So, over the weekend, someone or somebot at Amazon apparently decided that Galaxy’s Edge Press was in violation of their terms of service, and deleted and banned their KDP account. Dozens of books disappeared from Amazon in a heartbeat. An entire weekend’s cash flow was disrupted. It did get resolved, and all the books are back up this morning, though a lot of the details of just what happened are still hazy. There are some ideologues at Amazon who like to pull these little fast ones from time to time. Entire authors have been deleted. There’s no evidence that this is what happened this time, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. As Nick Cole has said, it still makes one wonder about being Amazon exclusive. Now, this is concerning to me for a couple of reasons. One, my upcoming releases through GE Press’s Wargate imprint were also affected. But that’s almost a secondary concern. Amazon has been a hell of a tool for the independent author. Kindle Direct Publishing has enabled thousands who might not otherwise have gotten published–not necessarily due to the quality of their work, either–to get their stuff out there. That’s one of the
A couple weeks ago, I announced the pre-order for the Triarii unit patches. Well, they’re out of preorder, since the first run just got here yesterday. The pre-orders are going out today. The Triarii were named after the third rank of the Republican Roman legions before the Marian Reforms. While Marius effectively turned the legions into a heavy-infantry-centric professional force, there was a greater variation in the ranks of the citizen-soldier army that preceded it. The basic unit was the maniple, which was deployed in three lines: hastati, principes, and triarii. The hastati were younger, poorer, lighter-armed and armored front line troops. Principes were better-equipped spearmen who formed the second rank. The triarii were the veterans, oldest and wealthiest, with the best and heaviest armor and weapons. They were the final effort, the last ditch when the ranks ahead of them had broken. It was that historical example that led Colonel Santiago to name his paramilitary NGO “The Triarii.” Dedicated to stepping in where the government was either breaking down or deliberately ignoring its responsibilities for political purposes, the Triarii were to be the last ditch defense of the Republic as it had been founded. The helmet in the center
So, given the expressed interest, I started working on getting some Triarii patches made. I went a bit of a different route this time, but the end results are on the way, and they’re awesome. Unlike the Praetorian Security patches, these are embroidered, and only in green. Most of that was a cost measure, since I still have an awful lot of Praetorian patches in stock. If we sell enough, maybe we can do a run in tan. I still don’t have them in hand, but they should be here the week after Christmas. The preorder, however, is up, so if you order them now, I’ll get them out as soon as they get here. I’ve seen at least one homemade Triarii badge, so now’s the time to make it official. Preorder your patch here.
No Going Back He looked up at the towers, just in time to see one of the ballistic windows on the eastern corner tower slide open. He didn’t think. He just reacted. The only reason for one of those windows to open would be that they’d been spotted, and were about to take fire. Snapping his rifle to his shoulder, he leaned around Bianco’s shoulder, put the faint, red chevron in the ACOG, still illuminated despite the fact that the optic was so old that the tritium had to be half depleted already, on that dark rectangle in the top of the tower, flipping the weapon to “semi” and squeezing the trigger as soon as the chevron settled. The M4 thundered in the otherwise quiet night, spitting flame in the dark as Bianco flinched away from the muzzle blast. Wade leaned into the rifle, dumping four more rounds into the opening even as Kirk opened fire on the other tower, if only to cover Wade’s back. They were committed, now. *** Mercenaries strike a hidden base… …But it’s a trap. Now they have only one hope – Brannigan’s Blackhearts When Mitchell Price’s black bag team hit a mysterious former Soviet
I need to get up. Joe Flanagan looked up at the sunlight streaming through the window with some bemusement. With rare exceptions, he was usually up a good hour before the sun, this time of year. But as he turned to see Rachel—now Rachel Flanagan—lying next to him, breathing softly, he took a deep breath and settled back on the pillow. It’s not every day that a man has his honeymoon, and while there were chores that still had to happen that day, he was going to relax a little. After a while, though, he started to get restless, and carefully slipped out from under the covers, swinging his feet down to the floor before quietly getting dressed and padding into the kitchen, starting the water boiling for coffee. He turned as movement caught his eye, to see Rachel, wrapped in her bathrobe, her hair disheveled but lovely, smiling at him from the doorway. “You’re not quite as sneaky as you think, hon.” While Flanagan was ordinarily something of a stoic, his wife drew a grin. She’d had that effect on him ever since Kevin Curtis had introduced them, unwittingly setting events in motion that had led to this point.
