“The Legend of the Candy Cane” by Lori Walburg

Not at all what I was expecting…

When I read the word “hardcover”, I assumed it was a regular hardcover book but what arrived in the mail was a board book.

Imagine my surprise…

Regardless of my surprise, my children LOVE it! Even though it is simple enough for a very young child to enjoy, my children (who are 8 and 11) are enchanted with the beautiful story inside!

My daughter has claimed it for her very own. She took it OFF of my shelf and proudly carried it to her own, where she gave it a place of honor.

My son is not quite as possessive of it but he stood over her shoulder as she read and did not once have a comment about it being a “baby” book – which is his usual comment about any book his sister who is three years younger, picks up to read.

Not that I can blame him… since he is reading on a high school level already.

But I think it says a lot about how wonderful the story within!

I am actually excited! Now, instead of donating the book, we have what will become an heirloom!

Exciting!

And no… we don’t have any other board books we will be able to pass on, none of them survived my own children. I’m so very thankful they are both learning to appreciate books now – being cautious with them and cherishing their favorites.

And The Legend of the Candy Cane is clearly already a favorite!

Here is a bit more about the book from Zondervan:

One dark November night a stranger rides into a small prairie town.

Who is he? Why has he come?

The townspeople wish he were a doctor, a dressmaker, or a trader. But the children have the greatest wish of all, a deep, quiet, secret wish. Then a young girl named Lucy befriends the newcomer.

When he reveals his identity and shares with her the legend of the candy cane, she discovers fulfillment of her wishes and the answer to her town’s dreams. Now will she share what she has learned?

Warm, lavish illustrations by James Bernardin bring to life a timeless tale by Lori Walburg, a story that will help families celebrate the mystery and miracle of Christmas—for many Christmases to come.

Click HERE to visit the book page on Thomas Nelson

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN PUBLISHERS

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CBD   GOOGLE BOOKS

FAIR WARNING: Some of the above links are NOT for the Board book.
If you want the board book, just look for the cover you see above in my review…

However, this AMAZON link is a board book with an older cover.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

A wonderful alternative to secular comics!

Raegan & RJ in SpaceGood morning! I am reviewing a fantastic new Graphic Novel: Raegan AND RJ IN SPACE  by Richard Collins.

This is actually the first graphic novel I have ever read and I have to say, while I’m not much of a comics fan myself, I love it!

I think it’s possible that kids of all ages will love this book! I say that because a lot of teens or young adults love comics just as much as those who are 10 or 12.

This is a graphic novel that would appeal to them all, I think.

And it has a WONDERFUL message too!

This is a book that any parent should buy if they have children who are interested in comics of space or astronauts!

Aside from the wonderful pictures and the fun story-line, the book includes many bonus pictures of the ship layout and colony maps – which I love in the Sci-Fi books I read so I’m sure kids would LOVE them!

My son is obsessed with space travel and he was so excited to see that this book looked at space travel from a Christian perspective. It’s so difficult to find reading material along these lines for him. It’s not so hard to find main-stream Sci-Fi novels or graphic novels but from a Christian world-view… nearly impossible.

So this book is a blessing as well!

Don’t miss it!

 

4 Stars

 

Here is a bit more about the book from BookCrash:

 Raegan and RJ in Space: Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ is a full color 48 page graphic novel which tells the story of the first Christians to start their own space program, travel to the Alpha Centauri star system, and establish a colony. If you love Jesus and space adventure, blast off with Raegan and RJ and 5 Christian families as they ‘Colonize the Galaxy for Christ!’ Reviewed by Readersfavorite.com: 5 out of 5 Stars… well designed… well written… extremely creative… a masterpiece! ‘Go Raegan and RJ in Space!’

You can also find more information and/or buy the book by clicking on the sites below.

RAEGAN & RJ IN SPACE – WEBSITE   AMAZON

Disclaimer: I received the book free from the BookCrash Blogger program

in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

God bless!

A look at the new series by Nancy I Sanders.

Good morning! I am reviewing a new book from Zonderkidz today: Get to Know King David

This book is part of an intriguing new series by Nancy I. Sanders. Thus far there are 4 books available but with so many wonderful characters to chose from, we will most likely see more to come!

not only does it give children interesting facts to mull over, but it also follows the Common Core Standards.

The author did a great job with the beautiful color maps and photos, along with scripture references and lots of fun facts.

