The Sargasso’s Mistress


The Sargasso’s Mistress is set in the Carolinas and explores some of the local intrigues that eventually led to the attack on Blackbeard’s ship and his death at the hands of Robert Maynard. Blackbeard will be mentioned, as will some of his exploits in the Carolinas, but he won’t actually show up in a scene. We’ll also meet up with Boone Wilder and Sabine 🙂 from Devil’s Island in the Bahamas.



Christopher Taylor, who you met briefly in Devil’s Island, is a swoon-worthy and much more playful pirate than Boone Wilder, yet he hides a more serious side, one he can’t help but give into when he meets his heroine.

Back Cover Copy:

To escape her murderous reputation, Olive Jessop takes refuge on the notorious pirate ship, the Sargasso’s Mistress. Reveling in her newly found freedom, she concocts a scandalous plan to bury the specter of her late husband for good-propose to the captain they become lovers. She never expected such a rogue to refuse. But when he convinces his hardened crew not to torture a captive, she finds she wants to uncover more of the man than what’s tucked away beneath his breeches.

The widow’s presence on Captain Christopher Taylor’s ship clashes with his commitment to help fortify the North Carolina coast against the actions of a corrupt colonial governor. Her quiet beauty recalls emotions he thought he’d long tossed overboard-like so much expendable ballast-when he vowed to redeem himself from his father’s past betrayals. Yet, when they reach a pirate enclave in the Caribbean, he struggles to suppress his desire to make love to her on the seductive island beaches.

Set amidst the explosive events leading to the infamous Blackbeard’s death, Olive and Christopher must choose between personal agendas and their growing passion for each other. Will the choice come in time to save them from the hangman’s noose?

See excerpt below from Devil’s Island for a glimpse of Captain Taylor:

“Captain Wilder. I’ll always consider you a friend on the seas, but the company you keep…” said another of the beached pirate captains who approached their circle, sporting a long red coat with no shirt underneath, a gold hoop earring matching the copper tones of his brown hair, while waving a hand in Fornier’s direction.

Fornier laughed and patted the sand next to him. “Come sit, Cristophe. I’ll allow the insult tonight, but can’t speak for my cannon the next time we meet on the seas.”

The captain dropped next to Fornier, grabbed a piece of meat, and waved it at Boone. “I heard a deli- cious rumor, old friend, and came to seek its verity.”

“And what would that be?” Boone asked, his eyebrow cocked.

The new pirate, whose name was Christopher Taylor, took a bite of the meat and scanned the faces gathered around the fire. “That you have the sweet daughter of Nicholas Tanner hidden away.”

Sabine held her breath for a moment too close to a blade’s edge to touch, but substantial enough to be noticed if anyone were paying close attention—and Fornier was. She widened her eyes and scooted away from the fire. Salley, next to her, feigned disinterest while he shifted his position to give him access to his cutlass.

“And you think if I had a tasty female in my clutches, I’d be sitting here with you mangy scupperlouts,” Boone responded, earning a burst of raucous laughter.

Christopher slapped Boone on the back and guffawed. “Now, my friend. That I can believe. What I found hard to believe was the thrashing Auger received at the hands of that damned Brit privateer hired to rout us out.”

“You worried about a few meager privateers? Eh? They are but worms for us to squash with our cannon,” Fornier said.

“It’s only a matter of time before the worms multiply and eat our ships out from under us,” Christopher said. “This wide open sea we’ve pillaged is shrinking, closing in on us.”

“By then I’ll be on Madagascar eating coconuts,” Boone said.

“Wrapped between the long legs of native women.” Fornier laughed.

Christopher grabbed the guitar on the log next to him and passed it to Flory. “Sing us a song, boy.”

Flory took his guitar and adjusted the strings. He strummed, cleared his throat and started his tune.

“Now, whiskey is the life of man

Always was since the world began Now whiskey gave me a broken nose

And whiskey made me pawn my clothes…”

The men laughed.

“Now, whiskey is the life of man Whiskey from that old tin can
I thought I heard the first mate say…”

Flory poked Malcolm with the tip of the guitar. Malcolm grumbled, then sang:

“I treats me crew in a decent way.”

The men guffawed and joined in the final chorus, all singing loud as only drunk men can manage.

“A glass of whiskey all around
And a bottle full for the shanty man.”

The men laughed and passed the bottle around. When it finally made its rounds to Flory, he peeked inside. “But it’s not full.”

“Aye, don’t be getting airs just because you can strum some strings,” Malcolm said, playfully cuffing him on the back of the head. He grabbed another bottle, took a long gulp, then handed it to Flory.

Boone stretched out on the sand, his hands behind his head. He gave Sabine the cocksure grin she was beginning to despise and certainly distrusted, yet she couldn’t tear her gaze away from how the same smile chased off the worried lines and furrowed brows that often plagued his face, even subduing the ferocity of his scar. He met her stare, the wicked gleam in his eyes making clear he knew she was admiring him, but she didn’t care.

“Flory, another tune. Something mournful,” he said.

The younger man scratched his head, his expression serious. His eyes lit up and he strummed.

“Oh Sally, she’n the gal that I love dearly…”

Flory held the last note and waited for the men to provide a chorus:

“Way, sing Sally oh

Oh Sally, she’s the gal that I splice nearly Her lips is red and her hair is curly

Oh Sally, she’n my ‘Badian beauty
Sally gal, she know her duty…”

Boone scorched her with his bold stare, the fire playing off his features, making him look very much the devil. Sabine was grateful for the blaze of the fire to hide her reddened cheeks.

“Oh Sally, she’n my bright mulatta Sally gal, she do what she ought to Oh, seven long years I courted Sally But I don’t care for her dilly-dally…”

Flory paused, picked a melody, then strummed quickly, and raised his voice.

“So I signed on board of a New Bedford whaler When I come home she was married to a tailor!”

“Aye to that. Drink hearty, mates,” Malcolm said, raising the jug. He took another swig then fell back on the sand, to the men’s amusement.

At that, Christopher stood and bowed. “My brothers. Thank you for the extraordinary meal and company. When I die, take what ye may and joy go with thee.” He looked down at Flory. “Good thing ye have the voice of an angel to compensate for your wretched mug.” He staggered off in the sand, laughing.