Coded Red – Chapter 1 Sneak Peek

I’m so excited to drop Coded Red (Book 2 in the Cyborg Guardian Chronicles). Here’s a peek at Chapter 1…

Coded Red

The Soba Calais began its descent through Earth’s atmosphere. Strapped in my passenger seat, my cyborg cognition tracked every rattling nerve and bone in my body as the ship hurtled through the air at Mach 25—five times the speed of sound. The ship’s exterior was built of reinforced carbon-carbon composite, made to withstand temperatures in excess of 1,260 degrees Celsius on reentry.

The minutes ticked by before the vessel slowed and reached a cruising altitude. I gazed through the small portal window inside my cramped cabin. As we soared above the cloudscape, bulbous white clouds stretched below like a luminous sea.

I struggled against my restraints, but the Scyther had bound me tightly and left me alone. He was a robot, and when I’d studied him with my sensors, there had been no biological data readings—no heartbeat, no sweat. His heat output was that of a machine’s, and there were no biological components to the Scyther. His glowing red eyes bored into me whenever he looked my way.

My stomach rolled as the ship encountered a patch of turbulence. My cognition flashed: Elevation 29,000 feet above sea level and descending. I stopped trying to squirm out of my cuffs and gazed out the window. Had I been to Earth before? Someone had wiped all my memories around the same time NeuroDyne Corporation experimented on me and turned me into a cyborg as part of a highly classified project known as THARP, which was really code for the Cyborg Trials.

I’d woken up on Luna, the Moon’s domed colony, after being smuggled off Earth by a NeuroDyne rogue scientist and his sister. The scientist, Newt, had disappeared mysteriously after we arrived on Luna.

And on this Earthbound voyage, traveling farther away from Luna, Ryken talked in my ear.

“Diya, I hope you’re listening. I’m still here.”

I closed my eyes and allowed a half-smile to escape. Ryken was a Memory Stalker—a coder who had the capability to hack into memories uploaded into Cerulean, the online storage hub created by NeuroDyne. Ryken had helped me escape from the Scyther and researched clues about Newt’s disappearance. And now, he’d hacked into my EarthShine—the memory lens I wore in my right eye and controlled through a gemstone in my ear.

Ryken was brilliant, and for some reason, he was helping me even though I was a lost cause. The Scyther was probably returning me to NeuroDyne, where I would be killed or forced to undergo more experiments.

“Diya, say something. I’m trying to tune in frequencies and see if we can communicate two-way instead of just me talking to you.”

He paused and waited, but I bit my lip. Should I respond? Should I encourage him to talk to me and indulge his ridiculous dream that he could actually help me out of this situation?

“Diya?” His voice, so far away, sounded shaky.

“I’m… here.” My voice was raspy from disuse.

After a two-second delay, “Holy shit!” His voice erupted in my ear and I winced. “I hear you! I hear you!” He clapped.

“Okay, take it easy. When you shout, it’s loud as Mars. I can’t control the volume.”

“Sorry, sorry.” Now he practically whispered. “You don’t know how relieved I am to hear your voice. To know you’re okay.” My heart did a somersault. “When that Scyther took you away, I felt like a puddle of piss. I didn’t know how to stop him.”

“You couldn’t have. You said it yourself, the Scyther is unstoppable.”

He paused. “Where are you exactly?”

“I’m in a ship, alone at the moment. We’re cruising somewhere on Earth, still at high altitude.”

Elevation 25,000 feet above sea level.

The GPS tracking on your EarthShine shows you’re over the Atlantic Ocean, heading north.”

“Iceland.” I closed my eyes.

“NeuroDyne headquarters.”

“Was there ever any doubt? They want their stolen property back.”

“This is bullshit.” Something slammed in the background, likely his fist.

I laughed bitterly. “At least I’ll finally get some answers.”


“You there?” I asked.


“How are we managing to talk anyway?”

“NeuroDyne keeps the Cerulean servers in many locations, both on Earth and on Luna. They do this for security and contingency reasons. If one server farm goes down in Peru, it won’t bring down the entire array. I hacked into one of the servers on Luna with a little help from my friends and tapped into the comms link they use for bouncing data back and forth.”

