Title: A Pirate’s Wife
Author: Lynelle Clark
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 206 p
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Excerpt and Interview with Falcon is also available - scroll down. Be aware of spoliers, though. Smile
Rosa Lee Almaida lived a sheltered and carefree life as a child. That changed when she and her mother experienced a horrific ordeal on the seas. Shipwrecked, survival in the heart of Africa became paramount. The only joy came after she met her adoptive father, a man honored by all sailors on sea and land for his bravery and unconditional love. He became her hero, the role model of her own husband to be. Now, twenty years later, forced to return to the seas that took the life of her birth father and so many others, she must learn to survive once more.
Abducted from her parent’s castle in Portugal, Rosa Lee Almaida becomes part of a ransom to The Falcon, a brutal Pirate King on the Island of Madagascar, in exchange for her younger brother Pedro’s life.
She comes face to face with The Falcon’s son, Roberto de Ville, a man as fierce as his illustrious father but who has his own hidden agenda. During the voyage, she learns to admire Roberto for his leadership and skill, but can she overlook his pirate exterior to see the man for who he is?
Through the inscriptions her parents left in their diaries, she learns about love and survival while trusting for a good outcome. In an unexpected turn of events, she learns she must trust Roberto unconditionally, hoping they will spare her life. She gives herself over to the love and intimacy of the man she now craves.
Taking Rosa Lee from Portugal, Roberto brings her to the Falcon on the Isle of St Mary. Enchanted by the stories told to him by her brother, he knows that Rosa Lee is destined to be his. Listening to her and seeing her bravery, he knows this is the woman he has waited for all his life. He will give up the dangerous life of a pirate, but first he must set an intricate plan into motion that will change his life forever. He, along with Pierre, his second in command, rush against time to bring the plan to fruition.
In the end, Rosa Lee discovers a valuable lesson that startles her: NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.
“December 25, 1623
It has been two years since our journey of survival began in Africa. Two years since I have written anything down in my diary, the only book I was able to save on that hopeless night of September 29, 1621.
But before I capture those terrible events, I want to pen down my love’s reaction to the estate we will be living in for the rest of our lives.
In the end it became possible for us to be together. The price was high, but we have survived and I know with Cisco at my side I can face anything else.
As a Christmas gift I gave him full ownership of my estate. It has been handed down from generation to generation of Artiagas. I knew he would be the perfect landowner to continue the legacy my family started, and that my inheritance was safe.
When Rosa-Lee climbed on his lap to give him a big wet kiss he smiled down at her and gave her a bear hug. The last few days he had been extremely emotional. We both felt a deep compassion for him. I feel proud to know this man, my husband, Cisco Almaida. When I handed him the papers, he was shocked. Disbelief shone clear in the blue depths of his eyes. He had the same expression when we first arrived two days ago.
He could not believe the large estate or the castle, built by my great-great grandfather all those years ago.
When we arrived Cisco only stared at the estate, the manicured gardens and lawns only yellow due to the cold weather, and I had to encourage him to step into the castle as man of the house. This was more than he ever dreamed of. His mind was stunned and dumbfounded at the magnitude of the riches he faced.
I had told him about the place, to prepare him, but I knew he would only appreciate it fully when he saw it.
He stood in the enormous foyer of the castle and gaped in awe. The magnificent wooden staircase spiraled to the upper levels. The black and white marble tiles gleamed in the late sunlight. Fires were already laid all through the house, for which we were grateful. The staff had done a magnificent work in maintaining the place while we were gone.
He felt overwhelmed by it all until Rosa-Lee reached for his hand and walked with him to the parlor with its exquisite furniture, tapestries, and golden framed paintings of past generations. She chattered nonstop, even if it was her first visit. But the difference was she is used to these riches and he was not.
After we settled in, he walked the estate over the next two days, and I showed him the inheritance. Surrounded with a rapid-flowing river with tree lines on both sides, the castle looked impressive, built out of stones and brick, standing three stories tall in the Portugal sun. Each room was filled with generations worth of treasures; heavy hand-crafted furniture, art, and family portraits, tapestries bought in India, China, Spain, and Africa, rich in color, hung on the walls.
At first, he could not comprehend the papers, or his new title as landowner. He struggled for words this morning but accepted the responsibilities as property owner. This was a challenging time for Portugal. The country was in a transitional phase and landowners were often unfair dictators. But I knew he was wise and would treat his people with respect and kindness. He would give them what was fair, distributing our wealth for the benefit of all.
