Jack is kind of an asshole. He doesn’t mean to be, but he is. A bit self-righteous. Prone to brooding and emotional self-flagellation. But his intentions are noble—rescue his mother from a notorious pirate. Sometimes you have to be an asshole to get the job done, right?
I’ll let the book jacket blurb tell you what the story is about, then I’ll introduce you to the main players.
A story of relentless pursuit, betrayal, and revenge:
As a young boy Jack Mallory knows horror and desolation when James Logan and his pirates murder his father and abduct his mother. Falsely accused of piracy himself, Jack is thrown into jail. He survives seven years in London’s notorious Newgate prison and emerges a hardened man seeking revenge.
His obsession with finding his mother’s kidnapper drives him to the West Indies where he becomes entangled with a fiery young woman named Maria Cordero. With a score of her own to settle with James Logan, she disguises her gender and blackmails Jack into taking her aboard his pirate brig, Prodigal, in his desperate search for Logan. Their tumultuous relationship simmers while Jack formulates a daring plan to rescue his mother and exact revenge upon Logan for destroying his family. But Logan has no intentions of losing what he now treasures more than life itself—Jack’s mother, Ella.
Jack Mallory, our hero: I’ve already told you his major characteristics. We meet him as a kid at the beginning of the novel where his relationship with his parents is established. A time jump takes the reader down the road seven years, when the boy known as John is now the haunted young man known as Jack. As he begins his odyssey to find his mother (if she’s still alive) and hunt down his nemesis, he’s prepared to do anything to accomplish his goals. Yet he also struggles to maintain the sense of morality that his parents ingrained in him. In fact, it’s a struggle that arcs through the trilogy. (Yep, there’s two more books right now, The Alliance, and The Fortune; but don’t worry, you don’t have to read all three to enjoy the first.)
James Logan, the bad guy: Well, bad is a harsh word, isn’t it? Like all good antagonists, we usually have a love/hate relationship with them. Personally, I’m more drawn to the bad guys in movies because they’re often more interesting than the protagonist. Let’s hope mine are equally interesting. But I digress. Logan, like Jack, is haunted by a tragic past. The loss of his entire family drove him into the dark world of piracy where he has survived longer than most who go “on the account.” I don’t want to give away too much about him because it’ll spoil your reading experience, but let me just say there is more to Logan than meets the eye. He’s no one-dimensional bad guy. (And I’ll make a confession here: when I pictured James Logan while writing him, I pictured Sean Bean as Boromir in “Lord of the Rings.” But does Logan die like Sean always does? You’ll have to read the book. “One does not simply walk aboard the Prodigal…”)
Maria Cordero: To call Maria a thorn in Jack’s side would be a cliché. But if the cliché fits, use it, eh? I didn’t want the typical nautical fiction woman who is married to the hero and does nothing but whine about how her husband is always at sea. I wanted Maria to have a quest of her own. And it just so happens it’s the same as Jack’s: kill Logan for killing her father. Neither Jack nor Maria are happy about the other wanting to end Logan first. Revenge murder is a matter of principle and family honor, isn’t it? But Maria is beautiful and has many redeeming qualities to Jack—same stubbornness and spirit as Jack—so, does Jack soften to her and maybe even end up liking her? Well, you’ll just have to read the book.
The Prodigal is available through Amazon. (Wider distribution forthcoming.) The Alliance and The Fortune are available through Amazon and other online dealers. All are available in both paperback and e-book formats.