“Impressive. Will we still be able to talk when this ship lands?”

“Yeah, even though we’re over 200,000 miles apart, we can talk. There’s just a little over one second delay from the time it takes the radio waves to propagate.”

“It just seems too good to be true that I’m hearing your voice like you’re right here.”

“Don’t give up.”

“If I can find a way out, I will.”

He sighed. “And when you get out, I’ll be waiting. I’m booking passage to Earth, so I can be closer and help you escape.”

I shook my head in frustration, even though he couldn’t see. “No! Don’t. If you get anywhere near NeuroDyne and they discover we’re communicating…” Plus, leaving Luna for the home planet was a super expensive trip with a long waiting list, thanks to the huge tourism influx.

“Be sure to hide the device—your earring. Make sure to protect it. They could figure it out.”

I said nothing.

After a while, he gulped. “I’ll be tracking your location. Thank Mars for the lost and found setting on the EarthShine devices.”

I chuckled. “Lost and found, huh?”

“Like you.” I knew from his voice he was grinning. “Don’t worry. I’ll get you back. You’re a Luna girl, not an Earthling.” His words morphed into a yawn.

“Have you slept?”

“Not really. I’ve been waiting to hear from you and know you’re all right.”

“Well, now you know, so you can sleep. You’re no good to anybody if you’re sleep deprived.”

He groaned. “To be honest, I do feel like shit.”

“I’m just sitting here in a room while this ship flies. It’s pointless for us to talk right now. Get some sleep and tune in later.”

“As much as I hate to say you’re right… Yeah, I need some sleep. But I’m setting my alarm, and I’ll be back in three hours.”

“You need more sleep than that.”

The ship turned and banked as I waited for his reply.

“But what if something happens to you?”

“You’re not even on the same planet. There’s nothing you can do.”

Silence. For a long time.

Finally, he came back. “This fucking sucks. I’ll go to the police. I’ll take your story to the media.”

“Ryken, you’re delusional from lack of sleep.” I couldn’t believe I was trying to calm him down. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? “We’ll make plans after you’ve gotten rest. You’re no good to me this way.”

“Okay, Diya. I’ll log back in later to talk.”

“Got it.”

“I’ll talk to you soon.” And then he was gone, and the hollow pit in my stomach grew deeper.

The ship descended to 16,000 feet and through the clouds over a vast, silvery ocean that stretched out below. The luminescent blues of the high altitudes were gone, replaced by a dreary gray sky. The ship slowed and a land mass loomed. After another minute, a city came into view. It was Reykjavík, Iceland. My GPS told me so. Tall, spiraling towers rested next to a quaint seaside village that had been preserved for tourists and historians.

A man-made island rested a quarter mile from shore. On it stood a massive glass and steel structure in the shape of a cube. A massive neon sign glowed red: NeuroDyne.

The ship slowed and hovered over the building, which occupied the entire island. The sun was just beginning to set and cast red and orange streaks across the sky; panels on the structure’s face glowed like fireflies.

Through my window, I gazed at churning waves bashing against the sides of the island. There was no way on or off the land mass, I realized, as the Soba Calais landed on a platform on top of the ten-story building, unless you traveled by boat or air. NeuroDyne didn’t fuck around with security.

The humming of the thruster engines faded, and the door to my closet-sized cabin opened. The Scyther appeared, red eyes glowing, and unbuckled my restraints with his metal hands. There was no sign of the gun canister it had used to shoot me and threaten Ryken. It must’ve been retractable. He’d also had a blade earlier, and I wasn’t sure where that had gone either. If I was ever going to fight this machine, I needed more information about how he worked.

“Get up.” He stepped into the corridor. I rose, never taking my eyes from his. I followed him into the narrow corridor, and he pushed me toward an open-air hatch where I descended a long ramp that led outside. A gust of cool Earth air washed over my cheeks. I opened my mouth and sucked in natural air, not the recycled ventilation I’d been breathing on Luna and the ship. As fresh oxygen filled my lungs, droplets of misty seawater sprayed my face. Licking my lips, I tasted salt. As the wind tossed my locks, I fought the urge to wipe the hair from my eyes.

