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Captain Jack Sparrow 5ARRRR! We’ve a very special treat on board ship, me hearties. Look who’s come to play, eh? Not one, but two spry wenches will share the pristine deck with me today.

Now as ye may know, I take over Rogues, Rebels & Rakes when Katherine isn’t lookin’. Interviewing roving authors is one of the perks I get for keepin’ m’lady in rum. So, prop up your boots and pour yourself a dram. I’ve got a plan for authors Lady Patricia Preston and Lady Donna Cummings. Aye, that I do.

First, necessary introductions are in order, eh? Jack takes a suave bow. Make way for Patricia Preston, a delightful friend of Katherine’s with a sense of humor and a passion for all things Supernatural, especially those Winchester brothers. Alongside her stands Donna Cummings, a wench of the first order with a penchant for hulky heroes. I also hear she’s got an obsession for Thor’s brother, Loki. Pirate!

Methinks these ladies have been to Tortuga… That being the case, have I met them before? Shakes head. Now that formalities are over, let’s get this party started, eh? And I do mean partay, me hearties! Today is Lady Donna’s Birthday!!! Happy Birthday, wench!


Undead monkey flies by on hempin’ rope. Jack dodges. Watch your trinkets, m’ladies. He’s king of the quick snatch. What? He’s gone? Aye. Then here’s me first question. If’n ye were to take to sea, where would your compass point to, Patricia?

“My compass broke a long time ago. That’s why I’m out in left field…”

Did she just reference a landlubber’s game? Jack winces… Lady Donna? Surely you use a compass.

“Compass? What’s a compass? I have the worst sense of direction, which is fun when you just want to explore, but other times. . . I’m still hoping I’ll end up in some tropical locale.”

Jack’s eyes widen. Aha! You have been to Tortuga. Taps braided beard. You are aware of the money system there, pieces of eight, are you not? Significant treasure to keep stored in me pocket — in case I’m marooned in a tavern. Which brings me to me next question: If you could have specific items with you at all times, what eight pieces would they be?

“In no particular order: A fleur de lis, a flintlock pistol, red lipstick, epic music by Audiomachine, a silver mask, sweet iced tea, Thor, and condoms.”

Wide-eyed, Jack braces himself against the mizzen. Breaks out into a sweat, grabs a pitcher, and guzzles large quantities of rum. He swipes his mouth on his sleeve. Donna, did she just say what I thought she said?

“Hmm, I’m quite intrigued by those last two items. Patricia, quick! Look over there! Grabs Thor and runs. Okay, my 1 through 7 would probably definitely be coffee. I’m happy as long as I have my laptop with internet (so I can tweet!), and my crockpot making dinner so I don’t have to. Oh, can I add Tom Hiddleston to this list? He’s definitely a treasure.”

Shakes head. Lady Donna, I am thoroughly perplexed. I thought you preferred Loki over Thor. And what is this laptop, internet, jargon? I thought only birds knew how to tweet. Blood and hounds, I simply must get on with this interview before Katherine steps back aboard. Patricia, when did the muse take hold of your sails?

“Something grabbed hold of my sails back in the day and damn, I’m still flapping around in the wind. Just when I think things are gonna calm down, new people show up in my head, and I’m like: “Who are you?” and they’ll be like: “Bitch, who do you think we are? We’ve been here all along, just waiting for our chance to tell you our story, but you just keep working on that other book. You’re gonna die before you ever get to us.” See what I have live with.”

Undead MonkeyBy the holy poker, I know exactly what you mean. Jack’s jumps back with fright, recoiling at the sight of Donna caressing Barbosa’s undead monkey. Lady Donna?

“That sounds just like my characters! I remember writing a story when I was in first grade or something, and it made the adults chuckle, and I thought that was very cool. Still, it took a long while before I began to trust my storytelling abilities. Part of the reason may be because my muse is Endora. Yep, that one. LOL She’s such a cranky, demanding wench, almost impossible to please, and unwilling to work a regular schedule. . . Uh, she’s not standing right behind me, is she?”

Captain Jack with Jar of dirtJack looks past her and shakes his head. ‛Swounds and blood, I believe I met this Endora once. Does she barter in jars of dirt? No? Scratches chin. That’s an interesting barnacle… Oh! Speaking of barnacles, I’ve had a few close encounters of me own. Were there times the Kraken tried to pull ye down to Davy Jones Locker? If so, how’d ye escape?

“I’m a Southern Gal, so my response is “Oh. Hell. No.” But if I did have to escape, I’d bring out my bad girl, Darlene, and nobody messes with Darlene. She’d rip Davy Jones a new one in a heartbeat and bury him beside Mayor Clifford Stroud. Now, she fussing on me for having her stuck in a haunted house story for over a year. I’m gonna get you out soon, Darlene…”

Jack winks. Ye’ve a way of talking, lass, that brings me to me knees. If only I’d had Darlene with me when Elizabeth…

Donna bursts out laughing. “I love Darlene so hard! Although sometimes I think she and Endora share some DNA.” She frowns. “Maybe there’s room in that haunted house for a cranky muse. . . What was the question again? Oh! There seems to be something about my writing that makes critique partners want to rewrite it, and not just a little bit, but completely. LOL! So I’ve had a tendency to stay away from critique groups. Luckily one of my writing friends, Melissa, is a wonderful critiquer/beta reader, and I’m thrilled we found each other online. She gives me great suggestions on my books, AND I get to be the first to read her stories. #winwin”

Aye. I have the urge to club a wooden-headed, bard slab at times too. No true pirate appreciates a broadside. Tell me, Lady Patricia, how do you mend sail after weathering a storm?

“I eat chocolate. I do my happy dance. Read. I make beignets. I tweet. I dabble in photography. I look for clearance sales. Watch good shows that feature rough, awesome heroes. Darryl is The Man, according to Darlene, who knows a hot redneck when she sees one.”

Jack touches his neck and frowns in confusion.

Donna lunges for beignets. “Oh, sorry. I just needed a little something to keep my blood sugar from getting perilously low. And just one more — for Endora. #lying I don’t have nearly enough time to read, but when I do, I’m always recharged afterwards.

Jack grins and flips open parchment. I read treasure maps!

“I think you need to fill up with words in order to keep writing new ones. The sad thing is how often I have to remind myself of this!”

Rolls up map, frowning. Ripping and cutting with words, logging adventure is Katherine’s business, not mine. I’m Captain Jack Sparrow. I sail for coveted horizons like the one you’ve come to announce today —new book releases. But, I wonder, how long it took ye to make port?

Lady Patricia rises then weaves slightly. “I can’t remember that far back. It’s all the rum. Excuse me, I gotta burp.”

Jack’s eyes flash with pride. ‘Tis beyond doubt, you’re true as true, luv, a spirited wench who can hold her rum. Do go on, Lady Patricia.

“Well, you know, I started writing when I was a kid and I’ve been in and out of a lot ports. Non-fiction, short stories, newspapers, books. But, I’d say right now is the best time ever for writers. I’m like sailing the high seas of creativity now.”

Donna giddily twirls around in a circle. “I definitely took the scenic route, and I even docked my ship for about 10 years before getting back to writing. I started self-publishing three years ago, and I have a novella with Samhain (which has also been translated into German). I had offers from a couple of smaller presses, but decided they weren’t right for me at the time. I’m a happy indie hybrid author. Especially since this last book is finally done!” Donna falls to the ground in a dead faint but holds her beignet up in the air so it doesn’t get dirt on it.

Aye, unless I am mistook, you cannot hold your rum, lass. The only way to spread your sails is with practice. Pirates have codes for this. Jack leans close. More like guidelines anyway. What are your codes?

“Let it all hang out. That’s how to write a great story. Channel those characters. Their hopes, fears, sorrows, agonies, joy. I laugh with them and I cry with them. Sometimes, we all get drunk together…”

Jack’s respect for Lady Patricia grows. He checks Lady Donna’s pulse. Are you all right, luv? Do I need to cut your corset strings? Donna awakens and grins.

“Looks like we have a similar philosophy, Patricia! My writing rules boil down to just one: “story first”. If the rules keep me from getting the story written, I jettison them. My characters are a mutinous lot, so I pretty much let them do what they want, because I’ve discovered they’ll just stand there and smile politely if I try to make them do something they don’t think is right for them. Some days I feel like I’m a court reporter, just there to document their activities, and other days they let me believe I’m actually in charge. LOL!”

Captain Jack Sparrow Undead Monkey Jack’s experience with mutiny isn’t something he remembers fondly. If you lose command of your own ship, make sure you have your effects. Turns to undead monkey, aims and fires.

We’re square on several things, m’ladies, except one. Who is your all-time favorite pirate? Do take your time. Jack preens. No need to speak hastily.

“Captain Jack Sparrow, of course. Johnny Depp did a great job!”

Jack flashes a sparkling smile then gazes hopefully at Donna.

Donna grins mischievously. “My fave is Beauvallet.”

Crestfallen, Jack frowns. Beauvallet? Isn’t that a man who parks cars?

“He’s an Elizabethan pirate written by Georgette Heyer, although it seems like I’m the only one who knows about him! Which is fine, now that I think about it. I’m not so good at sharing the spoils. :)”

Aha! Now here be the greatest link between these women yet. True pirate wenches all! And to make this day even brighter, they be offering $5 Amazon Gift Cards for 2 lucky commenters on the blog! So read on, me hearties, and don’t forget to post a comment for a chance to win, eh?

Patricia PrestonToday’s guest pirates: Patricia Preston is a Southern gal who writes historical and contemporary romance as well as humorous Southern fiction. Her publishers include New Love Stories, True Romance, Affaire de Coeur, Cloverdale Press, The Blue and Gray Magazine, Sea Oats Review, and Carina Press. She won William Faulkner Award for Short Fiction, the Lone Star Writing Competition for Historical Romance, and Harlequin’s World’s Best Romances Short Story Competition. Her short stories have been best sellers on Amazon and listed on Amazon’s Top 100 in comedy. She is currently working on a historical romance series, French Quarter Brides, and a contemporary series, Lafayette Falls Romance.

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

FinalCoverforToSaveALadyTO SAVE A LADY is set in the exotic French Quarter of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

A move from Paris to New Orleans brings disaster to Elise Plaisance’s predictable life as a lady’s maid. The son of her grief-stricken mistress disappears, and Elise is drawn into a dangerous web of conspiracy and deceit as the threat of war divides the city and brings hostilities to the French Quarter.

A stalwart commander, Captain Jesse Cross doesn’t fancy himself as a lovelorn soldier desperate for a wartime sweetheart until a mysterious French spy captivates his imagination. Their romance is a frail illusion, born in the darkness of a moonlit courtyard and never meant to last forever.

The enemy strikes. Both on the battlefield and in the Quarter. Lies are exposed, and promises broken. Torn between loyalty and love, Elise must risk everything to rescue her mistress’s son before all is lost. Jesse knows he must stop her even if it means sacrificing his honor and his life to save a lady.

Ports: For info on new releases/contests, sign up for my newsletter

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Thanks for having me, Kathy!! Sailing with you has been a blast and I haven’t gotten seasick once!

Aye, I shall pass along your message, Lady Patricia! Katherine will be greatly pleased. ARRRR!!!!

Donna CummingsOur second guest pirate: Donna Cummings has worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances. She resides in New England, although she fantasizes about spending the rest of her days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

She can usually be found on Twitter, chatting about writing and coffee, or on Facebook, chatting about coffee and writing.

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

LW_medLord Wastrel, Book 2 in The Curse of True Love Series

When Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, plays matchmaker, true love can seem like a curse

Lord Wastrel—the most notorious rake in London—has a child? Clearly he knows how to sire one, but he has no idea how to actually raise one. He has to learn quickly, since he is the little girl’s only surviving parent, and he’s determined to find a wife who can assist him with this daunting task. All he needs is someone demure, and biddable, and most importantly, scandal-free.

Lady Felicia Selby is no stranger to scandal, thanks to Society’s insatiable curiosity about her numerous failed elopements. She has devoted many years to finding her one true love, desperate to escape the consequences of the family curse, but she has begun to give up hope.

Then, one evening, a chance encounter with Aphrodite changes everything. . .

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Thank you for stepping aboard ship, Lady Patricia and Lady Donna. May your latest book releases tip the literary scales! And don’t forget these two generous authors have got two $5 Amazing Gift Cards for two lucky commenters! Post a comment for a chance to win, eh?