When The Mermaid Sings, Excerpt by Helen Hollick

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

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 skillfully 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


A brief bit about the Sea Witch Voyages:

I wrote the first Voyage (Sea Witch) back in 2005 after thoroughly enjoying the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Like most avid readers, however, I wanted more than just the movie, I wanted to read something that was as entertaining and as exciting. A nautical adventure with a charming rogue of a pirate captain, written for adults (with adult content) but with a dash of supernatural fantasy as well – elements of which had made that first movie such fun to watch. I found many nautical-based novels, but they were all ‘serious stuff’ – Patrick O’Brian, Alexander Kent, C. S. Forrester … all good reads but without the fantasy fun, and barely a female character in sight. I simply could not find the book I wanted to read. So, I wrote my own.

The first Voyage led to more books in the series, and also generated several emails from fans who wanted to know how Jesamiah had become a pirate in the first place.

When the Mermaid Sings answers that question.

* * *

(Excerpt 19)

Atlantic Ocean – 1710

The dreams came again, trembling through Jesamiah’s sleep, waking him with a start, his heart pounding. Had he cried out? If he had, no one paid heed – they were all too dead to the world with tiredness.

The wind had strengthened to a storm that had battered them without mercy for five days. The topgallant mast had snapped, the mainsail had shredded beyond repair. Running on bare poles, the helmsman lashed to the wheel, lifelines set fore and aft, the noise of the wind and the angry sea, coupled with the groans of the ship, had drowned all but the nearest shouts. Three men had died: two falling from the mainmast to the deck; one washed overboard. There had been no hope of rescuing him.

The dreams were of the Cornish girl, her dark eyes wide with terror, and her concern for his safety evident.

Every moment of exhausted, snatched sleep during those days of storm-lashed tempest her face had been there, in his mind. Even with the storm waning, the men had struggled to keep awake, attending to essential repairs as best they could: jury-rigging, splicing, binding, mending, replacing. With barely opened, red-rimmed eyes, drenched through, his hands as stiff and sore as his body, Jesamiah had worked automatically, only partially aware that the girl’s ethereal presence was keeping him safe.

Finally came the opportunity to roll into the nearest hammock and fall instantly asleep; a gratitude that had vanished as he lay there one hour later staring into the swaying darkness. Even awake, he could see her face. Who was she? Who was she!

How I met Jesamiah Acorne (the tru-ish) story:

Buy Links:

Available on #KindleUnlimited.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0968RQ6FS
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0968RQ6FS
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0968RQ6FS
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B0968RQ6FS

Meet Helen Hollick

Helen Hollick and her family moved from north-east London in January 2013 after finding an eighteenth-century North Devon farm house through being a ‘victim’ on BBC TV’s popular Escape To The Country show. The thirteen-acre property was the first one she was shown – and it was love at first sight. She enjoys her new rural life, and has a variety of animals on the farm, including Exmoor ponies and her daughter’s string of show jumpers.

First accepted for publication by William Heinemann in 1993 – a week after her fortieth birthday – Helen then became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she also writes a pirate-based nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages. Despite being impaired by the visual disorder of Glaucoma, she is also branching out into the quick read novella, ‘Cosy Mystery’ genre with the Jan Christopher Mysteries, set in the 1970s, with the first in the series, A Mirror Murder incorporating her, often hilarious, memories of working for thirteen years as a library assistant.

Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She also runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction, a news and events blog for her village and the Community Shop, assists as ‘secretary for the day’ at her daughter’s regular showjumping shows – and occasionally gets time to write…

Connect with Helen

Amazon Author Pagehttps://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/477847.Helen_Hollick
Newsletter Subscriptionhttp://tinyletter.com/HelenHollick

1 thought on “When The Mermaid Sings, Excerpt by Helen Hollick”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *