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St Elmo's Fire (the novel)

Updated on March 12, 2014

In Print Edition

St Elmo's Fire is a phenomena named after St. Erasmus of Formiae. It is probably most famous for appearing on the masts of ships during thunderstorms where it takes the form of balls of light, usually bright blue or violet in colour. Sailors have believed many superstitions with regards to seeing St Elmo's Fire over the years, including that to see one flame means bad weather is coming and two flames means good weather is on the way. The most common belief says that Saint Erasmus, (also known as Saint Elmo), died during a storm at sea. Before he passed, he promised the crew he would return and appear in some form if they were to survive the storm. Shortly afterwards, the sailors saw a mysterious light at the top of the mast of their vessel and assumed Elmo had kept his word and they would live through the storm. This is why the electrical discharge that creates the bright lights seen around a ship’s masts and yards during a storm is called St. Elmo’s Fire. Sailors believed its appearance was a sign that the worst of the storm had passed, and as long as the light remained high among the masts, luck was with them. If it shone on the deck, though, bad luck was unavoidable. If the light circled a sailors head, he would die within a day.

James Cassaday (Author)
James Cassaday (Author) | Source

About St Elmo's Fire

In James Cassaday's latest Ebook St Elmo's Fire, ex-Seaman Jack Druce has joined the fire brigade in the 1950s. Before long Jack comes to bitterly regret the day he failed to look away when he first glimpsed this phenomenon during his seafaring days. His bad luck soon gets worse as he makes the mistake of agreeing to join a group of rogue ex-firemen who are plotting to steal a priceless work of art.

Follow his adventures in a fire decimated warehouse, then during a daring heist; before back at sea he goes on the run from the law and is confronted by others who want to steal the work of art from him. The story escalates rapidly and twists and turns in line with the thrill of the chase - it contains danger, romance, and more than a little Liverpool humour. In the end, Jack Druce and the readers are left with a tantalising riddle to solve; one that refuses go away - It flickers and dies, then flares again, just like the St Elmo's Fire phenomena.

Who would enjoy this book?

Like most of James Cassaday's books they will appeal to a great many different people. This is one of the skills about his writing I admire most of all, the ability to produce novels that a wide variety of readers will enjoy. I would especially recommend this as a gift for people who enjoy reading books or have an interest in the following subjects:

Anyone who has a love of sailing, adventures at sea, the sea itself, boats and ships.

Readers who love crime novels, enjoy suspense when they they are reading a book and like to see some action going on in the plot.

People who can't resist a romantic interest to be a part of the storyline in a novel.

Readers who enjoy having the occasional laugh or chuckle whilst reading even a serious book.

Those who have a keen interest in the fire brigade, firemen / firefighters and fire in general.

Anyone looking for the perfect gift to give to an Ebook loving friend or relative for Christmas, a birthday or another special occasion, (just make sure they have either a Kindle book reader or they have downloaded Kindle for PC on to their computers).

Now available in print too this is ideal for an avid reader who still prefers to hold an actual paperback book in their hands.

And finally, bearing in mind the Author comes from the Channel Island of Guernsey, anyone who has enjoyed and become fascinated by the famous book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society might like to read work by an author who actually comes from there and lives there to this day. James Cassaday's other books feature Guernsey within their plots to a considerable degree and are also excellent reading material.

About the Author

James Cassaday was born in 1934, narrowly escaping an early death during World War II when a German bomb destined for Portsmouth dockyard completely wrecked his family home in nearby Gosport. To this day James feels that this incident influenced him in his choice of 'life saving' careers. James went on to become a boy seaman in the Merchant Navy for a short period of time, before then joining the Royal Air Force and becoming a coxswain in the Marine Craft Section, (the peacetime equivalent of Air Sea Rescue). Ultimately James decided to pursue a main career in the Fire Service for the next 35 years, and this is where he was awarded The Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Award for saving life, and the award of the Queen's Fire Service Medal for distinguished service.

When James Cassaday finally retired from the Guernsey Fire Brigade he held the rank of Chief Fire Officer (also known as the Fire Chief). He still lives in Guernsey to this day where his interests now centre on writing, gardening and sailing.

More Books by James Cassaday

If you enjoy St Elmo's Fire either in print or as a Kindle edition you might also want to read James Cassaday's first two exciting books. If so check out my reviews on those Ebooks too. You can find them by clicking on the following two links:

Rough Sea Justice This book tells the story of a man who accidentally kills two assailants who are attempting to rob him. Fearful that he will go to prison for using excessive force, James Cook (our hero), fakes his own death and goes on the run in his small yacht 'Zephyr'. The plot follows his adventures as he avoids both the law and those who seek revenge against him.

Bailiwick Gold This story tells the tale of hidden gold bars, spoils of war taken by German Lieutenant Carl Schmidt and secreted on and around the Channel Island of Guernsey during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands in World War II. Fast forward to 1996 and follow the race as two sets of individuals attempt to locate the missing gold for themselves, with only partial clues as to where the treasure might be hidden.


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    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks carol3san, I hope you will buy it and read it as I am sure you will not regret it :)

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 6 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      Thanks for sharing. This is a great review.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Paradise7, I hope you will give this one a read too :)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good review, and it looks like a real winner to me. I like that particular period of modern history, and this author is masterly in conveying the authentic period details.