Book Blurb & Info
Clarisse de Servian knows that her duty is to marry the man that her family chooses for her. But even for the betterment of her people, she cannot bring herself to wed a man she does not love. She does however fall in love with a man who is forbidden to her, and for once she enjoys happiness. But this happiness is only fleeting, for Clarisse possess a dark secret that threatens to destroy her and everyone she loves.
Note: Although part 3 of the Knights of Honor Trilogy, this story can be read as a stand-alone book.
His hand dropped to his side. “There was flour on your face,” he murmured but he made no move to come after her.
“Thank you,” she said, rubbing her face, now feeling foolish. Gareth was an altogether different man, she reminded herself. He was not the one who pervaded her nightmares.
“You’re welcome,” he said.
A silence fell between them, although she was acutely aware of the man who stood before her. His heated gaze fell to her lips, caressing them with his eyes and causing her to feel warm.
“I should escort you back to the great hall,” he murmured, “yet here I am hesitant to do so. Why is that?”
“I am not certain,” she said slowly.
His eyes had darkened and the look on his face caused a strange whirling in her stomach. But the sensation wasn’t caused by fright, she knew. Gareth had never done anything to frighten her, yet his physical presence suggested that he was capable of doing great harm. She should actually be leaving the kitchen this instant, but her feet felt as if they were stuck to the stone floor. A curiosity took hold of her and as the seconds passed by, its intensity grew.
“May I kiss you, Clarisse?”
Her lips parted, while her gaze went down to his mouth. Every fiber in her body wanted her to say yes. His heat drew her in and for some inexplicable reason she knew that once his firm lips touched hers, she would reel from the heady passion that she only heard about in stories…
Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about your trilogy, Knights of Honor, your new book, Fallen Knight, and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.
So first off, your newest book is part of your trilogy, Knights of Honor. Let's talk about the trilogy as a whole....
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Toot! Ok, so what do you want to know?
In your own words, what is the Knights of Honor trilogy about?
The Knights of Honor Trilogy follows the stories of three honorable knights whose lives are linked by a common enemy. We have a straight-laced hero in One True Knight; an up-and-coming one in A Knight’s Duty, and a disgraced hero in Fallen Knight.
What inspired the trilogy?
Originally I only planned to write One True Knight. My husband read my final draft and suggested that I also tell the stories about two minor characters that he liked. The idea sounded like a good one so I decided that the best approach was to write a trilogy about three knights who were at different stages of their careers.
What are some of the elements of the world you created?
My stories are set in Medieval England but the world itself is imaginary. My characters aren’t restricted to just roaming around in the castle, but they travel, camp out in the woods and interact with the commoners.
If you had to pick one thing, what is your favorite thing about the world you’ve created for your trilogy?
My most favorite thing is creating the landscape. I don’t think we can ever know what England was like back in the 14th century, but it’s a fun challenge to imagine a world that readers can enjoy.
Can you tell us a bit about the newest book in the trilogy, Fallen Knight?
Sure! Fallen Knight is a story about love, loss and redemption. Gareth de Mowbrey is a disgraced knight who is banished to the outer reaches of the realm. He’s seriously tortured and spends most of his time getting drunk. As he meets and gets to know Clarisse de Servian, he falls in love with her, but he doesn’t think that he can ever have her. Clarisse, on the other hand, is a sweet character, but she has a dark secret in which she’s unwilling to reveal to anyone.
How did you come up with the title of your newest book in the trilogy and can you tell us its significance?
After One True Knight was finished, I came up with a general idea about what the next two stories would be about. So with this latest book, I knew that the theme would be redemption. I brainstormed some titles and settled on “Fallen Knight” because it suited the story so well. As for the significance? Well, in the medieval times, there was a code of conduct which knights followed. They trained to fight from a very young age. The hero in this story unfortunately breaks some of the chivalric codes, and he has to live with the consequences of his actions.
How does the new book, Fallen Knight, fit into the trilogy?
Fallen Knight is the conclusion to the trilogy. It touches briefly on the lives of the other characters, answers the questions about their common enemy, and how he affected their lives.
What genre would you say Fallen Knight is and what sets your book apart for fans of the genre?
Fallen Knight is a historical romance, but if you want to get specific, it’s a part of the medieval romance sub-genre. And what sets my books apart from the genre? Well, I think the difference is that my plotlines aren’t typical; they will keep you guessing to the very end. I also like to mix in elements from other genres such as action, adventure, suspense and fantasy.
What was your favorite scene to write in Fallen Knight?
My most favorite scene is the wedding feast. This is when Gareth sits at the trestle table and the food comes pouring in. I got hungry describing and imagining the different dishes lol
What was the hardest scene to write for Fallen Knight?
The hardest scene to write was the love scene. I find love scenes generally difficult to write because I have to make it true to the character and each character is different.
What is your favorite line or quote from Fallen Knight?
This one: “Everyone has choices,” he said, snapping all the thorns from the rose stem before tucking it behind her right ear. “You may not always realize what your choices are at the time.”
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?
Probably my interest in writing originated in grade 3 when we were introduced to journaling. I enjoyed the exercise, and it naturally progressed to writing stories. I had a few teachers who told me that I had talent, so I was hopeful that one day I could become a writer. It was years later though that I had the opportunity to pursue my dream. The conditions were right, and since I was a stay-at-home mom, I was also spurred by a dread of going back to work.
What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?
When growing up, I wasn’t allowed to go to parties or have boyfriends, so escaping into books took me away from my troubles and made me feel good. So now that I’m an author, I want to write stories that can possibly help others escape from their own realities.
Are you a Plotter or a Panster?
I thought I was a mixture of both, but lately I’ve discovered that I’m leaning more toward being a plotter.
Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?
No, not yet. I plan to establish myself as a historical romance author first before I venture into different sub-genres.
What's next for you?
I’m planning on doing a seven book medieval romance series. Also on the backburner, I have ideas for a Regency series. At the moment, though, I’m working on book one of the medieval romance series.
Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?
I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to my friends and fans for their support and encouragement. They are the fuel that keeps me writing.
Are there any of your stories or characters that hold a special place in your heart?
I’d have to say Gareth from Fallen Knight. He trained his whole life to be a knight, to uphold the chivalric code of honor, but his life changes when his brother is murdered. To him, the world is no longer black and white but shades of grey. So Gareth falls into the pits of despair but he’s able to rise out of it. I guess I admire real and fictional characters that are able to overcome physical and/or mental obstacles.
If the book or trilogy had to have a theme song, what would it be?
Since this book is about two people, I have two theme songs. For Gareth, it’s Demons by Imagine Dragons. And for Clarisse, it’s Titanium by David Guetta.
Lastly, What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the trilogy?
Ok, 5 things about me:
- I majored in English Literature but English isn’t my first language
- I love to cook
- I took belly dancing classes
- Out of the 9 kids in my family, I’m the 7th
- I know how to do the German Chicken Dance
- One True Knight took two and half years to write
- The books are connected by the running theme of honor
- Clarisse’s brother Geoffrey (who shows up in books 2 and 3) has his own story in Heart of a Knight
- Writing a trilogy was an afterthought
- My computer died while I was working on the final draft of Fallen Knight
It wasn't until she was married with two young kids that she decided to take a stab at writing her own historical romance books. She is intrigued with the idea of writing romance fiction that could bring hours of enjoyment to readers, help them escape from reality, and perhaps remind them how sweet love is and should be. These are the things that she enjoys as a reader, and these are the things that she wants to give back as a writer.
Dana resides in a city east of Toronto, Canada. When not writing or reading, she's dining at local restaurants with her husband and kids and enjoying the spectacular foods of the world.
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