Today my I’m delighted to introduce my good friend and fellow MVRWA member, PM Kavanaugh, author of Die Run Hide, published by Crimson Romance. Welcome, PM!
Thanks so much for hosting me today, Susana.
While many people think “paranormal” means vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, fairies, or a combination thereof, the paranormal aspect of my novel, Die Run Hide, is that it is set in the future—2055, to be precise—and the only non-humans in it are droids and ‘bots (short for robots!)
I really liked the idea of writing a story that takes place in the “near future,” far enough from today to let my imagination run free in speculating what might be new and different from our present day world, but close enough to include familiar objects and foods and settings and physical traits. I didn’t want to have to invent an entirely new world, where everything my characters saw, tasted, smelled and spoke was unlike anything we know today. I made myself crazy enough over questions such as, “Will people still drink coffee in 2055?” (Yes! Whew!) “Will T-shirts still be around?” (Yes again!) “Will cars fly?” (No, though auto-navigation or hands-free driving will be an option.) “Will people still fall in love?” (Of course….falling in love is a time-tested human characteristic and my book is a romance!)
Still, for me, a big part of the fun of writing a story that take place 50 years from now is exploring the question, “What will the world be like then?”
Here are some of my thoughts and imaginings for the year 2055:
- Cuba is the last remaining communist nation on Earth. All other nations have gone the way of capitalism.
- In the post-September 11 era, a group of countries agree to fund a super-secret network of agencies that take on counterterrorist missions too politically sensitive or geographically dispersed to be handled by any one country. This network is called U.N.I.T., short for United Nations Intelligence Trust. Sort of like a United Nations of counterterrorist activity.
- The United States government runs a collection of federal orphanages, in which promising U.N.I.T. recruits are screened. The other recruiting ground for U.N.I.T. candidates are prisons, where carefully selected inmates sentenced to life are given the chance to leave prison and join the agency.
- Handheld lasers have replaced bullet-firing guns as the preferred form of firearm for terrorists, counterterrorists, cops and criminals.
- Chicago Midway is a defunct, boarded-up complex of buildings owned by a super-wealthy businessman who uses one of the former terminals as a secret bomb-making factory.
- California is split into two independent states, called California North and California South. Kind of like North Dakota and South Dakota or Virginia and West Virginia. Only neither of the “Californias” wanted to give up starting the name of their state with the word, California. Hence, the geographic designation comes at the end.
- A special gel known as “Numb It” instantly soothes away aches and pains on contact with skin. (Don’t you want some?)
- Energy pellets are the new energy bars…and the food of necessity for operatives on the run.
Do you ever wonder what the world will be like in the future? What does your imaginary future world look, smell, taste and sound like? Do people still fall in love and get their happily ever after?
Follow orders or die. Anika Washington knows the rules laid down by the counterterrorist agency that owns her. When she aborts a mission in order to spare a young girl, she’s given an ultimatum: take on a new mission that requires betraying her fellow operative, and lover, or forfeit her own life.
After discovering that her lover, Gianni, has chosen another, Anika accepts the mission. In the aftermath, she learns that Gianni was faithful to her and she’d been tricked into thinking otherwise. The knowledge comes too late and she’s almost killed in an agency double-cross.
Now she must run—battling time, former enemies and the agency itself to stay alive and save the man she loves.
Die Run Hide Excerpt
The diamond stud vibrated in Anika’s ear. She slid her fingers through her hair in a rhythmic move and touched the comm device. Over the thumping bass of the band, she heard the go-ahead to leave the party and ascend to the rooftop. With a well-aimed thrust of one hip, she knocked her dance partner into a gyrating mix of arms and legs. Then she strode off the floor, filled an oversized glass from the champagne fountain and slipped out of the room.
In the dim stairwell, she hiked up her glittering dress, snagged her painful four-inch heels in one hand and sprinted up the steps. The heavy bass receded into the background. She held the glass away from her, careful not to spill the liquid. She wished she could drink some of it. Hell, she wished she could drink all of it and go back for more.
Instead, she told herself to stay focused on the mission as she had dozens of times before. The rest would take care of itself.
So why did her insides feel like balled up razor wire?
On the roof, she hurried over to the utilities closet. Her eyes swept the area before she keyed in the code and removed the parts of the P-16. Another sweep, then she bent to her task assembling the old-style rifle. She tested the balance, the feel of the trigger, the scope. Everything was in order. Everything was as it should be.
Except that once she sighted the target and fired, the life she had known for the past three years would be over. She would have crossed the line. No going back. Even though she had agreed to do it, she wondered now if she had made the right decision.
A writer of thrillers spiked with romance, PM Kavanaugh has always loved intrigue, danger and adventure, especially when observed at a safe distance from her own life. She shares her home, dreams and some of her plotting dilemmas with her clever-enough-to-be-a-spy husband and her talkative office cat, Max.