The day has finally arrived, fellow swashbucklers. Little Queen’s Gambit is released and available for download on Amazon.
Readers got a glimpse of Little Queen in the first two stories and begged for more of her, so you got it. Little Queen’s Gambit gives a heavy dose of Little Queen and Jake Hawking, who a pretty polar opposites when it comes to handling dangerous situations. Makes for fun scenes.
Here’s what you can expect
After a close encounter with the infamous pirate hunter, Thomas Crowe, at Aves Island, Captain Jake Hawking and his crew of the Broad-Wing take refuge in the pirate haven of Tortuga to unwind and spend some of the gold burning holes in their pockets.
While Little Queen conquers foe after foe in arm wrestling, Captain Jake Hawking meets a mysterious French woman who intoxicates Hawking with her presence and is in dire need of Hawking’s help. But when things go horribly wrong, it’s up to the Barbadian ex-slave, Little Queen, to lead her fellow crewmates of the Broad-Wing and save the captain before it’s too late.
Little Queen’s Gambit is a short-story standing at about 10,000 words and is available via Amazon for your Kindle devices and apps for $0.99.
This is the last (for now) of the Jake Hawking Short Adventures I’m publishing this summer. But don’t worry, Hawking, Queen and the Broad-Wing will set sail again in the future.
After the jump… an excerpt from the story…
Little Queen raised her head from her hand and grabbed her tankard, now half-empty of rum and lime juice. She threw her head back, letting the drink both burn her throat and refresh her spirit. So much better than that rot gut and pig shit the cap’n gave her, she thought. So much more a civilized drink.
When she finished she dropped the tankard onto the table and leaned across, her eyes boring into her latest opponent. She saw the struggle in his face, while the layer of sweat on his weathered brow thickened. She could not help but smile from ear to ear. She savored every moment watching men — especially white men, men with mocking eyes and scornful smiles — squirm beneath her vice like grip. Life as a tobacco farm slave forged her bones into steel, muscles into concrete, and her will into a harsh gale. There was not a man or god that graced the earth or heavens that had the power to overcome her when she set about a task. She feared no one.
She also took joy in the cheers her fellow crewmates lavished about her. For years her name was a source of torment and ridicule, both from her masters who were liberal with the whip and her fellow slaves who looked to expel their own anger and torment. To be a woman meant a harsh life, to be a woman slave was worse, but to be a woman slave stronger than most men was a curse guised as a blessing. For years she took the beatings and mockery, but even the darkest winter night had to break, and Little Queen broke from both her bonds and her derision when she met Cap’n Hawkin’.
She snapped back to reality. Her arm was leaning slightly to her side of the table and there sparked a hopeful glimmer in her opponent’s grey eyes. She gritted her teeth and flared her nostrils. She did not like that her mind began to wander and she liked it even less that this scum of a man thought he could be the first to best her. With a sharp grunt she put her full strength behind her and pinned his arm onto the wooden slab. His face flared in a silent agony, and for a moment she thought she broke his arm. All the better, of course.
Alas, he swallowed his scream and shook his arm out vigorously.
Not even a sprain? Perhaps she was losing her touch.
“Her Majesty wins again!” Harper yelled, raising his mug in victory. “Long live the Queen!”
“Huzzah!” the rest of her crewmates sang out in unison. “Huzzah! Huzzah!”
They broke out into song:
So help me Bob, I’m bully in the alley
Way, hey, bully in the alley
So help me Bob, I’m bully in the alley
Bully down in Shinbone Al
The sailor shot them murderous looks before tossing a few coins to Little Queen. Yet another sewer-bred rat in a long line who met their match. She looked around the tavern, expecting to find another quarry, when her gaze stopped at the cap’n speaking with a delicate little lady, a woman with dark hair and a rich-looking gown. The young woman cocked her head to the side and smiled as Hawking spoke and gestured with a roguish flare. Little Queen scowled. The lady reminded her too much of the harsh and vile women who used to visit her on the plantations.
“Shall we get ye another challenger, Queen?” Harper asked.
“No. No more.” She pocketed her latest winnings and pushed herself from the table. She strode over to the cap’n and the woman who bewitched him with far too much ease. Even from a distance, this lady reeked of the sort of trouble that leads to hemp around one’s neck.
You can pick up a copy of LITTLE QUEEN’S GAMBIT via Amazon for your Kindle app, device, or read on your computer with their Amazon Cloud Reader.