Doctors of Death Chapter 1

The Cessna 208 dropped like a stone and hit the runway in Abeche with a hard jolt that almost threw Dr. Elisa King into the back of the seat in front of her, despite the seatbelt.  For a moment, she thought that something must have broken. The pilot immediately slammed on the brakes and reversed the props, further throwing her and everyone and everything in the cramped cabin forward as the engines howled, trying to slow the plane down.

She hadn’t thought that the runway at Abeche was so short that a relatively small plane like the Cessna would need to decelerate that hard, but given what she’d seen of the pilot, maybe she shouldn’t have been surprised.

It wasn’t her first time in Africa, but her first time in Chad.  The World Health Organization had often sent observers to document the almost routine cholera outbreaks, but this was the first time someone with her specialty had been called for in the Sahel.

The plane having finally slowed to a reasonable pace, the pilot taxied toward the low, one-story terminal.  King looked out the window, taking in a part of Africa she hadn’t seen yet.

It looked an awful lot like many other parts.  The landscape was barren and dusty, obscured by heat waves and dotted with scrub.  The flatness of the country was broken only by low, peaked hills that looked like pyramids in the distance.

There were three military jets lined up against the retaining wall to the south of the airport.  Two had mechanics swarming over them, and the third didn’t look like it was in any shape to fly.  Half of one engine appeared to be apart, and there was a dusty tarp draped over the canopy.  King only spared them a brief glance; she wasn’t particularly interested in the Chadian military, or any military, for that matter, as long as they kept out of her way.

The WHO cavalcade didn’t really stand out from the other vehicles gathered at the terminal, because they were all Hiluxes and Land Rovers, just like almost every other vehicle in that part of Africa.  But the tall, spare Frenchman standing next to one of the Land Rovers caught her eye, indicating where they were supposed to go.  She’d recognize Flavien Paquet anywhere.

The plane stopped far short of the terminal, and the engines started to spool down.  King was not amused; she had probably a hundred pounds of baggage, and wasn’t looking forward to lugging it the quarter mile to the rest of the vehicles.  But the pilot, a local Chadian Sara, didn’t look remotely concerned, and showed no signs of starting the engines up to taxi any closer.  He was comfortable where he was.

“Typical,” Gerhart Strasser muttered under his breath.  The German epidemiologist usually spoke English, having spent most of the last ten years jetting between the US, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.  This was his first trip to Africa in quite some time, and he was already displaying his utter contempt for the Africans and their “dirty little countries.” Continue reading “Doctors of Death Chapter 1”

Advertisements

A Little Something in the Works

Coming Q1 2019

(No, this is not the possible sequel to the American Praetorians series that I mentioned a year or so ago.  That one probably isn’t happening; the AP series is words complete, and will likely stay that way.  This is something new.)

The AP Facelift Continues

So, I’ve got to get new files for the revised Task Force Desperate cover.  KDP Print is printing way too dark, and the silhouettes are disappearing into the background.

I don’t think that’s going to be an issue with the updated Hunting in the Shadows cover.  Feast your eyes:

I think it fits the title a little better.  (And before somebody starts pointing out the AR, notice the profile, and remember that .300 Blackout ARs were in common use in this book as well.)

Currently no similar updates in mind for the other covers; I think they’re still pretty solid.  Some interior updates are happening, but they are relatively minor (reformatting, updating the “Also By” list, etc.).

Once everything’s updated, I’ll probably run a Kindle Countdown deal, probably next month, see if I can’t rekindle a little interest.  Drawing the Line might (might) be coming down off Amazon and turning into a free newsletter draw via Bookfunnel (like Incident at Trakan for The Unity Wars).  Haven’t quite decided that yet.  (And, it’s going to mean redoing interior files again to put the link in the back matter.)

Now, back to the word mines.

Warlock #1 – Autofire Blitz

I’ve made no secret of the fact that in many ways, the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series is a bit of a throwback to the glory days of Men’s Adventure fiction, most exemplified by The Executioner, Phoenix Force, Able Team, the SOBs, and similar series.

Mark Allen’s Warlock is the same thing, if in a slightly different direction.  The cover should be a dead giveaway, too; it looks like a Mack Bolan cover. Continue reading “Warlock #1 – Autofire Blitz”

Updates and Revisions

It’s been a slow couple of weeks, because that’s how outlining goes.  I’d hoped to speed that process up, but the Cogitation Engine only seems to work so fast, and outlining a book still takes the better part of a week.  A week for less than 5k words (Grumble, growl), but those 5k – are necessary to get the machine running when it comes to hammering out the draft.

In the meantime, however, the aforementioned updates to the American Praetorian series have begun.  Task Force Desperate has been reformatted, bringing the front and back matter (and the rest of the interior formatting) more in line with later stuff.  Applying the lessons of the last six years, you might say (yes, it has been six years since TFD first was published).

There’s also a new cover.  Over the five years of the series, the style was developed to a sharp point, and so we’re going back and touching up the first couple to match.  Feast your eyes:

Hunting in the Shadows will be getting a similar update soon; I’ve just got to figure out what reference photos to send Derrick for him to work the silhouettes.  Currently, the Kindle edition has been updated, and I’m working on the paperback; it’s requiring a whole new edition to bring it into line with the rest (some fundamental changes had to be made that couldn’t be done without unpublishing the original and starting over).

So, This Happened

Dave Reeder, from Breach-Bang-Clear (which I’ve written some articles for in the past), is a bit of a fan of the American Praetorians series.  So much so, in fact, that he commissioned an American Praetorians Radical Firearms RF-15 for me.

Haven’t had a chance to shoot it yet, but it feels good, and it looks badass.  Consider this your official Thank You, Dave. Continue reading “So, This Happened”

High Desert Vengeance Chapter 2

With High Desert Vengeance going live tomorrow, here’s another sneak peak.  Things are starting to get tense in the aftermath of the massacre in Chapter 1.


Mario Gomez squinted in the sunlight.  It was cool at the moment, but it still felt warm after Transnistria in the winter.  He’d been home for a month, but most of that month had been spent watching over Sam Childress as he underwent multiple surgeries.  His wounds had been bad, and he still wasn’t ever going to walk again.

He rarely showed it, but Mario worried about his comrade.  He’d prayed every night for him, either for his recovery, or the strength to cope with whatever came next.  It wasn’t something he talked about much.  Mario Gomez wasn’t much of a talker.

He never had been.  He had always been more comfortable watching, listening, and acting than talking.  His tendency to silence had been a source of eternal aggravation to his gregarious younger sister, and his propensity for sudden, apparently impulsive action a matter of often grave concern to his more stolid, hard-working father.  Only his mother, Cocheta, had really understood him, and even that was an often-unspoken understanding.  She had been the only one who hadn’t objected when he’d joined the Marine Corps, simply telling him to keep their people’s honor intact.

His comfort with silence had been why he’d slipped away without telling the rest of his new comrades, the mercenaries who called themselves Brannigan’s Blackhearts when no one else was in earshot, without saying a word.  Nor had he explained what had made him almost miss the Transnistrian job.  His problems were his problems, not theirs.

He knew that his silence had separated him somewhat from the rest of the team, except maybe from Joe Flanagan, who was a quiet man, himself.  But it was just his way, and he was too set in it to change.

It had been a long drive from the airport in Silver City, but he was almost to Lordsburg.  Almost to the mortuary where the remains of his family were waiting. Continue reading “High Desert Vengeance Chapter 2”