For very young children, I think this book would be exciting to read and it is very… easy… to read.

Hopefully children will connect with the way Nancy tells a story about King David.

And the word bank makes learning about King David interesting… and fun!

The chapters are very descriptive – and the timeline is full of interesting information.

Children should find this book an easy read and an entertaining way to learn about the life of one of their favorite Biblical characters!

 

Here is a bit more about the book from ZonderKidz:

 A Shepherd and A King David lived an adventurous life. He protected his family’s sheep from lions and bears. He fought a giant with just a sling and stone. He even spent years hiding from men who were trying to kill him. And eventually, David became a great king. But David was also a man of God. Learn more about this hero from the Bible and his exciting place in history. Discover what it was like to grow up in ancient Israel and then be a king of God’s people. King David—part of the Get to Know series—will teach you everything you need to know about an imperfect young man whom God used to do great things! Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5

 

You can also find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERKIDZ   NANCY’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES

Disclaimer: I received the book free from the BookLook Blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

God bless!

Pulled – A short story from the Flawed series by Becca Campbell

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22 pages is NOT enough!

 Darn you Becca!

 

“Pulled” is a short story in Becca Campbell’s Flawed series and the only complaint I have is that it’s TOO SHORT!

I want more! And I’m sure you will too!

She give us just enough of these new characters to whet our appetite and then she yanks the rug out of from under her reader.

Hopefully, we will see the characters again soon in one of the other novels planned for her Flawed series!

 

You can find this short novella for Kindle and Nook and I’m told it will shortly be available on iTunes as well.

 

The story is not a continuation of Becca’s first book in the Flawed series, “Empath”.  It is a stand-alone side story in that same universe. We meet Juniper, a “runaway” foster child and Becca gives us just enough background to make us want more.

She also introduces us to several other characters who are “gifted” – like many of the characters we met in “Empath”. 

It may be labeled YA and it may be a story about an 8 year old girl but Becca caught me with the very first sentence – which would be why I was so shocked at the sudden ending. I’m sure that was part of her evil plan…lol

All told, a most intriguing story and well worth the sticker price of $.99

Don’t miss it! And watch for Becca’s next story in the Flawed series: “Outsider”

 

4 Stars

 

What GoodReads has to say about “Pulled :

Eight-year-old Juniper has been labeled many things—troubled kid, orphan, runaway—but none of her foster families have known what she really is: a girl with a unique and brutally inconvenient ability to teleport.

Her spontaneous jumps are not only beyond her control, they get her into trouble. When Juniper disappears, no one believes her wild stories, so she’s stopped trying to convince them.

One day when Juniper gets pulled away, finding her way back is harder than ever. Stranded on the side of a deserted highway, she must rely on her own instincts to determine who is a creepy stranger and who she can trust.

Resourcefulness may get her home, but is getting home enough when you don’t have parents that love you?

Juniper knows something most people don’t: there are others like her with unexplained abilities. Until now, she’s exercised stranger-danger caution, but maybe these people can offer what she needs.

Will Juniper find a family she can share her secrets with?

 

 

LINKS: You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   BECCA CAMPBELL’S WEBSITE BECCA’S FACEBOOK

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author
in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Author Spotlight: Melanie Dickerson | Award Winning Author of REAL Fairy Tales

Thank you for joining me for another exciting Author Spotlight!

 

Melanie Dickerson is one of my new FAVORITE authors – for her exceptional writing AND for her true-to-life portrayals of traditional fairy tales!

 

 

headshotA bit about Melanie via her WEBSITE:

 

Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

And here is my interview with Melanie Dickerson:

 

You talk a lot about researching the towns and time period of your novels. What research have you done for the fairy tale part? Do you study the original fairy tales written by the brothers Grimm, Hans Christine Anderson and Charles Perault?

I wouldn’t say I study them, but I usually read them. More often than not, my stories are loosely based on the Disney movie as much as they are on the original fairy tales. My goal is more to write a story with some of the familiar elements that people relate to the Beauty and the Beast story, or the Sleeping Beauty story, or the Frog Prince story. For instance, in my upcoming book, The Princess Spy, which is a Frog Prince story, the heroine loses something valuable—a family heirloom bracelet—in the well, just as the girl in the original story lost her favorite ball in the well, and the “frog prince” offers to get it for her. In return she is expected to do something for him. So I try to incorporate some of the little details of the story into my books, and I also try to use some of the same themes from the original story, as well as the overall premise.

 

Your story plots are so intricate and many times, it seems impossible that things could work out like the tales we know so well. Do you sketch out a rough draft or an outline before you start writing? How often does a plot twist surprise you in the middle of writing?

There is always at least one plot twist that surprises me during the writing of the book. I do try to have a rough outline, at least in my head, before I start writing, but the details tend to work themselves out as I write and think ahead. I don’t write detailed outlines, though, before I write the first draft, and the first draft usually just needs a little tweaking and editing before it’s ready to send to the editor at my publishing house.

 

How do you come up with the names of your characters? How close are they to the original names of the fairy tale heroes or villains?

Right now I’m trying to decide what to name my Rapunzel heroine, which is the book I’m about to start writing. Should I call her Rapunzel? Something similar? Or just some Medieval German name I like that seems right for the character? I don’t know, honestly. My Snow White character I named Sophie, since Snow White seemed too unrealistic, and for my Beauty and the Beast character, I named her Annabel instead of Belle because it seemed more British, which is where I decided to set that story. So I usually try to make the name similar but accurate to the time period.

 

You recently signed a new contract with Thomas Nelson. The first book you mention sounds as if it will be following a similar line as your YA fairy tales. How much more adult will those stories be?

They will not be very different at all. Maybe one or two extra kisses, and maybe a slightly more mature situation here or there, but not very different at all from my “YA” stories, which appeal to adults as well. The heroines will be slightly older.

 

Any chance you have an idea for Rapunzel’s story? That would be a tricky one to make “real” I would think. (Yes I asked this question with no idea of how Melanie would answer my above question…)

Yep. I have to start writing it right away since it’s due to my publisher in 4 months! The heroine is a surprise, so I can’t say too much about her, but you will catch a glimpse of the hero, Sir Gerek, at the end of The Princess Spy. He is one of Duke Wilhelm’s knights who falls in love with a mysterious midwife’s only daughter. But when the midwife decides to separate the two, Sir Gerek will do anything to find her and get her back.

 

Thank You Melanie for giving us your time and sharing a bit about your work!
I don’t know about everyone else but I LOVE reading about how an author goes about their process and what’s next for them. It makes me feel like I’m chatting with an old friend.
And it makes reading the books that much more special too!

 

Click HERE to visit Melanie’s blog for updates and info, HERE for her Facebook page, HERE for Twitter and HERE for her Author page on GoodReads!

 

And now here’s a look at Melanie Dickerson’s most recent release:

 

The Captive Maiden

 

The Captive Maiden 300

A Cinderella Story

 

Happily Ever After…Or Happily Nevermore? 

Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother.

So when Gisela meets the duke’s son, Valten–the boy she has daydreamed about for years–and learns he is throwing a ball, she vows to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart.

But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

 

And don’t miss the other fantastic titles in this wonderful series!

 

The Fairest Beauty

imageA Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Retelling

 

A daring rescue. A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what. When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

 

 

The Merchant’s Daughter

imageA real-life tale of Beauty and the Beast

 

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

 

The Healer’s Apprentice

imageWhen destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love’s kiss.

 

Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

 

Watch for her upcoming releases!

 

The Princess Spy

                       Coming in November!

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

 

Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story.

Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin’s message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself ‘Lord Colin’ is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment.Margaretha knows she could never be a spy—not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she’s sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed.

Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.

 

And…

 

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

 

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The first book in a NEW series Melanie most recently signed to publish with Thomas Nelson Publishers!

“Swan Lake” meets Robin Hood when the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant by day becomes the region’s most notorious poacher by night, and falls in love with the gamekeeper.

Jorgen is the gamekeeper for the wealthy margrave, and he is in pursuit of the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave’s game. When he meets the lovely and refined Odette at the festival and shares a connection during a dance, he has no idea that at night she is the one who has been poaching the margrave’s game.

Odette is caught up in a ring of black market sellers of poached animals. She thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. However, most of the animals are being sold by the greedy leader of the ring–her stepfather. When Odette discovers what he is doing, she threatens to expose him, putting herself in great danger.

The gamekeeper finds her poaching one night and shoots her, wounding her. When he realizes who she is, he hides her to keep her from being executed by the margrave and also to protect her from her stepfather. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the black market poaching ring . . . as they fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his gamekeeper is protecting a notorious poacher?

 

 

 

THANK YOU for joining me for this special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

And don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews –
there’s a new one up almost every day!

A Look Back at “The Captive Maiden” by Melanie Dickerson | The BEST Cinderella story I have ever read!

The Captive Maiden 300

Yes I did. I went back and read “The Captive Maiden” again!

And it was JUST as wonderful the second time through!

Even knowing what to expect did not detract from the romance and excitement of the story.

From my original review:

This is a wonderful story! Melanie Dickerson did a great job of molding a popular fairy tale into an inspirational story for teens that, I think, will appeal to adults as well.

It’s also an answer to a prayer since I am hesitant about letting my daughter read more traditional fairy tales – which focus so much on magic. Now I can collect the previous 3 books Melanie has written and any more that are yet to come.

Melanie Dickerson has taken out the magic and weaved God into every part of this story. So instead of confusing teens, Melanie Dickerson offers hope and truth.

What a blessing!

And it truly is! It is such a blessing to read a real fairy tale. It is also incredibly refreshing to read about heroes and villains who are clearly just human. The villains of Cinderella are famous – evil stepmother, evil stepsisters, being poor… But Melanie Dickerson added an extra villain to this wonderful story and I was so relieved to see that he was all too human – with human weaknesses and flaws.

And speaking of human flaws – it is beyond refreshing to read about a big strong knight who is absolutely unnerved by tears. There are quite a few men who suffer from this particular flaw and young girls need to know about this sort of thing.

The story itself is an absolute gem. In “The Fairest Beauty”, we watched a handsome young man who was clever with words win the maiden’s heart and then, when she met her betrothed – she found him frightening and overwhelming…she even thought he was somewhat of a bully. But she was seeing him through the eyes of his brother and her perspective was most likely due to her love for him.

In “The Captive Maiden”, we see another young maiden’s reaction to that same brother and it could not be more different. It’s a prime example of seeing someone through the eyes of love – any young lady who is not in love with him would see only the rough battles scars, be intimidated by his size and feel put off by his lack of finesse when it comes to words. However, these are the very things that should endear him to the woman who loves him. That should be how love works and traditional fairy tales simply don’t get that point across. – in my humble opinion.

Melanie Dickerson does!

 

5star

 

Here’s a further look at the story from Zondervan:

Happily Ever After …Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother.

So when Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten—the boy she has daydreamed about for years—is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye.

Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

And you can click HERE to go to the book page on Zondervan

HERE for ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And HERE for Melanie Dickerson’s website.

Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book from Grace Thorson | A Paradise of Colors. THANK YOU Grace! I was not required to review the book but I have to share thoughts on such a wonderful book!

HAPPY READING! 

And

GOD BLESS!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“The Fairest Beauty” | A retelling of Snow White by Melanie Dickerson

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I find myself wishing I were a slower reader… Because now I have come to the end and I must wait until November to read the next story.

How will I survive?

Well I suppose I can always read “The Captive Maiden” again so there’s that. And I’m certain I can find some other books to help me pass the time.

But I want to know what happens next!

Absolutely no insult is intended to “The Captive Maiden” or “The Healer’s Apprentice” or “The Merchant’s Daughter”… but I do believe “The Fairest Beauty” is the absolute BEST book Melanie Dickerson has written yet!

“The Fairest Beauty” has everything you would expect to find in a fairy tale – A damsel in distress, mistaken identity, exaggerated rumors of the Princess’s death, an evil “Queen” – in this case a Duchess, a hired assassin and a hero!

It’s just an all-around GREAT story!

And the real-life fairy tale is so much more  appealing in my opinion! These are real people with real emotions and real flaws! – not some perfect, flawless combination of all the best traits and none of the worst that we see in the traditional fairy tales. Even the “bad guys” are clearly human, with flaws and weakness – not just a villain that’s purely evil who does nasty things simply because they can.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
I LOVE the way Melanie Dickerson writes fairy tales!

She doesn’t put the focus on the wrong things – magic and rebellion. She makes certain the focus is on how important it is to marry for love – which is Biblical (Marriage is meant to be forever… do you really want to be in a loveless marriage forever?). And she draws your attention to how important it is to remain pure and innocent – saving yourself for the man you marry.

This story especially – shows how important it is to understand the difference between love and lust.

