Posts Tagged ‘John Graham’

In our new release historical adventure novel White Spirit, convicts who escape from the notorious Moreton Bay penal settlement, on Australia’s east coast, risk death in the form of hunger, thirst, heat-stroke, snake-bite or sheer exhaustion. If by some chance they survive all that, they must elude Barega, an Aboriginal tracker employed by the British Army.

We introduce Barega early in the novel. He’s a tracker without peer – and he’s a born killer if ever there was.

Here’s an excerpt from White Spirit:

A wiry Aboriginal tracker ran fast through the undergrowth, following tracks only he could see. He carried a spear in one hand and a nulla nulla, or club, in the other. Wearing only a loincloth, he covered the ground with effortless ease, his bare feet hardly touching the sun-baked earth.

This was Barega, one of the last surviving members of the mysterious Joondaburri, a tribe whose menfolk were renowned up and down Australia’s east coast for their superior tracking abilities. In the language of his people, his name meant the Wind, which was appropriate for he ran like the wind. To the British soldiers who employed him, he was simply known as the Tracker.

Although only average height, Barega’s legs were out of proportion in that they were unusually long in relation to his torso – a fact that gave him a distinct advantage in his chosen occupation. Few men, black or white, could match him for speed in a cross-country foot race, and, like others of his tribe, he could run all day long, seemingly without tiring or succumbing to the relentless heat.

The tracks he followed were those of three convicts who had escaped custody earlier that morning. They were heading west, away from the coast and away from Moreton Bay – the site of Britain’s newest penal colony and home to two hundred or so convicts and soldiers. The route was leading deeper into the tropical rainforest that hugged this part of the coast. It became progressively steeper as the hills gave way to mountains.

Barega was accompanied by three soldiers who followed him on horseback. He glanced back at them from time to time to ensure they remained in contact. Though their horses were doing most of the work, it was clear to him the men were having a hard time of it in the heat. They stopped every so often to drink from their water bottles.

Leading the way was Lieutenant Desmond Hogan, a dashing Englishman who was a career soldier through and through. Hogan’s ambition to succeed in his chosen career was hinted at by his senior ranking, which was an achievement in itself for one so young. He was only twenty-six. His rapid rise up the ranks had undoubtedly been influenced by the fact that his father and his father’s father had both been high ranking army officers, and he was candid enough to acknowledge that, but that didn’t change the fact he was a man of some ability whose promotion had largely been based on merit.

Hogan caught Barega’s eye. “How close, Tracker?” he asked.

Pulling up, the tracker pointed at the sun, which at that moment was to the northeast, and then he pointed dead north. “Soon, Mister,” he said by way of explanation, though no explanation was necessary.

The young lieutenant had used Barega so often he could readily understand the other’s hand signals. On this occasion, the tracker had indicated they’d catch up to their quarry by mid-day when the sun would be where he’d indicated – dead north. By Hogan’s reckoning, that would be in an hour’s time give or take. He glanced around at his two men. “Another hour should do it,” he said.


WHITE SPIRIT (A novel based on a true story)  is exclusive to Amazon:


White Spirit (A novel based on a true story)



Amazon Australia Top 50 reviewer Todd Simpson says “The Authors have really brought this story alive with some amazing characters and splendid writing” in his five-star review of our new release historical adventure WHITE SPIRIT (A novel based on a true story)


White Spirit (A novel based on a true story)


Excerpts from Todd Simpson’s review follow. (Paragraph breaks added):

Both Lance and James Morcan have done an amazing job with this incredible story. Being based on a true story, made it that much more interesting. One of the standouts is how well they explained how hard the white settlers and convicts had it back in the 1800’s. Some of the convicts went through hell, and all for stealing a loaf of bread. The Authors have really brought this story alive with some amazing characters and splendid writing.

With no supermarket or corner store in the 1800’s Moilow stood for hours like an unmoving statue waiting for a kangaroo to drink from the waterhole. This was the patience required to hunt and catch food for his tribe in the Australian bush. The soldiers of the Penal Colony had it a little easier when it came to food, and they were smart in employing the services of Barega an Aboriginal Tracker. He was the main reason they had such success in tracking down escaped convicts. That and because they were a long way from civilisation.

Morton Bay Penal Colony definitely wasn’t a place you wanted to end up in as a convict. Lord Bertram Cheetham was the man in overall charge, and he probably let the power go to his head a bit too much. He ruled with an iron fist, and he demanded punishments were dished out in the harshest imaginable terms…It was because of Cheetham’s hard-line approach that Captain Marsden his second in charge believed there were so many escape attempts by the convicts.

The prisoners had very little to eat, and their cramped living conditions were deplorable. Then add in the 16 hour working days in the quarry, which was tough going. Especially if you were exhausted or sick as most of the men were.

Young Helen Marsden certainly has her admirers. With not many women around, and certainly none as beautiful as she is. Lieutenant Hogan isn’t the only one showing a keen interest in her. Helen is becoming quite outspoken and is beginning to put her two cents worth in around the colony.

As soon as John Graham arrives in Morton Bay, he is already counting how many guards there are, and planning an escape. He is much smarter than the average man, and he knows if he is caught, then he will face death at the gallows.

Helen begins to write a newspaper column, and it makes her father very angry when she writes of the atrocities that are happening at the penal colony. Her father doesn’t realise it yet, but one of the convicts is hopefully going to rescue his daughter. This was such a captivating story, and it made for a few very enjoyable days of reading. I would definitely recommend it.


WHITE SPIRIT (A novel based on a true story)  is exclusive to Amazon. To see all the reviews for this book go to:






Our new release historical adventure WHITE SPIRIT (A novel based on a true story)  resonates with readers if the early Amazon reviews and sales are any guide.


White Spirit (A novel based on a true story)


Here’s what one Amazon reviewer (‘Kotuku’) has to say: “This is a Tour De Force of a book that follows the lives of convicts, guards, soldiers and above all the Aborigines of that time (1830’s)…Don’t be put off by the length, as every page and chapter is riveting…and the descriptions of the Aborigines is unparalleled in any other novel I have read. It is crying out to be made into a movie!”

And here’s what other reviewers say:

“This has to be my #1 for book of 2016. A must read.” -Tony Parsons

“It is an excellent book with great characters and a simple plot which is made complex by the many subplots. It is not a book to rush through but one to savor.” -P. Blevins

This was an amazing story. It is a sad story of mans ability to survive. It is definitely a page turner, I couldn’t put the book down.” -Mary L.Traylor

“One of the best novels I have ever read it kept me enthralled from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down – “a real fecking page turner” which will have you rooting for the Irishman John Graham. I hope there will be a movie made.” -Amazon Customer 

“I couldn’t put the book down. It is an outstanding and very satisfying read.” -Cyrano1db

“This is Lance and James Morcan’s best work to date. It is up there with Colleen McCullough’s Thorn Birds.” -Yvonne Crowe (author)

Amazing Story! I didn’t want to put it down! Sometimes fact is better than fiction. It took me a few days to read, since it’s a long book, but it’s well worth the effort!” -BCopanos


WHITE SPIRIT (A novel based on a true story)  is exclusive to Amazon:





Following on from the success of our historical adventure novels Into the Americas, World Odyssey and Fiji, we announce the scheduled April launch of our latest historical adventure WHITE SPIRIT (A novel based on a true story).


White Spirit poster 2


White Spirit  is an epic historical adventure novel based on the gritty, true story of Irish convict John Graham. After escaping from Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, in Australia, Graham finds refuge with the Kabi, a tribe of Aborigines who accept him as one of their own.

Set in the early 1800’s, White Spirit  also gives readers an in depth look at the tribal life of First Australian (Aboriginal) peoples.


For more information about this this book see our Goodreads  page at: