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SAILING AGAINST THE TIDE, Historical Fiction - Carol Busby


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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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