They said the boy was haunted and the townspeople of Lawrence, Kansas, wanted nothing to do with widower Seth Ward or his two children. In 1857, superstitions run high.
Left alone to raise Patricia and Peter, Seth has been isolated from his neighbors since the death of his wife from a lingering, malignant disease. Nearly at his wits end, a young woman appears in response to an advertisement for help.
Barbara Nelander dared brave the terror of a dead woman's ghost and the haunting of her son because she was not like other women. Born in Nova Scotia, "Nelander," as she was called, had served as a crewman aboard her father's trading ship since early childhood. Used to working in a man's world and handling difficult situations, she signs aboard with the determination to dispel the ghosts of the past.
Transforming the homestead into a figurative pirate ship, she uses her wiles to restore Peter's self-confidence, extract a buccaneer's revenge on those who tormented him and battles drought alongside Seth as the harsh Kansas summer threatens to destroy the family and the relationship that develops between the "captain" and "first officer."
Nelander had little exposure to men of such ilk. Her father had owned his own vessel and therefore kept clear of banks. Captains of her acquaintance who worked for hire, however, spoke of them in language unfit for public ears.
The teller waited until the manager retired to his office, then scurried after him, politely knocking on the door. It required three light scratches before a booming voice ordered, “Come in!” The man adjusted his starched neck collar and disappeared. Ten minutes later he reemerged, pale and perspiring. Not daring to speak, he used two fingers to motion the waiting customer.
“Mr. Pronger will see you, now.”
Fully aware that the delay had been a purposeful one, Nelander followed the clerk down the hall, waved her hand by way of dismissing the minion and strode through the door. The teller later described the incident by saying, “It were as though she owned the place!”
Mr. Pronger rose from behind his massive mahogany desk in a gesture of civil obedience. The observer likened the act to a magistrate offering a condemned man a hood before ordering him to walk the plank.
“What can I do for you...madam?”
“I desire to transfer money from an account I have in Nova Scotia to this facility.” In order to make herself perfectly clear, she added, “From one bank to another. The account is in my own name. I shall sign whatever documents are necessary. I would appreciate expedience in the matter.”
“You are not from around here, madam?”
“My name is Barbara Nelander, sir, recently Second Officer aboard the Bottom Dollar. I have arrived only this morning from San Francisco.”
“You are in need of funds?”
She supposed he meant to embarrass her as the question appeared superfluous.
“And you need this money for—?”
Her head shot back. “To continue my journey.”
“You are returning to Canada?”
“I am. As soon as I get my money.”
Which may, or may not, have been a threat.
Or an inducement.
The bank president removed an official form from his desk. Making a show of fitting a nib to the end of a pen shaft, he uncorked an inkwell and dipped it. Hand hovering over the paper, he inquired with a judge’s dour inflection, “Name on the account from which you wish to transfer funds?”
“Would it be easier for me to fill out the form, myself?”
Pronger evidenced genuine surprise. “You can read and write?”
“I have a degree, sir, from Davy Jones University.”
“I am unfamiliar with that institution. Is it in Canada?”
Not normally prone to lie, Nelander considered it more in the nature of a jest.
“It has branches there.”
|What the reviewers are saying
I liked the idea for this story, a seafaring woman living on dry land in a family setting. The women ran the family like a ship which was great. ~ Shirley Hutchinson, Amazon
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I found myself totally immersed in the charactors and their stories. Can't wait for next book to be available for order. ~ Nancy J Stewart, Amazon
What a delightfully gentle book! The leading female is strong, but real. the leading man is kind, loving and real. The children are good and sweet and real. The story is interesting from start to finish, addressing many issues of the day, with tenderness, but with conviction to loving your neighbor as yourself. I was very pleased with the ending, which did not end with the happy conclusion one would have hoped for, but this made for a realistic picture of the hardships of the time period. I am looking forward to the next in the series to find out how the story plays out. You will not be disappointed in this excellent read. ~ Marylou Gillman, Amazon
Strong personalities, conflicting goals, heart-breaking pasts--great story
Fresh voices, hopes, dreams, and unexpected love unfold in this amazing book.
I hope to read more from talented authors, Kotar and Gessler. ~ Kathleen P. Rowland, Amazon
Great story and history lesson all in one!
I started this book with a bit of doubt that it would hold my interest, Was I wrong! And glad I was. I think Hollywood and TV writers give us the formula for what makes a good hero, This is a good twist, you have a strong willed woman raised on the sea, trying to adjust to living on land and all the time taking on two children and a broken man. She was breaking barriers in a time that was unheard of, and succeeding. Fighting superstition and distrust of someone different and a stranger.The struggles of everyday living, dealing with stereotypes, superstitious nonsense. Just trying to survive day to day, struggles our farmers deal with to this day, will it rain, enough, or too much? What kind of prices will I get.Also the characters that you encounter even in modern times, people who take advantage of the downtrodden and desperate. I found myself so engrossed in the story that I couldn't hardly stop reading, I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. Now I have to wait for the next book,I will be one of the first to buy it. ~ John Heilig, Amazon
Pirate Treasure, a treasure to find and read
Why do we read? To fall in love with different times, different places, different characters as we lose ourselves for 300 pages. Pirate Treasure doesn't disappoint. Misfit Nelander, first mate on her father's ship finds herself stranded in Kansas, just about as far away from an ocean as she can get. She finds work with a farmer and his two children, but more than that she finds and shares her insights, her passions, her strategies and her love. Living a hard life with .fault-finding neighbors, in a town riddled with superstition, and through a devastating drought, Nelander brings her own brand of wisdom . . .
Writers SL Kotar and GE Gessler's writing is sharp, clever, touching, and so intoxicating I had to keep looking up from my Kindle to be sure I wasn't stranded in drought ridden Kansas. The writing is real, powerful, and with a voice unique to themselves . . . Note, Book Group questions are available. I'm suggesting this for my next book group selection. ~ Betzgreat, Amazon
Wow! Pirate Treasure is an edge of your seat read. From chapter one, readers will be pulled into a unique world where great historical romance meets swashbuckling high seas drama. Pirates in landlocked Kansas? At the heart of the story is the budding relationship between Seth and Nelander. The attraction isn't traditionally instant, but we grow with the characters through the reading and see how their relationship blooms. Nelander's character is well-drawn and believable. Her spirit lifts from the page with each turn. Seth's plight compounds the drama as he suffers the loss of his wife, has to raise two young children on his own, has a community of peers shunning him because of his son's new-found 'affliction', and how can it be possible he's falling in love again? A gripping must read, and a wonderful start to a fabulous series! ~ Heart of Fiction