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
Slumped on the edge of Halyard Calpin’s bed, Jesamiah sat, miserable, his face swollen, his body aching and sore, his head bowed. He looked up as the bed’s owner entered, bringing a swirl of mist from the river and a lingering whiff of acrid smoke.
He tried to think what to say, and blurted, defiant, “I would do it again! I would!”
Calpin removed his hat, tossed it onto a side cabinet, walked to another and poured two large glasses of rum. He handed one to Jesamiah. “Get that down you.”
Jesamiah looked at the dark liquid. He had only tasted watered wine, not liquor, and certainly not this strong stuff. He sniffed it, and the sweet caramel scent slammed into his brain.
“It tastes as good as it smells,” Calpin chuckled, sipping at his own.
Jesamiah frowned, then knocked the whole drink back in one gulp, fire burning his throat and bringing different tears to his eyes.
“Careful.” Calpin grinned. “It’s a strong brew.”
“Now you tell me,” Jesamiah gasped. All the same, he held out the glass for a refill. This one he sipped more slowly as his friend made himself comfortable in the only chair.
“So, what are you going to do?” Calpin asked.
Jesamiah merely shrugged.
“You will have to do something,” Calpin persisted. “You cannot stay here.”
“Why not?” Jesamiah looked up sharply, a glint of hope in his eyes. “I could stay hidden here in your house, keep out of the way.”
Gesturing around the cluttered room, Calpin shook his head. “I built this cottage myself. It has this one room, that one bed you are sitting on and this one chair I am occupying. I needed nothing larger – when you are used to a life aboard a ship you only require small quarters.”
Biting his lip to stop it from trembling, Jesamiah studied the glass of rum a moment before drinking the liquid down. The fire in his throat was just as strong, but more pleasant this time. Dizzy, his vision blurring a little, he looked up. “I will not go begging to him. I will not apologise.”
Leaning forward to refill the glass, Calpin laughed. “I would hope not. Your father and I have waited a long while for this day.”
How I met Jesamiah Acorne (the tru-ish) story
Book Title: When The Mermaid Sings
Series: The Sea Witch Voyages
Author: Helen Hollick
Publication Date: 21st June 2021
Publisher: Taw River Press
Page Length: 190 Pages
Genre: Historical/Nautical Fantasy
Twitter Handles: @HelenHollick @maryanneyarde
Instagram Handle: @coffeepotbookclub
Hashtags: #MermaidSings #HistoricalFantasy #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub
Book Title and Author Name:
When The Mermaid Sings
(A prequel story to The Sea Witch Voyages)
By Helen Hollick
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.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0968RQ6FS
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0968RQ6FS
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 Talesand 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…
Social Media Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/477847.Helen_HollickNewsletter: http://tinyletter.com/HelenHollick