Friday, July 1, 2016

Available Now: Tigers East!


Season 4 Premiere!
Tigers East
Book 25 in the Kirov Series 

Big events are underway in the Season Four Premiere of the Kirov Series, Tigers East. The title of the book was unannounced until the heads up “Coming Soon” notice posted on the Author’s web site about a week before publication, and the cover art gives us a strong indication of where this book will take us, back to the German Summer Offensive on the East Front, Operation Blue. That battle is presented in some detail, with the action on two segments of the vast Russian front. The Germans have massed their armor in 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies, and they make a bold drive for Voronezh as they did in the real history. After failing to cross the Don, that offensive then turned southeast, following the course of the Don River as it drove towards the Volga, but in these events, Manstein has already driven deep into the Donbass region, and is already threatening Kalach on the Don by the time von Rundstedt turns Model and Hoth loose in their massive pincer operation to take Voronezh.

This is the action presented, along with the increasingly desperate Soviet attempts to stop the Germans. When Manstein drove southeast, the Soviets managed to retain several bridgeheads south of the Don at Boguchar, Veshenskaya, and Serafimovich. There, Zhukov had moved many of the armies that fought to try and save Moscow, particularly several Shock Armies formed with Siberian troops sent by Karpov. He has been holding them for a planned winter counteroffensive, but the circumstances force him to play out his cards early in two attacks. The first he calls Operation Mars, which has no association with the real operation launched under that name. Zhukov is just choosing planets to name his battles. This spoiling attack is meant to force Manstein to look over his shoulder, threatening his line of communications, but enter one Hermann Balck and the 11th Panzer Division from stage left, and the action is on.

Balck now becomes a major historical character as he sends his elite division into the battle to try and foil Zhukov’s attack. As the east front action develops, the Germans find themselves simultaneously threatening Rostov, Volgograd and Voronezh, and Zhukov must reach for any reserves he can find to stem the tide, eventually committing, with Sergei Kirov’s blessing, all the reserves he had been husbanding.

While all of this is happening, the story also takes us back to the deserts of Libya where Rommel is brooding on his Mersa Brega line. We get his reaction to the Allied landings presented in Second Front, where his already weakened Afrika Korps must now send the 10th Panzer, as well as Goring’s Brigade, west to von Arnim where the Germans are attempting to build the new 5th Panzer Army to counter the Allied advance into Algeria.

The action in the west is presented as Patton pushes for Algiers, and there is a major sea battle fought by Tovey as a prelude, where something quite significant happens. In fact, this book is loaded with sudden major happenings. Kazan arrives in 1942 early in the narrative, and that has a big impact on Fedorov’s decisions. The naval battle has a big resolution to Tovey’s longstanding feud with the Kriegsmarine, Rommel awakens from his depression at Mersa Brega when he gets some much appreciated news from Kesselring, something extremely big happens on the Allied side involving Tobruk, and it will impact the entire balance of the war in North Africa in a very dramatic way. The bulk of the novel is devoted to these land battles that develop, east and west, the story alternating between the action on two fronts. As the conclusion draws near, the last six chapters take us back to the mission Fedorov has been planning.

He and his little band of Marines have already hijacked the airship Irkutsk, but Symenko continues to gnaw on Fedorov’s ankle, telling him he will have no chance to get through to Ilanskiy. This pressure, and the sudden arrival of Kazan in 1942, throw that action in a most unexpected direction, but where it then ends up taking us is a cleverly devised twist that will not fail to please. Again we see how events and minor characters introduced many volumes ago suddenly are presented as having a major impact on the story. Everything matters in these books. Nothing is ever given ink without careful thought, and a definite purpose in the overall tale.

What happens at the end cannot be divulged here, but Tigers East will keep you turning pages, with lots of wartime action and then the inevitable intrigue that is infused into the story by Fedorov’s surprising choices. Fans of Erwin Rommel will also see their favorite General resurgent here, and determined to stop fighting the last war and return to the mobile battles that made him famous. Through it all, we get numerous appearances by Hitler, Manstein, Steiner, Rommel, Kesselring, Patton, Sergei Kirov, Zhukov, Admiral Tovey and other historical characters, with Herman Balck getting a good deal of ink after his introduction. By the time those Tigers are well east, hammering at the Soviet defense near Volgograd, it is October of 1942. The next volume then promises to take us into the most massive battle ever fought, the author’s rendition of the terrible struggle for Volgograd, where the drama is already well under way in Zhukov’s counterpunching, if premature, offensives. How that battle will finally end remains to be seen in the next book.

The Kirov Series has now reached the mid-point of the war as the tide of affairs has slowly become more even handed through the last several books, Turning Point, Steel Reign and Second Front. The British have stopped Rommel, though he now stirs to life again as a major threat. The Allies have put an end to Raeder’s dream in the Canary Islands, and knocked both Spain and Vichy France out of the war in the startling developments after the opening of their Second Front. The Japanese Operation FS has been halted on Fiji, even as their expansion met its first challenge on Guadalcanal in the real history. The Battlecruiser Kirov has settled the affair involving JS Takami, and sent Harada and Fukada south to continue their arguments somewhere else.

Here the action on the East Front takes the German summer offensive to its conclusion, as the rains and mud of autumn herald the coming of the dread winter of 1942. Can the Soviets muster the offense that will be required to turn the tide in Russia? In any case, we have reached that dangerous balance in the period late 1942 to early 1943, where the Axis has suffered its first major setbacks, but both Germany and Japan remain powerful opponents, and the outcome of the war still remains in doubt. If the Allies can continue to gain momentum and carry on the fight, we have ahead the great battles that formed the heart of the war: Volgograd, Kursk, and surely others in Russia; Overlord, Cobra, Market Garden and the Bulge in the West, assuming those actions ever occur in this history. Fans that have remained loyal to the series from its inception are now have tickets to all those rides, and Season Four starts with a bang here in Tigers East, on sale in the kindle store just in time for the fireworks this July!

KINDLE VERSION: $4.99

TRADE PAPERBACK: $19.99 (After July 4)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Just Released: Kirov Saga - Second Front

Second Front

Book 24 in the Kirov Series and Season 3 Finale


Vladimir Karpov has already opened a Second Front in the north against Japan with his bold invasion of Sakhalin Island. Now the battlecruiser Kirov has come upon a most unexpected challenger in the Pacific as the crew of Takami join Admiral Kurita in a daring attempt to sink the Siberian raider. The fast paced naval combat extends through the first six chapters here as two modern day warriors at sea duel in the waters of 1942.

Then the action moves to the frigid Norwegian Sea where Britain launches one of its biggest relief convoys ever bound for Murmansk., PQ-17. The combined British and American covering forces are soon challenged by a powerful German battlegroup centered on the battleship Tirpitz and the newly commissioned carrier Peter Strasser.

Meanwhile, General Dwight D. Eisenhower puts the finishing touches on the first joint US/British offensive of the war, Operation Torch, only this time, with the Straits of Gibraltar closed, there can be no landings at Oran and Algiers. Instead the British come ashore at Lisbon when Portugal joins the Allied cause, and Patton leads the entire US Torch order of battle in a much bigger landing at Casablanca. The objective of both forces is the long lost bastion of Gibraltar, where a dangerous secret lurks in the unexplored depths of St. Michael's Cave.

The invasion is well underway when Fedorov is alarmed to discover what he believes is an insoluble paradox looming on the near horizon. As the history of 1942 is re-written, how could Sergei Kirov ever come to power if Fedorov fails to warn him of his fate at the hands of Staliln? A mission to Ilanskiy is launched to attempt to shore up the history... But Karpov has other ideas....

Buy Now for Kindle: $4.99

320 Pages at 5.5" x 8.5"



Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vendetta

     Kirov Series Battle Book II

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DPUL4AG

 Vladimir Karpov… surely irrepressible, deceitful, conniving, duplicitous, egocentric and yes, disloyal. All these things can rightfully be said about him. And yet, his inner drive to make something greater of himself, whether bordering on the maniacal or not, has also made him a formidable ally in the war against the dark forces of the Axis powers. To those he befriends he brings his iron will, quick and clever mind, exceptional skill in combat, and a ruthless desire to succeed at any cost. In combat he can be heartless, even cruel, and coldly heedless of the consequences of his own actions. There is nothing, in his own mind, that he cannot take within his grasp, and the tools which he takes in hand to work his will on an unsuspecting world are lethal in more ways than many can fathom. To those that make him an enemy, beware.

Ivan Volkov was one such man, first a mere nuisance to Karpov when he came aboard with Inspector General Kapustin in Series Book 4, Men of War. Karpov called him a lapdog, but Volkov, who’s name translates as “Wolf” in Russian, became something very much more in this story. Working for Russian Naval Intelligence, he is ordered to pursue Fedorov along the Trans-Siberian Rail, where he comes upon the railway inn at Ilanskiy, stumbles down a stairway, and finds himself… somewhere else. It is not another place, but another time.

Whether it was fate’s artifice, or mere happenstance, the back stairway is precisely aligned along an unseen rift in time, and any man who walks it becomes a Free Radical, an errant and dangerous thread in the careful tapestry woven by Mother Time. But unlike Fedorov, who’s brief time there ended up profoundly changing the history of the 20th Century when he warned a young Sergei Kirov of an impending plot to take his life, Ivan Volkov never came back. Instead he used his foreknowledge of future events, the data stored in his service jacket computer, to co-opt the White Russian movement after the revolution, unseating Denikin and establishing his private little empire, the Orenburg Federation.

In time he hoped to easily defeat Kolchak’s fledgling Free Siberian State, and by so doing place himself in a position to challenge the Soviet Union, now led by Sergei Kirov, who murdered a young Josef Stalin as a result of Fedorov’s errant whisper. Then along came Vladimir Karpov, defeated in his second attempt to seize control of the ship named for Kirov, lost, forsaken, alone, and adrift at sea. But not for very long.

While the other main characters aboard Kirov, and the ship’s crew, harbor mixed feelings as they commemorate his apparent death, in the opening volume of “Season 2” of this saga, Karpov survives, makes his way to Siberia, and soon applies his unique personality and will to quickly rise in the ranks of the Siberian power elite.

This is that story, of his fall in that last terrible moment aboard Kirov off Oki Island in the Sea of Japan, and his meteoric rise to seize control of the Free Siberian State. By so doing, he becomes a major player in the alternate history of WWII that is threaded through this series. It is inevitable that he soon comes into conflict with his neighbor state to the west, Volkov’s Orenburg Federation, shocked to learn the real identity of the man behind it, and dedicated to his demise.

Here is their story, the clash and contest of wills between our saga’s two arch villains that became Vendetta. The material that creates this novel was extracted from that long running subplot in the saga, spanning 17 different books, and assembled and re-edited here into one continuous and uninterrupted narrative. In doing this I have included what might be called “outtakes,” extended scenes, and occasional new material that never appeared in the original Kirov Series. Consider it my “Director’s Cut” for this long intriguing subplot in the saga, all things Ilanskiy, the mystery, the mayhem, the parachute jumps, commando raids, ground assaults, and oh yes, the Zeppelins!

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON

Monday, February 29, 2016

Available Now: Kirov Series ~ Steel Reign

Kirov Series: Book 23
ABOUT STEEL REIGN
By John Schettler

The Steel Reign of the Japanese offensive reaches its high water mark as Yamamoto launches Operation FS in a bold attempt to storm the Islands of Fiji and Samoa and isolate Australia. He is opposed by a determined stand made by Admirals Fletcher and  Halsey in the desperate battles of the Coral Sea and Koro Sea to decide the fate of Empires.
    Meanwhile Vladimir Karpov continues his long planned invasion of Sakhalin Island, but Japan now has a powerful new champion as the Destroyer Takami is detached north to join Admiral Kurita’s task force. Now Captain Harada and the crew of Takami plot how to find and confront the dark, unseen enemy of the north that the Japanese have come to call Mizuchi, the mighty battlecruiser Kirov.
   In the Atlantic, Admiral Raeder discovers the strange ship and cargo taken as a prize of war by Kaiser Wilhelm. Now he orders the Hindenburg north to Saint Nazaire to complete repairs in the only dry dock that can hold the massive battleship. But Admiral Tovey leads a plan to launch a surprise raid to destroy those facilities, and to do so he calls on the able services of the Argos Fire.
    Warriors from a future time now launch themselves into the fires of WWII in a daring attempt to halt the enemy advance and end the Steel Reign of the Axis powers.
  




Steel Reign is Book 23 in the longest running Alternate History of WWII ever written, by John Schettler. Learn more about the series, and what segment of the history each volume covers at www.writingshop.ws

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Foxbane: Kirov Series Battle Book 1

In a move that stunned Great Britain in 1940, the Germans launched a daring operation to seize the vaunted Rock of Gibraltar and Malta. Now Erwin Rommel leads the Afrika Korps in a bid to conquer all of Egypt and knock England out of the war. But a strange event in the year 2021 sends the Great Grandsons of the Desert Rats back through time to pose a bold new challenge. Soon the hunter becomes the hunted, as the Desert Fox struggles for his very survival in this exciting alternate history of WWII.




Loaded with action, Foxbane presents 58 chapters of all the action from the German Operation Felix attack on Gibraltar, the daring attack on Malta, (Operation Herkules), the opening moves in North Africa with O'Connor's Raid, the Battle of Beda Fomm, and Rommel's first offensive, Operation Sonnenblume. Then, in the midst of the fighting, General O'Connor goes missing, and a desperate search and rescue operation is mounted. Fate takes the search team to a unexpected rendezvous in the deep desert, where a strange event in the midst of a new war in 2021 has displaced the modern British 7th Armored Brigade back in time to 1941. As Rommel drives east towards Alexandria, he is soon confronted by a powerful new enemy that becomes the bane of the Desert Fox from that day forward. At the Battle of Bir el Khamsa, modern day Challenger II tanks and Warrior AFVs confront the cream of Rommel's Afrika Korps. But we're just getting started!

Foxbane then continues as Rommel receives powerful new reinforcements to launch a bold attack on Tobruk. The fighting continues as the British launch their own counteroffensives in Operation Crusader, and finally Operation Supercharge, where the Desert Rats seek to push Rommel back to Tripoli. Here is all the great desert war action extracted from the massive 24 volume Kirov Series novels by John Schettler, re-edited by the author and presented in one continuous file spanning 58 chapters. (Over 175,000 words).


This is military fiction at its absolute finest, an alternate history so convincing that you’ll believe it actually happened!