Pub Day: The Outside Man – A Matt Drake Thriller #2 by Don Bentley


The story of Matt Drake only gets better and better.

 

The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world’s most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door.

Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him?

The answers will take him into some of the most dangerous spots in the Middle East and will put him in the clutches of an old foe known simply as the Devil. It’s a world of double crosses, with no boundaries between the guilty and the innocent. It will take all of Drake’s wiles to get out alive.

 

AmazonGoodreadsAudible | B&N

A complete powder keg just ripe for the reader. The Outside Man, thrills in every sense of the word igniting from the very first page.

– Benjamin Thomas


Don Bentley spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot during which time he was stationed in South Korea, Germany, and Texas. While deployed to Afghanistan as a Troop Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VI, Don was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal with “V” device for valor. Following his time in the military Don worked as an FBI Special Agent and was a member of the Dallas Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.

Don is the author of the Matt Drake thriller series including WITHOUT SANCTION, THE OUTSIDE MAN, and two forth coming titles, as well as TARGET ACQUIRED, a Tom Clancy Jack Ryan, Jr. novel.

 

donbentleybooks.com

Book Review: Without Sanction – Matt Drake #1 by Don Bentley


After surviving a clandestine operation that went tragically wrong, Matt Drake escaped Syria with his life, but little else. Now, to save the life of another, he must return to Syria and confront his biggest failure.

Defense Intelligence Agency operative Matt Drake broke a promise. A promise that cost three people their lives and crippled his best friend. Three months later, he’s paralyzed by survivor’s guilt and haunted by the memories of the fallen. Matt may have left Syria, but Syria hasn’t left him.

In the midst of his self-imposed exile, Matt is dragged back into the world of espionage and assets that he tried to forget. A Pakistani scientist working for an ISIS splinter cell has created a terrifying weapon of mass destruction. The scientist offers to defect with the weapon, but he trusts just one man to bring him out of Syria alive—Matt Drake.

 

GoodreadsAmazon | Audible

 

Author Don Bentley bursts onto the thriller scene like a bowling ball!!!  Without Sanction, the first Matt Drake book is a THRILLER in every sense of the word. It has everything a thriller buff would want in a story. Great characters, high stakes, superb plotting, gripping conflict…It has it all. There’s good writing–and then there’s exceptional writing that jumps off the page into a blistering page-turner. That, is WITHOUT SANCTION.  I love how Bentley places the beginning of the story with Matt Drake contemplating his demons from the past. I believe it’s called, In media res, if I’m not mistaken. This immediately hooks the reader from the get-go and leaves us wanting more. This wasn’t a typical bare-knuckles brawl action adventure–it had superb plotting, with Matt Drake undergoing a complete character arc. Those are the absolutely BEST stories to read.

Without Sanction was aptly named given the circumstances DIA agent Drake was put in. Absolutely no mercy! He really gets put through ringer. On the verge of quitting, he gets called back into the game by hard-ass James Glass; and sent on a mission into one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Syria.

I have to say at this point, I consumed the audiobook version of Without Sanction narrated by Jack Armstrong. If you’re a thriller writer and haven’t invested in a quality narrator, you’re seriously missing out. Jack Armstrong nails it. He matches the tone, spirit of the characters and the entire book. It adds an edge-of-your thrill to the overall reading experience. If Don Bentley isn’t on your radar yet–you need to do some serious reconnaissance.

 

“Sensationally good—I want more Matt Drake.”
Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Don Bentley’s Without Sanction is seriously one of the most compelling debuts in recent memory.
Brilliantly crafted and written, this book is a thoroughly riveting read and Don Bentley is an exciting new voice in the thriller world.”
Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Without Sanction knocks it out of the park! His hard won wisdom and experience from time downrange grip the reader from the first page to the last. Sign me up for an early read of book two!”
Jack Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Savage Son


 

The Outside Man – Matt Drake #2 is out March 2nd, 2021!

 

The fight for freedom has sent Matt Drake to some of the world’s most dangerous spots. This time the war is coming to his front door.

Broad daylight on an Austin, Texas, street and DIA agent Matt Drake is fighting for his life against a highly trained team of assassins. Who are they? Why do they want him dead? How will he protect those closest to him?

The answers will take him into some of the most dangerous spots in the Middle East and will put him in the clutches of an old foe known simply as the Devil. It’s a world of double crosses, with no boundaries between the guilty and the innocent. It will take all of Drake’s wiles to get out alive.


Don Bentley spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot during which time he was stationed in South Korea, Germany, and Texas. While deployed to Afghanistan as a Troop Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VI, Don was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal with “V” device for valor. Following his time in the military Don worked as an FBI Special Agent and was a member of the Dallas Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.

Don is the author of the Matt Drake thriller series including WITHOUT SANCTION, THE OUTSIDE MAN, and two forth coming titles, as well as TARGET ACQUIRED, a Tom Clancy Jack Ryan, Jr. novel.

 

donbentleybooks.com

Crimson Phoenix: A Victoria Emerson Thriller Book #1 by John Gilstrap

An Action-Packed & Thrilling Novel

Brad Taylor meets The Stand in a riveting novel of suspense kicking off a brand new series perfect for fans of the page-turning novels of A.G. Riddle, Mark Greaney, and Matthew Mather.

“One of the most singular and compelling heroines to come along in years.” —Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author

“Snaps with action from the very first page.”—Marc Cameron, New York Times bestselling author of Stone Cross and of Tom Clancy’s Code of Honor

From John Gilstrap, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave novels, comes Crimson Phoenix—first in the new Victoria Emerson Thriller series. With America brought to the brink of destruction, one woman becomes the last hope of a nation and its people . . .


Victoria Emerson is a congressional member of the U. S. House of Representatives for the state of West Virginia. Her aspirations have always been to help her community and to avoid the ambitious power plays of her peers in Washington D. C. Then Major Joseph McCrea appears on her doorstep and uses the code phrase Crimson Phoenix, meaning this is not a drill. The United States is on the verge of nuclear war. Victoria must accompany McCrea to a secure bunker. She cannot bring her family.

A single mother, Victoria refuses to abandon her three teenage sons. Denied entry to the bunker, they nonetheless survive the nuclear onslaught that devastates the country. The land is nearly uninhabitable. Electronics have been rendered useless. Food is scarce. Millions of scared and ailing people await aid from a government that is unable to regroup, much less organize a rescue from the chaos.

Victoria devotes herself to reestablishing order—only to encounter the harsh realities required of a leader dealing with desperate people . . .

“Just the thing for readers who feel oppressed by the pandemic lockdown.”— Kirkus Reviews

 AmazonGoodreads | B&N

“A gripping page-turner.” —Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling author

“An explosive story that keeps your mind churning and pulse racing . . . Don’t miss this powerful new series from a master thriller writer.” —Jamie Freveletti, international bestselling and award-winning author.

Publication Date: February 23, 2021

This is going to knock your socks off!

PREORDER NOW!

Publication Day: American Traitor: A Pike Logan Novel by Brad Taylor


BOOYAH!! You know what time it is! Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are back in AMERICAN TRAITOR #15

AND THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL.


Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are enjoying a sunny vacation down under when they get disturbing news: their friend and colleague, Clifford Delmonty, is in serious trouble. While working as a contractor at an Australian F 35 facility, the former Taskforce member—callsign Dunkin—saw something he shouldn’t have, and now he’s on the run from Chinese agents.

Pike and Jennifer soon discover that Dunkin’s attackers are a dangerous part of a much larger scheme that could launch a full-on war between China and Taiwan. In their quest for dominance, China is determined to reclaim Taiwan—an ally the United States has sworn to protect. Pike learns that the Chinese have a devious plan to bait the small island nation into all-out war by destabilizing the government while manipulating an artificial intelligence defense system.

