First Casualty: update

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September started with a bang – I’m back on track and working through my proofreader’s comments on Gabriel Wolfe #4 – First Casualty.

The title comes from a phrase usually attributed to the Greek dramatist Aeschylus: “In war, the first casualty is truth”.

The story concerns Gabriel Wolfe’s attempt to recover the mortal remains of his friend, Trooper Smudge Smith, from the forests of Mozambique.

But, as the title suggests, truth is in short supply. Gabriel has to fight forces greater than any he has yet faced to succeed in his mission. Betrayals swarm around him like angry hornets, but help comes from an unexpected quarter during a visit to his childhood home.

Due out: October.

Introducing the third Gabriel Wolfe thriller

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My new Gabriel Wolfe novel is called Condor. I’m thinking of launching it at the end of July, just in time to catch the beach-reading reading season.

The story begins with a terrorist attack on a London bus. Gabriel is caught up in the bloody aftermath and decides he’s going to find out who ordered the attack, and kill them.

The trail leads to the Brazilian rainforest, where a Frenchman named Christophe Jardin is running a pseudo-religious cult as his private plaything.

All goes well until Jardin reveals he knows all about Gabriel’s background. At that point Gabriel is plunged into a nightmare he needs all his resources to escape from.

If you’d like to be part of my Reader’s Group Inner Circle and help me launch Condor, just drop me a line. I send you a preview copy and in return you provide a review – good or bad – on Amazon launch day.

Pieces Like Pottery by Dan Buri

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One thing I’m discovering fast as an indie author is the amazing global community of authors willing to help each other out. One of the writers who’s helped me publicise my own novels is US attorney Dan Buri.

Dan’s an author in his own right. His first collection of short fiction is called Pieces Like Pottery. As Dan puts it, the collection, “is an exploration of heartbreak”. It’s spent time at #1 on multiple bestseller lists, including for inspirational short stories and inspirational fiction.

PLP

His non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage to his wife.

Dan lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

FOLLOW DAN HERE…

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Gearing up for my first advertising campaign

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I am taking a short break from the business of writing so I can focus on the writing of business.

Specifically, I am working through the excellent Self-Publishing Formula course offered by indie publishing legend Mark Dawson.

I have my first ad designed and ready to go. I have my giveaways (reader magnets) uploaded. I have my mailing list set up. And I have my landing page built.

This is my first Facebook ad, featuring a moody-looking urban skyline and a troubled hero, Gabriel Wolfe.
This is my first Facebook ad, featuring a moody-looking urban skyline and a troubled hero, Gabriel Wolfe.

At the moment I am beta-testing the whole shebang just to make sure it works.

Then I press the big green LAUNCH button.

Exciting times.

If you’d like to help me out, please click the link here and follow the process through to getting your free ebooks.

First chapter of my novel – Trigger Point

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A right-wing billionaire is standing for Parliament.

To help him, he enlists the help of ex-SAS soldier, Gabriel Wolfe. Gabriel left the Army after a covert mission went disastrously wrong and has sworn never to cause another man’s death.

It quickly becomes clear that Sir Toby Maitland’s ambitions extend far beyond a seat as an MP. When an ex-contact in Swedish Special Forces, now working for MI5, contacts Gabriel, he realises he has little choice but to try to stop his employer’s juggernaut in its tracks.

Gabriel finds himself embroiled in deals with Hells Angels and a South African arms dealer in the US before the true nature of Sir Toby’s plan is revealed.

All that she held sacred – short story

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I wrote this a while ago. It was an attempt at flash fiction – 500 words or fewer.

*

From her sunlit table across the square, Rafaella D’Agostini watched the shiny black Lancia parked outside the courthouse. It belonged to the Chief of Police. The bomb beneath it was the work of Nino, the boy she had inducted into Gruppo Junio 20 just a month earlier. The phone lying a few centimetres from her coffee cup differed from all the others on display in one detail. It held a message ready to send that would combine the police chief’s atoms with those of his chauffeur, the Lancia and the kilo of Semtex beneath his seat.

She sipped her coffee and flicked through the copy of Vogue in front of her. Her heart was beating rapidly; her palms were slick with sweat. She licked a wisp of foam and cocoa from the end of her finger. The taste of the chocolate reminded her of her father. As a child, she’d had to clean his riding boots every Sunday while her mother was at Church. While she polished, her arm sheathed in the glossy black leather, he’d sit behind her, fondling her budding breasts. Then afterwards he’d give her chocolate angels and make her promise not to tell anyone. Over the years she had learned to disassociate herself from her surroundings, feeling nothing as her father’s breathing grew harsher and faster.

In adulthood, she’d not been able to be close to any man until she met her husband, Antonio, while at university. They shared a hatred of authority, which led to their forming Lega Rosso – an anarchist group with no clearly defined aims other than the disruption of any ideals society held dear. These included the sanctity of life; particularly when the life in question belonged to a judge, a general or a politician. Two years later, Rafaella had been forced to assume sole command of the group, renaming it to mark the day a black-clad special forces sniper had ended her husband’s life with a high-velocity bullet.

Now she sat, waiting for her next target. At 12.30, just as he did every day, Chief Dario Espinoza came out of the courthouse clutching his case of papers and took the stairs two at a time as he made for his car. His chauffeur, a stocky ex-paratrooper, held the Lancia’s door open for him as he rounded the back of the car.

At her table, Rafaella watched and waited, caressing the send key on her phone. As the car pulled away from the kerb, she pushed the smooth nub of plastic and felt it click beneath her fingertip. She felt the shockwave next, and heard the roar, as the flames blossomed from beneath the Lancia, bursting it like a balloon. She watched as pieces of metal and flesh rained onto the tarmac, then finished her coffee and walked away from the café, pushing through the stream of people rushing towards the wreck of her father’s car.

The end

The image of the girl polishing the boot was taken from a Paula Rego print, The Policeman’s Daughter, which inspired the whole story