Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Join the conversation!
Readers are so important to me and I truly have the best readers in the world!
Stop by and see why, as I make a guest appearance on Casey Herringshaw's blog this whole week long. Every other day a new post goes up.

Operation Encourage an Author: The Meaning of Readers with Linore Rose Burkard: May I introduce you? If you have followed Operation Encourage an Author for any length of time, you know that my mission statement is...

Warmest blessings,


Beautiful Life Wednesday

The New Morality

I'm posting a YouTube link made by a woman I know called "The New Morality". This intrepid lady spends many of her days parked outside an abortion mill here in Dayton, simply for the chance to speak to women before they kill their babies. I admire what she does because:

Abortion, like suicide, is a permanent response to a temporary situation.
Abortion, like suicide, is tragic.
Abortion, like suicide, stops a beating heart. And like suicide, abortion has many victims.
But UNLIKE suicide, abortion is not the victim's choice.
They call abortion a choice--would you have chosen to be aborted?
Well, I get ahead of myself.Back to the YouTube video.

To my surprise, my friend (her name is Vivian)took a poem that was originally published anonymously in a Catholic devotional and made it into a short RAP!

It speaks to baby victims of abortion. (I believe mothers are victims as well. Victims of "the new morality." Victims of coercion. Victims of poor judgment. But at least they get off with their lives--usually. I say usually because botched abortions do claim a number of maternal lives each year.)

Know anyone who likes rap? Refer them to this brief message:
Click Here

You don't have to be a rap fan to enjoy this, though.
You just have to love life!
I wish you a beautiful and always.

What do you think of this message? Does it hit any nerves? Make you think?
Increase your compassion? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Warmest Blessings,

Linore Rose
Heart-Warming Soul-Stirring Christian Romance!

Friday, February 24, 2012


It's FICTION FRIDAY on Woman of Faith, and today's guest is author Susan Sleeman. Enjoy.

Susan Sleeman here. Do you have an e-reader or maybe an iPad? Then I'd like to tell you about a line of cozy mysteries that has recently released with most books retailing for only .99 for a limited time.

Spyglass Lane Mysteries
are published by a group of cozy mystery authors who have joined together to bring you a new cozy mystery every week. Currently, there are over 25 wonderful mysteries in this line.

Stop by the website to view all of the available books and while you're there, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter where we announce each new book that releases and our authors share behind the scenes stories about the books.

I'd also like to share a little bit about my Garden Gate Mystery Series that is releasing as part of this line. The first book, Nipped in the Bud has already released and book two, Read Between the Tines will release in February 23rd. Here's a little bit about both books.



Life in full bloom, landscape designer, Paige Turner, scores her first landscaping contract to spruce up the park, her radio talk show shoots to number one, and her retail shop is simply blossoming. Yes, her life is a bed of roses. Until she finds the city manager served up on the blade of her favorite shovel mere hours after she’s threatened to have his head on a platter, then the thorns come out. And there is none thornier than the local police chief declaring Paige the one and only suspect and threatening to plow her under.


Paige teams up with dashing attorney, Adam Hayes to weed through the list of suspects, and clear her soiled reputation. And along the way, discovers that Adam just may be the man of her dreams.

» Read an Excerpt          »Order It Now



Recovered from her near death at the hand of a killer, landscape designer Paige Turner is certain her life will soon be a bed of roses. That is, until her employee, Daisy Rose Plante, finds a dead body, and the thorny police chief looks no further than Daisy for a suspect. Paige digs in and weeds through the list of potential killers, and before long, her sweet smelling rose of a life is soundly trampled.


Paige would be much happier working over-thyme on her budding relationship with handsome attorney, Adam Hayes, but it soon becomes clear she’ll be in a hoe lot of trouble with him if she continues digging for the killer. Does Paige risk all and try to unearth the killer? Or does she settle down in peaceful bliss with the man of her dreams?

» Read an Excerpt

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website

Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson.

To learn more about Susan visit: Website, her Facebook page, or on Twitter

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When Abortion Becomes Racism

We can't really have a fully beautiful life as long as there are other human beings without the opportunity to enjoy the same. No segment of humanity has been denied this opportunity--the very RIGHT to LIFE--more than the unborn.

The link attached to the title of this post is a powerful and important message from Pastor John Piper, one of the leading men behind the Sovereign Grace Ministries of Churches (one of which I attend here in Xenia, Ohio).

It's not a two-minute YouTube, but a full sermon. Be patient and let Mr. Piper build his message--it gets riveting. If you'd rather read than listen, here's a link to the full text.

Piper says, "I would like you to link abortion and race the same way you link lynching and race." I agree.

To whet your appetite, here's a short excerpt:

My aim is that just as once even though the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case of 1857 held that Black slaves were property without rights as free persons, yet today we view that as unthinkable; so also even though the Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade case of 1973 did not give the unborn the rights of free persons, nevertheless the day may come when that too is viewed as unthinkable. Racism might—and often did—result in the killing of innocent humans; in our history, it often did. But abortion always results in the killing of innocent humans. Between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 Black people were lynched in America. Today more Black babies are killed by white abortionists every three days than all who were lynched in those years (Life Education and Resource Network).
John Piper, from, When Abortion is Racism

Piper's message includes the truth of forgiveness for abortionists, those who have had abortions or forced them upon others. GOD is a forgiving God. But it doesn't make our responsibility to end the slaughter any less needful.

Sit back and listen to the sermon when you get a chance.
Rethink abortion in terms of racism.

Warmest Blessings,


Image from:

Monday, February 20, 2012

When Being Beautiful Turns Ugly

Note: This is something I wrote a few years ago for a column called "Media and the Home." It was a standing feature of Dionna Sanchez's blog, "Inner Fulfillment." I'm no longer a homeschooling mom, but I still have three young women beneath my roof, one of whom is only nine. The topic here is just as relevant today as it was then, and not just for me or for homeschoolers, but for any parent of a girl.

When Being Beautiful Turns Ugly
Parents today are concerned about media influences on their kids, and with good cause. Suicide is the second-highest cause of death among teenagers in the US—after car accidents. Why are so many young people killing themselves?

The answers are complex, and stem from the breakdown of the family, legalized abortion (which devalues human life), the loss of faith in society as a whole (if there's no God, how does life have meaning or purpose?) and, finally, an unrealistic sense of failure to measure up.

Measure up to what?

All too often, the media's idea of how and what they should be. And nowhere is this insidious idea more powerful to young psyches than in the area of appearance. Teens are hard on each other, but not nearly as hard as they can be on themselves, especially when they compare themselves to photo-shopped images. Beauty gets ugly really fast when it takes on visions of perfection that are simply unattainable.

Young women are particularly vulnerable to the society-fueled obsession with weight and appearance, as they are constantly bombarded with images of hyped-up beauty. From Britney to Sleeping Beauty to Barbie, women are supposed to be slim and flawless. School teachers report that girls as young as nine and ten can be heard worrying about over-eating and being on diets. Meanwhile, at the same time, there is so much computer and video game usage today that staying in healthy shape is a greater challenge for today's kids than ever before.

As a parent, I struggle to find ways to affirm my girls' attractiveness—just the way they are—when there is so much out there telling them a different message. At age ten, my middle daughter is now saying to me (when I tell her how beautiful she is), “You only think that because you're my mother!” Or, “You're supposed to say that because I'm your daughter.” She is already internalizing society's message that being “beautiful” is directly correlated to how sexy you are, and what brand or type of clothing you wear. She might not put it that way, but this is what it comes down to.

Where is she getting these ideas?

They are seeping in from all sides! We have a protected environment in our home—to a degree. (No TV, just selected videos and DVDs) but as I mentioned earlier, even Barbie is picture-perfect and skinnier than Twiggy.

On an up note, Dove (the beauty products manufacturer) has produced a video showing the transformation of an ordinary girl (read: could be your daughter. Could be you!) into a super-glamorous billboard model. I had both my daughters view this and my ten-year-old was shocked. It's an eye-opening message we need to get out.

I suggest you view this with your daughters--and your sons(Guys can get unrealistic expectations, too). After viewing the video, make it a point to pick up magazines that show stars “as they really are”. Celebrities hate this, but it's a shot in the arm for girls who are struggling with self-image or self-worth issues (and what girls do not?). Finally, remember to affirm that God has created them specially (they're not an accident); He has a personal plan for their life (purpose); and they ARE beautiful—truly beautiful--in Christ, just the way they are.

Once you watch the video let me know what you think. Do you have an effective method for instilling your girls with a confidence that doesn't come solely from what they see in the mirror? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Warmest Blessings,

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Hush Little Baby, Part II

Yesterday's post introduced us to author Deborah Piccurelli and her brave new work of fiction based on the sordid industry of abortion and fetal harvesting, Hush Little Baby.

Today we'll learn just a little bit about Deborah; and don't forget the drawing for a free copy of her book--comments will be accepted for the drawing until next Wednesday, 2/22, so don't be shy. : )

I asked Deborah what made her write this particular book, and here's what she said:

Two things: When I heard about fetal harvesting (a.k.a., baby body parts trafficking), it angered me. Even though this was way back in 1999, I want to make people aware that this still happens. Many people already know about it, but many do not, or some have just forgotten. Secondly, I used the characters that I did, because I had seen little people on daytime talk shows, and felt they were being exploited. I vowed to myself that I'd someday write a book showing them living normal everyday lives, just like the rest of us.

I then asked her what message did she hope readers would take away with them?
Several. Grace and forgiveness, redemption, that we shouldn't live by our feelings, but always consult the Lord for every decision we make.

As I said above, I wrote this novel to create awareness about fetal harvesting, but I also want to help alleviate it. I will be donating 10% of the proceeds to Life Dynamics, an organization that works to stop it.

And what is Deb working on now?
I am in the very early stages of a novel where (without giving too much away) a young woman overhears some very incriminating information being conveyed without realizing it. The next thing she knows, while driving to her boyfriend's home after work, her car is rammed from behind by another vehicle, causing her to crash. Devastating circumstances result from both the accident and the secret information.

Sounds intriguing, Deb! We wish you much success.
Thanks for doing the book giveaway here at Woman of Faith.

I bought a copy of Hush Little Baby for my Kindle yesterday, and I know I can't wait to read it.

[Baby image from:]

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hush Little Baby

Due to a hectic day yesterday, my "Beautiful Life Wednesday" post is a Thursday post. Not that it matters, really. Read through for details of this week's book giveaway. And note that this is a two-part post--tomorrow we'll hear directly from Deb with some of her thoughts about why she wrote this particular book.

Today's guest is author Deborah Piccurelli who wrote Hush Little Baby.

Now, please understand: The book doesn't highlight the beauty of life directly; in fact, quite the opposite is true. But light shines brighter in darkness and Deb is giving us a fictionalized account of the darkness that is always present and seeking to destroy life. In the case of abortion darkness seems to succeed.

But we don't fight battles by closing our eyes to the enemy.

For this reason I thought her book was perfect for a "Beautiful Life" post, since nothing, not even beauty or life itself comes without a cost. We are called to be a voice for those without one. No minority population on earth has less "voice" than the silent unborn.

But don't get me wrong. Hush Little Baby is fiction. It's like a great detective show. They begin with a murder and even though murder is ugly and wrong, you watch the show to see the murderer brought to justice. You even enjoy it along the way. (Right now, the favorite in our family is "The Mentalist." Gotta love that Patrick Jane!)

Here's an early editorial review of Hush Little Baby:

The plot arcs, character arcs, subplots, etc., are all good. I've read several books that deal with abortion and fetal harvesting, etc., that are obnoxious in the handling. You have done an excellent job of showing us that real people, likeable people, can get sucked into this for very strong reasons. The characters and the story held my attention throughout the story.

Here's the back-of-the-book description:
Investigative journalist Amber Blake is a little person bent on payback for the death of her twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting. As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor's romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story . . . but nothing prepares her for what's behind a mysterious door in his office.

Wow. I have yet to read Hush Little Baby, but it's on my TBR list, I assure you.

I say we support this brave author who has dared to bring an ugly industry to light in her first novel. Will you join me?
Hush, Little Baby Amazon Purchase Link
Publisher's Purchase Link

And what do you think about this industry? About someone writing fiction to draw attention to it?

Leave a comment and you'll be entered in a drawing to get a free copy of Hush Little Baby.

I would urge you, however, if you can afford to do so, to support this author and to support the unborn by getting a copy now even if you win another later. You could give the book to someone you know, or leave it at a doctor's office.
Hush, Little Baby Amazon Purchase Link
Publisher's Purchase Link

Thank you, Deborah, for sharing this work with us and for having the chutzpah to write about a sordid industry. May God bless your efforts with His empowering grace! I'm off to get a Kindle edition of your book!"
Warmest Blessings,

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Monday, February 13, 2012


From Ron Hutchcraft Ministries

Years ago when I was a new believer living in NYC, one of the brief radio "minutes" of meaty messages I had access to was from Ron Hutchcraft. A sound, sane voice amidst a lot of iffy theology.

Today's message is from Ron, via's newsletter. (Great newsletter, by the way.) Enjoy.

The Gospel According To the Birds

So who needs an alarm clock in our neighborhood? We've got ravens! Yeah, those big black birds discovered our backyard. Now, ravens apparently are early risers, a little earlier than most people are. And they are also, shall we say, active conversationalists. Which makes them wonderful alarm clocks for those early morning hours whether you want them or not! Frankly I don't mind it. It's great to have all the birds singing their little spring concert in our yard. Actually, they do more than sing, they preach!

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 12, where we find the Gospel from the birds. The Gospel's not for the birds, no, it's from the birds. The subject of their sermon is security. And that might be an issue that you have reason to be concerned about right now.

Well, Jesus has just told this in this passage about a man whose idea of security echoes that of almost everyone around us. He has a lot of crops to take care of, and he says in Luke 12:18, "I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, 'You have plenty of good things laid up for many years.'" Well, that's pretty much our world's concept of security. "What have you got in your storeroom, man? What have you got to fall back on? What have you got in your IRA? What have you got for retirement? What have you got in case medical emergencies come up?"

Then here comes the message from that bird passage in the Bible as Jesus talks to us beginning at verse 22, "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens...'" Well, I have no choice. They make sure I consider them every morning. Jesus said, "Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap. They have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds!"

I love these simple words, "They have no storeroom, yet God feeds them." And then He says, "If He'll do that for the ravens, He'll surely do that for you." Now, we live in a world that says surplus equals security. The Gospel according to the birds is simple but eloquent. It says, "Our security is this: We have a Father who is a great provider. That's where your security is; not what you have in your storeroom."

Jesus goes on to talk about how the pagans are chasing after things and after material security. But He says, "You seek His kingdom, and then sell what you have and give to the poor, and pass on the kingdom to other people." You're secure. Not because you can see where it's going to come from, but because of who your Father is. In fact, I wonder if some day Jesus isn't going to return and say to a lot of us, "What are you doing sitting on all of that? Why do you have so much in your storeroom?"

See, we are Father-fed people. We don't need big reserves. We're to feed others with the gifts that He's given to us. You don't ever have to worry about having enough. In fact, one day those ravens proved that God will always find a way to meet your need. When every other source of security and supply was cut off from Elijah, the ravens brought it. God will always find a way, even if you have to keep your window open for the ravens to come in with it.

If the usual means of supply are cut off, God doesn't need those. It's been God that's been the source all along. He'll deliver it another way. He will feed you from His storeroom. If you don't believe me, just ask the birds.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.
via's newsletter "A Word With You"

Still waiting to hear from the winner of Melanie Dickerson's, The Merchant's Daughter, grannyd. Contact me so Melanie can send you her book!

Check my last post for the lastest giveaway: an e-copy of Donna Sherpherd's humorous "just-in-time-for-Valentine's Day novelette, "Love Under the Bubble Wrap."

Warmest Blessings,


Friday, February 10, 2012

Read This for a Valentine's Day Treat

NOTE: Winner of The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson is GRANNYD.Congratulations,Granny, and thanks to everyone who entered last week!

I promised I'd only post about books I could endorse for you. Today's belated "Fiction Friday" post, "Love Under the Bubble Wrap," is one I'm happy to let you know about--and just in time for Valentine's Day!

No, it's not a Valentine's Day story, but it begins with the arrival of a mysterious gift (hence, the bubble wrap). And it's fun and sweet and even romantic --perfect as a Valentine's Day gift for yourself.

According to the author, this is a novelette--short fiction, so it won't consume your whole day (or evening). Just curl up with some dark chocolate and get cozy.
Best of all? It's available for only .99 on Amazon Kindle!
You can't beat that price for a treat.

No Kindle? No Problem

Eventually, Donna will get it on Nook and Sony and other formats, but for now,
if you don't have a kindle, get the FREE Kindle App from Amazon and read it on your pc, iphone, ipad, or android.

Not Your Typical Heroine

Donna's story is one you'll really want to devour because the female leading lady isn't your typical twenty-something reedy willow who's drop-dead gorgeous. No, ladies--this is a story about YOU. This is a story about ME. That's the fun of it, too.

Here's the Amazon Blurb:
"Love Under the Bubble Wrap"- A novelette. A sweet escape for anyone wanting to discover love in everyday life. A charming, witty, engaging short story. - Mary DeMuth, author of The Muir House

"With a story aimed to encourage older marrieds (not just singles), Donna Shepherd's characters are as familiar as a best friend and yet this tale is as fresh as an unopened present. Realistic and humorous--can't wait to see more from Ms. Shepherd!" - Linore Rose Burkard, author of Before the Season Ends. (Hey, that name sounds familiar. Really.)

Product Description
"Love Under the Bubble Wrap" hits the mark for fun with a short story sure to tickle the hearts of women, married or single, young or old. Ms. Shepherd's debut romantic escape resonates with comedy, love, and enough mystery to keep the pages turning. The perfect length to read on your lunch break - or anytime!

Donna J. Shepherd is best-known for her children's books, although the members of the church she and her husband pastor might think it's for singing on Sundays, or leading women's groups. Besides writing children's books, Donna does voice-overs, and is the Co-Leader (with me) of Greater Harvest Workshops for Writers. Donna also loves to blog! Visit her on her website or one of her many blogs at:

Devotionals by Donna:
Topsy Turvy Land:
Donna and Friends:
Reviews by Donna:
Recipes by Donna:
Oodles of Fun (Dog Blog):
VoiceOvers by Donna:

My Ratings for "Love Under the Bubble Wrap" (to help you assess this work)
Five Star
Contemporary romance
Sweet, funny
Faith Element: Low

EXTRA: A New You-Tube video to Donna's latest book for children:

Giveaway Alert!

Let us know what you think of the story! Don't wait to get a copy--it's only .99 cents, but you can also win a copy for a friend, loved one, mother, daughter, sister, etc. by leaving us a comment about how you liked it. Winner's name will be posted next week. So get your copy of "Love Under the Bubble Wrap," right away!

Warmest Blessings,


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Beautiful Life Wednesday: Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark

I received this bit of wisdom from a friend via email a long time ago. It was one of those viral messages that get passed around but I saved it because it was so concise and yet spot-on.

I'm posting it as I got it, and then beneath that, with a teensy bit of commentary.

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Noah's Ark

ONE: Don't miss the boat.

TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat.

THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something
really big.

FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

SIX: Build your future on high ground.

SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile.

TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow

Now here's the same again with just a dash of my opinionated comments. : )

ONE: Don't miss the boat. [Stay alert to what's happening in the world and around you. Opportunities don't come with neon lights.]

TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat. [No one has it easy in life. Don't judge yourself against other people--you don't know what they're going through or have survived to get where they are.]

THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. [Listen to wise voices who know more than you and act accordingly.]

FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. [You don't know how long you'll live but staying fit is a gift you can give your future self and loved ones.You can accomplish much more than you think, at virtually any age.]

FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
[That includes your own inner critic.]

SIX: Build your future on high ground.[Trust the tried-and-true, like biblical principles that have prospered civilizations wherever they take hold. Christian nations are never ruled by despots and tyrants--not even communists, for that matter.]

SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.[Marriage is a good thing. And "a three-fold cord is not easily broken."]

EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.[Do the groundwork before starting any venture; take time to arm yourself with the knowledge you need, and, even if you're a snail, you'll catch up and overtake the cheetahs with your capabilities and expertise.]

NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile. [Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy! A well-rested individual can work and think at peak performance; All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) dull!

TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. [I'm in the process of writing a book set on Titanic, so this one really struck me. The Ark was built by amateurs, perhaps, but was directed by a PROFESSIONAL--God himself. Seek GOD daily.]

ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting. [Amen.]

Remember, it really is a beautiful life. Just keep it in perspective (God's perspective, that is!)

If you were writing the above tips, is there another you'd include? What little bit of wisdom do you live by that's based on a biblical principle? Leave your comment. I'll send one commenter a free copy of one of my books!

Warmest Blessings,


Monday, February 06, 2012

Sex, Marriage and Fairy Tales by Jeff Bethke

Marriage is not for the faint of heart.

I've been married for more than 27 years, so I think I know of what I speak.

I love this YouTube vid (brought to my attention by GOD TUBE) in which Jeff Bethke gives his take on the subject. Thing is, he's just a young man so I don't know how he got so wise, but there's no denying the wisdom in his presentation. Which, by the way, is short, and, well, cool.

I'd embed the video here for you, but I find it starts playing as soon as the page loads, and when I post again that becomes a problem. So just CLICK HERE to watch it
on site.

And pay attention to this guy.

He knows of what he speaks.

Warmest Blessings,


Friday, February 03, 2012

An Unthinkable Danger

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Today is FICTION FRIDAY on Woman of Faith, and award-winning author (and personal dear friend) Melanie Dickerson is stopping by to tell us about her excellent latest book, The Merchant's Daughter.Isn't the cover just gorgeous? And don't you want to know what is the unthinkable danger? The unexpected choice?

To answer these questions, I found myself turning pages quickly while reading the book. I wouldn't feature a book here if I didn't think you, my readers, would enjoy it, no matter how good a friend the author is. So, take my word for it: you'll enjoy this medieval treat. It's a fresh take on Beauty and the Beast, a fairy-tale makeover for Christian girls. (And don't go away: Melanie's giving away a free book to one commenter!)

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.

I asked Melanie to give us some little-known facts about herself, and it turns out she had some major clues that writing was in her blood. How many authors can say the following of themselves?

Me: Melanie, what are four things most people don't know about you?

1. My father was named after the famous western writer, Zane Grey.
2. I was named after Melanie in Gone With the Wind.
3. I grew up about 30 or 40 miles from the town where Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, grew up. And my maiden name was Lee.
4. I lived in Ukraine for one year, the same town that the most famous Ukrainian poet, Shevchenko, was from. And we lived on Shevchenko Street.

How's THAT for coincidences? Melanie, we'll have to concede that you were destined for literary greatness. OR, we could read your books and find out that way!

Here are links for you to check out Melanie's latest:
The Merchant's Daughter (from Amazon)

From Barnes and Noble

Leave a comment for Melanie from now until next Friday and she'll award one commenter with a free book. Thank you, Melanie! You've made this Fiction Friday so special!

To learn more about Melanie, stop by her website at