Title: The Art of Severance
Word Count: 82,000
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
ATF Special Agent Alexandra MacPherson can’t decide which is worse -- a witness who dies or a suspect who won’t stay dead.
A routine investigation escalates to FUBAR when one of the accused turns up dead, his body untouched but drained of blood. A pregnant college student is found, minus her ten-week fetus and internal organs. A mother and daughter are smothered in the nursery. The only link among victims is their wounds mirror the attacks of creatures that don’t exist: a vampiric witch, a revenant, a bogeyman.
Bodies make it a big case with bigger problems. Alex can live with that. Maybe it will keep her from jogging the streets at two in the morning or drunk-dialing her dead husband’s cell phone number. Then her only viable lead is killed and Alex is forced to accept that some myths... aren’t.
Finding the man responsible is easy.
Killing him and his creations won’t be.
Surviving may be impossible.
First 250 Words:
Sometimes it all came down to the gun you chose. SIG Sauer P226 .40 S&W or Rossi .357 Magnum revolver with a six-inch barrel. I’d picked the SIG. I should have gone with the Rossi.
I sneaked a look at the battered clock on the wall of the loading dock. My dealer was only five minutes late. Not so long I worried he’d had second thoughts. I needed him to show soon, though, before my unease fermented into something harder to conceal.
“He’s late,” Mike said.
I shrugged. Played like I didn’t care, hadn’t noticed, and didn’t want to hiss at Mike for his observational skills.
“You watch the game last night?” Mike asked.
A Sox fan. God help me. I’d kept hundreds of mindless details straight for six months but couldn’t for the life of me remember whether Kate Campbell gave a crap about the national pastime. “I don’t follow baseball.”
“They play the Yankees tomorrow.”
“Well, I do hate the Yankees.”
“Who doesn’t?” Mike dropped the remnant of his cigarette to the floor of the dock and crushed it under his shoe.
Kate Campbell was a vegetarian who sold lattes at an internet cafe and lived in a dump near Temple University. A fugitive from the United Kingdom for alleged involvement in a train derailment in North West England, she fancied herself a modern day Guy Fawkes.
I was done pretending to be Kate Campbell, the annoying twat.
Entry Nickname: McTavish Academy
Word Count: 80,000
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
He wanted an education. They gave him a gun.
On a quiet hilltop outside of Boston, a stone fortress rises up from the suburban sprawl. The McTavish Academy is renowned as a top-tier military school. People call it exclusive. They call it mysterious. Eighteen-year-old Michael Solomon doesn't care about any of that. When he arrives at the gargoyle-adorned front gates it's simply the means to an end--his last chance at keeping a death-bed promise to his beloved mother. But when he's greeted by a ninja with a sword on his back and taken to a Knight Templar for orientation, he discovers he's in for a whole lot more than lunch lines and math homework.
In over his head yet determined to keep his promise, Mike finds himself the newest operative in The Alphabet Corps, a motley band of troubled youth handpicked to defend the school and its dangerous secret against an army of nightmares hiding in plain sight.
Now, a Turkish ghoul from the First Crusade stands outside their gates, unshakable in his ambition to take the school and its secret by force, even if it means destroying the structure, its residents, and the very fabric of civilization in the process.
First 250 words:
She just wouldn't stop crying. Ugly, choking gasps for air between exaggerated sobs. Kneeling there on the dining room carpet, snot dripping down her rather plain face, she looked up at him and babbled incoherently. Something about not hurting her boy. Çöl Çelik found it repulsive. Examining her with his jet black eyes, expressionless, he tried to relate, tried to recall a time he had ever been so weak. But after a thousand years, he could only vaguely remember ever being human at all.
Sitting back in his chair, old wood and well made, he turned from the woman to brush away flakes of dried skin from his robe. To his left the woman's son, only a small child, sat in quiet concern where they had tossed him, knees tucked tightly to his chest. The boy was courteous enough to keep his tears to himself and for that Çelik was thankful. In gratitude, he drew an old pistol from his robe and pulled the trigger.
The mother shrieked, crawling to her son’s body and drawing his tiny corpse into her arms. Çelik did his best to ignore her, running a long, boney finger down his polished armrest. From this room. From this chair. Here the one they had mocked, the one they had dubbed ‘The Traitor King’ so many centuries ago would finally take what he deserved. But the crying was getting to be too much.
“Oh stop it," he groaned. "I did him a favor. You have no idea what's coming."