The historical adventure-romance novel Fiji is set in the early 1800’s in one of the most exotic and isolated places on earth. Variously described as “poignant and romantic,” it’s also true-to-life, bloody and reflective of an era long since gone. As one reviewer says, “Fiji: A Novel is not for the faint-hearted!”
The blurb for Fiji follows:
As the pharaohs of ancient Egypt build their mighty pyramids, and Chinese civilization evolves under the Shang Dynasty, adventurous seafarers from South East Asia begin to settle the far-flung islands of the South Pacific. The exotic archipelago of Fiji is one of the last island groups to be discovered and will remain hidden from the outside world for many centuries to come.
By the mid-1800’s, Fiji has become a melting pot of cannibals, warring native tribes, sailors, traders, prostitutes, escaped convicts and all manner of foreign undesirables. It’s in this hostile environment an innocent young Englishwoman and a worldly American adventurer find themselves.
Susannah Drake, a missionary, questions her calling to spread God’s Word as she’s torn between her spiritual and sexual selves. As her forbidden desires intensify, she turns to the scriptures and prayer to quash the sinful thoughts – without success.
Nathan Johnson arrives to trade muskets to the Fijians and immediately finds himself at odds with Susannah. She despises him for introducing the white man’s weapons to the very people she is trying to convert and he pities her for her naivety. Despite their differences, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them.
When their lives are suddenly endangered by marauding cannibals, Susannah and Nathan are forced to rely on each other for their very survival.
Here’s an excerpt from Fiji:
The guilt Susannah had felt moments earlier suddenly returned tenfold as she remembered the erotic dream she’d had. She quickly nodded, to indicate she’d slept well before diverting her eyes from Nathan’s and looking toward the shore. It was then she noticed giant sand dunes along the shoreline. She gasped at the sight of them. They seemed to be reaching for the sky.
Noting the object of her interest, Nathan said, “Those are the famous sand dunes of Sigatoka.” He added, “I saw them on my arrival in Fiji.”
“How wonderful,” Susannah enthused, momentarily forgetting her antagonism toward Nathan.
Susannah wasn’t the only one fascinated by the mighty dunes. The Italian artist was frantically setting up his easel further along the deck, anxious to capture the scene on canvas before it disappeared from view.
As the passengers admired the dunes, a deserted Fijian village came into view. Its bure huts had recently been smashed and burned to the ground. Smoke rose from the still-smoldering ruins, and there was no sign of life.
A Welsh deckhand sidled up to the young couple. He nodded toward the village. “That’ll be the handiwork of Rambuka,” he proffered with some certainty.
Susannah studied the distant village then glanced at the Welshman. “Rambuka?”
“Aye. His warriors are the scourge of this coastline. They call them the outcasts.” The deckhand pointed toward Viti Levu’s distant highlands. “They live up there somewhere.” Nathan and Susannah studied the highlands. Dark storm clouds hung ominously over them. “Cannibals, all of ‘em,” the deckhand added before wandering off.
Alone again, Nathan smiled at Susannah. In her usual haughty manner, she gave him a quick glance before looking back at the shoreline. Nathan asked himself why he was persisting with such a young woman who, he could see, was clearly on a different planet to himself. Try as he may, he couldn’t come up with a sensible answer.
“I do not envy the task you and your father have set yourselves here in Fiji,” Nathan said probingly. Susannah looked at him sharply. Pleased to see he had her attention, he continued. “I fear you may be facing an uphill battle.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“Well,” Nathan paused, thinking on his feet as he went. “Fiji ain’t called the Cannibal Isles for nothing. From what I’ve seen, these Fijians are some of the most savage people on earth.”
Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2) is available via Amazon as a kindle ebook and trade paperback. For more information go to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/