Entry Nickname: A Bit of Code
Word count: 80K
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi
Scott Gris’ skills as a surveillance expert come in pretty handy when he’s breaking down firewalls with his hacker buddies. But internet hijinks aren't enough; they're going after the holy grail of hacks–UltSyn's Human Information Drives, assets implanted with cerebral microchips. When they find an encrypted list of names, Scott's convinced his missing sister, Victoria, didn’t just run off with her boyfriend like her family was lead to believe.
Obsessed with finding Victoria, he tracks her halfway around the world. As Scott digs deeper into restricted databases he discovers those who enlist with UltSyn get far more than they bargained for. Plunged into a world of human trafficking and corporate espionage, Scott is determined to find his sister, no matter the cost. Targeting Sonia, the HID believed to contain information about his sister, he plans to steal her data and use it to bring UltSyn down. But when the information reveals that his sister has been working for UltSyn all along, he has to find her–before UltSyn finds him.
First 250 words:
The whole world lives in two places at once. The one that is real and then the digital verse, where a pull of the strings can affect the world outside. But doing so leaves a trace. Even the corporations, the engineers, the hackers that live in both worlds can’t fully wash their footsteps away. The bigger you are the larger the shadow you will cast.
That was part of the reason why I turned into a lone wolf. My digital trail is tiny in comparison to an organized group. I had no loose ends that could be pulled; no emails about where the team would meet up, no phone calls to check in with would be co-workers. It worked better this way.
I wasn't trying to take on the world, just trying to save one person.
It never seemed liked an outlandish goal at the time.
I hacked into several databases and started tracking the movements of Human Information Devices. HIDs are flesh and blood hard drives and the classified prizes of business world. Valued for the ability to keep secrets. The rest of the world is only just now seeing them as the technological wonder they are. I had a feeling this is where the person I was looking for disappeared to.
Before this, HIDs were urban legends, the Holy Grail of the hacking community. If it was even possible to hack them it is incredibly hard to do. It was a challenge a lot of people wanted to take, but I was the only one ever given the chance.
Entry Nickname: Love is Hell
Title: Daughter of Lilith
Word Count: 71,000
Genre: YA Paranormal
As a half-demon, sixteen-year-old Ariel rips souls from the living as casually as mortals order coffee.
Raised by her abusive teacher, Batal, Ariel blindly accepts all humans are a worthless blight on the world – especially males. But when a car accident leaves her stranded, a minister’s son, Mike Flannery, goes beyond the call of duty to help.
Getting to know him, Ariel starts questioning her upbringing. Mike’s kindness and sincerity suggests he’s not the filthy slime her teacher claims him to be. She soon realizes he brings out something in her she didn’t know she had - humanity. Refusing to return home, Ariel vows to never again let Batal or anyone else manipulate her. However, Batal is not about to let one of her pawns escape without a fight.
Now the renegade demon realizes letting Mike into her life is endangering both of them. She can deny her new feelings and walk away to protect him from the creatures of Hell, or confront her sadistic headmistress, risking an eternity of suffering for a chance at love.
First 250 words:
I silently walk over to the bed, where the woman sleeps next to a man similar in age. His arm draped over her, as if to protect his possession.
A nightstand displays several pictures of the couple, including a wedding photo. The two seem happy together. But I know it’s nothing more than a façade. Men are incapable of love.
I walk around the room – as I must – searching for any signs that would prevent me from fulfilling my duty. As usual, I find none. No one from today remembers the ancient agreement.
Returning to the bed, I stand beside the woman who is asleep on her side. An elongated pillow rests between her knees and under her enlarged belly, supporting her womb.
I shake my head. How can any self-respecting female allow a son of Adam to defile her? I glare down at the male. Instinctively, I feel the corners of my mouth tighten into a snare. My stomach churns creating a bitter taste in my mouth, making me want to spit. Control, Ariel. Stay in control.
I suppress my feelings, as I’ve always done. A lesser being may not be able to, but I’m not like these frail creatures before me. I’m a daughter of Lilith, I serve The Mother.
I hold out my hand, palm facing down. I listen to the expectant mother’s breathing, and focus on her heartbeat. It’s slow and rhythmic.
I lower my hand so it hovers over her belly. Another heartbeat comes into focus, faster but still harmonious – the child’s.