Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 14, 2022

With the exception of a few sprinkles scattered throughout the week, it’s been very dry and sunny. Our low daytime temperature was 72F (22C) while the high was 83F (29C), well above our normal temperatures. There’s a yellow warning for thunderstorms, beginning in a couple of hours and running through Tuesday afternoon. While it would be nice to see a couple of thunderstorms as they are rare here, we definitely don’t need a downpour but a light and steady rain for at least twenty-four hours. Guess we’ll find out what Mother Nature has in store for us.

The price of gasoline (petrol) dropped another two pence per liter this week, down to £1.72. Still a long way from the £1.45 we experienced in January. This week’s drop brought the equivalent price of a U.S. gallon down to $8.02, a drop of eight cents a gallon.

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

“The older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. Therefore, the older I get, the more I enjoy life.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 14th, the second Sunday of the month:

Robert Hayman, English poet; Daniel Elsevier, Dutch book publisher; Letitia Elizabeth Landon, English poet (Heath’s Book of Beauty); Walter Besant, English writer and philanthropist (Rebel Queen); Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Austro–German psychiatrist and author (Psychopathia Sexualis); Henry Duff Traill, British author and journalist (The Marquis of Salisbury); Ernest T. Seton, naturalist, painter and author (Buffalo Wind-1938); Ernest Thayer, American poet who wrote the famous baseball poem “Casey”; John Galsworthy, English author (Forsyte Saga-Nobel 1932); Sibilla Aleramo [Rina Faccio], Italian feminist and poet (Una Donna); Harald Kidde, Danish writer (Aage og Else); James Pitman, British educator and spelling reformer (Alphabets and Reading: The Initial Teaching Alphabet); Eva Strittmatter, German writer (Tinko); Russell Baker, American columnist, author and humorist (NY Times); Alice Adams, American author (Beautiful Girl); Thomas Meehan, American writer (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray); Frederic Raphael, American-British writer (After the War, California Time); Marylyn Roberts, librarian/founding member (WIC); Lee Hoffman, American author (The Valdez Horses); Bryce Courtenay, Australian novelist (The Power of One); Judith Kazantzis, English poet and feminist; Steve Martin, American comedian, banjo player, author and actor (Parenthood; The Jerk; Roxanne); Danielle Steel, American author (Rememberance, Zoya, Star, Daddy); and Brannon Braga, American scriptwriter.

Any names familiar to you? There were three for me: Ernest Thayer, Steve, Martin, and Danielle Steel. 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 continue nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter ten was posted this week. There were another eight chapter reviews this week, bringing the total to 139, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story.

Here’s the next snippet:

When Admiral Blakely returned to his office, he found Matthew waiting for him.

Matthew jumped to his feet, but the admiral waved him back to his seat. “Nothing from the White House meeting—just as I expected. Tell me you have good news?”

Matthew shook his head. “I sent Chris a message, but not sure when I’ll hear back. I googled ‘Beware the Devil.’ There were over fifty-one million hits. I’ll build some algorithms to whittle things down.”

The admiral nodded. “I better notify the teams. Maybe someone has a contact they can reach out to and get some intel.”

After Matthew departed, the admiral turned to his computer and began his normal index finger typing.

To: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, QRF-1

From: Bedlam

Reach out to your contacts regarding strange events at the UK, French, and German bourses. Someone is attacking them and exhibits world-class hacking skills. This might be sponsored by one of the unfriendly countries. but no proof thus far. No specific demands yet, but we’ve been warned.

After he sent his message, the admiral leaned back in his chair and stared at the acoustic tiles covering the ceiling. What now? Whoever is behind this wants something big. I can feel it.

More next time.

Book Promotions

My novels continue to participate in three Bookfunnel promotions during August:

Summer adventure group promo. Action & Adventure and Action & Adventure / Military & Warfare. Twenty-one novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/lawrence01/8ctktxhlbs

Dinner and a Show! All Genres group promo. There are forty-eight novels to choose from in this one!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/dinnerandashow/yz3hvu1es8

Heart Pounding Reads group promo. Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy. Forty-six more novels to check out:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/heart-pounding-reads/wl15j4pi5e

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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Randall’s Ramblings, August 8, 2022

I didn’t get a chance yesterday to do my regular Sunday post as I was at the final day of the monthly three-day small business market event. It was a good weekend, with sixteen of my novels going to new homes. In addition, four of Sylvia’s poetry books sold, along with eleven of her laminated poetry sheets. It was also great to see a larger number of people visiting the event than in the past couple of months.

We had a surprise at the gasoline (petrol) pumps this week. The price dropped eleven pence per liter in one day! Now it’s £1.74 a liter. That brought the equivalent price of a U.S. gallon down to $8.10, a drop of fifty-eight cents a gallon.

I’m pleased to announce Ultimate Escalation is now under contract with Solstice Publishing. Once I have the new cover (assuming they will change from what I’ve been using) I’ll put it in the next available post, along with the blurb.

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 August eighth:

Conrad Lycosthenes, French-born German humanist and encyclopedist; Johann C Adelung, German linguist/librarian; Emilie Flygare-Carlén, Swedish novelist; Henry Osborn, Conn, paleontologist/author (52 Years of Research); Sara Teasdale, American poet (1st Pulitzer Prize-1918-“Love Songs”); Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, writer (Yearling); Wachtang Ananjan, writer; Andre Demedts, Flemish writer (Rainfall of the Days); Daan Wildschut, painter/glazenier/author; Elis Juliana, Antillian writer/poet (Lady of the Night: A flower); Yuri Kasakow, Russian writer; Joan Mondale (née Adams;), American artist, author, and wife of US vice-president Walter Mondale; Terry Nation, writer (Dr Who, Blake 7); Randy Shilts, American journalist and author; Jostein Gaarder, Norwegian author; and Anastasia Ashman, American writer and digital strategist (GlobalNiche).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Terry Nation. 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 continue nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter nine was posted this week. There were another eleven chapter reviews this week, bringing the total to 131, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.

Here’s the next snippet:

Admiral Blakely hit a button on the telephone console on his desk. “Please send Matthew in.”

Moments later, someone knocked on the admiral’s door.

“Come in.”

Matthew entered, a folder tucked under one arm and Starbucks coffee cups in each hand. “Ready for a refill, Admiral?”

The admiral smiled as he took one of the cups. “Did you install a camera in my office, Matthew? You always seem to know when I’m ready for a fresh coffee.”

“I just figure when I’m ready, you will be too.” Matthew smiled.

“Did you read the warning the Fed shared with the intel community?”

Matthew nodded. “I admire whoever was behind it. Although several bourses were targeted, no one lost a penny.”

“In the world you live in, you would probably admire the culprits.” The admiral pried the cover off his coffee and sipped. “Anyway, what do you think?”

“These are world-class hackers—no doubt about it.” Matthew set his unopened coffee on a coaster on an end table and opened the folder he brought with him. I think they won’t have any problem carrying out their threats—their warnings should be heeded. Did they provide any specific demands?”

The admiral shook his head. “No. I’m attending a meeting at the White House regarding this warning. I’ll give them your brief assessment.”

“There’s something else, Admiral. When I attended MIT, my roommate and I used a simple number substitution code to keep our text messages secret from any prying eyes. We would arrange where to meet, who was dating who, things like that.” Matthew removed a sheet of paper from the folder and handed it to the admiral.”

“Aware of your love for numbers, I know you’re Numerologist. Who’s Knuckle Dragger?”

“He was my roommate. He sent this message a few days ago.”

“I assume you can still read this?”

Matthew nodded. “Yes, Admiral. His message reads, Beware the Devil. Attack imminent. I sent a response saying I’d get the word out.’ Matthew’s face reddened. “I forgot to tell you earlier.”

The admiral waved a hand. “Any idea what he’s warning us about?”

Matthew shook his head.  “Not yet. He sent it to me through the dark web. I suspect he’s trying to avoid detection.”

“What’s his name? Do you know where he is?”

“His name is Chris—Chris Handler. He had a bad habit of cracking his knuckles whenever he was nervous. We kept in contact for a long time after we left MIT, but this is the first I’ve heard from him in a couple of years.”

Matthew pulled another sheet of paper from his folder. “Here’s another one—he sent this yesterday.”

The admiral shook his head after he read the decrypted message.

Same source caused todays stock market interruptions. Prepare for more to come.

“Still no mention of who is behind these attacks. Nor does he give his location.”

“He did repeat his earlier reference to the Devil. I’m going to do some research to see if anything pops up that we can use.”

“Excellent idea.” The admiral pursed his lips. “Could you send him a message and ask for specifics about who is behind this? If he needs protection, tell him we can provide it.” The admiral glanced at the clock. “I better head to the White House. We’ll talk again when I return.”

“Yes, Admiral.” Matthew picked up his coffee cup and followed the admiral out the door, turning toward his office.

More next time.

Book Promotions

My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions during August:

Summer adventure group promo. Action & Adventure and Action & Adventure / Military & Warfare. Twenty-one novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/lawrence01/8ctktxhlbs

Dinner and a Show! All Genres group promo. There are forty-eight novels to choose from in this one!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/dinnerandashow/yz3hvu1es8

Heart Pounding Reads group promo. Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy. Forty-six more novels to check out:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/heart-pounding-reads/wl15j4pi5e

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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Randall’s Ramblings, July 31, 2022

While some parts of the UK are struggling with a lack of rain and hosepipe bans have been put in place, we continue to receive showers compliments of Mother Nature. Even though the rainfall is less than the average, it’s still persistent enough to keep things green, although potted plants still require watering. As I look outside, a light shower is now upon us.

Craig finished his visit this past week. We did two more outings: Callendar House, which has played host to many great historical figures over the centuries, including Mary, Queen of Scots, Cromwell and Bonnie Prince Charlie. It dates from the 14th century. It is set in the nationally-important historic designed landscape of Callendar Park, which also contains a section of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site. Permanent displays include the story of Callendar House, a history covering the 11th to the 19th centuries, the Antonine Wall, Rome’s Northern Frontier, and Falkirk: Crucible of Revolution 1750-1850, which explains how the local area was transformed during the first century of the industrial era.

Our last stop was to the Culross Abbey. It was founded in 1217 by Malcolm I, Mormaer or Earl of Fife, and was first colonised by monks from Kinloss Abbey. Culross may have been chosen to establish an abbey because this was the birthplace of Saint Mungo. It is evident that the abbey was built over the earlier Pictish church supposedly founded by Saint Serf in the 6th century. During Craig’s next visit, we’ll be checking out places that were currently closed for safety checks.

At last we’re starting to see the upward trend of gasoline (petrol) prices retreat. During the past two weeks, prices have dropped from £1.92 a liter to £1.85. This make the equivalent price of a U.S. gallon at $8.68 based on the current exchange rate.

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

“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all others can’t stop you. The only one who stops you is yourself.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 31st, the fifth and final Sunday of the month:

Peter Rosegger, Austrian poet and Nobel Prize laureate; Harry Northrup [Henri N.], French-born American poet and actor (The Heart of Maryland, The Unchastened Woman); Munshi Premchand [Dhanpat Rai], Indian author; Grete Gulbransson, Austrian writer and poet (Geliebte Schatten); Arthur Daley, American sportswriter (NY Times-Pulitzer 1956); Brett Halliday, American writer (Dividend on Death); Louis De Funes, French actor and writer (The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacobs); Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist and writer; Norman Del Mar, British conductor and writer (Conducting Brahms); Primo Levi, Italian chemist and writer (Survival in Auschwitz); Walter Vogt, Swiss writer (Wüthrich) and psychiatrist; Oriana Fallaci, Italian journalist and writer; Lynne Reid Banks, British author (The Indian in the Cupboard); Cees Nooteboom, Dutch writer and journalist (Rituelen); Yvon Deschamps, French Canadian author and humorist; Mort Crim, American broadcast journalist, author, and inspiration for the Ron Burgundy character in the “Anchorman” films; João Barreiros, Portuguese writer (Um Dia com Júlia na Necrosfera); J. K. Rowling, English writer (Harry Potter novels);Elizabeth Wurtzel, American author (Prozac Nation); and Ahmad Akbarpour, Iranian writer (The Train of That Night).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: J. K. Rowling, who should be familiar to everyone. 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 continue nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter eight was posted this week. There were another sixteen chapter reviews this week, bringing the total to 120, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.

Here’s the next snippet:

After a quick meal, they headed back to the off-base house and gathered once again in the living room. This time, August retrieved the drinks.

Rufus unlocked a cabinet, pulled out his laptop, and booted it. While they waited, he turned to the others. “I placed all the applications on here. Eight are prior military, while the other two are FBI agents looking for a career change.”

“Aye.” CC sipped his German beer. “We’ll give you our opinions, but in the end, the choice is yours.”

Rufus nodded. “Admiral Blakely said we should pick four people, for now, giving us a decent QRF staff as we could split into two three-man teams, if necessary, although I think eight would be better.”

Trevor glanced at CC. “Fully agree with you. However, in our recent team building, the admiral indicated changes would need to wait for additional funding.”

“Aye. If everything works out, we’ll get the necessary funding in the next budget.”

“I recommend picking four people you want right away.” Evelyn sipped her white wine. “Choose two others as alternates—they can be added to the team when the budget is sorted.” She smiled. “Of course, it depends on how many met the threshold for being offered positions.”

“Makes sense.” Rufus clicked on the first file and opened it. “I’ve blocked the names in case any of us know the applicants and might show inadvertent favoritism. For now, they’ll be known as one through ten.”

“Aye. Excellent idea.” CC scooted forward.

* * *

Over the next three hours, the five Bedlam personnel reviewed the files. Two were rejected outright due to a lack of operational experience. While well-trained, they were desk jockeys and never served in a high-tension environment.

They took a short restroom break and replaced their empty drinks.

Rufus led them outside for a breath of fresh air.

“Will you keep this place when you’ve assembled your teams?” Evelyn glanced at the other houses on the street.

Rufus nodded and pointed to two others, both larger than their current one. “Yes. Those houses over there each have three bedrooms. Each member will have their own bedroom but will have to share the common areas. Meanwhile, August and I will stay here. It’s only two bedrooms but plenty of space for us.” He yawned. “Shall we get back to it?”

Everyone agreed, and they returned inside.

After an additional two hours, they reached a decision: one, three, four, six, eight, and nine.

“Shall we uncover their names and faces to see if we know any of them?” Rufus unblocked the hidden information and stepped through the six applicants.

“Wait.” CC raised a hand. “Number nine—I recognize his photo and name. In my opinion, you don’t want him.”

“Any valid reason? He seems very qualified.” Rufus frowned.

