Series: The Anthology of Resuoh (Book 3)
Paperback: 185 pages
Publisher: Houser Books - KDP (April 27, 2019)
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
Available now on eBook and paper back. Audio book version will be available soon!
The Resuoh Family has been scattered through time, but what has become of Jade?
Captured and trapped in a castle where nothing makes sense, Jade must use her wits and newfound abilities to survive dangers unlike any she has yet seen. From a humanoid beast that hunts her no matter where she runs, to the all-consuming mist that threatens to not only kill her but wipe her out from time itself, she must learn to trust her instincts and forge on to find her family.
Can Jade survive these ominous dangers, with the aid of a new companion and ally? Can she find a way to traverse the gaps in time and rebuild the tattered remains of her family? Can she stop the disasters of the future from coming to fruition?
Only time will tell.
1804 – Nassau
The old pirate hobbled slowly to an open table in the pub, and fell into the rickety wooden chair. He stretched out his right leg under the table and sighed as a minor measure of relief set in on his ancient muscles and aching bones. The old wound slightly below his knee was screaming today, telling him the weather would be fierce soon. The small iron ball that was lodged there was a gift left behind from a devilish lad who had delusions of grandeur and mutiny.
Taking off his hat, his unkempt, greasy, black hair spilled out and fell around his face, blending into his curly beard. He used the weathered, old headpiece to catch the attention of a pretty young lass tending bar.
“What can I get you, Captain Barton?” she asked him with a wink and a thick Spanish accent. He smiled in appreciation of her beauty, besides her being young enough to be his daughter, and pointed a gnarled finger at one of several leaky barrels in the corner.
“Just the grog, Anita, like usual.” He tossed a handful of silver, misshapen coins on the table, and then slipped one gold coin into her hand. “And plenty of it,” he added as she walked away giddily, her wavy black hair swaying as she went. Twenty years or so ago, young Anita would have been in trouble. Now, however, the old pirate was too tired and too worn out for the finer things in life.
A shadowy figure appeared in front of him, almost as if out of thin air. But that was the way she always came. She was dressed in black pants and top, with leather straps and small pouches running across her chest, and a few on her legs. For the most part, this couldn’t be seen due to a dark cloak that covered her attire. The hooded face that peered out was beautiful, and her crystal blue eyes pierced through his heart with every glance.
She was an enigma to him. Barton had tried to glimpse the gizmos and devices that were contained beneath the heavy cloak on the few times they had met but was never able to figure them out. He could only assume by her enigmatic demeanor that she was some form of spy or assassin.
There were many rumors about the young woman, but no one really knew anything definitively, even where she lived. The locals had taken a liking to calling her “The Raven”, because if you believed the gossip, one of the dark birds was nearly always spotted before or after her presence. Either way, he wanted to make sure he stayed on her good side, rather than the sharpened tip of a blade.
“And what brings a fair lass such as yourself to a den of squalor such as this?” Barton asked, gesturing grandly at the aged pub, his Scottish accent gruff and matured. “A rare beauty like you belongs in a palace beside nobility!” Her eyes narrowed slightly, and the hint of a smile curled up the right side of her lips.
“Not today, Scotsman.” She replied, her velvety smooth voice always lured him in, but the edge in her tone kept him wary.
“Then what can I do for you today, my dear?” He leaned back as the barmaid returned and handed him a mug of rich, brown liquid and eyeing the woman suspiciously. “Perhaps a drink?” The cloaked woman placed her hands on the table and leaned forward slightly, eyes locked onto his.
“I need passage on your ship,” she responded, ignoring the offer of libations. He matched her stature, intrigued, and leaned forward.
“My ship is at your service, Love. But where would we be going?” Her smile widened.
“The Isle de Tragedia,” she whispered. Burton guffawed loudly and sat back in his chair.
“You had me going, Lass. I thought you were serious for a moment!” His eyes met hers again, and he realized that her expression hadn’t changed. His, however, did. “You are serious! Surely you have heard the stories?” He gulped down several mouthfuls of grog to drown the building fear in the pit of his stomach.
“Enlighten me,” she replied coolly, drawing her words out and sitting across from him. Barton watched her for a moment, realizing that his day was not turning out as well as he had hoped. Either he would turn her down and discover if the rumors about her were true, or he would have to take her on a voyage that he knew would be without a return trip. He inhaled deeply and began his tale.
“There is a story that has been passed from ship to ship and port to port. A story of an island, lost in the seas, filled with untold riches. It is said that he who discovers this land of mystery will not only have untold wealth, but power beyond his imagination. To claim it would be to rule the world, but first you have to make it past the beast of the depths! A monster so horrible, so foul that even the sky and the sea are in fear of it. Many a brave sailor has sought their fortune on the Isle de Tragedia, and nary a soul has returned. The beast has claimed all, ever leaving but a few behind to tell the tale. All the while, the treasure remains, beckoning, but never to be touched. The beast will eat you too, Lass, and pick its teeth with your bones. Maybe you should think twice about that drink?” He had hoped to see an expression of fear or something similar. He would have taken any reaction, for that matter; but she remained stoic.
“So, you’re telling me you won’t take me?” she replied, her right eyebrow lifting ever so slightly. Fear rose in his chest again, and a slight shiver ran through him. Her entire petite form seemed…daunting, for some reason. For such a thin, young woman, her very presence was causing him great discomfort.
Her body seemed to waver, and the air around her appeared to shift, as if waves of heat were emanating from her. Was he hallucinating from the fear?
“Now, I didn’t...just hold on,” Barton stammered, then remembered he was supposed to be a feared captain of the Atlantic and took a moment to pull himself together mentally. “It would be my honor, Lady Raven. My ship and crew are fully at your service.” She nodded in approval and stood up.
“Thank you, Captain,” she punctuated the sentence by reaching into her cloak and removing a small leather sack, dropping it on the table in front of the somewhat disgruntled sea dog. “Your drinks are on me tonight. We leave in one week. See to it, Barton.” He looked down at the gold coins that had spilled from the sack and smiled to himself.
“That I shall do, Love. That I shall do!” He threw his head back, downing the rest of his grog. “Are you sure I can’t talk you into…” his words trailed off as he looked back down and realized that she was nowhere to be seen. “…Staying?” Without missing a beat, he held his glass up in the air and waved it around to catch Anita’s attention.
She came over promptly and set another mug in front of him, retrieving his spent one.
“And how about a plate of something delicious and expensive?” he added. She once more walked away, and the old man picked up his fresh mug and looked out the window at the waves breaking against the docks down the road.
His breath caught and a shiver ran down his spine as he caught site of a large black raven sitting outside on the window sill, studying him closely.