by B.R. Eddy
Release Date: Fall 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
Ara Vertrees is an advisor to the King in Jimalia, a thriving island nation in the middle of a vast ocean. Her macaws are trained to fly home to the palace to repeat confidential information. When their messages become more and more troubling, she finds herself in the middle of a crisis she never expected. Ara's story is full of adventure, friendship, mystery, love and loss. Join Ara and her companions as they fight pirates, uncover deception, find love and fight for Jimalia.
About the Author
My name is Brit and I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. My work with animals brought macaws into my life. They frightened me, moved me, hurt me, loved me and made me grow. I hope that my novel will help people understand these birds better! They are breathtaking and intelligent, but do not make good pets for most families. They require a lot of space and attention, can be very destructive and can easily outlive you. They can be incredible companions to the right people. Please keep all these things in mind when considering a macaw as a pet!"
Now check out this beautiful excerpt!!!
The next day they were supposed to be on their way to Rivan’s home island, Bastal, but by high noon the Prestige was still idling in Port Lira.
He watched from Tannos’ stall as passengers tried to argue with the captain about being let off the ship for lunch, but Mr. Lowery stepped between them and his captain to inform them bluntly that no passengers were disembarking and as soon as the Queen and her entourage were aboard they were shoving off.
A tow was already in place when valets were deployed to expedite the Queen from the council house. Rivan leaned on the stall door and closed his eyes, smiling. The sea breeze was glorious and kind. The sounds of the water lapping against the creaking hull and busy bay market were like home. He rubbed Tannos’ ear, he was eager to visit Bastal. He wondered if their time there would be shortened due to this delay.
Rivan watched the bustle for another hour or so before a six bellow carriage finally brought the Queen and her ladies. He stood attentively as they passed by, but only Rosalie glanced his way.
The mate boomed orders and sailors jumped to action, climbing the shrouds and untying from the dock. Someone waved a flag at the tow, whose rowers jumped up from their card circle to take the benches. The Prestige was hauled slowly but surely out of International Bay where she leaned south towards Bastal.
The enormous island was already in sight low in the distance. Bastal was the largest island in Jimalia. Most of Jimalia’s local food was grown there in huge fields. It was also the best place to find the hornless female bellows. Since the scent of them drove bucks wild, it was considered incredibly thoughtless to house female bellows anywhere near a neighbor’s stable. So it was in Bastal where the farms were well spread apart that the bellows were bred.
The Prestige was just too late to pull into port as the sun set over the ocean. The anchor was dropped off the coast and lanterns were strung up all over the ship. Sailors with dampened cloths sprinkled the rigging among the lanterns, presumably to act in the event of a lantern breaking or somehow catching fire to line or canvas. A fire could spread quickly and, if not addressed immediately, engulf an entire wooden ship such as the Prestige. Rivan wondered what she looked like from the beach, all lit up like a floating festival. The musicians were brought out on deck along with banquet tables and supper was served. The passengers, all dressed in their evening formal wear, mingled on the decks. Rivan decided to duck into the vacant stall to pull down his chest and change into his sailor’s livery. He could at least somewhat match the scenery. He kept near the stalls all night, staying attentive to the animals and cleaning up after them regularly so as not to offend anyone eating or drinking with the stench of animal waste.
He got a rare close up peek into the lives of those born to fortune. The dainty foods and crisp cloaks were foreign to him. He thought it must become tiresome, constantly concerning oneself with appearances, but he had to admit to himself that they looked great. He wouldn’t mind owning at least one nice pair of slacks and a tailored coat so he could get around certain wings of the palace without feeling like a derelict.
Lady Ara was there, lovely as ever. Although she was dressed as finely as the rest that evening, her hair was free from ribbons and tight curls which seemed so fashionable these days. It rested long and wavy over her shoulders and yielded gently to the wind. He wasn’t positive, but he thought he caught a glance at her bare feet under her long skirts, already sun kissed by the voyage. Somehow he couldn’t describe her as rebellious. Her behavior, which would be almost shocking from anyone else, seemed completely natural and fitting. As he was staring, her big blue parrot peeked one eye awkwardly over the roof of the stalls upon which he perched.