Against All Odds: New Release

Against All Odds
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I am delighted to welcome Jacqui Murray, my blogger friend, who has just released her third book in the Crossroads Trilogy:

Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.

I have read and reviewed all three books, which record a fabulous history of tribes of those times, (850,000 years ago) about which there is no conclusive evidence. So the arena is open for writers to explore and Jacqui has made a brilliant effort.

Book Information:

Title and author: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 3 in the Crossroad series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction Amazon Global Link

Summary:

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

My Review:

Against All Odds concludes the Crossroads Trilogy – an enthralling story of Xhosa and her People, the prehistoric inhabitants who possessed astonishing abilities to create tools out of stones and twigs, developed a communicative bird language and could face unknown hazards fearlessly. They were smarter than other tribes, as they could share their ideas and thoughts through hand gestures, facial expressions and sounds. They learnt from other communities, were adaptable and their intuition was stronger than others.

It is interesting to note some innate emotions amongst early dwellers. Despite the challenges they had to face and develop confidence, strength and ferocity, Pan-do considered himself more than just a father, a protector and food provider. He knew what is love, which he described as “caring for another beyond logic and reason.” He could even see a similar emotion between his daughter Lyta and Seeker. Hope too finds a mention many times. Each time somebody went missing or was captured by an enemy, they hoped that they would be reunited. Mbasa knew she would surely meet Xhosa again. Ngili hoped that he would be reunited with Hecate.

Jacqui’s research shines through out this book too and her foreword answers many questions about tribes and their ways of expression. Her characters have grown with the passage of time and remember their leader Xhosa’s advice to be “strong like Mammoth, patient as Eagle, leery like Gazelle, cunning as Wolf or lacking that, wise enough to mimic someone who is.” Murray has created awe-inspiring female characters who never give up in adversity, never look back and forge ahead with renewed vigor after each battle. If you like prehistoric fiction, you must read the Crossroads Trilogy. Though this is a stand-alone book, with references to earlier ones but they should be read in order.

jacqui-murray-2Meet the Author:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also an adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.

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CROSSROADS TRIOLOGY

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The Quest for Home – Prehistoric Fiction

Prehistoric fiction is a literary genre in which the story is set in the period of time prior to the existence of written record. If you haven’t read this genre, just check how Jacqui Murray has brilliantly explored it in her books. The Quest for Home is the second book in series. I have read and reviewed Born in Treacherous Times (Dawn of Humanity) and Survival of the Fittest (the Crossroads Trilogy.)

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Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life. 

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Book information:
 Title and author: The Quest for Home
Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga
Genre: Prehistoric
Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

My Review:

The Quest for Home (Book 2 of Crossroads trilogy) by Jacqui Murray continues the journey of Xhosa despite the losses she had suffered when the rafts crashed due to the storm. She had to wait till her group had healed, to restock food and weapons in preparation for departure. A trusted leader, determined to fight the perils, crawling up mountains, slipping down into valleys, following the sun, she leads her people with unwavering confidence. There are conflicts within the group to remain powerful, reminiscent of basic human traits.

It is interesting to note that discrimination, one-upmanship, slavery, selfishness, and revenge are as old as those people who inhabited this earth 850,000 years ago. It is not easy to write such a story but Murray could weave it brilliantly, throwing in many characters quite similar to what we know about human beings. You must read these books in order to appreciate the comfort and security that we take for granted. Highly recommended with 5 stars!

jacqui-murray-2Meet the Author:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.

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A Warm Welcome… #Author Jacqui Murray

jacqui-murray-2
My blogger cum author friend Jacqui Murray, who rides on the wings of reading and writing has landed here today to share her latest book launch Born in a Treacherous Time.’

I am amazed at the readability factor of her book, as I have read it faster than I had anticipated and would like to share my review before we begin a chat with her.

‘Born in a Treacherous Time’ by Jacqui Murray explores that period of time, (1.8 million years ago) which was most challenging for mankind, when survival and finding food were the major issues, the only weapons to kill were stones or sticks and predators could attack any moment. I haven’t read any other book in this genre and have never given a serious thought to how humans lived in pre-historic times. It is interesting to note that nature ruled human beings! A feeling of revulsion hit me when I was reading the details of eating raw meat, with blood dripping from their mouths.

Only a few books have such a magnetic power! This book pulled me more because the protagonist is a woman – Lucy who had a ‘capacious’ brain, could invent tools, understand the herbs and plants that heal and is strong enough to save Baad, one of her male companions from the attack of an eagle. An element of mystery makes this fictional account of early man quite fascinating.

Murray’s superb handling of characterization, with the basic instincts of bonding, care for each other, urge for learning and raising children stands out to lend authenticity to the plot. However it is the resilience of human spirit and hope that shimmers through out the book.

Book Blurb: Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive in the harsh reality of a world where nature rules, survival is a daily challenge, and a violent band threatens to destroy everything Lucy thinks she understands.
If you like Man vs. Wild, you’ll love this book. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. It will bring that world to life in a way never seen before.

I am delighted to have you here Jacqui. Please meet my curious muse who has some questions for you.

  1. How did you think of such a different theme for your latest book?

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    Click to look inside

At the root of Born in a Treacherous Time is Clan of the Cave Bear. Beyond that, the question of how man survived in primeval times filled with Sabertooth Cats and Mammoth was an idea that simply wouldn’t let go of me! I tried to push it away over and over and Lucy (the main character) just wasn’t having any of that. So I finally capitulated and agreed to write her story!

  1. Why have you given so much energy and intelligence to Lucy and not Raza?

I suppose because I identified with the female protagonist. I wanted people to understand her, why she did the things she did, her power to go beyond norms, her creative thinking when solving problems. I am planning a sequel to this book which will focus more on the males though still not Raza (probably). 

  1. How much of the story is imaginative?

I spent considerable time researching all the ‘paleo’ topics for this book–paleoclimate, paleogeology, paleoanthropology, that sort. I came to realize that what we know about this time so long ago is limited and fragile, often based on a handful of artifacts. The best any scientist can do is extrapolate based on this evidence. So that’s what I did. I’ve read other stories of ancient man that gave their characters the power to read thoughts and more. I didn’t award any characteristics (such as that) without evidence it could be true.

  1. Do you think emotions guided people of treacherous times?

Yes though I’m unclear how much. Science is also unclear how much. As a result, I include emotion as one of those traits that make us uniquely human and allow my people to act based on emotion. Truthfully, it would be pretty boring without the pizazz of emotion in scenes, wouldn’t it?

  1. You are right Jacqui. Jealousy and kindness seem to be as old as Kelda and Lucy. Have you picked these traits from modern times?

Man’s instinct to survive is hard-wired and likely uses tools like jealousy and kindness. But emotions that rely on more modern actions–like specialization of jobs or detailed planning–I avoid. I won’t in the next book though!

  1. You are a prolific writer, reader, blogger and a teacher too besides being a home-maker. Tell us the secret of managing so many things together.

I keep a TODO list which I constantly check. I also don’t allot endless time to any one project. I have deadlines and meet them. Without that, I would constantly tweak everything!

Thank you for honoring us with your visit Jacqui. We wish you and your book a roaring success.

Book information:

Title : Born in a Treacherous Time
Series: Book 1 in the Man vs. Natureseries
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Cover by: Damonza 
Available at: Kindle

About the author:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagentethrillers, and theMan vs. Wild seriesShe is also the author of over a hundred books on integrating technology into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Connect with Jacqui:
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 Please share this post at your favorite social networks and visit Jacqui’s author page at Amazon. I am sure you would like her book.

Balroop Singh.