tell their stories, and I keep it in my memory bank. If a character “tells” me that there is something in their past that looks like that of the real person I once observed and spoke with, I talk to the person. Especially if their story is personal. Of course, I never use names.
My last independently published book, “I Know the Plans” addresses the real lives of military wives, infertility, and combat related PTSD. All tough topics, I know. I have people close to me that I admire who struggle with these very things. I asked them if they were willing to share their stories and they all agreed. So, I went to work drafting the book. Many of my books are that way, but not quite so many difficult issues in one book.
- Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Melissa: Hire an editor or two that understands creative writing. Not all editors are the same. Don’t ask the legal assistant aunt to edit your book and think it’s correct. I won’t be, I know this first hand.
The other thing I would recommend is do your homework before you write. Buy some quick guide resources, listen to story building podcasts, read books in the genre you want to write in. This way you have some knowledge in the craft as well as in what work for your target audience and what won’t.
- What’s your favorite part about being a writer? Research? First Draft? Editing?
Melissa: I love the creating process. The character creating, the “hook” building, the world developing—it all works together to build these stories in my mind. Once I have those all written out, I then feel like I can just sit down and write the stories they give me while plugging in as much information as possible about the who, where, what, and why of the story.
- What do you think makes a good story?
Melissa: Authenticity. We live in a world that bombards us with lies and half truths. I want the full story. I want to see the love, the pain, the passion, the anger (When needed), the faith, the victory—I want to see every aspect of ones life in the stories I read and I try to do the same in the ones I write. I don’t want a quick peck on the cheek from a couple that has been written to have obvious chemistry. I want all the messy emotions that go with that first lip locking moment. (Wink to Pepper Basham and Julie Lessman -hehe) If they have a come to Jesus moment, I want to cry as the lost soul feels the burn in their chest to surrender to the will of the Father.
- What project are you working on now and how do we find your books?
Melissa: I turned in the third book in the Independence Islands collection, “Seasoned Grace” at the beginning of February. I must say, it is my favorite thus far. A sassy designer comes to Hopper to look for answers about her past and finds so much more than she bargained for. The only issue is the cute guy who runs the mission and insists on talking about “his God” to her.
I am also plotting my fourth contribution “Blended Love”. It’s a story about two people who have lost the loves of their life but still have children in the mix. Seth is content with never really loving someone again, but sees that his daughters are coming into an age that a mother’s touch will be needed. Then there is Sarah, she is a quiet woman who has young son’s and… well, like I said, she’s quiet. Sarah hasn’t “shared” much with me yet about her life. I just know that she is not happy with her deceased husband.
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19
lakesidelivingsite, March 19
A Novel Pursuit, March 20
She Lives To Read, March 21
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 22
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 22
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 23
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 23
Aryn the Libraryan, March 24
deb’s Book Review, March 24
Artistic Nobody, March 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Blossoms and Blessings, March 25
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26
Batya’s Bits, March 26
For Him and My Family, March 27
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 27 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, March 28
Cultivating us, March 28
Texas Book-aholic, March 29
Blogging With Carol, March 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 30
Connect in Fiction, March 30
Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 31
Splashes of Joy, April 1
Godly Book Reviews, April 1
To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.