Welcome to my world of WRITERS who READ

When I began to put this site together, I kept being distracted by what I would name it. Since I knew the site would be about Writers and Readers, I began to collect more knowledge about the things that have helped me survive the journey up to this point.

I have a T-Shirt I’m almost shameless enough to wear in public. I designed it for a workshop, but I’ll share it here to make two points.

[1] A taxonomy of strategies for every successful commercial writer. For success, these five buckets must be filled with strategies that address or answer the over riding question:

Why Do You Write?

Many writers never ask the question or don’t understand the importance of it and that that takes us to my second point.

[2]  Reading. Not only is reading excellent therapy – goodness knows you cannot write all the time, Reading is an important tactical component for each of these five categories.


What you have here is a site that exists to enable Readers who Write.

Here is what I’ve done to support Readers who Write. I have begun to assemble a list of books I have read, critiqued, reviewed, or added to my reading Watchlist. Note – the majority of these books have hit the Best Seller’s List.If you want to read what is selling, that is a great place to start, especially if what you write is in a slightly different sub-genre. If part of your goal is to Write a Best Seller, you should know what your READERS are looking for; what Covers they use, how they craft their Descriptions, and how they READ.

Each ‘post’ shows or provides access to the elements that writers use to market their books. You’ll see their cover, part of the author’s description and current price on Amazon. I have also provided a link to the author’s posting where you can read more description, formal reviews, and related books.

I harvested their important keywords that you may use to generate a list of possible READs. You can limit your search to publishing categories such as Agented or Self published.




No Access




Coupons & FreeBooks

Everything on this page is for your enjoyment. Note that all Coupons are redeemable only at Smashwords.com during the posted dates.

Deadly Conflict

CHAPTER 1 ~ The Space-Sphere

Elizabeth repositioned to the SPA’s rampart high atop a renovated monastery on Thirasia, across from the extinct volcano and the tourist destination Santorini.
Oliver followed. “What the hell happened to them, Liz?”
“To Cato? We haven’t established that it’s the same sphere we made for him.” She paced nervously. “Tobin said he’d meet us here.”
The mysterious sphere, hidden at L2, a place referenced only by its relative physical description close behind the moon, forever out of earth’s sight, might be the one they’d created for Cato and several hundred Followers, or not. Other than a copy, though, she couldn’t image what else it might be. Months ago, they had made two spheres for Cato’s journey across the galaxy. As one of the five Lagrangian points, where the gravity of the earth, the moon, and the sun conspire to produce five stable places, L2 was a safe place to hide something as large as the space-sphere. The odd thing was Cato never discussed returning or making any additional contact.
Much to her relief, Tobin, her college-aged nephew, the inventor and creator of the spheres, appeared at her side. Eager to investigate, she went to the point of their meeting. “I have to see it now.”
He tipped his head in greeting to Oliver then turned to her. “Then, let’s go, we need to check that thing out.” With everyone standing in a tight circle, he carefully removed a small semi-transparent sphere about the size of a golf ball from a pocket deep inside his robe and held it in his hand for all to see.
Elizabeth bent close. The clear, almost invisible orb, which nestled around an inscribed twelve-sided dodecahedron, never ceased to amaze her. Possessing a tiny floating ring, it looked like a crystal model of Saturn. The beauty of the thing was mesmerizing, but what it could become was a marvel beyond belief.
Tobin placed the sphere on the flat stone ground, and then touched both sides to make a copy before returning the original to his robe. “This is the miniature from which I built the two for Cato and his Followers.”
“Tell me,” she said, holding Oliver’s hand and backing away, “could Cato or one of his Seekers have made an exact copy?”
“I gave them a small one and showed them how to copy it and change its size to the two-mile radius space-sphere as you’ve seen me do. So yes. Any Seeker can figure out how to do it. Watch.” Like a magician, he pointed to the small sphere with his index fingers. Touching them together like a schoolboy making a finger gun, he slowly backed away spreading his arms wide over his head. The sphere, containing an almost invisible network of the green edges of twelve pentagons, grew above them until it filled half the rampart.

“Ready to go?” He beamed a smile like a lighthouse beacon and Oliver placed a few affectionate pats on his back.
“It’s beautiful, my boy. You’re quite the craftsman. Your pride is well warranted.”
The three repositioned inside and in return for his praise, Tobin offered his uncle the helm. “Care to drive?”
Oliver raised an eyebrow. “Uh . . . umm . . . can you tell me how?”
A hoot of laughter escaped Elizabeth’s lips before she could catch it. “I thought you were paying attention every time you were in one of these things.
“Not so much, it seems.”
Tobin took pity on him. “You remember the spheres we built Cato? The one we’re in is the same as them only one hundredth the size. Concentrate on this sphere and imagine you see it behind the moon.”
“That’s it? That’s all you’re going to tell me? You sound like George. ‘All you have to do is imagine it and if it is in your repertoire, your mind would do the rest.’ You must be kidding.” He put his hand on his forehead and drew it slowly over the top of his head. When he dropped his hand his hair stuck out over his ears. “That’s no explanation at all.”
Elizabeth smoothed his spikey hair and cupped his cheek in her hand. “You know we can’t explain all the science behind our powers. Even George, who knows more physics then anyone, can only speculate on most of it.”
Oliver looked like he’d swallowed something sour. “So, I just pretend I can fly this thing?” For seconds he folded his arms across his chest, and then shook his head. “Nope, that won’t work.”
Elizabeth pointed her finger. “You’re better than you think.”
Following her direction, he saw a tiny crystal-like orb reflecting sparkles of bright sunlight. His eye grew wide and he muttered something in Norwegian. “Is that it?”
“Great piloting, Uncle Oliver. Take us closer for a complete fly-by.”
“How’s that accomplished? Another reposition?”
“See, even the largest of the space spheres has the thin ring around it. That ring is your mind’s link to moving the sphere. The ring causes the space around the sphere to bend, thereby creating an artificial gravity within, which determines the sphere’s perpetual bottom.” They drew near and the huge mysterious sphere filled their view. In fact, it was an independent world with land and lakes and buildings. It was fully sustainable for life, which was the purpose when the originals had been made for Cato and his Followers for their galaxy quest.
Oliver’s brow furrowed. “Perpetual?”
Elizabeth bobbed her head. “No matter how the sphere moves through space, gravity inside the sphere is always the same.” She pointed at her feet. “And it’s always down there.”
“Ah, I remember the time we trekked across the ice fields on a dog sled you put inside your first sphere. We had gravity and you used the ring to steer it.”
The memory of them huddled like spoons in a utensil drawer, wrapped in fur-lined clothes, suddenly warmed by repositioning inside a small sphere caused her to smile. “I should’ve let you drive some.”
“Nonsense, I had barely awakened.”
“It’s easy, my dear. You use your mind to disrupt that bending and the sphere’s effort to return it to equilibrium makes it move.”
“Use your mind to make a tiny rotational lift of any part of the ring and you’ll go slowly in that direction. Depress any part of the ring down to back away from that direction. The more you move the ring down, the faster you go.”
“So you really intend me to drive?”
“Go easy until you get the hang of it. Then, there’s no sub-light speed you can’t attain immediately. Move us closer and then we’ll want a viz before we go inside.”

Elizabeth huffed in exasperation. “I don’t see a damn thing that gives us any indication of what’s going on. It certainly seems identical to one of Cato’s spheres. It looks exactly as his did when he took off with it except there’s no visual sign of Followers inside. I don’t sense them underground either.”
“We still need to reposition inside for a closer look.”
Elizabeth put a hand on Tobin’s arm. “I am the one who will be going inside. You two will watch my back. Ollie, I need you to scan the space around the sphere. If you see anything odd, pull me out. Don’t wait to see if it’s a threat, I can always return later. Got it?”
He nodded and squeezed her hand. “Careful, love.”
She gave an inelegant snort. “Just another rabbit-hole.”

Because she’d helped Tobin design the sphere, Elizabeth knew every square inch of it. She suppressed her first impulse to go to Cato’s control center, and instead, repositioned inside the medical facility. Everything was in its original place and never used. How could that be? A cold chill ran up her spine. She hoped she’d placed Ollie or Tobin, for that matter, in harm’s way because she needed him close by? Tobin’s with him, but he’s been a bit impulsive lately.

She scanned the area again looking for abnormalities. The portable console screen in the corner was different. One of the newer models looked like a rectangular nine-foot by four-foot of clear glass on wheels. When activated, however, she knew it became an interactive computer screen.

She touched the start icon, hoping for a message. Within seconds, a realistic image of George appeared. George? Although the image’s facial expressions gave her the feeling he actually recognized her, she knew her longtime friend and collaborator was actually a cleverly realistic recording. Nevertheless, he might have a clue as to what was happening.

“George. What the—”

“Elizabeth, good to see you were able to find us.”

“Us’? Who is—”

Before she could finish, the image of George raised a hand and continued, “No doubt you figured out this is a non-interactive recording. So, for once,” the image chuckled, “I’ll be doing all the talking without one of your insightful questions. I know you have many, so I’ll get on with the answers.”

Oh, great. She wanted a conversation with one of the top physicists on earth and a fellow Nobel Prize winner to boot and instead she gets his questionable sense of humor and answers to questions she might or might not have.

“First answer. You asked me to make this recording.” He grinned. “Yes, Elizabeth, that was an answer. You are the one who demanded this recording be made. You always were a bit on the dictatorial side, but I like that about you.”

<Ollie, Tobin, are you hearing and seeing this?>

Their affirmative <yes> came in unison.

“But I digress. The answer begs another question, doesn’t it?” He paused as if giving her time to ask and wore that gleeful expression he got when he had an arcane physics tidbit of knowledge to impart. “Ready? Here it is, the answer to your question is only if you believe time travel is possible.”

As though knowing she needed time to think, the image of George wavered in silence before her. Time travel? What were the implications of that in this context?

“Elizabeth? Are you with me? I know your mind is churning with what I said, but we need to move on.”

It was hard to remember her friend was not really there. His timing was so attuned to her reaction. Her mind was stuck on the concept, just as he’d guessed.

He waited a moment more, giving her time to marshal her thoughts. “The next answer is, yes. Time travel is possible, but only if you do not interfere with the mind’s control of it.” He laughed, “I should have taught my classes this way when I was a teaching assistant at Rice.” His recording didn’t pause this time. “All right, the last answer. Because only the mind is capable of avoiding a time-travel paradox.”

<Again the mind,> Oliver’s voice sputtering into her head. <George puts time-travel on the same level as piloting a sphere.>

She couldn’t refute that. <Wait. There’s more.>

“—so to be fair, I’ll stop frustrating you with answers. It’d be best if you sit down and talked this through with someone live and I have just the person.” He paused like he expected her to ask the question.
His image stilled, and she worked at digesting what she’d heard. It was all too bizarre. Surely if she’d told him to do this video, she’d have told him to make more sense?

George counted on his fingers. “When you entered this room, two things occurred. One, the system confirmed you were actually here, and two, it sent a Q-bit, a small piece of quantum code, to someone alerting her you were here. My time is up. Be sure to visit me in Chicago when you can.”

He raised a hand in what she thought was to say good-bye, but instead, he pointed his finger down and wove it in a circle. “You should turn around now.” The screen went blank.

Her breathing hitched and the hair on the back of her neck stood up. She was no longer alone on the sphere’s medical center.

Why hadn’t Ollie pulled her out? She turned, preparing for the worst.

Instead, she found herself starring face-to face with herself.

Deadly Discovery

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”760″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”300×480″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”231″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Chapter 1 – The Package
Somewhere between Norway and the North Pole, in a dimly lit grotto under an icy mountain, two shrouded figures sat with steaming bowls of stew. They ate in silence communicating with their minds. Only the hiss of coal in the fire and the soft rattle of utensils broke the stillness.

<Father, the child will no longer be a part of their Cohort.>

<Yes, everything is working as planned.>

Five stories underground, Sarah O’Quinn, a tall, black Hispanic woman, meticulously positioned the last set of DNA samples on the conveyer belt. The digital wall clock told her she had an hour to complete the processing of the shipment before meeting Kanesha and friends for a trip to the beach. She could already feel the cool water on her lithe, brown body. Little did she know, more than the last day of her summer internship at Trident’s Bio Containment Lab in Baltimore was about to end.
After ensuring the hospital containers were properly aligned, she turned the key to the console. The long conveyer belt snaked its way toward the white scanning hub where the specimens were electronically inspected for contamination and explosives, both of which should trigger an instant drop through a trap door to a bombproof vault below. From that point, the belt diverged in five directions, advancing through short tunnels into other labs. The automated security process took twenty minutes and then she’d be out of there. Plenty of time.
Pleased with her efficiency, she headed toward the showers with images of the beach party filling her mind. When a small pop sounded behind her she stopped.
That’s wrong. She turned to scan for the origin of the soft noise. In the middle of the conveyer belt, slightly off-center, sat a small package wrapped in brown paper.
“How the hell—” A flash of light blinded her and a thunderous explosion threw her across the laboratory floor.

Sarah woke to a wailing alarm and the red glow of blinking lights.



Afraid to move, she lay on the floor coughing and squinting through a heavy cloud of dust. A non-stop ringing filled her head. Another freaking bomb? What was it with her and bombs? Memories of an explosion a year earlier robbed her of logical thought. Her chest felt like a trapped animal in there wanted to escape. Her heart thumped with erratic beats. Breathe. That’s what her trauma counselor told her, to close her eyes and concentrate on breathing. Slow in. Relax. Slow out. Slow in. Relax. Slow out.
Useless. Shaking all over, she struggled to focus. She examined her stinging arms. Only a little blood. Not much damage. Minor cuts. No burns. That was good. Broken glass from the viewing windows surrounded her. Wrinkling her nose, she inhaled deeply. The smell was different from the other bomb. Almost sweet. No camphor odor.
What the hell was she doing? A bomb was a damn bomb. Bits of plaster from wide cracks in the ceiling rained down on her spurring her to action. Ditching the CSI analysis, she rolled to her stomach. Slowly and painfully, she pushed to her knees and wiped her hands over the sheen of sweat on her arms, dislodging bits of glass and igniting pinpoints of pain.
She knew she’d carefully lined up each box on the conveyer belt for inspection. She remembered she did it with focused precision. How in the hell did that other package get there? It had not been there before. She would not have missed it. It had appeared out of nowhere . . . with the pop. She had heard the sound of repositioning.
She crawled on all fours to the nearest wall, she sat against it, and then pushed backward with both arms, working her way to a stand on shaking legs. Blackness teased the edges of her vision and she brushed her forehead with her hands. Blinking the darkness away, she pushed away from her support.
Sharp pieces of twisted metal covered the floor and red zeros flashed on the clock. She knew safety protocols would have sealed off this level’s bio labs. She was trapped inside. Loose gerbils seemed to be racing around her innards and she could feel the four floors above pressing down to crush her.
Damn biohazard protocols. Her imagination ran wild. No time to wait for the freaking rescue team. What if there was another bomb? Flashbacks and dizziness swirled through her head. Although she touched the wall for balance, it was not enough and she slipped to the floor. She needed a minute to regroup.
Stashing her panic, Sarah rose to wobbly feet and threaded her way through the rubble, carefully stepping over the misshapen remains of the conveyer belt. Cautious not to disturb more dust than necessary, she climbed over equipment and nudged wreckage aside with her foot, all the while worrying about another explosion.
She groaned at the extent of the damage. The blast destroyed the scanning equipment as well as the conveyer belts. Even the short belts connecting the control room’s router to small tunnels that fed the surrounding processing labs were demolished or buried in wreckage.
Except the one leading into lab number three.
She stumbled through the obstacle course toward the only possible escape route. Pushing aside a piece of the rubber conveyer belt hanging out of the small tunnel connected to lab three like a dog’s lolling tongue, she poked her head into the tight dark passage. So freaking small. A threatening structural groan from tons of concrete overhead kicked her courage into high gear. She could fit through. She had to.
Fists clenched tight, she gritted her teeth and bent over stretching her arms out before her hoping like hell she wouldn’t get stuck. Once inside the narrow tunnel, she panted in shallow gasps to keep her profile small. She wiggled and twisted her body forward with incremental progress until she could go no farther.
Painfully trapped, her chest wedged tight in the far end of the tunnel. She fought the image of the lab’s boa constrictor swallowing her headfirst, squeezing tighter and tighter. Then, a rumble shifting floors above terrified her and she screamed. The release of air deflated her lungs and ribcage just enough to allow her to squeeze through the opening of the passage.
Perspiration poured off her body and she lay still, taking in great gulps of air. Moments passed before she gathered her wits and strength and stretched her arms farther. The tips of her fingers found the end of the conveyer belt and she melted with relief. Pouring her entire being into one last pull, she fell in an unceremonious heap on the floor. “Thank you, Lord Jesus.”
Except for some broken glass and a low hanging light fixture, the number three processing lab seemed unscathed by the blast. She pushed herself to a kneeling position and struggled to stand.
A calm deep voice rippled through her skin. “Are you okay?” It knocked her back to her knees. She raised her chin to stare at a tall handsome black man standing not three yards away with his hands in the pockets of his pressed lab jacket. His skin, darker than hers, but not by much contrasted well with his cropped close black hair with a precise jawline beard that emphasized the sharp planes of his cheeks. He said nothing more, but the gold flecks in hazel eyes danced with laughter while the straight line of his lips wouldn’t stay put. They kept quirking up at the corners until he schooled them down. He made no move to help her.
A good thing. She wouldn’t have let him touch her. Eyeing a steel rod, she snatched it and held it in a white-knuckle grip. It gave her confidence. She could take him . . . she hoped. Even with her years of mixed martial arts training, however, she had to admit, at the moment, she wasn’t sure. She might not be her best right now and analyzed his probable strength. He had a slim build. Not thin, though, and his shoulders were wide. He stood much taller than her five ten.
Annoyed at his apparent amusement, Sarah glared at him. “Where the hell did you come from?” She clambered to her feet with the help of the steel rod. “Answer,” she commanded. He might be attractive, but he didn’t belong here any more than that strange package on the conveyor belt.
Although guarded, she was, in truth, glad to see anyone on her side of the problem. Nevertheless, gripping the steel bar like a baseball bat gave her a sense of control. She growled through the dust in her throat. “Just who are you?”
“What happened here?” he asked, hands up in mock surrender. “Are you hurt?”
“Your name,” she demanded, not to be put off.
He lowered his hands, but held his ground. “Benjamin. Benjamin St. Phard. And you are?”
“Sarah O’Quinn.” Her weapon remained at the ready. “Did you have anything to do with this?”
He folded his arms and stroked his chiseled chin. “You’re an O’Quinn?” He pointed at her and grinned. “You’re related to—”
“Damn right.” Using a two-handed grip she tapped the concrete with the tip of the steel bar. “And I don’t know you.” Returning to her batter’s stance, she hissed through her teeth. “What do you do here?”
He pulled his lab coat back and put his hands on his hips. “What’s your security level?” he asked, as if he had the right.
“My security level? You’re asking me my security level? I’m the freaking number one daughter, clown.” The tip of the steel bat made small circles in the air and she took a half step forward. “I repeat, tell me what the hell you do here.”
He took off his ID tag and arranged it on a miraculously unbroken lab table, then stepped back. “This says everything.”
In synch with his retreat, she advanced and pointed one end of the steel bar directly at him. Holding it with her palm turned down she tucked the end under her arm.
“Benjamin St. Phard, M.D., Ph.D., Director.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_button title=”Return to Novels” target=”_self” color=”btn-primary” icon=”none” size=”wpb_regularsize” href=”http://www.elrussell.com/?p=16″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Deadly Awakenings

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”701″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”300×450″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Chapter 1 – Announcement

Elizabeth stood backstage holding her breath as Shannon walked to the podium at the San Diego Stem Cell Conference. A single thought played and replayed in her mind. This presentation could destroy their careers.

Her long-time friend and research partner morphed her slim frame into the casual, suggestive posture of a runway model and in a throaty voice began. “Thanks to epigenetics, I’m in pretty good shape for a woman of 147 years.” She tossed her long auburn hair forward so it cascaded over one eye. Raising her arms and snapping her fingers, she turned in a complete circle to the catcalls and shouts from the audience. She chuckled with them, placing the back of a hand on her hip and maintaining her vamp pose. “Women everywhere want to know my secret.”

Deafening applause drowned out her speech, but it quieted immediately when she bent forward with a finger to her lips in an I’ve-got-a-secret pose. “Imagine, if you will, that I am able to alter my genomic structure to automatically repair and regenerate itself.” She lifted one brow and tilted her head. “The ability to control my genome enables me to enjoy a healthy life for a long time.” She paused. “A very long time.”

A torrent of questions burst forth and she held her arms out for silence. “My mind has also developed over this time span. I am telepathic and can reposition anywhere in an instant. Whether it is from here to the back of the auditorium or from here to Venice, Italy, it makes no difference.” She snapped her fingers and gave her hips a suggestive thrust. “I’ve been trans-gendered twice.” She patted her stomach. “Presently, I’m three months pregnant. Questions?”

