Black Flagged Vektor live at Amazon

  I’m very excited to announce that Black Flagged Vektor is now available as an ebook at Amazon. The hardcopy version should be available by the end of the weekend (always takes me a little longer to put that together…sorry Greg). DONATION CAMPAIGN NEWS! As always, I will donate a significant portion of the initial proceeds to veteran’s charities. For Black Flagged Vektor’s launch, I have decided to split the donation between The Wounded Warrior Project and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Both organizations serve the unmet needs of veterans and their families, bringing the concept of “no man or woman left behind” to the often overlooked battle these families face even after they return from combat. WE have raised $7000 for organizations like these over the course of the last three book launches. My goal is to donate $2000 and have that doubled by my company’s matching gifts program, raising the total to $11,000. You can help the cause by spreading the word…and dare I say it…plunk down $4.97 for 420 pages of pure covert operations/political/espionage enjoyment!  Purchase Black Flagged Vektor Today READ MORE

Memorial Day and upcoming veterans charity campaign

Memorial Day weighs heavily on the hearts of veterans and service members. We all know someone, or all too often, MANY…who have fallen in service of our nation. Memorial Day weighs even more heavily on the parents, spouses, children and family  of those same men and women. It’s a solemn day for them. A day in which most of us go about our business trying to enjoy the very same things the aforementioned can not fully embrace. They attend the barbecues,  picnics and parades, but someone is missing. Someone is always missing for them. Take a moment today, to quietly remember the fallen and their families. I decided to start Memorial Day with two things. First, I just donated $100 to producer Tracee Beebe’s film The Unremembered. She’s tackling a difficult subject affecting Vietnam Veterans, one of whom is her father. The Unremembered is a dedicated effort to bring attention to thousands of veterans that have been denied the benefits they deserve, and their friends died to preserve. Consider making a donation and bringing their plight into the open. Link to The Unremembered. Second, I decided once again to coordinate a charity campaign with the launch of my next book, READ MORE

Today Was a Good Day…

Black Flagged Apex is live, the Charity Campaign is decided, I kept my job,  and the first Black Flagged reached #1 in the Free Kindle Store…and “I didn’t even have to use my AK.”  I felt that an Ice Cube reference was in order. Here’s why. I waited around the phone yesterday to find out if December 21st would be my first day as a full time writer. I decided to time the launch of my new book with this phone call, in case I received the thumbs down. Regardless of what happened, I’d have good news. Fortunately, my company decided to keep me in place. Not all of my colleagues had a good day, which made my news bittersweet to say the least. Before I share the details of Black Flagged Apex, I need to acknowledge two people who made it possible to launch this book before Christmas. Felicia A. Sullivan and Stef Mcdaid. Felicia has been my editor from the start and very generously agreed to meet my Christmas deadline for a 170K word novel. A few days ago, she probably wondered if I had hidden the total word count from her. I know she worked her @#! off READ MORE

Black Flagged Apex Coming Soon

DECEMBER 2012 Book Three in the Black Flagged Series. “A tense alliance between the CIA and General Sanderson’s covert operations group narrowly averts a deadly bioweapons attack by Islamic fundamentalists against Europe. With the virus canisters still missing, Daniel Petrovich’s “black ops” team is sent to investigate a lead provided by Dr. Anatoly Reznikov, the twisted scientist responsible for handing the virus over to Al Qaeda. What they uncover will shake U.S. authorities to the core. Every canister of the Zulu Virus has been shipped to the United States… Back in Washington D.C., the grim reality of this discovery is compounded by a startling revelation. Suspected Al Qaeda cells under FBI surveillance have been simultaneously murdered, targets of a shadowy domestic terror organization with ties to a rising political movement within the United States. When Special Agent in Charge Ryan Sharpe discovers that Al Qaeda lost the Zulu Virus canisters in the coordinated massacre, he deploys Task Force Scorpion to hunt down a new breed of terrorist and recover the virus. As Sharpe’s task force unravels the curious fabric of True America’s plot, they start to assemble the chilling details of a possible domestic bioweapons attack–on an unimaginable scale. With READ MORE

In defense of our nation’s service academies…

against a surprisingly ill-informed source. For those of you that know me from my Academy days, I think this response will hold a ton of merit. Those of you that know me from my fleet days will appreciate and understand my “retort” even better. I have my own way of doing things, and neither the “Fleet” nor the United States Naval Academy made much of a dent in that mentality. If anything, they provided fertile ground for me to further hone that “talent.” Though I often found myself at odds with either establishment (often at the same time), I firmly respected both of them. I never felt disillusioned at Annapolis, or while on active duty. This came after resigning my commission, as I watched politicians send our nation’s finest young men and women to war in Iraq, and then proceed to bungle the war at great cost to our society…but that’s a different story. Professor Bruce Fleming’s opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education didn’t strike a single chord with me. Maybe that’s not altogether true. Some (few) of his points bore validity to my life as a midshipman, but viewed from an outside context, after years of maturity in READ MORE

