About Me

A jack-of-all-trades and master of some, R.A. Mathis has worn many hats as a husband, father, student, teacher, soldier, and then some. However, he has always been a writer. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a BS in mathematics, he served nine years in the army as an armored cavalry officer, rising to the rank of captain and holding a secret-level clearance. During that time, he served a yearlong combat tour in Iraq. He has since earned an MBA and transitioned to the field of finance. Rob currently lives in Tennessee with his wife and family.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

HOMELAND: Falling Down is Now Available for Pre-Order!

Preorder HOMELAND: Falling Down here!

We thought America would last forever. We were wrong.

Riots are daily occurrences in American cities. The dollar plummets when foreign governments refuse to buy American bonds. Coordinated terrorist attacks paralyze the country at every level. Then it gets worse. When a new regime rises to bring order from chaos, it soon becomes clear that peace and security will come at an unbearable price.

Homeland: Falling Down is the first installment of a new series which chronicles the trials of Americans trying to survive the total collapse of everything they know and love.

Eduardo Garcia just landed his dream job. He is finally promoted to network news anchor after years of paying his dues as a war correspondent. His first day on the job will mark the beginning of the end.

Hank Sexton is a small town sheriff struggling to protect his family and community from starvation and the chaos lurking beyond the county line.

Hank’s son, Cole, is an Army sergeant recently returned from a combat tour in Syria. He and his fellow soldiers will face hard choices when their fellow citizens are declared terrorists.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Will Bin Laden Have the Last Laugh?


            Yesterday, on the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I found myself once again reflecting upon that day and the differences in the world before and after.

            Thankfully, we haven’t experienced another attack on that scale since that day. Our intelligence and military services have done an outstanding job in combating Islamic threats. Many have sacrificed much to keep us safe and I am proud to have played a small part in that.

But that isn’t the whole story…

            Remember when metal detectors were the only security needed at the airport? I do. I also remember when the people who feared their communications being monitored by the government were kooks and the police didn’t drive MRAPs.

            I even remember a time thirty years ago, during the Cold War, when the ‘commies’ were the bad guys and we weren’t afraid to call them that.  I remember a President with the courage to refer to the Soviet Union as the “Evil Empire” in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. I can still hear his command, “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear. Down. This. Wall.” His words struck like hammer blows.

            We knew who the bad guys were and weren’t afraid to admit it. It was a cold war, but war nonetheless. We knew what it took to beat them and we did it with neither excuse nor concession. Those were the days before political correctness.

            Those days are gone.

            Today, America’s second longest war turns 13. In spite of continued attacks, aggression, threats, and foiled terror plots, the media and Whitehouse policy are in chronic denial about the threat we face from the ‘religion of peace.’

            Terrorist acts are now called ‘workplace violence’ or ‘man-caused disasters.’ 80 year-old grannies are stopped at TSA checkpoints just as often as Middle Eastern males between the ages of 16 and 45.

            This narrative of the religion of peace is propagated in the media as well. When was the last TV show or movie you saw in which the Muslim was a bad guy? When the movie version of Tom Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears was made, the Muslim terrorists were replaced by neo-Nazis. News outlets do all they can to deny Islamic radicals too, warning instead of the threat of right-wing extremists. Last night, the President led his ISIS remarks by declaring the group is not Islamic.


(Dr. Bill Warner has a presentation which shows how ISIS fits perfectly into Islamic philosophy and are no different than the prophet himself. See it here.)

For years, we have bent over backwards to deny the savagery committed in the name of Allah. We have bowed to the mandates of political correctness and we have paid the price. It must be said that this President not the only one to do so, but he does seem to be the most adamant about it.

Here are just a very few examples of the damage done while we buried our heads in the sand:


·       The administration abandoned the T-word for the more benign term “man-caused disasters.”

·       13 unarmed soldiers were killed and over 30 wounded by a Muslim soldier shouting, “Allah uh Akbar!” on Fort Hood, Texas. This was called “workplace violence” by the administration. The victims were denied the purple, which meant that the survivors and families of the fallen would not receive the benefits they deserved. (Berkowitz/World News, 2013)

·       Citizens of Iran rise up against their government in the wake of elections they believe to be corrupt. America offers them no support. Many are arrested and killed.


