One Hot January

Imagine an alternate history in which the United States fails to enter World War II in time to help the Allies defeat the Tripartite before Germany becomes too strong to defeat. Imagine a future in which Germany has perfected genetic engineering and is systematically eradicating whole nations in an effort to secure the empire Hitler vowed would last a thousand years; a future in which Hitler lies in a cryogenic chamber, awaiting treatment for a cancer for which a cure has been discovered. Imagine a future in which a faction of genetically engineered people, opposed to Hitler’s tyranny, choose to travel back in time to amend future history by influencing Churchill to withhold from U.S. Intelligence the vital decrypt specifying the date and time of the raid on Pearl Harbor.

Imagine a fast-talking private investigator from the Bronx named Joe January who uncovers a seemingly impossible plot by grudgingly agreeing to help a pretty young woman locate her missing father—a Professor of Archaeology from Columbia College who must prevent the secret of Hitler’s location from falling into the wrong hands...

By the end of One Hot January, January is transported into the future where in the sequel, January’s Thaw, he must survive by his century-old sagacity in our modern world.


Later that night Lance saw Melissa home, via cab. The decorated war hero and gentleman nonpareil no doubt sealed their business venture with a handshake, not a kiss. The kiss, he would anticipate, would come later.

I was mildly disappointed to find that the mole on Ginger’s breast had no twin elsewhere; but the consolation her many other gifts provided helped to ease my disappointment. Still, I found Ginger to be a taker and not a giver, and so what pleasure I gained was the result of my own giving, which she was only too eager to take.

While Lindy, who drove home alone, was robbed of any chance to give, and therefore gained neither pleasure let alone solace from the image of where and with whom I had lain.

Over the decades since that night, I’ve tormented myself over the fact that Lindy had suffered her disappointment alone, perhaps the previously unrecollected melody, I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You, echoing unsympathetically through her fading consciousness, her pillow taking the tears she could not help but give.

Tomorrow is forever. I should’ve held on for one more night.

Ah, so many regrets. What’s one more?


“He may be Bogart-cool and clever, sharp-tongued and fedoraed—but underneath the veneer Joe January reveals himself both in his vulnerability and the most ageless adventure of all: a journey of the heart.” —Rachael Perry, author of How to Fly
One Hot January