It is the year before the Spanish Armada. Prince Michael, an English gentleman adventurer, and his flotilla have been ignominiously smashed by the Spanish while attempting to seize the Panamanian treasure port of Nombre de Dios. It's the most decisive naval defeat the English have ever suffered at the hands of the Spanish. Even worse, Michael is taken prisoner. As a political pawn in the struggle between Elizabeth and Philip, Protestant versus Catholic, the consequences of his capture may prove catastrophic for England.
Enter Lionel Oakely. Devon mariner and corsair, Oakely is readying his ships for a raid on Spanish shipping. Frustrated by problems financing his expedition-and by his mistress' desire to lead him to the altar-Oakely's worries are suddenly dwarfed by an unexpected appeal. A late night visit from Oakely's old friend at the Admiralty, Lord Mansfield, reveals the queen has demanded that Prince Michael be rescued. And Oakely and his men, poised and ready to sail, are best placed to do the job. Will Oakely go? Knowing that Mansfield and England expect him to do his duty, Oakely accepts the commission and with it, staggering risks.
Oakely's ships promptly sail for the West Indies. Now saddled with the queen's representative, Admiral de Villiers, Oakely senses something mysterious is dogging the voyage. And once in the Caribbean, de Villiers' foolishness causes Oakely's fleet to be surprised by a Spanish squadron. Oakely survives-but only with his smallest ship-and de Villiers, after fleeing from the battle, has apparently slunk back to England. What treachery has de Villiers wrought? And what should Oakely do now? He chooses to press on to Panam and to fulfill his pledge to Mansfield and the queen. And so Lionel Oakely's adventure begins.
Stephen Kinnaman is an offshore and marine technology professional with over thirtyfive years of experience. He was born in 1950 and grew up in upstate New York and New Jersey. He and his wife, Maureen, currently reside in Chappell Hill, Texas.
In preparation for writing his books, Stephen Kinnaman visited the principal locations touched by his characters and their stories. His nautical background and pains-taking historical research have given him the ability to craft a spirited story of the sea and the men who sailed to glory.
Cover Art (The Author); Cover Design (Maureen Carroll & Katherine Bolding)