Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Showing posts with label Caribbean pirates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caribbean pirates. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Arrr! Today, September 19th, is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Yes, there is such a thing. It’s been a thing for 22 years. Read how it all started HERE.

Read More HERE
So what do you do on International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Talk, dress, and act like a pirate, of course. Sounds like fun, right? Wouldn’t it be awesome to go to work, perch yer booted foot atop yer desk, and order around the scurvy landlubbers in the office, threatenin’ them with the business end of yer cutlass? Or how about plunderin’ the liquor store shelves of grog, rum, and other sundries, and payin’ for it with coins from yer leather pouch?  Or servin’ up vittles for yer crew while singin’ sea shanties? Or hangin’ out the driver’s window of yer vehicle hollerin’ “bring me the horizon,” “it’s a pirate’s life for me,” and “move yer aft end!” Aye, me hearties, there’s tomfoolery to be had.

Need help with yer buccaneer vernacular? Check out this spot-on, cheeky how-to video in proper pirate jargon.

If dressing and talking like a pirate isn’t practical for ye, my pity to ye mate. But ye can still have some pirate merriment.

Ye could:


Read more HERE

OR...

...escape  into worlds full of adventure, rum, fearless pirates, spirited wenches, and swoon-worthy, Romancing the Pirate and Pirates of Britannia: Lords of the Seas. Eliza Knight and I will leave you breathless and wanting more swashbuckling mayhem.
Grab your copy of The Laird's Reckoning now and pre-order a copy of Savage of the Sea.

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day, mates!





About the Author
Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Rise and Fall of Port Royal

Port Royal was once a shining jewel of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean on the island of Santiago. Founded by the Spanish in 1518, the village was built on a sandy spit of land at the mouth of Kingston Harbor. Spain ruled over the island for nearly a hundred and fifty years before it was invaded by the English who took control in 1655 and renamed the island Jamaica. Soon Jamaica had become a chief sugar exporter. By the late 1600’s, Port Royal was one of the largest English cities outside of Europe. It was also known as the most “wicked and sinful city in the world”.

Here’s why.

Port Royal was a safe haven for privateers, buccaneers, and pirates. How did that happen? First, we must understand why the city was important. The harbor was large enough to receive many ships, upwards of five hundred or more. The waters were deep enough to anchor very close to the shore and bay acted as natural protection from angry tropical weather. The English didn’t have enough resources to protect their hold of Jamaica and it’s unofficial capital Port Royal. They were surrounded on all sides by an enemy with which they were at war, Spain. And so they turned to privateers and pirates to help defend the city.
in some areas shallow enough ships could careen and make repairs. It proved an ideal outpost for trading goods with easy access to all the shipping lanes. And, because it sat on a long finger of land, the

Situated in a sweet spot between the Spanish Main and the Atlantic, the location was perfect for, say, attacking ships laden with Spanish treasure and launching attacks on Spanish coastal towns. The pirates were pretty much given free sanction to pillage and plunder and the stolen goods would come through Port Royal. Pirates, merchants, and locals became stinkin’ rich, the Crown received a quarter of the gains, and the city was protected. It was a win for all involved. Well, except the Spanish. Yep, life was good in the booming port. Debauchery reigned as spoils were spent. Taverns and brothels were full and rowdy.

Even as the England and Spain drew a truce, Port Royal was the place to be to make a fast fortune. The seed had been planted. Craftsmen, slave traders, and entrepreneurs came in droves. The town rivaled cities like Boston and London. Its narrow streets and two thousand two-to-four story buildings crammed on just over fifty acres and boasted of a population of almost eight thousand. And while pirates were no longer needed, a former and notorious pirate captain, Henry Morgan, had been appointed the Lieutenant Governor. Over time, the port was no longer the sanctuary for pirates as it once was. Still, much to the displeasure of upstanding citizens, Port Royal had a reputation of being the “Sodom of the New World”. Drinking and prostitution were as rampant as ever. It had been estimated there was one tavern for every ten people. Wow. That’s a lot of partying.

In 1692, busy Port Royal was arguably one of the wealthiest ports in the Caribbean. All that changed
in a matter of minutes on June 7th  in a trifecta of catastrophe. At approximately 11:43 in the morning, a massive earthquake rocked the island. The ground split, buildings crumbled. There was no place to hide from the destruction. No place safe. The earthquake was just the beginning. As the ground shook, the water-saturated sand beneath the city separated and became unstable, behaving like quicksand. This phenomenon is called liquefaction. Entire buildings sank straight down into the earth, taking everything and everyone with them. The earthquake shocks reportedly created liquefaction waves. With each passing wave, people became trapped in the ground as the sand solidified, crushing them to death. Unfortunately, that was not the end of it. The earthquake created a tsunami. As the tsunami rushed through Kingston Harbor, it bounced off the surrounding shores, sending multiple waves back to batter Port Royal.

Once the cataclysms subsided, two-thirds of the city (about thirty-three acres) had sunken beneath the sea and thousands of people lost their lives. The aftermath included a great many floating, decaying corpses and looting of homes, businesses, and bodies. No rest for the wicked. Many in the rest of the world felt that the destruction was divine intervention. But in all likelihood, being built on a sandy peninsula in an active fault zone doomed the port town from the beginning.

Though not completely swallowed up by the sea, Port Royal never regained her power and wealth.

About the Author
Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Laird's Reckoning

Just in time for the release of the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie Dead Men Tell No Tales, I bring you my latest Romancing the Pirate novel. This tale veers slightly into uncharted waters for me. I’ve mixed pirates with Scottish Highlanders. A great deal of research went into making The Laird’s Reckoning, including watching the entire two seasons of Outlander. Nope, no hardship there. I enjoyed writing this story so much, I’m considering writing more Scottish pirate books.

The Laird’s Reckoning goes on sale May 30th at Amazon, but you can pre-order your copy today!

The Blurb:


Pirate or Laird...?

