Operation Grendel (March 2021)

Military journalist Raymin Dahl thinks he’s finally getting the story of a lifetime. Envoys to secret peace talks on a remote tropical moon are about to surrender five colonized worlds—and six hundred million civilians—to a ruthless enemy.

But when his commanding officer is fatally wounded before the negotiations can begin, Dahl is told to do more than just report on the mission; he’s ordered to complete it. With the help of the AI embedded in his new comms bracelet, Dahl must impersonate Captain Ansell Sterling, Marine Corps hero and psychological operations expert.

Problem is, Sterling’s AI may be luring him to surrender more than he realizes. And the mission Dahl thinks he’s running isn’t the only PSYOP under way.
Corporal Dahl may get the great war story he’s dreamed of, but it could be his last!

Pre-order available now.
Make sure you reserve your Limited Edition hardcover book.

The Legends of Tira-Nor series

The Curse of the Seer

curse-of-the-seer• Book 3 in The Legends of Tira-Nor series
published by AMG Publishers
• Soft cover

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Everyone thinks Eli is afraid of the dark, and they’re right. But it’s not because he can’t see in the dark; it’s because he can. After his father is murdered by kingsguard mice, Eli is tortured and condemned to death. With the help of Tira-Nor’s old seer, AlBaer, Eli escapes his executioners and discovers that his mother, who was sold into slavery in Cadrid years before, may still be alive. Finding and saving her becomes his passion, but can he survive slavery, cruel taskmasters, foreign armies, the hatred of his own people, and even death itself? AlBaer can’t—or won’t—protect him from the supernatural evil that stalks him, and Eli must try to unravel the seer’s curse alone.

“This one had more zingers, truth-punching-in-the-gut kind of moments, which I loved. It is relevant to my life and to my country, and it both hurts and soothes. I’m still wrapping my mind around the plot, and feel like I probably won’t get a good idea of how I like or don’t like it until I read it again.
But it’s beautiful.

Runt the Hunted has held a high place in my heart now for a good long time. I’m not sure yet if this meets or surpasses that love, because some of it comes with re-experiencing.
I like this book a lot.
And I will return.”
– Rachel G.

Runt the Hunted

runt-the-hunted• Book 2 in The Legends of Tir-Nor series
published by AMG Publishers
• Soft cover

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JaRed is a Commoner in the underground mouse city of Tira-Nor. Nicknamed “Runt” for his diminutive size, he’s been a hero since he saved the city last summer. Unfortunately, a seer has anointed him to be the next king, when all JaRed wants is to protect his family and friends.

The reigning king, a jealous and unpredictable tyrant named SoSheth, is furious at this apparent threat to his dynasty. It doesn’t matter that JaRed isn’t seeking the crown. In the middle of the night, JaRed is dragged from his home and beaten. He is accused of treason and driven into exile. SoSheth plans to have him murdered on the border of the north meadows.

Before the king’s assassins can kill him, JaRed encounters a band of marauding rats led by a sinister, cunning villain called Kreeg. Kreeg is feared for a long poisoned claw he affectionately refers to as “War Claw” that can kill with just a scratch. When JaRed escapes the King’s assassins, SoSheth empties Tira- Nor of its defenders to pursue him though the Dark Forest. Trapped between two powerful enemies, JaRed unwittingly becomes the bait in a deadly game of escalating stakes.

Meanwhile, a bewildering question presents itself in the scorn and curiosity of those who get close to him: Who do you think you are? JaRed has no answer. He has always believed Right makes Might, but now he doesn’t know what to believe. Only one thought keeps him from descending to the moral level of Kreeg and SoSheth: Becoming evil is the worst thing that can happen to you.

With SoSheth and the kingsguard away hunting JaRed, Kreeg is able to invade Tira-Nor and unleash the full horror of his scheme. The promises JaRed has always believed in seem to vanish as the city he loves teeters on the brink of destruction. How can one mouse
make a difference against such terrible odds?

This sequel to the award–winning Runt the Brave is an epic adventure filled with memorable characters and fueled by a young mouse’s search for meaning in a hostile world.

“This children’s fantasy sequel to Runt the Brave is a stand-alone story of “Runt” (JaRed, the small mouse), and his tribulations with the unjust, mad King SoSheth of the mouse colony Tira-nor. Runt must somehow stay alive while foiling an overwhelming attack by evil rats. For readers of the Old Testament, you will recognize many arch-type parallels with the David and Saul story.

The author has the uncanny ability to turn animal characters into human-like roles. He compares very favorably with Jacques’ Redwall series. This is a perfect book for reluctant readers and can be read at multiple levels. We rated it a high five hearts.”
– Heartland Reviews

Runt the Brave

runt-the-braveBook 1 in The Legends of Tir-Nor series
• published by AMG Publishers
• Soft cover

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Driven by their blood-frenzied master, GoRec, a merciless army of rats swarms toward the underground mouse-city of Tira-Nor. The rats have come for only one reason: to slaughter the mice and seize their ancestral home. But rats are not the only nightmare to awaken in the dying days of summer. A cold and bodiless evil stalks the lonely tunnels of the city, a shadow whose presence may mean that the doom of the Ancients has risen once again.

Tira-Nor’s last hope lies with JaRed son of ReDemec, a mouse so small and young even his family calls him Runt. But when the crazy old seer TaMir anoints JaRed to be the next king, JaRed’s brother denounces him as a traitor and threatens to expose the prophecy at court. After all, Tira-Nor already has a king!

Surrounded by enemies too terrifying to comprehend, JaRed searches desperately for a way to save the city from annihilation. When GoRec’s vast rat hordes at last descend on the plains above the city, JaRed is torn between his inner conviction that “right makes might” and the common sense that tells him victory against such terrible odds is impossible.

But JaRed is about to encounter a power beyond the rat army, beyond even that of the Great Owl … a power that will fling him into a destiny wilder than anything he’s ever imagined!

“…a fantastic young adult novel … Set in the land of Tira-Nor, inhabited by sentient woodland creatures, one little mouse nicknamed “Runt” is the world’s only hope against an invading army of terrible rats. A thrilling adventure of putting one’s courage to the test in dire situations, Runt the Brave is an engaging saga told with excitement and flair.”
– Midwest Book Review

“Runt the Brave” is a tale of action and adventure that focuses on a particularly small mouse named JaRed. JaRed lives in uncertain times; his home, the city-state of Tira-Nor, is threatened by drought and an army of rats.

In stories of adventure and discovery, the narrative voice and flow of the story determine how enjoyable it is to read. “Runt the Brave” is a pleasure. Schwabauer writes with an active voice and uses his settings to create rich atmospheres. The following text passage is just one example: “Summer drew to a close. The stalks of corn in the fields far to the west bent over in death and turned slowly from yellow to black. The endless shafts of tall grass that carpeted the prairie now stood resolutely dormant, as brittle as the wings of a moth. Even the earth seemed little more than a shriveled and rotting husk. Its skin, now hard as bone, lay split into a cracqueleur pattern of dusty runnels” (90).

The story is aimed primarily for youth ages 9-12, but adults will enjoy the story too. Also, “Runt the Brave” would be a good book for parents to read out loud with younger children who will certainly enjoy the well-woven words and actions of young JaRed.
-Peter DeVries, reviewer

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