Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And I am thankful to Debbie Lynne for inviting me to be on her blog. Debbie Lynne is a great friend of mine and I love her dearly, so it’s extra special being here today. You will never meet a kinder, more giving person. And she can do anything! Whether it’s embroidering her new grandchild’s name on her Easter dress—a dress she hand-smocked—or painting her entire church’s children’s rooms with Western cowboy themed scenes, and redo-ing the plumbing while the paint dries. Then donning a gorgeous evening gown and wowing her sweet husband at a fancy banquet because she’s just led her cheerleading squad as their coach (volunteer, of course) to a national championship. And all without chipping a nail and writing her 2,000 words for the day. Seriously, Debbie Lynne is AMAZING.
I could talk about Debbie Lynne all day, but she would probably delete it! So I better talk about my new book before I get in trouble.
The Merchant’s Daughter, is, in its basic form, a Medieval romance. It’s also a Beauty and the Beast story and Zondervan is publishing it as a Young Adult book. It’s a love story between two unlikely people who, as it turns out, have more in common than either of them would have imagined. They both have been through some really crushing circumstances in the past and must learn to let God heal them and help them overcome their fears. I really love the interaction between the heroine, Annabel, and the hero, Ranulf, and I hope my readers will too. I can’t tell you how real the characters are to me, and I hope they will be to you too.
The cover fits this story so well, so if you like the cover, I think you will like the story. And the same creative mastermind (Mike Heath) behind my covers for The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter also did the trailers, which you can watch on my website, www.MelanieDickerson.com .
I would like to share a little excerpt from the end of chapter one, where Annabel meets her new lord for the first time. She has heard lots of frightening stories about him and is dreading having to face him.
She struggled to right herself as she fell, and landed on her hip in the dusty street.
Hooves pounded toward her and a horse’s high-pitched whinny sounded above her head. Annabel raised her arm to protect herself.
Just inches away, the horse danced to a halt, snorting and throwing dirt into her face. The animal’s hot breath ruffled her hair. Dust clogged her nose and throat and made her cough.
The rider dismounted. “What are you doing?”
The man’s voice and accent were unfamiliar. Her hair had fallen in front of her eyes, making it difficult to see the hands that slipped under her arms and hauled her to her feet. She pulled away, looking around on the ground for her headscarf.
“Throwing yourself in front of a galloping horse?” The stranger’s voice reminded her of a snarling animal in its pitch and intensity. “We could have both been killed.”
Shiny black boots waited beside her. Even his stance showed his irritation.
Finally seeing her scarf, she bent and snatched it from the dirt.
Her eyes traveled from his expensive leather boots to his broad chest. He wore the most elegant clothing she’d seen since the last time she visited London with her father—a red velvet doublet and gold-embroidered shirt sleeves—a vast departure from the dull gray and brown of the villagers’ coarse woolens.
She beat the dust from her skirt as anger boiled up inside her. It wasn’t her fault she’d fallen in front of his horse. Did he think she had tossed herself into the street? First that disgusting lecher, Bailiff Tom, and now this stranger … Her gaze finally met his face and she stifled a gasp.
A black patch covered his left eye, and a scar cut a pale line down his cheek, through his thick brown beard, all the way to his chin.
The back of her neck tingled. His expression demanded an answer as he glared at her from one brown eye.
Her surprise at his formidable appearance quickly turned to anger. She was determined to let him know she wasn’t a lack-wit and didn’t relish being treated like one.
“My lord.” Her voice was surprisingly steady. “My name is Annabel Chapman, and I am not in the habit of throwing myself in front of galloping horses. I was pushed.” She had to bite her tongue to keep from adding, And perhaps you shouldn’t gallop your horse through the village as though you’re the only person on the street.
She leaned down to continue beating the dust from her clothes.
“Who pushed you?” He shouted the question so thunderously, she forgot about her dusty clothes and stared up at him. “Where is the man who would push a woman into the street?”
Her gaze involuntarily shifted to the butcher shop’s doorway, where Bailiff Tom stood just inside. He immediately stepped back into the shadows.
The lord followed her gaze and then looked back at Annabel. “Wait here.”
His expression became even fiercer just before he turned from her and strode into the shop.
The Merchant’s Daughter is now available in e-book form for your PC, Kindle, Nook, or whatever e-reader device you happen to have! And it should also be available in bookstores everywhere any day now, or for pre-order. It will make a great Christmas present! For yourself or someone you know!
I love interacting with readers, so please check out my website, www.MelanieDickerson.com and friend me on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/people/Melanie-Dickerson/100000220838349
And please leave me a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Merchant’s Daughter! God bless you!
The Merchant's Daughter
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.
Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
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