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Ides(4b)But what if Marc Antony knew what awaited Caesar on the Ides of March 44 BC?

What if Tsarina Alexandra knew she had only one desperate gambit to play to keep her husband from abdicating on the Ides of March 1917 AD?

Christopher Columbus brought back more from the New World than just word of its discovery on the Ides of March 1493 AD. What if the disease he brought back is amplified, bringing about a second Black Death?

What if on the Ides of March 480 BC King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans fail to hold the Gates of Fire not just for Greece but for the fate of our entire timeline?

These and more, are issues the the Time Patrol must deal with in Ides of March.

Published today!

4 D DayNothing but good times ahead! As long as the Time Patrol does its job.

And coming near the end of May, Time Patrol: D Day!

In Ides, as Antony rehearses for the funeral speech on the Ides, which gives you an idea of his inclinations even before Caesar is assassinated, he says “Give me your ears” which Pyrrha, daughter of Pandora, and traveler from another timeline, admonishes him is a poor choice of words. But Antony, being Antony, says he’ll damn well take their ears if he wants to!  History, mythology and science all merge together in this fast-paced story! Along with grammar.



This one of the most significant events of the 20th century. In the midst of the War to End All Wars, one of the world’s powers collapses and the monarchy is overthrown, sending ripples throughout Europe and around the world. This leads to the Bolsheviks taking over, Russia becoming the Soviet Union, Stalin, famine, tens of millions dead, World War II and stopping Hitler on the Eastern Front. The fall of Berlin. The Cold War.

Yep, it was pretty significant. And one man, Doc, is sent back for the 24 hour bubble on the key day in 1917. But not to the Tsar, who was at a railroad station, but to the Alexander Palace where the Tsarina, her four daughters, and the Tsar in waiting, Alexei, are holed up. He must unravel Rasputin’s Prophecy and make sure history stays the same.

No matter what the cost.

I could’ve written an entire book just on Rasputin, who was, to say the least a weird dude (although assassinated the previous December). From what I’ve learned, he bears a large degree of blame for what happened. However, ultimately, blame must fall on Nicholas II. I cover this in Shit Doesn’t Just Happen II: The Gift of Failure. Nicholas’ list of miscalculations is long. Perhaps this is the problem with a monarchy. You get the leader that was born into the right place at the right time.

Coming 15 March. Time Patrol: Ides of March.

In terms of major events of the 20th Century, where you rank the Tsar’s abdication?

TheLastCzarWe’re offering The Last Czar: Anatomy of Catastrophe, for free today, before we pull it and wrap it into the larger Shit Doesn’t Just Happen books.

It is 1917. The world’s population is roughly 1.86 billion, although the First World War, the War to End All Wars for the glass is half full people, is taking a chunk out of that. J.R.R. Tolkien begins writing The Book of Lost Tales; in the U.S. imprisoned suffragettes from the Silent Sentinels are beaten in what became known as the Night of Terror; the first Pulitzer prizes are awarded; Mata Hari is arrested for spying; John F. Kennedy is born; a race riot in St. Louis leaves 250 dead.

And in Russia, the last Tsar, Nicholas II, abdicates on the 15th of March, changing the course of history and our present.

While I’m using that specific date in my novel coming out next month, Ides of March, I’d already done research on Nicholas II, trying to understand how his personality and decision-making (or lack thereof), that led to the downfall of the Russian Empire. Using my Rule of Seven, with Seven being the abdication, I listed the Six Cascade Events prior to that:

  1. Nicholas wasn’t properly trained to lead his country.
  2. The Russo-Japanese War was a disaster for Russia, and Nicholas II in particular.
  3. Nicholas’ attempts at reform hit a middle ground that pleased neither side.
  4. Bloody Sunday, where troops fired on marchers, was a spark that would lead to revolution.
  5. His wife, Tsarina Alexandra, alienated many Russians, particularly her reliance on Rasputin.
  6. World War I was an utter disaster for Russia, and especially Nicholas when he took personal charge of the Army, something he was not prepared or equipped to do.

One man’s lack of leadership changed the course of history and dictated the fates of millions. It still affects us today. Can we say: Putin?

The rise of the Soviet Union out of the ashes of Tsarist Russia is one of the most significant developments in the past century. Lenin, Stalin, purges, the spread of communism, the Cold War where we came perilously close to nuclear war; all were a result of Nicholas.

There were numerous cascade events spread out over decades, but a recurring theme of Nicholas II is the lack of decisive leadership along with little strategic political or military planning. He spent much of his reign reacting.

Leadership, or the lack thereof, affects many, from the troopers of the Seventh Cavalry who went to their doom to the estimated 50 million ‘unnatural deaths’ suffered by Russians under Stalin. The latter of which was a direct result from Nicholas’ failures.

For more information and detail, download the book. For free. What always amazes me is so much history that’s new to learn. The Russo-Japanese War is a good example; where at Port Arthur the Japanese launched a surprise attack prior to the official declaration of war, catching the Russian fleet unaware. That sound familiar?

It is said, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And we do. Over and over.

Sign up for my newsletter here and get a free eBook, the first in my Duty, Honor, Country trilogy.

