Maria wishes to be a dutiful wife, a task which should prove easy. She's eloped with Phillip Rendell, the knight about whom minstrels sing, and who saved the life of Edward II's half-brother, Richard of Sussex, at the Battle of Bannockburn.But Phillip will not happily settle as husband and lord of Fordwich Castle, and Maria fears he bears the mark of Cain, always seeking something more, something just beyond his reach.And while Maria still desperately loves her restless husband, she is also drawn to the powerful man he saved, and he to her.THE KNIGHTS OF ENGLAND, in series orderThe Lion and the LeopardA Knight There WasWithin A Forest DarkA Child Upon the Throne
Mary Ellen Johnson's writing career was sparked by her passion for Medieval England. Her first medieval historical, The Lion and the Leopard, was followed by The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter, a historical novel based on the Alfred Noyes poem, "The Highwayman." (Published under the pseudonym, Mary Ellen Dennis.) Landlord was chosen as one of the top 100 historical romances of 2013. After taking a twenty year detour in a quixotic quest to change the world—rather like Arthurian knights' quests to find the holy grail, which ended in similar failure—Mary Ellen has happily returned to historical fiction writing and her favorite time period, the tumultuous fourteenth century. Her five book series, Knights of England, follows the fortunes of the characters (and their progeny) introduced in The Lion and the Leopard through the Black Death, the reign of that most gloriously medieval of monarchs, Edward III, the 1381 Peasants' Revolt, and ends with the deposition and murder of Richard II in 1399. There is nothing Mary Ellen loves more than bringing Medieval England alive for the reader. She particularly enjoys researching battles, campaigns, the daily lives of both lord and peasant, and trying to figure out our ancestors' thought processes, particularly how they viewed their world. Oh, and did she mention the castles and cathedrals? Mary Ellen likes to say her favorite place in all the world is standing before the tomb of the Black Prince in Canterbury Cathedral. (Hyperbole, of course, since Mary Ellen is not that well-traveled and her favorite places are probably wherever her kids and grandkids reside.) However—and the very recounting gives her chills—a distant cousin recently shared the results of her years-long genealogical research on the family tree. When flipping back and back through the centuries, Mary Ellen began finding names that were hauntingly familiar—John of Gaunt, Edward the Black Prince, Edward II, Edward III, even Richard the Lionheart! All the historical characters she's spent a lifetime reading and writing about! How can that be? Genetic memory? Reincarnation? She has no idea but you can bet she'll be exploring the possibilities in future novels! In the meantime, Mary Ellen hopes you'll enjoy reading The Lion and the Leopard, A Knight There Was, Within a Forest Dark and Lords Among the Ruins as much as she's enjoyed writing them.