Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 11, 2019

It’s been a crazy week, weather-wise. Plenty of sunshine and loads of thunderstorms, too. One knocked out the power briefly last night. At least we’re not in an area prone to erosion or low-lying land since there’s been flood warnings most of the week.

In between the cloudbursts, I did manage to finish some outdoor chores, including a bit of exterior painting and cleaning out some of the excess foliage. Things are looking better all the time, as confirmed by several comments made by people living on our street.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 11th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Cristoph Kaldenbach, Prussian poet and composer; Charlotte Mary Yonge, English writer (Heir of Redclyffe); Alfred Coville, French historian (Lesson etats de Normandie); Ernst Stadler, German poet (Der Aufbruch); Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Murray Grieve), Scottish poet (Scots Unbound); Eiji Yoshikawa, Japanese novelist; Louise Bogan, American writer (Sleeping Fury); Enid Blyton, English children’s writer (Famous Five, Secret Seven, The Adventure); Angus Wilson, England, writer (Mulberry Bush-1955); Alex Haley, American writer (Autobiography of Malcolm X, Roots); Carl Rowan, gun-toting newspaper columnist (Wash Post); Fernando Arrabal, Spanish song/romance writer (Baal Babilonia); Charles Hugh Shirley, publisher; and Marilyn Vos Savant, writer/world’s highest IQ (228).

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many I knew. 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!

Just Released!

Carnage 3D CoverSolstice Publishing released my third novel, Carnage in Singapore, this past week. Many to everyone for making this a reality.  If you haven’t followed my progress with the story, here’s the synopsis:

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?

Work in Progress

1541181671One positive from the stormy weather, other than giving everything a drink, I had more time to write this week. I finished chapters twenty and twenty-one of A Cartel’s Revenge and posted them to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count jumped a bit this week to 291. Plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s the synopsis for A Cartel’s Revenge:

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?

Watch for the first snippet, coming next Sunday.

Books I’m Reading

I received a copy of Blair Howard’s latest novel, Raven this week. I had hope to bring you my thoughts today, but time slipped past and I haven’t quite finished what is another great story. Watch for my review next time.

This brings us to a close for another 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.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 4, 2019

As we move into August, the past week has been a busy one. We puppy sat for three days. Frankie, a cockapoo, loves the various nooks and crannies he finds to explore. He still thinks the doorstop shaped like a dog is someone to play with, but he seems to be growing out of that, perhaps a shoe or two instead.

With some decent weather, we managed to get some branches trimmed, painted the front porch, and spruced up some decorative trim. Still plenty more to do but things are taking shape.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 3rd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Paulus Adrianus Daum, Dutch writer, founder and editor (Batavian Newspaper); Vernon Louis Parrington, American author (Romantic Revolution, Pulitzer 1928); Eugène Baie, Belgian author (Sub rosa et sub umbra); Rupert Brooke, British WW I poet (Lithuania, The Soldier); Clifford D. Simak, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Empire, Way Station); Leonhard Huizinga, Dutch journalist and writer (Adriaan & Olivier); Sal Santen, Dutch writer (You Are Jewish People); Shakeel Badayuni, Indian poet and lyricist; James MacGregor Burns, American political writer (The Lion & the Fox); P. D. James [Phyllis Dorothy], Baroness James of Holland Park, English crime writer (Cover Her Face); Hayden Carruth, American poet (The Crow and the Heart); Robert Sumner, American evangelist and author; Roger Foulon, Belgian writer (Un été dans la Fagne); Leon Uris, American novelist (Exodus, QB VII, Battle Cry); Cécile Aubry, French actress (The Black Rose), author (Belle et Sébastien); James Komack, American writer, director and actor (Courtship of Eddie’s Father); Diane Wakoski, American poet (Motorcycle Betrayal); Reed Waller, American comic book author (Omaha the Cat Dancer); and Frank Schaeffer, American author (Crazy for God).

Was anyone familiar to you? There was one who clearly stood out for me: Uris. 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!

Coming Soon!

carnage in singapore-001(1)We’re in the home stretch with Carnage in Singapore, which will soon be released by Solstice Publishing. Over the past week I’ve gone through a formatted .pdf file of the manuscript, checking for any missing/misspelled words and fixing any punctuation needing some attention. I’ll be sending it back to Solstice’s editor-in-chief tomorrow so it can continue toward publication.  In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

“It worked.” Kali chuckled. “The sole casualty was Gesang’s suicide bomber.”

“Two options to consider about him.” Abu Zeze gazed into Isagani’s face, followed by Kali’s. “Either we kill him ourselves or report him to the Indonesian authorities.”

Kali ran a hand across his mouth as he stared into the flames. “If we kill him, we’re rid of a problem. However, if we notify the authorities, he’ll end up with Detachment 88. This could lessen their search efforts.”

“Hand me the satellite phone, Kali. “Abu Zeze pointed. “On top of the mantle.”

After receiving the phone, Abu Zeze punched in a number from memory. Once someone answered, he said, “A man named Gesang is responsible for the attacks in Surabaya.”

“Who? What is your—”

Abu Zeze broke the connection and gazed at the others. “One issue resolved. Gesang is no longer a man of action. He’s become old and feeble and deserves to die.”

***

After Kali left to catch the speedboat, Abu Zeze and Isagani shared a forbidden glass of sherry. Isagani tossed another log on the fire to ward off the evening chill and poured a second round of drinks.

“My friend, Kali is a well-educated man.” Isagani raised his eyebrows. “Perhaps, too competent for his own good. I would be cautious in giving him too much free rein. He’ll be thinking of replacing you.”

Abu Zeze nodded. “I thought the same myself. For now, he provides results and seems to be supportive.” His eyes hardened into a distant stare. “Once he outgrows his usefulness, or gains too many followers, he’ll be eliminated.”

“A wise decision. I would also have someone keep a close eye on him.”

“How long have you known him?”

“About six years. He’s a friend of a friend.”

“You realize a friend might still be an enemy?”

“I may be aging, but I still keep my wits about me.” Abu Zeze chortled. “I had someone begin following Kali weeks ago. If he oversteps himself or fails in his tasks, we’ll deal with him.”

“Do you trust this person?”

“Yes. Sakti’s already taken the heads of two traitors—a third won’t matter. My daughter will act as necessary to defend our ways.” Abu Zeze stared at Isagani. “To her last breath.”

Perhaps more next time.

Work in Progress:

Despite the non-writing activities and work on Carnage in Singapore, I still managed to 1541181484finish and post chapter nineteen of A Cartel’s Revenge to the two subscription writing sites I use. The number of chapter reviews continues to climb, now reaching 256. Many thanks to all who continue to support my writing journey!

 

 

 

angolan cole-revised3Last week I mentioned that chapter six of Xavier Sear: Angola, had been completed. We’ve come up with several enhancements to the chapter, which will impact on later chapters. I’ll have this updated in the next few days. Collaboration is a great exercise and very fulfilling working with another author.

 

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been a bit behind on this category and will try to catch up. One of the novels I read earlier this year is ICE (Dr. Leah Andrews and Jack Hobson Thrillers Book 1) by Kevin Tinto. This is Kevin’s debut novel and it won’t disappoint action-adventure enthusiasts. After Dr. Leah discovers an abandoned Native American cliff dwelling deep in a cavern, who knew there would be a startling discovery. How did granite crystals found only in Antarctica end up in the dwelling of a people believed to have existed 800 years before?

Dr. Leah knows only her former husband, Jack, has the wherewithal to help her find the source of the crystals. With realistic characters and a riveting plot, this is a super read which will keep you turning the pages. I can’t wait to read the next on in the series!

I also finished reading Templar by Paul Bannister. I enjoy novels which combine a bit of history with fiction, particularly those leaning toward action-adventure. With the death of King John, his nine-year-old son is left as heir. Too young to rule, who will be a guiding hand for Henry when plotters would like to steal his throne?

Alaric, a new Templar knight, travels with his father, Banastre, to France to bring Count Ramon of  Toulouse back to England to serve as regent before the country is ripped apart by a holy crusade. With a good plot supported by plenty of research and believable characters, I enjoyed the story and would continue to read more works by Paul.

To close this section for this week, I’ll finish with my thoughts on The Dead Songbird (The Northminister Mysteries Book 2) by Harriet Smart. I thoroughly enjoyed the exploits of Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon and Police Surgeon Felix Carswell in the first novel of the series and wasn’t disappointed to follow them as they try to identify the killer of a talented singer. Set in the Victorian era, it’s easy to immerse oneself into the rigors of life during this period.

I thoroughly enjoyed following Giles and Felix as they unravel the mystery they’re faced with. With an excellent blend of historical facts and well-written fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and look forward to the next installment in the series.

This brings us to a close for another 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.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 28, 2019

After a week of unseasonably high temperatures and humidity, Mother Nature cooled things off yesterday with a day filled with rain. We’re back to more normal weather, with a light breeze and scattered clouds.

Instead of doing outdoor tasks, things were concentrated on indoor jobs which were waiting for the right time, particularly painting of new skirting boards, which were installed earlier this year. With windows and doors wide open, plenty of fresh air kept the paint fumes at bay. Still a bit more to do, but will see how things pan out over the next few days.

Even our cats sought shelter in the heat, lounging in whatever cool locations they could find. Hope is still on the mend. While she seems to be returning to her normal self, she’s still not eating as we would like. It could be because of the weather, as the others are eating less too, just like we humans sometimes do. Hope goes back to the vet in the morning for another check-up and blood tests. She’s been really great taking her five pills each day!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 28th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Jacopo Sannazaro, Italian poet (Arcadia); Fabre d’Églantine French dramatist and politician, creator of the French Republican calendar; Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet (Windhover); Beatrix Potter, English children’s author and illustrator (The Tale of Peter Rabbit); Thomas P. Krag, Norwegian author and novelist (Jon Graeff, Ulf Ran); Ernst Cassirer, German philosopher and educator (Essay on Man); Karl Popper, Austro-British philosopher (Logic of Forschung); Kenneth F. Fearing, American poet (Dead Reckoning); Malcolm Lowry, English novelist (Under the Volcano); John Ashbery, American poet (Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror); Remco [Wouter] Campert, Dutch literary/poet/son of Jan Campert; Jean Roba, Belgian comics author (Boule et Bill); Natalie Babbitt, American children’s writer (Tuck Everlasting); Robert Hughes, Australian art critic and writer (Barcelona); Fahmida Riaz, Pakistani writer and feminist; and Shahyar Ghanbari, Iranian poet.

Was anyone familiar to you? There were two, which clearly stood out for me: Reuter and Hemmingway. 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!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour finishes this past week. I haven’t tallied the results yet, but I know the number of followers across social media increased, as did the number of people marking my novels to read. Many thanks to all who participated in my tour. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

My Work in Progress

Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. The edits have now carnage in singapore-001(1)been completed. I’m just going through the formatted pdf file checking for any typos, missing words and punctuation before it continues through the publication process.

Here’s another snippet for you:

Kali walked among the waking men, touching an arm here, a shoulder there. Satisfied each man was alert, he returned to his sleeping area and placed his personal possessions in a backpack. The pillows and blankets can remain. Nothing to identify us.

He turned to the others and coughed into a closed fist to get their attention. “I shall accompany each team but will remain in the shadows. I’ll report your courage and conviction for our cause to Abu Zeze.” And shoot anyone who falters. “Allahu Akbar!”

“Allahu Akbar!” Eleven voices responded in unison.

“First two men, it is time.”

A tall man wearing black-rimmed glasses stooped to pick up a blue and white tennis bag. Next to him, a man three inches shorter with a scar running across his right cheek grabbed a green and white bag. Unlike others in the group, these men were lighter skinned and exhibited Caucasian features. They followed Kali out to a battered gray Mitsubishi Xpander.

The men piled in the back seats, placing their bags on the floor.

Kali hopped behind the wheel and turned the key, but the engine failed to start. Is this an omen? He climbed out, opened the hood, and jiggled the battery cables. Back in the driver’s seat, he tried again. Black smoke poured out of the exhaust as the engine started.

The vehicle weaved through traffic, smoke continuing to mark their journey. Before long, Kali pulled over to the curb and stopped.

“Your target awaits.” Kali tilted his head toward a two-story white colonial-style building with deep-yellow shutters. “A symbol of Indonesia’s former ties to Britain and Japan, and where our declaration of independence was announced. You appear to be infidels, so the outrage caused by your mission should sour relations between Indonesia and Western societies.” He closed his eyes for a moment. “May Allah share in your triumph.”

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, but at a slow pace. Chapter nineteen is almost finished but completion was delayed with editing of Carnage in Singapore. As soon as the chapter is completed, I’ll post it to the two subscription writing sites I use. In the meantime, the number of chapter reviews increased slightly to 249, providing plenty of excellent recommendation to choose from.

In the meantime, Michael and I continue our collaboration effort on Xavier Sear: Angola.angolan cole-revised3 I sent him chapter six on Friday, and he’s comes back with a few suggestions which will enhance the chapter. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication.

We’ve also made some additional tweaks to our character list and the chapter outline. Collaborating on a novel is certainly rewarding and I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity.

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently completed Countenance of War: A Historical Novel of Scotland (The Black Douglas Trilogy Book 2) by J.R. Tomlin. As with the first book in the series, this was a another excellent blend of historical facts and fiction, making for an excellent read.

James, the Black Douglas, refuses to give in to the English conquerors and takes the was to them, utilizing guerilla tactics against superior-numbered forces. Follow James and his band of courageous men as they strive to free Scotland from the clutches of King Edward. I look forward to reading more from this brilliant author.

This brings us to a close for another 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.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings,July 21, 2019

One of our cats, Hope, isn’t well. She’s spent the majority of Tuesday through Friday at the vet, receiving IVs and a variety of drugs. Her liver enzymes were highly elevated, so they’ve been giving her things to help her liver and fight what they suspect might be a bacterial injection.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

She’s been at home over the weekend, but goes back to the vet on Monday morning, Anyone who has given their pets pills will know what we’ve gone through, trying to give Hope five pills a day. Overall, she’s done well with the pills. One of the biggest concerns is getting her to eat. She’s been grazing, but we would like her to ‘dig in’ to a meal. We’ve been giving her sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, whipped raw egg (all for humans), along with some cat food (chicken, duck, beef). If anyone has any ideas about something which might tempt her, please let me know.

Hope’s alert, and this morning she was at the top of the stairs before she headed to one of her favorite places in the house. Hopefully, we can get things turned around.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 21st. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Matthew Prior, English poet and diplomat; Anthony Collins, English philosopher (A discourse on free-thinking); Paul Julius Baron von Reuter, German-born founder of Reuters news service; Vasile Alecsandri, Romanian foreign minister, diplomat and poet; A S C Wallis, [Adele SC von Antal-Opzoomer], Dutch writer; Frances Parkinson Keyes, American novelist (Dinner at Antoine’s); Anton Schnack, German writer and poet; Hans Fallada [Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen], German writer; Ernest Hemmingway, American author (The Old Man and the Sea, Nobel 1954); Hart Crane, American poet (The Bridge); Diana Trilling, writer; Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer (Medium is the Massage); Brigitte Reimann, German writer (Franziska Linkerhand); John C Gardner, scholar/writer (Grendel, Sunlight Dialogues); Buchi Emecheta, Nigerian English writer (Price of Bride); and Michael Connelly, American author.

Was anyone familiar to you? There were two, which clearly stood out for me: Reuter and Hemmingway. 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!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour finishes this coming week on the 25th. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out but would like to do so, please click on: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. The first edit pass was completed this week; just waiting to receive it back to go through the manuscript again.

Here’s another snippet for you:

Gesang picked up a backpack from a table near the door, rushed down the stairs to the ground floor, and stepped outside. He climbed into the rear of the vehicle, placing the pack between his feet. He grinned and gazed at the driver. “Today we make our statement. Musa Rahmet’s men gave the signal. Now we must do as Abu Zeze instructed.”

Wira, a slender man in his mid-twenties, nodded. “Did you make the final decision on the targets?”

“Yes. I’ll explain when we join the others.”

***

Two hours later, Gesang nudged Wira’s shoulder. “Time to dress.”

Wira stood, and Gesang helped him into the suicide vest. Covered with sticks of dynamite, packets of nails and ball bearings, wires led to an electronic switch.

After he put on his outer clothing, Wira glanced at Gesang, a look of bewilderment etched on his face.

“Don’t worry. You’ll live up to the meaning of your name.” Gesang patted him on the arm. “You’ll be a hero and martyr in Allah’s eyes and will live forever.” And if you don’t hit the switch, I’ll use the cell phone as a remote detonator.

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, although still at a slow pace. Chapter eighteen was posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. To date, the novel has received 240 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent recommendations to choose from! I’ve also started working on chapter nineteen.

In the meantime, Michael and I continue our collaboration effort on Xavier Sear: Angola. He sent me the first draft of chapter five last night, and I’m busy working on chapter six. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication. We’ve also made some additional tweaks to our character list and the chapter outline. Collaborating on a novel is certainly rewarding and I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity.

Books I’m Reading

With outdoor chores and the trips with Hope to the vet, I didn’t get a chance to put my thoughts together regarding books I’ve recently read. I plan to bring you two or three reviews next time, so stay tuned.

This brings us to a close for another 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.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 14, 2019

It’s been another week of mixed weather–sun, clouds, and rain, but the temperature is gradually creeping up, with the past four days being in the low 70s (F/20s C). Outdoor chores continued, as they will throughout the decent weather. The biggest one this week was power washing the block paving on the driveway. Still have to add sand to fill in the gaps around the bricks, but that’ll be taken care of this week.

A few more plants were added, primarily in pots around the front door. It’s looking great with all the colors!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 14th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Caspar Abel, German theologian, historian, and poet; John Douglas, Scottish Anglican bishop and man of letters; Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin, Russian poet; Mordecai Manuel Noah, American writer, journalist; John G Lockhart, [Scorpion], biographer (Life of Sir Walter Scott); Gertrude Bell, British archaeologist and writer (Desert & The Sown); Owen Wister, American novelist (Virginian); Frank Raymond Leavis, British literary critic (Culture & Environment); Irving Stone, American author (Love is Eternal, Lust for Life); Chaim Raphael, English Jewish scholar and novelist; Northrop Frye, Canadian literary critic; Natalia Ginzburg, Italian author (Family dictionary); Leon Garfield, English children’s author; Frances Lear, Woman’s magazine publisher (Lears); George E. Slusser, American scholar and writer; Susan Howatch, English author; Maulana Karenga, American author and activist; L. Brent Bozell, American author and activist; Joe Keenan, American screenwriter, television producer and novelist; Phil Rosenthal, American newspaper columnist; Brian Selznick, American author and illustrator; and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, English actress, writer and director (Fleabag).

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many recognizable names 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!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour continued through its second week as scheduled. If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/previous/2 and scroll to the bottom of the page.

DA Blue RibbonI also received the blue ribbon for Dangerous Alliance’s finish as one of seven First in Category winners in the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards. It was quite a thrill to open the package and find the ribbon signifying an outstanding achievement in my short fiction-writing career.

In addition to the ribbon, there were several additional prizes, all of which I’ll use to further enhance the promotion and marketing of my work. I’m already planning to submit a novel for the 2019 competition!

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet for you:

Both calls finished, Koh spoke first. “My contact stated the English woman is still at the same location, at least for now. Not sure if they’re planning to move her. He didn’t say, but he made me wonder.”

Noah nodded. “I reached someone named Johnathan Wong. He said the usual spot at eleven a.m. What does he mean?”

Koh chuckled. “Jurong Bird Park. He’s fanatical about birds. He loves to visit the Lory Loft and feed the lories and lorikeets.”

“What are they?”

“Small to medium sized parakeets. Beautiful colors.” Koh tapped the side of his head. “He’s a bit, I guess unique in how he views the world, but he’s harmless. He’s a superb source because so many people dismiss him, but he has excellent recall. Can even mimic their voices.”

***

Johnathan switched to a raspy voice. “The man said this was the first stage and more attacks are coming.”

“Did he mention any details, such as where or when?”

Johnathan shook his head and shoulders, spilling some of the birdseed. “No, but he said someone named Musa Ramen, would be pleased. I’m not sure of Ramen, it might be something else, but similar.” Johnathan smiled. “Did I do okay?”

Koh patted him on the shoulder. “Yes, you did. I’ll check back in a couple of days.”

After they left, Noah turned to Koh. “Does the name mean anything to you?”

“No.” Koh shook his head. “But I believe he’s given us a clue. One of the leaders of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah lives on a nearby island. His name is Musa Rahmet.”

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, although still at a slow pace. Chapter seventeen was posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. To date, the novel has received 223 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent recommendations to choose from!

I’ve started the next chapter and hope to have it ready over the next few days.

In the meantime, Michael and I are moving forward with Xavier Sear: Angola. The first angolan cole-revised3draft of chapter four has been completed. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication.

It’s very interesting collaborating on a series such as this. While Angola was originally to be book one, Michael came up with an excellent idea to create a different beginning to the series, introducing Sear as a Clean Cut Kid. More to follow as we continue with this new journey.

Books I’m Reading

I just finished reading Victoria, the latest novel in the Lt. Kate Gazzara series by Blair Howard. Kate and her new partner, Janet, are tasked to identify the killer of a wealthy woman. Before long, two others are killed by the same individual. Coupled with Kate’s normal problems with Deputy Chief Finkle, she has more on her plate to deal with.

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one doesn’t disappoint. With realistic characters, a riveting plot, and plenty of twists and turns, this is a fantastic story which should be a must read for all who enjoy crime stories. Can’t wait for the next one!

This brings us to a close for another 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.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 7, 2019

The weather continued to be decent this past week, so outdoor chores were the primary focus. The builder completed stage one in the back yard, and it looks fantastic.  I also continued painting the fences, and things are coming together. We also shifted some plants around. One area is now covered primarily with rhodedenrons, while another is filled with lupins. Still plenty more to do.

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

Albert Vandal, French earl/historian (Le Pacha Bonneval); Ludwig Ganghofer, German writer; Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer; Robert A[nson] Heinlein, American sci-fi author (4 Hugos, Red Planet); Helene Johnson, American Harlem Renaissance poet; Harriette Arnow, novelist (Dollmaker); Margaret Walker Alexander, poet/novelist (For My People); Yvonne Mitchell, writer (Johnny Nobody, Genghis Khan); Reinhard Baumgart, German writer and critic; Hasan Abidi, Pakistani journalist and poet; David Eddings, American sci-fi author (Belgariad, Malloreon); Howard Rheingold, American author; Jason R. Rich, American writer (Celebrity Teen Talk); and Jeff VanderMeer, American writer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit, there weren’t many recognizable names 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!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour began on June 25th as scheduled. During the first week, I picked up over eighty new followers and one hundred twenty-eight people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. At one point, The Kurdish Connection was #23 for terrorism thrillers in Australia and 888 in the U.S.

If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet:

Noah exited the elevator and located Koh’s home. He unlocked the door and whistled at the luxurious decor. “Wonder how Koh made enough money for this place.”

He walked through the apartment, the straps of his backpack thrown over a shoulder. A mixture of taupe, mauve, peach, cream, gray, muted blues, and purples featured throughout the four-bedroom home. Downlighters and chandeliers highlighted the accent chrome features and decorative mirrors. Each room seemed to make a statement, whether it was a rare oriental carpet or a centered piece of artwork. A hint of sage permeated the air.

Noah collapsed onto a sofa in the sunken living room. The sudden movement made his head throb again, and he cursed. He spotted a remote and turned on the television. A local news channel presenter gave a recap of the rocket attack. “Balagan (a mess)!” He shook his head. “These terrorists must be captured before the situation worsens. They’ve been successful once, which will encourage them to escalate their attacks.”

He muted the television and pulled his laptop out of his bag. Using his satellite phone, he made a secure connection.

To: Skylark

From: Petrel

Sorry for delay in providing an update. Wild visit so far. Involved in a shoot-out with unknown individuals when heading to the survivor’s location. Received a graze and spent an evening in the hospital. Returned to hotel room and found it ransacked. Now staying at ISD contact’s apartment.

Unless otherwise advised, will offer my assistance to ISD in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

More next time.

Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil again this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. 1541181484Chapter seventeen is nearing Readers continue to provide their input, with 214 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

 

 

 

 

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three is now completed.  There’s been a bit of tweaking to some of the characters’ names and the timeline. An additional chapter has been added to the outline. More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

With all of the outdoor activities, I was pretty tired in the evenings, so I’m afraid I don’t have a book review ready for you. Will work on one during the week and present it next time.

This brings us to a close for another 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.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 30, 2019

Hard to believe we’re already six months through 2019!  Where has the time gone?

We’ve been fortunate with some decent weather over the past week.  About a third of the fence has been transformed from its weather-worn appearance with a coat of forest oak preservative/stain. When the sun shines, it appears to have a plum color, but when it’s in shadow, it almost looks black. All being well, more will be done this week.

A builder and his assistant arrived on Tuesday to rip up the old patio and install a new one. When they removed one of the old slabs near a retaining wall, a plume of water shot up. It continued for hours before the influx stopped.  As a result of this, completion of the new patio was delayed as it took a day and a half to dig through clay and install proper drainage, dumping into a drain on the other side of the property. The system was tested last night with a heavy thunderstorm, but everything looks fine this morning.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 30th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Gay, English poet and dramatist (The Beggar’s Opera); Thomas Lovell Beddoes, English poet (Death’s Jest-Book); Friedrich Theodor Vischer, German philosopher and writer (Auch einer); Stanko Vraz [Jakob Frass], Slovenian-Croatian poet (illyrism); Hendrik Jan Schimmel, Dutch writer and dramatist (2 Tudors); Gerrit Kalff, Dutch professor (history of Dutch writers); Georges Duhamel, French author (Vie et aventures de Salavin, 5 vol.); Charles Camproux, French linguistic and author (Bestiari); Winston Graham, British writer (Poldark novels); Czesław Miłosz, Polish-American writer (Bells in Winter, Nobel 1980); Juan Bosch, 43rd President of the Dominican Republic (1962-63) and writer; Sam Moskowitz, American writer and historian of science fiction; James Goldman, American screenwriter and playwright (The Lion in Winter, They Might Be Giants); Frank Marcus, German playwright and critic; [Jacob] “Jack” Rosenthal, American journalist and government official; Assia Djebar [Fatma-Zohra Imalhayène], Algerian writer and filmmaker; and Robert Ballard, explorer/geologist/author/discoverer (Titanic in 1985).

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple recognizable names. 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!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour began on Tuesday as scheduled. I’ve picked up over thirty new followers and at least one hundred people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet: 

“We’ll wait until the lights go out.” Umar turned to Seto. “Did you bring your tools?”

Seto patted a bag on the seat. “Be inside within seconds. The builder used basic locks—no problem for me.”

“Good. We’ll enter the apartment and locate the woman. If others are present, knock them out.” He handed both men a leather-covered sap and a black hood. “Gag the woman, put this bag over her head, secure her arms, and bring her downstairs. I’ll wait with the car I hired this afternoon.”

Lights went out one by one throughout the building. After the last was extinguished, Umar waited fifteen minutes. “Go.”

Seto and Joko jumped out of the car and raced to the entrance. Joko held a small penlight on the lock. Seto gave a twist with two different lock picks, and the latch clicked. Joko pulled the handle, and they entered.

Locating the stairs, they padded up to the second floor. They glanced around the hallway—no one.

Seto worked his magic, and the door to apartment four opened. A body stirred on the sofa.

Joko put a finger to his lips and whispered, “Shush.”

They separated and approached from either side. In the moonlight shining through a window, Seto glanced at a woman sleeping on her stomach, her blonde hair spilled across the pillow. A click echoed in the room as the air conditioning switched on.

They paused after the noise, but the woman never stirred. Seto covered her mouth to smother any screams while Joko secured her wrists with rope. After shifting the strap of his tool bag over his shoulder, he wrapped a cloth gag around her face. They pulled her upright and dragged her outside.

Seto closed the door, and they rushed the struggling woman down two flights of stairs. Stopping at the building’s entrance, Seto pulled a black bag over her head. The coast clear, they hurried out to the car and pushed their captive inside the back seat. Joko climbed in after her while Seto ran around to the other side. As soon as the doors shut, Umar drove in a sedate manner until he reached the corner and sped away.

***

Back in Seto’s apartment, they dumped their struggling prisoner onto one of the chairs. Seto held her in place until Umar had bound her ankles and wrists. Panting from his efforts, Umar grabbed the hood and pulled it away.

He gasped. “It’s not her!”

More next time.

1541181671Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. Readers continue to provide their input, with 210 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three and four will soon be completed.  More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Rope on Fire (John Crane Series Book 1) by Mark Parragh. This is Mark’s first novel and he’s burst on the scene with a well-polished story. Once a government agent, but now jobless, John Crane refuses to take a new position offered on the outside, and seeks employment elsewhere.  Before long, a billionaire hires him to find out why someone is sabotaging a project he’s funded in Puerto Rico.

Mark’s story is filled with a wide array of characters, and the non-stop action was an easy read and kept me turning page after page. Can’t wait to move onto the next novel in the series!

This brings us to a close for another 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.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved