Archive for the ‘World Odyssey’ Category

Set in the nineteenth century, World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1)  follows the fortunes of three young travelers as each embarks on an epic journey. Their dramatic adventures span sixteen years and see them engage with Native American Indians, Barbary Coast pirates, Aborigines, Maoris and Pacific Islanders as they travel around the world – from America to Africa, from England to the Canary Islands, to Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.

 

World Odyssey (The World Duology Book 1)

Prologue

Summer, 1832

Alone in his father’s study, young Philadelphian Nathan Johnson surveyed the lavishly furnished but slightly musty room. His keen eyes rested momentarily on the titles of some of the hundreds of books lining the shelves behind his father’s desk. Many had a nautical theme, alluding to the occupation of the absent Captain Benjamin Johnson.

The boy never tired of being in his father’s study and often ventured into it even though Johnson Senior had made it clear the study was out of bounds whenever he was away.

Although physically absent for the moment, his father was present in a sense: a recent portrait painting of the forty-year-old captain hung on the far wall. Dark, curly, shoulder-length hair framed his unsmiling but still youthful face. The ruggedly handsome Johnson Senior had the appearance of someone who didn’t suffer fools. His startlingly blue eyes seemed to bore into Nathan’s as the boy studied the painting.

Nathan couldn’t know it, but he was looking at a mirror image of himself in later years. Even at the tender age of ten he was already a chip off the old block. Tall for his age, he was more mature than his schoolmates, and more serious, too.

Sounds of children’s laughter drifted in through an open window. His two older sisters and their friends were making the most of a sunny day after several days of constant rain. From the kitchen downstairs, the clink of crockery could be heard as the maid cleared away the breakfast dishes.

Nathan switched his attention to a faded world map hanging alongside the painting. A dotted line connecting North America’s west coast and the coast of mainland China showed where his father had journeyed on his latest expedition. Johnson Senior was a successful trader whose latest enterprise had involved trading goods to the Native Americans for their prized sea otter furs. He had transported those same furs to China where they fetched huge prices.

The thought of sailing to some exotic destination thrilled Nathan to the core. He lived for the day he was old enough to go to sea. Meanwhile, he contented himself studying the world map and dreaming of far-off places.

So engrossed was he, he didn’t hear his father arrive home from town. It wasn’t until the study door burst open and Johnson Senior strode in that Nathan realized he was in trouble.

When Johnson Senior saw Nathan, he turned livid. He grabbed his son by the hair and began cuffing him hard about the head.

Johnson Senior’s mood wasn’t helped by the fact he’d been drinking and gambling since the previous night, and had lost a considerable amount of money. As a man of means, it was money he could afford to lose, but that hadn’t helped dampen his already foul temper.

Nathan could tell his father had been drinking. He could smell the whisky fumes on his breath, and Johnson Senior was unsteady on his feet and slurring his words as he cursed and beat the son he wished he’d never had.

Determined to remain staunch, Nathan bit his lip to stop from crying out. This further infuriated his father who removed his belt and began flailing the boy with all his considerable strength. The belt’s buckle cut into Nathan’s bare arm and drew blood.

As Nathan covered up as best he could to protect himself, he fixed his gaze on a portrait painting of his mother hanging on the near wall. It gave him strength. The painting was the work of one of Philadelphia’s leading artists and it captured pretty Charlotte Johnson as she was in her early twenties. There was a quiet determination in her sparkling brown eyes.

Charlotte was the mother Nathan had never known for she had died giving birth to him ten years earlier.

The beating ended as quickly as it had begun when Johnson Senior pushed the boy from the study and slammed the door shut after him.

Now alone at the top of the first floor landing, Nathan swore he’d run away from home as soon as he was old enough.

*     *     *

At that very moment, across the Atlantic in England, little Susannah Drake was playing with dolls and other girlie things while watching two white swans that had taken up residency in the lily pond behind her Methodist clergyman father’s rectory in the affluent west London district of Kensington.

The cute, red-headed, six-year-old closed her eyes to protect them from the bright sunlight reflecting off the pond’s surface. When she reopened them, one of the swans had paddled to within an arm’s length of her at the pond’s edge, causing her to jump back in surprise. Swan and child stared at each other for a second or two before the majestic bird paddled off to rejoin his mate.

On the lawn behind Susannah, her father Reverend Brian Drake was chatting to visiting members of his congregation while her mother, Jeanette, served Devonshire tea. It was a very English scene.

Jeanette, a pretty but frail woman, called out to Susannah who promptly skipped over to join her parents. Jumping up onto her father’s knee, she licked the strawberry jam off one of her mother’s famous scones as Drake Senior talked to the other adults.

Susannah amused herself as the conversation turned to the missionary work the Methodist Church was engaged in, in far-off places. Drake Senior expressed a desire to become a missionary one day. Jeanette didn’t seem to share her husband’s enthusiasm for missionary work and quickly changed the subject.

Finding the adult conversation boring, Susannah jumped off her father’s knee and ran back down to the lily pond. She laughed delightedly when the two swans paddled to the pond’s edge to greet her. Her laughter turned to screams as one of the swans waddled up onto the lawn and proceeded to chase after her, hissing. It seemed the swan was intent on securing the remains of the scone Susannah was still holding.

Chuckling at his daughter’s predicament, Drake Senior advised Susannah to give the swan what it wanted. Although frightened, Susannah refused to back down. She rammed the remains of the scone into her mouth and shooed her tormentor away. Beaten, the swan gave up and waddled back to the pond.

The adults laughed and commented how cute Susannah was. Drake Senior and Jeanette observed their daughter with pride. Not for the first time, she had demonstrated that, despite her angelic appearance, she was not easily intimidated.

*     *     *

Several miles away, in southeast London, sixteen-year-old Jack Halliday was traipsing from door to door looking for work in the capital’s busy dockyards. The Cockney’s spirits were uncharacteristically low. Since his mother had kicked him out of the family home two weeks earlier, he’d been job-hunting without success.

Back in the East End, Jack had a reputation for being a lovable larrikin. Shorter than average and not especially good looking, the curly-haired lad nevertheless had a mischievous face and engaging personality which generally endeared him to others. Generally because his cheeky manner ensured he had his share of enemies too. Any who underestimated him did so at their own risk. He never took a backward step and he compensated for his lack of height by fighting with all the fury of a pitbull.

The shadows were lengthening when Jack arrived at Sullivan’s Foundry, a large establishment next to the River Thames. Having experienced around twenty rejections from prospective employers that day, he had to force himself to adopt his normally cheerful disposition as he entered the noisy foundry. The fact he hadn’t eaten in two days gave him extra motivation. He desperately needed to earn some money. If he didn’t land a job soon, he knew he’d have to find money via other means.

Approaching the front office, Jack was suddenly confronted by a big, bad-tempered man who demanded to know what he wanted. The young Cockney guessed, correctly, the man was the foundry owner, Henry Sullivan. When Jack explained he wanted a job, Sullivan advised him he wasn’t in the habit of employing runts and ordered him off the property.

Jack stood his ground, his perceptive green eyes flashing with anger. The look wasn’t missed by Sullivan who decided to put him to the test. He’d recently laid off an apprentice blacksmith who hadn’t measured up, so Jack’s interest in a job was timely. Pointing to a thirty-foot long steel shaft resting on the floor nearby, Sullivan challenged the young Cockney to lift it up onto a shelf that was just above Jack’s head.

Without hesitating, Jack bent down to lift the shaft. He suddenly realized every eye in the foundry was on him. Taking a deep breath, he managed to straighten up while holding the shaft, but when he tried to lift it up onto the shelf it fell to the floor with a mighty clang. Several onlookers chuckled at his misfortune.

Unimpressed, Sullivan turned his back on Jack and returned to his office.

To the surprise of those still watching, Jack prepared to make another attempt. This time, he put everything into it and, to the resounding cheers of the assembled, managed to hoist the steel shaft up onto the shelf just as Sullivan re-emerged from his office. Suitably impressed, the proprietor immediately hired Jack as an apprentice.

Mindful of the hunger pangs that were now causing frequent tummy rumbles, Jack tried to negotiate his first week’s pay in advance. Tightwad Sullivan agreed to pay him two days in advance on condition that he put in some extra hours unpaid. Jack reluctantly agreed. At least now he could afford a square meal.

*     *     *

Jack Halliday, Susannah Drake and Nathan Johnson had no way of knowing their paths would cross one day; their destinies were integrally linked. Fate and the unfathomable twists and turns of life would eventually throw them together on the far side of the world in a place some called the Cannibal Isles.

 

Product Details

 

World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1)  is exclusive to Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/

 

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A free copy of our new release paperback WORLD ODYSSEY (The World Duology, #1)  goes to the winner of a giveaway competition now running on the literary site Goodreads.com.

 

World Odyssey (The World Duology Book 1)

Be in to win…a free copy.

 

Set in the Nineteenth Century, World Odyssey  follows the fortunes of three young travelers as each embarks on an epic journey. Their dramatic adventures span sixteen years and see them engage with Native American Indians, Barbary Coast pirates, Aborigines, Maoris and Pacific Islanders as they travel around the world – from America to Africa, from England to the Canary Islands, to Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.

Ambitious American adventurer Nathan Johnson’s journey begins when he runs away to sea to escape a violent father. After surviving a shipwreck and enslavement by one of the indigenous tribes of America’s northwest, his stocks rise and he becomes a successful trader. When Nathan decides to visit Fiji to trade muskets to the natives, he doesn’t know it but his fortunes are about to change again.

Sheltered English missionary Susannah Drake’s journey begins after she agrees to accompany her clergyman father to Fiji to help him run a mission station there. They endure a nightmare voyage they’re lucky to survive. When Susannah finds herself sexually attracted to a young crewmember, she is forced to choose between her forbidden desires and the life her father has mapped out for her.

Irrepressible Cockney Jack Halliday’s journey begins when he steals hemp from an unscrupulous employer who owes him outstanding wages. For this he’s sentenced to seven years’ hard labor in the British penal colony of New South Wales. Jack escapes to Fiji only to be tracked down by a bounty hunter employed by the British Government to round up escaped convicts.

After traveling thousands of miles and experiencing the best and worst that life can offer, these three disparate individuals eventually end up in the remote archipelago of Fiji, in the South Pacific, where their lives intersect.

The intrepid trio’s adventures continue in Fiji: A Novel (The Word Duology, #2).

 

To win a copy of World Odyssey  paperback go to the Goodreads page at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20300866-world-odyssey

 

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Our historical adventure novel WORLD ODYSSEY (The World Duology, #1)  is now available as a paperback – a move prompted by the popularity of the Kindle ebook version on Amazon. After 30 reviews the book has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

 

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World Odyssey  paperback is available via Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1/dp/0473363739

 

Historical Novel Reviews calls the book “A totally engaging epic!” / “Recommended for globe-trotting adventure fans,” according to Jason Letts, author of The Inevitable Trilogy. / Historian Remy Benoit, author of Peace, Now, suggest readers “Get ready to sail the high seas.” / And J.B. DiNizo, author of Comings and Goings, calls it “Highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable.”

 

Set in the Nineteenth Century, World Odyssey  follows the fortunes of three young travelers as each embarks on an epic journey.

Ambitious American adventurer Nathan Johnson’s journey begins when he runs away to sea to escape a violent father. After surviving a shipwreck and enslavement by one of the indigenous tribes of America’s northwest, his stocks rise and he becomes a successful trader. When Nathan decides to visit Fiji to trade muskets to the natives, he doesn’t know it but his fortunes are about to change again.

Sheltered English missionary Susannah Drake’s journey begins after she agrees to accompany her clergyman father to Fiji to help him run a mission station there. They endure a nightmare voyage they’re lucky to survive. When Susannah finds herself sexually attracted to a young crewmember, she is forced to choose between her forbidden desires and the life her father has mapped out for her.

Irrepressible Cockney Jack Halliday’s journey begins when he steals hemp from an unscrupulous employer who owes him outstanding wages. For this he’s sentenced to seven years’ hard labor in the British penal colony of New South Wales. Jack escapes to Fiji only to be tracked down by a bounty hunter employed by the British Government to round up escaped convicts.

After traveling thousands of miles and experiencing the best and worst that life can offer, these three disparate individuals eventually end up in the remote archipelago of Fiji, in the South Pacific, where their lives intersect.

The intrepid trio’s adventures continue in Fiji: A Novel, book two in The World Duology.

 

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Set in the 19th Century, WORLD ODYSSEY (The World Duology, #1) follows the fortunes of three young travelers as each embarks on an epic journey. Their dramatic adventures span sixteen years and see them engage with Native American Indians, Barbary Coast pirates, Aborigines, Maoris and Pacific Islanders as they travel around the world – from America to Africa, from England to the Canary Islands, to Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.

