Melanie Dickerson – The Merchant’s Daughter

From the Back Cover:

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

Amanda’s Review:

Wow! What can I say? This has to be my best read so far in 2012. The Merchant’s Daughter was, for me, a heart-pounding, toe-curling, sleep-stealing experience. I knew within a few pages of reading I did not want it to end.

Speaking as an author for a moment, this novel made me forget all about style, grammar, spelling, structure — basically everything to do with writing. I was so caught up in the story, that was all that existed. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Dickerson did an excellent job of  setting this story in a medieval time, and although she used modern dialogue, it definitely carried that Olde World feel. The Merchant’s Daughter is a re-telling of the beloved fairy tale (and my favourite of them), Beauty and the Beast. Dickerson did not let me down at all in her version of this wonderful story. I loved every minute and every detail.

If you love a fairy tale, a romance and/or a medieval story, you cannot miss this book.

About the Author:

Melanie Dickerson is the author of 2010’s The Healer’s Apprentice, her debut novel which won Best First Book at the National Readers’ Choice Awards and came in fourth at the Family Fiction Awards. The novel was also a Christy Award, Maggie Award, Carol Award and Golden Quill finalist, and earned the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit. She lives in Huntsville, Alabama, with her husband and two daughters.

Penelope McCowan – Insight

Rather than offer Penelope McCowan a standard interview, I asked her to share part of her life with us – either a story about how she met her partner, a story about how she became a Christian, or a story of heritage from her family’s past. Penelope offered a humorous story about how she met her husband. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

On Meeting Charlie…

There I sat, on the end of a row in an enthralling accounting lecture (is that an oxymoron?) wondering what in the world I was doing there, when the door opened and in sauntered the most interesting thing that Lecture Room 209 had coughed up in a long time.  In a room full of aspiring executive types, he wore jeans, riding boots and a football jersey (which really worked for me, being a country girl) and he chose the seat beside mine.  Our first conversation was hilarious – unfortunately too long to write about here – but I really enjoyed his sense of humour and sense of fun.

So love blossomed against a backdrop of debits and credits – or should I say in spite of – and day after day, on my morning run, the love of my life would meet me in the park with a single red rose.  Happily I never thought to ask where the red roses came from, as university students aren’t known for their healthy bank balances, but I now suspect that some poor gardener paid a high price for planting his rosebush near the front fence.  But I am so very glad he did as Charlie won my heart, and last month we celebrated seventeen years of marriage.

That God can build something so wonderful between two imperfect people is truly amazing… and not only that, I’m sure He has a great sense of humour too… I still scratch my head and wonder how an unmathematical, extroverted, dyed-in-the-wool romantic like me ever ended up in an accounting lecture in the first place.  Only God could do it!

Thanks Penny, for sharing this story with us. I reviewed Penny’s novel Heidi’s October last week. You can read it here, along with more information about Penelope McCowan.

Rose Dee – Back to Resolution

From the Back Cover:

Bay Anders is lost. She enjoys every privilege a wealthy upbringing affords, but the void in her soul refuses to be filled. Her mother’s dying revelation drives Bay to the brink of self destruction, before a move to Australia changes everything. She embarks upon a search for her father that leads her to his island home, into a hazardous melting pot of hostile locals and a mystery – her father’s disappearance. The only person who can help her is a strong, self-assured and intensely magnetic man. Bay must fight an overwhelming attraction to stay focused on her goal.

Flynn McKenna is hiding from the world. A past filled with mistakes drove him to withdraw from society and live in seclusion. But the arrival of a woman he cannot avoid shatters his solitary existence. As the search for Bay’s father unites them, can he resist his desire for her?

Amanda’s Review:

Back to Resolution is as colourful and tropical as its cover. Rose has portrayed the North Queensland coast so vividly it took me back to my childhood days when I holidayed there – from the lush green Daintree forest, to the beaches, coral reefs and islands further south on the coast. And that was just the setting.

This book had all the elements I need to make me forget where I am and take me away into the story-world. Great characters, a touch of mystery, and of course, romance. The message of faith is woven in naturally as part of Bay’s journey to finding her father. The tension and conflict between Bay and Flynn, added to the question over her father’s disappearance, kept me turning the pages late into the night.

If you love contemporary romance with real, down-to-earth characters, then you will love Back to Resolution. I am looking forward to Rose’s second book in this series – Beyond Resolution – due for release in April 2012.

About the Author:

Rose Dee was born in Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel.
Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, decided to try her hand at writing two years ago. The result of that attempt is her first published novel, ‘Back to Resolution’. The novel is a culmination of years spent living and loving the tropical paradise in which she lives.
Rose is currently finalising work on her latest release, which is the second in the ‘Resolution’ series. ‘Beyond Resolution’ is scheduled for release in April 2012.
Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pub, Noodle.

For more information, go to

Back to Resolution is available at Koorong and as a Kindle version on Amazon.

Tomorrow I will be posting a story about Rose’s heritage which she has kindly shared with me. Don’t forget to come back and discover more about this great new author!

Published in: on 8th March, 2012 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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This Time for Keeps – K Dawn Byrd

From the Back Cover:

India McGuire’s peaceful life is shattered when on the night of her engagement to David Richards, she comes face to face with Chase Porter, a long lost love. India must come to terms with her overpowering feelings for Chase and choose between David, the neighbor who says he loves her, and Chase, the man who broke her heart.

Chase’s plans of leaving quietly turn to disaster when he finds that it’s impossible to disappear without seeing India one last time. Feelings begin to surface that he believed buried forever and he finds himself fighting to win her back even as David struggles to hold onto her.

India longs to follow her heart, but she’s been hurt too deeply. Who will she choose? The neighbor who can provide stability or the man she vowed to love forever who may once again heed to the call of the open road?


Amanda’s Review:

This Time for Keeps kept me guessing for much of the book. Just as India McGuire has an engagement ring slipped onto her finger, there is a knock at the door. The man she had loved so long ago, whom she had never gotten over, stood before her. 

As India’s thoughts vacillated between the two men, I was never quite sure who she would choose – not for a long time, anyway. That doubt kept me turning the pages along with the questions over her fiance’s character – was he really the honourable man he made himself out to be?

All in all, a great read. I recommend this book to those who love a good romance and appreciate the opportunity for second chances.


About the Author:

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance and romantic suspense with four books published through Desert Breeze Publishing so far. Recently, she tried her hand at young adult fiction and found that she really enjoyed writing it. Four new young adult releases are scheduled for 2012. Three books are part of a new college-age mystery/romance series, scheduled to release January, June, and December. The fourth is Shattered Identity, the sequel to Mistaken Identity, and will release in April.

K. Dawn Byrd is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at, most of which are signed by the authors. She’s also the moderator of the popular Facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at!/group.php?gid=128209963444.

When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 15 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Mellington Hall by Meredith Resce

From the Back Cover:
When Sarah Montgomery finds a man lying half dead in the snow, she doesn’t stop to think of the consequences of trying to save his life.
But being a Good Samaritan yields nothing but trouble. In her parents’ absence, she struggles against a deadly fever and a vicious snow-storm, doing her best to save the life of a stranger. But when her self-righteous neighbours eventually come to see how she fared during the storm, they draw a very different conclusion. Before she knows it, her reputation is in tatters, and she has been cast out of the church and her home. Alone and destitute, Sarah is determined to seek work as a servant from the man whose life she has saved.
But all is not well for the master of Mellington Hall. Someone wants Lord Alan Mellington dead, and he doesn’t know who or why.
The only person he seems to be able to trust is the gamekeeper’s daughter, Sarah Montgomery, who has intervened to save his life not once but twice. This story blending mystery, scandal, murder and romance comes from one of Australia’s best-loved authors, Meredith Resce.
Amanda’s Review:
The first thing that drew me to this novel, apart from the fact that it is written by Meredith Resce, was the cover. This has to be my favourite cover of the books I have read this year. It just evokes that sense of murder-mystery and romance.
The story inside didn’t disappoint either. Set in a time when some of “the church” operated in condemnation rather than grace, Sarah Montgomery’s reputation is torn to shreds, because of a conclusion drawn in a moments notice, without anyone truly seeking the truth. Sarah has a strong character however and fights to get her repuation righted again, seeking the aid of Lord Mellington.
The road to restoration is not as smooth as hoped, with several attempts on Lord Mellington’s life by an unknown person. In solving the mystery and fixing Sarah’s reputation, the two have a lot on their plate, and the story twisted with a surprise near the end. Who is the would-be murderer? A great read for those who like a bit more action with their romance.
About the Author:

