Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Interview & Giveaway! Melanie Dickerson ~ Author of The Fairest Beauty!

Melanie Dickerson joins us today with an interview and giveaway! *grins* I've read two of her books (The Healer's Apprentice and The Merchant's Daughter) and loved both of them! Definitely recommend! :)

Here's an excerpt from Melanie's first book, The Healer's Apprentice:



Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Melanie!! Will you tell us a little about yourself?


Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Melanie! (Great name, by the way!)

I am from a small town in Alabama, not far from Harper Lee’s hometown. Now I live near Huntsville, Alabama, also known as Rocket City, as it is the location of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and numerous rocket scientists. I’m married and have two wonderful daughters. I have a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama, which I have put to good use in my new book, The Fairest Beauty. (You’ll see what I mean when you read about my Seven Dwar—well, you’ll see.

What is your new book, The Fairest Beauty, about?

Here’s a short summary my publisher prepared:

In The Fairest Beauty, a fairy tale retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Melanie Dickerson, a woman arrives in Hagenheim claiming the young woman who is betrothed to the duke’s son, Valten, is still alive. With Valten injured, his younger brother, Gabe, defies his family and travels to find Sophie himself. Meanwhile, Sophie hopes to escape her evil stepmother, believing she will be safe at the Cottage of the Seven. When Gabe arrives at the castle claiming she is to be married to his brother, Sophie must make a choice: try to make it to the cottage alone, or trust the handsome stranger who seems ready to do anything to keep her safe.

What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?

I was named after Melanie in Gone With the Wind, and my father was named after the western writer, Zane Grey.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was probably around twelve or thirteen, when I started writing stories for my friends to read.

How many books have you written/published and do you have a favorite?

I have written six books, two of which have been published and two soon to be published. I am now working on my seventh and eighth, with plans to write several more! It’s enough to make my poor brain spin. But so far so good, I guess. I could never pick a favorite, though. I love them all. Except maybe my first book, which is not my best.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have trouble writing my original draft unless I am either sitting in a noisy restaurant, or listening to Andrea Bocelli sing in Italian.

That is really interesting! Where do you like to write?

See above. 

What is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?

The best part is the creation of new stories and characters who become very real to me. And another favorite part is all the writer friends I’ve made. The worst part is just the weirdness of it, I suppose, the marketing myself and my stories, the negative reviews from total strangers who read things into my stories that I never intended. But it’s all part of the business, and one must take the bad with the good.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I am currently addicted to making paper beads and subsequently, making necklaces with said beads. I also have my family I take care of, driving my girls to school and volleyball practice, and I’m very involved in our church.

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?

I’ve been to Germany, which is where my novel is set, but I’d love to go back and visit more ancient castles and castle ruins. I’d also love to visit England’s castles.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

I love Taylor Swift’s songs and I plotted most of The Fairest Beauty while listening to Enchanted and Love Story. It’s a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie.

I love the song "Love Story"! What is your favorite dessert?

I love anything chocolate.

Do you have a favorite holiday?

I guess I don’t really have a favorite holiday. I like them all.

I'm the same way. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

One of my favorites is 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

Here are a few this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Since we have a lot of tornadoes here, which is evil and deadly, I’ll have to say snowstorms.

Tea or Coffee? Tea, both iced sweet tea and hot tea, which I learned to love when I lived in Ukraine for one year.

Movie Theater or DVD? DVD. I’m a homebody.

Early-bird or Night-owl? Neither. But I guess I’m more of an early bird than a night owl. I love my eight hours of sleep!

Cats or Dogs? Dogs

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 

I have a fourth fairy tale retelling, a Cinderella story, and right now I’m working on a Regency, which I love. It’s kind of a hodgepodge of Jane Austen stories. The book started coming to me a couple of years ago when I decided to accept a challenge to read all six of Jane Austen’s novels—or I should say, re-read them, because they are my favorites—in six months. I also watched at least one version of each of the movies versions. I thought it would be fun to try to write a story based on various situations from Jane Austen’s books. So that’s what I’m doing, and I’m loving it.

Both of those books sound great! Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

Please come visit me at www.MelanieDickerson.com and on facebook.

Giveaway!


Enter to win a copy of The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson! Giveaway is only open to residents of the continental US.

Enter via the Rafflecopter below. The mandatory entry is to leave a comment on this blog post, after you do that, the optional entries will become available. :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

142 comments:

  1. I ADORE fairy tale retellings, and there's so many good ones coming out recently. I really love the cover for this- it's eye-catching and pretty :)

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  2. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

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  3. I cannot wait for The Fairest Beauty to come out! Thanks for the interview.

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  4. Thanks for the interview & giveaway! Melanie, your books look really interesting!

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  5. great posting...thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  6. I read and enjoyed 'The Merchants Daughter', I'm sure this new book would be no different! Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

    Patty

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  7. I can't wait to read this book. Thank you for the chance to win it.

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  8. I love these covers! And loved the Andrea Bocelli quirk tidbit. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  9. Thanks, everyone, for coming by and entering the giveaway, and for your comments! I'm excited for the book to come out. Can't wait to hear what people think of it!
    And thanks so much, Melanie, for having me on your blog! :-)

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  10. I have not yet read any of your books but look forward to checking them out! :)

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  11. I am so excited for this book and I am absolutely in love with the cover to the point of considering making something similar for Halloween next year!

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  12. I am in love with the covers, I forgot to leave my name in the last post. This book has been on my wishlist since the scavenger hunt when I learned about it!

    -Dani

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  13. Loved your other 2 books Melanie:) Would love to be entered for a chance to win this new book !

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

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  14. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Katie Johnson
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  15. All your books sound so interesting. My favorite Jane Austen is Emma so I'll be hunting for hints of it when your regency comes out!

    (& I'm signed into Rafflecopter as Katherine Vinson)

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  16. Yay for The Fairest Beauty!! Very cool interview, Mel, thanks so much for the giveaway :)
    Blessings, Kara

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  17. I loved Melanie Dickerson's books! They're on my favorites shelf. I'm looking forward to reading The Fairest Beauty!

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  18. I can't wait to read Fairest Beauty, I read The Merchant's Daughter and loved it.
    I am also Rebekah Gyger

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  19. I love to travel as well so I'm secretly envious of Melanie's year in Ukraine. Oops, not so secret anymore. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  20. I'M SO EXCITED!!! I have been REALLY wanting to read The Fairest Beauty!!! Thank you SO much for the chance to win it!!! There are SO many of your books I want to read and review Melanie and this one is at the top of my list!!!

    Merry Christmas!!!

    Isaiah 9:6

    ~Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez

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  21. I love the idea of fairy tale themed Christian books. I'd love to win this one, the cover is beautiful. I have to read them all.

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  22. It's nice to meet you, Melanie! Love that you listen to Bocelli! Would love to win a copy of your book.

    gwen(dot)gage(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. I really enjoyed the Merchant's Daughter! This one looks just as intriguing!

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  24. Enter me this book looks great!!

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  25. I love the idea of fairy tale retellings. Would love to read this book!

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  26. Great interview!! Thanks for the giveaway!! I've read The Marchant's Daughter and it was really good! I just love fairy tales!

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  27. I'd love to read this book! Fairy tale retellings (or with any similarities to fairy tales) are something I love. :)

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  28. I love remakes of classic fairy tales. Can't wait to read it.

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  29. I love your books, Melanie Dickerson! I can't wait to read your new book. :D

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  30. I loved The Merchant's Daughter and would love to win a copy of Melanie's new book! Thanks for the great giveaway!
    Bethany

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  31. I love the name "Melanie". I named one of my daughters Melanie.
    I enjoyed the interview.
    may_dayzee AT yaho DOT com

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  32. Thanks for doing the giveaway, Melanie! Looks like a neat book! I love the front cover!!
    Ashley

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  33. You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the comments! Yes, I love Andrea Bocelli. :-) His songs and his voice are SO romantic, and I don't get distracted by the lyrics, since they're mostly in Italian. :-)

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  34. I love book giveaways! And this sounds pretty unique.

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  35. I read the Healers Apprentice. Loved it. The Fairest Beauty looks even more enticing, if that is possible. Winning would be wonderful.

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  36. I've been wanting to read Melanie's books for a while. i would love to win! :)

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  37. So far, I have only read Melanie's first book, but I absolutely loved it!! And how neat to discover that who she was named after...I have a friend that was named Melanie for the very same reason. :o)

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  38. I haven't read any of Melanie's books yet but I am looking forward to doing so. I really enjoyed the interview. I would love to win a copy of this book!

    Blessings!

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  39. Retelling, my favorite! I so enjoyed Melanie's first two books. Such charming, lovely stories :) Looking forward to reading The Fairest Beauty. Thank you for the chance to win!

    Beth

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  40. I just love the cover artwork, it is lovely for sure and I look forward to reading your books.
    Linda

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  41. Thanks for the giveaway I have not read any of her books yet and I am looking forward to it. So thanks again

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  42. My daughter and I really enjoyed reading The Healer's Apprentice. I'm hoping to get a copy of The Merchant's Daughter to give to my daughter for Christmas. I'd love to win a copy of The Fairest Beauty to give to her as well. I know she'll let me read the books too. Thanks for the interview with Melanie and for giving away a book.

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  43. I would love to win this book! It sounds terrific.

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  44. I love the fairytale genre....and the book covers just make me want to get them all right now!

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  45. I would love to win a copy of this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  46. Snow White was my favorite Disney movie. I could sing every song and recite every line from memory as a child. A different take on the story is an interesting prospect.

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  47. I am so excited about this giveaway!!! I would love this book. The story is so captivating!

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  48. Sounds like a different kind of read than I am used to. Would love to read your book
    rdewey17@yahoo.com

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  49. This book has drawn me to it from the first glimpse of the cover!! I have been wanting to read this one for some time!!

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  50. I would love to read this newest fairy tale. Have loved the other two. And if your Regencies should come to print, that would be uber-amazing!!!

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  51. I have to enter this for my daughter, she would LOVE this book. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  52. This was an awesome interview! I have loved both of Melanie's books and I'm anxiously waiting for my chance to read this one! Also those other two books sound really awesome! Thank you so much for this giveaway!

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  53. I absolutely loved the first two! I can't wait to read this one and the next!

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  54. I really like reading family friendly fairy tales and re-written fairy tales! I'd love to be able to read the other books too. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

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  55. Thank You for the giveaway!
    The interview was great.

    Thank You Again And Have A Blessed Week,
    Marissa Anderson

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  56. These books look really fun. I'll have to add them to my to-read list in Goodreads!

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  57. I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  58. Wow this looks to be a GREAT read!!! Adding it to my "to read" list right now!!!

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  59. I loved her first two books, and I can't wait to read this one! Also, the Jane Austen-ish book she's writing sounds awesome. :)

    ~Kristin
    sewtechnicolor (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  60. Thanks for the chance to win! The book looks great and the interview was wonderful. Thanks for sharing. =)

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  61. I have to say this is my favorite cover yet! I'm really curious about the Jane Austen hodgepodge now. Can't wait! :)

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  62. Me, too! I read both of Melanie's other books and they are wonderful. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of her newest (which looks sooooo good).

    Rachelle

    biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  63. I love the cover of this novel! It is so gorgeous....and the retelling of Snow White? I would really love to read this one.

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  64. I absolutely loved The Merchant's Daughter!!! And I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

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  65. Loved the sample read and enjoyed learning about Melanie. Would love to read the whole book. Thank you for sharing.

