Introducing George Markham, lately of the 65th Regiment of Foot, now Lieutenant of Marines on His Britannic Majesty’s frigate Hebe. Irishman, papist, reputed coward; he is a man with something to prove. As the winter of 1793 comes to the Mediterranean coast of France, so too does the chill wind of the Revolutionary terror. When the Hebe is sent to help the Bourbon city of Toulon, Markham will have to prove he is a worthy officer of Marines…or die in the attempt.
"Action and Mayhem"
Pressed into King George's Navy for the second time in a month, John Pearce finds himself working aboard HMS Griffin, sailing the Channel in search of the numerous French privateers preying on English merchant ships. Pearce, however, has other things on his mind. He must find a way off the ship in order to rescue his ailing father from the dangers of revolutionary Paris.
It is 1795. As war spreads across the globe, Harry Ludlow joins the struggle for the richest trade in the world. When half his crew is illegally pressed into the Royal Navy by the vicious Captain Toner, Harry sets off in pursuit. Toner's ship reaches the West Indies with Harry close behind, and they sail into a maelstrom of piracy, corruption, and murder, stirred up by a French privateer. Soon, the British officer in charge of the station calls upon each man to help as best he can.
The year is 1794. Free from jail, John Pearce is not free from the smugglers whose boat he stole. While lying low, Pearce soon has other pressing concerns on his mind. Granted a commission by William Pitt, John Pearce evades his pursuers by undertaking a dangerous mission in France. As rebellious ambition turns to bloody disaster, Pearce must try to re-join Admiral Howe. Also serving with Howe is Ralph Barclay - who has somehow contrived to yet again press Pearce’s friends into his crew.
Unbeknown to John Pearce, the private letter he is delivering on behalf of the prime minister carries the dismissal of the very man he is sailing to see. The need for a government majority to pursue the war with France means John Pearce must step down as Britain’s best sailor, regretfully relinquishing the position to the incompetent Admiral Hotham. Hotham is equally less than pleased about John Pearce, as he is the one person who knows the truth about his dishonest naval career.
John Pearce, having negotiated the highly questionable sale of the two French prizes taken in The Devil to Pay, has left HMS Flirt, as well as the crew and the wounded Henry Digby in Brindisi, and is headed for Naples to see his lover. In an uncomfortable journey, he seeks to work out a way to best both Admiral Sir William Hotham and Captain Ralph Barclay, men who are his sworn enemies. All his calculations are thrown into turmoil when he discovers that Emily is pregnant.
London: 1793. Young firebrand John Pearce, on the run from the authorities, is illegally press-ganged from the Pelican tavern into brutal life aboard HMS Brilliant, a frigate on her way to war. In the first few days, Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. And he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader.
"Might not be what you think"
Lieutenant John Pearce is in London seeking protection for his friends, the Pelicans, from a reluctant Admiralty. Sitting in the tavern where they were first press ganged, Pearce considers his future. Lacking the evidence of perjury he once had to bring Captain Ralph Barclay to justice, his prospects are not promising. Ralph Barclay’s young wife, Emily, is refusing to live under the same roof as him and she has the means to get her own way: the evidence Pearce believes was lost at sea.
"A cross channel escapade"
It's 1794. Stuck in Palermo harbour, the headstrong Lieutenant John Pearce and his trusty Pelicans must repair the battle-damaged HMS Larcher with only meagre funds to do so. Sailing into danger, they encounter enemies. Pearce has no option but to run until, trapped in an Italian bay, he is forced to abandon his ship. Pearce must face a court martial for his actions, but his troubles are only just beginning.
"A fun sea tale"
On a Making Tide chronicles the fascinating early years of Horatio Nelson and Emma Lyon. Both determined to rise from obscurity, they set about making their ways through the world with corresponding recklessness and precocious ambition. Nelson enters the Royal Navy at the ae of twelve and is made a post captain at the age of 20 – his reputation as a daring yet benevolent officer secured in the American War of Independence.
1794. In the wake of the Glorious First of June, Lieutenant John Pearce has pressing matters to attend to. He must undertake an urgent commission from Lord Hood, track down midshipman Toby Burns, and placate Emily Barclay. Meanwhile smugglers whose ship Pearce inadvertently stole, are on his tail. And it is not only John Pearce who has his fair share of trouble. The triumphant Channel Fleet returns, but the battle is already the subject of controversy –and Ralph Barclay is accused of holding back from the action.
"The Pelicans are reunited"
It is 1793. John Pearce and his Pelicans are going home - to gain their freedom and put the treacherous Captain Ralph Barclay in the dock. Emily Barclay discovers Pearce has papers that would ruin her husband’s career and her future security. And then comes that dread thing, a fire aboard a wooden ship of war! Cast adrift, Pearce and his Pelicans find help from an unlikely source.
"A clever blend of fact and fiction"
John Pearce's recent promotion means that he is finally free to follow his own wishes. But the same can't be said for his trio of closest friends, who are shipped off to the Mediterranean. Pearce vows to liberate them from the brutal tyrant they are serving under. His application to William Pitt finds him sailing off with secret dispatches for Admiral Lord Hood. But when Captain Ralph Barclay puts the lives of his crew at risk, Pearce must embark on a dangerous mission before he can free his friends.
1794. Lieutenant John Pearce is caught between a feuding trio of admirals. One puts him in a position of danger while another asks him to undertake a hazardous commission in order to protect his friends, the Pelicans. Meanwhile, Pearce is also trying to construct a perjury case against Admiral Ralph Barclay.
The French Revolution is turning in on itself even as the war with the English drags on. As the armies move towards Italy, George Markham and his Marines find themselves assigned to the sloop Sylphide under the impetuous Captain Germain. Set ashore in the midst of the French army, Markham is charged with escorting a group of loyalists on a secret mission and is soon wishing he was back in the thick of it at sea.
Firebrand John Pearce has been promoted to lieutenant and is in a position of command on board HMS Faron when he returns to Toulon from his successful mission in Corsica.
"A Rollicking Tale"
1799: Having evacuated the King and Queen of Naples ahead of Napoleon’s advancing army, Nelson must now await developments in Sicily. In the meantime, he and Emma savour their passionate affair, and when Nelson travels back to Britain with the Hamiltons, he finds he is the toast of Europe. To the British elite, however, Nelson is a dangerous upstart, and his love for Emma is his weakness. With rising resentment, Nelson and Emma are forced to keep up appearances. As the war with Napoleon drags on, Nelson engages the Danish fleet at Copenhagen with stunning results.
New Orleans, 1795. The discovery of an abandoned Spanish merchant ship off the coast of America plunges the Ludlows into a far-reaching conspiracy fuelled by jealousy, ambition and nationalistic fervour. The Bucephalas lies trapped under the gaping muzzles of the 32-punder Spanish guns of New Orleans’ harbour fort. It quickly becomes clear that the corridors of the governor’s residence are just as busy with treachery, double-dealing, and murder as the back alleys of the sweltering city outside.
1794...Returning to England, Harry and James become embroiled in a vicious struggle between rival smugglers played out in the English Channel. Witnesses to a bloody confrontation, they flee to Deal - only to find that, behind its picturesque facade, the town is a haven for traders in contraband, seething with corruption and violence.
Privateersman Harry Ludlow and his partner and younger brother, James, find that murder and intrigue take up more of their time than the hunt for fat trading vessels. Arriving in the squalid, seething port of Genoa, they find it a tinderbox of tension, fed by the discovery of a hanged British sea captain and packs of English and French sailors at each other's throats.
"A tale of Skullduggery"