Soldiers for Hire

Tim Lynch, over on Free Range International, which I’ve read off and on for years now, makes some points related to not only the recent kerfuffle over the Erik Prince/DynCorp proposal for privatizing the war in Afghanistan, but about professional soldiers in general.  It is a point that I’ve tried to make, in different ways, with both the American Praetorian series and Kill Yuan.

Have you not heard about this? Of course not because it counters the legacy media narrative about so -called “mercenaries” while illustrating the uselessness of the United Nations in combating terrorism. Eeben Barrlow and his men are not mercenaries in any sense of the word. There is not a snow ball’s chance in hell that Joseph Kony or any other terrorist organization could hire them no matter how much money they paid. They are former military professionals who, although retired, remain military professionals willing to endure primitive conditions for months on end to teach their expertise to appropriate clientele.

The concepts that Prince is talking about and that Feral Jundi and I have been writing about for years work. All of us know that because all of us have done it. The only question regarding the concept of a Viceroy for Afghanistan heading a mostly Private Military Corporation effort to move Afghanistan toward peace is who heads the effort.

Read the rest on Free Range International.

It Is Release Day

Lex Talionis is now available on Kindle and Paperback.  It’s also on Kindle Unlimited for you KU subscribers.  Amazon doesn’t have the two editions linked on the same page yet, but that usually takes a couple of days.

War And Politics Have Consequences…

Praetorian Solutions has a rep. Not a particularly pleasant one in some circles, either. Over the last few years, they’ve run roughshod over the plans of terrorists, warlords, pirates, militias, narcos, foreign intelligence services—even some American politicians—and left a considerable trail of dead bodies behind them.

But when Jeff Stone and his team were in Mexico, someone who was supposed to be an ally sold them out, leaking information on their identities to the Dark Net. Now the wars are coming home. Before, they fought for hire, offering their services where they thought they could fight for their own sense of justice, putting the hurt on bad people for pay. Now they’re simply going to have to fight to survive. To do that, they’re going to have to embrace the Law of Retaliation. And, quite possibly, earn the title of “Praetorian”…in every sense of the word.

And because someone has asked already, no, putting the release date on D-Day was not symbolic.  It happened to be the first Tuesday of June.

Big thanks to all those who pre-ordered.  Have a blast, and I hope that you’ll spare a few moments to leave a review once you’re done.

Finished!

The final edit of Lex Talionis is done, and the files have been uploaded to KDP and Createspace.  Still waiting on the final cover file for the paperback, before I can order the proof, but everything is on schedule for release on the 6th.

Editing is probably the most grueling part of the writing process, especially when you’re trying to squeeze three passes into three weeks, and the manuscript starts at 161k words.  The final version comes to around 165k words, only reinforcing its position as the longest book I’ve ever written.

As I read through the book three times, I sort of thought of a theme song for this final ride of the Praetorians’ founding team.  It didn’t come from any of the music I listened to while writing it; music with lyrics tends to be a bit of a distraction while writing.  I wrote it mostly to the soundtracks from all three Expendables movies, along with a bit of a few Western soundtracks, and Bernard Hermann’s score for North by Northwest.  Editing mostly happened to the soundtracks from Hell or High Water and Logan.  (It’s that kind of book.)  But this just seemed to fit the whole thing:

Kill Yuan Is On Audible

It’s going to be a couple days before it pops up on Amazon and iTunes, but the Kill Yuan audiobook is up for purchase on Audible!  Finally!

So, now there’s not only a new cover, more along the lines of the classic Action/Adventure novels (I got comparisons to old school Mack Bolan from both Jack Murphy and Larry Correia when I showed each of them), but now you can listen to all the carnage and mayhem in your car (or shop, or office, or whatever).

I really think Cody did a damned good job with this one.  He managed to make each of the voices distinct.  It’s a good listen.

The First Draft is Done

Well, after a 4057-word day, the first draft of Lex Talionis is done.  Finally.

This thing is a beast.  It is the longest book I’ve written to date, topping the final draft of Hunting in the Shadows by over 13,000 words, weighing in at 161,860 words.  And that’s before editing, where a draft usually gains a couple thousand words.

But there were a lot of threads to tie up in this one.  It’s brutal, it’s bleak, but I think it’s a fitting end to the series.  There are parts that were quite uncomfortable to write, and probably will be a bit uncomfortable to read.  It is a cautionary tale in many ways, as the tagline, “War and Politics Have Consequences” should probably tell you.

I’m going to take a couple of days to let the gray matter rebound, and then it’s into editing.  I’ve got thirty days to get this monster ready to go.

Kill Yuan Second Edition

What’s that?  “Second Edition,” you say?

Well, as it happens, the story is the same.  A couple of typos have been corrected, but that’s the only change to the actual novel.

The big change is the cover.  A few people have expressed misgivings about or outright dislike of the original cover, finding it a bit too much like Archer, and therefore suggesting that the book is a parody, which anyone who has read it can tell you it is not.  It is an action/adventure thriller, along the same vein as the Praetorian series.

Now, I’d already been hearing a bit of this, though I’d also heard from people who really liked the cover.  But when the International Lord of Hate himself, Larry Correia, suggests, “You might want to consider a different cover; it looks like it’s a comedy,” you listen.  So, shortly after LTUE, I contacted Kevin Granzow, who has done covers for a couple of friends of mine, including Steven Hildreth and Ross Elder.

Behold:

The page on Amazon hasn’t updated with the new cover yet, though the preview file on “Look Inside” has, strangely enough.  The paperback is also going to be unavailable until I can get a proof approved; have to check the fixed interior formatting and how the cover file prints.  But it should be back up in a few days.

If you have already purchased the Kindle version of Kill Yuan, you can go on Amazon, go to “Manage My Kindle,” and there should be an option to download an update.

I also just approved the files for the Kill Yuan audiobook, so that should be up on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes in another few days, as well.  I’ll post again here when it is.

Now back to hammering out the last chapter of Lex Talionis.