As the threat of conflict reaches a boiling point, Pike alone realizes that what is being seen is not what is happening. A soldier who has always been trained to fight and win, Pike is now against an invisible enemy—one he can’t actually attack. With the help of a Taiwanese intelligence agent, he races to prevent a catastrophic conflict from consuming a whole region of the world—and the lives of his teammates.

 

Goodreads |Amazon |B&N | Audible

HAPPY PUB DAY

A BEHIND THE SCENES INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR BRAD TAYLOR

 

 

 

The Crew Reviews: Behind the Scenes With the World’s Greatest Storytellers


Brad Taylor served for more than twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2010 as a Special Forces Lieutenant colonel. During that time he held numerous infantry and special operations positions, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operations Detachment—Delta, popularly known as the Delta Force, where he commanded multiple troops and a squadron.

He has conducted operations in support of U.S. national interests in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other classified locations. His final military post was as Assistant Professor of Military Science at The Citadel. He holds a master’s of science in defense analysis with a concentration in irregular warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

When not writing, Brad serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats to various agencies. He currently lives in Charleston, SC, with his wife and two daughters.

 

BradTaylorbooks.com

Book Recon: Drone Strike – Joe Matthews #2 by David Austin


For the last twenty years America’s drone program has provided the nation with an unparalleled advantage in the skies over every battlefield from Pakistan and Afghanistan to North Africa and Syria.

But what if a foreign power managed to obtain that same capability? Not by developing their own, but by stealing a Reaper and its compliment of missiles from the Central Intelligence Agency. And what if that nation’s leader, desperate to increase his influence in the Middle East, comes up with a plan to turn every country in the region against the United States?

Tensions are at the breaking point as scores of innocent civilians are killed in seemingly random drone strikes across the Middle East. With all evidence pointing directly at Washington, protests and demonstrations erupt in front of U.S. embassies and consulates with a ferocity not seen since the Arab Spring.

Time is running out as CIA operative Joe Matthews and his team of paramilitary officers try to find the rogue drone before an emergency meeting of the Arab League votes to expel all American personnel from the region
.

 

Amazon |Goodreads |B&N

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. – Mason Cooley


About David Austin

Dave Austin has over twenty-five years of experience working in the field of protective operations. While serving with the Central Intelligence Agency, he has protected cabinet-level officials, chiefs of station, and case officers in a wide variety of locations around the world.

In 2005 Dave left government service and put his skills to work in the private sector where he currently leads the executive protection team for one of the world’s largest corporations.

Prior to joining the CIA, Dave served in the Army as an infantryman and was assigned to the Third U.S. Infantry, “The Old Guard,” the Army’s oldest active-duty infantry unit. As the Army’s official ceremonial unit and escort to the president, The Old Guard is also responsible for securing Washington, D.C. in times of crisis.

Dave is the author of Tehran’s Vengeance and Drone Strike. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @daveaustinbooks.

Book Recon: Violent Peace: The War with China: Aftermath of Armageddon by David Poyer & V2 by Robert Harris


December 8th military thriller author David Poyer returns with the 20th book of the series starring Admiral Dan Lenson. This will be the 6th book focusing on a War with China beginning with book 15, Tipping Point: The War with China – The First Salvo.

 

Violent Peace: The War with China: Aftermath of Armageddon

Dan Lenson #20

 

World War III is over… or is it? Superpowers race to fill the postwar power vacuum in this page-turning thriller, the next in the Dan Lenson series.

In the next installment of David Poyer’s critically-acclaimed series about war with China, mutual exhaustion after a massive nuclear exchange is giving way to a Violent Peace. While Admiral Dan Lenson motorcycles across a post-Armageddon US in search of his missing daughter, his wife Blair Titus lands in a spookily deserted, riot-torn Beijing to negotiate the reunification of Taiwan with the rest of China, and try to create a democratic government.

But a CIA-sponsored Islamic insurgency in Xianjiang province is hurtling out of control. Andres Korzenowski, a young case officer, must decide whether ex-SEAL Master Chief Teddy Oberg―now the leader of a ruthless jihad―should be extracted, left in place, or terminated.

Meanwhile, Captain Cheryl Staurulakis and USS Savo Island are recalled to sea, to forestall a Russian fleet intent on grabbing a resource-rich Manchuria.

The violent and equivocal termination of the war between China and the Allies has brought not peace, but dangerous realignments in the endless game of great power chess. Will the end of one world war simply be the signal for the beginning of another?

 

Book 15- Tipping Point: The War with China – The First Salvo

Book 16 – Onslaught: The War with China: The Opening Battle

Book 17 – Hunter Killer: The War with China – The Battle for the Central Pacific

Book 18 – Deep War: The War with China – The Nuclear Precipice

Book 19 – Overthrow: The War with China and North Korea – Fall of an Empire

Book 20 – Violent Peace: The War with China – The Aftermath of Armageddon

 

B&N |Google Play |Goodreads | Amazon| Audible


From the best-selling author of Fatherland and Munich comes a WWII thriller about a German rocket engineer, a former actress turned British spy, and the Nazi rocket program.

It’s November 1944–Willi Graf, a German rocket engineer, is launching Nazi Germany’s V2 rockets at London from Occupied Holland. Kay Connolly, once an actress, now a young English Intelligence officer, ships out for Belgium to locate the launch sites and neutralize the threat. But when rumors of a defector circulate through the German ranks, Graf becomes a suspect. Unknown to each other, Graf and Connolly find themselves on opposite sides of the hunt for the saboteur.

Their twin stories play out against the background of the German missile campaign, one of the most epic and modern but least explored episodes of the Second World War. Their destinies are on a collision course.

 

B&N |Google Play |Goodreads |Amazon | Audible

Nazi V2 Rocket Facility

 

 

 

SECRET NAZI V2 ROCKET PROGRAM

V-2, the Vergeltungswaffe Zwei (Vengeance Weapon Two) was the world’s first long range ballistic missile.

 


DAVID CHARLES POYER was born in DuBois, PA in 1949. He grew up in Brockway, Emlenton, and Bradford, in western Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bradford Area High School in 1967. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1971, and later received a master’s degree from George Washington University.

Poyer’s active and reserve naval service included sea duty in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic, Caribbean, and Pacific, and shore duty at the Pentagon, Surface Warfare Development Group, Joint Forces Command, and in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. He retired in July 2001.

Poyer began writing in 1976, and is the author of nearly fifty books, including THE MED, THE GULF, THE CIRCLE, THE PASSAGE, TOMAHAWK, CHINA SEA, BLACK STORM, THE COMMAND, THE THREAT, KOREA STRAIT, THE WEAPON, THE CRISIS, THE CRUISER, TIPPING POINT, HUNTER KILLER, DEEP WAR, and OVERTHROW, best-selling Navy novels; THE DEAD OF WINTER, WINTER IN THE HEART, AS THE WOLF LOVES WINTER, and THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN, set in the Pennsylvania hills; and HATTERAS BLUE, BAHAMAS BLUE, LOUISIANA BLUE, and DOWN TO A SUNLESS SEA, underwater diving adventure. Other noteworthy books are THE ONLY THING TO FEAR, a historical thriller, THE RETURN OF PHILO T. McGIFFIN, a comic novel of Annapolis, and the three volumes of The Civil War at Sea, FIRE ON THE WATERS, A COUNTRY OF OUR OWN, and THAT ANVIL OF OUR SOULS. He’s also written two sailing thrillers, GHOSTING and THE WHITENESS OF THE WHALE. His work has been published in Britain, translated into Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Hugarian, and Serbo-Croatian; recorded for audiobooks, iPod downloads, and Kindle, and selected by the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club and other book clubs. Rights to several properties have been sold or optioned for films.

