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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hell Around the Horn


Here is what I said about Rick Spilman's nail-biter, Hell Around the Horn, when it first come out:

Ringing with authenticity, this nail-biter is a tale of battling wind and weather to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the most dreaded landmark in the sailor's lexicon, Cape Horn.

Stories of ships in the Age of Sail are usually told from the quarterdeck, and the fight is against other ships. Rick Spilman's novel, by contrast, revisits the windjammer era when men fought the elements with just rope and canvas, using muscle and willpower to get a freight to a destination. In the tradition of old salts who once wrote hugely popular stories of life under sail -- men like "Shalimar" (F. C. Hendry), Captain F. Coffin, Jan de Hartog and Alexander Bone -- Hell Around the Horn tells it like it was for the ordinary people who lived unthinkably dangerous lives at sea, from the point of view of the foc'sle and the half-deck, as well as the cabin.

Based on real events, this is the story of one captain's struggle to get his ship to port, with just his seafaring knowledge and his increasingly weary crew to help, and with the added problem of a bloodyminded mate. A detail I particularly liked was that he had his wife and family with him. Spilman reveals her experiences through her letters, which are as convincingly written as the rest of the book.
Highly recommended.

Until May 19, you can download this book for free, as a promotion for Rick's publishing venture, Old Salt Press, which I have been honored to join.  Just hit the image of Hell Around the Horn to the right, and take advantage of this generous offer.

As Rick says in his blog, Old Salt Blog (link to the left) -- To celebrate the upcoming publication of Joan Druett’s Promise of Gold trilogy, Old Salt Press will be running a free book promotion for Rick Spilman’s Hell Around the Horn, and Joan Druett’s The Beckoning Ice and A Love of Adventure over the next two weeks. Starting today May 15th and running through Sunday, May 19th, Hell Around the Horn will be free on Kindle. From May 18 – 20, The Beckoning Ice will be free and from May 21-23, A Love of Adventure will be also be free.

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