Welcome to the Book Tour for The Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth, Book 2 in Elliott Baker’s new series!
René looked out over the Belle Poulé’s forecastle at the stern of his other ship, the Seahawk. The horizon and sky were an unremitting gray, a dull sameness that closed in around him. The northwest coast of Africa crept along their port side. The faster brigantine had taken the lead as they cut through the dark brown, silt-filled water at the delta of the river Bou Regreg, home to the very corsairs who had attacked the Poulé a fortnight earlier. An unnatural quiet belied the tension on the faces of his crew. Both ships ran easily over a dead calm sea, tacking west by southwest, on a steady southerly wind.
Making four knots, the Poulé glided by the northern shore of the river. The Seahawk ahead of them reduced sail and tightened the separation between the ships to three hundred yards. A forest of masts came into view off the port side. The full might of the Moroccan slave trade stretched in an endless line across the harbor. Bristling with weapons and filled to the gunwales with swarthy men, the corsair’s ships remained motionless as the Poulé and the Seahawk sailed before them. Fifty ships of all sizes, from the large Xebecs carrying upwards of two hundred and fifty men, to small swift sloops with twenty men, bobbed with the tide. Waiting. The silence was oppressive. The wave of hatred and frustration that came from the pirates was so great that the air itself seemed thicker, harder to breathe.
Even standing off a thousand yards, the fortress on their port side brooded dark and menacing as they approached the slavers’
homeports. Within these two towns, one on each side of the river’s mouth, lived the fathers, brothers, and sons of the recently deceased pirates who had attacked René’s ship. The same pirates who had killed thirty-nine good men from the Belle Poulé in an attempt to enslave them all.
Of the three hundred slavers who had attacked the Poulé, not one survived. Not one. The sheik’s daughter, Akeefa, had assisted every corsair within the reach of her sword in finding their final resting place at the bottom of the Mediterranean. As lethal with a blade as anyone René had ever met, with the possible exception of the Maestro, Akeefa had stormed through the remaining pirates, her face rigid with vengeful zeal that even one might escape her blade.
“Emile, keep the gun ports closed. Signal the Seahawk to do the same.” Seconds would be lost having the gun ports closed, but there was no advantage in provoking a battle.
“Aye, sir.” The big captain of the Poulé yelled orders to his first mate. Signal flags passed the order to the Seahawk, producing an immediate and ordered activity aboard her.
René sensed, rather than heard, Akeefa come above deck followed by the sheikh, Miguel Zaportas, and her brother Abdul-Karim. René turned toward them, never quite losing his focus on the emerging ports of Salé and Rabat. Akeefa was robed in a dark blue burqa, but as evidenced by the scimitar she held, she was dressed differently beneath to allow her greater movement should her sword be required.
The men nodded. There was no way to reach Casablanca without passing the homeports of the Barbary pirates. Given the number of pirate vessels based here, only death or slavery awaited them if the corsairs chose to ignore the sultan’s command to allow them safe passage.
Tension increased as the two ships made way past the silent northern fortress, the only sound, that of the waves crashing against the dark pockmarked volcanic rock that robed its lower walls. Although it would put them beyond the range of its fixed cannon, moving farther from shore would avail them of nothing.
The number of men and ships sent on the wings of vengeance would surround and overwhelm René’s two ships, no matter how fast or well armed.
Akeefa came to stand next to him. “At least you have not asked me to remain below.”
“If we are attacked, there will be no need for a reserve force.”
“Coming up on Salé, sir,” Emile called out.
“Merci, Captain.” René stood at the port gunwale and peered through his spyglass.
The English called them Sallee Rovers. Slavers by trade, they had decimated villages along the southern coast of Europe, stripping away whole towns, men, women, and children. The old, the infirm, and those children too young or unable to survive the mattamore, the infamous slave pens, were killed. Their ships, like hungry sharks, lurked along the Mediterranean sea lanes often sinking the ships with their cargo, taking only the men.
The Seahawk and the Belle Poulé continued to make way before the pirate fleet. The Poulé shuddered. A fluttering sound accompanied the ship’s change. René looked up at her expanse of sail dreading what he might see. One by one the sails luffed in the dying wind. Both ships settled as their headway bled off. Motionless in the center of the channel. Nothing moved, no flags in the wind, no birds. Nothing. Almost as if the port held its breath. Minutes passed in tortured silence until finally the wind picked up, mere gentle gusts at first teasing the waiting canvas and then exhaling its power as one sail after the next filled and his ships began to move.
As the town of Rabat on Bou Regreg’s southern shore receded astern, René exhaled, and willed his muscles to relax.
Title: The Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth, Book 2
Author Name: Elliott Baker
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Grab Your Copy from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lEnUke
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About The Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth, Book 2:
The Count of Monte Cristo meets ancient Egypt in this riveting sequel to The Sun God’s Heir: Return.
Set during the wave tossed years of white slavery and Barbary pirates, this is the epic story of René Gilbert, a journey that defies time as he must draw on a larger awareness earned in previous lifetimes.
The plague’s dark fingers curl around Bordeaux. René must return home to save those he loves. But first he has to escape a Moroccan sultan’s clutches. In Bordeaux, an enemy waits, filled with a hatred three thousand years old. Only René can defeat this dark power, and only if he reclaims his own ancient past. In this arena, death is but the least of failure’s penalties.
Meet the Author:
Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced in the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to release his first novels. The Sun God’s Heir: Return, book one of the trilogy, was released this past January, and book two, Rebirth will come out on April 18th, followed in July by the third and final book of the series, Redemption. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.
Grab Book 1, The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1 on Amazon:
(P.S. – Book 1 is Free!)
Book One, Return https://books.pronoun.com/the-sun-gods-heir-return/
Book Two, Rebirth https://books.pronoun.com/the-sun-gods-heir-rebirth/
You can find Elliott at the following places: