Tuesday, December 30, 2014

THE PRINCESS SPY - Melanie Dickerson - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I love Melanie’s books, retelling of fairy tales in the middle ages. They’re considered Young Adult novels by the publisher, but they’re really not just for young adults. Each of her novels are loosely connected to the ones that came before. With The Princess Spy, I loved the way the story fit with the others, but was totally unique. You won’t want to miss this one.

Welcome back, Melanie. Please tell us about your salvation experience.
My parents took me to church from the time I was born, and I grew up valuing the Bible as the absolutely infallible Word of God. I was baptized at the age of thirteen, which was a special moment. I can’t remember a time when I did not love God or believe in Him, and my faith and understanding have grown stronger and deeper over the years.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
That’s really putting me on the spot, Lena. Ha ha! I have a lot of friends with whom I’d love to go on a writing retreat. We’d probably not get much writing done because we’d be talking. But it would certainly be fun.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I have had the opportunity to speak to other writers, and I recently spoke to a group of Christian librarians, which was a great experience. I’m excited about speaking to a group of girls, 7th through 12th grade, at a Christian girls’ conference this summer. It’s wonderful how the struggles in my life have become a platform to speak to others. I have found that I actually love public speaking, especially when I can talk about my faith and how God has brought me through things and how He can be a beacon in other people’s lives as well.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Hmm. I tend to block out the embarrassing things that happen to me, Lena! I’m not sure I remember any! Ha ha! One embarrassing thing that happened to me is I fainted at my very first writers conference, the big ACFW conference in 2005 in Nashville. It was during the announcements right after breakfast. I’d only fainted once in my life before that happened. This time it was due to taking an over-the-counter medication. The ambulance came and wheeled me out in front of everybody! So embarrassing. Although I was so out of it, I barely was conscious enough to be embarrassed about it until later.

I was at that conference and saw that happen, but I didn’t know you then. Most of us prayed for you. 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 them, “You should.” We make time for the things that are important to us.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Princess Spy is loosely based on the “Frog Prince,” or “Princess and the Frog,” fairy tale. It’s about Margaretha, the oldest daughter of Duke Wilhelm, who finds herself in a crisis and must trust a stranger to help her save her family and her town from one of her suitors, who turns out to have evil motives. And Colin is my “frog prince” who is from England and finds himself in Medieval Germany—and he doesn’t speak German.

Margaretha has a problem with talking too much. When an unconscious young man, who has been beaten and left for dead, wakes up in the healer’s chamber in Hagenheim Castle, Margaretha is the only person who understands what he’s saying. However, he won’t tell her his name because he says her life will be in danger if he does. When she asks who might want to hurt her, he refuses to tell her that either, for her own good. Margaretha is convinced he’s lost his mind due to his head injury, but when the young man recovers and tells her everything, and after Margaretha does a bit of spying on her own, she realizes she has to believe him.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
I skipped the Prologue and am giving you the first page of Chapter One.

Margaretha sat in the Great Hall listening to her newest suitor, Rowland Fortescue, Earl of Claybrook, who had cornered her after the midday meal.

Perhaps it was unkind of her to use the word “cornered.” He was her suitor, after all, and she should be pleased that he wanted to talk to her. Some of her other suitors had barely said two words to her, but this man seemed to enjoy talking to her—in very fluent German for an Englishman, but his mother was from the German regions of the Holy Roman Empire.

Everyone, especially her brothers, accused Margaretha of talking too much, but Lord Claybrook often left her speechless. Could that be a good thing?

This morning, Lord Claybrook had been telling her of his prowess as a hunter, both with his falcons and his oh-so-remarkable hounds, a subject so boring that it wasn’t her fault if she was distracted by his hat.

Truly, it was an astonishing hat. But then, all of his hats were astonishing. Every day since he had come to Hagenheim Castle, Margaretha had found herself staring at the man’s hat.
Today’s hat consisted of a gray fur band as wide as her hand and padded to make it twice as fat as his head, with a large jewel inset in the front, and folds of red cloth protruding from inside, draped over his right temple like the coxcomb of a rooster. A piece of matching cloth hung from the other side of the hat, reaching to his left knee.

While his hat’s liripipe was ridiculously long, his tunic was scandalously short. He wore only tight hose underneath, so she was careful not to let her eyes stray too low.

But she must make allowances for him. He was a foreigner, after all. Perhaps everyone in England dressed that way.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I have a website, www.MelanieDickerson.com and I’m on facebook all the time, https://www.facebook.com/MelanieDickersonBooks which is where you can get the latest news about my upcoming books. And I’m on Twitter @melanieauthor. So please say hello!

Melanie, I love featuring you on my blog, and my readers like to learn about you and your books.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Princess Spy - Christianbook.com
The Princess Spy- Amazon
The Princess Spy - 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:


Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Lena, thanks for the interview with Melanie. She is a new-to-me author. I would love to read The Princess Spy. :)

Caryl in TEXAS

Britney Adams said...

The Princess Spy sounds like a captivating story! Thank you for sharing the interview and giveaway.

Britney Adams, TX

Loraine Nunley said...

I like stories that are based on fairy tales. This sounds like a good read! Thanks for the giveaway!
Loraine in TX

fredamans said...

The Frog Prince is one of my favorite fairytales. The fact this is loosely based has me really wanting to read it. Thanks for the chance!
Freda from Ontario, Canada.

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for a great interview, Lena! This book sounds wonderful and I would love to read it!

Melanie Backus, TX

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Angela from KY! I hope you can get a copy of The Princess Spy, maybe from your library. If you request a book, sometimes your library will order it and give you first dibs on checking it out. :-)

Sorry I'm just now making it over here to Lena's blog to say hi to everyone! I went on a little sightseeing trip with my family today. I'm back now!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Caryl, thanks for coming by and commenting!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Britney! Hope you will snag a copy of The Princess Spy!

Loraine, thanks for the comment! Fairy tales are fun, aren't they? I love imagining them as they might have actually happened. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Freda! I like Frog Prince retellings! The fairy tale itself is really short, but I've read a couple of retellings that were meant for middle grade readers that I liked. One was The Prince of the Pond: Otherwise Known as De Fawg Pin by Donna Jo Napoli. Also The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker. I think you would like those too, Freda. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Melanie! Great name! :-) Thanks for your comment. I hope you can get the book!

Pam K. said...

My daughter and I have read all of Melanie's fairy tale books and loved them. I gave The Princess Spy to my daughter for Christmas. She read it quickly so now it's in my towering to-read pile.


Deanna Stevens said...

I'm sitting here trying to picture that hat... I don't know how she kept from collapsing in laughter ! ! This sounds like it needs to be at the top of my TBR list :)
Dee S in Nebraska

Anonymous said...

I LOVE MELANIE DICKERSON'S BOOKS!!!!! You have NO idea how much I would LOVE to win this book! (Please let it be me! Please let it be me!)
J.C. -Indiana-

Granny's Attic said...

This sounds like a good read. lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com in Ohio

Mary Preston said...

A gorgeous cover & this sounds like a wonderful re-telling.

Mary P


Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing with us Lena & Melanie!! I must say that I am a fan of all things fairy-tales, especially your books. I LOVE the book cover, but I'd love even more to win! Lately I have been going through a phase of watching various fairy-tales versions, mainly in German. The Frog Prince was among them and all are so lovely that I have gone back to rewatch them. I shall indeed anticipate reading The Princess Spy. ~ Julianna from Pennsylvania emeraldelena@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Would love to win a copy!. This would be my first Melanie Dickerson book. Looks like a great fairy-tale re-telling.

Christy C. in North Carolin

Cindy W. said...

Oh, I love Melanie's books and would LOVE to win a copy of The Princess Spy. Thank you so very much for the chance to win.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

apple blossom said...

This sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading thanks for chance to win a copy
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail[dot] com

Patty said...

Thanks for sharing ladies! I've read at least one of Melanie's fairy tall book, would love to add another to my list.

Patty in SC

Merry said...

The Princess Spy sounds awesome, please add me!
Merry in MN

Sheila Deeth said...

Another fun faith tale. Sounds cool. Sheila OR

Anonymous said...

I can sympathize with you Melaine! I did the same but later found out that I was pregenant! Shelia from MS

Beth Gillihan said...

I love Melanie's books! Can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the chance to win.
Beth in Montana

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

kam110476 said...

I loved The Healer's Apprentice and The Fairest Beauty! The Princess Spy is on my TBR list as well! (I wish you had a picture of this ridiculous hat - I'd probably be distracted too!)
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Library Lady said...

We have Melanie's books in the church library.
I would love to win, "The Princess Spy" to add to our shelves.
Happy 2015!
Janet E.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, all! Here is a picture of a hat somewhat similar to Lord Claybrook's. Sorry I don't know how to make the link live! You'll have to cut and paste. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=medieval+fashion&id=41CB8137495F3364CE0C4D26217F32A4173952E7&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=E5DC6504C2BFC44EF1D87F41C719C193AC1EADFE&selectedIndex=58

Melanie Dickerson said...


Here's a better link.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Medieval fashions were pretty ridiculous, even more so for men than for women, believe it or not. There were phases where men's clothing was gaudy and colorful, and their shoes had such long pointy toes they had to curl them up over their feet to keep from tripping. Fun to write about, though!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Check out these elaborate outfits:

Melanie Dickerson said...

And I must say, I am relieved to discover that it has been verified: I am not a robot.

rubynreba said...

I would enjoy reading this - sounds fun based on a fairy tale.
Beth from IA

Unknown said...

I love Her books!!! I've read the Healer's Apprentice and I am impatiently waiting for the library to get in more!


Danielle Hull said...

Do I start a new to-read list for this year or add to last year's? Thanks! Danielle in Indiana.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a wonderful book! I really like novels set in medieval times. Thank you for the contest! Bri From Texas