Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 18, 2022

As autumn descends upon us, so does the cooler weather, augmented by Arctic winds. Most morning temperatures (at 8 a.m.) struggled to reach 52F (11C) with daily highs rarely making it beyond 62F (17C). At least we’ve had plenty of sunshine this past week, making it feel warmer than the actual temperature.

Good news at the petrol (gasoline) pumps this week as the price of a liter dropped two pence to £1.64. This way above the £1.45 we saw in January, but at least it’s heading in the right direction. With this drop, coupled with the exchange rate dropping on Friday to its lowest in thirty-seven years (hit $1.137 before closing at $1.142) making the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $7.07.

Since returning to Scotland in 2018, it’s been rare to watch a Big Ten football conference game. Something has happened this year. BT Sports is now showing at least one Big Ten game each Saturday. I’ve watched both of my favorite teams (Michigan and Michigan State) play two games each, in addition to some of the other teams in the league. Happy days!

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

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” ~ Mother Teresa

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 18th, the third Sunday of the month:

Claudio Achillini, Italian lawyer and poet; Samuel Johnson, English scholar and lexicographer (A Dictionary of the English Language); Tomás de Iriarte, Spanish writer (Fabulas Literarias); Johann Anton Sulzer, Swiss writer and composer; Johannes Anker Larsen, Danish writer (Vises Sten); Milan Rakic, Serbian poet (Nove Pesme); William March, American writer (Company K); da Kamińska, Polish stage and screen actress, director, and writer (The Shop on Main Street; Mother Courage and Her Children); Semjon I Kirsanov, Ukrainian poet (Semj Dnej Nedeli); Helene Virginie Weijel, Dutch author (In the Street Without a Coat); and Chris Hedges, American journalist and author (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning).

Any names familiar to you? This week was a washout for me. 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 proceeding with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter fourteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’ve also made a dent in chapter fifteen.

This week, there were another seventeen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 221, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

Carina Eklund, a tall blonde with deep blue eyes, leaned against the rail of the RV Aquavit as she studied Ushuaia. She smiled as she gazed at the snow-capped Martial mountain range surrounding the city. Reminds me of home. Wonder what it would be like to ski here? Perhaps when we return. Raising a hand to shelter her eyes from the intense sunlight, she continued to look around the city before their ship departed.

Two and three-story buildings lined the street running along the harbor, ranging from hotels to restaurants.

Other ships were docked near their research vessel. One was a cruise ship from the Holland America line headquartered in Seattle, Washington while the other was an Argentinian destroyer, allowing visitor tours.

Pleasure craft crisscrossed the water, laden rucks trundled along the streets to unknown  destinations, and tourists stopped and took photos of whatever caught their attention.

Carina jumped as two hands grabbed her shoulders. She turned and smiled when she realized who was behind her. “About time you got out of bed. I thought you were going to sleep away the morning before we depart.”

“No way I’d miss our departure from civilization.” Gunner Bengtsson chuckled. “Won’t be long before penguins and seals will be our neighbors.”

“Yes, but our mission for the Scandinavian Protection Agency is an important one. The data we collect will be shared with other countries throughout the world through the United Nations to show how Antarctica is being impacted by climate change.”

Gunner nodded. “Very true. However, everything needs to be examined in perspective. Most countries will probably agree there is something to the claim about climate change, but there are plenty who disagree on the severity of the situation or how to deal with it.”

“That’s why our mission is so important. We must convince every country to support efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses.” Carina sighed. “No one said this would be easy.”

“Hey, who are those guys?” Gunner pointed to two men approaching the gangway.

Both wore red and green boiler suits. After showing identification to the security officer, they were allowed to board.

I thought all crewmembers were already onboard and making preparations to depart.”

Carina shrugged. “Might be part of the crew we haven’t met. I guess if it’s important, we’ll find out later.”

“I—”

A shrill whistle pierced the air.

Crewmembers ran to the mooring stations to release the chains, freeing the ships from the dock. Others shifted the gangway before leaping back on the ship.

Gunner tugged on Carina’s arm. “C’mon. Let’s join the rest of the team in the ship’s mess.”

“Wait.” Carina jerked her arm free. “Remember, we agreed to keep our relationship secret from the others—at least until we return to Ushuaia.”

Gunner grimaced as he stepped away. “I remember. Don’t agree, but I understand your caution. We don’t want people to jump to conclusions.”

More next time.

Vendetta-Cover-1I also started work on Vendetta, which will follow Frozen Conquest in my Bedlam series.  Here’s the synopsis:

The Bedlam organization proceeded with their plans to create a fourth operational team, based in Pretoria, South Africa. The existing team leaders, Craig Cameron, Col Trevor Franklin ®, and Lady Evelyn Evinrude are sent to assist the designated advisor with team member selections.

What should be a routine deployment is anything but as they’re targeted by unknown assailants. Who or what organization is after them, and why?

While assisting with the creation of the new team and searching for those trying to eliminate them, Craig, Trevor, and Evelyn are given a new operational mission.

The Council of Vengeance, an extremist militant group seeks to overthrow the government of a country sympathetic to Western cultures and values. Extortion, bribery, kidnapping, and murder are part of the group’s modus operandi as they surge forward toward their objectives.

How will the Bedlam teams fare in the face of adversity? Or will the militants’ efforts be rewarded?

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, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, September 11, 2022

It was quite a shock to hear on the news Thursday afternoon that doctors were concerned about the Queen’s health and her children were on the way to Balmoral. This was especially unsettling as little information has ever been released regarding her health. A few hours later, the anticipated news was released: The Queen has died. Long live the King.

Today is the twenty-first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda. Do you remember where you were when this awful tragedy occurred and claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people? I do–I was posted to the American Consulate, in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Fall temperatures and rainy weather continue. At least most days we’re still getting some sunshine, but daylight hours are rapidly shrinking. It wasn’t long ago it was still light at 11 p.m. Now it’s dark by 8:30. At least I’m still able to continue with some outdoor work I want to complete before winter.

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

“Be Happy. Be Yourself. If others don’t like it then let them be. Everyone has their own choices. Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 11th, the second Sunday of the month:

Bernardo Accolti [Unico Aretino], Italian writer (Virginia); Pierre de Ronsard, French poet; James Thomson, Scottish poet (Rule Britannia); Johann Jakob Engel, German author (Herr Lorenz Stark); Joanna Baillie, Scottish poet and playwright; Aleksandr Polezhayev, Russian poet (Sasjka); Erastus Flaval Beadle, American publisher (Beadle’s Dime Novels); Fitz Hugh Ludlow, American author (The Hasheesh Eater); Vjenceslav Novak, Croatian Realist writer (Pavao Šegota); Juhani Aho, Finnish journalist and writer (Panu, Tuomio); O. Henry [William Sydney Porter], American short story writer (Cabbages and Kings); Rainis [Jānis Pliekšāns], Latvian poet and playwright; D. H. Lawrence, English poet and writer (Lady Chatterley’s Lover); William Thomas Walsh, American author (Isabella of Spain); Jessica “Decca” Mitford, English author (American Way of Death), activist and one of the Mitford sisters; Alfred Slote, American children’s books author (Love & Tennis, Omega Station); David S. Broder, American journalist (Pulitzer 1973); William Luther Pierce, American author and activist; Phoef Sutton, American television writer and producer; and Philip Ardagh, English children’s books author (Eddie Dickens series).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: D. H. Lawrence.  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 proceeding with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter thirteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I also updated my outline, increasing the number of chapters to at least forty-two.

This week, there were another seventeen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 204, 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:

A technical sergeant showed the Bedlam team leaders into the installation commander’s office. After a round of handshakes, they sat at a small conference table.

Brigadier General Frederick Rinehart, the Ramstein Air Base installation commander, puffed out his cheeks as he squirmed his rotund body into a chair. “I can give you ten minutes. I’m a very busy man, and a group of local leaders ais due to arrive soon for an important discussion.”

“Thank you for meeting with us, General Rhinehart. We greatly appreciate all of the assistance you’ve provided thus far. I’ll make sure to mention this to Admiral Blakely.” CC smiled. I think this guy is a big windbag and probably never served a day in a combat role.

Rhinehart nodded. “Not a problem. I’ve reviewed the memorandum of agreement.” He stared at CC and Trevor. “Colonels.” He dragged out the words as if it were a curse while tapping the single star on his shoulder board. “I understand your QRF leader is a mere sergeant. He should be staying with the rest of the single NCOs on base.”

“Actually, he was a master chief petty officer in the SEALs, equivalent to an air force chief master sergeant. Rank isn’t important to Bedlam—being able to do the job is what counts.” What a pompous ass!

“Well, you’ll have to replace him. I insist every organizational head on this installation be the equivalent of a field grade officer. This fits with what I project to the local communities. Until such time as he’s replaced, he’ll be required to attend all installation meetings. Furthermore, should we require his services in whatever capacity I choose, he’ll be required to comply.”

CC shook his head. “You might think you’re in control of everything on this base, but you’re not.” He turned to Trevor.

He opened the briefcase he brought to the meeting, extracted a folder, and handed it to CC.

Pulling out a multipage document, CC turned to the signature page before sliding it across the table. “Is that your signature under Brigadier General Frederick Rhinehart?”

The general scoffed. “Get to your point—I don’t have all day to waste with you on this nonsense.”

“Did you actually read the document before you signed it?”

Rhinehart stared at CC before giving a slight nod.

“Do you recognize the signatures of Admiral Blakely, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Claude Bouchet, the Air Force Chief of Staff?”

The general pursed his lips before tilting his head.

“Well, General. When did your one star outrank their four stars?”

Rhinehart crossed his arms but remained silent.

“Let me fill you in on some reality. You are instructed by this MOA, which you signed, to render all assistance to the Bedlam Quick Reaction Force while they are housed on this installation. Furthermore, you agreed not to interfere in any way with the operation of this organization.”

CC leaned forward. “There is absolutely nothing in the MOA indicating Bedlam is subordinate to you, nor is there a requirement for the QRF to participate in any installation meetings or events unless the QRF leaders choose to do so. Does this ring a bell?”

“Yes, but things missing from the MOA. I—”

“There are no buts, General. Details contained within an MOA are ironed out before the document is signed, not afterward. When I return to the Pentagon, should I inform Admiral Blakely and General Bouchet you agree to comply with the MOA? Or would you prefer a transfer to a weather station in Alaska?”

Rhinehart tossed the document at CC and struggled to stand. “Get out of my office—now!”

CC, Trevor, and Evelyn headed for the door. Before closing it behind him, CC turned back to Rhinehart. “By the way, General, as a member of the senior executive service, I hold an equivalent rank to you. So does Trevor in the British government. You might want to do a more thorough background check when you’re wasting taxpayers’ money conducting unauthorized investigations.” He closed the door.

Once out of the building, the Bedlam team leaders burst into laughter.

“CC, I thought he was going to have a heart attack or stroke.” Evelyn linked arms with both men. “He’s probably hasn’t been put in his position for a long time.” She glanced at CC. I bet you play a mean game of poker.”

He laughed. “Aye. But for a certain four-star warned me about Rhinehart and how he tries to intimidate people.”

“Well, CC.” Trevor smirked. “I think he just met his match.”

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, 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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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


 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 15, 2022

As we hit the middle of the month, things have greened up nicely and the hydrangeas are getting ready to produce their blooms. Each evening we have a visit from two hedgehogs. It’s always a treat to see them scamper across the back patio to a dish of small animal munchies and another filled with water. Sometimes, though, there will be a punch-up as one insists it’s getting to whichever dish first.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “What we are today is a result of our own past actions; Whatever we wish to be in the future depends on our present actions; Decide how you want to act now. We are responsible for what we are, whatever we wish ourselves to be. We have the power to make ourselves.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 15th, the third Sunday of the month:

Mary Wortley Montagu, English essayist, feminist, eccentric; Martinus W van der Aa, author/Dutch head-editor (The Time); Eduard von Keyserling, Baltic German writer (Dritte Stiege); (Lyman) L. Frank Baum, American children’s book author (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz); Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian playwright/novelist (La Ronde); Albert Verwey, Dutch poet/literature historian (Motion); Katherine Anne Porter, American novelist (Ship of Fools); David Vogel, Russian-born Hebrew writer (Huwelijksleven); Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian playwright and novelist (The Master and Margarita, Black Snow); Xavier Herbert, Australian author; Max Frisch, Swiss architect/writer (Stiller, Biedermann); Alexis Kagame, Rwandan philosopher, historian, poet and Tutsi intellectual and cultural leader; Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun; Jaime Garcia Terre, poet/essayist; Anthony Shaffer, Engish playwright (Sleuth); Peter Shaffer, English playwright (Equus, Amadeus); Donald [Anthony] Moffitt, American sci-fi author (Jupiter Theft); and Harve Brosten, American comedy writer (All In The Family, 1975-77).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Lyman) L. Frank Baum. 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:

May Mayhem: A Kindle Unlimited Promo group promo. There are 105 novels to choose from:
https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

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 is underway on my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. I’ll be posting the first chapter later today to the two online subscription writing sites I use.

Some of you might have read earlier postings where I’ve included the synopsis. I’ve tweaked it a bit, so here it is again:

An international criminal gang, known as Diablo Corps, plans a series of devastating attacks to take over the G7 countries unless their demands are met. Secure in their hidden headquarters in Antarctica, they possess the means to disrupt the leading world economies. Walter Brown, the Diablo Corps CEO want what other power-hungry people want—ultimate power.

Will the G7 bend to the will of these rogues or will evil triumph? Diablo Corps believes their previous infiltration of the international banking system and world stock exchanges will allow them to risk all on a single gamble.

Bedlam joins forces with The Scandinavian Protection Agency to thwart the efforts of the group and restore faith. Will Antarctica become a smoking ruin or will the world suffer an economic meltdown?

The final chapters of Ultimate Escalation have now been uploaded to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another forty reviews this week, bringing the total to 855.Slide1

Here’s the penultimate snippet:

Major Bangash muted the television after the third review of the chaos in Lahore. He picked up the phone and dialed.

“Alo?”

“Good evening. This is ISI Major Bangash. Connect me to Captain Fazli Khan at once.”

“At once, sir.”

While he waited, Bangash heard the switchboard operator speak to someone in the background.

“Good evening, sir.” The low-pitched voice appeared to be in the room rather than across the country.

“Fazli. How are you doing? I’m sure you’re busy with the hooligans in Lahore, but I wanted to get an update.”

“Yes, sir. It has been complete chaos here. We do not yet know the identities of the perpetrators of this outrage. But we shall.”

Bangash clicked his teeth. “Understood. The scenes on the television showed a lot of violence and destruction.”

“At least twenty police officers were taken to the hospital with injuries. In addition, the miscreants destroyed more than a dozen vehicles before the army arrived to calm the situation.”

“Do you have an estimate of the number of protestors?”

“Yes, sir. We estimate over one thousand five hundred people joined in. At least seventy were arrested while fifty are being treated for cuts, bruises, and broken bones.” Fazli sucked in a breath. “Seventeen people died at the scene–including three children.”

Bangash frowned. “I see. Well, I won’t keep you any longer, Fazli. Send me regular reports on your investigation.”

“Yes, sir. May I ask why?”

“There might be a link to someone I’m monitoring here in Peshawar.”

“Understood.”

“I expect to hear from you soon.” Bangash broke the connection. He slid his chair over to his private laptop, logged in, and began typing:

I cannot be certain, but it appears our Russian ‘friend’ is somehow connected to the pro-Punjab reunification protest in Lahore today. I fear this is just the beginning A colleague posted to Lahore will keep me apprised of any further developments.

On an unrelated matter, I have learned from a contact at the Governor’s House that the Tehrik-i-Taliban are expecting further attacks from the army in the FATA region. I shall use my influence to warn the tribal elders.

Bangash pulled a forbidden bottle of whiskey, obtained through an American contact, and took a large gulp. Finished, he put the bottle back in its hiding place. What will happen next?

I’ll bring you the final snippet of Ultimate Escalation next week.

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 8, 2022

We’ve had rain to start most days, but today’s been dry and overcast, so I was able to cut the grass. Hope it remains dry for a few days, as we have a painter coming tomorrow to paint the eves. Too high for me without a different ladder, so we took advantage of this painter doing a couple of other properties on the street.

Another update on Sylvia’s condition. She had a pacemaker installed on Tuesday and all the initial tests were fine. We saw the practice nurse on Thursday, who changed the bandage and said Sylvia was healing nicely. The next appoint is six weeks from now and the pacemaker will be recalibrated/adjusted if needed.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Never lose Hope you never know what Tomorrow may bring.” Hope is the best thing which make us believe that God is with us ,God with us that mean hope lives in our souls and our thinking so please smile never give up everything be okay. Always when things seem darkest you know God is always there & things work out, that’s God working in a mysterious ways. Always works for me. You just have to do everything humanly possible& and let God handle it. ~ Melissa Browning © Wisdom Quotes & Stories

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 8th, the second Sunday of the month:

Andrea Alciato, Italian lawyer and writer; Francis Quarles, English poet (Argalus & Parthenia, Emblems); Edward Gibbon, English historian (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire); Phillis Wheatley, American poet who was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman; George Bruce Malleson, English officer in India and author; Francis Warre-Cornish, English scholar and writer; Oscar Hammerstein, German opera and playwright (Kohinoor); John Meade Falkner, English novelist (Moonfleet); Edmund Wilson, American critic/writer (Patriotic Gore); Vera Chapman, English writer and Tolkien Society founder; George Woodcock, Canadian writer of political biography and history (Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements); Gertrud Fussenegger [Dorn], Austrian writer (Mohrenlegende); Romain Gary, Polish writer; Sloan Wilson, American novelist (Man in the Gray Flannal); Tristan Jones, British sailor and author; Gary Snyder, American beat poet (Turtle Island – Pulitzer Prize, 1975; Rip Rap and Cold Mountain Poems); Julieta Campos, Cuban-Mexican writer; Daniel Robberechts, Belgian writer (Labia Majora); Thomas Pynchon, American novelist (V, Gravity’s Rainbow); Peter Benchley, American novelist (Jaws, The Deep); Beth Henley, American actress and playwright (Miss Firecracker); Andreas P. Nielsen, Danish author and composer; and Terry Christian, British writer, radio and television presenter.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Peter Benchley. 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:

May Mayhem: A Kindle Unlimited Promo group promo. There are 105 novels to choose from:
https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

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

Slide1The final chapters of Ultimate Escalation have now been uploaded to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another fifty reviews this week, bringing the total to 815.

Here’s another snippet:

Two days later, over 100 protesters assembled near the memorial park. Two youths led the demonstration inching toward the monument, beating a discordant rhythm on their drums.

Police officers lined the perimeter of the monument, their backs to a black wrought-iron fence.

Numerous onlookers crowded the park, anticipating a clash between the security forces and the protesters.

The apparent demonstration ringleader stopped within a couple of meters of the police line. He turned to his supporters, holding a blue and gray portable megaphone. He gazed at the myriad of banners, signs, and flags. “Listen, my friends. Today we begin our conquest to reunite Punjabi—once and for all. Do not cower in front of these officers.” He gestured toward the police. “We have a fundamental right to demonstrate.”

Cheers erupted from those assembled, while some waved their flags with vigor.

“We will not be cowered. We must show courage in the face of ongoing strife. Who is with me?”

“Yes!” a multitude of voices shouted.

Someone broke into a pro-Punjabi chant.

Soon, others joined in.

The ringleader raised his hands. “There is no better place to show the government our strength and courage than at the monument to those who lost their lives facing adversity. Will they continue to beat us down?”

“No!”

Someone threw a rock at the police line.

An officer collapsed to the ground, his face bloodied.

Another officer blew a whistle.

Gunshots came from the police line, striking the demonstrators closest to them.

Screams filled the air. Pandemonium broke out as tear-gas canisters blanketed the area with a thick fog.

Once peaceful protesters lowered their signs, banners, and flags. Using the staffs as weapons, they charged the police line.

More gunfire ensued.

The penultimate snippet will come next week.

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 1, 2022

Happy May Day! May April’s showers bring May flowers. We didn’t have a lot of rain throughout April, but the final day did bring us a steady but light rain all day. Hopefully, we’ll see the benefits soon.

An update on Sylvia’s condition. Although the consultant had anticipated Sylvia’s procedure was going to be on Tuesday, the specialist actually doing the operations told he on Monday he was heavily backlogged and would refer her to a colleague at a different hospital and she was discharged.She’s now scheduled to have the procedure this coming Tuesday, May 3rd. Fingers crossed it takes place and gives her what she needs!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Staying quiet doesn’t mean I have nothing to say, it means I don’t think you’re ready to hear my thoughts.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 1st, the first Sunday of the month:

Joseph Addison, English essayist and poet (co-founder of The Spectator); Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov, Russian poet; José Amador de los Ríos, Spanish historian and poet; José de Alencar, Brazilian writer (O Guarani); Guido Gezelle, Flemish priest and poet; Laza Lazarević, Serbian writer (Prvi put s ocem na jutrenje) and psychiatrist; Conrad Weiss, German writer and poet (Tantum dic verbo); John Evans, English cricket batsman (1 Test) and author (‘The Escaping Club’); Ignazio Silone, Italian novelist (Fontamara, Pane e vino); Antal Szerb, Hungarian author and historian; Giovannino Guareschi, Italian writer (Don Camillo, Peppone); Yiannis Ritsos, Greek poet and political activist; Joseph Heller, American novelist (Catch-22, 1963 Arts & Letters Award); Terry Southern, writer; Sergio Infante, Chilean poet and writer; and Wes Anderson, American director and writer.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Joseph Heller. 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:

May Mayhem: A Kindle Unlimited Promo group promo. There are 105 novels to choose from:
https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

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

Slide1As I mentioned last week, the final chapter of Ultimate Escalation was completed. I’m currently working my way through the myriad of reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use.

My manuscript received another forty-one reviews this week, bringing the total to 765.

Here’s another snippet:

The sounds of heavy traffic woke Mishka. He glanced out the window, watching a motorcycle with a family of five passing by. “You forgot to wake me.”

Bikram shook his head. “We have not yet reached Amritsar, sahib. Perhaps ten more minutes. Do you want to stop by the Golden Temple? It is the most important shrine for the Sikhs.”

“Perhaps another time. I think—” Mishka grabbed onto the door handle to steady himself as the truck rocked while passing a cluster of people on bicycles.

“Yes, sahib?”

“I think we might have to leave India in a hurry after we complete our mission.”

“Many things to visit in India, sahib. I will be happy to be your guide—for a small fee.”

Mishka laughed. “We shall see.”

Bikram turned onto a side street, packed with trucks, cars, and rickshaws. Dozens of pedestrians scooted between the vehicles, tempting fate as they headed toward their destinations. Three and four-story buildings, with stores on the ground floors, hugged both sides of the street, display stands erected on the sidewalks to attract buyers. Multi-colored signs covered the storefronts, beckoning consumers inside. Vehicle horns, people shouting and laughing, and the scent of cooking food wafted through Mishka’s window.

“One day, sahib, a ring road around Amritsar will be completed. For now, we must work our way through the outskirts of the city until we reach the road leading to Vedant’s property. From there, it is only a few kilometers.”

Twenty minutes later, Bikram made another turn onto a divided highway. Traffic heading into Amritsar was heavy, but few vehicles traveled in the outbound direction.

Bikram blew his horn and swerved to miss another motorbike bearing multiple passengers. “We will soon arrive, sahib.”

“Excellent.” Mishka studied the family clutching to one another as they sped by. “How often do those overloaded motorcycles end up in accidents.”

“Many times each day. They are a hazard but no worse than stray livestock on the streets.”

Buildings gave way to farmland as they continued out of Amritsar. Bikram pointed to the right. “See those buildings in the distance? That is where we are going.”

“Did I catch a glimpse of a sign for a business?”

“Yes, sahib. The farm is used as a getaway for people who want to escape from city life. It is closed right now, so we could use it for our purposes.” Bikram chuckled. “I am aware you will be paying the fee for all of the buildings. Did you not know this?”

Mishka pursed his lips. “Vedant did mention something about it, but we’ll take care of the finances later.”

Bikram slowed and turned onto a narrow lane. The second truck followed. “We are here, sahib. First, I will take you to one of the stone cottages where you and your men will stay. Our supporters will use two of them to make signs and banners, and those not from this area will sleep in the other two.”

“What about the big house?”

“That is where we will eat out meals and meet to discuss whatever you think is of importance.” Bikram gestured to the first cottage. “You will be in this one. In the evening, when there is a slight breeze, it is very pleasant on the rooftop terrace to enjoy a sunrise or sunset.”

Mishka laughed. “You sound like an advertising man.”

“It is my duty, sahib, to support the family.” Bikram stopped in front of the building. We shall unload your equipment before going for something to eat.”

Another snippet next week.

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.

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