Dariana refuses to be forced into marriage, even if it has been ordered by the king, so she fakes her own death only to be discovered and tricked into marriage with William, a man she may not be able to forgive.
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.
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Please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
“The Defiant Bride” is my most current and I’m very excited about it. It’s set in 1509 England, in the transitional period between Henry VII and Henry VIII. It tells the story of an Earl’s daughter who fakes her own death rather than be forced into marriage with an unknown Spaniard for the sake of a political alliance. She hides in the Kings Forest and finds her true love. Next up from Breathless Press is my Civil War story about an abused woman who saves herself by becoming a nurse.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
I think I’ve always known it. I recently found a short story I wrote in first grade. I had a really vivid imagination even then.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
My husband. He would tell me “don’t quit”. If you give up, you will certainly fail. True that!
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
The perfect hero gains redemption. No one is born perfect. We can never really achieve it. But when a hero tries to get better, seeks love instead of trying to assuage old wounds, you gotta love that. In “The Defiant Bride”, William is overbearing and egocentric, but he becomes apologetic when he realizes he has lacked empathy. In the beginning, he is determined, but toward the end of the story, he is considerate and loving. And it doesn’t hurt that he is very handsome.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
I love to sew and make jewelry. I also enjoying painting in acrylics. And sometimes (don’t tell anyone) I love to sit and watch a movie on Lifetime Movie Network. Oh, and of course, reading. Lots of reading!
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
I suppose that would be when I went to Europe right after college and travelled around for several months. I visited Italy and France and England and loved every minute. The adventure part was I went by myself and refused to speak English in France and Italy. By the time I got home, I was fluent in both French and Italian.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
That’s easy. I would love to go back to England and travel through Ireland. And Scotland! Yes! Just seeing pictures of these places inspires me to delve into history and learn about the people and their stories. What a rich tapestry. I could explore forever.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
I am, unfortunately, allergic to everything. The list goes on and on. So, I have no choice but to stick with the foods I know won’t kill me. Boring but true.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
I have to have hot water. I can do without electricity, although writing longhand would be laborious. I can do without most technology and everyone laughs at me because I still use a flip phone. Books can easily take the place of TV (ok, so I would really miss “The Bachelor” and my LMN movies) and I’d be fine cooking over an open fire. But, I really need the soothing water of my shower.
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?
Hmmmmm…passionate, sometimes moody, energetic, determined, generous and intelligent. I think my family and friends would agree with that.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Love me some mashed potatoes!
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
Spring. The rebirth. The sunshine after months of gloom. New flowers. Planting in my garden. Absolutely everything!!!!
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
The ideal romantic evening takes place in the spring, when the air is warm and fragrant. Candlelight, a glass of wine, dressed in chiffon or some other swirly material. My man at my side. A delicious dinner, cooked by someone else and of course, cleared away by someone else. Soft conversation and words of love.
What project are you working on next?
My next novel is set in England in the time of James I (Mary, Queen of Scots’ son). He persecutes witches, but seems privately fascinated with them. My heroine has psychic powers and the hero falls for her. But was it because she used her powers to coerce him?
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?
I blog weekly on the Romance Writers Weekly blog: http://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com.
And I’m on FB as lesliehachtelwriter and Twitter @lesliehachtel. I am working on scheduling some book signings for next month, but nothing definite yet. My website is lesliehachtel.com
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.
Of all of her jobs, it is writing that has consistently been her passion. That desire was fueled when she sold an episode of a TV show and had a screenplay optioned. Those successes led to her first published novel, Harriet, the story of a female serial killer. Although that was a satisfying piece, it was the lure of the romance that drew her back. So far, she has produced four novels in that genre. One of her historical novels, Captain’s Captive will soon be published by Black Opal Books. Her contemporary romance, Texas Summer is available on Amazon and through Secret Cravings Publishing. And now, of course, The Defiant Bride from Breathless Press.
Leslie lives in Memphis, Tennessee with a fabulously supportive engineer husband, a wonderful stepson, Matt and her writing buddy, Jakita, a terrier.