Randall’s Ramblings

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Randall’s Ramblings, October 30th, 2022

As October draws to a close, we’ve had another week full of rain, wind, and clouds, with the occasional outbreak of sunshine. There was a dry period which lasted long enough for me to cut the grass (perhaps the last time this autumn) and rake the fallen leaves. However, with the wind and rain you wouldn’t know I had cleaned up the leaves as more have fallen. Today we’re off to the warmest start of the week at 56F (13C).

There was another increased in the price of gasoline (petrol) this week, climbing two pence. So we’re now at £1.67 a liter. With the current exchange rate now $1.16, this makes the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $7.51, an increase of thirty-one cents from last week.

The number of American college football games shown on Saturday remained five. This weekend, there were two from the Southeastern Conference, two from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and one from the Big Ten. As always, I recorded all of them. The Big Ten game featured Michigan against Michigan State. Because it was already 12:30 a.m. in the UK before the game started, I’ll watch it today.

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

“Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. But its your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 30th, the fifth and final Sunday of the month:

Enrico Caterino Davila, Italian writer (Storia delguerre civili Francia); Paul Pellisson, French writer; Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Irish playwright (The Rivals, The School for Scandal) and Whig MP; André Chénier, French poet killed during French Revolution; Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé, French Canadian writer; Rinse Posthumus, Frisian writer and poet; Elizabeth Madox Roberts, American poet and novelist (The Time of Man); Lena Christ, German writer (The Rumplhanni); Ezra Pound, American poet (Cantos); Zoe Akins, American playwright (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1935); Georg Heym, German writer; Jan Romein, Dutch historian (Low Countries at Sea); Kostas Karyotakis, Greek poet; Albert Rice Leventhal, American publisher (Little Golden Books); Sol Tax, American anthropologist (founded the journal Current Anthropology); Miguel Hernadez Gilabert, Spanish poet (Viento del Pueblo); Ágota Kristóf, Hungarian writer (The Notebook); Robert Caro, American journalist and biographer (Lyndon B. Johnson); and Dmitry Muratov, Russian journalist (Novaya Gazeta, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize).

Any names familiar to you? While I didn’t recognize the name of the publisher of the Little Golden Books, I certainly remember them! Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

Coming Soon!

Ultimate Escalation cover artIn case you missed it, I can now reveal the cover of Ultimate Escalation, which will be released by Solstice Publishing. The editing process with the assigned editor has been completed and the manuscript has been returned to the editor-in-chief for her final review before being published.

Here’s the blurb:

Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev, a disgraced Spetsnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful, or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

My Work in Progress

Slide1I’ve resumed work on Frozen Conquest and posted chapter seventeen to the two online subscription writing sites I use.

The sixteen posted chapters received another sixteen reviews this week, bringing the total to 295. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

I’ll be skipping the snippet again this week but will bring you another one next time. One thing I have done is changed the name of one of the minor characters. Instead of David Walliams, he will now be known as Douglas Walliams.

In case you missed the blurb, here it is:

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 to thwart the efforts of the group and restore faith. Will Antarctica become a smoking ruin or will the world suffer an economic meltdown?

AbydosI also continued working on Temples of Abydos. Chapter six was posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use and chapter seven is almost finished. This week there were another fourteen reviews, bringing the total thus far to sixty-three.

Here’s the blurb:

History professor Sylvia Burness and her husband, Charles Wilkie, a renowned Greek archeologist, are seeking a new project after spending years cataloging Celtic sites throughout the United Kingdom.

Long fascinated with Egypt, Charles proposes an excursion to one of the lesser-known locations, Abydos, a historic city that played an important role in ancient Egypt. Sylvia agrees and together they plan their trip.

Unbeknownst to them, an unethical antiquities group called Guardians of Shadows are using one of the Abydos temples as their hideout.

Will Sylvia and Charles be able to evade this group and escape with their lives or will they be entombed in Abydos for generations?

Promotions

This month The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance will be participating in a Kindle Unlimited Thriller Series Starters promotion. Only two books per author, and there are currently forty-eight participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/ku_thriller_series/t7qp6i4ek8

Five of my novels (all but Revenge) are also participating in a Mayhem & Motives: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Reads. This one allows five books per author and there are currently eight-five novels participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/mysthrillsus-oct/utj2oamorr

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, October 23rd, 2022

It’s been another week of rain, rain, and rain, with the occasional outbreak of sunshine. Last week’s rainbows were replaced with patch fog. Today looks like it might be brighter and stay dry, which would be a good thing so I can rake up the fallen leaves before they start to rot. Oh, the joys of autumn!

Over the past couple of weeks there have been warnings on the television about the possibility of power outages this winter, particularly during cold spells. It was suggested for people to prepare. I ordered four battery-operated lanterns online as the local DIY stores were out. My order was supposed to be delivered today, but I received an email informing me there was a delay with no anticipated delivery date provided.

After a few weeks with a slight downward trend in the price of gasoline (petrol) we had two three-pence increases this week, one on Tuesday and the other on Friday. So we’re now at £1.65 a liter. With the current exchange rate now $1.13, this makes the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $7.20, an increase of forty-eight cents since the last time I mentioned this.

The number of American college football games shown on Saturday has returned to five. This weekend, there were two from the Southeastern Conference, two from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and one from the Big Ten. As always, I recorded all of them. The Big Ten game was between Penn State and Minnesota, and I’ll watch this one tonight. Both Michigan and Michigan State were idle this week, giving both teams an extra week to prepare for their upcoming showdown next weekend (which will be televised here).

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

“′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.” ― Mark Twain

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 23rd, the fourth Sunday of the month:

Juan de la Cueva, Spanish dramatist; Benjamin Constant [de Rebeque], French politician and writer (Adolphe); Adalbert Stifter, Austrian author (Nachsommer); Robert Bridges, English poet (Testament of beauty) and British Poet Laureate (1913-30); Neltje Blanchan, American nature writer; Harvey Penick, American golfer, coach, author (World Golf Hall of Fame); Ned Rorem, American composer and author (Sky Music); Vasily Belov, Russian author, poet and playwright (Business as Usual, Everything’s Ahead); Michael Crichton, American novelist (Andromeda Strain, Congo, Looker) and filmmaker (Jurassic Park, ER); Nick Tosches, American writer (bio of Jerry Lee Lewis); Laurie Halse Anderson, American writer (Speak) and Meghan McCain, American columnist, author, and TV host.

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

Coming Soon!

Ultimate Escalation cover artIn case you missed it, I can now reveal the cover of Ultimate Escalation, which will be released by Solstice Publishing. I received the second edit pass of my manuscript from one of their editors. After going through his suggestions and making changes, it’s now back with him.

Here’s the blurb:

Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev, a disgraced Spetsnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful, or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

My Work in Progress

Slide1I’ve resumed work on Frozen Conquest. I didn’t quite finish chapter seventeen but hope to do so this week.

The sixteen posted chapters received another eight reviews this week, bringing the total to 279. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

I’ll be skipping the snippet this week but will bring you another one next time. One thing I have done is changed the name of one of the minor characters. Instead of David Walliams, he will now be known as Douglas Walliams.

AbydosI also continued working on Temples of Abydos. Chapter six is almost ready to post to the two online subscription writing sites I use. This week there were another five reviews, bringing the total thus far to forty-nine.

Here’s the blurb:

History professor Sylvia Burness and her husband, Charles Wilkie, a renowned Greek archeologist, are seeking a new project after spending years cataloging Celtic sites throughout the United Kingdom.

Long fascinated with Egypt, Charles proposes an excursion to one of the lesser-known locations, Abydos, a historic city that played an important role in ancient Egypt. Sylvia agrees and together they plan their trip.

Unbeknownst to them, an unethical antiquities group called Guardians of Shadows are using one of the Abydos temples as their hideout.

Will Sylvia and Charles be able to evade this group and escape with their lives or will they be entombed in Abydos for generations?

Promotions

This month The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance will be participating in a Kindle Unlimited Thriller Series Starters promotion. Only two books per author, and there are currently fifty participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/ku_thriller_series/t7qp6i4ek8

Five of my novels (all but Revenge) are also participating in a Mayhem & Motives: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Reads. This one allows five books per author and there are currently eight-five novels participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/mysthrillsus-oct/utj2oamorr

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, October 16th, 2022

It’s been another week of typical autumn weather: clouds, rain, wind, occasional bursts of sunshine. We even had a couple of rainbows this week. I almost forgot: plenty of chilly weather, too. I don’t think we hit 60F (15C) at all.  The leaves keep falling en masse, but I need to wait for a sunny day to rake them up as it’s too difficult when they’re soaked.

This evening, I’ll be getting my annual flu shot along with my fourth Covid injection. Oh joy!

Once again the number of college football games shown were reduced–this time to two, instead of the normal five. With the Major League Baseball division races underway, this will continue for some time. The two games shown were both from the Southeastern Conference. I did see some of the highlights of the Michigan-Penn State game, with Michigan increasing their record to 7-0 as a result of beating Penn State, 41-17. Michigan is one of nine remaining undefeated teams in college football. Meanwhile, Michigan broke a four-game losing streak, upending Wisconsin 34-28.

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 October 16th, the third Sunday of the month:

Charles Coypeau Dassoucy, French poet and singer; Albrecht von Haller, Swiss experimental physiologist, biologist and author (Acadamy of Science); Noah Webster, American lexicographer (Webster’s Dictionary); William Buell Sprague, American clergyman and author; Ferdinand van der Haeghen, Flemish librarian/bibliography; Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright and novelist (Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray); Camille Looten, Belgian priest/literature historian; J. B. Bury, Irish historian; Pieter J Kromsigt, theologist/publicist (Troffel & Sword); Helge Rode, Danish poet/essayist; Armin T Wegner, writer; Eugene O’Neill, American playwright (Desire Under the Elms-Nobel 1936); Cecile de Brunhoff, French storyteller; Dino Buzzati, Italian writer (The Tartar Steppe); Roger Vailland, French author (Drôle de jeu, La loi) and screenwriter; George Turner, Australian author; Kathleen Winsor, American writer; Günter Grass, German writer, playwright (The Tin Drum) and Nobel Prize laureate (1999); Paul Monette, American writer and LBT activist; and Marc Levy, French novelist.

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

Coming Soon!

Ultimate Escalation cover artI can now reveal the cover for Ultimate Escalation, which I received this week from Solstice Publishing. I also received the first edit pass of my manuscript from one of their editors. After going through his suggestions and making changes, it’s now back with him.

For those who might have missed it, here’s the blurb:

Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev, a disgraced Spetsnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful, or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

My Work in Progress

Slide1I’ve resumed work on Frozen Conquest and hope to post chapter seventeen this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use.

The sixteen posted chapters received another five reviews this week, bringing the total to 271. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

David Walliams, president of the World Bank, rifled through the stack of postal mail dropped off by his secretary. Nothing worth reading. He switched on his computer and skimmed his new messages. Routine, routine. Why can’t I receive something exciting?

He deleted the spam and filed trivial reports in their respective folders. The one-word subject of the next message from an unknown email address piqued his interest. What’s this?

 

David opened the message and studied its contents.

To: David Walliams, World Bank President

From: A concerned citizen of the world

 

Behold the beast, for he wants to destroy the world. He will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Seek him where glaciers abound.

 

David scratched his chin. Is this some kind of a joke? Why send it to me? He picked up the phone and dialed.

A deep male voice answered after the first ring. “Hello.”

“Hey, Jonny. David Walliams here. I received a strange email today. It might be from a crackpot, but with the threats against the stock markets, I thought you might be interested.” He forwarded the message to Jonny. “Just sent it to you.”

“Got it. Hmm. Just a minute—I’ll be right back.”

David listened to the classical hold music while he waited.

Moments later, Jonny came back on the line. “Sorry about that. I wanted to compare what you sent me with some earlier information that came in. I just forwarded your email to an organization already looking into this issue. If you receive anything else, just send it to me.”

“Will do, Jonny. Should I be worried?”

“You can share it with Japan, China, Germany, and the U.K., as they have the most voting power, not including the U.S. However, I recommend against sharing it with your executive directors and vice presidents. If I recall, that will push the word out to over fifty more people, and I think we should keep it contained—for now.”

“Understood.”

“Anything else, David?”

“Not today. We need to arrange another outing on the Chesapeake.”

“As soon as a quiet period appears on my schedule, I’ll let you know.”

More next time.

I also continued working on Temples of Abydos. Chapters four and five were posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. This week there were another seventeen reviews, bringing the total thus far to forty-four.

Here’s the blurb:

AbydosHistory professor Sylvia Burness and her husband, Charles Wilkie, a renowned Greek archeologist, are seeking a new project after spending years cataloging Celtic sites throughout the United Kingdom.

