The Zendo Agreement (Part One)

The office was dark, smelled of an animal cage needing cleaning. Oldman sat in his large EV-chair. His considerable bulk blotting out the large oval window in front of him. He watched as debris from the latest mesosphere battle streaked by the platform, cutting through what was left of Earth’s atmosphere, flaming out and into the oblivion below. Umber clouds obscured most of the surface, but Earth’s visible areas glowed orange and brown from the raging fires.

Chet Hunter stood in the doorway behind him and cleared his throat. The air inside was barely breathable, the oxygen set too low, the stink tangible. The android guard turned toward him, its eyes lit-up yellow as it scanned him for weapons. Yellow beams of beta particles lit him as he smiled and nodded, as if the contraption cared about such pleasantries.

“There goes what was left of Stellar Nine Space Station. The Chinese are cooked, too.”

“Stellar Nine. Shame. I saw her launched. She was a beauty.”

“Well, not anymore, eh? Earth is done, now. Platforms, like this one, is all that’s left for us…survivors.”

“There’s always Alpha Centauri. But you hate worm holes.”

“Yes. Too unpredictable. I don’t want to end up on a farm in Musca.”

“I’d pay to see that. You riding a six legged trog.”

“We’re through here. The Velations are too powerful, their technology too great. They’ve won the battle already. Earth is toast.” Oldman turned and sneered at Hunter. “The 21 day war, they’ll call it.” He eyed Hunter up and down, scanned him with his auto fan-laser. “What have you got for me?”

Hunter held out his hand, revealing a tiny heart shaped silver locket and chain. He let it dangle for a few seconds, then took a few slow steps forward and placed it on the desk.

Oldman the Junker hummed, took out his magnifier and gave it a scan. “Hah. Silver. Small. This is all you have after two weeks of spending my money, using my best EV Gig?”

“This and the pile of battle junk on the dock.”

Oldman pointed to an air screen scanning the weighed cargo. “Yes, more or less three tons, I see.” He poked at the locket with a metal pointer. “Anything inside? It scans hollow.”


“When you found it, I mean. Perhaps there was something…huh?”


“Arrrg. Worth maybe a few ounces of oatmeal.” He tossed it over his shoulder onto a pile junk electronics. “All this fighting, all this lovely debris for you to gather. Why are you wasting my time? I should have sent an android seeker for all the good you’ve done me.”

The android laughed, its yellow eyes flashing in rhythm to the metallic sounding guffaws.   

Hunter gritted his teeth, felt his hand tighten on the grip of his obliterator, but held his place. “I searched her cell thoroughly. Besides, you said anything she had. I can’t be held accountable for taste.”

Oldman leaned toward Hunter, his face an intense grimace. “She had what I was looking for ten hours ago, you pirate.” He turned to his android. “Search him.”

“He already did that.”

The android lit him up again.

“Besides, if I had anything to hide you think I’d bring it in here?” He turned to the android. “You better have that setting on low or I’ll melt your joints.”

The beam shut down. The android turned to Oldman. “He’s-b c,clean, bloss.”

“Nice voice-box there, Sluggo. You do poetry readings?”

“Now manually search him.”

The android stepped closer to Hunter, a low grrrr emanating from its voice box.

“Woof woof, Sluggo.”

The android fingers were Teflon slick, but were clumsy as they fumbled around Hunter’s body. It made him smile, knowing this goofy android couldn’t detect a rocket in his pocket, let alone a small ribbon of ancient micro film in his collar.

Sluggo squared up and took a few steps back. “No-ting t-to reput, B-Boss.”

Hunter smirked. “I know a guy can fix that voice module”

Oldman waved his arm dismissively. “It’s a stock program. Listen, I want you to go back out into the thick of things. Bring me that girl. What she holds is very valuable. It could mean everything.”

Hunter turned to go. “The girl. Right.”

“And Hunter.” Hunter stopped and turned to Oldman. “If I find you’ve been cheating me, hiding something…the girl, perhaps…” Oldman glared at Hunter.

“Me? Cheat a master criminal like you? Come on….I’m an open book.”

(To be continued…)

If you like this, follow the link BELOW to my Audible book, Dreaming Wide Awake. It’s about a psychic detective and his trusty sidekick, as they solve a murder and get stalked by a deranged villain.

More Fun from kirkus!

If you follow the link, you can see the great review of my latest novel, Dreaming Wide Awake. The story of a slightly psychic PI who unravels a mystery involving the secret government Stargate Project, (a remote viewing program) and finds it leading to the trail of a possible serial killer.–15/dreaming-wide-awake/;jsessionid=0FCF465689B1935457B1818411AE7EFD.prodny_store02-atgap08?ean=2940165376535

Deppea Splendens (Revised)

Infinity 7 on audible

Solid 4 Stars! ****

A Grown-Up First Contact Story

Infinity 7 is a story about a man casting one arm into the future while gripping a guilt-ridden past, and he’s doing it while battling unforeseen obstacles which threaten a lifetime of achievements and he has to do it in a space environment, which carries it’s own set of problems. Smooth, polished writing, a strong sense of pacing, tension builds well. Both the main character’s grief and the technology throughout felt authentic, as well as the rounded supporting characters. Smart characterization and plausible downward spiral in a scientific research environment. There were a couple spots I found circumstances eddied a bit too long for my comfort, and a loose end with the smarteye camera that I wanted tired up at the end. But the ending, although a bit abrupt, was strong and cleverly done. I’ll be thinking about this story and the concepts it introduced me to for quite some time. Fantastic voice talent performance. Worth listening to this one. I’d read this author again.

Great News, Kirkus Review

A grounded, riveting murder mystery with supernatural touches.

Great news! Dreaming Wide Awake got a fantastic review on Kirkus Reviews! (Which is not easy to get)

A private investigator with psychic abilities probes a homicide conviction in this thriller sequel.

Manhattan sleuth Gus Chase’s psychic dreams have helped him close cases. But he believes this ability is fading, which disappoints potential client Sherry Hart. Regardless, she hires him for old-fashioned detective work. Her older brother, Billy Littlefield, is serving time for the murder of a female cashier in Connecticut. Gus quickly learns the circumstantial case against Billy has lingering questions. The initial suspect, for one, committed suicide shortly after the woman’s homicide while a video that aided in convicting Billy has an unexplained glitch. Before Gus makes much progress, he meets a stranger who solicits the private eye’s psychic skills. Evidently, Gus’ “Dream State” can infiltrate a covert group and discover its plot to take over governments via mind control. Surprisingly, this band has a connection to Billy, who endured some type of experiment back in his Army days. Gus and his partner Millar Milner’s murder case may soon swerve into conspiracy territory once it’s apparent the FBI is involved. It seems Gus’ only option in stopping a killer is to rely on his extrasensory dreams. Hinckley’s gripping tale moves at a steady beat. The whodunit hits the ground running, as Sherry hands Gus a file jam-packed with evidence she’s compiled. Likewise, Gus and Mill’s banter over drinks and meals includes discussions about the ongoing case and the pair’s interviews with locals. The book’s dream sequences enhance the mystery; they’re not so much otherworldly as they are filled with tangible puzzle pieces. For example, in one dream, Gus witnesses and experiences myriad things: seeing a strangely familiar man at a podium, hearing a gunshot, and suddenly finding himself in someone’s car with a murder victim. Though the increasingly complicated case strays a bit from the original homicide, the villains as well as their motivations are comprehensible and engrossing. A grounded, riveting murder mystery with supernatural touches.

4 out of 4 stars!


Dreaming Wide Awake by Charles R. Hinckley is the second book in the August Chase series. The author said his inspiration for this series came from a precognitive experience he had in which a crime was committed. The first novel was a standalone story. In the current tale, although the questions having to do with the current investigation are answered, a major unresolved issue will continue over into the next book. However, it can still be enjoyed on its own. After reading the first novel, Dream State, I found the author’s impressive writing imaginative and thrilling and looked forward to his next story. Therefore, after seeing this one, I seized the chance to read it and wasn’t disappointed in the least.

Written from the first-person point of view, this 339-page crime drama/mystery was thrilling. The tale started with action as Gus witnessed a murder in his dream. Then, as Gus investigated the murder and dealt with Grossman, the twists and turns kept the novel mesmerizing and intense and had me wondering what would come next.

I love books with unique characters. Each character here has their own distinctive personality. Gus and Mill are both believable and likable with obvious strengths and flaws. Gus hates his paranormal gift. Not only does it cause many sleepless nights, but it has cost him his girlfriend. He takes dangerous chances, and Mill does not hesitate to point that out. Mill is a tech-savvy genius with a love for muscle cars, who sold his company for a fortune. He represents a true friend, who is there through thick and thin. Their friendship and witty banter lightened the story and frequently made me smile. It was hard to know who to trust at the beginning of the novel. Therefore, not wanting to provide a spoiler, the villains will not be identified, but they are sufficiently creepy and will make one’s skin crawl.

There was absolutely nothing about this book that I didn’t enjoy. Therefore, I enthusiastically award it a rating of four out of four stars. Readers who enjoy thrillers, crime dramas, mysteries, and paranormal stories will appreciate this novel. Sensitive readers need to be aware there are violence and profanities in the book.

The Small River Man

I came upon the small man in a dream.

He squatted by a river teaming with fish. As he looked into the rippling waters, I asked him where he came from and he said, “It is a closed system. There was nothing before and something since. The idea was strong, intense and consuming. It took root in the soil of imaginings and grew by way of hopes and dreams, emotions, gradually taking form. This is the eye of man. It sees all in front of it, none behind and certainly not into tomorrow. It’s frightened by things it does not understand, is wary of new events, yet trudges on in hopes of finding sameness, a lack of pain, some joy, perhaps a feeling of enlightenment. Happiness even. It marvels at small acts of physical manipulation. It doesn’t know what’s best for it. And it dies, leaving behind that which it has created.”

“Do you mean to say I was born of an idea and am the eye of man?”

He looked at me with his white and tearing eyes, unable to make out my form and whispered, “Do you have a dime?”

I pushed him into the water and walked on.