In 1947, the luxury liner Queen Mary transmits a routine message which is intercepted by an extraterrestrial intelligence. A dying alien world uses the beacon to transport a mother and her two young children to the ship amid flashing electrical lights and a raging storm. James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his British war bride returning to New York are astounded by the apparition of a woman with her two children who gradually assumes corporeal shapes. Jess is drawn to the pathetic woman and accepts her silent entreaty to take her children. As the woman retreats into fog and disappears, the Bennett’s return to their cabin with their children. Despite the biological math being off a bit, the Bennett’s claim the children as their own and raise them on the family farm.
Flash forward to the present. Guy Turner, a melancholy black film maker, is tasked with filming a history of the Queen Mary. While the film will be a boost to his career, his personal life has recently fallen into shambles. His girlfriend of many years gave him “the ultimatum.” While he was fine with marriage, the idea of bringing children into the world was intimidating – so much that he allowed the love of his life to leave.
When Guy interviews James and Jess who are now divorced for his film, he never imagined he would be drawn into their lives and another extraterrestrial visit. When the flashing lights and storms appear and decades-old messages are received signaling another visit, his friend, a government employee he’d shared the couple’s strange story with, demands that he become involved in the new visitation.
The Travelers goes beyond fantasy to portray the life journeys of the characters to the limits of anxiety, despair, grief, and joy. A great read that not only entertains but challenges the reader to put him or herself in the shoes of the characters and perhaps examine his/her own priorities in life.
The Travelers is author Keith Wayne McCoy’s debut novel with Champagne Book Group: Burst. The Travelers was a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Click the cover for buy link.