Brett Battles's Blog

December 22, 2013

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Published on December 22, 2013 15:31 • 19 views

August 31, 2011

by Brett Battles

We live with inspiration every day. As a writer, I find it in the world I walk through, in the conversations I have, and, more often than not, in the people I meet. While they might not exactly become characters in my stories, they do form the basis for them. Often these characters, such as Logan Harper in Little Girl Gone, have a military background. This is in part due to the fact I grew up on a Navy base, and in part because of my Uncle Wesley.

I met Uncle Wes for the first time seven years ago, which might seem odd since he died nearly twenty years before I was born.

Wes was my dad's oldest brother, and, by all accounts, a fun-loving, great guy. I got the impression from my father, who wasn't much more than ten when he last saw his brother, that he idolized Uncle Wes the way younger siblings often look up to their older siblings.

Wes's generation ran into a little mess called World War II. No, he wasn't the only one to not come home, but unlike some families who were able to have a bit of closure after their loved ones were killed, my dad and his family were not.

Uncle Wes was an ordnanceman, second class, on a PBY. What was a PBY? Well, it was a special kind of plane. Not a fighter or a bomber or anything that needed a solid surface to land. The ocean, or the occasional river, was the PBY's runway. Its job was to fly into battle zones, land on the water, pick up downed pilots and get the hell out of there. That, of course, wasn't all these planes and their crews did, but it's what's stuck in my mind from the stories I've heard.

One night, while flying back to their base in Perth, Australia, from a mission in Malaysia, Uncle Wes and his crewmates simply disappeared. No one ever knew what happened.

The day I met my uncle was hot, but why wouldn't it be? I was on the outskirts of Manila, capital of the Philippines, where temperatures routinely lived above ninety degrees, and the humidity index wasn't far behind. My shirt stuck to my back, but I wasn't about to let a little heat bother me. This was a day I had been thinking about for a long time.

The Filipino soldier at the gate looked into the taxi, and asked, "American?" I nodded, said yes, and he waved us through.

"There," I said to my driver, pointing at a parking spot not too far inside. Though he could have driven me farther, I felt an overwhelming desire to walk.

As I got out of the car, the first thing that struck me was the silence. Here I was on the edge of one of the busiest cities in the world, and it felt almost like I was in the middle of nowhere.

Only it wasn't nowhere.

As I walked up the gently sloping hill, I found myself surrounded by vast fields of freshly cut grass. Planted across the fields in orderly rows were the white stone markers of American soldiers who had died in action but whose remains could not be returned home. The view was serene and beautiful, an apt resting place. But these fields were not my destination. That lay at the top of the hill.

I was barely halfway there when out of nowhere—or maybe out of everywhere—I was overcome with emotion. I felt sadness and loss, but I also felt a sense of honor and appreciation. The only other times I had been similarly consumed were at the births of my children, but this was different. With my kids, I had anticipated the emotion. This caught me totally unprepared.

I reached the white limestone monument at the end of the road. Its two main components were a pair of mirror-image hemicycles. Within each were dozens of walls, and carved on these walls were the names of the missing.

With tears running down my cheeks, I moved through the monument until I came to the second-to-last wall of the western arc. There, cut into the stone just above eye level was: BATTLES WESLEY E.

This was what I had come for.

I can't tell you how long I stayed there, and I can't tell you how long I ran my fingers across his name, but I can tell you I said, "Hello, Uncle Wes." I can tell you I said, "You've always been loved, and you've never been forgotten." I can tell you I said, "Thank you."

With a pencil and a blank piece of paper, I took an impression of his name. This was for my father. Something I would give him as soon as I returned home.

When I finally walked out of the monument, I took my time, reading random names, touching them, and repeated the words I said to my uncle over and over again.

"Thank you."

Uncle Wes had never been more than a dim figure in my life. Until that day. Now he is a real part of me. I try to honor his memory, the memory of those who'd served with him, and those who have served since, the best ways I know how—by how I live, how I treat others, and through the stories I write.


SPECIAL NOTICE: For a limited time, LITTLE GIRL GONE is available on the Kindle and the Nook for only 99¢. It tells the story of Army veteran Logan Harper, who struggles with a past he can't change, while doing everything he can to save the granddaughter of his father's friend.

Kindle USNookKindle UK

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Published on August 31, 2011 13:00 • 591 views

August 17, 2011

Looking for eBook formatting? Good news, I can do that for you at a price I'm sure you'll be happy with. Currently, my turnaround times are around a week to a week and a half, sometimes sooner! As an independent novelist myself, I understand the desire for clean, efficient formatting, and that's what I will provide to you.

You can email me by clicking here with any questions.

And you can find more information by clicking here.[image error]
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Published on August 17, 2011 17:27 • 101 views

August 13, 2011

THE PULL OF GRAVITY has arrived.

From Brett Battles comes a different kind of novel, one Edgar Award nominated author Tim Hallinan calls, "a mesmerizing thriller of the heart." It's a story of love, tragedy, and those searching for redemption.

