Monday, October 20, 2014

Web of Betrayal by Clare F. Price Takes Readers to Historical Power Struggles As World Wide Web Began!

Clare Price is a former technology reporter, technology marketing vice president, and author of five books on marketing; Five Easy Pages: The Essential Marketing System.
Clare saw the birth of the commercial Internet firsthand as a research director with the Gartner Group, the global leader in information technology consulting. As a principle analyst in Gartner’s Internet Strategies Service, Clare assisted many of the world’s biggest technology companies (IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Sun Microsystems, Oracle) in their bid to make the information highway a reality.
Clare began writing at age five with her short story, “My Dog Nicky.” In her career she has been a business journalist, tech industry journalist, Internet industry analyst and a VP of marketing for several software startups.
In addition to The 5 Easy Pages Essential Marketing System, Clare has written more than 700+ articles in the areas of information technology, marketing and business strategies and growth.
She has been a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, SARTA, the California Society of Association Executives, Women in Technology International (WITI), eWomen Network, uLinkNetwork, and the U.C. Davis Graduate School of Management.
Clare is an Ohio native and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. degree in Rhetoric. She currently lives in Sacramento, California with her two Shetland Sheepdogs, Dan and Toby. This is her first novel.


Heading into the historical background for the Internet is an important activity, so immediately I checked out the author's background... Nearly all of my professional career involved the use of, or development of computer systems, so I wanted to also learn from this book about what I personally saw happening... I got a little more than I bargained for, because I spent the first pages trying to figure out who the companies actually were in the battle... LOL

In any event, the author's credentials were out there loud and clear for me and after I got passed her not using real company names, I sunk deep into the story and loved it!  One ingenious action the author provided in the book is the inclusion of  QR codes to pull part of the time period directly to the reader... I cheated and brought some of those here as I usually do...

Web of Betrayal
By Clare F. Price

It only took the prologue to point out that Toby Eastman is a very dangerous man. Note that it is 1993 and he's in Colombia, due to his impending connection to drug lord Enrique Valdez. The fact that Arno, who had made the arrangements for the meet, was burned that night, slowly, was not part of the plan. You'd think that would have made him just a little concerned, wouldn't you?

Toby Eastman is a man you enjoy hating... He's willing to do anything to finish what he's started and a main revenge plan is what he's involved in now... It was ironic to me that what began to happen was due to his own actions. He'd sent a disk to a former colleague who he trusted, with only a statement that it was confidential. The man had thought it was a puzzle like they had always worked on! So when the man received it, he sent it on to several others of his "boys..." Individuals who had been working with him for quite some time.

Soon, they all started dying, seemingly accidentally...

"Henry, that disk wasn't just another puzzle,"
Toby said vehemently. "That disk has
information on it that belongs to some very
powerful men."
Henry's eyes blinked rapidly. He looked at Toby
as if he'd never seen him before. "Toby what
have you gotten yourself into? I'm sorry...
You're sorry? Toby queried silently. It's
too late for sorry...
"I'm sorry, old friend. I truly am," he
whispered, his lips brushing against Henry's
ear. "But if it hadn't been me, it would
have been them."
The fire crackled. A tongue of flame broke free, reigniting dying embers, warming the room. Toby leaned back in his chair, took a small sip of his brandy and glanced around the tight space.
Henry Rhodes's bachelor's quarters held the same comfortable clutter that Toby remembered...Henry sat in the other armchair, his feet barely reaching the floor. Like his home, Toby thought, enjoying the constancy, Henry hadn't changed much in the last eighteen years...
Despite the warmth of the fire and the brandy coursing through his veins, Toby knew he couldn't afford to relax; not until he had the computer disk back safely in his possession...
"And how are your boys?" Toby asked.
"I've got a couple of boys who are real crypto-wizards. Give even you a run for the money," Henry said, chuckling mildly as he set down the empty glass.
Henry referred to all the young engineers he'd shepherded through the company as "his boys," even the women. Although Henry had been a talented software programmer in his own right, his company soon recognized he had an even greater ability to mentor the young college recruits they hired...
"No more for me, Henry. I have to go," he said, rising. "I really just came to pick up that disk I sent you a few weeks ago."
Henry looked up at Toby embarrassed, his smile sheepish.
"I know you told me to keep that one strictly confidential, Toby. But your puzzles are always the best. It was just too tempting."
"What do you mean?" Toby asked, forcing a casualness he did not feel.
Sliding into a velveteen seat, Peter took
in the scene. The Hilton's gaudy bar, so
reminiscent of the 1970s, with its hot-
pink chairs and, red glow-in-the-dark
carpet... was proudly pretentious in a
way that only the leisure suit crowd
could truly appreciate...
Expectation, excitement and urgency
pulsed through the crowd's chatter...
"I couldn't crack it. I tried, but it was beyond me...When I couldn't solve it, I sent it to the boys to see what they could do with it." Henry's tone was mildly irritated, as if Toby had forgotten who was the student, and who the master.

It was January, 1994, when Peter Ellis hits Las Vegas and immediately realized how much he hated the town, thinking it was going to be a long three days!

He was struggling after a fiasco had occurred the previous year. That it happened was bad enough...

That it involved his sister was worse...

I'm not saying anything more about
Margaret turned back to
Adam and issued her
demands. "We want a
complete retraction, a new
accurate story written by
someone else on your
staff, and a personal
apology in writing from Mr.
Ellis here, or we will file a
multimillion dollar law suit
against the Valley Tribune
this afternoon."
this one--she doesn't deserve it! LOL! You'll quickly find out more about her and Peter during their early years... and find out just how cruel she is!

That she was involved in Peter's being accused of a fabricated story was, in my opinion,  due to her, even if the book really didn't say so... And now Peter was back to square one, rebuilding his reputation as a news reporter. Fortunately, his immediate supervisor was doing as much as he could to support him...

But then his girlfriend dumped him. She had tried to stick by him, but he had started to drink and Jessica had decided to move on... Only to become involved with an important player in the major stories he was soon to be following! Because he's been placed back on covering the CES trade show. David Lockwood was the keynote speaker and why he was here...

It may sound like Peter is on the way out, but, far from it! While you watch him, he picks up pieces of information and ultimately learns about three deaths that are linked to the activities that were now happening. Then, at this show, he was the only individual who pieced together Lockwood's presentation. Tracked him down and broke the lead story on 
his work!

Ellis to Lockwood:
"I got the message. I know what you're doing."
"I got it from the Holograms...
"Three points." Peter responded, fighting to keep his voice calm...
"First message you sent: all of those holograms illustrated firsts...
"Second message: those holograms moved out over the heads of the audience...
I liked the third message the best...Each of those holograms was more than a technical breakthrough, though that was impressive enough...They also opened up a new universe...
...One question. Mr. Lockwood, just one. Am I right? Yes or no?"
"Sapphire. Internet streaming video. Yes or no?" Peter asked again...

Lockwood turned toward Peter, his brow eyes so intense Peter felt as if they were boring a hole in his skull. "I'll give you some free advice. Follow the old saying and write about what you know." Capping the statement with a cryptic smile, Lockwood existed without another word.

Peter's story on David Lockwood's Sapphire Project scooped everyone...

The forty-by-sixty-foot, three-story
high Draco booth was one of the
largest and allest on the trade show
floor. In a nod to Law Vegas itself,
the Draco logo, a green and yellow
abstract of the Dragon constellation
blinked in neon boldness at the top
of the towering booth structure. Peter
had to crane his neck to see it.
Peter was Back! But that was only the beginning...and there were enemies out to see him fail!

His sister was watching every move he made for her own personal reasons. Jessica's new lover was a major player at Draco Communications who was slowly moving to a top position...

And let's not forget our major villain...he's got it in for Peter because he picked up on the murders and is following a trail...

But then there is MediaBuilders who are fighting to be at the top against Draco and some are fighting for both sides. In fact, you'll have a hard time keeping track of who may be involved because the players are, or have been, involved during previous activities. The one thing that comes out, of course, is that those who are honest move to make things right! And that's what readers will enjoy watching and trying to decide in advance what will happen!

Peter was there to meet Alex Kavanaugh. He already knew Alex knew little about the actual technological advances now underway...but...this was the guy who Jessica was now involved with, apparently pretty seriously. Alex was loving, and didn't mind, showing, that he enjoyed having Peter in the position of the jilted lover... Peter was still trying to get Jessica back at that point...

The booth contained four rooms divided by thermoform vinyl partitions. The one closet to the walkway, meant to draw in curious passersby, was styled as a tribute to Route 66 and hung with photographs taken along the venerated route. A video clip from the 1960s TV show of the same name ran in a loop in the background with Nat King Cole's recording of the famous theme song. A classic blue 1966 Corvette convertible roadster parked in the center of the display would be raffled off for charity at the close of the show. Peter made a mental note to buy a ticket for that one...
The screen faded to black. Peter turned to Kavanagh. "Impressive, Alex. I want it. So when can I have it?"
"It's 1994, Peter," Alex replied. "You'll have it before you know it."
"You want to be a little more specific," Peter said, knowing full well that most of the applications Draco was touting here were years if not decades away. "Realistically, you guys are laying pipe."
"If by laying pipe you meant creating the fiber optic backbone we need to send digital signals across the country, then yes, we're laying pipe. We've got about half our SONET backbone finished and it'll be completed by the end of the year," Alex agreed...
Anything else I can answer for you?" he asked
..."Just one more thing. Let's say, just for kicks, that you do get some cable partners. They the key question is how are you going to get those applications to the consumer? They need a way to access all those goodies on the information highway. And I'm hearing access is through Horizon."
Alex's jaw clenched briefly. He relaxed it and smiled  a little too broadly. His face took on the expression of an indulgent uncle humoring a bright but confused child...
Peter was throwing the technology at Alex fast, hoping to catch him off-balance. From the cautious expression on Alex's face, Peter thought he was succeeding...
Alex refused to take the bait. "I'd help you if I could, Peter," he said, standing. "But really, that is a question for our engineers.  As I said, I'm happy to arrange an interview..."

And then Peter met Jordan and he found himself falling in love for the first time, but of course there were also issues between them to be solved... Such as her love of music...
"David Sanborn," Jordan said, rejoining him on the sofa. "What do you think?"
The disheartened look on her face surprised him. "Very nice," He tried again, but her expression didn't change.
"Why don't you play some more?" he asked, buy time to discern her mood.
"Really?" That seemed to cheer her up. At least he was heading in the right direction.
"Okay, this is a classic," She pulled an old vinyl record from her shelf, put it on the turntable and turned toward him. "Tell me how it makes you feel."
Peter leaned back on the couch and closed his eyes. He had no idea why this exercise was so important to Jordan, only that it was for the moment, that was enough for him. He focused on the sounds and let him mind do what it did best: parse and analyze the data his senses were collecting.
"I'm on a city street, urban, kids are throwing coins in a gutter. Somewhere where stuff should be happening, maybe in the past, but not now. Like Hollywood and Fine."
"Are you serious? You got that from this song?" Jordan sounded incredulous.
Peter opened his eyes. "Yeah, why?"
"Because that's actually what that song is about, "It's Wes Montgomery's "Bumpin' on Sunset."

Lots going on in this one--a thriller that will entice you from many directions to both enjoy and watch as corporate deals play a deadly part in bringing the World Wide Wed to all of us to enjoy! Check this one out! You'll be glad you did...


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