Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CHATEAU OF SECRETS - Melanie Dobson - One Free Book

Welcome back, Melanie. Tell us about your salvation experience.
When I was seven, my family flew from Ohio to California to attend a church conference near Disneyland. I don’t remember visiting Disneyland, but I’ll never forget walking down the aisle on the last night of the conference to invite Jesus into my life. It took me awhile to decide to follow Christ, but once I did, I wanted to serve Him with all my heart. Almost forty years later, I am incredibly grateful for God’s many beautiful gifts including grace, redemption, peace, and joy.

Actually, Melanie, I asked Jesus into my heart at a revival in a small town in Arkansas when I was seven years old. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
The perfect writing retreat would be with the wonderful ladies of my critique group—Leslie Gould, Nicole Miller, Dawn Shipman, Kelly Chang, and Kimberly Felton (I realize that’s actually five, but I can’t leave any of our crew behind!). We are all passionate about writing, and they are an incredible encouragement to me and to each other.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I speak occasionally at writer’s conferences and church events. My family spent last December serving children in Uganda, and I had the privilege of sharing our story at a women’s brunch this spring. I love to encourage writers to pursue their calling and encourage parents to serve either internationally or at home alongside their kids.

I know what you mean. I’ve been on missions trips into Mexico and in Guatemala. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I remember being absolutely mortified in college when I slipped and fell in front of hundreds of people in the cafeteria. Food all over the place, me and my nice dress sprawled out on the messy floor. I still shudder when I think about it…

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I tell people that I think it’s fantastic, and then I ask how much they’ve written. If they haven’t started their book yet, I encourage them to write a little each day until their manuscript is finished.

Tell us about the featured book.
Château of Secrets is about a French noblewoman named Gisèle Duchant who risks her life to hide members of the French resistance in the tunnels under her family’s château even as the Nazi Germans occupy her home. Seventy years later Gisèle’s granddaughter, Chloe Sauver, returns to the abandoned château to interview with a filmmaker named Riley Holtz. As Chloe and Riley begin to unravel her grandmother’s story, they are both shocked at the family secrets they uncover.

Please give us the first page of the book.
June 1940
Agneaux, France
Candlelight flickered on the medieval walls as Gisèle Duchant stepped into the warmth of the nave. The shadows in the sacristy were the only witnesses to her secret—no one but she and Michel knew the same small room that stored the vestments and supplies for their family’s chapelle was also a hiding place.

She slid the iron gate across the entry into the sacristy, and after locking it, she set down her picnic hamper—emptied of its Camembert cheese and Calvados—and turned toward the pews.
Five women from Agneaux, the tiny commune at the top of the lane, knelt before the altar, the sweet fragrance of incense blending with the smell of cigarette smoke on their clothing. For centuries, women had visited this chapelle to plead with the Almighty to protect their husbands, sons, and brothers as they fought for France. Now they battled in prayer even as the men they loved defended their country against Hitler and his ploy to assimilate the French people into his Third Reich.

Gisèle slid her fingers over the amber rosary beads around her neck, gently fingering the ornamented handle of the brass crucifix in the center. A cross that was also a key.

“Secrets can destroy.”

The words of her university professor echoed in her mind. If a secret was powerful enough, her philosophy professor had declared from his lectern, it could demolish an entire army. Or shatter the heart of a family.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me on my website at or on Facebook at this link:

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

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Chateau of Secrets -
Chateau of Secrets: A Novel - Amazon
Chateau of Secrets: A Novel - Kindle

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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, 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.


Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Britney Adams said...

What an intriguing excerpt! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of CHATEAU OF SECRETS!

Britney Adams, TX

KayM said...

I have recently become interested in the French resistance in WWII, after reading Bruce Judisch's novels, For Maria and Katia--which I loved. I would very much like to read Chateau of Secrets.

Lindsey Z said...

Wow! What an interesting book! Thank you for having such a fun give-away!
~Lindsey Zimpel
Katy, TX

Patty said...

Sounds very intriguing. I've not read many of Melanie's books...

Patty in SC

Abbi Hart said...

This book looks so good! I loved the one book I've read of Melanie's so I'm hoping I'll love this one too!

Abbi (PA)

Merry said...

Chateau of Secrets sounds intriguing, I love WW II stories.
Merry in MN

Caryl McAdoo said...

That first page definitely makes you want to read more. That cover makes me want to take a deep breath and hold it for your heroine! I've not read your books, Melanie, but this one goes on my TBR list!
Lena, you always ask the best questions! :) Thank you for sharing Melanie with us.
Blessings from Clarksville, Texas

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by this one. Thank you for the giveaway, Lena.

Melanie Backus, TX

Melanie Dobson said...

Thanks so much, ladies! I loved researching and writing this novel, especially since the story is based on the life and courage of a real French noblewoman. Thank you for having me, Lena!!


Mary Preston said...

I loved the first page thank you. Most intriguing.

Mary P


Vera Godley said...

I would love to read Melanie's book. She does write a good book! :)

Charlotte Kay said...

This is my kind of reading!!!!!!
Loved the interview and would love to be entered to win this book!!!!!!

Blessings and Smiles :)
Charlotte Kay

Marianne Barkman said...

I love Melanie Dobsons books and now I need to know what secrets are held! Thanks for the chance to win
Peace River Country

Julie B. said...

I'm from Lisbon, IA...not far from the setting of Melanie's Amana books!

Anonymous said...

Love to have this book for our church library.

Julie (WI)

Kandra said...

Another great interview! Please sign me up. I would love to win this book.
Kandra in OK

Pam K. said...

I've read that Chateau of Secrets is based on a true story; I love historical books like this. It sounds quite intriguing. Thanks for the interview with Melanie and the chance to win her book.


Bluerose said...

This book has been highly recommended to me, so I can't wait to read it! :)

Tammy from AL

sm said...

I really enjoy reading Melanie Dobson's books and would love to win Chateau of Secrets about the French Resistance. sharon, Ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cindy W. said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. I love books with a WWII story line. And to have a book set in WWII and present day would be exceptionally wonderful. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

A Cooking Bookworm said...

LOVE WWII books!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book!
thanks for the giveaway!
sydney harries GA

kam110476 said...

Hi Melanie & Lena! I have been so anxious to get my hand on Chateau for months - it's seemed like years at times! The fact that it's loosely based on fact just makes it that much more interesting! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Courtney Clark said...

Chateau of Secrets has intrigued me since I first heard about it! I'd love to win! Courtney C. from Arkansas