16 August 2015

Sunday Snippet from Mystic Mountains, Settlers Book 1


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In the1800s the penal colony of Botany Bay was an unforgiving and harsh place. Isabella is transported for wounding a member of the British aristocracy. She loathes the system that sentenced her to seven years transportation, and is determined to hate her new master who dreams of a new life beyond the Blue Mountains.
Mystic Mountains is a story of courage and persistence-essential traits for the settlers who carved out a new life in a raw land where suffering and heartbreak were commonplace. The pair face many hardships in their quest for a new life in this untamed land.


* * *
 
Tiger Carstairs removed his hat, then ran his fingers through his sweat-dampened hair. Smiling grimly he pushed the hat back on as he turned his back on the bedraggled lines of women.

What a bunch. They didn't get any better. Still, one female had caught his eye. She was a bit short on flesh to cover her bones, but there was a light of defiance in her eyes that the dreadful journey with all its degradation hadn't snuffed. She'd stared right at him from eyes as green as the sea as she'd limped past, her spine straight as a broomstick. He liked that.

Yes, she'd do perfectly.

She was young, if not very hearty, but Thelma had told him to keep his eye out for one who didn't look as if she'd be off in a flash with any man who showed up at the back door. This one hated men, if that glower she'd given him was anything to go by. So blatant was her scorn he'd fully expected her to spit in someone's eye. The sunshine had picked up glints in hair that would probably be reddish-brown after a good washing. But the wench had really taken his fancy, stirred some deep emotion. It was an unnerving sensation, peculiar in its uniqueness.

"Ho, Tiger Carstairs, after a new woman to warm your bed?" called one of the other men who'd come to inspect the new arrivals.

Tiger eyed the man coldly. Half of these poor dregs of humanity would end up as bed-warmers for this lot. Still and all, most of the females who'd landed today had whored in London and on the journey over, so the new life in the colony would hold no surprises for them.

"No, Mackenzie. Believe it or not, some of us are merely looking for women capable of keeping our homes clean and our stomachs full." Tiger looked away, watching the hustle and bustle of unloading.

Mackenzie's laughter was coarse as he walked away. Probably rum soaked as usual. Tiger sauntered over to the table where Gregson sat with his list of assignments.

"The wench there with the cropped red hair, who's to take her?" he asked indolently. "I'd like her."

"Have to wait your turn, Carstairs. She's been assigned. I have your woman already noted. Let me see..." Gregson ran a finger down his list. "Ah, yes, you have been allocated one Moira Paine."

"I don't want one Moira Paine unless it's that wench." Tiger pointed to the red-haired girl. She was staring at her feet, looking for all the world as if she was unaware of what was going on around her. Or had cut herself off from it all.

Gregson peered along the line to the woman in question. "What would you want with a scrawny wench like that, eh?" He shrugged. "Mind you, she has the makings of a beauty, I suppose."

"I care not for looks, old chap." Tiger knew he lied. "My kitchen woman needs a girl to help. This one looks capable."

"Oh aye." Gregson chuckled. "She does look capable enough." He leered, and Tiger hid a grimace of disgust. These men all had one thought in mind where women were concerned, and that was having them on their backs with their legs spread. "Hold on, old man, we're about to start allocating now."

Tiger eyed Gregson with annoyance. With a look along the line he saw that the wench in question still stared at her feet. His heart gave a strange lurch, unsettling him.
* * *
“I really enjoyed this book. The writing flows, and the story is compelling. The protagonists in the story are, for the most part, newly-arrived convicts transported from England to New South Wales, Australia, in the early 1800s.

The author explains a great deal about the early history of Australia without being pedantic. The historical details are very nicely integrated into the story, and are never are intrusive. The author clearly did a lot of research, and the historical accuracy adds to the richness of the tale.”
S. Harrison Verified Kindle purchaser.

Please take a moment to visit the blogs of these participating authors to read more snippets:
 
http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)
Find out all about my other titles from Books We Love on my Web Page


 

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