Tuesday, May 31, 2011

...and a bottle o'rum: End Credits

...and a bottle o'rum
a virtual event
with pirates all about
happening all of may 2011


Our Capitain Vix was not successful at The Nymph's Node. She and her crew are back aboard The Rusty Dagger in hot pursuit of the elusive Narwal. Apparently he boarded The Flying Elephant and is headed towards the Arabian Sea. We'll find out what happens in the next installment of Seeking Narwal on June 7.


Meanwhile, why not board the Balclutha today which is bound for San Francisco, California. There will be steampink goodies to be had at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition San Francisco World's Fair.


Thank you dear READERS for joining me for this virtual pirate book event.

Special note: While most giveaways ended May 29, I extended some of the pirate giveaways to June 12 which are noted on the sidebar.

THANKS TO: Authors, Publicists and Publishers for Book Giveaways & Guest posts

1,000 Creative Writing Prompts:
Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More by Bryan Cohen

The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate by CJ Archer

Between Two Ends by David Ward

Bring It Close by Helen Hollick

The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook by Jason Heller

The Code of the Zombie Pirate: How to Become an Undead Master of the High Seas (Zen of Zombie Series) by Scott Kenemore

Detour 2 Death: Extreme Hauntings by J.R. Turner

Kraken's Mirror by Maureen O. Bettita

Once A Pirate by Susan Grant

The Pirate Bride by Shannon Drake

Pirate School series by Brian James

Pirates! by Celia Rees

Pistons and Pistols by Regina Riley

Random Magic by Sasha Soren

Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen

Special thanks to sponsors:


Fantasy Art of Nikki Burnette

Special thanks to fellow bloggers:

AimeeKay of How Can You Help Out?

Blodeuedd of Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Carol of Carol's Notebook

Freda of Freda's Voice

Giada of Dr. Stravagante’s Traveling Book Circus

Heather of Gofita's Pages

Kristina of My World of Books


Misty aka Book PiRat of Book Rat

Samantha of Kakashisgf's World

LAST pirate treat: Gobelins 2006 - Pyrats (short animation)


* More pirates on September 19 during Talk Like a Pirate Day!

* A bit of feedback on this event in comments or via email (vvb32 at yahoo.com) would be much appreciated.

* Picnik was used for some graphics creations for this event.

* in conjunction with RMT: Pirates!
me loves doing the tour twist with Sasha!

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Pistons and Pistols by Regina Riley

Pistons and Pistols
by Regina Riley

Published: 2011
Publisher: Lyrical Press, inc.
Genre: Erotica, Steampunk
Rating: 5

Description from the amazon:
The west isn't only wild. Sometimes it's just plain strange.

When the airship The Merry Widow arrives in Professor Von Maxwell's city of gruff coal miners for fuel, the lonely men of Ironstation scramble to impress the all female crew.

But the crew isn’t in the mood for romance. On the run from a vicious bordello Madam, the ladies of The Merry Widow are recovering from a run-in with a pack of wild natives. Not to mention that their ship houses the world’s greatest scientific breakthrough since the invention of the airbag…a genuine clockwork man that goes by the name of Atom Loquacious.

The west just got a bit weirder in this tale of clockwork romance and sky-bound adventure.

Clockworks and Corsets - my review
Pistons and Pistols

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): Ironstation
Had a blast with this female airship pirate crew again. The story continues from Clockworks and Corsets, although both ebooks work just fine as stand-alone stories.

I get a kick out of the colorful characters, dialogue, action and setting from this tale.

And who wouldn't like to meet someone with the name of Atom Loquacious?

--~ eBook Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

signup to win this ebook


* read a guest post from Regina with a few of these characters involved in a brawl

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Watch out: Pirate of My Heart

Pirate of My Heart
by Jamie Carie
release date: September 2011
get a free review copy from NetGalley
got mine, go get yours

Description from the amazon:
When her doting father dies, Lady Kendra Townsend is given a choice: marry the horrid man of her cold, money-grubbing uncle's choosing or leave England to risk a new life in America with unknown relatives.

Armed with the faith that God has a plan for her, Kendra boards a cargo ship and meets American sea captain Dorian Colburn. But the captain has been wounded by a woman before and guards his independent life.

A swashbuckling man doesn't need an English heiress to make him slow down, feel again, or be challenged with questions about his faith-or so he thinks. It is not until Dorian must save Kendra from the dark forces surrounding her that he decides she may be worth the risk.

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Pirate Heather

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Heather of Gofita's Pages
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

On Stranger Tides
by Tim Powers

Ahoy, me hearties.

This be a grand adventure fer any pirate!

We follow Jack Shandy as he be taken captive aboard the Jenny...he be fightin' the bocors, the zombies, and the dreaded...

Read the rest of the review here.

Review and giveaway post created for ...and a bottle o'rum event by Heather of Gofita's Pages
© 2011. All rights reserved.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Heather of Gofita's Pages
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

win this book from Pirate Heather


Contest has ended - winner is here



* image source: Pirate Heather and her captain

* for pirate fashion check out Heather's pirate post for RM: Pirates! - How to Dress Like a Pirate and The Sea Hawk

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Watch out: Pirate King

Pirate King:
A novel of suspense featuring
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
by Laurie R. King
Release date: September 6, 2011

Here's one on my want list that comes out later this year...

Description from the amazon:
In this latest adventure featuring the intrepid Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King takes readers into the frenetic world of silent films—where the pirates are real and the shooting isn’t all done with cameras.

In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, at the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate rumors of criminal activities that swirl around Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation . . . or sink a boatload of careers.

Nothing seems amiss until the enormous company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, where the thirteen blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is bemusedly chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell feels a building storm of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with secrets, ominous currents between the pirates, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their dangerous outlaw leader. Plus, there’s a spy on board. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.

Pirate King is a Laurie King treasure chest—thrilling, intelligent, romantic, a swiftly unreeling masterpiece of suspense.

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Pirate Baddies: Phantom Universe

Phantom Universe
by Laura Kreitzer

Here's one on my want list...

Description from the amazon:
Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she's lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech. But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out? Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?

Review excerpt: from Electrifying Reviews
Phantom Universe appeared to be a great book from the moment I saw it. Everything about it screams originality, and it definitely was. I am happy to say that I adored this book and urge you to read it as well. It’s certainly nothing like what I’ve read before.

The story was so original and breathtaking from the first page on. The story blends genres in a way I haven’t seen before, and it was great to see an author be able to create a world that took me in from page one and didn’t let me go until I was finished with the book. The story does have several flashbacks, and those were just as interesting as the plot which was taking place. This book has pirates, dystopia, time travel, romance, and science fiction… and even more!

Read the rest of his review.

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Monday, May 30, 2011

RMT: Pirates! - The Parting Glass

The Parting Glass
for Random Magic Tour: Pirates!

Today’s the wrap day for Random Magic Tour: Pirates! (May 10-30).

As one of the mates - ahoy, matey! - sailing with this crew of buccaneers, would like to say thank you for visiting and hope you also enjoyed some of the other great blogs on the tour.

Make sure to visit the various Pirate Queen posts which introduce feisty fighting females of yore...

Pirate Queen: The Lioness of Brittany -see her fashion plate
at Fluidity of Time
all fashion plates are from Liana's Paper Doll

Pirate Queen: Lai Choi San -fashion plate
at Lady Violet

Pirate Queen: Jacquotte Delahaye -fashion plate
at The Book Swarm

Pirate Queen: Anne Bonny -fashion plate
at The Epic Rat
- giveaway: action figure pirate anne at Book Lover-Book Chicks

Pirate Queen: Grace O’Malley -fashion plate
at The Coven

Pirate Queen: Awilda -fashion plate
at vvb32 reads

Pirate Queen: A Salmagundi of She-Pirates -fashion plate
at Fiction Folio

Pirate Queen: Anne Dieu-Le-Veut -fashion plate
at Bibliophilic Monologues

Pirate Queen: Winnie Flapjack -fashion plate
at Beyond Strange New Words

Pirate Queen: Mary Read -fashion plate

AND, don't be missing it...

P I R A T E ~ P R I Z E S can still be had from the RMT: Pirates! here's the list.


A tune to tap to: Corsaire - Le chant des corsaires

For the wrap day of the tour, we’re just going to raise a final pint o’ grog to say thanks for the good company and may your days be filled with smooth seas ahead, good grub, solid comrades, romance and adventure. Yaaaargh.


Message in a Bottle: visit Liana's Paper Doll Blog to see the Pirate Queen Sasha and read more about her at Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf.

* vvb's final pirate posts for ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ends tomorrow

The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook by Jason Heller

The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook
A Swashbucker's Guide from the Pirates of the Caribbean
by Jason Heller

Published: 2011
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Fantasy, Pirates
Hardback: 176 pages
Rating: 4

Description from the amazon:
For every would-be pirate who's wished to cast off the shackles of landlubber society, here is the official guide to taking up seagoing roguishness the right way—er, that is, the right wrong way—well, let’s just say Jack’s way.

The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook gives you an insider’s perspective on all the dirty tricks of the buccaneer’s trade, helpfully arrrrrrrrrticulating such vital nautical information as:

• How to Bury Treasure
• How to Break a Curse
• How to Fight a Tavern Full of Angry Men
• How to Stay Alive When Your Ship Sinks
• How to Cope with Mermaids

. . . and dozens more crucial skills you’ll want to master before hitting the high seas.

Excerpt of Table of Contents: ones I found amusing

How to Use Words to Misdirect and Confound

Pirate Hygiene (or the Lack Thereof)

How to Fight a Tavern Full of Angry Men

Top Ten Pirate Superstitions

Amusing quote:
Pirates, by nature, aren't terribly literate. As a consequence, no book can hope to fully prepare the pampered, modern-day layabout for the lusty life of a pirate.
- page 10, introduction

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): treasure
This pirate handbook is an entertaining one sprinkled with illustrations and photos from the Pirates of Caribbean film.

Fans of the movie will get a kick out of this Sparrow treat.

Pirates of the Caribbean #4
On Stranger Tides

I enjoyed this latest pirates movie starring the favorite Captain Jack Sparrow. Lots of action, lots of pirate-ing and lots of fun Sparrow-isms. What was especially intriguing for me this time around was the side story of the mermaids.


* review copy courtesy of publisher

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Steel by Carrie Vaughn

by Carrie Vaughn

Published: 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Action, Coming of Age, Time Travel, YA
Hardback: 304 pages
Rating: 4

Description from the amazon:
It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): en garde
I enjoyed this swashbuckling tale with references to the art of fencing.

The pirates the heroine encounters are tame compared to the rough and tumble ones we imagine. So, you will get a light taste of pirate life and sailing. Still though, much action and revenge thrown in.

Read this to meet a pirate queen - Captain Marjory Cooper of the Diana.

fyi: I submitted a Steel haiku to Bibliognome for a contest entry:

pirates and captain
i be swashbuckling
to saves me life dear


* part of Women Wielding Blades event

* also part of ...and a bottle o'rum event

Pirate Paul

On a serious note...

Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson
Directed by Trish Dolman
Release date: 2011 Canada

Description from Film Catalogue:
ECO-PIRATE: THE STORY OF PAUL WATSON is a feature-length documentary about a man on a mission to save the planet and its oceans.

Part Captain Nemo, part Grizzly Man, the film follows Watson in the act as he repeatedly flouts the law, so that he may apprehend what he sees as the more serious law-breakers the illegal poachers of the world.

From the genesis of Greenpeace to the sinking of a pirate whaling ship off Portugal, from clashes with fisherman in the Galapagos to Watsons recent headline-grabbing battles with the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica, this documentary chronicles the extraordinary life of one of the most controversial figures in the environmental movement.


Heads up:

Pirate Ewan

A biopic film, Ocean Warrior, about Captain Paul Watson is in the making. Our Ewan McGregor is slated to play the eco-pirate.
- per The Film Stage, Jan 2011

Read the book...

Ocean Warrior:
My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas
by Captain Paul Watson
forward by Farley Mowat


* image sources: Paul Watson, sea shepherd flag, Ewan Mcgregor, red eco pirate tshirt

* first spotted this movie news at Care2

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Sunday, May 29, 2011

RMT: Pirates! Sea Wolves Reading Circle

RMT: Pirates!
Reading Circle
complete schedule

Ahoy, maties! Here be a treasure chest of
great piratey reads, plucked from shelves
by a scandalous crew from near and far.


A classic with a pirate...

Frenchman's Creek
by Daphne du Maurier
- freedom
- piracy
- independent spirited heroine

I am currently reading this and loving du Maurier's rich writing style. It is has a way of pulling you in with its descriptions and insight of the characters.

A modern book with an unusual kind of pirate...

The Code of the Zombie Pirate:
How to Become an Undead Master of the High Seas
by Scott Kenemore
sign up to win this book
- pirates with a zombie twist
- amusing illustrations
- lots of LOL moments

Excerpt of Table of Contents:
(i picked out a few to share from the list of 27 chapters)

ch 2: The Benefits of Zombie Pirates (Over, Say, Regular Pirates or Regular Zombies)

ch 10: How "Slow" Now Equals "Absolutely Terrifying"

ch 11: Yo, Ho, Ho, and Now Let's Eat Some People (a.k.a. "Prey")

ch 21: (Zombie) Pirate Ports

ch 23: (Un)dead Man's Chest

Yes, pirates lurk in here too...

Random Magic
by Sasha Soren
- adventure
- faboo
- whimsy

In Random Magic, Winnie Flapjack encounters a bloodthirsty crew of pirates and bests them with magic. Read more about Winnie at Beyond Strange New Words.

NEXT, in this reading circle...

Willowdust Reviews - Tina’s Book Reviews

Bonus! Classic pirate (free) reads:

Kate Bonnet: The Romance of a Pirate’s Daughter, by Frank R. Stockton
READ online

The Queen of the Pirate Isle, by Bret Harte
READ online

The Story of the Barbary Corsairs, by Stanley Lane-Poole and
Lieut. J. D. Jerrold Kelley
READ online

NOW, HOP ALONG for more...

The Fluidity of Time
i'm gonna try: Tales of Daring and Danger by G.A. Henty (classic)

This Miss Loves To Read
Twitter: @MissIrenne
i'm gonna try: The Noble Pirates by Rima L. Jean (romance)

What Book Is That?
Twitter: @heynocupcake
i'm gonna try: Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy (scifi pirates)

Cerebrate’s Contemplations
Twitter: @cerebrate
i'm gonna try: not yet posted

My Love Affair With Books
Twitter: @Misha_1989
i'm gonna try: The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson (historical - Errol Flynn)

vvb32 Reads - uh, yah, that's me! -right here!
Twitter: @vvb32reads
you gonna try: my above picks!

Willowdust Reviews - Tina’s Book Reviews
Twitter: @BooksAtTinas
i'm gonna try: Bloody Jack by L.A Meyer

Songs and Stories
Twitter: @LiederMadchen
i'm gonna try: Inda by Sherwood Smith (fantasy)

The Diary of a Bookworm
i'm gonna try: The Price of Freedom by A.C. Crispin (Pirates of the Caribbean)


* image source: Frenchman's Creek book

BONUS: Win some marrrrrrvelous plunder! Feast yer deadlights on some
great tour goodies, and if you like, join the hunt!

Through May 30: Browse prizes or Join the hunt!

Reader note: Feel free to share a pirate themed book with me in comments.

If you're playing Rum + Plunder, your comment could count towards winning one of your fave prizes, too! How to play.

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

In My Mailbox - 5.28.11


for September Zombies...

