Today, thanks to Elizabeth @ Wunderkind PR, I have Melanie Dickerson stopping by with a Character Q&A from her book THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST!
Melanie Dickerson has asked me to answer some questions and write down my answers. I suspect this is my uncle’s doing. He probably wants to distribute my answers to those men of Thornbeck who are looking for a wife and inquiring about me, perhaps to dissuade them from inquiring further. Anything that will discourage marriage-hungry men from invading my idyllic life, I am pleased to participate.
Odette, as I am sure you know, deer have been missing from the magrave’s forest. Who do you think is behind these blatant poaching attacks and why would someone do such a thing?
I have heard some vague rumors of deer going missing from the margrave’s forest. I am sure if there is any poaching going on—and no one knows for certain that there is, as there is no proof—then I am sure the margrave’s forester will do his duty and apprehend the offenders. He seems very capable.
Have you met the new forester, Jorgen Hartman?
I have met the forester. Jorgen Hartman and I danced at the Midsummer festival in the Marktplatz of Thornbeck, and he seemed a very good sort of person, very noble and well-educated for a man of his situation—an orphan having been raised by the margrave’s gamekeeper—and some of the wealthier men of Thornbeck would do well to emulate his chivalrous attitude toward women. He is also quite handsome and presents himself well, which must be the reason why my uncle invited him to my birthday feast. He is also a very good dancer—another good character trait in a man.
You are one of the most eligible young ladies in town, while most other young women your age, including your closest friend, are married. Have you considered marrying?
I have no reason to marry, thankfully. My uncle is my guardian, and he allows me all the freedom and independence I could want, which is more than most wives may boast. I enjoy studying with a tutor that my uncle provides, as well as my work in teaching the poor children. Besides, I should like to feel some affection for the man I wed, but there is no wisdom in falling in love with a man who won’t allow me to do what I want—and who will not allow me to continue helping the poor children and orphans. Ideally, I would marry someone wealthy enough to help feed them. The margrave certainly isn’t doing anything to help them.
We know you love to meet with some of the orphans in town to help them learn reading and writing. What drew you to work with these children?
They are innocent and helpless and I grew to love them in the first moments I spent with them. Besides, I was once just like them. My parents died during the sickness fifteen years ago that killed a third of our town. I remember how it feels to be poor and not have enough to eat. I remember how it feels to go to bed thinking about food and to wake up thinking about food, wondering how I might find food. You see, I was only five when some neighbors took me in. They made me work like a servant and barely fed me. My uncle rescued me from desperation and lack and gave me everything I could wish for, but I well remember those early years. And I would do anything in my power to help these poor and orphaned children and make them feel that someone cares for them.
Do you have any secrets Odette?
Every young maiden must have a few secrets, mustn’t she? Perhaps I have more than my fair share, and if that frightens away a few suitors, then so be it. A timid suitor is worse than an open enemy, in my mind. Yes, a young woman has a right to a few secrets, especially if those secrets are kept for the greater good.
About the book:
Summary from Goodreads:
“Swan Lake” meets Robin Hood when the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant by day becomes the region’s most notorious poacher by night, and falls in love with the forester.
Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave’s game. When he meets the lovely and refined Odette at the festival and shares a connection during a dance, he has no idea she is the one who has been poaching the margrave’s game.
Odette justifies her crime of poaching because she thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. But will the discovery of a local poaching ring reveal a terrible secret? Has the meat she thought she was providing for the poor actually been sold on the black market, profiting no one except the ring of black market sellers?
The one person Odette knows can help her could also find out her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the dangerous poaching ring . . . and fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester is protecting a notorious poacher?
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Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T