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Path of Survival Series:
The Second Layer of Hell (#1 published December 2011)
Blood Beyond the Abyss (#2 published February 2012)
A Dark Wind of Vengeance (#3 published June 2012)
The Passion Killers (#4 published August 2012)
Cold Hearts of Darkness (#5 available early in 2013)
An ebook available for $2.99 at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com .
Massive hurricanes strike the East and Gulf coasts of the US and a devastating terrorist attack soon follows.
As the economy falters and the grid collapses, a young family escapes from Atlanta to their cabin in the mountains as the world around them explodes into chaos and violence.
The Second Layer of Hell contains 19 chapters and over 47,000 words and is the first installment in the Path of Survival series. The second and third installments, Blood Beyond the Abyss and A Dark Wind of Vengeance are also available (see below).
A sample from The Second Layer of Hell is shown below.
On Friday afternoon, President Taylor had met privately with the head of his National Security Council, Hank Brannon. President Taylor trusted Brannon more than anyone else in his administration.
The president poured a drink for Brannon and himself and said, "Talk to me, Hank. What do we try to save, what do we write-off? It's a hell of a mess, and we have limited resources. What's your take on it? Where's this headed?"
"May I speak freely and off the record, Mr. President?" he asked.
"By all means, Hank. We're just a couple of old friends having a drink on a Friday afternoon. And completely off the record. No blow-backs, you have my word on it."
Brannon slowly sipped his drink and then said, "Mr. President, you are not going to like what I have to say."
"Please, go ahead," the president said with a smile, "I'm not going to kill the messenger."
"Alright," he began, "the way I see it, it is going to be a shitstorm the likes of which no one in this country has ever seen. There is a danger of spreading our resources too thin and experiencing catastrophic failures on many different levels and on many different fronts. Regardless of what we do or don't do, the majority of the American people will survive. What is not certain is whether there will be continuity of government."
He paused for a moment and then continued, "For the sake of the Republic, I feel that we must consolidate our resources and make the survival of government our top priority. Reserve the energy and resources we have for Washington, the financial district in New York, the military, and the police at the federal, state and local levels. The bottom line is, if there is no government, there will be no United States. There will only be chaos, violence and anarchy. However, if the government survives, at some point we can have a country again."
"And the people are on their own, Hank?" the president asked.
"Yes, Mr. President, they are."
That conversation occurred 2 days ago, and alone in his office on Sunday, the president poured more bourbon. He had barely slept since his conversation with Brannon. He didn't like it, but he knew Brannon's assessment was accurate. The president decided to do whatever was necessary in order to ensure continuity of government.
As he looked out the windows of the Oval Office, he saw a military convoy in the distance. It was the arrival of the first contingent of the 100,000 soldiers he had ordered to Washington to protect the government from the people it was supposed to be serving.
He saw more fires in the distance, and the gunfire had become more frequent. "God help us when the American people figure out what is really going on," he said aloud.
To purchase The Second Layer of Hell at amazon.com, click here .
To purchase The Second Layer of Hell at barnesandnoble.com, click here .
An ebook available for $2.99 at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com .
With the grid down, violence and anarchy spreads across the country as the world economy collapses and the US defaults on its debts. In Atlanta, a young man's family is murdered and he is left for dead. As he recovers and begins a new life in the mountains, a renegade general attempts to overthrow the US government, and the nation is pushed to the brink of civil war.
Blood Beyond The Abyss contains 22 chapters and over 45,000 words and is the second installment in the Path of Survival series.
A sample from Blood Beyond The Abyss is shown below.
Rosa Escobar's house was about a mile away and they planned to rob her that night. Since Doc and Gus were busy with their casino-brothel operation, they didn't prepare well for the impending home invasion. Doc walked to Mrs. Escobar's house in the afternoon and did some very basic reconnaissance. After deciding where the master bedroom was located and what their entry point would be, he walked home.
Just after midnight the two men began getting ready. They didn't expect any trouble and Doc took only a flashlight, small knife, blackjack and a .45 caliber pistol that held 8 rounds. Gus carried a .38 caliber revolver that held 6 rounds and he also had a knife. Neither man carried any extra ammunition.
There were several things the men were not aware of. Even though Rosa Escobar was 76 years old, she grew up in poverty in the slums of Bogota, Columbia. Conditions most Americans thought of as apocalyptic merely reminded Rosa of her childhood. In addition, her grandson Emilio had shown her how to shoot his beloved Pequeno Amigo.
Pequeno Amigo, or Little Friend, was a Remington semi-automatic shotgun with an extended magazine. It held nine 12-gauge shells and Emilio had loaded it to maximum capacity with rounds containing #1 buckshot. Each shell contained 12 pellets the size of small ball-bearings.
Doc and Gus also were not aware of Diablo. Diablo was a specially trained male Doberman Pinscher. Unlike most dogs, Diablo didn't bark at potential intruders. He patiently waited while they made their entry. Once they were inside, he was trained to attack without warning.
Doc and Gus stopped in front of Rosa's house and looked around. There was nothing unusual, but Gus had an uneasy feeling. He said, "We didn't do our usual amount of surveillance for this job. Are we even sure she's home?"
"Jesus, Gus, you are getting to be like an old woman yourself. It's after midnight and she's about 80 years old. Where the ---- else is she going to be? Of course she's home. Let's go."
They walked up to the large picture-window in the living room and looked inside. Seeing nothing unusual, both men drew their weapons and Doc shattered the window with his blackjack. It took several seconds to clear an opening large enough for Gus to climb through.
As soon as Gus stepped inside, Diablo attacked. The dog clamped-down hard on Gus's left leg with his powerful teeth and jaws. He screamed and fired blindly at the dog with his pistol. However, the dog had Gus's leg in his mouth and was shaking it back and forth. Gus couldn't take proper aim and both shots missed.
Doc didn't know what had happened. He was climbing through the hole in the picture window to come to his friend's aid when Rosa walked into the living room with Pequeno Amigo. Rosa knew that she was old, but what she lacked in strength, dexterity and marksmanship, she intended to make up for with hostility, determination and firepower.
She released the safety on the shotgun and started firing blindly into the living room. She intended to kill the intruders and Diablo was just going to have to take his chances with the flying buckshot.
To purchase Blood Beyond The Abyss at amazon.com, click here .
To purchase Blood Beyond The Abyss at barnesandnoble.com, click here .
An ebook available for $2.99 at amazon.com
With the grid down and the US government under military rule for the first time in its history, the government fights the militia movement for control of the major cities as a key army general defects to the militia. Events spiral out of control as a young woman sets a deadly series of events into motion in her quest for revenge against an unelected and illegal government.
A Dark Wind of Vengeance contains 17 chapters and over 41,000 words and is the third installment in the Path of Survival series.
A sample from A Dark Wind of Vengeance is shown below.
When General Howard arrived at his quarters, he wasn't sure what to do about the bomb vest. He wasn't comfortable wearing it; however, he knew he wasn't likely to be searched personally. He was less sure about his bags, so he decided to wear the vest under his shirt. His driver picked him up on schedule and he arrived at General Bradford's lake house several hours later.
That night in his room on the first floor of the lake house, General Howard looked over the list of participants for the week-end meetings. In addition to himself, General Bradford and his chief of staff, there were 14 others; the four generals on Bradford's so-called advisory committee who'd helped him with the coup, the four chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, and six senior officers who were involved with the campaign to retake Detroit from the militia.
General Howard's targets were General Bradford, his chief of staff, the advisory committee and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He considered the others to be collateral damage.
Because of the possibility his room contained hidden cameras, he didn't want to expose the bomb vest to view. He decided to wear it under his shirt the entire night.
He knew it was the last night he'd be alive. Tomorrow around noon he'd complete his mission or die trying. He thought about leaving a note, but couldn't think of anyone to write it to. He sent his will to his daughter before he left Washington. His assets were to be put in a trust and used for his grand-children's education.
He was surprised he was hungry and ordered a Reuben sandwich, chips and a German beer from the kitchen. Later, he ordered a carafe of coffee and a pint of ice cream for dessert. When he finished, he went to bed. He didn't think he'd be able to sleep, but felt very calm and peaceful. It was the best night's sleep he'd had in months.
When he awoke, he stayed in bed under the covers while he cut three small pass-through holes in his shirt for the wires attached to the vest. He pulled the red and black wires through first, then the yellow wire with the detonator attached. The red and black wires were located at the bottom of the vest on the right side.
The detonator was attached to a longer wire that went down his left arm. To push the red button, all he needed to do was reach up his sleeve with his right hand, pull the detonator clear of his shirt-sleeve into his left hand, and push the button. When he was done, he carefully attached the red and black wires. The device was armed. He put on his jacket and looked at himself in a full-length mirror. The vest was undetectable.
At 10:00 all participants of the meetings were asked to go outside and greet General Bradford. He arrived right on time, making a grand entrance in his large military helicopter.
To purchase A Dark Wind of Vengeance at amazon.com, click here .
To purchase A Dark Wind of Vengeance at barnesandnoble.com, click here .
An ebook available for $2.99 at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com
This book contains graphic descriptions of extreme violence (including dismemberment) that may be disturbing to some readers.
In the year since the economy collapsed and the grid went down, the United States has become a lawless and violent society. The horrific conditions in the cities have spawned new breeds of cruel and vicious criminals and Americans no longer can depend on their government to protect them.
As the descent into mayhem and madness continues in Atlanta, a small group of law-abiding citizens in the mountains take matters into their own hands and the term self-defense is redefined.
The Passion Killers contains 14 chapters and over 43,000 words and is the fourth installment in the Path of Survival series.
A sample from The Passion Killers is shown below:
"What does your cop instinct tell you? What do you think those four are up to out there?" the sheriff asked.
"I'm not sure. Some kind of human trafficking I guess. Slavery or harvesting body parts; something like that. Illegal harvesting of human organs is what Cutler was sent up for originally."
"Could be we've got us a gang of passion killers," Sheriff Grimes said.
"What's that?" Greg asked.
"It's a term that members of law enforcement are using now to describe the new types of criminals that are coming out of the cities. A friend of mine who is a detective in California told me they have a cannibal locked up. He has admitted to killing and eating nine people and apparently his first two victims were his parents.
"He is a very obese young man and he said he did it because all the fast-food chains went belly-up and he missed his burgers. He had a garden planted in his yard with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes and sugar-beets. When he was arrested he was baking bread and making catsup. The boy said he had all the fixins' for Big Macs and fries. The kid also told the detectives he enjoyed the killing just as much as the food; said if he was to ever get out of prison he'd go right back to doing it."
"Why do they call people like that passion killers?" Greg asked.
"Because they are so cruel and vicious they take away the will to live; they destroy the passion for life itself."
To purchase The Passion Killers at amazon.com, click here .
To purchase The Passion Killers at barnesandnoble.com, click here .