Tag Archives: St. Louis

New Historical Romance and The Lost Colony

BreakingTies_200x300I’m pleased to have Author Jo Grafford with me to share her news. When she mentioned her new release had a focus on the Lost Colony, I was on board. I’ve always been fascinated with those vanished people and learned one of the names on the original roster was a Churchman, my maiden name. My English ancestor who came over in the 1600’s was a Churchman.

Back to Jo–her biggest focus, apart from the release of her début novel, Breaking Ties, is donating 50% of the November proceeds to help fund an archaeological dig of what is hoped to be the Lost Colony fort site at Scotch Hall Preserve in Windsor, NC. She’s calling this fundraiser  ‘A Thanksgiving Wish.’ Jo is also hosting a Rafflecopter contest and will reward her guests and readers with the opportunity to win $50, $25, and $15 gift cards from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.  All winners will be announced Thanksgiving Day at www.JoGrafford.com. You may re-visit her website any and all days between November 1-27 for more chances to win by answering daily Lost Colony trivia questions and more.


The Rafflecopter giveaway link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a94fd40/

handsome young Native American manBlurb for Breaking Ties:

A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, and an unforgettable love story. The 115 colonists on Roanoke Island couldn’t GPS, skype or twitter their ultimate destination back to their families and friends in 16th Century England. But modern laser technology has finally uncovered a clue – hidden beneath a patch on an ancient map at the British museum – that leads us to their whereabouts. Considered “lost” for centuries, these brave pioneers finally reveal the rest of their story in Book One of the Lost Colony Series.

Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man. Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – 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. 

About the author: Jo Grafford is from St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author at Astraea Press, Jo writes historical fiction to spotlight unsung heroes and unsolved mysteries. She published her first poem in junior high, edited her high school newspaper while typesetting for a local news journal, and has been writing ever since. She holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, a junior college finance instructor, and a 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.

12bContact Info & Links:


Email: Jo@JoGrafford.com

Twitter: @jografford


Buy links:

AmazonBarnes & Noble

Astraea Press:

New Mystery Romance, The Heart of Constantine, With Barbara Monajem

Heart_of_Constantine_newI’m glad to have my friend, the talented Barbara Monajem, here to share more about her new release. She’s giving away an eBook or paperback, so be sure to leave a comment. I love the NA element in this story and the cover. Awesome owl.

Barbara: The Indian Mounds of eastern North America—remnants of early Native American civilizations—were part of the inspiration for my new mystery/romance, Heart of Constantine. This is the third book in my series about the funky little Louisiana town of Bayou Gavotte. I wanted a chance to put some Indian Mounds in one of my stories, because I’ve always enjoyed visiting them—there’s such a spiritual feeling, a sense of ancient civilization about the mounds. Although Constantine Dufray, the rock star hero, is half Navajo and therefore not descended from one of the eastern cultures, he enjoys the atmosphere and isolation of the mounds and the parks that surround them—although not when his enemy drugs Marguerite, the heroine, and leaves her on one of the mounds for Constantine to find.

Cahokia_Mounds_more_signsA few weeks ago, a business trip gave me the opportunity to visit the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois for the second time. It was particularly fun, because they reminded me of parts of the book—such as this sign, forbidding people to climb on the mounds. Both Constantine and Zeb (a teenager who is the third major character) disobey this rule.

It’s quite a climb from the bottom to the top of Monks Mound, the largest at the site. Watching one guy run up and down, up and down the stairs made me think again of Zeb and Constantine, who are both runners. (It was all I could do to walk up and down once!)

Cahokia_Grand_PlazaHere’s what historians think the mounds and surrounding area used to look like back in the day. There’s a great interpretive center at the Cahokia Mounds, but I didn’t spend much time there, as it was full of school children on field trips.

One of the warnings on this sign (posted above) really tickled me, but I can’t say why for fear of spoilers.

I don’t think anyone can see it well enough for spoilers, Barbara. 🙂

Monks_Mound (1)The mounds and the huge park around them are a great site to visit—and incidentally, they’re just across the river from St. Louis. It was a hazy day, but I tried to get a photo of the skyline. Can you see it, very faintly, in the distance?

***Yes. Image posted below. What a fascinating post. Thanks so much!

St_Louis_skyline_almost_invisible (1)Blurb for Heart of Constantine:

Native American rock star Constantine Dufray has hit rock bottom. His telepathic abilities have spun out of control, and destructive rumors about him run rampant. Some are true—he caused a violent cop’s suicide, and telepathy destroyed his marriage—but he didn’t poison his wife, and he couldn’t have caused riots at his concerts, killing his fans…or could he have? Now an unknown enemy is trying to frame him for rape and murder. Meanwhile, aura reader Marguerite McHugh finally gets a close encounter with the mysterious star, but it’s nothing like she expected. When Constantine finds her after she’s been drugged at one of his shows, Marguerite’s pulled into his quest for the truth. As danger mounts and murders pile up, Constantine and Marguerite are forced into an ever-more intimate relationship. Only by facing their fears and working together can they unmask the killer before more innocent people die.

***The Heart of Constantine at Amazon