In a moment I'll be posting an excerpt from the first chapter of Darnahsian Pirates: The Third Stone Island Sea Story. It's now available in paperback format on Amazon... in case anyone is interested. Hope to have it on Kindle and other platforms in the not too distant future. The ASIN, B09BC9P9WL is the same, regardless of what Amazon market you buy from.
In the early stages of painting the cover art for Darnahsian Pirates.
Below are the opening few lines of Chapter One, "Charting a New Course." (For those who have read the second book, Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story, the scene below with Pierce and Evangeline continues from the final scene of that book.)
Some three weeks ago, HMS Island Expedition, Master and Commander Edward Pierce, returned to England following a voyage to find and colonize a legendary lost island. The voyage by all accounts was a success, the expedition not only locating the island, but discovering it existed in a completely different but similar world. However, their return coincided with news of Lord Nelson’s victory and death at Trafalgar, and was little noticed.
Pierce understood the mood of the nation and the need for secrecy regarding a new world, so the lack of fanfare or acclaim didn’t faze him. What did bother him was learning Evangeline had not waited. She’d married another, borne his child, and now was widowed. Yet the evening before he’d received her note inviting him to dine. This morning, after witnessing HMS Victory enter Portsmouth carrying Lord Nelson’s remains, taking part, along with his crew, in a salute to the fallen hero, Pierce went ashore. He’d made his way to the George where he reunited and possibly reconciled with Evangeline.
After they sat for a while, embracing in the great joy of their reunion, Pierce and Evangeline parted. They retrieved handkerchiefs from pockets or sleeves in order to wipe away the tears both had shed. At that moment a knock came, not from the front door, but from within. It was a gentle rap, not much more than a light tap.
Evangeline dabbed her eyes one last time and smiled. “A moment?” she asked softly.
“What the young lad’s awake, Miss Vangie,” came the voice from within the recesses of the suite. “Might be he’s looking for his dinner, now you’ve had yours.”
“You may bring him, if you would.”
Pierce had sat quietly during the short conversation. “Gertie is here?” he asked, a smile on his face as he remembered the older woman who acted as cook, maid, and sometimes guiding light for Evangeline and her father.
“Of course. You think I would travel without companionship? And at times I need her to watch Glenn Lewis.”
“Your child? Here as well?”
“But of course, dear. One does not carry a child for nine months, give birth and set it aside.”
“I would think not!”
The far door opened. Gertie came in, a grandmotherly smile on her face, carrying the child nestled in her arms and the blankets surrounding it. Upon seeing Pierce, her eyes widened and her smile grew more intense. “By God, above, Mr. Edward, it is good you are here!”
“I am overjoyed to see you as well, Gertie,” he said. She tenderly passed the baby and the accompanying blankets to Evangeline and then embraced him enthusiastically. He hugged her in return, nearly picking her off her feet and swinging her around the room. That was not an easy task, as Gertie was not a small woman.