ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Free Preview of Iraq War Heist Novel - BABYLON SMILES

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For your reading pleasure, the prologue and first chapter of Babylon Smiles. 

Available in eBook Only
What is Babylon Smiles?  It's an Iraqi War Heist Novel. It's been compared to Kelly's Heroes and Three Kings. It’s the end of 2003. Billions of American dollars have been given to Iraq to refund their economy. Flown into Baghdad Airport, this money is transported by anonymous military trucks to banks in all the major cities. This money is unaccounted for. No one really knows all the details. So it only makes sense that someone might have a better idea about where the money should go. Enter the men and women of the 399th Transportation Company who must eventually choose between capturing Saddam Hussein or living lives of luxury. That is if they survive.

 
PROLOGUE

On March 19, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq with the intention of capturing Saddam Hussein and finding the weapons of mass destruction the Iraqi dictator had led the world to believe he had. U.S. troops took Baghdad on April 9th. Crowds cheered. Statues were pulled down. Hope was in the air. In these early days of a war that would carry on for many more years than anyone could have ever anticipated there was a feeling of joy suffusing the populace. An entire society had been freed from the vice grip of oppression. Everyone was excited for awhile. But this was before the insurgents. This was before the roadside bombs. This was before the borders opened to foreign fighters. This was before all out intercine warfare. There was a time at the end of 2003 when we all thought it would be over soon; when soldiers were on their first tour into the box, anticipating going home and never imagining that they might be forced to come back again and again; when lifelong friends were made; when American banks shipped old dollars to stabilize a new Iraqi economy; when everyone trusted everyone and shipped this money in the back of Army trucks guarded by soldiers who didn't even know what they were carrying. This was a special time in Iraq because it was a time of opportunity. This is one story of that time. The names have been changed to protect the guilty and those who survived.

"When I think of Weston Ochse, I think of a well respected member of the horror writing community, but then there's this other side of him that has spent 20-plus years serving his country in the U. S. Army... I've said before that I'm not a fan of combat fiction, but I'm a sucker for a good story and that's what you'll get in Babylon Smiles. Look for the reveal on the meaning of Babylon Smiles, too. That's kinda cool." Frank Errington, Reviewer

 
*December 10, 2003
Wednesday*



Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq After a series of successful raids on Tuesday, U.S. Officials deny capturing a top member of Saddam Hussein's government. More than 2,000 American soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade cordoned off the northern Iraqi city of Hawija, about 25 miles west of Kirkuk, and detained more than 20 suspected guerrillas. A source inside the unit said one of their targets had been Izzat Ibrahim, a former senior aide to Mr. Hussein who is believed to be coordinating at least some attacks against American soldiers.

1
     An explosion rocked the brick and mud-daub buildings along the sides of the dusty lane. A plume of fire and disintegrating concrete shot heavenward until all that could be heard was man-made thunder rattling across the sky.
     A camel lurched away from its tether to stand in the middle of the cracked asphalt road. Children scattered and ran behind anything large enough to hide them. A woman waddled behind a goat shack, nervous eyes gazing for the cause of the impromptu violence. A lonely soccer ball rolled from the road onto the dusty plain, carried by a vagabond sirocco. The sound of gunfire split the twilight from both heavy and light caliber weapons. Another explosion, this one smaller than the first, silenced the exchange of gunfire.  
     A 40 ton, 8-wheeled military transport truck bucked and slid as it took the corner too fast. Private Schmidtke spun the wheel, fighting for control of the gargantuan HEMMET. Last time he'd been this afraid, he'd been hell bent for home after getting caught poaching deer by a Texas Ranger. The private's mad eyes searched the road for mines and obstructions as his mouthed worked itself into a frenzy around a wad of chewing tobacco as he whispered to himself-- Osh Kosh By Gosh. Osh Kosh By Gosh.
     "Camel!" Sitting in the passenger seat, Private Scirrotto pointed to the beast that stood directly in their way.
     "Shit!" Schmidtke swerved, barely missing turning the half-ton ship of the desert into Bedouin goulash on the steely front slope of the truck.
     "RPG. Two o'clock," Stilts yelled. The tall black sergeant swung the fifty caliber machine gun mounted on the roof to engage the target. The thunka thunka thunkas of burning lead and tracers obliterated the doorway and anything within five feet of the man aiming the rocket propelled grenade launcher at them.
     Rather than slowing, the truck gathered speed as it plowed through the smoking remains of a Honda sedan. The HEMMET was the biggest thing on the road and nothing short of the Great Wall of China was going to stop them. Schmidtke side-swiped a tinker's cart sending wood splintering into the air, then back to the ground looking all the world like a madman's game of pick-up sticks.
Me at a bazaar in Afghanistan
     Up ahead, he spied a hand grenade dangling from an overpass. Although he couldn't see anyone, he knew there was someone nearby to pull the pin with another length of fishing line. During the first days of the war along the road to An Nassariyah this type of ambush had been something new to the U.S. forces-- nothing like a grenade exploding at windshield-level to ruin the day of a listless convoy driver.
     Schmidtke pointed but Scirrotto had already seen it. The former sniper adjusted his hold on the M24 sniper rifle, eased the 10x Leopold M3 Ultra telescopic sight to his right eye, took aim and engaged the target. The grenade ate itself in a bright display of what could have been.
Private Schmidtke's mouth returned to his private prayer as he drove. Osh Kosh By Gosh. Osh Kosh By Gosh.
     Private Scirrotto scanned the horizon. 
     Stilts scanned the sky.
 
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Praise for Weston Ochse:

“Weston Ochse is one of the best authors of our generation.” - Brian Keene, Author of Ghoul and The Rising
“Weston Ochse is a mercurial writer, one of those depressingly talented people who are good at whatever they turn their hand to.”-Conrad Williams, August Derleth and International Horror Guild Award Winner

“Weston Ochse is perhaps the fiercest and most direct of the latest generation of dark fiction writers.” Rocky Wood , author of Stephen King: A Literary Companion.
 
“Weston Ochse is to horror what Bradbury is to science fiction -- an artist whose craft, stories and voice are so distinct and mesmerizing that you can't help but be enthralled.” - Dani Kollin, Prometheus Award-winning author of The Unincorporated Man
 
“Brilliantly rendered. What was so impressive about the piece was that I did not doubt the incredible heroism of the protagonist... nor his motivation." - Andrew Vachss on “Family Man”

“Ochse succeeds in creating a complex plot that casts a brutal overwhelming spell.” - International Thriller Award winner Tom Piccirilli on Scarecrow Gods

Raves for SEAL Team 666:

"SEAL TEAM 666 is like X-Files written by Tom Clancy: ingenious, creepy, and entertaining." - Kevin J. Anderson, #1 international bestselling author of DEATH WARMED OVER

"SEAL TEAM 666 is a wild blend of nail-biting thriller action and out-of-the shadows horror. This is the supernatural thriller at its most dynamic. Perfect!" -Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of DEAD OF NIGHT and THE KING OF PLAGUES

 


1 comment :

  1. Mr. Ochse (cannot call you Gigantor (275 lbs. it mighta fit ?)
    you"re still our superman (the best gigantor song is form the
    late "s early "s version of the band called the "Dickies".
    they were even once on th edon rickles comedy show
    CPO SHARKY" that episode really kicked ass.
    just wonderin" oh great witer of many excellent reads.(books,duh-no shit!) just wonderin' if Babylon Smiles and Butterfly Winter were going to be avaiable in print soon.(i really hope so).
    anything you are lacking in Afanistan??? give to me an adress where to send and if i can i'll try. not ammo, i have a bit but i'll never part with it.(pry it from my cold dead hands and all that shit)
    i see your new Seal team 666 (?) book is coming out on 10/15/2013.
    wow my birthday. any chance of purchasing a signed to stephen happy birthday (i am actually 1 year older that you are Senior Ochse.)your just a youngin' in th emiddle east. congrats on losing the 35 pounds.i have lost at least that much over the last 2 1/2 years , as i started to eat healthy. (and have added campbells chunky soup as a mainstaple to my diet.iit helps to fill me up and then i am not starvin' all the time like i used to.keep kickin ass' and stay safe.(i damn well mean it)

    stephen pontius
    postmant666@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete