I was going to call this entry Fly, Be Free, or Light as a Feather, or A Load Off My Chest, but then I decided not to be all coy and oblique. No, this entry is called Jaguar Sees: The Lacquer Box which is the title of MY NOVEL! My lovely novel, my baby, my poochie-coo, which is now a real, honest-to-God, virtual e-book for sale at the Amazon.com Kindle Store. Download it, download it now! You can read it on any e-reader, computer, i-pad, i-phone and now even on your Windows 7 phone! Jaguar Sees is a combo of a nuclear weapons smuggling thriller and paranormal/Shamanic fiction. Yes, it's a Shamanic Thriller. And, yes, there's a reason you've never heard of that genre before. I made it up as I went along. It takes place in Moscow and Siberia and has a vague echo of the two years Steve and I lived there. Here's a short, short synopsis.
Claire Milton has settled into ex-pat life in Moscow, a trailing spouse to her husband, scientist Jack Bowden, who works on nuclear threat reduction. As the story opens, she is on a return flight from the States to Russia, feeling restless and edgy. She decides to calm down with a type of meditative trance: a Shamanic journey, but rather than experiencing a soothing interlude, she and her spirit animal, Jaguar, are set upon by hostile beasts. Claire is jolted awake, shocked to find bloody scratches on her arm.
Back in Moscow, Claire puts the incident out of her mind. She visits the craft market where she buys a present for Jack, an unusual lacquer box with a stylized symbol painted on it. Out of nowhere, dangerous men appear, threatening and pursuing her. Why?!! And why do they remind her so strongly of the creatures in her Journey?
By the time Claire discovers that the box carries the secrets of a tactical nuclear weapons smuggling ring, she is caught in the middle of a nightmarish plot that targets not only her life but Russian democracy. Claire's only hope lies in the aid of her spirit Jaguar. Has Jaguar become real? And real or not, will her help be enough?
I'm excited to have the thing off my plate and published, because – with luck – I can now stop obsessing about it. It grew up and left the nest. May it be as successful, or even half as successful, as my real-life children who have done the same (grown up and left the nest, that is, not suddenly appeared at the Kindle store). Give it a try; give it as a Valentine's Day gift to one you love. ('Cause nothing says love like a Shamanic Thriller.) I think, I hope you'll like it.