Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Guest post by Sandra Sookoo + Giveaway

Every decent historical romance fan loves pirate heroes (and those who don't have simply just not come across THE ONE who will irrevocably change their mind ;-), so it is my great pleasure to welcome today to Ex Libris Sandra Sookoo who stops by today to tell us a bit more about her recent release: Act of Pardon and its hero Adrian, a pirate! Please give her a warm welcome and don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win a terrific prize! :-)

The Life of a Pirate
by Sandra Sookoo

Thank you for having me on your blog today. For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Sandra Sookoo and I write romantic fiction across a wide variety of genres and heat levels.

Today, I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects: pirates.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by a few things: dinosaurs, fairy tales and pirates. So I suppose it was only natural that when I became a writer, I’d pen tales featuring all of the above. Well, I’ve written the fairy tales and I’ve written pirates. I’ve read widely about the dinosaurs (still trying to figure out how to write about them in a romance) Yet… my heart always returns to the pioneers and rogues of the seas. There’s just something about the men who used to swagger around the decks of their ship with no rules or morals between them. If I had a time machine, I’d definitely dial up one of those ships to observe what exactly happened during the battles for their lives. I want to know how they really lived, how they loved and what they talked about during those long voyages chasing down bounty.

And above all, I’m dying to know if there really was much of a difference between a pirate and a privateer.

ACT OF PARDON features one of the best heroes I’ve ever written—and, of course, he’s a pirate. Captain Adrian Westerbrooke is a hard, harsh man who doesn’t give in to anyone else’s dictates. His law and will are what matters on the Lady Catherine. If folks don’t follow the rules, usually death is in store.

However, it takes a strong woman to defy—and build up—such a man. A hero like that needs someone who has a tougher mettle than a debutante or a shrinking violet. Sarah is just that—plus she wants to kill his no-good hide. After all, what good is having a larger-than-life hero if the heroine is a push over? I couldn’t have that. Sarah has her own issues and reasons for being. And she wants Adrian to understand what makes her tick. Unfortunately, relations between him break down in a big way and she’s forced to stand up to him… especially if she wants to keep her life, and it’s a difficult prospect to do on a ship instead of a drawing room. The result is beyond smoldering and very satisfying. I hope you’ll take a chance on Adrian. Sarah’s going to have to take one as well.

And because a lot of research goes into writing historical tales, let me share a couple of things about what pirates ate back in the Regency period.

During the first few weeks of a voyage, food was fresh and plentiful depending on what the crew laid on. Fresh fruits and veggies were the order of the day as was fresh bread and other food stuffs. Eggs from chickens and milk from cows were available. Once the food for the livestock was gone, the animals were sacrificed as food for the crew. Water was also abundant during those weeks as well. Life was pretty darned good at the start of a trip.

The longer the weeks drug on, the nastier and rancid the remaining food got. Mold was a big problem. Food also spoiled without refrigeration. Then they turned to salted meats and dried beans. Bones were kept for making soups. Nothing went to waste that didn’t need to. Hard tack (kind of like crackers) was turned to when things got tough.

Water was a constant problem. Humans need water to survive and, of course, they couldn’t drink sea water. They stored fresh water in barrels and when it got stale or nasty, they added rum to help with the taste. They’d also add lime juice to the mix (called grog) not only to help with the taste but also to put vitamin C in their bodies to help ward off scurvy.

During a voyage, the only chance of gaining new supplies was to fight and board another ship in the area or put into port somewhere nearby. Plus, the lack of eating utensils meant that any eating opportunity really was a free-for-all.

Kinda gives me a shiver—and not the good kind. Now we can really appreciate why Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean fame was so scandalized when he asked, “But why is the rum gone?”

I hope I made you interested in ACT OF PARDON. I urge you to check the book out and go grab a copy, and see if you could survive not only the seas, but Adrian. ;-)

Who knows, perhaps I’ll write another pirate tale in the future, and this time, I might enjoy writing a female lead in the pirate position. I did write a lady pirate once, but she captains a space ship in a sci-fi universe, and that, my friends, is a tale for another day.

Retribution and sorrow can bring redemption and salvation if you look hard enough.

The year is 1814 and piracy is drawing to an end in the Caribbean yet Sarah Covington, a disenchanted missionary's daughter, has a plan to kill the pirate who murdered her father and fiancé. When the assassination attempt goes horribly wrong, she’s taken aboard the Lady Catherine as prisoner. Though she’s forced to embrace a life of degradation and subservience by the very pirate she tried to kill, he stirs passions she never knew she harbored.

Adrian Westerbrooke captains the Lady Catherine but not by choice. Officially a privateer under England's protection, he has his own agenda and will take down targets for the highest bidder. The only problem is the beautifully flawed Sarah. He'll try everything in his power to break her spirit and make her bow before his. At sea, his word is law, no matter how much she intrigues his mind and inflames his body.

Yet Sarah possesses a stubbornness that matches his own, on deck and in the bedroom, and a battle of wills begins. As trust grows, so does their desire--whether they can survive the threats at sea while working through their differences is up to faith… and perhaps love.

Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi and paranormal romances. She loves to blend genres and spice them up and often times will add humor as well.

When not immersed in creating new worlds and interesting characters, Sandra likes to read, bake and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World. It’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. When she’s not writing, she’s keeping things interesting at the Believing is Seeing blog.

Connect with Sandra at:


Sandra is generouslygiving away a $10.00 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble gift card as well as book swag to one random commenter.

To be entered just leave a comment telling us: who is your favourite pirate (either in a movie, TV series, books or historical figure)?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 23 November 2012!

Good luck!

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