Nick Walker Shall Return…This Winter

If you’ve been following Nick Walker’s career, you already know that, before he became a United Federation Marshal, he was a combat grunt in the Star Marines. Now the 8th installment of the Nick Walker series, Revolt on Alpha 2, takes you back to the beginning. The Rebel Coalition has overrun most of Alpha Centauri; the Colonial Defense Force couldn’t stop them, the Federation Infantry couldn’t stop them, and now it’s up to the Star Marines.

Nick Walker, a twenty year-old Star Marine, faces combat for the first time. Nick has resigned himself to the likelihood that he will not survive the war, but that only makes him more deadly on the battlefield. Here is an excerpt:

***

Nick slammed his rifle to his shoulder and took aim at the office building, but had no target. He swiveled to fire at the city hall, but if two machine guns couldn’t silence that gun, his fire would likely have little effect. He lowered his rifle and looked around, desperate to shoot at something, but the enemy was barricaded behind stone and marble. He now wished Dubose or Jaeger would send Third Platoon to assist, but checked the thought—adding more naked bodies to the shooting gallery would only help the rebels, not the Star Marines. The assault on the square had barely gotten off the ground and was already stalled. This was turning into a disaster.

He saw two Star Marines moving through the park in his general direction, men who were wounded or lost or both. It occurred to him that they probably didn’t know he was there, and might think he was a rebel. He needed to alert them before they fired on him, but how?

Before he came up with an answer, two more guns opened up on the park, these from the library just forty yards north of him. He watched in horror as brilliant tracers blitzed into the park, heard one Star Marine grunt in pain, and saw another dive for cover. Without thinking, he opened fire on the nearest window. This one wasn’t barred or barricaded, and he poured five rounds through it. The gun fell silent. He shifted to the second and pulled the trigger, but his rifle clicked on an empty chamber. He had forgotten to change magazines.

He ducked back behind two trees and quickly slammed a fresh magazine into place, but before he could do more, the remaining machine gun swiveled in his direction. Bullets chewed into the slender tree next to him, ripping the trunk apart. As the tree jerked and toppled, he rolled around behind the other one, bullets ripping up the ground next to him.

Vip-vip-vip-vip-vip!

A second stream passed inches over his head, sounding like hornets on steroids. Panting with fear, he closed his eyes and froze, hoping they would stop.

Ready to die,Walker? Looks like tonight may be it.

The library gun ceased fire, giving Nick a chance to swallow in relief. He chinned his mike again.

“Sergeant…”

“Walker! Talk to me! Are you hit?”

“I don’t think so, but you’ve got to get some kind of H.E. on those government buildings! If they won’t authorize P-guns, then bring the sleds back.”

“The sleds are on their way. They had to rearm, but they’ll be here in a couple of minutes. Keep your head down, because it’s going to get noisy.”

“Yeah, no shit. Too bad I don’t have a helmet cam—I could get some great combat shots.”

Dubose chuckled.

“Yeah, too bad. But don’t try to be a hero, Nick. I need you alive.”

“Just keep the other guys alive, will you, Sergeant? I’ll be fine.”

“I’m sure you will.”

“But you oughta see it, Sergeant. Talk about a ringside seat! It’s like being on the field in a solarball game.”

He heard Dubose laughing, then the world ended in a series of bright flashes. He had no idea where they came from, or who they belonged to—the ground under him heaved like a planet quake as fourteen heavy artillery shells plunged into the park in a single salvo. Nick was flung into the air as the park disappeared in what seemed like one massive explosion of singing steel and billowing flame.

***

Nick Walker, Star Marine: Revolt on Alpha 2

Coming this winter.

 

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ONE MORE DAY!! to get Nick for 99 cents!

Assassin at Centauri B releases Friday, September 1. You can still pre-order for 99 cents. After Friday the price jumps to $2.99. Here is a preview from the story:

MEAN STREETS

They were halfway to their destination when two men suddenly barred their way. Nicola gasped at the sight of them. Nick had no time to react as the closer of the two swung a fist into his left cheek, rattling his teeth. The second man stood a couple of feet behind the first, his eyes narrowed in concentration. Both men looked rough, like dock workers.

Nick took a step back to recover his balance. His hands clenched into fists.

“Did you have something in mind?” he asked his assailant, “or did you just want to say hello?”

“Gimme your money!” the man said.

“Who said I have any money?”

“You’re a tourist, aren’t you? Tourists always have money.”

The voice was guttural, but the English was flawless. Nick detected no trace of an accent.

“Who are you working for, pal?”

“I work for myself. Gimme your money.”

“Come and take it.”

Nick set himself on both feet, ready to do battle. He wasn’t quite prepared for what happened next—the man in his face whipped out a laser pistol and jammed it practically under his nose.

“I won’t tell you again! Hand over the cash.”

Nick stared at him for a brief moment, then glanced at the second man, who hadn’t said a word. He was glaring back with laser-eyed intensity. Nick took two steps back and dropped into a half crouch. He waved his arms in front of him like a holo-vid karate character, narrowed his eyes, opened his mouth, and released a cat-like howl.

Ooooooooooooo-wah!

The man with the laser stared in disbelief, then burst out laughing.

“What the fuck is this! Who do you think you are, Sing-Sing Lee?”

Nick moaned and waved his hands again. His assailant only laughed louder.

The second man did not.

Nick dropped his hands and stood up straight.

“Okay. You’ve got the gun. What do you want?”

“I told you. Give me the money.”

Nick sighed and pulled out his wallet. He stepped forward and handed it to the gunman. For just an instant, the man’s attention was diverted to the wallet, and Nick made his move. This time it wasn’t a joke—with his left hand, he grabbed his opponent’s gun wrist, shoving it to the side, then jammed two fingers of his right hand into the second man’s eyes. As Number Two fell back with a cry of pain, Nick slammed the heel of his right hand up under the gunman’s chin, snapping his head back with an audible crack! The man dropped like a stone and Nick wrenched his weapon free. He shoved it into the second man’s face, almost too late.

The second man, more alert than the first, had drawn his own weapon and was swinging it toward Nick.

“Drop it!” Nick ordered. “You have two seconds. One…two…”

“Fuck you!”

Nick fired.

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Nick Walker #7 – Preorder Now!

As a U.F. Marshal, Nick Walker has tracked down bad guys all over the Final Frontier. He has taken down killers, corrupt corporations, slave traders, mercenaries, terrorists, and criminal religious cults. But when two government agents drag Nick off to a secret meeting with a clandestine politician, it can’t be good.

And it isn’t.

A Federation Ambassador has been assassinated. Beta Centauri is about to ally with Sirius, which has turned rogue and now threatens other star systems. Federation President Vivian White Wolf is scheduled for a diplomatic summit in three weeks, but Beta C is controlled by the Rukranian mob and her mission may be compromised. The Federation needs an undercover man—a gunslinger—to turn things around.

Nick, who has never worked undercover, has three weeks to get the job done. And there are no rules.

Not only Nick’s life hangs in the balance, but so does the future of three star systems. If he gets caught, the Federation can’t afford the diplomatic fallout—he is on his own—and even if he survives the mission, an assassin is waiting for him at home.

This is Nick as you’ve never seen him, working alone on a hostile planet where a single error can mean violent, agonizing death. The Rukranian mob is ruthless and unforgiving; can Nick break their stranglehold on the BC government and give diplomacy a chance? Don’t miss the bullets, the bombs, the hair-raising intrigue, the violence and betrayal as Nick Walker embarks on his most dangerous mission yet.

Assassin on Centauri B will release on September 1, 2017. Preorder now for just 99 cents.

 

 

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Nick Walker #7 Now Available for Pre-order!

Assassin on Centauri B will release on September 1 at $2.99 per copy. Pre-order NOW to get your copy for only 99 cents. Click the image to purchase from the Amazon Kindle Store.

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Nick Walker #7 Will Release in September

 

Nick Walker has never heard of Allesandro Federico, the Federation Ambassador to Centauri B (which the locals call Beta Centauri). But when Federico is assassinated, the political ramifications are disturbing.

The Sirian Confederacy, a regressive society that still practices racism and slavery, is taking steps to ally with Beta Centauri, which would make the BCs a potential enemy of the Federation. To prevent that alliance, and hopefully punish whoever assassinated Federico, President Vivian White Wolf requests Nick Walker for a covert mission to Periscope Harbor, Beta Centauri’s capital and principal resort city.

Nick is a lawman who carries guns and a badge. He has never worked undercover in his life, and harbors serious doubts that he can get the job done, even if he survives the mission. But the President is scheduled to visit Beta Centauri in three weeks for a summit, so there isn’t time to locate another operative…it will be Nick or no one.

To compound matters, the BC government is weak and shot through with corruption. The real power lies with a criminal organization known as Bratva, a ruthless, deadly mob descended from the old Russian Mafia of pre-Federation days. It will take all Nick’s skills and even more luck to even penetrate the group in the time available…and his chance at survival looks grim.

Available September 1 at Amazon.com.

