Works in Progress

Previews of some of the works in progress by Dennis Maulsby:

The Sommelier

It’s modern times and yet many of the old gods still exist among us. Dionysus and his girlfriend Terpsikora, the muse of dance, live in New York. With thousands of years of experience as the god of wine, he works as a master sommelier, and she as a prima ballerina. What else? But, it’s a cover for their roles as independent contractor-assassins for the CIA.

Examining a mosaic of the old god in a chariot drawn by two tigers, he defines the Olympian’s role to his government controller:

“The man is the Greek god Dionysus, or Bacchus if you prefer the Roman name. He is the God of the vine, grape harvest, wine, and theater.” Denys pulled off the sunglasses; his eyes grew wider, eyebrows arched. He locked his vision together with that of his guest. “You should also include among his capabilities those of religious ecstasy and ritual madness.”

As Denys and Kora, they travel the world undercover. Denys working at five-star Michelin restaurants, consulting with vintners, and conducting workshops for master sommelier candidates. They are fussy and only accept CIA hits with minimum risk. Their idyllic life is shattered when Kora is kidnapped. Denys is given a new partner and sent on a chain of violent suicidal assaults trying to rescue his lover, Kora always seems to be moved just before his arrival. He begins to wonder if there is more to this than a simple kidnapping.

Status: Rough draft completed. (writers’ group critique completed) First proofread complete. Second draft required.

The Assisi — a novel 

The virus became nosocomial, infesting non-plague patients and medical personnel.
Hospitals, clinics, and laboratories became centers of contagion and death.
There was no chance of developing a vaccine. Before the net went down, we received
a partial RNA analysis: norovirus and Ebola genes stranded together with unidentified
others. The horror of it! We began to believe the curse man-made — genetically engineered.

Zaid Al-Ghazali, Professor of Virology, Iowa State University, extract from
The Book of Recollections, writings of the first suvivors, Abby Press, page 3,
originally recodred in year one After The Great Dying (AGD).

An orphaned boy grows up in what used to be the state of Iowa. Two hundred and fifty years earlier, a worldwide apocalyptic plague killed off ninety-five percent of the world’s population. Two and a half centuries of lightning-generated fires, insect damage, storms, floods, and earthquakes have leveled most twenty-first-century structures. Where they are discernible at all, the old abandoned cities and towns are earth-covered mounds. The ruins, still contaminated with inert spores of the original plague, remain quarantined by the survivors’ progeny even after eight generations.

Humans in their isolation are beginning to die out. The last half-century has seen the Iowa territory population drop to half of its peak of twenty-five thousand. Two and a half centuries of seclusion have resulted in a gene pool that has worn very thin. The growth in recessive characteristics, malformed newborns, a high rate of miscarriage, and abnormal births necessitate finding new populations for intermarriage. The human race is at a tipping point. Diminished numbers force change in societies that fear new contacts will result in a return of the plague.

Societal and spiritual forces bend the young hero against his will to become the key player in a last-ditch attempt to revive the human race.
Status: (Writers’ group critique completed) Manuscript finished in draft. Final review and professional proof completed. Being sent to publishers. Several of the stories were published individually in Journals. Makes first cut in 2020 Screencraft book to movie contest.

The Adamson Files — a novel

                “There shall the beasts of the desert meet with the jackals, and the wild goat shall cry to his fellow; the Lilith also shall settle there, and find for herself a place of rest.”

                                           Isaiah 34:14, Darby Translation

It’s contemporary New York City. Mixing every day with the normal human inhabitants of the Big Apple are creatures of myth and legend. The protagonists are a succubus/incubus, whose seductive brother and sister personalities share one body. Considered demons by the priests of a centuries-old department of the Catholic Church, they are marked for destruction. They must use all the skills they have acquired over the millennia to survive.

Limiting their cooperation and possible survival, the brother initially suffers from amnesia induced by the priests’ last violent attack and cannot communicate with his alternate inner female personality. The pair must find shelter and allies both human and spiritual. The priests will use old and new technology to find and destroy them, including both human and nonhuman minions.

Status: First and second draft manuscript complete. Proofreading completed. (Writers’ group critique completed) Sending to publishers.

The Adamson Files – Normandie — a novel

This second novel in the series beginning with The Adamson Files finds the co-joined brother and sister succubus/incubus on the last voyage of the French luxury liner, Normandie fleeing the coming war in Europe. Besides the normal complement, passengers include other paranormals, and representatives of the intelligence services of France, America, and Germany.  All agents seek to recruit demons and wraiths for service in World War II. Their conflicting activities climax in an early morning battle to the death on the top decks of the liner. Lili and Keean survive and go on to OSS assignments in the United States and occupied Europe.

Status: First draft complete. Writers’ group critique completed. Second draft and proofreading required.

The Adamson Files – Unit 731 — a novel

The third in The Adamson Files series finds Lili and Keean escaped from Nazi-dominated Europe and reassigned. They must discover what the Japanese are doing in Harbin, Manchuria at their top-secret laboratories. The pair must cross jungles, mountains, and deserts while dealing with the Japanese intelligence service, bandits and other unfriendly paranormals. 

Status: First draft being written. Writers’ group critique underway.