Interview & Giveaway: Mistress of Legend & Guinevere's Tale Trilogy by Nicole Evelina

Happy Monday, dear readers! Today on the blog author Nicole Evelina stops by to talk about her Guinevere's Tale Trilogy and the latest release and last book in the sereies, Mistress of Legend. We also have a giveaway for a set of the trilogy so be sure to enter!

Hello Nicole and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Mistress of Legend & the Guinevere's Tale Trilogy!

Thank you for having me!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Sure. I write across genres. Historical fiction/historical fantasy is where my heart truly lies, but I also write non-fiction (history and biography) and contemporary romance.

Regardless of the genre, the thing that unites my writing is that it is always about strong women. They may be able to wield a sword, use magic or simply stand firm to what they believe in. History has had enough passive, docile women. It’s time for new role models to have their say. I am especially attracted to those whose stories are in danger of being forgotten. I feel like there are so female stories we have yet to tell!

What inspired you to write the Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy? How & when did your fascination with Guinevere and King Arthur begin?

I’ve loved Guinevere since I was a little girl. Thanks to my dad, I grew up on the musical Camelot, so she was the role model for me that most girls find in Disney Princesses. When I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Mists of Avalon for Christmas. I LOVED it, but I hated Marion Zimmer Bradley’s portrayal of Guinevere as meek and well, stupid. That made me seek out other books about Guinevere and I read Parke Godwin’s Beloved Exile, which tells the story of what happened to Guinevere after the fall of Camelot. That made me wonder what happened to her before and after Arthur, which is something you don’t hear much about. Then Guinevere came into my head, telling me she wanted me to write her story, which I thought at the time would be all one book. I’ve known the ending all along.

What research did you undertake when writing the Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy?

A lot. I read so many books – on Arthurian Legend, Guinevere, myths, history, you name it, watched TV specials and did expert interviews. I actually went to England twice, once especially of an Arthurian Legend’s tour, which was run my Jamie George, one of the people who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

I actually have a research page on my website for each book in the trilogy if anyone is interested in specifics:
Daughter of Destiny and Camelot’s Queen (information is the same on both pages)
Mistress of Legend

Did you come across anything in your research that surprised or fascinated you?

Even though Guinevere is a pagan, I found the early Christian church a lot more interesting. To me it’s fascinating to see what has and hasn’t changed. For example, Advent didn’t exist in the early Church, so Christmas actually had three Masses which people were required to attend. On the other hand, many of our Lenten practices date back more than 1,500 years.

There are quite a few historical novels written about Guinevere. How does your vision of Guinevere differ?

I think it stands out because I’ve done things with Guinevere that few, if any, other authors have done. My goal in writing the trilogy was to explore Guinevere’s whole life, not just the parts that include King Arthur. So, just like I covered her youth in Daughter of Destiny, I wanted to shed light upon her life after the fall of Camelot in Mistress of Legend. Guinevere was her own woman, independent of the men history associates her with, and it was important for me to show that in order to dispel the long-held belief that she couldn’t function once Arthur died. She still had very much living to do, thank you very much. I also made her pagan and equal with Morgan in many ways, plus her love interest in Daughter of Destiny is definitely not canon.

If you could debunk one myth about Guinevere, what would it be?

Oh this is a great question! I think the biggest one is that she was just a tool of the men around her. I mean, when we think of her the first thing that comes to mind is “wife of Arthur who had an affair with Lancelot.” This really devalues her as a character and a fictional person. As I said above, she was so much more. She had hopes and dreams and a full life before Arthur came along to mess things up; even when she was with him, she did her own thing, and she certainly lived a full life after he died. All the men she loved were important influences on her, but they were not her be-all-and-end-all.

What was your favorite scene to write in Mistress of Legend?

I don’t want to give too much away, but I think my favorite is one that takes place about ¾ of the way through the book. It really sets the whole last section in motion. At this point, Guinevere is in what is now called Scotland and is present at the Votadini Summer Solstice ritual. Evina, the tribal leader meets out some harsh justice there. The whole scene was fun to write and really unexpected because I just let the character loose and she did what she wanted. To see such primal energies on display and know I was somehow channeling them into my writing was a humbling experience.

What was the most difficult scene to write in Mistress of Legend?

The Battle of Camlann, hands down. There were a lot of logistical questions in my mind: Is it one battle or three (scholars are divided)? How do I handle the fact that Guinevere isn’t physically present? Plus, it SUCH an emotional scene. I was basically killing off two characters we have come to know and love, and doing it through the eyes of Guinevere and Morgan, the two people who loved them the most. So on top of logistics and battle/swordplay details, I had to be sure I evoked the appropriate level of emotion so the reader could experience the loss, not just read about it. I have to admit that by the final draft, I made myself cry!

