Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 19, 2021

It’s been a busy week with the Xmas market still underway. We’ll be participating through Monday, while some of the vendors will remain through Christmas Eve.

We received a fantastic Christmas present on Thursday–Craig arrived from Washington, D.C., for three weeks! It’s great to have him with us.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “In Life, it’s not where you go. It’s who you travel with.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 19th, the third  Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Su Tung-p’o, China, poet/essayist/painter/calligrapher; William Bowyer, English printer; Manuel Breton de los Herreros, Quel Spain, poet/comic playwright; Italo Svevo, Trieste Austria, Italian novelist (La Coscienza di Zeno); F S Flint, translator/poet (imagist movement); Ingeborg Refling-Hagen, Norwegian author/poet (Loke Saar Havre); Maurice Roelants, Flemish novelist and poet (Komen en gaan, Prayer for a Good End); Oliver [Hazard Perry] La Farge, American anthropologist and novelist; Theo Harych, German writer; H Allen Smith, Ill, humorist/author (Low Man on Totem Pole); Jean Genet, French novelist (The Thief’s Journal, Our Lady of the Flowers) and playwright (The Balcony, The Maids); Jose Lezama Lima, poet/novelist; Adriaan van der Veen, Dutch writer (Sister at Sea); Benedict Freedman, novelist and mathematician (Mrs Mike); Michel Tournier, French writer (Friday, or, The Other Island); Tankred Dorst, German playwright; James Booth [David Geeves], British actor and screenwriter (Zulu, Keeping Mum); Howard Sackler, American screenwriter; Salvador Elizondo, Mexican writer; Jean-Patrick Manchette, French thriller writer (3 to Kill, The Prone Gunman); Michelangelo Signorile, American writer; Jon Smith, British writer; and Patrick Casey, American screenwriter and actor.

Any names familiar to you? I admit I didn’t find anyone 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 Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Thrilling Christmas promotion, running from now through Christmas Day. With ninety novels available, there’s bound to me something for that special someone on your Christmas list or even for yourself, but you’ll have to hurry!

My Work in Progress

Slide1With all of the time at the Christmas market, I haven’t had much time to write. However, I began working on a new manuscript for Frozen Conquest. More about this one in the future. A total of bube chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 442. Definitely some great comments to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Yusuuf escorted Ajit and Imran into the living room, returning moments later with a plate of sliced fruit and cups of tea.

After exchanging pleasantries, Vladimir motioned for them to sit. “What can I do for your today?”

Ajit sipped his tea and set the cup down. “First, our apologies for the incident during our meeting by Bahawalpur. We thought it best to come to you here to continue our discussions.”

“The council agreed we would speak on their behalf, and they would accept whatever arrangements we make.” Imran picked up a mango slice and took a bite. “We are uncertain how the attackers found out about our meeting, but we shall find out. Even if it was one of our own, he will be dealt with.”

Vladimir waved a hand in dismissal. “In our line of work, there are always interruptions. Nothing to be concerned about.” He stared at Ajit and Imran in turn. “I believe there might be a way to bring India and Pakistan together to resolve the Punjabi situation. However, there will be bloodshed.”

Ajit leaned closer. “What do you propose?”

“First, we begin with peaceful protests on either side of the border. These will become more intense as time passes. Minor attacks will take place, escalating until the military forces of each country are involved.” Vladimir stared at the ceiling. “We’ll need someone to organize peace talks between India and Pakistan, but this can be arranged later.”

“India and Pakistan are always talking and making threats.” Ajit pursed his lips. “Why should this be any different? Kashmir is still a disputed territory without a resolution in sight. Why should they agree to resolve the Punjab situation?”

Mishka tapped the side of his nose. “We’ll make them.”

“How?” A puzzled expression creased Imran’s face. “I don’t understand.”

“We have a weapon which will wreak havoc on Pakistan and India’s financial centers. If they do not agree to our terms, we will destroy their economies.”

Imran glanced at Ajit. “What is this weapon?”

“It will be revealed to you only if the situation requires its use.” Vladimir crossed his arms and leaned back on the sofa.

Ajit nodded. “This is agreeable to us. When shall we begin?”

“Mishka will take a team into India. Please provide the name of a contact in Chandigarh, so we can coordinate the protests. I will lead the team here—we’ll set up in Lahore.”

“We have such a contact—Vedant Mohdi. He works in Chandigarh’s civic administration but believes in uniting Punjab.” Ajit smiled. “He is one of my wife’s cousins and can be trusted.”

“Excellent.” Vladimir tilted his head. As if any of them can be trusted—we’ll have to be alert for treachery. “I think we’re in agreement. We’ll move our teams into position within ten days.”

More next time.

This brings us to an end for another week as I need to get ready for today’s market. 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. Merry Christmas to all!

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 5, 2021

Rain, Wind, sunshine, snow, ice–we’ve had them all in the past week. With morning temperatures hovering around freezing, the days have struggled to climb above 44F/7C. At least there hasn’t been any accumulation of snow–from flurries to a light dusting.

We had the opportunity to join a Christmas market on Friday in a nearby village. It was there first one. While it was slow, we did manage a few book and poetry sheet sales. The big Christmas market sponsored by the small business market, begins tomorrow in the local mall and runs through the 24th. Looking forward to this!

Although the game wasn’t televised locally, I was delighted to find out Michigan (2) beat Iowa (13) convincingly, 42-3, to take their first Big Ten Football Conference title since 2003. Now we’re just waiting to see if they make it into the College Football Championship.

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

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 5th, the first  Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Nicolas Cleynaerts, Flemish grammarian; Ubbo Emmius [van Embden], Dutch-Frisian humanist and historian; Fyodor Tyutchev, Russian poet and statesman; Afanasy Fet, Russian poet; Christina Rossetti, English poet (Winter Rain, Passing Away); Ellis Parker Butler, American author (Pigs is Pigs); Fritz Lang, Austrian-German-American filmmaker and screenwriter (Metropolis); Lady Huxley [Marie Juliette Baillot], Swiss sculptor and author; Nunnally Johnson, American screenwriter and producer; Josh Malihabadi, Urdu poet of India and Pakistan; Abraham Polonsky, American writer and director (Tell them Willie Boy is Here); Maisie Fitter, editor and conservationist; Hans Hellmut Kirst, German author (The Lieutenant Must Be Mad); Simone Gallimard, French editor and publisher; Vladimir Tendryakov, Russian writer (Three, Seven, Ace); Fazu Aliyeva, Russian poet, novelist and journalist who helped develop Dagestani in Russian literature; Joan Didion, American author and journalist (The year of Magical Thinking); Calvin Trillin, American author (New Yorker); Yury Vlasov, Soviet weightlifter and writer; James Lee Burke, American writer (Dave Robicheaux series); Horst Bastian, German writer and screenwriter; Peter Pohl, Swedish writer; and Neil Druckmann, Israeli-American writer & co-president Naughty Dog.

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

New Release

ComL-8c(1)Sylvia Grace’s debut book, Colours Of My Life, has now been released. If you enjoy poetry, prose, and short stories, there’s bound to be something you can relate to.

This is from the intro:

The time has come to share my writing after many years of hiding my light under a bushel. Enjoy!

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

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Thrilling Christmas promotion, running from now through Christmas Day. With ninety novels available, there’s bound to me something for that special someone on your Christmas list or even for yourself!

My Work in Progress

Slide1When time permitted, work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation. Chapter twenty-one is almost completed.  A total of thirteen chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 425. Definitely some great comments to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Willie glanced around and spoke in a low voice. “Anything from the Russians?” He raised his sunglasses as two foreign women passed.

Alfie chuckled. “Yeah, mate. Seems like we missed Nikolaev and an associate.”

Nate nodded. “That’s what we found out through Dakila. Could have saved our money.”

Willie rubbed the side of his face. “Did you get the names of the two guys who were by the pool?”

“Only the first names—Fedor and Eduard.”

Willie pulled an iPad out of his pack and connected to the internet. He typed and sent an encrypted message.

To: Bedlam, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

From: Rebel

Target departed before our arrival. Two of his associates are leaving this evening for Pakistan. Please advise whether we follow them or return to Conus.

***

As dusk deepened, spotlights snapped on. CC, Trevor, and Evelyn stood in adjacent firing lanes and aimed their SIG Sauers downrange.

Blam! Blam! Blam!

They fired in unison, mimicking one another’s actions—left-handed, righted-handed, and both hands.

Emptying their magazines, they hit the eject buttons, dropping canisters to the ground. As they slapped new ones into place, they edged forward, shots rattling against their targets with each step.

Once again, they emptied their magazines. After reloading, CC, Trevor, and Evelyn resumed firing, moving backward with each step.

“Clear! Clear! Clear!”

CC glanced toward Evelyn on his left and nodded. He turned to his right. Time to police our lines.”

After they finished, the three Bedlam team leaders met at the loading table and began filling their magazines.

Trevor slotted a round on top of the magazine’s spring and pushed. “So, CC. When are you heading back to Scotland for a holiday?”

“If things remain quiet, it’ll be later this year. The clan’s having a ceilidh at Loch Lomond—plenty of music, food, and drink—not necessarily in that order.”

“A grand place to go—at least when it’s not raining.”

“Aye.” CC shoved the last round into a magazine and reached for another.

“When you come over, pop down to London, CC. Sir Alex and I would love to have you stay with us.”

“Aye, Evelyn. I’ll do that.” He grinned at her.

Once they reloaded, CC, Trevor, and Evelyn repeated their runs on the firing line.

After they cleaned up, Trevor slapped CC and Evelyn on the shoulder. “Enough work for today. Care to join me in the manor house for a nightcap?”

Evelyn nodded. “I’ll be there, but I want to eat first. I understand the cooks are serving ribeyes cooked to order, baked potatoes, and mixed salad tonight.”

‘Aye. I could go for a good steak. As long as the Murphy’s is flowing, I’ll join you, Trevor. Of course, a wee dram or two of a good single malt would suffice.”

More next time.

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

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Uncategorized

New Release – Colours of My Life

ComL-8c(1)Sylvia Grace’s debut book, Colours Of My Life, has now been released. If you enjoy poetry, prose, and short stories, there’s bound to be something you can relate to.

This is from the intro:

The time has come to share my writing after many years of hiding my light under a bushel. Enjoy!

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

“When I read each poem… I saw Colours of My Life. Colours represent emotions. Each poem can be related to our moods … Walk with me as I share from my heart.” – Sylvia Grace.

Bio

Sylvia Grace was born in 1951 in Malta when her father, a Royal Navy technical electrician, was commissioned there. Her parents came from Tayport, Northeast Fife, where she grew up. Sylvia spent her childhood exploring the beach, sand dunes, and in Tentsmuir Forest with her pals. She loved growing up in Tayport and holds dear the many memories of her extended family who were integral to her life, especially her grandparents.

From a young age, Sylvia developed a love and passion for animals and nature. To this day, she supports numerous animal charities in the UK and internationally as well as the UK’s Woodland Trust. If you were to visit her back garden, you’d find numerous hedgehogs residing in four purpose-built houses. Her kindness knows no bounds.

Sylvia has always been an avid reader, and from time to time, puts her thoughts on paper, whether it be poetry, prose, or short stories. She’s a natural storyteller, entertaining people from an early age. A keen observer of the world around her, creativity is Sylvia’s forte. Colours of My Life is her debut book. In addition to writing, she enjoys drawing, oil painting, knitting, reading, and history. She holds internationally recognised diplomas as an Aesthetician, Cosmetologist, Swedish Massage Therapist, and an Aromatherapist. She currently resides in Scotland with her husband and four rescued cats whom she adores.

Comments From Those Who Encouraged Sylvia to Take This Step

“Heartfelt writing that explores the human condition and provides hope to all that read.” – Craig Palmer, founder of The Cultural Omnivore, a digital media magazine

“Your lovely poems are full of sights and the details you give are just so right. They take me back to years ago, when life was magical, and life was slow.” – Linda Axon, Artist

“So pleased you’re publishing your poems. I have enjoyed reading the ones you have shared.” – Margaret Davidson

“I enjoy your poems. They are such an inspiration to me during these tough times we have gone through.” Isobel Jamieson

“I love Sylvia’s poems. When I read them, I imagine being there … she brings them to life.” – Joyce Stevens

“I love reading your poems. I find them very touching” – Christine Matthews

“Thought-provoking—has a way with words, which grab at your heart. Reminiscent of American poet, Helen Steiner Rice.” – Randall Krzak, multi award-winning author

“True … From the heart … Opens up your emotions … Heartfelt … Lovely writing … Stunning … Beautiful …” – Comments from readers at various craft events

Colours Of My Life is available across the Amazon network in Kindle Unlimited, Kindle and paperback formats. Just click on the title anywhere in this release and you’ll be whisked to a universal link.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 7, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Published Work

6 Novels

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

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

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

Coming Soon!

ComL-8c(1)No, this isn’t my book. Rather, it’s Sylvia’s debut poetry book. Released under the pen name of Sylvia Grace, Colours of My Life is a collection of Sylvia’s poetry and prose. Encouraged by a myriad of people who purchased her laminated poetry sheets and have asked whether she would put her work in a book, she’s finally taking that step.

Here’s the synopsis:

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

Here’s another snippet:

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

The men echoed Ajit’s last words.

“We will nev—”

Rat-a-tat-tat!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ajit raced away, sporadic gunfire chasing him.

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

“Five left—hope they’re enough.”

More next time.

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

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved