Thomas Pennywhistle

Blue Water, Scarlet Tide

It’s the summer of 1814, and Captain Thomas Pennywhistle of the Royal Marines is fighting in a New World war that should never had started, where the old rules don’t apply. Here, runaway slaves are your best source of intelligence, treachery is commonplace, and rough justice is the best you can hope to meet – or mete out.  Americans are fiercely determined to defend their new nation and the Great Experiment of the Republic; British Admiral George Cockburn is resolved to exact revenge for the burning of York, and so the war drags on. Thanks to Pennywhistle’s ingenuity, observant mind and military discipline, a British strike force penetrates the critically strategic region of the Chesapeake Bay.  But this fight isn’t just being waged by soldiers, and the collateral damage to innocents tears at Pennywhistle’s heart. As his past catches up with him, Pennywhistle must decide what is worth fighting for, and what is worth refusing to kill for -- especially when he meets his opposite number on the wrong side of a pistol. (Cover Illustration Rear Admiral George Cockburn)

The King's Scarlet

The Climax . . . 

Capital's Punishment

Capital’s Punishment 


The Battle for Washington is on! Loyalties will be tested and family and flag may not be fully compatible.

The British Army is poised to capture Washington. The American army sworn to defend the capital is in disarray. The president has been targeted for assassination and a secret organization plots the secession of New England from the Union. Two marines who share a secret hold the fate of the Republic in their hands. Royal Marine Captain Thomas Pennywhistle discovers a skeleton from his past that will make him question his duty and his destiny. United States Marine Corps Captain John Tracy discovers a hidden chink in British armor but may have to betray his honor and that of the Corps to exploit it. Unusual circumstances propel them toward a battlefield meeting. A beautiful and deadly woman with a strange brand of patriotism complicates matters. If this unexpected duo makes the wrong choices, it is not just they who will be undone, but the entire nation.

The Middle . . . 

Blue Water, Scarlet Tide

The Peninsular War in Spain is moving toward a climax. Captain Thomas Pennywhistle of the Royal Marines is trapped behind enemy lines carrying vital dispatches for Lord Wellington. His mission will lead him inexorably toward the decisive Battle of Salamanca.

Pennywhistle violates orders to save a lovely stranger and sets in motion a train of events which transform a less than straightforward assignment into a confusing maelstrom of treachery, betrayal, and uncertain alliances. The French want him badly for something beyond the dispatches he carries and are prepared to stage a huge manhunt to capture him. His Spanish allies prove less than helpful. The woman turns out to be much more complicated than expected.

His assets are few; the odds against him, daunting. The only things he can trust completely are his sergeant, his servant, and his Ferguson Rifle. He will face hard fighting, wilderness survival, and even torture, but he is a difficult man to kill and just too damn stubborn to ever admit defeat.

Meet Thomas Pennywhistle

Blue Water Scarlet Tide

Active's Measure 

Thomas Pennywhistle returns in The King's Scarlet

The beginning . . .

Fiction   Historical   Military   War

The Saga Continues . . . 

Who's the tall, tiger muscled stranger in a smart scarlet uniform aiming an extraordinary rifle? Bloody likely it's Tom Pennywhistle. He's skilled with both blade and gun, but he's no blunt instrument and is as ingenious as he is tough; always able to find and seize the thousand to one chance of survival in a tight spot. He is a Royal Marine captain who is always first into the fray, whether battling on the rolling decks of a frigate at sea or  storming an enemy fort inland. He values honor but also the lives of his men and far prefers guile to the use of clumsy, brute force. He is the sworn enemy of Napoleon and will never stop fighting until the Corsican Tyrant is overthrown. 

1810 is a dark time for those who hate tyrants. The Royal Navy of Great Britain is all that stands between Napoleon and absolute dominance of Europe. Royal Marine Captain Thomas Pennywhistle is assigned to HMS Active, one of a small squadron of frigates in the Adriatic Sea. It is considered a dull, sideshow theatre but a newly hatched secret design of Napoleon's suddenly gives it vital importance.

The Emperor is ruthless to those who fail him. French naval command turns aggressive and audacious; out for blood and playing for keeps. The British are outmanned, outgunned, and over extended, but they possess plenty of grit and gallantry. They will fight hard and viciously to prevent the Adriatic from becoming a French lake.

Pennywhistle faces cannons at sea, muskets ashore, and a skilled , dangerous adversary who has a grudge to settle. He will battle storms, not just those at sea but those of his own tempestuous nature when he crosses paths with the beautiful and fiercely independent Carlotta. He will be catapulted into one of the greatest naval battles of the age and confronted with choices which will make him question his most deeply held beliefs. His decisions will affect not just his own fate, but that of his ship, his squadron, and Europe itself.

Active Versus Corona 

Pennywhistle's World

Capital's Punishment