I hope you're all having an awesome summer. As I mentioned in my last update, things are busy in the Cooper household, but there's always time to start work on the next Corps Justice novel. The Novels Live crew and I have begun work on Sabotage, and today I wanted to give you a chance to read the first chapter.
READ THIS -----> Before I do that I also wanted to share the news that the third installment in my series The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon is now published. It's available to purchase for only 99-cents (for a very limited time) on Amazon >> HERE <<.
If you haven't gotten into Benjamin's tales yet, you can download a free copy of Book 1 >> HERE <<.
The stories are great for kids and adults, so pick up a copy for your littlest monkeys, send a couple to your grandkids or download one for your wife. Trust me, they'll thank you and so will I for supporting this whole writing thing :)
And now, without further ado, I give you the first chapter of Sabotage...
(CAUTION: The following contains unedited material that may be unsuitable for the grammatically inclined. )
At the moment, Vince Sweeney looked like anything but an army colonel from the First Special Forces Operational Detachment, Delta Force. Happily reclined in a pristine white leather chair, he was wearing what he currently considered his business attire: Khaki cargo shorts, an obnoxious Hawaiian button-down, and Timberland boots. His gnarled hand moved from the glass of whiskey to scratch his scraggly white beard. He'd gone gray early, but he’d never cared. It fit in well with what he did for a living. It was a perfect disguise when needed. But now that the current “job” was almost over, the beard would have to go.
As he closed his eyes and relished the cool blowing of the vented air conditioning, he smiled at the thought of going home. How many times had he left? He'd have to go back through his military records just to see. Not that they had them all. Being part of Delta meant that most operations weren't even classified and rarely documented. They just didn't exist.
He'd just hit fifty, and because he'd refused to play the game of Army career building monopoly, instead opting to stay in the field, he'd be getting out soon. Involuntarily retired.
He didn't mind. He'd had a great career, led honest and courageous men, had saved countless lives. So as he took another sip of his much-deserved drink, Colonel Vince Sweeney was content.
"Hey, you gonna drink all that, or are you gonna save some for me?" The man sitting across from him in a nearly identical outfit growled in mock indignation.
Sweeney had known Karl Schneider for almost twenty years. They'd served together in Delta Force on and off for that entire time. While Karl looked like a washed-up bartender with one foot in the grave, he was anything but. He was one of the toughest men Vince Sweeney had ever met. He could take on a man three times his size and win. It probably had something to do with his upbringing. His father had been a coal miner in West Virginia, and before enlisting in the Army, Karl had done two hard years in the mines. That did something to a man, and as the senior enlisted soldier under his command, Karl was not only a superb fighter, he was also Colonel Sweeney's best friend.
Sweeney passed the bottle of Johnnie Walker Black across the aisle and Karl refilled his own glass.
"Did you take a look at those listings I sent you?" Karl asked, handing the bottle back to Sweeney.
"Yeah, I like that place with the little red roof. Looked like something out of a painting my grandma had handing in her guest bedroom.”
Karl nodded appreciatively, equally at the whiskey and Sweeney's choice.
"You know what, Vince? You're not much to look at, but I'd say you're a pretty good judge of real estate."
Karl was on his way out too. He had a couple years on Sweeney, and that had forced the Army to take out its big fat magnifying glass and give Carl the old up-and-down. Vince knew what the higher-ups were thinking; that they were two washed-up soldiers ready to send out to pasture. Never mind the fact that they were Delta warriors. There was always a need to make space for the up-and-comers, and while Vince understood that, he was more sad for his friend than for himself.
While the Army and Delta Force specifically had been good to Colonel Vince Sweeney, it had been the blood coursing through Karl's veins for thirty years, and now that blood transfusion was about to be taken away. So they'd made a pact. When they got out, when they retired for good, they'd leave together. Neither man was married. They both had been, Vince once and Karl twice, but neither had any prospects on the horizon, and that was okay with them.
Karl had concocted a plan. They'd do what a lot of the guys were doing; getting out and setting up shop on the civilian side. They had plenty of contacts who'd be glad to use their assistance and training, both active duty military and police forces. Besides, they both had enough money put away to last them for years. They'd been smart, and even if a single job didn't come their way, they'd be more than content with living the simple life. Hunting in the mornings, then maybe a stroll out to fish, and then growing old on rickety rocking chairs under that little red roof.
"Yeah." Vince thought, "That sounds fine. Damn fine."
This journey home was one step closer to that goal.
"You know, I bet if we wait a couple months we might be able to get that place for a steal. It's been on the market for over a year, and the agent said the owners are ready to sell. What do you think, Vince?"
Vince looked over at his friend and smiled.
"I say why wait? Let's do it."
Carl grinned and held out his glass.
“Mud in your eye, Vince."
They clinked their glasses and downed the rest of their drinks.
And just like that the conversation was over. It was back to business.
"What do you think the big man's going to say about what we saw?" Karl asked.
Vince shook his head. "I know what he'll say, but it's what he'll do that I'm worried about."
Their mission had come straight from the top. As two of the most seasoned veterans of the famed Delta Force, Karl and Vince had been given first shot. It didn't hurt that they had a personal reputation with the President of the United States. When he'd called, they'd been only too happy to help. Besides, masquerading as oil venture entrepreneurs wasn't such a bad gig. Yeah, Africa was hot as hell, but riding first class wasn't too bad and the mission was important too. Why say no?
Vince and Karl understood the consequences. They'd seen firsthand the developments that the world wasn't supposed to know about. So while he was anxious to get home and take his first hot shower in a week, Vince knew an uncomfortable conversation was coming. Decisions would have to be made, contingencies planned for, but that was still hours away, and as he and Carl had done for years, they would enjoy their time in the sun. It wasn't every day that you were the only passengers on a swank private luxury jet, and that's what made the next moment so surreal.
The concussive blast rocked the small airplane that had barely been in the air for thirty minutes. It was years of reflexive action, physical memory that had been imprinted on his DNA now that saved Vince. He wasn't buckled, but he clutched onto his chair for dear life. He felt the sucking wind. When he looked towards the tail, he saw a gaping hole four rows back. He saw something fly through the hole, and for the briefest instance thought it was Karl, but when he looked across the aisle Karl was still where he'd been, clutching in the same way Vince was.
The plane was veering now as the wind tore through the passenger compartment. Vince could barely hear the blaring of emergency sirens overhead. No one came out of the cockpit, and that was probably for the best. It was sealed, and the best place for the pilots was driving the doomed bus. They didn't have parachutes or even weapons this time, so jumping wasn't an option. Instead, with grim nods, the two men climbed their way back into their chairs and strapped themselves in. It was going to be one hell of a bumpy ride.
+ + +
The pilot was good. Really good. He'd somehow manhandled the diving aircraft just beyond the edge of some storm-engorged lake. Vince smelled leaking fuel as soon as he stepped outside, shielding his eyes from the scorching sun. Luckily there weren't any flames, and when he did a quick inspection of the exterior of the hull, the only real damage he saw was the jagged tear along the aircraft's left side.
Both pilots climbed out next, one man holding onto Karl's arm as they stepped out into the light. Neither man looked injured, but both were visibly shaken.
"Well that's number three for you," Karl said, pointing a finger at Vince. "Remind me to get another flight home without you on it."
Karl smirked, but the joke was lost on the two pilots, who were looking around like they'd just landed on the moon.
"You two okay?" Vince asked.
One pilot nodded, and then the other.
"That was some amazing flying," Vince said. "Thank you both. You saved our lives."
The comment did little to soothe each man's stupor. They were in some kind of mild shock, and Vince had seen it many times before, but not the debilitating type, just the type that needed a couple minutes.
“Karl, why don't you go see if the stewardess can get us some water. For the gentlemen first please."
Karl shook his head. "She's not in there, Vince. I think she got sucked out. I'll go get some water."
One dead. That poor girl. She'd probably been on her way up to see if they needed anything when it all happened. Couldn't do anything about that now.
"Did you call for help?" Vince asked the lead pilot.
The man looked confused, but then shook his head.
"It was the strangest thing," he said. "Right when it happened…well, not right when, but the seconds before, all our comms went out. Then when we started going down, we tried to call in mayday but we couldn't get anyone. I've been flying for a long time, but I've never seen that happen before."
Vince figured it probably wasn't the first time that it ever happened. They were over Africa at all. But when he pulled out his satellite phone and tried to get a signal, he couldn't. That was a first for him too.
Karl was outside again handing water bottles to the two pilots.
"Hey Karl, you ever had one of these sat phones go out on you?" Vince said.
"Just the one that got shot out of my hand. You know, the one right outside Jalalabad."
Vince hadn't been there, but he knew the story. Karl had been calling in for close air support when an enemy sniper missed Karl's head and hit his sat phone instead. Bam.
Vince was about to ask the pilot if he knew where they were when a crackle of gunfire erupted from some distance away.
At least a klick, maybe two, Vince thought as he dove to the ground.
When he hit the dirt he went to see if the lead pilot, who was also laying on the ground, was okay. Vince winced. Half the man's face was gone and blood poured onto the ground, inching its way towards Vince.
"Get down," Karl hissed at the second pilot, who was crouched next to the cockpit.
The man looked back furtively and then back towards where the gunfire was coming from.
"Maybe if we surrender," the man said, "maybe if we tell them who we are. It could just be all a mista- "
He never finished the word. A flurry of bullets hit his body in rapid succession, metal tearing through simple flesh. Vince knew he was dead before he hit the ground. He looked at Karl who gave him one of those "what should we do next" kind of looks. Their options were limited. The terrain was wide open, and if they moved away from the plane they were sitting ducks. Hell, they already were sitting ducks. He could feel the invisible force moving closer. He saw the rounds tearing the sky overhead. A rough estimate told him at least twenty men, maybe more. Plenty of firepower.
Then, to his complete surprise, something horribly wonderful happened. He hadn't noticed the sky go black, but it had obviously noticed him. It started as a couple raindrops, and in seconds sheet after sheet of heavy rain poured down like a bucket tipping over and over and over again. He could barely see Karl, who was a mere ten feet away, but Karl found him and was now yelling in his ear.
"We need to go. We need to go now!”
That's when Vince remembered. He had something that might help, but not if he waited. It had been a gift from a friend. A new friend, but a good one. One that he'd helped in the recent past, and one who Vince knew without a doubt would help he and Karl if he could. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.
Karl looked at him like he was nuts, but Vince ignored him, tearing through the packet, the already soaked tobacco sticks falling to the ground and washing away in the raging streams. Tucked inside the cigarette pack was something that looked like a credit card, but when Vince held down his finger on the bottom right corner, a screen lit up. He'd been told he'd get one shot at it. Once it was used, it was done. “One shot, one kill,” his friend had said. It was completely encrypted and would send a signal up to a private satellite and then relay its message to Vince's friend.
He typed out the message quickly, pressed send, and waited for the green light to know that it had gone through. Even though its burst battery power was now expended, Vince snapped the card in half and shoved it in his pocket. No sense leaving evidence.
Now came the hard part; to somehow make their way through the blinding rain and hope that the heavens gave them more than a few minutes of cover.
7/15/2016 12:21:00 pm
You got my attention! Can't wait for more!
7/15/2016 03:31:22 pm
Wow!! Can hardly wait...hurry and finish.
7/15/2016 05:53:20 pm
I'm like a little kid, can't wait!!!!!!
7/15/2016 05:33:37 pm
Love the first chapter can not wait to read the rest
7/15/2016 08:52:38 pm
What A start. Can't wait. Get your fishing done and get back to work. That's such a tease. Can't wait for the full book. Thank you so much for your work
7/16/2016 01:42:33 pm
Looks like Cal is going to Africa/kinf forward for th story
7/15/2016 12:30:05 pm
Looking forward to it. You never disappoint.
7/15/2016 12:45:28 pm
I have been holding my breath for this one. Don't take to much longer to release the book. It may be fatal!
7/15/2016 12:32:42 pm
Error in early paragraphs. "Reminded me of a picture banding in grandmothers house." Think it should be hanging instead. Looks like it's going to be a great read. Can't wait.
7/15/2016 12:34:42 pm
OK...when will it be out. I'm ready to start reading.
7/15/2016 12:35:31 pm
Git er done. I want to finish this one. Oohrah!
7/15/2016 12:36:21 pm
I'm with Lorrie! You definitely got my attention. Now quit teasing and put the book out!!
7/15/2016 12:38:02 pm
This sounds great, keep writing!
7/15/2016 12:38:39 pm
Love it. Can't wait to see it completed. I have been a claims adjuster for 44 years, so if you ever need any claims info background, just let me know.
7/15/2016 12:39:21 pm
Can't wait to finish this story...love these books!
7/15/2016 12:42:30 pm
Good hook. Now, I have to wait. Life IS unfair.
Dave Van Dyke
7/15/2016 12:44:58 pm
A great start. Look forward to a great finish and all that is in between.
7/15/2016 12:46:48 pm
You got. Me,Im in
7/15/2016 12:47:27 pm
Can't wait you have my undivided attention.
7/15/2016 12:58:17 pm
Thank you for the small taste of "Sabotage". Wow!! I was already looking forward to this book. Now I'm REALLY looking forward to it!
7/15/2016 01:03:50 pm
I would like to read it will look for it to come out
7/15/2016 01:08:38 pm
I am waiting for Sabotage to come out but to be honest, and knowing the quality of the Corps Justice series, I don't want to ruin the suspense by reading the first chapter. All I ask is that the book come out ASAP so I can sit down and read the whole book. I just don't like teases when I have to wait further. Looking forward to it, Carlos.
7/15/2016 01:12:21 pm
Wow! It was excellent and I can't wait.
7/15/2016 01:15:30 pm
7/15/2016 01:23:07 pm
Good so far!
7/15/2016 01:26:50 pm
I love the first chapter, when will the book be ready for sale?
7/15/2016 01:27:09 pm
Great! Looking forward to the whole thing.
7/15/2016 01:35:11 pm
WHEW ! I AM JUST WIPING THE MUD OFF MY CAMMIES. THAT WAS A CLOSE CALL. WHENS THE CALVARY COMMING. HURRY UP I CAN'T WAIT FOR LONG
7/15/2016 01:35:25 pm
You've got me hooked once again ! I can't wait to red the entire book.
7/15/2016 01:37:32 pm
Get to work. We are waiting.
7/15/2016 01:39:27 pm
Goong to be another book you can't put down once you start reading ! Don't make it to long before you bring it out !
7/15/2016 01:42:45 pm
7/15/2016 01:45:22 pm
Sounds great. Hurry and get it published
7/15/2016 01:47:55 pm
When will the book be finished? I looking forward to reading the rest of it. I'm already hooked.
7/15/2016 02:01:59 pm
Loved it. Wish it had gone on .... I can't wait. Really like these two characters. As always, you are awesome.
7/15/2016 02:08:21 pm
Looks like another winner..
7/15/2016 02:18:52 pm
What a great way to start but this will drive me crazy waiting for the rest!
7/15/2016 02:22:23 pm
Let's get going I'm all in
Richard E. A'Hern
7/15/2016 02:28:06 pm
C.G. Cooper for President, Liberty for veep
7/15/2016 02:29:27 pm
Wow. You have a true gift.
7/15/2016 02:36:49 pm
A great first chapter, looking forward to the rest of it!
7/15/2016 02:37:04 pm
Could sure do with another good book, please hurry.
7/15/2016 02:52:24 pm
Okay, Carlos....how soon till the whole book comes out....I am definitely ready to see what happens next....hope it won't be too long...
7/15/2016 02:54:56 pm
7/15/2016 03:09:35 pm
I have read all of your books since discovering you on Amazon, and I love them all. Once started, each book is hard to put down, and I am now looking forward to Sabotage.
7/15/2016 03:14:49 pm
Ok I know I have to wait, and in that waiting I read the new Dragon book, you just get better, can you let us know when???
7/15/2016 03:21:14 pm
I like what I'm reading so far. Let's have the rest of it soon.
7/15/2016 03:25:13 pm
I'll save it for later as I'm only upto novel 6.
7/15/2016 03:31:32 pm
As always you open up with an attention grabber. Looking forward to your final release. Don't wait too long.
7/15/2016 03:31:55 pm
I like it. Sounds like a really good 1st chapter. Really like the opening scenes and can visualize the story. Very nice. Cannot wait for me.
7/15/2016 04:01:00 pm
Loved it as usual your writing is great filled with action keep up the good work can wait for the book.
7/15/2016 04:10:44 pm
Great start. I'm guessing the gadget is from Neil and the message goes to someone at TJG. At least I hope it does. Now hurry up and write the rest, please.
Nancy E Hodson
7/15/2016 04:35:21 pm
I've read all the others so when can you finish this one? Sure hope it's very soon.
7/15/2016 04:43:09 pm
Dang. I'm hooked. Publish date?
7/15/2016 04:53:42 pm
I'm on board just waiting for it to come on the market
7/15/2016 04:54:47 pm
Outstanding opening! Let me know when I can buy it! Keep up the great work, I love this series!
7/15/2016 05:18:27 pm
Can't wait!!! Date it will be offered on Kindle?????
7/15/2016 05:21:57 pm
O.K. you definitely have my attention.
7/15/2016 05:27:00 pm
Attention grabber opening , error in an early paragraph, should be hanging in grandma extra bedroom. Other than that this is going to be another winner. I can hardly wait to read it!
7/15/2016 05:28:57 pm
Great start. I already like the two characters. Sure hope they make it!
7/15/2016 05:35:15 pm
Wonderful beginning! Love the characters. Two small things I noticed:
7/15/2016 05:43:16 pm
Great start! I can hardly wait for the completed book.
7/15/2016 05:50:52 pm
Can't wait to read the finished product. Would be happy to lend my services as a beta reader.
7/15/2016 05:59:30 pm
I understand it's busy around the house but if possible set a little more time to work on this book, we need moooore!
7/15/2016 06:28:06 pm
When will Sabotage be released? Very exited about it. Thanks for sharing the preview first chapter.
7/15/2016 06:37:30 pm
I can't wait for the rest of the book! Or the next one, or the one after that, etc.! I LOVE this series; maybe a movie from each one?
Bob Waterfield USN ret
7/15/2016 06:42:09 pm
All in. Now going to finish Benjamin Dragon Genesis. Hope you finish the rest of the book by then! Thanks for your service brother.
7/15/2016 07:03:43 pm
Never a disappointment
7/15/2016 07:44:08 pm
Reads like a future best seller!
7/15/2016 08:10:16 pm
Loved the first chapter! Are you bringing back all the guys including David or will this b a new unit that you can feed off for future books?
7/15/2016 08:14:54 pm
Again, enthralled and waiting with bated breath!
7/15/2016 08:24:33 pm
You have my full attention! Looking forward to another great plot and characterization so.
7/15/2016 08:25:35 pm
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
7/15/2016 08:55:50 pm
Hurray hurray hurray!! I can't wait for this to come out! Great start, I'm hooked just like all the others! When can we expect it?
7/15/2016 09:35:07 pm
It's going to be another exciting page turner! Can't wait!! Bring it on!
7/15/2016 10:44:42 pm
Love it..when will it be ready
7/15/2016 11:20:17 pm
Great first chapter.
7/15/2016 11:32:39 pm
Great beginning can't wait to start this one
7/16/2016 12:33:39 am
Brilliant as always, can't wait for this to be available.
7/16/2016 12:41:45 am
More! Give me more!
7/16/2016 04:28:55 am
As always you have drawn me in. I look forward to the finished product.
7/16/2016 07:04:17 am
Fabulous, when do we get the rest.
Kathleen L Hamilton
7/16/2016 07:22:00 am
Do you have a date when Sabotage can be preordered on Amazon. Love your series!
7/16/2016 07:50:39 am
Looks like a new favorite read!
John L. Barrow
7/16/2016 08:13:35 am
Great read when will be able to finish
7/16/2016 08:54:39 am
Looking forward to Sabotage also. Keep writing.
7/16/2016 09:56:10 am
Ok where is the rest of it Coop!
7/16/2016 10:47:53 am
Looks like another great read
7/16/2016 11:53:54 am
First chapter captures your attention right away. I can tell the rest is going to be the same! Thanks for what you do!
7/16/2016 12:52:32 pm
Great first chapter. Hurry with the rest. Please.
7/16/2016 04:19:59 pm
I hate it when you Marines tease me with some Army Spec Ops..
7/16/2016 07:43:40 pm
The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon is no longer fee on Amazon. I have just tried to obtain a free copy.
7/16/2016 09:00:28 pm
Excellent way to start. Can't wait for the rest! Great job CG
7/17/2016 03:41:58 pm
Looking forward to the completed book! Excellent first chapter!
7/17/2016 09:59:33 pm
I am totally intrigued...but C.G. get someone to proofread for you. There are a couple glaring grammar miscues!
7/18/2016 11:14:04 am
Not fair!! Can't wait for moreeee!
7/18/2016 08:21:19 pm
It's been a while since I read one of your books, sorry, but this has totally got me hanging on the edge for more.
7/19/2016 01:39:31 am
I'm hooked ever since I found your first book and now I just can't wait, couldn't you write maybe a little faster. If you need a typist I'd be glad to volunteer.
7/19/2016 02:17:34 pm
You got me now
7/23/2016 12:16:42 pm
Hope this will be finished soon to be able to find out what happens in the rest of the story. Can't hardly wait since I loved the other 11 ones in the series.
7/27/2016 08:13:57 pm
That started in true fashion, excitement right out of the box.
8/9/2016 11:15:19 am
Game on! Tell me more!
Comments are closed.