Hi Lisa and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Pirate’s Persuasion!
Hello! Thanks for having me visit!
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Pirates of the Caribbean meets Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Immortal Pirate and Psychic Medium team up to stop an Evil Twin and find the figurehead of the legendary Flying Dutchman. Will love be enough to save them?
Please share the opening lines of this book:
It all started with a little ghost boy…
Heather Storrey rolled her eyes. This was not the time to be plotting out the autobiography she’d probably never find time to write. Besides, who would read it? Her family was gone, and her only friend these days was online.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- I didn’t know where the figurehead was hidden, and no one was more surprised than me to discover where it was!
- One-Eyed Bob is fashioned after my grandfather. When he had a stroke in his eye, they gave him a patch and we joked he was a pirate. The Sentinels of Savannah series was born!
- My grandmother was born just outside of Savannah in 1922. She was so excited for me to write this series. She’s 98 and preordered it on her kindle. (She’s pretty hip!)
- I’m a tarot card reader and have many friends who are mediums so it was fun to mold pieces of a few of them into Heather.
- I used to be a girl scout leader and got to tour Juliette Gordon Low’s house in Savannah which gave me the idea for Drake’s opening scene in the book.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
They met briefly at the end of Pirate’s Pleasure during a tense climactic scene and Drake stepped between Heather and a gunman. I didn’t know why he did that until I wrote Pirate’s Persuasion. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there is a huge metaphysical attraction that they try so hard to fight because she’s mortal, and he’ll live forever.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
passionate, immortal, epic, heroic, and heartwarming.
The First Kiss…
No trace of judgment lingered in her gaze. He lifted his free hand, aching for reassurance that this wasn’t a dream. His fingers slid through her silky hair as he tucked it behind her ear. Words were too insignificant for this moment, or this woman. He met her eyes and whispered, “I should go.”
She tilted her head slightly, her gaze steady. “Why?”
He swallowed the lump in his throat. “Because…if I stay…I may kiss you.”
She didn’t recoil at his confession. Instead, color flushed her pale skin, enticing him closer as he searched her face.
“Don’t go,” she whispered.
He lost his tenuous grip on self-control and leaned in closer, kissing her with an unfamiliar tenderness. His battered heart had been on display for her, his secrets exposed, and instead of rejecting him, she offered acceptance, a safe harbor in the storm of painful memories he’d shouldered alone for centuries.
Her hand moved up his chest and around his neck. He tilted his head as her lips parted, opening and welcoming his exploration. She tasted like raindrops and moonlight, delicious and refreshing. He might never get enough. Her fingers tangled in the back of his hair, the pull drawing a long-dormant passion from his soul. He wrapped her in his arms, their tongues tangling in a hungry desperation for closeness.
He yearned for her, to claim her, to know every inch of her.
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
Drake has worked with his hands building things for 250 years and does NOT trust technology. Heather has albinism and stays indoors to stay out of the sun. She LOVES to play a pirate online mutilplayer game called Skull & Crossbones. The scenes where they played together were SO much fun to write. My son helped me with lingo, etc.
“You chose a brig for your ship.” He raised a brow. “Seems small compared to the Sea Dog.”
“Spanish galleons aren’t a choice in this game. You can have a brigantine or a frigate. The brigs don’t have as many cannons, but they’re much faster than the frigates.”
He nodded slowly, his thumb tracing along her shoulder. “Show me how it works.”
His simple touch sent tremors of desire through her that made it tough to concentrate. She cleared her throat and quickly demonstrated all the different angles and maneuvers.
Drake chuckled, shaking his head. “If only real ships could turn so quickly.” He smirked. “And I don’t remember any rockets back in my day, either.”
Heather grinned. “I never said this was historically accurate, just super fun.”
White sails appeared on the horizon. She pointed them out. “Here we go.”
He eyed the Spanish ship. “You aim to take that ship with this crew?”
“Aye.” She answered, adding a playful, “Arrr!”
The sound of Drake’s laughter made her melt into him. She’d never heard him laugh so hard. There was a playful spark in his gaze. “A true pirate says ‘fuck.’ The other is for buccaneer movies and theme parks.”
Heather rolled her eyes and chuckled as she focused on the game again. Checking her sails and current speed, she clicked the command for the gunners to start loading the cannons. She’d tried this solo challenge twice so far and lost both times. The Spanish ship had larger sails, which equaled more speed, plus their crew outnumbered hers by almost double. Unless she could blow some big holes in the ship. She didn’t see another way to win.
Drake leaned in close, his lips against her ear, and whispered, “Want some advice from a seasoned pirate?”
She looked up at him, finding his lips too close to resist. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she tipped her chin, kissing him long and slow. His thumb slid along her jawline as heat blossomed low in her belly. Damn. This pirate knew how to kiss.
She broke the kiss and met his eyes. “I’d love some…advice.”
Desire smoldered in his gaze, but he turned toward the screen and pointed to an island in the distance. “Your ship is smaller and more maneuverable, but the Spanish won’t be able to resist chasing down pirates. Fly your colors and lead them closer to the shallow water.”
Heather raised a brow. “I’ve played against this ship before. They’re really fast.”
“So ye better rally yer crew, captain.”
Oh shit, hearing his true nautical accent had her heart racing as she faced the screen again. She reset the course for her ship toward the island.
The pirate flag unfurled at the top of the mast and her virtual captain shouted to the crew, “Full sails ahead! Land ho!”
She glanced over at Drake and found him engrossed in the sailing ships on the screen. The strong angles of his profile matched the strength of his character, and seeing him enjoying something on the computer warmed her heart. If she could figure out how to get his nephew to stop haunting him, there was a chance she could lure this immortal pirate into the twenty-first century.
The Spanish ship was closing the distance between them. Heather quickly clicked the keys to load the rest of the cannons. “They’re going to be in firing range soon.”
“Aye.” Drake pulled her closer and pressed his lips to her temple, short-circuiting her brain for a moment. “Right where we want them, love.”
This was her first time really encountering his piratical side. She liked it.
Drake leaned in for a closer look at the screen. “Tell them to drop the anchor off the bow only.”
“Wait. We’re stopping?” She frowned.
His eyes sparkled, and his devilish grin left her breathless. “Nah, the ship will swing around. Get ready to fire the cannons.”
“Okay.” She wasn’t completely convinced, but she did as he asked. Her captain shouted, “Drop the anchor! Prepare to fire!”
As soon as the anchor caught the rocky sea floor, the ship groaned, turning into the wind.
“Boom about, mateys!” the captain bellowed. “Bring a spring upon her cable. Tie down the lines!”
Heather watched the maneuver play out on the screen, her jaw going slack as the pirate ship spun around, the cannons now aimed directly at the Spanish galleon. The Spanish crew scrambled to slow the ship and turn, but the wind was at her back.
Drake placed his hand over hers, his voice deep and low. “Not yet. A little closer.”
She worried her lower lip, her fingers hovering over the keys.
“Now,” Drake whispered. “Fire.”
Heather gave the command, and the cannons came alive on the computer screen. Smoke and gunpowder turned the blue sky into a thick gray. Across the screen, the cannonballs hit their mark, opening giant holes in the Spanish ship.
“It worked!” Heather exclaimed, bouncing on the sofa.
“Fire one more round, then we plunder the ship.”
She bumped against Drake’s chest. “I love the way you think.”
“Fire!” the virtual captain shouted.
Wood splintered and exploded from the Spanish ship. Heather clicked the screen to lower the boats. Her virtual crew piled into them, rowing over to the wounded Spanish galleon.
She turned toward Drake with a grin. “You’re a genius.”
“Nah.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “I’m a pirate.”
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
The scene when they danced in her attic was one of my favorites and would have to be a part of the movie… I tried to keep the spoilers out, but here’s a little taste…
A lock of blond hair fell down onto his forehead as he watched her, and her will cracked. She took his hand.
He straightened and pulled her into his arms. For a big guy, he was light on his feet, spinning her into a slow waltz. She wasn’t much of a dancer, but his strong lead made it easy to follow his steps. Being this close to him seemed natural, not awkward or stiff, and his masculine scent intoxicated her as their bodies swayed to the tune.
Ella sang about remembering love, and Heather closed her eyes, her lips curving into a smile as she rested her head against his chest. Drake hummed along, apparently more familiar with the song than she was.
Her mother downplayed the psychic gifts that ran in their maternal bloodline and claimed not to possess any, but Heather had suspected that might not be entirely true. Although her mom didn’t communicate with the dead, she’d always had prophetic dreams.
As Heather danced in Drake’s arms, she caught herself wondering, had her mother seen this moment all those years ago? Had she known Heather would fall in love with a soul she’d known in another lifetime?
No. Don’t fall in love. Enjoy your time with him now, but eventually it will become your enemy. It’ll separate you.
She pushed the warnings away, embracing the melody. This song choice spoke volumes. Later in life, Johnny Mercer had confessed the song was written about his lifelong love affair with Judy Garland. Had they found each other again on the other side? Or were their souls on earth again, searching for a second chance.
Drake dipped her, and Heather opened her eyes, their gazes locked on each other. He brought her back upright, resting his forehead on hers. “I could dance with you all night, but this probably isn’t the protection we were looking for.”
He was right. What was she doing? She forced herself to step back, breaking away from him. Why did being with him have to feel so…natural? “Sorry. You’re right. We have witches to stop.”
“Don’t be sorry. I’m not.” The hunger in his eyes had heat pooling low in her belly. Damn. Drake’s desire was plain for her to see.
“No one has ever looked at me the way you do.”
A crease lined his brow. “What do you mean?”
She pried herself from the intensity of his gaze and knelt down beside the trunk, lifting out some hand-knit baby sweaters and a few more photos. Anything to keep from making eye contact.
“I mean, I’m different.” She shrugged, reaching for a yellowed envelope. “My whole life people have stared at me. Bullies in school called me a ghost and a freak.” She stole a glance up at him. “But you’ve never made it an issue.”
He knelt down beside her. “Because it’s not. You’re one of a kind in a world that mass produces everything.” He shook his head, his voice dropping to a gravelly whisper. “You’re beautiful, Heather.”
Readers should read this book …
This book is a pure escape from the real world. Come on an epic adventure and fall in love along the way!
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
Sedona Scandal, book 4 in the Sedona Pack series will be out in July and I’m currently writing the next immortal pirate book, Pirate’s Promise. It’s Greyson, the master gunner’s book, and we’ll be hunting for a legendary cursed sword… This one will be enemies to lovers! My favorite!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: $10 Amazon gift card
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: I love old haunted cities like Savannah with so much history. Where are some of your favorite haunted cities to visit?
Excerpt from Pirate’s Persuasion:
Drake fought through the angry spatters of bacon grease to turn the strips, stealing glances at Heather as she mixed the batter for waffles. He’d been alive for over two hundred years now, and he’d lost count of the exact number, but he was certain this was the first time he’d ever cooked with a woman. Sure, he’d prepared food for himself and helped One-Eyed Bob in the galley on the Sea Dog before, but the salty old sailor was far from a female.
Everything Heather did had fluidity to it, almost ethereal, like she moved to a symphony only she could hear. She fascinated him.
The waffle iron hissed as she poured the batter in and clamped it closed. She peeked back over her shoulder and caught him staring. Color flushed her pale skin, warming him all over.
“How’s the bacon coming along?”
As if the cursed bubbling oil heard her, it popped, hitting his bare forearm while he was focused on her. “Shit!” He jumped back from the stove, bumping into her. With tongs in one hand, he caught her waist with the other, steadying her. Their gazes locked and time slowed. He struggled to breathe, his voice a raw whisper. “Tell me something.”
She stared into his eyes. “Okay.”
For a moment, he couldn’t find words. Maybe it was having her so close that he caught the lavender scent of her hair, or the way her ice-blue eyes looked right into his soul. He swallowed the lump in his throat. “How do you make me forget?”
She blinked, her full lips curving into a tentative smile. “Forget what?”
“Everything.” He smirked at his own lack of vocabulary. Think, man. He tried again. “When I have you in my arms, the rest of the world fades. My inadequacies, my guilt, the ghosts from the past, they all take a back seat. I’ve tried to silence them for lifetimes.” He searched her face. “You’re magic.”
Heather brought her hand to his cheek and whispered, “Kiss me.”
He didn’t hesitate, tasting her soft lips until his pulse thrummed in his ears.
Her mouth welcomed him as his tongue tangled slowly with hers. He held her tighter, losing himself in the feel of her body pressed against his. The tongs clanked against the granite countertop as he wrapped his other arm around her, his large hand exploring her back. She moaned into the kiss as his fingertips slipped underneath the back of her shirt. His calloused hands caressed the silky-smooth skin of her back, his erection threatening to break free of the zipper of his jeans.
He’d never wanted anyone so badly in his long life. Lost in his hunger, he boosted her up onto the kitchen counter. She parted her thighs and he moved even closer. They had on far too many clothes.
Before he could lift her shirt over her head, a loud beeping pierced his ears. Drake broke the kiss, turning to find smoke pluming from the cast-iron skillet.
“Aw, fuck!” He grabbed the oven mitt and pulled the heavy pan away from the flame.
Heather reached around him to twist off the burner, and then opened the window over the sink. Coughing from the smoke, he set the pan back down, waving the bank of fog away with the pot holder until the smoke detector was finally appeased. He peered down at what used to be bacon. The strips looked more like charcoal than meat.
Her hand slid up his back as she laughed. “I didn’t want bacon anyway.”
“Yer sayin’ I battled that grease for nothing?” He brandished the tiny burn on his arm. It would be gone in a few minutes. Fast healing was one of the perks of drinking from the Grail.
She pressed her lips to his forearm right beside the wound. The sight making him forget all about the fucking bacon. She was the most beautiful, sexy, intriguing woman he’d ever seen.
Her breath caressed his skin as she whispered, “My hero.”
He wanted to be more than that. Following that path would be riddled with heartbreak as time stole her from him and left him behind.
A new beep mercifully interrupted his thoughts. Heather turned around and opened the waffle iron, revealing a perfectly browned Belgian waffle. His stomach growled in response, and the smile on her face made him wish he could stop time.
She put the waffle on a plate and refilled the iron. “I’ll split it with you while the next one cooks.”
He opened a couple of drawers and withdrew two forks. “Deal.”
They sat next to each other at the antique dining table. He admired the woodworking while she spread butter and syrup over the waffle. He hadn’t built this furniture, but he could appreciate the craftsmanship.
She peered over at him and plucked a fork from his hand. “Don’t tell me you made this table. It’s been in my family since the 1800s.”
He chuckled, shaking his head. “No, but I bet I knew the bloke who did. Not many furniture makers in Savannah back then. I was working on cabinetry and doors back then. Not much for furniture in those days.”
He took a bite of the waffle and groaned as the sweet buttery squares assaulted his taste buds. Meeting her eyes, he swallowed and grinned. “Thanks for making breakfast. I’m sorry I wasn’t more help.”
Her ice-blue eyes sparkled. “Oh, you were plenty of help…just maybe not with the bacon.”
“I enjoy helping you.” He placed his free hand on her thigh under the table, stunned by the way she coaxed this playful side out of him. So often his thoughts wandered down dark paths, but she shined light into the shadows of his soul, showing him a new future.
She bumped him with her shoulder. “I have clients coming soon, but I could use some more help…tonight.”
Flirting. They were fucking flirting. Amazing he still knew how.
He leaned in, his lips brushing her ear. “Until tonight, then.”
A small shiver ran through her, and instantly blood was pumping far from his brain. She stabbed a piece of waffle and lifted it to his lips. “Tonight.”
He took the bite into his mouth slowly, drinking in the desire in her eyes. He’d believed this part of himself to be long dead, but every second with her drew him back toward the light, toward life. She was a miracle.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Immortal pirate Drake Cole has a reputation in Savannah for his custom woodworking and historical restorations, but his work has grown into an obsession. He’s become a stranger to his crew since the Sea Dog sank in 1795. None of them know his painful secret. A young stowaway went down with the ship, one that Drake swore a blood oath to protect.
The ghost of a young boy, lost at sea over two hundred years ago, leads local medium, Heather Storrey right to Drake’s door. He saved her life before, and now she has a chance to return the favor, but how can she protect him from a curse that no one can see?
A dark coven possesses the figurehead from the Flying Dutchman, and if Heather and the immortal Sea Dog crew don’t locate the relic soon, Drake may be lost to them forever. Heather has seen the passionate man behind the veil of guilt, and she’s determined to free him from his self-imposed prison, and persuade this pirate to love again.
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Meet the Author:
Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.
Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.