Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Greetings and Holiday Cheer

by Maureen O. Betita

Merry greetings and holiday cheer be yours, here at the special Holiday blog of Decadent Publishing. I’m Maureen O. Betita and I write pirate themed stories, all in all. (I have been known to branch off into aliens, but mainly I prefer pirates. Alien pirates…I wonder…? Food for thought!)

To help celebrate the season, I’ve written a sweet little short featuring a few of the side characters from The Kraken’s Mirror, my debut book from Decadent Publishing. TKM is a wonderful story of romance and adventure featuring a pair of sexy seasoned lovers in need of each other and brought together through the efforts of a cupid playing albino kraken.

I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ve devised a short involving a periphery couple from The Kraken’s Mirror! I hope you enjoy A Pirate’s Present.

***

I climbed from the hammock as satisfied as a cat sprawled in the sunshine. With a mouse between its paws. And a saucer of milk nearby, the dog tied to a tree just far enough away to be frustrated… Yes, Archer did that to me.

Glancing back at him, I very nearly giggled. But I stifled myself. I do not giggle. Tink, the Quartermaster of the Cursed Quill, pirate adventurer, master of the knife and extraordinary thief, does not giggle. I might chortle, but mostly I sneer.

True, that one winter ball, I did smile. Three years before Emily Pawes dropped into the Kraken’s Caribbean, all of us on the Cursed Quill were enjoying a winter of few storms and months of successful pirating. Captain Jezebel had used her spies to uncover a stash of the best fabrics we’d seen in decades. Some monarch in Italy had lost the shipment in the Mediterranean to Spanish pirates, who lost it to the Dutch, who brought it to the West Indies thinking to cash in for the Winter Balls in the Caribbean. But we took it from them and liberated the best pieces for ourselves.

I’d pulled a blue so dark it appeared black, in a heavy silk. The tailor, Mr. Belvedere, was new to the Caribbean and on a dare I left the design of my gown to him. I’d heard good things about the man, he’d actually been banned from England. (That wasn’t saying much, the English approved of very little. Fortunate for him, he hadn’t tried his hand at making clothing in Spain, they’d have probably burnt him at the stake.) He’d examined me, taken detailed measurements and ignored my sniping. Janey, the Quill’s bosun, giggled in the background.

Back on the ship, Janey told me that she’d be picking up the gown for me and I wouldn’t see until the night of the ball. I’d shrugged as I didn’t care. It worried me slightly, but it was important not to show any weakness. If she thought I cared, she’d never shut up about it and attempt to tease and taunt me endlessly.

The night of the ball, I caught my current lover screwing the tiny brunette whore from Blessing’s House of Pleasure. Bastard. I wouldn’t have minded if he’d included me but he had to be all selfish about it.

After kicking Kurt’s ass, I marched back to the ship, determined to see him regret losing me. Janey had hidden my gown, but nothing stayed hidden from me unless I allowed it. I snuck into her cabin and searched. Bitch had done well. It wasn’t there. It took me the better part of an hour to deduce the location and haul the wooden case out of the galley.

I locked the door of the spare cabin behind me and pulled the dress free of the paper Belvedere had wrapped it in.

“What the fuck?”

It was full length, how the hell would I show off my legs! And the sleeves, I could tell they’d run all the way to the knuckles on my hand! And no cleavage at all! In fact, how the hell would I fit my head through that opening? I was going to kill that idiot tailor!

Then I noticed the slit up the back…all the way up the back. And down. Ah! Interesting! Putting the dress up to me, I realized…this was tight. The midnight blue silk was really tight all the way to the hips, where it flared. I grinned.

I wouldn’t be able to wear a thing under it, wonderful. I stripped before sliding it on. Damn, too long! I wondered if the heels on my boots would be tall enough, then I kicked the crate and realized it still held something I hadn’t unpacked.

And there I found the tallest pair of heels I’d ever seen. The best whores of my world had shoes like these. Probably another gift of the portals to other worlds. I really didn’t care; it was fruitless to speculate on the vagaries of the portals. The shoes were black, and fit perfectly. I wound my long blond hair into a tight braid and pinned it to the top of my head.

I remember waiting until the rest of the crew had left for the Tortuga Grotto. I wanted to make an entrance. Striding into the ball, the crowds parted before me. I’d stolen a sparkly mask from Janey’s cabin and with my hair up, I wasn’t immediately recognized.

Yup, the crowd parted for me right up until a man with his back to me. I didn’t particularly mind, he had a fine ass. Ah. Yes. Wonderful ass, narrow waist and superb shoulders. I hoped his face didn’t disappoint. Then he turned and saw me. And I saw him.

Shit. Absolute divine. Sure, he wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I felt my pussy clench and my tits literally throb. He had a dangerous face, with hooded eyes, a nose that had been broken at least once and a faint bit of scruff along his chin. A scar stood out above his left eye, a white line against lovely dark ebony skin. Eyes the color of emeralds locked on mine.

He took two steps toward me and with a raised eyebrow, I turned and walked away. And yes, I knew I smiled. I couldn’t help it. He followed me out of the grotto, his boot heels music to my ears. And body. We spent the Solstice locked together, wandered into the Barmy Cock three days later and stole away Kurt’s new flame.

Archer joined the Quill and we’ve been sailing as lovers ever since. He’s good with the cannon and doesn’t talk much. Suits me.

The dress? Well, it didn’t survive the night.

***

To celebrate the season and my debut, I’m offering a prize to one lovely commentor. (Or unlovely, I’m not picky!) I was at a recent steampunk convention and picked up a few pins featuring the kraken! Along with this diabolical pin, I’ll include a Starbucks card (because in my world, we are all powered by the stuff of the gods) and who knows what else I’ll pull out of my treasure chest!

**To Celebrate our '8 Crazy Nights', Decadent Publishing will also be giving the winner one FREE book of their choice from Decadent Publishing**

Well met and may your month be sweet and hold all the treasures you desire!

Maureen O. Betita

www.maureenobetita.com

www.romancewritersrevenge.com (as 2nd Chance, every Friday)

www.castles&guns.com

http://believinginsecondchances.typepad.com/2nd-chances/

I’m on twitter and Facebook as Maureen O. Betita.

77 comments:

  1. BTW - I'm not above tooting my own horn... Today is my birthday so let's make this a party!

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  2. Great story! I'm very intrigued and thanks for sharing! Oh, and Happy Birthday! May all your wishes come true!

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  3. Very cool sounding story!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Maureen!!!

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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  4. Gotta love a couple when their clothing doesn't make it to the next day. ^_^

    Happy birthday, M!

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  5. bravo! well writ....and a most happy b-day sister...J

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  6. Clarissa - Thank you! It means a lot to me that a writer of your caliber enjoyed my holiday tale!

    Yadkny - I think it's one of the coolest places I've ever created! Thank you for the b-day wishes!

    Barbara - Welcome to Decadent, sweet thing! Yeah, Tink isn't one for saving the clothing past the seduction phase! *giggle

    Hey, sis! - Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Happy Birthday, Maureen!

    Great story. Please don't include me in the contest because, believe it or not, the closest Starbucks is a 4 hour round trip, and while Starbucks coffee is fabulous, that's a wee bit of a drive for coffee. Don't get me started on the other stores I don't have either LOL!

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  8. o0o all i can say is soon as i read the except and all ofthat awesome contest im steam punk obsessed and the Kraken is one of my favv steam punk creature awesome excerpt !
    mortalsinn@yahoo.com

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  9. Kathy - I am soooooo sorry! Let's include you, and if you win I'll just toss something in other than the Starbucks card!

    SiNn - Glad you liked the story! I'm a big fan of steampunk and the kraken!

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  10. "good with the cannon and doesn’t talk much"
    LOL - what else can you ask for in a pirate!
    I love pirate stories and aliens - so I'll be keeping my eye out for those alien pirates!
    Happy Birthday!!!

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  11. Nina - Ya be a woman after me own heart!

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  12. Wow, it's not yet 12-7-2010 on the west coast and we're already celebrating my Love's birthday. Sweeet!! Alien Pirates have my vote.

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  13. Steph, when you're aiming to be a world wide phenomenon, one must adjust to other time zones!

    ;-)

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  14. Alien pirates sound like something you should write! :)
    Or steampunked alien pirates who operate zeppelins! Zeppelin battles! I can see it now!
    The Kraken could be their anchor. ;) (Hey, whatever works, right?)
    And... there is no spoon. Therefore there are no timezones, either. :P

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  15. Yowsa , missy and a very Happy Birthday to ya! We Sagittarians rock! I should have read this later in the day because that was HAWT! Now I gotta go to work! lol A happy and merry to you and yours!

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  16. Wow! Don't normally go in for pirate stuff, but this was pretty tasty. May have to add another one to my pile.
    Happy Birthday!

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  17. Great read, Maureen. Thank you for sharing with us. Now I'm looking forward to seeing Tink and Archer in their own novel.

    Love following your work!
    Kathleen

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  18. Happy Birthday Mo!'

    I love Tink. And her dress sounds wonderful. :)

    I have been curious about the alien pirates, to tell the truth. That sounds like fun.

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  19. This read sounds fantastic, Maureen, and happy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Wishing you a tremendously wonderful day and an equally exciting year to come!

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  20. What a sexy story and great idea. I really enjoyed reading it. Have a fab day.

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  21. Happy Birthday, Darlin'!!

    I have another party to attend (it's official!) and I'm going to need a dress. Too bad this one didn't make it through the night or I'd borrow it. LOL!

    This is such a fun story and I can't wait to get my hands on the full length stuff!

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  22. Happy Birthday Maureen and many more!!

    I like pirate movies so must try out a pirate story.

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  23. Happy Birthday.I hope you have a great birthday. Your book sounds good. I love pirate books.

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  24. A very Good Day to the queen of pirate! Hope you have a spectacular birthday! Love the story!!! Great job.

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  25. Awesome story!! Happy Birthday Maureen!

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  26. Mr. Belvedere....as in the TV butler, LMAO! Can't wait for your book!

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  27. Happy Birthday, Mo, and I can't wait for your book!!! More pirate books!!!

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  28. Happy Birthday Maureen...pirate aliens? Cool! I must say I've grown very fond of the Kraken himself.

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  29. Oh my gosh. I love it! :) Thanks so much for the short story and the pin looks wicked cool!

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  30. Silke - Two requests for alien pirates, I'm gonna have ta do it!

    Deena! Yes, Sag's rock the boat! Well, save a reread fer when ya gets home!

    Jennifer - Pirates do be an acquired taste. They go good with tequilla due ta the salt content! ;-)

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  31. McRae - I love convertin' the nonbeliever to the cult a piratehood! Bwah ha ha!

    Marn, another vote for alien pirates, darn, I'm gonna have ta do this!

    flchen1 - Thank ee! I aim fer fantastic!

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  32. Kathleen - Sexy is good! Thanks fer stoppin' by!

    Yeah! Terri! DC here you come! Take me! Take me! A holiday party in the nations' capitol, almost be as fun as the Winter Ball on Tortuga, though less pirates I suppose. Dependin' on how one looks at politicians! Love ya!

    robynl - I love pirate movies! Inspiration!

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  33. CystalGB - Pirate books are the best. (Course I could be prejudiced...)

    Jane! Glad ya liked it and thanks fer the wishes!

    Hal - Oooo! I jus' love hearin' the folks liked the story! Gives me shivers!

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  34. Deanna - Well, this Mr. Belvedere ain't so proper... ;-)

    Cap'n Hellion, of the Romance Writers Revenge, welcome aboard the sweet ship Decadence! Aye, I be writin' more pirate books!

    Kate - I be working on more!

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  35. Sweet Vernal - Best a luck ta ya on winnin' me pet! And thanks fer stopping by!

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  36. What a fun story! I think I need to read more about this particular man. :)

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing it with us this way!

    Donna

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  37. Donna - Thanks! I have another that will post on New Years' Eve... ;-)

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  38. Blessed be.
    Strong voice and fascinating story. Thank you for sharing it with me.
    Party!
    All the best for the day
    Leanne

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  39. Leanne - Thank you! I hope my voice is strong and distinctive, but it's one of those things that is almost impossible to judge for oneself!

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  40. Happy Birthday, M!!
    And What a great story. here's a tuast to you and your Pirates, and your horde of Seasoned Lovers!

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  41. Happy Bday Mau!!!! Love the short! I'm cheering for you! :) :) I want you to send me the KH stuff you have, though. Keep the starbucks card!

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  42. Julie! Glad you made it through the maze!

    I have a hoard? Why didn't anyone tell me I had a hoard? ;-)

    Riley - No coffee?

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  43. Yep, M. I made it through the maze by following the Kraken Slime. You know me ...

