Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

One book reviewer described our historical adventure INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story)  as being “like a motion picture in words.” Understandable given it’s set in the Pacific Northwest, which must surely be one of the most picturesque places on earth. 

Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island…where this true-life story is set.

 

Into the Americas is a tale of two vastly different cultures – indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

The storyline:

It’s 1802. Nineteen year-old English blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest.

John Jewitt…years later.

A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

Mowachaht chief Maquina.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose defiance leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.

Nootka village where Jewitt was held captive.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.

Nootka Sound…as it was in the days of the trading ships.

Nootka Sound…in more recent times.

Strait of Georgia, Vancouver Island….a potential escape route for Jewitt.

An older Jewitt…after his escape.

 

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

Into the Americas  is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

 

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Historical Novel Review

Mirella Patzer, of Great Historical Fiction Book Reviews, has this to say about our historical adventure INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story):

I have been an avid follower of all books by these authors, thoroughly loving each book. This book was no exception. There is a beautiful cadence to the story, flowing at a perfect pace while striking an easy balance between detail and plot.

The characters, especially the protagonist and his cohort, are fascinating in every aspect. They are deeply complex with differing motivations as they struggle to survive as slaves of the native people. Of course there is a bit of a romance, although that is a small contribution to the plot. 

What I enjoyed most is that it is based on the true story of John Jewitt, the son of an English blacksmith who sailed on The Boston and was captured by the Indians and later escaped. Of all the Morcan novels, this is by far my favourite. It is understandable why this was chosen to be made into film! An awesome tale! 
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To read the full review go to Great Historical Fiction Book Reviews:  http://historicalnovelreview.blogspot.co.nz/2015/11/into-americas-by-lance-and-james-morcan.html
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IntoTheAmericas ebook cover
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Into the Americas  is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/
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In the following excerpt from our historical adventure INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story)  young English seaman John Jewitt and American sailmaker Jonathan Thompson are pursued by Mowachaht savages as they cross Vancouver Island’s snow-covered mountain ranges in their attempt to reach the Strait of Georgia.

Anxious to catch sight of the escapees before nightfall, Maquina was keen to resume the chase. To his eyes, it was obvious their quarry had descended to the stream at the foot of the hill and then waded upstream, or possibly downstream, so as to leave no tracks. However, Katlahtik suspected otherwise. The tracker motioned to Maquina to study the false tracks more closely.

Mowachaht chief Maquina

Joining Katlahtik, the chief immediately saw what his tracker had noticed: on close inspection it was evident the borders of some of the tracks overlapped, signaling that whoever had made the tracks had stepped into the same tracks again.

Maquina smiled to himself. “The White-Faces have learnt much from us,” he said, looking eastward, “yet they still have much to learn.”

The chief set off after the escapees, his warriors in tow. They moved quickly now.

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John and Thompson fought their way through dense undergrowth as they entered the timberline of the mountain range they’d just crossed. Aware they’d soon run out of daylight, they made haste, anxious to find a place to overnight before darkness finally descended.

Englishman John Jewitt…in later life.

The escapees were unaware they’d entered the territory of the Ehattesaht tribe, a warlike people whose violent history of interaction with whites would not have brought the pair any joy had they been aware of it. Right now, the Ehattesahts were the least of their problems. Hungry and exhausted, they were resigned to spending at least one more night in the mountains before they reached their destination.

“We gotta find shelter,” Thompson gasped, stating the obvious.

John nodded. He was very aware of the dangers a night in the open presented. Even though they’d reached the shelter of trees, there was still snow underfoot and the temperature was close to freezing. Unless they kept moving, he doubted they’d survive a night in the open.

They descended via a forest trail carved out by generations of elk and other animals of the region. Steep in places, it caused them to slip and slide their way down the mountainside.

Thompson tripped and John hurried to help him to his feet. When they looked up, a cougar appeared on the trail barely thirty yards ahead of them.

“Holy shit!” Thompson muttered.

The escapees froze. So, too did the cougar. She stood looking at the pair through huge eyes that seemed to glow almost orange in the semi-dark of the forest.

John’s first thought was for the musket he’d lost in the ravine. Next to him, Thompson was already unshouldering his musket.

“Easy!” John whispered, anxious that his companion made no sudden movement that could prompt the cougar to attack.

Thompson didn’t need any such warning. He moved so slowly it took him an age to unshoulder his musket. As he did, the cougar bared her fangs and growled. It was a long, low growl that was barely audible, but it sent shivers through the pair. Both were convinced the feline was viewing them as dinner.

Still the cougar made no move. Which was just as well as Thompson had yet to prime his musket. A task he could normally perform in a few seconds took him another age – by which time both he and John were sweating profusely despite the cold.

Anxious not to spook the cougar, John resisted the temptation to ask Thompson whether he was loading a musket ball or shot into the musket. He prayed it was the latter as firing pellets required less accuracy than did firing a solitary musket ball.

The cougar suddenly emitted a bone-chilling scream and pounced, her charge so quick Thompson barely had time to raise his musket and pull the trigger.

Strait of Georgia…the escapees’ intended destination.

Thompson’s aim was true, and the musket ball he’d just loaded struck the cougar between the eyes, killing her instantly. She hit the ground hard just ten yards from them, rolling over and over until she stopped almost at their feet.

“Great shot!” John rejoiced, the relief evident in his voice.

Thompson was momentarily speechless. He looked down at his hands and saw they were trembling violently. Then he started laughing.

John joined in the laughter. Their delight was unrestrained. Neither thought it odd. It seemed a natural way of expressing their huge relief, and neither gave any thought to the possibility others may have heard the shot.

Finally, Thompson said, “Well, fuck me! I thought we were gonners.”

As their laughter subsided, John said, “At least we have meat on tonight’s menu.”

Thompson looked down at the cougar and smiled as he pictured himself tucking into a meal of barbecued cougar rump.

 

You have been reading an excerpt from Into the Americas — available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

IntoTheAmericas ebook cover

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In our true-life adventure novel Into the Americas, we relate how young Englishman John Jewitt and his fellow hostage Jonathan Thompson accompany their Mowachaht captors on a raid into the territory of the fierce Haachaht tribe of the Northwest Pacific.

Nootka Sound…Home to the proud Mowachaht tribe of Vancouver Island.

In the following excerpt from our novel, the Mowachaht raiders are ambushed by the Haachahts as they paddle up a river:

Callicum, the Haachaht chief, and three hundred of his warriors waited in ambush in the trees on the far bank. Most wore the distinctive and frightening wolf’s brow-mask, and all carried bows, spears, tomahawks and other traditional weapons. There wasn’t a musket in sight. However, what they lacked in fire-power they made up for in manpower and ingenuity.

On the near bank, directly opposite Callicum and his men, another hundred Haachahts waited. They, too, wore brow-masks and were similarly armed. Within their ranks, two strong, well-built bowmen stood some twenty yards apart. Each held a bow almost as long as himself. Their arrows resembled slim spears and were close to six foot long. A line trailed from each of their shafts. The lines were tied to the front edge of a huge, reinforced fishing net, which lay spread out on the ground between the two bowmen.

Both groups of Haachahts were visible to each other, but the dense undergrowth and foliage still hid them from the raiders even though their canoes were almost level with them.

At a signal from Callicum, the two bowmen opposite lay down on their backs, their knees bent and their moccasined feet raised skyward. After positioning their feet against the inside of their bows, they each loaded a long arrow and prepared to loose it toward the opposite bank. Even though they each used both hands to draw the mighty bows, the tremendous effort required caused their muscular arms to tremble. Their eyes were focused on a headman who stood midway between them and whose eyes, in turn, were focused on Callicum on the opposite bank.

