Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings,August 25, 2019

We’ve had decent weather over the past week. As a result, we put some of the outdoor chores aside and made three trips to Aberdour beach. Since it’s a bank holiday here this weekend, we made the most of our excursions before the crowds came in.

The first time we went, we took Frankie, the puppy we help look after. It was his first time to the beach. Every time he saw a bird or dog, he’d sit and watch. We didn’t let him off the lead as he’s still young, but he seemed to enjoy himself.

Tommy, one of our male cats, decided this week he wanted to use the laptop. Several times he would push my hand away from the keyboard. He was very persistent and at one point, he actually powered it down. Fortunately, I didn’t lose anything I was working on!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 25th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann G von Herder, German philosopher, theologist and poet; Antoine Louis Léon de Saint-Just, French revolutionary and writer; Bret Harte, American author (Outcasts of Poker Flat); Judith Gautier, French poetess, novelist (Le Dragon Impérial); Mollie Panter-Downes, British writer and columnist (The Shoreless Sea); Desmond Flower, English publisher; J. B. Charles [Willem H. Nagel], Dutch criminologist and writer; Brian Moore, Irish novelist (Catholics, Doctor’s Wife); Thea Astley, Australian novelist and short-story writer; Charles Wright, American poet (Black Zodiac); Frederick Forsyth, British author (Day of the Jackal, Deceiver, Odessa File); Sherley Anne Williams, American poet and novelist (Dessa Rose); Conrad Black, Canadian-born British newspaper magnate; Charles Ghigna (Father Goose), American poet and children’s books author (Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose); Martin Amis, English novelist (London Fields); and Noxon, American television writer and producer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many I knew except for one of my favorites: Frederick Forsyth. 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 Work in Progress

1541181671This week, I was on a writing roll, finishing chapters twenty-three through twenty-six of A Cartel’s Revenge and posted them to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count continues to increase, now standing at 339, an increase of twenty-nine in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s the another snippet from A Cartel’s Revenge:

Pushing through the doors, she slid around the corner, squatted, and fired three times without aiming. An incoming round smashed into the wall in front of her. She leaned into the stone for cover as rough-edged shards whirled toward her face. Startled, Olivia dropped the pistol. Blood trickled from a cut above her right eye. She sucked in her breath and wiped it away as anger replaced her fear.

Alto.” A huge man climbed over the railing from the patio. Piercing dark eyes shone beneath a mop of black hair as he plopped into a chair at the small bistro table, and helped himself to a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Diablo.” Olivia spat the word as the behemoth stood and helped her into the other chair. “Ramon, one day you’ll cause my death. The training becomes more intense every day.” She grabbed his goblet. “Salud.” She drained the glass.

***

Bam! Bam!

Ramon rose. His movements panther-like, he approached the door. He turned the knob in minor increments while the thudding continued.

“Shhh.” Someone outside the room cautioned and received a snigger in response.

Ramon yanked the door open. Caught off guard, two girls tumbled into the room. Laughing and giggling, they fell into a disheveled stack of limbs. He grabbed an arm of each child and helped them to their feet.

“Ramon, be careful! You’ll wrinkle my pretty dress.” Olivia’s ten-year-old daughter, Maria, stomped her foot and straightened the folds of her pink frock.

“Maria, stop it.” Silvina, her eight-year-old sister, dressed in blue, squirmed out of Ramon’s clutches.

Together, the two girls darted across the Spanish tile, color-coordinated ribbons holding their long hair in place as they melted into Olivia’s embrace for a much-needed hug.

More next week.

angolan cole-revised3I also continued working on Xavier Sear: Angola, the collaborative work I’m writing with author Michael Maxwell. Most of my time this week was spent on various pieces of research for chapter seven, but it’s coming along nicely.

I’m really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Michael. Between us, I believe we’re coming up with some great ideas, bouncing things off each other across the world as we are eight time zone apart. So far, the arrangement is working well and I’m learning a lot from Michael.  Eventually, we’ll fine-tune our synopsis and I’ll include it in one of my weekly posts.

