Please welcome Marliss Melton. Best known for her Navy SEAL romantic suspense novels, Marliss has ventured far back in time to the 1100s for her latest release, The Slayer’s Redemption. It is Book One of her Warriors of York series.
The Slayer’s Redemption synopsis:
Cutting free his baby from the body of his dead wife, Christian de la Croix, known across the land as the Slayer, only adds to the rampant, lurid rumors concerning his violent misdeeds. Now, he desperately needs a wet nurse to keep his son alive, but the people around Helmesly Castle fear him, putting baby Simon’s life in peril.
When a stranger calling herself Clare Crucis volunteers to nurse the newborn, Christian’s relief overwhelms him. But it does not last long, for Dame Crucis tells contradictory stories of her past. Is she really an angel of mercy—or the agent of one of his enemies, sent to destroy him?
Clare Crucis is, in fact, Clarisse du Boise, a lady ordered to kill the Slayer in order to keep his enemy, her stepfather, from executing her kinswomen. At her very first encounter with the Slayer, Clarisse questions the terrible rumors that abound about him. Certainly, his reputation for ruthlessness is well founded, but she remarks a sadness in the warrior and a longing to be loved that she had not expected. Still, to save her family, she must carry her plan to completion.
As her heart quails and she delays, the Slayer grows ever more suspicious. Is there a way she can save the lives of her loved ones while seeing righteousness prevail? All she needs is a champion.
(This is a thoroughly revised and expanded version of Danger’s Promise, previously released only in print.)
Available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Slayers-Redemption-Warriors-York-Book-ebook/dp/B016C98LWG) and other online retailers.
How were you inspired to write an historical series about sisters?
Marliss: Having grown up with three older sisters, I understand the bond of sisterhood and the roles played by each sister. Though this series is titled the Warriors of York and features incredibly strong and appealing heroes, it became apparent that I needed equally strong-willed heroines to balance out my heroes. Clarisse, Merry, and Katherine—all very different—are each uniquely equipped to compliment the warriors they encounter in their struggle to survive and thrive.
Clarisse du Boise, the eldest and the heroine of The Slayer’s Redemption, is the capable protector. She has been told by her stepfather to infiltrate the castle of his enemy and poison him—otherwise, her mother and sisters will be put to death. Clarisse will do anything to protect her family, even pretend she has breast milk for the baby of the man she must poison. Masquerading as a wet nurse gets her into the Slayer’s castle, but it doesn’t prepare her for her emotional response to both the baby and his immensely appealing father.
Can you tell us a little more about Clarisse and her sisters?
Marliss: Clarisse is not only strong-willed, determined, and defiant, she also has a deeply ingrained sense of right and wrong that guides her decision-making. Because she is such a strong defender, the right mate for her has to be brave, bold, respectful, and fiercely protective.
The middle sister, Merry, is the typical middle-child, wild unruly. Whereas Clarisse worries about her soul and her moral reputation, Merry, because of her traumatic childhood, has become like a feral cat. Highly mistrustful of people, especially the opposite sex, she has lived in the forest and learned the healing properties of plants and flowers. Her innate ability and her desire to heal forces her to face what she fears most—human contact. It takes a special warrior, indeed, to recognize her unselfish spirit while taming her wildness. Luckily, I wrote her just such a hero.
The youngest sister, Katherine, is the independent dreamer. Born before her time, Katherine loathes the thought of subjugating herself to a husband. Thinking to attain the status of widowhood—the only means to independence in 12th-century England—she schemes to marry a man doomed to die. Her plan, however, backfires, and she finds herself in the very circumstance she dreaded most—the property of another. Her husband is every bit as wily and witty as she is. Readers experience her struggle to escape his domination while Katherine finds herself reevaluating her opinion of marriage.
I hope readers will love this trio of amazing women just the way my heroes learn to love them! So far, the first book has garnered all 5-star reviews, and I’m very grateful to my readers for allowing me to grow and transition from a romantic suspense contemporary writer to an historical medieval writer. For me, it doesn’t matter which time period my story takes place in. I always write as my tagline says: Men of Valor, Women of Strength.