Tag Archives: romance

A Kidnapping – Part 1 of Revenge of the Siren Song

Revenge of the Siren Song

Danger and adventure await in this tale from the Golden Age of Piracy. As deadly as she is beautiful, Captain Grace O’Malley is not the only threat in the Caribbean. She must strike an alliance with an old flame in order to continue to ply her trade upon the tropical sea. But the burning passions of Liam O’Shea threaten to unravel all her plots and plans.

Chapter 1 – A Kidnapping

Liam O’Shea was first aware of the bright light suddenly shining in his face. That triggered a throbbing headache, which in turn reminded him of all the rum he’d consumed while wenching with a few members of his crew the night before. His instinct was to grab the tattered excuse for a coverlet and try to roll away from the sunlight. But when he did, he discovered a cold sharp blade against his exposed neck. He froze just as he was, his eyes still shut. A silky brush of hair tickled his face and the sweet scent of a woman tickled his nose.

A warm and sultry voice whispered in his ear. “Liam, your entire crew, to a man, is passed out drunk. I could kidnap you and take that sweet little boat of yours and no one would so much as raise a hand to stop me. What a pity.”

The hair brushed across his face again. All of the sudden everything went all black and sideways. Captain O’Shea’s head felt as though it would split open.

The second time he woke up, Liam was aware of his throbbing head more than the light streaming onto his face. His mouth was sticky dry, and the rest of his body ached almost as much as his head.

“Well, I see my guest is finally waking up,” cooed the same sultry voice from somewhere in the room.

Slowly Liam opened his eyes and realized that he wasn’t in the room he’d let for the night but in the captain’s cabin of a ship, a ship that was not his. He bolted upright and regretted the move as soon as he’d made it. Part of the regret was caused by his swimming head, but a better part of the regret was due to the flashing cutlass blade that was suddenly at his throat.

“Don’t be getting any bright ideas, Captain O’Shea. If you don’t behave yourself as a proper guest aboard my ship, I’ll be obliged to tie you up and treat you as my prisoner.”

Liam’s head quickly cleared, along with his vision. What came into focus was truly amazing to the shanghaied sailor. At the other end of a very sharp and deadly cutlass was a dangerously beautiful pirate queen. Shiny raven locks cascaded around her face and shoulders. Mysterious hazel eyes gazed penetratingly into his. A deliciously pouty mouth hovered just close enough to kiss, were it not for the blade between them.

“I would be a fool indeed to threaten harm to a captain aboard her own ship,” he smiled.

“You have been known to be a bigger fool at times,” she snapped as she withdrew her cutlass.

He took advantage of the moment she turned her eyes off of him and grabbed her up in his arms. He kissed her hard as he forced her body against the bulkhead. Holding her there with his hips, he trapped her wrists above her head. He burned his kisses upon her mouth, and his eyes went dark with passion. As he continued to kiss the bonny sea captain, he began to grind her into the wall with his hips. She did the only thing she could to get him off of her. She bit his lip, hard enough to draw a trickle of blood. Again, his instinct for self preservation gave her the advantage she needed. He let go of her wrists with one of his hands. She slipped from his loosened grip to grab the knife on her belt. Once again, Liam found himself on the wrong end of her blade.

“It would do you good to remember who’s ship you are aboard.”

“You seem to be quite adept at threatening me with sharp objects, but what do you really intend to do with that,” he asked as he licked the blood from his lip.

“Assert myself.”

“Really, now, and just what assertions would those be, lass,” he grinned knowing he’d unravelled her a bit.

“Men of the watch!!”

No sooner had she raised her voice than three huge men came busting into the cabin.

“My guest has yet to learn his place.  Put him in the brig until he cools off.  And don’t fail to use the robust irons,” she confidently ordered them.

“Oh, really, now.  Do ye not have the nerve to face me one on one?  Or are these to be our audience,” his Irish brogue grew thicker.

“My ship, my rules,” she breathed in his face.

“I do not think you will have to hold me down to kiss me back, lass.  And I doubt the likes of these could hold me long anyway,” he taunted her back as she walked away from him.  “Why, Jameson here, still owes me a pint o’ rum.  And not that swill he’s taken to drinking, either, a pint of the good stuff.”

The man holding down Liam’s right hand averted his eyes from his captain sheepishly.  Liam took advantage of the man’s embarrassment and, with a flick of his wrist, took the man’s knife from his belt and threatened the guard on his left with it.

“But, as you have already pointed out, this is not my ship and I’ll go, lass, but it will be because I have peacefully agreed to,” he said as he lowered the knife and handed it back to Jameson.

“Wise choice,” she growled.

“You intrigue me, ’tis true,” he flashed another smile her way.

“Watch and learn,” she said as she turned on her heels and exited the cabin.

The men dragged Liam out on to the deck right behind her.  She was already barking orders to the rest of her crew, so his captors just stood on deck with Liam in hand until she gave them further orders.

“Helmsman, turn us to the south.  I have a score to settle.  And someone see to it this fool learns some manners.”

“South, eh,” Liam chuckled to himself.

“Hoist the mainsail!  I want the wind in my face boys!”

“A main heading south in the warm coastal water off the Florida shore,” Liam began to ask a question.

“What is he still doing on my deck? Below with the bastard!”

After several hours alone in the bowls of the dark smelly hold, the lovely captain of the Siren Song finally visited her prisoner.

“Did you really think I’d tell you what was going on while you could still jump ship?  That American bitch is making trouble for us all.  And there’s no way any of my crew would believe you’d come along willingly.  Since you are the damned worst liar of a pirate I’ve ever met, you left me no choice but to kidnap you and explain later.”

“Stealing and sailing requires little lying, I’m afraid. And my eloquent, dulcet tones are lost on most,” Liam grinned.

“Trying them with me won’t work either,” she scowled.  “I assume your crew WILL eventually come looking for you?”

“Unless they suddenly don’t want their part of the treasure I’ve buried and horded, you can assume so.”

“That horde won’t be worth a damn if we don’t stop her.”

“I’m mostly all ears for you… Mostly.”

“And you she will hang from the yardarm and then burn you as look at you,” she continued without pause.  “What you ever saw in her I’ll never know.  But now that she’s added my ships to her merry little game,” she fumed.

“Look, what do you want me to say, Grace?  That I made a mistake?  I didn’t, not about her, anyway.  I made a lot of others since then, more than we have time to count. We both have.  But what can be done about it, now?  What do we have left that we can leverage to take vengeance?”

“She’s been playing both sides. She thinks she’s been so very clever.”

Liam nodded his head and asked, “So, what’s the plan?”

“I’m not so sure I should tell you yet. I need to assess your loyalty.”

“Is this an attempt to get me to swear an oath?  Or are you just going to let me voyage in irons till your suspicions of me wear thin?”

“Up to you, but I’m leaning towards the irons option.”

A smile spread across his face as his thoughts tumbled through what bawdy options the irons could provide.  “Just how do you intend to assess my loyalties?”

“Now would be a good time to prove your devotion.”

He stood up.  “And how would you have me do that?” he asked as he took as many steps forward as his chains would allow and stood so close a stiff wind would have made her touch him.  “Do you want me to drop to my knees, look up at you, and give you lip service?” he asked with a sly suggestive smile.

“Dinner,” she choked.  “We will talk.”

He walked back over to his tiny stool and sat down.  “Dinner it is.”

 Revenge of the Siren Song is available on Amazon.com in print and for Kindle.


Pirate Novella, Revenge of the Siren Song

That time is almost here … AT LAST!!!!  I am down to the last few scribbles on the manuscript and then it’s off to a few key people.  I have a retailer, two published authors, and a member of my target audience all set to read it and let me know what needs to be tweeked.  My plan is to have the work published in early November.

So, to celebrate, I’m sharing a preview of the book cover with you.

Cover Art Revenge of the Siren Song

I hope you are as excited as I am for the upcoming release.  More to come as the publishing day gets closer.

Pondering the Prompt

The NYCMidnight.com Flash Fiction Challenge continues this weekend.  After a month of waiting, the results of the first challenge are out and a new challenge is about to be issued.  Several of the writers I’ve gotten to know were very pleased with the way the first challenge went and are excited to get to writing again.

Currently a topic of discussion is the prompt.  What genre, setting, and object will we each be writing about this time?  What genre is each of the writers hoping to draw?

Personally, I could get excited about several genres.  At least I have ideas rattling around in my brain for several.

Science Fiction would be the top of my list, I think.  I’d like to explore some of the nuances of what it would be like to live with cybernetic limb replacements.

I think I could roll with a Political Satire, too.  I’m a bit of a pot-stirer, and I certainly have a firm grip on American political history.  Would be interesting to see what would happen when I put some unlikely people in a room together.

And then I got to thinking less about the genre and more about the object.  If I drew a Drama, I could certainly use the object as a “McGuffin” in the story.  Some of my favorite books and films use the “object of desire” device to great effect, like The Maltese Falcon or any of the Indiana Jones movies. 

A horror or ghost story would probably push me furthest out of my comfort zone, but I appreciate a challenge.  Could Ms. Hearts & Flowers pull off something scary?  Mmmmmmm…. could be….

Whatever the next writing challenge brings, you can be certain I’ll keep you posted.  For now I will try and be a good girl and wait for the prompt at midnight.

Dinner and Devotion — Part Two of Revenge of the Siren Song

Liam’s stomach was growling by the time Jameson came below decks. Hew as wearing a scowl on his face and carrying a bucket and an armful of linens.

“It’s about time someone remembered I was down here,” Liam growled. “What’s with the bucket?”

“Captain says you have to clean up before dinner,” Jameson growled back. “She won’t dine with smelly sailors, she says.”

“She wants me to bathe just to eat?”

“Aye, sir, and she sent me down with clean clothes, too.”

“Clean clothes and a bath? I think I’d rather starve.”

“Her ship, her rules, sir.”

“So she’s told me.”

“She’s waiting, sir. And if she has my hide lashed because you kept her waiting, you can forget that pint o’ rum I owe you.”

“I hate losing a good pint o’ rum far more than bathing. Hand it over.”

Jameson handed the captured captain the bucket and clothes and stood a respectful distance away. Once Liam was as respectable as he was ever going to be, Jameson unlocked the manacles and led him back to the captain’s cabin.

Dinner aboard the Siren Song was served in a manner to rival any table in London or Paris. Captain O’Malley’s steward had cleaned and rearranged the cabin to accommodate the mistress’ guest. Linens, china, crystal, and sliver adorned the table. The steward lit the last of the candles and decanted a bottle of fine red wine when Liam entered. As the steward was seating the bewildered captive, the captain entered from an adjoining chamber. Gone were the practical trappings of a pirate captain able to hold her own among the men of her crew. The mistress of the Siren Song was dressed for dinner in a rich velvet gown and gold brocade bodice. Her wild raven hair had been pinned up, exposing the long line of her neck and the graceful curve of her shoulders. Around her neck was hung a handsomely crafted emerald necklace, as dainty gold earrings swung merrily from her ears. No lady in all her finery could match Captain Grace O’Malley for her beauty. And no man could defend himself against it.

“I think I like you better in your sailing clothes. At least I understand the rules of engagement under those circumstances,” Liam said as she seated herself across the table.

“Are you telling me that you do not understand the rules of good manners at a civilized table?”

“Since when have I ever been civilized?”

“Fair enough.” Turning to her steward she added, “you may begin serving.”

For a time they sat quietly and ate. Liam very carefully followed her step by step through the courses. Although not a word was said, the strategic contest was begun.

“You catch on quickly, O’Shea,” she smiled.

“Your ship, your rules, m’ lady.”

She raised her glass to him, “well said.”

“Would it be rude of me to ask at this point why I was shanghaied?”

“As I said before, I’m not certain I can trust you.”

“Then why involve me and my crew at all?”

“Because Captain Shireland has managed to secure the protections of the British Royal Navy. I cannot protect myself from her and them all on my own,” she was loath to admit.

“So I became a necessary evil,” he smiled.

“It is to your benefit to stop her as much as it is mine.”
“Maybe . . . Maybe not. Thus far she’s left me well enough alone.”

“And how would you calculate your benefit if you knew that the British agreed to this happy little arrangement with the scheming captain of the Ocean’s Whore because she assured them that she could bring them your head on a platter? It would seem you’ve been taking a great deal of taxable goods off the colonial market lately.”

“Hell truly doth have no fury like a woman scorned, then.”

They both lapsed into thoughtful silence as they picked at their meal. Liam had no doubts that if Captain O’Malley had gone to the effort to track him down and take him, that things were very bit as dire as she had indicated, knowing her, more likely far worse than she let on. She really had left him with no other choice but to offer to aid her and her men in any way he could.