Poyer has taught or lectured at Annapolis, Flagler College, University of Pittsburgh, Old Dominion University, the Armed Forces Staff College, the University of North Florida, Christopher Newport University, and other institutions. He has been a guest on PBS’s “Writer to Writer” series and on Voice of America, and has appeared at the Southern Festival of Books and many other literary events. He teaches in the MA/MFA in Creative Writing program at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre and the Ossabaw Writers Retreat, and is a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a board member of the Northern Appalachia Review.

He lives on Virginia’s Eastern Shore with novelist Lenore Hart.

www.DavidPoyer.com


ROBERT HARRIS is the author of nine best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, and An Officer and a Spy. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his wife, Gill Hornby.

RobertHarris.com

Book Tour and Upcoming Book Release: The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo


Roy and Carl have spent their whole lives running from the darkness in their past, but when Carl finally returns to make peace with it, the two brothers are inexorably drawn into a reckoning with their own demons.

Roy has never left the quiet mountain town he grew up in, unlike his little brother Carl who couldn’t wait to get out and escape his troubled past. Just like everyone else in town, Roy believed Carl was gone for good. But Carl has big plans for his hometown. And when he returns with a mysterious new wife and a business opportunity that seems too good to be true, simmering tensions begin to surface and unexplained deaths in the town’s past come under new scrutiny. Soon powerful players set their sights on taking the brothers down by exposing their role in the town’s sordid history.

But Roy and Carl are survivors, and no strangers to violence. Roy has always protected his younger brother. As the body count rises, though, Roy’s loyalty to family is tested. And then Roy finds himself inextricably drawn to Carl’s wife, Shannon, an attraction that will have devastating consequences. Roy’s world is coming apart and soon there will be no turning back. He’ll be forced to choose between his own flesh and blood and a future he had never dared to believe possible.

 

Goodreads |Amazon | Audible

SEE JO NESBO ON TOUR!

BOOK RELEASE NOV. 10th, 2020

 

Tuesday, November 10th at 12PM PST—In conversation with Harlan Coben—Third Place Books

Register Now

Saturday, November 14th at 3PM EST—In conversation with his editor, Edward Kastenmeier—Barnes & Noble

Tune In

Sunday, November 15th at 1PM EST—Virtual Event with Michael Connelly, moderated by Oline Cogdill—Politics & Prose

Register Now



Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children’s book, Doktor Proktors Prompepulver.

 

JONESBO.COM

Book Recon: Sons of War 2: Saints by Nicholas Sansbury Smith


The civil war is over, but the struggle for power is just beginning …

 

In the aftermath of a devastating civil war, America has fallen into anarchy and chaos. Los Angeles is divided into different territories controlled by criminal organizations. Don Antonio Moretti has won a slice of the pie but is hungry for more. In his quest for power, he sends his nephew and a small crew to Mexico, to negotiate a new deal for their staple product, while the don returns to Italy for some unfinished business.

While the crime families battle for power in LA, Dominic Salvatore and his elite team at the LAPD fight tirelessly to stem the rot. But their fight often seems futile in a force rife with corruption. Dom s father, Ronaldo, is a deputy fighting to secure the border, but when intel arises about his missing daughter, he leaves Los Angeles for the desert wastes, to find her and bring her home.

 

Pre-order now

Available September 15, 2020

 

Amazon |GoodreadsGoodreads

 

To the Morettis and the Salvatores, family is everything, and they will protect their own no matter the cost…

Book Review: Collateral Tier One book #6 by Andrews & Wilson


After a surprise assault on Task Force Ember’s secret compound in Virginia by Russian covert operators, John Dempsey and his teammates are mourning their dead and trying to put the pieces back together. But in the ever-evolving world of shadow warfare, there is no respite for heroes or victims. Russian spymaster Arkady Zhukov, the mind behind the attack on Ember, is at it again—directing false flag operations to destabilize Ukraine and enable Russia to seize control of the Black Sea.

The American President designates Arkady and his Zetas a clear and present danger to the United States. Dempsey and his team are tasked to systematically eliminate each and every Zeta agent around the globe. But when American and Russian covert operations collide in Kiev, the “new Cold War” goes from a simmer to a boil. Escalation ensues, bringing America and her allies to the brink of world war. Unless Dempsey and Task Force Ember can derail Russia’s secret plans, the collateral damage could bring the world to its knees.

Amazon | Goodreads |Audible

 

 


BOOK REVIEW

 

Cover Task Force Ember after suffering a devastating blow by their Russian counterpart, Zetas, are out for blood and vengeance. Collateral Tier One Book #6 begins with this platform and quickly springs into action! John Dempsey and company are still reeling from a near total annihilation, but they haven’t given up the fight yet. Far from it. The dark arts of covert warfare, brutal assassinations, a high risk rescue operation, geopolitical maneuvering with global implications of WWIII. This book has it all! My favorite writing duo does not disappoint! An absolute pageburner! 


Brian Andrews is a US Navy veteran, Park Leadership Fellow, and former submarine officer with a psychology degree from Vanderbilt and a masters in business from Cornell University. He is the author of three critically acclaimed high-tech thrillers: Reset, The Infiltration Game, and The Calypso Directive, and co-authors the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon best-selling TIER ONE thriller series with Jeffrey Wilson.

 

Jeffrey Wilson is the award winning author of four supernatural thrillers: THE TRAITEUR’S RING (2011), THE DONORS (2012) and FADE TO BLACK (2013) and the upcoming JULIAN’S NUMBERS (2016). He is also the co-author of two military/covert ops thriller series with Brian Andrews. For Thomas & Mercer Jeff and Brian write the TIER ONE covert ops thriller series, with TIER ONE coming summer of 2016 and WAR SHADOWS in early spring 2017. For Cooked Lane, they write the Nick Foley Thriller series under the pseudonym Alex Ryan with BEIJING RED due out in May 2016 followed by HONG KONG BLACK in December. Jeff has worked as an actor, a firefighter/ paramedic, a jet pilot, a diving instructor, a Naval Officer, and a Surgeon. He served numerous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat surgeon with both the Marines and with a Joint Special Operations Task Force.  Jeff and his wife, Wendy, are Virginia natives who, with children Ashley, Emma, Jack, and Connor, call Tampa, Florida home. He still works part time as a Vascular Surgeon and as a consultant for the Department of Defense when not hard at work on his next book.

 

Andrews-Wilson.com

Book Recon: Pub Day The Buffalo Pilot by Lawrence A. Colby



Ford Stevens Military-Aviation Thriller #3


MILITARY FLYING–
THE RISKIEST CAREER OF THEM ALL.

 

More military pilots die in training than at war.

Air Force Reserve Major Ford Stevens is a veteran military pilot, upholding the prestigious family practice of service to the nation in the face of danger.

His younger brother, Charlie, a fresh Lieutenant out of pilot training, joins the family tradition seeking to prove himself.

With the rivalry still strong, all he wanted to do was follow his big brother’s footsteps…

Now, Charlie joins his brother Ford in the same flying squadron, both men putting their lives on the line each time they strap in the jet, whether in peace or war.

It will be an initiation by fire as they hunt a saboteur killing aircrew, uniting the competitive brothers in the ultimate test of life and death…

“Ford Stevens is giving Jack Ryan (the recurring hero from Tom Clancy thrillers) a run for his money for the title “coolest patriot on the block.” -Frank “Gus” Biggio, Author of The Wolves of Helmand

 

Amazon |Goodreads |B&N

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

LAWRENCE A. COLBY

 

 

  1. This caught my eye.  MILITARY FLYING–THE RISKIEST CAREER OF THEM ALL.

More military pilots die in training than at war. Is that really true?

 

 

Unfortunately, yes, it is true. The military reported just over 1000 major mishaps last year, a slight decline from 1,036 in 2018.  Regarding aviation loss of life, the military lost a total of 13 service members who died in mishaps last year.  The year prior, we lost 39 aircrew.  In a recent example, six Marines died in a 2018 aerial refueling collision when the tanker and fighter jet collided.  It is a dangerous and unforgiving business.

Sometimes aircraft maintenance issues cause the errors, other times it is the pilot or an aircrew error.  Causes can be all over the map, from weather to not flying enough.  This novel has many themes, and one of them is on the mishap investigation process and what it is like to help determine the cause of an accident.

My point in writing the opening line you’re asking about is that high-performance flying is very dangerous, whether you are in peacetime or wartime. The danger is real 100% of the time, day or night, sun or rain.  You have to be on your game, all the time, when you are in the aircraft.

 

 

  1. In The Buffalo Pilot, how does the family tradition affect the relationship between Air Force Reserve Major Ford Stevens and his brother Charlie?

 

Some people say that it’s lonely at the top when you’re in charge. Modern day management and leadership books discuss this very issue. It’s tough being in a leadership position, and what makes it tougher is when you have family members in the same organization. It’s a unique dynamic. The person in the leadership or managerial role can’t play favorites, and you have to enforce the rules and maintain the same standards as everyone else.

I thought it would be a unique look at the human condition to focus on this struggle for a story.  Our squadron commander, Ford Stevens, now has his younger brother, Charlie, in the flying unit. 

Many readers may not know that family members do serve in the same Reserve and Air National Guard units across our 54 states and territories.  

 

 

  1. Since this is your third book, has your writing process changed since penning The Devil Dragon Pilot?

 

I still follow the same process by scouring current events in the news, being curious about why certain decisions are made in the military, business or government, and devour books in a variety of genres. My personal reading load has increased to about 60 books a year and split maybe 75% non-fiction and 25% fiction. If I combine my reading load with long-distance running, the ideas flow. 

Generating a rough outline to give a good start helps, but I learned from author David Baldacci to never stick to it and not divert. I never really know where the characters will take me.  Observing and being curious is the special combo, and the ideas are everywhere for that certain character accent, piece of clothing or major storyline.  For “The Buffalo Pilot,” the connection to organized crime will catch people off guard. One just needs to look around to find the ideas for their own writing process.

 

 

  1. What’s the best thing about writing military aviation thrillers?

 

The military is just a smaller snapshot of American society. Working in human characteristics of topics like alcoholism, cancer, PTSD, unique family dynamics, and career success and failure, and linking it to a dangerous career such as flying, is what makes a story come off as authentic. These are real situations that many people are faced with in life, and sometimes dangerous professions have the same challenges as non-dangerous professions. Writing about the highs and lows of the flying professions, the people in them, and their families, is what makes the stories unique. While my stories do have heroes, I like to focus on their faults as well. The readers tell me that’s what keeps it real, and what I like to refer to as being authentic.  Because I wore the flight suit as a pilot, I write from personal experience.

 

 

  1. What’s one thing you’d like readers to know about The Buffalo Pilot?

 

“The Buffalo Pilot” focuses on the men and women of the Reserve Component portion of the U.S. military. You would never know by looking at someone uniform if they serve in the Air Guard, Reserves, or in the Active Component on full-time active duty.  These are the men and women in your communities who serve in a traditional, part-time capacity, but do a full-workload that’s not known to many neighbors.

These Reserve Component members work nights, weekends, and go away for weeks and months at a time, while maintaining the same standards. They also have entire separate careers in every job field imaginable, and leave their jobs and family to serve in the military when they are called. It’s a real sacrifice that often goes unnoticed in the media, film, and television works.

I wanted to highlight this sacrifice and give credit though this third book to my former flying squadron, the 914th Air Wing at Niagara Falls. A tremendous group of individuals from western New York, mostly Niagara Falls, Rochester, and Buffalo. I loved these fellow aircrew and this novel is a nod to them.