Character Spotlight: Dina Sleiman’s Rosalind & Randel with a giveaway


Meet a crusader and a knight in

Dina Sleiman’s

Medieval YA Romance


Bethany House


The Story

Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she’s haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. 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.

Introducing Rosalind & Randel

Brief physical description

Rosalind is a stunner, slender with long dark hair, pale skin, and bright blue eyes. Meanwhile, Randel is one of those guys who might just blend into a crowd of soldiers, but when you really stop and look at him, he’s quite appealing with his warm brown eyes and crooked smile.


For Rosalind, Katie McGrath from the BBC’s Merlin.

And for Randel, actor Michael Socha from Once Upon a Time.

Strengths and weaknesses

Rosalind has two sides. There is the playful, spunky Rosalind we all met and loved in book 2 of the series, Chivalrous. She’s faithful to friends and family, and incredibly responsible, while still finding ample opportunity for fun and adventure.  However Rosalind has a passionate side that sometimes gets her into trouble. Towards the end of book 2 and early in book 3, she’s haunted by a tragic mistake she made, but the lively Rosalind very quickly resurfaces and remains present for most Courageous as she seeks redemption on a crusade.

Randel is laid back and intelligent, yet he’s always had this longing to be a knight that doesn’t readily fit with his personality. Because of this, his parents are against the path he’s taken and want him to join the church as a priest. His main weakness is that he’s a gentle, feeling person, which is only a weakness because he’s a soldier, but it’s that same caring nature that drives him to protect others. Similar to Rosalind, he’s still recovering from a bad military experience back home in England, and he sometimes suffers from a bit of PTSD. Randel hopes to become a Templar knight, which he believes will please both him and his parents.

Quirk (if any)

Randel can be a bit…shall we say “nerdy” at times. LOL. He’s really into bird watching, and specifically obsessed with finding a Syrian serin while in the Holy Land.

Rosalind is more the girl next door, medieval version. She doesn’t really have any quirks. However she does have an uncanny ability to attract the wrong sort of men. She’d really like to figure out how to change that about herself.

Your inspiration for the character

Rosalind and Randel were both characters in Chivalrous. I wanted Rosalind to present a foil to my big, blonde, tomboyish Gwendolyn. So she mostly evolved to fit that role. Rosalind offers a more typically feminine point of view and helps to guide Gwendolyn in discovering her own femininity. She’s the most girly of my Valiant Hearts heroines so far, and she even loves beautiful clothes, make up, and fancy hairstyles. On the other hand, she learns to protect herself and to fight for what she wants from Gwendolyn, which helps to drive her through this crusader story.

In Chivalrous, Randel offered a backup love interest for Gwendolyn when it looked like everything was falling apart. She thinks of him as a gawky, awkward teenaged boy, until she looks at him with fresh eyes and discovers a man who’s kind, considerate, and quite handsome. I would say the inspiration for Randel is all of those awesome guys who get overlooked in high school but end up making the best husbands. Actually, that was the only role I had planned for Randel in the beginning, but then I fell in love with him and decided to make him the hero of book 3.

Background to the story 

Based on the general Valiant Hearts premise of placing female characters in legendary medieval roles, Courageous is a crusader story. I was inspired by several different crusade legends, including the children’s crusades and the knights Templar. Very early in the creative process, I realized that I wanted my heroine to go on crusade in search of redemption. Next I needed to figure out what she had done that required such a drastic step. The final result was that my heroine, Rosalind of Ipsworth, made a tragic decision to abort an illegitimate child while she was still serving as Gwendolyn’s lady’s maid in Chivalrous, book 2. This made for some challenging subject matter in a series geared toward Christian teens and young women, but I believe that they want to learn about tough, real life issues from people they can trust. At least those were the sorts of issues I wanted to read about when I was a Christian teen.

Thanks Dina!Dina Sleiman

Dina L. Sleiman holds an MA in professional writing from Regent University and a BA in communications with a minor in English from Oral Roberts University. Over the past eighteen years, she has had opportunities to teach college writing and literature, as well as high school and elementary classes in English, humanities, and fine arts. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three children. 

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlights on Merry (Dauntless) and Gwendolyn & Allen
Visit Dina’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: Courageous or Koorong



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18 Responses to Character Spotlight: Dina Sleiman’s Rosalind & Randel with a giveaway

  1. I am an adult who reads YA, both to preview books for my girls who are rapidly approaching that age, and because I genuinely enjoy the novels I have read!

  2. I am an adult that reads YA, for the same reason to look for books for my kids as they get older and because I reaĺly do enjoy the stories! :)

  3. I enjoy reading YA books even though I’m an adult because aIr enjoy the stories! Maybe I’m going into my second childhood since I’m 72 years old! Lol!

  4. I am an adult who enjoys YA books. Because of the author who writes them and because I love to read and enjoy a good story.

  5. I am an adult who reads YA because I want to screen them for my teens and I find some of the stories compelling.

  6. I don’t read YA anymore because it got harder for me to find books that were unique without being to similar to a previous book I read. I know good YA books are out there but I’m taking a break from them.

  7. Yes I am an adult who reads YA books. Because I find them very interesting.

  8. Fun character spotlight. Katie is a great choice, and the model on the cover seems to be a good fit in consideration for that. Love reading YA novels (especially so in these last 12-18 months) because they’re my “happy place” reads. If I run across one (which is often the case) that has “more” to it than a happy-go-lucky premise, that’s great. But overall, I enjoy their happy premise and concepts. :)

  9. I haven’t yet read a YA, though I have almost every book of Melanie Dickerson and also the first two by Dina’s (Dauntless and Chivalrous)! It’s a matter of too many books and never enough time, lol! My niece has read most of Melanie’s and highly recommends them to me, if she thinks they are good, then they must be :-)

    Thanks for the chance to win Courageous to add to my set by Dina & for the character spotlight. I’ll also be sharing this on Facebook :-)

  10. I often wonder why I enjoy YA fiction. I read more YA fiction than both my 14 and 17 year olds. In fact, I think its nearly 40% of what I read total. One thing that I feel is that today’s YA fiction seems like higher quality compared to what was available when I was a teen/YA. Most of what I have read does not dumb down the dialogue or content and insult a teens intelligence.

  11. I had not read many YA novels since I was one myself. This year, as I have been getting into reviewing, I have read several and am really enjoying them. Thanks for the giveaway Rel!

  12. I definitely read more YA in my 20’s, but I still enjoy the genre on occasion. I mostly read ones that are clean and with a contemporary setting, but will also try historical and fantasy with a strong recommendation from a trusted source 😉 It seems that most YA are written from a first person POV which I love since it gets me in the character’s mind pretty quickly.

  13. I read my first YA book a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it. I can then recommend to my grand daughter when she gets a little older.

  14. I sometimes read YA novels, because as a retired, public school teacher, it is something I’ve always done. Also, I have grandchildren, so I like to be able to suggest good books for them to read.

  15. I’m an adult that enjoys reading YA books. They are good clean read and a lot of them are in historical settings.

  16. It depends on the YA novel! I enjoy Jody Hedlund’s and Melanie Dickerson’s YA novels. I haven’t read Dina Sleimans’s yet.

  17. Yes, I am adult and I have read a few YA books. But I only enjoyed a couple of them.

  18. Yes because I find that I can relate more to YA than actual “adult” novels!

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