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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

her good fortune - Of Brine & Blood (Brine #1) by B. Longino Smith

In 1700 century England, a women’s purpose is only served in a home. But Kitrina Harvey has no home and the only place she feels will keep the memory of her father alive, is at sea. However, when she inexplicably finds herself on the ship of the infamous female pirate captain, Charlotte de Berry, she may have counted her good fortune too soon.

Description:

Publication date: May 1st, 2016 

In 1700 century England, a women’s purpose is only served in a home. But Kitrina Harvey has no home and the only place she feels will keep the memory of her father alive, is at sea. However, when she inexplicably finds herself on the ship of the infamous female pirate captain, Charlotte de Berry, she may have counted her good fortune too soon.

While Kit may have found a family among the motley crew of outlaws, and perhaps even a special interest in a particular pirate named Gage, is she ready to be a pirate herself?

Kit must ask herself what she is willing to do to please the pirate captain, made even more complicated when she finds out that her life is much more entangled in Charlotte’s than she originally believed.

Can she kill even when she discovers that she and Charlotte share a common enemy?

Set atop the planks of the great Athena, Of Brine & Blood is a fictionalized retailing of one of history’s infamous female pirates, through the eyes of a girl coming of age among the contrasting themes of love, revenge and power. Liberally sensationalized, Of Blood and Brine, follows the twisting trail of Kitrina Harvey’s life, as she recounts Captain Charlotte de Berry’s own story of love, loss and murder.

Author's Q&A

How did you decide on names for your main characters? 
I began writing Of Brine & Blood shortly before I became pregnant with my daughter. In the beginning I didn’t have names for my characters that I loved. The names, at that time, were placeholders. 

After I got pregnant, I meticulously researched, listed, cross-referenced and polled names for my child. I finally decided on the perfect names: Kit (girl) and Gage (boy). 

My husband liked exactly neither of these names. 

So! I brought the names to life in my story, with a few amendments. 

Because neither of the names were exactly ‘old-timey’ enough for my historical fiction, Kit became short for Kitrina and Gage is actually the last name of our leading man – William Gage. But because there were approximately 155,846,325,845,236 Williams back then, everyone simply calls him Gage. 

Ironically, these names are spoken almost as often in our household, as our daughter’s name. So I still feel like I won on the whole name thing. 

*Disclosure* I equally love the name we eventually decided on for our daughter J 

Who does your main character look like in your head? Who would ideally play him/her in a movie adaptation? 
I am resistant to sharing what Kit looks like to me. But I have good reason for being so stingy with my imagery when it comes to Kit. The other characters in the book have detailed descriptions of their appearance. 

But, I could never get Kit’s appearance to come out just right or to translate well onto paper. That’s because I didn’t want to unintentionally pigeonhole her into a stereotype based on how she looks. So I made the conscious decision to write her fairly description-less. I want the readers to picture what she looks like to them. I want Kit to look like you, if that’s how you prefer to read your stories. 

So, if the story ever gets adapted into film (which would be AWESOME), it would be interesting to see who gets cast to play her. J 

Except, now that I think about it, I hope that my artistic decision doesn’t accidently anger fans of the story, because the actor playing Kit doesn’t ‘look right’ in the movie. Hummm….. 

What were your goals or intentions of writing this book? How well to do you think you achieved them? 
My goals of writing Of Brine & Blood were fairly simple. 

I want to entertain. I wanted to write a story that sweeps the reader away to another place and time, and make them feel what the characters are feeling. And then, I want the story to linger in their minds after they finish, wondering what Kit and Gage are up to right now. At this moment. 

That is what all the best stories do for me. The characters are no longer fiction, but people I care about. 

Every reader knows the value of a story that just grips them. I want my story to be like that to others. 

Of Brine and Blood does this for me. But I want to hear what you think! Let me know if I achieved my goal! ;)

EXCERPT



Thomas adjusted his spectacles again and lowered the parchment to look at me. I nodded letting him know that I had understood and agreed to the articles. With that, he produced a quill from his breast pocket and handed it to me. He then laid the parchment on the railing of the deck and held it open so the wind would not catch it. I quickly scripted my signature and then held out my hand to return the pen. Thomas received it with his right hand but then made to grab my still extended arm with his left. He continued to hold my wrist as he replaced the quill in his pocket.
Holding my palm close to his face, he reached to his belt with his unoccupied hand, unsheathing a small blade. I automatically took a step back, tugging my hand as I went. But Thomas pulled me abruptly back to him, and in one fluid swipe, he pricked the flesh on my thumb.
As he let go of my wrist and went to replace his dagger, I stared in astonishment at the small drop of blood beginning to pool on the pad of my finger. Now, Thomas held the parchment out for me again, but this time I was confused. Reading my misunderstanding, he again took my hand and directed my thumb to the scroll pressing it next to my name. When he let go, I retracted my hand, but left behind was the red, wet smudge of my thumbprint in blood.
I looked up at Thomas with wide eyes. He seemed amused by my expression and continued to look smugly at me for a moment more before he turned to the captain. She had been watching us and her dimpled smile had returned.
“Do you have any questions, Kitrina?” she asked. I shook my head more in habit than in directly answering her question, feeling the accelerated beat of my heart in the flat of my thumb. “Alright then, Mr. Hamilton, please show Kitrina to a bucket and brush to swab the main deck,” she directed.
Thomas made for the stairs, and I followed, but soon spun back towards her. “Aye, yes, I do have a question, Captain,” I stammered trying to get out my question, as it formed in my mind.
She looked down at me, her dark eyes appearing to peer intrudingly deep into mine, waiting for me to go on.
Sheepishly I asked her, “What is our trade, Captain? Where is this ship destined?” I was suddenly, and embarrassingly, aware that I did not know the nature of our voyage.
At this, she threw her head back laughing. She lifted her grip on the helm, and it began to spin, slowly at first, but gradually it picked up speed sending the boat in a wide turn. Her laugh, growing from a small chuckle in correlation with the speed of the helm, echoed into a maniacal cackle.
Sails shifted, and men upon the deck rushed to account for the change of direction, pulling lines and adjusting the riggings. Smaller objects tumbled from portside to starboard and crashed into the rails. Thomas and I both made a grab for the deck railing to steady ourselves.
When she finally angled her chin back down at me to speak, her eyes were dancing. “Why, where ever the wind may take us!” she howled. She grabbed the helm again, at last pulling the ship out of its turn, but threw her head back and continued to snicker. The sound was ominous. 
As Thomas pulled me towards the steps, I could feel that shock had frozen my face into a mixture of bewilderment and terror. I hurried to rearrange my features but leaned into Thomas as we walked to retrieve a pail and brush.
“Is she mad?” I whispered, unable to hold in my inquiry, seeing the wild look in her eyes again, though my back was now to her. He turned his head sharply, and I immediately regretted asking it, for I was sure to be punished for speaking ill of the captain. When he spoke, his expression settled into something less severe but still stern.
“I have been sailing with Charlie for five years and have been at sea for twelve before that. I have never seen her equal at sea. She hears the call of the ocean as if it speaks directly to her. She has an unparalleled intuition and knows what ships to run towards and which ones to run from. She is fair with her men and I hold her at the highest respect,” he said before pausing and setting me with a firm look again to convey that I should understand he meant every word.
Then he continued, “But mad you ask? Yes, in that regard too, I have never met her equal.”



About the author:
Brittany lives with her husband and daughter just two miles away from the beach on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. The backdrop serves as a constant reminder, and motivator, in her nautical historical fiction projects.

Her current series in progress, the Brine Series, has been a story that she has 'picked at' for over five years. In the beginning, Brittany only had the undeniable compulsion to bring the vivid characters in her mind, to life, by recording their story on paper. However, only more recently have her characters become increasingly disgruntled by not having their story shared with others. Brittany's husband sided with her characters. 

In the winter of 2015, after the first installment of the Brine Series, Of Brine and Blood, was complete; the second book, Of Bitter and Brine, was written and being revised; and the third installment, Brine: The Beginning, was outlined, Brittany's husband had had enough of talking about characters that were only real in the Smith household. As a Christmas present, Steven sent Of Brine and Blood off to a (fabulous) editor, unbeknownst to Brittany until Christmas morning. 

With the overwhelming encouragement from Victoria (fabulous editor extraordinare), and the unwavering support from her husband, Brittany began her publishing journey. She is indescribably excited to be sharing her characters and their adventure with others. 

Brittany also feels as though this brief bio does not adequately include the recognition of her daughter, mother, father, sister and all others who have been invaluable sources of motivation, inspiration, and support.

To get updates on new releases in the Brine Series please visit:


5 comments:

B. Longino Smith said...

Thanks for hosting and celebrating the release of Of Brine & Blood with me! :)

Stephanie LaPlante said...

This book sounds awesome!

Jan Lee said...

Finally, a female pirate! It's on my want to read list, :)

Penny said...

Sounds like a great adventure. Thanks for the giveaway!

Mike Warney said...

Thanks for competition!