Being the captain of a privateer is hard work. Having your tough as nails but impulsive younger brother as the Master at Arms and trying to keep your ships' wizard from drinking himself to death is even harder. Having your long-lost royal love show up in a bordello when you're trying to get a little R & R after months at sea, and being attacked by mad cultist before you can even say her name? Hardest.
Brian Corel, former slave, gladiator, ex-fiance to an Empress, exiled Captain of the Taland Royal Guard and now owner of the Letter of Marque Widowmaker does the best he can to balance the lives of his crew with his own desire to live life as a free man. Skirting the border between being a privateer and an outright pirate, Corel stumbles into the middle of a religious cult intent on corrupting the kingdom of an old friend and has to set things right while grieving over his lost love. Along the way he signs a dragon into his crew and has to risk everything to rescue his brother from the grasp of a demon that has destroyed an entire continent.
An epic journey into a realm of fantasy and world bulding by two time Dragon finalist J.F. Holmes.
If you had enough capacity for violence to seize a billion dollars from a powerful drug cartel, would you do it?
The Professor has problems, and not just what decades of soldiering did to his back and his knees. His boss just died, leaving him as CEO of the extremely discreet intelligence contractor Athenaeum, Incorporated. His old buddy the Operations Director is a highly skilled Army Ranger veteran but his finance chief is slightly unhinged and spends her money on highly inappropriate work outfits. The surviving old men on the Board of Directors are stuck in the 1970s. Running Athenaeum out of an old Cold War bunker and keeping their roster of experts together is expensive, but the government contracts are drying up or going to bigger, flashier corporate players.
Then an intercepted phone call puts them on the trail of a drug cartel’s shipping container of “maybe” a billion dollars in cash, so its command decision time.
Door Number One, ignore it. But… a billion dollars with a capital B.
Door Number Two, tell the Feds. But that might bring official notice to the shady intelligence gathering they have been paying Athenaeum for all these years.
Or open Door Number Three, which might get them all killed, or worse.
Ethan Kelly was just a sarcastic guy who hated his time in Army and wanted nothing more to do with it after he ETS'ed. So when the Apocalypse breaks out and he's drafted back into the military from his deadend security job, he's not exactly the most enthusiastic soldier. After he gets left behind at a checkpoint less than thirty miles from his hometown, all sense of loyalty to his country and anyone other than himself is lost and he leaves to find his fiancé and family, accompanied by his unit medic.
As winter approaches and supplies run low, he takes on more and more responsibility and finds himself reluctantly becoming a leader of the town's survivors. When his brother shows up after suriving a brutal battle and his own unit being overrun by the infected, Ethan wants to leave to find his fiance at a refugee camp. His departure is interrupted by the arrival of an organized military unit from Texas and the mysterious disappearance of some of the townspeople, making him choose betweeen the man he was and the man he is being forced to become.
THe THIN DEAD LINE
On a hot July day on the plains of Kansas a US Army mechanized infantry company from the 1st Infantry Division gets a very vague warning order and the young troopers saddle up on their steel beasts to go try to control "civil unrest", whatever that means. Police in a small town start firing on people in self defense, people who seem to have gone violently insane. A prisoner at Fort Leavenworth out on work detail sees a strange murder and is forced to make a run for it. As the situation starts to descend into chaos, confused orders are given, old sins are forgiven in exchange for needed help and the Bradleys and Abrams soldiers fight a desperate battle using every weapon on hand. Chaos reigns in the heartland of America, spreading ever outward.
The Apocalypse written as only a veteran infantryman can, The Thin Dead Line is set as a companion series to the best selling Irregular Scout Team One by J.F. Holmes.
irregular scout team one
In July of 2016 a plague swept the world, and the civilization collapsed and fell. For a lone National Guard sergeant, a veteran of the wars overseas who had settled down to a new life, the nightmare began on a hot summer evening at the barricades. Orders and chaos, gunfire and being overrun, his unit dwindles away in the face of the infected.
Months later, living in the ruins, the thud of helicopter rotors followed by a crash and the rescue of a downed pilot leads Nick Agostine back into the arms of the US military. From his experience comes the idea of teams, military and civilians experienced in dealing with the undead and barbarism of the wilds. The first Irregular Scout Team leads the way for Task Force Liberty to advance down the Mohawk Valley in Upstate NY, making contact with survivors and clearing out the infected with stealth and firepower.
What’s a soldier to do when the war is over? When he’s only known conflict his whole life? Since time immemorial the solution has been to find another war, this time for pay. Whoever has the credits and wins the high bid gets the experienced fighter. Sometimes, though, the money isn't enough to cover the price. In the tradition of Hammer's Slammers and Falkenberg's Legion, a new universe of mercenaries and warfare takes place in the ruins of an alien empire.
The fighting is done for now and the alien Grausians who ruled over the Terran worlds have withdrawn from known space after a devastating civil war. In their wake the formerly subject races have fought themselves to a standstill and a negotiated armistice, leaving tens of thousands of veterans out of work and hundreds of planets in the lawless DMZ.
The Grausian Interstellar Empire has fallen and the ruins are for the taking. In the Twenty Seventh Century that means whoever can field the best military, and on the DMZ worlds, that means Private Military Contractors.
Overrun: (J.F. Holmes) A unit of the Irish Brigade fights for it's life after the end of a contract
Most Wanted: (J.F. Holmes) Section Six of the Terran Union Bureau of Investigation chases down a war criminal
Slamming: (J.F. Holmes) A new enlistee is introduced to the excitement and horrors of mechanized warfare
Milk Run: (Casey Moores) A Search and Rescue unit learns the difference between patriotism and profit
The Empresses Price: (Armondo Borboa) When the trumpets fade the Terran Military becomes a useless afterthoguht to their masters.
When the Empire rises, it's glory and fame for the soldier, but when it falls and you're on the long end of a failing supply chain, you have to wonder what all the dying is for. Terran Union Marine Dave Hernandez fights in the last bitter actions of the Succession Wars, living in the mud and blood as incoming fire decimates his squad, the men he called brothers.
After the inevitable drawdown he finds himself as the crewman of a tramp freighter, running between the worlds of the Demilitarized Zone. The DMZ is a place where not a lot of questions are asked and maybe a veteran can find some peace among the stars. Sure, the ship is war surplus, but so is Hernandez. The fact that there's a group of Private Military Contractors protecting the ship means little to him until Illyrian pirates attack and board the vessel, overwhelming the security detail and forcing the Former Marine to bring back old skills that hadn't died as much as he had thought.
The war amid the stars is over and Captain Fremont McMannus is moving on to a staff job. His entire Microgravity Strike Team is going to be disbanded, struck from the rolls of the Terran Marine Corps. No more daring raids on Charee orbital stations or assaulting Grausian battleships. Never again to risk the combat spacer's fate worse than getting spitted on a Legionaries' vibrosword, drifting through the void while your air ran out and silent violence danced around you. Then again, a staff job and a transfer over to Fleet HQ in peacetime might also be also worse than death.
His rescue comes in the form of note from an old commanding officer, Colonel Thomas Meagher. who has started his own mercenary company, operating in the Peace Treaty Demilitarized Zone. Dozens of worlds left outside the borders of the remnant political units of the Old Empire, with gold. violence and enemies to spare. Reaching out to the men and women he led in combat a just a few short months ago and who will soon be out on the unemployment line, Free puts the 76th MIST out for hire.
In an alternate 2015, a US Army Special Forces Team, part of the legendary black ops unit "Delta", is in midtown Manhattan to take out a Chinese spy and his handlers, sending a message short of outright conflict. All goes smoothly until they find themselves in a full blown shooting war through the canyons of the City. Portals from another world have opened in Central Park, making a way for figures out of historical nightmare to invade. The Fae, creatures banished from Earth thousands of years ago and now only part of our legends, have returned with Dragon fire, spell and sword to conquer and take revenge.
The first volume of The Fae Wars covers Team Three, G squadron, Special Forces Detachment (Delta) as they fight their way off Manhattan and then join the defense of the refugees as the Fae assault the bridges. The fabled 69th Infantry puts up an epic fight against superior weaponry and then the war descends into the asymmetric hell that the Delta Operators know so well. Along the way they find new allies and old powers that come to their aid.
For the first time in two hundred years an enemy has stepped foot on American soil and war has come to our cities. The US military is rocked back on its heels and driven into a fighting retreat as each defense line falls. The foe is unstoppable and ... Fae. Creatures from a legendary past who have come to reclaim the Earth in the name of magic and revenge.
In the hills of Pennsylvania a ragtag, devastated army prepares to make a last stand against dragon fire capable of melting an Abrams tank and wizardry that stops fifth generation fighter jets in mid-air. Inevitably it comes down to shining steel verses human will, and Sergeant Oliva Acevedo transforms from a hospital clerk to a hardened fighter.