I always enjoy Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s books, so when I was offered the chance to join in the cover reveal for her newest book, Goddess Tithe, I jumped on the opportunity!
Isn’t this cover simply gorgeous? I love the colors and the ship and the glowing white flowers …
is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap
Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All
stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her
right, and the Kulap Kanya‘s only
hope to return safely home.
horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in
clown’s garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth
will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.
Will Munny find
the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has
become his friend?
Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:
and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure,
Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”
finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full
of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching
but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.
small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the
Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her
will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”
Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he
expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to
Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”
commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts,
inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur
Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”
still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then
he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.
scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch,
crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They
parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow,
they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.
the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with
unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the
gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.
smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek,
black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should
be seen this far out to sea.
cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away,
drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad
flotilla upon the waves.
clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How
could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they
tangled in fishing nets?”
like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize.
It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.
Anne Elisabeth Stengl has also offered to give away two free proof copies of Goddess Tithe! Enter using the rafflecopter below.