Power Vacuum Prologue

Power Vacuum Prologue

New Russian Military Exercises in Serbia   Recent reports indicate that what appears to be an entire Russian airborne battalion from the 7th Guards Air Assault Division has entered Serbia and is conducting joint exercises with the Serbian Army near the Hungarian border. So far, there have been no border crossings, but there are reports of live fire near the border. Hungarian Defense Forces are on high alert. Serbian relations with the West soured considerably following the Fourth Balkan War, in which Western forces intervened in the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo for the second time. The aftermath of that war saw Serbia drawn far more firmly into Russia’s orbit. With Russian forces pushing along the borders of Slovakia and Poland, ostensibly to create a “security buffer zone” between Russian-occupied territory and the war that erupted in Slovakia last year, this new movement presents a matter of some grave concern.   Chinese Naval Forces Shift Focus   Following reports of violence on and around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, including the reported—though vehemently denied by PLAN spokesperson Bai Guanting—sinking of several PLAN destroyers and severe damage done to the PLAN aircraft carrier Shandong, it appears that the

Interviews about the Ice and Monsters Launch

Interviews about the Ice and Monsters Launch

So, for the launch of Ice and Monsters, the first WarGate Books title outside the Forgotten Ruin series, I went on a few podcasts and interviews lately. First, we had a launch party on the Galaxy’s Edge stream on Tuesday night: Then came the Blasters and Blades podcast, with JR Handley, Nick Garber, and Cisca Small (JR’s got jokes, even in the title): And this afternoon, I was on Keystroke Medium with Josh Hayes and Scott Moon: I’ll be on the Superversive stream on Sunday, at 6pm CST. Overall, this launch has been a blast. Got my first orange #1 Best Seller tag. Looking forward to Shadows and Crows coming out a month from tomorrow.  

Ice and Monsters

Ice and Monsters

We hadn’t gotten far before that fog bank rolled up out of nowhere. I’ll admit, I didn’t think it was that weird to start with. Fog is fog. And we were all pretty good at nautical navigation that far into the float. I had my compass board on the gunwale, sure that I was holding course. So, we were fine. Sure, the night was supposed to have been clear. But who really trusts the weather forecasts in the “Situation” paragraph one hundred percent? The fog got thicker, and I eased off on the throttle. Within a couple dozen yards, I couldn’t even see the boats on either side of us, though I could still hear them. I glanced down at the compass, which was still rock-steady. We were good. We just had to go carefully because of the reduced visibility. At least, that was what I thought until we were still chugging through the waves, shrouded by fog, well after the time we should have been at the beach landing site. I started to question my judgement, but it wasn’t like we had a lot of reference points in this soup. The bearing had been spot on since we headed

Amazon, Galaxy’s Edge, and Single Points of Failure

Amazon, Galaxy’s Edge, and Single Points of Failure

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

Triarii Patches Are Here

Triarii Patches Are Here

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

Triarii Patches Update

Triarii Patches Update

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.

Blood Debt Is Live

Blood Debt Is Live

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

Blood Debt Chapter 3

Blood Debt Chapter 3

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.

Blood Debt Chapter 2

Blood Debt Chapter 2

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,

Blood Debt Chapter 1

Blood Debt Chapter 1

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