A couple of reviews: the Netflix series "Spycraft" and. . . Black Widow! And some readings from another story in Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules, "Pick the Time and Place for Action," which features the return of Olga Lubova. Where did she go? You'll have to read the story!
Moscow Rule number seven's story introduces two hapless SVR officers given the task of following Cybill Fleming in Moscow. A beta reader called the two officers the "Keystone KGB"--so you get some humor amid all the drama. Enjoy!
The next Moscow Rule is "Vary Your Pattern and Stay Within Your Cover"--again a somewhat long and cumbersome story title, so I wrote two stories. "Vary Your Pattern" takes us back to the early 1990s when Edwin Terrell, Jr. is still alive and Mai and Alexei are struggling to accustom their lives, personal and professional, to raising Alexei's granddaughter Natalia. "Stay Within Your Cover" is an examination of debating whether or not to do the right thing. If you don't someone might die; if you do, your cover's blown. Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules launches in 10 days.
The 4th Moscow Rule--Don't Look Back; You're Never Completely Alone"--was a bit long for the title of a single story, so I split it and wrote two stories for Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules. And it's 16 days to launch!
This episode features the second novella published in 2015, My Noble Enemy--where I, gasp, kill off a character. A bit of a warning: adults discussing sexual situations and some sexual innuendo; nothing explicit.
This episode wraps up the focus on my 2015 novella The Yellow Scarf before we move onto the other 2015 novella My Noble Enemy. Also, you get a movie recommendation and a warning about some sexual banter between a married couple and some pretty harsh language. Enjoy!
A writing lesson, some readings from Collateral Damage--the concluding volume of A Perfect Hatred--and a little preaching about civics. Plus, two days left to get all four books of A Perfect Hatred for free.
Readings from Descending Spiral, book 3 of the series, A Perfect Hatred, and a bit of a chat about ethical dilemmas facing undercover operatives. Look for a birthday gift next week -- from ME to YOU for my birthday; all four books of A Perfect Hatred will be free from 4/26/21 to 4/30/21.
Continuing my revisit of my series A Perfect Hatred, I read from book 2, Bad Company, and discuss music and writing. WARNING: Both readings end with a leave-it-to-your-imagination sex scene; nothing explicit.
Some readings from my rough draft of a new novel and a brief review of the new movie, The Courier, with Benedict Cumberbatch. To celebrate the three-year anniversary of the launch of the series A Perfect Hatred, all four books are specially priced.
A final reading from the new novel, Love Death, and my thoughts on Spycraft Episode 3, "Sexpionage." Note: Though not explicit by any means, I do discuss the use of sex as a way to recruit, control, and blackmail subjects.
Alexei's incursion into The Annex is complete, and he's escaped with Gunter Metz, who wants only to see his family. A glitch at Checkpoint Charlie means Mai has to be the diversion to get Alexei safely into West Berlin--or she'll be the target. This episode is marked clean but warning for a post-sex scene between a married couple; nothing explicit.
There's mission planning, but then there's Mai Fisher's intuition. Alexei has learned to trust it, even when she strikes out on her own. Also, I discuss episode two of a new Netflix series, "Spycraft." The episode fits right in with Love Death; it's called "Deadly Poisons."
The final few chapters--and some editorializing about Slobodan Milosevic--of the trilogy Self-Inflicted Wounds, after its conclusion with the publication of And Justice for All, book three. Tying up loose ends seldom happens for spies, but Mai Fisher generally gets what she wants. Find the trilogy HERE.
We're closing in on the conclusion of And Justice for All. Mai and Alexei wrap everything up in Belgrade and prepare to return home--but is the mission really over? And is it, as Mai promised, their last?
Please note: There will be no podcast on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy your holiday, everyone!
And Justice for All brings Mai and Alexei's mission in the Balkans to a close, but in the process, they deal with an old enemy, discover a devastating betrayal, and save a marriage--not theirs. And Justice for All is available for preorder HERE.
