Entry Nickname: The Ghost and Ms. Clair
Word Count: 83K
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Mackenzie Clair knew her life would change when her father died, but she wasn’t expecting grief to awaken her lost ability to talk to the dead, or to end up chasing a murderer through the most haunted town in America.
Mac never really figured out what to do with herself, and relies on her dad and their shared love of books and music to get by. When she loses her father to cancer and her boyfriend to infidelity all in the same week, she embarks on a mission to reclaim some joy. She abandons the city life and relocates to her favorite childhood vacation spot: Donn’s Hill, a small town in Middle America that’s best known for an abundance of paranormal activity, especially the séances at its annual Afterlife Festival.
Mac doesn’t get much time to acclimate to small-town living before an angry poltergeist begins to stalk her. She joins forces with the ghost-hunting crew of the nationally televised show Soul Searchers in an attempt to come to terms with her newly re-discovered psychic powers—powers she didn’t understand as a child and barely understands now. When Mac stumbles across a dead body while helping the team film an episode, she recognizes the dead man as the ghost haunting her apartment. It isn’t long before a second body follows the first, and Mac realizes that not only is someone killing off the town’s residents, but at least one of the victims is determined to force Mac to user her powers to bring the killer to justice.
Death has followed Mac to Donn’s Hill, and now she has to make a choice. Run away from this confrontation like she has every other her entire life, or embrace her psychic gift and use it to hunt down a murderer. If she leaves, the poltergeist will surely follow her…but if she stays, she risks joining the ranks of the spirits who wander the town.
Someone was sitting on my bed.
I’d awoken to the thin mattress shifting beneath me when his weight pressed down near my right side. My body wanted to roll toward that lower point, but I held myself in place, not wanting to touch him. He—and I was sure it was a “he,” though I couldn’t say why—smelled foul, like rotting garbage, but hadn’t harmed me. Yet. Too frightened to scream and risk propelling my intruder into motion, I held my breath and strained my ears to hear his breathing.
I heard nothing but the hum of a car passing on the highway.
Questions pinged around inside my skull and crashed into each other. What’s going on? Is he holding his breath too? Are we locked in some kind of silent contest, the loser being the one who passes out? How did he get past the locks?
And the most pressing questions of all, the ones I’d need to move to answer: Who is he? What does he want from me?
It couldn’t be anything good. People who want to do good things usually knock.
Taking a chance, I opened one into a narrow slit. The motel room was pitch-black, thanks to the ancient heavy curtains and my having unplugged the digital alarm clock. Keeping my arm under the covers, I crept my left hand toward the nightstand.
Slowly, I told myself. Don’t make a sound.
Faster! my lungs screamed at me.
Entry Nickname: And I Feel Fine
Word Count: 85K
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Numbed and heartless, 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 for the Enders Agency, an interstellar first-responders team. Over. And. Over.
When Sherman’s last real friend and comrade goes starborn – or dies on the job – to save a suicidal man and his brave and beautiful daughter named Bennett, Sherman falls for her hard. She wakes him from apathy - but waking means feeling the horror of every victim he didn't save. Soon, he discovers, the carnage won't end at his faraway deployments: Armageddon is about to hit right at home.
On Sherman's resident planet, a poltergeist ruler struggles to retake the podium from beyond the grave. It murders current officials and speaks through intercoms by eerily weaving together clips of its old speeches. Just when Sherman and his comrades realize they may be the only ones able to halt the phantom's violent course to resurrection, Ender agents begin to disappear. With Bennett's help, Sherman must confront the dictator-poltergeist and the root of these vanishings before they come for him too and destroy the Enders for good. 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.