I aimed for young adult writing with my new release, "Kill Zone", but I did so after-the-fact. The book was already written when I realized, with just a few modifications, I could remove offensive language and unnecessary explicit scenes and have an excellent story suitable for young people. The book is filled with science fact and new theories, enough to make people think, so it seemed a natural work to offer the young. Some might consider the subject matter, terrorism, to be at the fringe for young adults, but in today's world terrorism is a fact of life and hiding it won't change a thing. Against the backdrop of terrorism, there are also interrelated plots of the development of a solution to the oil crisis and a love story that withstands the test of time and separation. There is also avarice–a quest for Mayan gold and the related exploration of the massive underwater caverns in Yucatan, Mexico.

"Kill Zone" was my second young adult book, although it is the first of a related pair of contemporary fiction novels. While "Kill Zone" presents one possible result of unrestrained biological terrorism, its sequel deals with the recovery from an environmental disaster of unthinkable proportions–the re-population of earth. In both novels, the heroes are young females. They are strong, witty and tenacious. Both face an uncertain future, and both are brought close to the love of their life by the dangerous situations they face and the way they handle them.

"Kill Zone" Blurb: Dr. Marcy Whites overcomes enormous genetic engineering obstacles to resurrect a prehistoric bacterium, V5, capable of creating renewable oil, and reclaims the love of her life in the process. After V5 is designated a national resource, Marcy’s team is sequestered in Cheyenne Mountain, but bio-terrorism quickly overshadows her successes. People die by the millions when genetically-engineered beta-hemolytic streptococcus (BHS) is inadvertently released in Mecca, a pathogen specifically developed for bio-terrorism. Carried by fanatical Ambulatory Infectious Agents seeking martyrdom, the flesh-eating disease spreads like wildfire with a 100% kill rate, while Predictive Antiviral Project (PAP) scientists in Cheyenne Mountain race to develop a vaccine to counter it. Out of desperation, countries agree to sanitize the infectious outer perimeter of the Kill Zone with nuclear weapons, even as Dr. Whites joins the PAP team to adapt V5 as a BHS antidote. Their deadline passes, and Operation Sanitize releases mankind’s most powerful weapons against its smallest enemy. Nuclear detonations temporarily halt expansion of the Kill Zone, but Dr. Whites continues antidote refinement, knowing BHS-laden dust will eventually settle. Kill Zones soon crop up worldwide, the entire world is inoculated with V5, and energy independence is achieved; however, one year later, birth rates begin declining. Marcy and other scientists locked inside Cheyenne Mountain gird for an extended stay – at least until the anomaly can be fully explained.

"Aftermath Horizon" suggests a reason Adam and Eve’s children find mates in the biblical book of Genesis. The novel takes readers far into the future by investigating deep into the past.

"Aftermath Horizon" Blurb: In a world struggling to recover from biological warfare, Cultural Anthropologists, Beth Gooding and Professor James, work to resurrect the technology of the past without the brutality of the past. They lead austere lives typical of the early 1800’s frontier, until they become explorers in Old World Syria – where they investigate further back in time than anyone ever dreamed, and discover they can move their society further forward than anyone ever imagined. David and Beth endure many brushes with death, but with each experience their love grows stronger, and they come to realize life without the other wouldn’t be living at all.


Thanks for reading,

James L. Hatch

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