Surly Bonds (A Jason Conrad Thriller)

Surly Bonds (A Jason Conrad Thriller)

by Michael Byars Lewis

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When you're solo, no one can hear you scream.

"It's Tom Clancy meets John Grisham and they drink cocktails with Jerry Bruckheimer; yeah, it's THAT good. I can't wait for the movie..."

- Scott Tyler, former F-15 fighter pilot

"The Bottom Line: Guaranteed to please Brad Thor fans, this terrific military thriller finds Moscow hardliners plotting to assassinate the next U.S. president..."


It was the highest of highs and the lowest of lows . . . Jason Conrad is an Air Force student pilot, struggling to graduate pilot training. Rebuilding his personal life, he quickly finds the friends he relies on have bigger secrets than his own. On the other side of the world, a former KGB leader is plotting to overthrow the Russian government. While the 'Cold War' is believed to be over, a renegade group of Russian officers launch a plan that could possibly ignite World War Three! As these two vastly different worlds weave together, they accelerate into an action-packed roller coaster ride from the skies over Enid, Oklahoma, to the streets of Moscow, to the steps of the Alamo. SURLY BONDS will have you on the edge of your seat and keep you guessing until the very end!

What others have said about SURLY BONDS

"A page turner to the end. Hats off Mr. Lewis for a job well done! If you like thrillers, you will love Surly Bonds!"

- John Mese, Award-Winning Writer/Actor/Director/Producer

"Lewis has crafted an intriguing and suspenseful thriller that also gives the reader a birds-eye view of life as a pilot-in-training . . . This is a suspenseful and well-crafted thriller that delivers, and I enjoyed every minute spent reading it."

- Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

"If you are a pilot training graduate or would like to get an inside view about what that is like, read Surly Bonds. If you like mysteries and thrillers akin to works by Vince Flynn and John Grisham read Surly Bonds."

- Dennis Barnett, Editor-in-Chief, Air Commando Journal

". . . influenced by the style of John Grisham, Michael Byars Lewis is an author to watch out for in this genre."

- Maria Beltran for Reader's Favorite

"Yes, this story does have it all: action upon action, intrigue, attempted murder, and a little romance on the side. What could be better? Very well done."

- Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite

Surly Bonds is the second book in the Jason Conrad USAF Thriller series. If you like compelling storylines, interesting characters, and Cold-War intrigue, then you'll love this installment of Michael Byars Lewis' International Bestselling series. 

Scroll back up and BUY Surly Bonds, NOW and read Jason Conrad's second thrilling adventure!

Major Awards won by Michael Byars Lewis' SURLY BONDS

  • 2014 - WINNER Beverly Hills Book Awards - Military Fiction Category
  • 2013 - Silver Medal Finalist Next Generation Indie Book Awards - First Novel Category (over 80,000 words)
  • 2013 - Bronze Medal Winner READERS' FAVORITE Book Awards - Fiction Intrigue Category

Product Details

BN ID: 2940152700138
Publisher: SATCOM Publishing
Publication date: 09/09/2012
Series: A Jason Conrad Thriller
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 651 KB

About the Author

Michael Byars Lewis, author of the award winning thriller, SURLY BONDS, is a former AC-130U Spooky Gunship Evaluator Pilot with 18 years in Air Force Special Operations Command.  A 25-year Air Force pilot, he has flown special operations combat missions in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  He served as an Expeditionary Squadron Commander for AC-130U combat operations in Iraq and spent his final assignment on active duty instructing and mentoring the next generation of gunship pilots at the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center’s schoolhouse for flight instruction, the 19th Special Operations Squadron. Michael is currently a pilot for a major U.S. airline.

Active in his community, Michael has mentored college students on leadership development and team-building and is a facilitator for an international leadership training program.  He has teamed with the Air Commando Foundation which supports Air Commando’s and their families unmet needs during critical times.

While his adventures have led to travels all around the world, Michael lives in Florida with his wife Kim and their two children, Lydia and Derek.

