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To Be A Spec Ops Warrior

D. C. Gilbert
D.C. Gilbert Author Interview

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.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.
JD Cordell believes in freedom, honor, and hard work. The son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife, the Navy SEAL is proud to serve as SEAL Team 5’s K9 handler with his dog Ajax. But when his team uncovers a deadly terrorist plot in Afghanistan, he never expected a cover-up that could reach as high as the White House itself.
As JD gets drawn in deeper, he unmasks a mastermind hell bent on detonating nukes on U.S. soil. When an assassin working for the terrorist strikes close to home, JD’s fight to save America gets personal.
Can JD protect the American way of life, or will sadistic terrorists turn America into a nuclear wasteland?
Serpents Underfoot is the first novel in a nail-biting military thriller series. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense.

Serpents Underfoot

Serpents Underfoot (A Military Action Thriller) (The JD Cordell Action Series Book 1) by [D.C. Gilbert]

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.

Readers who enjoy a fast paced military thriller will find plenty to enjoy in author D.C. Gilbert’s hard hitting action novel. Serpents Underfoot is a fantastic start to The JD Cordell Action Series.

Pages: 278 | ASIN: B075TDML3D

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Madam Vice President

Madam Vice President by [Julian Mann]

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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Literary Titan Book Awards March 2021

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Award Winners

Silver Award Winners

Trust vs Lust… a biography by Ian D. Niall

Intrepid Spirit by David Tunno

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

 

Our Decisions Define Us

Douglas Misquita
Douglas Misquita Author Interview

Trigger Point follows Luc as he must stop a terrorist plot while navigating a political and religious web of corruption as a deadly team is hunting him. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

I was intrigued by “The Islamist: Why I joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left” by Ed Hussain, “Radical Islam: Past, Present, and Future: What Moderate Muslims Will Not Tell you” by Anita & Vann Boseman, “God’s Wolf: The Life of the Most Notorious of All Crusaders: Reynald de Chatillon” by Jeffrey Lee, “A Common Word Between Us and You” by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, Kingdom of Jordan. There was also “The Entity: Five Centuries of Secret Vatican Espionage” by Eric Frattini. At the time of writing, the book was prohibitively priced to the extent I asked myself, ‘Who does not want us to read this?’. All-in-all, I wanted to challenge the stereotype of a terrorist and show that everybody has a propensity for violence if not checked.

Luc Fortesque is a consistently entertaining character. What were some character motivations that you felt were important to developing him throughout the novel?

In the first book of the series, The Apocalypse Trigger, Luc is the bad guy. Readers will hate him. By the time I wrote The Immortality Trigger, he seemed like the guy I wanted to return. So I set him on this path of redemption. He’d done some pretty nasty stuff and has always attributed his life-choices to external stimuli. But at the end of the day, our decisions define us, and who we become. That became the theme and we see it resolve in Trigger Point. The bad guy finds his soul, his righteousness. Also melds with my belief that everybody is doing what they can to survive in this world.

Was there anything taken from real life and put into the story?

Plenty. All the locations, vehicles are factual. Raynald de Chattilon and Nur ad Din were sworn enemies during the crusades. The syncretism of Catholic and Maya beliefs is real as is the ritual and the construct of the typical Maya village. Zombie Deer Disease is real, as is the (questionable) research that I caught onto and used to great effect. The Swiss vaults described in the book exist and nobody knows the true extent of the wealth or secrets stored there. The Japanese Unit 731 existed and its research was co-opted by the US after WWII. The Chinese AI entity is based on fact – Western companies are indirectly providing the expertise much to the concern of their home nations. I’ve done my best to be non-offensive yet informative in my exposition of Catholism, Islam and religious trends.

This is the third book in your Luc Fortesque Adventure series. What can readers expect in book four?

Visitors to my website will observe I’m happy doing trilogies before moving on to something fresh. For now, there won’t be another Luc Fortesque book. I’ve got another hero coming up and yet another that I’m concluding in another series. Then I’m contemplating a wild prehistoric adventure. Who doesn’t ?

Author Links: Website | Newsletter | Facebook | GoodReads | Instagram

Smuggling himself into Europe despite an Interpol Red Notice? Possible. Avenging a German BKA officer? Easy. Evading special ops teams hunting him for his secrets? Impossible. Things are about to get more… interesting for Luc Fortesque. An escaped terrorist threatens a landmark dialogue between Muslims and Christians. More terrifying is the theft of a bioweapon from a secret vault operated by the Holy See. That the damaging news is not public hints the weapon will be detonated. With cataclysm imminent, the world’s oldest espionage agency – the Vatican’s L’ Entity – must get Fortesque first, hoping he might possess the cure. Treachery and corruption infect the upper echelons of religion and government, and Fortesque must confront his past to be free of it. If he survives the confrontation.

Trigger Point

Trigger Point: A Luc Fortesque Adventure by [Douglas Misquita]

The third Installation of the Luc Fortesque series, Trigger Point by Douglas Misquita is an action-packed thriller. The novel follows the journey of Luc, who has acquired secret knowledge about an impending terrorist conspiracy. Forces are sent to get hold of Luc, as his knowledge puts the Holy See under the criminal radar. A former agent Raymond Garrett is on a mission to expose the EI Fantasma, but the drug mafia also has some plans in store for Garrett. Now the question is, will they be able to pierce through the veneer of rampant internal corruption, barbarism, and history of betrayal? Or will they be defeated in the face of intense corruption within the government and religious bodies? 

Douglas Misquita’s use of lucid language complements this intricately woven story. Trigger Point does an amazing job at keeping the reader glued to the pages from the beginning till the very end with action that is easy to follow and a story line that is deeply intriguing. Although the novel contains a plot that can easily stand on its own, you should definitely check out the previous two novels in the same series–The Apocalypse Trigger and The Immortality Trigger. Written in the same vein as the works of Dan Brown, this story aptly captures the nuanced deception running through various international, political and religious institutions.

This is an action thriller written for action thriller fans. It contains all the high points I wanted in a high stakes crime fiction novel, and one of the best character developments I’ve seen in a series in this genre. There are multiple twists throughout, leading to a tense reading experience. However, the incidents, while highly entertaining, are still grounded in reality, possibly due to the thoughtful descriptions and exposition throughout the novel. The author has brilliantly executed an array of ideas into a comprehensive whole, utilizing a unique writing flair that I’ve come to expect in Douglas Misquita’s novels.

Combine the intricate nature of Dan Brown novels, add the intensity and political web of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series, with the world building of Michael Crichton and I think you’ll understand what Trigger Point has to offer readers. The characters in the novel are as intriguing as the storyline itself. Never for a moment, did I feel that these are not real-life human characters. They come alive with their virtues and vices combined, giving them a human touch. The author has put extra attention towards the development of each character, making them even more appealing to the readers. 

The complex yet easy-flowing storyline, the rounded characters, and the infusion of action make Trigger Point an enthralling read that immerses readers in a tumultuous world full of adventure.

Pages: 417 | ASIN: B08S7Q8JSD

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Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny

Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny by [Ray Griggs]

Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny is the first installment in a suspenseful adventure series by author Ray Griggs. The story follows marine archaeologist Jack Spears. Tormented by his fathers mysterious disappearance and following the lead of a gold coin that proved the existence of an undocumented nazi U-boat allegedly containing Hitlers Spear of Destiny; a powerful artifact that according to legend, whoever weilds it holds the power to rule the world. Unfortunately for Sterling, he’s not the only one after the Spear, as there are powerful people willing to do anything to get their hands on it. Desperate to avoid the artifact from falling into the wrong hands, and to protect his friends and family, Sterling embarks on an underwater journey to retrieve the U-boat and its contents. He faces dangerous obstacles and uncovers dark secrets that may change everything. Will Sterling be able to pull through and do what’s right, or will he fall victim to the strong pull of the ocean’s secrets?

First time author Ray Griggs really got creative on this one, a washed-up archaeologist, a magical artifact, and a dangerous foe, all blend to make quite a thrilling historical fiction novel. The incredibly original plot is filled with cliffhangers and plot-twists that always kept me guessing. While I enjoyed this story overall I felt that there was some style choices, coupled with some grammatical errors, that slowed this story down a bit.

Jack Sterling is a well defined character that is intriguing and was a character I desperately wanted to learn more about. Sterling’s long-lost childhood friend Dymitry, offered the story a great relief, but the story remains focused on our protagonist’s development through this dramatic adventure. Jack was a character whos motivations were clear and the story is definitely one that thrives with a strong protagonist. The author leaves readers with a dramatic cliffhanger that perfectly sets up a series of novels that is sure to follow in the vein of campy theatrical adventures like Indiana Jones or The Librarians. Jack Sterling and the Spear of Destiny is an ambitions historical thriller that will take readers on a unique adventure.

Pages: 275 | ASIN: B08NTWC2NW

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The Human Toll of Superpower

Vahid Imani
Vahid Imani Author Interview

In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers follows a British spy plotting to sabotage American interests in Persia finds when an international scandal foils his plot. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Many years ago my uncle told me about the main event of the story. After extensive research, I decided to tell the story and explain the human toll of superpower roles in the lives of their prey.

James is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Thank you. I studied the lives of many spies of the period, their skill sets, and how they merged within their surroundings. One of the examples was Lawrence of Arabia or T.E. Lawrence.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

In my opinion 1920s were extremely important years in the development of our modern world. From the superpower’s race to modernizing Navy ships, to the expansion of the Bolshevik USSR and push for the export of communism and rapid discoveries of oil countries and political systems were tested against the rapid changes. These changes resulted in the world we currently live.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

In May 2020 I published my memoir, LIKE THE WIND I GO, A memoir of Iran, America, my struggle to freedom. Which is a more modern history of the event in Iran in 1978. Currently, I’m working on a sci-fi novel.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When James Malcolm, a British spy stationed in Iran, plans his plot to sabotage American interests in Persia, he anticipates an easy promotion and a mission to the new Bolshevik Russia. But when his plot takes a detour in the wrong direction, an international scandal erupts. A Persian teenage boy’s accidental involvement raises the stakes and becomes a distraction. Malcolm’s clandestine investigation entangles him with unwitting American diplomats, treacherous double agents, and murderous Soviet spies all seeking to foil the oil grab of the British in 1924.
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