Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 1, 2017

In the past eight days, we’ve seen the thermometer reach the high for the year (91F) and drop over thirty degrees to yesterday’s 59F. Wave action on the lake has been as varied as the temperature, with three-foot waves crashing against the shore and today’s almost mirror-like calm. At least there’s been on thing consistent–the sunrises have been superb. We began this morning with a brisk 38F and are climbing towards the forecast high of 64F. Plenty of sunshine so it’ll be a good day!

The wildlife continues to visit, seemingly oblivious to these changes. I was sitting in a chair in back of the house yesterday, when a young white-tailed deer buck sauntered by. He couldn’t have been more than twenty feet from me. An incredible sight!

My Work in Progress

I’ve been on fire with my writing the past three or four weeks. I finished chapter 27 of Dangerous Alliance and posted it for review. After spending a bit of time making adjustments to the remainder of my outline, I’ve also started on the next chapter.

We held another garage sale yesterday. As I’ve been doing, I have a small table set up with a couple of my novels, The Kurdish Connection, along with several business cards. I don’t mention anything but most people check the table out. Some make comments such as, “Oh, you’re a writer” while others don’t say anything but take a card. Yesterday, another individual wanted a signed copy. It’s always a great feeling when this happens.

I’m also assisting two writers with editing of their work, so I didn’t do much more on my own. Still, it’s been a good week. I hope it continues so I can achieve my goal of completing the entire first draft by the end of the year.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

Loud engines noises drowned out whatever the man planned to say. Dacar rushed to a window as two military aircraft circled the ship. “I think the Americans called those planes Hornets.”

“What should we do?” The young man’s eyes widen with fear at the mention of the American aircraft. “Go ou—”

***

“They must be satisfied we’re not the missing Zeus.” Dacar laughed. “Good thing we changed the name as quick as we did.”

“Yes. Should I continue searching for the missing crewmen?” Sahid shoved his knife back in its sheath.

“Not yet. I want to speak with Tahliil and ask his opinion.”

***

Three hours ago, U.S. Naval aircraft located an oil tanker proceeding in established shipping lanes towards India. They identified the ship as the Zebu, flying a Bahamian flag. No sign of the Zeus.

Maintain current operation with Greek frigate. Will advise.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Loch: A Dane Maddock Adventure, by David Wood. Not sure how I stumbled across this as it’s the ninth in the series when I usually like to start with the first one.

I couldn’t ask for a better adventure story. Two former SEALs turn treasure hunters end up seeking treasure in Scotland. Plenty of action as Maddock and Bones assist others in trying to uncover a treasure, which might be guarded by the Loch Ness monster.

David has created excellent and realistic characters. As soon as I finished reading this adrenaline rush, I did what I should have done before–started with book one. Needless to say, I’m hooked on David’s writing style and his plots. More to come as I continue to read this series.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, with everything else going on, I didn’t have an opportunity to check out anything new. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share next week.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 24, 2017

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the September or Autumnal Equinox began on Friday. Someone forgot to inform Mother Nature. In the past three days, we’ve had temperatures ranging from 89F to 91F. Certainly not fall weather, but I won’t complain. During the summer, we only had a single day reach 90F, and that was on June 12th!

Today’s supposed to be a bit cooler, only 83F, with more seasonal temperatures returning by the end of the coming week. At least there’s still plenty of sunshine!

My Work in Progress

It’s been another good week regarding my progress with Dangerous Alliance. I completed another chapter (26) and started on the next. Since I hope to complete the entire first draft by the end of the year, this is good news. However, I’ll have to step it up to achieve my goal.

In addition to working on Dangerous Alliance, I spent a bit of time casting characters for Carnage in Singapore, the next novel in the Bedlam series. The initial synopsis is already completed, I know where the Bedlam team will be headquartered, and at least one individual stepped forward to be on the operational team.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

Stavros grinned, his teeth covered with blood. “What’s the matter? Are my men too smart for you?” Stavros spat on the deck to clear his mouth.

Sahid placed the point of his knife under the captain’s left eye. “How did they escape? Where did they go?”

***

“Commander, a signal from the South Africans.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” Commander Ben Pierce, commanding officer of HMS Snapdragon, a type-45 destroyer, glanced at the short paragraph before handing the paper back.

“Seems the Somali pirates might be causing problems again, Lieutenant.”

“Yes, sir. Shall we give pursuit?”

Commander Pierce laughed at Lieutenant Smith’s enthusiasm. “Since we don’t know where the Zeus is, how do you propose we give pursuit? Pass the word to Navy Command Headquarters. We’ll wait for orders.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been on a roll reading novels by Paul Kemprecos. Recently, I finished Death in Deep Water, the third in the Aristotle Socarides series. The college dropout, former Marine, former Boston detective continues to stumble along with his private eye business, at least when Aristotle’s not out fishing.

As with the first two in the series, this is another fast-paced read with plenty of action from beginning to end. This time “Soc” might be in the water over his head, when he’s hired by an aquatic park to clear a staff member of murder. Sounds something made for a private eye–except the supposed culprit is Rocky, a ten-ton killer whale!

With the help of a beautiful dolphin trainer, Soc gets to work. In the background, someone is trying to stop him at all costs. Just when you think you know who is behind the entire plot, another suspect arises. A great story, filled with plenty of twists and turns. I can’t wait to read the next one!

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Authors Interviews – Fiona Mcvie interviews the authors she loves to read. This week it’s my turn!

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 18, 2017

To all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!  I won’t see my son today as he lives in D.C. and came up for Mother’s Day. However, he sent me a great Father’s Day card and also an Amazon gift card. Now, I can buy some more novels to read!

My Work in Progress

The continuing improvement in the weather means more outdoor activities. I wish I could report I was doing something exciting, but I wasn’t. Cutting grass, pulling weeds, and doing some painting don’t qualify as fun, but they are things that do require regular upkeep.  The marigolds are a fantastic splash of oranges, reds, and yellows, and it won’t be long before the daisies and coneflowers will be popping out.

At least I was able to continue writing when time permitted. I haven’t finished the next chapter of Dangerous Alliance yet, but it’s well underway and should be posted to the two subscription writing sites I use by next weekend.

Two nights ago, a plot for another book popped into my head. This one will involved a former D.C. homicide detective and a former DEA agent. Perhaps later, I’ll provide a glimpse into this one.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

“Eat.” Asad stabbed at the roasted meat with a sharp knife. “Take the kibhis and I will cut you a piece of goat.”

With their first nourishing meal since being abducted, the women gobbled the bread and meat, licking the juices from their fingers.

“When you are finished, you may go to the wooden huts. The one on the left is the female toilet.” Asad nodded toward the structures. “Afterward, return to your building. Remain until the sun begins to rise.”

***

Jamiila peeked out the doorway. Men carrying torches gathered at the wall. On the ground, a body lay motionless.

Asad turned around, glaring at the captives. “I told you the penalty for trying to escape.” He kicked the body until it rolled over, face up.

Jamiila gasped—the woman chosen to lead the other group of captives. I never knew her name. She sank to her knees, covering her face. Why?

A wild animal screamed in the distance. Another howled as if recognizing the stench of death.

“Heed my warning. Or you will be like her.”

Perhaps a bit more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been finishing up a historic thriller for an author so I can provide a pre-release review. Unfortunately, I can’t share anything on this one yet. Next time I have two reviews planned: The Shadows of Terror (Patterns Book 1) by Russell Moran and Wrong Place Wrong Time by David P. Perlmutter.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. This week, I’d like to share a link to the release of a new crime novel.

Devil’s Door – The second novel by AJ Wallace in the Sideways Eight series was released on June 15th and it’s another winner. Why not grab yourself a copy?

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 4, 2017

It’s been a hectic day since I first saw the shimmering reds and yellows across the water as night gave way to dawn. I should have grabbed the camera and snapped a few photos.

During the past week, all of my writing time has been devoted to external events, so I don’t have anything new to mention regarding my creative journey.

However, here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

Exhausted, the captives tried to maintain the grueling pace. Malnourished, weak from hunger and disease, they struggled. When they slowed too much, blows from rifle butts hurried them along.

After more than an hour’s march, the leader called for a halt. “Short break. Some water. Then we go.”

***

“We stay here until dark.” Asad grabbed Jamiila’s covered arm. “You responsible for the others. Make sure they not run away—or you die.” He turned to his men. “Two guards. Remove prisoner ropes. Make sure no trouble.”

So tired—must have dozed. I miss my children. Like an automaton, Jamiila placed one foot in front of the other, stumbling over exposed roots from nearby bushes. My children—will I ever hold them again? Tears, like drops of rain, fell unchecked.

***

Asad extended a hand to Jamiila. She hesitated fearful of might happen. “Take my hand. I understand we’re not married and shouldn’t have physical contact. However, he embarrassed himself—and me.”

She reached up, allowing Asad to help her rise. “Thank you.” She glanced at those attached to her. “Why take these young girls? What do you want with them?”

“Some of the men want wives.”

“They’re too young.”

“Perhaps, but they will age. In the meantime, they will cook, clean, and take care of their man.”

Jamiila shook her head. Fearful to say anything more, she remained silent. Animals. Nothing but animals.

Perhaps more next week.

Books I’m Reading

In addition to my writing time being curtailed, even my normal nighttime reading was hampered. As a result, we’ll have to wait for next week for my thoughts on River of Ruin by Jack Du Brul and The Thousand Years War by Angel Medina.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Ann Everett – A Texan author who believes in sass, sizzle, and suspense. Check out her website, especially her Five on Friday blog, where she interviews various authors.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 28, 2017

The last Monday of May is Memorial Day–an American federal holiday set aside to honor those who died while serving in the armed forces. Unofficially, the Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer vacation season and this year was no exception.

Mother Nature played her part in starting the weekend off with good weather, at least along Lake Huron. The sounds of multiple lawn mowers filled the air as ‘fair weather’ owners opened their homes and tackled grass last cut the previous fall. Powerboats and kayaks dotted the water’s edge, while barbecues provided nourishment. Last night, camp fires and fireworks brightened the evening sky.

Today began with a myriad of birds twittering away and sunshine shimmering across calm water. Not sure how long it will last, as multiple thunderstorms are predicted for today. In the meantime, no matter how you spend the weekend, enjoy yourselves.

My Work in Progress

With good weather for the past few days, writing once again had to take a backseat to other activities, such as cutting our grass, giving the beach a proper clean, and staining the deck. I also planted around 100 marigolds, to provide some color while we’re waiting for our coneflowers and daisies to mature and blossom. On tap for today, time on the riding mower as the rains have ensured a steady growth of the green stuff.

Despite the long preparations to prepare our home for the summer ahead, I still managed to continue some writing. The first draft of Dangerous Alliance, chapter twenty, is almost complete.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

Soo hung his head. “T-hey beat me. Asked me questions. If they didn’t like my answers, they hit or kicked me.”

“What did they ask?”

“One man spoke but there were four—all wearing masks. He wanted to know why I came to Victoria. I told him for a vacation. Would you open the window, please? I need fresh air.”

Kim walked to the window, pushed aside the curtains, and shoved against the frame until the window opened. He returned to Soo. “What else did this man ask?”

“He wanted to know the names of who traveled with me—I told him I was on my own.”

“What happened next?”

“Someone gave me an injection and I passed out. I awoke when you found me in the gardens.”

Kim rubbed his chin, gazing at Soo for telltale signs of a lie. He asked a final question. “Did you tell them about me?”

“No.”

“Hmm. I must make arrangements for us to return to Pyongyang. Are you sure you didn’t mention my name?”

“I’m sure. I told them my wife and sons lived in Korea but nothing else.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’m currently finishing two books, River of Ruin by Jack Du Brul and The Thousand Years War by Angel Medina. I’m not quite finished but should have my thoughts about both books for your next week.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. With all the extra curricular activities this week, I didn’t have a chance to browse around. I should have something to share with you soon.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 14, 2017

Today is Mother’s Day in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States, as well as several other countries. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and moms-to-be! Hope you have an enjoyable day. I know my wife is, because our son flew in yesterday morning from Washington, D.C., to spend the weekend with her. I don’t think he could have picked a better present!

My Work in Progress

Despite a myriad of external tasks this week, I still managed to squeeze in more writing on Dangerous Alliance. Chapter eighteen is posted to the two subscription writing sites I use and reviews are coming in.  Progress on chapter nineteen is also underway and I hope to post this during the coming week.  All other works on other projects are on hold until I at least complete Dangerous Alliance‘s overall first draft.

Here’s another snippet for you:

A man, dressed in dark clothing and covered in a green blanket with scattered dark brown splotches lay on the mulch, his head resting against a palm.

Kim bent down. Part of the blanket covered the man’s face. He pulled it aside—and gasped.

Soo!

Battered, bruised, but still with a pulse. Kim tapped Soo’s face—no response. He grasped him by the shoulders and gave a light shake. Soo’s head moved, minor twitches, before his hand reached out and grabbed Kim’s arm.

“Help. Me.” Soo’s hand fell to the ground.

***

A man smiled as he snapped photos through the open window, zooming in on Kim’s face. Another, this time with both men. He pushed back through the bushes, dropped his camera inside a Lufthansa airline bag, and departed.

How to proceed—threats? Blackmail?

Perhaps most next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’m finishing up Jack Du Brul’s Deep Fire Rising (Philip Mercer Book 6) and Brad Carl’s Grey Areas – The Saga. I’ll have both reviews for you next time.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

ReadersAbode – Don’t forget to check this site out. Created by a group of writers spread across several continents, there’s sure to be something of interest. Thus far, the site contains short stories and poems written by its members, several blog posts and interviews with established authors. Or check it out on Twitter: @readersabode.

Art Galore – A virtual world of art and books! Whether you’re into art of into finding a new book to read, check out this site.

Lenka’s List – Home of creative people. An excellent website for authors and bloggers to showcase their work.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have this sunny Sunday. Need to enjoy the rest of the day with our son before he heads back to Washington this evening. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.