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
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:
What’s that? “Second Edition,” you say? Well, as it happens, the story is the same. A couple of typos have been corrected, but that’s the only change to the actual novel. The big change is the cover. A few people have expressed misgivings about or outright dislike of the original cover, finding it a bit too much like Archer, and therefore suggesting that the book is a parody, which anyone who has read it can tell you it is not. It is an action/adventure thriller, along the same vein as the Praetorian series. Now, I’d already been hearing a bit of this, though I’d also heard from people who really liked the cover. But when the International Lord of Hate himself, Larry Correia, suggests, “You might want to consider a different cover; it looks like it’s a comedy,” you listen. So, shortly after LTUE, I contacted Kevin Granzow, who has done covers for a couple of friends of mine, including Steven Hildreth and Ross Elder. Behold: The page on Amazon hasn’t updated with the new cover yet, though the preview file on “Look Inside” has, strangely enough. The paperback is also going to be unavailable until I can get a
I’m about halfway through Edit 2. This will be the last full sample chapter, though I might throw a couple more little snippets out before release. Chapter 5 Dan turned and looked behind him, barely able to see five meters even with the NVGs strapped to his head. He couldn’t see Jenny behind him. Again. He turned back forward, waited until Vernon looked back, and then raised his hand to signal a halt. Vernon nodded, and sank to a knee in the muck; they were all soaked and filthy from the last four hours of slogging through the Florida swamp anyway, so it didn’t matter. Still making an effort not to make too much noise sloshing through the swamp, Dan started to work his way back to where Jenny had lost contact. He found her another ten yards back, stumbling over the roots in front of her. The Asian girl, named Cassy, was trying to hiss encouragement at her, but just from her posture, it looked like she was about all in. She was staggering, and making about as much noise as a baby elephant, her shoulders sagging under the weight of her gear and assault pack. As he got
As of now, Kill Yuan is up for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of May 10. Go here to preorder. And just to give a bit of a taste, so you’ve got a reason to hit that preorder link, here’s Chapter 1: A shout from the watchtower drew Nong Song out of his reverie. He looked up from the table where he had been cleaning his QSZ-92, to see Banh waving from the watchtower and pointing off to the southwest. He grimaced. Nong didn’t like many of the motley squad of Javanese and Malaysians he’d been saddled with, out here on tiny Pulau Repong, but the scrawny, gap-toothed Vietnamese pirate, who liked to boast about the number of merchant throats he had slit dockside in Cam Ranh, revolted him. But Shang Xiao Yuan had put him on this flyspeck in the ocean for a reason, so he hastily reassembled the pistol, then got up and reached for his binoculars. As he scanned the water, looking for whatever Banh had meant by that inarticulate yell, he thought, for the hundredth time that week, that there really was very little to like about this entire situation. He had put on
Kill Yuan has a cover: Huge thanks to Adam Karpinski, whose fan art of Jeff Stone some of you might remember from a little while back, who is tackling this cover. Pre-order is coming soon. Stay tuned.
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.