SERIES SPOTLIGHT - Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures (Series) by Edward Hochsmann
Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures (Series)
Dagger Quest, Book 1
by Edward Hochsmann
GENRE: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
An aging Coast Guard patrol boat is all that stands between the world and nuclear annihilation!
The world is on the brink of war, with NATO mobilizing to counter a Russian threat to Poland and Lithuania and leaders openly discussing war options. In the midst of the crisis, a Russian bomber collides with a U.S. fighter off Florida causing the accidental launch of a nuclear-tipped hypersonic missile.
A Coast Guard cutter on a routine patrol finds a drug-laden sailboat smashed and adrift north of the Florida Keys. The boat’s damage is from a near miss by the Russian missile which has not harmlessly flown deep into the Gulf of Mexico as initially thought but crashed somewhere in the Keys.
The Coast Guard crew is in a race against a vicious and powerful international crime syndicate to find and recover the Russian nuke before its discovery can trigger a nuclear war.
Exploring the friendship and teamwork of a typical ship's crew, in the face of unexpected and hazardous challenges, Dagger Quest provides a fast-paced, taut story - excellent fare for both sea adventure and military thriller fans.
Dagger Quest Excerpts
The 252s launch a chemical attack on Ben and Simmons on Resolution Key:
Ben had already spent one magazine and slammed another into the carbine, resuming fire. His pistol was also charged and ready. Suddenly, there was a pause in the firing, and all the targets were out of sight. Ben glanced left along the barrier and froze in shock. Bill was sprawled out face up behind Simmons, eyes open and blood leaking from a hole in his forehead.
“Eyes front!” Simmons whispered urgently.
Ben whirled back to peer at the SUVs and whispered, “What are they doing?”
“Retasking,” Simmons said, pulling a small package out of one of his pockets. “They’ll try to take us now for interrogation.”
“What do we do?”
“Don’t get taken.”
“No, I mean, whatever you have to do, DO NOT get taken by these guys.” He looked Ben in the eyes. “Nothing would be worse, believe me.”
Some activity behind his SUV attracted Ben’s attention. There was a “whump” sound, and a grapefruit-sized object sailed overhead their position.
“FACE DOWN!” Simmons shouted.
Ben turned and buried his face in the sand when a loud “pop” sounded overhead, followed by a “whir” and a stabbing pain in the back of his right leg. A severe muscle cramp-like pain spread over his body within seconds, and he could not move. He tried to shout in terror, but all he heard was, “Ahhhhhh!” He felt another prick in his neck, and the pain subsided, although he still could not seem to get his muscles to work.
“It was a micro-flechette with a tetrodotoxin derivative. I’ve given you the antidote, but it’ll be about thirty seconds before it’s fully effective,” Simmons whispered as he pulled the now empty syrette out of Ben’s neck. “Fight it! They’ll be rushing us in a few seconds—you need to be shooting.”
Mission: Five days to destroy the enemy in the Caribbean before a catastrophic weapon is unleashed—but all he can think about is the woman he left behind…
The deadliest nerve gas ever made has fallen into the hands of a murderous Caribbean drug cult. The criminal 252 Syndicate has the gas in a secret lab on an oil rig servicing ship, but the ship has been taken for ransom by the Salinas Cartel in a violent drug war. The U.S. can’t use airstrikes and calls on Coast Guard Officer Ben Wyporek to lead his crew through a risky covert raid on the Salinas cult’s fortified island base. He accepts the assignment but remembers a previous lethal encounter with the 252s and struggles to say goodbye to the love of his life, Victoria Carpenter.
Ben and his crew aboard the stealth-equipped Cutter Kauai must sneak into the harbor and tow the ship away. But if Kauai is detected and defeated, death by gas or at the hands of vicious adversaries will follow. Now, every decision Ben makes will determine the fate of his entire crew—and the chances of reuniting with Victoria.
This second book of the series builds on the friendships and teamwork of Kauai's crew, this time in the face of several challenging missions and one potentially lethal encounter. It is a worthy sequel to Dagger Quest that sea adventure and military thriller fans will enjoy.
The team’s stealthy egress attempt from the Cartel stronghold is foiled by lightning.
Ben was about to comment on a second flare that had appeared almost overhead when an enormous blast threw him to the deck. One moment he was standing there; the next, he was flat on his face, covered in broken glass. “Lope!”
“Here, sir! I’m OK!” the young petty officer said as he got to his knees.
Ben looked behind the bridge. The rocket had apparently hit the port smokestack, which was now shredded. He had just gotten to his feet and pulled Lopez up when the second rocket hit the foredeck. This time, the forward windows shattered, and the two men were thrown down again. Worse, shrapnel from the explosion sliced through some outer strands of the towing hawser. Given the enormous strain the line was under, there could be only one result: the cascade of individual strand failures in milliseconds merged into one loud “Bang.” The two new ends shot away from the breakpoint, one slamming into Carlos Rojas’s superstructure with a loud “clang” and the other falling into the water just short of Kauai.
Ben looked forward in shock as they got to their feet again, then keyed his tactical radio. “Alpha-Four, Alpha-One, we just lost the towline. We need main engines now, or we’re dead!”
“Almost there, sir! We’ve fixed the problem and are closing up now!”
“For God’s sake, hurry!”
Ben’s command radio came alive. “Alpha-One, Orchid Actual, prepare to abandon ship. We’ll be dropping back to pick you up.”
“Orchid, Alpha-One, roger, sir. We may have engines shortly, will advise.” He turned to Lopez. “Lope, get down to the well deck and tell the SEALs to evacuate as soon as Kauai comes alongside, then find Simmons and tell him to light the torch.”
Bravely and Faithfully
A New Captain’s First Patrol Turns into a Fight for Their Lives
Young Coast Guard Lieutenant Haley Reardon has not even gotten her feet on the ground on her new patrol boat command when she finds herself and her crew supporting a dangerous covert mission. They must insert and retrieve a Defense Intelligence Agency operations team trying to seize a transnational criminal syndicate boss from a small Caribbean Island controlled by a front company of the Chinese government and protected by a superior military force.
A honeymoon period would be lovely, but, as always, the world gets a vote.
Can Haley avoid leaving the DIA team to their fate, when attempting to rescue them could destroy her crew and boat and lead to war?
This third installment of the series conveys the humor, friendships, and teamwork of Kauai's crew from the previous books, with a new series of exciting actions from search and rescue to combat. The crew and their new skipper must come together for the toughest mission they have ever faced.
Phillip Murray, his wife and two daughters have been retrieved from their stricken sailboat in the middle of Hurricane Jacob and are now en route to Kauai aboard the cutter’s small rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB):
The big crewman placed his hand on a grab handle and shouted, “Hold this, stay down, and keep your arms inside the boat!” Once Murray had a firm grip, the crewman pulled a strap across his lap, fastened it to a ring fitting on the deck, and cinched it. The small orange boat pitched up as it climbed another high wave, and the strap across Murray’s lap bit into him as they seemed to come near to vertical. Then the bow suddenly pitched down for yet another sickening drop to a tremendous splash.
That’s it! We’re done for! Murray thought as wind and water tugged at his body. But the boat came up again, the deck cleared, and from what he could see with his spray-fogged eyes, everyone was still there. He looked toward Gemma, sitting beside him with her free arm stretched across Jamie’s and Lydia’s chests, and placed his free hand over hers on the grab handle. They rode out two more monstrous wave events before reaching the cutter, which provided little shelter from the gale for the tossing boat.
Murray had turned to look at the nearby cutter when a gunshot rang out, followed by the thump of a line on the bow. Murray surmised the winds were too high for a standard heaving line, so the coastguardsman used a rifle to pass a line to the boat. The big boat crewman was hauling in a thin line that Murray knew was attached to the hook they would connect to the boat to crane it aboard. This was the time of maximum risk—with the cutter and boat writhing in the wind and seas, attaching the hook would be a nightmare. He leaned over to cover Gemma’s head with his body and closed his eyes.
And then he prayed.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Edward Hochsmann is the pen name of a retired U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue and law enforcement professional. The veteran mariner, aviator, college professor, and defense analyst has added “author” to his list of experiences. Ed likes reading, police procedurals, contemporary music on the road, and classical music in the office. After a career traveling from Australia in the west to Italy and Germany in the east, Ed has settled into a quiet life in the Florida Panhandle to focus on writing (and not shoveling snow!)
Ed has two novels published right now (plus one launching in August 2022) in the Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures series about a Coast Guard patrol boat assigned to "special" missions. Dagger Quest takes place in the Florida Keys and involves an aging Coast Guard patrol boat dragooned into a search for a lost Russian nuclear weapon in a time of international crisis. The second, Caribbean Counterstrike, features the same patrol boat and crew, now with equipment and training upgrades, sent to recover a deadly nerve gas from a murderous Caribbean drug cartel. Bravely and Faithfully has Kauai, under a new captain supporting a covert raid on a Caribbean island held by the Chinese.
Ed's second series, C6S: Patrol Force deals with a combined defense establishment and constabulary for a galactic economic empire called the Confederation of the Six Systems (C6S). Ed has published two novellas and a novel-length collection late last year.
Stay connected with Ed –
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