Zombie Fight Night
by A.P. Fuchs
got it for 99 cents

Free from Kindle: beware some free offers are limited

Shades of Gray #1 Noir, City Shrouded By Darkness
by Kristie Lynn Higgins

Dandy Detects
A Victorian San Francisco Story
by M. Louisa Locke

For Review and giveaway:

for ...and a bottle o'rum event this month

Pistons and Pistols
by Regina Riley
courtesy of author
Thanks Regina!
signup for giveaway

Between Two Ends
by David Ward
courtesy of author
Thanks David!
signup for giveaway

For Review and future giveaway:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
courtesy of publisher
Thanks Eric!

for September Zombies...

by Joshua Grover-David Patterson
courtesy of author
Thanks Joshua!

Free from Netgalley: got mine, get yours!

Eat Slay Love
by Jesse Petersen


* get a heads up on free or discounted ebooks from Books on the Knob

* per usual, check out the sidebar for my current giveaways to you

* image from Leafcutter Designs - world's smallest postal service and you can get a letter kit at Chronicle Books

* In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. A post where we share books acquired via mailbox, library, store, etc.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Triton's Tavern: brawl the third

Triton's Tavern

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Regina Riley
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Gabriella glanced about the tavern with a look of dismay. If asked, only a few months prior, she would have never imagined herself in a place such as this.

Drunkards swayed and swooned, spilling both their booze and filthy words every chance afforded. The din of accordions and hand drums filled the room with the staccato rhythm of intoxication. The place stunk of sweat and alcohol and … other things. No, this wasn’t the kind of place a young woman of her raising expected to find herself.

Then again, neither was the Merry Widow.

But, truth be told, she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Just beside her, in the low light of a private booth, sat Gabriella’s mentor and captain, Rose Madigan. Hunched over a pint of ale, the captain hissed in clipped whispers and angry huffs as she argued with a Spaniard twice her size.

To the captain’s left sat Jax, the first mate and security officer, and twice the size of anyone else in the tavern. The rest of the crew waited aboard the Widow, guarding the tethered airship and her precious secrets.

Well, one precious secret.

Precious and handsome and wonderful and magical and-

Gabriella cringed as her captain struck the tabletop with a balled fist.

“You’re being unreasonable,” the captain said.

“It’s just not the type of work for you,” the Spaniard said, rolling his R’s far to hard for Gabriella’s taste.

“Why not? My ship is sound and my crew is fit. I can get your cargo there in half the time a sea bound vessel can manage.”

“I appreciate the speed of your airship, and your crew might be fit for many things, but not this delivery.”

“Why not!”

“Because both you and your crew are … how should I put this?” He paused to finger his moustache before he finished with, “Delicate?”

The captain pushed back from the table and stared at him. “Don’t you mean female?”

The man had nothing to say to that.

Of course, he wasn’t the man they were supposed to meet. The crew of the Widow came into this God forsaken port to meet with a different potential client. Someone who needed something transported somewhere with the utmost of discretion, and was willing to pay handsomely for it. (The devil, it seemed, was in the details, and the details weren’t divulged to the likes of Gabriella Upstairs.) Yet when they arrived the client turned out to be a no show, and now they were left with slim pickings among the less than savory jobs left.

And they were so very unsavory.

Rum running and arms dealing. Opium and stolen goods. Slaves to be transported from one port to the next. The thought of dealing with these cretins left Gabriella squirming. In days past, the path of the Widow had been respectable; a cargo ship that ran legitimate transportation routes for (mostly) decent people. But here lately, things had changed. Circumstances left the crew a little desperate. A little hungry. And as a result, a little piratical.

After all, when one was wanted by the law, one had to work outside of it to get things done. And what needed to be done took money. And money came from work. And work was what they were here for to find. Hopefully.

“Senior Hectares,” the captain said, her voice taking on an edge of softness. “Don’t concern yourself with the delicate nature of my girls. They can take care of themselves. And they can take care of your cargo. I promise that.”

Hectares ran a finger over his moustache as he grinned, most lewdly. “I am sure I have quite a few things your ladies can take care of for me. But my shipment isn’t one of them.”

Jax growled, and the captain put a hand on her arm to silence her.

“See?” Hectares asked, then laughed aloud. “You cannot even handle a little bawdy talk. Delicate. Far too delicate.”

“Maybe Jax will show you how delicate you are?” Jax asked, her rough accent dancing on Gabriella’s ears.

“Are you threatening me?”

“Yes. You hard of hearing?”

“Jax …” the captain warned.

Jax growled again, but said nothing more.

The Spaniard shrugged. “Makes no difference either way. I don’t like mouthy women.” He turned an eye on Gabriella, giving her such a lecherous glare it made her skin crawl. “But you. I like you. So young and so quiet. Perhaps you would be interested in giving me a port to unload my personal cargo? Yes?” He reached out to touch Gabriella, but she recoiled before he could make contact.

“Hands off,” the captain said.

Hectares grinned wider. “Why? There is good money in hands on. Maybe you should do the work you were surely made for?”

“And maybe Jax will teach you some manners,” Jax said.

“There is nothing you can teach me,” Hectares said.

“Really?” Jax grinned just as wide as the Spaniard. “Because I think you are as stupid as your moustache makes you look.”

“Stupid?” Hectares asked as he touched his moustache again. “This is the moustache of a great lover.”

“Is it?” Jax leaned across the table and asked in a low voice. “Does he know you’ve stolen it from him?”

Hectares stood back from the table, his chair falling to the floorboards with a loud clatter. The tavern went silent. Music, conversation, everything came to a stop.

Every ear turned to the mounting tension. Every eye to the building battle.

“You dare mock me?” Hectares asked.

“Jax,” the captain said. “Please, just let it go.”

Jax shrugged the captain off and stood, slow and steady, squaring off at the shoulders and shifting her hips into a wide stance. A fighter’s stance. “Jax never dares. She only does.”

Hectares sneered. “I won’t have a puta like you speak of my beautiful moustache in such a manner.”

The captain covered her face, hung her head and sank into her chair with a groan.

“Puta?” Jax asked. She snapped her big fingers and pointed at the man. “That’s it. Now I know what your moustache reminds me of.”

The Spaniard’s eyes went wide as he jawed the air in a moment of speechlessness.

“Gabriella,” the captain whispered. “Have you been practicing the fighting moves Jax showed you?”

Gabriella nodded, just as shocked as the Spaniard into silence.

“Good,” the captain said. “Try to stay out of the way, but keep your training in mind. You might need it.”

All too soon, the Spaniard found his voice. “I never in all my days-”

“And you probably never will!” Jax shouted. “Because a real woman would never touch a man with a thing like that taking refuge under his very nose.”

“I will have you know my moustache has won the heart of many a woman.”

“Really? And how much did you have to pay these hearts to spend an evening with a greasy strip of fuzz you claim is a moustache?” The tall blonde ran her fingers along her own upper lip in a slow, mocking swipe as she said, “Jax has but a few whiskers on her lip, but still has a manlier moustache than your ugly face ever will!”

The Spaniard, obviously tired of talking, grabbed the edge of the table and tossed it to one side, sending mugs flying away in a shimmering cascade of frothy ale. His intention must have been to lunge forward and take her by surprise. But Jax was far to fast for a trick like that. She sprang forward just as Hectares flipped the table, grabbing him up by the shoulders and knocking both of them to the ground.

They rolled and tussled for a few moments, curses and shouts rising from the pair as they fought. After a bit of this, Jax gained purchase on the big Spaniard and flung him across the tavern as if he weighed little more than Gabriella.

Gabriella, meanwhile, took refuge in the next booth, watching the fight with delight. Moments like this made her feel so alive. She could be at home, trussed up in some froufrou dress, waiting for a man to tell her what to say or think or do. But no, she was here, watching Jax deal out a lesson in manners. This was why she signed onto the Widow, and this was why she stayed. Well, this and him. That precious and handsome and wonderful and magical secret that was Atom Loquacious.

The fight raged across the tavern, under tables and over chairs, until Jax had the big Spaniard pinned against one wall. There, she grabbed his lapels in her meaty fists, hauled him to his feet and proceeded to head butt the man. A loud crack echoed across the tavern accompanied by a chorus of sympathetic moans. Hectares staggered a few steps, then fell backward against the wall, slid down and ended up flat on his rump.

Jax turned her anger on the watching crowd. “Anyone else here thinks Jax is so delicate?”

Every head shook in dissent. No. No one else thought she was delicate. No sir.
“That is as it should be,” Jax said.

Behind her, the Spaniard got to his unsteady feet. His moustache was caked with blood as a steady stream poured down his chin and onto his fine clothes. He made a series of ungraceful snorts and hocks before he spat a wad of crimson onto the wooden floorboards.

Jax turned to face him. “Ready for another round?”

Bloody nosed and black eyed, Hectares lifted trembling finger at her. “You had a bit of luck. Now your luck is through. I held back because my upbringing forbids I bring harm to a lady. But you …” he paused to spit on the ground between them. “You are no lady! And I will hold back no more. You will now feel the full fury of Juan Julio Grenada Hectares!”

“Shut your moustache hole!” Jax shouted, then hauled off and belted the man full across the mouth.

Juan Julio Grenada Hectares spun, in a most amusing pirouette, before crumpling to the ground like a discarded handkerchief. Gabriella couldn’t help herself. Upon seeing her fellow crewmember flatten such a pompous ass of a man, she started applauding. It didn’t take long before others joined in, and soon the tavern was filled with the sharp sounds of clapping and catcalls and hoots and hollers. Jax tipped an imaginary hat to the crowd and crossed the room to rejoin her captain.

“I’m sorry, sir,” Jax said, her smile belying her contrition.

“Think nothing of it,” the captain said. “But it is best if we get out before someone else decides to anger you.” She stood and motioned Gabriella to the door.
Once outside, Gabriella remembered what they went in for in the first place. “We didn’t get the job. What will we do for money now, sir?”

“Oh don’t you worry,” the captain said. “We got work. Plenty of it. We’ve had six offers for immediate cargo runs. And five more fellows left me contact information for future endeavors.”

“I don’t understand.”

The captain waggled her eyebrows. “Why would anyone trust a bunch of women with their cargo if we can’t defend ourselves?”

“But we can defend our …” Gabriella smiled as she understood. “Then this was your plan all along?”

Jax nodded. “Is good to get in some practice on a real target. I have grown stiff from too much lying about. Idleness is not good for Jax.”

“Idleness is not good for anyone,” the captain said. “Save for maybe Click.”

“The only thing he idols is you. Sir.”

The women laughed as they made their way back to the ship and the rest of the crew awaiting the good news.


A Lesson in Manners post created for ...and a bottle o'rum event by Regina Riley author of Pistons and Pistols © 2011. All rights reserved.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Regina Riley
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

READ more about these characters...

--~ eBook Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

Pistons and Pistols
by Regina Riley

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~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

The Nymph's Node: Reliant K pirates

We enter The Nymph's Node and we are treated to most unusual show...

The (Lego) Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
by Reliant K
remixed in music video form by BrickFilms in stop motion animation

Arr, arr, arr, arr

We are the pirates who don’t do anything
We just stay at home and lie around
And if you ask us to do anything
We'll just tell you we don’t do anything

Well I’ve never been to Greenland
And I've never been to Denver
And I’ve never buried treasure in St. Louie or St. Paul
And I’ve never been to Moscow
And I’ve never been to Tampa
And I’ve never been to Boston in the fall

We're the pirates who don’t do anything
We just stay at home and lie around
And if you ask us to do anything
We'll just tell you we don’t do anything

And I’ve never hoist the main sail
And I’ve never swabbed the poop deck
And I’ve never veer to starboard
'Cause I never sail at all

And I’ve never walked the gangplank
And I’ve never owned a parrot
And I’ve never been to Boston in the fall

'Cause we're the pirates who don’t do anything
We just stay at home and lie around
And if you ask us to do anything
We'll just tell you we don’t do anything

Well I've never plucked a rooster
And I'm not too good at ping ball
And I’ve never thrown my mashed potatoes
Up against the wall

And I’ve never kissed a chipmunk
And I’ve never gotten head lice
And I’ve never been to Boston in the fall.

Huh? What are you talking about?
Whats a rooster and mashed potatoes have to do with being a pirate?
Hey, thats right!
We are supposed to sing about pirate-y things.
And who's ever kissed a chipmunk?
That's just nonsense! Why even bring it up?
Am I right? What do you think?
I think you look like Captain Crunch.
Huh? No I don't!
Do too.
Do not!
You're making me hungry.
Thats it! You're walkin' the plank.
Says who?
Says the Cap'n, thats who!
Oh yeah? Ay Ay, Cap'n Crunch! hehehehe

And I’ve never licked a spark plug
And I’ve never sniffed a stinkbug
And I’ve never painted daises
On a big red rubber ball

And I’ve never bathed in yogurt
And I don’t look good in leggings
(You just don't get it.)
And we’ve never been to Boston in the fall!

Pass the chips!
Who's got the remote control? Here it is!
Time for Heraldo.
It's definately time for Loch Nech.
Ohh.. I don't like this show.
Hey look! I found a quarter!


In back corner of this dive we see a local merchant beckoning us over to see this gem just in from overseas...

fyi: E's latest YA book, Boyfriend from Hell, is almost ready to be released. He has received his ARCs and those of you who won one here in March will be getting it in the mail in the coming weeks.

In celebration of the ARCs, E would like to send out 3 to lucky winners. Visit E's site to enter the contest.


In another corner, we see two people partially hidden by a seashell curtain. If you look closely there is an oriental wooden puzzle box on the table. The hand that opens the box sports an unusual tattoo on its arm. A narwal.


* image source Reliant K

* song from film Veggie Tales: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

* lyrics source

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Triton's Tavern: clues

Triton's Tavern

!!! ssquawkk !!!
!!! ssquawkk !!!

!!! ssquawkk !!!
!!! ssquawkk !!!

oy, Vix
whut's yer bird
goin on about?
barkeep, McAvoy asks in an irritated tone.

!!! ssquawkk !!!
!!! ssquawkk !!!

hush, goliath
here's some peanuts
Captain Vix offers and soothes her bird.

!!! ssquawkk !!!
~gobbling on the tasty tavern nuts~

!!! ssquawkk !!!
!!! ssquawkk !!!

matilda, your earbobs
they are a fine sight
where did ya find em?
Captain Vix pats Goliath's head to soothe his excitement.

aye, they's be gifts
from me fella

!!! ssquawkk !!!
!!! ssquawkk !!!

he said there's a bloke
selling fancies like these
over at The Nymph's Node

if'n you hurry
you can fetch yerself
something fine
Tilly gives her head a shake to jingle-jangle the earbobs.

may i take closer look our captain leans in to inspect.

For those of you playing the rum + plunder hunt: leave a pirate-themed HAIKU in comments to earn an extra 5 points with this coin above.

For those not in the hunt game: give me a tickle and write me a pirate-themed haiku if'n you please ;-D

Here's mine:

sweet tilly o'mine
have ye another tankard?
och, me mouths run dry
-so say the many pirates who visit Triton's Tavern


Pirates on the seas
Searching, searching, for more coin
Gold is what they love
-Pirate Sami


Ahoy me mate
Git' on board n join the crew
for the rum n plunder
-Pirate Kiwi


Pirate Vix recognizes a certain mark on Tilly's earbobs and jumps up right quick heading for the door. Goliath flies out right behind her.

Mayhaps she is on her way to The Nymph's Node. For those markings sure looked similar to the Narwal's.

Before we head out the door to join Pirate Vix to finally lay our eyes on this Narwal, let us sit back to listen to today's entertainment at Triton's Tavern.

Get an earful of this fancy fiddlin'...

He's A Pirate
live at Tempodrom
with violinist David Garrett


* image source David Garrett

* David Garrett became the world's fastest violinist by playing Flight of The Bumble Bee in 1minute 6.56 seconds, an amazing 13 notes per second in 2008.

* more clues for coin locations can be found on the Triton's Tavern sidebar scuttlebutt links

*Pirate Freda has just informed me...

FOR TODAY ONLY: Giveaway of the Day - Rise Of Pirates
An epic pirate adventure. Unimaginable treasures await! In this pirate simulation, you can upgrade your ship, buy and sell goods and even smuggle questionable items between the grand naval battles that makes up the main part of the story.

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

Friday, May 27, 2011

Detour 2 Death by J.R. Turner

Detour 2 Death
by J.R. Turner

Published: 2011
Publisher: Echelon Press
Genre: Supernatural, YA
Rating: 3

Description from the amazon:
There are worse things than death, but not at Marsden Memorial hospital.

Kaylee Hensler knows her best friend Davey is on the brink of death. She knows this because she’s a psychic. When she flees the girl’s reformatory her parents sent her to to get to him, she has no idea the special sort of hell waiting for her.

Reapers are collectors and they come in many forms. In Feverland, the world created by Davey’s sickness, the red reaper goes by the name of Molok, an ancient evil with deep roots. In Shadowland, the dark side of the hospital, a black reaper promises torture and torment to lost souls. The white reaper is the most fearsome, giving Kaylee three days before he collects both her and Davey’s soul.

Kaylee has one secret weapon, one she doesn’t fully understand. Her abilities will be tested, her loyalty betrayed, and her love misplaced. No one escapes Death.

Extreme Hauntines Series:
Dead Friends Forever
School's Out 4-Ever
Detour 2 Death

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): limbo
This story involved the struggle between characters and with supernatural beings. Faith and angels play a part with some of the action. However, I just could not connect with any of the characters to care.

Note that I have not read books 1 and 2 which may establish the personalities and relationships of the characters for better enjoyment of this 3rd book.

--~ Book Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

signup to win this book


* review copy courtesy of author

* must say though, i was intrigued with the main characters in J.R.'s pirates guest post

* check out these self defense links from the author

Triton's Tavern: another brawl

Triton's Tavern

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by CJ Archer
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

"Ha! You lose again," said the pirate with a face as square and weathered as an old brick. He slapped one giant hand down on the cards he'd just thrown onto the table between himself and Benedict Sparks.

Tilda Upton jumped and wished she hadn't insisted her two companions include her on their jaunt into Triton’s Tavern. To be fair, she had no idea it would be so rough. It seemed her companions didn't know either or they wouldn't have allowed her to win the argument and join them.

The big brick-faced pirate grinned, revealing three teeth rotting like old posts in soggy ground. He signaled to the bespectacled fellow behind him who made another mark on his ledger. "Another round?"

"Sure," Benedict said with all the confidence of a man with a fortune to gamble. Only he had no fortune. Indeed, he had no coin to speak of and no possessions worth selling and if her calculations were correct, he already owed Brick-head a significant sum.

Tilda glanced at Captain Black Jack Knight beside her. He merely shrugged one shoulder, not particularly worried. But then he didn't want Benedict on board his brigantine, The Innocent, so was unlikely to help the devil-may-care adventurer out of a potentially dangerous situation.

"Mr. Sparks," she whispered into Benedict's ear. "Do you think this is wise?"

"Probably not," he whispered back so loudly that even the barkeep standing on the far side of Triton's Tavern must have heard. Brick-head certainly would have. "But it could be fun."

Fun! Good grief, men were such children sometimes. "Not if you lose. What will you pay him with?"

"Don't fret, Miss Upton, it causes your guard dog to turn vicious."

"My—." Oh, he meant Jack. On cue, Jack's face darkened and his eyes narrowed at Benedict. He looked like he'd be happy if Brick-head called in the debt.

It seemed he would get his wish. Brick-head stood. His body was just as blocky as his face, square-ish and packed full of dense muscle. "Pay up," he snarled. He jerked his head to the side and his assistant turned his ledger around for Benedict to see. "Now."

Benedict touched his cravat and swallowed audibly. "Uh, well..."

Jack chuckled and crossed his arms. "I agree, Sparks, this could be fun."

Tilda gave him a glare. He simply chuckled harder. He might be an intelligent man, for a pirate, but he was acting the fool. Jack had disliked Benedict ever since the mysterious adventurer boarded The Innocent. She supposed it had something to do with two dominant males occupying the same territory, like lions. But if Jack didn't start taking their current predicament seriously and help then something terrible would happen. Tilda could sense it.

She glanced around the dimly lit room. It wasn't the busiest tavern they'd visited in their travels, or the filthiest, but it was the most colorful. Pirates of all nationalities and descriptions came to Triton's to conduct business, settle scores, start fights and get drunk, not necessarily in that order. As an English gentlewoman, she felt woefully out of place. She might as well have had a sign hanging from her neck that said "Stare at me". Jack and Benedict didn't quite fit either with their good looks and all their own teeth, but they didn't attract nearly as much attention from the tavern's mostly male patrons as Tilda did.

"Pay up!" Brick-head snapped. He slammed a fist down on the table. The wood cracked.

"Uh, let me just defer to my companions," Benedict said, standing. He turned to Jack. "Got any coin on you?"

"Not for you," Jack said.

Brick-head blew on his knuckles then wiped them down his dirty shirt. His mouth twisted in either a smile or a sneer, it was difficult to tell.

"For goodness sake," Tilda hissed at Jack. "If you have any coin, give it to him."

"I don't," he said. "Sorry Sparks, you're on your own."

"Problem?" Brick-head asked. Six men at six different tables surrounding them stood up.

"There is now," Benedict muttered, glancing from one powerful looking man to the next. "Right, you take those ones," he said to Jack, "and I'll take these."

Jack laughed. "I don't see why I have to get my hands dirty on your account. I think I'll sit this one out." He yawned and sat back down.

"Jack!" Tilda rounded on him. "He could get killed!"

"Then we'll have one less mouth to feed."

Surely he wasn't serious. No, he couldn't be. He was simply employing that wicked sense of humor he was known for. He would help Benedict when the need arose.

Jack crossed his ankles and leaned back in the chair. "He hasn't got any money to pay you," he said to Brick-head smugly.

"Don't matter," Brick-head said. He licked his top lip and nodded at Tilda. "I'll take her instead."

Tilda's bones suddenly felt loose inside her. She gripped the back of a chair in a bid to stay upright.

Beside her, Jack stood again, very slowly and deliberately, his body rigid. The twinkle of amusement in his eyes was replaced by a swirl of dark fury. "You don't touch her," he growled.

"Got enough coin to pay what he owes?" Brick-head said with a nod at Benedict.

Jack stepped in front of Tilda. "Get out of here," he said to her.

Brick-head's six thugs closed in, sneering and punching their palms. Tilda was about to ask Jack how she was supposed to get past them when he jumped up on the table. Before Brick-head had a chance to react, he kicked out, hitting him in the jaw. Brick-head's eyes rolled up and he stumbled backwards, knocking over his bespectacled assistant who in turn fell onto another table where three dwarves sat drinking.

"Hoy!" one shouted when their table collapsed, taking their ales with it. "You'll pay for that." He jumped on Brick-head's chest and shook his fist in the dazed pirate's face.

But he apparently wasn't dazed enough. Brick-head got to his feet, picked up the dwarf and threw him at Benedict. Benedict stepped aside and watched the dwarf sail past and land in the lap of a large woman with a red scar running from her right eye to the corner of her mouth. She growled at the dwarf then picked up her tankard and threw it at Brick-head. It was a remarkably accurate throw with a great deal of power in it. Nevertheless, Brick-head ducked and the tankard whacked one of his men in the face instead. Offended, the thug deviated from his course and threw himself at the woman whose companions took offense and blamed Brick-head for starting the fight.

Tilda felt a strong arm circle her middle. She screamed but it was lost in the din of the tavern brawl erupting around her.

"It's me," Jack said, tucking her into his side.

She breathed deeply in an attempt to steady her nerves and her heart. "Let's go while they're occupied," she said.

"My thoughts exactly," Benedict said, suddenly at her other side. He side-stepped to avoid a dwarf careening past him.

Jack ushered Tilda through the throng of flying fists and bodies. Triton’s Tavern had quickly turned into a wrestling pit where there were no rules and no fears.

Jack batted away a flying tankard. Benedict caught it and threw it back into the crowd. Tilda didn't see where it landed. She was too intent on reaching the door.

Benedict pulled it open and the three of them slipped through, out into the night.

Benedict and Jack moved off but Tilda's hem caught on a nail jutting out from the doorframe. She glanced inside and spotted Brick-head charging through the crowd, shoving people aside, heading straight for the door.

"Jack!" she shouted. He spun round but he was too far away and Brick-head was too close, almost upon her. She tore her dress free and hid behind the open door as Jack and Benedict ran back, bleak concern imprinted on their faces.

"You owe me," Brick-head yelled at Benedict from the other side of the open door to Tilda. "Hand her over."

Then he stepped forward into her line of sight. He glanced around, looking for her, just as Tilda stuck out her foot. Brick-head stumbled over it, straight onto the waiting fists of Jack and Benedict. Two solid punches each and Brick-head was on the ground, his eyes closed, his mouth open, blood trickling from his nose.

"You didn't say please," Tilda said to him.

Benedict laughed.

Jack glared at him then punched him in the stomach.

Benedict doubled over, gasping for air. "I suppose I deserved that."

Jack grabbed Tilda's hand and hauled her along the street. The gas lamps lining it glowed like shimmering moons, their light barely reaching the cobblestones. "You also deserve the half-rations and extra duties you'll be assigned," he said.

Benedict grunted but seemed to have recovered enough to keep up with the swift pace. Tilda gave him a sympathetic look but it was probably lost in the darkness.

"Next time gamble with something that's yours," Jack said. He squeezed Tilda's hand and pulled her close. He was warm and she could feel his hard muscles working beneath his shirt. She smiled to herself and squeezed back.


Guest post created for ...and a bottle o'rum event by CJ Archer
© 2011. All rights reserved.

CJ Archer is the author of...
The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate - Amazon | Smashwords
The Mercenary's Price - only 99 cents from Amazon | Smashwords
Honor Bound (The Witchblade Chronicles #1) - Amazon | Smashwords
Kiss Of Ash (The Witchblade Chronicles #2) - Amazon | Smashwords
A Secret Life (Lord Hawkesbury's Players #1) - Amazon | Smashwords

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by CJ Archer
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Read more about these characters here...

--~ Book Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate
by CJ Archer

signup to win this book

~-~~-~ ...and a bottle o'rum schedule ~-~~-~

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Images from: Lovelytocu