Featured Author: Dina L. Sleiman

Featured Author: Dina L. Sleiman

Dina L. Sleiman
Dina L. Sleiman

Dina L. Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. She also serves as an acquisitions and content editor for WhiteFire Publishing, and she loves to teach at writers conferences throughout the US. 

Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts.

Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Selah Awards. Also look for her novels, Love in Three-Quarter TimeDance from Deep Within, and her Valiant Hearts series with Bethany House Publishers. Dauntless, book one, is now available and is a Library Journal pick of the month.

The following is a September 2015 interview with Dina.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END 
OF THE INTERVIEW

Valiant-Hearts Dance~~

Be in to win a copy of either
Dauntless, Chivalrous,
Dance of the Dandelion
or
Dance from Deep Within

by Dina L. Sleiman

~~

(ONE print copy of either Dauntless or
Chivalrous
 to be won – USA only)
~~
(ONE digital copy of either Dance of the Dandelion or
Dance from Deep Within to be won – WORLDWIDE)

~~

Contest runs from September 25 – October 9, 2015 EST

~~

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Tell us a little about yourself.

Sleiman FamilyI live in Virginia Beach with my Lebanese husband, two malti-poos, and one – three of my kids. LOL. Meaning two are away at college much of the year now.

What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I always enjoyed writing, but I really got the writing bug in high school. During college I took several creative writing courses, and I studied Professional Writing in grad school. However, many years passed before I got serious about writing and decided to work on my first novel in 2006. Then another five years went by as I learned the craft and the business. My first novel was published in 2011.

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

I personally don’t read Christian fiction because of what I’m trying to run away from, but rather because of what I’m running towards. I don’t just want a clean read with a sweet moral. To me, what makes Christian fiction stand out is the way we can focus on spiritual issues and make a true relationship with God an integral part of the story. At this point, I have a hard time getting into secular novels, because they are almost always lacking in this area.

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

sleiman-love-in-three-quarter-timeI sincerely hope that my readers are inspired to grow deeper in their own relationships with God through my stories. And through this Valiant Hearts Series, I aim to encourage young women to boldly seek God’s best plans for their lives.  This is the dedication that I am using throughout the series.

My prayer for my readers is that you will be strong and courageous. Follow the path God has laid before you, wherever that might lead. Be a doctor, a lawyer, a professional athlete, a wife, a mother, or even a president. Chase after your dreams, and if a handsome knight in shining armor should happen to come alongside you, headed in the same direction, and you should happen to fall in love…then join together and become partners in your quest. But please remember this—you are complete, you are beautiful, and you are dearly loved by God just the way you are.

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

It is always such a blessing when people are drawn closer to God in some way through my novels. Perhaps some of the best responses I’ve had have been to my novel with a Muslim character, Dance from Deep Within. Several readers have shared how they have been encouraged to befriend and reach out to Muslim’s in their communities. And others have shared how God has brought hope and healing into their lives through my writing. There’s really nothing that can top that.

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

DanceWriting is a great way to work through your own questions and struggles, and I always end up being inspired by my own novels. Sometimes I stand back and say, wow, did I write that? I also try actively seek God’s leading for everything I write, which helps to draw us closer. With these Valiant Hearts novels, I’ve really pushed myself outside of my own writing comfort zone due to the adventure and suspense elements. I’ve had to go even deeper into relying on God’s strength to help me accomplish my goals for these books. I like to think of God as my writing partner, and boy have I needed him for this series.

Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life?

I strive to be a good wife and mother. Two of my kids are in college now, and I hope to help them through these years and into adulthood without a lot of debt. My youngest is still at home, and I am very much an active part of his life. In addition to writing, I am a part-time acquisitions editor for WhiteFire Publishing and a part-time administrative assistant at my church. I would like to continue moving and growing in both of those areas as well. Mostly, though, I just want to stay in close relationship with God and follow wherever He might lead.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Can anyone say Netflix? Besides being a Netflix junkie, I love to walk, bike, hike, and canoe. I also lead the worship dance ministry at my church. I generally say I like to read, but so much of my work revolves around reading these days, that I don’t really think of it as a spare time kind of activity anymore.

What can you tell us about your latest novels?

Valiant-HeartsMy Valiant Hearts Series features strong young women in traditionally male roles. Book 1, Dauntless, is a Robin Hood style story featuring a young noble women who must fight to save the vanquished children of her village after her father attempts to assassinate the ruthless King John. And of course the hero is on a mission to capture her. Book 2, Chivalrous, turns the Lancelot/Guinevere story upside down.  The heroine longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers, but her parents see her as nothing more than a marriage pawn and plan to wed her to a brutish man. When she meets a good-hearted newcomer to her Arthurian-inspired realm, she begins to hope for a bright future, until fate rips them apart. Of course there’s lots more I could tell you about these stories, but you can check them out, including samples, on my website. http://valiantheartsseries.blogspot.com/

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

Book 3 in the Valiant Hearts Series, Courageous, will be coming in July 2016. This is the story of a young woman who goes on crusade to the Holy Land in search of redemption from a tragic mistake. She no longer thinks she deserve marriage and family. On crusade she meets a knight who struggles with his own past failures and plans to become a warrior monk. Together they train a group of youngsters, face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy.

