Slave Shipwreck Saga by Michael Smorenburg

The Praying Nun
Slave Shipwreck Saga Book 1
by Michael Smorenburg
Genre: Historical Thriller

An uncharted shipwreck, the mysteries she hides, and the brutalized souls who suffered her holds.

In 1985 two divers discovered an ancient uncharted shipwreck off South Africa's Cape of Storms. Salvaging the wreck only inflames the enigma with the trail of secrets compounding and the wreck refusing to yield her identity. Countless vessels, some crammed with bullion, have joined this ship graveyard over the centuries, but what sort of galleon was this, leaving only cannon, cannon balls and scant few clues behind? Three decades pass before the Smithsonian of Washington solves the riddle.

It's 1794 on the fevered coast of Mozambique. Chikunda and his wife Mkiwa, stripped naked and shackled, are heaved aboard the São José de Africa. Only a miracle may save them from the horrors below deck where more than 400 fellow slaves are crammed. But nobody can guess what fate has in store.

If you're a Wilbur Smith or Clive Cussler fan, you will be riveted by this fact-inspired fictionalized tale by Michael Smorenburg, based as it is by personal experience, extensive research and the legacy of artifacts salvaged from the São José de Africa. Pick it up now to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Reckoning
Slave Shipwreck Saga Book 2

A slave evades re-capture after his slave ship is wrecked at the treacherous Cape of Good Hope, only to face handing himself over when his wife goes missing with the man who rescued them. A tale of hope, fear and most of all, the yearning for freedom.

It's 1794 and the slave trade is at its ugly peak. When the Portuguese slave ship Sao Jose Paquete de Africa shipwrecks at the Cape of Good Hope, only two hundred of the four hundred slaves aboard survive.

Chikunda and his pregnant wife evade re-capture only to face the impassable cliffs of Table Mountain. With the wild South Atlantic at their backs, Cape Town's gallows and whipping post to the north, the British garrison blocking escape to the south, and dangers of an untamed African coast to the east of a vast mountain range, escape seems impossible.

When Chikunda's wife goes missing, he has a monumental choice to make. Pick up The Reckoning now and lose yourself in a world you never could have imagined, a world where freedom slips ever more out of a man's grasp.

Michael Smorenburg (b. 1964) grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. An entrepreneur with a passion for marketing, in 1995 Michael moved to California where he founded a business consultancy and online media and marketing engine in the burgeoning internet. In 2003 he returned to South Africa where he launched a security company. In 2015 he divested of the business to write full time. Michael's greatest love is the ocean, keeping up with the latest breakthroughs in science, understanding the cosmos and sharing all he learns.

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  1. I like the cover. It’s very mysterious. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Anything shipwreck gets me hooked!

    1. And... it's a true story. I was the second person to dive this 1794 wreck. Back then we didn't know what it was - but it proved to be the only slave ship in history ever to be found.

  3. So much to see in the cover - great job

    1. Truly. A wonderful cover artist. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for the comments already.

    I'd like to amplify that this is a true story.
    Indeed, although this novella is in two parts - an adventure story set in the 1980s and, surprisingly, a love story (!) set in 1794, the underpinnings of it are all too real.
    This is t

    Pause a moment to remember the 200 slaves who died in the wrecking of the ship (covered in "The Praying Nun") and the 200 survivors who were sold the next day to defray costs (covered in "The Reckoning").

    And feel free to follow this unfolding story:

  5. The Praying Nun has the best cover of the two.

  6. I like the covers. They promise an engrossing and exciting read.

  7. It shows... covers are very important. Thank you everyone for your positive input. If you have any questions about the stories or about the real 1794 shipwreck drama that lies at the base of this story (and the 200 of 400 slaves that survived the wreck only to be re-sold the next day to defray expedition costs!!!), I'm happy to share all I know.

  8. The Praying Nun sounds very interesting and one wonders what happened to the people that were on board the wrecked ship. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

    1. Hello Vivian
      This was a Portuguese ship attempting to open up a new slave trade out of Mozambique and into Brazil.
      The captain knew he was getting close to the settlement at Cape Town, but didn't know the coast. Fearful, he cut in too close and got caught by a storm and driven onto a reef (I actually live not 100m from the site of the wreck). Indeed, I look down onto it from my home.
      Of the 400+ on board, 200 slaves were brought ashore. The brutality is unimaginable... They were marched over a mountain pass and into the Dutch/British colony and sold the next day.
      Cape slavery is a very interesting study. There were no plantations here so most slaves were used as craftsmen and as helpers in the home. Under the Dutch East India Company (VOC) slaves actually had quite a few more rights than on the plantations of the New World (not that you'd want to be a slave even under that more lenient regime). Also, living and working cheek by jowl with slaves would tend to soften people to their plight... but, again, abuse and the disgrace of the system notwithstanding.
      Another oddity is that very few Africans were used as slaves at the Cape. Mostly they were from Malaysia and Madagascar which suited the kind of craftsman and cooking work that the settlers here sought. Also, an African slave would more likely attempt to run away and head for home (as impossible as that practically was).
      That said, the 'windfall' of 200 new slaves on the block certainly was grasped and those 200 were absorbed into the local bloodlines.
      In my second novel in this series (The Reckoning) I follow the life of one of these imagined slaves. In my third title of the series my protagonist is the (fictitious) newly arrived wife of the British governor at the Cape... who is horrified to confront a slave society in the flesh. So much has opened up to write about in my research.

  9. These covers are great looking. I like the The Reckoning
    Slave Shipwreck Saga Book 2 cover the best


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