Pirates aside for the moment. Sizzler Sister Arabella Stokes’ historical romance, PROOF OF LOVE was released by Champagne Books today. If you love history, bow to the altar of romance goddesses Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer (like Arabella and I do), and gotta have a HEA, this is an awesome read. Arabella knows and writes the period with a flair.
Check out the blurb below then click on over to http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=522 and hit that Add to Cart button. You won’t regret it. Rita Bay
Lady Susan no longer believes in love. Finding her fiancé in the arms of another man does make a lady lose faith in happy-ever-afters.
The Duke of Danesleigh never did. As a renowned scientist, he puts no stock in anything that cannot be weighed, measured and defined. Danesleigh selects a mother for his heirs with the same scientific detachment he uses to manage his stables and kennels. Lady Susan’s heritage and breeding meet his requirements.
But the attraction between them refuses to be ruled by logic, and their relationship blossoms. Can they put dark family secrets behind them and prove the existence of the love they have always denied?
Now for the pirates.
Stephen Decatur is our Heroic Hunk in History this Moonday. After the famous Revolutionary War Navy hero John Paul Jones, he was most responsible for the establishment of the US Navy but today it’s his leadership of the attacks on the Muslim pirates of North Africa that makes him a hero.
For more than three centuries Muslim pirates from North Africa raided European territory and shipping to capture and enslave tens if not hundreds of thousands of European (and later American) men, women and children. Those who were wealthy might be ransomed but most of the captives were doomed to short lives of forced labor or the worse fate as galley slaves who rowed the pirates’ ships until they died. Captured women were sold as sex slaves into the harems and brothels of North Africa and beyond. The horrors suffered by the slaves were chronicled by ransomed slaves in hostage narratives. The pirate raids ranged from Iceland to Ireland and along the Mediterranean. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of captives were enslaved from a single town. One Muslim wrote that there was such a glut that a Christian slave could be bought for the price of an onion.
European nations bought off the North African leaders to prevent attacks. When the Americans were captured and enslaved, the American government attacked the pirate stronghold twice. Stephen Decatur became famous for leading these assaults. The pirates learned the hard way not to attack Americans. He attacked twice over a period of several years. During the first incident, the Americans attacked one of their own ships, the USS Philadelphia, which had been captured by the pirates. (Today ritabay.wordpress.com features the full description of the famous battle in an excerpt from an amazing book of G-rated stories for American children about exceptional American heroes that was written in 1898. New stories are featured each day while I’m doing NaNoWriMo which I’m barely surviving.) The second incident had the bey (?dey) suing for peace.
Unfortunately, Decatur was known for participating in duels. At the age of 41, he lost a duel and his life.
BTW, I extensively researched the Muslim pirates of North Africa and slavery in general for one of my novels. The history of the disgusting institution of slavery will be my February theme at ritabay.wordpress.com. RB