Let's check out the details, shall we?
How do you catch a man who is never the same man twice?
That is the question posed in The Ninth Orphan, a top-rated international thriller novel and the first book in The Orphan Trilogy.
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.
Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The Orphan Factory, The Orphan Uprising and Fiji: A Novel), The Ninth Orphan is Book #1 in The Orphan Trilogy. A feature film adaptation of The Ninth Orphan is also currently being developed.
*Ranked #1 in the Spy genre on Amazon.com and Amazon UK during Dec 2011-Jan 2012
Here is an excerpt.
A deer grazed on lush grass in a forest clearing. Around her, early morning mist clung to the tops of the spruce and fir trees common to Montana’s Custer National Park. Her ears twitched as the distant screech of a Merlin falcon carried to her in the still mountain air. The deer looked up, but mist concealed any view of the small and relatively rare bird of prey. She resumed grazing.
The deer wasn’t to know, but her remaining lifespan could be measured in minutes.
Two hundred yards downwind, an unusually large hunting party approached. This was a hunting party with a difference. Only one of the hunters was armed – their leader, Tommy Kentbridge; the others were all children ranging in age from ten to twelve. Male and female, they were of various racial backgrounds. Following Kentbridge, they walked silently in single file along a forest trail.
A tall, powerfully-built man in his mid-thirties, Kentbridge moved effortlessly across the hilly terrain. In his wake, the youngsters had to scramble to keep up. Muddy underfoot conditions added to their difficulties. Despite the challenges posed by keeping pace with their fast-moving leader, the children were doing admirably well. Their faces were flushed with excitement.
Kentbridge, who earlier that day had transported the kids from Chicago’s Pedemont Orphanage, kept one eye on his charges as the trail took them along the edge of a cliff. He noted with satisfaction not one of them seemed fazed by the thousand foot drop. They appeared to cope with the danger with all the poise of adults, or of young adults at least.
As he continued to observe the orphans, Kentbridge’s keen eyes missed nothing. A head count confirmed all twenty three were still with him. Strangely, he only ever referred to them by numbers. The oldest child was Number One, the youngest Twenty Three.
Directly behind Kentbridge, following like a shadow, was a serious-looking, twelve-year-old boy. Number Nine, who was the ninth-born orphan, had startling green eyes that seemed all-knowing and gave him a maturity beyond his years. Nine’s intelligent face was framed by dark, wavy hair. He wore a silver necklace. A ruby dangled from it, bouncing on his chest as he walked. The exquisite stone gave off a blood red glow in the sunlight.
A slightly younger, blonde-haired girl followed close behind. Number Seventeen was, of course, the seventeenth-born orphan. She surveyed the world through icy-blue eyes. Those same eyes were now fixed on the center of Nine’s back. It irked the competitive Seventeen that Nine had ensconced himself between Kentbridge and herself. She felt like she was always following in the boy’s footsteps.
Kentbridge slowed momentarily as the trail took them away from the cliff-top. The screech of a Merlin falcon attracted his attention. Just as the mist had concealed the falcon from the deer’s view moments earlier, it also concealed the falcon from Kentbridge’s view.
Some sixth sense prompted Kentbridge to unshoulder his rifle – a powerful, semi-automatic, military-issue weapon which he handled with the familiarity of a sniper.
The orphans’ leader suddenly froze. Behind him, the children became motionless also. A hundred yards upwind, a beautiful deer stood grazing, superimposed against the green foliage. She continued to graze, unaware humans were in the vicinity.
Kentbridge flashed military-style hand signals to his young charges. In unison, the orphans dropped to the ground. Close behind Kentbridge, Nine and Seventeen watched in awe as their leader sunk down onto one knee and aimed his rifle at the deer. At the last second, he lowered his weapon a fraction then fired. The shot shattered the silence. The deer went down.
The orphans and their leader raced over to the deer to discover she was not yet dead. On her side, the deer was trembling and white foam covered her nose and mouth. The foam turned pink then red as her inner organs reacted to the trauma caused by one not-so-well-placed bullet. Her breathing came in short rasps. The dying animal pawed the air with her legs as the orphans crowded around her.
Kentbridge handed his rifle to his shadow, Number Nine, and nodded toward the trembling animal. Of all the orphans, Nine was his most brilliant pupil. He was stubborn and defiant, but also highly intelligent. In many ways he reminded Kentbridge of himself.
The other twenty two orphans felt varying degrees of jealousy as they watched Nine psyching himself up to carry out their teacher’s order. Although very intelligent and gifted in their own right, the others sensed Nine had some indefinable X-factor that gave him an edge over them. It set him apart and they knew it.
Not even Kentbridge could say exactly what it was that gave the ninth-born orphan the edge. It wasn’t as if Nine was necessarily smarter than the others. He just seemed more sensitive and maybe that, Kentbridge reasoned, was where the boy’s genius lay. Nine appeared to feel life so deeply at times it was as if he had an extrasensory awareness.
Indeed, Kentbridge knew that kind of heightened consciousness, or right-brained intuitiveness, was the common element among all great thinkers. It was the mental frequency he hoped all his orphans would eventually operate at.
Cradling the rifle which was almost as long as he was tall, Nine looked down at the deer and prepared to put the animal out of its misery. The others watched intently as he lifted the weapon to his shoulder and took aim. Through the rifle's scope, he saw the deer's terrified eyes staring back at him. The boy hesitated.
“Finish the mission, Nine,” Kentbridge commanded. Nine looked up at his master then returned his gaze to the deer which was now twitching violently. “That's an order!” Kentbridge said, raising his voice.
So, what are readers saying about this book?
★★★★★ “Nail biter to the end.” - My Scribe World
★★★★★ “I'd recommend this book to hungry thriller fans!” - Jason Letts (author of 'The Inevitable Trilogy')
★★★★★ “One hell of a great story.” - Random Writings Book Reviews
★★★★★ “If you're keen on spy stories, international espionage or conspiracy theories, give this fast-paced book a try!” - Coffee2Words Reviews
★★★★★ “I was drawn into the world of espionage, assassins and DNA alterations.” - Lynelle Clark (author of A Pirate's Wife)
★★★★★ “Intense suspense that will keep you up at night turning pages.” - Phoenix Book Review
★★★★★ “A slick spy thriller!” - Two Ends of the Pen
★★★★★ “A major must read!” - A Bit of Everything Reviews
★★★★★ “First-rate thriller!” - J.B. DiNizo (author of Comings and Goings)
★★★★★ “For any spy thriller fan, The Ninth Orphan is not to be missed!” - Vickie McKeehan (author of 'The Evil Trilogy')
Universal Amazon: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B0056I4FKC
Now, for the fun prize...
☆.•°☆ GIVEAWAY! ☆°•.☆
Get a chance to win a free Kindle copy by commenting below on this post! Lance and James are only giving out one Kindle copy, as well as two optional PDF e-book copies for anyone interested, and the giveaway runs for a week. Get your entries in as soon as possible! You don't want to miss this chance.
Once again, if you'd like to win a copy of The Ninth Orphan, please comment in the comment box below with your name and contact email. That way, the process of sending your Kindle copy will be painless. Also, let us know in the box if you're open to a PDF instead of Kindle ebook (winners will be chosen randomly, but being open to both options will increase your chances of winning). As a reminder, we will NOT spam you with unnecessary emails, just send a message regarding this giveaway. So, you might want to check your junk mail filters, in case you receive an email. On the other hand, if you're a little wary about leaving your personal info on the blog post's thread (or, let's say you run into technical difficulties posting a comment), please feel free to email me directly at email@example.com to place your contest entry. Use the subject heading 'Interntional Thriller Giveaway Entry' so I can keep the emails organized. A randomizer will be used to select the three winners.
Go ahead and enter the contest below. Thanks so much for visiting us! :)
Happy reading, everyone! And don't forget to enter the giveaway for this awesome international thriller novel!
Thanks for the great Kindle donation of THE NINTH ORPHAN, Lance and James! :)
Happy reading, everyone! ;)
About the Authors
New Zealand novelist and screenwriter Lance Morcan is a prolific author with more than 20 published fiction and non-fiction books to his credit as well as several screenplay adaptations of his work. A former journalist and newspaper editor, he regularly writes in collaboration with his son James Morcan, and their books are published by Sterling Gate Books.
The father-and-son team's published books include the new release horror Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) and the bestselling historical adventures White Spirit and Into the Americas. They also have several series on the market including The Orphan Trilogy, an international thriller series, the globetrotting action-romance series The World Duology, and the controversial non-fiction franchise The Underground Knowledge Series. An additional non-fiction title, Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories, was written in collaboration with Holocaust survivors to document the genocide.
The Morcans’ production company Morcan Motion Pictures has a number of feature films in early development, including adaptations of Silent Fear, Into the Americas and White Spirit. It is also developing Underground Knowledge into a TV series.
Lance is currently revising his solo-written novel, New Zealand, an epic historical adventure spanning 500 years of South Pacific and Polynesian history. Including research, writing and life's distractions, this novel has been over a decade in the making.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lance-Morcan/e/B005ET3ZUO/
New Zealand-born actor/writer/producer James Morcan resides in Sydney, Australia. He has written two bestselling novels, performed in various international film productions and is a podcast host.
Morcan's published books include the new release horror Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) and the bestselling historical adventures White Spirit and Into the Americas. He also has several series on the market including The Orphan Trilogy, an international thriller series, the swashbuckling action-romance series The World Duology, and the controversial non-fiction franchise The Underground Knowledge Series. An additional non-fiction title, Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories, was written in collaboration with Holocaust survivors to document the genocide. These titles were all co-authored with his father Lance Morcan and published by Sterling Gate Books. Their production company, Morcan Motion Pictures, is developing Silent Fear into a feature film and Underground Knowledge into a TV series.
James' most recent acting performance was a leading role in the post-Apocalyptic feature film After Armageddon which he also wrote. The dystopian adventure film was shot in rural Australia and Morcan co-starred with Berynn Schwerdt (Wyrmwood). Other leading roles include the OZ-Bollywood productions My Cornerstone and Love You Krishna. Morcan also wrote the screenplays for both features which were filmed in Sydney and Mumbai and incorporated English and Hindi languages.
Additional productions he has perfromed in include a BBC TV series, several indie features and a live stadium production of Ben Hur headlined by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe. To date, his feature films have screened at cinemas in New Zealand, India, Australia, Italy and Cannes.
James is a podcast host on the YouTube channel Underground Knowledge and founded one of the most popular discussion groups on Goodreads, also called Underground Knowledge.