13 June 2010

Guest Author: Margaret Mallory

This week on Unusual Historicals we're welcoming back contributor Margaret Mallory as she celebrates the release of KNIGHT OF PASSION, the third of her "All the King's Men" trilogy from Grand Central. Here's the blurb:

Can This Passionate Knight...

Renowned beauty Lady Linnet is torn between two desires: revenge on those who destroyed her family or marriage to her childhood sweetheart Sir James Rayburn. One fateful night, she makes a misguided choice: she sacrifices Jamie's love for a chance at vengeance.

Trust A Beauty with a Past?

Jamie Rayburn returns to England in search of a virtuous wife--only to find the lovely Linnet as bewitching as ever. Their reckless affair ignites anew, even hotter than before, although Jamie vows to never again trust her with his heart. Just as Linnet begins to make amends, she's tempted by one last opportunity to settle old scores. But a final retribution could cost her Jamie's love--this time forever.

★ ★ ★ ★ ½ TOP PICK! "Mallory raises the genre to new levels." ~ RT Book Reviews

"[A]n amazing story...filled with sexual tension and hot romance, as well as adventure with a fascinating historical background." ~ Romance Reviews Today


Can you tell us a bit about the historical backdrop for your new release, KNIGHT OF PASSION?

KNIGHT OF PASSION is the third book in my medieval trilogy, "All the King's Men." The "King" in the series title is Henry V. The first book, KNIGHT OF DESIRE, takes place during the last Great Welsh Rebellion, when Henry V is still Prince Harry. In the second book, KNIGHT OF PLEASURE, he is in his glory days as King Henry V and "re-conquering" Normandy.

Alas, the great king is dead in this third book, KNIGHT OF PASSION. The royal family is squabbling over control of the kingdom, and--oh my--the young widowed queen is having an affair with her lowly Clerk of the Wardrobe!

I had great fun including a number of real historical figures as secondary characters in this book. (See my earlier posts on Royalty and Witches, Owen Tudor and Katherine de Valois, and the Lancasters.)

So tell us a little about your hero and heroine.

Sir James Rayburn is a warrior and an honorable knight. Poor man. First, I give him a heroine who won't let him do the right thing by her. And then, I throw him into the middle of palace intrigue and royal infighting, when he'd prefer a good clean battle.

Five years after Linnet lacerated Jamie's heart and pride, he's come home to England set on finding a quiet, biddable wife who won't cause trouble--or stir his passions too much. Left to his own devices, Jamie is headed for a safe, tedious life.

Linnet is a rule-breaker. She was raised in the merchant class by an indulgent grandfather--with no mother to tell her all the things she shouldn't do. For the last five years, she has devoted herself to seeking vengeance against the men who destroyed her beloved grandfather and turned her and her brother out to fend for themselves. Losing Jamie along the way is her one regret.

When she meets Jamie again in London, she is on the final--and most dangerous--leg of her quest for justice. If Jamie gives her a second chance, which will she choose this time--love or vengeance?

Do you have a favorite scene?

I don't have a favorite scene, but I love the Prologue because it shows Jamie before he is hardened, when he is young and wears his heart on his sleeve. There is also a scene I like a lot at the end of chapter one when Jamie is on his knees before the Queen and Linnet comes in. In it, Jamie feels like Humphrey Bogart did in Casa Blanca when Bogart says, "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she had to walk into mine."

What's next?

I'm off to the Highlands! I'm writing a 4-book Scottish series that takes place on the Isle of Skye in 1513. After hearing of a disastrous Scottish loss to Henry VIII's forces, four young Highlanders return from France to help their clan through the perilous times ahead. The four are willing to give their lives for their clan, but taking wives to further their clan's interests is another matter altogether...

Thanks for telling us about your new release, KNIGHT OF PASSION!

I'd love to respond to comments! I will give an autographed copy of KNIGHT OF PASSION to one of the commenters. And for an audio interview where I discuss "All the King's Men," right click here to download the MP3!


You heard the nice lady! Leave a comment or question for Margaret for your chance to win a signed copy of KNIGHT OF PASSION. I'll draw the winner at random on Sunday in one week. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!


Jane said...

I can hardly wait for your upcoming series set on the Isle of Skye, since that is one of my favorite places. In the meantime I will check out your All the King's Men series.

Miriam Newman said...

This looks like a great series, Margaret, and I loved your trailer. The music was oh-so-nice and so appropriate! Really set the tone for the whole piece.

Margaret Mallory said...

Jane, I'm glad to hear you'll check out my ALL THE KING'S MEN series. :)

Miriam, thanks for the compliment on my trailer! This was my first one. I am so pleased with the music.


Alison said...

I liked the trailer - what a cool idea! And I love the name Linnet, too - although it sounds a bit too soft and pretty for your heroine.

Barbara E. said...

All the King's Men is a great series and I'm looking forward to reading it. I love all three covers, the colors and dresses are so rich and vibrant.

Keri Stevens said...

Margaret--gorgeous cover, looks like a sumptuous series. I'm glad I've discovered it now so I get to read all three at once.

Margaret Mallory said...

Yes, I am so lucky with my covers in this series. My publisher did a fabulous job for me. I was thrilled to see how this new one, KNIGHT OF PASSION, stands out on the shelf in stores. Hope readers enjoy the story inside!

Jody said...

As a historical reader i find myself leaning more toward what i call straight historicals where the history is as important as the romance. But I must say your latest book is a great bridge between the the two, a great romance but you make the history of the period weave throughout the story. Well Done!! One of the top ten reads this year for me.

Jody said...

As a historical reader i find myself leaning more toward what i call straight historicals where the history is as important as the romance. But I must say your latest book is a great bridge between the the two, a great romance but you make the history of the period weave throughout the story. Well Done!! One of the top ten reads this year for me.

Margaret Mallory said...

Thanks, Jody. I'm so flattered to be on your top 10 reads for this year!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excerpt. The book sonds really good. My question is When you are doing research, do you use any of the local historians of the area for their viewpoints? Or do you rely strictly on books, museums, and paintings?

Margaret Mallory said...

For this series, there were a lot of books available that I could rely on for history involving the royals. I found some very useful museum and university websites as well.

The research is more of a challenge with my new series, because I'm dealing with history at more of a local level. Highland clans were changing alliances all the time, which also makes it complicated to follow.

librarypat said...

I have the first two books of this series and can't wait to read the third. You have done a wonderful job with this series. You were so lucky to get three lovely covers. I can't wait for your next series about those wonderful Highlabnd men.

Chelsea B. said...

Oh, wow, this series sounds amazing! I've been on a Historical kick lately, so I'll definiteyl be searching for your series! Oh, and your books have such pretty covers! Love them :-)

LilMissMolly said...

Your books sound wonderful! I'm always looking for new authors and your book sound right up my alley!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Margaret! I have read the first book in this series and I LOVED it!!!! And your upcoming series sounds FABULOUS!!! I can't wait to get my hands on all three of the "Kings Men Series!"

Best of luck!!


Margaret Mallory said...

Having people say they love my books is like hearing compliments about my children! Thank you!!

Pat McDermott said...

I enjoy books whose characters interact with real historical characters. Will definitely be checking out this series. Congratulations on your latest release, Margaret!

Mitzi H. said...

Hi Margaret, Just loved Knight of Pleasure and can't wait to read Knight of Passion. Your new series sounds great too!!!

Wow...4 1/2 Stars....You must be on cloud nine!!!
mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

Margaret Mallory said...

Thanks for all the congratulations!

Yes, Mitzi, getting 4 1/2 stars & a Top Pick from RT was just HUGE for me. I'm a worrier, and I had been seriously fretting about the RT review before it came out. Of course, now I have to worry about the next one...

Carrie Lofty said...

The winner is LilMissMolly. Details here:


Thanks for stopping by, everyone!