Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poetic Justice by Alicia Rasley: Character Interview, Excerpt

Created with design elements by Marie H Designs. Heart and Ribbon by Traci Murphy
A play manuscript written in Shakespeare's own hand! Between rogue rare-books dealer John Dryden and his prize is an obsessed librarian who wants to destroy it... and the heiress who can lead him to it, but only if he's willing to risk his life, his freedom, and his loner's heart.


Crossing the Line – an excerpt from Poetic Justice by Alicia Rasley

John said, "I've had enough of noblewomen thinking of me as some diversion from their own kind."
"Diversion? What do you mean?"
"The peasant blood. Makes a man virile, you know."
The scathing tone of his voice indicated that he was quoting this. From whom, Jessica didn't want to imagine. But the implication that she might agree made her furious. "That's absurd! I don't see you as a diversion! From what would you be diverting me?"
"I've heard all about what in-breeding has done to the British peer— made him effete and effeminate and weak-boned, unable to perform. That's what rough-hewn virile peasants are meant to make up for."
It was so nonsensical that her anger vanished and she almost laughed. But she couldn't let him go free so easily as that. "Well, you don't seem the least rough-hewn to me. Your manners are every bit as insolent as a prince's, and you must count your moral authority somewhere up there with the Archbishop of Canterbury's. If all peasants in England were like you, we'd have been able to give the French lessons in revolution!"
"I have never set myself up as a moral authority."
"You just did! Accusing me of desiring to kiss you for any reason beyond— well, desiring to kiss you! And, as for that peasant virility— " She broke off, and stalked ahead. "Never mind."
"Oh, no, please do go on." Now there was laughter in his voice, but she chose to ignore it. "I wait with bated breath to hear this. As for my peasant virility—"
"I have only your word that it exists. Indeed, you are so sensitive about this virility issue, I must wonder. Have you cause?"
In response he took her arm and drew her to him. "Usually, when my manhood's questioned, I resort to cutlasses. But in this case...."
Pressed against his chest this way, she could hardly find the breath to speak, but she said, "There are other ways, you know."
And just as he bent his head, she raised hers, so that their mouths met. This kiss wasn't tentative or onesided, but a lingering exploration of the possibilities. John's rough sailor's hand was gentle on her cheek, his mouth softened in response to hers. She closed her eyes, letting him draw her closer, opening her mouth to his searching. It was dizzying, dazzling, impossible.

Poetic Justice is a Regency romance by RITA-award winner Alicia Rasley. This book can be found at

An interview with John Dryden, the hero of Alicia Rasley's Regency, Poetic Justice.

I understand congratulations are in order.

I don't know what you mean.

Sir John. Didn't you just get knighted by the Prince Regent?

Oh. That. Pay no heed to that. Prinny just owed me a thousand pounds, and this "honor" was cheaper than paying the debt. It had nothing to do with heroism or service to the kingdom or any bollocks like that.

So tell me, Sir John, how did you get into this mess?

There's no mess. I have things totally under control.

Now wait a minute. You're a rare-books dealer on the hunt for the most impressive find of your career. But you've just learned that an obsessive librarian is probably going to destroy the only playscript in Shakespeare's own hand. How is this under control?

I'll make it work. That's what I do. I'm not one of those useless aristocrats who takes pride in being useless. I get things done. And I'll get this done. It's Shakespeare, after all. How often does he need our protection? And that's what I have to do.

But only with the help of one of those useless aristocrats?

You mean Jessica, I suppose. I mean Miss Seton. She's not useless. In fact, she's wasted in the nobility. She's smarter than that. She cares about books. If there was any justice in the world, she'd be running that library of her family's. But instead in a year, she'll be married to some fribble, probably that poet with the moony eyes and incompetent meter, and spend her time pouring tea and scheming to get her friends married off too.

Why would she get married?

She hasn't any choice, does she? If she wants the library, and I don't blame her for that—it's got treasures no one has imagined, including maybe the greatest treasure of all—she has to marry someone her uncle approves.

I take it that doesn't include someone like you?

A jumped up son of an apothecary? A former smuggler? I don't think so.

But you might hope so?

What I hope – what she might hope—that's irrelevant.

Why not? If you really love her—

This really isn't an issue. Besides I'm hardly going to force her to choose between me and her family legacy. Love means sacrificing, and I'm not going to let her sacrifice. Not for me.

But perhaps if her uncle knew who you really are—or who your father really was…

My father was Thomas Manning. An apothecary in Devlyn, County Dorset. That's who my father really was, no matter what village gossip tells. He never listened to that, and neither will I, and you shouldn't either.

And anyway, Jessica's uncle wouldn't be swayed by some by-blow connection. Even with a debt-paid title.

Well, it doesn't sound like you have it all under control at all.  You're in love with someone you can't marry, and you both want a prize that will probably be destroyed by your enemy. So what's your plan?

I don't need a plan. I have Jessica. We're a team, and we're both resourceful. We'll prevail. Together.

And then you'll lose her. Forever. You've got a sea of troubles, like Shakespeare said.

(pause)  Point taken. But Shakespeare said something else too. He said:
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

I'm not going to lose. And more than that, I'm not going to let Jessica lose.

Even if it means losing her?

I… I don't know. I told you. I'll make it work.

John Dryden, the man determined to save Jessica, himself, and Shakespeare, is the hero of Poetic Justice, a Regency romance by RITA-award winner Alicia Rasley. This book can be found at

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Winner can choose between an e-book and a print book of a Regency romance by Alicia Rasley. Just comment on this post to be entered to win. Please be sure to include your email addy. Ths giveaway will close April 21st 11:59PM Central. 


Lisa Marie @ The Young Adult Connection said...

Cool giveaway! .


Courtney Wyant said...

I L-O-V-E the cover of the book!

Heather said...

Great review! The story looks interesting and I loved the dialogue excerpt.

Laurie said...

Lisa Marie is the giveaway winner!