"Everyone has a ghost story."
Wraith begins

So... it's HAS been a long time since we've posted anything – and we have a good excuse, several of them actually. One has already been briefly mentioned online (Aliens Ate My Homework - Google it), others are still to come, and soon. So we'll be posting more frequently soon (and catching up on all the messages left for us!). In the meantime, in celebration of Star Trek Day, we have dusted off something we wrote back in 2006 – the afterword for the 40th Anniversary edition of...

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Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Because we serve frequent terms in Script Jail, we never get to as many conventions and bookstores as we would like to, so we're very happy to have friends like... VJ Books - - who are a top source for signed books by us - and just about any other author!

We've just signed a ton o' stuff for them, from Gar's notorious UFO abduction novel, NIGHTEYES, to our latest, WRAITH, so be sure to check them out.

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Because we serve frequent terms in Script Jail, we never get to as many conventions and bookstores as we would like to, so we're very happy to have friends like VJ Books - - who are a top source for signed books by us - and just about any other author!

We've just signed a ton o' stuff for them, from Gar's notorious UFO abduction novel, NIGHTEYES, to our latest, WRAITH, so be sure to check them out.

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When we wrote our previous novel, SEARCH, our editor politely questioned our decision to use an epigraph by T. S. Eliot - "For a technothriller?" he said. Considering SEARCH is about a 10,000-year-old conspiracy concerning the secret origins of human civilization, and that a key part of the story is told backwards(!), it seemed to us that, "The end is where we begin from," fit the novel's theme.

For WRAITH, however, which brings the world of the supernatural into the realm of... the technothriller, we chose an epigraph that's a bit more pop than old T.S., but given some of the questions we've been getting, way more obscure.

The epigraph in question, which fits the theme of WRAITH perfectly, we feel, is:

"We are no monsters, we're moral people
And yet we have the strength to do this
This is the splendor of our achievement
Call in the airstrike with a poison kiss

"Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home"

Now, to lift those words from the mists of the obscure, here's their source - everybody sing!

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WRAITH is unleashed! It's our new novel of supernatural suspense and conspiracy, and in this short video we give a succinct description of what it's about. Listen for our offscreen interviewer's unexpected reaction at the end, and you'll know why the title of this one is "Wow!"

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Just for fun, because we're talking a lot about ghosts these days, here's one of our favorite commercials.

Ever since we saw it, we now go to Japan to make all our tire purchases, because, you know, you see a ghost in the road, you want to be able to stop real fast. And back up even faster.

Scary Japanese Tire Commercial || Shock Tactic to Sell Tyres || Ghost Woman in the middle of road
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Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

We love the cover illustration for WRAITH, and if you want to know exactly what's going on in it, here's the first chapter of the book!


Only forty fee...t away.

It was late at night and the two sicarios were bored. They saw and heard nothing of the soldier’s advance on them. They were gunmen for the Sinaloa Cartel, assigned this night as sentries. Here in the lifeless moonscape of the Sonoran desert, they had no reason to think anyone would be insane enough to confront them and risk the wrath of the powerful men they served. They were invincible.

That attitude made them an easy target.

One gunman sat slouched in a black Range Rover. He and his partner had parked it across the narrow dirt road, though any intruder could easily drive around. The desert’s sparse brush and dry rocky soil was no barrier to vehicles.

The second gunman maintained a watch beside the Rover, his AK-47 rifle carelessly hanging on its strap from his shoulder.
In still air, crickets sang. There was a breeze, but only just. If the moon had been full, instead of a new, thin crescent, they might have seen a dry branch move or a dead leaf stir. Or the slow wave of shifting leaves among the scattered clumps of jojoba and brittlebush: the only sign of the soldier’s presence as he closed in on them.

Thirty feet.

The sentry in the Rover lit a cigarette and two hundred feet away, General Stasik Borodin blinked as the small yellow star of a lighter’s flame flared against the speckled blue wash on the screen of his thermal imager. The appropriateness of the moment appealed to him. A last cigarette for the condemned.

