Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 16, 2022

After a week of continuous dreary skies, we finally have a bit of sunshine. Not sure how long it will last, as rain clouds are building up along the skyline.  At least it was dry, and I was finally able to clean up the last of autumn’s fallen leaves.

Overall, the first three-day small business market of the year was a success. I sold fourteen novels, while seventeen of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets went home to happy customers, along with three of her poetry books. Our next event will be the first weekend in February.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “It’s OK to not have the answer yet. Continue your journey and trust the process.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 16th, the third Sunday of the new year. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Dorthe Engelbrechtsdatter, Norwegian poet; Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, French writer (Mémoires); Richard Savage, English poet and playwright; Vittorio Alfieri, Italian count, dramatist and poet (Maria Stuarda) who is considered the founder of Italian tragedy; Andre Michelin, French industrialist, tire manufacturer (Michelin) and publisher of the Michelin Guide; Frank Bacon, American playwright, actor and author (Lightnin’); Robert W. Service, English-Canadian poet (Cremation of Sam McGee); Robert Garbe, German poet (Gorniek); Zhou Zuoren, Chinese writer; Osip Brik, Russian writer; Nat Schachner, American author; Ruth Rose, American screenwriter; Carlos Pellicer, Mexican poet; Franz Tumler, Austrian author/novelist (Cloak, Aufruf); Stirling Silliphant, screenwriter; Nel Benschop, Dutch poet; Anthony Hecht, American poet; William Kennedy, American writer; Vladimír Škutina, Czechoslovakian writer and actor (Hvezda jede na jih); Susan Sontag, American author & film director (Benefactor, 1966 Pol Award); Magdalen Nabb, British author; Ruth Reichl, American magazine editor; Brian Castro, Australian author; and Garth Ennis, Irish comic book author.

Any names familiar to you? The only name I know is Andre Michilen. 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

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Terrifying New Year promotion, running from now until the end of January. With 118 novels available, there’s bound to me something to catch your interest.

In addition, The Kurdish Connection, Colombian Betrayal, and Mission: Angola are participating in a first-in-series promotion for mysteries and thrillers. There are sixty-four novels in this one.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I posted chapter twenty-two to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Ultimate Escalation received another twenty-four chapter reviews, bringing the total to 492. Plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

KS-1 cut through the water at twelve knots just below the surface. Captain 3rd Rank Karol Pushkin, the former commander of a Russian hunter-killer submarine, kept his eye on the periscope’s eyepiece. Satisfied with the space between KS-1 and surface ships in the narrow Straits of Hormuz, he stepped toward his visitors.

“Comrade Colonel. Welcome to the KS-1. We refer to her as the Negodyay.

“Spacibo, Captain. Please call me Vladimir. My military rank was long ago.” He shook hands with Pushkin. “I look forward to our journey on the Villain.”

“We shall cruise along the coast until we reach the Gulf of Oman before heading to deeper water.” Pushkin turned and shouted an order to a seaman with a dark complexion hunched over a scope.

“Still clear, Captain.”

“Very well. Continue as planned.” Pushkin glanced around the control room before turning back to Vladimir. “Ever been on a submarine before?”

“Nyet. How big is the crew?”

“The Lyre class submarines, which NATO called the Alfa class, was designed for operations with a crew as small as fourteen, plus a cook. When active, this was increased to thirty-one.” Pushkin smiled. “Today, we use the minimum crew size.”

Vladimir gestured toward the man still studying his scope. “What nationality is he? I don’t think he’s Russian.”

“You are correct. He’s Iranian, as is half my crew. They all trained on Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines Mother Russia built for the Islamic Republic of Iran, selling them for hundreds of millions of rubles.”

“How did they end up on the Negodyay?

“They became disenchanted with their government.” Pushkin shrugged. “We offered them an opportunity, and they joined us.”

“Interesting. How—”

“Captain! An American cruiser is ahead of us.”

“Rig for ultra-quiet. Take us down.”

The submarine tilted, continuing downward until it hovered just about the sandy bottom. Quiet ensued as the crew, Vladimir, and Mishka kept their movements to a minimum.

Ping!

The sound all submariners dread echoed throughout the Negodyay.

Minutes passed, the only sound was the men snatching shallow breaths.

The sonar man waved an arm to attract Pushkin’s attention.

The captain approached and leaned toward the seaman. “What’s the status?” His voice was almost inaudible.

“The Americans—they are heading toward the Iranian shore. I picked up several noises from Iranian attack craft.”

Pushkin relaxed. “Keep an eye on them.” He shuffled to the helmsman’s position. “Ahead dead slow. Hug the bottom until we clear the area and resume our normal depth.”

“Yes, Comrade Captain.”

Clang!

More next time.

Slide1During slow periods while attending the Christmas market and last weekend’s market, I began working on Frozen Conquest. So far, I have two draft chapters, but they’re not quite ready to post on the two subscription writing sites.  For those who might not be aware, here’s the initial synopsis:

An international criminal gang, known as Diablo Corps, plans a series of devastating attacks to take over the G7 countries unless their demands are met. Secure in their hidden headquarters in Antarctica, they possess the means to disrupt the leading world economies. The Diablos want what other power-hungry people want—more power.

Will the G7 bend to the will of these rogues or will evil triumph? Diablo Corps believes their previous infiltration of the international banking system and world stock exchanges will allow them to risk all on a single gamble.

The Scandinavian Protection Agency joins forces with Bedlam Delta to thwart the efforts of the group and restore faith Will Antarctica become a smoking ruin or will the world suffer an economic meltdown?

Books I’m Reading

I was going to post a review of The Lair of Anubis (The Project Book 20) by Alex Lukeman when I realized I had already posted one. For those who might not have seen it, here it is again:

Nick and Selena are embroiled in another battle to preserve relics from the past, this time the lost tomb of Alexander the Great.  Since I haven’t read the previous books in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed this nonstop action-packed adventure. If you haven’t read any of Alex’s books, here’s another author to check out. I’ll be heading back to the beginning of the series to find out how it all began!

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

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 9, 2022

So far, the dreaded ‘s’ word has stay away. We’ve had a mixture of rain, sunshine, and dry spells, with temperatures in the low 40s F/single digits C) but that’s good enough for now.

This weekend has been the first small business market of the year. While it’s been slow, eight of my novels have sold, along with two of Sylvia’s poetry books and thirteen of her poetry sheets. Today’s the final day for January, so hopefully, we’ll add to those totals.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): Regrets? I have no Regrets. Even if I could, I would not change anything in my past. Rather, I look back with Gratitude because if weren’t for my Past, I would not be who I am Today.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 9th, the second Sunday of the new year. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Thomas Warton, critic and poet (Pleasures of Melancholy) British Poet Laureate (1785-90); Gilbert Abbott à Beckett, English writer; Thomas William Robertson, England, playwright (Caste); Félix-Gabriel Marchand, journalist, author and politician, Premier of Quebec; Anton Askerc, Slavic priest/poet (Primoz Trubar); Lizette Woodworth Reese, American poet (Branch of May, Tears); Henry B Fuller, American writer (Under the Skylights); Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Jewish poet; Hans Bethge, German poet; Giovanni Papini, Italian writer (Il Diavolo); Lascelles Abercrombie, English poet/critic (Revaluations); Karel Čapek, Czech writer, playwright and critic (R.U.R.); coined the word “robot”; Kurt Tucholsky, German journalist/writer (Panther Tiger & Co); August Gailit, Estonia, writer (Ekke Moor); Simone de Beauvoir, French author & feminist (The Mandarins, The Second Sex); Stafford WIlliam Somerfield, British newspaper editor; Lister Sinclair, Canadian broadcaster and playwright; Abdelhamid ben Hadouga, Algerian writer; Judith Krantz, Jewish-American novelist (Scruples, Princess Daisy, Dazzle); Heiner Muller, German dramatist; Brian Friel, Irish dramatist “Irish Chekhov” (Dancing at Lughnasa); Algis Budrys, Lithuanian-American sci-fi author (Man of Earth); Sonia Garmers, Curaçao writer (Dear Queen); Wilbur Smith, Zambian novelist (War Cry, River God); Anne Rivers Siddons, American writer; Klaus Schlesinger, German writer; Robert Drewe, Australian author; Harun Farocki, German filmmaker & author (Nicht loeschbares Feur); Morris Gleitzman, British-Australian children’s author; Michiko Kakutani, American literary critic; Oliver Goldstick, American screenwriter; and Hal Niedzviecki, Canadian novelist & cultural critic.

Any names familiar to you? The only name I know is Judith Krantz. 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

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Terrifying New Year promotion, running from now until the end of January. With 118 novels available, there’s bound to me something to catch your interest.

My Work in Progress

Slide1I finally posted chapter twenty-one to the two online subscription writing sites I used. Ultimate Escalation received another chapter ten reviews, bringing the total to 468. Plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

The Bedlam operatives congregated in Willie’s room. They removed the false bottoms of their suitcases. Inside each one was a SIG Sauer P226, a shoulder holster, and three magazines. A Ka-Bar knife and small whetstone completed their arsenals.

Alfie shoved a magazine into his pistol and chambered a round. “Now, I don’t feel naked.”

“Please—that’s a picture I don’t want to see.” Nate covered his eyes. “Promise you won’t walk around without any clothes on.”

Alfie laughed. “Just for you, I might do it.”

“Calm down, guys.” Willie finished logging into his email. “Something from headquarters. Let’s see what’s up.”

To: Rebel, Bedlam, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

From: Bedlam Actual

Source reports associates of primary target transited Karachi and are now in Peshawar. Recommend flying to Islamabad and driving the rest of the way as the Peshawar Airport is likely under surveillance. Advise caution. Remaining team members now on standby. ACK.

Willie acknowledged their new orders and turned to Nate and Alfie.  “Looks like we’re on the road again. Vladimir’s associates are now in Peshawar.”

“Isn’t Nikolaev holed up in Pesh?” Nate yawned.

“According to the latest intel, that’s his current base of operations.” Willie scanned the list of flights. “Next flight to Islamabad is tomorrow at 07:00.  Once there, we’ll rent a vehicle for the remainder of the journey.”

“No flights tonight?” Alfie slid the blade of his Ka-Bar across the whetstone.

“Yes, one, but we won’t arrive at the airport in time for departure. Suggest we eat in the hotel and have an early night. Our sleep’s likely to be minimal once we reach Peshawar.” He picked up the phone from the desk. “I better let them know our plans changes and were leaving in the morning.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’ll resume posting my reviews next time, beginning with The Lair of Anubis (The Project Book 20) by Alex Lukeman.

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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 2, 2022

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a safe and prosperous 2022! We had a quiet night at home, but did catch the fireworks shown on the t.v. from around the world. There were plenty of fireworks in the area, too, based on the sounds, but we couldn’t see them.

The cream tea river cruise on the Firth of Forth was good and it was interesting to see Blackness Castle. I didn’t know the castle was referred to as ‘the ship that never sailed’ due to its great stone ship appearance, but if you look at the photo below you’ll see. The castle was closed to visitors at this time, but we hope to make a trip inside in the future.

Screenshot 2022-01-02 at 08-44-57 Blackness Castle, Linlithgow – Castles

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “In Life, it’s not where you go. It’s who you travel with.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 2nd, the first Sunday of the new year. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Philip Freneau, poet of American Revolution (The American Village); Henry Kingsley, English Australian writer; Mendele Moykher Sforim, Jewish writer; Ernst Barlach, German writer and artist; Johannes L “Jan” Walch, Dutch literary (Grimaces); Jacques Chardonne [Boutelleau], French writer (l’Epithalame); Moyshe Leyb Halpern, Galican/American poet; Robert Nathan, American poet and novelist (Portrait of Jennie); Rene Etiemble, French literature historian (Parlez-vous Franglais); Ulrich Becher, German writer and playwright; Srirangam Srinivasarao [Sri Sri], Telugu Poet; Isaac Asimov, Russian scientist and sci-fi writer (I Robot, Foundation Trilogy); David Herbert, publisher; Gerhard Amanshauser, writer; Daisaku Ikeda, Japanese writer; Morimura Seiichi, Japanese novelist; and Hans Herbjørnsrud, Norwegian author.

Any names familiar to you? The only name I know is Isaac Asimov. 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

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Terrifying New Year promotion, running from now until the end of January. With 118 novels available, there’s bound to me something to catch your interest.

My Work in Progress

Slide1I didn’t get a chance to do any writing this week, but will be back to my manuscript in the coming days. Ultimate Escalation received another ninechapter reviews, bringing the total to 458. Plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Nate nudged Willie. He whispered, “Hey, does the guy who just passed through customs look familiar?”

Willie craned his neck. “Can’t tell. Why?”

“I think he was at our hotel in Dubai.”

“So? Lots of people use the same hotel before catching flights.”

Nate rubbed his chin. “Yeah, I know. But there’s something about him… Perhaps it’ll come to me.”

“Your turn.” Willie gestured toward the official beckoning Nate forward. “Be nice to the guy, right?”

After clearing customs, the three Bedlam operatives headed into the oppressive heat and sunshine. They walked past two taxis at the head of the line and climbed into the third one.

“Where to?” The driver weaved around the other taxis, waving as they blew their horns.

“Pearl Continental Hotel.” Willie reached into his backpack, pulling out an iPod and earbuds.

“Traffic is heavy. Take about an hour.”

“No rush.”

* * *

The man in the thobe leaned over the seat in the first taxi. “Follow them, but not too close.” He dropped an envelope next to the driver.

“Yes, sahib.”

They rode through the crowded streets in silence. Outside, myriad horns blew, and the squeal of worn brake pads permeated the air.

The taxi pulled into the Pearl Continental parking lot two cars behind the Bedlam operatives’ vehicle.

“Don’t go any closer. I’ll get out here.”

“Yes, sahib.

The robed man climbed out of the taxi and used a side entrance to enter the hotel. He headed to the lobby, pulling a newspaper from a rack, and sitting in a chair partially hidden behind a large golden pot and green fern. From his vantage point, he could still monitor the check-in desk.

He fished a cellphone from his pocket, dialed, and waited for someone to answer.

“Hello?”

The man spoke in Arabic-accented Russian. “Mishka, it’s me—Farook.”

“Da. Report.”

“The foreigners are at the Karachi Pearl Continental.”

“Keep an eye on them. Find out who they meet and where they go.”

“As you wish.” Farooq cut the connection.

* * *

After collecting their luggage from the trunk of the taxi, Willie, Nate, and Alfie shouldered their backpacks and pulled their roll-arounds into the hotel.

They approached the check-in desk, quiet at this time. Once they received their room cards, they headed to the elevators.

* * *

Farooq watched the elevator, noting it stopped on the fourth floor. He stood and approached the check-in desk.

The man behind the desk smiled. “Checking in, sir?”

“No.” Farooq pulled out an identification card and flashed it at the clerk. “I’m with UAE State Security. Three men just checked in.” He slid an envelope across the counter. “What are their names and room numbers?”

The clerk glanced around before grabbing the envelope and shoving it in a pocket of his shawal kameez. He studied the computer screen. “Mister Smith, Jones, and Brown are staying in rooms four oh two through four oh four.”

Farooq grinned. How original with their names. Or is it arrogance? “Thank you. Please have someone bring me a tea. I’ll be waiting in the lobby. Do not tell the mean I asked about them.”

The clerk nodded. “Your money has purchased my silence. I will arrange a tea and something for you to eat.”

“Excellent.” Farooq returned to his seat.

More next time.

This brings us to an end for another week . 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. All the best for 2022!

© Copyright 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 26, 2021

We had a good Christmas market, with plenty of books and poetry sheets sold, as well as some knitwear. Our next small business market will be on 7-9 January. In the meantime, we’re taking a rest and catching up on things with our son.

On Christmas Eve we went to a nearby hotel for dinner. As with the first two times we did this (2018 and 2019) it was another excellent meal. We spent a quiet Christmas Day at home–no snow in our area but the weather maps showed snow to the north and south of us. Today, we heading out on the Firth of Forth for a cream tea cruise under the three bridges, stopping at Blackness Castle, the backdrop for the Outlander series and the Outlaw King.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Always end the day with a positive thought. No matter how hard things were, tomorrow’s a fresh opportunity to make it better.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 26th, the fourth and last Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Peter Schenck, German/Neth engraver/publisher; Thomas Gray, English poet (Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard); Jean François de Saint-Lambert, French poet; Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm, German writer; Heinrich J von Collin, Austria dramatist/poet (Regulus); E. D. E. N. Southworth, American novelist; Dion Boucicault [Dionysus Lardner Boursiquot], Irish actor and playwright (Rip van Winkle, London Assurance); Martinus Nijhoff, Dutch publisher (Van Dale) and founder (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers); René Bazin, French novelist; Alexander Amfiteatrov, Russian-Italian journalist, newspaper editor, novelist, and historian; Harry Redman, American composer, writer, and artist; Isaiah Bowman, American geography/co-founder (Geographical Review); Henry Miller, American author (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Sexus); Jean Toomer, American writer; Willie Corsari [Wilhelmina A Schmidt], Dutch writer; Alenjo Carpentier, Cuban/French writer (Guerra del Tiempo); H. A. Gomperts, Dutch writer (Duck on Attic); Steve Allen, American comedian, composer, writer and TV host (Tonight Show, Steve Allen Show); Elizabeth Kostova, American author (The Historian); and Robert Muchamore, English children’s author.

Any names familiar to you? The only name I know is Steve Allen. 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

Slide1I didn’t get a chance to do any writing this week, but a short break doesn’t hurt. Ultimate Escalation received another seven chapter reviews, bringing the total to 449. Plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

After eating a dinner of chicken chili dry and masala fried rice, Vladimir and Mishka waited for their final guest of the day. They sat on the rear balcony, sipping on child vodka as they enjoyed a slight breeze, cooling the warm air.

“May I join you?”

Vladimir and Mishka pulled pistols from the pockets as they turned, relaxing when they recognize their visitor.

“Major Bangash—please join us. Would you care for some vodka? Vladimir lifted a bottle from an ice bucket.

“Just tea for me.”

“Of course.” Vladimir gestured toward a chair. “Please have a seat. Yusuuf brought a pot of tea for you.” He stood, picked up a teapot, and filled a cup before handing it to Bangash.

“Thank you.” He sipped the warm drink. “I have two pieces of information to share with you.”

“Please go ahead.”

“My contact in Dubai said three Westerners asked bout you.”

“Anything we should be concerned about?”

Bangash shook his head. “No. These men will soon be in Karachi. They will be followed, and when the time is right, they will meet with an untimely accident.”

“Do you know their names?’

“No. But my contact said they are native English speakers, if that helps.”

Vladimir tilted his head. “It does.” Which Western intelligence agency do they represent? “Don’t do anything to them until I give the word. They might be useful.”

“As you wish.” Bangash took another sip of his tea. “The other information will be of more interest to you. ISI captured two Russian agents over the weekend. They wanted to know your whereabouts. There’s a price of two hundred fifty thousand euros on your head—dead or alive, but dead is the preferred option.”

“Is that all?” Vladimir chuckled. “Must be Putin who set the price. He’s always been a miser. Where are these agents? I assume they work for the GRU?”

“I believe so.” Bangash nodded.

“Where are they?”

“Yesterday, I arranged for their departure.” Bangash grinned. “I told them if they didn’t leave Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within twenty-four hours, they’d be taken to Afghanistan and turned over to the Taliban.” He finished his tea. “Last I heard, they’re on tonight’s flight to Dubai.”

“Excellent.” Vladimir handed an envelope to Bangash. “Here’s your monthly retainer.”

“Thank you, Colonel. Your generosity allows me to keep my wife in the style she has become accustomed to.”

A smile creased Vladimir’s face before his eyes hardened like lumps of coal. “As long as you don’t double-cross me, you’ll be able to continue doing so. Otherwise, you’ll learn firsthand about Spetsnaz retribution.”

More next time.

This brings us to an end for another week as I need to get ready for the river cruise. 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. See you again in 2022!

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 19, 2021

It’s been a busy week with the Xmas market still underway. We’ll be participating through Monday, while some of the vendors will remain through Christmas Eve.

We received a fantastic Christmas present on Thursday–Craig arrived from Washington, D.C., for three weeks! It’s great to have him with us.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “In Life, it’s not where you go. It’s who you travel with.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 19th, the third  Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Su Tung-p’o, China, poet/essayist/painter/calligrapher; William Bowyer, English printer; Manuel Breton de los Herreros, Quel Spain, poet/comic playwright; Italo Svevo, Trieste Austria, Italian novelist (La Coscienza di Zeno); F S Flint, translator/poet (imagist movement); Ingeborg Refling-Hagen, Norwegian author/poet (Loke Saar Havre); Maurice Roelants, Flemish novelist and poet (Komen en gaan, Prayer for a Good End); Oliver [Hazard Perry] La Farge, American anthropologist and novelist; Theo Harych, German writer; H Allen Smith, Ill, humorist/author (Low Man on Totem Pole); Jean Genet, French novelist (The Thief’s Journal, Our Lady of the Flowers) and playwright (The Balcony, The Maids); Jose Lezama Lima, poet/novelist; Adriaan van der Veen, Dutch writer (Sister at Sea); Benedict Freedman, novelist and mathematician (Mrs Mike); Michel Tournier, French writer (Friday, or, The Other Island); Tankred Dorst, German playwright; James Booth [David Geeves], British actor and screenwriter (Zulu, Keeping Mum); Howard Sackler, American screenwriter; Salvador Elizondo, Mexican writer; Jean-Patrick Manchette, French thriller writer (3 to Kill, The Prone Gunman); Michelangelo Signorile, American writer; Jon Smith, British writer; and Patrick Casey, American screenwriter and actor.

Any names familiar to you? I admit I didn’t find anyone I knew. 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

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Thrilling Christmas promotion, running from now through Christmas Day. With ninety novels available, there’s bound to me something for that special someone on your Christmas list or even for yourself, but you’ll have to hurry!

My Work in Progress

Slide1With all of the time at the Christmas market, I haven’t had much time to write. However, I began working on a new manuscript for Frozen Conquest. More about this one in the future. A total of bube chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 442. Definitely some great comments to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Yusuuf escorted Ajit and Imran into the living room, returning moments later with a plate of sliced fruit and cups of tea.

After exchanging pleasantries, Vladimir motioned for them to sit. “What can I do for your today?”

Ajit sipped his tea and set the cup down. “First, our apologies for the incident during our meeting by Bahawalpur. We thought it best to come to you here to continue our discussions.”

“The council agreed we would speak on their behalf, and they would accept whatever arrangements we make.” Imran picked up a mango slice and took a bite. “We are uncertain how the attackers found out about our meeting, but we shall find out. Even if it was one of our own, he will be dealt with.”

Vladimir waved a hand in dismissal. “In our line of work, there are always interruptions. Nothing to be concerned about.” He stared at Ajit and Imran in turn. “I believe there might be a way to bring India and Pakistan together to resolve the Punjabi situation. However, there will be bloodshed.”

Ajit leaned closer. “What do you propose?”

“First, we begin with peaceful protests on either side of the border. These will become more intense as time passes. Minor attacks will take place, escalating until the military forces of each country are involved.” Vladimir stared at the ceiling. “We’ll need someone to organize peace talks between India and Pakistan, but this can be arranged later.”

“India and Pakistan are always talking and making threats.” Ajit pursed his lips. “Why should this be any different? Kashmir is still a disputed territory without a resolution in sight. Why should they agree to resolve the Punjab situation?”

Mishka tapped the side of his nose. “We’ll make them.”

“How?” A puzzled expression creased Imran’s face. “I don’t understand.”

“We have a weapon which will wreak havoc on Pakistan and India’s financial centers. If they do not agree to our terms, we will destroy their economies.”

Imran glanced at Ajit. “What is this weapon?”

“It will be revealed to you only if the situation requires its use.” Vladimir crossed his arms and leaned back on the sofa.

Ajit nodded. “This is agreeable to us. When shall we begin?”

“Mishka will take a team into India. Please provide the name of a contact in Chandigarh, so we can coordinate the protests. I will lead the team here—we’ll set up in Lahore.”

“We have such a contact—Vedant Mohdi. He works in Chandigarh’s civic administration but believes in uniting Punjab.” Ajit smiled. “He is one of my wife’s cousins and can be trusted.”

“Excellent.” Vladimir tilted his head. As if any of them can be trusted—we’ll have to be alert for treachery. “I think we’re in agreement. We’ll move our teams into position within ten days.”

More next time.

This brings us to an end for another week as I need to get ready for today’s market. 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. Merry Christmas to all!

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 12, 2021

We’ve had mixed weather this week but fortunately, no snow. Today it even feels mild at 46F/7C. Not sure how long it’ll last, but we’ll take what we can get.

It’s been a busy week with the Christmas market in full swing. So far, I’ve sold thirty-two signed copies of my novels. Sylvia’s done well too, with around twenty-five of her laminated poetry sheets sold and six of her debut poetry book, Colours of My Life. We’re back at it again today and hope to have another good day as Christmas keeps approaching.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Honesty is a very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 12th, the second  Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays): Olof Rudbeck, Swedish scientist, writer and composer; Peter Rabus, Dutch poet and translator (Liberated Britanje); Erasmus Darwin, influential English physician, poet, philosopher, and botanist (grandfather of Charles Darwin); Gustave Flaubert, French novelist (Madame Bovary); Maurice Donnay, French playwright (Lovers); Paul Elmer More, American critic and essayist; Volter Kilpi, Finnish writer (Alastalon salissa); Howard Koch, American playwright and screenwriter; Manès Sperber, Austrian-French writer (Like a Tear in the Ocean: A Trilogy); Armand Boni, Flemish poet and writer; Nilda Pinto, Curacao writer (Nanzi); Ahmad Shamlou, Iranian poet (The Book of Alley); Chinghiz Aitmatov, Soviet-Kyrgyz author and best-known figure in Kyrgyzstan’s literature (Jamila); John Osborne, English playwright (Entertainer, Look Back in Anger, Luther); Ali-Akbar Sa’idi Sirjani, Iranian writer and journalist; Bengt Emil Johnson, Swedish author and composer; Karl Edward Wagner, American sci-fi author (Bloodstone, Night Winds); Robert Lepage, French Canadian playwright; and Sophie Kinsella, English author (Confessions of a Shopaholic).

Any names familiar to you? I know two: Charles Darwin and Gustave Flaubert. 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

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Thrilling Christmas promotion, running from now through Christmas Day. With ninety novels available, there’s bound to me something for that special someone on your Christmas list or even for yourself!

My Work in Progress

Slide1With all of the time at the Christmas market, I haven’t had much time to write. However, I do have drafts of chapters twenty-one and twenty-two.  A total of eight chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 433. Definitely some great comments to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Mishka approached the door. “Da? Who is it?”

“Is that you, Mishka? Open up—it’s Grigori.”

Mishka slid the deadbolts and lifted the metal retaining bar stretching across the frame. Aiming his pistol toward the entrance, he pulled the door open. He spotted his old friend and relaxed. “Come in.”

After Grigori stepped inside, he hooked a thumb toward the Loud music, bright lights, and gunfire coming from behind the property. “What’s with the party?”

“A wedding celebration.” Mishka laughed. “Vladimir thought we were under attack. Don’t tell him I said this, but I think he’s getting too old to keep up with us.”

“Where is our comrade colonel?”

“Upstairs. He was pacing the balcony, watching for intruders when you pounded on the door.”

Grigori chuckled. “I’m sure his recent injury is accounting for some of his apprehension. Why don’t—”

“Welcome, Grigori!” Vladimir’s voice boomed as he descended the marble stairs, an AK-47 nestled in his arms. “Come in. Sorry about the noise, but they should be finishing soon.” He gestured toward a barred window where early morning sunlight lightened the sky. “These parties last all night, but everyone disappears by sunup—just like vampires and werewolves in European folklore.”

“Mishka said you were watching for intruders?”

“Da. Can’t be too careful.” Vladimir dismissed Grigori’s comment with a wave of his hand. “Is it too early for vodka? Yusuuf should be here soon to make breakfast, but nothing like a good drink to wake you up.”

Mishka resecured the door. “Yusuuf arrived about an hour ago, laden with fresh fruit. He’s making sharlotka.”

Grigori’s stomach rumbled. “I haven’t had sharlotka for a long time. My mother’s was the best. She always said the secret was slicing the apples so you could almost see through them and adding plenty of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.”

“Breakfast first, then the vodka.” Vladimir led them through the swinging doors into the dining room. The aroma from the breakfast cooking wafted through the air. “Take a seat and fill us in, Grigori.”

After taking a chair facing Vladimir and Mishka, Grigori eased back and crossed his arms. “As you requested, I spread the word throughout the former Spetsnaz community. Several are already committed to other endeavors, but there are twelve willing and able to support you.” He grinned.” The number doesn’t include Captains 3rd Rank Karol Pushkin and Stepan Gennadi and their crews, who will support you should it be necessary.”

Vladimir rubbed his chin and smiled. “Ah, yes. The Lyre class submarines—decommissioned in 1990 and designated for scrapping. I believe NATO referred to them as the Alfa class.”

“Da.” Grigori uncrossed his arms and leaned forward. “No one questioned Colonel General Kutzenov’s order to keep two of them from going on the scrapheap. Even the NATO inspectors were clueless.”

Vladimir tapped his fingers on the edge of his chair. “Would it be possible to arrange a short trip on one of them?”

“Da. I believe one of them will be in the Gulf of Hormuz soon so the crew can practice their targeting and evasion techniques. Do you want me to set up a visit?”

Vladimir glanced at Mishka. “Make the arrangements—we’ll both go.”

“Not counting Puskin and Gennadi, there will be seventeen of us.” Mishka rubbed a hand over his head. “Will that be enough, Vova?”

“Da. I shall lead eight here in Pakistan, and you’ll take the remainder and cause disruption in India.”

Mishka nodded. “It will be a pleasure to be back in the field again.”

Yusuuf stepped into the room and approached Vladimir. “Shall I serve breakfast, sir?”

“Da.”

***

Yusuuf escorted Ajit and Imran into the living room, returning moments later with a plate of sliced fruit and cups of tea.

After exchanging pleasantries, Vladimir motioned for them to sit. “What can I do for your today?”

Ajit sipped his tea and set the cup down. “First, our apologies for the incident during our meeting by Bahawalpur. We thought it best to come to you here to continue our discussions.”

“The council agreed we would speak on their behalf, and they would accept whatever arrangements we make.” Imran picked up a mango slice and took a bite. “We are uncertain how the attackers found out about our meeting, but we shall find out. Even if it was one of our own, he will be dealt with.”

Vladimir waved a hand in dismissal. “In our line of work, there are always interruptions. Nothing to be concerned about.” He stared at Ajit and Imran in turn. “I believe there might be a way to bring India and Pakistan together to resolve the Punjabi situation. However, there will be bloodshed.”

Ajit leaned closer. “What do you propose?”

“First, we begin with peaceful protests on either side of the border. These will become more intense as time passes. Minor attacks will take place, escalating until the military forces of each country are involved.” Vladimir stared at the ceiling. “We’ll need someone to organize peace talks between India and Pakistan, but this can be arranged later.”

“India and Pakistan are always talking and making threats.” Ajit pursed his lips. “Why should this be any different? Kashmir is still a disputed territory without a resolution in sight. Why should they agree to resolve the Punjab situation?”

Mishka tapped the side of his nose. “We’ll make them.”

“How?” A puzzled expression creased Imran’s face. “I don’t understand.”

“We have a weapon which will wreak havoc on Pakistan and India’s financial centers. If they do not agree to our terms, we will destroy their economies.”

Imran glanced at Ajit. “What is this weapon?”

“It will be revealed to you only if the situation requires its use.” Vladimir crossed his arms and leaned back on the sofa.

More next time.

This brings us to an end for another week as I need to get ready for today’s market. 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 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 5, 2021

Rain, Wind, sunshine, snow, ice–we’ve had them all in the past week. With morning temperatures hovering around freezing, the days have struggled to climb above 44F/7C. At least there hasn’t been any accumulation of snow–from flurries to a light dusting.

We had the opportunity to join a Christmas market on Friday in a nearby village. It was there first one. While it was slow, we did manage a few book and poetry sheet sales. The big Christmas market sponsored by the small business market, begins tomorrow in the local mall and runs through the 24th. Looking forward to this!

Although the game wasn’t televised locally, I was delighted to find out Michigan (2) beat Iowa (13) convincingly, 42-3, to take their first Big Ten Football Conference title since 2003. Now we’re just waiting to see if they make it into the College Football Championship.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let the challenges makes you strong.” Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow, there is only today. Be fearless. Listen to your heart. Envision your perfect day and go out there and live it. You have many smiles to share with those around you–and they with you. Radiate your love and feel that loving energy return to you. ~ Creig Crippen © Wisdom Quotes & Stories

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 5th, the first  Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Nicolas Cleynaerts, Flemish grammarian; Ubbo Emmius [van Embden], Dutch-Frisian humanist and historian; Fyodor Tyutchev, Russian poet and statesman; Afanasy Fet, Russian poet; Christina Rossetti, English poet (Winter Rain, Passing Away); Ellis Parker Butler, American author (Pigs is Pigs); Fritz Lang, Austrian-German-American filmmaker and screenwriter (Metropolis); Lady Huxley [Marie Juliette Baillot], Swiss sculptor and author; Nunnally Johnson, American screenwriter and producer; Josh Malihabadi, Urdu poet of India and Pakistan; Abraham Polonsky, American writer and director (Tell them Willie Boy is Here); Maisie Fitter, editor and conservationist; Hans Hellmut Kirst, German author (The Lieutenant Must Be Mad); Simone Gallimard, French editor and publisher; Vladimir Tendryakov, Russian writer (Three, Seven, Ace); Fazu Aliyeva, Russian poet, novelist and journalist who helped develop Dagestani in Russian literature; Joan Didion, American author and journalist (The year of Magical Thinking); Calvin Trillin, American author (New Yorker); Yury Vlasov, Soviet weightlifter and writer; James Lee Burke, American writer (Dave Robicheaux series); Horst Bastian, German writer and screenwriter; Peter Pohl, Swedish writer; and Neil Druckmann, Israeli-American writer & co-president Naughty Dog.

Any names familiar to you? I knew one–James Lee Burke. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you had a great one!

New Release

ComL-8c(1)Sylvia Grace’s debut book, Colours Of My Life, has now been released. If you enjoy poetry, prose, and short stories, there’s bound to be something you can relate to.

This is from the intro:

The time has come to share my writing after many years of hiding my light under a bushel. Enjoy!

Colours of My Life is a collection of poetry and prose inspired by my experiences and the world around me—people, animals, nature. Some poems will make you smile, others may touch your emotions and bring tears—embrace them. Gather your inner strength and enjoy the moment. Awaken your feelings and you, too, can rise again.

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Thrilling Christmas promotion, running from now through Christmas Day. With ninety novels available, there’s bound to me something for that special someone on your Christmas list or even for yourself!

My Work in Progress

Slide1When time permitted, work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation. Chapter twenty-one is almost completed.  A total of thirteen chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 425. Definitely some great comments to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Willie glanced around and spoke in a low voice. “Anything from the Russians?” He raised his sunglasses as two foreign women passed.

Alfie chuckled. “Yeah, mate. Seems like we missed Nikolaev and an associate.”

Nate nodded. “That’s what we found out through Dakila. Could have saved our money.”

Willie rubbed the side of his face. “Did you get the names of the two guys who were by the pool?”

“Only the first names—Fedor and Eduard.”

Willie pulled an iPad out of his pack and connected to the internet. He typed and sent an encrypted message.

To: Bedlam, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

From: Rebel

Target departed before our arrival. Two of his associates are leaving this evening for Pakistan. Please advise whether we follow them or return to Conus.

***

As dusk deepened, spotlights snapped on. CC, Trevor, and Evelyn stood in adjacent firing lanes and aimed their SIG Sauers downrange.

Blam! Blam! Blam!

They fired in unison, mimicking one another’s actions—left-handed, righted-handed, and both hands.

Emptying their magazines, they hit the eject buttons, dropping canisters to the ground. As they slapped new ones into place, they edged forward, shots rattling against their targets with each step.

Once again, they emptied their magazines. After reloading, CC, Trevor, and Evelyn resumed firing, moving backward with each step.

“Clear! Clear! Clear!”

CC glanced toward Evelyn on his left and nodded. He turned to his right. Time to police our lines.”

After they finished, the three Bedlam team leaders met at the loading table and began filling their magazines.

Trevor slotted a round on top of the magazine’s spring and pushed. “So, CC. When are you heading back to Scotland for a holiday?”

“If things remain quiet, it’ll be later this year. The clan’s having a ceilidh at Loch Lomond—plenty of music, food, and drink—not necessarily in that order.”

“A grand place to go—at least when it’s not raining.”

“Aye.” CC shoved the last round into a magazine and reached for another.

“When you come over, pop down to London, CC. Sir Alex and I would love to have you stay with us.”

“Aye, Evelyn. I’ll do that.” He grinned at her.

Once they reloaded, CC, Trevor, and Evelyn repeated their runs on the firing line.

After they cleaned up, Trevor slapped CC and Evelyn on the shoulder. “Enough work for today. Care to join me in the manor house for a nightcap?”

Evelyn nodded. “I’ll be there, but I want to eat first. I understand the cooks are serving ribeyes cooked to order, baked potatoes, and mixed salad tonight.”

‘Aye. I could go for a good steak. As long as the Murphy’s is flowing, I’ll join you, Trevor. Of course, a wee dram or two of a good single malt would suffice.”

More next time.

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 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Uncategorized

New Release – Colours of My Life

ComL-8c(1)Sylvia Grace’s debut book, Colours Of My Life, has now been released. If you enjoy poetry, prose, and short stories, there’s bound to be something you can relate to.

This is from the intro:

The time has come to share my writing after many years of hiding my light under a bushel. Enjoy!

Colours of My Life is a collection of poetry and prose inspired by my experiences and the world around me—people, animals, nature. Some poems will make you smile, others may touch your emotions and bring tears—embrace them. Gather your inner strength and enjoy the moment. Awaken your feelings and you, too, can rise again.

“When I read each poem… I saw Colours of My Life. Colours represent emotions. Each poem can be related to our moods … Walk with me as I share from my heart.” – Sylvia Grace.

Bio

Sylvia Grace was born in 1951 in Malta when her father, a Royal Navy technical electrician, was commissioned there. Her parents came from Tayport, Northeast Fife, where she grew up. Sylvia spent her childhood exploring the beach, sand dunes, and in Tentsmuir Forest with her pals. She loved growing up in Tayport and holds dear the many memories of her extended family who were integral to her life, especially her grandparents.

From a young age, Sylvia developed a love and passion for animals and nature. To this day, she supports numerous animal charities in the UK and internationally as well as the UK’s Woodland Trust. If you were to visit her back garden, you’d find numerous hedgehogs residing in four purpose-built houses. Her kindness knows no bounds.

Sylvia has always been an avid reader, and from time to time, puts her thoughts on paper, whether it be poetry, prose, or short stories. She’s a natural storyteller, entertaining people from an early age. A keen observer of the world around her, creativity is Sylvia’s forte. Colours of My Life is her debut book. In addition to writing, she enjoys drawing, oil painting, knitting, reading, and history. She holds internationally recognised diplomas as an Aesthetician, Cosmetologist, Swedish Massage Therapist, and an Aromatherapist. She currently resides in Scotland with her husband and four rescued cats whom she adores.

Comments From Those Who Encouraged Sylvia to Take This Step

“Heartfelt writing that explores the human condition and provides hope to all that read.” – Craig Palmer, founder of The Cultural Omnivore, a digital media magazine

“Your lovely poems are full of sights and the details you give are just so right. They take me back to years ago, when life was magical, and life was slow.” – Linda Axon, Artist

“So pleased you’re publishing your poems. I have enjoyed reading the ones you have shared.” – Margaret Davidson

“I enjoy your poems. They are such an inspiration to me during these tough times we have gone through.” Isobel Jamieson

“I love Sylvia’s poems. When I read them, I imagine being there … she brings them to life.” – Joyce Stevens

“I love reading your poems. I find them very touching” – Christine Matthews

“Thought-provoking—has a way with words, which grab at your heart. Reminiscent of American poet, Helen Steiner Rice.” – Randall Krzak, multi award-winning author

“True … From the heart … Opens up your emotions … Heartfelt … Lovely writing … Stunning … Beautiful …” – Comments from readers at various craft events

Colours Of My Life is available across the Amazon network in Kindle Unlimited, Kindle and paperback formats. Just click on the title anywhere in this release and you’ll be whisked to a universal link.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 28, 2021

Imagine my surprise when I looked outside this morning-snow! Everything was covered and it was still coming down. Since then it’s tapered off and is already starting to melt on the roads sidewalks. With the horrible winds over the past two days (hitting 100 MPH, although we were fortunate with only 55 MPH winds), Mother Nature has let everyone know she’s still around. Is this a sign of what’s in store for winter?

We were supposed to attend a monthly Artisan market in a nearby town yesterday. However, the wind storm resulted in its cancellation. Today, we’re supposed to be at a small craft event in a local hotel. First time, so we’re not sure what to expect.

Yesterday, the 10-1 University of Michigan (ranked 5th) football team played 10-1 Ohio State (ranked 2nd). Ohio State had won the previous eight games between the two teams. Michigan came out on top, 42-27. Unfortunately, I could watch the game–my sports provider elected to show the Florida-Florida State game (both teams were 5-6). At least the highlights were provided!

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

“Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let the challenges makes you strong.” Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow, there is only today. Be fearless. Listen to your heart. Envision your perfect day and go out there and live it. You have many smiles to share with those around you–and they with you. Radiate your love and feel that loving energy return to you. ~ Creig Crippen © Wisdom Quotes & Stories

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 28th, the fourth and final  Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Francesco Sforza Pallavicino, Italian theologist and historian (Istoria del Concilio di Trento); John Bunyan, English minister and author (The Pilgrim’s Progress); William Blake, English poet and artist (Songs of Innocence & Experience); Friedrich Engels, German social philosopher and revolutionary socialist who co-authored “The Communist Manifesto” with Karl Marx; James Allen, English writer (As a Man Thinketh); Jozef van Mierlo, Belgian Jesuit and literary (Hadewych); Alexander Block, Russian poet (Dvenatsat); Stefan Zweig, Austrian poet, essayist and dramatist (Beware of Pity); Brooks Atkinson, American drama critic (The New York Times); Dawn Powell, American writer (Turn, Magic Wheel); Uno Chiyo, Japanese writer (Confessions of Love); Nancy Mitford, English author (Love in a Cold Climate); Alberto Moravia [Pincherle], Italian author (Indifferent Ones); Václav Renč, Czech poet, dramatist and translator; Hugo Pos, Surinamese-Dutch poet and writer; Helen Copley, American newspaper publisher (The San Diego Union-Tribune); Dervla Murphy, Irish travel author (Full Tilt, In Ethiopia with a Mule); Rinus Ferdinandusse, Dutch editor and author (Nude on Fence); Randolph Stow, author/poet (Suburbs of Hell); Rita Mae Brown, American poet, novelist (Rubyfruit Jungle), screenwriter (Long Hot Summer), and mystery writer (Mrs. Murphy); Erwin Mortier, Belgian author; and Eka Kurniawan, Indonesian writer.

Any names familiar to you? I knew three–John Bunyan, William Blake, and Friedrich Engels. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you had a great one!

My Published Work

Mission Angola ebookI recently found out that Mission-Angola (Xavier Sear Thriller Book 1) has moved from the slush pile to the long list for the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards in their Global Thrillers category. A long way to go yet in the competition, which will be stiff as always.

Earlier this year, Mission: Angola ended its run in the 2021 Page Turner Awards as a finalist.

Fingers crossed, it will continue to move forward in the CIBAs. Stay tuned for more updates as they happen.

Coming Soon!

ComL-8c(1)No, this isn’t my book. Rather, it’s Sylvia’s debut poetry book. Released under the pen name of Sylvia Grace, Colours of My Life is a collection of Sylvia’s poetry and prose and wraps up with a couple of short stories, including one about Christmas, which is appropriate for a book being released at this time of the year. Encouraged by a myriad of people who purchased her laminated poetry sheets and have asked whether she would put her work in a book, she’s finally taking that step.

Here’s the synopsis:

Colours of My Life is a collection of poetry and prose inspired by my experiences and the world around me—people, animals, nature. Some poems will make you smile, others may touch your emotions and bring tears—embrace them. Gather your inner strength and enjoy the moment. Awaken your feelings and you, too, can rise again.

As soon as a few technical glitches are sorted out, Colours of My Life will be uploaded and available across the Amazon network in Kindle Unlimited, Kindle, and paperback formats. Hope you’ll check it out.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation. Chapter twenty was posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use.  A total of ten chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 412. Definitely some great comments to mull over!

Here’s another snippet:

The Bedlam operatives stepped out of the black Mercedes taxi and gazed at the opulence of the five-star Le Méridien Dubai Hotel. Palm trees stood guard over the entrance and throughout the manicured gardens. Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, and Bentley GTs filled the nearby parking spots. Through the hotel entrance, gold chandeliers competed with white marble columns and floor tiles.

“Ahem.” The taxi driver stood at the rear of the vehicle, placing their luggage on the ground.

Will approached and paid the fare, picking up his roll-around and a backpack.

The drive glanced at the payment and frowned before climbing behind the wheel and departing.

A member of the hotel staff rushed forward, pushing a trolley. “So, sorry, gentlemen. Let me take your luggage.”

Willie handed his suitcase to the man and turned to Nate and Alfie. “Don’t know about y’all, but I could go for something to eat.

“Sir, there is an all-day buffet available on the ground floor. I’ll show you the way when we enter.”

“Fantastic. You’re the man.”

The stocky staff member led them to the check-in desk and pointed to the opposite end of the lobby. “The buffet is to your right. I’ll take the luggage to your rooms.”

“Thanks. I’ll keep this.” Willie shouldered his backpack. “Do y’all take American money for tips?”

“Of course, sir.”

Willie pulled a twenty-dollar note from his wallet and handed it to the staff member.

“Thank you, sir. If there is anything I can do to make your stay more pleasant, ask for Dakila at the concierge desk.”

Willie nodded and led Nate and Alfie toward the buffet.

After they filled their plates, they claimed a table in the corner.

Nate glanced around. “Do you think Nikolaev is still in Dubai?”

Willie shrugged. “Only one way to find out. After we eat, we’ll ask at the front desk. They might not tell us anything, but we’ll give Dakila something to do.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Alfie scooped another forkful of eggs into his mouth. “When we entered the hotel, I thought I heard two men speaking in Russian. I couldn’t make everything out, but they were heading to the pool.”

“Find out what you can. Nate and I will go on an excursion and check out the hotel. Perhaps we’ll learn more.” Willie glanced at his watch. “We’ll join you poolside in an hour.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’m almost finished with The Lair of Anubis (The Project Book 20) by Alex Lukeman. I’ll share my thoughts about this story next time.

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 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 21, 2021

After a week of mild temperatures and wind, clouds, and rain, with only the occasional glimpse of the sun, we woke up to a bit of frost on the car this morning. Clear skies with a temperature of 40F/4C should make it a pleasant day overall–hope to clear up some of the fallen leaves before we get more rain or worse.

I watched the Michigan State-Ohio State game last night. Both teams had 9-1 records going into the game. What a crushing defeat for Michigan State, 56-7. All I can ask is: how did Ohio State lose a game earlier in the year? Next weekend, it’ll be Michigan vs. Ohio State. I’ll still back Michigan, but who knows what will happen?

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” ~ Henry Ford

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 21st, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Bale, English bishop and anti-catholic playwright (Kynge Johan); Charles Scribani, Flemish jesuit and author; Catharina Questiers, Dutch poet (Friend of Abandoned Child); Carlo Innocenzo Fragoni, Italian poet; Voltaire [Francois-Marie Arouet], French writer, philosopher and playwright (Candide); Petrus Augustus de Génestet, Dutch vicar and poet; Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cornish novelist and editor (The Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900); Franz Hessel, German writer; Harold Nicolson, English diplomat and author (Good Behaviour); Jim Bishop, American journalist and author (The Day Lincoln was Shot); Elizabeth George Speare, American author (The Witch of Blackbird Pond); Christopher Tolkien, British author and son of J. R. R. Tolkien; Marilyn French, American author (The Women’s Room); Richard Marcinko, American author; Tina Brown, British journalist (New Yorker, Tattler); and Alec Brownstein, American author, director.

Any names familiar to you? I knew one–Voltaire. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you had a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

And, finally, Revenge is participating in a promotion for Mystery & Suspense / Suspense and Romance / Suspense books released in October and November 2021. There are nineteen to choose from. Today is the final day of the promotion, so if you don’t hurry, you’ll miss out.

I found out this week that Mission Angola: Xavier Sear Thriller Book 1 has moved from the slush pile to the long list in the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Global Thrillers category. Twenty novels are vying to make the short list. Will keep you posted.

Coming Soon!

ComL-8c(1)No, this isn’t my book. Rather, it’s Sylvia’s debut poetry book. Released under the pen name of Sylvia Grace, Colours of My Life is a collection of Sylvia’s poetry and prose and wraps up with a couple of short stories, including one about Christmas, which is appropriate for a book being released at this time of the year. Encouraged by a myriad of people who purchased her laminated poetry sheets and have asked whether she would put her work in a book, she’s finally taking that step.

Here’s the synopsis:

Colours of My Life is a collection of poetry and prose inspired by my experiences and the world around me—people, animals, nature. Some poems will make you smile, others may touch your emotions and bring tears—embrace them. Gather your inner strength and enjoy the moment. Awaken your feelings and you, too, can rise again.

The paperback cover is now ready. As soon as Sylvia does a couple more content tweaks, Colours of My Life will be available across the Amazon network in Kindle Unlimited, Kindle, and paperback formats.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation, but I’m still not done with the latest chapter as my writing time was devoted to working on Sylvia’s book.  A total of fourteen chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 402. Definitely some great comments to mull over!

Here’s another snippet:

“Good morning!” A heavy-set man dressed in a stained shalwar kameez and black sandals struggled to his feet under the Arabic gum tree and lumbered toward them. “Are you ready for our journey?”

“Umar, this is Vladimir and Mishka.” Ajit motioned toward the Russians. “They will be your passengers. Will you explain how they will be hidden?”

“But of course.” Umar waddled toward the vehicle. “I will drive the truck while you will remain in a space above the cab.” He walked to an area behind the driver’s compartment and reached into a small slot. With a click, a panel opened, revealing a ladder. Grabbing a rung, he turned and grinned. “Follow me to your temporary home.”

One by one, Umar, Vladimir, and Mishka climbed the ladder and squeezed into the dark compartment.

Umar flicked a small switch, bathing the area in a dim glow. There was sufficient height to sit, but they wouldn’t be able to stand. “All the comforts of home—plenty of blankets to cushion you during the trip.” He pointed to four small holes in the ceiling. “Air vents.” He twisted around and gestured to a funnel taped to a hose. “For urination. It will fall onto the road. There are plastic bags in the corner for defecation, but these will have to remain inside with you.”

Ajit stuck his head in the opening. “Here is food and water.” He pushed in two small bags. “When you are ready, we will close the compartment and move Umar’s cargo to keep you hidden.”

“If there is an emergency, how do we escape?” Vladimir rubbed his chin.

“I forgot.” Umar twisted his body again, so he faced the far side of the compartment. “There are four latches. Pull them toward you to unlock them. Use your feet and push—a panel will open so you can get out. Use this only as a last resort. Hidden and scared is much better than revealing yourselves and being killed.”

“How do we communicate with you?” Mishka glanced around. “I see a small speaker, but nothing else.”

Umar nodded. “When you speak in a loud voice, your voice will come through. Do not do this if we are stopped. Others will be able to hear you, too.”

Vladimir nodded. “We are ready to go.”

“Excellent. It will take us about fifteen minutes to move the cargo into position. There will be two planned stops for fuel and pay tolls. Tonight, you will be in Peshawar.”

Vladimir and Mishka placed their pistols and ammunition in handy access positions and used the blankets to create makeshift beds.

“Well, Mishka. Our journey continues.”

“Da. As the American soldiers say in the war movies, ‘Hurry up and wait.’ We might as well get comfortable.”

“Agreed. I just wish we had some vodka, black bread, and dumplings.” Vladimir dug into the food bag Ajit provided. He pulled out a samosa. “Want one?”

Mishka laughed. “Da.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading an advanced copy of Hit and Run: Hit and Run – Harry Starke Genesis 7 by Blair Howard. As with all of Blair’s novels, this one will keep you guessing until the final page. It was great to see Harry and Kate head to Florida for this one, even if the case began thirty-five years ago. Will there be anyone left to know what really happened?

There are plenty of suspects to go around, but who really killed three bicyclists and severely injured another one? What was the motive? You’ll have to grab a copy to find out as I don’t like to give plots away. However, this one will have you staying up late and turning the pages to find out if Harry and Kate can solve the mystery. Another superb story from a master storyteller!

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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