Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pirates of the Narrow Seas Now in Print


P O Box 1118 * Elkton, Maryland, USA * 21922-1118

Date: 25 January 2010

PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release

Pirates of the Narrow Seas award-winning novel by M. Kei published by Keibooks

In Pirates of the Narrow Seas, Lt. Peter Thorton of the 18th century British navy must struggle to come out gay while surviving storms at sea, ship to ship battles, 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 tanka poet, M. Kei. 

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

Perryville, Maryland — 1 February 2010 — Pirates of the Narrow Seas  by M. Kei has been published as a trade paperback by Keibooks of Perryville, Maryland. Winner of a Sweet Revolution Award in the category of 'best full cast' and a special 'Judge's Pick,' it features the nautical adventures of Lt. Peter Thorton, a gay man struggling to serve with honor during the Age of Sail. Facing numerous perils, including his fellow officers, the enemy at sea, corsairs, storms, ship battles, duels, and kidnapping, Thorton is torn between being true to himself or true to his duty to country, god, and king. 

A fan of nautical fiction by Frederick Marryat, C. S. Forester, and Patrick O'Brien, Kei was frustrated by gay characters receiving short shrift in all their novels. "Every reader wants to find a character that he can identify with and dream of a world different and better than his own. Unfortunately, they simply didn't exist. So I decided to write one for my own amusement." 

Although the inventors of Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey and Richard Bolitho are more famous than Kei, he has one unique advantage: he actually crews aboard 'wooden sail.' He knows first hand the perils of having his hand accidentally pinned to the samson post with the vessel swinging out of control in a raging current and pressing wind. His personal experience of the privations, dangers, and beauty of life aboard a wooden sailing vessel creates a rich resonance as he depicts the lives and duties of 'iron men and wooden ships.' 

With a keen sense of what heroism really is, his characters overcome great challenges—not with a magic compass or animal sidekick—but with a derring-do based on real courage, skill, and intelligence. Pirates of the Narrow Seas is a spell-binding adventure in the best tradition of the sea yarn, with a main character who also happens to be gay.

Winner: Sweet Revolution Award for 'best full cast' and a special 'Judge's Pick.'

"Pirates of the Narrow Seas was a dashing good tale full of adventure and mayhem, slaves and saviors, and the rigors and perils of life at sea. Pirates of the Narrow Seas follows the life of Peter Thorton and his journey as a poor lieutenant with little social influence and dangerous secrets. I found Thorton to be a well-rounded, likable character; at times courageous and admirable and in turns despondent and pitiful. Watching him develop throughout the story; finding his true self and place in the world, made for an engaging story."~Sage Whistler, author of 'Broken'

"I've read this book several times and each time has kept me spellbound. I am not gay and I found the romance handled with such class and sensuality that I was completely enthralled and became emotionally vested in seeing the men in the book form and live through their relationships. This is all set against a compelling and highly-detailed background of history, nautical derring-do and quick-paced action. I am desperate for additional novels in this series to be released!"~Chele Kraus

Available online at <> or your favorite bookseller. Price: $18.00 USD. ISBN 978-0-557-26719-4. Trade paperback, 280 pages, 6.14" x 9.21", perfect binding, 60# cream interior paper, black and white interior ink, 100# exterior paper, full-color exterior ink. Cover art attributed to Thomas Buttersworth, modified by L. S. Alexander. International buyers may wish to utilize or other major bookseller. 

About the Author

M. Kei served his apprenticeship aboard a skipjack, a traditional wooden sailboat used to dredge for oysters on the Chesapeake Bay. Most recently, he has become a crewman for a square-rigged tall ship which is a reproduction of a 17th century vessel, complete with lateen mizzensail, whipstaff, watersail, and a pair of ship's cats. An accomplished poet, he is internationally known for specializing in the short lyric form known as 'tanka.' He is the editor-in-chief of Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka and the author of Slow Motion : The Log of a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack, a log he kept in verse form while making several extended trips aboard a skipjack. Over 1500 of his short poems have been published in ten countries and six languages. He has published eight full-length books of poetry and fiction.

For media inquiries or to arrange and interview with the author, contact M. Kei through Keibooks. Email:

About Keibooks

Keibooks is the small press founded by M. Kei to publish distinctive works of literature while allowing him full creative control. Keibooks' first project was the highly acclaimed anthology of tanka love poems, Fire Pearls : Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart, which became an instant classic and established M. Kei as an editor as well as poet of considerable ability. It was followed by his first collection of short poetry, Heron Sea, Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay, sealing the poet's identity as a poet of the Chesapeake. Keibooks also publishes Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka, an international journal that focuses on poetry of place as rendered in tanka and related forms. 

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