Tuesday 24 November 2020

Second Survivor

Leah Moyes is from Arizona but experienced many parts of the world in thanks to a career in the airlines. Now most of her time, aside from writing, is spent with her family, reading Historical Fiction novels or studying ancient cultures as a student of Archaeology.

She always believed she was born in the wrong time period, but since she doesn’t have access to a time machine she must write and read intriguing stories of the past. 

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Her secret sank with the ship.

Isabel Fontaine’s lavish lifestyle came to a crashing halt the night the General Chanzy sank. At 18, she had everything—fine luxuries, a prominent family, and an extravagant estate in Marseille. The one thing she didn’t have was her freedom. As the sole heir to the Fontaine fortune, her future was forged with a betrothal to a stranger from a foreign country, but when her family perishes at sea, Isabel sees this as a chance to hide her identity and change her fate.

Taken in by poor, elderly farmers on the Spanish island of Menorca, Isabel is torn between the growing affection for a neighbor and the guilt of living a lie. The simplicity and genuine goodness of this life takes her on a journey she never believed was possible, yet, as time passes and the threat of her untruths face exposure, Isabel must make an agonizing choice.

When that choice is taken from her prematurely and danger cultivates from an implausible guise, will Isabel accept the outcome, or fight to save those she loves?

Second Survivor is a heart-wrenching historical fiction novel set in both Algiers, Algeria during French occupation and Menorca, Spain. Told in the perspective of four characters, Second Survivor is a twist on the tragic shipwreck . . . the General Chanzy in the Mediterranean Sea. 156 people aboard the barge lost their lives on the morning of 10 February 1910. There was only one survivor. This story shares the fate of a Second Survivor.

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Second Survivor is told in the perspective of 4 different people- Isabel, Miguel, Thomas, and Francisco.


“I must be off. I have several families to visit.”

“Well, I’m sure you have time to say hi to Maria before you go.”

“Maria . . . that’s right. With all the work at the ranch, I had nearly forgotten her plight.”

“She would be delighted to see you.” Anita winked and pointed inside.

“Senyora Contreras . . . ” I gave her a stern brow.

“What?” She threw her hands up, feigning innocence. “Just come say hello,” she huffed.

“She doesn’t know me, Anita, and don’t be conjuring up any tricks.”

“Yet, she somehow remembers you.” Anita’s mouth twisted up in satisfaction as she led me through the front door.

“Of course, I will say hi. It would be rude of me not to.” I entered the kitchen. A young woman sat near the stove with her back toward me. It was nice to see she was no longer bound to her bed. She must be recovering well.

“Hello, Maria.”

She swung around and faced me, although her tiny nose pulled into a wrinkle. “Ugghh.” She groaned loudly, her fingers fighting the long-pointed tips of knitting needles. Yarn lay tangled in her lap while strings wound all through her fingers. The ball rolled off her knees and thumped to the floor. I chuckled, but when she glanced up, my mouth fell open.

Her eyebrows bent in anger. “Are you laughing at me?” Her tone came sharp, but I barely heard her. My mind whirled at the transformation before me. Images of the swollen, bruised, and broken woman I’d seen a month ago vanished into something else. I couldn’t form words. The large cut on her forehead was now a faint, jagged line, pink tinged her cheeks, and her blond waves flowed easily and cleanly down her back. She wore a simple oversized dress that most likely had been Anita’s at one time, and a torn shawl around her shoulders, but she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.

“No,” I choked apologetically, “I’m not laughing . . . I know nothing of knitting.”

Her face softened. “I have no idea why I even try it myself. I’m awful.”

“At least you are trying. I couldn’t even get that far.” I kneeled and picked up the wayward ball. When I handed it back to her, I found myself staring.



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