Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 11, 2021

We’ve been busy the past couple of days attending a small business market at the local mall. Plenty of crafts to choose from. Our table had my novels and Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets.
Over the first two days, we sold a dozen of my autographed books and fifteen of Sylvia’s poetry sheets. Needless to say, we’re happy. All being well, a few more of both will sell today!
Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

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

Robert Greene, English writer (Friar Bacon); Luis de Góngora, Spanish poet and writer; Jean-François Marmontel, French historian and writer; Thomas Bowdler, British physician and writer (Family Shakespeare); Léon Bloy, French novelist and essayist; Richard Beer-Hofmann, Austrian writer; Herman de Man [Salomon H Hamburger], Dutch writer/Radio Orange; E. B. White, American writer (Charlotte’s Web, Elements of Style), John Francis Boyd, journalist; Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, American sci-fi author (Space Lords); Cordwainer Smith, American writer; Frederick Buechner, American author; Harold Bloom, American literary critic; Pai Hsien-yung, Taiwanese writer (Taipei People); and Kentaro Miura, Japanese manga author (Berserk).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: E.B. White. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

All of my novels are participating in a gripping reads promotion, covering action & adventure, mystery& suspense, and sci-fi & fantasy/horror. There are a total of seventy-nine novels available between now and the 15th. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/grippingreadskuor99/yblerf0c6g

My Work in Progress

The editing process of Revenge is well underway. Over the past week, there were another ten new chapter reviews, bringing the total number to 721. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing and very timely with editing on the horizon.

Here’s another snippet:

Sam, Wild, and TJ grabbed empty seats and introduced themselves to Charlie.

“So, where’s the beer?” TJ picked up the pitcher, and poured the dregs into a glass and tossed it back.

Charlie glanced at each of his new team members. “How’d weapons training go?”

Paul approached with two pitchers of beer, set them on the table, and departed.

TJ filled everyone’s glass. “Not bad. I learned something new today.”

Wild laughed. “Yeah. Which end to shoot from.”

Everyone chuckled, with Javier almost choking on his beer.

“Who would’ve thought? I always figured I was right-eye dominant. At least I’ve never had an issue before with a pistol.” TJ sipped his beer and nodded at Sam and Wild. “Ask them who had a perfect score on the pistol range, including in the night-vision chamber?”

Sam grimaced. “So, my eyes don’t work as well in the dark. I’m not a cat or an owl.”

“Yeah, but you missed three times!”

“Out of sixty. But who had problems on the rifle range?”

“I still qualified.” TJ grinned and focused on Javier and Charlie. “When we hit the rifle range, I took out a target every time I shot.”

“So, what happened?” Javier glanced at Charlie. “Anything we need to be aware of?”

TJ shook his head. “Naw. At least, I don’t think so. Once we zeroized our M4s, I kept missing the targets. The instructor had me switch—I began shooting left-handed vice right-handed. Once I did that, I didn’t miss again.”

Charlie nodded. “Not a problem as far as I’m concerned. We’ll only be carrying SIG Sauers anyway. The rifle training was part of the package, and it’s always wise to understand everyone’s capabilities and shortcomings. Could make the difference between life and death.”

Paul and another waiter approached, each carrying large platters. After they passed out the plates, everyone stopped speaking as they dug into their meal.

Before long, the food had disappeared, and conversation picked up. Javier refilled everyone’s glass.

“Our flight to Hamilton will depart from BWI tomorrow afternoon. Take about two and a half hours.” Charlie looked at his team. “Be at the office by 0900, and we’ll go over the comms gear and a few other things.” He turned to Javier. “Anything else?”

Javier tapped a finger against his lips. “Nothing from me—it’s your show.” He raised his glass. “Here’s to the success of the Brusch Agency’s first contract.”

Everyone followed Javier’s lead before taking a drink.

Javier stood and pulled out his wallet.

“No worries, Javier.” Charlie waved at Javier. “We’ll stay a bit longer and become better acquainted. We’ll meet you at the office in the morning.”

Javier nodded. “Okay. Have a good evening.” He glanced toward AJ. “How about you?”

AJ grinned as she stood. “Let’s go.”

Outside on the sidewalk, Javier stopped. “Coming over or heading home?”

AJ smiled. “Nothing early planned.” She linked her arm through Javier’s. “Let’s head to your place and see what mischief we can get into.”

Javier pulled her close. “Sounds promising.”

They both laughed as they set off.

***

A man wearing a Yankees’ baseball hat slid down in his seat as Javier and AJ passed. Enjoy your evening. You’ll get what you deserve soon enough. He made a pistol with his thumb and index finger and pulled the trigger. We’ll have our revenge.

More next time.

In 2019-2020, I posted the first seven chapters of Ultimate Escalation on the two subscription writing sites I use, receiving 101 chapter reviews.Slide1

All seven chapters have been revised and reposted. So far, the they’ve received seventy-six chapter reviews. Excellent suggestions to further tweak the story and fix a few typos.

In addition, I’ve almost completed the next installment, chapter eight. It’ll be posted this coming week.

Once I pull Revenge from the two writing sites, I’ll also stop posting snippets here and begin with ones from Ultimate Escalation.

Books I’m Reading

I need to dash to the final day of the small business market, so a book review will have to wait until next week.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing and reading. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 13, 2021

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

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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

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

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

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

Any names familiar to you? I’m certainly aware of Yeats. While most of us might not know Burt, we can certainly are familiar with his creation. Where would writers be today without the typewriter and later the computer?  Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

Here’s this week’s snippet:

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

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

Everyone chuckled.

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

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

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

“Sure thing.” TJ took the remaining seat.

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

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

Sindee shook her head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More next time.

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

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

Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev, a disgraced Spetnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

Books I’m Reading

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

Once again David has weaved a superb plot, filled with plenty of twists and turns. Who did the Templars really worship and how did they become so powerful? Is David’s alternative to historical facts the truth? You’ll have to pick up a copy and make your own decisions. In any event, you’ll find this an excellent page turner. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing and reading. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 6, 2021

The past week has seen plenty of sunshine, with cloudy skies most days. However, predictions of rain weren’t realized. Some of the ground became so dry I had to do some watering so we didn’t lose any plants, but the grass continues to grow, so I couldn’t skip mowing.

Today’s no exception–we’re off to a brilliant start to the day. I hope it continues, although there are already hints of water shortages despite the very wet winter and spring.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye.” ~ Plato

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 6th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Pierre Corneille, French poet and dramatist (El Cid, Horace); Cornelis Loots, Dutch accountant and poet (Dwingelandij); Alexander Pushkin, Russian writer and poet (Eugene Onegin); Eliza Orzeszkowa, Polish novelist (Dziurdziowie); Steele MacKaye [James Morrison Steele MacKaye], American playwright and actor (Spectatorium, Paul Kauvar); Gerben Postma [Ids], Frisian writer (Swealtsjeblommen); William Inge, English author, theologist and Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral; Henry John Newbolt, English poet and author (Studies Green & Gray); Paul Keller, German writer (Ferien vom Ich); Thomas Mann, German novelist (Magic Mountain-Nobel 1929); Dorothy Heyward, American playwright (Porgy); Violet Trefusis, English writer and socialite who had a famous affair with writer Vita Sackville-West; R. C. Sherriff, English playwright (Journey’s End); Tom Scott, Scottish poet (Sea Dirge: A Mither’s Keenin); V. C. Andrews, American author (Flowers in the Attic); Bogusław Schaffer, Polish composer and playwright; Viktor Konetsky, Russian screenwriter; Lasse Hallström, Swedish writer and director (Once Around, My Life as a Dog, ABBA); Harvey Fierstein, playwright (Torch Song Trilogy, ID4); Cynthia Rylant, American author; François Avard, Canadian writer and scenarist; and Sarah Dessen, American author.

Any names familiar to you? None stood out for me, but that’s not unusual. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

 

The 2020 Chanticleer International Book Awards finals ceremony was held last night. I’m please to announced Colombian Betrayal was selected as one of seven First in Category winners in the Global Thrillers category. Needless to say, I’m absolutely thrilled!

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

I’ve had another writing frenzy this week, completing chapters forty-two through forty-five of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. All are now posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Only one more chapter to go, and then editing will begin.

Over the past week, there were another thirty-four new chapter reviews, bringing the total number  to 648. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing.

Here’s this week’s snippet:

After dusk set, Bennie and Justin headed to the basement. Both wore clown masks. One of them flicked on the dim light, and they thundered down the stairs.

Heidi bolted upright, keeping the chair between her and the two men. “Stay away from me!”

“Relax, princess.” Justin stepped closer, a cloth in his hand. “We’re going to take a little ride.”

