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””

Signal Boost: “The Ronin Genesis”

My friend Steven Hildreth just released his third novel today, The Ronin Genesis.

From the blurb:

April 20th, 2005.

Three days have passed since Ben Williams survived the harrowing attack on Tucson’s Saguaro Towers Hotel.

However, the danger has far from subsided.

Unknown to the public, the Saguaro Towers was a covert CIA station; the attack, an Iranian false-flag operation aimed at breaching the American intelligence apparatus. The Iranian operative responsible for the attack is in possession of sensitive information and has gone off the grid.

Short on options, the CIA turns to a small start-up private military company to hunt the Iranian. In turn, that PMC turns to Williams and members of his old Special Activities Division team.

Through bloody mercenary combat with multiple factions hunting the data in drug-torn Mexico, Ronin Defense Institute will be born, but there is no guarantee their company–or the shooters themselves–will survive.

I haven’t finished it yet, so I can’t say much about it, though Steven did run a few bits of it past me for a sanity check.  A review will be coming up in a while.  But he’s done a pretty good job with his first two, and from what I’ve seen so far, this one is up to par.  Go check it out.

“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.

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.