Pirates of Port Royal series update

Image courtesy of Austin Neill on Unsplash

The Pirates of Port Royal are about to set sail again!

I’m pleased to announce that, under the imprint of Sinnamon Press, all previously published novels will shortly be back on the market. Since they were taken off the shelves, I’ve been revising and editing the original works to make them even better than before.

All four books will be published in April in their brand new editions with brand new covers. For release day specials and free reads, sign up to Scribblings & Musings, my regular newsletter.

Four books? I hear you say. Does this mean there’s a brand new Pirates of Port Royal book?  Well, that’s a bit of a story…

When I received my rights back from Loose Id, I quickly republished A Summer Pursuit and The Winter Trail. However, I decided the Pirates of Port Royal series needed a closer look. Amongst other things, I wanted to better incorporate the story arc—murder and espionage in the seventeenth century Caribbean!

And those of you who know me know I feel very strongly about using American spelling and grammar in what is essentially a British story. (I really am too pedantic for my own good sometimes.)

Pirate’s Promise and The Penitent Pirate only needed a light rework, but I was never happy with the published version of The Puritan Pirate. As Keren Reed, my long-suffering editor at Loose Id, may remember! At the time, I felt the story wasn’t ready to go out, but market forces intervened, and I rushed its release.

Having the leisure of no publishing deadline, I thought I’d try to craft the book into what I originally wanted. And that was two books, because it really is two distinct stories—the story of Perry and Quinn discovering each other, and the story of Perry realising he values love more than he values his career.

I thought long and hard. I tore chapters apart and knitted them back together. I wrote substantial new material to round the manuscript out into two standalone stories. And then, I made the plunge. I split it into The Puritan Pirate and Pirate Master.

So, readers, while there’s a wodge of new chapters across both books, giving deeper insights into Perry and Quinn, Pirate Master is not a new release as such. But I’ll let you in on a not-very-well-kept secret! There is a new Pirates of Port Royal book coming soon, but more on that in another post.

As an author, I learned two lessons from this experience.

The first: Trust your instincts. I knew The Puritan Pirate wasn’t ready, but I published it anyway. I knew it needed to be two books, but I listened to well-meaning friends who said it was great the way it was.
The second: Never rush a release! You’ll always regret it, as I did.

Hurricanes devastate the Caribbean

Jefferys' map of the Caribbee Isles
Jefferys’ map of the Caribbee Isles, now known as the Lesser Antilles

As my fans will know, the Pirates of Port Royal series is set in the Caribbean of the seventeenth century. My pirates stay ashore during the well known hurricane season, and I included a storm (albeit a mild one) in The Puritan Pirate.

As the events of the 2017 hurricane season unfolded, I and my family were glued to the TV, avidly searching social media as we watched the storms meander across the sea. And hurricanes do meander. For such a frightening event, they are surprisingly slow.

Harvey.

Irma.

Maria.

At no time in recorded history have three such powerful hurricanes made landfall in such rapid succession. As the years pass and climate change worsens, they will grow in severity and travel further and further north. And they will increasingly make landfall.

Sint Maarten, Barbuda, Anguilla. St Thomas and St John. Dominica, Puerto Rico.

For once in my life, and to my family’s astonishment, my geography knowledge exceeded theirs. I knew these names, these places. Through research, I had come to know and love them. And island by island, the hurricanes proceeded to take them apart.

I have named only a few of the islands that are facing an unprecedented catastrophe, from which it will likely take years to recover. While many of these islands are territories of wealthy nations, they themselves are poor, with scarce resources and, for the most part, aging infrastructure. The press has abounded with stories of various governments’ poor responses in assisting their devastated territories. Now Oxfam, a charity with decades of experience in managing catastrophic disasters, has stepped in.

Oxfam rarely responds to humanitarian emergencies in wealthy countries. But due to government apathy, the situation in Puerto Rico worsens hour by hour. Oxfam has decided to assist in the name of human decency.

Although Puerto Rico’s situation is possibly the most desperate, Oxfam is assisting other island nations as well. If you want to help the citizens of the beautiful Caribbean islands recover from this devastating storm season, you can donate to Oxfam here.

Chevaliers & Charlatans – a Scribblings & Musings exclusive

Chevaliers & Charlatans is a new series that takes place in the world of the Pirates of Port Royal. All stories are free, and exclusive to subscribers to my monthly newsletter, Scribblings & Musings.

The first story, A Chevalier in Deed, is available with the October edition. Sign up now to receive your copy!

The Caribbean, 1661
When Titus Kandel meets Sir Henry Polglase, an irrepressible

Cover of A Chevalier in Deed by Jules Radcliffe
A Chevalier in Deed, book one of the Chevaliers & Charlatans series

fire smoulders between them. But Ty belongs to another man—the repulsive Jonkheer Van Wyck.
Sir Henry swears he will rescue Ty from his master’s clutches. Ty wants to believe him, but he knows how difficult it will be to persuade Van Wyck to let him go. And then, to his delight, Sir Henry shows that he is different to other free men.
But all too soon, Ty discovers Sir Henry’s true purpose in coming to the Caribbean…

A Scoundrel in Silk, the second story, will be available in the November issue of Scribblings & Musings.

Maps, maps, maps!

I love vintage maps, the fanciful decorations, the creative spelling, the even more creative coastlines! Still, it’s impressive what navigators and mapmakers were able to do with a cross staff, an astrolabe, and bits of string. (Did you know how to calculate latitude wasn’t discovered until the eighteenth century?)

With the release of the second book in the Pirates of Port Royal series, The Penitent Pirate, I decided to create maps of my own based on vintage maps. It was a fascinating labour of love! I made one of the seas around Port Royal and Tortuga, where much of the action of the series takes place, and I did another of the old city of Port Royal. In both maps I marked places of interest in my stories.

Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692, and no contemporary map exists. I based my map on an eighteenth century map and used archaeological studies, including the very impressive work of Michael Pawson and David Buisseret to fill in the gaps.

Both maps are included in The Penitent Pirate, but for anyone who wants to be able to zoom in for a better look, I’ve also posted them here. I hope you enjoy poring over them as much as I loved making them!

Jamaica map for the Pirates of Port Royal series
A chart of the seas around the island of Jamaica, showing places of interest, currents, and sailing routes
Port Royal map for the Pirates of Port Royal series
A map of Port Royal on the island of Jamaica, showing the layout of the streets, places of note, and unpatented lots.

The Penitent Pirate – out now!

Get a sneak peek at The Penitent Pirate here

The Penitent Pirate by Jules RadcliffeThe Caribbean, 1664

After peaceful months ashore strengthening their new union, Perry and Quinn are ready to return to the life they love best–roving with the buccaneer ship Audacious. Quinn is still haunted by his torture in a Spanish dungeon, and Perry hopes being back at sea will restore his matelot to his old self.

In Port Royal, they are swept into intrigues. The worthies of Jamaica are conspiring against the buccaneers, a baby is found on their doorstep, and a mysterious gentleman has a secret he will kill to preserve.

Just when Perry and Quinn hope to sail and leave it all behind, Quinn is asked to become the sailing master of Night Hawk, captained by the dashing Raphe Ashburn, his former lover. Charming, aristocratic, and witty, Captain Ashburn is everything Perry wishes he could be. But Night Hawk is a valuable ally, so Perry convinces Quinn to go.

All goes well until Perry must make an alliance with an old enemy. He is certain he will never see his matelot again, for Quinn is not a man to brook deceit or infidelity from a lover. And Captain Ashburn is waiting in the wings to pick up their old affair.

When everything in their path seems intent on keeping them apart, will Perry and Quinn find their way back to each other?

To purchase The Penitent Pirate:

Go directly to my publisher Loose Id
or
Select your preferred ebook seller from the book link page

The Puritan Pirate – out now!

Available from Loose Id or your favourite ebook store

I’m proud to announce the release of The Puritan Pirate, a historical gay romance.

The Puritan Pirate is my first new novel since 2015, and it’s been a long time coming. I’d like to thank everyone at Loose Id, especially Keren Reed, my (very patient) editor, and artist Valerie Tibbs who created such a beautiful cover.

The Story

The Puritan Pirate is set in the seventeenth century, amongst the buccaneers who lived and caroused in Port Royal.

It’s the story of Perry and Quinn, two men from opposite worlds.

Lieutenant Thomas Peregrine—Perry—was raised a Puritan and joined the navy when he was a boy. Though he knows they are a necessary evil, he has always detested privateers. In his view, they are immoral, greedy, and unpatriotic. But when his ship is posted to Jamaica, he is ordered, to his horror, to serve aboard the Audacious, one of the most feared buccaneer ships in the Caribbean.

Gabriel Quinn, once a slave, is now sailing master of the Audacious. He hates the English for what they did to his native Ireland. Upon first meeting Perry, he detests the young naval lieutenant as much as Perry detests him.

Follow Perry and Quinn as sparks fly, swashes buckle, and romance abounds!

Read an excerpt of The Puritan Pirate here.