Ahead, an open door led inside the NeuroDyne building where a woman wearing a white lab coat stood. Beside her, a soldier carried a semi-automatic rifle.

As I marched along the platform, ocean spray whipping my skin, I glanced at the roof’s edge and imagined darting off the side and into the freezing ocean water. With my hands restrained, I would surely sink.

But now that I was a cyborg, would drowning even kill me?

What had I become?

X-Files meets Stephen King

I’m proud to announce the debut of Dark Shadows 2: Voodoo and Black Magic of New Orleans — the result of the Authors on a Train trip!  In it, you’ll find 4 short stories written by the eight authors who journeyed via train from Chicago’s Union Station to New Orleans last November.

Dark Shadows 2












My story, written with author Chloe Adler, is called The Soul Collector.

On the Louisiana Bayou, some secrets haunt you forever… Angelina longs for a different life but can’t break free from the sinister Mr. Rudy. When she discovers his macabre deception, she sets off on a dangerous and dark path that will forever change their lives.

We channeled our inner Stephen Kings for this one, and it’s been described as “beautifully dark.”

Dark Shadows 2

The other stories are equally as chilling and fun to read:

  • The Curse of the Rougarou is like X-Files set in a swamp.
  • Unfinished Business reminds me of the Salem witch trials, with a nightmarish New Orleans twist.
  • The Ghost Who Walks is a classic tale of revenge set in the French Quarter.

Click here to get the book on Kindle or Click here for paperback.

All proceeds from book sales will be donated to the Covenant House of New Orleans, a shelter and safe place for homeless young people. We felt it was a very deserving charity and hope to see it benefit.

Be sure to grab your copy today and help out the Covenant House!

Ode to GLOW

Netflix GLOW

The Friday school bell rings, and I jump from my seat, race out the classroom door, and merge into a hall packed with giddy kids primed for the weekend. A grin spreads across my face as I envision sixty hours of freedom stretching before me.

I can’t wait for Saturday morning TV because my favorite show airs at 10 am:

GLOW (The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling).

As I race home along the winding streets of my neighborhood, I fly past the ice cream truck. Not today. My mind is occupied with thoughts of the next day’s matches, the costumes, and most importantly, who will emerge victorious from the fierce finale—the ultimate showdown—the Battle Royale.

That night, I don’t argue about bedtime. My mother doesn’t really know what I’m watching in the mornings, but it keeps me happy and obedient, so she doesn’t ask questions.

Saturday morning arrives. Daybreak. I pour myself a bowl of Chex cereal, top it off with milk, and settle in front of the TV. After a few hours of cartoons, the magical time arrives.


My precious GLOW. What could be better?

Twenty or so women rapping, performing sketch comedy, and leaping through the air, dropkicking their opponents.

I’m ten years old, and GLOW is the pinnacle of my week. In a 1980s house without cable TV, the show is raw and outrageous, like nothing I’ve ever seen.

I want to be strong like the wrestlers.

And as pretty (the makeup is unreal).

Good girls. Bad girls. Should I pick a side?

Yes. I’m team bad girl.

Netflix GLOW

My favorite character is Dementia. Each week, she’s wheeled out in a steel cage. In case that’s not strong enough to control her ferocity, she also wears a straight jacket.

The Heavy Metal Sisters stomp into the ring in all their glory. Glitter and spiked chains highlight their outrageous outfits.

Then there’s Colonel Ninotchka—the arch villain—with her thick Russian accent and red leotard. She looks like the female version of Dolph Lundgren from the Rocky IV movie.

Afterward, I practice wrestling moves with my friends. We lunge across my childhood living room toward each other, bouncing against imaginary ropes. I reach out, arm straight as a pipe, and I hit Sara with a mock clothesline. She falls to the ground, and I grab her leg, lifting it up as I knick her in the back of the thigh. Again and again, just like Palestina.

She clutches her side, laughs, and climbs to her feet. And we reenact the latest episode again and again until we grow tired and run outside to play a game.

I remain obsessed with GLOW for another year before I outgrow it, my attention falling prey to boys, MTV, and music.