Review of Richard Stephenson’s COLLAPSE

I’m a sucker for Apocalyptic Fiction, if you couldn’t already tell, so when Richard Stephenson offered me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of COLLAPSE, I couldn’t resist. Richard Stephenson’s debut novel held me in its grip from start to finish. Based in the not so distant future, the background for Collapse is a frightening projection ripped from current headlines. In the context of today’s Western financial crisis and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Stephenson’s dystopian setting does not come across as a far-fetched fictional ploy, but rather one of several worst case scenarios developed by Beltway think-tanks. The year is 2027. The war with the new Empire of Iran is not going well. America’s heartland resembles a scene from Mad Max, with the newly formed Unified National Guard barely keeping control on the streets. The unemployment rate is no longer a relevant measure of the economy, because the employed are in the minority. America is still a super power, but that distinction is fading rapidly. This is the backdrop for a fast paced, character driven story that explores the best and worst of humanity. The reader will be introduced to a host of characters, all with a role to play READ MORE

BLACK FLAGGED REDUX hits the streets….

Running! It only took me six months to bring this one to market. Black Flagged took me a year and The Jakarta Pandemic spanned three years. I’ll have the next one done in three months…probably not, but I’ll try. I think you’ll enjoy the second book in the Black Flagged Series. I have significantly upped the ante with Black Flagged Redux. Frankly, I have no idea how I am going to top this one. As one of my pre-readers, told me: “Steve, you have a big problem with this novel.” I froze on the phone, wondering exactly what I had done to screw this one up so badly, especially since I really value his opinion as a reader. I waited until he broke the silence. “This one makes your other two look like @$%!” Well put, Bill. I agree…in a way that doesn’t imply that my other books are crap. Similar to Black Flagged’s launch last November, I am once again sponsoring a charity campaign to support our VETERANS. A hefty portion of May’s book sale proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. You can check out the the details of this charity campaign here: Black Flagged Redux Charity READ MORE

BLACK FLAGGED REDUX

I think everyone knows what this means by now. I’ve finished Black Flagged Redux. Some of you might remember seeing this board in an earlier post…EMPTY. If you don’t believe this was ever blank, you’re not alone. I can barely believe that I finished the second novel of the series, in little over three months. To top it off, the novel is about 20K words longer. Here is the blank chart as proof: I’ll release some  sneak peeks over the next week or so, as the finishing touches are put in place. For now, you can check out some of the extras I have added to Black Flagged Redux: 1.) Weapons and equipment primer 2.) Updated Sample For now, take a look at the Geography of Black Flagged Redux. I think you’ll quickly see that I have upped the ante with my second book. Each red box represents key locations to the story. Right now, I’ll leave it up to your imagination to guess which of these locations will need to hire another coroner to handle the influx of bodies. READ MORE

Donation Campaign for Disabled Veterans

UPDATED 11/20/2011: Two weeks into Black Flagged’s launch, and the total amount raised for the Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV) exceeds $600 (including corporate matching gift). Thank you all very much! There is still time and opportunity. One more day for all proceeds from sales to go to the DAV, and I’ll match these proceeds. $2 per hard copy will go to the DAV for the remainder of the month, and I’m hosting a book launch party at the very beginning of December. All proceeds from this charity event go to the DAV, and will mark the unofficial end to the Donation Campaign for Disabled Veterans. I will finalize the tally, and cut a check to the DAV, which my employer will match. Keep spreading the word, it’s not over yet! UPDATED  11/13/2011: Thank you for a great launch week! So far, the total raised for the campaign is $253.50. Simply fantastic. I am extending the matching donation campaign one more week. All proceeds from sales for this next week will go to the Disabled American Veterans organization, and once again, I will match them. Spread the word! Early holiday gift?   Purchase from all sources here: http://www.blackflaggedseries.com Check out READ MORE

Navy Life as it came to pass…

After my last post, I received a number of requests for more Navy stories (and pictures). So, instead of sticking to the usual “book writing” related posts, I thought I’d break things up a bit with swashbuckling tales from the high seas, or high explosive stories from on observation post (I spent four of my eight active duty years serving alongside the U.S. Marine Corps). A good friend and old shipmate gave me the idea for this first post…funny he would remember this picture over everything else. Then again, the photo was snapped on board our ship, and not out on liberty. I still come across photos from various liberty ports, and I can’t remember the circumstances of the picture’s origin. I’m told that the high formaldehyde content in the beer out there is to blame for this. I think several beers, regardless of the formaldehyde…followed by an unknown number of tequila shots was the real culprit. I’ll save some of those stories for later posts. So here we start, with a little taste of Ensign Steve Konkoly’s days as a division officer, aboard one of the finest warships in the Pacific fleet, the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate, USS READ MORE