Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cover Design Process Begins!

It is official; the cover design process for The Night Eagles Soared has begun! This is great news that brings us one step closer to the official release date. We still have a ways to go; the layout and design process will begin the end of April which means I should have the final proof in hand by the end of May. Once the final proof has gone through all the hoops and is approved then the book will go to the printer and we start getting ready for the nationwide release. Shortly after we start with the printer is when I will have the prerelease copies available to send out. So, if you haven’t already locked in your signed and numbered prerelease copy of The Night Eagles Soared, now is the time to do so! Once the production process is over, this offer will no longer be available. There is time now to lock in a copy with a very low sequence number. Who knows, perhaps one day your copy will be a collector’s item!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Huntsville Military Headlines Examiner

Folks, I have just started posting articles as The Military Headlines Examiner on The link to my articles is listed under "Friends of Mine" just over to your right. Please feel free to check out the articles I have written and I hope your enjoy them!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Night Eagles Soared, from the Chapter "Rape, Kill, Pillage and Burn"

“Twenty minutes!” shouted the jumpmaster as he stomped forward onto the floor of the aircraft with his right foot, knees bent. He held out both of his hands, palms opened and fingers extended and spread. Then he closed his fists, pulled his arms into his chest, and then protruded them outwardly once again with his fingers extended and spread, indicating with hand signals that which he had just moments earlier announced so authoritatively. My knees were shaking a bit; and I prayed, as I did every other time I jumped out of a perfectly good aircraft, “Father, give me the courage and strength to do that which I must. And, Father, please help us all make it without getting hurt. Amen!”

The aircrew started moving around as the jumpmaster turned to us, stomping his right foot forward and giving the hand signal. He shouted, ‘Ten minutes!”

The clamshell on the back of the aircraft began to open, and I could hear a loud roaring sound over the drone of the aircraft’s engines. Then the load master began to lower the ramp, and sunlight beamed into the rear of the plane. Over the edge of the ramp, the ground could be seen. The aircraft made a sharp, right-hand turn. The ramp floated up and down at an angle, making the earth appear as if it was spinning out and away from us. The sight made my stomach a little queasy for a moment, so I looked out and up at the sky.

The jumpmaster kneeled down, his back toward us, his rucksack splayed out in front of him. He was looking out and down for the drop zone. Soon, he stood up and turned toward us and stomped his foot, signaling with his hand as he shouted, “Three minutes.” With both of his hands, index and middle fingers extended and joined, he pointed to the skin of the aircraft and shouted, “Outboard personnel stand up,” as he motioned upward over his head with his hands and fingers. The earth continued spinning out of control behind him.

The sergeant, acting as the jumpmaster’s safety, stood, holding the yellow static line, keeping it from getting tangled. The roar of the wind rushing past the opening was deafening. It completely drowned the sound of the C-130’s powerful prop engines. The jumpmaster signaled, “One minute!” I noticed that the jump command lights in the aircraft were already green, which was a standard procedure for a jumpmaster release. It also meant that this was it; it was time, and we were going to do it.

My rucksack hung upside down in front of me, attached to the D-rings of my parachute, which were also used to connect the leg straps of the parachute harness around the buttocks and thighs. With a quick thumb press, I checked them as the Jumpmaster gave the command, “Check equipment! Sound off for equipment check!” I checked my chinstrap and the paratroop shock pad in the back of the helmet of the man in front of me. Giving a quick glance at his static line, I could see that it was not tangled; and I felt the man behind me slap my right thigh as he shouted, “All okay.” I repeated the gesture on the thigh of the man in front of me and shouted the same and listened as each of the soldiers in front of me sound off.

At that moment, the jumpmaster shouted, “Standby,” and I could feel the aircraft level off as the earth seemed to be rocking back and forth underneath our feet outside the tailgate.

