For Beatrice Altuna Davenport — known to her friends as "Bee," her visit to Colorado was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, a time to train with her cycling companions for the annual Labor Day "Bust-Your-Ass" bicycle race from Crested Butte to Aspen. Instead, it became a terrifying collage of archeological theft, abduction and kidnapping, arson, the crash of a smuggler's airplane, and worst of all, death — all under the umbrella of political intrigue, greed, and survival of the fittest amongst a cadre of foolish old men, officious bureaucrats and lawyers, obnoxious and sometimes clueless law enforcement, and powerful benefactors. But who was pulling everyone's strings and what was their goal? Would anyone finally connect the dots amidst the disparate jumble of facts and events? For some of the participants, unraveling the truth could mean life or death. For others, imprisonment or freedom. Who would win in the end? It was a game that had to be played to its bitter conclusion.
Bee Davenport Series No. 2
The bidding war began with the murder of a desperate man. It ended with a sting. And in between, honey dripped over the gullible while sensuality mesmerized the oglers. It was a story infinitely repeated as the elite real-estate lords of New York City fed on the lower-class masses. With each repetition, the names changed and the details mattered, but in the end, there were always winners and always losers.
For Beatrice Altuna "Bee" Davenport, the bidding war started as a whisper of complaints followed by issues at her Fifth Avenue condo including lack of hot water, brief power outages, and a suspicious fire in the basement utility room. With her curiosity engaged, she searched for an explanation and was met with stalkers, bugging of her condo, and an attempt on her life. Not deterred, she joined forces with new-found friends and immersed herself in the hazardous waters of New York City real estate only to be met by corrupt officials, duplicitous businessmen, members of the Italian mafia, and Russian oligarchs — not to mention resistance from her family members and relatives. Bee finally took on the criminal activity by uniting Russians, a Mayan corporation, the press, and the Attorney General of New York City in an attempt to bring an end to a bidding war for the purchase of New York City buildings. Success depended on a combination of luck and guile but was not assured as events took their course.
Bee Davenport Series No. 1
Noah Waltrip wanted America to move immediately to the installation of a smart grid, especially given that his company Sunpower was the leading distributor of smart solar panels, not to mention the creator of most of the smartware needed for such a network. But politicians were stuck in the mud, unwilling to exert the necessary steps to carry out the announced policy of the United States and lacking in the political willpower to put their combined necks on the line despite the clout of the GridWise Alliance in which Waltrip was a powerful figure and despite the enormous success of the smart-grid experiment in Austin, Texas. Congress needed a kick in the butt, a catastrophe of sufficient proportions to elicit a decision to finally move on the smart grid. And Noah Waltrip had a plan. He called it Wormalypse.
It was a complicated plan, one that would use scientific data collected by both NASA and LIGO as the seeds to grow an alt-right conspiracy theory that would hopefully scare hapless citizens into taking drastic measures and metastasize into a full-blown problem for the federal government. Waltrip knew that right-wing social media and so-called conservative news channels would jump at the chance to get onboard as well as the many factions that make up the far right in America. But how far was he willing to go? Would murder be required? Would brinksmanship in the extreme be necessary? And who would stop him?
Professor Jenna Hill wanted nothing more than to be free of her trouble magnet curse. It was a recurring affliction that she seemed unable to dodge. Wormalypse would prove to be no different.
Jenna Hill Series No. 14
A free ride into space on a Blue Origin flight? Who could pass up such an opportunity? Certainly not Jenna Hill, a professor of theoretical physics at UT Austin known for her passion to explore the unknown and to experience the challenge of an extreme adventure. But who had paid for her flight? Was it an extravagant birthday gift from her family? They claimed to be innocent. Or was it something more sinister given the peculiar behavior of her fellow crewmembers?
Professor Hill was certain that she was being stalked, especially after her digital identity was hacked. After all, the alt-right and conservative nutjobs who populated the far right in America had been attacking her on social media for several years and a select few from Texas had even migrated to painting a target on her back and hiring assassins to kill her — so far, without success.
Finding the culprit seemed too easy. Her name was Beatrice Altuna Davenport, a high-society socialite from the Upper East Side elite of New York City. But why her? What was behind her stalking, if indeed that was the case? The search for an answer led Professor Hill into the peculiar world and behavior of the gifted and talented — a world populated by geniuses who live by a different code.
