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Red Jacket

The Autobiography of Calista Antoine

by Mark Bondurant

It’s 1892, the fourth and nastiest year of the Civil War. With war prices for some things going through the roof, there are some cargoes that are too tempting, tucked down in places too risky, and a ship captain has to weigh both if he wants to make a profit and stay afloat. Last I saw my parents, they were going to do the sugar run to Jamaica. Up in the cold North sugar cane simply doesn’t grow. You have to go where it’s warm and for us in the U.S., that means the Caribbean, which is unfortunately down next to the Confederate States of America and we have to sail right past Florida with its people doing their best to be unpleasant. I won’t kid you. It’s a dangerous run. Normally, they would have been back in port a week ago, but they’re overdue. Nothing to worry about yet – much.

Cover Artists:
Word Count: 197690
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Word Count: 197690
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters

He firmly took my arm and led me toward the doors. Standing there facing them together, side by side while I tried to breath, I glanced back to look for Lucien. I could see the couple, next in line, looking at me. The woman seemed concerned. Then the doorman nodded to the two men in their white wigs and livery standing at each side of the doorway. They nodded back and swung the doors open.

They bowed as I passed.

The doorman, having entered first, stood in front and banged his staff on a much marked square of polished wood.

“Miss Calista Carmichael!” he called.


Reviews:S.M. Koz wrote:

Alternative history, steam punk, adventure, romance.

This is my second Bondurant book and I really love how he's able to mix genres so well. I'm not a fan of historical fiction, but I do love romance and adventure, two big parts of this book. As such, I was hooked immediately and read this much quicker than I've been reading most books lately. I think another reason I was so drawn into this is the voice of the female protagonist who narrates the story. Although this is set during the Civil War, her language is mostly contemporary so it doesn't feel like a typical historical fiction piece. Plus, she's witty, strong, and no-nonsense, exactly what I like to see in a heroine. Bondurant also adds a number of other anachronistic points, such as zeppelins, steam trolleys, etc, to keep the story interesting. Finally, I loved all the adventure and mystery from across the globe. I'm a big traveler so it was fun to see Europe and Africa from Cali's eyes and during a period long ago.

The ending is a bit of a cliff hanger and there's no indication if Bondurant will be writing more to this story. I certainly hope he does because I need to know what happens to Cali and Lucian!

Overall, I recommend this to anyone who likes YA romance/historical fiction that reads closer to the adult level. I think it would be an interesting story for anyone 14+. There are no intimate scenes and just a little cursing and violence.

I've created a world that I like to hang out in. In this book it's mostly at sea, stopping here and there. Our old hates are still there for us to fight, but it's also a world that still has true adventure and innocent romance. I think it's a unique and difficult to define place. It's certainly hard to classify. Spend time there with me if you want to. Maybe we'll run into each other. I might even buy you a drink.

About the Author

Mark Bondurant is an alternate history author.