Ides(4b)And Time Patrol: Ides of March is a little over a month away. I send Doc on the mission to the Alexander Palace, to the Tsarina and her five children, where he has to figure out how the Shadow had planned to change our history on the 15th of March 1917. It turned out to be a rather wicked mission, since the Time Patrol’s job is to keep history the same. Thus, in essence, he is condemning those four young girls and boy, along with their mother to their fates. What he has to struggle with is: what is he changes things? What if he allows the Tsarina to talk her husband into not abdicating on that date? How could that possibly change history? Would it be for the better, or for the worse?

Russian_Imperial_Family_1911Quote: “I am not prepared to be a Czar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling.” Nicholas II, last Czar of Russia.

We still feel the effects of this catastrophe a century later. Few events have changed the course of modern history more than the Russian Revolution and the man most responsible for it occurring was Nicholas II, the last Czar.

The Facts: Nicholas II became Czar of Russia in 1896. He led his country into 2 disastrous wars, both of which were lost. He also presided at a time of great social unrest as the traditional serf system was breaking down during the technological revolution. He eventually abdicated in the face of unrelenting pressure, throwing Russia into an intense civil war between the Whites and the Reds, which led to his execution (along with that of his family) and the rise of the communist Soviet Union.

The Timeline:

19 May 1868: Nicholas II is born

20 Oct 1894: Alexander III dies and Nicholas II becomes Ruler

14 November 1894: Nicholas II marries Alexandra

14 May 1896: Nicholas II is crowned Czar of Russia; over 1,000 die in a stampede at the celebration festival for the people; that evening Nicholas attends the French ambassador’s gala

8 February 1904: The Russo-Japanese war begins with a sneak attack by the Japanese on the Russian Fleet at Port Arthur

15 October 1904: The Russian Baltic Fleet begins a journey halfway around the world to reinforce the remains of their Far East fleet

27-28 May 1905: The Russian fleet is defeated at the Battle of Tsushima

9 January 1905: Bloody Sunday starts the Russian Revolution

27 June 1905: The Potemkin mutiny

5 September 1905: Treaty of Portsmouth ends the Russo-Japanese War; Russia lost the war

17 October 1905: The October Manifesto promises civil liberties and a parliament.

15 July 1914: World War I begins

5 September 1915: Nicholas II assumes command of the Russian Army

17 December 1916: Rasputin is murdered.

23-27 February 1917: The February Revolution begins

2 March 1917: Czar Nicholas II abdicates

17 July 1918: Nicholas II and his family are executed

DEFINITION: Cascade Event: An event prior to a catastrophe that contributes to the actual catastrophe, but by itself, is not catastrophic.

CASCADE TWO: The Russo-Japanese War was a disaster for Russia & particularly Czar Nicholas II.

Later in this book I’m going to point out that the Japanese prior-to-war-declared assault on Port Arthur foreshadowed what happened at Pearl Harbor. Three hours before they declared war on Russia, the Japanese attacked the Russian fleet anchored at Port Arthur and crippled it.

It would only get worse from there for the Russians.

With the Far East fleet crippled, Nicholas II decided to send his Baltic Fleet to the Pacific. One only has to look at a map to question this decision. Add in the fact that the English wouldn’t allow passage of the Suez Canal after the Russians had mistakenly fired on some British trawlers, and the Fleet would have sail halfway around the world in order to just get to the battle zone.

It took the Baltic Fleet eight months to sail to the Pacific.

Port Arthur had already fallen, so the Fleet tried to make it to Vladivostok undetected. They almost made it. The Fleet was blacked out, trying to slip through the Tsushima Strait, which goes between Korea and Japan. Except for a Russian hospital ship which had its lights on in compliance with the rules of war which negated the blackout the rest of the fleet was operating under.

Things went downhill from there. At the end of the naval engagement, the Russian Fleet was essentially destroyed in one engagement and the war was lost.

To get an idea how this reverberated throughout Russia, by May 1905, the Black Sea Fleet had been stripped of experienced sailors and officers to join the doomed Baltic Fleet. When word reached the Fleet of the defeat at the battle of Tsushima Strait, morale plummeted. Activists spread dissension on the ranks.

On 27 June 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin revolted when they were served a meal of borscht made with meat infested with maggots. The ship’s captain was killed and the mutineers took over the ship.

This was a microcosm of what was developing in Russia.

ShitDoesntJust2_(8_smaller)(1)LESSON: Regimes rise and fall as wars are won and lost. Critical decisions such as going to war, and how to conduct the war, require decisive leadership, which also realizes when it is over-reaching.

Not only did Russia lose the war, they lost to an enemy that at the time was considered ‘inferior’ by the European powers; a humiliation piled on top of defeat. It greatly diminished the Czar’s image.

There are some who believe that Russia’s defeat indirectly destabilized the balance of power in Europe and led to the events that started the First World War. And looking even further, it could be argued that Japan’s victory built up a false sense of success that a generation later would lead to the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and the Second World War in the Pacific.

The defeat certainly damaged the Czar’s relationship with the Navy and the Russian Armed Forces. And a monarch relies on the military in order to stay in power.

Available at all platforms via this landing page.

Time Patrol: Ides of March

15 March 2016

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