Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure now available at Amazon!

For the first time, you can order Caleb Wygal’s newest novel, Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure, on Amazon.com. For those of you who have Amazon Prime and have been waiting to order, now you can!

You can order here: Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure at Amazon.com.

Currently, the novel is only available in paperback. E-book editions will be ready in the first or second week of May.

The official release date is April 28, 2016.

You can read an excerpt of the Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure here. 

Blackbeard Quick Fact #7: The sinking of the Queen Anne’s Revenge

In the days leading up to the release of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure (April 28,2016 – Franklin/Kerr Press), I will give my readers–or anyone with interest in the legendary pirate–some notes I took as part of my research for the novel.

These notes will lay the background for Blackbeard, many of which did not make it into the novel. For the items that did make it into the novel, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers. You can read all of the facts here. 

In Blackbeard Quick Fact #6, I told you where and how Blackbeard gained his flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge.  In Fact #7, I will let one character in Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure tell you about that ship’s demise:

Riddick twisted the cap off another beer. Lucas peered out over the water and saw a flock of seagulls making their way out to the Outer Banks. He asked, “Why did he wreck it? The Queen Anne’s Revenge?”

“He wanted to seek a pardon from Governor Eden,” Riddick answered. “If he didn’t have the Revenge that would have shown the world he truly wanted out of pirating. There were only a few of his crew who knew this, including fellow pirate captain Stede Bonnet. He was past the date the king had given pirates in which to surrender or be hanged. Blackbeard, as it turned out, felt he had the means to persuade Eden to let him and his crew live, although they had not met at that point. Blackbeard had just laid siege to Charleston, and the Royal Navy wanted him dead.

“In June of 1718, I believe, Blackbeard and his flotilla of four ships entered the area around Beaufort, North Carolina. Three sloops and the Revenge. They all sailed into the narrow Topsail Inlet. It wasn’t much wider than a couple football fields across and not very deep either. They carried more sail than they needed to, meaning they were going too fast for that stretch of water. The helmsman, without warning, turned the ship sharply to starboard and hit a sandbar.”

“Did that sink it?” Darwin asked.

“No, it could have probably been salvaged at that point.”

“What happened?”

“Blackbeard hailed Israel Hands, who captained the Adventure, one of the other sloops, and had him toss over a tow rope.”

“So, Hands tried to pull the ship off the sandbar?”

Riddick shook his head. “Nope. The opposite in fact. The Adventure managed to drag the Revenge further onto the sandbar, damaging the keel and lower hull. This was after the main mast was broken during the initial crash. By then, the Revenge was dead. The Adventure ran on shore in the maneuver, crashing it beyond repair.”

“What happened to the other two ships?”

“Blackbeard sent Stede Bonnet, to Bath Town in a longboat to meet with (Governor) Eden and ask for pardon. Blackbeard intended to use the failed pirate captain as a guinea pig of sorts. Eden did pardon Bonnet and his crew, although that took about a week. At the time, it took about three days to sail from the crash site to Bath. A six-day round-trip. He ended up being gone about two weeks before returning.

“While Bonnet was gone, Blackbeard and his men set up camp on a small island away from civilization, and had all of the remaining plunder transferred to the smaller of the two ships. He had promised the other sloop, the Revenge, to go back to Bonnet upon his return. Blackbeard had that ship stripped of anything useful: guns, ammo, plunder—you name it—while Bonnet was gone. He chose about forty men to crew the small sloop. They set sail, abandoning two-hundred or so pirates.”

Lucas and Darwin shared a surprised look. “Just left them there? On an island?”

“That he did,” Riddick said. “Look, he was a cunning, vicious, intelligent pirate. If he had to sacrifice two hundred or two thousand men to see to it that his plans came to fruition, he wouldn’t have batted an eyelash before giving the order. I mean, if he really wanted everyone dead, he could have blasted the camp with cannon fire. At least he wasn’t that brutal.”

The ship sunk in 1718. Its wreckage wasn’t discovered until 1996 when divers found the remains of a ship within two hundred yards off a major shipping lane near Beaufort Inlet, NC.

Get your copy of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure available in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited here!

Blackbeard Quick Fact #6: The Queen Anne’s Revenge

In the days leading up to the release of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure (April 28,2016 – Franklin/Kerr Press), I will give my readers–or anyone with interest in the legendary pirate–some notes I took as part of my research for the novel.

These notes will lay the background for Blackbeard, many of which did not make it into the novel. For the items that did make it into the novel, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers. You can read all of the facts here. 

Early in his days as a pirate under the tutelage of Captain Benjamin Hornigold, they assaulted and captured a French ship named Concorde off the island of St. Vincent on November 28, 1717. At this point, Blackbeard served as a second-in-command.

Blackbeard, or Edward Teach as he was known then, was anxious to have command of his own ship. He asked Hornigold if he could have command of the new ship.

Hornigold saw that the young pirate held much potential and agreed to Blackbeard’s request.

Soon thereafter, Hornigold retired as a pirate, taking the King’s Pardon–which was basically a Get Out of Jail Free card for pirates of the day.

Blackbeard assembled a new crew from many of Hornigold’s men and rechristened the 200-ton Concorde the Queen  Anne’s Revenge.

In the next Blackbeard Quick Fact, I will tell you of the Queen Anne’s fate and recent discovery.

Get your copy of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure available in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited here!

Excerpt from Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure

Here is a short excerpt from Caleb Wygal’s latest novel Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure, named a Semi-Finalist in the 2016 Clive Cussler Adventure Writer’s Competition. Enjoy.

You can order here: Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure at Amazon.com.


 

 It must have been a mistake, Darwin Trickett thought. How did no one not see this before now?

Trickett was a graduate assistant at North Carolina State University, working in the archives at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. His job was, for the most part, boring, although it would make a good entry on his resume down the line.

He was a massive human. Standing at six feet, eight inches tall and weighing close to three-hundred and fifty pounds, he had to squeeze himself between the already generous amounts of space in between shelving units in this dank, dark, musty storage room underneath the old part of the museum. At twenty-three years of age, he already had a rapidly receding hairline. The rest of his scalp consisted of dense, puffy, black curls. He wore a pair of black horn-rimmed glasses. He was so farsighted that the lenses magnified his eyes.

His appearance often frightened small children.

Those who took the time to get to know Darwin—who were rare—knew him to be a gentle, caring person who would do almost anything for his friends.

The museum opened a new research wing during the late winter of 2012, and now they were looking for low-paid, recent college graduates to sift through the archives in the old wing to clear out space. Boxes and crates filled the numerous storage areas, filled with artifacts and documents from various types of archaeological expeditions. Most of the contents of the storerooms came from projects and digs located in the Carolina’s. There was a room for prehistory, ancient history, and recent history. In the grand scope of time, the museum curators defined “Recent History” as any time since Christopher Columbus landed in the New World.

Trickett sat on the floor in one corner of the recent history section, digging in a cardboard box of unfiled papers and artifacts from what must have been a small project. A strong, musty odor emanated from the box. A common smell to Darwin. Lying atop a wooden plate, a manila envelope and other assorted kitchen tools was a scrawled note in a large Ziploc bag.

It read:

Plum Point Artifacts

Travis Cole

Bath, North Carolina

April 16, 1982

That was it. No notation of who worked on the project besides Cole or any indication of why the box’s contents were important. He had been through dozens of crates and boxes, and all had standard documentation: Name of Project, Project Leader, Place, Date, Findings, and Assistants. Trickett couldn’t place the name Plum Point, although he thought Bath was somewhere near the Outer Banks. It sounded familiar.

With no context to go upon, the various artifacts were meaningless. He pushed the contents around, hoping something would jump out at him. The interior consisted of different artifacts that came from everyday life such as plates, cutlery, a wooden box, and cups. Just like most of the other boxes he had sorted through thus far. He grabbed a manila envelope tucked along the edge of the box in hopes of finding some shred of information that would help him decide if he should keep the box or throw it away.

At the moment, he leaned towards the latter.

The packet was a standard manila envelope. It was thick, but not heavy. He released the metal clasp and lifted the flap. The musty smell returned, however unlike the odor in the rest of the box, it reminded Trickett more of an old library than anything else.

Inside was a leather-bound journal—the source of the smell—and another handwritten note. Again, the note did little to help Trickett. It read:

From the Teach ruins.

This is presumed to be the diary of Mary Ormond.

Trickett set the note aside. He wasn’t familiar with the names, although he had a sense he’d seen or heard it somewhere before. He’d have to go back and check later and made a note to do so.

There wasn’t an identifying name written inside the first few pages. The cover of the journal was black and unadorned. The pages were yellowed with age and frayed at the edges. Dates preceded many of the entries with the first one beginning in 1717. Whatever this was, it was almost 300 years old. Nowhere near being the oldest of the artifacts in this basement (there was most of an acrocanthosaurus claw in another room that was over 130 million years old); although that didn’t mean he could take this any less seriously. Trickett thought the thin book was in amazing condition, considering its age.

He leafed through a few of the entries near the back of the journal, and was surprised at the intimacy portrayed. The entries depicted a woman much in love with Blackbeard, who worried about him while he was away. In an entry near the end of the journal, she awoke to a surprise on her pillow: a gold necklace with a large ruby.

Some of the lettering was faded, although Trickett could still make out what was written. Of the few entries he read, this Mary Ormond did not mention the name of her lover. He figured that from the period and the coastal location where Cole came across this journal and from what he had read that the bearded man was the captain of a ship of some sort.

He thought the journal seemed interesting enough, at least, to catalogue. This might be the only thing he’d save from the carton. Trickett was getting ready to close the journal and set it aside when he fumbled it in his hands, causing a folded piece of yellowed parchment to come loose from somewhere in the recesses of the book and flutter to the floor.

He stared at the parchment in surprise. He wondered what was special enough about it that made Ormond tuck it away in her personal diary.

He picked it up between his chubby fingers, and unfolded the frail paper slowly. There was something sacrosanct about it causing Trickett to treat it with even more care than the journal. The parchment had a silken quality. This was expensive paper for the period in which it was made. The left edge of the paper seemed as though it came from a notebook of some sort. Like someone ripped it out in a hurry.

Darwin didn’t know it at the time, but the words and lines on that piece of parchment would change his and others lives as well as rewrite the history books.

Blackbeard Quick Fact #5: Blockade of Charleston, SC

In the days leading up to the release of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure (April 28,2016 – Franklin/Kerr Press), I will give my readers–or anyone with interest in the legendary pirate–some notes I took as part of my research for the novel.

These notes will lay the background for Blackbeard, many of which did not make it into the novel. For the items that made it into the novel, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers. You can read all the facts here. 

In this post, I tell you about one event for which Blackbeard became famous for.

Blackbeard Quick Fact #5

In May of 1718 after spending the winter in the Caribbean, Blackbeard took his flotilla to Charleston, SC, and blocked the harbor for five or six days. His vessels would attack any ship trying to come in or leave. He effectively shut down commerce to one of the biggest ports in Colonial America.

The reason? Apparently, during their reign of terror the previous winter, they brought some gifts with them back to America: syphilis.

Blackbeard demanded medical supplies be brought to his ship to treat the STD. After several days, he received what he needed and left.

During the excavation of Blackbeard’s flagship, The Queen Anne’s Revenge, off the coast of North Carolina, archaeologists recovered ‘medical tools’ from the wreckage.  For a man, these tools are very cringe-worthy.

Get your copy of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure available in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited here!

Blackbeard Quick Fact #4: The truth about Pirate Speak with book excerpt!

In the days leading up to the release of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure (April 28,2016 – Franklin/Kerr Press), I will give my readers–or anyone with interest in the legendary pirate–some notes I took as part of my research for the novel.

These notes will lay the background for Blackbeard, many of which did not make it into the novel. For the items that did make it into the novel, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers. You can read all the facts here. 

With this post, I give you my first excerpt from the novel. Here, the two protagonists, Darwin and Lucas, are speaking to Hugo Riddick for the first time. He is a pirate impersonator who possesses a wealth of knowledge about Blackbeard. Darwin and Lucas will soon learn there is more to him than meets the eye.

Here, Riddick tells you the truth about “Pirate Speak.”

Quick Fact #4

“So, do you add in phrases such as walk the plank, yaargh, keel haul, shiver me timbers and other pirate lingo?” Darwin asked.

Riddick waived his hand dismissively. “No, pirates didn’t talk like that.”

“They didn’t?” Darwin said.

“No,” Riddick said. “Those are nothing more than a theatrical construct. There was a movie in the early fifties called Blackbeard the Pirate. An actor by the name of Robert Newton portrayed Blackbeard in that movie. He added the pirate speak to make his character more endearing and stand out.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, other writers, actors and impersonators saw how well that came across, and it didn’t take long for “pirate talk” to be adopted everywhere. I try to be as accurate as I can, and therefore abstain from the use of it. I want for the people who see when I make appearances to get a performance as close to the real Blackbeard as I can.”

“So, in your own way, while you’re there to entertain, you’re also trying to educate at the same time?” Lucas asked.

Hugo made another salute with his now near empty bottle of beer. “Exactly. I feel as though I’d be doing a disservice otherwise. Been doing it ever since.”

Get your copy of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure available in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited here!

Blackbeard Quick Fact #3 – Fun with hemp

In the days leading up to the release of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure (April 28,2016 – Franklin/Kerr Press), I will give my readers–or anyone with interest in the legendary pirate–some notes I took as part of my research for the novel.

These notes will lay the background for Blackbeard, many of which did not make it into the novel. For the items that did make it into the novel, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers. You can read all of the facts here. 

In Fact #2, I told you how Blackbeard used intimidation and fear in his rise to prominence rather than violence. He used his size, beard, and even his pirate flag to get his way on the open seas.

Blackbeard Fact #3

Another method Blackbeard used was the use of theatrics. He knew that he only had one chance to make a first impression, and when seafarers caught site of him, he wanted them to believe that he was a demonic figure.

During the early 1700s, cannons used hemp fuses. Blackbeard would cut these fuses into smaller strips and tuck them into his hat and light them. This would cause a thick black cloud of smoke and flames to cover his face.

If you add that to his giant figure (for that day), that his body would be loaded with pistols and knives, and laughing like the evil maniac he was, the sight of him would no doubt cause his enemies to tremble in fear.

Get your copy of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure available in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited here!