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Onboard the Marauder by Jonathan Westbrook
Copyright © 2011

Onboard the Marauder - Available now!

For reasons unbeknownst to James Sutherland and his time-traveling companions, there is a group intent on either recruiting him or, if he declines their offer, killing him. They are known as T-MEEP (Time Manipulation Equals Earth’s Progress), a break-away faction from the E.T.A. (Earth Time Authority).

In this sequel to A Legend in Time, James continues to chronicle his amazing adventures through time, where he must save the life of a woman, whose name he doesn’t know or what she even looks like. She originally survived her oceanic trek to the Americas in 1721, but with the interference of T-MEEP she dies when her ship is sunk by pirates!

When the future mixes with the past, James has no choice but to try and fix the time anomaly. Will James join the ranks of T-MEEP? Will he give up everything he knows and has fought for thus far, including his new bride Namoenee, in order to return to his correct timeline? Find out when James joins a pirate crew - Onboard the Marauder.

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Excerpt: From Spoiled Plans chapter.

Later that night, or if you prefer, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I sat and listened to the sounds of the ship. The water which sloshed along the outside of the ship and the metal hanging lantern which creaked it’s rhythmic sway were coupled with the occasional snore of our guard who had passed out from his ill-attempt at ignoring a bottle of rum.

It was cold down in the hold and even though I was with my two cellmates I felt alone. The ship’s belly offered a confinement I had never experienced before-even within the depths of New-Gate Prison. I guess that’s because I knew we were still on our way to the Boston shipping lanes, and I felt helpless. Hawthorne said it wouldn’t be until daybreak, but I didn’t want to wait. I just wanted to have the whole ordeal over with; to see my great grandmother’s ship, and to end this trip—win or lose.

The guard, who had dozed off next to the bottles of rum and crates of salted meat and fruit, suddenly had his snore cut in half. It didn’t just stop like he had woken up—it was more a gurgle—someone had slit his throat. My eyes popped open. I stood up and tried to peer through the bars in that direction. It took a moment, but I eventually saw another lantern light up down there. As the long curved shadows on the inner walls grew shorter I knew they were headed in my direction. Ned had done what I had asked of him. It was time for action, and I woke my cellmates as quietly as I could.

The scarred man, who had searched us earlier, had the lantern held up as high as his face in one hand and the keys, which Dale had given him and forgotten to take back, in the other. He approached the cell door first, and as he quickly unlatched the mortise lock six men followed in behind him.

“Good to see ye again Capt’n,” he said.

“It’s good to see you gents as well.” Hawthorne shook hands with the scarred man. Since I met him, the captain always had an air of politeness and concern about him. I guess that’s why I first felt that he wasn’t a pirate in the true sense of the title. “How many are we, Mr. Morrissey?” he asked.

“Twenty strong, sir. Ten down ‘ere and ten up top.”

“And Ned?”

Crewman Morrissey hung his head low and the light of the lantern reflected off the tough skin of his scar. “Shackled to the fore mast,” he answered.

That’s my fault, I told myself and my feet started to move to go rescue him.

Hawthorne stopped me before I took my fourth step. “Hold on Jim,” he said as he grabbed a hold of my elbow. “Let’s not go off half-cocked.”

Traven agreed. “If they suspect something about you … you know, from earlier … this may be a trap.”

We were all handed swords, dirks, and loaded pistols, all of which were attached to belts. I put everything on and said, “Then let’s all go up there as one.”

We did just that. The ten of us met the second half of our party up on the main deck. I saw Ned’s form as it hung by the wrists on the fore-mast like a ghastly Halloween decoration. His feet dangled just above the deck boards. My rage intensified and I wanted (again) to go to him right then and there, but Traven was right. I could tell Ned was bait and the smell of a trap was strong in the air, except no one was in sight. Not even at the helm—it was tied off with a rope to maintain the ship’s bearings. No one worked the rigging and, near as I could see from the few lanterns lit, no one kept watch from the crow’s nest.

I headed straight for the captain’s quarters. It was the closest closed door that someone might have hid behind, but after I opened it I saw no one there but Hawthorne’s bird of prey. When I rejoined our band, the captain pointed out, “Here they come.”

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