The general changed the aim of his viewer, training it on his soldier. ODIN.

Twenty feet.

Onscreen, ODIN’s heat signature was barely discernable, a cloud of pixels, the palest of blue against darker blue, shifting continuously from what might be the shape of a man to something more ephemeral, as if imaging only an illusion of reality.

Ten feet.

Inside the Rover, the glow of the first sentry’s cigarette tip brightened, dimmed. Outside, the second sentry rested his rifle on the Rover’s hood, stepped away, unzipped his pants. At the side of the road, a pool of heat grew as he relieved himself.

Closer now, another unseen dry branch moved. Another unseen dead leaf stirred.

Onscreen, the general watched a pale cloud coalesce, a shadow taking form behind the sentry on the roadside, directly in view of his partner, if he’d paid attention.

A sudden scream cut off a second after it began, but was loud enough and long enough to alert the sentry in the Rover.

Onscreen, the yellow shape that was the second sentry moved abruptly, a cigarette’s tip flickering as it spun away, tossed through the vehicle’s window. The door burst open and the sentry leapt out.

Onscreen, a cool blue cloud swept over the sentry’s yellow form. This time the scream was a strangled gasp followed only by sudden heat blossoms – blood against a windshield – glowing brightly for an instant before darkening as they cooled.

The general lowered his viewer, nodded to Captain Konstantin Korolev, crouched beside him.

In Russian, Korolev spoke softly into a small radio. The mission continued, on schedule. The van could proceed.

Six minutes later, the tires of the Russians’ dust-streaked panel van crunched over gravel as it drove into a floodlit courtyard. The structure beyond, stucco with a red- tile roof, was modest, at odds with the expensive cars parked outside. The Cartel had intended the house to be little more than window dressing, nothing that would call attention to itself or what lay beneath it. But the Mercedes and Bentleys were the giveaway, incompatible which such impoverished surroundings, and thus easy to identify.

ODIN had arrived at the nondescript building first. The bodies of two more gunmen, back-up to the pair of sentries on the road, lay sprawled on the ground, chests flayed open, shards of broken ribs startling white in the floodlights’ glare.

The small hacienda’s windows shone with light. No sign of awareness of what had happened just outside.

The general looked past the hacienda, to the scattering of pinpoint lights a mile or so distant, rippling in the desert air: a small community of homes across the border. Arizona.


In the courtyard, the general’s five-man squad opened the back of the van, hefted out the six VEKTOR containment units.

Each of the prototype devices could have been mistaken for a metal footlocker: scuffed drab green paint, three feet long, two feet wide and high. Unlike a simple locker, each unit also had a small control panel with a number pad and screen display. To one side of the panels, eight-digit tracking codes, each different, were stenciled beneath the same figure: the three interlocked triangles of the valknut. It was an ancient Norse symbol found on the graves of warriors, also known as the knot of the slain. It had been etched onto the original einstone, though not by its unfortunate most recent owners. Knowing that the history of the remarkable object reached back far beyond the madness of the past century, the general had selected it as a fitting insignia for the tenevyye voiny, his shadow warriors.

Five of the units were sealed and all status lights on their panels glowed steady green. The sixth, ODIN’s, was open. Only one of its six lights was green; the other five pulsed red. The unit’s charge was fading.

“Sir, we’re ready.”

Beneath Korolev’s military precision, General Borodin sensed unease. This man was loyal to him, as was the squad he led. But none of them was used to this technology. Borodin was. He had had no choice.

“Have them assemble.”

Captain Korolev joined his four-man squad as they took up their positions: each man standing beside an individual unit. Though they were dressed as civilians in jeans and denim jackets, that they were soldiers was obvious. Each with broad shoulders, powerful chest and arms, lean face. But not just soldiers, Spetznas. Special forces.