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Nick Walker #7 – Coming Soon

Nick Walker has never heard of Allesandro Federico, the Federation Ambassador to Beta Centauri. But when Federico is assassinated, the potential political ramifications are disturbing.

The Sirian Confederacy, a regressive society that still practices racism and slavery, is taking steps to ally with Beta Centauri, which would make the BCs a potential enemy of the Federation. To prevent that alliance, and hopefully punish whoever assassinated Federico, President Vivian White Wolf requests Nick Walker for a covert mission to Periscope Harbor, Beta Centauri’s capital and principal resort city.

Nick is a lawman who carries guns and a badge. He has never worked undercover in his life, and harbors serious doubts that he can get the job done, even if he survives the mission. But the President is scheduled to visit Beta Centauri in three weeks for a summit, so there isn’t time to locate another operative…it will be Nick or no one.

To compound matters, the BC government is weak and shot through with corruption. The real power lies with a criminal organization known as Bratva, a ruthless, deadly mob descended from the old Russian Mafia of Federation days. It will take all Nick’s skills and even more luck to even penetrate the group in the time available…and his chance at survival looks grim.

 

Now in final edit, coming late summer 2017.

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“Old Sarge” Speaks Out

As I wrote in a post two years ago, authors love to get reviews from their readers. Reviews are a report card on how our work is received, if we are entertaining the audience, and what we need to improve. Since I wrote that post a new fan has emerged. His name is Orville St. Clair and he reviews under the name of Old Sarge. Recently Mr. St. Clair contacted me and asked to write a more comprehensive review. I agreed, and here is what he wrote.


Hi!  Do you have a ‘doppelgänger’?  Not the evil twin kind! The word ‘doppelgänger’ is sometimes used in a more general sense to describe any person who physically or behaviorally resembles another person!  I have one!

We’ve never met, only corresponded via email, but he is as near to being me as he can be (but more talented).  Or maybe it is I who am nearly him.  Anyway…..we each resemble the other.  We both are southern gentlemen by nature, have white hair, white mustaches and white goatees!

We are both still sharp; mentally we are in the prime of life.  I am 74, he is 68, and we were born less than 100 miles apart, in Russellville and Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  Both of us were children of working class fathers (mine a plumber, his a turkey farmer).  We both grew up with strong work ethics and worked for our fathers at an early age (an age that would be considered “child abuse” in today’s society, but in those days it was called “teaching responsibility”).

We both became addicted to science fiction at VERY early ages (books, TV, and, in my case, Saturday afternoon cliffhangers at the “Community” theater, where admission for the Saturday Matinee was $0.15 or two empty “Coke” bottles).  For that we got the latest John Wayne “3 Musketeers” western (or a Tim Holt, or Bob Steele, “Lash” LaRue, or maybe a Johnny Mack Brown), a Warner Brothers Cartoon, a “Pete Smith Specialty”, and a chapter of “Commander Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe”.  Without knowing each other, John and I read the same books (thanks to the public library system) and watched the same TV programs (including, besides science fiction, stories from the action, detective and western genres, and anything about WWII)!

So…..See…..I have a ‘doppelgänger’!  Let me introduce him to you.  His name is John Bowers, and, you’re going to like John, a LOT!

This is a review about John’s work.  My only qualifications for creating such a review are three in number.  1)  The similarities between our lives.  He is fascinated by all things military though he never served.  I was a US Army soldier for over 20 years. Three of my uncles and I served a total of 103 years in the Merchant Marines, Army and Air Force.  Dad enlisted in the Navy on December 8, 1941 and served 39 months on a cruiser in the South Pacific.  My niece, Dana, served 3 years in the Marine Corps, all 5’-1” and 110 pounds of her.  2)  John writes fiction books (mostly science fiction) while I read books (over 7,000 of them at last count, the vast majority were science fiction).  And 3) I asked John if he would allow me to create a review of his work that delved a bit deeper into his ”’verse” as a Christmas present for him..  He graciously agreed!

I first became aware of John about three years ago, reading an online review (on Amazon.com) of one of his “Marshal Nick Walker” books.  The reviewer gave the book 5 Stars, and the book sounded interesting, like “Gunsmoke” in outer space.  I ordered Book One of that series for my Kindle Fire.  It was so impressive that I have now read ALL of John’s books (sixteen total, I think) in less than 3 years.  They are split, almost equally, between the “Marshal Nick Walker” series, the “Starport” series, and the “Fighter Queen Saga”).  I have NEVER been disappointed by one of John’s books.  .  You can find some of my individual book reviews of John’s work on Amazon.  All of John’s books are available in Kindle format at Amazon.com and his first paperback, “Bounty Hunter”, Book 4 of the “Marshal Nick Walker” series has just been published on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bounty-Hunter-Binary-Walker-Marshal-ebook/dp/B01079TAKE

I don’t refer to John as a “Novelist”, or as an “Author”, but as a “Storyteller”!  That’s what John does, he tells stories!  Interesting stories, tightly plotted and quickly paced. Real page-turners!  They feature people that you will care about, in situations from which there is often no apparent escape.

