Posts Tagged ‘Books’

My Vocation Summary

Posted: January 1, 2019 in The Write Stuff
Tags: , ,

…Or what I did in between bouts of adulting during 2018.

In the arcanum of Amazon lore, mythology states the greater the number of titles an author publishes, the greater their odds of being served up by the Amazon Wizard of Logarithm during browsing sessions by potential readers. More titles, more views. More views, more clicks. So in 2018, I tried my hand at self-publishing, converting a number of previously-published short stories to singles on Kindle Direct Publishing. The rights on these stories had long expired in the venues where they were previously published, so I snapped on some free covers and posted them to Amazon at 99-cents each, not that I expected them to sell as much as I wanted the boost in title count.

Mr. Scamper’s War, Dave’s Aliens, Government Waste, and Mitchellsville are all now available from my Amazon page. I can’t say whether or not the additional titles have helped, but I like to think they haven’t hurt.

2018 also saw the publication of Earning It, a short story in the anthology To Be Men, published by Superversive Press. I enjoyed the hell out of writing this one; the story flew out from my fingertips as fast as I could type.

Another short story I loved writing was picked up by Dark City Mystery Magazine. White Powder Cowboys tells the story of two cops on deep night duty who pull over more trouble than they bargained for. I had a blast writing this one, my only internal conflict being whether or not to leave the ending ambiguous or clear everything up.

The publisher of April’s Fool and I came to an amicable divorce related to current and future titles. I removed April’s Fool from publication and signed a three-book contract with Red Adept to re-release April’s Fool and to publish May Day and June Bug. I’m really excited about this as I was able to rewrite a chunk of gawky prose in Fool that had bothered me from day one, fixing some obvious new-writer weirdness. The new release is in the hands of the editors and I hope to see the cover and publication dates soon.

2018 saw the publication of Yeager’s Getaway, and I admit I struggled a bit to get this one out the door. The story required a lot of research–everything from the top speed of a Cobalt A40 yacht to the distance a North Korean-made surface-to-air man-portable heat seeking missile could track and kill a jet aircraft. (Yes, I’m paranoid that my browser history will one day land me in a black-site prison somewhere in an unnamed country.) I also wanted to pay homage to the US Marine Corps and their sacrifices in Vietnam. I believe every hindsight historian of note, from Ken Burns to Mark Bowden, has done a disservice to the Vietnam veteran, painting them as pawns at best, fools at worst.  In Yeager’s Getaway, I tried to give the USMC vets a stage of their own, so they could have a voice, rather than one built from anti-war politics by armchair historians.

If the early reviews are any guide, the work was worth the effort.

And late in 2018, I wrote “The End” on a novel I’m calling Judge Shivers, which is a fun little tale about a modern-day wizard transported back to the American West of 1887. Calico John Shivers is a quarter-Irish, quarter-Chinese, quarter-Cherokee, a quarter-black and 100% a bad ass. Facing a lack of magic, bigotry, and a slew of enemies, Shivers is in trouble up to his neck and will have to overcome six-guns and long odds to get back home. I hope to see this novel picked up in 2019.

Beyond that, I’m looking forward to seeing what stories I can share in 2019!

Happy reading,

Scott Bell

January 1st, 2019

 

 

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Releasing November 6th, 2018, Yeager’s Getaway.

A Honeymoon… Abel Yeager Style

Abel Yeager has settled into a life of domestic bliss with his lovely wife, Charlotte. He’s left the violence and bloodshed behind to concentrate on being a good father and husband. For their long-delayed honeymoon, Abel and Charlie take a Hawaiian cruise. They’re looking forward to hiking volcanoes and sightseeing, once they meet up with Victor “Por Que” Ruiz and his new love, Dr. Alexandra Lopez.

Their idyllic vacation explodes in violence when a group of Hawaiian separatists, incited by a foreign power, rip through the islands, leaving blood and destruction in their wake. When Charlie is caught up with a group of hostages held by the terrorists as human shields, Abel is forced back into warrior mode.

