Waking up is the pits when you come to in a hospital with a broken arm, a colorful assortment of abrasions and contusions, and a face swathed in bandages. It’s even worse if you can’t remember what hit you.
The bad and the ugly are crime reporter Amanda “A.J.” Gregson’s business. But learning she had a ringside seat for an explosion that killed two agents of the Continental Intelligence and Investigative Service (CIIS), incinerated an entire block of warehouses, and did so much damage to her eyes they had to be surgically removed? Well, that gives the darker side of life a whole new meaning.
Haunted by elusive nightmares, A.J. waits for her transplant and struggles to remember the events leading up to the fateful night of September 4, 2075. Weeks crawl by without a glimmer, before memory floods back the night before surgery, every brutal detail crystal clear.
The explosion had been the work of the Ferrymen.
“The Ferrymen. My not-so-magnificent obsession for more than a year. Only a cataclysm could have made me forget. I guess you could call them hitmen. You could also call Einstein a math whiz. Think ruthless. Think unstoppable. Think killers so proficient ‘caught the ferry’ was fast replacing ‘bought the farm’ in common usage, and you have the Ferrymen in a nutshell.”
The transplant surgery goes off without a hitch—welcome news, because A.J. is raring for a rematch with Hell’s Boatmen. But contrary to popular belief, what you see isn’t always what you get. Take her new eyes, for example. Those baby blues may look perfectly normal, but they possess a power that turns her world upside down—the power to see into the hidden dimensions of the human heart.
When the Sight unmasks the mastermind behind the Ferrymen, the unveiling is as stunning as it is unbelievable. The revelation sets her on course for a second head-collision with evil. Will she survive the final encounter?
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m a novelist. Also an infrequent poet. Most days, I would rather write than eat.
I got my feet wet penning romances for Bantam Loveswept back in 1997. I published two books with them, then life got complicated (for a very long time), and things changed, including my preferred genre. Now in what seems like the blink of an eye, it’s fourteen years later, and I’m publishing a near-future science fiction novel, Amanda’s Eyes. (If you’re curious about the plot, think murder and mayhem and a dash of “there are more things under heaven, Horatio.”) I’m already writing the sequel, tentatively titled Mind Games.
Like the t-shirt says, I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as quickly as I could. Which wasn’t very quick at all. As a matter of fact, not counting a brief visit back in 1969, it took me decades. Hundreds, make that thousands, of turtles got to the Lone Start State before I did.
Picture a small-town California girl chomping at the bit to break out of her hometown and see the world. That was me. About the time I graduated from high school, our friendly neighborhood United States Air Force recruiter offered me a ticket to ride. Sure enough, as soon as I signed on the dotted line, Uncle Sam whisked me off to exotic San Antonio for basic training; lovely Biloxi, MS, for more training (and hurricane Camille); then Washington, D.C. for the rest of my enlistment. So much for seeing the world.
Four years and one honorable discharge later, I found myself in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, using my GI Bill to earn a bachelor’s degree in German from Millersville University and a master’s in same from Villanova. While at Villanova, I collected ample evidence to suggest I would never grow up to be a college professor. Let’s face it, very few universities consider the ability to lull 20 undergrads into catatonia in less than five minutes a hiring point. Ergo, I graduated with fluency but no marketable skills, although I did leave those hallowed halls with a fascination for language and a borderline obsession for grammar that have since proved useful.
I spent the next decade or so as a stay-at-home mom to two sons (Leo and Nick), combating academic/business-speak, grammatical errors, and pesky typos as a freelance editor/proofreader for everyone from college students to professors to Armstrong World Industries. (You haven’t lived until you’ve proofread a flooring catalog.) Before I knew it, my sons were adults and insisted on being treated as such. Go figure.
Pennsylvania wasn’t the laid-back West Coast I grew up on, but it was tolerable. Until the day the weather person cheerfully informed me the high would be six degrees with a wind chill of thirty below. At that point, I started to rethink the whole living-in-the-Northeast scenario. Nose and fingers dutifully protected against frostbite, I picked myself up off the icy sidewalk (again), wondering if this might not be the perfect time to head for warmer climes.
It was, and warmer climes turned out to be Texas.
One problem. My two incredibly talented and creative sons—musicians and artists, the both of them—flatly refuse to leave the frigid north for the sunny, drought-stricken, wide-open spaces. Adding insult to injury, my best friend recently moved up that way, too. In other words, I’ll probably be emigrating back up yonder before too long.
Meanwhile, I write science fiction, work as a communications specialist, take brisk walks with Molly (my dog), read, and indulge in my latest hobby at the firing range.
As mentioned on my homepage, I wrote two romance novels for Bantam’s Loveswept line. One of them, For Love or Money, won a 1997 Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award.
Thanks to my day job as a communications specialist with a major university, I’ve written more than one hundred features for print and the web.
I’m a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Writers’ League of Texas, and the International Association of Business Communicators.
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