Hello M/M lovers!
Welcome to the Slippery When Wet Hop! This hop will be lots of fun for those who enjoy hops. We have many excellent M/M authors showing off their books. Each one will do their own giveaways but their will also be a grand prize giveaway to the person who visits the most authors. A Barnes and Noble GC! If you want it to be yours be sure to leave a comment with your email addy on each page you visit. In honor of Halloween and this hop, I will be giving away a copy of Ghost of a Second Chance! Good Luck!
I do lots of hops during the beginning and the end of the year and the biggest issue I always have is what to write. This time, however, with a title called Slippery When Wet a wanted to do something that had to do with water! A Day on Plunderer’s Pride fit the bill.
I love pirates! They are usually sea roughened men hardened by the choices they have made in life. Most pirates are not educated men thus their code of conduct is simple. If they want your shit they’re going to take unless you’re man enough to stop them. It is crude and hardly accepted among common society so they stay on the seas where other men like themselves are.
Captain Hazard is the leader of several men of this nature. He is also a man like that, but he possessed people skills as well having dealt with his government from time to time. Pirates were issued a Letter of Marque and told to ambush ships and bring back the goods. They were given a small percentage for services rendered, but then were hunted and executed without trial for doing what they were told.
On Plunderer’s Pride you will find men like this, but I wanted to show another side of them. As we know no matter how tough your man is, you are privy to a different side of him. Let me introduce you to Captain Julian Hazard and his quartermaster, Nigel.
"A pirate’s life is for me!"
Life is hard, but worthwhile on the pirate ship Plunderer's Pride. Follow Captain Julian Hazard and his band of ruffians as they go about their daily business. As you endure their daily struggles and nightly rewards you may find that a pirate's life may be for you, too.
Captain Hazard walked along the empty deck toward the gang plank. All off-duty crew members were in town, adding to the usual chaos of Port Royal. Nigel hardly ever left the ship when they were docked, preferring to stay by his captain’s side in all things. Julian liked it that way as well. Nigel was not only his quartermaster, but his favorite as well.
“The men are on standby, Nigel?” he inquired as they walked along the pier.
Julian knew the answer even as he asked the question. Nigel was an exceptional quartermaster. He knew what Julian expected from him and his crew and he had not been disappointed since Nigel officially took the position.
“Aye, sir, waiting for my call.”
The governor’s house was not far from the shoreline but away from the denser streets filled with taverns, homes, and the noise that filled the heart of small coastal city. In a short while they were on the stone pathway that led them directly to the door of his stately two-story home.
“Good day, Captain Hazard. You are expected,” a servant told him. “Please follow me.”
The governor was an Englishman with all the comforts his position afforded. The house was large and immaculately decorated. Crystal chandeliers hung from the vaulted ceilings, plush crimson carpet covered the floors, while the walls showed the succession of the men in his family in large golden frames.
“The governor will be with you shortly.”
The oversized room they were left in was scarcely furnished: a few cushioned chairs and small tables to separate them and a circular staircase leading to the upper level. The ceilings and walls were as bejeweled as the rest of the rooms they passed. Captain Hazard looked around the room, frowning before he turned his gaze to his companion. Nigel stood unmoving, staring straight ahead. His sturdy legs were spread as he stood erect with his chest out and hands clasped behind his back. A light sheen of perspiration glistened faintly on his bald head in the light of the room. His wide chest rose and fell steadily under the tattered tan shirt he wore.
Julian glanced at Nigel several times as he paced the floors, admiring his quiet patience. Luckily, before Julian’s intolerance for waiting wore too thin, he heard the clump of heeled shoes on the steps. He turned to the sound. Sir William Pendleton smoothed the ruffles on his pristine white blouse as he descended the staircase slowly. Two large silver buttons on his abdomen closed the black satin overcoat that swayed along the back of his calves. He exaggerated each step, overextending his legs, causing his foot to hit the stair heavily.
“Greetings, Captain Hazard. So good of you to stop by.” His voice was light and jovial.
“I am here at your request, Governor,” he stated just as cheerfully, walking over to meet him.
“Quite so. Well, in that case, I thank you for answering my summons,” the governor amended, offering the captain a limp wrist handshake. “I am a blunt man, Captain. I will come right to the point of this meeting. You have a reputation of attacking other ships, taking whatever riches they have on board, the crew as well. Is there truth to this accusation?”
Captain Hazard wrapped his arms around his chest and raised a brow. “Aye. I take what I want and trade what I don’t need.” Irritation tinged his voice as he confirmed the allegation without faltering.
The governor raised his hands in surrender. “That is not a criticism, my good man, by no means. I ask because I am in need of such skills.” Governor Pendleton produced another scroll from a nearby desk draw. “This is a Letter of Marque. I would like you to stop a trade ship on its way back from the Americas. It is a Spanish galleon that makes birth out of Santa Domingo. It is said that they carry gold, silver, spices, silks, ivory, and the like. Whatever the cargo is I want it.”
Captain Hazard looked over the letter and nodded. “What is my cut?”
“Bring me half of the goods, and the other half is yours. That seems fair, does it not?”
Hazard thought on his offer. “What of the galleon’s crew?” he asked with a raised brow.
Sir Pendleton waved away his question. “Do what you will with them. Lay waste to whole lot for all I care. They are of no concern to me, only the treasure matters. Do we have an agreement?” he asked impatiently.
Captain Hazard looked over his shoulder at his companion. They had been sailing together for many years. He could read the man very well. Julian looked for signs of caution in Nigel’s handsome but blank expression, but saw none. Satisfied, he re-rolled the scroll and handed it over to Nigel before turning back to the governor.
“Aye, Governor, we have an accord.”
“Excellent! My spies tell me that the ship was due to leave the Americas just this morning in route to Santa Domingo loaded to the brim with my riches. If you leave with the rising sun you should be able to intercept them as they move past Cuba toward Haiti. I do not wish them to return to Hispaniola with riches I have already determined to be mine, Captain Hazard. Do not disappointment me,” Governor Pendleton added pointedly with an air of arrogance before turning on his heels to return to the stairs, abruptly ending their meeting.
The captain and his mate left the room quickly. “Gather the men and meet me on the ship, Nigel. We leave before dawn.”
“Aye, sir,” he said, lagging behind him, already in motion to do his bidding.
Plunderer’s Pride is available now at Muse it Hot