Heidi rushed to a corner of the room, pressing her back against the wall. “Don’t come any closer or I’ll—”

“You’ll what?” Bennie pointed at the ceiling. “Sound-suppression tiles. While someone upstairs might hear you, no one outside this building will.” He grinned. “You belong to us.”

Heidi jerked away as Bennie tried to grab her hand. She swung a fist, catching him on the side of his mouth. “Bastard!” She stepped forward, thrusting a knee into his groin.

He collapsed to the floor, hands covering his wounded parts.

Before Heidi realized where the other clown was, Justin grabbed her in a bear hug. He worked the cloth into Heidi’s mouth before pinning her against the wall.

“Help me, Bennie!” Justin grabbed one of Heidi’s hands and wrenched it behind her back. “Quit playing with yourself and help tie her up.”

“But she kneed me. It hurts like hell!”

“Just help me.” Justin grabbed Heidi’s hair and slammed her forehead into the wall.

She dropped like a stone.

***

The rocking of a vehicle brought Heidi out of her stupor. She moaned as she struggled against her bonds, eventually freeing herself from the loosely-tied rope. Where are they taking me? Need to wait for a chance to escape.

The car slowed and turned to the right, continuing along a rut-filled road.

Heidi bounced a few times against the trunk’s roof. “Ow!”

A few minutes later, the vehicle stopped. Two doors slammed.

Footsteps drew near.

Heidi tensed.

The trunk opened. Hands reached inside and yanked her out, dumping her onto the ground.

Both men laughed.

One waved a gun. “Get up, princess. Time to go.”  He gestured toward a copse. “We’re gonna have some fun.”

Heidi pretended to stumble as she followed a narrow path along the edge of a lake. When one of them grabbed her, she lashed out, catching the man in the kneecap.

“Get out of the way, Bennie! She’s gonna escape!”

Heidi ran through the thick trees. “Help! Rape!”

A shot echoed across the water. “Come back, bitch!”

Another shot.

Heidi screamed and lurched forward.

Justin stood over her, the pistol aimed at her head. “You’re mine.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

With all of the writing this week, I didn’t finish the novel I’m currently reading. All being well, I’ll present my review next time.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing and reading. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day to all those celebrating today in the United States, Canada, and other countries around the world. Enjoy your special day!

Well, Mother Nature decided the rain and hail we’ve experienced, along with cool temperatures over the past week weren’t enough. In some parts of Scotland there was snow this week. While we didn’t have any in our area, we could see it on the distant hills. Hopefully, the white stuff is finished for now and we’ll see things improve. Certainly hope so!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Smile like you’ve never cried, fight like you’ve never lost, love like you’ve never been hurt, and live like you’ll die tomorrow.”

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

Dante Alighieri, Italian poet and author (Dante’s Inferno, Divina Commedia); John Wolcot, English satirist (Peter Pindar); Johannes Cornelis de Jonge, Dutch historian and archivist; August Pauly, German writer (Real Encyclopedia); J.M. [James Matthew] Barrie, Scottish novelist and playwright (Peter Pan); Lucian Blaga, Romanian philosopher and poet (Dogmatic Aeon); Walter Dehmel, German writer; Eleanor Estes, author (Ginger Pye, Moffats); Baldur von Schirach, German writer/nazi politician (Frame); Josef Muller-Brockmann, graphic designer/writer; Richard Adams, English author (Watership Down); William Tenn, American author; Mona Van Duyn, American poet; Bulat S Okudzjava, Russian author (Student!); Jean J A Girault, French director/screenwriter (l’Amour); Gavin Lyall, British author (Conduct of Major Maxim, The Secret Servant); Alan Bennett, England, playwright/actor (Secret Policeman’s Other Ball); Roger Hargreaves, English author and illustrator of children’s books (Mr. Men and Little Miss); Charles Simic Yugoslavian-born poet, 15th Poet Laureate of the United States; Joy Harjo, American poet and musician (first Native American US Poet Laureate 2019-); and Skye Regan, Canadian Actress and Writer.

Were any names familiar to you? While I didn’t know the names of the authors, I certainly spotted several works I knew. I’ve certainly heard of Dante’s Inferno, Peter Pan, Watership Down, Mr. Men, and Little Miss.  Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

My novels are once again appearing in a monthly Bookfunnel promotion for mystery & suspense, legal and mystery & suspense, and political thrillers. If you get a chance, why not stop by the promotion (click here) and see what’s available. I’m sure I speak for the other authors when I say thank you!

My Work in Progress

This week I completed chapters thirty-three and thirty-four of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Its now posted on the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’m not sure yet, but I think there’ll be forty-five chapters when the first draft is completed.

Over the past week, there were another thirty-three new chapter reviews, bringing the total number of chapter reviews to 556. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing.

Here’s this week’s snippet:

“I’m heading upstairs for a bit. I dropped a load of my personal stuff off this morning before going to the restaurant, but want to get it stored in a closet. The movers are supposed to bring my furniture and the rest of my belongings tomorrow.”

Elton raised his hand. “How long do you want us to hang around today?”

“As long as it takes to square away your area, ET.” He handed a Sam’s Club card to him. “I want you and Sindee to take a trip and pick up whatever we need. If they don’t have it, figure out who does and will get things arranged.” He turned to Bruno. “I’m sure you’ll have an idea of what you’ll require in the IT arena.” He held out a black American Express card. “Use this.”

“We’re on it, boss,” Elton, Sindee, and Bruno chimed.

Javier laughed. “I’ll be upstairs.”

***

Climbing up the stairs to his new home, Javier walked from room to room. With two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen/diner, and a bathroom, the top-floor accommodation was perfect. I’ll use one of the bedrooms as a private office, so I don’t have to traipse downstairs during the night.

Javier sat on the sole piece of furniture. The chair creaked under his weight. As he stood to adjust the cushion, his phone rang. “Hello?”

“Hey, Javier. Zorkin here. I got the first group of background checks back from the FBI. Everything’s fine.”

Javier grinned.  “Excellent. So nothing showed up to cause any concern?”

“Not a thing.”

“Perfect. The first three are working downstairs now. I want to task Cesar with keeping an eye on AJ without her finding out. I know she can look after herself, but I’ll feel better.”

“Anything particular you’re worried about?”

“No, but something is sending shivers up my arms when I think about her—especially after that incident with the truck.”

“Understand. Listen, I gotta run. I’ll be back to you as soon as the other background checks come in.”

“Thanks again, Brian.” Javier broke the connection and headed downstairs.

***

A man wearing sunglasses sat in a black Ford F150 across the street from Brusch Investigations. He shuffled through the photos he took earlier when Javier and his employees arrived. “Excellent. Decent facial shots of each one. Need to find out where they live—perhaps some pressure to force one of them to let us inside.”

He started the engine and pulled into the sparse traffic, a grin spreading across his face. “Boom!”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

Due to unforeseen real life activities, I didn’t do much extra reading this week. I hope to provide a review of another David L. Golemon novel next time.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 2, 2021

April’s showers are still falling in the early part of May. Although temperatures are slightly below normal, we’re seeing a benefit–trees are greening up (except the acer trees, which have red leaves), flowers are popping out, and we’ve even had to cut the grass!

We’re thinking about turning one grassy area (which isn’t doing too well because of large trees from adjacent properties limiting the sunlight) into a wildflower meadow. Not sure if this’ll work, but we’ll probably give it a try. Otherwise, the area will eventually be covered with artificial grass.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.” ~ Mary Kay

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

William Camden, English historian (Brittania, Annales); John Galt, Scottish novelist (Annals of the Parish); Abram Sanders Piatt, American farmer, publisher, poet, politician, and Brigadier General (Union Army); Jerome K. Jerome, English writer (The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow); Clyde Fitch, American playwright; G. G. van der Hoeven, Dutch editor-in-chief (NRC newspaper); Gottfried Benn, Ger; man poet and essayist; Hedda Hopper [Elda Furry], American gossip columnist; E. E. Smith, American food engineer and sci-fi author (Triplanetary); Alfred Kurella, German author and functionary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in East Germany; Peggy Bacon, American author and illustrator (Off With Their Heads); Jef Last, Dutch poet and writer; Lev Lunts, Russian writer (Outside the Law, City of Truth); Willi Bredel, German writer; Axel Springer, German newspaper magnate (Bild Zeitung); Marten Toonder, Dutch comic writer and cartoonist (Tom Puss); Otto Buchsbaum, Austrian writer and ecological activist; A. M. Rosenthal, American journalist and newspaper editor (NY Times); Jamal Abro, Sindhi writer; Phil Bruns, American actor and writer (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman – “George Shumway”); Maury Allen, American sportswriter and columnist (New York Post); Gisela Elsner, German writer (Die Riesenzwerge, Rowohlt); Lorenzo Music, American writer, actor and voice actor (Carlton-Rhoda, Garfield); and Franz Innerhofer, Austrian writer (Beautiful Days).

Were any names familiar to you? I didn’t spot any I know.  Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

My novels are once again appearing in a monthly Bookfunnel promotion for mystery & suspense, legal and mystery & suspense, and political thrillers. If you get a chance, why not stop by the promotion (click here) and see what’s available. I’m sure I speak for the other authors when I say thank you!

My Work in Progress

This week I completed chapter thirty-two of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Its now posted on the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’m not sure yet, but I think there’ll be forty-five chapters when the first draft is completed.

Over the past week, there were another twenty-nine new chapter reviews, bringing the total number of chapter reviews to 523. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing.

Here’s this week’s snippet:

Alberto whacked Bennie across the face. “Estúpido! I didn’t tell you to follow them. You’re not trained in surveillance.” He glared at Bennie and stomped to his seat. “They could have heard you when you shouted, ‘Alberto, I found them!’”

Bennie’s head dropped to his chest as he gazed at the floor. “I-I did what I thought was right. You wanted me to find them.”

Alberto squeezed his hand into a fist. “Yes. But why didn’t you pay some kid on the street to find out where they went instead of doing it yourself? I gave you enough money.” Perhaps I made a mistake pulling him from the collapsed building and bringing him with me.

“I didn’t think.”

“You got that right. In the future, do just what I tell you and nothing else. Remember, Allah is judging us.” He gestured to the table. A small parcel wrapped in brown paper and tied with string sat in the center. “Keep taking photos of the targets from a distance. There’s more cash in the package—use it to hire two or three locals who know how to follow people. No more amateur stunts.”

“Yes, Alberto.” He reached for the parcel.

“Start moving your equipment to our new property. The address is written on the bottom of the package. Don’t return here—Walter will be the only one still using this location.”

Bennie nodded as he picked up the parcel. “I won’t let you down, Alberto.”

“I know you won’t.” Or you’ll meet Allah sooner than you expect.

***

Walter stopped and glanced at the house. He returned inside and headed to the living room. I’ll open the curtains—make it seem like someone’s up. Otherwise, the nosy neighbors might stop by again to see if everything is okay.

He returned to the vehicle and drove in a practiced manner, obeying all speed limits and traffic signs until he pulled into the storage facility.

Inside his medium-sized storage unit, he closed the roll-up door and turned on a flashlight.  He checked the labels on the myriad containers and crates until he located what he wanted.

Once he loaded the acetone, hydrogen peroxide, and sulphuric acid into the van, he wrapped each of the six bottles in foam padding and secured them in an upright position with elastic luggage straps. Satisfied, he began the journey home, stopping at a Burger King along the way.

Two hours later, Walter headed to the basement where he had set up his laboratory. The Americans are their own worst enemy. Everything I need to make my bombs was easy to obtain.  The hard part is not blowing myself up.

He used an oval metal animal-feeding trough to mix his ingredients. Taking his time, he didn’t want to repeat the disaster of his first training session in making triacetone triperoxide, when he lost two fingers on his left hand.

Finished, Walter moved to one of the portable workbenches, where a section of metal pipe rested between two vises. He marked equal lengths and used a hacksaw to make the outer shells of his bombs.

He smiled. My favorite weapons—which will bring death to the infidels.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been on a roll reading novels by David L. Golemon. I just finished Event: An Event Group Thriller. Whether you believe in the UFO crash near Roswell in 1947, it’s a great setting for Department 5656 to be embroiled in a new mission. This time, not one but two spaceships are involved, with one of them carrying death–the Destroyer.

David’s Event Group fights to almost the last man and woman to save mankind. Or do they? This is a fast-action story with plenty of twists and excellent characters, both human and extraterrestrial. If you’re like me, you’ll be burning the proverbial midnight oil to find out what happens. I’m looking forward to reading more of David’s work in the days to come.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 10, 2021

It’s been a crazy start to the new year, with plenty of cold weather (at least for here) with enough snow I had to get out of snow shovel for the first time since the 2017-18 winter. While not enough of the white stuff to slow things down, it still made a mess.

