When you think of rum you immediately think of the Caribbean, lying back in a gently swaying hammock and watching the waves crash over the distant coral reef. Whether you are knocking back a shot of overproof in Kingston, drinking a pina colada in Old San Juan, or just relaxing with an Admiral Rodney in Rodney Bay. the Caribbean has been the home of rum for hundreds of years, from the dark days of slavery and plantations, the pirates and buccaneers, to the present days of exotic frozen cocktails enjoyed by tourists.
Two years ago, when I moved to the Tampa area, I was delighted to feel the vibe of the Caribbean seeping into the local atmosphere, and it inspired me to write. The result is my new fantasy erotic romance book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake.
One of my favorite settings in the book takes place on the Haitian island of Tortuga, an unruly pirate hangout during the mid-1600s. My main character, a mermaid named Ciel, makes her first visit to the island and learns the wonders of drinking fine Caribbean rum, among many other pleasures and vices. She gets a lesson from her pirate friends in how best to enjoy some expensive aged blends.
In case you’re curious…after you pour the sample into the glass, lift it up to the light and check for clarity in the rum. Aged rums will have a golden or mahogany hue from their extensive aging in oak barrels. This color indicates what to expect when you taste it. Lighter rums tend to be lighter and drier, and darker rums richer and heavier in flavor. Once the rum is poured into the glass, give it an initial sniff from the far side of the glass. Master blenders use sense of smell the most when creating their rums. Then swirl the rum around in the glass. Now take another whiff of the rum to see if more of the aromas have been released by swirling. Some of the bouquets you may detect: wood; nuts; honey; spice; vanilla; cocoa; orange.
Now for the best part--tasting. Take a small sip and swirl it around your mouth. Let the rum linger on your tongue and then the rest of your mouth. After swallowing the rum, allow the taste to linger and assess the "finish" which will probably be your most important memory of the rum. The length of the "finish", how long the taste remains in your mouth and nose, tells a lot about the complexity of the rum. What did you taste? Oak, vanilla, molasses, caramel, fruit, cinnamon, spices, nutmeg, tobacco, coconut? How would you describe the rum--sweet, smooth, full-bodied, harsh, or well-balanced?
Come join Ciel in Tears on a Tranquil Lake, as she develops a palate for fine Caribbean rum and a few other pirate pleasures.
What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid.
Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic. Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery. When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex -- he is her soul mate.
Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness.
Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalliwag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.
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