Greetings from the Sub-Arctic!
Warmth is coming.
We set a new cold record here in Fairbanks. 185 days straight where the high temperature has been below 40F/4C. But this coming week, it’s supposed to launch us above freezing every single day. Here’s what the forecast shows. We’ll know spring is almost over when the lows are above freezing.Yes – highs consistently above freezing is spring. Lows above freezing is summer. Lows below freezing is fall. Then winter. Six long months of winter…
Here’s a picture of my snowblowing tractor trying to carve a tunnel into a snowbank to give the melt somewhere to go (down a hill) so it doesn’t stand on the high ground. Don’t want it where it can weaken any foundations.
Today is the 14th day since my second Pfizer vaccine. I am at full efficacy. In another month, all of Alaska will have been through at least the first half of the process. I expect they’ll be lifting mask and other restrictions shortly thereafter so the powers that be can ratchet up for the tourist season which was devastated in 2020. And the cruise ships aren’t coming to Alaska this year, either, but the airline have upped their game. Flights and people reserved on those flights to come to Fairbanks are at the highest levels ever. To do that, there can’t be any restrictions. I don’t have anything to do with the tourists, but there presence will return some sense of normalcy.
Because I promised more story, here’s the introduction to a book I dabble on here and there while my mind gets stuck on a primary project. I call this book, I Can See the Night. It’s about the extremes that define Alaska’s interior. I wrote this well before Phyllis passed away, but that will be an entry in its own right. And then the saga of Stanley as he will be joining us soon.
Some people come to Alaska to find themselves. Others end up there through a sordid twist of fate.
I didn’t. I came for a job. First my wife’s and then my own. For our initial three years here, we both worked somewhat like normal human beings. My wife is a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After she followed me for my job all those years, it was high time I followed her. And then I was transferred to a position on the North Slope, in the oil fields working as a leadership coach and business consultant.
I’m good at certain things, but overcoming entrenched bureaucracy isn’t one of them. Managing a job is easy, just until it isn’t even if it should be. Do you have the expertise, tools, and materiel to do the job?
Isn’t that the question about everything in life? If you have the parts, the instructions, and the screwdriver, you should be able to put that shelf together. And if you put a second shelf together, identical to the first, you should be able to do it faster. The third, even faster.
That’s the continuous improvement mindset I took with me into the oilfield, but they kept moving the goalposts, so it wasn’t as cut and dry as assembling shelves.
I may not have found myself, but I found the hardest way to do things.
And then I lit myself on fire. That confirmed it for me. I couldn’t be trusted to manly Alaskan man things.
But in Alaska, you have to.
Alaska makes the weak strong and the strong humble. It’s a test of wills. The environment and weather against the human frailty.
Human beings are still here. But then again, so is the extreme weather. Maybe it’s that type of relationship where you tolerate each other with some begrudging respect thrown in for good measure.
Then you go about your business.
Like enjoying the raw beauty that is the Great State.
We have a dog, a rescue from upstate New York who came to live with us in Virginia, then onward to Pennsylvania. When my wife moved to Alaska, we sent Phyllis by air. She weighed just over seventy pounds and as a pit bull, she was required, by airline rules to be in a cage that was sufficient for a mountain lion or bear cub.
She’s a gentle creature and looked out of place in that massive structure. But she made it, arriving at the airport in Fairbanks with both the cats. A bit pricey, but worth it. She quickly became Phyllis the Arctic Dog. Within two months, temps plummeted to minus thirty Fahrenheit. She grew enough hair between the pads on her paws and her coat filled in like a sea otter’s. She toughened up enough that she could weather that extreme for a short while without a coat or boots.
Seven years later, she goes on walks at all hours. It gets me out of the house more often than I would otherwise.
The silence is broken by the hooting of a great horned owl, a massive creature that hunts in our neighborhood. Phyllis the Arctic Dog is safe from them. If she sees one on a pole or in a tree, she’ll chase it away. She has no love for owls. Or ravens for that matter.
Small dogs, less than ten pounds are not safe out here. Rabbits also are not. Either fox, lynx, or owls will get them. It’s the food chain. It’s just how it is.
We live a quarter mile off the main road. In the spring and fall, when leaves are barren and the ground free of snow, the road noise is loud. There’s nothing to keep it from reaching us. Soon the snow will create an even greater barrier, dampen the noise to almost nothing.
It’ll cover the road with ice or packed snow bringing the tire noise down to almost nothing. And people will drive slower. Not the first day it snows, of course. People forget. Fifty or sixty cars will end up in the ditch with the first snow.
Within a week, everyone will be experts at driving on the snow again.
I avoid going out on that day. Clear the crazy and wait for calm.
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Unleash the Leader Within
Be the leader your team needs you to be.
“This book is the first fluff-free book that I’ve read on leadership. Craig writes like he’s sitting in a room with you having coffee and attempting to get you to see what your next step is.”
I’ve dropped the price on the Amazon store to $2.99. This book is not in Kindle Unlimited because I have a number of promotions running that are tied to the other platforms.
Dive in today.
All Other Platforms (Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo) – https://books2read.com/LeaderWithin
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Jack Storm Spy Thriller Series – get book one today for only 99 cents
What if you had nothing to live for and nothing to lose…
Devastated after his wife and daughter disappeared in a mysterious plane crash, Jack Storm, former CIS extractor, is failing to keep it all together. When a crucial asset is trapped in Tehran, the agency has no choice but to bring their top agent Jack back into service. They assign hima nearly-impossible mission, knowing he’s a ticking time bomb…
Sent in with a know-it-all rookie, despondent Jack is relentlessly hunted at every turn. If he is caught, he’ll be hanged. But does Jack even care?
Double-crossed, alone, and with the clock ticking, Jack, now more furious than hopeless, focuses his rage. But what does he have left to sacrifice to ensure the asset makes it out alive?
The Jack Storm Spy Thriller Series
International bestselling author Ethan Jones brings you a new series so heart-stopping and fever-pitched, that you’ll have to take up a permanent position on the edge of your seat. Like all Ethan’s thrillers, The Extractor is clean, clever, and captivating. With books two and three out in April and May, you will have hours of explosive entertainment.
Enjoy the first book, The Extractor at the incredible price of 99 cents on all online bookstores, and start this adrenaline-filled, explosive series today!
Click the link to grab it now:https://books2read.com/The-Extractor
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What else am I working on?
The audiobook giveaway has ended – we had three winners in the UK. I had five sets but only three applied. You all win! In the US, we had 18 people apply and KingSumo has selected the five winners. I’ve sent messages to everyone with their download codes from my firstname.lastname@example.org account.
On the non-fiction front, I have these three books for free, today (April 12th) only. Download them today at no cost to you, even if you aren’t in Kindle Unlimited.
Become a Successful Indie Author –https://geni.us/BecomeSuccessful
Release Strategies –https://geni.us/ReleaseStrategies
Pricing Strategies –https://geni.us/PricingStrategies
I should finish Judge, Jury, & Executioner book #12, Blood Trade this week. It’s up for pre-order to go live on May 13th. I’ll be dropping books 1-11 to 99 cents each to entice you to dive into this bestselling series in case you haven’t started it yet.
As soon as I’m finished writing Blood Trade, I need to write a short story for a Noir SF anthology sponsored by Baen Books. I have the concept and just need to write the story. It’s kind of due by the end of April (story and bio, but not the finished story, but I’ll give them the finished story because I’ve got other stuff to do and the way is forward).
Next off the checklist is Battleship: Leviathan. I recently finished the first draft of book one. This is the first of a three-book series, military science fiction at its finest. This book won’t be published for a while. It is part of a three-book set that I contracted with Aethon Books. They will publish it and do the heavy lifting with the promotions.
I’ve finished Tom Dublin’s Alien Genocide, Book 5 in his Shadow Vanguard series. Tommy passed away a couple years ago. This fulfills part of my promise to finish the series for him. The book is on pre-order for May 10th, but we’ll get it out before the end of April. And then I’ll get to work on book 6, Family Reunion to wrap up the series by the end of the summer.
Xenophobia: Heretic was the first book in a trilogy that I wrote last fall. I have a co-author who will write the next two books in that series. When I ran it past a few science fiction readers, they liked the story. I did not, but it’s already written, so might as well put it out there. I can see this series become my most popular when we publish it this fall. Brad Torgersen and I should have Book 2 finished by September and Book 3 finished by November. We’ll probably publish Book 1 in October, Book 2 in November and Book 3 in December, dropping them hard and fast.
And Craig Martelle, Inc has licensed a few titles to publish.
Mischief Maker is a new book by the former VP of TSR for books and the designer of a number of the Elder Scrolls video games. A new take on Norse Mythology set in the modern world. This is a fresh and innovative contemporary fantasy story. I think you’re going to like it. It is so close to being ready. The only thing left is to get the blurb right.
Love – Haight is a book about a paranormal court, where everyone’s rights are protected, and justice comes for the lawbreakers. A little humor, romance, horror, and mystery.
A new coming-of-age fantasy series that I am co-authoring. We are meeting for about a half hour a week to discuss progress and review current words. It is a gripping tale of a young lady trying to understand the gift she has which could also be her curse. Fun, intense, and a little allegory action, too.
A military sci-fi series that I’ll also work on as a co-author to punch up the combat action scenes and military interaction. The author on this one is an exceptional talent who will go far.
I’m sure there’s more going on. Stay tuned…
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Craig Martelle Stories available for free!
Fear Peace – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nzhwlsdy1w (a story of galactic betrayal)
The Tide Changes – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/efxi5f4kjw (A tale from the Four Horsemen Universe)
Fall Before the Spring – https://BookHip.com/VFBKFS (a Marine’s second chance)
The Outcast – https://BookHip.com/RDPFHQ (when punishment requires service)
Information War – https://BookHip.com/GPQBFZ (there’s more than one way to meet aliens)
Jacob Wild McKilljoy – https://BookHip.com/MFWNLH (a ridiculous comedy romp)
Just One More Fight – https://BookHip.com/GPLSVB (who is the alien?)
A Galactic Affair – https://BookHip.com/QADTF (what if the aliens choose who represents humanity?)
The Human Experiment – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/8g82o72oju (a full-length Sci-Fi novel, in case you haven’t downloaded it yet)
A Builder’s Angst – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/jm2lqbgxlb (building a megastructure to replace Earth)
A Language Barrier – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/wmue1fwjqz (communication is not a given)
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Craig Martelle’s Other Books (listed by series, also available in audio)
- Terry Henry Walton Chronicles* (co-written with Michael Anderle) – a post-apocalyptic paranormal adventure
- Gateway to the Universe* (co-written with Justin Sloan & Michael Anderle) – this book transitions the characters from the Terry Henry Walton Chronicles to The Bad Company
- The Bad Company* (co-written with Michael Anderle) – a military science fiction space opera
- Judge, Jury, & Executioner* – a space opera adventure legal thriller
- Shadow Vanguard – a Tom Dublin series
- Superdreadnought* (co-written with Tim Marquitz)– an AI military space opera
- Metal Legion* (co-written with Caleb Wachter) – a military space opera
- The Free Trader* – a young adult science fiction action adventure
- Cygnus Space Opera* – A young adult space opera (set in the Free Trader universe)
- Darklanding* (co-written with Scott Moon) – a space western
- Mystically Engineered (co-written with Valerie Emerson) – Mystics, dragons, & spaceships
- End Times Alaska* – a Permuted Press publication – a post-apocalyptic survivalist adventure
- Nightwalker (a Frank Roderus series) with Craig Martelle – A post-apocalyptic western adventure
- End Days* (co-written with E.E. Isherwood) – a post-apocalyptic adventure
- Krimson Empire (co-written with Julia Huni) – a galactic adventure
- Successful Indie Author* – a non-fiction series to help self-published authors
- Metamorphosis Alpha– stories from the world’s first science fiction RPG
- The Expanding Universe – science fiction anthologies
- Monster Case Files(co-written with Kathryn Hearst) – A Warner twins mystery adventure
- Rick Banik* – Spy & terrorism action adventure
- Ian Bragg* – A hitman with a conscience
- The Dragon’s Call by Angelique Anderson & Craig A. Price, Jr. – an epic fantasy quest
- A Couple’s Travels – a non-fiction travel adventure series