MaryLu Tyndall has carved out a niche all of her own with her stories of pirates, ships, romance and adventure! Her latest installment in her Charles Towne Belle series has all those ingredients and more ~ enjoy this bird’s eye view of the nefarious Rafe and pious Grace
Over to you, MaryLu:~
At twenty years of age, Grace Westcott is the youngest of four sisters. With raven-colored hair and eyes a deep shade of emerald green, she’s been told she has beautiful exotic looks. But Grace closes her ears to such praises. Vanity only swells one’s pride, and pride goes before a fall. And she cannot allow such idle flattery to deter her from her mission to ensure her sister’s eternal salvation and attend to the poor in Charles Towne. Though not as petite as her sister, Hope, nor as tall as her sister, Faith, Grace tries to hide her medium, yet curvy, build beneath high-necked, loose fitting, plain gowns. There is no need to draw the eyes of any of the men in Charles Towne. Not that she has received any unwanted attention—or any attention at all, for that matter. Besides, she is too busy aiding the poor and preaching to her sisters of the evils of sin, to have time for courting. If only they would listen to her, Grace is sure her sisters would save themselves a lot of pain and heartache. Yet despite Grace’s self-righteous attitude, she is a kind, generous lady who loves God and who would gladly give up her last meal to help someone in need.
Self-sacrificing, Generous, Clever, Strong Faith, Confidence
Judgmental, Idealistic, Lacks compassion for sinners, Nosy, Stubborn
Grace wears a cross around her neck which is usually tucked within her bodice. When she’s nervous or upset, she pulls the cross out and rubs it. Also she throws a hand to her throat to cover up her exposed skin when she’s nervous. She says “Mercy me” all the time and is very outspoken about other people’s faults.
I love Grace’s character. I’ve seen her in so many people around me. She’s got a great heart, loves God, loves to help others, but she has one major flaw. She is too quick to judge everyone around her for any sin she sees in their lives. Since she has never had it rough in her life, since she’s always had a home and food and love, she cannot understand why people commit sin: why they steal or cheat or lie or are immoral. She only sees the sin, the top of the iceberg and refuses to look beneath. As a consequence, she comes across as being very prudish and self-righteous when in reality she only wants people get to Heaven. More often than not, I find I can easily slip into this kind of attitude, judging the actions of others without truly knowing their heart. But wait until Grace runs into Rafe Dubois, the vile mercenary who kidnaps her from her home.
Captain Rafe Dubois
Tall, well-built with jet black hair and dark, smoky eyes, Rafe Dubois has no trouble attracting les femmes. That is, until he comes across Mademoiselle Grace Westcott. The son of Henri Dubois, a rich planter on the French island of Saint Dominique, Rafe, at age 26, has already amassed a fortune of his own by hiring himself and his ragtag crew out as mercenaries to the highest bidder—performing whatever dirty deed is required of them, without question. But Rafe has an oddity that baffles both his men and Mademoiselle Grace. Instead of spending his wealth on himself, he gives most of it away to the poor and sick in Port-aux-Paix, his home town. In fact, it is his ultimate goal to build a hospital in the poverty-stricken port for those who cannot afford quality care. In truth, Rafe wants nothing more than to infuriate his father, a man who mistreated Rafe from birth and who committed the ultimate act of betrayal. I picture Rafe looking a lot like Orlando Bloom in the pirate movies.
Bitter, Arrogant, Rebellious, Loves Praise, Pessimist, Bad Temper
Rafe is the ultimate Bad Boy. And I love writing the bad boy! He’s rude, extremely macho, and arrogant. Yet he is a true leader, a commander who inspires others to follow him. He walks on the wild side and has a dangerous look about him. But inside, he’s a wounded warrior with a heart of gold. I think this is my favorite type of hero to write because bad boys are so deep, so passionate, and there’s a lot of stuff going on beneath the surface. Rafe has lived a lifetime of abuse and neglect. Those he trusted and loved the most stabbed him in the back. Consequently, he hates God and hates women. He has no self value so he searches for it in the praises of others. Pretending to be altruistic, he is only satisfying his need for value and for revenge against his father—a father who has an outward appearance of piety that disgusts Rafe. Can you imagine the fireworks that are set off when Rafe meets Grace Westcott?
Background for the story:
Grace Westcott is everything a proper, godly woman should be. She attends church weekly, reads her Bible daily, and spends all her free time tending to the poor and sick around Charles Towne. But when she is kidnapped by Captain Rafe Dubois, the notorious French mercenary, and discovers he intends to sell her to a Spanish Don, she cannot understand how God could have allowed such tragedy to come her way. Nevertheless she is undaunted in her efforts to witness to all the unsavory men aboard the ship, including the rogue Captain himself, thinking perhaps that it must be God’s plan for this tragedy.
Captain Rafe Dubois happily accepts the job to steal a young daughter of a British Admiral. Not only will the money offered by the Don be enough to build a hospital at Port-aux-Paix, but Rafe holds the British Navy responsible for the murder of his mother. It should be an easy task to deliver the young lady to Columbia. Or will it? Despite her beauty, Grace Westcott does nothing but continually berate Rafe for his sins, telling him he is going to hell if he doesn’t repent. As if he did not get enough of this hypocritical drivel from his father while growing up. But Mademoiselle Westcott is no hypocrite. She actually believes in what she expounds. Not only that, but her honesty, kind heart, and generous spirit begin to weaken the hard crust Rafe has built around his heart. Could he be falling in love with this British prig?
MaryLu ~ you always give us a terrific spotlight! Thanks for the effort you put in, it is really appreciated
On Monday, the spotlight shines on Miralee Ferrell’s Margaret Garvey from Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon.
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