Works in Progress

A War of Deception

Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller

When retired U.N. spy Mai Fisher leaves a diplomatic reception on a cold, rainy night early
in the new year of 2001, she dashes for the first cab she sees, but the driver has a tattoo
Mai has seen before on Serbian paramilitaries. Suspicious, she forces him to admit he was
waiting for her–to deliver her to the Russian Mafiya.

After almost 40 years as a spy for the United Nations Intelligence Directorate, Alexei
Bukharin is glad to be alive to enjoy time with his wife, Mai Fisher, and to finish raising his
granddaughter, Natalia. When Mai calls him out of bed to bring her dry clothes after she
takes an information drop from a Serbian diplomat, he discovers she’s suffered something
that can be death for a spy, retired or otherwise: Someone knows her true identity.

A raid on the Mafiya apartment where Mai was to be taken uncovers something more
devastating: the thugs have a photograph of Natalia at her university. The investigation
becomes two-pronged: Who burned Mai, and who is interested in Natalia and why?

Mai’s tenacious analysis of suspects in her burning uncovers a possible Russian mole in
the FBI, one who has been selling America’s secrets to the Soviets and the Russian
Federation for more than 20 years. A routine wiretap on the Russian embassy reveals
Mai’s burning and the photograph of Natalia are linked to the top Russian spy in America
and that FBI mole he handles. When Alexei discovers the reason behind the interest in
Natalia, he realizes a decision he made in 1974 has come back to haunt him.

Personal needs, professional standards, and a choice from the past collide in a war of
deception.

Coming late Spring 2017.

A Perfect Hatred 

Genre: Speculative Fiction/Thriller series about an act of domestic terrorism, which we discover–the hard way–can’t be stopped.

Book One, End Times:

A botched raid on a religious compound stockpiling guns leads the U.S. government to request assistance from the United Nations Intelligence Directorate. Alexei Bukharin and Mai Fisher assess the situation and provide a resolution, but the FBI decides on its own course of action, with disastrous results. In the meantime, Mai spots a man among the anti-government demonstrators who bears watching. And she does.

Book Two, Bad Company:

Mai develops and deepens a friendship with John Thomas Carroll, whom she suspects is planning an act of retribution for the FBI’s failed raid on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. Meanwhile, Alexei finds a rightwing paramilitary compound to infiltrate and learns that a self-styled prophet named Elijah has plans in which John Carroll plays a big part.

Book Three, Downward Spiral:

When their two missions collide and Mai and Alexei can’t obtain a vital piece of information involving Carroll’s plot, the U.S. government concludes their mission. Carroll goes underground, and Mai knows the government will regret the day they called her off.

Book Four, Collateral Damage:

Even though whatever John Carroll is planning is no longer a mission, Mai continues her analysis, shutting herself off from her family. Fueled by anger and a lot of Irish whiskey, she finally finds the missing piece–she knows where John Carroll is going to place a homemade weapon of mass destruction. What she doesn’t know is whether she can stop him in time, and if she doesn’t, how she will be changed.

Possible Book Five, Enemies Domestic:

Twenty years after the events in A Perfect Hatred, Mai Fisher has moved into management, and neither she nor Alexei, now retired, give much thought to the mission both of them wanted to forget. A series of terrorist actions at first look like Da’esh–ISIL, ISIS–has set up shop in the United States, but an interview with an inmate serving life in Red Onion Penitentiary sheds a new light on an old mission.

Rapid Release from October 2019 to April 2020.

Self-Inflicted Wounds 

Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller

Mai Fisher tried retirement to satisfy her husband, Alexei Bukharin, but the adrenaline junkie in her can’t let the world of intrigue go. While tracking down accused war criminals in the Balkans, she finds herself arrested as one. After she’s cleared, her Director sends her on a convoluted mission to discover who is systematically murdering key government officials in the Milosevic regime and to convince a reluctant candidate to run against the Serbian strongman in the upcoming elections. Alexei decides it’s no good being retired and worrying about his wife’s safety. He joins her in Belgrade for her search to discover who is killing the friends of Slobodan Milosevic.

Meeting The Enemy 

Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller series about the events of September 11, 2001, and its aftermath.

Book One, Terror

After a few stops and starts at retirement, Mai may have finally settled down, much to Alexei’s delight. Then, on September 11, 2001, she decides to look at real estate in Number Two World Trade Center. When the building collapses, Alexei is convinced she has not survived. He cuts all ties, empties bank accounts the KGB then the SVR left for his use, and heads for Afghanistan. Mai, who has indeed survived, gets drawn into an elaborate undercover mission in the CIA, the only way she can get into Afghanistan to find Alexei.

Book Two, Retribution

The stories about a new warlord on the scene, Mir Saradi (Mountain Wolf), all point to Alexei’s having abandoned his old life for one where he hunts the man he believes killed his wife, Osama bin Laden. Mai, finally in Afghanistan with a CIA paramilitary team, Alexei’s nephew Kolya Antonov, and Yuri Burov, loaned to her by Russian President Dmitri Kargin, seems to arrive where Alexei has been, a few days or hours behind him. As she’s playing the part of a CIA paramilitary, she discovers something the Vice President of the United States decides she needs to die for. Can she survive long enough to get to Tora Bora and Alexei before the U.S. Air Force bombs it back to the Stone Age?

Book Three, Rendition

While Alexei reintegrates himself into his old life, Mai’s CIA “career” continues, with her trying to head off a group inside the CIA who is building a case for war in Iraq. After amassing the intelligence to arrest Khalid Sheik Mohammed, she becomes the head of a rendition prison in Romania. When Mai refuses to waterboard her prisoner, she is recalled, where she finds the Vice President decides to punish her by causing the cover of a valuable CIA employee to be blown. The Vice President’s price is still on Mai’s head until Nelson finds a remedy.

Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season 

Genre: Literary Fiction, with a hint of mystery.

Successful romance author Marilyn Hendrix and her frustrated novelist husband Hunter Russell buy a house in the historic district of the Shenandoah Valley town of Ewington. After tearing down the walls in a room they are renovating they make the grisly discovery of the bones of a baby, likely placed there sometime during World War II. After Marilyn gets over the initial shock and the horrific reminder of her late-in-pregnancy miscarriage, she decides to look into who might have put the baby there. However, someone in Ewington wants that kept a secret.

Mournful Influence of the Unperceived Shadow

Genre: Literary Fiction, with a hint of mystery; sequel to Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season

Now divorced and in a new relationship with private investigator Cody Britto, Marilyn Hendrix is cornered by the brother of a writer friend, who asks her to look into why his girlfriend walked away from their elopement. Neither Marilyn nor Cody wants to get into the business of solving mysteries together, but when their “client” dies in a fire of suspicious origins, they began to look into the history of an unusual family who lives outside Ewington, a family who holds a particularly dark and sordid secret.