“Colonel Brannigan, I presume?” Contralmirante Huerta stood up and extended his hand. The Mexican officer was in mufti, a dark suit and shiny blue shirt. Brannigan shook the proffered hand. He towered over the Mexican admiral, who was showing a bit of gray in his slickly-parted hair and mustache, though not nearly as much as Brannigan was. Brannigan had dressed up a little for the meeting; he was wearing khakis and a sport coat, in contrast to his usual “retired” outdoor wear. He was still wearing boots, though, and the sport coat hid the Wilson Combat 1911 on his hip. Even with Van Zandt and Gomez in the room, he didn’t trust this Mexican officer very far. He knew too much about how much the bad guys had infiltrated the instruments of the Mexican government. Van Zandt was in a suit, and was standing back to one side, watching the two men meet. Gomez had posted himself up at the door, watching everything impassively with his hard, black eyes. Gomez had become a Blackheart in the plus-up that Hancock and Santelli had conducted prior to the Burma job. Nobody knew much about him. He didn’t talk much. In fact, getting
“No,” John Brannigan said. “Not only no, but hell no.” “John,” Hector Chavez started to remonstrate with him, “we’re not talking about some half-assed Pemex contract, here.” The two men were facing each other across a table in the Rocking K, the best—and essentially only—diner in tiny Junction City. It wasn’t the sort of place most people would immediately think of when it came to planning covert operations, but it was the closest meeting place to Brannigan’s mountain hideaway, and so Chavez had pegged it as their contact spot, more often than not. John Brannigan was a towering, six-foot-four former Marine Colonel, his hair gone shaggy and gray on his head and his face. He shaved his cheeks and his chin, but his handlebar mustache was bushier than ever. He might have had a few more crow’s feet around his gray eyes, especially after his recent turn to mercenary commander. Activities like a hair-raising mission on the island of Khadarkh in the Persian Gulf, followed by a jump into northern Burma to take down a North Korean liaison operation in the Golden Triangle, were not calculated to keep a man young. Brannigan was dressed in his usual flannel shirt and
Brannigan’s Blackhearts #1 – Fury in the Gulf is up for Kindle pre-order on Amazon. (Paperback is still going to have to wait until release day.) It’s actually been up for a couple of weeks now. I haven’t said anything about it before now because I’ve been attempting to do something similar to what Chris Fox talks about in this video, attempting to get more organic growth and exposure with Amazon Marketing Services. Of course, the whole Brannigan’s Bastards vs Brannigan’s Blackhearts fiasco put me back by a week, so I’m not seeing anything like the numbers Chris talks about in that video. (Admittedly, I’m starting to wonder how much that works with Action Adventure vs Science Fiction & Fantasy.) The tiny island kingdom of Khadarkh, strategically placed in the Persian Gulf, has swung back and forth between the Saudi and Iranian orbits for years. But when a mysterious force seizes control of the island, executes the tiny Khadarkhi Army, and takes any Americans they can find hostage, it appears that Khadarkh will be an Iranian puppet for the foreseeable future. The politicians are afraid of risking the hostages. And as the Western powers dither, some people start to look
The weird odor in the air, that managed to smell like blood, rot, sulfur, and burned meat all at the same time, got more intense. My guts twisted and I tried not to inhale, but it seemed to reach into my nose anyway, forcing itself past my nasal passages and into my sinuses. A piercing, stabbing pain started to build behind my left eye. I heard Kolya grunt, and Eryn was panting, breathing shallowly. I spared a worried glance at her, to see that she still had her shotgun up, though she looked pale and sick. Granted, some of that might have been the green light of the candles on her already fair complexion, but whatever was happening in that room was not conducive to human life. As soon as they landed on the corpse pile, both figures went limp, though blood continued to pump from their savaged throats, coating the floor and the already bloody meat that had once been human beings. For a moment, all was still. Father Ignacio was continuing the Rite of Exorcism, but the three still-living cultists, or whatever they were, were still facing the pile of human remains, still croaking that blasphemous sound, though
Back in June, Nick Cole and Jason Anspach released a military SF novel entitled Galaxy’s Edge: Legionnaire. I’d been peripherally aware of Mr. Cole for a while, ever since Harper Voyager kicked him to the curb for political reasons. But what he and Anspach pulled off made me sit up and take notice. Because Legionnaire, a brand-new, independently-published mil-SF novel, shot to the top 100 on Kindle, and #1 in its categories, and proceeded to stay there. For weeks. And they made no secret that they wanted to share how they did it with other authors. I talked to Mr. Cole myself for a bit, and got the gears turning, even before they released their After Action Report podcast. Cole pointed me toward the non-fiction work of Chris Fox, who has been studying what works in independent publishing, specifically Amazon, for some time. I started doing some more reading.
Lex Talionis is now available on Kindle and Paperback. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited for you KU subscribers. Amazon doesn’t have the two editions linked on the same page yet, but that usually takes a couple of days. War And Politics Have Consequences… Praetorian Solutions has a rep. Not a particularly pleasant one in some circles, either. Over the last few years, they’ve run roughshod over the plans of terrorists, warlords, pirates, militias, narcos, foreign intelligence services—even some American politicians—and left a considerable trail of dead bodies behind them. But when Jeff Stone and his team were in Mexico, someone who was supposed to be an ally sold them out, leaking information on their identities to the Dark Net. Now the wars are coming home. Before, they fought for hire, offering their services where they thought they could fight for their own sense of justice, putting the hurt on bad people for pay. Now they’re simply going to have to fight to survive. To do that, they’re going to have to embrace the Law of Retaliation. And, quite possibly, earn the title of “Praetorian”…in every sense of the word. And because someone has asked already, no, putting the release date
I’ve talked about it a little on Facebook, but I’ve recently finished the Jed Horn novelette The Canyon of the Lost, which should be out soon on Kindle. The art is still being worked on, which is why there’s no pre-order yet, but it’s almost there. Here’s a peek:
Today’s the day. Kill Yuan is out. Amazon’s being a little slower getting the paperback up than they have previously, but it is on the way. The Kindle link is here. As previously announced, the ebook is presently Kindle exclusive. I’m giving Kindle Select a try, which also means that if you are subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow the book on your Kindle. Signed paperbacks are now available for pre-order on americanpraetorians.com, to go out June 10.
So, in light of a recent article highlighting the decline of the B&N Nook (they are no longer selling Nook books in the UK), and some things I’ve been seeing regarding Kindle Select, I’m trying an experiment with Kill Yuan. It has been unpublished on Smashwords, meaning it will be coming off of B&N and iBooks for preorder within the next week. Both outlets have accounted for a very small fraction of my sales to date, so I’m going to try Kindle Select for this one, and see if it works better. If you’re the one person who already preordered it on iBooks, I apologize. You’ll be refunded. I just have to see if Kindle Select offers enough advantages to balance out the small number of sales I’ve gotten on other platforms.
At long last, The Walker on the Hills is live, for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. Paperback can be ordered, but is taking longer than anticipated; Createspace is being slow, probably due to the proximity of Christmas. I’m kind of proud of this one; I think it’s the strongest of the series to date. It’s certainly the longest. There’s a lot going on, and a few hints of things to come for those who are paying attention. The Kindle can be found here, with the Nook version here.