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Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Adventure and Passion Await in The Blood Reaver! @barbara_devlin #HistoricalRomance



Sail ho! There’s another ship on the horizon and another incredible pirate tale to go with it! A big congrats to USA Today bestselling author, Barbara Devlin on the release of The Blood Reaver (Pirates of Britannia Book 6)!

Ready your sea legs because adventure and passion await!

About the book…

After her father and her older brother die of an infectious fever, and an unscrupulous sea captain abandons Rose Armistead in Port Royal, Jamaica, she must find safe passage home. When she meets a handsome mariner with his own ship, in an establishment of ill repute, she pays him to carry her, her mother, and her younger brother to Charles Town. But the man she considers her savior hides a dark secret, and it may destroy her. Can Rose accept her man’s true identity and find love?

When a beautiful woman walks into the most notorious brothel in Port Royal, Turner Reyson, a cunning pirate known as the Blood Reaver, offers his assistance, because he wants her in his bunk, but he conceals the nature of his business, as he casts off. At sea, Rose displays a peculiar ability to spot prize and booty, and his suspicious crew declares her the Lady of Fortune, which places her in a perilous position, when they insist on keeping her aboard ship. Playing two sides of the same coin, Turner must win his woman or risk mutiny, which would endanger her and her family. Can the Blood Reaver save Rose?

A guaranteed great adventure in this Pirates of Britannia novel!

Scoop up your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Also available at iTunes

Chapter One

March, 1680

It was not the most ideal introduction, to meet a beautiful young woman at the wrong end of a three-barrel flintlock pistol, which she stole from an unoccupied table, while the owner got his nutmegs sucked.  Garbed in a fancy blue dress, with a matching ruffled contraption on her head, she did not belong in one of the most violent brothels in Port Royal.  Biting her bottom lip, she adjusted the gun in her grip, belying the fact that she possessed little if any experience with weapons, and crept further into the whorehouse.

“Hello.”  Her hand shook, as she took aim at the crowd, in general.  “I do not wish to be rude or cause trouble, but someone stole my trunk, which was sitting in front of this fine establishment, while I asked for directions, and I would like the return of my belongings, please.”

A fiddler screeched a bawdy tune, as several cup-shots took a flyer with a rough collection of three-penny uprights, in the back.  At the bar, Turner Reyson, a pirate known on the high seas as the Blood Reaver, studied the pretty bit o’ fluff, while everyone else ignored her, downed his rum, dragged his sleeve across his mouth, and navigated the tables, to get a closer look at his potential prey, given he had yet to fill his bed.  Just as he drew near, she cocked the pistol, pointed toward the ceiling, closed her eyes, scrunched her face, and pulled the trigger.

The shot echoed, and she started and shrieked, as quiet fell on the bordello.

Halting in his tracks, he snickered and waited to see what she did for an encore, but if she were half as spirited between the sheets, he would be a happy man.

“I beg your pardon.”  She cleared her throat, as he moved behind her, for close inspection.  From beneath her bonnet, he spied sweet little brown curls at the nape of her neck, and his fingertips itched to toy with a thick lock.  “I am so sorry to disturb you, but I must have my things.”  She stepped forward, and Turner splayed his arms to part his fellow buccaneers.  “Now, my mother and my brother wait for me, outside, and I cannot leave without recovering my property.”

“Watch out, men.”  Turner chuckled, given the chit’s moxie.  “I would rather set sail on a Friday, with a Jonah, than tangle with an armed, angry woman.”  To hoots and hollers, he raised his hands.  “Come on, swabs, humor the little lady.”

In unison, the motely crew of raiders and whores parodied his stance and howled with laughter.

“But, I am serious.”  She peered over her shoulder, and he glimpsed glorious blue eyes and lush red lips he could not wait to sample.  “I must recover my trunk.”  She waved the pistol in the air.  “Whoever took it should be ashamed, because it is wrong to steal.”

“Can you describe the item in question?” a grey-haired salt asked, in a mocking timbre.

“Yes.”  The pistol fired, and she screamed, when a lantern shattered above the bar, and Red Doyle, the bartender, ducked for cover, along with everyone else.  In that moment, she glanced at Turner.  “Did I do that?”

“Aye.”  He nodded and bit his tongue against a guffaw, as she struggled with the weight of the weapon, and he did not want her angry with him.  “Be careful, before you hurt yourself or someone else.”

