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An uncharted shipwreck, the mysteries she hides, and the brutalized
souls who suffered her holds.
In 1985 two divers discovered an ancient uncharted shipwreck off South
Africa’s Cape of Storms. Salvaging the wreck only inflames the enigma
with the trail of secrets compounding and the wreck refusing to yield
her identity. Countless vessels, some crammed with bullion, have
joined this ship graveyard over the centuries, but what sort of
galleon was this, leaving only cannon, cannon balls and scant few
clues behind? Three decades pass before the Smithsonian of Washington
solves the riddle.
It’s 1794 on the fevered coast of Mozambique. Chikunda and his wife
stripped naked and shackled, are heaved aboard the São José de
Africa. Only a miracle may save them from the horrors below deck
where more than 400 fellow slaves are crammed. But nobody can guess
what fate has in store.
If you’re a Wilbur Smith or Clive Cussler fan, you will be riveted by
this fact-inspired fictionalized tale by Michael Smorenburg, based as
it is by personal experience, extensive research and the legacy of
artifacts salvaged from the São José de Africa. Pick it up now to
go on the adventure of a lifetime.
evades re-capture after his slave ship is wrecked at the
treacherous Cape of Good Hope, only to face handing himself over when
his wife goes missing with the man who rescued them. A tale of hope,
fear and most of all, the yearning for freedom.
It’s 1794 and the slave trade is at its ugly
peak. When the Portuguese
slave ship Sao Jose Paquete de Africashipwrecks
at the Cape of Good Hope, only two hundred of the four hundred slaves
Chikunda and his pregnant wife evade re-capture only to face the
cliffs of Table Mountain. With the wild South Atlantic at their
backs, Cape Town’s gallows and whipping post to the north, the
British garrison blocking escape to the south, and dangers of an
untamed African coast to the east of a vast mountain range, escape
When Chikunda’s wife goes missing, he has a monumental choice to
Pick up The Reckoning now and lose yourself in a world you never
could have imagined, a world where freedom slips ever more out of a
Michael Smorenburg (b. 1964) grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. An
entrepreneur with a passion for marketing, in 1995 Michael moved to
California where he founded a business consultancy and online media
and marketing engine in the burgeoning internet. In 2003 he returned
to South Africa where he launched a security company. In 2015 he
divested of the business to write full time. Michael’s greatest love
is the ocean, keeping up with the latest breakthroughs in science,
understanding the cosmos and sharing all he learns.
We drop anchor in ten fathoms and I look up in awe.
Above us soars the thickly knotted flora-clad slopes of a virgin mountain, untouched by the hand
It’s as if we’re in a time slip, plunged back hundreds of years into antiquity, right on the mark of
a tragedy that happened less than a century ago.
Unusual for this wild coast where ships are quickly dismembered by the elements and barely
recognizable as wrecks within a few decades, this wreck is still intact, it’s frame and ribs holding
Often, I look at our coast and try to paint out the houses and roads to imagine how it must
have looked. Now, on this untouched section of coast, I do the opposite, I try to paint in what it
might look like teaming with humanity and our pigeonhole edifices we call ‘homes’, cut into the
“You okay?” Jacques asks. “Afraid?”
“Terrified,” I humour his quirky banter.
“No, seriously. You okay? Not even seasick?” He knows I’m better in the water than on it. I love
boats, but they don’t like me.
I do appreciate where he’s coming from though—it’s unhealthy to not be a little fearful. Fear
stops you from doing stupid things, and when you’re out of your comfort zone—in our case,
going deeper than I’ve ever gone, into an environment I’ve never been—it’s good to feel some
fear. And fear, from my experience, can trigger seasickness.
“Yeah. I’m apprehensive,” I allow.
“Good.” He pulls his hood on. “Gonna be long?”
“You get in, I’m just thinking.”
“Quit being nostalgic. Concentrate on the job. What’s our objective?”
He asked me this on one of our first dives together when we were out to harvest a sack full of
fish, red gold…lobster. I gave him the obvious answer, “To catch as many as possible.”
“To get the biggest?” What else was there?
“To not get caught.”
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Early 1900s, Western America. A lonely, disabled boy with a nasty temper
and uncontrolled mystical powers, Moojie is taken by his father to
his grandfather’s wilderness farm. There, Moojie meets an
otherworldly clan of outcasts that he wants to join. Following a
series of misadventures–magical and mystical–he is summoned by the
call to a great destiny … if only he can survive one last terrifying trial.
