Inheritance Books – Morgan O’Neill

This week’s Inheritance Books post is from Morgan O’Neill, who is actually two people – Deborah Cordes and Cary Frates. It’s the first time there’s been a joint post on Inheritance Books. 

Hi Deb and Cary, welcome to Inheritance Books. Tell us a bit about yourselves.

DeborahCordes&CaryFratesThank you so much for having us on your blog, Rhoda! We’re excited to talk to you about the books we cherish. We’re a writing team who specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure, and romance –  with a time travel twist. We’ve written five novels together, with several more in the works. The first novel in our Roman series, Love, Eternally, recently received a double finalist nod in the 2013 Booksellers’ Best Awards, and two of our novels have semi-finaled in the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, along with first, second, and third place wins in the Golden Rose Contest. Although we write together, we’re certainly individuals when it comes to activities and interests, and we think our differences add richness, variety, and strength to our work.

Deb – I love walking my terriers and beachcombing in the Pacific Northwest (my collections of Japanese glass floats, agates, and beach glass already rival a small museum!). My husband and I adore Hawaii (especially Kauai) for swimming and snorkeling. My favorite TV shows are Through the Wormhole and NOVA. Oh, and my guilty pleasure is Ghost Adventures. 🙂

Cary – I’ve traveled extensively and lived abroad for many years, but home is in the Great Northwest. I love most sports, but personally, mass-hard workouts, swimming, and sailing top the list. My favorite TV shows are Castle, NCIS, and Person of Interest, but instead of watching TV I’d rather be sunbathing on a beach in Les Lecques, France.

You sound like very energetic people. (I’m not!). Which book have you inherited from generations above? Why is it special?

Rhoda Books - CaryCary – I’m choosing The Hobbit, and I still have the one my mother passed down to me.  I must have read it for the first time in junior high, and then several more times until my mid-twenties. After that, I forced myself to only read it every five years – no exceptions – because I wanted it to feel fresh again, each time. I am filled with wanderlust, and have a huge love of adventure, so The Hobbit has always “pinged” on every level.

Deb – The book I’d like to spotlight from a previous generation is The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, because it’s the seminal work in the time travel genre. As a child, I devoured all of the science fiction and fantasy novels I could get my hands on, but Wells’s novella stood apart from the rest because of its compelling and original premise; I wanted to be his Time Traveler and see the past or future with my own eyes. And through my writing, I’ve achieved a way of doing just that, but without the inherent dangers and conflicts our time traveling heroines must face as they struggle to find their happily ever afters.

Time travelling heroes/heroines are brilliant. I used to love The Time Tunnel (remember that?!) and Quantum Leap. Scott Bakula… oooh. Anyways, back to the blog post. Which book would you leave to future generations?

Rhoda Books - Deb

Deb – My legacy novel would be Shogun by James Clavell. As part of my master’s program, one of my Asian history professors assigned me several armloads of non-fiction books to read over the course of a year – and one novel about medieval Japan. This was a first for him, but he believed Shogun to be the best historical novel ever written and worthy of his curriculum. Over the years I’ve reread it several times (the poor, tattered cover of my old copy just recently fell off!), and I continue to be enthralled by its epic scope, beautiful and terrible portraits of humanity, and, most especially, the achingly tragic romance between Blackthorne and Mariko. I love happily ever afters, but Clavell pulled off his tragedy with such strength that I forgive him, and cherish his ending. In the foreseeable future, I believe humanity will continue to favor a quick and “sound-bitten” world, but I hope novels of epic scope will be read, most especially Shogun.

Cary –  The Hobbit, of course, and Gone With the Wind (I think my mother reclaimed the original, so there is no picture to offer, but it was one beat up book!). GWTW is a great book for young women to read. Scarlett made some poor decisions (Ashley? Really??? Eeeewwww!!), but she was so full of life, so unstoppable, she just oozed strength and determination – invaluable lessons! And to tell you the truth, I REALLY liked her wardrobe, too (even Carol Burnett’s interpretation – priceless!).

Thank you for this opportunity, Rhoda. We had a wonderful time and look forward to hearing from your readers!

You’re very welcome! It’s been fun chatting to you. I have now added Shogun to my wish list.

Cover OSOHYou can catch up with Deb and Cary on their website (, on Facebook or on Twitter (@authormoneill). Deb and Cary’s  latest release is The Other Side of Heaven, Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series, published by Crimson Romance. The sequel, Time Enough for Love, will debut on August 12, 2013, also from Crimson Romance. 

Update: I enjoyed hanging out with Deb and Cary so much that I bought one of their books. Read the review for Love Eternally.

38 thoughts on “Inheritance Books – Morgan O’Neill

  1. Getting to the party a little late, but showing up is half the battle, right? I love all of your choices, Deborah and Cary. Shogun was one of my favorite books ever!


  2. This was a wonderful interview, felt more like sitting around on comfy couches and drinking coffee (or tea) and chatting–I like that! Speaking of writers conferences…anybody given thought to AWP 2014 conference? Seattle this year! I am planning on going for the 1st time EVER after years of almost’s. Here is the link–I am encouraging my authors and colleges at Booktrope to join me! It would be wonderful to meet all of the wonderful people I have had the privilege, honor and absolute joy of working/interacting with! Here is the link, think about joining and let’s talk 🙂


      1. Aw. Thanks Wendy (and Deb). The AWP conference sounds amazing. I went to the RNA (UK) conference last weekend and it was a blast. Have fun Wendy!


      1. I remember watching a bit of the TV show a long, long time ago. I enjoyed it then. I’ve put Shogun on my list of books to look out for now. Even big books are light on a Kindle…


  3. How fun this was to read, what a great question. I too, read Shogun and loved it. Clavell and Michener could both combine historical reality with fiction like nobody else. And who won’t love the Hobbit in say, 2154!! Good picks, ladies!


    1. Pam, Michener’s novels are my other “favorite reads” from my teenage years. I especially adored Hawaii and The Source. Interesting how Michener and Clavell seem to “go together” for so many baby boomer readers of historical fiction.


      1. Rhoda, we met at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference around twelve years ago. We joined the same critique group and then two years after that we decided to put our heads together and write time travel epic romances. The rest, as they say, is history (literally!). 🙂


  4. I’d have to consider leaving my first editions of the Zane Grey westerns. I have the whole series, but the first editions (of which I have three or four) are my favorites, tattered though they are. Great, thought-provoking blog, Rhoda, Deb and Cary!


  5. I love THE HOBBIT, too. Any time a writer can realistically create a new world, I’m drawn in. Along those lines, I also enjoy the Narnia books and Brian Jacques’ Redwall books. Thanks for sharing these with us. Nothing like a bit of nostalgia to get your morning started off right. 🙂


  6. Rhoda, what a novel way to talk to authors! I enjoyed listening to Morgan–Deborah and Cary, and I bet that down the road, Morgan O’Neill’s works will be on that ‘cherished’ list!


  7. Rhoda, thank you so much for hosting us on your wonderful blog. I enjoyed thinking about what my favorite books have meant to me. And now I believe I’ll tape the poor cover of SHOGUN back onto the rest of the novel. 🙂


    1. Oh no! Poor dismembered book. I hate it when covers fall off books (they’re inevitably the best loved ones too). I used to tape them back on until a retired librarian showed me how to repair them using backing paper and glue.


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