“Oh, dear.”  With a lethal pout, which he wagered could bring the most ornery pirate to his knees, she addressed Doyle.  “I hope you are all right, but I seek my trunk, which is made of camphor wood, with red painted leather, featuring floral motifs, and the initials RA on the top.”

“Lady, Skip Peterson has it, and he’s over there.”  Doyle pointed to the offending party, and she marched forth, with Turner in her wake.  “He’s the one in the floppy black hat.”

“Aw, come on, Doyle.”  Perched atop the trunk in question, Skip pounded his fist on the table.  “Finders, keepers.”

“How dare you take my things.”  The fascinating creature stomped a foot.  “You could at least display a modicum of contrition, because you stole my trunk, and I insist you give it back, this instant.”

“Oh?”  Skip stood and rotated to face her.  “Who is going to make me?”  He surveyed her from top to toe, and Turner could almost read the thief’s thoughts.  “You?”

“Peterson, carry the trunk outside, and put it where you found it.”  Turner folded his arms.  “Now.”

“I didn’t know she was with you, Reyson.”  Peterson scratched his temple and shuffled his feet.  Then he smacked another tar.  “Here, now.  Give me a hand with the lady’s trunk.”

“You swiped it.”  The burley swab chuckled.  “So, you may ask my arse, because it is not worth the fight.”

“Oh, all right.”  With a grimace, Peterson hefted the fancy coffer.  “Where do you want it?”

“Where I left it.”  Despite her frippery, the wench showed courage, as she tapped her foot.  “And have care with my property, as the trunk was a gift from my father.”

“My lady, I am your most humble servant.”  Of course, Peterson taunted her, but she appeared oblivious.  “What else do you require?  Shall I wipe your—”

“Please, do not be crude, as I would conclude this most irksome business, posthaste.”  At the entrance, Peterson continued outside, but she paused, set the weapon on the table, from where she claimed it, faced the crowd, and smiled.  “Thank you, so much, for your cooperation.  You have been very kind.”

To Turner’s disgust, a couple of buccaneers actually stood and saluted her.  As she stepped into the sunlight, a cheer erupted from the brothel, and he cursed under his breath.

At the roadside, a portly woman withered beneath a frilly parasol and fanned herself, while a young lad lingered at her side, and both eyed Turner with a healthy dose of scrutiny absent in their fetching relation, to her detriment, because he presented a very real threat to her.

Without acknowledgement, Peterson dumped the chest and brushed past Turner, and he gave his attention to the skirt.

“I see you found your things.”  The scamp scowled at Turner.  “Who is this gentleman?”
“I am no gentleman.”  Turner actually took offense to the mere suggestion, as it left a foul taste in his mouth.  “And you should not insult me, when I extended my support to the lady.”

“Oh, I almost forgot about you.”  She blinked.  Now that hurt, because he had no trouble filling his bunk.  “Clinton, mind your manners, because this gentle—nice man supported my cause, and I owe him a debt of gratitude, which we are honor-bound to discharge.”

“I have no interest in your gratitude or your honor.”  At the end of his tether, Turner folded his arms, planted his feet, and wondered how long it would take him to get between her thighs.  “Well, are you going to tell me your name, or am I to guess?”

“Forgive my impudence, sir, but it has been a rather taxing day, and I am a tad out of sorts.”  She squared her shoulders.  “I am Rose Armistead, this is my mother, Bettine Armistead, and this is my brother, Clinton Armistead.  We are pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“I am not.”  Clinton narrowed his stare.  “And I shall be hanged before I claim otherwise.”

Clinton.”  As her cheeks shaded red, Rose compressed her lips and then met Turner’s gaze.  “My apologies, as my brother has been unwell and is still recovering.  To whom do I owe my thanks, good sir?”

“I am neither good nor a sir, and you would do well to remember that.”  Just as he prepared to inform her of his true occupation, he reconsidered his tack, given his pirate name would inspire more fear than confidence.  “I am Captain Turner Reyson.”

“A captain?”  Rose clasped her hands beneath her chin and bounced on her toes.  “Can it be possible that fortune smiles upon us, after our difficulties, of late?  Are you by chance master of a ship, Captain Reyson?”

“Aye.”  He nodded once, more than a little confused by her expression, as he revisited the niceties and the proper address she would expect from a regular seaman.  “I command the Malevolent, Miss Armistead.”

“Mama, our prayers are answered.”  To his surprise, Rose briefly clasped his forearm and then withdrew.  “Captain Reyson, might I hire you to take us home, to Charles Town, in His Majesty’s Province of Carolina?  I can pay you well.”

“I am not a transport service, Miss Armistead, though I might be persuaded.”  In truth, the idea appealed to him, because a lot could happen in the close confines of his brigantine, and he needed the money, but there was another reason that swayed his position.  If he sailed north, he could launch a surprise attack, given most pirates embarked from the south, on a galleon loaded with gold, bearing east from the Spanish Main.  “First, I would know how you arrived in Port Royal, because you do not belong here.  And if I were to deliver you home, what would you pay me?”

“Ours is a sad tale, Captain Reyson.”  With her hand, she shielded her face, and he admired her flawless skin of pure ivory.  “My family journeyed to Alicante, so my father could open new trade relationships for Charles Town.  During our stay, he became ill with an infectious fever, which later struck my elder brother, and both perished.”

“I am sorry to hear that.”  Given the vast markets exchanged in the Spanish port city, he concluded her family must possess great wealth, which further stimulated his interest.  “So, what brought you here?”

“Although my father arranged return passage, we missed the departure, due to his failing condition, and I was left to secure alternative travel for myself, my mother, and my younger brother, after burying our loved ones, in Spain.  On the recommendation of an acquaintance, we hired Captain Donat.”  With a trembling chin, and a furrowed brow, she frowned.  “After paying full fare, for three passengers, we set sail aboard the Sea Serpent.  A sennight into the voyage, we discovered the captain carried human cargo, which we do not support, so he put us off in Port Royal, while he conducted business, and refused to refund any portion of our money.  Thus, we are at your mercy, and I beg you to consider my request.”

“What did Donat charge to deliver you from Alicante to Charles Town?”  Turner mulled the possibilities and associated cost.  Since he missed his last mark, due to foul weather, he had to find something to satisfy his crew’s thirst for booty.  “And what sort of accommodations do you require, because options are limited aboard the Malevolent.”

“We will take whatever you provide and be glad of it, Captain Reyson.”  Rose reached for her mother’s hand.  “And we paid five pounds sterling, each, for myself and for my mother, and two pounds and ten shillings for Clinton, as is the usual rate, or so I am told.  However, I am unwilling to pay more than half, up front, given Captain Donat took advantage of us, so I shall remit the remainder of our fare upon our arrival in Charles Town.”

“You are a shrewd negotiator, Miss Armistead.”  As much as he hated to admit it, she gained a measure of respect, because she did not cower in the face of adversity.  Where most women would cry and yield to hysterics, in similar circumstances, Rose simply sought another course of action, which included the none-too-smart but audacious invasion of a whorehouse rife with cutthroats and pirates.  “Allow me to suggest the Port Royal Inn, where you can take rooms for the night and enjoy a decent meal.  In the morning, meet me at the docks.”

“Does that mean you will help us?”  Given her smile, there was little he would not do for her, and he promised to weigh anchor in her, no doubt, uncharted territory, before the journey’s end.  “You will take us home?”

Inclining his head, he winked.  “Miss Armistead, you got yourself a ship.”

Scoop up your copy at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Kobo.


Also available at iTunes 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Twists, Turns & Love on the High Seas in The Sea Lyon. @HildieMcQueen #Historicalromance



Ahoy, mate! Another Pirates of Britannia tale has arrived! A HUGE congrats to USA Today Bestselling Author, Hildie McQueen on the release of The Sea Lyon! 

Batten down the hatches and ready your sea legs for a sweeping romance you won't soon forget!

About THE SEA LYON

Reputed to be ruthless and feared, pirate Captain Dorian Lyon McAlpin rules over the seas along with his crew of cutthroats aboard his ship, The Mawdelyn. When he chances being caught to see his dying mother, his life takes a drastic turn. Fate brings him face to face the one woman who destroyed his life. It seems the opportunity for revenge is sometimes served on a silver platter.

Running for her life with her infant son, Ileana MacTavish is forced to depend on pirates of all people in order stay alive. With the future uncertain, she demands an audience with the captain of The Mawdelyn. What she doesn’t expect is to find the man who not only hates her, but also is more lethal than the danger she’s running from.

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo
Also available on iTunes.