Jenna Hill Series No. 13
How was it possible that Jenna Hill, a physics professor at UT Austin, could become a target for assassination? Was it an extreme form of doxing carried out by the alt-right or was it due to her inadvertently tripping over lost artifacts collected by the Third Reich?
For sure, doxing — the public outing on a website of a person's beliefs as reflected by trolling their social media postings — was rapidly becoming a weapon in the arsenal of the left wing to expose individuals supporting far-right views, but would the extreme measure of assassination be their response, or were other actions likely? Could Chilly Hill, as she was characterized by the far right, be in the crosshairs of someone's gunsight?
Professor Hill's adventure begins with the discovery of an ancient parchment revealed by a distant cousin at the funeral of her grandfather and balloons into a quest to find the Evanesci — a group of brilliant human beings who had supposedly isolated themselves from contact with their fellow human beings two millennia in the past and were technologically advanced with cloaked cities that hid them from prying eyes. The Nazis called them Aryans; some called them Atlantians; and others the lost tribe of Israel. But did they exist? It was a search by Hill that brought into focus her many previous adventures and a replay of her battles against the corrupt and the powerful.
Jenna Hill Series No. 12
Global climate change! Is it our future or is it a hoax? Will the western United States become a wildfire tinderbox or is the current outbreak of catastrophic fires merely a cyclic phenomenon? Arthur Clarke, a climate change activist, certainly thought the former was true as his life came to a tragic end on a hilltop at the Doeskin Ranch in the Texas Hill Country following the impact of an assassin's bullet. But it wasn't his death that became the story. Instead, it was the casual tossing away of the assassin's cigarette as he stood over Clarke's body that caused the murder to explode into a crisis for Texas firefighters and to highlight the need for a complete rethinking of humankind's approach to wildfires. Only there was just one small problem. Would the political forces at work in a polarized America permit such changes to happen or to even be investigated?
For Jenna Hill, a professor of physics at UT Austin, her involvement in the crisis began with the arrival of a package from Clarke containing a flash drive with all of his accumulated research including his attempts to convince the public, the politicians, and government officials of the need for action. Inextricably, Hill was drawn into the swamp of infighting and became once again the target of the far right as she struggled to understand the lack of innovation in the fight against wildfires and the utter disregard of the climate change deniers to a proven truth. Would she herself become a victim of their hatred and their alternant reality? It quickly became clear that such attempts would be made as the crisis expanded and she dealt with her own wildfire within.
Jenna Hill Series No. 11
Brain enhancement! Everyone wants it, but is it even possible? Could it be that a woman found dead in Velarde, New Mexico was a victim of such genetic modifications, or was she simply the victim of exposure to a cold night outside? Evidence pointed to the presence of molecular drugs, but nothing was certain as investigators struggled to determine her identity and to track her history.
Even more curious was the case of a disoriented man found staggering across a busy highway in Austin, Texas. Was he the victim of alien abduction as he claimed, or had his brain circuitry been fried by attempts to control his brain waves?
For Dr. Jenna Hill, a professor of physics at UT Austin and a consultant for the Austin Police Department, the two seemingly unrelated events provided both the stimulus and the backdrop for an investigation into the mysterious world of brain enhancement. From a pair of suave entrepreneurs in competition with each other to practitioners of the occult, she and a tech savvy friend named Dock Watson probed the tentacles of advanced technology and their impact on understanding the human brain. It was a search that led to the unraveling of a story of intrigue, greed, and guile among the upward mobile of American society and their attempts to join the ranks of the superrich.
Jenna Hill Series No. 10
Doppelgangers! Do they really exist? Can they lead to a case of mistaken identity? Professor Jenna Hill of the University of Texas Austin would soon find out as she landed at the Newark Airport and approached the baggage claim. Hill was scheduled to attend an unannounced meeting of prominent physicists to address federal funding issues, but instead, she became embroiled and entrapped in a war of environmentalists against a secret fracking site and a polluting metal extraction plant, both located in New Jersey near the Delaware River and the venue for her meeting; namely, the Shawnee Inn in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Complicating her misadventure was the fact that her parents were at the same inn at the same time participating in a weeklong hiking program along the Appalachian Trail in the Pocono Mountains.
Eco-terror! That was the driving force that propelled a group of extremists to reject the legal activities and civil disobedience of longstanding environmentalists in the Delaware River Basin and to adopt a strategy of disruptive destruction of polluting sites. Caught in the middle between the opposite poles of environmental activism was a Wiccan coven whose goal from the late 1920s was a restoration of the natural beauty and sanctity of the Delaware River. And it all reached a boiling point as Hill arrived for her meeting.
Would Hill survive the interplay of the competing strategies as she became the focal point of the struggle? It all depended on the buffoonery of some, the intelligence of others, the predilections of the elderly, the accidental coincidences that afflict us all, and the mysterious and mystical pagan practices of the Wicca.
Jenna Hill Series No. 9
Could Professor Jenna Hill truly be the second coming of the Spirit of Xmucane, the matriarchal creator of the Mayan race, or was it all a hoax perpetrated on modern-day Mayans by Thomas Skepnic—a con artist who promoted himself as a scholar on the history of the Mayan Civilization and an authority on the impact of ancient aliens in Mesoamerica? Many of the faithful believed that the myth of Xmucane's return had indeed come to pass as foretold in the Eighth Century by Lady Xook, a consort to the ruler of Yax Mutal, a city-state in the Mayan Empire. It was a prophecy that could only be realized when the Mayan Gods finally answered the unresolved question of the meaning of life. And Professor Hill was prophesized to be the catalyst … or so Skepnic claimed.
For Professor Hill, the fallout from Skepnic's greedy and unfounded exaggerations turned an ordinary spring-break vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula into a harrowing odyssey that revealed the complex dynamics of life in modern-day Central America and the historic forces that propelled the region into a state of diminished civil order. From bands of indigenous freedom fighters to oppressive rule by Spanish descendants. From subsistence farmers to roving gangs of bandits. From enslaved females destined for the sex-trade markets to fabulously rich drug lords who controlled everything criminal. Hill experienced it all in her struggle to survive one day at a time. Only intervention by the protectors of the prophecy could change the equation. But would they do so after centuries of remaining hidden from the prying eyes of humanity?
Jenna Hill Series No. 8
Jacob Marley's ghost! Had it returned to haunt Professor Jenna Hill's Christmas vacation? Even worse, was it responsible for a sequence of murders in different cities across America and unexplained disappearances in Austin, Texas or were these events simply part of the random occurrence of such tragedies? Anything was possible including the involvement of a secret society of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians known as the Shadows. They for sure were concerned since it was their members who were disappearing and dying.
Dr. Hill wanted no part in the developing investigation, even after two friends of her brother Joshua Hill disappeared following an entrepreneurial fair at the Austin Convention Center. Instead, she traveled to Boulder, Colorado to participate in a conference on gravitational physics. Unfortunately for her, the death of Dr. Herman Smoots at the conference hotel brought her inextricably into the web of unsolved murders and disappearances.
Some of Hill's colleagues speculated that the threat from a massive gravitational pulse predicted to hit the solar system was at the heart of Smoots' murder. But the clues pointed to something more sinister. Was his murder part of an emerging pattern or not? Hill brought all her impressive analytic skills to bear on the problem while trapped in Colorado by a major snowstorm. Her solution to the sequence of murders proved to be both more bizarre and yet brutally mundane than even Professor Hill could have imagined.
Jenna Hill Series No. 7
Jenna Hill, Austin! Those words mumbled by an incoherent and dehydrated female hiker upon her rescue from the Sonoran Desert of Arizona propelled Professor Jenna Hill into a quagmire that involved the death of a physics graduate student from the University of Texas Austin and the centuries-old interplay among the three dominant cultures in Arizona; namely, the Indian tribes, the Mexicans, and the White settlers.
