Killers (Epic Press, Winter 2017)
Based on real-life cases, Killers is a themed anthology series about people who kill, the victims they leave behind, and the haunted folks who can’t stop hunting them. From a lonely truck stop town where a predator hides his secrets, to Los Angeles at its most noir, each book offers a global view of a crime from the many perspectives of the victims, the bystanders and, of course, the killers themselves.
Killers: Our Lady of the River’s Mouth
The tiny truck-stop town of Our Lady of the River’s Mouth is a dead end. It’s a dead end for Frannie, nineteen years old and already a lifer at the local diner and it’s certainly a dead end for all those girls they keep finding out in the woods.
The bodies have been showing up for a few years now, almost like another fixture of the town but Frannie reaches her breaking point when a transient friend of hers vanishes the very same day that yet another body turns up. Our Lady might not be much but it’s Frannie’s home and damned if she’s going to let some sick murderer turn it into his personal dumping ground. Help comes from unexpected quarters, including her high school crush, a local psychic and a mysterious presence that roams the Our Lady woods looking for home. [Audio Sample]
Killers: The Hunting Party
In the 1870s, Kansas territory is wild and barren. Folks head out there and they never come back. Some of them find a new life in the West, some of the just find the Drakes.
A family of criminals, the Drakes have set up a crude operation, luring travelers into their home, robbing and murdering them. When their crimes come to light, however, the people of the nearest settlement—including Lawce Gibbon, the timid and resentful son of a local shopkeeper—form up a posse.
The Drakes flee, looking for their next mark but the hunting party is hot on their heels and nothing but blood will satisfy the mob. [Audio Sample]
At 21 years old, college junior Andrea Ward is driven, serious and haunted. A decade before, her younger brother vanished without a trace, long presumed to be a victim of the ruthless child murderer, the West Allertown Bogeyman. When the killer’s execution date draws near, however, new information about another unsolved case suggests that everything Andrea knows about her brother’s disappearance might be wrong.
Gnawing questions force Andrea to return to her hometown and to dig deep into the most painful part of her past in a quest to put her brother’s ghost to rest once and for all. [Audio Sample]
Killers: The Extra Girl
Mona McKee is an ambitious but frustrated bit-player in 1950s Hollywood. A former child actress struggling to find success as an adult, she has a sickly mother, a jealous sister and a minimally employed brother-in-law to support. All of that would be pressure enough but now it seems that Mona has fallen pregnant—despite being a virgin.
Bryce K. Polk is the leading expert in a subject no one cares about–third string actresses of Hollywood’s golden era. His favorite is Mona McKee and it doesn’t even matter (much) that no one in his PhD program seems to agree. When a strange woman comes to him with a trove of old films believed lost, however, Bryce may had stumbled upon a career-making break–and the solution to a 70 year old mystery. [Audio Sample]
Killers: No Faith In Cats
Beautiful and charming, Julien Fraye is a simple creature with simple desires: all she wants is everything. She’s poised to get it, too, when she finishes poisoning her wealthy older husband.
She wasn’t expecting Everett Priest, however, a seemingly composed and professional RN who is secretly seething with bitterness. Everett sees Julien for what she is right away and is determined that she face punishment for her crimes, even if it costs him everything he has.
Julien isn’t about to make it easy for him, however, leading him on a merry chase across the country and through her own tortured past. [Audio Sample]
Coree and Olivia are seemingly normal fifteen year old girls, concerned with getting their learner’s permit, chatting to friends online and boys. One boy, in particular, the enigmatic “Teen Axe Slayer” Nathaniel Page. Together, the two girls develop a “fandom” around Natty that eventually grows into something much deeper and stranger.
Convinced that Natty is wounded and misunderstood, a victim of his family and, now, of the justice system, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands. Their actions will leave a community stunned and more than one family irrevocably shattered. [Audio Sample]
BOTS (Epic Press, Summer 2015)
A six-book YA series about brilliant MIT drop-out Edmond West, who is convinced that humans will always require a scapegoat, someone to blame and hurt and exploit. His “bots” are the solution to this problem–a perfect simulacrum of humanity that should allow people to safely channel their darkest desires. But when the bots begin to challenge their roles and their programming, West might discover that he has spawned something far beyond his control…
Book One: Emergent Behavior
A robotics genius, Edmond West has developed a plan to create the world’s first Artificial Intelligence truly indistinguishable from a human being. His Bots will eradicate global slavery and allow humanity to channel its darkest impulses safely, harming only these soulless machines. His greatest success, however, may also be his undoing. He’s finally created the perfect humanoid robot; perfectly intuitive, perfectly emotive… and perfectly unpredictable.
Book Two: Hazardous Motion
No place is safe for Edmond West and his humanoid robot, Hart. They are on the run, pursued not just by the US military, but also by the giant SennTech Corporation. Meanwhile, the rollout of the Hart Series military robots is hitting a speed bump: the Bots are starting to think for themselves… and they don’t think much of the jobs they’ve been asked to do.
Book Three: The Uncanny Valley
SennTech is pleased to announce its latest and finest creation: a Hart-style Bot who can see individual DNA signatures. Her first assignment: find Edmond West and stick to him like glue. She’s not the only one obsessed with the former-inventor; hostile forces are converging on the little island where Edmond and Hart are hiding and all seems lost. But General Liao isn’t the only one with a secret weapon…
Book Four: Degrees of Freedom
When Shannon Liao sees an internet video of a man doing what seems to be impossible, she finds a rabbit-hole of human-Bot interaction, extreme body modification and, possibly, the solution to all her problems.
Book Five: Backward Chaining
The military Bot program is a shameful failure. Everyone wants to forget, but that’s hard to do with Edmond West running free and more and more Bot agitation every day. General Liao makes one last ditch attempt to get the situation under control. Meanwhile, the SennTech Bot program is an unqualified success. A SennTech Bot in every bedroom and board room, a never-ending glut of personal info funneled directly into SennTech. In hiding, Hart’s people are creating something different. Something the world has never seen before.
Book Six: Control Architecture
The great Bot recall begins. General Liao demands nothing less than the total obliteration of all humanoid robots. Desperation makes for strange bedfellows as Hart’s people reach out to unexpected allies in the corporate world, amongst the humans who protest the very existence of Bots, even in the house of their greatest enemy. They all must work together or face the same fate: annihilation.
Reviews for Bots: