It is my distinct pleasure to welcome C.S. Boyack to my blog and help him spread the word about his new book. I have met many authors along the way, but Craig is one who, in my voracious reading life, gets his books added to my Kindle as soon as they come out. I have read all of his books and thoroughly enjoy his writing style, no matter the genre.
It’s hard to put his books in a distinct category. It’s just fun to start reading one and enjoy the ride.
To set the scene, this happened at officer’s mess in the captain’s cabin. Mal, the ship surgeon asked about a pendant worn by one of the other officers. Let’s pick it up there.
So, sit back and enjoy this excerpt from Voyage of the Lanternfish.
Mal turned to Johnny Jump Up and pointed to his necklace. “This?”
“Just a piece of coral,” Dan said.
“Aye, mate. True enough, but it isn’t any piece of coral.” He untied the leather thong and handed it to Mal. “This came off the moving reef.”
“That’s an old sailor’s story,” Dan said.
“I suppose I qualify as an old sailor, but this story’s true. I seen him, at the battle of Fort Lemuels. We shelled the fort for weeks, but them boys inside gave as good as they got for a few days. We had broken masts and burning ships all over the place.
“When the fort stopped firing, captain said to go rescue any sailors we could find. There was men bobbing around everywhere. So we dropped the longboats and made for the first burning ship. I was in the third boat, pullin me oar.
“Our officer stood a little higher to look at something, so we all turned. Corals was sticking above the waves, and we thought it was an unknown reef… until it moved.
“Them corals turned and lined up towards us. You could see a great swirl behind them, from the fish’s tail.”
“How big is this thing?” Fala asked.
“Bigger’n this ship,” Johnny said. “He’s mostly straight along the back, but he’s got a huge belly that needs feedin. He’s covered with corals and scallops atop his bony plates. Like whales’ll grow barnacles on occasion. Got two long fins up front to help him steer. His mouth looks like a bulldog’s, and that’s the part what matters.
“Old Reefy lines up on our first longboat, and slurps them down like Mr. Philson here might drink up a fresh oyster. Twelve good men, one officer, three drowning sailors, all the oars, hats, muskets. Everything, boat and all. But it weren’t over yet.
“Then Reefy comes about, toward the next longboat, and slurps them down too, before he adjusts course and comes for us.
“We decided to abandon ship and take our chances one by one, but our officer ordered us to stand fast. We were faced with feedin the moving reef, or hanging for desertion, so we parked our butts and waited for it. And those corals kept coming our way. Like great spines along the monster’s back.
“Then old Reefy just moves past us. I looked right into his eye, and he looked right back. An eye the size of the ship’s wheel, mind you. Then he went under.
“The wake shoved us aside, and we took water over the gunwale. Officer had us start bailin, with our boots. That’s when the corals started grindin away at the belly of our longboat. It sounded like a dog gnawin meat off the bone of a dead thing.
“Last part I seen of him was the tail. It weren’t up and down like a proper fish, but it weren’t sideways like a whale neither. It was more primitive like. Reminded me of a giant polywog.”
Mal gave the necklace back. “This?”
“I’m gettin to that part, mate. We didn’t have time for no gazing after the beast, we was sinkin. So we kept bailing, but there was a hole in the bottom of our boat now.
“This posed a predicament, because if we started rowing, we’d all sink. If we kept bailing, we couldn’t move. And the moving reef was still out there somewheres too. Finally, we settled on two of us bailing, and everyone else rowing to get back to the ship. When the water got ahead of us, everyone stopped rowing and helped us catch up, till we could get underway again.
“Back at the ship, the carpenter said he could fix the longboat if we could haul it in. I had to stay behind and bail so’s the lads could pull it up. Those minutes by myself, in the sinking longboat, on the same sea my mates were just gobbled down in, we’re the longest minutes of my life. I didn’t know if the moving reef would come back, or not.
“When I finally got on deck, we flipped the longboat.” Johnny held forward his necklace. “This piece of coral was lodged in the wood.”
“Great story,” Dan said. “But I don’t believe a bit of it.”
Johnny tied the necklace back around his neck. “There are things in this ocean a man’s ever seen, Mister Philson. And there’s at least one thing I never want to see again.”
I hope I’ve intrigued some of you with this pirate’s tale. I’ll provide Don with all the details, including that all important purchase link.
An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.