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Craig is an International Bestselling author of the Free Trader Series (scifi), the Cygnus Space Opera series, the End Times Alaska Post Apocalyptic survival series, and the Rick Banik Thrillers. Craig is also co-writing the Terry Henry Walton Chronicles with Michael Anderle.

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Update on Books & such

Posted on April 23, 2017 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

     What the hell am I up to?

     I am finishing up Cygnus 3 this weekend and then on Monday morning, I leave for the Smarter Artist Summit in Austin, TX where Michael Anderle will be along with a number of other TKG collaborators. We have some stuff to discuss, presentations to watch, and texmex/bbq to eat.

     I hear it's 90 degrees down there. It was 29 here this morning. I wore shorts and tennis shoes to take Phyllis the Arctic Dog for her walk. I may just curl up and melt like that wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz...

     I'll be editing and writing a short story while in TX, but when I get back, I expect to start Nomad 7 - Nomad Avenged. I have more notes and more of an outline than I had for any other book that I've written. I think it will flow very quickly so we'll get it to you toward the end of May and then get Nomad 8 into your hands in early June:)

     Peace fellow humans.


Nomad's Justice - Snippet 05

Posted on April 7, 2017 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (2)

UNEDITED

Nomad's Justice - SNIPPET 05

Terry Henry Walton Chronicles Book 6

Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle

     “I need to tell you this, because I care,” Adams said as he walked forward with the agility of a sailor to join Terry at the bow. “You look like crap, man!”

     Peals of laughter came from aft end of the sailing boat. Terry looked back to see Merrit doubled over.

     “Very funny, you snot-gobbling, ass-hugging, ferret-faced shit-gibbon!” Terry yelled, even though Adams was only a foot away. Terry wrapped Adams into a man-hug and they struggled briefly as Adams wasn’t sure if Terry was trying to throw him overboard or not.

     “I feel pretty good, just tired, all the time, tired,” Terry lamented with a smile.

     “If no one has told you, Werewolf babies are rare. I mean really rare, so you should be proud that you were gifted with one.” Adams looked Terry in the eye to cement the seriousness of his support.

     “You know that Cory is a Werewolf? Char won’t come clean with me.” Terry waited impatiently for an answer as he grabbed Adams by his shoulders and stared without blinking.

     “Dude! Char will have our hides for throw rugs if we told you what we know.” Adams looked around before waving Terry close so he could whisper in his ear. “We won’t know for sure until she turns four or five. Char’s not holding out on you. She doesn’t want you to know that she doesn’t know.”

     Terry was stumped.

     “Don’t you dare let her know that you know that she knows that you know that she doesn’t know. Got it?” Adams asked.

     “You are both shaggy gray, right? That would look nice on the floors, be warm in the winter,” Terry taunted them. “You are both fucking lunatics and that would probably rub off through your pelts, so no, you’re secret is safe with me.”

     Terry shook Adams’s hand.

     “What secret?” Char asked from the rough dock.

     “That you don’t know whether the baby’s a Werewolf or not,” Terry said matter-of-factly, then turned to Adams. “I’m sorry man. I tried like hell to keep your secret.”

     “I’ll talk to you two later,” Char threatened. Merrit threw his hands up before pointing at Adams.

     “It was him!” he dodged.

     “And for the record, the baby is most assuredly, not a Werewolf. We have no external manifestations of being a Werewolf and look at her ears!” Char tipped Cory’s head, but none of the others needed to look. They’d all seen the baby’s ears because they were so unique.

     “Silver streak in your hair?” Terry asked.

     “Oh, that. Well, maybe the baby is a Werewolf. Honestly, I can’t tell,” Char conceded with a smirk and small shake of her head.

---------------------------------------------------

This will be the last snippet from Nomad's Justice since the book is going live on MONDAY, April 10! Amazon has been extremely kind to us lately and published quickly, in short order, and at the speed of light for us. We have high hopes that this trend will continue for THW Book 6. I have started my Cygnus 3, so there will be a short hiatus in the Terry Henry Walton Chronicles. Nomad Avenged, Book 7 should be out by the end of May. That's my target anyway.


I'm running a Goodreads giveaway for my other post-apocalyptic series. The paperback of End Times Alaska, Books 1-3, over 523 pages and I'll ship it anywhere in the world!  Click here to enter and there is no obligation - https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/230722-endure-run-return" target="_blank">https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/230722-endure-run-return


Why yes, it is snowing - imagine my surprise. It's a good thing I scheduled our snow tire change out for Tuesday. It's not bad since it's warm out, so I expect the new stuff will melt. We still have more than three feet piled around our driveway and parking pad. I think that stuff will finally be gone sometime in May. I'm not being sarcastic. The year we bought our house, we actually had snow in our yard into June. This is the sub Arctic.