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am actually working on two non-fiction book proposals that have to do with the suffrage movement in America. With the centennial anniversary of women getting the right to vote coming up in August 2020, now the time to get that story out there. It’s much more complex – and interesting – than what we were taught in school. The suffragists were not all rainbows and sisterhood. Many were racist and classist and they fought bitterly amongst themselves. Plus, the general story only includes the efforts of white women. I want to be able to show how women of color, men, and people of all sexualities contributed to the fight for women’s rights.

Wow, that sounds fascinating! I can't wait to hear more! Thanks for spending time with us today, Nicole. Hope you have a great blog tour!

Mistress of Legend by Nicole Evelina

Publication Date: September 15, 2018
Lawson Gartner Publishing
Paperback, eBook, AudioBook; 412 Pages

Series: Guinevere's Tale, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction/Arthurian/Fantasy

Legend says Guinevere spent her final days in penance in a convent, but that is far from the truth.

Having escaped death at the stake, Guinevere longs to live a peaceful life in Brittany with Lancelot, but the threat of Arthur’s wrath quickly separates the lovers. Guinevere finds herself back in Camelot, but it is not the peaceful capital she once knew; the loyalty of the people is divided over Arthur’s role in her death sentence. When war draws Arthur away from Britain, Mordred is named acting king. With Morgan at his side and a Saxon in his bed, Mordred’s thirst for power becomes his undoing and the cause of Guinevere’s greatest heartache.

In the wake of the deadly battle that leaves the country in civil war, Guinevere’s power as the former queen is sought by everyone who seeks to ascend the throne. Heartbroken and refusing to take sides in the conflict, she flees north to her mother’s Votadini homeland, where she is at long last reunited with Lancelot. The quiet life she desires is just beginning when warring tribal factions once again thrust her into an unexpected position of power. Now charged with ending an invasion that could bring an end to the Votadini tribe and put the whole island in the hands of the Saxons, Guinevere must draw upon decades of experience to try to save the people she loves and is sworn to protect.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooksKobo | Smashwords

A box set containing Daughter of Destiny, Camelot’s Queen, and Mistress of Legend

Guinevere is remembered for her role as King Arthur’s wife and for her adulterous affair with Lancelot. But there is so much more to her story…

Priestess. Queen. Warrior. Experience the world of King Arthur through Guinevere’s eyes as she matures from a young priestess who never dreamed of becoming queen to the stalwart defender of a nation and a mistress whose sin would go down in history. Throughout it all, Guinevere she faces threats from both foreign powers and within her own court that lead her to place her very life on the line to protect the dream of Camelot and save her people.

This compendium of Nicole Evelina’s two-time Book of the Year award-winning trilogy – Daughter of Destiny, Camelot’s Queen, and Mistress of Legend – gives fresh life to an age-old tale by adding historical context and emotional depth. Spanning more than three decades, it presents Guinevere as an equal to the famous men she is remembered for loving, while providing context for her controversial decisions and visiting little-known aspects of her life before and after her marriage to King Arthur.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

About the Author

03_Nicole Evelina
Nicole Evelina is a historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction author whose five books –Daughter of Destiny, Camelot’s Queen, Been Searching for You, Madame Presidentess and The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend (nonfiction) – have won more than 30 awards, including three Book of the Year designations.

Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Independent Journal, Curve Magazine and numerous historical publications. She is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness.

Nicole is currently working on Mistress of Legend (September 15), the final novel in her Guinevere's Tale historical fantasy trilogy and researching two future non-fiction books. She also teaches online writing and business classes for authors at Professional Author Academy.

Her website/blog is and she can be found on Twitter as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Tumblr.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 10
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Daughter of Destiny)

Wednesday, December 12
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, December 13
Review at A Book Geek (Daughter of Destiny)

Friday, December 14
Interview at Donna's Book Blog

Saturday, December 15
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (Daughter of Destiny)

Sunday, December 16
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (Mistress of Legend)

Tuesday, December 18
Review at Book Nerd (Camelot's Queen)

Thursday, December 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Camelot's Queen)

Friday, December 21
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 27
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (Camelot's Queen)

Friday, December 28
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit (Mistress of Legend)

Saturday, December 29
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Mistress of Legend)

Sunday, December 30
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (Mistress of Legend)

Monday, December 31
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Curling up by the Fire (Mistress of Legend)

Wednesday, January 2
Review at Book Nerd (Mistress of Legend)

Thursday, January 3
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (Mistress of Legend)


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a boxed set of The Guinevere's Tale Trilogy in paperback (US only) and one set in eBook (international)! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– PB Giveaway is open to US residents only & eBook Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Mistress of Legend

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