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

Finding a little inspiration…

to start a new novel. You’d think that starting novel number six wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s always a big deal, and frankly, I find myself more than a little nervous as I type the title on the page, make sure it’s centered and STARE at the screen for an indeterminable amount of time. The first words are always the most difficult for me, compounded by the fact that those words commit me to a minimum of three straight months of writing. I wrote the first 420 words to The Perseid Collapse this morning, sitting at a desk in a hotel room. Not exactly where I would choose to start such an important undertaking, but my day job requires these things, and I write everyday no matter where I find myself…even a lonely hotel room. No, it wasn’t someplace fancy or scenic. As a matter of fact, it was within sight of both a mall and the Maine Turnpike. But it was in Bangor, less than eight minutes (as measured by my iPhone’s mapping software) from my favorite author’s house.   I’ve been to Bangor several times over the past few months for work, but I’ve purposely avoided West READ MORE

Review of Murray McDonald’s latest release, America’s Trust

Murray McDonald has been a long time writer and friend, eventually introducing me to “good scotch” made in a distillery (Glengoyne) just north of the Scottish highland line. This alone was worthy of his inclusion in my Friends Hall of Fame (I just made up that organization). Beyond picking out fantastic scotch, his true talent lies in his writing. He can spin a masterful, international thriller. I’ve been waiting a long time for his latest novel, America’s Trust. If you’re a fan of this genre, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re a fan of scotch, let me know, and I’ll pass the word to him for another recommendation. Sipping scotch and reading political thrillers is hard to beat. Below is my review of America’s Trust…not influenced by the scotch: Murray McDonald delivers an epic political technothriller with America’s Trust, combining the best elements of his previous novels, in an explosive, action packed ride that never eases up. Incorporating themes ripped from today’s headlines, and foretelling of a believable near future, Murray presents his finest work to date. This well-crafted, cautionary tale will leave you breathless; pondering the extent to which McDonald’s wildly realistic scenario could become reality. The story begins READ MORE

Black Flagged Vektor

Black Flagged Vektor is finally in the hands of my editor and several beta readers, leaving me in that awkward phase, where I find myself waking up at 4:30 in the morning and watching You Tube videos for 30 minutes, followed by Facebook for another 30…then finally on to something related to writing…sort of. Blog updates. Book reviews. Tardy emails. The list more or less confirms that I’m lost without a book in the works. I still have some work left to prepare Vektor for a mid to late June launch, but it’s not the kind of intense industry that surrounds spinning a story. Once the story board comes down, I stare out of the window a lot, turning to my computer sporadically. I gave myself one important thing to accomplish this week, among dozens of smaller tasks. Vektor’s synopsis or book blurb. This is often harder to write than a full chapter of the story itself. How do you condense the book into a summary that draws readers into the book, without giving away plot twists? You spend three days of wringing your hands over it, constantly coming back  to change a word, shorten a sentence or trash the READ MORE

Review of Tim Queeney’s The Atlas Fracture

The Atlas Fracture is a solid entry in the Thriller/Adventure genre, the second in Queeney’s Perry Helion series. I’ll confess that I haven’t read the first…I jumped ahead in order, however, Queeney provides more than enough backstory to keep the reader in the game. “Tim Queeny’s The Atlas Fracture is a refreshingly sharp adventure technothriller. Set mostly in austere Antarctic environs, the story’s plot, characters and action brought excitement and ceaseless amazement to the barren landscape. Queeny reignites the action genre with a strong blend of character development, technical detail and chain reaction adventure, pitting his protagonist Perry Helion against a diabolical group of terrorists in a nearly nonstop march to the book’s finish line. Perry Helion, Tim Queeny’s protagonist from The Shiva Compression, is a hardened agent working for the Department of Defense’s enigmatic DARPA group, which is tasked with investigating new technologies and scientific discoveries for their possible military potential. When satellite imagery discovers that a scientific expedition to the Antarctic may have been wiped out, Helion is sent to investigate. It was no secret that the expedition had been drilling deep into the ice, in an effort to discover biological samples trapped miles below the surface. What READ MORE

Review of Ian Graham’s Veil of Civility

If you’re a fan of political/technothrillers, you’ll enjoy Veil of Civility. This plot is literally ripped from recent headlines…frightening that Graham made the Chechen connection to terrorism in this book long before the Boston Bombing.  “Ian Graham delivers a slick, well-executed thriller with Veil of Civility. The novel’s plot flows extremely well, with no gaps, and just enough back story to explain the motivations of a fascinating cast of characters. There’s a lot to like about this novel, and I found myself constantly stealing time to continue reading. Declan McIver, former IRA commando turned legitimate business owner in the United States, finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy ripped from today’s headlines. An invitation from an old friend catapults McIver into a cat and mouse chase on par with Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series. His adversaries are relentless, employing technologies and ruthlessness that will leave you breathless. Spanning two continents, the chase is brilliant and worth the price of admission alone. Graham doesn’t let McIver off easy. Not in the least. The author paints a painstakingly realistic picture of how difficult it would be to go “off the grid” with the wrong people looking for you. He kept me in suspense throughout novel, READ MORE

Chinese Cyberwarriors…

are crossing a dangerous line in the realm of Asymmetric Warfare. I have been watching this issue for years with a detached interest. There is truly nothing earth shattering (hint) about the accusation that China continues to systematically prosecute economic espionage operations against the United States or the West. This is not a new theme out of Asia. The Japanese were accused of conducting industrial and corporate espionage in the 80’s and 90’s, which purportedly launched several of their high-tech companies far beyond the reaches of American counterparts. Most American electronics brands never recovered from the supposed theft of billions of dollars in research and development information, leaving Japanese brands to dominate the market. So, what is different about the current Chinese brand of economic espionage? China is a rising superpower and competitor, with much greater aspirations than dominating the world electronics market. Think military, then think beyond. Can China, or any nation ever surpass the United States in terms of military technology, power and the ability to project that power? Not in my lifetime, or my children’s…thankfully. We have cornered the market by spending trillions and developing a robust military-industrial complex. The Soviets tried to compete with us directly and READ MORE

Ignoring my own hypocrisy

The drone controversy reached a boiling point this week, as Senator Rand Paul filibustered the Senate for nearly 13 hours over the White House’s reluctance to assure the American citizenry “that drones will not be used against American citizens on U.S. soil.” I won’t get into all of the specifics and relive the drama here, but after a few emotional days of listening to both sides argue over this, I decided to weigh in a little on Facebook. I can’t help myself sometimes. At one point, I stated that I couldn’t foresee the need for any administration to use drones to kill ANYONE on U.S. soil. After all, we have law enforcement agencies that can hopefully contain and defuse most crises. I started to get riled up by the partisanship, really buying into my own assumption that many of these politicians were grandstanding…and many of them were. I kept finding myself asking if these people really believed that drones could be used to hit a Starbucks? OR Take out Jane Fonda? I heard both of these mentioned by Rand, in addition to a dozen other scenarios that spiraled into the stratosphere of ridiculous. So I thought. A combination of thoughts 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