Thursday, May 31, 2018

Stormy Weather...

Kirov Series: Volume 37 

The Tempest

The war in 1944 heats up as the tempest of Allied offensive operations rages on three fronts.

In Russia, Sergei Kirov turns the wrath of his powerful Red Army to the east, vowing to destroy Ivan Volkov’s Orenburg Federation once and for all after the dastardly attack on Leningrad. In the Pacific, Admiral Spruance leads in the Big Blue Fleet to begin Operation Forager in the Marianas. It leads to the great carrier duel in the Philippine Sea and the landings on Saipan, Tinian and Guam against a determined and desperate enemy. In the West, Operation Overlord is finally cast ashore, but the old familiar battle in Normandy is forsaken for a new campaign, this time in the Pas-de-Calais. The battle for France soon becomes the most dangerous theater of the war, as Patton joins the action again with Operation Thunder in the south. At the height of the crisis, a train makes its way from the heart of the Reich, heading south and west to the German border, but with a most unusual cargo, and the word ‘Wunderwaffe’ is given new meaning on the Western Front.
    As the Germans struggle to head off a power struggle and civil war after the death of the Führer, two dramatic meetings are held to decide the fate of the Axis powers. The first is the long-planned meeting in the Eagle’s Nest, where the Generals of OKW face down Himmler and Goring to define a new chain of command for Germany. The second is a secret meeting between Ivan Volkov and Himmler, where the two men plot how best to use the one clear advantage they now possess in the grim struggle ahead, the fire of the atomic bomb. But first, Volkov proposes a bold new plan aimed at stopping the devastating Allied bombing offensive over Germany.
    Finally, the outcome of the mission launched by Fedorov and Karpov aboard Tunguska meets with an unexpected complication. Time seems to conspire against them, and Karpov suddenly realizes that the solution to the problem they are trying to solve lies somewhere else. Now the two men are forced to reorient their thinking about the dilemma they face, and plan a final solution to the terrible crisis of their own making.
Kirov Saga: 37
The Tempest

John Schettler

Part I – The Devil’s Adjutants
Part II – The Führer’s Shadow
Part III – Kantai-Kessen
Part IV – The Seven Samurai
Part V – Saipan
Part VI – Death Before Dishonor
Part VII – Devil’s Bargain
Part VIII– Controlled Chaos
Part IX – The Far Shore
Part X – The Train
Part XI – The Other Foot
Part XII – Absolute Certainty
324 Pages, 36 Chapters, about 105,000 words.
Kindle Version: $4.99 ~ Quality Trade Paperback: $19.99

Monday, April 30, 2018


Foxbane II - The Saga in the desert continues!

500 pages of exciting WWII action as Rommel's campaigns continue from Mersa Brega to Kasserine Pass. Volume II of three in the Foxbane trilogy is now available May 1, 2018. Kindle version: $4.99


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"Beware the Ides of March..."

Kirov Series: Volume 36


  Vladimir Karpov takes his private war to the Marianas, and meets Admiral Kita’s Task Force head on as the mighty Kirov once again joins the action in the Pacific.
The Allied Generals meet to decide their strategy, and the fate of Operation Overlord hangs in the balance. Then the war in the West takes a dramatic turn when Rommel and Guderian launch their bid to isolate and destroy Patton’s 7th Army in Operation Valkyrie. The battle that results rapidly redraws the lines on the war maps, and threatens to decide the outcome in the West. As the fiery General Patton commits everything to hold his position, he then launches a stunning counterattack, but in a most unexpected direction.

  As Manstein makes his dramatic withdrawal to the Dnieper, the shifting loyalties of Ivan Volkov take him to a dangerous meeting in Leningrad with Sergei Kirov. There he makes his final bid for a cease fire and peace terms with the Soviet Union, and a startling offer that becomes much more than it seems.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Here There Be Dragons...

Kirov Series #35


NOTE: This was originally titled "1944" but as all the action here occurs in late 1943, that title is now reserved for the next book, Volume 36.

 AVAILABLE NOW : $4.99 (Kindle Version)

About Dragonfall

Here comes the next volume of the long running Kirov Series, and right on schedule, only it has been retitled Dragonfall. The title it releases, 1944, will instead become volume 36, and largely because this action packed book needed all its chapters to finish off 1943.

We begin with a welcome return to the battlecruiser Kirov. With the Siberian off with Fedorov aboard Tunguska on their mission to get after Tyrenkov, the younger Karpov has taken command of our favorite ship, and his restless energy soon leads to battle. Eager to get the war moving against the Japanese, he decides to first clear up a logistical problem he had in supplying Petropavlovsk, the major port on the southeast coast of Kamchatka, taken earlier in the war. It can only be supplied by landing on the west coast, and hauling supplies over the rugged terrain of Kamchatka, so Karpov wants to open a sea lane through the 1st Kurile Strait.

