Nov 3, 2011

Posted by in Guest Posts | 31 Comments

Maureen O. Betita Guest Post plus Giveaway

I had the opportunity to read Maureen O. Betita’s book The Kraken’s Mirror and was quite impressed by it.  (You can read my review here)  The main character, Emily, finds herself in Tortuga, the island off Haiti that is a renowned pirate haven, filled with shady characters and shady dealings.  Through the years, author’s imaginations have turned Tortuga from a ‘regular’ pirate island to a magical one, with the addition of mystical creatures and witchcraft.  And imagination is one of the things that Maureen is here to talk about today in her Guest Post.  Welcome Maureen and take it away!

What do I look for in a book?

Once upon a time I read a great deal of historical fiction. The big ass James Michener, Leon Uris, James Clavell and Herman Wouk books. Hawaii? Check! Ireland? Check! Shogun? Check! Winds of War? Check! (Wow, I used to have a lot of free time to read!) What did I want from those books? To learn something and be entertained by how history impacted human relationships.

And they are damned good writers! Which helped. And I did learn about history, geology and the cultures of other lands.

I had my mystery phase, which has really never ended. What do I look for in those titles? Oddly enough, I like to learn something. The modern trend of specialty cozies fascinate me. The protagonist owns a tea shop/coffee shop/vintage fashion shop/bookstore/blows glass for a living/gardens/ herb gardens/ghostwrites/restores books/trains dogs/grooms dogs/ pet sits…on and on and on. I learn a great bit about topics that interest me from these authors. Oh, and they keep me entertained with a story at the same time!

Win/Win! They feed my longing to have more hours in the day and have time to spend on hobbies

I have always read science fiction and fantasy. What did I learn from these? Well, to stretch my imagination and never assume that what is around me is necessarily all there is to life. The same with adventure novels. I learned life is always full of uncertainties that if met with an open heart can teach a great deal about living a full life. Courage counts and luck exists, both good and bad.

I think as a writer, that I hope people will look for these lessons and find them in my books. I love that Shakespeare quote… There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  Why? Because I believe it wholeheartedly. There is more we don’t know than what we know. And what I see and what I know is nothing compared to what might be. And certainly what I don’t know!

I was recently in a small FB discussion regarding the power of the imagination to create. Who is to say that Tolkien didn’t actually touch on something that is real, somewhere, somewhen?

I certainly won’t! In fact, I like to think that somewhere the magic of Middle Earth/Narnia and all the imaginings of our collective consciousness are out there, thriving.

But I’m odd that way. When I write, part of me believes that I’m not creating anything, I’m just listening to a storyteller tell me a story that I’m writing down. If this is all my imagination and is totally from inside me, I could be due a visit to the loony bin one of these days. (The same if I am listening in to a narrative from another world.)


Not, feeling adventurous? Would you like to learn about pirates? (Look elsewhere, I make everything up.) Like to learn about kraken? (That I can do.) Sailing? (I’m probably 50/50 on accuracy there.)

If you want to learn about the human ability to roll with the flow and accept whatever challenge is thrust upon them, then my writing is for you…and pirates. I have pirates. And I have a matchmaking albino kraken plus a Tortuga with blenders on the bar and time travelers wandering the streets…

Welcome to The Kraken’s Caribbean!

In The Kraken’s Mirror I brought you Emily and her second chance at life and love, taking part in an epic battle to free Captain Silvestri from the curse of good luck. In The Chameleon Goggles I bring you Jezebel, safe from her past…she thought. But now Tortuga faces invasion as Jezebel’s world has followed her. What can 16th century sailing ships do against the steel plated zeppelins of Novan? Even with the Great Albino Kraken on their side?

Want to know more?

Here’s an excerpt from The Chameleon Goggles

Emily recognized the woman’s style of dress from the strangers she’d seen the morning after the Cock celebrated Alan’s buy in. She and Janey hurried to keep up as Davis began to follow the woman, reached her, and put a hand on her arm. The stranger spun toward him, grimaced, and slapped his face. He went down!

A mere slap sent a werewolf to the cobblestones?

The woman kicked at Davis. Emily and Janey got close but she spotted them and ran off Emily followed. “Help Davis, Janey! I got her!”

But she couldn’t catch her prey As Emily tried to keep pace, the distance between them grew. The woman sped up the street, passing the ballroom as the doors opened and a familiar form filled the doorway.

“Keitran! Stop her!” Emily shouted.

She may have taken down a werewolf, but she was no match for a vampire. He appeared to blur and a second later, he grasped her arm. She tried the slap again and Keitran laughed at her and spat something at her feet.

Emily caught up with them, panting. “Thanks! We think she…might have something…to do with Jezzie’s disappearance.”

Keitran inhaled deeply at the struggling woman’s hairline. “She stinks.”

“Davis thought so, too. What did you do to him?” Emily stood up straight and stared at the woman.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about! Unhand me!” Her face might have been pretty, if not for the deep lines of habitual frowning around her lips. Then she spat at Emily, and even that bit of prettiness disappeared

Emily wiped the spit off her cheek and gritted her teeth.

“She did something to Davis?” Keitran snatched at the woman’s free hand, heading for Emily. “Clever, but there must be a limit to how many you carry.” He struck her. As she fell, gasping, he plucked a metallic thorn from the woman’s palm. He sniffed it. “Some drug.”

“Poison?” Emily drew a sharp breath, worry for Davis filling her mind.

Keitran licked the thorn. “No, a fast acting sedative of some sort, I think.” He casually reached out and scratched the woman’s cheek with the item as she renewed her struggle to get away. “Be still.”

Whether his voice calmed her or the drug, the woman slowly stopped fighting his grip. She stood, back bent, breathing deeply.

The thorn dropped to the cobbles and Emily shivered. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. I’d heard rumor of Captain Jezebel disappearing. You think this bitch is involved?”

“Davis said her scent surrounded Jez at the last place he could track her. Will you help me get her back to the Quill? Maybe we can learn something.” Dangerous asking a vampire for help, but she didn’t have many options.

He smiled, raising one eyebrow at her. “Certainly.” He easily lifted the woman to his shoulder and  gestured at Emily to proceed.

She shivered and did so.


Adventure and all creatures of imagination exist in the Kraken’s Caribbean.  Vampires, werewolves, zombies, magical and mayhem. I don’t believe in limits, at least I haven’t found any yet. Any suggestions for what you’d like to see strolling the streets of Tortuga?

Maureen, the extra generous person that she is, is offering a copy of The Kraken’s Mirror AND The Chameleon Goggles to ONE lucky commenter.  All you have to do to enter is answer Maureen’s question “Any suggestions for what you’d like to see strolling the streets of Tortuga?” in the comment section below by Monday, November 7th 2011 11:59EST.  Use your imagination.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Just have fun with it!
These are eBooks which means this giveaway is open to internationally.  Woot!

Good luck to all who enter and a SUPER huge thank you to Maureen for her Guest Post today.  🙂

  1. O, what a great post, and of course there is no limit to the creatures in an author’s imagination. I would like to read a little more about the darker creatures out there, goblins, trolls, things that live beneath the ground in caves.
    Your books have gone on my wishlist immediately!

  2. I guess i would to see dragons and others winged creatures^^

    and if this giveaway is international i really would like to be entered.

    thanks you for the discovery


  3. Yes a fun post to read! I enjoy your zest for life, seems to have overflowed into your writing!
    I would like to see a handsome Scott in a kilt, nothing else. So then I would wonder, how did he get there, where are the rest of his clothes, is he alone?

  4. Fabulous guest post Maureen!!!! I also love your picture. I saw Julie’s review for The Kraken’s Mirror and the excerpt from The Chameleon Goggles sounds awesome. Hmmm…What would I like to see strolling down the streets of Tortuga. I’d say Angels (I’m really on an angel kick right now), ghosts, oh and CENTAUR’s! I’ve always been facinated with Centaur’s ever since Hercules. I mean, half sexy man and half horse…what could be better?? I would love to see one of them strolling along the streets of Tortuga!

    Thanks for this awesome giveaway opportunity. 🙂

    paperbackdaydreamer (dot) gmail (dot) com.

  5. How about Slavic (Russian) fairy tale characters? Bring on Baba Yaga, Koshey and Sivka-Burka! Of course there are plenty of others too 🙂

  6. Loved this post! I always associate Tortuga with pirates, arr! And I have a softspot for swashbuckling heroes. So more pirates for me!

  7. What a great post! Both of the book synopses sounds amazing.
    As for the answer, I would kill to see Captain Jack Sparrow strolling on the streets of Tortuga while he drinks his rum 😉

  8. I would love to see the Fey strolling the streets of Tortuga. I don’t know why but I love Fey characters. I think they are very versatile and diverse.
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  9. Aurian – Goblins…hmmm. Well, I could probably do that, but they may not be as dark natured as you’re used to… I’ll have to think about this! Maybe a goblin could disrupt the Pirate Ball, which is held in an underground grotto…

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Miki – Dragons could be a problem. In The Chameleon Goggles, Emily wonders if dragons would be helpful and Jezebel simples says they wouldn’t. Sounds like Jezebel has been where dragons fly… Wouldn’t stop me from finding some better natured ones… Thanks for the idea! 😉

    Lexi – A wandering scottsman…that might be fun… 😉

    Deanna – Centaurs! What a great idea… Maybe they could wander Greece as that countries version of the Kraken…but one might have visions of traveling…

    Lyuba – Man, that would mean I’d have do some research! *whine! I hate research… Maybe you could tell me enough that I could forgoe the research?

    Rebe – Pirates? Oh, there are pirates on Tortuga, that’s right! Love me some pirates!

    Smitten – Jack is always in Tortuga, in one form or another. I think he’s the guardian angel/devil of the place. 😉

    Bookaholic – I’m dithering about with a fourth book at present with a mentally unbalanced version of Tinkerbell flitting about…would that count?

  10. LOVE that excerpt. Was charmed by the first book and I can’t wait to read this one. I’m throwing my vote behind the centaur. But that unbalanced Tinkerbell sounds fun too. LOL!

  11. I haven’t been to Tortuga, but I have been to other parts of the Caribbean to scuba dive so I can’t help but associate it with ocean creatures – maybe dolphin shifters, mermaids or sea anemones being cultivated as flowers – something like that.

    I’ve got these on my wishlist, they sound like fun reads.

  12. Terri – Melody is a hoot. Thinks she is Tinkerbell and she’s looking for Captain Hook…she’s very delusional… 😉

    Jen – I do like the idea of more sea creatures… I’ve got the kraken and I’ve made the selkie part of the protection for the Irish… Maybe I’ll get some visiting selkies… I’ve been on one quick cruise around the Caribbean and long to go back and stick around for an extended period. I did swim with the rays at the Grand Caymans…maybe I’ll bring in some rays… 😉

  13. Love the title and idea of these books. I’m not sure what magical creatures are missing but fairy dragons, and gnomes would be a nice addition to any book. 🙂

  14. Gayle! Gnomes! Yes, I could do that. Emily is trying to start a garden and I could have someone bring her a stone gnome and then… Wait…don’t want to tell everyone yet! 😉

  15. I think what I’d like to see strolling the streets of Tortuga is a bevy of gorgeous Atlantean mermen and their miniature sea dragon pets!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  16. I am loving these answers!
    Thank you Maureen for this Guest Post. You did a great job on it. And thank you for replying to the comments so far. Very nice of you. 🙂

  17. ML – You present a real challenge! How do I do that unless I drown my fair pirate port? Mayhaps I can have them swimming about the sunken ruins of Port Royal…

  18. Julie – I love an active blog! 😉

  19. Barbara Elness says:

    I’d love to see some sea creatures, such as selkies and sea dragons strolling through the streets of Tortuga.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  20. Barbara – another one for more sea creatures… Hmmm! I’m gonna have to really do some brainstorming on this!

  21. Julie Witt says:

    What do I want to see in Tortuga? Jack Sparrow strolling the streets would be awesome!! I loved this guest post because Maureen stated perfectly most of the reasons why I love reading the different genres that I do! It’s like I’m listening to myself talk! Awesome! And a really terrific giveaway on top of all that? I’m in heaven!! Thanks so much for both, Maureen, and I am really looking forward to reading your books:)

  22. Julie! Thank you for such compliments! As for Cap’n Jack…he is always haunting Tortuga…always room for more Mad Jack! Good luck!

  23. Naiads, harpies, and Gorgons. Or some other mythological creatures. My best friend has started reading the first book and she seems to love it. I would love for her to see herself as a character in the next one.

  24. E1477 – I better pull out my mythology bible…naiads…tree sprits? I can manage one in the big oak tree Emily uses to find her way back to the wharf after getting lost…

    Gorgons – Well, Tortuga could always use more statuary… 😉

    Harpies? Wow…uh, let me get back to you that!

    And I’m thinking I may hold a contest to name a character in the next story…so tell your friend to keep an eye on my FB page! 😉

  25. Loraine Hunziker says:

    Along with the usual pirates, ladies of the night, drunks, and those individuals just wanting to “disappear,” I think it would be cool to have Mermen in the masses. The Mermaids would be too pretty for Tortuga but the Mermen could hide their extreme good looks beneath hoods and cloaks and in the shadows that make Tortuga the place to hide in plain sight.

    Happy writing and continuing success!

    Loraine H
    l_k_hunziker AT hotmail DOT com

  26. Loraine – I’m thinking this merman thing is all about them walking on two legs when on land… I’ll figure this out and bring them into some part a’ the saga! Give me time! 😉

  27. What would I like to see ?
    A man, with a lot of hair, a funny scarf and coat.
    In a British accent,
    Looking for a tall wooden box he insists is painted bright blue!

  28. I’d love to see a small herd of feral swine, like street dogs only street pigs. I’m not entirely sure why, it just seems amusing to me.

  29. Patrick…hee, hee. The spirit of the Doctor is always abroad in Tortuga!

    Jenna – Street swine…Bacon for everyone!

  30. I’d like to see a shapeshifter (not a werewolf). Maybe a kraken? Or a sielkie?

  31. Phaedra – I promise a Imbolc story involving the selkie and Ireland. After all Emily and Alan need a real honeymoon!

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