Clean Energy from Mars

An Illustrated Novella

David Gittlin

Micromium: Energy of the Future



The year is 2038.  Earth’s biosphere is on on the brink of destruction from the effects of global warming and pollution. The World Energy Council has awarded a lucrative contract to a major US corporation to mine a precious ore discovered by the first manned mission to land on Mars.  One kilo of Micromium can power a large city for a year without environmental side effects.  Micromium, and the development of the technology to harness its awesome power, promise to provide clean energy to a thirsty planet, far into the future.

The stakes are high.  World governments are counting on the success of the Micromium project.  Government leaders are not in the mood for bad news.  When two people die in a mining accident on Mars, the World Energy Council sends Commander Logan Marchant and a crack team of astronaut specialists to investigate.

Already confronted with a lack of cooperation from the mining colonists, the investigation is further complicated by Logan’s growing attraction to the team’s beautiful and brainy geologist.  While tensions and tempers rise, Logan and the audit team make one shocking discovery after another, until the investigation leads them into mortal danger, and ultimately, to a surprising conclusion.  


“Micromium may sound like classic sci-fi, but its roots lie just as heavily in a mystery as in its backdrop of Mars.  The story is thoroughly engrossing.”

Diane Donovan

Senior e-book Reviewer—Midwest Book Review



How does a nice Jewish accountant tell his parents he’s become a vampire? If only that were his biggest problem.

A one night stand, an error in judgment, a wrong turn—words can barely describe the events that thrust Devon Furst into the arms of a beautiful vampire lover.


The violent aftermath of that fateful night threatens to burn Devon’s eternal life down to ashes and endangers the lives of everyone close to him.

Everything in Devon’s life changes in the span of a few hours. When he asks Mathilde de Roche one too many questions, the troubled vampiress has no choice but to offer Devon two terrible alternatives: Death or eternal life as a vampire.  For a man aged twenty-eight and in perfect health, death is not an option. Mathilde’s alluring beauty makes the decision and her vampire blood easier to swallow.

Devon must leave behind everyone and everything he holds dear, to face a future full of uncertainty, and a five-hundred-year-old enemy endowed with super-human powers.



Three days to save the world…Only three people to help…Three lessons to learn.

Heaven isn’t the reward Darius McPherson expected it to be.  For one thing, he’s too young to be there. And now the Archangel Aaron and the Board of Director angels are telling him he has to return to earth to save humanity from itself and an army of renegade angels.  He’s not exactly in the mood after losing everyone he loves including the lovely Colleen, the soul-mate he was about to marry on earth, his beloved parents and two older brothers.

No one seems to care that Darius is woefully short of adequate training and skills for the difficult task ahead of him.  The Archangel keeps assuring him he’s the man for the mission while Darius wonders why the more experienced Senior Operative Angels have gone MIA.

As his mission briefing draws to a close, the Archangel calmly announces that Darius has three days to defuse what his superiors refer to as “The Big Emergency,” a budding cataclysm that threatens the orderly evolution of human consciousness

Reluctantly, Darius accepts his assignment.  The fragile bits of self-confidence and slim hopes for success he manages to hang on to are immediately shattered when Darius meets the first member of his mortal task force: Seventeen-year old Javon Quincy, a gang banger on the run from a botched robbery attempt.

"Three Days to Darkness is a fast-paced, vivid read that incorporates all the elements of a superior mystery, thriller, and fantasy. It's certainly not a portrait of a predictable afterlife, a conventional Heaven, or a banal post-life mission. All these facets merge to create a uniquely involving story blending amusing moments with engrossing encounters between disparate forces; each with their own special interests and agendas.

"And Darius? He's in it for the ride, and takes readers along with him in an unexpected journey through Heaven, Hell, and beyond."

Diane Donovan, Senior e-Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

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Scarlet Ambrosia

Review Source: Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan, e-Book Reviewer

There's a relatively new but rapidly-expanding genre on the market called “urban fantasy,” that has as its older sibling the vampire novel, born of Anne Rice's first book decades ago and now a genre in its own right. And then, there's the classic vampire struggle between darkness and light—a struggle that immerses unwitting victims, vampires, and survivors in a world dominated by blood-lust.

With so many vampire novels on the market today, one could wonder at the need for yet another; but Scarlet Ambrosia is a vampire story of a different color, seasoned not so much by the drama of blood-letting as by the more universal themes of self-discovery, human nature, and redemption. Ultimately this is what makes or breaks any genre; especially one such as the urban fantasy or vampire story, which too often tends to eschew self-examination in favor of high drama. And this is just one of the reasons why Scarlet Ambrosia stands out from the urban fantasy genre crowd.

Sure, protagonist Devon's outward battle is against an ancient evil vampire, Egon Schiller, but it's also against himself. Devon is no stranger to the dark forces within him after years of therapy, but the darkness he's confronting now proves far beyond his wildest dreams.

Scarlet Ambrosia's inner light shines forth: a light that starts with Devon's inner world and expands to embrace the wider concern of disappearances on the city streets.

This part is predictable as Devon confronts an undercurrent of blood lust and vampires in Miami's underworld. What is less predictable is his foray into the drug world in search of evidence that will support an international investigation into one of Egon's illegal activities, fostered by his encounter with the sly, alluring Mathilde, who harbors her own secret agenda.

There's a suggestion of romance between Devon and Mathilde that's evident from their first encounter but which is suppressed in their growing focus on greater goals, which are developed as the quest progresses, as evidenced in Mathilde's statement: 

"Vanderling fears what Schiller will do every day he roams the earth more than he fears what might happen to us if we fail.” “It’s ironic how Schiller’s existence can matter more in the scheme of things than yours or mine,” he said. “When we first met, I told you I could handle Egon. That was another lie to help you feel more secure in your new situation."

There is acknowledgement of the forces of light and darkness that occasionally rise up, unfettered, to try to take over individuals and the world. And as Devon becomes involved in kidnapping and worse, he finds all facets of his life are called into question with a series of decisions that reach out to affect even his relationship with his beloved parents.

As lies, secrecy, and murders build, Devon finds himself paying for the bad decisions of others, and must come to admit his own inner nature before he can make a proper decision on honing his skills for either greater good or evil.

The web of lies builds and threatens to immerse everything Devon holds dear, eventually spilling over into something greater than he's ever known.

Scarlet Ambrosia is not your usual vampire story. Its intrigue, romance, and thriller writing are all wrapped up in a bigger picture. It offers much food for thought in the course of following Devon's evolutionary process and decisions, and it's not a light-hearted romp through a vampire's realm, as so many such novels provide.

As such, it's especially recommended for readers seeking more depth and undercurrents of philosophy in their literary choices. How does a protagonist not become the evil he fights in the process of battle? The classic vampire struggle between darkness and light just assumed a new cloak of complexity here—and wears it well.

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Three Days to Darkness

Review Source: Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan, e-Book Reviewer

The magic number is three. Three days to save the world. Three people to help Darius McPherson succeed. And three important life lessons to learn in the process.

The setting is a war being planned in Heaven itself by a reluctant warrior too young to be in Heaven in the first place, and the mission involves saving humanity from its own follies: no mean assignment for a young man killed in a drive-by shooting and suddenly tasked with saving the world.

Three Days to Darkness is about magic on many levels: the incongruity of Heaven and its purposes, the absurdities of Mankind, and the passionate concerns of a boy faced with apocalypse on a scale that moves beyond singular death and into the destruction of humanity itself.

As if this wasn't enough, add demons and a road that literally leads to Hell (albeit paved with good intentions) and you have a fast-paced thriller novel that defies the usual genre definitions of fantasy, thriller or action piece and creeps into the realm of the impossible.

Three Days to Darkness darkens rapidly as Darius investigates company clinical trials, angel operatives, and deadly courses of action, spicing his approach with a cocky blend of offense and defense that presumes a degree of training he actually lacks: "Crooking his arm, Darius lifted his hand just below chin level with all five fingers splayed. He reminded himself of David Carradine as Caine in a “Kung Fu” TV episode. A more experienced angel operative would certainly prepare to attack with “way more” subtlety, he figured."

Doses of humor are tossed in for effective comic relief as Darius questions why a Heaven governed by the concept of free will would intervene in the affairs of man - and why it would choose to do so for one event and not another: "Darius sat perfectly still for a while with his hands in his lap before speaking again. “I’m confused,” he said with a solemn expression. “On the one hand, you say everything that happens to a man is the result of free will, and on the other hand, you send me to Earth to stop a pill from going on the market. I don’t get it.” “Good observation, Darius. It sounds like a contradiction, but it’s more like a distinction. We have to pick our fights carefully. We try not to interfere with the operation of human free will. We sat by and watched in horror, for example, when Roman soldiers crucified Christ and terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers. But there are times when we must take action, when a worldwide catastrophe could result from human failure, to put it in a shorthand manner. We intervened during the two world wars and the Cuban Missile crisis, to cite a few recent cases. We have also been involved when the psychological, moral or spiritual evolution of the species is at risk. A literal example of such a case was our influence on the outcome of the famous ‘Scopes Trial.’”

What lessons will Darius learn in his latest incarnation as a new angel? He has only three days to absorb them - or witness the end of all days.

Three Days to Darkness is a fast-paced, vivid read that incorporates all the elements of a superior mystery, thriller, and fantasy. It's certainly not a portrait of a predictable afterlife, a conventional Heaven, or a banal post-life mission. All these facets merge to create a uniquely involving story blending amusing moments with engrossing encounters between disparate forces; each with their own special interests and agendas.

And Darius? He's in it for the ride, and takes readers along with him in an unexpected journey through Heaven, Hell, and beyond.