Settling Family Ties (working title)
Settling Family Ties takes place about 5 months after the first novel ended. Stephanie is forced to leave Washington State for a time due to all the legal action that is levied against her. So she returns to her roots in Cascade Montana only to find troubles there as well.
She inherited everything from her great Uncle Raymond who may be dead, but is not gone. Whoever it is that wants Steph’s family line dead follow her and bodies start being found. They are trying to frame her and Joe for the murders. Her symbol studies are ongoing, but not going well. The more complicated symbols are difficult to align for effect. She and Joe are learning to be a couple with an emotional tie and it has its normal compromises. She also is the High Priestess to a Deity that may speak English but can’t communicate. Stephanie is constantly trying to figure out what her deity is really trying to say.
All the characters you loved in the first novel have returned, with some new favorites.
Joe has been studying his new found werebear abilities as well as the link he has to Stephanie.
Bruce heads up the research and development portion of what symbols can do as well as acting as her interpreter to others trying to figure her out.
Tom works with Stephanie’s Foundation of Symbol Study, but comes to Montana to tell her the FBI has co-opted it for their own magic studies.
Kii Stoneman (Stephanie’s security leader) is a werewolf but is so self-controlled he can’t turn into a full wolf. He gets stuck at wolfman mode.
And then there are Steph’s Scottish relatives and what they represent.
Stealing Symbols and Souls
So what if grad school instead of pass/fail was live/die?
Stephanie Blackraven considered herself a normal grad student: BS electrical engineering, MS in systems engineering, MA in archeology, and working towards a doctorate in energy physics, and mystology. So, maybe not normal, normal, but not weird.
She discovered that some symbols, when created properly, contained energy. Just a little bit of energy. Working with another grad student, Bruce Richardson, she is trying to decipher the mathematical physics behind the phenomena. Then, someone breaks into her lab to destroy her equipment, four times.
A policeman, Joe Bremer, shows up in class asking about her symbols and how they could be used in crime, gang related crime. Then she powers a really big symbol and creates a force field. That’s when life starts getting weird. She falls in love with Joe, only to find out he’s a werebear.
Stephanie finds herself involved in gang crime, dirty cops, werewolves, murder by symbol, assassination and in the middle of it all, her scary great uncle dies and leaves her everything, including someone trying to kill her. The only way she’s going to survive it is if she figures out why.