The Lion and the Leopard

Written by on October 30, 2023

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The Lion and the Leopard

by Mary Ellen Johnson

The passions of Maria Rendell, the beautiful Lady of Kent, her husband, Phillip Rendell, and Maria’s lover, Richard, Earl of Sussex, are played out against the bloody backdrop of war-torn Plantagenet England




Author Mary Ellen Johnson

Mary Ellen Johnson’s writing career was sparked by her passion for Medieval England. Her first novel, THE LION AND THE LEOPARD, which took place during the doomed reign of Edward II, 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 2007.

After taking a way-too-long detour advocating for social justice issues, Mary Ellen happily returned to her first passion, novel writing, and her favorite time period. Mary Ellen’s six-part series, THE 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 Peasants Revolt of 1381 (with issues of class and inequality that remain relevant) and ending in 1403, with the Battle of Shrewsbury, when Henry IV cements his claim to the throne and lays the groundwork for the Wars of the Roses. A KNIGHT THERE WAS, WITHIN A FOREST DARK, A CHILD UPON THE THRONE, LORDS AMONG THE RUINS and FlLAMES OF REBELLION completed her series.

Mary Ellen is currently working on a time travel series. She likes to say that her first effort, BEFORE I WAKE, is her autobiography–if she’d been married five times and had been transported back to thirteenth-century Tintagel where she hopes to resolve her tumultuous relationship with a black-haired, black-eyed knight named Ranulf Navarre. BEFORE I WAKE has made the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller list (Time Travel).

Travels Across Time Series

The second in Mary Ellen’s Travels Across Time Series, ETERNAL BELOVED, should be completed by spring. The successful head of a romance publishing company, Clarabel Lucy, (Like the cow. Moooooooo!) finds herself in early fourteenth century Ireland, which I am enjoying because I get to play with historical characters such as Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer before they became the cartoon villains of recent generations. Oh, yeah, and it’s also kind of a ghost story….which is why it’s taking me so long to get it right.

In my third, and final time travel, I will leave medieval England, first for turn-of-the-twentieth-century Colorado labor wars and finally, a haunted roadhouse. This will be a homage to my grandad’s business, which was neither haunted nor a roadhouse, but that’s why I’m a fiction writer rather than a historian!

When not writing, Mary Ellen enjoys spending time with her kids and grandkids and taking occasional trips across the pond to revisit her beloved castles, cathedrals, and battlefields.


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