Today I’m excited to be taking part in the release day festivities for Damien Larkin’s newly published Blood Red Sand, an intriguing Alternative History Science Fiction novel! I mean, with a blurb that begins with “Mars will run red with Nazi blood…” definitely calls for an interesting story to follow, yeah? A huge thank you to Damien for inviting us to take part in such a momentous occasion – keep an eye out throughout the day for more from a group of our fantastic Roadies!
Keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, read an excerpt, and enter to win a signed copy and an awesome prize pack!
Mars will run red with Nazi blood…
After World War Two, Sergeant McCabe knew the British army could send him anywhere. He never imagined facing down another Nazi threat on Mars.
In New Berlin colony, rivalry between Generalfeldmarschall Seidel’s Wehrmacht and Reichsführer Wagner’s SS threatens bloodshed. The Reichsführer will sacrifice everything to initiate the secretive Hollow Programme and realise his nightmarish future for humanity.
McCabe, Private Jenkins, and the Mars Expeditionary Force must overcome bullet, bomb, and bayonet to destroy the Third Reich. While Jenkins fights to stay alive, McCabe forms an uneasy alliance with MAJESTIC-12 operatives known as the Black Visors. Will this be the final battle of World War Two or the first confrontation in an interstellar war?
THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON DC
26TH JULY 1952
The blazing streak of light ripped across the Washington sky, coming to a momentary halt over the White House. What could easily have been mistaken as a meteor now looked like a fiery star as a vessel hovered within General Hoyt Vandenberg’s eyeline. Tapping his finger on the window in the Oval Office, he glanced at President Truman and saw his commander-in-chief’s hand curl into a fist. Returning his attention to the spectacle outside, Vandenberg wondered how many eyes glared at them from within that blinding light, mocking everything the American people stood for. As quickly as that thought appeared, the vessel zipped off across the night sky again, turning and twisting in impossible zigzag patterns, showcasing its manoeuvrability.
“Same as last week, Mr. President,” Captain Ruppelt said, while leafing through the dossier in front of him.
“It’s the damned nerve of these Germans, Ed,” Truman snapped as he stepped away from the window. “It’s like slapping a man square in the face and then running away before he can hit you back. Damn cowardly.”
Vandenberg picked up his glass of scotch. “We can hit them anytime you like, Mr. President.”
Taking his seat behind the Resolute Desk, Truman nodded. Reaching for his own glass of bourbon, he turned about and continued to gaze at the streaks of light dancing and weaving across the Washington skyline.
“Don’t tempt me, Hoyt,” he said after an exasperated sigh. “I’d like nothing better than to give the order to shoot those Nazi dogs down, but we can’t show our hand too early, can we? No. We’ll have to let the Nazis have their damned moment. How are we on the development of our fleet?”
Vandenberg loosened the collar of his pristine uniform and paced towards the side of the desk. Searching for the right words, he walked around the Oval Office, and his gaze fell over the numerous pictures and monuments. Now, more than ever, this latest provocation by the exiled Nazi forces over the capital of the United States gave him the opportunity to take decisive action. He just had to sell it to the president.
“Construction is proceeding ahead of schedule, sir.” He moved closer to the window again and peered out. “It was a tough job for Wernher von Braun and the rest of Majestic-12 to reverse engineer the downed Nazi craft we recovered from Roswell, but my MJ-12 boys have created something spectacular. Our ships won’t be as fast as what the Germans have, but they’ll contain a lot more firepower. More importantly, they’ll have the room to ferry ground troops.”
President Truman turned in his seat, grabbed his glass, and took a sip of bourbon as he looked up at Vandenberg. “This again, Hoyt? I thought we’ve been over it. The commies will cry bloody murder if we dispatch American soldiers to Mars, and I’ll be damned if I let the Reds have the glory of fighting Earth’s first interplanetary war. Imagine that, Hoyt. The Reds on the Red Planet. Think of the propaganda victory, even if they did get there using American ships. I won’t sanction it. If it means putting up with Nazi shows of force like this, so be it.”
Vandenberg watched from the corner of his eye as President Truman pulled himself to his feet again and glared out the window. He knew the president well enough to understand that he simmered with anger more than he let on. Only a handful of people on the planet knew the truth about the end of World War Two and the Nazi leadership’s escape to colonies on Mars.
Even fewer knew of the strange, alien technology the Nazis used to make their escape and rebuild their fighting capacity. With all the resources the American government had at their disposal, Majestic-12 still hadn’t cracked the surface of the exiled Germans’ newfound technological prowess. But if there could be one thing Vandenberg remained certain about, it was that they couldn’t learn more until they seized control of Mars.
“We have another option, Mr. President,” Vandenberg said, causing Truman to look over at him. “At your behest, I’ve been continuing negotiations with my Soviet counterpart, and I believe we’ve had a breakthrough.”
Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was published by Dancing Lemur Press and went on to be longlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Novel. His next novel in the series Blood Red Sand will be released on 6th July 2021. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is working on his current writing project The Truceless War.
Enter to win a signed copy of Blood Red Sand by Damien Larkin, plus an awesome swag pack consisting of a poster, bookmark, sticker and more!
Ireland/UK Only • Ends 7/9
That’s all I got for ya! Be sure to keep an eye out throughout the day to see what the other bloggers and Bookstagrammers who are joining in have to share!