·       Arab Spring begins in December in Tunisia and soon spread to Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. The administration choses to back the Muslim Brotherhood in spite of their radical, anti-western, anti-Semitic, philosophies.


·       We pulled out of a ‘stable’ Iraq, leaving a void of power without having any idea who would fill it.

·       Syrian uprising against President al-Assad. America backs the rebels, many of whom are linked to Al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

·       Libya revolts. America backs the Muslim Brotherhood with supplies and air strikes. The rebels take over the country, murder Khadafy, and install an ant-American Islamic government.

·       Egypt falls. Thousands of Christians are murdered and hundreds of churches are destroyed. America does nothing.

·       Iranian citizens rise again, attempting to shed the yolk of radical Islam and are put down once again with an iron fist. Once again, America does nothing.


·       Iraq’s vice president is charged with murder and flees the county. Iraq begins its spiral into civil war. America does nothing.

·       The same year – The American ambassador to Libya is murdered along with three other Americans in a well-planned and coordinated assault. The attack is painted as a spontaneous response to a YouTube video. The maker of that video is imprisoned. The attackers remain free.


·       Syrian government is accused of using chemical weapons against rebel forces. The administration urges American to aid the rebels, including U.S. troops on the ground. The initial claims are refuted by many in the international community who say evidence points to the rebels being the initiators of the chemical attack.

·       ISIS grows out of the Syrian resistance and sets its sights westward toward Iraq. Intelligence services inform the administration of this development. Nothing happens.

·       The Boston Marathon is hit with two homemade explosive devises killing 3 and injuring 263 others. The two suspects are Muslim immigrants. This aspect is downplayed by the media and administration.


·       Well, you get the point. Just turn on the TV.


The administration may deny the enemy, but they cannot deny the threat.

As such, they must cast an ever wider net to catch ‘bad guys’ instead of focusing on the one group that has conducted every attack since Oklahoma City 19 years ago. Our reluctance to identify the bad guys has muddied the water, causing every American to become a terror suspect.(At least I hope that's the reason, anything else is too terrible to go into here.)

Recent revelations of governmental agencies spying on, targeting, harassing, or otherwise molesting innocent Americans in the name of security have a lot of people wondering if it’s gone too far.

When two dudes with explosive pressure cookers can shut down one of the city of Boston and cause its residents to effectively be placed under martial law, we got problems.

When the IRS and other agencies are weaponized and used to target citizens and groups based purely on political beliefs, we got problems.

When Americans must censor their own speech out of fear that someone is listening, we got BIG problems.

When veterans,Christians, libertarians, Constitutionalists, soccer moms, and Tea Partiers are considered as big a threat as jihadists, we got HUGE problems.

Are we moving from a philosophy of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ to one of ‘if you havenothing to hide, you have nothing to fear?’

If we treated radical Islam today as we treated communism all those years ago, we could effectively manage this threat both globally and domestically without turning every American into a suspect.

Between 1917 and 1991, we defeated imperialism, fascism, and communism in rapid succession. Those adversaries had the military and economic might of nation states with millions of troops and the latest military hardware. We faced annihilation at their hands, but we still respected freedom at home and abroad (except for the Japanese internment camps which were a disgrace). We didn’t militarize our police. We didn’t restrict travel. We didn’t eavesdrop on every citizen and we didn’t shred the Constitution. We faced the enemy head-on. We called it what it was.

And we were victorious.

Today, a few scruffy savages are able to terrorize us into surrendering our rights for the sake of a little imaginary security.

Al-Qaeda's goal 13 years ago was to weaken America, to make us prisoners of our own fear. It didn't work then, but, if we continue down our current path, the result will be that same. We will succeed where they failed in bringing our own country to its knees, so afraid of these boogeymen that we gladly give away what's left of our rights, becoming prisoners in our own homeland. And in doing so, we will invite tyranny the likes of which this country has never seen.
Then Bin Laden's victory will be complete.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What's the Rush to Attack Syria?

     As U.N. inspectors continue to investigate exactly what happened in Syria, the U.N. leadership finds itself begging the U.S. not to act until the investigation is complete.

     In the meanwhile, President Obama has already told PBS Newshour, "We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out."

     How can anybody 'conclude' anything before the investigation is complete? And if he can, why even conduct it? If what the President says is correct, the entire investigation is unnecessary. It reminds me an old cowboy movies where the posse catches a guy and tell him, "We're gonna give ya a fair trial and then we're gonna hang ya."

     But what if there is evidence that it was the rebels conducted the attack? Some say here is.

     How do we know who is responsible? Why should we act without even consulting our own congress? What about the inevitable collateral damage that will kill even more innocent Syrians? And above all, why are we in such a dang hurry? And why is Russia Today the only news outlet (besides Fox News) asking these questions?

    The whole thing just doesn't smell right.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


It seems our government is hell bent on attacking Syria in response to the recent alleged chemical weapon attack against the rebels fighting to overthrow the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

            There is no question that the use of chemical weapons is inhuman and inexcusable, but what, if anything, should the U.S. do about it? This case is unclear at best. The administration is beating the war drum so loudly, no other voice can be heard. Everyone from the Commander in Chief to the Veep, Press Secretary, and the Secretary of Defense are speaking as if restraint is not even an option.


After reading several pieces about the ‘Syria situation,’ and focusing on the words from our own officials, I have some serious concerns and a whole lot of questions. Here are just a few:

1. Are we sure there was a chemical attack? Sure, we’ve seen footage of victims on TV, but has there been any evidence presented to confirm a chemical attack? If so, what was chemical was it? Was it a persistent agent or one that disperses rapidly? We should know that by now, especially before going forward with military plans. And if those plans are carried out and we put boots on the ground, we MUST know what these weapons are because our troops will be prime targets for them.

2. Are we sure Assad did it? If the chemical attack really did happen, who conducted it? Which side would benefit most from images of dead children spread around the world in viral videos? Again, we better be sure who is responsible before we are tricked into a conflict that could pull in Russia, China, Iran, and who knows who else.

3. What are our objectives? If we can prove definitively that there was a chemical attack and that Assad is responsible, what do we do? What do we hope to accomplish? Yes, what happened in Syria is terrible, but what about the civil war that has raged in Darfur for ten years? Current estimates put the death toll at 300,000.

        Are we moved to action by murder using mustard gas, but not machetes? The administration has stated that Syrian regime change is not the goal of any military strikes. They just want to punish Assad. Really? Is that why we’ve been supplying weapons, food, medical supplies, and money to the rebels for months?
This leads to the next question.

4. Who are the good guys? There are none. This is Egypt and Libya all over again. Yes, the dictators in those countries sucked, but at they were better than the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a big player in the Syrian resistance. How many times does it take to learn our lesson? Assad is a thug, but at least he keeps to himself.

5. What about Russia, China, Iran, etc.? This is the most troubling part of the debate. It also seems to be the part least addressed by our government. What are the consequences of drawing these countries in to the conflict? Everyone has drawn lines in the sand. No one wants to look weak. It isn’t difficult to imagine this situation snowballing as the assignation of Archduke Ferdinand did in 1914.
6. Where have all the doves gone? Where are all the politicians who advocated caution and restraint when George Bush was making his case for attacking Iraq? Two of the most vocal at that time, John Kerry and Joe Biden, are now cheering the loudest for action. Their rhetoric is akin to shouting, “Attack! Attack! Attack!” Why was it bad to strike then, but good now? After all, Saddam Hussein killed THOUSANDS of people in multiple chemical attacks. Could it be that this is a convenient distraction from the recent scandals? Is this a chance to reclaim some ‘street cred’ for the administration? I hope not, but it sure does look that way.

7. What are our national interests? How does this situation threaten our security, sovereignty, or economy? This is the most important question because it illustrates the only instances that military force is justified. In other words, the only occasion in which killing others and putting our own sons and daughters in harms way is acceptable is when it is done in self defense. Is this self defense?  It's a question few are asking. As I stated above, the world is a dangerous place with lots of evil people. Always has been. Always will be. We can't change that. We don't run the world. We shouldn't try to either.

I found this video a few months ago. It's been on my mind a lot recently.
This is what it will be like on the ground if this situation gets out of hand.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Has the Iraqi Civil War Begun?

According to NBC, the U.S. government is reporting that Iraq is now in a state of civil war.

Here is the NBC report:


     I wrote a detailed blog post about the situation last September outlining the powder keg of simmering hatreds and political conflicts just waiting to explode.

     Much like the Balkans after the exit of the Soviet Union, Iraq is set to become a nexus of brutality and genocide. But the danger doesn't stop there.

     The ethnic/religious nature of this war which pits Arab against Kurd and Sunni against Shia will almost certainly pull neighboring countries Iran and Syria into the fray. This conflict could potentially spread to Jordan, Turkey, and even Saudi Arabia. If it does, I can't begin to guess how high gas prices will jump...and it will happen very quickly, just as it has every other time the region becomes more unstable than usual. One can only imagine what effect this would have on fragile Western economies.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: King of Thorns

It isn’t often that you come across a book that changes the way you see an entire genre, a book that becomes the measuring stick for others that come after it. Mark Lawrence has managed to write two such works. Even more amazingly, they are his first published novels.

In the fantasy genre, George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire is the current heavyweight champ. I enjoy ASoIaF and it truly is an epic achievement. I'm also enjoying the HBO's adaptation.

That being said, Lawrence’s style is very different from Martin's, but I found it just as enjoyable. Compared to the glacial pace of Martin’s books, Lawrence’s sail along at a nice clip. Lawrence’s writing is also much more focused and visceral than Martin’s.

King of Thorns is the second book in The Broken Empire series. Both KoT and its predecessor, Prince of Thorns follow the protagonist (if you could call him that, but more on this later), Honorous Jorg Ancrath.

Jorg is the son of one of the many kings to arise on the former European continent centuries after some long ago apocalypse. His goal is to reunite (and rule, of course) the Empire. That’s all I’ll say about the plot. I hate spoilers.

Lawrence’s prose is clean, flowing, witty, and deep. His storytelling is fast-paced, gritty, and contemplative. He not only tells one heck of a story, but also explores the ‘why’ of it. Why is Jorg such an evil, self-centered little snot? Why do his followers remain loyal to him? And why can’t I keep myself from liking him?

This is the brilliance of Lawrence’s writing. He gives us a protagonist that, in any other book, would be reviled. He mixes three parts narcissism, two parts genius, one part charisma, and a pinch of humanity and comes out with a character that we know we should hate, but end up cheering for. This is no small accomplishment. Not since Mike Myers’ Doctor Evil has a villain been so appealing…and he was a boy scout compared to Jorg.

But Lawrence doesn’t stop there. His examinations of the inner workings and motives of his characters reveal insights into human nature that could teach a psychology major a thing or two.

Again, I now find myself comparing much of what I read to Lawrence’s work. Sadly, most books are found wanting in its shadow. It’s hard to go back to ground round once you’ve had filet mignon. I guess this is the only criticism I have for this series so far. It spoils you.

If King of Thorns does ruin other books for you, take heart. Emperor of Thorns is scheduled for release this August. The anticipation will make it taste all the sweeter.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Guest Post: Author Henry Brown

     Today is our first ever guest blog! A few months ago, I met fellow veteran and author Henry Brown on Facebook. Henry is a great guy and has just released his latest novel, Tier Zero. He's also graciously offered to give us a look into his personal history and motivation for writing men's adventure fiction.

     Please join me in welcoming Henry to the blog.





     American troops have some really high-speed gear and weapons these days. Heck, people in general (including our troops) have a lot of cool stuff to play with. In particular: digital cameras.

