Michael Stephen Fuch’s BLACK SQUADRON looks pretty good.
Black Squadron is a secret cadre within DEVGRU (aka SEAL Team Six), consisting of master sniper and recon experts who carry out sensitive and dangerous advance force operations (AFO) in the most lethal cesspools and ash-heaps around the war-torn globe.
They are an elite within an elite (within an elite).
But now they are being deployed to the darkest heart of the last days of the blood-drenched Syrian civil war, where they are surrounded by thousands of Syrian regulars, dozens of head-hacking Islamist militias, the hardest of the hard-core ISIS and al-Qaeda remnants, fierce Kurdish Peshmerga freedom fighters, ruthless Iranian Qods Force agitators, as well as Putin’s hyper-lethal and utterly merciless pipehitters from Spetsnaz GRU.
They’ve also been saddled with a blocking force, a platoon of US Army Rangers from the 75th Ranger Regiment – a unit that has fought in every U.S. engagement from the invasion of Sicily to Black Hawk Down. The Rangers are upright, loyal, and never leave their brothers behind.
But now the Rangers may be the only ones who can stop a rogue Black Squadron from leaving everyone bleeding out in the street – and also kicking off a shooting war between two nuclear powers.
It’s Black Hawk Down meets Training Day in this explosive collision of two legendary special-operations units battling to survive and prevail in the most dangerous city on the planet.
When dark forces rise, are faith and firepower enough?
On the eve of his medical retirement, Navy SEAL Jedidiah Johnson receives a frantic call from his estranged childhood best friend David Yarnell. David’s daughter has been kidnapped off the streets of Nashville in broad daylight. The police have no suspects and no leads. The only clue: the body of a dead priest left behind at the scene. With the clock ticking, David is growing desperate, as is his wife, Rachel . . . Jed’s first love.
Despite his painful history with David and Rachel, Jed agrees to help. But he’s spent his career as a door-kicking Navy SEAL, not an investigator. His presence immediately draws unwanted attention, creates friction with the local police, and triggers a mysterious attempt on his life. Just when he thinks things can’t get worse, it starts to happen again–the voices in his head, the nightmares, the visions. Dark memories and strange abilities, things he believed he’d left behind when he fled Nashville for the Navy at eighteen, begin to resurface.
Jed realizes that to save the missing girl, he must take a leap of faith and embrace the gifts he’s denied for all these years. To foil this dark intercept, he’ll need more than just his years as a SEAL operator, because he has no choice now but to take up arms and join the battle in the unseen spiritual warfare raging all around him. And there is far more at stake than just a missing girl: the world is not the place he thought it was–and he is not alone.
1. Dark Intercept is an ominous title…What came first the title, or concept for the book?
Brian: (laughs) Well, you’re not the first person to ask that question which means the title is definitely doing its job of getting people thinking. Generally, we find the book titles tend to come for us about the middle of a project as the themes of the novel solidify. In the case of Dark Intercept that was certainly true, however, the series title came much earlier, which we’ll address in one of your follow on questions. The title, DARK INTERCEPT, is a play on the idea of the intersection of good and evil, light and dark. Our hero, Jed, literally needs to intercept the dark forces that have kidnapped a young spiritual prodigty and confront his own demons if he is to win the day.
Jeff: Very true. Like Brian said, we’ve been playing this this series idea for quite some time—the idea of unseen, covert forces battling in the shadows in a classic good versus evil struggle for control of the world. This is a theme that resonates with thriller readers from Ian Fleming’s original James Bond days all the way to today. Our twist on it was the idea of a sanctioned, worldwide, covert operations team that fights not only in the traditional way, but also in spiritual warfare arena, against dark forces that use man’s weaknesses and violent nature to foment hatred, violence and warfare to shake man’s faith in God. So, the idea of THE SHEPHERDS as the title series, using the name for our fictitious covert operations unit, rose easily out of that. DARK INTERCEPT is the origin story, not of the unit, but of our main characters journey into that world, and seems to us to capture both where his life came from and now is headed.
Jedidiah Johnson seems like a very interesting character. How did he develop between your collaboration together?
Jeff: Well, like all of our stories and characters, Jed developed over a few weeks of brainstorming both the story arc and his character and how he fit into that story. Honestly, our method involves so much cooperative effort that it is impossible to look back and remember who thought of what or when—not just for Jed and for this series, but for Dempsey in Tier One, for Chunk and his team in Sons of Valor, and all of our work. We both bring our own military backgrounds and our life experiences into the growth of a character, and of course a lot of that also happens during the writing and re-writing of the stories.
