Contest for LAND&SEA ™ Rhino Miniatures

Saddle up pilots, this mission may look like a cakewalk—because it is…

Fans and friends, a little contest for you.  We are a new IP. Our books are still riding the Amazon bestseller lists, but we could be doing more. So, how about a contest to help us get some more new readers?

How do you enter?  Refer five or more people to read the LAND&SEA™ series on your social media accounts.  You can do this easily on Twitter and Facebook simply by putting up a post recommending folks read the books (assuming you have five friends/followers).  Or you can target specific friends with an email or direct message them in social media.  It really is that easy.  Obviously we recommend you shoot them a link at least Splashdown in your post, but we’re pretty flexible on that. If you’ve already proactively promoted the books, all you have to do is find that post.   

Once you do that, screenshot your referral and send it to  Pretty simple, eh?

We will toss all of the names in a hat and draw the two winners. 

What’s the prize?  How about a prototype Rhino ASHUR rig?  I did a two test prints that will be awarded as prizes.  You will get them before anyone else, along with the bragging rights about getting the first ones.  Two winners will get these shipped to them. 

Make Adam Cain proud!

The deadline for this is June 6th

Are you qualified for ASHUR duty?  Let’s see what you’ve got. 

So, I Watched The Rings of Power…

So much has been written about what a screaming wokefest this series is, that I held off on watching it. I hate what Disney has done with Marvel along these lines, giving us such delicacies as She Hulk. Also, the memories of the last season of Game of Thrones are still a scabbed over wound on my heart. I had to mentally brace myself for The Rings of Power; girding my loins for what was coming.

As a preface, I read The Silmarillion when it came out. Better said, I attempted to digest the book. While I got through it, I wasn’t really sold on the concept. It was not an easy read. I didn’t find the stories particularly inspiring or exciting. It was a lot like reading the background notes for someone’s brilliant D&D campaign.

What the writers did to The Rings of Power, was take the kernels of story that J. R. R. Tolkien provided, and attempted to weave a narrative around those plot points. We’ve seen it done before and done well. We have also experienced what it is like when it is done horribly. The Rings of Power falls somewhere in the murky middle in terms of storylines. But, much like the corruption of the One Ring, the writers became seduced with the thought that they have to wage war on all males.

Much like Disney and the MCU, this was all about women and box-checking for marginalized people. Galadriel, the main character of the series, has been retooled into some Middle Earth version of Xena Warrior Princess. It makes little sense and comes across for what it is, forced. Some roles were cast with actors of color, which is fine, but clearly a departure from Tolkien’s (and Peter Jackson’s) work. Fortunately the actors deliver with the roles that the writers and producers have thrust upon them. We have a key female Hobbit character, Nori, the queen regent of Númenor, and so-on. Then there is Bronwyn of the Southlands, a supposedly natural leader in a society where women are not leaders. Pandering against the perceived matriarchy pushes aside half of the potential watchers. Worse, the writers simply ignored Tolkien’s universe and superimposed their wokeness upon his work, out the thought that they are clearly smarter than the rest of us.

I want to either identify with the characters of a series, or at least like them. I have found no characters in The Rings of Power that I even remotely connect with.

I found the series entertaining enough to watch all of it, though by the end, I didn’t care. It was like being the end of a package of Oreos.  The last few ones are stale and a little moist, but you eat them regardless. 

This series reminded me of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films. It wandered from the original book so much, that the movies don’t really reflect the original source material.  Things were added to The Rings of Power that were unnecessary or worse, forced plot points. For example: The whole subplot of mithril serves only to allow the fans to see dwarves. We get a bit of Isildur’s background, but ultimately, that is unsatisfying (almost as much as his character). The entire mysterious hilt/key that unlocks the dam that causes the eruption of Mount Doom is so overthought, that is borders on ridiculous. Even the forging of the Elven Rings, we are supposed to believe that their greatest smith does not know how to combine metals without help of a person that simply wanders into his forge.

On the plus side, the visual effects are spectacular. Seeing Númenor, right out of legend, is great. The eruption of Mount Doom is stunning. Seeing the Elves and Dwarves at their peak is heartwarming. Visually, the show is almost worth watching for these elements. You can always just put it on mute and enjoy the eye candy.

In some respects, this series suffers with the problems that plagued the Star Wars prequels. We know how this is going to end. Much like Anakin, Sauron is going to lose a hand over this. We know the rings are going to be forged and how this is going to play out. Ultimately, this is about Sauron’s rise to power and he is the bad guy of Middle Earth…Darth Vader sans the Death Star. So did they make him interesting as a character? No. In fact, so far, he’s little more than a plot ploy. The only good news is he doesn’t whine and bitch like Anakin did. Is the series worth watching? That depends on your sensibilities. If you are looking for a strict (or even ballpark adherence to Tolkien’s work, you will be frustrated with this interpretation of it. If you believe that what makes a great female character is the fact that she is female – this is likely your fare. If you have never read The Silmarillion then you may just find this enjoyable. Who knows, it could happen?

Non-Spoiler Review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The short version is, this is a wonderful film – bordering on very good. It’s a story about friends undertaking a quest to save the life of another friend. Honestly, what could be more heroic than that? Along the way, we get Rocket’s origin story. This is a film that brings together the huge cast introduced in the previous movies (and the Christmas special) which was nice.

There wasn’t a lot of woke BS in the film, which made it even nicer. There are moments when you genuinely laugh out loud, and others where tears will form in your eyes. Overall, it was satisfying, right down to the soundtrack, always a staple element to these films. There are some guest stars that were great to see dipping their toe in to the MCU. 

My minor nits about the film start with the over-the-top fight scenes. It wasn’t necessary to have such extensive scenes. The language was also more adult than the previous films. That didn’t bother me as much as I want to warn you if you were taking little kids to this. 

Finally, we close out almost all the character arcs for the Guardians and their vast supporting cast. While they did well it, it was not something we needed or any of the fans desired. Why the producers felt that this was necessary escapes me. I hope it is feeding into something bigger in the MCU, but as of late, we haven’t seen that level of brilliance applied to the universe. 

This is a movie well worth your time and money. There are two post-credit scenes that had their own Easter Eggs in them—one of which made me laugh.   

Flotsam of War – LAND&SEA ™ Book Four Available in Kindle and Paperback

The full art image for the cover.

The paperback and ebook of Flotsam of War is now available. The hardcover should be up shortly as well.

When we planned on launching LAND&SEA ™ as a Kickstarter, I had prepared a lot of fiction that would have been opened at reward levels, including a pretty lengthy novella, The Toll.  Once I laid it all out, there was almost enough for an anthology. There would need to be a few more stories that had to be added, but ultimately here we are – Flotsam of War.

Waiter: “Which one of you ordered the crab dinner?”

The underlying theme with this compilation is to tell stories from some different perspectives we haven’t seen thus far. So, you’ll get a tank crew, GRD operators, a medic, militia groups, technicians, and some other views that are new and a lot of fun.  We will take a Trident suit or two down in one story as well.  Most of the tales are set after Storm Surge and takes place all across the country. I’ve always felt that this was a strength of LAND&SEA, having a variety of points of view of a much larger conflict. 

There’s new aliens in here, some new tech, and we get to see some Air Force action as well. 

The characters in the kickoff trilogy don’t show up in this book, but there is a visit with a few of them in book five, Ratchet’s Run.  The LAND&SEA universe is much larger than that ensemble of characters, as you will see in Flotsam of War.

The cover was something Brent and I talked about – the desire to give fans their first view of the aliens, starting with the Crabs. In this case, the view is from the cockpit of an ASHUR rig. One of the things I loved about my former franchise was the art from the old school – especially the MechWarrior RPG first edition cover. Brent ran with that idea and he and the artist produced something that was awesome. 

What is my favorite story?  That is tough. I love the techs story, Technical Difficulties.  It answers the age old story; what would a bunch of techs do with spare time and enough parts to build an ASHUR do?  I think we all know the answer to that  – you make a Frankenrig. The tank crew in Open at Your Own Risk, are just fun characters and let me enjoy some dialogue writing that was a blast to execute. I have a fondness for tank crews, having talked to a number of vets that served in that capacity. There’s a healthy number of Easter Eggs sprinkled throughout the book too.

Flotsam of War is meant to be fun. There’s a section of the snippets that you’d usually see in the Cycle sections which are just entertaining to read.  Some of the characters in these short stories will reappear in later fiction as well. One small group of characters actually got their first cameo in Storm Surge

Book five is done and edited and will be out in June, mostly to give people a chance to get caught up. Book five is awesome – different than most of your mainstream military sci fi.   I’ve plotted out book six, and that will be this fall.  Then next year, we begin season two with a whole new ensemble cast in an explosive trilogy. 

The pacing here is deliberate. We have delivered four books in the series in four months – that is a rarity in publishing. By the end of June, you’ll have five books in your hands. Some authors trickle out a book or two a year – but that’s not the way we do it. The folks at WarGate are helping us making this a dynamic experience for the readers and fans out there.  FYI – some fans have set up a LAND&SEA fan group already in Facebook, so check that out when you get a chance. 

Well, I’ve got to saddle up. I’m finishing up a Galaxy’s Edge novel, then jumping in on book six in LAND&SEA.  In the meantime, enjoy Flotsam of War!

Some of the Things in the Blue Dawn Series that Have Turned Out True

Blue Dawn is the first book in a series by the same name. It’s about a violent progressive overthrow of the government and the second American civil war to take the country back five years later.  Blue Dawn was written (first draft) two years before the 2020 election. While a work of alternate history, there are a lot of things in the series that I have written about that have or are about to come to pass.  I don’t claim to be clairvoyant. What I do claim is that the radical progressive movement is relatively easy to predict. 

I saw one reviewer say that I merely flipped the events of January 6th in terms of the players. That is incorrect.  I wrote this book before January 6th. I was just ahead of the curve.

Granted, some things I have in the books have not come to pass yet, such as Social Quarantine Camps or the mass roundup of all firearms, or outright civil war, but there are overtones of coming tensions out there, we’ve all felt them.  Let’s hope that the rest of what is in the series, doesn’t come to pass.  Here are a few of the things I called out that are true.

The Truth Reconciliation Committee (TRC).  In Newmerica (the rebranded United States) censorship is done by the Truth Reconciliation Committee, a government censorship bureau that works with Big Tech to control the narratives and smother opposing viewpoints.  President Biden proposed a “Misinformation Governance Board,” to do exactly that.  If you read the series, you see just how insidious the TRC is, mostly by their slogans at the start of each chapter. 

The Systematic Removal or Renaming of Confederate or Other Undesirable Entities.  In Blue Dawn, the banned statues, including Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and a myriad of Confederates and all parked in The Graveyard – left to rot. While that hasn’t happened, we have seen mobs and even governments taking down and destroying statues. The renaming and rebranding of streets, military bases, etc is happening daily. 

One Political Party Completely Demonizing the Other. You want to believe deep down that things like this couldn’t happen in the US, but they do. With President Biden declaring that MAGA Republicans and the MAGA movement are existential threats to democracy, he has done something that only Hillary Clinton did – target the supporters of a political candidate. In my novels, nothing good comes from this; and I’m fairly certain this isn’t going to play out well in real life either.

“Can I get a Sieg Heil from the audience? Aw, come on man…”

The Weaponization of the Federal Government.  Our current AG went so far as to direct the DoJ to investigate parents protesting at school boards as domestic terrorists.  I will grant you, in the books, I go much farther with the government’s abuse of power, but the seeds for that are in place right now. At the core of the series is that the federal government becomes a tool of oppression.  It sure feels that way during tax season.

Government Involvement in Medical Care.  While the Tribunals are not in place just yet in America, the government is now attempting to set up boards to control pricing and access to drugs. The current American President pushes for more government control of health care, as if that is a solution.

The Deep State (the Military) Turning On the President.  In the opening scenes of Blue Dawn, we have the military refusing orders of their Commander in Chief.  When the book first came out, people scoffed at that. Then we learned General Milley said he would reach out to China if the President were to order an attack. In the Blue Dawn series the military operates independent from the civilian government – which isn’t such a stretch of the imagination.

Reparations and Social Credit. In the series, Reparations and Social Credit manipulation are ingrained in the citizens in the Blue Dawn series. They are given points for disparity, turning in their neighbors, etc., which can be cashed in. China has already started a Social Credit rewards (and punishment) system.  California is exploring Reparations. 

The Ruining of the Economy.  Throughout the series the characters are exposed to an economy that is in the toilet, ruined to meet the Administration’s goals.  We see this happening right now with layoffs, runaway gas prices, etc., all to meet green goals, etc. 

Using “Incidents” as a Justification to Crack Down on Citizens.  In A Most Uncivil War, a false flag attack is executed, a bomb at the US Capitol. This allows the government to start rounding up suspected dissenters. We see this right now with “MAGA Republicans” being painted as threats to democracy.  

Mount Rushmore Targeted.  USA Today ran an editorial calling for the destruction of the Mt. Rushmore memorial in 2020 – after the release of Blue Dawn.  As you can see on the cover of the book, the Newmerican regime has been successful in fulfilling that twisted dream. 

The Criminalization of Anything Patriotic.  In the last three years there has been a twisting of our society to paint people who are patriotic as domestic terrorists.  In the Blue Dawn series, the flag is gone, the National Anthem is changed, even the currency is altered to fit a political agenda.   

Big Tech Being an Extension of the Left to Censor Americans.  Two words – Twitter Files. Thanks to Elon Musk, we now know that our government and official conspired with Big Tech to censor the American people. I called this in Blue Dawn. One of my favorite parts of the book is when the characters strike back, and blow up the Big Tech headquarters.  

Changes to the Constitution to Fit the Agenda.  In the series, there are calls to throw out the Constitution and have a new Constitutional Convention. We see hints of this already with the cries to pack the Supreme Court, or to limit the terms of the Justices when the Progressives don’t get their way. 

The Persecution of Conservative College Students.  In A Most Uncivil War and Confederacy of Fear, readers are exposed to the violence and intimidation of college students.  I based this on actual conversations with college students, and merely amplified it in the series.  This is happening right now.  

Tiny Homes For the Homeless.  I called this in the series, in California, and it is an abysmal failure. The problems of many homeless people is not that they lack a roof over their heads, but that they are suffering from a number of other issues such as drug addiction or mental problems.  So what happened a few weeks ago?  Gavin Newscom wants to do exactly what I called out in the series in California.  I appreciate him reading the book, but I think he shouldn’t just cull it for bad ideas. 

Renaming the Homeless.  The left loves renaming homeless people, as if changing the name solves some problem.  I heard on a Washington DC news radio program the use of the phrase, Living Disenfranchised.  It was VERY close to one of the names I used in the series. In the Confederacy of Fear series I refer to them as Housing Disenfranchised, Economically Displaced, Permanent Resident Estranged, and a few other nicknames.  Is it hard to believe that progressives would adopt such names in the near future?

The Opening of the Southern Border. When I wrote Blue Dawn in 2019, it was hard to picture the crisis at our southern border, especially that it was caused by the government.  Yet here we are.  Raul Lopez’s (one of the key characters) migrated over the open southern border.

The Progressives Turn on Themselves. One of the underlying tales in the series is that eventually the progressive liberals turn on each other.  Anyone even hinting at breaking the faith is a target.  Does that happen now?  Two words, Joe Manchin. Have you observed how members of his own party turned on him? 

I’m not saying I’m channeling any special powers here to predict this stuff. Frankly, just watching CNN during my workouts the gym gives me a fairly decent roadmap to bad behavior by the left. They are far from secretive in what they intend to do. I merely observe, amplify, and weave stories around their ideas. The fact that I’m as accurate as I am should be chilling all on its own. 

Non-Spoiler Review of Air

I’m not a sports fan in general, mostly because I am writing a lot and simply don’t have time to follow sports. If you had told me that I would love a movie about a sports shoe six weeks ago, I would have laughed at you. I would have been horrible wrong.

