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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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 12, 2021

It’s been a quiet week, with mixed weather conditions but nothing earth-shattering. We are excited about this coming week, though. Due to Covid restrictions, we haven’t seen our son since Christmas 2019. He’ll finally be arriving on Tuesday for a two-week visit!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 12th, the second Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann Heinrich Jung, German author (Heinrich Stillings Leben); Benjamin Carr, American organist, composer, choirmaster, teacher, music publisher, and co-founder of Philadelphia’s Music Fund Society; James Hall, American geologist and paleontologist (Natural history of NY); Charles Dudley Warner, American novelist (Being a Boy); Jacobus of Looy, Dutch writer and painter (Death of My Cat); Henry Louis Mencken, American newspaperman and critic (Prejudices); Daniel Jones, English phoneticist (English pronouncing dictionary); Alfred A Knopf, American publisher (1966 Alexander Hamilton Medal); Giuseppe Zoppi, Swiss writer (Il Libro Dell’Alpe); oe Lederer, Austrian actress and writer (Drei Tage Liebe); Louis MacNeice, Irish poet and playwright; Kenneth Lo, cookery writer and restaurateur; Rais Amrohvi, Pakistani poet and psychoanalyst; Jan W. Schulte Nordholt, Dutch poet and historian (Blossoming Stone); Stanislaw Lem, Polish sci-fi author (Solaris, Invincible); Jackson Mac Low, American poet and composer; Kristin Hunter, African-American author (God Bless the Child); Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan-Canadian poet and writer; Jeff Jarvis, American journalist (This Week in Google) and advocate for the Open Web; and James Frey, American writer (Bright Shiny Morning).

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 and many more to follow!

My Published Work

 

Until the 15th of September, all of my novels are participating in a chilling reads promotion. There are fifty-six novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

MA PAGER TURNER FINALS PROMOTI’m also thrilled to announce Mission: Angola is a finalist in the 2021 Page Turner Book Awards!

My writing journey thus far has been absolutely incredible and I feel humbled by how my books have been received thus far:

The Kurdish Connection – Semi-finalist, 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBAs), Global Thrillers Category.

Dangerous Alliance – First in Category winner, 2018 CIBAs.

Carnage in Singapore – First in Category winner, 2019 CIBAs.

Colombian Betrayal – First in Category winners, 2020 CIBAs.

Mission: Angola – Finalist (so far), 2021 Page Turner Book Awards.

If you’d like to find out more about my novels, click on any of the titles and you’ll be taken to a universal link.  Many thanks to everyone for your support!

Coming Soon!

Revenge-Cover-HRI completed the third micro edit pass of Revenge this week,  in-depth editing begins–going word-by-word, checking for anything that might need a tweak or correction.

I send Revenge to my advanced reader team this week, with their feedback do back to me by the end of the month. While I’m waiting, I’ll be doing two more micro edit passes. All being well, Revenge will be released by mid-October.

In case you missed the synopsis, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers.  He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

Slide1In addition to my editing work on Revenge, I continued working on my next novel, Ultimate Escalation. Chapter thirteen was posted to the two subscription sites I belong to. To date, there has been a total of 251 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent feedback. I greatly appreciate my reviewers sticking with me!

Here’s another snippet:

Vladimir thrashed in the king-sized bed shook as Vladimir flung his arms and legs from side to side, tearing at the bedsheets until he woke. He gasped and struggled to sit. Perspiration poured down his face, soaking his bedclothes. Struggling to sit, he swung his legs over the side and ensured he established a firm footing before pushing himself off the bed and zigzagging into the bathroom.

He filled a glass from a plastic bottle and gulped the room-temperature water without pausing for a breath. He caught his reflection in the mirror.

A drawn face stared back at him, with a beard more gray than black and bags under the eyes. Vladimir shook his head before stripping off his clothes and turning on the shower. 

He let the lukewarm water splash over his head and body as he tried to wash away his haunting dream, a regular nighttime visitor. When will these nightmares end? Afghanistan was so long ago, but the screams still haunt me. Once the water turned cold, he switched it off. He flung the curtain aside in search of a warm towel. Shivering and wide-awake, he rubbed himself until he was dry and dressed in khaki pants and a red T-shirt.

The aroma of strong coffee greeted him when he stepped into the hallway. He rushed down the marble staircase and into the formal dining room.

“About time you woke up.” Vasily raised his cup in a salute. “Better hurry before the others arrive. Yuusuf is at the market getting mangos for breakfast.”

“Ugh.” Vladimir poured a cup of coffee from the carafe on the polished rosewood credenza and dropped into a chair on the opposite side of the matching rosewood table from his friend. Taking a sip of his coffee, he grimaced at the bitter flavor.

“Another dream? I heard you yelling.”

Vladimir nodded. “More of a nightmare, but, yes, the same one.”

“You must face reality, Voya.” Vasily shook his head. “You never became a hero of the Rodina. You are ….” He snapped his fingers. “I think the American words are a slimeball and scum—just like me.”

A weak smile creased Vladimir’s face. “I can always count on you to put things in perspective.” He thumped his chest, generating a coughing fit.

“Stop the theatrics.” Vasily rolled his eyes. “We were lucky to escape from prison. At least the GRU never recovered the money and weapons we stole.”

More next time.

That brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing and reading. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved