Fewer cliches, fewer words (223 down from 262), some different words, here is lucky version 13.
Twelve-year-old Skully longs for the kind of excitement missing from his family's stuffy old mansion. The day he finally meets his father, the abhorred pirate, Captain ‘Mad Grave’ Smith, Skully embarks on an adventure destined for a horrible end—his own.
Skully never heard of a long dead ruler named Grimstoke until his mom died protecting the secrets of his accursed ring. Taking refuge among pirates, Skully finds Captain Smith isn’t such a bad guy after all. But when Grimstoke’s ring ‘accidentally’ finds its way onto Skully’s finger, his dad ends up cursed. Grimstoke’s evil spirit possesses Captain Smith and starts sucking souls from the inhabitants of pirate-controlled San Iguana. Grimstoke will only last so long in Captain Smith’s body. As Grimstoke’s last living descendent, Skully possesses the one thing that can prevent his dad’s death. Torn by his dad’s fate and guilt over his mom’s death, running away looks pretty good. But souls are disappearing fast. The only way to save everyone is to give Grimstoke what he needs—Skully’s soul.
SKULLY THE PIRATE AND GRIMSTOKE'S CURSE is an upper middle grade adventure sprinkled with humor and a dash of paranormal fantasy. It is complete at 60,000 words. I am a member of SCBWI and several critique groups. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.