Martyrs al-Sabra Plot

It’s probably about time to be unveiling the overall plot for “Martyrs al-Sabra”. The book is a fairly lengthy thriller (the first manuscript came in at 260K words). My editor carved off large chunks with her chainsaw, but it is still pretty long.

Set after the Presidential Election in 2020, when a woman is first elected President, a new group of terrorists are targeting America and it isn’t business-as-usual.

Farid Monsour al-Haj is a Palestinian orphan who was adopted and raised by one of America’s elite families from the age of five. Growing up in Northern Virginia, he attends the finest schools and is a success in all he attempts. Throughout it all, he is encouraged to maintain his cultural identify by the Royces, his adoptive parents. Farid is increasingly torn between the demands of his Palestinian heritage and those who welcomed him into the mainstream of America. He works as a television news reporter/commentator, helping explain the daily news from a Muslim point of view.

His childhood friend, Justin Simons, is an FBI Special Agent assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

When the new group of terrorists announces themselves to the world, led by the shadowy figure known only as “The Hammer of Islam”, they take the name of a massacre of Palestinian schoolchildren in Gaza City, the Martyrs al-Sabra. When the terrorists make good on their attack threats, the country is torn apart.

Can a lifetime of friendship protect against divided loyalties?

Beta readers will be seeing it hopefully no later than October 31, 2018.

Finished BoP Review!

Today, I finished reading, and rating, the last of 921 short stories submitted for the Bubble Off Plumb anthology. More than 2.5 million words of short story delight. I will post statistics on story ratings separately on the Feral Cat Publishers website within the next few days.

Tomorrow starts the negotiation of contracts with selected authors, as well as the horrible duty of sending rejection notices to everyone else. In fairness, the anthology concept generated a much larger response than we ever anticipated. We’ve learned many lessons on what to do next time.

On other fronts, the Martyrs edits are back in hand, which means a beta version will be completed shortly for reading. I have a core group already interested, but there is always room for a few more. Send me a note in the contact form if you would want to volunteer as a beta reader. I’ll reciprocate by sending you an autographed print copy with my thanks, once it is final. I’ll prepare a synopsis of the thriller’s plot in the next few days.

Careful What You Ask For..

Been reading short story submissions night and day on the Bubble Off Plumb Anthology for Feral Cat Publishers. We were hoping to see fifty decent stories come in during the sixty day period. But here we are, three weeks into it, with more than 260 stories.

Our guidelines were 1000 to 5000 word-count stories, so doing the math, I’m on the hook to read close to a million words already. Damn!

How did it happen? Somewhere along the line, word of our call-for-submission made it onto a large writer group website as a featured listing, and our website exploded. Entries have come in from all over the world.

The good news, is I get to read a lot for the foreseeable future. So far the stories are very good, for the most part, and definitely qualified for inclusion in the anthology. But I’m not going to be doing much work editing my own manuscripts or writing myself. As I said, be careful what you ask for.

July 2018 Production

I know this looks as though not much was being done this month, but it is a bit misleading. The production updates keep track of what I would call “new words” being written without any consideration for rewrites or post-editing production. This month Martyrs edits have been coming back, with associated rewrites, as well as launching new websites and an anthology call for submissions. In short, pretty darn busy. Expect Martyrs to be available no later than September 30th.