South Australian author, Meredith Resce, has been writing since 1991, and has had books in the Australian market since 1997.
Following the Australian success of her Heart of Green Valley series, an English publisher has taken the first three books in this series, and has released them to the Brittish and American markets. You can watch the promotional video for the first book in the series, The Manse – Meredth Resce, here.
Mellington Hall is her 14th novel published.
Apart from writing, Meredith also takes the opportunity to speak to groups on issues relevant to relationships and emotional and spiritual growth.
Meredith has also been co-writer and co-producer in the 2007 feature film production, Twin Rivers.
With her husband, Nick, Meredith has worked in the ministry since 1983. Meredith and Nick have one daughter and two sons.
For more information, click here.

The River of Time Series – Lisa T Bergren


While most American teens would kill for an Italian vacation, the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. And they’re not happy to be back. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds…until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century. Gabi emerges in the middle of a dream–or nightmare?–with hot Italian knights in a fierce battle. And so begins her quest to return home…while wondering if she wants to at all.


Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Fiorentini will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.


Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.   But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.



This series of young adult novels enthralled me, and even moreso my daughter, who has read them through four times each within the past two months. The action keeps you turning pages until the very end.

The thing I loved the most about these books had to do with the first person viewpoint. Because Gabi, the leading lady, was a modern teen, all of her internal dialogue was in that very modern sarcasm-filled way that young people talk these days – even though she outwardly tries to fit in with the medieval life. Phrases like “ya think,” “duh,” and “hot-as-all-get-out” are delightfully interspersed amongst all the medieval goings-on. Simply wonderful.

I recommend this book, not only to young adults, but adults as well – especially if you like a bit of history, medieval warfare, adventure, intrigue, and of course, romance. These books have it all.



Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over thirty books that have sold more than two million copies combined. She’s written fiction of all sorts (romance, historical, contemporary, suspense, YA), nonfiction and children’s books. She divides her time between writing, editing, traveling and co-parenting her three children (16, 13, and 8) with her husband, Tim. The Bergrens reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (author web site) (the Bergrens’ travel web site)

Facebook: “Lisa Tawn Bergren” and “River of Time Series

Twitter: @LisaTBergren

Fire in the Rock

From the back cover:
At the turn of the twentieth century, Australia, in a spirit of growing independence shrugs off many of its ties with the “Old Country”. Some class distinctions linger, boundaries between men and women are still clearly defined and social conventions strict, but with common decency and good manners valued highly, people act kindly toward each other.
In this setting a well-meant deception finds a young woman involved in a desperate search to unearth crucial information, for the truth – preserved by its wary keepers – lies buried deep in the opal fields on the fringe of the vast and thirsty Outback.
Realising her future depends on the choice between two rivals of diverse faiths, she hesitates in the belief that those she cares for most always seem to be taken from her. But when it finally appears she has lost everything, she discovers that true love, like faith, does not depend on feelings alone.
Amanda’s Review:
Fire in the Rock is a wonderful story set in the early 1900s, ranging from Sydney to the outback opal mining communities.
Rita kept me guessing till the end with new surprises around each bend, but left me satisfied that all was as it should be. It was wonderful to read the life journey of her leading lady, Opalena, as she discovered a personal God and learned what true love is. Rita also explored how important identity is to a child living with an adoptive family.
If you love historical romance, Fire in the Rock will keep you entertained for hours.
About the author:

As a co-speaker for the program, Communication, affiliated with United Christian Broadcasters, Rita also has a passion for writing historical romance novels. A graduate of Emmaus Bible College, she retains membership in American Christian Fiction Writers.
Earlier in marriage, besides their Good News Festivals, she and her husband George worked as associate evangelists with Billy Graham and Luis Palau. A prolific songwriter, she has produced several CDs. With an occasional appearance on Christian television, they regularly take dinners and coffee mornings where they give music and art presentations. Residents of Sydney, they minister a month each year in Thailand, working in Buddhist schools, hospitals, prisons, orphanages and churches.
For more information on Rita and her books, please visit:
Published in: on 14th September, 2011 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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