Thursday, March 31, 2016

Like Never Before

Like Never Before
Walker Family Series, Book 2
Melissa Tagg
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 9780764213083
April 2016/352 pages/$35.99

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley's haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But when the newspaper she runs is in danger of closing, she pins all her hopes on a story that just might convince the new owner to keep the paper running.

After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker has the chance of a lifetime: a spot on a presidential campaign. But first he has to return to his hometown to sell the newspaper he's suddenly inherited.

But instead of a quick sale, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She's scrappy, but wounded. He's dependable, but lost. And working together to break the story on Maple Valley's unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

Read an excerpt.


Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former newspaper reporter, current nonprofit grant writer, and total Iowa girl. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly at her website,


I began smiling before I even opened this book because I knew it was going to be utterly charming and delightful, for no other reason than the author's name on the cover. I was right. Melissa Tagg's trademark style fills the pages with her warm and witty prose, engaging & authentic characters who leap from the pages into your heart, and an unexpected historical twist. Nestled amidst the banter and romance, keen spiritual insights add depth and gently steer the reader's heart to the true source of love and security. I was immediately swept into this story, as I am with all of Melissa Tagg's books, and practically read it in one sitting. I am in love with the town of Maple Valley and wish I could hang out at the Walker family home for a while. I'm already looking forward to Book 3. Add this book and series to your spring reading list!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Melissa Tagg and Baker/Bethany House Publishers for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Three Little Words (FREE! Introductory Novella)
From the Start (Book 1)


1. What’s the premise of this story?
This is the story of Amelia Bentley—a woman who has lost her dream of having a family but has created a whole new life for herself as editor of a small-town newspaper. And it’s the story of widowed, single father Logan Walker—a former reporter turned successful speechwriter who finds out he’s inherited said newspaper.

Logan and Amelia end up having cross-purposes—Logan hoping to sell the paper, Amelia desperate to save it. But when they end up chasing an intriguing story together in an attempt to solve Maple Valley’s long-time unsolved mystery, it’s just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

2. What kind of research did you have to do for Like Never Before?
One thing I didn’t have to research is small-town newspaper life! I was a reporter for a smalltown weekly newspaper for several years after college—and interned at another daily paper throughout college—so I felt confident in portraying that piece of Like Never Before’s storyworld. But I did have to research the ins and outs of political speechwriting, and I did quite a bit of reading on Charles Lindbergh, as there’s a light historical mystery thread related to him in this book.

3. Speaking of that little historical mystery thread, that’s a first for you. What sparked it?
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with this picture book biography of Amelia Earhart. I’m sure I checked it out of my hometown library at least a couple dozen times. As I grew older, that interest spread to Charles Lindbergh, which then intensified when I visited Lindbergh’s childhood home and museum in Little Falls, Minnesota. So those two interests somehow merged in my storyteller mind as I brainstormed this book. It wasn’t entirely planned! But I definitely had fun with it.

4. What message or theme do you hope sticks with readers as they finish Like Never Before?
Prior to writing this story, I walked through a season of feeling creatively dry. My writing dream felt somehow beige; my creative energy lacked its former luster. But then I started writing Like Never Before, started getting to know these two characters who’d also seen their dreams sort of fade into something colorless. And as I wrote, as I dove into Maple Valley and Logan and Amelia’s worlds, my storytelling delight reawakened! I felt my creativity come alive in a new way, as if God was saying, “Look, I’m doing something new here.” It was a return of joy. . . .

And that is what I hope sticks with readers once they’ve turned the last page of Like Never Before. I hope they are refreshed and inspired by the reminder that no matter what we’ve gone through, no matter what we’ve lost, God can make all things new. He can truly give us joy like never before.

5. What’s your favorite scene in this book?
There are some fun and funny scenes in this story and some overtly romantic and wonderfully gooey scenes that I just looooved writing. But probably my favorite scene in the whole book is a much quieter, much softer scene. It takes place on a little bridge right after a rainstorm. My staid and dependable hero, Logan Walker, has just done something he never does, and he’s feeling awful. Enter Amelia. I won’t give away any more than that, other than I just love how she ends up being exactly what Logan needs in those moments . . . from diverting him with charming jokes to emotionally tending his wounds with an unexpected, tender action.


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