Customer Reviews

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Surly Bonds 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many twists and turns. Highly recommend.
TheParisCarter More than 1 year ago
The other day I dived into Surly Bonds by Michael Byars Lewis not knowing what to expect, and after racing through the first one hundred pages, I was hooked. Micheal Lewis does a great job of making sure that his novel stays fresh and fluid. The main character, Jason Conrad, is a pleasure to read about on his adventure as an air force pilot student. Being completely fleshed out amongst the near three hundred pages of the novel, Jason Conrad is a great strong character that I think any fan of Tom Clancy would surely enjoy.  Another small thing that adds a great detail to the novel is the fact that Micheal Byar Lewis served as a Gunship Pilot in the Air Force Special. His eighteen years of serving for the United States Air Force adds a great layer of realism to his novel that makes all the flying scenes not only real, but also completely authentic.  Michael creates a great environment that comes to life through his unique, easily recognizable style of writing. The streets of Moscow to the airspaces of America are both written in such a great detail that you feel as if you too are sitting right next to the fighter pilot experiencing everything that he's going through. The writing style Michael possess makes his scenes teeming with life and bursting with poignant emotions, buzzing life, and beautifully written characters.  I would recommended this novel to anyone who's looking for a great novel that displays the same environment that the Tom Clancy series displayed. Any fan of the airflight, air force, or just piloting in general will definitely fall in love with Michael's fascinating novel. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone who likes a good thriller well written you need to take a second look at Surly Bonds. Well written by someone with the knowledge and workings of the military. Well done by a new indie writer. I was impressed with his characters and their all too human qualities we all have, a page turner for me and hoepfully for you.
penandtome More than 1 year ago
Jason Conrad is distracted from his studies by his ex-wife, Britanny, and new love interest, Kathy. Becoming an air force pilot is all Jason Conrad ever wanted and now he is at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma living the dream. However, he is having to work harder than expected to keep up with his classmates. Add in an ex-wife, a new girlfriend, gambling, political intrigue, scandal, murder and a plan to overthrow the Russian government, and you have a story that goes supersonic fast. Cold war fever never ends.
ZipEX More than 1 year ago
WOW! Great Book!!! Captures your interest early and couldn't put it down at the end. Develops the characters well, makes you fell like you really know them. Stayed up late one night finishing the read, couldn't put it down. My wife is reading it now, she loves it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite It is 1995 and in Jason Conrad, a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force wants to be a pilot. Pilot training isn’t easy but all he really wants to do is fly jets. But Jason has a secret, a secret that is destined to become the driving factor in his life. Jason’s struggles in pilot training soon become eclipsed with gambling, scandal, and then murder as he discovers that the cold war with the newly transformed Russia isn’t really over. As his secret comes to light, he quickly finds himself injected into the Presidential race of 1996 and in a deadly race against time where he must stop the unthinkable from happening. "Surly Bonds" is a very well-thought-out action-packed novel, a thriller that takes the reader on a wild ride from the skies over Enid, Oklahoma, and the streets of Moscow to the famous Riverwalk in San Antonio. The author has created a diverse set of characters each with his/her own problems and troubles to overcome. The dialog is first rate. For me the plot does start a little slowly, but as the main characters' lives continue to weave together it quickly gathers speed and once the action takes off the reader will find they really don’t want to stop reading. And what a surprise ending it has, one that most readers will never see coming! Yes, this story does have it all: Action upon action, intrigue, attempted murder and a little romance on the side. What could be better? Very well done.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Jason Conrad has one burning ambition in life and that is to be a pilot. Previously married to Bethany, an aspiring film actress, he is now focused on finishing his pilot training and hopes to graduate so that he can start flying his beloved jets. However, the lieutenant is saddled with a secret. His quest to be a pilot is derailed by murder, scandals and gambling. He comes to a point where has to make a decision as to what direction his life should take. This is in 1995 when the Cold War between Russia and the United States and their allies is still ongoing. A group of Russians are planning to overthrow the Russian government and the CIA is in touch with Mikeal Tolstoy, their spy in Russia. Conrad somehow finds himself involved in this dangerous game. "Surly Bonds" is the first novel written by Michael Byars Lewis and his main character is an aspiring pilot. This proves to be a big advantage because the author obviously knows the inside story and the technical know-how in training to be a pilot. He is a professional pilot who was raised in the Air Force. With this as a backdrop, he is able to weave a tapestry of action and adventure that is quite complex. It is interesting to note that it has a coherent theme in spite of all of the twists and turns in the story. "Surly Bonds" is a complicated thriller that takes place in Texas, Russia and Oklahoma. The plot is certainly unpredictable and will keep the reader guessing, as he goes on a roller coaster ride filled with action. Obviously influenced by the style of John Grisham, Michael Byars Lewis is an author to watch out for in this genre.  