Dan Tackett heard the phone vibrating on the workbench, even over the faint strains of Charley Crockett coming from the small speaker on the shelf above, but he ignored it. One thing at a time. He wasn’t going to leave the job half-finished just to answer the phone. He finished tightening down the housing and stepped back from the bike appreciatively. Hondas weren’t his favorite to work on, but he was good at it, and he had to admit that this Shadow Phantom was a nice-looking bike. Looking around the shop, he nodded. It never quite ceased to amaze him, even after five years, how much he’d managed to build. He knew he couldn’t have done it without Mitchell Price’s payoff after the Anambas mission had gone horribly awry, but all the same, there’d been a time when he’d wondered if he’d ever be good for anything but packing a gun in dangerous and far distant places. It had been that wonder, as he’d been working a dead-end job and trying to maintain the lifestyle he’d had before his first wife had died, that had led him to that ill-fated contract. After the hell he’d gone through on those islands,
Vernon White was just glad that they were in the truck and heading up into the mountains. It promised to be a rough ride, as the old, Soviet Ural truck had clearly seen better days, but at least he and the rest of the team were in the covered bed and out of sight. Max, Travis, and especially Sam, lean and crooked as he looked, blended in with the Russians in Kyrgyzstan far better than a tall, muscled, bald-headed black man. Bishkek had been bad enough. Kochkor had been far worse. Even the rest of the team had caught stares there. The Kyrgyz themselves weren’t Russian, and all the MMPR Special Projects team were either too pale or too dark. He looked around the inside of the truck bed. Max hadn’t changed much since their first mission together, in that ill-advised trip into the Anambas in the South China Sea. He never tanned, instead turning bright red for a few days before returning to a “lighter shade of pale.” He’d always been hefty, and that hadn’t changed, no matter some of the austere environments that Mitchell Price’s special tasks had taken them to. Sam hadn’t changed much, either, except to
While Blood Debt is just around the corner, there are some other things going on. Last night, I released the second American Praetorians Box Set – The Americas Duology. Some who have come to my work through Brannigan’s Blackhearts or Maelstrom Rising might or might not have read the American Praetorians series. Now the entire series (in ebook, at least) can be had for about half the price of the individual books. Part of why I released this now is because of Lex Talionis. Many factors have changed or accelerated since I wrote that book in 2017, but some of it remains as timely as ever. It was, in many ways, intended to be a cautionary tale. A parable of what we were heading for if we kept letting outrage rule. In many ways, I think I might not have gone quite deep enough with it. Some of the digging I’ve done since has exposed the faction I described as “Sulla” as more extensive and real than I’d imagined four years ago. Perhaps some elements will work themselves in to later series. In other news, after receiving some good feedback on the questionnaire I put up a couple weeks ago, I have decided to finally
Dan Tackett, the main character of Kill Yuan, returns in Blood Debt, the tenth Brannigan’s Blackhearts novel. It’s a tighter, more localized fight this time, but there are still some interesting guns that will be used by friend and foe alike. As the story opens, Mitchell Price’s Special Purpose team is closing in on their target, armed with Gilboa M43 carbines. Price decided on these rifles for the ergonomics of the AR/M4 platform, while still maintaining the capability to rearm with 7.62x39mm, which is common enough in Central Asia. They are confronted by shooters in unfamiliar camouflage, carrying B+T APC 300 carbines. The Advanced Police Carbine is a Swiss design, ambidextrous, and can take B+T’s ROTEX suppressor. The APC does come in 5.56, but the APC 300 is optimized for .300 Blackout. Boyd, the Humanity Front’s main hatchet man in Kyrgyzstan, is a professional, but he’s not as into exotic guns as Flint was. He picked the APC 300s for his team because the Front doesn’t want the appearance of a standardized military force. But his sidearm is pretty standard: a Glock 17 9mm. When Brannigan’s Blackhearts get on the ground, they can’t be that choosy. Their contact has access to a
I’ve gotten some more inquiries about Triarii patches lately. So far, I’ve held off because I still have quite a few Praetorian patches in stock. It’s a non-trivial up-front expense. However, I might have an avenue to get some made now. SO, I need some solid numbers. If you are interested in a Triarii patch (subdued green only for now), go ahead and follow the link and let me know. Triarii Patch Interest Questionnaire