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Young Adult
Son of Fortune


Aiden Lynch is already a survivor at 16 when he arrives, broke, alone and on the run from the law, in the glittering city of San Francisco in 1866. Luck turns his way after he rescues a wealthy man's son from a street fight in the notorious Barbary Coast. He is then hired to be a companion (i.e bodyguard) to this impetuous and careless son, Christopher and moves into the family mansion. Tantalized by this new taste of luxury, Aiden begins to dream about a way to secure his own fortune. When he wins a guano ship in a high-stakes poker game that chance is suddenly real.


He isn't thrilled at first to discover guano is dried bird poop, but when he learns it's value as fertilizer, he and Christopher eagerly set sail to Peru to scoop up the riches. But there they discover a savage business, with hundreds of Chinese men forced into a brutal system of slave labor. When one of the miners, claiming to be a kidnapped Chinese nobleman, begs for rescue, Aiden must make a fateful decision.

Devil's Paintbox


In April 1865, 15 year old Aiden Lynch and his younger sister Maddy have barely survived a brutal winter alone on the remains of their drought-ravaged Kansas farm when an unlikely savior appears out of the morning mist. Jefferson J. Jackson is looking for strong men to work in a Seattle lumber camp, not a half-starved teenager with a useless girl in tow, but the pair convince him to let them join his wagon train.


It is a chance at a new life for Aiden and Maddy but a chance that is 2000 rough and dangerous miles away. Aiden soon learns however that the greatest challenges are not really the physical ones. When a smallpox epidemic threatens an Indian friend, Aiden’s loyalties, wits and courage are severely tested.


A 2010 American Library Association "Best Book for Young Adults."


"Flawless attention to detail and steady pacing keep readers fully engaged." Publishers Weekly

Shackleton's Stowaway


When Perce Blackborow stowed away on the Endurance, he was only thinking about what a great adventure it would be to join Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition.  The legendary explorer, who had once nearly reached the South Pole, now planned to cross the entire continent of Antarctica.  He had initially rejected Perce for his crew, thinking him too young for such a long and dangerous journey, but now, impressed by his spirit, Shackleton allowed him to stay.


But before they could reach the frozen wasteland at the bottom of the world, the unforgiving ice trapped and crushed the ship.  Shackleton and his crew were stranded.  If they were to survive here in the most hostile place on earth, with little equipment and hardly any food they would have to do it all on their own. The Endurance expedition is one of the great true adventure stories of all time.


A 2006 New York Public Library "Best Book for the Teen Age."


"Truly thrilling." The Washington Post


"A gripping novel based on one of the greatest survival stories of all time."  Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Mosquito War

(Written under the name V.A. MacAlister)


The Mosquito War is a fast-paced thriller with crooked pharmaceutical companies, a CIA plot gone horribly awry, and a terrorist weapon that comes in a very small package.  Zee Aspen, a marine biologist is searching for new drugs from coral reefs.  When her best friend, a scientist working for  SeaGenesis discovers one of  Zee's drugs might cure Malaria, all the samples mysteriously disappear and the research is halted.  Connor Gale, working at a corporate security service for SeaGenesis begins to investigate and soon finds his own life in danger.


"One of the top adventure writers in the country today." - Clive Cussler



Osprey Reef


Osprey Reef is a thriller and a love story, a fascinating mystery about an unusual phase in the South Florida drug war and an authentic deep sea adventure.


"Chicago Nordejoong is one of the most refreshing new characters to emerge in suspense fiction in years." - Allen Cheuse, National Public Radio


"Osprey Reef is splendidly exciting, and Chicago Nordejoong holds your attention throughout this well-plotted, fast-paced suspense story." - The Houston Post



Point Deception


Set on the eve of  "Desert Storm," this thriller re-unites ex-CIA officer Alex Sanders, and professional scuba diver Chicago Nordejoong.  When the body of a young woman found in the Caribbean is identified as the daughter of a US Senator, the pair are caught up in an investigation that leads to murder, blackmail and the international trade in chemical warfare agents.


"The plot is suspenseful and the book difficult to put down."  - Library Journal


"The action sequences, particularly those underwater, are first-rate." - Kirkus Reviews



Crooked Island


At the bottom of the sea, in the rubble from an ancient shipwreck, lies a coffin that could change the course of history. At stake are billions of dollars in oil revenues, political power in Europe, and potentially even the British throne. Sabotage, kidnapping and historical intrigue make for and exciting suspense take and underwater adventure, with a touch of romance as Alex and Chicago continue their tempestuous relationship on the high seas.


"A diverting historical jape that will leave readers on the lookout for the next Chicago Nordejoong book." - Washington Post Book World. 


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