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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: The Lost Colony Series by Jo Grafford



Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release

Thank you for hosting me today! I’m excited to announce the release of TRAIL OF CROSSES, book two in the Lost Colony Series. It’s a pre-Colonial historical romance with a spunky huntress for a heroine and a fierce tribal chief as hero. This series reveals the rest of the story of the Lost Colonists from Roanoke Island, one of the world’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries.

Are you a mom ? 

Yes. J Proud mother of three – one in college, one in junior high, and one in elementary school.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting? 

I spend a lot of time balancing my laptop on my knees during soccer and cheerleading practice, band, trips to the park, etc. I know you mothers out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

I hope to inspire my readers to dream big, then get out there and pursue those dreams.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? 

I love to run, quilt, bake desserts, play the piano, and sing in the shower. Guilty pleasures include Bavarian chocolate, big salty pretzels, cream cheese danishes fresh off the bakery shelf, Movenpick ice cream, strawberry banana smoothies blended on the spot…I really could keep going with this list all night long!

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?  

Oh no! I should probably add this to my list of guilty pleasures. Yep, I have a weakness for vampires. Twihard junkie here. Go Team Edward and Team Jacob!

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? 

Actually, I write in several genres, and I’ve tackled two others besides historical romance this past spring and summer at the request of my own kiddos (YA paranormal and middle grade fantasy). I even test read the middle grade fantasy to an elementary school class, but I’m focusing on historical romance at the moment.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

The third book in this Lost Colony Series is called INTO THE MAIN. It will be finished by year-end and is the story of Agnes Wood, the apothecary.

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? 

Coming up next is a “short” called VIKING FOR HIRE. It will be published on or around October 15 as part of a sweet romance anthology called AUTUMN’S KISS: 10 SWEET CONTEMPORARY AND HISTORICAL ROMANCES. Don’t you just love a good Viking romance? Watch for news about this release at www.JoGrafford.com.


Breaking Ties
Lost Colony Series
Book One
Jo Grafford

Genre: historical romance

Publisher: Astraea Press

Date of Publication: October 16, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62135-219-8
ASIN: B00FYIYM7A

Number of pages: 404
Word Count: 121,390
Cover Artist: Mande Matthews

Book Description:

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.

Special Note: BREAKING TIES is the never-before-told rest of the story of the Lost Colony.




Available at Amazon  BN  Smashwords  Kobo  Astraea Press  iTunes

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.


Trail of Crosses
Lost Colony Series
Book Two
Jo Grafford

Genre: historical romance

Publisher: Astraea Press

Word Count: 112,300

Cover Artist: Mande Matthews

Book Description:

Jane Mannering can shoot a rifle and handle a knife as well as any Englishman. However, she is no match for the red-painted warriors who ambush her section of a Colonial caravan the moment she and her comrades reach the shores of Virginia.

Jane plots their escape during a forced march inland, leaving a trail of maltese crosses carved on the trees – their pre-agreed upon signal of distress. All the while, she fumes over what interest their captors could possibly have in a twenty-three-year-old spinster and a rugged band of brick masons, sawyers, and farmers.
When the ruthless Chief Wanchese intercepts them at the crossroads of the Great Trading Path, Jane is shaken to discover their greatest enemy plans to keep her for himself. It’s a pity he’s the only man on two continents who’s ever stirred her heart. Alas, she has an entire colony to save, and capturing his attentions is not part of their escape plan.

Special Note: The Lost Colony Seires is the never-before-told rest of the story of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island.



EXCERPT #2

My eyes drank in the massive arms and broad chest that tapered down to a narrow torso. He was nothing like the slender dandies in London who paraded about in excessive amounts of clothing. Nay, this man required no starched shirts and ruffs or padded doublets to enhance his frame. Silk hosiery and buckled shoes would have made a mockery of such unfettered male strength. The sun-bleached buckskins and well-worn moccasins were the only adornments a man of his ilk would ever require.
“You take pleasure in what you see, no?” He leaned towards me again. I backed up until the wall of the cavern pressed into my shoulder blades.
Of course, I liked what I saw, but ‘twould be unladylike in the extreme to admit it and grossly conceited of him to question me in such a manner. I straightened and returned stare for stare. The intensity of his gaze unsettled me. Though unsmiling, a wealth of emotions radiated from him. Curiosity. Interest. Desire. And ironclad determination.
“You mean to take me for yourself,” I stated in a dull voice.
Wanchese placed his hands against the wall on either side of me. “When I am ready, aye.”
I sniffed. “Then you are no better than the rest of those savages who —”
“Heathen and savage,” he corrected tersely. “A phrase I’ve heard oft enough in your own Queen’s Court.”
I scowled at the reference to his stint as a diplomat in my homeland. A fine time it was to rub my nose in his superior social status. Born into a life of servitude, ’twas ironic how my lot had not changed one whit on the other side of the world.
My chest heaved with the effort to control my alarm. Too tired to fight him off, I searched his face for any sign of compassion beneath the hard outer shell.
Humor deepened the color of his eyes as he rolled to his back in one swift movement and cradled his head in clasped hands. “You will come to me.”
“Indeed I will not,” I gasped, both relieved at the distance between us and puzzled by the game he played, a game for which I knew not the rules. “’Twould be unseemly.”

“Aye, you will,” he retorted, clearly enjoying himself. “Beneath your…” He nodded at the remnants of my gown. “… finery…is a passionate woman who is accustomed to taking what she wants. ’Tis I, methinks, who will be taken by you and not the other way around.”



About the Author:

Jo is a mega reader of all genres and loves to indulge in marathon showings of Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and Castle. Her favorite books are rich in Colonial and Elizabethan history, romance, strong women, alpha males, Native Americans, and creatures from the paranormal - an occasional dragon, vampire, or time traveler.

From St. Louis, Missouri, Jo moves a lot with her soldier husband. She has lived in the Midwest, the deep South, and now resides in Bavaria. Jo holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter, and the Writers Group of Ansbach/Katterbach/Illesheim.



Twitter: @jografford



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

Highlighted Author: www.HighlightedAuthor.com

Amazon.com Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/jografford
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3 comments:

Jenna Fox said...

Enjoyed the blog and Jo's interview.

Jo Grafford said...

Thank you, Jenna! It's great to see you here on The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom blog.

Cheerio,
Jo

Jo Grafford said...

Thank you for hosting me today, Wenona. :-) --Jo