Only one title here – “Sinbad’s Journey to Australia. The Great South Land’
I know that’s a dreadful long mouthful but that will have to do for now. Those of you who have been Beta Readers can make suggestions.
I am a bit stumped as to what to put on the cover but it is percolating around in my brain somewhere and I’m hopeful it will surface soon…ish.
This story starts in the early 1400’s in China’s Yuan province goes to Nanjing, backtracks to Baghdad then onto Beijing and from there all around the world to Australia . Where we meet the Kabi people of the east coast of Queensland.
Here is the opening to the first chapter. Our hero is Ma-He who later becomes the mighty Admiral Cheng-Ho then San Baon and finally Sinbad. What do you think? Does it make you want to read more?
‘Keep still you little brat!’ growled a rough voice.
Ma-He awoke struggling. He couldn’t breathe. He thought, at first, that he was dreaming but the hand clamped hard over his mouth was very real. Terrified, Ma-He heard screaming and fighting in the surrounding darkness.
The bedroom door burst open and his mother pounced on the back of his attacker. The man hit the boy with his closed fist and Ma-He lost consciousness, as the soldier turned to deal with the woman.
When he awoke Ma-He and his best friends, Zhou-Man and Hong-Lao, and many other boys were tied together and tossed under a tamarind tree in an unhappy, untidy heap. A large warrior in lamellar armour of hardened leather strode over and yanked on their tether. Obviously not happy with his appointed task of looking after them, he bullied and beat them until they stood, snivelling and shivering, in the cold, misty rain.
‘Get up and get a move on!’ he shouted.
He marched and dragged them the many long, cruel miles to Nanjing City, which bustled about building itself up and out over the northern bank of the mighty Yangtse River.
The miserable, bedraggled line of boys trotted, heads down, silently into the Ming Dynasty’s capital. All except one, Ma-He, who walked tall and looked around with guarded interest.
Hah Nanjing, he thought reading the street and store signs. Perhaps, here he would find a means to escape. He looked down at his wrists, which were red-raw and painfully swollen from his attempts to loosen his bonds.