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Escape to Pirate Island: The First Cat & Lily Adventure by [Niamh Murphy]

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Escape to Pirate Island: The First Cat & Lily Adventure Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 99 ratings

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Length: 378 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Basically, this book is just as I said Sarah Waters with Pirates, which is the biggest compliment I can give considering I adore Sarah Waters. I would definitely recommend." - Noonlight Reader

"a rambunctious, seafaring pirate adventure... Murphy did a great job making all the scenes come to life... I was particularly entertained and enthralled" - The Lesbrary

"ESCAPE TO PIRATE ISLAND by Niamh Murphy is a rollicking adventure with a splash of romance." - T. B. Markinson, author of the best-selling lesbian romance series A Woman Lost

From the Inside Flap

At Smuggler's Point
 
Cat Meadows didn't have a chance to shout before gunshots blasted the air.
The world slowed as she watched the young Luke Tyler thrown backward into the sea. He reached out to her. He trusted her with his life. He thought of her as his fearless leader. He expected her to save him.
Then he was gone. Beneath a mist of red stained ocean, as his body sank under the waves.
Cat choked back the fear as a shot seared past her head. Gunfire echoed around Cadogan Bay. It mingled with the shouts and screams of her friends. She ducked into the cool water; making herself the smallest possible target as she quickly surveyed the chaos.
A thin line of Revenue Men had come out of hiding to surround Cat and her gang. She recognised their uniforms; royal-blue coats, yellow vests, white trousers and black hats. They marched forward armed with muskets. These were the men sent to catch pirates in the act of landing illegal cargo. Their duty was to kill the smugglers where they stood or take them for hanging. 
Cat's crew wouldn't get past them without facing either a bullet or a noose. She could see three of her men on the beach. One of her horses had fallen, the other was rearing up and pulling at the reins of the cart loaded with kegs of illegal rum. Tommy Meadows, his height acting against his favour, had ducked behind the cart with Fletcher Greaves, who was crouched low and only recognisable by his long black coat and tricorn hat. Their rudimentary barricade could only protect them for so long. Old Smithy, his foot bloody and twisted, was desperately crawling across the sand toward them, screaming for their aid. Young Joe was nowhere to be seen.
There was a sudden deep roar behind her. 
Cat turned to John Strong. Her closest friend and a great giant of a man twice her age. She'd seen him lift barrels, still brimming with beer, above his head. But now, he was being pulled underwater as the Dutch boat eased passed him.
The traders were trying to make their escape as a fresh hail of musket fire rained down.
Without a second thought, Cat dived.
The cold, dark water blinded her and she pushed off hard against the sand toward where she'd seen John disappear. The water wasn't deep nor was the tide strong but in her boots and long skirts the ocean could be lethal.
She caught a thrashing hand and quickly grabbed the rest of John's arm to pull him to the surface, but he was stuck fast. Confused for a moment, Cat realised he was trapped. Cat pulled herself down to his flailing feet. Searching in the dark, she quickly untangled his ankles from the ropes trailing from the escaping boat. They broke the surface panting and spitting.
Cat didn't look back at the beach and instead swam out to sea. The shouting and gunfire told her all she needed to know. She didn't want to witness another of her gang fall at the feet of this relentless posse.
John was struggling to keep his bearded head above water and his limbs splashed around wildly.
"Come on, Man," she shouted, "swim!" But she may as well ask him to fly. His panicked eyes begged her for help as he gurgled and spat and his head bobbed below the waves.
"Onto your back, Man!" Cat grabbed him around the neck and swam hard toward the cusp of the bay. She prayed the Revenue Men didn't know about the cliff path. Few people did. She fought against the water, her already aching muscles were quick to weaken at the strain of swimming with only one arm as she pulled along a man twice her size. The waves jostled her as she fought to keep on a heading toward the smooth, flat, rocky outcrop a hundred yards or so further out to sea.
Those rocks would be scattered with pools of saltwater, places where shrimp and seaweed had collected at the high tide. It was a place she'd clambered to as a child and spent many a warm afternoon playing happily. But now, as her body weakened and the sea gained strength, Cat struggled to fight the undercurrent and it threatened to drive her toward the sharp rocks of the cliff to her left.
The swell pushed her up then pulled her back to the beach, back toward the muskets and further from the safe landing. For every stroke forward, the tide seemed to pull her back three and all the while, she swam perilously close to the cliff face.
She panicked.
Gasping for air, Cat realised she'd never reach the landing. She knew she'd be pulled under the swell and John would be nothing but a dead weight to her as they were smashed against the cliff. She knew she was about to die.
The sun was stretching over the horizon on what promised to be a glorious spring morning, yet she would drown here and her body would wash up on the sands of her beloved Cadogan Bay.
But the very inevitability of her predicament steadied her resolve.
Cat fired her determination and decided that she would not be pulled under, she would not accept her fate, and she would fight to rule her own damned destiny.
With a final rush of energy pulled from the deepest pit of her reserves, she surged forward just as a wave caught her, lifting her and John up and tossing their bodies, like rag-dolls, against the great jagged rocks at the cliff base.
She coughed in pain and surprise as she clung to the barnacles and cracks of the razor-sharp fragment of cliff. To her great relief, John was at her side, clinging with first one hand and then the other, heaving himself up onto a rough boulder. They were still far short of their safe landing. But if they fell back into the swirling ocean, they would only be smashed, once again, against the rocks and their strength had already started to fade.
Cat's arms, weak and tired from the swim, struggled to hold her weight. As a second wave crashed over her she didn't have the strength left to hold on and was torn from the cliff face.
But the sea had not won.
The great, firm hand of John Strong grabbed hold of the cloth of her dress and as the swell pushed her up, he held on tight; determined. Cat grabbed his arm. She was just inches from the solid ground but had to fight with every ounce of her spirit to prevent her body being swept away. Then, as a wave crashed forward, she was carried up and onto the rock, smashing hard against its surface.
Grasping onto the rough barnacles and jagged edges, Cat managed to cling against the cold, wet, and unforgiving surface. She spluttered and coughed trying to catch her breath. The water stung her eyes, she tasted blood and salt on her tongue and there was an awkward trickle of water at the back of her throat that she tried in vain to swallow or cough away.
Cat's body was numb with cold. John began to traverse the uneven boulders, edging his way toward the safe landing and she followed his lead with difficulty. Another wave crashed against them but didn't have the height or strength to pull either of them from their perches as they continued their careful escape.
It was only a few feet to safety, but every inch forward seemed to take an eternity. The sun was clear of the horizon by the time the two smugglers finally crawled, bloody, soaked and exhausted onto the smooth, seaweed strewn, undulating surface of black rock. It was a natural pier jutting several hundred yards out to sea.
John took a deep, long breath. Cat noticed his hands and feet were bleeding and she began to inspect her own wounds. Jagged cuts littered her hands and arms stinging from the salt and without the sea to wash it away, blood was beginning to trickle across her skin. Her jaw was starting to throb and Cat realised that her face was likely to be in a worse state than her limbs.
Clawing their way up the old cliff path was always going to be hard work, but with their limbs torn to shreds, Cat thought it may just be impossible.

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Reviewed in the United States on February 4, 2018
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Top international reviews

jane c
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2019
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Hope Freed, UK
4.0 out of 5 stars Oooh Arrrr!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 8, 2018
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vCJD
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat & Lily's Excellent Adventure.......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2017
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JB22
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2018
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Dee.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Adventure Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2018
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Jujoa
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates, smuggling and treasure. What more could you want!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2017
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Ness
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly, loved it !
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2018
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palmtree girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turning adventure!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2018
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C Mack
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2017
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Skylar
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 24, 2017
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susan m blunt
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2018
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Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.. defo recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2017
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2017
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