A swashbuckler set in the West Indies of the early 19th Century, THE WITCH FROM THE SEA is a love story, a coming-of-age adventure and an eccentric comedy of manners about a woman who runs with the pirates to free herself from the conventional "rules" of gender, race and class.

Tory Lightfoot, an orphan of mixed white and Mohawk blood, flees the stifling gentility of 1823 Boston for the freedom of the open sea. But the merchant ship on which she stows away is boarded by pirates off the coast of Cuba, and Tory is forced to join the pirate crew to save her life. Making herself useful as both log-keeper and spy, she begins to earn a measure of the independence she craves. But fate, fever and the relentless U. S. Navy West Indian Squadron close in, and Tory must risk her hard-won freedom to save the man she loves.
"I highly recommend this book to any lover of historical fiction."
— The Historical Novel Society Review
"The Witch From The Sea is that rare creation, an historical romance with guts as well as glamour. Wild-spirited Tory is an irresistible character."
— Nautical historian Joan Druett (She-Captains; Hen Frigates)
"I am in love with this book. A+."
Reading Rocks / YA Fiction Review

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Before she runs away to sea, Tory goes to a fortune teller in Boson who reads the cards for her.

They weren't necessarily known as "Tarot" in those days, but copies or variations on the woodblock-printed deck now called the Tarot of Marseilles had been published and were in circulation for a hundred years before Tory has her fateful reading.

Tory's card is The Star, which signifies hope and looking forward. This is a modern version, of course, by the artist calling herself bluefooted, but I really think it captures Tory's yearning spirit.

And it's so beautiful!

Here's the link.