At that, the audience, listening with their mouths hanging open, hooted with long laughter.

Elizabeth tried to breathe normally. Oh, dear god, we’re dead. She pulled the edge of the curtain closed slightly as Shannon began the main part of her speech.

“Does that sound far-fetched? Dr. Stosak and I believe we have discovered a breakthrough that will allow us to do just that. We will be ready to publish our findings within the year.”

“What?” Elizabeth’s shout was lost in the cheering of the audience. With her fist pressed against clenched teeth she literally snarled. “With a statement like that, you just gave our careers an expiration date, Shannon O’Quinn. I could happily strangle you.” Rubbing her hands on the outside of her thighs to release fury, she put brakes on her urge to race onto the stage and curse her colleague. They hadn’t agreed to that. They needed more time. Her mind reeled through the implications the declaration created as Shannon walked toward a handful of reporters sitting on the floor to the left of the stage.

Behind them in the first row, four men in gray suits sat stiffly, staring disdainfully at her colleague. Elizabeth’s antenna went on alert. In spite of the enthusiasm lavished on Shannon’s speech, she knew their research didn’t have universal approval and these men had the appearance of lobbyists or maybe corporate agitators.

Shannon, apparently oblivious, stood at the edge of the stage and waved at the media. “Dr. Stosak and I are grateful for the support you’ve given us. We couldn’t keep the public informed without your help.”

The reporters gave a thumbs-up and Shannon stepped back to center stage under a barrage of rapid-fire questions. So far so good.

Then the four men in gray suits stood as a single unit and glowered at her. Trouble. Elizabeth knew it. She could see it coming. Those guys weren’t right. The thunderclouds on their faces could guard the gates to heaven. Again, she wanted to rush on stage, but held back.

Near-by reporters sensed something coming and many in the audience held cell phones and tablets high overhead, ready to record the moment. Elizabeth, a veteran lecturer had experience handling rough audiences. Shannon, on the other hand, preferred the lab to public speaking and was vulnerable. She approached the edge of the stage without a microphone. “Gentlemen,” she asked, “do you have a question?”

Her attempt at controlled acknowledgement of the somber quartet generated a few whistles. The tallest of the four pointed a finger at her. “You are going against nature itself with your careless manipulations of our genetic code.” He spoke slowly in a flat voice. “Your experiments on humanity will fail. You will cause disease and atrocities of biblical proportions. Your foolish science puts us all at risk.”

Shannon pulled her chin back in astonishment. “That seems extreme.”

Again, the tall one spoke. “What gives you the right to interfere with nature?” His lips curled into a serious snarl and he crossed his arms over his chest as if daring her to respond.

Elizabeth couldn’t believe Shannon’s only reply consisted of staring mutely at the four men. It was a hell of a time to be at a loss for words and she rushed to stand next to her partner. With years of lecturing large classes without the benefit of a microphone, she knew her response would be heard. She raised her eyebrows in mock concern as the murmurs from the audience grew. “Sir, is there a question in your philosophy?”

The man stared at her with a belligerence that had the heat of a roaring fire. He did not speak.

Excellent. It was what she wanted. “Nature is my friend, but she is not my ally. Nature does not cure cancer. Nature does not repair severed spinal cords. Nature does little to alleviate our suffering.” She paused to stare at the man. “So I ask you, when your leg is broken, do you limp outside and look for solace in the forest? Do you frolic in the flowers hoping for nature’s enchantment to fix your leg? Or do you go to the hospital to see someone schooled in the science of medicine?”

He shot his response like bullets, ignoring her question. “What you do with genes is unethical and immoral.”

Elizabeth gestured toward Shannon. “What we do with genes is nothing more than use what is already there. We do not insert genetic material. We only re-configure the settings already there. We do not see that curing disease in this fashion is an ethical or moral issue.” Stepping forward, she pointed at him and went on the attack. “Who do you represent? Who is behind your concerns?”

“All you need to know is that you must stop this evil research.” He shook his fist. “You don’t need to know who we are.”

She lifted the corners of her lips. “Sure, I do.” She pulled out her cell phone for a picture and said, “Smile.”

Accompanied by jeers and applause, the four men stalked from the auditorium. She returned to backstage leaving Shannon to continue.


At the conclusion of the presentation, Elizabeth waylaid Shannon when she stepped into the wings of the stage. Grabbing her arms, she spun her around.

“Hold it, Quinn, we need to talk.”

“You only call me Quinn when you’re angry and I refuse to have a serious conversation with an angry person.”

“You’re damn right I’m angry.”

Shannon peeled the fingers loose. “We agreed, Liz. There are too many false stories and rumors circulating in the media about our research. They’re publicizing our work in conjunction with the ‘Frankenfood’ articles, for God’s sake. We needed to give them the facts.”

“At what cost? Tell me why I shouldn’t believe you’ve ruined our careers with that sideshow.”

Shannon headed for the hallway that connected to their hotel and Elizabeth followed. “I’m sticking with you until we get back to our suite, those little legs of yours aren’t going to out walk me or out run me. How could you? A year? Are you crazy?”

Shannon stopped and faced her. “I knew you’d be upset, but I never figured on you going ballistic.”

Elizabeth knew her friend well and could tell when she held something back. Something more was going on than the deadline. “What is it you’re not telling me? There’s more, isn’t there?”

“I, ah, promised someone.” She rubbed her forehead with her fingers and her words trailed off.

“Who? What did you promise?”


“Why would you promise your husband something about our research? You never did that before.”

“This is not about the research, it’s about security. He has concerns.”

“Well, that’s about as vague as you can be. What kind of concerns?”

“I promise I’ll tell you everything when you visit me in my lab.”

“In Baltimore? You want me to wait until I fly across the country to find out why my job is bound to be in jeopardy?”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_button title=”Return to Novels” target=”_self” color=”btn-primary” icon=”none” size=”wpb_regularsize” href=”http://www.elrussell.com/?p=16″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

In the Works…

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”853″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”300×480″][vc_single_image image=”852″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”300×480″][vc_single_image image=”854″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”300×480″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]



In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, Enid and I are working on three novels. The first science fiction story of time travel in the SEEKER series, “Finna’s Quest” has 60,000 words in its first draft. The next science fiction story in the EVOLUTIS RISING series, (untitled) expands the Deadly Awakenings / Deadly Discovery / Deadly Conflict, saga to an intergalactic epic, is being outlined.

Our first mystery novel, GENECAUST has 20,000 words in its first draft.For those of you reading ONSET / RESET / MINDSET, Chloe makes a brief appearance in DEADLY CONFLICT and joins the cast in the 4th (untitled> EVOLUTIS novel.

I have until February 23, 2016 to get these stories outlined. That’s the date the next Deus Ex story, Mankind Divided is released and the end of my free time. For those of you who do not play computer games, Deus Ex is a cyberpunk first-person-shooter, third person story.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”231″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”600×10″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Short Stories

Many of our short stories result from chapters or characters originally cast for a novel. The following shorts are characters getting a second chance at a novel through an introductory short story. Let us know if you encounter one you wish to read more.
Life is good…

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”231″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”638″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”150×240″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Adam Zed

Here we go again … another novella in the works.

Adam, a cynical graduate student majoring in microbiology, lives with six friends in a old, dilapidated house on fraternity row. He attempts to solve his geek roomies’ unfullilled social needs in a most unusual way. Getting geeks hooked up is far from trivial, but adding to his challenge is that these geeks cover the GLBTQ spectrum. Adam was smart to think their problems would be minimized by placing them in a dark room so he begins by taking them to a late night club. Then things really get strange, in a terrifying, horrible, yet enjoyable way.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”231″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”148″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”150×240″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

If you remember puberty and claim you enjoyed that part of your life, this story is not for you. A Sixteen-year old Glaam discovers she is loosing her new found womanly appearance while gaining shapes and hair in other areas. She tells her parents her body is turning her into a male and pleads with them for help. Her ex-counter-culture parents freak out, blame her for using bad drugs, unhealthy sex and improper diet. Glamm decides to runs away and looks for solutions in the streets.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”231″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”729″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”532×598″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. signup

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Note from the author

Amazon Author Page



E L Russell


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”608″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”414×174″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”612″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”613″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”614″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”615″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”616″ img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Add a Comment

Marketing & Discovery

Add a Comment