Friday, July 30, 2010

Reviews of Pirates of the Narrow Seas

I have been fortunate to receive a number of positive reviews of The Sallee Rovers, the first book in the Pirates of the Narrow Seas series, and several reviews of book two, Men of Honor. It is interesting to see the different points of view of the different reviewers, what they comment on and how they interpret different aspects of the novel. For the curious, or the terminally bored seeking an hour's diversion, I post them here.

PoNS 1 : The Sallee Rovers

* Open Letters review “a true literary first: a gay seafaring novel that’s every bit as good with the ‘gay’ stuff as the ‘seafaring’ stuff [...] Pirates of the Narrow Seas has thrilling action sequences, complex, conflicted characters, and a healthy dose of contemporary realism.”:

* First ever review, by Sage Whistler, which she gave to me to post to the blog site “a dashing good tale full of adventure and mayhem, slaves and saviors, and the rigors and perils of life at sea”:

* Gerry B's review of The Sallee Rovers “A swashbuckling tale full of colour, adventure and romance – a good read!:

* Alex Beecroft's review of The Sallee Rovers at Speak Its Name “nail-bitingly intense [ . . .] I highly recommend that you rush out and get this book.”:

* Thrifty Reader's review of The Sallee Rovers:

* Nan Hawthorne's review of The Sallee Rovers “an action-packed swashbuckler of the Captain Blood tradition”:

* Andy Eisenberg's review of The Sallee Rovers “The fight and battles scenes were gripping and more than once I found myself leaning forward in my seat”:

* Astrodene's review of The Sallee Rovers “well rounded individual personalities which it is a joy to follow” :

* Rick Spilman's review of The Sallee Rovers “the scenes onboard lateen rigged galleys, galiots, and xebecks are a delight [ . . .] an entertaining and engaging book”:

* Cindy Vallar's review of The Sallee Rovers at the Pirates and Privateers website:

* Jessewave's review of The Sallee Rovers:

* Goodreads listing and reader reviews:

* AssassinsCloak's review:

*great epic historical M/M romance:

* Elisa Rolle's review of Pirates of the Narrow Seas 1 : The Sallee Rovers (Warning: Link NSFW Not Safe For Work)

PoNS 2 : Men of Honor

*Astrodene's review of PoNS 2 Men of Honor:

* Alex Beecroft's review of PoNS 2 Men of Honor:

*Nan Hawthorne's review of PoNS 2 Men of Honor:

* Elisa Rolle's view of PoNS 2 Men of Honor:

PoNS 3 : Iron Men

*Nan Hawthorne's review of PoNS 3 Iron Men:

PoNS 4 : Heart of Oak

*Yancy Carpentier's review of PonS 4 Heart of Oak:

The first of the books can be read for free at There's a table of contents at the top right corner that links into the chapters. A blog is not the most convenient way to read a novel, but hey, it's free. If you want convenient, you have to pay for it. Then you can get it as either an ebook or a print boo

Astrodene posts Spilman Review of The Sallee Rovers

Astrodene's Historic Naval Fiction site has posted Rick Spilman's review of The Sallee Rovers. Astrodene has been very kind to Pirates of the Narrow Seas, listing the series in his catalog with pictures and buying links, plus he has now posted three reviews to the site: his own, Nan Hawthorne's, and now Rick Spilman's. All are positive reviews, and it certainly helps the books' reputations to be so well featured on such an important site for nautical fiction.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sallee Rovers, a Review, at

Rick Spilman, author of the Old Salt's Blog, published a review of Pirates of the Narrow Seas 1 : The Sallee Rovers, at

"Pirates of the Narrow Sea, Book 1 – Sallee Rovers by M. Kei is well written nautical adventure fiction with a twist or two, or perhaps three [..] The action at sea is set aboard a British frigate, a captured Spanish slave galley and a Spanish galiot, which is similar to a galley, but slightly larger. For ship wonks like myself, the scenes onboard lateen rigged galleys, galiots, and xebecks are a delight. The glimpse at these exotic craft and rigs, at least to Western eyes, was lots of fun. Likewise the chase and battle scenes between square rigged ships, galleys and galiots was also entertaining [...] The other unusual element of the Sallee Rovers is the protagonist himself. Lt. Peter Thorton is the son of a minister who ran off to sea after being discovered fondling a school friend. Yes, Peter is gay, suffering from unrequited love with a fellow British officer and totally confused regarding his urges, his honor and his upbringing. If this appeals to you it is definitely a reason to read the book. If it doesn’t necessarily appeal to you, this is not necessarily the reason not to read the book. There is much to enjoy in the novel not involving sexuality."

Read the complete review at:

Pirates of the Narrow Seas 2 : Men of Honor, 15% off until August 15

Pirates of the Narrow Seas 2 : Men of Honor
Purchase Pirates of the Narrow Seas 2 : Men of Honor with 15% off with coupon code BEACHREAD305

Disclaimer: Use coupon code BEACHREAD305 at checkout and receive 15% off Pirates of the Narrow Seas 2 : Men of Honor. Maximum savings with this promotion is $10. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer ends on August 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM so try not to procrastinate! While very unlikely we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.

All other Keibooks titles are available for 10% off for the month of July.

Copyright © 2002-2010 Lulu, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | 3101 Hillsborough St. | Raleigh | NC | 27607-5436

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tall ship sailor available for readings, signings, and pirate talks

The following is my promotional letter sent to bookstores in hopes that they will be interested in hosting a reading, book signing, or talk by yours truly.

If you're a bookstore manager, special event coordinator, or otherwise interested in having me appear (East Coast venues only, unless you're willing to provide train fare), please contact me at: Keibooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

The pitch:

I'm the author of an exciting trilogy of nautical novels, the Pirates of the Narrow Seas, which feature the adventures of a gay officer in the British navy during the Age of Sail. It's a swashbuckling nautical adventure that takes places somewhere in the misty seas between History and Hollywood. Reviewers have likened my works to Master and Commander, Hornblower, and Captain Blood.

"the narrative is very fresh [...] giving us a strong insight into the world of galleys, lateen rigged vessels and the world from the corsair point of view [...] The various characters are given well rounded individual personalities which it is a joy to follow" --Astrodene's Historic Naval Fiction

The first book in the series won a Sweet Revolution Award and has been very well reviewed in both the straight and gay press. It is suitable for mature readers 17 and up (no explicit sex, but there are adult situations, sexual references, and violence (naval combat)). All three books are available in print through Ingrams and other major distributors, and the first is available as an ebook. The other two books will be released as ebooks later this summer and fall. All ebooks are enabled for text to speech for readers who would rather listen to their books than read them.

The series is: Pirates of the Narrow Seas

"Pirates of the Narrow Seas was a dashing good tale full of adventure and mayhem"—Sage Whistler, author of 'Broken'

and the books are:

Book One: The Sallee Rovers

"nail-bitingly intense . . . I highly recommend that you rush out and get this book."—Alex Beecroft, author of 'False Colours'

Lt. Peter Thorton of the 18th century British navy must struggle to come out gay while surviving storms at sea, ship to ship battles, duels, kidnapping, and more in his quest for true love and honor. Pirates of the Narrow Seas is an expertly crafted swashbuckler brimming with authentic detail and fully realized portraits of life at sea, written by a tall ship sailor and internationally acclaimed poet.

Winner of a Sweet Revolution Award for 'best full cast' and 'Judge's Pick'

Book Two: Men of Honor

Peter Thorton and his lover set out on a quest to rescue a captive duke who is the pretender to the throne of Portugal. Thorton is arrested and placed on trial for desertion and sodomy. Men of Honor continues the further adventures of a gay officer during the Age of Sail, replete with perils, excitement, and nautical detail.

Alex Beecroft, author of 'False Colors,' says it's "a book which can stand comparison with C. S. Forester’s Hornblower."

Book Three: Iron Men

Back in service with the British navy, Lt. Peter Thorton suffers misfortunes in love and war. Temporarily placed in charge of His Britannic Majesty's frigate Ajax, he is badly outnumbered by the vengeful Spanish and must fight his way free with the assistance of the dishonored HMS Resolute. On the way back to England he must ferret out mutiny and balance friendship against honor, only to be arrested once again, and face a final showdown with his old nemesis, Captain Bishop.

"It is a story that makes me almost see the people, see the times. I was so entranced that I almost felt the waves and swaying of the ship. I can't wait for the others to be published and released." -- a reader

I'm a tall ship sailor in real life, currently crewing with the Kalmar Nyckel (since December 2009). Prior do that, I did five years with the Skipjack Martha Lewis on the Chesapeake Bay. Unlike any other author of gay nautical fiction today, I have experienced many of the perils that face my characters, having been to the top of a swaying mast, been aboard a sinking vessel, and spent eight hours in an open boat in the middle of winter.

I'm available for readings of my own work, to sign books, or to participate in other events you might be hosting. I can also do my event in historic sailor/pirate costume, carrying the tools of my trade (sail knife and marlinspike). I photograph my voyages, and can provide photographs of anything from the ship's cats to sails.

In addition to discussing my own work, I can also discuss history and mythology of pirates, such as the little known fact that 'The Star Spangled Banner' was written to celebrate Americans foiling the British attempt to 'wipe out the nest of pirates' (aka 'Baltimore'). In addition to the song, Baltimoreans also celebrated by building the world's smallest fully rigged ship, the fifteen foot Federalist. They sailed it to Mt. Vernon and gave it to George Washington, but it was promptly destroyed in a hurricane.

I look forward to finding how I can entertain your patrons and promote the love of reading.


M. Kei