First, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of the latest Corps Justice, Sabotage. By the looks of the reviews, it hit home for a lot of people. Speaking of reviews, if you haven't had a chance to review Sabotage, I'd love yours today. Remember, even the short reviews help! Here's the link to purchase and/or review: http://getbook.at/Sabotage
FREE GRAPHIC NOVELS?
I've got some great news. For all you comic book and graphic novel fans, the first two episodes of the graphic novel version of Back to War are available for FREE...but only for a couple of days.
Here's the link for Episode 1: http://getbook.at/BackToWarGN and here's the link for Episode 2: http://getbook.at/BackToWarGN2.
(NOTE: I'm not sure what countries Amazon allows them as a free download, but please give it a shot)
Also, please remember that this is a new format, and is intended to attract a wider audience that might not otherwise find my books. If they're not your cup of tea, all good. Skip to more exciting news below.
If you've checked them out and like them, please consider leaving a review.
THE NEXT CORPS JUSTICE NOVEL
Check out the new cover and a sneak peak of the next Corps Justice novel, Liberty Down below. Expect a late October-ish release.
(CAUTION: The following contains unedited material that may be unsuitable for the grammatically inclined. Keep in mind that I don’t review what I write until after the first draft of the whole novel is done, so please keep your spelling and grammar fixes until later.)
Three days had passed since the Republican National Convention, and Congressman Antonio “Tony” McKnight was still basking in the glow of public applause. He was now officially the Republican nominee for the White House. It might have been easy to assume that because his opponent, President Brandon Zimmer, was a popular head of state that maybe Republicans, McKnight specifically, were lagging behind.
In McKnight’s opinion, that’s where good old fashioned partisanship came into play. For the most part, people voted along party lines. If they were lifelong Republicans, they’d vote Republican. If they had the slightest liberal streak, they voted Democrat. Sure, there were the Independents and the Libertarians that were famous for nabbing the occasional headline, but that was a non-issue this election cycle. Zimmer and McKnight had waged a clean campaign up to that point, and when it came down to their basic beliefs, they could have almost been mistaken for the same man.
Both were single, former congressmen, good-looking, and tough in all the right places like foreign policy and immigration. It was no wonder that the two men had become friends, and worked closely on a wide range of policy moves. But it was election season, and it was time to get serious.
Overall, McKnight arrived at the Republican Convention with a healthy dose of skepticism. As a politician, his skepticism was honed to a needle’s point. He left the convention a changed man. It was the human equivalent of taking a normal-sized balloon and increasing its capacity by 300%. With half of the nation behind him, Antonio McKnight was now walking the tightrope of invincibility.
He had been competent most of his adult life, but now, with the full weight and monetary backing of the Republican Party, he was beyond powerful. He was unbeatable.
He left the Convention adorned by the adulation of millions, and while he expected a bevy of new resources, he had been astounded at what had already been given. He had his pick of the litter; the best of the best clamored for his attention. He couldn’t begin to remember the names of all the staffers they had thrown at him. Then there were the swank accommodations, the motorcades, the security, and every other creature comfort a presidential nominee might desire.
Now that he had had a couple days to digest it all, he figured it was time to make some changes, to make some bold moves, to take the battle to the enemy, as it were. One particular resource had been gifted, like that pretty blue box from Tiffany, subtle, discreet, yet unmistakably valuable.
It had been the head of the Republican National Committee himself who had slipped the handwritten number into McKnight’s hand, and whispered in his ear, “When you’re ready to start digging, call this number.”
There was a lot of pressure from his fellow Republicans to pull out all the stops. It wasn’t until he placed that call that McKnight lifted a public finger to attack President Zimmer.
It was exactly 12:15pm when the knock came at his penthouse door. McKnight answered the door himself, and motioned the taciturn man to enter. He was about to offer the man a drink, when a single raised finger stopped the presidential nominee. The man made a pass through the room, then through the master bedroom and the small kitchen. It was only when he’d completed his patrol that he made his way back to McKnight. It wasn’t until he came closer that McKnight noticed the ear piece.
“The Secret Service still make a sweep twice a day,” McKnight said, not amused that the man had taken his own security pass.
“I like to make my own sweeps, Congressman.” The man finally held out his hand, and said, “Ian Rourke, sir.”
“It’s good to meet you, Mr. Rourke. Would you like to have a seat?”
The man unnerved the normally implacable congressman.
“I won’t be staying long, sir. I assumed you got my assignment?”
Now McKnight was confused, although he did his best not to show it. All he had done was place the call; he had not said a thing about an assignment. There was no doubt that the man could be trusted. He wouldn’t have been given the name otherwise.
“Why don’t you tell me what you do, Mr. Rourke? Our mutual friend was vague on the details.”
Rourke nodded, like he expected as much.
“My firm handles surveillance and counter-surveillance. We rarely take direct action, but when we need to, we can get it done.”
“Do you work domestically or internationally?”
“We work both, although when we go overseas, much of our work is contracted out. It keeps us in the good graces of the local authorities.”
McKnight understood. There was nothing that a foreign power liked less than a bunch of rogue Americans prowling their streets. It wasn’t the Cold War, after all.
“And your background? I assume you’re prior Military?”
“No, sir. I was a cop before 9/11, and then I joined the FBI.”
“Let me guess; your skill set became too valuable on the outside, so you hung out your own shingle and opened for business?”
“I was lucky enough to make great friends in Washington. They keep me busy, and I don’t have to look for work.”
McKnight wondered who ultimately controlled Ian Rourke. He mulled it over for a moment, and then put off the thought for another day. There were just too many power players in Washington to sift through. By the way Rourke was looking at him, McKnight felt that he was the one being judged, like a law school grad, plucked out of the Employment Pool and plopped in front of the senior partner in some shiny New York skyscraper.
He didn’t like it, and he was about to tell the man to leave, politely of course, when another image came to mind … Something that had been plaguing him for months. Something that had first come as a complete shock, only because he had been introduced to it after what felt like a near-death experience, that had kept it so vivid in McKnight’s memory. He had met men like Roark before, and it was those men that now slipped in and out of the edges of McKnight’s nightly dreams, like bat-winged demons waiting for their chance to eviscerate him.
That made him smile, and his mind wandered down an entirely new path.
“Mr. Rourke, I just had an idea. I assume your schedule is open?”
“My men and I are at your disposal, Congressman.”
“Good.” McKnight walked to the window, and looked over the expanse of Washington, D.C. He could almost feel the thrumming of energy, ready to burst from the city’s seams.
“Have you ever heard of a small group out of Charlottesville, called The Jefferson Group?”
“I don’t believe I have, Congressman.” Rourke didn’t take notes. McKnight could see from the man’s reflection in the window that the name would not be forgotten.
“I want you to keep an eye on them. Tell me where they go, and tell me who they see. Would around-the-clock surveillance be possible?”
“Yes, sir,” Rourke said, without hesitation.
“Perfect. Why don’t we start there? How often will you give me your reports?”
“How often would you like them, sir?”
McKnight liked this man, cool and efficient, like a python ready to strike.
“Why don’t we see how things go for the first couple of days?”
“Is there a particular activity, or a certain relationship you would like us to exploit?” Rourke asked.
McKnight thought about telling Rourke about President Zimmer, and that The Jefferson Group was comprised of men who were not only Zimmer’s closest friends, but who might also be a top secret force the president used when needed. McKnight had been lucky enough to be introduced to those men. Zimmer had introduced them as friends, but after spending a full day with them, McKnight could see it was much more. They were a weapon, and the last thing Congressman McKnight needed was his opponent having a weapon in his hands that he himself couldn’t control. That was, unless of course … Well, there would be plenty of time to think on that.
“Why don’t you just stick with surveillance for now, Mr. Rourke? We’ll figure out as we go.”
There were no “good-byes.” No final handshakes. Rourke just gave McKnight a curt nod, and left with his marching orders.
It really could all be nothing, McKnight told himself as he once again gazed out over the nation’s capital. Then again. There was a part of him that had always been more far-sighted than his peers. He recognized opportunity. He knew how to grab it and wrestle it to the ground, choking it until it was his to wield. McKnight smiled at the thought.
The search would begin in Charlottesville, but who knew where it would lead? McKnight hoped it would lead to a iron stake in Brandon Zimmer’s heart, and then to Congressman Antonio McKnight’s golden ticket to the White House.
SNAKE EYES TOO??
As if all that wasn't enough for one post, I'm also excited to show you the cover for the next Daniel Briggs novel, Tested. I'll get to work on Daniel's Las Vegas sojourn as soon as Liberty Down is finished. Hold on tight...
DO YOU TEXT?
Ah email. It should be easy, right? As technology keeps advancing, so do the cornucopia of filters that keep my messages from getting to you. To combat this problem, I'm building a new text message system to make sure you get the latest updates. If you don't ever want to miss out, here are the details...
(NOTE: this is in addition to our normal email updates)