Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 4, 2022

As we move into September, fall temperatures and rainy weather are upon us. Earlier in the week, it was mainly sunny and dry, so I was able to get some outdoor work done even in the cooler weather. Now the rain’s falling so everything I haven’t done outside will have to wait.

Today’s the final day of this month’s three-day small business market at the local mall. Overall, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve sold nine of my novels, while thirteen of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets and two of her poetry books went to new homes, as well as one of her knitted scarves.

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

“A beautiful expression of love is to want the best for someone whether it includes you or not.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 4, the first Sunday of the month:

Any names familiar to you? I didn’t spot any I knew.  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’m moving along nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter thirteen is almost ready to post. There were another nine chapter reviews, bringing the total to 187, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

CC and the others lounged in QRF-1’s new premises. Scattered sofas, chairs, and a variety of tables filled the break area. A large screen TV was suspended from the ceiling above a handcrafted teak bar sufficient to handle six stools. A fridge sat at either end of the bar. One held beer and wine, while the other was stocked with soft drinks, fruit juices, and water bottles.

Rufus glanced at the TV, currently showing a message from Admiral Blakely. “QRF-1 doesn’t have a network—yet. I hope we can establish one in the future.”

“Aye.” CC drank from a bottle of orange juice. “The admiral will always include QRF-1 on anything he sends to the teams, so you’re aware of our tasking.”

“Do you need to respond to him?”

“No. He knows we’re with you, and our second-in-commands will pass the word.”

Rufus nodded. “I see. So our order will come out the same way, and you, Trevor, and Evelyn will see them?”

“Aye. Keeps everyone in the loop.” CC frowned. “Of course, we don’t know what will happen toward the end of the year. The admiral’s status as chairman runs out. We’re hoping for one of two actions: the president extends the admiral’s role as chairman, which requires congressional approval, or he becomes the deputy National Security Advisor and retains control of the teams. This will also require approval from congress but might be easier.”

“Which one do you favor?”

“I think his appointment as the Deputy NSA would be best for us. However, the president won’t be asking for my opinion.”

Rufus glanced at a smiling face clock above the bar. Time to head to the terminal and pick up our new team members. Care to accompany me?”

“Aye.”

Fifteen minutes later, they stood by the taxi stand waiting for the C-37A aircraft to come to a halt. As soon as the steps descended and locked into place, three men and a woman disembarked and stood on the tarmac.

Rufus raised a hand, and the four headed toward him.

The first two stopped in front of Rufus. Well over six feet, bald, with bulging biceps, they looked as if they were carved from the same mold.

The one on the left extended a massive paw. “I’m Maverick Kingfisher. You must be Condor.”

“Call be Rufus.” He introduced CC.

Maverick grabbed CC’s hand and squeezed.

When CC extended his hand, he tried not to wince.

The second man stepped forward. “I’m Quincy Kingfisher. Maverick and I are cousins.”

The third man, short when standing next to Quincy and Maverick, but the same height as CC, grinned as he introduced himself. “Many thanks for this opportunity. I’m Gordon Russell. I won’t let you down.”

The woman, a tall African-American with close-cropped black hair and a scar on the left side of her chin, joined the others. “I’m Alexandria Steele, but I preferred to be called Alex.”

After a round of handshakes, Rufus gestured to the vehicle behind him. “Let’s store your gear, and we’ll head to our headquarters.”

When they arrived at the warehouse, August, Trevor, and Evelyn came out of the building and met them.

Rufus climbed out of the vehicle. “Leave your luggage in the van. After we’ve shown you around the facility, we’ll take you to quarters.”

They entered the warehouse and headed to the makeshift lounge area.

Rufus looked at his new team members. “Take a seat. What you’re about to listen to is classified top secret, so keep your ears open and your mouths shut.” He turned to CC.

“Welcome to the QRF. You beat out several well-qualified individuals to become part of this unit, so well done. I’m CC, also referred to as Haggis. I’m Alpha’s team leader. You’ll need to learn the callsigns of all team members since you’ll usually hear from us in this manner, as real names will not be used in any emails or text messages. Alpha team uses callsigns associated with our countries of origin, while Bravo uses colors, and Charlie relies on birds of prey.”

Maverick raised a hand. “How do we choose ours?”

“We’ll discuss this later, Maverick.” Rufus smiled. “Your name would be a good one, but you’ll need to choose something else.”

“Once the QRF is organized, we’ll arrange for meetings with the teams so you can learn how we operate.” CC gestured to Trevor.

“Good morning, lady and gentlemen. I’m Colonel Trevor Franklin, retired, a former member of the British paras. My callsign is Black. I would also like to extend my welcome to you. We’ll train hard and play hard.”

Evelyn stood. “I’m Lady Evelyn Evinrude, formerly from the British MI-6. I’m sure we’ll all get along famously.” She smiled. “However, don’t assume any of us are pushovers. We’ll expect a log out of you, but at the same time, we’ll help you in any way we can.”

“How many women are in the teams?” Alex frowned.

Evelyn chuckled. “An excellent question. With you, there are three of us in the teams but more in the support units. The other woman on my team is Barbara Battersea.”

“Just wondered how much competition I had.”

Everyone chuckled.

CC glanced at his watch. “I’m afraid we’ll have to cut the welcome short. Rufus, Trevor, Evelyn, and I have a meeting with the installation commander to iron out a few details. We’ll catch up later on the obstacle course.”

More next time.

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

© Copyright 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 28, 2022

It’s been a fairly normal week with cooler temperatures, rain-filled days, and the occasional burst of brilliant sunshine. Fortunately, there were enough gaps in the rain to cut the grass, rake fallen leaves, and power wash the sandstone slabs making up our large patio area. Still more work to do but I’ll have to see what Mother Nature has in store for us.

There wasn’t any change this week at the gasoline (petrol) pumps, still at £1.66 a liter. However, homeowners were hit with another large increase in natural gas and electricity. In April, the combined price cap was raised by fifty-four percent to £1,971 ($2,313) for the year. This week, the regulator, Ofgem, raised the October cap by another eighty percent! It’ll now be £3,549 ($4,165) with some estimates indicating this could be raised in early 2023 up to £6,000 ($7,040). The chancellor is warning people earning up to £45,000 ($52,805) will be struggling to pay these bills in addition to the continuing increase in food costs. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months.

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

“Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 28, the fourth and final Sunday of the month:

Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn, Dutch scholar; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and social philosopher (Faust); Sheridan Le Fanu, Irish writer (The House by the Churchyard); Vance Palmer, Australian author; Ivor Gurney, English composer and poet; Ludwig Turek, German writer; Cees Kelk, Dutch writer (Dance of Young Feet); John Betjeman, poet (Mount Zion) and English Poet Laureate (1972-1984); Roger Tory Peterson, American ornithologist and writer (How to Know Birds); Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist essayist/dramatist; Tasha Tudor, American illustrator and children’s books author (Pumpkin Moonshine, Corgiville Fair); C. Wright Mills, American sociologist and writer (The Power Elite); Jack [Holbrook] Vance, American sci-fi author (2 Hugo, Dirdir, Pnume); Janet Frame, New Zealand novelist (Intensive Care, Owls Do Cry); Carlene Polite, American dancer, activist and author (Sister X); Vonda N. McIntyre, American sci-fi author (Star Trek II, III, IV); Rita Dove, African-American poet (Thomas and Beulah); Frederick Kesner, Philippine-born Australian poet; and Sheryl Sandberg, American technology executive (COO Facebook) and author (Lean In).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Vonda N. McIntyre.  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’m moving along nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter twelve was posted this week. There were another eighteen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 178, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

The UN Security Council convened after an emergency request by the UK and France. Although Germany was not a permanent council member, they were included in the request.

The monthly revolving presidency belonged to the United States. Sylvia Green, the U.S. representative to the UN, banged the gavel. “The chair recognized the UK ambassador.”

Bethany Williams smiled. “Thank you, Madame President. I will be speaking on behalf of my French and German colleagues.” She sipped from a glass of water on the table in front of her. “Madame President, we are concerned that the unprecedented attacks on our bourses must be investigated. All countries with a stock market should be warned about the possibility of future attacks. We request the security council issue an appeal for any and all impacted countries or those who might be targeted to work together to identify the culprit or culprits behind these episodes.”

She nodded, signaling the end of her brief speech.

Sylvia glanced around the chamber. “Any other speakers?”

In a rare show of unity, no one challenged Bethany’s comments.

Sylvia banged her gavel. “The proposal is hereby passed and will be disseminated. We will reconvene with next week’s regularly scheduled meeting.”

* * *

Hortense Heathcliffe stared at the screen showing the other G7 members. She cleared her throat. “T-Thank you for joining me t-today. As you are aware, we are under attack.”

“Yes, Hortense.” The Japanese finance minister wiped a hand through his thinning black hair. “What do you propose?”

“I-I’m not sure. Somehow, we must increase the security of our markets and work together to ensure w-whoever is behind these warnings and attacks is brought to justice.”

“How do you propose to do this?” The Italian finance minister chuckled. “Even our intelligence services can’t identify who is doing this.”

“Gentlemen and lady, if I may.” The French finance minister smirked, showing his pearly whites. “I believe the Russian hacker group, the Chinese, or the North Koreans, are behind this.”

“But what do t-they want?”

“A greater hold over the rest of us,” the UK finance minister said.

“I-I hope we can—”

The screen blanked out.

More next time.

Book Promotions

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge continue to participate in a Bookfunnel promotion for the remainder of August:

Summer adventure group promo. Action & Adventure and Action & Adventure / Military & Warfare. Twenty novels available to choose from in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/lawrence01/8ctktxhlbs

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

 

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, August 21, 2022

We started the week with a couple of days filled with thunderstorms. Fortunately, the rainfall wasn’t heavy and the ground received a much-needed drink. Since then, we’ve had some rain every day, ranging from a few sprinkles to intermittent showers. Things that had started to dry out are looking healthy once again.

We had another nice surprise this week at the gasoline (petrol) pumps. The price dropped another six pence per liter this week, down to £1.66. Still a long way from the £1.45 we experienced in January but every bit helps. This week’s drop brought the equivalent price of a U.S. gallon down to $7.56, a drop of forty-five cents a gallon.

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

“Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with.” ~ Robert Brault

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 21st, the third Sunday of the month:

Francois de Sales, French bishop of Geneva, writer and saint; Hubert Gautier, French engineer, wrote 1st book on bridge building; Lucretia Wilhelmina van Merken, Dutch poet; Jernej Kopitar, Slovene philologist and linguist (Slovenian Grammar); Jules Michelet, French historian (History of France, L’Amour); Leonid Andreyev, Russian journalist and writer (Red Laugh, Seven Hangs); Raymond Herreman, Belgian poet, journalist and writer (Jericho’s Rose); Roark Bradford, American writer and humorist (Ol’ Man Adan an’ His Chillun); M. M. Kaye, British writer (The Far Pavilions); Victor Rosow, Russian dramatist; Mário Pinto de Andrade, Angolan poet and politician who founded the Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA); X. J. Kennedy, American poet and author (Nude Descending a Staircase); Robert Stone, American novelist (Dog Soldiers, WUSA); Hugh Wilson, American director, writer and actor (Blast from the Past, Frank’s Place); Peter Weir, Australian director/writer (Witness, Dead Poets Society),; Ivan Stang, American writer and filmmaker (Church of the SubGenius); and Stéphane Charbonnier [Charb], French cartoonist and editor of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: M.M. Kaye. In addition, it’s my birthday, too. I might not be famous, but who knows what the future holds? 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 eleven was posted this week. There were another twenty-one chapter reviews, bringing the total to 160, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story.

Here’s the next snippet:

Maddie climbed into the passenger seat of the Snocat next to Reginald. “With all these clothes, I now know what the Michelin Man feels like.”

“Better to wear multiple layers that you can easily remove if you’re getting too warm.” He smiled. “Ready for your first sojourn onto the ice?”

“What are we breaking chunks of the ice sheet off?” She studied the start beauty in front of them. “It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Reginald shrugged. “We do it because we’re following Mister Brown’s orders. He’s a brilliant man and knows what he’s doing.”

“But when the ice melts, won’t it raise sea levels? We should want more ice in Antarctica, no less.”

“This is part of Mister Brown’s master plan to promote the necessity for the world to make vital changes to stop the planet from overheating.”

Seems nuts to me. Maddie shook her head. “I have my doubts about this.”

Reginald glanced at her. “I suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself. Mist Brown’s nephew voice similar comments—look what happened to him.”

“What really happened to Harold?”

Reginald stopped the Snocat and pointed to the right. “See that ridgeline? Harold set up the charges to calve a huge section. He was always thorough and didn’t make mistakes. However, on the day he died, I spotted Sawyer Hudson, the head of security on the ice.” He shrugged. “I don’t know for sure, but Hudson doesn’t come out on the ice often. So, a word to the wise.” Reginald shifted gears, and the Snocat lurched forward.

“Why did you come to Antarctica? What was the big draw for you?”

“At first, it was the excitement of working in Antarctica. Of course, the money was twice what I would earn anywhere else in the world.’ He smiled. “I have a girl back home in Chicago. One day, I hope to save enough money and ask her to marry me. How about you?”

“Similar reasons. I’ve worked in all the corners of the world and many places in-between. When the opportunity to work in Antarctica came up, I leaped at it. I hope I haven’t made a mistake.” Should I be saying this to Reginald? He might report me.

Reginald chuckled. “Keep your nose clean and do what you’re told, and you’ll get along just fine.” He tapped a mittened hand on her knee. “If you ever have any questions or concerns, bring them to me. I’ll steer you clear of trouble—if I can.”

Maddie smiled. “Thank you, Reginald.”

Twenty-five minutes later, they traversed across a rise and down the other side. In front of them, a string of red flags—fifty yards apart—disappeared in the distance.

Reginald pointed to the flags and then the open sea. “This is the next section Mister Brown wants seeded and dropped into the sea.”

“Who placed the markers?”

“I did—yesterday. There are one hundred of them. I’ll begin drilling the holes. Each will be four feet deep. You can start placing your explosives and stringing them together once I dig a few holes.”

Maddie raised a hand to shield her eyes from the intense sunlight as she strode toward the string of flags. “Okay, Reginald. It will be the larger explosion I’ve ever done.”

“Not to worry.” He smiled. “You’ll be fine.”

“When will we set the explosives off?”

“Not until after lunch. With what happened to Harold, I don’t want to be anywhere near here when you set them off.” He gestured to the cargo area of the Snocat. “We better get started.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

A Five Star Sci-Fi Thriller! I recently had the opportunity to read M.D. Neu’s latest sci-fi thriller, Conspiracy-A New World (Book 3). If you enjoy stories with plenty of twists and turns, you’re in for a treat. Join Todd Landon, the Special Envoy for Terran Affairs as he continues to work with the Nentraee, a humanoid race, and impact on the growing interdependency between humans and the aliens. However, there’ s a group called Liberi Dei who wants to see the Nentraee destroyed and Earth left solely to the human race. One of Todd’s friends seemingly becomes a traitor and is assisting the Liberi Dei, while Todd’s relationship with Mi’cin falls apart. What will be the final outcome?

Treachery, deceit, and intrigue abound in this action-packed story.  With larger-than-life characters you’ll be drawn further into the story as events unfold. M.D. Neu has created a masterpiece which should appeal to all readers and will keep you burning the proverbial midnight oil to find out what happens next. I know he’s caught my attention and I’ve added him to my list of favorite authors.

Book Promotions

My novels continue to participate in two Bookfunnel promotions for the remainder of August:

Summer adventure group promo. Action & Adventure and Action & Adventure / Military & Warfare. Twenty-one novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/lawrence01/8ctktxhlbs

Dinner and a Show! All Genres group promo. There are forty-eight novels to choose from in this one!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/dinnerandashow/yz3hvu1es8

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, August 14, 2022

With the exception of a few sprinkles scattered throughout the week, it’s been very dry and sunny. Our low daytime temperature was 72F (22C) while the high was 83F (29C), well above our normal temperatures. There’s a yellow warning for thunderstorms, beginning in a couple of hours and running through Tuesday afternoon. While it would be nice to see a couple of thunderstorms as they are rare here, we definitely don’t need a downpour but a light and steady rain for at least twenty-four hours. Guess we’ll find out what Mother Nature has in store for us.

The price of gasoline (petrol) dropped another two pence per liter this week, down to £1.72. Still a long way from the £1.45 we experienced in January. This week’s drop brought the equivalent price of a U.S. gallon down to $8.02, a drop of eight cents a gallon.

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

“The older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. Therefore, the older I get, the more I enjoy life.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 14th, the second Sunday of the month:

Robert Hayman, English poet; Daniel Elsevier, Dutch book publisher; Letitia Elizabeth Landon, English poet (Heath’s Book of Beauty); Walter Besant, English writer and philanthropist (Rebel Queen); Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Austro–German psychiatrist and author (Psychopathia Sexualis); Henry Duff Traill, British author and journalist (The Marquis of Salisbury); Ernest T. Seton, naturalist, painter and author (Buffalo Wind-1938); Ernest Thayer, American poet who wrote the famous baseball poem “Casey”; John Galsworthy, English author (Forsyte Saga-Nobel 1932); Sibilla Aleramo [Rina Faccio], Italian feminist and poet (Una Donna); Harald Kidde, Danish writer (Aage og Else); James Pitman, British educator and spelling reformer (Alphabets and Reading: The Initial Teaching Alphabet); Eva Strittmatter, German writer (Tinko); Russell Baker, American columnist, author and humorist (NY Times); Alice Adams, American author (Beautiful Girl); Thomas Meehan, American writer (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray); Frederic Raphael, American-British writer (After the War, California Time); Marylyn Roberts, librarian/founding member (WIC); Lee Hoffman, American author (The Valdez Horses); Bryce Courtenay, Australian novelist (The Power of One); Judith Kazantzis, English poet and feminist; Steve Martin, American comedian, banjo player, author and actor (Parenthood; The Jerk; Roxanne); Danielle Steel, American author (Rememberance, Zoya, Star, Daddy); and Brannon Braga, American scriptwriter.

Any names familiar to you? There were three for me: Ernest Thayer, Steve, Martin, and Danielle Steel. 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 ten was posted this week. There were another eight chapter reviews this week, bringing the total to 139, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Plenty of good suggestions to improve my story.

Here’s the next snippet:

When Admiral Blakely returned to his office, he found Matthew waiting for him.

Matthew jumped to his feet, but the admiral waved him back to his seat. “Nothing from the White House meeting—just as I expected. Tell me you have good news?”

Matthew shook his head. “I sent Chris a message, but not sure when I’ll hear back. I googled ‘Beware the Devil.’ There were over fifty-one million hits. I’ll build some algorithms to whittle things down.”

The admiral nodded. “I better notify the teams. Maybe someone has a contact they can reach out to and get some intel.”

After Matthew departed, the admiral turned to his computer and began his normal index finger typing.

To: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, QRF-1

From: Bedlam

Reach out to your contacts regarding strange events at the UK, French, and German bourses. Someone is attacking them and exhibits world-class hacking skills. This might be sponsored by one of the unfriendly countries. but no proof thus far. No specific demands yet, but we’ve been warned.

After he sent his message, the admiral leaned back in his chair and stared at the acoustic tiles covering the ceiling. What now? Whoever is behind this wants something big. I can feel it.

More next time.

Book Promotions

My novels continue to participate in three Bookfunnel promotions during August:

Summer adventure group promo. Action & Adventure and Action & Adventure / Military & Warfare. Twenty-one novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/lawrence01/8ctktxhlbs

Dinner and a Show! All Genres group promo. There are forty-eight novels to choose from in this one!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/dinnerandashow/yz3hvu1es8

Heart Pounding Reads group promo. Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy. Forty-six more novels to check out:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/heart-pounding-reads/wl15j4pi5e

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

 

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, July 17, 2022

Over the past week we’ve had our hottest days of the year, with the thermometer reaching 81F (27C). Today, we’re suppose to get up to 78F (26C) but there is a light rain falling at the moment which could impact of the temperature.

Our son, Craig, arrived last weekend from Washington, D.C., for a 2.5 week visit. We’re delighted he made it over. This week, we visited Blackness Castle, a 15th century fortress which featured in a number of movies as well as the Outlander series. It was used as a location for the BBC Scotland historical series “Rise of the Clans”.

In addition, we took a trip through Dunfermline Abbey, which dates back at least to the 12th century. One of Scotland’s most important cultural sites, has received more of Scotland’s royal dead than any other place in the kingdom, excepting Iona. One of the most notable non-royal names to be associated with the abbey is the northern renaissance poet, Robert Henryson. This is the resting place of Robert the Bruce.

Our final trip of the week was to the grounds of Hopetoun House. We didn’t go inside the house this time, but spent a couple of hours in the grounds. Hopetoun House has been in the same family since 1699 when construction first began. It has been used in seasons 1, 2 and 3 of Outlander, to recreate scenes in Scotland, England and Paris.

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

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way. Be unique. Be what you feel.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 17th, the third Sunday of the month:

Isaac Watts, English writer, preacher and hymnist (Horae Lyrican); Luis Muñoz Rivera, Puerto Rican journalist (founded Federalist Party); Bart de Ligt, anti militarist theologist (Acting Peace); Shmuel Agnon, Israel, novelist (Day Before Yesterday-Nobel 1966); Erle Stanley Gardner, American detective writer (Perry Mason); Bruno Jasieński, Polish poet; Christina Stead, Australia, novelist (Man Who Loved Children); Yang Jiang, Chinese writer (Six Chapters From My Life ‘Downunder,’); James Purdy, American writer (The House of the Solitary Maggot); Donald Alfred Davie, poet/critic; Charles Champlin, American film critic and writer; Rainer Kisch, German writer; Jose Ignacio Cabrujas, writer; Robert R. McCammon, American sci-fi author (Baal, Mystery Walk); Susan Lindauer, American peace activist, accused spy, and author (Extreme Prejudice); and Cory Doctorow, Canadian author and activist.

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Shmuel Agnon and Erle Stanley Gardner. 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 are progressing nicely with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The first seven chapters have been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use, and chapter seven should be posted this coming week. So far, I’ve received ninety-nine reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.

Here’s the next snippet:

Brown’s phone rang. Another interruption. Don’t these people realize I’m busy? “Yes, what is it?”

Sawyer Hudson, head of Brown’s security team, chuckled. “Sorry to bother you, Mister Brown, but you wanted to be notified when the new demolitions expert arrived.”

“Show him to my office in thirty minutes.” Brown glanced at the clock. “No, make it an hour.”

“Uh … sir, he’s a she. I mean, the bomb expert is a woman.”

“So? I still want to meet here.”

“Yes, sir.”

An hour later, Sawyer knocked on Brown’s door.

“Come in.”

Sawyer and a petite brunette with large brown eyes and shoulder-length hair stepped into Brown’s office. “Sir, this is Madelene Fingerhut.”

Brown remained seated and shook hands. He gestured toward the chair in front of his desk.

Sawyer leaned against the door.

She took the seat. “Please, call me Maddie.”

Brown nodded. “Is this your first time to Antarctica, Madeline—I mean Maddie?”

“Yes. It’s hauntingly beautiful.”

“I remember thinking something similar when I first came here. Just remember when you’re outside, Antarctica is also very dangerous, especially on the ice.”

“Yes, sir.” She smiled. “I’m looking forward to working here. If I may ask, what happened to your previous explosives expert? I understand his departure was rather abrupt.”

A thin smile creased Brown’s face. “I guess you could call it an abrupt departure—he blew himself up.”

“Oh!” Maddie’s right hand covered her mouth. “I am so sorry.”

Brown shrugged. “What are you sorry for? Did you know Harold?”

“Oh … well … no.” Her face reddened. “This is what people say at unexpected news.”

“Hmm.” Brown picked up a folder from his desk and extracted two sheets of paper. You have a very interesting resume, working in various exotic places around the world.”

“Yes, sir. For the past six years, I’ve spent most of my time outside the U.S.”

“I see.” Brown rubbed his chin. “Any boyfriends, a husband, or significant other?”

Maddie shook her head. “No, sir. Why do you ask?”

“Never mind—not important.” He waved a hand. “Just wondered who we should notify if something should happen to you.”

Maddie gulped. “I-I shall take all necessary precautions when I’m working.”

“It’s not just the ice which is dangerous.” Brown stared at her. “Danger comes in many forms.” He stood and extended a hand. “Welcome to Antarctica. Do a professional job, and we shall get along just fine.” He turned to Sawyer. “Escort her around the premises and to her quarters.”

“Yes, Mister Brown.” Sawyer opened the door to allow Maddie to leave first.

“One more thing, Maddie.”

“Yes, Mister Brown?”

“Sawyer will point out areas that are off-limits to all but a select few employees. These areas are marked with skull and crossbones signs. For your own safety, never venture inside unless you are summoned. If you require entrance, Sawyer will escort you.” He stared at her. “It could be very devastating—for you.”

Another snippet next time.

