Monday, November 14, 2016

Hidden Gems: Melanie Dickerson

I am so pleased, for the last post of my Hidden Gems blog series, to have author Melanie Dickerson as a guest! She is one of my favorite authors, and I always get excited when I see a new book is coming out from her!

Scroll down for an author interview and fantastic giveaway for a hardcover copy of Melanie's latest release!


Introducing ... Melanie Dickerson

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.

Reasons I Think This Author Is One You Need To Discover:

  • Books are Historical Fairy Tale Retellings & Regency Mysteries
  • Did you catch that, Fairy Tale Rellings?? EEP! <3
  • Lovely Characters set in Medieval Germany bring to life Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, the Swan Princess, etc.
  • Our "Princess" Characters are such Amazing Woman - Sweet and Gentle, with a Measure of Innocence about them; but also Strong and willing to Fight for Good
  • Sweetest of Romance Tales
  • Heartfelt Faith Themes
  • Intriguing, Fun, Fascinating - sure to Delight Fairy Tale Fans
  • ... And the Regency Series, sure to Intrigue Lovers of the Regency Era!



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.

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.

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.

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.

A new suitor. A shocking discovery.

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 the castle, claiming to be an English lord who was left for dead by Claybrook's men. She convinces herself "Lord Colin" is just an addled stranger, until 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 does she tend to talk too much, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. But she soon discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. She soon finds herself running for her life - and it may be up to her to save her father and her family from one man's wicked plot.

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

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man around. And her skills as an artist rival those of any artist she’s met. But for a woman in medieval times, the one skill she most desires is the hardest one to obtain: the ability to read.

After yet another young man asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides they need to move once again, but this time to a larger city. Rapunzel’s heart soars—surely there she can fulfill her dream. But Mother won’t let her close to a man. She claims that no man can be trusted.

After being rescued by a knight on the road to the city, and in turn rescuing him farther down the road, Rapunzel’s opportunity arrives at last. This knight, Sir Gerek, agrees to educate Rapunzel in order to pay back his debt. She just has to put up with his arrogant nature and single-minded focus on riches and prestige.

But this Rapunzel story is unlike any other and the mystery that she uncovers will change everything—except her happily ever after.

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?


A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor.

A handsome forester on a mission to catch her.

Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.

The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him ... a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target ... What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

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?

She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry ... or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.


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?

Leorah Langdon has no patience for Regency society’s shallow hypocrisy and unnecessary rules, especially for women. She’s determined to defy convention by marrying for grand passion instead of settling for a loveless union like her parents—or wedding a stuffy, pompous gentleman like Edward, the Viscount Withinghall. But when a chance meeting in the countryside leads to Leorah and Withinghall being discovered in his overturned carriage—alone and after dark—the ensuing gossip may force them together.

Withinghall has his reasons for clinging to propriety; his father perished in a duel with his mistress’s husband, and Edward must avoid scandal himself if he wants to become prime minister. He certainly has no time for a reckless hoyden like Miss Langdon. But soon the two discover that Withinghall’s coach “accident” was no such thing: the vehicle was sabotaged.

Can the culprit be brought to justice? Strong-willed Leorah and duty-driven Withinghall will have to work together if they have any hope of saving her reputation, his political career—and his life.

Coming February 2017 from Waterfall Press!


Author Interview

What genre(s) do you write?

Melanie: Most of my books are Fairy Tale Retellings set in Medieval Europe and written for Young Adults. I also write Regency Romance.

Do you have a release date for your next book?

Melanie: The Silent Songbird released Nov. 8, but I also have a Regency romance, A Viscount’s Proposal, releasing Feb. 7, and the last book in the Thornbeck series, The Noble Servant, releases May 9.

What made you decide to start writing?

Melanie: I loved to write from the time I was in 6th grade or earlier, but I stopped writing when I started college and didn’t pick it back up until 15 years later. I remembered how much I liked writing and how much I’d wanted to be a novelist when I was in high school, and I guess I was kind of mentally bored when my kids were small and I was a stay-at-home mom, so I started writing again, hoping I might be able to make a career out of it.

Which one of your books would you call the ‘story of your heart’ (or are they all)?

Melanie: Several of my books feel like the “story of my heart,” especially The Healer’s Apprentice, The Merchant’s Daughter, and The Golden Braid. But all of my books are very personal for different reasons. I put my struggles and hurts and lessons learned into my characters and stories. I want my characters and stories to be “real,” and I want every paragraph to be heartfelt.

Are there any fellow authors who inspire you?

Melanie: I just told Ruth Logan Herne and Julie Lessman that they are my inspiration! They are amazing ladies. I was also very inspired by Harper Lee when I was growing up, because she grew up about 50 miles from my hometown and it was very encouraging to think that she was able to make such a huge impact as an author, even though she also came from south Alabama.

What do you do for fun?

Melanie: Fun? What’s that? I have been writing three books a year for the last two years, so writing has had to be my fun. I do like to go to lunch with friends when I am able, and I also love attending my church small group, and doing things with my two teen daughters, who are awesome girls.

What was your hardest book to write, and why?

Melanie: The Merchant’s Daughter, for several reasons, one being the fact that I was trying to get The Healer’s Apprentice published while I was writing it and was getting one rejection after another and was being told, “Nobody wants Medievals. And nobody wants a romance written for the Christian Young Adult market.” It was discouraging. I even tried to quit writing it and write something that might be more saleable, but whenever I tried to write the new book, I had terrible writers block, and I felt like God was telling me to go back and finish The Merchant’s Daughter.

