Welcome to The Perilous Journey Of The Much Too Spontaneous Girl Blog Tour. To see the full tour schedule, click on the banner above. For my stop today, I have a Guest Post and the Tour-Wide Giveaway. Be sure to enter!
The Perilous Journey Of The Much Too Spontaneous Girl
(The Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl #2)
by Leigh Statham
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Lady Marguerite Vadnay and her trusty automaton, Outil, have settled into life in New France rather well. Marguerite is top of the class at flight school and her future as an aerpilot is nearly secure. She has everything she wants— except a commission on the pirate hunting dirigible The Renegade. Using every card in her aristocratic arsenal, Marguerite wiggles her way onto the finest warship France has to offer. But as usual, Marguerite’s plans endanger the lives of those she holds dear— only this time no one else is going to save them. As Marguerite and Outil set off on a rescue mission they may not return from, she finally realizes it’s time to reorder her cogs.
This steampunk adventure is littered with facts from The Golden Age of Piracy and follows (not too closely) some of the lives and adventures of the brave men and women who sailed the seas as privateers, pirates and soldiers.
Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.
Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks
The Truth Behind the Gears
Thank you so much for having me on the blog! I’m so excited to be here and to talk pirates! ARRRG! Researching this book was a lot of fun. I really enjoy lacing my steampunk stories with facts from the past. Here is an excerpt from the back of my book for those history buffs that are wondering which parts of my story are true. Unfortunately, Outil (the automaton) is not one of those facts. *sigh*
The late 1600’s are infamously remembered as The Golden Age of Piracy. The seas of the world were an open playground for scoundrels of every sort. There were new laws governing the waters that didn’t govern the land, and there were also unspoken rules, codes of conduct, and traditions springing up across the globe. Many of these customs and the reality of a life at sea have been forgotten, especially in popular culture portrayal.
Cinema and works of fiction often show the navies, while not always commanded with integrity by those in charge, were the best organizations with which to see the world and learn the sailing trade. In truth, the organized navies, England’s in particular, were far from the clean, well dressed, well fed, and highly organized institutions as they are often portrayed. Unless you were from a noble family and could secure a position as a commander in the higher ranks of a ship, you were most likely drafted, or impressed, to serve and forced into a life that bordered on slavery. Sailors were expected to work long hours, rowing, bailing water, manning guns in time of battle, and all on promised pay that was far below what they could expect to earn on a merchant vessel. Once a ship was finished with its commission, the men were free to return home, but many never made it that far. Commanders often sacrificed sailors before cargo and held back the best rations for themselves, leaving the men to go without clean water or food and forcing them to forage and raid local ports when landing.
These harsh conditions led to the not surprising problem of desertion and piracy. Many sailors would jump ship for a pirate vessel if given the chance. Unlike the navies of several countries, pirate ships were held only to their own codes and were often run more like a democracy. The captain of the pirate ship was usually chosen by the men for his (or on rare occasions, her,) ability to read, write, and keep records. The pirates kept track of everything they stole and kept careful books on who was to receive what part of the booty. Men could expect to be paid immediately, and handsomely, after a successful raid when living the pirate lifestyle, as opposed to the legitimate service as a navy sailor where low wages were rarely paid and often held back to keep the men in service.
When major decisions were being made, the entire crew of a pirate ship, from the youngest deck boy to the captain, often voted. Mutiny was rare and only happened when a captain tried to go against the wishes of the crew. Many crews also developed their own codes of conduct in regard to the types of ships they would plunder and how they would treat captives, especially women. Some were ruthless and uncaring, but others were honorable, allowing women and children peace and safe passage to land. Conduct varied greatly between ships, but the basic foundation was the same; voting, even wealth distribution, and no need to answer to anyone as long as they were on the sea.
Several pirate crews worked so efficiently together that the governments of the world took notice. While it angered some, many governments approached successful pirate captains and offered them pardons if they would work as privateers, which was essentially a pirate with the protection of a government. Privateers had to give a portion of their spoils to their patron country, but in return they were protected from being tried for piracy in any country. If they were attacked by an unfriendly country, they could report it as an act of war, which also provided them with a buffer.
It’s no surprise that so many men opted for the life of piracy in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s. Considering other options, it wasn’t a bad lifestyle for a penniless young man trying to avoid impressment to the navy. A few women also took to this lifestyle with much success. Cheng I Sao was one of the most feared women on the seas, commanding a fleet of nearly 50,000 pirates in her prime. Mary Read and Anne Bonny found each other during a high-seas battle where Mary was disguised as a man and doing quite well for herself. They both started plundering openly as women alongside “Calico” Jack Rackam and were soon feared for their ferocity and ability to fight and drink as well as any man. And the leader of them all, Grace O’Mally ruled a fleet of twenty ships in the 1500’s, a time when women were rarely educated and were restrained to their homes. She gave the British navy a run for their money on the coasts of western Ireland her whole life.
While the truth is far from glamorous, it is, nevertheless, fascinating. Captain Douleur is based largely on these famous pirate women. They were ruthless scoundrels, sometimes worse than their male counterparts, using their womanly assets to avoid punishment and to lead unsuspecting sailors and merchants to their deaths, but they were also far ahead of their time in the struggle for equality and women’s rights. They proved that women could keep up with men, even in the criminal arts.
Lady Marguerite is based on my ancestor, Marguerite Sauviot, who actually did sail the Atlantic to Canada as a young girl on her own in search of a new life during a perilous time.
Because of their infamy and careful record keeping, there are several documents on pirates and privateers of all types that have survived the centuries through court records. If you are interested in learning more about pirates, I suggest you visit your local library and check out the books listed below. If you are interested in your own ancestors, pirates or not, I highly recommend the free website: http://www.familysearch.org
Who knows? Maybe there’s some pirate blood pumping your heart toward adventure after all.
• The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd, Richard Zacks (Hachette 2003)
• Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates, David Cordingly (Random House Trade Paperbacks 2006)
• Pirates of the Carolinas, Terrance Zepke (Pineapple Press 2005)
• Blackbeard: The Life and Legacy of History’s Most Famous Pirate, Charles River Editors
Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one day get her hit by a car.
Connect with the Author: Website |Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Giveaway Information: Contest ends October 7, 2016
• One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
• Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of books 1 and 2 in the Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl series by Leigh Statham (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway