Thank you so much for having me here today. I am a gypsy at heart and in the absence of being able to travel in person, traveling by blog tour isn’t a bad alternative *grin*. I had the opportunity to travel to Europe right after college and spent time in Italy, France where I learned to speak fluent Italian and French and then I fell completely under the spell of the English countryside. In fact, whenever I see pictures of England or Ireland, Scotland or Wales, I find myself drawn to those places, their rich history and the complex nature of the people. They are such an inspiration to me and fuel my imagination. In fact, if I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I think I would drag my own prince charming on a tour of the United Kingdom (possibly for months) and lose myself in all of it. I hope that you will enjoy reading The Defiant Bride and that you will enjoy this little adventure with me.
***GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter will win an ebook copy of The Defiant Bride. Contest ends 3/8 at 11:59PM EST.
Furious at being used as a political pawn, the Lady Dariana defies King Henry VII by faking her own death to avoid marrying a man she has never met. Praying the king will not retaliate against her father, she seeks refuge in the forest and learns to fend for herself. When William, a warrior knight, is felled by an arrow, she saves his life and arranges his rescue before fleeing to avoid discovery.
William awakes from his injury to be told he imagined the beautiful woman in the forest. Besotted and determined to make her his own, he hunts her down and tricks her into marrying him, intent on turning her defiance into love. But even as he begins to succeed, their enemies join forces to end the marriage—even if it means that Dariana must die.
When Dariana is abducted, William must track her down to fight for her life and their happiness. And, Dariana, once the most defiant of brides, must channel her own strength of will into survival, both for herself—and for the child she now carries.
Leslie Hachtel was born in Ohio, raised in New York and has been a gypsy most of her adult life. Her various jobs, including licensed veterinary technician, caterer, horseback riding instructor for the disabled, and advertising media buyer have given her a wealth of experiences.
Her favorite stories as a child—and stretching into the adult years—were fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen. It was the happily ever after that was so full of hope and inspiration. It was the love of those stories that led her to eventually want to write romances.
Leslie lives in Memphis, Tennessee with a fabulously supportive engineer husband, a wonderful stepson, Matt and her writing buddy, Jakita, a terrier.
Dariana gazed into the pool of water; the vibrant rays of sun twisted this way and that, dancing on the crystal surface. Her thoughts were mingled, flashes of memory, visions. A part of her took great pride in her survival in so different an existence, but what had she gained? She had lived through cold nights and painful loneliness, but to what end? She was unmarried, yes, and not exiled to a land where even the language was foreign, but she was thought dead.
Perhaps she could do something else, something that would give her life meaning after all. Her thoughts continued to wander and she dipped her hand into the cool water and watched as the ripples further disturbed the shafts of light in their attempts to float on the surface.
All at once, a reflection joined her own. She was jolted at the image, then chided herself for allowing her imagination to conjure it. She stared at the shifting shape and reached out her hand, wishing so dearly it would be real. The water stilled and the reflection behind her grew more clear. Could it be?
Her instinct was to throw herself into the warmth and protection of his arms, but she feared she might be hurling herself into nothing more substantial than the cold water, so she hesitated, waiting for the apparition to dissolve.
“Did you miss me?” William questioned softly. “For I have thought of nothing but you since the day you came to my aid.”