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Monday 26 October 2015

Shining Light on a Pirate Captain's Ladies

Welcome to a slightly different Blog Tour... 
every Tuesday during October I, and some other fab authors, 
have been shining a light on some of the women of our novels 

Today is the last stop of the tour... :-(

PLEASE TWEET: #LightOnOurLadies 
The Sea Witch Voyages. Nautical adventures with a touch of fantasy - tongue-in-cheek sailor’s yarns for adults. Written because I wanted to read something similar to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie – The Curse of the Black Pearl but couldn’t find anything.

To date (2015) there are four Voyages in the series, with Voyage Five dropping anchor very soon.

But for once, my lead character, Captain Jesamiah Acorne, can take himself off to his cabin (probably with a bottle of rum) while I introduce the ladies in his life:

Jesamiah is one for the women – weren’t all pirates into drinking and wenching? He is not always faithful to ‘his’ woman – Tiola – and the fact that he occasionally finds it difficult to keep his breeches buttoned – even after marrying her – often gets him into serious trouble - with Tiola and various irate husbands!

But let’s take a closer look at why he loves these special ladies:

Tiola (you say it 'Te-o-la' short and quick not long as in 'Tee-oh-lah'). She is not as straightforward as she seems. A healer and a midwife…and a white witch. Although not in the ‘magic wand can do spells’ category. (If she could I’m sure she would have changed Jesamiah into a frog by now!) 
Tiola has the Gift of Craft, which means she can manipulate the forces of nature (as in The Force of Star Wars acclaim), call up a wind, suspend time and such. She can also create illusion by influencing people to see what they are not seeing, or to forget what they have seen. In other words she can make herself appear to be an old woman if she needs to, or can blend in with a rock or cliff. She cannot do harm, unless in self-defence – and I have deliberately given her limitations otherwise for any 'tricky' situation all she would need do is snap her fingers.

One great asset – she can talk telepathically with Jesamiah. But again I’ve put a buffer on this: Jesamiah cannot initiate conversations, nor is he always receptive to her trying to contact him.

Tiola comes from a long, long, line of Wising Women, the ‘Old Ones’ who were created at the very Dawn of Time. Her spirit is eternal providing she can transfer into a new body – and to do this the spirit passes from Grandmother to Granddaughter. If there is no granddaughter – then the spirit Passes (dies). For generations Tiola has been waiting through the millennia to meet her destined soul-mate – Jesamiah.

Her full name is Tiola Oldstagh, which is an anagram of ‘all that is good’ – but she does have her fallibilities, and isn’t always a saint! Jesamiah gets his face slapped more than once!

And this is usually because of one or other of these two:
The lady he possibly would have married had he not known Tiola is Señora Francesca Escudero. The English woman with the Spanish name. A redhead – and definitely not what she first seems to be. We (and Jesamiah) meet her on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in Pirate Code (Voyage Two). She is the widow of a Spanish Don, and the (reluctant) mistress of the island’s Spanish Governor, an unpleasant bully of a man. Jesamiah had been arrested and ‘Cesca, as she calls herself, manages to wangle his release. Of course there’s more to it than that! She turns out to be an English spy, well capable of leading everyone (including Jesamiah) a merry dance. She makes a re-appearance in Voyage Four, Ripples In The Sand – much to Jesamiah’s astonishment and relief, because as ever, he is in deep trouble with a hangman’s noose. To his surprise and consternation, ‘Cesca is pregnant. The question is; is the child his or not?

Then there is Alicia. She is a minx. Originating from the London slums she found herself in the Caribbean and managed to acquire a wealthy husband. When he died she inherited his Barbados estate – and found herself another rich partner.
Unfortunately, he turned out to be Jesamiah’s estranged half-brother. When Jesamiah turns up at the family home in disguise (with the intention of stealing one of his brother’s ships) there’s a very sticky moment. Alicia, of course, recognises him – for he knew her ‘very well’ in her pre-marital days. 
Will she reveal who he is?
Will he give her past away? 

And when she is widowed, Alicia attempts to secure her wealth by landing Jesamiah in even more trouble .... (Bring It Close)

And we must not forget Tethys
Jesamiah knows nothing about her, but Tiola has to battle against this feminine entity for she is the spirit of the sea - she is the sea... 
and she wants Jesamiah's soul and his bones for her own.

You can hear her voice calling to him when her waves splash against a rock, or brush against the shingle:   Jesh...amiah... Jesh...amiah... Jesh...amiah... 

His number one love, though, even above Tiola, is his ship. Sea Witch.
He would die for Tiola – he even took a flogging for her once - (and she knows, even when he strays that he will always come back to her). 

But when the choice between Tiola or his ship arises – 

...which one will he choose?
which one will he leave behind?
Buy the books in paperback or on Kindle 

So that's my Pirate's women - please do visit two more lovely ladies - Anna Belfrage and Linda Collison - who will introduce their ladies...

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing.

Presently, Anna is hard at work with The King’s Greatest Enemy, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power.  When Anna is not stuck in the 14th century, chances are she’ll be visiting in the 17th century, more specifically with Alex and Matthew Graham, the protagonists of the acclaimed The Graham Saga. This series is the story of two people who should never have met – not when she was born three centuries after him.

Meet Anna's 'lady'.... She was blackmailed into marrying an unknown knight. She hadn’t expected having to save his life as well… visit Anna and a chance to win one of  Anna's books!

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, I’ve worked as a registered nurse, a skydiving instructor, a volunteer firefighter, a freelance writer, a novelist, and other, more ordinary jobs.  Together with my husband Bob Russell, we’ve sailed thousands of nautical miles, many of them aboard our sailboat Topaz. The three weeks we spent as voyage crewmembers aboard HM Bark Endeavour, a replica of Captain James Cook’s ship, sparked my interest in maritime history and inspired the Patricia MacPherson Nautical Adventure Series.

And meet Patricia Macpherson - aboard a ship and disguised as Patrick, a surgeon’s mate – but how long will the ruse last? 
read more....

And that, I'm sad to say, is the end of the Tour :-( 
I do hope you have enjoyed meeting our ladies -  Thank you for joining us!

The Full Shining Light Tour

Week Two : Helen Hollick (Women of 1066) with Regina JeffersElizabeth Revill and Diana Wilder

Week Three : Helen Hollick (King Arthur’s women) paired with Alison Morton  and Sophie Perinot

Week Four : Helen Hollick (Sea Witch)  paired  with Anna Belfrage and Linda Collison


  1. He chooses his ship before Tiolia, and I will come after him like an avenging spirit. Don't do this to me! I LOVE these books, I adore Jesamiah, could happily strangle 'Cesca, and am presently on my third comb counting down the days until the next one.

    1. To be fair when Jes sailed off on Sea Witch he was expecting Tiola to be with him! (Sea Witch Voyage One) And he has a good bit of soul-searching regarding 'Cesca or Tiola in On The Account.... which yes, I know, you're waiting for LOL! (and Yay! Comments are working for you at last!)

  2. I remember asking my father, a Naval officer, why ships were referred to as 'she' and he said "They're beautiful, cranky and a lot of work." I recall that my mother, upon whom the sun rose and set for him, was not there.

    1. I think Jesamiah would 100% agree with your father Diana! :-)

  3. I just LOVE this series of books and in particular the character of Tola who I know to sigh Jesemiah's name as I do when I read. He is a man to capture a woman's heart and Tiola is that woman. Fascinating reading I am working my way through them and demand - where is the next? Keep writing, Helen and I'll keep reading.

    1. My Jesamiah is certainly making a name for himself isn't he? LOL

  4. Fierce damsels, the unforgiving sea, a lovable rogue pirate--what more could one want...Oh, the next book, Helen!
    Getting to know you, your queens and witches, as well as the other Ladies of this blog hop was such great fun. Thank you again for organizing it.
    I hope the many readers who visited us will agree.
    'Til we meet again (indeed, 'in thunder, lightning or in rain...').

    1. My pleasure Inge! :-) Couldn't have done it withuot you all!

  5. Thank you for another great post Helen, I've enjoyed the last four weeks and they've reawakened an interest in history.(as opposed to the future which is my usual thing)
    As a bonus, I'm now hooked into the Jesamiah universe as well.

  6. Like Anna said above, I adored Jes.

    1. I get a distinct feeling that Jesamiah is grinning....

  7. Helen, I admire the way you inhabit your different worlds and bring them to life on the page. I first met you through your Sea Witch world at the 2012 HNS conference. This month I'm discovering your Emma, The Forever Queen. Happily reading through the centuries with you. Next, your Arthurian world! Thanks for the entertainment and creative inspiration!

    1. Funnily enough Jesamiah and Arthur are fairly similar in character.... can't think why! LOL


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