A boy of the land becomes a man of the sea in The Sweet Trade. In the seventeenth century the clash of European empires engulfs eleven year old Dirk van Cortlandt when Spaniards raid his Caribbean island home and kill his family. He leads a gang of friends in a daring escape in a canoe, and thus begins his journey into the First Golden Age of Piracy.
At age eleven Dirk van Cortlandt watched his family die at the hands of Spaniards raiding his Caribbean island home. He led four friends in a daring escape to the sea, only to be picked up by French pirates who sold them separately to cattle hunters. While struggling to survive a harsh life with a brutal master in the wilds on Hispaniola, Dirk plotted his future as a pirate. He learned the fighting skills and tactics he would need to wreak havoc on Spanish lives. When free, he reunited with his childhood friends and they joined a pirate crew. Dirk finally had the life he wanted.
Yet behind Dirk’s quest for treasure and vengeance lay a hunger for freedom and for the power to protect it. The ambitious violence he once needed to survive won him a captaincy, but with that power came duties of leadership that limited his freedom. When the first raid he led resulted in the fiery destruction of a village, he decided he would have to revise his definition of manhood. His size, strength, and skills with a blade were no longer enough to warrant the self-respect he so strongly desired.
He grew into a gifted captain who led profitable raids, but piracy, once an exhilarating way of life, evolved into a business and a trap. Then, for the sake of a girl he hoped to marry, he joined Henry Morgan’s 1670 raid on Panamá. The voyage, meant to be Dirk’s last, endangered his ship, his friends and his beloved, and brought him fact-to-face with the personal weakness that might prove fatal to them all.
|File size:||386 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Debrah Strait began her storytelling career during a rural Ohio childhood, making up tales to put herself to sleep at night, to keep herself awake at school, and to make cleaning horse stalls go faster. After graduating from college with a teaching certificate she went to work in a bank, then spent several years writing real estate advertising copy. Later, she drove off to Hollywood where she won cash and prizes on the game show "Tic Tac Dough' and collected many fine anecdotes to repeat at cocktail parties. She also learned another form of storytelling by typing movie and television scripts for five years. From Los Angeles, Debrah moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she tried to sell cemetery plots, but didn't, despite the huge pool of potential customers. She did, however, finish her first novel, THE SWEET TRADE, as well as publish interviews and real estate articles in local papers. Then a vehicle ran her down in a crosswalk. Figuring it would be safer to recover from the injuries in a small, quiet town, she moved to Bisbee, Arizona, where killer bees attacked her. Still, she managed to finish a middle-grade novel, THE DRAGON'S GOLD. She also published a collection of very short stories, FLASH OF THE PEN. She's currently working on a sequel to her pirate tale, THE SWEET TRADE, a memoir, and more short stories.