Triumph amid tragedy

A girl is rescued from the ruins of the earthquake in Amatrice, Italy.

On the border . . .

Russia prepares to move again:
Ukraine’s president warned of a possible invasion by Russia, further fraying nerves that have been on edge since his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin accused his neighbor last week of engaging in “terror” tactics in Crimea.

The actual motives this time may be more in the way of intimidation than invasion, but either way it's unacceptable.

Crime at the ATM

Part of the plot in Puppet Master turns on a scam involving ATM machines. Because it’s fiction, the plot is a bit more involved and advanced than what you might encounter in real life – but that’s scary enough.

Here’s a good briefer on what to watch out for: is hands-down one the best and most accessible site on all manner of internet fraud for “regular” folk. (But make sure to take it small enough doses that your paranoia level isn’t overwhelmed.)

Covers . . .

This year's most popular motif seems to be . . . faces coming out of darkness.

It's not just us:

Here's the cover for novelist Javier Marias's new book, which is also coming out in November:

We don't pretend to have invented the idea, by the way. I count at least three books with somewhat similar ideas over the past two or three years, and more on the way. When one designer has a good idea, others follow.
Announcing . . .

. . . my new book with blind Special Forces Major Ivan Castro, to be published this November by St. Martin's Press.

Book's website (still a work in progress at this point).
The 'Equation' Group . . .

. . . one of the real-life inspirations for Puppet Master.

CANCUN, Mexico — In 2009, one or more prestigious researchers received a CD by mail that contained pictures and other materials from a recent scientific conference they attended in Houston. The scientists didn't know it then, but the disc also delivered a malicious payload developed by a highly advanced hacking operation that had been active since at least 2001. The CD, it seems, was tampered with on its way through the mail.

I suspect that the real life intrigue, in this case at least, is even more mind-blowing than fiction can ever be.

(There's not much hacking in book 1; more in book 2 and beyond. You can preorder here.)