Posts Tagged ‘travel’

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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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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The historical adventure-romance novel Fiji  is set in the early 1800’s in one of the most exotic and isolated places on earth. Variously described as “poignant and romantic,” it’s also true-to-life, bloody and reflective of an era long since gone. As one reviewer says, “Fiji: A Novel is not for the faint-hearted!”

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology Book 2)

The blurb for Fiji  follows:

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.

           

  Here’s an excerpt from Fiji:

The guilt Susannah had felt moments earlier suddenly returned tenfold as she remembered the erotic dream she’d had. She quickly nodded, to indicate she’d slept well before diverting her eyes from Nathan’s and looking toward the shore. It was then she noticed giant sand dunes along the shoreline. She gasped at the sight of them. They seemed to be reaching for the sky.

Noting the object of her interest, Nathan said, “Those are the famous sand dunes of Sigatoka.” He added, “I saw them on my arrival in Fiji.”

“How wonderful,” Susannah enthused, momentarily forgetting her antagonism toward Nathan.

Susannah wasn’t the only one fascinated by the mighty dunes. The Italian artist was frantically setting up his easel further along the deck, anxious to capture the scene on canvas before it disappeared from view.

                

As the passengers admired the dunes, a deserted Fijian village came into view. Its bure huts had recently been smashed and burned to the ground. Smoke rose from the still-smoldering ruins, and there was no sign of life.

A Welsh deckhand sidled up to the young couple. He nodded toward the village. “That’ll be the handiwork of Rambuka,” he proffered with some certainty.

Susannah studied the distant village then glanced at the Welshman. “Rambuka?”

“Aye. His warriors are the scourge of this coastline. They call them the outcasts.” The deckhand pointed toward Viti Levu’s distant highlands. “They live up there somewhere.” Nathan and Susannah studied the highlands. Dark storm clouds hung ominously over them. “Cannibals, all of ‘em,” the deckhand added before wandering off.

               

Alone again, Nathan smiled at Susannah. In her usual haughty manner, she gave him a quick glance before looking back at the shoreline. Nathan asked himself why he was persisting with such a young woman who, he could see, was clearly on a different planet to himself. Try as he may, he couldn’t come up with a sensible answer.

“I do not envy the task you and your father have set yourselves here in Fiji,” Nathan said probingly. Susannah looked at him sharply. Pleased to see he had her attention, he continued. “I fear you may be facing an uphill battle.”

“Oh? And why is that?”

“Well,” Nathan paused, thinking on his feet as he went. “Fiji ain’t called the Cannibal Isles for nothing. From what I’ve seen, these Fijians are some of the most savage people on earth.”

                 

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2)  is available via Amazon as a kindle ebook and trade paperback. For more information go to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057YCZM0/

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A book reviewer who happens to call Fiji home has described the historical adventure novel Fiji as “poignant and nostalgic” in his 5-star review on AmazonUK.

 

Fiji A Novel cover image

Fiji: A Novel resonates with Fijian national.

Here’s the review in full:

★★★★★

Well-thought out tale. You could hear the waves, feel the sea breeze, hear the rain thundering through the thick forest canopy, Nathan’s change, Susannah’s love, feel the pain in the Qopi warriors’ sacrifice … it was all a truly remarkable read set in the lands to which I proudly call home. London is certainly far removed from paradise. -AmazonUK reviewer @JonFiji 

 

Fiji: A Novel is book two in The World Duology.

 

The World Duology ebook cover 4

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

The AmazonUK link to Fiji: A Novel is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiji-Novel-The-World-Duology-ebook/dp/B0057YCZM0/

The AmazonUK link to The World Duology is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-World-Duology-Odyssey-Fiji-ebook/dp/B00HMQRMFG/

 

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The World Duology combines the historical adventure yarns World Odyssey and Fiji: A Novel in a gripping, epic tale that takes readers on a 19th Century journey of discovery – from England and America to Fiji and many places in between.

The World Duology ebook cover 4

Product Details        Product Details

In book one, World Odyssey, ambitious American adventurer Nathan Johnson, sheltered English missionary Susannah Drake and irrepressible Cockney Jack Halliday each follow very different paths as they undertake journeys that span 16 years.

Nathan’s journey begins when runs away to sea and finds himself the slave of a Northwest American Indian tribe after his ship founders on a rocky shoreline; Susannah’s journey begins after she agrees to accompany her clergyman father to Fiji to help him run a mission station there, and they must endure a nightmare voyage they’re lucky to survive; Jack’s journey begins when he’s sentenced to seven years’ hard labor in the British penal colony of New South Wales after stealing hemp from an unscrupulous employer.

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.

In book two, Fiji: A Novel, Jack sets himself up to trade Fijian kauri to European traders while Nathan trades muskets to the same natives Susannah and her father are trying to convert to Christianity. Conflict’s inevitable.

Susannah despises Nathan, but is also attracted to him. She soon finds she’s torn between her spiritual and sexual selves.

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

 

Here’s what Amazon reviewers are saying about The World Duology:

★★★★★ “I was immediately drawn into the story, and the fast-paced action kept me turning the pages until the end. The historical and cultural details made it a highly interesting book offering an insight into the anthropological issues at a time when conflicts between different ethnic groups were solved by brutal violence. Between romance, action and historical accuracy, this story has all the elements of great entertainment. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction or epic adventures.” –Karine Brégeon (author of ‘Francette and the Mystery of the Deaf Soldier’)

★★★★★ “A truly gripping epic James Michener style!” –Historical Novel Review

★★★★★ “Great adventure.” -Lynelle Clark (author of ‘A Pirate’s Wife’)

★★★★★ “Historic fiction at its best.” -J.B. DiNizo (author of ‘Comings and Goings’)

★★★★★ “Read this and you will NOT be sorry!” -A Bit Of Everything Reviews

★★★★★ “Exciting adventure, exotic ports of call, and terrific characters.” -Lee Jordan (author of ‘A Whisper from Eden’)

★★★★★ “A spectacular journey by sea and through land you don’t want to miss!” -Remy Benoit (historian and author of ‘Peace, Now’)

THE WORLD DUOLOGY (World Odyssey / Fiji: A Novel) is available via Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/World-Duology-Odyssey-Fiji-Novel-ebook/dp/B00HMQRMFG/

 

Happy Reading! Lance & James

 

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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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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.

 

???????????????????

 

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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