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Part One of a Three Part Online interview with author Mark Shaff

Give our listeners the back-story about Redemption Road and what starts the main character off in a quest for revenge against those who killed his wife?

Redemption Road begins with a family, Marcus Diablo, his wife Annie and their young sons Bodie and Garrett, backpacking in the Eastern Sierras, near Yosemite National Park. They stumble on a plot to set a forest fires not only in the backcountry of Yosemite but in National Parks and National Forests from California to Connecticut. While the boys and Marcus head out from their base camp for a day fishing excursion, Annie opts to stay near camp and relax. When Marcus and the boys return they find two young men tearing their campsite apart but no Annie.This event sets Marcus into motion on a frantic search to find his wife and protect his sons. What unfolds is story motivated by fear, sustained by love, and brought to resolution through the power of friendship and family.

 

Why did you choose such a graphic way to end Annie’s life and how does that mirror some of what is happening in the news today?

 

I needed an event that would justify and explain the extreme measures Marcus takes. I also wanted to exploit the shock value of this type of death. We have seen this type of death-sentence used for its shock value with American journalist like James Foley. This is also a favored message sending method of death for the drug cartels. There is a certain barbaric quality to the act of beheading that seems to hold a morbid fascination with people. It also paints a graphic picture that needs few words of embellishment.

 

Explain Annie’s relationship with Marcus as opposed to her relationship with her two sons?

 

Annie is the ying to Marcus’ yang especially when it comes to raising the boys, she’s all the things he is not. Although she and Marcus share a love for physical pursuits and share a similar parenting philosophy, Annie is the mother, in the truest sense of what it is to be a mother. She tends to Bodie and Garretts sensitive needs, she is the one who worries that Marcus pushes them to hard, demands too much. Yet she recognizes the value in her son’s being prepared, in them being able to pull their own weight. It is her job to provide the balance between, “Grow your boys to be good men” and “Hey, they are still just little boys.”

 

I like to think of Annie and Marcus’ relationship as a classic love story with a twist. Marcus would do anything, lay down his life if necessary to protect her and the boys. But it’s Annie who is forced to lay down her life, and for her it becomes a matter of the message she sends to Marcus and her sons, and the world, when that moment comes.

 

 

Marcus has now become a part of Force Ten. Tell our listeners about what they do and how they were created.

 

Force Ten is a private military contracting firm established and run by Ret. Col. Samuel Webb. For early 3 decades he ran black ops missions for the U.S. Military. During those years he pulled from every branch of the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence agencies as well as the military, and intelligence ranks of Americas allies. While still serving in the U.S. military, a mission in the Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, goes bad and several members of his team are killed by a private military contractor who mistakes the colonel’s natively dressed team as insurgents. The colonel is told that he either drops his protests about the use of for profit contractors as unacceptably dangerous or hit the road. The colonel chooses the road and takes with him the ten best people he currently servers with.

 

The team is comprised of 10 members, each who bring a proficiency, even though there is cross over, at a specific skill set. Each carry a call sign designation of Force 1-10. 10 is the number the colonel has determined as the optimal number of personnel for a black ops mission, 5 to run offense, 5 to run defense, the colonel loves basketball.

 

Who are the members of Force Ten and what are their roles?

 

Colonel Samuel Webb—Force O ne: Career military. 30 years of running small tactical black ops teams in every hot spot and conflict zone on the earth. Before retiring his last military posting was Iraq. Founder and leader of Force Ten. His teams are the only family he has ever known.

 

Stanley Ingenious Thorn (Sit)—Force Two: Army ranger. Sniper. At six eight and over three hundred pounds, bald and black, he is a most unlikely sniper. It is his task to keep Marcus safe, and more importantly to get Marcus out of the situations; he so often puts himself in.

 

Bronson Daughltry—Force Three: Navy Pilot. Fly anything from a Cessna to a F- 16, to a Commercial passenger jet. Tall broad shouldered, Texas country boy, with Southern California suffer good looks.

 

Weathers Fisher—Force Four: Navy Seal. If it floats he can sail it, expert in underwater demolition. Italian decent, built like a bulldog, short and stout. Bronson’s best friend and where you find one, the other is not far behind.

Liam O’Hanlon—Force Five: Irish, UK Special Forces. Munitions expert. Tattooed neck to toe, he is a cross between an MMA fighter and a bearded Irish folk singer.

 

Pytor Petrovich (Pete)—Force Six: Spetsnaz with the Russians special-purpose

regiment. Hand-to-hand combat expert and instructor, responsible for keeping the team proficient in close quarter combat. Fluent in Russian and several eastern European dialects with just passable English skills which make him near impossible to argue with.

 

Chaya Lanner—Force Seven: Israeli Mossad trained. Force Ten Doctor, Stanford

Medical School. She is fluent in English, Hebrew, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Farsi and half dozen other languages. The only female member of Force Ten. She is drawn to Marcus and his sons by shared circumstances and love.

 

Hamal Kamal (Ham)—Force Eight: Only Arab American member of Force Ten

and a devout Muslim. Yale grad, CIA trained as interrogation translator and interpreter, fluent in several Arabic dialects. Force Ten’s resident expert, on all things Arabic and Islamic.

 

Jamie Marsden (Tracker)—Force Nine: Australian Special Forces commando. Youngest member of Force Ten. Able to track with a sixth sense as if he walks in his quarries shoes, feels the weight of their load or the effect of their injuries. Emotional and hotheaded, he sees in a Marcus a kindred sprit, and a father figure.

 

Marcus Diablo—Force Ten. No military training. Driven by emotion and decisive (some say crazy) action. Due to a gift from the leader of an ancient aboriginal tribe—the Arrernte—he can speak any language he hears with near perfect inflection, (Redemption Road). He brings a human, though seriously flawed approach, to what has always been a detached, don’t-let-personal-feelings-interfere, perspective to covert missions.

 

Jonathan Tiberius (JT)—call sign Force: Force Ten techno whiz, IQ way north of 160. Duel PhD’s from MIT at 18. Rather than go to prison for hacking into the Pentagons’ most secure database, J. T. reluctantly agrees to work for the NSA. Responsible for keeping Force Ten on the cutting edge of communication, surveillance and intelligence gathering. His overactive imagination and his ability to see solutions that are anything but logical is something he shares with Marcus. His role is to help the team with the power of his mind, because at a buck twenty dripping wet, thick black glasses, and looking like a twenty year old boy, he couldn’t’ beat his way out of a wet paper bag

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About Just Reviews by:gabina49:

author educator book reviewer for authors reading and writing staff developer Book reviewer for manic readers, ijustfinished.com book pleasures and authors upon request blog tours on my blog and interviews with authors I am the author of five published books. I wrote three children's books in my Bertha Series and Two on Alzheimer's. Radio show talk host on Red River Radio/Blog Talk Radio Book Discussion with Fran Lewis the third Wed. of every month at one eastern. I interview 2 authors each month feature their latest releases. I review books for authors upon request and my latest book Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Is an E book, Kindle and on Xlibris.com Some of the proceeds from this last book will go to fund research in the area of Brain Traumatic Injury in memory of my sister Marcia who died in July.

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