Wednesday, July 06, 2016

5 Inspirational Series, with guest blogger Varina Denman


Today I’d like to introduce guest blogger, Varina Denman.

Varina writes stories about the unique struggles women face. Her award-winning Mended Hearts series, which revolves around church hurt, is a compelling blend of women’s fiction and inspirational romance. A native Texan, Varina lives near Fort Worth with her husband and five mostly grown children. Connect with Varina on her website or one of the social media hangouts.

Welcome, Varina!


Melanie, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. It’s summertime, and we’ve all got extra time on our hands. My holiday break is swiftly getting filled with events, camps, and projects, but I still have plenty of time by the pool doing what I love best ... reading! I’ve put together a list of books to recommend to friends, specifically Christian book series that have been described as "can't-put-it-down." That's what we all LOVE to read, especially during the lazy summer months. I hope your blog readers find a new series on the list, and I hope they pour themselves a tall glass of iced tea, and sit down and relax. Happy reading, girlfriends! (Don't forget the suntan lotion)

Jan Karon’s Mitford Series.


A little about At Home In Mitford: It’s easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable.
Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won’t go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that’s sixty years old.
Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy in which mysteries and miracles abound.

Dawn Crandall’s Everstone Chronicles.

A little about The Hesitant Heiress: After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men--Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.

Katie Ganshert’s The Gifting Series.


A little about The Gifting: In a world where nothing supernatural exists, Tess Eckhart is positive she’s going crazy. What other explanation is there for the things she sees? After her complete freakout at a high school party, her parents worry she might be right. So much that they pack their bags and move across the country, next to a nationally-renowned facility for the mentally ill.
Despite the whispers and stares, Tess is determined to fit in at her new school. But when it comes to Luka Williams, a reluctantly popular boy in her class, she’s unused to a stare that intense. Then the headaches start, and the seemingly prophetic dreams that haunt her at night. As Tess tries harder to hide them, she becomes increasingly convinced that Luka knows something—that he might somehow be responsible.
But what if she’s wrong? What if Luka Williams is the only thing separating her from a madness too terrifying to fathom?

Melanie Dickerson’s Hagenheim Fairy Tale Romance Series.


A little about The Healer’s Apprentice: 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.

Varina Denman’s Mended Hearts Series.



A little about Jaded: As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Now, thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed, and a string of secrets are unearthed that threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside down.
Jaded is the rare novel that is a love story between both a woman and a man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness, and restoration, this book will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Winner of the Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!

I'm pleased to announce the winner from my recent The Beautiful Pretender Kindle Prize Pack giveaway and blog tour. Thanks to everyone who entered!


Congratulations to the winner: Rachelle O'Neil. My publicists from Litfuse Publicity Group will be in touch via email with details on how to claim your prize. You can also email your mailing address to info {at} litfusegroup {dot} com. Congrats!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

British Blooms and Books! 6-Book Giveaway!


Hello, gentle reader, and welcome to the first annual British Blooms and Books giveaway! This week I and several other authors would like to celebrate the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show with you. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ blogs (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction and then leave a comment on each to be entered to win a fabulous British Blooms and Books prize. (US winners only, please, due to shipping the petit fours. Sorry, non-US friends.) Enjoy and thank you for stopping by! 
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Melanie here! I've always loved flowers, and their beauty and fragrance remind me of different things. I love the bright and colorful hibiscus and poppies, both of which remind me of Germany, and tulips, which make me think of Holland and Audrey Hepburn, my favorite actress. I also love the wonderful-smelling gardenia, which transports me back to my grandmother's front yard, or magnolias, which remind me of my elementary school playground.

In my novel, A Spy's Devotion, there's not a lot about flowers, but my hero Nicholas Langdon and heroine Julia Grey agree to exchange secret messages about her guardian's nefarious activities by placing them in a knothole in a tree at Hyde Park. In this excerpt of a scene from A Spy's Devotion, Julia has just left him a note.
           

She arrived at the park, making her face a picture of contentment and calm. It was the hour when many people were out, taking the air, walking or riding, and she was forced to acknowledge several people before she turned the corner to find her tree.

She approached it and slipped the paper out of her reticule and then placed it into the knothole.

What if her uncle had followed her and seen her put the paper in the tree? Or Mr. Edgerton? They’d make sure Mr. Langdon never received the information. Perhaps they would even kill Julia—and Mr. Langdon.

She had to stop these racing thoughts. She concentrated on breathing and walking and not thinking.

When she was nearly home again, a man turned the corner and was walking toward her. Julia’s breath went out of her, and she stumbled.

It was Nicholas Langdon.

He caught sight of her when she was still several feet away, and he smiled.

She approached him. They were actually in sight of the Wilhern house. Anyone looking out of the front windows might see them. People were passing them on foot and in carriages.

