Captain Jack Interviews Author Barbara Bettis!


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Unfurl the sails! Man the braces! Jack is back and he’s more clever than ever. Join us today as Author Barbara Bettis joins us on deck for an interview!

Grog Filled HourJack: “Lady Barbara.” Sweeps a gallant bow. “It’s a pleasure to have ye aboard.” Pops open a jug of rum. “Drink?” Bows head. “I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’d forgotten me manners.” Downs a dram and pounds the stopper. “Where was I? Oh yes, I’ve got a compass that points to what I want most. Where does your compass point to, eh?”

Barbara: “East; no, West; no, North; no, South….”

Jack: Head spins.

Barbara: “Yep, sometimes I seem to go in circles. 😉 But usually I try to keep an Easterly, onward course. In other words, my compass points to optimism . I’m not a “cock-eyed optimist” nor Pollyana.  But sometimes our paths run up against obstacles and we lose direction. I like to always make the best of things and keep pushing forward.

Pirate MoneyJack: Closes one eye. Opens it. “Cock-eyed optimist, eh? Would Pollyana happen to be one of the wenches in Tortuga? No? The name of Cotton’s parrot?” Follows Barbara’s head shake. “No? I can never remember names, but wenches and parrots are treasure, to be sure. Speaking of treasure, I’ve got pieces of eight in my pocket. If ye could have eight pieces with ye at all times, what would they be?”

Barbara: “A photo of my family all together; a couple of my favorite inspirational Bible verses; a pen and notebook for ideas; an iPad and a solar battery charger J; my phone; tea, coffee, and chocolate (of course!) Wait. That sounds like I’m being stranded on a desert island, doesn’t it! And you know all about that, right Capt. Jack??”

Jack: “Aye. There be nothing like having your own effects and a stash of rum too.”

Barbara: “Let me replace my pen and notebook with my health (I can write on my iPad). There were go.”

Jack with RumJack: “I’ll drink to that. To the sun and rum.” Removes stopper and raises jug. “And the braces. There’s nothing like a good wind.” Takes a swig. “When has the wind taken hold of your sails?”

Barbara: “She’s been in my sails for as long as I can recall. I remember writing a play for us to perform when I was in second grade. But the wind turned me in the direction of romance about eight years ago. I didn’t listen to her for awhile, but finally I gave in a finished my first book.

14141617_1293256780687504_4888853937320581259_nJack: “Aye, she can be a right stubborn wench. Hard to harness when the sea writhes like a lover.” Shakes head. “Where was I? Oh, yes. Were there times the Kraken tried to pull ye down to Davy Jones Locker? If so, how’d ye escape?”

Barbara:  “As a newspaper reporter/editor, I’d developed a thick hide.”

latest2Jack: “Pirates have to protect their hides from wenches in Tortuga and Elizabeth Swan, Commodores, Governors, the Kraken, bloodthirsty heathens. Ye get the idea…”

Barbara: “I do. When I published my first fiction, I found my new skin as tender as a newborn’s. Why is it we can get a dozen terrific reviews but when a bad one comes in, that’s all we remember? When a Kraken digs in now, I turn to my friends and my crit partners—and my sense of humor—to throw him off.

Jack's FingersJack: “I can do this.” Raises hands and wiggles fingers. “Or this.” Flails arms and runs across the deck. “Of course, there’s always an undead monkey roaming about.” Glances at the ratlines and aims his pistol. “During a broadside, what do ye do to mend your sails?

Barbara: “I get away from writing, go to movies, read outside the genre in which I write. And I read straight history dealing with the eras in which I write. I usually end up finding ideas hidden there in real events or real people.”

Jack: Draws closer and whispers, “I’m real enough, mate.”

Barbara: Laughs. “My fascination with Mercadier, a mercenary who was a right hand to Richard I, led me to my series featuring mercenaries.

compassJack: “Mercenaries are just pirates without a ship, m’lady.” Preens. “I’ve got a very nice ship as ye can see and a compass that points to what I want most.” Withdraws compass, flips open the lid and watches arrow spin until it points at Lady Barbara. “Once your coveted course had been charted, how long did it take ye to make port, eh?”

Barbara: “From the time of my first query, it was about two years. I really lacked confidence and had to learn to persevere.

Jack: “Perseverance is key, especially when you’re thrown in jail or shackled to a ship about to be devoured by a beastie. Which reminds me, pirates have a code, more like guidelines anyway. What code do ye live by?”

Barbara: “My ideas usually start with the characters, then a situation. Often I picture a scene in my mind with a character or two and the plotting spirals from there. What challenges face them? How do they react to the challenges? I usually complete a chapter or two of preliminary story which allows me to know the characters a little more. Then I complete a story summary which some might call a synopsis. I do a write-through of three or four pages telling what will happen and how the story will end. Then the real writing begins. After I get the characters set, I do a character outline but not before. I don’t do detailed plot outlines. This is the process I’ve followed to date, but it may change.

Jack: “Being flexible has saved my life on occasion. Improvisation is key. And now, we come to my final question, Lady Barbara. Who is your all-time favorite pirate?

83277406cfa0a859b5b40b558f60d549Barbara: “I only know one pirate—You 😉 ”

Jack: Winks. “I knew we were going to get along well the moment I laid eyes on ye, m’lady.”



TheLadyoftheForest_w11020_750[1]He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?

When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.

Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past catches her.

 When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.

Buy Amazon  /  Buy Wild Rose Press  /  Buy Nook


Barblittlepix[1]Award winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.

She now lives in Missouri, where she’s recently retired as an English and journalism teacher and plans to spend more time creating heroes to live for.

Ahoy, Lady Barbara! Every tar what sets foot on a ship has a story. What story do you have to tell?

Ports of call:

Website  /  Blog  /  Facebook  /  Twitter


Thank you for sailing with us today, Lady Barbara!

Wishing you all fair winds,




Setting Sail ~ The cure for What Ails You via Historical Hussies!


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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2017, I’m blogging at Historical Hussies! (Here’s a peek!)

Mortal are we and subject to diseases,

We must all die, even and when God pleases,

Into the world but one way do we come,

A thousand ways from thence we are sent home.

Modern medicine has played a significant part in the longevity of people living in the 21st Century. Given the resources at our disposal; family doctors, hospitals and emergency rooms, local pharmacies, and extended life expectancy, it’s difficult to understand how people dealt with common ailments like influenza, disease, and catastrophic injuries long ago. Especially when people died for reasons that were oftentimes classified as ‘just rewards’.

Cornish SayingsIn Cornish Sayings, Superstitions and Remedies, I’ve discovered how the Cornish people dealt with what ailed them. What I found is astonishing! Given that Cornwall is a country unto itself, its people the descendants of Druids, Celts, Welsh, hearty fishermen and miners with ties to the earth, it makes perfect sense their way of life relied on legend, lore and superstition.


Discover how the Cornish survived without penicillin at Historical Hussies!



Setting Sail ~ Cornwall’s Talland Church via Katherine Bone

posted in: English History, history, Katherine Bone, Pirates, Uncategorized | 0


Ahoy, me hearties! I’d like to share some fascinating research I’ve discovered for one of my books. While writing The Pirate’s Duty, Regent’s Revenge Book Three, I needed to learn more about a 13th Century church in Cornwall. Talland Church was built on the site of a Celtic altar erected in the 5th Century and dedicated to St. Tallanus. The present altar sits on top of the Celtic altar established there fifteen hundred years ago!

In Cornish, Talland means Tal Lan. (Tal for hill and Lan for holy place.) Built on a ley line—significant to the Celtic people—the church looks down on Talland Bay, betweenPolperro and Looe, maintaining a mighty historical presence on its bed-rock foundation. A key landmark element of the church is its main crenelated bell tower and another echoing tower nearby. Together, set one nautical mile apart (1.1508 miles or 1.852 kilometers) these landmarks help ships time speed between Talland Bay and another pair of towers situated at Hannafore, near Looe. These landmarks were extremely influential in the age of sail and still aid mariners to this day.

Read more about this FANtastic church at Embracing Romance.




En Garde! Dueling History via Author Sharon Lathan! (Reblogged)


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En Garde! Dueling History

If you have read my first novel, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, then you know that a duel with swords takes place toward the end. Naturally, in order to present a realistic duel, or simply have a duel at all, I needed to research the hows and whys as pertinent during the Regency Era of England. In the process, I learned a ton about the history of dueling, so will share some of the highlights.

Let’s begin with etymology. The word duel comes from the Old Latin duellum, which translates as “war” but is also associated with the Latin duo meaning “two.” Evolving etymology shifted the meaning to a combat between two persons, the common definition.


Read more at Happily Ever After Comes True!

Love it, Lady Sharon! Thank you!!!



Amusements of Old London: The Parks by Susana Ellis!


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“Susana Ellis’s historical posts ARR exceptional. Richly detailed! Brava, Lady Susana!”

Amusements of Old London, posted March 8, 2017

William B. Boulton, 1901

“… an attempt to survey the amusements of Londoners during a period which began… with the Restoration of King Charles the Second and ended with the accession of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.”

From Henry VIII’s Land Grab to a Public Park: Hyde Park

As the King’s most Royal Majesty is desirous to have the games of hare, partridge, pheasant and heron preserved in and about the honour of his palace of Westminster for his own disport and pastime, no person, on the pain of imprisonment of their bodies and further punishment at his Majesty’s will and pleasure, is to presume to hunt or hawk from the Palace of Westminster to St. Giles’ in the Fields, and from thence to Islington, to our Lady of the Oak, to Highgate, to Hornsey Park, and to Hampstead Heath.

Don’t miss this great list! Read the entire post at Susana’s Parlour!

Wishing you fair winds,


Romance Unlaced: Pirate (and Privateers) at USAToday’s HEA Blog via Madeline Hunter!


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I’m super excited my book was included in this great blog post Romance Unlaced: Pirate (and Privateer) Romances Enjoy a Renaissance, about pirates, privateers, and piracy in historical romance by Author Madeline Hunter at USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog!

Thank you for his honor, Lady Madeline! 😉

Books included: Continue reading

#ReleaseDay ~ Securing the Handyman’s Heart by Katie Clark!

Raising the signal flag! It’s Release Day for Author Katie Clark’s latest book, SECURING THE HANDYMAN’S HEART, The I Do Club, Book #1. Woo-hoo!!! Sound the cannon! It’s time to partay! Cupcakes for one and all! 😉

securingthehandymansheartcoverdraftLocal cupcake queen Kayla Dobbs is feeling the heat—just as her bakery is finally taking off, her retired parents start pressuring her to move to Florida. Determined to prove her success, she takes on extra work at the bakery and fibs a little about the depth of her love life. When her mother announces an upcoming visit to meet the lucky guy, Kayla makes a pact with her friends to get a proposal from George Marks, town handyman extraordinaire. The problem is, George seems totally indifferent.

George Marks has enough on his plate with running his business, taking care of an ailing but feisty grandmother, and the possibility of a new business venture on the horizon. But when bumping into Kayla becomes a strangely routine thing, he’s surprised to realize it has also become the highlight of his days. As business spirals out of control and Granny takes a turn for the worse, he’s sure he made one too many commitments.

With a dash of matchmaking granny and a pinch of secret cupcake recipe, Kayla and George find themselves in one messy kitchen. But will they find themselves in love? Continue reading

The Guernsey: Cornish Sweaters!


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I’m blogging about Cornish sweaters at Embracing Romance. Can you believe these sweaters have been around for over 400 years?

Ahoy, it’s Katherine Bone! I love to knit, especially anything with a cable in it! Recently, while researching historical information for my next book, The Pirate’s Duty, The Regent’s Revenge Book #3, I came across knitted frocks worn by fishermen and miners and the women who produced them in Cornwall.


The Guernsey, Gansey, or jersey sweater originated in the 17th Century Channel Islands, becoming the most reliable garment for seamen and fishermen from the 17th to 19th centuries. Comfortable, popular, and dependable, the tightly-packed wool fibers, combined with a snug spinning twist and a simple pattern helped ‘turn water’ and resist sea spray like oiled skin. Variations on the patterns were passed down through generations of fisherman’s wives. Drowned men were identified by deviations of these patterns: diamonds, breaking waves, rope ladders, seeds and bars, each particular to certain areas of Cornwall. (The most complex patterns evolved in Scottish fishing villages.)

Read the rest of the post at Embracing Romance.

Eating at the Northwest Edge

Great post about life in Donegal, Ireland hundreds of years ago by Author Beppie Harrison at Romancing Yesteryear! #thestrugglewasreal

Penned By Candlelight

dsc_0404County Donegal is a splendid place to visit if you’re into scenery. There are spectacular cliffs falling directly into the ocean (with small brave roads clinging to the side of them for the fearless), broad sweeps of golden beach—for those who like a gentle sun and don’t mind cold water, and beautiful vistas of hills and rounded mountains. The county is one of Ireland’s largest, and it hangs off the northwest corner of the island. Everything to its east is Northern Ireland, but Donegal is part of the Republic of Ireland, connected by a tiny strip only five feet wide to County Leitrim. Otherwise it’s surrounded by Northern Ireland and the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s always been a hard place to find enough to eat, and became harder after 1610 when the English, victorious after the Battle of Kilmacrennan in 1608, carved away what is now the city of Derry (Londonderry…

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Happy Valentine’s Day!


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0001-140371029“Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.” ~ Lord Byron

Raising the signal flag to me crew and a Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Whether you’re sailing off on a romantic getaway or spending quality time with the one(s) you love, may your heart be warmed by the greatest gift of all . . . love.

(I’ve written two articles for my local writing chapter’s newsletter about Valentine’s Day. If you’re interested in reading them, you can find What is Love, Valentine and Flowers, The Language of Love here:


Wishing you following winds,