Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

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

 

***************************************** 

Advertisements

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

 

**************************************************** 

 

“The moral of this tale is that you don’t ever, ever abduct the young son of your best and most dangerous operative.” – That’s according to c9c Reviews’ Andrew Thompson in his Amazon review of our conspiracy thriller The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy, #3).

Thriller resonates

Andrew’s 4-Star review lowers this novel’s 5-Star average rating (to 4.9 Stars) on Amazon. However, it’s such an insightful review we thought we’d share it with you…

Be careful who you kidnap

The moral of this tale is that you don’t ever, ever abduct the young son of your best and most dangerous operative. Such people will go to great lengths to get their children back, especially as they are very aware of the horrors that await their offspring.

Nine does his very best to look after his pregnant wife while attempting to rescue his son. His employers should have known better and they learn their lesson. Nine is hampered by a heart ailment, but despite this he manages to keep his promises to his family.

Another, final, installment of the Orphan series which does not disappoint.

For a brief synopsis of The Orphan Uprising see c9c Reviews’ blurb at: http://c9creviews.com/

For more reviews of this novel go to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFC66DM/

 

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

********************************************* 

Check out this Goodreads.com list of novels that have mind control as a major theme in their plots. Ranked according to Goodreads’ members votes, the books in our conspiracy thriller series The Orphan Trilogy occupy the first four places on the list!

Here’s the top 10 books (ranked 1-10) on Goodreads’ Mind Control Fiction popularity list courtesy of Listopia:

The Ninth Orphan (The Orpha... The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1) byJames Morcan 3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 328 ratings
The Orphan Trilogy The Orphan Trilogy byJames Morcan 4.55 of 5 stars 4.55 avg rating — 47 ratings
The Orphan Uprising (The Or... The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy, #3) byJames Morcan 4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 68 ratings
The Orphan Factory (The Orp... The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) byJames Morcan 4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 100 ratings
Manchurian Candidate Manchurian Candidate byRichard Condon 4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 9,163 ratings
1984 1984 byGeorge Orwell 4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 1,133,976 ratings
Scott Bloom en de Dochters ... Scott Bloom en de Dochters van Chenchen byRosa Miller (Goodreads Author) 4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 14 ratings
Animal Farm Animal Farm byGeorge Orwell 3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 1,176,284 ratings
Brave New World Brave New World byAldous Huxley 3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 663,648 ratings
The Stepford Wives The Stepford Wives byIra Levin 3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 11,056 ratings

For the top 100 novels on this list go to: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/11984.Mind_Control_Fiction#13250061

Occupying first place, The Ninth Orphan is book one in The Orphan Trilogy. Here’s the storyline for anyone interested:

An orphan grows up to become an assassin for a highly secretive organization. When he tries to break free and live a normal life, he is hunted by his mentor and father figure, and by a female orphan he spent his childhood with. On the run, the mysterious man’s life becomes entwined with his beautiful French-African hostage and a shocking past riddled with the darkest of conspiracies is revealed.

Fast-paced, totally fresh and original, filled with deep and complex characters, The Ninth Orphan is a controversial, high-octane thriller with an edge. Merging fact with fiction, it illuminates shadow organizations rumored to actually exist in our world. The novel explores a plethora of conspiracies involving real organizations like the CIA, MI6, and the UN, and public figures such as President Obama as well as the Clinton, Marcos and Bush families.

The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1) is available via Amazon as a trade paperback and Kindle ebook. Here’s the Kindle link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056I4FKC

 

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

************************************************

 

Lovers of historical fiction will be pleased to know the Kindle ebook price of our new release series The World Duology (World Odyssey / Fiji: A Novel) has been slashed as part of our book launch.

Two books in one in The World Duology

Readers will receive two novels in one at a real sharp price until the new book launch promo ends February 9th PST.

Meanwhile, World Odyssey and Fiji: A Novel, books one and two in the duology, remain regular visitors to Amazon’s bestseller lists in their appropriate categories in historical fiction. And readers continue to resonate with both novels if reviewers’ ratings and comments are anything to go by.

Set in the nineteenth century, The World Duology follows the fortunes of three young travelers. 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, Samoa and Fiji.

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

 

**************************************

Readers are resonating with our new release historical adventure title, World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1), which has just joined book two in the duology, Fiji: A Novel, in Amazon’s bestseller lists. Added to that, The World Duology, which offers readers two books in one, has also entered the bestseller list in its appropriate category – Action & Adventure/Travel.

   

Bestsellers on Amazon

The early reviews are in for World Odyssey and The World Duology – all five stars!

Sample reviews (abridged) follow:

World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1)

The Morcans write another first-rate novel!

By Alice M. Dinizo

 Cockney Englishman Jack Halliday, American Nathan Johnson and well-bred English missionary Susannah Drake are all, for various reasons, on their way to Fiji in the South Pacific in the 1840’s. Their adventures are highly believable as each copes with others, including family members, the present situation in which they find themselves, and their own human frailty…”World Odyssey” is a highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable novel of historic fiction that no one will want to miss. Download this now!!

The World Duology (World Odyssey / Fiji: A Novel)

A fantastic two book story of adventure at sea and exotic locales

By Sheri A. Wilkinson

 Set in the 19th century, Nathan Johnson, Jack Halliday & missionary Susannah Drake each for their own reasons are sent to sea…Along the way they face danger, pirates, murder, death and interesting and (some) dangerous people, as they sail around the globe. Well written with great detail, I felt as if I were a passenger, watching and setting port in exotic locales. Susannah with her naive ways is likable, Nathan has character and Jack has likable traits as well…Both Books are fantastic…I highly recommend to adventure lovers.

  

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

  

**************************************

Books to read in 2014: From Murakami to Moore and more

Posted in #Chicago blog by Laura Pearson on Jan 8, 2014
From Going Clear to Tenth of December, from The Flamethrowers to less-talked-about-but-no-less-brilliant books (i.e., Mindsploitation), 2013 was a good year for reading. 2014 carries on strong, with a slew of noteworthy debut novels, new works by local authors and fresh fiction by familiar names such as E.L. Doctorow, Haruki Murakami and Lorrie Moore. With all the staring at screens we do, our resolution is to better balance a mostly web-based media diet with a healthy serving of escapist lit—both smart fiction and transporting nonfiction. No disrespect to e-readers, but we’re talking real books on real paper. Printed matter. Gutenberg shit. Here’s what will top our bedside stack of books this year. (It’s a tall stack.)

Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart (Random House, $27) The satirical novelist and prolific blurber‘s first memoir recalls his aspirations, struggles and family’s immigration to the U.S. from the Soviet Union. Out now.

Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen (Riverhead, $16) Examining the arrest and incarceration of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, which captured international attention, this book by a Russian-American journalist was published early due to two members’ release from prison. Out now.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor (Melville House, $16.95) In a future world where competing fast-food factions rule, an employee at a pizza chain manages the complaints hotline. It’s a mind-numbing job—until he’s contacted by a 13th-century explorer named Marco. Drawing comparisons to A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, this debut novel sounds anything but boring. Jan 14.

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller (Liveright, $24.95) We enjoyed Miller’s story collection, Big World, and don’t want to be left behind in reading her first novel, about a family from Montgomery, Alabama, on a westward road trip in anticipation of the Rapture. Jan 20.

Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow (Random House, $26) Exploring themes of truth and memory, Doctorow tells the story of a man with a habit of wreaking havoc. Jan 26.

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball (Pantheon, $23.95) The Chicago-based author of Samedi the Deafness and The Curfew returns with a story of the “Narito Disappearances,” in which eight people vanish from their homes in the same Japanese town, a single playing card left on each door. A journalist—also named Jesse Ball—is swept into the case. Jan 28.

A Life in Men by Gina Frangello (Algonquin, $15) The Chicago novelist, editor of The Nervous Breakdown and Sunday Editor of The Rumpus publishes her third book of fiction, about a woman with cystic fibrosis attempting to understand why a relationship with her best friend unraveled years prior—an investigation that leads to both questionable decisions and valuable discoveries. Feb 4.

The Dismal Science by Peter Mountford (Tin House, $15.95) A novel about identity, rationality and starting over, Mountford’s book follows a former VP at the World Bank as he tries to rebuild his life following a series of scandals and losses. Feb 11.

Bark by Lorrie Moore (Knopf, $24.95) Moore is often praised for her humor but we find many of her stories depressing. In particular, her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, felt emotionally unsatisfying. That said, we’re still eager to read her first new collection in 15 years. The form suits her. Less is Moore. Feb 26.

A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man by Holly George-Warren (Viking, $27.95) The first biography of the teen rock star, Big Star frontman, dishwasher and influential solo artist (in that order) was written by a Chilton acquaintance and draws on interviews with more than 100 bandmates, family members and friends. In the words of Big Star: Thank you, friends. Mar 20.

Every Day Is for the Thief by Teju Cole (Random House, $23) Revised and updated, this 2007 book by Nigerian-American writer Cole (Open City) was originally published in Africa and now makes its highly anticipated English-language debut. Mar 25.

You Feel So Mortal by Peggy Shinner (University of Chicago Press, $22) In a series of essays, the Chicago-based writer considers the body through various lenses—historical,  social and political—and via topics such as bras, feet and hair. Apr 1.

Let Go and Go On and On by Tim Kinsella (Curbside Splendor, $15,95) We’re fascinated by the premise of Kinsella’s second novel, a fictional riff on what happened to real-life cult actress Laurie Bird, who appeared in the films Two Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter and Annie Hall before committing suicide at age 26. Told in the second person, the novel considers the timeless lure of celebrity. Apr 15.

Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy by Dr. Pat Morris with Joanna Epstein (Blue Rider Press, $19.95) We wish we could go back in time and visit the quirky collection of curios of Walter Potter, a country taxidermist who created storybook-like scenes of kitten tea parties and sword-fighting squirrels. This book, stocked with photos, is the next best thing. Apr 17.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (Little, Brown, $26) This novel follows the life of Paul O’Rourke, a man of many contradictions (i.e., a dentist who smokes), as someone begins to impersonate him online—and pretty well, creepily enough. It considers the real versus the virtual aspects of everyday life, and the absurdity of both. May 6.

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (Grove Press, $16) In her first novel, Gay—co-editor of PANK, essays editor for The Rumpus and teacher at Eastern Illinois University (among other things; she’s everywhere!)—writes of a Haitian woman kidnapped for ransom, and what happens when her father refuses to pay her captors. May 6.

The WORN Archive: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas, & History of What We Wear by Serah-Marie McMahon (Drawn and Quarterly, $29.95) This best-of collection of the smart Canadian fashion journal explores the places where fashion, art and pop culture intersect. Seems like a must-read for people who love clothes but, for example, hate the word “clothes horse.” May 6.

The 40s: The Story of a Decade by the New Yorker Magazine (Random House, $30) This portrait of an endlessly fascinating decade, from the perspective of The New Yorker, features contributors old and new, including Elizabeth Bishop, John Cheever, Shirley Jackson, Jill Lepore, Susan Orlean and Zadie Smith. May 6.

Once I Was Cool by Megan Stielstra (Curbside Splendor, $15.95) The seasoned storyteller—who, in addition to teaching and writing, has performed at Chicago’s 2nd Story storytelling series for more than a decadepresents a collection of personal essays that sounds quite cool. May 13.

Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush by Geoff Dyer (Pantheon, $24.95) The veteran writer recalls his time aboard the American aircraft carrier and his lifelong fascination with military service. May 20.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez (Knopf, $24.95) The Chicago writer’s highly anticipated novel tells the love story of a Pananamian boy and Mexican girl—the latter of whom suffers a near-fatal accident—and the language, racial and cultural obstacles their families face in America. Jun 3.

Paper Lantern: Love Stories by Stuart Dybek (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24) The distinguished author of I Sailed with Magellan and The Coast of Chicago publishes a collection of love stories, the titular one of which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1995. Jun 3.

Nobody Is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey (FSG Originals, $14) In this new novel, a woman abruptly leaves her life in Manhattan, including a husband who has no idea what happened to her, on a one-way flight to New Zealand. There, she drifts farther into unknown territory—emotionally, mentally, as well as physically. Jul 8.

California by Edan Lepucki (Little, Brown, $26) Lepucki’s debut is an inventive take on the post-apocalytic novel, about a couple who moves from an isolated existence in the wilderness to a guarded community that, they soon realize, harbors terrifying secrets and unforeseen dangers. We’ll probably read this one on the morning commute instead of at bedtime. Jul 8.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami (Knopf, $25) The English translation of the latest work by the much-loved Japanese writer arrives this summer. Thousands of people lined up at Tokyo bookstores at midnight to buy a copy. Aug 12.

Ancient Oceans of Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm (Two Dollar Radio, $15.50) Exploring small-town life in the middle of Kentucky, this debut novel tells the story of Leah, whose brother, Jacob, disappeared during their childhood. Now, as an adult, she directs a nonprofit organization, and a man shows up at work claiming to be Jacob. We anticipate a haunting and riveting read. Aug 12.

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin (Dutton, $27.95) What can we distractible types learn from those who manage to stay focused in a hyperconnected, details-drenched, technology-dependent world? Levitin lets us know. Aug 19.

The Fame Lunches: On Wounded Icons, Money, Sex, the Importance of Handbags, and Other Cultural Inquiries by Daphne Merkin (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27) The former New Yorker columnist examines faded icons, famous writers and the pervasive desire for celebrity in our present world. Aug 19.

A Load of Hooey by Bob Odenkirk (McSweeney’s, $24) We’re not quite sure what to expect from this first book by the hilarious comedian-writer, which promises to contain absurdist monologues, intentionally bad theater and “free-verse more powerful than the work of Calvin Trillin, Jewel and Robert Louis Stevenson combined”—besides utter hilarity. Sept 9.

A Different Bed Every Time by Jac Jemc (Dzanc Books, price not yet listed) Following her highly praise poetic novel, My Only Wife, the Chicago writer, poetry editor of decomP and fiction web editor for Hobart returns with a story collection this fall. Don’t miss it. October.

RECOMMENDED: Best books of 2013

To read more go to TimeOutChicago’s excellent blog at: http://www.timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/books/16524926/books-to-read-in-2014-from-murakami-to-moore-and-more

Happy reading! –Lance & James

******************************************************