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18th Century New Spain

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Posts: 9
Joined: December 2010
Location: Lost Wages, Nevada

18th Century New Spain

Post by lvcabbie » Fri January 7th, 2011, 1:27 am

This is the first of a trilogy I'm working on and would like to fly this by all of you for your reactions comments.

A "quick teaser"
A young English farmer is taken from his home to serve aboard a merchant ship bound for the far shores of the New World. Washed ashore on a barren land, he is found by an Indian and taken to the priests of the Roman church.

A back cover hype of the work
Timothy Beadle sails from Plymouth, England as a cabin boy aboard a merchant brig. After a voyage to the far northern shores of The New World, a treacherous blade loosens him from safety lines and he’s washed ashore on a barren land - found by a youth with reddish skin. Priests of the Roman church give him sanctuary from a Spanish prison and, with his new-found Indian friend and two Indian damsels, he sets off behind a diminutive, limping Franciscan friar to expand Spain’s toehold on The Californias.

A brief excerpt from the work

Waves lapped the shore of the Bay of Loreto. The sun ruled the cloudless sky and a few small fishing boats pulled in nets filled with squirming silver and rainbow colors. Timothy saw a few small huts on the large island to the east.

“There are large deposits of salt on the island,” one of the muleteers told him.

Loreto came into sight as they topped a gentle rise with a small cape to their right. Brownish scrub and a few cacti struggled to live in the arid land. Arroyos displayed green in trees and bushes fed by underground water deposited by rare rains.

Father Serra pointed to the white of mission buildings showing against the hills to the west. “That is la Misión de San Francisco Javier, my children. The Jesuits were good of heart when they built it but poor of judgment. They had to close it not long after opening it.”

Timothy tried hard not to suck in breath from the pace of travel of the friar who trudged along, obviously in pain. Jaime, Butterfly and Carlo did not even breathe hard as they had walked long distances all their lives.

Mountains towered to the west, the Sierra Gigante. Timothy saw green vegetation growing upon their upper slopes.

The peal of bells announced noon prayers as they waded the stream that provided the blood of life to the mission and the town.

Oh my Good Lord! Timothy thought, sucking in a breath.

In preparing to cross the stream, Father Serra hiked his habit up to keep from getting it wet and revealed his calf. A large, black lesion surrounded by angry red skin clearly caused his limp - and pain.

Timothy had lived on a farm with many milch cows and had seen his father treat similar skin problems on the animals. There must be a way to ease Father Serra’s pain. How can he be so driven in his beliefs as to not wish to seek relief?


Posts: 9
Joined: December 2010
Location: Lost Wages, Nevada

Post by lvcabbie » Thu January 13th, 2011, 12:09 am

Thanks to all for your comments/remarks/suggestions.
Based on this, I’ve made another try. Tell me how this works.

Title The Sailor and The Carpenter
El Marinero y el Carpintero
(A story of 18th Century New Spain)

Genre historical fiction

Word count 110,000

A 40-word, promotional-style "quick teaser" blurb

From farm to Fo’csle to a far away land; the changes in Timothy Beadle’s fortunes have just begun. The young Englishman joins Spaniards exploring hostile deserts and mountains, confronting naked savages to bring the Californias under their control.

A back cover hype of the work (100-200 words)

Timothy Beadle’s father indentures him to a ship’s captain and he soon is in Mid-Atlantic on his way to the far northwestern shores of The New World. Padding the deck and climbing the rigging is exhilarating to the young English farm boy. The captain is a fair, God-fearing man who ensures Timothy also learns reading, writing and arithmetic. Strange islands and naked savages fill Timothy with curiosity and wonder.

Fate has more changes in store for Timothy. Holds filled with rich furs, the ship sails for home. But, a vicious cyclone hits and Timothy ends up on the shore of Spanish California with a young Indian bending over him. After the village medicine woman treats him, Timothy’s taken before grey robed priests who welcome him. They even step in and offer sanctuary when a local official tries to imprison him as a pirate.

Jaime, the Indian boy, dreamed of Timothy’s arrival months before. Both sense the blood bond that ties them together and unite in an effort by Father Junipero Serra to expand the Catholic faith and Spain’s control of the Californias.

A brief excerpt from the work (no more than 300 words)

Jaime dreamed that night. Visions held great meaning to his people. Jaime had not dreamed since death had taken away his world. As he slept, he walked along the shore of a great body of water. Curling waves came ashore, sudsy foam swirling around his bare feet. Many peculiar things lay upon the fine grains of stone, some of them made of brittle substances in whites and blacks. They looked like the shell of a tortoise but somehow different.

Many birds swirled in the air, raucous screams filling his ears. The big black and white ones the Spaniards called gaviotas were familiar as he had seen them in his home mountains. In the distance, the rolling water washed a pile of boulders swarming with creatures. They had strange flat things where their legs should have been. Whiskers spiked from their muzzles and they barked. But not like any dogs he had ever seen.

Voices told him how strange it was that a great storm had come at that time of the year. They normally came in the time before things got cooler. Los ciclónes often dropped great amounts of rain, causing floods in the arid mountains.

He saw something strange and hurried towards it. An ocelot lay on the ground, but one unlike any he had ever seen - it was white with light brown spots. He could see it lived but seriously hurt. Then, the creature turned its head and stared at him - with pale blue eyes!

Jaime awakened.

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Post by Cayuga1561 » Fri June 22nd, 2012, 5:54 am

My Historical Novel "Destiny Comes on the Wind - The Legend of Opechancanough" has many of the same elements, but it starts in 1561, and is also set in New Spain for about half of the story. You can sample some of it at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007H1TRSQ if your interested. My story is entirely told from the perspective of the native people and does not paint the Spanish and English as welcome guests in the New World. In the 16th and 17th Centuries, the Spanish were very brutal to the native populations, and often the clergy was part of the problem.

Have you published your book as yet? It's difficult to get a feeling for the story in a short description, but your discriptive narrative certainly is well developed judging from this brief excerpt.

I read some of the dialogue on your website as well. I see that your story is based on real people and events. I believe that if a novel is truly historical fiction, it should have some basis in fact and/or bring the reader into the time and place with as much realism as possible. This usually means a ton of research is need to do this well. I think the story is well researched, but it seems a bit vague at first. Many of characters and facts are introduced without much detail in short paragraphs, and that makes the flow of the story a bit choppy at first. I would slow down the progression of the story at first to clarify things. I don't consider myself an expert novelist (having written only one novel). The first chapter is critical to capturing the interest of the reader, and it should not leave the reader wondering what just happened.

In all honesty, I have not read enough of the book to form a real opinion, but I certainly would like to do so. The subject matter has me very interested. It could be a logical sequel or extension to what I have written. A little better command of the Spanish language is needed to easily navigate through your story. I guess it depends on the demographic of your target audience.

Good Luck with your new book!
James A. Wright
Last edited by Cayuga1561 on Sun June 24th, 2012, 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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