Publishers Weekly gave The Wind and the Sea this marvellous compliment:
"In this action-packed historical romance, the only time people rest is when they're downed with fever or knocked unconscious."
It was music to my ears, since this was my second venture onto the sea and the first full blown action/adventure/shipboard/pirate romance/homage to Errol Flynn. It was the book that inspired Romantic Times to make a new Awards catagory and won the first Swashbuckler of the Year Award. It also won Affair de Coeur's Golden Quill Award, and an award from Canadian Booksellers for being the best selling Romance across Canada that year.
Before you get too excited, that translated to about 10K copies, but it was thrilling nonetheless to get the recognition. This was also the book that was inspired by the title. I had been reading the newspaper and came across the phrase "...the wind and the sea..." and voila, a whole panorama of events and potential sea battles opened up before my eyes. It was also the first book where I took the heroine out of dresses and long hair and gave her small breasts, a foul mouth, and the ability to slash throats with a dagger as well as slice buttons off a shirt with a sword. It was my first real battle over cover art, because clinches were all the rage, with long hair flowing in the wind and wenches bent over the hero's arm so he could peer up her nose with great lust. I wanted...and got...a heroine with short hair, dressed in a shirt and breeches. It was, and still is one of my favorite covers of all time, and even though I love the new rendition I did myself, I have the large, full sized transparency of the original framed and hanging on my office wall. Many I time I've stared at it and found inspiration while writing my way through a difficult scene or twist in a subsequent book. There was something about it...the strength maybe, or the fact that it was just the perfect artwork to fit the story...something few book covers back then managed to do...and something that warned the readers: this is different. Interesting tidbit: I had to fight a major battle with the publisher, who wanted to change the title to something more romantic like...brace yourselves... Sea Dreams. AUGH!