I still don't have my tractor fixed. I have high hopes that we'll get it taken care of before next winter. Really high hopes...


Next up is the garden. Snow is late this year, so that greenhouse is going to get put back together as soon as the snow is gone around it. We'll buy our plants pre-started, but we'll get them within the month and then our greenhouse will start earning its keep. I'm thinking two tomato, Two peppers, and one zucchini plant. And then a couple kale plants and maybe two cabbages. I have a starter guide and plans to dig deep into my new soil and bury some fish guts and other tasty morsels for the plants. We'll know when the roots get that deep as the plants should shoot into thei ionisphere. Or we could be back at the Farmer's Market buying our vegetables like last year.


A gratuitous aurora shot taken from our driveway looking north. Peace fellow humans.



Nomad's Justice - Snippet 04

Posted on April 4, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

UNEDITED

Nomad's Justice - SNIPPET 04

Terry Henry Walton Chronicles Book 6

Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle

     “Corporal James. You and Leaping Deer… We’re not going to call you all that. L.D., your FDG name is Eldie,” the colonel declared. Char snickered and shook her head.

     “But I don’t like that,” Leaping Deer countered.

     “I don’t care what you like. Corporal, Eldie, into the sand pit, one minute on my mark,” Terry said, giving Eldie a helping push that sent him stumbling forward. Corporal James had mastered the Marine Corps Martial Arts and was the best to run the newcomers through their paces. He also ran the training when Terry or Char weren’t available.

     Eldie squared up, and James dipped his chin in greeting. Terry thought the corporal looked overconfident. The natives had a fighting style all their own, a martial arts of sorts. Terry knew that the match would be a good lesson for both of them.

     James moved in first to deliver a chest punch. Eldie easily blocked it, feinted one way and spun so quickly that James didn’t move. Eldie’s foot seemed to fly in slow motion as it whipped toward the corporal’s head.

     But James was frozen and could only watch. Time returned to normal when Eldie’s foot connected with James’s temple. The corporal went down and rolled away, coming up to a knee. Eldie smiled as he danced in the sand, waving at the corporal to come back into the fight.

     James shook his head trying to clear it, but he still saw two of his opponent. He stood and faced both of them, squinting to bring one into focus.

     He was more cautious the second time, while Eldie was more aggressive. The older man jumped forward on one leg and attempted a straight kick, but James charged as soon as he saw the move coming. He turned aside, caught the leg, and dropped straight down, driving an elbow into Eldie’s quadriceps.

     James maintained his grip on the leg as he stood and rolled his shoulders from left to right. Eldie flopped over helplessly. James moved forward, pinning the man down as he drove blow after blow into Eldie’s back.

     “Enough!” Terry called. James stopped instantly, and then helped Eldie to his feet.

     Eldie didn’t think it was over. He took a swing at James’s face, but the corporal was wary. He blocked the punch and followed with a backhanded counterstrike. The impact rocked Eldie’s world, toppling him like a lightning struck tree.

     “Excellent technique, Corporal James,” Terry offered, nodding to the young man who remained dazed. Terry held the corporal’s face in his hands and looked into his eyes. “No more sparring for you until I say so. Get this man up.”

     Charlie and Mark hurried into the pit and lifted Eldie to his feet.

     “I’m only going to say this one time.” Terry looked to the others who had arrived with Leaping Deer. “Orders are to be obeyed without question. If you need clarification, ask, if not, follow. Is that clear?”

     The new men mumbled, but the old hands shouted in unison. “Yes, sir!”

     “You will learn self-discipline, attention to detail, loyalty, and how to work as a team. This was one of many, many lessons that you’ll get. From this day forward, there is nowhere to go but up.” Terry looked at his new recruits. He needed them to understand the ground rules. “Sergeant, put them in the squads and have the squad leaders start bringing them up to speed.”

_________________________________

My wife doesn't tolerate milk products well, so when she travels I partake. You know those family size frozen Stouffer's mac & cheese things, the ones that are supposed to serve five? Those can be eaten by one person in a single sitting. Or so I've heard...


For the past few days our temperatures have been above freezing. It is very pleasant outside. I was in town and stopped to get gas. The guy next to me was fueling his truck wearing shorts and a tank top. Admittedly, it was about fifty degrees, so shorts are to be expected. I considered wearing them, altough my legs have achieved the color of "fishbelly white" over the past six months of winter.


I'm currently 10,000 words into writing Cygnus Arrives, the third book in my Cygnus Space Opera series. If you would like to be a Just In Time reader for this book, please drop me a note. Having read the first two books in the series will be greatly beneficial and probably critical for your understanding of the events, the space ship, and the characters. This book should be ready in early May, once my editor has had her way with it. In may, I'll begin working on Nomad 7.