It’s a difficult subject and not always a popular one in the world we live in today but it is an important one and I am very impressed to see an author taking a stand!

BRAVO MELANIE!

I wish these were the fairy tales I had grown up with. I can only imagine how different my outlook on life might be if I had not started with the ridiculous world view traditional fairy tales present.

All the more reason that these will be the fairy tales I give MY daughter to read!

All little girls need to know – while fairy tales can be real – they are not all about magic and luck!

5star

Here is a bit about the book from Zondervan:

A daring rescue. A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.

When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

 

Click HERE for the page on Zondervan

HERE for the page on ChristianBooks.com

HERE for GoodReads

And HERE is Melanie Dickerson’s website

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Beauty and the Beast as seen by Melanie Dickerson | “The Merchant’s Daughter”

image

Melanie Dickerson has done it again!

These books truly are the absolute BEST versions I’ve ever seen of the classic fairy tales!

Melanie Dickerson brings together the romance of fairy tale and the harsh reality of life – blending them together seamlessly to tell a beautiful tale of Love, Healing and Forgiveness.

You think you know where the story is going and you think you know precisely how it’s all going to end up because the stories are following the classic fairy tale we all know… Right?

No.

Melanie Dickerson has surprising twists and turns all through the book that you will never see coming, all the while still weaving in bits from the original fairy tale. And you will find yourself so entranced with the story, you may not even realize it until later.

“The Merchant’s Daughter” once again deals with some hard-core themes. And once again Melanie Dickerson does so with class and diplomacy. There is no sugar coating but the descriptions are done in the best possible taste.

I recommend these books to anyone and everyone! In fact, I plan to introduce them to my daughter, instead of the more traditional fairy tales!

Personally I never understood how such tales became so very popular – especially in a time where magic and witchcraft was so suspect. People from the times described originally in these tales did not delight in magic and sorcery, they hunted down anyone suspected of it and dealt them a quick and harsh death. So why tales filled with such magic would ever have become popular, I have no idea. Unless it was simply the temptation of the forbidden – we humans do seem to have a particular weakness for wanting those things that we cannot have.

Melanie Dickerson has told these stories in such a realistic way – retaining the romance and excitement but adding in truth. And in my opinion, it makes them that much more appealing! I would rather my daughter have realistic fairy tales to grow up with and not ridiculous stories that could not possibly have happened – that I will one day have to tell her are entirely false and quite impossible.

Any woman would greatly enjoy these stories of adventure, love and danger.

And with Melanie Dickerson at the helm, you may know where you’ll end up but you can never accuse her of being predictable.

 

5star

 

Here is what Zondervan has to say about “The Merchant’s Daughter”:

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf.

As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

 

Here is the book page on Zondervan

HERE for ChristianBooks.com

HERE for GoodReads

And HERE for Melanie Dickerson’s website

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Melanie Dickerson’s tale of the classic story – Sleeping Beauty – “The Healer’s Apprentice”

To think that I almost missed this series…image

I have to admit that I only read this book because my 10 year old son (who is now 11) told me that I had to read “The Captive Maiden”.

Now you’re wondering why…

Once upon a time, I signed up to win a copy of Melanie Dickerson’s “The Captive Maiden” and I won. I was surprised because I don’t usually win when I sign up for giveaways. I do it to show support for the author.

But apparently God meant for me to read this series!

I was not impressed when I started reading the book. The cruelty was almost too much for me and I stopped reading. Then my son picked up the book, looked at the cover and read the back. After that, he demanded that I read it. This was such a rare occurrence (usually he ignores the books I buy or teases me about it) that I knew I had to give it a try.

And again, it must have been God’s leading.

These books are the absolute BEST versions I’ve ever seen of what are typically know of as “classic” fairy tales!

I’ve read reviews that complain about the strong themes in these books and I’ve read reviews that say they wish more from the original tales had been incorporated. And I am here to tell you that, in my opinion, they are wrong.

Melanie Dickerson deals with hard-core themes, yes. But she does it in a way that is honest and realistic while maintaining, what some may feel are ridiculously, high standards of modesty and decency – but I find refreshing in a world of bared bodies and brutish language. Our children need to be aware of these things and how to deal with them, especially since they are very much a part of the world we live in today. As much as I would like to shelter them from everything bad or wrong in the world, they have to know that evil exists and they have to know how to confront it!

I feel that Melanie Dickerson presents these harsh issues with grace and discretion.

And as for having more from the original tales, I think it is amazing how well Melanie weaves the pieces of the classic fairy tales through her own stories – using them to help tell the story and reveal the hidden truths slowly throughout.

“The Healer’s Apprentice” is a masterpiece of reality blended flawlessly with fairy tale!

Melanie Dickerson’s characters are simply astonishing – well written, colorful and embodying the very same values and flaws of the heroes and villains that inspired them. And, as much as I would love to say that she always paints the bad guys as bad – it would not be true to life if that were the case.

Evil is deceptive and tricky and it is not always easy to see it for what it really is.

The plot is so well-conceived, it is difficult to believe this is the first book she wrote after fifteen years of not writing. It flows beautifully and there is absolutely nothing I can think that would add to it.

Amazing!

And now I have three more books to look forward to – “The Merchant’s Daughter” and “The Fairest Beauty” right now and “The Princess Spy” releases soon!

Exciting!

 

5star

Just in case you’re still not convinced…

Here is what Zondervan says about the series

 Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding.

As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

HERE is the book page on Zondervan

HERE is the page on ChristianBooks

HERE is the page on GoodReads

And HERE is Melanie Dickerson’s website

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

Goldtown Adventures Book 4 | “River of Peril” by Susan K. Marlow

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River of Peril is the fourth book in Susan K. Marlow’s Goldtown Adventuresseries.

Another terrific example of how well Susan K. Marlow blends fact with fiction. She takes these intriguing events from our past and blends them with adventure and discovery and kids of all ages will LOVE IT!

In this book we get to read about the dangers of riding by stagecoach and the dangers of messing with smugglers.

And that’s just what the kids are up to…

Susan K. Marlow once again blends faith and fact with fiction and delivers a thrilling tale of young kids off on an adventure, getting into trouble and following God’s prompting to get out.

 Another great story! Another great message!

And another story the kids will love and enjoy! They might even learn something. That’s one of the best things about the books in this series. Susan takes real things that kids should be learning in school and wraps it up in adventure so that it sticks in a kid’s mind.

 A great read. And, even though I’m not a twelve year old boy, I find myself hoping there are more to come.

5star

Here is a bit more about the book from Kregel:

Jem Coulter thinks his family is just on a sightseeing trip to the big city of Sacramento. Then armed bandits hold up the stagecoach for the secret stash they’re carrying: gold for the Union Army fighting the distant Civil War! Suddenly war isn’t so far away; it’s right there on the road to Sacramento, with Jem’s father, the sheriff of Goldtown, fighting against the rebel army’s Knights of the Golden Circle.

When the family finally reaches the city, they think they’re safe at last. Setting out to see the sights, Jem, his sister Ellie, and their cousin Nathan make a new friend. But is Henry the pal they think he is? With a father who is a die-hard Confederate, could Henry be in cahoots with the thieves?

River of Peril gives readers ages 8 to 12 the fast-moving, exciting adventure they’ve come to expect in this series, as well as a glimpse into the history of post–Gold Rush and Civil War life in 1860s California, with stagecoaches, steamboats, stowaways—and lots of gold!

You can click HERE to read more on Kregel’s website or to buy the book.

And don’t miss out on the special Kregel is running until the 18th!

Kregel is offering River of Peril and Canyon of Danger to readers at $1.99 for the rest of the tour.

TOMORROW is the LAST DAY! Don’t miss it!

Canyon of Peril links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

River of Peril links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

 

And you can click HERE to see more about the book on ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE for Susan K. Marlow’s website.

There is also a website dedicated to this series HERE!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Kregel Publishers book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Goldtown Adventures Book 3 | “Canyon of Danger” by Susan K. Marlow

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Canyon of Danger is the third book in Susan K. Marlow’s Goldtown Adventures series.

In Canyon of Danger we get to watch Jem be “the man of the family” while his father is away. The story seems to follow a pretty standard track you see with this kind of tale – where everything that can, does – go wrong.

I won’t give it all away but the back of the book mentions an injured stranger, the loss of Jem’s horse and a wolf that is stalking their cattle. I will tell you that these things are just the tip of the iceberg.

I absolutely LOVE how well Susan weaves God and faith through the entire book.

These days most twelve year old boys are too busy with video games or skateboards to think much about God, so it’s very refreshing to read about a young man who regularly calls on God and actually listens for answers.

My eleven year old son has not yet been caught up in these stories but I hope to change that very soon. If I can just get him to sit down with one of them for five minutes, I’m confident he won’t be able to put it down.

I recommend these books for all young boys – those who know God and those who need him!

And they would make an excellent addition to a school reading list because Susan K. Marlow also has an exceptional talent for combining real events with the fictional ones. That makes them educational as well as fun!

5star

Here is a bit more about the book from Kregel:

Jem Coulter’s pa, the sheriff of Goldtown, is away on a trip to deliver a prisoner to Sacramento, and he has left Jem in charge of the ranch—along with Aunt Rose, that is.

No sooner is the sheriff gone then trouble starts—a dead calf, a mysterious stranger, and then Pa’s horse, Copper, and his prize rifle are stolen. And Pa’s deputies seem unconcerned.

Jem and his cousin Nathan find Copper’s tracks end at a dark canyon up in the hills. Jem remembers an old Indian legend Strike-it-rich Sam is fond of retelling about people disappearing and no one ever seeing them again. What is the real story of the canyon of danger? Have thieves found the perfect hideout?

Readers ages 8 to 12 will be entertained by the adventurous spirit and historical lure in this fast-moving series that teaches about life in the post–Gold Rush days of 1860s California. Quick-paced plots and unforgettable characters make these books fun for the whole family.

You can click HERE to read more on Kregel’s website or to buy the book.

And don’t miss out on the special Kregel is running until the 18th!

Kregel is offering River of Peril and Canyon of Danger to readers at $1.99 for the rest of the tour.

Canyon of Peril links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

River of Peril links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

 

Also you can click HERE to see more about the book on ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE for Susan K. Marlow’s website.

There is also a website dedicated to this series HERE!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Kregel Publishers book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Goldtown Adventures Book 1 | “Badge of Honor” by Susan K. Marlow | AND A BONUS! Don’t miss it!

20140410-084121.jpgBadge of Honor is book 1 of Susan K. Marlow‘s series Goldtown Adventures.

I tried to find book 2 – Tunnel of Gold but have been unsuccessful so far. So I will be reviewing Book 1 and then books 3 & 4 for Kregel Publishing.

This is an excellent series for young children. It’s a good length for their short attention spans and I believe the story will catch their interest and not let go.

Reading about a young boy, intent on striking it rich will appeal to children of any age – especially boys.

And it’s so nice to find a good series that’s aimed at young boys. There are plenty of series written with young girls in mind but a clean, decent series that will attract the interest of young boys is hard to come by.

And… even though Jem gets himself into trouble a lot, there is a strong message of what is right weaved into the story line so the book presents both perspectives well.

Here is a bit more about the book from Kregel Publishing:

Twelve-year-old Jeremiah “Jem” Coulter knows that Goldtown, California, has seen the last of the gold rush. But the flecks of gold he and an old prospector, “Strike,” find in their played-out claim on Cripple Creek spur Jem’s hope of striking it rich. In the meantime, he and his sister, Ellie, sell frog legs and firewood to bring in extra cash.

When Jem’s father accepts a job as sheriff of lawless Goldtown, Jem is suddenly saddled with an additional responsibility–to run their broken-down ranch. He faces a hard path as he tries to be a man and make his father proud, but then Cripple Creek mysteriously dries up and Strike suddenly disappears. Jem is determined to find out why. Can anything be worse than being a sheriff’s kid? Will outlaws use his father’s badge for target practice? Is that silver star just a target . . . or truly a badge of honor?

Readers ages 8 to 14 fell in love with Susan Marlow’s Circle C Adventures. Now the same adventurous spirit and historical lure are back in a brand new series featuring a new cast of characters and exciting escapades. As educational as it is entertaining, the Goldtown Adventures series is one the whole family will enjoy.

And speaking of Kregel, they are offering a special promotion for the length of their blog tour for books 3 & 4 of this series. Don’t miss it!

During the blog tour week Kregel is offering River of Peril and Canyon of Danger to readers for free on the first day and $1.99 for the rest of the tour.

Canyon of Peril links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

River of Peril links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

 

For more about book 1 – Badge of Honor…

You can click HERE to read more on Kregel’s website or to buy the book.

Click HERE to see the book on ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE for Susan K. Marlow’s website.

There is also a website dedicated to this series HERE!

 

HAPPY READING!

And

GOD BLESS!