My special guest today is Amy Ruttan. Amy has had two releases this month. The first was Love Thy Neighbor, a contemporary tale from Ellora’s Cave. Check out the blurb and excerpt here, but today she’s talking about Fox’s Bride, her first release from Cerridwen Press.
I’m looking forward to reading this book very much. Not only does it have a great cover but there’s pirates. Arr, me hearty! Ship ahoy! Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! Um…getting a bit carried away here. I think I’ll turn you over to Amy.
I want to thank Shelley for having me on her blog again. I love visiting here and I love visiting her! I am really looking forward to meeting her face to face at Nationals this summer.
I thought I would share some interesting facts I’ve picked up since 2006 about Pirates. Why 2006 you say? That’s when I did my NaNoWriMo about a woman pirate and it’s going to be released on May 29th from Cerridwen Press. It’s titled Fox’s Bride.
Actually, I first started writing this back in 2001. I was bored, sitting at a desk job, a few months away from walking down the aisle and at the time my boss was just a junior in his firm. Needless to say, there wasn’t a heck of a lot of work to do. Whoops, sshhh did I just say that???
I was sitting there on my lunch and in front of me was this crisp yellow piece of paper. Pirates of the Caribbean with the dreamy Johnny Depp had just launched, or was about to … I can’t remember; but I thought, hmmm what about a woman pirate and an arranged marriage? I was also watching A LOT of Cut Throat Island, that Geena Davis movie. I love Geena Davis. I just had to give her a better purpose than robbing the rich. Robin Hood could feed the poor, but what could my heroine do in a rich West Indies colony back in 1727. Free slaves. My own disgust for slavery came shining through her. Something I had been carrying around since I first read Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker when I was about seven. I was horrified, and went to my father asking him if it happened, and was devastated when he told me yes, it did.
The story came to me naturally. Little blips and blurbs here and there, I was writing it out long hand. I can’t do that anymore.
Life got in the way in the form of a wedding and two children. On my second maternity leave, I discovered National Novel Writing Month. Why the heck not, I was just new to the RWA and the TRW. I thought lets see if I can do it.
I completed the first draft of Fox’s Bride in 19 days, 50,000 words. It killed me, so I put it away for almost a year. Until after I sold my first book with Ellora’s Cave, that’s when I had the guts to pull it out again, fix it up and send it off to my editor.
It’s been a long wait. I hope it is well received.
Here’s the official blurb:
Being married to a woman half way around the world has it advantages, except when that woman is a pirate.
Lord William Foxton wants his wife and will do anything to protect her from the hands of those who want her to hang for piracy; and those who want the Plantation in Montego Bay and his wife for their own.
Lady Madeline Foxton, known as the dread pirate Captain Meg, will do anything to save as many slaves as she can, even if it means she’s putting her life at risk. When she decides she’s had enough, the
Commodore of the King’s Navy decides Captain Meg will not disappear. He will see Madeline Middleton hang for piracy, no matter who he has to kill to get her there.
My perception of the traditional “pirate” was changed when I started researching back in 2002 (when I first had the idea). First, there wasn’t enough information. Now, thanks to Pirates of the Caribbean, there’s much ado about Pirates. I thought instead of boring you I would give you some pirate lingo to whet your appetite. Thanks to Evil Stevie who has this great glossary on his site here (http://www.io.com/~sj/PirateTalk.html )
So AVAST YE MATEY’S, Arrgghhh:
AVAST: Basically means SHUT UP!
BOOTY: No, not what the gorgeous Beyonce shakes but loot, gold, treasure.
CORSAIR: Is a more sexy name for a pirate. Purrrrr.
FEED THE FISH: Being thrown overboard, dead or alive.
JACK KETCH: A hangman, to dance with him is the last dance ye’ll ever have matey.
HEMPEN JIG: See Jack Ketch. Hempen refers to the rope and twitching after hanging. Since rope back in the days of yore had hemp in it.
SPLICE THE MAINBRACE: Let’s PARTAAY!!!
LETTER OF MARQUE: Papers issued by a national government during wartime, entitling a privately owned ship to raid enemy commerce, or even attack enemy warships. Early letters of reprisal were issued to merchants to make it legal for them to counter-raid pirates! A ship bearing such letters, and operating within their limits, is a privateer rather than a pirate . . . that is, a legal combatant rather than a criminal and murderer. The problem is that letters of marque aren’t always honored, even by the government that issued them. Captain Kidd had letters of marque; his own country hanged him anyway. (Thanks Evil Stevie!!)
CACKLE FRUIT: Chicken Eggs, now try ordering THAT at a diner. Arrr, I’ll have some Cackle fruit over easy with me grits. (Incidentally, I’m Canadian and have no idea what grits are. LOL).
Now that you have a tasting of Pirate Lingo I leave you with an excerpt of Fox’s Bride, coming out May 29, 2008 from Cerridwen Press.
She turned her back on the man she just threw overboard. She was laughing to herself as she casually cleaned and reloaded her pistol. She put the pistol back into her holster and then faced her captives, the mirth all gone. Her face stern, her cold eyes trained on them. What would those grey eyes look like glazed with passion? Fox shook his head, he couldn’t believe he was thinking these thoughts about a pirate—a pirate who should, for all intents and purposes, hang from the gallows. He had been at sea far too long, he needed a woman, and he needed one soon.
“As you can see, I do not tolerate disobedience. If you all cooperate and remove your valuables I will spare your lives.” She motioned to John and the men stepped forward with bags in their hands.
Fox cursed as he removed his cuff links and his family signet ring. He saw that the pirates who went below decks were ushering passengers and crew upstairs, including his valet who looked visibly shaken and highly affronted.
“I tried to stop them my lord, but they sacked all your trunks.”
Captain Meg turned to him then, overhearing his valet address him by his rank. She smiled cunningly as she looked him up and down.
“Well, well, a lord of the realm here on this ship.” She bowed with a flourish and several of her crew, including John, laughed. “Maybe I should ransom you to your relatives.”
Fox scoffed. “You could but they’ll never pay. I’m an outcast my dear.”
She cocked her eyebrow, seemingly intrigued by his response.
“Tsk, tsk and what about your poor wife? I’m sure she would be lost without you.”
“You can try her, she is quite wealthy. Although, you may find her hesitant, she’s never met me.”
“Ha, I find that hard to believe.” Captain Meg unsheathed her rapier and pointed it at his heart. “Her name my lord, or I will run you through.”
Fox smirked, thoroughly enjoying his repartee with this enchanting vixen.
“Happy to oblige my dear. My wife is Lady Madeline Foxton of The Coral Reef plantation in Montego Bay.
Captain Meg’s eyes flew open in horror and she quickly turned away. Fox was confused by her response.
“Sorry, did I say something to offend?”
She turned around abruptly, the blunt end of her pistol raised, his last thoughts before all went black was, why was she angry?
Amy Ruttan, 2008