Korolev alone stood out because of the long scar that ran across the side of his head, a slash of white flesh startling against his close-cropped, black hair, fading into his cheek. Scars were to be expected; he was a decade older than the other four and had seen the most action. At fifty-five, Borodin was the oldest, and his own scars were of a different nature; those of the heart that had turned his short hair, and his annoying three days’ of stubble, death white. Combined with his lean frame and deeply lined features, he looked older than his actual age. His blue eyes still burned with the drive and purpose of youth, though in these days that purpose was personal. The stirring patriotism and love of motherland that in earlier years had inspired him had died long ago.

At Captain Korolev’s signal, all five squad members entered security codes on the sealed units’ panels, then stood well back as the safety locks disengaged. The five units hissed open.

As always, there was nothing to see, until there was.

Five young soldiers, in black battle dress without insignia, stood at attention where none had been a heartbeat before.

Expressionless, blank eyes stared straight ahead. The general didn’t know what they saw. Nor did he want to.

He steeled himself to speak without emotion. “ODIN...”A heartbeat later, a sixth soldier stood before him.

Borodin pointed to the hacienda. “Kill them all.”

Six young faces changed. Eyes grew larger, darker, drawn back into the shadow of thickening brows as six mouths began to twist in soundless snarls and twelve hands became twelve clawed fists.

Borodin knew that, somehow, he wasn’t seeing changes in what they looked like, he was seeing changes in how they felt. Whatever the truth of his perception, it didn’t matter. What they could accomplish, did. Those few who had seen the shadow warriors take action had another name for them, as old as their fabled insignia: Berserkers.

As one, the six turned to face their objective. As one, they took their first step, then the next, and then they were moving so swiftly it was as if their limbs blurred into smoke as they flowed across the courtyard, smearing like a torrent of black water to sweep up the hacienda’s walls and doors and windows and –

– pass unobstructed through them.

Five seconds, then the first cries inside. Five seconds more, and the thunderous stitching of automatic rifle fire ratcheted, muffled only by the massive doors.

More shouts. More sounds of violation – falling, crashing. Bright flashes of weapons fire lighting up the windows.

Then the double front doors burst open and a man in a dark suit charged out, whirled around to raise an Uzi submachine gun to stop what melted through the wall to chase him.

A black-clad soldier. ODIN.The man in the suit opened fire, no possibility of missing.ODIN rushed forward, untouched, unharmed.

The man swung his weapon like a club and it slipped through his attacker just as the bullets had. Shouting disbelief, the man swung again to no effect. ODIN’s face contorted, filled with rage as if he’d felt each bullet, each blow.

His arms swung up, then down, and they passed –

– into the man’s chest.

The man’s expression of shock changed to one of searing pain and terror.

In the courtyard’s floodlights, ODIN grinned, exultant, as his arms gained substance, no longer smoke but solid, as deep within the victim’s chest, spear-like fingers ravaged bone and organs.

The ghastly shrieking ended only when the soldier ripped the man’s lungs out through his shattered ribs.

The lifeless body dropped to the ground and ODIN stared down at it, his features as inhuman as his actions, blood and gore clinging to him like savage war paint.

The hacienda was silent. The objective had been achieved. The Cartel and its gunmen might have been prepared to face down the federales or even a Mexican Army unit at this location, as unlikely as that possibility might have been. But nothing could have prepared them for what they had faced.

General Borodin checked to be sure his men were ready by the units. Only then did he address the soldier, still focused on his kill.

“ODIN. To me. Stand down.”

The soldier slowly raised his head, regarding him with deep-set eyes, defiant. The general recognized the madness in them, the fury unleashed, unwilling to be contained again.

He spoke again, decisively, using the voice of command. “All of you. Stand down.

”The remaining five silent soldiers reformed beside their comrade, so quickly, it was as if they had always been there. All with the same crazed eyes, blood- splashed bodies. Coiled potential trembling in uncertain balance.

“The mission is accomplished.”

All too slowly, Borodin saw the change pass through them. Their faces lost the shadows and angles of bloodlust, became blank again. For a moment, they seemed to blur out of focus, then the blood spatter and bits of broken flesh that had clung to them fell free, fluttering to the gravel.

Borodin was in control again. He suppressed relief. There could be no sign of weakness before these soldiers. “Captain, call them back.”

Korolev entered a code on the number pad of the unit beside him and ODIN twisted into a thread of what might have been black mist, then was gone. In rapid sequence, the squad activated a second unit, then a third, fourth, and fifth, as one after the other, all but the last of the silent soldiers had vanished.

“General! At the window!”

Borodin reacted swiftly to Korolev’s shout, at once seeing the spectral face of a young woman pressed against the glass of the hacienda’s largest window. Her eyes were wide, her mouth gaped open, her features frozen in shock by what she’d witnessed. She stared at him as if she somehow knew him.


Borodin turned to the last remaining soldier.

“TYR. New mission. Kill her.”

Blurring with motion, TYR transformed, sped forward.

The woman in the window fell back from sight, swallowed by shadows.

A dark formless shape reached the window, passed through it.

Borodin waited for the scream. The victims always screamed.

Tonight was different.

You’ve just read the first chapter of WRAITH, the new novel of supernatural suspense and conspiracy by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens.

Available at bookstores everywhere and in your favorite ebook format on April 26, 2016, from Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.

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We love the cover illustration for WRAITH, and if you want to know exactly what's going on in it, here's the first chapter of the book!


Only forty feet away.

...Continue Reading

If everything in the lore of ghosts is true, then what laws of physics could make those seemingly supernatural attributes possible?

That's the question we set ourselves to answer when we began to write our new novel, WRAITH, and we had a lot of fun coming up with answers. We even tackled what seems to be the number one question asked by skeptics: Why do ghosts have clothes?

Of course, when we began to dig into the research and ask questions, another question we got was: You... guys write technothrillers - so why are you switching to a supernatural story?

For the answer to that one, check out our new video. You see, in WRAITH, we're not leaving technothrillers to write a supernatural story - we're bringing the supernatural into the world of technothrillers: A world of cause-and-effect, laws of physics, government conspiracies, and, oh yeah, a chilling plan to start a brutal secret war! Stay tuned...

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Why a ghost story? Because that's what WRAITH is! (It's also a technothriller and a love story and a conspiracy thriller, but those guys on the cover are the real ghost deal.)

While we were researching WRAITH, we came to realize that everyone has a ghost story or two of their own, about something that happened to a friend or a relative or even to them. You might have heard from a grandparent, or a sister, or a friend of a friend, maybe even from a stranger you sat beside on t...he bus or plane. You know the sort of thing we mean - The quaint bed and breakfast where the covers keep being pulled off the bed at night by a shadow... The dark figure digging up something in the garden by moonlight, looking for something it buried a hundred years ago... That odd fellow on the train platform who told a friend of a friend to take the next train, who then vanished and the train that wasn't taken crashed... All those great tales that bring us chills and goosebumps and hint that there might be something more waiting for us when the curtain comes down.

So that's all you have to do! Post your story here - or upload a video of yourself telling the story (with a flashlight held under your chin!) - and every week we'll draw a name from that week's storytellers to send a signed copy of WRAITH when the book is released on April 26. Then, after we've given away four books, we'll have a special grand prize drawing from all the names to give not only a signed copy of the published book, but signed copies of one of our original readers' copy from a few years back with significant changes, and the final advanced reading copy from the publisher, complete with Gar's name misspelled on every even-numbered page!

Take a look at our first WRAITH video below, then go ahead and scare us with your ghost story - on April 26, we'll do our best to scare you!

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We've just returned from an expedition to the deepest, darkest corners of the basement and recovered these ancient treasures – audio recordings of the Trek greats we've had the fun of interviewing over the years for our non-fiction Trek books. We're very happy to report that these tapes are now going to an official home where they will be digitized (and not in a bad, Lord Dred way) and perhaps find their way into some wonderful 50th Anniversary projects that are on the horizon.

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Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens updated their cover photo.
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