Birk Bane was born the second son, the unwanted son, the unneeded son. Crossed by family and falsely accused of a crime, he flees Scotland to the sea where he’s recruited by a pirate. Five years later, he’s captain of his own ship and embraces his new life, though an ache for the woman he left behind remains. When he receives word of his father’s death and his clan is floundering, Birk begrudgingly returns home. Little does he know there’s more he left behind than a title…much more.

Sheena MacRae helped Birk escape to safety years ago, always expecting he’d return. Time passes and she believes him to be dead. With her clan being terrorized and slaughtered, she accepts she is the only one who can stop the suffering by agreeing to marry Laird Gordon, the man behind the assaults. The man who is also poised to rule Birk’s clan. Despite the crushing need to hold Birk in her arms once more, his reappearance changes nothing. Sheena has too much to lose if she reneges the betrothal to Gordon. And while Birk’s intentions are to return to the sea after reclaiming his clan, she didn’t count on her pirate lover’s plan for revenge…

The longer he’s home, the more betrayal Birk uncovers. There will be a fiery battle ahead for Birk and his brethren. If he survives, how will he choose between the life he loves and the love of his life?

Enjoy this excerpt:


“They’re coming!”
The panic in Sheena’s eyes matched Birk’s racing heart. Their breaths stirred the dust they had kicked up crouching behind the crates. Shouts carried down the alleys, drawing closer.
Sheena gripped his arms. “Go!” Her pleading command rushed out in a hoarse whisper. “Run, before they catch you.”
“Come with me.” It was a desperate attempt to keep Sheena by his side, a selfish one. But he was no fool. If the magistrate found out she helped him escape, his bonny lass would be imprisoned. He couldn’t protect her if he left her behind.
She shook her head, mahogany tresses slipping free from the knot at her crown. “I canna leave my father and Mallabroch Manor.” Gruff voices neared. Her eyes widened, begged. “Please, Birk. If ye are hanged, I’ll kill myself, I swear I will.”
He believed it. By the heavens, he loved his lass. Loved her more than anything this world had to offer. He’d give his life for her. But never would he allow her to give hers for him. Never. “I canna leave you.” He could hardly swallow, the lump of fear wedged tight in his throat. She was his air, the beat of his heart. He was terrified to be without her. Terrified and angry. Angry for the pain marring her beautiful effervescent smile. He swore whoever set him up, accused him of being a false coiner, would pay and pay dearly.
“Ye must go.” She grabbed his face with both hands. “Ye must. For me.”
The tears cresting in those moss green eyes, the tremble in her bottom lip, tore at his soul. What choice did he have? Sheena would not leave her father, her home. This he knew. Her love and loyalty for her da was fierce. Could he really expect her to leave Ramsay, the laird of Mallabroch, alone, as ill as he was? Would he be able to protect her any better on the lam? No. He had no choice. She was a mighty one. She’d be fine, if only he’d let her go. Let her go and run. Damn it, he never ran from anything. He tucked a wayward lock behind her ear. “For you,” he repeated.
A shaky smile accompanied her gusty breath of relief. “I love you, Birk.”
“And I you. More than the moon and stars.” He pressed a kiss to her mouth. “I will clear my name,” he vowed against her lips. “I will come back for you.”
Birk gripped the back of her neck and she deepened the kiss. For a moment, he lost himself with her. The accusations, the magistrate’s guard closing in, his damaged, jaded world faded into the light, musky, floral scent of heather and urgent caress of her lips.
“This way!” The strident shout broke the haze, yanking him back to the present.
“Promise me.” She choked on the words.
Footfalls pounded against the packed dirt.
He could take no more of her agony. Aye. He would see the man who framed him dead. “I promise, mo teine, my fire. I will return for you.”
“Back here! This way!”
Tears streamed down her creamy, flushed cheeks. She nodded once. Without a word, she spun to stand, ready to face the men chasing after him.
Birk took off at a run, dodging barrels and crates, cutting around the buildings on the leading edge the rest of the way through the town to the docks. Behind him, he heard her shrill scream. He pushed hard against the urge to hasten back to her. He had to believe she would be all right. She was a hellcat when provoked. Sheena would be fine. She had to be.
He jumped over a pile of ropes and looped through stacks of lumber. The stench of timber and pitch mixed with brine. Off to the left, a carpenter hammered, the thudding so familiar. Ahead, several stevedores unloaded cargo from a ship. Birk hadn’t thought beyond fleeing the cell which Sheena unlocked. He hadn’t thought to where he’d go. But Sheena had. He was to flee to the only place he’d known—his father’s shipyard. Now as he skidded to a stop in the middle of the yard, realization struck. He had trapped himself between the town and the men coming for him and the sea. Bloody hell. Aye, there was a boat waiting for him somewhere, but would he reach it in time?
Sheena’s plan. Take a skiff across the Sound of Sleat to the mainland. Find a horse in Mallabroch and disappear. It was his only option, though he would rather have her by his side. Running from all the injustices their young lives had suffered, together.
Birk slunk through the maze of planks, boxes, casks, and tools, weaving through the scaffolding beneath the hull of a brigantine. He set his sights to the end of the docks where fishermen cast out in their skiffs. Just as he cleared the last support beam, he came face to face with his father.
Bewilderment flashed across his haggard face but was soon replaced with a flare of venom.
Birk slid his gaze past his father to his cousin rounding the other side of the scaffolding and coming up short. Cam slowly took a step back, as if he hoped not to become entangled in a confrontation.
“Birk.” A sneer crooked his father’s mouth. “Let ye out, did they?” His tone belied he knew the better.
Shouts traveled through the shipyard. His pursuers were nearly upon him.
“Hmph.” The old man lifted his chin and sneered down his nose. “Suppose not.”
“I didna do it, Father.” Speaking truths, hell, speaking at all was lost on the man.
Since birth, Hugh Bane, laird of Creaganbroch Manor, the village of Tradale, and the surrounding lands, had shunned his youngest son—the weak, sickly child who wasn’t expected to live. But his mother refused to accept her little bairn could not grow happy and healthy. Through her love and nurturing, never leaving his side, Birk survived the infant months to become the favorite of her three sons. That didn’t change as he grew a few years older. Hugh had become resentful, claiming his wife mollycoddled Birk. He’d force Birk into harsh labor around the yard, harsher than he should have for a boy his age. This but angered his mother and many fights were waged over Birk. Until his mother fell ill with fever. Upon her final breaths, it wasn’t Hugh she called for, but Birk. And Birk had suffered for it ever since.
Except that he didn’t. He hadn’t let the old man get the better of him. Not after the last time he took a backhand across his face at the age of fifteen.
“Didna do it?” Hugh spat. “’Tis your fault I’ve buried James. Ye and your goddamned defiance.”
And there it was. The blame he’d been burdened with and the guilt that his father was right this time. But that was his cross to bear and he’d be damned to let the old man lay one more thing at his feet. He’d be damned to give him any such satisfaction.
A wicked grin crooked one side of Cam’s mouth. One day, Birk would bloody up that idiot’s face, the toady.
“I didna kill James.”
“Ye did, and ye sullied the Bane name with your thievery.” Hugh, quick as a viper, snatched Birk’s arm. “Cam.”
“Yes, uncle?”
His father’s expression hardened. “Alert the authorities in the yard,” he leaned within an inch of Birk’s face, his eyes darkened with hate, “we have the bastard here.”
Birk had never gotten along with his cousin, but something about the toothy grin splitting Cam’s face didn’t set right with him. ’Twas more than Birk facing certain death at the end of a rope. ’Twas something…triumphant. Cam spun on his heel toward the approaching men.
“May ye rot in hell,” Hugh spewed.
Birk wrenched his arm free and leaned in even further, a hair’s breadth from the man. “Ye first.”
If ye haven't signed up FOR MY NEWSLETTER for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways, what are you waiting for? All new subscribers will have a chance to win a signed print copy of The Laird's Reckoning!

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy today!

Fair winds and following seas, mates!

About the Author

                                                                             
Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Seven Wenches and their Booty


What do you get when seven award-winning, best-selling swashbuckling wenches who write pirate romances join forces? Mayhem! More accurately, seven tales of adventure, danger, sea battles, retribution, and pillaging of the heart all in one place—Romance on the High Seas. This unique box set weighs anchor May 18th, just ahead of the final Pirates of the Caribbean movie sails into theaters. Ah, brings a tear to me eye.

Today, I’m sharing some booty. Seven excerpts sure to tempt your scavenging curiosity.

And like any good pirate worth her salt, I’ve got a more. Join the wenches on Facebook. In the following weeks leading up to the release of Romance on the High Seas, we will be hosting awesome treasure hunts. Loads of fun and HUGE spoils can be had. Just sign the Articles, er, I mean join the wenches on Facebook for your orders, um, details.


PREPARE TO BE BOARDED


If you love historical romance, pirates, adventure, and thrills, you'll love this 7-book set by these award winning and best selling pirate romance authors!


THE PIRATE'S DEBT by National Best-selling Author Katherine Bone:
An earl-turned pirate is ordered by his benefactor to find an adventurous young runaway and return her home. To do so, he must retrieve her without being discovered by the most ruthless pirate hunter on the seas: her brother.

DEAD MAN'S KISS by Award Winning Author Jennifer Bray-Weber:
Eight weeks. That’s all pirate captain Valeryn Barone has to escort a tempting naturalist untouched across the Caribbean or face the gallows. Can he resist the beauty who’s fallen for him? Does a dead man walking even have a chance?

THE BLACK MORASS by USA Today Bestselling Author Barbara Devlin:
In exchange for a chance at redemption and pardons for his crew, Jean Marc Cavalier accepts a pact that could result in liberty or death, if only he can survive the terms, but at least he will be free.

PIRATE HEIRESS by Award Winning Author Chloe Flowers:
Captain Conal O’Brien has already lost control of his ship to the most unlikely band of pirates sailing the seas. If he’s not careful, he’s going to lose his heart as well as his ship to a headstrong lady pirate determined to destroy both.

MY LADY PIRATE by N.Y. Times Bestselling Author Danelle Harmon:
He holds the fate of nations in his hands. She's the Pirate Queen of the Caribbean, savage, beautiful and untamed. When danger, secrets, and deceit threaten both their love and England herself, can even an admiral named Nelson bring together this man who longs for a lady pirate and a woman who dreams of a gallant knight? 

CAPTIVATED BY THE CAPTAIN by USA Today  Bestselling Author Amanda Mariel:
What happens when an American shipping company heiress crosses paths with a pirate? Can two people whose life paths are at odds find common ground?

CARRIED AWAY by Kamery Solomon:
After falling through time and being forced to join a pirate crew, Mark Bell falls in love with his fellow time traveler, Samantha. She's a woman he can't have, though. Will their presence in the past alter the future they know and love?

FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE, the excerpts from each book.


THE PIRATE'S DEBT

Markwick stiffened. Blackmoor’s reasons for enlisting Markwick’s help were triggered by love for his wife. Markwick’s sense of responsibility went deeper, to a place he’d never allowed himself to go out of respect for Walsingham. While it was true that Chloe had exceeded many levels of Markwick’s patience when she was younger, since his engagement to Prudence, she’d shown herself to be intelligent, talented, loyal, and a most beloved sister and friend. She was also enamored by the Black Regent, which put his identity at even greater risk.
What could he do? How far was he willing to go to bring Chloe home safe and sound?
“For the duchess’s sake,” he began, “I will do my best to find Chloe. You have my word.”
“Remember, her willful head is in the clouds. That, dear friend, makes her dangerous. If she spies her brother, she will most likely flee to avoid facing his ire. But if you find her . . . well, that is a trap well laid.”
“Surely you place too much—”
“I’ve promised my wife that you will find her before Walsingham does.”
Markwick bowed. “I shall strive to earn your confidence.”
He gazed at the missive in Blackmoor’s hand once more, suspecting something else was responsible for the duke’s persistence that Markwick should be the one to locate Chloe. “What’s in the letter?”
Blackmoor handed him the missive, then strode to the door. “Have a care for your soul, Markwick. While the Fury demands forte, females rein a tempest of emotions sure to drown better men.”
Markwick straightened. “Aye, sir,” he said, gazing down at the note.
The screen door slammed. When he looked up again, Blackmoor was gone.
Markwick opened the note, then leaned back on the desk. His jaw slackened at the words on the page. 
My dearest friend,
I ask you one question: is a body unhappy about another unless she is in love? I fear we both know the answer to that now, and a gentle violence thrills my soul as I share with you that I intend to sail with the tide. I cannot face the snares and wiles of this world without love to recommend me. Therefore, I beseech you to keep my secret, for you are the only one I trust.
Markwick has disappeared. As you are no longer betrothed, I am finally at liberty to confess to you that I love him. I have always loved him, and I cannot bear for him to suffer alone. Sources close to my brother inform me that a man fitting Markwick’s description has been seen in Torquay. Therefore, I’ve attained passage for myself and my maid aboard the Valerian.
Do not be alarmed for my person or harden your heart against me. Dry your earnest tears. My virtuous intentions steer me toward a higher destiny.
Resourcefully yours,
Chloe Walsingham
Markwick shut his gaping mouth, then crumpled the letter in his hand.
It couldn’t be true. Blackmoor was right? Chloe loved him? How was that possible? Why? Until now, he had always perceived her attention as infatuation because he’d been the only man her brother allowed around her.
He dropped the foolscap and swiped his fingers through his hair. If he failed to rescue Chloe from another one of her outlandish adventures, Prudence would blame him. Which meant Blackmoor would blame him. Not to mention Chloe’s brother. If Walsingham found out Markwick had known where Chloe was bound and hadn’t alerted him, the bond between friends would be severed for good, making his stint as the Black Regent even more perilous. If anything happened to her, Walsingham would not rest until Markwick was hunted down. That endangered the Regent’s whole design. And a dead Regent could not help the people of Cornwall and Devon.
Markwick hopped forward and yanked open the cabin’s screen door.
Pye stood there, just outside the door, waiting. “What be your orders, Cap’n?”
Had Blackmoor ordered the one-legged pirate to stand there? “Notify the crew that we have a target in our sights. We make way with the tide.”
“Aye, sir.” The salty pirate grinned. “As soon as I’d seen the ol’ cap’n, I knew we’d have us an adventure ahead.”
“Spare me your excitement,” Markwick grumbled. “This adventure may very well lead to my bloody end.”
 DEAD MAN'S KISS
“Thank you, Capit├ín,” she said.
“Don’t thank me, lass. Another moment more whilst he had his weapon raised, I would have blown a hole into your cousin’s skull. And if we survived the British onslaught, you can be certain I’d have used you to save myself and my crew.”
Catalina dropped her gaze to her hands and sighed. “I understand more than you’d give me credit for.” She impaled him with a grim look. “We are all pawns to someone else’s ambitions. As sure as the sun rises and sets, I would do the same to you.”
“Would you? A scared mouse such as you?” What an interesting creature.
“You don’t seem like a man given to underestimating others.”
Catalina shed her earlier fear, recouping her tart attitude rather quickly in spite of nearly becoming British property. She was quick to stand her ground, he’d give her that. No matter. He could break her of her illusions of prevailing upon him like she did her uncle.
“Then we have an understanding.”
“Oh, I understand. The question is, who is the pawn and who is the queen?”
“You mean king.”
She smiled. “No, queen.”
“I do love a good challenge.” He circled the lass. “Pray tell, Miss Montoya,” he whispered low into her ear. “What would the queen do with her pawn—should he be in her service?”
“She would have him kneel before her.” She paused, turning her head slightly to him.
Valeryn’s tongue danced behind his lips with the urge to run it along the curve of her ear. What would it be like to feel her shiver if he were to lap at her lobe? “And?”
She nibbled her bottom lip, avoiding eye contact. “And drink from her fount.”
Christ! The double entendre damn near caused his knees to buckle. “The pawn’s a thirsty man. He might drink her dry.”
Her stare remained fixed straight ahead. “To protect her place, a queen must ensure my pawn is sated.”
My pawn? Burn and sink it! ’Twas a slip of the tongue, and she was killing him. “Will I be sated?” He couldn’t stop himself. He could ravage her in a kiss if it weren’t for Nalda sulking nearby and the crew watching their every move.
She turned her head in closer and peered up. Her lips parted, her breath shallow, the pupils of her eyes wide, eclipsing the color. “Will I?”
Holy Mother of— “You tread a dangerous path.”
“We both do.”
“Then ’tis best we err on the side of caution.”
Valeryn stepped away from her heat, to a safe distance. There was work to be done, work that would be made difficult with a stiff cock. “My lady,” he said by way of parting.
He spun on his heel and gathered the men on the quarterdeck for further orders. He waited at the top of the ladder for Henri to make the climb. Below, Nalda wagged a bony finger at Catalina, scolding her with words he couldn’t hear and probably wouldn’t understand. The lass ignored her maid and strode for the hatch leading to the cabins. She paused at the door and looked up. She smiled at Valeryn and quickly ducked inside.
Trouble. She was all trouble.
THE BLACK MORASS
The sun sat below the yardarm, as Jean Marc leaned against the stern rail and admired his new cabin mate.  No, they had not discussed her quarters, as he saved that particular joy for later, and he sincerely looked forward to what he anticipated would be a heated but restrained exchange.
A compelling mix of innocence, polite decorum, and fire, Lady Madalene conversed with members
of the crew at the waist, without care, given she had no idea what naughty games he planned for her, but she would learn soon enough with whom she tangled.  Rubbing the back of her neck, she shifted and peered over her shoulder.  When she met his gaze, he smiled, and she dipped her chin.
“The lady is a kind soul, Cap’n.”  Tyne scratched his cheek and frowned.  “She treats the men with respect.”
“And your point would be—what?”  Ah, the curve of her jaw presented a tempting confection he would trace with his tongue, and he would suckle and nibble her sweet flesh that night.  “Have the tars completed the task?”
“Aye, but I do not like it, as she is young.”  The bosun shuffled his feet.  “We could empty one of the storerooms, and create a private lodging for her.  Say the word, and I will see to it.”
“If I heeded your advice, how long do you think it would take before I had to kill a horny sea dog bent on sampling her honey?”  Jean Marc snickered and descended the companion ladder, with Tyne bringing up the rear.  “Now I will approve of the arrangements, ensure everything is as I commanded, and then you will send my guest to my cabin.”
“We could post a guard—”
“No.”
“Jean Marc, I know you are unhappy with the bargain you struck with the British, but she is a guileless babe.”  Tyne grabbed Jean Marc’s arm.  “Do not use her as a foil for your frustration, as you will never forgive yourself.”
“I will do with her as I choose, which is none of your affair, and I have no conscience.”  Wrenching free, he turned on a heel and stomped into his domain.  In the corner hung a small hammock, which had been strung unusually high and taut, to discourage Lady Madalene from using it.  As he tugged on the stiff rope, he laughed.  “Perfect.  Now, bring her to me.
PIRATE HEIRESS
“Where are you taking us?”
Drago looked up into the red-rimmed, grey eyes of the eight-year old girl standing a few feet away. It was a good thing she wasn’t armed or he would have been in trouble. He’d not heard a sound or caught a single movement during her transition from his bed to the area in front of his desk. Perhaps she wasn’t as docile as she’d appeared.
“South,” he answered.
She pressed her lips into a thin line. Her nostrils flared. “South to where?”
“A place called Lamb’s Tail Island,” he answered, studying his chart.
“And where, exactly, is Lamb’s Tail Island?”
He inhaled and let his breath out slowly. “Off the eastern coat of Jamaica.” He turned his attention back to his charts without waiting for her answer.
She leaned forward and mimicked the tone almost exactly. “Why did you make my family steal the Seeker?”
He sat back in his chair. “If I told you, would you stop asking questions and let me get back to my charts?”
She shrugged, which he took as a ‘no.’
“What’s your name, little petticoat?”
“Jacqueline Louisa Sauvage. What’s yours?”
“Drago Vitieri Gamponetti. You may call me Gampo.”
“Well, Mister Gampo—”
“No. Captain Gampo.”
“Fine. Well, Captain Gampo, why do you want the Seeker?”
Drago took a deep breath to prevent himself from shouting in frustration, which he was absolutely sure would give the little chit a great deal of satisfaction.
“I’m doing my duty to my employer, the king of France, for one. And for two, the Seeker is one of three ships in a certain merchant fleet.” She opened her mouth, and he held up an index finger. “And before you ask, the captain is my sworn enemy.” He switched from an index finger to the palm of his hand, causing her once again to close her mouth. “He knows where my sister can be found.”
The silence following his statement was disturbing.
And distracting.
And annoying.
He looked up.
“How long have you been looking for your sister?”
So family was important to her. Good.
“A long time.” He stared out the window at the wake following the vessel. “She might be dead by now.”
“How do you know?”
“I don’t.”
She cocked her head to the side and drew her brows together in consternation. “Why don’t you simply ask your sworn enemy?”
He rubbed his forehead with the heels of his palms. He’d once fancied having children of his own, but this little chit was quickly curing him of that affliction.
“Why do you have my family doing your duty?” Again, her arms crossed her chest and she presented him the same type of look his mother would have given him.
Drago put his palms on his desk to prevent himself from putting them around her little neck. He narrowed his eyes and lowered his voice to what his crew would know was a dangerous level. “If you want to see your family again, you’d better mind your mouth, little lamb, otherwise I’ll have you strung up from the yardarm. It’s much harder to talk with a rope around your neck.”
She lifted her chin and threw her shoulders back. “You can’t do that. If you break your end of the bargain, my family won’t give you that ship you want.”
“Aye, I promised they can have you and your brother back, but I didn’t tell them they’d get you back alive.”
MY LADY PIRATE
Maeve drew her dagger and flung it at his head, satisfied to see him jerk away so that the vicious blade impaled the wall just above and behind him. “You are disgusting, despicable, and totally without pride!”
“On the contrary, madam.” He reached up, pulled the dagger from the wall, and plucking an orange from the nightstand, began to use it to peel the fruit. “I am quite proud of it, thank you.” Still holding her gaze, he popped a section of the orange into his mouth, eating it with slow, suggestive motions that shortened the breath in Maeve’s lungs and made her realize that he was not the only one who was hot. Her temper rose. Had she had her pistol, she probably would have shot him. Probably. Maybe.
Maybe ... not.
Her gaze darted from him to the window. From the window to him. From him to the window ... and each time she looked at him, she saw that he was watching her, fully enjoying her discomfort.
He grinned, and suggestively licked at the juices trailing from the sweet fruit, letting his tongue wrap around each section and making sure she saw him doing it. His eyes were dark, laughing, and half-veiled by heavy, thick lashes that did nothing to conceal the wicked expression that lit them.
The suckling noises increased.
Stop it!” she hissed.
He dropped the orange section into his mouth, licked his lips with a slow, languorous motion, and slowly peeled off another.
The heat rose in Maeve’s blood.
“Would you like ... a taste, madam?”
She raised her cutlass. “I’ll give you a taste—”
“No decisive battle was ever fought from afar,” he interrupted on a low murmur, still grinning. “Nay, two vessels must lie alongside of each other in order to best bring their guns to bear.” He bit into the orange, making lewd, evocative noises as the juice trailed from the succulent flesh and dribbled down his chin. There was a dimple in that chin, and Maeve felt her heart skipping, staggering, faltering. “We have a signal for such an engagement in the navy. ’Tis called close action.”
 “You are no longer in the navy, and I am not a ship!”
“Nay, you are not ...” His voice grew low, dangerously seductive. “But I like the cut of your jib, the trim of your sails”—the dark gaze slid over her breasts, the gentle flare of her hips—“the shape of your hull.”
Get out of my bed.
“Why? I really am most comfortable. Not as comfortable, of course, as I would be if you were to drop anchor beside me....”
Her skin tingled and flushed crimson. “I said, Get out of my bed!
He suckled the juice from his fingers. “What, would you prefer to do it on the floor?”
“I’d prefer that you shut your mouth before I shut it for you!”
“Now that,” he said wickedly, “could be interesting....”
CAPTIVATED BY THE CAPTAIN
She stilled before the ladderway. A large man with dark blond hair and crisp blue eyes filled the exit, casting a tall shadow down on her. Bright sun filtered in around him, making him appear like a dark angel. She studied the crescent shaped scar on his cheek for a moment before meeting his gaze.

Heart racing, she held the knife out in front of her. “I will kill you before I allow you to touch me.”

“I mean you no harm, Miss.” He started down the ladder toward her.

“Stop where you are,” she demanded, thrusting the blade in his direction.

The man smiled. “I am Captain Blackmore of the Marion.”

She swallowed back the urge to trust his friendly smile. He could be tricking her into a false security. She tightened her hold on the knife and took a step backwards. Something in his tone told her she should care about his declaration. Still, none of what he said made sense to her. She only wanted off this bloody ship before she lost the ability to breathe. This man did not wear a navel uniform. All the same, he called himself a captain… “Are you here to rescue me?”

“Yes. If you care to be rescued.” He descended another step.

She backed away. “Then you are with the navy?”

He chuckled. “Gads, no. I’m a pirate.”

Her blood went cold, panic over taking her. Pirates had caused all of her troubles. They murdered the people she loved and took their ship. At this very moment she was a pirate’s captive seeking to save herself from whatever horrible fate he had in mind for her. She could not allow another pirate to take her. Would not allow it. She stiffened her stance, drawing a deep breath. “Then you can scurry back above deck. I will not be going anywhere with a pirate.” She tightened her grip on the blade.

The hair on the back of her neck stood on end as his gaze perused her bloody feet before traveling slowly up to meet hers.

He jumped from the ladder and snatched her wrist before she could move. “You will not be gutting me today. As for pirates, it appears you are already with one.”

“Not by choice.” Prudence struggled, jerking her arm and kicking at him. “Unhand me, you brute.”

He leaned in until his breath fanned her cheek. “I intend to sink this ship. You can either come with me, or go down to the ocean floor.”

“I will do neither.” She jerked her arm with all the strength she could muster. Nothing would please her more than to witness her captors down fall. Despite her vengeful wish, she’d not be attending the pirate before her. He could plunder, kill, and sink all he wanted, but she’d not be staying with him.

He released her and she toppled to the floor, the knife slipping from her hands and skidding down the passageway. She scrambled to retrieve her weapon, but he caught her, pulling her off the floor to hold her against him. Her breath caught at the feel of his hard body against hers.

“Do not be foolish, chit. What do you intend to do? Swim to the closest shore? You will never make it. I am the only chance you have at seeing another sunrise.” He pulled his head back and stared into her eyes. “Trust me.”

How infuriating! Did he think her a fool? “Trust is not something I give easily.” She peered at him.

He did not speak, only continued to gaze at her.

She bit her lower lip in an attempt to gather her thoughts. Sincerity shone in the cool blue depths of his eyes. As much as she longed to, she could not argue his point. “Very well, but I will require my blade.”

“So you can slit my throat? I think not.” He gave her a devilish grin.

“Trust is a two way path.”

“Let us start without weapons.” He looked away from her, toward the ladder way.

The last thing she desired was to find herself helpless in the clutches of another blood thirsty pirate. She had to try and sway him. To maintain some sort of control over her life. “I require my knife for protection,” she protested.

He nudged her toward the exit. “I am all the protection you will need. Now hurry.”

Trust indeed. She would show him.

CARRIED AWAY
Chuckling, she waved her hand in front of her face, smiling at me in a way that made my heart stop. “Really, though. You’ve saved my life more than once, and even in our own time when you kept me from going into the Pit when it collapsed. I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you.”

“Don’t,” I said immediately, sitting and staring at her. “Don’t act like you owe me anything. You lived—that’s all I wanted. I don’t need anything more than to know you’re in the world and okay.”

If there had been no Tristan, no pirate hostage situation, no anything but us, it would’ve been easy to kiss her then. Her face was so sweet and soft, her eyes wide as she watched me, only a few inches away. My hands ached to hold her, to cuddle her against my chest and run my fingers through her hair. Drying quickly at the thought, like I was a man dying of thirst, my lips tingled with the image of her mouth on mine. Heart racing, I felt myself leaning in, slowly, as if every millimeter was killing me.

Jerking back into the present, I blinked, and then looking away, I stood so quickly she jumped.

“What is it?” she asked in alarm.

Glancing at her, I tried to focus on the things that would help me remember what our situation was. Her black shirt was dirty and torn on one shoulder from getting caught on a branch as we rode out of the mountains. The pants she was wearing belonged to Flanagan, who had been more than happy to tell everyone I’d let her get in his breeches. The shoes I’d bought for her in Veracruz were muddied from our trek as well, tied to her feet with little care for whether or not they stayed on.

She was a prisoner, a captive among this crew.

Married.

Not mine.  

~~~~~~~ 

See anything that piqued your piratey interest? The box set drops May 18th, but preorders are under way. Links are below.

Don’t forget. There’s loot to be had. Join the crew on Facebook and keep an eye out for upcoming treasure hunts! BIG prizes could be yours, mate.


About the Author  

                                              
Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pirates Need Love, Too

Happy Valentine’s Day, mateys!

Today is a day to celebrate the ones we love. We give our special someone flowers, heart-shaped boxes of candy, jewelry, cards with chubby, half-naked cherubs, Spanish gold doubloons, and the blood of our enemies.  Ok, maybe not that last part. But, hey, pirates can have sweethearts, too.

Whydah gold!
Sure pirates are not known for being debonair or companionable. They generally weren’t what Hollywood romanticizes. Eighteenth-century lasses weren’t hanging posters of them in their bedrooms. Despite that there were many genteel and handsome pirates lurking in the seas, pirates were often a nasty lot. Ah, but pirates were still human and sometimes the most valuable treasures aren’t what could be taken, but given. One such pirate “Black Sam” Bellamy could attest to that. In an odd twist of fate, Sam Bellamy was driven to his occupation by one of the most powerful sources of motivation—love.

Whydah's resting place
Sam Bellamy was born in Devonshire, England in 1689. At a young age, he took to the sea as a sailor and in his teens served in the Royal Navy, perhaps not even willingly. Bellamy arrived in Cape Cod from England around 1714 purportedly to seek out relatives. There he met a young woman named Maria “Goody” Hallett. Together they fell madly in love. But he was a penniless sailor and her wealthy family denied him her hand. Lore has it, to win their favor, he set out to seek his fortune by the quickest means – he joined a pirate crew, of course.

Not long after Bellamy left, Maria found out she was with child. She gave birth to a boy but the infant died very shortly after. The speculation around the event is unclear. But whatever happened, the child’s demise incited a scandal and Maria was imprisoned for her son’s death. She served her short sentence and was exiled but stayed close in the town of Wellfleet, where she wandered the dunes of the shores waiting for her Sam’s return.

Meanwhile, with a strong will and expertise in his craft, it wasn’t long before Bellamy became one of the most successful pirates of his time. And one known for his generosity, not needlessly harming victims, and sending ships, crew, passengers on their way if they didn’t suit his purposes or needs.

A beautiful thief + a sexy libertine = wicked fun
He captured some 50 ships during his reign in the Caribbean, including a fine slave ship, Whydah. He chased the Whydah for three days. Without ever shooting his shipboard guns, the Whydah surrendered and Bellamy took the prize for his own. Now laden with riches, Bellamy charted his course north, back to his love, Maria. But as he reached Cape Cod, a terrible nor’easter raged and the sea ravaged the ship. Just a mere 500 feet from the shores of Cape Cod, the Whydah broke apart, tragically taking all but 2 of 146 on board, including Bellamy. It is a tragic love story, for sure.

Ah, those swashbuckling pirates. Bellamy could easily be the inspiration for a redemptive hero in a romance novel. And who doesn’t love a pirate captain who needs redemption? I know I do!

In A Kiss in the Wind, Captain Blade Tyburn pulls double duty as not only an opportunistic pirate but also as an infamous libertine known far and wide by swooning ladies, jealous husbands, and watchful fathers. Even the mighty fall and he may have met his match in Marisol, a knife-wielding, beautiful thief. Batten down the hatches. There are stormy seas ahead for these two.

About the Author

Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Three Sheets to the Wind

Lift your mug and toast with me. Today’s post is about what pirates loved to do best—drinking.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “three sheets to the wind” and know it means to be very drunk. But did you know that this expression is seafaring in nature?

It’s true, but its actual origin is likely not what you might guess. Three sheets to the wind, like flapping sails, that’s what you’re thinking, right? Typical landlubber mistake.  Sheets don’t refer to sails at all. Nope. Instead, the sheets are the ropes that hold the lower corners of the sails in place. If the sheets (ropes) are loose, then the sails will not be drawn tight in the wind. They’ll flap. Flapping sails will cause a ship to stagger—much like a boozy, moon-eyed drunk.

If that isn’t fascinating enough, sailors used a scale to rate drunkenness. Because we all need to know our state of inebriation.
  • One sheet = slightly buzzed, just enough to start trouble
  • Two sheets = drunk, tendency to fight or sing karaoke
  • Three sheets = sloppy, can hardly stay upright, “I love you, man” plastered
  • Four sheets = out cold
In Dead Man’s Kiss, pirate captain Valeryn Barone had drowned his sorrows and became so belligerent drunk, somewhere between three and four sheets, he wound up in a fight to what he hoped would be his death. Instead, he got something much worse.
Click HERE for your copy!

Forced to make a bargain…
One drunken night in Cuba lands Captain Valeryn Barone in a life or death situation. To escape the gallows, Valeryn must agree to a bargain only a fool would make: Escort the tempting and tenacious niece of his captor across the Caribbean or lose his ship, his crew and his life! The caveat? The beautiful Spanish woman must remain untouched for the entire voyage.

Determined to get what she wants…Catalina Montoya will stop at nothing to get what she wants—even when trouble is certain. Sent to live with her uncle after a scandalous affair, Catalina intends to concentrate on her dream to become a renowned naturalist. She never expected her uncle would send her with a notorious pirate to further her studies. Worse, she never expected to want the devilishly handsome pirate more than anything else.

It’s a battle of wills…Now Catalina only has 8 weeks to seduce Valeryn and collect her specimens before he returns her to her uncle. And Valeryn has 8 weeks to secure his redemption. Except neither would be that lucky. Not when ruthless enemies threaten to destroy them at every turn. Can Valeryn save those that foolishly depend on him? Can he resist Catalina’s heart? Does a dead man walking even have a chance?

So the next time you’re throwing back the grog, wine, or spirits you can astound your mates with your amazing drinking knowledge. This has been a Public Service Announcement brought to you by the resident rum-swilling pirate wench.

About the Author
Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Yuletide with a Dutch Pirate

What do pirates do at Christmastime? Raid, of course.

Pirate Laurens de Graaf had himself a fine Christmas in 1683 when he raided Cartagena.

Gesel van de West
Dutch for "Scourge of the West"
Laurens Cornelis Boudewijn de Graaf (1653-1704) was a successful pirate. Hey, any day you don’t end up hanging from the gallows makes you successful. He was born in the Dutch Republic (Netherlands, today) but was kidnapped as a child by Spanish slavers and sold in the Canary Islands. Fifteen years later, de Graaf emerged a free man and soon found his calling, going on the account as a French privateer. By the 1670s, the tall, blonde, handsome de Graaf had become legendary. Even privateer—though questionable in his exploits—turned Jamaican governor Henry Morgan called him a “great and mischievous pirate”. He captured and looted a great many ships, turning some to piracy thereby growing his fleet. He had no fear in attacking a Spanish armada and was formidable at open sea battles. De Graaf and his fleet were prosperous men.

In November 1683, de Graaf and his fleet arrived off the coast of Cartagena. They dropped anchor taking a month to plan their invasion of the  city by water and by land. As you might imagine, this made the people quite uneasy. In an effort to save his town, Governor Juan de Pando Estrada commandeered three well-gunned slave ships and outfitted them with reportedly eight hundred men. On Christmas eve, they sailed out to meet with de Graaf. But alas, they were no match for the pirates. Nearly one hundred Spaniards were killed compared to the twenty pirates and the three ships fell to Dutch buccaneer.
Hunting pirates with pirates

On Christmas Day, de Graaf released many of the prisoners, sending a thank you to Governor Estrada for the Christmas presents. The port was blockaded and de Graaf ransomed the rest of the hostages.

Come January, the English offered a pardon and commission, which he declined. He had trust issues, not believing the Spanish would uphold a pardon. But he did sail away from Cartagena without further incident.

Laurens de Graaf continued on with his fortuitous and colorful life, earning him respect on both sides of the law.

Since it is the holidays, treat yourself to a free e-book, just by signing up for my newsletter.

About the Author

Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pirate Company and Crew

Every member of a pirate crew was important. Skills and seafaring knowledge may vary but, generally speaking, it took many men to sail a ship. Add to that, to expertly be ready for action. Discipline, responsibility, and working together ensured success, or at the very least staying afloat.

Here is a brief look at what made up a crew.


The Captain

The captain, having proven himself worthy of the title, was elected by the crew. He was a good leader, cunning, and courageous. He took command of the ship during battle, determined when to give chase and when to seek safer waters. The crew looked to him to find treasure, be that a prized ship, goods, or riches, and to keep them alive.

The Quartermaster

The quartermaster, who was also elected, was just as important as the captain, possibly more so. He was the voice of the crew, representing their best interests. He was usually the most trusted member of the crew and may have been seen as the captain’s equal. He handled the plunder. This meant that he determined what goods would fetch a fine price in port and allocating fair shares to the crew. Though he distributed the booty, he also doled out justice and punishments. Rationing food and drink fell to him, as well.

Navigator, aka Sailing Master

This seaman knew the sea and stars. He had to be literate, good in mathematics, and be able plot courses, especially in dangerous waters, reefs, and shoals.

Surgeon, aka Barber

Scarce and highly sought after, the surgeon tended to the injured and sick. He was a busy man treating illnesses such as dysentery, fever, and venereal diseases. He also had a nice variety of tools and knives used for surgical procedures. *shivers*

Master Gunner

He was in charge of the shipboard guns and ammunition. It took years of experience to become a master gunner. Gun crews had to work together quickly and with precision. The master gunner trained and oversaw the gun crews to ensure not only their effectiveness but their safety, too.

Boatswain (Pronounced Bosun, often spelled bo’sun)

The boatswain was like a department manager. He supervised all deck activities, crewman working the decks, the ship’s rigging, sails, anchors, and carrying out any other duties asked of him by one of the ship’s officers.

Cook, aka Barbeque

A pirate’s gotta eat and the cook was the guy that prepared the meals.

Carpenter

If it was wood, the carpenter was responsible for its maintenance. Namely the ship’s hull, yardarms, and masts. He quite literally kept the ship afloat by plugging holes, filling seams, and repairing damage caused by battle, worms, weather, rocks, and rough seas. Sometimes, the carpenter was also the ship’s surgeon.

Lesser known crew:


First mate - the second-in-command to the captain, which he chooses. Incidentally, the first mate does not outweigh the quartermaster. Many crews didn’t have first mates or, because they were second-in-command, might be interchangeable with the quartermaster, depending on the abilities of  the pirate filling the role. Other mates, such as a bo’sun mate or gunner mate, would act as apprentices.

Helmsman - the fellow at the wheel

Cooper - the barrel maker was in charge of maintenance and repairs of all casks, which held food, water, and, of course, the rum.

Coxswain - in charge of the ship’s launch boats

Prize crew - pirates assigned to take over the command of a captured ship

Topman - this sailor wouldn’t be squeamish of heights. He worked high up in the masts on rigging.

Watch - one or more men on deck duty that watched for land sightings, ships, or anything afoul, be it bad weather, shifts in tides or wind, or unwanted visitors. Watch can also mean the shift of shipboard duties

Anchor watch, stand-by watch - one or more men who were on deck duty while the ship in anchored and/or while the rest of the crew is on shore. They watched for

Rope maker - you guessed it, he makes and repairs ropes. And there is a boatload of rope on a ship, pun intended.

Armourer - in charge of all small arms—muskets, blunderbusses, pistols, etc. Crewmen didn’t carry these weapons on them. They were stored until needed.

Supercargo, aka Cape-merchant - handles the business transactions of cargo

Cabin boy - a young boy who served as valet to the captain

Fo’c’sle jack - any crewman who is not an officer

A.B.S. - simply put, able-bodied seaman

Musicians - as non-essential as they were, those with musical talent, even just a tiny bit, were favored. They played jigs and sea shanties for merriment and roused fighting spirit during battles.

Everyone on board played a role in the crew. They all worked hard.  It’s no wonder they partied hard, too. Pass the rum!


About the Author

Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.