Reviews From FIRST READERS of The Green Velvet Christmas Dress

Melea seamlessly pieces together the lived experiences of several women, uniting the unique textures of their struggle and loss with velvety green cords of fortitude, faith, and redemption. Embroidered with delightful pockets of joy, The Green Velvet Christmas Dress is a “must-wear“ for any reader, a versatile covering of comfort and hope.

 Christy, Teacher and Hope Enthusiast


After seeing a version of the play years ago, it’s a close contest between play and book. I love the way Melea writes through the heart and the book has so much more to say than the play. Both the book and the play are magnificent, and I give them both a 10! I also give my family and myself a 10 because we are blessed to have both the play and the book within the possession of our hearts and souls. Thank you for putting your heart and creative thoughts into such an awesome challenge and creating a thing so beautiful as this Christmas story!

Phillip C., a contractor


I just finished reading The Green Velvet Christmas Dress to my husband, Phil, and I have been so lost in the story that for two nights. In fact, I’ve had dreams about Emma and Marla. The way Melea brings these characters to life is beautiful and Emma is my favorite. She speaks to the child deep within me—the wounded child that God touched and brought joy and trust into her life, such a beautiful book Melea has written.

Theresa, an immediate responder with a servant heart


Reading The Green Velvet Christmas Dress renewed in me the hope and healing that the story brought to me in its original stage version. GVCD will forever live in my heart and this book will sit at the ready on my bookshelf!

Susan Fletcher, Director of the 2018 stage production of “The Green Velvet Christmas Dress” 


“Worn on the day when sorrow was no more.” These words embroidered into the lining of a beautiful green velvet dress resonated deeply in me. Who doesn’t want to throw on a soft, luxurious garment when the dark clouds lift and dance while the sorrow floats away? Who doesn’t want to celebrate when the sadness isn’t as bad, when you can begin to breathe again after the crushing blow of loved ones lost? Who doesn’t want to live in the hope that our beloved Emma (the heroine of The Green Velvet Christmas Dress), found as she stepped into a new, unexpected life story with God by her side? 

The journeys of the women of The Green Velvet Christmas Dress – Emma, Rachel, Laurel, Barb, Julie, Marla, and Melea – each of who were fortunate enough to have the green velvet Christmas dress in their lives for a moment, brought new hope to my weary heart.  The book is a powerful reminder of the truth that we are never alone, that sorrows can heal, and that God is with us every moment of every day for our whole life. Oh, and that things really do go better with some of Emma’s homemade jam. 

Annie, a grateful lover of Christ


Dear Melea,

I could not stop reading….I could not put it down. The most beautiful tribute to your published work, is that as soon as I finished the last page, I sat back in my chair, took a deep sigh and realized this book needs to be distributed into the home and hearth of everyone in the world. 

It is a story of the depth of God’s unfailing  love for each one of his children. In their most challenging times of sorrow and despair, their greatest losses, care is extended, and lives are healed. In your most creative, anointed gifted way, each of your characters drew me in, and I felt part of their community, and their relationships. I felt myself wanting to hug Emma, sew with Rachel, Barb and Laurel, and dance with the prima ballerina Angelika. I discovered, in a fresh way, that God is so much greater in love and comfort than we allow him to be.

Creativity is always God’s remedy to heal from pain and darkness of the soul. Each chapter is filled with creative gestures and deeds of love.

In this age, when most have yielded to complacency and isolation, Melea gives us the charge to return to the gifts of hospitality, loving our neighbors as ourselves and, most of all, remembering we each have the ability to create something beautiful with our hands.

Deborah, an east-side sister


I could not stop reading…I could not put it down. In her most creative, gifted way, each of Melea’s characters drew me in, and I felt a part of their community, and their relationships.

A grateful reader


Something gets ‘birthed’ when we enter into a story and live out the lives of other women who, just like us, are on a journey toward something bigger than ourselves.  As a Registered Nurse, I often get to hear ‘snippets’ of people’s stories shared with me on their journey, but I often don’t get to ‘circle back around’ to see how these stories became a part of a larger legacy of life, birthing moments of love from generation to generation. The Green Velvet Christmas Dress allowed me to enter in and be a part of a wonderful circle of life and a legacy of love for generations of women, all connected literally, by a thread.  All of their individual stories are woven into a memorable piece of work…a dress, a book, and a word of hope. Thank you Melea!  

Renee’ Herman, RN, BSN, MHSA, CCCTM  A nurse who will share this story with many of her colleagues, patients and friends, in the hope that they, too, will remember there’s hope in the journey.


The Green Velvet Christmas Dress story is a reflection of how the Gospel comes alive through our everyday interactions with one another and draws us to Christ through the ordinary presence of our neighbors. 

– Dave, local pastor 


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