Guest Post: The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl
Blog Tour: The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl
Title: The Perilous Journey Of The Much Too Spontaneous Girl (The Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl #2)
Author: Leigh Statham
Publish Date: September 20, 2016
Synopsis: 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.
Guest PostThank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m so excited to talk about the mating rituals of South American vampire bats with you today!
Of course I want to talk about my new book – The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl. This is the next book in my Perilous Journey series where we find our leading lady, Marguerite Vadnay, getting herself into trouble again. Jacques is still watching out for her, and Outil is still trying to keep up with her, but neither is successful in this story where Marguerite finds herself in quite a pickle.
After writing and researching my first book, The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl, I realized there was a treasure trove of pirate lore I could tap into to continue the tradition of lacing fact with steampunk fiction. The late 1600’s and early 1700’s were considered the Golden Age of Piracy. All of those movies with Johnny Depp are set in this era. However, piracy wasn’t anything like it’s portrayed in the movies. Most pirate captains were chosen because they could read and write, not because they were dashingly handsome or fierce. Captains were expected to keep logs and make sure that booty was distributed equally among the men (and women) of the ship. The royal navies of the world were far less democratic. One could work as a sailor for years and not get paid. It was basically a slaving situation, and a lot of the sailors were slaves. Not so on a pirate ship. While each ship had its own rules of conduct, most treated every worker, no matter their background or race, fairly in wage and work load— and there was always a lot of work to be done if you wanted to make a profit.
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
GiveawayContest 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)
About the Author
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.
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