    I love the smell of Kraken Slime the mooring. ;)

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  44. Posted to facebook/twitter!
    Where is my carrot cupcake? lol
    Maureen, this book is going to make waves (get it....ship...waves....ok, I need more coffee). Great shortie here. :-)
    Heather

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  45. Think it will help in my conquest of the world?

    What? I didn't say a thing!

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  46. Yay Maureen!!! I loved the short....and this is the first time I've read your work. Why is that?

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  47. I don't know, Mona! All ya had ta do was ask! But you're right I don't post a lot of stuff...other than a bazillion blogs.

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  48. Congrats on the new release and Happy Birthday. Chocolate cake and champagne for everyone!

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  49. I have to share the chocolate cake and champagne? Thanks for stopping by!

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  50. Wonderful Maureen! I cant wait to get my copy of the Krakens Mirror. Alien Pirets...the idea is intriguing, bet you could make it work:)

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  51. happy birthday . I love pirates argg sounds great

    meandi09@yahoo.com

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  52. Joyous Natal Anniversary. Enjoy your free trip around the sun.

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  53. Pirates need love, too...
    Thanks for the chance to win!! SheilaP52@yahoo.com

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  54. May we all get so lucky that, once in a while, our dresses don't make it 'til morning ;o) *Happy B'day* (look for an ecard from me, by n' by) and congrats on that short story. It's a great intro to your story's interesting world and was fun to read as well :oD

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  55. Heh. Note to self - remember to spell check posts twice after working out.

    That said, Happy Birthday *Maureen*!

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  56. Oy! or Ahoy! I love me some pirates.

    Really enjoyed your excerpt. Say, did they often go commando back then? Who would have guessed that. Good stuff!

    --Carlie
    carlieangelus@gmail.com

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  57. Krista, I've done pirate on alien worlds... ;-)

    Jennifer - I kinda love pirates, too.

    Sewicked - A free trip around the sun? WEEEEE!

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  58. Sheila - Oh, so right. Pirates need love. And chocolate, and treasure and sex...

    Why thank you, Pat! I'll try not to automatically trash all e-cards without reading them! ;-) Glad you enjoyed the story!

    Roebrt...Hee, hee! Thank you!

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  59. Carlie - In my universe of pirates, anything is possible! And I do mean anything! ;-)

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  60. I have never read steampunk----but I love pirates!

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

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  61. Oh my! You said the magic word...Starbucks. I could so use some of that right now. And I'm happy to learn about your pirate stories. Johnny Depp has certainly made them popular and stories like yours have made them sexy. So bring 'em on I say!

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

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  62. Estella - Yer in good company. I like steampunk, but I write...piratepunk! Well, that's what I call it. ;-)

    Joder - Well, Johnny made them pretty sexy, too... Though Disney kept that under control, darn it. Think if they hadn't been under Disney, how sexy can you go?

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  63. Happy Bday! Can't wait to buy your first book! Alien pirates--I'm picturing Zapp Branigan from Futurama. The inept captain whose devoted first officer & crew rescues him all the time. And he doesn't wear pants!

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  64. Ashli! I can do better than Zapp! Though he does have nice looking legs!

    *snicker

    I'll let you know when the book comes out!

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  65. Happy Birthday Maureen! Fab story and I love the characters!
    Looking forward to seeing you in L.A.

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  66. Happy Birthdya and Bright Blessings to you!! Love the story
    debby236 at att dot net

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  67. Hi Maureen! Nice to meet you! Congrats on your debut book being with Decadence! Oh I love pirate reads, I could so picture the dress! Loved it! The pin looks gorgeous!

    cathiecaffey @ gmail.com

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  68. Stacie - Man, I still love your icon, you goof! Thanks for the wishes!

    Debby - So glad you liked the story!

    Caffey - For Tink, that dress was a real stretch, normall she goes for the micro mini and no bloomers! So, it was fun to put her in something different! I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out!

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  69. Congratulations on your debut book. I enjoyed the short story very much.

    seriousreader at live dot com

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  70. Linda - Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to write as first person POV isn't my specialty!

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  71. I'm a newbie, so would love to check it out!!

    cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  72. Great post and Happy Birthday! I agree totally with you, coffee = nectar of the gods! =D

    All the best of success!

    ~huggles~
    Gracen

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  73. Cindy - I hope you'll enjoy it!

    Gracen - Yes, coffee...must have coffee...

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