Shifting Sands | Tradecraft: Phase One
By Michael Shusko
Genre: Fiction Military/Political Thriller
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
Iranian physicist Dr. Sara Qaderi has been leaking intelligence to the UN detailing her deadly work at a nuclear facility in Iran for months—but her time is running out. Colonel Mostafa Sabri is on the hunt for the traitors who have been compromising Iran’s national security. And he always finds his prey.
Since birth, Sara has been taught that Americans aren’t to be trusted. Now her life is in the hands of Nick Shane, an American Marine whose mission is to get her and the vital information she carries to Afghanistan before Israel drops the first bombs of the next world war. He has his own reservations about this Iranian physicist and her motives. But he also has his orders, and will carry out his mission at all costs.
Will they make it in time to save the world from erupting into a violent global conflict—or die in the unforgiving Iranian desert?
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Thank you very much for having me on your blog, Rae! I’d like to share a little about what got me started as a writer and why I focus on the subjects I choose to write about.
I joined the military at 18 right after I finished high school and was fortunate enough to get a job where I was given the opportunity to learn foreign languages and to travel. I learned Arabic and Farsi, so as you can imagine I have been oversees in the Middle East for much of my career. I had a lot of experiences while traveling on missions — mostly good, some not so good — and I started writing about them. I found it was both enjoyable and therapeutic to weave stories together based on these experiences and it became a passion for me.
Writing allows me to explore experiences I’ve had and how they’ve impacted me, while letting me do it through the eyes of the characters I create. I can talk about how events affect the characters more easily than I can introspectively look at how similar events have affected myself. When I put it all down on paper and read what I’ve written, the experiences become more real and I can better process the effects they’ve had on myself, both good and bad — and there really has been a lot of good. There are many happy experiences I’ve had in my life that also make appearances in my books. When I read them on paper, I can truly see how blessed I am to have had the life I’ve had, and relive those happy moments again.
In addition to writing for myself, I try to tell stories other people will find interesting and enjoy. With my Tradecraft military thriller series, I explore social injustices and other issues occurring in the world within the framework of breakneck-paced fiction novels. The core of Vector, the first book in the series, is the good and the bad of genetic research and how it can be used or misused depending on whose hands wield its power. In Shifting Sands, the second title in the series, I highlight how international struggles can affect individuals and families, and how propaganda released to the population of some nations can demonize the population of another, resulting in deeply instilled prejudices that are very difficult to overcome — even when it’s necessary that two individuals from those respective populations work together to resolve an international crisis.
The one thing I hope people take away from my books is that the world is not nearly as bad as it seems on the news. There are so many differences on the surface between people from other nations and cultures. It’s good to have those differences — there’s a lot of power in having those different cultures — but deep inside I believe people are the same. People want to take care of their families; they want to work; they want to enjoy life; they want to do good things to each other and for each other. There are the few that are featured on the news that can distract from the fact that people are mostly good, but that doesn’t change that reality. And I hope that, in addition to being entertaining and exciting books, the Tradecraft series conveys that sentiment to its readers.
About the Author
Michael Shusko, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACOEM, is an author, medical doctor and decorated Marine and Naval officer who has worked on intelligence and medical missions across the globe. Fluent in Arabic, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Rutgers University. Post-undergrad, Dr. Shusko transferred from the Marines to the Navy Medical Corps and attended medical school at Wake Forest University, obtaining his medical degree in 2002. He also studied at Harvard University, earning his Master’s of Public Health degree in 2013.
Dr. Shusko’s Middle Eastern experience and language skills coupled with his background in special operations and intelligence keep him busy deploying around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. Dr. Shusko has been awarded the Bronze Star twice for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently lives in Japan with his wife and 17-year-old triplet sons.