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When Henry VII takes the throne, not all are loyal to the new king. Garter knight, Sir James, is charged with bringing dissenters to justice. Determined to fulfill his vows, he’s unprepared for Lady Elena, a girl from his past he’s never forgotten.
Lady Elena defies her family and disguises herself as a squire to reunite with the man she’s always loved. She might be able to wield a sword, but she still possesses a woman’s heart.
Thrust into a world of danger and family rivalry, James and Elena face the ultimate test.
Can James avenge his father’s death and find passion, or will his Garter oaths hold him to a life of service without love?
Servants began to bustle about the hall. Men offered pitchers of rose-scented water and towels. Overflowing baskets of fresh bread and pitchers of wine were placed on the tables. Elena was ready for some mead after all she’d been through. Once the king’s taster sampled the fair, he nodded to the queen. The feast had officially begun. Nudging her brother, Elena confessed, “I was ordered out of the tent.”
“What did you expect? What kind of man do you take James for?” He laughed, raising his goblet in honor of the king.
“What did you find, Edward?”
“A foul-mouthed, dirty warrior,” she complained. “Not the sweet innocent lad I fell in love with.”
William’s eyes were filled with merriment. “Lads grow into men. Men become knights.” He studied her face. “And what of your other goal?”
“Whatever do you mean?”
“Becoming a knight,” he reminded her.
Elena gasped. The other squires stared as if they’d overheard her brother.
William chuckled, raising his cup again. “Long live the king.” The squires joined his salute.
Elena shot her brother a look of warning. How could he be so careless? Spirits. She rolled her eyes. “I admit it,” she said with defiance, keeping her voice low. “I want to become a knight. I’ve never kept that secret from you, but we both agreed I must serve as a squire first.”
Their conversation was interrupted by a woman who placed a trencher on the table in front of them.
“Peacock, venison, quail, and rabbit,” the wench announced, flashing a toothless grin.
William quickly helped himself to half the meat. Always selfish, he even chose the tenderest pieces of venison.
She glowered at him. “Will nothing change? I must accept the meager portions left after you claim the best?”
He licked his fingers, then leaned in so only she could hear his reply. “To these lads you’re just another squire. But I know what’s underneath those pants. So yes, you are still a female, and I get the best. Be satisfied there’s anything left for you to eat.”
An Interview with the author:
Thank you for inviting me here today. I’m excited to talk about my debut novel, The Lady of the Garter, set in the late 1400s. The heroine, Lady Elena, is a strong, independent woman determined to achieve two goals: win the heart of Sir James, a knight in the Order of the Garter, and to attain knighthood herself. The story grows as Elena disguises herself as a boy, becomes James’ squire and follows him into battle. But Elena’s determination and strength are tested as she confronts obstacles put in place by her nemesis, the evil Sir Nicholas. The twists and turns lead the reader on a romantic, high-spirited adventure that follows one woman’s pursuit of honor and true love.
How long have you been a published author? Still wet behind the ears, about ten weeks.
How long have you been writing?
Although new to the publishing world, my passion for writing began when my first-grade teacher read my poem aloud and posted it on the classroom wall. I soon followed up by writing plays for my neighborhood friends and hosting the productions in my garage. After a earning a degree in journalism, I spent many years writing for the television industry, and in my spare time, I dabbled in creative writing. About three years ago, I took a few workshops on how to write a Romance novel. With some great mentors, and a little luck, I found my way to a contracted manuscript. The rest is history.
What made you choose the subject of this book?
The inspiration for the story came to me after a trip I took back in time one autumn afternoon. I live in Ohio, and we have one of the largest and most authentic Renaissance Festivals in the country. I even dressed the part and took a ride on a warhorse. I was inspired by what I saw. The jousting reenactments, danger, romance, chivalry, comedy, comradery. It was all there and I wanted to write a story about that world.
I also love the idea of chivalry and romance mingling together. In the late 15th century, the notion of the knight in shining armor was not a fantasy, but a reality. (If history doesn’t lie) And as a lover of history and romance, I couldn’t resist researching and then writing about a group of knights who have been revered and served the English monarchy for generations. The Most Noble Order of the Garter was founded in 1348, holds the highest order of chivalry and is the most prestigious group in service to England. Even Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is a Garter Knight today.
Will you write a sequel or expand this into a series? Book II in a series is well underway, but this one will have a Scottish bent. I’m also obsessed with Highlanders.
What is your favorite genre and why? I cut my teen wisdom teeth on historicals, and have always loved stepping back in time to read a story starring an alpha male and the promise of a happy ending. Dukes, Viking lords, kings, chivalrous knights, they are the archetypes that satiate my appetite and fulfill my ideal of the ultimate hero.
If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
I would love to write a book with George R.R. Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones series. His stories are epic and filled with fantasy. I love his imagery-laced writing style and talent for building memorable characters. Adding a man’s perspective to my work, would help me develop my male character into larger than life hero. Also, I know his fans are disappointed he’s not publishing a new novel in 2015. If he’d commit to a project to come out late this year with me, I would promise to write more than half of the story. Geroge?
About the author:
Born in Norway, Marisa was raised in the states and became a U.S. Citizen when her Norwegian father became naturalized. Marisa’s maternal Italian grandfather immigrated to American and gave her the other half of her international roots.
Growing up, Marisa traveled to Europe many times, once even cross-Atlantic, and was fortunate enough to tour much of the continent, as well as Scandinavia, staying at length with family or in unconventional places like a nun’s convent.
Marisa has spent many years writing for the television industry. As an award-winning producer/director/marketer, she has worked on commercial production, show creation, product branding and social media.
With a degree in journalism, Marisa has spent many years writing for the television industry. As an award-winning producer/director/marketer, she has worked on commercial production, show creation, product branding and social media.
Marisa’s passion for writing began when her first-grade teacher read her poem aloud and posted it on the classroom wall. She soon followed up by writing plays for her neighborhood friends and hosting the productions in her garage.
Marisa has always enjoyed reading romance novels and now realizes a dream come true, writing romantic adventures. She lives in Kettering, Ohio, with her first love and knight in shining armor, James.
Buy it here:
The Lady of the Garter is available as an eBook on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lady-Garter-Marisa-Dillon-ebook/dp/B00QP2Q2P4
You can visit Marisa at: http://www.marisadillon.com. And you can connect with Marisa on Facebook.com/pages/Marisa-Dillon and Twitter.com/marisadillon.