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Randall’s Ramblings, October 2, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 2nd, the first Sunday of the month:

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

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Maria Ressa. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Work in Progress

Slide1Things continue nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter sixteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’ve also made a dent in chapter seventeen.

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

Here’s the next snippet:

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

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

David opened the message and studied its contents.

To: David Walliams, World Bank President

From: A concerned citizen of the world

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

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

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

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

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

David listened to the classical hold music while he waited.

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

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

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

“Understood.”

“Anything else, David?”

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

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

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

  Promotions

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 10, 2022

Over the past week we’ve experience more below season average temperatures, barely reaching 50F/10C. There’s been a mixture of sun, clouds, and rain throughout, and we even had frost one morning. Today, it’s bright and sunny and the birds are singing away.

We’ve been at the monthly small business market this weekend. Sales were a bit lower than normal. Thirteen of my autographed books sold along with sixteen of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets and another of her books. With the recent increases in domestic gas and electricity bills (ours went up fifty-four percent from last month), council taxes (similar to property taxes), car taxes, and national insurance premiums, it’s likely some people are still figuring out their personal impact. Also, local schools began Easter holidays which could also have figured in the lower attendance.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): When a bird is alive, it eats ants. When the bird had died, ants eat it. One tree can be made into a million matchsticks, but only one matchstick is needed to burn a million trees. Circumstances can change at anytime. Don’t devalue or hurt anyone in this life. You may be powerful today but time is more powerful than you.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on April 10th, the second Sunday of the month: Balthazar Huydecoper, Dutch translator and historian; Basílio da Gama, Portuguese poet (O Uraguai); William Hazlitt, English essayist and critic; Lewis “Lew” Wallace, American author (Ben-Hur) and Major General (Union Army); Forceythe Willson, American poet (The Old Sergeant); Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian-American publisher (St Louis Post-Dispatch, NY World) and Democratic politician whose bequest founded the Columbia School of Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize; George William Russell, Irish nationalist, poet and artist; Alfred Kubin, Austrian writer and illustrator; Montague Summers, English clergyman and writer (Malleus Maleficarum); Paul Sweezy, American Marxist economist and editor (Monthly Review); Stefan Heym, German-American author (Crusaders, Family Benda); Leo Vroman, Dutch-American hematologist and poet; Chuck Connors, American author, actor (The Rifleman, Branded, Cowboy in Africa), professional basketball and baseball player; Marcel van Maele, Belgian poet and playwright; Adrian Henri, British poet and founder of poetry-rock group (Liverpool Scene); Rokusuke Ei, Japanese author and lyricist (Sukiyaki); David Halberstam, American journalist, historian and author (Pulitzer 1964); Bella Akhmadulina, Russian poet (The String, Fever); Penny Vincenzi [Hannaford], British novelist (An Absolute Scandal, Spoils of Time trilogy); Paul Theroux, American travel book writer and novelist (Mosquito Coast); Barry M. Riemer, American author (The Great American Con Machine); John M. Ford, American sci-fi author and poet.

Any names familiar to you? I spotted three I know: Joseph Pulitzer, Chuck Connors, and Paul Therous. 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

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge continue to participate in a Kindle Unlimited thrillers and killers promotion throughout April. Why not stop by and check it out? There are 109 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/aprilthrillersandkillers/ygd654x5xa

My Work in Progress

Slide1I continued moving forward with Ultimate Escalation, completing chapters thirty-four through thirty-six. My manuscript received another twelve reviews, bringing the total to 664. Once again, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

I also updated my manuscript’s outline again. Barring any further changes, there will be fifty-two chapters when it’s completed.

Here’s another snippet:

Admiral Blakely rubbed a hand over his messy hair as he strode down the corridor to his office. The click of his heels echoed in the deserted hallway. He unlocked his door, turned on the light, and set his Starbucks coffee on the credenza. He flicked to one of the twenty-four news channels and sat at his mahogany desk.

The admiral glanced at the wall clock as it clicked to 0430. While he waited for his computer to boot, he sipped his lukewarm brew. As soon as his computer was ready, he logged in and began sorting through a myriad of emails. Lots of routine stuffmy subordinates are cc’ed so they can respond.

As he reached the end of the overnight’s incoming emails, he clicked on one which caught his attention:

I wish to advise you, kind sir, about our Russian ‘friend.’ Since he relocated to Lahore, I have been cut off from him. I suggest asking a colleague to infiltrate the Punjab reunification effort.

“Hmm.” The admiral pursed his lips. “Might be useful.” He clicked on reply.

Proceed with caution. Assume he will pass his intel through you?

After sending his response, he stepped into the outer office, where the aroma of brewing coffee greeted him. He glanced around, wondering who had prepared it since it was too early for his secretary to be in the office.

A tall, slender man jumped to his feet. “Morning, Admiral. I thought you might enjoy some fresh coffee.” Matthew McMasters, nicknamed ‘the grandson’ because of his youthful appearance, filled two cups with the steaming liquid.

“Thanks, Matthew.” The admiral pointed toward his office. “Join me.”

They sat in chairs positioned in front of the admiral’s desk.

I have a task for you.” The admiral sipped his drink. “I want you to work your magic and delve into the financial background of two people—former Spetsnaz Colonel Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev and ISI Major Ejaz Bangash.”

“How far back do you want me to search, Admiral?”

“At least five years should be good. However, if something surfaces which might warrant going back even more, use your judgment.”

“Yes, sir. Should I send my reports to the usual distro?”

The admiral shook his head. “The report on Nikolaev can be sent to Sir Alex and Harrison but send the info on Bangash just to me.”

Matthew stood. “Yes, sir. I’ll get right on it.”

“Relax and finish your coffee.” The admiral laughed. “Plenty of time to get started.”

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