Category and Genre: Adult paranormal thriller
Word Count: 72,000
The modern day remnant of an ancient werecat clan is torn apart while militaries on three continents vie to exploit their deadly talents. Were-lynx Pawly, born in an ethnic Chicago neighborhood following her family’s flight from Cold War-era Poland, must return to her ancestral homeland and save the only man she’s ever risked feeling for.
My 72,000-word adult paranormal sci-fi thriller ALWAYS GRAY IN WINTER introduces Pawly while a despotic Eastern power lays siege to American forces overseas. Animal-enhanced soldiers developed by rogue scientist and rival werecat Mawro overrun her Navy port security unit after Pawly abandons her post to fight Mawro’s “control subject” tooth and claw. His superior killed in the battle, Mawro assumes command of the program replicating their clan’s preternatural fighting ability and supernatural senses. Pawly’s lover Lenny sustains grave injuries, stirring fears he will join her father and uncle on the list of her loved ones claimed by her kind’s feral bloodlust.
Fearful for Lenny’s safety, Pawly goes underground to foil Pentagon attempts to whitewash the incident by scapegoating him for her mission’s failure. Mawro meanwhile steals an experimental device which can quell their bloodlust with intent to weaponize it. A search for the device brings Lenny straight to Pawly, though their bittersweet reunion is cut short when Mawro tricks her estranged kin into capturing the device’s creator–her grandfather. Pawly’s daunting choice when the search lands Lenny in a shipside firefight: keep her family secret and forfeit his life or chance her true nature driving him away forever.
First 250 Words:
The speed and precision of the two combatants surpassed even the human race’s best martial artists and white arms experts. Mawro stared up at the footage rolling for the seventh time, scrutinizing their fight on the flat-panel display above. With a growl he leaned back in his rickety roller chair and rested one boot atop the other beside his console. His stomach gurgled as his mind winnowed down the list of possible explanations for this spectacle. The probable ones no longer seemed so far-fetched.
He followed his operative’s movements to and fro across the desertscape. Hana executed one technique after another, monolid eyes trained on target while her jet black hair bobbed about. With neither misstep nor hesitation the young woman landed every strike exactly where he expected. Exactly as he had taught her.
Her hands moved so fast their surveillance equipment captured only an orange-and-white blur. Now and again the camera locked on a frame for a split second but would lose tracking right away. Stripes of black fur on her exposed forearms left artifacts behind, resembling speed lines following Hong Kong Phooey from the Saturday morning cartoons of his childhood.
Hana’s opponent captivated and chilled Mawro at the same time. The other woman’s digital camo uniform pattern confirmed assertions of his Revolutionary Guard contact. She resembled scores of US Navy sailors sent to guard the Irani beachhead for Coalition supply lines into Afghanistan, but for being covered in silver-gray fur with long white ruffs lining her neck on either side.