IN DEVELOPMENT: The following is the initial working premise and concept. Several elements in the story and character(s) arc are in development and may change.
The stories will be set within the universe we’re creating for our Quondam Series.
“Why is it believed broken things are tamed possessions?” –Rebecca K. O’Connor, One More Winter
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre. The falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” — William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming
Valencia Margolis—an art historian—lives with a quiet form of Borderline Personality Disorder. Life’s not been easy for her.
It gets worse…
Val’s ‘best’ friend—her only friend—is killed.
It gets worse…
Her ‘mother’ dies, and Val finds she’s been lied to since birth.
It gets worse…
Val fears she’s become a suspect in her friend’s murder.
Then it gets… strange.
Val receives a package at work containing three items: A smartphone she’s never heard of (a Sirin Labs Finney U1), an American Express [Black] Centurion Card, and a passport with a two-year-old photo of her but a different name.
The next day—early pre-dawn—the phone buzzes. Fumbling for it, not hers… without glasses, Val tries to read the blurry text message; it says:
‘They will take you today.’
The phone rings, and Val answers. A distinct contralto voice tells her: “They’ll arrest you… today.”
Head fogged by having just fallen asleep—late in coming because of apprehension at being questioned twice by the police—Val asks, “Who is this?”
The only reply… the other person’s breathing.
“How do you know?” Val asks but hears only the murmur of breath. “Why should I believe you?”
The susurration stops: “You must.” A sibilant sigh…. “I can tell you about your mother… your real mother… and the inheritance.”
“Use the passport I sent you… come to Amsterdam. Bring with you anything Sharon Margolis gave or left you.”
“What? How do you know my mothe– … how do you know her? Amsterdam!” Val’s mind races. “Why?
“You must run… or you will die. I’ll tell you ‘how’ and more ‘why’ when you are here.” The voice rose, sharpened. “Come to Amsterdam. I will know when you arrive.”
Silence; no breathing.
Disbelieving and trying to shake off the enigmatic call, Val calls in sick to work three hours later. To learn the police are there, looking for her.
* * *
In Amsterdam, Val discovers the truth about her family. How her real father and twin sister died, and about her mother. Val learns she unwittingly holds the key to finding a cache of art lost for centuries and worth millions.
That key also reveals clues that lead to the location of secret documents from World War Two. Evidence that could destroy a corrupt global business empire and a burgeoning political dynasty that covertly spans and influences nations. That’s who murdered her father and sister and almost killed her mother. It’s who has ruined her life—such as it was—and now will kill her to keep their secrets.
To save herself, she must decipher the clues to find the secret documents and the treasure hidden by her ancestor.
Sometimes you must descend before you can climb.You must fall… before you rise.
HARKEN introduces Valencia Margolis, who learns she’s the daughter of a slain Centro Superior de Información de la Defensa (now Centro Nacional de Inteligencia) officer for the Spanish intelligence service. It begins her transformative journey of retribution and discovery of her true family, a hidden treasure, and the deadly secrets that could ruin a powerful global organization if revealed.
Contact us if you’d like to receive an Advance Reader Copy of HARKEN when it’s available. The story arc is in further development for plotting and outlining the first three episodes continuing the series.