Former Army Green Beret, Gage Hartline, makes a second appearance in Chuck Driskell’s latest espionage thriller part of the Gage Hartline Series, To the Lions.
Having just completed a job, a mercenary with a strong moral compass takes a high paying job that sends him inside a Spanish prison to safeguard a cartel leader’s son who may be targeted by a rival syndicate, Los Leones.
Upon his arrival to the beautiful and charming Catalonian Spain, Gage falls for Justina, a Polish woman he rescues from a Russian club who is stuck in a precarious financial situation. His immediate attraction to her gives him a reason to earn the large payday at stake and as his situation deteriorates, she becomes his lifeline.
Fast paced and filled with action, romance and espionage this book has something for all lovers of suspense fiction. With action scenes that include prison brawls, gunfights and one-on-one combat each scene vibrates with intensity and well-defined characters who make the TO THE LIONS exceptional. It is surprising around every corner and the plot is full of energy and white knuckled excitement.
Chuck Driskell lost both his parents at an early age and grew up in an extremely poor home, which fueled his hunger for the unknown and passion for success. He grew up to join the military where he became a U.S. Army paratrooper. His post-military life has been spent in the advertising business and as a writer where he finds time to create stories usually set in international locales that are a blend of crime, suspense, and spy genres. He lives in South Carolina with his wife and two children and is always scheming about his next trip to Europe.
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Q&A with Chuck Driskell
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events? Much of what I come up with is from personal experience. If I’m trying to create a situation I’ve never encountered, I’ll either call in an expert or imagine it and shape it from some other situation I’ve experienced.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you? I simply sit down and start writing! Usually I’ll know the setting but that’s about all. I’m always as excited as a reader to see where the story takes me.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies? I prefer to write very early in the morning, buzzing on caffeine. I can edit later in the day, but mornings are my best time for creativity.
Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day? I do not write full time. That much freedom might cause me to self-destruct! I co-founded B2B Media back in 2001 and we were purchased by Vomela Corporation in 2011. Vomela is a fantastic company and have been nice enough to allow me to stay on.
Who are some of your favorite authors? I’m convinced Ian Fleming was from another planet. How could one man write so well, yet so economically? He’s certainly near the top of my list. I love Frederick Forsyth. Brett Battles. JT Ellison. Robert Ludlum.
What are you reading now? MATTERHORN: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes…a powerful, harrowing book.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it? I’m almost done with the first draft of my next book. Hooray! It’s the third Gage Hartline novel, set primarily in Lima, Peru. The story revolves around the burgeoning cocaine industry there and contains a very American twist. I’m excited about it.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast? Well, TO THE LIONS has been optioned by the sensational film company Solipsist Films. So, in case his agent is reading, I’m convinced—and my wife is really convinced—that Bradley Cooper would make a great Gage Hartline. He’s tough and physical but also possesses the necessary natural empathy to play Gage. Also, I’ve had numerous readers write me to say they envisioned Danny Trejo as the character El Toro. I agree!
Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard? Hand-written with red ink all over the place.
Favorite leisure activity/hobby? My children are 7 and 4. For me, playing with them has no equal.
Favorite meal? I really love steak. Ribeyes. Porterhouses. One of my favorite things to do is grill. I have a charcoal grill and I often use different wood to enhance the flavor. Man…a lazy summer evening with lingering light, steaks sizzling on the grill, a few icy cold ones in a bucket. That’s my idea of fun.
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