The Opium Smuggler - The Viper and the Urchin #7
The Opium Smuggler - The Viper and the Urchin #7
The Opium Smuggler - The Viper and the Urchin #7
The Opium Smuggler - The Viper and the Urchin #7
The Opium Smuggler - The Viper and the Urchin #7

The Opium Smuggler - The Viper and the Urchin #7

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An impossible smuggling route
A smuggler who won’t quit
Will Adelma’s stubbornness bring her success or ruin her life?

Adelma has one dream: to set herself up as a smuggler. But as the daughter of a fisherman, that’s easier said than done.

As she slowly starts to network in the smuggling world, she comes across a man who loudly mocks her looks. What’s a self-respecting wannabe smuggler to do? Punch his lights out, of course. Preferably in front of an audience—adding humiliation to injury.

But the man turns out to be far more powerful than she realised, successfully ensuring no one in the smuggling world will give her work.

With no options left, Adelma turns to one of the most dangerous people in Damsport. No one knows where The Widow comes from, whether she’s truly a widow, or how she came to operate Damsport’s largest criminal network.

The one thing everyone knows? You don’t mess with the Widow, and if you work for her, you better make damn sure you’re successful. The consequences of failure don’t bear thinking about.

Except that Adelma’s first smuggling job is going to be a route that no seasoned smuggler has ever survived. That’s enough of a challenge, but it’ll be even harder with someone after her, determined to make sure she fails.

Adelma’s too stubborn to quit, but will she be able to pull off the impossible, or will she lose everything in the process?

🔥Delve into The Opium Smuggler, book 7 of a complete 9 book series that’s packed with adventure, banter, and quirky characters, all set in a richly imagined tropical world.

🔥Ebooks are delivered instantly via Bookfunnel email to the email address provided at checkout.

 Paperback Edition 228 pages
ISBN 9782492523144
Product Dimensions 5 x 8 x 0.5 inches (12.7 x 20.3 x 1.3cm)
Language English
Publication Date 25th July 2020
Publisher Celine Jeanjean
Series The Viper and the Urchin #7

Ebooks are delivered instantly via Bookfunnel email to the email address provided at checkout.

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Jeremiah sat on the step before his front door, watching as his daughter, Adelma, considered taking her first step.

It was late afternoon, the sun low and yellow. It made a fine halo of Adelma’s dark baby curls, tingeing them with gold, and turned the sea in the Damsian Enclosed Docks to the colour of beaten brass.

The mad chaos of the docks was starting to slow, leaving ships to sway gently in their berths, their masts like a forest jutting out of the sea. A few voices still rang out here and there, final orders being called as dockworkers wrapped everything up for the evening.

Jeremiah’s house opened directly onto the docks, the perfect spot for a fisherman. He had lived in that house his whole life and had grown up among the smells of the docks. Back when Damsport was just a slum, the smells of rotten seafood had mixed with the thick waft of silt and algae, but now it was a whole other kettle of fish.

Old spices, animal dung, meat on the turn that glistened with an oily sheen, sweat from all the dock workers, bruised fruit, spoiled vegetables, and lots he couldn’t identify mingled together as more and more ships arrived each day, bringing exotic cargo.

There was a new smell, too, of late—the acrid coal smoke of steam-powered boats. They were an unusual sight, so the one carefully manoeuvring out in the docks was drawing a crowd. Its engine coughed and wheezed heavy puffs of black smoke from its single chimney as it moved awkwardly.

“Steam power,” Jeremiah scoffed to himself. He turned to Adelma. “Ridiculous. That’ll never take, my girl. You mark my words. Ain’t replacing a good sail and a strong wind. Them fools what are working with steam are wasting their time. Now come on, come to your Da.” He stretched out his arms.

Adelma gurgled happily, stretching her own arms open in reply and swaying like a drunken sailor on her chubby legs, but still, she didn’t walk.

“One foot in front of the other now,” Jeremiah coaxed, still gesturing with his hands.

Adelma squealed and gurgled again. Then she seemed to decide to move forward and lost her balance, falling back on her bum. She hiccupped from the shock of it, looking up at her father, her mouth an O of surprise. She wore only a yellowed cloth nappy, the fabric speaking of the many, many washes it had been through. Her bare brown belly bulged over the top of it. She was so small, so fragile, her brown skin looking pale compared to Jeremiah’s weather-beaten and sun-darkened hide.

Jeremiah laughed, and Adelma broke into a smile in response, delighted. “Come on, my girl.” Jeremiah set her back on her feet. “Let’s try again.”

Today was Adelma’s first birthday, and so Jeremiah had taken the day off from fishing to mourn and celebrate. Adelma’s mother—also called Adelma, as Jeremiah had named his daughter for his wife—had died in childbirth.

“Come on, Adelma,” Jeremiah repeated, waggling his fingers.

She took a hesitant step, wobbling dangerously.

“There you go… There you go!” Jeremiah called out excitedly, prouder than a peacock on parade day. “There you go, my darling girl. Come to your Da.”

A couple walked past at that moment. Their clothes were expensive enough to make it clear they weren’t from this part of town. The woman held on to the crook of her husband’s arm, her nose wrinkling in disgust at the riot of smells. She cast a glance at Jeremiah and Adelma.

Adelma chose that moment to take her second wobbly step, falling forward. Jeremiah caught her and swept her up in his arms, laughing. “I gotcha. You remember that, my girl. Your old man’s always got your back.”

He felt a twinge of sadness at the words. Adelma should have had a mother standing behind her, too. Jeremiah felt oh-so keenly aware of his responsibility. He was the only person Adelma had in the world. He had to not only keep her safe, but also make sure she would continue to be safe even once his time had come.

“Did you see that girl?” the woman asked her husband as they walked past. “She must be two or maybe three, and she doesn’t even walk yet. Disgraceful. I tell you, people in this part of town are little more than savages, and that baby is clearly retarded.”

Jeremiah felt a rush of icy anger at the words. Adelma was easily larger than a two-year-old, but no matter how big she was, it didn’t make up for the fact that she had only been alive for a year, and therefore couldn’t quite walk yet.

He stood up, shifting Adelma so he held her with one arm, keeping her balanced on his hip. He hurried after the couple. “Excuse me.”

The couple stopped and looked back, surprised. The woman had the good grace to look sheepish when she caught sight of Adelma.

Jeremiah backhanded the woman across the face hard enough to send her sprawling to the ground in a cry of pain and shock. Before her husband could react, Jeremiah punched him in square in the stomach. The man made a sound like a bladder deflating, and he slowly sank to his knees, groaning with pain.

“My daughter is one year old,” he informed the prone woman, who looked up at him with fear, holding her reddening cheek. “She might be big, but she’s only one, so it’s perfectly normal for her to only be taking her first steps today. In fact, I reckon them was the best first steps anyone’s took in the Rookery. So you say anything about my daughter being retarded again, and I’ll knock every one of your teeth out. Every. Last. Tooth. Got it?”

Jeremiah turned to the husband. “Nothing personal,” he added. “Didn’t want to risk you trying to defend your wife. Got my daughter here to think of.” He patted Adelma’s back. “Couldn’t have you swinging for me and hitting my Adelma. It’s her birthday, after all.”

The husband didn’t reply, still curled around his winded stomach.

“It’ll take you a while to get your breath back,” Jeremiah told him, not unkindly. “I punch pretty damn hard.” He turned and walked away.

Adelma had watched the whole scene unfold in silence, her eyes wide. She held on to her father’s neck with her chubby arms, looking back over his shoulder. She had her mother’s eyes, wide and dark, but everything else about her features came straight from Jeremiah. And he had one ugly mug—a forehead like a stack of books and a nose like a butcher’s cleaver. Jeremiah wasn’t one for vanity, and he hoped Adelma wouldn’t be, either.

He kissed her cheek to reassure her. “You see, Adelma, my girl, that is how we deal with people what insult us. Retaliation is key—never ever let a slight against you pass without answering it. I’ll teach you how. Don’t you worry yourself none for now, my darling girl. Your old Da’s gonna keep you safe.”

Jeremiah opened his front door and ducked low to pass beneath the doorframe, which had been built for regular-sized people. He knew from experience that the world wasn’t always kind to those who were as freakishly big and ugly as him. The jokes, the sniggers, the snide comments saying that only a blind woman would look twice at him. It was likely to be even worse for a girl who looked like that.

Well, he’d make sure Adelma was ready. The world wasn’t going to dare say a bad word about her—he’d see to that.

“I got us a special treat for dinner on account that it’s your birthday,” Jeremiah told Adelma. He blew a raspberry in Adelma’s neck, making her squeal with laughter, and then put her down gently. She didn’t stay standing for long, dropping down to a sturdier sitting position, keeping her eyes on him. Jeremiah smiled at her and closed the door, shutting out the world and all its nastiness.

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Hi! I'm Celine

I write different flavours of fantasy with a twist, but always with one uniting thread: quirky, flawed characters and heart-warming found families.

My books span the sub-genres of steampunk (but set in a secondary, tropical world) urban fantasy (set in Asia and London) and gothic gaslamp fantasy.

I'm French, grew up in the UK, and for the last few years I've been living a life of nomadic adventure, exploring the world with my laptop as my constant companion. My adventures have been a great source of inspiration for my stories.

These days I'm trying to figure out where in the world I might stop and setup some bookshelves.

I love to hear from readers, so feel free to contact me at

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