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Herda, D. J.
Rabit on the Run


Young Adult

Psychological Drama




David Lord Rabit comes from a broken home; the problem is, no one knows it yet. 



When David Lord Rabit decides to make a change in his life, it’s bound to be a beauty.  And not particularly well grounded in reality.


But he is secure enough emotionally to know how to get from Point A to Point B, with a few minor detours along the way.  With one murdered classmate, a brutal police grilling, and a lost love behind him, he reaches out to the one person he feels can help set him on the path to personal salvation.  Along the way, he finds a second person solidly in his corner—an unanticipated surprise—who for Rabit will make all the difference in the world.



When high-school heartthrob David Lord Rabit realizes that he’s living a nightmare, he sets out to regain control of his life.  Dodging his mother’s daily abuse and a stepfather who can’t or won’t come to his rescue, Rabit decides to take his popularity on the road…literally.


If he can make it as a writer, he’ll have plenty of money to allow him to move out of his dysfunctional household and into a posh high-rise overlooking Lake Michigan on Chicago’s near north side.  Of course, at sixteen years of age, he’ll need another break or two to complete his transformation from familial doormat to literary phenom.  He’ll need the support of a good woman…a wife.  His problems, as he sees them, are basically two-fold.  One, he's too young to be taken seriously as an adult.  Two, he hasn’t a single candidate in mind. 


Or, more appropriately, he has every single girl he knows in mind.  Unfortunately, none of them knows it.


When finally he sets his sites on the fantasy girl of his dreams—someone with nearly as many emotional hang-ups as he has—he makes up his mind to claim her.  But he soon learns that she’s going steady with the captain of the school’s football team, and he’ll have to fight the jock to win her love and claim his prize.


When the jock is killed in a drive-by shooting, all eyes fall on Rabit, who feels his chances for salvation slipping steadily away.


After holding up to an intense police grilling, Rabit learns that the woman of his dreams had been cheating on her boyfriend with a basketball player from a rival school.  “How many goddam jocks do I have to go through to get her?” he wonders before a mentor steps in to help set his thinking straight.


Armed with a new outlook on life—and the love and support of Danielle, his dream girl’s best friend—Rabit sets about redefining his life’s goals.  When Danielle asks him to marry her, he hears the word escape from between two quivering lips: “Yes.” 


She is elated.  He is speechless.  He is also clueless as to just exactly how a sixteen-year-old virgin can possibly make a success of life as a married man in the City of Broad Shoulders.  By the time he finds out, he discovers a mere shadow of himself standing before the young woman who stepped in to rescue him from himself.  He discovers, as well, that he hasn’t yet forgotten the woman of his dreams, whose re-emergence into his life is all it takes for Rabit to reach a decision that will alter his future forever.

*     *     *

The Future Traders

Young Adult

A group of teenagers trapped in the year 2116 on a recently formed planet stumble upon a secret entranceway to a very special location: the future.  When two of the boys disappear in a blinding flash of light, the others set out to find them. 

The two time travelers find themselves in a generation a century into the future where they meet the Hosgoths, a warlike race of mercenaries who make a fortune from enslaving Intergalactic travelers for working the lidium-rich minefields of the planet Salandra.

After breaking free from their captors, the time travelers face another problem: they've lost the power to return to the past.  They can't remain where they are without risking enslavement, and they can't return home again.  What will they do?  Where will they go?  Assuming Dahl can find a way to tame the awesome power of the Time Portal, somewhere farther into the future.  What will they find there?  Only time will tell.

*     *     *

To Dance with Dolphins *

Young Adult

Blurb/Logline  When Mark’s father, who had abandoned the family upon his son’s birth more than 16 years ago, learns of his ex-wife’s death, he shows up on the exotic isle of St. Lucia, masquerading as a stranger to help Mark find the murderer.  A former private investigator in California, the father soon puts together a package of suspects that leaves Mark reeling.   

Mark’s mother had been a beloved marine environmentalist who was working in the islands to save the local dolphin population from decimation.  Everybody adored her.  Well, nearly everybody. 

When Mark’s father finally fingers the closest friend his son has in the world, the boy explodes...before learning who this mystery investigator really is and how he knows what he knows.  Now all Mark has to do is to come to grips with who really murdered his mother—and why—while somehow managing to steer clear of the rifle sights, himself!

*Based on a true-life incident

 Additional YA Novels In Progress

Street Savvy

  • Genre:
    Young Adult

Blurb/Logline  When two 14-year-old boys growing up on the streets of Chicago ditch class and borrow a friend’s car, they embark upon a wild and crazy day of joy riding that takes them to the Art Institute, through lower Wacker Drive, and to Fats’ Place, where they learn to drink, smoke, and shoot pool while managing to get themselves on the wrong side of the Chicago Police Department’s Most Wanted list.  When one of the cousins finds himself in the crosshairs of a .44 Magnum held by the quivering hands of a notorious local junkie and gang leader, they know there’s only one way out…but will they have the courage to pull it off?  Outline and Sample Chapters


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