West of Tomorrow
Where are we when we're half-an-hour West of Tomorrow?
In this nuanced tale of transition, retired Marine officer Clay Conover is now a successfully re-careered corporate trainer with a plan. A plan grounded in a sense of duty and loyalty tempered by clear-eyed realism. Unfortunately, Clay’s plan doesn’t account for the hiring of Sheera Prasad. Young, hungry and ambitious, Sheera has an agenda of her own.
In the collision of wills that follows, Clay is confronted with a choice that will define him, not simply professionally but personally. Will Clay opt for self-serving rationalization…going along to get along? Or will he choose the moral high road and if so, at what cost?
West of Tomorrow follows six pivotal months in the life of a decorated Marine officer and combat veteran confronted with multiple ethical and personal identity issues. Forced to confront some of the darkness of his past, Clay must decides who he is now…and who he wants to be.
West of Tomorrow is an intelligent romance laced with corporate intrigue, betrayal, misplaced love and the undiscovered phoenix that lives in all of us.
Fate hunts us down in our sleep. We rarely see it coming and even when we do, we emphatically deny the warning it sends.
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Best-Case Scenario-Act I of Nyra's Journey
If it’s out there, she’ll find it. Well, won’t she?
Isn't hope in some form our Best-Case Scenario?
A year out of college, Nyra Westensee confronts a constellation of identity issues—from finding her first professional position and sorting out her complicated family relationships, to love and an outlet for frustrated, simmering sexuality.
She’s done everything right, as nearly as she can tell, so why isn’t it coming together? Nyra senses that the paradigms have been shifting even as she worked two jobs and took her studies seriously and she knows it’s “on her” to find her way to her most authentic self, whatever that is. Still, this feeling of wading through wet cement on the way to her goals is getting old.
In the half-formed jumble of her dreams for her future, Nyra can hear the hopeful siren song of tomorrow calling. But is the song she thinks she hears real—or just an illusion?
Best-Case Scenario is the first act in Nyra’s journey of growth from a thoughtful young woman with more questions than answers to her dawning maturity and sophistication with a life of promise and purpose in front of her.
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The Year of Maybe, Act II of Nyra's Journey
He's nothing like her dreams...and everything she wants.
A year into her first professional position, Nyra still hasn’t achieved the full independence she craves or to buy the live-aboard sailboat she dreams of owning. With two early disappointments in love behind her, Nyra decides to focus on something that will give her the adrenaline shot she needs. A whimsical decision to take up surfing brings her together with Tai Abrega, her surfing instructor and shaper so delicious, Nyra’s fertile imagination conjures up all sorts of possibilities.
He is literally everything she ever wanted but without the experience to recognize it. But embracing one possibility often means abandoning another. Can she blend her safer, “predictable” vision of perfect with this new, free-spirited lifestyle Tai has introduced her to? Or is she doomed to disappointment and heartbreak?
Tai’s an almost overpowering temptation. But does his free spirit fit in her safer vision of perfect?
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Through the Windshield, Drive-by Lives
Enlightenment in Slow Motion?
Truth is a shapeshifter. Sometimes it slams into us like a head-on collision, changing everything in a moment. But more often, it arrives camouflaged in the ordinary, its significance becoming clear only upon reflection.
Sooner or later, we realize we are at once our own jailors and the instruments of our own freedom, streaking toward our destiny, lurking just beyond our headlights.
This anthology is a collection of Dirk’s short stories, some previously published under non-exclusive license in other anthologies while others are appearing in print for the first time in this collection.
This collection is a great way to sample Dirk’s writings to see how well you like his style. You can get a free copy in Kindle, ebook or pdf formats simply by clicking the link and subscribing to “Smoke Signals,” Dirk’s monthly missive for thoughtful readers who make the connection between Dirk’s fiction and his views on the world in general.
It’s a great way to know when his next books are coming out and maybe score some swag!
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Tier Zero, Vol. I of the Knolan Cycle
What if We're Completely Wrong About First Contact?
Many of us who think about first contact, how it might happen and what it might might mean have a couple of assumptions that drive our expectations as they are reflected in our stories. We assume that when (and if) first contact occurs, we’ll necessarily know about it. But will we? Another default assumption underpinning much of our speculative narratives about first contact is that it’s more likely than not that “aliens” will necessarily be both vastly different from us and possibly hostile. Given our own history, it’s not difficult to understand from whence those assumptions come. In reading the Knolan Cycle, discard forever all those assumptions.
In Tier Zero, first contact happened a little over thirty years ago, but life on Earth goes on, unaware. Marty Tellus, a graduate student at UCLA has been troubled by a recurring dream he can’t shake. An unsuspecting offspring of that contact, Marty’s chance meeting with Lysia Uupao, a Knolan Waykeeper posing as a foreign student draws him into a broadened reality laced with paradox—and entangling him in danger and the ancient war between Knola and their implacable enemies, the Valdrōsians—who covet Earth for their own reasons.
And the Knolans interest in Earth? It’s…complicated.
They’ve been here for years…so, why haven’t we known?
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Eryinath-5, The Dancer Nebula, Vol. II of the Knolan Cycle
“The Universe is rarely respectful of our plans.”
Khuurus, First Guardian of Knola
Add Your Heading Text Here
Newly returned from his first successful mission, Marty Tellus now known as Hāthar barely has time to unpack before he’s drawn into a new and far more dangerous mission than the one he just completed. With Arra his mate carrying their first child, he has every reason to stick close to home. But it’s a dark time for his adoptive home and the Valdrōsian’s new stealth technology needs to be unraveled. Tasked with the nearly impossible mission of stealing the new technology, Hāthar is placed in perils not even the uncanny perceptions of the Oracle can predict.
All anything the Oracle, the Guardian and Hāthar know for certain is that the fate of Knola and Hāthar’s old home world Earth may pivot on his actions. Eryinath-5 picks up the thread of Hāthar’s story and drops in the middle of new perils before either he or anyone who matters to him is ready. As Khuurus, Knola’s first Guardian was fond of observing, the Universe really doesn’t care what we may have in mind.