What happens when you mix a woman bent on Maritime History and and the ghost of an Irish Pirate in Greece?
Teresa Lorence is a Thesis away from gaining her Doctorate in Maritime History. Through a friend of a friend, she gets to fly to Greece for some experience in building a Pirate Vessel. The moment she boards the plane from New Orleans, she is dropped squarely in the middle of a mystery. First is the package containing an ancient map and a note signed only with the MM, then the tales of a ship called the MerLion that sales the Mediteranean and the ghostly stud muffin that suddenly appeared in the Captain's cabin, demanding an explanation.
From there, the mystery deepens, widens, and becomes more complicated than the Seven Seas combined. Through it all, Teresa is drawn to the Handsome ghost who she now knows as the MerLion himself. Has Fate brought them together, only to be ripped apart by Death itself? Come aboard, open the book, and let your imagine sail you into the adventure of a lifetime.
Yo Ho, Yo Ho…
The movie blared at top volume from downstairs as Teresa threw the last of her clothes into a duffel bag.
“Yo Ho my ass,” she grumbled to herself, throwing yet another costume pirate hat onto the growing pile in the corner where at least ten others lay. “If I find another one of these things, I’m going to find Jerry and shove them someplace painful.”
Zipping the bag shut and taking one last look around her bedroom, she smiled. This would be her last view of home for the next five years. Its walls had gone from the long-forgotten cartoon characters of childhood, to the rock stars and actors she and her friends had drooled over. In their place now were world maps, study notes, and photos of ships and noted pirates of the world. Several scale models, including the Flying Dutchman, sailed protectively around her room on their shelves, the dark blue paint giving them the appearance of sailing the high seas.
Now, as she prepared to go to Greece to work on her thesis on maritime history, she closed the door on one chapter of her life and began another. This final project would be all that stood between her and her doctorate. LSU had put her in contact with a group of researchers and archaeologists who were re-creating an authentic pirate vessel with the intention of sailing it around the Mediterranean. Far from being a rank beginner in the sailing department, she’d studied and actually worked on board a tall ship for a week to get the feel of how they were handled, she hoped to put her knowledge to use and not be a burden.
The only fly in the ointment was her stupid family. The moment they figured out she was going to be doing hands-on research in a foreign land, the roof went orbital. Even now, a month later, she could still hear the whole clan up in arms.
“Yer not going, Teresa! That’s final.” Her father glared at her from the dinner table after she’d made the announcement.
Jerry, Jamie, Jake, John, and Felix all added their agreement in a loud and boisterous way. One guaranteed to send the neighbors over soon if they didn’t shut up. Not that it mattered. Most of the people around here were used to her family by now. Three quarters of them would agree with her father and brothers.
She waited for the uproar to die down and quietly said, “You can’t stop me, Dad. I’m twenty-five years old, and I’m going to do what I want to this time.” Before he had a chance to get started again, she held up her hand. “You and the boys treated me like one of your own until I started showing tits and having my period. Suddenly I was a china doll and the baby sister who should be wearing dresses and not doing anything but what you all say I should do. Thing is, people, this is my life, and you don’t own it anymore. I love you all, but this is my choice, not yours, and I’m going.”
When they saw they couldn’t budge her, they started in with that movie and took to leaving all manner of pirate stuff in her room. Only her dad remained aloof from everything. It seemed there would never be a reconciliation as she walked down the stairs to where the rest of her luggage had been stacked.
The moment she set foot on the hardwood floor near the front door, someone grabbed her from behind. Whatever her brother thought he was going to do to her next didn’t happen as she slammed her foot down on top of his, pulling it so she wouldn't break the foot, just make it hurt like hell. At the same time her head whipped back to make contact with her attacker’s nose. Afterward, it’d been a simple matter to grab a hand and begin to twist, and corkscrew her eldest brother to his knees. Shifting her grip, she locked his wrist so he winced in pain.
“Dammit, sis. Lemme go!” he hollered.
With her anger out of proportion, Teresa glared down at her brother. “You should know better than to try that shit, Jerry. Remember who my last boyfriend was. Remember the cop?”
He nodded. “Yeah, yeah. I remember the asshole that thought you looked good in tight leather and handcuffs.”
She winced at the memory and tightened her grip. “Thank you so much, brother, for the reminder. I really needed that memory to follow me all the way to Greece.” After a few moments, she turned him loose.
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Diane Taylor lives in a small apartment in Everett, Wa. with a muse that pesters her to "Write, darn you, Write!"
She began writing full time in 2003 when she took on the NanoWrimo challenge, also known as writing a 50K novel in 30 days. Since then she's never looked back. When not writing, she's out doing research or spending quiet evenings inside reading the newest novel by one of her favorite authors.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org OR come visit her at her blog for updates on her newest story lines or just get an insight on what it's like to write books.
For those adventurous types out there, you can go check out the NanoWrimo website.
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