Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 28, 2021

Imagine my surprise when I looked outside this morning-snow! Everything was covered and it was still coming down. Since then it’s tapered off and is already starting to melt on the roads sidewalks. With the horrible winds over the past two days (hitting 100 MPH, although we were fortunate with only 55 MPH winds), Mother Nature has let everyone know she’s still around. Is this a sign of what’s in store for winter?

We were supposed to attend a monthly Artisan market in a nearby town yesterday. However, the wind storm resulted in its cancellation. Today, we’re supposed to be at a small craft event in a local hotel. First time, so we’re not sure what to expect.

Yesterday, the 10-1 University of Michigan (ranked 5th) football team played 10-1 Ohio State (ranked 2nd). Ohio State had won the previous eight games between the two teams. Michigan came out on top, 42-27. Unfortunately, I could watch the game–my sports provider elected to show the Florida-Florida State game (both teams were 5-6). At least the highlights were provided!

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

“Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let the challenges makes you strong.” Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow, there is only today. Be fearless. Listen to your heart. Envision your perfect day and go out there and live it. You have many smiles to share with those around you–and they with you. Radiate your love and feel that loving energy return to you. ~ Creig Crippen © Wisdom Quotes & Stories

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 28th, the fourth and final  Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Francesco Sforza Pallavicino, Italian theologist and historian (Istoria del Concilio di Trento); John Bunyan, English minister and author (The Pilgrim’s Progress); William Blake, English poet and artist (Songs of Innocence & Experience); Friedrich Engels, German social philosopher and revolutionary socialist who co-authored “The Communist Manifesto” with Karl Marx; James Allen, English writer (As a Man Thinketh); Jozef van Mierlo, Belgian Jesuit and literary (Hadewych); Alexander Block, Russian poet (Dvenatsat); Stefan Zweig, Austrian poet, essayist and dramatist (Beware of Pity); Brooks Atkinson, American drama critic (The New York Times); Dawn Powell, American writer (Turn, Magic Wheel); Uno Chiyo, Japanese writer (Confessions of Love); Nancy Mitford, English author (Love in a Cold Climate); Alberto Moravia [Pincherle], Italian author (Indifferent Ones); Václav Renč, Czech poet, dramatist and translator; Hugo Pos, Surinamese-Dutch poet and writer; Helen Copley, American newspaper publisher (The San Diego Union-Tribune); Dervla Murphy, Irish travel author (Full Tilt, In Ethiopia with a Mule); Rinus Ferdinandusse, Dutch editor and author (Nude on Fence); Randolph Stow, author/poet (Suburbs of Hell); Rita Mae Brown, American poet, novelist (Rubyfruit Jungle), screenwriter (Long Hot Summer), and mystery writer (Mrs. Murphy); Erwin Mortier, Belgian author; and Eka Kurniawan, Indonesian writer.

Any names familiar to you? I knew three–John Bunyan, William Blake, and Friedrich Engels. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you had a great one!

My Published Work

Mission Angola ebookI recently found out that Mission-Angola (Xavier Sear Thriller Book 1) has moved from the slush pile to the long list for the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards in their Global Thrillers category. A long way to go yet in the competition, which will be stiff as always.

Earlier this year, Mission: Angola ended its run in the 2021 Page Turner Awards as a finalist.

Fingers crossed, it will continue to move forward in the CIBAs. Stay tuned for more updates as they happen.

Coming Soon!

ComL-8c(1)No, this isn’t my book. Rather, it’s Sylvia’s debut poetry book. Released under the pen name of Sylvia Grace, Colours of My Life is a collection of Sylvia’s poetry and prose and wraps up with a couple of short stories, including one about Christmas, which is appropriate for a book being released at this time of the year. Encouraged by a myriad of people who purchased her laminated poetry sheets and have asked whether she would put her work in a book, she’s finally taking that step.

Here’s the synopsis:

Colours of My Life is a collection of poetry and prose inspired by my experiences and the world around me—people, animals, nature. Some poems will make you smile, others may touch your emotions and bring tears—embrace them. Gather your inner strength and enjoy the moment. Awaken your feelings and you, too, can rise again.

As soon as a few technical glitches are sorted out, Colours of My Life will be uploaded and available across the Amazon network in Kindle Unlimited, Kindle, and paperback formats. Hope you’ll check it out.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation. Chapter twenty was posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use.  A total of ten chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 412. Definitely some great comments to mull over!

Here’s another snippet:

The Bedlam operatives stepped out of the black Mercedes taxi and gazed at the opulence of the five-star Le Méridien Dubai Hotel. Palm trees stood guard over the entrance and throughout the manicured gardens. Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, and Bentley GTs filled the nearby parking spots. Through the hotel entrance, gold chandeliers competed with white marble columns and floor tiles.

“Ahem.” The taxi driver stood at the rear of the vehicle, placing their luggage on the ground.

Will approached and paid the fare, picking up his roll-around and a backpack.

The drive glanced at the payment and frowned before climbing behind the wheel and departing.

A member of the hotel staff rushed forward, pushing a trolley. “So, sorry, gentlemen. Let me take your luggage.”

Willie handed his suitcase to the man and turned to Nate and Alfie. “Don’t know about y’all, but I could go for something to eat.

“Sir, there is an all-day buffet available on the ground floor. I’ll show you the way when we enter.”

“Fantastic. You’re the man.”

The stocky staff member led them to the check-in desk and pointed to the opposite end of the lobby. “The buffet is to your right. I’ll take the luggage to your rooms.”

“Thanks. I’ll keep this.” Willie shouldered his backpack. “Do y’all take American money for tips?”

“Of course, sir.”

Willie pulled a twenty-dollar note from his wallet and handed it to the staff member.

“Thank you, sir. If there is anything I can do to make your stay more pleasant, ask for Dakila at the concierge desk.”

Willie nodded and led Nate and Alfie toward the buffet.

After they filled their plates, they claimed a table in the corner.

Nate glanced around. “Do you think Nikolaev is still in Dubai?”

Willie shrugged. “Only one way to find out. After we eat, we’ll ask at the front desk. They might not tell us anything, but we’ll give Dakila something to do.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Alfie scooped another forkful of eggs into his mouth. “When we entered the hotel, I thought I heard two men speaking in Russian. I couldn’t make everything out, but they were heading to the pool.”

“Find out what you can. Nate and I will go on an excursion and check out the hotel. Perhaps we’ll learn more.” Willie glanced at his watch. “We’ll join you poolside in an hour.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’m almost finished with The Lair of Anubis (The Project Book 20) by Alex Lukeman. I’ll share my thoughts about this story next time.

This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 21, 2021

After a week of mild temperatures and wind, clouds, and rain, with only the occasional glimpse of the sun, we woke up to a bit of frost on the car this morning. Clear skies with a temperature of 40F/4C should make it a pleasant day overall–hope to clear up some of the fallen leaves before we get more rain or worse.

I watched the Michigan State-Ohio State game last night. Both teams had 9-1 records going into the game. What a crushing defeat for Michigan State, 56-7. All I can ask is: how did Ohio State lose a game earlier in the year? Next weekend, it’ll be Michigan vs. Ohio State. I’ll still back Michigan, but who knows what will happen?

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” ~ Henry Ford

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 21st, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

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

Any names familiar to you? I knew one–Voltaire. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you had a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

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. Today is the final day of the promotion, so if you don’t hurry, you’ll miss out.

I found out this week that Mission Angola: Xavier Sear Thriller Book 1 has moved from the slush pile to the long list in the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Global Thrillers category. Twenty novels are vying to make the short list. Will keep you posted.

Coming Soon!

ComL-8c(1)No, this isn’t my book. Rather, it’s Sylvia’s debut poetry book. Released under the pen name of Sylvia Grace, Colours of My Life is a collection of Sylvia’s poetry and prose and wraps up with a couple of short stories, including one about Christmas, which is appropriate for a book being released at this time of the year. Encouraged by a myriad of people who purchased her laminated poetry sheets and have asked whether she would put her work in a book, she’s finally taking that step.

Here’s the synopsis:

Colours of My Life is a collection of poetry and prose inspired by my experiences and the world around me—people, animals, nature. Some poems will make you smile, others may touch your emotions and bring tears—embrace them. Gather your inner strength and enjoy the moment. Awaken your feelings and you, too, can rise again.

The paperback cover is now ready. As soon as Sylvia does a couple more content tweaks, Colours of My Life will be available across the Amazon network in Kindle Unlimited, Kindle, and paperback formats.

My Work in Progress

Slide1Work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation, but I’m still not done with the latest chapter as my writing time was devoted to working on Sylvia’s book.  A total of fourteen chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 402. Definitely some great comments to mull over!