As he looked up to address her, he noticed her glass was empty. The steward had left the cabin to get their next course from the galley. “Would you care for another glass of wine, m’ lady?” he asked, breaking the silence.

“Yes, thank you.”

Liam rose and retrieved the decanter of wine from the steward’s serving table and did his best to pout out just as the steward had. Just as he had the glass half full, he allowed his eyes to wander. They landed on the pair of full creamy mounds rising from her bodice. That steward was not only one of the luckiest men aboard ship, but he must have also had nerves of cannon iron to carry out his duties with such distractions, Liam thought to himself as he allowed the wine to overflow her glass.

“O’Shea, there is nothing to see there that is worth wasting such fine Italian wine,” Grace broke into his reverie.

“Sweet Mother Mary and all the saints,” Liam muttered to himself, “I’m sorry, Grace. Did I spill any on you?” He started to reach for her lap to check when she slapped his hand away.

“Really, Liam, do you think I would fall for such a juvenile lubber’s trick?”

“Not at all, m’ lady,” he reverted back to formalities. “My mind was elsewhere.” To quickly cover himself, he added, “how did you know so much about my recent activities, anyway?”

“Simple, Captain O’Shea, I have found that a few gold coins are much better spent on eyes and ears anywhere I may make port than on rum and pleasurable company. As a matter of fact, more often than not, information now comes looking for me.”


“What I cannot seem to get at any price, though, is the kind of detailed information that would only be found aboard the Ocean’s Whore.”

“You mean the kind of information that would convince the British authorities that a certain ally was double crossing them?”


“And you have designs on how to get such information?”

“Have you ever known me not to have a plan?”

“No doubt at all that you are the finest schemer your fair sex ever purported to be, but have you thought it completely through?”

“Watch it that you don’t turn your bow right into a storm, O’Shea.”

“My apologies, Captain, if I have run afoul, but I do recall many planning sessions full of passion and energy, give and take. I was merely endeavoring to recall those days, mistress.”

Captain O’Malley drew a slow calming breath. She had missed those days herself of late. The strain of operating her normal business and avoiding her new enemies was taking a toll on her. She had begun snapping at anyone that got in her way like a foul humored sea turtle. She needed to unwind and relieve some of that tension.

“If I may be so bold, I do recall a trick or two that always inspired you,” Liam purred as his brogue grew thick. “Often times a pleasant distraction from the thoughts tumbling through your head is just the thing to sort them all out,” he continued as he began to pet her hand that was resting on the table.

She closed her eyes and drew another deep breath. She did not move or speak to stop him. He trailed his fingertips lightly up her hand, across her wrist, and all the way up her arm. She did not move, but sat there very still, eyes closed, taking in every slight sensation. He stood up and walked around the back of her dining chair, making certain not to break the physical contact he had established. Drawing his fingertips up her shoulder and onto her neck, he began to stroke and massage the tight little muscles he found there. Her warm sweet scent lingered around her like the heat of a candle flame. One deep breath of her stirred his desire for more than just a chaste gentle touch. With both hands resting on her shoulders, he bent down to her and kissed the base of her neck. A soft sigh escaped her. He trailed kisses and nibbles up the column of her neck into her hairline and then back down the to the other shoulder. As a measure of tension left her body, her head lolled forward and to one side. She was becoming warm clay to be molded in his hands.

The pile of warm hair atop her head drew his attention. He ran his fingers from her neck up into her hair along her scalp. To his rough and calloused hands, it was like a soft pile of fine silk ribbon. He gently pulled out each little pin he found as he stroked her head, until it all came tumbling down in a cascade of midnight waves washed in the shimmering moonlight of a cloudless night. She released a deeper sigh and relaxed her back against the chair.

Then he took a firm grip of her chair and turned and pulled her away from the table. She looked up into his face, and he was lost in to mysteries of her hazel eyes. As he leaned closer to her face, she wrapped her small hands around his scruffy jaw and pulled his mouth to hers. They shared a long sweet kiss, before he pulled away from her.

He sat in the floor at her feet and removed her soft brocade slippers to pay homage to her feet. At first he just rubbed and caressed, drawing more of the long held tension from her body. As she relaxed a little more, he drew a foot up to his face and began to kiss her toes. Once he had satisfied himself with that, he hiked her heel up onto his shoulder and began to kiss his way up the inside of her leg from her ankle. As he worked he way closer to her knee, he continued to push and roll the soft velvet skirt ahead of him, exposing more and more of her legs.

The steward returned to her cabin and could hear her softly moaning on the other side of the door. He was loath to enter, but was carrying two large platters of fresh fruit and cream and could not return to the galley with them without explanation, so he quietly entered the cabin. To his mortal shame, he realized that he would not be able to traverse the cabin and set down the fruit without disturbing them. He feared he had no choice but to stand quietly in the shadows of the nearby bulkhead and wait.

Then the lady found her words again. “Oh, yes, that’s it,” she purred. “Oh . . . ,” and then she paused, for out of the sweet oblivion came a spark of thought. “Oh, yes, that’s it!” All the sudden she bolted upright. “That’s it, that’s it!” she continued to exclaim, even though Liam sat in the middle of the floor, disengaged from her and looking like a bewildered mess. Then she spotted the steward waiting in the corner of the cabin.

“We are done here. Please clear away the dinner and show Captain O’Shea to his quarters. I have work to do.”

And with no further words to either man, she stalked back to her adjoining cabin.

The steward just shrugged, put the platters down on the table, and lead Liam to his sleeping quarters down below.

He’s Such a Nice Guy – for NYCMidnight’s Flash Fiction Challenge

“Good morning, gorgeous,” I could hear the familiar voice calling from the front of the shop.

Steve always stopped by with something fresh from the farm to share before the day got busy. I sat the tea-pot on the hot plate and went out to say hello.

“What’s fresh today, my friend? Tomatoes, cucumber, little green onions?”

“I thought I’d drop by with something special,” Steve smiled.

It was a full and genuine smile that crinkled a bit around blue eyes glittering with mischief. A sweet exotic fragrance was just beginning to fill the shop when Steve presented me with a huge bunch of star-gazer lilies.

“It’s certainly no watermelon,” I gasped and greedily snapped them from him.

I could happily paint myself in bright orange pollen to be able to bury my face in a bunch of star-gazers.

“What brought this on,” I asked

“Nothing much, really,” Steve continued to smile. “The sun was shining, the surf was up, and I felt like sharing a bit of the Creator’s handiwork with you today.”

To say the least, Steve was anything but typical. Sure the sun bleached long hair, deep tan, and lean body fit in just fine on the Pacific Shores boardwalk. But, he was also a bit of a hippie and ran an organic produce store next to my surf shop. His store’s success was due more to his magnetic personality than anyone’s particular desire for fresh green beans. Everybody loved the philosophical purveyor of produce. There was never a shortage of women next door, which certainly was a good excuse for the guys to come in and browse through the boards and gear in my shop.

Something in his demeanor was different, more intense, that morning. I felt drawn to him. He put his hands about my waist and pulled me close to his side.

“Danielle,” he whispered, “close up the shop and run away with me for the day.” His suggestion was warm and sultry on the back of my neck. “The day is going to be incredibly beautiful. If you step out on the boardwalk, you can hear the song of the surf. Why stay indoors, doing what we can do any day? Carpe Diem, Danielle. Let’s seize today and live the way the Creator intended, in tune with His creation.” He sealed the suggestion on my skin with a velvety kiss.

The thought was so powerful, I was nearly breathless. I turned in his arms to face him.

“But, Steve,” I started to object, but he covered my mouth in his and kissed the life out of the objection.

Releasing the kiss he backed away only as far as the ends of our noses. “I have fresh mangos and strawberries, dark chocolate, and champagne. Come lay on the beach and celebrate the day with me,” he purred softly against my lips.

My body began to give in to the deep caressing strokes he ran along my back. My lips fell again upon his and a consuming passion ignited.

Then a sharp angry whistling noise began assaulting my ears. Steve walked in the door just as I lifted my chin from my palm.

“Good morning, gorgeous. Daydreaming so early?” He was carrying a small crate of mangos. “I wasn’t kidding yesterday when I told you about my mango tree,” his smile caused the skin around his eyes to crinkle.

It was then that I realized it was the tea-pot screaming, about to boil over. I scurried back to take it off the hot plate.

“I need to get back to the store, Danielle. Come by for lunch later,” he called as he set the brass bell above the surf shop door jingling on his way out.

“He’s such a nice guy,” I thought to myself. “Someday I should tell him what all the daydreams have been about.