The problem thee is the de-facto Japanese occupation of Shumushu and Paramushiro, two islands just off the southern tip of Kamchatka. Artillery, air units and naval units make any convoy through that strait a near suicide mission, and Karpov sees the only solution—assault and occupy those islands to clear the sea lane. This sets up the opening three chapters, as the mighty Kirov leads the Siberian offensive to accomplish this task.

Part II then takes up to the US strategy in the south Pacific. MacArthur wants Tulagi, but Nimitz wants to continue into the Marshalls. They will both get what they want, for the US finds itself strong enough to mount both offensives simultaneously. Yet the Combined Fleet has also reached its high water mark. Admiral Kita pledges his 21st century task force to serve Yamamoto’s needs, and they plan to go gunning for the US carriers. Enter Vladimir Karpov, and Kirov is back again by Part III, aptly entitled “Ambush.” Those next three chapters again bring Kirov and Kazan into direct confrontation with Admiral Kita and company, and the missiles and fireworks fly.

The next nine chapters take us to the East Front, for the onset of the Soviet Winter offensive. It has to major aims this time around, the capture of Kharkov in the south, and then the isolation of all German forces stubbornly defending at Moscow. Sergei Kirov wants his cities back. In all this action, we now see what the Soviet army has become capable of, and how the German situation grows ever more desperate in the East. The fortunes of some German Generals falter and fail, while others rise to take their place in the intense fighting that characterizes these nine chapters.

Part VII, “All Hallows Eve” then takes us to Southern France to relate what the Allies are doing there in their last big offensive of 1943. Beginning in late October, the action rages into late November with drives by Patton, Clark, O’Connor, and Montgomery all complicating Rommel’s defense, which struggles desperately to hold back the Allied surge. The action finally shocks Hitler into seeing the gravity of the threat now posed by the US and British forces in France.

After this brief three chapter roundup on action in the West, we then return to the Pacific. The title of this volume is derived from this action, for a full 16 of the 36 chapters in the book deal with battles in the Pacific, and Kirov is right in the middle of things. Yamamoto throws the Kido-Butai at the US Navy, intending to counterattack through the Solomon Sea towards Tulagi, which is Bull Halsey’s watch. At the same time, Nagumo sets out to see if he can stop Nimitz in the Marshalls, which is soon seen as the more immediate threat by Yamamoto. He decides to reinforce Nagumo at the expense of Hara’s operation in the Solomons, and two big carrier actions result as the resurgent Kido-Butai meets the ever strengthening power of the US fast carrier task forces under Spruance, Mitscher, Fletcher and Ziggy Sprague.

I won’t tell you which dragon gets slain, but its right in line with all the great Pacific battles we’ve see thus far. After this segment concludes in Chapter 31, the book the reserves the last five chapters for Fedorov and the Siberian Karpov’s mission against Tyrenkov, which has taken a strange twist when the airship arrives just hours before the event it is named after. This segment takes up right where it left off at the conclusion of Event Horizon, and drives that plot line forward, with all its many ramifications and consequences involving the viability of the altered states we have been living in for so long.

Ending with a recap of all the great action of 1943, this volume concludes on New Year’s Eve of that year, and we are now poised to enter the decisive year that will entitle the next volume, 1944. This compelling and detailed alternate history of the war drives faithfully on, and now we’re entering territory that will feature some of the most colorful and interesting battles of the war. The Allies are still planning a cross channel attack. The heavy bombers may lead off a major breakout operation in France akin to Operation Cobra. There may be a big airborne operation like Market Garden in the offing. The US may blunder into the nightmare that was Hurtgen Forest. Hitler will most certainly risk everything in one more counterattack like the Battle of the Bulge. The U.S. will surely go for the Marianas at Saipan and Tinian soon, even while MacArthur hastens to invade New Georgia so he can break the Bismarck Barrier and be in a position to return to his cherished Philippines. And oh yes, Georgie Zhukov will have his mind set on crossing the Dnieper.

I’ll be there!

AVAILABLE NOW : $4.99 (Kindle Version)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Season 5 Premier


Available Now

Season Five Begins with Prime Meridian

    The War in the West takes a dangerous step forward when Churchill orders a dramatic retaliatory strike on Germany. Even as plans are laid for the invasion of Italy, Marshall and Eisenhower now steer the course of the campaign in a bold new direction. But first, the last of the German fleet in the Med must be challenged at sea. In the battle that follows, the German battlecruiser Kaiser Wilhelm soon finds itself grappling with a mystery, and strange new foes on the high seas.
       Meanwhile, Gennadi Orlov makes a most fateful decision and sets out to find Ivan Volkov in 1908. He is joined by a most unexpected visitor, but they soon find that they are not the only ones in the hunt, and events in the crucial year of 1908 now threaten to spiral out of control.
      The Fairchild group continues its quest for the lost key, even as the Meridian Project team detects the onset of a dangerous wave of utter annihilation in the distant future that threatens the integrity of Time itself.

  The Grand Finality they have long feared begins to cast its ever deepening shadow, and the fate of the Prime Meridian is now in grave jeopardy.


