We would like to tickle your eyes and your fancies with a sneak preview from the book.
NOTE: This is only available to those who met us at Comic-Con yesterday! In order to access the sneak preview, please wave your Comic-Con badge over the screen of your computer three times, and you will be able to read the text below, from the opening chapter of Pirates of the Danube.
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Pepper MacOralby was surrounded by wood.
The wood encased her, tomblike, holding her prisoner. The mouldy beams and rafters of the pirate ship’s hull ensconced her on all sides, creaking menacingly with each passing wave. The ship’s frame seemed to groan and moan along with Pepper, protesting her captivity.
Pepper crawled across the bags of rice and nutmeg, repositioning herself beside a barrel of sardines. She leaned against the firm, moist barrel, staring upwards at a nest of sea mice. Pepper had been living in this leaky, waterlogged prison for three months. She pulled the tattered remains of her blouse tightly around her neck, shivering from the saltwater that soaked her bodice. She closed her eyes, and thought of home.
Pepper’s mind drifted back to a childhood of comfort and trite luxury: Afternoon tea. Backgammon matches on the green. Knickers and corsets. Harpsichord lessons with Mistress Bofforfington.
And now, her home was the mildew-covered, rat-infested hull of a pirate ship. Ever since Captain Barnaby Porktrain had taken her captive, Pepper MacOralby had survived on a steady diet of hardtack, barnacles and stewed plankton. To be sure, her white flower of virginity remained untouched, her innocence unbroken, despite the cruel intentions of the pirate captain and his merry crew of rapists. However, Pepper felt the clock ticking. She could sense that her hymen’s days were numbered.
Pepper’s reverie was broken by the sound of enormous boots thumping down the wooden staircase.
The pirate captain had returned.
Captain Barnaby Porktrain was descending into the hull of the ship, coming to torment Pepper as he had every night since taking her captive. He had sailed the seven seas, looting coastal towns across the globe, and had earned the profound respect of his crew. Despite the pirate’s prolific skills at sailing, looting, pillaging, and raping, however, Pepper MacOralby was his final frontier. He had yet to gain access to her inner sanctum, her white flower.
The Captain stood at the bottom of the stairwell, glaring down at Pepper through his one good eye. “I’ve had it up to here with ye resisting me advances,” Porktrain growled at her through the thick, guttural consonants of his Cornish accent. The pirate’s manhood awoke from its slumber, pressing against the thin fabric of his pantaloons, engorged within a hideous latticework of veins and lust.
The pirate captain laughed most unsexily.
“I’ll give ye one last chance to say ‘yes’, me dear,” the pirate captain said, staring at Pepper throbbingly. His eyes bored into her, invading her every crevice. Captain Porktrain glared at Pepper’s wet skirt, staring downward at the shadow of her untouched sex.
The pirate captain advanced on Pepper, walking forward into the darkness. He growled like a libidinal engine, bubbling over with corrosive fluids. His hands were outstretched. In the whites of his scurvy-ridden eyes, a spark glowed which suggested that he might actually attempt to take Pepper by force this time, to snatch her white flower of purity. Barnaby Porktrain smiled thrustingly at his prisoner.
Suddenly and without warning, the ship lurched backwards, flinging the Captain onto his back. “Arrrr!” He shouted up the stairwell. “What in the name of Neptune’s codpiece?”
“Cap’n,” the First Mate responded. “We’ve run aground off the coast of Vienna!”
“Curses, me navigations have been askew!” shouted Porktrain, rising to his feet and dusting off his pantaloons. “We’re shipwrecked for good. Willickers!”
The Captain walked up the stairs onto the deck of the ship. Pepper huddled in the darkest corner of the hull. Over the sound of boots stomping about on the deck and cannons firing in the distance, she could hear the Captain arguing with his crew.
“First Mate Eeltrot, why have ye not calibrated me compass? Our ship’s stranded, ye dog!”
“Beggin’ yer pardon, Cap’n. I was swabbin’ the deck, sir. Shall I calibrate it now?”
“Calibrate yer own confounded compass!” the Captain spat. “The devil take us all, we’ve been captured! Shiver me timbers and fucking shit!”
And then the conversation was drowned out by the roar of fighting aboard the deck of the ship: swords clashed together, men shouted and cursed in smatterings of different languages, cannons boomed, and Captain Barnaby Porktrain’s prized pet octopus squealed with terror from within its cage.
Above deck, Pepper could hear the Imperial Guard shackling Barnaby Porktrain, arresting him under royal decree. “Dyarrr!” shouted the pirate’s raspy voice. “And I’ll never fulfil me lifetime dream of copulating with a mermaid!”
Amidst the din of violence, Pepper heard footsteps on the stairs once again, the sound of boots thundering downward into the hull of the ship. As the footsteps descended the staircase, Pepper braced herself, preparing to be attacked by one of Porktrain’s rapacious shipmates. However, the boots that appeared on the stairs were far too shiny to belong to any of these salty pirates. A burly, square frame appeared in the entrance, descending into the darkness of Pepper MacOralby’s seafaring prison. Whoever could it be? She asked herself. One of the Imperial Guards of Vienna storming the ship? A mercenary, perchance?
Amidst the muffled sounds of battle above deck, Pepper heard a match strike against a leather boot in the darkness. The bright light momentarily blinded her—a second later, the flame died down, illuminating two piercing black eyes…a square-jawed, clean-shaven face, framed by flowing black hair…the shoulder epaulets worn by the Viennese nobility…
The man stretched out a robust hand, penetrating the darkness. Pepper took it, and was lifted to her feet.
The man smiled in the dim light of the match.
“Who are you?” Pepper asked apprehensively.
“I am mystery. I am sensuality. I am nobility. And I am your saviour, Madame.”
“But…what is your name?”
“Baron Von Hugenstein, at your service, my dear.”
* * * *
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