Arabella St. John faces a new life, in a new land, as she boards the merchant ship from England to America. Her father has arranged for her marriage in New Orleans – to her dismay. She has no desire to be there. Everything and everyone she loves is in England. The chief-mate seems friendly enough, but then she meets Captain Gregory Smythe, who neither needs nor wants women aboard his ship. And he’s quite vocal about it.
It’s ‘hate at first sight.’ Gregory is unhappy at the thought of having to be responsible for not one, but two ladies, especially after finding out that privateers have recently sunk two merchant ships off the coast of the Carolinas. On top of that, females aboard a vessel with an all-male crew are trouble; everyone knows that. And when food goes missing and a stowaway is found hidden in his very own cabin, he realizes trouble follows Arabella wherever she goes. When the only two women booked for passage realize they are destined to marry the same man, it all seems to come apart. And that is just the beginning of their troubles!
Publisher’s Note: This Victorian romance contains scenes of discipline and explicit themes.
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Pirates Sink New Orleans’ Bound Ship
Hank Yoes, New Orleans Herald
The infamous privateer Jean Luc Poche, captain of the Mermaid’s Revenge added another ship downing to his credit of merchants sailing for New Orleans earlier this month. At first, all lives were feared lost in the attack on the Charlotte, but purported survivors arrived in the city this week. One man, Mr. Benny Jackson, a sailor aboard the Arabella under Captain Gregory Smythe, claims the pirate Poche and his crew lost their lives, while most of those aboard the Charlotte survived.
“Bastard tried to kill us all,” Benny claims, “but he ended up dead, instead. Shot in the chest by one of his own men, he was. We took over Poche’s ship in the end.”
A majestic ship bearing the name Arabella was moored on the local docks, though no immediate information about the ship can be verified at this time. If Benny is to be believed, it is because the Arabella is really the Mermaid’s Revenge, repainted and named by Captain Gregory Smythe.
Could it be possible? We must consider the source. According to our investigations, the man going by the name Benny was not listed as one of the members setting sail for New Orleans, but he was counted among those on board the mysterious Mermaid’s Revenge when it docked in North Carolina a few weeks ago.
Far more confusing matters, no less than thirteen sailors somehow joined the original crew of the ill-fated Charlotte enroute to America. Could these new crew members really be pirates who managed to infiltrate the crew? Might Jean Luc Poche be one of them, alive and well, still threating ships heading to our fair city? We may never know.
Four women were listed as traveling aboard the original ship. Mr. Claude Picou, who recently suffered financial ruin, was expecting an English bride, but many believe his fiancée probably perished in the sinking of the Charlotte. Could his broken heart have led to his down fall?
“I’ma tell ya,” Benny told this reporter, “Cap’n Smythe faced down that pirate, he did. Commandeered the Mermaid’s Revenge, saved a damsel in distress, ain’t that enough? Well, add this; he outwitted a feisty red-headed lady and saved us all from a sure doom. That’s our cap’n.”
When pressed to explain how he came to be on the Charlotte in the first place, Benny abruptly ended our interview and returned to the Arabella, which sailed soon after. When this reporter tried to board the vessel to gain more information, a large woman, wielding a large metal spoon chased me off, shouting, “Lordy, Lordy!”
Was she protecting the pirate Jean Luc Poche? Only time will tell.
Insight into the co-authoring process of Conquered by the Captain:
Pippa Greathouse approached me on the internet about possibly doing a project for Blushing Books together. Jumping up and down and wondering how I lucked out, I tried to keep my reply neutral so as not to frighten her off.
“Yes, yes, yes! When do we start? What will it be about? I know nothing about writing historical romance. Will you teach me?” I asked calmly. Well, sort of calmly.
“Take a breath, sweetie. You’re hyperventilating.” Pippa said. “I’m lost too but we’ll figure it out.”
Afraid I was going to scare her off, I slowed down. “So, did you have any ideas for our plot?”
When Pippa said she thought the New Orleans setting was intriguing, we agreed to research the history of the city. Since the Mississippi River plays such a huge part on the city’s history, it seemed natural to have our characters travel to the region by ship. In the end, we decided to have the ship leave from England, and most of it take place while voyaging across the Atlantic. Then it would land in Charleston, and finally, New Orleans.
“Women on a ship full of men. That should provide some distraction.”
Pippa mutters when she chats, did you know that? I could tell she was thinking about the concept because sailors were wary of traveling with ladies.
“Definitely,” I insisted. Because our poor heroine will be blamed for any and all bad luck that takes place aboard.”
“Umm,” Pippa was thinking, I could tell. She gets quiet when she thinks.
“You still there?” I asked.
“I’m thinking, I’m thinking…. Yep. Okay. She sounds like a brat already. But let’s not make her too much of one. She should be loveable.”
“No problem. I can get her in enough trouble without it.” I pushed, but my friend was still not sure. “I’m thinking she’s going to wander into the crow’s nest and get stuck up there.”
Pippa was quiet again, trying to wrap her mind around the logistics of it. “She wanders into the crow’s nest? Right… And she’s wearing slippers and climbing a ladder made of rope…Crow’s nests have to be, what, thirty or forty feet up?”
“Yes! You still there?”
“I’m here. Just thinking about how to keep all the sailors below from looking up her skirt. Any man with half a brain would be watching. Most English women didn’t wear underwear in 1849. Trying to figure out how to keep everyone below from seeing her… naughty bits. Not to mention…”
The problem with dealing with logical people, I soon discovered, is not allow them get too far ahead of themselves. That’s my job, as the right brain pantser to Pippa’s plotter. But I continued. “Did I mention the stowaways?”
“Stowaways. Of course, there must be stowaways. Ideas about where they’ll hide? Ruby? You there?”
This time I was the one who was thinking. “She only has to hide one.”
A series of “Hahahas,” answered me. “Okay. Where? Steerage?” she asked.
“The captain’s cabin, of course.”
Silence. She’s figuring out the way to make it happen, I know.
Somehow we found a way to negotiate our plot, and Conquered by the Captain was born. Pippa took my wild ideas and tamed them, along with hers, into a believable, funny, touching story. She created a stern, but sexy as hell hero in Captain Gregory Smythe, who was more than capable of handling all the mischief the heroine Arabella St. John could muster.
It is a pleasure to highlight my friend and co-author Pippa Greathouse. She joined Blushing Publishing a year ago with her bestselling series “The Stasburg Chronicles.” One or more of the books often appear in the top 50 books listed on Blushing.com. Books include Angelica’s Rescuer, Merrie’s Hero, Cinderella’s Lawman, The Return of Lucy Grace and Miriam’s Rebirth. I don’t like to play favorites, but I have already reread The Return of Lucy Grace three times. Lucy appears in book one as a small child, and it is so fun to see her get her man.
Miriam’s Rebirth brings the wonderful tale to an end, but only for her generation. Fans craved more from the theme and Strasburg: The New Generation was born. This series will tell the stories of the children from the Chronicles who have now grown up and have their own adventures to share. Book one, Judging Cicely is already out. Book two is in the works, and, if it is anything like book one, it will be a bestseller, too. Pippa will probably kill me for sharing this tidbit, but book one touches on a spot of trouble she got into with her own hubby. The cigar scene in Judging Cicely comes close to home for our dear author.
Pippa ventured into time travel with her story “Time For Change,” which includes the historical “New Madrid Earthquakes” along with a steamy romance of a modern day woman trapped in an old fashioned time where men spank and tales of time travel can get you accused of being a witch.
Like Time For Change, her book Macie’s War is unassociated with a series. This Historical Romance takes place during the Revolutionary War, delving into the history of the beginnings of America.
Her latest release, Catching Carrie recently went live on Amazon and Blushing. A mail order bride finds love in route to her intended, who is less than appealing or honorable. Luckily for her, the sheriff steps into save the day and her heart.
Pippa and I recently started a wonderful new series coming out called “The Conquered.” Book one in the series will be released in mid-December!
Follow Pippa on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pippagreathouse/
Check out her books on Amazon under https://www.amazon.com/Pippa-reathouse/e/B01MY1AWFG/
Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/PippaG6
Finally, check out her website http://www.pippagreathouse.com/ for more details about her books and new projects including future books in The Conquered series.
Up until the conference in Atlanta this spring, I had only chatted with Ruby on the internet. She was even more delightful in person than she was in chat. Being a new author for Blushing then, it made me feel very welcome when she reached out to me with her sweet personality and friendliness! By then her books, centered in the New Orleans area had already enchanted me, and I was just charmed by the way she writes so cleverly!
Her series called The Spirits of River Oaks, intrigued me, with four books in it; Her Chance Encounters, The Royal Psychic, Haunting Memories, and Running from Her Fate, were written so well. (I adore Lenore Royal, and Ruby’s characters are so beautifully developed!)
She also has another series out, called Katrina’s Aftermath, that features several books; Real Reality, Talk Dirty To Me, Cajun Charmer, and Book Four, Taming His Creole Beauty. These are as cleverly written as they are named. They all circle around a quaint little restaurant that was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina, and the three young ladies who frequent it are constantly getting into trouble. In the fourth book, they are joined by another young woman, Glenda Harris, who tries oh-so-hard not to fall in love with the handsome but demanding chef. Can she manage it? Take a guess!
Then there is Making the Wright Connections, which was actually the first one of her books I read, and made me determined to read more. Ruby is quite a talented gal! She has another one or two in the works that are wonderful! (I can say that because I’ve had a sneak peek at them!)
I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with her on a new series called The Conquered. The first book, Conquered by the Captain, is coming out around December 14th. It was deliciously delightful and fun to write, and the second has been even more fun. Ruby has a never-ending wealth of ideas and is a hoot to write with. If you’ve missed her books, you’ve missed a gold mine!
You can find Ruby’s Amazon Author page at: https://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Caine/e/B01M1RYP2H
Her Facebook author’s page may be found here: https://www.facebook.com/rubycaineauthor/
Her twitter page may be found at: https://twitter.com/RubyCainecajun
The book Conquered by the Captain may be found at: www.pippagreathouse.com