Here’s another snippet:

“Good morning!” A heavy-set man dressed in a stained shalwar kameez and black sandals struggled to his feet under the Arabic gum tree and lumbered toward them. “Are you ready for our journey?”

“Umar, this is Vladimir and Mishka.” Ajit motioned toward the Russians. “They will be your passengers. Will you explain how they will be hidden?”

“But of course.” Umar waddled toward the vehicle. “I will drive the truck while you will remain in a space above the cab.” He walked to an area behind the driver’s compartment and reached into a small slot. With a click, a panel opened, revealing a ladder. Grabbing a rung, he turned and grinned. “Follow me to your temporary home.”

One by one, Umar, Vladimir, and Mishka climbed the ladder and squeezed into the dark compartment.

Umar flicked a small switch, bathing the area in a dim glow. There was sufficient height to sit, but they wouldn’t be able to stand. “All the comforts of home—plenty of blankets to cushion you during the trip.” He pointed to four small holes in the ceiling. “Air vents.” He twisted around and gestured to a funnel taped to a hose. “For urination. It will fall onto the road. There are plastic bags in the corner for defecation, but these will have to remain inside with you.”

Ajit stuck his head in the opening. “Here is food and water.” He pushed in two small bags. “When you are ready, we will close the compartment and move Umar’s cargo to keep you hidden.”

“If there is an emergency, how do we escape?” Vladimir rubbed his chin.

“I forgot.” Umar twisted his body again, so he faced the far side of the compartment. “There are four latches. Pull them toward you to unlock them. Use your feet and push—a panel will open so you can get out. Use this only as a last resort. Hidden and scared is much better than revealing yourselves and being killed.”

“How do we communicate with you?” Mishka glanced around. “I see a small speaker, but nothing else.”

Umar nodded. “When you speak in a loud voice, your voice will come through. Do not do this if we are stopped. Others will be able to hear you, too.”

Vladimir nodded. “We are ready to go.”

“Excellent. It will take us about fifteen minutes to move the cargo into position. There will be two planned stops for fuel and pay tolls. Tonight, you will be in Peshawar.”

Vladimir and Mishka placed their pistols and ammunition in handy access positions and used the blankets to create makeshift beds.

“Well, Mishka. Our journey continues.”

“Da. As the American soldiers say in the war movies, ‘Hurry up and wait.’ We might as well get comfortable.”

“Agreed. I just wish we had some vodka, black bread, and dumplings.” Vladimir dug into the food bag Ajit provided. He pulled out a samosa. “Want one?”

Mishka laughed. “Da.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading an advanced copy of Hit and Run: Hit and Run – Harry Starke Genesis 7 by Blair Howard. As with all of Blair’s novels, this one will keep you guessing until the final page. It was great to see Harry and Kate head to Florida for this one, even if the case began thirty-five years ago. Will there be anyone left to know what really happened?

There are plenty of suspects to go around, but who really killed three bicyclists and severely injured another one? What was the motive? You’ll have to grab a copy to find out as I don’t like to give plots away. However, this one will have you staying up late and turning the pages to find out if Harry and Kate can solve the mystery. Another superb story from a master storyteller!

This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 31, 2021

To those who are getting into the spirit of things, Happy Halloween! Will you be trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, participating in divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, or watching horror films? Or will you let the night pass you by? Whatever is on your agenda, have a safe time!

After almost a week of constant rain, it’s great to wake up to dry conditions. Of course, I forgot the clocks went back last night. It didn’t matter, though. We’re still on ‘cat’ time–they were waiting for their breakfast.

Being from Michigan, I had quite an interest in the Michigan-Michigan State American football game played yesterday. It wasn’t available for viewing here, but a friend kept me updated with the scores. Must have been a fantastic game as it went down to the end, with Michigan State coming out on top!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Find out what you really love to do, and then find a way to make a good living doing it.” ~ Napoleon Hill

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on October 31st, the fifth and last Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Philippe de Vitry, French composer and poet; Caesar Baronius, Italian cardinal and historian; Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles, English statesman and writer; John Evelyn, English writer and diarist (Life of Mrs Godolphin); Christopher Anstey, English poet (The New Bath Guide); John Keats, English Romantic poet (Ode to a Grecian Urn); Hugh Boyle Ewing, American diplomat, author, attorney, and Brevet Major General (Union Army); Krišjānis Barons, Latvian writer; Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, American writer (Revolt of Mother); Seerp Anema, Dutch poet and writer (Dutch Coasts); Napoleon Lapathiotis, Greek poet; B. H. Liddell Hart, English military historian and publicist (The Rommel Papers); Charles Drummond de Andrade, Brazilian poet (Claro Enigma); William H. McNeill, Canadian-born historian (Rise of the West); Dick Francis, British jockey and detective writer (Whip Hand, High Stakes); Charles Moore, British editor-in-chief (Sunday Telegraph); Neal Stephenson, American author; Arnaud Desplechin, French film director and screenwriter; and Joseph Boyden, Canadian novelist (Three Day Road).

