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Updates on book progress and other news

August 2022 – As the final touches to my rewrite are completed, it occurred to me that I should post a few excerpts from the next book. The story arc takes us all over the world, from Europe to the Americas, to Africa and India. Based on an actual 18th century person, the protagonist Count Guy de Kersaint, led a very adventurous live. Take a read of some snippets from the chapters in the book:

Moon rays split the fog and filtered between the branches as Guy and his Choctaw guide crouched low in the underbrush. The frogs near the stream they had crossed stopped croaking and Hashi Humma’s long, slender hand touched Guy’s wrist as he pointed into the darkness.

“Kersaint, Chickasaw come.” Hashi Humma’s voice was no louder than a tumbling leaf and he signaled others, pointing toward the stream. “Ushta,” he whispered to the other Choctaw and held up four fingers.

Guy heard and saw nothing but gray, trusting in the old Choctaw’s instincts. Hashi Humma had not been wrong before, not once in six weeks of trudging through the thick of the Mississippi Valley forests. Guy turned and motioned to the nearest French infantryman near him. All down the line, men kneeled along the trail and clicked musket hammers into position.

The musty, damp smell of the earth drifted up to Guy’s nostrils and his knee felt the cool wet of the ground. Moments later, four silhouettes slid through the heavy shroud of late evening mist fifty feet away. In the beat of a heart, the sergeant signaled and explosive flashes highlighted the figures as the sound of many muskets firing in unison cracked. Just as fast, the dense, surrounding trees swallowed up the roars. Each of the ghostly stalkers had dropped in place, and Dupré ordered a few troopers to confirm their kills.

As they did, two Choctaw came to Hashi Humma and spoke in their language. He rose and confirmed in a louder voice. “No more Chickasaw are coming, Kersaint.”

The rest of the men then stood, confident in Hashi Humma’s announcement. They gathered around the fallen Chickasaw, just boys of sixteen or seventeen years, each pierced by more than one ball. One still breathed in uneven gasps until a Choctaw tomahawk to the skull stilled him. Tasked to follow the Frenchmen and Choctaw, the young braves would never report back to their chief. Hashi Humma knelt beside the dead and mumbled some words that Guy couldn’t hear.

Guy, placing his fist on his waist, turned to Dupré. “I think it’ll be safe now to make camp and set pickets.” His uniform was wet from the stream crossing and damp air and he wanted nothing more than to dry them by the flames. “Have the Choctaws close by.”

“Yes, sir.” The sergeant strode away.

—•—

Guy could see the balls from the smaller vessels hitting short while his 8-pounders had a greater range. Still, he needed them in close to put the colonial vessels out of action. The first approached them and attempted to cross la Renommée’s bow.

“Have you struck, sir?” shouted the colonial captain.

“Strike? Why?” answered Guy. As he did, La Motte rose the French  colors again.

“Fire!” ordered Lieutenant de la Tour and a rolling broadside of cannons, took away part of the colonial’s rigging. They responded in kind. Their guns raked his forecastle, doing minor damage.

“Now a starboard broadside at the next sloop. Then the brigantine on the port,” Guy ordered, the helmsman spinning the wheel before him. The shots from the enemy were coming in faster. A few hit the mainsail and one grazed off of the quarterdeck, showering the captain, lieutenant, and helmsman with small splinters of wood.

When in passing three others, Guy turned again; the portside weapons engaged the closest one. It veered to run parallel with la Renommée to deliver a broadside. The sudden turn, however, caused the sloop following on its flank to swerve to avoid a collision and lose its wind, slowing as the sails hung limp. Enemies’ volleys added damage as the iron found their marks on the French frigate.

The cannon smoke enclosing the frigate obscured the view. None of the smaller snows approached, keeping their distance to shoot, withdraw, and return to roar again. Likewise, Guy couldn’t engage any one warship in fear of being surrounded by the others. Volley after volley was now raining upon la Renommée as the nine cutters and sloops converged.

—•—

It had rained and he sat on the earthen floor with his back against the cold stone wall.

A tough-looking ruffian walked over next to Émile and removed a foot from the wooden shoes he wore. He place it next to Émile shoe, comparing the size. “Give them to me.” It was all he said or needed to say. Émile removed his shoes and socks and gave them to the man.

They had already taken his hat and a neck scarf. Murderers and thieves became his tutors for survival as a new denizen amidst the dungeon scum. Whatever they demanded, he agreed to, and Émile learned to survive by following the codes by which they lived.

Although he conformed to their ways to avoid beatings, he suffered, defenseless against a relentless plague of body lice. The pests crept over his skin, biting every minute, awake or asleep. Horror overcame Émile one night when guards came to remove a dead prisoner from the cell. Their lantern light fell upon the man, whose flesh swarmed with lice, moving in waves over every inch of the bare corpse. Émile threw up as they carried the body out.

Many became sick with goal disease, an illness that began with the flux and vomiting, and then came a fever-induced delirium that often ended in death. Émile felt certain that in a matter of weeks he’d suffer a like end.

—•—

These are just a quick peek at the scenes in the story, On Waves Of Glory, the next book in the series. Hope you enjoyed them and follow my progress on the book!

June 2021 – The third book of the series is 75% completed, maybe. The flow of the plot of the book is very different from the previous books and introduces readers to the adventures of a new character only hinted to in the first two books. The cover is a vague vision floating in my imagination and slowly coming together.

April 2021 – Captains of the Renown released on the 29th to good reviews and excellent sales. Now on to the final book of the series.

February 2021 – I received a printed and bound copy of Captains of the Renown, and reviewed it for last-time edits and gave my blessing to the printer. It’s currently scheduled to be released by FireShip on April 29, 2021. Now comes the fun part (argh!), marketing for pre-release.

January 2021 – Captains of the Renown, I signed off on the final OKs for edits to the cover and text. It’s off to the printer. Expect the publishing release by FireShip in April, 2021.

December 2020 – Making slow progress on the 3rd book of the series…too much Christmas marketing to do.

November 2020 – After re-reading the draft of the 3rd book, I’ve slashed a number of scenes and rearranged the plot a bit. Hmm, this may set me back months, but better right than poorly written.

October 2020 – Captains of the Renown, the second book of the Tween Sea & Shore Series, is at the editor. Now the real fun begins with the edits…oh, the dreaded edits.

September 2020 – Awards! The Ship’s Carpenter received two Page Turner 2020 Finalist Awards in an international competition held in the UK. Out of the many books submitted from English-speaking countries around the world, it was chosen by judges to be in the running for the best ebook of 2020 and the best writing of 2020. The only book in the running to receive TWO awards!

August 2020 – Done deal! The contract for Captains of the Renown with my publisher is signed and the book is in production.

The next book in the Tween Sea & Shore Series is titled Captains of the Renown. It is also to be published by FireShip Press and released next year, 2021. Abraham, Yvette, and Captain Washington Shirley of The Ship’s Carpenter will return in more exploits and trials along with new historical characters who commanded the frigate Renown. Abraham and Yvette are challenged once again after leaving France for London in finding employment, having a child, and suffering a naval error that could cost Abraham his life. Washington Shirley receives glorious praise after the Battle of Quiberon Bay, but his naval career may end because of his brother’s dastardly act.

The new Renown captain, George Mackenzie, goes home to Scotland and befriends Lord Fortrose, whose politics send Mackenzie on an unwanted course. Will his decisions at the Battle of Havana end his desperation and will a carpenter who risks all, survive to return to his home? These are just a few of the exciting highlights in this new story of tall-ship adventure, Captains of the Renown.

June 2020 – FireShip Press wants to publish Captains of the Renown…woohoo—YES! So now come the contract, cover art suggestions, back of the book copy, new edits, marketing strategies, and lots of loose ends that need tidied up. I also have to finish up on the 3rd book of the series (no title yet) which is about 70% written so far. I’ve been working on it for years in pieces, so now I have to weave it all together. It’ll be a bit different than either of the first two books and deals more with just a few characters, and they’re all French! Oh, wait—no, a few of them are Choctaw. Well, that should cause you to pause in wonder, and it’s all based on a true story and still features the frigate la Renommée.

Apr. 2020 – OK. Book is done and is on the way to FireShip Press. I hope they like it!

Mar. 2020 – The beta readers did a fantastic job. Every one of them gave great feedback and suggested super ideas to make the reading better and the plot more cohesive.

Jan. 2020 – Today I finished the rewrites and grammar, spelling, punctuation checks. The book will be sent out to my beta readers this week. I can’t wait to see what they think of it.

Dec. 2019 – I’ve just completed the story. Woohoo! The climatic ending (IMHO) is a bell-ringer. Now I can focus on the long, drawn out process of rewrites and edits before I send it out to my beta readers.

Nov. 2019 – I estimate I have just one or two small incidents to create and then I’ll be on to the BIG CLIMAX of the story. I hope.

Oct. 2019 – I was sidelined by marketing projects for awhile but I’m back on the book. Came up with a neat idea yesterday to pull me out of a bind.

Aug. 2019 – I am feverishly trying to finish up the next book in the Tween Sea & Shore Series that continues the story of Abraham and Yvette and the characters in The Ship’s Carpenter and introduces new historical figures that add political intrigue, revenge, and surprises. Look for it at press shortly.

The Ship’s Carpenter was released on Sept. 12, 2019, by FireShip Press. Please go to Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, or your favorite bookstore to order your copy in paperback or ebook.

Want to REVIEW one of my books on Amazon or GoodReads?

Email me at:davidstockman47@gmail.com and tell me you want to do an honest review with your address enclosed and I will send you a FREE review copy (while supplies last).

 

FREE Book Giveaway for November Has Ended

The November free giveaway of two of my books came to a close. The drawing was held November 15, 2019 and the winners were notified by email. Congratulations to Steve and Devon. If you’d like a chance to win a copy in future drawings, go to the home page and enter your email address. It’s FREE to enter.

 

Enjoy tall-ship tales?

Then you’d love The Quarterdeck. A FREE quarterly magazine filled with reviews, discussions, news, and the latest on nautical historical titles. Click HERE for the Autumn 2019 issue.

They are also on FaceBook at:
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Want to know more about the ship la Renommée featured in the book?

Then click here or go to the DOWNLOADS page in the menu and download a free PDF booklet titled, La Renommée: Story of a French Frigate, containing her history, commanders, construction, and lots more…and did I mention it’s FREE.