The Secret Behind My New Short Story The Virgin City

The Secret Behind My New Short Story The Virgin City

I’m excited about my new short story, THE VIRGIN CITY.  It’s on sale today in the Kindle store for only 99 cents as part of a special, limited time promotion.

But that’s not the secret.

The characters of Conrad Yeats and Serena Serghetti from my Atlantis novels have gained over 50 million new fans over the past few years thanks to their appearance in the augmented reality game Ingress.  Many of these fans have asked for a young adult or YA series of adventures featuring Conrad and Serena. THE VIRGIN CITY is a prelude to a much larger universe I may explore if there’s interest.  For weeks ahead of publication, it was already a Top 50 seller in YA.  So far the signs are encouraging.

But that’s not the secret either.

Most of you know me for my high-octane adventures and conspiracy thrillers.  Few know that I was personally encouraged to write by filmmaker John Hughes, the bard of teen angst, who based many of his popular 1980s movies on my high school and classmates.  I remember introducing him to my new girlfriend (now wife) at a screening of “Sixteen Candles” at the Old Orchard theaters.  We were alone with him in the lobby while everybody else was inside.  He looked at her and then looked at me and said, “So you still want to be a foreign correspondent?”

There was a sneer in his words “foreign correspondent.” Hughes didn’t think much of the idea and instead wanted me to write screenplays like his.  I was a freshman at Northwestern University in both the creative writing honors program and the journalism school.  I resisted his siren call to Hollywood and the YA world at that time.

Writing fiction is what I love, and the secret behind THE VIRGIN CITY is my desire to combine my brand of adventure with an homage to Mr. Hughes.

Here’s a brief description:

Years before his Atlantis quest, 17-year-old Conrad Yeats disobeys his father by crossing war-torn Africa in search of the lost “Virgin City” and final resting place of the Queen of Sheba. The legendary queen is said to hide the secret of the ages — and with it the curse that doomed her and all who dare to follow. Compounding the mystery is Conrad’s first sight of the young Serena Serghetti, who has secrets of her own. If he survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of him — and a whole new legend.

If this sounds like something you’d like to read, you can buy THE VIRGIN CITYright now while it’s only 99 cents in the Kindle store.  And if you feel kind, please leave a review.  A verified purchaser review can make all the difference between a story no one has heard of and something everyone is talking about.  So I hope you’ll consider downloading THE VIRGIN CITY and leaving a review.

You can click here  to purchase.

Thanks so much for allowing me to tell you about my new short story. I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear from you!

All best,


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