Brian: Exactly. Ours is a method that always involves team work in growing the story and characters, and honestly it makes it a lot more fun and highly efficient. With Jed, we take the reader on a classic hero’s journey. When we first meet Jed, he’s not in a great place—physically, emotionally, or spiritually. And when he’s first presented with his quest (whether or not to try to look for and rescue 12 year old Sarah Beth Yarnell) is first inclination is to say no. But like all great heroes, Jed is motivated by his principles—a deep sense of duty, honor and justice. Unbeknownst to Jed, however, in accepting his quest he will be forced to confront his own personal demons in the process. It’s hard to say more without spoilers, but suffice it to say that Jed is a pretty complex character emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.
I always love the call signs you come up with, like Scab etc. How do you go about picking those?
Jeff: (Laughs) glad you like those. To be honest, its fun to choose those and most are amalgams of personal nicknames, mission call signs, and checkpoint call signs we encountered in our time in the military. When I was deployed to the middle east, on a given mission, there would usually be a theme—cars, beers, types of whiskey, favorite beaches, or whatever—for the mission and we would fill in the waypoints from that theme. You saw us do that in Sons of Valor, where we were able to give a shout out to the amazing patriot John Rick for all he does to support the military and veterans, naming the jackpot call sign after his whiskey brand, Redneck Riviera. Coming up with those is actually a real fun part of the story building for us.
Can you gave us some insight into why the series is called Shepherds?
Brian: Everyone is familiar conceptually with the role of shepherd—a guardian and watchman who diligently protects his flock. And most of us have heard the metaphor that society can be divided into Sheep and Wolves—sheep being the innocents and wolves the hunters/exploiters. The Shepherds organization in our fictional universe are metaphorical shepherds and they accept the mission to be the guardians and protectors of the innocents. In our series, instead of farmers with sticks wandering the hills, our Shepherds are a covert operations unit that works behind the scenes, unseen by the sheep they protect, battling to keep the wolves at bay. The idea of Shepherds protecting their flock is common in Christianity. Jesus referred to himself as The Shepherd. He commanded his disciples to be as shepherds, tending their flocks. While the flock we’re referring to here is modern society, it just seemed the perfect name for our team and their mission.
How was your experience writing Dark Intercept as opposed to writing the Tier One thrillers, and Sons of Valor?
Jeff: In terms of the process, it wasn’t any different than any of our other works. I can tell you that it was truly exciting to be able to combine our love of covert operations thrillers, storytelling, and our passion for some of the themes in this book—crisis in faith, spiritual warfare, etc—together in one series. As some people know, I lead a men’s military ministry for a large church in Tampa where we work together to explore and come to terms with these very issues. Men and women who have encountered true evil on the battlefields naturally find question about how a supposedly loving God could allow such things to exist, and it can impact their faith, relationships, and lives in a dramatic way. Pulling that thread through this series was exciting, but also a fair amount of work
How was the pitch for this book initially received by the publisher?
Brian: That’s actually a funny story, because while we had been toying with this series for a while as we said, and in fact had written maybe fifty pages or so, we really weren’t actively shopping the series. As you know, we have a lot going on with Tier One and Sons of Valor and so while it was the next series we intended to develop, we were in a bit of holding pattern in our minds. Then, out of the blue Jeff got a call from our close friend Josh Hood, who writes the Treadstone Series for Putnam. Turns out he’d been flying home from a conference and sat beside a woman in publishing who struck up a conversation with him, during which he proceeded to open a very big door for us.
Jeff: That’s right, they were talking about their faith, and when she realized he was a thriller writer, she told him she worked for Tyndale House and that they were looking to grow their action adventure titles and wondered if he had anything that would work for them. Josh knew about our Shepherds series concept, and like the selfless and highly motivated veteran brother that he is, he pitched it to her. A few days later, we got an email from who is now our incredible editor, Karen Watson, who is the fiction publisher for Tyndale House. We got on a zoom with Tyndale, chatted about the project we had in mind, and a few days later had a three-book deal for the series. So, for us it seemed like the project sort of came to us from above, if you know what I mean.
Does Dark Intercept have a certain theme like Spiritual Warfare?
Brian: Dark Intercept has three primary themes and Spiritual Warfare is one leg of that triad. The second is Crisis in Faith, and the third is the Finding Purpose. All three of these themes are important to us and we believe will resonate with all readers whether they are looking for a spiritual or secular message. The reason we feel confident making such a statement is because at its heart, Dark Intercept is a story about a man facing his personal demons (figuratively) and external demons (literally. But both battles are symbolic of the struggles that every warrior faces trying the navigate the horrors of battle and the psychological aftermath that follows.
