Swashbucklin’ History Comes to Life!

2014-09-2911.19.30Ahoy, me hearties! I’m Katherine Bone and I’m thrilled and humbled the FABulous authors at Embracing Romance invited me aboard ship to parlay with you as a regulARR contributor. Woot!!! Before I get started on my very first blog post at ER, I’d like to wish everyone continued Christmas merriment and a very Happy New Year! Huzzah and Hoorah!!! (May I offer sage advice? Don’t run out of rum. 😉 )

Now that pleasantries have been observed, let’s get the shenanigans started, eh?

But who is Katherine Bone, pirate lover extraordinaire, you ask? If you don’t already know me, I’m a FANatical fan of Black Sails and anything pirate, o’ course. I cut my teeth on reading pirate romances by Kathleen Woodiwiss, Fern Michaels, Rosemary Rogers, Johanna Lindsey, and Julie Garwood. I grew up watching swashbucklin’ movies like Captain Blood, The Black Swan, Scaramouche, and The Three Musketeers. When Pirates of the Caribbean sailed to the screen, I had been busy trying to sell a Native American Post-Civil War Shapeshifter romance I’d written after researching the Sioux for ten years. The moment I saw Captain Jack Sparrow, ship bells clanged in my ears. I knew then I had to return to my first love and start writing my own swashbucklin’ tales of romance and adventure. The switch helped me make my first sale, Duke by Day, Rogue by Night, and the creative redirection ushered in a life-long passion for all things… well… Jack. (FYI: I have a life-size version of Jack that I covet in my study and he occasionally blogs with me. Pirate!)

Jack Sparrow with gunsBut how does an author create something as powerful as Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Blood, or The Black Swan without writing about the 17th Century and the Golden Age of Piracy? I didn’t want to write what people already knew. I wanted to create something new. Thankfully, I adore research. I quickly turned my attention to the Napoleonic Wars. One particular man stood out — Admiral Horatio Nelson. When I discovered Horatio loved tea so much that he drank it without fail, even during battle, an idea gave me a broadside. What if ‘tea’ was code for mercenaries Admiral Nelson employed to help him bypass the Admiralty and ensnare the enemy? Before I knew it, that small idea burst into a full-blown series, Nelson’s Tea.

nelsonCelebrated fame doesn’t come easily. War is hard won. Nelson’s tactics and personal fiascoes often caused hickups in his quest for fame. My job as an author has been to create legendary characters like Percival, Duke of Blendingham, Captain Henry Guffald, Lord Garrick Seaton, and Gillian, Baroness Chauncey, headed by a man who’d served with Admiral Nelson on the Agamemnon, the ever vigilant Lord Simon Danbury.

In my Nelson’s Tea series, the Seatons claim the Cornish Coast as their home, finding safe harbor in Talland Bay. In reality, Cornwall and Devon were the seat—pardon the pun—of piracy until the mid-1800s. One of the most successful pirates, Zephaniah Job, the mastermind of Polperro, led a thirty year smuggling campaign that dubbed him one of the most successful and richest pirates in the region. As an ode to ol’ Zephaniah, I included his success by linking the Seatons to him through marriage. (Love it when reality and fiction mesh perfectly!)

Ross PoldarkWhat is it about the Southern English coast that draws my characters back again and again? Think Ross Poldark and Aidan Turner! Irresistible attraction! Cornwall is a living, breathing character, a harsh and gentle lover capable of fashioning the most delicate flower or carving chalk cliffs out of the unrelenting sea. It took strong, capable, and courageous people to survive in 1800s Cornwall and Devon like Tobias, Duke of Blackmoor from The Pirate’s Duchess.

Once+Upon+A+True+Love's+Kiss+Final+box1200x918The Pirate’s Duchess will be included in the Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss box set available January 4, 2016! I’m very proud the first book in my Regent’s Revenge Series will be featured alongside books by USA Today Bestseller Julie Johnstone, and Bestselling and Award-winning authors Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal, Samantha Grace, Alanna Lucas, Lauren Smith, and Victoria Vane for a limited time.

UntitledWhen I set my new book, The Pirate’s Duchess, in Exeter, Devon, I was amazed to discover the city was rooted in epic tradition all the way back to Cromwell’s time. Color me thrilled when I discovered Exeter is one of the last cities still surrounded by ancient Roman walls and was also featured in the new series, The Last Kingdom. What a great time I had watching The Last Kingdom for glimpses of the old city. A prime example why writing historicals can be the best job in the world! Yeeaauuss!

So there you have it. The scoop about me, pirate extraordinaire. I’m a Cap’n always searching for an epic story idea. If’n the winds continue to blow in my favor, I’ll be writing for a very long time. And the good news for Nelson’s Tea fans, I’m almost done with Garrick’s book, The Rogue’s Surrender! Huzzah! (This just in… Several characters in the Regent’s Revenge Series may end up meeting Seatons from my Nelson’s Tea Series. I hope that gives my readers a thrill!)

No matter what obstacles you face, keep striving to do what you dream of doing, me hearties. Nothing is impossible if you can dream it!

I’ll leave you with this FABulous quote by Winston Churchill: “Never. Never. Never. Never. Never give up.” No matter what you’re facing in life. It’s me mantra when the gales of November come early. 😉

What is it about Cornwall and Devon and pirates that appeals to you as a reader? What would you like to see written in a book about pirates and the Cornish coast?

***One lucky commenter will win an ecopy of Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss!***

Kiss Meme KB

Until then, I leave you with this meme featuring a kissing scene from The Pirate’s Duchess!

Available at:

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Wishing you fair winds, Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!




22 Responses

  1. Linda

    I can’t claim to know much about Cornwall or Devon but pirates! Ah yes. What it is about them that is so intriguing to read about? I guess for me it’s the sense of adventure, the touch of recklessness, derring do & freedom.

    • Katherine Bone

      Recklessness, derring-do and freedom! Those ARR FABulous reasons to love pirates, Lady Linda! So happy you commented today! 😉

  2. Barbara Monajem

    I read the first in the Poldark books and loved it. Also read a children’s book about some wreckers on the Cornish coast–fascinating. It’s definitely an amazing area in which to set a story–a character in its own right, as you said. Welcome, Katherine!

    • Katherine Bone

      Lady Barbara, the tales of wreckers ARR riveting. The hopelessness some of the Cornish folk felt when the copper & tin mines is so gripping! What they had to do to survive…

  3. Evelyn Brix

    Hi Katherine, the coast of Cornwall is such an intriguing place, beautiful and somehow sinister at the same time. Of course my true love of Cornwall may have more to do with a tour guide I once met there. Love at first sight. But alas, after 4 days I had to move on and so did he. Sigh.

    • Katherine Bone

      A Cornish tour guide? Luv it, Lady Evelyn!!! Im a believer in love at first sight. I also enjoy your use of the word sinister. The landscape has a power all its own, doesn’t it? 😉

  4. Alyssa Alexander

    Welcome to ER, Katherine! Looks like I’ll be picking up some pirate romances. 🙂 As for Cornwall, I’ve never been, but it seems like it’s wild and rough–the perfect place to set a swashbuckling tale!

  5. Violetta Rand

    Hello Katherine, welcome to the ER family. I adore pirates. 🙂

  6. Brenda

    I love the scenery of Cornwall. My one regret when I went to England was not being able to visit. The pictures I have seen makes me believe that though the coast looks hard at times there is a beauty and a pride there. If I were to live in England it is where I would live. I feel in love with Cornwall watching the first Poldark series and it’s only gotten stronger.

    • Katherine Bone

      Ahoy, Lady Brenda! I feel the same way about Cornwall! If I lived in England, that is where I’d love to live! Mayhap I could really be inspired there, eh? 😉

  7. jessicajefferson

    Great to have you aboard! I’m especially pleased to see the pic of Poldark. I’ve had a bit of an obsession since Victoria posted a blog about them.

    • Katherine Bone

      Ahoy, Lady Jessica! I’m a big fan too! I have the original series on DVD and the new series, as well as the books. I’m reading the first book now! Woot!!! 🎄

    • Katherine Bone

      Lady Denise, the French and Spanish took a hit, didnt they? Did you know one of the reasons smuggling was so rampant stemmed from the king taxing tea? Wreckers and thieves stole the tea and sold it to make quite a good living. Woot! Thanks for commenting!!! 😎

  8. angelinajameson

    Lovely blog post, Katherine. I loved hearing how you got into writing about pirates. 🙂 When I lived in England I did get to visit Cornwall a few times. Of course my fave place there is Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave. I think one aspect of piracy in Cornwall that could be explored was the ranson aspect. Pirates would kidnap people and ransom them back to their families.

    • Katherine Bone

      Ahoy, Lady Angelina! Thanks so much for your kind comments! I’ve never been to Cornwall but that’s the first place I want to go whenever I finally get to visit England. 😉

      I’ve read about the ransoming too, though most scholars talk about the Barbary Corsairs. Cornish smugglers were cunning. I enjoy reading about their pirate dens and the caves they hid in but have been primarily intrigued about those that had hideouts beneath homes, taverns, and get this… churches too (to include clergy being involved)! The people there found savvy ways of outwitting the revenue men, to be sure. LOL!!!