Monday, December 23, 2013

THE CAPTIVE MAIDEN - Melanie Dickerson - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I had never read any Young Adult books until I read the The Healer's Apprentice, Melanie's. I had always loved fairy tales, and her retelling of fairy tales are wonderful stories played out as an integral part of a rich tapestry of the Middle Ages. Each story is set in or near the same fictional town, and there is a loose tie to the story that came before, but each story stands alone.

I love Melanie's writing. Her living, breathing characters and the truly historical setting gives life and spiritual depth to each story. Because of reading her YA novels, I've also discovered other Christian YA authors I enjoy reading. Actually, her stories are ageless, suitable for anyone from 9 to 90 years old. I know you'll enjoy The Captive Maiden and you will want to go back and read all the others as well.

Welcome back, Melanie. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I like to write about the fact that God has a good plan for all of our lives. I like to write about his love for us, and about how our help comes from the Lord, and that things go better for us when we seek God’s guidance and follow his will. I also like to write about his healing power, the power to heal our hearts and emotions.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
I have a “Frog Prince” story coming out next October. I hope to write at least two more fairy tale retellings after that. I also have a couple of other series that I’m working on, a Regency series and a Southern series set in the 1800’s, but I don’t know when those will be published.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I would love to spend an evening with Beth Moore and ask for her insight. She seems so close to God and so in tune with his will, and I’d love to get her perspective on a lot of things!

My husband and I were in the studio audience when James and Betty Robison interviewed Beth and her husband. She is an amazing lady. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I’d love to meet Abraham Lincoln and find out what he really thinks about politics and God and his role in our country’s future.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I received 32 rejections for The Healer’s Apprentice before it was accepted by Zondervan, and it was not the first book I wrote. You must be willing to receive criticism and use it to make you better. Hard word and perseverance are a necessity for success in this business. And even more than those things, you need a tender heart toward God, willing to be humble and listen to His leading, praying without ceasing, and believing that God will work it all out for your good.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Captive Maiden is my Cinderella retelling. It is about Valten, who is the older brother of the hero in The Fairest Beauty. (So in that way it is a sequel, but it can also be read as a standalone.)
Gisela, my Cinderella character, met Valten when she was a little girl, and she daydreamed about marrying him someday. After her father died, her stepmother and stepsisters treated her like a servant, and she has lost her hope of ever marrying someone like Valten. Now she dreams of somehow escaping her stepmother and becoming a servant at Hagenheim Castle. But when she meets Valten in the street by chance one day, he is intrigued by her and asks her to come to the jousting tournament that’s coming up in Hagenheim. The rest of the story is about how her stepmother tries to sabotage her budding relationship with Valten, and Valten’s nemesis, Ruexner, tries to do whatever he can to destroy Valten’s future. There’s lots of action and adventure—and romance! J

I’ve read the book, but please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.

Here is the first page of Chapter One. (You can read the first 20 pages at Scribd,

Gisela rode Kaeleb over the hilly meadows near her home, letting the horse run as fast as he liked. The morning air clung to her eyelashes, as a fog had created a misty canopy over the green, rolling hills. The wall surrounding the town of Hagenheim stood at her far right, with the forest to her left and her home behind. Hagenheim Castle hovered in the distance, its upper towers lost in the haze.

If her stepmother found out she’d been riding one of the horses without permission, as Gisela often did, she would find some way to punish her. But Gisela didn’t care. She could leave any time she wanted to, as she had hidden away the money her father had given her just before he died. She chose to stay, at least for now, because of her love for the horses.

Gisela would probably be forced to leave soon. Her stepmother would end up selling all the horses, or would marry someone despicable, or would create some other type of intolerable situation. When that happened, Gisela planned to go into the town and find paying work, perhaps tending a shop or serving as a kitchen maid at Hagenheim Castle.

Evfemia thought she controlled Gisela. But some day her stepdaughter-slave would be gone.
She didn’t want to think about her stepmother anymore. Instead, Gisela focused on the wind in her hair as she flew over the meadow on Kaeleb’s back. The cool air filled her lungs almost to bursting. For this moment, she was free.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a website at, and I am very active on Facebook. You can friend me,, and please also “Like” my author page, I’m also on Twitter, @melanieauthor, so please do connect with me! I’m one of those people who love social media. J

Thank you, Melanie, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog 
The Captive Maiden -
The Captive Maiden -
The Captive Maiden - Kindle
(Readers, the book is on a special sale on all these sites today.)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks for having me on your blog, Lena! And I so appreciate your kind words about my books! I feel so honored that you read them and like them! :-) God bless you, and Merry Christmas.

Unknown said...

I've added this to my Amazon wishlist, but would love to win. I have all of Melanie's other books, and am privileged to call her friend.

Merry Christmas

Ginger in AL

Melanie Backus said...

I would love this one. Thank you, Lena, and Merry Christmas!

Melanie Backus, TX

Heidi Reads... said...

I've only heard great things about this book! Thanks for sharing the interview and giveaway!

Heidi, CA

Unknown said...

I would just love to win this book. I have read all of the others, and they were simply stunning.
Alyssa In TN

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Ginger, Melanie, and Heidi! :-) Hope you guys get a chance to read it. If you don't win it or get it for Christmas, you can always request it from your library. :-) I love my library!

Mary Preston said...

I do love to read Fairy Tale re-tellings.

Mary P


Joanna said...

Not sure if this is open to UK entries, but I will try. Wouldn't mind winning as I couldn't get it on Booksneeze.

Joanna, UK.

Rick Estep said...

I have several of her books in our church library, so this would make a great addition.

Rick in Florida

Librarybooks at religious dot com

Unknown said...

I adore Melanie's books. I know they're supposed to be YA reads, but I enjoyed both "The Merchant's Daughter" and "The Healer's Apprentice" despite the fact that I'm not so young anymore. LOL! I've also purchased "The Fairest Beauty," so it's on my TBR list (maybe over the current Christmas holidays). A copy of "The Captive Maiden" would make my collection complete. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this great giveaway, Lena and Melanie. Blessings!

Sybil in GA

Susan Johnson said...

I love fairy tale retellings. This sounds really good.

Susan Johnson, TX

Cathy said...

My daughter and her friends love Melanie's fairytale books! Would love to win this one for her. Thanks for the giveaways!

Cathy in B.C. Canada

Dom said...

I adore fairy tales and have been hearing a lot about The Captive Maiden, I am super excited to read it!

Dominique from Virginia

Bookishqueen said...

oooo, I have been wanting this one!

Rebekah TN

Merry said...

Cinderella stories and movies are always favorites with my girls and me. Lovely cover!
Merry in MN

Susan P said...

I want to meet Abe Lincoln also!
Thanks for sharing with us.

Pam K. said...

Please don't enter me in the giveaway since I've already ordered this book for my daughter. I know she will share it with me! We both love Melanie's books. I was intrigued with the description and trailer for The Healer's Apprentice. Once I read the book, and shared it with my daughter, we were hooked. We have all the books and love them all. I recommended The Merchant's Daughter to my book club; they loved it too and some have been reading some of Melanie's other books. I look forward to reading The Captive Maiden when it arrives and further fairy tales from Melanie. Thanks for interviewing her.


rubynreba said...

I would love to read this! Thanks for the chance.
Beth from Iowa

Anne Payne said...

I've been drooling over this book for a while. It sounds delightful!

Anne Payne said...

Forgot to say I am from rural NC

Anne, rural NC :)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Anonymous said...

I love these books! My sister has the first one and I've read the first three, but I'd LOVE to own them all!
State: Indiana