Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Review: Vanquished by Katie Clark

When Hana’s mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she confesses to Hana she doesn’t know what will happen if she dies. Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there is Someone who can help–but religion’s been outlawed. Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. But when the truth is uncovered, will Hana stick to what she's been taught? Or will she join the rebellion and take a stand against an oppressive society?

My Thoughts/Review

This story was so good! I really enjoyed that it was in first point of view and how I got to see all that is going on in Hana’s mind. Her struggles with her Mom, government, and “religion” were very real to me which made her a relatable character.

I am completely amazed at how Katie weaved the Gospel into Vanquished without sounding preachy. She very clearly leaves no doubt about whom Jesus is and what He did for mankind.

The world-building was excellent and I had no problem imaging Hana’s world. It was slightly disturbing how much of their government reminded me of what could be America’s in the future.

I have to mention…that ending! Oh my goodness! I didn’t see that one coming! Completely caught me off guard!

Overall, this was a fantastic dystopian read that I highly recommend to YA lovers! 

I give Vanquished by Katie Clark 5 out of 5 stars!

*(I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.)*

About the Author

Katie Clark’s published works include multiple children’s books, including A Tour of Your Muscular and Skeletal Systems, Animal Actors, Police Horses, and more. She is anticipating the release of her first YA science fiction novel, Vanquished. She is available for classroom visits and Skype chats to discuss her books. You can learn more at her website,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Author Interview with Melanie Dickerson

About the Author...

Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). . Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.

About the Book...

Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha---one of the few who speaks his language---understands the wild story.

Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin's message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself 'Lord Colin' is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy---not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.

Purchase on Amazon

Let's Chat!

Welcome Melanie! It’s a pleasure to have you back at Crafty Booksheeps! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, Laura! It’s great to be here! I am a mom of two teen girls . . . well, my younger daughter is ALMOST thirteen. I love hanging out with them. I am a wife, I used to be a scrapbooker before I started writing, I love to cook when I have time—and I’m insanely excited about the new stove I just bought, which has two ovens! AHHH!!! We also have two adorable guinea pigs named Cecily and Ellie. And of course, I love writing romantic fairy tale retellings set in Medieval Europe.

Your latest novel, The Princess Spy, is based off the fairy tale The Princess and the Frog. How were you inspired to write this one and when/where do you find you get the most inspiration for writing?

It’s funny, but I hardly ever remember the beginning of my ideas. I don’t remember how they start! But I do remember I wanted to write a story about Margaretha, so I started thinking about which fairy tales would work well for a girl who was sort of a “princess” in that she lived a wealthy, privileged life. I guess I eventually thought of The Princess and the Frog. And then I had to figure out how my hero could figuratively become a “frog.” At some point I came up with the idea to have him be unable to communicate because he was a foreigner and didn’t know the language.

If The Princess Spy was being turned into a movie and you could choose the movie cast, who would you choose?

Hmmm. That’s a tough one. For Margaretha, it would have to be someone cute and quirky and funny. For Colin, it would have to be someone cute and unassuming but very intense. I think Emma Watson would be awesome, and Ben Barnes, who played Prince Caspian, is about the closest I can come to someone who looks like Colin.

One of my favorite things about reading Christian novels is the Biblical message that is weaved into the lives of the characters. Is there something special that God taught/showed you while going through the process of writing The Princess Spy?

Yes, I think God was showing me how to pray with more faith and less anxiety in a crisis, and so I had my characters learn the same thing. They also reminded themselves, “Nothing is too hard for God.”

If you could hang out with a character from any fairy tale, who would it be? What would you want to do with them for the day?

I have no idea! Haha! It would be fun to meet them all, wouldn’t it? All the good people, anyway. Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Snow White and her prince. That would be fun.

What’s one of your favorite fairy tale movies or stories?

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing the new live-action Cinderella movie from Disney! I just saw the trailer today for the first time, and it looks so beautiful and amazing! I love The Princess Bride, which isn’t really a fairy tale, but sort of, and Beauty by Robin McKinley is probably my favorite fairy tale retelling.

Since the holidays are about to be upon us do you have any favorite holiday traditions that you do with family/friends?

I cook! Lots of turkey and dressing and desserts. Smile of course, we talk about what we’re thankful for and we put up a Christmas tree. I used to always send out Christmas cards and a photo of my kids, but it seems to get harder and harder to do as I get busier with writing!

Most readers identity you as a writer of YA fairy tale retellings (which are awesome by the way), but I am curious is there another genre you would also like to write one day?

I actually have a new series. The first book comes out in May. It’s a mash-up of Swan Lake and Robin Hood, and it’s my first Christian adult book, called The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. I also am about to sign a contract for a Regency series that is Romantic Suspense, so stay tuned for more about that. And I have written a book set in 1880 Alabama that I hope to publish some day.

Lastly, where can readers connect with you online?

Facebook! and
and Twitter @melanieauthor. And my website is 

Thanks so much for stopping by Melanie! I am definitely looking forward to reading more books by you!

Book Beginnings: Deliverance by Katie Clark

Come join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

Today's First Sentences Come From...

I am a Greater. 
It seems like such an impossibility. Unreal. Unwanted.

My Thoughts...

I'm still reeling from this beginning after reading book one, Vanquished! So unexpected and accurately describes how I feel too. Perfect opening for this one and am curious how Hana is going to handle this new role.
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