Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 1, 2022

Happy May Day! May April’s showers bring May flowers. We didn’t have a lot of rain throughout April, but the final day did bring us a steady but light rain all day. Hopefully, we’ll see the benefits soon.

An update on Sylvia’s condition. Although the consultant had anticipated Sylvia’s procedure was going to be on Tuesday, the specialist actually doing the operations told he on Monday he was heavily backlogged and would refer her to a colleague at a different hospital and she was discharged.She’s now scheduled to have the procedure this coming Tuesday, May 3rd. Fingers crossed it takes place and gives her what she needs!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Staying quiet doesn’t mean I have nothing to say, it means I don’t think you’re ready to hear my thoughts.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 1st, the first Sunday of the month:

Joseph Addison, English essayist and poet (co-founder of The Spectator); Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov, Russian poet; José Amador de los Ríos, Spanish historian and poet; José de Alencar, Brazilian writer (O Guarani); Guido Gezelle, Flemish priest and poet; Laza Lazarević, Serbian writer (Prvi put s ocem na jutrenje) and psychiatrist; Conrad Weiss, German writer and poet (Tantum dic verbo); John Evans, English cricket batsman (1 Test) and author (‘The Escaping Club’); Ignazio Silone, Italian novelist (Fontamara, Pane e vino); Antal Szerb, Hungarian author and historian; Giovannino Guareschi, Italian writer (Don Camillo, Peppone); Yiannis Ritsos, Greek poet and political activist; Joseph Heller, American novelist (Catch-22, 1963 Arts & Letters Award); Terry Southern, writer; Sergio Infante, Chilean poet and writer; and Wes Anderson, American director and writer.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Joseph Heller. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions this month:

May Mayhem: A Kindle Unlimited Promo group promo. There are 105 novels to choose from:
https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 168 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

May the First Book – Mystery Thriller Suspense group promo. There are 44 novels in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Please support author such as myself by checking out these promotions. Thank you.

My Work in Progress

Slide1As I mentioned last week, the final chapter of Ultimate Escalation was completed. I’m currently working my way through the myriad of reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use.

My manuscript received another forty-one reviews this week, bringing the total to 765.

Here’s another snippet:

The sounds of heavy traffic woke Mishka. He glanced out the window, watching a motorcycle with a family of five passing by. “You forgot to wake me.”

Bikram shook his head. “We have not yet reached Amritsar, sahib. Perhaps ten more minutes. Do you want to stop by the Golden Temple? It is the most important shrine for the Sikhs.”

“Perhaps another time. I think—” Mishka grabbed onto the door handle to steady himself as the truck rocked while passing a cluster of people on bicycles.

“Yes, sahib?”

“I think we might have to leave India in a hurry after we complete our mission.”

“Many things to visit in India, sahib. I will be happy to be your guide—for a small fee.”

Mishka laughed. “We shall see.”

Bikram turned onto a side street, packed with trucks, cars, and rickshaws. Dozens of pedestrians scooted between the vehicles, tempting fate as they headed toward their destinations. Three and four-story buildings, with stores on the ground floors, hugged both sides of the street, display stands erected on the sidewalks to attract buyers. Multi-colored signs covered the storefronts, beckoning consumers inside. Vehicle horns, people shouting and laughing, and the scent of cooking food wafted through Mishka’s window.

“One day, sahib, a ring road around Amritsar will be completed. For now, we must work our way through the outskirts of the city until we reach the road leading to Vedant’s property. From there, it is only a few kilometers.”

Twenty minutes later, Bikram made another turn onto a divided highway. Traffic heading into Amritsar was heavy, but few vehicles traveled in the outbound direction.

Bikram blew his horn and swerved to miss another motorbike bearing multiple passengers. “We will soon arrive, sahib.”

“Excellent.” Mishka studied the family clutching to one another as they sped by. “How often do those overloaded motorcycles end up in accidents.”

“Many times each day. They are a hazard but no worse than stray livestock on the streets.”

Buildings gave way to farmland as they continued out of Amritsar. Bikram pointed to the right. “See those buildings in the distance? That is where we are going.”

“Did I catch a glimpse of a sign for a business?”

“Yes, sahib. The farm is used as a getaway for people who want to escape from city life. It is closed right now, so we could use it for our purposes.” Bikram chuckled. “I am aware you will be paying the fee for all of the buildings. Did you not know this?”

Mishka pursed his lips. “Vedant did mention something about it, but we’ll take care of the finances later.”

Bikram slowed and turned onto a narrow lane. The second truck followed. “We are here, sahib. First, I will take you to one of the stone cottages where you and your men will stay. Our supporters will use two of them to make signs and banners, and those not from this area will sleep in the other two.”

“What about the big house?”

“That is where we will eat out meals and meet to discuss whatever you think is of importance.” Bikram gestured to the first cottage. “You will be in this one. In the evening, when there is a slight breeze, it is very pleasant on the rooftop terrace to enjoy a sunrise or sunset.”

Mishka laughed. “You sound like an advertising man.”

“It is my duty, sahib, to support the family.” Bikram stopped in front of the building. We shall unload your equipment before going for something to eat.”

Another snippet next week.

This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. 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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 23, 2022

It’s been another breezy, damp and dreary week–for the most part, with temperatures struggling to get to 46F/8C. There were a couple of afternoons where the sun ventured out and we took advantage both times to go for a walk in a nearby park/play area. At least we’re starting to see the days slightly extend in length! In the meantime, all we can do is make the best of it. At least the dreaded ‘s’ word is staying away!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “You decide every moment of every day who you are and what you believe in. You get a second chance every second.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 23rd, the fourth Sunday of the new year. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Friedrich von Matthison, German poet (Adelaide); Christian A. Vulpius, German novelist & dramatist (Rinaldo Rinaldini); Stendhal [Marie Henri Beyle], French writer (Le Rouge et de Noir, a Chartreuse de Parme); Herbert Bedford, English author and composer; Herbert David Croly, American author (Promise of American Life); Oton Zupancic, Slovenian poet (Zimzelen pod Snegom); Freda Utley, British scholar & author; Joseph Nathan Kane, American non-fiction writer & journalist (Famous Firsts); Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński, Polish poet (Zielona Ges); Dusan Kostic, Serbian writer; Walter M. Miller Jr., American sci-fi author (Hugo, View from Stars); Derek Walcott, Caribbean poet (Omeros), Nobel Prize for Literature 1992; Gatewood Galbraith, American author & attorney; and Elvira Lindo, Spanish writer & journalist.

Any names familiar to you? I struck out this time. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Terrifying New Year promotion, running from now until the end of January. With 118 novels available, there’s bound to me something to catch your interest.

In addition, The Kurdish Connection, Colombian Betrayal, and Mission: Angola are participating in a first-in-series promotion for mysteries and thrillers. There are sixty-four novels in this one.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I posted chapter twenty-three of Ultimate Escalation to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another seventeen reviews, bringing the total to 509. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Vladimir tilted his head. “Earlier, I started to ask about your crew when we were interrupted by the presence of the Americans.” He glanced upward. “How did you pick your crew?”

“The Russians are all experienced with the Lyre class before the submarines were decommissioned.  Rather than being trained so they could be deployed on another class, they were abandoned by the navy. Since the Iranians had already trained in Russia, it didn’t take long to provide the necessary guidance to work on the Negodyay. Of course, they aren’t involved in driving the submarine nor with the armaments.”

Chug! Chug! Chug!

“What’s that, Comrade Captain?” Wide-eyed, Mishka point toward the sound.

“Nothing to worry about. Just one of the many supertankers transiting the straits. If there was a potential for danger, the sonarman would alert us.” Pushkin chuckled as the sub shifted downward. The helmsman is adjusting our depth to ensure we won’t be involved in an accidental collision.”

Mishka kept staring upward as the sound of the tanker faded. “Do accidents happen often?”

“On occasion.” Pushkin shrugged. But not to us.”

They moved forward, stopping by the periscope station. “Would you like to take a look?” Pushkin gestured toward the controls.

“Da.” Vladimir stepped closer.

“Watch what I do.” Pushkin demonstrated, turning in a complete circle before stepping back. He tapped a control. “Hold this button if you want to focus on a particular ship.

Vladimir took over, mimicking what Pushkin showed them. “A great way to sneak up on your enemy.” Vladimir stepped aside, allowing Mishka a turn. What armaments do you carry?”

“The Negodyay has six torpedo tubes. There is storage space for eighteen to twenty torpedoes or the same number of cruise missiles. We have a mixture of both. In addition, we always carry a dozen mines.”

Vladimir pursed his lips. Can you hit an inland target?”

“Depends on the distance from the submarine. Our missiles can travel as far as six hundred sixty kilometers.”

“What if I wanted you to sink a ship?”

“Not a problem if we’re within fifteen kilometers for our torpedoes, but closer for the mines, which are usually placed in the projected path of the target.” Pushkin snapped his fingers. “Would you like a demonstration?”

“What? Here?” A grin spread across Vladimir’s face. “Da!”

Pushkin returned to the periscope and performed another search. “A perfect opportunity to cause confusion and mayhem.”

“What did you find?”

“Have a look—two Iranian patrol boats.” He stepped aside.

Vladimir scratched his head. “But what if you miss?”

Pushkin shrugged. “We acquired several American MK67 anti-ship mines a couple of years ago. We’ll use one on each boat. If any identifiable debris is found, the Americans will be blamed.”

“Captain, you’re full of surprises.” Vladimir glanced at Mishka. “What do you think?”

Mishka nodded. “Any opportunity to show America in a negative light is a good one, Vova. I say do it.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Feathers, the newest release by Blair Howard. Another riveting plot by a master storyteller.  Detective Kate Gazzara is embroiled in a  cat and mouse game with a deadly killer, who always seems to be a step ahead. As with all of Blair’s novels, this one is full of twists and turns. Combined with larger-than-life characters, this one will keep you turning the pages. Heartily recommended.

This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. 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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 24, 2021

The nights are quickly drawing in and daylight is also taking its time appearing each morning. Such is the autumn! Leaves continue to fall and there’s rain most days. Fortunately, there were a couple of dry spells, thanks to the wind, where I was able to rake up most of the leaves and deposit them in the recycling container–no burning here!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” ~ Robert Brault

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 24th, the fourth Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Alban Butler, English Catholic priest and writer; Dorothea von Schlegel, German novelist (Florentin); Sarah Josepha Hale, American author (Mary Had a Little Lamb); August von Platen, German poet; Alexandra David-Néel, Belgian-French explorer and writer; Ernest Claes, Belgian author (Saints from Zichem); Delmira Agustini, Uruguayan poet (El Libro Blanco); Bibhutibhushan Mukhopadhyay, Bengali author; Moss Hart, American playwright (You Can’t Take it With You, Act 1); Marghanita Laski, English journalist and author (Victorian chaise-lounge); Denise Levertov, American poet and essayist (Joy Beneath the Skin); Gabriel Laub, Polish writer; Yordan Radichkov, Bulgarian writer and playwright (The Tied Up Balloon); Hubert Aquin, French Canadian novelist, political activist and editor; Norman Rush, American writer (Mating); and Dale Maharidge, American author (And Their Children After Them).

Any names familiar to you? I struck out this time. 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

6 Novels

During October, Colombian Betrayal and Mission: Angola are participating in a promotion of the first books in a mystery or thriller series. I could only include two, so The Kurdish Connection missed out. There are thirty-eight books in this Kindle and paperback promotion, so why not stop by?

My first five novels are also participating in a Mystery & Suspense, Mystery & Suspense / Paranormal, and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion, which runs until the middle of November. Revenge wasn’t released in time to join this one. There are eight-one novels participating in this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest.

And, finally, Revenge is participating in a promotion for Mystery & Suspense / Suspense and Romance / Suspense books released in October and November 2021. There are nineteen to choose from.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Despite a myriad of non-writing events to take care of this week, I still managed to complete and post chapter sixteen Ultimate Escalation.  A total of twenty chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 330.

Here’s another snippet:

Admiral Blakely scanned the faces of those sitting around the table or against the back wall, smiling as he watched the mounds of food disappearing from plates almost as if by magic. Hungry group, but they did well. He cleared his throat. “As some of you surmised, we designed this exercise to test how the three full teams would function as a single unit.”

“Aye, Admiral. Trevor, Evelyn, and I expected you would try something during our conference.” He made air quotes as he said conference. “However, we didn’t expect it to happen on the first day.”

“What better way to test your abilities to work together than calling a drill right away?” He raised a finger and pointed at Gerhard and Willie. “Some of you might have been under the impression this would be a drinking competition.”

Laughter broke out as Gerhard and Willie blushed.

“An excellent lesson to show we’re never off duty, so everything in moderation.” The admiral raised his brows. “Saying that, your performance today met our expectations.”

Every team member grinned.

“We wanted a somewhat realistic scenario to test your response as well as personnel here at Bedlam. Georgia and her folks surpassed themselves in making this exercise reasonable.”

“Aye, Admiral.” CC glanced at Trevor and Evelyn. “Sir, it’s an interesting scenario, but as soon as we entered the District of Columbia, it became apparent this was an exercise. If it had been real, Bedlam-One, Hunter-One, Hunter-Two would have been challenged. Our pilot didn’t mention it, so I think we relaxed a bit. Even so, our chopper’s brush with a fake missile and the simulated crash were realistic. So was the response by the emergency personnel.”

“If I might add, Admiral, the alert notification and departure from the conference site went as one would expect.” Trevor rubbed the scar on his temple. “I won our bet—CC and Evelyn expected some type of drill tomorrow, while I thought you’d try to be clever and arrange for one today.”

“We debated over which day to proceed, knowing you’d be anticipating something. Anyway—”

Someone knocked on the door and entered. A young man handed single sheets of paper to the admiral, Sir Alex, and Harrison and departed.

The three advisors read the brief note. Sir Alex and Harrison tilted their heads toward the admiral.

“Good thing we didn’t have any injuries during your training session. Two independent sources provided the Intelligence Community with limited details of a meeting held in Dubai yesterday. Seems several former Spetsnaz personnel are expanding their private business operations.” The admiral turned to the Bedlam team leaders. “CC, Trevor, and Evelyn. Pick an individual from your respective teams—they’re heading to Dubai. Their assignment—find out what mischief former Colonel Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev and his band of misfits are planning, so we can disrupt their activity.”

He gazed at the operatives. “Keep in mind, this is a recon mission. Your rules of engagement will not include a strike against Nikolaev and his men—at least until we find out what they’re up to.”

The admiral pushed back his chair and stood while everyone jumped to their feet. “I’ll expect those names in an hour. We’ll be in my office. In the meantime, everyone else enjoy your remaining downtime. The conference is hereby cancelled. See Georgia for billeting information. That is all.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading The Lair of Anubis (The Project Book 20) by Alex Lukeman. Nick and Selena are embroiled in another battle to preserve relics from the past, this time the lost tomb of Alexander the Great.  Since I haven’t read the previous books in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed this nonstop action-packed adventure. If you haven’t read any of Alex’s books, here’s another author to check out. I’ll be heading back to the beginning of the series to find out how it all began!

That brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. 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