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Friday, September 16, 2022

Excerpt: FNG (Black Spear Book 1) by Benjamin Spada + giveaway

by Benjamin Spada
September 6, 2022
Military/Sci-Fi
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

FNG: noun. informal. Military term, “F****** New Guy”: a person just out of training or newly transferred into the unit, who either hasn't proved their worth or doesn't know how to operate properly due to lack of experience.

“Welcome to Black Spear.” With these four words Cole West is immediately thrust into the shadowy world of the military’s most deadly black-ops program. No warning. No training. No choice but to buckle up as Black Spear conscripts him to fight against a paramilitary group of renegade veterans known only as “Terminal.”

Terminal is no ragtag militia but a veritable private army of disgruntled soldiers with one mission: Stop at nothing to topple the government they think failed them. Armed with a highly volatile bioweapon capable of absorbing the properties of other contagions, they plan to wash the country clean through an ocean of blood.

It’s up to Cole West and Black Spear to prevent Terminal’s terrorist attacks and stop the insurrection before it can happen. To survive in Black Spear, West will have to prove himself. But even on day one, there are no second chances…


His shoulder-length dark brown hair was slicked back and his full beard, though long, was clean and well-maintained. Abraham Jackson, known simply as Abe to his friends and Jax to his troops, was a born leader. Jax honestly believed that in a thousand possible lifetimes, he still would’ve found his way into the military. Service was often referred to as a calling; it was one he’d eagerly answered when he’d come of age. From the second he’d enlisted, he’d felt that he’d truly found his niche in life. While other men oftentimes grew discouraged with military life and frequent deployments, he’d thrived on it.
Jax had cut his teeth in Iraq, he’d done his time in Afghanistan, and despite how skilled a warrior he was he’d been passed over for promotion until the end of his contract. Four fucking years of back-to-back combat tours, spilling blood in a sandbox nobody gave a shit about, and all without ever strapping on a second chevron. Since he’d never picked up rank beyond Lance Corporal, he was denied reenlistment.
He was a “Terminal Lance”; one of thousands of Marines every year who simply hadn’t managed to get promoted before their time was up. “It is what it is,” is what he’d been told by countless superiors who appeared sorry to see him go, yet not concerned enough to raise a finger about his dismissal from the Corps. His entire chain of command watched as he’d been forced out. “Thank you for your service, now you’re on your own.”
Jax understood the importance of putting a group before the individual, but he also had enough perspective to know that deeming him unworthy was a mistake. That thought had put a brand on his soul that even now hadn’t healed. Pain can drive a man to great things.
When he’d been forced out, Jax had felt lost for a time. He was a warrior through and through. Yet he’d been considered worthless by the very organization that had become his family. After a time Jax grew sick of his own self-loathing and used it to fuel a new goal.
Upon a suggestion from one of his friends, a fellow Terminal Lance he’d served with named Rob Batson, Jax had formed a support group for veterans like himself. He’d called it Terminal; it was a cheeky joke that drew in a particular demographic. Originally, Terminal had been geared towards deterring suicide and unemployment through outreach. Build the community in order to build the network of support. However, what started as a tight-knit few quickly grew into a sizable organization. Spurred on by Jax and Batson’s influence, Terminal had blossomed into their very own military outfit.
By associating with military humor pages and other similar social media groups, Terminal was able to expand its recruitment efforts to an even larger pool. The convenience of digital networking had played a pivotal role in finding the veterans they needed.
Disillusioned. Disappointed. Frustrated. Most importantly: trained. In the military there was a position for every job you could think of. There were trigger pullers, wrench turners, armorers, logisticians, communications technicians, medical personnel, and even meteorological specialists. Each year thousands of military personnel were processed out of every MOS (military occupational specialty). Some were discharged voluntarily; others less so. Terminal didn’t discriminate against the circumstances.
In the beginning Jax personally handled recruitment. Each and every man had been approached one at a time. Now, he had an entire team going off of a nearly foolproof script. One of their members with a Master’s in psychology had even helped Jax perfect it. He had his men sitting behind computers pushing out private messages over Facebook, trolling the lobbies of VA centers, rubbing elbows and buying drinks at the local VFW, and even doing house calls. They’d gotten recruitment down to a science. It always started casually. Looking for work? That disability payment late again? Wife left and took the kids? Not everyone responded eagerly, but that didn’t matter. Eventually those who were interested got the final message: “You should meet Jax.”
All it took from there was one all-expenses paid bus ticket to meet the man himself, and Terminal’s numbers grew - one by one.

About the Author
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Born and raised in California, Benjamin J. Spada has had a lifelong passion for storytelling. Benjamin, a self-described “Professor of Batmanology,” is a dedicated taco aficionado, and proud Fil-Am and lumpia enthusiast who has served in the United States Marine Corps for the past decade. He has taught martial arts , operated as a section leader in the Wounded Warrior Battalion for our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured, and served overseas to help train our foreign military allies in defense against chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. He has trained Marines, sailors, federal agents, and other friendly forces in individual survival measures. Despite these grim assignments, he has carried on with equal amounts of sarcasm and stoicism. When out of uniform, Benjamin is an avid sci-fi and horror movie fan, tattoo collector, comic enthusiast, and two-time holder of the Platinum Trophy in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. FNG: a Black Spear Novel is Benjamin’s debut novel. Benjamin lives with his wife Jacqueline and their three daughters, Elizabeth, Isabella, and Alexandra, in Oceanside, California.

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