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  66. I can't wait to read the whole book, not to mention the rest of Melanie's books.

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  67. Great interview. I love Melanie’s first two books and can’t wait to read The Fairest Beauty. The Jane Austin-ish book also sounds like a winner. :-)

    Thanks for doing the give away.
    God bless.

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  68. I have always loved fairy tales. I would love this book!

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  69. Yay!!!! The Fairest Beauty is finally coming out; I am so looking forward to (crossing our fingers) either wining it, or going to a Barnes and Noble to buy it! Thanks Melanie for giving us a chance to win!

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  70. I would love to win this!

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  71. I've read Melanie's other two books and loved them. Thanks for the chance to win the 3rd.

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  72. I've not read any of your books Melanie, but would like to. This one sounds interesting. so do the Healer's Apprentice and Merchant's Daughter. Maybe my Library will have them. Please enter me to have a chance to own this one.
    Maxie Anderson ( mac262@me.com )

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  73. I've been curious about these books for a while. I love fairy tales, so I'm sure I'll enjoy these! :)

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  74. I am soo looking forward to reading Mealanie Dickerson's new book..'The Fairest Beauty'...I have read Melanie's books...and I felt like they were a romantic, historical book...but anyway I love Melanie's wonderful books.....babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom

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  75. The covers of these books are so beautiful! They look like fairy tales!

    mestith@gmail.com

    Meghan Stith

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  76. I love to read fairy tale retellings! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  77. I am so excited about this give away. Mealanie is one of my favorite authors. I look foward to every January and your new book. Thanks for the contest.

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  78. I hope the library near us has The Healer's Apprentice and The Merchant's Daughter, they sound really good. :)

    Rachel Koppleberger
    time4us2havetea(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  79. Would love to win . . . heae read the first 2 books.

    Carol

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  80. Hi Melanie & Melanie! ;-) I actually read the majority of The Healer's Apprentice while sitting in a Hospital (my mother was having surgery at the time, which totally helped with imagining all of the healing and apothecary talk. I absolutely loved it, by the way! I also love Andrea Boccelli, and listen to many other artists singing in foreign languages as I write too. I'm looking forward to reading all of your other fairytale re-tellings too!

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    1. Hi Sarah! I loved The Healer's Apprentice, too! :D

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  81. Sounds like a great book, I'd love to read it!

    katsaddress AT gmail. DOT com

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  82. Fairy tale retellings are the best! I'm excited to enter this giveaway :)

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  83. I would love to win these for my grand daughters.
    godblessamerica.jan(at)gmail(dot)com

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  84. I loved Melanie's first two fairy tale retellings! This one sounds just as good!

    Stephanie
    mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

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  85. Sounds like a fun twist in writing style!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  86. This sounds like an AWESOME book!!!

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  87. I've not read any other books that are a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! The Fairest Beauty sounds great!

    Jes
    jswaks

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  88. I'm not much into fairy tales or fantasy, but realize that the young ladies at our Christian school would probably love to have this in the library. :)

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  89. I also read The Merchant's Daughter and loved it. I look forward to reading this one and more books by Melanie Dickerson. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  90. Thanks to everyone who commented! BTW, I can't announce it yet, but soon I will be able to reveal more details of my Jane Austen-ish book. :-) Please "Like" my author page on Facebook to keep up with my book news: https://www.facebook.com/MelanieDickersonBooks
    Thanks again!

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  91. Melanie's books are awesome, I'm looking forward to her Cinderella re-telling and the Regency. Thanks for a chance to win The Fairest Beauty.

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  92. I can't wait to read this book! I read The Merchants Daughter. I look forward to it!

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  93. Wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing. Your blog is lovely. Please count me in for the giveaway. :-) My email is ryanheart89@comcast.net

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  94. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has always been one of my favorite. I would love to read this book!
    awhartness@yahoo.com

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  95. Great interview! I love the cover and it sounds like its going to be a great book!

    Merry Christmas :)

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  96. would love to win this...i am a blogger and a book reviewer too!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i joined your mailing list :O) Merry CHRISTmas and Gods Peace :O)
    http://lyonslady.blogspot.com please visit

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  97. I love fairytale-retellings! :) I have read both The Healer's Apprentice and The Merchants's Daughter, and can't wait for The Fairest Beauty!! The covers are beautiful, and I am excitingly waiting for the covers of Melanie's Cinderalle retelling and Regency novel... (of course, I can't wait to read them as well).
    Thanks for this giveaway! :)

    -Shantelle

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  98. I've been so excited to read your books! I love retellings and I'm excited for your Jane Austen one!

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  99. This book sounds really cool! I have read the Healer's Apprentice and enjoy fairy tales a lot.

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  100. I cannot wait to read this book! I love the first two installments in the series and expect the third will be equally as good.

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  101. Great interview and thanks for the chance to win this one!

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  102. I cannot wait to read The Fairest Beauty! I own and love both The Healer's Apprentice and The Merchant's Daughter and I'm really exciting to get more and more of Ms.Dickerson's writing and stories :) Thanks for the interview and giveaway! Sierra
    Keep growing beautiful!

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  103. I'd like to read the books. Thanks for the giveaway.

    alegnab at hotmail.com

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  104. thanks for the chance to win this book

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  105. I would love to win this for my grand daughter.

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  106. great review, thanks for the chance

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  107. I love Melanie Dickerson's books and would be thrilled to win a paperback copy of Melanie's book 'The Fairest Beauty' I have shared on facebook and twitter....babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom

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  108. I've seen her books around but have yet to read one! Thanks for this giveaway--please sign me up! I LOVE discovering new authors.
    -Emily

    emily_reynolds(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  109. I love fairy tale re-tellings! I haven't seen these before but they're now on my TBR list!

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  110. I have heard really great things about her books, but haven't read any yet. They are all on my Goodreads tbr list. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    Rafflecopter is under Tressa S.

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  111. I want to read this book! The cover is beautiful!

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  112. The book looks like it is going to be a very interesting one to read can't wait to read it. Thank you for the giveaway. Happy Holidays!

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  113. I adore her books, and would love to win this!

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  114. So cool! I've never read her before but looks like it would be right up my alley. I usually do just skip over these types of giveaways but this one struck my fancy. Looks amazing, I want it!! =) Thanks

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  115. I can't wait! Nothing is as good as a fairytale!!

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  116. this book looks fantastic!! thanks so much for sharing, i need to read it for sure!

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  117. I love the cover!

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  118. For some reason, the retelling of the Snow White story has become trendy this year. BUT ... as a familiar tale to all of us, that is not a bad thing. It's nice to see some different takes on the theme. (I started the year listening to an audio version of one by neil gaiman - bizarre and not for kids. Then, two different movies this year ...)
    I love the challenge of being able to find something new to say about something others think they know all about, and it sounds like Ms. Dickerson does, as well.

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  119. These sound like great stories. And, I love the beautiful covers.

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  120. Christian-themed fairy tales...you could be starting a new trend! :)

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  121. Thanks for hosting this, my mother loves Christian Fiction

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  122. Thanks for the chance to win this book! =)

    Melissa B

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  123. I love romance fairytales. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

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  124. OMGOSH! I have been wanting to read this for MONTHS!!!!! I Read " The Healers Apprentice" and "The Merchants Daughter" and adored them both. It would TOTALLY make my day, no scratch that, make my YEAR to win a copy of this book.

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  125. Thanks for an opportunity to win!! I love the books on your giveaways.

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  126. I would love to win!!
    Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!
    Sarah Richmond
    sarahrichmond.12@gmail.com

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  127. You can never have enough fairytales! Sounds wonderful.

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  128. I love 2 Tim 1:7!!
    Thanks for the giveaway~!
    I really enjoy's Merchant's Daughter!
    Megan

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