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Friday, July 15, 2011

Don’t forget your comments—but only comments related to today’s post!!!—earn you entries in the drawing for one of two signed copies of Ransome’s Quest. (So no “please enter me!” types of posts. Please make your comment relevant to what’s being discussed today. Also, please do not put your e-mail address in your comment. Just make sure it’s correct when you sign in to post your comment.)

I don’t have tons of images to share this week—mostly because unlike the settings in England and aboard the ships, the places where the action takes place in Ransome’s Quest existed vividly inside my imagination. Now, I have gone out and found images that are reminiscent of how I pictured things. . .but some of it will just have to be up to your imagination.

Tierra Dulce
The Witherington sugar plantation in Saint Cathrine’s Parish, Jamaica. It’s a low-slung, enormous white house with deep porches all the way around. Something like this:

Sugar Mill

The pirate ship Vengeance
Salvador’s ship, Vengeance, is a frigate—a much smaller ship than the seventy-four-gun Man-o’-War Alexandra:

Fort Charles, Port Royal
When I happened to mention to someone that in Ransome’s Crossing, when they come into Kingston Harbor, they report to Fort Charles at Port Royal, this person very tactfully reminded me that Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692. However, the fort, built in 1650 (originally named Fort Cromwell, but renamed Fort Charles when Charles II regained the throne) and land surrounding it wasn’t completely destroyed. The fort remained the key defense of Kingston Harbor for more than a hundred years after the earthquake. In fact, Horatio Nelson—yes, that Horatio Nelson—was assigned to Fort Charles at age nineteen in 1777. Two years later, he was promoted to commander of Fort Charles. The fort is the oldest surviving structure in Port Royal today. (Click here to learn more and see more pictures of Port Royal and Fort Charles.)

The Other Settings in Ransome’s Quest
Rather than give any spoilers, click on the image below to see some of the images I collected that inspired the seafaring part of Ransome’s Quest:

  1. Friday, July 15, 2011 1:34 am

    And I don’t know if I’ve ever pointed this out or not . . . but Tierra Dulce and Bonneterre (the fictional setting of Stand-In Groom, Menu for Romance, and A Case for Love) mean the same thing: good land. Oh, and hey, that’s what Jeremiah and Jerusha’s last name is: Goodland! 😉


    • Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:17 am

      That’s so cool to know. There are always so many hidden treasures in novels, some readers will never learn. Thanks for sharing this.


  2. Friday, July 15, 2011 4:27 am

    Hi, Kaye! I have the first two books in the series on my keeper shelf, and I so look forward to reading “Ransome’s Quest”! Reading your post and viewing the photos reminds me again of how much we take for granted in our everyday world. That sugar bowl on my kitchen table looks simple and innocent, and it’s full of sweetness. However, there’s a world of history in those sparkling white crystals. I love history, and that is one of the reasons that I have been a lifelong reader of historical romance. I know that some readers state that they want a romance, not a history lesson, but I think the two go hand-in-hand. The setting of the book, the era, culture, social mores, religious beliefs, fashion, art and literature of the times all affect the way the characters would develop as people. Therefore, they are very important elements of the story line details. I appreciate the amount of research and love of subject an author invests into a well-written historical romance. Before airplanes and computers, ships and their captains were the great connectors of humanity. Our lives would be very bland indeed if it were not for the importers and exporters who throughout the centuries have blended cultures and added “sugar & spice” to our everyday existence. While we ponder our future, we should for the answers in our past. The eras may change, but human beings repeat the same behavior patterns over and over.


  3. Friday, July 15, 2011 5:25 am

    The Negril Cliffs picture looks like a huge dog laying at the waters’ edge, lapping up the water!
    Can’t wait for RANSOME’S QUEST! Been hanging since finishing RANSOME’S CROSSING!! 😉


  4. Friday, July 15, 2011 5:46 am

    Ii love the details in your books that come from research on setting. It’s a big draw for me. I don’t think I could write without a map myself. I often have to draw a map or sketch of a room.

    I’m really anticipating RQ andsome time spent in Jamaica!


  5. Friday, July 15, 2011 7:48 am


    I also find pictures of my settings. It’s always helpful to have a visual.

    Enjoyed looking at them all. You do an excellent job collecting them!



  6. Friday, July 15, 2011 8:22 am

    I love the pictures you have shown. Makes the books come alive. Is that tar on the ship? We went to see two reproductions of Columbus’ ships at Turtle Bay, Grand Rivers,KY and they were coated in something black. This one looks to be about the same size, small, very small.
    You have made the books come alive for me. I love what you are doing here.


  7. Amy Smelser permalink
    Friday, July 15, 2011 9:02 am

    Thanks for the visual aides. The plantation is beautiful and looks like it is in its own little world. No wonder Julia wants to keep it. Looking forward to finishing the series.


  8. Friday, July 15, 2011 10:53 am

    You are so making me want to travel! I loved the info on Port Royal, and about how it survived even after a devastating earthquake. My husband’s family came to America via England and Barbados in the late 1600’s, so I’m imagining they saw many of the same sights as your pictures of the landscape! I can’t wait to read RQ!


  9. Friday, July 15, 2011 11:23 am

    Oh my goodness. Looking at those pictures of the ships at war made my stomach turn. I cannot imagine living through such a fierce battle. How did anyone survive? You have such a knack for bringing us into the story world! I love it!


  10. Lissie permalink
    Friday, July 15, 2011 2:15 pm

    I love Tierra Dulce! It’s absolutely gorgeous!


  11. Gina Arnold permalink
    Friday, July 15, 2011 3:13 pm

    I love the picture of Negril Cliffs!!! It is so beautiful! The boats remind me of the ones I saw in the American village in Williamsburg, VA. Thanks for taking the time to post the gorgeous pictures! 🙂


  12. Sylvia M. permalink
    Friday, July 15, 2011 9:23 pm

    I love seeing pictures of the plantation house. It makes me want to read a book about Julia’s parents when they lived there. Have you ever considered writing a 1700’s book about them when they met and fell in love? That plantation road picture just makes me want to take a solitary walk and see what’s around the next bend.


  13. Friday, July 15, 2011 10:30 pm

    I’m so looking forward to Ransoms Quest!! 🙂
    Having read many books set in or somehow connected to Port Royal ( lots of pirate books) I found that very interesting! I never knew that it was destroyed in 1692. I also loved the pic of the plantation house! How interestig to actually get a visul for a setting in the book! Loved it!
    Thanks so much!


  14. Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:20 am

    I’m so glad you are giving us all of these visuals. Whether on land or sea your settings are amazing! The story carries us away, and the settings give us a grand adventure. I enjoyed that historical tidbit about Fort Royal. Thanks for these great posts!


  15. Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:21 am

    By the way, this is just as good as your virtual vacations you’ve been sharing, if not better!


  16. Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:37 am

    I love the pictures of the plantation too. So beautiful! I always enjoy your posts about the research. It definitely adds a lot of depth to your novels.


  17. Debbie Mitchell permalink
    Saturday, July 16, 2011 3:09 pm

    Hey Kaye, I really love these photos! I have a lot of them in my collection, but some I need to add. Before I read you and MaryLu’s novels, history was boring for me. You both have a great way of interpreting these historical stories! Thanks for sharing. I really want this novel to add to my other two in the series! Fingers crossed.


  18. Sunday, July 17, 2011 5:12 pm

    I love the settings of these books. I love books in this time period and also love ship based books so I am really excited about this new book coming out. It has the best of both worlds!!! What an adventure to be onboard not only a ship in this time period but on a pirate ship with HOT Captains!!!


  19. Sunday, July 17, 2011 7:37 pm

    I haven’t read any of the books in this series. I’ve only read The Art of Romance, and the first two Bonneterre books. This series sounds like one I would like. The last picture is so peaceful and serene, makes me want to take a walk down that dirt road! I imagine life was quite an adventure.



  1. Review: Ransome’s Quest « On my bookshelf

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