Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 14, 2019

It’s been another week of mixed weather–sun, clouds, and rain, but the temperature is gradually creeping up, with the past four days being in the low 70s (F/20s C). Outdoor chores continued, as they will throughout the decent weather. The biggest one this week was power washing the block paving on the driveway. Still have to add sand to fill in the gaps around the bricks, but that’ll be taken care of this week.

A few more plants were added, primarily in pots around the front door. It’s looking great with all the colors!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 14th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Caspar Abel, German theologian, historian, and poet; John Douglas, Scottish Anglican bishop and man of letters; Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin, Russian poet; Mordecai Manuel Noah, American writer, journalist; John G Lockhart, [Scorpion], biographer (Life of Sir Walter Scott); Gertrude Bell, British archaeologist and writer (Desert & The Sown); Owen Wister, American novelist (Virginian); Frank Raymond Leavis, British literary critic (Culture & Environment); Irving Stone, American author (Love is Eternal, Lust for Life); Chaim Raphael, English Jewish scholar and novelist; Northrop Frye, Canadian literary critic; Natalia Ginzburg, Italian author (Family dictionary); Leon Garfield, English children’s author; Frances Lear, Woman’s magazine publisher (Lears); George E. Slusser, American scholar and writer; Susan Howatch, English author; Maulana Karenga, American author and activist; L. Brent Bozell, American author and activist; Joe Keenan, American screenwriter, television producer and novelist; Phil Rosenthal, American newspaper columnist; Brian Selznick, American author and illustrator; and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, English actress, writer and director (Fleabag).

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many recognizable names for me. 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

My online book tour continued through its second week as scheduled. If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/previous/2 and scroll to the bottom of the page.

DA Blue RibbonI also received the blue ribbon for Dangerous Alliance’s finish as one of seven First in Category winners in the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards. It was quite a thrill to open the package and find the ribbon signifying an outstanding achievement in my short fiction-writing career.

In addition to the ribbon, there were several additional prizes, all of which I’ll use to further enhance the promotion and marketing of my work. I’m already planning to submit a novel for the 2019 competition!

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet for you:

Both calls finished, Koh spoke first. “My contact stated the English woman is still at the same location, at least for now. Not sure if they’re planning to move her. He didn’t say, but he made me wonder.”

Noah nodded. “I reached someone named Johnathan Wong. He said the usual spot at eleven a.m. What does he mean?”

Koh chuckled. “Jurong Bird Park. He’s fanatical about birds. He loves to visit the Lory Loft and feed the lories and lorikeets.”

“What are they?”

“Small to medium sized parakeets. Beautiful colors.” Koh tapped the side of his head. “He’s a bit, I guess unique in how he views the world, but he’s harmless. He’s a superb source because so many people dismiss him, but he has excellent recall. Can even mimic their voices.”

***

Johnathan switched to a raspy voice. “The man said this was the first stage and more attacks are coming.”

“Did he mention any details, such as where or when?”

Johnathan shook his head and shoulders, spilling some of the birdseed. “No, but he said someone named Musa Ramen, would be pleased. I’m not sure of Ramen, it might be something else, but similar.” Johnathan smiled. “Did I do okay?”

Koh patted him on the shoulder. “Yes, you did. I’ll check back in a couple of days.”

After they left, Noah turned to Koh. “Does the name mean anything to you?”

“No.” Koh shook his head. “But I believe he’s given us a clue. One of the leaders of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah lives on a nearby island. His name is Musa Rahmet.”

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, although still at a slow pace. Chapter seventeen was posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. To date, the novel has received 223 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent recommendations to choose from!

I’ve started the next chapter and hope to have it ready over the next few days.

In the meantime, Michael and I are moving forward with Xavier Sear: Angola. The first angolan cole-revised3draft of chapter four has been completed. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication.

It’s very interesting collaborating on a series such as this. While Angola was originally to be book one, Michael came up with an excellent idea to create a different beginning to the series, introducing Sear as a Clean Cut Kid. More to follow as we continue with this new journey.

Books I’m Reading

I just finished reading Victoria, the latest novel in the Lt. Kate Gazzara series by Blair Howard. Kate and her new partner, Janet, are tasked to identify the killer of a wealthy woman. Before long, two others are killed by the same individual. Coupled with Kate’s normal problems with Deputy Chief Finkle, she has more on her plate to deal with.

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one doesn’t disappoint. With realistic characters, a riveting plot, and plenty of twists and turns, this is a fantastic story which should be a must read for all who enjoy crime stories. Can’t wait for the next one!

