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Novel excerpt - THE RELIANCE by M.L. Tyndall

M.L. Tyndall is a friend of mine, and I get to post a sneak peek at her new novel, The Reliance, which will come out in January!

Tormented by his wife's apparent demise, Edmund Merrick sails away to drown his sorrows-only to find himself trapped in the dark world of a demented Frenchman. When his mind clears from its rum-induced haze, will Edmund find the will to escape?

Seemingly abandoned by her husband, Charlisse is thrown into the clutches of the vengeful pirate Kent. Will she be swept away by the undertow of treachery and despair?

Can Edmund and Charlisse steer their way to the faith-filled haven they so desperately seek, or will they ultimately lose their love and lives to the sea?

The Reliance (Legacy of the King’s Pirates, book 2) by M.L. Tyndall

Excerpt of chapter one:



The dark hull of a ship loomed ahead, lit by two lanterns, one on the bowsprit and the other swinging from a hook on the mizzenmast. Dim light shone through a porthole below the quarterdeck. Three masts covered with tangled rigging towered against the moonlit sky like webbed claws ready to snatch Charlisse up from the boat. Most likely an ex-merchant vessel, the three-masted square-rigged ship could hold up to forty guns. Charlisse wouldn't have known or cared about such things three years ago if she hadn't married a pirate and chosen a life at sea.

The longboat scraped and thudded against the hull of the larger ship, and the pirates secured it with cords dangling from the bulwark. A rope ladder flew down the side, and Charlisse's heart dropped with its decent. The smell of damp wood and gunpowder drifted past her nose.

"Come on, littl' missy, up ye go." One of the pirates grabbed her arm and lifted her. He untied the rope binding her hands and removed her gag, then pushed her toward the ladder. When she didn't move, he leaned over, showering her with his foul breath, and hesitated, his slobbering lips smacking near her ear.

Charlisse cringed and clutched the rope, desperate for any escape.

The man took a step back, gave her backside a squeeze, then swatted it. "Be gone with ye now."

The pirates chuckled.

Charlisse whirled. "How dare you?" She slapped him full force on his right cheek, but his thick beard softened the sharp impact she intended.

Shock claimed the pirate's wicked features. He raised his arm to strike her but a deep voice from above halted his hand in mid-air. "What goes on down there? Bring her up, or I'll have you stretched and scaled alive!"

That voice. Charlisse knew that voice. Tremors of dread etched their way down her spine. Gazing upward, she saw nothing but darkness and the eerie outline of an immense storm cloud drifting in over the ship.

A wave hit the longboat, and she nearly toppled overboard. The sea beckoned. Come. Jump in. Anything but go up that ladder! Laying a hand on her stomach, she thought of the growing life within her and glanced back at the swirling indigo water. Would she make it to shore? She had more to consider now than her own life.

The pirate shoved her, and she clambered up the ropes despite the quivering in her knees.

At the top, a strong arm grabbed hers and assisted her on deck. Her silk brocade shoes hit the wooden planks with a slap. A salty breeze tossed her wayward curls in a chaotic dance. She looked up. Dark, sinister eyes bored into hers. A crooked grin spread over his lips.

"Ah, my sweet, we are together again at last."

He sauntered toward her. The thud of his tall leather boots ground away at her courage. With one hand on the hilt of his cutlass, he waved the other through the air, his fingers nearly hidden by a burst of white lace bulging from the wrist of his black camlet suit. "I have dreamt of this moment for quite some time."

"Kent," Charlisse hissed between clenched teeth.

He flashed a stern look. "Captain Carlton, if you please."

Doffing a black hat with a sweep of ostrich feather, he bowed. "Welcome to my ship, the Vanquisher, miss."

"Lady Hyde to you."

"Ah, yes. I heard you married that buffoon, Merrick." He shook his head and donned his hat. "Such a waste of your exquisite beauty."

Charlisse lifted her chin. "And your charm, sir, is wasted on me. You forget. I know you."

The rest of the pirates had scrambled over the rail and shuffled off to their posts, casting quick glances her way.

"What do you want with me?" Charlisse could hear the crack in her voice even though she did her best to appear calm. She inched her way toward the railing, realizing she could still jump overboard. Although she had only recently learned to paddle water, at Merrick's insistence, she might indeed make it to shore.

Kent leered at her from under heavy lids, following her movements. "What I have always wanted with you."

Charlisse glanced at the agitated water, the effect of his licentious comment creeping up her spine like a poisonous snake. Perhaps it was better, after all, to risk her life and her child's rather than endure the lecherous advances of this madman.

The Reliance -- M.L. Tyndall -- January 2007 -- Barbour Books -- ISBN: 1597893609 -- $9.97

Comments

  1. if you need some more ideas you can stop by at http://christmas4all.blogspot.com. i think it will be great idea to feature ur blog on my blog and viceversa.

    ReplyDelete
  2. RELIANCE appeals greatly! I love pirate stories and I have a pirate in my ancestry who was French but sailed the waters around Virginia. OH, I'd love to read this! Thanks for sharing, Camy. I will probably get this book. MaryLu has a great site! Love the cannon fire!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can't wait for this one! I have Book 1 (The Redemption) and can't wait for Book 2!

    ReplyDelete
  4. WOW, Is this Mary Lou;s book? She and her husband are such an inspirtation to me. I must buy it. Thanks, Love and hugs, Lynn

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow i am so glad i'll be getting this one soon. Sounds good!

    ReplyDelete

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