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.
Imagine Die Hard, if John McClane had been a retired Special Operations soldier instead of an off-duty cop. That’s pretty much the scenario that Steven Hildreth presents in The Sovereigns, albeit with a bit more going on behind the scenes. It is an alternate 2005. An anarchist/sovereign citizen terrorist group calling itself The Liberty Brigade, made up of a few true believers and a few more violent sociopaths who find the idea of revolution fits right in with their particular idea of fun, has seized the Saguaro Towers, a Carlton Hotel, in Tucson. They have struck fast and hard. Security is dead, the hotel’s guests are held hostage, and they have the situation under control. Their demands hit all the high points of the isolationist and conspiracy theorist narrative. They are also calculated so that the government can never agree to them.
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.
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…
A lone sheriff’s department vehicle showed up just ahead of the Harmon-Dominguez trucks. The firefight had been over for just over an hour. There were fire-trucks and ambulances just behind the sheriff’s vehicle. The deputy pulled up, got out, took a look around at us, walked over to the shattered cars and trucks full of bloating MS-13 corpses, and went back to his car without a word. The other first-responders went to deal with the overturned semi. The wrecker was half an hour behind the ambulances, who ended up just bagging up the bodies and driving away. When the Harmon-Dominguez convoy finally got there, they slowed way down and hesitated for close to five minutes, hanging back a good hundred yards from the scene. When they finally crept forward to the crashed box truck, they were slow, hesitant, and gave off the appearance of staring fearfully at the sheriff’s department vehicle. I just shook my head. We’d been contracted because some of the people Renton works with thought that Harmon-Dominguez was a front company for Mexican cartel interests. They wanted some inside reconnaissance, and we were it. And maybe my perception was colored by that knowledge. But these guys just
As soon as he hung up, I dialed The Ranch. Clyde answered after only three rings. “Get Package Fifty heading to Tucson, Clyde,” I told him. “Most ricky-tick.” “It’ll be on the way within the hour,” he replied. I hung up and pocketed the phone, walking back toward the overturned box truck. Nick and Jack were standing near the front, shotguns slung in front of them and eyes out.
I topped off my 870’s tube as I walked toward the lead box truck, where it was lying on its side in the median. Harold Juarez, the senior Harmon-Dominguez rep on this little convoy, had crawled out once the shooting stopped, and was already on his phone. The driver was shakily pulling himself out. I went to help the driver get down off the sideways cab. Harold was standing in front of the truck, talking earnestly and quickly. I’ll admit I took the opportunity to listen in, as I helped the driver down to the ground. The poor guy was shaking, and looked a little sick. Good thing he’d had the transmission between him and the shooting; he really wouldn’t have liked what had happened only two lanes away. I steered him away from the carnage as I got him down.
Here’s a first look at the cover and I’m partway through Chapter 7. Visit my website to read that back cover blurb.
“That’s him.” Amos Black was sitting in the center back seat of the black HiLux, with Bryan and Hassan crowding him on each side. Bryan was there to quietly kill Black as soon as he showed any sign of treachery. Hassan was there to help coordinate with the team of Hussein Ali’s finest that was running overwatch. Hussein Ali had suggested that his boys should take this, but I’d declined, and Mike had backed me up. This was our hit, for very special reasons. The man Black had fingered looked nondescript as hell, especially in southern Iraq. Short, skinny, short black hair, neatly trimmed beard, black dishdasha, talking on a cell phone. There was nothing in his appearance to suggest that he was anything special. Not that that was in any way odd in this strange, shadowy war. Some of the nastiest opponents were the ones who looked like frail businessmen. And according to Black, this guy was one of the top commanders of the Abdul Qadir Brigade, a sub-unit of the Islamic State in Iraq and as-Sham. Right now, this skinny, inoffensive-looking motherfucker was walking down a still-crowded street in a primarily Sunni part of Basra. There weren’t a