Thrilled to join this blog tour with Sourcebooks Landmark new tie-in editions for the Masterpiece Classic PBS series airing 6/21 – 8/2, 2015 (#PoldarkPBS). Generally I do not enjoy reading the book that inspired a TV/movie project so this was a wonderful opportunity to ensure I was ready for its airing.
All of the hard work for this tour is performed by Laurel Ann Nattress @Austenprose and in conjunction with the good folks at Sourcebooks Landmark @sbkslandmark who have repackaged these books by Winston Graham to compliment the TV series. There is even a giveaway with three chances to win for those who stop by and comment here and at my fellow bloggers site: http://www.sourcebooks.com/buzz/ross-poldark-a-demelza-blog-tour.html.
Two lucky winners will each receive one trade paperback copy of Ross Poldark and Demelza, and one grand prize winner will receive a prize package containing the following items:
(2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
(1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Platter by Johnson Brothers
(1) London Telephone Box Tin of Ahmad English Breakfast Tea
(1) Jar of Mrs. Bridges Marmalade
(1) Package of Duchy Originals Organic Oaten Biscuits
(2) Packets of Blue Boy Cornflower Seeds by Renee’s Garden Heirloom (1) Trade Paperback Copy of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham
To enter the giveaway contest simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on the Ross Poldark Blog Tour starting July 06, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, August 10, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the entrants and announced on the Buzz at Sourcebooks blog on August 13, 2015. Winners have until August 20, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to US residents and the prizes will be shipped to US addresses. Good luck to all!
I received a copy of each of the first two novels in the POLDARK series ROSS POLDARK and DEMELZA in exchange for this feature. The excerpt presented below is with the permission of Sourcebooks Landmark.
In the enchanting second novel in Winston Graham’s beloved Poldark series, Demelza Carne, an impoverished miner’s daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground brawl, now happily finds herself his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love. As Ross launches into a bitter struggle for the right of the mining communities, Demelza’s efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry (and her husband) place her in increasingly odd and embarrassing situations. When tragedy strikes and sows the seeds of an enduring rivalry between Ross and the powerful George Warleggan, will Demelza manage to bridge their differences before they destroy her and her husband’s chance at happiness?
Against the stunning backdrop of eighteenth century Cornwall, Demelza sweeps readers into one of the greatest love stories of all time.
DEMELZA: Excerpt from Chapter 6
“He came in, his face still set in hard lines from his quarrel with the seamen. Her first thought was that he was old. He had taken off his cocked hat and he wore his own hair: it was gray at the temples and specked with gray on the crown. He must be over forty. His eyes were blue and fierce and the skin was drawn up around them from peering into the sun. They were the eyes of a man who might have been holding himself ready for the first leap forward of a race.
He came across to the desk and put his hat on it, looking directly at his visitor.
“My name is Blamey, ma’am,” he said in a hard, clear voice. “Can I be of service to you?”
All Demelza’s prepared openings were forgotten. She was overawed by his manner and his authority.
She moistened her lips and said, “My name is Poldark.”
It was as if some key turned in the inner mechanism of that hard man, locking away before it could escape any show of surprise or sentiment.
He bowed slightly. “I haven’t the honor of your acquaintance.”
“No, sir,” said Demelza. “No. You know my husband, Captain Ross Poldark.”
There was something ship-like about his face, jutting and aggressive and square, weathered but unbeaten.
“A few years ago I had occasion to meet him.”
She could not shape the next sentence. With her hand she felt the chair behind her, and sat in it.
“I’ve rid twenty miles to see you.”
“I am honored.”
“Ross don’t know I’ve come,” she said. “Nobody knows I’ve come.”
His unflinching eyes for a moment left her face and traveled over her dusty dress.
“I can offer you some refreshment?”
“No…no…I must leave again in a few minutes.” Perhaps that was a mistake, for tea or anything would have given her ease and time.
There was a strained pause. Under the window the quarrel with the orange woman broke out afresh.
“Was that your servant at the door?”
“I thought I recognized him. I should have known.”
His voice left no doubt of his feelings.
She tried once again. “I—mebbe I shouldn’t ought to have come, but I felt I must. I wanted to see you.”
“It is about Verity.”
Just for a moment his expression grew embarrassed; that name could no longer be mentioned. Then he abruptly glanced at the clock. “I can spare you three minutes.”
Something in the glance quenched the last of Demelza’s hopes. “I been wrong to come,” she said. “I think there’s nothing to say to you. I made a mistake, that’s all.”
“Well, what is it you made a mistake in? Since you are here you’d best say it.”
“Nothing. Nothing will be any use saying to the likes of you.”
He gave her a furious look. “I ask you, tell me.”
She glanced at him again.
“It is about Verity. Ross married me last year. I knew nothing about Verity till then. An’ she never told me a thing. I persuaded it out of Ross. About you, I mean. I love Verity. I’d give anything to see ’er happy. An’ she isn’t happy. She’s never gotten over it. She’s not the sort to get over it. Ross said it was dangerous to meddle. He said I must leave it alone. But I couldn’t leave it alone till I’d seen you. I—I thought Verity was right an’ they was wrong. I—I had to be sure they was right before I could let it drop.”
Her voice seemed to go on and on, into an arid empty space. She said, “Are you married again?”
“I schemed today. Ross has gone to Bodmin. I borrowed the horses and came over with Jud. I’d best be getting back, for I’ve a young baby at home.”
She got up and slowly made for the door.
He caught her arm as she went past him.
“Is Verity ill?”
“No,” Demelza said angrily. “Ailing but not ill. She looks ten years older than her age.”
His eyes were suddenly fierce with pain.
“D’you not know the whole story? They cannot fail to have told you the whole story.”
“Yes, about your first wife. But if I was Verity—”
“You’re not Verity. How can you know what she feels?”
“I don’t, but I—”
“She never once sent me any word…”
“Nor you never sent her any word neither.”
“Has she ever said anything?”
“Then it’s pitiable, this attempt on your part, this—this intrusion…”
“I know,” said Demelza, nearly crying. “I know now. I thought to help Verity, but I wish now I’d never tried. You see, I don’t understand. If folks in our way love one another it is more than enough to bring ’em together, drink or no. If the father’s against it then that’s some reason, but now the father’s dead an’ Verity’s too proud to make any move. And you—and you… But I thought you were different. I thought—”
“You thought I was likely to sit moping my time away. No doubt the rest of your family has long since written me off as a failure and a drunkard, drooling in taprooms and lurching home of a night. No doubt Miss Verity has long since agreed with her weakling brother that it was better for all that Captain Blamey was sent about his business. What for—”
“How dare you say that of Verity!” Demelza cried out, standing up to him. “How dare you! An’ to think I’ve rid myself sore to hear it! To think I’ve schemed and plotted and lied and borrowed the horses and one thing and the next. An’ to say such of Verity when she’s ill for pining of you! Judas God! Let me get out of here!”
He barred her way. “Wait.”
His epaulets and gold braid no longer counted.
“Wait for what? For more insults? Let me past or I shall call Jud!”
He took her arm again. “It is no reflection on you, girl. I grant you did it all from the best of motives. I grant you your goodwill—”
She was trembling but with great self-control did not try to wrench her arm free.
For a moment he did not go on but peered at her closely as if trying to see all that she had not said. His own anger was suddenly in ashes. He said, “We’ve all moved on since those days, grown, changed. It’s—you see, it’s all forgotten, behind us—but has left us bitter. There were times when I ranted and railed—if you understood—if you’d known it all you’d see that. When you stir up old things best forgotten, you’re bound to stir up some of the mud that’s settled around ’em.”
“Let go my arm,” she said.”
Do not forget to enter the giveaway:
Simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on the Ross Poldark Blog Tour starting July 06, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, August 10, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the entrants and announced on the Buzz at Sourcebooks blog on August 13, 2015. Winners have until August 20, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to US residents and the prizes will be shipped to US addresses.