The Hawaiians are supported by a few dozen foreign special forces soldiers, modern gear, and plenty of munitions. Abel has the help of three septuagenarian Vietnam veteran Marines and his pal Victor. Outnumbered and outgunned, Abel will stop at nothing to rescue his wife.

Here’s a bit to get you started…

 

 

Diamond Head, Oahu, Hawaii

Saturday, 8 May

1340 Local Time

 

Kanoa Ino had chosen the meeting place to serve a purpose. Diamond Head Lookout presented a panoramic vista of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach and, by extension, modern Hawaii. Used in countless scene-setting shots for televisions and movies, the view represented an iconic image, instantly recognizable. High-rise condos, hotels, and offices. Smog and exhaust fumes. Blue ocean to the left. Rolling surf.

He could picture the scene in those distant resort hotels lining the beach: groups of island women in fake grass shorts swishing their asses to the sound of a tinny ukulele, mocking the spiritual hula kahiko dance, while fat, lobster-broiled mainlanders gawped at them… and men in anklets of grass, whirling lit torches, as if the Samoan fire dance was of Hawaiian origin instead of imported shtick canned and repurposed for the titillation of tourists.

Bobby Palakiko leaned his crossed arms on the rail next to him. “Aloha, Kanoa. You are looking massive as always.”

“Aloha.”

A stiff breeze off the ocean fluttered Palakiko’s Born Hawaiian T-shirt and flattened his cargo shorts against his spindly legs. Salty black hair whipped away from his comb-over. Next to Kanoa’s towering height and powerful physique, the diminutive old man seemed to be a different species. Tourists milled around the two of them like a constant flow of brightly colored beetles, oohing and aahing at the view or screeching at their hyperactive children. Adult haoles and their offspring bumped into Kanoa, heedless and unapologetic as they huffed along the concrete path.

An Asian tourist in a white, short-sleeved shirt stood slightly apart from the crowd. A pair of binoculars dangled from his neck. Kanoa kept his gaze away from the prim little Asian so as not to draw attention to him.

Sunlight glinted off Palakiko’s Ray-Bans. “A beautiful day.”

Kanoa shaded his watch with a palm, checking the time. He let the silence linger. The old man waited. A faint permanent-press smile creased his lips, as if everything in this world—including Kanoa—amused him.

He won’t smile for long.

“Did you hear about the Akaka bill?” Bobby offered at last. “It has a chance this time, I think.”

“It will fail. Again.”

“We will achieve the same status as Native Americans. You’ll see.”

“And earn the right to live on a reservation? Maybe sell beads to the haole?”

“Always such a downer, Kanoa. You should learn to relax. Aloha, brah.”

“This”—Kanoa spread a broad palm to include the world around them—“is what one hundred twenty-three years of aloha have wrought—a world full of haole, white Americans, yellow Japanese, black Africans, and sheet-wearing Muslims—massed on the beaches, bobbing in the waves, oiling themselves with suntan lotion. Snapping selfies, eating, drinking, puking, and pissing. Taking everything of value. Leaving nothing but trash… trash and money. Always money. And we’re complicit in own degradation, prostituting ourselves for the price of a color TV and a case of Miller Lite—Hawaiian culture whored out three times daily with a matinee on Sunday. No, brah…” He sneered the word. “The time for aloha has long passed. It is time for Kūkaʻilimoku.”

Kanoa tracked the old man’s expression with his peripheral vision.

Palakiko sighed. “We are a people of peace—”

“And peace has killed us, old man!” A gaggle of Japanese ceased their chattering and gave Kanoa sideways looks at they edged past. Kanoa glared, and they hurried on. Time to show some fire. “Our language, dead. Our people, slaves. Our culture, gone. The imperialist conquest is complete, and all your hand-wringing does is salt the wound with a little more white-man guilt, which they will appease by offering us platitudes and half-measures, as always.”

“Why again with this argument, my bruddah?”

“We are tired of waiting.” Kanoa glanced at his watch. “My men are ready to do battle. Hawaii for Hawaiians, now and forever.”

