Sharon Cullen’s Pleasing the Pirate

Image Two hearts are wrenched between love and duty in Sharon Cullen’s tale of a ruthless pirate and the Scottish lass who fills him with desire for something greater than plunder.

With her clan’s crops burned and their property confiscated, Mairi McFadden is desperate to free her brother from imprisonment so that he can take his rightful place as chief. Her only hope is the fierce English pirate Phin Lockwood, but the buccaneer laughs at her meager funds. His roving eyes, however, tell Mairi there’s something else he’ll take in exchange for her brother’s rescue. Though she burns with hatred for the English, she’ll do anything to save her clan.

The crown has made it clear that Phin has two choices: bring in a certain Scottish traitor or hang. And he’s not about to let a tiny, whiskey-eyed woman get in his way, even if she is pointing a gun at him. When Phin learns that Mairi’s brother is the very man he seeks, he’s more than willing to use the lass as bait. But as the moment of capture draws near, Phin is surprised by his feelings for the courageous beauty who has him considering risking his life—for someone besides himself.

Excerpt:

The sound of large, booted feet made its way toward Captain Phin’s cabin, interrupting her thoughts. The steps were heavy, methodical, steady, moving ever closer. Mairi sat up. Her palms grew moist and her heart thundered. This had to be him. Even his footsteps sounded authoritative.

She jumped up and wiped her free hand on her skirts, wincing at the protestation of her stomach. Transferring the pistol, she wiped off her other hand, then raised the pistol with both hands, sighting down the barrel as her da taught her to do.

The door creaked open and Captain Phin stepped in. All six foot plus of him. He had to duck to clear the doorway and when he straightened, the top of his blond head nearly touched the ceiling.

He locked stormy gray eyes on her. He was wearing a dark blue waistcoat with gold epaulets at the shoulders and absolutely nothing beneath it except a very large expanse of sun-browned skin.

Oh my. She had to remind herself to breathe.

His breeches were tan in color and so tight she saw every muscle in his thighs ripple. Rugged, well-worn boots reached his knees.

Mairi tore her astonished gaze from his body to his face. This was not what she expected when she pictured Captain Phin Lockwood. She’d imagined an older man, face creased by years on the ocean. Bowlegged, bent at the shoulders, a dry voice and rheumy eyes.

This man’s shoulders were impossibly wide and his eyes . . . She swallowed. She’d never seen such beautiful gray eyes.

A dark brown brow was lifted in query, a sensuous mouth twisted in an ironic smile. He crossed his arms over his naked chest and spread his very non-bowlegged legs to accommodate the rocking of the ship.

“That pistol is as big as you are, little one.”

Oh, dear. That voice wasn’t dry at all. It was smooth as the whiskey her da had kept in his study.

~ * ~

sharon cullen 021Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romance, The Notorious Lady Anne, Loving the Earl and Pleasing the Pirate. She’s also published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance.

Her other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.

If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.

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Guest Blogger Giveaway: Heather Massey

I Blame Ted Danson For My Erotic Sci-Fi Romance ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE

Quite a few years ago, I watched an interview with Ted Danson, the actor best known for his stint as Sam Malone on the 1982 sitcom Cheers. The interview was on some kind of celebrity-oriented show, possibly Entertainment Tonight (back in the day when it was helmed by Mary Hart and John Tesh). Anyway, this interview is when I first learned that the actor was also an environmental advocate.

At one point during the interview, Ted Danson remarked something along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing here) “whenever we flush the toilet, it becomes somebody else’s problem.”

Well. Well. Talk about a massive guilt trip! I hopped right on that one, let me tell you. I don’t know if it was my upbringing or Ted Danson’s rebuking tone or the way he seemed to look right into the camera—right at me—but that moment was the first time I developed real insight regarding the monumental task of keeping Earth healthy.

Unfortunately, I was too naïve at the time to make a connection between my thoughts about his statement and my behavior—meaning that my behavior could change. But his words stayed with me, replaying in my mind even decades later. Naturally, this tended to occur most often when I had to use the toilet. Ugh! I kept agonizing over whatever harm I was causing the environment every time I had to pee or poop.

Eventually, I got wise about the fact that the only way to relieve my sense of unrelenting guilt was to start doing my part to help Earth. I began with easy things, like shutting off lights when leaving the room. Reusing items whenever I could. Keeping the water off while brushing my teeth. Recycling. Composting. I’m not as consistent as I could be, but I’m actively working on retraining myself and ditching maladaptive environmental habits.

Ted Danson’s words were so powerful that they had a particularly unexpected repercussion. When I decided to write my erotic sci-fi romance Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), I channeled my experience with his message into the narrative. On one level, my book is about a hawt futuristic explorer who tangles with a sexy, ruthless space pirate during his quest to find a new world. But on another level, the story explores the consequences (albeit in a very fantastical way) of pollution allowed to continue unchecked on planet Earth.

Don’t get me wrong: my story is pure unabashed entertainment all the way. I intentionally avoided pulling a “Ted Danson” during the course of the story—no preaching allowed. But, given my encounter with his interview and its subsequent impact, I couldn’t help but speculate about the relationship between flushing toilets and a dying Earth. Are we really heading toward a time when we’ll be flushing our planet away for good? I shudder to think so.

Since writing the story, I’ve been working even harder on flushing away my harmful habits. In fact, as I write this, I’m awaiting delivery of a Fiskars 6201 18-Inch 5-Blade Momentum Push Reel Lawn Mower. Even though I’m hardly a lawn mower expert, I can’t wait to start using this baby. The exercise ain’t exactly gonna hurt me, either—take that, Ted Danson!

And now for a giveaway!  To help celebrate Earth Day, I’m giving away a $10.00 Red Sage gift certificate to one winner (because going digital with books is another way I’ve gone green, and I’d love for you to join me, even if it’s just for one book). To enter, leave a comment telling me one way you’ve gone green or plan to do so.

Bio:
Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

Heather’s debut erotic sci-fi romance novel, Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), features the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.

For more information, visit her Web site at www.heathermassey.com.

Story blurb:

In the sea of stars, an epic love story is about to begin…

Earth is dying. Nick Venture, the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus, embarks on a dangerous mission to find a new planet and save humanity. This places him on a collision course with Raquel Donovan, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.
Raquel lives for one purpose: revenge against a horrible demon from her past. When an attempt to hijack Nick’s starship backfires, Raquel becomes his protector in order to avoid capture by the tyrannical Space Defense Corps. Nick and Raquel are irresistibly drawn to one another despite the forbidden nature of their attraction. But the conflicted pirate’s deepest secret could tear the couple apart even as humanity’s time runs out….

Addition:  I’m going to match Heather’s giveaway!  So we’re offering TWO $10 Red Sage gift certificates!