The picture is our house, taken just a couple hours ago whilst taking Phyllis for her late-morning walk.


Nomad's Justice - Snippet 03

Posted on April 1, 2017 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (1)

UNEDITED

Nomad's Justice - SNIPPET 03

Terry Henry Walton Chronicles Book 6

Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle

     The platoon was waiting in front of the barracks for the colonel, the major, and all the others. The Weres all carried the rank of warrant officer, but it was a ceremonial rank. They never directed anyone in the Force without Terry or Char’s approval. The sergeant and the squad leaders had more influence than any of the Weres.

     Ted and the Weretiger preferred other duties and were allowed to do them. Char gave the rest of the pack no other choice because she needed them, almost like the Praetorian Guard of Rome. They were her special forces, existing to protect her, to fight for her when she so directed.

     And she wanted them to be well trained. Ted earned a reprieve because power was critical to the long-term viability of the city and Aaron fought only as a Weretiger who then remembered nothing about his time as a big cat.

     Timmons and Shonna were pulling double duty – training and then to the power plant where a small, but dedicated group were working to bring the plant back to life. They were making progress with the help of power from the fuel oil fired generator on the base.

     They needed power to make power, and they had it.

     Sue had her work with the mayor and as their numbers increased past six-hundred, the aspect of managing the town and its assets was becoming more and more time consuming.

     Adams and Merrit were given special duty, much to their chagrin.

     “Timmons and Char, light contact warmup match. One minute,” Terry called as the group surrounded the sand pit. The platoon was breathing hard from the calisthenics they’d been doing when the colonel and his group arrived. They welcomed the breather.

     Char cracked her neck and stretched before assuming her fighting pose, light on the balls of her feet, arms up, hands loose. Timmons mirrored her pose because Terry had taught them both the same forms.

     They came together quickly in a flurry of blows, neither landing anything substantial before they jumped back and stretched a little more. Timmons launched himself with a flying roundhouse. Char stepped into it and caught Timmons midair, spun with him and slammed him face-first into the sand.

     She tossed him from her, giving him the opportunity to get up.

     “Thirty seconds,” Terry called.

     Timmons shook the stars from his vision and flexed again. He dodged left, right, then left, before trying another roundhouse. Char’s foot caught in the heavy sand and she didn’t back away quickly enough.

     The glancing blow caught her in the ribs and sent her spinning toward the sand. Timmons pressed his advantage, but Char twisted and kicked out, driving her foot into his unprotected groin.

     She flipped to her feet, but the sparring match was over. Timmons was on his knees, holding his battered manly hydraulics. His lips moved but nothing came out.

     Char dusted the sand from herself and helped him up.

     “My nuts hurt,” he whimpered, eyes glistening as he struggled through the pain, wishing the healing process would speed up. Char bit her lip to keep from laughing.

     “Next victims, Jim and Gerry,” the colonel called. Gerry held his hands up.

     “What the hell?” he blurted before remembering that he was talking with the colonel.

     “Excuse me?” Terry replied, his expression darkening. He walked forward. “We don’t always get to pick our opponents. Sometimes they’re bigger, sometimes they’re not. Stand aside, Privates,” Terry ordered as he removed his uniform shirt and stepped into the sand pit.

     “Gene. Care to join me?”

     Leaping Deer walked up with six others following him. Char intercepted them. “Welcome to the show. Sparring is part of our daily training. You’ll get used to it.”

     “But…” the man ran out of words. He should have known that Foxtail had already talked with the leaders of the FDG.

     “Sergeant, give our new recruits a front row seat and afterwards, find them space in the barracks. Integrate them into the squads,” Char directed.

     “But, I thought I’d lead these men as our own unit,” Leaping Deer stuttered, lifting his hands up in confusion.

     “That’s not how we do things,” Char told him, trying to sound encouraging. She didn’t need to crush him on the first day, but it was important to establish boundaries and expectations. “We have a bunch of individuals working as a single unit, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. You may be a squad leader or higher someday, but that day is not today. Squad leader is a position that has to be earned. Now watch this little bit of entertainment and see if you can learn something.”

     Char nodded to Terry, and he smiled back, taking his eyes off his opponent. Gene hit him in the stomach with a fist the size of a battering ram. Terry flew through the air and landed in a heap.

     Gene clasped his hands together, danced, and cheered his victory.

     Terry crawled to his feet. “Nice, big man. Important lesson people, never take your eyes off your opponent, some of them will make you pay for that. In combat, you usually don’t get a second chance so we train until we get it right, then we train more until we can’t get it wrong,” Terry lectured as he circled the Werebear, who easily outweighed him by a couple hundred pounds.

     Terry feigned an attack to judge Gene’s reach, but the big man was quick, making the colonel dodge away before learning how close he needed to get. He danced and taunted the Werebear, wanting him to charge recklessly, but Gene was an Olympic gold-medal winner. He knew how to work an opponent, so he waited as Terry continued to circle.

     “Thirty seconds,” Char called out.

     The crowd cheered for some action.

     Thirty seconds - how bad can it get? Terry thought. He attacked with all the speed he could muster in the tenuous footing of the sand pit. He made a wild swing at Gene’s face, turning one hundred and eighty degrees to back kick the big man in the knee, trying to knock him down.

     Terry’s move was like kicked a tree trunk and just as effective. Gene landed on Terry’s back expecting to drive the smaller man to the ground, but with a grunt, Terry took the full weight of the Werebear and held him on his shoulders.

     Terry took two steps and heaved Gene over his head and out of the pit.

     “Time!” Char called.

     Terry staggered across the sand. “The bigger they are, right?” he panted.

___________________________________

I didn't feel like cooking last night, so we went to Aha Oriental Kitchen for some superb bulgogi, although it was about five times spicier than I like. Spicy food sits better in my stomach than a slice of bread, oddly enough. So a calm evening followed:).


I'm working on a convention for authors and things are starting to gel. We have our venue in Vegas and an initial setup. We've already done some marketing and the response has been overwhelming. The hard part will be to deliver for those authors who are trying to raise their game to the next level. We can't be all things to all people, but we can sure as hell try! And if all else fails, it's Vegas, Baby!


Winter is mostly ending - the snow is rapidly shrinking. We now have only two feet left on the ground, which is an improvement over the three standing feet we had a few days ago. Temps will reach almost fifty today. Tshirt weather for us. Now the ice, now the constant rain from the roof, now the flooding of our parking pad until I can cut a runoff channel in the mountainous snowpiles surrounding us.


A cow and her calf visited the other day. The calf wanted to see what life was like inside our house, before she ate the pumpkin on our porch that had been buried in a snowbank soon after Thanksgiving. She diligently dug it out and consumed it right on our porch.


Nomad's Justice is winding its way through the editing process. I'm thinking ten more days or so before it hits the street.


With that, I'm off to drink another cup of coffee and to get back to writing Cygnus Arrives, the third book in my Cygnus Space Opera. Best to you all:). Peace fellow humans.


Nomad's Justice - Snippet 02

Posted on March 26, 2017 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (1)

UNEDITED

Nomad's Justice - SNIPPET 02

Terry Henry Walton Chronicles Book 6

Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle

No cover yet, but coming soon...

     Kiwi stood with her arms crossed, tapping one foot as she looked at her father and her uncle. The older men were facing each other with Kiwi to the side.

     “If we turn the rifles over, do we still have to serve?” Leaping Deer asked Chief Foxtail.

     “Yes,” the chief stated, jaw set, and not inviting further debate.

     “Listen here!” the young woman interjected with a growl. “My husband is in the FDG, and I work for them, too. I’m not sure you and the others are man enough to serve in the Force de Guerre. It requires loyalty, dedication, selflessness. I know those braves. They are none of that!”

     “Kiwidinok, hold your sharp tongue,” Leaping Deer cautioned, looking past the chief to scowl at his niece.

     “She speaks the truth, little brother.” Foxtail stepped to the side creating a triangle and giving Kiwi equal space.

     “We saved the tribe!” the younger man exclaimed, wrinkling his eyebrows as he tried to defend himself. The chief sighed impatiently.

     “And the FDG has saved us all, by finding this place and helping us to move here. We have a say in what goes on. Would we shirk our duties with the protection of our own people? Do you want us to hand over that responsibility?” the chief pleaded.

     “I’ll serve,” Kiwi said, but the chief held up a hand, stopping her from antagonizing her uncle further. She stomped a foot, crossed her arms, and looked very young.

     “But, I’m too old and it’ll be hard,” Leaping Deer admitted, finally looking away from the chief.

     “Nothing worth having is easily gotten, my brother,” Foxtail said softly, gently gripping his sibling’s shoulder. “Take the others with you, join the Force de Guerre, and assume your rightful place as a warrior of our people, protecting all of us, whites, blacks, natives, and Were folk alike. Remember Black Feather’s final words. One land. One people.”

     “It will be done,” Leaping Deer said, breathing deeply and lifting his head high. “I’ll gather the men and have them bring their weapons and blankets. We shall move to the barracks, if Terry Henry Walton will have us.”

     “And take Donoma with you. She wants to fight,” Kiwi added, stepping closer to the men.

     “That’s for her husband to decide,” Leaping Deer snapped, but looked quickly away after his outburst.

