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The Sea Lion: Willy Lauer Book 1, #1

The Sea Lion: Willy Lauer Book 1, #1

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The Sea Lion: Willy Lauer Book 1, #1

141 pages
1 hour
Feb 21, 2020


On an island in the Norwegian archipelago, the 20-year-old fisherman Willy Lauer preparing his yarn when a boat arrives the pier. It turns out to be Moldavian refugees, and among them is 17-year-old Raja Romanova - the most beautiful woman Willy has ever seen. He falls in love, but it turns out that Raja is already married. Though fate is on his side and soon Raja becomes his best friend. It's a war and the British have seized most of the Danish-Norwegian Fleet and started a blockade of Norway. Danish Crown Prince Frederik urges people to become privateers to fight back against the British, and Willy and Raja want to get their very own privateer ship. They dream of becoming rich, but it is not easy to get rich when you have nothing.

Tom Thowsen (1964) is a Norwegian author who writes suspense literature. He made his breakthrough in 2015 with "The White Lady", a suspense novel about a ghost that is said to haunt Fredriksten fortress in his hometown of Halden, and he received an excellent review in the city newspaper. The first edition of the book sold out in two months. Later, "The White Lady" has been translated into English and is now sold on the English language market, where it has received brilliant reception.
Thowsen has also received good reviews for the suspense novel Kayaweta.
"Thowsen manages to combine facts with fiction and writes excellent novels." the Norwegian newspaper: Halden Arbeiderblad.
"The author is bursting with narrative joy and knowledge." The Norwegian newspaper: Demokraten.

Feb 21, 2020

About the author

About Tom Thowsen If you enjoy books of Wilbur Smith and Ken Follett, you`d likely enjoy Tom Thowsen too. He is a Norwegian illustrator and fiction writer with a passion for history. This passion is also reflected in his books, where he often uses two different time frames, two different stories woven together. One from the present time and the other from the past. His novels have received very good receptions from both readers and newspapers. Halden Arbeiderblad said this about Kayaweta, his newest novel: "Thowsen manages to combine facts with fiction and writes excellent novels." Another newspaper, Demokraten, concluded: "The author sparkles with the joy of storytelling and knowledge."

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The Sea Lion - Tom Thowsen



An eerie silence clung to the air, as the clock steadily ticked towards seven thirty on that dark autumn night. Raja, the 17-year-old girl who wanted nothing more than to leave this place, couldn’t help but feel like something was brewing. Her stomach was in knots and her heart was threatening to beat clean through her chest. She felt the prickling of the skin on her arms and legs, along with the rest of her body. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t sit still. They needed to flee this place as quickly as possible, but they were still waiting for a few people to take their seats in the lifeboat. A few of her younger brothers were still missing, and her father and husband had left to go find them. If she went to look for them, chances are she’d find them close to the streets filled with long lines of British soldiers in red coats, unable to contain their curiosity. She’d walked past the soldiers earlier and noticed them preparing for something, most likely another attack on Copenhagen. It seemed like they were waiting for the signal to start firing. This godforsaken war seemed to follow her no matter where she went. It had only been a few months since they fled Moldova and travelled up through war-torn Europe to the peaceful haven of Denmark. They had settled down in Copenhagen, and Raja had come to love the beautiful city. What was once a place that always seemed to be brimming with life was now surrounded by tens of thousands of British soldiers, leaving the residents trapped in its limits.

The church bells chimed to tell them it was seven thirty. Raja fixed her gaze on a group of soldiers as they jumped into action, lighting the fuses of their cannons.

Oh, God, she said, pulling some of her younger siblings close in an attempt to protect them from what was about to come. A violent cannonade erupted, and skyrockets flew up into the night sky with a cacophonous hiss. It felt like all the lightning bolts and thunderstorms in the world were gathered in the same place and ravaging the earth at once. Clouds of smoke hovered above the ground like a veil between her and the occupied city as din and lights surrounded them. The world around her faded to an indistinct grey mass. The smell of sulphur invaded her nose and made her eyes burn, just as the youngest of the children started coughing and crying.

What’s taking them so long? Raja’s mother asked with obvious frustration. If Raja had to hazard a guess, she’d assume they were simply watching the chaos unfold while the young children sat in the boat and suffered.

Should I go look for them, Mum?

Yes, please.

Raja climbed out of the boat and onto the dock before she disappeared into the manmade mist. It didn’t take her long to find the men. All four of them were standing in the middle of the havoc, engrossed in the macabre scene playing out right before their eyes. The skyrockets in particular had caught their interest. They’d never seen anything like them before. Sure, they’d seen fireworks on New Year’s Eve, but nothing like this. The skyrockets flew along a curve and into the city where multiple fires had already broken out. The night sky was illuminated by a flickering, yellow glow. All of it felt surreal.

