Message From The Author

Author's Message

The Pirate Lord

I'm a sucker for pirates. It's not fashionable. It's not even wise. Those guys were criminals, for goodness' sake! But no matter how much I tell myself that real pirates were probably grimy and obnoxious, they still show up in my fantasies. So I had to get it out of my system and write The Pirate Lord.

But my heroine refused to tolerate being kidnapped by pirates. "It's just not done," she protested loftily. "Whoever heard of pirates roaming the seas in the enlightened 19th century?"

As it turns out, she was wrong. I found out there actually were government-commissioned "privateers" during the War of 1812. In fact, American "privateers" once kidnapped a ship of English female convicts bound for Australia, dumped the women on the Cape Verde Islands, then made off with the ship as their prize.

I thought to myself: what if the privateers had dumped the ship and kept the women instead? Maybe after the war, these privateers-turned-pirates decided they wanted to settle down on their own island. They'd need wives, and who better than a shipload of convicted women to make a bunch of pirates happy?

"Whew," my heroine said, "looks like I don't have to be kidnapped after all. I've never been in jail a day of my life, and I won't be on that ship."

"Not as a convict," I told her. "But somebody's got to stand up to this pirate captain, and who better than a female reformer traveling aboard the ship as a tutor for the women?" (Respectable ladies actually did that. Honest to God.)

"Oh no you don't!" she shrieked, momentarily forgetting her good breeding. "I'm not going off to some island with a lot of dirty pirates!"

Then she got a look at the pirate captain-the handsomest devil ever to roam the seas, 100% pure male and every ounce of it determined to make her his bride. Next thing I knew, she was packing her valise and wishing her step-brother goodbye as she raced off to catch her ship.

What can I say? It's that pirate fantasy. It's hard to resist.

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