All the flowers, plants, and shrubs which should be in bloom are now out, creating a fantastic color display. The rain has subsided a bit, but there’s been enough whereby I have to cut the grass on a weekly basis. Since our grassy area is so small, I use a push mower and I’m still done in less than an hour!
Over the past three weeks, the price of gasoline (petrol) has been creeping upwards. In early April, the Chancellor’s spring announcement saw a decrease in duty by five pence, reducing the price to £1.58 a liter. Now it’s up to £1.66, which makes it the equivalent of $7.99 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate. Fortunately, the dollar has strengthened against the pound. If the exchange rate was still where it was in March, it would be $9.80 a gallon!
Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/):
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 22nd, the fourth Sunday of the month:
Gérard de Nerval [Gérard Labrunie], French writer; Catulle Mendès, French poet; Arthur Conan Doyle, British author who brought Sherlock Holmes to life twice; August Cuppens, Flemish author (Limburgs Driemanschap); Alla Nazimova, Ukrainian-born actress, scriptwriter, and producer (Blood and Sand); Johannes R. Becher, German writer and politician; Robert Neumann, Austrian-British author (Waters of Babylon); Anne de Vries, Dutch teacher and writer (Bartje); Paul Viiding, Estonian poet; [Georges Prosper Remi], Belgian comic book creator (The Adventures of Tintin); Vance Packard, American journalist and author (The Hidden Persuaders); udith Crist, American film critic (TV Guide, Today); M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer (The Road Less Traveled); and Lucie Brock-Broido, American poet and academic (Noctuary).
Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Arthur Conan Doyle. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!
My Published Work
My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions this month:
THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 168 novels to choose from:
May the First Book – Mystery Thriller Suspense group promo. There are 44 novels in this one:
My Work in Progress
While I’m still editing Ultimate Escalation in preparation to send it out to my beta readers, work continues on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The first chapter has been posted to the two online subscription writing site I use and it received eleven reviews. I’ll be posting chapter two later in the week.
Here’s the first snippet from Frozen Conquest:
Walter Brown, the eighty-year-old founder and CEO of the privately held Diablo Corps, gazed out the office windows on the top floor of the company headquarters in downtown Miami. Although dwarfed by much taller buildings, Brown normally enjoyed the skyline view toward the ocean.
As one of the world’s richest men, he could have lived anywhere. Few knew his name, and even fewer could boast of meeting the recluse.
Rain lashed the windows as an intermittent storm disrupted the otherwise hot and sunny day. He turned back to a sixty-four inch-monitor. Blinking red and green lights signified his worldwide operations.
When his phone rang, he stabbed at the console and put the call on speaker. “What?”
“Sir, Reginald here. Both tests were completed.”
“Excellent Have the accountants arrived yet?”
“Yes, sir. They came yesterday and are getting acclimatized now. Several began work this morning, but ….”
“Uh … your nephew. He was caught on an ice floe after the second test. He’s still missing.”
Walter closed his eyes and pursed his lips. “Very well. Keep searching, but I doubt he’ll still be alive. However, my sister will want to give him a proper burial.”
“Yes, sir. When will you be returning?”
“I should finish what I need to do here by tomorrow morning. Expect me to arrive in the evening. Tell Chris to make sure everything is ready for me.”
Walter broke the connection and changed the monitor presentation. Blue lights signified the locations of major banking and investment institutions and the world’s leading stock exchanges. “Soon, we shall make our requirements known. If the G7 doesn’t bend to our demands, the might of Diablo shall disrupt their economies.”
He stepped to a self-service bar in the corner of his office and poured himself a large single malt whiskey. After taking a sip, he logged onto his computer and created a message:
To: The Chairmen and Governors of the G7 Central Banks
Stand by for my demands, which will be released soon. Failure to comply will result in the destruction of your way of life as you know it. The world cries out for truth, and I will be the sword of justice.
Perhaps another snippet next week.
The final chapters of Ultimate Escalation have now been uploaded to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another eleven reviews this week, bringing the total to 866.
Here’s the final snippet:
Raj finished his lunch at a nearby restaurant and returned to his office. When he entered, he spotted a note on the center of his desk: See me – J.
He left his office and headed to the basement. Raj knocked on a door at the far end of a dimly lit corridor.
It creaked open, and Jadallah stepped out. “Hello, Raj. Have you come to see my handiwork?” He wiped his hands on a bloodstained apron.
“If I must.” Raj wrinkled his nose at the smell emanating from the partially open door. “Tel me … did Vedant ever figure out you were planted on him because of his nationalist views?”
Jadallah shook his head. “Never. In fact, he thought we shared a common bond. Little did he know who my true employer was.”
“Well, he will be one of many who will face prison time or even death for plotting to break up India.” Raj gestured toward the door. “I suppose it is time.”
Jadallah stood aside and waited for Raj to enter.
“Oh my …” Raj paled before he bent over and vomited.
Jadallah handed him a towel. “Quite a sight, is he not? He was very strong, but everyone bows to my questioning. Wait until I tell you what I learned.”
Raj covered his mouth with the towel as he looked at their prisoner.
Chains held Benedikt against the wall; the ones connected to his arms caused him to stretch upward. Both his eyes were empty sockets. Burns covered most of his body while blood seeped from hundreds of tiny cuts. He moaned. “K-kill m-me.”
Raj turned to Jadallah. So what did he say?”
Jadallah grinned. “You will not believe this. Former Russian Spetsnaz soldiers, now working as mercenaries, have been helping the nationalists on both sides of the border. They have been behind the calls for Punjab to be reunited.”
“I must inform the Bedlam woman, Evelyn. She will know what to do with this information.”
Jadallah gestured toward Benedikt. “What about him?”
“Kill him if he is not already dead. Throw his body on a funeral pyre.”
This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.
© Copyright 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved