Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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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, February 7, 2017

A DUKE’S WICKED KISS Special sale February 6-12 $0.99



A DUKE’S WICKED KISS

Special sale February 6-12 .99


While on a secret mission for the Crown, a proper duke falls for an improper daughter of an Indian royal and British noble.

If you like sensuous, intriguing tales where tensions run high and feelings run hot, then this story of two star-crossed lovers caught up in a dangerous conflict is for you! 

If you are attracted to stories filled with evocative prose and gorgeous Victorian aesthetics, not to mention a touch of mystery, then this story is for you. And if you favor stories where the setting is not merely a backdrop in which the lovers’ saga flourishes, but is a pivotal setting as well, then don’t miss A DUKE’S WICKED KISS. 

Miss Suri Thurston, illegitimate daughter of a duke and high-caste Indian royal, knows the pain of abandonment, so when she inherits upon her father’s death, she vows to open a school for children forsaken by British soldiers. Despite rumors of civil unrest, Suri travels from England to her birthplace in India, ostensibly to visit her married sister, but Suri has secret plans. Before she can help others, she must validate her self-worth by confronting her maternal grandmother, the woman who tossed untouchable infant Suri to hungry lions. Suri’s plans are upended when she arrives in Delhi and encounters the man who, ten years prior, left an indelible imprint on her soul with a single, wicked kiss, stolen in her father’s stables. Now himself a duke, he is beyond reach of even her dreams. 

The Duke of Ravenswood’s title does not stop this trained spy from completing his mission for Queen Victoria. After losing his wife and child to a cobra's venom three years ago, he has dedicated himself to duty. Facing an imminent uprising against the British East India Company, he must locate the insurgents, unmask his elder brother's murderer, and escort his friend—the diplomat married to Suri's half-sister—and family safely to England. Intently focused on his responsibilities, Ravenswood has no desire for a relationship. Then Miss Suri Thurston appears in a Delhi ballroom with a mission of her own. The years fall away, and he finds himself back in that English stable, his heart forever bound to her by one haunting kiss. While their love can rise above the scandal of marriage, deceit and malevolence amidst mutiny could tear their world apart.


Excerpt:


He was going to kiss her. He needed to kiss her.

Suri shook her head. “Don’t touch me,” she whispered. And then she was off the settee and dashing for the door.

Ravenswood followed, aware he didn’t want her anywhere but beside him. “What’s wrong with being touched?”

Gads, am I possessed? 

He caught up with her and swung her around, that strange need growing at a frenzied pace. He froze when his hands clutched her shoulders. The heat of her scorched his fingers. 

She was right, he shouldn’t have touched her, because once done, he couldn’t let go. She was opium to an addict. Before he knew it, he’d backed her up against the door, pressed his palms onto the smooth wood on either side of her and caged her.

Wide-eyed, she stared up at him. Her pupils dilated, and she drew a shuddering breath.

A wave of exhilaration infused him. “You desire contact, don’t you? That’s the reason you ran off, isn’t it? You want to be touched as much as I crave touching you, and it scares you to death.”

“You are mad.”

“Only about you.”

He bent his head closer to her, his words growing heavy on his tongue. “You, madam, are afraid you cannot handle a kiss—or anything else that might transpire between us, aren’t you?”

“You are arrogant.”

“Try something else.”

They stood so close he could feel her breath, ragged when it fell against his mouth. He allowed his lips to part to catch more of her sweet scent.

“I have a proposition for you,” he murmured, “I won’t kiss you if you promise not to go to
the damnable wedding.”

“I…I shall not make such…a foolhardy promise.” Her staccato words were filled with heat and vibrancy.

Emboldened by the desire emanating from her, he bent closer still, until he only had to speak in a whisper to be heard. He studied her mouth. He wanted her. God, he wanted her—right here, right now, and touching her was like finding his way home—at last. “Because you want the kiss, or because you are a stubborn fool?”

His voice rasped in his throat and now he had to force the words off his tongue. “Go on, tell me you don’t want me to kiss you. That you don’t want me for other things.”

Her hands came to his chest, as if to push him away, but her fingers merely splayed against him. Her lips quivered as though she tried to speak and couldn’t. Then her head fell back against the door, and her eyes half closed.


A DUKE’S WICKED KISS




Kathleen Bittner Roth creates evocative stories featuring characters forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. A PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Kathleen was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest. 

You can find Kathleen at:

Website:          www.kathleenbittnerroth.com
Twitter:           @K_BittnerRoth
Pinterest          https://hu.pinterest.com/bittnerroth/