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Sunday 30 June 2024

Arrr Scallywags! GreenFeet Games.... The Pirate Republic: Africa Gambit board game

by Tom Butler
C.E.O Greenfeet Games


This here update be all ‘bout one o’ the three Pirates in the collector’s edition, Pirate Captain Jesamiah Acorne.

After havin’ a read o’ author Helen Hollick’s rollickin’ article below, ye’ll see why we could not pass up the opportunity to include just a hint o’ some nautical fiction in the game.  She also provided some of the flavor text you'll see on several of the global missions.

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WHEN THE MERMAID SINGS

by Helen Hollick

In 2005 my ex- literary agent thought that I should write something different to my usual historical fiction. “What about a pirate adventure?” I suggested. The idea had been brewing in my mind for some while because I had been searching for a novel which matched the fun of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. There were plenty of ‘straight’ nautical novels: C.S. Forrester, Patrick O’Brian, Alexander Kent etc., and quite a few young adult adventures, but nothing like Curse of the Black Pearl with its supernatural/fantasy, dash of romance, and a swashbuckling rogue of a hero. I wanted something to read that was written as an adult novel, with adult themes and relationships, in addition to the nautical adventure bits. Giving up the search I decided to write my own.

I spent a few months researching the facts about the Caribbean pirates of the early 1700s and my characters appeared overnight, as if they’d been waiting to come alive for some while. I had Captain Jesamiah Acorne, my lead protagonist, quick to laugh but formidable when angry. His second-in-command, Rue, and the ship herself, Sea Witch. (Based on the replica of HMS Rose aka Surprise.)  To balance the men and to become the love of Jesamiah’s life (apart from his ship) I had Tiola Oldstagh, a midwife, healer and a white witch. She loves Jesamiah, but he has been known to annoy her...

Writing solid for two months, stopping only for Christmas Day, the words flowed like a following wind, and, finished, excited because I knew I had something special in my hands, I sent it off to my agent. She hated it. “It’s not suitable for teenage boys,” she said. “Er, no,” said I. “ I didn’t write it for boys. It’s for adults.” She snorted derision. “Adults do not read pirate stories." (Now you know why I put ‘ex-agent’ above. We parted company.)


I knew Jesamiah Acorne was going to become popular. I knew Sea Witch was good, the publishing houses I sent it to agreed, but all turned it down because the cross-genre of adventure-supernatural-romance-fantasy did not suit their unimaginative marketing strategies. “Drop the supernatural” they all said... oh, apart from one, who turned it down because, “Women do not write nautical fiction.”

After much thought I decided to self-publish. It was a risk. Back in 2006/7 self-publishing was in its infancy and the literary world sneered at the thought that good writers could independently produce great books. I had nothing to lose, though, I’d already been a USA Today best-seller with my historical fiction, and anyway, this would only be a one-off novel...

Wrong. 

I recently published the sixth in the series, and GreenFeet Games were keen to use a prequel novella as a sub-plot for their The Pirate Republic: Africa Gambit board game.

I wrote the prequel, When The Mermaid Sings, several years ago, urged to do so by popular demand. Readers wanted to know how Jesamiah had become a pirate, and I wanted to include a mermaid in one of the Voyage stories. The two easily came together, and I managed to include Captain Morgan, Henry Jennings and Charles Vane in my story – along with some swashbuckling pirate adventure, my young white witch, a ghost and, of course, a mermaid.

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When the Mermaid Sings

By Helen Hollick

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.
 

Amazon Universal Link: https://viewbook.at/WhenMermaidSings

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 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...

The Sea Witch Voyages

Voyage 1 - Sea Witch: https://viewbook.at/SeaWitch 

Voyage 2 - Pirate Code: https://viewbook.at/PirateCode

Voyage 3 - Bring It Close : https://viewbook.at/BringItClose

Voyage 4 - Ripples: http://viewbook.at/RipplesInTheSand

 Voyage 5 - On the Account : https://viewbook.at/OnTheAccount

Voyage 6 - Gallows Wake : https://mybook.to/GallowsWake



 

About the Author

First accepted for traditional publication in 1993, 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/supernatural series, The Sea Witch Voyages. She has also branched out into the quick read novella, 'Cosy Mystery' genre with her Jan Christopher 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. The fifth in the series, A Memory Of Murder, was published in May 2024.

Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Talesand Life of A Smuggler. She is currently writing about the ghosts of North Devon for Amberley Publications, and Jamaica Gold for her Sea Witch Voyages

Recognized by her stylish hats, Helen attends conferences and book-related events when she can as a chance to meet her readers and social-media followers, although her ‘wonky eyesight’ as she describes her condition of Glaucoma, and severe arthritis is becoming a little prohibitive for travel.

She lives with her family in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in North Devon, England, with their dogs and cats, while on the farm there are showjumper horses, fat Exmoor ponies, an elderly Welsh pony, geese, ducks and  hens. 

And several resident ghosts.

Author Links: Website: https://helenhollick.net/

Amazon Author Page: https://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.hollick

X/Twitter @HelenHollickhttps://x.com/HelenHollick

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These are the two special ability cards of Pirate Captain Jesamiah Acorne

Captain Jesamiah Acorne's Ship


 

Tiola Oldstagh, midwife, healer and Captain Acorne's trusted companion

-- Captain Tom and Team Green Feet Games

Best to you.

Saturday 29 June 2024

Rachel's Random Resources Book Tours: Courage For The Clarks Factory Girls by May Ellis



Rachel's Random Resources
Book Tours
Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through worlds
real and fictional,
meet interesting people,
visit exciting places
and find good books
to enjoy along the way!



About the Book
Courage For The Clarks Factory Girls
1915: As war continues to rage across the Channel, the families of the Somerset village of Street can no longer avoid its long shadow.

Workers in the Clarks shoe factory, at the heart of the village, have left for the army in droves, and news from the Front seems to grow darker by the day.

When life-long friends Louisa, Jeannie and Kate receive the news they had been fearing, all hope seems lost. And Louisa’s world will be rocked further when she makes another discovery, one that will see her cast out by her family, changing her life forever.

Kate and Jeannie are determined to be strong for their friend, but each of them has their own problems to bear, and when Jeannie’s beloved brother Lucas enlists, she fears history is about to repeat itself.

Can the Clarks factory girls help each other through the darkest days and keep hope alive?



Author Bio – 
May Ellis has been a legal executive, registered childminder, professional fund – raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world, including trekking in mountains, deserts and the Great Wall of China, as well as helping build a house in Thailand. She went to university in her forties and gained a first class degree and an MA while still working full – time. Her first book, a contemporary romance, was published in 2014. Since then she has had five more novels published, including another romance and a YA time travel adventure. The last three are gritty dramas set in the 1960s/70s published by Darkstroke Books. She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor, volunteering at her local library and for the Alfred Gillett Trust (custodians of the Clark’s archives). Her current series, based on the factory workers at Clark’s Shoes was inspired by her move to the area and her love of social history

Social Media Links –  
Twitter: 
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Bookbub profile: 



My thoughts

This is the second in a series, an enjoyable, engrossing read except I have not read the first one so I did find this a little difficult to initially get into. I suggest read the series in sequence, I think it would be worth it as the characters were quite intriguing - and likeable.

For some reason (I think the clothing on the cover graphic, which to me looked 1940s?) I was expecting this to be set during WWII not WWI, which, actually, was quite a pleasing discovery.

Louisa, Jeannie and Kate are a nice bunch of young ladies, good friends who are devoted to helping each other through the good and bad times - and this being war there are plenty of bad times for them to cope with. The story is one of friendship and courage through times of hardship, and should very much appeal to readers of this genre of novel.

Readers of the period, or similar set during WWII, or who are familiar with the first book in the series, are bound to want to grab this installment as soon as possible.

A good read for those who like family war-torn sagas. Recommended. 

**** 4 stars



https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/
@rararesources
#RachelsRandomResources


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You might also like 

books written by Helen Hollick 

Website: https://helenhollick.net/

Amazon Author Page: https://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick 



*
The Jan Christopher Cosy Mysteries
set in the 1970s

*
The SEA WITCH VOYAGES
nautical adventures set during the Golden Age of Piracy

If you enjoyed the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie
you'll love the Sea Witch Voyages

Coffee Pot Book Club
Bronze Award2022

*
THE SAXON SERIES

The story of the events that led to
The Battle of Hastings in 1066

Harold the King (UK edition)
I Am The Chosen King (US edition)
1066 Turned Upside Down
an anthology of 'What If'' tales
*
The Forever Queen (US edition)
a USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A Hollow Crown (UK edition)

*
KING ARTHUR
The Pendragon's Banner Trilogy

 The Boy Who became a Man:
Who became a King:
Who became a Legend... 

THE PENDRAGON's BANNER TRILOGY 

US editions

*
Historical Stories of Exile by 13 popular authors 
Cryssa Bazos, Anna Belfrage, Elizabeth Chadwick, Cathie Dunn, 
J.G. Harlond, Helen Hollick, Loretta Livingstone, Amy Maroney 
Alison Morton, Charlene Newcomb, Elizabeth St.John, 
Marian L Thorpe, Annie Whitehead.
With an introduction by Deborah Swift

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Amazon: FREE ebook!

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NON-FICTION


*
SUBSCRIBE to Helen's
Thoughts from a Devonshire Farmhouse newsletter
to receive an email reminder of each new post
(1st of every month)
subscribe@helenhollick.co.uk

*


Thursday 27 June 2024

My spotlight guest:Tony Riches and Frances, Tudor Countess


Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds
real and fictional,
meet interesting people,
visit exciting places
and find a few good books
to enjoy along the way!



About the Book

FRANCES - TUDOR COUNTESS
Book five of the Elizabethan Series

New from Tony Riches, Author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy

A thrilling portrait of a remarkable woman who witnessed the key events of Elizabethan England.”  

Based on extensive research, original letters and records of the Elizabethan Court, this new account explores the life of Frances Walsingham, the only surviving child of Queen Elizabeth’s ‘spymaster’ Sir Francis Walsingham. Better educated than most men, her father arranges her marriage to warrior poet Sir Philip Sidney. After Philip is killed in battle, Frances becomes Countess of Essex, and is banished from court after her husband Sir Robert Devereaux’s rebellion against the queen. Can she marry for love, if it means turning her back on her faith and all she knows? 

The story which began with the Tudor trilogy follows Frances, Countess of Essex and Clanricarde, from her first days at the Elizabethan Court to the end of the Tudor dynasty and the rise of the Stuarts. 




Read An Excerpt
Excerpt from Frances – Tudor Countess, by Tony Riches

Barn Elms, Richmond 1587:

Frances wakes to the song of a blackbird drifting through her open window. She marvels at how the same phrase is never repeated, then recalls the grief which keeps her in her bed. Her husband is gone, her child, a daughter, stillborn, so soon after Christmas Day. The difficult birth took its toll on her, but she feels her strength returning.
    She must recover, for the sake of her first born, little Elizabeth. She feels safe at Barn Elms. On a peaceful bend of the river, convenient for the city and the royal palace of Richmond, the house is her sanctuary. Shut away from the world, she’s surrendered to her mourning, the sadness and regret. 
    She reaches out and pulls the silk cord to summon Beth. The only one to know the truth of what she’s been through in Arnhem, Beth promised never to speak of it. Frances wishes to remember Philip as a gallant knight, on his fine black charger, not dying in agony.
   My true love hath my heart, and I have his. A memory of her husband’s sonnet echoes in her head, his unquiet ghost still haunting her. She mouths his prescient words, but will never see him again.

His heart his wound received from my sight:
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me, on him his hurt did light,
So still me thought in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss:
My true love hath my heart and I have his.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of Tudor historical fiction. He lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the lives of the early Tudors. As well as his new Elizabethan series, Tony’s historical fiction novels include the best-selling Tudor trilogy and his Brandon trilogy, (about Charles Brandon and his wives). For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook, Instagram, Bluesky and Twitter @tonyriches





*** *** 

You might also like 

books written by Helen Hollick 

Website: https://helenhollick.net/

Amazon Author Page: https://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick 




The Jan Christopher Cosy Mysteries
set in the 1970s

*
The SEA WITCH VOYAGES
nautical adventures set during the Golden Age of Piracy

If you enjoyed the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie
you'll love the Sea Witch Voyages

Coffee Pot Book Club
Bronze Award2022

*
THE SAXON SERIES

The story of the events that led to
The Battle of Hastings in 1066

Harold the King (UK edition)
I Am The Chosen King (US edition)
1066 Turned Upside Down
an anthology of 'What If'' tales
*
The Forever Queen (US edition)
a USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A Hollow Crown (UK edition)

*
KING ARTHUR
The Pendragon's Banner Trilogy

 The Boy Who became a Man:
Who became a King:
Who became a Legend... 

THE PENDRAGON's BANNER TRILOGY 

US editions
*
NON-FICTION


*
SUBSCRIBE to Helen's
Thoughts from a Devonshire Farmhouse newsletter
to receive an email reminder of each new post
(1st of every month)
subscribe@helenhollick.co.uk

*