Randall Peffer The Southern Seahawk

ISBN 13: 9781606480120

The Southern Seahawk

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Southern Seahawk, the first novel in the Seahawk Trilogy, grows from the true story of Commander Rafael Semmes' rise to infamy, becoming the Union's Public Enemy Number One. In June, 1861, Semmes' Confederate cruiser Sumter makes a daring escape through the Federal Blockade of the Mississippi. So begins the commander's career as the Southern Seahawk. With a hand-picked crew of Southern officers and mercenary seamen, Semmes seizes eight enemy ships in four days, a record never surpassed by any other captain of a warship.

By the time the cruises of the Sumter and her successor Alabama end, Semmes will have taken and burned more than eighty prizes, making him the most successful maritime predator in history. For two and a half years Semmes eludes a pack of pursuers and almost single-handedly
drives marine insurance rates so high in the North, that many Yankee ships refuse to sail until he is caught.

Back in Washington, Semmes' predations fuel feuds within the Lincoln cabinet and incite the spy games of historical figures like courtesans Rose Greenhow, Betty Duval, detective Allan Pinkerton and the commander s mistress.

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About the Author:

Randall Peffer is the author of over 300 travel-lifestyle features for magazines like National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Reader's Digest, Travel Holiday, Islands and Sail. In fact, Sail alone has published more than 35 of his features. In addition, his travel features syndicate in most of the US major metro dailies like the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, San Francisco Examiner, Denver Post and Chicago Tribune.

Randy established himself as a maritime writer with his first book, Watermen, a documentary of the lives of the Chesapeake's fishermen. It won the Baltimore Sun's Critic's Choice award and is now in its third paperback edition.

Randy has published travel guides about New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. and the Capital Region and Savannah, Charleston and the Carolina Coast. He has also authored Lonely Planet's guide to Puerto Rico, LP's Virgin Islands guide and their New England guide.

Intrigue Press published his first novel, an edgy murder mystery called Killing Neptune s Daughter, in May of 2004. His second novel, Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues was published in 2006. In the spring of 2008 Bleak House Books published his third novel, Old School Bones.

The son of a career naval officer, and a working mariner on traditional sailing vessels since the age of 20, Randy brings an intimate knowledge of the naval life and windships to his writing. Over the course of 35 years at sea he has served as deckhand and mate aboard a 100-year-old Chesapeake Bay skipjack, a cargo schooner, a cod longliner, a swordfishermen and a research vessel.

Randy has been active in the American Sail Training Association. Working as the licensed captain of Phillips Academy/Andover's research schooner Sarah Abbot, he has carried biology students on research cruises of the southern New England coast and sailed the schooner from eastern Maine to the Southern Bahamas. The story of one such summer has become a literary memoir that not only evokes the natural drama of life aboard a traditional working vessel, but also uncovers the considerable history of coastal New England.

This book, called Logs of the Dead Pirates Society, was published by Sheridan House in June of 2000, receiving uniformly positive reviews in places like The Boston Globe, Library Journal and all major nautical publications. Sail magazine featured an excerpt of this book in their January, 2000, 30th Anniversary issue. Excerpts have also appeared in The Captain's Guide to Cape Cod 2001 and the 2002 edition of the American Sail Training Association Directory. Randy has given more than 45 readings, lectures and signings to promote the book, and he continues to make public appearance on behalf of the book at yacht clubs, maritime museums and tall ship festivals.
He teaches literature and writing at Phillips Academy/Andover.

From Publishers Weekly:

In the exciting first of a projected trilogy featuring real-life Confederate naval hero Cmdr. Rafael Semmes, mystery author Peffer (Old School Bones) spends as much time ashore as at sea as he tacks from the infighting among Lincoln's cabinet to the unsavory adventures of Semmes's Irish lover, Maude Galway, and the almost endless maneuvering and bickering among federal officials and officers over capturing Semmes. After joining the nascent Confederate navy in 1861, Semmes converts a packet boat into a warship in New Orleans, escapes the Federal blockade and begins a remarkable and lengthy run of predations on Yankee shipping. While some readers may wish for more high seas action, the character of Semmes, an ardent believer in the Southern cause as well as a daring and resourceful commander, and the difficult conditions under which he operated make this a compelling and colorful read. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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