Right now I am just contracted for these first three books, but I hope to continue with this series for a long time to come.

What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

blog picMy under-grad university taught us to think of ourselves as “World Christians.” In fact, my husband is from the Middle East, and my own travels inform my writing, and I love to use exotic and unexpected settings. But at the end of the day, I think good writing is good writing and transcends our geographic and cultural differences.

Do you have any parting words?

I guess I would just like to mention that my Valiant Hearts Series is technically young adult, but adults have been loving it as much and more than teens. If you like medieval adventure and romance, or if you’re a fan of Melanie Dickerson, be sure to check them out!

Vailant-Hearts-Facebook

Dauntless

Dauntless
Dauntless

(Valiant Hearts #1)

by Dina L. Sleiman 

  • Bethany House Publishers
  • Historical 
  • March 2015
  • ISBN: 9780764213120

Purchase:
[KindleAmazon | The Book Depository]

Where Legend and History Collide, One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron’s daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father’s failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village–a group that becomes known as “The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest.” Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he’s forced to reexamine everything he’s known.

 

Chivalrous

Chivalrous
Chivalrous

(Valiant Hearts #2)

by Dina L. Sleiman 

  • Bethany House Publishers
  • Historical 
  • September 2015
  • ISBN: 9780764213137

Purchase:
[KindleAmazon | The Book Depository]

Sleiman’s Valiant Hearts Series Offers Unforgettable Heroines

Strong and adventurous Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers. However, that is not an option for her, not even in the Arthurian-inspired Eden where she dwells. Her parents view her only as a marriage pawn, and her domineering father is determined to see her wed to a brutish man who will break her spirit.

When handsome, good-hearted Allen of Ellsworth arrives in Edendale searching for his place in the world, Gwendolyn spies in him the sort of fellow she could imagine marrying. Yet fate seems determined to keep them apart. Tournaments, intrigue, and battles–along with twists and turns aplenty–await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.

Dance of the Dandelion

Dance of the Dandelion
Dance of the Dandelion

(A Novel)

by Dina L. Sleiman 

  • WhiteFire Publishing
  • Historical 
  • October 2011
  • ISBN: 9780983455608

Purchase:
[KindleAmazon | The Book Depository]

Love’s quest leads her the world over.

Dandelion Dering was born a peasant in the English village of Arun, but her soul yearned for another life, another world. One filled with color and music, with adventure and passion . . . with more.

Haunted by childhood memories, Dandelion determines to find a better existence than the life every peasant in the village contents themselves with. Even if her sweetheart William s predictions prove true, and her journey leads straight to heartache.

From her sleepy hamlet to the intrigue of castle life, from the heart of London to the adventurous seas, Dandelion flees from the mistakes of her past, always seeking that something, that someone who will satisfy her longings.

Will Dandelion ever find the rhythm to her life’s dance . . . or did she leave her chance for true love at home in Arun village?

Dance from Deep Within

Dance from Deep Within
Dance from Deep Within

(A Novel)

by Dina L. Sleiman 

  • WhiteFire Publishing
  • Contemporary 
  • November 2013
  • ISBN: 9781939023285

Purchase:
[KindleAmazon | The Book Depository]

Despite her conservative Muslim heritage, Layla Al-Rai longs for a chance to earn her degree in engineering and perhaps even…dare she dream…to choose her own husband. But young women from her background rarely enjoy such freedoms. When she finally talks her parents into letting her attend college, she is drawn to fellow twenty-something students, Allie and Rain, over a class project.

Allie, the blonde ballerina, faces her own struggles as she deals with an ex-fiancé and a church she had hoped to leave behind. Rain, the bi-racial hippie chick, longs for something to believe in, but her questioning could cost her the love of her life.

When Layla’s childhood sweetheart reenters her world, it seems her dreams might become real. Until everything falls apart. When she meets truth face to face, will she find the courage to accept it even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice?

 Connect with Dina L. Sleiman

WebsiteFacebook ~ TwitterGoodreads

Author Portfolio at Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site

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Connect with Soul Inspirationz

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Valiant-HeartsDance~~

Be in to win a copy of either
Dauntless, Chivalrous,
Dance of the Dandelion
or
Dance from Deep Within

by Dina L. Sleiman

~~

(ONE print copy of either Dauntless or
Chivalrous
 to be won – USA only)
~~
(ONE digital copy of either Dance of the Dandelion or
Dance from Deep Within to be won – WORLDWIDE)

~~

Contest runs from September 25 – October 9, 2015 EST

~~

b_w_scrolldiv

How to Enter:

Please comment on the interview and/or leave a message for Dina L. Sleiman in the blog comments below, then fill out the contest form with your details.

  • To comment, log in at the top right of the blog (or below the comments)
  • Scroll to the bottom to leave your comment
  • Complete the CONTEST FORM* then return to this blog

Only entries made completing the above criteria will be eligible for drawing. 

*The Contest Form operates through Google Forms. You do not need a Google account to use it. None of the information supplied is used outside of Soul Inspirationz administration of the Giveaway.

 

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