Randall's Ramblings, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, August 19, 2018

As summer winds down, families are doing their final thrills with their kids before they head back to school. Stores are pushing ‘back to school’ sales. At least Mother Nature keeps reminding us it’s summer, with plenty of heat, humidity, and showers (and sometimes, thunderstorms). We also began today with fog!

Anyone out there celebrating a birthday today? Here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Marqués de Santillana, Castilian politician and poet (serranillas); Lodovico Guicciardini, Italian historian (Descrittione di Tutti); Paulus Merula, Dutch lawyer and historian (Historia Belgica); John Dryden, English poet (1st Poet Laureate 1668-1700); Eustace Budgell, English writer; Samuel Richardson, English novelist (Pamela); Pierre-Jean de Béranger, French poet and songwriter; Arnoldt Bronnen, writer; Ogden Nash, humorous poet (I’m a Stranger Here Myself); James Gould Cozzens, American novelist (1949 Pulitzer-Guard of Honor); Jerzy Andrzejewski, Polish writer (Ashes & Diamonds); Quentin Bell, artist, author/teacher; Ring Lardner Jr, American journalist and screenwriter (Woman of the Year, M A S H);  Malcom Forbes, American publisher of Forbes Magazine; D[avid] G[uy] Compton, UK, sci-fi author (Synthajoy, Radio Plays); Bodil Malmsten, Swedish writer; Jennie Bond, British journalist; and Li-Young Lee, Indonesia-born American poet.

Recognize anyone? I certainly did. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

My Work in Progress

Once again external pressures meant I had to forego my normal writing periods this week. However, I still managed to complete and post another chapter of Carnage in Singapore. I also refined my outline to reflect recent changes in how some chapters are plotted.

Despite my unplanned slowdown, reviewers added another nineteen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 313. Here a bit more from Carnage in Singapore:

“Please take a seat.” A secretary gestured toward several chairs. “Mr. Robertson will be with you in a few minutes.”

Before Evelyn skipped through the ads in a magazine to the first article, the inner office door opened. Framed in the doorway stood a tall, gray-haired man. His chiseled jawline and deep brown eyes commanded attention.

Harrison Robertson, the Director-General of Security for ASIO, stepped forward, his arm outstretched, a grin plastered on his face. “Lady Evelyn, thank you for stopping by.”

“Please, Harrison, drop the title. Given my background and the Australian culture, it doesn’t fit.”

Harrison chuckled. “Come in.” He leaned toward his secretary. “Margaret, would you rustle up a pot of tea and biscuits? Thank you.”

Evelyn and Harrison entered his austere office. An immense oak desk, devoid of papers but holding three telephones and an Apple computer, stood in front of the windows. A safe in the corner, three easy chairs, a coffee table, and photographs of beach scenes completed the furnishings.

***

“How is your hip? I spotted a slight limp.” Harrison handed a cup to Evelyn and offered her the biscuits.

She nibbled on a Tim Tam. “The doctors say the limp might remain forever but is less noticeable every week. The joint is healthy—they believe some nerves might be damaged beyond repair.”

Harrison nodded. “Good to hear the joint is sound. How is your new team shaping up? I suspect it won’t be long before there’s a suitable mission for you.”

“Alfie—how he hates his nickname—is running them through their paces at our training facility. We’re ready for whatever you throw at us.”

“Excellent.” He nodded. “Islamic State affiliates are popping up around the world. I think Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah still pose significant threats in our region. With the apparent death of Abu Sayyaf’s leader, I fear AS will be more dangerous than ever.”

***

Evelyn entered her office. About the size of a standard living room, a red cedar desk and chair, two five-drawer safes, and four easy chairs crammed the space. On the wall opposite her desk, two photographs.

One was of the Queen. She walked over to the other one and read the inscription.

Lady Evelyn,

Thank you for your endeavors in retrieving me from a rather sticky situation. I shall assist you whenever it’s possible. George.

At her desk, she booted her computer and thought about her previous mission to recover Prince George. Never would have thought my crowning achievement with MI6 was to serve in a liaison role with a Somali terrorist. Now, I’m running my own covert team.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading several novels in the Sean Wyatt series by Ernest Dempsey and one by Nick Thacker.

Mark for Blood (Mason Dixon Thrillers Book 1) by Nick Thacker was a riveting story. Bartender Mason Dixon has a secret—an on-demand secondary job, which leaves victims out in the cold. Assisted by his short-order cook and occasional fill-in bartender, they take care of the latest mark. Except there was a problem. The person didn’t provide the standard token confirming their identity. Troubles abound as Mason becomes a target himself—who is after him?

This is the first novel by Nick that I’ve read and I guarantee it won’t be the last. With excellent characters, a laid-back manner of presenting the plot, and twists and turns galore, this is an excellent thriller!

The Last Chamber by Ernest Dempsey was set up by the first two novels in the Sean Wyatt series. Sean, along with his long-time friend Tommy Schultz, set out on their continuing quest to find the Lost Chambers. Danger lurks around every corner as they are joined by Adriana Villa, something of an enigma in her own way.  Join the as the trail lead to the Caucasus Mountains not far from Armenia as they seek a treasure thought to be hidden forever.

Just when I think I’ve been there before, Ernest adds a new twist or additional characters pop up to take the story on a separate tangent. His life-like characters, attention to detail, and superb blend of historical facts and his splendid plots means I’m always in for a treat. Highly recommended for action-adventure thriller seekers!

The Grecian Manifesto, also by Ernest Dempsey, takes us on a new adventure with Sean Wyatt and his sidekick, Tommy Shultz. Adriana Villa goes missing during her search for the Eye of Zeus and the President of the United States requests Sean’s help to find her.

However, an unknown player also seeks the Eye of Zeus and doesn’t seem to care whether Europe and the rest of the world falls into economic ruin. Will Sean and Tommy locate Adriana and recover the ancient device in time?  With new thrills on almost every page, this story will delight those who love non-stop action. I can’t say enough about Ernest’s ability to create fast-paced scenes carried out by believable characters stuck in impossible situations. Grab a copy and find out what it’s all about!

An Interview With ???

This is a new section for my blog where I’ll be interviewing various authors I’ve recently read. I hope to have the first interview posted next Sunday or the following week.

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but will also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, I ran out of time this week and didn’t come across anything new to share.

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 31, 2017

As we move into a new year, I hope everyone is blessed with better health and prosperity. Happy New Year to one and all!

My Work in Progress

This week I continued to concentrate on reciprocal reviews for those who have worked so hard on my behalf regarding Dangerous Alliance. Reviews are still coming in as readers go through the final chapters. As of yesterday evening, there were a total of 709 chapter reviews!

Books I’m Reading

Over the past two or three weeks, I’ve finished a number of novels. It’ll take a couple of weeks to get every review posted. There is one in particular I’ll mention today, as it is the debut novel of M.D. Neu, and will be released tomorrow.

MD Neu has created a credible cast of characters, leading the way with Duncan Alexander and Juliet de Exter. One of several people called to Juliet’s mansion, it turns out Duncan is the chosen one. But will he accept his calling? He can have it all, but does he want to become a vampire?

MD’s story covers all facets–love, action, suspense–as well as good and evil. Hang onto yourself and enjoy a superb ride with Duncan as he explores a new life. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

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

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

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and all the best for 2018!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 10, 2017

A golden orb hanging in a background of reds and blues sprinkles its rays across the calm waters. Quite a contrast to what’s been happening in the Caribbean and in Florida, not to mention the huge earthquake in Mexico. Let’s hope the other formed hurricanes dissipate without causing any further death and destruction. When you have a moment, please think about those who have been caught up in Mother Nature’s extreme forces.

My Work in Progress

Despite a bevy of activities to keep me busy, I finally completed chapter 23 of Dangerous Alliance and posted it to the two subscription writing sites I use. My readers are being their true selves, letting me know what works and what might need a tweak or too. One did manage to point out what definitely worked: “Wow! That ending … so stunning.”

I’ve already started the next chapter, pulling some threads together from earlier ones. As always, there might me another twist and we learn a bit more about a bumbling character introduced earlier as well as meeting a new pompous one.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

“Yes, sir.” Kim sighed. “I lost him.”

Sung stomped his foot and slammed a fist into the palm of his other hand. “How can you lose him? He’s a pathetic, dumb-witted man. You’re an intelligence officer. Are you saying he’s smarter than you?”

***

“Thank you, Supreme Leader. This makes me happy.” Why does he keep torturing me? He should give my family back.

“Do as you’re told without any further mishap.” Sung stood, signaling the end of the meeting. “You know the penalty.”

***

“You must know, as a senior official for our Supreme Leade—”

“On this ship, I am the supreme leader. You will do as I say. Or, I’ll toss you overboard.”

***

Soo nodded. I hope we don’t get sick on this floating garbage pit. “Lead on, Kim.”

“We must keep a sharp eye on the captain and is crew. There’s something—I don’t trust them.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

Last week I finished reading the sequel to Cool Blue Tomb by Paul Kemprecos. It’s called Neptune’s Eye and was every bit as good as the first story in the series. Aristotle Socarides continues his somewhat meandering approach to life while at the same time delves into a missing person case.

Just when I thought I had figured out the identity of the culprit, Paul throws another wrench into the story. As a result, Aristotle must follow new clues to bring his latest adventure to a satisfying conclusion despite various obstacles.

In my humble opinion, Paul has created a fast-paced yet easy-to-read series. I’m looking forward to reading Aristotle’s next adventure.

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, I don’t have any new links to share with you this week.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween to all who enjoy tricks or treats, young and old.

I’m afraid this will be a very short ramble this week as I’ve spent less than an hour on writing. 

On Thursday, our seven-year-old boxer, Tyson, began chemotherapy after several weeks of illness and multiple trips to the vet to determine what was wrong. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but the prognosis isn’t good–three to six months with the chemo, a matter of weeks if he doesn’t have the treatment.

Also on Thursday, our beloved FIV positive feline, Shadow, was euthanized. Since he joined us almost two years ago, we’ve made plenty of trips to our vet so he could receive the care he needed. Thursday marked the end of his fight; he was in severe pain and there was no other option but to let him go. 

Earlier this year while I was taking an online blogging course, I posted photographs of our entire four-legged family. If you want to take a peek Tyson, Shadow and all the others, here’s the link:  Shadow’s Family.

I hope to be back to my regular posts next Sunday. Regards to all.

© Copyright 2016 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

Blogging 101, Cultural Omnivore

Are You a Fashion Afficionado?

I know a lot of my fellow blogger 101 classmates are very interested in several aspects of the fashion industry. So is my son, Craig, who’s taken his interest to new heights, publishing a blog called The Cultural Omnivore.

Over the past four years, Craig has interviewed 102 individuals associated with the fashion industry, including models (male & female) and those who work behind the scenes.

Learn how careers were established, what made them successful, how they’ve branched into related areas, and more.  Check out The Cultural Omnivore at:

http://theculturalomnivore.wordpress.com