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80 736 words written

Division: Book Five of the Lalassu. 

What separates the truly persecuted from the posers?

The lalassu have taken over the abandoned mining town of Founder’s Pass and effectively sundered themselves from the rest of society.  In return, the rest of the world is becoming even more afraid and reactionary.  Assaults and accusations are flying and suspicion reigns supreme.

But it’s not all smooth sailing inside the boundaries of Founder’s Pass, either.  Factions are ripping the community apart.  Those who have been part of the lalassu secret society for generations are used to living an itinerant life, not being cooped up in one tiny town.  They’re not happy and they’re looking for someone to blame.  Those who have been recently identified as lalassu are struggling to cope with the twin burdens of isolation and learning to use their abilities.  Tensions are high and waiting for any spark to explode.

Annika Hirdwall used to be a casting agent in Los Angeles, finding the right people to be Tall Man # 2 or Woman With Stroller.  It might not have been the most exciting career but it certainly beat being held in a sub-Arctic evaluation camp under the control of a psychopathic researcher.  She’d much rather go back to sorting through headshots than training to be a superhero.

Vincent Harris has always been allergic to responsibility.  He’d much rather see himself as the wise-cracking sidekick than the hero in the spotlight.  But more and more, he’s becoming the one that the people in Founder’s Pass turn to when they have something to complain about.  And they have a lot to complain about, taking up time that he could be using to find out more about one intriguing new addition with dark eyes and a damaged soul.

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Until Proven Guilty: Book 2 of Special Investigations (romantic suspense)

Samantha Adler has always been more comfortable with facts and books than with people.  Their ineffective efforts to hide their secrets from her sharp intelligence and keen observations creates an uncomfortable social gap between what she knows and what she is allowed to reveal.  Rather than friendships, she finds satisfaction in determining the truth as she investigates the occulata and their supernatural abilities.

Pierre Landry is no stranger to bar fights and overnights in jail but when he wakes up and discovers he’s been accused of blowing up a dam and killing hundreds of people, he finds that no one is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Not when he’s been identified as one of the occulata and has the ability to detect even the most minute weaknesses in a structure with a touch.  No one will even listen to him except the infuriating Investigator Adler, who seems to be impervious to his practiced charms.

Samantha finds it harder and harder to keep the roguish Pierre at a suitably objective arms’ length.  As she gets to know him, she discovers a kind heart of gold under his shallow, devil-may-care armor.  As emotions rise and calls for vengeance surge, she will have to choose between her cherished objectivity and Pierre’s freedom.