Books I’m Reading

I recently had the opportunity to read Irreparable Harm (Sasha McCandless Legal Thriller Book 1) by Melissa F. Miller.  What a fantastic story! From the offset I became immersed in my reading, following Sasha as she works in a Pittsburgh law firm.  Working on a case for one of the firm’s largest clients, things go awry. Not only is the client embroiled in the aftermath of one of their planes crashing, killing everyone on board, people close to the case begin dying.

Irreparable Harm is a light-hearted story with an excellent plot and realistic characters, which kept me turning the pages. When Sasha joins forces with Connolly, an air marshal, to investigate the crash, the action and tension continues to increase, and I stayed up late to finish reading. This is the first novel of Melissa’s I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 18, 2019

We’ve had a few more glimpses of summer this past week, but plenty of showers and a couple of thunderstorms to drive the summer-time feeling away. Yesterday, we had a glorious day for the most part, just one brief shower around lunchtime.

With yesterday’s sunshine and pleasant temperatures, I was able to get some additional external chores completed. After six hours of steady effort, I declared my workday finished. Shortly afterward, Mother Nature ensured I didn’t do any more work with a ninety-minute shower.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 18th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Marko Marulic/Marulus/Splichanin/Pechinich, Croatian poet; Jean Bolland, Flemish Jesuit writer and historian (Acta Sanctorum); Charles Francis Adams Snr., American writer and diplomat, US Minister to the UK, son of President John Quincy Adams; Johan E. Elias, Dutch historian (Amsterdam’s regency); Nettie Palmer, Australian poet and essayist (Henry Handel Richardson: A Study); Armijn Pane, Indonesian writer (Belenggu); Elsa Morante, Italian writer; Alain Robbe-Grillet, French novelist (Voyeur); Brian W[ilson] Aldiss, UK, sci-fi author (Super-Toys Last All Summer Long, Helliconia Trilogy); Vincent Bugliosi, American attorney and author (Helter-Skelter); William George Rushton, English actor, author and cartoonist (TW3); Umberto Guidoni, Italian astrophysicist and writer (STS 75); and Brian Michael Bendis, American comic book writer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many I knew. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

Carnage 3D CoverCarnage in Singapore received the following five-star review this past week:

“I enjoyed reading, “Carnage in Singapore” by Randall Krzak, who in my opinion, is a brilliant writer who has a unique ability of immediately capturing attention with a very intense opening scene which was extremely riveting. As I read on, the action, twists and turns, and the whole story got even more intense and exciting.

I am a big fan of this author and read his previous book, “The Kurdish Connection,” which showed to me his highly sophisticated knowledge of the military and his high intelligence and experience about what really goes on in the background.

His writing style is excellent, and I thought he described each scene extremely well bringing out ever-increasing and amazing exciting action, thrills, suspense, bravery, and selflessness on the topical subject of terrorism.

The story, in my view, is thought-provoking and very fast-paced with great action and suspense as the Bedlam Team struggles and combats international terrorism.

I felt this author is highly creative, gifted and very extraordinary and, in my view, as more people read his work his fan base will grow. I believe his works are not to be missed as after I read “Kurdish Connection” I became a lifelong fan of this author’s talent.

Very well done and I give this book five stars plus and highly recommend it!”

Hopefully, similar reviews will be forthcoming.

My Work in Progress

1541181671This week, I finished chapters twenty-one and twenty-two of A Cartel’s Revenge and posted them to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count has now climbed to to 310, an increase of nineteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s the first snippet from A Cartel’s Revenge:

Zapata screamed, “Get us out of here! Hurry, before it’s too late!”

Men wearing white coveralls jumped out of the blocking vehicles, aiming light anti-tank weapons at the front and rear escort vehicles.

Weapons fired, the escort vehicles soared into the air, plummeting back to earth, now burning hulks. Zapata’s guards returned fire, but their response couldn’t match the overwhelming firepower of the attacking force.

One-by-one, the defenders succumbed to the withering fire as the remaining escort vehicles met the same fate as the others. Gunfire waned, as moans of the injured and crackling of burning vehicles grew in intensity.

The assailants approached Zapata’s SUV through the thickening smoke. They lined up along the driver’s side and stared at Zapata and his son.

Defiant stares greeted them.

Two men shouldered LAWs and aimed.

Zapata’s reign died as he and his son were immolated.

***

Francisco Tomas Kruz, Zapata’s longtime friend and confidant, replaced the receiver without a word. He rubbed his hand through his dyed black hair as he walked to the windows and gazed across the mountainous expanse. A brief smile etched across his face, not reaching his cold, hazel eyes.

He returned to his desk, grabbed the phone, and placed a call. “This is Kruz. Give her the phone.” He spoke for a moment.

Olivia screamed.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

As I mentioned last time, I had received a copy of Blair Howard’s latest novel, The Raven (Harry Starke Genesis Book 2).

Here’s my thoughts: Blair has done it again. Someone knocked off a wealthy woman, leaving behind a distraught husband. A friend of Harry’s father, the husband, who is a judge, turned to Harry and his new private investigation service to find the killer. Things become complicated with the addition of Russian mobsters into the story.

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one is fast-paced with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing who might have killed the judge’s wife. Realistic characters help Harry in his quest for the truth. Just when I thought I knew where the story was heading, different suspects crept forward, muddying the water. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll have to grab yourself a copy. You won’t be disappointed!

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 11, 2019

It’s been a crazy week, weather-wise. Plenty of sunshine and loads of thunderstorms, too. One knocked out the power briefly last night. At least we’re not in an area prone to erosion or low-lying land since there’s been flood warnings most of the week.

In between the cloudbursts, I did manage to finish some outdoor chores, including a bit of exterior painting and cleaning out some of the excess foliage. Things are looking better all the time, as confirmed by several comments made by people living on our street.

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

Cristoph Kaldenbach, Prussian poet and composer; Charlotte Mary Yonge, English writer (Heir of Redclyffe); Alfred Coville, French historian (Lesson etats de Normandie); Ernst Stadler, German poet (Der Aufbruch); Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Murray Grieve), Scottish poet (Scots Unbound); Eiji Yoshikawa, Japanese novelist; Louise Bogan, American writer (Sleeping Fury); Enid Blyton, English children’s writer (Famous Five, Secret Seven, The Adventure); Angus Wilson, England, writer (Mulberry Bush-1955); Alex Haley, American writer (Autobiography of Malcolm X, Roots); Carl Rowan, gun-toting newspaper columnist (Wash Post); Fernando Arrabal, Spanish song/romance writer (Baal Babilonia); Charles Hugh Shirley, publisher; and Marilyn Vos Savant, writer/world’s highest IQ (228).

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many I knew. 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!

Just Released!

Carnage 3D CoverSolstice Publishing released my third novel, Carnage in Singapore, this past week. Many to everyone for making this a reality.  If you haven’t followed my progress with the story, here’s the synopsis:

Terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah have flourished in recent years with new recruits joining them and ISIS-affiliates at an alarming rate. Blended operations by various Asian countries have forced the groups to work together to identify a new operational base.

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

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

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

Work in Progress

1541181671One positive from the stormy weather, other than giving everything a drink, I had more time to write this week. I finished chapters twenty and twenty-one of A Cartel’s Revenge and posted them to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count jumped a bit this week to 291. Plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s the synopsis for A Cartel’s Revenge:

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

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

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

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

Watch for the first snippet, coming next Sunday.

Books I’m Reading

I received a copy of Blair Howard’s latest novel, Raven this week. I had hope to bring you my thoughts today, but time slipped past and I haven’t quite finished what is another great story. Watch for my review next time.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 4, 2019

As we move into August, the past week has been a busy one. We puppy sat for three days. Frankie, a cockapoo, loves the various nooks and crannies he finds to explore. He still thinks the doorstop shaped like a dog is someone to play with, but he seems to be growing out of that, perhaps a shoe or two instead.

With some decent weather, we managed to get some branches trimmed, painted the front porch, and spruced up some decorative trim. Still plenty more to do but things are taking shape.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on August 3rd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Paulus Adrianus Daum, Dutch writer, founder and editor (Batavian Newspaper); Vernon Louis Parrington, American author (Romantic Revolution, Pulitzer 1928); Eugène Baie, Belgian author (Sub rosa et sub umbra); Rupert Brooke, British WW I poet (Lithuania, The Soldier); Clifford D. Simak, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Empire, Way Station); Leonhard Huizinga, Dutch journalist and writer (Adriaan & Olivier); Sal Santen, Dutch writer (You Are Jewish People); Shakeel Badayuni, Indian poet and lyricist; James MacGregor Burns, American political writer (The Lion & the Fox); P. D. James [Phyllis Dorothy], Baroness James of Holland Park, English crime writer (Cover Her Face); Hayden Carruth, American poet (The Crow and the Heart); Robert Sumner, American evangelist and author; Roger Foulon, Belgian writer (Un été dans la Fagne); Leon Uris, American novelist (Exodus, QB VII, Battle Cry); Cécile Aubry, French actress (The Black Rose), author (Belle et Sébastien); James Komack, American writer, director and actor (Courtship of Eddie’s Father); Diane Wakoski, American poet (Motorcycle Betrayal); Reed Waller, American comic book author (Omaha the Cat Dancer); and Frank Schaeffer, American author (Crazy for God).

Was anyone familiar to you? There was one who clearly stood out for me: Uris. 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!

Coming Soon!

carnage in singapore-001(1)We’re in the home stretch with Carnage in Singapore, which will soon be released by Solstice Publishing. Over the past week I’ve gone through a formatted .pdf file of the manuscript, checking for any missing/misspelled words and fixing any punctuation needing some attention. I’ll be sending it back to Solstice’s editor-in-chief tomorrow so it can continue toward publication.  In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

“It worked.” Kali chuckled. “The sole casualty was Gesang’s suicide bomber.”

“Two options to consider about him.” Abu Zeze gazed into Isagani’s face, followed by Kali’s. “Either we kill him ourselves or report him to the Indonesian authorities.”

Kali ran a hand across his mouth as he stared into the flames. “If we kill him, we’re rid of a problem. However, if we notify the authorities, he’ll end up with Detachment 88. This could lessen their search efforts.”

“Hand me the satellite phone, Kali. “Abu Zeze pointed. “On top of the mantle.”

After receiving the phone, Abu Zeze punched in a number from memory. Once someone answered, he said, “A man named Gesang is responsible for the attacks in Surabaya.”

“Who? What is your—”

Abu Zeze broke the connection and gazed at the others. “One issue resolved. Gesang is no longer a man of action. He’s become old and feeble and deserves to die.”

***

After Kali left to catch the speedboat, Abu Zeze and Isagani shared a forbidden glass of sherry. Isagani tossed another log on the fire to ward off the evening chill and poured a second round of drinks.

“My friend, Kali is a well-educated man.” Isagani raised his eyebrows. “Perhaps, too competent for his own good. I would be cautious in giving him too much free rein. He’ll be thinking of replacing you.”

Abu Zeze nodded. “I thought the same myself. For now, he provides results and seems to be supportive.” His eyes hardened into a distant stare. “Once he outgrows his usefulness, or gains too many followers, he’ll be eliminated.”

“A wise decision. I would also have someone keep a close eye on him.”

“How long have you known him?”

“About six years. He’s a friend of a friend.”

“You realize a friend might still be an enemy?”

“I may be aging, but I still keep my wits about me.” Abu Zeze chortled. “I had someone begin following Kali weeks ago. If he oversteps himself or fails in his tasks, we’ll deal with him.”

