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“Creative spark? Anthony Dobranski ignites a creative bonfire …A masterwork of invention.” – Mary Kay Zuravleff, author of Man Alive

Publisher’s Website


  • Publication Date: April 30, 2020
  • Print Length: 477 pages
  • ASIN: B0879GLNJV
  • ISBN-10 : 1951832000
  • Publisher : Chracatoa Press
  • Genre: Metaphysical & Visionary, Magical Realism, Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

She can speak all languages. He can smell evil intent.

They’re enemies. They crave each other.

With secret magic, international settings, a conspiracy plot, and star-crossed lovers, The Demon in Business Class is a stylish modern fantasy spanning continents and genres.

A shady executive hires Zarabeth Battrie to help start the next global war, giving her a demon that speaks all languages. But other people know more about her job than she does…

A resolute investigator recruits Gabriel Archer to use his emerging psychic powers, for a visionary leader who turns others from evil. As his senses develop, his doubts grow…

When the two meet by chance in Scotland, passion becomes fragile love, until the demon’s betrayal drives Gabriel away. Before Zarabeth’s revenge destroys the visionary’s plan, Gabriel must stop her — for both to survive, neither can win.

Fans of Jeff VanderMeer, David Mitchell and Michel Faber will love this cross-genre novel with crisp literary style. The Demon in Business Class is an international story of fantasy, intrigue, and love, on the uneasy ground where the human meets the divine.

Warnings: FOR ADULTS! Drugs, fistfights, vigorous sex, murder, an orgy (witnessed), a cult, and a (told not shown) history of child sexual abuse.



In the fake-oak-paneled conference room, Zarabeth Battrie found a dozen others standing. All looked wilted and worn, with bunched shirts and bowing ankles. The plastic tables were gone, the plastic chairs stacked in the corner. More people arrived but no one unstacked the chairs. A herd instinct, Zarabeth decided, to keep a clear path for fleeing.

A natty beige man in a crisp blue plaid suit came in, pushing a low gray plastic cart with stacks of documents. If the standing people surprised him, he didn’t show it. With practiced ease he lowered the room’s screen, plugged in his powerstrip. Someone passed the documents around but no one spoke. In the silence, Zarabeth felt anxieties around her, about money, status, children, groping her like fevered predictable hands. Too intimate, these people’s worries in her skin when she didn’t know their names, or want to. She shook them off, pushed through to the front so as not to stare at men’s backs all meeting.

Projector light bleached the natty man while he talked through slides of sunsets and bullet points, with the real news a seeming afterthought. Her office and two others were merging with Optimized Deployments, in Boston. A great move. Efficiency for all. The animated org-chart realigned over and over, three squares gone and Optimized’s no bigger. Reorganized like a stomach does food.

People asked tired questions, their hot worry now clammy hope. The natty man smiled no matter what he said. Yes, redundancies. Jobs would move, details to work out. All would be well and better.

He left to spread his joy. The room lights rose.

Zarabeth’s boss, Aleksei Medev, slouched in the corner like someone had whacked his head with lumber. His unshaven olive skin hung gray and limp. With all eyes on him, he straightened.

“A very challenging time,” he said. “We’re sending reports to justify — to guide the transition. Client work is secondary.”

Zarabeth was in no hurry to fill out Aleksei’s useless reports. Nothing she had done in the last two months justified keeping her employed, she knew that. She went out the broken fire exit to a stand of pine trees behind the parking lot. She lit a cigarette, paced in the shade.

Once, Zarabeth Battrie had traveled the country as an Inspiration Manager, connecting the best people at Straightforward Consulting to an in-house knowledge network. She had good instincts which managers to flatter, which to cow, which to sneak past. It surprised her how much she understood when she finally got her quarry to talk their special arcana, over morning jogs, lobster lunches, steak dinners, midnight hookahs with shots of tequila. Later, on airplanes, she’d think of those and other conversations, watching the pieces fit together in this strange unity and balloon, her world growing with a drug-like jolt. To let her do that, week in week out — taking off, landing, on the move, on her feet — had been the greatest praise.

On Valentine’s Day, it had evaporated without explanation. Zarabeth had been reassigned to Reston, in the Virginia suburbs, to do public-relations grunt-work for industry trade groups. Aleksei Medev, still shiny then, had put his feet on her new desk and spun a great tale, core knowledge toward a turnkey marketing solution, select team deep study. At least she got an office with a door.

Zarabeth had visited Boston twice in her old job. Optimized had smart people and kept them by being greedy. They would suck the money from her division like marrow from bone. Everyone fired, no matter how they danced.

Doubt ate through her like some parasite come to lay its eggs. She pinched the cigarette’s cherry to burn it off with pain. Six years at this firm would not end this week.


Coming Soon



“She would be a dragon. Make them clear a path.”

Zarabeth Battrie is a short, slender, brunette woman in her late 20s, with brown skin. Sharp and aggressive, she likes travel, not vacation; she doesn’t socialize but enjoys collaborating. No interest in culture, art, reading, or movies. Music is a background for her. She likes to look good, to attract positive attention, but she isn’t showy. Her relaxation is sex, sleep or intoxicants – but her mother is an alcoholic so she knows the buzz can turn on her. Maybe that’s part of the fun. She trusts her body more than her brain. Touch and feel are her sixth sense.


“Last year, the picture of forthrightness. Now he fronted anything.”

Gabriel Archer is a medium-height white brunet man in his early 30s. Despite a decade of sobriety, he still feels his angry brawling youth, and a sense of missing something from it. Purpose? Satisfaction? Maybe both. He isn’t motivated by money or by leisure, but the world of the spirit always sounds empty to him. He longs for problems to fix. He believes in the social good of business, the value of exchange, of laws and rules. He likes speed, pushing himself on his bike, driving fast cars on empty roads — but, under control. He mistrusts his body, even when it’s right. Smell is his sixth sense.


“I have studied power for decades. Why don’t I feel ready?”

Missy Devereaux is a tall, white, heavily-freckled white woman in her late 20s, currently with red hair. She’s a wealthy town-and-country gal who loves cities, but her hidden truth is older and stranger: she’s the future ruler of an ancient matriarchal witch coven. This defines her life, but, she’s not excited about it. She likes business, likes winning without sorcery and not by decree. She seeks a new path, with just the power and none of the responsibility. She only has five senses, all very sharp, especially when the moon is out.


“I wish to feel my peak again. Not just caffeinated but energized.”

Walt Wisniewski is a big, tall, deeply-tanned white man in his late 30s. The tech business he built and sold gave him wealth and leisure, showing him the world then letting him live atop it. Now life is fun, with sports and parties, but maybe too easy. He wants to use his skills and drive in a new way. Someone to do it with, too. Plenty of people look good. Few impress him. Nature abhors a vacuum, he knows that. He doesn’t know he’s the vacuum. He has no sixth sense, but he has luck.


“‘Win-win.’ I hate that phrase. It’s not winning if no one loses.”

Magda Crane is a tall, pale white woman, apparently in her early 70s. Sometimes she seems younger, sometimes far older. Though old for the corporate world, she is still vigorous, determined, and powerful. Also, shady. She dresses well, but doesn’t try to look young. She comes off as a little quaint and dotty, before she guts you. She’s well ahead of you. Hearing is her sixth sense.


“I’m a very tense fellow. I go to church twice a week, the shooting range more.”

Bill Thorn is a medium-height, fit Black man in his 40s. He has a measured approach, cautious, like he is the bull in his own china shop. He knows a lot, but plays his knowledge close to his vest. Is it a lack of trust, or simply that he knows others have to come to understanding without being told? Sight is his sixth sense. He has seen a lot with it. Maybe too much.


“Any roadside convenience store has a sign in the window: GIRL MISSING.”

It lives inside Zarabeth, and lets her speak all languages. It was made from a woman’s soul. But it’s just an app now. Really.


Anthony Dobranski is a native of Washington DC. He studied English Literature at Yale and made his first career working internationally for AOL. His first novel is the cross-genre modern fantasy The Demon in Business Class. He also created Business Class Tarot, a modern Tarot deck inspired by his novel. He is a member of SFWA, and serves on the board of The Inner Loop, a Washington DC live-reading series. He lives in Washington now with his family. He loves to ski.


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