Book Promotions

My novels are participating in four Bookfunnel promotions for the remainder of the month:

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 171 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

Thriller, Mystery and Suspense: There are 70 novels in this one which finishes today.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

Who Dunnit Sale Promotion group promo. There are 29 novels to choose from in this promotion.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/who-dunnit-sale-promotion/wmunq702wf

Action Adventure Mysteries group promo – Another 21 novels to choose from here.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/actionadventuremysteries/sf56iydmmv

Hot Pirate Summer group promo – each of the 12 novels in this promotion have something to do with pirates.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/hot-pirate-summer/nx2e0p1cvm

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

© Copyright 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, June 26, 2022

We’ve had another good week on the weather front. Our hottest day of the year so was was on Thursday when we reached 74F (24C). We definitely won’t hit it today–right now we’re at 58F (14C). There’s been a few showers this week, but most of them occurred in the evening so they didn’t impact on daytime activities.

Gasoline (Petrol) jumped again this week, with another three-pence a liter increase . Now it’s up to £1.92 a liter, making an equivalent U.S. gallon at $9.07. It would be even higher except Sterling weakened this week against the dollar. As a result, it was only an increase of eight cents for a U.S. gallon over the past week.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): While most are dreaming of success, winners wake-up and work hard to achieve it.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 26th, the fourth and final Sunday of the month:

Branwell Brontë [Patrick Branwell Brontë], English painter and writer and brother of the writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne; Bartolomé Mitre [Martínez], Argentine general, author, statesman and President (1862-1868); Julius Rodenberg [Levy], German writer (Kriegs-Songs of War & Peace); Martin Andersen Nexø, Danish writer (Pelle Erobreren; Ya’akov Cahan, Hebrew poet and writer; Anna Maria Franciska van Wageningen-Salomons, Dutch author (Girl Student); Sidney Coe Howard, American dramatist (Swords, Pulitzer 1925); Pearl S. Buck, American author (Good Earth-Nobel 1938); Stefan Andres, German writer (Wir sind Utopia); Betty Askwith, British writer and biographer; Aimé Césaire, French Martinican poet and politician; Laurie Lee, English poet and author (I Can’t Stay Long); Charlotte Zolotow, American author and publisher of children’s books (When the Wind Stops); Colin Wilson, English author (Afterlife, Book of Great Mysteries); and Yves Beauchemin, Canadian novelist (L’enfirouapé). 

Any names familiar to you? I struck out this week. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

39375-302

The results of the 2021 Chanticleer International Books awards were announced overnight. I’m thrilled to announce that Mission: Angola (Xavier Sear Thriller Book 1) was selected as one of six first in category winners for Global Thrillers.

The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, and Carnage in Singapore (Bedlam Series) also competed this year in the Fiction Series. All categories competed against each other. The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, and Carnage in Singapore ended their run in the competition as a finalist.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Work continued once again on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The first six chapters have been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. So far, they’ve received seventy reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. Here’s the next snippet:

Crash! Bang! Crunch!

A packed city bus smashed into a Honda Civic as the lights went out at the intersection. A delivery van added to the congestion, crashing into the side of the car as it whipsawed due to the impact.

Two police cars skidded to a stop near the partially overturned bus. Officers jumped out and dashed to the smoking vehicle.

Blood covered the cracked windshield. Screams and cries filtered out.

One of the officers knelt and peered inside. Looks like the driver’s a goner—headed dented from the impact.”

“Lou, we need to get inside.” His partner yanked his baton out of the belt holster. “There are kids inside.” He whacked the glass several times before it gave way under his assault. Hand on kids—help’s on the way.”

Sirens overwhelmed the cacophony as multiple fire engines, ambulances, and police cars arrived. A fire department chief took control of the scene, directing her men to hose down the vehicles’ engines to prevent any explosions.

Ray, Lou’s partner, forced his way into the bus, crawling across a pile of bloodied schoolbooks and backpacks.

Two paramedics followed him. “We’ll take over, Officer. When it’s safe to move them, can you stay by the opening, and we’ll pass them to you?”

“Of course. Let’s get moving.” Tears trickled down Ray’s face. “I have kids at the same school. I don’t see the—I hope they were on a different bus.”

The paramedic clasped Ray’s shoulder. “First responders are heading to multiple crash sites. If their bus was involved in a collision, they’ll be taken care of.” He gave Ray a weak smile. “I better start working on the injured.” The paramedic turned and knelt by the first motionless body. He checked for a pulse and shook his head before moving to the next child.

* * *

“In other news, local hospitals have been overwhelmed by multiple accidents caused during a total power outage in the downtown area. Over twenty-five men, women, and children were killed, while another sixty are being treated for injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. The cause of the outage is still under investigation. We’ll bring you more as soon as we find out.” The announcer stared into the camera, his lips pursed. “Such a tragedy.”

More next time.

Book Promotions

My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions for the remainder of the month:

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 171 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

Thriller, Mystery and Suspense: There are 70 novels in this one.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

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, June 19, 2022

For all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!  Earlier this week I received a Father’s Day card through the mail and today there was an e-gift card in my email. Our son is like an elephant–he never forgets. Many thanks, Craig!

It’s been a pleasant week weather-wise, with our two hottest days of the year in our area, both at 71F (21C). Since the weather was so nice, a neighbor gave us a few plants for the front borders. One was a yellow geum but I don’t remember the name of the other twenty-seven plants he gave us. All of them have found homes in the borders, adding additional color.

Gasoline (Petrol) jumped again this week, with a three-pence a liter increase on Tuesday and another fiv on Saturday. Now it’s up to £1.89 a liter, making an equivalent U.S. gallon at $8.99. It would be even higher except Sterling weakened this week against the dollar. It was still a increase of thirty-eight cents for a U.S. gallon over the past week.

