Brannigan’s Blackhearts have a team logo now. Though the Colonel might be a bit less than enthused about it, given the nature of the team…
Well, there’s less than a week until Burmese Crossfire comes out. One last peek before it’s go time. Joe Flanagan was not a man given to many words or noticeable outbursts of emotion. He was often best described as “laconic,” and he took some pride in that fact. He was a quiet man, often a gray man, passing unnoticed through the crowd, and he liked it that way. He and Brannigan were of similar temperaments in that respect, as both preferred the wilderness to the hustle and bustle of the city. Right at the moment, though, Flanagan’s eyes were smoldering, and his jaw was tight under his thick, black beard. He was not a happy man. He checked his watch again. He knew he was in the right place. The Vegas apartment complex hadn’t been hard to find. It had been a long drive to get there, and now Curtis was late. He would have let the man make his own way, but he’d been hiking in Utah, so he’d been close enough to swing through Vegas and pick the other man up on the way up to Colonel Brannigan’s place in Idaho. But they still had a long way
The paperback proof is here, the Kindle pre-order is up ($0.99 until Jan 20, when it goes up to $3.99), and here is Chapter 2 to whet more appetites. The unimaginatively-named “Road-House” lay just off the highway, about twenty miles from the nearest town. It didn’t get a lot of traffic, except for the occasional motorist stopping in to grab something to eat, either at the gas station attached to the “Road-House” or at the restaurant and bar itself. John Brannigan nearly filled the doorway as he stepped inside. Six-foot-four, broad-shouldered, he retained the leanness and power of a man much younger than his nearly fifty years. His hair was going gray, as was the thick handlebar mustache he’d grown since he’d retired—not entirely willingly—from the Marine Corps, some years before. Deep lines surrounded his icy eyes as he swept the interior of the restaurant with a practiced, professional gaze. This was a man who had never stepped into a room without knowing the layout, who was in it, and how to get out. It wasn’t that he was paranoid. It was simply a fact that twenty-three years as a Marine, both enlisted and commissioned, had hard-wired certain habits into
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.
So, I’ve been keeping this project reasonably quiet while waiting for The Walker on the Hills to release. However, I’ve made some pretty decent progress so far; seven chapters of the first draft are done already. Some of you may remember I talked some time ago about a project in part inspired by the game Far Cry 3. As I played that one, I kept thinking, “Sneaking through the jungle slaughtering pirates is fun, but this story is kind of dumb. It feels like it was written by somebody who’s never actually been outside of a game development studio. I bet I could do better.” A later interview with the main writer, where he was going on about how “meta” it was (something that nobody who played it apparently picked up on), only cemented my contempt for the story. Game’s still fun. Story’s crap. So was born Kill Yuan.
They didn’t lead us to the sheriff’s department, as I’d halfway been expecting. Instead, we headed back toward the interstate, and pulled off in the truck stop at the exit. Craig parked the cruiser back by the semis, then got out and waited. I looked over at Eryn, shrugged, and got out to go join him. He was leaning against the hood of the cruiser, his arms crossed in front of him. “What do you know about Chrystal Meek?” he asked as I walked up to him. I shook my head. “Bupkis,” I told him. “She’s a name that Blake gave us to find if we couldn’t meet up with him. That’s all we know.” Craig frowned, looking down at the asphalt as if to gather his thoughts. “Chrystal’s…well, she’s been through a lot. I’d almost say she’s the one decent person in that blight of a town. A lot of people have tried to get her to leave, but she’s always been the type to say that it’s her home, that she can’t leave, you know? She’s stayed for her mom. Lord knows why. Her mom’s an abusive addict, nobody knows who her dad was, and she’s had a
Gravel crunched under my truck’s tires as we rolled up Ray’s long driveway in the dying light of the next day. Eryn was half asleep in the passenger seat, her head lolling against the window. It had been a long day. There had been a lot of questions in the Forth Police Department. A lot. And no surprise, really. They had a missing kid, bleached human bones, a weird pile of ash and greasy rags, three very traumatized teenagers, gunshots, and two people from out of town who weren’t terribly forthcoming as to what they were doing there with the kids or what they’d been shooting at. Any cop worth his or her salt would be inclined to throw everybody in jail until they had answers. Fortunately, we were saved a lot of time and heartburn by a curious side-effect of the hag’s spell. While the kids had appeared comatose, they were in fact completely aware of their surroundings the entire time. Hags are cruel creatures.
So, the audiobook of Task Force Desperate is almost finished; a few final pickups and it will be ready to go. It’ll be on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes exclusively. The Devil You Don’t Know releases in 11 more days. The final versions are all uploaded, and it will be on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iBooks, and Kobo (yes, I’ve actually sold a few books on Kobo), as well as paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I just got the paperback proof today: Coming up, I’m starting in on outlining The Walker on the Hills, the next Jed Horn story. There’s another project that might be in the works, but I don’t want to say too much about it yet. Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into it, one way or another.
So, there is indeed going to be an audiobook of Task Force Desperate. I’ve reached an agreement with Wyntner Woody, and he is presently in the process of producing the book. He nailed the tone in the audition, and the first fifteen minutes that he sent me was just as good, if not better. I think you’re going to like this. Hopefully we can make an arrangement to keep him working on the rest of the series. We’ve even already got the cover art for the audiobook set up: I’ve taken stock of a bunch of projects that are presently lined up. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve got at least three (most likely more) more Praetorian novels in mind. There’s a stand-alone pirate hunting story, partially inspired by Far Cry 3, just without the douchey affluent jackass trying to be meta about violence and gaming part. Three more Jed Horn stories are lined up. And I’ve had a sort of sword-and-sorcery story that’s been kicking around for about three or four years, that has now expanded into its own setting, with at least three stories set out in broad strokes there. Finally, I’ve got a hard-SF
The first draft of Nightmares is done. It’s slightly longer than A Silver Cross and a Winchester. It’s out to the Alpha Readers, and I’ll start in on editing in the next day or so. Giving the brain a bit of a break. Hopefully, I should be able to have it up for Kindle pre-order in the next couple of days. Next up, Hard Target (working title; if something else comes up as better, it’ll change, just like Hunting in the Shadows did). Huge amount of research going into this one; it’s an AO I’m not personally familiar with, and touching on some big-time, heavy duty global concepts. Lotta work. Can’t wait to get started. Meanwhile, a little snippet from Nightmares: I don’t know how I hadn’t seen this bad boy before; he was almost a head taller than the rest, broad-shouldered and thick-limbed, with a massive pair of curling ram’s horns rising from his skull. He stamped the ground and roared a challenge. The bleating tone to the roar kind of took away from the effect a little. He threw his arms wide and stamped again, dropping his head to charge. I shot him center chest. Dan’s shot was