“Mr. Langdon.”

“Miss Grey.” He tipped his hat to her and then leaned his head toward her. “Forgive me for saying so, but you are looking a bit pale. Are you unwell?”

“There is something for you at the park,” she said as blandly as possible. Should she risk telling him that her uncle was planning to force her to marry Mr. Edgerton on Friday? Of course there was nothing he could do, and she did not want anyone seeing them talking.

He kept his eyes trained on her face, as he said quietly, “Are you in danger, Miss Grey?”

What could she say? “No. You should go. It’s very important.” She smiled to put him at ease and so no one would suspect that their conversation was anything but polite and appropriate.


I hope your interest is piqued!  Please sign up for my newsletter in the upper right corner of this blog and comment below to be entered to win the grand prize. 
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One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ blogs and agrees to the one boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of each of the books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! 

Name will be drawn via random.org

Once you have left a comment saying you signed up for my newsletter (or that you're already signed up), please visit these other fabulous authors of England-set historicals to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.
Click these links and follow the instructions there:









Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!


Who wants to win awesome prizes, including a Kindle? 
I hope you do, because my publisher, Thomas Nelson, is giving away this amazing prize pack right here on my blog! Enter to win, and tell your friends and family! 

Here are some ready-made tweets for you:

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant? New from @melanieauthor (and a #giveaway)! http://bit.ly/205V35N

Love fairy tales? Don't miss @MelanieAuthor's new reimagined medieval fairy tale—plus a Kindle #contest! http://bit.ly/205V35N #ChrisFic

And here's a look at the entire prize pack:


Click HERE to enter!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Happy Release Day to The Beautiful Pretender!

Today's the day! I'm so excited! The Beautiful Pretender is already downloaded on ereaders and making it's way to mailboxes around the country! If you did not pre-order, then today is the day to get your copy! :-)

Here's what reviewers are saying:

"Truly, I devoured this medieval feast of treachery and love so gluttonously I’m sure I must have burped at the conclusion! Masterful storyteller Melanie Dickerson, once again delivers upon a feasting platter, an intriguing, original tale with phenomenal characters, exhilarating suspense, and a sigh-worthy romance. Enriching ‘The Beautiful Pretender’ is a meaningful reminder of God’s enduring love and faithfulness. Highly recommended!"
-- Blogger Noela from the Overcoming With God blog



"I stayed up WAY past my bedtime eagerly turning the pages on my kindle with this one. Loved Avelina right away and was amazed by her strength, discernment, faith, and courage throughout. This is the SECOND time Dickerson had my heart melting for a beastly/gruff character, this one named Lord Thornbeck, the first time was Lord Ranulf in The Merchant’s Daughter. No one writes heroes like Dickerson does and it’s crazy how much I enjoyed The Beautiful Pretender from START to FINISH." 
-- Book Reviewer Kara Grant

"The reader is just swept away as the story unfolds! She adds romance, intrigue, danger, and brings it to a satisfying finish, although I did NOT want it to end. Every time I read one of her fairy tales, I'm wanting another to begin right away!" 
-- Book Reviewer Susan Snodgrass

Buy from these retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD/Christianbook . com


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Congratulations to the Winners of the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt!

Are you curious to see who won the big prizes in the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt? Here are the BIG winners:

First Prize: Crystal Balzer, books plus $300 gift card

Second Prize: Jackie Wisherd, books, plus $125 gift card

Third Prize: Becky Mickels, books, plus $75 gift card

Congratulations to them! And now, here are the winners of my Bonus Giveaway, a paperback copy of The Beautiful Pretender. 
I know I said I was giving away 3 copies, but I decided to give away 10 copies instead, since there was such a huge turnout for this giveaway, and since you guys just made me want to give more with your enthusiastic comments! I have already sent an email to each of these winners, so check your spam folder if you didn't receive it:

agboss
pjrcmoore
Jess
Cindy Pimpo
Karen G.
Carla K.
Dawn Hogue
Donna Feyen
Doree
Anna

And there you have it! All the winners! Don't despair if you didn't win. We will be doing another one in the fall, in October, and I am planning to participate by giving away The Silent Songbird. Thanks so much for entering! God bless!!!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt!


Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #22 

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 33 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 3 grand prizes!
·         The hunt BEGINS with Stop #1 at Lisa Bergren’s site. 
·         The hunt is BEST VIEWED using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer)
·         It is open to INTERNATIONAL entrants.
·         PRIZES include 3 sets of all 32 books, $500 in Amazon gift cards and many authors are offering additional prizes!
·         There is NO RUSH to complete this hunt—you have ALL WEEKEND. So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books you might want to learn more about! In case you get lost, click here for an explanation and a list of all the stops.
·         Submit your ENTRY for the GRAND PRIZE at Stop#33 (back on Lisa’s site) by Monday night (4/25) at midnight mountain. 


It is my honor to host contemporary romance author, Beth Vogt.



 Here's a summary of Almost Like Being in Love
Winning an all-expenses paid Colorado destination wedding might seem like a dream come true for some people—but Caron Hollister and her boyfriend Alex Madison aren’t even engaged. How is she supposed to tell him she’s won their wedding and honeymoon when he hasn’t asked her to marry him? Being “perfect for one another” seems like the absolute best reason to get married. But what if their supposedly faultless relationship is merely a safe place to protect his secrets and a way to keep their families happy? After quitting her job, Caron accepts her best friend’s offer to visit Colorado. She needs to catch her breath. Who knows, maybe visiting the destination wedding site will make a future with Alex seem like a reality.
Kade Webster just landed the biggest deal of his life with his company, Webster Select Realty, participating in the Colorado Springs Tour of Homes. He never imagined he would run into the woman who broke his heart—Caron Hollister—right when his career is taking off. Seeing her again, Kade can’t help but wonder why Caron walked away from him years ago, leaving him with no explanation. When Kade learns his home stager won’t be able to help with the Tour of Homes, he vaults past all the reasons he should stay away from Caron, and offers her a temporary job helping him on the project. This time, their relationship is purely business.
Spending time with Kade has Caron questioning everything. The man intrigues her—at times infuriates her—and reminds her of what she lost. Has she been settling for what everyone expects of her? Just because others believe she and Alex are an ideal couple, does that mean they should get married? And how can Caron say “I do” to one man when she’s wondering “what if?” about another?

 In honor of Beth's Destination Wedding series, she's written about "Imperfections in Weddings," including her own wedding and the unexpected things that happen to make life more beautiful.





Finding the Beauty of Imperfection



“There’s a kind of beauty in imperfection.” ~Conrad Hall (1926-2003), cinematographer)


If you want life to not going according to plan, then schedule a wedding. Am I right, or am I right?

My now-husband Rob and I set our wedding date for June 14, 1980. About six weeks later, Rob called and announced he wouldn’t be able to make it. For just a few seconds, I panicked, thinking he was breaking our engagement. But Rob, who was a U.S. Air Force astronautical engineer, quickly explained Uncle Sam had trumped our plans and that his job required he be in California on June 14th.

Whew! The wedding just needed to be rescheduled – not canceled.

The new wedding day of May 24 contained its own bit of imperfection. Well, I can call it a “bit” of imperfection now. At the time, I paced back and forth in my wedding gown, waiting for my photographer to arrive at my parents’ home. And waiting … and waiting … and waiting. Finally, I was ushered into my grandfather’s car – he was driving me to the chapel – so I wouldn’t be late to my own wedding. Just as we backed out of the driveway, the photographer drove up and jumped out of his car, apologizing. He’d written the wrong date down and thought Rob and I were getting married the next weekend.

So, yes, I had a photographer. But he’d missed all the “getting ready” photos I’d requested. And he brought along his most basic camera supplies – and that meant we ended up with the most basic of pictures of our wedding day. But some photos are better than none, right?

As an author, I’ve woven less-than-perfect moments into each of my destination wedding novels and e-novellas. There’s no such thing as a perfect romance, and my imaginary characters’ paths to happily ever after have bumps, detours, and roadblocks. I write fictional romances, yes – but I try to make them true-to-life.

In my upcoming novel, Almost Like Being in Love (June 2016), my heroine has a friend who offers to pray for more imperfection in her life. Seems like an odd thing to pray for someone, doesn’t it? But what if we believed imperfection contained it’s own kind of beautiful?

Choosing to enjoy life as it is, flaws and all, allows us to discover the beauty found in the less-than-perfect moments that disrupt our lives. We can love others for who they are rather than who we expect them to be. We can be ourselves, shedding the supposed safety of pretense.

We open our eyes and discover beautiful moments can be hidden in less than perfect days.

Think back to some of the special moments in your life: your wedding day, or the day you graduated from high school or from college. Think about some of the people you love the most in your life. I’m betting those days and those people aren’t perfect … but they’re still beautiful.




Beth K. Vogt is an inspirational contemporary romance writer who has learned God's best is often behind the door marked "Never."


Here’s the Stop #22 Skinny:
You can order Beth’s book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore! 
Clue to Write Down: to yield
Link to Stop #23, the Next Stop on the Loop: Beth Vogt’s own site!

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But wait! Before you go, I’m offering three paperbacks of my next novel, The Beautiful Pretender. All you have to do is sign up for my mailing list (top right of this page) and tell me so in the comments, or note that you’re already a subscriber. I'll announce the winners on the 27th on this blog. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of the hunt!







Starts Tomorrow!