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, July 7, 2019

The weather continued to be decent this past week, so outdoor chores were the primary focus. The builder completed stage one in the back yard, and it looks fantastic.  I also continued painting the fences, and things are coming together. We also shifted some plants around. One area is now covered primarily with rhodedenrons, while another is filled with lupins. Still plenty more to do.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 7th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Albert Vandal, French earl/historian (Le Pacha Bonneval); Ludwig Ganghofer, German writer; Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer; Robert A[nson] Heinlein, American sci-fi author (4 Hugos, Red Planet); Helene Johnson, American Harlem Renaissance poet; Harriette Arnow, novelist (Dollmaker); Margaret Walker Alexander, poet/novelist (For My People); Yvonne Mitchell, writer (Johnny Nobody, Genghis Khan); Reinhard Baumgart, German writer and critic; Hasan Abidi, Pakistani journalist and poet; David Eddings, American sci-fi author (Belgariad, Malloreon); Howard Rheingold, American author; Jason R. Rich, American writer (Celebrity Teen Talk); and Jeff VanderMeer, American writer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit, there weren’t many recognizable names for me. 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

My online book tour began on June 25th as scheduled. During the first week, I picked up over eighty new followers and one hundred twenty-eight people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. At one point, The Kurdish Connection was #23 for terrorism thrillers in Australia and 888 in the U.S.

If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet:

Noah exited the elevator and located Koh’s home. He unlocked the door and whistled at the luxurious decor. “Wonder how Koh made enough money for this place.”

He walked through the apartment, the straps of his backpack thrown over a shoulder. A mixture of taupe, mauve, peach, cream, gray, muted blues, and purples featured throughout the four-bedroom home. Downlighters and chandeliers highlighted the accent chrome features and decorative mirrors. Each room seemed to make a statement, whether it was a rare oriental carpet or a centered piece of artwork. A hint of sage permeated the air.

Noah collapsed onto a sofa in the sunken living room. The sudden movement made his head throb again, and he cursed. He spotted a remote and turned on the television. A local news channel presenter gave a recap of the rocket attack. “Balagan (a mess)!” He shook his head. “These terrorists must be captured before the situation worsens. They’ve been successful once, which will encourage them to escalate their attacks.”

He muted the television and pulled his laptop out of his bag. Using his satellite phone, he made a secure connection.

To: Skylark

From: Petrel

Sorry for delay in providing an update. Wild visit so far. Involved in a shoot-out with unknown individuals when heading to the survivor’s location. Received a graze and spent an evening in the hospital. Returned to hotel room and found it ransacked. Now staying at ISD contact’s apartment.

Unless otherwise advised, will offer my assistance to ISD in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

More next time.

Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil again this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. 1541181484Chapter seventeen is nearing Readers continue to provide their input, with 214 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

 

 

 

 

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three is now completed.  There’s been a bit of tweaking to some of the characters’ names and the timeline. An additional chapter has been added to the outline. More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

With all of the outdoor activities, I was pretty tired in the evenings, so I’m afraid I don’t have a book review ready for you. Will work on one during the week and present it next time.

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 30, 2019

Hard to believe we’re already six months through 2019!  Where has the time gone?

We’ve been fortunate with some decent weather over the past week.  About a third of the fence has been transformed from its weather-worn appearance with a coat of forest oak preservative/stain. When the sun shines, it appears to have a plum color, but when it’s in shadow, it almost looks black. All being well, more will be done this week.

A builder and his assistant arrived on Tuesday to rip up the old patio and install a new one. When they removed one of the old slabs near a retaining wall, a plume of water shot up. It continued for hours before the influx stopped.  As a result of this, completion of the new patio was delayed as it took a day and a half to dig through clay and install proper drainage, dumping into a drain on the other side of the property. The system was tested last night with a heavy thunderstorm, but everything looks fine this morning.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 30th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Gay, English poet and dramatist (The Beggar’s Opera); Thomas Lovell Beddoes, English poet (Death’s Jest-Book); Friedrich Theodor Vischer, German philosopher and writer (Auch einer); Stanko Vraz [Jakob Frass], Slovenian-Croatian poet (illyrism); Hendrik Jan Schimmel, Dutch writer and dramatist (2 Tudors); Gerrit Kalff, Dutch professor (history of Dutch writers); Georges Duhamel, French author (Vie et aventures de Salavin, 5 vol.); Charles Camproux, French linguistic and author (Bestiari); Winston Graham, British writer (Poldark novels); Czesław Miłosz, Polish-American writer (Bells in Winter, Nobel 1980); Juan Bosch, 43rd President of the Dominican Republic (1962-63) and writer; Sam Moskowitz, American writer and historian of science fiction; James Goldman, American screenwriter and playwright (The Lion in Winter, They Might Be Giants); Frank Marcus, German playwright and critic; [Jacob] “Jack” Rosenthal, American journalist and government official; Assia Djebar [Fatma-Zohra Imalhayène], Algerian writer and filmmaker; and Robert Ballard, explorer/geologist/author/discoverer (Titanic in 1985).

