Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Georgette McClain can’t resist a juicy tip. So when a rumored crazy ex-CEO gifts her evidence of a vast conspiracy involving the world’s premier scientific community, Arcadian Heights, she sets her sights on the story of a lifetime. And all she has to do to grab it by the reins is sneak into the most secure facility in the world—and expose it for the slaughter house it is.
Tech company CEO Marco Salt has it all. Fame. Fortune. Family. But not long after Marco’s beloved genius daughter is invited to join Arcadian Heights, a rogue agent reveals to him the horrifying truth about the revered scientific community. Forced to flee for his life, Marco finds himself on the run with a deadly secret in his grasp and a single goal in mind: destroy Arcadian Heights.
Quentin Belmont has been the Arcadian Heights spokesman for the better part of two decades, and his singular motivation is to keep the community safe at all costs. So when an internal incursion leaks vital information to an outside party, Quentin preps a “cleanup” without a second thought. But what at first appears to be a simple task turns out to be anything but, and Quentin comes face to face with the unthinkable—a threat that could annihilate the community.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-35
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
It started as a small novelette, but the characters were so interesting that I ended up expanded it into a full-length novel.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Jim Butcher, Michael Connelly
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The same way I always do: off the top of my head. The characters come first when I think up a story idea.
The one with the gun knows my face.
When I stop at the rickety, rusted fence checkpoint, two guards break away from the line and stroll toward me. A shock baton hangs from the belt of the skinny douche with the pre-approved press list in his hands. The other, a fat, squat guy with a patchy beard, has a gun on his right hip. Recognition transforms frown to scowl as he closes in. Then his gaze drifts to my cleavage and the scowl slackens.
V-neck. Good choice. Go, me!
I roll down the window as required, watching fat guy with my peripheral vision only. To project the impression I don’t give dirty rent-a-cops the time of day.
“Georgette McClain,” says fat guy, fingering his gun. Muckraker bitch is a thread of spit hanging off his tongue. He swallows it and smiles, tight and snake like. “Didn’t know this kind of thing was your territory.” He tries to keep his eyes on mine, but they drift down, down, down, and I bite my cheek to suppress a laugh before I gift him a reply.
“The world is my territory.” I tap my manicured nails on the steering wheel. Had them done three days ago, an hour before I got the call that brought me to this dump. “I go where I’m requested.”
Fat guy snorts. “Yeah, yeah. What’s your business?”
“Someone wants coverage from my point of view. Like usual.”
“And what point of view is that?” Skinny douche with the list leans over his partner’s shoulder and cracks a yellow grin. “Going to topple the evil Nebraskan regime?”
“Nothing so interesting, I’m afraid. Just a few pictures and some words.”
“Isn’t it always?” Fat guy bumps his buddy with an elbow and nods for him to check the list. It’s displayed on a small flex tablet that folds like paper, a newer model than the one I keep hidden in the lining of my purse.
“Yup,” says skinny douche, “she’s on here.”
“Aw, hell.” Fat guy kicks a rock up from the road. It rattles against the underside of my car. “And here I was hoping we’d get to have a fun show—kicking a Pulitzer winner out of town.”
I don’t respond. Fat guy watches me with his beady eyes and mops up the sweat dribbling down his neck with his filthy uniform sleeve. “All right. We’ll let her in. Guess we don’t have a choice in the matter.” He stares at my chest for five seconds straight. Doesn’t bother with the false front back and forth now. Doesn’t care to pretend he has manners once he’s lost the upper hand.
After fat guy has his fill, he and his partner retreat to their station next to the wide opening in the fence blocked by a weak wooden barricade. The “press entrance.” On almost any day other than today, there would be no guards and no list and no special entrance for people with cameras and stories to find. But today is a special day in Jackson City, Nebraska.
I aim to find out how special.
I put the car in drive and advance as fat guy and skinny douche drag the barricade from my path. I make no eye contact. I don’t have the energy to waste on things meaningless to my endeavor. Save the effort for the exceptional things in life, darling, Momma drilled into my precocious little head. The juicy, joyful, scandalous things, Georgette.
Fat guy’s head turns on his beefy neck to observe my entrance. With my rearview mirror, I spy him scowling at me again.
Me, the winner.
Him, the loser.
Rent-a-cops are never exceptional.
Therin Knite is a 22-year-old recent college graduate who occasionally writes speculative fiction and has the odd delusion of literary stardom. Knite lives in a humble little place known as the Middle of Nowhere, Virginia and spends every possible second of free time reading books and writing what may possibly qualify as books.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy Othella (Arcadian Heights #1) Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Othella (Arcadian Heights #1) On Amazon