Twenty-five years pass, and I think of GLOW, search for it on the Internet, and wonder, “Whatever happened to that hilarious women’s wrestling show?”

Then Netflix launches the fictional series, GLOW in 2017, and I’m in heaven. The show delivers a nostalgia cocktail of excellent storytelling, fine acting, and all the glittery makeup and glam of the original.

The producers deliver a solid second season—better than the first if that’s possible. Episode eight is my favorite thus far because they create a full-length GLOW episode. Want a glimpse of what got this ten-year-old leaping out of bed on Saturday mornings? Watch The Good Twin.

You won’t be disappointed. Maybe you’ll even want to be strong.

And pretty.

And a bit naughty.

I won’t laugh if you practice your wrestling moves in your living room. I’ll be there, too, ready to clobber you with my clothesline hook.

Now, where’s my straightjacket?


I have a new series coming in September 2018! It’s called Rogue Spark, and I think you’ll love it. Sign up to my email list so you get all my updates.

In future worlds, strong women fight the toughest battles.

Rogue Spark

The Girl Who Flew to Mars (Flash Fiction)

The Girl Who Flew to Mars
Dear Mama and Gil,
I’m writing this knowing one of you’ll find it stuck between the cushions of the old Ford—the “tank” as we kids nicknamed it. You weren’t talking to me, so what other choice did I have? I snuck past the fence in the dark of night, jimmied open the truck and stuffed it in the front seat.
The Girl Who Flew to Mars

When you find this, I hope you’ll read it all the way through. Promise you’ll keep reading?

First, I’m sorry. Sorry for the pain I caused you. You said me leaving was like losing a child—as if I’d gone and died. It breaks my heart that you think that way. Mama, I’m going on an epic adventure! I hope you’ll come to see it as I do—someday.

Remember when Gil bought me my first telescope? I was eight if I recall. Well, he forever changed my life. You couldn’t get me to bed after that! My eyes literally grew sore from staring up into the heavens each night.

The Girl Who Flew to Mars

Is it any surprise that when Space Command called, I raised my hand? I know, I know. You think I’m certifiably nuts to take the voyage.

It wasn’t an easy decision! I hope you know that. A one-way ticket with no possible hope of return. Believe me, saying goodbye to everyone I know and love has been hell.

But you always taught me to forge my own path. I have you to thank, Mama, for teaching me how to live off the land, how to survive on my own. You made me the warrior I am today.

Imagine what I might find on Mars! I’ll be one of the first to colonize the planet. My dream is to make it livable for future generations. To be part of something bigger than you, me, and all the Rosemonts put together.

The Girl Who Flew to Mars

Who knows? Maybe our family name will go into the history books. You can damn well bet I’m going to leave an impression.

A few requests if you’re still reading this…


  1. Take care of Misty. Damn, I love that horse. I would’ve liked to have been here for her and my 25th birthday. Give her a big hug and kiss for me? Oh, and let her have a few bananas on her special day.

  2. Would you put a few wildflowers on papa’s grave every September 5th? That would mean the world to me.

  3. Tell Rik and Kurtis that just because I’m gone, they do not get my old room! You are to turn it into a library or a sitting room for you, Mama. Don’t let those boys railroad you into making everything about them.

  4. Please don’t cry about me. You’re not losing me. I’ll be up where I belong. I gazed up at the stars ever since my hands wrapped around that first scope. I never really felt earth-bound. You know what I mean?

By the time you read this, I’ll probably be prepping at Space Q in Palo Alto. Sorry it’s such a long haul from Kansas.

I hope you read this letter all the way through. Mama, I’m going to miss the hell out of you. Please try not to feel guilty or sad. I know this has been so hard on you and the gossips in town have been whispering behind our backs.

Whatever they’re saying—whatever stupid stories they make up—none of it’s true.

The truth is I’m just a farm girl from Clay Center, Kansas who got lucky. I’m heading into space with a one-way ticket to Mars.

I’ll think about you every day. The program head promised we can send a radio message once a month. It’ll take a few hours to arrive, and then I don’t know how fast space command will get it to you.

When you look up at night and see the stars scattered across the vast sky, know I’m out there, and I love you.

Your girl forever,

Charlee Rosemont