Sunday, March 2, 2014

Breaking Ties by Jo Grafford: Character Interview and Excerpt


 




 CHARACTER INTERVIEW
WITH ROSE PAYNE FROM BREAKING TIES


Where do you dream of traveling and why?

Sigh…right now I am content at Penhurst Manor. [Checks timepiece] Pray forgive my distraction. I have an appointment to keep.


Who is your favorite author?

We have an upcoming playwright in London whose work sounds promising. Perhaps ye’ve heard of him? William Shakespeare.

Tell us about your family.

My Mum and Da are the hardest working, kindest, and most loving parents in the world, but they can never seem to get ahead…what with seven boys to feed. Six now that Donnen set out to find a job in London. I send them my earnings from clerking, but ‘tis not near enough. There simply must be something more I can do!


What was the scariest moment of your life?

One lean winter on the tenant farm, we came near to starving. Poor Da spent hours with us gathered about his knees, spinning the grandest tales. I knew he was just trying to distract the wee lads from their hunger pains. 

What is your favorite meal?

Mum makes the most divine bean and pea pottage with maslin bread.

Do you have a beau?

Aye, but ‘tis a secret arrangement for now. Alas, my Phillip is the duke’s son.


What do you do to unwind and relax?

I often slip away from the servant’s quarters at night to stroll the orchards of Penhurst manor. It soothes my mind after a long day of stooping over my ledgers. ‘Tis how I met Phillip. Indeed, I am heading there now. He asked me to meet him in the most urgent manner when we passed in the Hall earlier. I cannot imagine what has him so distressed, but I mean to find out.

 
 

Portsmouth, England - April 26, 1587
One hundred and fifteen colonists embark on a trans-Atlantic journey to build the glorious City Raleigh. Unaware of the troubles already brewing, a young woman flies up the gangway at the last possible minute to join their ranks.
Was it fate? 
Intelligent and well ahead of her times, ROSE PAYNE'S world is shattered after a secret betrothal to the duke’s son costs her job as a clerk in his father's household. Without a letter of recommendation, she becomes an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Desperate for work, she signs up for a risky overseas venture and sails for the New World, vowing never again fall for a wealthy gentleman. 
Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, CHIEF MANTEO is bewitched by the elusive, fiery-haired ship clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in BREAKING TIES.
BREAKING TIES is the never-before-told rest of the story of the Lost Colony. It's a story of hope and sacrifice, love and betrayal, despair and tremendous courage of a group of pioneers who refused to quit when their lofty plans began to unravel...on day one.
 
Amazon  |  B&N  |  Smashwords  |  iTunes  |  Astraea Press
 
 
EXCERPT
 

"You want my help." 'Twas an accusation.
     "Aye."
     His eyes darkened. "I save your life. I give gifts. I offer marriage." He closed the remaining distance between us, his eyes burning into mine.
     I stumbled back.
     "You give nothing in return," he snarled. "You only ask for more."
     "I would had I something to offer," I whispered. "But I have nothing. I am nothing."
     "Then what use are you to me?" He wheeled away.
     I sagged against the door, eyes stinging. I blinked rapidly and pressed a hand to my stomach. Nausea rolled at the thought of informing the others of my failure.
     Manteo circled the cabin like a hawk stalking its prey. 'Twas a fine room with ornately carved shelves lining one wall. Bunks were built into the next wall. A generous desk jutted from the third, overflowing with maps and navigational devices. I recognized the compass and hourglass but could not identify the other instruments. I jerked in surprise when Manteo swooped down upon me.
     "I know our location." His arms shot out and slapped the wall on either side of me, hemming me to the door. "I could swim ashore from here."
     "Then why do ye stay if ye can leave and save yourself?"
     "Governor White gave his word to deliver me home."
     "We are going to starve, Manteo. 'Tis only a matter of days now."
     "Nay. You alone starve. The others eat."
     "I have no appetite."
     "You act as one already dead."
     I straightened my back. "I accept what I cannot change."
     "And I change what I cannot accept." He shifted his weight to the wall, one arm propped over my head. He drew his fingertips down the side of my face in a feather-light caress.
     I closed my eyes against the rush of unbearable sweetness. He made me long for things forbidden. "'Tis within your power to help us. I am begging you."
     "Very well."
     My eyes flew open. "Ye will do this for us."
     "For you." His voice was silken, his features as hard as granite.
     I smiled tremulously. "I thank thee, Manteo. Chief Manteo, that is." The new title felt strange on my lips. I beheld him with a mixture of awe and pride.
     "I have yet to name my price."
     I stared, confused.
     He grunted in disgust. "You refuse me as both husband and lover, so you are left with the hiring of my services."
     I worried my lower lip between my teeth. At least he was willing to negotiate. His eyes flashed with lust as he followed my movements.
     "I will entreat the Dares for payment."
     "Nay. You are the one in my debt."
     I raised and dropped my hands helplessly.
     "You serve this company, no? You can serve my people, too."
     "Ye would hire me as clerk?" Hope leaped in my chest at the possibilities. I would not have to part from him so soon.
     "My people have no clerks." His eyes narrowed. "We have slaves."
     My breath hitched. "Ye wish to punish me, humiliate me?"
     "Nay, I only wish to marry you."
     I briefly closed my eyes against the pain. He already knew the reason for my refusal.
     "Rose."
     "Say no more. I will do it. 'Twill be punishment enough to see you so often and—“ I clamped my lips.
     Exultation flickered briefly across his face. "You would give up your freedom to save your friends?"
     "Without question."
     "Swear it," he said grimly.
     "I swear it."
     His eyes flared with emotion. He bent slowly 'til his breath stirred my lips. My eyelids fluttered closed. Heaven help me, for I had no will left to resist him.
     "Now you will eat," Manteo commanded hoarsely. He stepped back, surveying me from head to feet.
     "Eat?"
     "I have no slaves so thin and weak. Go. Collect your rations." He turned from me and bent to pore over a map on the table.
     I reached for the door handle, disbelieving at the curt dismissal.
     "And send for Anthony. I have need of him."
     I glared at his back. Faith, should I press my face to the floor as well? "Aye, master." I bit the words out and fled.


 
AUTHOR BIO


Jo is mega reader of all genres and an award-winning author at Astraea Press who loves to indulge in marathon showings of CSI, NCIS, and Castle. From St. Louis, Missouri, she holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter.  The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

Website: www.JoGrafford.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/JoGraffordAuthor

Twitter: @jografford

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360736.Jo_Grafford

Google+: https://plus.google.com/114780404475283292643/posts

YouTube Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nBB8_qcG-9I
 





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1 comment:

Jo Grafford said...

Hi, Laurie! Thanks for hosting me today on Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews. :-)