What started on a whim, out of a love for the pirating age, has finally materialized in my first self publishing venture. I’m excited to debut Devil’s Island so am offering the ebook for $0.99 today only. Check it out here!
The book is on tour with Tasty Book Tours and they’ve done a great job. I have a tour wide giveaway that includes a print copy, $10 Amazon card, and swag which includes an awesome coffee mug!! I can’t ever get these rafflecopter codes to work in my blog post, but here’s a link to the tasty site where you can enter: Rafflecopter on Tasy Tours.
One of the fun things about writing this book was working out the details of sailing, how boats moved with or against the wind, and the pirate speak, but also the characters. In introducing Captain Wilder’s African crew member, Salley, I used a tea drinking ceremony I learned and loved to participate in when I was in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast. Here’s a brief excerpt of that scene, which describes the how the tea is brewed and what it all means:
“Have you drunk our tea before?” Salley asked, his English spoken with a melodious lilt.
“Ah, you are in for a treat.” He widened his smile, seeming genuinely pleased to share his tea ritual. “The English with their weak, sad tea cannot appreciate this—” he tapped the pot— “brewed from raw green leaves cultivated in the Eastern lands.”
She leaned over and inhaled the aroma wafting from the pot—a bitter but earthy scent, offset by a spicy-sweet aroma she couldn’t identify.
“You smell the mint?” he asked.
“Is that it? Yes, it smells very good.”
When the boiling tea burst forth from the lid, Salley repeated the pouring procedure until foam accumulated in the small glasses. He gave a satisfied click and filled each glass halfway, passing one to her. Unaccustomed to drinking tea in this manner, she watched as Salley sipped, making an exaggerated slurping sound. She followed his example, finding the small sips the best method of imbibing the bitter, hot tea.
“The first cup is bitter, but necessary, like family,” he said, adding water and sugar to the leaves in the pot to start another round. “We reuse the same leaves each time. The next cup, less bitter, more tasteful, a good friend.”
“You said the tea is composed of three cups.”
“Yes, the third cup is the sweetest, like a woman.” He laughed.
“Why do they call you ‘Salleyman’?”
“Because these scoundrels have not earned the right to speak my real name,” he said loudly, with an exaggerated rise in tone.
A few curses followed his loud statement.
“I don’t know why they picked ‘Salleyman,’ though. I’m not from North Africa or from Sale. They just can’t pronounce my real name.”
“And what’s that?”
He leaned forward. “Diakite Ibrahim,” he whispered.
She smiled. “I like that name.”
He bent closer. “Then you, my fiery goddess, may call me Ibrahim.”
The pot boiled over again and he began anew, pouring until he’d gathered sufficient foam in each cup. The second brew had mellowed the bitterness and she found herself enjoying the ritual immensely. He brewed the third round and shared stories and descriptions of his homeland.
I learned how to make the tea, but haven’t brewed it in a while. It’s just not the same done over a gas flame. But I brought my small tea pot back with me pictured here with its lone, surviving glass.
I also have a picture on my Pinterest site, showing an Ivorian friend making the tea.
I hope you enjoy Devil’s Island as much as I enjoyed writing it. It’s the first book in a series. For more info, you can visit www.searoverspassion.com