Today, we’re back to more seasonal temperatures, with a 2C (about 36F) beginning. Of course, with that, the cloud cover is back–looks like we could end up with some rain later today.  At least the cats are happy as they didn’t seem to like the snow much.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 10th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, German writer & composer; Aubrey de Vere, Irish poet & critic (Victorian Observer); John Dalberg, Baron Acton, English historian (“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”); Peter J. Blok, Dutch historian (History of the Dutch People); Walter Travis, Australian-American golfer, writer, course designer (US Amateur C’ship 1900-01, 03; British Amateur 1904); Enrica Freiin von Handel-Manzetti, Austrian poet & writer (Jesse & Maria); Aleksei Tolstoi, Russian poet/writer (Pjotr Peroyj); Robinson Jeffers, American poet & playwright (Tamar & Other Poems, Medea); Dumas Malone, American historian (Jefferson & His Time); Reginald Denham, English writer & director (Obsession, The Bad Seed); Tjalie Robinson [Jan Boon], Dutch East Indies writer and journalist (Tong Tong); Claude Gallimard, French publisher; Ingeborg Drewitz, German writer & academic; Philip Levine, American poet; Peter Barnes, English writer; Stephen E. Ambrose, American historian (Band of Brothers); ared Carter, American poet; David Horowitz, American author & political commentator; William Levy, American writer; George Alec Effinger, American sci-fi author (Nick of Time); and Antonio Muñoz Molina, Spanish writer (Royal Spanish Academy).

Anyone familiar to you? I’m sure most people have heard of Tolstoi. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

All four of my published novels are participating in a Book Funnel promotion to kick off the new year. It’s called Welcome to 2021 – A New Chapter. Why not click and check out the 124 novels on offer? You might find someone new to read. This promotion ends on January 15, so don’t delay!

My Work in Progress

I’m off to a good start in 2021 with the completion of chapter twenty of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. It’s been posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use, and I’ve picked up a couple of new readers.. There were another twelve new reviews, bringing the total number of chapter reviews to 317. Plenty of useful suggestions to improve my writing.

Here’s this week’s snippet:

Walter pushed a shopping cart through the aisles of the home improvement store. Ticking items off a mental list, he purchased metal pipe and caps, nails, and a stack of plywood sheets and decking boards. He finished with a stop in the tool section, selecting hammers, pliers, a hacksaw, and a saw for cutting the wood.

As he headed toward the check-out area, he stopped at an aisle he hadn’t visited. Better grab some paint and brushes, too. Glad I convinced Alberto to keep the property in Culpepper. Perfect for making my toys.

After securing everything in the windowless, gray van provided by Alberto’s fixer, Walter drove across the street to a competitor’s store. Once again, he filled a shopping cart with his necessities: ball bearings, an electric saw, a grinder, a drill, a pipe threader, four rolls of Duct tape and two twenty-five-pound bags of fertilizer. As with his first stop, he paid for everything with cash.

Back on the highway, he drove within the legal speed limit, arriving at their temporary shelter in an hour. After hauling everything inside, he parked the van in the lean-to garage. Tomorrow, I’ll pick up the fireworks and an additional cell phone.

***

Armed with several cameras and a cooler, Bennie spent the day camped outside the property where Javier lived. He routinely took photos of pedestrians entering the building and vehicles using the underground garage.

Every hour, Bennie switched his location, sometimes using his blue Chevrolet Camaro, and other times on foot, acting like a tourist. No sign of him. Where is he?

Toward the end of the day, he lost his patience and entered the lobby carrying a package. “Excuse me. Do you know where I might find a …” Bennie glanced at the parcel. “Colonel Javier Smith. He needs to sign for this package.”

The security guard chuckled. “You missed him. He left an hour ago. Said he’d be back in a day or two. I can sign for the package and keep it for him if you like.”

Bennie shook his head. “Thanks, but I’ll return in a couple of days. This is a surprise for him, so I want to place it in his hands and get his photo.”

After leaving the building, he returned to his car. Before departing, he placed a call. “Missed him—not sure where he went. A guard said he’d be back in a couple of days.”

Alberto slammed a fist on the table, upsetting his cup of tea. “Find him, Bennie. I don’t care what you must do, but find him!”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I finished reading another book this week, but didn’t get a chance to gather my thoughts. So, next week, I hope to offer up two reviews.

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 20, 2020

Mother Nature decided we needed more rain over the past week, so it’s been damp and gloomy. One bright spot has been the myriad of Christmas lights strung along the fronts and windows of homes in the area, bringing some cheer to everyone. While it would be nice to have a white Christmas, it doesn’t appear to be in the cards.

Beginning next week, I’ll be adding a section to my blog to introduce different authors to you. Hopefully, you will find this of interest. I plan on just one a week, although to kick this a few moments ago:

“The best feeling in the world is knowing that you actually mean something to someone.” (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/)

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 20th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Paulus Melissus, humanist Neo-Latin writer, translator, and composer; John Fletcher, Jacobean playwright; Pieter Cornelis Boutens, Dutch poet, classicist, and mystic (Voices, Carmina); Kan’ichi Asakawa, Japanese author & historian; T. F. Powys, British novelist & short-story writer (Captain Patch, Goat Green); J. Van Oudshoorn [Jan Koos Feylbrief], Dutch writer (Maze of Senses); Hortense Calisher, American novelist (Arts & Letters 1967); Aziz Nesin, Turkish writer & humorist; Errol John, Trinidadian actor & playwright (A Man from the Sun, The Nun’s Story, Assault on a Queen); Jean Carnahan, US politician and writer ; Gernot Wolfgruber, Austrian writer; Peter May, Scottish novelist and scriptwriter; Sandra Cisneros, American writer; and Nalo Hopkinson, Jamaican-born Canadian writer.

Anyone familiar to you? I’m afraid I struck out. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

The Kindle versions of three of my novels are currently on sale for .99 cents or the equivalent throughout the month as part of a Christmas Stocking Promotion. If you haven’t picked up a copy, now is the time to do it. Better yet, get some for yourself and your friends and family! There are thirty-eight books choose from, so why not drop in?

My Work in Progress

This week I completed chapter seventeen of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. There were another eleven new reviews this week, bringing the total number of chapter reviews to 282!

Here’s another snippet:

When Javier entered Virtue Feed & Grain at four p.m., he found the Snakes sipping beers at the regular table. Tucked under his arm, his laptop, which he had retrieved from his condo.

As he sat, someone shoved a beer at him. “Better hurry up, Javier. You’re a beer down, and it’s your round.”

He placed his laptop on the table, took a sip of his drink, and smacked his lips. “Just what I needed after last night.” He provided details of the break-in. “Anyway, I’ve started the ball rolling to set up my agency. A friend of mine will be expediting as much of the paperwork as possible.”

“Wouldn’t be AJ, by any chance?” Charlie nudged Javier’s shoulder. “I’m sure she’d help.”

“Didn’t ask her—she has enough going on, so I contacted an old buddy. We played football together at West Point. Now he’s a captain in the Virginia State Police.”

Charlie leaned back in his chair. “Oh, friends in high places!”

“Well, I got enough friends in low places.” Javier maintained a straight face as he glanced at each of the Snakes.

Everyone laughed.

“On a more serious note, remember that photographer from last night? He sent an email with attachments to the address I gave him.” Javier opened his laptop and booted. When it was ready, he pulled up the email:

Enjoy your remaining days on this earth. Check out the attachments and meet your new friends.

“There are six photos of beheadings—five men and a woman.” Javier ground his teeth. “I’m gonna need your help—AJ’s, too. We need to find out who’s behind this and turn the tables.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently started reading a British crime series by Wes Markin. This is a dark and compelling series, pitting the police against serial killers.

The first in the series is One Last Prayer for the Rays. What turns an entire family into one steeped in violence? DCI Michael Yorke and his team are certainly put to the test to find out who is behind a series of evil crimes. Wes has created a fast-paced plot that has the police questioning their own beliefs as they search for clues.

This series isn’t for the faint-hearted as the gruesome details might seem over the top. However, they work well with the story. This is definitely one which will keep you turning the pages as you urge the police to find the culprits and bring them to justice.

On a different note, I also finished reading The Atlantis Stone (The Stone Collection Book 1) by Nick Hawkes. Set in Australia, the story involves Felicity, who is researching the ‘mahogany ship,’ a wreck sighted on the beach by early white Australians. Before long, she meets Benjamin, an indigenous Australian, through their joint love of diving. Together, and with help from others, they begin a quest to solve historic mysteries.

Nick has created an excellent plot and the story is filled with colorful characters and it won’t take long for you to find yourself wrapped up in the tale as it unfolds. This is the first of Nick’s stories I’ve read and it definitely won’t be the last!

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 29, 2020

For those who celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you had a safe yet enjoyable day.

With just the two of us, we didn’t do anything special for a meal. However, I still watched the traditional Detroit Lions football game. Unfortunately, Houston had the upper hand, and things didn’t bode well for Detroit, which lost the game. Another casualty was the coach–fired yesterday. Hopefully, someone new can turn the team around.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 29th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Bale, English bishop and anti-catholic playwright (Kynge Johan); Charles Scribani, IFlemish jesuit and author; Catharina Questiers, Dutch poet (Friend of Abandoned Child); Carlo Innocenzo Fragoni, Italian poet; Voltaire [Francois-Marie Arouet], French writer, philosopher and playwright (Candide); Petrus Augustus de Génestet, Dutch vicar and poet; Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cornish novelist and editor (The Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900); Franz Hessel, German writer; Harold Nicolson, English diplomat and author (Good Behaviour); Jim Bishop, American journalist and author (The Day Lincoln was Shot); Elizabeth George Speare, American author (The Witch of Blackbird Pond); Christopher Tolkien, British author and son of J. R. R. Tolkien; Marilyn French, American author (The Women’s Room); Richard Marcinko, American author; and Alec Brownstein, American author, director.

Anyone familiar to you? I think most people might have heard of Voltaire. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

To celebrate the holidays, the Kindle version of Colombian Betrayal is now $0.99 until the end of the year before it returns to the normal price of $4.99.  It’ll be part of a month-long BookFunnel promotion, beginning on December 1st. There are at least thirty-six novels  from various author included in this promotion, so watch for the link in an upcoming post. Who know, perhaps one or two of my award-winning novels, might appear!

Colombian Betrayal is also available in an audio version through Amazon and iTunes, so if you prefer to list to your stories, why not check it out!

My Work in Progress

This week I finished chapter fifteen of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. It’s now posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Seems like a few people were up for reading this week, with the number of chapter reviews increasing by twenty-two to 253! Most were from regular reviewers, but there’s a couple of new ones, too.

I’ll provide another snippet next week.

Books I’m Reading

I recently received an advance copy of Blair Howard’s new release, Dangerous Games (The Peacemaker Book 2). The action ramps up from the first page and doesn’t let up. Join Albert Westward (AKA Nero) as he’s once again involved in a Jack O’Neil mission to take on the Peacemakers. Blair’s done it again with a riveting plot, plenty of realistic characters, and plenty of excitement. Thriller aficionados will delight with another super story from a master storyteller. Can’t wait for the next one in the series! Well done, Blair!

That’s all for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers (or soon-to-be) in the U.S. Canada Mexico, Australia New Zealand. A belated happy Mother’s Day to those in the UK and Ireland. Hope I haven’t let anyone out!  Enjoy your special day.

We finally had some decent rain last night. The ground really needed it as cracks were beginning to appear where things had dried out. We have a breeze coming from the north so the temperature is much colder than yesterday, with more rain in the forecast. At least I won’t have to get the hose and watering can out to take care of the plants I’ve moved around this week!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 10th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann Peter Hebel, German writer (Allemannische Gedichte); Jacques-Nicolas-Augustin Thierry, historian; James Gordon Bennett Jr., American publisher; Benito Pérez Galdós, Spanish novelist (Episodios Nacionales); Jan Kalf, literary/art historian (Preservation of museums); Ivan Cankar, Slavs author (Hlapec Jernej-Njegova Pravica); Fritz von Unruh, German writer; Karl Barth, Swiss theologian/author (Action in Waiting); Olaf Stapleton, British religious sci-fi writer (Star Maker); Jacobus C Bloem, Dutch poet (Sintels); Ariel Durant, writer (Story of Civilization); Anatole Litvak, Russian-born American film director, writer and producer (Mayerling, Anastasia, The Snake Pit); Bel Kaufman, American author (Up the Down Staircase); Monica Dickens, British author and founder of the Samaritians in the US; Nayantara Sahgal, Indian author; Ettore Scola, Italian director and screenwriter (A Special Day); Barbara Taylor Bradford, author; Caroline Cooney, American author; Thomas Tessier, American author; on Ronson, British journalist and author; and John Scalzi, American writer.

Recognize anyone? The only name I was familiar with was Barbara Taylor Bradford. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

Three of my novels continue to participate in a May Kindle Unlimited promotion: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks. There are a total of 384 KU works included in the promotion.

Continue reading “Randall’s Ramblings, May 10, 2020”