 

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Ambitious American adventurer Nathan Johnson’s journey begins when he runs away to sea to escape a violent father. After surviving a shipwreck and enslavement by one of the indigenous tribes of America’s northwest, his stocks rise and he becomes a successful trader. When Nathan decides to visit Fiji to trade muskets to the natives, he doesn’t know it but his fortunes are about to change again.

Sheltered English missionary Susannah Drake’s journey begins after she agrees to accompany her clergyman father to Fiji to help him run a mission station there. They endure a nightmare voyage they’re lucky to survive. When Susannah finds herself sexually attracted to a young crewmember, she is forced to choose between her forbidden desires and the life her father has mapped out for her.

Irrepressible Cockney Jack Halliday’s journey begins when he steals hemp from an unscrupulous employer who owes him outstanding wages. For this he’s sentenced to seven years’ hard labor in the British penal colony of New South Wales. Jack escapes to Fiji only to be tracked down by a bounty hunter employed by the British Government to round up escaped convicts.

After traveling thousands of miles and experiencing the best and worst that life can offer, these three disparate individuals eventually end up in the remote archipelago of Fiji, in the South Pacific, where their lives intersect.

★ The adventures of Nathan, Susannah and Jack continue in FIJI: A NOVEL (The World Duology, #2).

 

Here’s what Amazon reviewers are saying about World Odyssey:

★★★★★ “World Odyssey is a sweeping historical saga.” -Karine Brégeon (author of ‘Francette and the Mystery of the Deaf Soldier’)

★★★★★ “A Totally Engaging Epic!” -Historical Novel Review

★★★★★ “Get ready to sail the high seas.” -Remy Benoit (historian and author of ‘Peace, Now’)

★★★★★ “A must read for any and everyone!” -A Bit Of Everything Reviews

★★★★★ “A wonderful read filled with adventure, tragedy, hope, struggles and overcoming the odds.” -Lynelle Clark (author of ‘A Pirate’s Wife’)

★★★★★ “Recommended for globe-trotting adventure fans.” -Jason Letts (author of ‘The Inevitable Trilogy’)

★★★★★ “Highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable.” -J.B. DiNizo (author of Comings and Goings)

★★★★★ “High Seas and Exotic Ports.” -Gary Jordan (author of ‘Leon’s Lair’)

World Odyssey is available via Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/

 

Happy reading! -Lance & James

 

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Respected book review site Great Historicals has given a big thumbs up to our historical novels World Odyssey and Fiji: A Novel, books one and two in The World Duology.

Product Details   Product Details   Product Details

“I loved reading it as much as I loved Fiji,” the reviewer says of World Odyssey.

Here’s Great Historicals’ review (unabridged) as it appears on Amazon:

World Odyssey is an epic, a story that follows the tumultuous lives of three different people – Nathan, Jack, and Susanna. In this first novel, their lives are separate from each other, and by the end of the novel, they arrive in Fiji, though their paths have yet to cross.

Lance and James Morcan have a wonderfully easy style of writing, simple but descriptive, fast paced yet detailed. It is a comfortable book that one can fully relax into because of its steady flow and lovely prose. It is a prequel to their first book, Fiji, but each book stands alone and you don’t have to read them in the order they were written in.

For the three main characters, there is change and danger at every turn. From travel on land and then on the high seas, I was intrigued and completely pulled into the story from the start to the end of this book. I loved reading it as much as I loved Fiji. I highly recommend that you get both of these fabulous epics!

 

WORLD ODYSSEY (The World Duology, #1) is available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/

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Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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American historian, author and humanitarian Remy Benoit challenges readers to “pull up a chair, put your feet up and get ready to sail the high seas” in her 5-Star review of our historical adventure novel World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1).

Here’s Ms. Benoit’s review in full:

Are action, adventure, lust, profits, sailing on the open seas in “olden times” attractive to you? Then you will LOVE this book which is a major look into human behavior, human avarice, human hubris, and characters you care about—wish well, differ with, cheer on, be horrified by their self-serving ethnocentric views.

The world of yesteryear is on some levels quite strange to us. We are accustomed to doing things quickly; to instant communication; to fast travel.

The idea of a three, or six, month sea voyage, in constant danger of the ship being attacked by pirates, sunk in a big storm, be split open by a whale perhaps seems inconceivable to us. Breathing in the stench of bilge water in your ship’s cabin for the journey is noxious to our way of life, to our standards of civilization.

World Odyssey

And yet, and yet, these voyages were the way of things once upon a time and thousands of people endured them, left them, died during them. The stakes were high—big money, religious proselytizing.

Why would passengers subject themselves to such modes of travel—to reach destinations, to spread the word of God as they interpreted it to “heathen savages”, to make huge profits, to take up the “white man’s burden” of bringing “civilization” to ancient cultures as their expense; to escape hard labor imprisonment at penal colonies.

Imagine a world where natives of lands foreign to Europeans see large, masted ships come into their harbors. Some were welcoming, some were belligerent at being so invaded. Some were peaceful peoples; some were warlike with a vast interest in muskets to use against their opponent tribes.

World Odyssey

All were considered “fair game” to wheel and deal with; all were considered by most visitors and new settlers inferior beings to the whites who felt they were being gracious to bring advanced civilization and exploitation to them at will.

Three characters from very different backgrounds are finding their way to Fiji.

One is a sailor, captured from a sinking vessel, and held as a slave of a Northwestern tribe along the now coast of Washington state.

One is a blacksmith, sent to a penal colony where ‘cruel and unusual’ treatment is the way of it simply because he stole from his boss who wouldn’t pay him something of lesser value than the actual wages owed. Some “criminals”, starving or unwilling to let their children starve, sent there for years for the crime of stealing a loaf of bread.

World Odyssey

One is the daughter of a pastor whose desire for the tall handsome rigger on the ship muddles her mind, vexes her maturing body, challenges her religious upbringing.

When we are young we have no idea where life and its events will lead us.

Certainly none of our three companions on this journey considered as youngsters a destination of Fiji. And that is one of the things that this book has to offer you—changes in people, growth, successes, failures, conviction, acceptance of challenges, slips into negative behavior—all three on distance paths, all three coming together on a land far, far away from all they had known before of the world, of themselves.

Get to know these characters, they are unforgettable and have a huge adventure before them. Set sail with them, be searing hot, or viciously cold with them. Feel the doubt, the desire, the seasickness, the passions, the terrors, their entire upbringing and ask “Are they up to this incredible journey?” Once you get to know Susannah, Jack, and Nathan in this prequel you will just have to know where their journey led them and if they were up to it!

World Odyssey

Pull up a chair, put your feet up and get ready to sail the high seas and feel intensely every moment of the voyage! The Morcan writing team of father and son never lets you down! They will make you ask, truly ask, aside from the expediency of travel and communication of today, just how much the world has changed; just how much we are still committed to huge profits, people and the earth be damned; just how much we still think in terms of “the white man’s burden”; and just how much do we still use women as if they were throwaway objects?

Oh yes, and while you are there, do order Fiji which continues this amazing journey!

Bon voyage. –Amazon reviewer Remy Benoit

 

World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1) is available via Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/

  

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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Newly released World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1) resonates with readers and book critics alike, so far attracting all 5-star reviews from Amazon reviewers.

World Odyssey follows the fortunes of three young travelers as each embarks on an epic journey. Their dramatic adventures span sixteen years and see them engage with American Indians, Barbary Coast pirates, Aborigines, Maoris and Pacific Islanders as they travel around the world – from America to Africa, from England to the Canary Islands, to Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.

Here’s a snapshot of what Amazon reviewers are saying about this novel:

“A highly readable…novel…Download this now!!” -Alice M. Dinizo

“A rip-roaring historical adventure…a heroic journey.” -‘Cloud’

“I felt as if I were a passenger…in exotic locales.” -Sheri A. Wilkinson

“Great Historical Saga…a cast of intriguing characters who are motivated by their own dreams. -Karine Bregeon

Readers are reminded World Odyssey is book one and Fiji: A Novel is book two in the new-release The World Duology

  

 

 

        Available as kindle ebooks on Amazon

If these books sound like you, here’s the appropriate kindle ebook links:

World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1): http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/

The World Duology (World Odyssey / Fiji: A Novel): http://www.amazon.com/World-Duology-Odyssey-Fiji-Novel-ebook/dp/B00HMQRMFG/

 

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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