Randall’s Ramblings, July 17, 2022

Over the past week we’ve had our hottest days of the year, with the thermometer reaching 81F (27C). Today, we’re suppose to get up to 78F (26C) but there is a light rain falling at the moment which could impact of the temperature.

Our son, Craig, arrived last weekend from Washington, D.C., for a 2.5 week visit. We’re delighted he made it over. This week, we visited Blackness Castle, a 15th century fortress which featured in a number of movies as well as the Outlander series. It was used as a location for the BBC Scotland historical series “Rise of the Clans”.

In addition, we took a trip through Dunfermline Abbey, which dates back at least to the 12th century. One of Scotland’s most important cultural sites, has received more of Scotland’s royal dead than any other place in the kingdom, excepting Iona. One of the most notable non-royal names to be associated with the abbey is the northern renaissance poet, Robert Henryson. This is the resting place of Robert the Bruce.

Our final trip of the week was to the grounds of Hopetoun House. We didn’t go inside the house this time, but spent a couple of hours in the grounds. Hopetoun House has been in the same family since 1699 when construction first began. It has been used in seasons 1, 2 and 3 of Outlander, to recreate scenes in Scotland, England and Paris.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/):

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way. Be unique. Be what you feel.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 17th, the third Sunday of the month:

Isaac Watts, English writer, preacher and hymnist (Horae Lyrican); Luis Muñoz Rivera, Puerto Rican journalist (founded Federalist Party); Bart de Ligt, anti militarist theologist (Acting Peace); Shmuel Agnon, Israel, novelist (Day Before Yesterday-Nobel 1966); Erle Stanley Gardner, American detective writer (Perry Mason); Bruno Jasieński, Polish poet; Christina Stead, Australia, novelist (Man Who Loved Children); Yang Jiang, Chinese writer (Six Chapters From My Life ‘Downunder,’); James Purdy, American writer (The House of the Solitary Maggot); Donald Alfred Davie, poet/critic; Charles Champlin, American film critic and writer; Rainer Kisch, German writer; Jose Ignacio Cabrujas, writer; Robert R. McCammon, American sci-fi author (Baal, Mystery Walk); Susan Lindauer, American peace activist, accused spy, and author (Extreme Prejudice); and Cory Doctorow, Canadian author and activist.

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Shmuel Agnon and Erle Stanley Gardner. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Work in Progress

Slide1Things are progressing nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The first seven chapters have been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use, and chapter seven should be posted this coming week. So far, I’ve received ninety-nine reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.

Here’s the next snippet:

Brown’s phone rang. Another interruption. Don’t these people realize I’m busy? “Yes, what is it?”

Sawyer Hudson, head of Brown’s security team, chuckled. “Sorry to bother you, Mister Brown, but you wanted to be notified when the new demolitions expert arrived.”

“Show him to my office in thirty minutes.” Brown glanced at the clock. “No, make it an hour.”

“Uh … sir, he’s a she. I mean, the bomb expert is a woman.”

“So? I still want to meet here.”

“Yes, sir.”

An hour later, Sawyer knocked on Brown’s door.

“Come in.”

Sawyer and a petite brunette with large brown eyes and shoulder-length hair stepped into Brown’s office. “Sir, this is Madelene Fingerhut.”

Brown remained seated and shook hands. He gestured toward the chair in front of his desk.

Sawyer leaned against the door.

She took the seat. “Please, call me Maddie.”

Brown nodded. “Is this your first time to Antarctica, Madeline—I mean Maddie?”

“Yes. It’s hauntingly beautiful.”

“I remember thinking something similar when I first came here. Just remember when you’re outside, Antarctica is also very dangerous, especially on the ice.”

“Yes, sir.” She smiled. “I’m looking forward to working here. If I may ask, what happened to your previous explosives expert? I understand his departure was rather abrupt.”

A thin smile creased Brown’s face. “I guess you could call it an abrupt departure—he blew himself up.”

“Oh!” Maddie’s right hand covered her mouth. “I am so sorry.”

Brown shrugged. “What are you sorry for? Did you know Harold?”

“Oh … well … no.” Her face reddened. “This is what people say at unexpected news.”

“Hmm.” Brown picked up a folder from his desk and extracted two sheets of paper. You have a very interesting resume, working in various exotic places around the world.”

“Yes, sir. For the past six years, I’ve spent most of my time outside the U.S.”

“I see.” Brown rubbed his chin. “Any boyfriends, a husband, or significant other?”

Maddie shook her head. “No, sir. Why do you ask?”

“Never mind—not important.” He waved a hand. “Just wondered who we should notify if something should happen to you.”

Maddie gulped. “I-I shall take all necessary precautions when I’m working.”

“It’s not just the ice which is dangerous.” Brown stared at her. “Danger comes in many forms.” He stood and extended a hand. “Welcome to Antarctica. Do a professional job, and we shall get along just fine.” He turned to Sawyer. “Escort her around the premises and to her quarters.”

“Yes, Mister Brown.” Sawyer opened the door to allow Maddie to leave first.

“One more thing, Maddie.”

“Yes, Mister Brown?”

“Sawyer will point out areas that are off-limits to all but a select few employees. These areas are marked with skull and crossbones signs. For your own safety, never venture inside unless you are summoned. If you require entrance, Sawyer will escort you.” He stared at her. “It could be very devastating—for you.”

Another snippet next time.

Book Promotions

My novels are participating in four Bookfunnel promotions for the remainder of the month:

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 171 novels to choose from:


Thriller, Mystery and Suspense: There are 70 novels in this one which finishes today.


Who Dunnit Sale Promotion group promo. There are 29 novels to choose from in this promotion.


Action Adventure Mysteries group promo – Another 21 novels to choose from here.


Hot Pirate Summer group promo – each of the 12 novels in this promotion have something to do with pirates.


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

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