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Melissa Ferguson Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Dating Charade (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Melissa Ferguson is an adjunct professor of religion and Bible at King University. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, and their three kids.

She used to have hobbies like backpacking and running n the Appalachian Trail located right outside her door, especially with her husband or a friend. They used to get out and walk around three or four miles every day. Once, they walked on a gorgeous creeper trail on a Sunday and walked seventeen miles. But now, her hobbies include just admiring the Appalachian Trail out her car window while she sings “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” while on the way to the library.

She survives all of it with about two espresso shots each day, Jesus, and rom/coms.

When she walks into a bookstore, she goes in whichever direction her three kids have immediately gone running to. Then she heads over to the cashier to buy whatever item one kid has taken and began opening while she wasn’t looking.

When she is able to actually get to the books, she goes to the Christian fiction section, first. Here, she proceeds to smile at all the books as people walk by, watching her and her kids at her feet attempting to lick all the books. The whole time, she resists the urge to hug the books from quite a few authors that have become dear friends of hers.

Melissa got the idea for “The Dating Charade” at random. She just wondered wouldn’t it be funny if a couple had a fantastic first date, tell one another that they are uninterested in having kids, just to come home and have three kids each dumped into their laps. She figures a few factors came into play while she was bringing this idea to fruition, though.

While she was starting work on “The Dating Charade”, her twins were two years old and she had a newborn. The idea of the guy in the book, who isn’t into kids, to be surprised with twin two year olds as well as a newborn overnight and just see how he handles it, was fun for Melissa. It may have even been therapeutic, seeing the man struggle through her own comedic parenting struggles.

In Cassie’s case, though, she wound up with her three kids through working as the director of an after school program. For quite a few years Melissa herself was the teen coordinator for her YMCA after school program. Each of those teens meant the world to Melissa and they got really close to each other.

Some of those kids had tough home lives, however. It made her write from the point of view of what would it be like if one of her kids, whom she loved a lot, wound up in foster care and split up from her sisters if she did not take all of them in?

The novel is a tad different from the usual rom/com, especially due to the fact that there are laugh-out-loud moments, but there is the story that revolves around the kids and the issues they must face. Issues like foster care, abandonment, and addictions. The story, Melissa feels, is happiness and total happily-ever-after, yet still carries a message about the power of family, no matter how they came together.

Melissa hopes that readers learn more about the downs and ups of the foster system, with some maybe finding themselves wanting to get involved in some way. This is what happened to her family. After she wrote the book, they were led to begin fostering and their house got officially approved for it.

There was a day where she was writing the book without a contract in sight and just sat back wondering if God was going to use the book to help alter the world for fostering. Her next thought was if God was using the book to change Melissa.

She also hopes they come away from the story having smiled and laugh over all of the crazy antics, some of which were plucked right from her life as a mother.

One of Melissa’s favorite parts of the novel was that she was able to take wild and funny things that happened to her and use it for the story. A parents scrapbook. Some people write things down in journals or take pictures. She just wound up putting it in a novel.

The first check she got for the advance on her book contract she used to buy her first real writing chair and desk. It made for a rather special purchase for her.

Melissa’s debut novel, called “The Dating Charade”, was released in the year 2019, and is from the romance genre. It was published by Thomas Nelson.

“The Dating Charade” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. Just when you believe you have met your match, that is when the charade starts. Cassie Everson is a pro at escaping terrible first dates. After years of meeting and greeting, then running from the guys that attempt wooing her, Cassie is just about ready to retire all her hopes to find a husband, and have kids, forever.

Fate has got other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches eye of Jett Bentley, a firefighter. Cassie Everson, in Jett’s mind, is that unreachable girl-of-legend from their days in high school. He messages her, nervously, putting in motion off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

Nobody is more surprised than Cassie herself when her first date with Jett is quite a knockout. When they both go back home and find three kids each dropped right in their laps, they independently decide to do the mature and right thing. Hide the children from each other as they sort it all out. What could really go wrong?

This novel is a heartwarming and sweet story of patience, love, and sacrifice, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Readers loved the ways that Cassie is able to escape her bad first dates, finding the methods and her helpers to be hilarious. Melissa reminds her readers that love can come in small packages, and sometimes best-laid plans are not nearly as rewarding and as fun as the surprises that head peoples’ way.

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