Dana Porter was living a quiet life in Payson, Arizona until the untimely death of her mother. When reading through her mother’s journals, she learns the man she called ‘Dad’ all her life is not her father, but her stepfather. Her biological father, Joseph Parnell, is on death row for setting a fire in 1995 that killed Sally and Patrick Marshall. Why would her mother keep this a secret? Is it possible she’s related to a murderer?

Ben Thomas is a photographer working for the same magazine as Dana. He wants to know more about Joseph Parnell and he thinks getting close to the man’s daughter will provide some answers. When he finds out Dana is learning everything from her mother’s journals, he will try anything to get his hands on them. Why is he interested in a fire that took place when he was just ten years old? Does he want Joe to be released? Or is he just interested in the story?

Annie Driscoll is Dana’s best friend and a reporter for Channel 12 News. Annie’s assignment is to cover the wildfires that are burning out of control around the state. She soon learns some of the fires were intentionally set. Why? During her investigation, Annie stumbles across a connection between the wildfires and the fire that killed the Marshalls in 1995.

Dana has less than three weeks to save a man she hardly knows. But first she must survive the fires that are meant to stop her.

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Desert Deception - Short Story Cover