“Your men?” Palakiko smirked. “What is the name these days? The Niho Niuhi—Teeth of the Tiger Shark? Whatever. Listen, my giant friend. The movement won’t allow you to tear us apart with violence.”

“I don’t need your blessing, Bobby. My men are ready, and Ku will bless our struggle with victory.”

The old man tilted his head back to match Kanoa’s stare. The crow’s feet radiating out from around his sunglasses deepened. “What do you mean?”

“The Anglos have not listened to us. They annexed the islands illegally, by force, for the benefit of the sugar barons. They have ignored us ever since. Raped our land. Destroyed our people. Beguiled us with bullshit promises. For too long, we have waged peace and begged for scraps. No more. Kūkaʻilimoku demands blood. The Niho Niuhi will honor him with it.”

“An ancient Tiki god demands blood? Did he send a text or what? You been smoking some primo weed, brah.”

“We are tired of waiting. Bumpy promised us things would change, yet even he sits and talks instead of doing things. Nothing changes through peace. Nothing. Aloha!” Kanoa spat over the railing. He checked his watch again.

As if to punctuate his expectoration, a fiery flash blew out from the side of a beachside skyscraper, followed by a dirty-white billow of smoke. Seconds later, a flat crack traveled up the coast. A rumble followed, vibrating the air. On the heels of the first explosion, a sequence of four more blasts shook the distant skyline.

“The targets just hit,” Kanoa stated, “were the Marriott Resort, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Ala Moana Mall, the Outrigger Reef Resort, and the Hyatt Regency Waikiki.”

Tourists crammed the guardrails of the overlook. They shouted and pointed. Many held up cell phones to record the wounded buildings as they were wreathed in brown fog. It was too far away to hear the screams of the injured, although the wail of alarms drifted to Kanoa’s ears, thin and remote. Bobby Palakiko gripped the rail, more to keep himself upright than anything else, Kanoa suspected. The old man seemed frail enough to blow away on the wind.

“Those were the first shots fired,” Kanoa continued. “The Niho Niuhi will rain blood throughout these islands, and we will keep bringing the pain until all the haoles have gone. Hawai’i will again be ours.”

Palakiko’s head cranked around as if on rusty bearings. Gape mouthed and pale, the old man regarded Kanoa and, without a word, collapsed in a dead faint.

Kanoa spared a quick glance at the Asian tourist dressed in white. They exchanged minuscule nods. Phase One, complete.

What’s under a buck? Deer balls. Oh, and Working Stiffs.

51nd3C30GeL__SS140_SH35_

Excerpt:

The line at the clinic stretched along the sidewalk for half a block. Located on Wentworth, on the opposite side of the street from Chang’s store, the clinic occupied a building that retained traces of the original Chinatown architecture. Faded, ratty signs written with complex Chinese characters decorated nearly every storefront. We joined the line in front of what was once a US Post Office, closed like the rest of them. Somebody had spray painted the words, Sorry, the rent check was in the mail. Under that, another tagger added, All postal employee termination notices sent by email. Thank you, USPS.

A faded-out For Lease sign hung in the window, taped inside the glass. It had been there for all six years I’d lived in the neighborhood.

“What time did you say your appointment was?” I asked Chelle.

“Ten.”

I reflexively glanced at my wrist before I remembered my IT service had disavowed all knowledge of me after the sixth disconnect notice. I asked a chubby guy ahead of me for the time.

“Nine forty,” he said from behind his surgical mask. I nodded my thanks.

“Damn, Chelle, we’ll never make it on time.”

“I told you to hurry up and get ready.”

My part of getting ready had taken all of ten minutes, thus screwing up the atomic clock by which Chelle ran her life.

At least we had nice weather for standing in line. Late April in Chicago was hard to beat, mid-sixties, blue sky, a few fluffy clouds . . . What more could you ask for? In February we’d be standing out here turning to popsicles. The homeless and unemployed were out in force, droves of them meandering, begging, pilfering and picking through the trash lining the gutters. In other words, doing whatever it took to get through another great day in the Windy City.

Speaking of popsicles . . . My stomach grumbled, reminding me two pickles for breakfast was a rotten trick to play on it. I eyed Chang’s front door and considered creative credit terms: zero down payment, two pocket spending limit, and a forever repayment term. Penalties may apply.

I didn’t see the dead woman until she was almost on us. A Revivant, shuffling along the line of patients, handing out paper flyers. Female, about twenty or so when she died, dark-skinned and slender. Pretty once, I supposed, with a good figure, full lips, and dark, almond-shaped eyes. The owners had dressed her in a sexy maid’s outfit with high heels and a higher skirt; the light breeze brushed it above her panty line every few minutes. The nanos running through her were having a hard time managing the heels, and she scuffed forward in wobble-steps in a parody of a sexy sway.

My empty stomach bubbled with acid.

“I hate those things,” the guy with the mask mumbled.

“Yeah, me too.” I accepted the flyer the Revvie handed me without looking at her. “They creep me out.”

The man’s mask crinkled when he grimaced. “What I want to know, how do they make them look so alive?”

The line had grown behind us. A couple of dropouts from the School of Morons had joined the tail a few minutes ago and entertained everyone with a steady stream of obscenities laced with curse words. Hey, I’m no saint when it comes to foul language, but still, there are limits, right? The taller of the two mental giants shouted out, “Woo-hoo, lookit dis fine bitch!”

“I hear dead pussy’s mighty cold,” his running buddy claimed.

Both of them were racially ambiguous teens (their parental gametocytes swam in a diversity stream) decked out in trendy grunge clothes and wearing the flat-brim, Amish-style hats favored by the discerning hoodlum. Without squinting, I could count another score of hoodlums exactly like them within a two-block radius, poised like IEDs, waiting for the unwary so they could explode with uncontained violence.

The taller one, in a Bear’s T-shirt, cupped the crotch of his basketball shorts and shook it. “Hey, Dead Mamma, izzat true? Lemme see how cold yo pussy is.”

His buddy, in a green T-shirt and plaid boxers, reached out and clamped a hand on the dead woman’s breast. “Oooh, Sanjay, you should be fillin’ dis. It fills goooood,” he crooned.

The Revivant woman stumbled and would have fallen hadn’t the one called Sanjay grabbed her around the waist. Her dull expression never changed. She wobbled in place the way a drunk might, if you squinched your eyes and pretended she wasn’t dead and reanimated with a gazillion tiny machines running along her arteries.

“Fly-er, sir?” she dead-panned.

The morons laughed and pawed at the woman’s chest, clawing at her top.

I ground my teeth and looked away. Don’t get involved in fights you can’t win. That was my creed, and I planned to stick to it. My new friend with the mask caught my eye and grimaced. His expression said: Look at what the world’s coming to when dead people can’t even walk the streets. Tragic.

The line crept forward a few feet, and I tugged at Chelle’s hand. She didn’t budge.

“Look at those two,” she hissed. Staring at the twins from Stupidville, her jaw set in a hard line, Chelle sounded mad enough to chew nails and shit steel wire.

“Yeah, I see ’em. Let’s go.” I tugged her hand again, but she refused to budge.

“That’s disgusting!”

The twins had the Revivant woman’s outfit yanked down to her waist and were commenting—loudly—on the size, quality, and firmness of her breasts.

“C’mon, Chelle. It’s none of our business.” I pulled a little harder. It was like trying to move a fencepost. “Chelle . . .” I used my stern voice. “Don’t start—”

“Hey, fucktards!” Chelle barked. “Leave that woman alone!”

“—any trouble.”

The fucktards in question snapped to attention and pinned Chelle with twin feral stares. Werewolves, scenting new prey.

Sanjay shoved the Revivant. She fell in the street, landing awkwardly on her butt, hard enough to make me wince even though I knew she felt no pain. Her breasts bounced, and the flyers she carried scattered across the pavement.

“Who you callin’ a fucktard?” Sanjay demanded. “You wan’ me come up dere and split you open?”

Chelle glared at me with an Are you just gonna stand there? challenge. Her eyes narrowed when I failed to immediately leap into my Superman unitard and smack some ganstah ass. She snarled at Sanjay instead and pointed at his crotch. “You’d have to get it up first.”

That did it.

Sanjay and his buddy stalked forward past a line of suddenly disinterested, blind, deaf, and mute people. I was not ordinarily a violent person. The reason I avoid fights: I learned at an early age everyone in an eighteen-square-mile radius—including grandmas and small children—could beat the dog snot out of me without breaking a sweat.

I gave Chelle a nice knowing you smile and prepared to die.

“Hey, Sanjay, look . . .” I started forward, hands spread in supplication. “You know they can’t treat it here, right? This clinic doesn’t do that kind of medicine.”

“Da hell?” Sanjay’s eyebrows twisted together in a knot. He and his pal were close enough, I could smell the stupid rolling off them in waves, like the smell of unwiped ass.

“They can’t fix burst testicles,” I said and kicked him with maximum applied force in the nutsack. When you don’t fight well, you learn to fight dirty.

Sanjay folded like a cheap lawn chair. Which left Fucktard #2 to take the lead in beating the shit out of Mean Joe Warren. Within half a second, I ate three punches in a row, all of them hard enough to rattle my brain and loosen a few teeth. The world spun—Look! Pretty colors!—and tilted under my feet. Legs wobbling worse than the Revvie on high heels, I bumbled around in a dizzy circle for a lost moment in time, then whap!-thud!-smack! Three more punches knocked me to the ground.

Pretty ground. Concrete. Old chewing gum. I like it down here. I think I’ll stay.

Some other Joe Warren living nearby reported that Chelle had taken a piece of the action and was going all Loud Bitch Kung Fu on the green-shirted gangster, shrieking and clawing and kicking and spitting. Probably biting too.

I hoped she had her tetanus booster.

This all happened from far away, in a distant galaxy, with swirling stars and muted sounds. The other Joe told me the female Revivant had gotten to her feet and was wandering away. Her maid’s outfit hung from her waist, leaving her topless. She didn’t seem bothered. (“Fly-er, sir?”)

“Bye-bye,” I muttered, my breath blowing dust and candy wrappers away from my face.

A shadow eclipsed the sun and a pair of black boots stopped in front of my nose. The soles were really, really thick.

Whap!

The dull, meat-like thud of hard object meeting soft skull sounds like nothing else. Once you’ve heard it, you never forget it. The gangster fell on the other side of the black boots. His right eye appeared to bulge from its socket and there was a crease on that side of his head.

I forced my blurry vision to track upward to the source of that sound. A couple of years later, I found the top. Black boots, as noted already. Black pants bloused into the boot tops. Belt with a hardware store and armory attached. Black shirt with bright blue patch on the sleeve. Badge. Riot helmet.

Homeland Security, to the rescue.

Yay.

Night-night, Mr. Police Officer.

 

 

I have republished several of my short stories that appeared in various publications at various times. Mitchellsville is my first story ever accepted for publication, from way back in 2011. Next up is Mr. Scampers’ War which is a fun little tale of a house cat protecting the home from a soul-stealing demon. (No seriously, it’s really fun. And safe for work.)

As we move forward in time, you’ll find the tales of Dave’s Aliens and Government Waste to be a little more…dark, shall we say. (But still fun, IMHO.)

Thanks!

 

 

The news in brief, in case you’re confused…

The new anthology released November 8th, is available for sale in e-book and print. Called MAGA 2020 & Beyond, the anthology focuses on a brighter future and pokes some fun at our brothers and sisters from the other side of the aisle. My 51YSFkvzVVL__SS140_SH35_short story, The Last Hippie is the third one in, but don’t just stop there. Have fun with some cool stories by Brad Torgeson and Monalisa Foster, to name two of my favorites.

 

Second, Working Stiffs will be released by a new publisher, with a new cover, on 51nd3C30GeL__SS140_SH35_December 12th. The e-book will be release day priced at $2.99, so if you’ve been holding off because $5.99 was too much, now’s your chance to grab it. Working Stiffs was honored as a Finalist in the American Book Fest: Best of 2017 in the Science Fiction category.

 

And finally, April’s Fool will be refreshed with a new cover in preparation for the release of May Day (Date TBD). Here’s a look:

AprilsFool-10

Okay, I’m done fooling around. There’s been a definite hiatus in output lately, I admit. I’ve been hacking away at a novel that JUST AIN’T WORKING…so I finally threw in the towel. Fuggedabowddit. Tank it. Trash it. Give it up, already. Ignore the MONTHS spent trying to make a diamond out of a pig’s ear.

It’s back to all Yeager, all the time, until #3 in the that series is done. Happy to report, progress is being made on Yeager’s Getaway, where Abel and Charlie go on a much delayed honeymoon to an island paradise that turns…well, nasty. There is no easy day in Yeager’s world.

Sample from Chapter One:

An epic hangover cracked Abel Yeager’s morning egg of contentment. The yolk of good cheer dribbled out, leaving nothing but an empty shell of misery. His head squatted atop his shoulders like a bowling ball, heavy and hard, while chimpanzees trampolined off his stomach lining. The pocket-sized cruise ship, Fair Breezes, bobbed more than a cork on a fishing line, and the only thing keeping his insides from erupting in a volcanic expulsion of stale beer and pretzels was the uncertainty of making it to the head without falling over from dizziness. The bed of their stateroom embraced him in sweat-damp sheets, and there he planned to stay until the paramedics came to carry him away.

He groaned and covered his eyes in the crook of an elbow.

“Serves you right.” An e-reader braced on her belly, Charlie reclined near the balcony doorway, sunlight streaming through her coppery hair and a breeze ruffling the collar of the cotten cover up she wore over her one-piece swimsuit. Her long legs were propped on the corner of the bed, crossed at the ankles, treating Yeager to a view of the soles of her feet. “How late did you stay up drinking with your new best friends?”

“I don’t know,” Yeager mumbled. “One o’clock, I think.”

“No, you came in at three a.m.”

If you knew, why’d you ask? He kept his mouth shut.

“Reeking of beer, I might add.”

You just did. This, too, he kept to himself. The warning flags were out: Charlie was a tiny bit PO’d and didn’t need any nitroglycerin added to the tank to get her going. Normally, Charlotte Buchanan Yeager was a joy to live with. Smart. Funny. A naturally happy person. Like Victor. On the rare occasions when she did lose it, Yeager found it best to lock up the breakables and hunker down for a storm. His bleary-eyed reading of today’s weather indicated a squall approaching, and it could either blow over, or brew up to hurricane force.

“Just my luck,” Charlie spoke without looking up from her reader. “I finally ditch the kids and go on a much delayed honeymoon cruise with my husband, the Marine. And guess what? The ship is packed with Marines.”

“Three is hardly packed,” Yeager said. “And those guys were salty. Vietnam vets. Telling stories of the Rockpile, Ca Lu, Hill 881. Hue City. Khe Sanh.”

“And while you’re out swapping war stories with the Leatherneck Legends, your wife is waiting up for you in her brand new nightie. See-through, like you like it.” Charlie stabbed her reader with a finger and “flipped” a page. Yeager could almost hear the page snap. He lifted his pounding head with ponderous effort.

“I’m sorry I missed that.” And he meant it, too. Charlie could make his heart race wearing a spacesuit and face cream; Charlie in sexy lingerie made him lose his mind. He groaned again and flopped back. “I really, really am.”

She must have taken pity on him, because she got up and brought him a bottle of water from the mini-fridge. “Here. Rehydrate, caveman. You’re going to need it today.”

“Why’s that—? Wait.” A memory clawed its way up through the corpses of dead brain cells. “Oh, hell no.”

“Oh hell yes, Staff Sergeant Yeager.” Charlie stood by the bed with her hands on her hips and a smug expression painting her face. “We hike the nature reserve today. Three hours of exercise should sweat all the beer right out of you.”

“God hates me,” Yeager groaned.

 

 

Hear ye, hear ye, or expressed in Texan: Listen up, y’all.

I have a short story due out November 8th, in the anthology titled “MAGA 2020 & Beyond,” titled The Last Hippie.

Here’s an excerpt:

Broken glass covered the street like gravel. It crunched under Mackay’s boot.

If there was an intact window left in the city, Mackay had yet to see it. Or an intact car, or functioning light, or working toilet, for that matter. What a waste. A proud and rich people, descended to savagery, living in a garbage pit of their own making. The smart ones had left early, jumping the border walls in droves, an influx of illegal immigration that took decades for the US to settle out.

“It looks like a sheet of diamonds,” said the rookie, Ponte. He flicked a glance at Mackay. “You know, the way the light shines on all the glass.”

“Shut up, Pontoon. Watch the corners and fa’God’s sake, look up. There’s tall billins on either side of ya. Called skyscrappers, ya pintz.” Mackay deliberately spoke like a goon to Ponte, got words wrong, mixed up his syntax. It drove the OCD, double-major-graduate, four-plus-GPA, walking Wikipedia rookie right into an electric tizzy, given that he knew better than to try and correct his squad leader.

“Yes, Sergeant.” Ponte kept his face blank as an android. In Mackay’s experience, the stiffer Ponte became, the more torqued he was on the inside.

Mackay stifled a grin. He checked the three men behind him, verified spacing and vigilance. It was easy to get complacent, here in this almost—stress almost—deserted city. Fitzke, Blake, and Ortega were solid though, two sweeping up and to the sides while one swiveled backward, checking their six. SkyEye should alert them to any movement, but Mackay trusted drones about as much as he trusted teenage boys with his daughter.

Eternal vigilance was the price of virginity and long life. Oo-yah.

 

Pre-order your copy today!

 

From now through May 9th, I’m giving away three signed copies each of my four published novels through Goodreads.

Beginning today: Yeager’s Law and April’s Fool

Beginning April 24th:  Yeager’s Mission

Beginning May 1st: Working Stiffs*

*I’ll add the link when the giveaway goes live.

(You’ll need a Goodreads account, but they’re free for the price of a click or two.)

Now available for pre-order from Amazon, Working Stiffs. Here’s a look…

Chapter Three: I Can Quit Anytime I Want.

Coffee.

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee. Where was the fucking coffee?

We had coffee yesterday, didn’t we? I rummaged through the last cabinet in the kitchen, the one where we kept the dishes, as if the packet of coffee might have snuck under a chipped plate or snuggled down in one of the three mismatched cups. All the other cabinet doors hung open, having been raided, pillaged, and left for dead.

No coffee in the plate cabinet, either.working-stiffs-sci-fi-2-draft

It’s a law—federal, state, and natural—when in doubt of an object’s location, ask the woman. “Chelle!”

“Joe!” Her voice came through loud and clear from her permanent place of residence in the john. In a three-room government apartment with Xerox-copied walls, we did not need an intercom to communicate.

“Where’s the coffee?” While the question traveled across time and space, penetrated Chelle’s hard crust of annoyance and generated a response, I checked under the sink. Nothing except for a bottle of liquid soap (so old, it had cemented itself to the cabinet floor), some Drano, a can of unopened greenish powdery substance (for cleaning?), and an empty box of scrub pads.

Somebody should throw that out.

Yeager’s back and he’s hotter than ever.

After a number of earthquakes hammer the Sierra Madre region of Mexico, Grupo Verdugo, a Yeager's Missionsplinter group of cartel enforcers, takes control of the drug shipping routes through that territory. Caught in the middle, a small orphanage high in the mountains, desperate for supplies to care for the children and the battered earthquake victims, reaches out to Abel Yeager for help.
Yeager and his friend Victor agree to deliver the needed food and medicine. But Grupo Verdugo seems to have a special interest in starving out the clergy and forcing them to bend to their will. They send a man known as the Executioner to stop anyone daring to assist the people.
Yeager and Victor are in for the biggest fight of their lives as they are forced to move forty children, a dozen sick and injured patients, and one feisty doctor out of the mission and through mountains infested with vicious killers.

E-reader release day today, June 21st. $2.99 for a short time only