     “We will let her decide, but that does not have to happen right now. I will talk with the colonel and see how many others he is willing to accept and capable of training. Until then, don’t you have horses to tend to, Horsemaster?”

     Kiwi smiled at the use of her title. “Over forty horses and yes, we need to find a new pasture and stable. Lots to do, father.” She waved as she turned and raced away.

     Both men watched her go. “She is our future, Leaping Deer. She and those of her spirit, like Donoma. This is a whole new world and we have to change if we want to be a part of it,” the chief philosophized, no longer talking with his brother but speaking as the chief to his people.

     “I will do my part, Chief Foxtail,” the younger man said, nodding before he walked away to gather the others.

___________________________________

GaryCon just ended, I still taste the pizza that I had at the Front Door Pizzeria in Lake Geneva, the place that the TSR staff at lunch at during the hay day when their offices were right around the corner.We played in role playing games and laughed a lot, we got kicked out of a bar, but we went quietly, and took a bunch of pictures.


Games and great people from the past! Played in two games that the indomitable Jim Ward ran, and these will always be special. I am so pleased with it all. Played in two games of Top Secret with Merle Rasmussen, the game's creator from way back. Those were a bash, too - put on the direct action spy hat and go to town! We happened to win both of those games, too, due to some magnificent play, of course:)!


I gamed a lot - played in six games and in between all that, I was able to write some 15,000 words on Nomad's Justice. I am putting a bow on the story right now, but I remembered that the internet was down the other day when I meant to post the last snippet. So here I am, never too late. Posting now because, hey, rock and roll will never die.


See you back in Alaska.


Nomad's Justice - Snippet 01

Posted on March 19, 2017 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (2)

UNEDITED

Nomad's Justice - SNIPPET 01

Terry Henry Walton Chronicles Book 6

Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle

No cover yet, but coming soon...


     “I’m pretty sure there’s no motherfucking way in this universe I’m going to tell the kids to call you Uncle Joe,” Terry announced in measured tones, clenching and unclenching his fists as he glared at the Forsaken

     Joseph stood calmly. “I don’t see what the big deal is. Uncle Gene is barely house-trained,” Joseph answered, peeking out from under the wide brim of his black leather hat.

     The Werebear bristled at first, but it reminded him that the grizzly cub Bogdan was definitely not housebroken. He needed to clean up the latest mess before reminding the bear that he’d be sleeping outside if there were any more accidents.

     Ted snickered, “Uncle Joe. Sounds like a politician.” Ted continued to find his own joke funny.

     “I’m just saying…” Joseph tapered off. Timmons watched the Forsaken through baleful eyes.

     Billy and Felicity were strolling toward them with Charumati and baby Cory in between. Aaron followed with Kaeden and Kimber in tow.

     “We’re done with this conversation!” Terry warned Joseph and the pack.

     Terry heard Ted mutter something about “Uncle Joe” and giggling.

     “Not another word, Ted, and I mean it.” Terry stopped to lock his gaze on the nuclear engineer. “There’s not going to be an Uncle Joe.”

     Char shook her head. “You know I can hear everything you’re saying?” she said laughing. Since giving birth, Terry saw a more vibrant sparkle in Char’s eyes. He was mesmerized each and every time he looked at her and their burgeoning family.

     Bringing humanity back to civilization meant bringing his own humanity home, where his family was.

     Terry wrapped one arm around his wife and the second under their newborn daughter. Together, he and Char supported the baby as they kissed, passionately, the way married people had forgotten. He caressed her face and then turned to Cordelia.

     “How’s my little girl?” he cooed. Char watched her pack, as if daring someone to say anything. Joseph chuckled and Ted couldn’t look at the Forsaken without giggling.

     Gene had taken a knee so he could scold Bogdan. The Werewolves alternated between looking at the sky and their own feet.

_______________________

What's up in the chilly great white north? Snow & cold, but it was only -21F this morning, almost balmy, but it is 12F in the afternoon and the sun felt warm on our faces. It was a nice change. Spring is coming.


In other news, I have another post-apocalyptic series that I would be mighty gratefuly if you checked it out. This is with my traditional publisher, Winlock Press and they have just dropped the entire series in Kindle Unlimited in addition to lowering the prices. End Times Alaska 1 - Endure is permanently 99 cents, but also in KU, ETA2 and ETA3 are only $2.99 and ETA4 is $3.99 (it's the longest of them all). Give them a look and I would greatly appreciate it.


If the following links show up all funky, they'll work, but my website is less than congenial and eludes me in being able to fix it, even hand coding doesn't seem to work. Bizarre but true.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GQLVHXK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01GQLVHXK&linkCode=as2&tag=crahompag-20&linkId=a0b2f477c2b2872778e35fd596a6ebe7" target="_blank">End Times Alaska 1 - Endure

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I45F494/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01I45F494&linkCode=as2&tag=crahompag-20&linkId=9f361ed2cf9247982d6e507c53ffe4e3" target="_blank">End Times Alaska 2 - Run

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JK7CHR2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01JK7CHR2&linkCode=as2&tag=crahompag-20&linkId=4911c2ad2f923ed2785f9b4fa776936f" target="_blank">End Times Alaska 3 - Return

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N0ZJMUJ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01N0ZJMUJ&linkCode=as2&tag=crahompag-20&linkId=bed91e27ed9a1220363fc0f728230022" target="_blank">End Times Alaska 4 - Fury


Craig's Retirement from the Corps

Posted on March 17, 2017 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

     I planned every detail for my retirement from the Marine Corps. From access lists, to hotel reservations, to schedules, to flowers for the ceremony. Everything. Some great people from the Cooperative Threat Reduction division of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency helped immensely in setting up one conference room for the ceremony and another smaller conference room for the food afterwards. Everything would be perfect. Backup plans were in place if needed.

     Everything was perfect and well planned except for one thing. I had my uniform ready and clean, but I had not tried it on. On my last morning in the Marine Corps, as I was getting dressed to head out for the ceremony. I put on my Dress Blues coat jacket. The buttons were more than an inch from touching the button holes as I pulled the jacket tighter. It wasn't budging and it wasn't closing. Terror! "Oh my God."

     With a massive exhale of breath and newfound "Grinch" strength, I pulled the jacket more tightly about my maturing chest and waistline. First one button was pulled through a button hole, then another. Finally I had all buttons buttoned. Only the neck clasp remained. How does one suck in a fat neck?

     Then again, fat is relative. I was 20 pounds lighter than than I am now and only about 15 pounds heavier than when I left boot camp some 20 years earlier. But alas, Marine Corps dress uniforms are unforgiving, meant to show a V-shape - broad shoulders to a trim waistline. Oh to be one with broad shoulders and a trim waistline...

     I did a test pull to get the clasp closed around my neck. To say it was uncomfortable was an understatement as the clasp gouged directly into my Adam's apple. I could feel the blood pooling in my face. Who cared? The clasp was sealed and I was dressed to retire. This would be the last time I wore this uniform. How did I look?

     It is hard to visualize, but it may be easier if I relate it to food. What does that sausage look like when it has been grilled about a minute too long? You know, just before it splits open...


 

Nomad - BONUS Snippet

Posted on March 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)

UNEDITED

Bonus Snippet - The Terry Henry Walton Chronicles

I needed to clarify some nomenclature so I wrote this bit into Nomad's Justice...

     Terry stopped by the motor pool to say hi to the oldsters working there. The men were filling out because of getting enough food and working out with the younger warriors of the FDG. They looked good, and they wore the scars from the Forsaken like badges of honor.

     Terry stopped by as often as he could to talk with them about nothing and everything, thank them for all they did to give the others hope.

     It was inevitable that Terry stopped by the dune buggy, not the wrecked one, but the one with the fifty cal. He thought of that weapon as the epitome of tactical unit firepower.

     “How are you my little mod deuce?” he asked.

     Corporal Heitz leaned on the roll bar, looking like he wanted to say something. “Out with it, Heitzy,” the colonel told him.

     “You know that we don’t call it the mod deuce. We call it ma deuce,” the corporal said softly.

     “We use both terms. Homonyms, colloquialisms, alternate nicknames, that kind of stuff,” Terry explained

     “We don’t call it anything else in the grunts, sir. Were you a staff officer or something?” Corporal Heitz asked.

     “Not at all and that’s pretty insulting, Heitzy. I was front lines all the way, but we were light, traveled only with what we could carry,” Terry slapped the man on the shoulder to show that he wasn’t upset. He didn’t want the men to think they couldn’t talk with him. “I like me a big gun, but that bitch was too heavy to hump all over God’s creation. We tried taking the M60 once, but it was too heavy once you add the bipod and cans of ammunition. We melted that fucker with a thermite grenade after burning through two cans of ammo.”

     “Just letting you know, sir. I’m glad you took it well, so you won’t call it that anymore? You’ll get it right?” Corporal Heitz pressed with a half-smile.

     “You ever hear it called the big hurt? That was my favorite but didn’t go over too well on the radio. I love this weapon, Heitzy. A dune buggy with a fifty cal. It don’ get no better ‘n this, does it?” Terry appreciated the oldsters and what they brought to the game. He trusted them completely and they were undyingly loyal. He could ask for no better. “We’ll compromise. I’ll call it the fifty cal and you call it whatever you want. Deal?”

     “That will work, sir. Semper fi,” the old man said.

     “Semper fi, Heitzy. Stay proud, my friend.” Terry shook the corporal’s hand, before returning to the dune buggy to play with the fifty cal, inspect it, clean it if need be.

 

___________________________

The three-in-one oil is working its magic on the one bolt I need to undo, but I have the breaker bar ready. Five feet of torque should do something, or break something.


I need to change a toilet. I have one that's leaking. I don't think the ceramic is cracked, so I suspec that the wax ring is bad. I have a new waxt ring and will go that route first. This is my bathroom, which happens to be in the garage. Please don't judge:)!


Back to writing, Nomad's Justice story is almost telling itself. I need to type in the words, though...

Nomad's Fury - Snippet 02

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (5)

UNEDITED

Nomad's Fury - SNIPPET 02

Terry Henry Walton Chronicles Book 5

Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle

     Joseph let himself start healing from the cracked sternum the human had just given him, something the Forsaken considered to be impossible. He’d seen in Terry’s mind that he was going to hit him, but had no idea the power that would be behind it.

     “I just came to talk. I could have snatched one of your people in the night and you would have never known, but I didn’t. Here I am, hat in hand, and you go all Thor the Avenger on me,” Joseph grumbled as he struggled to his feet. “It’s been a while, but okay. Give me a second.”

     "The only thing I’ll give you is more of you on the ground, crying like a little girl,” Terry said as he stalked to the side. The Werewolves were spreading out, forming a large a circle from which the Vamp couldn’t escape.

     “Well now, that’s a bit unfair, don’t you think?” Joseph asked as he regained his feet and started stretching.

     “Marine Corps rules, suckwad. The only fair fight is the one you lose,” Terry quoted.

     Joseph mumbled something, then started stretching, but not as a fighter preparing to fight, but more like a ballerina preparing for a performance. He dipped, holding one hand over his hand, shifting left and then right, hopping from his heel to his toes.

     Char looked confused. Terry wondered what the creature’s game was.

     The Forsaken hopped forward one step while holding a pose, then spun, sending a roundhouse toward Terry’s head.

     The human caught Joseph’s foot and dropped, bunching his legs underneath him as he twisted and pulled, lifting the Forsaken. Terry swung him through one hundred eighty degrees and slammed him into the ground.

     “Oh, that hurt,” Joseph grunted, as he lay with pavement embedded in his face. He crawled to his knees and Terry kicked him in the ribs, sending the Forsaken half way across their circle. Shonna stepped back. Joseph looked up at her through foggy eyes. She responded by drawing a line across her throat with one finger.

     He looked afraid, but summoned the courage to stand and face his attacker.

     “Do you know how long I’ve been alive?” Joseph asked, looking at the faces before him, the Were with the human child hiding behind her, the other Werewolves, and finally the human with the slight red glow to his eyes.

     “I don’t care,” Terry said as he slowly approached.

     “Four hundred forty seven years. I came over on one of the original settlement ships. Unlimited land to do with as we wished, to make our own way, be beholding to no one. I’ve seen how this country grew, and how it ended. What if I told you that I don’t drain people?” Joseph offered.

     “Then I would call you a liar,” Terry said.

     Timmons interjected, “Then who drained that poor sap on the railroad line north of O’Hare?”

     Terry snarled. “I’m pretty sure there’s nothing you can say that will spare your life. You see, I wasn’t here at the beginning, but I was here for the end, and fuckers like you? You didn’t make any of it better. So we’re cleaning house, starting fresh. Why would we want to include something as old and worn out as you?”

     “At one point in my life, I lived in Williamsburg with the others, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Patrick Henry, the Marquis de Lafayette. Do you know who Alexander Purdie was?” Joseph tilted his head to make sure he caught the look in Terry’s eye. “I see you do. I was his partner in the printing business. John Joseph Dixon. I simply go by Joseph now.”

     Terry hesitated. Purdie had printed the materials used to build support for the revolution.

     “But you were bought out of the business in 1775?” Terry asked, stepping back to give them space. He’d read all he could on the revolution, including taking numerous trips to Colonial Williamsburg. He was a big fan of history.

     “I sold him my share of the business, but I was still there through it all. Even joined the Army at one point, early in seventy six. They needed people with all different skills. Washington was magnificent, by the way. His memoirs and storytellers don’t do him justice,” Joseph continued as he circled staying out of Terry’s reach.

     Char lunged in and shoved the Vampire forward. He stumbled a couple steps. Terry hit him in the face with a right jab, driving the Forsaken to the ground.

     He moaned as he lay there unwilling to move and expose himself to the slow torture of a ritual pummeling.

     Joseph had been in Terry’s mind, saw the man’s honor code, and most importantly for the Forsaken, saw a way to survive the day.

     “I will work for you,” Joseph told Terry, from one knee, while clasping his hands behind his head. “You have my word that I will take no lives from your group.”

     Terry wanted to punch him, but he couldn’t attack someone who surrendered. Char could because of her abject hatred for the Forsaken.

     “Hold!” Terry growled as he moved to Joseph’s side.

 

_______________________________________

I have hearing aids now, very interesting - it's a whole new world where I'm not missing what I used to be missing. Crazy the amount of noise out there and how dead it sounds when I'm not rocking my high speed electric blue ear whigs. They are bluetooth controlled so I take care of everything with my phone. I have perpetual headphones now where the music and other phone sounds seem like they are piped directly into my brain. Which is nice:).


Enjoy the snippet. Trying to grind out Nomad's Justice over the next ten days.


And here's Phyllis the Arctic Dog enjoying a little sunshine.


Nomad's Fury - Snippet 01

Posted on March 8, 2017 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

UNEDITED

Nomad's Fury - SNIPPET 01

Terry Henry Walton Chronicles Book 5

Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle

Cover is coming soon:).

     “He’s here,” Char said, clenching her fists. “How about that, huh? Here less than a day and we get a Forsaken stopping by for a snack.”

     She walked out the front door to the guest quarters that James and Lacy had prepared for them, but the quality of their new home was forgotten in the presence of a Forsaken.

     Char sensed the others and waited. Ted, Timmons, Sue, Shonna, and Merrit joined her. Terry and Kae stood nearby.

     “Shall we?” Char asked, turning without waiting for a response.

     “His name is Joseph,” Timmons said softly, leaning backward to protect himself from an expected punch.

     Char froze. “You’ve been talking with a Forsaken, and you didn’t tell me before now?”

     “I’m sorry, but you’ve been here for less than a day. There was so much, and this guy was scared off fairly easily. Look at him, he’s just standing there, I suspect, waiting for us.” Timmons wouldn’t look Char in the eye.

     She pursed her lips as she thought. “That may change things a bit, but if you and Ted intimidated him, then we’ll talk first before killing him. Shall we?” Char walked casually with the rest of her pack, including the Were-tiger Aaron, noting that the Forsaken seemed to be waiting patiently.

     She wondered if he thought of humans as snacks.

     It disgusted her. Char’s purple eyes sparkled and started to glow as the pack left the base and headed straight for the man in black. Terry and Kae walked right behind Char.

     “I’m curious,” Terry started to say as the group walked quickly along the road toward the waiting Vampire.

     “Forsaken killed Xandrie,” she replied, ice hanging from her words. “The only thing I’m curious about is how quickly the blood can flow from his body after his head is cut off and on the ground.”

     Char strode boldly to Joseph, stopping when she was within arm’s reach.

     “Such hatred boiling behind that pretty face,” Joseph said smoothly. Her lip twitched in revulsion at the pasty white of the unnatural skin on his face.

     Terry grabbed her arm. She tried to shrug him off, but he gripped more tightly. Char turned on him, angry. He caressed her face and smiled. She relaxed and her eyes sparkled back at him. She took Kaeden’s hand.

     At dizzying speed, Terry rotated at his waist and swung, catching the Forsaken in the middle of the chest with the heel of his hand. Like a battering ram it drove the Vampire backward, throwing him from his feet.

     With a grunt, Joseph hit the ground and lay there.

     “Get up,” Terry demanded, a snarl on his face as he loomed over the Vampire.

 

____________________________

Here I am with the repair parts for my tractor in hand, but there isn't any snow in the forecast, so I'll put that off. In my estimate, the repair process should take less than ten minutes to install a new idler wheel and belt. There's one bolt. Which means it'll take me an hour and at least some scraped knuckles.


I also have an appointment later today to finish the fitting for my hearing aids. Have you seen the flesh colored ones that are impossible to see? I opted for electric blue - I want everyone to know that I'm the bionic man!


The iditarod started out of Fairbanks this year again, because trail conditions in the south were dangerous. I didn't go to the start, unfortunately because temps were in the mid minus 30s Fahrenheit. A little too cold to be standing around. It was -36 F this morning. We're five months into winter with no end in sight. My yard is going to flood when this mountain of snow melts, whenever that might be, probably May...


I saw that Jason Isaacs will be the captain on the newest Star Trek series coming later this year. I'm good with that. Bringing in a quality and well-established actor can never be a bad move.


Peace, fellow humans. Oh yeah, the cold is because it's crystal clear outside, which means the auroras lately have been spectacular. Another nice one this morning, just  bank along the northern horizon, but actively cascading and a pleasure to watch.


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