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longknife 03-12-2013 05:41 AM

A Novel About the History of California Set in 18th Century Baja California
 
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THE SAILOR AND THE CARPENTER
El Marinero y El Carpintero



Bluewood Publishing of Christchurch, New Zealand has released Book One of Father Serra's Legacy, The Sailor and The Carpenter.


A brief introduction to the novel:


TIMOTHY BEADLE gazes at the Atlantic from the foretop crow’s nest. Why did Father do this to me? he wonders. It was but a few days earlier when he toiled to shovel cow manure from the milking stalls of his father’s farm. The shock of learning his father turned him over to the ship’s captain in return for a purse of coins has not yet worn off.


The yaw of the ship a hundred feet below magnifies the sway of his perch high in the foretop. Hands work the shrouds and several scrub the oaken decks with holystones. The captain stands on the quarterdeck, his hands behind his back. Even though it’s been but a few days, Timothy knows the God-fearing man is a hard but fair taskmaster.


He remembers well the words of the captain’s steward, explaining how his father had indentured Timothy to serve aboard the English merchant brig for the duration of its planned voyage to the far away northwestern shores of the continent known as America. Tears fill his sky-blue eyes. He sold me into slavery.


Timothy’s duties are varied and require constant attention. But he wears no chains and the ship’s sailing master teaches him and two powder monkeys to read, write and do sums. The two other youths show him the intricacies of a sailing ship. And the ship’s surgeon takes a liking to Timothy, having him accompany him ashore on islands such as Saint Helena and the tiny English port in the Falklands.


Two Franciscan friars travel through the western mountains of New Spain on their way to the church in Culiacán. The Jesuits there are being ousted. They come upon a poor Indian village decimated by smallpox. There are three survivors, a boy, a girl and her baby brother. The children are taken with them and integrated into the chapel’s acolytes. They name the boy Jaimenacho after Saints James and Ignatius. JAIME quickly learns Spanish that has many words in common with his Yaqui and discovers he has a skill for finding beautiful forms in wood. He is apprenticed to the compound’s carpenter. One night, he dreams of being in a strange place where he finds a white ocelot with blue eyes lying injured. FATHER PRESIDENT JUNIPERO SERRA soon comes to Culiacán and takes members of the community with him to Baja California. He has been tasked by the viceroy to accompany GOVERNOR CAPTAIN GASPAR PORTOLÁ to expand Spain’s control over The Californias.


Jaime stoically leaves for a new place among strangers. He sails in a marvelous canoe with tall, bare trees. It crosses a big body of water to another Spanish village. La Paz was abandoned after attacks by Pericú Indians in retaliation for mistreatment of their women. He learns the men in their gray robes, while often unkind, deeply care for their charges they consider to be child-like and in need of parental discipline. Jaime’s amazed to see the friars often cruelly whip themselves in atonement for what they feel are their sins and failings. In his treks through the hills, he feels someone or something watching him but cannot discover who or what.


Timothy’s ship rounds Cape Horn into the vast Pacific. It encounters a small Spanish coaster offshore of Peru and Timothy experiences his first sea battle. They continue north to the Galapagos for food and water. The surgeon takes him ashore and they see a variety of strange and wondrous creatures. The next leg of their journey finds them abeam of a large Spanish galleon which they overcome, finding it laden with silver.


Sailing north along the coast against contrary winds and currents shows the captain’s and sailing master’s skills. They land on the shore of what the Spanish map calls Monte Rey Bay where they trade with near-naked savages. Another few days sailing takes them to a huge bay called San Francisco, then to a spit of land where Sir Francis Drake was reputed to have buried great treasure. When none is found, they continue north to a great estuary inhabited by great seafarer Indians. They spend the warm months trading for rich furs.


A cyclone lashes the coast of Baja and Jaime is sent to the village of Todos Santos to help repair the damage. Half-way there, a band of Pericú grab and take him to their village in the mountains, A beautiful girl named YELLOW BUTTERFLY confronts him as the Wood Witch and offers him safety from the enslavement of the friars. He’s enchanted by her but turns down her offer as he feels he owes the friars his life. In Todos Santos, he befriends a drover and finds the friars at the mission as caring as the others.


On the return voyage, Timothy’s ship encounters a cyclone. A sailor who Timothy caught stealing and was punished with a Cat O’ Nine Tails, severs Timothy’s safety lines and he’s washed overboard. When he awakens, he finds red-skinned people bending over him. They carry him to a house where a woman treats him with herbs and salves.


Timothy and Jaime become friends. Jaime because Timothy resembles the white ocelot he’d dreamed about while Timothy knows the other is responsible for saving his life. A local magistrate wishes to take Timothy into custody as a pirate but Jaime has the friars intercede, offering Timothy sanctuary.


From farm to Fo’csle to a far away land, Timothy’s life has undergone many, difficult changes. From his mountain village to the hands of the Catholic friars, Jaime has also gone through major life changes. Thus, the two bond and hold to one another.


Your reviews and comments can be posted on Dale's blog @ http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com


The Sailor and The Carpenter now available @


ISBN: 978-1-927220-06-1 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-927220-07-8 (e-book), Smashwords, Amazon.com (Paperback), Amazon.com (e-book), Amazon.com.uk (Paperback), Amazon.com.uk (e-book), along with other Amazon International sites, and Barnes & Nobel (Paperback)


(Looking forward to comments on the promo - as well as the novel) :smiley_drinkcoffee:

Nick Pierce 03-12-2013 11:33 AM

This is very good writing.
Declarative.
Informative.
Deftly detail adorned.

There are some aspects (towards the end of the post ) that could bear reconsideration.

But hey, it ain't like Ulysses was texbook construction, eh?
And we all know how the tome fared.

Way to go, longknife.


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