12 April 2022

Blog Tour Excerpt From When The Mermaid Sings: A Jesamiah Acorne Short Read Nautical Adventure, by Helen Hollick

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Summer. 1708. Throughout childhood, Jesamiah Mereno has suffered the bullying of his elder half-brother. Then, not quite fifteen years old, and on the day they bury their father, Jesamiah hits back. In consequence, he flees his Virginia home, changes his name to Jesamiah Acorne, and joins the crew of his father’s seafaring friend, Captain Malachias Taylor, aboard the privateer, Mermaid.

A brief bit about the Sea Witch Voyages:

I wrote the first Voyage (Sea Witch) back in 2005 after thoroughly enjoying the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Like most avid readers, however, I wanted more than just the movie, I wanted to read something that was as entertaining and as exciting. 

A nautical adventure with a charming rogue of a pirate captain, written for adults (with adult content) but with a dash of supernatural fantasy as well – elements of which had made that first movie such fun to watch. I found many nautical-based novels, but they were all ‘serious stuff’ – Patrick O’Brian, Alexander Kent, C. S. Forrester ... all good reads but without the fantasy fun, and barely a female character in sight. I simply could not find the book I wanted to read. So, I wrote my own.

The first Voyage led to more books in the series, and also generated several emails from fans who wanted to know how Jesamiah had become a pirate in the first place. When the Mermaid Sings answers that question.

Excerpt: Virginia. Summer 1708

For several minutes Jesamiah sat staring at the strengthening flames and the sparks flying up the soot-blackened chimney. Finally, he admitted in a quivering voice, “I’m scared, Halyard. I only know this place. Where do I go? What do I do? How do I manage?” Biting his lip to drive off fresh tears, he looked at his muddy shoes. One of the silver buckles had been torn off, and his silk stocking had a hole in it. “And I’m not exactly dressed for travel,” he pointed out, attempting a weak smile.

Nodding over his shoulder, Calpin indicated the chest. “Have a rummage in there, see if there’s anything that fits you.” He flapped his hand at the room and its plain furnishing. “Do you really want to stay here? Or would you rather set off to see the world, seek adventure, fame and fortune? Go to interesting places?” He winked. “Find a pretty girl to fall in love with?”

Grimacing, his face flushing, Jesamiah confessed, “I don’t know much about girls.”

Laughing, Calpin fetched two tin plates and wooden spoons, and set them on the small table. “At your age I would hope not, but you will not be almost fifteen forever, Jes. There is life, love and the delight of a woman out there waiting for you. You will not find any of it here in Virginia, though.” He felt in his waistcoat pocket, handed Jesamiah Mayor Smallwood’s coin pouch, and explained who had donated it. “I have added some silver coins of my own. There is enough in there to see you through to the autumn fall, longer, if you sell that sword. Take care and do not spend the profits on unnecessaries.”

Returning to the fire and the bubbling stewpot, he raised a warning finger. “There is not much additional advice I can give you. Choose wisely where you spend the money and keep it well hidden. Keep your wits about you, learn from those willing to teach you, trust no one until you know for certain that you can trust them, and even then, do not trust them. And only go with decent women. For the rest, you will need to find out for yourself.”

It was on the tip of Jesamiah’s tongue to ask what Calpin meant by ‘decent’ women, but he let the subject go.

Helen Hollick

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About the Author

Helen Hollick became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she writes a nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages. She is now branching out into the quick read novella, 'Cosy Mystery' genre with her new venture, the Jan Christo-pher Murder Mysteries, set in the 1970s, with the first in the series, A Mirror Murder incorporating her, often hilarious, memories of working as a library assistant. Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She lives in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in North Devon, runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction, and occasionally gets time to write. Find out more at Helen's website https://www.helenhollick.net and find her on  Facebook and Twitter @HelenHollick


  1. Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for When The Mermaid Sings.

    All the best,
    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

  2. thank you so much for hosting a port of call Tony!


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