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

My online book tour began on Tuesday as scheduled. I’ve picked up over thirty new followers and at least one hundred people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet: 

“We’ll wait until the lights go out.” Umar turned to Seto. “Did you bring your tools?”

Seto patted a bag on the seat. “Be inside within seconds. The builder used basic locks—no problem for me.”

“Good. We’ll enter the apartment and locate the woman. If others are present, knock them out.” He handed both men a leather-covered sap and a black hood. “Gag the woman, put this bag over her head, secure her arms, and bring her downstairs. I’ll wait with the car I hired this afternoon.”

Lights went out one by one throughout the building. After the last was extinguished, Umar waited fifteen minutes. “Go.”

Seto and Joko jumped out of the car and raced to the entrance. Joko held a small penlight on the lock. Seto gave a twist with two different lock picks, and the latch clicked. Joko pulled the handle, and they entered.

Locating the stairs, they padded up to the second floor. They glanced around the hallway—no one.

Seto worked his magic, and the door to apartment four opened. A body stirred on the sofa.

Joko put a finger to his lips and whispered, “Shush.”

They separated and approached from either side. In the moonlight shining through a window, Seto glanced at a woman sleeping on her stomach, her blonde hair spilled across the pillow. A click echoed in the room as the air conditioning switched on.

They paused after the noise, but the woman never stirred. Seto covered her mouth to smother any screams while Joko secured her wrists with rope. After shifting the strap of his tool bag over his shoulder, he wrapped a cloth gag around her face. They pulled her upright and dragged her outside.

Seto closed the door, and they rushed the struggling woman down two flights of stairs. Stopping at the building’s entrance, Seto pulled a black bag over her head. The coast clear, they hurried out to the car and pushed their captive inside the back seat. Joko climbed in after her while Seto ran around to the other side. As soon as the doors shut, Umar drove in a sedate manner until he reached the corner and sped away.

***

Back in Seto’s apartment, they dumped their struggling prisoner onto one of the chairs. Seto held her in place until Umar had bound her ankles and wrists. Panting from his efforts, Umar grabbed the hood and pulled it away.

He gasped. “It’s not her!”

More next time.

1541181671Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. Readers continue to provide their input, with 210 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three and four will soon be completed.  More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Rope on Fire (John Crane Series Book 1) by Mark Parragh. This is Mark’s first novel and he’s burst on the scene with a well-polished story. Once a government agent, but now jobless, John Crane refuses to take a new position offered on the outside, and seeks employment elsewhere.  Before long, a billionaire hires him to find out why someone is sabotaging a project he’s funded in Puerto Rico.

Mark’s story is filled with a wide array of characters, and the non-stop action was an easy read and kept me turning page after page. Can’t wait to move onto the next novel in the series!

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 23, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice! We celebrated by setting up a stall at the Falkland festival, an annual event. In addition to selling a few candles, eight copies of some of Sylvia’s poetry was sold, along with two signed copies of The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance. Happy days!

The weather cooperated a few days this week so painting continued on the fence. It’s transforming from its weather-beaten gray to a forest oak.  Still plenty to do, but at last some progress has been made. A morning shower is forecast, but if it doesn’t materialize or if it does but isn’t heavy, perhaps I’ll get some more painting done. If I can’t, there’s always a stone wall needing a good power spray to rejuvenate the colors.

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

Justus G Schottel, [Schottelius], German poet; Giambattista Vico, Italian philosopher and historian; Irvin S Cobb, Ky, writer/humorist (Old Judge Priest); Ernst Rowohlt, German publisher (Rowohlt-Verlag); Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet; Vladislav Vančura, Czech writer (Rozmarné léto); Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Turkish poet, novelist, recognized as one of the most important representatives of modernism in Turkish literature (A Mind at Peace, The Time Regulation Institute); Anthony Veiller, American writer (Night of Iguana, Moulin Rouge); Hans C Branner, Danish writer (Two Minutes of Silence); Carleton Coon, American anthropologist (What in the World); Wolfgang Koeppen, German author (Death in Rome); Paulus Akkerman [Paul fen Nijenborn], Frisian writer (Each om Each); Jacques Rabemananjara, Hungarian author/vice-president (Antsa); Michael Shaara, American writer (Killer Angels); Urs Jaeggi, Swiss sociologist and writer; Roger McDonald, Australian author; Kjell Albin Abrahamson, Swedish journalist and writer; Darhyl S. Ramsey, American author; and Maggie Greenwald, American film director and writer.

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

Stay tuned for my online book tour, which begins on June 25th. Click on the following link for more information: 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 another snippet: 

Alone in a corner of the ferry’s deck, the two men leaned over the railing. Umar finished the last of his cigarette and flicked the glowing remains into the water.

Joko glanced around. “What’s the next step?”

“We’ll meet with a Singapore police contact. He advises me on matters of interest to our cause. Afterward, we’ll join a friend who will help us with our next task.”

The Sindo Ferry docked an hour after departing Sekupang. They scampered off the vessel and joined other passengers heading to immigration. They waited their turn and stepped up to the desk.

The official glowered at them. “What is your purpose for visiting Singapore? How long?”

Umar placed their passports, completed disembarkation cards, and return tickets on the desk. “We came to visit the shopping mall.” He pointed at Joko. “My friend has never visited Singapore, and we thought we’d make the journey. We have return tickets to Batam Island in three days.”

***

The officer shook his head. “No names.” He gestured at the box. “The information you requested is under the chocolates.”

Umar fished a small paper bag out of a pocket and placed it beside the candy. “A small gift for sharing your sweets with us.”

The man slid the bag off the table and underneath. Leaning back, he inspected the contents, a smile growing across his face. “A fair trade.” He drained his cup and stood. “Enjoy your stay. I must return to the office.”

Umar turned to Joko. “Go get two drinks to take away. I’ll find out what he left for us.”

After Joko left, Umar lifted the plastic tray from the box. Underneath, a white envelope. Inside, a single sheet of paper, with an address. Umar shoved the paper in his pocket and helped himself to another Malaysian chocolate. He placed the cover on the package and tucked it under his arm. He spotted Joko returning with two cups and joined him.

“Did he provide what you wanted?” Joko nodded toward the box as he sipped on his beverage.

Umar tossed the container in a nearby trashcan. “Yes. Now we meet with someone else. When we join him, I’ll explain everything.”

More next time.

With my external activities this past week, work on A 1541181671Cartel’s Revenge slowed, although I’ll post the next chapter today to the two subscription writing sites I use. There’s been 189 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

Once Carnage in Singapore is released, I’ll begin adding snippets from A Cartel’s Revenge. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the synopsis, here you go:

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?

Books I’m Reading

I didn’t have a chance this week to gather my thoughts regarding my latest reading. I hope to provide one or two reviews next time.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

The Kurdish Connection

Randall’s Ramblings, June 16, 2019

Happy Father’s Day wherever you are! 

Hope you have a great one!

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

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

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

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple familiar ones. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

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

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)The new cover for Carnage in Singapore, which will be released soon by Solstice Publishing, is now ready. Here’s the synopsis: Terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah have flourished in recent years with new recruits joining them and ISIS-affiliates at an alarming rate. Blended operations by various Asian countries have forced the groups to work together to identify a new operational base.

They seek an island nation to call home, one where they can plot against countries who oppose their ideals. They found a target, a small nation-state, perfect for their needs: The Republic of Singapore.

Before anyone can respond, the ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain, and Australia are kidnapped from their residences in Singapore. Right index fingers of each victim are sent as a warning. Any attempt to recover the ambassadors will result in the removal of additional body parts.

Bedlam Charlie team leader, Evelyn Evinrude, leads the group to rescue the ambassadors and capture the local leaders of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Can Bedlam succeed or will events escalate, resulting in more deaths?

In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More next week.

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

Here’s the synopsis:

A Colombian drug lord watched her profits diminish over the years. Unable to increase market share because of a shrinking consumer base and a new international competitor, she form an unholy alliance.

Olivia Moreno, head of the Barranquilla Cartel, struck a deal with a regional leader within the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Little did she know but she initiated her own death warrant. FARC had an unknown support group who wanted a foothold in South America – Islamic State.

Forced to flee, Moreno is captured by a small CIA team. Fearing for her life, she spins a tale about using her money and manpower to destroy ISIS. Laws and rules of engagement mean nothing to her, only her life and family matter.

Will team leader AJ Bruce strike a deal to turn the tables on ISIS and stop them from launching a concentrated attack on the United States? Or will they be too late? If successful, will Moreno’s reward be total control of Afghanistan’s poppy fields or will she be doubled-crossed?

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

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

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

 

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple familiar ones. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pandemonium erupted as people fled for their lives.

More next time.

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

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, 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