Having won a number of awards, Robin Gregory’s The Improbable
Moojie Littleman is being lauded as a classic. A haunting, visionary
tale spun in the magical realist tradition of Gabriel Garcia
Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Madeleine L’Engle’s A
Wrinkle in Time, the profoundly unique voice and heart-stirring
narrative recall great works of fiction that explore the universal desire to belong.
ROBIN GREGORY is a devoted wife and mother, and student of mystical
teachings. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she grew up in California,
accompanied by seven siblings, and surrounded by horses, real
cowboys, and the occasional rattlesnake. She has always been drawn to
helping others, a trait that began, to her mother’s horror, with
bringing home swallow chicks stricken from their nests. She has
worked as a journalist, lay minister, and infant massage instructor
for mothers and babies at risk. Her studies include Literature and
Creative Writing at University of California, Santa Cruz and Stanford
University’s Writer’s Workshop. She lives with her husband and
son in a Carmel cottage old enough to make you sneeze. “The
Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman” is her first published novel.
He arrived on the heels of an earthquake. A minor hiccup as disasters go, the murmur rippling
undersea, causing dories in the bay to bob and spider crabs to flood the beach like a ghostly
pink tide. It was the sort of earthquake that hushes everything for an instant before nesting birds
and sleeping butterflies burst out of trees. It makes your heart jump for joy because you realize
the earth is flying through space at one thousand miles per hour and you have been spared the
dreadful experience of the whole world falling apart and having to put it back together. It was the
sort of earthquake that the nuns of San Miguel de las Gaviotas would call a mystical grumble.
Really, there was nothing about it to suggest the terrible wonders looming on the horizon.
At a quarter past seven, the candelabras in the chapel stopped swaying. The nuns crossed
themselves, went outside and found a wooden fishing bucket on the porch. Expecting the catch
of the day, they were nothing short of horrified to see a baby boy bundled in fur and tucked
inside it. He had bright black eyes, enormous ears, and his hair was the texture of caterpillar
“He’s a Hostile, if I ever saw one,” said Mother Teagardin.
The word Moojie had been smudged across his forehead. And that was what they called him—a
peculiar name for a peculiar boy, who wasn’t particularly welcome. Against her better judgment,
Mother Teagardin, who always said the natives were ill-suited for local society, hadn’t the heart
to surrender him to the local Bureau of Questionable Peoples. She appealed to the local
families to adopt him. But the villagers were a superstitious lot. They believed the mysterious
child to be, well, too mysterious.
It didn’t help that before he cut his first teeth, Moojie amused himself by magically snuffing out
candles with the blink of an eye, and by sending objects into flight with the power of his mind.
When he didn’t get his way, he caused the wind to rip off the nuns’ veils and flash their knickers.
Like Odysseus, he was quick to act and slow to regret. Meanwhile, the sisters clicked their
clickers, and swatted his bottom, and continued looking for a family for him.
Except for one early chapter of his childhood, Moojie was a virtuosic flop when it came to the
only thing he cared about: finding and keeping a family.
This golden parenthesis began just before he was one year old, when Henry and Kate
Littleman, a childless couple who had moved from the East Coast to San Miguel—along with
hundreds of recent immigrants from Europe and the Far East, since America had opened her
doors to the world—took him home to raise as their own. Mamma immediately left her post as a
science and French teacher at the Charles Darwin Free School to look after him. Mornings, she
tucked him into a knapsack
suspended from a tripod, and went about her housekeeping. He grinned and giggled as she
baked bread, smoked little cigars, knitted hats and booties, and arranged his wet flannel diapers
on a drying rack near the fireplace. She wheeled him to the beach in a wicker pram, where they
collected spider crabs and napped in the salty sand; she rocked him before a glowing wood
stove; she bathed and coddled him. He watched Papa, a mapmaker, spin his curta and level his
transit, slurp scalding tea,
and leap out the door every morning in a pocketed vest. Sometimes, in the afternoon, Papa
played piano for him or showed off his soccer moves in the backyard.
In those days, Moojie was a model child, the ambassador of lovability.
He delighted at being the center of attention, always looking intently into people’s eyes, always
smiling, as if he were in on some cosmic joke. In those days—before San Miguel de las
Gaviotas had gone the way of Atlantis, that is to say, before it fell out of favor with the gods—
Moojie was passed around at church like a peace pipe. Warmed by his charm, suspicious
villagers now lined up after the service to take turns holding him. Once Mrs. Littleman contrived
a plot to put the smiling Moojie into
the arms of a miserable scrooge, and everyone sighed with awe as the long-suffering soul wept
and sang praises to God in heaven.
“Have you noticed, my cupcake?” Mamma said to Papa as she pushed the pram home from
church. “This is no ordinary child.”
“He’ll make a fine field hand, lovey,” Papa said.
At the time, San Miguel de las Gaviotas was a nick on the Pacific Coast of America, a clammy,
cluttery mishmash of thatched rooftops, crumbling walls, and crooked towers surrounded by
rugged mountains that rose out of fog like ancient pyramids. Moojie’s new home, Number 11
Wimbley Wood, a mildewy cottage with a drip line and assorted mushrooms growing in the
basement, appealed to otherworldly visitors.
Only Moojie could see the celestial bodies spinning and whirling all about him. And he
sometimes heard voices beyond the range of normal hearing —gifts, of course, that he did not
yet understand. In the witching hours, lights floated down through the ceiling over his crib. He
giggled and tried to grasp them as they bobbed playfully into and out of his hands. Mamma
came in and held him in the rocker, while moths and flower flies haunted the spirit lamp—like all
that is born, seeking to return to light.
Having landed in the nucleus of love, charming, handsome Moojie surpassed his parents’ every
expectation, blessing them with unmitigated joy.
But all of that was soon to change.
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Whom Shall I Kiss…An Earl, A Marquess, or a Duke?
Tricking the Scoundrels Book 1
By Laura A. Barnes
Genre: Historical Romance
What started as a research project soon became a scandal…She wanted to prove a theory. He wanted to play a game. Can their schemes lead them towards a kiss of love?
Tired of watching her friends become ruined by the scoundrels of the ton,
Sidney Hartridge devises an experiment to reveal their antics. Her
plan is to lure three gentlemen to kiss her and see how they would
protect her honor. When her research leads her into her own
inappropriate scandal, her father agrees to a wedding offer from one
of her subjects. As her fiancé blackmails her into a marriage she
doesn’t desire, her research becomes exposed. Can Sidney avoid her
own scandal with the one she most desires to kiss?
Noah Wildeburg started this season as any other by flirting with the
new debutantes. When he rescues a lady off the dance floor, he is
unprepared for the emotions she stirs in his soul. As he pursues her,
he realizes he must compete for her hand. As he charms her with
tokens of affections and stolen kisses, he discovers she plays her
own game. Will Noah win Sidney’s love or is she just another
scandal to add to his list?
Whom Shall I Kiss… An Earl, A
Marquess, or A Duke? is the first book in Laura A. Barnes new
historical romance series. If you like lighthearted drama filled
courtships set in Regency England, then you’ll love this new foray
into the ton.
Buy Whom Shall I Kiss… An Earl, A Marquess, or A Duke? to read Laura’s new Tricking the Scoundrels series today.Goodreads * Amazon
I am the author of The Romancing the Spies Series. When I am not
writing, I am spending time with my family. I love reading books on
lazy afternoons, and late into the night. Anytime really. Married 28
years to the love of my life and we have three wonderful children and
two sweet grandbabies. Besides writing, I have always wanted to
travel. In the last few years we have gotten our passport stamped in
England, Scotland, and Ireland. We are hoping to add Italy to the
list soon. My debut novel is Rescued By the Captain.
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Excerpt #3 – Scene with the Duke
Neither one of them spoke but smiled at each other when their eyes would meet. With their
swift pace and the other carriages on the roadway, conversation would have been difficult. Unless, they
wanted to shout. Soon Sheffield had them trotting along Rotten Row at a much slower pace, negotiating
his horses in position behind the other riders. He attempted to hold a private conversation many times
but the other visitors in the park interrupted him. When he tried for the fifth time to engage her with
small talk, only to be disturbed again, he steered them off the path towards the exit. It would seem their
ride in the park would end sooner than she thought. Instead, Sheffield turned towards a deserted path
and pulled his curricle to a stop. He jumped off and came to her side, pulling her down into his arms,
before she questioned his intentions.
As she slid along his body, she became aware of his physical strength. Her hands gripped his
arms, so she wouldn’t fall. His arms were tight, hard muscles. His jacket held no padding, unlike most
men of the ton. He held her in his embrace for a few seconds longer than he should of, long enough for
her to take notice the rest of his body was as firm. It seemed the Duke, was no lightweight dandy, but
kept himself in top physical condition. Another strong point in Sheffield’s favor. Sidney admired a man
who took care of himself and didn’t waste his time on the pursuits of the unsavory. She knew him to be
a man with a scholarly mind but didn’t realize he was one of the physical sorts too.