All of the stories take place in the same “’verse”, where there are no aliens.  A “’verse” where “Man’s Inhumanity to Man” is quite capable of creating all of the heartbreak and despair the human race can stand, all by itself!  But, give them credit, some of the inhabitants never give up.  Never!

John tells Science Fiction stories, and uses them to point a bright light on such potentially dark subjects as religious cults, war and the military, police and government service, slavery, bigotry, and the subjugation of women.  Individual bravery in the face of overwhelming odds is a frequently addressed topic!  John forces you to think about some things you’d probably rather NOT think about, then makes you glad you did.   And….he balances out all of the negatives with stories of love and devotion, dedication and selfless sacrifice!

John’s stories have STRONG female characters, both military and civilian.  I’m almost certain that John had some strong female role models in his life. They speak to me from the pages of his books.   His stories are realistic, and are stories of conflict.  The heroic types do not always survive to the end of the story, just like in real life. The violence content can be extreme at times!

John Bowers is GREEDY!  OK, not really greedy.  But most writers would be satisfied with ONE successful series in print, John Has THREE!  They are the (5) “Starport” books, the (5) “Fighter Queen Saga” books, and the (6) “Nick Walker, U.F. Marshal” books.  Any one of the books is worth your time!  And…..if you read any of the books, from any of the series…..you’ll probably find yourself doing what I did, buying them all, from all 3 series.

The “Starport” and “Fighter Queen” books deal with global invasions of near defenseless, peaceful inhabitants by cruel, powerful, evil forces.  The “Starport” books examine mostly undercover, behind enemy lines, Guerilla and “resistance” type small unit operations while the “Fighter Queen” books detail the all-out war between the evil Sirian Empire and the peaceful Vegans, and later the Sirian Empire and the Terrans.  Again, typical of John’s fiction, there are plenty of heroic female characters, fighting, and occasionally dying, alongside their men.

The “Nick Walker, U.F. Marshal” books begin with Nick’s first assignment, after the completion of his training, shortly after the end of the revolt on Alpha Centauri 2.  Nick is haunted by memories of an incident from that war, when as a sniper, from a church tower, he had been required, as his duty, to kill 200+ rebel soldiers in one day.  He is still a young man, but already molded by the terrible realities of war.

To picture Nick, think of a whalebone and whipcord version of a young John Wayne, or James Arness.  He would like to be idealistic, would like to believe that the law works, but understands that he can only enforce “his” version of the law.  His version includes always doing what is “right”, what his conscience demands, and not necessarily always what is “lawful”.  He is a dangerous man!  Most Marshals carry a laser handgun.  So does Nick, but he also carries a .44 cal. Magnum (for the intimidation factor, you know)!  If he needs to kill, he kills, no hesitation!

Nick also has his problems with religious cults (you may know that John was brought up from childhood through age 45 in a cult).  The Sirians, particularly as it concerns the indoctrination of their children, could certainly be considered a cult.  While the gentle, respectful, religious “Cult of Sophia” advances a view of a cult that I would gladly embrace.

Nick suffers!  Life does not treat him kindly!  Through the first 5 books, he is brought to the point of complete personality disintegration.  He has lost everything, his job, fellow lawmen, his best friend, and seen the love of his life ruthlessly murdered, in deliberate cold blood, by a cultist follower, on the cult leader’s orders.  Nick has spent the last 2 years of his life, and all of his energy and resources, in a fruitless search for the cultist leader, to extract revenge.  But he is out of leads and resources, his soul is crushed.  He is something the 5 earlier books told you he could never be, a beaten man.

But as Book 6 begins, an old lover, long gone from Nick’s life reappears, with promise of a new lead.  Question is, will Nick be able find a way to locate the cultist, or is he too far gone? Mentally? Physically?  He is pretty far into the bottle at that point.  If he is able to get his revenge, will there be anything of him left.  Book 6, “Manhunt on Tau Ceti 4” answers those questions.  It is the best, the richest, novel that John has written yet.  I can’t wait to see what story John tells us next.

 

Orville R. St. Clair

SFC, US Army

Retired

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