“Kill Yuan” Chapter Two

The draft has just passed 85k words.  It’s coming along quick now.  So here’s the second chapter, to continue whetting the appetite.


Chapter 2

Four Months Earlier

Amy and Tom were already outside on the curb waiting when Dan Tackett pulled up to the daycare center. It was already dark, and the clock numbers on his truck’s dash shone accusingly at him. It was already almost eight at night. Sandra Crawford was standing on the curb behind the kids, a stiffly impassive look on her face.

He parked the truck, grabbed the envelope off the dashboard, and got out. It was time to pay the daycare bill already, and he mused bitterly that every cent he made working extra hours was going into paying for those extra hours at child care.

“Good evening, Mr. Tackett,” Sandra said stiffly, disapproval at his lateness in every word. “I trust you know what time it is.” The Happy Circle Child Care Center was supposed to close at seven, and he was just getting there to pick up the kids at fifty minutes past that.

“Yes, Sandra, I do know what time it is,” he replied tiredly. “Work went late tonight. I couldn’t afford to pass up the overtime.” He handed over the envelope, while turning to the kids. “Amy, Tom, you ready to go?”

“Sure, Dad,” Amy chirped. Tom, younger than his sister by two years, just nodded. He had become a boy of few words ever since their mother had died in the crash. Amy grabbed her little brother’s hand and pulled him over to the truck, pulling open the back door and helping the three-year-old into his car seat.

“You really should make an effort to spend more time with them,” Sandra said, some of the lecturing tone gone from her voice. When he looked at her, he saw only concern in her eyes. “It’s not good for kids to spend all day every day away from their parent.”

He sighed heavily. “I’ll take that under advisement when I can afford to pay all the bills,” he replied, and started back toward the truck. Continue reading ““Kill Yuan” Chapter Two”

“Kill Yuan” Is Up For Pre-Order, Plus A Little Taste

As of now, Kill Yuan is up for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of May 10.  Go here to preorder.

And just to give a bit of a taste, so you’ve got a reason to hit that preorder link, here’s Chapter 1:


 A shout from the watchtower drew Nong Song out of his reverie. He looked up from the table where he had been cleaning his QSZ-92, to see Banh waving from the watchtower and pointing off to the southwest.

He grimaced. Nong didn’t like many of the motley squad of Javanese and Malaysians he’d been saddled with, out here on tiny Pulau Repong, but the scrawny, gap-toothed Vietnamese pirate, who liked to boast about the number of merchant throats he had slit dockside in Cam Ranh, revolted him. But Shang Xiao Yuan had put him on this flyspeck in the ocean for a reason, so he hastily reassembled the pistol, then got up and reached for his binoculars.

As he scanned the water, looking for whatever Banh had meant by that inarticulate yell, he thought, for the hundredth time that week, that there really was very little to like about this entire situation. He had put on the single bar of a Shao Wei in the PLA Navy, only a year before, looking forward to a career that he hoped would ultimately end in a command of at least a destroyer, if not one of the refit Kuznetsov-class carriers. He certainly hadn’t expected his career to end less than a year later, resulting in his presently sitting on a tiny, miserable island in the South China Sea, commanding a band of pirates with only one other Han on the island. And Pan Jing was not the man he would have chosen to have with him. He was almost as bad as Banh. Continue reading ““Kill Yuan” Is Up For Pre-Order, Plus A Little Taste”