Nancy and Warren Longwell have spent their lifetime together searching for new ways to expand their limits. They have paddled their own canoe down Africa's crocodile-infested Zambezi River, and climbed towering ice walls in British Columbia and Alaska. In the course of three global circumnavigations, they sailed for months at a time on working freighter ships, and once crewed on an America's Cup yacht. Travel, they decided, would be their higher education, and they spent their semesters trekking to holy shrines at Machu Picchu and Rangoon and along China's Great Wall. Warren has raced on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and Nancy has run the New York Marathon, and together they have gone underwater through a subterranean river in Mexico's Yucatan. Off the coast of Vanuatu (long before Vanuatu became famous on reality television) they tried their hand at underwater archeology on the submerged hulk of a steel warship, then later recovered a museum-quality artifact in the mountains of Papua New Guinea. They have "flown" in a shuttle simulator at NASA's Houston space facility, and crossed four continents by rail. All this has given them material for numerous published magazine articles, but it has taken until now for them to realize their dream of authoring a published novel. Stonecypher Road marks their stunning and literate debut.
Stonecypher Roadby Warren Longwell
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Ida Jo Canfield, having come from childhood poverty, has now returned to her old hometown to care for a dying mother. When her husband, Morris, returns from a week of speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats, he tells of a mysterious artifact found half-buried in a remote corner of the vast salt desert- a replica of a human skull carved in crystal. Using a computer access at the small local public library, he searches the Internet for possible clues to the origin and history of the relic, unaware that powerful government supercomputers are at work screening Web traffic to look for the same thing.
Following their own instincts and ideas, Morris and Ida Jo undertake a quest to decode information ingeniously hidden within their crystal relic, even as they try to decide on its proper disposition. They have now set themselves on a journey that will take them to the great museums of Manhattan, and deep under New York City into abandoned tunnels where the mole people give them a taste of first contact with a hidden society.
Nancy and Warren Longwell have drawn on their 30 years of global travel and high-adventure exploration to write a stunning and literate debut novel that always keeps the reader wondering how much of the story might be true.
- The Invisible College Press, LLC
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To say that Stonecypher Road crosses genres is an understatement. First of all, it's literate. But then again, it's also a pulp novel, and pulp adventure thrillers don't usually read like literary fiction. The subject matter is even more of a paradox. Crystal skulls and The Holy Grail and 'mole people' are preposterous to the point of being tacky, and yet in the hands of these two authors, these cliches seem totally believable. Maybe even mundane. With this book, it's hard to know what's real and what's fiction. That sense of reality stems partly from the rich dialog. It's exceedingly conversational. Again, this is something not normally found in a pulp novel. It is perhaps because of this believability growing throughout the pages that the ending achieves its shock value. And shocking it is! I defy any reader to say they see it coming. This book is either a brilliantly-plotted novel, or a confusing enigma. I've read it twice, and I'm still perplexed by it. Whatever it is, it's certainly unique.
Crystal skulls? Subterranean mole people? This isn't exactly my cup of tea since I tend more toward the literary end of the spectrum. It was, therefore, a rewarding and pleasant surprise when I read Stonecypher Road on the advice of some friends. First time authors, Warren and Nancy Longwell, have cooked up a little gem of a book, with a plot that's intricate and richly patterned. And they've liberally sprinkled it with passages written in my favorite language-Pulitzereeze. What a true delight!