A DISPATCH FROM THE AUTHOR
A brief bit about the Sea Witch Voyages:
I wrote the first Voyage (Sea Witch) back in 2005 after thoroughly enjoying the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Like most avid readers, however, I wanted more than just the movie, I wanted to read something that was as entertaining and as exciting. A nautical adventure with a charming rogue of a pirate captain, written for adults (with adult content) but with a dash of supernatural fantasy as well – elements of which had made that first movie such fun to watch. I found many nautical-based novels, but they were all ‘serious stuff’ – Patrick O’Brian, Alexander Kent, C. S. Forrester ... all good reads but without the fantasy fun, and barely a female character in sight. I simply could not find the book I wanted to read. So, I wrote my own.
The first Voyage led to more books in the series, and also generated several emails from fans who wanted to know how Jesamiah had become a pirate in the first place.
When the Mermaid Sings answers that question.
Virginia, Summer 1708
What was left of Acorn rolled to starboard and disappeared into the water with nothing more than a final hiss of steam and a few agitated bubbles to mark where she had sunk.
“Tck. Such a shame. Your only possession gone up in smoke. How unfortunate.”
Jesamiah turned slowly to stare with loathing at his half-brother, Phillipe, his figure dark against the cast of light shining from the house. They shared a father and that was all; there was nothing else between them. Nothing beyond mutual hatred.
Phillipe stepped closer, his head cocked arrogantly high and slightly to one side, his hands clutched behind his back, the very figure of importance. “You are neglecting my guests by skulking out here, Jesamiah. I will not have you shame me by your impoliteness. Return within and see to your duty.”
“I hate you,” Jesamiah said in a low voice, ignoring the command. “You set fire to her. You deliberately destroyed my boat.”
“Now, why would I do that?” Phillipe jeered, waving one hand towards the river with mocking indignation. The congenial face he had shown to the guests had become a contemptuous sneer.
“Why would I want you to have nothing? No boat, no home, no mother? And now no father for you to go whimpering to when you think life has been treating you unfairly. So sad to find yourself suddenly destitute.”
Jesamiah wanted to hit this pompous codpiece. Wanted to hit and hit, and never stop. If only he had the courage.
Recognising the wanting, Phillipe laughed. He had seen that look so many times before and knew this shrimp did not have the guts to fight back.
“If Father only knew what you had done…” Jesamiah snarled.
“Father?” The laughter increased. “It is Father’s fault that the boat is gone. He ought to have ensured it passed to me, not you. If it had been mine, I need not have destroyed it. But I could not let you keep it, could I?”
Jesamiah clenched his fists. Almost seven years the elder, Phillipe was taller and stronger than he, and the beatings endured at his hands through the years were more than just scars on Jesamiah’s body.
The sneer across Phillipe’s mouth widened. He leant forward. “Would you be thinking of threatening me? We both know where that will lead, do we not?”
Relaxing his fingers, Jesamiah wiped at his face with his sleeve, spreading the tear-streaked grime of soot and smoke further. It was his only good coat, worn for the funeral. His mother had sewn it for him, embroidering the matching waistcoat with green oak leaves and tiny brown acorns. They had been special symbols for her, the oak and the acorn, for she said they brought good fortune. That was why her boat had been called Acorn.
The good fortune had obviously run out.
Phillipe noticed the tears; slapped his palm several times against Jesamiah’s cheek. “Aw, has my little brother been mewling?” He grasped Jesamiah’s chin, pressed hard into the flesh. “Tears? How pathetic.”
He grinned, then lunging forward, clamped his hand on Jesamiah’s shoulder, forcing him away from the river and up the slope towards the fenced area of the family graveyard. Until today, there had only been the one grave: that of Jesamiah’s mother, buried there one week ago. Now, beside it, lay a newly-filled grave for their father.
“Let’s show your mother how sad you are at losing your tub of a boat, shall we?” Phillipe said, shaking Jesamiah as if he were a caught rat. “Let’s visit her one last time before I throw you off this plantation for good. Sorenta is mine now and I do not want you here or anywhere near me, Virginia, or the Colonies. Is that clear?”
Trying to resist, to throw him off, Jesamiah tripped and fell, jarring his knee on a stone. Not waiting for him to get up, Phillipe grasped Jesamiah’s black, curly hair and dragged him the last few yards through the gate in the white-painted picket fence.
(edited: original excerpt contains adult language)
How I met Jesamiah Acorne (the tru-ish) story:
Thank you so much for starting my Voyage Tour in such style! :-)ReplyDelete
Always a pleasure, Helen!Delete
I LOVE this cover so much!!!ReplyDelete
I do too!!!Delete