“Do you trust this person?”

“Yes. Sakti’s already taken the heads of two traitors—a third won’t matter. My daughter will act as necessary to defend our ways.” Abu Zeze stared at Isagani. “To her last breath.”

Perhaps more next time.

Work in Progress:

Despite the non-writing activities and work on Carnage in Singapore, I still managed to 1541181484finish and post chapter nineteen of A Cartel’s Revenge to the two subscription writing sites I use. The number of chapter reviews continues to climb, now reaching 256. Many thanks to all who continue to support my writing journey!

 

 

 

angolan cole-revised3Last week I mentioned that chapter six of Xavier Sear: Angola, had been completed. We’ve come up with several enhancements to the chapter, which will impact on later chapters. I’ll have this updated in the next few days. Collaboration is a great exercise and very fulfilling working with another author.

 

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been a bit behind on this category and will try to catch up. One of the novels I read earlier this year is ICE (Dr. Leah Andrews and Jack Hobson Thrillers Book 1) by Kevin Tinto. This is Kevin’s debut novel and it won’t disappoint action-adventure enthusiasts. After Dr. Leah discovers an abandoned Native American cliff dwelling deep in a cavern, who knew there would be a startling discovery. How did granite crystals found only in Antarctica end up in the dwelling of a people believed to have existed 800 years before?

Dr. Leah knows only her former husband, Jack, has the wherewithal to help her find the source of the crystals. With realistic characters and a riveting plot, this is a super read which will keep you turning the pages. I can’t wait to read the next on in the series!

I also finished reading Templar by Paul Bannister. I enjoy novels which combine a bit of history with fiction, particularly those leaning toward action-adventure. With the death of King John, his nine-year-old son is left as heir. Too young to rule, who will be a guiding hand for Henry when plotters would like to steal his throne?

Alaric, a new Templar knight, travels with his father, Banastre, to France to bring Count Ramon of  Toulouse back to England to serve as regent before the country is ripped apart by a holy crusade. With a good plot supported by plenty of research and believable characters, I enjoyed the story and would continue to read more works by Paul.

To close this section for this week, I’ll finish with my thoughts on The Dead Songbird (The Northminister Mysteries Book 2) by Harriet Smart. I thoroughly enjoyed the exploits of Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon and Police Surgeon Felix Carswell in the first novel of the series and wasn’t disappointed to follow them as they try to identify the killer of a talented singer. Set in the Victorian era, it’s easy to immerse oneself into the rigors of life during this period.

I thoroughly enjoyed following Giles and Felix as they unravel the mystery they’re faced with. With an excellent blend of historical facts and well-written fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and look forward to the next installment in the series.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 28, 2019

After a week of unseasonably high temperatures and humidity, Mother Nature cooled things off yesterday with a day filled with rain. We’re back to more normal weather, with a light breeze and scattered clouds.

Instead of doing outdoor tasks, things were concentrated on indoor jobs which were waiting for the right time, particularly painting of new skirting boards, which were installed earlier this year. With windows and doors wide open, plenty of fresh air kept the paint fumes at bay. Still a bit more to do, but will see how things pan out over the next few days.

Even our cats sought shelter in the heat, lounging in whatever cool locations they could find. Hope is still on the mend. While she seems to be returning to her normal self, she’s still not eating as we would like. It could be because of the weather, as the others are eating less too, just like we humans sometimes do. Hope goes back to the vet in the morning for another check-up and blood tests. She’s been really great taking her five pills each day!

