Marisa Dillon’s Favorite Day of the Year: January First

Instead of listing a bunch of resolutions I won’t keep, I thought I’d feature an author on my blog today. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year, I think. Why? Because I love meeting new authors and falling in love with their books, and since I’m a reader as well as a writer, I suspect I’m not alone in that feeling. So today you get to meet a new (to me) author! Hopefully, you’ll add her book to your TBR, read it, fall in love, and eagerly look forward to her next release. Enjoy!


Happy New Year! Thank you, Tami, for inviting to be a guest on your blog today. January 1st is one of my favorite days of the year. I think of it as a chance to reboot my life. When I’m not writing, I work in sales and marketing, where I’m used to setting and attending goals. Instead of making a lot of resolutions on what to change on New Year’s Day, I’d rather set goals and dream big. And I encourage visitors today, who are either authors or would-be authors, to join me.

I like this idea…

Happy New Year 365

Yes, if you think about setting the goal to write a book in 2015, now is a perfect time to start. Don’t worry about word count, an outline, or character development sheets. Like Nike’s iconic slogan, “Just do it.”

That’s what I did when I set about writing my first manuscript. It started out as an on-line class, and after a year of working on the first draft, I had done something most people only talk about. A first draft.

Marisa_Dillon_author pic

After a contract, and time under a talented editor at Soul Mate Publishing, The Lady of the Garter, my debut novel, was just released on Amazon.

The story is set in 1486, at the end of War of the Roses, when a new king units the Lancastrians and Yorkist to form the legendary House of Tudor. The book opens in a knight’s jousting pavilion in the lower bailey of Warrick Castle. My goal was to write a page turner, a romantic adventure, and fortunately, my reviewers agree.


Here’s the overview:

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.

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?


A sneak peek…

A group of boys, full of more than mischief, nearly knocked her off her perch before she found her knight on the field.

Her breath caught when she eyed the too familiar golden mane of hair. It whipped wildly in the wind. Sitting atop his warhorse in full armor, he did not disappoint. He was everything she’d imagined and remembered. He radiated courage, strength, nobility, and pride. She pitied his opponent.

Close enough to catch his attention with a shout, the temptation passed quickly. Instead, she would admire his handsome features. With a square jaw, a narrow straight nose, and a wicked smile, he represented everything she’d always been attracted to in a man. He was exquisitely made. She’d seen tapestries of the Greek Gods and even they could not compare. Oh yes, and those steel-blue eyes, the same color of the three lions emblazoned on his shield. His black destrier wore matching marks on its ornamented trapper and pawed the ground impatiently, as ready for action as his esteemed rider.

William startled her when he grabbed her by the waist and attempted to pull her off the fence. She resisted, slapping at his hands. No, she didn’t want to take her eyes off her knight. Not yet. Never. She’d waited too long for this moment.

“You there, Squire,” a noble shouted to William above the fray, “who are the knights that take up their arms on the tournament field?”

William let go.

“God’s teeth, didn’t you check the lists?” William answered. “Tis Sir James and Sir Hugh, both Garter knight champions. With King Henry in attendance, will make for a fine competition.”

“No. I just arrived at Warwick Castle from the north,” the man explained. “I ask not about these knights now,” he said, pointing toward the jousting area. “Who was the champion just leaving the field? The victor with the bloodied lance?”

“Sir Nicholas, the king’s cousin,” William answered, then leaned against the railing behind him. “What is the importance?”

“The man’s brutal style of fighting. I thought this tourney was in honor of the king’s marriage. Why the excessive violence?”

Elena could have answered. Her father had warned her about Sir Nicholas Luttrell. Although relatively unknown in Warwickshire, his sordid family history wasn’t. The man lived beyond the law. And now that he was part of the new House of Tudor, uniting the Yorkists and Lancastrians, he made his own decrees. Yet, this newly appointed Earl of Dunster, still lived in obscurity. No one outside the royal family had seen him in years, until today. And even then, he’d been helmeted while on the field.

A trumpet blast interrupted Elena’s thoughts. It also silenced the crowd. Everyone watched as the next competitors prepared to enter the field.

Elena eyed her brother’s friend, Jacob, the third squire who was assigned to James. He would manage the armor and was ready with the lances. She wouldn’t be needed until later, affording her time to watch the match from the sidelines.

She laughed nervously as James struggled to tame his wind-blown mane before covering it with his helmet. Now fully dressed, he took the lance from Jacob. With all the ceremonial decorum completed, the knights’ restless mounts were released.

Elena squeezed her eyes shut, afraid of what was to come. But the sounds of snapping lances and snorting warhorses forced them open again. Damn her curiosity.

2015 Epic Adventures

Adventure is easy from the safety of your couch, when you’re reading a great book, but don’t think it’s just for the fictional characters. Use the inspiration from the books you read to get outside your comfort zone. And let my character, Elena, The Lady of the Garter, be your muse.

Where to find it…

The Lady of the Garter_FINAL Extra

The Lady of the Garter


Where to find Marisa…




Happy New Year Blank Book


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