“Aye. He’s qualified, but that’s not the problem. He resents authority from those he considers junior to his abilities. In Afghanistan, he killed an Afghan captain after a disagreement. Charges were never filed—I think the rest of his team didn’t want to deal with any repercussions as they could end up like the captain.” CC gazed into each of their faces. “He also trilled to kill an American army colonel looking into the Afghan captain’s death—me.”

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

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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:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/who-dunnit-sale-promotion/wmunq702wf

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/actionadventuremysteries/sf56iydmmv

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/hot-pirate-summer/nx2e0p1cvm

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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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:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/who-dunnit-sale-promotion/wmunq702wf

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/actionadventuremysteries/sf56iydmmv

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/hot-pirate-summer/nx2e0p1cvm

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

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, July 3, 2022

For those celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend, have a Happy Fourth!  For my Canadian readers, a belated (1st of July) Happy Canada Day!

It’s been a rainy week but it’s keeping everything green. The temperature high for the week was 68F (20C) on Wednesday and Thursday. The weeds have been growing like crazy, so each day between showers I’ve been pulling out as many as I can. We have a brick driveway, and loads of weeds have taken root between the cracks, so I’ve been pulling up the bricks, removing the weeds and re-seating the bricks. Definitely a time-consuming job.

After three consecutive weeks of climbing gasoline (petrol) prices, things were stable this week at £1.92 a liter, making an equivalent U.S. gallon at $8.95, down twelve cents a gallon because the exchange rate this week favored the British pound.

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

“The older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. Therefore, the older I get, the more I enjoy life.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 3rd, the first final Sunday of the month:

Claude Fauchet, French historian; Edward Young, English poet (Revenge, Complaint); Arnold Hoogvliet, Dutch poet (Abraham the Patriarch); Nikolai Poveloi, Russian writer and publisher (Sotsjinenija); Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American feminist, writer and lecturer for social reform; William Henry Davies, Welsh poet (Autobiography of a Super Tramp); Franz Kafka, Czech author (Metamorphosis, Trial, Amerika); Thomas Narcejac, French writer (Vertigo); M. F. K. Fisher, American cook book author; William Deakin, British historian and warden (St Anthony’s College Oxford); Evelyn Anthony, English historical writer (Poellenberg Inheritance); Günter Bruno Fuchs, German writer, poet and artist; Andres Burnier [Catharina Irma Dessaur], Dutch criminologist and author (Jongensuur); Manfred Bieler, German writer (The Rabbit is Me); Tom Stoppard, Czech-born British playwright (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern-1968 Tony); Jay Tarses, American actor and writer (Open All Night, Duck Factory); Michael Shea, American sci-fi author (World Fantasy Award: Nifft the Lean, Growlimb); Dave Barry, American humorist and author; and Joanne Harris, British author (Chocolat).

Any names familiar to you? I struck out again this week. 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

CB AwardsI found out this week Colombian Betrayal (A Bruce and Smith Thriller Book 1) was chosen as the winner of the action-adventure category for the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It was one of seven first place winners in the 2020 Chanticleer International Book Awards in their global thrillers category. Needless to say, I’m thrilled! Here’s a quote from one of the judges:

“This fast-paced thriller takes you deep into world of illegal drug cartels, corrupt government officials, terrorists and counter intelligence. At the center of it all is AJ Bruce, a Central Intelligence trouble-shooter and Colonel Javier Smith, an advisor with Delta Force. Together they take on Olivia Perfecta Moreno, the head of the Barranquilla Cartel. When Olivia’s daughters are kidnapped, she will stop at nothing to get them safely back, including dealing with the enemy. The story spirals, twists and turns as alliances form and break, good guys turn bad, and betrayals least expected.”

My Work in Progress

Slide1Things are progressing nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The first six 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 seventy-three reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.

Here’s the next snippet:

Ted Nicholson, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, studied the communique and shook his head. What the hell? Is this someone’s idea of a sick joke? He picked up the phone and punched a speed dial number. “Hey, Bruce. Did you receive a strange warning?”

“Yeah … but … Sorry, I had a mouth full of apple—just having my lunch.” Bruce McDermott, Governor of the Bank of England, sneezed. “Was going to call you. What nutcase dreamed this up?”

“I don’t know but telling the world’s central banks to do as they say, or we’ll be sorry doesn’t come across as a serious threat. What would attacking the LME do?”

Bruce laughed. “I haven’t the foggiest. The London Metal Exchange is better protected than your Fort Knox. I believe only a complete idiot would threaten the LME.”

“Whatever they want—” Warning alarms and shouting echoed through Ted’s handset. “What’s going on?”

“You won’t believe it—the LME just started shutting down their entire enterprise. I had a monitor tuned to activity on the floor.  When I spotted people running around more than normal, I turned up the sound. Let me turn it off.”

“Can you tell what’s happening?”

“Yes. It’s almost pitch black on the floor—mainly emergency lighting. None of the traders can do anything—their computer shut down.”

“Hmm.” Ted picked up the communique. “The warning did say darkness would descend. So what? As soon as the power’s restored, the computers will be rebooted, and it’ll be business as usual.”

“I think that’s the whole point, Ted. They, whoever they are, said it would be a warning of what’s to come if we don’t adhere to their demands. Wait a minute—looks like the LME’s coming back to life.”

“Excellent. So, Bruce. Should we pay attention to these crackpots? Obviously, they have a superb hacker to do this.”

“Well, Ted, we can always ignore the warning and see what happens. After all, they can’t take on all G7 countries, can they?”

Ted rubbed a fiver of his pencil-like mustache. “I don’t know.”

* * *

At the close of the European bourses, everything flatlined on the floors of the CAC40, FTSE100, and the DAX. Traders shouted as they sensed the loss of millions and were powerless to do anything about it.

Less than two minutes later, everything returned to normal—almost.

A statement scrolled across every monitor:

You Have Been Warned.

Another snippet next time.

Book Promotions

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

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/who-dunnit-sale-promotion/wmunq702wf

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/actionadventuremysteries/sf56iydmmv

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/hot-pirate-summer/nx2e0p1cvm

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

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, June 26, 2022

We’ve had another good week on the weather front. Our hottest day of the year so was was on Thursday when we reached 74F (24C). We definitely won’t hit it today–right now we’re at 58F (14C). There’s been a few showers this week, but most of them occurred in the evening so they didn’t impact on daytime activities.

Gasoline (Petrol) jumped again this week, with another three-pence a liter increase . Now it’s up to £1.92 a liter, making an equivalent U.S. gallon at $9.07. It would be even higher except Sterling weakened this week against the dollar. As a result, it was only an increase of eight cents for a U.S. gallon over the past week.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): While most are dreaming of success, winners wake-up and work hard to achieve it.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 26th, the fourth and final Sunday of the month:

Branwell Brontë [Patrick Branwell Brontë], English painter and writer and brother of the writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne; Bartolomé Mitre [Martínez], Argentine general, author, statesman and President (1862-1868); Julius Rodenberg [Levy], German writer (Kriegs-Songs of War & Peace); Martin Andersen Nexø, Danish writer (Pelle Erobreren; Ya’akov Cahan, Hebrew poet and writer; Anna Maria Franciska van Wageningen-Salomons, Dutch author (Girl Student); Sidney Coe Howard, American dramatist (Swords, Pulitzer 1925); Pearl S. Buck, American author (Good Earth-Nobel 1938); Stefan Andres, German writer (Wir sind Utopia); Betty Askwith, British writer and biographer; Aimé Césaire, French Martinican poet and politician; Laurie Lee, English poet and author (I Can’t Stay Long); Charlotte Zolotow, American author and publisher of children’s books (When the Wind Stops); Colin Wilson, English author (Afterlife, Book of Great Mysteries); and Yves Beauchemin, Canadian novelist (L’enfirouapé). 

Any names familiar to you? I struck out this week. 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

39375-302

The results of the 2021 Chanticleer International Books awards were announced overnight. I’m thrilled to announce that Mission: Angola (Xavier Sear Thriller Book 1) was selected as one of six first in category winners for Global Thrillers.

The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, and Carnage in Singapore (Bedlam Series) also competed this year in the Fiction Series. All categories competed against each other. The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, and Carnage in Singapore ended their run in the competition as a finalist.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Work continued once again on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The first six chapters have been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. So far, they’ve received seventy reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Here’s the next snippet:

Crash! Bang! Crunch!

A packed city bus smashed into a Honda Civic as the lights went out at the intersection. A delivery van added to the congestion, crashing into the side of the car as it whipsawed due to the impact.

Two police cars skidded to a stop near the partially overturned bus. Officers jumped out and dashed to the smoking vehicle.

Blood covered the cracked windshield. Screams and cries filtered out.

One of the officers knelt and peered inside. Looks like the driver’s a goner—headed dented from the impact.”

“Lou, we need to get inside.” His partner yanked his baton out of the belt holster. “There are kids inside.” He whacked the glass several times before it gave way under his assault. Hand on kids—help’s on the way.”

Sirens overwhelmed the cacophony as multiple fire engines, ambulances, and police cars arrived. A fire department chief took control of the scene, directing her men to hose down the vehicles’ engines to prevent any explosions.

Ray, Lou’s partner, forced his way into the bus, crawling across a pile of bloodied schoolbooks and backpacks.

Two paramedics followed him. “We’ll take over, Officer. When it’s safe to move them, can you stay by the opening, and we’ll pass them to you?”

“Of course. Let’s get moving.” Tears trickled down Ray’s face. “I have kids at the same school. I don’t see the—I hope they were on a different bus.”

The paramedic clasped Ray’s shoulder. “First responders are heading to multiple crash sites. If their bus was involved in a collision, they’ll be taken care of.” He gave Ray a weak smile. “I better start working on the injured.” The paramedic turned and knelt by the first motionless body. He checked for a pulse and shook his head before moving to the next child.

* * *

“In other news, local hospitals have been overwhelmed by multiple accidents caused during a total power outage in the downtown area. Over twenty-five men, women, and children were killed, while another sixty are being treated for injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. The cause of the outage is still under investigation. We’ll bring you more as soon as we find out.” The announcer stared into the camera, his lips pursed. “Such a tragedy.”

More next time.

Book Promotions

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

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

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, June 19, 2022

For all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!  Earlier this week I received a Father’s Day card through the mail and today there was an e-gift card in my email. Our son is like an elephant–he never forgets. Many thanks, Craig!

It’s been a pleasant week weather-wise, with our two hottest days of the year in our area, both at 71F (21C). Since the weather was so nice, a neighbor gave us a few plants for the front borders. One was a yellow geum but I don’t remember the name of the other twenty-seven plants he gave us. All of them have found homes in the borders, adding additional color.

Gasoline (Petrol) jumped again this week, with a three-pence a liter increase on Tuesday and another fiv on Saturday. Now it’s up to £1.89 a liter, making an equivalent U.S. gallon at $8.99. It would be even higher except Sterling weakened this week against the dollar. It was still a increase of thirty-eight cents for a U.S. gallon over the past week.

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

“I have just Three things to teach: Simplicity, Patience & Compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ~ Lao Tzu

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 19th, the third Sunday of the month: Annibale Caro, Italian writer and poet (Lettere familiare); Thomas Fuller, British scholar, preacher and historian (History of the Worthies of Britain); Christiaan de Placker, Flemish poet and composer; Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais, French Catholic priest and writer (L’avenir); Gustav Schwab, German writer; David Jayne Hill, American diplomat and author; Elbert Hubbard, American editor, publisher and author (Message to Garcia); José Rizal, Filipino nationalist, author (‘Noli Me Tángere’, ‘El Filibusterismo’) and ophthalmologist; Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Icelandic writer (Dr Rung); Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, French Dadaist artist and writer; Robert Herberigs, Flemish composer and writer (Hiawatha’s Song); Laura Z. Hobson, American TV writer and panelist (I’ve Got a Secret); Osamu Dazai, Japan, novelist (Tsugaru, No Longer Human); Julius Schwartz, American editor and agent; Wassil Bykau, Belarusian writer; Sybren Polet [Sijbe Minnema], Dutch writer and poet (Mannekino); Barry Took, English comedy writer; Tobias Wolff, American writer (This Boy’s Life); Robert Franklin Palmer Jr., American writer, musicologist, and musician (Deep Blues); and Salman Rushdie, British-Indian novelist (Midnight’s Children, Satanic Verses).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me this week: Salman Rushdie. 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

Things are moving along nicely on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The fifth chapter has been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. Over the past week, Frozen Conquest received another eleven reviews, bringing the total to sixty-three, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.Slide1

Here’s the next snippet:

Back in his own office, Chris eased into his chair, slamming a fist on the metal desk. Hired to handle Diablo’s information technology and communications needs, he found himself working more and more as a personal lackey. “On day … I’ll make Brown pay for his callous behavior.”

He booted his computer and logged in. Staring at the ceiling, he tapped a finger against his lips. Beware the Devil. Attack imminent.

Focusing on a mental image of his message, he encoded it as he typed:

To: Numerologist

From: Knuckle Cracker

25220 42609 22071 92223 22051 81500 26070 72624 16221 41418 13221 30700

Chris reread through it again, cracking his knuckles as he did so. Satisfied there were no errors, he connected to the Dark Web and sent his message.

He frowned. Hope Grandson remembers our university code.

A red strobe began flashing.

Chris picked up the phone and hit the appropriate button. “Yes, Mister Brown?”

“I want an update from our test team. No one is answering the phone. Where are they?”

Chris closed his eyes. The sooner I’m out of here, the better. “I’ll find out.”

Walter broke the connection.

Chris hit another button on his console.

Reginald immediately answered. “What’s up, Chris?”

“The usual. Why won’t you answer when Brown calls?”

“You know why.” Reginald sighed. “I told him it would be a few days before we can calve more of the ice. He doesn’t want excuses—just results. I told him we had to wait for the arrival of a new demolitions expert since Harold disappeared—probably dead. All he could say was, ‘It’s damn inconvenient of Harold to kill himself.’ So much for any concern about his nephew.”

“I thought Harold’s death was an accident.”

“It was. As far as Brown’s concerned, Harold was weak and couldn’t handle the pressure.”

“Okay, understood. But try to appease him and keep him off my back.”

“Will do. We’re almost finished drilling the holes for the explosives. But I’ve told the others not to touch it—no point in anyone else dying for this maniac. The money might be good, but I want to live to spend it.”

“I agree with you, Harold. Talk to you later.”

More next time.

Book Promotions

6 Novels

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

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

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

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, June 12, 2022

It’s been a mix week, weatherwise. There’s been plenty of clouds, rain, and spurts of sunshine, with temperatures about the historical averages. As we head towards the summer equinox, the days are definitely longer with first light at 04:32 this morning and last light supposed to be at 21:45. The flowers have made their appearance and the hydrangea plants heavy with their buds as they begin to change color. It’ll be a smorgasbord of color when they are all in bloom.

