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Fresh Chat | Melanie Dickerson Takes On Swan Lake and Robin Hood for a Medieval Fairy Tale

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
Melanie Dickerson




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Powell's Books



A Medieval Fairy Tale #1

March 2015
On Sale: May 12, 2015
ISBN: 0718026241
EAN: 9780718026240
Kindle: B00PCU5PG2
Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Melanie Dickerson:
The Piper's Pursuit, December 2019
Add to review list
The Warrior Maiden, February 2019
The Orphan\'s Wish, July 2018
The Noble Servant, May 2017

Award-winning author Melanie Dickerson, known for her inspiring fairy tale retellings, has a new story to share with readers this spring. The first in a series of Medieval Fairy Tales, THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST, is now available from Thomas Nelson, and Melanie is here with Features Editor Pasha Carlisle to discuss the tale.

Pasha: Welcome, Melanie! Your new medieval fairy tale retelling, THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST, is a cross between Swan Lake and Robin Hood. How did you decide on this unique combination?

Melanie: I thought it would be fun to make these new stories a mash-up of two fairy tales, instead of just one. I had a list of fairy tales or familiar stories that I liked, which included Swan Lake and Robin Hood. I remember thinking that I’d really like to come up with a Swan Lake story, since that story has a lot of potential for emotion and romance. And then my mind wandered to Robin Hood. Since I like to twist things a bit, I started thinking of a female Robin Hood. At some point I hit upon the idea of having a female Robin Hood heroine who poaches deer and a hero whose job it is to put a stop to all poachers. Then the Swan Lake aspect came into play. How could I make my heroine a “swan” by night and something else by day? Of course, if she was a Robin Hood figure that could be her secret identity by night, while she was a well-known lady of the town by day. It was fun trying to merge the two stories into one, along with lots of new story details.

Pasha: As you mentioned, your heroine, Odette, poaches in the margrave’s forest to feed the poor, and the hero is a forester whose duty is to catch her. So the hero and heroine are adversaries from the start, though they don’t know it when they first meet. Do you have any favorite scenes or encounters between this couple?

Melanie: There is one scene where he almost catches her poaching. He sees her and gives chase, but she gets away. She’s not completely sure he didn’t recognize her, so the next time she sees him, she’s afraid he will confront her. But if I tell you my other favorite scenes, it might give away too much of the story!

Pasha: As a Christian writer, your faith has greatly impacted your books so far. Are there any specific Bible verses or themes that inspired the story of THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST?

Melanie: Mainly the idea is that it is a Christian’s duty to help the poor and orphans, which the heroine is eager to do, while the hero is trying to uphold justice, which is also a Christian’s duty. When these two duties clash, it becomes all about seeking God’s direction, grace, and provision, and I hope I was able to show that amid all the conflict.

Pasha: Could you tell us a bit about what is coming up next in your medieval fairy tale series?

Melanie: The next book in this particular series is a story about the margrave, who is a secondary character in THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST, called THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER. When the powerful margrave needs to find a wife in a hurry, he invites ten noble ladies to his castle, but one of them is not who she’s supposed to be. She’s actually the Earl of Plimmwald’s maidservant, who is being forced to take the place of the earl’s daughter. What happens when a margrave falls in love with a noble . . . servant?

But I also have a book coming out in November, THE GOLDEN BRAID, which is actually a continuation of my first series and is a Rapunzel story.

Pasha: Thank you for being our guest, and we have one more question for you. Fresh Fiction readers want to know: What is at the top of your to-read pile?

Melanie: Actually, I’ve just started reading my critique partner, Katie Clark’s new book, which doesn’t have a release date yet. That is my first priority. I’ve also been wanting to make time to read THE ORACLE GLASS by Judith Merkle Riley, since I loved her Margaret of Ashbury series. Thanks!


A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor. A handsome forester on a mission to catch her. Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.

The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and Odette Menkels spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck. By day, Odette is a simple maiden who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgeninherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

About Melanie Dickerson

Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama.

She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.




1 comment posted.

Re: Fresh Chat | Melanie Dickerson Takes On Swan Lake and Robin Hood for a Medieval Fairy Tale

This sounds like a wonderful book to usher in the Spring
season of reading!! I've always been a big fan of Swan Lake
myself, and to match it up with Robin Hood is quite the
story!! Congratulations on your latest book, which I'm sure
will do quite well.
(Peggy Roberson 9:45am May 13, 2015)

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