Pulaski Saga Boxed Set #1 includes Pulaski’s Canal, Blood on the Chesapeake, and Raven’s Risk, the first three books of the Pulaski Saga.
Pulaski’s Canal – Book 1
1841. Ben Pulaski was dead. His return to Havre de Grace from long imprisonment in China destroys the sense of survival that has sustained Sonja as a widow and mourning mother to a lost infant daughter Ben never knew. Former shipmates join Ben to help his fledgling business on the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal, bringing with them the volatile contradiction of that “peculiar institution”. Tricked into smuggling escaping slaves into Pennsylvania, Ben nearly dies for it. He misses crucial deadlines to the bank and once more jeopardizes his family’s security by facing foreclosure of their home, releasing a surprising explosion of rage in the little town at the head of the Chesapeake Bay.
Blood on the Chesapeake – Book 2
Pulaski Sequel – 1842. Ben and Sonja struggle to rekindle their fragile relationship and rebuild their lives in a young country trying to merge a cacophony of beliefs while ignoring the festering sore of slavery.
Still mourning an infant daughter and home taken by the raging Susquehanna River, together they push back at the people and laws that would keep them destitute. Working the canal that pierces the Mason and Dixon Line and sailing the upper Bay, Ben and Sonja are targeted by a violent man Ben thought left for dead, and a conniving banker Sonja humiliated in desperation. Brought together in a dark business venture, the two enemies devise a plan to destroy the Pulaskis as well. Ben and Sonja find themselves in the center of a growing storm fed by greed, bondage, and revenge, releasing the monster held deep within Ben, and pouring blood on the Chesapeake.
Raven’s Risk – Book 3
3rd in the Series! Havre de Grace, 1843. Ben and Sonja Pulaski strengthen their bonds after overcoming bloody intentions and conniving efforts, and gain ownership of the schooner Raven. With their younger son Aaron left as captain of the sailing barge Ugly Boat and their older son Isaac accepted to West Point, their Maryland roots range deep into both slave and free states. Still struggling to meet the needs of a family without powerful friends, but driven by powerful beliefs, the Pulaskis accept surprising obligations that will take them deeper into slave smuggling. Sonja grows stronger as a partner to Ben, far beyond the social expectations of the 19th century. Ben struggles to contain the demons that haunt his anger and push him toward violence. They are pushed and pulled by the banks and political forces. Once again, the Pulaskis step into a broader world, taking them farther from the simple life on the Canal, and ever forward into the growing maelstrom of a nation straining within itself.
Robert Lackey is a native of Havre de Grace, Maryland. The area is rich in history and watershed culture, reaching back to the beginning of the country. Robert has been a writer, soldier, photographer, and administrator, but always comes back to his writing. Stepping outside of technical writing in 2005, he focused his alternate passion on understanding life along the canal, and the uniqueness of Maryland history. That passion for history evolved into the historical novel “Pulaski’s Canal”, set in 1841 Havre de Grace, published in 2014. He then continued the story within the novel series: The Pulaski Saga.
The novels follow a representative family, from the mid to latter 19th century. The Pulaskis settle along the canal that passes daily between slave and free state, awakening them to the moral quandary of bondage versus humanity. From awakening to action, the husband and wife team face the real struggles of life in the 1800s while devoting more of themselves to helping runaway slaves escape north. As the years pass, their sons and daughter join them in the mission to do what they can, at a time when the country was tearing itself apart over slavery. The series exposes the reader to the actual national histories through the experiences of the Pulaskis. The author challenges the characters within that history by bold adventures, dangers in hate and war, and desperate searches for love, fundamental for a good read.