Tag Archives: Medieval

#BookReview: The Beautiful Pretender | Once Upon a Kindle #Giveaway

6 Jun

The Beautiful Pretender

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NZuPiD

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?

 

My thoughts:

I absolutely adored this story! With nods to The Princess and the Pea and Beauty and the Beast, Melanie Dickerson has penned another splendid medieval tale you don’t want to miss!

As the Margrave of Thornbeck is tasked with finding a suitable wife, deception and danger loom. Avelina and Reinhart are emotionally compelling characters who swept me along in their journey, and I reveled in its intrigue, danger, and romance. Oh, the romance! I loved Avelina’s response to Reinhart’s question about her thoughts on marriage. This beautiful passage was one of my favorites!

The Beautiful Pretender is lovely story that enchanted me from beginning to end!

 

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
  • A Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll
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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie’s blog.

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Melanie Dickerson
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

The Beautiful Pretender
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.  All thoughts expressed are my own.  Click here to read what other bloggers are saying about The Beautiful Pretender. 

#AuthorInterview: Jody Hedlund | Giving Key Necklace #Giveaway

19 Mar

Author Interview- Jody Hedlund (2)

Hi, friends!  I’m excited to welcome Jody Hedlund back to the blog to talk about her latest release, A Daring Sacrifice.  I loved this story so much!  Click here to read my review.

 

You’ve based A Daring Sacrifice a little bit on the Robin Hood story. What drew you to this medieval tale?

I’ve always loved tales about underdogs rising up against injustice. The story of Robin Hood encompasses such an element, where the poor are unfairly cast from their homes, forced into hiding, and must rely upon their fearless leader to fight for their rights.

Instead of a nobleman leading and fighting for the needs of the underdogs, I decided to add a twist and have my heroine, a displaced noblewoman, be the leader of a band of poor outcasts.  As a skilled archer, she’s gained a reputation as the “Cloaked Bandit” doing her best to protect and provide for the people she’s grown to love.

 

Graphic- A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

A Daring Sacrifice is written in first person. How do you determine what voice to use, and why did you want Juliana and Collin to tell their story?

I write all of my adult novels in third person. But in the young adult genre, first person is very popular. I think first person appeals to teens because it allows them to relate a little more intimately with the main character. They feel as if they’re one step closer and on the adventure right along with the characters, getting inside their heads and bodies and emotions. And let’s face it, teens are in an especially emotional time of life. Being able to connect emotionally to a character is important.

For all those reasons and more, I decided to write my YA series in first person as well. It’s a little tricky when switching between the hero and heroine’s POV. So my publisher decided to do different fonts to designate between the hero and the heroine’s POV. So when you see that in the book, it’s not a mistake.  It’s intentional!

 

How is writing for a YA audience different than writing for an adult audience? What are the similarities?

The Differences:
While many of my adult readers have enjoyed my YA books just as much if not more than my adult novels, I do get adult readers now and then who are surprised, maybe even disgruntled, with the fact that my YA books are slightly different than my adult novels. And I try to gently remind them, that they’re supposed to be different.

First, my YA books are shorter, crisper, and less historically detailed. In fact, I’d almost go as far as saying that my YA are more fairy-tale world than true historicals. They contain enough detail to give a “flavor” of another place, but not too much to bog down younger readers.

Secondly, my YA books are more plot driven than character driven. I’ve included battle scenes as well as some of the seat-of-your pants danger that appeals to the modern teen reader. I plunge my characters into desperate, life-threatening situations which, in the era of books like The Hunger Games, is appealing to modern readers).

A third difference is in how I’m approaching the heroine and the romance. My YA heroines are a bit younger and so they are more of a coming of age story where the heroine must grapple with some “growing up” issues. I’ve also tried to keep the romance very sweet and tender (as opposed to my adult novels that while clean, are more passionate in nature).

The Similarities:
Whether my adult novels or YA, I simply want to tell a compelling story. I hope that I’ve been able to entertain and perhaps even inspire in both of my markets.

 

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What did you have the most fun with when you were writing the book?

Of course, since this is a series involving knights, I had to have those knights engaged in various battles.  So I had a lot of fun writing the sword-wielding, arrow-shooting, death-defying scenes. In addition, I always have fun figuring out how my heroine can help save the day (because while I like having the knight come to the rescue, I also like being able to have the heroine do some rescuing too!).

 

A Daring Sacrifice ends with one of the knights in mortal danger, a cliff hanger for the next book in the series. Can you tell us a little bit more about the third book?

For Love and Honor is the third book in the series and gives the final knight his happily-ever-after.  However, as you know from the cliff-hanger at the end of A Daring Sacrifice, he has to work extremely hard to gain his true love as well as save his life and those of the people he loves.

I had a lot of fun writing the heroine of the third book. She’s a little quirky and not quite as beautiful (aka more normal!) as the ladies in the first two books. She’s also hiding a secret, a “blemish” on her skin that could brand her as a witch if anyone ever sees it. During the Middle Ages, the time of the Inquisition and extreme religious intolerance, even the slightest mole, birth defect, or blemish could easily lead to accusations of witchcraft. The times were dangerous, and of course, I just love putting my characters right into the middle of the worst possible danger. Cue: evil cackle.

Thanks so much, Jody!  I love your stories and can’t wait to read For Love and Honor!!

 

In other exciting news, Jody is hosting a Giving Key Necklace Giveaway!

Giving Key Necklace Giveaway

Look what I found at Barnes & Noble!! Not only has Barnes & Noble done a fabulous job placing A DARING SACRIFICE in their Teen Section, but I’m told Wal-Mart has placed the book in stores too! In order to say THANKS (as well as get MORE inspirational teen fiction in both stores in the future!), let’s show our support!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Go to your Barnes & Noble or Wal-Mart (or any local bookstore!) and snap your picture with A Daring Sacrifice. (And of course buy it! Early Easter present! 🙂  )

If you take a picture of yourself with A Daring Sacrifice, post it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag Jody Hedlund!  One random picture/reader will win a Giving Key Necklace with the word “Sacrifice” engraved on it! 

Contest ends March 31, 2016

 

Jody Hedlund bio pic

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters.  She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

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