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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Breaking Ties

In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched an expedition to the shores of the New World, where they were to establish a base. In 1587, he dispatched a second expedition with 115 Colonists on board to colonize the area.  On arrival they discovered local natives had killed the men of the first expedition. Due to severe storms and the Anglo-Spanish War, the new Colonists were stranded without supplies.  When ships finally reached them, none could be found, and they become one of our deepest mysteries in the Americas. All evidence points to the colonists leaving peacefully, yet rumors exists that they were slaughtered. Others believe they had to merge into a local native village to sustain their lives. They are known today as The Lost Colony.

Portsmouth, England - April 26, 1587
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 (Historical Romantic Adventure & Survival)
By Jo Grafford
Clean Reads
ISBN #978-1500379612
410 Pages
$3.99 Kindle
$11.51 Paperback
Rating 5-Stars

“A Wonderful Account of The Lost Colony.”

When Rose Payne boards a ship heading for the New World, she’s fleeing from a failed romance, and seeking to put it far behind her. But she wasn’t prepared for the danger and intrigue that awaited her as clerk on board a ship bound for danger, leaving the colonists in a mysterious land where their survival is threatened by starvation and savage natives.

The first half of the book covers her journey on the sea with new friends she’s met, as well as a handsome savage, bronzed and muscular, who sends her heart fluttering once more. Here we are introduced to the players in the story, and the intrigue that holds their lives in the balance.

Sailing for Raleigh, on Chesapeake Bay, they are dropped instead on Roanoke. The second half of the book deals with the hardships on land, as they try to survive amidst warring savages and the fast depletion of rations. Two men pursue her heart, one a British gentleman the other a bronzed savage, but she can only choose one, and will they even survive to fulfill that love?

Written in 1st person, we see the world through Rose’s eyes. Some of it is violent, but it was an untamed period, and the violence in today’s real world is much worse. Knowing the rough language of sailors, I was pleased that there was no profanity or sex, showing that a good book can be written without such to sell them. Based on a real event 500 years ago, the author gives us a well-written romanticized version of what could have happened. Her thorough research of the incident gives us a word-picture of the period and people, and we want to believe that some of it could really be true. Highly recommended for action readers, as well as romance fans. The writing is smooth; the romance is light, and the action breathtaking.

Tom Johnson


  1. Thank you for the awesome review and feature on the Pulp Den. Hooah, Tom Johnson!


  2. My pleasure, Jo. Anxious to read #2 now (g).