Finalist in the Readers’ Favorite 2018 International Book Awards
An alien revolution centuries in the making will change mankind’s future forever …
Police agent Stefan Lattanzis never expected his planet to become a battlefield, nor Earth for that matter. But when scientists from Paludis share a technological breakthrough with Earth authorities, peace escalates to the brink of war in a hurry. It doesn’t help that the local aliens have a dangerous and mystifying agenda of their own. Meanwhile, a desperate human cult has its own plans to exploit the powerful new technology…
To keep his homeworld alive, Stefan must team with two strangers, a botanist, and a mysterious seer. As embattled factions vie for control of the universe, the trio must trust in each other to keep the new technology from ripping time and space apart.
Saving Paludis is an electrifying sci-fi thrill-ride. If you like futuristic technology, alien political intrigue, and high-octane, paranormal action, then you’ll love Clayton Graham’s interstellar adventure!
SELMA RETURNS HOME
Rain was falling in a steady drizzle as Selma turned into the road that led to her domicile. It was not yet fully dark and the final vestiges of sunlight creeping through a solitary hole in the clouds had turned the aluminium domes of the dwellings to a blood red. The roadway, smooth and black and shiny, snaked like a ribbon through the glistening streetscape and dark, low clouds threatened to crush the buildings beneath their ponderous weight.
Strangely, she’d encountered few individuals as she walked through the streets and, like on the drive south, very little traffic. It was as if a giant hand had been placed over the mouth of Kentucky, stifling its usual raucous behaviour. Selma assumed most people were indoors and she wondered if a storm was approaching.
She stopped outside her home, unable to resist a glance back to that part of the road where she had been abducted by Serpentine. Serpentine! Where was he now? She palmed the switch, pressed the code buttons in the right sequence and her door slid open. Entering, Selma turned on the light and the door closed behind her. The rain suddenly increased in ferocity, and she heard its rattling on the dome of the house. She looked around. Nothing had been disturbed, nobody had gained entry.
She strolled into the lounge and sat down. The videoscreen stared at her blankly. Selma switched it on. There was a message scrolling across the bottom of the monitor. She stared at it in amazement, leaning forward in the chair. Then she shook her head and palmed the screen off, then back on again. The message was still there, scrolling innocuously over a documentary film displaying the attractions of Martian architecture. A change of channels did not remove the words. A cold, dark chill seemed to grip her mind and Selma just sat there, unable to move even a finger. The words clutched at her sanity:
Following a savage attack on Saltzburg, Earth forces are now occupying East Paludis. West Paludis authorities have every reason to suspect an assault on our continent is imminent. Our forces are well prepared and confident of repelling the aggressor. If you are not involved in any military or civil defence body, please stay in your homes …
After several minutes Selma rose, left the screen on, and walked through to the bedroom. She changed into her work uniform and sat on the bed, staring at the red sash of the Natural Order as it lay on the cover. If Kentucky was to be attacked, she would have been better staying with Joby and Marta. Earth forces! It didn’t make sense. Why were they here? Should she go to work? Was nurturing babies not important anymore?
She left the house and went next door. There was nobody in, so she tried further along.
“Please,” she said, as an elderly man answered the door. “What’s going on? What’s this about an invasion?” Raindrops trickled down her face.
The man looked at her quizzically. He was tall and frail with a head full of grey hair, large bags hung under his bloodshot eyes. Selma could not recall seeing him before.
“I’ve been away,” Selma added. “I don’t understand the message on the screen.”
“It’s that fool, James,” the man replied eventually. “Thinks he can take on the entire universe.”
Selma paled. “So it’s true. We’re going to be attacked.”
The man shuffled his feet. “Won’t worry me none,” he said. “I’ve had my share of implants, transplants and injections. I’m about done for this world, anyway.”
Selma backed away, turned and ran back to her home. Something niggled at her mind, something she had to do. A copter swooped low over the rooftops, the sound whining through her head, and she panicked, expecting some kind of attack. Frantically, heart beating madly, she fumbled with the door code and burst into her home. The words were still crossing the screen. She slumped in a chair, pondering what to do. She just couldn’t wait here to die!
About the Author
As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK, Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the ‘old school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions.
He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand.
Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.
Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. ‘Milijun’, his first novel, was published in 2016. Second novel, ‘Saving Paludis’, was published in 2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.
In between the two novels Clayton has published ‘Silently in the Night’, a collection of short stories where, among many other adventures, you can sympathize with a doomed husband, connect with an altruistic robot, explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.
One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…
Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.
Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.
DESCRIPTION COURTESY OF AMAZON
I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley for an honest review.
I love Lori Foster’s writing! She always writes a story that captures you and doesn’t let go until the end. The story an d world building is always very well-developed. Phoenix comes to Cooper’s Charm to take a job, that will hopefully help her to get her life back together after a burglary shattered her confidence. Cooper and Phoenix gets closer and the chemistry is hot. They end up adopting a stray dog together. Phoenix’s sister comes to visit and agrees to take the housekeeping position. A stalker shows up and starts to make Phoenix’s life hell, but with Cooper’s help she won’t let it destroy her again. This was such a wonderful book to read. I give Cooper’s Charm 5/5 stars.
Tracking a kidnapper is an unusual assignment for a private investigator. But Matt is Holly’s lifelong friend. During the race to save him, Holly discovers a lot more than she bargained for. Matt’s in love with her.
RED IS FOR RISK
Holly’s world has never been more dangerous. Her mother’s convinced Holly will end up dead, so she hires a PI to protect Holly. She needs Stryker’s savvy and expertise and is eager for his help, though she risks her heart working with the danger-loving man.
RED IS FOR REVENGE
Stryker’s past returns to haunt him. The kidnapper wants revenge. Stryker risks his life Holly. The dangerous race transforms Holly from a Rookie into a seasoned PI. But with the two men turning her life upside down, can Holly take the heat?
As I turned away to retrace my surveillance route, my gaze swept across a man I hadn’t noticed before. He stood near the ballroom door with his back to me. I did a double-take. An off-duty cop. I could spot one a mile away. The way he walked, stood, and observed his surroundings. A cop couldn’t disguise his identity. Calm, professional, strong, he looked as though he controlled the world. With legs braced wide, right foot behind, he kept his piece away from the crowd. Even from the rear the guy looked cocky.
Someone touched my shoulder. I jumped. While I’d been eyeing the cop, Matt had crossed to my side of the room.
“Who invited the police?” Matt jabbed a thumb toward the ballroom door.
“My question exactly. Maybe one of the rich types demanding extra protection. Or maybe the cop’s moonlighting as a bodyguard.”
Matt rubbed his clean-shaven chin. “Maybe. Don’t know.”
“Whatever. I’ll find out.”
“You do that.” Matt sauntered back to his side of the ballroom.
I planned to check the cop out but didn’t want to meet him this way. I had an image to project. I was an investigator. A professional. Strong. Independent. Cool. Granted, I had a lot to learn, but I sure didn’t want to be seen on Valentine’s night appearing to shop for a man. In a town as closely-connected as Dallas, if we met in the line of fire–and I had no doubt we would—he’d never take me seriously. Some time tonight I’d inform the cop I was actually working.
I policed my half of the room then headed back toward the Champion Wrestler table.
Big, warm fingers grasped my arm with just enough pressure to make me brake and take notice. The dark-haired, fine-looking man extended his other hand. A sense of recognition nagged me. But I didn’t know him.
He sat with his back to the wall at the Attorney table catty-cornered to the wrestlers’ enclave. I shook his waiting hand, feeling warmth and solid strength. He wore his dark suit like other men wore uniforms. Daring. Proud. Indomitable. Candlelight reflected mystery in his brown eyes. With the kind of smile you see on a man given an unexpected dish of ice cream, he stood and offered me the empty chair his polished wingtips had guarded. With the chair now free, a bevy of females flew over from different tables and circled him.
“Sit a while.”
His compelling expression excluded everyone in the room but me. It was an invitation I didn’t want, but my feet, aching from the unaccustomed spike heels, did. So, I slid into the seat.
“Thanks, but just for a minute.”
Sophisticated women glared—shoppers vying for the man’s attention. He flashed them a smile and motioned to the nearby Champion Wrestler table. “Those men want to meet you.”
“I’ll be back.” One woman, wearing heavy eye liner, trailed her hand along the top of the man’s chair and threw him a seductive glance before she moved away. The other ladies stepped over to the strong men’s table.
“Thanks, man.” One wrestler nodded, his long blonde hair falling into his square-jawed face.
I turned to the man, a real James Bond type. Unwanted sparks ignited my insides. Too intense to be handsome and too electric to be ignored, he was big, tense, and concentrated. I’d never met a man who looked so ready for adventure.
Here was trouble masquerading as charm.
“They’re gonna love this at the office,” Bond drawled.
I blinked. The heat in his eyes warmed me like sun-melted chocolate. The challenge in his steady gaze stiffened my backbone.
“The office?” I noticed the bulge under his armpit not quite hidden by his well-fitting dark suit jacket. Tingles trilled my spine.
“Stryker Black. You’re Holly Garden.”
Recognition hit me. The out-of-uniform cop I’d spotted standing in the foyer with his back to me. How had he settled in so quickly? His proximity caused my eyelid to do its thing. Most people never see my twitch. I hoped Stryker didn’t. The quivers make me look unprofessional.
“How do you know my name?”
“Looked up your file at our office.”
Suspicion brought sudden anger biting into me like the Genesis serpent. To keep my temper in check I whispered. “You’re a police officer?”
“Used to be. Now a PI. Ace Investigations.”
I shot to my feet, snagged a four-inch stiletto on the chair rung and lurched forward, catching the table’s edge to keep from landing in his lap.
“I knew it!” Mom.
With my nose inches from his ear, his masculine scent broke through my protective aura. Trying not to breathe in his woodsy, nautical aroma, I scooted away.
Because I wasn’t breathing freely, my whisper sounded weird and nasal. “I want you to leave. At once.”
“Why should I?”
I stared and forgot to lower my voice. “You’re not needed.”
The four lawyers seated around Stryker perked up. Fat and thin, they gazed at me like I was a valuable bequest in a contested will. One leaned so far forward on the table his French cuff dipped into his coffee.
Stryker remained cool. “I’m sure you’re acquainted with a lady named Violet Garden.”
My palms turned sweaty.
My own mother thought I couldn’t fill Dad’s shoes. She thought I didn’t have the guts to be a detective. She thought I’d fail. Knees weak, I slid back into the chair and gazed down. My fingers itched to fiddle with the clasp on my glittery bag, but I held them still. I couldn’t let the PI see how his words curdled my self-esteem.
“Security was the word Ms. Garden used.”
I spoke low, not wanting anyone else to hear. “She didn’t. She couldn’t.” I clamped my lips. Striker didn’t need to know how his words upset me.
“Hard to believe?” He gave me a hard-boiled, tight-lipped Bogart smile.
Sitting so close, he didn’t look like a cop. Or a PI for that matter. More like a very, very sexy bad guy. Mafia or something. My throat closed. How could Mom do this to me?
“Mom asked for you? Personally?”
“She asked for Ace’s top man.” His dark eyes spoke of secrets, hinted of danger. Pulled me in even as they warned me off.
I whispered, “Luck of the draw?”
We’d been talking in hushed tones, but now the PI, a beguiling smirk on his face, spoke louder. “I won the lottery.”
One lawyer said, “I’ve got to remember that line.”
The other lawyers grunted agreement.
Their responses helped me regain my poise. I turned back to the PI. “Okay, you work for our competition . . . and you’re here?” I’d staked out Ace Investigations to see what I was up against, so why hadn’t I laid eyes on him there? And he was an eyeful. Plus, he was feeding me a line. And good at it. Too good.
I scooted my chair away from him. Not that long ago I’d been dumped by another charmer. I wasn’t about to nibble this bait.
Even if I had wanted to chance another romance, I had a new vocation. I had Dad’s murder to solve and his reputation to sanitize. I needed to prove to the city of Dallas and its entire police force that Dad hadn’t been a dirty Private Investigator. If I failed, our investigative firm would dribble on down the drain. I lifted my chin. Even if I had time to spend with a man, I’d never choose this smoothie. But I did need to size up the competition.
Investigator Rule Number One – know your enemy.
So, I did an about face and turned on the sugar. “Stryker, is it?” I smiled sweetly. “I thought I had every PI in Dallas pegged. Glad to meet you.”
Stryker’s focused expression didn’t change. “Likewise.” He laid a strong hand on my bare arm, raising the hair with a single light touch. “Stay a minute more. Tell me about yourself.”
