Daughters of the Sea
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Tags Paranormal, parallel time travel, hallucination, mystery, family, South Pacific, Polyneasian dances, native singing, kava, Plymouth, England, outrigger canoes, migration
Release: January 25, 2013
Editor: Fiona Young-Brown
Cover Designer Charlotte Volnek
Laura, descended from the Princess Kura, revisits her Tahitian heritage to seek her birth father, a Polynesian navigator
Ian, an English journalist connected by heritage, falls in love with Laura. He’s by her side when dejá vu. overtakes her and they are plunged into the past to the time of Captain Cook’s first landing on the islands, 243 years prior.
Chased by the demons of her ancestor’s past, and fearing for her sanity, Laura and Ian work to find the answers to her quest.
“I care I’m not who I thought I was. I needed to know.”
“No, you didn’t. You were our beautiful exotic daughter. That’s all you needed to know, especially when you were teased.”
“No!” Laura stood and started pacing, every step angrier than the last. “All these years, I thought Aunt Anna died in a shipwreck. When no one ever spoke of her, I thought the family was angry she’d gone away.”
“We were, but not because she dropped out of college. She was in her third year. She had an opportunity to visit Tahiti by freighter with a group of anthropology students. The trip was to take all summer. She promised to be back in the fall in time for her senior year at Swarthmore, so the family let her go. We were afraid to deny her. She was defiant and self-destructive.”
“Was she doing drugs?”
“I didn’t think so, but Mother was afraid she might try them. So Anna left. Before we knew it, she wrote she was staying in Tahiti. Suddenly, she stopped writing altogether. We didn’t know anything of her pregnancy until the navigator brought you to us. You were only three months old. He didn’t say much. He stayed long enough to arrange the adoption. Then he returned to his island. We never heard from him again.
“He did seem reluctant to leave you, but he’d promised Anna. He left her things, among them a small inlaid jewel box. It was weeks before my mother could open it.”
Her father continued with obvious difficulty, swallowing after each sentence. “When she finally got the courage to look, she saw he’d included Anna’s high school ring, her watch and the pearls she’d received at high school graduation. Dried flowers and part of a gold coin were on the bottom of the box.
“Mother never forgave him, always blaming him for Anna’s death, as if he’d murdered her. We put the box away to pass on to you.” He stopped for a moment before continuing. “We were so afraid you’d follow in Anna’s footsteps, we’d lose you, too if you found out. Our mother made me promise to give you the coin on your twenty-first birthday. I was afraid history would repeat itself, so I waited.”
“If I hadn’t brought it up, how long would you have waited? Forever?”
He sighed. “My sister died because she went to Tahiti. I couldn’t risk it.”
“Well, I’m going to go. I have Tahitian blood? That’s why I look like the girl in the picture.”
“Your birth father was descended from this Tahitian girl, Kura, and her English lover who came to the islands with Captain Cook in the eighteenth century. She’s the same Tahitian girl wearing the gold piece in Bill Burger’s snapshot. Laura, you must understand. Times have changed, just in your lifetime.” He tried to smile. “When I give you the box, you’ll have a better idea.” He rose and walked out of the room to the coat closet in the front hall. Reaching all the way into back, he dragged a small flannel-wrapped box out laying it on the table. “Open it.”
The hinges were corroded after twenty-five years, but Laura easily opened the latch to look inside. A set of pearls rested with a class ring, a small gold Elgin watch with a black silk band, an autograph book, and part of a gold coin. The coin was punctured; a leather thong ran through it. She held it to the light.
“Some of it’s worn away or maybe cut. It’s part of a gold sovereign. My God, it’s old, 1753. I can barely make it out.”
“Teokotai said it passed down in his family. Given to his ancestors by Justin Adams, the young Englishman who fell in love with the first Princess Kura. It must have meant a lot to Kura and those who followed. He said there’s a Tahitian legend that at each generation a virgin will cross the water, fall in love, and conceive a new princess. The women who hold the coin are descended from the original princess and Justin, a young boy from Captain James Cook’s ship, the Endeavour in 1769.”
“I want to know more of the coin. What happened to the rest of it?”
“You must be careful. Your mother’s curious sense of adventure killed her.”
“Look, more than half of it’s missing right there by the date.” Laura put the coin on the table so she could sort through the remaining contents in the box. Dried red flower petals lay in chips around the collection. She pulled the autograph book toward her and opened it. On the first page was scrawled the name Ngakokoma with an address in Tahiti. Laura remembered seeing the name in Mr. Burger’s book.
She could not believe the man who had raised her as his adopted child had cheated her of her unique ancestry. All these years her parents lied about her origins.
“I still don’t understand why you are telling me now. Remember those times before when I asked you for details?”
“When I saw how connected you were to the story Bill Burger wrote it felt like karma. I had to tell you the truth. A Tahitian princess fell in love with the English cabin boy and founded the bloodline from which you come. The Tahitians have preserved the legend and believe it is true.”
“Could my father still be alive?”
“It’s doubtful. They live hard on the Society Islands.”
“It’s got to be a less stressful life.”
“But with fewer advantages and little medical intervention,” her father said.
“No. He mustn’t be dead.” Laura’s heart cried. He is part of me. I’m one of them, the people of the mystical past.