I focused on the horizon and the jumpmaster as he turned toward the rear of the aircraft. He was still looking down to his right as he signaled with his thumb and index finger, ten seconds. He was making a sort of pinching motion with his thumb and finger; then suddenly, with his left arm swinging around, palm out, fingers extended and joined, he pointed to the rear of the aircraft and shouted, “Follow me!” and disappeared off the ramp.

This was my first jump, right out of jump school, a tailgate, C-130 day blast into Camp McKall to start Special Forces training. Following the jumpmaster out, the troops in front of me began to do the airborne shuffle to the edge of the ramp. I felt a nudge from the man behind me. He was as anxious as anybody. The sound of the aircraft was deafening, but I could still hear the metallic sound of the static line snap hooks running down the anchor line cable and the sound of the pack trays opening; and suddenly, I was in midair. “One thousand, two thousand,” I counted, keeping my feet and knees together, eyes closed. “Three thousand, four thousand. Come on. Open up, you son of a gun - Oh, thank God!”

Hanging there quietly, I could see the aircraft as it trailed off black exhaust into the distance. A silent breeze filled the nylon of my canopy. Drifting slowly toward the ground, heart pounding, the adrenaline rush subsided and I realized that I had several twists in my risers. I was also running with the wind, so I began to make a bicycling motion with my feet while reaching up to grab the risers above my head. I pulled them apart and made a bicycle motion with my legs. Spinning out of the twists, I gained control of the parachute. I was running with the wind, so I looked around and didn’t see any other canopies in my way. So I pulled down hard on the right toggle; and that brought me around, facing into the wind. I could feel the canopy drop a little air and then regain it.

Looking down, I could see that I was out over the middle of the triangle-shaped airfield; and I noticed the yellow smoke blowing directly toward me—a good sign. I was doing it right. As I approached the ground, I had to force myself to look at the horizon. Looking down made it seem as the though the ground was rushing up very fast. Looking out over the tops of the pine trees, I tried to keep my feet together, knees bent. Suddenly, I could hear someone yelling, “Drop your rucksack! Drop your rucksack!” I reached down, found the yellow pull tab on my lowering line, pulled it, and my rucksack fell away, downward, and then suddenly came to the end of its tether, jerking me around to the left a bit. I countered by pulling on the right toggle slightly, and I heard my ruck hit the ground.

I looked down just in time to see my feet hit the ground; and I crumbled to the earth, and the wind blew my canopy over onto the ground behind me. Still filled with air, my canopy began dragging me across the ground like a sled. I reached up to my right shoulder and pulled out the quick release snap and felt for the canopy release assembly. Finding the cable ring, I shouted, “Riser,” and pulled it as hard as I could. It made a distinct ringing sound as the riser on my right shoulder was released from the parachute harness. The canopy collapsed to the ground.
I laid there for a second, eyes closed, trying to collect my senses. One of the instructors began yelling, “Get the hell off my drop zone, Airborne.” And the C-130 swooped in, landing as it screamed past me only a hundred feet away. The roar of its engines was amplified as the sound reflected off of the tall pines that surrounded the airfield. The plane spun around, lowering its ramp, ready for another load.

My platoon was forming up. The sergeant gained accountability as we turned in our parachutes and reported back. Once we were all together, we marched back to the camp, singing slowly in a low baritone voice, keeping rhythm with our steps. The sun slowly sank behind us, below the trees, as we marched through the dust and into the shadows.
The heart of a soldier is the soul of a man. He is a knight without armor in a war-torn land. A fast gun for hire is an SF soldier. SF soldier, SF soldier, where have you been? Around the world and back again!

Our first day in the Special Forces was almost over as we marched in the darkness down the hill and into the camp. There were lights on in the large classroom; and the mercury light on the telephone pole outside the camp headquarters was already on, lighting up the gravel parking lot but blocking out visibility of anything beyond that.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Night Eagles Soared From the Chapter "Home on Leave"

We got onto the horses. Little Leo was actually bigger than I had expected, taller than his sire. He was smooth in his gate, confident in his march as we rode out into the field. He held his head high, fighting against the reins, snorting. He wanted to run, to break out; but he maintained pace with the others. He was a handful, not the type of horse a novice should ride. And although I had grown up around the rodeo, around horses, I had my hands full. It had been a long time since I had ridden; and he was aware of my uneasiness as we started out riding along in a group, following a trail along the river.

We crossed a stream, belly deep. The water came up over my feet as Little Leo leapt through it; jumping over the bank; down into the water; and leaping upward and climbing out on the other side; water draining off his sleek coat. It was exhilarating, the power of this animal, capable and surefooted as he crossed that stream with ease; and I rode upon his back, holding on, hoping I didn’t fall off.

Pop laughed at me as he made the crossing, his horse making it easy for him, taking into consideration the rider as he walked up and out without creating such a fuss. Little Leo is young, and he is a stud, so he’s more aggressive than Pop’s old gelding, I told myself. Clay crossed, his hat pulled down tight over his brow. He climbed up and out; and without hesitation, he bolted into a quick gallop and we followed.

We continued the gallop for a few minutes until we reached a gate. Leaning down, Clay released the chain and swung it open with ease. Then we all entered, leaving the gate open. We cleared over a small ridgeline, which revealed to our front a nice herd of cattle. Clay pulled up and stopped; and we sat there in a line, Pop, Clay, then me, looking out over the herd of Polled Herefords to our front.

They were fat, most with calves, as they grazed under the watchful eye of two large bulls. Their hair was short and bright red, except for the white hair on the tip of their tails, their feet, and their faces.

“Well, they are all yours, Mike,” said Pop. “We’ve been building this herd for you since you left the last time you came for a visit.”

Then Clay said, “We started with ten cows about six months after you left, and we’ve built the herd up to a little over a hundred cows over the last few years by using the money from the steers to buy more cows and by keeping the heifers that showed promise.”

I was taken off guard by their generosity and their ability to keep a secret for so long. I was completely flabbergasted by their gesture of kindness, knowing full well that I had doubted my place in the family, knowing full well that I had thought that I wouldn’t be welcome; and now here they were, showing me how much effort they had gone through to demonstrate the exact opposite of what I had imagined.

Speechless, I sat there for a moment, scanning the scene as Pop said, “This is the old place, and it is yours, the entire section along with the cows, barns, and house. We just want you to come home, son.”

This is incredible, I thought to myself as feelings of guilt swept over me, guilt for having been gone for so long, for not writing letters, for not calling. “How could I ever repay you guys for this?” I asked them. “This is just absolutely unbelievable!” I said as I sat there with my mouth open, my eyes filling with tears that I couldn’t and didn’t dare shed. I just sat there, looking the old place over—as did they—with a feeling of satisfaction, my faith in my family more than restored. I was home.

After a while, I finally commented, “You know, Pop, that I’ve got two more years before I can retire from the army?”

He nodded, smiling; and then he declared, “You just do what you’ve gotta do and then come home safe and sound. We’ll all be here waiting for you when you do.”

Then Clay slapped me on the back and said, “Come on, you big puss. Let’s take a look at the ole place and then call it a day.”

I barely kept from choking up with tears as we galloped off, Clay, and then Pop, and then me. I watched them as they rode, sitting tall in their saddle, scanning the land with their eyes, making comments, pointing out specifics to me as we checked the entire section, all six hundred and forty acres of it. We checked the fences, every post; the barns; the stables; and the cattle pens and working facility. I was surprised to see that they had modernized it with electricity and hydraulic pumps that allowed a man to work cattle day or night with ease and minimal help.

We spent the entire morning looking the old place over and talking about the good old days, grandpa and great-granddad. The decisions they had made had affected us all. They had given us all everything we needed to survive and thrive for generations. The importance of those decisions hadn’t escaped our thought process, and we all hoped to be able to have that same impact on the lives of our own families someday.

I wonder if my efforts overseas had any sort of positive impact on the lives of people there. Had it been worth it? I thought to myself as I dismounted from Little Leo and handed the reins over to Clay.

Without a word, they turned; and I watched them as they rode off over the hill and out of sight.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Back Matter and Endorsements for The Night Eagles Soared

Back Matter:

Tonight’s operation was different, and the team stood behind the behemoth plane, looking into it through the open tail section. The sound of the jet-powered generators onboard was deafening, and each man listened attentively as their company commander congratulated them upon being the first team selected for such a prestigious mission.

During the ensuing flight, the sergeant in charge of this elite team takes time to reflect on his distinguished career of military service. Serving as a member of the army’s Special Forces unit for over twenty years, Mike has done and seen things, both good and bad, that most people could never conceive. From the jungles of South America to the deserts of the Middle East, Mike’s memories take the reader on a thrilling journey through The Night Eagles Soared.


The Night Eagles Soared by Steve Newman pulls the reader into the life of the United States military’s men and women. The sacrifices, training, and dedication of these individuals are astounding. I always knew that their mission was dangerous. Reading about some of them in detail brought a face and heart into the picture. As a civilian I urge you to read this book to gain more appreciation for the price paid for our freedom and protection.

Elaine Littau, author of Nan’s Journey & Elk’s Resolve

The Night Eagles Soared by Steve Newman is a book that speaks to the military reader. Authentic descriptions of ordnance and weapons effects are an integral part of the story and keep it real. I appreciated the technical details and the nod given to Homestead Air Reserve Base's Mako Squadron. As a member of the Armed Forces, I encourage everyone to read this book, it most certainly rings true.

COL Ross “Rosco” Anderson, 482d Operations Group Commander, Homestead ARB, FL"

Steve Newman is a graduate of Columbia College. He lives in north Alabama with his wife, Brig, pursuing his passion to write about the world in which we all must live.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happening Now

It is now March, 2010 and there has been a lot happening behind the scenes at Tate Publishing to bring my book "The Night Eagles Soared" to print. Throughout the month of January the Copy Editing Department had been working diligently to make sure the entire manuscript was up to an exacting grammatical standard. They went through my work with a fine tooth comb to make sure the book was ready for the Conceptual Editing phase.

My Conceptual Editor notified me on Friday, the 26th of February that he had completed his First Edit and it was time for me to review and approve all the edits that have taken place. This is also the time for me to update or make any changes to the manuscript that I feel I need to make.

Thanks to my friends at the 482nd Fighter Wing, I have some minor details to change reference the ordnance of the aircraft and the tactics of the Pilots. My final cut on the manuscript will be completed and back to Tate Publishing on or before the 15th of March. Soon after that we should have the final proof ready for my review. What that means to all of those who have purchased a prerelease copy is that the book will be available perhaps as early as May or June. Firm dates have not been set yet, but as soon as they are I will let you know via email.

Just to let you know, I have completed the first 1/3rd of the sequel to The Night Eagles Soared; titled "Burnt Yellow and Red". It continues the story as the Team executes its mission and begins to root the Taliban on it’s way to Kabul. This story; like the first, is told from the perspective of the man with his boots on the ground and although both are historical fiction novels they ring true to the operators who live the life and fight the good fight still.

In other news; recently I have been blessed and pleasantly surprised to land a contract with a group of investors who have decided to make a movie out of a book titled, "El Navegante" or "The Navigator." It was written and published in the Spanish language by a Colombian Author named, Jorge Enrique Velázquez in 1993. My charge is to translate and convert his work into a screenplay based on his original and true story of how he infiltrated the Cali and Medellín Cartels and turned over two of the most notorious drug dealers in the world. This is a huge opportunity for me and one that I appreciate very much.

Please let me take this time to say thanks to all of you who have and continue to support my writing and the Task Force Dagger Foundation. Without you all, I couldn’t do any of this and for your help I will be forever grateful.

S. B. Newman
The Night Eagles Soared