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

Jacopo Sannazaro, Italian poet (Arcadia); Fabre d’Églantine French dramatist and politician, creator of the French Republican calendar; Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet (Windhover); Beatrix Potter, English children’s author and illustrator (The Tale of Peter Rabbit); Thomas P. Krag, Norwegian author and novelist (Jon Graeff, Ulf Ran); Ernst Cassirer, German philosopher and educator (Essay on Man); Karl Popper, Austro-British philosopher (Logic of Forschung); Kenneth F. Fearing, American poet (Dead Reckoning); Malcolm Lowry, English novelist (Under the Volcano); John Ashbery, American poet (Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror); Remco [Wouter] Campert, Dutch literary/poet/son of Jan Campert; Jean Roba, Belgian comics author (Boule et Bill); Natalie Babbitt, American children’s writer (Tuck Everlasting); Robert Hughes, Australian art critic and writer (Barcelona); Fahmida Riaz, Pakistani writer and feminist; and Shahyar Ghanbari, Iranian poet.

Was anyone familiar to you? There were two, which clearly stood out for me: Reuter and Hemmingway. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour finishes this past week. I haven’t tallied the results yet, but I know the number of followers across social media increased, as did the number of people marking my novels to read. Many thanks to all who participated in my tour. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

My Work in Progress

Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. The edits have now carnage in singapore-001(1)been completed. I’m just going through the formatted pdf file checking for any typos, missing words and punctuation before it continues through the publication process.

Here’s another snippet for you:

Kali walked among the waking men, touching an arm here, a shoulder there. Satisfied each man was alert, he returned to his sleeping area and placed his personal possessions in a backpack. The pillows and blankets can remain. Nothing to identify us.

He turned to the others and coughed into a closed fist to get their attention. “I shall accompany each team but will remain in the shadows. I’ll report your courage and conviction for our cause to Abu Zeze.” And shoot anyone who falters. “Allahu Akbar!”

“Allahu Akbar!” Eleven voices responded in unison.

“First two men, it is time.”

A tall man wearing black-rimmed glasses stooped to pick up a blue and white tennis bag. Next to him, a man three inches shorter with a scar running across his right cheek grabbed a green and white bag. Unlike others in the group, these men were lighter skinned and exhibited Caucasian features. They followed Kali out to a battered gray Mitsubishi Xpander.

The men piled in the back seats, placing their bags on the floor.

Kali hopped behind the wheel and turned the key, but the engine failed to start. Is this an omen? He climbed out, opened the hood, and jiggled the battery cables. Back in the driver’s seat, he tried again. Black smoke poured out of the exhaust as the engine started.

The vehicle weaved through traffic, smoke continuing to mark their journey. Before long, Kali pulled over to the curb and stopped.

“Your target awaits.” Kali tilted his head toward a two-story white colonial-style building with deep-yellow shutters. “A symbol of Indonesia’s former ties to Britain and Japan, and where our declaration of independence was announced. You appear to be infidels, so the outrage caused by your mission should sour relations between Indonesia and Western societies.” He closed his eyes for a moment. “May Allah share in your triumph.”

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, but at a slow pace. Chapter nineteen is almost finished but completion was delayed with editing of Carnage in Singapore. As soon as the chapter is completed, I’ll post it to the two subscription writing sites I use. In the meantime, the number of chapter reviews increased slightly to 249, providing plenty of excellent recommendation to choose from.

In the meantime, Michael and I continue our collaboration effort on Xavier Sear: Angola.angolan cole-revised3 I sent him chapter six on Friday, and he’s comes back with a few suggestions which will enhance the chapter. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication.

We’ve also made some additional tweaks to our character list and the chapter outline. Collaborating on a novel is certainly rewarding and I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity.

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently completed Countenance of War: A Historical Novel of Scotland (The Black Douglas Trilogy Book 2) by J.R. Tomlin. As with the first book in the series, this was a another excellent blend of historical facts and fiction, making for an excellent read.

James, the Black Douglas, refuses to give in to the English conquerors and takes the was to them, utilizing guerilla tactics against superior-numbered forces. Follow James and his band of courageous men as they strive to free Scotland from the clutches of King Edward. I look forward to reading more from this brilliant author.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings,July 21, 2019

One of our cats, Hope, isn’t well. She’s spent the majority of Tuesday through Friday at the vet, receiving IVs and a variety of drugs. Her liver enzymes were highly elevated, so they’ve been giving her things to help her liver and fight what they suspect might be a bacterial injection.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

She’s been at home over the weekend, but goes back to the vet on Monday morning, Anyone who has given their pets pills will know what we’ve gone through, trying to give Hope five pills a day. Overall, she’s done well with the pills. One of the biggest concerns is getting her to eat. She’s been grazing, but we would like her to ‘dig in’ to a meal. We’ve been giving her sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, whipped raw egg (all for humans), along with some cat food (chicken, duck, beef). If anyone has any ideas about something which might tempt her, please let me know.

Hope’s alert, and this morning she was at the top of the stairs before she headed to one of her favorite places in the house. Hopefully, we can get things turned around.

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

Matthew Prior, English poet and diplomat; Anthony Collins, English philosopher (A discourse on free-thinking); Paul Julius Baron von Reuter, German-born founder of Reuters news service; Vasile Alecsandri, Romanian foreign minister, diplomat and poet; A S C Wallis, [Adele SC von Antal-Opzoomer], Dutch writer; Frances Parkinson Keyes, American novelist (Dinner at Antoine’s); Anton Schnack, German writer and poet; Hans Fallada [Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen], German writer; Ernest Hemmingway, American author (The Old Man and the Sea, Nobel 1954); Hart Crane, American poet (The Bridge); Diana Trilling, writer; Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer (Medium is the Massage); Brigitte Reimann, German writer (Franziska Linkerhand); John C Gardner, scholar/writer (Grendel, Sunlight Dialogues); Buchi Emecheta, Nigerian English writer (Price of Bride); and Michael Connelly, American author.

Was anyone familiar to you? There were two, which clearly stood out for me: Reuter and Hemmingway. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour finishes this coming week on the 25th. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out but would like to do so, please click on: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. The first edit pass was completed this week; just waiting to receive it back to go through the manuscript again.

Here’s another snippet for you:

Gesang picked up a backpack from a table near the door, rushed down the stairs to the ground floor, and stepped outside. He climbed into the rear of the vehicle, placing the pack between his feet. He grinned and gazed at the driver. “Today we make our statement. Musa Rahmet’s men gave the signal. Now we must do as Abu Zeze instructed.”

Wira, a slender man in his mid-twenties, nodded. “Did you make the final decision on the targets?”

“Yes. I’ll explain when we join the others.”

***

Two hours later, Gesang nudged Wira’s shoulder. “Time to dress.”

Wira stood, and Gesang helped him into the suicide vest. Covered with sticks of dynamite, packets of nails and ball bearings, wires led to an electronic switch.

After he put on his outer clothing, Wira glanced at Gesang, a look of bewilderment etched on his face.

“Don’t worry. You’ll live up to the meaning of your name.” Gesang patted him on the arm. “You’ll be a hero and martyr in Allah’s eyes and will live forever.” And if you don’t hit the switch, I’ll use the cell phone as a remote detonator.

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, although still at a slow pace. Chapter eighteen was posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. To date, the novel has received 240 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent recommendations to choose from! I’ve also started working on chapter nineteen.

In the meantime, Michael and I continue our collaboration effort on Xavier Sear: Angola. He sent me the first draft of chapter five last night, and I’m busy working on chapter six. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication. We’ve also made some additional tweaks to our character list and the chapter outline. Collaborating on a novel is certainly rewarding and I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity.

Books I’m Reading

With outdoor chores and the trips with Hope to the vet, I didn’t get a chance to put my thoughts together regarding books I’ve recently read. I plan to bring you two or three reviews next time, so stay tuned.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 23, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

Stay tuned for my online book tour, which begins on June 25th. Click on the following link for more information: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/the-bedlam-series-tour-sign-ups

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)The new cover for Carnage in Singapore, which will be released soon by Solstice Publishing, is now ready. Here’s another snippet: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More next time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved