THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER BY MELANIE DICKERSON | BLOG TOUR AND FAIRY TALE PRIZE PACK

This is one contest I entered! 

I mean . . . have you noticed how AWESOME these prizes are!

Read on . . . You will!

Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
  • A Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll

beautiful pretender - prize collage

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie’s blog.

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DISCLAIMER: This giveaway is sponsored by Litfuse Publicity Group. The only connection I have with them is that I occasionally review books they offer. I am in no way connected with this contest (other than I really hope I win! LOL)

~ JC

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Book Review | The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

I have never been much a fan of the Princess and the Pea fairy tale . . . NEVER.

Melanie Dickerson has changed all of that for me!

 . . . because I LOVE LOVE LOVE this story!

Of course, if you’ve ever read one of my reviews of Melanie’s books, you’ll know I am flat-out IN LOVE with each and every story she writes!

Aside from her AMAZING writing talent, there is the fact that she writes fairy tale re-tellings! And since I LOVE fairy tales, what more could a girl ask for in a favorite novel!

Also, Melanie writes her books with no magic needed! God has blessed her with such ability that she is able to craft a magnificent story using all of the most important elements of the original story – and yet present the reader with a conclusion that is solved through faith, hard work, skill or pure and simple determination.

No magic required!

Each and every one of these stories is a masterful retelling of our most cherished tales of olde – and in my opinion, these are the books we should introduce to our daughters . . . not some silly tale about a witch of a fairy godmother who gives the hero/heroine whatever their hearts desire without an ounce of reason or work behind it.

But that’s just my opinion. . .

A Beautiful Pretender is all of that and MORE!

Melanie has taken the best elements of the “Princess and the Pea” tale and woven them together with the exceptional characters she introduced in The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest – and taken us on another lively adventure where heroes are just the way you always hoped they would be and there is always more than meets the eye where our lovely heroine is concerned.

Forbidden love . . . Danger . . . Excitement . . . And an ending that no one could ever see coming . . . What more could you ask for in a medieval fairy tale re-telling!

And hey – just look at the BEAUTIFUL cover! Can you think of a more fitting cover for this book? I think not.

LOVE IT!

 

Review © JCMorrows 2016

More about The Beautiful Pretender:

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

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

Cover Reveal | The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

I Can hardly believe it!

The next installment of the Hagenheim series is on its way to us!

 

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Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost.

Evangeline is the ward and cousin of King Richard II, and yet she dreams of a life outside of Berkhamsted Castle, where she might be free to marry for love and not politics. But the young king betroths her to his closest advisor, Lord Shiveley, a man twice as old as Evangeline. Desperate to escape a life married to a man she finds revolting, Evangeline runs away from the king and joins a small band of servants on their way back to their home village.

To keep her identity a secret, Evangeline pretends to be mute. Evangeline soon regrets the charade as she gets to know Wesley, the handsome young leader of the servants, whom she later discovers is the son of a wealthy lord. But she cannot reveal her true identity for fear she will be forced to return to King Richard and her arranged marriage.

Wesley le Wyse is intrigued by the beautiful new servant girl. When he learns that she lost her voice from a beating by a cruel former master, he is outraged. But his anger is soon redirected when he learns she has been lying to him. Not only is she not mute, but she isn’t even a servant.

Weighed down by remorse for deceiving Wesley, Evangeline fears no one will ever love her. But her future is not the only thing at stake, as she finds herself embroiled in a tangled web that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to save the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

AMAZON     GOODREADS

AHHHHHH! Isn’t that a beautiful cover!!! It just may be my favorite cover yet!

I can hardly wait!!!!

Book Review | A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson

 

Melanie Dickerson; of fairy tale re-telling fame, has expanded her writing repertoire.

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Drawing on her love of classic literary fiction, Melanie has delved into the world of Regency England and penned the first in a new series to be published by Amazon’s Waterfall Press!

“A Spy’s Devotion” begins the new series with intrigue, treason and deception!

Melanie Dickerson has returned to England, but instead of a fairy tale setting, she takes us to a time of balls and bank notes, dowries and drawing rooms, seasons and scullery maids . . .

And just for good measure, she throws in a war hero trying to complete a mission of mercy, sneaky spies and treason among the ton.

Book 1 of this new series releases February ninth so there’s not long to wait!

There is also a GIVEAWAY going on right now over at GoodReads; which ends on release day! Don’t miss your chance to WIN!

A Spy’s Devotion – by Melanie Dickerson: Book 1 of her NEW Regency Spies of London series – Tweet this!

 

Review © JCMorrows 2016

 

 

{MORE ABOUT A Spy’s Devotion}

In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive.

Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman.

And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?

And you can find more information about A Spy’s Devotion
and where to buy the book from these popular sites:

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GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received an advance copy of the book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

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

Cover Reveal | A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson

Hey everyone, Remember when I mentioned Melanie’s NEW Regency coming soon from Waterfall Publishing… Well, they just gave her the OK to share the cover and so I thought I would too!

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In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and tawdriness thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?

AMAZON     GOODREADS

AHHHHHH! Isn’t that a beautiful cover!!! And the story… I smell intrigue!

I can hardly wait!!!!

Book Review | The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

OK… I have to do this one differently because it just has to lead with Melanie’s opening line:

The Golden Braid

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower…

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?


OK… now for my thoughts about this fantastic book.

Am I the only one or did anyone else find themself humming the theme from“Tangled” while reading the blurb for this book?

I know the blurb says “like no other” and that is true, but there are definitely bits of it that are reminiscent of Disney’s long-haired heroine. And – for me – those little tidbits just added to an already fantastic story!

Speaking of similarities… I LOVE… LOVE LOVE LOVE that Melanie makes her characters enamored with books and reading. Not only is it a wonderful addition to each story, it’s so very realistic – especially given that it’s usually her female characters who want to learn or have found a way, even though they really shouldn’t…

Now we just have to wait until May for her next awesome fairy tale retelling. And I’ll tell you a little secret. In February, Melanie is releasing a Regency Intrigue Romance! Exciting!

Review © JCMorrows 2015

 

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

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

Guess what releases today! | “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” by Melanie Dickerson

And Here is why you have to go get it and read it!!!

Thomas Nelson has made an excellent choice with Melanie’s newest story and they’ve made this fan a very happy reader!

I could hardly wait to get my hands on this one and once I did, I couldn’t read it fast enough!

Melanie Dickerson tells – or I should say retells – fairy tales better than anyone else I’ve ever read!

Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down either. Not only are the stories fascinating, the characters are exceptionally crafted and the fairy tale elements are perfectly sprinkled in to make this just as wonderful as anything you will have read by Grimm or Perrault!

In this case, Melanie has taken two stories and woven them together to create a rich tapestry of danger, deception and daring-do!

I refuse to give away even a shred of this magnificent story but I will tell you that Melanie’s talent has taken the extra step required to move from the YA market to a book that will appeal to Adults just as much… maybe even more than Melanie’s young adult audience.

I will say this though… do NOT think you know what’s coming with this story! Melanie will not only have you swooning with her romance, she’ll have you on the edge of your seat with the danger Odette faces. And you will NEVER see the end coming!

Review © JCMorrows 2015

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is available for purchase TODAY!Tweet this!

 

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is an amazing retelling of two classic fairy tales!Tweet this!

 

Don’t Miss Melanie’s next GREAT fairy tale – The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest!Tweet this!

5star

 

In case you need more reasons to go snag this fantastic book…

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 forester.

Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture 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 she is the one who has been poaching the margrave’s game.

Odette justifies her crime of poaching because she thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. But will the discovery of a local poaching ring reveal a terrible secret? Has the meat she thought she was providing for the poor actually been sold  on the black market, profiting no one except the ring of black market sellers?

The one person Odette knows can help her could also find out her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the dangerous poaching ring . . . and fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester is protecting a notorious poacher?

 

Click the links below to find more info and or to buy the book

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   MELANIE‘S WEBSITE

Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from iBooks.

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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

 

An early look at “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” by Melanie Dickerson

I LOVE being a book reviewer!

Thomas Nelson has made an excellent choice with Melanie’s newest story and they’ve made this fan a very happy reader!

