Monday, 15 December 2014

Happy Holidays! Have A Free Ebook

I'm headed to Tangier on Friday for a couple of weeks so this blog will probably go quiet until the new year. In the meantime, enjoy a Christmas story on me. I just published Christmas Truce, a novella in my Trench Raiders series of WWI books. It looks at how the men of Company E react during the real-life Christmas Truce of 1914, when British and German soldiers skipped the war for a day and met as friends in No Man's Land. The blurb is below.

Christmas 1914: In the cold, muddy trenches of the Western Front, there is a strange silence.
As a crack English trench raiding team enjoy their first day of peace in months, they call out holiday greetings to the men on the German line. Soon both sides are fraternizing in No Man’s Land.
But when the English recognize some enemy raiders who only a few days before launched a deadly attack on their position, can they keep the peace through the Christmas Truce?

You can get it as a free ebook on Smashwords or, if you have a spare $2.99 you not doing anything with, you can buy it on Amazon.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Old West Photo Friday: Panning for Gold

I love this shot. It shows a 49er panning for gold in California's American River. This guy looks like he's been put through the wringer yet is still determined to strike it big.

Unfortunately there's no name attached to this photo. I wonder whatever happened to him? Did he find enough gold to open a saloon in San Francisco and retire in comfort, or did he end up in a pauper's grave in some dusty mining camp?

Speaking of dusty mining camps, I have a humorous flash fiction piece in Every Day Fiction this week. It's called How They Brought The Train To High Hopes.

For more free stuff by yours truly, check out my articles over on Black Gate about Axum: The Ancient Superpower of Ethiopia and Arms and Armor of the Abyssinian Empire.

Have a great weekend!

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Military History Photo Friday: The Cleanest Soldier in the World

During World War One, lots of companies jumped on the patriotic bandwagon to market their products. Here's a typical ad.

So was the British soldier the "cleanest fighter in the world"? I doubt he felt that way, what with all the rats, lice, mud, and rotting bodies. But hey, they were no dirtier than any other soldier in the war!

Today the second in my Trench Raiders series of WWI action novels, Digging In, went live. It's available for $2.99 from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and all other major ebook outlets. Coming soon will be a related novella about the famous Christmas Truce.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Military History Photo Friday: Digging Trenches in World War One

This photo shows British troops digging a trench while protected by rudimentary gas masks. I have no information about this picture but some of the details give us clues as to where and when this was taken.

First off, the soldiers are wearing service caps and not steel helmets. At the beginning of the war in 1914, no army issued steel helmets to their troops. The British wouldn't get their trademark Brodie helmets until 1916.

The Germans didn't use gas to any significant degree until 1915, catching the Allies entirely off guard. The men scrambled to make some sort of protection. The first things used were bandannas soaked in various substances and tied around the nose and mouth. Other troops fashioned their own masks or used whatever was available. The fellow in the center seems to be wearing a surgical mask! Because of the primitive gas protection, I'm thinking this was taken in early 1915, probably still in winter considering that the men are wearing sweaters even while digging.

I also think this was taken in a support area or maybe during a drill well behind the lines. No weapons are visible and the photographer is standing atop the parapet, something you wouldn't do in battle!

Digging trenches was hard work, as I make clear in a couple of scenes in my latest WWI action novel, Digging In.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Made it through the National Novel Writing Month Challenge!

I've just made it over the 50,000 word mark on We had Flags, Book Three of my Toxic World series of post-apocalyptic novels. There's still a ways to go on this one. It's feeling like an 80-85,000 word novel.

Anyway, it's a lot of fun. Hope any other NaNo folks out there are having as much fun as I am!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

My latest WWI novel available for preorder!

My latest World War One action novel, Digging In, is coming out December 5 and is available for preorder. The story takes up where Trench Raiders left off and continues the adventures of Crawford, Willoughby, and Thompson, while introducing some interesting new characters. Here's the blurb.

October 1914: The British line is about to break.

After two months of hard fighting, the British Expeditionary Force is short of men, ammunition, and ideas. With their line stretched to the breaking point, aerial reconnaissance spots German reinforcements massing for the big push. As their trenches are hammered by a German artillery battery, the men of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry come up with a desperate plan--a daring raid behind enemy lines to destroy the enemy guns, and give the British a chance to stop the German army from breaking through.

Digging In is the second in a new series of World War One action novels that will follow the brave men of the BEF through the major battles of the First World War a hundred years after they happened. The Battle of Ypres was the first of many great slaughters on the Western Front, and it was there that both sides learned the true horror of the world's first global conflict.

It's now available on Amazon, Amazon UK, and all the other Amazons. It's also available on Smashwords and will soon be at all other major ebook outlets.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Military History Photo Friday: Filipino Weapons and Armor of the Nineteenth Century

The Museo Naval in Madrid has a fine collection of artifacts from Spain's Golden Age of Sail. One of hte more unusual collections is this set of Filipino weapons and armor. The Philippines were a Spanish colony for many years, and the Filipino people fought against the Spanish for their independence. The Americans inherited this war when they took the Philippines from Spain in the Spanish-American war of 1898.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.