Jackson Guild flees the radioactive ash heap that had been the nation's capital. He travels to New Mexico to the famous weapons labs at Los Alamos, where he encounters a crack CIS nuclear forensics team. The electricty flows when he discovers the CIS-N group deep into a conspiracy and coverup, a one-two killer blow aimed at taking the reins of government into private hands. Guild has teamed up with his last and only friend, Ellen Dreyfuss, a fire engine of a woman, who's all southern sugar and sharp edges. Together they rip into the lies of Los Alamos only to discover that uncovering the truth means setting into motion the gears of all out nuclear war.
Radiation has became the new weather, and Jackson Guild flies out of Philadelphia airport on a mission to find out why the nation's top CIS nuclear forensics team can't (or won't) identify the source of the weapon that destroyed Washington and decapitated the government. He's not alone. The nation is on the run; mobs of travelers and evacuees crowd the huge airport. And in their midst stands a cyclops of a man stalking Jack. Handcuffed to an attache case bulging with evidence proving the conspiracy, Jackson finds himself in a trap, wedged between the Cyclops and his accomplice, a woman in gray. They have the initiative, and his only defense is a frat boy in a Penn State t-shirt.
A nuclear attack on the nation's capital turns blood supplies into a commodity, and Jillian Garth becomes a kick-ass trader in the gory stuff. Twitter brands her a bloody vampire. YouTube videos elevate her into a celebrity. She becomes an angel of mercy appearing on the Holy Neighborhood Network, a quasi religious channel that preys on the nation's misery, raising millions for its secret network. Unknowingly in bed with fascists, Jillian is recruited into the Underground by the very wealthy and very glamorous Ellen Dreyfuss. Together they work their way into the dark network that would enslave the nation. But how will they keep their secret? They're just two women face-to-face with the most powerful man in America.
There's a pun in the title of this "Author Insight" you're reading, "Depending on the character." I depend on my characters, those hapless souls I follow. I hear their voices. I recognize their gaits. I'm not surprised at their taste in clothes, cars. All that. Their lives direct my writing. The Jillian Garth of this story is a northern girl, a young widow with a three-year-old daughter named Olive, which is kind of an unusual name not much in circulation these days. Jillian picked the name to distinguish her daughter among the litter of children in her high-powered middle class neighborhood. Beneath the surface racket of my story, The Blood Conspiracy, there resides a tale about personal change and self-discovery. Jillian, not surprisingly, finds herself shaped by events. In her battle for survival, she discovers her ruthless adaptability, her cold capacity to enter into dangerous bargains, and make life-and-death choices. She finds success in the half-virtues of good luck, and, in the end, she confronts her own better angels.
A 7,000 word short story: Jillian had been warned by her lover Jackson Guild, an investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that a nuclear attack on the capital was hours away. He offered to take her and her three-year-old daughter, Olive, to safety. But she was in bed with another man. The next morning she stood out on her lawn as the terrible cloud rose and mushroomed. To her surprise, the atomic bomb gave off a reassuring warmth. Streaks of lightning shot along its length in fabulous colors unknown to the human spectrum. But it stunk of death. Jillian joined a world where blood supplies needed by victims were traded by thugs dubbed vampires. Everywhere angels were sighted. Images of Mother Mary were photographed in the ashes of the ruined capital. Was the Second Coming was at hand? Ironically, Jillian became an infamous blood trader, a vampire whose prowess propelled her to TV prominence thanks to YouTube. She traded on her celebrity for her daughter's sake, and for her daughter's sake she joined a revolution to save America from a power struggle that threatened the roots of democracy.
You're Jackson Guild, a sometimes sober investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. You've just survived a nuclear Armageddon that's decapitated the government. Below you, as you head out for a mission at the Pentagon, you see your city below. This is home, and it looks like an ashtray. Veering over Reagan National Airport the view from the helicopter devastates you. Runways charred with burned planes downed by the blinding flash of the atomic fireball. One pale blue jumbo jet lies on its back, landing gear up, a cracked robin's egg, only the chicks legs poke through.
Close in to the capital, Washington boasts an airport convenient to power. Sadly, on the 28th of September 2009, that proximity proved perilous. Then deadly. The Kuleshov Conspiracy reveals what happened that day from a high flying Black Hawk helicopter, as Jackson Guild narrates ... unaware that he's deep into a mystery and on the verge of a kidnapping.
Senate investigator Jackson Guild discovers that Wall Street War Lord Manny Granov has crossed the threshold from wealth to power. CIA uses Granov for off-the-books operations, and together they try to cut a deal to buy a massive Soviet era nuclear weapon, keeping it from the Middle East's arms bazaar. The collaboration between the criminal financier and the CIA sets off chaos and the bomb falls into the wrong hands, threatening the capital of the United States. As time runs down toward detonation, Guild is hung out for bait, because he holds a secret that could ruin Wall Street, expose the Agency, and keep the worst terrorist plot in history from ticking down to zero.
Here, Jackson Guild, an investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, meets with an infamous operator for the Central Intelligence Agency, Elvin Krongartten. Tall and old, the man known as the "Elf," brushes off an FBI agent in the room, and lays out the problem for Guild... You're bait on the hook.
A young man and a young woman eye each other on the New York Subway. He's excited by her rakish style, but she shows no interest. Or perhaps she fears he's been staring at her. When he follows her off the subway to her home, a ride in a taxicab makes all the difference in the world.
Sometimes, when a man exchanges a gaze with an attractive woman -- a woman of style -- he sets off alarms, for himself and for her. For both, there's the danger of embarrassment and rejection, and, in the Big City world of the New York City subway system, there lurks the risk of something darker. And when that man follows that woman to her home, it's just a step away from stalking. Or perhaps a crime.
A historian crashes the gates of history where he finds he must make a choice between war and peace. But he learns that free choice poses its own problems.
This short story is based on a non-fiction title I had written, sold, and taken the cash advance for research at Churchill College Cambridge and the National Archives in Kew Gardens. On my return home I learned the publisher, Raincoast Books in Vancouver, CA, had gone belly up! Fictionalizing these events about a very sexy double agent code named Cynthia (born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe in Minneapolis, Wisconsin) brought new life to what is a very suspcious series of events. My character, a scholar, finds a hole in history, but when he decides to make a change of two, he discovers that Will is stronger than Intention.