Novel Links

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A War Against the Living...






If the dead arose, attacking the living in spirit form, who would stop them? Find out this winter in SPECTRAL OPS, a new Stone Soldiers series launching in November...


Eastern France, April 2017... the small town of Moyenne has gone dark. No sign of life can be detected. Police and military forces sent to investigate are never heard from again. Storm clouds hang low in the sky, obscuring the small, idyllic village from the peering eyes of satellites, and thick static prevents any drone from being sent in. Detachment 1039, America's Preternatural Combat Operations unit is inserted from the air, a small squad of supernatural soldiers enters the town, quickly discovering France has been invaded by a spectral army that cannot be killed. A battle between the living and the dead must be won, and quickly, as the spirits in Moyenne are increasing their numbers, one soul at a time, and nothing seems able to stop them...








Can't wait for the series launch in November? Get your promotional copy of Spectral Ops as soon as it's done! How?

Email Detachment1039@gmail.com with your name, email, and favorite Stone Soldiers story title, including "Put me on the Mailing List of Stone" in the subject line, and you'll receive a free PDF of the latest Stone Soldiers/Dark War story, FREE.

If mailing lists aren't your thing, watch Kindle for the release of this new sneak preview installment (Book 0) in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Outlaws of Olympus

As work continues on the upcoming Shadow Raiders, and research begins for Stone Soldiers #12, Winters' Fury, we take a moment to look back--way back--to the late 1800s and the state of paranormal warfare in America during the heady days of the Wild West.


1881, Utah Territory. Immigrants continue to flood into the Wild West, bringing with them their customs, cultures, and legends from the Old World. But it isn't just men that have come to the new Frontier. Darker beings have come as well, intent on once more terrorizing mankind in a Godless land. Can a cursed cavalryman and a mysterious priest work together to stop a supernaturally-fast gunslinger, or will the old gods claim the land and souls of men for themselves?


So what is Outlaws of Olympus, and how does it relate to the Stone Soldiers?

Way back in Stone Soldiers #5, Black Knight Down, readers were introduced to Father Lee Schuler, who turned out to be Hercules, the son of Zeus. Schuler assisted the team in battling the Titans trapped in the Black Knight. He showed up again in the end of One Dark Step (Stone Soldiers #11).

In the recent Shadow Detachment series of prequel short stories that showed the history of Detachment 1039 since the Korean war, another character was revealed: Bartholomew Black, a special operations Army Officer who seemed very at ease in dealing with the supernatural. Black remained in most of the Shadow Detachment tales, rising through the ranks and guiding Mark Kenslir in the war on evil. 

Both of these characters now have their own series: Outlaws of Olympus

Hercules, as Father Sergio "Ercole" Morricone is dispatched to the Utah Territory by the Church in 1881, to investigate reports of a man who can't die. Along the way, he meets the mysterious John Smith, a black cavalryman left for dead by a supernatural gunslinger "faster than lightining". 

Together, the duo face off against this adversary, who is revealed to be the Greek god Hermes, the half-brother of Ercole and the fastest gun in the West. Hermes reveals that he is not the only Olympian to descend on the Godless frontier--others have come along...

So begins the adventures of Father Ercole and Bartholomew John Black--a man cursed to live the lives of all the men he's ever killed. Together, this mighty duo will do their best to save the West from the dark grip of monsters and immortals alike.




Outlaws of Olympus releases every three weeks on Kindle, and on print through Amazon.com. Look for audio releases as well, with the first round of the series culminating in thirteen tales of Weird Western wonder!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

BOOK OF STONE: Zulu Time

Another A to Z Challenge finally closes out, with a little peak at something from the real world that often shows up in fiction:


ZULU TIME

When you operate around the world, in different time zones, coordinating activities can be problematic. For that reason, some military forces use something we in America call Zulu Time. But what is it?

The primary time zone in the modern world UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). But to understand that, you need to go back before 1972, and look at GMT--Greenwich Mean Time, named for the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London.

GMT was a standardized time used by British Mariners of the past of purposes of navigation. This had to do with the Greenwich Meridian (0) adopted in 1884 at the International Meridian Conference.

Basically, sunset is determined by the distance from the equator and time of year. To calculate it, you need a starting point (Greenwich). By having a clock set to GMT, mariners could determine their position on a map, by observing the position of the sun with an Astrolabe.

Time zones then were designated in hours before or after GMT. For example, Washington D.C. (at this time of year) is at -4 GMT. Meanign the sun rises four hours after it does in London.

As stated above, in 1972, GMT was replaced by Coordinated Universal Time in some countries...

Back to Zulu Time. It's basically one time (GMT/UT) that the military expresses things in. For example, if you wanted to launch an attack on opposite sides of the world, you might issue orders for it to take place at 0600 Zulu Time (GMT). Neither of those actual sites are actually in GMT however, so the local units can either do the math, or use a watch with dual time zone capabilities (showing both their local time and GMT).

So why call it Zulu time?

Since around 1950, nautical time zone (GMT) has been denoted by the Letter Z. Different time zones were designated by letters. GMT got the Z because it was the point of origin for determining time zones. It also refers to the time zone of "zero" hours, used since 1920ish.

Z becomes "Zulu" because of the Phonetic Alphabet...

The Phonetic Alphabet is something used by people broadcasting over radio. In the early, pre-digital days of radio, static, noise, and distortion could make it hard to understand someone. Things could b misunderstood. To prevent this confusion, the military adopted the phonetic alphabet to clear things up, assigning seldom-used words to the letters of the alphabet. To spell out BLOG, for example, you'd say "Bravo, Lima, Oscar, Golf". Most police departments use a similar phonetic alphabet, but use first names instead. And, you guessed it, "Zulu" is the phonetic call for the letter Z.


So there you have--"Zulu Time" is just GMT/UT, but spoken in military style.