The Wild Pirate Island of TortugaFrom my first visit to the Caribbean, I was hooked. I love the culture, the sway of steel drum bands, the colorful cottages, the turquoise waters, soft sand, sun, delicious seafood, rum beverages…and wild pirate lore.
Two years ago, when I moved to the Tampa area, I was delighted to feel the vibe of the Caribbean seeping into the local atmosphere, and it inspired me to write. The result is my new book Tears on a Tranquil Lake.
One of my favorite settings in the book takes place on the Haitian island of Tortuga, a wild pirate hangout during the 1600s. While Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies paint it as a somewhat mythical place, it did really serve from 1640 to 1684 as a neutral hideout for pirate ships and storage of their booty.
While researching the history of the island, I learned some interesting bits of information. Although the island was known to the native tribes, the Taino, and formed a landing for Christopher Columbus in 1493, it wasn’t used as permanent settlement until Spanish and French pirates claimed it for their own uses. Various European governments then attempted to control the island. The French government built Fort de Rocher, and a Spanish army tried to overthrow that effort. The British entered the mix, and amid such indecision, the pirates easily commanded authority with their natural barbaric style.
By 1640, the pirates using Tortuga as a home port called themselves the Brethren of the Coast. Eventually, the various governments devised ways to deal with or control the pirates’ wild lifestyles so the island could be inhabited by civilized peoples. The French governor even imported 1,650 prostitutes, hoping to lure the lascivious buccaneers into respectable, settled lifestyles with family commitments. Hard to believe! Seems to me like giving candy to lustful pirates wouldn’t have given them reason to want a full meal. After a few years, the French government realized their error and attempted more successful business deals with the pirates, hiring them to serve as naval strike-force backup. Money provided a better hold on the Tortuga pirate community than sex!
Come enjoy some unbridled licentiousness and hedonism in Tears on a Tranquil Lake with the main character, a mermaid named Ciel, as she discovers the pleasures and vices of that magical island.
What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid.
Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic.
Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery. When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex -- he is her soul mate.
Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness.
Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalliwag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.
On deck, a conga drummer joined the musicians from two nights ago, entertaining us with some lively salsa tunes. The deck hands sang and shouted, rhythmically pulling at the rigging on the halyards, raising and lowering sails that propelled the ship out of the Bay.
With so many distractions onboard I failed to pay attention to sights the ship passed. Only when a large rock formation came astern on the portside did I see Meris seated on its peak, level with the schooner’s deck. He looked regal with his muscular flipper draped across the rocks and his emerald green tail fin fanned out wide, glistening in the sunlight.
I held out an arm and he lifted his open palm up to me. I bent far over the gunwale, wanting desperately to bridge the short distance. Forgetting everything except my desire to be with him I leaned farther, somehow believing I could swim through the air to reach him.
“No, Ciel! Stop!” Meris shouted.
Immediately, arms grasped me tight at my waist and pulled me back behind the railing, and then I perceived the dangers below. I would have fallen perilously near the hull, or crashed upon rocks in the narrow passageway. I glanced behind to see Black Sam holding me.
“No, lass, ye can’t dive here.”
Undaunted, I turned my attention back to Meris, whose position passed away from me as the schooner progressed. I squirmed free from Sam, and moved aft as quickly as I could, using the gunwale for support. Our bond throbbed within my heart.
Marsha A. Moore is a romantic and a writer of fantasy romance/soft erotica. She loves being creative and enjoying the creativity of others in all art forms. Her other artistic pursuits include watercolor painting and drawing. She moved from Toledo to Tampa in 2008 and is happily transforming into a Floridian. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and loving it. She’s also a yoga enthusiast and never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand.