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  1. I re-wrote the beginning. Here it is. Comments and critique welcome. CHAPTER ONE 30 April 1730 - At Sea Anne McCormack ran her cutlass through the chest of the British patrol ship’s captain. He groaned as he slid to the ground, blood pouring from the wound to his heart. After wiping off the blade on her pantaloons, Anne turned to her crew. “We got him,” she screamed. “Start the rest of the fires and back to the ship.” The crew took out the rest of the sailors left standing, lit the greasy fires they’d set, and made their way back onto the Betsy D. Anne went to the helmsman. “Sylvanus, take ‘er back.” The helmsman started to turn the ship away from the British patrol frigate. The Betsy D’s guns had started the work that the fires was finishing. The ship was sinking. Anne looked down at the remaining frigate crewmen floundering in the seas. Anne knew most couldn’t swim and none would survive to identify their attackers. The winds picked up so the ship was able to quickly distance herself from the wreck. The crew set about fixing the spars that had splintered in the fight as the ship’s doctor and cook Horace Wilberforce worked on the injured. Anne walked around watching the action and stepping in with questions or commands. “How many lost, Mr. Wilberforce,” she asked. The portly doctor looked up from the sailor whose wounds he had just bound. “Only four that I know of, Cap’n,” he replied. “Good,” Anne replied. “I’ll get a detail to prepare the bodies.” Wilberforce moved to the next sailor, who was now without one arm. She finished her rounds, giving comfort to the injured and congratulating all on a battle well fought. Anne went to her cabin without looking at the half or fully naked men, a skill she had learned over years of sailing. She sat on the bed and took several deep breaths. “It’s getting’ harder,” she told herself. Then she grinned. “But at least I haven’t lost my touch.” She laughed until her fiery red hair shook out of its binding. To the crew, except for a few who knew the truth, she was Captain Andrew McCormack out of Ireland. The few knew her to be Anne Bonny Burleigh, the infamous Caribbean pirate turned smuggler. She had been leading the double life of plantation wife and mother and, twice a year, smuggling ship captain for XX years now. It's getting harder, she thought as she stood up and took off the bloody pantaloons. They were her favorite pair so she decided to take them home for Maria, her housekeeper, to wash. She can get anything clean, Anne chuckled. Maria had learned that art of necessity on a plantation full of mud, burned tobacco leaves, small children and a mistress who came home from dangerous voyages with all kinds of stains for souvenirs. Clean again, Anne sat at her desk to change the logs so that the ship never came anywhere near where the frigate had disappeared. She glanced at the manifest. A good lot of tea and rum. And just in time to outfit herself, Joseph and the children for the upcoming winter season. She caught herself taking stock of what each of them needed. A knock on the door interrupted her ruminations. “Come!” she called out. Henry Boots, an able seaman who had been with her for five voyages now, appeared in the doorway. “We’ve got the bodies set out, Cap’n. Do you want to ship ‘em today?” Anne glanced out her window. The sun was setting but it was still light. She knew how superstitious sailors are. “Yes, are the survivors patched up?” “Surgeon says to tell you they are.” Henry waited. “Then let’s do it, Seaman. Go round everyone up on the larboard side near the mains’l.” Henry put a knuckle to his forehead, the traditional salute of sailors, and left. Anne sat thinking. She wasn’t sure whether to do a Bible reading. It meant nothing to her but some of the crew believed – if only because that’s what they were told to do growing up. She went to the shelf and slid open the door, removing a large black bible. On deck, the crew stood quietly looking at the bodies on the deck. Unlike the British sailing dead, they weren’t covered by a flag. Anne read the Twenty-third Psalm, a verse that all the sailors knew by heart. Then one by one, she announced the name of the dead. The body, bound in the canvas that had been the sailor’s sea bag slid off the ship and into the sea. When all four were committed, the crew went back to repairing the damage. She told Boots, who was standing next to her, to send the First Mate to her cabin. Stopping along the way to talk to the crew, Anne made her way back down. She sat behind her desk, waiting and thinking back on the voyage. Winds favored us to Curaçao for rum and molasses and Suriname for tea, then we lost our luck. It forced us to shelter on Cuba and then near St. Augustine. And that damned Royal Navy ship showed up. So glad to be on our way home to Hampton. Anne cursed the new Sailing Master, Phineas Thompson. I should never ‘a’ taken that nap or trusted him. When the crew finally sighted the frigate, the Second Mate found Thompson below decks -- drunk. After rousting him, the officer pushed the groggy Sailing Master up the ladder with a sword in his hand. He had fought valiantly, Anne mused, even though quite soused. Sailing Master Thompson knocked and she called out, “Come.” Thompson opened the door and slunk into the cabin. Raising a knuckle to his forehead, he quaked in fear. “Mr. Thompson.” Anne stood looking out the picture window without bothering to turn. “What the hell were ye thinking?” Slowly turning to face him, Anne’s eyes glowed a deep emerald green. “I’m sorry, Ma’am.” Thompson ducked as an eight-inch jack knife barely missed his ear, lodging in the door behind him. He wondered whether she’d missed on purpose. Probably. “Sorry ain’t helping, Mr. Thompson.” Thompson gulped. “I thought this route would be safe.” He stopped and took a deep breath. “I told ye not to take us so close to shore, idiot. But that’s just what you did.” Anne turned and slammed a fist hard onto the charts on the table. “Ye’re confined to quarters. There’ll be a trial when we reach home.” “In my defense, and I know it isn’t enough, I’m rather new and ….” Anne dropped down into the desk chair. “I agree, Mr. Thompson,” she said. The Sailing Master breathed a sigh of relief that he quickly regretted. “But I trusted ye to follow my orders. I gave you the responsibility and ye failed me.” Thompson was always surprised how well the Captain could sound like a man. “I’m sorry, Captain. I won’t ever let it happen again.” “No ye won’t. And neither will I.” Anne glared at him. Thompson saluted and scurried out of the cabin. CHAPTER TWO 5 May 1730 – Near Hampton, Virginia Having safely offloaded their cargo of tea, rum and sugar, the Betsy D sailed home. When the ship was safely moored at sea just off her home harbor of Hampton, Virginia, Captain MacCormack called a consul of the crew: six officers, and twenty-five able bodied seamen. Bo’sun Thomas Mayfield looked at the assembled crew and asked the seaman next to him, “What the hell is this all about?” Henry Boots replied, “Captain does infractions this way. Says that since we all need each other to make the ship run, we should all agree on crimes and punishment.” “Really?” Mayfield asked with a sneer. He had been added to the crew as Bo’sun when Anne could find no other. Lord Thomas Mayfield, fourth son of the Earl of Dunham, had been on a Royal Navy vessel until he was thrown off for inciting to mutiny, but with a letter of recommendation by a baronet named Woolrich, now in Virginia. “Isn’t that how pirates handled such things? I hear they treated everyone equally.” Henry detected a very haughty tone in the man’s voice. “I wouldn’t know,” he said, and moved away from the Earl’s son. Anne stood in the Foc’sl with most of the officers and some crew. She looked up at those on the Quarterdeck. “Our Sailing Master took it upon himself,” Anne began, “to set us on a bad course then get drunk. Put us all in danger.” She paused, then added, “Partly my bad judgment, but it was his responsibility nonetheless. Mr. Thompson will make his own case. That’s how we do things.” And that’s one reason my crew is loyal. “His fate is up to you. If ye want to keep ’im for our next trip, say so. If not, I’ll look among ye or around the docks for a new Sailing Master who does his duty.” She stepped back and extended an arm out to invite Thompson to step forward. He moved furtively forward, looking among the crew, many of whom scowled at him. “I made a mistake,” he began, wringing his hands. “And we all very nearly paid the price. But we didn’t because of the skill of our Captain.” He turned and gestured towards Anne whose face remained impassive and almost hidden by the slouch hat. “’Tis my first trip as full Sailing Master and I regret that I failed you. But I have learned and I won’t do it again. My navigation’s good and got us down to Curaçao and Suriname and back with a full cargo delivered safely and paid for. Give me a second chance, lads, and I promise as God’s my witness …” He took a deep breath then continued. “I will not drink the demon rum when my skills are needed on deck.” Thompson looked pleadingly at the other officers and crew, avoiding a glance at the Captain. “Give me another shot, boys, and I will not let you down,” he repeated. Then he bowed and backed away as Anne stepped forward. “Flog the bastard.” A voice rang out in the ensuing pause. The Captain’s eyes went straight to the man on the deck above. “Shut up, Mr. Mayfield. Ye may be son of an earl, but on this ship we don’t flog anyone - ever. This ain’t the Royal Fucking Navy.” Mayfield glared down at the Captain from his under his puffy eyelids as his lank brown hair blew in the wind. Anne spit. Mayfield was a hero to the youngest crew members simply because of his birthright, and disliked by most of the rest because of his haughty demeanor. Rumors abounded that he’d been telling the younger crew that Anne wasn’t qualified to be captain. Damn him. He’s an arrogant, manipulative cur, that one. I knew he’d be trouble before I even hired him. Mayfield laughed with the able seaman standing beside him—not looking down to the captain. “Bo’sun!” Mayfield slowly turned, tipping his hat very slightly. Anne had to restrain Wilberforce from launching up the ladder to him. “Do ye have anything else ye’d like to add, Mr. Mayfield?” “He should be punished. Peremptorily. A strong captain would see it done.” Mayfield’s upper lip curled in a sneer. “Are ye challenging me, Bo’sun?” Mayfield didn’t move. Anne continued, “We’re all equal on this ship, from earls’ whelps to blacks who were slaves, to red Indians, to red-haired Irish bastards like me.” As the crew giggled, the Captain didn’t move. Mayfield’s acolytes were creeping away to either side. He frowned then bowed slightly, giving Anne a condescending look. “We’ll take the vote then. Those in favor of keeping Mr. Thompson as Sailing Master, say ‘huzzah’.” Most of the crew shouted out. “Those opposed, say ‘nay’.” A few of the crew standing by Mayfield booed loudly along with the Bo’sun himself. Anne turned to the Sailing Master. “Mr. Thompson, for now, ye’ll retain your position. But mark my words, if ye endanger this crew again, it will not go so well for ye. Yer punishment is forfeiture of one-quarter of yer shares.” “And Mayfield.” The Captain’s hard green eyes looked up at him, “I will not tolerate insubordination on my ship. Ye will not be sailing with me again. But since we are at the end of our voyage, no punishment seems necessary.” Mayfield smirked as he made an exaggerated bow. Bastard. Thompson put knuckle to his forehead and whispered, “Thank you, Captain,” as the crowd dispersed. Down below, Anne packed her sea bag as the Betsy D weighed anchor and headed to the dock. She wore her finest breeches, shirt and jacket. The slouch hat had been packed in favor of a tricorn with gold trim and feathers. She felt the ship stop and heard the sounds of mooring. Climbing up the stairs, she called to Jimmie Johnson, a first voyage seaman who had done a good job, to bring up her sea bag. She gave him a pistole as a reward. A jolly boat waited beside the ship. “I’m off, boys,” she called out. A cheer went up. Every one of them would be broke and ready for another trip in six months’ time. If I make one. The jolly boat took Anne and her sea bag to the dock. The King’s Raven was just up the road. The next morning Anne Bonny Burleigh, wearing her finest bodice, skirt and petticoat, left the King’s Raven and climbed into the carriage which had been waiting for her and headed for home.
  2. Sails of Blood is a 90,000 word novel of historical fiction which begins after pirate Anne Bonny disappears from history. By Carol Busby Infamous Caribbean pirate Anne Bonny thrust her sword into the captain of the British patrol ship. Then she wiped the blade clean on her pants. Shaking her fiery red hair, Anne knows that she hasn’t lost her touch since becoming a wife and mother. But she is tired of smuggling and wants to retire. Before she can, however, evil baronet Jonathan Woolrich recognizes her. He threatens to expose her past and have her returned to Jamaica to be hanged along with her crew of smugglers. Woolrich wants her to take one more trip bringing British convicts to Virginia from Jamaica. Woolrich has information that outlawed Irish rebel Conor Flynn is hidden among the convicts. If Anne can bring him Flynn, he will collect a huge reward. But during the voyage, Anne’s ship runs into a hurricane and then into another British patrol. She loses most of the convicts and, worse, the rebel Flynn who is captured by the British. Furious, the baronet insists on a second voyage. But this time, Anne and her crew devise a plan to free the convicts and make it look like they were all lost when the ship went down. The baronet, as she fully expects, turns her in to the authorities and Anne goes on trial for her life. Will she prevail over the truth? Can she get revenge on the baronet and then put her past to rest for good?
  3. Anne's dialect is different from the others who are more British while she is more Irish. Thanks for the input!
  4. Story Statement: Anne Bonny’s life revolves around her growing family and prosperous plantation, helped by her smuggling trips. Then a baronet recognizes her and threatens to reveal her past as a pirate unless she transports slaves for him. She must save herself and her family and find a way to eliminate the threat that will always be there if she doesn’t. Antagonists: Baronet Jonathan Woolrich watched pirate Anne Bonny’s trial then visited her in prison to gloat as she gave birth. He appears suddenly among the ruling class of Virginia, which Anne and her husband have become a part of. The baronet had a plantation in Jamaica but lost a cargo to pirates and then his wife and a child to a plague he blamed on the pirates. Forced to leave Jamaica because he raped and killed a mulatto prostitute who was a favorite with the sailors there as well as the governor, Woolrich came to Virginia with connections in the House of Burgesses, the ruling council of the colony. When he recognizes Anne at a ball, he corners her and forces her to use her smuggling ship to bring a cargo of slaves to Virginia. To save herself, her family and the life she’s built, she agrees. But when a hurricane hits the ship, half of the human cargo are washed overboard. Woolrich then insists she owes him a second trip. Which she agrees to realizing that she will never be rid of the evil man. She also finds out that Woolrich has attacked a kitchen slave who happens to be the young daughter of the Lt. Governor’s butler. She knows that she will ultimately have an ally in getting rid of her tormentor. Lord Thomas Mayfield, fourth son of the Earl of Dunham, had been Bos’un on a Royal Navy vessel until he was thrown off for inciting to mutiny, but with a letter of recommendation from Baronet Woolrich, he was now in Virginia and signed on with the Betsy D as a bo’sun when Anne couldn’t find another. He is a trouble-maker with an attitude and adored by the younger more impressionable among the crew because of his parentage. But he knows that Anne is a smuggler and Woolrich tells him who she really is. Mayfield forces his way onto Anne’s second slave cargo voyage, to his ultimate regret. Breakout Title: Sailing Against the Tide The Woman Pirate - Resurrection Comps: My Son’s Secret by Roberta Kagan about a mother who must protect the secret of her son’s ancestry during WWII. Carnegie’s Maid: A Novel by Marie Benedict about a woman who takes another’s identity to hide her past and what happens when that past is threatened with exposure. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd about a white woman and her black maid who struggle to break out of the constraints of society. Core Wound and The Primary Conflict: A former pirate who has struggled to build a new life and family is confronted by a man who knows her past and threatens to expose it. Other Matters of Conflict: Anne Bonny loathes slavery both because she has lived on her father’s plantation and because she has lived the free life of a pirate. She has worked side by side with former slaves and has great respect for them. When she is forced to carry a cargo of slaves, she is physical sick but at least does her best to make their conditions on the trip bearable. Anne finds herself in the upper echelons of colonial Virginia society, dancing at the Lt. Governor’s ball wearing the brooch she stole on her way north from Carolina. She has worked hard to learn the ways of society and to fit in but underneath she is contemptuous of the restrictions women face in the 18th century. Setting: The colony of Virginia between 1721 and 1731. Great River Plantation, given to Anne Bonny and her husband Joseph Burleigh by her father, is in James City County near the York River. The plantation grows tobacco but is also expanding into corn and hemp. There are seven slaves who work around the house and an additional twenty-five slaves in the fields. The first year the Burleighs are there, the crops fail and Anne ends up running a smuggling operation. The Betsy D is Anne’s smuggling ship. She runs rum, molasses and tea from the West Indies to the colonies. The ship came with crew and contacts. It’s a Baltimore schooner, an excellent coastal ship. When she has to carry a cargo of slaves, she outfits the hold with bunks and hammocks, private spaces for commodes, and large tables for socializing and eating. She also has portholes installed so the people can get air. Williamsburg, Virginia was the capital of the Virginia colony and the home to its Society. The colony is run by Lt. Governor Gooch with whom Joseph Burleigh becomes close as they work on the Tobacco Act to ensure the quality of Virginia’s primary export. Williamsburg is the scene of balls, of meetings, and of hearings into Anne’s origins. York Town will be famous for the last big battle of the Revolutionary War. But to Anne and Joseph it’s where they shop for clothing, animals and anything else available locally. They both have made friends there so the shopping trips are also trips to socialize with friends. It is among those friends that they learn about Woolrich who is spreading rumors that Anne is actually Anne Bonny.
  5. This is the opening scene of my book about the pirate Anne Bonny. She was sentenced to be hanged but reprieved because she was pregnant. Thrown into prison in Jamaica, Anne then disappears from recorded history. My book is an imagining of her later life based on some of the many rumors that surround her. ********************************************** CHAPTER ONE 15 June 1721 – Spanish Town, Jamaica Anne Bonny lifted her head off the slouch hat that covered a rock which acted as her pillow. It was raining and her side of the prison was dripping water on her. Slowly and awkwardly, she managed to get her heavily pregnant body standing, grabbing the hat as she went. She hobbled, her leg chains clanking, to the other side which was, for the moment, dry. The dirt and sand floor would get wet eventually and seep over if it rained enough. For now, however, it was the better spot. She began to sob, knowing that this babe, like the one born in Cuba, would be taken away from her, a knowledge made worse by the fact that it had saved her life. The British didn’t hang pregnant women. They waited until after the birth. Anne couldn’t imagine what after the birth would look like. She just wanted to survive this hellhole and the act of giving birth itself. Then her waters broke, soaking that side of the cell. She had been measuring time by the growth in her belly. She wasn’t surprised then when the process started. Maneuvering herself onto the floor, she put the hat back down onto a familiar rock on this side. She was tired of being hungry, thirsty, covered in mud, and bitten by rats and fleas. And of being pregnant, even though it was the only thing between her and the hangman’s noose after being convicted of piracy. She had lain down for about ten minutes, waiting for the pains to start, when she heard a voice at the entrance to her cell. She rolled a little and looked at the bars. There stood a guard and a man dressed in fancy clothes. She never did get used to being a side-show, but she also never let anyone know how it hurt. “Yes, Sir Jonathan,” the guard she recognized as Williams was saying. “That is indeed the infamous female pirate Anne Bonny.” She saw the other man snort. “How the mighty have fallen. Deservedly. I am Sir Jonathan Woolrich and you pirates brought a fever that killed my wife and son.” Williams murmured something vaguely sympathetic. “Killed my friend Mary Reade too, bastard,” Anne called out. “She deserved it,” Woolrich said. “My wife and son didn’t. And the last ship you and your disemboweled partner took was mine. I lost over £1000 on that cargo.” “Well then, glad to meet you,” Anne sneered. “I’ll see you hanged if it’s the last thing I do.” “Ye’re a coward, and I trust ye’ll rot in hell.” Williams bowed slightly to Woolrich, who seemed reluctant to leave. “We must go, sir.” Woolrich spat at Anne. “I hope you die in pain,” he said. “And lose the babe.” She heard them walking away. She was staggered by the cruelty in his last remark. The first labor pain hit and Anne groaned. She knew it would be a while, because of her previous birth. They hadn’t let her see the boy – just hustled him away. The pain never left her. Anne managed to doze through the early contractions. Around midnight, her eyes popped open. The pains were worse and closer together. They took her breath away. Once she had it back, she screamed, which brought two guards running. One opened the cage door and ran to Anne’s side. She panted. “Baby. Need midwife,” she said as she collapsed back onto the ground. “How do you know?” one asked. “This ain’t my first time, you idiot. Get me a midwife!” She never saw the guards leave. A while later, she didn’t know how long, a woman came into the prison cell. “Oh my lord,” she exclaimed. “She can’t give birth in this filth. And look at her.” “Master’s orders are she’s not to be moved so you’ll have to make do,” said Guard Williams, who had brought her to the cell. He re-locked the door and left. Anne started to scream. Next thing she knew, there were kind hands on her telling her to roll onto her knees and pant. The midwife put out a clean sheet and Anne moved onto it. Five hours later, Anne bore a healthy, bawling son. She collapsed, panting and relieved. “Can I see him?” she asked. “I’m sorry, love, but my orders is no. You might get attached and there’s no point.” The midwife had cut the cord and was wrapping the baby in a clean towel. “Please,” whispered Anne. “I had another who was taken before e’er I saw him. Can I just look?” The midwife looked up and saw that the guards were gone. “All right. I hear you’re to be hanged so this will be your only chance.” She handed Anne the baby boy. With tears running down her cheeks, Anne kissed the baby and whispered, “Ye’ve got my red hair.” She gently stroked the fuzz on the baby’s head with a finger. “Yer name is Jack. Not John but Jack. Whatever they call ye, it’s Jack. Like yer father, Captain Jack Rackham.” Light was dawning when they heard the guards marching towards the cell a few minutes later. With tears streaming down her face, Anne gave the baby back to the midwife. The guards came in. “Midwife, your work is done. Take the baby and leave.” “I have to deliver the afterbirth, gentlemen, and only then will I leave. Mrs. Bonny is quite exhausted and will need rest.” The midwife stood defiantly before the guards. “All right. We can give you a little time but not much.” “Thank you.” The midwife took as long as she dared to finish her duties. The guards remained outside the cell. “Good luck to you, Madame,” she said as she took Jack away from his mother. * * * Anne laid on the sheet the midwife had brought with her head on her hat and her back to the cell door. She knew that any day they would come to hang her so she was as quiet and inconspicuous as possible, hoping to prolong the time while knowing full well they wouldn’t wait long. She was too famous. It was dark three days later, about midnight, when she heard a key scrape the lock and the cell door open. She almost vomited with fear but held it in. A lantern shined around the cell. “What do ye want?” she asked. “I’ve come to take you home,” answered a voice she hadn’t heard for a long time. “Father?” she asked as she rolled over. Her eyes widened. When she had been thrown out for marrying John Bonny, she had never thought to hear that voice again. I wonder if I’ve died and his voice has come to haunt me. “Yes, Anne. It is your father. We’ve brought a pallet. If anyone sees us, they’ll think ye’ve died.” Anne stared at him incredulously. “Where are you taking me?” she asked weakly. “To my ship, Anne. Home to Carolina.” Two men came over and, although she cringed at first, their hands were soft and they helped her up and lifted her onto a canvas pallet and covered her with the dirty sheet she’d given birth on. As they started towards the cell doors, Anne cried out, “Wait. My hat.” The three men could barely see in the cell but when Anne pointed back to where she had been, they moved the lantern and saw a battered leather slouch hat. “That rag? Why on earth do you want that nasty thing?” “It’s all I have left,” Anne said, continuing to point. “Get it.” Then she added, “Please.” Tears welled up in her eyes. One of the men held onto her while the other got the hat which she tucked under the sheet. They carried her out of the prison and down a long walkway. It was dark with a new moon. Suddenly, someone called out: “Who goes there?” She recognized the guard William’s voice. As quickly as she could, she put the sheet over her face, letting her red hair spill out on one side. Her father saw her actions and answered the guard. “Anne Bonny as was. Dead now so no one will be needing to set the noose.” “Let me see ‘er,” William said as he approached the pallet. He pulled the sheet from her face and, recognizing it, gasped. “I weren’t told. Sorry. Where you taking her body?” “Somewhere no one will find it and dig it up. Think she deserves that for all she’s been through.” “Yeah. My shift’s done anyway and I have a large thirst.” They all laughed. “Go on,” Williams said as he turned and headed back towards the guard house. The men rushed as fast as they could to the dinghy waiting to take Anne out to her father’s ship, Killarney. The trip to South Carolina took four days. They hit a squall but nothing else to slow their progress. No ships followed. Anne spent the time on a cot – a real luxury for a pirate – being attended to by the ship’s doctor. He cleaned and bandaged her open sores and checked on her recovery from childbirth. Anne told him about conditions in the prison. “Dear God, woman, it’s a miracle you’re alive. And that the babe survived.” Anne started to cry and the doctor immediately apologized. “We men don’t really understand how having a baby affects a woman. I am sorry to have upset you.” Anne blew her nose. “I had another, doctor. Also alive. Also given away. The first was easier. I was young and my life at sea wouldn’t allow for having a family. This baby was much more important. He saved my life. And he was Jack’s baby. All that’s left of Jack. Yet I’ll never see him again.” “Can I get you anything?” the doctor asked. “Yeah. A bottle of brandy – or rum. I’m not particular,” Anne niffed again. The doctor started to laugh, then realized she was serious. He decided to bypass the captain and Mr. Cormac, Anne’s father. The cook was happy to provide the brandy and a glass. Anne was still weak when they landed in Charles Town, but at least she had her emotions in check. “It’s nice to see a harbor again,” Anne mused. Her father shot her a worried glance. “You aren’t even remotely considering going back to that life are you, my dear?” “No, Father. That life has already ended for me and most of the others. I got out alive but most didn’t. With the British actively looking for them, they’ll soon be hanging on scaffolds.” As they got closer, Anne’s keen eye looked over the ships in the harbor. “Lovely harbor, ‘tis. No wonder so many trade here.” She breathed deeply of the sea air then went below decks to fetch her slouch hat for the trip to her father’s plantation.
  6. I just wrote a novel about another kick-ass Anne: Anne Bonny. A pirate who dressed as a man (women were bad luck on ships) and who was sentenced to be hanged but reprieved because she was pregnant. She drops out of history at that point so I created one for her. It's called Sailing Against The Tide. She is kick ass as a non-pirate too.
  7. COMP: Outlander meets The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. An outsider who disappeared and is reimagined. HOOK LINE; Anne Bonny escaped a hanging, built a life and left her past behind. Or so she thought. Pirate, smuggler, wife, mother and fugitive . . . Anne Bonny always sailed against the tide. SHORT PITCH: Anne Bonny, sentenced to be hanged as a pirate, escapes when her father carries her off Jamaica and marries her to a con-man named Joseph Burleigh. They build a new life on a plantation in Virginia. There Anne, always a rebel and an abolitionist, tries to adjust to a new culture: the restricted life of women in the 18th century. When hard times hit, she stumbles into a second life smuggling goods to supplement their income. Just as she contemplates quitting, Anne is confronted by her past in the form of Baronet Sir Jonathan Woolrich who recently fled Jamaica after killing a popular mulatto prostitute. Recognizing her, Woolrich blackmails Anne into taking a cargo for him on her ship. When she finds out the cargo is slaves, she is horrified. But to save herself, her crew and her family, Anne agrees. How will she live with herself? Will she be able to survive the physical danger and emotional stress of the journey, get revenge on her tormentor, and put her past to rest for good? Sailing Against the Tide is a tale of a woman who loves adventure, struggles for freedom, and overcoming adversity through love, adaptation and courage. PROSE SAMPLE: Anne took a deep breath. “What do you want?” she hissed. “Your vessel. I have a cargo in need of transport and mine sank.” He let go of her wrist, confident that she would not bolt. “What kind of cargo?” she asked. “I am glad to hear you will be reasonable. An accommodation that will help us both. You can retain your anonymity; I get my cargo.” “What kind of cargo?” Anne asked again, this time slowly and deliberately. “Slaves, my dear. Just slaves.” Anne’s heart sank. “Just?” “Yes, one load should render me solvent.” Woolrich looked down his nose at her. “Slaves? Human beings?” She spat the words at him. He was unfazed. “Cargo, my dear woman. Goods. You do live in Virginia. You must be familiar with the concept.” Sarcasm crept into his tone. “Familiar I am,” she said, thinking hard. “From where?” “The cargo will be picked up in Jamaica and landed in Baltimore. My agent there will take charge of it.” He watched her. “And my compensation would be?” Anne held his gaze. “Not being arrested and hanged for piracy and smuggling, which would also prevent the disgrace of your family. And would protect your crew. Lord Mayfield, of course, can identify all of them.” Woolrich smirked. “And £50 in tobacco notes,” he added. Blood money, she thought. “I must think on it,” she said after a moment. “My crew may not agree to sail and without a crew, I can’t go out.” “I recommend you convince them or ’twill go hard on them as well as you,” Woolrich’s tone hardened even more. “But I will need to know no later than a fortnight hence. You can contact me at the King’s Arms. We can make the arrangements by courier.” Anne took a deep breath to hold in the anger and fear that threatened to consume her. “I will inform you within the fortnight,” she said. She glared at Woolrich and stepped forward until he moved back to let her out. She walked deliberately to the doorway and out into the entry space between the two round halves of the Capitol. Gritting her teeth, she screamed as a huge crack of thunder rang over the building. “Anne?” Joseph’s voice came through the door. “Where have you been? I was getting worried.” He appeared, holding her cloak. “I was delayed by Sir Jonathan,” she said through her clenched teeth. “Oh dear. Tell me about it later. For now, the storm is upon us and you are safe with me. Let us get to the boarding house before the skies open,” he said, placing the cloak around her shoulders. Grateful for the cover of the incoming storm, Anne followed him to the carriage and climbed in without another word.
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