Another Article, and Another Review

My latest is up on Breach-Bang-Clear, concerning weapons being, in the words of Sam in Ronin, “A toolbox.”  Knowing your tools means that firearms aren’t like the latest iPhone.  (Of course, the Facebook comments on B-B-C’s page have already gone off the rails…never read the FB comments!)

The NRA recently decided to disallow revolvers and 1911s from their “Carry Guard” classes. They have since reversed that decision, probably after millions of gun owners took to the internet to tell them it was stupid). This decision seems to have once again highlighted the differing opinions in the firearms community about what is and is not an “obsolete” firearm.

I almost said, “reignited the debate,” but who are we kidding? It’s never stopped.

Read the rest on Breach-Bang-Clear.

Also, a fellow denizen of the “Men’s Adventure Paperbacks of the ’70s and ’80s” Group on Facebook, Greg Hatcher, has read and reviewed Lex Talionis.  It is an excellent review.

“I’m not much of a joiner, usually, but I do belong to an online community that is devoted to reading and collecting the men’s adventure paperbacks that dominated drugstore spinner racks in the sixties and seventies.

It happens that many of us write the stuff as well, and one of our number, Peter Nealen, asked if any of us would be interested in reviewing his latest. Of course I lunged at it, despite the appalling size of my to-read pile.”

Read the rest here.  (You will have to scroll down a bit, Greg’s post is a bit of a grab-bag.  Not unlike this one.)

Now That Was Downright Poetic

Reader Samuel, on Goodreads, has posted his review of Lex Talionis.  What he wrote can only be described as, “high praise, indeed.”

TAPS

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.” – USMC General (Ret) James Mattis.

“Let’s roll”. – Todd Beamer.

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”- Nathan Hale.

“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out…you might as well appeal against the thunder-storm.”- US Army General William T Sherman.

I’ve always held that Orwell, creator of the most iconic dystopia was wrong about many things. Contrary to his writings, what we hate, will not destroy humanity. Kill some of us perhaps, but that hatred, will keep the embers of life, of defiance burning to let us endure such suffering. No, what will destroy us, as argued by Huxley, will be what we love, cherish, and take for granted. The delusion that the residents of a civilized society are owed freedom from speech and freedom from fear, from cradle to the grave, has led to such freedoms being used, irresponsibly, and some might argue, immaturely.

The freedoms that many claim to cherish, have been squandered, soiled and stained, since 2017 began, with odious, smug extremism corrupting millions around the world. Every idea, however wretched or ill thought out in this age, is just as valid, or even more so than the ideas that have worked and been the foundations of modern society. One is not owed freedom from beginning to end. But for those who demand freedom, there is an obligation to nurture and protect it with care, rather than let it be choked by the weeds of petty squabbling generated by the virus of self-righteousness that has infected all political discourse in the West.

One person who has more than lived up to his obligations in nurturing freedom is Peter Nealen. Mr Nealen is a veteran of the revered USMC Force Recon unit. Serving his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nealen has made a fruitful business as an indie thriller writer. He has written a series of urban fantasy novels and a contemporary military thriller novel, but the crown jewel, where he cut his teeth and made his name is the dystopian American Praetorian series. Characterized by cutting edge research, visceral violence that is in a class above half the NYT bestseller list of 2017, a cast of amoral but loveable consummate professionals and a haunting and horrifyingly recognizable fictional universe, the AP saga, is indie thriller writing at its very best.

Focusing on the life and times of Jeff Stone, a private military contractor who finds himself drawn into an epic, globe spanning war in the shadows, Nealen, surprised many fans by stating he would end things on the fifth book – and then actually going through with it. As someone who has grown to love the series, I must confess I was a little sad, and intrigued. With so much narrative potential in the AP setting, would such a conclusion be satisfying? I really should have not doubted the author as Mr Nealen went above and beyond all expectations.

Read the rest on Goodreads.

Revolutions and Civil Wars

One of the themes I tried to explore a little in Lex Talionis is civil strife and out-and-out civil war.  (The line between “revolution” and “civil war” is thin, murky, and often non-existent.  A “civil war” ends up, much of the time, being a “revolution” that didn’t succeed right away.)  Some of the reason for this was, admittedly, in reaction to not only some of the civil strife we’ve already seen on the streets of American cities (and out in the boonies, as well, with the Cliven Bundy bunch), but also some of the calls I’ve seen on the blogosphere and social media, on both sides of the political divide, for “revolution” or “let’s get the civil war over with already.” Continue reading “Revolutions and Civil Wars”

Best Review of “Lex Talionis” Yet

Lex Talionis is now up to eleven reviews on Amazon, and still hovering somewhere in the 300s-400s in its category.  This review in particular caught my eye.  This is the kind of thing authors like to hear; it means we did our job and put the reader into the middle of the action.

If you haven’t checked the book out yet, hopefully that will convince you to give it a shot.  And if you have, be sure to leave a review!

Short Update

I know, I was going to blog more.  Twice a week or so, I said.  Well, it’s been busy, but here’s a quick rundown as to why.

I had to take a few days “operational pause” on Lex Talionis to do some re-thinking.  As originally outlined, the final chapters were a bit too episodic, as in, “This happens, and then this happens, and then this happens.”  Good storytelling ties things together a bit more.  It should be more along the lines of, “This happens, which leads to this happening, so then this happens, but then…”  The new direction should tighten things up and get it more into the latter model.  Still a lot to do; probably 20,000-30,000 words left, which will put it as the longest Praetorian story to date, a title presently held by Hunting in the Shadows, at 148.5k.

Audiobook production on Kill Yuan is about half done, and it’s coming along well.  That’s bitten into writing time a little, as well, as I’ve got to review each chapter as Cody finishes and uploads it.  But it’s solid.  He’s doing a great job.

Somewhere in there, the idea that led to the “New Ideas” post down below began to solidify.  I’ve even got the beginnings of the first book put together in my head.  Still don’t know exactly when it’s going to fit into the schedule; it’s going to depend on how much I can get done in the next six months, and how Jed Horn #4, Older and Fouler Things, comes together.  But look for Brannigan’s Bastards #1 sometime late this year or early next year, as things presently stand.

 

Now, back to the word mines with me.