Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! Frohe Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Prettige Kerstdagen! Feliz Natal! Wesołych Świąt! Felicem Natalem Christi!
I hope everyone has a safe and joyous Christmas!
We had an excellent Christmas market at the Kingsgate shopping centre in Dunfermline. A total of 138 autographed novels sold, as well as forty-three of Sylvia’s poetry books and 199 of her laminated poetry sheets. I didn’t keep an accumulated total of her new bookmarks, but just in the last five days of the market sixty-eight sold. One lady said she was putting them next to place settings to give to her friends when they came for dinner.
Over the past two weeks, motorists received an early Christmas present with the price of gasoline (petrol) dropping from £1.58 a liter to £1.47. With the current exchange rate of $1.205, this makes the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $6.72, 7.35, a drop of sixty-two cents!
Here’s this week’s quote: “Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” Ruth Carter Stapleton.
So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 5th, the fourth and final Sunday of the year:
William Collins, English poet (Ode to Simplicity); Dorothy Wordsworth, English poet, diarist and sister of William Wordsworth; Alexandros Rhizos Rhankaves, Greek poet and statesman; Alfred Kerr [Kempner], German-British writer; Rebecca West [Cicely Isabel Fairfield], English author (Meaning of Treason); Herman Jan Scheltema [NEM Pareau], Dutch jurist and poet; Cab Calloway, American singer, bandleader (“Minnie the Moocher”; “The Jumpin’ Jive”), writer, radio host, and actor (The Blues Brothers); Quentin Crisp, English author; Henri Nannen, German journalist (Der Stern); Daniel Devoto, Argentine folklorist, musicologist, and poet; Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-born American author and mystic (Eagle’s Gift, Fire From Within); Salah Jaheen, Egyptian poet and cartoonist; and Lex Hixon, religious teacher/author.
Any names familiar to you? I recognized one: Dorothy Wordsworth. 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
The Kingsgate was too cold inside to doing much writing. However, I finally managed to type of chapter twenty of Frozen Conquest and upload it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Since the last update, there were another twenty-one reviews, bringing the total to 374. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.
Here’s another snippet:
Chris decoded Matthew’s latest message:
I need more guidance. My latest Google search on Beware the Devil showed over one hundred eighty million hits. My boss says we can protect you, but we need to know your location.. Please advise.
He pursed his lips as he pondered his response. How much can I reveal? I think Sawyer is getting suspicious. He logged back onto his dark web account and began typing:
Cannot reveal any more about the devil except look at alternative words. Must add a log or two to the fire as I’m always cold. You’ve seen the attacks thus far—more to follow, so don’t delay.
After encoding the message, Chris hit send. Hopefully, he can figure out where I’m at and who is behind the attacks. He picked up his empty coffee mug and headed out of his office in the direction of the canteen.
When he entered, the snack bar was almost empty. He filled his mug, grabbed a chocolate brownie, and stopped by the cashier. Once he paid, he turned.
“Uh. Hi, Sawyer. How are things going in the security world?”
Sawyer shrugged. “Same ol’, same ol’. Do you have a minute?”
“Sure.” Chris pointed to a table against the wall. “Will this do?”
After they sat, Chris turned to Sawyer. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“Well, this is kinda delicate. As Brown’s main aide, you have access to personnel records, right?”
Chris nodded. “But as head of security, you do too.”
“Yes, but …. Each time someone accesses the files, a digital tracker makes note of it.”
“So, what’s the problem?” What’s he after?
“As I said, it’s delicate. I missed out earlier with someone because of Samson’s involvement. Can you scan Madeline’s file and check her personal information? I’m particularly interested in whether she’s married or has a significant other in her life.”
Ah! He must be falling for her. “Yes, I suppose I can do this, considering your position. However, you can’t tell anyone I did this—everyone would be after me.”
“Many thanks, Chris.” Sawyer stood and stuck out his hand. “Don’t let anyone know I’ve taken a personal interest in her.”
Chris rose and shook Sawyer’s hand. “Of course.” But it’ll be useful to have this over his head if I ever need his help.
He bought another coffee refill before returning to his office. Chris checked his dark web account. Nothing. He then logged onto his Diablo email. One from Brown:
Prepare for my return—probably tomorrow. Is our new explosives expert ready to calve the final section? Ask Emmanuel for a status report—he’s late with yesterday’s update, and he’s not responding to my emails.
More next time.
Five of my novels (all but Revenge and Ultimate Escalation) are also participating in a Mayhem & Motives: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Reads. This one allows five books per author and there are currently 170 novels participating.
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.
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