Air – however, is not about sports or shoes – it is about great characters.  It is about believing in yourself when the world tells you not to. It is about having a winning attitude and risking everything. It is about having a vision far beyond those around you.  Air is a movie that deserves your attention.

There’s no woke messaging, no pushing of a political agenda – it is pure entertainment. I liked this the way I liked Argo when it came out.  True stories captivate and inspire me, and this film does just that.  Ben Affleck and Matt Damon deliver the goods with outstanding performances.  This movie oozes with nostalgia of the 80’s and even has a killer soundtrack. 

While you think you know how this story ends, trust me, the journey alone is worth the price of admission.

Go see Air. Take a date and savor what it is like when Hollywood actually delivers. This is a film that is worthy of Oscar attention. 

Now That Storm Surge is Out…

Don’t just stand there – run!

Warning – this is spoiler territory. If you haven’t read the trilogy, you should probably stop here.    

Wow, what a weight off my shoulders.  The kickoff trilogy for LAND&SEA is out and based on the sales and feedback, people love the concept. I’m relieved for a number of different reasons.  First, you never know for sure how people will react to a new series. Second, I wasn’t entirely sure how I would be received now that I have been forced out of BattleTech.  I’m pleased to say that the first three novels are still on a number of Amazon bestseller lists.

Writing for your own universe, where you get to set direction, is far more rewarding than writing for a 39 year old franchise.  It’s great to own the sandbox and all of the toys.  I was very fortunate to be able bring Brent Evans’s ideas to reality. It was and remains a team effort.  

With LAND&SEA, we are reaching a much larger community of gamers and readers than the former franchise I wrote for. 

The characters, which drive LAND&SEA are unique and fun. My personal favorites are, in order: Adam Cain, Natalia Falto, CC, Antonio Colton, and Reid Porter.  Don’t get me wrong – I love Dana’s character (and Fizz) and the others too.  I’m just picking my favorites.

Cain I like because he is a seasoned vet, the kind of person in every branch of the military who is old because he’s too stubborn and smart to die. It was with a great sense of irony that it is Cain that saves the Pentagon, the very bastion that has made his life what it is. Think about Top Gun: Maverick and the character that Tom Cruise plays – a full blown graybeard warrior. Like Maverick, Cain doesn’t apologize, he has little use for most superiors, and, like so many people – just wants to do what he’s really good it.  I identify with him because despite all of the stuff I have been through, I refuse to bend the knee to the cancel culture crowd, and I just want to do what I like to do – tell great stories.

Falto – wow, could I have put a character through more than I did with her?  I don’t think so. Falto is the world’s most bad-ass Marine. Not because she’s a killing machine (she is), but because she refuses to give up. Falto pushes herself mentally and physically way past the point where normal people could – and prevails. Everyone expects a Marine to be stacking bodies. Falto has to fight tests of her faith and resolve, a far more complicated battle to wage. She survives, and that makes her awesome.   

CC is neat. Some of her is Carl from The Walking Dead; she’s a young person that grows up far too fast because of the war. Think of it this way: What would happen if you took a kid and stripped them of everything in life – family, a home, friends, their tech?  Some would melt – but some would be like CC.  She defines badassery.  There is no going back for her, being in the militia is her life. The invasion has made her ruthless and cold. I love that she has found a (unique) home and a father-figure.

Antonio has a redemption arc in the series.  He went from a badly injured, PTSD suffering, drug dealer to resolving all of that to rise and becoming a heroic leader of a militia unit.  In LAND&SEA, the militia units are colorful and neat – like mercs in BattleTech – only better.  At some point, I will explain that sentence, but today it’s all about the characters.  Antonio comes full circle in this saga and even becomes a father of sorts to CC. 

Reid Porter. We all have a bit of Reid Porter in us. He spends a lot of the series questioning if he’s the hero everyone claims he is. As it turns out, he becomes the very heroic character everyone else sees.  He claims that it was Falto that made him that way, but in reality, Porter was always that person, he just didn’t know it. As with all of us in the real world, circumstance and self-perception defines who we are in many ways. Porter personifies this. 

A few other notes, just for grins.  Kent Warner’s character was based on my high school friend, Mark Hartford.  Mark went on in life to be an aerospace engineer.  I simply amplified that into a neat character.

Titus Hill was inspired by my lifelong friend, Martin Newhard. Martin was a submariner and helped me with some of the USS Virginia parts of Splashdown.  Strangely enough, my hometown high school (Harper Creek) contributed to my novels decades after I attended there.  Another nugget you may have caught; the stealing of the windjammer in Riptides was an homage to Count Felix von Luckner, who I wrote a biography of – Cruise of the Sea Eagle

Here’s another little Easter Egg. If you look at the full cover art for each novel, one of the aliens is visible on the back cover.

Dana’s arc was a lot of fun to write. She is a simple character with a complex life who is worried about her looks and ratings right up to the end. Dana remains true to herself, which is actually something admirable – even if you don’t like her unique traits.

Ashton Slade is, in some respects, based on me.  As such, I’m not going to go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that in my career, I worked for the DoD and a number of other three letter agencies in the FedGov. 

So What is Next?

April 20, book four, Flotsam of War releases. It is an anthology of stories, written by yours truly, set during the trilogy and beyond. If you know me, you know there are some Easter Eggs in this series, little references that Flotsam gets to blow out into bigger stories. We came up with a very cool idea for the cover for this one. 

Next up is Ratchet’s Run. It is a standalone novel that was inspired by Kelly’s Heroes.  The books is done and edited – so it is coming soon as well. 

Later this year is book six, thus far untitled. The idea for this one is fleshed out, I just need to write it.  Be prepared to see the Space Force for the first time and the British Royal Marines.  Yes, that’s right, a minimum of six books in the series in year one! Only a handful of writers I know attempt this, and many of them are my friends and continue to inspire me

There may be a surprise project that pops this year – we are still working on it. I may contribute to this one but it will likely be an outside writer.  We are hoping that a number of outside writers want to contribute in the universe in the coming years.

That will wrap season one.  It’s our intent to kick off each season with a new trilogy.  I have mapped out the characters and general story for this already.  Like the first trilogy, this will be an ensemble cast, all new characters.  It will advance the war for another six months or so.

Glorious Pulp!

The Man of Bronze

When I was in high school, a friend of mine, Scott English, introduced me to the series of books on Doc Savage.  Savage was a 1930’s hero, a magnificent human specimen and genius, who, along with is five colleagues, solved mysteries and administered justice. This were not Scooby Doo mysteries, they were often threats to world power.  The books were always suspenseful, and had enough real world elements to them to hint at authenticity. His “Fabulous Five” comrades included a lawyer, a chemist, an electrical engineer, a construction engineer, and an archeologist. Doc was brilliant on his own, but it was the combined efforts of the group that made for interesting reading. This was the hero team concept before comic books picked up on it.  

Of course this led me to start reading The Avenger and The Shadow…so called pulp heroes from the same era.  The Avenger could mold his face like clay, giving him the ability to assume disguises.  His marksmanship was incredible and terrifying.  The Shadow had a hypnotic effect that could blur men’s minds so that he was all but invisible. The Shadow’s tag line from his radio show was one of the best: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”

Many shows made the transition to radio and were incredibly popular. Others were serials on the silver screen too, like Buck Rogers, though they did not hold up to the test of time well.

In my youth, pulp was addictive. Why? Because there was a sense of characters that were right and wrong. Many times it wasn’t brute force that resolved the situation, but instead it was cunning, science, or good old fashioned detective work. The villains often were not Lex Luthor level characters, but devious businessmen or politicians.  It also helped that the stories, even novelized, were short. 

Many tend to write off pulp fiction as fluff—low brow fiction. There are instances where it can come across as formulaic. Many of the stories were written in serialized form in cheap magazines which helped fuel that belief.  While many claim that the noir-ish stories are dated, I recently reread some of the Doc Savage in my library and discovered they stand the test of time. 

