Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Jenna Jaxon, and her characters from Betrayal. It’s a fantastic historical romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Thomas, Geoffrey and Alyse.
How did you first meet your writer?
Thomas: *grins* I was actually a very minor character in the first few chapters of Time Enough to Love. If you’ve read Betrothal, you know that I was Alyse’s love interest until she and Geoffrey came to an understanding and fell in love. Then I pretty much disappeared from the story, originally. However, early in the chapters that became Book 2, Betrayal, Ms. Jaxon needed a way to get a message from Geoffrey to Alyse. I spoke right up and said, “I’ll do it!” And that’s how I became a major player in this romantic triangle. I suppose I charmed Ms. Jaxon, because she then decided to make our lives much more complicated than the original outline called for. All because I volunteered to be a messenger.
Alyse: Ms. Jaxon sat down one day and simply began to write my story. My name was the first thing she ever wrote in a romance novel. And that’s how we met.
Geoffrey: My tale is similar to Alyse’s. Ms. Jaxon has an affinity for heroes named Geoffrey and she wanted her hero to be a big, strapping knight. Enter Sir Geoffrey Longford. *he grins and bows*
Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
All three together: No!
Thomas: Not in my wildest dreams.
Geoffrey: I’m still not convinced it was a good thing for her to do.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
Alyse: Oh, the romance to be sure. Glances at Geoffrey. In Betrothal the romance was very simple and sweet. Smiles, then turns her gaze to Thomas. In Betrayal it becomes more complicated, more difficult. Sighs. But also very sweet.
Geoffrey: Would it be un-gallant to say the action? I love Alyse, but the jousting and swordplay were more to my taste.
Thomas: Hmmm. I may agree with Geoffrey, although the romance in Betrayal is very satisfying.
Geoffrey: glowering To some, mayhap.
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Geoffrey: My father’s betrayal. That is what started the long journey into desolation for all three of us.
Alyse: Yes, that is true.
Thomas: Aye. ‘Twas the blackest deed. Much would have been different had it not occurred. Shoots a glance at Alyse. Both good and bad.
Do you like the way the book ended?
Thomas: grins at Alyse Aye, I liked well the way Betrayal ended. Didn’t you, Alyse?
Alyse: Blushes I… well…glances at Geoffrey
Thomas: The truth, Alyse.
Alyse: Shaking her head Aye. ‘Twas a good ending for that book.
Geoffrey: ‘Twas not my favorite ending. I think a better one is in the makings in the last book of the series.
Thomas: I would argue that with you, Geoffrey, of course. Grins. I believe we three each have a favorite book, based on the endings.
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
Thomas: Our writer was not inclined to stop writing on this book. She managed 187 thousand words before she finished. That is why it is being released in three parts. So Betrothal was the first part, Betrayal the second, and the third one will be Beleaguered. In that one all the loose ends are drawn into a very tidy knot. He stares at Geoffrey then shrugs. It ends better for some than others.
What do you do for a living?
Thomas: I am a landowner, inherited the title of Earl of Braeton, and manage my estates and tenants. I am also a knight in the service of King Edward III.
Alyse: I am a lady in waiting to Her Highness, Princess Joanna of England.
Geoffrey: I too am a landholder, though not as extensive a holding as Thomas’s. And I am also a knight in the king’s service. To that end I am to accompany his daughter to Spain and remain there as her counselor when she marries.
What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Alyse: Blushing My shift.
Geoffrey: A rather impertinent question, but what need have you of clothes when you are asleep?
Thomas: Laughs Exactly, Geoffrey. They would only impede anything worth doing in a bed.
What’s your favorite animal?
All three: My horse
After a night of passion with her betrothed, Sir Geoffrey Longford, Lady Alyse de Courcy is eagerly looking forward to her wedding. But when Geoffrey is forced to marry another, a heartbroken and possibly pregnant Alyse finds herself in her own private hell. She must either gamble with her reputation or marry someone she does not love.
A reputed connoisseur of women, Thomas, Lord Braeton, has dallied with many ladies of King Edward’s court, although he has favored none. However, as Geoffrey’s best friend, Thomas has sworn to serve and protect Alyse, an oath now sorely tested when he agrees to marry her—in name only—to guard her reputation. Yet, as they grow closer, and Thomas discovers Alyse’s sweet but spirited nature, he comes to desire a marriage in truth. Can he overcome her memory of Geoffrey or is Thomas doomed to burn with passion for a woman he can never possess?
Alyse’s heart lurched at the sight of Thomas. She rose, trembling, and murmured, “Your Highness,” but looked expectantly at Lord Braeton.
His eyes met hers, distant and cool. Puzzled, she turned her attention to the princess, who was herding her other women toward the door to her bedchamber.
“Lady Maurya, Lady Anne, Margaret,” the princess beckoned them. “Lord Braeton would have a moment with Lady Alyse. Would you attend me, please?” Princess Joanna passed Alyse, caressing her arm as she led the confused women through the door.
At the touch, Alyse sought the princess’s eyes. Fear gripped her heart at the pity she saw there.
“Thomas.” Alyse curtsied quickly then blurted out the fear she had fought almost since Geoffrey had left. “Is my lord well? Have you news for me?” Thanks to Anne and Margaret’s thoughtless comments, she had become convinced Geoffrey had fallen ill with Sir Robert’s ailment and now himself hovered between life and death.
Avoiding her eyes, Thomas answered briefly. “Aye, my lady. When I left him, Geoffrey was well enough.”
While relieved at his words, a shadow still lay on her heart. If Geoffrey was not ill, why had Thomas’s manner changed? What had summoned this aloof stranger? He was withholding something from her.
“And Sir Roland?”
He hesitated, searching her eyes then looking away. He fisted his hands. “Sir Roland is…has…”
Alyse could stand it no longer. She crossed to stand directly before Thomas, laid a cold hand upon his arm, and gripped it. “Tell me.”
The fact that there was something he could not bring himself to tell her filled her with terror. He said Geoffrey was well enough when he left. What about now?
Before she could question him further, he drew out a folded piece of parchment, sealed with blue wax and stamped with a signet ring bearing Geoffrey’s family crest. She stared at it.
“Geoffrey bade me place this in your hand and no other, my lady.” Thomas thrust the missive toward her.
Alyse compelled herself to hold her hand out .
He sighed. “He also bade me be at your service, lady, had you need of anything.” He gave the parchment into her hand. As he did so, she looked into his eyes and recognized the same pity she had seen in Princess Joanna’s.
Panic made her arms weak and her fingers numb. She forced her shaking hands to break the seal. Alyse unfolded the letter and slowly read the scratched and blurry words.
* * * *
In her bedchamber, Princess Joanna waited with Maurya, Anne, and Margaret. The women’s faces had changed from puzzlement to fear. Joanna looked from one maid to another, trying to hide her despondency. So many prayers had not been answered today.
Anne finally summoned the courage to ask, “Your Highness, what has happened?” She choked back tears. “I meant no harm, earlier. Indeed,” she crossed herself, “I wish Sir Roland and Sir Geoffrey long life.” She turned stricken eyes toward Joanna and whispered, “Is Sir Geoffrey—”
She got no further before a wrenching wail of anguish shattered the hushed room, as though the very walls echoed the sound. The four women stood rooted to the floor at the almost inhuman shriek of grief.
The sound cut off abruptly, and in the eerie silence that followed, they heard the soft thud of a body hitting the floor.
Buy the Book:
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She is currently working to release Betrayal at the end of January and finishing revisions to her fifth full length novel, To Woo A Wicked Widow, set in Regency England and the first book in her five part series, The Widow’s Club.
Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
As a special treat Jenna is giving away two copies of Betrothal to commenters so be sure to leave your EMAIL so we can contact you if you win!!
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!