Friday, June 27, 2014

M213 Ridgerunner-class HTV (Heavy Transport Vehicle)

Hello All.
I would like to share some history and stats with you regarding the M213 Ridgerunner-class HTV. The in-story vehicle, the HURON, with CO Captain Jake Billet, is one of these massive beasts, and I thought you'd like some detail on this beautiful American-made monster.
When the H7N9 pandemic first took solid hold, in the U.S., to get vital medicines, personnel and other hard and soft transferrable and transportable goods between infected lands, GDG&M Land Systems LLC (Grusnis, Dietrich, Gilmore & Myszak Land Systems LLC) offered the beleagured
U.S. DoD a new concept in HTV (Heavy Transport Vehicle) design.
A combination between a tracked APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) and wheeled HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck), the M213 HTV was offered as a workhorse vehicle that could be up-armored with a variety of small arms and weaponry, including larger turreted weapons like 25mm
chain-fed autocannons.
Initially the project was put on hold as there wasn't a need for a juggernaut land vehicle like the M213. Still, the first five vehicles were built at DATP (Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant) in Warren, Michigan. They rolled into service September 2013 as the pandemic worsened.
Further vehicle assembly was halted as Detroit filed for bankruptcy in December 2013.
With the global and national crisis strangling the United States, Canada bought Detroit and a section of the east side of Michigan, north to Mt Clemens, south to Rockwood, west to South Lyon and Ann Arbor. It was called the Detroit-Windsor Providence starting in May 2014.
The already-built and rolled-out M213 transport vehicles stayed in Michigan, stationed first in the Lansing area under the command of Major J. Golczynski and A. "Sonny" Saenz, then the full unit was transferred to Grand Rapids, the second largest city in Michigan. (Detroit had been the
The M213 Ridgerunner-class HTV's were named after the five great lakes: MICHIGAN, SUPERIOR, HURON, ERIE and ONTARIO.
With room to seat 24 men, a CO, and supplies in the main body of the vehicle, plus a driver and navigator, it beat out APC's. Typically a commander, front gunner and rear gunner were part of the crew and held topside positions. With four roof-top hatches, these stations could be fully utilized as gun ports.
Towing capabilities rival its own weight, the M213 beats the HEMTT and the HET (Heavy Equipment Transport) vehicles when it comes to payload hauling requirements and needs.
With wheeled and tracked mobility available on the spot, the M213 is the prime armored transport for any tactical environment.
Weight:   72 tons
Length:   32 feet
Width:    14 feet
Height:   12.5 feet (from ground to roofline)
Speed:    Road 52 mph (83km/h) Off-Road: 30 mph (48km/h)
Engine:  Twin Cummins VTA-903T diesel, 1200 hp total
Fuel Capacity:   155 US gal (587 l)
Operational Range:   220 mi (354km)
Transmission (tracked):  XT-1410-5A cross-drive (3 speed forward, 1speed reverse)
                      (wheeled): Allison 4500SP/5_Speed automatic (can be synced with track transmission) 
At the time of this writing, only the ONTARIO and the HURON remain in service.
(Illustrations by Tim Holtrop, Jason Conley and Google)
Read about the HURON and her crew in the TRANSPORT Series.
TRANSPORT Book One is available now online and wherever books can be ordered.
Amazon (paperback)
Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook)

Saturday, June 21, 2014


This week, June 23 through June 29, TRANSPORT will be rolling through several blog sites.
I will be doing guest posts.
There will be TRANSPORT Book One book reviews.
There will be discussions on how the whole TRANSPORT storyline came to be, and how the fantastic art, both outside and inside the books, transpired.
There is even a CHARACTER post where LCpl. Loutonia Phelps discusses her conversation with Bob the 1950's gas station attendant zombie who appears in Book One.
It will be a week of very cool TRANSPORT related shenanigans and info sharing.
Links to all blog sites below.
And thanks to Stephen Zimmer and crew at Seventh Star Press for making this all happen!
Tour Schedule and Activities
6/23 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void     Book Review
6/23 The Tiffany Apan                     Blog Interview
6/23 Beauty in Ruins                   Guest Post
6/24 Come Selahway With Me    Character Post
6/25 Deal Sharing Aunt              Book One Excerpt
6/25 Sheila Deeth               Post on Art of Transport
6/27 Bookishly Me                Book Review
6/27 fuonlyknew ~ Laura's ramblins and reviews   Top Ten List
6/28 Bee's Knees Reviews                          Book Review
6/28 Alexx Momcat's Gateway Book Blog   Top Ten List
6/29 L. Andrew Cooper's Horrific Scribblings Book Review
TRANSPORT can be purchased at any online or offline (ye olde walk-in) bookseller venue. Order by name if the store doesn't carry it. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Busy TRANSPORT-related Day

Hey all.

Mike Wilson, winner of the Sister Mirose print set
Well, so Michael A Wilson was the highest bidder for the Tim Holtrop-illustrated SISTER MIROSE print set. His bid of $100 won him the limited edition, signed 12x18 matted prints which reveal a scene from TRANSPORT: UNCIVIL WAR (Book Three) and a one-shot static pose illo of Sister Mary Mirose with the circa 2025 West Side Apostolate in the background.

The money went straight to the 746 House Flag Day Fundraiser today. Greg Cobb and his wife had a big to-do yard sale, which included Grand Valley State University mascot Louie the Laker and, later in the afternoon, Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team. It was a beautiful day for a yard sale and there was quite a few cars coming and going from the place. I showed Greg the Mirose prints. He was very impressed and said he'd been following the news about the prints and the TRANSPORT book series.

Author Peter Welmerink standing outside
the REAL Westside Apostolate with the Sister Mirose prints
I also stopped at the actual, real-life WESTSIDE APOSTOLATE and showed the hard working crew there the print set. They were very stoked to see their building in the fictional setting that is TRANSPORT.  One of the viewers/workers said: "The building looks better in the illustration than it does now."

I pointed out that the IRL building doesn't have zombies or bullet holes like the illustration does...then I was directed to the three bullet holes in one of the front windows. Okay, well, at least they don't have zombies...or the massive, battle-hardened nun like Sister Mirose.

It was a pretty cool afternoon meeting the 746 House Flag Day folks and visiting the real deal Westside Apostolate and talking to all.

Special thanks go to Tim Holtrop for the artwork, Russ Colter and crew at CropMarks Printing for the awesome 12x18 prints, and Stephen Zimmer and Seventh Star Press for the opportunity bringing the TRANSPORT series to life for all to read and, hopefully, enjoy.

Roll out and roll on!


Sister Mirose copyright 2014 Peter Welmerink

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sister Mirose Limited Edition Autographed Print Set and the REAL Westside Apostolate Fundraiser

746 House Flag Day Fundraiser this year is taking any monies collected during their June 14 yard sale and donating them to the Westside Apostolate.

IRL Westside Apostolate is a great place that helps people in need by selling or giving away very low priced clothing, shoes, etc. It is run by volunteers. The building has been there since I was a little kid (though in the old days it was Mathews Drug Store...and our neighborhood candy store) and the place needs some MAJOR TLC.

The fundraiser is to assist the Apostolate in being able to afford some well needed repairs.

In my TRANSPORT fictional world, the West Side Apostolate also exists, and is overseen the good Sister Mary Mirose. She works right within the city's undead civilian retention area, helping those in need just like the real world facility.

Tim Holtrop, interior artist for the TRANSPORT book series, and Russ Colter from Cropmarks Printing have provided me the ability to offer these two fine prints to one lucky local art and TRANSPORT enthusiast.

The HIGHEST BIDDER will acquire these two limited edition matted prints, autographed by TRANSPORT Interior Artist Tim Holtrop and myself, the author and owner of Sister Mirose.

The money will go 100% to the fundraiser which will help make the real Westside Apostolate stand strong, and stronger.

Please send your bid via email ( or message me on Facebook (

I am asking that the minimum starting bid be $20.00.

Bidding ends 5pm June 13th 2014.

Please help this worthy cause.

Sister Mirose prints, illustrations by Tim Holtrop


Friday, June 6, 2014

70 Years Ago - June 6 1944 - D-Day

No fiction here.
Saluting the men and women of the Armed Forces who were part of this infamous day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

First Signed Copy of TRANSPORT Goes To....

I did a first ever novel book signing today on a customer-bought copy of TRANSPORT Book One.

Kudos go out to TODD DOUGHERTY who bought a copy through Barnes & Noble and brought it to me to sign. Gold Sharpie signature on the cover. Short ink pen message on the inside first page.

Thanks Todd! Happy Reading!

First TRANSPORT book signing
Photo taken by Bev Chesebro

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Heartwell versus Honeywell: Mayor's of Grand Rapids - Fictional and Real

Happy June, folks.

A reader, who is familiar with Grand Rapids (the nonfictional one), noticed the Mayor of Grand Rapids in my TRANSPORT World appears to have a last name that sounds strikingly like the real current Mayor of GR, George Heartwell.

Not a Feral Zombie in the TRANSPORT World, but Mayor George Heartwell of IRL Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dennis Honeywell is the Mayor of Grand Rapids in my TRANSPORT World.

Honeywell a nod to Heartwell? You bet!

I have not met in person Mayor Heartwell, but I can say he is not a guy who hides in the shadows or behind his other city council members. In fact, he and the rest of city commissioners and elected officials have done wonders for IRL Grand Rapids. (I could tell you horror stories of Grand Rapids in the 1980's, mainly because the town was creepy quiet back then, where-as now...GRAND RAPIDS ROCKS!)

And what about Mayor Honeywell of Grand Rapids circa 2025?

I do not know what kind of challenges Mayor Heartwell endures day-to-day, but I can say Mayor Honeywell, who is a stand-up guy, probably keeps a cabinet of aspirin close by for all the headaches and woe he endures day-in and day-out. His council members are always in an uproar, asking for more in their beleaguered wards, pushing for more security to keep them enclosed and protected within the confines of Grand Rapids city central while complaining they are too boxed in. He is required to endure outside towns and villages coming to the big city asking for assistance or complaining "he" is overreaching his boundaries when it comes to assisting them. (Grand Rapids often sends military transports and aid outside city limits which is met by differing forms of approval, some very negative. Example: Reganshire.)

Most of the Elected Officials of the TRANSPORT World Grand Rapids have either stepped down, left town or succumb to the Viral Blight. The City Treasurer, Rupert Largo, is second-in-command as there is no City Manager, etc. There is no love lost, won or shared by Honeywell and Largo. Honeywell knows the man (Largo) is bucking for his job.

As Heartwell, for real life Grand Rapids, fully supports the great city of Grand Rapids, so does Honeywell.

Heartwell must enjoy his position, as does Honeywell, though...

...In a militarized, post-zombie apoc world, I am thinking Mayor George Heartwell is glad he isn't the one filling Mayor Dennis Honeywell's shoes.

TRANSPORT Book One is available at, Barnes & Noble online, and at any other fine online or offline (walk-in) bookstore.