Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Guest Melanie Dickerson!


 Follow the clues, win prizes --including a Kindle Fire, free books and more!  

Don't you adore gathering clues and solving a mystery? That love of the hunt partially inspired the Raleigh Harmon mystery series. But it's also why I'm over-the-moon about this Fall Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. It's thrilling to see readers not only find clues but new authors -- and win awesome prizes to boot.

The Scavenger Hunt's starting gun goes off at noon MDT on 10/25. The hunt stays open until midnight MDT on 10/28 —plenty of time to collect all the clues. With 31 stops, you'll be meeting some cool authors. New novels. Soon-to-be-released novels. And at each stop, exclusive content. Is this awesome or what?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to collect all the clues in RED on each blog post, beginning at Stop #1, the home of our hunt's leader, author Lisa Bergeren. Then proceed through to Stop #32 where you'll fill out a Rafflecopter form. Provide the completed clue quote -- all the RED words you gathered from all 31 stops -- and have that ready within 24 hours of email notification of winning, or else another winner will be randomly drawn. Don’t let that happen to you! (Of course, if you’re not notified on 10/29/12, don't email or submit anything else. Just rejoice in the experience of playing. Nobody goes home a loser in this hunt, since each stop offers exclusive content found nowhere else.)

The Grand Prize is a new Kindle Fire, plus 31 new novels!

Second and Third Prizes are $50 Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD or BookDepository.com gift certificates (And here's the fine print few of us read: Contest is open to international entrants. If the winner lives outside the United States, they shall win the equivalent in gift certificate funds to the prize in US dollars.)

Now, on with our guest! 
Please welcome my friend Melanie Dickerson. Would you look at that smile? The woman should be on a toothpaste commercial. But she's too talented for that. 

Melanie is the author of The Healer's Apprentice and The Merchant's Daughter, both Christy Award finalists. She's also the winner of The National Reader's Choice Award for 2010's Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. 

With all that great talent, she still lives out of a servant's heart. After earning her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama, Melanie taught special-needs children from Georgia and Tennessee, in addition to teaching English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. These days she spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. 

Yep. A southern gal. She's got everything.

Melanie's latest release is The Fairest Beauty. In this Snow White fairy tale retelling, a woman arrives in Hagenheim claiming the young woman betrothed to the duke’s son, Valten, is still alive. With Valten injured, his younger brother, Gabe, defies his family to find Sophie himself. Meanwhile, Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and plans to escape. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom---but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

It's a great premise, and just for you Scavenger Hunters, Melanie's offering this EXCLUSIVE MATERIAL, a scene that was deleted from The Fairest Beauty. First, from the perspective of Sophie. Then from Gabe's viewpoint.
A kind face, and handsome too. Sophie didn’t like to think what would happen to him if Duchess Ermengard disbelieved his story. He wasn’t like anyone she had met before. He was courageous, having stood up to Lorencz, refusing to leave when she warned him about Duchess Ermengard, and yet he didn’t have the swagger and bluster of a fighting man—a knight or guard—or a hunter.
She reclined on the ground, propping her back against a small tree, and watched him do the task. 
“Will you tell me about them? About your mother and father and brothers and sisters?”
A gentle smile edged his lips and he sighed slightly. An unfamiliar feeling of contentment and safety came over Sophie. She nestled on the ground and pillowed her head on her arm as she stared up at him.
~ ~ ~
Gabe could see she was exhausted, but Sophie still had a radiant beauty. He felt her eyes on him as he stuffed the mattress. Her question about his family surprised him. An orphan, she was curious about his family. The thought pricked his heart, and he knew if his mother were here, she’d adopt Sophie on the spot and lavish her with love. Finding out whether she was the daughter of Duke Baldewin would be a lesser priority.
“My mother’s name is Rose. She is very beautiful, with long red-brown hair, brown eyes and a big smile. My father fell in love with her when he wasn’t allowed to marry her. He said she was the most beautiful, sweet, virtuous maiden in the region, and he was determined to marry her, no matter what he had to do . . . ."

Melanie Dickerson's The Fairest Beauty is available at AmazonBarnes and Noble, CBD, or your local bookstore.

But before you leave, write down this STOP #17 clue: LIVING.

Your next stop is Melanie's own blog. Have fun -- and keep reading!

Oh, and if you want a chance to win ANOTHER PRIZE, sign up for my (fun and 100 percent spam-free!) newsletter. You'll be entered to win an audio CD of one of my books, and a copy of my latest release The Stars Shine Bright
    Thanks so much. And I hope YOU win!