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: John Keats and Dick Francis. 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

Slide1Work continued this week on Ultimate Escalation. Chapter seventeen is now finished and posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use.  A total of thirty chapter reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 360. Definitely some busy reviewers!

Here’s another snippet:

Before daybreak the following morning, a small, motorized boat hugged the Pakistani shoreline and entered the Indus River Delta. A half-moon cast eerie shadows on the area notorious for its mix of swamps, streams, and mangrove forests. Vladimir, Vasily, Ajit, and four men armed with AK-47s remained alert for naval and army patrols. They cleared the delta and followed the twists and turns of the mighty waterway.

Vladimir swatted at a swarm of pesky mosquitos. “Explain again why we’re going to the meeting this way?”

“Ah.” Ajit grinned. “This is easier way. Many obstacles for the military. They don’t like crawling through swamps, streams, and mangrove forests.”

Easier for who?  “If you say so.” He raised his brows as he glanced at Vasily.

With a tilt of his head, Vasily shrugged.

Hour after hour passed as they motored upriver. Once the sun rose, the temperature climbed, burning off the early-morning chill. The travelers remained silent, the peacefulness disturbed by the occasional calls of pigeons and parakeets and the continued putt-putt of the small engine.

As they approached Hyderabad, the pilot guided the boat toward a disused pier. Broken plants and tilted posts rocked as waves bounced against it. Two men dressed in brown shawal kameez and wearing multi-colored Sindhi caps waited on the small wharf.

After they secured the boat, Ajit was the first to step onto the dock. Sharing greetings with the two men, he pointed at the Russians. “This is Colonel Vladimir and Sergeant Vasily. They’ve come to meet with the council.”

Both men nodded before assisting the others out of the boat. Once the pilot departed, the eight men walked along a path trampled in the grass to a white pickup truck with a tarp stretched on a high frame across the cargo area. An armed guard sat next to the driver.

Ajit, Vasily, and Vladimir climbed under the tarp into the truck bed, followed by the others.

Once the vehicle began its journey, Ajit handed small packages to Vladimir and Vasily. “False Canadian passports with your current photos. It’ll be easier to pass through checkpoints with these instead of Russian documents.” He handed each of them a larger envelope. “Letters of appointment to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Will help explain why foreigners are running around the country with armed escorts.”

Vladimir opened the document to the photo page. Staring back at him, a picture taken over a year ago. He chuckled when he checked out his new name. “John Smith from Toronto, eh?  Good thing my English doesn’t have a thick accent.” He doesn’t suspect we have access to multiple identities, but we’ll use these.

“We thought about European passports but didn’t have any blank ones.” Ajit shrugged. “I’ll introduce you to the council as Vladimir and Vasily, not the names on your new passports. It’ll be several hours yet before we meet with them. The trip to Bahawalpur will take at least ten hours. It’s six hundred seventy-seven kilometers, and I’m sure there will be additional military and police roadblocks after the recent uprising over Kashmir.”

“What about patrol boats?” Vladimir glanced at Vasily.

Ajit shrugged. “Sometimes. But we have a surprise for them.”

“What?”

Ajit tapped the side of his nose and grinned. “It’ll be a surprise for you, too. If it’s not needed, I don’t want to share.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Extreme Prejudice: If you fear trouble, don’t get into trouble (A Lambeth Group Group Thriller Book 9) by Gordon Bickerstaff. As with all of Gordon’s thrillers, this one will keep you on the edge of your seat as you keep turning the pages to find out what happens. Join Zoe Tampsin and her compatriots as they try to squash a terrorist plot. Who will succeed? With a riveting plot, filled with plenty of twists and turns, as well as larger-than-life, if you’re a thriller aficionado, this one’s for you!

This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 24, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

My Published Work

6 Novels

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

Here’s another snippet:

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

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

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

Laughter broke out as Gerhard and Willie blushed.

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

Every team member grinned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

That brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

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 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