Posts Tagged ‘james michener’

The man the Fijians knew as the Shark Caller stood chest deep in water out in the bay. Amongst the villagers on the sandy shore, Nathan and Susannah watched intrigued as the old man began chanting. They gasped as a huge fin sliced through the water toward the Shark Caller. 

 

 

Turning to Nathan, Susannah whispered, “That will be the Great White.”

Nathan couldn’t take his eyes off the drama unfolding.

The fin veered away only yards short of the Shark Caller who continued chanting as the shark began circling him.

More fins appeared, smaller than the Great White’s. They, too, circled the Shark Caller, who appeared oblivious to the danger. Wild cheering broke out among the onlookers. Nathan could hardly believe his eyes.

Susannah, shouting to be heard, said, “The Great White answers the call of the Shark Caller. It brings other sharks with it.”

Men waiting aboard canoes in the shallows began paddling furiously out from the beach to intercept the sharks.

In the lead canoe, Joeli and Waisale reached down and hauled the still-chanting Shark Caller from the water. The crews of the other canoes set about killing as many sharks as they could.

You have been reading an excerpt from Fiji: A Novel, an adventure-romance set in 19th Century Fiji.

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology Book 2) by [Morcan, Lance, James Morcan]

To see what the critics are saying about this novel go to: http://amazon.com/Fiji-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B0057YCZM0/  

 

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You are invited to enter our Goodreads giveaway competition to win a copy of the paperback edition of Fiji, another action-packed historical adventure novel by Lance & James Morcan, co-authors of White Spirit  and Into the Americas.  

 

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology Book 2)

By the mid-1800’s, Fiji has become a melting pot of cannibals, warring native tribes, sailors, traders, prostitutes, escaped convicts and all manner of foreign undesirables. It’s in this hostile environment an innocent young Englishwoman and a worldly American adventurer find themselves.

Susannah Drake, a missionary, questions her calling to spread God’s Word as she’s torn between her spiritual and sexual selves. As her forbidden desires intensify, she turns to the scriptures and prayer to quash the sinful thoughts – without success.

Nathan Johnson arrives to trade muskets to the Fijians and immediately finds himself at odds with Susannah. She despises him for introducing the white man’s weapons to the very people she is trying to convert and he pities her for her naivety. Despite their differences, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them.

When their lives are suddenly endangered by marauding cannibals, Susannah and Nathan are forced to rely on each other for their very survival.

 

If the Fiji  paperback is of interest, you can enter the Goodreads giveaway competition at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12884662-fiji?from_search=true

Entries close September 1. (All countries, or almost all countries, eligible).

 

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By the mid-1800’s, Fiji has become a melting pot of cannibals, warring native tribes, sailors, traders, prostitutes, escaped convicts and all manner of foreign undesirables. It’s in this hostile environment an innocent young Englishwoman and a worldly American adventurer find themselves in the historical adventure, Fiji: A Novel.

Fiji A Novel cover image

Fiji: A Novel is book two in the historical adventure series The World Duology; it continues where book one, World Odyssey, left off…

 

In Fiji, Susannah Drake, a missionary, questions her calling to spread God’s Word as she’s torn between her spiritual and sexual selves. As her forbidden desires intensify, she turns to the scriptures and prayer to quash the sinful thoughts – without success.

Meanwhile, Nathan Johnson arrives to trade muskets to the Fijians and immediately finds himself at odds with Susannah. She despises him for introducing the white man’s weapons to the very people she is trying to convert and he pities her for her naivety. Despite their differences, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them.

When their lives are suddenly endangered by marauding cannibals, Susannah and Nathan are forced to rely on each other for their very survival.

 

*** WARNING: Fiji: A Novel is not for the squeamish. It’s gritty and lusty, and true to the era. ***

 

Here’s what Amazon reviewers are saying about Fiji: A Novel

★★★★★ “A fabulous novel, beautiful for its blunt rawness, exotic scenery, and fascinating storyline.” -Historical Novel Review

★★★★★ “A well-written, totally absorbing novel.” -J.B. DiNizo (author of Comings and Goings)

★★★★ “A fantastic combination of romance and action.” -The Kindle Book Review UK

★★★★★ “A perfect plot, flawless writing and a consistent storyline with no kinks or glitches throughout.” -Review Buzz

★★★★★ “The richly woven world of Fiji sometimes comes across as a human Jurassic Park.” -Greg Kuhn (author & quantum physicist)

★★★★★ “A journey not only of adventure, but of heart, and most definitely of soul.” -Remy Benoit (historian and author of ‘Peace, Now’)

★★★★ “Reminiscent of the great South Pacific tales of Jack London and James Michener.” -John R. Lindermuth (historical novelist) Rambles Reviews

Fiji: A Novel is available via Amazon as a trade paperback and Kindle ebook at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/

 

Happy reading! -Lance & James

 

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Those readers who enjoyed our historical adventure Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2) will love World Odyssey, released this week by Sterling Gate Books and available now as a Kindle ebook via Amazon.

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 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.

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 our three main characters continue in Fiji: A Novel, which remains in Amazon’s bestseller list in its historical category.

Product Details

For more information on World Odyssey go to:

http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/  (Then click on the book’s cover to read the early chapters at no charge!).

 

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1) coming soon.

Book one in our historical adventure duology will be released any day now as a Kindle ebook on Amazon. World Odyssey is the prequel to our bestseller Fiji: A Novel, book two in The World Duology.

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 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 launch of World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1) will be announced right here…Watch this space! –Lance & James

 

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In the tradition of epic novels like Michener’s Hawaii, our historical adventure Fiji: A Novel  tops the list of the most popular novels (according to Goodreads members) that have a country in the title.

Here’s the top five novels in Goodreads’ current Country List rankings:

1.    

Fiji: A Novel Fiji: A Novel byLance & James Morcan

2. 

A Passage to India A Passage to India byE.M. Forster

3.   

Murder in Mesopotamia (Herc... Murder in Mesopotamia (Hercule Poirot, #14) byAgatha Christie

4. 

Jamaica Inn Jamaica Inn byDaphne du Maurier

5. 

Congo Congo byMichael Crichton

For the top 100 books in this list go to: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/32783.Countries

You’ll see most of the books on this list cover a country’s entire history or at least give the reader a thorough understanding of its history.

Fiji: A Novel is a spellbinding novel of adventure, cultural misunderstandings, religious conflict and sexual tension set in one of the most exotic and isolated places on earth…

In the mid-1800’s, Fiji was a melting pot of cannibals, warring native tribes, sailors, traders, prostitutes, escaped convicts and all manner of foreign undesirables. It’s in this hostile environment in our story that an innocent young Englishwoman and a worldly American adventurer find themselves. Despite their differences, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them. When their lives are suddenly endangered by marauding cannibals, they are forced to rely on each other for their very survival.

The Kindle ebook version of this novel is available via Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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Our historical action/adventure-romance Fiji: A Novel, which continues its climb on Amazon’s Bestseller List, is today ranked #3 with Goodreads members on the popular goodreads.com’s “Favorite World Fiction & Literature List”.

The list is dominated by Khaled Hosseini’s critically acclaimed The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

The top 10 books on this list are:

 

#1.

The Kite Runner The Kite Runner byKhaled Hosseini

 

#2.

A Thousand Splendid Suns A Thousand Splendid Suns byKhaled Hosseini

 

#3.

Fiji: A Novel Fiji: A Novel byLance Morcan

 

#4.

One Hundred Years of Solitude One Hundred Years of Solitude byGabriel Garcí­a Márquez

 

#5.

The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club byAmy Tan

 

#6.

The Alchemist The Alchemist byPaulo Coelho (Goodreads Author)

 

#7.

The Count of Monte Cristo The Count of Monte Cristo byAlexandre Dumas

 

#8.

The Shadow of the Wind (The... The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1) byCarlos Ruiz Zafón

 

#9.

Life of Pi Life of Pi byYann Martel

 

#10.

The Little Prince The Little Prince byAntoine de Saint-Exupéry (Author/Illustrator)

 

To view the top 100 books on Goodreads’ Favorite World Fiction & Literature List go to: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/323.Favorite_World_Fiction_Literature

 

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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Our historical adventure-romance Fiji has entered Amazon’s bestseller list in the Australian & Oceanian section of the popular Historical Fiction category for kindle ebooks.

Fiji a bestseller

The novel is no stranger to Amazon’s bestseller ranks, having entered them previously. In fact, the paperback version is currently firmly entrenched in Amazon’s Australian & South Pacific section of its Travel category.

Fiji’s popularity with travelers is no surprise to James and I, the authors. As writers and travelers, we know from experience how valuable an understanding of a destination is before visiting it. Familiarizing yourself with a country’s history, geography, people and customs makes any visit that much more enjoyable – especially for first-time visitors.

Here’s some comments about Fiji from fellow travelers to the archipelago:

  • “Fiji: A Novel should be compulsory reading for visitors to Fiji.”
  • ‘Fiji: A Novel is a must for travelers to the Friendly Isles.”

           

And here’s a sample of reviewer comments:

  • “A perfect combination of romance and action.” –The Kindle Book Review.
  • “A gripping and graphic story of historic Fiji.” –Great Historicals.
  • “I give it 5 stars because that’s the maximum allowed.” –RandomWritingsBookReviews, Suva.
  • “An intense story that will have you turning the pages long into the night.” –Author Susan Heim.

      

The story:

Fiji is a spellbinding novel of adventure, cultural misunderstandings, religious conflict and sexual tension set in one of the most exotic and isolated places on earth.

As the pharaohs of ancient Egypt build their mighty pyramids, and Chinese civilization evolves under the Shang Dynasty, adventurous seafarers from South East Asia begin to settle the far-flung islands of the South Pacific. The exotic archipelago of Fiji is one of the last island groups to be discovered and will remain hidden from the outside world for many centuries to come.

By the mid-1800’s, Fiji has become a melting pot of cannibals, warring native tribes, sailors, traders, prostitutes, escaped convicts and all manner of foreign undesirables. It’s in this hostile environment an innocent young Englishwoman and a worldly American adventurer find themselves.

Susannah Drake, a missionary, questions her calling to spread God’s Word as she’s torn between her spiritual and sexual selves. As her forbidden desires intensify, she turns to the scriptures and prayer to quash the sinful thoughts – without success.

Nathan Johnson arrives to trade muskets to the Fijians and immediately finds himself at odds with Susannah. She despises him for introducing the white man’s weapons to the very people she is trying to convert and he pities her for her naivety. Despite their differences, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them.

When their lives are suddenly endangered by marauding cannibals, Susannah and Nathan are forced to rely on each other for their very survival.

                            

If Fiji sounds like you, view it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/

 

Happy reading! –Lance & James

 

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One not-so-flattering book reviewer labelled Fiji: A Novel, our historical adventure-romance, “a bodice-ripper” and took umbrage with the amount of sex that features in it.

We maintained, and still maintain, it’s impossible to accurately portray life in exotic 19th Century Fiji, or anywhere in the South Pacific for that matter, without showing these were – how can I put this delicately – lustful times.

Thankfully, most reviewers of Fiji believe we’ve captured the era beautifully.

The Kindle Book Review (UK) describes Fiji as “A perfect combination of romance and action.”

Great Historicals Book Reviews says it’s “A gripping and graphic story of historic Fiji.”

Random Writings Book Reviews, of Suva, Fiji, gave it “5 stars because that’s the maximum allowed.”

Here’s one of my favorite passages from Fiji. It captures some of the cultural differences Europeans of the day encountered when they came into contact with the local Fijians…

As the day drew to a close at Momi Bay, Nathan wandered around the village observing the Qopa preparing their evening meals. Aware he was a guest of their ratu, the villagers greeted him with smiles. Their greetings were genuine. Word had already spread that the vulagi was bringing muskets to their village.

Nathan forced himself to respond in friendly fashion to the villagers. He viewed this pre-trading time simply as a charade he had to endure.

The American flinched involuntarily as he watched two young men barbecuing a large leatherback turtle over an open fire. Writhing and hissing futilely, the turtle struggled until it finally succumbed to the heat. Nearby, family members roasted a pig in a lovo, an underground oven comprised of heated stones. Nathan noticed an old man tending the pig was using a large bone that looked suspiciously like a human femur.

                 

Nearby, teenage boys expertly split coconut shells on the sharpened end of a stake in the ground. Their mother rebuked them, slapping the oldest on his bare back when some of the milk spilled out of the shells.

Looking around, Nathan observed armed lookouts patrolling the village perimeters. Above them, rain clouds threatened, reminding him the wet season was approaching. Again, he studied the strange structure that sat atop four high poles near the meeting house and wondered what it contained that was so valuable it needed guarding around the clock. A new guard paced up and down in front of it, spear in hand.

Glancing at the nearby mission station, Nathan’s thoughts strayed to Susannah. Apart from a flickering light that shone from the mission house windows, the station was already in darkness. He wondered how Susannah and her father were passing their time and what they’d be talking about.

Iremaia suddenly appeared in the open doorway of his large bure. Seeing Nathan, he beckoned to him to join him. Nathan hurried over and followed the old ratu inside. There, he found a cooking fire crackling in the center of the gloomy, smoke-filled bure. Its flames lit up the faces of Iremaia’s clan, who included his four wives and an assortment of relatives of all ages.

           

The unwelcoming Joeli was among them. Akanisi, the ratu’s first wife and mother of Joeli, supervised two slave girls who were tending the fire. There was so much laughter and chatter nobody could hear themselves speak. Nathan was greeted with welcoming smiles from all except Joeli. It was almost as if the ratu’s son sensed the true intentions that lay behind Nathan’s ready smile. The American worried that Joeli was going to be an obstacle to his forthcoming trade.

Looking around, Nathan saw that, even here, there was evidence of past conflicts. Several shrunken heads hung from the thatched roof and traditional weapons of various descriptions lay scattered around.

Iremaia motioned to Nathan to sit next to him. Sitting down, he noted the dirt floor was covered in mats woven from pandanus leaves. Marveling at their beautiful colors, he would learn later the effect was achieved by burying the leaves in mud and laboriously boiling them with other plants. Parrot feathers lined the outsides, adding to the colorful effect.

Generous helpings of steaming hot yams, sweet potatoes, and shellfish were carried in by slaves from the lovo outside. Diced raw fish was added and coconut cream was poured over the food, adding to its tantalizing appearance and aroma.

Selaima, a fetching slave girl who looked about sixteen but was in fact twenty, served the food in wooden bowls carved from the timber of some of the numerous varieties of trees that flourished in the region. She served Iremaia first, then Nathan, smiling openly at him as she did so.

After dinner, the men drank kava while Selaima and several other girls entertained them by performing a meke, or traditional dance. Wearing only grass skirts, their nubile bodies gleamed in the firelight as they danced to the beat of a hollowed-out log that served as a drum. The accompaniment was provided by two men who, using the palms of their hands, expertly pounded out an ancient rhythm.

Nathan watched, entranced, as the smiling dancers performed. Glancing at his companions, he saw they, too, were entranced. To a man, they appeared to have eyes only for Selaima. Studying the slave girl, he could understand why: she was very easy on the eye—especially while performing an erotic dance as she was now.

The American was beginning to feel the effects of the kava he’d been drinking. He’d forced himself to partake of the vile liquid in order not to offend Iremaia. Already his lips were numb and his brain felt like it was going the same way.

The rain that threatened earlier arrived with a vengeance as it only can in the tropics. It beat a steady tattoo on the bure’s roof, threatening to drown out the sound of drumming. The drummers responded by intensifying their efforts and the dancing became frenetic as the dancers tried to keep pace.

Watching the semi-naked girls dancing, Nathan’s thoughts strayed to Susannah and he wondered what her naked form looked like.

 

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Fiji: A Novel is available via Amazon as a trade paperback and Kindle ebook at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/

 

Happy reading! –Lance

 

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Fiji highlights ancient customs.

The mystical powers of Shark Callers ensured they were held in high esteem among the native peoples of 19th Century Fiji – as these excerpts from our historical adventure-romance, Fiji: A Novel, show:

Within the crowd, Nathan watched with interest as the onlookers’ ranks suddenly parted to reveal the Shark Caller being escorted from the village to the beach by Joeli. The onlookers dropped to all fours and bowed their heads as their respected ratu and the equally esteemed Shark Caller approached.

Pausing to adjust a pennant-like piece of masi, or tapa cloth, attached to a post, the Shark Caller then waded out into the sea. The old man stopped only when the water reached his neck then he began chanting. It was a shrill, haunting chant unlike any Nathan had heard. The onlookers watched this ancient ceremony in awe…

… The chanting continued for so long Nathan was ready to return to the village. Then it suddenly stopped. The onlookers collectively gasped as a huge fin sliced through the water toward the Shark Caller.

Pointing the fin out to Nathan, Susannah whispered, “That will be the Great White.”

Nathan couldn’t take his eyes off the drama unfolding out in the bay. The fin veered away only yards short of the Shark Caller. The old man resumed chanting as the shark began circling him. More fins appeared, smaller than the Great White’s. They, too, circled the Shark Caller, who appeared oblivious to the danger. Wild cheering broke out among the onlookers. Nathan could hardly believe his eyes.

Susannah, shouting to be heard, said, “The Great White answers the call of the Shark Caller. It brings other sharks with it.”

Men waiting aboard canoes in the shallows began paddling furiously out from the beach to intercept the sharks. In the lead canoe, Joeli and Waisale reached down and hauled the still-chanting Shark Caller from the water. The crews of the other canoes set about killing as many sharks as they could. They used nets to snare the sharks and then they speared them, but they were careful not to harm the Great White. The sea in the immediate vicinity quickly turned red with blood. A feeding frenzy followed as sharks turned on one another.

One of the men in Joeli’s canoe fell overboard. Willing hands hauled him back on board just before the sharks could reach him.

On the beach, the onlookers were cheering and sea shell horns blared out as the men aboard the canoes began towing their catches back to shore. Despite the danger still posed by live sharks, villagers waded out to greet them. They helped pull the captured sharks up onto the beach, taking care to avoid their gnashing teeth.

Before long, the carcasses of thirty or more sharks had been lined up in rows on the sand. Smiling villagers used hunting knives to carve strips of flesh from them while others cut off the highly valued fins. Slaves carried the spoils back up to the village.

A beaming Joeli surveyed the scene proudly. He announced, “Tonight, my people eat well!”…

… Nathan turned his attention back to the scene on the beach. Beyond the villagers he saw the Shark Caller. The old man was now further down the beach, away from the others. He was kneeling beside a lone shark carcass.

Nathan approached the Shark Caller. As he neared, he heard the old man chanting softly while looking into the eye of the dead
shark.

“Great hunter of the sea, you have lived a noble life,” the Shark Caller intoned in his native tongue. “You have served your purpose. Now you will perform one last act. You will give me your eye so that I can see all things as you do.”

Although the words were foreign to him, Nathan felt he understood what the Shark Caller was saying. He looked on as the old man used a shell to cut out the shark’s eye. The Shark Caller held it up, offered another chant, then popped the eye into his mouth and swallowed it whole.

 

Shark calling is just one of many ancient customs highlighted in Fiji: A Novel. As one Fijian reviewer with Suva-based Random Writings Book Reviews says, “I give it 5 stars because that’s the maximum allowed.”  

Fiji: A Novel is available via Amazon as a trade paperback and kindle ebook. To order this novel, or read sample chapters free of charge, go to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/

  

Happy reading! –Lance & James

  

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