Today, please welcome the leading lady of The Tale of Mally Biddle: Mally Biddle, herself!
Laurie: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to answer a few questions.
Mally: It's no problem! Anything to not be dusting.
Laurie: Where are you from? How did you come to live here in Bosc Castle?
Mally: Well … (looks slightly awkward) I'm an orphan.
Laurie: Oh, I'm so sorry!
Mally: Don't be! It's fine! A friend got me this job in the castle. (leans forward and whispers conspiratorially) Meriyal, the head servant here, has a tender spot for orphans.
Laurie: And are you liking the castle? I hear it can be a demanding job and the knights can have short tempers.
Mally: It's taken time to get used to and I try to keep my head down. That's the first rule when handling the knights: don't give them reason to notice you. But the servants here are really wonderful and the castle itself is so stunning.
Laurie: It is indeed. I hear that the food is very good.
Mally: Our cook is one of the best in the city -- though he would say he is the best. I'm actually his mushroom hunter.
Laurie: Really? You know how to forage for wild mushrooms?
Mally: My father taught me when I was little -- before he died (she adds quickly). He would take me on long walks in the forest by our house and taught me everything he knew. I didn't think it was anything to brag about, but after I mentioned it to a fellow servant, word got around and the next thing I knew Archie -- he's the cook -- put me on mushroom patrol.
Laurie: This is going to seem like a rather odd question, but I love asking it: If I looked under your bed, what would I find?
Mally: My bed? (laughs loudly) I room with two other girls. It's a small space and getting dressed in the dark in a daily challenge. I suppose you'd find Lita's socks and Gerda's hair pens and my gloves along with a whole mess of jumbled things.
Laurie: What is something that you are exceptionally proud of?
Mally: My horse, Sam. He's a cross between an Urian and a West Moor Black. It's a miracle I even have him. He's giant -- 17 hands … a really fabulous worker. Bob Kettle has him in his stable. I'd love to show him to you.
Laurie: Oh! Thank you. I'd like that.
Mally: You could go on a little ride too, if you'd like. He's very gentle.
Laurie: Oh -- no, no. My feet are best on the ground. But thank you, anyway.
Mally: That's what Lita said when se met him.
Laurie: Drat, I believe our time is almost up and I wouldn't want to get you in trouble. Just a few more questions to finish up and I'll let you get back. Indoors or Outdoors?
Laurie: Brown or Black?
Laurie: Sweet or Savory?
Laurie: Simple or Extravagant.
Laurie: Thank you so much, Mally! All the best to you.
Mally: Thank you!
When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights she knew she was heading into danger. She didn't know she'd find a family unlike any other.
Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and tends fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death ... a death that is surrounded by more questions than answers.
Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything...
"To say I loved this book is an understatement. Mally is a wonderful character and she encounters so many quirky folks on her assignment. Very well written and engaging story! And an added bonus of a love triangle! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!! I will definitely be looking for more from this author!"
Whether it was due to the stress of nearly poisoning herself or Gibbs’ new tendency to lash out at everyone, Mally couldn’t decide, but four days after the mushroom incident, Lita was in the sickroom, covered by three wool blankets, and still had chills.
“How am I supposed to help you find you-know-who when I’m laid up in bed?” she asked thickly.
“Badger the other poor souls who are just as miserable as you?” Mally shrugged.
“How are you not sick?” Lita grumbled, wiping her streaming nose.
“It’s all that country air I grew up in,” Mally replied playfully.
Lita’s watery eyes scowled at her sourly. Thankfully, Gladys took that moment to interrupt.
“Mally, are you doing anything?”
“Excellent!” Gladys thrust a small moneybag and a list in her hands. “Go to Maud’s and pick up the ingredients for my cold tonic. I’m much too low.”
“Who’s Maud?” Mally asked.
“The only reliable apothecary owner in the city,” said Gladys.
Lita suddenly snickered.
“Something wrong, Lita?” Gladys asked primly.
“Crazy, batty Maud,” Lita teased, wiping her nose across her sleeve and staring at Mally wickedly. “Ooooh, be careful, she might cut off your hair! She’ll bargain for your fingernails!”
Author Melissa LeGette
Melissa LeGette lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright. The Tale of Mally Biddle is her second novel.
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