Note: This is part of the Piratesof Britannia Connected World

Please check out the other books in the series:

Savage of the Sea by Eliza Knight
Leader of Titans by Kathryn Le Veque
The Sea Devil by Eliza Knight
Sea Wolfe by Kathryn Le Veque

Excerpt from The Sea Lyon

“Come with me.” Kevin had appeared at the entryway, his large body blocking the view out. “Captain MacAlpin will see ye.”

Ileana’s stomach tumbled. She feared getting sick, but she managed to stand on wobbly feet. She smoothed her skirts with both hands and then pushed loose tendrils of hair back into her loose knot. “Very well.”

Lifting her chin a notch, she followed after the tall pirate who had to bend over at every exit. She wondered at the captain, if he were tall or not. It was silly to have such musings at a time like this. However, anything was better than shaking like a leaf.

They arrived at a door and Kevin knocked before leading her into an interior that took her breath away. The space was lavish, the likes of which she’d never seen.

On the floor were thick, decorated rugs so plush her feet sunk into them, to one side was a dark wooden table with intricately carved legs. Upon it, rested parchment and a lamp. There was oil paintings on the walls she was sure were done by master artists. A huge, four-poster bed with plush bedding took her attention next. A fur was thrown atop it. Standing sideways, with his face shadowed, stood a man just as tall as Kevin. With auburn waves that fell to the center of his back and thick, muscular arms straining the fabric of his tunic, she automatically knew he was the Sea Lyon.

She narrowed her eyes in an attempt to get a better look at him. But he’d placed himself strategically so that she could not.

“Missus MacTavish. I am told ye wish to speak to me.”

His voice was deep and gruff, like a man not used to long sentences.

She cleared her throat. “Yes, well ye see, I am found to be in distress due to…”

He cut her off by lifting a hand. The sparkling jewel on his middle finger took her attention. “Spare me the details of how ye came to be here.”

“I require passage to England. I wish to raise my son with the help of my friend, Lily, once there.”

He didn’t reply. Instead, he raked his hand through the long tresses and seemed lost in thought. Ileana looked to Kevin, but the man had lowered to a chair and seemed preoccupied with the ceiling.

“I can pay. Although not much, but ye can have everything.”

“Everything? Interesting proposition, Missus MacTavish.”

The way he said her name was as if he hated her. It didn’t make sense, of course, since they’d never met. Once again, she attempted to get a good look at him.

“Kevin, see that the lady remains here. I must see about something.”

Finally looking to her, Kevin took her by the arm and guided her to a chair, blocking her from seeing the captain as he stalked out the door.

“Why didn’t he reply?” She attempted to get around the man, but he held her arm. “Please tell him to return. I did not get to tell him how important this is to me.”

Kevin softened his hold when she collapsed into the chair. “He is aware. Give him time to ponder.”

With that, Kevin, too, left and she found herself alone. It confused her that the captain trusted enough to leave her alone in his quarters. Interesting. However, there was nowhere she could go if she dared to leave with any of his belongings.

After what seemed like an hour, she stood and walked about the space. He lived quite extravagantly. However, there was little in the way of personal effects.

Other than beverages and what looked to be herbs of some sort, there was nothing that made the space feel like someone’s home. It was hard to explain, although it was so well-appointed. Between the art and the furniture, there were few who could boast to live as well. Yet, something was missing. Somehow, she knew this was not to his taste.

The man had a Scottish accent and, as such, he should have preferred tapestries and a tartan of some sort added to the room. No, instead, it was as if the space belonged to someone without pride in his ancestry.

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Also available on iTunes.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

When Friends Become Something More. Promised to a Highland Laird. #timetravel



Waving hello! I always say I’m busy writing but this time it’s tenfold with three upcoming releases by summer. Expect one more Highlander book in May, then my contribution to the Pirates of Britannia series in June, then a brand new Viking book by August.

Before I go any further let’s talk contests! Thanks so much to everybody who participated in December’s holiday contests. What a blast! A huge congrats to Joy for winning the $50 gift card and Christine for winning the $75 gift card. So what’s on the agenda for giveaways this month? Again, I’m keeping it simple. For a chance to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards, answer the following questions. What is the title of the first book in my upcoming series Viking Ancestors: Rise of the Dragon and who are its hero and heroine? Both answers are located on my Website. Please email the answers to Sky@SkyPurington.com, subject line- VIKINGS. Two winners chosen!

All right, down to business. Today’s book release! Graham and Christina were an absolute delight to write about and likely my most upbeat couple to date. Well, as upbeat as you can be when you’re battling the English, facing otherworldly evil and trying to save Scotland. Nevertheless, I hope they make you smile as much as they did me. So until next time...Happy Reading y'all! 

BLURB

Christina has made her own way for as long as she can remember and juggled men for even longer. The love ‘em and leave ‘em type, she finally said goodbye to Virginia, moved to Maine, and made a fresh start. Or so she thought until her best friends were pulled back in time. Better yet, when a stubborn Claddagh ring on her finger declares she can run but can’t hide. Not when it comes to men from medieval Scotland.

First-in-command of MacLomain Castle, Graham MacLomain has more secrets than most and wants nothing to do with a lass from the future. Especially not one who is promised to King Robert the Bruce. Yet the moment he makes contact with Christina before she travels back in time, he is drawn to her. Soon enough, despite his own commitments and a life that can never include her, he’s eager to be by her side.

Friends from the start, Graham and Christina devise a plan to pretend true love found them. Now they can discreetly dodge destiny and follow their own paths. The only problem? Destiny is unavoidable. Passion sparks and love ignites. Days before the Battle of Bannockburn, they’ll have to face the truth and make a heartbreaking choice. Give in to how they truly feel and destroy all those they care about or turn away, and save Scotland from ultimate ruin.

Available now at Amazon

Sneak Peek Excerpt…


He couldn’t stop a smile if he tried. Where had she been all his life? Clearly not in medieval Scotland.

“Aye, lass.” He nodded and kept smiling. “I would verra much like us to be honest with each other.”

“So would I.” Her eyes lingered on his for a moment, her smile just as wide as she nodded then looked ahead again. “Good, I’m glad we got all that awkward stuff out of the way.”

Graham nodded and kept grinning. About the last thing he expected to find when he traveled to the future was a lass like Christina. It almost seemed too good to be true. She was most certainly the one that should be meant for him, and he said as much. “So will ye travel back in time with me, lass?” He gestured at the ring. “Will ye agree to be mine so we can ignite the gem’s magic, and defeat our warlock?”

Christina stopped short, a hint of amusement in her narrowed eyes. “Are you tryin’ to skip all the fun stuff to get to the boring stuff?”

“The fun stuff to get to the boring stuff?” More confused by the moment, he cocked his head. “Shouldn’t it be skip the fun stuff to get to the better stuff?”

“Not in my experience.” She chuckled, following his meaning. “Though I’ll say up front I’m happy that it has been for you.” That same smirk still hovered on her lips. “So there’s been nothing but flirting, fun, happiness and then great sex with all your women, huh?”

Maybe not now but most certainly at one time. So he kept being honest.

“Aye.” He winked. “Verra good sex.”

“Hmm.” She twisted her lips and eyed him up and down with appreciation again. “I really do get it.”

They met each other’s smiles, not a bit of discomfort between them as they discussed things that would be entirely inappropriate with any lass from his time. More than that, anything he would ever talk so casually about with a lass he just met.

“So back to fun stuff not becoming better stuff betwixt us as we move forward together and try to save my country.” He considered her. “Are ye up for it, lass?”

She seemed to contemplate it as she continued eying him. “So let me get this straight. You want to skip all the love and sex and see if we can get out of this ring-binding thing while we pretend to be together?”

“More the pity on the sex part but aye,” he said. “What about ye? Do ye want to move forward with me and take control of our own destiny rather than have anyone or,” he glanced at her ring, “anything dictate it for us?”

She crossed her arms over her ample enough chest and tapped her foot as she thought about it. “Y’know what, Graham, I reckon I do.” She shook her head. “But can it be done? Can we be together without actually being together?”

“I think ‘tis best that we give it a try.” He nodded, more sure of this quickly hatched plan by the moment. “Just as long as ye realize we cannae truly be together.”

“That sounds doable.” Yet he saw the curiosity in her eyes. “So what gives? Are you in love with someone your kin has forbidden?” Her eyes rounded in intrigue. “Secretly married?”

“Is it so important to know?” He remained perfectly honest with her. “Because I would rather not share quite yet.” Graham issued his most charming smile. “Right now, ‘twould be best if, by the time we return to the house, we could say we’re smitten and desire one another.” He shook his head. “And no one else.”



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