What are you standing around for? Raja shouted at the top of her voice, to no avail. She marched towards her father and pulled him by the arm. Come on, we’re waiting for you. We want to leave.

I know, we’ll be there in a minute.

No, you’ll be there right now. Mum might explode otherwise... She started to drag him away, but he ripped his arm from her grip in one determined motion.

Calm down. I’m coming, he said with a laugh, before a sight in the middle of the city caught everyone’s attention.

Woah! the group roared in unison. Look at that! A skyrocket had propelled itself into the tower of Our Lady Church. There was a flash as the rocket hit its target, and seconds later, the tower went up in flames. Everyone stood in awed silence.

Is this really happening? Raja said to herself. It was as though a great, big dragon had come to life inside the church, recklessly breathing its infernal fire out through any opening it could find. The flames climbed higher and higher until they were far above the church tower itself. The sky looked as though it had been set aflame. It was a terrifying sight, but Raja felt the hairs on her neck stand up when the bells began to chime by themselves. It didn’t take long after that for the heavy church bells to come lose and crash down into the tower, destroying everything in their path on the way down.

The soldiers erupted in victorious roars.



The whitewashed stone church on Kirkeøy, an island on the outskirts of Christianiafjord, was filled to the brim with villagers dressed in their Sunday best. Twenty-year-old Willy Lauer daydreamed his way through the majority of the service, which mainly consisted of an unengaging sermon about Adam and Eve and the snake in the Garden of Eden. The priest spoke of the fall of man and the rise of sin in the world. He even talked about whether Cain killed his brother, Abel, but none of his arguments were of the slightest interest to Willy. As far as he was concerned, the sound of the priest’s voice was just background noise - a humdrum that he was used to hearing, much like the sound of a coffee grinder. But all of a sudden, something made him sit up straight on the bench. What was that the priest just said? The sermon was clearly coming to an end, and it was time for the prayer.

Pray for our brethren in Copenhagen, he implored of the churchgoers. There had been bad news from the other side of Skagerrak. Willy learned more about what had happened when everyone gathered on the hill after the service.

Pilot Fritjof Jensen had recently spoken to a Danish messenger who was on one of the ships that had managed to escape, and he was now talking excitedly to a group of men.

It’s terrible, he said. The entire Dano-Norwegian fleet has been confiscated by the British, and most of Copenhagen has been reduced to ash and ruins. Many are dead and many more are wounded. I’ve even heard that Our Lady Church has been burnt to the ground, but thankfully the Round Tower and the university library remain undamaged, thanks to the efforts of the soldiers and inhabitants of Holmen.

How is all this even possible? someone asked. Why hasn’t the Crown Prince done anything? It’s unheard of!

Rumour has it he’s in Kiel with his ailing father. The Crown Prince has left General Ernst Peymann and Commander Steen Bille in charge. But Peymann maintains that surrendering the city is out of his hands. He thinks that decision is for the King to make.

I can’t believe my ears, someone else interrupted. In other words, Peymann is prepared to sacrifice the lives of all the residents in Copenhagen? How can he live with that decision? It’s beyond me...

Blame the Crown Prince, one of the old fishermen said. He’s the one who landed the Danes in this mess in the first place when he led his forces south towards Prussia. He can’t seem to decide who to side with – Napoleon or the British.

Pilot Fritjof Jensen nodded. Choosing the right side in times like these is harder than it looks. They threaten people with war and God knows what other unpleasantries. The Crown Prince must have seen this coming, though. After all, he took the family heirlooms with him when he left...

Honestly, someone else said, the British can’t keep this up. Denmark is a neutral country with no interest in warfare. The British know that, and still they continue to fire on Copenhagen and steal our ships.

It’s true, the pilot said. But the British fear that Napoleon will use it.

We won’t allow that. We have control of the majority of the army on the Prussian border, so Napoleon can’t command our fleet. A clear signal if ever there was one, but that still isn’t enough for the British.



A couple of days later, Willy was mending the fishing net by the boatshed, something he had mastered as a child. Out here on Nord Lauer, an island ravaged by winds and unsupported by the barren earth, he had to survive on what the ocean was willing to give him. The edges of the rocky island had long since been smoothed over by the constant beating of the waves, and there were barely any trees or grass to speak of. The few green specks on the island were populated by sheep, and there were a few hens walking around near the house, which was hidden in the shelter of a small valley. When he wasn’t tending to his fishing equipment, Willy Lauer would sometimes help his dad pilot ships. That

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