Veterans Donation Campaign Update

Given today’s tragic significance to our nation’s military, most specifically our selfless Special Operations community, I have decided to announce the results of the donation campaign surrounding the launch of my latest book, Black Flagged Vektor. Fictional, yet accurate renditions of service members, (particularly our Special Ops heroes) figure prominently in my novels, so I thought it only appropriate to split my target donation amount between two groups that best represent our nation’s finest. I have donated $1000 to the Wounded Warriors Project and $1000 to the Navy SEAL Foundation (my military roots begin with the Naval Special Warfare community). Both of these amounts will be matched, bringing the total to $4000. This brings the total amount given to these (and other) worthy Veteran’s organizations to $11,000 over the past two years. Your support of my books has made this possible, so please accept my sincerest and most enthusiastic THANK YOU! Spread the word, and lets continue to support dedicated, heroic men and women that TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY. Historical Background: Two years ago, on August 6th, 31 Special Operations service members were killed when their transport helicopter brought down by enemy fire. They were on their way to READ MORE

Wounded Warrior Project Donation Update

It has taken a SNOW DAY for me to finally catch up on a number of administrative tasks that have lingered since early January, one of the most important being the wrap up of the Donation Campaign surrounding the launch of Black Flagged Apex. Combined with an extremely successful promotion of the entire Black Flagged series, the launch exceeded all expectations. As a result, I have decided to double the donation amount achieved by previous book launches. I just submitted a $1500 donation to The Wounded Warrior Project, which will be matched by my employer, yielding $3000. Everyone of you have contributed to the success of my books, and in turn, to the money donated to our nation’s heroes. CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU! A special thank you goes out to Greg, Murray and Nancy for their generous individual contributions to the campaign. Your commitment to our veterans is inspiring to say the least! Now, I need to turn my day’s efforts into preparing for a possible power failure. Weather officials have predicted up to 60mph winds, 24-30 inches of snow, and temperatures in the teens. FUN TIMES AHEAD! 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

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

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

Update on Donation Campaign for Disabled Veterans

Alright, the final tally is in, and I just submitted a donation of $820 to the Disabled American Veterans organization through my employer, who will process the donation and MATCH IT! The final event in the campaign, a cocktail party/charity event last weekend, raised $300 alone. Many, many thanks for those that attended and supported the cause…and for the numerous bottles of wine, which completely derailed my plans to commence a pre-holiday health cleanse. Oh well, there is cause to celebrate. Overall, the campaign has directed nearly $1700 to the DAV! Congratulations, and thank you on behalf of our nation’s growing number of disabled veterans. Your readership support and generosity inspired me to continue the campaign throughout all of November, catching a tail wind at the end of the month, when both of my books received a considerable boost from the “powers that be” at Amazon. This made a considerable difference on the overall amount. Well, I need to get back to work on Book 2 in the Black Flagged series. I reached 10,000 words this morning, but still don’t have a formal plot to follow. It’s all in my head, and it needs to be organized immediately. Here’s what READ MORE

The Jakarta Pandemic breaks through 10,000 sales mark…

with some help from Amazon. A “little” push so to say. This has been a slightly crazy week on the author front. Transparent to most of you, a number of significant events have transpired, which have left me scrambling to keep up. First, Amazon selected The Jakarta Pandemic to be featured in their “Big Deal.” post Black Friday promotion. My book shot from #3000 on their paid Kindle list to #300 (#210 at one point). Amazing what some enhanced product placement can do for a product. My recently launched book, Black Flagged is taking a ride with it, ranked #1500. To put this in some sort of perspective, I sold 50 copies of Jakarta over six weeks last year (Oct-Nov)…Black Flagged has sold over 500 copies since its launch in early November of this year. Thank you, Amazon. The timing couldn’t have been better, and just the increase in reader and reviewer attention has occupied all of my free time. Because of this, The Jakarta Pandemic reached the 10,000 sales mark a little ahead of schedule. I was happy last year to make it available to family and friends…and whoever else might be interested. I never in my wildest dreams READ MORE

Standby…Standby…BLACK FLAGGED is a GO!

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 After some masterful stalling on my part, Black Flagged is now available and ready for public consumption. Only one year after my first novel, The Jakarta Pandemic…not bad for a part-time writer? Now that I have settled into a regular writing routine, the next one will come quicker. What’s new about Black Flagged? This time I did it right from the start. My first novel was a learning experience across the board. A good story from the beginning…but I had to relaunch the book at the start of the summer, with professional editing and a real cover (by a real artist). My sincere thanks goes out to everyone that somehow overlooked the editing issues and enjoyed the story…or just didn’t say anything. At this point, with 101 reviews on Amazon, and countless reader emails…my 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

We made a business decision to miss the fireworks…

and I’m still bummed out about it almost a week later. This is the time of the year when I feel the most nostalgic about my military past, and find myself digging up old photos and memorabilia from those days. Leaving the Navy was bittersweet for me, but it was the right decision. For every one thing I miss, there are probably five that I don’t. I do know that the biggest thing I would have missed, if I had stayed on for several more years, was my family. I had found that I resented time away from home, more and more as our family grew, and this is how I knew it was time to part ways. I had given 12 years, if you count my 4 in Annapolis, and would have gone anywhere Uncle Sam had seen fit to send me. I was extremely fortunate to have hit one of the peaceful cycles in our nation’s history, 93′ to 01′, which would be shattered just three short months after I left. Back to the fireworks. Unfortunately, the 4th fell on a Monday, and my wife and I were facing a full week of work and summer camp…so, as READ MORE