Tag Archives: Pirates

Antony John. Firebrand. New York, NY: Dial Books, 2013.

firebrand In a future post-apocalyptic world, Thomas and his friends have succeeded in saving their parents, the Guardians, from invading pirates. However, the pirates still have hold of Roanoke Island. Thomas’s group has commandeered the pirates’ ship and must now decide whether to move on and risk the loss of their powers over the elements, or stay within reach of the pirates and risk losing their lives.

Having been told all of his life that he did not have a power, Thomas is still learning what his power does and how to use it. When the use of his power allows him to hear a radio message calling for refugees to come to Fort Sumter, Thomas is convinced that they should take the risk of losing their powers and head to a safer place. It isn’t until a pirate’s arrow kills their leader, Kyte, that the Guardians decide to go along with this plan.

Fort Sumter will reveal answers to the questions that have plagued Thomas and his friends. What power do the pirates think Griffin possesses that would be worth enough to kill for? Are there other secrets that the Guardians kept from their young? And how has this colony on Fort Sumter survived so long without encountering the plague?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Children & Young Adults, John, Antony, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Kathleen Thomas. Blackbeard’s Treasure. Greensboro, NC: Tudor Publishing, 2009.

Blackbeard's TreasureMatthew and Lauren Bakker, and their cousins Haley and Luke Bakker, are all set for a fabulous six weeks of summer camp on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Everyone is excited about different parts of the camp, but Matthew is focused on one thing only: Blackbeard. The most infamous pirate to terrorize the coast of the Old North State, Blackbeard supposedly left mountains of treasure behind when his ship Queen Anne’s Revenge sank in 1718. Matthew has been reading a book about the bloodthirsty buccaneer, and it’s not long before his enthusiasm infects his sister and cousins. Incredibly, when the four children arrive at summer camp, they discover that an underwater archaeological expedition is in progress nearby to find and recover Blackbeard’s ship for a local university.

Unfortunately, more than one person is interested in the sunken pirate galley. A private collector thinks he can beat the academics to what could be the discovery of the century. He’ll stop at nothing to steal the priceless wreck from under their noses and sell its treasure on the black market. Yet, the children come to suspect that a modern-day privateer is the least of their worries. Could Blackbeard’s angry spirit be haunting the beaches and coves of the Outer Banks, as well? With the help of the archaeologists, their harried camp counselors, and a crusty local former sailor, the four young troublemakers are determined to protect the treasure and thwart the ghost…by hook or by crook.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Carteret, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Thomas, Kathleen

Joyce and Jim Lavene. A Spirited Gift. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2011.

October 15th is always a hard day for Dae O’Donnell because it is the anniversary of her mother’s death. Although she makes time for her annual séance in an attempt to make contact with her mother, Dae has pressing matters to attend to. This is also the first day of the Mayors’ Conference Weekend, Dae’s brainchild that brings twenty mayors to Duck, North Carolina, to discuss issues that affect their coastal communities.

Things are off to a great start at the Blue Whale Inn (which, incidentally, Dae’s boyfriend Kevin Brickman runs) with the politicians happily mingling.  But Mother Nature has a different plan. What started as a little bit of rain has suddenly turned into a full-force hurricane, wrecking havoc all along the Outer Banks. Although everyone is supposed to be safe and sound at the Blue Whale, one mayor is missing: Sandi Foxx, Manteo’s flirtatious leader. When Dae finds Sandi’s diamond and ruby ring and thanks to her psychic abilities “feels” Sandi’s fear right before she lost it, she begins to worry for Sandi’s safety.

The next day, Dae discovers Sandi’s body in a shed, and in the midst of the clean-up from the hurricane, the town of Duck undergoes a murder investigation. As mayor, Dae tries to stay involved, and she has help from an unusual source: the ghost of Rafe Masterson, a distant relative and a pirate. With Rafe’s insight and prodding, Dae is able to find out who is disrupting her quiet community and to right some centuries-old wrongs.

This is the third Missing Pieces Mystery.  To start the series at the beginning, read A Spirited Gift.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Dare, Lavene, Jim and Joyce, Mystery, Novels in Series

Maddie James. The Quest. Edgewater, FL: Resplendence Publishing, 2010.

This third novel in The Legend of Blackbeard’s Chalice series finds Jackson Porter traveling through time to fulfill his mother’s dying wish–that he search for what is rightfully his. His quest takes him from eighteenth century Ocracoke Island to twenty-first century Ohio–the land of his birth. There he will find that his mother’s well tended farm is imperiled–by government sanctions and by The Cult of Teach, in the person of the cult leader’s son, Tye Gentry.  Will Kari Upton, the woman who now owns the farm, marry Gentry, or will she and Jackson have another one of the passionate, adventure-filled romances that are a feature of this series?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Hyde, James, Maddie, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller

Gardner Martin Kelley. The Outer Banks Sea Gypsies. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011.

Captain Gardner Martin Kelley has “many tales to tell” from a long life spent working on yachts, steamships, and in a World War II Liberty Shipyard. Born in 1913 on an island off the coast of Maine, this ninety-eight-year-old author has crafted a gripping story of rum running and survival on the Outer Banks beginning in 1923, as the dawning of a new age in technology saw the end of the very last cargo sailing schooners.

His tale follows three individuals, beginning with the young sailor Ron Fickett, whose father is brutally murdered by scavengers after the elder Fickett wrecks their schooner in the infamous Graveyard of the Atlantic off the North Carolina coast. The second plot concerns Johnny Mapp, one of the many “bankers” who arrive to salvage material from the schooner and witnesses Captain Fickett’s murder. He decides then that he and his family should move on, away from such brutality. The Mapp family build a floating houseboat, living off the land and selling their catch from the bountiful waters to buy what they can’t hunt or gather. Meanwhile, Ron searches first for his father, and then for revenge when he learns the truth of his death.

Finally, Kelley’s story follows Cissy Mapp, Johnny’s younger sister, who is tragically kidnapped by Cuban rum runners and sold into slavery. She escapes and assumes the identity of a street urchin called Tiar, growing up among the orphans and street children of Havana. She sells her body to survive, but eventually finds her way back to her family … with a plan to corner the market in running liquor, illegal during this era of Prohibition.

A rousing tale from an author with first-hand knowledge of much of what he writes, readers will enjoy learning about Captain Kelley’s life through his writing, and through the many photographs of the author, the ships, and the land included in this self-published novel.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog. 

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Historical, Kelley, Gardner Martin, Suspense/Thriller

Steve Berry. The Jefferson Key. New York: Ballatine Books, 2011.

You could say that it was all started by that fiery man from the Carolinas, Andrew Jackson.  After the Commonwealth, a secret society of privateers, sent an agent to assassinate Jackson, he took revenge on the group by hiding their letter of marque and expunging any record of it from Congressional documents.  Jackson then taunted the group by sending them the information they need to regain the letter–in code.   The code was created by another president, Thomas Jefferson, who thought it to be the perfect code.

Fast forward to the present.  Now a very different man from the Carolinas, Quentin Hale, is on the scene.   Hale is the head of one of the four families that make up the Commonwealth, and he is the de facto leader of the group.  From his base near Bath, North Carolina, Hale commands a corporate empire built on banking, manufacturing, and real estate–but an empire that has been considerably enriched by stealing assets and damaging companies that the Commonwealth considers enemies of the United States.  The federal government had not been of one mind on how to deal with the Commonwealth, but when the Commonwealth goes after the friendly government of Dubai, the president decides the privateers have gone too far.   That makes the president a marked man.  After a failed assassination attempt, the president calls on Cotton Malone to bring the Commonwealth down.  Double-dealing on both sides makes for a high body count and a number of twists.  This thriller takes place in North Carolina, New York, Washington, Nova Scotia, and at Jefferson’s Monticello.

This is the first book in the Cotton Malone series with a North Carolina setting.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Beaufort, Berry, Steve, Coast, Historical, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller

Laura S. Wharton. The Pirate’s Bastard. Kernersville, NC: Second Wind Publishing, 2010.

Edward Marshall’s life in 1741 is a classic tale of the self-made man: by the age of twenty-four, he’s risen from a lowly orphan in Barbados to a master shipwright in  Brunswick, a bustling port town in the great colony of North Carolina. A possible lumber deal with the wealthy merchant Thaddeus Jenkins of Wilmington means that Edward will achieve even greater success; it doesn’t hurt that Jenkins has a beautiful daughter, either. In addition to being extremely pretty, Miss Sarah Jenkins is also smart and adventurous, and Edward is soon head-over-heels in love. But an old seaman in Merchant Jenkins’ employ, Ignatius Pell, thinks he knows Edward from somewhere else, and he  threatens to ruin the young couple’s future happiness by revealing  a dark secret Edward thought he left behind on Barbados. For Edward is not Edward Marshall, but the illegitimate son of the infamous pirate Stede Bonnet and his French mistress Anne Marie, a redheaded lady of the night who passed her crimson locks and steely blue eyes on to her baby son before she tragically died.

Ignatius Pell certainly has a long memory, and trapped in his twisted brain is the location of a rich treasure buried by Bonnet in the islands before his untimely death at the hands of the law. Since Edward has convenient access to many ships and may have a bit of the pirate spirit in him, Ignatius proposes that they set sail in search of the treasure, unless Edward would rather that Miss Jenkins and her father learn of his sordid family tree. What follows is a seafaring adventure of the best kind, but reader beware: just like quests for pirate treasure, pirate tales rarely end in a predictable, or peaceful, manner.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.


Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Brunswick, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Historical, New Hanover, Wharton, Laura S.

Michael Parker. The Watery Part of the World. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2011.

Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. So begins Ishmael’s adventures, and Michael Parker likewise takes the reader straight out to sea to meet Theodosia Burr Alston. Historically, Theodosia was the highly educated daughter of the infamous Aaron Burr. In early 1813, Burr had returned from voluntary exile in Europe, and Theodosia was eager to join him. Sailing north to their reunion in New York, she sank along with her ship off the North Carolina coast, never to be heard from again. Which is of course where all the best stories begin. Parker’s Theodosia survives the pirate raid that scuttles her vessel, eking out a precarious existence on the Outer Banks with the help of a recluse named Whaley. Though far removed from the elegant lady she once was, Theodosia is still her father’s devoted daughter. Among the most valuable cargo on the ship were Aaron Burr’s personal papers; papers that, falling into the wrong hands, would certainly endanger his life. The pirate captain, a savage but educated man named Daniels, now possesses them. Theodosia is determined to steal them back. Badly injured in attempting their recovery, she flees to nearby Yaupon Island.

Sail forward one hundred and sixty odd years to 1970. Yaupon Island is “six square miles of sea oat and hummock afloat off the cocked hip of North Carolina.” Its population is three: two old, white sisters, Whaley and Maggie, descendants of the remarkable Theodosia, and Woodrow Thornton, the many-greats grandchild of the man who saved her life. Why does Woodrow stay on that hurricane-battered spit of sand, his children wonder? All to care for two crazed white women who don’t treat him any better than a handyman? Maggie and Whaley, different as night and day, are certainly more than a little mad in their own ways, but possibly from sorrow and disappointed hopes more than anything else.

Parker flashes back and forth between these two tales like lightning on the shoals, filling his watery world with historical figures, heartbreak, betrayal, and the raw desire of the human heart to outlast every attempt at drowning.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Dare, Historical, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Parker, Michael

Toby Tate. Diablero. Norcross, GA: Nightbird Publishing, 2010.

The Death Defier, or Diablero, is a creature who once was human but who acquired magical powers that allowed it to escape death.  But maybe death is a better fate than to live as a death defier–a collection of bones and will, memories and hate. The diablero is a creature who takes its energy from the living things it kills.

When some strange deaths occur on Ocracoke Island and in the Great Dismal Swamp, newspaper reporter Hunter Singleton is assigned to the story. Investigating the murders brings him back into contact with his estranged wife, Lisa, but also with his old friend, Jason Summerfield, a museum curator in Pasquotank County.  Summerfield tells Hunter the legend of Blackbeard’s involvement with the black arts and the strange circumstances of the pirate’s death.  Meanwhile, in Virginia, an antiques dealer makes a pact with a diablero that sends the creature back to the Carolinas where Hunter and his allies try to end the killings. This is a tale of magic, greed, betrayal, and revenge.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Library.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Horror, Hyde, Pasquotank, Suspense/Thriller, Tate, Toby

Jimmy C. Waters. New Bern: 1710 in the Carolinas. Toccoa, GA: Currahee Books, 2009.

This novel takes on a little-known but interesting period in North Carolina history.  Through the experiences of Martin Bender, a young immigrant to the Carolina Colony, the author unravels a complicated tale of religion, war, piracy, and the simple struggle for survival.  Historical persons such as Thomas Cary, Baron de Graffenreid, John Lawson, and Blackbeard figure in the novel as Martin comes to adulthood fighting the Tuscaroras inland and then pirates along the coast.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.


Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coast, Craven, Historical, Waters, Jimmy C.