Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 22, 2020

Over the past few days, we’ve had a visitor–the neighborhood stray cat. While he’s been coming for food since we moved in about two and a half years ago, he normally stays far enough away to avoid human touch. Last week, I mentioned he wasn’t well. The trip to the vet and the subsequent injections seem to have done the trick as he seems to have recovered from his illness.

Well, earlier in the week, he came just inside the kitchen door for his meal. Normally, we leave the door open for him, but because of the weather, I pulled it closed. At first, he wasn’t too happy, but then turned to his dinner.  It wasn’t long before he jumped up on my lap and wanted petted!  Since then, he has spent one night in the house. Our other cats are fine with him, although one did hiss a warning like, “Watch it bub, this is my house.”

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 22nd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Pieter de Jode II, Flemish engraver and publisher; Barbara Juliane, baroness von Krüdener, Baltic German religious mystic, author, and Pietist Lutheran theologian; George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans], English author (Middlemarch, Silas Marner); José Maria de Heredia, Cuban-French sonnet poet (Les Trophées); Fritz Mauthner, Austro-Hungarian novelist & critic; George Gissing, British novelist (New Grub Street, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study); Andre Gide, French writer (Lafcadio’s Adventures-Nobel 1947); Georges Rency, Belgian poet and literature; Endre Ady, Hungarian lyric poet (Még egyzer, Uj versek); Charles Vildrac, French author, poet and playwright (La Brouille, Michel Auclair, Notes sur la technique poétique); Erik Lindahl, Swedish economist (Theory of Money & Capital); Tom Macdonald, Welsh journalist and writer (The White Lanes of Summer); James Burnham, philosopher (Coming Defeat of Communism); Moses Josiah Madiba, South African author and first African chancellor of the University of the North; Peter Woolridge Townsend, war hero courtier writer; Terry Gilliam, comedy author-animator (Monty Python); Robert Iliffe, English publisher (Coventry Evening Telegraph); Valerie Wilson Wesley, American author; Marjane Satrapi, Iranian graphic novelist; Stel Pavlou, British novelist; Alasdair Duncan, Australian novelist; and Suresh Guptara and Jyoti Guptara, British-Indian novelists.

Anyone familiar to you? This was another unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

The audio version of Colombian Betrayal is now available!

For those who are unaware of this story, here’s the synopsis:

A Colombian drug lord watched her profits diminish over the years. Unable to increase market share because of a shrinking consumer base and a new international competitor, she form an unholy alliance.

Olivia Moreno, head of the Barranquilla Cartel, struck a deal with a regional leader within the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Little did she know but she initiated her own death warrant. FARC had an unknown support group who wanted a foothold in South America – Islamic State.

Forced to flee, Moreno is captured by a small CIA team. Fearing for her life, she spins a tale about using her money and manpower to destroy ISIS. Laws and rules of engagement mean nothing to her, only her life and family matter.

Will team leader AJ Bruce strike a deal to turn the tables on ISIS and stop them from launching a concentrated attack on the United States? Or will they be too late? If successful, will Moreno’s reward be total control of Afghanistan’s poppy fields or will she be doubled-crossed?

My Work in Progress

I didn’t get as much done this week on chapter fifteen  of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal as I had planned since real life requirements got in the way. In the meantime, the number of chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use increased to 231–always plenty of useful advice!

Here’s another snippet:

After the photographer left the restaurant, he glanced in both directions. Spotting his ride, he rushed to a gray, windowless van and jumped into the back.

“Did you get it?” A man turned from the passenger seat as he scratched his scraggly beard.

“Yes. A clear close-up of their faces.”

“Excellent. Make copies and give them to our men. I don’t want any mistakes.” The man tapped the driver on the shoulder. “Let’s go.”

***

“Guess I better pay the bill.” Javier stood, leaned over, and kissed AJ’s forehead. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” AJ rose and squeezed Javier’s arm. “Don’t suppose you can escort me home? Just to the door—I have an early start tomorrow.”

Javier dropped the black leather bill holder on the counter as they walked past. “Keep the change.”

Outside, they turned left and strolled arm-in-arm the four blocks to AJ’s condo. They held each other and kissed before she pushed him back. “Down, boy. I’m an old-fashioned girl.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m an old-fashioned guy, but I think our meanings are different.”

She leaned toward him, allowing her lips to brush his. “Good night, Javier. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

“Night. I’ll wait until you’re inside before I leave. No telling what scumbags might be lurking around.”

AJ laughed as she stuck her key in the door. “My hero!” She entered the building, turned back, and blew him a kiss.

Twenty minutes later, a taxi dropped Javier off at home. He nodded to a couple coming out of the building. The man held the door for Javier.

“Many thanks. Enjoy the evening.” Javier strode across the foyer and entered the elevator. He pulled his keys out as he walked along the hallway to his apartment.

And stopped.

Alarm bells signaled as Javier inspected the door, open a fraction. Someone’s here or been here. Wish I had a weapon.

He eased the door open.

Darkness.

After flicking on the light, his jaw dropped.

Everything on the walls now rested on the floor. Frames torn apart, and glass covers broken. Cushion sliced open, contents spewed out.

Out of the corner of an eye, Javier caught a moving shadow.

He lunged and crashed into the remnants of his coffee table.

The shadow dashed out the door.

By the time Javier rushed into the corridor, it was empty.

More next time.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 15, 2020

Here we are–the middle of another month. Time is sure marching by. The trees are more or less bare, with a few persistent leaves still hanging onto their branches. Fortunately, there are still the occasional outbreaks of sunshine!

The neighborhood stray cat we adopted wasn’t well this week. We knew something was up when he wanted to come inside as normally he just uses the shelter we put in the back for him and he didn’t want to eat. Poor Alfie!  He had a dry, hacking cough and his eyes were a bit gummy.  A trip to the vet for antibotic, anti-inflammatory, and steriod injections seem to be working. Now he’s eating better, and his eyes have cleared up. He still has the cough, but it’s less persistent. Alfie is coming and going like our other feline friends.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 15th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Madeleine de Scudéry, French novelist (Artamène ou le grand Cyrus); Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss writer, philosopher; and founder of physiognomics; Joseph Quesnel, French Canadian composer and playwright (Colas et Colinette); Aleksey Apukhtin, Russian poet and friend of Tsjaikovski; Adolf Bartels, German journalist and poet; Gerhart Hauptmann, German author (Before Dawn – Nobel 1912); Robert marquess of Flers, French author (Habit Vert); René Guénon, French-Egyptian author; Marianne Moore, poet (Pulitzer 1951, Collected Poems); René Maran, Martinique, author (Batouala, Prix Goncourt); Richmal Crompton, British author; Antoni Słonimski, Polish writer; Sacheverell Sitwell, English author (People’s Palace); Willy Alfredo [Willem Jue], Dutch entertainer/poet (Fish-Trap); Giorgio Manganelli, writer; Yuli Daniel, Russian writer; J[ames] G[raham] Ballard, China, sci-fi author (Drowned World); Jerry Douglas, American director and writer (Grabby Awards Hall of Fame); Daniel Manus Pinkwater, American sci-fi author (Magic Moscow); Heathcote Williams [John Henly Heathcote Williams], British poet, actor and political activist; and Ildikó Enyedi, Hungarian film director and screenwriter (On Body and Soul).

Anyone familiar to you? This was another unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

I’m almost finished with my final edit pass of Mission: Angola (A Xavier Sear Thriller). Shouldn’t be long and it’ll be ready to submit.

I also completed chapter fourteen of Revenge and posted it to the two online subscription writing site I use. There are now 227 chapter reviews, an increase of twelve over the past week.

Here’s another snippet:

AJ Bruce flicked her head, tossing her brown hair to the side as she glanced at her watch. Where is he? She chuckled. He knows I’m the impatient type. She waved at a passing waiter.

“Yes, ma’am. Can I get you another coffee or something a bit stronger?”

“Another coffee for now. Oh, and a muffin—any kind. I’ll wait until the others arrive before switching.”

“Very good.”

While she waited, AJ read the details about the restaurant on the back of the menu: The historic brick building housing Virtue Feed & Grain was once a feed house in the 1800s. Playing on the original use of the building as a warehouse—

“Here you are, ma’am. Another Americano, extra coffee, no sugar.”

AJ took a sip of the hot brew. “Perfect, thanks.”

“Did you order one for me?” The bass voice seemed to resonate from the floorboards.

AJ jumped to her feet and hugged Javier. “About time you arrived. Where are the others?”

“Slithering around.” Javier’s eyes twinkled. “They thought I should join you first. They’ll make an appearance when they’re ready.”

“Always the clowns, aren’t they?”

“Yeah. But, when necessary, they become as dangerous as anyone who put on a uniform.”

“Excuse me, sir. Do you mind if I take a picture of you and your beautiful wife?” A man stood near the table with a camera in his hand.

“Uh … Yeah. But, she’s not my—”

AJ kicked him under the table as she frowned at Javier.

“What I mean is … yes, please take our photo.” He leaned closer to AJ and put his arm around her. “How’s this?”

“Perfect. Now, smile!”

More next time.

I also pulled out Ultimate Escalation this week and completed chapter seven. This is the fourth novel in my Bedlam series.  So far there have been ninety-five chapter reviews on this one.

In case you might have missed the synopsis on this one, here it is:

Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandr Nikolai, a disgraced Spetnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

Books I’m Reading

I didn’t complete any books this week. I’m busy going through The Civil War and Western Series by Blair Howard. This is a five-book anthology and should be welcome reading for those who enjoy the time period. I should begin sharing my thoughts on this next time.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 8, 2020

Mother Nature kept the rain at bay most of this week. Good thing, too. Plenty of autumn leaves to clean up, hoses and solar lights to put away for the winter kept me busy. Not to mention a general tidy of the gardens. Things are beginning to look bare, but that’s typical.

With early nights and late sunrises, it’s clear time is marching forward. The local squirrels are busy harvesting nuts from the various trees, while the hedgehogs are enjoying extra meals in preparation for hibernation. And so the cycle continues.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 8th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Teofilo Folengo, Italian macaronic poet; Pierre Bayle, French philosopher and writer (Historical and Critical Dictionary); Sarah Fielding, English writer (The Adventures of David Simple); Girolamo de Rada, Albanian poet (Skanderbeku); Bram Stoker, Irish theater manager and author (Dracula); Qiu Jin, Chinese revolutionary, feminist, and writer considered a national heroine in China; Frank Speck, American anthropologist (Algonquin Tribes and Eastern Woodland Native Americans); Photis Kontoglou, Greek writer, painter and iconographer; Margaret Mitchell, American author (Gone With the Wind); Cedric Belfrage, English writer and journalist (cofounder of National Guardian); Martha Gellhorn, American novelist and journalist who was one of the first female war correspondents; Peter Weiss, German author and playwright (Marat/Sade); P. L. Deshpande, Indian Marathi writer; Ben Bova, American scifi author (Exiled from Earth); Kazuo Ishiguro, British author (An Artist of the Floating World, The Remains of the Day, When We Were Orphans); Richard Curtis, British screenwriter (Blackadder, Four Wedding and a Funeral); Vanesa Littlecrow, Puerto Rican cartoonist, dancer, writer and model; Masashi Kishimoto, Japanese manga author; and Seishi Kishimoto, Japanese manga author.

Anyone familiar to you? There were two for me: Bram Stoke and Margaret Mitchell. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

I finished my third edit pass of Xavier Sear: Angola this past week. Based on feedback from my advanced reader team, I have changed the name to: Mission: Angola (A Xavier Sear Thriller).

With my concentration on the outdoor work and editing of Mission: Angola, I didn’t have any time left over to do any additional writing. That’s okay as it never hurts to take a few days off.

Reviewers on the two online subscription writing sites I use continue to check out Revenge. The thirteen posted chapters now have a total of 215 reviews. As always, plenty of helpful eyes spotting things which might need a bit of attention. In the meantime, I hope to get another chapter or two completed in the coming days.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading the Sam Harris Adventure Box Set by BJ Skinner. The first novel in the series, Fool’s Gold, introduces readers to geologist Samantha Harris, who prefers to be called Sam. She knows her own mind, which is a good thing, as she embarks on a career in what was considered a man’s world.

BJ has created a number of larger-than-life characters whose interaction with Sam either help her on her journey or attempt to thwart her plans. She set off on her first unpaid field project to gain experience. As the plot unfolds, you’ll find yourself urging Sam on while at the same time, hoping she can overcome obstacles thrown up by others. An excellent opening to the series, which had me turning the pages in anticipation of what would come next.

Hitler’s Finger is the second book in this action-pack series. Sam returns to Sierramar in South America, the setting for the first story in the series. The boyfriend of her new friend, Gloria, goes missing. BJ’s plot will have you turning the pages to find out what happens. There’s a sinister mission underway by some of Hitler’s followers to create a Fourth Reich, and Sam finds herself embroiled in something she never expected. Not wanting to provide any spoilers, you’ll have to grab a copy to find out how things turn out. With complex twists and turns, this one should delight those who enjoy heart-pounding action.

The Star of Simbako finds Sam on her way to West Africa. Hired to work in the diamond fields of Fona, Sam becomes the victim of a voodoo curse. Or is it? She jumps at the chance to take on this project as this will be her first paid geology job. After a rocky arrival in Fona, Sam begins her new job. A chance meeting in the airport paves the way for her acceptance by the owner of the Star of Simbako, but will things be easy for her?

Once again, BJ has completed another fast-paced plot with more realistic characters. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings November 1, 2020

It’s hard to believe another month has already sailed fast. Where does the time go? They, whoever they are, say time marches on. It definitely does!

How did trick or treating go last night? We certainly had some tricks–at least from Mother Nature. All of our attempts to clear up fallen leaves this week have been for naught, between daily rain and increased wind. The good news is there aren’t many leaves left on the trees. The forecast for next week is three-four consecutive days without rain, so no guesses what’ll be on the cards!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 1st. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Benvenuto Cellini, Italian sculptor, goldsmith and author (Perseus); Étienne de La Boétie, French judge and writer; Pierre Pithou, French lawyer and scholar (Les Libertés de l’église gallicane); Georg Philipp Harsdörffer, German poet and translator; Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, French poet and critic; Paul Daniel Longolius, German encylopedist (editor of Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon); W. H. Grattan Flood, Irish author and composer; Stephen Crane, American novelist (Red Badge of Courage); Grantland Rice, American sportswriter (New York Herald Tribune 1914-30, Colliers 1925-37; Sholem Asch, Polish-Jewish novelist and playwright (East River, Three Cities); Hermann Broch, Austrian novelist (Sleepwalkers, Bewitchment); Edmund Blunden, English poet and critic (Undertones of War); Naomi Mitchison, Scottish author (African Heroes, Return to Fairy Hill); Nordahl Grieg, Norwegian poet, dramatist and novelist (The Defeat); Jean Tardieu, French dramatist; Henri Troyat, Russian-French author and historian; Zenna Henderson, American sci-fi author (Anything Box); John H. Secondari, American author and newscaster (Open Hearing); Ilse Aichinger, Austrian writer (Die größere Hoffnung); Edward A de Jongh, Antillian author (The Arch); Gordon R. Dickson, Canadian-American sci-fi author (Genetic General); Rudy Kousbroek, Dutch writer and literary (Leopold the Buch); A. R. Gurney, American playwright (The Dining Room); Kim Krizan, American writer and actress (Slacker, Dazed & Confused); and Louise Boije af Gennäs, Swedish writer and novelist (Stjärnor utan svindel).

Anyone familiar to you? This was another unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

I learned yesterday the audio version of Colombian Betrayal has been approved and is heading to retail shortly. Before long, you’ll be able to grab a copy!

For those who are unaware of this story, here’s the synopsis:

A Colombian drug lord watched her profits diminish over the years. Unable to increase market share because of a shrinking consumer base and a new international competitor, she form an unholy alliance.

Olivia Moreno, head of the Barranquilla Cartel, struck a deal with a regional leader within the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Little did she know but she initiated her own death warrant. FARC had an unknown support group who wanted a foothold in South America – Islamic State.

Forced to flee, Moreno is captured by a small CIA team. Fearing for her life, she spins a tale about using her money and manpower to destroy ISIS. Laws and rules of engagement mean nothing to her, only her life and family matter.

Will team leader AJ Bruce strike a deal to turn the tables on ISIS and stop them from launching a concentrated attack on the United States? Or will they be too late? If successful, will Moreno’s reward be total control of Afghanistan’s poppy fields or will she be doubled-crossed?

My Work in Progress

I finished my second edit pass of Xavier Sear: Angola this past week. Based on feedback from my advanced reader team, I’m considering changing the name to: Mission: Angola (A Xavier Sear Thriller).

The verdict is still out on the name change, but I have another month to make a decision before the manuscript is ready for submission.

This one was a bit of a challenge to write. Unlike my previous novels, I haven’t been to Angola, so plenty of research went into this one. As one of my readers told me overnight, “… this book went that extra mile. I think it’s a masterpiece.”

There are still a few more readers to finish and I plan to do two more edit passes before I deem the manuscript at a point to send it off. Stay tuned for further updates!

This week I also continued working on Revenge and New World Revolution, but I didn’t finish any chapters–too much time spent on Angola. Hopefully, this upcoming week I’ll be able to move both stories forward.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest and will continue to follow my writing journey. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 25, 2020

The clocks went back this morning–another hour in bed! The cats seemed okay with the extra time, too, as they didn’t start making noise to go outside until the extra hour had passed.

Fall is definitely upon us as more and more leaves change and drop to the ground. The cycle keeps moving forward, following Mother Nature’s path!

Each time I drive out of the street, I chuckle when I see one house. They have two small children, and despite current lockdown procedures, the parents have put up a few Halloween decorations with pumpkins lit by electric lights. The outside decoration is what gets me. They have a huge spider web running from a window on the upped floor down to the ground. Just on its own it’s fantastic, but you should see the three-foot spider making its way up the web!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 25th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

James Graham, Marquis of Montrose “the Great Montrose”, Scottish general and poet; James Beattie, Scottish poet and philosopher (Essay on Truth); Thomas Babington Macaulay, English poet and historian (Ivry, Naaseby); Maria van Ackere-Doolaeghe, Flemish poet (Daisies, Avondlamp); Pavel Melnikov, Russian historian and author (In the Forests); Gleb Uspensky, Russian author (Power of the Soil); Hélène Swarth, Dutch author (Lonely Flowers); Nico van Suchtelen, Dutch writer and publisher; Eduardo Barrios, Chilean novelist (The Love-Crazed Boy); François Pauwels, Dutch writer and attorney; Henry Steele Commager, American historian (Atlas of Civil War); Edmond Pidoux, Swiss writer (L’histoire de Jonas); John Berryman, American poet (The Dream Songs); Peter Rohmkorf, German writer; Sir Martin Gilbert, British historian (Winston Churchill biography); Anne Tyler, American writer (Accidental Tourist); Selly Fernandes, Curacao poetess (Winking with Selly); Daniel Mark Epstein, American poet and biographer (Abraham Lincoln); and Zadie Smith, British novelist (White Teeth, On Beauty, Swing Time).

Anyone familiar to you? This was an unknown group for me. However, I’d like to mention Les Stahl, whose birthday is on the 26th. Les was the driving force behind me even attempting to write a novel. Without his suggestion and encouragement, I never would have given it a try. Now, I have three award-winning novels.

Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

Although I had planned to take a week off from editing Xavier Sear: Angola, I’m halfway through my second edit pass. I caught a few words which didn’t fit and made some changes to original wording.

One of my beta readers binged on the story, completing the novel in two days. In addition to really enjoying the plot, she’s already waiting for the next one!

In case you’ve missed the synopsis for Angola, here it is:

Joao and Caterina Regaleria’s twentieth wedding anniversary celebration was fast approaching when a contact from the past reaches out for his assistance.

Colonel Theodore Mwelewe, a former enemy commander during the Angolan war and now an important politician, requests Joao’s help. The colonel’s adult son, Peter, was kidnapped while working as a doctor for the Christian Aid Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Reluctant to get involved, Joao contacts Xavier Sear, a former CIA operative. They became friends when Joao served as a member of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces in Angola and Sear was an observer.

After Caterina’s persuasive intervention, Joao and Sear head to the DRC to rescue Peter. Treachery abounds at each step of the way. Will they be successful or will the situation deteriorate even further as various players follow their own agendas?

This week I continued working on Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal.

I managed to complete chapters twelve and thirteen and post them to the two subscription writing sites I use. Feedback is rolling in, with 205 chapter reviews so far. 

Here’s the synopsis:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers. He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

I also completed chapter eight of New World Revolution. This one is slowly coming along, mainly due to the extensive amount of research required to blend my fictional characters and their lives with real people and events. It’s quite a challenge, but I’m enjoying it!

Even with the small number of chapters posted, Revolution has already received 158 chapter reviews.

Here’s another glimpse at the synopsis if you haven’t seen it:

The members of the Alexander family are hard-working tenant farmers in northern England. In 1770, massive crop failures threatened the very existence of the farmers. William Alexander and his two sons, sell what they can of their crops, but are unable to pay their debt, forcing them into a difficult situation.

The landowner’s factor takes pity on the Alexander family since they always paid their debts and never caused any problems. Since they could pay their way to the New World, the factor arranges their passage. They work off the costs as indentured servants to his brother, a wealthy tea merchant in Boston.

Little does anyone know, the Boston Tea Party and other events leads the colonies into a fight for their survival. What will become of the Alexander family?

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest and will continue to follow my writing journey. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 18, 2020

Another weekend is upon us. The days keep rolling by. Unfortunately, some things are missing–American college football, being one of them. Yes, I know some universities have been playing (as well as the pros) but it just doesn’t feel the same. My favorite conference is the Big Ten, but so far there hasn’t been a single snap. Games are finally scheduled for next Saturday, but will they play? Only time will tell. Better the teams remain healthy than take risks.

In the meantime, I did manage to clean up some of the leaves. Everything looked great–for a few hours. Now, the ground’s covered again, but since it’s damp outside and it’s Sunday, I’ll leave any outdoor work until the next decent day. At least there’s plenty of writing to keep me going!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 18th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Giambattista Marini, Italian poet; Lars Johnstown [Lasse Lucidor], Swedish poet; Adolf Muller, German dramatist and critic; Heinrich von Kleist, German dramatist/poet (Penthesilea); Thomas Love Peacock, English author (Headlong Hall); Logan Pearsall Smith, American essayist and critic; Ernst Didring, Swedish author; Fannie Hurst, novelist (Anatomy of Me); H. L. Davis, American author; Raymond Brulez, Flemish author (Appearance at Kallista); Frank Liedel [Leo van Assche], Flemish writer (Kaperbrief); Katherine Kurtz, UK, sci-fi author (Deryni Rising, Saint Camber); James Robert Baker, American novelist, screenwriter; Ntozake Shange, American author; Wendy Wasserstein, American playwright (The Heidi Chronicles); Terry McMillan, American author; and Bảo Ninh, Vietnamese novelist.

Anyone familiar to you? This was an unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

This week I used my writing time to concentrate on editing Xavier Sear: Angola. As all writers will know, once a manuscript is finished, that’s just the beginning of a novel’s journey.

The first edit pass is now complete. I’ve taken care of several spelling and punctuation errors, as well as choosing four of my foreign characters and gave their voice a bit of a change as they will never use contractions when they speak.

Yesterday I also sent the manuscript to my small cadre of beta readers to find out from those who weren’t involved in chapter reviews (of which I received 526) to see how the story goes. I’m looking forward to their response!

Now, I’ll take a week off from editing and return to other works in progress: Revenge and New World Revolution. Hopefully, I’ll get another chapter completed for each story before I begin the second edit pass.

The sequel to Xavier Sear: Angola will be Xavier Sear: Yemen. Here’s the synopsis:

Xavier Sear is thrust into a new adventure when he accepts an under-the-table assignment from a longtime friend, Ron Vincent. A former CIA operative, Sear takes on any and all missions, which appeal to his sense of justice.

Abudullah Bashari, a retired Yemeni geologist who dabbles in archeology is embroiled in the bitter struggle between the Houthis and the government. He reaches out for help to save his family. A wealthy man, he offers to reveal a damaging secret Saudi Arabia is trying to keep hidden.

Life-threatening danger abounds as Sear visits Yemen and creates a plan to help Bashari’s family escape. However, Hussien Khan al Mishari, a young Saudi prince, threatens to undo Sear’s intervention in pursuit of his own deadly game. Who will be victorious?

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Atlantis Stolen (Sam Reilly Book 3) by Christopher Cartwright. I knew I was in for another action-filled story, and I wasn’t disappointed. Will Sam and his friends be able to find out what really happened to Atlantis and stop another catastrophe? Or will they be too late? This is a well-constructed story and will take readers on a whirlwind ride and they try to unravel the mystery. I don’t like to give spoilers, so you’ll need to get a copy to find out what happens. I can’t wait for the next on in the series!

I also recently read Havoc (The Blackwell Files Book 4) by Steven F. Freeman. Is technology a boon for mankind or something to avoid? Follow cryptologist Alton Blackwell and his girlfriend, FBI Agent Mallory Wilson as they set out on an adventure of a lifetime to Italy. Before long, people they encounter are dying. Who is behind the deaths and why? Will Alton and Mallory be next?

Steven has created an excellent plot with plenty of twists and turns to delight readers who want more than a straightforward story. He definitely shows how to create realistic characters and you’ll be urging Alton and Mallory along as they story unfolds. This is a great page turner and I’ll continue to read more from this series.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 11, 2020

I had a goal this week to get all of the leaves that have fallen cleaned up. Unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn’t too cooperative. If a day didn’t begin with rain, it seemed I was telegraphing my plans. Clear blue skies disappeared with clouds rolling in. Before long, there would be a steady downpour, soaking the leaves and making it too difficult to rake them up or use a leaf blower.

I caught a break on Thursday afternoon. Armed with my trusty expandable rake and a leaf blower, I tackled the leaves and managed to get them raked up. Just in time, too–another shower descended.  The lawn and flower beds looked great, at least for a few minutes.

Since Thursday, more rain, accompanied by gusts of wind, ensured my feeble attempt had been in vain. Although not as thick as before, the lawn and flower beds are covered once again. Such is life in the fall!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 11th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays): Melchior de Polignac, French diplomat, Cardinal and poet; Steen Steensen Blicher, Danish poet and short-story writer (E Binddstouw); Albartus Telting, Frisian poet (Frisianch Jierboeckjen); Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Swiss writer; Hans E. Kinck, Norwegian philological and writer (Mot Karnaval); Stefan Octavian Losif, Romanian poet (Beautiful Irine); Gertrud von Le Fort, German writer (The Eternal Woman); Stark Young, American writer (So Red the Rose); Will Vesper, German author (Vom grossen Krieg); Francois Mauriac, French novelist, poet and playwright (Nobel 1952); and R. H. W. Dillard, American poet (The Day I Stopped Dreaming About Barbara Steele and Other Poems).

Anyone familiar to you? This was an unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

Once again, most of my writing time was spent editing Xavier Sear: Angola. However, the next manuscript I’m concentrating on writing is Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. I finished chapter eleven this week. To date, Revenge has received 186 chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use.

Here’s another snippet:

The doors to the conference room opened, and four men rolled in a cart, stopping next to Javier. On top, a massive cake with yellow and black frosting, with an inscription: Bon voyage to the head snake. Next to the cake, a bowl of punch.

The men stepped back and saluted.

Javier returned their salute. “The Snakes! I might have known you’d show up.”

“Someone had to ignore your requests. We couldn’t let your retirement come and go without a farewell.” Viper glanced around. “Where’s AJ?”

The smile on Javier’s face disappeared. “She couldn’t make it. Something to do with another terrorist threat.” He shook his head. “Never mind, she’ll join us later to celebrate.”

“Colonel, why don’t we wrap things up and dig into the cake and punch? I know from a reliable source the punch might contain an extra kick.” Brown pulled a small bottle of whiskey from a bag beneath the table and poured a generous amount into the bowl.

“Sounds great, General. Thank you.”

As the room erupted with applause, everyone formed a line to shake Javier’s hand.

Viper cut the cake, while Mamba dished out the punch.

The attendees scattered around the room into small clusters once General Brown departed. Before long, the Snakes returned to Javier’s side.

Viper held a wrapped package in his hand. “A small gesture of our appreciation, Cobra. Whatever your plans are, know we’ll follow you if you’ll have us.” He handed the parcel to Javier.

“Thanks, guys.” Javier unwrapped the package and burst into laughter. Inside, a framed collage of snakes: vipers, mambas, rattlers, adders, and cobras.

“Fantastic! I’d rather put photos of real snakes on my wall to admire than snapshots of your ugly mugs.”

The men laughed and clapped Javier on the shoulder.

“Well, old-timer, we need to get back to work. We have one final duty to perform.” Viper picked up the certificate and flag, while Adder grabbed the framed photos.

“What’s that?”

“Escort you out of the building.”

Viper led the way. They exited the conference room. Officer and enlisted personnel lined the hallway, saluting as Javier passed.

Once outside, he shook hands with his friends. “See you this evening for the celebration?”

“Wouldn’t miss it.” The Snakes nodded a final farewell to their leader and returned inside.

Blinking back the tears threatening to form, Javier turned around and gazed at the Pentagon for a final time. He returned a salute from two non-commissioned officers as they passed on their way into America’s symbol of military might before heading to the parking lot. The end of a journey—what does the future hold for me now?

***

A man in the rear of a black van lowered his camera and grinned. Soon, el coronel, you will receive your punishment for what you did to my brethren. I’ll carve more scars on your face until you beg for death. He gestured for the driver to start the engine. But, you shall never receive mercy.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading the fifth installment of Tony J. Forder’s DI Bliss series, The Death of Justice. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, pitting my analytical skills again DI Bliss as he tries to end a killing spree by an unknown assailant. Who’s killing them and why? What links the victims together?

I’m definitely hooked on Tony’s twist-filled plots and larger-than-life characters. If you’re looking for a series you can sink your teeth into, I can definitely recommend DI Bliss. Can’t wait to read the next one!

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 4, 2020

Back in late spring, I was moving a heavy flower pot from the driveway where it had just been watered back to its normal location on the edge of the front patio/porch. Unfortunately, it slipped from my hands!

No problem–my right foot was there to cushion the pot’s landing. If the plant could talk, I’m sure it would have said something about the poor treatment. Anyway, the pot was safe! Couldn’t say as much for my foot–my middle toe was no longer straight!

About three weeks ago, that offending appendage tried to move an immovable (at least very heavy) object. Once again, the middle toe bore the brunt of the onslaught. It anything there more of a crook to it than ever before!

I hoped that was the last of the punishment my poor toe was to receive, at least until it made a full recovery. No such luck–three nights ago, I dropped a handheld vacuum cleaner. Yep–it headed straight for the toe as if there was a bullseye painted on it! Now, its about twice the size it should be, but at least I’m still able to hobble about. If I ever needed an excuse to back off on some chore and just write, this was it!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 4th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Francisco de Rojas Zorrilla, Spanish playwright (Del Rey Abajo Ninguno); François Guizot, French historian and politician (17th Prime Minister of France); John Richardson, Canadian writer (Wacousta, or the prophecy); Juliette Adam, French author (Salon/Nouvelle Revue) and feminist; Edward Stratemeyer, American author (The Rover Boys); Hugh McCrae, Australian writer and poet (Satyrs and Sunlight: Sylvarum Libri); Damon Runyon, American journalist and writer (Guys & Dolls-based on his work); Francis Bull, Norwegian writer (Norsk literature historian); Sergei Yesenin, Russian lyric poet; Koos Schuur, Dutch journalist/poet (7 Curses); Alvin Toffler, author (Future Shock, Power Shift, The Third Wave); Sally Mary Caroline Belfrage, American-born, British-based writer; Jackie Collins, British-American author (The Stud, Lucky); Anne Rice, author (Interview with a Vampire); Roy Blount, Jr., American writer; Luis Sepúlveda, Chilean writer and political activist (The Old Man Who Read Love Stories); Bakhytzhan Kanapyanov, Kazakh poet; and Kazuki Takahashi, Japanese author.

Anyone familiar to you? Two stood out for me: Jackie Collins and Anne Rice. I don’t remember reading any of their work, but I’m certainly familiar with them. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

During October, Colombian Betrayal is participating in a Bookfunnel promotion for Mystery & Suspense / Crime, Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller novels. If you have time, why not stop by and check out the varied selection of single novels (many part of a series) or even some of the boxed sets.

The authors will be very grateful, and who knows, you might just find a story you’ve been searching for!

Just click on Bookfunnel to get to the list. Many thanks!

My Work in Progress

This week, I continued using most of my writing time with editing Xavier Sear: Angola. However, the next manuscript I’m concentrating on writing is Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal.

Here’s a snippet:

“Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” General Douglas MacArthur, during his farewell speech at West Point Military Academy, 12 May 1962

***

Colonel Javier Smith woke to the strains of Born in the U.S.A. echoing in the room. He rolled over and grabbed his phone. “Yeah?”

“Are you up yet?” AJ Bruce chuckled. “It’s five a.m. You wanted me to make sure you were up for your big day.”

“You’re pretty cheerful this morning.” He glanced at the clock. Yep—five a.m. “How much coffee did you drink?”

“Just started my second cup.” She slurped her coffee. “See you tonight?”

“You betcha.” Javier broke the connection and shook the cobwebs from his head. He propelled his six-foot-four-inch muscular body from the bed and dashed into the bathroom for a quick shower. After drying himself and combing his black hair, he returned to the bedroom. Before he finished dressing, he glanced at the ribbon rack on his uniform. First and last time to wear all of them at once.

Javier ran a finger along the top decorations: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart (with oak leaf cluster). A dozen other ribbons followed.

Ten minutes later, he found a rare empty parking spot in front of the Pentagon. After climbing out of his Hummer, he adjusted his uniform and dashed inside the building. Once he cleared security, he walked through the corridors, nodding to a few military officers he recognized before arriving at his office.

An envelope lay on the center of Javier’s desk. He placed his cover on the credenza and sat in his executive-style chair. Curious, he picked up the plain white envelope with Colonel Javier Smith typed on the front in bold letters.

Inside, a single sheet of paper.

Colonel Smith,

Your presence is required in my office at 12:45. You are hereby ordered to attend a meeting afterward in the JCS Conference Room. Please be in full uniform.

General Gordon B. Brown

Chief of Staff of the Army

Javier dropped the note on the desk. “I told them no send-off. Why doesn’t anyone listen?” He shook his head and chuckled. “I wonder who’s behind this?”

More next time.

That’s all for this week as I still didn’t get a chance to write down my thoughts about recent books I read. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 27, 2020

As another months rolls toward the end, leaves are changing color and growth spurts from plants and the lawn are slowing down. Chilly evenings are upon us, with heavy dew most mornings.

At least we’ve gone from rainy August to a more settled September. As Mother Nature continues her never-ending cycle, we’re once again reminded of the miracles which abound around us. Try to take time to enjoy the wonders–you’ll be glad you did.

Do you know who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 27th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Galle, Flemish engraver and printer; Jacques-Benigne bossuet, French bishop and writer (Louis XIV court preacher); Michael Denis, Austrian poet, bibliographer and lepidopterist; Maria Versfelt [Ida Saint-Elme], Dutch writer, stage actress, and mistress (General Moreau & Marshal Ney); Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer (Grains de Mil); Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer (Grains de Mil); Alexander Cohen, Dutch anarchist and author; Tryggve Andersen, Norwegian writer (Fra Cancelliraadens Dage; Grazia Deledda, Italian author (Nobel 1926); Cyril Scott, English composer and author (Heroic Suite); Joannes Cornelissen, Dutch historian (Hooft & Tacitus); Vjekoslav Kaleb, Croatian writer (Splendor of the Fabric); William Empson, English poet and critic (Milton’s God); Jim Thompson, American author (The Killer Inside Me); Giles Playfair, English writer; Louis Auchincloss, Lawrence NY, lawyer/novelist (Watchfires); Bernard Waber, American author; Josef Skvorecky, Czechoslovakia, writer and publisher (End of the Nylon Age, The Cowards); Dick Schaap, sportscaster/author (Bo Knows Bo, Instant Replay); Carol Lynn Pearson, American poet and writer; Kay Ryan, American poet (Hide and Seek); and Irvine Welsh, Scottish writer.

Anyone familiar to you? I didn’t spot any names I know. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

I found out this week Carnage in Singapore was selected as one of six First in Category winners in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Global Thrillers category.  What an honor and needless to say, I’m thrilled!

If you’d like to check out the  First in Category winners and the Grand Prize winners for all of the categories , head to: Chanticleer.

So what is Carnage in Singapore about?

Terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah have flourished in recent years with new recruits joining them and ISIS-affiliates at an alarming rate. Blended operations by various Asian countries have forced the groups to work together to identify a new operational base.

They seek an island nation to call home, one where they can plot against countries who oppose their ideals. They found a target, a small nation-state, perfect for their needs: The Republic of Singapore.

Before anyone can respond, the ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain, and Australia are kidnapped from their residences in Singapore. Right index fingers of each victim are sent as a warning. Any attempt to recover the ambassadors will result in the removal of additional body parts.

Bedlam Charlie team leader, Evelyn Evinrude, leads the group to rescue the ambassadors and capture the local leaders of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Can Bedlam succeed or will events escalate, resulting in more deaths?

My Work in Progress

This week, I’ve spent most of my writing time with editing. However, the next manuscript I’m concentrating on writing is Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal.

I’ve only finished the first ten chapters so far, but they’ve received 169 reviews on the two subscription writing sites I use. Plenty of support as I continue my writing journey!

In case you missed an earlier posting of the synopsis, here you go:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers. He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

Next time, I’ll begin including snippets.

That’s all for this week as I didn’t get a chance to write down my thoughts about recent books I read. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 20, 2020

When I woke up this morning, it was dark and I was pinned to the bed. Was a having a dream? No. Very simple explanations.

Why was it dark? The blinds were pulled to block the morning sunshine–except there wasn’t any. Glancing through the cracks in the blinds, I  could see there wasn’t a glimpse of sunshine, but plenty of dark clouds.

Why couldn’t I move? Another easy answer. A fourteen-pound cat named Tommy was sprawled across one of my shoulders, his head on my pillow. A smaller cat name Flora (or more formally, Lady Flora Fluffbottom), decided my calf was a good prop.

The are just two of the four cats we have with us at the moment. Joining them is Charlie and Hope. Tommy and Charlie were feral, and both are still very skittish. Flora was destined for euthanasia, while Hope came from a no-kill shelter. They’re all part of the family!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 20th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Sergey Aksakov, Russian writer (Semejnaja chronika); Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, Italian journalist, soldier and pacifist (Nobel Peace Prize 1907); Upton Beall Sinclair, American writer (Jungle); Maxwell Perkins, American editor and publisher; Charles Williams, British poet and writer; Rachel Bluwstein, Hebrew poet; Fjodor Panfjorov, Russian author (Volga); Cesare Zavattini, Italian screenwriter (Ladri di Biciclette); Stevie [Florence Margaret] Smith, English poet and novelist (Not Waving but Drowning); Geraldine Clinton Little, Irish poet (A Little Bouquet); Donald Hall, American writer, literary critic and Poet Laureate of the United States; Keith Roberts, English writer (Irish Encounter, Ladies from Hell); George R. R. Martin, American fantasy and sci-fi author (A Song of Ice and Fire); James P[aul] Blaylock, American sci-fi author (Elfin Ship, Homunculus); Javier Marías, Spanish translator and novelist (Corazón tan blanco); and David Allen, American composer and writer.

Anyone familiar to you? I didn’t spot any names I know. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

This week, I continued to edit Xavier Sear: Angola. As of today, there’s been 511 chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use, an increase of four in the past week. However, all of my regular reviewers have finished the story, so now I’m just seeing new readers pop in.

I’ve now updated half of the chapters as I move through the editing process. Here’s the final snippet before publication:

After their brotherly embrace, Abilio turned to the others. “Senhor João, and Baba Theo, this is my cousin, Soba Ngenda. He’s very brave and will help us find Peter.”

João and Theo shook hands with the grinning Soba before returning to the aircraft, where Nito was unloading their weapons and supplies.

“I will wait here for your return, Theo. The plane will be ready for immediate departure.” He crossed his heart.

“Thank you, Nito.” Theo clasped Nito’s shoulder before helping move their equipment.

Once they stowed everything in the back of the van, they climbed inside. João and Theo squeezed into the back while Abilio sat up front with his cousin.

Theo tapped the back of Soba’s seat. “We’re ready. Let’s go.”

“Yes, Minister Theo.” Soba turned the key.

Click. Click.

Soba pursed his lips and tried again.

Vroom!

A cloud of black smoke blew over the vehicle in the stiff breeze. After it cleared, Soba drove past the single-story terminal building and out the airport’s exit. He gunned the engine as he pulled onto the two-lane road heading toward the city. “While you wait for your friends to arrive, I arranged rooms at the Hotel Kawissa—the finest hotel in the city.”

“Thank you, Soba.” Theo tapped his fingers on his knee. Hang on, Peter. We’re coming!

Soba weaved through the traffic, leaning on the horn whenever he approached a slow-moving vehicle.

Theo closed his eyes as Soba squeezed shot past a truck and squeezed in front of an oncoming bus. May God protect us!

João and Theo rocked forward when Soba slammed on the brakes.

He pointed to an immense open-sided building with a red corrugated roof. “This is one of Saurimo’s markets.” He grinned. “My brothers are there now—we have four stalls.”

“What do they sell?” João tilted his head to gaze inside the building.

“Many things—cassava, beans, potatoes, corn, and yams.” Soba glanced in the rearview mirror at Theo and lowered his voice. “Other things, too, if the price is right.” He put a finger over his lips. “Five minutes, and we will be at the hotel.”

True to Soba’s prediction, they pulled up in front of a yellow two-story building with gray trim, with a brick and wrought-iron fence surrounding the property. Emblazoned across the front of the building in large blue script was Hotel Kawissa.

Soba stopped the van on the street next to block paving outside the fence.

As the others began to open the doors, Soba shouted, “Wait!” He jerked the wheel, cut across the road and down a side street.

***

They jumped out of the vehicle as the outer door slammed shut. Soba introduced his brothers before gesturing to a tan Casspir mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle.

“Couldn’t you find anything less conspicuous?” João laughed.

Soba shrugged. “We will need the space—my brothers are going to help free Minister Theo’s son.”

“Okay, Soba. But, no more surprises.” Theo suppressed a grin. “Let’s transfer everything and head back to the hotel. We depart for the rendezvous point early.”

“Yes, Minister. I will spend the night with my brothers. Abilio will drive you to the hotel.”

Theo nodded. We’ll be safer with Abilio driving.

After the men transferred everything into the MRAP, Abilio climbed into the van’s driver seat while João and Theo sat in the back. They headed back the way they came.

Before Abilio turned the corner, the darkened sky lit up as if it was midday.

Boom!

A concussion wave rolled over the vehicle. Abilio lost control, and smashed into a parked car.

Theo’s head cracked against the side of the van. Holding his head, he glanced back at the warehouse. Yellow-orange flames and thick, black smoke billowed upward near the building. Who? How? He slumped toward João as he lost consciousness.

This week I also finished and posted chapter ten of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. As with all of my works-in-progress, the chapters are posted to the two subscription writing sites. As of this morning, there’s been fifty-seven chapter reviews. I’ve picked up some new reviewers, which is always a good sign my work is picking up some interest. Great support to help me improve my writing!

In case you missed the synopsis, in an earlier post here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers. He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

I’ll probably start posting snippets of this one next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Clean Cut Kid by Michael Maxwell. Follow the adventures of Logan Connor as he seeks to re-create himself, changing his boring life into one with a sharp focus, even if it means running toward danger. A loner, he’ll have to learn to trust, even if it’s against his nature.

Michael has created a super story, filled with realistic characters and enough twists and turns to keep even the most avid action-adventure aficionado turning the pages. Unlike so many stories nowadays, he’s also done this without relying on sex and profanity–a great departure from the norm! I look forward to reading more of Logan’s adventures.

I also finished Blair Howard’s latest novel, The Last Straw, which bridges the gap between Harry Starke’s job as a homicide detective and his creation of a private eye business. But what cause Harry to give up a career as a police officer? Was it his latest case, involving the death of a female teenager or something else? You’ll have to grab a copy as I don’t like to spoil anyone’s reading pleasure.

As with all of Blair’s books, this is another well-written novel, with a spell-binding plot, realistic characters and enough twists and turns to keep everyone guessing. So go on, pick up a copy–you know you want to–and you won’t be disappointed!

Finally, I completed my reading of Yufu’s Run by Rayner Ye. Yufu has a lucrative job fishing for diamonds on behalf of a government organization. Before long, he’s embroiled in a conspiracy which results in him being accused of a terrorist attack. All he wants to do is retirement with his wife and children? Will he be able to do so or will he be on the run for the rest of his life?

Rayner has created a futuristic plot pitting good versus evil. Packed with plenty of action and intrigue, this one will have you turning the pages.

This brings us to a close for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved