Bestselling author Keith Thomson is looking for a few good pirates, artists preferred.

Just sharing a press release/opportunity for any fellow pirates/artists! ~Bilge

The author of the New York Times bestseller Once A Spy, is asking readers to submit their original photographs, paintings and drawings for a chance to be featured as the cover image for the digital edition of his modern-day pirate adventure Pirates of Pensacola.

How to enter: If you haven’t already read the book, you can sample the first fifty pages for free at and Next, send your original artwork in high resolution jpeg to by May 24. Full cover designs using original artwork will be accepted. Keith and crew will review the entries and choose three images that best capture the spirit of the book. These three finalists’ work will be showcased at and on the Official Keith Thomson Author Facebook Page ( during the week of May 27th. With the help of his pirate fans Keith will then choose the grand-prize-winner whose artwork will be used as the cover image. The grand prize winner and first runner-up will each receive a genuine piece-of-eight coin and the second runner-up will receive a signed first edition of Keith’s next novel, 7 grams of lead.

Keith hopes that his fellow pirate fans will enjoy contributing their swashbuckling images and that the contest will give readers a way to join the pirate adventure and possibly find some treasure along the way.

Keith created the current cover image for Pirates of Pensacola. It was used for the digital edition that Thomson donated to the Worldreader organization, a U.S. and European nonprofit that makes digital books available to children and their families in the developing world. Keith subsequently published the e-book on Amazon and Kobobooks.

Contest details and a complete list of the official contest rules are available at

Review: Gus Openshaw’s Whale Killing Journal

Rating: ★★★½☆
Gus Openshaw’s Whale Killing Journal
by Keith Thomson

If you read only one happy-go-lucky account of whale slaughter this year…

Gus Openshaw is just your average joe, seeking to make a life with his wife and new son. When his plans are thwarted by an angry whale (who swallows his family whole, along with Gus’s right arm), Gus must find a way to make that all-too-common transition from humble catfood cannery worker into whale hunting avenger. This is easier said than done, especially considering that in these kinder, gentler days whale killing is generally frowned upon. One is certain to become entangled in all sorts of legal fiascos. But that’s only the beginning – mutinous crews, renegade princesses, foreign navies, discount arms dealers, and (of course) pirates all serve to make Gus’ adventures a sight more interesting than he’d like. Continue reading

Review: Pirates of Pensacola

Rating: ★★★★★
Pirates of Pensacola
by Keith Thomson

This book would be easy to underestimate; its premise of a modern-day classical pirate kidnapping his estranged accountant son in a quest for buried gold sounds like fine material for an over-the-top parody, and its cover featuring a cartoon parrot perched on a lap top computer certainly implies a happy-go-lucky seagoing adventure – yet neither feature betrays a hint of how much is really at work here.

Author Keith Thomson envisions a Caribbean full of modern pirates with roots firmly planted in days of yore. Motorboats and shotguns abound, but so do eye patches and peg legs. Tiny, uncharted islands provide the base of operations for bloodthirsty scallywags as they spend their days pillaging, wenching, and grogging while the rest of the world remains blissfully unaware. Being a comedy, this unlikely scenario could easily be dismissed as a mere quirk of chance or artistic license, but Thomson goes above and beyond the call as he weaves a tale that makes the existence of old-timey pirates not only just-this-side of feasible, but may induce readers to wonder why they themselves couldn’t be so lucky as to have been born in the Sugar Islands. Continue reading