extraordinary situations” by Kevin Cowdall, because that is really what my novel, Stolen, is about - how a series of tragic and tumultuous events affects my heroine, an ordinary young woman who must re-assess herself in the face of difficult situations beyond her control.
The seventeenth century was a challenging age: poverty in England was widespread because of a huge jump in the population between 1529 and 1630. (My novel begins in 1633.) Poor and homeless people were consequently frequently arrested and transported to the new colonies in the Americas and the Caribbean, where labour was desperately needed. They went as indentured servants, a position even lower than that of slave in some instances. Many died on the journey, and many more died of their labours and terrible living conditions shortly after arrival.
The era was also known as The Golden Age of Piracy. Lizbet Warren, at nineteen years old, must face a raid on her village by Barbary Corsairs, in which her parents are carried off to the slave markets in Morocco. Later, she is captured at sea by the British pirate, Gentleman Jake. It is while sailing with him that she confronts many of her most difficult choices: he is a black slaver, and in order to continue her quest to find her mother in Morocco, she colludes in this activity. She must also fight for her life, and finds, somewhat to her horror, that she is able to do so.
Her experiences inevitably transform her, and she is not always happy about how. But she also discovers depths of courage within herself, determination to forge her own path, and the strength of character to change what she can in the world around her.
Stolen is currently available as an ebook for the Kindle UK, Kindly US, Kindle CA, Kobo, Nook and iTunes.