A future world ravaged by climate change hasn’t seen anything yet. From beneath the ground, the depths of the oceans and from high in the endless skies a trio of massive creatures rise with only one thing in mind… destruction. These gigantic monsters will spare no one and nothing, not even each other as they battle mankind and one another for world domination.
Jason Bagley heads up a team of climate soldiers. Their sleek, futuristic airships meant to battle the unpredictable forces of the weather are now the only weapon against the unimaginable. After the world’s armies fall to the fearsome Kaiju it comes down to Jason and his team to defend the imperfect world they love against their new Kaiju Overlords.
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Serpents Underfoot finds JD Cordell facing a terrorist group that plans to detonate nukes on US soil. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?
This story grew out of thoughts I have had about what it would be like to be a Spec Ops warrior. I served in the military and spent most of my time overseas. I served in the Army infantry, and when I enlisted, I scored high enough on the ASVAB test to get Ranger School in my contract. Unfortunately, when they discovered I had a slight speech impediment, they would not send me to Ranger School. There were going to let me out because they couldn’t honor their end of the deal, but I asked to stay. Hell, I could still shoot pretty darn well. So, I guess it is, at least in part, a fantasy about what might have been.
Combine that with a lifetime study of martial arts, the political climate at the time, my interest in Asian culture, and you have the birth of this story.
The rest is simply a bunch of “what if” questions. For instance, what if a soldier in Vietnam married a Vietnamese girl who saved his life? What if their son became a Navy SEAL, and what if his team uncovered a major terrorist plot? What if it involved high-ranking US government officials? You get the idea …
JD Cordell is essentially a composite of several people I have known and respected. While I was a bit too young to serve in Vietnam, I was old enough to have several good friends who did. One friend, in particular, served as a medic on long-range reconnaissance patrols in the region the first few chapters of Serpents Underfoot is set in. I also know a couple of former Navy SEALS, one of which recently passed away. He was actually an Underwater Demolition Team member and served in the Mekong Delta region during the Vietnam War. The UDT teams were essentially forerunners of the Navy SEALs.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
I guess you could say the writing challenges were pretty extensive, and they essentially set themselves. Serpents Underfoot was my first serious attempt at a book. I am still amazed that I finished it, published it, and have gotten some pretty rave reviews, including Literary Titan’s excellent review and many great reader reviews. It even got a good review from Kirkus.
And I did make a lot of newbie mistakes. It was self-edited, which I learned right away is not a good idea. I used an editor, Beth Kallman Werner, for my second book, Montagnard. She was a great help and worth the investment. But for Serpents Underfoot, there were several frantic re-edits and uploads of the book’s interior as readers pointed out problems or typos to me. I knew nothing about launching a book release or marketing. I mean, in reality, writing it was probably the easy part. It has even gone through four different cover revisions.
All that being said, I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience. I grew so much as an author during that process. We learn so much more from our mistakes than our successes.
What draws you to the military action-thriller genre?
It is a genre I have always enjoyed reading. I like action thrillers of all kinds and have read a great deal by authors like Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, W.E.B. Griffin, Ken Follett, Greg Iles, Vince Flynn, and Ian Fleming, to name just a few.
I was also a huge Louis L’Amour western fan, so I guess this kind of thing comes naturally. I like stories where despite terrible odds, the good guys win. Louis L’Amour had a great quote I’ve always loved, “There’s no stopping a man who knows he’s in the right and keeps a-coming.” I think JD Cordell personifies that quote.
And I also love reading military history, especially World War II and the Vietnam War. As I mentioned, I have had several friends over the years who were Vietnam Veterans, and I was appalled by how this country treated them on their return to the US. So, I like to write stories that cast American military members in a positive light; who stand on principle and won’t back down.
Serpents Underfoot is the first book in The JD Cordell Action Series. What can readers expect in book two?
Book two, titled Montagnard, is already out. I sort of did this “review thing” out of order. Montagnard also received a 5-Star review from Literary Titan and even won your Literary Titan Gold Book Award for August 2020. I was shocked but very thrilled. I have to give a lot of credit for that to my editor. Beth told me it was good and that I should submit it for review. It was that success that prompted me to submit Serpents Underfoot as well.
In Montagnard, JD Cordell and a few buddies try to rescue his mother, who disappears into Vietnam after traveling there to find her adopted brother. Dish, of course, played a significant role in Serpents Underfoot. JD’s mother, Mai, inadvertently falls victim to an old feud between her adopted brother and a former Viet Cong colonel. During the rescue mission, JD also receives assistance from a half-Thai, half-American nightclub owner, a great character full of surprises.
I am currently working on book three, titled Reciprocity. This tale picks up where Montagnard leaves off. In Reciprocity, JD finds himself drawn into a deadly conflict with a criminal gang trafficking young women forced into lives of prostitution. In this case, two young women you meet in Montagnard. It is a dark topic but, sadly, all too relevant in today’s world. I hope this book, while fiction, will help bring this topic to more people’s attention.
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Strong Will by Patricia Crumpler follows Emma Whitstone, who is a reserved and quiet teacher that works with children. Charles Strong Manning is an outgoing, self-assured attorney. The two are completely opposite of each other but end up falling in love, getting married, and starting a family. What Emma doesn’t know is that Strong is the leader of an undercover rescue operation. One of his assignments go wrong and Emma learns several truths and lies about the man she thought she knew. Feeling frightened and hurt, Emma takes her kids and goes into hiding. Will Charles be able to save his family and the love of his life?
Author Patricia Crumpler has written a thrilling romantic action novel. This is an emotionally charged story, something I didn’t expect in an action novel but was pleasantly surprised by. Crumpler’s character development is strong and I enjoyed watching Emma evolve as the story weaved through several unexpected twists and intriguing turns. The author’s writing style is clever as she seamlessly intertwined the double life that Charles lived in a way that was compelling, if not believable. The reader is definitely taken on an emotional rollercoaster wondering if Emma will find out who Charles really is. But the question I was asking myself was, will she stay by his side? You are rooting for the two but the book consistently has readers wondering, who is Charles Strong?
I would have liked to have seen Strong’s character develop a little more because what we’re given is so compelling and I desperately wanted to know more, and to feel as connected to him as I did with Emma. Because he was living two lives it was a little difficult to get to know him. Emma was an open book and the reader knew everything about her. Juxtapose this great character development with intense action scenes and you get a completely riveting read.
Strong Will is a thrilling romantic action novel that surprised me many times and was consistently entertaining.
Pages: 255 | ASIN: B08TSWW5ZQ
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If you are a fan of thrilling action adventure novels, you are going to enjoy reading Serpents Underfoot, by DC Gilbert. The story follows our hero, JD, who is a Navy SEAL K9 Handler. He and his team go to various locations during their missions in areas such as the Middle East and Asia. JD is on the trail of an international terrorist organization. His mission is to try and put a stop to their devious plans. His strategy is to use a mix of Spy Optics and martial arts .
Author DC Gilbert is an artist when it comes to leaving the reader captivated and yearning for more at the end of every chapter. Readers are treated to a good dose of action, but always with a unique buildup that always ensures the action oriented pieces have a reason, and because of this the novel feels a lot more authentic, even though it can be over the top.
The book is relatively a short but none the less engaging. I enjoyed the military jargon in the book to be spot on, never overwhelming, but enough to make you feel like you were in the middle of an actual operation. I was in the military myself, and I appreciated the descriptions of the way operations are handled in this book. They are very similar to the way operations are conducted in the military. I don’t have as much experience with K9 units, but I still felt that that aspect of the book felt authentic, and occasionally even provided some comic relief in this otherwise tense novel. Any fan of the action thriller genre will be impressed by the vivid and kinetic action within this novel.
As JD, his K9 comrade, and his Navy SEAL unit goes deep undercover to discover the secrets of this horrible terrorist organization, the story never loses focus on its characters who are consistently engaging. With multiple exotic locations throughout the novel, I always felt like the team, and the story, was on the move.
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Madam Vice President by Julian Mann is an exciting story about Victoria Pierce, a very ambitious girl who flees her home in Oklahoma, escaping her strict parents, and moves to San Francisco where she enlists in the United States Marine Corps. She is very patient and determined, persevering and works her way up the ranks till she becomes the Brigadier General.
She gets into a dreaded love affair with the United States Senator Sam Eagan throughout her career development phase and they manage to keep it a rendezvous from everyone except one anonymous stalker. She goes ahead and joins politics where she befriends Grace Brandon who gets suspicious of Victoria’s past and poses a threat that could change Victoria’s future in politics when she is elected president.
Author Julian Mann bases this riveting story on real-life situations that are based on a real 25th amendment law that raised his concern. He uses his writing to connect with a larger audience and the vivid way the story is written makes it more relatable to readers. The flow of events creates suspense at the end of each chapter; this made it very hard for me to pick a place to set the book down. The story is filled with rich, believable, dialogue that feels engaging throughout this novel; which is important because this is a character focused drama.
The fact that the author has managed to write the book in an agrarian setting and still bring out women empowerment throughout the growth of Victoria’s career increases the book’s appeal (at least to me it does) and is a role model for strong female protagonists.
The friendship between Victoria and Grace would have been a good one if not for Grace’s envy which sparks curiosity, raising eyebrows that make her poke into Victoria’s past. Despite the bad decisions she made, the young Vera Ochman still fights against all odds to become successful.
Madam Vice President by Julian Mann has a seemingly endless flow of intriguing events that ratchets up the suspense in this dramatic political fiction novel. I think this novel will appeal to anyone looking for an engrossing political thriller that knows how to build compelling characters.
Pages: 297 | ASIN: B08TK9GM3H
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After the gruesome events that took place in Tobruk, Libya; celebrated war veteran Frank Miller returns to his hometown to get on with his life. He gets a stable job and has a loving daughter. However, as happens with many war survivors, he suffers from PTSD. Frank is unable to emotionally connect with anyone and is haunted by the horrors he was forced to witness and commit. When the ten-year-reunion for Tobruk veterans takes place, Frank fears for his integrity as his darkest secrets resurface in the face of a curious daughter as she closes in on his attic and everything hidden within. So when a new mission in the deserts of northern Africa arises, Frank accepts in the name of redemption. Only this time rather than facing german troops he must find a feared child murderer.
War of The Sparrows is an emotionally-charged historical fiction novel. This stirring book by Matt Strempel narrates events of Tobruk during the second World War in an engaging and emotionally resonant manner. An event not as well known by many people but just as bloody and gruesome as famous dates such as D-Day. Frank Miller, our protagonist, is an emotionally detached Australian war veteran, and his character feels genuine throughout the novel and was someone I could really connect with. He is protective of his secrets and fears their exposure to his daughter. Francesca is Mr. Miller’s daughter, she is loving, curious, and intense at times but always with the intention of taking care of her father. What makes these characters feel real is that they are based off of the author´s actual family members, so he describes them in a way that is familiar and with a hint of his real emotions towards them.
The writing is beautiful, perfectly portraying PTSD and showing flashbacks of the events that caused it. Not only is the book quick-paced and entertaining to read but in a way it’s very educational on the events described. There are not many accounts of what happened during this time as opposed to the same old war stories we see in the media.
Reminiscent of Julia Navarro´s Tell Me Who I Am and perfect for fans of historical fiction and action/suspense. An amazing storyline, educational content, historically accurate events, and real and relatable characters all combine to make War of The Sparrows a story that is dramatic and engrossing.
Pages: 324 | ASIN: B08VKWCX3Y
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Sarge made a promise, but he isn’t invested in keeping it. His men do not hesitate to remind him that he once told them that the Seventh Cavalry had made its last mission. Yet, here they are preparing again and listening to the list of orders to which they have all grown accustomed and about to set out on a rescue mission after which they all plan to rest, regroup, and recuperate. Once the group manages to agree on a leader for the mission, the wheels begin to turn and they are off on a path that will lead them again into the unknown.
The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry: Book Two, by Charles Brindley, picks up where Book One of the same name left off. Sarge, the fearless leader of the aptly named Delta Platoon, Alpha Company, Second Battalion, Twenty-Second Division of the Seventh Cavalry, U.S. Army, and his unique group of characters inhabit the lush home of the late Consul Lucius Aemillus Paullus. Their needs are more than met, and they are living their best lives. Duty, however, calls. They are needed immediately on a rescue mission that may take much longer than any of them expect.
As with Book One, Brindley does a brilliant job of making fantasy feel like a part of history. His characters are all stand-outs with well-developed backstories he shares with readers in this installment. Getting to know each one right out of the gate helps readers understand each and every idiosyncrasy and how they relate to the mission at hand. Again, I am in awe of how Brindley manages to make his writing come across as realistic while giving it all the elements of a full-blown epic fantasy.
Humor is a large part of Brindley’s work. As serious as the mission is, the characters never fail to include quips and jabs at one another that make the reading less heavy. Not a scenario passes where the characters don’t insert humor and cutting remarks aimed at keeping the overall mood light and the characters more relatable.
I highly recommend The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry: Book Two to any reader who enjoys fantasy adventure as much as they crave well-developed storylines. Fans of strong female main characters will find Brindley’s work especially satisfying–nowhere else will readers find a more diverse and intriguing group of leading females.
Pages: 291 | ASIN: B08STJTJBL
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Intrepid Spirit follows a disgraced Navy Lieutenant as he’s given command of an old warship and uses it and his intellect to stop a terrorist plot. What was the inspiration for the setup to your riveting story?
I combined my long-standing fondness for USS Constitution, US naval history and the age of sail with the events of 9/11. As Constitution was built to fight the Islamic terrorists of 200 years ago, it occurred to me to put her back in a fight that has apparently never really ended.
Moses Redding is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I wanted to distinguish the novel from the usual action/adventure military thrillers. I wanted it to be a more satisfying and enduring read. For that it had to have characters and human conditions the reader can relate to and become more emotionally involved with. I wanted to make the story as much character driven as plot driven. For that I needed a main character that needed a character arc to create conflict and resolution. He had to be a navy hero, suggesting an alpha male, but with a history and a complexity that creates both problems for himself as well as solutions for the broader conflict in the story. He was a lot of fun to write, especially the humorous parts. Making the ship herself a character that affects Redding’s transformation, and that he connects with, was key to completing that arc and setting Redding on a course to fulfill a destiny for the both he and the ship.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The most important one was the creation of a terrorist plot that was both global in scope and believable. I wanted the stakes to be as high as possible. A lot of research went into learning, for example, the number of terrorists organizations operating here in the US and around the world. That was eye opening, as was researching the relevant parts of the Qu’ran and the interpretations of them by Muslim scholars.
To carry out that plot, I wanted an antagonist who would be the equal of Redding. To lead a world-wide jihad, he would have to be brilliant and ruthless, but also charismatic and with a special quality that would destine him to that role. That need created Colonel Farzad, who prompted more research into mid-east politics and Islamic beliefs to build an authentic and very special character. Even that special quality he needed was the result of research into celestial events in that region in a year when Farzad could have been born, as well as Islamic culture with respect to such events.
Romance and magic were also important themes and, let’s face it, they go together. Sailing is a very romantic experience and I would ad a magical one at that. Constitution’s history includes recorded episodes of haunting. That played into my desire to make her a character in the story and one that affected not only the character arc of Redding, but the outcome of the epic battle itself. I wanted her to be like a giant sea creature with a cosmic connection who is seemingly aware of the humans riding on her decks and her place in history. Much to his surprise, Redding develops a kind of love affair with the ship that parallels his relationship with Dr. Miriam Hanna, another complex character with a history of her own that creates barriers between herself and Redding.
Finally, history itself was an important theme. The story ties the ship’s history, which is also the origins of the history of the US in the middle east, with the present day geopolitical landscape in that region, adding a hook and a twist to the story that I think only Constitution could provide.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m working full time to get this novel published. All my energy is going there, but I have another military story in mind to write next. It’s a WWII story that will also need a lot of research, but should be both challenging and fun to write.
Author Link: Website
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