Saturday, February 22, 2014

KHAMSIN Gets a New Cover

As I am putting the finishing touches on Book 3 of my Legends of the Winged Scarab series, I wanted to bring the covers more within the same color schemes.

KHAMSIN, The Devil Wind of The Nile (A Novel of Ancient Egypt) - Book 1

This new upload allows me to add sample chapters of the two other books that I did not have when I released KHAMSIN. And it allows you to read the first two books before you’ll start the third. 
Book 2 - SIROCCO, Storm over Land and Sea (Present-day thriller set during the Arab Spring)
Book 3 - After the Cataclysm (Dystopian Adventure/Action - to be published in mid-March)

I am proud of all three of them. And, depending on your reception, I may not be done with this series yet. So, let me know what you think.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Memories of Another Olympics and Another Sochi

How many people do you know who have been to Sochi (way before these Games), and have worked for previous Olympic Winter Games, and are still alive?! Oh, gee. That would be me.

These Sochi Olympics bring up two memories--worlds apart.

I vacationed in Sochi a loooooong time ago. How I had the guts to fly down there alone, I don’t know. But I did, with permission from the Soviet Intourist Office and stern admonitions from my boss to behave myself. Actually, two friends from the French Embassy and I first flew to Kiev, from where I continued on to Sochi alone —then still a sleepy village on the Black Sea.

Two thing come to mind: A young pop group from Italy called “Marino Marini” performed there (okay, we did have a little dalliance), and secondly, a French-repatriated Armenian beleaguered me to help him (and his 21 cousins) to get out of the USSR.

Later (without having fallen for the Armenian’s convoluted plans) I left my Moscow embassy job as another challenge back in Austria had opened up: The Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck.

I arrived at the Olympic Village on a bitter cold night without a plan or a place to stay, small suite case in hand, freezing, hungry and tired, asking for a job. Surprisingly, I got one: Assistant to the Secretary General of the Austrian Olympic Committee. Were they kidding me? Nope. (I was born on a Sunday and my mother always insisted that it was to bring me luck in life.)

Oh, and in case you were wondering about all the crazy fun we were supposed to have: We worked our little buns off (but we did have fun, too. And only because we were that young, we survived those insane hours).

After all these many years, I sometimes question if it all really happened. If it didn’t, it sure was a hell of a dream. (But then, where did all those photos come from?)

Actually, "in my time," center stage belonged to the athletes. The Opening Ceremony was one of the most moving events I ever witnessed (no circus, no theatrics--just young, smiling, happy young people marching around the stadium in peace and good fellowship--and, yes, fierce competition) .... Today's productions do beg the question: Have we lost the true spirit of The Games?