Cisco is willing to learn. His good, kind heart draws people closer. Already he and Franco, the manager of the estate, have a close friendship. His first lesson was to learn to ride his horse, another present from Rosa-Lee. She was so excited when the horse was presented to him that she giggled with pure joy. His face lit up in childlike wonder at the powerfully muscled black stallion. When he approached the animal the horse responded in like fashion. It took us a while to get him back in the house.
What a delight the day has been. Alfonso will leave soon on the ship Cisco received from the D.E.I.C. for his brave efforts during the last two years. Kayla and Derek will leave for their new home in Spain and the house will become ours alone. There are so many things I still want to show him. I can hardly wait.
But tonight I will give him his greatest gift when I reveal my pregnancy to him. I just know this will leave him speechless.
It was the year 1641 on the south coast of Portugal. The lone figure of a young woman looked over the vast blue sea. A breeze rippled playfully on the water’s surface. To her it spelt trouble, haunting her thoughts with what if’s, reliving the past as if it were just yesterday, crystal clear in her mind. Every day for the last two weeks she had looked at the horizon, hoping to see her father’s well-known merchant ship with his ensign flag appear. But there was no sign. The foreboding feelings accumulated again within her heart, making her anxious and troubled.
While she waited, she read her parents” diaries, a present for her eighteenth birthday, and her most treasured possessions in the whole world, for the umpteenth time. The leather-bound books were soft under her touch, the papers already yellowing. She had read them so often that she knew them by heart, but still they evoked in her a sense of belonging. They held her past but also her future. At twenty-four she knew her future would be colourful and beautiful. She felt safe when reading the pages, and knew if they had made it, she would make it as well.
Coming on the ship was her eagerly awaited younger brother, only sixteen years of age. He had been so excited about his first voyage as a sailor that they could hardly stay in the same house with him. Their father had taught them all about the sea since they could understand and walk.
He had taught them to read the stars at night, to read charts, navigating their own way. He sent them on the ship for countless lessons; lessons they never tired of.
Pedro always had a bigger love for the sea. He was more like their father in his kind-heartedness and was a gentle giant with dark blond hair. He was more excited about the lifestyle of a sailor, exploring new countries, loving the openness of the seas. Their father told the stories of his adventures and especially the time she, Rosa-Lee, and their mother had met him. He was still a sailor then, and the tale included the two years it took them to get back to Portugal after leaving India, where their journey had begun, and Rosa-Lee had been born.
As a birthday gift, her father had given Pedro the position of cabin boy to Captain Alfonso, his good friend, to go out to India. He went away for seven months, and by her father’s calculations, he should have already been back.
Her other brother Manuel was the farmer. He inherited the love of the land and its people from his mother. He also looked like their father in build, but his skin and hair were darker, like Rosa-Lee’s and her mother’s. Manuel had a gentle and caring heart that made him loveable and accessible to the villagers.
At the tender age of eighteen, he was already a leader. The people looked up to him and along with their father he built up the estate and expanded the business.
Rosa-Lee knew that this delay in Pedro’s safe return was hard on her mother and father. Not knowing his whereabouts was difficult but they could only remain calm, waiting. The mood tensed in their home as her father paced the passageways of the castle, anxious and nervous.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon of the second week, Rosa-Lee saw sails heading their way. Shading her eyes, she squinted as she watched the sails coming nearer to the shore at a tormentingly slow rate. Rosa-Lee could now see that it was the Contra O Vento. The smaller frigate usually accompanied the merchant ship as extra security. It was faster and streamlined, not her father’s bulky merchant ship.
Dread filled her heart as she watched the sailors running around on the deck, furling the sails to dock in the harbour. The ensign on the top of the main mast certainly was her father’s crest. Cisco Almaida was a merchant working for the D.E.I.C. He received his first ship eighteen years ago after serving at the sea for nineteen years as a sailor. It was a reward for his bravery and leadership during that fatal voyage where her biological father had passed away along with two hundred and sixty-four crew members, slaves and passengers. Gathering the cream fabric of her skirt in her hands, she ran down the road to the harbour to meet the captain of the ship she recognized. She hoped that it would be good news about her brother, but the sense of dread did not leave her small body as her chestnut hair streamed behind her, her small oval face wary and troubled.
The months of waiting in anticipation of Pedro had been too long. They stayed a close-knit family, especially Mother, Father and herself, but the two boys who had not yet had adventures did not understand the dangerous side of sailing ships. It sounded foreign and distant to them, just stories they had heard all their lives. But Rosa-Lee and her parents knew how quickly things could change on the sea. They had lived on it and had survived its worst.
Pedro was still very young, inexperienced about life.
Rosa-Lee’s dress whipped against her legs as she ran down the shoreline into the town, her lungs burning with the unusual exercise. Today she did not see the splendour of the sea or land, the birds flying just over the top of her head. She did not notice the familiar faces, townspeople who waved at her and flashed toothy smiles. She just wanted to find out any news. With only the Contra O Vento coming in she was worried.
When she reached the berth, the captain stood on the bridge at the side, peering through the tackle works, deep in thought. As the plank lowered onto the pier she had a sinking feeling that something was very wrong; that life as she knew it is about to change.
“Captain, any news?” she shouted.”
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I was fortunate enough to sit down with the villain of A Pirate’s Wife. A man who instilled fear over the seven seas in the 1600’s. Cunning and sly, brutal to those around him and …
Falcon: “Now just stop there Missy!”
Falcon: “What do you mean I was the villain?”
Me: “Well you did do all those horrible things to people and you died at the end.”
Falcon: “I call it survival of the fittest Miss…”
Falcon: “Who are you any way?”
Me: “The Author of the book, Lynelle Clark.”
Falcon: “Women cannot write, they are stupid.”
Me: “No we are not, we live in the 21 Century, women can do all things now and I find your remark very condescending.”
Falcon: “Imbeciles, never! Women can do nothing. They are only good for one thing.” Dark brooding eyes glanced seductively over me. I shivered; his thoughts disgusting and frightening. He slammed his fist on the table and looked at me menacingly. I must admit the man had me shaking in my boots.
Me: “We are not in your century anymore, Mr. Falcon.”
Falcon: “Bhaa, women are only good for one thing.”
Me: “Must I remind you Mr. Falcon that you were killed by a woman.” Silence fell among us as the beady eyes darted over the restaurant. Not what he was used to as his eyes narrowed even further. Taking in the sounds and sites of the buzzing place. He looked puzzled, even pale. The restaurant is one of my favourite hang outs and I felt very chuff to get the notorious pirate here. Even if he was dead.
Falcon: “It is because you wrote the story, you know nothing of honour.”
Me: “It was not honourable what you did to the Almaida family or Rosa-Lee.” I pointed out.
Falcon: “She sure was pretty,” and he cackled slyly.
Me: “Yes she was. Their deceiving action tilted your world considerable. Married to Roberto, was unexpected.”
Falcon: “I was furious!” His fist hit the table again cursing at the fellow who stared at us. The man quickly looked away, uncomfortable.
Me: “Easy there, we do not tolerate such bad behaviour in public anymore.”
Falcon: “Bhaa, I still cannot believe she killed me.”
Me: “You did dare her while threatening her and her baby’s life.”
Falcon: “If it was my baby, she would have felt differently about me.”
Me: “But she didn’t she carried Roberto’s baby.”
Falcon: “Do not mention that traitor’s name in front of me,” he hissed as spit dripped down his face.
Me: “But he was your son.”
Falcon: “Imbeciles! Do not mention his name, I will kill you.”
Me: “So much violence. You died just as you lived.”
Falcon: “I had a noble profession.”
Me: “No, you were a villain, thief and murderer.” I pointed out.
Falcon: “There is that word again, how dare you! I had mouths to feed.”
Me: “There were other ways to feed them.”
Falcon: “Bhaa, typical woman, know nothing.”
Me: “If I know nothing, then inform me so that I can understand why you became a Pirate?”
Falcon: “It is a long story.”
Me: “I have time, would you like some tea?”
Falcon: “What do I look like to you, a woman?”
Me: “No, but I thought tea would help you to calm down.”
Falcon: “I do not care for tea, I need rum!”
Me: “Tea and coffee, milkshakes and cool drinks are the only items on the menu. This is a family restaurant. They don’t serve liquor. What about a nice Espresso?”
Falcon: “What is that?”
Me: “Strong coffee. Drink.” I smiled at him and ordered two cups. Once it is put before us, I show him how to drink it and he followed. He looked so out of place that people were staring at our table, but he hardly notices it.
Falcon: “Nice and strong,” he sniffed the content and smack his lips, twirling the dark liquid in the small cup.
Falcon: “What did you call this drink?”
Falcon: “Espresso,” he repeated and smack his lips again. A sheepish grin appears on the leathery pale face. His long hair hangs disorderly over his shoulder.
Me: “Please tell me why you choose the pirate’s life?” He looked at me with something of disgust and irritation but ask for another cuppa which the waiter bring shortly after.
Falcon: “I ran away from home when I was only a lad of twelve. My father used to beat us without reason; he was always drunk and in a bad mood. My mother, a pretty little thing was a broken woman, whose life was snuffed out of years before. She acted indifferent to it all. Her dark eyes lifeless but she held on for our sake.” I swear I could saw a tear forming in the corner of his eye, but he brushed it away quickly and I decide not to say anything. “She could not defend herself against the onslaught and finally he beat her to death. The day I had put her in the ground I disappeared; never to return home. I found work in an inn, a shaggy place and the owner was even worse than my father. That was not what I envisioned work should be; all that cleaning and scrubbing just did not sit well with me. I wanted to explore the world. I listened to all the stories from the visiting sailors who passed through and watched as they told in detail of their ventures. I was hooked.” Taking another sip before he continues.
Falcon: “I met Brutus,” he chuckled, and looked at me, and said non plush: “Now there was a villain, the devil personified, that one. He let me work on the ships he owned. Everything I knew I learned from him. He was merciless. He accepted no disobedience from anyone. I had gotten a swat against the head often, but I didn’t mind. I was where I wanted to be; on a ship and having my own ventures.”
Me: “How long did you work for him?”
Falcon: “I was a grown man by the time he died. Brutally I might add. His second-in-command finally got to him and whacked him with an axe. Now that was a bloody mess.”
Me: “If you do not mind, spare me the gory details,” and I shivered.
Falcon: “Bhaa, women!”
Me: “Please go on. What happened next?”
Falcon: “To my surprise the men chose me to be their new captain. The task was overwhelming, but I had learned to be tough. Trained by Brutus; I ruled with an iron fist. Tolerated no nonsense from my men. We sailed the seven seas, conquered everything that came in our sight. Including women. Now those were the days.” He almost sound blissfull and I smile.
Me: “Today they will hunt you down.”
Me: “The authorities.”
Falcon: “I am not scared.”
Me: “I know because you are dead.”
Falcon: “Will you stop rubbing it in, imbecile!”
Me: “I will not tolerate that tone with me, and I must remind you you have been dead for centuries.”
Falcon: “Bhaa,” he sneered. His yellow teeth rotten, and I shivered with disgust.
Me: “Tell me your thoughts about Rosa-Lee.”
Falcon: “She was a pretty little thing.”
Me: “You said that before, what else?”
Falcon: “Brave, very brave. I would have loved to have her for myself but at the end the best man won.”
Me: “So, you do not mind that Roberto…”
Falcon: “You are a dim wit, of course I mind.”
Me: “Sir, if you do not mind.”
Falcon: “What! Will your authorities capture me,” he sneered once again.
Me: “It is impolite to talk like that.”
Falcon: “Impolite! Bhaa. That Rosa-lee was the same. Annoying b…”
Me: “Falcon Sir!” My patience was dangerously low with this man’s consisted disrespect.
“She was brave and a good fighter with the sword.”
Me: “Yes I know.”
Falcon: “How will you know?”
Me: “I wrote the book.” I said it matter-of-factly, quite bored with the man. My illusion of how the meeting will go shattered.
Me: “Why did you not like women? I would have thought after the way your father treated your mother that you would be better?”
Falcon: “Women cannot think for themselves and needs a firm hand from a man.”
Me: “I can assure you women can think for themselves. In this century they have good professions, trained to do any work just as any man. There is no limit anymore.”
Falcon: “Bhaa, I do not believe you. A woman needs to know who is in charge, who is the better man.”
Me: “That does not make you a better man,” I was truly annoyed with this old geezer.
Falcon: “I do not have to listen to this anymore.” Like a dissatisfied customer, he puffs his chest and turns away from me.
Me: “Fine, I do not talk to ghosts,” I added in disgust.
Falcon: “Bhaa,” and he was gone. Just like that.
Me: “Well there you have it, even in death he is impossible to talk too.”
Falcon: “Imbeciles!” I heard from the back and my hair raise on my arms. I look back, searching for this man that is a significant part in the book. Nowhere to find I call for the server who reluctantly approaches my table with the receipt in his hand. “Sorry about that.” I try to defend him, but the waiter gives me a disgruntled look and walked away. Clearly not happy. I cannot blame him.