Fiction Works:

The Lost Gospel

A remarkable feat: The Lost Gospel, As inspiring as it is exciting.”

-Michael Harnett, Award winning author of The Blue Rat

“Historical fast-paced. Suspenseful. I couldn’t put it down.”

-Joseph Reiff, author of Born of Conviction

The Lost Page

“The Lost Page does it all – captivates, and convinces.”

– Vicki Hinze, USA Today bestselling author.

Torched

“A magnificent tale of race and romance that speaks to us today more than ever.”

-Michael Hartnett, bestselling author of The Blue Rat

“Prose in the skilled hands of Joe Edd Morris is powerful, lyrical… almost like reading poetry.”

-Peggy Webb, USA Today bestselling author of The Language of Silence

“Joe Edd Morris is a life long Mississippian with a true gift of telling a good story.”

-Gerald Walton, author of The University of Mississippi: A Pictorial History

Land Where My Fathers Died

” an amazing debut. It made me think of All the King’s Men, Blood Meridan, even As I lay Dying. Joe Edd Morris’s characters spring from the earth itself. This is a book you won’t put down, a story you’ll remember for many years to come. What a novel. What a writer.”
– Steve Yarbrough

landwhere_topPgLand Where My Fathers Died, Context Books; Spring, 2002; semi-finalist, Pirates Alley Faulkner Prizes for Fiction. Mississippi Library Association Best Fiction Award, 2002

Joe Edd Morris takes us back to 1954 in his debut novel Land Where My Fathers Died, the story of a young man’s search for identity, love and whatever remaining kin he may have in a South that is fast becoming so much folklore.

Incarcerated six years in a Mississippi state penal farm for a crime he didn’t commit, Jo Shelby Ferguson is released a few weeks after a car accident has taken what he thinks to be the last members of his family. The only earthly possession left to him is a trunk. Among the family heirlooms stored there, Jo Shelby finds a cache of old letters written by his great-great-grandmother. A story unfolds in the chronologically arranged missives: the flight to Mexico with General Jo Shelby of Missouri following the collapse of the Confederacy, countless trials and tribulations, the ineluctable confrontation with the Juaristas.

With only forty dollars in his pocket, an old Navy Colt, his grandfather’s Barlow knife, and the name Hacienda Michopa in his great-great-grandmother’s abrupt last letter, Jo Shelby strikes out for Mexico, hitchhiking by various conveyances, having scrapes with the crooked arm of the law, meeting the people, and sleeping wherever he finds himself, as he follows the route of his namesake in search of the only family that he hopes against hope still remains.

 

” an amazing debut. It made me think of All the King’s Men, Blood Meridan, even As I lay Dying. Joe Edd Morris’s characters spring from the earth itself. This is a book you won’t put down, a story you’ll remember for many years to come. What a novel. What a writer.”
– Steve Yarbrough

First novelist Morris, a Mississippi pastor-turned-psychologist who also writes poetry and short stories, tells a poignant tale of a young man’s search for identity…This beautifully upbeat and enduring novel is recommended for all ages, especially in areas with large Hispanic populations. – From Library Journal

A truly memorable literary journey…combining a strong plot with first-rate characters and some elegant writing about the link between families, the land and its history…Morris’s obvious talent shines through from start to finish. – From Publishers Weekly

Not long ago I heard a literary critic claim that there are only two stories—a stranger comes to town or a young person leaves home…Joe Edd Morris’ terrific first novel, “Land Where My Fathers Died,” fits neatly into the second category…Morris knows Mexico well, and his descriptions of the landscape and the small towns that dot Jo Shelby’s way have the ring of hard-earned observation. Morris, a former Methodist minister, writes with a clear lyricism. Aware of language and what it can bring to a story, he seems equally cognizant of what it can subtract from a story. Here is a simple but completely eloquent description of Jo Shelby’s thoughts at the end of the book: “He thought of where he was and how far he’d come and of his chances and what he had to lose and what he had to gain and weighed both sides of the equation and decided there were times in a man’s life where simple arithmetic broke down and nothing was more than something but there was no book that ever taught that.” I doubt that many writers could say it better. – From Raleigh News Observer

I picked up this book off the bookstore shelf because the cover and the author’s name grabbed me (I’m a big fan of southern literature and I hadn’t heard of the guy before). Needless to say, I didn’t stop reading from the time I began reading in aisle, to the time I bought the book, through the time I spent on the bus, through my dinner until I slept at 2 in the morning. This book has the makings of a classic–it’s that good. The language, reminiscent of McCarthy and Hemingway, guides you through Jo Shelby’s quest for identity. Jo Shelby’s trip from Mississippi to Mexico, in search of his only remaining kin (descendants of Confederates who fled from the states to Mexico after the Civil War–a historical fact of which I had no knowledge) makes for a gripping and compelling read, wrought with danger and violence (there is a particularly gruesome fight scene in a Mexican prison which I still can’t forget) and lessons about the meaning of honor, persistence and hope. I’m amazed that this is a debut because Morris writes as a seasoned writer would–with patience and unpretentious honesty. A classic. – Customer Review Amazon.com

Buy Land Where My Fathers Died

 

In Israel, famed archaeologist Christopher Jordan and ancient manuscript expert Kathryn Ferguson team up again to save two recently discovered jars and the early Christian documents they are believed to contain.  Complicating their effort are an American Fundamentalist student who discovered the jars and fanatically believes the should be in Christian hands;  and a Hezbollah kidnapping attempt of Chris and Kate in reprisal for their earlier heisting of Mark’s orininal gopel from Syria.  Israel and Palestinian antiquity authorities are also in the mix for claiming ownership of the jars in an escaltion of this percolating international recipe for war.

 Paralleling Chris and Kate’s assignment is the story of the original lost sayings of Jesus, the Q Gospel, a creative imagining of how they came to be composed and the author’s efforts to save his lofetime work.

Filled with fascinating historical detail, both stories weave between modern and ancient biblical times as formidable obstacles face the protagonist in their race toward thrilling conclusions.

“A remarkable feat: The Lost Gospel, As inspiring as it is exciting.”

-Michael Harnett, Award winning author of The Blue Rat

“Historical fast-paced. Suspenseful. I couldn’t put it down.”

-Joseph Reiff, author of Born of Conviction

An unforgettable story fo two courageous couples who risk everything for truth.

Amid a revolution, archaeologist Christopher Jordan and ancient manuscript expert Kathryn Ferguson travel to Syria in search of the original scroll of Mark’s Gospel.  Paralleling their quest is the story of the evangelist’s escape with the scroll from the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., his struggles to com-plete the manuscript and his journeys and efforts with the daughter of Peter the Apostle to pretect and save it for the ages.  For both couples, time is running out and enemies are closing in.

Richly evocative and fiercely moving, this literary thriller explores the hard questions: Did Mark inten-tionally omit the resurrection story, leaving it shrouded in mystery? Or did it become detatched and lost forever?

Discover the answer in The Lost Page.

Endorsements:

“A brilliant novel written with the authority of a scholar and the skill of a gifted stroyteller.”

– Peggy Webb, USA Today bestselling author of The Language of Silence

“The Lost Page does it all – captivates, and convinces.”

– Vicki Hinze, USA Today bestselling author.

Torched: Summer of ’64 is available for pre-order NOW!  If you purchase your book prior to the publication date of May 21, 2020, you may use the promo code: PREORDER2019 to receive a 15% discount. (Black Rose Writing Purchases Only)

Click here to order now from Black Rose Writing.

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“A magnificent tale of race and romance that speaks to us today more than ever.”

-Michael Hartnett, bestselling author of The Blue Rat

“Prose in the skilled hands of Joe Edd Morris is powerful, lyrical… almost like reading poetry.”

Peggy Webb, USA Today bestselling author of The Language of Silence

“Joe Edd Morris is a life long Mississippian with a true gift of telling a good story.”

-Gerald Walton, author of The University of Mississippi: A Pictorial History

PRAISE FOR TORCHED

“In his new novel, Joe Edd Morris weaves a tale of love and violent confrontation that is genuine, captivating and arresting. With Torched, he establishes a voice that is a worthy addition to the roster that includes Welty and Faulkner.”
Steven Byess, Conductor of the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Portland Symphony, Arkansas Symphony and the Ohio Light Opera.

“Joe Edd Morris has honed a bullet aimed directly at the heart and soul of the reader.”
Peggy Webb, USA Today bestselling author of The Language of Silence

“A magnificent tale of race and romance that speaks to us today more than ever.”
Michael Hartnett, bestselling author of The Blue Rat and Generational Dementia

“With the exquisite skills of a mature and consummate writer, Joe Edd Morris’ Torched is both timely and timeless. And, oh yes, it is a great read!”
James Hutchingson, author of Boundaries and Pandemonium Tremendous

SHORT STORIES

“Greenhouse,” Crucible, Summer 2009.

“Undertow,” Bayou Magazine, Number 47, 2007. Nominated for 2007 for the Puscart Prize.

“A Day in the Life,” Return to Pepper Land, 2005.

“My Father’s Business,” Concho River Review, Fall Edition, 1998. First Place, Gum Tree
Writing Contest, Published Authors, 1997. Also included in Concho River Review, Fifteen
Years of Fiction: A Retrospective
, Spring, 2002.

“Communion,” Appalachian Heritage, Winter Edition, 2000.

“Vista,” South Dakota Review, Winter Edition, 1999.

“Inua,” The Chattahoochee Review, Winter edition, 1993.