I could hardly wait to get my hands on this one and once I did, I couldn’t read it fast enough!

Melanie Dickerson tells – or I should say retells – fairy tales better than anyone else I’ve ever read!

Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down either. Not only are the stories fascinating, the characters are exceptionally crafted and the fairy tale elements are perfectly sprinkled in to make this just as wonderful as anything you will have read by Grimm or Perrault!

In this case, Melanie has taken two stories and woven them together to create a rich tapestry of danger, deception and daring-do!

I refuse to give away even a shred of this magnificent story but I will tell you that Melanie’s talent has taken the extra step required to move from the YA market to a book that will appeal to Adults just as much… maybe even more than Melanie’s young adult audience.

I will say this though… do NOT think you know what’s coming with this story! Melanie will not only have you swooning with her romance, she’ll have you on the edge of your seat with the danger Odette faces. And you will NEVER see the end coming!

© JCMorrows 2015

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is available for pre-order at Christianbook.com!Tweet this!

 

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is an amazing retelling of two classic fairy tales!Tweet this!

 

Don’t Miss Melanie’s next GREAT fairy tale – The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest!Tweet this!

5star

 

More about The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest from Thomas Nelson:

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 forester.

Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture 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 she is the one who has been poaching the margrave’s game.

Odette justifies her crime of poaching because she thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. But will the discovery of a local poaching ring reveal a terrible secret? Has the meat she thought she was providing for the poor actually been sold  on the black market, profiting no one except the ring of black market sellers?

The one person Odette knows can help her could also find out her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the dangerous poaching ring . . . and fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester is protecting a notorious poacher?

 

Click the links below to find more info and or to buy the book

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   MELANIE‘S WEBSITE

Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from iBooks.

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson!

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

 

My top ten Authors – well… kinda

All over the net, readers/bloggers are listing their favorite authors of 2014 and I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Of course I couldn’t narrow down my list to just ten authors. Actually I couldn’t even narrow my list to 20. I had to do it by genre – and I couldn’t get my favorites list in the Amish genre smaller than twelve… well, the others either. There are just too many AWESOME authors out there! Can you really blame me?

Can you narrow your favorite author list down to just ten?Tweet this!

 

So… here’s my personal list of the TOP TEN 12 FAVORITE AMISH FICTION AUTHORS:

Jennifer Beckstrand   Suzanne Woods Fisher   Vannetta Chapman   Cindy Woodsmall   Amy Clipston   Ruth Reid   Rosalind Lauer   Marta Perry   Shelley Shepard Gray   Beverly Lewis   Serena Miller   Lynette Sowell

 

Who are your favorite Amish Fiction authors?Tweet this!

 

I did actually manage to get the list down to ten – No I didn’t. I can’t do it. Even 12 isn’t enough for HISTORICAL FICTION.

Melanie Dickerson   Jamie Carie

Sarah Sundin   Rachel Muller   Sarah Loudin Thomas   Tricia Goyer   Cara Putman

Tracie Peterson   Mary Ellis   Mary Conneally   Janette Oke   Judith Miller

 

Are your favorite Historical fiction authors – inspirational or mainstream?Tweet this!

 

The INSPIRATIONAL FICTION AUTHOR list was a bit easier since I don’t read a lot of inspirational that isn’t Amish or Historical but only a bit because there are still so many:

Philip Gulley

Rachel Hauck   Betsy St. Amant   Robin Jones Gunn   Judy Baer

Vannetta Chapman   Barbara Cameron

Dan Walsh   Melody Carlson   Max Lucado

Nadine Brandes   CJ Darlington

 

Who started you out with Christian /Inspirational fiction?Tweet this!

 

Judy Baer started me out reading Christian fiction – who was your first?Tweet this!

 

Yesh… see how I snuck a few of my favorites into other genres – those of you who read as much as I do, know there are several authors who write in multiple genres. A couple of them landed in multiple categories because I just couldn’t help myself but it came in handy to be able to sneak in a few who I REALLY wanted to put in the Amish fiction list but just couldn’t do it.

 

If your favorite author switched genres, would you follow?Tweet this!

 

How many genres does your favorite author write in?Tweet this!

 

WHEW!

What am I gonna do next year…

 

Well, I guess I’ll have the top 20 in each genre.

 

© JC Morrows 2015

Saying goodbye to a favorite series… “The Princess Spy” by Melanie Dickerson

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

Or not…

Melanie has informed me that this is NOT the last book of the series! Anyone else doing the happy dance right now? WOW! WOW! WOW!

I know I’m excited!

 

OK…this review and my review on GoodReads have been edited to reflect that but there’s nothing I can do about ChristianBook.com so… *shrugs*

 

 

Melanie Dickerson is a genius!

I picked this book up earlier to pass the time while my kiddos were playing outside and I just couldn’t put it down.

I do believe I may have a new favorite!

The Princess Spy is a fantastic story and I’m so thrilled that Melanie has at least two more books that will follow these beloved characters and are coming to us soon!

I feel so blessed to have received an advance look at The Princess Spy (especially since I have no patience whatsoever where Melanie’s books are concerned…) and I can assure you that you DO NOT want to miss The Princess Spy! Of course you shouldn’t miss ANY of Melanie’s books but The Princess Spy is just the latest in a long line of Fantastic books!

I am excited to see Margaretha’s story being told and I have to say that this is certainly the best yet! …at least as far as this series is concerned!

There were so many things in the story that I never would have seen coming, which makes for an intriguing and fast-paced adventure full of surprises and unexpected plot-twists – one thing Melanie does very well!

The Princess Spy is also an outstanding Christian Fairy Tale!

A fairy tale like no other before it. No silly magic or nonsense, just good, strong Christian values and excellent story-telling.

As usual, Melanie has found the right way to retell the classic fairy tale with a Christian worldview (which is much more believable anyway for that time period) and making the story one that I, and many other moms I’m sure, will be thrilled to pass on for generations to come!

While I am always a little sad when a new chapter of this wonderful journey is over, I’m thrilled to have five wonderful books that I can read over and over… again and again.

God Bless you Melanie Dickerson! Keep up the GREAT writing!

 

5star

 

And here is what Zondervan has to say about “The Princess Spy”:

 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.

 

 

You can find more information and/or pre-order the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   MELANIE’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOK

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the author via Zondervan.

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

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

Yes, I have been annoyingly silent… But I have a good reason!

 

I spent my weekend driving… and sitting… and writing furiously, trying to get down every word my brilliant role-model said.

Yes I spent the weekend at a Writer’s conference!

WHOO!

 

Not only did I get the chance to listen to one of my absolute FAVORITE authors share tips and ideas about writing… I got to talk with her – in person!

And yes… it was almost too much for me. It took all of my composure not to go fan-girl and just squeal with delight.

Melanie Dickerson is the author of my absolute favorite fairy tale series of ALL TIME! And for the record, no matter how great the other 3 are – my current favorite is The Fairest Beauty Of course that may change when I read The Princess Spy in November or “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest”  in 2015… which is releasing from Thomas Nelson not Zondervan.

And I’m excited to have discovered another exciting new author! I plan to read Jane Nickerson‘s work as soon as I can get my hands on it! They were sold out of her books in the bookstore… sad

I’m not going to say that I learned much from the other 2 speakers but well… I didn’t learn much. They spoke well and the topics were interesting but I have no interest in writing for magazines or newspapers.

 

For now, I am editing my MS with everything I learned in mind! Exciting!

 

And I haven’t stopped reviewing… give me a few days to catch up on everything and I’ll have a new review up for you.

Promise!

 

JC

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

image

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.

 

I won a copy of “The Captive Maiden”! Want to hear my thoughts on it?

The Captive Maiden 300WOW! What a surprise!

I never saw this coming. In fact, I almost didn’t read The Captive Maiden because I had downloaded a sample of it for Kindle…

The way Gisela’s stepmother treats her is just so harsh – from the very first page (and this is where you first see the excellence of Melanie Dickerson’s writing), I could never have expected just how exceptional the rest of the story would be.

But I am thrilled that I won a copy! Winning a copy compelled me to read it so that I could review it and support a fellow author.

And I am SO glad I did!

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!

Read it.

 

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!