Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 1, 2019

It’s hard to believe today is the 1st of September. Where did the summer go? The weeks have certainly sailed past. We’re off to a sunny but chilly start at 49F/9C.

Yesterday, we participated in a Maker’s Market at the Olympia Shopping Arcade in Kirkcaldy. Built in 1898, the arcade was originally part of a three-story linen mill. There are currently nine independent businesses in the arcade. The fees for setting up a table at the market go toward rejuvenation of the facility.

While it was quiet, depending upon footfall traffic, we did manage to sell two signed copies of The Kurdish Connection. Some of my candles and several sheets of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets also went to happy customers who ventured out in the mixed weather.

Best of all, one of the coordinators of the market, who also has a shop in the arcade, offered me shelf space to sell my novels, receiving a small commission in return, which will go into the rejuvenation fund.

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

Wilhelmus Kist, writer/director of Dutch Staatscourant; Lydia Sigourney, American religious author (How to Be Happy); James Gordon Bennett, Sr., American newspaper publisher (New York Herald); Jacobus J Cremer, painter/author (Overbetuwsche Novellen); Innokenty Annensky, Russian Empire, poet, critic and interpreter (poètes maudits); Henri Bourassa, French Canadian politician and publisher; Edgar Rice Burroughs, American author (Tarzan of the Apes, Mars Saga); Blaise Cendrars, [Frederic Sauser-Hall], Swiss poet/writer; Hubert Lampo, Flemish writer/essayist (Coming of Joachim Stiller); Willem Frederik Hermans, Dutch writer (Mandarins on Sulfuric Acid); Theo Joekes, Dutch journalist, writer, and politician (VVD); C[arolyn] J[anice] Cherryh, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Faded Sun Trilogy); Mustafa Balel, Turkish writer; and Timothy Zahn, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Cobra Strike).

Was anyone familiar to you? There were several I recognized, including Edgar Rice Burroughs and Timothy Zahn. 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

1541181671Writing continued on A Cartel’s Revenge this week with the completion of chapter twenty-seven. As always, it’s now posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count continues to increase, now standing at 358, an increase of eighteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s another snippet from A Cartel’s Revenge:

Throughout the afternoon, trucks delivered the necessities for the Morenos’ party, including flower arrangements, tables, chairs, and linens. As the day wore on, the caterers appeared, bringing their own special implements for creating sensational regional and local dishes for the buffet. The staggering menu included Valluna cutlets, milanesa, arroz de lisa, mamona, lechona, and tamales. Others brought cases of champagne, whiskey, vodka, and rum. In the corner of the mansion’s ballroom, a twelve-piece orchestra worked through their repertoire, selecting pieces designed to awe their audience.

Everything and everyone was in position by seven thirty in the evening.

Eight p.m. Still no guests. Olivia’s outward calm crumbled, a frown replaced her smile. She paced back and forth from the entranceway to the ballroom, her grimace deepening with each circuit.

Eight fifteen. A taxi arrived—false alarm, a waiter, late for work.

Eight thirty. Pedro strolled toward his over-anxious wife and smiled.

“A long string of fancy cars passed through the perimeter gate. Your guests are sticking to an old-fashioned belief—arriving late.” He sighed. At least I hope they’ll come—for Olivia’s sake.

“As long as they come, that’s the important thing. For Alonzo. And us.”

More next time.

angolan cole-revised3I also continued working on Xavier Sear: Angola, the collaborative work I’m writing with author Michael Maxwell. Together, we’ve completed chapter seven and are moving along nicely with the story.

It’s always interesting to see how our minds interact and create the way forward for our characters. It’s a truly collaborate effort and I’m enjoying every minute of the experience!

Books I’m Reading

The Lt. Kate Gazarra Series 1-3 has been released in a box set by Blair Howard. Some of you might have already read my reviews of Jasmine, Cassandra, and Saffron, but in case you haven’t here’s a recap:

JasmineBased on the adventures Harry’s friend and police partner, Lieutenant Kate Gazzara, this is an excellent beginning to this series.

Harry left the police force to begin life anew as a private investigator, leaving Kate to solve new homicides while building up her own network of contacts. Harry’s still in the background, assisting when needed but Kate is now the primary character. Already molded in the Harry Starke series, Kate takes readers on a whirlwind ride as another body appears.

An excellent cast of characters, a riveting plot, and almost more excitement than one can handle in a single evening (I read the entire novel in four nights), its another one for thriller aficionados to add to their collection. I’m already looking forward to the release of the next one!

Cassandraanother excellent read, given to us by a master storyteller. Lt. Kate Gazzara is up to her ears with internal police department issues when she’s instructed to update the assistant police chief on the cases she’s working on, including a twenty-three-year-old murder of a young woman named Cassandra.

I enjoy how Blair blends his larger-than-life characters together with an excellent plot, which keeps readers guessing as to the perpetrator of the crime. This is well-written and moves at a fast pace. Highly recommended for those you enjoy crime stories.

SaffronBlair has created another excellent thriller with his latest Lt. Kate Gazzara novel, Saffron. More bodies keep popping up, but Kate is hard on the case, trying to determine who the killer or killers might be. When the bodies begin appearing in other jurisdictional areas, since Kate had the first one, she became the overall coordinator since they were all killed in the same manner.

Things become more difficult for Kate as her long-time partner makes a surprise announcement and the assistant chief is creating personal problems for her. Blair weaves everything together into a realistic plot. You won’t want to put this one down until you’ve ready every page! I’m personally looking forward to the next one 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,August 25, 2019

We’ve had decent weather over the past week. As a result, we put some of the outdoor chores aside and made three trips to Aberdour beach. Since it’s a bank holiday here this weekend, we made the most of our excursions before the crowds came in.

The first time we went, we took Frankie, the puppy we help look after. It was his first time to the beach. Every time he saw a bird or dog, he’d sit and watch. We didn’t let him off the lead as he’s still young, but he seemed to enjoy himself.

Tommy, one of our male cats, decided this week he wanted to use the laptop. Several times he would push my hand away from the keyboard. He was very persistent and at one point, he actually powered it down. Fortunately, I didn’t lose anything I was working on!

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

Johann G von Herder, German philosopher, theologist and poet; Antoine Louis Léon de Saint-Just, French revolutionary and writer; Bret Harte, American author (Outcasts of Poker Flat); Judith Gautier, French poetess, novelist (Le Dragon Impérial); Mollie Panter-Downes, British writer and columnist (The Shoreless Sea); Desmond Flower, English publisher; J. B. Charles [Willem H. Nagel], Dutch criminologist and writer; Brian Moore, Irish novelist (Catholics, Doctor’s Wife); Thea Astley, Australian novelist and short-story writer; Charles Wright, American poet (Black Zodiac); Frederick Forsyth, British author (Day of the Jackal, Deceiver, Odessa File); Sherley Anne Williams, American poet and novelist (Dessa Rose); Conrad Black, Canadian-born British newspaper magnate; Charles Ghigna (Father Goose), American poet and children’s books author (Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose); Martin Amis, English novelist (London Fields); and Noxon, American television writer and producer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many I knew except for one of my favorites: Frederick Forsyth. 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

1541181671This week, I was on a writing roll, finishing chapters twenty-three through twenty-six of A Cartel’s Revenge and posted them to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count continues to increase, now standing at 339, an increase of twenty-nine in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s the another snippet from A Cartel’s Revenge:

Pushing through the doors, she slid around the corner, squatted, and fired three times without aiming. An incoming round smashed into the wall in front of her. She leaned into the stone for cover as rough-edged shards whirled toward her face. Startled, Olivia dropped the pistol. Blood trickled from a cut above her right eye. She sucked in her breath and wiped it away as anger replaced her fear.

Alto.” A huge man climbed over the railing from the patio. Piercing dark eyes shone beneath a mop of black hair as he plopped into a chair at the small bistro table, and helped himself to a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Diablo.” Olivia spat the word as the behemoth stood and helped her into the other chair. “Ramon, one day you’ll cause my death. The training becomes more intense every day.” She grabbed his goblet. “Salud.” She drained the glass.

***

Bam! Bam!

Ramon rose. His movements panther-like, he approached the door. He turned the knob in minor increments while the thudding continued.

“Shhh.” Someone outside the room cautioned and received a snigger in response.

Ramon yanked the door open. Caught off guard, two girls tumbled into the room. Laughing and giggling, they fell into a disheveled stack of limbs. He grabbed an arm of each child and helped them to their feet.

“Ramon, be careful! You’ll wrinkle my pretty dress.” Olivia’s ten-year-old daughter, Maria, stomped her foot and straightened the folds of her pink frock.

“Maria, stop it.” Silvina, her eight-year-old sister, dressed in blue, squirmed out of Ramon’s clutches.

Together, the two girls darted across the Spanish tile, color-coordinated ribbons holding their long hair in place as they melted into Olivia’s embrace for a much-needed hug.

More next week.

angolan cole-revised3I also continued working on Xavier Sear: Angola, the collaborative work I’m writing with author Michael Maxwell. Most of my time this week was spent on various pieces of research for chapter seven, but it’s coming along nicely.

I’m really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Michael. Between us, I believe we’re coming up with some great ideas, bouncing things off each other across the world as we are eight time zone apart. So far, the arrangement is working well and I’m learning a lot from Michael.  Eventually, we’ll fine-tune our synopsis and I’ll include it in one of my weekly posts.

Books I’m Reading

I recently had the opportunity to read Irreparable Harm (Sasha McCandless Legal Thriller Book 1) by Melissa F. Miller.  What a fantastic story! From the offset I became immersed in my reading, following Sasha as she works in a Pittsburgh law firm.  Working on a case for one of the firm’s largest clients, things go awry. Not only is the client embroiled in the aftermath of one of their planes crashing, killing everyone on board, people close to the case begin dying.

Irreparable Harm is a light-hearted story with an excellent plot and realistic characters, which kept me turning the pages. When Sasha joins forces with Connolly, an air marshal, to investigate the crash, the action and tension continues to increase, and I stayed up late to finish reading. This is the first novel of Melissa’s I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!

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 18, 2019

We’ve had a few more glimpses of summer this past week, but plenty of showers and a couple of thunderstorms to drive the summer-time feeling away. Yesterday, we had a glorious day for the most part, just one brief shower around lunchtime.

With yesterday’s sunshine and pleasant temperatures, I was able to get some additional external chores completed. After six hours of steady effort, I declared my workday finished. Shortly afterward, Mother Nature ensured I didn’t do any more work with a ninety-minute shower.

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

Marko Marulic/Marulus/Splichanin/Pechinich, Croatian poet; Jean Bolland, Flemish Jesuit writer and historian (Acta Sanctorum); Charles Francis Adams Snr., American writer and diplomat, US Minister to the UK, son of President John Quincy Adams; Johan E. Elias, Dutch historian (Amsterdam’s regency); Nettie Palmer, Australian poet and essayist (Henry Handel Richardson: A Study); Armijn Pane, Indonesian writer (Belenggu); Elsa Morante, Italian writer; Alain Robbe-Grillet, French novelist (Voyeur); Brian W[ilson] Aldiss, UK, sci-fi author (Super-Toys Last All Summer Long, Helliconia Trilogy); Vincent Bugliosi, American attorney and author (Helter-Skelter); William George Rushton, English actor, author and cartoonist (TW3); Umberto Guidoni, Italian astrophysicist and writer (STS 75); and Brian Michael Bendis, American comic book writer.

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!

News About My Published Work

Carnage 3D CoverCarnage in Singapore received the following five-star review this past week:

“I enjoyed reading, “Carnage in Singapore” by Randall Krzak, who in my opinion, is a brilliant writer who has a unique ability of immediately capturing attention with a very intense opening scene which was extremely riveting. As I read on, the action, twists and turns, and the whole story got even more intense and exciting.

I am a big fan of this author and read his previous book, “The Kurdish Connection,” which showed to me his highly sophisticated knowledge of the military and his high intelligence and experience about what really goes on in the background.

His writing style is excellent, and I thought he described each scene extremely well bringing out ever-increasing and amazing exciting action, thrills, suspense, bravery, and selflessness on the topical subject of terrorism.

The story, in my view, is thought-provoking and very fast-paced with great action and suspense as the Bedlam Team struggles and combats international terrorism.

I felt this author is highly creative, gifted and very extraordinary and, in my view, as more people read his work his fan base will grow. I believe his works are not to be missed as after I read “Kurdish Connection” I became a lifelong fan of this author’s talent.

Very well done and I give this book five stars plus and highly recommend it!”

Hopefully, similar reviews will be forthcoming.

My Work in Progress

1541181671This week, I finished chapters twenty-one and twenty-two of A Cartel’s Revenge and posted them to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count has now climbed to to 310, an increase of nineteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s the first snippet from A Cartel’s Revenge:

Zapata screamed, “Get us out of here! Hurry, before it’s too late!”

Men wearing white coveralls jumped out of the blocking vehicles, aiming light anti-tank weapons at the front and rear escort vehicles.

Weapons fired, the escort vehicles soared into the air, plummeting back to earth, now burning hulks. Zapata’s guards returned fire, but their response couldn’t match the overwhelming firepower of the attacking force.

One-by-one, the defenders succumbed to the withering fire as the remaining escort vehicles met the same fate as the others. Gunfire waned, as moans of the injured and crackling of burning vehicles grew in intensity.

The assailants approached Zapata’s SUV through the thickening smoke. They lined up along the driver’s side and stared at Zapata and his son.

Defiant stares greeted them.

Two men shouldered LAWs and aimed.

Zapata’s reign died as he and his son were immolated.

***

Francisco Tomas Kruz, Zapata’s longtime friend and confidant, replaced the receiver without a word. He rubbed his hand through his dyed black hair as he walked to the windows and gazed across the mountainous expanse. A brief smile etched across his face, not reaching his cold, hazel eyes.

He returned to his desk, grabbed the phone, and placed a call. “This is Kruz. Give her the phone.” He spoke for a moment.

Olivia screamed.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

As I mentioned last time, I had received a copy of Blair Howard’s latest novel, The Raven (Harry Starke Genesis Book 2).

Here’s my thoughts: Blair has done it again. Someone knocked off a wealthy woman, leaving behind a distraught husband. A friend of Harry’s father, the husband, who is a judge, turned to Harry and his new private investigation service to find the killer. Things become complicated with the addition of Russian mobsters into the story.

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one is fast-paced with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing who might have killed the judge’s wife. Realistic characters help Harry in his quest for the truth. Just when I thought I knew where the story was heading, different suspects crept forward, muddying the water. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll have to grab yourself a copy. You won’t be disappointed!

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

The Kurdish Connection

Randall’s Ramblings, June 16, 2019

Happy Father’s Day wherever you are! 

Hope you have a great one!

It’s been a busy week. Between dashing outdoors to get some yard work in during the brief sunshine interludes, to writing on two works-in-progress, the week sailed past.

A pair of seagulls decided the cat munchies we have outside for our four-legged family were very tasty. They make regular appearances, stealing a few pieces before flying away, usually chased by Lola, Hope, or Tommy. Charlie’s too timid and runs away, while Flora is always busy visiting the neighbors, particularly their children.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 16th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays): John Cleveland, English poet; Adam Smith, Scottish economist (Wealth of Nations) and moral philosopher (date of baptism); Mary Katharine Goddard, American printer and publisher; Salawat Yulayev, Bashkir national hero, poet; Scato Gocko de Vries, Dutch paleographer/librarian; Fritz Schulz, German law historian (Classical Novel Law); Theo[dorus J] Thijssen, Dutch writer (Kees the boy); William Fitzgerald Jenkins, author (Time Tunnel, Land of Giants); Murray Leinster, American author; Nelson Doubleday, American publisher (Doubleday); John Hadfield, author/publisher (Love on a Branch Line); Katharine Graham, American newspaper publisher (Washington Post); ohn Howard Griffin, American photographer, journalist and author (Black Like Me); Joachim Nowotny, writer; August Willemsen, Dutch poet/translator; Erich Segal, author (Love Story, Oliver’s Story); Joyce Carol Oates, novelist (Garden of Earthly Delights); Torgny Lindgren, Swedish writer; Hans-Peter Hammel, Swiss columnist and writer; Doane Perry, American musician, composer, and author (Jethro Tull); Scott Alexander, American screenwriter; and Ann Shoket, American magazine editor.

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple familiar ones. 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

It’s not too late to sign up for my online book tour, which begins on June 25th. Click on the following link for more information and to sign up: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/the-bedlam-series-tour-sign-ups

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)The new cover for Carnage in Singapore, which will be released soon by Solstice Publishing, is now ready. 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?

In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

Evelyn gulped water, trying to cool off after her stint in the Weapons Training Simulator System. She wiped the back of her neck with a damp cloth and relaxed at one of the weapon-laden tables.

Barbara, dressed in a black tank top and matching cargo pants, slid into an adjacent chair to wait for her turn in the simulator. “Hey Ev, the baddie almost killed you in your last round.” She chuckled as pointed an imaginary pistol at her boss.

“Almost is the operative word.” Evelyn grinned. “This new simulator is superior to our old one, providing better scenarios.”

“Don’t forget the use of our own weapons rather than the unrealistic tethered ones.”

Evelyn nodded. “I must thank Harrison for coordinating with the other Bedlam units to acquire this for us.” She pulled the magazine from her SIG Sauer P226 and stood. “I better reload my mags. The CO2 gas provides an excellent recoil feel, even though they’re only lasers.”

“Doesn’t replace an outdoor range, but you’ve made it easy for us to train every day without making the trip to Wagga Wagga.” Barbara rubbed her stomach. “Not sure I care about the impulse device we’re wearing to simulate being hit. Hurts like the bloody dickens. If it happens again, I’ll throw a wobbly.”

“We wanted as much realism as possible.” Evelyn laughed. “Beats someone using a paintball gun to shoot at us. Those things hurt and can injure without protective gear. You end up with huge red welts and bruises.” She gestured toward the simulator. “One more go for each of us and back to the office. I’m sure last night’s attack is generating plenty of questions, and someone will be waiting for us to provide answers.”

More next week.

Despite another week packed with external stuff, I managed to complete chapter fourteen of A 1541181671Cartel’s Revenge and post it to the two subscription writing sites I use. There’s been 169 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

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?

I’ll start including snippets once Carnage in Singapore is published.

angolan cole-revised3I mentioned last time I was collaborating with Michael Maxwell, the author of the Cole Sage mystery series and other novels. The cover is now ready for our first novel: Xavier Sear: Angola. The first two chapters have now been completed. When the task is impossible, Xavier Sear is your only hope!  Join Sear as he reunites with Joao, a former Portuguese Army commander as they attempt to rescue the son of a prominent Angolan politician.

More to follow, including a complete synopsis, as we continue to progress with this adventure. 

 

Books I’m Reading

I finished reading Five Weeks last night, another gripping true story novel by David P. Perlmutter, the award-winning author of Wrong Place Wrong Time–soon to be a movie.

Follow the adventures of a London real estate agent as he switches careers in preparation for settling down with his fiancé. As part of his training, he’s sent to Pennsylvania for five weeks. Things begin going downhill as soon as he arrives and meets his temporary new boss.

This is another well-written true story, with characters you’ll love or hate. While a few readers found some of the language to be a bit strong, it fits reality. Once you begin reading, you’ll become immersed in the story and won’t want to put this one down!

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 9, 2019

Well, the rain has done it again, causing the cancellation of a street party as no one wanted to get soaked. At least everything has greened up nicely. Now, for a bit of sunshine for more than a couple of hours at a time and perhaps I could get some more outdoor work done–this year!

I’ve been doing a bit of tweaking of some of the pages on my website. If you get a chance, I’d greatly appreciate your feedback.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 9th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Henricus Hondius, Dutch etcher/publisher; John Howard Payne, American actor, playwright (Fair Warning), author and creator of the hit song “Home! Sweet Home!”; Bertha von Suttner, Austrian novelist/pacifist (Nobel 1905); Rudolf Borchardt, writer; Samuel N Behrman, American screenwriter (Tale of 2 Cities, Daddy Long Legs); sobel June Braybrooke, English novellist; John Gillespie Magee, Jr., American poet and aviator; George Axelrod, playwright (Breakfast at Tiffany, Bus Stop); Keith Laumer [Anthony LeBaron], American sci-fi author (Retief’s War); Lin[wood] [Vrooman] Carter, American sci-fi author (Thongor of Lemuria); Charles Webb, American writer (The Graduate); Joe Haldeman, American sci-fi author (The Forever War); Gregory Maguire, American fantasy writer; Patricia Cornwell, American author ( Kay Scarpetta crime novels); Aaron Sorkin, American screenwriter and playwright (A Few Good Men, The West Wing); and Gilad Atzmon, Israeli jazz musician and author.

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple familiar ones. 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

It’s not too late to sign up for my online book tour, which begins on June 25th. Click on the following link for more information and to sign up: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/the-bedlam-series-tour-sign-ups

My Work in Progress

1539534550Things are moving forward with Carnage in Singapore. My publisher should be providing a new cover shortly, which I’ll proudly display. In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

They weaved their way along the twisting road, lost in their thoughts. Ahead, a small clearing was tucked among the trees.

When Umar stopped, Joko jumped out of the cab and inspected the chosen site. “Perfect. Let’s unpack the largest crate and set up.”

Umar pointed to the smaller crate. “What about them?”

“Not now.” Joko shook his head. “Those contain the Qassams.”

The seven men made short work of the task. Crowbars in hand, they pried off the lid, revealing packing material and an assortment of small electrical components. After they had scooped out the items, a plywood platform appeared. Underneath the wood, three Grad rockets were nestled in protective wrapping.

The workmen carried the bases and launch tubes to a spot where Joko waited beside three locations etched into the sand —one for each rocket. Under Joko’s guidance, the men set up the stands and retrieved the Grads from their resting place.

Satisfied with the set-up, Joko wiped the sweat from his brow and glanced at his wrist. “Allah willing, we shall strike in his name.”

***

The three projectiles screamed across the water in a high arc. At the starting line, the drivers waited for the flashing lights to indicate the beginning of the race.

In one of the spectator stands, an elderly English woman frowned at a faint sound in the distance, hard to hear over the revving of the engines. She squinted at something streaking through the sky and losing its trajectory. “Oh, darling. Look!” She tugged at her husband’s sleeve to gain his attention.

“What is it, Dorothy? The race’s about to start.”

“Fireworks. How lovely. A fabulous way to celebrate the occasion.”

Her husband shaded his eyes with a hand. His mouth dropped open and snapped shut. “Jesus Christ! Those aren’t fireworks. Run! Someone’s attacking the—”

A Grad plunged into the grandstand, erupting with a massive explosion. Spectators screamed in terror, their cries cut short when they were blown apart or became engulfed in flames.

Two other missiles smashed into the marina, sending enormous plumes of water, splintered boats, and body parts into the air.

Pandemonium erupted as people fled for their lives.

More next time.

Despite another week packed with external stuff, I managed to complete chapter thirteen of A 1541181671Cartel’s Revenge and post it to the two subscription writing sites I use. There’s been 145 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

I recently requested some blurbs for Carnage in Singapore to use in promoting the story. Michael Maxwell, the author of thirteen novels, including nine in his Cole Sage mystery series, contacted me after reading the third chapter. He told me, “This is good stuff!” and asked if I would consider co-authoring a book with him.

After reading through his proposal, I agreed. We’re currently writing the first novel in a new series with an international setting, Phillip Sear: Angola.  Watch for the cover and synopsis in an upcoming post.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished Into Spring: The Next Generation, by Larry Landgraf.

The sequel to Into Autumn continues the daunting efforts of those living in Peaceful Valley. With a disparity between the number of single man and women, Sean and Robbie leave the valley, determined to find spouses. Meanwhile, a new family permitted to move into the valley, attempts to push for a place of worship causing issues when the earlier residents rebuff the proposal in favoring of more pressing requirements.

Larry provides another plot full of twists and turns with realistic characters showing how to survive their ordeals. Despite challenge after challenge, the Peaceful Valley inhabitants deal with what’s thrown at them. Several late nights as I couldn’t put it down until I finished. Now that I have, I can’t wait to read the third installment. Well done!

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, May 26, 2019

This is Memorial Day weekend. While for many it means the unofficial beginning of summer, with vacation homes being aired out, family gatherings, and sporting events, such as the Indy 500, there is another side to the holiday.

Memorial Day is also a day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Flags are placed on the graves of those who died in military service. Many communities also hold parades, culminating in ceremonies at designated points in cemeteries and at memorials.

No matter how you spend the weekend, please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Enjoy the weekend.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 26th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Edmond de Goncourt, French writer, wrote with his brother Jules de Goncourt; Robert W. Chambers, American artist and fiction writer; John Eigenhuis, Dutch writer (Tough Workers); Jean Schlumberger, French writer (La Mort de Sparte); Moondog, American composer, musician and poet; Phyllis Gotlieb, Canadian author; Hugo Raes, Flemish writer (Horses Jump & Fresh Sea); Piers Gray, critic/writer; Alan Hollinghurst, British novelist; Phil Doyle, Australian writer; and David Reed, British writer and comedian.

Not many today. Was anyone familiar to you? 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

1541181671With all of the outdoor activity, I didn’t have much time to sit in front of the computer and write. Chapter eleven of A Cartel’s Revenge is almost finished. So far, the novel has received ninety-eight chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use. Plenty of good suggestions for improving my writing.

Things are on hold with Carnage in Singapore as I await the results of my submission. In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

When they arrived, Noah paid the driver and entered the hotel. He waited at the counter to collect his key. “Welcome back, Mr. Noah. A man asked for you last night.”

“What did he look like? Did you ask his name?”

“Asian.” The clerk shrugged. “No name but he said he was a friend and wanted to leave a gift in your room. A porter let him in. We suggested he put the package in our safe until you returned, but he was very persuasive.”

Noah’s forehead creased as he frowned. “How long did he remain in my room?” And what was he looking for?

“Ten, perhaps fifteen minutes. The porter remained in the hallway and locked the door when the man left.”

“Do you have security cameras?”

“Not in the rooms, but in the common areas and the elevators.”

“I’m going upstairs. Please bring me the tapes from last night. I’ll review them later with my colleagues from the Internal Security Department.”

The clerk swallowed, a look of panic of his face. “Of course.”

Noah waited for an empty elevator. Taking forever. He spotted a sign for the stairs and rushed up the steps. Out of breath by the time he reached the sixth floor, he paused before heading down the carpeted hallway to room 602.

His room.

The thread he left on the lock lay on the floor. He tried the handle. Locked.

Noah pulled his SIG Sauer from its holster and shoved his key card in the slot. After the light turned green, he pushed the door open.

The mattress hung over the edge of the bed, his single bag dumped in a heap. The drawers from the bedside tables and the chest of drawers sat in a haphazard pile in a corner. Pictures were ripped from the wall and slashed. The glass coffee table top was smashed into tiny pieces, a testament to the fury of whoever did this.

What were they looking for? Nothing here but some clothes. My Bedlam laptop remained with me.

A noise from the bathroom caught his attention.

He turned and caught a shadowy figure emerging from a corner. The assailant screamed and threw a lamp at Noah’s head before he could get an idea of who it was.

Noah crashed to the floor, his gun skittering away.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

 I recently finished reading The Butchered Man, book one of The Northminster Mysteries by Harriet Smart. Set in Victorian England in the 1840s, a mutilated corpse sets events in motion. With a well-written plot and characters exhibiting traits associated with the time period, it’s easy to become immersed in the combined efforts of Chief Constable Major Vernon and police surgeon Felix Carswell to solve the mystery. Will they find the villain? Grab a copy and find out! I look forward to moving onto the second book of 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