Ruth Anne Meredith
Author of the Chronicles of Forever
YA Fantasy Adventure Romance​​

​​​​​​​​​“At 320 leagues from Hispaniola, those who have explored closely tell of a celebrated Spring, when waters are drunk, old men are rejuvenated.”- Peter Martyr, scholar, 1513

His piercing eyes searched the endless Ocean. He stood on the top deck of the caravel Santiago, a grand sight in himself. The timbers of the ship creaked and the sails and flags fluttered in the subtle breeze. A balmy gust wandered through the red plumage of Juan Ponce de Leon’s hat.
The Fountain of Youth.
Ponce de Leon was nearly 53 years old. By the year 1513 he had conquered much of the new world and yielded many riches to Their Majesties King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Native Americans? He had subdued them to slavery. Settlements? Done – Hispaniola and Puerto Rico had been added to the Spanish empire thanks to his efforts. Food? Ponce had profited greatly from the “casana bread” he had discovered at the hands of the natives – a bread with a substantial shelf life. It was perfect for ship voyages, and Ponce made a small fortune off of selling it. Salvation of souls? Ponce and his men baptized and instructed the natives in the Catholic doctrine. Gold? Oh, yes, especially gold! Ponce had a smithy turning out gold coins from the nuggets found in Puerto Rico. At 53, Ponce was already a great man in the world, both old and new.
But he was also notoriously cruel.
So cruel was his treatment of the natives that the King had revoked his governance of Puerto Rico, and given it to Diego Columbus – Christopher Columbus’s son!
Oh, the dishonor! How could they do that to him, after all he had worked for? Ponce’s temper flared every time he thought of it!
It was all he could do but to strike out on yet another voyage. Something that could make him forget about his woes.
The Fountain of Youth.