In the year 2055, climate change, economic uncertainty, and significant debt can lead to indentured servitude for individuals. The outcome of a game show that provides funding for agriculture technology innovations can make a significant difference in an individual farmer or rancher’s future as they struggle with making a living without crossing that fine line that will throw them into the indentured ranks. When AgInnovator introduces a new competitive category, the Superhero, to commemorate their 25th anniversary in 2055, the finalists include ex-husband and wife Ruby Barkley and Gabe Ramirez. Through the competition they both realize that a malign purpose underlay the causes for their divorce, a shadowy inheritance that threatens the future of their son, Brandon, a producer of the Superhero segment of the AgInnovator. In order to save their son from being forced into the ranks of the indentured, Gabe has to acknowledge his hidden past as a member of the powerful Martiniere family. He must vie with his cousin Joseph and Joseph’s father Philip for the leadership of the family company, the Martiniere Group.

But he can’t do it without Ruby. Her strength, her bravery, and her own dark past, including their nasty divorce, makes her a powerful ally. Ruby will fight hard for those she loves, and her tendency to take in strays in need of help adds to the resources available to both of them. Her doubts about her ability to function at the high social levels of the Martiniere family operations make her question the degree to which she can help both Gabe and Brandon. Yes, she was once Miss Rodeo Oregon and third runner-up for Miss Rodeo America. But does that make Ruby just a “hick hayseed rodeo queen,” as Philip and Joseph mockingly call her–or does that experience give her the tools to beat the Martinieres at their own games of mind manipulation and control?

Meanwhile, Brandon’s close brush with indentured servitude and his media experience motivates him to work for the abolition of indenture. Along with his beloved Kris, a former indentured herself, he produces ‘casts exposing the truth of indenture as well as Philip’s schemes.

As Ruby, Gabe, and Brandon delve deeper into the secrets of the Martiniere legacy, they discover secrets upon secrets. Not only is Gabe not who he once thought he was, but Philip and Joseph have been engaged in experimentation on indentured workers which goes beyond what is acceptable. Indentured workers are being held beyond the expiration of their contracts, not just in the Martiniere Group, but in other companies. And now a new class of indentured workers are appearing with significant body modifications and programmable loyalties. They aren’t quite cyborgs…but how far away from being cyborgs are they?

They find allies within the family who have been outraged by Philip’s actions for years, but have been unable to do much about them due to the arcane and centuries-old structures of the Martiniere Group and the many factions within the Martinieres. If Gabe, Ruby, and Brandon can unify the family, they can get rid of Philip. But at what cost?

Want to read more? Here are the links to a synopsis page for each book.




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