Help A Bitch Out

Help a Bitch Out: Lice Make for Memorable Romance

From Bitchery reader Charity, who used the subject line, “The Power of the Bitchery Knows No Bounds” – damn right, ma’am. And flattery will get you everywhere, including perhaps to the bookstore to fine this rare gem:

Since checking out the success of the “Help A Bitch Out” Name This Book, I thought I’d ask if you’d post mine.  Here’s what I remember:

I don’t remember much but I do remember that the story began in England and most of the story took place on a boat headed to America. The hero was the ship’s captain.  The heroine was either raped/or almost raped repeatedly.  Her skeezy relative (male) planned to pimp her out to three men but somehow, she killed all of them.  Maybe with a fire poker??  Then she ran away and found passage on the ship to America.  The only name I can remember was the name of the bad guy. He was a pastor/reverend and completely corrupt.  His name was Sebastian.  He wanted to rape the heroine.  He had raped several of the other female passengers (members of his congregation??) already. I don’t remember what all else he did but I remember being so disgusted by him that I couldn’t even stand the name Sebastian because I associated it with pure evil.

The only scene from the book that I can really remember was about the old homeless woman who helped her escape after she killed those men. After she helps the heroine, the homeless lady tries to remember a time when she was as beautiful as the heroine.  The homeless lady picks up a brush and tries to run it through her hair but that makes all the lice (or other bugs) scurry down her back.  Gross, I know.

I don’t want to spoil the perfect record, but I’d like to know if anyone remembers this book.  If not, then I will assume that I made this up from the deepest darkest recesses of my mind and will be forced to seek professional help.

If that came from the recesses of your mind, lice included… nah, there’s no way. Anyone recognize this book?


Help a Bitch Out

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  1. 1
    charity says:

    Hi!  I’m the bitch in need of help.  Just as an FYI, it was an old book.  Probably written in the 80’s or even 70’s.  I read it when I was still a teenager (tail end of the 80’s, beginning of the 90’s.)


  2. 2
    Tracy says:

    Sorry I can’t help you, but now my head itches! :D

  3. 3
    Teddy Pig says:

    Ever had an aphid creep up your arm?

    Hundreds creeping down your back under your clothes…. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

  4. 4
    Eve Vaughn says:

    Wow, I’ve read a lot of romance books in the late eighties and early nineties and I definitely would have rememebered a scene with the bugs in a homeless woman’s hair. (sorry, I threw up a little bit in my mouth) God luck with your search, it sounds like an interesting read. I’ll have to send this link to my friend, she can find anything.

  5. 5
    Brianna says:

    That book makes me feel like a bout of Morgellon’s disease is hitting me.


    I’m afraid I have no idea who it is. Curious to find out though.

  6. 6
    Jonna says:

    Erm – what?  Lice “scurrying down her back”?  As someone who has had lice (courtesy of my son) I can tell ya that they just don’t do that.  They’re teeny and they stay pretty much in your hair.  They are not dislodgeable with a hairbrush.  I can’t even imagine what “other bugs” these might have been. 

    Sorry Charity – this isn’t helping you in your quest, is it?  But I hate when authors put in totally inaccurate shit.

    Rant over.

  7. 7
    Teddy Pig says:

    Maybe they were crabs on a rampage?

  8. 8
    lisabea says:

    This sounds like one of the Captive books by Fern Michaels. Serena has an adopted urchin daughter who winds up back on the streets. She sails off to America (disguised and hiding, maybe) and winds up on a ship full of crazy puritians and her sort of step brother, Caleb, comes to her rescue. I think that may be it.  I’m sure she was down in the hold (heh) and caught all sorts of cooties.

  9. 9
    Eve Vaughn says:

    Captive Splendors?

  10. 10

    It may be Captive Splendors by Fern Michaels.  I can’t remember it, exactly, since I don’t have the book anymore.  But it’s the one lisabea mentioned with Caleb.

  11. 11
    Charity Mullen says:

    I can’t find a true synopsis online, but from what little I can remember, it sounds almost exactly like the plot of the book I remember.  The only thing that throws me off is that it looks like it was written in 1995.  I graduated highschool in 1994 and I know I read it before I graduated high school.  I might have even read it as a freshman (1990).

  12. 12
    Charity Mullen says:

    Correction.  It looks like all the 1995’s stamped on this book but I looked her up on Wikipedia and it was published in 1980.  This book could very well be it!

    I’m going to have to get to a bookstore right away and find out for sure.

  13. 13
    Charity Mullen says:

    Jesus.  I’m so excited that my posts don’t make any sense.  I just read my two earlier posts and they make no sense to me.

    Here it is again.  The reissue of Captive Splendors happened in 1995, which is why so many of her books show that date as the publication date. 

    However, I went to Wikipedia and saw that Captive Splendors was originally published in 1980.  That means that it is well within the correct date for it to be the book that I read. 


  14. 14
    lisabea says:

    Now that I’m remembering this book, I’m still pissed at what a fucking let down that series was.

  15. 15
    Denise says:

    Already mentioned earlier, but I’ll add my agreement.  That was Captive Splendors by Fern Michaels.  I read that in the early 80s when I was a teen.

  16. 16
    Charity Mullen says:

    I found a copy at Borders.  I’m reading it now.  I am actually just flipping through the book.  I haven’t found the passage about the old homeless lady’s scurrying lice yet.  And the bad guy’s name is Bascome – not Sebastian. 

    Apparently my memory isn’t perfect.  But it’s definitely the right book. 

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to say, “Hot Damn!”  I can’t believe you guys knew this book.  I gave the same information to’s Needle In A Haystack (It’s in the Reader Helping Reader section and I didn’t get even one guess. 

    I bet the bitchery can go over there and solve all their Needle In A Haystacks (Name This Book).  You are all THAT GOOD.

    A special thank you to Lisabea for being the first to point me in the right direction.  More thanks to Eve and Jessica for having the specific title. 

    I am in awe.

  17. 17
    Wry Hag says:

    I think I’m confusing it with Captain Splendors, the one where werelice stow away in the hero’s chest hair.

    That was pretty memorable, too.  As I recall.

  18. 18

    Maybe they were scurrying fleas?? Still pretty gross…

  19. 19
    Gennita Low says:

    I thought fleas jump?  Roaches maybe?  They scurry in Florida….

  20. 20
    Charity says:

    I found the passage about the lice.  And, yes, the author called them lice.  Ewww.

  21. 21

    Hmm. My mom’s cousin once told me about finding an injured bird – condor, maybe? – and said when he picked it up he could “feel the lice crawling up his arm.”

    That’s all I’ve got. Though I don’t even know if birds HAVE lice. Sure gives me the heebie-jeebies though. *scratch, scratch*

  22. 22
    Kaite says:

    I remember being told as a child never to pick up or pet a bird because they carry lice, so yes, birds have lice.

    I’m not sure they’d have them so badly you could feel them marching up your arm, but that could have been psychosomatic. :-D

  23. 23
    Dragonette says:

    Wryhag:  Werelice???  WTF???

    I’m going to have to hunt that one down.

  24. 24
    Chrissy says:

    Dude, that’s gross.  Luckily the astro-glide and RidEx are located in close proximity…


  25. 25
    Catherine says:

    I remember back in elementary school there was this little girl who had lice.  When the school finally noticed it she had had it for so long that there we tons of them.  Because there were so many of them the lice were stacked up on top of each other.  You could see them moving her hair around. *shudder* So I believe they can scurry if you have a ton of them, but down her back sounds improbable.  Maybe she was really hairy though.  They go ANYWHERE there’s hair.  Yuck!

  26. 26

    Having bad flashbacks to a case of lice in elementary school that almost made me have to shave my head because they were resistant to like seven treatments.  Must’ve been werelice.

    Must go puke now.

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