Latest Posts

Eternal Seas by Lexi Rees - Book Tour + Giveaway

By 12:00 AM , , , , , , , , , ,


 Eternal Seas


Such a small parcel
shouldn’t cause experienced
smugglers much trouble,
but this parcel is far from normal.

Chased across the seas, Finn and Aria must solve the
mysteries within the parcel. 
What does it mean? Who should they trust?
What will happen?
The fate of an ancient people depends on them
and time is running out ...



Extract for Blog Tour

Why exciting kids’ books should have genuine sailing adventures

The very first draft of Eternal Seas was written whilst we were pottering around the Mediterranean. When I started sailing, I had visions of sipping champagne with the sun setting behind me.

Caption – How I imagine I look sailing
It’s exactly like that ... sometimes. At other times it’s slightly more challenging. ‘This is an extreme sport,’ my sister announced whilst battling a gale off the west coast of Scotland in October. She got off the boat at the next port and caught the train home.

Caption – How I actually look sailing

I haven’t seen many kids’ books where the sailing described in it is realistic. I purposely avoided putting Finn and Aria onto a large galleon style boat as it would be impossible for a family to crew it. Even in Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow steals a ship ready prepared for sailing. All the terminology in Eternal Seas is nautically accurate – gybe, galley, windlass etc. I didn’t want to lose the impact by saying “change direction”, “kitchen”, and “anchor lifting machine”.
The sailing experiences in Eternal Seas are also based on real places and real events. That includes the scene in this extract from Chapter Seven, “Storm”. We had decided to sail through the night so we could see the live volcano, creatively named Vulcano, near Sicily, against a black night sky. We checked forecasts at the port of departure, and at the destination. It was flat calm. In fact, there was so little wind that we expected to have to motor most of the way. It didn’t work out that way.
Here is the extract …

We eat dinner on deck under the stars. Despite the light wind, we make good progress. I glance at the sea. It’s become so calm it’s glassy, like a polished mirror, reflecting the night sky perfectly. It’s beautiful, but I’ve been sailing long enough to recognise the signs. The calm before the storm.
‘Dad, did you see anything about a storm?’
‘No. There was nothing forecast,’ Dad says.
We gaze at the low clouds on the horizon, skimming the peaks of land. Signs of variable winds. Change is coming.
Aria sniffs the air and frowns.
‘I’m sure it’s fine,’ Dad says, but his face is taut.
Over the next few hours, it becomes clear we were right to be worried. The weather forecast was wrong. The wind picks up, whipping the waves into angry white crests.
Our boat may be old and heavy, but it’s strongly built. The dark wood creaks and groans as we’re tossed about by the waves. With each breaking wave, a flood of salty seawater crashes over the deck, soaking us to the skin and making my eyes sting.
I concentrate on cutting through the waves at an angle to minimise the motion. Aria retreats to her cabin feeling seasick. Despite living on a boat all her life, she’s never quite got used to the motion of the waves. Unlike me, the sea is not her natural environment.
Dad reefs in the main sail, reducing the speed. It makes the boat a little easier to manage, but it’s not enough.
The large genoa sail at the bow still pulls us around like a rag doll.
‘It’s too dangerous,’ Dad says, struggling to control the wild genoa. ‘We might capsize. I’m going to have to swap the genoa for the storm sail.’
I don’t want him to go. Changing a sail in this weather is such a difficult and dangerous task, but there’s no other option. The tough little storm sail is our only hope.
Dad sets off to the front of the boat. Beyond the mast, he fades into the darkness. The wind whips his voice away. Blindly, I hold the course and hope that was what he shouted as he went forward.
Time drags on and he still hasn’t come back. Fear clamps my heart and squeezes it tight. I search the sea, filled with dread. If a wave swept him overboard I wouldn’t see or hear him fall, and even if I did, it would be almost impossible to rescue him in such a rough sea.
From the darkness, a shadowy figure crawls back along the deck, dragging itself against the force of the wind.
Relief floods through me. ‘Dad! You’re OK! I was so worried.’
Dad hauls himself back into the cockpit. I relax for a moment. That’s all it takes. In that one instant, a wave catches the rudder and jerks the wheel out of my hands. It spins wildly and the boat lurches to the side.
‘Gybe,’ I shout, too late, as the boom swings violently across the boat, catching Dad on the side of his head. He crumples. A trickle of sticky, red blood oozes from his head. What can I do? I can’t let go of the wheel in the storm. Not even for a second. Is he even breathing?

In real life, I was on the wheel and my husband had to go forward to change the sail. The waves were massive and I couldn’t see or hear him at all, and, just like Aria, I was violently sea-sick but knew I had no choice. He was double clipped on to lines tied to the deck, and of course we both had life jackets and all the other safety equipment to hand, so I knew he should be safe, but I felt very alone. He was gone ages. I kept searching the sea for a body, terrified of missing him if he did go over. I went over and over the emergency routine in my head. The relief at the figure dragging itself back along the deck was absolutely genuine. Luckily when he came back, I was more alert than Finn and didn’t let the boat accidentally gybe. We made it through the night. And saw the volcano. It was somewhat less dramatic.
 


Author Bio –
Lexi Rees spends as much time as possible sailing and horse riding, both of which she does spectacularly badly. Attempts at writing whilst horse riding have been disastrous, so Eternal Seas was written on a boat; the storm described in the book was frighteningly real.

Social Media Links –



Blog tour competitions

Win one of two £10 Amazon gift vouchers (UK only). To enter
1.     Share a photo of you with the book (paperback or ebook) on Twitter or Instagram
2.     Tag @lexi_rees (Twitter) or lexi.rees (Instagram) and #EternalSeas
3.     Closing date 30th November 2018
4.     UK only
5.     Winners will be drawn randomly


Illustration competition - would your children like to see their illustrations published in a book?
·  Six lucky winners will have their illustrations printed in the sequel to Eternal Seas
·  Winners and runners up will also have their drawings featured on www.lexirees.co.uk and on social media

Drawings must be in black and white, and can be in any of the following categories
·  Aria flying up in the sky
·  a cat
·  mountain ponies
·  a snow eagle
·  a demon-goddess
·  a sailing boat
·  Finn and/ or Aria
Please see detailed terms for entry requirements
·  Open to children aged 13 or under
·  You can enter as many categories as you like
·  Winners will be chosen by Lexi Rees
·  Children’s name and age will be published together with their illustration. Parents/ guardians must confirm they are happy with this when they enter. Other information (e.g email address) will not be shared.
·  No purchase necessary
·  Closing date 31/1/19
·  Entries must be scanned or photographed in high resolution and emailed to lexireads@hotmail.com. The winners may need to post originals if the images are not high enough quality for printing. Postage costs will be covered in this case.
·  Full entry details can be found on www.lexirees.co.uk
 


You Might Also Like

0 Comments

Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.