     The deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq are probably the most photographed in all history, and the shots snapped by photojournalists only account for a very small percentage of them.

     I never had cause to consider this before I put my book trailer together for Hell and Gone a while back. If it wasn’t for the generosity of Jack Murphy and a few other vets, I would have had to buy an awful lot of stock photos for the project.


That’s me many moons ago with an M249 SAW trying to look like Rambo (and totally wrecking light discipline by having my buddy use his camera flash). This is one of the only photos from my Sandbox Deployment to survive; and it survives only because I mailed it to my brother (who was kind enough to scan it for me).

We didn’t have digital cameras back then, so the number of pictures I could take was limited. And if you lost the negative and the film, you lost the image forever. That’s exactly what happened to almost all of my photos from those years. Most were destroyed in a basement flood. I think the rest might be in an ex’s attic with my Class “A”s.

Don’t ask.

Anyway, I wanted to be a paratrooper ever since reading about the 101st Airborne Division’s defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. By the time I came of age to serve, the only Airborne division left was the 82nd, so that’s what I volunteered for. It had a pretty impressive reputation, too, so I was an All-American, and proud to be.
It may sound cliché, but I became a man in the Airborne. Before that I was an immature, naive kid with a high school diploma and a whole lot of wishful thinking. But the desire to write was already inside me. If the military career I imagined didn’t work out, at least I’d collect some experiences to write about while it lasted.

Well, I didn’t stay in for 20 years, but I sure did get some experience…and a lot more.

My now-embarrassing wishful thinking had a World War Two-style confrontation with the Soviet Union taking place, and I wanted to be in the thick of it when it did. I wanted to be a bad dude in an elite unit; but I also thought I wanted to experience conventional warfare, like those wisecracking GIs in the romanticized war movies on TV.

Hence the Airborne Infantry.

Being stationed at Fort Bragg, I had opportunities to hobnob with guys from Special Forces I met while wrenching on my street machine at the Smoke Bomb Hill auto shop, visiting the JFK Special Warfare Center, and playing “aggressor” for them out in Camp McCall. It occurred to me, after the fact, that Special Forces would have been a much better fit for me than being a line doggie in a rifle company.




(That’s me back before the US Army began handing out berets to every pogue with a breather badge from Fort Stress Card.)

Most of the characters in my two adventure novels are based on guys I knew, or sometimes amalgams of different men. I very much admired the soldiers I knew from Group, and I hope Tommy Scarred Wolf, Joshua Rennenkampf, et al, give readers the same impression I got from the real thing. I’m sad to say there weren’t as many admirable individuals in Division, though a few of them stand out from the beer-guzzling, chaw-spitting masses. Those are the guys I think of often…and smile to myself when I remember some of the crazy, stupid stuff we did. Leon Campbell is modeled after one of those paratroopers.

     Part of why I take the time to develop the characters in my books is because my photos of the real-life guys have been lost forever. The next best thing I can do is paint a picture in the reader’s mind—not just of what they looked like, but what they were.

     No real human being’s life plays out like a men’s adventure novel, so if you were to meet my old buddies, they probably wouldn’t live up to the badass rendering I give them in my fiction. But even though I want both Tier Zero and Hell and Gone to entertain with gobs of rip-snorting action, I’d like them to be something more than that, too. If I’ve been successful, it’s thanks to my old buddies, and the attempt to somehow capture their essence—despite the missing photographic records of them.



Henry (Hank) Brown is the author of Hell and Gone, Tier Zero and Virtual Pulp: Tales of High Adventure, Low Adventure, and Misadventure. To get up-to-speed on the blog tour and how to win the e-reader or other prizes, visit his Two-Fisted Blog.

     Thanks for the guest post, Henry! I hope you enjoyed writing it as much as we did reading it.
I'd like to ask our readers to check out Tier Zero on Amazon by clicking here.
Also be sure to check out Henry's other works, Hell and Gone and Virtual Pulp!

     See you all next time. Thanks again, Henry! Good luck and good writing!