Stephen Templin’s new thriller, FROM RUSSIA WITHOUT LOVE, is out today. Enjoy an excerpt below and comment for an entry to win one of five e-book copies of this thriller.
How did you like the excerpt? Did it make you want to check out the book?
London. Chris quickly put on a tie and a suit jacket and bolted downstairs, each step causing his shoulder and ankle discomfort. When he reached the bottom, he proceeded out of the building at a businessman’s pace, ignoring the pain.
Blend with your surroundings. I am a businessman.
As he walked, he took a deep breath to calm himself. Breathe. He took another. He wanted to call Hannah and tell her what he was doing, but he didn’t want to risk drawing Business Tourist’s attention.
Business Tourist wasn’t in front of UKP anymore, and Chris had to restrain himself from cursing out loud. But then the man appeared, strolling northwest on Charles II Street. Chris followed, on the opposite side of the street, keeping at least two people between himself and his target. The bustling crowds that worked to Business Tourist’s advantage for blending in and moving also worked to Chris’s advantage. Even so, tailing a moving subject on the street would be more challenging than sitting in an office observing the area round UKP. Now, not only did Chris have to keep up with his target, he also had to avoid being detected by him.
At the corner, Business Tourist looked both ways before crossing. It was possible he was just an average citizen trying to be safe, but if he was trained in countersurveillance, he’d use the technique to discreetly check for a tail. The subject crossed the street—if Chris suddenly crossed the street at that moment, he would mark himself as possible surveillance. However, the man had traversed over to the same side of the street as Chris.
So far, so good.
Even though Chris’s thought process was calm, his heart raced and his skin became hot.
After passing Regent Street, more people were dressed casually, mixing with those in business attire. Business Tourist stopped at a number ninety-four bus stop and stood in line for a red double-decker bus. Chris’s pulse kicked into hyper drive. It would be too much of a coincidence for him to stand in the same line, and walking past would give his subject a close-up view of him. But crossing the street, away from the target, would be marked movement.
Chris chose the lesser of the tactical evils and walked past Business Tourist, managing to keep one person between them. Now Business Tourist was behind him. He would be able to see Chris, but Chris couldn’t see him. Chris faced straight ahead, but his eyes frantically searched the environment for something that would allow him to avoid the appearance of loitering, but not so far away as for Chris to lose the opportunity to resume tailing the man.
From Russia Without Love Synopsis
SEAL Team Six veteran Chris Paladin left the Navy to become a pastor, but CIA spook Hannah Andrade pulls him back into Special Operations Group to locate the White House Chief of Staff’s kidnapped son-in-law before he is executed by Greek terrorists. Cantankerous Army Delta Force operator Sonny Cohen reunites with Chris and Hannah as they race the clock to save the hostage.
In Athens, Chris and his teammates discover that Russia is secretly behind the kidnapping, part of a murderous plan to attack the flow of natural gas in Europe. The Cold War has heated up again.
Chris and his crew’s rescue quickly changes into a mission to capture-or-kill a Russian spy.
Who is Stephen Templin?
Since elementary school, STEPHEN TEMPLIN felt a need to write, dreaming of becoming a novelist, and now he is a New York Times and international bestselling author, with the movie rights to one of his movies purchased by Vin Diesel. Steve’s books have been translated into thirteen languages. He is a “hybrid” author who maintains active book contracts with top publishers such as Simon and Schuster and St. Martin’s Press while also publishing independently.
After high school, he completed Hell Week, qualified as a pistol and rifle expert, blew up things, and practiced small unit tactics during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. Later, Steve left the Navy and became a missionary. Then for fourteen years he lectured as a tenured professor at Meio University in Japan, where he also practiced the martial art aikido. Currently, he lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
To connect with Steve and for updates about new releases, as well as exclusive promotions, visit his website and sign up for the VIP Readers Group at: http://www.stephentemplin.com
Connect With Stephen Templin
Please enjoy my interview with Dalton Fury, author of the best-selling Kolt “Racer” Raynor series. His newest thriller, One Killer Force, comes out on October 20, 2015. This interview was first published on my blog in 2012.
Who is Dalton Fury?
DALTON FURY was the senior ranking military officer at the Battle of Tora Bora. As a Delta troop commander, he helped author the operation to hunt and kill Bin Laden.
10 Questions with Dalton Fury
1. Mr. Fury, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. Your new thriller, Tier One Wild, came out on October 16, 2012. Tell us a bit more about this work.
Thanks for the opportunity to connect with your readers Ethan. Tier One Wild is the second book in the Delta Force thriller series featuring special operator Kolt “Racer” Raynor. It’s actually the sequel to the first novel – Black Site.
2. Who is Kolt “Racer” Raynor and how did you go about creating his character?
Kolt Raynor is the kind of operator that every one wishes they were. He marches to his own drummer, gets things done, ignores the red tape, and doesn’t impress too easily. Of course, with a resume like this, he has his share of issues. Kolt is actually a composite of four or five actual Delta operators I had the good fortune to serve in the ranks with – a true mix of the unique talents, idiosyncrasies, motivations, and personalities of America’s best commandos. Many of the edge-of-your-seat high risk missions Kolt pulls off in the series are things my former mates and I either actually experienced, or things we wish we would have been given the green light to do.
The knock on Kolt Raynor is that at times he is borderline insubordinate, and he operates largely off of gut instinct. It is a modus operandi that garners him widespread support within the ranks, solidifies his pad speed, and gives him enormous operational clout. And even though the Generals don’t necessarily care much for his antics, they are usually smart enough to let it play out.
3. What sets Tier One Wild apart from countless thrillers featuring Delta Force agents?
Well, for one thing, using a phrase like “Delta Force agents” is synonymous to saying something like “football bat” or “field goal shortstop”. That’s okay for some, but having served in the Unit, I’m uniquely qualified to share with readers the correct terms and phrases – which is one of the things I think that sets a book like Tier One Wild apart from some of the others. Notice I said “set apart” not necessarily better as I know there are a dozen plus incredibly talented fiction thriller writers out there already that I’m a huge fan of. The messes Kolt gets into are genuine and authentic, but not always 100% realistic, because some of the things Kolt and his mates get after in the books are so off-the-chart risky that no commander in the world would approve them…that’s where Kolt’s impetuous personality takes over. He usually requests execute authority, but depending on the answer, he may suddenly experience a broken and unreadable radio connection with his boss.
I think it is very difficult for many thriller writers, particularly if they write in a character as a special operator or commandos, to nail the personality, character, personal challenges, and mind set of a real-deal operator if they have never served their nation as one themselves. It’s extremely tough to get selected for and serve in the Tier One ranks – were talking less than one percent of all those that try – it’s natural that it would be tough for any writer to capture this without the benefit of first-hand experience.
4. Why do you write?
First, writing is a struggle. It’s certainly not easy and doesn’t necessarily come natural to me. I’m sure it does for some of the top fiction writers, but for me it takes real commitment and dogged determination to craft a story that hopefully will satisfy a reader. I’m incredibly humbled by the overwhelming support readers have generously provided me. Putting life in Kolt Raynor gives me tremendous personal satisfaction and in many ways is entirely therapeutic. I lost a lot of good teammates over the course of twenty plus years in the military and have seen a lot of guys maimed physically, mentally, or both since 9/11. There is a unique mind set and bond among Delta operators that can’t be bottled and sold, can’t be replicated in any other venue in the civilian world, and really can’t be taught in any institution of higher learning. However, this same bond, this real idea that your nation and your mates come first while you are in the ranks, can be capitalized on as an incredible source of motivation and commitment to do the right thing and make a difference in your family, your post-retirement pursuits, your church, and your community.
5. A word of advice for new writers?
I think first and foremost, manage your expectations. Being a New York Times Best Selling author is great, but simply completing your manuscript is powerful and rewarding in itself. There are a dozen variables that determine how well your work does, but the most important one is how satisfied you are as the author. You don’t need a six-figure book deal from a prominent New York City publisher or a top-ranked agent to be proud of your effort. These days, you can publish your work without them.
Of course you have to be committed to seeing your work through to the end. I typically write in spurts, hoping to craft authentic plot points that I think might grab the attention of readers’ of this genre and which forces them to make the decision to turn the page. When someone tells me they lost sleep last night because they couldn’t wait to see how Kolt and his teammates got out of a jam I don’t feel sorry for them. It kept me up too. Once I have a group of ten to twelve mini-plots, I then dive into the hard part of back pedaling to connect the dots and weave it all together with one of the best thriller writers in the business Mark Greaney. Mark is an incredibly talented writer and can take a Rubix Cube of cool Delta Force-like ninja stuff, work his magic, and in short order have readers pleading for Kolt Raynor to snap someone’s neck and fix things.
6. What is your typical writing day?
I carry a small notebook with me while driving or at work. I consistently pull over and capture the thoughts immediately. Napkins, unpaid bills, airline boarding passes have all been part of this Delta Force thriller series. I’m constantly running ideas around my head and searching for the small things that might give readers something fresh or a new spin to something they are familiar with. For example, everyone knows how to enter a plane and everyone assumes that the doors are the obvious way a counterterrorist force would enter to rescue a plane full of shell-shocked hostages. But Kolt’s looking for something a bit off-the-wall and of course, extremely high risk. The opening scene in Tier One Wild is a good example of this. I like to refer to writing as my part-time job as I do most of it on the road and at night while sitting in hotel rooms across the country. Nothing like complimentary Marriott Columbian Roast coffee and a big chew of Redman to get Kolt off his fourth point of contact.
7. What are your favorite pastimes?
Probably no different from most really. Since I’m retired now, I no longer have to share my time. My family and work come first. Kolt and former mates second. My wife and daughters have been extremely supportive of the series and as long as the vast majority is done on the road, no objections from them.
8. What other books are you working on at the moment?
Hopefully Kolt Raynor fans will be pleased to hear that I’m currently writing book 3 in the series. I’m really blessed to have an agent like Scott Miller of Trident Media Group and an editor like Marc Resnick of St. Martin’s Press who believe in me and the series. We all had a vision for this series and those two guys never wavered, giving Mark Greaney and I a blank check to craft an exciting series and make it work. I call book 3 – Killer Man’s Son – but the ultimate title may be entirely different.
9. What do you like to read and what are you reading now?
It’s been interesting in that I’ve been given the opportunity to review advance copies of a dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction, related to the military, terrorism, and national security. I usually read on the plane and always have something with me. I just finished reading Stephen Coonts’ yet-to-be-released Pirate Alley, GLOCK: The Rise of America’s Gun by Paul Barrett, and an early copy of Back In The Fight, a memoir of Army Ranger Joe Kapacziewski by Charles Sasser. All three are terrific and were hard to put down at times to get to my own writing.
10. What can readers expect to find in Tier One Wild?
Well, I’m happy and entirely humbled to say Tier One Wild hit #31 on the New York Times Best Seller list, so maybe some of those unique plot points mentioned above worked out. Kolt Raynor is given a second chance to make a difference after having been booted from the Unit in Black Site. Given that once-in-a-lifetime chance, he returns to the ranks in Delta Force and promises to think things through a little more before he acts. Of course, nobody believed him, especially the shrinks. Readers shouldn’t either.
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