A male voice interrupted Stryker. “Let’s be judicious here. Fair’s fair. There’re four attorneys at this table and one lovely woman. Time to share. My name’s Jeff Davidson of Davidson, Hillyer & Greene. I’m sure you’ve heard of my firm. And this is . . . .”
While Jeff introduced the other three suits, Stryker leaned back and scanned the room, doing his security thing. With me quickly shaking hands around the table, the trio of women who’d huddled around Stryker earlier made their move. Rising from the nearby Champion Wrestler table as if directed by an unseen choreographer, they mobbed Stryker.
I sucked in a breath. His mouth hanging ajar, Stryker looked stunned. Three wrestlers stood too, pushed aside their chairs, and towered over Stryker. I glimpsed Matt striding across the ballroom toward us, security face on.
The big blond wrestler, who seemed to be their leader, rasped, “We wasn’t just twiddling our thumbs over here. We was talking with these ladies.” His expression looked downright testy. He raised a fist, looking about to deck Stryker.
The three glamour girls stepped away from Stryker and melted into the crowd.
Prepared to intervene, I grabbed my purse and wriggled to the edge of my seat, curious to see what Stryker would do. This was plain screwy. Were the wrestlers trying to pick a fight?
Stryker’s face grew leaner, showing clear bone definition. A paper-thin scar slicing through his cleft chin whitened. He stood and faced the three muscled men, their crimson cummerbunds flashing.
“So, we want our ladies back.”
“Cool it you guys.” I unclasped my purse, thinking I might need my gun.
The fourth wrestler jumped to his feet, tipping his chair backward. It landed with a thud on the carpeted floor. A solid wall of red cummerbunds circled Stryker. I shot off my chair. One mat-pounder grabbed my arm and hauled me toward his table.
“We want this one too.”
I jerked my arm loose. My abrupt movement caused my ankle to turn in one of the tricky stilettos.
“Yeow!” I stumbled. Before I could catch my balance, I lost the shoe on my twisted ankle, and fell to my knees.
Events fast-forwarded. Two wrestlers pummeled Stryker. Someone kicked my evening bag. On hands and knees, I chased it under the Attorney Table to rescue my gun. I glimpsed Matt confronting the other two wrestlers and attempted to squirm out to escort the muscle-jocks to the nearest exit. Crouched on hands and knees, my dress tightened around me like shrink wrap and stopped me cold.
A lawyer squatted beside me. “Let me help—”
One of the wrestlers slammed him backward with an open palm. With a crash and tinkle of broken glass, the table flipped onto its side. A white and silver rain of crockery and cutlery poured down. A plate of romaine lettuce and blue cheese dressing slapped against my thigh, releasing the odor of salad-splashed velvet. My vision slowed as if I starred in a surreal movie. Mind scanning possible actions, my skirt creeping higher above my knees, I crawled free.
Was this a diversion for a robbery? I had to take control. Still on hands and knees, I smelled something acrid and sulfuric. The lighted candle centerpiece smoldered at the edge of the tablecloth. With a soft whoosh, flames leapt to life. I grabbed the closest thing at hand, a large slab of prime rib probably from the same uneaten place setting as the salad and beat the flames with the semi-rare meat until they died in wisps of smoke beneath charred beef. Smelling cooked steak mixed with scorched hair and fearful of what I would find, I touched my eyebrows and bangs. Crispy but still there.
Gasps and murmurings told me the crowd grew around us. Heavy feet shuffled, and I jerked my hand back to keep it from getting trampled. Fists struck flesh accompanied by grunts and colorful language. I couldn’t believe such a brouhaha erupted in our little corner of the big room with so little provocation. Something smelled fishy and it wasn’t the shrimp cocktail sauce dripping onto the carpet. I was about to spring to my feet when a body thudded to within an inch of me and lay still.
Stryker. One look at Stryker’s bloody face and I all but keeled over him.
My pulse spiked, pushing me into Unthinking Mode. Okay, so I lost it here. Thoughts of my job flew out the window. But only for a few seconds.
Still on my knees, I fished in my clutch for my cell, and dialed 911. Dead zone. Resisting the urge to throw the instrument at a wrestler, I dropped the useless thing back into my purse.
As quickly as the commotion started, it ended. The dull thud of fists on flesh died. Fingers and knees digging into the thick carpet, I lifted one hand and pressed two fingers against the carotid artery in Stryker’s muscular neck. Warm skin. Steady pulsing.
Lord, please don’t let him be badly hurt.
With all quiet above me, I assumed Matt held everything under control. I loosened Stryker’s red power tie and rubbed his big, limp hand between both of mine. His lashes, fanned across those high cheekbones, looked longer than any man had a right to own. Other than being a little bloody and lying motionless, he looked fine. Too fine. But I didn’t have to remind myself that Mom hired him. A twinge of joy that it was him, not Matt or me lying on the floor, layered in an uncomfortable guilt that squashed the relief, so I said another quick prayer for the competition PI.
He groaned, and his eyelids fluttered.
Men’s polished dress shoes, accompanied by glittering high heels, moved close enough for me to touch. One wrestler squatted next to me. “Here, let me—”
“No. Don’t touch him.” I swatted the man’s beefy hand away from Stryker.
Stryker opened his eyes, relieving my worry about him. But Mom would arrive any minute for her grand entrance, and I desperately wanted her to gawk at her security being carried away in an ambulance.
I said to the wrestler, “I’ve got to call EMS.”
Furor at the ballroom doors made me look up. “That was fast. Matt must have gotten through to EMS.” But doubt nagged my brain. Too fast. Way too fast.
Before I could follow up my hunch, the crowd opened up and two blue-uniformed men, carrying oxygen paraphernalia, a stretcher, and a medical kit hustled to the table.
The EMS team ignored Stryker who lay concealed by a drooping tablecloth, with only his long legs and feet protruding. One Medic knelt beside another stretched-out body. I struggled to my feet, red dress hiked almost mid-thigh, to identify the victim.
“Matt!” I rushed over in time to see the medic jab a syringe into my co-investigator’s limp arm.
Electrical impulses spiked my nerves. I’d never seen an emergency team do that. The first medic finished a cursory check for broken bones, then both men heaved Matt onto the stretcher and hustled him through the crowded ballroom.
Juggling on one four-inch heel and one bare foot, I elbowed my way through the crowd after them. “Which hospital?”
They mumbled something incoherent and disappeared through the hotel’s exterior door.
Lord, please take care of Matt. He’s a good friend. Keep him safe.
I started after them.
The blond wrestler clutched my arm, stopping me from following them out to the ambulance. Then he smiled crookedly, straightened his bow tie, and righted his cummerbund. “Don’t look so worried, the PI’s in good hands.”
I stiffened. “How do you know Matt’s a PI?”
The wrestler frowned and clamped his lips.
Shivers snaked my spine. Something was very wrong.
About the Author
Anne Greene lives in the quaint antiquing town of McKinney, Texas, a few miles north of Dallas. Her husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. Her little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares her writing space, curled at her feet.
Besides her first love, writing, she enjoys family, friends, travel, reading, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.”
Anne’s an award-winning author of twenty-three books. She loves writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines. She hopes her stories transport you to awesome new worlds and touch your heart.
An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
Fala nudged Dan with her shoulder, then fed the anvil bird a red berry.
As they rounded the corner onto the docks, the ship came back into view. Gold letters nearly two feet tall arched across her stern. They read, Lanternfish.
Dock workers lugged items aboard the ship, rolls of canvas, kegs of gunpowder, live pigs, and more. A glazer worked on the large lanterns attached around the poopdeck. Stuttering Lewis hung over the stern on a bosun’s chair, and carved a log that replaced the supporting statue they’d destroyed when they took her. Rather than a lady with a vase, he was making a skeletal pirate, complete with a branch that became an arm holding a cutlass.
McCormack sat at a desk underneath an umbrella alongside the ramp up to the ship. He turned his journal around quickly. “Do you want to check it, ma’am?”
“No need Mr. McCormack. Maybe later. Things look much improved around here.”
“Aye, ma’am. You look much improved too. Island life agrees with you.”
“That it does. We’re going to have a look around, we’ll report in this afternoon. Where’s the captain?”
“Could be in the tavern. That’s where most business gets done around here.”
They walked the length of the ship. Underneath the bowsprit was a new figurehead made of riveted pieces of metal, like a suit of armor. It was a huge lanternfish. Circular white portholes served as eyes, and a long twisted steel rod protruded from his forehead. The rod arched until it was tangent with the bowsprit, then bent back down. At the end, a huge hexagonal lantern hung, it matched the others on the back of the ship. Long sharp teeth protruded from the creature’s bulldog-like jaw, and the fish appeared to be hollow inside.
The ship resembled an anthill. Men scurried everywhere, painting, tying new rigging, glazing, and more. When they turned back, a young woman approached McCormack’s desk.
The woman was tall, thin, and muscular. She wore a bamboo coulee hat that was wider than her shoulders. It was covered with a gauze beige cloth. Her features were Eastern, giving her an exotic beauty. She wore only short leather boots, and a leather pair of shorts. Her legs were covered with wrapped strips of beige silk up to her knees, as were her breasts, forearms, and fists. She thumped the bronze foot of her pole weapon on the dock then waited for McCormack to speak. The shaft of her weapon was ebony black. The curved blade of the glaive started above her head, and had but a single edge.
As they walked closer, they made out a jade disk pendant around her neck, and the weapon had bronze fittings of a fierce dragon holding the blade in its mouth. The fittings served to add strength opposite the cutting edge.
“Name?” McCormack asked.
“What are you good at?”
“Any experience with guns?”
“Can you rig a sail?”
“Like a master.”
“Sign here. Then find Don Velasco topside. He’ll get you situated.”
Dan and Fala walked past. Serang’s braided black hair hung to the small of her back, nearly touching her shorts.
“Wonder what she does with that frog sticker?” Dan said.
Serang spun around, took two running steps toward the side of the pier and threw her weapon like a spear. It sailed across the water to the next dock and impaled a huge bay frog that was sunning itself. “Stick frogs,” she said.
About the Author
C. S. Boyack was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. He likes to tell everyone that he was born in a small town in the 1940s. He’s not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives him a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into his fiction.
Boyack moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back.His writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups he jumped in with both feet.
He likes to write about things that have something unusual. His works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. His goal is to entertain readers for a few hours and he hopes you enjoy the ride.
They say you can’t run away from your problems. EmVee knew from experience it was true. She and her father tried to run, until the truth came and got them. Now with nothing to lose, she must confront the monster that changed her life forever. Unfortunately, she has to work with his best friend, Kayson who she is almost sure, isn’t quite as nice as he seems. Kayson revealed not just why her father disappeared, but a new world of magicals that wanted the debt he left behind to be paid.
(Insatiable Darkness – Book 0, Caged Fire – Book 1, Unbreakable Darkness – Book 1.5)
“Look kid, your father’s time is running cold. They are on to us, too many lives are at stake if either of you get caught.” Rocky handed her a thumb drive. “It’s a matter of your life and his death. He owes me, and I owe another a favor.”
“You give it to him,” EmVee replied evenly, checking her emotions and desire to punch the guy and run.
“No, this is where my road ends. Remember. Remember the name to nowhere and the code is your father’s real name. If you are his daughter. He would have told it to you, it’s a safe-word of sorts. I’m tired of running and they made sure I don’t have anything to run to. My son, he’s out there somewhere, and I’ll die taking the name of his safe-place with me. He’ll be free of them, both of them. Max and you have a chance. Don’t forget my name. It’ll mean something someday I hope. Run. Run now.” Rocky grasped her wrist, yanked it toward him, and placed the thumb drive in her hand.
EmVee looked at the drive, squeezed it in her palm.
Rocky tossed something in his mouth and pushed her back. “Look away, kid.” His body started convulsing. He groaned and collapsed, eyes open and staring towards the moon teased by dark clouds.
Sweat slid from under her drawn hoodie. Why’d he’d do it? They could’ve taken him to a hospital.
She glanced around quickly, then went for Rocky’s pockets. She reached in his jacket, flesh and entrails had spilled from his waist and into his coat. EmVee jerked back, shook her head a shaky sigh escaped her lips. She bit down on her lip and did what she had to do. In his jacket she found his cellphone and put it in her back pocket. His wallet she stuffed in the side pocket of her backpack. There was nothing else.
Putting her hand over her nose, swallowing back the tangy taste of vomit. She reached over and closed Rocky’s blue eyes. She’d never forget them.