Mai and Alexei get a hint of who might be involved in the murders of the "friends of Milosevic" and someone takes care of a complication for them. More from Self-Inflicted Wounds book two, Dangerous Truths. Preorder book two HERE.
Another reading from Self-Inflicted Wounds Book Two, Dangerous Truths. Mai Fisher confirms that if it is Russian mercenaries behind the murders of Yugoslavian officials, they're a sadistic bunch, and she finds that out the hard way.
Cliffhangers are a tried and true thriller trope, perhaps overused on occasion, but certainly a good way to keep a reader reading.
Welcome to Belgrade is still available for preorder and launches a week from today.
Why not? Cliffhangers are one of the oldest tropes in a thriller. I try to avoid cliches, but a trope? Sometimes they can be an author's best friend.
Welcome to Belgrade is available for preorder and will launch on October 1, 2020.
From Self-Inflicted Wounds: Welcome to Belgrade (book one): Mai Fisher arrives in Belgrade for her mission to stop the political murders in Yugoslavia, unaware that Alexei has reactivated himself and is following her surreptitiously. Mai visits an old acquaintance, now a low-level Russian Mafiya boss in Belgrade to see what information he might have on the "friends of Milosevic" murders. Alexei, however, can't quite convince himself that Mai isn't behind some of those murders. Preorder Welcome to Belgrade HERE.
Episode 12! We're moving along--and the audience is growing. Wish I knew what caused that so I can keep it up!
This week's episode revolves around the opening scene of the first book in my trilogy Self-Inflicted Wounds. In Welcome to Belgrade, my character Mai Fisher meets with the notorious Serbian war criminal Arkan, and he insists that they make small talk so as not to raise suspicions about his motivation in meeting her. His version of small talk, however, means bringing some of Mai's worst memories. Welcome to Belgrade is available for preorder now.
"He is finished" was the opposition's campaign slogan against Slobodan Milosevic in the election of 2000. It took a couple of weeks post-election to accomplish that, but it did happen peacefully. I'm winding up readings from my reader magnet, Dateline: Belgrade this week. Next episode--more background on why I wrote a trilogy about a European election.
More reading from the new reader magnet Dateline: Belgrade, with an emphasis on a change in the purpose and nature of street demonstrations in Belgrade in the year 2000. Why did the police lay off--most of the time? What did a student group and a radio station have to do with activism? And a hint about how changing a constitution backfired on the man it was supposed to benefit. I'm talking 20 years ago; I swear. You can still preorder Dateline: Belgrade at a special introductory price (99cents) here.
Some background on a reader magnet entitled Dateline: Belgrade came about, and an introduction for the upcoming trilogy, Self-Inflicted Wounds. You may learn more about the Balkans than you ever wanted to know. And, yes, a thunderstorm passed over while I was recording. This episode contains some excerpts from Dateline: Belgrade and the trilogy. One excerpt touches on the disturbing topic of human trafficking.
In the final story, "Brave New World," from the collection, Spy Flash II, we see that even the most sincere of politicians can succumb to the temptations of power, even if for good reason. And it takes a spy to show the way back to the light.
Stay tuned next week for excerpts from an upcoming novella, Dateline: Belgrade, and be prepared to learn more about the history of the Balkans than you ever wanted to know.
What role does a Klingon proverb play in the third story from the collection Spy Flash II, "Best Served Cold"? Listen and find out. Though this story's inspiration was four years ago, it unfortunately encompasses a topic still timely today, still unbelievably making headlines today: the killing of unarmed Black people by the police. A human story, not a spy story per se, "Best Served Cold" was difficult to write and record. Please note this story was reviewed in 2016 by sensitivity readers, and I made corrections they suggested.
To hear past episodes of this podcast, go to Past Podcasts on my website.
My thoughts on whether an event is history or a current event. Oh, and an excerpt from my novella, A Change for the Better. You can hear more excerpts at my website. Just click on the "Past Podcasts" tab.