Dina Sleiman ~ Author Interview

Oct 9, 2015 by

Welcome back to Rachel’s Back Talk! Another Friday interview!

Today’s interview is with Dina Sleiman. This past Monday, I had the opportunity to review her book Chivalrous.

So without further ado, on to Rachel’s Back Talk – Special Edition!


RR: Hi Dina! Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your first book in the Valiant Hearts Series , Dauntless, had a Robin Hood inspiration. What legend inspired Chivalrous?

DS: Chivalrous relates in many ways with Arthurian legends, particularly Sir Lancelot.  It takes place in a fictional dukedom in Northern England which strives to live by Arthurian ideals, including a round table type of government. It is a story of tournaments, chivalry, and courtly love with a surprising twist on the Lancelot and Guinevere story.

RR: Yes, I loved the setting and it sounds like you’ve taken this story in a whole new direction. In what ways does it relate to Dauntless?

DS: This story follows everyone’s favorite character from Dauntless, Allen, who will soon be dubbed Sir Allen of Ellsworth. Allen is the guy who didn’t get the girl in book one, but he takes off for North Britannia in search of his rightful place in the world, and I’m guessing he just might stumble across love once he gets there. This story also relates to the Valiant Hearts Series as a whole by bringing in a new spunky heroine who has secretly trained to be a knight.

RR: I was very excited to see that Allen would get his happy ending! Can you tell us a little bit more about your main characters in Chivalrous?

DS: Allen stands out immediately because of his deep connection with God, but he is also struggling with his identity. He was raised to be a peasant farmer but has been given many opportunities to advance in the world, and he isn’t sure of his new role. As is often the case with people so close to God, the weakness he deals with is pride, and although it is subtle, it has the potential to destroy everything.

Gwendolyn longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers, but her domineering father sees her as nothing more than a marriage pawn. He is determined to see her wed to a brutish man who will break her spirit. She is unsure how she even feels about a God who would create her—as she sees it—a second-rate female when she would rather be a knight.  And boy does she have a temper. But Gwendolyn also has a softer side. She loves dance and music and children. She will have a long way to go to find her true identity.

RR: It was neat to see the “other side” of both Gwen and Allen. What is one thing you hope readers will take away?

DS: This book deals with what it means to be a woman of valor. Because of Gwendolyn’s situation, she must struggle to discover a woman’s true role in both the family and society.  She has seen her mother abused into a shell of herself, and does not want that to be her fate. Both Gwendolyn and Allen end up dealing with unjust authorities, and must learn to balance godly submission with the importance of taking charge of one’s own decisions. To borrow a modern phrase, they must learn how to establish healthy boundaries. A message of God turning all things for good for those who love Him comes shining through the story. And as in all of my books, the importance of having an intimate relationship with God and learning to hear His voice is stressed.

RR: And that message is clear – thank you! As we close here today, what can we expect from book 3 of the Valiant Hearts series?

DS: Book 3, Courageous, will be coming out next summer. It will follow the story of Gwendolyn’s lady’s maid from Chivalrous. Rosalind of Ipsworth is haunted by a tragic mistake, but a crusade to the Holy Land just might offer her the chance to earn her redemption. Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross. She will gladly give herself to the cause of Christ, as she believes she no longer deserves such joys as normal life, marriage, and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared for a life in the church and a tonsured scalp, but his own desire is to fight and protect the innocent as a knight. After a stunning defeat, his parents issue an ultimatum: join the church or be disowned. A crusade to the Holy Land will offer him the opportunity to find the famed Knights Templar and become a warrior monk, finally merging his parents’ wishes with his own.

As they work together to train and protect a group of young adolescents, their hearts begin to heal, and Randel and Rosalind find themselves undeniably drawn to one another. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities, and the very nature of the God they serve.

RR: Sounds great and I, for one, am looking forward to Rosalind and Sir Randel’s story!

Don’t forget to read my review of Chivalrous.


12027612_10206420800830194_4722057526903794671_nDina Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. 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. Check out her novels Dance from Deep Within, Dance of the Dandelion, and Love in Three-Quarter Time, and look for her Valiant Hearts adventure/romance books, Dauntless and Chivalrous, with Bethany House PublishersFor more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *