Thursday, February 26, 2015

Interview & Giveaway - The Lady of the Garter by Marisa Dillon

The Lady of the Garter

by Marisa Dillon



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.

“You tease me,” she said. “I don’t like it.”

“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 author Marisa Dillon!

What is your writing environment?

Thank goodness for the portability of laptops. Because I don’t have to be teetered, I can write just about anywhere. I named my laptop, Myrddin, after my heroine’s gyrfalcon and I’ll take him shady side by the pool in the summer, by the fireplace in the winter or out to Starbucks, when I need a strong dose of caffeine. But I’ve always wanted a crystal chandelier over an antique mahogany desk and I bet, if I created that environment, I’d be happy to write there, too.

Who is your perfect hero and why?
 He’s an alpha male that thinks he has it all figured out, with no love in his life, and finds out he is terribly mistaken after her meets, realizes he can’t live without, and finally falls for the heroine.

What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
Kathryn Le Veque and Regan Walker are two authors who have recently captured my attention. They are both prolific historical romance writers who are wildly successful. I’ve just recently started reading their novels and I enjoy their unique voices.

What type of book have you always wanted to write?
Truly, I’m writing the books I’ve always wanted to write. Within industry circles, authors often get caught up in labeling their work in genre silos, but readers don’t care about labeling, they just want to read great books. I’ve been influenced by the author, Dan Brown. I love the thrilling ride he gives his readers. I wanted that feel in my historical romances, a book you can’t put down. Based on my Amazon and Goodreads reviews, I’ve accomplished that and reviewers say my story is mixed with intrigue and mystery, too. As long as I keep readers happy, that will be the kind of books I’ll write.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?

1. Tour inside the Pyramids of Egypt (my mother has done this and I was fascinated and jealous).

2. Visit all the churches of Italy Dan Brown writes about in his novel, The Di Vinci Code, plus see the rest of the country while I’m there. (I’ve visited Italy, but it was too long ago.)

3. Visit as many castles in the U.K. as I possibly can. (I’ve been to one of the most famous, Windsor Castle, but I have a very long list.)

How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
I 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. I used many historical details about the Garter in my story.

What is your favorite scene in your new release?
The scene I enjoyed writing the most was when the heroine thinks she’s fooling the hero into believing she’s someone else and takes him to bed. The hardest scene to write was the one where the heroine has disguised herself in armor and takes on another squire in a competitive joust. I didn’t just have to worry about getting the reader excited about what was happening in the foray, but also make them understand how difficult it was for the heroine to pull off the rouse.

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
I’m working on the second in the Garter series that will include a Highlander spin, as well as a standalone story set in Georgian times about a belly dancer. No release dates available yet, but I hope to back to visit here again when they are available.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m in a Middle Eastern dance troupe and we perform for cultural events and festivals.

What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
 I was born in Norway and everyone on my father’s side of the family, going back centuries, is Norwegian.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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 link:  Amazon
Marisa Dillon will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Follow the tour HERE


  1. Happy to be visiting today. Thank you for the great feature. Marisa

  2. This sounds like a really good book, would love to read it. Entering under the name of Virginia

    1. Hi Quilt Lady. I love making quilts. I imagine you must be a big fan of those lovely patchwork concoctions. Thanks for stopping by today! Marisa

  3. I love the items on your bucket list.

  4. Love your bucket list. I would like to go to Egypt and see the Pyramids. I also love castles and would find it very interesting to visit them.

    1. Rita...we could have fun doing the bucket list together. LOL! Thanks for stopping by. Marisa

  5. Thanks so much for your post, Mary. Thanks for learning more about me. Marisa