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 June 19th, the third Sunday of the month: Annibale Caro, Italian writer and poet (Lettere familiare); Thomas Fuller, British scholar, preacher and historian (History of the Worthies of Britain); Christiaan de Placker, Flemish poet and composer; Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais, French Catholic priest and writer (L’avenir); Gustav Schwab, German writer; David Jayne Hill, American diplomat and author; Elbert Hubbard, American editor, publisher and author (Message to Garcia); José Rizal, Filipino nationalist, author (‘Noli Me Tángere’, ‘El Filibusterismo’) and ophthalmologist; Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Icelandic writer (Dr Rung); Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, French Dadaist artist and writer; Robert Herberigs, Flemish composer and writer (Hiawatha’s Song); Laura Z. Hobson, American TV writer and panelist (I’ve Got a Secret); Osamu Dazai, Japan, novelist (Tsugaru, No Longer Human); Julius Schwartz, American editor and agent; Wassil Bykau, Belarusian writer; Sybren Polet [Sijbe Minnema], Dutch writer and poet (Mannekino); Barry Took, English comedy writer; Tobias Wolff, American writer (This Boy’s Life); Robert Franklin Palmer Jr., American writer, musicologist, and musician (Deep Blues); and Salman Rushdie, British-Indian novelist (Midnight’s Children, Satanic Verses).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me this week: Salman Rushdie. 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

Things are moving along nicely on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The fifth chapter has been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. Over the past week, Frozen Conquest received another eleven reviews, bringing the total to sixty-three, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.Slide1

Here’s the next snippet:

Back in his own office, Chris eased into his chair, slamming a fist on the metal desk. Hired to handle Diablo’s information technology and communications needs, he found himself working more and more as a personal lackey. “On day … I’ll make Brown pay for his callous behavior.”

He booted his computer and logged in. Staring at the ceiling, he tapped a finger against his lips. Beware the Devil. Attack imminent.

Focusing on a mental image of his message, he encoded it as he typed:

To: Numerologist

From: Knuckle Cracker

25220 42609 22071 92223 22051 81500 26070 72624 16221 41418 13221 30700

Chris reread through it again, cracking his knuckles as he did so. Satisfied there were no errors, he connected to the Dark Web and sent his message.

He frowned. Hope Grandson remembers our university code.

A red strobe began flashing.

Chris picked up the phone and hit the appropriate button. “Yes, Mister Brown?”

“I want an update from our test team. No one is answering the phone. Where are they?”

Chris closed his eyes. The sooner I’m out of here, the better. “I’ll find out.”

Walter broke the connection.

Chris hit another button on his console.

Reginald immediately answered. “What’s up, Chris?”

“The usual. Why won’t you answer when Brown calls?”

“You know why.” Reginald sighed. “I told him it would be a few days before we can calve more of the ice. He doesn’t want excuses—just results. I told him we had to wait for the arrival of a new demolitions expert since Harold disappeared—probably dead. All he could say was, ‘It’s damn inconvenient of Harold to kill himself.’ So much for any concern about his nephew.”

“I thought Harold’s death was an accident.”

“It was. As far as Brown’s concerned, Harold was weak and couldn’t handle the pressure.”

“Okay, understood. But try to appease him and keep him off my back.”

“Will do. We’re almost finished drilling the holes for the explosives. But I’ve told the others not to touch it—no point in anyone else dying for this maniac. The money might be good, but I want to live to spend it.”

“I agree with you, Harold. Talk to you later.”

More next time.

Book Promotions

6 Novels

My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions for the remainder of the month:

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 171 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

Thriller, Mystery and Suspense: There are 70 novels in this one.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/thrillertime/ai0n57rurm

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

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, June 12, 2022

It’s been a mix week, weatherwise. There’s been plenty of clouds, rain, and spurts of sunshine, with temperatures about the historical averages. As we head towards the summer equinox, the days are definitely longer with first light at 04:32 this morning and last light supposed to be at 21:45. The flowers have made their appearance and the hydrangea plants heavy with their buds as they begin to change color. It’ll be a smorgasbord of color when they are all in bloom.

Last weekend’s small business market was another success. Although it was quiet, I still sold thirteen novels, while Sylvia sold two of her poetry books and nineteen of her poetry sheets. A bit under our averages but we’re still pleased with the result.

I saw yesterday the average price of a U.S. gallon of gasoline (petrol) broke $5.00. On Tuesday, we saw an eight pence per liter rise at the local pumps.  Now it’s up to £1.81, which makes it the equivalent of $8.61 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate, a jump of twenty-seven cents a gallon since last week.

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 June 12th, the second Sunday of the month:

Juan del Encina, Spanish author and composer; Harriet Martineau, British controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist; Johanna Spyri, Swiss children’s book author (Heidi); James Oliver Curwood, American journalist and writer (Kazan the wolfdog); Djuna Barnes, American author (Nightwood); Sandro Penna, Italian poet; Bill Naughton [William John Francis Naughton], English playwright (Alfie); Milovan Djilas, Yugoslavian politician and writer (The New Class); Bob Carroll, American screenwriter (I Love Lucy, Stage Two Revue, Stranger); H. C. Artmann, Austrian writer; James Archibald Houston, Canadian author and filmmaker (Tikta’Liktak); Christopher Derrick, British writer; Henry Slesar, American writer and playwright (The Edge of Night); Anne Frank, Dutch Diarist and Jewish victim of the Nazi Holocaust (Diary of Anne Frank); Brigid Brophy, British novelist (Hackenfeller’s Ape) and campaigner; Jameel Jalibi, Pakistani scholar, writer, and Urdu linguist; Rona Jaffe, American novelist (Mazes & Monsters); Christoph Meckel, German writer; Harry Glasper, English writer; Jim Goad, American author and publisher (ANSWER Me!); Jordan Peterson, Canadian psychologist and author (12 Rules for Life); and Chanel Miller, American writer (Know My Name).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me again this week: Johanna Spyri and Anne Frank. 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

Work continued once again on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The fourth chapter has been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. So far, the four chapters have received fiftytw reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.Slide1

Here’s the next snippet:

Compensating for a skid, the pilot brought his aircraft to a gentle halt. Hydraulic lifts raised an opening, allowing enough space for the plane to enter a hidden hanger.

As soon as they stopped, a door opened on the plane and a set of stairs extended. A short, mostly bald man rushed down. “Chris! Grab my bags and take them to my quarters.”

“Yes, Mister Brown.” Chris Handler, tall, slender, and sporting a thick, black beard, handed Walter a thick legal-size envelope. “Here’s your latest messages, sir.”

Walter waved a hand. “Anything urgent?”

“No, sir. All routine. Everything is moving forward according to your plan.”

“Excellent. Bring me a black coffee and a heated croissant.”

“Right away, sir.”

Walter turned and strode along a red all-weather carpet. As he walked, he glanced around his cavernous facility housing his hidden headquarters. Built in great secrecy near the Aramis Range, Prince Charles Mountains, and at a cost exceeding five billion dollars, he considered it a masterpiece. The original above-ground facility was built by the Russian Antarctic Expedition and nicknamed Soyuz Station but was officially closed in 1989.

To ensure no one found out about his headquarters, building contractors lost their lives when one of his ocean-going vessels sank during a storm, taking its cargo of innocent victims to a watery grave.

When he reached his office, Walter entered a five-digit code onto a keypad, gazed into a retinal scanner, and pressed his index finger onto another pad that popped out of the wall.

Security protocols complete, the door clicked open, and Walter walked inside, tossing his coat onto a nearby chair. He slid into his ergonomically designed chair behind a polished oak desk. Walter pushed a button under the lip of the top.

A panel opened on the left side of the desk, and a computer slowly rose and locked into position.

He logged on as an inner door opened.

Chris entered, pushing a cart holding a china coffee pot, a cup and saucer, a sugar bowl, and a covered plate. Each was trimmed in gold with a blue D prominently displayed.

He placed the cup and saucer on a pull-out shelf and poured a cup of black coffee. After using a pair of tongs, Chris deposited two sugar cubes into the steaming liquid.  After uncovering the croissants, he stepped back from the desk, cracking his knuckles. “Will there be anything else, sir?”

Walter nodded. “Will you please stop cracking your knuckles? It sounds like you’re breaking bones.”

“Sorry, sir. Just a nervous habit.”

“Well, once we launch our operation, you need to speak to someone about it.” Drives me bonkers.

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ll buzz you if I need anything else. Dismissed.” Walter sipped from his coffee and turned to the computer screen.

More next time.

Book Promotions

6 Novels

My novels are participating in four Bookfunnel promotions this month:

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 171 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

Summer Chills and Kills: A Kindle Promotion: There are 84 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/s…Thriller, Mystery & Suspense group promo. Another 70 novels in this one.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

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

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, June 5, 2022

It’s been a fairly dry week, with a lot more sunshine, especially yesterday. With the UK celebrating the Queen’s platinum jubilee this weekend, Mother Nature seems to tweaked the weather to make the thousands of street parties more enjoyable.

I’ve been back at the monthly small business market the past two days . Ten of my novels sold, while two of Sylvia’s poetry books were purchased, along with eleven of her poetry sheets. Today’s the final day for the month, so hopefully it’ll be a good one.

Over the past week, the price of petrol jumped another two pence a liter. Now it’s up to £1.73, which makes it the equivalent of $8.34 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate. This is a jump of thirty-four cents a gallon since last week.

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

“The worst part about being strong is that no one ever asks if you’re okay.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 5th, the first Sunday of the month:

Bernardino Baldi, Italian mathematician and writer; Pu Songling, Qing Dynasty Chinese writer (Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio); Cláudio Manuel da Costa, Brazilian poet; John Maynard Keynes, English economist whose ideas changed the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics; Ivy Compton-Burnett, English novelist (Manservant and Maidservant); Raden Mas Noto Soeroto, Javanese poet (Melatiknoppen); Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and dramatist (Blood Wedding); Hugo Huppert, Austrian writer and poet; Rolf Bongs, German writer; Alfred Kazin, American writer and literature critic (The Inmost Leaf); Richard Scarry, American children’s author and illustrator (What Do People Do All Day?); Cornelius Ryan, Irish war reporter and historian (Bridge too Far); Otto F. Walter, Swiss writer and publisher (Walter Verlag); Alifa Rifaat, Egyptian writer; Christy Brown, Irish novelist (My Left Foot, Down All the Days); Margaret Drabble, British author (Needle’s Eye); Ann Craft, British researcher and writer and disabilities advocate (NAPSAC); Matthew Lesko, American author; David Hare, English playwright and director (Plenty, The Hours, The Reader); Ken Follett, Welsh spy author (Eye of the Needle, Lie Down with Lions); J. J. Bittenbinder, American television host and author; Suze Orman, American financial advisor, author and TV personality and author (The Suze Orman Show); Margo Lanagan, Australian author; and Rick Riordan, American author (Percy Jackson & the Olympians).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Jon Maynard Keynes and Ken Follet. 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

Work continued this week on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The third chapter has been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use. So far, the three chapters have received forty-one reviews, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people.Slide1

Here’s the next snippet:

A wheeze escaped from Brown as he clutched a hand to his chest. He reached into a drawer with the other, rummaging for his nitroglycerin pills. Where are they?

His shaking hand found the elusive bottle. With agonizing slowness, he forced the cap from the top and placed two pills under his tongue. Before long, his chest relaxed. Damn inconvenient getting old.

He picked up his glass and took another sip of his whiskey. Ah, the elixir of life. If some French nun made it to 117 drinking a glass of wine each day, why can’t I have my favorite beverage?

Brown took a final sip before turning back to his computer. He reread his message and clicked on send. And so it begins. Who will be the first to crack? Not the British—too stoic. America? A possibility. He clicked his fingers. My money’s on the French.

Enjoying the sound of his own voice, he began uttering his thoughts. “So what should my demands be? The G20 is unable to get climate change under control. Perhaps if I confiscate the G7’s gold stockpiles and share them with less wealthy nations to get climate change promises underway? Perhaps push them to provide the rarest diamonds and artwork, either from private collections or museums and banks?”

Brown stood and gazed out the window at the shimmering ocean. “Problem is, I don’t really need anything, but I crave all the power the G7 controls. As my father used to say, ‘Power is everything. Without it, you’re nothing.’”

His phone rang, interrupting his train of thought. He scowled and picked it up. “What?”

“Mister Brown, this is Pierre. I wondered what you would like for dinner this evening and at what time?”

“Hmm.” Brown tapped his fingers on the desk. “Mexican—not what you made last time, even my dog wouldn’t eat it. Order in—for 8 p.m. Make it for two—you will join me. Perhaps you can learn from the experience.”

“But, sir, I have a late-night date.”

“So? Cancel it. What’s more important? A private and personal life or taking care of my dietary needs?”

“But … but …”

“No excuses, Pierre. If you’re not in the dining room when the food arrives and I’m ready to eat, I suggest you pack your bags. You won’t find another job in this city as a chef—I promise you. “Brown hung up and sighed. “So hard to get good help.”

More next time.

The editing process is going well on Ultimate Excalation. I completed my third edit pass through the manuscript, which now stands at 78,034 words.Slide1

I sent the manuscript to my beta readers on Wednesday  and requested their feedback by July 10th. Depending upon their feedback, I’ll be submitting it to my publisher the beginning of August.

In the meantime, I’m taking a week or so off from looking at the manuscript before I start my fourth edit pass. I still want to check for missing or incorrect punctuation, misspelled or incorrect words, and make any adjustments if I think something needs a tweak.

 

Book Promotions

6 Novels

My novels are participating in four Bookfunnel promotions this month:

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 171 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…


THE COLOR OF Action: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy with 18 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

Summer Chills and Kills: A Kindle Promotion: There are 84 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/s…


Thriller, Mystery & Suspense group promo. Another 70 novels in this one.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/t…

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, May 22, 2022

All the flowers, plants, and shrubs which should be in bloom are now out, creating a fantastic color display. The rain has subsided a bit, but there’s been enough whereby I have to cut the grass on a weekly basis. Since our grassy area is so small, I use a push mower and I’m still done in less than an hour!

Over the past three weeks, the price of gasoline (petrol) has been creeping upwards. In early April, the Chancellor’s spring announcement saw a decrease in duty by five pence, reducing the price to £1.58 a liter. Now it’s up to £1.66, which makes it the equivalent of $7.99 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate.  Fortunately, the dollar has strengthened against the pound. If the exchange rate was still where it was in March, it would be $9.80 a gallon!

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

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 22nd, the fourth Sunday of the month:

Gérard de Nerval [Gérard Labrunie], French writer; Catulle Mendès, French poet; Arthur Conan Doyle, British author who brought Sherlock Holmes to life twice; August Cuppens, Flemish author (Limburgs Driemanschap); Alla Nazimova, Ukrainian-born actress, scriptwriter, and producer (Blood and Sand); Johannes R. Becher, German writer and politician; Robert Neumann, Austrian-British author (Waters of Babylon); Anne de Vries, Dutch teacher and writer (Bartje); Paul Viiding, Estonian poet; [Georges Prosper Remi], Belgian comic book creator (The Adventures of Tintin); Vance Packard, American journalist and author (The Hidden Persuaders); udith Crist, American film critic (TV Guide, Today); M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer (The Road Less Traveled); and Lucie Brock-Broido, American poet and academic (Noctuary).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Arthur Conan Doyle. 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

My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions this month:

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 168 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

May the First Book – Mystery Thriller Suspense group promo. There are 44 novels in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Please support author such as myself by checking out these promotions. Thank you.
 
 

My Work in Progress

Slide1While I’m still editing Ultimate Escalation in preparation to send it out to my beta readers, work continues on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. The first chapter has been posted to the  two online subscription writing site I use and it received eleven reviews. I’ll be posting chapter two later in the week.

Here’s the first snippet from Frozen Conquest:

Walter Brown, the eighty-year-old founder and CEO of the privately held Diablo Corps, gazed out the office windows on the top floor of the company headquarters in downtown Miami. Although dwarfed by much taller buildings, Brown normally enjoyed the skyline view toward the ocean.

As one of the world’s richest men, he could have lived anywhere. Few knew his name, and even fewer could boast of meeting the recluse.

Rain lashed the windows as an intermittent storm disrupted the otherwise hot and sunny day. He turned back to a sixty-four inch-monitor. Blinking red and green lights signified his worldwide operations.

When his phone rang, he stabbed at the console and put the call on speaker. “What?”

“Sir, Reginald here. Both tests were completed.”

“Excellent Have the accountants arrived yet?”

“Yes, sir. They came yesterday and are getting acclimatized now. Several began work this morning, but ….”

“What’s wrong?”

“Uh … your nephew. He was caught on an ice floe after the second test. He’s still missing.”

Walter closed his eyes and pursed his lips. “Very well. Keep searching, but I doubt he’ll still be alive. However, my sister will want to give him a proper burial.”

“Yes, sir. When will you be returning?”

“I should finish what I need to do here by tomorrow morning. Expect me to arrive in the evening. Tell Chris to make sure everything is ready for me.”

“Yes, sir.”

Walter broke the connection and changed the monitor presentation. Blue lights signified the locations of major banking and investment institutions and the world’s leading stock exchanges. “Soon, we shall make our requirements known. If the G7 doesn’t bend to our demands, the might of Diablo shall disrupt their economies.”

He stepped to a self-service bar in the corner of his office and poured himself a large single malt whiskey. After taking a sip, he logged onto his computer and created a message:

To: The Chairmen and Governors of the G7 Central Banks

From: Nightmare

Stand by for my demands, which will be released soon. Failure to comply will result in the destruction of your way of life as you know it. The world cries out for truth, and I  will be the sword of justice.

Perhaps another snippet next week.

The final chapters of Ultimate Escalation have now been uploaded to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another eleven reviews this week, bringing the total to 866. Slide1

Here’s the final snippet:

Raj finished his lunch at a nearby restaurant and returned to his office. When he entered, he spotted a note on the center of his desk: See me – J.

He left his office and headed to the basement. Raj knocked on a door at the far end of a dimly lit corridor.

It creaked open, and Jadallah stepped out. “Hello, Raj. Have you come to see my handiwork?” He wiped his hands on a bloodstained apron.

“If I must.” Raj wrinkled his nose at the smell emanating from the partially open door. “Tel me … did Vedant ever figure out you were planted on him because of his nationalist views?”

Jadallah shook his head. “Never. In fact, he thought we shared a common bond. Little did he know who my true employer was.”

“Well, he will be one of many who will face prison time or even death for plotting to break up India.” Raj gestured toward the door. “I suppose it is time.”

Jadallah stood aside and waited for Raj to enter.

“Oh my …” Raj paled before he bent over and vomited.

Jadallah handed him a towel. “Quite a sight, is he not? He was very strong, but everyone bows to my questioning. Wait until I tell you what I learned.”

Raj covered his mouth with the towel as he looked at their prisoner.

Chains held Benedikt against the wall; the ones connected to his arms caused him to stretch upward. Both his eyes were empty sockets. Burns covered most of his body while blood seeped from hundreds of tiny cuts. He moaned. “K-kill m-me.”

Raj turned to Jadallah. So what did he say?”

Jadallah grinned. “You will not believe this. Former Russian Spetsnaz soldiers, now working as mercenaries, have been helping the nationalists on both sides of the border. They have been behind the calls for Punjab to be reunited.”

“I must inform the Bedlam woman, Evelyn. She will know what to do with this information.”

Jadallah gestured toward Benedikt. “What about him?”

“Kill him if he is not already dead. Throw his body on a funeral pyre.”

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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