Red Hammer Down

Since there’s a lot of inspiration from the SOBs series behind Brannigan’s Blackhearts, I’ve been slowly working my way through the series, in part as research to see how Gold Eagle ran a long-running action series.  I slowed down a bit, due to missing a few volumes in the middle, but since those gaps have been filled, I’ll be getting back to it.

Red Hammer Down is SOBs #6, following directly on from Gulag War.  In a very real sense, they form a two-parter; Red Hammer Down goes into the backlash from the mission to Siberia in Gulag War. Continue reading “Red Hammer Down”

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Soldiers of Barrabas – Gulag War

It’s been a while for one of these, but I’ve slowed down a bit, since I have yet to get my hands on #7, River of Flesh, and #8, Eye of the Fire.  I’ve admittedly been a bit reluctant to continue with #7, given that Robin Hardy wrote it, and my last outing with Hardy, Show No Mercy was…less than thrilling.  But Michael Mercy, over on the SOBs Fan group on Facebook, assures me that the problems with Show No Mercy were corrected with River of Flesh, so I’ll be getting back in the swing of things soon(ish). Continue reading “Soldiers of Barrabas – Gulag War”

Cheah Reviews American Praetorians

Over on Steemit, Ben Cheah has posted his review of the entirety of the American Praetorians series.  It’s mostly praise, with some critiques.

Read it here.

I can’t say I disagree with any of his critiques, though I’ve seen the opposite comments on the Jeff-Mia thing.  Needless to say, there’s a reason I’m not a romance author.  But I learned a lot writing that series, and they are lessons that I hope I’m applying well to the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series.

More SOBs: Butchers of Eden and Show No Mercy

Been a bit behind on these posts; it’s been a busy couple months.  While I don’t have the complete series, I have a good chunk of the Soldiers of Barrabas, and I’ve been working through them.  While Stony Man was kind of my gateway drug to the Gold Eagle paperback scene, the SOBs series is generally, in my opinion, slightly better (in no small part because it becomes evident early on that none of the team members–except maybe Nile Barrabas himself–have plot armor).  There are a number of influences in the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series, but the SOBs are a big one, in large part because I’ve adopted some of the storytelling tricks of a short, team-based, fast-paced action adventure story from them.  (Introducing each of the team members in the first couple chapters as the team gets rounded up is one of the main points I’ve adopted, as opposed to the in media res, on-the-fly intros we got in the Praetorian series.)

So, let’s get started. Continue reading “More SOBs: Butchers of Eden and Show No Mercy”

Soldiers of Barrabas #2 The Plains of Fire

This was my first SOBs novel.  And at the time, I was simply interested in the premise.  Iran goes nuclear.  It was a pretty high-profile concern a few years ago, and has been simmering in the background ever since.  There was even a documentary made about it, Iranium.  With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an avowed “Twelver” as President of Iran, the likelihood of Iranian nukes soon being used against the US and Israel seemed to be pretty high.  So imagine my curiosity when I found out that an obscure, 1984 Gold Eagle pulp mercenary story had been written about just that: stopping Iran from launching a nuclear attack. Continue reading “Soldiers of Barrabas #2 The Plains of Fire”

Book Review: Line in the Valley

I originally wrote this for Breach-Bang-Clear a while back, but it seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle, so here it is.

Line in the Valley is hard to categorize.  It’s a crime novel, a war novel, and a psychological study of men under the highest possible stress in combat, all at the same time.  It’s set against a backdrop of an invasion of South Texas, but that really only sets the background against which the events take place.

The story starts off with a bang, as advance elements made up of local gang-bangers eliminate all the cops in the target border towns.  It then follows the initial response, which goes very badly, before we get into the nitty gritty of the counterattack, which is where the meat of the story happens. Continue reading “Book Review: Line in the Valley”

Steve Diamond’s “Residue”

As I mentioned in a previous post, I often do some reading in the target genre prior to and during working on a book.  Now, I don’t really read a lot in the horror genre, with the exception of some Lovecraft, and Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, while involving monsters, aren’t really horror per se (though they are similar enough to what I write; there probably wouldn’t be a Jed Horn series without MHI).

But in the workup for Older and Fouler Things, I finally picked up a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while, Residue, by Steve Diamond.

Short version: it is phenomenal. Continue reading “Steve Diamond’s “Residue””