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The Coffee Pot Book Club Presents "Sea of Shadows" by Amy Maroney


Please make welcome to the Tavern the lovely author Amy Maroney! We're celebrating her new book release, Sea of Shadows! Grab a cup of ale and let's take a peek into Amy's fascinating story...


1459. A gifted woman artist. A ruthless Scottish privateer. And an audacious plan that throws them together—with dangerous consequences.


No one on the Greek island of Rhodes suspects Anica is responsible for her Venetian father’s exquisite portraits, least of all her wealthy fiancé. But her father’s vision is failing, and with every passing day it’s more difficult to conceal the truth.


When their secret is discovered by a powerful knight of the Order of St. John, Anica must act quickly to salvage her father’s honor and her own future. Desperate, she enlists the help of a fierce Scottish privateer named Drummond. Together, they craft a daring plan to restore her father’s sight.


There’s only one problem—she never imagined falling in love with her accomplice.


Before their plan can unfold, a shocking scandal involving the knights puts Anica’s entire family at risk. Her only hope is to turn to Drummond once again, defying her parents, her betrothed, even the Grand Master of the Knights himself. But can she survive the consequences?


With this captivating tale of passion, courage, and loyalty, Amy Maroney brings a lost, dazzling world to vivid life.


Sea of Shadows is Book 2 in a series of stand-alone historical novels packed with adventure and romance.


Available on Kindle Unlimited and these online retailers ~

AMAZON UK | AMAZON US | AMAZON CA | AMAZON AU

 

Sneak preview from Sea of Shadows


Summer, 1459

Rhodes Town


“Émile de Chambonac,” Heleni said, drawing out the words with dreamy pleasure. “A name befitting a knight. Did you see the tooled leather of his boots, the silver tracery on his belt? He must be from one of Auvergne’s richest families.”


Anica kept silent, her eyes fixed on two men following in the knight’s wake: a bow-legged English knight alongside a tall, bareheaded fellow with a face in need of shaving, his skin burned reddish brown from the sun.


She watched the tall man curiously. He wore a rough linen blouse with an iron-studded leather vest over it. A dagger and short sword were sheathed at his waist. His gait was more a lope than a walk, and yet it was graceful. He glanced at the sky as if to chart the sun’s position, one hand shading his eyes, then he dropped his chin and responded to some query of the knight’s.


She had caught fragments of their conversation when they’d passed by, though the tall man’s English was oddly accented. But she was certain the English knight had spoken of captives, and she’d distinctly heard his companion say “Syrian doctor.”


Anica’s heart had hammered against her ribs when she realized the stranger was looking at her. She’d stared back, fascinated by his gray-green eyes. His mouth curved up a bit at the corners, countering the slightly melancholy look lent him by his downturned brows. When Papa had reprimanded her for staring, she’d given her father a guilty smile.


“Four points for that one,” Anica said now, gathering her composure. “I’m certain of it.”


“Why’s that?” Papa’s mouth twitched, as if he were hiding something from her.


“Because he’s a Scotsman,” she asserted. “Not English.”


“Your ears did not deceive you,” Papa said. “I’ve seen him before. He’s a privateer in the employ of the knights. Has a sleek galley of his own. I heard he’s been rewarded handsomely for his part in raids for the Order in recent years.”


“Don’t you mean he’s a pirate?” Anica asked, recoiling in distaste. “Raiding is what pirates do.”


“Pirate or privateer—they play by the same rules at sea, whether they’re working for the Order or for themselves . . .” Papa paused, distracted by a vessel entering the harbor. An unfamiliar banner flapped on its mainsail mast. “What have we here?”


“If there is any quality silk on that ship, I want some before it all gets snapped up at the marketplace,” Mamá said.


The animation in her mother’s voice made Anica draw in a quick breath. An outing had been the perfect distraction indeed—Mamá’s sorrow had receded like a swiftly moving tide.


Over Papa’s shoulder, she could still see the Scotsman’s retreating figure moving quickly through the crowds.


Why would a Scotsman venture all the way to Rhodes? What rewards has he received for his service to the Order? And what exactly did he do to earn them?


Then a woman’s shout made her forget all about the Scot.


“Did someone say silk?” a voice rang out, brassy and familiar.


Anica caught sight of her Aunt Rhea’s rotund form pushing through the crowd. Two armed manservants and a female slave followed at her heels.


Reaching them, Aunt Rhea embraced Mamá. “Cali, my dearest sister. It warms my heart to see you out and about. I’ve so much to tell you.”


She bent her head to Mamá’s. They began talking in low tones, occasionally glancing at Anica and Heleni. Anica hoped her aunt would keep the conversation to pleasant, diverting topics. Anything but the horror of Benedetto’s illness and death.


As the vessel anchored and its crew readied it for unloading, Anica caught snatches of the foreign sailors’ conversations.


“Papa.” She leaned toward her father. “What language is that?”


He smiled, and for a moment the mask of mourning he’d worn these past few months fell away. “I’ll claim four points for Basque.”


A group of Catalan sailors moved closer when the Basque sailors disembarked. Insults were lobbed in Catalan, then the Basques fired off a volley of obscenities in their own language.


“Saints above,” Papa said in alarm. “The company grows rough on these quays.”


Two of the men rushed each other. Scuffling and grappling rippled along the harbor like a wave as more sailors joined the fray. Panic took hold of the townsfolk gathered along the water’s edge, and the crowd began surging back toward the city walls.


Papa herded the women behind him and ordered the manservants to guard them at the rear.


One sailor took a hard blow and staggered into Mamá’s path. Heleni screamed. Before Papa could react, Anica darted in front of her mother and pushed the man away with all her might.


“Get back!” she shouted.


He regarded her in astonishment, then slunk away into the crowd with his hands up in a gesture of surrender.


“To the Sea Gate,” Papa cried. “Quickly!”

 

Meet the Author


Amy Maroney studied English Literature at Boston University and worked for many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. She lives in Oregon, U.S.A. with her family. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. Amy is the author of The Miramonde Series, an award-winning historical fiction trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Her new historical suspense/romance series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus.


Connect with Amy here ~

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