The Barrabas Run

Part of my “creative process” (damn, I hate that term) often involves reading in the genre I’m going to be working in.  Call it “setting the tone.”  I’ve had a few standbys for the shooter genre, ranging from Larry Correia’s and Mike Kupari’s Dead Six series, to Jack Murphy’s Deckard series, to Jack Silkstone’s PRIMAL series, among others.  Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan series has been pretty good (though I’m way behind on that one), along with Dalton Fury’s Kolt Raynor series.  I’ve also gone with some of the older books, such as Forsyth’s The Dogs of War, which I reviewed last week.

Part of the inspiration for the upcoming Brannigan’s Bastards has been the old Pinnacle/Gold Eagle Action-Adventure series, such as The Executioner, Phoenix Force, Able Team, and Stony Man.  But a larger part, among those old pulp shoot-em-ups, has been the Soldiers of Barrabas, or SOBs. Continue reading “The Barrabas Run”

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Frederick Forsyth’s “The Dogs of War”

Somehow, I went 36 years without reading this book.  That has now been rectified.

I did see the 1980 movie, with Christopher Walken (very young and not quite as wooden and weird as he is now) some years ago.  It follows the book for the most part, though it adds a few things.

One of the elements that the movie adds is that it makes The Dogs of War an action-adventure.  Which, while there is both, the book really isn’t.  The actual coup, “The Big Killing,” as Part Three is appropriately titled, doesn’t start until Page 335.  There are scattered bits of violence elsewhere, but that’s not really what the book is about.

You see, the book is a manual for the preparation and execution a mercenary-led coup in a Third World country, in the 1960s. Continue reading “Frederick Forsyth’s “The Dogs of War””

“Drawing the Line” Is Out!

The Beginning

The security situation on the Arizona-Mexico border has gotten bad…very bad. The Border Patrol is all but helpless, as narcos, terrorists, and common criminals cross the line with impunity.

One Arizona rancher has put up the money to hire a PMC to secure his land. He can’t afford much, or for long, but with work hard to come by, the former Special Operations contractors of Praetorian Security have jumped at the job.

It’s hot, boring, and uneventful at first. But when a bloodthirsty mob of cartel sicarios set their sights on taking over the ranch, the Praetorians have to dig in and fight.

It is a bloody, bullet-riddled siege in the desert hills. And it is Praetorian Security’s baptism by fire.

The novella that tells the story of just how Jeff and the boys got their hands on the cash they used on Socotra in Task Force Desperate is now out on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.  (No plans for a paperback version for the moment; I might look at a collection of short work sometime in the future.)

Now, it might come to some people’s attention that it’s actually been out for a couple of days, and there was no pre-order.  This was by design.  I’ve been learning more about how to make independent publishing work lately (there will be a far more thorough post about that coming up soon).  Part of that has been learning how to “train” Amazon’s algorithm to better target a book.  This kind of cold launch has been an experiment in that learning.  Still got some bugs to iron out, but I might be getting the hang of it.

More to come.  In the meantime, go enjoy some more blood, bullets, and mayhem.

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: