Tag Archives: suspense

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.

Your Part of the Story

Or is it You’re Part of the Story? Either sense is correct. Interconnectedness is a vital aspect of the human experience, and without an appreciation of the precept, we would each develop into someone far below our potential.

You, however, are my readers. I’m not content to leave you there.

Many worthwhile things can be accomplished on an individual level, and some of those in no way else. Even the most independent achievement, however, is the culmination of capability fostered by affecting influences. Those are the drops and rivulets contributing to the flow of who we are and what we do … for better or worse.

Likewise, each event in the past contributes its part to the composition of the current scene. Frank Capra did a better than adequate job of illustrating totality in It’s a Wonderful Life, so I won’t bother to recap his conclusions here. It’s a pity, though, that sometimes this essential realization drops while reading fiction when we so wholeheartedly embrace it watching that film. I sometimes wonder if its absence also contributes to a less-than-sufficient grasp of history generally, much less the problems this can cause with dedicating attention to a novel.

I mention every so often how much I dislike encountering formulaic fiction. Emphases vary between plot-driven and character-driven structure such as mine. One won’t find action leading the way in a Dale Amidei novel, for the same reason that unanticipated, out-of-context conduct in real life generates confusion and anxiety in its witnesses. The ideal here is removed from pulpy exploits and steeped in substance instead, and the distinction sometimes requires the accumulation of momentum in defining a character’s situation.

Structure, done from farther out than a singular or first-person perspective, sometimes requires this. I’ve never written under the latter restriction, much preferring the weave of multiple points of view I encountered in my best formative reading. Reading first was a process that stretched across four decades before attempting my own serious novel, one that ran somewhere past thirty consecutive five-stars on Amazon and once was, by one website’s weighting, the second highest-rated fiction title in the Kindle store.

Character-driven fiction requires an investment on the part of the reader in the imaginary folk he or she is encountering. Its dividend must be paid by the author, but this takes time. It also, sometimes unfortunately, requires depositing a span of attention nearly every aspect of modern life seems intent on degrading. No one, if you’ve not noticed, ever dies in a Dale Amidei Chapter One. In Chapter Two and following all bets are off … but by then you will at least have an inkling of what’s happening and why.

What and Why, now that Boone is about to appear in her fourth novel, both play a vital role in her latest adventure. The interconnectedness to which I alluded in beginning this post is coming full circle; the cascading implications of fulfilled duty in her previous title, One Last Scent of Jasmine, extends from Washington to Moscow as two of the world’s most powerful men turn to ruthless pragmatism in seeking to distance themselves from their moral culpabilities.

Boone’s fourth is now set to appear on June 28, 2017. I hope you’ll be coming along on a trip not to be missed, whether you jumped into my interconnected character universe through Jon’s Trilogy, or Sean’s File, or with Boone’s debut in Absinthe and Chocolate. She and I need your reads, your reviews, and your help in boosting my signal on social media. You’re part of this story, and once it’s finished, I promise that Boone’s will remain part of you. To produce a novel that shakes the blessed earth is my prime motivation of course, but also to go forward with you from then on. Afterward, both of us will hopefully fulfill the clear vision of our Craftsman within the remainder of what He intends.

You do your part. I’ll do mine.

Choose to Love, -DA

*****

In production news, as mentioned above, Boone’s fourth novel, Meat for the Lion, is progressing through its final quality assurance steps before publishing later this month. Once retail pages are live, her Big List of Links will appear here as a separate post.

Review of ‘The Caliphate’

As I’ve said elsewhere, I am generally in the business of producing books, not reviewing them. As the Editress also has learned, doing what we do well sometimes makes it difficult to find a satisfying work in which to lose oneself through the magic of immersion. Recently I did that, and my resulting thoughts exceeded the venue of a retail book review. Here’s the first part of what I had to say about author friend Anna Erishkigal’s latest:

The Caliphate is wound around the premise that an ISIS-like conquest of the United States has been successful. One might think ‘Yeah, like that would ever happen,’ until Erishkigal constructs her disturbingly plausible backdrop for the novel to follow.

Eisa McCarthy is a faithful Muslim, one who refuses to set aside her humanity in the name of doctrine. We see the story through her eyes as she navigates her difficult path. Burdened by memories of a father now besmirched by propagandized history into the image of a traitor, she finds herself propelled by her circumstances into a fold of resistance marking America’s last efforts at redemption.

'The Caliphate' on Amazon

Get it on Amazon

The parallels the author draws between the current landscape in Syria and Iraq and a future United States are unsettling, as they portray present-day atrocities with unflinching accuracy. The dominion of evil Eisa opposes is factual, departing only in scope from conditions experienced already inside less fortunate borders. Likewise, the courage of female fighters against a misogynistic foe is drawn from our world and extended into the author’s adroit, fictional presentation.

One is left with the conclusion that, yes, this could happen here. If it does, we will have the same choices Eisa, her compatriots, and fellow victims of dominant, Islamist fundamentalism do: resist for the sake of those who can or will not, or hope for the best at the sparse mercy of conscienceless oppressors.

Overall, a solid work of thriller/suspense and an easy five stars.”

That was the easy part. Dealing with the threads of actuality the author pulled together into to this work  came next, all part of the era our world will attempt to resolve into the foreseeable future.

One of her themes is the nature of absolutism, in particular Islamofascism of the type now plaguing portions of Iraq and Syria. Fundamentalist Muhammadanism continues to export its proponents into every corner of the globe via the infrastructure of a world growing smaller by the year. As in Anna’s backstory, misplaced guilt and sympathy provided the inroad for a substantial population of assets who intended to fulfill the vision of their Prophet:  to conquer each piece of land on which they place their foot.

Here stateside, we only days ago decided a presidential election. One of the major candidates for years had been advised by a staffer connected to the transnational, Sunni Islamist ‘Muslim Brotherhood.’ Huma Abedin fulfilled for Hillary Clinton a role similar to Valerie Jarrett, a current Senior Advisor to the President and of Iranian birth who principally influences his foreign policy. Had the electoral process gone another way, through  the fruition of policies enabling Muslim influx we might have been well on the way toward the same type of soft cultural  jihad currently being suffered by Europe.

Anna extended the premise into a plausible scenario, in which the movement eventually gains control of America’s nuclear arsenal. Afterward the regime holds the threat of annihilation over not only America but the remainder of the civilized world.

There she hits another thread weaving itself through human history. There are two types of us, you see. The first and perhaps the larger contingent would rather give in than get hurt. Those hope for the best, that their predators in life will pass them by, and that they will be allowed to continue what is an essentially undeserved existence. For the bright spirits, the heroes amongst us such as Anna’s protagonist Eisa McCarthy, the opposite philosophy takes hold. From somewhere within, the Spirit finds a foothold, and one finds the reverse to be true. Courage follows, and one threads a path though fear forward to decisive action.

Conflict is tiresome, and those who seek to dominate their fellows know this. Domineering personalities therefore promote division at every level possible, so their policies might eventually flourish through a lack of resistance. Fear likewise is a circumstance the undeveloped soul seeks to avoid. Violence and its terrifying aftermath, of course, is the most effective cowing agent of all.

So it is under the rule of ISIS within the bounds of its miserable territory today. It is well to remember the laws of human nature are as much in effect in this country as they are in the Near East.

We enshrine and protect freedom of religion in our Constitution. Such recognition resulted to ensure the freedom from oppression for the devout and conscientious. Islam of the modernistic, reformed variety—the sort content to reside in the front half of the Qur’an as encountered in the Balkans—seeks only to worship the God of Abraham after the prompting of the Spirit as do their brother Jews and Christians. Such folk choose love over hate and indifference, and bother no one as a result.

Islam metastasized is an altogether different entity. There, civilized harmony is antithetical to the later verses of Muhammadan scripture they embrace, in which adherents are instructed to accept the latter of contradictory guidance. Those are the chapters, which encourage terror and subjugation, making the global war between twenty-first and seventh-century philosophies what it is.

Such can no longer be tolerated under the banner of ‘freedom of religion.’ As the social media meme points out, if your religion requires you to kill me to get to heaven, I don’t need to tolerate that. Assigning constitutional protection to the polar opposite of Americanism and an ideology of conquest is beyond foolish; it is self-destructive.

Islam, particularly in Wahhabism, cannot be considered only another quaint religious tradition safe for the imagined secular humanist to dismiss and ignore. It engenders, as Winston Churchill observed, a distinct fanaticism as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog. Past a certain point, the two afflictions have only a singular and identical course of effective treatment.

Anna Erishkigal’s characters, particularly her women, you may rest assured become masters of addressing this condition in their enemies. We might contend with Eisa McCarthy’s premise that “Allah has no sons, only daughters,” but in the end we cheer the courage that is her byproduct of faith. These contests, as they have throughout history, retain a significance beyond the contexts of their actors. There are lessons there, unseen if unsought, God-placed for those who will.

Choose to love, -DA

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

Characters in a Godless Universe

Before writing, one reads first, of course. After writing and further developing the skills needed to do it well, however, reading is never quite the same. That epiphany is a seed of thought especially relating to what I write, which is fiction from the perspective of a conservative and a Christian.

Characters I encounter in the writing of others—nearly universally now—seem to have little regard for the spiritual aspects of their existence. Plot lines develop, conflict is engaged, and crescendos pass … often without any soul-searching, spark of enlightenment, or flashes of revelation in the minds of the people with whom we travel through their story. The result can be constructed as well as fiction can get, be presented in flawless elegance, and yet for me is one notch away from truly satisfying … because an element of completeness is missing.

When someone asks what my fiction is “about,” the short answer is: “people, and the perspectives that guide their decisions.” Conflict, challenge, adventure and romance are all elements as well, but as my character Jon Anthony says, some questions are essential. This means we will all answer them in some fashion, whether or not the subject is ever intentionally addressed.

Whether one proceeds from a faith-based perspective is one of those attributes. We are all encouraged in polite company to avoid talking about the subject, along with politics, and that reserve spills into the world of literature as well. I cannot help but think it is as limiting there as it is elsewhere in life. In writing Political Fiction, I cannot avoid the latter. As a Christian, I have a Commission to engage in the former … come what may.

In Stephen King’s novel The Langoliers, the test of dimensional validity is the “rightness” in the taste of foods and vitality of materials for the passengers of an aircraft “out of synch.” So, in a way, is  reading the works constructed out of a secular perspective.

Certainly, judging from the state of the world, too many and an increasing number of people are living their lives in that same, flat, unfulfilled state King described. Blaise Pascal, in his Pensees, wrote:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

The results in fiction and in life are the same. Absent a foundational quickening, no recovery can be made without addressing one’s most fundamental deficit. As Christians, it remains our burden to watch and pray and counsel where we can. In fiction, I present the internal struggles and dialogues that steer a soul on a bearing toward Home. That likely is the primary distinction between my fiction and the majority of authors in my genre.

We need a nation and a world revived in Spirit through valid faith, and thus given to acts of love rather than self-indulgence. I believe that we need novels written just that way as well. Toward that end, we here at Single Candle Press will continue to do what we can.

*****

In TBP112x169production news, May promises to see Novel6/Boone2 The Bonus Pool complete primary editing and the title move into pre-publication on a schedule for release next month (June 2015). Boone’s first, Absinthe and Chocolate, is an absolute prerequisite to her latest novel.

Doctor Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt returns in style. The Bonus Pool, as did the second novel of Jon’s Trilogy, brings together characters and set pieces established in the introductory volume into a storyline and presentation so energetic and excellent that we truly feel it shakes the blessed earth.

You will not want to put this one off, people. My advice is: get started now. Boone’s File Book One, Absinthe and Chocolate, is available now where your ebooks are sold and linked on the sidebar.

Choose to Love, -DA

Boone Minus Five

OK, peeps. You’ve heard the name for two years, and now her debut is on the horizon. Boone’s first, Absinthe and Chocolate, is preparing to publish. Normally, the thing would be available at this stage. Being that Labor Day has only recently arrived to end the summer retail doldrums, I’m holding the title until the September 10—five days from now—and hoping to engage some opinion leaders for the title’s initial reviews.

Preorders, by the way, all go through on Launch Day and boost visibility as an effect. I appreciate anyone who wishes to help; your reward will consist of getting an incredible novel for less than a buck.

I’ve wondered, as the time to launch this series—Boone’s File—draws near, how Ian Fleming would have approached James Bond if he had considered writing his character as a woman. In bringing Dr. Hildebrandt to life, I found the depth of complexity and wellspring of emotion available to draw wonderfully enabling. I believe her novels—four of them now—reflect this. The result is an archetypal, satisfying, and dynamic strong female character with growth, plot and romance arcs spanning more than three hundred and fifty thousand words.

This title will be the third gateway into the common universe of my fiction. Characters from The Anvil of the Craftsman and elsewhere pop up to augment Boone’s efforts and fill out the story line. Playing central roles are Daniel Sean Ritter, Bernie Schuster, and General Peter McAllen with cameos from Jon, Mary, and Farrah. Absinthe provided a chance for me to drop back on my messaging, have some fun, and spend eighty-five-and-a-half thousand words introducing a very special personality through a kickin’ adventure.

Boone, when we meet her, concurrently is at the top of her professional game and nearing the nadir of her personal life. She is, in most instances, directly responsible for many aspects of her misery. A life lived in secrets has left her isolated and developing an unhealthy gravitation toward alcohol. Overcompensation for loneliness, compounded by enduring, building guilt from the lives she has taken, is now a lifestyle. Offsetting needs fulfill largely through escapades in the service of her country, specifically in her capacity as a Level One Case Officer working for the Director of National Intelligence. At times, when a kindred spirit draws near enough, she finds solace in her bed as well.

Electronic copies of Absinthe and Chocolate in EPUB and MOBI formats are available to preorder at 99¢—a 75% discount from the full retail price of $3.99—through the links below. By the time you finish, I strongly suspect you will realize the fun waiting ahead in three more of her titles.

Who knows, perhaps Mr. Fleming made a similar offer once, in a different time and format, with Casino Royale. If so, I imagine the people involved remember.

Preorders:
Kindle
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords

Nook readers will be able to grab their copy at the same price on Wednesday!

AC Cover

Entry Points

Discoverability is one key to the success of an independent author. As I plead in the end matter of every novel, we have no publicity department or promotional budget outside of our own efforts.

The content edit of Novel5/ Boone1, Absinthe and Chocolate, is nearing completion. The first title of my third series Boone’s File looms larger on the horizon every day toward a projected release this summer. Three series will be the eventual result, God willing. All, I confess. are set in the same universe as the novel that started things off, The Anvil of the Craftsman.

Jon’s Trilogy, Sean’s File, and Boone’s File share to the extent possible a familiar cast of characters. It seemed to be the thing to do, and one does not meet people like these every day. The engaging spark of General Peter McAllen, the stoic bad-assery of Daniel Sean Ritter, and even the somewhat cynical and perpetual administrative confusion of Bernie Schuster now have become part of the landscape. I don’t think I could let any of them go if I tried.

With three series, new readers will have three places to start: whether with Anvil, my free offering, Operation Naji—which is Ritter’s back story—or with Boone’s debut in Absinthe. Three routes into my world will hopefully allow me show to show the maximum number of literary guests around for a while… for as long as I write, actually.

These novels are entry points, and I appreciate the utility of multiple chances to gain an audience for what I have to say. Whether I’m read in chronological order or by date of publication, I want the experience to be the same: satisfying enough to encourage my audience to tell many others.

I still, and always shall, pursue that happily viral popularity that best-quality writing can provoke. Without readers, as I’ve said before, an author’s voice is only imagination, and they mean the world to me. I thought I was good with words until it came time to tell you all how much.

Choose to Love, -DA