Brannigan’s Blackhearts #3 – Enemy Unidentified is up for Kindle pre-order, due out the 15th. So, here’s the first preview chapter. Officer Lou Hall had been on the San Diego PD for about a year. He’d just gotten off night shift, and frankly wasn’t sure whether the tradeoff had been worth it. Sure, he got to see the sun a lot more, and with the sun, in San Diego in the summertime—the winter tended to be pretty gray and damp—usually came the California girls, dressed in as little clothing as they could get away with. But his partner, Fred Dobbs, was a surly, balding cynic, he wasn’t getting paid that much more, and most of those same attractive California girls turned up their noses as soon as they saw his badge. He’d even gotten berated by one for, “just wanting to shoot minorities.” He was half Mexican, himself, so he didn’t know where the hell that had come from. Then he looked on social media, and didn’t have any more questions. Dobbs was grumbling, as usual, and Hall had tuned him out after about the first five minutes, as usual. It was always the same thing. Dobbs was in the
What do we have here? It’s a beast of a book; 430 pages. Five more days.
The final edit of Lex Talionis is done, and the files have been uploaded to KDP and Createspace. Still waiting on the final cover file for the paperback, before I can order the proof, but everything is on schedule for release on the 6th. Editing is probably the most grueling part of the writing process, especially when you’re trying to squeeze three passes into three weeks, and the manuscript starts at 161k words. The final version comes to around 165k words, only reinforcing its position as the longest book I’ve ever written. As I read through the book three times, I sort of thought of a theme song for this final ride of the Praetorians’ founding team. It didn’t come from any of the music I listened to while writing it; music with lyrics tends to be a bit of a distraction while writing. I wrote it mostly to the soundtracks from all three Expendables movies, along with a bit of a few Western soundtracks, and Bernard Hermann’s score for North by Northwest. Editing mostly happened to the soundtracks from Hell or High Water and Logan. (It’s that kind of book.) But this just seemed to fit the whole thing:
It’s going to be a couple days before it pops up on Amazon and iTunes, but the Kill Yuan audiobook is up for purchase on Audible! Finally! So, now there’s not only a new cover, more along the lines of the classic Action/Adventure novels (I got comparisons to old school Mack Bolan from both Jack Murphy and Larry Correia when I showed each of them), but now you can listen to all the carnage and mayhem in your car (or shop, or office, or whatever). I really think Cody did a damned good job with this one. He managed to make each of the voices distinct. It’s a good listen.
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.
You know, a normal person, upon stepping out of a grocery store in a small town in Wyoming and seeing a dark red Crown Vic full of four young men, all Hispanic, all exuding the vato belligerence, two with shaved heads and goatees, watching them intently, might or might not immediately identify them as a threat. If they did, in this day and age, they might dismiss their initial concern as prejudice, and nobody wants to be prejudiced. So, they would try to ignore the mean-mugging and go about their business. To all outward appearances, that was what I did. But I am by no means a normal person anymore. Haven’t been for a lot of years. Most “normal” people would probably call me “paranoid” if they could see inside my head. I would probably correct them, pointing out that I am, in fact, “professionally paranoid.” It’s kept me alive in some very, very unpleasant places. I wasn’t looking at them as I walked across the street toward my beat-up old pickup, but was keeping them within my peripheral vision, watching them without focusing on anything in particular. I learned a long time ago that if you keep your eyes
Jack Murphy definitely has a way with titles. Gray Matter Splatter is a title that few could pull off, particularly in a day and age of nonsensical buzzword thriller titles like True Faith and Allegiance. But Jack pulls it off, somehow. Gray Matter Splatter is a breakneck bloodbath in the Arctic, a bit of a change of pace from the last couple Deckard installments.
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.
Two chapters left on the rough draft, and then editing and re-writes can start. So, in the meantime, here’s Chapter 4. Dan had to admit that this was the fanciest training setup he’d ever seen. While the initial impression of the compound had been eye-opening, the most sophisticated training modules weren’t readily visible from outside. He was presently standing on the deck of a small container ship. All around was sea and sky, with what looked like a green-cloaked island off in the distance. All of it was projected on screens, that would recognize the laser light from the otherwise very real-feeling facsimile of a SIG SG553 in his hands. It was the most expensive and sophisticated ISMT he’d ever seen. The freighter itself was a full-sized, complete mock-up, almost indistinguishable from a real ship, except that they had arrived in the trainer through a passage that led up through what would have been the hull, where he’d seen that it was in fact a purpose-built structure. If he hadn’t, he might have believed that they had somehow gotten an actual ship inland and buried it. The entire trainer was underground; they had descended about ten flights of stairs to
The draft has just passed 85k words. It’s coming along quick now. So here’s the second chapter, to continue whetting the appetite. Chapter 2 Four Months Earlier Amy and Tom were already outside on the curb waiting when Dan Tackett pulled up to the daycare center. It was already dark, and the clock numbers on his truck’s dash shone accusingly at him. It was already almost eight at night. Sandra Crawford was standing on the curb behind the kids, a stiffly impassive look on her face. He parked the truck, grabbed the envelope off the dashboard, and got out. It was time to pay the daycare bill already, and he mused bitterly that every cent he made working extra hours was going into paying for those extra hours at child care. “Good evening, Mr. Tackett,” Sandra said stiffly, disapproval at his lateness in every word. “I trust you know what time it is.” The Happy Circle Child Care Center was supposed to close at seven, and he was just getting there to pick up the kids at fifty minutes past that. “Yes, Sandra, I do know what time it is,” he replied tiredly. “Work went late tonight. I couldn’t afford