I’m thrilled to introduce a very dedicated and talented new author, Ms. Marisa Dillon. Her debut novel, The Lady of the Garter, is scheduled for release in October. It’s never too early to get started and I love showcasing new talent. Let’s welcome her…
Marisa’s passion for writing began when her first grade poem was read aloud and then published on the class room wall. She continued that love throughout her youth, by writing plays that starred her neighborhood friends, hosting them in her garage and charging 25 cents per person.
Although I grew up in Ohio, I was able to travel the world as a young girl and it fueled my imagination at an early age. One of my favorite countries to visit was England, where I was able to explore centuries-old castles and majestic manors. I’d make-believe I lived there and that’s where my joy of creating stories began. I not only love writing historical romantic fiction, but also working as a marketing executive in the television industry.
How old were you when you read your first romance? Which one?
I was about 15. We read Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind in 10th grade. I would claim that classic as my first romantic read. Yep, the guys hated it. That sealed it for me.
Who are your favorite romance authors?
Johanna Lindsey is at the top. I’ve read every book she’s written, all 49. I also love Nora Roberts, Theresa Medeiros, and Elizabeth Knight, a mix of prolific and new writers.
What are your top five romance books of all time?
Johanna Lindsey’s Gentle Rogue
Julie Garwood’s The Bride
Theresa Mederios’ Lady of Conquest
Jude Deveraux’s The Black Lion
Nora Roberts’ The Key of Light
Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?
Yes, one that’s centuries old, crafted by the poet Virgil. In Latin: “Omnia Vincit Amor.” Translation: “Love Conquers All.”
What’s your favorite romantic movie?
Romancing the Stone is my favorite romcom. Here’s the best quote from the move: “Okay, Joan Wilder, write us out of this one.”
What’s the most romantic place you’ve ever visited?
The Italian Rivera. I’d like to go visit again next year. While researching online recently, I found a website that described the region as ‘one that belonged in a romance novel.’ Perfect inspiration for me.
What’s the most romantic era/setting for romance books?
I’d like to think the Renaissance period, from 14th – 17th centuries, is the most romantic era. Of course, my book takes place during the late 15th century. I’ll claim creative bias. Anywhere in Europe I find fascinating and would readily use as a backdrop for a historical romance novel. That’s where all the history is.
How long does it take for you to read a great book?
Well, I’d like to think if it’s a page turner, I can read it in a day. Especially if it’s the weekend and I can’t put it down. I do love J.R. Martin’s Game of Throne books, but I can’t do those in one sitting.
How many books do you read a year?
I try to read at least two books a month, if not more. It depends on how much writing I’m doing at the time. I read all different genres, but historical romance is my favorite.
What inspired you to start writing? What are your future plans?
After my first grade poem was read aloud and published on the class room wall, I caught the writing bug. I was thrilled that others could be entertained by the imagination that came from my penned words. (No computers back then)
I was lucky that I found a publisher for my first manuscript on the first pitch. I hope that luck continues, that I may have a long and successful writing career with Soul Mate publishing.
Tell us about your upcoming release.
When King Henry VII takes the throne and the House of Tudor is born, not all in the realm are loyal. Lady Elena of Warwickshire is ill-prepared for what the fates have in store for her after she poses as a squire to be reunited with Sir James, the dashing knight she’s loved from afar since girlhood. Because she won’t break a promise, the one-day ruse turns into a journey of deception as Elena is forced to help James rescue his mother from the notorious Sir Nicholas Luttrell, a man who wants all of them dead.
Here’s the lovely cover…
Lady Elena channels the spirit of Joan of Arc and lets the ancient rune stones guide her. Where men are concerned, she’d rather fight than be fought over. But her long-time obsession with Sir James, a knight of the Garter, takes her on a journey beyond the safety of her home in Warwickshire. She battles her fears, the evil Sir Nicholas, and fate, before she can claim her destiny and become a victor in love!
And a teaser I adore…
She entered the pavilion and waited impatiently for her brother to arrive. How in God’s name had William convinced her that any of this was right? She had agreed to the scheme with the intent of meeting James again. Five years had passed since he’d left her to become a knight. Promises he’d made to her were never kept and she wanted to know why. Regardless, she must keep a clear mind if she was going to achieve her goal.
A commotion erupted outside. She looked at the entrance just as someone burst through. “Squire, get this blasted armor off.”
James? She couldn’t move. This was the first time he’d spoken to her—the first time she’d been so close to him since she was a young girl. Her heart raced as she stared at him, speechless.
“Squire,” he shouted again.
He’s alive. Praised be the saints.
His rage-filled, blue gaze locked on her. Where was William?
“My lord,” she said with as much confidence as she could muster. She lowered her chin, shielding her face with her cap. “I shall make quick work of the armor. Let me start with the leg braces.”
“I give the commands. My grand guarde, it must be removed first.”
James sat down hard on a long wooden worktable. It shook under his weight, but it was the only suitable surface available in the tent.
She grabbed a stool so she could reach the shield bolted to his breastplate. She had seen this style of armor before, even worked on fastenings in her father’s workshop. Praise the Virgin Mary, at least she knew her way around a suit of armor.
She was quick about it, and soon had the upper plate off. Before she realized it though, she was eye level with his muscular chest. Too close. Completely distracted, she inched away, tumbling off the stool, landing in a heap at his feet.
Embarrassed, heat rose in her cheeks, but she looked up anyway. He towered over her. The intense gaze she met unnerved her. This was the man she’d loved. And if she allowed her emotions to override her control, he’d recognize her. She quickly redirected her gaze.
In truth, now that they were together again, all she wanted to do was rush into his arms, to feel his powerful caresses. A kiss? Oh, yes, she wanted one. But not dressed as a boy. No, she’d better act like one to protect her true identity and to keep her virtue.
Where to connect with Marisa…
I’ll keep you posted as we get closer to her release date! Thanks for giving us a sneak peek into your fab book, Marisa.