The Alex Barteau Trilogy: FORBIDDEN VOICES . . . FOREIGNERS AND EMPERORS . . . SMS: THE SCAMMERS ______________________________________________ What would you do if you were a foreigner teaching in China? ______________________________________________“Don’t do it, Alex,” Tony shouted. “No,” Hans agreed. “They will be embarrassed,” he added in his jaw-twisting German accent. “Embarrassed?” Alex echoed. It was Thanksgiving, and the International Affairs Office was hosting a dinner for the foreign teachers and some of the Chinese teachers. They occupied two large circular tables in adjoining dining rooms upstairs of the hotel restaurant across from the main campus, the restaurant where Alex and Jerry ate on the first day he arrived in the city. Joining them were the three Fu Wu Yuan ladies who worked for IAO. Again, members of the hotel staff served as waitresses in their green and gray short skirt uniforms and Big Chief Dr. Zhu drafted Little Chief Jeremy to pour the water, wine, and Snow beer. To their table, they brought turkey that had been sliced in large flat pieces with a turkey head propped up in the center of the serving plate. Before they were seated for the meal, Alex stood away from one of the tables with Tony and Hans. They complained to each other about the teaching situation in the English Department, and Tony groused about how his students had told him that Chinese teachers sometimes sold to them answers to exams in advance. All three of them balked at the idea of submitting blank copies of their exams to the department prior to the final exams, one of the requirements given to them verbally — not in writing; however, when Alex suggested that they talk to school administrators about what the department was doing, his two colleagues abandoned their tough stance and turned their vehemence against him. “Yes. You will embarrass them.” “Okay. Fine. Let them be embarrassed.” The room seemed to grow warmer. The colors in the wall, the varnish of the woodwork, and the clothing of those seated around him seemed to increase in brightness and richness, like the colors on a television screen that seemed to overflow the boundaries of the characters and objects when someone turned up the contrast. The faces of the other diners at the table became as blurred as their over-lapping voices, and the sounds and images seemed to swarm together like a flowing combination of melted butter and syrup. “Don’t do it,” Tony again demanded. Tony used the assertive tone that he often used in bars when he began comparing universities in America with universities in Canada. Since he was a Canadian, it was natural that he regard American universities unfavorably during a comparison, but when his diatribes became more and more often launched from the bottom of his cups, only to be joined by Jody with her comparing an American education with a supposedly superior one from Britain, Alex decided to stop joining them for dinner – dinners that usually devolved into later visits to a bar where Marie’s drinking led to her sitting at the table in a sullen stupor and Tony’s drinking led to his being increasingly generous with his fatuous and unsubstantiated rhetoric. “You can’t point out their flaws and errors in this country, Alex,” Hans continued. “They don’t want their positions to be made more difficult by complaints from below. They only want to hear compliments from below. That’s why they hold dinners for the Chinese teachers and demand that they attend. They want to be given face.” Hans and Tony were so emphatic that Alex felt cowed. He didn’t know what to do with his indignation. Had he already started drinking Snow beer from the green bottles, he might have been relaxed enough or confident enough to shift into response mode, not that being more forthright with his colleagues would have guaranteed any recovery of face on his part. _ 1. 2.

2010-11-14 18.45.27 (1)


2012-02-21 16.20.00 (4)

Cale laughed. “So they know I’m not here to spy on their activities.” He looked at Gaby. “Or to steal their women.” He smiled and flexed his eyebrows at her. [Gabi is shown below.]

“Even though we both did,” Brady said. He smiled warmly at his wife and touched her arm.

“Actually,” Cale said. “Gaby stole me first. Had me prisoner in a globe.”

“Huh?” Brady’s face turned to stone.

“Right. She was totally nude.” He pointed his chopstick at her breasts.

Gaby slapped his hand away as if he were going to touch her. She blushed and looked down at her array of sea cucumbers covered by sweet and sour sauce.

“Sorry, Gaby.”

“You want to explain that?” Brady wiped his fingers on his cloth napkin.

Cale snorted. “Okay. It was a dream I had years ago back in Illinois.” He smiled. “We were having a family reunion on my sister’s farm, and we . . . thought my brother had disappeared into a crop circle.”


“Surely you have those in Canada.”

“Not many, but, yeah, we do.”

“Eventually it got me too. ‘”


JPEG-Book Cover with text full


8102-WD An-hires-AW

The writer in China -- but its not horror this time

Hi Charles,

Congratulations! Your piece was selected as a winner in the Writer’s Digest Annual Competition. Please see the email below for more details (including your prize and place ) in case you haven’t received my previous message (sometimes they end up in junk mail). Please let me know when you receive this message.

Also, I failed to mention that as a winner you will receive a one-year Writer’s Digest VIP membership, which includes a one-year subscription (new or renewal) to Writer’s Digest magazine, access to for one year, discounts on Writer’s Digest University workshops and discounts off of purchases made at

Again, many congratulations from all of us on the Writer’s Digest team!



Subject: Congrats!

Hi Charles,

Congratulations! Your piece “Community Access” won ninth place in the Mainstream/Literary category in Writer’s Digest’s Annual Competition. You’ve won $25 in cash, plus your piece and name will be listed in the November/December 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest.

Someone from our competitions committee will also be contacting you, too.

Again, congratulations!



Cris Freese
Assistant Editor/Data Manager
Writer’s Digest Books

This is Molly

Her comments about time travel, responding to my French colleague’s remarks related to a couple of my novels, are below.

1st Novel in the Series Updated

Minor changes have been made to the novel DARK NEIGHBORHOODS. For example: typos, punctuation errors that I found while correcting typos, some dialogue which I omitted in the update because I thought it was superfluous or was tangential to the plot, a couple of technical terms changed, and very minor characters combined or omitted in Chapter 11. Amazon-Kindle has probably notified you. In case you did not receive or open the email from them, do the following:

Go to Amazon-Kindle.
Sign in with your account number.
Go to Manage Your Kindle — it will show you what you downloaded.
Type the title (DARK NEIGHB0RHOODS).
Next to the title in blue will be Update Available.
Be sure your device (iPad, Tablet, computer, cellular phone, Kindle reader) is turned on.

Fortunately, Amazon-Kindle, knowing that writers are human and capable of making errors, allows us to make changes — either major or minor. I think that mine are considered minor because the story remains the same. I just hope it will move a little faster in the updated version.

Thank you very much.
Charles Justus Garard (Chukk)