    After being upstaged by Sir Roger Ames in the marvelous retelling of the Waterloo Campaign,Field of Glory, Season 5 now begins with Prime Meridian. Like the Season 4 Premier, Doppelganger, the book’s striking cover hints strongly that this volume will take us deeper into the mysteries, and consequences, of time travel, which has always been at the heart of the series itself. Readers know that ‘nothing is written,’ nothing ever certain, and ‘everything is permitted, ‘as the old Ismali saying goes. In Prime Meridian, several missions into the past now present us with some startling twists, and grave consequences.

    Even as the war continues, with the Allies now poised to make their invasion of Italy, the Germans must decide how and where to defend. Kesselring argues strongly that the key ports and airfield complexes in the south should be defended, while Rommel holds that everything should simply be pulled back to the Apennine Range and only the Po Valley should be held. At the same time, the Allies are dickering over any number of options now open to them after the fall of Corsica. Churchill proposes a daring move into the Balkans, Montgomery prefers his historical “Heel and Toe” operations, and with Sardinia in hand, now Allied air power can easily cover a thrust aimed directly at Rome. The plan that is finally chosen is, however, most unexpected, a conspiracy born of collusion between Eisenhower and General Marshall.

    Yet everything these men grapple with pales before the dilemma now facing Fedorov and company. A triumvirate of our local heroes, Volsky, Fedorov, and Karpov (the Siberian), finally agree on an attempt to eliminate Ivan Volkov to prevent the rise of the Orenburg Federation. Yet their plans are complicated by the great loose cannon in the story, one Gennadi Orlov. Separated from Fedorov’s team on their last mission to Ilanskiy, Orlov has remained behind in 1908. Now he makes a fateful choice when he detects another modern day naval service jacket signal, and realizes who it must be.

    Orlov has always been a wild card in the deck of the main series characters on the battlecruiser Kirov. His bumbling about, impulsive decisions, strange finds on the tundra of Siberia, have always introduced some of the major plot twists of the series, and that will certainly be the case again here. First, Orlov finds he is not alone as he sets off to hunt down Ivan Volkov. The plan hatched by Fedorov and company is now about to undergo a convulsive twist, and the implications are more threatening to the integrity of the history than anything that has yet happened in the series.

    Meanwhile, the Meridian Project cannot fail to notice what is happening from the vantage point of the Berkeley Lab facility in 2021. With war imminent, their Golem monitors now present a startling series of variations originating from 1908 and migrating all along the continuum, to their present. As all the series character sets slowly come to the same realizations about what is happening, the author uses the Meridian Team to explain all the time theory behind this development and make it more graspable. The striking cover illustrates this as well, though you won’t find out what the Hindu statue means until very near the end of this one. It’s an amazing synthesis of the author’s entire universe of writing, all blooming now in the middle of this marathon retelling of the history of WWII.

    Ever since the arrival of physicist Paul Dorland, reprising his role as Lieutenant Commander Wellings from the final book in the author’s Meridian time travel series, he and his project team of four intrepid researchers have made occasional cameo appearances in the story. We last saw them take notice of a new historical variation cause by Sir Roger Ames in Field of Glory. In fact, they even attempted to prevent his intervention there, but he was able to slip away on the eve of Waterloo, which led to that excellent retelling of the entire campaign. The time travel, while often brought keenly into focus, is always just a vehicle for the author to take us into some corner of the history where he has undoubtedly spent a long time grazing. Field of Glory is now as one of the most outstanding alternate history books ever penned, and as volume 1 in the Keyholder’s Saga, we get the promise of more to come in that series. In Prime Meridian, Dorland and his team appear again, getting about three full chapters near the end of this volume, largely used by the author to explain the consequences of things the other characters are doing, and to advance the mystery around the formation of that Grand Finality Elena Fairchild was warning about.

    Yet in spite of the cover emphasizing the time travel aspects of the story, this book is mostly focused on the history. The first 15 chapters all continue the evolving war in the West. Then we get a clever an interesting diversion in Part VI, where the author takes us on a little journey with the Russian Baltic fleet enroute to its fated appointment in the Tsushima Straits. That little incident makes a clever back-stitch to those events, which were echoed when Karpov arrived in 1908 with Kirov, deciding to reset the history in Russia’s favor. We all saw how that turned out. That segment sets up another intriguing loop involving the strange talisman Orlov discovered in Siberia, the Devil’s Teardrop. Then we get that seeming diversion stitched right back into the main story line where the German raider Kaiser Wilhelm has again broken off from Raeder’s task force. As before, mischief and mayhem lie dead ahead.

    All in all, Prime Meridian launches Season 5 quite well. We get new beginnings, echoes of past segments in the series, lines drawn to connect some of the many subplots, and at the end of this one, a terrifying twist that few will likely expect. Ahead lies the remaining months of 1943, and then the decisive year of 1944 in this long retelling of the war…. Assuming the time line holds together long enough for the author to write it all. Something tells me it will, as Mr. Schettler has, on more than one occasion, vowed that he would take the series all the way to the end of the war.

    And we get to take that wonderful ride!
    Look for Prime Meridian coming October 1, and welcome to Season 5.