Randall’s Ramblings, April 16, 2023

Orthodox Easter Day, which is calculated using the phases of the moon and the equinox, is a sacred season and the most significant celebration of the Eastern Christian churches or orthodox churches — and is celebrated today. Orthodox Easter Day is an annual holiday commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also known and celebrated as Greek Easter. (compliments of https://nationaltoday.com/orthodox-easter-day/)

Weather-wise, it’s been another mixed week, with some rain on most days. We were still able to get some work done in the back flower beds. We also managed to get the grass cut for the first time this season. Still plenty more to do before thing are ready.

“Anyone and everyone taking a writing class knows that the secret of good writing is to cut it back, pare it down, winnow, chop, hack, prune, and trim, remove every superfluous word, compress, compress, compress…” – Nick Hornby (Compliments of https://getfreewrite.com/blogs/writing-success/55-motivational-writing-quotes.)

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on 16 April, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/):

John Luyken, Dutch poet and etcher (Duytse Lyre); Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, English poet and statesman; William Chambers, Scottish author and publisher (Basis of Communication & Coding); Caleb Blood Smith, American journalist and politician; Octave Crémazie, French Canadian poet; Anatole France [Jacques Anatole Thibault], French writer (Thaïs, Wickerwork Woman, Nobel 1921); Herbert Baxter Adams, American historian (American Historical Association); John Millington Synge, Irish dramatist and poet (Riders to the Sea); Robert Dean Frisbie, American writer of travel literature (Life on Puka Puka); John Bagot Glubb, British commandant and writer (A soldier with the Arabs); Polly Adler, Russian bordello proprieter and author (House is not a Home); Herman Uyttersprot, Flemish literature historian; Gerard McLarnon, British-Irish actor and writer (The Wrestler’s Honeymoon); Peter Ustinov, British actor, author, journalist, comedian and broadcaster (Death on Nile, Logan’s Run, Billy Budd); Christopher Samuel Youd, British sci-fi author (Tripods Trilogy); Kingsley Amis, English novelist (Lucky Jim, James Bond Dossier); Barbara Tizard, British educator and author; Geoffrey Owen, British editor (Financial Times); Sarah Kirsch, German poet; Ewald Vanvugt, Dutch author (Kiss of Delight, Seed of Love); Margot Adler, American journalist; Ioan Mihai Cochinescu, Romanian writer and photographer; J. Neil Schulman, American writer (Alongside Night); and Mark Baker, Welsh author and historian.

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

My Work in Progress

Slide1I recently completed chapters twenty-nine and thirty of Frozen Conquest and posted them to the two online subscription writing sites I use.

In the past week, twenty-four reviews have been added, bringing the total to 552.  As always, there are plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s another snippet:

Liam knocked on the door and slid his key into the lock.

“Just a minute.” Winston inched the door open. “Where have you been? You left an hour ago.”

“On the deck where the scientists stay. One of them said there were still plenty of empty rooms, and he took me to one. It’s much bigger than ours down here.”

“Figures. We’re on the deck for the crew. What do we have to do to move?”

Liam grinned as he fished a key from his pocket. “Not a thing—we’re all set.”

“Fantastic. Let’s move our stuff.”

Liam’s grin grew wider. “There’s more news. The SPA team is moving onto the same deck.”


“Only thing is, the word’s out about the attack on the SPA woman. Rooms are being rearranged so there are men in cabins on either side of the women to provide some protection.”

“Hmm.” Winston pursed his lips. “We’ll need to identify each of the SPA’s rooms and try to plant some more bugs. Otherwise, we won’t obtain the info Sawyer wants.”

Liam tossed his bag on a bed and began packing. “I’ll be ready in five minutes.”

“Take your time. You know I’ll be ready as soon as I can. I don’t just grab stuff from a drawer and cram it into my case.”

Twenty minutes later, Liam led Winston into their new cabin. He swept his arms through the air to encompass the area. “Ta-da! See, I told you it’s bigger.”

Winston nodded. “Yeah, it’ll do. Let’s unpack and go introduce ourselves to our new neighbors.”

After settling in, Liam left the cabin, followed by Winston. He stopped at the first door and knocked.

No answer.

Liam knocked a second time with the same result. He pulled his lock picks from a pocket and knelt by the door. As he attempted to force the lock, he turned at the sound of footsteps.

“Hey! What are you doing at my door?” A short, squat man with the bulging arms of a body build approached them.

“Oh, sorry. We just moved from the deck below, and I thought this was our cabin.”

The man shook his head. “Nope—It’s mine. Say, aren’t you in the room next door?”

Liam looked around. “Oops. Wrong cabin, We’re next to you.”

The man stared at them as if trying to memorize their facial features.

“Hey, man.” Winston puffed out his chest. “Why not take pictures?”

“Do yourself a favor and check the cabin layout map at the end of the corridor. If I find you trying to enter my cabin or anyone else’s, there’ll be hell to pay.”

“Whatever.” Winston walked away.

“Liam followed but not before turning back to the man. He the yanked a folding knife from his front pocket and clicked it open. “If there’s any hell to pay—you’ll be the one doing it.”

More next time.


The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, Colombian Betrayal, and Revenge are participating in Revenge promotion, running until the end of May for Action & Adventure, Romance, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy / Urban Fantasy. There are currently sixty-six novels participating. Why not check it out? You might find your next new author.


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 2023 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved


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.


Perhaps another one next week.


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.


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