Decided to include an excerpt from my work on the Don Brawn opuses to lead into this, as it seemed oddly prescient in light of today’s events.

Don Brawn woke early, with a bad taste in his mouth. Not the taste of fear, which, he’d be only too willing to admit, he’d tasted many times before – but there was nothing to be ashamed of of tasting fear, as long as you swallowed it down and spat it out in contempt. No, this was some other taste… the taste of… what?

[put it here]

When Brawn got it back to the kitchen he sat it on the table, and just stared at it. Scrutinised. Assessed. Contemplated. It. What it meant, at that moment, he couldn’t say. But Don knew that that would change, in time. For good, or, for evil. One way or the other.

~ from The Candid Voice, a Don Brawn thriller, by Cliff Knoetz

I wrote that last year, and I myself don’t mind admitting that when I woke up today and went downstairs to check the post, I felt a real shiver. I found it waiting for me, sticking half out of the slot like a beige tongue lapping at the dawn: an envelope.

An manila envelope.

And that could only mean one thing: that Clive Cussler’s 2001 novel Valhalla Rising had finally arrived and was waiting for my perusing eye. Maybe he can have something to teach me, and maybe not.

So, to battle!

[also, remember to use that "beige tongue" thing in the story too!]