I’ve delved into Mexico a bit in my fiction. The deepest was The Devil You Don’t Know, which not only looked at the overall situation in Mexico, but also the consequences of focusing too much on High Value Targets. We seem to be obsessed with getting the “leaders,” the HVTs. (Not saying that there aren’t people working on “going up the killchain,” but culturally, our focus is always on getting the guy at the top. Whether it was the “Thunder Run” to Baghdad, that was supposed to end the war in days, in a repeat of Desert Storm, or the focus on getting Bin Laden, or al Baghdadi, or El Chapo. The idea seems to be that if you get the guy at the top, then the bad guys will collapse. Except that it doesn’t work that way. It never really has. Capturing and executing Saddam didn’t end the insurgency. Killing Bin Laden wasn’t the end of Al Qaeda. And from the trial of El Chapo, it’s evident that he really wasn’t that important to the Sinaloa Cartel, either. As of this writing, the prosecution and defense have finished their closing statements and we don’t know how it will end.
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…
Real life has intruded on the writing schedule lately, but the draft is still over 75,000 words. Also, the Kindle Preorder is up on Amazon. Release date is now June 23. He is called “El Duque.” No one knows his real name. Only vague descriptions and fuzzy photos of him exist. What is known about him is that he is the up-and-coming power in the converging underworlds of guerrilla warfare, spies, terrorists, and organized crime. He is known to have ties with Islamist extremists, Communist guerrillas, drug cartels, gun runners…if it is involved in global chaos, he has a hand in it. Now Praetorian Security has been contracted to hunt him down. Jeff Stone and his team pick up the scent in northern Mexico. But the closer they get, the more elusive El Duque seems to become. Jeff and his compatriots have long since learned that in the shadowy world of modern conflict, little is ever exactly what it seems. But as the manhunt leads them into some of the darkest, most lawless corners of the Western Hemisphere, they come upon an explosive revelation that changes everything. No one is coming out the other side of this mission the same.
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.
“The hit came only a few miles outside of Green Valley. We’d been hanging back behind a pair of Old Dominion semis, pacing them. As the semis rolled past the rest area outside of Green Valley, one of the two pickups we’d seen earlier darted out and T-boned the trailing truck. The truck jack-knifed across the road, the trailer swinging around to block both lanes as the driver struggled to maintain control, doubtless rattled by the impact. Smoke rose from sqealing tires, and it looked for a second like he was going to be able to hold it, but then the right side tires came off the pavement and the truck rolled on its side, the trailer skidding on the asphalt a little farther before coming to a halt. Nick reacted immediately, swerving toward the median, aiming to get around the stricken tractor-trailer and out of the kill zone. It was exactly what he should have done, and it would have worked if the driver of the box truck behind him hadn’t panicked.