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Randall’s Ramblings, November 13th, 2022

It’s been a mild week, with daytime temperatures 10-15 degrees above normal averages for this time of year. Still a mixture of clouds, sunshine, rain, and wind, but overall, it’s been a reasonable week. I was able to get outside twice to rake up leaves as the wind is doing its job in bringing the rest down.

There was another decrease in the price of gasoline (petrol) this week, dropping two pence. So we’re now at £1.62 a liter. With the current exchange rate of $1.18, this makes the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $7.24, a an increase of twenty cents from last week. The Automobile Association is calling on the chancellor not to increase fuel duty, which was dropped five pence a liter in April. We should find out in his autumn statement this week. If he does raise it, price will increase the dollar equivalent to $7.46. Only time will tell.

The number of American college football games shown on Saturday remained at ftive. This weekend, there were two from the Southeastern Conference, one from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and one from the Big Ten. As always, I recorded all of them. The Big Ten game featured Michigan playing Nebraska, with Michigan increasing their record to 10-0 with a 34-3 win. Meanwhile, Michigan State defeated Rutgers 27-21.

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

“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress. You are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 13th, the second Sunday of the month:

Árni Magnússon, Icelandic scholar and collector of manuscripts (Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection); Charles Simon Favart, French dramatist; William Shenstone, English poet; Esaias Tegnér, Swedish writer (Frithjof’s Saga); Caroline Lamb, English aristocrat, author (Glenarvon); Edward John Trelawny, English traveler and author (Adv of Younger Son); John Wolcott Phelps, American abolitionist, author and Brigadier General (Union Army); Peter II, prince-bishop of Montenegro (1830-51) and poet (The Ray of The Microcosm); Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Mexican author (El Zarco); Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish author (Treasure Island); Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams, Russian writer and feminist; Josef Kjellgren, Swedish writer (Guldkedjan); Paul de Vree, Flemish author (Between Doubt & Tears); William Bradford Huie, American writer and publisher; Inez van Dullemen, Dutch author; Nico Scheepmaker, Dutch columnist and poet; Garry Marshall, American TV writer (The Dick Van Dyke Show), TV producer (The Odd Couple; Happy Days; Laverne & Shirley), and film director (Pretty Woman; Runaway Bride; The Princess Diaries); Gérald Godin, French Canadian poet and politician; Ronald Shusett, author (Project Mankind); Edwin “Rick” Bakker, Dutch author: Rick’s Report, AIDS Diary; Thilo Timothy Newman, writer (Freejack, Alien); and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch author.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Robert Louis Stevenson. 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. We’re closing in on the publication date. I’m currently going through the PDF file the editor-in-chief sent me for the third, and hopefully, the final time.

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

I’ve resumed work on Frozen Conquest. Chapter eighteen was posted this week to the two onlineSlide1 subscription writing sites I use. There were another fifteen reviews this week, bringing the total to 317. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s another snippet:

Felix approached Emmanuel’s door with apprehension. Wonder what’s up that he needs my help when he talks with security? He rapped his knuckles on the door.

“Come in.”

“You wanted my help?”

Emmanuel waved to a chair. “Take a seat. Sawyer will be joining us in a few minutes.”

“Uh. I thought we were going to his office.” Felix shut the door and sat in front of Emmanuel’s desk.

“That was the plan, but it’ll be easier here.”

“Okay, whatever you think is best.” Why’s he staring at me?

“How are you settling into the job, Felix? This must be quite a transition for you after heading up your own team.”

Felix shrugged. “You know how it is—need to go where I’ll make the big bucks so I can retire early.”

“That’s why I took Brown’s offer. I want to set up my own business in the future because I don’t want to answer to anyone.” Emmanuel chuckled.

“That’s too much of an effort for me to take on. I always work better under a boss—but one who gives me freedom to complete jobs on a timely basis without interference.”

Emmanuel nodded. “Understood. I—”

Someone knocked and opened the door.

In came Sawyer, the head of Brown’s security. He nodded at Felix as he sat in the chair next to him. “So what’s up, Emmanuel, that requires my assistance?”

“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!

Perhaps another one next week.

Promotions

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 145 novels participating.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/mysthrillsus-nov/4nmgssn0ek

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 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

 

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

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Randall’s Ramblings, November 21, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Published Work

6 Novels

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

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

Coming Soon!

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

Here’s the synopsis:

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

Here’s another snippet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vladimir nodded. “We are ready to go.”

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

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

“Well, Mishka. Our journey continues.”

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

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

Mishka laughed. “Da.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 7, 2021

Welcome to November! With the clocks rolling back, the days definitely seem shorter. There’s also an autumnal feeling in the air. This past week I had to scrape some light frost off the windshield.

Sylvia and I have always tried to do our bit regarding the environment. Whether it be putting things directly into recycling centers or taking things no longer needed but still in good condition to charity. This week, we’re adding another small thing to our efforts. We’re switching to bottled milk, delivered by a local dairy. Not only are we reducing our use of plastic, no matter how small, the glass bottles are reused. We’ll be helping a small business while at the same time not relying on milk supplies coming from who knows where.

This weekend is another small business market in the local mall. On Friday and Saturday, I sold ten autographed books on each day, while Sylvia sold a total of sixteen laminated poetry sheets. Today’s the final day for this month–hopefully we’ll both have good days!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 7th the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Muhammad ibn Hazm, Andalusian historian, jurist and author of Islamic Spain; Jami [Mowlanā Nūr Od-dīn ʿabd Or-raḥmān Ebn Aḥmad], Persian poet (Lava’iḥ); Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux, French writer (Historiettes); Johannes Gottfried Schnabel, German author (Insel Felsenburg); Friedrich Leopold Graf zu Stolberg, German poet, lawyer and translator; Fritz Reuter, German novelist; Karel Jaromír Erben, Czech poet (Bouquet); Andrew Dickson White, American historian and educator, 1st President of Cornell University; Auguste Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, French writer (Contes cruels); Esdras Minville, Quebec writer, economist and sociologist; Ruth Pitter, British poet and 1st woman to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1955; Albert Helman [Lou Lichtveld], Suriname politician and novelist; Jan Vercammen, Flemish author and chief inspector LO (Primary Education); Margaret Barbara Lambert, British historian (Saar); Maurits Mok, Dutch author and poet (Cheese & Bread Game); Albert Camus, French author (The Just-Nobel 1957); R. A. Lafferty, American sci-fi author (Devil is Dead); Wolf Mankowitz, English playwright and writer (A Kid for Two Farthings); Willibrordus S. Rendra, Indonesian poet (Ballad orang-orang tertjina); Stephen Greenblatt, American literary historian and author (The Swerve: How the World Became Modern); and Anthony Moffat, Scottish musician, writer and filmmaker.

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 had a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

During October, Colombian Betrayal and Mission: Angola are participating in a promotion of the first books in a mystery or thriller series. I could only include two, so The Kurdish Connection missed out. There are thirty-eight books in this Kindle and paperback promotion, so why not stop by?

My first five novels are also participating in a Mystery & Suspense, Mystery & Suspense / Paranormal, and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion, which runs until the middle of November. Revenge wasn’t released in time to join this one. There are eight-one novels participating in this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest.

And, finally, Revenge is participating in a promotion for Mystery & Suspense / Suspense and Romance / Suspense books released in October and November 2021. There are nineteen to choose from.

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. 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 the world around me—people, animals, nature. Some will make you laugh, and others may bring tears, or offer you hope as you touch your emotions—embrace them. Gather your inner strength and enjoy the moment. Awaken your feelings and you, too, can rise again.

All being well, Colours of My Life will be available across the Amazon network by the end of November.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation. Chapter eighteen is now finished and posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use.  A total of nineteen chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 379. Definitely some busy reviewers!

Here’s another snippet:

“Today is the beginning of our push to reunite Punjab.” Ajit paused and gazed into each man’s face. “For too long, our families have been separated by a border, not of our choosing. We’ve faced persecution and personal sorrows. No more!” He slammed his fist on the table.

The men echoed Ajit’s last words.

“We will nev—”

Rat-a-tat-tat!

Gunshots sounded from outside as heavy thuds pounded against the building’s doors.

The eight men jumped to their feet, pulling pistols and knives from under their vests.

Ajit turned to Vasily and Vladimir. “Under the table—quick!”

 Three gunmen burst through the door and ran into the dining room, firing their weapons.

One of the eight screamed as a bullet pierced his upper left side. He clutched his chest as he fell.

The others with pistols returned fire, while another threw his knife, catching one of the attackers in the throat.

Ajit grabbed Vladimir’s arm. “Come! We must flee. Hurry, before we are doomed.”

“What about the others?” Vladimir shouted over the onslaught, crawling out of the room.

Ajit rushed through a small living area, forced open a reinforced outer door, and ran for the back wall, the others a step behind.

Vladimir helped Ajit and Vasily climb, cutting himself on the shards of glass embedded along the top of the wall. Blood streaked down his hand as Vladimir pulled a PPS pistol from under his jacket. As he aimed at a gunman exiting the building, he felt a blow to his right shoulder.

He swayed and fell onto the far side and collapsed in a heap on the ground.

Vasily and Ajit rushed to Vladimir’s side and tried to lift Vladimir to his feet, but his weight too much from them.

Ajit turned to Vasily. “We better save ourselves.” He stood.

“Nyet. Go if you must, but I won’t abandon my friend.”

Ajit raced away, sporadic gunfire chasing him.

A pistol in his hand, Vasily knelt beside Vladimir. “We’ll make it through this—we always do.” He fired at a shadow approaching before yanking the magazine from the pistol and checking the number of bullets remaining.

“Five left—hope they’re enough.”

More next time.

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

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, October 3, 2021

As we move into a new month, there’s no doubt autumn is upon us. Morning temperatures are in the low 40s (6-8C) with plenty of dew. So far, the leaves haven’t started to change, but it probably won’t be long before they start.

We’ve been at the monthly small business market the past two days. Plenty of lookers, but few buyers. Perhaps today will be better! Still, we can’t complain; I’ve sold another eight books and fifteen sheets of Sylvia’s poetry.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “You can only let someone throw so many stones at you before you pick them all up, put them together and build a wall to keep them from doing it again.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 3rd, the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays): Johann Peter Uz, German poet (Lyrische Poem); George Bancroft, American historian (History of the United States); Allan Kardec, French author and founder of Spiritism; Mikhail Lermontov, Russian poet and writer (Demon & other poems); Timothy Thomas Fortune, American orator, civil rights leader, writer and publisher; Stijn Streuvels [Frank Lateur], Flemish writer (De Valschaard); Sophie Treadwell, American playwright and journalist; Henri Alain-Fournier, French novelist (Le Grand Meaulnes); Gerardo Diego, Spanish poet (Versos humanos); Louis Aragon, French poet and writer (Les Lettres françaises, Pour un réalisme socialiste); Thomas Wolfe, American novelist (Look Homeward Angel); David Herbert, British writer and raconteur; James Herriot [Alfred Wight], English veterinarian and novelist (All Creatures Great and Small); Harvey Kurtzman, American cartoonist and founding editor of Mad magazine; Gore Vidal, American author (Myra Breckinridge, Lincoln); Bernard Cooper, American novelist and short story writer; Dan Goldie, American tennis player and author (“The Investment Answer”, #1 NY Times bestselling book); and Rob Liefeld, American comic book writer and artist.

Any names familiar to you? There were three for me: Thomas Wolfe, James Herriot, and Gore Vidal. 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 october, all of my novels are participating in a Kindle Unlimited spy thrillers promotion.  There are forty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. If you’re not a member of Kindle Unlimited, what better time to join?

Colombian Betrayal and Mission: Angola are also participating in a promotion of the first books in a mystery or thriller series. I could only include two, so The Kurdish Connection missed out. There are thirty-eight books in this Kindle and paperback promotion, so why not stop by?

Coming Soon!

Revenge-Cover-HRThe final edit of Revenge is almost complete.

Six members of my Advanced Reader Team provided feedback, and everything’s on track. Just waiting for the paperback cover. 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.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Although our son’s visit ended on Tuesday, writing and editing is still on the back burner. However, twelve chapter reviews came in for Ultimate Escalation, bringing the total to 286.

Here’s another snippet:

Members of the three Bedlam teams descended upon Camp Powell from their respective facilities in the U.S., UK, and Australia for their initial two-day conference. Comprised of former military and intelligence personnel from around the world, they perform high-stress missions behind the scenes in conflict areas when their services are needed.

“Cheers! Slangevar!”

Glasses clinked as the advisors of the three Bedlam teams shared a bottle of Talisker eighteen-year-old single malt whiskey. Sir Alexander Jackson and Harrison Robertson sipped their unadulterated drinks while Admiral Richard Blakely dropped an ice cube into his five-sided tumbler.

“Ah.” Sir Alex smacked his lips. “The perfect libation to open our conference.”

Harrison stood and gazed over the stone veranda at the rolling hills, covered with forests, fields, and pastures. “Richard, thank you for setting this up in such a splendid venue. How did you manage such a feat?”

“Not a problem when you know the right people.” Richard laughed. “While many organizations can use the camp’s facilities, the use of the manor house is hard to arrange. Our recent successes opened the doors for us, so I took advantage of the opportunity. Of course, it didn’t hurt the building wasn’t being used this weekend.”

“I’m sure the teams will enjoy the friendly competitions you’ve arranged.” Sir Alex refreshed their drinks. “No one will be shooting back at them.”

Richard waved a hand. “With our current threat boards empty, I thought it was time to bring everyone together in one location. We’re less than an hour from Dulles Airport, so we can spring into action if needed. Besides, it won’t be long before my stint as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff come to an end.”

“I, for one, hope it remains quiet.” Sir Alex loosened his navy-blue tie and slipped off the jacket of his Savile Row suit. “We all need the opportunity to relax.” He glanced at Richard. “Perhaps your president will allow you to remain as Alpha’s advisor?”

“It’s been discussed, but nothing finalized yet. He also mentioned he wanted to talk with your prime ministers regarding the establishment of a fourth team, stationed in Africa.”

“Hear, hear. I agree with Sir Alex. Your president must be convinced to keep you as an advisor. After all, the Bedlam organization was your dreamchild.” Harrison finished his drink and set the glass down. “Even more important, as nice as it is for us to relax, the teams need a chance to unwind and recharge.”

“We can discuss the creation of a fourth team later and make our recommendations.” Richard glanced at his watch. “C’mon. There’s time before dinner for a stroll through the gardens.”

There’ll be another snippet next week.

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

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, September 26, 2021

It’s been a busy week as our son is still here (until Tuesday). Plenty to catch up on!  Overall, the weather has cooperated, making it easier to get out and do a few things.  Yesterday, we did another one-day artisan event, selling six copies of my novels and nine sheets of poetry. It started out slow because it looked like the heavens would dump on us, but when the sun poked its way through, the street filled with pedestrians!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~ Samuel Beckett

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

William Hobson, first Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi; Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, father of Bengali prose (Exile of Sita); Petko Todorov, Bulgarian writer (Fairy, Samodiva Fee); Edwin Keppel Bennett, English writer (Built in Jerusalem’s Wall: A Book in praise of Jerusalem); T. S. Eliot, American poet (The Waste Land), dramatist and critic (Nobel Prize 1948); J. Frank Dobie, American folklorist and newspaper columnist; Martin Heidegger, German philosopher (Being & Time); Victor Otto Stomps, German writer and publisher; Gerhard Nebel, German writer; Ernst Schnabel, German writer and pioneer of the radio documentary; Matilde Camus, Spanish poet and researcher; Buland al-Haidary, Iraqi poet (Passages to Exile); Vladimir Voinovich, Russian writer and dissident (Moscow 2042); Judith Appelbaum, American magazine & newspaper editor and educator; Jane Smiley, American novelist (Pulitzer 1991-A Thousand Acres); Minette Walters, English novelist (The Ice House); Will Self, English author; Jill Soloway, American writer and director (Afternoon Delight); and Anthony Shadid, New York Times foreign correspondent and two time Pulitzer winner. 

Any names familiar to you? T.S. Eliot is the only one I know. 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 october, all of my novels are participating in a Kindle Unlimited spy thrillers promotion.  There are forty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. If you’re not a member of Kindle Unlimited, what better time to join?

This week I received notification about a five-star editorial review for The Kurdish Connection from Chanticleer Book Reviews. Needless to say, I’m thriller. Click on the title to check it out!

Coming Soon!

Revenge-Cover-HRThis week I uploaded Revenge to my Kindle,  and completed the first check on what readers will see–going word-by-word, checking for anything that might need a tweak or correction.

Three members of my Advanced Reader Team provided feedback, and everything’s coming together. I’ll be sending the final pieces my cover design needs this week for the paperback cover. 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.

My Work in Progress

Slide1With our son’s visit, writing and editing is still on the back burner. However, seventeen chapter reviews came in for Ultimate Escalation, bringing the total to 274.

Here’s another snippet:

The Emirates flight touched down in Dubai with screeching tires and taxied to an open gate. As soon as the purser opened the door, Vladimir and Vasily hurried up the ramp, each carrying a single piece of luggage. They paused at customs, showing their passports to a somber agent.

A tall, muscular man with short gray hair waited for them on the other side of the barrier, holding a white sign with NV in red block letters. He smiled when he spotted his friends. “Welcome to Dubai! Everything’s ready.”

Vladimir shook the proffered hand. “How long’s it been, Grigori? Seems a lifetime ago when we fought together in Chechnya.”

Grigori laughed as he took their bags. “Not so long ago, Colonel.” He gestured toward the exit. “I parked as close as possible and managed to get a bay within walking distance for men as fit as you.”

Vladimir rolled his eyes. “You’d be as fit as us if you tried.”

“Da. But relaxing between contracts is more fun.”

They stepped into the brilliant sunshine and sweltering midday heat and approached a gleaming black Mercedes. After placing their luggage in the trunk, Grigori donned a chauffeur’s cap and opened the back door. “Shall we go? It’s only a four-minute drive.”

Vasily wiped his forehead with the back of his hand and turned to Vladimir. “I thought it was warm in Peshawar, but this is worse.”

“Agreed. Almost like a banya.”

True to his promise, Grigori pulled into the palm-tree-lined grounds of the five-start Le Méridien Dubai Hotel. He halted in a reserved parking spot near the entrance and jumped out, once again opening the rear door for his friends. His voice seemed to resonate from his shoes. “Welcome to Le Méridien. Your suite is booked and paid for. I’ll take you there later. Right now, we’ll go through the lobby and out the pool door.”

“Where are you taking us?” Vasily glanced around the impressive marble-floored lobby, packed with tourists.

“We’re going to a secluded bar to meet with the others.” Grigori pointed to the yellow cobblestones. “We’ll follow this path.”

More next time.

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

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 19, 2021

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

We’re delighted our son finally made it over from the States this week. We took an excursion on the Firth of Forth on Thursday. Hoping for a dry day so we could enjoy the boat ride, the island, and the abbey, we were pleasantly surprised when we had brilliant sunshine throughout the trip. It made for a thoroughly enjoyable visit! If the weather’s good next weekend, we plan another excursion on the Firth of Forth, but in the opposite direction.

Today is day three of the monthly small business market in the Kingsgate shopping mall. Sylvia’s done well with her poetry thus far, selling eighteen sheets, while another ten of my books were sold. All being well, a few more things will sell today!

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 19th, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Leo VI Sophos, Byzantine Emperor (886-912) and writer (Problematica); Hartley Coleridge, English poet; Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany, American author and teacher; Kees Rijnsdorp, Dutch writer (Kings Children); Karen Aabye, Danish author (Less bedstemor there jomfru); Mika Waltari, Finnish novelist (Egyptian); William Golding, English novelist (Lord of the Flies, Nobel Prize for Literature 1983); Damon Francis Knight, American sci-fi author (CV, Beyond the Barrier); James Lipton, American actor, writer and host of Inside the Actors Studio; Jean-Claude Carrière, French screenwriter and actor, who frequently collaborated with Luis Buñuel on his screen plays (Belle de Jour, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty); Bra Willie [Keorapetse Kgositsile], South African poet and political activist (When the Clouds Clear; My Name Is Afrika); Tanith Lee, British sci-fi author (Don’t Bite the Sun); and Patrick Marber, British playwright (Closer) and comedian.

Any names familiar to you? William Golding is the only one I know. 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 october, all of my novels are participating in a Kindle Unlimited spy thrillers promotion.  There are forty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. If you’re not a member of Kindle Unlimited, what better time to join?

My Work in Progress

Slide1With our son’s visit, writing and editing is on the back burner this week. However, six chapter reviews came in for Ultimate Escalation, bringing the total to 257.

Here’s another snippet:

“I understand from Major Bangash you have a proposition for us.” Vladimir bit into a samosa, a triangle-shaped pastry. “Ah, just the right amount of spice to enhance the potato and onion.”

“How much do you know about the dissolution of British India?” Ajit helped himself to a samosa. “Hmm. My favorite—lentils.”

Vladimir swallowed and took a sip of his tea. “Not a great deal. I know it happened around nineteen forty-five or so.”

Ajit tilted his head. “To be precise, nineteen forty-seven. The Punjab region was split, part remaining with India and the remainder becoming a province in Pakistan. No one took into consideration the Punjabi people, many of whom are no longer able to maintain regular contact with family members residing on opposite sides of the border.”

Vladimir nodded.

“For many years, there has been a resurgence of Punjabi nationalism. We want to be reunited with our brethren in India, but neither country will allow this. They don’t want to lose territory.”

“What do you want from me?” Vladimir rubbed his thumb and forefinger on his bearded chin.

Ajit gestured toward Bangash. “I understand you were involved in several, shall I say, illicit operations which brought warring parties to the negotiating table in other countries.” A trace of a smile crossed his face. “We’d like you to do whatever is necessary to bring India and Pakistan together to create a unified Punjab, belonging to neither country, but an independent one.”

“Hmm.” Vladimir pursed his lips, letting the silence build. “I suppose we might be able to help. However, it will cost a lot of money.”

Ajit laughed. “Since nineteen forty-seven, Punjabis on both sides of the border donate whatever they can spare. I believe we will be able to meet your requirements.”

Vladimir remained stoic. “To begin with, we require a down payment the equivalent of twenty million American dollars.” He snapped his fingers, and Vasily handed him a sheet of paper. He glanced at the document before giving it to Ajit. “Transfer equal amounts into each of these accounts. After we confirm our access to the funds, we’ll begin our preparations.” Once the money is stuffed in our secret offshore accounts.

“That’s a lot of money without any guarantee of success. Perhaps we can negotiate a lower price. How long will it take for something to happen? How will we know you’ve begun working on our behalf?” Ajit rubbed his chin. “I think ten million would be a better price.”

“Ajit, I know it’s in our blood to haggle and never pay full price.” Major Bangash studied Vladimir’s face. “But do you think I would waste my time with people who are failures? They will deliver.” He pointed at Vladimir and Vasily. “I remember when they first came to Peshawar. If it weren’t for their intervention, I wouldn’t be here today. Despite being outnumbered by the Pakistani Taliban, they snuck into the Taliban encampment in the Federally Administered Tribal Area, killed everyone, and rescued my family and me.”

Vladimir laughed. “Thank you for the vote of confidence, Major.” He turned to Ajit. “Fifteen million and no less. We must buy weapons, supplies, hire men, and pay bribes. In response to your questions, it will take no longer than eight weeks for our initial wake-up call. I’m sure our message will be in all of the papers.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

This week I finished reading Tom Galvin’s debut novel, The Auction. Join Sasha Cross, an a typical twenty-two-year-old in 2050. Or is she? Will she be one of the top prospects, referred to as a Series A, in the upcoming auction? Will her future be set and her family’s future secured? Or will she forge her own way forward and help the downtrodden categorized as Series D, who futures are bleak at best?

Tom has created a captivating plot which will keep you guessing on the outcome. Depending upon your own background, you’ll love or hate the myriad of characters in Sasha’s life. This is a real page turner and will keep you entertained until you finish the final page. I can’t wait to get my hands on Tom’s next novel!

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

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