Through a process of investigation and elimination, Dr. Hill discovers that many of the ancient myths and legends surrounding the history of the Apache Indians, the story of the Peralta Mine and the Lost Dutchman's Gold, and the many mysterious deaths and murders in the Superstition Mountains are less about their fictional and more glamorous popular aspects and more about the underlying truths that drive people to take action, whether for the common good or not. At the end of her quest, Hill reveals one of the historical threads leading to the murder of the graduate student and thereby helps the local authorities capture the killer. In so doing, she brings to an end a longstanding feud between the descendants of a Mexican family murdered by Geronimo and the modern Apache Indian Tribe.
Jenna Hill Series No. 6
Terrorism! It's never simple or predictable. Is it state supported or the work of rogue actors? And when coupled to a sequence of seemingly disconnected events, is it even discernible as terrorism?
For Dr. Jenna Hill, a professor of theoretical physics at UT Austin, the story begins with the disappearance of her colleague, Dr. Lee Chang, an expert in experimental quantum computing and entanglement physics. A series of escalating catastrophes subsequently occur that are slowly revealed by the evidence and the facts as acts of terrorism. But are Chang's experiments or Chang himself responsible for the tragic deaths of many Texans? Or had someone weaponized the quantum entanglement of large-scale systems into entanglement waves that could sweep through computer networks and wreak havoc through cyberwarfare on America's infrastructure systems? Or was common garden-variety terrorism to blame?
Hill's quest to reveal the truth propels her into unexpected paths that expose a hacker with the handle El Fantasma and cause her to question her own contributions to entanglement physics. Ultimately, her fame and expertise bring her into direct conflict with the perpetrators of the heinous acts.
Jenna Hill Series No. 5
Investigating the murder of Professor Sergei Kolmogorov at the Longworth Math Institute in Austin, Texas started simple enough, although the simultaneous theft of a mathematical antiquity was a complication and his identity as a Russian attracted the attention of the FBI. But it soon devolved into a conflict of mystical chants versus mathematical proofs, orgiastic excess versus prudent scholarship, and religious fervor versus secular blandness! It was a witch's brew of polar opposites destined to confound and confuse any investigation.
But who was to blame for the murder and the theft? Was it the modern practitioners of ancient paganism and their belief in a pantheon of gods or was it the secular forces of freemasonry and their adherence to engineering, science, and mathematics? Or was it the Catholic Church, a newcomer in many ways to the age-old battle between pagans and secularism and most certainly an opponent of both?
For Dr. Jenna Hill, a professor of theoretical physics at UT Austin, the investigation began with a whirlwind tour from Chamonix to Lyon, St. Petersburg, Rome, and a return to Austin—all in an effort to trace the provenance of the stolen mathematical antiquity. Along the way, she encountered lying, spying, and deceit at every turn before uncovering an enduring battle among ancient antagonists that had begun over two millennia in the past. It was a three-way battle driven by family honor versus religious fidelity versus adherence to universal truths. Would it end with the murder of Sergei Kolmogorov or was the conflict destined to continue to the end of time? It was Jenna Hill's fate to be the catalyst for that decision.
Jenna Hill Series No. 4
A gag! A joke! A nonsensical spoof! That was the intent of Dr. Jenna Hill's five minutes of fame at the annual Department of Physics April Fools party—a party where faculty members presented goofy science projects to amuse and entertain fellow physicists and students. But something terrible happened that evening when the YouTube video of Hill's winning presentation of her monkey decoder project went viral on social media. Dr. Hill instantly became the poster child for everything that was wrong with the so-called left-wing elite in America—those educated Americans who ostensibly disparage religion and mock the ignorance of right-wing nut jobs. Even more disturbing, she became the target of the alt-right anti-intellectual universe.
But who was behind the escalating attacks on her? Was it merely random or was it an orchestrated effort? Did a subversive cabal exist in America whose single-minded goal was to completely discredit and deny scientific evidence or was it all merely political grandstanding run amuck and taken to an extreme? Was Dr. Hill's life and career as a theoretical physicist truly in danger or was she only a pawn in Trump's new world order of reality TV?
For Jenna Hill, the nightmare became reality as she struggled to defend her integrity as a scientist while reluctantly becoming the bulwark against the science deniers. But where would it all end? Would America become even more polarized as a result of Hill's innocent spoof?
Jenna Hill Series No. 3
Death by murder. Never a desirable event. Especially if you're the victim and especially if you've spent your life being an invisible wallflower waiting for the moment that your genius would reveal your real identity, not the commonplace name given to you by your parents. But for Dr. George Smith, an assistant professor of theoretical physics at UT-Austin, that transcendent moment never came. Only death by an unknown assailant.
The clues to his murder were few and pointed to his involvement with foreign nationals and with a startup company whose focus was the field of quantum computing. But it was his top-secret security clearance that turned an ordinary murder for the Austin Police Department into a case that brought in the FBI and Homeland Security as co-partners along with Dr. Jenna Hill as a technical expert. Not a stranger to complicated investigations, Dr. Hill, a full professor of theoretical physics at UT Austin, possessed the ability to use her genius and to think outside-the-box to find a pathway to the killer. But in the end, it was her tenacity in understanding George Smith, the person, that proved her ultimate contribution to the murder investigation.
Jenna Hill Series No. 2
Sex! Power! Money! Such are the illicit motives that drive all human behavior in the real world according to Freud. But does the Dark Triad also drive the digital world?
For the infamous hacker known as TDH, it began as a savant's game tuned to stimulate an adolescent mind molded by formative development in the fantasy and gaming worlds of dragons, sorcerers, white knights, and beautiful damsels in distress. It morphed into an obsession to attract a worthy soulmate by defeating other lesser minds. And for him, there was only one battlefield: the Internet. His strategy was simple. Obtain access to all information stored or flowing through the Internet and its attached devices and prioritize that information according to its ability to achieve fixed goals through the manipulation of people or data. But that meant total control of the digital world—a world that existed within hardware but was driven by software. Create the dominant software and you own the digital world. And TDH was its creator.
For Dr. Jenna Hill, a prominent theoretical physics professor at UT Austin and a genius by any standard, the collision with the digital war began abruptly. Plucked from a climbing expedition on Mt. Everest by Colonel Andrew Hunter, a marine assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency, she joins Team Intercept, a multi-agency federal task force formed to defeat the takeover of the digital world. Propelled into a frantic race against the clock, Dr. Hill and her colleagues endure digital invasion of their privacy, abduction, car chases, gunfire, and a nefarious billionaire entrepreneur in an all-out effort to uncover the true nature of the attack against the digital world and its perpetrators. And in so doing, they reveal the symbiotic linkage of the digital world with the underbelly of the real world.
Jenna Hill Series No. 1
Many died. Others were maimed. Some ran away. Others bought their way out. But in the end, everyone paid a price for the great American Civil War. Never To Return is a fictional story about the Morgan and Stoner families of Rowan County, North Carolina, and their struggle to endure and survive the epic transformation of Southern society in the 1860s, especially in the community of Morgan Township—a community of yeoman farmers formed principally by German immigrants. Based on an accurate accounting of the known genealogical facts surrounding the people and families involved as well as an accurate retailing of the military battles in which the soldiers fought, the story strives to answer the compelling question of "what were my ancestors really like?" It is a story founded in the sometimes trivial and mundane passage of one's daily existence as well as moments of great triumph and great despair. Ultimately, it is a story about people and the history of their time.
The history and genealogy of the descendants of Jacob Van Poole is presented from the period of the Revolutionary War to the end of the Civil War. The story begins with the arrival of Jacob in Rowan County, North Carolina in the late 1750s. Based on his 1795 Will, his descendants are traced throughout the United States using all available historical records including deeds, court records, Bible records, church records, tombstone inscriptions, birth and death certificates, census records, estate records, wills, oral tradition and other extant documents. Full and complete transcriptions of several hundred such records as well as images and land plat maps are hyperlinked into the text providing immediate access to the underlying data. Ancestral charts are replaced by hyperlinked family units yielding ease of navigation throughout the ebook. For those people interested in the Van Poole family in Rowan County, North Carolina, or for those interested in the study of family histories, this ebook is a must addition.
The history and genealogy of the descendants of Johann Nicholas Ludwick is presented from the period of the Revolutionary War to the end of the Nineteenth Century. The story begins with the arrival of Ludwick at Philadelphia in 1767 and his settlement on a land grant in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, a portion of the county which became Cabarrus County in 1792. Based on his 1781 Will, his descendants are traced throughout the United States using all available historical records including deeds, court records, Bible records, church records, tombstone inscriptions, birth and death certificates, census records, estate records, wills, oral tradition and other extant documents. Full and complete transcriptions of several hundred such records as well as images and land plat maps are hyperlinked into the text providing immediate access to the underlying data. Ancestral charts are replaced by hyperlinked family units yielding ease of navigation throughout the ebook. For those people interested in the Ludwick family in North Carolina or for those interested in the study of family histories, this ebook is a must addition.
Four males from the Basinger Family of North Carolina migrated West during the early Nineteenth Century leaving behind no record of their parentage other than the fact they were born in North Carolina. Their names along with their wives were Henry Y. Basinger and Sarah Whitaker, John C. Basinger and Alzeda "Edy" Waggoner, John Paysinger and Bersheba Jones, and Henry Basinger, Elizabeth McCrary and Lucinda Watson. Their stories along with their descendants are traced throughout the United States using all available historical records including deeds, court records, Bible records, church records, tombstone inscriptions, birth and death certificates, census records, estate records, wills, oral tradition and other extant documents. Full and complete transcriptions of several such records as well as images are hyperlinked into the text providing immediate access to the underlying data. Ancestral charts are replaced by hyperlinked family units yielding ease of navigation throughout the ebook. For those people interested in these four Basinger family units who migrated from North Carolina or for those interested in the study of family histories, this ebook is a must addition.
The genealogy of the Basinger families of Rowan and Cabarrus Counties in the State of North Carolina from the period of the Revolutionary War to the end of the Nineteenth Century encompasses the traditional story of people and their lives including the death of children, death in childbirth, death in battle, insolvency, fornication and adultery, bastard children, litigation, assault and battery, and a host of other events and actions both positive and negative. That history for the descendants of John Basinger is told in The Basinger Family of Rowan County using all available historical records including deeds, court records, Bible records, church records, tombstone inscriptions, birth and death certificates, census records, estate records, wills, oral tradition and other extant documents. Full and complete transcriptions of several hundred such records as well as images and land plat maps are hyperlinked into the text providing immediate access to the underlying data. Ancestral charts are replaced by hyperlinked family units yielding ease of navigation throughout the ebook. For those people interested in the Basinger family in North Carolina or for those interested in the study of family histories, this ebook is a must addition.
The genealogy of the Stoner families of Rowan and Davidson Counties in the State of North Carolina from the period of the Revolutionary War to the end of the Nineteenth Century encompasses the traditional story of people and their lives including the death of children, death in childbirth, death in battle, insolvency, fornication and adultery, bastard children, litigation, assault and battery, and a host of other events and actions both positive and negative. That history for the descendants of Michael Stoner, Peter Stoner, and John Abraham Stoner is told in The Stoner Family of Rowan County using all available historical records including deeds, court records, Bible records, church records, tombstone inscriptions, birth and death certificates, census records, estate records, wills, oral tradition and other extant documents. Full and complete transcriptions of several hundred such records as well as images and land plat maps are hyperlinked into the text providing immediate access to the underlying data. Ancestral charts are replaced by hyperlinked family units yielding ease of navigation throughout the ebook. For those people interested in the Stoner family in North Carolina or for those interested in the study of family histories, this ebook is a must addition.
Together Forever is a genealogical study of the family of Adam Ivy Morgan and Eva Lucinda Stoner, both of whom were born during the Civil War and died in the 1920s. The ancestral family trees of Adam and Eva are presented beginning with the period of the Revolutionary War up to their birth and include principally the Morgan and Stoner families of Rowan County, North Carolina. Their descendants up to the modern day are tracked. The book is more than a simple accounting of the family trees and includes extensive analysis of historical records as well as oral tradition. While a genealogical tract, Together Forever is also the story of a family formed and forged by the cataclysm of the American Civil War.
Innovation! It's the cure-all for an ailing America. So says conventional wisdom. And the engine of innovation is the American university—the wellspring of new knowledge to fill the technology and commercialization pipeline. But universities and their faculty are under attack as being poor stewards of what some perceive as a new mission. Who is right? What is the real story? Go Forth and Innovate! reveals a personal perspective on the inner workings of the modern research university and its role in the innovation ecosystem.