Tag Archives: Daniel Sean Ritter

Our Morally Integrated Universe

Of course, there’s a great deal of trouble everywhere one looks. Why do you think we’re here? The world, according to the laws of standard distribution, has always been half-filled with below-average people and somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-five percent reprobative thinkers. Society’s state of affairs, as a result, never has and never will manage itself.

Regardless, the place is what I’d like to call a Morally Integrated Universe. That is to say, a realm universally subject to predictable consequences, from which a reliable set of guidelines may emerge.

Of course, any discussion involving morality is problematic these days. This mostly is due to the vociferous commitment of those who reject established norms, and who oftentimes prove quick to anger at commonsense assertions regarded as judgmental in their camp.

Such irrationality, is, of course, itself a judgment, one made from what Andrew Breitbart used to call the occupation of unearned moral high ground. The heights of polarization being what they are, those who would best benefit from remedial lessons in conventional morality reject the notion in favor of preserving a precariously balanced world view.

The premise of a Morally Integrated Universe is simple: namely, an assertion that whatever is right or wrong remains so everywhere and for all time, regardless of any contravening consensus.

In varied settings, a given perspective might regard behavior to be right action when the same practice is considered reprehensible elsewhere. Who says which determinate factors are valid?

Wisdom is what does so. The ability to reliably anticipate consequences preserves those who acknowledge that life is hard, and gets worse the more often one does stupid things.

The likelihood of whether wisdom will be adopted has dependencies of its own, and those largely are determined by how an individual views his or her place in the order of things. Self has a valuation in creatures who consider their existence. For the purposes of this discussion, there are two primary perspectives: secular and faithful.

Universally, the egocentric, secular over-valuation of self tends toward indulgence in neglect of altruistic concepts such as duty and charity. Such selfish lifestyles give rise to the seven deadly sins and routinely suffer any number of unfortunate consequences. Whether the concept of sin enters into the equation is entirely dependent on intervening external influences, be they social or spiritual.

Faithfulness, conversely, is light against the darkness of self-absorption. This perspective perceives allegiance valued more than self and dedicates to it. It does not disregard personal considerations, but rather places them in an adopted hierarchy of ordered loyalties, some of which are prioritized while others are viewed as predominant.

This is the perspective, given the weight of proofs available, producing devotees with the greatest long-term rates of survival. We may objectively observe this in the worldly sense, and are told of its importance in the life to go on elsewhere.

Valid perspectives tend toward observation rather than consensus. Consensus necessarily includes faithless perspectives, overly influenced as they are by too narrow a focus on gratification. Thus, what seems fine from a myopic viewpoint can easily be revealed as a horrid decision after widening one’s considerations by a single order of loyalty.

Beyond the limit of consensus rules the court of natural law, from whose verdicts there are no avenues of appeal. Its judgments are final and levied in life or death.

Commitment to any sort of deceptively narrow focus—be it on the self, one’s identity, or a given philosophy—generates what I call an ideological bubble: an imagined state of reality prone to being popped by the collapse of an extended false premise. An armed malefactor walking into a designated Gun-Free Zone and turning a declared safe space into a shooting gallery instead is a prime and all-too-current example.

When sufficient offsetting support is available, ideological bubbles may become institutionalized, as is the tragic norm in Blue State America. I’m looking at you, too, London. Should their compensating influences evaporate, it is their inherently unsustainable nature making them suddenly dangerous.

There exists effective insulation against bad decision-making, that being found in conventional morality. This is no accident of culture. Rather, it descends from a long line of observations sifting What Works from What Kills. Valid perspectives, such as morality, are the product of a preserving sense of pragmatism having delivered its adherents through times too many others did not survive.

The assertion of faith is that God, in His beneficence, saw fit to reveal many of those guidelines ahead of time. He did so with the intent that more of us should go on than those who tend to learn things the hard way. This is more than blind hope. It is a conclusion an adequate study of available historical and legal proofs will deliver. That He loves is evident in a portfolio of works in life. The extent to which He does so can be extrapolated from a promise that we may go on with Him, forever, on His terms.

Your ordering of loyalties and consequent valuation of yourself await in an unavoidably essential choice between love, hate, and indifference. We will all see you on the other side, and sooner, perhaps, than any of us think.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, Boone’s fifth title, A Garden In Russia, is just over thirty-three percent through production editing. It progresses on a road to publication in September.

Ritter’s fifth, Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight, with its chapters alternating between conflicts in Iraq set in 2003 and 2013 respectively, is somewhere in the neighborhood of the initial quarter of its first draft. 24HtM might appear in 2019 or early the following year, God willing.

 

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TYP Full Release Links


A followup to my previous post: Novel10/Sean4, The Yemeni Package is here, there, and everywhere you’re likely to look. As promised, here are the links:

Amazon Kindle
Amazon trade paperback
iTunes
Nook
Kobo
Smashwords
Scribd

 

As always, I appreciate your support, your reads, and especially your reviews. Those last, especially, will never stop helping me.

Choose to Love, -DA

*****

In production news, Novel11/Boone5, A Garden in Russia, is undergoing continuity and fact checking via Content Edit prior to the heavy lifting of production editing, which will to take place through the spring and summer. More info is available by visiting my In The Works page.

The Yemeni Package

By convention, it’s recommended that an author read in his or her own genre and thereby enhance the ability of “writing to market.”  I generally do not, because these days works need to be well conceived, structured, and written to hold my attention, and those increasingly seem few and far between. Besides, I want to write my words, not a rehashed version of theirs. The market can decide what it wants afterward.

Heroes in some very popular series seem to evolve little, if at all, over the span of their respective runs. Life, of course, doesn’t allow stagnation. Each of us change day by day, growing or diminishing or managing both at once in different measures. That people will change makes character stagnation in series fiction a point of departure from reality, and over the long term, in my opinion at least, degrades the sense of attachment between the reader and the characters they engage. Being real, in and out of the bubble of immersion, is a vital part of maintaining any relationship.

So, as Novel10/Sean4 The Yemeni Package opens, we have a non-typical vision of the subject of its story, Daniel Sean Ritter. At this peak in both his career with Air Force Special Operations and physically, the man is also worn down by an invisible op force: pain, grief, and accumulated postoperative trauma. In having experienced more intensity in his thirty years than some will accumulate in a long, comfortable lifetime, he is paying the price. At the branch of his trail is one path leading to a summit, and the other descending into decline.

What sort of life produces a man like Ritter? What grants him the will to win without making him a brute? What price has he paid for taking so many lives in the course of duty? He’s not fragile, not weak by any means, just human. Ritter embodies the noble spirit of longsuffering and resilience related by Kipling’s mighty poem, If, a portion of which reminds us that one can:

 …force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Ritter, as his Sean’s File series chronicles, held on through the events of the 1990s to appear as the iconic lone wolf AFSOC operator attached to U.S. Army Intelligence’s General Peter McAllen in the first title of Jon’s Trilogy, The Anvil of the Craftsman, where we initially met him under the nom de guerre Matt Kameldorn. In The Yemeni Package we see how, when, and why that happened … as well as why an Air Force major remained, at age thirty-eight, unattached other than by his interservice agreement with his handler.

Everything in my catalogue followed, once the decade of his back-story was completed. The three volumes of Jon’s Trilogy are set in the first decade of the new century, with Boone’s File following in the next. Ritter is there through every one of those stories to date, adding to the fabric sustaining their integrity.

He’s just a man, but a spectacular man. Daniel Sean Ritter was preserved through his formative experiences by essential strength and the hope for a possible future. It’s one he achieved in my second novel, by the way, but it would be better that you learn the details for yourself.

Here’s the blurb:

The year is 1999. Following a failed attack on a USAF base, the leader of an emergent and radical Islamic organization is offered to the United States by his captors. Under political oversight in the persona of a beautiful and deadly female case officer and aided by an apostate cleric, a mothballed Air Force Special Operations unit designated Deep Recovery is tapped for the mission. Their task: quietly deliver a captured terrorist, held overseas, into American custody.

Blindsided by the scope of an opposing force drawn from the ranks of a fanatical cult of personality, Daniel Sean Ritter’s mission intensifies once matters turn deadly. A simple detainee transfer then becomes a hunt for the most wanted man in the region.

Domestic and international political pressures erode their civilian leadership’s resolve. Its operators in the field are left diminished and isolated, forced into a quandary of whom their government wishes to prevail … and into the realization that true strength sometimes is found where there is no one to trust but oneself.

Approx. 81,800 wds. / 300 pp. print length

As usual, an update will be posted later this week as buy links go live.

Choose to Love, -DA

Ends and Beginnings

Ends and beginnings. They are the stuff of December.

One year ends, and another begins. Perennially it is a time of fresh starts, new plans, and renewed contemplation provided by the short days and cozy nights of the winter quarter.

These twelve days of the Christmas season find Novel10/Sean4 The Yemeni Package in the last stages of editing, with external proofreading to take place as the first order of business in 2018. Ritter’s fourth should follow by the end of January, if we are so blessed. As ever, one project ends and another begins.

Ritter’s story documents the building of a remarkable man, whose appearance in each of  my novels marks him as the singular character to do so. Ends and beginnings mark his life as they do everyone’s. His story, like ours—and Jon Anthony’s, and Boone’s in their own titles for that matter—concerns itself as much with the people who contribute to the main character’s life as it is about the protagonist of any particular title.

Where does Daniel Sean Ritter fit into the catalog? Ritter is goal-oriented where Jon is contemplative. Ritter’s emotions are tightly held against the flood that sometimes releases from Boone. His strength, dominant physically, matches the other two sometimes and lags in other measures. It is his whole, his balance, that makes the man indispensable.

Mick returns in Sean’s fourth title as his mentor, Blade again as his pragmatic balance, and General Peter McAllen as ever to broaden his perspective and apply the leverage of his talents where the beam between good and evil tips most effectively. You’ll meet Samir Ibrahim, an apostate Muslim scholar upon his conversion to Christianity, and one with his own agenda in pursuing the target of the adventure.

And … Thalia. A case officer tasked with the retrieval of a known terrorist by a marginally resolute National Command Authority, Thalia Kebauet is a woman who can only be adequately described after the fact. Ritter to this day is unlikely to disagree, and that is what can be said of her for the time being.

Ends and beginnings. There is perhaps one more episode of Sean’s File in the catalog timeline between The Yemeni Package, which takes place largely in 1999,  and the 2006 pre-Surge setting of The Anvil of the Craftsman. If undertaken, it would be supplemental, not necessary. Worthwhile and necessary are not dependent attributes, though, in any but the most austere life.

Ritter’s back-story leads the chronology of my novels, with Jon’s Trilogy set in the middle as my common character universe merges into Boone’s File. Those episodes are, as I discovered along the way, all parts of the same tale taking place across three series, each in its respective decade.

All of our lives proceed in similar fashions. We too have our contributing characters, because none of us do any of this alone. One encounters them in chapters and titles while self-designating the most significant markers of one’s own timeline. Let us, as did Ben Franklin, credit its plot structure to our Author and Finisher.

Life lived well is a work of reality rather than fiction. Moment after moment is presented as part of the Whole to build we who pay attention or bless us, but never to break us. We who believe are made of God’s stuff and cannot be undone. That we exit the timeline after our designated interval marks only an end and another beginning. It will be wonderful for the faithful and horrid for the unadvocated, respective to each resultant and individual destination.

Our burden ends, you see, where His sufficiency begins. Mark your milestones and lessons along the way toward a successful conclusion and in the great hope revealed in the first Christmas season, for the appearance of Jesus is His Father’s testimony that the least life is far too precious a treasure to live accidentally. Ritter, in embracing his Pararescue Creed’s maxim, That Others May Live, says as much with his heroics.

You and I and Sean are characters each in the other’s story, and for that I am thankful. If my writing helps you along your way, so much the better. I hope to learn it was so, once we meet in endless better and brighter days.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, next month’s Vae Obscurum will be the go-live announcement for Daniel Sean Ritter’s fourth title, The Yemeni Package, God willing. Now is a great time to begin the novels of Sean’s File.

Boone’s fourth is available!

Actions have consequences, some of which are predictable … and some not. In Boone’s fourth novel, complications arising out of her covert history interfere with an attempt to start a new life.

Following simultaneous attacks in Washington and Moscow, Boone and her allies learn of what was thought to be an extinct breed of predator: Vedro Krovi (VAY-dro KROWV-yi), a company of Russian mercenaries unleashed by patrons uncomprehending of the level of commitment and ruthlessness they have unwittingly engaged.

This, while Deborah Vosse—the premier investigative journalist for her left-leaning ForwardNews network—is prompted by the murder of a colleague to examine the relationship between heads of state and the shadowy figures of international intelligence. Connections never intended for public knowledge begin to unveil those who covertly enabled or interdicted the agendas of masters or enemies.

The plot develops into Boone’s largest challenge to date, with everything she holds dear, including her beckoning life and freedom, at risk on multiple fronts.

Here’s the blurb:

“Boone, now a former covert operative, looks forward to a fulfilling marriage, new career, and brighter days. Investigative journalism by one of her country’s most prominent news personalities, however, begins to unravel a thread of actualities thought to have been classified out of existence. Actions once undertaken in the national interest threaten her new life.

When not only Boone’s people but the servants of the ill-intended and powerful are targeted for elimination, the result is an undeclared war between the keepers and the kept. Forced back into a high-stakes game against international players, she will need to call on all her resources in order to defend those whom she loves against two of the world’s most powerful men … and sins of her past.

Approx. 92,370 wds./ 323 pp. print length”

Boone’s Big List of Links:
Kindle – iTunes – Nook – Kobo – Smashwords – Scribd

Trade paperbacks at Amazon and CreateSpace!

As always, your contributions toward signal boost in spreading the word are appreciated. Read. Rock. Review. Recruit. Repeat.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In more production news, Ritter’s fourth title, The Yemeni Package, has entered Content Edit in preparation for an anticipated first quarter 2018 release.

Sean’s File No.3 is live!

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As promised, the Big List of Links for Sean’s third:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1IPP28
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1157844072
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/king-of-a-lesser-hill-dale-amidei/1124673739
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/king-of-a-lesser-hill
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/667519
https://www.scribd.com/book/324992600/King-of-a-Lesser-Hill-Sean-s-File-3
https://www.amazon.com/King-Lesser-Hill-Seans-File/dp/0998149500

Here is the blurb:

*This novel portrays acts of atrocity during the Bosnian Civil War of the 1990s. Though presented with sensitivity, some scenes might prove disturbing to survivors of conflict and/or violence against women.

In 1995’s Bosnia and Herzegovina, a USAF pilot, forced to eject over Serb-controlled territory, evades capture with the help of a young Bosnian woman and a sympathetic band of Croat militia. With a ruthless Serbian commander also on the hunt, it falls to Daniel Sean Ritter and his sergeants—now designated the Deep Recovery Team—to find the American first.

Stung by setbacks inflicted by an opposing coalition on multiple fronts, Serb paramilitary forces escalate operations as their window of opportunity narrows. Atrocities, reprisals, and response fuel a final conflagration in the embers of war. Its disposition will hinge on the courage found in those who have discovered the passions of Bosnia are ones from which they are unable to walk away.

Approx. 83,300 wds. / 290 pp. print length

As always, much appreciation to those of your offering your support through this three-year process of bring another title to life. Without you, an author’s voice is only imagination.

Choose to love, -DA

Sean’s File: King of a Lesser Hill

Thinking must precede writing done well. I have been accused of doing too much of the former and not enough of the latter, though in my mind things have settled out just as intended on a higher level. Writers, along with everyone inspired, recognize the experience of being set to a preordained purpose. So it is here at Single Candle Press approaching September 24, 2016. The date will be the official release of Novel8/Sean3, King of a Lesser Hill.

KLH225x337DSSean’s third is set in 1995, specifically the turbulent time of the Bosnian Civil War immediately prior to the lifting of the siege of Sarajevo. This intermediate title in Sean’s File is another look at the making of the man who has become for many their favorite of my characters. The Daniel Sean Ritter we met under one of his many pseudonyms in my debut novel—quiet, unassuming, settled in the philosophy supporting his duty, and very deadly—appeared after living twenty years of a serviceman’s life. I felt compelled from the beginning to discover the rest of his story.

Operation Naji and Romeo Down: A Short Story started that, and his third title fills in more blanks. His time line designated the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a waypoint. Little did I know how researching Lesser Hill would affect me. KLH will publish with a trigger warning, my first to do so:

*This novel portrays acts of atrocity during the Bosnian Civil War of the 1990s. Though presented with sensitivity, some scenes might prove disturbing to survivors of conflict and/or violence against women.

The media called it ethnic cleansing, which is a sanitizing phrase for the worst of what opposed demographics of our species choose to do to each other. It is difficult to see good people suffer. It’s a personal challenge to write, and might be more than some care to read. But such things happen in life, as do the violence, profanities, and sexual situations which have caused some readers problems in my fiction.

Some react with avoidance, others with criticism. The folk I hope can appreciate what I am doing are ones who can encounter such themes without shying away. Lessons as provided only by a story from trying times provide the worthwhile payload for Lesser Hill.

Ritter’s novels, like Jon Anthony’s, are about the people he encounters as much as they are about the man himself. Terrence Bain Bradley, a fixture in my Boone’s File novels, appears here in his capacity as a young CIA analyst. Likewise, you will meet fledgling Bosnian journalist Lucia Dorotea Crnjak, whose efforts at maintaining her written accounts give us deep insight into her bright, brave soul.

“There must be some difference between what they are and what we become, or it no longer matters who wins,” Luci observes. The events portrayed in my fiction are a means to an end, which is the small goal of going forward with my readers from then on. Conflict is a vital element of fiction done well, and a story’s antagonists need to contrast through their depravity the virtues one hopes will carry the day. Faith says it is the same everywhere, though sometimes our perspective might not be farsighted enough to provide that assurance. May it be so always.

“I write so that people do not forget what happened,” Luci also says. So do I. King of a Lesser Hill was a tough novel to produce, a challenge to edit, and doubtless will be equally difficult for some to read. But we cannot shy away from observing the ugliness of inhumane choices and be the source of wisdom and means for correction a fallen world needs.

Civilized folk cannot be derelict in their duty to such an extent without enabling insufferable decline. As more people yield ground faith should have them contest, it is occupied by the enemy. The same dynamic occurs in nations, communities, congregations, and individuals.

The fire having consumed so much of 1995 Bosnia could rekindle in the United States of the near future. Absorbing the lesson of the world’s late intervention there is our challenge today as our polarized nation debates its future. It must matter which side wins here also, as it did for Luci and Sean in King of a Lesser Hill. I can only hope you will read the novel and agree.

Choose to love, -DA