The Haachaht chief now had his tomahawk raised high above his head. As the lead canoe drew level with his position, Callicum brought his tomahawk down.

At a nod from the headman opposite, the two bowmen gratefully released their long arrows in synch. Nearby, two more bowmen prepared to send a second net toward their enemies.

In the lead canoe, John and his fellow paddlers looked up as the huge net sailed above them, trailing behind the two spear-like arrows. The arrows buried themselves in the ground on the opposite bank and the net slowly floated down. It narrowly missed the lead canoe, settling over the one following and entangling its occupants.

Terrifying Haachaht war cries shattered the silence, and arrows and spears rained down on the Mowachahts. Most of those entangled in the net were quickly struck down as they struggled to disentangle themselves. Several scrambled overboard and tried to swim downstream, but they were quickly picked off by well-placed arrows. The canoe’s captain, Quasoot, was among the casualties.

The Mowachahts’ first thought was to use their muskets to fight off their enemies. They instinctively discarded their paddles and frantically began priming their muskets. As a result, the canoes bumped into each other and began drifting aimlessly in the current, their surprised occupants sitting targets.

Callicum had anticipated this and urged his bowmen to pick the disorganized Mowachahts off before they could wreak havoc with their muskets.

Maquina saw the danger immediately and exhorted his warriors to forget about their muskets for the moment and to paddle to the left bank where Callicum and his warriors happened to be. They responded straight away, retrieving their paddles and paddling furiously.

At the same time, another net sailed over the river and settled on a second canoe – this one captained by Toowin. Fortunately for Toowin and his fellow paddlers, one of the two arrows used had been misdirected, and so the net didn’t completely envelope the craft. Even so, the disruption it caused resulted in at least half the canoe’s occupants being killed or wounded. Toowin himself suffered a flesh wound when an arrow creased his chest.

As the remaining canoes closed with the far bank, they were met by a hailstorm of spears and arrows. Callicum’s warriors were trying to finish their enemies off before they could reach the shore. Mowachaht casualties mounted. Some of those who had been killed floated off downstream with arrows, and in one case a spear, protruding from them. Blood stained the water around them.

For one long moment, Maquina’s eyes locked with Callicum’s. The Mowachaht chief stood upright in the prow of his canoe. Ignoring the arrows that flew around him, he cursed his opposite. “Callicum, you treacherous dog!” he shouted. “I will personally cut out your heart!”

Callicum shouted something unintelligible back at his opposite.

Maquina was first to disembark. With no apparent concern for his own safety, he ran directly at Callicum, musket in one hand and club in the other. He used the latter weapon to effortlessly swat aside two Haachahts who made the mistake of not getting out of his way.

John and Thompson were among the next to disembark. As they scrambled up the bank, they fired their muskets at near point-blank range at the nearest Haachahts. Their hands were a blur as they primed their muskets and fired again. Identifying their enemy was made easy by the wolf brow-masks most of the Haachahts wore.

In anticipation of close-quarter fighting, Maquina had wisely ordered his fellow raiders to use shot, or pellets, as opposed to musket balls. John and Thompson were thankful for that as they loosed shot after shot at their enemies: each shot felled two or more Haachahts, so tightly were they congregated and so effective were the deadly pellets directed their way.

The whites were quickly joined by their fellow raiders who brought their own muskets into play. More Haachahts were struck down.

Chaos reigned. War cries, musket shots, curses, agonized screams, shouted orders and insults mingled in one deafening cacophony of sound; smoke from the constant discharge of muskets hung in the air, its acrid smell instantly recognizable; spears, arrows, tomahawks, axes and knives flew through the air as warriors grappled with their enemies in the woods, along the riverbank and even in the river; and all the while bodies piled up along the bank and in the shallows, and still more floated downriver.

You have been reading an excerpt from INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story). The book is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

 

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The courage of the First Nations people of North America is highlighted in our new release historical adventure novel Into the Americas. In particular, we focus on the hardy Mowachahts, of Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, and their powerful chief Maquina.

Nootka village, the traditional home of the Mowachaht tribe…as it once was.

The following excerpt from the novel describes a whale hunt, which was an annual event for the Mowachahts and other Nuu-chah-nulth peoples of the Pacific Northwest. This passage describes the Mowachahts’ first whale hunt of the season. (The year is 1803; the setting is the chilly waters off Nootka Sound):

“Big fish!” the cry went up from a warrior in the stern of the lead canoe.

Maquina looked directly ahead. A mile distant, water spouts revealed the presence of a pod of humpbacks. The chief stood up and, pointing at the whales, rubbed his stomach theatrically. “Tonight, we fill our bellies until we burst!” he declared.

Maquina’s men paddled with more urgency now. The times they and their families had gone hungry over the long winter months were still fresh in the minds of each. A successful kill would provide sufficient food to feed them and, indeed, all the villagers for many weeks to come.

The paddlers were breathing hard by the time they reached their prey. A few final strokes and Maquina’s canoe was alongside the huge creatures of the deep. The other two canoes arrived moments later.

All powerful Mowachaht chief Maquina.

Maquina had already established there were seven whales in the pod, including a calf that swam leisurely beside his mother. Their sonar-like calls echoed hauntingly in the morning air.

At a signal from the chief, the three canoes suddenly darted in amongst the whales. Still the creatures showed no concern over the new arrivals in their midst.

Standing up in the prow of his canoe, Maquina drove his harpoon into the mother whale, which happened to be the nearest, then two warriors threw spears into her back. Lines tied to the spears were attached to sealskin floats.

The spiked tip of Maquina’s harpoon had lodged firmly in the whale’s head, prompting the mighty mammal to thrash her tail about. Maquina and his men had to hold on for dear life as the whale’s gyrations threatened to overturn their canoe. Blood appeared in the water all around them, attracting the tell-tale fins of sharks.

Only now did the whale’s calf realize something was wrong. The calf darted left and right in the water, but wouldn’t leave his mother’s side.

As expected, the wounded whale dived deep, taking the floats with her. The rope connecting the harpoon to the canoe’s bowsprit rapidly uncoiled and once again everyone aboard the canoe held on tight. The calf followed his mother, responding to the cries of distress that came from her.

When the whale took up the last of the rope’s slack, Maquina’s canoe was abruptly jerked forward at a steep downwards angle as the whale continued her dive.

“She is ours!” Maquina cried triumphantly.

The rope suddenly slackened. Mystified, Maquina started pulling it in. He eventually retrieved the harpoon and saw its iron spike was missing. Furious, he threw his broken harpoon into the bottom of the canoe.

Those in the other canoes fared no better. Peshwar’s experience was identical to Maquina’s, and Toowin’s harpoon snapped as soon as it struck the intended target. Three strikes and three broken harpoons. It was an all too common result.

Maquina cursed their luck as he motioned to his men to return home. They paddled in silence. Behind them, the wounded whale and her calf surfaced and quickly swam away to rejoin the others in their pod.

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You have been reading an excerpt from INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story). To read more go to: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

★★★★★ “Wow…never a dull moment.” –Tony Parsons –Amazon reviewer

 

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INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story), the latest novel penned by New Zealand father-and-son writing team Lance and James Morcan, has entered Amazon’s bestseller lists, climbing into the top 10 Kindle ebooks in the crowded Action and Adventure category.

IntoTheAmericas ebook cover

Readers resonate with this top 10 book.

A gritty, real-life adventure based on one of history’s greatest survival stories, Into the Americas  was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

It’s a tale of two vastly different cultures – Indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

To see what reviewers are saying about this top rating book go to: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

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“Many paddles, one canoe” –First Nations saying

In the following excerpt from our top rating new release adventure novel Into the Americas, we describe a bloody clash between two warring First Nations tribes of the Pacific Northwest during a hunting expedition in the territories of the fearsome Mowachahts. 

IntoTheAmericas ebook cover

Maquina led a six-strong hunting party into the hills behind Nootka village. His five companions included Peshwar, a forbidding headman whose reputation as a fearsome warrior rivalled that of the chief and extended far beyond the borders of the Mowachahts’ territory. All six hunters carried shiny, new muskets acquired in the previous day’s trade, and they were keen to put them to good use.

Ahead of them, in dense forest, an elk grazed. Something spooked him. He wasn’t sure what – a scent or a sound perhaps – and he took off.

Soon after, Maquina spotted the elk’s tracks and knelt down to study them. He then led his fellow hunters deeper into the trees at a fast trot.

Elsewhere in the forest, the same elk burst into a clearing, disturbing a twelve-strong war party of Haachaht warriors, traditional enemies of the Mowachahts. They carried bows, tomahawks and other traditional weapons, and wore the grotesque wolf’s brow mask associated with their tribe.

The Haachahts’ chief, Callicum, a stocky man who wore a large nose-ring, stared into the surrounding trees. He flashed a hand signal at his warriors and they quickly dispersed. Now hidden from sight, they could hear the Mowachaht hunters moving through the undergrowth in pursuit of the elk.

Reaching the forest clearing, the Mowachahts stopped to study their quarry’s tracks. Maquina’s eyes were drawn to an eagle circling high above. He stared at the bird for a few seconds before returning his gaze to the trees. Sensing danger, he primed his musket. His fellow hunters followed suite.

A Haachaht bowman stepped out from behind a tree and aimed an arrow directly at Maquina. The bowman held his bow horizontal, in the manner of the indigenous people of the west coast. Maquina dropped to one knee and swung his musket up just as the bowman loosed his arrow. The arrow lodged in the throat of a tall Mowachaht standing directly behind Maquina. Mortally wounded, the warrior collapsed, choking on his own blood. Maquina killed the bowman with one well placed shot.

Haachaht war cries rang out as Callicum led his warriors out from the trees. Another arrow found its mark, killing a young Mowachaht. Reduced to four, the remaining Mowachahts fought like men possessed.

Two Haachahts closed in on Peshwar. He aimed his musket at the nearest of the two. A hollow click signalled it had malfunctioned. Cursing, Peshwar threw his musket aside and drew his tomahawk. “Peshak!” he swore as he grappled with his enemies. With two mighty swings of his tomahawk, the two Haachahts lay dead at his feet, their heads almost severed from their bodies.

As the fight escalated, a short Mowachaht aimed his musket at a burly Haachaht who rushed him, club in hand. His musket also misfired and he was clubbed to the ground. The Haachaht finished him off before he was felled by a musket shot.

Nearby, Maquina found himself fighting alongside Peshwar. “The muskets are faulty!” Maquina shouted.

Peshwar nodded. “The White-Faces have deceived us!”

The chief found himself face-to-face with Callicum who charged him with a tomahawk in each hand. Maquina raised his musket and pulled the trigger. This time his weapon misfired. Before he could reload, the Haachaht chief was onto him. Maquina was forced to back-peddle and use his musket to block his attacker’s blows. Peshwar came to his aid, wounding Callicum with his own tomahawk.

Seeing their chief in trouble, the other Haachahts seemed unsure what to do next.

Maquina and Peshwar took advantage of their enemies’ indecision and fled, dragging with them the other surviving hunter.

As they made good their escape, Maquina was consumed by the anger he felt toward the European traders. Yet again his people had fallen foul of the traders’ unscrupulous ways. On this occasion, faulty muskets had contributed to the deaths of three of his finest warriors.

You have been reading an excerpt from INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story). To read more go to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

 ★★★★★ “Highly recommended.” –Amazon reviewer Cheryl Long

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