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

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 17, 2021

Autumn continues its march forward. We’ve seen our lowest temperatures since last winter at 36F/3C. Plenty of overcast days, making things seem dreary. Yesterday, we had so much rain for several hours, Tommy, one of our rescued feral cats, wouldn’t go outside. Normally, a bit of rain doesn’t bother him, but yesterday it was just too much. He kept going from one external door to the other (we have three) hoping the weather would be better at a different one.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Humor is one of the most serious tools we have for dealing with impossible situations.” ~ Erica Jong

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 17th, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Simon van Leeuwen, lawyer/historian (Roman-Holland regt); Jupiter Hammon, slave and poet, 1st African American to publish poetry; Jacques Cazotte, French writer; Georg Büchner, German playwright; Emanuel Geibel, writer; Elinor Glyn, British novelist (3 Weeks); Alfred Polgar, Austrian writer (Yes & No!); Simon Vestdijk, Dutch writer/poet (5th Seal); Nathanael West, American novelist (Day of the Locusts); Jerry Siegel, comic book writer (Superman); Arthur Miller, American playwright (Death of a Salesman, Crucible); Sumner Locke Elliott, Australian-born American novelist; Miguel Delibes, Spanish writer; George Mackey Brown, poet; Pricilla Lanford Buckly, editor/columnist (National Review); Jimmy Breslin, American author and columnist (NY Post, News, Newsday); Ernst Hinterberger, Austrian writer; Drusilla Modjeska, Australian writer and editor; Ron Drummond, American writer; Richard Roeper, American columnist and film critic; Norm MacDonald, Canadian stand-up comedian, writer, and actor (Saturday Night Live, 1993-98; Dirty Work; The Norm Show); Mark Gatiss, English actor and writer; and Ariel Levy, American feminist writer.

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Jerry Siegel and Arthur Miller. 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!

New Release!

Revenge-Cover-HRI’m delighted to announce the release of the both the Kindle and paperback versions of Revenge. It’s also available through Kindle Unlimited.

For those who might have missed the synopsis, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers.  He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

My Published Work

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 Work in Progress

Slide1I’m finally back to work on Ultimate Escalation. Chapter fifteen was posted in a couple of days to the two online subscription writing sites I use, and chapter sixteen is almost completed. A total of seventeen chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 310.

Here’s another snippet:

Streetlights popped on as daylight faded and dusk approached. CC glanced out the window and watched the bumper-to-bumper Beltway traffic crawling along as people left work and headed home.

Ten minutes later, the Chinook dipped as it crossed the Potomac River in a rural area, and the pilot prepared to land. “All teams—prepare to—shit!”

The helicopter dove to the right. The teams rocked in their seats along both exterior walls as an automated voice sounded over the intercom, “Missile alert.”

The Bedlam teams hung onto their seats as the pilot continued to jink. The helicopter dropped a hundred feet and twisted to the left. “It missed. Holy shit—here’s another!”

Blam!

Several sharp bangs echoed through the shaking Chinook as shrapnel slammed into the helicopter’s metal shell.

“Hang on!” the pilot shouted as the aircraft began to autorotate. A severe vibration shook the helicopter. A loud whining from the twin rotors drowned out the whistling. His knuckles turned white as he jammed fought with the collective control.

“Mayday! Mayday! This is Bedlam-One. We’re going down!”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Mark Iles’ latest novel, Gardens of Earth, and it’s a stunner. Plenty of twists and turns as we follow Seethan Bodell while he battles with internal demons and tries to save the earth from an alien race. Will Seethan overcome the effects of PTSD or will he succumb after using an Earth-changing weapon? This one will give you plenty of food for thought and will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. An excellent plot, riveting action, and a cast of characters where you’re bound to find someone who appeals to your senses. This is the first book of Mark’s I’ve read, and I can guarantee it won’t be the last!

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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 10, 2021

After a week of low morning temperatures (42-58F/6-14C) and predominantly overcast and/or rain, it was a delight to have plenty of sunshine to start today. Although still on the chilly side at 46F/8C, the sunshine makes up for it. Leaves are turning, but rather than fantastic autumn shades, most of what I see are a sickly yellow. Can’t be help.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Sometimes what you want isn’t always what you get, but in the end what you get is so much better than what you wanted.”

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

Jacob Aertsz Colom, Dutch publisher (Consolation of the Sea); Aleksis Kivi, Finnish writer and poet (Nummisuutarit); Louise Mack, Australian poet and novelist; Ferdinand Bordewijk, Dutch lawyer and writer (Bint); Rie Cramer, Dutch writer and illustrator; R.K. Narayan, Indian novelist (Malguidi Days); Mercè Rodoreda, Catalan novelist (La plaça del diamant); Luc van Brabant, Flemish writer and erotic poet; Charles Henry Madge, English poet and founder of Mass-Observation; Claude Simon, Malagasy-French writer (Nobel Prize Literature 1985); Jean Gimpel, French author and medievalist; Boeli van Leeuwen, Antillian writer (Vreemdeling Op Aarde); James Clavell, British-American author (The Asian Saga); Ivan Sviták, Czech philosopher and poet; Harold Pinter, British playwright (The Homecoming, Servant); Mustafa Zaidi, Pakistani Urdu poet; Gerald Masters, South African-British author (Pan Book of Dates); Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian writer and environmentalist; James Marshall, American illustrator and author (George and Martha, The Stupids); Frederick Barthelme, American author (There Must be Some Mistake); Mildred Grieveson, English writer (Leopard in the Snow); Nora Roberts, American novelist (Angels Fall); and Jonathan Littell, French-American writer (The Kindly Ones).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: James Clavell and Nora Roberts. 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!

New Release!

Revenge-Cover-HRI’m delighted to announce the release of the Kindle version of Revenge. The paperback will be out in a couple of days.

In case you missed the synopsis, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers.  He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

My Published Work

Until the 15th of october, all of my novels are participating in a Kindle Unlimited spy thrillers promotion.  There are forty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. If you’re not a member of Kindle Unlimited, what better time to join?

Colombian Betrayal and Mission: Angola are also 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 Work in Progress

Slide1I’m finally back to work on Ultimate Escalation. All being well, chapter fifteen will be posted in a couple of days to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Meanwhile, seven chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 293.

Here’s another snippet:

The team leaders hoisted their drinks.

Evelyn gazed into CC’s eyes and smiled. “Here’s to—”

Ping. Ping. Ping.

CC grabbed his cellphone as the first bars of Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” sounded.

Evelyn and Trevor yanked phones from their belts when their own Bedlam message tunes shrilled.

All received the same message.

To: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

From: Bedlam

EMERGENCY ALERT

Please be advised multiple drones have violated DC Flight Restricted Zone. Fighter aircraft are responding from Joint Base Langley-Eustis. Implement Directive X-ray immediately. A Chinook with two Apaches as escort inbound your location for extraction. Acknowledge.

Evelyn looked up. “CC, respond. Trevor and I’ll round up the teams and grab our kit—yours, too.”

CC nodded as Trevor and Evelyn rushed out of the room.

To: Bedlam, Bravo, Charlie

From: Alpha

Message received. Teams will be ready for extraction in ten minutes. When circumstances permit, please provide updates.

As CC hit send, Admiral Blakely approached, waving his phone. “Did you acknowledge?”

“Aye, sir. We’ll be at the rendezvous point when the birds arrive.”

“Excellent. Keep us posted.” He offered his hand to CC. “Godspeed.”

CC shook hands and raced outside.

Evelyn met him as he approached, her slight limp more noticeable.

He took his harness and weapons bag from her. “Your limp seems worse. Will you be alright for the mission?”

“Don’t stand in my way, CC.” A wry smile etched across her face. “I’ll always have this limp, according to the doctors who repaired the bullet damage, but it’ll never slow me down.”

The three teams crouched by the landing pad. Before long, a massive shadow descended.

After the Chinook touched down, fifteen operatives sprinted to the helicopter’s rear and up the ramp. The Apaches circled overhead as if daring anyone to approach.

A member from each team grabbed the handles of the CH-47E’s machine guns: two in the crew door on the starboard side and one window-mounted on the port side.

CC, Trevor, and Evelyn donned intercom headsets as they confirmed their respective team members were on board.

“Alpha, holler when you’re ready.” The pilot’s voice came through the headsets loud and clear.

CC glanced at the others before keying his mic. “Aye, Bedlam-One. We’re ready.”

With a lurch, the Chinook climbed into the late afternoon sky, an Apache on either side.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read Blair Howard’s Extinction Protocol, the third novel in his Peacemaker series is better than ever. Join Nero, Lizette, and Casey Wu as they become embroiled in a Peacemaker plot to sterilize the world. A riveting plot filled with plenty of twists and turns, along with your favorite characters will keep you on the edge of your seat and flipping the pages to find out what happens next. Heartily recommended to those looking for an exciting series to sink their teeth into. Look forward to reading more of Blair’s work!

I also read an advanced copy of Michael Kent’s upcoming release, Deadly Storm, the latest adventure in the Lieutenant Beaudry series. This is another smooth and fast-paced read. With a plot filled with plenty of twists and turns and larger-than-life characters, Michael’s unique brand of storytelling will have you flipping the pages to find out what happens next. An excellent addition to the Lieutenant Beaudry series, and one not to miss.

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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 3, 2021

As we move into a new month, there’s no doubt autumn is upon us. Morning temperatures are in the low 40s (6-8C) with plenty of dew. So far, the leaves haven’t started to change, but it probably won’t be long before they start.

We’ve been at the monthly small business market the past two days. Plenty of lookers, but few buyers. Perhaps today will be better! Still, we can’t complain; I’ve sold another eight books and fifteen sheets of Sylvia’s poetry.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “You can only let someone throw so many stones at you before you pick them all up, put them together and build a wall to keep them from doing it again.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 3rd, the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays): Johann Peter Uz, German poet (Lyrische Poem); George Bancroft, American historian (History of the United States); Allan Kardec, French author and founder of Spiritism; Mikhail Lermontov, Russian poet and writer (Demon & other poems); Timothy Thomas Fortune, American orator, civil rights leader, writer and publisher; Stijn Streuvels [Frank Lateur], Flemish writer (De Valschaard); Sophie Treadwell, American playwright and journalist; Henri Alain-Fournier, French novelist (Le Grand Meaulnes); Gerardo Diego, Spanish poet (Versos humanos); Louis Aragon, French poet and writer (Les Lettres françaises, Pour un réalisme socialiste); Thomas Wolfe, American novelist (Look Homeward Angel); David Herbert, British writer and raconteur; James Herriot [Alfred Wight], English veterinarian and novelist (All Creatures Great and Small); Harvey Kurtzman, American cartoonist and founding editor of Mad magazine; Gore Vidal, American author (Myra Breckinridge, Lincoln); Bernard Cooper, American novelist and short story writer; Dan Goldie, American tennis player and author (“The Investment Answer”, #1 NY Times bestselling book); and Rob Liefeld, American comic book writer and artist.

Any names familiar to you? There were three for me: Thomas Wolfe, James Herriot, and Gore Vidal. 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

Until the 15th of october, all of my novels are participating in a Kindle Unlimited spy thrillers promotion.  There are forty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. If you’re not a member of Kindle Unlimited, what better time to join?

Colombian Betrayal and Mission: Angola are also 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?

Coming Soon!

Revenge-Cover-HRThe final edit of Revenge is almost complete.

Six members of my Advanced Reader Team provided feedback, and everything’s on track. Just waiting for the paperback cover. All being well, Revenge will be released by mid-October.

In case you missed the synopsis, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers.  He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Although our son’s visit ended on Tuesday, writing and editing is still on the back burner. However, twelve chapter reviews came in for Ultimate Escalation, bringing the total to 286.

Here’s another snippet:

Members of the three Bedlam teams descended upon Camp Powell from their respective facilities in the U.S., UK, and Australia for their initial two-day conference. Comprised of former military and intelligence personnel from around the world, they perform high-stress missions behind the scenes in conflict areas when their services are needed.

“Cheers! Slangevar!”

Glasses clinked as the advisors of the three Bedlam teams shared a bottle of Talisker eighteen-year-old single malt whiskey. Sir Alexander Jackson and Harrison Robertson sipped their unadulterated drinks while Admiral Richard Blakely dropped an ice cube into his five-sided tumbler.

“Ah.” Sir Alex smacked his lips. “The perfect libation to open our conference.”

Harrison stood and gazed over the stone veranda at the rolling hills, covered with forests, fields, and pastures. “Richard, thank you for setting this up in such a splendid venue. How did you manage such a feat?”

“Not a problem when you know the right people.” Richard laughed. “While many organizations can use the camp’s facilities, the use of the manor house is hard to arrange. Our recent successes opened the doors for us, so I took advantage of the opportunity. Of course, it didn’t hurt the building wasn’t being used this weekend.”

“I’m sure the teams will enjoy the friendly competitions you’ve arranged.” Sir Alex refreshed their drinks. “No one will be shooting back at them.”

Richard waved a hand. “With our current threat boards empty, I thought it was time to bring everyone together in one location. We’re less than an hour from Dulles Airport, so we can spring into action if needed. Besides, it won’t be long before my stint as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff come to an end.”

“I, for one, hope it remains quiet.” Sir Alex loosened his navy-blue tie and slipped off the jacket of his Savile Row suit. “We all need the opportunity to relax.” He glanced at Richard. “Perhaps your president will allow you to remain as Alpha’s advisor?”

“It’s been discussed, but nothing finalized yet. He also mentioned he wanted to talk with your prime ministers regarding the establishment of a fourth team, stationed in Africa.”

“Hear, hear. I agree with Sir Alex. Your president must be convinced to keep you as an advisor. After all, the Bedlam organization was your dreamchild.” Harrison finished his drink and set the glass down. “Even more important, as nice as it is for us to relax, the teams need a chance to unwind and recharge.”

“We can discuss the creation of a fourth team later and make our recommendations.” Richard glanced at his watch. “C’mon. There’s time before dinner for a stroll through the gardens.”

There’ll be another snippet next week.

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

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 12, 2021

It’s been a quiet week, with mixed weather conditions but nothing earth-shattering. We are excited about this coming week, though. Due to Covid restrictions, we haven’t seen our son since Christmas 2019. He’ll finally be arriving on Tuesday for a two-week visit!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 12th, the second Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann Heinrich Jung, German author (Heinrich Stillings Leben); Benjamin Carr, American organist, composer, choirmaster, teacher, music publisher, and co-founder of Philadelphia’s Music Fund Society; James Hall, American geologist and paleontologist (Natural history of NY); Charles Dudley Warner, American novelist (Being a Boy); Jacobus of Looy, Dutch writer and painter (Death of My Cat); Henry Louis Mencken, American newspaperman and critic (Prejudices); Daniel Jones, English phoneticist (English pronouncing dictionary); Alfred A Knopf, American publisher (1966 Alexander Hamilton Medal); Giuseppe Zoppi, Swiss writer (Il Libro Dell’Alpe); oe Lederer, Austrian actress and writer (Drei Tage Liebe); Louis MacNeice, Irish poet and playwright; Kenneth Lo, cookery writer and restaurateur; Rais Amrohvi, Pakistani poet and psychoanalyst; Jan W. Schulte Nordholt, Dutch poet and historian (Blossoming Stone); Stanislaw Lem, Polish sci-fi author (Solaris, Invincible); Jackson Mac Low, American poet and composer; Kristin Hunter, African-American author (God Bless the Child); Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan-Canadian poet and writer; Jeff Jarvis, American journalist (This Week in Google) and advocate for the Open Web; and James Frey, American writer (Bright Shiny Morning).

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

 

Until the 15th of September, all of my novels are participating in a chilling reads promotion. There are fifty-six novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

MA PAGER TURNER FINALS PROMOTI’m also thrilled to announce Mission: Angola is a finalist in the 2021 Page Turner Book Awards!

My writing journey thus far has been absolutely incredible and I feel humbled by how my books have been received thus far:

The Kurdish Connection – Semi-finalist, 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBAs), Global Thrillers Category.

Dangerous Alliance – First in Category winner, 2018 CIBAs.

Carnage in Singapore – First in Category winner, 2019 CIBAs.

Colombian Betrayal – First in Category winners, 2020 CIBAs.

Mission: Angola – Finalist (so far), 2021 Page Turner Book Awards.

If you’d like to find out more about my novels, click on any of the titles and you’ll be taken to a universal link.  Many thanks to everyone for your support!

Coming Soon!

Revenge-Cover-HRI completed the third micro edit pass of Revenge this week,  in-depth editing begins–going word-by-word, checking for anything that might need a tweak or correction.

I send Revenge to my advanced reader team this week, with their feedback do back to me by the end of the month. While I’m waiting, I’ll be doing two more micro edit passes. All being well, Revenge will be released by mid-October.

In case you missed the synopsis, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers.  He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

Slide1In addition to my editing work on Revenge, I continued working on my next novel, Ultimate Escalation. Chapter thirteen was posted to the two subscription sites I belong to. To date, there has been a total of 251 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent feedback. I greatly appreciate my reviewers sticking with me!

Here’s another snippet:

Vladimir thrashed in the king-sized bed shook as Vladimir flung his arms and legs from side to side, tearing at the bedsheets until he woke. He gasped and struggled to sit. Perspiration poured down his face, soaking his bedclothes. Struggling to sit, he swung his legs over the side and ensured he established a firm footing before pushing himself off the bed and zigzagging into the bathroom.

He filled a glass from a plastic bottle and gulped the room-temperature water without pausing for a breath. He caught his reflection in the mirror.

A drawn face stared back at him, with a beard more gray than black and bags under the eyes. Vladimir shook his head before stripping off his clothes and turning on the shower. 

He let the lukewarm water splash over his head and body as he tried to wash away his haunting dream, a regular nighttime visitor. When will these nightmares end? Afghanistan was so long ago, but the screams still haunt me. Once the water turned cold, he switched it off. He flung the curtain aside in search of a warm towel. Shivering and wide-awake, he rubbed himself until he was dry and dressed in khaki pants and a red T-shirt.

The aroma of strong coffee greeted him when he stepped into the hallway. He rushed down the marble staircase and into the formal dining room.

“About time you woke up.” Vasily raised his cup in a salute. “Better hurry before the others arrive. Yuusuf is at the market getting mangos for breakfast.”

“Ugh.” Vladimir poured a cup of coffee from the carafe on the polished rosewood credenza and dropped into a chair on the opposite side of the matching rosewood table from his friend. Taking a sip of his coffee, he grimaced at the bitter flavor.

“Another dream? I heard you yelling.”

Vladimir nodded. “More of a nightmare, but, yes, the same one.”

“You must face reality, Voya.” Vasily shook his head. “You never became a hero of the Rodina. You are ….” He snapped his fingers. “I think the American words are a slimeball and scum—just like me.”

A weak smile creased Vladimir’s face. “I can always count on you to put things in perspective.” He thumped his chest, generating a coughing fit.

“Stop the theatrics.” Vasily rolled his eyes. “We were lucky to escape from prison. At least the GRU never recovered the money and weapons we stole.”

More next time.

That brings us to an end for another 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, September 5, 2021

After several days of cool temperatures and endless clouds, we’ve had a reprieve. This morning it was still on the cool side at 52F (11C) but there’s hardly a cloud in the sky, making for a pleasant start to the day.

We’ve reworked the front border of our property, putting in several pansies and cyclamens. Fantastic colours–reds, yellows, and purples. Now, if we could just keep the slugs and snails away! We read something about putting sharp grit down, so we bought some horticultural alpine grit around the plants. Looks great, but the slugs didn’t get the memo as they’re still attacking the plants, particularly the yellows. We don’t want to put down any poison as we have at least two hedgehogs living on our property and they like to eat the snails. A constant battle!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~ Samuel Beckett

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 5th, the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Tommaso Campanella, Italian theologian, philosopher, and poet; Gottfried Arnold, German theologist, historian and songwriter; Juan Martín Díez, El Empecinado (The Undaunted), Spanish guerrillero; Lukas Fencer, Dutch poet (Fight of Kings & Mice); Robert Fergusson, Scottish poet (Scottish poems); Aleksei K. Tolstoi, Russian poet and writer; Goffredo Mameli, Italian poet and writer; Arthur Koestler, Hungarian-British writer (Arrow in Blue); Semjon I Kirsanov, Ukrainian poet (Semj Dnej Nedeli); Nicanor Parra, Chilean poet, mathematician, and physicist (Defense of Violeta Parra); Frank Yerby, American novelist (The Foxes of Harrow); Margaretha D. Ferguson-Wigerink, Dutch author (Anna & her Father); Jos Vandeloo, Flemish journalist and playwright (Cola Drinkers); Justin Kaplan, American editor and biographer (Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain – Pulitzer Prize, 1967); Werner Erhard, American author and lecturer (founded EST); Jonathan Kozol, American writer and sociologist; Dario Bellezza, Italian poet; Paul William Roberts, Canadian writer; Frederick Kempe, American author, journalist, and executive; and Christopher Nolan, Irish handicapped writer (Under Eye of Clock).

Any names familiar to you? There was only one for me–Aleksei K. 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

Until the 15th of September, all of my novels are participating in a chilling reads promotion. There are fifty-six novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

Coming Soon!

Revenge-Cover-HRI completed the second micro edit pass of Revenge this week,  in-depth editing begins–going word-by-word, checking for anything that might need a tweak or correction.

Today marks the final day Revenge will still be posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. Throughout the period when Revenge was available for review, it received 779 chapter reviews. Many thanks to all who provided their feedback!

I’m on track to send Revenge to my advanced reader team. Still going to do two more micro edit passes between now and the end of September. All being well, Revenge will be released by mid-October.

With all of my work on Revenge this week, I didn’t get a chance to finish chapter thirteen of Ultimate Escalation.  Once Revenge is sent out to the team, I hope to establish a regular writing regime for Ultimate Escalation.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Breakthrough  by Michael C. Grumley.  What’s happening underneath the Caribbean Sea and in Antarctica? Are they linked? Join Alison Shaw, a marine biologist, and John Clay, a naval investigator as they become an unlikely duo trying to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.

This is the first book by Michael I’ve read and it won’t be the last. I always enjoy an excellent plot filled with twists and turns, as well as realistic characters, and plenty of action. Breakthrough contains all of this and more! Look forward to reading more of Michael’s work.

That brings us to an end for another 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, August 29, 2021

After a sunshine-filled day yesterday, we’re off to a cloudy and damp start for Sunday. The ground is dry, so a bit of help from Mother Nature won’t go amiss.

Yesterday was another artisan-market day. Seven of my novels sold, as did seven of Sylvia’s poetry sheets. In addition, people were starting to buy Christmas gifts (based on their comments) and eight pieces of my pyrography also sold. All-in-all, a great day!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/):

“Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keep you very busy doing nothing.”

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

Janus Pannonius, Hungarian poet and translator; John Locke, English empiricist philosopher; influential Enlightenment thinker and “Father of Liberalism” (Two Treatises of Government); Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., American physician and author (Old Ironsides); Juan Bautista Alberdi, Argentina political theorist and writer (Crime of War); Anna Ella Carroll, American politician and civil war writer (Reconstruction); Edward Carpenter, English poet and philosopher (Civilisation, Its Cause and Cure); Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian poet (Blue Bird, Nobel 1911); Valery-Nicolas Larbaud, French novelist and translator (Enfantines); Ehm Welk [Thomas Trimm], German writer; E. Franklin Frazier, American sociologist and author (The Negro Family in the United States); Preston Sturges [Edmund Biden], American director and screenwriter (Sullivan’s Travels); Ernst Kreuder, German writer (The Attic Pretenders); Joseph Wechsberg, Jewish-Czech writer (Looking For a Bluebird); Denys Hay, British historian; Emile Habibi, Palestinian Israeli writer (The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist); Thom Gunn, British poet (The Wound); Lise Payette, Quebec politician, writer and columnist; Hugo Brandt Corstius, Dutch essayist and mathematician; William Friedkin, American director, producer, writer (The Exorcist, The French Connection); Karen Hesse, American children’s book writer (Out of the Dust); and Michael P. Kube-McDowell, American sci-fi author (Enigma, Empery).

Any names familiar to you? I recognized John Locke and Oliver Wendell Holmes. 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

Throughout August, all of my novels are participating in a mystery, thriller, and suspense promotion. There are eighty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

Coming Soon!

Revenge-Cover-HRI completed the first micro edit pass of Revenge this week,  in-depth editing begins–going word-by-word, checking for anything that might need a tweak or correction.

I’m on track to send Revenge to my advance reader team around September 10th. They’ll have until the end of the month to provide feedback on anything that might still need an adjustment. All being well, Revenge will be release in October! There are already several people who purchased Colombian Betrayal at the markets I’ve attended who are waiting for its release.

With my concentration on Revenge, I didn’t get much opportunity to continue working on Ultimate Escalation. I hope to pick up speed on it during the next week.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Pushing Brilliance (Kyle Achilles, Book 1) by Tim Tigner. Blamed for multiple murders he didn’t commit, Kyle is on the run with his dead brother’s girlfriend. Will they be able to prove who the culprits were before they end up with lengthy prison sentences or worse?

Tim created a riveting plot with plenty of twists and turns, which will keep you guessing who is behind the murders. This is definitely a page turner and highly recommended!

That brings us to an end for another 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, August 15, 2021

Looks like we went from July straight to autumn, bypassing August. Nighttime temperatures have been as low as 43F/6C with daytime temperatures struggling to reach 58F/20C). Add in near-daily showers and a bit of wind, and it definitely feels more like autumn. One bright spot in all of this–no need to water the plants!

The final results of last weekend’s small business market showed a total of thirteen autographed books and twenty-one sheets of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets and a few pieces of pyrography were sold. Definitely pleased with the results.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/):

“Fate controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let walk out, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 15th, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Luigi Pulci, Italian poet (Morgante); Bartol Kašić, Croatian writer and linguist; Matthias Claudius, German poet; Walter Scott, Scottish historical novelist and poet (The Lady of the Lake, Rob Roy); Thomas De Quincey, English writer (Confessions of English Opium Eater); Louise Colet, French Romantic poet; Edith Nesbit, British children books author (The Story of the Treasure Seekers, Five Children and It); Johan Bernard Schepers, Frisian writer (Braga); Edna Ferber, American author and playwright (American Beauty, Cimarron); Jan Brzechwa, Polish poet (The Beetle); Hans Lorbeer, German writer and politician; Jan Campert, Dutch resistance fighter and poet (Song the 18 dead); Julia Child, American chef, author and television personality (The French Chef)Peter Nicholson Gunn, Australian writer (The Churches of Rome); Kamiel van Baelen, Flemish author and resistance fighter (Mensch op Weg); Benedict Kiely, Irish author and broadcaster; Robert Oxton Bolt, English playwright (A Man for All Seasons, Doctor Zhivago); Robert L. Forward, American physicist and sci-fi writer (Dragon’s Egg, Starquake); Janusz A. Zajdel, Polish sci-fi author (The Whole Truth about Planet Xi); Tony Robinson, English actor, comedian and author; Mary Jo Salter, American poet and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry; Stieg Larsson [Karl Stig-Erland Larsson], Swedish author (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo); Rob Thomas, American writer; and Robert Macfarlane, English nature writer.

Any names familiar to you? I recognized Walter Scott and Julia Child. 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

I’m absolutely thrilled to share the recent five-star editorial review  Dangerous Alliance received from Chanticleer Reviews. Please click on the title to check it out.

Throughout August, all of my novels are participating in a mystery, thriller, and suspense promotion. There are eighty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

My Work in Progress

I completed the third and fourth edit passes of Revenge this week. There were another six new chapter reviews, bringing the total number to 757. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing and very timely with editing well underway.

Here’s the final snippet:

Sam and Charlie stood next to their black and gray vehicle with bright orange wheels. “Can I drive?”

Charlie raised a brow. “Ever driven on the left side of the road before?”

“No, but there’s always a first time.”

Charlie shrugged and tossed the keys to Sam. “Try not to kill us.”

They squeezed into the small vehicle.

Sam started the engine. “Well, navigator. Show me the way.”

Charlie laughed. “Head to Front Street and turn onto Crow Lane. We need to follow the main road to Somerset.”

“Okay. Just tell me when to turn.”

Charlie glanced at the map on his smartphone. “Not long after we are on Railway Trail, the road will fork. Keep to the left.”

Sam gestured through the windshield. “There’s a sign ahead mentioning South Road and Middle Road.”

“Stay on South Road. Both end up in Somerset, but we’ll return on the other one to mix up our route as much as we can.”

They continued their journey. On either side of the road, houses and walled compounds were juxtaposed between stretches of trees. Telephone poles ran along the righthand side, while on the left, glimpses of the water could be seen.

“Slow down.” Charlie tightened his seatbelt. “Appears to be a blind curve, and this is a narrow road.”

“Not to worry—”

“Watch out!” Charlie reached over and jerked the wheel to get them back in their lane and out of the path of an oncoming delivery vehicle straddling the center line.

Yeeeeah!”

Sam let go of the wheel.

He overcompensated as she did so.

The Tazzari plunged over the edge.

Although I concentrated on my editing of Revenge, I still completed chapter eleven of Ultimate Escalation. Slide1

With the original chapter reviews from when I posted the first seven chapters combined with crits on the revisions and the new ones, there’s been there’s been 224 reviews, and increase of ten over the past week.

My goal is to complete the first draft of Ultimate Escalation by the end of February 2022. Obviously, things might get in the way, but that’s my plan right now.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading The Supremacy License (A Sinatra Thriller Book 1) by Alan Lee. While the main character, Mannie, AKA Sinatra, functions on little sleep and food while suffering multiple beatings, his love for his adopted country, American, is like a shining beacon. Add an unending supply of adrenaline and Mannie is a law enforcement hero.

The plot is well contrived, although some people think it stretches realism. However, I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable and a definite page turner. This is the first novel by Alan I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last!

That brings us to an end for another 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, August 8, 2021

Ever since the hot spell we had last month, the temperatures have returned to normal but make it seem like we’re already in autumn. The rain’s back, too; we’ve had heavy downpours the past three days.

On Friday and Saturday, We participated in another small business market at the local mall. There’s been as many as eighteen vendors. Things have been quiet thus far, perhaps because of the rain, as foot traffic is less than last month. Even so, I sold ten autographed copies of my novels, eighteen sheets of Sylvia’s laminated poetry, and several pieces of pyrography. Today’s the final day of the event for this month. Hopefully, we’ll have a good day!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/):

“Don’t place your mistakes on your head, their weight may crush you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as a platform to view your horizons.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 8th, the second Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Conrad Lycosthenes, French-born German humanist and encyclopedist; Adriaan W “Joris” van Geel, Flemish missionary (Bantu Dictionary); Johann C Adelung, German linguist/librarian; Hieronymus van Alphen, Dutch attorney/poet (church songs); Emilie Flygare-Carlén, Swedish novelist; Henry Osborn, Conn, paleontologist/author (52 Years of Research); Sara Teasdale, American poet (1st Pulitzer Prize-1918-“Love Songs”); Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, writer (Yearling); Wachtang Ananjan, writer; Andre Demedts, Flemish writer (Rainfall of the Days); Daan Wildschut, painter/glazenier/author; Gertrude Himmelfarb, American historian; Elis Juliana, Antillian writer/poet (Lady of the Night: A flower); Yuri Kasakow, Russian writer; Joan Mondale (née Adams;), American artist, author, and wife of US vice-president Walter Mondale; Terry Nation, writer (Dr Who, Blake 7); Randy Shilts, American journalist and author; Jostein Gaarder, Norwegian author; and Anastasia Ashman, American writer and digital strategist (GlobalNiche).

Any names familiar to you? I do recognize Joan Mondale and the  works of Randy Shilts. 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

Throughout August, all of my novels are participating in a mystery, thriller, and suspense promotion. There are eighty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/endsaug31mtspromotion/6ux5b5q47y

My Work in Progress

I completed the second edit pass of Revenge this week. There were another ten new chapter reviews, bringing the total number to 751. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing and very timely with editing well underway.

Here’s another snippet:

Retired CIA analyst Phil Price leaned back in his custom-built ergonomic chair and grinned. You can run, but I’ll always find you! He popped the top of his Diet Coke and took a swig. Just like old times—except the pay’s much better!

He swiped a hand through his thinning gray hair and typed a note to himself before turning back to the details he had uncovered. I have to be certain. Placing the tip of his index finger on the computer screen, he scanned the last report. He slapped a hand on the desk. You’re mine!

Phil jumped out of his chair, dashed out of the room, and ran down the hall. Pausing to catch his breath, he knocked on a closed door.

“Come in.”

Phil opened the door and stepped inside. “Sir, I … uh … have … some—”

“Take a deep breath and relax.” Javier grinned as he gestured to a chair. “Take a load off and stop calling me sir.”

“Yes, sir. I mean, Javier.” Phil sat. “I uncovered some information you might find interesting.”

“Go ahead.”

“I was researching the connections with the Islamic State trainers named Michael and Alberto. As you know, Michael died in the warehouse attack in Mexico, but no one knows what happened to Alberto.”

“What are your sources of the connections?”

“Uh…well…I forgot to tell the IT office I retired.” Phil gave a slight smile.

“Seems I still have access to several databases—at least through some backdoors I left. Not anything supersensitive, but enough for me to investigate these men.”

Javier struggled to maintain aa straight face. “I see.” He rubbed his chin and pursed his lips. “Can anything come back on you? I’d prefer we not end up in a cell together.”

Phil shook his head. “Unless the security guys are specifically looking for me, I doubt anyone will notice. Besides, I told AJ I was doing this.”

“What did she say?”

“She just rolled her eyes and told me to stay out of trouble.”

“I agree with her. Don’t tell me any more about your methods, so I have some plausible deniability if the authorities begin an investigation.”

Phil placed an index finger over his lips. “My lips are sealed. Shall I tell you what I found out?”

Javier nodded. “Take a seat and fill me in.”

“Okay.” Phil perched on the edge of a chair. “Before I retired, we learned Islamic State referred to Alberto as Abdul Rahman. He’s from Argentina.”

“What about Michael?”

“This is where it gets interesting. Michael was known as Mahmood. They also called him the Cockney.”

“From London?”

Phil nodded. “Yes. We knew the phone numbers used by both men. They’ve been silent since the warehouse attack. But…”

“But?” Javier raised a brow.

“Both men were in routine contact with a number in Madrid. The user of the Spanish number was confirmed as a recruiter for Islamic State.”

“I seem to recall some of this from AJ.”

Phil grinned. “Yes, but I wanted to bring you up to speed before I give you the latest information.”

“Don’t keep me in suspense. What’d you find out?”

“Calls between the Madrid number and the one in Virginia began a few days before you retired. Not often, but once or twice every ten days or so.”

“Who owns the Virginia number?”

“I’m still working on it. Perhaps Alberto is here looking for you?”

“A good guess.”  Javier sipped from a cold cup of coffee on his desk and grimaced. “I should have finished this earlier.”

“Do you want me to get you another one?”

Javier shook his head. “No thanks, Phil. My own fault.”

“There’s also something else.”

Next week will probably be the last snippet.

Although I concentrated on my editing of Revenge, I still managed to almost complete chapter eleven of Ultimate Escalation. Just some things I need to verify before posting.Slide1

With the original chapter reviews from when I posted the first seven chapters combined with crits on the revisions and the new ones, there’s been there’s been 214 reviews, and increase of fourover the past week.

My goal is to complete the first draft of Ultimate Escalation by the end of February 2022. Obviously, things might get in the way, but that’s my plan as of today.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading an advance copy of End Game (The Harry Starke Novels Book 16) by Blair Howard. This is without a doubt my favorite Harry Starke story. With plenty of twists and turns in a well scripted plot, and larger-than-life things made worse when Harry finds out he has a doppelganger?

I won’t give anything away, so you’ll have to grab a copy to find out what happens. Needless to say, you’ll be turning the pages to find out how things end. A fantastic thrill to the last page!

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, August 1, 2021

It’s hard to believe how fast July seemed to go by. At least we’ve been having some decent summer weather, although it’s turned cooler again.

Our crafts participated in another artisan market yesterday. Sales weren’t as good as last time, but Mother Nature played a part in this. Since the market was held on a local main street (high street), even though the vendors and their stalls were protected by gazebos, the foot traffic was minimal for half the day due to persistent rain. Once the sun popped out, so did people. I ended up autographing five of my novels, while seven of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets went home with satisfied customers. Added to the mix were several pieces of pyrography and a couple of candles, so overall, still a decent outing.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/):

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ Maya Angelou

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 1st, the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Luís Vélez de Guevara, Spanish writer (El diablo cojuelo); Benedetto Marcello, Italian author and composer (Lettera Famigliare); Francis Scott Key, American lawyer, poet and composer of the lyrics to “Star-Spangled Banner”; Ivan Gagarin, Russian Jesuit and founding editor of Études; Richard Henry Dana Jr., American author (Two Years Before the Mast); Herman Melville, American author (Moby-Dick, Billy Budd); M. R. James, English scholar and author (Ghost Stories of an Antiquary); Rose Macaulay, English writer (The Towers of Trebizond); Isaac Keesing, Dutch publisher and founder (System Keesing); Constant Burniaux, Belgian writer (The Abandoned) and art historian (Temps Inquiets); Paul Horgan, American novelist (Mountain Standard Time); Anne Hébert, French Canadian author and poet (Kamouraska); Stanley Middleton, British novelist (Holiday, Three Wise Men); Jeffrey Segal, British actor and playwright (Dad’s Army, Traitors); Ernst Jandl, Austrian writer (Otto’s Pug); Ko Un, South Korean poet; Robert James Waller, American author (Bridges of Madison County); Étienne Roda-Gil, French songwriter and screenwriter; Brad Stephen “Taylor” Negron, American actor and writer (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Easy Money); and James St. James, American author and nightlife personality.

Any names familiar to you? I’m familiar with the work of three: Francis Scott Key, Herman Melville, and Robert James Waller. 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

Throughout August, all of my novels are participating in a mystery, thriller, and suspense promotion. There are eighty-five novels available through this promotion, so you’re bound to find something of interest. Why not check these out–never know when you’ll come across your next favorite author.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/endsaug31mtspromotion/6ux5b5q47y

My Work in Progress

I completed the first edit pass of Revenge this week. There were another ten new chapter reviews, bringing the total number to 741. As always, plenty of useful suggestions as always to improve my writing and very timely with editing well underway.

Here’s another snippet:

A tall, slender man, dressed only in Bermuda shorts and sandals, gazed out the open sliding doors of his two-story sanctuary perched on a prominent elevation across the South Shore.  He sipped his iced Dark ‘n Stormy as he rubbed the two puckered areas of skin on his lower right torso, the result of a recent altercation with a competitor.

“Good morning, sweetheart.”

Phoenix Vanidestine turned at the husky words spoken in a posh British accent by his long-time girlfriend, Zaine Greenly. “’Bout time you woke up—it’s almost noon.”

“I needed my beauty sleep.”

He chuckled. “You’re always a beauty.”

Zaine ran her hands through her long, straight blonde hair before stepping closer and taking his drink. She wrinkled her nose after tasting the Gosling Black Seal Rum and ginger beer. “Ugh. How can you drink this stuff?”

“What’s wrong with it? This is Bermuda’s national drink!”

“True. But, you’re not from Bermuda, so why not drink something that tastes better?” She ruffled his curly black hair. “Take me water skiing today.”

Phoenix shook his head. “Can’t. Too busy. There’s—”

“I know, I know. Business. But you’re the boss, so why aren’t you making the decisions?”

“I might be the boss of this part of the operation, but we’re just a small cog in the overall organization. Someone above me is calling the shots, and he wants his merchandise.”

Zaine pouted.  “I’m beginning to think you don’t love me anymore. You spend more time with those guys than you do with me.”

Phoenix wrapped his arms around her and gave a slight squeeze. “You’re the most important person in the world to me. However, I still have to earn a living.”

“Why can’t you have a normal nine-to-five job instead of one that takes you away at all hours?”

He shrugged. “You should have realized I’d be bored doing some mundane job.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Zaine rubbed his bullet-wound scars.  “I just worry the thrills you seek might lead to your death.”

“Not to worry.” Phoenix puffed out his chest. “I’m golden—nothing can harm me.” I hope. “Let’s have brunch before I head to—”

More next time.

Although I concentrated on my editing of Revenge, I still managed to complete chapter ten of Ultimate Escalation. Slide1

With the original chapter reviews from when I posted the first seven chapters combined with crits on the revisions and the new ones, there’s been there’s been 210 reviews, and increase of eleven over the past week.

My goal is to complete the first draft of Ultimate Escalation by the end of February 2022. Obviously, things might get in the way, but that’s my plan as of today.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished Cosega Search, the first book in the Cosega Sequence series by Brandt Legg. This was the first of Brandt’s novels that I’ve read. Although there are numerous novels about something being found which might destroy the Vatican and its teachings, the adventures of Ripley Gaines, an archeologist, was a very enjoyable read.

With plenty of twists and turns in the plot and larger-than-life characters, I found myself staying up late burning the proverbial midnight oil to find out what happened next. Who are friends and who are enemies? You’ll have to buy a copy and sort this out for yourself. Although I normally prefer novels which wrap everything up by the final page, this one is worth going to the next book in the series. Look forward to reading more.

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.

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