But that book was also hard because of the subject matter. Unfortunately, I was familiar with sexual harassment from an older man, and I was familiar with feelings of fear and being unloved, so it kind of hit home in many ways, and I relived some scary moments from my own teen years when I was writing it. The plot just felt heavy when I was writing it.

A third reason was all the research I had to do. I really had to dig deep to find out how people lived in a Medieval English village, but especially about the justice system in Medieval England, which was quite complicated. I wanted to get all my facts and details correct, so I had to do some fairly tedious reading for my research.

What writing project are you working on right now?

Melanie: Right now I am trying to write a proposal for two more YA fairy tale retellings for my publisher. It’s a little scary, because I could go several different ways, and I have to make a decision! Write more Hagenheim stories? Or start something entirely new? But I’m pretty sure I know what I want to do. *smiles*

What are some of your favorite books (not your own)?

Melanie: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Sea Hawk, and the Bible of course. *smiles*

Thanks so, so much for taking time for this interview, and sharing your heart, Melanie! Loved having you here on my blog, and hope it helps more readers discover your gorgeous novels!

Connect Further with Melanie Dickerson:

Additional Blog Stops:

Mon. ~ Soleil @ ReviewsbySoleil: Book Review(s)

Tues. ~ Faith P. @ Stories by Firefly: Book Review of The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

Thurs. ~ Faith P. @ Stories by Firefly: Book Review of The Beautiful Pretender

Sat. ~ Faith P. @ Stories by Firefly: Book Review


Enter the rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a hardback copy of The Silent Songbird! One winner. USA ENTRIES ONLY.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love Melanie's books.
    Favorite fairytale? I always have loved Cinderella and Belle (the Disney versions XD)

    1. Me too! ^_^

      Yay! Cinderella and Belle are great! I'm so glad they were the first two Disney made live-actions of! :)

  2. I haven't read by Melanie, but her books look really interesting.

    1. They are, Sam!! You should definitely try them out sometime! ^_^

  3. Oh, I loved this post SO MUCH! <3 Fairy tale retellings are amazing and Melanie is one of my favorite authors as well, so this interview was so interesting! Thanks for sharing, both of you! ^_^ I already have a copy of The Silent Songbird but I'm so excited for whoever wins it!! :D

    1. Happy you enjoyed, Deborah! <3 Fairy tale retellings are amazing indeed! Eeee! How I love them! :D

      Yes, the interview was lovely! So glad Melanie was able to share. I'm excited too! I really enjoyed The Silent Songbird!

  4. I LOVE Melanie's books!!! Um... my favorite fairy tale.... ummm... does Frozen count?!? = )

    1. Aren't they lovely, Polaris? ^_^ Frozen totally counts! :D Love that movie!! I also enjoyed these books by E. Kaiser Writes, which are sort of retellings of the movie Frozen! :)

    2. Yes they are!
      Aaaahhh!!! Frozen is SOooo me!
      Really?!? Okay, I will have to check them out then! Thanks for the suggestion Shantelle!!

    3. You're welcome, Polaris! I hope you enjoy them if you read them! :D

  5. Melanie Dickerson's books are the best!! :D And hmmm that is a hard question lol but I probably would have to say Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. I also really love the twelve dancing princesses if that counts also :)

    1. They are, indeed, Elaina! :D Oooh, I LOVE The Twelve Dancing Princesses ... that most certainly counts! :D Sleeping Beauty is grand too - can't wait to see a live-action movie of that!

  6. Oooh,I love this book so much. The cover is so gorgeous:) ~Moriah

    1. Ah yes, Moriah! :) All the covers are AMAZING! And I agree, The Silent Songbird's cover is so lovely (that's which book you were talking about, right?)

  7. I recently read The Healer's Apprentice and adored it! I really need to read more of Melanie's books, soon. The Regency Spies of London sounds incredible!! :)

    1. Yes, you do, Olivia!! :) The Fairest Beauty, The Golden Braid, and The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest are my three favorites! :D

      And yes, indeed! Melanie's Regency series is fascinating too! I can't wait to read the second book, A Viscount's Proposal! :)

  8. Amazing giveaway and interview! :D My favorite fairytale...probably Belle and the Beast. ;)

    1. Thanks, Faith, I agree! :) :) That is a great one! Can't wait to see it live-action in March!!!!!!! <3

  9. I don't know what my favorite fairytale is... maybe Cinderella or Rapunzel?
    Melanie Dickerson's books are so lovely! :)

    1. Rapunzel!!!! That's definitely one of my favorites, Natasha! :D

      They really are! When are you going to read The Golden Braid??? ;) :)

  10. I love Melaine's books - Captive Maiden has been my favorite so far. But I don't know how I'd EVER pick my favorite fairy tale :D.

    ~ Savannah

    1. So glad you do, Savannah! Ooh, The Captive Maiden was one of my favorites too! Though my TOP three are The Fairest Beauty, The Golden Braid, and The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest! :D

      I know! ALL the fairy tales are amazing! :D

  11. My favorite fairy tale? Definitely Beauty and the Beast, Belle. After all what girl can go wrong with all those books? I have not read any of Melanie's books yet and look forward to it. Her book covers are so gorgeous!

    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

    1. Are you excited for the live-action movie of Beauty & the Beast, Deanne? Oh, I agree! I definitely relate to Belle with her love of books! :D

      I hope you can read by Melanie Dickerson soon! She's a lovely writer, and yes, those book covers are stunning!