In August of 1981, the United States Navy sent two aircraft carriers, the USS Forrestal and the USS Nimitz, to run exercises off the Libyan coast. While fending off encroaching Libyan fighters, Commander John Barker was shot down over the Gulf of Sidra.
Rescued from the shark-infested waters by a fishing trawler, and given refuge in a small coastal village, Commander Barker’s nightmare was just beginning… for death lay in the desert, and it was coming for them all.
I know most of my readers are waiting patiently — or not so patiently — for The Dying of the Light: Beginning, and I promise, I’m working on it, with the help of some good writer friends who are giving me tons of great advice and critiques. It’s going to be the best of the series, I know, and while I work hard on ensuring that, I took the opportunity to write another in the ongoing series of The Walker Chronicles.
This particularl story was inspired by the service of a dear friend’s father, and as a show of thanks for both his service and the inspiration it gave me, I’ll be donating all sales from this story to the Wounded Warrior Project. If you’ve not heard of this group, they provide assistance of all kinds to Armed Forces personnel returning from conflicts all over the world. It’s a great cause, and I’m happy to support them in this way.
Blood and Sand is the fourth in the series, and takes place during the Gulf of Sidra incident between the US and Libya in August of 1981. It was a tense period in international relations, with General Qaddafi preening and prancing in front of the world stage, showing off his military might, and the US sending in the Navy to show that we were mighty, too. Tensions came to a head, with at least seventy (that’s 70!) Libyan fighters running mock attack runs on the US aircraft carriers sent to the region, the USS Forrestal and the USS Nimitz.
History records that at one point, a Libyan Su-22 fired at and missed an F-14 Tomcat flying off the Nimitz. In response, per standard rules of engagement in such situations, the Tomcat and his wingman pursued and shot down the two Su-22 fighters, reporting that both pilots were recovered safely. The standoff persisted for a short while, then both sides ratcheted back the tension and went their separate ways.
But… what if that’s not all that happened that day? What if there were something left out of those history books? Something that the governments of the world were hiding from us, that we weren’t trusted to know?
Death is in the desert, and it’s coming for everyone.