Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 20, 2022

Today’s the start of the fourth consecutive day with plenty of sunshine and no rain. The temperature has even made it into the low ’50s (max 13C), but a chill in the breeze has made it feel a bit cooler. We’ve finally been able to clear away the winter detritus and dig over the flower beds at the front of the house. Today’s project will be to start in the back!

Due to the current world situation, we continue to see the price of gasoline (petrol) increase. Over the past week, the price of a liter climbed five pence to £1.62 or the equivalent of $8.22 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate. Thank goodness we have small engines in our cars.

I’ve been watching the 2022 NCAA March Madness basketball games. The two teams I follow, Michigan and Michigan State, won their opening games and have moved to the round of thirty-two. Go Wolverines and Spartans!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Music can change the world because it can change people.” ~ Bono

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 20th, the third Sunday of the month:

Ovid [Publius Ovidius Naso], Roman poet (Metamorphoses); Balthasar Bekker, Frisian theologist (Examiner of Comets); Friedrich Hölderlin, German writer; Karl August Nicander, Swedish poet; Matthias Keller, German hymn writer (O Farther un High); Carel Vosmaer, Dutch art historian/poet/editor; Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright (Peer Gynt, Hedda Gabler); Obe Postma, Frisian poet/geography/historian (Frisian Clay Farm); Karin Michaelis, writer; Börries von Münchhausen, German poet; Siegfried von Vegesack, German writer; Kathryn Forbes, short story writer (mama’s bank account); Donald Featherstone, British writer and wargamer; Carl Reiner, American comedian, screenwriter, (Your Show Of Shows; 2000 Year Old Man; The Dick Van Dyke Show), director (The Comic; The Jerk), and author; Shaukat Siddiqui, Pakistani Author, Journalist and Political Activist; Anthony Blond, British publisher (The Publishing Game, Book Book); Alexander Gorodnitsky, Russian geologist and poet; David Malouf, Australian author; Elizabeth Gille, writer translator/editor; Gerard Malanga, American poet and photographer; Jay Ingram, Canadian television host and author; Pamela Sargent, American sci-fi author (Venus of Dreams, Cloned Lives); Curt Smith, American author and media host; Touré, American writer; and Andrzej Pilipiuk, Polish writer.

Any names familiar to you? Only one stood out for me: Carl Reiner. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, Mystery & Suspense / Suspense, and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion called Mayhem and Motives. Why not stop by and check it out? There are 100 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge are also participating in a separate Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, and Mystery & Suspense / Women Sleuths promotion entitled March Fun Reads. There are 99 novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/c…

I also found out The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, and Carnage in Singapore are nowseries finalist a finalist in the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the series competition. They are competing in the Global Thriller category for high stakes fiction. I’ll have to wait until the end of June to find out if they are selected as a first place winner. Fingers crossed!

ComL-8c(1)If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift (at least in the UK since it’s coming up on 27 March) for those special people in your life, there’s still time to pick up a copy (or several). Sylvia’s debut poetry and prose book, Colours of My Life, would make the perfect gift.

Colours of My Life is available across the Amazon network. Just click on the title anywhere in this article to find the universal link and your perfect gift.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I completed chapter twenty-nine of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received another sixteen reviews, bringing the total to 600. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Thick, black smoke filled the warehouse as both trucks belched. The Indian drivers killed the engines before they hopped out of the cabs.

“Open the doors—now!” Mishka waved his hands as he coughed. “Hurry before we all suffocate!”

One of the drivers approached Mishka. “Do not worry, sahib. Once the engines run for a few minutes, the smoke will stop.”

“Will they get us to our destination?”

“Of course, sahib.” The driver grinned. “My cousin, who is the second driver, is also a mechanic. He will fix any problems.”

The doors screeched open. Within minutes, the air had cleared inside the warehouse.

Mishka glanced at his fellow Russians. “Time to load up and head to Amritsar. Vedant and more of his followers will meet us at his family’s property.” He gestured toward the driver standing next to him. “What’s your name?”

The man grinned, showing several missing teeth. “Bikram, sahib. I am at your service.” He pointed to his cousin. “His name is Foola.”

“Benedikt, you ride in front with Foola, and I’ll be with Bikram. The rest of you divide up and hop in the back of the vehicles.” Mishka stepped toward Benedikt. “Make sure we take everything. There’s something about this place I don’t like.” Mishka glanced around. “It feels as if the building has eyes.”

Benedikt nodded. I feel the same as you. Ten minutes and we can depart.” He yelled at the others to check everything. “Hurry up, you halyavshchik! Stop being lazy—we don’t have all day.”

Fifteen minutes later, the engines roared into action. The Russians climbed aboard, and their two-vehicle convoy left the warehouse, thick, black smoke dissipating behind them.

* * *

Raj took a final photograph of the departing vehicles before dropping his camera into a shoulder bag. He ran into the warehouse through the open doors.

Empty.

He fished his cellphone from a pocket and dialed. “Sir, the foreigners left the warehouse.

“Thank you, Raj,” Senior Field Officer Chatterjee said. “Take two men and follow them. Report back whenever you find something of interest or when they meet with someone.”

“As ordered, sir.” He raced around the corner, hopped in a beat-up yellow Hindustan Ambassador taxi, and pulled out his Research and Analysis Wing identification. “Official business! I need you to follow two Tata trucks. I believe they’re heading north, perhaps to Srinagar.”

“Sit back, sahib.” The driver gunned his engine and sped along the narrow streets. “We shall find them.” He blew his horn at two pedestrians as he motioned them out of his way. The taxi rocked as he swerved around them.

Raj grabbed the panic strap. “I would prefer if you do not kill us.”

The driver grinned. “I am the best driver in Chandigarh, sahib. Do not worry. Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, will protect us. I keep a statue of him in the truck to ensure we have a safe journey.”

Guess this is a good time to believe in Indian superstitions. “I hope so.”

The driver nodded. “Wait and see—no harm will come to us.”

After five near misses, the driver gestured through the windshield. “Look, sahib. Two white Tata trucks, turning onto Highway Five. Are those the ones you are interested in?”

Raj peered through the window. “Yes! Don’t get too close but follow them.”

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, November 28, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Published Work

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

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

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

Coming Soon!

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

Here’s the synopsis:

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

Here’s another snippet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Fantastic. You’re the man.”

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

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

“Of course, sir.”

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

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

Willie nodded and led Nate and Alfie toward the buffet.

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

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

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

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

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

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

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

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved