Food of the Gods
Sci-Fi short story (2nd draft)
Adam Durfy takes his fix at the betting table, but when he sinks his family’s savings, he’s forced to find another way to fund his son’s education and his own needs. Galactic senator, Xan, may be Adam’s ticket home. An illegal safari through the Seabus jungle promises danger and enough money to send two of his kids through school.
But Senator Xan is not paying for the thrill or the exotic experience. He wants the Primus Cacao and finding it is more than proving a myth. To him it is power. For Adam, it means freedom. Only the highest bidder will win, and that could cost them more than their lives.
Siphors: Book 1
YA Sci-Fi (beta readers & querying)
For the past year, experts have labeled fifteen-year-old Chandler O’Connor everything from sociophobe to hyper sensitive, allergic to people, if that’s a thing. But he refuses to become the next bubble boy, even if he does black out when he’s around other people. Only Tyson, his older, much cooler cousin understands, and promises a way around the pain.
Chandler’s solitary confinement ends unexpectedly when the same illness sends Mom to the hospital, and Chandler to live with Tyson and Aunt Reyna. His release is short-lived, however, when his tyrannical aunt forces him to play lab rat for the unscrupulous Dr. Grindol. The doctor might be able to develop a cure, but he definitely put a girl in a coma, and Chandler isn’t eager to stick around.
Meanwhile, Tyson’s method grants him new life with friends and enhanced abilities. He learns to stretch his perceptions, increase his strength, and control people around him. But when his newfound powers endanger Mom further, Dr. Grindol may be her only hope, if Chandler’s willing to betray Tyson’s secret and give up the freedom that lies within his grasp. In the end, the line between hero and villain blurs as Chandler faces the truth about himself and what it means to save a soul.
Middle Grade Contemporary (3rd draft)
Citlali Drinkwater’s first day of seventh grade crashes and burns when she menstruates through her new pants and somehow manages to get it on Jeffery Palmer, who makes it his mission to shame her. To make matters worse, there are only a handful of Latinos at her new school, and everyone assumes Tali is one of them just because she looks like her Mexican mother. Desperate to prove her nationality, Tali auditions for the very American lead role in the winter musical.
Before she can find out the results, Tali’s pregnant mom is put on bedrest, her dad is deployed, and the school district changes the musical to a multi-cultural extravaganza. Instead of the lead, Tali gets cast as the Hispanic supporting character.
Then Abuelita arrives and transforms their home into a Spanish-speaking casita, leaving Tali no choice but to fight back with ketchup burritos, exaggerated American accents, and a rejection of all things Mexican. When the fight leads to an accidental pantsing and subsequent suspension, Tali must set aside her prejudices or lose both her family and dream.