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Her Majesty's Quill: Naupaka, #1

Her Majesty's Quill: Naupaka, #1

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Her Majesty's Quill: Naupaka, #1

118 página
1 hora
Jun 22, 2018


What if you lost everything?

July 1827

Delmar Lécuyer flees across the South Pacific, one heart-racing knot ahead of the law. At twenty-one, he's an outlaw—for a crime he didn't commit—instead of following his surgeon career. As the tormenting clutches of France dissolve in the wind, he reaches Honolulu in hope of a new life. When the monarchy refuses the French disembarking for being Catholics, Delmar is devastated. Then, by a stroke of luck, he's called before Her Majesty. Will he win the gamble with fate to ensure his stay?

Her Majesty's Quill is the first book in a historical fiction and magical realism series Naupaka that features an array of intercultural and compelling characters—from the surgeon protagonist to women pirates and Hawaiian magicians—that meet in a sizzling, historical context. If you like exotic locales, cringe-worthy explorations of early 19th-century medicine, and engaging, subtle fantasy, then you'll love Mira Kanehl's page-turning new series.

Unlock Her Majesty's Quill to read Delmar's latest adventure today!

"Her Majesty's Quill is an enchanting start to a new series of novellas, reading historical, but with an undercurrent that is other-worldly. The reader simply knows without being told that something is afoot. […] History, myth, love, legend, adventure... This little novella has it all!"

—Susan Stradiotto from Truly Novel Reviews

"Her Majesty's Quill is a delightful historical novella, book one in a series. It is the story of Delmar Lécuyer, a French surgeon who travels to the South Pacific in the 1800s. He falls in with a group of missionaries, and encounters many adventures ministering to the sick in a Hawaiian culture alien to his European roots. There is also the promise of romance. The author has a gift for bringing the sights, sounds and smells of a past era alive with evocative phrases and vivid descriptions. I look forward to the next installment of Delmar's story."

—Jennifer Scoullar, Australian bestselling Author

Jun 22, 2018

Sobre el autor

Mira was born in Munich and raised in an international city in South India. For most of her career life, she worked as a project manager and translator. At university her focus was on literature and intercultural communication with the intent of becoming an author. Though it was her dream from age three, it stayed just that until she took the leap in 2018 when she published her first book. Her writing explores intercultural psychology and the sometimes harsh realities of history in emotionally gripping stories.

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Her Majesty's Quill - Mira Kanehl



When he left France, stripped of any other purpose than to practice his passion for surgery, Delmar couldn’t conceive the odyssey he had embarked on. A free thinker born in and consumed by the French Revolution, he had a gift for appearing in unfortunate places at more than unfortunate times. Now he was an escapee of his fatherland. Maybe born in the wrong place, or even the wrong century. Maybe born exactly where he was needed. But this is only the beginning of his story.

A Dead King

South Pacific, July 1827

Delmar walked across the moonlit deck, tired from the day’s turmoil. His black curls played with the salty breath of the ocean as his gaze traveled over the panorama of twinkling stars on the water. The horizon blurred where the cloudless sky melted into the Pacific in the distance. He placed his palms on the wooden ship’s rail, which was polished from wind, weather and touch. Inhaling the great calmness, he forced out the stale odor from inside the ship—and that of the dead man he had left there.

"Makes one feel like an insignificant dot in God’s design, doesn’t it, mon fils?" a mild and earnest voice said behind Delmar.

Ah. Delmar flinched and turned around.

Priest Bachelot cleared his throat. But your work is not. His soul is safe, and you pleased the Lord with your heartfelt dedication today.

Delmar lowered his head, wondering how satisfied the Almighty could be with failure. Then he shot a darting glance at Bachelot. "I could have saved his life had you given me more time, mon père."

Bachelot’s expression softened, but his eyebrows remained pulled together. I stand resolute, Delmar. With all due respect, you are a surgeon, and not trained for exorcism. His response was tender like the surrounding wind.

Delmar turned back to the glistening waters, glaring into the distance.

When we reach Honolulu, you’ll escort me to meet Jean Rives. He’ll help you restock. But, you mustn’t … Bachelot’s lips pinched. Hamper my work. We have not much means left except what the Lord shall give.

Delmar drummed his fingers on the smooth wood. "Bien sûr, mon père. Delmar understood the unspoken. On their journey Delmar had startled the missionaries not only with his accomplishments as a physician but with what they considered a loose tongue, which he had picked up from the modern and satirical French literature he devoured. Bachelot knew the missionaries’ belief was too unquestioning for Delmar’s taste, and he needed to hear from Delmar a guarantee of loyalty. Only Delmar’s cooperation would ensure Bachelot receive finances from Jean Rives. Until converts transplant your burden," Delmar said, failing to hide his smirk.

Monsieur Lécuyer. Bachelot inhaled, then dropped his warning finger.

Delmar closed his eyes, on the one hand regretting his habit of blurting what crossed his mind, on the other still resenting Bachelot’s earlier actions. Delmar knew this burden was ten empty bellies heavy. Pope XII had endowed Bachelot not only with an important mission but also the lives of the missionaries. Bachelot had no choice but to share this responsibility with Rives until he would have enough Catholic subjects in his own church to pay for sins.

And the past seven months on the ship had taken their toll. To repent for mood swings, the converters purified their conscience. When Delmar explained they were moody because their bodies lacked energy sources, they smirked and shook their heads. Non, it’s God’s will we clean our souls before we begin His holy mission. He is presenting our wrongs to us, so we must act to rid ourselves of them. And, as there was only one small cabin serving as a chapel, the believers often walked in on one another’s deep prayer. Delmar glimpsed Pierre, the youngest of the missionaries, in such a sitting—floor-bound in a cross shape, giving his all to the ungraspable God he prayed to.

The surgeons, on the other hand, locked up their tools after use, and the chefs didn’t leave their knives lying around anymore for fear someone might grab them in a fit.

Thus the vagueness of their futures increased. But Delmar seemed to stand strong as the Pacific beneath them with a regular supply of sarcastic comments. The saints called his behavior libertine, and Delmar didn’t blame them. Even his colleague, the captain’s surgeon, was more inclined to religious morality, gathering nods from sanctioning promoters.

"Donc. Delmar swung around and leaned on the rail. Tell me more about this Rives."

Bachelot’s expression relaxed. Ah! His eyes were soft and steady on Delmar. I’ve never met the man myself, but he is in the close circle of King, eh, Kamehameha of the Sandwich Islands. Bachelot’s lips curled. And when the king rejected the pagan belief, Rives’ heart beat to help the people find God. So he asked the pope for support.

Delmar crumpled up his sleeves and crossed his arms. "Oui, I meant something I don’t know."

Ah … Bachelot gazed past the ship’s ropes. He has three children who live in the royal house now.

Ah? Delmar’s pitch rose.

"Oui, oui. Bachelot nodded without changing his gaze. He speaks many languages and has a strong influence over the foreign affairs of the monarchy. You see, God has prepared this mission with as much care as we have."

Delmar played with the ends of his beard. It was rough in his fingers, which were sensitive from being washed throughout the day. So you don’t believe the sailors?

Bachelot shot him a quick glance, narrowing his eyes. "Non."

The warm wind and the salt in the air tingled deep in Delmar’s lungs as he breathed it in. You don’t believe Rives ran a hotel and tavern on the islands? Delmar let a tiny smirk sneak onto his lips.

Bachelot clenched his jaw. "Non. A man of God would not indulge in drink."

Delmar broke out into a wide grin. And you don’t believe he got his land from the king by winning at a drinking extravaganza?

Wide-eyed, Bachelot hit his fist on the crates beside them and stormed off. "Putain, Delmar! Ça suffit! That’s enough." Bachelot crossed himself as he disappeared under deck.

They had only learned these things after their stop in Mexico. A sailor had picked up gossip from a prostitute there and reported to the missionaries. Having come without money, however, they couldn’t go back. They would have to meet Rives in Honolulu as planned so he would pay their passage. Besides, they were on a divine mission, and how would it look calling it off for hearsay from a brothel? Delmar imagined the pope’s reaction.

After another grave sea funeral, terra firma in view electrified everyone on board. Since their departure from Bordeaux, they were yearning for anything that wasn’t swaying, and the promised influence and privacy.

The white coast was bright against the cool blue and lush green mountains beyond it. The missionaries dusted off their virgin garments and went on deck for the landing. But their cheerful smiles restrained as they met with disapproving glances from the shore. Only the stench of dead fish and rancid fruits welcomed them with open arms.

The missionaries mumbled as four sailors hustled the anchor into the water with a loud splash. The ropes they threw for a hold on land slipped into the sea—the men at shore didn’t catch them. A middle-aged man stepped forward. His white curls supported a red hat, and he tucked his shirt into his brown pants with a grimace, covering a broad belly.

Bachelot leaned far over the rail and shouted, "La Comète, eh, Catholic missionaries." His words caused seaward frowns and grumbling.

You may not disembark here, the warden said. The flabbergasted missionaries whispered.

Delmar scratched his arm with distant gaze. Hadn’t Rives prepared their landing and the start of their missionary stay? Wasn’t he expecting them? Delmar knew Protestants had already set up their church in Honolulu and would rival Catholics where possible. Perhaps this was a welcoming trick.

We ’ave permission from King Kame’ame’a the, eh, the Second ’imself! Let us disembark, or I shall inform ’im of your blunt manners. Bachelot frowned at the ward.

The crowd on the landing broke into laughter, and Delmar shifted his stance for a better view.

The man with the red hat sneered. You will have to go to the beyond for King Kamehameha the Second expired three years ago.

More people gathered around the spectacle, chattering as the air on board grew thick with tension. Bachelot whispered with the two other priests. His voice had a slight shiver in it. "Jean Baptiste Rives is expecting us—


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