Long fascinated with Egypt, Charles proposes an excursion to one of the lesser-known locations, Abydos, a historic city that played an important role in ancient Egypt. Sylvia agrees and together they plan their trip.

Unbeknownst to them, an unethical antiquities group called Guardians of Shadows are using one of the Abydos temples as their hideout.

Will Sylvia and Charles be able to evade this group and escape with their lives or will they be entombed in Abydos for generations?

Promotions

This month The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance will be participating in a Kindle Unlimited Thriller Series Starters promotion. Only two books per author, and there are currently fifty participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/ku_thriller_series/t7qp6i4ek8

Five of my novels (all but Revenge) are also participating in a Mayhem & Motives: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Reads. This one allows five books per author and there are currently eight-five novels participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/mysthrillsus-oct/utj2oamorr

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, October 9th, 2022

We’re well and truly into autumn. The days are mostly filled with wind, clouds, rain, and the occasional tease with some sunshine. Leaves are turning–unfortunately the birch trees on our property go a sickly yellow, unlike some nearby oak trees. It’s that time of year to finish any pruning and raking leaves. It seems like we just did this!

With the Major League Baseball wildcard games underway, the number of college football games shown were cut in half. I did see the highlights of the Michigan-Indiana game, with Michigan increasing their record to 6-0 as a result of beating Indiana 31-10. The Ohio State and Michigan State game was televised. Unfortunately, the outcome for Michigan State, while expected, was disappointing nonetheless, as they fell 49-20 as Ohio State increase their record to 6-0.

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

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 9th, the second Sunday of the month:

Salimbene di Adam, Italian chronicler; Claude Gaspard Bachet de Meziriac, French mathematician and poet; Jan III van Foreest, Dutch lawyer, poet and mayor of Hoorn; Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni, Italian literary and critic (Arcadia); Mary Ann Shadd Cary, American-Canadian publisher and anti-slavery campaigner, 1st African American newspaper publisher (‘Provincial Freeman’); Stephanus Jacobus du Toit, South African theologist and journalist (Afrikaner Bond); Ivo Andric, Yugoslavian novelist (Bridge on Drina, Nobel 1961); Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (The Train of Life); Mário de Andrade, Brazilian writer, photographer and modernist; Bruce Catton, American historian and writer (Civil War); Léopold Sédar Senghor, Senegalese poet and 1st President of Senegal (1960-80); Harry Hooton, Australian poet; Jens Bjørneboe, Norwegian poet and writer (Dikt, Jonas); Michel Boisrond, French film director and screenwriter; Jill Ker Conway, Australian-American author, first female president of Smith College; and Pierre Mertens, French-Belgian writer (Lettres Clandestines).

Any names familiar to you? There weren’t any for me this time. 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’ve put work on Frozen Conquest on hold pending a decision regarding the names used for some of my characters. Since whatever is decided will not only impact Frozen Conquest but the next two novels in the series, I need to pause at this time.

The sixteen posted chapters received another eight reviews this week, bringing the total to 266. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

“I believe we have a security breach.” He glanced at Felix. “An unknown individual is apparently using clandestine means to communicate outside the organization even everyone signs the nondisclosure agreement saying they understood such communication is forbidden.”

Felix swallowed. I’ve only sent one message through the dark web. How did Emmanuel find out?

“I’m pretty tied up doing some special projects for Brown, so I thought Felix would be the perfect candidate to help you out.”

“I-I am?” Felix glanced between the two men.

“Sure. Next to me, you’re the best person on the team.” Emmanuel smiled. “What do you think, Sawyer?”

“It’s your call, but if you’re satisfied with Felix lending a hand, I have no problem. Speaking of hands, I need some assistance on the ice with a Sno-Cat. I skidded off the frozen path, and the machine was stuck. Could you both give me a hand? With three of us, it should only take a few minutes. The rest of the security team is tied up, or I’d get them to help me.”

“Sure thing, Sawyer.” Emmanuel stood. “Felix and I will get our gear together and meet you outside in ten minutes.”

“Excellent. We’ll take one of the larger machines in case we need to tow the other one back.”

* * *

Fifteen minutes later, the three men climbed into a Sno-Cat, with Sawyer being the wheel. “Should take about twenty minutes to get to the stuck machine. Hang on, as I’m going to use a shortcut over the ice.”

Maneuvering off the normal path, Sawyer gunned the engine as they bounced over the icy terrain.

“Is that your machine up ahead?” Emmanuel pointed to a dark smudge on the horizon. “You were well off the beaten path.”

Sawyer laughed. “Brown pays me well to search for alternate routes around crevices. It’s exciting work but can be a bit dangerous.”

As they approached the abandoned Sno-cat, Sawyer pointed to the left of the machine. “If you look closely, you can see there’s a crevice not far from where I got stuck. I was trying to go around it when my little accident happened.” He parked behind the first machine.

The men climbed out of their warm Sco-cat and inspected the other one.

Felix pointed to the left side. “Looks like some damage—something fell off.” He glanced around and spotted a red and white piece of metal near the crevice. “There it is.” He slogged through the snow toward the damaged part.

As he bent down to retrieve it, he slipped on the ice.

“Wait a minute, Felix. I’ll help you.” Sawyer stepped next to Felix. “Here, take this rope and tie it around your waist. I’ll hold you while you step closer.”

Felix did as instructed and inched his way forward. He began to turn toward Sawyer.

A dark shape hit Felix on the shoulder, propelling him toward the crevice. “Hey! What are—”

Sawyer gave Felix a final shove, and he fell through the thin ice.

Iaaaaaahh!

In an instant, Felix was gone, his body disappearing into the deep hole.

Sawyer turned to Emmanuel. “That’s another problem sorted. At this rate, you’ll have to keep working for Brown to pay your debt to me.”

Perhaps another snippet next time.

 

 

With the pause on Frozen Conquest, I’ve started work on a new series. The first novel will be called Temples of Abydos. The first three chapters have already been posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use and have received twenty-seven reviews thus far.

Abydos

Here’s the blurb:

History professor Sylvie Burness and her husband, Charles Wilkie, a renowned Greek archeologist, are seeking a new project after spending years cataloging Celtic sites throughout the United Kingdom.

Long fascinated with Egypt, Charles proposes an excursion to one of the lesser-known locations, Abydos, a historic city that played an important role in ancient Egypt. Sylvia agrees and together they plan their trip.

Unbeknownst to them, an unethical antiquities group called Guardians of Shadows are using one of the Abydos temples as their hideout.

Will Sylvia and Charles be able to evade this group and escape with their lives or will they be entombed in Abydos for generations?

Promotions

This month The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance will be participating in a Kindle Unlimited Thriller Series Starters promotion. Only two books per author, and there are currently fifty-one participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/ku_thriller_series/t7qp6i4ek8

Five of my novels (all but Revenge) are also participating in a Mayhem & Motives: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Reads. This one allows five books per author and there are currently eight-one novels participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/mysthrillsus-oct/utj2oamorr

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, October 2, 2022

The weather has been topsy-turvy all week as Mother Nature tries to make up her mind on what we should have. It wasn’t unusual to have sunshine, clouds, rain and heavy gusts–all at the same time!  Right now were at 50F (10C) with plenty of sunshine. The tops of the tress are gently rocking in the breeze.

More great news at the petrol (gasoline) pumps again this week as the price of a liter dropped four pence to £1.59. While we’re still above January’s price of £1.45, we’re heading in the right direction. With the exchange rate climbing to 1.1169 on Friday (currently 1.0847), this made the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $6.72, an increase of three cents.

In Big Ten college football, Michigan held off Iowa 27-14 to increase their record to 5-0. There aren’t any Big Ten games televised here in While this game wasn’t televised here in Scotland, there were plenty of SEC and ACC conference games to choose from.

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 October 2nd, the first Sunday of the month:

Andreas Gryphius, German lyric poet and dramatist; François-Timoléon de Choisy, French writer (Quatre dialogues sur l’immortalité de l’âme); Gunnar Wennerberg, Swedish poet and composer; Louis-Antoine Ranvier, French anatomist and historian; Wallace Stevens, American poet (Ideas of Order); Roy Campbell, South African poet (Flowering Rifle); [Henry] Graham Greene, English novelist (Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory); Jack Finney, American sci-fi and thriller author (The Body Snatchers, Time and Again); Vivian Ridler, British scholar and printer (Oxford University); Jan Morris, Welsh journalist, historian and travel writer (Among the Cities, Hong Kong, Journeys); Clay Felker, American journalist (NY Herald Tribune, Esquire); Franklin Rosemont, American poet, artist and co-founder of the Chicago Surrealist Group; Vernor [Steffen] Vinge, American sci-fi author (Witling, True Names); and Maria Ressa, Filipino-American journalist (co-founder of Rappler, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Maria Ressa. 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 sixteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’ve also made a dent in chapter seventeen.

This week, there were another fifteen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 258, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

David Walliams, president of the World Bank, rifled through the stack of postal mail dropped off by his secretary. Nothing worth reading. He switched on his computer and skimmed his new messages. Routine, routine. Why can’t I receive something exciting?

He deleted the spam and filed trivial reports in their respective folders. The one-word subject of the next message from an unknown email address piqued his interest. What’s this?

David opened the message and studied its contents.

To: David Walliams, World Bank President

From: A concerned citizen of the world

Behold the beast, for he wants to destroy the world. He will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Seek him where glaciers abound.

David scratched his chin. Is this some kind of a joke? Why send it to me? He picked up the phone and dialed.

A deep male voice answered after the first ring. “Hello.”

“Hey, Jonny. David Walliams here. I received a strange email today. It might be from a crackpot, but with the threats against the stock markets, I thought you might be interested.” He forwarded the message to Jonny. “Just sent it to you.”

“Got it. Hmm. Just a minute—I’ll be right back.”

David listened to the classical hold music while he waited.

Moments later, Jonny came back on the line. “Sorry about that. I wanted to compare what you sent me with some earlier information that came in. I just forwarded your email to an organization already looking into this issue. If you receive anything else, just send it to me.”

“Will do, Jonny. Should I be worried?”

“You can share it with Japan, China, Germany, and the U.K., as they have the most voting power, not including the U.S. However, I recommend against sharing it with your executive directors and vice presidents. If I recall, that will push the word out to over fifty more people, and I think we should keep it contained—for now.”

“Understood.”

“Anything else, David?”

“Not today. We need to arrange another outing on the Chesapeake.”

“As soon as a quiet period appears on my schedule, I’ll let you know.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

M.D. Neu, the creative genius behind the New World series (Contact, Conviction, and Conspiracy) had done it again with his latest sci-fi thriller, Volaria. While the earth’s population has dropped to four billion, new species such as the Arcanes, Lycans, and vampires, now co-exist with humans. In order for the vampires to survive, humans make mandatory monthly blood donations. Tobin Corsian decides to explore a different way of doing this by visiting a vampire spa. Will he live to regret his decision?

Follow Tobin’s journey as he tries to make sense of his life. Did he make the correct decision or was his choice one which he’ll regret for the rest of his life? As with all of M.D. Neu’s novels, you’ll be turning the pages to find out what happens next in this action-packed, spine-chilling adventure. This one will definitely appeal to sci-fi aficionados of all ages!

M.D has also announced the release of the audio version of The Calling. Being nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal.  Juliet de Exter is an Immortal who is undertaking ‘The Calling’ – a search for a human to join the Immortals.  How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast, keep the balance between the Light and Dark Immortals, survive vicious attacks while keeping the humans unaware?  More importantly, who is this foe Duncan sees in his dreams?

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/TheCalling

  Promotions

This month The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance will be participating in a Kindle Unlimited Thriller Series Starters promotion. Only two books per author, and there are currently fifty-one participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/ku_thriller_series/t7qp6i4ek8

Five of my novels (all but Revenge) are also participating in a Mayhem & Motives: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Reads. This one allows five books per author and there are currently eight-one novels participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/mysthrillsus-oct/utj2oamorr

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, September 25, 2022

The autumn temperatures continue to hit us. Most morning temperatures (at 8 a.m.) struggled to reach 46F (8C) with daily highs rarely making it beyond 60F (15C). At least we’ve had plenty of sunshine again this past week, making it feel warmer than the actual temperature. With the dry weather, I was able to do a bit of pruning around the property, in particular removing a large patch of bamboo as high as twelve feet. Since the garden refuse bin is only picked up once a month, I made six trips to the local recycling center to get rid of the evidence.

Good news at the petrol (gasoline) pumps again this week as the price of a liter dropped a further penny to £1.64. This way above the £1.45 we saw in January, but at least it’s heading in the right direction. With the exchange rate plummeting to 1.0845 on Friday (currently 1.0847), this made the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $6.69, a drop of thirty-eight cents.

In Big Ten college football, Michigan held off Maryland 34-27 to increase their record to 4-0. While this game wasn’t televised here in Scotland, they did show the Wisconsin-Ohio State game, which I recorded to watch this evening.

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

“Everything is Beautiful, But Beautiful isn’t everything.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 25th, the fourth and final Sunday of the month:

Matthew Merian the Elder, Swiss engraver and bookseller; Mark Zuesius Boxhorn, Dutch historian; Charles Robert Maturin, Irish playwright and novelist; Felicia Dorothea Hemans, English-Welsh poet (“The boy stood on the burning deck”, “The stately homes of England”); William Michael Rossetti, English writer and civil servant; Mina Kruseman, Dutch writer and feminist; Hans Vaihinger, German philosopher (Nietzsche Philosophy); Lope K. Santos, Filipino writer and Father of the Philippine National Language and Grammar; Lu Xun, Chinese writer of modern Chinese literature; Kees Boeke, Dutch reformist educator (Cosmic View); John Howard Lawson, American scriptwriter and playwright (Blockade, Algiers, Sahara); C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator; Elsa Triolet [Ella Kagan], Russian-French writer and Resistance fighter; William Faulkner, American author (Sound & Fury-Nobel 1949); Ernst von Salomon, German writer (Kette Der Tausend Kraniche); Nahman Avigad, Israeli archaeologist (Discovering Jerusalem); Red Smith, American sportscaster and columnist (Pulitzer 1976, Fight Talk); Madeleine Bourdouxhe, Belgian writer; Phyllis Pearsall, British painter and writer (A to Z Map Company); Jessica Anderson, Australian novelist (Tirra Lirra By The River; The Impersonators); Remy C. van de Kerckhove, Flemish poet; Herbert Heckmann, German writer; Shel Silverstein, American writer and cartoonist (Now Here’s My Plan: A Book of Futilities; The Giving Tree) and songwriter (“A Boy Named Sue”; “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone”); Manouchehr Atashi, Persian poet; Maj Sjowall, Swedish writer (Martin Beck crime novels); Tim Severin, British author and explorer who replicated historic voyages; Eugenia Zukerman, American flutist and novelist (Deceptive Cadence); Bell Hooks [Gloria Jean Watkins], American author, feminist, scholar and social activist; and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Spanish writer (Shadow of the Wind).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: William Faulkner. 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 Fifteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’ve also made a dent in chapter sixteen.

This week, there were another twenty-two chapter reviews, bringing the total to 243, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

The Scandinavian Protection Agency had chartered the RV Aquavit as a floating platform for their venture to Antarctica, complete with an experienced crew and a scientific staff.

Carina and Gunner joined the rest of the six-person SPA team, which would conduct their experiments on the mainland. They entered the mess and found their teammates: Ailsa Dahl, a petite blonde who was game for anything; Bertelot Gulbrandsson, the team leader and an engineer by training; Eggert Falkenberg, a blond giant of a man with a quiet nature; and Rona Lundgren, a statuesque blonde well over six feet.

“Where did you two go? Checking out the sights—or each other?” Bertelot chuckled.

Carina’s face reddened. “If you must know, I was studying the landscape above the city. It’s the last time we’ll see anything like this until we return.”

“Should have taken some photos to remind you.” Bertelot maintained a straight face.

Everyone laughed.

Rona stood. “Anyone for coffee? I’ll put on a fresh pot.”

After a round of “yes” from the rest of the team, she headed into the galley.

Another whistle blew.

A vibration ran through the deck as the engine engaged. The ship swung away from the pier, heading in a southerly direction.

Rona returned a few minutes later with a fresh pot of coffee and cups. After everyone had a refill, she raised her cup in the air. “Here’s to our next adventure—Antarctica, here we come!”

Eggert spoke in his normal deep bass voice. “I am looking forward to my first time on the ice. I have dreamed of this since I was a child.”

“Too bad you missed our Arctic excursion.” Carina smiled. “What a time to come down with chickenpox.”

“Yes. They were a present from my niece.” He thumped his chest and coughed. “But I am in perfect shape now.” He coughed again.

“Take it easy, Eggert.” Bertelot grinned. “We don’t have a doctor aboard—just a nurse.”

“Is she pretty?”

Bertelot chuckled. “I guess you could say so. The nurse’s name is Tim.”

“Oh.”

Everyone laughed as they stood.

“See everyone here in about three hours.” Bertelot pointed at Rona. “We have a guest chef tonight.”

Rona touched a finger to her cheek. “Oh. Not sure about being a chef, but I make fantastic spaghetti and meatballs.”

“I’m heading out on deck. Anyone care to join me in bidding Ushuaia farewell?”

Ailsa nodded. “I’ll join you, Carina.”

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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 18, 2022

As autumn descends upon us, so does the cooler weather, augmented by Arctic winds. Most morning temperatures (at 8 a.m.) struggled to reach 52F (11C) with daily highs rarely making it beyond 62F (17C). At least we’ve had plenty of sunshine this past week, making it feel warmer than the actual temperature.

Good news at the petrol (gasoline) pumps this week as the price of a liter dropped two pence to £1.64. This way above the £1.45 we saw in January, but at least it’s heading in the right direction. With this drop, coupled with the exchange rate dropping on Friday to its lowest in thirty-seven years (hit $1.137 before closing at $1.142) making the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $7.07.

Since returning to Scotland in 2018, it’s been rare to watch a Big Ten football conference game. Something has happened this year. BT Sports is now showing at least one Big Ten game each Saturday. I’ve watched both of my favorite teams (Michigan and Michigan State) play two games each, in addition to some of the other teams in the league. Happy days!

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

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” ~ Mother Teresa

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 18th, the third Sunday of the month:

Claudio Achillini, Italian lawyer and poet; Samuel Johnson, English scholar and lexicographer (A Dictionary of the English Language); Tomás de Iriarte, Spanish writer (Fabulas Literarias); Johann Anton Sulzer, Swiss writer and composer; Johannes Anker Larsen, Danish writer (Vises Sten); Milan Rakic, Serbian poet (Nove Pesme); William March, American writer (Company K); da Kamińska, Polish stage and screen actress, director, and writer (The Shop on Main Street; Mother Courage and Her Children); Semjon I Kirsanov, Ukrainian poet (Semj Dnej Nedeli); Helene Virginie Weijel, Dutch author (In the Street Without a Coat); and Chris Hedges, American journalist and author (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning).

Any names familiar to you? This week was a washout for me. 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 proceeding with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter fourteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’ve also made a dent in chapter fifteen.

This week, there were another seventeen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 221, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

Carina Eklund, a tall blonde with deep blue eyes, leaned against the rail of the RV Aquavit as she studied Ushuaia. She smiled as she gazed at the snow-capped Martial mountain range surrounding the city. Reminds me of home. Wonder what it would be like to ski here? Perhaps when we return. Raising a hand to shelter her eyes from the intense sunlight, she continued to look around the city before their ship departed.

Two and three-story buildings lined the street running along the harbor, ranging from hotels to restaurants.

Other ships were docked near their research vessel. One was a cruise ship from the Holland America line headquartered in Seattle, Washington while the other was an Argentinian destroyer, allowing visitor tours.

Pleasure craft crisscrossed the water, laden rucks trundled along the streets to unknown  destinations, and tourists stopped and took photos of whatever caught their attention.

Carina jumped as two hands grabbed her shoulders. She turned and smiled when she realized who was behind her. “About time you got out of bed. I thought you were going to sleep away the morning before we depart.”

“No way I’d miss our departure from civilization.” Gunner Bengtsson chuckled. “Won’t be long before penguins and seals will be our neighbors.”

“Yes, but our mission for the Scandinavian Protection Agency is an important one. The data we collect will be shared with other countries throughout the world through the United Nations to show how Antarctica is being impacted by climate change.”

Gunner nodded. “Very true. However, everything needs to be examined in perspective. Most countries will probably agree there is something to the claim about climate change, but there are plenty who disagree on the severity of the situation or how to deal with it.”

“That’s why our mission is so important. We must convince every country to support efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses.” Carina sighed. “No one said this would be easy.”

“Hey, who are those guys?” Gunner pointed to two men approaching the gangway.

Both wore red and green boiler suits. After showing identification to the security officer, they were allowed to board.

I thought all crewmembers were already onboard and making preparations to depart.”

Carina shrugged. “Might be part of the crew we haven’t met. I guess if it’s important, we’ll find out later.”

“I—”

A shrill whistle pierced the air.

Crewmembers ran to the mooring stations to release the chains, freeing the ships from the dock. Others shifted the gangway before leaping back on the ship.

Gunner tugged on Carina’s arm. “C’mon. Let’s join the rest of the team in the ship’s mess.”

“Wait.” Carina jerked her arm free. “Remember, we agreed to keep our relationship secret from the others—at least until we return to Ushuaia.”

Gunner grimaced as he stepped away. “I remember. Don’t agree, but I understand your caution. We don’t want people to jump to conclusions.”

More next time.

Vendetta-Cover-1I also started work on Vendetta, which will follow Frozen Conquest in my Bedlam series.  Here’s the synopsis:

The Bedlam organization proceeded with their plans to create a fourth operational team, based in Pretoria, South Africa. The existing team leaders, Craig Cameron, Col Trevor Franklin ®, and Lady Evelyn Evinrude are sent to assist the designated advisor with team member selections.

What should be a routine deployment is anything but as they’re targeted by unknown assailants. Who or what organization is after them, and why?

While assisting with the creation of the new team and searching for those trying to eliminate them, Craig, Trevor, and Evelyn are given a new operational mission.

The Council of Vengeance, an extremist militant group seeks to overthrow the government of a country sympathetic to Western cultures and values. Extortion, bribery, kidnapping, and murder are part of the group’s modus operandi as they surge forward toward their objectives.

How will the Bedlam teams fare in the face of adversity? Or will the militants’ efforts be rewarded?

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, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, September 11, 2022

It was quite a shock to hear on the news Thursday afternoon that doctors were concerned about the Queen’s health and her children were on the way to Balmoral. This was especially unsettling as little information has ever been released regarding her health. A few hours later, the anticipated news was released: The Queen has died. Long live the King.

Today is the twenty-first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda. Do you remember where you were when this awful tragedy occurred and claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people? I do–I was posted to the American Consulate, in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Fall temperatures and rainy weather continue. At least most days we’re still getting some sunshine, but daylight hours are rapidly shrinking. It wasn’t long ago it was still light at 11 p.m. Now it’s dark by 8:30. At least I’m still able to continue with some outdoor work I want to complete before winter.

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

“Be Happy. Be Yourself. If others don’t like it then let them be. Everyone has their own choices. Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 11th, the second Sunday of the month:

Bernardo Accolti [Unico Aretino], Italian writer (Virginia); Pierre de Ronsard, French poet; James Thomson, Scottish poet (Rule Britannia); Johann Jakob Engel, German author (Herr Lorenz Stark); Joanna Baillie, Scottish poet and playwright; Aleksandr Polezhayev, Russian poet (Sasjka); Erastus Flaval Beadle, American publisher (Beadle’s Dime Novels); Fitz Hugh Ludlow, American author (The Hasheesh Eater); Vjenceslav Novak, Croatian Realist writer (Pavao Šegota); Juhani Aho, Finnish journalist and writer (Panu, Tuomio); O. Henry [William Sydney Porter], American short story writer (Cabbages and Kings); Rainis [Jānis Pliekšāns], Latvian poet and playwright; D. H. Lawrence, English poet and writer (Lady Chatterley’s Lover); William Thomas Walsh, American author (Isabella of Spain); Jessica “Decca” Mitford, English author (American Way of Death), activist and one of the Mitford sisters; Alfred Slote, American children’s books author (Love & Tennis, Omega Station); David S. Broder, American journalist (Pulitzer 1973); William Luther Pierce, American author and activist; Phoef Sutton, American television writer and producer; and Philip Ardagh, English children’s books author (Eddie Dickens series).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: D. H. Lawrence.  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 proceeding with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter thirteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I also updated my outline, increasing the number of chapters to at least forty-two.

This week, there were another seventeen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 204, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

A technical sergeant showed the Bedlam team leaders into the installation commander’s office. After a round of handshakes, they sat at a small conference table.

Brigadier General Frederick Rinehart, the Ramstein Air Base installation commander, puffed out his cheeks as he squirmed his rotund body into a chair. “I can give you ten minutes. I’m a very busy man, and a group of local leaders ais due to arrive soon for an important discussion.”

“Thank you for meeting with us, General Rhinehart. We greatly appreciate all of the assistance you’ve provided thus far. I’ll make sure to mention this to Admiral Blakely.” CC smiled. I think this guy is a big windbag and probably never served a day in a combat role.

Rhinehart nodded. “Not a problem. I’ve reviewed the memorandum of agreement.” He stared at CC and Trevor. “Colonels.” He dragged out the words as if it were a curse while tapping the single star on his shoulder board. “I understand your QRF leader is a mere sergeant. He should be staying with the rest of the single NCOs on base.”

“Actually, he was a master chief petty officer in the SEALs, equivalent to an air force chief master sergeant. Rank isn’t important to Bedlam—being able to do the job is what counts.” What a pompous ass!

“Well, you’ll have to replace him. I insist every organizational head on this installation be the equivalent of a field grade officer. This fits with what I project to the local communities. Until such time as he’s replaced, he’ll be required to attend all installation meetings. Furthermore, should we require his services in whatever capacity I choose, he’ll be required to comply.”

CC shook his head. “You might think you’re in control of everything on this base, but you’re not.” He turned to Trevor.

He opened the briefcase he brought to the meeting, extracted a folder, and handed it to CC.

Pulling out a multipage document, CC turned to the signature page before sliding it across the table. “Is that your signature under Brigadier General Frederick Rhinehart?”

The general scoffed. “Get to your point—I don’t have all day to waste with you on this nonsense.”

“Did you actually read the document before you signed it?”

Rhinehart stared at CC before giving a slight nod.

“Do you recognize the signatures of Admiral Blakely, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Claude Bouchet, the Air Force Chief of Staff?”

The general pursed his lips before tilting his head.

“Well, General. When did your one star outrank their four stars?”

Rhinehart crossed his arms but remained silent.

“Let me fill you in on some reality. You are instructed by this MOA, which you signed, to render all assistance to the Bedlam Quick Reaction Force while they are housed on this installation. Furthermore, you agreed not to interfere in any way with the operation of this organization.”

CC leaned forward. “There is absolutely nothing in the MOA indicating Bedlam is subordinate to you, nor is there a requirement for the QRF to participate in any installation meetings or events unless the QRF leaders choose to do so. Does this ring a bell?”

“Yes, but things missing from the MOA. I—”

“There are no buts, General. Details contained within an MOA are ironed out before the document is signed, not afterward. When I return to the Pentagon, should I inform Admiral Blakely and General Bouchet you agree to comply with the MOA? Or would you prefer a transfer to a weather station in Alaska?”

Rhinehart tossed the document at CC and struggled to stand. “Get out of my office—now!”

CC, Trevor, and Evelyn headed for the door. Before closing it behind him, CC turned back to Rhinehart. “By the way, General, as a member of the senior executive service, I hold an equivalent rank to you. So does Trevor in the British government. You might want to do a more thorough background check when you’re wasting taxpayers’ money conducting unauthorized investigations.” He closed the door.

Once out of the building, the Bedlam team leaders burst into laughter.

“CC, I thought he was going to have a heart attack or stroke.” Evelyn linked arms with both men. “He’s probably hasn’t been put in his position for a long time.” She glanced at CC. I bet you play a mean game of poker.”

He laughed. “Aye. But for a certain four-star warned me about Rhinehart and how he tries to intimidate people.”

“Well, CC.” Trevor smirked. “I think he just met his match.”

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

 
Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 4, 2022

As we move into September, fall temperatures and rainy weather are upon us. Earlier in the week, it was mainly sunny and dry, so I was able to get some outdoor work done even in the cooler weather. Now the rain’s falling so everything I haven’t done outside will have to wait.

Today’s the final day of this month’s three-day small business market at the local mall. Overall, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve sold nine of my novels, while thirteen of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets and two of her poetry books went to new homes, as well as one of her knitted scarves.

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

“A beautiful expression of love is to want the best for someone whether it includes you or not.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 4, the first Sunday of the month:

Any names familiar to you? I didn’t spot any 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 Work in Progress

Slide1I’m moving along nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter thirteen is almost ready to post. There were another nine chapter reviews, bringing the total to 187, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

CC and the others lounged in QRF-1’s new premises. Scattered sofas, chairs, and a variety of tables filled the break area. A large screen TV was suspended from the ceiling above a handcrafted teak bar sufficient to handle six stools. A fridge sat at either end of the bar. One held beer and wine, while the other was stocked with soft drinks, fruit juices, and water bottles.

Rufus glanced at the TV, currently showing a message from Admiral Blakely. “QRF-1 doesn’t have a network—yet. I hope we can establish one in the future.”

“Aye.” CC drank from a bottle of orange juice. “The admiral will always include QRF-1 on anything he sends to the teams, so you’re aware of our tasking.”

“Do you need to respond to him?”

“No. He knows we’re with you, and our second-in-commands will pass the word.”

Rufus nodded. “I see. So our order will come out the same way, and you, Trevor, and Evelyn will see them?”

“Aye. Keeps everyone in the loop.” CC frowned. “Of course, we don’t know what will happen toward the end of the year. The admiral’s status as chairman runs out. We’re hoping for one of two actions: the president extends the admiral’s role as chairman, which requires congressional approval, or he becomes the deputy National Security Advisor and retains control of the teams. This will also require approval from congress but might be easier.”

“Which one do you favor?”

“I think his appointment as the Deputy NSA would be best for us. However, the president won’t be asking for my opinion.”

Rufus glanced at a smiling face clock above the bar. Time to head to the terminal and pick up our new team members. Care to accompany me?”

“Aye.”

Fifteen minutes later, they stood by the taxi stand waiting for the C-37A aircraft to come to a halt. As soon as the steps descended and locked into place, three men and a woman disembarked and stood on the tarmac.

Rufus raised a hand, and the four headed toward him.

The first two stopped in front of Rufus. Well over six feet, bald, with bulging biceps, they looked as if they were carved from the same mold.

The one on the left extended a massive paw. “I’m Maverick Kingfisher. You must be Condor.”

“Call be Rufus.” He introduced CC.

Maverick grabbed CC’s hand and squeezed.

When CC extended his hand, he tried not to wince.

The second man stepped forward. “I’m Quincy Kingfisher. Maverick and I are cousins.”

The third man, short when standing next to Quincy and Maverick, but the same height as CC, grinned as he introduced himself. “Many thanks for this opportunity. I’m Gordon Russell. I won’t let you down.”

The woman, a tall African-American with close-cropped black hair and a scar on the left side of her chin, joined the others. “I’m Alexandria Steele, but I preferred to be called Alex.”

After a round of handshakes, Rufus gestured to the vehicle behind him. “Let’s store your gear, and we’ll head to our headquarters.”

When they arrived at the warehouse, August, Trevor, and Evelyn came out of the building and met them.

Rufus climbed out of the vehicle. “Leave your luggage in the van. After we’ve shown you around the facility, we’ll take you to quarters.”

They entered the warehouse and headed to the makeshift lounge area.

Rufus looked at his new team members. “Take a seat. What you’re about to listen to is classified top secret, so keep your ears open and your mouths shut.” He turned to CC.

“Welcome to the QRF. You beat out several well-qualified individuals to become part of this unit, so well done. I’m CC, also referred to as Haggis. I’m Alpha’s team leader. You’ll need to learn the callsigns of all team members since you’ll usually hear from us in this manner, as real names will not be used in any emails or text messages. Alpha team uses callsigns associated with our countries of origin, while Bravo uses colors, and Charlie relies on birds of prey.”

Maverick raised a hand. “How do we choose ours?”

“We’ll discuss this later, Maverick.” Rufus smiled. “Your name would be a good one, but you’ll need to choose something else.”

“Once the QRF is organized, we’ll arrange for meetings with the teams so you can learn how we operate.” CC gestured to Trevor.

“Good morning, lady and gentlemen. I’m Colonel Trevor Franklin, retired, a former member of the British paras. My callsign is Black. I would also like to extend my welcome to you. We’ll train hard and play hard.”

Evelyn stood. “I’m Lady Evelyn Evinrude, formerly from the British MI-6. I’m sure we’ll all get along famously.” She smiled. “However, don’t assume any of us are pushovers. We’ll expect a log out of you, but at the same time, we’ll help you in any way we can.”

“How many women are in the teams?” Alex frowned.

Evelyn chuckled. “An excellent question. With you, there are three of us in the teams but more in the support units. The other woman on my team is Barbara Battersea.”

“Just wondered how much competition I had.”

Everyone chuckled.

CC glanced at his watch. “I’m afraid we’ll have to cut the welcome short. Rufus, Trevor, Evelyn, and I have a meeting with the installation commander to iron out a few details. We’ll catch up later on the obstacle course.”

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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 28, 2022

It’s been a fairly normal week with cooler temperatures, rain-filled days, and the occasional burst of brilliant sunshine. Fortunately, there were enough gaps in the rain to cut the grass, rake fallen leaves, and power wash the sandstone slabs making up our large patio area. Still more work to do but I’ll have to see what Mother Nature has in store for us.

There wasn’t any change this week at the gasoline (petrol) pumps, still at £1.66 a liter. However, homeowners were hit with another large increase in natural gas and electricity. In April, the combined price cap was raised by fifty-four percent to £1,971 ($2,313) for the year. This week, the regulator, Ofgem, raised the October cap by another eighty percent! It’ll now be £3,549 ($4,165) with some estimates indicating this could be raised in early 2023 up to £6,000 ($7,040). The chancellor is warning people earning up to £45,000 ($52,805) will be struggling to pay these bills in addition to the continuing increase in food costs. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months.

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

“Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 28, the fourth and final Sunday of the month:

Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn, Dutch scholar; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and social philosopher (Faust); Sheridan Le Fanu, Irish writer (The House by the Churchyard); Vance Palmer, Australian author; Ivor Gurney, English composer and poet; Ludwig Turek, German writer; Cees Kelk, Dutch writer (Dance of Young Feet); John Betjeman, poet (Mount Zion) and English Poet Laureate (1972-1984); Roger Tory Peterson, American ornithologist and writer (How to Know Birds); Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist essayist/dramatist; Tasha Tudor, American illustrator and children’s books author (Pumpkin Moonshine, Corgiville Fair); C. Wright Mills, American sociologist and writer (The Power Elite); Jack [Holbrook] Vance, American sci-fi author (2 Hugo, Dirdir, Pnume); Janet Frame, New Zealand novelist (Intensive Care, Owls Do Cry); Carlene Polite, American dancer, activist and author (Sister X); Vonda N. McIntyre, American sci-fi author (Star Trek II, III, IV); Rita Dove, African-American poet (Thomas and Beulah); Frederick Kesner, Philippine-born Australian poet; and Sheryl Sandberg, American technology executive (COO Facebook) and author (Lean In).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Vonda N. McIntyre.  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’m moving along nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter twelve was posted this week. There were another eighteen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 178, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

The UN Security Council convened after an emergency request by the UK and France. Although Germany was not a permanent council member, they were included in the request.

The monthly revolving presidency belonged to the United States. Sylvia Green, the U.S. representative to the UN, banged the gavel. “The chair recognized the UK ambassador.”

Bethany Williams smiled. “Thank you, Madame President. I will be speaking on behalf of my French and German colleagues.” She sipped from a glass of water on the table in front of her. “Madame President, we are concerned that the unprecedented attacks on our bourses must be investigated. All countries with a stock market should be warned about the possibility of future attacks. We request the security council issue an appeal for any and all impacted countries or those who might be targeted to work together to identify the culprit or culprits behind these episodes.”

She nodded, signaling the end of her brief speech.

Sylvia glanced around the chamber. “Any other speakers?”

In a rare show of unity, no one challenged Bethany’s comments.

Sylvia banged her gavel. “The proposal is hereby passed and will be disseminated. We will reconvene with next week’s regularly scheduled meeting.”

* * *

Hortense Heathcliffe stared at the screen showing the other G7 members. She cleared her throat. “T-Thank you for joining me t-today. As you are aware, we are under attack.”

“Yes, Hortense.” The Japanese finance minister wiped a hand through his thinning black hair. “What do you propose?”

“I-I’m not sure. Somehow, we must increase the security of our markets and work together to ensure w-whoever is behind these warnings and attacks is brought to justice.”

“How do you propose to do this?” The Italian finance minister chuckled. “Even our intelligence services can’t identify who is doing this.”

“Gentlemen and lady, if I may.” The French finance minister smirked, showing his pearly whites. “I believe the Russian hacker group, the Chinese, or the North Koreans, are behind this.”

“But what do t-they want?”

“A greater hold over the rest of us,” the UK finance minister said.

“I-I hope we can—”

The screen blanked out.

More next time.

Book Promotions

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge continue to participate in a Bookfunnel promotion for the remainder of August:

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

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

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