Archive for August 9th, 2011

I have a confession:  I love men of the sea. Perhaps it’s because I’ve lived on the coast, surrounded by the lore of men who’ve lived and sometimes died on the sea.  The waters near my home have been filled with ships carrying sailors and buccaneers for centuries. Military battles have been won and lost off these shores for centuries, and Blackbeard found a haven on the Outer Banks of North Carolina long before the beaches of Okracoke Island were filled with tourists. And, I must admit, Johnny Depp’s sly and sexy performance as Captain Jack Sparrow only fueled the fire in my heart for buccaneers.

Eye patches, earrings, walking the plank…these images fill our thoughts when we hear the word pirate.  I suspect the word privateer does not garner nearly the same reaction. I’m fairly sure movie goers would not have turned out in droves for  Privateers of the Caribbean. In my opinion, privateers have been shortchanged in legend. Privateers were as bold and daring as their pirate brethren, with one crucial difference: they were backed by governmental authority. In fact, some pirates made the transition to privateers due to one simple fact: a government was able to make use of their ruthless services. Mercenaries of the seas, authorized by a country’s leaders to attack enemy ships, privateers were skilled additions to a country’s battle forces and seized enemy cargo and vessels for profit. By disrupting enemy trade and commandeering ships into military service, privateers aided their government while filling their own coffers.

Unlike military ships that aimed to sink enemy vessels, privateers aimed to capture vessels and plunder their cargos. Privateers proved to be a significant force in naval warfare during the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Though not formally commissioned as warships, privateers sailed under the authorization granted in a letter of marque, a formal contract between the government and the privateer. A letter of marquee provided formal authorization for the privateer’s activities, spelling out the nationalities of ships the privateer was allowed to attack and the territory in which it could operate while ensuring the government would retain a share of the plundered goods.

Throughout history, privateers have been celebrated and reviled. Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins aided Britain’s quest for naval superiority against the Spanish Armada in the sixteenth century, becoming national heroes in the process.  Notorious English pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, is believed to have operated as a privateer off the coast of Jamaica during Queen Anne’s War prior to turning to piracy around 1714.  Nearly a century later, American privateers played a significant role in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and even the Civil War. Notorious privateer Jean Lafitte led his crew in the defense of New Orleans against the British Navy during the Battle of New Orleans, and daring captains defied Union blockades of southern ports.

My Ellora’s Cave debut, Claimed by the Captain, an American merchant’s daughter finds herself the pawn in a daring privateer’s quest for retribution.  Here’s a little about the story:

Jason Kane lost everything to one man’s treachery. Thirsting for vengeance, the ruthless privateer abducts Catherine Farrell, daughter of the swindler who destroyed his family. Intending to extract the debt owed him from his tempting prisoner, he plans a cold-blooded conquest. Aroused by his captive’s sensual beauty, he claims her with seductive persuasion. As he plunges her into a world of pleasure, her passionate surrender sparks a deep longing in his heart and soul.

Catherine Farrell lived the sheltered life of a prosperous merchant’s daughter until Captain Jason Kane made her a pawn in his quest for retribution. Claimed by the captain, she finds herself at the mercy of a man who will settle for nothing less than complete domination. His tender mastery awakens Catherine’s passions and stirs her heart. If only she can convince him that love is far more satisfying than sweet revenge.


You can find more information about the story at my website, www.tarakingston.com or at the Ellora’s Cave site. Hope you’ll stop by.

Leave a comment about this post and you’ll be entered to win a free e-copy of Claimed by the Captain. The winner will be announced Friday, August 12. Thanks for stopping by!

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