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, June 2, 2019

During the past week, I think we had more hours of rain than sunshine. At least everything is green and growing. We did have a slight reprieve yesterday, which was good news as I needed to cut the grass. I’m also pleased the rain and mild temperatures are helping the grass see I planted in patches areas to spring forth.

The reprieve ended early this morning when we had more rain, lasting an hour or more–perhaps longer, but I fell asleep. It’s overcast now, with more of the wet stuff in the forecast.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 2nd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Marquis de Sade, French philosopher and writer (Justine); Thomas Hardy, poet and novelist (Far from the Madding Crowd); Constantly AM Cap, Flemish poet/etcher; Karl Adolph Gjellerup, poet (Poutnici Svetem, Nobel 1917); Adolf Herckenrath, Flemish playwright/poet (Avondvlam); Bokke R S Pollema, Dutch Frisian journalist/author (Lock of Hair); Dorothy West, US journalist/author (Living is Easy); Xiao Hong, Chinese writer (The Field of Life and Death); Barbara Pym, romantic author (Very Private Eye); Walter Andreas Schwarz, German singer and author; Lester del Rey, American sci-fi author (Moon Trilogy, Marooned on Mars); W. Watts Biggers, American novelist and animator; ohn Anthony Bowden Cuddon, writer/teacher; Norton Juster, American author, architect and children’s author (The Dot and the Line); Carol Shields, American-born novelist; Kevin Brownlow, English film historian and author; Lydia Lunch, US singer/poet (Teenage Jesus, Jerks); and Anthony Montgomery, American film and television actor and graphic novelist.

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple familiar ones. Did you know the words sadism and sadist were derived from the first writer mentioned? 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

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

1539534550Breaking news this week:  I signed a contract with Solstice Publishing for the release of Carnage in Singapore. I’m putting together my blurb, bio, dedication, acknowledgements now, as well as checking out some photos for consideration as the new cover. Several authors have already provided advertising blurbs for me. Exciting times!  Here’s another snippet from Carnage in Singapore:

 

“I’ll need at least five more men to help transport them.”

Umar stretched his arms above his head. “Five unskilled factory workers who are dedicated to our cause are willing to assist with whatever we need. I’ll help too, so with Joko, there will be seven.”

“We must move the cargo from the port to Batam Island. Perhaps a day to pick a launch site, set up the launchers, and secure the area.”

Musa stared at Umar before turning to Joko. “You must be ready in four days. We want to target the Formula One Grand Prix. The race is scheduled to begin on Sunday at eight p.m., so the race can be broadcast live in Europe.” He shook his head. “These infidel drivers earn millions of dollars while many people die each year from hunger. Their worthless game without a purpose and the gaudy advertisements for alcohol and cigarettes covering their vehicles is offensive to Islam. They must be taught a lesson.”

Joko rolled his shoulders. “We’ll be ready. The damage will depend on where the projectiles land and casualties might be high.”

Musa shrugged. “Use all three Grad rockets.” If more infidels are killed, it’s better for us.

Perhaps more next time.

Despite a week packed with external stuff, I managed to complete another chapter of A 1541181671Cartel’s Revenge and post it to the two subscription writing sites I use. There’s been 129 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Genesis, the latest Harry Starke novel by Blair Howard. A superb thriller revealing the creation of Harry’s private eye business after he stopped being a cop.

As with all of Blair’s books, this is another well-crafted story, starting with Harry meeting a young girl–who disappears. Who’s behind the girl’s disappearance, and why? A real pager turner for those who enjoy an excellent plot with realistic characters. Blair, bring on another story soon!

I also finished reading Bank Shot, the latest installment in the Lieutenant Beaudry series by Michael Kent. As with all of Michael’s stories, an action-packed plot and realistic characters join together for a riveting story.

Beaudry’s reputation is heading south and he has problems in his personal life as well when an ex-lover is tasked to work with him on a new case. Will he be able to juggle the weighty issues dragging him down and solve the latest crime? Well work a read and I look forward to reading more from Michael.

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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 19, 2019

The past week began with great weather and temperatures hovering around 70F/21C. This all changed when Friday evening rolled around, bringing almost constant drizzle or light rain. Of course, things dry out quickly, so the rain gave things a much-needed drink.

The rain also delayed further work in the back yard. We’re painting the fence, re-arranging the flower beds, and removing gravel from areas where the previous owners thought it should be. It might takes all summer and into the fall, but eventually we’ll have our stamp on the area,

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 19th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Rahel Varnhagen von Ense-Levin, German literary hostess; Henricus WJM Keuls, Dutch lawyer/poet (Dancing Lamp); Konstatin G Paustovski, Russian author (Povestj Zjizni); Paul Erdman, American economist and author; Ruskin Bond, Indian author; Jane Brody, writer/nutritionist; Nora Ephron, novelist/screenwriter/director (Michael, Heartburn); and James Topping, author of CP/M.

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!

News About My Published Work

The results of the 2018 Chanticleer International Books Awards (CIBAs) have been announced.  This year, there were fourteen fiction categories and two non-fiction. The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance participated in the Global Thrillers genre. Both moved from the slush pile, through the long list, the short list, and the semi-finals. The Kurdish Connection finished its run as a semi-finalist, while Dangerous Alliance went a step further and was one of seven 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards for Lab Lit & High Stakes Thriller Novels First in Category Winners.  Needless to say, I’m thrilled!

TKC

DA-3D-cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 ten of A Cartel’s Revenge is almost finished. So far, the novel has received eighty-three 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:

The nurse escorted Noah to Koh’s room. Three men dressed in blue police uniforms with maroon berets tucked in their belts sat on a bench in the hallway, watching the nurse and Noah’s progress. One, who appeared older than the others, stood as they approached.

“Stop.” The man raised a hand. “Please show identification.” 1539534112

The nurse ignored the man and continued toward the door. “This patient will be staying here. He’s a friend of the man inside.”

The man nodded. “Go ahead. In the future, show your picture badge, and we won’t bother you.”

“I’m sure Feng Lee will be pleased with your diligence.” The nurse scanned the man from head to toe. “He will visit later, so remain alert. I’ll provide a list of hospital employees who should be authorized admittance to look after these patients.”

When Noah entered the room, he spotted Koh in the far bed, sound asleep. Rhythmic beeping came from the attached monitor displaying his vital signs.

The nurse turned down the sound on the machine. “The noise will keep you awake. There are hospital gowns in the bathroom. Slip one on and put your clothes in the empty locker.” She pointed to two cabinets, one with an open door. “Afterward, climb into bed. I’ll bring you something to drink in a few minutes.”

Noah did as instructed and replayed each sequence of the attack in his mind. Should have spotted a tail sooner. First sign of action and all training went out the window. He glanced at Koh. We’ll catch them.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

 I recently finished reading A Sea of Fear by Russell Moran. This is book three of the Harry and Meg time travel series and like the first two, it’s another easy read with plenty of action from start to finish.

Harry and Meg are very likeable characters and once again use their combined strengths to deal with a former president trying to undermine the American way of life and take over the White House. I won’t spoil the ending for any readers, but suffice it to say, this is a tough assignment, necessitating some time travel both into the past and the future. If you enjoy plenty of action and a riveting plot, this one’s for you.

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 5, 2019

Happy Cinco de Mayo day!  

Things are slowing taking shape in the back yard (garden) after years of neglect before we purchased the property. It’ll probably take all summer to get things to the state we want, but we’ll get there in the end.

KODAK Digital Still CameraMeet Oliver. He’s fifteen and loves to go outdoors. Unfortunately, over the past two weeks he’s been to the vet’s office four times. He’s not well–the vet has narrowed it down to a tumor or feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). We don’t know how much longer he’ll be with us, but he’s getting plenty of treats and affection. Oliver still loves his spot on the front step, moving just inside the vestibule if it becomes too chilly. He’s sleeping just now.

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

Louis Christophe François Hachette, French publisher (Librairie Hachette); Jacob Kats, Flemish writer (Earthly Paradise); Hubert Howe Bancroft, American historian, ethnologist (History of Pacific States); Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish author (Quo Vadis, Nobel 1905); Max Elskamp, Belgian author and poet (Lesson Joies Blondes, Maya); Nellie Bly [Elizabeth Cochran Seaman], American journalist and writer (Ten Days in a Mad House); Christopher Morley, American author (Kitty Foil); Freeman Gosden, American writer; James Beard, American culinary expert and author (Delights & Prejudices); Miklós Radnóti, Hungarian poet (Clouded Sky); Richard Rovere, American political journalist (Goldwater Caper); Rob Van Gennep, Dutch publisher; and Naomi Klein, Canadian author (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate);.

How many did you recognize? There’s two or three who might be familiar, perhaps not by name, but by the title of their work. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

I finished the query letter for Carnage in Singapore, and he manuscript has been submitted. Here’s another snippet:

1539534550Bullets ripped through the air as more sirens joined the growing sound of emergency vehicles. Koh and Noah hunkered down behind the BMW, bullets pinging off metal. Rounds shredded tires and glass fragments from the shattered windows fell on them. Koh and Noah returned fire, ducking as bullets ricocheted off the vehicle. An ear-piercing scream erupted from one of the attackers as projectiles smashed their way through what remained of the black car shielding them.

***

“You okay, Noah?” Koh coughed. “I took—” He yelped and coughed again. “I took a round through my right shoulder. Appears to be through and through. Hurts like anak haram.”

“Not sure what it means, but I agree.”

“It’s bastard in Malay.” Koh cocked his head. “Hear that?”

“I don’t hear anything but the sirens.”

“Exactly. If they were reloading, they should have done it by now.”

Noah nodded. “They’ve stopped shooting. I wonder if the sirens scared them away?”

“They either ran, or we took care of them.”

Noah inched upward to peer over the hood.

Koh yanked him back. “Not yet. We don’t know if they’ve gone. I suggest—“

Both men heard footsteps rushing away from them.

Noah slumped to the ground and leaned against the vehicle. “It might be a good idea to stay put until the police arrive.”

“Okay with me. Put your weapon on the ground near you. If you’re holding it when the police arrive, they’ll shoot first and ask questions later.”

Noah began to laugh and jerked his arm. “Ow! This isn’t a laughing matter.”

Perhaps more next time.

1541181671I’ve also continue to edit the original chapters of A Cartel’s Revenge. Originally, this was to be a stand-alone novel, but now this will be book one of the Bruce and Smith series. So far, I’ve revised the first eight chapters, with fifty-nine new chapter reviews from the two subscription writing sites I use.  I’ll provide a new snippet next week.

This brings us to a close for another week as I need to spend some time with Ollie. 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.

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 28, 2019

After a brilliant Easter weekend filled with plenty of sunshine and temperatures reaching 74F/24C, we’ve struggled since Tuesday to hit 60F/15C. The lower temperatures were accompanied by rain and hail but at least that seems to be behind us for the next few days. I hope–more work to do outside, with several shrubs waiting to be planted.

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

Charles Cotton, English poet and writer; Karl Kraus, Austrian satirical writer; Franz Arnold, German writer; Bruno Apitz, German writer (Nackt unter Wölfen); Johan Borgen, Norwegian author (Lillelord); Pierre Boileau, French novelist (Vertigo); Sam Merwin, Jr., American mystery fiction writer; Lee Falk, American comic strip writer (The Phantom); Joop Waasdorp, Dutch writer (Naked Life); Robert Anderson, American writer (Tea & Sympathy, I Never Sang for My Father); Alistair MacLean, Scottish novelist (The Guns of Navarone); [Nelle] Harper Lee, American author (To Kill a Mockingbird); Lois Duncan, American young adult novelist (I Know What You Did Last Summer); Iryna Zhylenko, Ukrainian poet (An Evening Party in an Old Winery); Terry Pratchett, English author of fantasy novels (Discworld); Roberto Bolano, Latin American author and poet; Nicky Gumbel, British author and priest; and Ian Rankin, Scottish novelist.

How many did you recognize? There’s two or three who might be familiar, perhaps not by name, but by the title of their work. 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

Carnage in Singapore is now ready for submission. Just working on the query letter and anticipate forwarding my manuscript next Sunday. Here’s another snippet:

1539534550Harrison stifled a yawn. “Didn’t get much sleep last night. Might be the novel I started about a couple of FBI agents. A cracker couple, both on the job and in their personal lives. Outstanding stuff.”

“After reading report after report all day, I don’t understand how you manage to read at home.”

“Work-life balance.” Harrison took a tentative slurp of his Tetley tea. “It gives me pleasure to read a variety of authors and immerse myself in their imaginary worlds. An excellent stress reliever and helps keep me sane after what we deal with on a regular basis.”

Margaret chuckled before she slipped out the door. She returned moments later with a leather-padded binder labeled, ‘Daily Read Folder.’ “Happy reading.”

Harrison leaned back in his chair, the folder in one hand and his tea in the other. After propping his feet on the corner of the desk, he nudged the binder open with a thumb and began perusing.

He took another sip of his drink and bolted upright. “Damn!” Hot liquid splashed onto his lap, soaking the bottom of his shirt and his trousers. He leapt to his feet, banged the empty cup and saucer onto the tray, and threw the folder to the far side of the desk. “Margaret! I need your help.”

She rushed into the room and spotted Harrison’s dilemma. After grabbing a handful of napkins from the tray holding his saucer and now-empty cup, she tossed several to him and bent down to soak up the runaway tea from the carpet and chair.

“Never mind the spillage—I’ll take care of it. Did you read through the folder?” She glanced at her boss. “The memo from the Indonesians?”

He nodded. “Yes. What did we miss? I better speak with Evelyn right away. Will you take care of the Viper connection? I never get it to work.”

Margaret cocked her head. “Sure thing. It must be bothersome being challenged by technology.”

“You’re not much younger than me.” He laughed. “One of these days, I might surprise you and conquer the blasted thing.”

***

Ollie and Barbara focused their attention on Alf.

He nodded. “Yes. My contact in the FBI finished his examination of the sample I sent him. He confirmed my diagnosis of PETN, but a trace of another chemical showed up.”

“Anything we should worry about?” Barbara doodled on a piece of paper by her side, a stick character with a noose around its head.

“Someone tried to enhance the PETN. My FBI guy identified the material as hydrochloric acid, an ingredient in Triacetone Triperoxide, or TATP, an explosive popping up with terrorist groups in the Middle East. The British ‘shoe bomber’ tried to use TATP as his detonator to take down an American Airlines flight back in 2001, but he didn’t succeed.”

Alf glanced around the room. “This is a serious threat to commercial transportation when it’s added to sheet explosives that can be concealed inside luggage. According to America’s Homeland Security, conventional detection systems have difficulty in identifying the low atomic signatures of this explosive. Perhaps an alert should be issued.”

Evelyn nodded. “I’ll talk to Harrison about the alert. Thanks for the update, Alf. Anything else?”

After Alf shook his head, Evelyn continued. “Noah must still be busy in Singapore. No word from him yet. I’ll ask DG Robertson to contact Sir Alex and arrange for a member of Bedlam Bravo to join us.” She heaved a sigh, expelling her tension.

“Right. Continue with your training. As of now, you’re on thirty-minute recall.” Evelyn gazed at her team. “Check your bags. Full arms. When we deploy, we’ll be the hunters.” Heaven help us all ….

Perhaps more next time.

I’ve continue to edit the original chapters of  A Cartel’s Revenge. Originally, this was to be a stand-alone novel, but now this will be book one of the Bruce and Smith series. So far, I’ve revised chapters 1-6, with thirty-eight new chapter reviews from the two subscription writing sites I use.  Here’s a snippet for you: 1541181671

Three armored vehicles raced through the hacienda’s open gates. Dust billowed in their wake as guard took up defensive positions from the top of the wall to strategic areas of the drivway. Two unarmored SUVs escorted the procession. One took the lead while the other brought up the rear.

Seventy-year-old Jesús Pedro Zapata and his forty-five-year-old son, Oscar, relaxed in the middle vehicle. The Medellin Country Club’s weekly buffet luncheon drew father, son, and Zapata’s daughter, Olivia, along with numerous local dignitaries and powerful landowners. On this rare occasion, she missed the gathering due to a prior commitment in Panama City, where she and their lawyers sought to close a deal for the purchase of a sugar cane plantation.

The convoy slowed. Zapata dropped the inner glass partition to find out why. Ahead, yellow flashing lights and trucks emblazoned with Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. blocked the road. A man waved the convoy onto a side street. Additional trucks blocked the next intersection. Before the vehicles reversed, more trucks cut off their escape.

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

Perhaps I’ll include a bit more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Cassandra by Blair Howard. This is another 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.

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.