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.
Eryn sniffed the air as we stepped inside the entryway. “Do you smell that?” she asked. I couldn’t very well have missed it. The stench, like a mix of mold, formaldehyde, and rotten eggs, had slapped me in the face as soon as we’d opened the door. “Oh, yeah,” I said. “Hag. Crap.” I took a deep breath, redolent of the stink, and steeled myself as I closed the creaky door behind us. “I just hope it hasn’t fed yet.” The house could have been on a “Haunted Houses R Us” poster. Three stories, abandoned, with the porch sagging off the front of the house, all the paint peeling off, and not an unbroken window in sight, it was, of course, a prime attraction for the teenagers in Forth. The locals had stopped even bothering to try to lock the place up, since every padlock they put on the door ended up getting cut off with bolt cutters. Even if it hadn’t, the ground floor windows didn’t have any glass in them, so there really wasn’t any keeping people out, without putting a 24/7 guard on the place. Eryn and I had gotten the call about this one because there
It is live! The Devil You Don’t Know is now available for purchase on all platforms. I’m hoping that some of you have already delved in and gotten hooked. http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Dont-Know-American-Praetorians-ebook/dp/B00V56OFQI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1435075644&sr=8-3&keywords=peter+nealen http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devil-you-dont-know-peter-nealen/1122107089?ean=2940151965682 Thanks to the pre-orders, it’s up pretty far on the Amazon Kindle sales ranks right now, hitting the top 100 in both Organized Crime and Military thrillers.
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.
And, after 4,633 words worth of key-pounding today, I brought the first draft to a close. It’s slightly longer than Alone and Unafraid, before editing, and my books tend to get slightly longer as editing goes on. Whew. A 123,455-word manuscript knocked out in sixty-five days. I think I’m getting more practiced at this. It’s still coming out on June 23rd. For the Kindle readers, please go ahead and preorder (I’ll be getting the Nook and iBooks preorders up later; the manuscript has to be a bit further along before I can get it through the vetting process to get them on those platforms). The reason I’m pushing the preorders is because they all hit at midnight the day it comes out. That gives the book a good spike on Amazon’s stats, which gets it more visibility. It’s one of the little tricks independent authors need to learn to actually get somewhere. Now I’m going to go let my brain dribble out of my ear for a bit before I start editing…
Two chapters down. Good stuff’s coming. Here’s a look at the logo for the The Devil You Don’t Know:
Things have been busy, for all the lack of general updates. I’m a contributor to the latest SOFREP ebook, The ISIS Solution, available for pre-order on Amazon. This was a short-fuse project; between about five of us, we got it knocked out in about a week. Here’s the cover: It comes out on November 18. Meanwhile, I’m working on the next Jed Horn story, Nightmares, set some time before A Silver Cross and a Winchester. This will be the story of Jed’s introduction to the Order and his first “case.” I think it’s coming along a little bit more cohesively than the first, personally. The next Praetorian book, tentatively titled Hard Target, is also in the works; the research phase has begun. This one’s going to be complicated. (I know, it’s not like the others are…) Jeff and his team are going somewhere a little less dry, although just as hot, and the players are a little more diverse this time. I don’t want to give too much away, but this one will be touching on things a little bit more global in scope. I’ve also started outlining a science fiction story. It actually jumped out at me while re-working a
Since I’m reading through the rough draft of Henry Brown’s next book (It’s good), I thought I’d go back and review his first, Hell and Gone. Hell and Gone is set just before the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2003. The CIA has gotten wind of one of the suitcase nukes that Aleksandr Lebed warned about in the ’90s. It’s in AQ hands, in Sudan. Commander “Rocco” Cavarra, a former SEAL, is hired to head a team of soldiers-for-hire to go in and secure the warhead. The team is a Dirty Dozen/band of misfits crew. There are some serious personality clashes that ring true to an ad hoc unit thrown together at the last minute. On the book’s website, Hank compares the book to “The Expendables.” I’d argue that it’s better. The scenario is certainly better thought-out, and involves real-world factions, including the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Sudanese Janjaweed militias. The characters also have more in common with real-world veterans than Hollywood stereotypes of mercenaries. The action is well thought-out and engaging. The final few chapters are well worth the build up, and will keep you flipping pages. The prose does have a few rough edges, but