Last weekend’s small business market was another success. Although it was quiet, I still sold thirteen novels, while Sylvia sold two of her poetry books and nineteen of her poetry sheets. A bit under our averages but we’re still pleased with the result.

I saw yesterday the average price of a U.S. gallon of gasoline (petrol) broke $5.00. On Tuesday, we saw an eight pence per liter rise at the local pumps.  Now it’s up to £1.81, which makes it the equivalent of $8.61 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate, a jump of twenty-seven cents a gallon since last week.

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

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” ~ Mark Twain

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 12th, the second Sunday of the month:

Juan del Encina, Spanish author and composer; Harriet Martineau, British controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist; Johanna Spyri, Swiss children’s book author (Heidi); James Oliver Curwood, American journalist and writer (Kazan the wolfdog); Djuna Barnes, American author (Nightwood); Sandro Penna, Italian poet; Bill Naughton [William John Francis Naughton], English playwright (Alfie); Milovan Djilas, Yugoslavian politician and writer (The New Class); Bob Carroll, American screenwriter (I Love Lucy, Stage Two Revue, Stranger); H. C. Artmann, Austrian writer; James Archibald Houston, Canadian author and filmmaker (Tikta’Liktak); Christopher Derrick, British writer; Henry Slesar, American writer and playwright (The Edge of Night); Anne Frank, Dutch Diarist and Jewish victim of the Nazi Holocaust (Diary of Anne Frank); Brigid Brophy, British novelist (Hackenfeller’s Ape) and campaigner; Jameel Jalibi, Pakistani scholar, writer, and Urdu linguist; Rona Jaffe, American novelist (Mazes & Monsters); Christoph Meckel, German writer; Harry Glasper, English writer; Jim Goad, American author and publisher (ANSWER Me!); Jordan Peterson, Canadian psychologist and author (12 Rules for Life); and Chanel Miller, American writer (Know My Name).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me again this week: Johanna Spyri and Anne Frank. 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

Work continued once again on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The fourth chapter has been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. So far, the four chapters have received fiftytw reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.Slide1

Here’s the next snippet:

Compensating for a skid, the pilot brought his aircraft to a gentle halt. Hydraulic lifts raised an opening, allowing enough space for the plane to enter a hidden hanger.

As soon as they stopped, a door opened on the plane and a set of stairs extended. A short, mostly bald man rushed down. “Chris! Grab my bags and take them to my quarters.”

“Yes, Mister Brown.” Chris Handler, tall, slender, and sporting a thick, black beard, handed Walter a thick legal-size envelope. “Here’s your latest messages, sir.”

Walter waved a hand. “Anything urgent?”

“No, sir. All routine. Everything is moving forward according to your plan.”

“Excellent. Bring me a black coffee and a heated croissant.”

“Right away, sir.”

Walter turned and strode along a red all-weather carpet. As he walked, he glanced around his cavernous facility housing his hidden headquarters. Built in great secrecy near the Aramis Range, Prince Charles Mountains, and at a cost exceeding five billion dollars, he considered it a masterpiece. The original above-ground facility was built by the Russian Antarctic Expedition and nicknamed Soyuz Station but was officially closed in 1989.

To ensure no one found out about his headquarters, building contractors lost their lives when one of his ocean-going vessels sank during a storm, taking its cargo of innocent victims to a watery grave.

When he reached his office, Walter entered a five-digit code onto a keypad, gazed into a retinal scanner, and pressed his index finger onto another pad that popped out of the wall.

Security protocols complete, the door clicked open, and Walter walked inside, tossing his coat onto a nearby chair. He slid into his ergonomically designed chair behind a polished oak desk. Walter pushed a button under the lip of the top.

A panel opened on the left side of the desk, and a computer slowly rose and locked into position.

He logged on as an inner door opened.

Chris entered, pushing a cart holding a china coffee pot, a cup and saucer, a sugar bowl, and a covered plate. Each was trimmed in gold with a blue D prominently displayed.

He placed the cup and saucer on a pull-out shelf and poured a cup of black coffee. After using a pair of tongs, Chris deposited two sugar cubes into the steaming liquid.  After uncovering the croissants, he stepped back from the desk, cracking his knuckles. “Will there be anything else, sir?”

Walter nodded. “Will you please stop cracking your knuckles? It sounds like you’re breaking bones.”

“Sorry, sir. Just a nervous habit.”

“Well, once we launch our operation, you need to speak to someone about it.” Drives me bonkers.

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ll buzz you if I need anything else. Dismissed.” Walter sipped from his coffee and turned to the computer screen.

More next time.

Book Promotions

6 Novels

My novels are participating in four Bookfunnel promotions this month:

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

Summer Chills and Kills: A Kindle Promotion: There are 84 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/s…Thriller, Mystery & Suspense group promo. Another 70 novels in this one.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

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

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, June 5, 2022

It’s been a fairly dry week, with a lot more sunshine, especially yesterday. With the UK celebrating the Queen’s platinum jubilee this weekend, Mother Nature seems to tweaked the weather to make the thousands of street parties more enjoyable.

I’ve been back at the monthly small business market the past two days . Ten of my novels sold, while two of Sylvia’s poetry books were purchased, along with eleven of her poetry sheets. Today’s the final day for the month, so hopefully it’ll be a good one.

Over the past week, the price of petrol jumped another two pence a liter. Now it’s up to £1.73, which makes it the equivalent of $8.34 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate. This is a jump of thirty-four cents a gallon since last week.

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

“The worst part about being strong is that no one ever asks if you’re okay.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 5th, the first Sunday of the month:

Bernardino Baldi, Italian mathematician and writer; Pu Songling, Qing Dynasty Chinese writer (Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio); Cláudio Manuel da Costa, Brazilian poet; John Maynard Keynes, English economist whose ideas changed the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics; Ivy Compton-Burnett, English novelist (Manservant and Maidservant); Raden Mas Noto Soeroto, Javanese poet (Melatiknoppen); Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and dramatist (Blood Wedding); Hugo Huppert, Austrian writer and poet; Rolf Bongs, German writer; Alfred Kazin, American writer and literature critic (The Inmost Leaf); Richard Scarry, American children’s author and illustrator (What Do People Do All Day?); Cornelius Ryan, Irish war reporter and historian (Bridge too Far); Otto F. Walter, Swiss writer and publisher (Walter Verlag); Alifa Rifaat, Egyptian writer; Christy Brown, Irish novelist (My Left Foot, Down All the Days); Margaret Drabble, British author (Needle’s Eye); Ann Craft, British researcher and writer and disabilities advocate (NAPSAC); Matthew Lesko, American author; David Hare, English playwright and director (Plenty, The Hours, The Reader); Ken Follett, Welsh spy author (Eye of the Needle, Lie Down with Lions); J. J. Bittenbinder, American television host and author; Suze Orman, American financial advisor, author and TV personality and author (The Suze Orman Show); Margo Lanagan, Australian author; and Rick Riordan, American author (Percy Jackson & the Olympians).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Jon Maynard Keynes and Ken Follet. 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

Work continued this week on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The third chapter has been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. So far, the three chapters have received forty-one reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.Slide1

Here’s the next snippet:

A wheeze escaped from Brown as he clutched a hand to his chest. He reached into a drawer with the other, rummaging for his nitroglycerin pills. Where are they?

His shaking hand found the elusive bottle. With agonizing slowness, he forced the cap from the top and placed two pills under his tongue. Before long, his chest relaxed. Damn inconvenient getting old.

He picked up his glass and took another sip of his whiskey. Ah, the elixir of life. If some French nun made it to 117 drinking a glass of wine each day, why can’t I have my favorite beverage?

Brown took a final sip before turning back to his computer. He reread his message and clicked on send. And so it begins. Who will be the first to crack? Not the British—too stoic. America? A possibility. He clicked his fingers. My money’s on the French.

Enjoying the sound of his own voice, he began uttering his thoughts. “So what should my demands be? The G20 is unable to get climate change under control. Perhaps if I confiscate the G7’s gold stockpiles and share them with less wealthy nations to get climate change promises underway? Perhaps push them to provide the rarest diamonds and artwork, either from private collections or museums and banks?”

Brown stood and gazed out the window at the shimmering ocean. “Problem is, I don’t really need anything, but I crave all the power the G7 controls. As my father used to say, ‘Power is everything. Without it, you’re nothing.’”

His phone rang, interrupting his train of thought. He scowled and picked it up. “What?”

“Mister Brown, this is Pierre. I wondered what you would like for dinner this evening and at what time?”

“Hmm.” Brown tapped his fingers on the desk. “Mexican—not what you made last time, even my dog wouldn’t eat it. Order in—for 8 p.m. Make it for two—you will join me. Perhaps you can learn from the experience.”

“But, sir, I have a late-night date.”

“So? Cancel it. What’s more important? A private and personal life or taking care of my dietary needs?”

“But … but …”

“No excuses, Pierre. If you’re not in the dining room when the food arrives and I’m ready to eat, I suggest you pack your bags. You won’t find another job in this city as a chef—I promise you. “Brown hung up and sighed. “So hard to get good help.”

More next time.

The editing process is going well on Ultimate Excalation. I completed my third edit pass through the manuscript, which now stands at 78,034 words.Slide1

I sent the manuscript to my beta readers on Wednesday  and requested their feedback by July 10th. Depending upon their feedback, I’ll be submitting it to my publisher the beginning of August.

In the meantime, I’m taking a week or so off from looking at the manuscript before I start my fourth edit pass. I still want to check for missing or incorrect punctuation, misspelled or incorrect words, and make any adjustments if I think something needs a tweak.

 

Book Promotions

6 Novels

My novels are participating in four Bookfunnel promotions this month:

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

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…


THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

Summer Chills and Kills: A Kindle Promotion: There are 84 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/s…


Thriller, Mystery & Suspense group promo. Another 70 novels in this one.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

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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