Saturday, September 28, 2013

Excerpt from The French Gambit by Maureen O. Betita

Here we are me matey's, with the excerpt from Maureen O. Betita's, The French Gambit

Blurb for the series

Riding the currents of time is a challenge Miranda is up for. No matter where or when she lands, she hits the ground ready, looking for whatever challenge the universe presents. But the Caribbean of Jake Reynard proves more tempting than she counted on.

Not to mention totally unfamiliar. Port Royal thrives, and is certainly not the wicked city her world’s history painted it. But it does prove exciting. Handsome pirates, magical devices, new enemies and old!

And she may be a witch who restores her magical energy through sex, a role the pirate Reynard is delighted to fulfill, but she didn’t count on the sex to deepen into real caring, or love, heaven help her.

Nor did he.


A bit of story history: Deeply embedded in the plot to lure the French spy into revealing his hand, Jake and Miranda play the role of pirates bent upon revenge. The governor of Port Royal has escaped their clutches and freed himself of their blackmail. And they aren’t happy!


As they approached the Jester that night, Miranda worked to remember her mania of the night before. She darkened her visage, and concentrated on distrust. Jake mirrored her. They would play this angry.

Bernard was waiting for them, along with the two men Mercy had described. Miranda took an instant dislike to the muscle-man. He leered at her and followed her movements with his eyes. Jake picked up on it and glared at the man.

“Keep your eyes to yourself, or you’ll taste my steel,” Jake said when formally introduced.

Michael stared back, but nodded, a promise to see him pay for that threat, eventually, in his eyes. Henry stepped in. “Don’t mind Michael. He has no manners. But he’s handy to have around. Please, sit down and join us.”

Miranda placed herself where she could see Michael, took out her dagger and set it near her hand. Jake kept himself from echoing her movement and instead, smiled grimly at Bernard. “We leave in the morning? We are eager to be about our vengeance, eh, Miranda?”

“Most assuredly, Captain. Leighton will pay for his fickleness, and his tight purse. I was thinking of taking a souvenir from that grandchild he is so fond of…a finger maybe.” She laughed wildly. “He’d pay then, and plenty.”

“Oh, how bloodthirsty. I like it.” Jake grinned. “You could get to the smithy while I get Leighton himself?”

“Of course.” She picked up her dagger and studied the edge, testing it with her finger. A drop of blood flowed down her palm; she watched its path.

Henry shuddered and Bernard looked disgusted. Michael just watched her. She flicked the blood at him, where it made a line across his face. He flinched and she laughed. He lunged, and she danced away. Jake placed himself between them, his sword point at Michael’s throat.

“Enough!” Bernard shouted. “Enough. We need to work together. Focus on the objective. Please. Sit down.” He called out to the barkeep, “More rum.” Jake and Michael cautiously sat down. Miranda moved to stand behind Jake.

“No drink for me. Enough last night.” She’d sheathed Úvanwa and examined her wounded finger. She stuck it in her mouth and licked the remaining blood from her palm. Jake passed her his handkerchief. She blotted at it ’til it stopped bleeding, and then leaned against Jake’s chair, watching the rest of the room, as if bored by the conversation. She smiled to herself. Such a dangerous woman I am.

Jake felt his mood lighten, and was able to finish the negotiations. Henry would be furnishing enough funds to restock the Moonstone for the short voyage. Bernard would lead the way into the entrance; Michael would come to represent Henry. They’d created a backstory that Henry was interested in seeing the fort damaged so he could provide repairs and make a hefty profit. Jake pretended to believe them. Eventually, matters were concluded to everyone’s satisfaction.

Jake rose. “If you want to reach Port Royal by midnight tomorrow, be at the Moonstone just past dawn.” He looked at Henry. “And keep your ape on a leash while on my ship, or he’ll be thrown overboard. I don’t tolerate rash action on the Moonstone.” Jake looked at Michael. “Making moves on my woman would be imprudent, Michael, understand?”

Michael snarled at Jake, who just stood, waiting for a reply.

“Understand, Michael?”

Finally, at Henry’s prodding, Michael nodded his understanding.

Jake put his arm around Miranda and pulled her tightly to his side. “Come. Our bed awaits.”

Miranda began to hum the song Angelique had taught her the night before, and Jake laughed as they strolled from the bar.

The three conspirators watched them leave. “I get to kill him, agreed?” Michael spoke. “But first I’ll take the strumpet and break her…” His eyes were cold. Henry felt a chill pass through him, but it was a hot thrill. He would watch.

Bernard replied, “Whatever you want, but not until we’re done with getting the treasure. And the Rapide will not wait for you, so be quick about it when the time comes.”

They finished their drinks and left the bar. From the shadows, Jake and Miranda followed them to their quarters. There would be a delay in the morning, while Mr. Bailey and a few sailors searched for anything interesting left behind.

As they made their way back to the Moonstone, Jake questioned Miranda’s baiting of Michael. “Was that wise? He will not forget.”

“You saw the way he looked at me. Let him try something, Jake. He’ll be dead before he knows what hit him. He’s unimportant to Bernard. I watched the Frenchman. He’d just as soon I killed him.” She sighed. “I didn’t know I could be so reckless. But he baited me as much as I did him.”

“A very dangerous man, Miranda. And yes, very obvious in his designs. Take extra care when they come aboard. The conclusion will come quickly, as I have no intention of taking them anywhere near Port Royal. They’ll figure it out fast enough.”

“And it will be over.” She began to hum Angelique’s song again, very softly. Jake lengthened his stride to get them back faster. She laughed and they began to run, eager for each other, and for their bed.

Author Bio

Maureen O. Betita writes about pirates. Okay, she also writes about alien love stories and the rare contemporary romance, but mainly…pirates. She has recently given into the lure of revealing to the world how deeply this passion lies. Deep, very deep. The first  three books of the series, A Caribbean Spell,  Red Sean’s Revenge and The French Gambit are available on Amazon..

How deep is this passion? Three million words deep. Four books in 2013 and starting in 2014, a new book every six weeks.

Maureen has been married over thirty years to her high school sweetheart, who loves to play pirate with her at pirate festivals around California, where they make a home with a dog and a cat. And a huge collection of pirate paraphernalia.

Find Maureen at:
Website and Blog

Buy Maureen's Books at:

Here are the covers of a couple:


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