Randall’s Ramblings, July 24, 2022

This past Monday and Tuesday were the hottest days of the year so far. The temperature reached 88F (31C) on both days. Now we’re back to more seasonable temperatures and rain.

Craig is still visiting from Washington, D.C. This week we went to Glenkinchie Distillery. It was a great visit with each person receiving three samples to try at the end, although drivers were given a takeaway pack. Glenkinchie whiskey is one of the single malts blended into Johnny Walker.

We also went to Rossyln Chapel, dating from 1446. If you’ve see the movie The Davinci Code, you’ve seen the chapel as both aerial and interior shots were used. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, it’s well worth it.

Our sightseeing continued with a trip to Scotland’s Secret Bunker. Built in the 1950s, the bunker is 100 feet below the ground and encased in fifteen feet of concrete. The central government and military commanders would have used the facility if the UK was attacked and nuclear war ensued. Now privately owned, it’s filled with rooms destined to show visitors how the facility looked when it was operational. Definitely worth a visit.

Our fourth trip of the week took us to the Kelpies, the largest equine sculpture in the world. Unveiled in April 2014, these 30-metre high horse-head sculptures are situated in Helix Park near the M9 Motorway and are a monument to Scotland’s horse-powered industrial heritage. A kelpie is a shape-changing aquatic spirit of Scottish legend. Its name may derive from the Scottish Gaelic words ‘cailpeach’ or ‘colpach’, meaning heifer or colt. Kelpies are said to haunt rivers and streams, usually in the shape of a horse.

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

“Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.” ~ Garrison Keillor

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 24th, the fourth Sunday of the month:

Elizabeth “Betje” Wolff-Bekker, Dutch author and poet (Sara Burgerhart); Alexandre Dumas, French author (The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo); Henrik Pontoppidan, Danish writer (Promised Country, Nobel 1917); Johan A de Sleeve [Adwaita], philosopher and poet (Brahman); Frank Wedekind, German actor and playwright (The “Lulu” plays); Edward Frederic Benson, English novelist; Vicente Acosta, Salvadoran poet; Junichiro Tanizaki, Japanese writer (Snow Dusting); Robert Graves, English writer and poet (I Claudius); Hermann Kasack, German writer (Die Stadt hinter dem Strom); Karl von Mechow, German writer (Auf Dem Wege, Vorsommer); Chief Dan George [Tes-wah-no], Canadian Indian author, poet and actor (Harry & Tonto, Little Big Man, Smith!); Zelda Fitzgerald [née Sayre], American writer (This Side of Paradise) and wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald; John D. MacDonald, American novelist (Deep Blue Goodbye); John Hillaby, English writer and traveller; Madeleine Ferron, French Canadian writer; Ignacio Aldecoa, Spanish writer (Gran Sol, Caballo the Pica); Hedda J. Garza, American writer and political activist; Barry [Norman] Malzberg, sci-fi author (Revelations, Beyond Apollo); Geoffrey McQueen, TV Writer; and Banana Yoshimoto, Japanese author.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Alexandre Dumas. 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. Chapter eight is almost finished and should be posted this coming week. So far, I’ve received 104, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.

Here’s the next snippet:

CC smiled. “Aye. Glad you’re aboard. First things first. We can’t keep using our callsigns. People might become suspicious. I’m Craig Cameron, although I prefer being called CC. I’m a former Army colonel who was also offered a job I couldn’t refuse.”

“Like CC, I was also offered a fantastic opportunity. I’m Colonel Trevor Franklin and retired a few years ago.”

“And I’m Lady Evelyn Evinrude, formerly of the British MI-6. So, we’ve revealed who we are. We know you’re both former SEALs, but what do we call you?”

Condor glanced at the floor. He whispered, “Rufus T. Chopin.”

“Aye. Nothing to be ashamed of—Rufus. CC struggled to smother a grin. He turned to Offender. “What about you?”

Offender stared straight into CC’s face. “August Lewis. I was born in August, and my folks thought that was a good name.”

“Do you have any siblings? Evelyn smiled. “Was there a name trend?”

“Yes, ma’am. Three sisters—April, May, and June. If I had a brother, I’m not sure what my parents would have called him.”

“What about you—Rufus? Any siblings?”

“Yes. Two brothers—Jasper and Festus.”

“Aye. Now that the secrets are out, I want to thank you for inviting us to participate in your team selection. It’s not easy to do.”

“Got that right. We could have used ZOOM to do this, but I thought it would be better in person, and we’ll show you our warehouse later.” Rufus tilted his beer and finished it in a single go. “We received ten applications. While I think I’m an excellent judge of people, I don’t know enough about Bedlam yet to make intelligent choices.” He stood. “Anyone want a refill?”

“Aye. One more for me.” CC tipped his bottle and finished the dregs.

Rufus came back with three beers. He handed one to CC, another to August, and kept the third.

“After we finish, shall we check out the warehouse the installation commander authorized for our use? Afterward, we’ll grab a bite to eat at one of the base’s dining facilities.”

Twenty-five minutes later, Rufus drove along a row of warehouses, stopping at the last one. The sign in front, usually used to identify the organization inside, was blank.

He pointed to the sin. “Any problem putting QRF on it? Lots of buildings on the base are identified by initials.”

“Aye. Great idea. Should help keep rumors down rather than having people trying to guess who’s inside.”

They climbed out of the AF vehicle and headed to a pedestrian door. After Rufus unlocked it, he stepped inside and flicked a light switch. “Welcome to QRF.” He smiled as he swung an arm to encompass the interior of the building.

Evelyn wrinkled her nose. “Needs a bit of housekeeping, don’t you think?”

“Yeah.” Rufus chuckled. I told August since he was number two, cleanup fell to him.”

“As soon as he said that I volunteered to quit.” August smirked. “The base is sending out some contract cleaners in the morning. In the afternoon, housing will deliver sofas, chairs, and other things we’ll need.”

CC nodded. “Aye. We brought a few items on the plane with us—computers and the comms gear you’ll need to stay in contact with Bedlam. There are a few things you’ll need to understand to make things work, but we’ll go over them before we leave.”

“Sounds good.” Rufus rolled his eyes. “Just what I need—more technology to learn. What can’t things be kept simple?”

More 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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