As many of you know by now, Exposed in Darkness is about a bioterrorism plot against thousands people surrounding events of the Bluegrass Derby (which is eerily similar to another famous horse race in Kentucky). With the rise of terroristic attacks across the nation and the world, I live in fear as I research that some of the plots I’m considering for In Darkness books will look a little too close to reality. But who am I kidding? I’m not dreaming up “new” stuff. This stuff is happening. There are bad things happening all around us, and not even I can dream up something new, that some bad guy hasn’t already plotted.

Moving on to Cut in Darkness. This plot deals with the subject of heroin (among many other issues, like outlaw motorcycle gangs, or OMGs) in the United States — more specifically, with the rise of heroin laced with other, more dangerous substances (like fentanyl or carfentanil).

Just a few ingested grains of carfentanil, the size of a few grains of salt, could be lethal. An amount that small could cause a deadly overdose. Carfentanil is 100 times deadlier than fentanyl, which is 30 to 50 times deadlier than heroin, according to the DEA.

You see, carfentanil is a legal, synthetic opioid used to tranquilize elephants. ELEPHANTS! “It is 10,000 more potent than morphine, making it among the most potent commercially used opioids.” But it should only be used by licensed veterinarians at zoos. Or in Africa or Asia, where elephants actually live. And only when you need to take down a 10,000- to 12,000-pound animal. (Can you only imagine what happens when a 100-pound addict gets a hold of a batch of heroin laced with this seriously dangerous substance?)

And this opioid is making it onto our U.S. streets. More specifically, this synthetic opioid was discovered in Cincinnati last year when a huge increase of overdoses occurred in a short period of time.

Cut in Darkness (the second book in the In Darkness series) is with the editor now. It’s plot came out of a “What if?” question based on the news that came out of Cincinnati. What if someone decided to create this synthetic opioid themselves? What if a gang of criminals got their hands on this cheap, deadly drug with the intention of distributing it widely? What if Brooke Fairfax found herself in the middle of investigating this gang of criminals? What happens when she gets too close to proving this gang responsible for more than a dozen deaths?

Based on the seriousness of this synthetic opioid, and the fact that I’ve been living in this story for several months, you can only imagine the horror I felt when I realized that my plot was coming to life ten miles away from where I imagined my plot. You can read about it here: Nine Heroin Overdoses Reported in 24 Hours in Jessamine County. “It’s a mess.”

So, while the story I wrote is a 100%, complete piece of fiction, the problems out on our streets are very, very real! And having immersed myself into this subject for a while, I’m terrified.

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