AUDIBLE, eBook, and Paperback formats! Rogue cyber-criminals want Jacob Michaels, a brilliant young programmer, to join them. He just doesn’t know it yet. Jacob has the brains, expertise, and programming methods to get them what they want without discovery. With his best friend, Buzz, and a distractingly beautiful encryptionist in tow, Jacob enters the world of the Dark Internet here in the 21st Century where the computer is the weapon of choice! With the cyber criminals engaged in international hacking, it’s easy to have your identity slip through your fingers. No one, including Jacob, believes it when he learns he has been targeted. Jacob finds the space between cyber good and cyber evil difficult to navigate as well as highly deadly. Jacob has settled into a quiet routine of a techno geek after his mother dies. The plans he made are disrupted when he discovers his life is in danger. He sets off on a mission that takes him into new technology views and exposes to him the inner-workings of unknown global technologists. Jacob learns that safeguards for technology are always evolving and being exploited. His challenge becomes how to keep ahead of the criminals and identify who to trust. Book 1 of The Enigma Series brings relevant technology elements of programming, encryption, crypto-currency, and hacking to highlight the professional excellence of Jacob, more so perhaps due to his sheltered upbringing. Explore the horrific damage cyber criminals can inflict as the award-winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, weave a complex tale of danger, intrigue, and international cyber combat in their debut thriller, The Enigma Factor.
We find it interesting that today's technology professionals don't consider the value of experience, perhaps it is part of the impatience of youth. Andy, the older telecom professional, provides some seriously needed value to Quip, a bleeding edge technologist. Granted the frame of reference is quite different between telephony and IP networks, but they may have quite a bit in common that they are just starting to realize in this portion of the story. Andy resorts to his tried and true communication, storytelling. The story is a powerful blend of people and technology in today's world. The aspects of humor are as important as the technology, travel and romance. The audiobook version of this story just earned a RONE 2018 finalist award. Read or listen and enjoy. We look forward to your comments
Ah, the confidence of youth! Once you have earned your "stripes" in the world no one can deceive you, right? Jacob, a brilliant programmer and code tester has lived a relatively sheltered life. He's in the middle of NYC, yet his social skills have not had the same attention as his programming skills. Respect and kindness to others is different from trust. Having a curious and open mind while making certain you do not let people too far in, is one of the main attributes of Jacob. We try to explore his growth as we develop him as a lead character. In some ways he seems too good to be true, but he has a specific frame of references for his interactions, like most humans do. Jacob suspects a dual purpose from the mysterious Otto but he naively accepts things at face value. We want to grow and evolve him from his starting point, which is quite different from other characters. The Enigma Factor allows a look at his growth. Available in ebook, paperback, and audio formats. Enjoy the story and learning about Jacob during his right of passage.
When Jacob crosses paths with Otto, he has no idea how this meeting could change his life. But trying new things and going down unfamiliar paths can sometimes be rewarding. In many ways Jacob is brilliant especially in technology traces and details focused on security. However, his sheltered upbringing didn't prepare him for how his world is about to change. He has no idea if Otto is friend or foe, but the "Song of the Sirens" is impossible to ignore and he is intrigued. Their meeting is the start of something that probably should have been avoided but Jacob feels destiny calling. The question is what is that something. Sometimes the strangest interviews result in the unexpected. Enjoy the story.
One of the prime aspects of The Enigma Factor is the element of identity theft. It is an aspect of living today with technology which is more prevalent each and every day. Our white hat, Jacob, takes all the precautions, has a job in technology safeguarding security breaches, and seems to do all the right things. If it could happen to him it could happen to any of us. Most of us do not adhere to the security precautions we all receive. I still go into customer locations and find passwords on post-it notes under the keyboard or blatantly attached to the monitor. Security and social engineering aspects are no laughing matter. We should all be more diligent. By the way, when was the last time you changed your banking password?
We wanted to have the new relationship between Petra and Jacob to develop with a bit of fun. Harley motorcycles, wine, and sharing stories seemed to work. In this chapter they are getting to know one another totally outside of the traditional data center or geek conference scene. They have a chance to do something they are both relatively inexperienced with, a date. Often when we are in uncomfortable situation many of us relate experiences in a story format. Hence these two are doing the same. It is amazing where they go from here, after a few barriers are removed. See what you think.
Jacob, the ever focused geek, has demonstrated so far his limited skills in dealing with the fairer sex. When presented with a technical dilemma, he is suddenly focused on a highly intelligent lady he met and argued with at DEFCON. He had found her attractive, yet never considered asking for her number or even using the traditionally exploited pick up lines. How a geek hunts for another geek was the problem we tried to solve with this exchange. Clumsy yes, but sometimes it is the naive, little boy routine that can be compelling. Of course there is far more to how this unfolds but this provides you the intro to how he thinks. By the way, what pick up line works for you? No, we're talking to the ladies this time.
In this portion of the story, Jacob is being evaluated, though he doesn't recognize to what degree. This is a job interview that few of us have experienced. It is important to note that the group scrutinizing Jacob, seem very interested in his technology skills. We display a part of this as an insider of the group, which is a bit different. Showing how an organization can remain very much in the forefront and visible for many of their customers, and yet, cloak their capabilities to others. The reasons for this are quite simply to continue their existence in their own way. Your thoughts on their viewpoint are welcomed. The Enigma Factor is also available in audible.
We wanted to show some good family history as our lead characters Petra and Jacob are learning about one another. One way is to relate portions of your life a new friend or lover has no insight into. These two have little experience in romance and rarely take time out of their geek-like existence to get to know anyone to any depth. For some reason these two clicked and take a trip relating stories. These stories actually happened though there are certain creative license taken here to relate them. Do you think story sharing from family events is good way to let someone learn the real you? Let us know. This story just became available as an audible for your listening enjoyment.
When a professional is approached for a job from an unknown source, your suspicions should kick in because it is usually what you want to hear. Trying to decide if it is high praise or a false come-on is the mark of a seasoned professional. And yet who doesn't like being "shined on" because of their abilities? In the world of cyber security, social engineering is still the hardest attack to defeat because we are after all only human. Wanting to believe needs to to be tempered with solid facts that can be verified much like the suspiciously friendly invitation that Otto has extended to Jacob. How would you handle the easy answers that Otto is offering Jacob? Would you simply decline the meetings or is there something more that can be gained by staying engaged? Is your sixth sense that good or do you simply extricate from the discussion and flee? Isn't facing the unknown sometimes worth the gamble? You decide, then let us know what the right answer is. We'll be waiting.
One of the areas we wanted to explore in this story is the real ways one can be signaled to Identity Theft. In this chapter our hero, Jacob, begins his day a bit off, which allows for a level of distraction. As a seasoned technology professional, you would think the bread crumbs he stumbles on would be easy to spot. That, my friends is what all the bad guys count on. How many crazy items would it take for you to realize that something is truly amiss? Have you been a victim of a hacker or somebody besides yourself. Take a read and see how Jacob reacts then decide if you would do something different. Let us know!
When we crafted Quip we wanted him to have the quick wit and edge of someone that could play chess five moves ahead of everyone else. We introduce him and some of his off the cuff commentary, which is as natural to him as breathing. He says these things to get a rise out of others, make people chuckle, or simply because he feels like it. Have you know some outrageous characters in your live? Perhaps you provoke them to see what they say next or merely sit on the sidelines and listen closely. Maybe this is really you! Let us know if your recognize Quip in yourself or someone else.
Two of the main characters in this first book in the series are flat geeks. They like math, science, computers, technology, and all that goes with it. Not exactly the high running singles conversation starters, unless... We wanted to have these two characters together in a couple of different settings to find out if they might be able to find a connection. The motives each of them bring to the conversation fall by the wayside it would seem, at least for a short time while they appreciate the discussion. What subjects do you enjoy discussing with a partner? What was the turning point when you wanted a relationship with someone? Why?
How do you ever know when someone is stalking you, or stealing a piece of you? This problem is prevalent for people today, and usually before they know it's a problem. We wondered how much poking and prodding might occur before a person woke up and found they were compromised. Our hero takes precautions with most elements of his digital footprint. Is it enough or too little? Could the seduction of winning a contest or being called out as fabulous, blind you to what is really happening? This is the essence of social engineering. We think this is a real possibility people need to keep in mind. Remember the old adage, if it seems too good to be true, you were right. Young folks today are less cautious and perhaps more vulnerable. Please, send us your thoughts.
In flushing out the early relationship between two geeks, we felt it was important to find some common ground. They have talked bits and bytes in several brief meetings and there is an underlying simmer between them. If you haven't visited, the wineries of Long Island are amazing, along with all the fresh produce grown in the region. Seeing it by car, on bicycles, or on the back of a Harley, you simply cannot do it wrong. Have you ever made a date and not checked for the right attire? This chapter will let you image how you could get into or out of an odd situation. And the ending takes it from simmer to sizzling. Enjoy!
When you start a story and you have all these interactions to include, the character list grows. This is how we found Andy. One of the things we find captivating in our daily interactions with people is the stories folks tell. Some people will embellish more than others. Do you embellish your conversations with people? Andy is one of those characters who we wanted to add to primarily keep Quip in-line and blend old and new technology for this story. The history of technology evolution is quite funny when you isolate one incident at a time. Of course it's funnier if you are Andy. The feedback on Andy has always been positive and we'd like to know your thoughts. Some people swear they have met him! If you are a technology grey hair, this will hopefully resonate. Please let us know if you know an Andy too!
Earlier in the story, our main character Jacob, has had various portions of his identity vanish for no good reason. He is a careful digital professional, but these events simply do not make sense. His emotions are like a roller coaster from doubt, to blame, to anger with this chapter simply another crack in his identity. How would you react if you suddenly were not received by businesses you have worked with? Would you jump up and down, demand, or walk away? We attribute confusion with the elderly, a disease, or possibly drugs, but this is none of those. Should Jacob's cognitive skills be questioned or should he be terrified?
We wanted to set the tone from the start of the story. This excerpt from the Prologue provides our defining moment. We want readers to wonder about this lady, about who she is talking to, and about the predator. We have found that everyday events can change the world each of us has planned. It only take s a moment for those thing to occur. We wanted to bring this sense of reality into our stories, even though it sometimes brings surprises. Part of writing is the full range of emotions. We want our readers to be involved and anxious to find out what happens next. We want to hear if we met our goal.
Our lead character, Jacob, who is the He at the start of this excerpt) grew up learning the ins and outs of technology from his Mom. He was taught his trade in a very particular way that put him at the top of his class at MIT. He rejected an offer from the FBI to pursue technology jobs. Quip is considered an old-school technology guy with an outrageous sense of humor. He enjoys pointing out the obvious and making jokes at many things. He is brilliant, but at times in the story it is difficult to take him seriously. We wanted to make certain that we conveyed the world of technology was not just for males. Females are making more strides in technology that ever before. Toward that end one of our lead characters is Petra who is introduced to several techno-savvy males at a Las Vegas technology convention. Quip has his own reasons for introducing Jacob to Petra which becomes a focal point of the story.
Working Title: The Enigma Source
This Book Is In Development
Today’s crypto-currency world is packed with “get rich now” charlatans just waiting for you to ask, “Can I play too?” The Enigma Source, Book 10 of The Enigma Series, delves into this digital technology and explores how cyber experts do digital combat with cyber thugs for a safe world currency. Jacob, Petra, and Quip are ready to take on Mathias and Dutch, opportunistic crypto-currency swindlers. These cyber-swindlers target the crippled economy of Venezuela, while the finance minister of a Far East Asia country attempts a re-launch his own digital currency to dominate world financial trade. In the “digital currency gold rush” of the 21st century, is there anyone looking out for the average person?
The interactions between the primary team members of the R-Group are a bit edgy due to an unknown problem erupting in Georgia. Sometimes it is a matter of getting the right people together at the table to discuss the possibility solutions. Much of our professional work contains these types of meetings and discussions with the difference being that we typically aren't facing life threatening issues. We wanted to make certain our characters were up to the challenges they are facing in this book. We were worried they might have to do some fast thinking on their feet to find the solutions. Let us know what you think when it becomes available later this summer, 2018. You can pre-order it on our website enigmaseries.com
Petra and Jacob are getting closer, having worked through their problems. They are in a good place and believe that together they can conquer the world. They are great at working and playing together. Andy is one of the subcontractors used by the R-Group for telecommunications jobs. Normally Andy would contact Quip for work issues, so the call takes Jacob a bit by surprise. The exchange that Jacob ends up having with Su Lin sets the stage for a whole different way of solving an international issue that has several lives at stake. The tension rises from this point on in the story as the attackers remain elusive. Book 10 of The Enigma Series is coming soon and can be pre-ordered from our website and delivered as a signed copy. enigmaseries.com
For us, The Enigma Source is a way to look at the world situations from multiple viewpoints. In order to do this from the multiple perspectives we wanted to leverage one of our favorite technologists. Problem is that was her past not her present, at least that is want she thought. Her new husband Andy was as friendly as welcoming as anyone in the south, until he feels his family is threatened. This is a man not to be trifled with on his property. You'll need to read the story to find out how they meet this situation head on and if they survive. You can pre-order this currently from our website enigmaseries.com. This story will keep you on the edge all the way until the end. We look forward to your comments.
In business, the sales pitch has to resonate with the executive or it falls on deaf ears. In this portion of the story garnering approval is the driver. Mathias and Dutch may be one step behind or in the right place at the right time. The two are quote a pair and are one huge thread of the story. The question is can you resonate with their antics or not? The Enigma Source, 10th book in The Enigma Series is going to be released soon, but we need your input on the content and the cover. Please let us know and provide comments on the cover via our email access by out website at enigmaseries.com More to come.
It is not surprising to think that when a call is placed these days that the origination may not be a secret. In the world of the R-Group, information is their specialty. Otto's years of practice in knowing who and what as the conversation begins provides insight to the reader on the power of their information technology. In this chapter we wanted to introduce the readers to a group investigating cryptocurrency and potentially the why of it. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency is a direction being pursued by many but we suggest not necessarily in the best interest of the consumer. We hope you find this start to Book 10 in The Enigma Series, The Enigma Source intriguing and different. It is planned for delivery soon and you can get in line for a pre-order by visiting our website and sending an email to us. We are also seeking a vote on the cover selected with this post. enigmaseries.com
The R-Group is called in by a U.S. Agency to find Dr. Pekoni as he is suspected of trying to finalize a project after funding was revoked. Quip and EZ, supported by Julie and Juan’s fledgling CATS team, are thrust into the forefront of the cyber wars, battling against an evil force seeking to harness supercomputer technology to reengineer humans at the cellular level. Does the team have the skills needed for this assignment? Dr. Xavier Pekoni, a rich evil genius, has barbaric intentions regarding his fountain of youth project. Using nanotechnology and DNA mapping, along with unwilling test subjects, Pekoni is close to reaching his goal of extending human life ten-fold. What can stop him from altering human evolution? Where and what are the missing pieces for him to complete his scheme? The personal demons of Petra and Jacob prevent them from joining the hunt for Pekoni. When Jacob tries to distance himself from the R-Group, he becomes entangled with Zara, the villainous femme fatale leader of the Russian Dteam. After the seductive Zara steals €5 million in diamonds from a Chairman who must not be named, she tries to hide in New York City where she learns something unexpected. Meanwhile, Buzz resurfaces to try to restart his life. Will these returning cyber-thugs succeed in their brand of technology domination, or can they be stopped? R-Group and the CATS team must use the full range of their skills and techno savvy to find Pekoni and put a stop to him becoming the thousand year ruler. The award-winning authors of The Enigma Series, Breakfield and Burkey, take readers on an accelerated adventure with old and new characters to tell the tale of human DNA changes gone wrong in Book 6, The Enigma Always.
One of our characters Su Lin had an event that damaged her mind in a way that blocked the adult portions of her life. She'd been living for months as young person willing and eager to please the adult authorities who surrounded her. Andy, her appointed caretaker had created structured learning modules for her to try to tap into her once genius mind. The human psyche is such that an event of great magnitude can change it forever. Doctors and evaluations can take it only so far before it is classified as a time dependent issue. Luckily trapped in the mindset of a teenager, Su Lin has been willing to do studies and chores with a positive attitude. We wanted to explore her blocked mind to see if some action could undo prior events. In our research professional help or not, the element of love and support of family can make the difference. The Enigma Always is being created as an audio book with availability scheduled for Fall 2018. Another way you can find out what happens to Su Lin and how.
These are powerful men that at times are adversaries or at the very least comfortable using one another. They are both particularly good at bending those in lessor positions in their respective spheres of influence to their wills. They bicker like children fighting over a toy. While their insults are like salve over their ever fragile egos. In this portion of the story they are seriously trying to one-up each other. It might make you wonder who will win this contest of which door holds the real diamonds and which one will lead to total failure.
Some characters in our stories are good from the start and some are not. Each of them have distinctive personalities and, like most of us, these are formed over time. Our beginnings and life make up how we are and how we behave. Zara is a special character for us in that she started out in a tough place and did that pull up by the bootstrap thing. She is hardly perfect, but her rough life has helped her determine what she doesn't want, but not necessarily the way to move to reach that goal. Buzz is another returning character with a story of choices gone wrong and relationship heartbreak. This could be a fresh start or a whole new abyss for them both. Let us know your thoughts after you read this snippet and the book.
Zara is a character who is on the very of changing her behavior. She wants to break all the ties and alliances which force her behavior and be her own person. It is tough when powerful people don't wish to release a valuable asset. This story has a focus on Zara and how her character evolves. Caught between using and being used while trying to find honest behavior is hard for her. Her background has been tough but she is a scrappy girl who wont quit. She thinks she know the ways to stroke egos and get her endgame accomplished. Is she too close to the edge to win?
In this section the devotion that Andy has for his love, turned ward, allowed us to explore the fine line between the medical advice we are given, and the insistence on medical practitioners to have things their way. Long term care for any loved one is a balance of life, work, and responsibility. We are all torn when our personal agenda's are derailed by a demand on a loved one's schedule and yet isn't it fair to doubt the legitimacy of the request? Do you think Andy is doing the right thing? What would you do if faced with something similar? Of course, if you read the entire story you might find the outcome surprising. Enjoy the story.
In this story we wanted to consider how the completion of the mapping of human genome, all of a human's genetic material combined with the use of nanotechnology to build, run or modify an organism. Several studies we reviewed indicated many studies and tests have been undertaken in recent years. Our introduction of Dr. Pekoni was to have a new view on applying this technology in live subjects outside of the typical approach society expects. The success of this project is a perfect alignment of several pieces to the Fountain of Youth puzzle using a supercomputer to map the enormous amount of data. Would you want to be modified at the DNA level to live longer and stronger? Who are the winners and losers if this takes place?
The series contains interesting couples that may remind you of people who have passed through your life. In the case of EZ and Quip they are a new couple and at the stage where love and lust are separated by a breath or the wink of an eye. In conversation about another couple, they are really hoping that the troubled waters that their friends are struggling with will never interrupt their relationship. In this case, EZ is drinking from the glass half full worrying that Quip is drinking from the glass half empty. The solution and meeting of the thoughts may have nothing to do with conversation. What do you think? Have you been in that position before?
We wanted to explore the emotional recovery of our character Buzz that was introduced in The Enigma Factor. Since he never follows the normal course of acceptable social skills, we decided on having him take in a Russian from the streets of NY but as usual it is him that is taken. We wanted to explore how good deeds come about and how they spark a nice return...sometimes. As the story unfolds the reader understands quickly that no good deed goes unpunished in Buzz's life. But is that always the case even with our fem fatal Daria? Will Buzz ever learn? And more interestingly will Daria? Do you ever help someone and get emotional bruised for that act of kindness? Or do you risk the bruising anyway? We'd like to know.
Situations in the stories are created for suspense, intrigue, and the thriller side. In life sometimes the most horrible things can be helped with a bit of humor. We have known people that when faced with awful choices look to avenues that either have them laugh or barf. We find that the humor side also draws our readers further into the story. How about you? Do you try to laugh to stop that nagging fear or simply let it overrun you? Burkey is still learning humor so perhaps this will help. Let us know.
Buzz is in the process of overcoming the death of someone he loved. By an odd circumstance, he has a truly chance meeting with someone in need. Daria (Zara) has had a very rough life she is unwilling to open up to anyone about. She is between jobs, without funds, and has crossed someone with a lot of power. With a conviction based on experience she takes a chance to get a place to stay and food to eat, without caring the cost. Her lack of trust is clear in this exchange, but she has been in odder circumstances and those turned out alright. What would you do to survive? What is your uncrossable line and how do you know? We look forward to your comments and feedback.
This story includes a segment with one of our couples who are living on separate continents. The idea to provide one another space to fulfill their ambitions could backfire. Lara, the founder and head of Destiny Fashions, Brazil is feeling distracted. She's hoping a visit with her Papá will provide insight. We find it surprising when adult children return to their parents for advice. It seems to hold true in most parts of the world. Did you ever find your parent's insight as an adult different that how you perceived it as a youngster or teen? Let us know!
We have created some very likeable characters and in this story we brought back Buzz due to reader requests. In this story, Buzz has met his romantic match, but she is more than she seems. Zara is posing with her alter ego, Daria, for several reasons. This is a female that believes it truly is all about her. Jacob has carried Buzz over the years and during this trying time for Jacob, he needs Buzz. What are best friends for? How do you interact with your best friend as an adult, especially when you are in different work places? Let us know your thoughts!
We create different types of characters. Some are technology white hats, some are black hats, and then there are the fun ones. Won and Ton a pair of foundling twins, adopted by one of our major bad antagonists. They are often sent to find out information or run an errand somewhere on the globe. Often they find themselves in odd situations, to say the least. They do at least seem to always step into muck and come out with the rose. They don't always get it right, but we find them entertaining and hope you do as well. In this thing they are doing the typical male thing in a sports bar. Let us know who they might remind you of.
This story has the blossoming romances of several of our couples included to add some personal treatment and some spice. We also wanted to let our readers know that not all things are cookbook perfect even in the world of fiction. Quip is worried about his friends and EZ provides a very practical solution to not only that problem but hers as well. How do you solve issues with the one you care about? Does this make you laugh, smile, think, or all three? Let us know
This is an exchange between Otto, head of the R-Group, and a customer. Otto is typically the polished European gentleman who is always ahead of his customers and on the fringe of all current events and technology. We wanted to show a more humorous side of him as well as how he is able to keep people a bit off balance. Eric, the customer in this case, is usually fast with the comebacks. In this exchange Eric is caught flat-footed as he has just been assigned the task of locating a doctor that had bilked his government with a very strange project. Do you think humor adds to a story especially when things are about to become tense? Why are off topic comments funny? Can you relate a funny conversation?
We actually brought Buzz back in this story as Jacob needed a friend and a side kick who was less than perfect. They see the world very differently and yet the same. We find that friendship is one of the mainstays in life and wanted to portray how that might be used with grown men with very different lives. It actually amazed us as this and the ongoing story with Buzz spilled out actually surprising us in the end. Tell us what you find most interesting about Buzz and Jacob in this bubble and hopefully the story overall.
ICABOD has evolved over the series as an upgunned supercomputer. Otto and Wolfgang, original R-Group experts, are use to doing things in the old ways. Otto is frustrated in this scene and he is also worried about many things happening in the business and with the group overall. This outburst is uncharacteristic and done to demonstrate that Otto has many sides, like we all do. We have found that sometimes even those people with the most schooled features sometimes break. Do you ever have outbursts like this? Do you feel sometimes like you can be replaced by a machine?
We like to travel and often weave various travels into the series. In this case we wanted to add a bit of New York City because of its renowned diamond/gem district. In this scenario we bring back a character that is so deliciously evil we couldn't let her go. She is a talented lady that always seems to be at the airport when her ship comes into port or at the train station when she received a free airplane ticket. Her best assets are her looks, manner, quick wit. The shopkeeper took some exception to her wit in his own way. Did you think if was humorous?
This story actually started with a some research uncovered in the field of optogenetics. But it starts with the basic question "how can I live a 1,000 years?" This field of study is all about using specific cell types to regenerate body tissues thus end aging. We used this research to explore replacements of memories and tissues in mammals. The technology holds real possibilities, but how far scientists have actually taken it is part of what we introduce in this story and the reasons that taking shortcuts might be totally needed to survive. The two characters in this opening chapter approach the issues at cross purposes.
This 7th installment in The Enigma Series is a fork in the road to explore the Cyber Assassin Technolgy Services team, or CATS. The team founded by one member of the R-Group is a grittier, hands-on group with strong backgrounds in military, technology, and languages. This techno-thriller will take you on a different trail until the end. Gone are the days of pixelated sprites and simple wired controllers. It’s the twenty-first century, and video game playing has undergone a complete evolution. With high-def graphics and intuitive sensory controls, gamers are enjoying a level of realism and immersion never before experienced. However, when the line between the real and cyber worlds becomes blurred, this digital landscape provides new social predators with opportunities to unleash terror and pain on unsuspecting victims. Businesses, cities and commonly used services might believe they are immune, but then their world goes sideways as a grotesque ransom demand is spilled across their data screen. The fledgling CATS—Cyber Assassins Technology Services—team is mobilized to find the root causes. Led by Julie and Juan, the CATS team is committed to avenging and administering justice to evil doers in every corner of the real and virtual worlds. The CATS team is the next generation of hunters in the cat and mouse game of cyber warfare. They prove they are a force to reckoned with using front-line techniques, which stretches every resource at their disposal to face off against a sinister new world of high-tech crimes.
The R-Group was by design a closed family operation. Their role is to maintain information flows and help the cyber good guys win against the hackers and crackers. Julie and Juan's team was recently formed and is a grittier team going to locations to dig up additional information. The CATS team can leverage the information and help add information, but the perspective they bring is more hands on. In this way the digital footprint is one aspect which they can combine with what is seen and heard by those impacted by the bad actors. This story expands the capability of this team and how they interact with their own resources. It is available as a paperback or ebook. Readers can purchase a signed copy from our website enigmaseries.com and catch the book trailer for this story.
These two men are at a point in their life where they simply have too much time on their hands. Chairman Chang and Dmitry find are the epitome of "bigger toys for bigger boys" and they really do have big toys. They take a break from time to time playing electronic games except this is supercomputer against supercomputer. Technology helps to close the distances that once prevented the easy banter during games. These two men have taken the banter to a different level based on their life, locations, and competitive natures. Their adversarial roles have a whole new outlet. Perhaps the toys will keep them entertained, or not. Do you know folks who compete like this? How do you play games and banter with the guys or girls when trying to win? Share your thoughts, we would like to hear your perspective.
This story allowed us to align folks to opposite sides and then let them argue their position. Some won some lost, but all had a distinct point of view. In this segment the sides were in part taken from events in the airline industry, with their overall disregard to first their employees then their customers. To a degree that is changing of late, but we still find it relevant to poke a bit of fun at some in the industry who have forgotten what customers do for them or how their employees take the whipping for corporate mistakes. Do you have some airline related stories you found annoying or even entertaining? Please share on the twitter and FB posts for this story. Enjoy this first CATS Tale which is a fork in the road of the continuing stories of The Enigma Series.
When putting together the scenarios for this book, we wanted to focus on humans growing dependency on technology. It seems as if technology may be getting too much control as humans relinquish responsibilities. When faced a single personal problem, such as Marvin's need to reach his wife, versus the entire automated warehouse procedures, the human side was placed at risk. Have you ever felt no one listened to you? Are the rules in place poor substitutes for empowering the worker who is right there? We position our mild, not-easily-rattled Summit to help negotiate a true solution. Sometimes the outside view looking in is all it takes. This book has several really interesting scenarios. Enjoy!
Juan and Julie are a really fun couple that enjoy life, love, and one another (not always in that order). In this story they have launched into a new business and getting it organized is Julie's focus. Juan is a very hard worker always willing to improve their married life with children. It is hard to tell who is more smitten Juan or Julie. We wanted to explore the new couple relationships, with the added mix of a new business and twins to see what would happen. Do you balance work and family in the same way as one of our favorite couples? What sidetracks your thoughts and what makes you focus? The rest of the chapter and story tells so much more. ...by the way, the hot smooch does work...
The Enigma Gamers introduces a group that is more feet on the street involved than the other stories. However, some of the same characters do have interactions. In this portion of the story, Quip is trying to assert his superior quick wittedness, however Julie has known him forever and will never back down. These are two strong-minded characters who are each successful in their own way. Jacob is spot on with his assessment of Julie at the end of this selection. Not a person to discount or take lightly. Do you know anyone like that? How do you effectively interact with them? (just so you know it is a criminal offense in several states to disrupt the Feng Shui of a data center)
The Enigma Gamers at its core focuses on gamification. Jamie and Frieda are a young couple with very two different viewpoints on where their life should head. Is life a game of reaching for the brass ring, time after time and missing, or something else? The difference between the newest adventure Jamie wants try versus where they are, might simply be the unknown. Do you think this next step on their life journey will draw them, closer or completely break them? Is it the fear that holds you back from your destiny or is it the common sense that keeps you safe? This is what we were exploring in this book but you will have to read more to find out where these two go and who is the strongest.
This story is a different vein from the series and illustrates a grittier approach to fighting the bad guys. There are several scenarios used to explore the team. This scenario takes places in middle America and leverages the available resources. We have so many men and women who served this country, yet are not getting all the help they need. This scene introduces you to one vet, Sarge, who is patterned after someone close to the authors who became lost in the system. This is one of the ways we bring real people who have crossed our paths to life. Who do you know that you might help? Let us know and perhaps we can add them into a story soon. Best wishes this Memorial Day weekend!
Over the years we have realized all those in business or at play continually compete. It is that special something we humans are. Some play for bigger stakes than others. The question then becomes, is it the single event when one is at the top of their game, like an Olympics competition or is it a once in a lifetime chess match or is it more? The question we wanted to explore in the book centered around was the competition fair or was it "juiced" for the desired result? In this story we explore gamification from many perspectives, but with these two characters is it their skill or simply new and improved ways of cheating without being caught. You decide and let us know. We would love to hear your experiences.
The Enigma Gamers is the start of a slightly different vein for the series as it focuses on a subgroup. This group has several scenarios requiring their expertise of tracking the clues with technology and old fashion feet-on-the-street actions. We wanted to pick a subject where, if subjected to a threat by technology, people would want some immediate support. Think about it, what could go wrong with the mere taking of a selfie in a well established town in Pennsylvania? Well known places, lots of people, traffic, and police support... This couple, out on a date found their world upside down and panic does strange things to people. Tell us of any adventures you might have started that went terribly wrong.
Julie and Juan have a passionate relationship which is also professional. This romance has evolved through the series. As the entrepreneurs of the CATS team,and parents of twins, they have had some wild adventures in and out of the bedroom. In this part of the story, they are rekindling their relationship and taking a well-deserved vacation. Their devotion to one another will often be tested in this story. Let us know what you think of this sample and if you want to read even more. Love to hear your feedback, as that encourages us to write even better.
To explore how much we are dependent on technology, we wanted to use not only the current passion for the advanced capabilities of cell phones, but also the services we all need. Could the emergency services really be compromised? Could we be subject to risk we can't even imagine? Take a read of the possibilities and let us know how this might change your actions or recommendations to your offspring. We would love to hear from you!
Quip's character is one that revels in the quick comeback, enjoys enhancing his supercomputer, and doesn't do well when he is found to be wrong. We like to position him every once in a while on the receiving end of the humor, or simply yanking his chain. We hope it surprises and delights readers when he is caught flat-footed by one of his team or better his supercomputer. See if this snippet makes you smile like it has other readers. Enjoy!
We know more and more processes are becoming automated. From the self-checkout at grocery, hardware stores and others to the automatic login and verification we do as we surf the Internet. We believe there is a balance between automation and human interactions. Sometimes if the processes are too narrow, it is impossibly to see problems until it is a disaster. We wanted to explore the premise one step further by trying to determine what it might take to really see a problem. Do humans get lost in the steps and forget to look around? How much automation is enough in your mind? Let us know and be sure to check out the ways digitial undermining could spoil even the best automation in The Enigma Gamers. Love to hear from you.
Technology adaptation continues to encroach on all aspects of our lives. We also wonder what happens when there is a glitch. A cell phone, laptop, or tablet can be reset by powering off and then powering on.What happens when an entire city uses complex inter-connected, digital systems if there is a problem, say a virus or some other malware? In our Spanish Smart City we explore the probable when a city's smart system grid is held hostage. As we teach our computers to exchange data with other systems we don't expect the unexpected. What types of talent is needed to support these machines running other machines? As you expand to smart homes, what do think you need to keep in mind? Are we at risk?
As the world moves to instant gratification of their all important customers, we thought to showcase that attitude in a high-tech casino. This view inside is a combination of quiet/efficient technology combined with what rich people do to party. Would you like mechanical waiters that bring you drinks without your repeating the order? Or perhaps wishing for a glass of wine or snack aloud to your date and it is suddenly at your elbow? Technology can do fun stuff! Our leads, Julie and Juan, are enjoying themselves on a romantic vacation but can't help noticing the details. We think this helps makes them seem more interesting as characters. We like to have the couples in our stories put into situations where they can mix romance and business together. Do you find this approach interesting? Pass along your thoughts!
In Gamers, we have several different story threads that track our team of heros. This one highlights an Australian event with George Jones, one of the experienced operatives. He is doing some remote monitoring of a mining event when instead of the task at hand by technology automated equipment, it has gone wild. The way we thought might be fun to paint this particular scenario was to have all this great big expensive equipment seem to develop a pecking order like bullies. You may think you know what happens to bullies, but we bet you never dreamed your kids could do this, right? Let us know if we hit the mark. As a side note, this chapter introduces another of our more customized terms, DWEEB. George becomes one, see if you can find out why...
We like to bring in various parts of the world into the stories. A high-end speech analytics application mixed with our new world appetite of immediate gratification had us thinking it might be interesting to examine how it would work on foreign soil. It always sharpens the cognitive skills of a guest's experience when a casino can hear, interpret, and immediately respond to the users needs and desires. It is also intimidating. Julie and Juan take the warning and yet respond with the thrill of enjoyment in the adventure they are expecting in this venue. It is the set up for some good couple time for our story leads. What are your thoughts?
This scene illustrates what happens between two powerful men when they are bored but still in power. Bored powerful people at the top of governments and large corporations only seem to enjoy the misery of others. We found the idea of playing total immersive next generation video games on supercomputers a totally outrageous use of government resources. The “sportsman” use of computer resources to juice their bored existence might not be limited to countries or governments. What happens when the misery spills over on to your life?
What could possibly cause all the funds from an Irish financial institution to vanish? How can older hydroelectric plants like the one in Brazil be subject to a breach that may result in significant loss of lives? Could a NATO base in Europe be infected with a mysterious yet untraceable code that sends all of their combat supplies to the wrong location? Today’s smart cars are moving toward increased safety, but is this a trap? Are these all a glimpse of the potential danger of a new Ghost Code designed for devastation at a personal and industrial level? A new mysterious pair of cyber pirates, known only as Mephisto and Callisto, plot to deliver their destructive payloads for computing control. Worse, the code has been trained to evade detection and wreak havoc on its target victims. And while their agenda appears to be a blackmail plot for financial gain, their true goals are far more menacing and capricious in nature. In an intriguing game of digital cat and mouse with assassins from the Dark Net, the R-Group's technology experts are brought in to make sense of the individual issues and maybe stitch together a larger problem. Jacob, Petra, and Quip find themselves pitted against their most nefarious enemies to date. Stretching their considerable talents to the max, they struggle to track down the source of the Ghost Code and craft a solution that can secure the world's technology infrastructure before it completely collapses. In the fourth book in the Enigma Series, The Enigma Wraith, the R-Group team expands their computing power to assist their brilliant technologists. The award-winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, serve up yet another captivating techno-thriller novel racing with romance, humor, and looming catastrophe.
Book 4 of The Enigma Series has some of our established characters reassessing their priorities in their lives and their situations. In particular we wanted to explore the support of two sisters who are independent, but not alone. Julie is facing a horrible situation she never imagined possible, and yet it happened. When one is in shock and denial they often are afraid to turn to anyone and break their fragile hold on reality. Julie is a strong independent female who has strived her entire life to resolve her own problems. Petra, her sister, never encroaches her beliefs onto her sister. In this case she is simply available as a sounding board which speaks to their truly close relationship. The tension of the situation is slightly lightened with a plan. This story is available in ebook, paperback, and an awesome audio recently released. Check it out.
Quip and Jacob have been chasing their solution to a dynamic problem. They have been working around the clock so are a bit punchy when Petra walks in. They go back and forth with some obviously male one upmanship comments and gags, but showing their accomplishments and how close they are coming to finding a solution is really big. Have you felt that way after a long hard slugfest to get to the goals. Do you ever celebrate early. Take a read of these antics and read the book for the total thrill and twists and turns the story takes. We just finished the review of the audible for this by our narrator Derek Shoals so it will be available soon in audible and itunes for those who prefer a listen. Enjoy the story your way!
In The Enigma Wraith we have added in a character based on a dear friend in the Emerald Isle. The banter between John C and our returning Jacob leads to all sorts of stories, tall tales as it were. The interaction between these two men sparks some ideas on how to solve the real problem. The problem is a serious one in a renowned financial institution, but John reminds the readers life needs a bit of humor interjected, all in name of fun. He enjoys leading Jacob and others in this story on a merry chance of serious versious invented. It might be hard to tell the difference. Let us know your thoughts. The Enigma Wraith is also being transformed into an audible. Expect it before the April Showers of 2018.
In this scene Jacob is in New York City tieing up some loose ends when he finds himself in the middle of something he can't explain or more specifically shouldn't explain. Add in the fact that he misses his lady, Petra, so much, his mind seems to be projecting her into all the wrong places. He phones his mentor, Quip, asking for help, only to have his comments questioned and dissected. The more Jacob explains what occurred, the more Quip tries to get to what he thinks is the truth. In this case, the direction of the conversation is definitely taking an odd turn as Quip tries to live vicariously through Jacob's events. Can you see this happening as you explain to someone who wasn't there?
These two characters hide behind their Avatar names as they play a game of cat and mouse. In the game, the outcome is only certain if the players have been properly identified to each other. In this case one of them has the upper hand. The control at this point in time for Mephisto is based upon having the freshness factor of information at his fingertips. Callisto is not confident and thus is easily manipulated. However being placed at a disadvantage tends to bring out the strongest emotions in people. Will Callisto be able to rise to the challenges she will face to win? This is the question we'd like you to consider with this story and then let us know.
Jacob and Quip continue to do the one-upmanship routines with lively banter and endless teasing. Quip has found over time that Jacob is not one to defer to Quip as the Comeback Master. In The Enigma Wraith we wanted to investigate the different ways programs and algorithms could be used for good and evil. Even as these brilliant characters are working to solve the problem they still find time to relieve the stress with some locker room talk that ends up with Petra stepping in. We believe it is important for children to have adult supervision so they don’t run amok. Like many of us, the more tired you are the sillier you get. Do you find that to be the case? Let us know!
We have fun creating terms of our own. Acronyms are a way of life in most industries, especially technology. A list of others is on the website under concepts and terms. We made this a trademark of our series based on a bogus technical white paper we gave our manager many years ago. In this section two people are competing for acknowledgement and acceptance of their ideas. Prudence has no reservation about stepping over her slaughtered enemies to gain attention. The leader, Chairman Chang, happens to have a white tiger so she is trying to flatter them both We have known some very competitive people who are not always the best choice, but seems to make the most noise. Let us know if this reminds you of anyone you work with. Enjoy the fun as these two work to earn the top spot.
When you have technology and you have a problem you will hear excuses such as: That was an operator error; Just reboot the system; You obviously don't know anything: have you applied the latest patches?; or my favorite: Dial back in and give it to the Tier 1 support team. It is amazing how programs can go rogue and the reactions of people who use them. Is this the program, the operator, or perhaps even a combination. This story looks at all of these possibilities for random acts that are affecting so many different things. Do you accept the excuses given for technology or challenge it? Why? We would like to hear about your experiences particularly if your life was at risk.
When approaching a problem or trying to simply analyze current events, the R-Group tends toward casual and serious meetings with the ream, who are also family. There is also no shortage of terms that are specific to our writing style. From our extensive technology backgrounds we live with the unending array of terms specific to the technology industry and specific companies. We find this adds a small dab of spice into what could become a very dry subject. Do you have terms you use and would you ever create a term like NABOB? All our series specific terms can be found on our website in case you are intrigued.
One of our scenarios in this story is exploring what happens when business operations teams have reduced headcount to below minimums at the same time, becoming aware they may have chosen poorly. Our Irish lead, also a bit of a smart aleck when provoked by a manager he doesn't respect, John C, has a remarkable record of fixing nearly anything. He is a bit baffled with the interaction from his bank system administrator access as he investigates why all the bank resources disappeared. Can a hacker penetrate a firewall and cause havoc? Do you have a story about a breached network from someone you do business with? You can write and tell us... we will of course be tempted to weave it into another story in the series. And yes we will change the names to guard against embarrassment...
Petra is an encryption specialist by training and by practice. She has seen what people can do when they make assumptions or forget to ask questions. Her patience is typically in place until she is simply tired of dealing with someone. This is a person who has traveled extensively all over the world. She is petite and pretty but avoids drawing attention to herself. She is not a name dropper, because her clients are strict about confidentiality. How do you feel after your read this sampling? Would you like to know Petra better? How do you like the last word in their conversation?
It surprises a lot of people when they learn Texas has some pretty amazing wine products and a lot of boutique wineries. A business associate purchases some arable land with the right micro-climate and produces Merlot or tempranillo grapes. Local Texas vintners start blending and the rest is as they say history. That said, we had to spotlight one such winery in Texas. This particular winery captured our imagination with its history of being green, involving community in the processes, and creating award winning wines as a family business. It also made a perfect place for bad guys to test their Ghost-code which changed events with no trace. Hope you enjoy this snippet and come to Texas for some awesome wine. Let us know.
We have met and worked with some wild people, some of the better humored ones are from one of our favorite places, Ireland. They have style! This story has a scenario which takes in an Irish Bank that has some technology hiccups. After the work though there is always time left to visit the pub, have a Guinness or three, and be entertained by a visiting tattoo artist. A bawdy group, no doubt, but full of jokes and laughter. Do you take time to simply enjoy the moment? How would you treat a pub waitress? Don't forget who serves the pints...
With several budding romances in the story, it seemed perfect to focus on where the egos are. In this scene we wanted to see how a very strong-willed male might respond to being rebuffed. Petra and Quip have been friends since childhood and she feels almost obligated to put her opinion forward for consideration. Quip, the man with the quick wit and fast comebacks, is not about to be boxed into a corner. Do you take more needling from friends or lovers? Can you see yourself responding in a similar manner or does this give you ideas? Share some feedback on what you have done?
Petra and Jacob are at the forefront of this story. As with every story in the series we provide enough background for insight but do not include all the history. Technology adoption was and still is, to a degree, about getting users interested. Even with these two pros trying to crack a code, there is an element of fun and computer gaming added to pique their interest and of course tap into their competitive natures. We would categorize these two as frisky as well as competitive. Do you like the competitiveness of your significant other? Or is it spicier with someone not yet known either real or virtual? Mostly does it get under your skin and make you try harder or take a different approach? Is it the game or the individual? Let us know if this story hits any of your game playing elements as you enjoy the tale.
Our stories tend to have good guys versus bad guys. We add a bit of spice and tension with the head of this group being a Russian female protected by a large male that cannot quite get her to notice him more than in passing. The Dteam Leader, Zara, appreciates men and enjoys irritating her protector. She does placate her henchman, but it may be lacking in sincerity. Your thoughts? Where do you think the story will take them, it might just surprise you...
From our professional lives we have colleagues all over the world. Collaboration with these friends is better due to technology. We all have a healthy respect for technology and find it more fun to frequently share humor. One such person in the humor audience is a salt-of-the-earth lad in Galway. He allowed us to use him and several other lads we have known in this story. His feedback and insights during the creation were invaluable. The lighted hearted banter aligns perfectly with one of our main characters in the R-Group Not certain if he ever decided on the placement of the tattoo. Any speculations?
We know from experience that readers have their own preferences, period. We have also been faced with situations where workers and managers see things which are the same very differently. We really like to take the basic things and turn them just a bit to see how the responses from our characters change. From this short snippet, do you feel like you would relate to Pavan or the supervisor? You might want to read the whole story to see if you keep that viewpoint.
The random acts in this story are what we believe makes it so much fun. It all started when Burkey purchased a new smart car that seemed to actually have a mind of its own. Add a bit of our crazy imagination and the first scenario for Wraith was established. Technology that is so helpful also has the chance of being manipulated and causing issues. Take for example an OS upgrade on any of your own devices. Have you ever wondered if anyone actually tested it before they pushed it to you. And, when you are talking about updates being pushed to all the devices enabled for monitoring or remote access, do you ever think someone could make an unauthorized change? Let us know your thoughts or issues you have had...
The Enigma Series adds the 3rd techno-thriller volume, The Enigma Ignite, which has the world’s biggest powers competing for superiority. It’s not larger weapons or greater numbers of soldiers that top their wish lists. Instead, it’s the latest and greatest technological advances: nanotechnology, dynamic programming algorithms, and drones, working together to build the next generation of military communications. When a professor at a Texas university begins researching ways to improve animal husbandry and boost global food supplies, her results catch the eye of inquisitive engineer Keith Austin Avery—whose interests have nothing to do with solving world hunger. As Avery works on potential new uses for this technology, his research draws the attention of a powerful terrorist group, with traumatic results for him and his subcontractor Eilla-Zan Marshall. Now it’s up to the members of the R-Group to find the terrorists and their captives, using all the data and analytics at their disposal to leverage each and every piece of information. The fast-paced third installment of The Enigma Series has R-Group’s Jacob Michaels working closely with a powerful and talented team—with results that incorporate a satisfying balance of technology, surprisingly sensitive romance, and the blurred lines that surround the age-old conflict between good and evil.
Andrew is a seasoned telecommunications guru, one of the original works from home professionals. His home is in Georgia. Over time he remodeled a couple of the rooms into a data center. Carlos is talented satellite communications expert who needed a new start in life. Andrew aka Andy has given it to Carlos. The data center has all the latest capabilities and connectivity nestled in the "rock-n-roll domain". Together they can exchange information and expand their skills with each offering and each receiving. Andy is no fool, and Carlos is respectful of this "tough as nails" professional. See what you think of these two in this story. Mutual respect grows throughout the story. Available in Audiobook, ebook, and paperback.
In this story and in particular this chapter, new players are working together to optimize their solution. Often complex problems need to have a lighter side so Quip's humor, and now also Eilla-Zan's, seems to help relieve the tension and offer new options for finding the right solution. Quip does like to aggravate Jacob whenever possible. Using satellite technology with drones and nano technology is providing a new frontier to delve into and learn from the ground up. The Enigma Ignite is available in paperback, ebook, and also audible in case you are a listener.
There is a bit of tongue in cheek in this story with the military, regardless of the country. Some things do easily move from one country to another. The Communication Helmet Offering Multi Phased Kinetic Information, or CHOMPSKI is one approach to winning the race for military superiority. We found this particular exchange between the the Brits and Yanks way too much fun, as well as close to reality. Thanks to those that helped us with the finer points of miliary decorum. The next step for this project? You might want to read more than just this segment to find out or listen to the new audio version, now available on audible and itunes. Let us know. (and yes you will need to read the rest of the chapter to learn what the disparaging comment COBWEB means)
When we introduced Eilla-Zan (or EZ), she seemed to have a minor role and was represented as a sweet Georgia Peach. She was raised with that soft side, but also with great work ethic. As we expand her role, we try to illustrate her broad-based knowledge and as a tough-as-nails unified communications professional. Certainly she has a tuned sense of humor, yet will go toe-to-toe as a professional. This highlights her education, experience, and credentials in her subcontracting role. Working together with Keith, we want to bring a lens to her business strength, as well as her ability to contribute. You will find we continue this path as she appears in other books in the series. Check 'em out.
Arletta's rise within the agency was based more on her bosses wanting to move her on than put up the effort to remove her. Many civil servant jobs are difficult to be fired from, even with total incompetence. Arletta has a way of analyzing information well, but always makes people uncomfortable. In this scene she is annoying a contractor to the end of his limits. Sadly the contractor cannot just take the call as a disinterested party. Of course that is the the ambition of Arletta even is she does not see the direct results of her abrasive personality. Have you had to work with anyone like this? How did you get around it?
In this story we wanted to use the theme of nanotechnology to help with battlefield communications. Explaining this technology to older ranking officers is not easy but if you have a 2 x 4 handy you can communicate. We wanted to have a little fun with government contractors talking about this technology and how it might be applied. The Colonel's frame-of-reference was minimal and like other details that need to be related we found we needed to resort to the lowest common framework. Let us know if you think the Colonel will understand. We want your feedback.
It both the public and private sectors we have seen people in positions of power and authority who make us shake our heads in wonder. How did they reach such a lofty goal or who do they have photographs of have been discussed in different venues. We love strong, resilient, smart characters, but recognize that some less talented seem to get the brass ring for no apparent reason. Sometimes those with a few character flaws make our most interesting people to bring to life in the stories. Do you have experiences with incompetent people who have somehow been granted a position of power? Have you ever been compelled to send sympathy cards to their direct reports? Tell us your thoughts, we're listening.
The ongoing interplay between people in relationships is so relevant to all of us, whether business or personal. In volume 3 of The Enigma Series, Julie and Juan are at the start of their budding relationship. They both have to get their jobs done as well as learn about one another. This is one exchange where you can learn how they achieve compromise for a win/win. Does it look like he is being manipulated or is he just holding out for better terms? How do you like to negotiate with others? Does the tongue-tied little boy routine work as effectively as the teary lost little girl when hustling your opponent? When charming someone for the best terms of a deal what works best for you? We look forward to you commentary.
In this story applied nano-chip technology (NCT) is one of the mainstays. By itself it is not only a bit complex, but it can be boring if left untreated. We found early on that when explaining some of the complex subjects we sometimes bring to the stories it is important to make them interesting or at least give the readers a reason to chuckle or smile. For this introduction of an innovative method to use nanotechnology this chapter has not only a bit of sensual overtone, but was a perfect place to insert one of our own acronyms, POPTARTs. Let us know if this treatment works for you. All our special acronyms can be found on our website along with the story in which they are used. Enjoy the fun!
It is critical to us that the levels of technology advancements remains front and center to our techno-thriller series. Nanotechnology is one of the leading edge aspects which has yet to find the best usage in helping improve the quality of life. We bring back some of our series characters along with their their foundational knowledge in specific technology aspects to enrich the relevance of the stories. Quip, our main techno-geek is also learning to be a leader, yet his opinionated manner does not escape notice from the other E-Group leadership. It is a part of the richness of the series. Let us know what you think.
The relationships between the characters in a story can be long term but are typically stitched together with short term interactions. For two of our good guys the male bonding experience is an ongoing source of interest for us as authors and enjoyed by our readers. It is important that the exchanges are ones that make readers think and smile, said Breakfield on this particular exchange. And technology itself can be too serious and so we look to explore the fun side. Let us know what you think of this method of conveying subjects that are serious with a splash of humor. We think humans need to find the lighter side of life sometimes.
When a person moves from one way of life to another, as Carlos had to do when his identity was changed, it is important that you bring value to the new workplace. We wanted to capture that yet retain the fun and spirit of our telephony greybeard with our new satellite technology intersection. For these two experts at different sides of the technology spectrum, Rock 'n Roll was the glue that would let them enjoy the new and the old. If you are a fan of that music, you might recognize some of the server names and perhaps offer some of you own. Let us know.
We have several animals highlighted in the series, but Franklin was introduced in this volume. Su Lin is a key character in this story that explores chip technology, animal husbandry, and some of the relevant research projects on wearable versus embedded technologies. We leverage Franklin for this and his amazing relationship with Su Lin. Let us know if you enjoy this match up and how they progress through the story to its hopefully surprising conclusion. We would enjoy your feedback!
In some business settings the professional value between genders can be, well strained. Eilla-Zan is in a profession few women are accepted in, let alone operate as a contractor. We think people honestly want to be accepted for themselves and not come across as offensive. In human communications that's usually a tall order. We wanted to use a bit of humor to defuse what could become a HR nightmare between a very brilliant and beautiful female and a smart male who frankly appreciates a pretty girl, especially after the horrible conversation that he had concluded before she appeared. Sometimes verbal fencing mixed with some humorous twists can define a solid working relationship between two people. Do you think people say or do things they really don't mean? Is it true that meaningful communications occur at multiple levels? Can people work together even better based on how a beginning meeting was diffused? Has anything similar ever happened to you (we'd love to hear about it)?
We have all had folks we work which are challenging. How to be politically correct and what not to say, etc. This chapter came about because of a manager that was simply painful. We wanted to find a fun way to vent and really get it out rather than being politically correct. See if you find yourself in this situation and let us know if you were far more satisfied with this honest, transparent exchange.
We like to use unusual acronyms to help offset difficult concepts in the technical world. True to form, in this chapter we introduce the concept of reliable battlefield communications as a significant problem to be solved in modern warfare. The issues are legitimate but like everything, it is how you approach it. Some of our readers, in the military and former military, thought this was a hoot! Let us know, please what you think! Hint, there is also a CHOMPSKI in here that might tickle your fancy...
The series highlights a group in Europe that began their business with a copy of the Enigma Machine. For those of you not aware, the Enigma Machine is actually the forerunner of today's computer. This small snippet illustrates two things. First, is the capabilities of the R-Group at a high level. These are talented people that are educated and think out of the box (male or female). Second, is some insight to our brand of acronyms. In most companies, especially those founded on technology the acronyms go on forever and at times the same letter combination can mean different things. We like to make up words and in this excerpt ICABOD our supercomputer than grows smarter with each book is discussed. It would be nice to know if you have feelings for our supercomputer...
We like to capture the imagination of our readers early, yet leave them guessing. JAC is one of valued characters who takes all sorts of risks and assumes the role she needs for her various R-Group assignments. JAC's saving Ling is a first step toward allowing some new technology enhancements to take root is some very different ways. The technology is real and is very possible. Those of you who might consider this si-fi needs to understand that technology today is moving us faster and further in what is possible. This story is about using what is possible and not crossing the wrong people in the process. It moves fast from the outset and will keep readers guessing all the way to the end.
The political climate in the world is unnerving. North Korea is running missile tests, but where are they getting their deadly supplies? Meanwhile, terrorists are hiding in plain sight, using American technology that is out on display in libraries and museums for the world to see, but are using analog methods to gather and assemble their information. No internet searches equal no red flags which lets the bad guys believe they are operating undetected. But the Cyber Assassin Technology Services (CATS) team is on the job. As Juan and Julie Rodríguez send their operatives out across the globe to track down these foot soldiers also known as Analog Information Mules, they’ll discover the horrible potential treats, and learn about each other along the way. Mike and Marge control ePETRO, an oil shipping business with offices in London and New York, but they don’t have the same business goals in mind. Marge intends to sell the North Koreans uranium in addition to oil obtained illegally from the government sanctioned Middle East. But Mike may have other plans, mainly, keeping the profits of these sales for himself. Then there is the mysterious Steven Christopher, who oversees the AIMs, and is working several angles behind the scenes. Steven is the only one trusted by both Marge and Mike, but why? The CATs team has feet on the ground, with Ernesto and Tyler following two women through Washington, D.C. as they visit the Smithsonian looking for nuclear fusion processes and down the Texas coast where a dangerous package makes its way onto a ship bound for Asia. Jamie, an Irish man with a heartbreaking past, joins the team in Texas and finds not only a new job, but acceptance. George and Summit travel across Asia following the oil and some suspiciously mislabeled furniture. After a rocky start at being paired up, Mercedes and Brayson head to Panama and are watching a previously known Dark Net data center, but Mercedes is soon extracted to help out in D.C. She quickly becomes embroiled in Steven Christopher’s world. Brayson is left behind alone in Panama and, still recovering from a lost love, learns that he can’t truly be a part of the team until he has forgiven himself. While Juan stays with Quip and his supercomputer ICABOD, tracking his team members and relaying constantly updated information at the team’s nerve center, Julie heads to London. Julie finds herself in the center of all the trouble as she goes undercover in the ePETRO offices. When Julie disappears, Juan drops everything to find her. Quip loops his wife EZ, a Unified Communications expert, to help monitor and control the CATS team movements so that operatives can find the culprits in their different theaters of operation. The Enigma Dragon is chilling journey across four continents, and twelve cities that uncovers terrifying possibilities of what is to become of our world if the CATS team cannot defeat our enemies.
Jamie as originally introduced in Gamers (The 1st CATS Tale). He is an opportunistic man with good skills, but underlying guilt which seems to harm his success. He is an Irish lad who can't seem to out-distance his heartache. He has had great ups and perilous downs. We wanted a chance to further develop this character and see if others on the CATS team could help him reach his potential. Ernesto is the mentor we decided might just be up to the challenge. He is smart, experienced, and level headed. Both of these characters have pivotal roles. Please let us know if you enjoy them. Remember, it's not always your fault.
The CATS Team has not worked together for too long. Being all Type 'A' personalities from a more competitive, highly organized, ambitious, impatient, militarily trained and independent perspective makes pairing them up even tougher. This story uses this to further develop these talented individuals. It also allowed us to further develop these complex characters who may return to other stories if they survive. But as with any work teams, this can be challenging when pushed together. Having their boss Julie just out of sight during this exchange could make it more tense or lighten the load. What do you think? Do you have a boss like this or something far different?
In The Enigma Dragon, we force Quip and and Juan into working together. We do this to stretch both of these fun characters as well as to give them different interactions. Quip has always been very proud of the data center he created and the way it has evolved. He likes the idea of showing it off to Juan. We thought it would be fun to surprise Quip a bit by Juan and see if they could actually bond in a different way. Quip is perhaps digitally superior, but Juan has some envious attributes. Please let us know what you think and where you think there relationship will end up? (by the way, how is your scorpion karate kick?)
Julie and Juan have just returned with EZ and Quip from their vacation. Julie is not only like a sister to Quip, but her background in protection, from all comers, allowed EZ and Quip to enjoy a honeymoon in paradise, with family as bodyguards. Arriving at the flat in Zurich, the reconnaissance was job one. Juan is a bit too invasive, in the eyes of Quip, as he scours the flat for electronic or lethal devices, unaware that Quip has technology oversight for just that purpose. Plus, as much as the two couples like each other as family, Quip is more than ready to have some private time with his wife. EZ has a bit more finesse as she coyly takes what could be a very awkward situation to a whole new level. You'll need to read the rest to find all the nuances. And yes it will appeal to your prurient interests. Enjoy the fun.
The Enigma Dragon is focused on the CATS team headed by Julie and Juan. In this tale the team tracks the leads for how communication can be accomplished effectively without a digital footprint. To do this we brought back the team from The Enigma Gamers in different roles. Brayson has some issues he can't quite overcome. This scene early on shows how his loss is holding him back. The result is he has challenges reliably completing assignments alone, let alone as part of a two man team. He is trapped in a cycle of grief that needs some significant event to move forward. Who on the team will help him win? This will be available for pre-order by the end of September from our website. (By the way, did you get needed help during a rough patch of your own?)
AUDIBLE, eBook, and Paperback formats! When a Brazilian industrialist hires the R-Group, the world’s most elite information-gathering unit, to track the disappearance of his daughter, a dangerous but quiet hunt begins. But just finding her doesn’t mean all will be well. The team in Switzerland follows the leads from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean, but the data trail is leading nowhere. Sometimes the most important clues come from unlikely sources. By chance two members of the elite team, vacationing in Mexico, cross paths with Carlos and Juan’s fly-by-night operation. Cloaking their “moving business” from satellite surveillance, their unique talent for relocating drug lords targeted by the Mexican authorities, along with their cash, gold, artwork and other assets, was legendary. These are Bad Boys, so-called entrepreneurs, who even the most generous observer would question the legality of their business model. Can the R-Group assemble the pieces of the puzzle without international consequences? Will the brothers stop running outside the law long enough to do the right thing? Can you hide from your past and still enjoy the present? Is the heiress hiding in plain site or gone forever? And can the brothers rein in their contempt for societal rules and leave behind the sweet deals long enough to save a life? The Enigma Rising continues the award winning Breakfield and Burkey’s series, overcoming opportunistic cyber-crime in the high-stakes world of information brokering in the 21st century. With its strong cast of characters, this engaging techno-thriller of lost and found, and lost again, will take you on an incredible journey into the dark side of technology.
Carlos and Juan have a cobbled together an operation made up of some rough characters that need to stay out of sight, for their good and yours. The business they have been in is simply not working so a collaborative discussion finds perhaps a new avenue. These bad boys are willing to take risks to achieve their goals, but perhaps their out-of-the-box thinking will open up new avenues. It also could be a whole new way to get themselves killed.They are not completely legit but certainly not all bad. What's not to like about them? As misfits, the sidekicks of Carlos and Juan are really a piece of work. They often have a hard time getting out of their own way, but once in a while come up with real gem ideas. The secondary characters in The Enigma Rising add color and spontaneity. Try it in ebook, paperback, and also audio. Our voice actor Derek Shoales really made Juan and Carlos our favorite bad boys!
Two of our favorite characters, Petra and Jacob were raised in a very non-traditional manner, education and training way before socialization. For them relationships have been digital rather than human except for family support and love. We wanted to work with these types of characters to work through how they develop their social skills later in life. The Enigma Rising tracks their blossoming into what partner relationship means even as they are thrown back into cyber dangers. These characters are a fun to work with and you will enjoy seeing them evolve and grow. Let us know. We thought so much of them that we asked Petra and Jacob what they thought of the series. Check out their conversation on our website.
We have found people will do things for many different reasons. Sometimes it's greed, fame, power, or just because they can. What are the reasons you take actions? Do you find yourself cheering on characters who are doing something you only wished you might do? If we have villians and heroes, who decides the winner and loser? We wanted to show that often the obvious is in plain sight if someone just looks. When we look though, we can be guilty of not seeing.
We enjoy the technology evolution process and wanted to mix the new in with the tried and true. We also wanted to bring in some new personalities for humor and balance. Quip is certainly well equipped to stay ahead of the technology curve and be on the "cutting" edge. Everyone that is not on the "cutting" edge shouldn't be discounted. Andrew, or Andy as he is also know is one such character. Andy learned telecommunications from the ground up. He also learned about people from his years in the service and homing his skills. He is also a Southern gent that likes to tease and tells a great story. This is a bit of how he and Quip are on opposites of teasing zones, yet still respect one another. Respect is good but don't forget to tease a little!
It takes some really special research to gain some insights to identity theft and reusing it for someone new. Technology offers some new ways to generate all sorts of documents that may pass the tests of various countries and financial institutions. However, like most things you get what you pay or trade for. In this case we have bad guys from two different organizations that are trying to negotiate the best deals. Don't your business negotiations focus on the best deal for their side of the table?
The R-Group's lead, Otto, enjoys providing services and staying one step ahead. His business expertise is always carefully hedged on keeping information avenues open even with those who are sometimes enemies. Chang has two orphans, Won and Ton that he has been training to take on additional responsibility. They are usually in a watch and learn mode but don't always seem to grasp the subtleties. They have a delightful capacity to be threatening henchmen one minute then just little boys the next. Throughout the series they provide tense drama as well as comic relief. This illustrates the ability of those in the R-Group to know what is going on and provide a service even as it later might become self-serving. Some enemies need to be held closer than others. You never know in business, do you?
Volume 2 of The Enigma Series has several threads, one of which is the blossoming romance between Jacob and Petra. They went to Mexico to take a vacation, but it seems work is interrupting some of their plans. These days work often interrupts folks vacations if they permit it to, however if they took the path posed to Petra, it might be worth it. We like to explore the mix of work and family. Most companies say family life if important, but the intrusion of work on a planned holiday can be annoying. How have your vacations been impacted by work? Do you permit that sort of access. I know my co-author simply goes where no cell or connectivity is available, problem solved.
Juan and Carlos are two men that have gained the attention of the R-Group and not just because Petra and Simone are becoming friends. Carlos has engaged with Jacob for some data system forensics. As the story progresses the brothers seem to touch a nerve into the members of the R-Group. Are they good guys or bad guys? Will it be technology or good old-fashioned business transactions that will tell the story? With many balls in the air, trying to determine which one to focus on poses its own challenge. Does this ever happen to you? Let us know. The R-Group resources of both technology expertise and caring people are highlighted with this thread. Tell us if you agree!
Do you ever have those days when work is simply not for you? We don't mean vacation time or a long holiday weekend, but you think you have the economics of life tied up in a neat package and can kick back and enjoy. Maybe launch that business you've always promised yourself? In this section, some of our Bad Boys, who have been tracking left of center, decided they wanted out of a very lucrative work life, with the downsides by some standards simply not that bad. Carlos takes the information and provides a spin and viewpoint that makes his intentions quite clear. Do you see him as sympathetic, harsh, unclear, or just a businessman protecting his own? Have you known anyone with a similar mindset? We have! Tell us more...
In this chapter, Jacob and Petra are settled into their hotel for a romantic getaway as they plan to get to know one another outside of their mutual love of technology. This adventure doesn't mean they are tied at the hip. Petra hasn't been a social female and we wanted to test her ability to simply find a friend totally out of her normal comfort level. Like many females there is a nature comparison that occurs. Do you compare yourself to others your meet and make assumptions? Who is the most uncomfortable in this scene and where do you think this new relationship could go? Tell us your thoughts...
One of main characters, Petra, is a geek and has been her whole life. She has worked on her encryption craft rather than friendships and lovers. In this story she is seeking both in the midst of working a case of tracking the source of cloaked telecommunication signals. Finding a girl that simply has no interest in technology, but wants to also have a buddy is new for both of these ladies as they start to learn about one another by the pool. This frank discussion shows how ladies give their opinions freely and run to the defense of even new friends. How real is this for you in acquiring friends you haven't known since grade school? what are the differences you've found with gaining new non-work relationships? Let us know.
The way our characters interact with each other and with others, we believe help engage our reader's imagination. Jacob and Petra, both techno geeks, are on a romantic holiday to learn about this new relationship. Carlos and Simone are in a similar situation. This dinner comes on the heels of a great meeting between the females earlier in the day at the pool. These men are just meeting now and are not trusting of strangers. The different ways these men approach business and their dinner companions could have an impact on their after dinner activity. What do you think about their discussion and how would your react in a similar situation? How do you approach your relationships? We'd love your feedback.
When all is lost, sometimes there is a hand that will reach out to you. We suggest you take that helping hand for your left turn to destiny. Carlos, one of the bad boys in this story, wandered into the bar of his hotel. He was just looking to relax for the evening with a cool cerveza before retiring when a lady caught his interest. Like many males, when a lady looks interesting you try your best line. In this chapter his line turns into so much more. We wanted the readers to wonder if the line was good enough for this female. You likely need to read the whole chapter to get the true picture, but we would love your feedback of this small sampling. Will Carlos get the lady?
This exchange between Carlos and Jesus (his uncle) may not be your normal family conversation, but we can guess you too have had your moments when family is being close to impossible. If Carlos and Juan are simply Bad Boys, then Jesus is really, really bad in a 'I have to protect my family sort of way'. Sometimes one can do too much in the name of family. This, however, does provide some insight to Carlos' commitment to family which is carried on throughout the story. Heck, we like to think of him as a Bad Boy with a creamy inside that everyone ends up liking. Have you had anyone like this in your life, or in your family?
Writing for us is fun. We use people and places we have been and weave them into our stories. One such character created for The Enigma Rising was Johnston. Johnston is a composite of some folks that we did not like with all the crazy characteristics they possessed wrapped into one little package. He is deliciously annoying and yet memorable to those who have read our stories. In this portion of the story, a bank that will provide safe harbor for ill gotten goods is explored by the Bad Boys. In this small segment what are your thought about the gent and would you like to do business with him? One other comment, we like to incorporate folks we have know over our business careers and even personally. We have discovered that many folks like the idea of being an evil character in our stories. Let us know if you would enjoy being in a story as the next evil genius. Let us know.!
We wanted to bring in our rogues very early to the story so we introduce them in Chapter 1. These men are in the mold of traditional Bad Boys. You know they type Moms warn their daughters to stay away from, but never works. These characters are taken from real people we have known, but with that wild side buffed to a higher gloss. Carlos and Juan were born in Mexico and spent a great deal of time learning the ins and outs of profiteering to rise above their station. They have a rule book that defines right from wrong that which might not align to you as a reader, but we hope they will keep you on your toes. They end up in a situation where our hero's within the R-Group can help them or annihilate them. These two men are strong characters which several of our reviewers found they related quite closely to, even if they didn't want their little girls anywhere near them. You decide and let us know!
In this 8th installment of Breakfield and Burkey's techno-thriller series a new threat throws people and markets into turmoil. All around the world, commodity prices are plummeting, and nobody asks why. The steep drop in the markets for oil, copper, coal, and other commodities threatens to destabilize nations and bring them to the verge of economic collapse. Amid fears that further drops in value could devastate civilization, the R-Group quietly engages. The R-Group was formed during World War II. After delivering the Enigma machine to the British, they used their copy of the device to safeguard wealth and property from the Nazis. Today they use information-gathering and security capabilities to protect us from cyber-attack. Jacob and Petra begin investigating the free fall in oil prices and soon discover disturbing clues that may implicate a “dark matter organization”—a shady organization that leaves no digital footprint behind. Meanwhile, ICABOD, the group’s supercomputer, teams up with government investigators to identify potential suspects. Quip and EZ also apply their special talents assiduously to the case but don’t let their work interfere with their blossoming relationship. The Enigma Broker, the eighth book in the Enigma Series, takes readers on a thrilling journey into a dangerous digital underworld while raising troubling questions about our dependence on technology and our obsession with social media.
Wolfgang is a seasoned financial professional who practically eats numbers morning, noon, and night. He possesses an amazing recall of past events to relate to behaviors today. He and Quip sometimes have opposing views which could be attributed to generational differences or jaded perspectives. In this portion of the story the changes in the commodities market, focusing on oil at this point, is coming into question. Wolfgang outlines how one could game a very established system to cause radical results in the commodities market. His logical presentation of his point of view is nearly discounted out of hand until Wolfgang adds the lessons of history. Could his point be valid for more than just this story? Let us know.
ICABOD is a supercomputer with special enhancements provided by Dr. Quip over time. At this point the logic that Wolfgang, the financial guru of the R-Group, is being exercised by ICABOD to enhance the focus for specific transaction types. Wolfgang, our financial genius, has always done his financial analytics using the traditional methods existing for decades. The exposure to the capabilities of the supercomputer is opening up new horizons. Quip realizes that his programming of ICABOD from an A.I. aspect is open to expanding the processes being encountered from a follow the money perspective. It is a positive yet disarming realization for Quip. Can the gains only come at losses that might occur?
In this story we wanted to further explore and expand the relationship between the father and daughter, with a focus on their business acumen. At this juncture they both run different but very successful companies. Thiago also sees this as an opportunity to keep Lara current on his business, just in case. Now that she is all grown up, Thiago admires her capabilities, yet still thinks of her as his daughter. To a degree this is the world over effort of fathers taking care of daughters while daughters worry about making their fathers proud. If you are a father, do you help your daughter grow and learn? Can you see your relationship in this snippet?
These days it seems the swindles come out of the woodwork for the older generation. The days of happy retirement and relaxing may in reality not be enough to fill in boredom, regardless of the original profession. Older folks are wise, experienced, and sometimes a little too trusting. We wanted to add a bit of that flavor as Carlos and Juan worry about their only living blood relative. Jesus is as sharp as ever or sharp as a tack, depending upon one's viewpoint. Do any of you have family members who seems to invest oddly as they get older, or simply look at more of those catalogs in the mail. Is marketing a weapon aided by technology for distribution? Enjoy!
We have met lot of fascinating people in our business travels. People and those interactions often come into the stories in unexpected ways. Flying in private commercial aircraft gives a totally different viewpoint. If you ever come across a flight attendant like Cathy you will be entertained and yet recognize that she puts your safety first. These days flying with the masses is hardly ever fun or entertaining. You may hear stories from a seatmate, but you likely won't be laughing with the crew. It's almost as if aircraft travel has become a suspended animation experience. Let us know what sort of flight attendant you would rather have on a flight. Someone only there for your safety or someone who creates a richer customer experience while traveling?
Our immersive roles as technology geeks has us tasked daily delivering more enablers for collaboration and productivity which should help drive an enhanced customer experience. However we find sometimes that the technical solutions we work with end up growing legs and becoming their own worse enemy. My co-author was accosted by the "Ergonomic Police" for not using the adjustable desk and chair properly at his work station. In this sequence we wanted to show how technology could adapt to how the individual works rather than the other way around. We feel that should be the guiding principle in our field. We added the way the work areas are adaptive to individuals because everyone tends to work and play a bit differently. We see it in products that come to market and we feel it with the changes in the work environment. Tell us what you are seeing in your work environment and how you would like to see it changed.
Good investigations occur by both the 'man' in the field and the back office analytics nerds. This particular character, Stalker, has been a field spook for a long time. We like putting him into situations where he is out of his element, just to see what he stumbles into, especially as he wants to change the types of assignment he works. In his chapter he is totally out of his comfort zone. His boss of many years, doesn't mind the full insight from Stalker, but has found it to be off topic at times. The two have this easy relationship even when working the tough cases. In an unstable work environment does the free-form banter with others help get you through a rough patch? If you are in a work role with the rules constantly changing can those around you help with the transition? Stalker feels that way, how about you?
Some people simple like the answer in crisp, succinct bullets. We have worked for someone like that perhaps you have as well. Then there are those that really like to see all the details of how you arrived at a decision point or a solution. We have all met people that really take this to the far limits of the subject and possibly set off your snooze-o-meter. The team often likes to try to yank Quip's chain and this chapter provides a clear view of how that can be accomplished. Note, it is okay if he does it but not if others do. Let us know if that reminds you of someone you know. Enjoy!
Like most of us, Roundhouse and his bride of 30 years, Mildred, are simply trying to understand the sands of time. Wives of over 20 years, like Mildred, often take an active interest. Social media is an outlet that can help people see the bigger world and possibly another point of view. Many today find it important to get the agreement of a thousand of their closest friends on almost any subject. We use this as a jumping off point for a viral sensation Mildred creates later in the story. Because, as we all know how vicious and even lethal the wrong statement on social media can be. How much do you rely on social media outlets? Do they help shape your opinions? In the end, Roundhouse and Mildred are a solid couple that just love one another in spite of what life throws at them. Send us your opinions.
Our U.S. feds often call upon our series heroes within the R-Group when the battle becomes undefined. Behind closed doors these two have some odd idiosyncrasies which come out at the strangest times during their working relationship. Sometimes it helps to take complex cyber vulnerabilities and contrast them with slightly non-nonsensical mundane things like Jim's jelly donuts being snitched. But crimes are crimes right? And to be honest with our readers, humor takes all sorts of forms. What are your thoughts? Have you thought of people in roles designed to protect in this sort of setting? If not, why not?
Juan and Carlos have looked after one another for a long time. The only family they still have left alive is an uncle who tends to live life to the fullest. Which is to say he excels at getting into trouble. He'd been set up by his nephews to life an easy life, but he simply could not enjoy the lack of challenge. In this chapter he is trying very hard to convince Juan that he did the right thing for the right reasons. He certainly has his own colorful way of expressing himself and the steps he took. Do you have to deal with anyone like this? How would you handle the situation? Hope you enjoy the fun!
In this chapter both Petra and Jacob know something is wrong, but simply can't find it. They are frustrated at missing a piece of the puzzle that will likely make things a bit clear. To help shift the thinking somewhat, Petra adds a bit of humor and get Jacob to join it. She hopes it will get them thinking out of the box. Do you have special techniques to help redirected your thoughts in order to solve a problem? Does humor work for you in approaching tough problems, or does humor even work for you? Let us know and be sure to read the rest of the story to find out what the missing puzzle piece is.
For us the writing is a mixture of very serious technology reality and delving into the character interactions. We use several methods to develop the interplay between each of our main characters. One of the things we seem to effortlessly include are custom acronyms. In the technology field, like many businesses a in-house speak is developed. The same holds true for our stories. In this case the serious positioning of DDD is one such effort. We want our readers to have fun discovering our many creations. What do you think. Check out the page on our website where we include them all. Enjoy this snippet, read the story.
Alisha and LJ are the minor bad guys in this tale and possibly in over their heads. Alisha has shown her ability in the past to be tough and harsh, but in this scene we wanted to show a different side that only her full time time male would see. We hope her analogy back to a childhood event would make people sympathize and chuckle at the imagery. Does it help you picture her as a young girl aggravating her brother and his friends? Do you think this influenced where she wanted to take her life and what she wanted to do? Are these people just two kids playing at adults? Let us know.
When taking on a new area like commodities trading, we try to prepare our readers with a level set. In this chapter, we wanted to look not just at commodities trading, but some of the people who are in that world. By seeing things through their eyes, we provide a level set on the market and how pricing may be impacted. Some people in business forget to focus on the business side and rather try to slide by on their looks or flirtations. We felt many readers could relate to this and wanted to have one of our favorite male characters in the right light. What do you think? Do situations come up in business that could be suggestive and shouldn't be?
American has a vast amount of resources which are a part of the commodities market. We noticed that as the world changes with technology inroads like solar and wind power generation, the impact on portions of the commodities marketplace can be dramatic and transform communities seemingly overnight. Commodities trading is too abstract for most folks so to make it more engaging we explore the abstract as told by our characters who have to endure a technology driven problem. We added the aspect of trains which transport various resources along with the people who have worked in that field their whole lives. Roundhouse is a character typical of many people we have worked with in the field. We also used a bit of Burkey's uncle in the character development as he received his gold watch for 50 years of service. Hardworking people do not take kindly to being ignored or used unfairly. Let us know if you know of anyone impacted in a similar manner.
We have always like technology embedded into our stories because our other professional careers contain a lot of technology. Our R-Group operations center puts Workforce Experience at the top of list making this a top place for folks to want to work. The difference is you must be invited to work here. In this segment we have an extensive description of the work space of Jacob's and how he takes capabilities and adapts to his physiology and his work needs. It also hints at how work spaces of the others differ. Is this a work space of the future or can you have it now? Would you want this type of work space? Wouldn't this make a great gift for the techo-geek on your list? A little view of what goes on in our techno-thriller stories! Please share your thoughts!
The series is written in such a way that readers can start with any book and enjoy the story because we add enough background to help frame the interactions. It is richer when it is read in total (plus we appreciate that dedication from a reader). In this chapter, our heroes within the R-Group are investigating the issue of predatory pricing, but with a twist using commodities. We found this as the focus for this story because of the radical swings we are seeing across all the markets, along with several countries' populations being displaced through economic churn. We added the realities of the world and how these elements can have wide impact, especially with commodities. A new book trailer was recently posted to our website to also highlight how this is possible in our techno thriller. Let us know what you think.
Even Bad Boys like Carlos and Juan make family count every time. Their uncle has his own set of challenges and trials even after they had his identity alerted with the help of the R-Group team and relocated him out of harms way. Uncle Jesus had been missing for long enough that the brothers wanted to initiate a private hunt. While older Carlos is at home, Juan has been on the quest to find his uncle. We enjoy adding humor to even the most serious situations. What do you think of the humor and the right turn at the end of this chapter? How did it make you feel? Do you want to read the whole chapter?
Writing about relationships in a story can be challenge especially with lots of characters and many blossoming relationships. As much fun as steamy prose in the sheets can be, this couple EZ and Quip, are in the early stages of their romance and living arrangement. We wanted to have some real fun with the natural division of chores that might be much more interesting foreplay. Do you think that playing around with chores is more fun than doing them? What other chores would be fun to play at as a forerunner to more passion? Brokers has several, but this is one way couples might consider to learn about another before making a lifetime commitment. What are your thoughts? Did we hit the mark?
We think it is important to add humor into our stories, it helps Burkey practice. We find that sometimes humor is used in strange ways in many of our real life exchanges. This is what we try to bring into our tales. We find that everyone has a different sense of humor. Sometimes it is used for simply laughing, to relieve stress, or acknowledging how absurd a situation appears. As a wise philosopher once said without humor there would be no way for us to deal with a lot of things in our life. What are your uses of humor? We might incorporate it into our next story.
In this chapter we are introducing a major bad player. We wanted no doubt in the reader's mind that this leader was simply bad to his core. Some leaders are nurturing in their handling of their team members so they can grow; others micro-manager their people and allow no free thought process; there is a third kind that seems to actually thrive on the torment designed to cultivate fear. The last group of leaders definitely subscribe to the this third approach with a 'pays to advertise' mindset. We thought this would be the most impactful way to represent absolute evilness for a new character. Of course, this might just be loosely based on a boss or two in our professional career. Let us know if you see anybody you know....
Sometimes a new destiny occurs in the turn of a minute. This story was launched based on current world events where markets no longer conform to the old rules and where old technologies with conventional wisdom are being replaced with a new frightening one. We also wanted to weave in how decisions or crossroads in life can take a person one way or another. Some are minor crossroads and some are major. This minor event changed this character in a major way. Have you ever made a decision early on in life and then wondered what if you had chosen differently? Come explore what occurs when the wrong path is taken and there is no way to take it back.
What is the result of combining unlimited computing power, a zealous desire to manipulate all but the elite humans, and a morally crippled mathematical genius? Unfettered anarchy! Can the ever-growing torrent of information, analyzed by sophisticated computer systems, neutralize freedoms of choice, then steer us into a pre-determined destination?
Unidentified power mongers are plotting massive destabilization of the stock market, with the end game to not only optimize their wealth, but to also control the future. No need to cut a nervous investor off in traffic to initiate a stock market crash. All you need is unlimited computer power and the ethical nihilism to manipulate lives.
The R-Group, a high-level information gathering and security team, believes at least one group—possibly several—are using Big Data analysis to customize the future to their image. Jacob, Petra, EZ, Quip and the rest of the R-Group battle along with Julie and Juan’s fledgling group of Cyber Assassin Technology Services teams to locate the source of the massive computing power required. Could these cyber schemers be as good at analyzing the information as the R-Group themselves?
Unless the R-Group can neutralize this unrelenting threat, humanity’s future will be determined by a select few. Are people unwittingly feeding an ever-growing tsunami of information into increasingly sophisticated computer systems? This begs the question: who controls whom?
Award winning authors Breakfield and Burkey bring the 5th book in The Enigma Series, The Enigma Stolen, into the relevant world of Big Data and analytics. Can all the information available provide a reliable method of predicting the future? Who are the winners when humans are herded to a machine’s targeted end point?
Dmitry is as demanding as every other male Zara has ever encountered. The more powerful the position held, she found the more demanding and arrogant the requests. Zara's character complexities are a result of her early years and the interactions with dubious characters. At this point in her evolution she is a risk taker and driven for her own success. She tries to hide her weaknesses from those who would try to use them to their advantage. Dmitry has evolved into more of an egotistical maniac and is certain no one is his better. He is the type who tries to think three steps ahead of his enemies. The Enigma Stolen is in production as an audible with release planned for the summer of 2018. Enjoy!
With new waves of technology it is common for folks to voice skepticism. In The Enigma Stolen the idea that data will rule over human choice comes into question. We also wanted to show how the team reacts to the possibilities of a relationship between unrelated incidents. On a broader scale most people can be herded to the direction of a marketing campaign, compulsive purchase, or even eating a certain type of food with very little effort. Taking a leap with Big Data and the analytics which go along with it, takes us to a level we might not be prepared for. How do you see Big Data impacting your choices? (By the way did you use free will to get here or did Big Data Computing steer you here? Just asking…)
All of you who travel by air have the fun of going through the security checkpoints. Okay, it truly isn't fun, but strange things can happen. In this chapter Quip and EZ run into a young man who seems polite and apologetic. The end result of that chance meeting sets off a chain of events which takes Quip and EZ into a view of how the future can be predicted. The Enigma Stolen focuses on how the future can predicted, manipulated and stolen by supercomputers. Do you think the future is here today? Of course its not all bad if you have an A.I. supercomputer on your side!
The supercomputer, ICABOD, is a study in technology evolution, which its creator, Quip, has expanded on with different capabilities and AI attributes. The idea of learning humor, quite honestly, came about because Burkey wanted to learn humor. As this subject was addressed and analyzed, it may be true that timing and delivery of humor is better in some people rather than others. What kind of humor resonates with you? What do you think is funny versus a coworker, friend, family member? Is it the timing, delivery, visuals, or simply the individual? Can a supercomputer be programmed to delivery humor or will that be one of the few things a computer cannot learn?
Quip has been pulling out all the stops to impress the lady who captured his heart. His latest idea was to provide a fabulous dinner at an elegant restaurant, to impress with good food, atmosphere, and of course chocolate. EZ was born and raised on a nice farm outside of Atlanta Georgia, making this a different perspective. He wanted to celebrate her agreeing to move in with him and make certain those included with Zurich's elite could be introduced. If you wanted to impress a lady, where might you take her? What sort of venue would she find irresistible? We would love to hear your ideas, might use one in a future story..
In this series creating a group which is a high-end information brokers allows readers insight into the group's internal dynamics. It might seem like the group is not as hidden as it might be, however it is by design and the reader has the inside track. All covert types of organizations have elements that are visible like the CIA but getting a peek behind the scenes is quite difficult. Reasonable people typically operate at face value with others but our information brokers examine things from all points of view. The reason being is that once information integrity is lost, all is lost. So guarding your information treasure chest is job #1 for these folks and even loved ones have to be graded. It is what helps define their wide view of the world and customers that trust them. Of course, access to big data and the processing power to provide the analytics on it, doesn't hurt.
All deals have downside and upside. At times if one party feels injured by a previous deal, then the costs can have interesting caveats. We have seen some crazy caveats to business deals, especially when technology is the focus. We have also seen that where there are guys and technology, you will likely find food and drink. These two gents have paths that originally crossed in college. It allows them to use that history as they partner up for their next business arrangement. Have you been a part of or witnessed some wild transactional agreements? Tell us your craziest. We'll leave your name off :-)
The stories in this series takes advantage of technology inroads available today, including expanding the capabilities of supercomputers with Artificial Intelligence (AI). Toward this end one of the goals of the 5th book in the series is to impart the salient points of humor to our AI character, ICABOD. Part of this was also to help Burkey better understand humor. Explaining humor is a very involved point, not easily explained. The treatment of the subject in this chapter is one of the ways we convey the information. Let us know how you categorize humor and its application. For example, can you laugh at yourself? Is it just a slipping on a banana peel or a common understanding taken out of its original context? Let us know what's funny for you.
Sometimes when a person or persons are dealing with complex solutions or untried trails, the end is elusive. In trying to look at the possible outcomes of any given situation all the data may provide that solution or simply more questions. This excerpt shows how that process evolves for some very smart people totally immersed in technology and logic as primary discussion points. Even those serious sort of people can hit walls where the best course of action is to simply let it go and laugh at themselves. Do you ever find yourself in similar situations? Have you been to the point of nonsensical conversation? As a famous comic strip character once said "we wouldn't be able to deal with life without humor". We like humor as an element of our stories, do you like it too?
In this section of The Enigma Stolen, the cyber attacks are focused on a political election in Europe. The question is if you truly believe in a political candidate, or cause, is that belief worth not just your time, but also your own funds? Would you stay the course in the face of cyber terrorism against that cause? How can individuals trust a system that is susceptible to a digitally launched attack? How does one protect against these? We found it an interesting study in how people still support individuals they believe in. Please let us know what you think. By the way, we wrote about this in 2015. We like thinking ahead of the curve.
When you have a secretive or covert family business, having a solid marital relationship can be difficult. The R-Group is a tightly controlled family business which has limited information sharing and even removed their business visibility as much as possible from preying eyes. In this story we wanted to explore how three of our favorite couples share information with their better half. Love is important to them all, and pillow talk can be a problem. The goal is no one or the business should be at risk. How do you think they are handling the problem? How would you like it handled? We would love you feedback.
We like a mix of the story, technology, romance, and especially humor. We also like to make up our own acronyms as the technology industry, like many others, is filled with special terms for "insiders". In this chapter Quip is trying to explain to his supercomputer the meaning of humor and like many pure local entities, sometimes the essence is lost in the translation. This then is ICABOD's first attempt at leveraging his perception of humor. Have your jokes or stories not resonated with an audience and you didn't quite know why? See if you find this one of those situations and send us one of your own. We might just work into one of our upcoming stories.
We travel a great deal for work all over the world. Air travel, especially in the U.S., is a very trying experience for professional and vacationing travelers, alike. The scenario depicted in this chapter actually happened and shut down one of the security points at an airport for almost an hour. The problem was explosive residue on a bag and was no real threat, just a real inconvenience. The solution provided by technology is one we wish could happen to us at an airport. Share some of your airport war stories and let us know how you'd like them solved.
We are in the the evolving technology world and we get to see a lot of the advancements that make our books plausible. The advancements of computers is clearly seen in many sectors. The logic of the programs can determine if parts need replacing, responding to human commands or even conversation. One area of current debate is machine learning. ICABOD, the evolving supercomputer, is highlighted in the story based on his speech and learning ability. We wanted to explore machine learning and how humans would deal with it. At what point do we allow our technology to be smarter than the average human? What safeguards or guardrails need to be in place? To each technology shift we have seen good sides and bad sides. We want you, our readers, to provide your take on where ICABOD may go with his evolution.
The series has several couples and they all have different relationships. Julie and Juan are one of our favorite couples as they are each creative and strong people individually. Together they are simply saucy. They recently married, which is a great story on its own full of twists and turns, and are now embarking on a new life beginning in her family home in Europe. Every story needs a bit of tenderness before everything breaks loose. This is one of those romantic pauses before the intrigue really kicks in. We would love your feedback on how this resonates with you. Did it seem like fun? What do you think happens after breakfast?
The good guys in this series are a cloaked organization called R-Group. The seasoned veterans of the team are Wolfgang and Otto. To help put it into perspective, Wolfgang is the Accountant type, and Otto is the customer facing type. Both are brilliant, educated, and European. They support customers everywhere on the planet. We wanted to use futures trading activity as a focus for this story and Wolfgang seems to always clarify within current events. We like current relevant topics in all the stories. Knowing what Wolfgang can find, would you think something was wrong?
What if the privileged 1% were really getting over on us 99% not by insider trading, but by predicting the future? A lot of analysts charge for fundamental research like management background checks, market share, brand preference in the market place, and competitive positioning and charge handsomely for it but what if that is not how money making strategies work? How does one do insider trading across multiple companies with no access to the decision makers? Why are the SEC investigators down so heavily on poor Clay Dough and his wife Lottie…sorry Charlotte? If you are cheating you deserve to be caught, but which law are you guilty of breaking?
We do enjoy making acronyms and weaving them into the stories. In this scenario we introduce one of the new bad guys, Gretchen, who is brilliant and leading the technology needed for their evil plans. Her grandfather was also part of the World War II Nazi efforts. He is discussed in other chapters and painted as a very mean spirited man. These two characters are related but conflicted. They butt heads often in this scene and others. Do you think family conflicts are worse?
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