Category Archives: News

Excerpt From Star Wars: Battlefront II: Inferno Squad

Today we have an excerpt from Star Wars: Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, which is by Christie Golden.

It was originally posted at USA Today.

The excerpt focuses on Lieutenant Iden Versio, during the Battle of Yavin.

As we know that the book takes place after the battle, this is likely a prologue or maybe from the very first chapter.

We also know that the book is a prequel to Star Wars: Battlefront II the video game, which follows Versio as she leads Inferno Squad after the Battle of Endor.

“Attention, pilots,” came the voice of her commander, Kela Neerik, in Iden’s ear, and for a brief, beautiful instant Iden thought her squad commander was going to explain what was going on. But all Neerik said was, “Death Star is now six minutes out from target.”

Iden bit her lip, wondering if she should speak up. Don’t. Don’t, she told herself, but the words had a life of their own. Before she realized it, out they had come.

“Respectfully, Commander, with only six minutes until the entire moon’s destruction, why are we out here? Surely thirty one-person ships won’t be able to do anything resembling damage to the Death Star in that amount of time.”

“Lieutenant Versio” — Neerik’s voice was as cold as space — “don’t assume your father’s position gives you special privileges. We are here because Lord Vader ordered us to be here. Perhaps you’d like to put your question to him personally when we return to the station? I’m sure he’d be delighted to explain his military strategy to you.”

Iden felt a cold knot in her stomach at the thought of a “personal” conversation with Lord Vader. She’d never met him, thankfully, but she had heard too many chilling rumors.

“No, Commander, that won’t be necessary.”

“I thought not. Do your duty, Lieutenant Versio.”

Iden frowned, then let it go. She did not need to understand the rebels; she needed only to destroy them.

She targeted the nearest X-wing and fired. Green lasers sliced through the enemy ship, and then only pieces and a flaring sheet of flame remained.

As if they sensed her renewed resolve, the rebel pilots suddenly upped their game. There was a brief flash at the corner of Iden’s vi­sion, and when she turned to look, she realized with sick surprise that this time the debris hurtling off in all directions was black.

Iden didn’t know who had just died. TIE fighters were so uniform as to be practically indistinguishable from one another. Their pilots weren’t supposed to think of their ships in the warm, fuzzy way the rebels were reported to do. A ship was a ship was a ship. And Iden understood that, as far as most in the Empire were concerned, a pilot was a pilot was a pilot: as expendable and interchangeable as the ships they flew.

We all serve at the pleasure of the Emperor, her father had drilled into her since she was old enough to comprehend what an emperor was. None of us is indispensable. Iden had certainly seen Imperial ships shot down before. This was war, and she was a soldier. But in­dispensable be damned.

The half smile she’d been wearing during most of the combat van­ished, and Iden pressed her lips together angrily. She veered, perhaps a touch too violently, to the right and targeted another X-wing. In mere seconds it exploded into a yellow-orange fireball.

“Gotcha, you—” she muttered.

“No commentary, Versio,” warned Neerik, her voice rising a little; more hot than cold, now.

Iden targeted the closest Y-wing, locked onto it, and blew it to pieces. Watching the fragments of the starfighter hurtling wildly was some small compensation for the deaths of her fellow pilots.

“Death Star is two minutes to target. Be aware of your distance from the planet.”

Ah, so that was why Neerik was giving the countdown. Iden had to give the pilot of a nearby Y-wing credit for courage, albeit of the foolish kind; the ship was now racing away from the Death Star at top speed. Were they heading back to Yavin’s moon, nobly choosing to die with their base, or were they just trying to evade her?

Not happening, Iden thought, and continued her pursuit. She got the vessel in her sights and fired. She didn’t slow as the ship exploded, but simply pulled back and looped up and over the fireball and de­bris, snug in her crash webbing, and smoothly dipped the TIE fighter in front of the Y-wing for the perfect shot.

The pale moon-shape of the Death Star loomed behind the vessel, its gargantuan size making the rebel ship look like the toys she’d been allowed to play with as a child. The Y-wing was making for Yavin as fast as it could, swerving erratically enough that Iden frowned as she tried to get a lock on it.

A sudden scalding brightness filled her vision.

