Category Archives: books

Latest excerpt from Move To Fire

Continuing from Chapter One:
Twenty-four hours before the shooting, and six-hundred miles south, in Anaheim, California, a fax was transmitted from Brown & Wilcox, a commercial insurance underwriter, to an agent at an insurance brokerage, regarding Bryco Arms, the manufacturer of the Bryco Model 38.
Bryco had just come off of a good year, with $7,000,000 in sales from 1993-1994, and $14,000,000 sales projections for the next year. The small, privately owned company held the top spot of the small handgun industry. Sales for the Bryco Model 38 were more than $2,500,000 dollars. But the company had been negotiating the cost of liability insurance. The current policy had officially lapsed on April 1st. The new policy would be almost $250,000, an almost $40,000 increase.
Bryco Arms and other small handgun manufacturers were seeing increasing premiums across the board. Market forces, changes in gun laws, especially in California, growing anti-gun sentiment, bad press and a slow but steady rise in litigation against gun makers had insurance companies re-evaluating their clients. The makers of small guns were serious liability risks, and the insurance companies that continued to insure handgun manufacturers had increased premiums and narrowed coverage. As Bryco Arms’ policy neared expiration and the company shopped around for a new policy, three major insurance companies declined to quote coverage for the company.
Bryco Arms negotiated with its insurance agent until the liability coverage expired on April 1, 1994. An offer was made to extend coverage until April 8th, for an additional $8,000, but, as the broker noted on an April 5th fax to the commercial underwriter, “…it is my feeling the insured will not be renewing with us. He feels the cost is too high…”
And so, two days before seven-year old Brandon Maxfield had been wheeled into his small town’s emergency room, closer to death than life, unable to breathe on his own, his spine shattered just below the base of his skull, the manufacturer of the Bryco Model 38 had chosen to ‘go bare’ — Bryco Arms was now without insurance to compensate anyone injured by a defective Bryco handgun.

An author’s review of Move To Fire

Brian Fies is a personal and professional friend. His review was unsolicited and, frankly, unexpected. With his permission, I included this part of his review on the book’s Amazon Page:  “…like a legal thriller…the suspense is compelling. Move to Fire isn’t an anti-gun screed.  Move to Fire is a passion project by a writer who knows how to mine facts, build characters, and use them to tell a terrific story. I found it an engrossing, well-built narrative that pulled me through, page by page.” — Brian Fies, award winning author of Mom’s Cancer and Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow.

You can access the complete review here: Award-winning author’s review of Move To Fire

Move To Fire, excerpt three

From Chapter One:
He knew he wasn’t supposed to touch it, but he and Jerry were in charge, and the crazy guy above them had a gun. There was a lot that could happen before the sheriffs could get back here. How could you protect yourself from someone with a gun, unless you had a gun too?
John pulled open the drawer, reached inside and lifted the top off the gun’s box. Inside was the small, nickel-plated Brco Model 38, a .380 caliber, semi-automatic manufactured by Bryco Arms…
Next to the gun was a dark-gray magazine. The bottom of that magazine was bright, brushed aluminum.
With each move — entering the bedroom, opening the dresser drawer, opening the box with the gun it it — John was breaking all the major rules of the home. Any one of the infractions alone was enough for serious punishment, but John could only think of the crazy people up above, and the gunshots. Sue had said over the phone to ‘unload the gun,’ so he removed the magazine from the box and used his thumb to push out the bullets, five of them, one by one, letting them drop into the box, then he picked up the gun…
[in less than a few more minutes, Brandon would be lying on his home’s living room floor, close to death]

Newest Amazon review

Move To Fire

Move To Fire

I’m grateful for all of these.

Thanks so much Martha Seuss: “I could not put this book down! This is an amazing story of perseverance. It leads you down a series of paths through the court system, depositions, and the heart wrenching true tale of Brandon Maxfield’s story of being on the wrong end of a defective Saturday Night Special. It was intriguing, emotional, and educational. I loved it!”

Publishers Weekly starred review

Move To Fire

Move To Fire

Here’s the Publishers Weekly starred review, which included this: “Harkins crafts a taut legal drama reminiscent of Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action…” It also displays the first version’s white cover, so if you’re checking it out don’t be confused, it’s the same book (click here for the complete review)

Updating the site…

About to attempt some tweaks and changes to the site, bring it up-to-date, so it at least matches the Facebook page —

They’ll be several additions here over the next couple of days, including more book excerpts and news.

The second excerpt

Here’s your second Move To Fire excerpt, lightly edited. A bit long, also from the book’s foreword, but this will give you all an insight you almost certainly didn’t have about what it means to have certain guns on the streets:

“…[Move To Fire] corrects misconceptions about what happened to a little boy… why it happened, and recounts how the unwavering work of one man resulted in a measure of justice for a family, and a society, unjustly wounded by the status quo.

But underlying it all is something so crucially relevant yet widely unknown that without it there would be no Move To Fire story.

…consumer products are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission… to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.
But not if that consumer product is a gun…

…there have been and are defective guns that can fire without the trigger being touched, but they cannot be recalled or taken off the market except by the manufacturer… And no government entity can force a gun manufacturer to recall or remove all those models.

So, the worst extension of all this is that an unethical gun manufacturer could choose to create and sell a gun it knew to be defective, and, still, no entity could stop that from happening.

That happened.”

Move To Fire excerpts — here’s the first

I’ve been thinking that posting some short selections from Move To Fire might be both interesting and enticing (I figure you’ll let me know…). I’ll do this every week or so for, well, at least a while. Hope you enjoy or are enticed to find out more. Seems logical to start at the start, so here’s the first from Move To Fire’s Foreword:

“Move To Fire is an only-in-America story. The people in it are all of us — parents, kids, business people, lawyers, good people, and bad people. There are guns, an accidental shooting, and a lawsuit. It’s an American trifecta. It’s out best, our worst, and exposes how little we may actually know about things for which we voice our opinions, sometimes voiced at the top or our lungs.”

From “Move To Fire – A family’s tragedy, a lone attorney, and a teenager’s victory over a corrupt gunmaker,” available from Amazon, Apple’s iStore, and Barnes & Noble Online.