REVIEW: CASTLE OF REFUGE by Melanie Dickerson!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Hey everyone!  Today I'm sharing a review of Castle of Refuge, the next book by Melanie Dickerson.  It's a "The Ugly Duckling" retelling/reimagining, and it's releasing soon - June 1st, to be exact!  Here's some info on the book before I get into the review....


In this Ugly Duckling retelling, New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson brilliantly crafts a high-stakes, encouraging tale about the power of love.

Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her face and her prospects. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. When her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny.

However, life outside her home is dangerous, and she soon finds herself attacked, sick, and in desperate need of help. She is taken in at Dericott Castle to be nursed back to health. While there, she decides to keep her identity a secret and work as a servant in the castle. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with the young and handsome Lord Dericott, who lost his arm several months earlier and bears scars of his own.

Meanwhile, Edwin—Lord Dericott—is curious about the new, well-educated servant’s identity. All he knows is that he’s quickly becoming smitten with her. When the man Audrey’s father wanted her to marry comes looking for her, she and Edwin must make life-changing decisions about what to believe and whether or not love is truly worth trusting.

“When it comes to happily-ever-afters, Melanie Dickerson is the undisputed queen.” —JULIE LESSMAN, award-winning author

  • Second in a brand-new series set in England: The Dericott Tales
  • Full-length clean fairy-tale reimagining
  • Includes Discussion Questions for Book Clubs

Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for all things Medieval with her love of romance and fairy tales. She also loves Regency Romance and has drawn on her Southern heritage to write a romance set in the late 1800s called Magnolia Summer.
Her books have won the Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader's Choice Award, and the Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor's degree from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in America, Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama. Sign up for her newsletter at


Well, I have to say that this is the first fiction book in awhile that's held my attention long enough that I'm able to read it cover-to-cover in one day.  While the first couple of chapters felt extremely repetitive, I'm glad that I kept reading anyway, because the rest of the story had excellent pacing and was pretty great overall.  If you're a fan of Dickerson's works, you'll definitely enjoy this book; it follows her style very well.  I can honestly say that I've never read a fairytale retelling based on "The Ugly Duckling" (at least, one that uses humans) so it was a breath of fresh air for the retelling genre.  While I thought that the main villains could have been written better (they came off a bit shallow and their dialogue stiff; there was a LOT of potential there), the main plot line was definitely interesting, the characters were memorable, and I'm definitely hooked on the Dericott storyline now.  While I haven't read the first book in this series yet, I was able to pick up well enough, so it's good as a standalone as well.  

Do you plan on reading Castle of Refuge?  What's your favorite story by Dickerson?   


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

 Hey everyone!  Today I'm super excited to share the cover reveal for Meet Me at the Summit, a coming-of-age story by author Mandi Lynn.  It sounds really great, and I love the cover...which you'll get to see in just a minute! Here's some info before we get to the cover...


For most 19-year-olds, a cross-country trip is an offer you can’t refuse, but for Marly, it’s the last thing she wants after losing both her parents in a car accident. Nine months after their death, Marly would rather stay home working the retail job she hates, than deal with her loss.

It isn’t until family and friends corner her into driving her mom’s renovated 1978 VW bus from Washington to New Hampshire that Marly is forced to face her grief and understand the guilt she feels over her parents’ death. Skeptical, Marly goes on the trip, warily exploring the life her parents knew she always wanted—hiking mountains and living out her photography dreams. On the way, she’ll discover places and people who’ll test her emotions and a guy who pushes at the walls she’s so carefully built around herself. Marly must decide: can she face her deepest wounds and reclaim the life she thought was gone forever?

Meet Me at the Summit is an intimate tale of grief, finding yourself after deep loss, and coming to terms with how life changes when you least expect it. It follows Marly as she both runs from and towards the emotions she has long held back regarding her parents’ death. A deep, insightful look into the coming-of-age theme through a heart-breaking narrative.

Preorder - HERE!
Shelf it on Goodreads!
Releasing August 31, 2021.

Get free bookish swag when you preorder the book; just fill out this form HERE!

And now....for the cover!

Isn't that cool?! I'm absolutely too excited for this book to release, and the cover is just so. perfect.  What do you think?  Doesn't that blurb sound amazing?!  Sound off in the comments below!

AND don't forget to preorder!

BLOGGER UPDATE: Important Info!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

 Hey everyone!  Thanks to Google *eye roll* removing the "follow by email" option for blogs, if you follow this blog via email, starting in July, you will no longer receive email updates for new blog posts and whatnot.  I've scrambled to find a solution, and the best one I have right now is to start a mailing list, which will be used exclusively to send blog updates.  You will get emails with the same amount of frequency, but just from a mailing list instead of Google's automated system.  If that sounds great, great!  I've imported all of my current subscribers, so starting in July, you'll be receiving new posts through that instead.  (How will I offer the ability to follow for new readers? Your guess is as good as mine, and if you have any ideas, I'll gladly take 'em!) 

For now, if you're interested in being ADDED or REMOVED from the blog update list, please fill out this form HERE!  Thanks so much!


Saturday, May 15, 2021

 Hey everyone!  I'm thrilled to participate in the blog tour for Hope in the Dark by Hannah Wright!  This book doesn't release until May 25th, but I was given the opportunity to be an ARC reviewer -- so here's some information about the book before we get into the review!


Broken hearts, a town torn apart, and a new job. What could possibly go wrong?

Moving into the great unknown of Featherlight, Idaho, was a huge change for Elizabeth Matthews. But while Asheville, North Carolina was comfortingly familiar, it had left her with a broken heart and a determination to never trust a man again. 

Hard working Samuel Bryson is honor bound to provide for his widowed mother and siblings. Determined to live up to his own expectations of being just like his father, he will let nothing get in his way. And that includes marriage. 

Serene and cozy Featherlight has taken a turn into something much darker. Newly hired school teacher Elizabeth and Samuel find themselves desperately searching for answers to the suspicious criminal activity around them. They find themselves thrown into facing their worst fears... and each other. In the midst of many unknowns, will they find the courage to do what God is calling them to? 

AMAZON  -Releases May 25th! 


Hannah Wright is the author of Hope In The Dark and Keeping Faith. She desires to write pure fiction that glorifies God. She is a graduate of Houston Baptist University, and in her free time, she loves reading, spending time with her family and friends, and listening to music and podcasts. To stay in touch with her, you can visit her blog at or follow her on instagram @_hannahsbooknook_



This is a sweet book, perfect for fans of historical fiction.  I'm not sure what to say that WON'T spoil the book, but it's absolutely fantastic, the plot is paced pretty well (hence the concern for spoilers) and the characters are relatable.  I found it very easy to get interested in the book from the start, and ended up reading the second half of the book all in one sitting (which I rarely do when I'm reading on the computer, so I promise that's saying a lot!)  The characters are also pretty memorable, and there are a couple of interesting little plot twists concerning the secondary characters.  Wright presents a lot of good, wholesome Christian values in her book as well, especially pertaining to romance and forgiveness.  Overall, it's an enjoyable read, especially for historical fiction readers.  

To follow along with the rest of the blog tour, click HERE!

Do you plan on reading Hope in the Dark when it's released?  You can preorder it now, if interested!  What are some of your favorite historical fiction books?  

REVIEW: SUMMONED by Megan Brown!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Hey everyone!  Since today is the national day of prayer here in the U.S., I thought it would be a good time to share my review of a new study book from Moody Publishers, Summoned, which covers the story of Esther.  It definitely rejects the status quo for what we're used to hearing from this story, and it most certainly sheds light on some of the things we refuse to see in Esther's story (as well as what goes on societally today), including how God can and will use even the most horrific, ungodly situations - whether that's human trafficking and sex slavery or genocide.  It's definitely an impactful study.    


Encounter the fullness of God’s grace, the power of His promises, and the beauty of His faithfulness—all through the life of one woman: Esther.

In a time when the world around her seemed to crumble, a young Hebrew girl found herself in a unique position to help save her people—and to encounter the greatness of our ever-faithful God. In Summoned, you’ll enter the story of Esther—her calling, pain, and role in God’s ultimate plan for salvation—and see how God is always working in the lives of His people, even when He seems distant. Through this 8-week, interactive study, you’ll develop a deeper appreciation for God’s Word and begin to see that stepping out in faith for His glory is often the first step to encountering His redeeming love.



Megan B. Brown is a new and upcoming author, a Christian speaker, and a military missionary. She is passionate about equipping the United States military community to carry the redemptive story of Jesus to the four corners through radical hospitality, sound biblical teaching, and community discipleship.


Megan is the author of Summoned: Answering a Call to the Impossible, releasing in May 2021 by Moody Publishers and the Managing Editor for Brave Women, Strong Faith- an anthology collection of stories written by military women and wives.


While Megan loves writing- books, blogs, and articles- Megan also enjoys traveling around the country speaking at ministry events, retreats, conferences, and churches.

Megan is scheduled to graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in Ministry Leadership, with a focus in Women's Ministry and Preaching Concentrations, from Moody Bible Institute in May 2021. 



This is a very interesting study and is excellent either for personal or group use.  Brown goes through the entire book of Esther, drawing cultural and contextual information to bring a much clearer picture of the story most Christians have known since childhood.  She also presents some great suggestions for building Bible study skills.  While there were a couple aspects I wish had been clarified a bit more in the book, the study overall is very interesting and compelling.  It's definitely not the "Esther" we're used to -- and that's a fresh breath of air.  In this study, Brown calls for the rejection of clean, softened "cultural Christianity" for the sake of growing closer to God with a more concise knowledge of the Bible and how God works through all things -- how His hand is in everything.  Definitely good for a women's study!

Do you plan on picking up a copy of Summoned?  What are some of your favorite Bible study methods?