Navy war veteran Aden Davenport chose to be the Sheriff in this inconspicuous New Mexico town because it was the perfect place to hide from predators. Both from an ocean dwelling species that once tried to make a meal of him and from the humankind who devour his love. He was safe in the stark, yet beautiful desert landscape that seemed oblivious to the rest of the world. here he could protect his wounded heart, live far from where man-eating sharks swim, and hide from the worse of humanity.
But greedy decisions by a private space exploration company will expose Aden and others to an alien predator that was nearly extinct until accidentally rescued by a robotic mission to Mars. The returning space craft crash lands, spilling more than just the harmless cargo of valuable Martian soil samples onto the New Mexico desert – the back yard of the sleepy town of Pena Blanca.
Further threatening Aden’s idyllic world is the escape from prison by a brutal revenge seeking serial killer and the vengeful actions of an implacable foreign enemy. But the hidden danger introduced by the inter-planetary hitch hikers is much ore lethal, yet difficult to recognize.
Aden struggles to open his mind and accept the reality of what seems more like the fantastical pot of a science fiction movie, while also resisting his desire to expose his heart to Bonnie Dunbar. A wounded combat veteran aspiring to be a wildlife biologist who has her own physical and emotional scars – inflicted by both love and war.
Together, Aden and Bonnie will discover that a perfect storm of terror is bearing down on their remote corner of the world, creating a feeding frenzy for predators…..both alien and human.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I grew up in the wilds of Albuquerque, New Mexico enjoying the unique terrain of the Southwest region and experiencing many wonderful visits to Pena Blanca and hiking the Tent Rocks. Those memories along with my imagination and love for writing all came together after 30+ years when I recently accomplished getting my fiction novel out of my head and self published. My dad always told me "Son, never give up, never surrender!"
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Several of the characters in Doodlebugs were created from a variety of individuals who's paths have crossed in my life, my father-in-law who served to protect…..a sweet girl with Down Syndrome…..a soulless corporate CEO. Others just from my imagination over the years from reading and watching movies.
He cautiously moved from bush to boulder, confident that in the waning day light he remained undetected. But his whereabouts were well known. He was already targeted for an imminent assault that would be swift, violent, and lethal. After a moment of rest, he darted across a short, but exposed area to the next source of cover provided by a ubiquitous mesquite bush that was prevalent in this desert environment. Still oblivious that despite his best efforts at concealment he was living out the final minutes of his life.
His looming executioner remained poised as she patiently waited for the best opportunity to attack. She was very experienced at finding, tracking, and slaying many just like him. Her finely honed skills at this gruesome task all but assured the deadly outcome.
He surveyed his surroundings one final time. Peered, but saw nothing to fear. Listened intently, but heard no noises of concern. He even sniffed at the still air but smelled no alarming odors. Yet his instincts began to tingle and he trusted those more than any of his physical senses. Something was off. His leg muscles twitched in nervous anticipation and then his body erupted in adrenaline-fueled action as he exploded from his false sanctuary.
She immediately pursued him, accelerating toward the doomed victim.
Finally realizing the mortal danger, fear took control, as he frantically attempted to escape. He began to vary direction as he ran, randomly weaving between the plants and large rocks that peppered this stark area of southern New Mexico.
Nevertheless, she was far too skillful and easily adjusted to each of his useless evasive tactics . . . mere seconds from another successful kill.
Fear quickly evolved into shear panic that took total sway over him. He abandoned his chance maneuvering and in one final desperate act to survive, applied all of his available energy to pure, straight-line speed in an attempt to outrun her. Yet he could feel her presence relentlessly narrowing the distance between them, close enough now to nearly touch him.
His heart felt as if it was going to explode because of the extreme physical strain. Nearly exhausted, he could not run much farther. At least death should come relatively quickly, albeit still painful.
HONK! CRACK! HONK!! HONK!!
The unnatural man-made sound made by the car horn and rifle shattered the stillness of the summer evening air – panicking both the predator and her prey. She broke off her attack and soared skyward while he vanished into the darkening desert landscape.
“What the hell?" Barth Daniels watched dumbfounded as the battered Subaru Outback charged at him with the horn blaring like an angry automaton rhinoceros. A woman was leaning out the driver’s side window as she yelled. The initial horn blast had startled him just as he was squeezing the trigger on his Browning 270 semi-automatic rifle, resulting in a wildly errant shot.
The car slammed to a stop in a cloud of dust and tumble weed debris from which an enraged woman emerged. Bonnie Dunbar aggressively approached Barth, evidently unconcerned by the still smoking high-powered rifle perched on the hood of his vehicle.
"Killing a protected species is against the law!" Bonnie trembled. She was not sure if it was anger or fear induced – probably both.
"Protected species?" Barth snorted, "Since when are jack rabbits a protected species?"
"Whatever. We both know your intended target. Hell, look at the positioning of your weapon, rabbits don’t fly. That's a ten thousand dollar fine and federal prison time. Jerk!" Bonnie struggled to control her quivering.
"Screw you lady! I was just hunting rabbits." Barth snarled. He then removed the rifle from the hood of his Ford 4 x 4 pick-up truck. He returned the weapon to the gun rack in the rear window and got situated behind the steering wheel before slamming the door forcefully. While starting the engine, he glared once more at the crazy woman through the open window. She had tenaciously followed him to within an arm’s reach of the truck door and was seemingly unfazed by the danger she had placed herself in. He briefly considered grabbing her by the shirt collar and yanking her closer. The urge pulled at him like a lunging bulldog on a leash. Though not a physical tether, the bitter memory of the jail time he previously served for battery of his ex-wife served the same purpose and restrained him. "Fuck'n hemmie." He hissed through his tobacco stained teeth causing some brown tobacco chew to speckle Bonnie’s shirt. Then he floored the accelerator, intentionally spinning his truck tires to stir up as much dust as possible as he sped away.
Bonnie choked on the gritty air while squinting to focus on the license plate of Barth’s fleeing vehicle. It was one of those specially made versions – a costly vanity plate. At first, she could not comprehend what she was seeing and even felt a millisecond of some regret. She initially thought the symbol on the plate indicated a veteran who had received a Purple Heart medal for being wounded in combat. Then she realized it was not the shape of the famous military award, it was instead the iconic heart symbol used in lieu of the word “love”. Before this universal symbol of affection was the letter “I” and after it the word “Guns”, which conveyed the message “I Love Guns.” Just before a dense cloud of dust totally obscured her vision, she also noticed a bumper sticker that proclaimed, "I Brake to Re-load." What a moron.
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