Randall’s Ramblings, June 13, 2021

This past week, Mother Nature has teased us a couple of times with a few sprinkles. Not enough to soak the ground, which is what we need as it’s been dry for over two weeks. As a result, I’ve had to start watering the plants so we don’t lose them. Since there’s been requests not to use hoses because of the dry weather, I’ve doing my bit by using a watering can.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Last year, there was a vine growing near and old wooden post cemented into the ground. Since the roots of a neighboring tree are intertwined around and across the concrete, I can’t remove the post without damaging these roots. Needless to say, I don’t want to do that. Instead, we’ve been training the vine to go around the post. This week we were rewarded with this flower popping out. There’s only the one, as least so far, but it’s a great addition to the area.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ~ Randy Pausch

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 13th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Adrien Baillet, French scholar and critic; Fanny Burney, English novelist (Camille, Evelina); William Austin Burt, American scientist, surveyor and inventor who patented America’s first typographer (typewriter) and the equatorial sextant; Thomas Arnold, English educator and historian (History of Rome); Bernard ter Haar, Dutch poet (Herbert and Clara); W. B. Yeats, Irish poet (Wild Swans at Coole-Nobel 1923); Leopoldo Lugones, Argentine poet (Las montañas del oro); Max d’Ollone, French composer and writer (Le Ménestrel); Étienne Gilson, French philosopher and historian; Bruno Frank, German-born writer; Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet and writer (The Book of Disquiet); Dorothy L. Sayers, English novelist (The Nine Tailors); Mark van Doren, American poet and author (Happy Critic, Transients); Lode Zielens, Flemish author and journalist (Obscure Blood); Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Spanish writer associated with the Generation of ’36 movement; Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau, French Canadian poet (Regards et jeux dans l’espace); Etienne Leroux, Afrikaans author (Een vir Azazel); Hans Fellner, bookseller; Jean Villain, Swiss writer; Whitley Strieber, American author (The Wolfen, The Hunger); and Johannes Grenzfurthner, Austrian artist, writer, curator and director.

Any names familiar to you? I’m certainly aware of Yeats. While most of us might not know Burt, we can certainly are familiar with his creation. Where would writers be today without the typewriter and later the computer?  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

All of my novels are participating in various promotions throughout June. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.  Here they are:

Thriller Reputation Builder: https://books.bookfunnel.com/alexablake/y4v4ep6lli

Faced Paced Thrillers: https://books.bookfunnel.com/fastpacedthrillers/r9qv4ero70

Chilling Reads: https://books.bookfunnel.com/chillingreads/gyniozpth8

Thriller, Mystery & Suspense: https://books.bookfunnel.com/audreywalker/col6tc780v

I’m sure I can say on behalf of all of the participating authors, many thanks for your support!

My Work in Progress

This week, I reached another milestone, completing the first draft of my sixth novel, Revenge. the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Everything is now posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’ll take a couple of weeks off from this manuscript before I begin my initial editing.

Over the past week, there were another sixteen new chapter reviews, bringing the total number to 664. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing.

Here’s this week’s snippet:

Javier wandered into the conference room carrying an iPad, followed by AJ. Seven of the ten brown leather chairs surrounding the rectangular oak table were occupied.

After taking his seat at the head of the table with AJ to his right, he glanced around the room. “Once the money starts rolling in, we might need a bigger place.”

Everyone chuckled.

“Anyone see TJ?” Javier raised a hand in the air to mimic a tall person.

“Right behind you, boss.” TJ spoke in his normal soft voice.

Javier turned and glanced upward. “How about climbing down from those heights and joining us?”

“Sure thing.” TJ took the remaining seat.

“Okay, now that everyone’s here, a couple of announcements.” He gestured toward AJ.

“Sindee, I spoke with one of my contacts in the Alexandria police.” A slight frown creased AJ’s face. “No sign of your neighbor yet, but they’ve put out the word to their confidential informants. A check of available CCTV cameras didn’t provide any leads so far, although one device did capture a late-model SUV leaving the parking garage around midnight. The vehicle was yellow or bronze. Are you aware of anyone in the building with a vehicle like this?”

Sindee shook her head.

“No plates on the SUV, so this appears to be a planned incident. When I hear more, I’ll pass it along.”

“Many thanks, AJ. Let’s hope they find Heidi soon.” Alive.  Javier glanced from Sindee to AJ. “While everyone’s getting settled in, I want to establish some routine. Every Monday and Friday, we’ll meet here for about an hour or so. Mondays will be to discuss any new business and events from the weekend, while Friday will be used to catch up on what’s happened during the week. Any questions?”

“Yes.” Sam glanced at the others before directing her attention toward Javier. “What if something urgent comes up?”

Javier nodded. “Good point. We can always hold impromptu meetings when they’re needed. As we progress and become a more cohesive team, we can make adjustments.”

He opened the iPad and read for a few moments. “Okay, team. We have our first overseas client, compliments of the DEA.”

“Who gets the assignment?” Wilder “Wild” Harris swiped his hands through his thick, brown hair.

“There’ll be four. The team lead will be one of the Snakes, but I don’t know which one yet—depends on who can break away from their normal duties and use some of their accumulated leave.” Javier gazed at the eager faces. “Sam, Wild, and TJ—you’re up. Cesar, I’ll talk to you later—something separate for you.”

More next time.

Since I’m taking a short break from Revenge, I’ve already pulled up another WIP to focus on. In 2019-2020, I posted the first seven chapters of Ultimate Escalation on the two subscription writing sites I use, receiving 101 chapter reviews. Relevant suggestions have been incorporated into the manuscript and the first two revised chapters are now reposted. They’ve already received twelve reviews.

Ultimate Escalation is the fourth novel in my Bedlam series, following award-winners, The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, and Carnage in Singapore. Here’s the synopsis:

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 Aleksandrovich Nikolaev, 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

Last night, I finished reading Thief on the Cross: Templar Secrets in America by David S. Brody. This is the second novel in his Templars in America series. Join Cameron Thorne and his fiancée Amanda Spence, as they try to unravel truth from fiction.

Once again David has weaved a superb plot, filled with plenty of twists and turns. Who did the Templars really worship and how did they become so powerful? Is David’s alternative to historical facts the truth? You’ll have to pick up a copy and make your own decisions. In any event, you’ll find this an excellent page turner. I look forward to reading 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 and reading. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved



Randall’s Ramblings, 13 January 2020

Last time I mentioned we had received a bit of snow. Since then, it’s been nothing but rain, some fog, and occasional outbursts of sunshine, but most of the time its just been overcast. It’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit without some snow, but perhaps we’ll still get a dusting as the day approaches. Doubtful, as daytime temperatures are in the mid 40sF and are predicted to be the same for the rest of December. Oh well!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 13th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

William Drummond of Hawthornden, Scottish poet; Carlo Gozzi, Italian dramatist; Heinrich Heine, German poet and lyricist (Schubert, Liszt); Joseph Sickman Corsen, Curacao musician, composer and screenwriter; Belle da Costa Greene, American librarian, bibliographer and archivist; Marc Connelly, American playwright (One Minute Please); Harold Guinzburg, American publisher (founder of Literary Guild); Yevgeny Petrov [Yevgeny Petrovich Kataev], Soviet writer; John Piper, British writer (US Churches in WWI) and official war painter; Laurens Jan van der Post, South African-born writer, soldier, explorer and conservationist; Kenneth Patchen, American poet and novelist (Cloth of the Tempest); Alan Bullock, British historian and author (Hitler: A Study in Tyranny); Ross MacDonald [Kenneth Millar], American-Canadian detective novelist (Goodbye Look); W Gordon Smith, Scottish playwright; Tom Wakefield, British writer; R. A. MacAvoy, American sci-fi author (Damiano’s Lute, Raphael); and Tamora Pierce, American author of fantasy fiction (The Song of the Lioness).

Anyone familiar to you? I’m afraid I struck out. 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 Kindle versions of three of my novels are currently on sale for .99 cents or the equivalent throughout the month as part of a Christmas Stocking Promotion. If you haven’t picked up a copy, now is the time to do it. Better yet, get some for yourself and your friends and family! There are forty books in this promotion, so why not drop in?

My Work in Progress

This week I almost completed chapter seventeen of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. However, external commitments took a priority, so I didn’t get as much writing accomplished as I hoped.

Even though I didn’t post anything new to the two subscription writing sites I use, members continued to check out Revenge, with another eighteen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 271!

Here’s another snippet:

When he awoke, Javier pulled the bed away from the wall. The perp didn’t find the wall safe. He worked the combination and pulled out his laptop. Heading back to the kitchen, he made another cup of coffee, picked up a barstool, and sat at the island. As he sipped his hot drink, he booted the computer and began typing.

To: Viper, Adder, Rattler, Mamba

From: Cobra

Condo trashed by unknown perp while we partied last night. Nothing taken. A few cuts after I fell over the remains of the glass coffee table, chasing a shadow, but nothing to worry about. Everyone up for a beer later? I need to make some plans and want to bounce them off you.

After hitting send, Javier closed the laptop and returned it to the safe. He pulled out a SIG Sauer P226 pistol and two magazines, shoved them into a backpack, and headed to the garage.

Javier climbed in his Hummer and weaved through the streets of Arlington and Annandale. Before long, he crossed I-495 and continued to his destination: Division VII Headquarters of the Virginia State Police, in Fairfax.

Once inside, he asked for directions to the office of the division commander.

A man sitting behind a desk covered with multiple folders glanced up. “Got an appointment?” He shook his head. “No one sees the commander without one.”

“I spoke with him a few minutes ago. He told me to drop by.”

“Hmph. He didn’t say anyone would be visiting.”

I doubt he needs your permission. “Please let him know Colonel Smith is here.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently received an advance copy of Blair Howard’s upcoming novel, Catherine (A Lt. Kate Gazzara Novel Book 10), which will be released on December 23rd. As with all of Blair’s novels, this one didn’t disappoint. A brilliant plot had me turning the pages, reading the entire story over two evenings.

What led Internal Affairs to listen to a suspect rather than a seasoned police officer, resulting in her suspension and a visit to a therapist? After all, she had just solved another case. Convinced to take a vacation by the therapist and leave the area, Kate does just that. But what will her time away from the office lead to? No spoilers here–you’ll have to grab a copy and find out.  Suffice to say you won’t be disappointed with the fast-paced story, written in Blair’s superb style.

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