Imagine yourself in a world with no government, no electricity, no stores, no libraries and no cell phones. Slavers, Marauders, and Scavengers have forced people to go into hiding.
‘Blue Crab Bay’ is one such world. The story takes place three generations after an asteroid chunk smashes into the mid- eastern part of the United States. Land masses have shifted, parts of coastal states have dropped off into the ocean. New island chains have formed from the old land. People now live on boats in marinas. Blue Crab Bay is populated mostly by ‘Youngsters’, who have had to grow up fast and hone their survival skills. They have learned to make do in a new world and deal with a few unexpected experiments the ‘Oldsters’, left behind.
Linda is back with a new YA book with a premise I haven’t seen before.
Pearl whispered, “Get in the hole and keep very still.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she knew she needn’t have added the admonition to stay still. Otter knew the drill. The boy stood motionless next to her as she thrust the tip of her fillet knife into a tiny notch in the decking. Pearl pried open a slender trap door.
Underneath the planking was a fish tank with about ten inches of breathable air. If they were lucky, and the Flying Fish encountered no waves, Otter could remain hidden for as long as needed. Pearl prayed the Slavers would follow their usual pattern. If so, they would breeze into the Bay, steal, or scrounge as much booty as they could, then sail away to harass a neighboring marina.
“Sorry other marinas,” she said aloud, feeling guilty for wishing ill fortune on any of her fellow boat people.
Once she lowered the trap door over Otter’s head, she flipped his sleeping palette upside down until it fit perfectly into a custom bench. After erasing any trace of her brother, Pearl donned an old baggy dress, filthy apron, and a faded watch cap. To add to her disguise, she rubbed a smidgen of clay into the hollows of her cheeks. This ruse was nothing new for her. Momma Angie showed her how to disguise herself as soon as Pearl became a tween.
Each time the Slavers ship appeared a variation of Pearl’s charade played out on many of the boats in the Bay.
Her own boat, the Flying Fish, was a flat bottom shoal draft barge. The boat’s name was Pearl’s Grandma Elsa and Grandpa Walter’s little joke. The behemoth could no more fly than a pig. Pearl and Otter had lived there alone for the past two years. Pearl’s mother, Angie had been swept away during Hurricane #16. Sadly, the numbering of hurricanes along the Gullah Archipelago became a familiar routine. After Zeva, the last-named hurricane, most people had neither the heart nor the desire, to keep naming storms.
Pearl sighed heavily saying a silent prayer for her father Bruce as well.
A year prior to her mother’s disappearance, in a freak accident during the devastating winds of Hurricane #15, his foot got caught in the anchor chain just as a gust tossed him overboard.
She sauntered slowly back to the rail. As the Slavers approached, her gaze lingered on her neighbor’s skiff. His was little more than an oversized jon boat with a canvas roof to keep out the rain. Mr. Ely had lost his oldest son to the Slavers three years prior. Having experienced that painful loss, he was more devious hiding his daughter Abbey. At the first sight of the Slavers, he clamped a clumsy iron brace onto the girl’s leg. She appeared to be a cripple, effectively hiding her in plain sight.
Linda grew up in a traditional Midwest home. Her childhood wish was to be a librarian or an art teacher. Neither career would be in her stars. After graduating from University of Cincinnati Design Architecture and Art, life threw a curveball into her well-ordered plans.
Instead, she moved to the Hudson River Valley where she raised her son, working as a bartender, waitress, house painter, medical office assistant… anything to keep them financially afloat.
It was in Cold Spring on the Hudson that she fell in love with the small-town flavor and its denizens. Many of the latter would become templates for the lovable, quirky characters in the Voyage of the SunRunner.
Fast forward a number of years. A move to Davidson, North Carolina brought her to a ten-year study of metaphysics. She became an intuitive reader and remains so today.
She likes to think that all those life experience hats she wore, helped her write her first novel. She now lives in Mooresville, North Carolina and is working on a sequel to Voyage of the Sunrunner!
It is out here – Voyage of the Sunrunner!