Friday, December 27, 2013

A Pirate's Life for Me

What do you get when you combine a young man's angst-ridden childhood, secrets from the past, magic, a family of street thieves who have hearts of gold, and seafaring pirates? You get the makings of the world of Jim Morgan, and his world can be as tempestuous as the Seven Seas. In James Raney's series, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves and Jim Morgan and the Pirates of the Black Skull, you can't help but feel empathy for young Jim as he learns about who he is and what his life holds for him.

I don't want to give spoilers to these novels, but I will say that following the creative adventure of Jim makes me yearn for more adventure in my own life. He befriends a group of street thieves who become his family, and his connection to them makes the reader yearn to find those friends, those best friends, in his or her own life who will always be there, no matter what. There's something about watching this young man encounter the obstacles he must overcome as well as the people who comprise his inner circle that warm your heart when you see just how resilient Jim truly is. You can't help but feel the hope—hope that he will succeed in his quest(s), hope that he will find his family, and hope that he will be that hero that he needs to be, not just for him, but for those closest to him. He brings out the adventurer in all of us.

Being a pirate always seemed like being a part of a family or a fraternity, and this familial bond between members gets cemented through trust. Throughout these novels, Jim finds support through a variety of unique individuals, some of whom you would not expect. Young and old will enjoy the twists and turns both of these novels have to offer, and the magic within the pages not only enables the plot to move where it needs to, but also ensorcells the reader, like mythical Sirens can, luring each person into this tapestry of events. You can't help but feel like you're one of Jim's cohorts. "Dread Pirate" Raney (as I have come to call him) spins a true sailor's yarn—with the allure and intrigue of the sea. I'm along for the adventure, and you should come on board as well. You get all the benefits of being a pirate, and none of the sea sickness!

Available at Amazon, these novels should be a part of anyone's library. When you have a chance, check out and "like" James' Facebook page or follow him on Twitter or Goodreads for the latest news about upcoming signings and information about the next installment of Jim Morgan's adventure. 
James Matlack Raney

James Raney is a former high school teacher who has grown up all over the world, in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Now he calls southern California home, writing adventures and occasionally living a few of his own. Find out more about Jim Morgan's books at

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