A new one

Ethan has a new Justin Hall installment, and it's on sale at Amazon. Link.
On sale today:

We're out in paper at your favorite bookstore, on-line and mortar.
Veterans Day (observed)

We have a lot of veterans among our family and friends, including a number currently serving in the military. I salute them all for their sacrifices and courage.

But as we observe this Veterans Day, I’m thinking specifically of one veteran who had the unusual distinction of serving in the armies of two different nations. My grandfather.

His service in the American Army came shortly after World War I. There was nothing particularly noteworthy about it, except for him – it provided a fast-track to citizenship.

But it’s unlikely that any peacetime duty could have measured up to his service with the Italian army during World War I. He joined at fourteen or fifteen, becoming a truck driver. By the time the war ended, he was the 19-year-old first sergeant in charge of a machine gun unit. The battles he survived in the Alps against the Austrians were among the most ferocious and bloodiest of the war; at least once he was the only man in his squad to survive an attack.

To see and deal death on such a massive scale must greatly change a young man, though he never spoke of those changes, and in fact barely spoke much of the war at all. He was a great storyteller, but his stories were of the Roman Empire and the Church, of saints and philosopher-poets. I don’t think this was a matter of avoidance; it was more that he grew up at a time when talking about yourself was something you didn’t bother with.

I don’t know that he was a hero in the war. I can guess that even if he was, he’d be the last person to mention it. In that way, he’s like many if not all of the other veterans we know and honor for their service. Thank you, all.

The next installment in the Puppetmaster series is due out next January.... sorry for the long wait.