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite "Surly Bonds" by Michael Byars Lewis is the story of Jason Conrad and his fellow Lieutenants Matt, Vince and Lenny as they train to become fighter pilots. The story takes place at the Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma. Jason seems to be struggling to keep up with the studies and flight tests. He also has some romantic entanglements that serve as unwanted distractions. His ex-wife is pestering him and reopening the wounds caused by her infidelities, and an attractive local woman, Kathy, seems like the real deal.  Lewis has crafted an intriguing and suspenseful thriller that also gives the reader a birds-eye view of life as a pilot-in-training. I particularly enjoyed the vicarious experience of walking around the plane with Jason under the eagle eye of his instructor and going for the flight sessions. There are two plots in it: after we get to know Jason and his classmates, a second story starts to form on the other side of the world in Russia, and Lewis deftly moves the action along in both plots. Jason is a compelling character. He works hard for his grades and has a strong sense of loyalty to his friends, even the ones who seem to have a much easier time with their coursework than he does. It is interesting to see how he copes with problems and critical situations and gets stronger as he goes along. This is a suspenseful and well-crafted thriller that delivers, and I enjoyed every minute spent reading it.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How does a Honky-Tonk outside Enid, Oklahoma, the remnants of the KGB, and the birthplace of Texas Independence come together in 1995 to create the backdrop of one of the freshest, imagination-capturing novels available today? Pick up a copy of Michael Byars Lewis’s Surly Bonds and you won’t put it down until you know the answer. Surly Bonds captured me in the first few pages as it played out a bar scene we’ve all been a part of—except for the intrigue-filled murder at the end of page 12. Try to keep up for all 350+ pages, as Lewis takes you on a ride through the United States Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training course as it actually existing in the mid-1990s, into a hidden vault where the ex-KGB chief ponders his next move, then back to the United States to experience the unsavory and bullying tactics actually found in the loan shark industry of sports betting. Wrap it all up with multiple law enforcement agencies attempting to identify and stop organized computer terrorism, and then top it off with just a hint of presidential politics and you have the biggest new splash of a novel to hit the market. The hero is the unassuming Jason Conrad. Jason is trying to get his life back into shape after a couple of false starts. The product of a broken home and recently divorced himself, he is determined to show himself that he can be successful. Unfortunately for his self-esteem, Jason picked what is arguably the most difficult career field to enter, much less in which to succeed—that of a US Air Force pilot. Through the ups and downs of grueling pilot training, Jason manages to somehow get mixed up in international intrigue [don’t worry, I won’t tell you how] that puts his entire life, and the future of the United States, in jeopardy. Before the end of the story, Jason will have to make choices between his ex-wife, his long-ago estranged father, his new girlfriend, the OSI agent that can clear his name, and his own life. I was prepared for a twist at the end, and even had a couple directions that I thought were probable. But I was caught completely off-guard by the final scene at The Alamo. That climax is worth the entire cost of the book. Lewis combines superior character development and an ability to describe the physical surroundings into a very readable and purely enjoyable experience. Lewis refers to himself as an airline pilot with some military experience. He grew up as an “Air Force brat”, but it seems to me that his military credentials are more than he lets on. Anyone who has ever been to flight training in the military will nod their head in understanding as the scenes and story lines develop. Although some of the character’s inner thoughts seem a little repetitive at times, it did not detract from the plot and tempo. I relished the time Surly Bonds spends in San Antonio. I love that town and I was back on the River Walk and taking in the sights and sounds as Lewis kept the pace of the book moving. Surly Bonds is available for your e-reader, but I recommend a printed copy. You will want to refer back to it when Lewis continues the story and character development with his next book. I counted at least three opportunities for follow-on efforts, and am sure Lewis will not disappoint me.
Maebay More than 1 year ago
Outstanding thriller!  This book just draws you in with each page.  The characters are each unique with distinct voices and the action is non-stop!  The setting is unique, taking place primarily at a US Air Force pilot training base.  There are many subplots with cliffhangers throughout and even though the book deals with some highly technical issues, the author never talks over the reader's head as the book is really character driven.  Overall, a fantastic read and I highly recommend this book!