Her hands lingered on his forearms as her fingers traced the cords of his muscles through his
coat. Unaware of what she did, Sidney became lost in her thoughts. She tried to understand the
chemistry she felt towards Sheffield when she heard him groan. Startled she raised her head to see his
eyes watched her hands. For they were no longer on his arms but wandered to his chest and slid across
his stomach. Aghast at herself, for her forward nature, she dragged her hands away and stepped out of
his grasp. Flustered, she turned away and wandered further along the wooded path. What had come
over her? She pressed her gloved hands to her face to cool off the burn of embarrassment. Rushing
away, she stumbled over a tree root, only to have her elbow grasped and righted again. Sheffield
stopped her and spun her around towards him.
“Alex. Alexander if you like the more proper form, only my grandmother refers to me by my full
“Your Grace,” she began again.
“Alex, say it Sidney,” he stressed in his arrogant tone he used when he expected his demand to
“As I was saying, Sheffield,” she tried for the third time, but he interrupted her when he drew
her into his arms.
“I don’t think you were saying anything as much as you were touching me, my dear,” he
Alex reached to untie her bonnet from under her chin. He swept the hat off her head and stray
curls caressed her face as the wind blew around them. He reached to tuck them behind her ears, his
fingers sliding over the silken tresses. When her hands caressed his body, he felt comfort from her
touch. It was no blinding attraction, but it felt nice. He could work with nice. Her hands were gentle, and
he sensed her curiosity as she explored. He also realized her reaction towards him embarrassed her and
he wanted to put her at ease. If along the way he was able to sample a taste of her, to finalize his
decision on her being a perfect match for him, all the better. If her kiss satisfied him, then he could
proceed with making arrangements with her father and call off the rest of her suitors.
He ran his fingers along her cheek and tipped her face under her chin with his knuckles, for their
eyes to meet. He began to lower his head for a kiss when he heard his name being called in the distance.
She heard it too, for her eyes grew large and she tried to pull out of his embrace.
“We will finish this another time,” he informed her before releasing her from his grasp.
What’s the perfect
recipe for an emotional MMM romance?
One autistic coffee
shop owner, one morose mug maker, and a mostly
cheerful police detective.
Fie Morogh Russell goes off to war with a broken heart
and returns with a
shattered spirit. He hermits away in Bideford, Devon, making mugs,
with his service dog, Haggard, for company. Post-traumatic stress
turns every memory into a minefield, and life is dismal with one or
two rare exceptions.
Davet Heuse drags his younger brother to Bideford for a
new start. Both
autistic, the two siblings have fought hard to enjoy freedom by the
seaside. While Davet runs a coffee shop from his tiny house, his
brother pursues his dream at university.
Detective Sidney Little has transitioned from military
service to the police
force easily. His unrequited crushes and his estranged father are the
only points of frustration in his life. He hasn’t quite figured out
how to deal with either problem.
When a tragic accident brings Davet’s world crashing
down around him, can
Fie and Sid help him through the pain of loss?
In this May-
December romance with a twist, three men struggle through
one obstacle after the other to somehow find themselves in love on
the other side.
Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about
shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and
unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her
life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive
collection of books and video games.
“You refused to call me anything at all for years. And how is where I live any of your business?”
Fie honestly didn’t want to revisit their failed relationship. “What’s changed? Did your latest fling kick
“I missed you. Us, even.” Edmund gestured towards Haggard, Fie’s blue merle border collie
service dog, stretched out across a blanket in his corner of the pottery shed. “I can help. What can your
old mutt do that I can’t?”
“Help? You broke me. You lost the right to put me back together.” Fie wiped absently at the sheen
of sweat on his brow; he hadn’t even gotten close to his kiln yet. Why am I suddenly overheating? “Sod
off with you back to your posh London penthouse.”
“Hell.” Fie dragged a hand roughly through his greying hair. His dark brown eyes examined
Edmund and found him relatively unchanged. Still as selfish as ever. He’d missed seeing the fault in his
ex-lover’s personality until far too late. “Well, I hope the apology made it all better for you. I still feel like
“I’m sorry.” Edmund was trying for heartfelt, but it came out sulky to Fie.
“You sent me off to war with a broken heart.” Fie stood up suddenly, knocking his stool over. He
dwarfed Edmund with his tall, bulky, almost bearlike frame. “Now I’m shipping you off to London. I
imagine it’s far less dangerous than disarming explosives in the desert, and you’re certainly not as
emotionally shattered as I was.”
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