Friday, February 27, 2015

MARISSA DILLON SHARES HER NOVEL LADY OF THE GARTER



The Lady of the Garter
by Marisa Dillon

Marisa Dillon will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour,

Marisa was kind enough to submit to an interview and fun photos. She was a delightful interviewee, as you will learn:


Hi, Caroline. Thank you for having me on your blog today. It’s great to be here with my hot latte to talk about steamy romance.

Where did you grow up? Locale? 

I grew up in Ohio, the Midwest, where everyone’s friendly and we can a look a stranger in the eye without being afraid. Siblings? I’m the oldest of three children, with a brother in the middle, who is a multimedia journalist and author, and my beautiful sister works at the Ohio State University in international affairs.

Married, single? Children? 

I married my college sweetheart and we have two talented sons, a graphic designer/entrepreneur who lives in Philadelphia and the other, is a 3D printing engineer who just moved to New York City. Thankfully, they chose cities that I love to visit and are only two hours away from each other by train.

Marisa's Family


Lovely to see a family involved in an activity together. Were you considered a “bookworm” or a jock? 

Actually, I was a mix of both, plus a thespian. I was lucky and had all types of friends. I was on the drill team, honor roll and was always in the high school theatrical productions.

Who are your favorite author and favorite genre? 

Johanna Lindsey, author of fifty novels in various subgenres of historical romance. Many of her titles have been New York Times best sellers. I believe I’ve read every one of them, beginning with Gentle Rouge. That was the first historical romance I’d ever read. When my two boys were little, and my husband worked nights, I needed a distraction. I could always count on a Johanna to deliver a cleverly crafted story, with strong characterization, and the happily ever after I wanted.

Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life? 

Wow, it’s hard to pick one, because writers like me love quotes. I accumulate them like some people collect baseball cards, but here’s my favorite that sums up how I feel about life:  "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." -- Melody Beattie. I think that is so beautifully articulated. I wish I’d written this. 

How long have you been writing? 

I was drawn to writing when my fifth grade poem was read aloud and published on the class room door as an example of what the teacher wanted. From then, I was hooked. My early writing was poetry, and then I dabbled with writing scripts for neighborhood plays that I’d staged with my friends in my garage. Later, a degree in journalism. But my career took me into television writing and marketing, where I work now. It was just in the last few years, I was able to get back to my true love of fiction writing.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop? 

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. Sometimes, my cat, Rio, wants to help. 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.



You definitely look relaxed therewith your muse by your side. Great place to write. Are you a plotter or a panzer? 

I’m a panster. This is so opposite to how the rest of my life runs. I’m a total planning geek in my day to day, with Outlook scheduling my every move. But some of those organizational skills must be running in the background, because after the first draft is done, I finally build an outline of the story, then I start filling in more detail and enhancing the plot.

Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories? 

The inspiration for The Lady of the Garter came to me after a trip I took back in time one autumn afternoon. In Ohio 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.



Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day? 

Caroline, I do write every day, but I can’t include daily goals, word count or chapter number requirements in my novel writing because I can only do that in my spare time. My day job is working as a marketing consultant for clients who need help with advertising on television and in social media. When I’m not writing for them, I’m writing for myself. And sometimes, I go back and forth between, just to keep my mind nibble, like exercise for the body.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers? What advice would you give to unpublished authors? 

Dream big and don’t doubt yourself. Take workshops and join a local group that supports the industry. Success is not a limited commodity in the publishing world. Many authors are willing to give an aspiring writer a leg up.

A fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you. 

One of my first jobs out of college was working as a weather forecaster for a local TV station before you had to be a meteorologist. Thank goodness I didn’t have to be one then, I wasn’t great in science.

Something about you that would surprise or shock readers. 

I belly dance with a Middle Eastern dance Troupe called Roja at cultural events and festivals. It started out as an activity for me to get in shape and after I did, I fell in love with the art form. I take classes and workshops to learn as much as I can about technique and new choreographies. Caroline, you are the first blogger to get a photo of me dancing in costume.



What a fun photo, Marisa. Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other? 

I’m working on the second in the Garter series that will include a Highlander spin. I have an outline for a third full novel and a novella to round out the series.

Can you give readers a blurb about your book?

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?

How about an excerpt:

James rubbed the back of his neck, then staggered forward. “Are you a gift from the duke? Where is my bloody squire, Edward?” he growled.
He’d obviously drank more than he’d eaten. She could smell the ale. “Your squire left when I arrived to tend to your bath, milord,” she answered. “He promised to return shortly.” 
She hoped the threat of an interruption might keep James’ intensions honorable.
That made him smile. “Is this how you tend to the bath for your guests?” His grin turned wicked. “A bath with you would give me great pleasure,” he admitted, his heated gaze boiling her blood.
“I confess there’s scarcely enough room in here for me.”
Her observation didn’t stop him from fumbling to remove his boots. Then he yanked off his breeches and shirt.
Elena sucked in a nervous breath—she loved seeing him naked. But if she didn’t take control of the situation soon, James would trap her in the tub.
“Come, you can sit on my lap,” he suggested.
She laughed louder than she should have, uncertain of what she wanted. But his smoldering gaze warmed her insides, making her wonder if he didn’t know who she was, what liberties she might take.
She wrung her hands, unsure what to do next. “Turn away and give me a moment of privacy, then I will tend to you.” She stepped out of the tub and draped herself in a towel the boys had left.
“That arse looks familiar. This is not my first time at Berkeley, girl. Pray tell, have we been together before?”

Where can readers find your book?  Here’s the buy link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lady-Garter-Marisa-Dillon-ebook/dp/B00QP2Q2P4


How can readers learn more about you?  I’d love to have your visitors follow me on Facebook.com/pages/Marisa-Dillon and Twitter.com/marisadillon.



Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you? I met a physic about ten years ago and he told me I would become a novelist and write fulltime. Remarkably, the first part of that has prediction has come true. I still have my day job and I still have my physic council. Stay tuned to see how it all works out.

LADY OF THE GARTER Blurb:

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?



LADY OF THE GARTER Excerpt:

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.”

Marissa Dillon, Author

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.


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Thanks for stopping by!

10 comments:

Mary Preston said...

A lovely author picture.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Saundra McKenzie said...

I like the excerpt!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Marisa, thank you for the great interview and the fun photos. I have no idea why there are white sections on the post. Please accept my apology.

Marisa 'Mo' Dillon said...

Hi all. Thanks for the hosting opportunity. No worries on the backgrounds. Looks almost like highlighting. I appreciate the complements from everyone. It's great to have you all stop by. Marisa

MomJane said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt, but I loved the fact that you are a belly dancer.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great excerpts... thanks for sharing

Marisa 'Mo' Dillon said...

Thanks for all the fantastic comments. It was fun! Marisa

Marisa 'Mo' Dillon said...

Thanks for all the fantastic comments. It was fun! Marisa

Glenda said...

Thanks for a great author interview and excerpt!