The U.S. Atlantic fleet is in a race to stop a rogue Russian submarine–funded by ISIS–en route to launch a missile attack against the east coast of the U.S.
A shoulder-launched missile attack on a convoy of vehicles leaving the U.N. headquarters in New York kills several diplomats, including the American ambassador. Security footage reveals that the killer behind the attack is a disgraced former special forces operative, Mark Alperi. But before U.S. intelligence operatives can catch up with him, Alperi is already onto the next phase of his plan.
With funding from the nearly shattered ISIS, Alperi plans an attack on the U.S. that will be more devastating than 9/11. He bribes a desperate Russian submarine commander with access to an expensive experimental drug for his daughter who is suffering from a rare disease. In exchange, the Russian commander will take his submarine to the Atlantic Ocean and launch a salvo of missiles at various targets along the East Coast of the United States. The commander lies to his crew that it’s a secret mission, with dummy missiles, for a training exercise. At the same time, unbeknownst to the commander, Alperi has arranged for four of the missile warheads to be replaced with four surplus nuclear warheads and arms them.
When the Russian submarine sinks the U.S. sub that is tracking it, the U.S. military is alarmed. When Intelligence uncovers Alperi’s plot, though, it becomes a race against time–find the Russian sub and sink it before it can launch a devastating nuclear attack.
RICK CAMPBELL, a retired Navy Commander, served on four nuclear-powered submarines, finishing his career with tours in the Pentagon and the Washington Navy Yard. On his last submarine, he was one of the two men whose permission is required to launch the submarine’s nuclear warhead-tipped missiles.
Upon retirement from the Navy, Rick was signed by Macmillan / St. Martin’s Press for his novel – The Trident Deception, which was hailed by Booklist as “The best submarine novel since Tom Clancy’s classic – The Hunt for Red October”. Rick lives with his wife and three children in the greater Washington, D.C. area, and is under contract for the fifth and sixth books in this series, sequels to The Trident Deception, Empire Rising, Ice Station Nautilus, and Blackmail. To learn more, visit Rick Campbell’s website and his “Submarine 101” page at www.rickcampbellauthor.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A fundamentalist Islamic army is on the march in the Middle East, and the fight to stop the spread of madness will take everything the American military can muster, in this novel from the author of The Red Line.
Two months ago, a new leader arose in the Islamic world, the Mahdi—or the Chosen One. He has rallied fundamentalist Muslim forces across the Middle East who have driven deep into Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Standing against them is an allied force made up primarily of the American military.
It’s a desperate fight. From armored battles in the desert to American carriers desperately dodging waves of cruise missiles, the Mahdi proves to have many tricks up his sleeve.
Marine Lieutenant Sam Erickson is in the thick of the fighting. He and his company have fought their way from a landing on the Mediterranean shore to the outskirts of Cairo. Now he finds himself at a critical juncture, but can he make the sacrifices necessary for the greater good?
David Slaton Novels
#1 Assassin’s Game
#2 Assassin’s Silence
#3 Assassin’s Code #4 Assassin’s Run #5 Assassin’s Revenge
USA Today bestselling author Ward Larsen’s globe-trotting, hard-hitting assassin, David Slaton, returns for another breathless adventure in Assassin’s Revenge.
On a sunny dock in Gibraltar, Slaton returns to the sailboat he shares with his wife and young son to find them missing. The only clue to their whereabouts is a cryptic message: If he wants to see them again, he must eliminate an obscure scientist working for the International Atomic Energy Agency. Slaton races to Vienna to unravel the scheme.
Half a world away, a small team of ISIS operatives arrives in North Korea. It is comprised of two suicidal jihadists, one technician, and the caliphate’s only officer with naval experience. Their mission: to reestablish the group’s relevance by undertaking a shocking strike against America.
From Europe to North Korea to the Pacific Ocean, Slaton finds himself entangled in a deadly nuclear game. Working against him are a band of suicidal terrorists, supported by a North Korean government that is about to implode. That slate of actors, however, face something even more lethal.
A devoted father and husband—one who happens to be the perfect assassin.
“A must-read for anyone looking for the next great assassin saga.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Assassin’s Game
“The action-filled, high-octane thriller that you have been waiting for. Ward Larsen delivers enough page turning suspense and globe-spanning action for ten novels.” ―William Martin, New York Times bestselling author, on Assassin’s Silence
“A superbly written story.” ―Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author, on Assassin’s Game