SEA WITCH Nautical Adventures

the first five voyages are
published by Penmore Press

Published by Taw River Press
* * *

the sixth Sea Witch Voyage 

Where the past haunts the future...

Damage to her mast means Sea Witch has to be repaired, but the nearest shipyard is at Gibraltar. Unfortunately for Captain Jesamiah Acorne, several men he does not want to meet are also there, among them, Captain Edward Vernon of the Royal Navy, who would rather see Jesamiah hang.

Then there is the spy, Richie Tearle, and manipulative Ascham Doone who has dubious plans of his own. Plans that involve Jesamiah, who, beyond unravelling the puzzle of a dead person who may not be dead, has a priority concern regarding the wellbeing of his pregnant wife, the white witch, Tiola.

Forced to sail to England without Jesamiah, Tiola must keep herself and others close to her safe, but memories of the past, and the shadow of the gallows haunt her. Dreams disturb her, like a discordant lament at a wake.
But is this the past calling, or the future?

Gallows Wake - the 6th Sea Witch Voyage 
available from Amazon

or order at any bookstore

5.0 out of 5 stars Give up sleep now!
A Sea Witch voyage is always a pleasure to look forward to, but this one is a real cracker. And like the waves on the sea, just as you are getting over the roll of last high and low incident, another crashes into you.
Hollick’s ingenuity and ability to pile on the pressure may bring about not mere gasps, but actual stopping of breath.

Apart from the pace, the sheer level of atmosphere and period detail shines through. And she writes a good fight, too! Betrayal vies with noble intent, love struggles with doing the right thing, while courage never fails. But the author writes the time as it was with fear of witchcraft, mob movements, casual brutality and constant danger at sea. Exhilarating as adventures are, death is all too present and injury often means a descent into poverty, starvation and a miserable end. This is not the 21st century.

But of course, it’s the people who count. Jesamiah is his usual direct self - very much a man of his century - and one who does not know the word ‘shirk’. He’s not always polite ;-) but goodness, you would want him on your side! Tiola, haunted by the past is nevertheless practical, loving and courageous. She needs to be. And I was delighted to meet an intriguing character from the past again…

Even if you haven’t read any other books in the series (why not?) go and get this one. Highly recommended. Now, when’s the next one out?

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully entertaining
I have been waiting a loooong time to get my hands on the next instalment of Helen Hollick’s excellent series featuring pirate Jesamiah Acorne and his wife, white witch Tiola.

So it was with very high expectations I settled down to disappear into the past, more specifically 1719, accompanied by dashing, temperamental and resourceful Jesamiah and the just as resourceful but substantially quieter Tiola.

The story starts off in Gibraltar, where Jesamiah Acorne has just been informed his ship, Sea Witch, is in serious need of repairs due to rot. It doesn’t take long for Ms Hollick to have erased any sense of the here and now, so stuck am I on the steep streets of The Rock, complete with inns and ships, thriving businesses, people from all walks of life—and the very, very nasty Ascham Doone.

A good yarn requires a good villain—well, a bad villain—and Doone fits the bill perfectly. Manipulative, self-serving and entirely without conscience, it is evident something is seriously wrong with Doone—likely his parents dropped him one too many times on his head when he was little—so when he blackmails Jesamiah into undertaking a task for him, this reader tries desperately to tell my favourite pirate to say “no”. Except Jesamiah can’t, especially as he has a pregnant wife to keep safe.

So, against the whispered protests of his gut, Jesamiah escorts Tiola aboard a ship that is to carry her back to safety in England—accompanied by Doone, no less. With his wife safely on her way home, Jesamiah has no intention of completing the task Doone has lumbered him with. But Doone is wily, and he has an accomplice in Richie Tearle, which is how Jesamiah finds himself the very reluctant guest of Royal Navy captain Edward Vernon.

Ms Hollick spins a fast and entertaining tale. Tensions rise. My nails disappear round chapter twenty. My tea has long gone cold, and I have a cramp in my calf, but I just can’t stop reading, all of me full of foreboding when Ascham Doone and Tiola begin the last stage of the journey back home.

As always, Ms Hollick endeavours to transport her readers not only to the past, but also to the life aboard an 18th century ship. Casually, she inserts little details, be it the inedible bread that costs Jesamiah a tooth, the gory details of battle at sea, the descriptions of sails and cabins, of sailors clambering aloft to manage sails.

Other than her protagonists, Ms Hollick presents us with a broad cast of characters, some of them likeable, some acutely dislikeable (Jed Garrick, I say. Or Doone ) Some are utterly entrancing, like Mahad’un, this cheroot-loving creature that clearly isn’t human. It is testament to Ms Hollick’s capacity to spin a story that the paranormal elements come across as completely normal.

I close Gallows Wake with a groan. Why? Because now I will have to begin waiting for the next book. I hope Ms Hollick will write really, really fast, and if she needs some help in how to dispatch Ascham Doone I am more than willing to help. Except I suspect Jesamiah Acorne has his own ideas when it comes to dealing with that pond scum.

5.0 out of 5 stars Might be the best in the series
Having read all six books in the series, my favorites were the first three books, with the first edging out the other two. The fourth and fifth books were not as enjoyable for me. This book is as fun as the first one. I couldn't put it down and read it one day. I was disappointed Tiola called Jesamiah "lovver" only once. That needs to be increased in the next book.

In the previous books Jesamiah and Tiola seemed at odds, and the last book had me wondering how deep their love was. This book makes it clear they love each other. Jesamiah kept his pants on when around other women and Tiola didn't dance seductively with other men. I hope these two characters grow and become more of a team like Claire and Jamie in the Outlander series.

Characters from previous books make an appearance, but I acutally liked them this time, which was nice.

In a classic Saturday Night Live skit, Christopher Walken says, "I gotta have more cowbell!"

Well, I gotta have more Jesamiah and Tiola.

by Helen Hollick

A prequel short read story to the Sea Witch Voyages 
of Captain Jesamiah Acorne 

available from Amazon
or order at any bookstore

When the only choice is to run, where do you run to? 
When the only sound is the song of the sea, do you listen? 
Or do you drown in the embrace of a mermaid? 

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. He makes enemies, sees the ghost of his father, wonders who is the Cornish girl he hears in his mind – and tries to avoid the beguiling lure of a sensuous mermaid... An early coming-of-age tale of the young Jesamiah Acorne, set in the years before he becomes a pirate and Captain of the Sea Witch.

“Ms Hollick has skilfully picked up the threads that she alludes to in the main books and knitted them together to create a Jesamiah that we really didn't know.” Richard Tearle senior reviewer, Discovering Diamonds

“Captain Jesamiah Acorne is as charming a scoundrel as a fictional pirate should be. A resourceful competitor to Captain Jack Sparrow!” Antoine Vanner author 

“Helen Hollick has given us the answer to that intriguing question that Jesamiah fans have been aching for – how did he start his sea-going career as a pirate?” Alison Morton, author 

“I really enjoyed the insight offered into Jesamiah's backstory, and found the depiction of our teenage hero very moving.” Anna Belfrage, author 

“I loved this little addendum to the Jesamiah series. I always had a soft spot for the Lorelei stories and enjoyed that the author cleverly brought her over from the Rhine valley to fit into the story.” Amazon Reviewer

Other Voyages in the series are also available from Amazon or any boostore