HNF Short Stories

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This section gives details of short stories that have been written

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Author :: Jan Needle
Series :: The Nelson series
First Published by :: Endeavour Press
Format :: Kindle
Date :: 18 January 2017

It is 1782 and England’s Royal Navy rules the waves. But one impatient young captain is far from happy merely policing the maritime highways.

‘We need some action, Tim, some proper action with steel and smoke and powder. Blood and Glory, Hastie! That is what we need.’

These are the words and dreams of the young Horatio Nelson, whose lust for war and honour is so consuming he is even prepared to disobey the orders of his Admiralty and Government superiors.

Nelson: The Powder Keg is the third in a series by Jan Needle that looks at some of the lesser known and sometimes shocking exploits of the Norfolk clergyman’s son before he became one of the country's most iconic heroes.

Once again, the story is recounted by his friend Tim Hastie, who this time joins him on board the 28-gun former French frigate the Albemarle. To his dismay Nelson – health ravaged by years in the disease-ridden tropics – is sent on escort duty in the icy Baltic, and from there to Canada with bullion to pay the British Army in Quebec, where his ship’s sails get frozen to the yards.

With the American War of Independence over, it is all too tame for Horatio, who is desperate to seek glory on the Caribbean Station. When he finally gets there, and the French invade Turk’s Island, the intensely patriotic Nelson can’t believe his luck – until his own counter-invasion goes horribly wrong.

Returning to Britain, half in disgrace and with a wife most men think tragically unsuitable, he is on the verge of giving up the sea – or even, horror of horrors, joining the French Navy! The hated French, however, are his saviours. For it is now the 1790s, and the French Revolution has torn a gash in Europe.

The growing chaos of their revolution reignites the war between the two countries, and Nelson, appointed to command the Agamemnon, finds himself in the Mediterranean, where his destiny takes some unexpected turns. One of them is his meeting with a beautiful young woman. She is called Emma Hamilton.

Nelson: The Powder Keg

Author :: David Perry
First Published by :: Griz Independent Publishing Resources
Format :: Kindle
Date :: 30 January 2016
Benedict Arnold's Navy: The Marines at Valcour Island

The US Marines were there, on Lake Champlain, fighting valiantly aboard Benedict Arnold's Navy. An integral part of that navy carved from the American wilderness, these frontier marines slowed the advance of the British Army from Canada, stalling the drive that would have split the fledgling states assunder, end the hopes of the patriots for their new nation.

Author: David Perry

Title: Benedict Arnold's Navy: The Marines at Valcour Island


First Published by: Griz Independent Publishing Resources


Format: Kindle

Date:30 January 2016



Author :: David Cook
Format :: PB
Date :: 28 June 2014

It is December, 1799, and Captain of Marines Simon Gamble has been sent behind enemy lines to capture an impregnable fortress called Dominance on the Maltese island of Gozo.

Gamble must lead his lightly-armed men against the prime veteran soldiers of France, in a daring and brutal fight where there can only be one winner.

Success means freedom for the Gozitans from their French oppressors; failure means the marines face an unmarked grave on foreign soil.

A hero and a soldier to some, but certainly no gentleman, Gamble; battle-scarred and haunted by the horrific bloodshed at the Siege of Acre prior to this mission, must fight a new guileful enemy, even if the price means life, death or dishonour.

This is Gamble's toughest fight yet, and one he knows he cannot afford to fail.

For the ultimate battle will be for revenge.

Heart of Oak, is an authentic historical story set during the liberation of the Maltese Islands, the second novella in The Soldier Chronicles series.

Heart of Oak

Author :: Alec Merrill
Date :: 2016

Lieutenant Francis Halpenny is reassigned to HMS Reaper, a Bonetta group sloop patrolling the New England coast. Halpenny is ambitious and is not sure if this new assignment will help or hinder any advancement.

Halpenny's doubts further intensify when the captain is reluctant to patrol aggressively. All that changes one night when fate comes knocking. Seeing an opportunity, Halpenny seizes it.

Will that opportunity pay off?

Reaper's Harvest


The Battle of Waterloo has been fought and won. Napoleon has been exiled to St Helena, left by the British to spend the rest of his days rotting away in obscurity. But many still worship him as a God amongst men, and are desperate to see him free to rule and fight for them once again.

Samson Armstrong, an out-of-work ship’s captain, unwittingly stumbles on a plot to spring Napoleon from his imprisonment. Armstrong had been at sea during the Napoleonic Wars, commanding the ‘Tamarind’ for the East India Company. But with the war over, and Napoleon defeated, he has been sacked, like so many others, to scrape any living that he can.

Now, he once again finds himself caught up in the skirmish, as he overhears Napoleon’s favourite assassin, the spy Ledru, cementing plans to rescue the exiled emperor, with a rag-tag band of ex-Army men – and the latest American invention, the submarine. They will go to any lengths to free the people’s ‘hero’ and revive the battle against British rule.

Amongst those who have turned their back on the English government is Lord Cochrane, the once-famous frigate captain known as the ‘Sea Wolf.’ With impassioned speeches, and the promise of a hefty reward, Samson is persuaded to captain the ‘Tamarind’ for their cause.

Meanwhile on the island, Napoleon has made himself dangerous enemies: the British governor in charge of him who despises his arrogant attitude, and a spurned mistress who has borne his child. Her new lover is the ex-dictator’s personal physician – and he is experimenting with arsenic...

As the ship and the submarines near their destination the walls close in on Napoleon. Will Samson and the motley crew arrive to rescue him in time? What really happened on the island of St Helena? Did Napoleon die... or did he escape?

‘Napoleon: The Escape’ is a thrilling naval adventure story, combining fact and fiction to create one possible outcome for the many rumours which have surrounded Napoleon’s death.

Napoleon: The Escape


Wiki had been enjoying life in the East Indies and the South China Sea. He could speak the local language, so had sailed happily on coastwise craft in the company of Bugis rogues and pirates. But then George Rochester had arrived on the Potomac, and while it had been delightful to get together with his old college friend, it had also ruined Wiki’s current existence.
Because of that twice-damned dog....


Robber Crabs


The middle of the eighteenth century. France and England are at war. Charlie Raven is part of the crew on board the Pointer, trying to gain control of the seas. His captain Hector Maxwell is a cruel master. He commands the sloop Pointer with an iron hand, and scant regard for morals or for men. And he has an irrational hatred towards Charlie.

The crew have clashed with smugglers from the Isles of Scilly, with deaths on both sides. And Maxwell is determined to punish the islanders, even though they see themselves as patriotic Englishmen. How far will Maxwell go in his bid for power? And can Charlie avoid his iron fist? Or will he be dealt The Death Card?

The Death Card


Four chapters extracted from The Massacre of Innocents, The Continuing Voyages of HMS Surprise, providing a detailed introduction to the first book in the new historical fiction series about this so famous frigate. If you liked the superb series from Patrick O'Brian, with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, then you simply must check out this new series. This short story provides the ideal way to do so.

HMS Surprise: A Short Story


Because more suitable candidates have been sent away on other prizes, a young midshipman is placed in command of a captured armed enemy brig by his father, Captain John Phillips, commanding HMS Resolve. Given the temporary ranking of master's mate, Mister Tim Phillips is to bring the vessel safely to the remainder of the squadron on blockade duty off the mouth of the Tagus.

On the way however, he manages to defeat and take an enemy vessel more powerful than his own. Impressed, the admiral commanding the squadron informs him that, while he cannot promote the under-aged Phillips, he will purchase the brig into the fleet to use as a dispatch vessel, leaving Phillips in command as Master's Mate.

Phillips must oversee putting his new brig into commission and obtain a crew. The tasks assigned him by the Royal Navy will test his abilities.

His Magesty's Brig Alert


By the time he was invalided back from the disastrous expedition up the Rio San Juan in an attempt to destroy Spain's hold on central America, Nelson – at the age of only 22 – was 'a dead man walking.'

He was carried ashore at Port Royal in a cot, and saved from certain death only by the intervention of Captain 'Coachee' Cornwallis, who was determined he would get well again.

The brother of the would-be scourge of the rebels of the Thirteen Colonies, Cornwallis put him in the care of a handsome black woman – Mrs Cuba – who had taken his own surname. Steeped in voodoo, her methods were frowned on by the medical establishment.

With his faithful companion Tim Hastie, Nelson spent many weeks with Cuba and her young nurses, often delirious and racked by fever and by pain.

By the time he was appointed captain of the Janus, Nelson was too sick to take up the command. Not long afterwards – not for the first time in his short life – he was sent back to England as a wreck.

It was touch and go if he would survive the voyage...

'Nelson: The Dreadful Havoc' is the second of a series about the life and times of Horatio Nelson, which looks at some of his lesser known exploits, as well as the ones which made him the country's most iconic hero.

Nelson: The Dreadful Havoc

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