Jay Bradley thought he could leave the Philippines behind. But though he's started a new life, with a woman he loves, he's still tormented by questions from his past.

He returns to Angeles City where he once worked as the papasan watching over his bargirls. On the surface he's there to sell his stake in a bar on the notorious Fields Avenue. In reality he's come back to find Isabel—one of his old dancers, and the only person who can answer his questions, and quiet his demons.

Because death always haunts those left behind.

You can find THE PULL OF GRAVITY at the follow ebook outlets:

Kindle Store

Nook Store

Kindle UK Store

Kindle Germany Store

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Published on August 13, 2011 09:13 • 99 views

July 28, 2011

At some point in the next two weeks, my new book THE PULL OF GRAVITY will be ready to go on sale at Amazon,, and other ebook retailers. So I'm looking for 30+ people who would like to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for a review posted on Amazon and wherever else you can (such as,, DorthyL, etc.) The book will be sent to you around the same time it will go on sale, so as soon as you are able to finish reading it, you'll be able to post your reviews.

Now before you rush to say yes, note that THE PULL OF GRAVITY isn't like my other books...meaning, it's not a thriller. While there is a mystery involved, it is really more of a (for lack of a better term) lit novel. Writers are often intrigued by the fringes of society, and I'm no different. THE PULL OF GRAVITY is about a former Navy man named Jay who fell into an unplanned life that became very difficult to leave. It's a story of love and hate and tragedy and redemption set in the almost surreal world of the go-go bars in the Philippines. If at first the idea of this puts you off, I challenge you to push yourself and give it a try. I'm pretty sure THE PULL OF GRAVITY will suck you in.

So...who's in?[image error]
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Published on July 28, 2011 07:48 • 99 views

July 22, 2011

I've been sitting on this for about a month, but now that the contract is done, I'm extremely happy to announce that I've signed a deal with to produce audiobooks for LITTLE GIRL GONE, SICK and the follows ups to both novels! LITTLE GIRL GONE and SICK should be out by the fall, the others not too long after those books are done and published!

Very excited!!![image error]
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Published on July 22, 2011 18:06 • 96 views

July 21, 2011

Due out in a few weeks. What do you think?

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Published on July 21, 2011 19:20 • 94 views

As many of you might know, Rob Browne is a good friend of mine, so you might be inclined to take my thoughts on his latest book with a certain amount of skepticism. But I want to tell you, you shouldn't. PARADISE PROPHECY is a tremendous thriller. Here's a bit from the book's description:

A spectacular thriller inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost in which the final chapter of the War in Heaven is about to play out on Earth, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.

The Myth

When God cast the archangel Satan into Hell, ending the War in Heaven, peace prevailed on Earth. Until the fallen angels took revenge in the Garden of Eden. Ever since, mankind has been in a struggle between good and evil, paradise and apocalypse: the fall of Rome, The Crusades, World Wars, nuclear proliferation, the Middle East Crisis... The War in Heaven never really ended-it just changed venues. For millennia, God's angels have been fighting Satan's demons on Earth, all in hopes of bringing about Satan's greatest ambition, the Apocalypse.

The Reality

Satan has never been closer to his goal than right now.

Agent Bernadette Callahan is a talented investigator at a shadowy government organization known only as Section, on the trail of a serial killer with nearly supernatural abilities. Sebastian "Batty" LaLaurie is a religious historian who knows far too much about the other side- and that hard-earned knowledge is exactly what Callahan needs. This unlikely duo pair up for a race across the globe, decoding clues left in ancient texts from the Bible to Paradise Lost and beyond. In the process they stumble upon a vast conspiracy-one beyond the scope of mankind's darkest imagination.

I read an advance copy and it's not a stretch to tell you I ripped through the pages. This is an electrifying story that runs at a breathless pace. Rob is great at creating characters that aren't cliche or cardboard. PARADISE PROPHECY isn't just a good summer read, it's a good ANYTIME read!

I highly recommend it.

Find out more at Rob's website.

FInd THE PARADISE PROPHECY in the Kindle Store
Find THE PARADISE PROPHECY in the Nook Store[image error]
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Published on July 21, 2011 08:56 • 93 views

July 12, 2011

The new Jonathan Quinn thriller, BECOMING QUINN (a 57,000 word novella) is now available at ebook retailers.

Most careers begin with an interview and a handshake. Others require a little … something more.

Meet Jake Oliver. The day will come when he's one of the best cleaners in the business, a man skilled at making bodies disappear.

At the moment, however, he's a twenty-two year old rookie cop, unaware his life is about to change.

In a burning barn a body is found—and the fire isn't the cause of death. The detectives working the case have a pretty good idea about what went down.

But Officer Oliver thinks it's something else entirely, and pursues a truth others would prefer remain hidden—others who will go to extreme lengths to keep him quiet.

Every identity has an origin. This is Quinn's.

BECOMING QUINN includes the bonus first chapter to WATCH ME DIE by Lee Goldberg.

BECOMING QUINN at[image error]
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Published on July 12, 2011 07:57 • 175 views