In the stifling heat of August 14, 1791, the drums beat rhythmically. The only thing louder was
the squeal of a young sacrificial pig being brought to slaughter. By the time this voodoo ceremony
was over, the slaves of Saint-Domingue had set out on a violent spree. They burned down sugar,
coffee and indigo plantations. They mutilated and killed their former masters. These slaves had
taken their freedom by force.
One man made a break for it! Swimming offshore, he boarded a merchant ship, killed most of the
crew and took command over the others. Henri Caesar became Black Caesar, a notorious pirate.
Years later he ended up on the west coast of Florida, near Sanibel Island, where he buried a
treasure and seemingly vanished.
The 3-part Tullybeth series weaves the history of Black Caesar with the modern-day story of a
9-year-old girl named Tullybeth who moves to a sleepy town on the west coast of Florida,
Turnberry Swamp. Book 1 starts by remembering the tragedy that desolated this town, a
tornado 50 years prior, from which it never fully recovered. Present day, Tullybeth finds
Turnberry Swamp to be both hostile and fascinating. Strangers are unwelcome, and she soon
learns there is a dark secret all its residents are hiding.
Tullybeth Book 1 starts to unravel the history of Henri Caesar, starting with his birth. In Saint-
Domingue, now known as Haiti, tension was running high among the slaves. Their overseers
were cruel, and their living conditions were appalling. Hiding in the mountains, marooned
slaves planned a revolt, but first they needed an army. They decided to build this army with
the next generation of boys born to them. But even as the slave village was desperate for a boy
child to be born, it would seem Henri Caesar’s arrival was a cursed one.
This story is told by different characters, traveling through time to give insight into the events
shaping this novel. Blurring the lines of historical fact and good ol’ story-telling, this book
leaves the reader wondering which parts are real and which parts are fiction. If readers were to
do some research themselves, they’d soon realize that sometimes life is stranger than fiction...
About the Authors
R. & M. Cossio were born and raised in Miami alongside seven rabbits, five dogs, a
snapping turtle, a blind cat, a one-eyed hamster, a club-footed parakeet, and anything else
that arrived on the doorstep looking for refuge.
R. Cossio ran for the hills and got as far as St. Augustine, where she now resides. She
spends her time raising her daughter Emily and doing what most starving artists do: Waiting
M. Cossio still lives in Miami, and spends her time taming two mutts. She dodges
potholes, hit-and-run drivers, and street beggars every weekday morning while navigating her
way to her downtown office.