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A veteran, hero, and friend who inspired Of Bone And Thunder

Colonel Robert W. Black was, and remains, an Airborne Ranger. He fought in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame and his awards speak to the extent of his combat experience and courage on the battlefield. Twice awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, he holds the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars (two for valor), the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and the Vietnam Cross of Honor. He’s also the author of numerous books on Rangers including The Battalion, Rangers in Korea, and his autobiography, A Ranger Born.

As impressive as his military career was, Bob is that much more as a human being. I’ve been so fortunate to work with him on most of his books and privileged to call him my friend. He and his amazing wife, Carolyn, have hosted me many times in their home and treated me like a son. That seeming paradox of fierce warrior and warm, generous soul is something I felt worth exploring in my novels. Read more…

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First sample of Of Bone And Thunder! Here’s the prologue and map

PROLOGUE:

A BLACK CONDOR DIPPED her featherless head and flapped her wings, straining for height. Another vulture drifted in front of her, forcing the condor to climb higher in the crowded wheel of circling birds. The condor struggled, her body weak from having little to eat over the past month. The sun had yet to crest the hilly peaks to the east, but already, dozens of bald- headed condors had taken up stations high above the mist-shrouded valley below. The other vultures were hungry, too. The birds flew without calling to each other. Only the sound of their massive wings working laboriously in the humid air marked their passage.

Long-tailed shrikes darted between the condors, refusing to settle in as they twisted and banked among the larger, slower birds. When this sport became dull, a shrike ventured down to the roof of the mist, skimming along its rolling surface and kicking up a cottony spray in its wake. It darted to and fro wherever the mist churned and a hole appeared to open, but it was never fast enough to dive through before it closed.

Shadows passed over the condor and she turned her attention from the shrike. The wheel was breaking apart. The reason flew several hundred feet above. Three pairs of green-breasted eagles had been drawn by the waiting flock. The condor tensed. She was significantly larger than the eagles, but the birds of prey were aggressive and unpredictable. Hunger made the condor brave, and she kept to her course. The other condors settled in behind her and the wheel resumed its slow rotation.

When the eagles showed no sign of attacking, the condor allowed herself to look down again and quickly spied the shrike flying inches above the undulating whiteness. A large wave of mist surged upward momentarily before collapsing, pulling down the mist around it and creating a gaping tear in the otherwise uniform surface. The shrike chirped and dived toward the opening. It managed to penetrate several feet before the walls of mist closed in around it. The shrike’s chirps grew frantic as it twisted and tried to fly back out. Its wingtips brushed the mist and were instantly tangled in wispy skeins that stuck to its feathers. The shrike flapped harder but only succeeded in becoming more enmeshed. Its wings were still beating as the mist closed over it and the condor lost sight of it. The condor kept an eye on the spot where the shrike had vanished, but the bird did not reappear. Read more…

There’s still time to win a free copy of Of Bone And Thunder

Less than three days to go before the contest closes. This particular contest is only open to readers in the US, but I am checking with the other markets to see what might be going on there. When I hear something I will let everyone know. If you aren’t in the US, maybe you have a friend who is who would be willing to loan you their address…just saying 🙂

You can sign up to enter here:

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/105743-of-bone-and-thunder-a-novel

Of Bone And Thunder Cover

Cheers!

Chris

Beginning of countdown to release of Of Bone And Thunder with photos of the men who inspired me

Lieutenant Michael Lee Lanning, Rifle Company Commander, 2nd Bn, 3rd Inf Regiment, 199th Light Infantry Brigade near Binh Chanh, June 1969. I’ve known Lee almost 15 years. We met through former Execctive editor Owen Lock, himself a Vietnam vet, when I started at Random House/Ballantine/Del Rey. After Vietnam, Lee became a prolific writer about the war and I was fortunate enough to work with him. He has a new book out about the Vietnam War titled Tours of Duty

Update on Of Bone And Thunder in the publishing process

So the ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) and DRCs (Digital Reading Copies) of Of Bone And Thunder (OBAT for those into acronyms 🙂 are out there and some early reviews are starting to pop up. Interview requests are also coming in. My web designers, Amy and Ethan, of BeBetterStudios are getting my website revamp ready to launch (which reminds me I need to get back to them on some tweaks!)

The final files of the book went to the printer last month. The final cover file won’t go until next week. The book itself will be printed next week as well. It will then be released from the warehouse the fourth week of September and start making its way to wholesalers and retail outlets all over North America. While all this is going on, my agent, Don Maass, will be shopping the book in Hollywood and the subrights team at S&S will be shopping it at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany in October. That’s where they look to license the book for translation.

Meanwhile, Todd Haberkorn is putting his vocal cords to the test as he narrates the 500 pages of OBAT. The audio will be available October 14, same as the hard cover and ebook.

And I will be doing a signing event at New York Comic Con which just happens to be the weekend before OBAT goes on sale. If you’re going to be at the Con please drop by the S&S/Gallery Books booth and say hi.

Now I just need to figure out what my next novel will be!

Cheers!

Chris