As a big thank-you to everyone who embraced my first historical novel, The Witch From The Sea—and for anyone else in the mood for a romantic swashbuckling adventure—I invite you to visit my new serial novel, Runaways: A Novel of Jonkanoo, now going up online.
Runaways continues the adventures of Tory Lightfoot begun in The Witch From The Sea. Ever since she was a mixed-blood orphan running away from Boston for the open sea, all Tory has ever wanted is her freedom. Now that she and her lover, Englishman Jack Dance, acrobat and failed actor, have survived the pirate trade together, they struggle to conceal their outlaw past and make an honest living as traveling performers in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies.
But freedom is a luxury in 1825 in the British colonial sugar islands, where fear of slave rebellion, real or imagined, infests every aspect of life. With the help of the nimble and cultured former slave, Alphonse Belair, Jack and Tory learn to navigate both high and low society in the islands. Their ribald strolling pantomime show finds favor with the English society at the Bath Hotel on Nevis, and the military station at English Harbor, Antigua. And they are particularly beloved by the slaves at the teeming Sunday markets —outraging the authorities.
Soon, Tory is trapped in a web of enslavement worse than any she has ever imagined; regaining her freedom and protecting the man she loves will take the performance of a lifetime.
In the spirit of Charles Dickens, Runaways is going up one chapter a week. And it's free! Click here to look at the current chapter (or find out what "Jonkanoo" means). Click here to begin with Chapter 1.