Welcome Michael R. French

Today we welcome Michael R. French, author of Ghost with Two Hearts, on his third stop of his WOW! Women on Writing book tour. We also thank Michael for his guest post, “Helping or Hurting,” about a young engineer’s travels to Japan as he looks for a better life.

Here’s Michael:


by Michael R. French,

Author of Ghost with Two Hearts


A young software engineer travels to Japan on a personal mission to return a ceremonial sword his grandfather stole from a Japanese captain in a World War II.  Adrian knows little  of the circumstances of the theft but believes returning the sword to its rightful heir is the morally correct thing. The good deed, he hopes, will also make him feel better about his own life, which is emotionally and spiritually unfulfilling.

In Japan, he is soon immersed in a seductive culture that is a welcome escape from the West.  Renting a house from a retired Shinto priest, he’s befriended by a female kami, a ghost named Emiko, who also lives in the house.  She is being punished in the afterlife for something no one seems to want to talk about, including her, but she communicates easily with Adrian, he’s attracted to her intelligence and curiosity. One evening, she hides his sword  from him, in order to protect him from his  “impulsive Western arrogance,” she writes in a note.  He has no idea what she means.  He insists he is on an important mission, and Emiko reluctantly returns the sword.

His determination to do the right thing is challenged by a two-thousand-year-old culture that includes ghosts, priests, wars, mercurial gods, serious artists and philosophers, and a society with its own view about generational interconnection and the fluidity of time.

After  diligent sleuthing, Adrian returns the sword to the captain’s aging daughter. He’s puzzled that she accepts this outcome with mixed emotions.   Days later, another kami—the ghost of the warrior captain—appears and angrily pursues Adrian with the very sword he just returned to the daughter.  Adrian outsmarts the kami in a harrowing escape for his life.

Before returning to the States, he desperately wants to find Emiko and ply her with questions.    How can his generous act of returning the sword make him despised?  Is he supposed to be responsible for his grandfather’s deed 70 years earlier?   He was just being a good Samaritan, but maybe Shinto judges his efforts in a different context?  What context?   Emiko is nowhere to be found to help him.

Frustrated, Adrian returns to the States, quits his engineering job, and moves to New York where he knows no one.  He applies his skills or solving difficult coding puzzles to understanding how a  trip that was supposed to make him feel good about his life has done the opposite.  He partially blames Emiko for the secrets she kept from him. Is there something about the afterlife that he personally needs to explore?  He decides he needs a teacher, one he can trust and hold nothing back from.

On a park bench one afternoon, someone has left a wrapped box with Adrian’s name scrawled across the top.



Book Summary

Approaching 30, Adrian, a talented software engineer, takes stock of his wealth and accolades – and how unhappy he is. He doesn’t make friends easily, dislikes social media, and was bloodied in a divorce. He finds no common purpose in a country defined by political vitriol, distrust, and inequality. Taking a leave of absence from his company, he travels to Japan with a samurai sword that his grandfather stole from a Japanese captain in World War Two. Adrian is determined to find its rightful heir. Doing the morally correct thing, he hopes, will make him feel better about his life.

Print Length: 193 Pages

Genre: Fiction, Cultural Heritage Fiction, Ghost Fiction

Publisher: Independently Published January 12, 2023

ISBN: 979-8370416842

Ghost with Two Hearts  is now available to purchase in print and as an e-book at Amazon.com.  Add it to your GoodReads reading listing as well.


About the Author Michael R. French

Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner.  He received a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.   He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur,  and starting a family.

​In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies  and self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals.  He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  His passions include travel,  collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family.   He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying “no” too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.

French’s work, which includes several best-sellers, has been warmly reviewed in the New York Times and been honored with a number of literary prizes.

Find Michael online at:

Author website:  http://www.michaelrfrench.com/

Blog site:  http://www.michaelrfrench.com/blog

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MichaelRFrenchAuthor/?fref=nf

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Michael-French/author/B001ITYVES?ref=ap_rdr&store_ref=ap_rdr&isDramIntegrated=true&shoppingPortalEnabled=true

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrfrenchbooks/


  1. I want to thank Madeline for allowing me to talk about my new novel on her wonderful site.

    If anyone has any comments for me, please leave them here. As an author of some 22 published books, I always welcome feedback. Thank you!

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