Daily Archives: May 18, 2013
Posted by Babs Mountjoy
How does the world end? Let me count the ways… in Fire? Ice? Wind? Water? So many possibilities.
That’s the opening step of WINDMILLS, a story of survival after the United States is attacked with a bioweapon that genetically sorts out and kills Caucasians.
A year after the first bioagents have been released, 16-year-old Tzu Lin Kwan receives a summons from her father who’s defected to America–bring him Chinese herbs that might stop the mutations and save the remaining population of the world.
Surely he knows this will not be easy. No airplanes. No electricity in a good part of the world, without enough people to keep machinery running even to generate it. The Asians, the blacks, the Hispanics and other ethnic groups begin to find themselves in the majority for the first time. Many changes are on the horizon, if the virus can be stopped.
So, accompanied by her martial arts sensei, she sets out on a hellish boat trip across an uncivilized Pacific Ocean, unaware that their inquiries have alerted the Chinese MSS, their secret service, and an assassin has been set on their trail. Will they even survive to complete their mission?
EXCERPT: (as Kwan and sensei Zhong get ready to leave Hong Kong)
Li Zhong surveyed the docks out of habit, checking for possible threat. He’d worried that his inquiries had triggered some alarm on behalf of his former masters, even though no one had approached him openly. Then, he chided himself for being too paranoid. Even in a crowd this size, no one seemed to be particularly interested in them. Why should they be? An old man and a boy taking the ferry across the harbor. Hardly remarkable. Which is just how I want it.
They boarded the ferry without difficulty, Kwan rushing onto the upper level that provided a better view, taking a seat close to the rail, her pack next to her feet. He hurried to keep up with her puppy-like enthusiasm. The wind blew warm across the water, ripe with the smell of salt air. It felt good to be going somewhere for a purpose.
He wiped his brow on his sleeve and counted the beats of his racing heart, willing it to slow down. You’re getting to be an old man, my friend. His lips clamped together, he stared at the steel-and-glass buildings of the city as the ferry crossed the harbor, using that concentration to calm himself. Kwan needed him.
He had let that thought drive him though the last two months as the details of this grand mission came together. Determined to make this voyage, she would have gone by herself if he had not accompanied her. The idealism of the young—How long had it been since he’d believed that right would succeed in this life, just because it should? Reality was often quite different. What was moral, or right, often surrendered to a less-noble imperative. Sometimes, it was a financial cause, but more often a political agenda. Like the intent of those misguided souls who’d launched the SH.
While anti-American proponents around the world celebrated the initial attack, the terrorists had not only killed their chosen target but themselves and a major percentage of the non-white population of the world. Sloppy work. That’s what happened when you let amateurs run the show.
Another reason why his presence here was necessary. He could only pray that his aging heart would allow him to continue until the journey’s end. The doctors, both Western and Eastern, had warned him of his limited life expectancy. An old stab wound had never quite healed, the legacy of an assassination attempt years before. But Kwan didn’t know this. And he wouldn’t tell her.
Word has it at my publishing house that this trilogy could be the new Hunger Games… strong girls, damaged heroes, determined villains, a cast of interesting and diverse characters with plenty of action and still plenty of heart. It’s a great read for young men and women both. Pick up your copy on June 15!
Find more great snippets this week at Sneak Peek Sunday!