CHECK MATE, 82,184 words, Romance with suspense, paranormal, and comic elements. Since my heroine is an exotic black, white, apache, Filipina, add multi-cultural.
Dear Ms. Meadows,
A guy can write romances. I did for NBC years ago.
A brilliant soldier in her early thirties, Bekah Carthage commands everything except a love life. An explosion robs her sight, but leaves her with a vision of a dog trapped by the explosion. Now kicked out of the Army, she struggles to understand her visions. She rescues and adopts the dog.
Before she can leave for the States, she’s captured. An unlikely hero, Jimmy, who teaches Unexplained Phenomena at NYU, and runs a paranormal op for the government, rescues and recruits her. He harbored a huge crush on her when they played chess in high school. Both chess masters now, mating is inevitable.
Love arrives after a bumpy ride. Together and apart, they confront assassins, pick up two zany computers who claim to be alive, and figure out how she saw the dog.
Sunday May 4th Baghdad 1202 hours
Rebekah glanced back at the sweaty-balled men following, trusting her. The morsels of hot dust painting her lungs, tasted like death, her death.
Thank God, it’ll be mine alone. In maybe, ten minutes.
Plodding forward, she closed her eyes and “saw” a doomed sniper on the cratered street, no equipment necessary, no instructions supplied. Unexplained phenomena or hunches were her calling card. Nine minutes.
Sprinting ahead to scout, she rounded a building. A raven pushed off a putrid cardboard box, spewing soda and cigarette-butt slurry on her uniform. Disgusting. She shook her head; too soon for an improvised explosive device. Seven minutes.
Superstitious, she plucked a moment, rummaging through memories of her multi- racial history for a remedy to the feathered apparition. A blackbird pie might work, if only she could stop time, and knew the recipe. Five minutes.
Her dad created this mess, by ramming through the U.S. Senate, a bill eliminating age, sex, and talent discrimination in the military.
“Talent? . . . Three minutes,” she panted.
She couldn’t afford love affairs for her now ending career, sexism being alive and sick. Two minutes.
Tomorrow, she’d turn over a new jock-strap, God willing.
Doing whatever she wanted, she took point by the front door. No minutes.
“Fall back, now.” Running, she watched the slowest soldier flop over the courtyard wall one stride away.
Didn’t hear the explosion. Pieces of flying building pounded her armored suit. No pain. Eyesight: gone. Senses: collapsing. With one last desperate grab at brain function, she “saw” a pup trapped in an oven, then nothing.