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

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,

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

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,

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

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

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

Black Flagged Apex Donation Campaign…

UPDATE 12/23/12 The Donation Campaign is bringing out the best in everyone, and I feel better about NOT counting book sale numbers to determine the final amount. A good friend and reader has generously kicked off the campaign…ONCE AGAIN…with a $100 donation. Thank you, Greg. That immediately brings the total to $2100 (with match). I have commitments from others, which I haven’t counted, but suspect will bring the total to $2200.  The Black Flagged Series has contributed nearly $5000 to wounded veterans so far…I expect this to increase over the holidays.  Thank you to everyone for a great start! UPDATE 12/21/12: Based on your votes, I will once again donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, an undeniably worthy cause. I’m taking a different approach to the donations this time. Instead of counting books and stressing myself out, I am starting at the $850 mark, which has been “our” contribution for each campaign over the past two book launches. At the end of January, I will decide whether to increase it. I very likely will. Any individual donations outside of book sales will be added to the $850 mark. Keep in mind that the total amount raised is matched by my employer. GET

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

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