Entry Nickname: THREE KEEP SECRET
Word count: 72K
Genre: Adult paranormal sci-fi thriller
The modern day remnant of an ancient clan of werecats is torn apart by militaries on three continents vying to exploit their deadly talents. My 72,000-word adult paranormal sci-fi thriller novel ALWAYS GRAY IN WINTER features werecat twins Pawly and her brother Tommy, devastated after a violent manifestation of their kind's Affliction leaves their father dead and uncle missing. Desperate to find him--and a cure--the twins' family courts a rising Eastern power bent on possessing their preternatural fighting talent and supernatural senses. But the US government, having helped their clan flee communist Poland for an ethnic Chicago neighborhood a generation ago, isn't about to let that happen.
A seemingly chance encounter with werecat rivals during a routine sea patrol off the coast of Iran leaves Tommy paralyzed and Pawly's lover Lenny in a coma. Overcome by guilt and shame, Pawly goes underground to protect Lenny when their Navy commanders conspire to frame him for their mission's failure. After months in recovery Lenny encounters Pawly while on the trail of a stolen experimental device, one she knows can quell the Affliction's feral bloodlust. But their bittersweet reunion is cut short when their opponents stir up her estranged kin living within Eastern Europe's old growth forests. A makeshift truce sets up Pawly's loved ones for a shipside ambush when their attackers make a play to use the device as a biological weapon. Her daunting choice: keep her family secret and risk Lenny's life or chance her Affliction driving him away forever.
The speed and precision of the two combatants surpassed even the human race's best martial artists and white arms experts. Mawro stared up at the footage rolling for the seventh time, scrutinizing their fight on the flat-panel display above. With a growl he leaned back in his rickety roller chair and rested one boot atop the other beside his console. Uneasiness grew in his stomach as his mind winnowed down the list of possible explanations for this spectacle. The probable ones no longer seemed so far-fetched.
He followed his operative's movements to and fro across the desertscape. Hana executed one technique after another, monolid eyes trained on target while her bobbed hair bounced about. With neither misstep nor hesitation the young woman landed every strike exactly where he expected. Exactly as he had taught her.
Her hands moved so fast their surveillance equipment captured only an orange-and-white blur. Now and again the camera locked on a frame for a split second but would lose tracking right away. Black stripes on her exposed forearms left artifacts behind, reminding Mawro of speed lines following Hong Kong Phooey from the Saturday morning cartoons of his childhood.
Hana's opponent captivated and chilled him at the same time. The digital camo pattern of her uniform confirmed his Revolutionary Guard contact's assertion. She resembled scores of US Navy sailors sent to guard the Irani beachhead for Coalition supply lines into Afghanistan, but for being covered in silver-gray fur with long white ruffs lining her neck on either side.
Entry Nickname: And I Feel Fine
Word Count: 85,500
Genre: NA Science Fiction
Cold and heartless but the Enders Agency’s finest, 24-year-old Sherman Logan has saved every life but his own. He’s damn good at pelting in from between galaxies and rescuing as many people off their dying planets as possible. Again and again. When Sherman’s last real friend and comrade goes “starborn” – or dies on the job – to save a brave and beautiful young woman; Bennett, and her suicidal father from Earth, Sherman falls hard. She wakes him up - but waking means feeling the horror of every victim he didn't save. Soon, he realizes, the carnage won't end at his faraway deployments - Armageddon is about to hit right at home.
On Potnik, Sherman's resident planet, a poltergeist ruler struggles to retake the podium from beyond the grave at the same time mysterious Ender disappearances begin to occur. With the help of Bennett, Sherman must confront the dictator-poltergeist and the root of these vanishings on top of the incomprehensible death that haunts his everyday life. He'll have to venture deeper into his crashing universe – and himself – than he could have ever imagined.
But hey, apocalypse doesn’t faze him. It’s his job.
The vehicle jumps and knocks my hand off the wheel.
I slam it back. Sarge says keep on the wheel. Don’t let go of the wheel.
Fuck that. Sarge ain’t here. The grey leather jerks in my grip and I keep my foot hard against the pedal. My eyes are dead ahead as the blizzard pushes us aside before I can jolt the wheel steady. But the bridge is falling apart beneath us; concrete crumbling from our tires into the steel colored ocean below. Hail flashes like daggers off the headlights.
I glance into the overhead mirror at the huddled children in the backseat. Siblings. They always give those to me for some reason.
“Sherm!” The mic attached to my shoulder buzzes.
Instinctively, I look out the driver’s window, expecting to see someone cruising next to me. Unc’s two lanes over, looking asleep again. His wrinkly old hand holds the wheel and his eyes droop, but nothing stirs, no emotion when his car jostles past a pothole at ninety miles per hour. More concrete railing sinks into the sea far below.
Wasn’t Unc. Of course. I know the voice.
I scrunch up my shoulder and speak into the mic, keeping my eyes on the road as we finally peak at the bridge’s arch and head for the descent. “Talk, Grant.”
Fuzz. Heavy breathing as Grant messes with his shoulder sleeve to speak.
“What’re we gonna do if this thing blows?”
“I’m gonna die. What’re you going to do?”
Always freaks him out.