The Great Depression was the death knell to many of the pulp magazines there was a resurgence in the 1970’s and 80’s when many of these stories were rebooted and brought back as paperbacks and comics. There was a Doc Savage movie but it never quite hit the mark for what was needed to pay homage to the original stories. Alec Baldwin starred in the movie version of The Shadow, but that too was not a stunning success.  In this age of constant remakes, I’m shocked that Hollywood has not tapped pulp characters and stories. Then again, given how Hollywood corrupts good content, this might be a blessing in disguise.

Personally, I have found pulp to be great fiction for role playing game fans. A great deal of gaming is not high fantasy adventure.  Most gaming groups play more pulp-style adventures.  Many of the pulp stories such as Conan and Solomon Kane were inspirational to designers of RPG’s in the early years.  The influence of pulp fiction on gaming is as strong as ever. If you are playing RPG’s, regardless of the genre, it might behoove you to take a look at pulp era.  Pulp is starting to have a comeback as many indie writers embrace it as medium for their craft. This is encouraging and exciting. I’ve read fantasy stories that have a noir feeling, which I think gives pulp fantasy a nod of respect. Pulp didn’t wither up and die, it simply took on new forms. Going back to the source material is a good investment of your reading time.

LAND&SEA ™ Storm Surge Releases  – Riptides Audiobook is Available – and New Merch is Available!

It’s great to see both books next to each other on the Amazon bestseller list.

It’s a big day in both on the land and in the seas!  Storm Surge, book three of LAND&SEA ™ is available in Kindle, paperback and hardcover formats today. This book completes the kickoff trilogy for the series. If that wasn’t enough, Riptides Audiobook also released this morning for those of you who have been chomping at the bit for that.

If that isn’t enough, shirts and hoodies are available for LAND&SEA ™

It is tempting to talk about what is in Storm Surge, but I don’t want to spoil it. Instead I will sit back and let the fans enjoy it. 

Storm Surge Hits the Shores on March 16

This is a placeholder (rough draft) of the artwork for the cover. The final art will be just as awesome as the first two books!

The third book in the LAND&SEA ™ series, Storm Surge, drops on March 16.  This wraps up the kickoff trilogy, though rest assured some of these characters will appear in other books.  We designed this trilogy to be a way for people new to the universe with the means to easily engage.

We’re all highly pleased with the sales and the feedback. The first two novels are still on Amazon numerous bestseller lists.  The ratings are very high as well. Seriously, Riptides has 98% rating the novel a 4 or 5. 

I won’t tread into spoiler territory, but will address a few things. As you can see from the rough draft of the cover, the war is going underwater. Come on, the series IS called LAND&SEA.  You sort of expected that, didn’t you? 

Star Trek has always been an inspiration for me. While I didn’t enjoy Star Trek Insurrection as a film, I did love Riker’s line while in the briar patch:  “We’re through running from these bastards.” That more or less captures the essence of Storm Surge.  Mankind has been playing defense in this war.  Now the time has come to roll high on initiative and take the fight to the Fish.

This is a big novel – 20k larger than Riptides. There will be new ASHUR’s and the Trident (underwater) rigs and the results of Project Gorgon. There are new aliens, new weapons, and a whole lot more carnage. 

This novel will wrap up the storylines for these characters, at least for the near term. You will get some closure.  Sometimes that closure is final. My editor said that the last few chapters made her cry, so there you go. 

The next book, Flotsam of War, is an anthology of short stories from the universe.  This will be followed by Ratchet’s Run – a stand-alone novel with some interesting twists and turns for a military sci-fi book.  Book six will be late this year (yes, six novels in one year!) There is always the chance we will pop out something unexpected later this year as well, you never know.  That will wrap season one.  Season two will kick off with a whole new trilogy next year, very much on the scale of these first novels. 

I am anticipating the Riptides audiobook sometime between now and the 16th.  Let me assure you, asking me for updates will not make it happen any faster.  I wish I possessed that level of omnipotent power, but alas, I do not. Work on the tabletop game continues – I actually played a few rounds this weekend. I know a lot of you are clamoring to take part in the playtest.  We are a long way from that happening and right now, we are not keeping a list.  I suggest you follow this blog for information on that when it releases.