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 (drafting)
Starting a new school every couple of years is second nature to Tali Drinkwater, but Twin Peaks Middle School is a whole different bucket of dirt in the suburban town of Thornburg, Colorado, where everyone is either white or Mexican. And no matter what Tali does, she can’t get people to see past her skin, especially not the obnoxious Jeffery Palmer who looks at her like she’s a hairy spider. Only something totally amazing and spectacular would do the trick, like playing the lead role in the school’s rendition of Guys and Dolls.
When Abuelita moves in to help with Mom’s difficult pregnancy, Tali has no choice but to reject all Spanish. She can’t let anything compromise her chance to be Srgt. Sarah Brown, the all American woman in the all American play. After a district-wide push for diversity changes the play, Tali must face her Mexican heritage and accept Abuelita, or give up the one talent that may set her apart.