Temporarily blinded, Iden hurtled wildly, her TIE fighter tum­bling out of control. As her vision returned, she realized debris was coming at her as intensely as if she had suddenly materialized inside an asteroid field. Her focus, always powerful, narrowed to laserlike precision as she frantically dodged and swerved, maneuvering around the biggest pieces and wishing with all her being that TIE fighters had shields.

Iden pivoted and tumbled, breathing the mercifully still-flowing oxygen deeply and rhythmically. But she knew in her heart it was just a matter of time. There was too much debris, some of it the size of a standard escape pod, some of it as small as her clenched fist, and she was right in the thick of it. The smaller pieces were pelting her TIE fighter already. Sooner or later, one of the big chunks would hit her, and both Senior Lieutenant Iden Versio and her ship would be noth­ing more than smears on what was left of Yavin’s moon.

Somehow, she’d wandered too close to the Death Star’s target and had gotten swept up in the chaotic sweep of its destruction—exactly what her commander had been warning her against.

But how was that possible?

“Mayday, mayday,” Iden shouted, unable to keep her voice calm as she desperately dipped and dived to avoid disaster. “This is TIE Sigma Three requesting assistance. Repeat, this is TIE Sigma Three request­ing assistance, do you copy, over?”

Silence. Absolute, cold, terrifying silence.

Star Wars: Battlefront II: Inferno Squad is due out on July 25.

Phil Savage’s 4th & Goal Every Day Discusses Nick Saban and Alabama

Phil Savage is preparing to release a book called 4th & Goal Every Day: Alabama’s Relentless Pursuit of Perfection.

In the book, he discusses how Nick Saban has led Alabama’s football team to such success.

He reveals some of Saban’s secrets and tells stories that the public may not be aware of.

Some of those stories include details on various events that had raised questions but never before had been given answers.

4th & Goal Every Day: Alabama’s Relentless Pursuit of Perfection is due for release on August 29.

Bill Sloan’s Their Backs Against The Sea Tells The Story of The Battle of Saipan

Bill Sloan is about to release his latest book, Their Backs Against The Sea: The Battle of Saipan and the Largest Banzai Attack of World War II.

The book focuses on the Army’s 27th Infantry Division experiences during the Battle for Saipan.

For this book, Sloan interviewed an American survivor of the battle and used historical records and official combat reports.

Their Backs Against The Sea: The Battle of Saipan and the Largest Banzai Attack of World War II is due out on June 27.

John Grisham’s Camino Island

Last week, John Grisham released his latest book Camino Island.

It currently sits at #1 on Amazon’s Best Seller List.

In the book, some priceless manuscripts and books are stolen from a secret vault beneath Princeton’s Firestone Library.

A mysterious company hires Mercer Mann, a struggling young novelist, to infiltrate a bookstore on Camino Island, Florida.

That bookstore is owned by Bruce Cable, who is deeply involved in the black market for stolen works of writing.

Merce finds her way into his inner circle but gets in too deep and trouble quickly follows.

The 360-page book is sure to thrill its readers as only a novel written by Grisham can.

Teresa Guidice Announces 6th Book

Teresa Guidice has announced that she is writing another book.

It is going to be called Staying Strong.

This will be her sixth book, following four cookbooks and a memoir.

Guidice has not released any other info other than that it will be out sometime this fall.

Stan Lee’s Kids Universe Announces Boomer At The Bat

Stan Lee’s Kids Universe has announced their latest book Boomer At The Bat.

In this book, a rabbit named Boomer comes up to bat, as his baseball team’s last chance to win the game.

The book focuses on teaching sportsmanship and teamwork, all while rhyming.

It was written by Julia Dweck and illustrated by Chris Kennett.

Boomer At The Bat is designed for kids ages 4-8.

For now, it is available as an e-Book, with no word about being put into print.

Joe Berkowitz Releases Pun Filled Away With Words

Joe Berkowitz has released a new book called Away With Words.

Puns are the focus of this book.

He did much of the research for it by taking part in pun competitions around the country.

In fact, the whole idea for the book was spawned after he happened upon one of the competitions in Brooklyn.

Away with Words: An Irreverent Tour Through the World of Pun Competitions was released on June 13.