Today, Helen Hollick is back on the blog with her nautical fantasy/historical fiction book, The Sea With Voyages.
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.
* * *
The Caribbean – 1710
Spray lifted across the weather rail, drenching Jesamiah. He paid no heed. The headland was waiting to snatch them up, at its base the surf was bubbling and hissing like a brew in a witch’s cauldron.
“Leadsman to the chains, if you please, Mr Acorne,” Taylor said as calmly as if he were ordering afternoon tea for a lady.
“I’ve already sent someone,” Jesamiah responded.
On cue, Tab hollered, “By the mark six!”
More than enough water for Mermaid.
“By the mark five!”
A whoomph, a flare of light, then another. Jamaica Rose was altering course; aware of the sea danger ahead, was firing her guns as she passed astern, aiming for Mermaid’s vulnerable rear. Instinctively, Jesamiah ducked as the first and second whish of grapeshot and langrage hurtled into the transom and slashed along the open deck, gouging splinters as the barrage passed through. Three men, injured, cried out; a fourth, his shout of agony abruptly ended as grapeshot tore into his throat, killing him straight out.
“Deep four!” Tab shouted, ignoring what was happening.
There was nothing Mermaid could do except keep to her course; she was shuddering and bucking as turbulence swept beneath her hull. But the Jamaica Rose had not finished yet, as each of her guns came to bear, she was firing as if her existence depended upon it. Mermaid’s rigging pinged as it snapped, wood cracked and boomed, the Great Cabin’s glass windows shattered as shot after shot gouged into the stern. How the rudder was not damaged was a miracle. Then Mermaid slewed off course. Taylor, blood streaming from his cheek and hands, ran to grasp the helm as O’Bartlett fell, blood pouring from a shattered arm, half of which was no longer there. Men ran as lithe as athletes, not needing orders to keep Mermaid in check, to keep her as near they could on course. Damaged rigging was hacked away, braces and yards squealed, she bumped and kicked. A scraping sound.
“Rudder’s not responding!” Taylor shouted. “We’re aground!”
Jesamiah ran to the taffrail and peered down into the black sea.
“Sandbank!” he yelled. “Looks like the rudder’s stuck!”
A quarter of a mile distant, aware of the rocks, the Jamaica Rose was slowly turning away, making ready to present her larboard battery and another rolling broadside of guns…
And to find out what happens next, I’m afraid you will need to read the book!
How I met Jesamiah Acorne (the tru-ish) story
Here’s the blurb:
A prequel short read story to the Sea Witch Voyages of Captain Jesamiah Acorne
When the only choice is to run, where do you run to?
When the only sound is the song of the sea, do you listen?
Or do you drown in the embrace of a mermaid?
Throughout childhood, Jesamiah Mereno has suffered the bullying of his elder half-brother. Then, not quite fifteen years old, and on the day they bury their father, Jesamiah hits back. In consequence, he flees his Virginia home, changes his name to Jesamiah Acorne, and joins the crew of his father’s seafaring friend, Captain Malachias Taylor, aboard the privateer, Mermaid.
He makes enemies, sees the ghost of his father, wonders who is the Cornish girl he hears in his mind – and tries to avoid the beguiling lure of a sensuous mermaid…
An early coming-of-age tale of the young Jesamiah Acorne, set in the years before he becomes a pirate and Captain of the Sea Witch.
“Ms Hollick has skillfully picked up the threads that she alludes to in the main books and knitted them together to create a Jesamiah that we really didn’t know.” Richard Tearle senior reviewer, Discovering Diamonds
“Captain Jesamiah Acorne is as charming a scoundrel as a fictional pirate should be. A resourceful competitor to Captain Jack Sparrow!” Antoine Vanner author
“Helen Hollick has given us the answer to that intriguing question that Jesamiah fans have been aching for – how did he start his sea-going career as a pirate?” Alison Morton, author
“I really enjoyed the insight offered into Jesamiah’s backstory, and found the depiction of our teenage hero very moving.” Anna Belfrage, author
“I loved this little addendum to the Jesamiah series. I always had a soft spot for the Lorelei stories and enjoyed that the author cleverly brought her over from the Rhine valley to fit into the story.” Amazon Reviewer
Sexual content, adult language.
Available on #KindleUnlimited.
Meet the Author
First published in 1994, Helen became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she writes a nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages. She is now branching out into the quick read novella, ‘Cosy Mystery’ genre with her new venture, the Jan Christopher Murder Mysteries, set in the 1970s, with the first in the series, A Mirror Murder incorporating her, often hilarious, memories of working as a library assistant.
Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She lives in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in North Devon, runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction, and occasionally gets time to write…
Connect with Helen