Randall's Ramblings

New Release – Deadly Secrets By H. R. Kemp

Can ordinary people thwart a powerful conspiracy?

Shelley Ormond’s life is about to change forever. Her friend, a young refugee, dies suddenly and the federal police have shrouded her case in secrecy. Shelley has never been bold, but she will have to break the rules and jeopardise her safe, public service career to learn the truth.

Her new friend Adrian, a medical researcher, is studying a mystery illness in outback communities. Young children are falling fatally ill, but there’s no obvious cause although suspicious mining activity in the area is worth investigating.

Shelley delves deeper and is drawn into a sinister world of police cover-ups, organised crime and corporate greed. If she obeys the law, the powerful can go on breaking it.

The stakes are high, and the treacherous schemers will do anything to keep their deadly secrets. Lives don’t matter, not even hers.

Can they expose the plot before more lives are lost?

Will the formidable and ruthless forces behind the conspiracy stop them?

Amazon in eBook & Paperback

Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=9780648766308&ref=nb_sb_noss

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=9780648766322&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

USA https://www.amazon.com/s?k=9780648766322&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss

Available from Fishpond.com.au

Also available from Amazon in Europe

The eBook is also available from Apple, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Tolino and Subscription services: Scribd & 24 Symbols at https://books2read.com/u/bzoZVZ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/deadly-secrets-66

The paperback is also available from https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadly-secrets-h-r-kemp/1136661961?ean=9780648766308

About HR Kemp

I’m an Australian author and my debut novel, Deadly Secrets is available in both paperback and eBook format. Several of my short stories have recently been published, most notably in the anthology, When Stars Will Shine, and two in The Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine, Jan 2020 & Oct 2019. Another was previously published in the anthology, Fledglings, by Birdcatcher Books in July 2016. I’m currently editing my second novel, another political conspiracy mystery/thriller, while the beginnings of a third novel are sitting in the bottom drawer awaiting my attention.

I live in Adelaide, Australia, although I grew up in country areas near Melbourne. In 2011 I decided to seriously pursue my creative writing ambitions. I enrolled in and successfully completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing at Adelaide University. Over the years, I’ve completed numerous creative writing courses at Writers SA and WEA and once I’d written a first draft I joined a novel-writing writer’s group, The Novelist Circle which has a number of published authors.

My first degree was a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, and I have a Graduate Diploma in Education. Besides working at a selection of casual jobs as a student, a short stint working in an electronics factory; my long term public service career spanned roles as diverse as Management Trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician and Laboratory Assistant.

Besides writing, travelling and discovering new places is a passion for me. I have visited many fabulous countries and cities around the world. I keep a daily travel journal and take copious photos and these inspire scenes for my stories e.g. Deadly Secrets begins in Paris and has scenes set in Normandy, Nice and Barcelona before returning to Australia. I subscribe to the Adelaide State Theatre company, enjoy art exhibitions and galleries, and of course, I love to read. In March each year, I take full advantage of the Adelaide Writers’ festival to discover new authors and to hear my favourites. Some of the writers I admire are Elliot Perlman, Anna Funder, John le Carré and Peter Temple.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 29, 2020

As we head toward the end of March, we hope everyone is safe and getting what they need during these trying times. Many thanks to all of those putting themselves in harm’s way to take care of the rest of us.

On to better things. Who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 29th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Vitsentzos Kornaros, Greek Renaissance poet; John Lightfoot, English theologist and scholar (Horae Hebraicae); Konstantin Sergeyevich Aksakov, Russian historian and poet; Amelia E. Barr, British-born American writer; A. M. de Jong, Dutch writer (World Tour of Bulletje & Bonestaak); Ivan Goll, French-German writer (the Landless John); Ernst Jünger, German author and entomologist (Storm of Steel); Cecil Arthur Lewis, British fighter pilot and writer; Uuno Kailas, Finnish poet; Marcel Aymé, French novelist and playwright; Yvonne Waegemans, Flemish writer (Gnome Patjoepelke); R. S. Thomas, Welsh poet; Chapman Pincher, British journalist and author (about secret service); Sheila Kitzinger, British author, anthropologist & child birth educator; Yayoi Kusama, Japanese artist and writer; and Jacques Brault, French Canadian poet (Quand nous serons heureux).

Recognize anyone? II admit this group had be wondering. 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

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter thirteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 129 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-six in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible. I’ll provide another snipped next time.

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter thirteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 129 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-six in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible. I’ll provide another snipped next time.

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Die Every Day by Gordon Bickerstaff. Another brilliant plot with plenty of twists and turns. Follow scientist Gavin Shawlins and Lambeth Group agent Zoe Tampsin as they’re once again embroiled in a high tense situation. As with all of his stories, Gordon brings his characters to life, making readers feel like they know every one of them.

This time, Gavin is accused of murdering his fiancée. But, are things as simple as they appear to be? Zoe doesn’t think so, and charges forward to find out the truth. I don’t want to spoil your reading pleasure, so you’ll have to pick up a copy to find out what happens. I will say you’ll be burning the proverbial midnight oil as you won’t want to put this one aside until you’ve read to the end! An excellent story!

I also recently finished The Improbable Journeys of Billie Battles by Ronald Yates. This is an excellent continuation of Billie’s journeys. This time, we follow him from his roots in Kansas to faraway lands of what eventually becomes Vietnam and the Philippines. It seems no matter where Billie goes, trouble follows him like a magnet.

Once again Ronald has created a superb story, filled with excellent descriptions which put the reader in Billie’s location. With outstanding characters and a fast-moving plot, this was a great read. I look forward to reading the final novel in the trilogy.

This brings us to a close for this 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

California Dreamin’ – New Release by K.C. Sprayberry

“We are fighting a war with no front lines, since the enemy hides among the people, in the jungles and mountains, and uses covertly border areas of neutral countries. One cannot measure our progress by lines on a map.”

—General William C. Westmoreland.

Vietnam – the name of a country that still evokes strong emotions even forty-seven years after our troops left that region. For far too many people, the memories of their time there are as fresh today as they were when they were fighting in those jungles. Back home, families not only had to contend with the horrific images on nightly news reports, but also the hatred generated by the anti-war protestors.

Tish says goodbye to her long-time boyfriend, Steve, hoping and praying she will see him when his thirteen months in country are over. When she’s told he’s MIA, status unknown, her world shatters. But she never gives up on him, and always believes they will one day reunite…

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/60dY75hvOSdU7kvtxa31gh

Blurb

Dear Steve, I miss you so much and promise that I will never give up on you. Love you always and forever, Tish.

Tish Brady embarks on a journey she hopes will give her perspective for her future. During a time of unrest, she connects with young men bound for Vietnam, war protestors, and others with no idea what their future holds during the turbulence of 1967.

The Summer of Love is just the beginning of Tish’s journey…

Amazon eBook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086C9ZRFZ/

Amazon Print Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086B8FKKT/

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ-djjk2Uj0

Excerpt

Dear Steve, I can’t say this out loud. If I do, I might start crying, and I don’t want your last sight of me for the next thirteen months to be of tears. I also don’t want you to go, but I understand that you must. Keep your head down, darling. Love you always and forever, Tish.

***

We don’t speak for most of the ride. I can’t help myself. My birthday is coming up soon but I don’t feel happy to be turning eighteen. Instead, I’m ready to cry for the rest of my life, or the thirteen months my guy, Steve Mason, is in Vietnam.

About K.C. Sprayberry

“I have a secret… a very special secret. Perhaps you’ve heard this one before… from the time I was a child, I wanted to write stories for people to read.” K.C. Sprayberry

Former California native, K.C. Sprayberry, traveled the U.S. and Europe before finally settling in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. She’s been married to her soulmate for more than a quarter of a century and they enjoy spoiling their grandchildren along with many other activities.

Inspiration strikes at the weirdest times and drives her to grab notebook and pen to jot down her ideas. Those close to her swear nothing or no one is safe if she’s smiling gently in a corner and watching those in the same room interact. Her observations have often given her ideas for her next story, set not only in the South but wherever the characters demand they settle.

Social Media

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorKCSprayberry

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog:

http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/collection/playlists

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

AUTHORSdB:

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

MeWe:

https://mewe.com/join/kcsprayberryauthor

Website:

http://www.authorkcsprayberry.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGGHaiNhvTSsb6bXddR59iw

Authorgraph:

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

email:

kcspray01@gmail.com

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 22, 2020

I’d like to start today’s post with a resounding THANK YOU! to all those dealing with the coronavirus, from the medical professionals to those ensuring we have sufficient food and necessary supplies available, and everyone in between. We’ve had several neighbors offer to give us a hand if we need something during this trying time. Thank you!

It’s another crisp and sunny start to the day, so it’s a good time to continue working in the flower beds and getting them prepared. Plenty to do, but we’ll also take time to enjoy a coffee and tea on our new porch, which is an excellent morning suntrap.

On to better things. Who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 22nd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Antonio Francesco Grazzini, Italian writer; Edward Moore, English writer; Heinrich D Zschokke, Swiss author (Das Goldmacherdorf); Theodor Birt, [Beatus Rhenanus], German classical/writer; Arnold Sauwen, Flemish poet (Along the Meuse); Ellen Glasgow, novelist; Giulia D De Albertis, writer; Ellin Berlin, [MacKay], Mrs Irving Berlin, writer (Lace Curtain); Jochen Klepper, writer; Phyllis McGinley, poet; Albrecht Goes, German writer and theologian; Louis D L’Amour, American best-selling author (Hondo, Jubal Sackett); Gabrielle Roy, French-Canadian novelist (Tin Flute); Nicholas Monsarrat, English novelist (The Cruel Sea); Georgiy Zhzhonov, Russian actor and writer (The Secret Agent’s Blunder); Charles Pick, British publisher (William Heinemann); Al Neuharth, newspaper founder (USA Today); Paul Fussell, American historian (The Great War and Modern Memory); Igor Hajek, translator/writer; William Shatner, Canadian author, director and actor (Star Trek, T J Hooker); Billy Collins, American poet; Rudy/Rudolf [von Bittner] Rucker, American sci-fi author (Wetware); James Patterson, American author (Alex Cross, Witch and Wizard)

Recognize anyone? I spotted three very familiar names: Louis D L’Amour, William Shatner (although I know him for Star Trek, not as a writer), and James Patterson. 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!

I mentioned last week the release of Colombian Betrayal, the first novel in my Bruce & Smith thriller series.

To celebrate its release, I’ve teamed with other thriller authors to bring you a bevy of reading material. Some authors you might recognize, while others could very well be new to you.

To find out more, click on BookFunnel and explore the options available! I hope you find something of interest!

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter tweleve posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 103 chapter reviews, an increase of eighteen in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s the another snippet from Angola:

João enjoyed a meandering stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the Alfama district of Lisbon, winding his way through small plazas and dozens of four-to-five table restaurants. The aroma of cooking meat and spices aroused his appetite. The music of Fado singers intertwined with excited voices in numerous languages created a carnival-like atmosphere.

He entered the ground floor of Casa do Alentejo, a restaurant housed in a Moorish-style palace not far from Rossio Square. Still a bit early for his rendezvous with Catarina, he browsed in the attached gift shop selling handicrafts, searching for a small gift.

As he glanced up from a table laden with colorful scented candles, he spotted a man with African features staring at him. When João took a step forward, the man rushed out of the shop and disappeared.

He purchased two cranberry-scented candles and hurried to the second floor of the building and into the restaurant. With wood-paneled walls, Casa do Alentejo offered fine dining for its guests.

Catarina was seated at their usual table.

João kissed her cheek and took a chair opposite. A guitarist approached, providing a romantic backdrop to the setting as he gently strummed love songs.

“I’m famished, so I ordered tuna steaks for both of us.” Catarina gave João a heart-melting smile. “Since they stock your family’s wine, I left it to the waiter to choose a special one for tonight.

“Thank you, Catarina. Sorry, I’m late. I wandered through the area and lost track of time.” He held out a blue box tied with a green ribbon. “For you, my darling.”

She opened the box and clapped her hands. “My favorite scent. Shall we ask the waiter to light one of them?”

“Of course.” João snapped his fingers, and a waiter rushed to his side.

“Senhor, I shall take care of this for you.” He pulled a lighter from his pocket, and after two attempts, a glow came from the candle as the light cranberry scent filled the air.

“I spoke with Sear this morning.” João grinned. “He agreed to be my best man—again.”

“Fantastic! I know he’s one of your best friends, even if you don’t keep in regular contact.”

“Just the way I am.” João shrugged. “But, he knows I’m always here if he needs my help—and vice versa.”

The waiter set plates of seared tuna steaks and seasonal vegetables in front of them. He popped the cork out of a bottle of white wine and poured a sample for João to taste.

A sniff, a twirl around the glass, and João held it toward the light before taking a careful sip. João smacked his lips as he enjoyed the perfect blend of plums and other dark fruits. “Perfect.”

* * *

After a delightful meal, they exited the restaurant arm-in-arm.

Two men approached, stopping them. One brandished a knife and spoke in accented Portuguese. “Give me your wallet.”

Catarina’s eyes grew wide. “Give them what they want.”

João pushed her behind him and stepped forward. “No. Get out of our way.”

The man lunged, the blade aimed toward his chest.

João parried the thrust and reached for the man’s arm. With a deft twist, he brought the attacker’s arm across his leg and bent the assailant’s wrist until something snapped.

Howling with pain, the coward fled.

Meanwhile, the second man circled behind Catarina and grabbed her.

She dug her elbow into his side and stomped her high-heeled shoe into his sneaker.

He released his grip. An evil grin etched his face as he waved his knife toward her face.

Bang!

The shot echoed off the nearby buildings.

João leveled his SIG Sauer P228 at Catarina’s attacker. “Leave her, or I won’t miss.”

Another snippet next time.

This brings us to a close for this 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 15, 2020

As the saying goes, “Beware the Ides of March.” History tells us Julius Caesar was assassinated on this day in 44 BC, thereby ending an event in the Roman Empire, but triggering a civil war which ultimately gave power to his heir, Octavia (later called Augustus). Today, we face a new crisis–the coronavirus. Let’s hope people get through this latest pandemic unscathed.

On to better things. Who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 15th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Charles Knight, English publisher; Aernout Drost, Dutch literary (Hermingard van de Eikenterpen); Branko Radicevic, Serbian poet (1st Serbian Uprising); Paul von Heyse, German writer (Nobel 1910); Alice Cunningham Fletcher, ethnologist (Stranger in Her Native Land); Augusta, Lady Gregory, Irish playwright, poet and patron of Yates; Lionel Pigot Johnson, British poet and critic (Ireland & Other Poems); Gerrit J Heering, Dutch theologist (Fall of Christianity); Gilberto Freye, Brazilian sociologist/writer; An Rutgers van der Loeff-Basenau, children book writer (Skating Race); Louis Paul Boon, Flemish writer (Kapellekensbaan); Geert Lubberhuizen, publisher (Busy Bee); Richard Ellmann, American literary scholar and biographer (Oscar Wilde); Lawrence Sanders, American novelist; Madelyn Pugh, American television writer; Yuri Bondarev, Russian writer (Silence); Cecil Percival Taylor, American pianist and poet (U of Wisconsin); Valentin Rasputin, Russian writer (To Live and Remember); Robert Nye, British novelist and poet (Facts of Life & other fiction); Jack Whyte, Scottish-Canadian author; Jacques Doillon director/writer (La Fille de Quinze Ans); Mark J Green, American lawyer/author (Closed Enterprise System); Kate Bornstein, American author; Lisa Holton, American writer; Fabio Lanzoni, romance novels model (Fabio After Dark); Jose Sanchez Zolliker, Mexican writer; and F.V.A. Morriello, Canadian author.

Recognize anyone? No one stood out for me 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!

New Release!

I mentioned last week the release of Colombian Betrayal, the first novel in my Bruce & Smith thriller series.

To celebrate its release, I’ve teamed with other thriller authors to bring you a bevy of reading material. Some authors you might recognize, while others could very well be new to you.

To find out more, click on BookFunnel and explore the options available! I hope you find something of interest!

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapters ten and eleven were posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received eigthy-three chapter reviews, an increase of eighteen in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s the another snippet from Angola:

Joao walked the upper hall of his family’s nineteenth-century home, awarded to one of his ancestors for services rendered to King Manuel III. He worked his way down the spiraling grand staircase, pausing to gaze out the windows at the botanic gardens. I’m not sure whether Catarina fell in love with me first or the gardens. He chuckled as he reached the bottom of the stairs and pushed the library door open.

He walked across the polished oak floor and settled himself behind the ornate wooden desk, another gift to his aristocratic family.

A discreet knock signaled the arrival of his mid-morning snack: a bica and a pasties de natal. The servant placed his coffee and custard cup on the desk and departed.

Joao savored the aroma of the espresso as he leaned back in the padded oak swivel chair, reminiscing about how he came to lead the Regaleira family.

The second son of Donato and Gabriela, he followed in the footsteps of other men in his position in wealthy families—he joined the army. His elder brother, Fabio, took over control of the family’s varied interests, continuing to provide behind-the-scenes advice to the president and prime minister.

When Fabio died in a fiery crash in the Algarve after his Ferrari sailed over a cliff, Joao resigned his commission and assumed his current role.

 He shook his head, finished his snack, and logged onto his computer. He dealt with numerous business emails related to the family’s portfolio of banks, wineries, and energy companies. A personal email caught his attention.

My Dear Joao,

It’s been a year or more since we last spoke. Things have gotten worse here, at least for family and me. Marxist Rebels in the DRC kidnapped Peter and a group of women and young girls. Since qualifying as a doctor, he’s been working for the Christian Aid Mission in the DRC.

I’ve contacted other members of the Angolan government, but so far there’s been no assistance offered. We’re still waiting for specific demands from a Jonah Alimasi Masudi, who says he’s holding Peter and the others. I realize you no longer serve in the Portuguese Army, but you’re the only person I could think of who might be able to arrange Peter’s release.

Time is running out.

Your friend, Theo

Joao slapped a hand against his forehead. Peter! What happened! Joao typed up a response:

My dear Theo,

What tragic news! I want to help, but I’m tied up with work commitments and my upcoming marriage.  While I can delegate work to others, my charming Catarina must be involved in the decision on when I can travel to your region.

Please give me a call—the same number—when you can so we can discuss this more.

Best regards, Joao

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Nothing New Under The Sun, the first novel in the Carter Devereux mystery series by JC Ryan. This is a superb start to the archeological mystery which we find Carter embroiled in as he searches the world for new discoveries.

With a riveting plot, realistic characters, and the possibility of an alternate theory regarding the creation of the human species (don’t want to give anything else away), if you enjoy archeological mysteries, this is one for you. I thoroughly enjoyed Nothing New Under The Sun and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

This brings us to a close for this 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

The Other Side Series -Author A.A. Schenna

The Other Side Series – No More Chances.

The moment of truth We have to try every day to become better human beings. We shouldn’t fear death but whatever happens after the moment we die.

What will this mean for you? Grab a copy now and find out. Just click on the photo to head to Amazon.

Author A. A. Schenna brings you a wide range of stories to help take your mind off day-to-day events.

As a child, A.A dreamed of being a cardiac surgeon. Later, Schenna realized that this was not what he wanted. Writing has always been his greatest pleasure. When he doesn’t write action, adventure, horror stories or anything else, he reads everything. admires all the writers he comes across and enjoys talking about books and magazines. A.A also loves meeting new people, discovering new places and he also likes traveling along with his partner and family.

Trapped in Timelessness, Lake’s Curse, The Alphas, Limitless Love Collection, On the Sixth Floor, Fear the Darkness, What She Needs and other, intriguing stories are available through the Solstice Publishing website.

Social Media Links

Website: www.aaschenna.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AA-Schenna/701740166542505?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ASchenna

Trapped in Timelessness

“When Brittany saw the beast running toward his side, she started screaming.” The chemistry teacher couldn’t stand staring at the nasty, bloody creature. She was only interested in her beloved partner, her Bruce.

The moment the four teenagers heard the mysterious man’s confession, they were ready to give up. For a while, the silence made their minds walk on the paths of the past. If only they knew the way to go back home.

The carefree stroll in the woods managed to trap them in timelessness. The four students along with their teachers would have to deal with an absurd fate.

The red scorpions, the large eagles, the nasty bats, and the bloody creatures were determined to haunt them forever. The moment they came across the craziest adventure of their lives, they would have to struggle to survive.

Trapped in Timelessness: Lake’s Curse

Green Lake was a beautiful place any time of year. A beautiful place where ten people disappeared every century at the end of a muddy rope.


On the verge of graduation, Nick and Leona knew nothing of this. It wasn’t until the nightmare came for them that the curse became real, and their futures changed far beyond what they could ever have dreamed.

The Alphas

The black angels have come, destroying the world to remake it in their own image. Some humans will survive, even overcome. As their world burns, they will rise from the ashes.

Trapped in Timelessness: Fallen Angels

The black angels have come, destroying the world to remake it in their own image. Some humans will survive, even overcome. As their world burns, they will rise from the ashes.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 8, 2020

The weather cooperated enough for the builder to finally tackle the plans for the front porch. Everything has now had 3-4 days to cure and is covered under heavy plastic to protect it from the frost we’ve had a couple of mornings. I’ll be removing the covering today, and the builder will be back tomorrow (weather permitting) to do the top step leading into the house and the pointing.

In the meantime, I was able to remove the top soil (only six inches) and a foot of clay and rubble from two of the flower beds in front of the house. They’ve been refilled with new top soil. This week, I’ll replant everything I moved and we’ll begin adding new things.

On to better things. Who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 8th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann von Rist, German composer and poet known for his hymns; Wilhelm Bleek, German linguist (Father of Bantu Philology); oão de Deus [Sao Bartolomeu de Messines], Portuguese poet (Flores do Campo); Kenneth Grahame, Scottish author (The Wind in the Willows); Mechtilde Lichnowsky, German writer; Stuart Chase, American writer and economist (The Tragedy of Waste); Eric Linklater, British novelist and poet (Blue Swallows); Elmer Keith, American firearms enthusiast and author (Guns & Ammo); Robert Wolfgang Schnell, German writer; A Marja, [ATE Mooy], Dutch literary (Shreds on the River; Heinar Kipphardt, German writer and playwright (In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer); Sembene Ousmane, Senegalese author/novelist/director (Doctor Noir); Victor “Toby” Neuberg, teacher/writer; John McPhee, American author; Richard Farina, American writer and folk rocker (Reflections in a Crystal Wind); George William Reed, astronomy writer/cartoonist (Dark Sky Legacy); and Jim Bouton, American baseball pitcher, author, broadcaster (NY Yankees, MLB All Star 1968, “Ball Four”).

Recognize anyone? No one stood out for me 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!

New Release!

I mentioned last week the release of Colombian Betrayal, the first novel in my Bruce & Smith thriller series.

To celebrate its release, I’ve teamed with other thriller authors to bring you a bevy of reading material. Some authors you might recognize, while others could very well be new to you.

To find out more, click on BookFunnel and explore the options available! I hope you find something of interest!

 

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapters seven through nine were posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received sixty-five chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-six in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s the first snippet from Angola:

The young doctor paused outside the hospital tent and glanced at the clear blue sky. The pain and suffering are like a kick in the stomach. It’s worse when I see the children. Doctor Peter Mwanga gritted his teeth before grabbing the tent flap and entering.

With a smile plastered across his face, he stopped at the first bed. “Good morning, little one.”

There was no answer from the emaciated child lying motionless on the cot of the once snow-white sheets, now a dingy gray.

“Let me examine your dressings.” He pushed a three-legged camp chair closer. With gentle motions, he touched the bandage covering the right side of her face.

The little girl turned away. Tomorrow would start her third week at the makeshift hospital.

She understands what’s to follow will be unpleasant and even painful. The doctor blinked as he helped her roll back over. “Mathy, I will be as gentle as possible. I must see how your cheek is doing, okay?”

After she gave a slight nod, the doctor peeled back the tape.

Mathy whimpered, tears streaking her chocolate brown skin.

“I’m sorry. I’m trying to be careful.”

She winced when he pulled the tape from her forehead, yanking out a few hairs.

“Almost done.” He loosened the adhesive and removed the bandage hiding the stitches and discolored flesh. “Finished. You’ve been a brave girl.” He leaned closer to examine the wound, and steeled himself against the pain he knew he would inflict on her. “We’ll give this a clean, and you’ll feel better.”

Mathy gave him a brief smile and squeezed his hand.

“Doctor Mwanga?”

He glanced over his shoulder. A nurse stood nearby, accompanied by a stranger. The doctor patted Mathy on the arm and stood. “Yes?”

“Doctor Mwanga, this is Pastor Eric Marker from Australia. He brought a group to work with us for the next two weeks.”

Mwanga tried his best to make his smile look sincere, but he was pretty sure it didn’t. Great. Another foreign do-gooder who shows up for two weeks before returning to their normal lives. “Nice to meet you, Pastor. This is Mathy Mahlangu. She is a very brave girl. We examined her stitches this morning. I am happy to report she is doing just fine.”

Standing and facing the newcomer, Dr. Peter Mwanga called to a nurse at the far end of the open-air tent. “You can clean her face and put on fresh bandages. Our little one will be going home tomorrow.”

“What’s wrong with her?” Marker squinted as he stared at the girl.

“Cancrum oris. Heard of it?”

The preacher shook his head.

“I thought not. It is a strange, horrible disease. It is born of malnutrition, poor hygiene, and one of a million African bacteria that attack a weakened vessel. You see, the mucous membranes of the mouth develop ulcers, then a rapid transformation occurs.” Mwanga turned, grabbed a clipboard from the end of Mathy’s bed before resuming his explanation.

“Painless tissue degeneration begins. Without treatment, which I may say, is in nearly all cases, it attacks the tissue around the bones in the face. By the time we see the child, substantial portions of the cheek and jaws are degraded to the point the teeth, gums, and often the tongue are exposed.”

The pastor glanced from Mwanga to the bed next to Mathy. “Like him?”

A boy of about twelve sat on the bed playing with a small plastic car. The right side of his cheek was completely eaten away, exposing his top and bottom teeth, and far into his lower jaw.

“Yes. We operate on him tomorrow.”

Boom! Rat-a-tat! Blam! Boom!

“What was that?” Marker’s eyes flitted toward the exit, wild with fear.

Explosions filled the air. Screams shattered the morning’s tranquility.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I just finished reading Nothing New Under The Sun, the first novel in the Carter Devereux mystery series by JC Ryan. I didn’t get a chance to compile my thoughts, so I’ll provide my review next time.

This brings us to a close for this 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 1, 2020

Here we are at the beginning of another month. Doesn’t seem all that long ago we were celebrating the new year. At least we’re getting more daylight we day, although there is a drawback to that.

Our smallest cat (she’s been with us since September 2013) thinks dawn means food. Even though there is always munchies and fresh water, as soon as it starts getting light, she jumps up on the bedroom window ledge and plays with the blinds until she gets what she wants.

Of course, she’s not alone–another cat is waiting at the top of the landing. As soon as they both realize I’m heading downstairs, it’s a race to see who makes it into the kitchen first. I always lose!

The inclement weather continues to push our building works back. The builder hopes to finally make a start tomorrow, but we’ll see. Right now the forecast is cloudy with the occasional outbreak of sunshine.

Because the 29th of February only comes around every four years, today’s birthday list will include yesterday’s birthdays as well as today. Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on February 29th and March 1st. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

February 29th: Edward Cave, English printer (Gentlemen’s Magazine); John Byrom, English poet and the inventor of shorthand; Robert Bage, English writer (Criticism by Peter Faulkner) Patricia [Anne] McKillip, American sci-fi author (Fool’s Run); Jirō Akagawa, Japanese novelist (Ghost Train); Tim[othy] Powers, American sci-fi author (Last Call, Declare); Gonzalo Lira, Chilean-American novelist;

March 1st: Johann B. Schup, [Schuppius], German poet and historian; Gheorghe Asachi, Romania, writer/humanist/politician; William Dean Howells, American novelist/critic/editor (Atlantic); Lytton Strachey, English biographer and critic (Benson Medal 1923); Moriz Seeler, German writer and producer; Pol le Roy, Flemish author/novelist/writer (Stroom); Ralph Waldo Ellison, American writer (Invisible Man, Shadow & Cast); Robert Lowell, American poet/pacifist (Lord Weary’s Castle, Near the Ocean); Richard Wilbur, 2nd US Poet Laureate (Ceremony, Walking to Sleep); William M Gaines, publisher (MAD Magazine); Kuczka Péter, Hungarian writer and editor; Robert Clary [Widerman], French-American actor, published author, artist and lecturer (LeBeau-Hogan’s Heroes); Judith Rossner, author (Looking for Mr Goodbar); Camille E Baly, St Maartens poet (Sonny); Jean-Edern Hallier, writer; Michael J[oseph] Kurland, American sci-fi author (Infernal Device); Franz Hohler, Swiss writer; and Steven Barnes, American writer.

Recognize anyone? Ralph Waldo Ellison certainly stands out for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

New Release!

I’m please to announce the release of Colombian Betrayal, the first novel in my Bruce & Smith thriller series. So what’s it about?

Colombian Betrayal tears the cover off the drug trade and exposes the death, and violence behind the twisted connections between governments, revolutionaries, terrorists, and drug lords.

Watch as an unholy alliance is formed when the profits of a Columbian drug lord Olivia Moreno, begin disappearing and deadly new international competitors appear on the horizon.

Moreno, head of the Barranquilla Cartel, strikes a deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Little does she know she is signing her own death warrant! FARC has a group wanting a foothold in South America—the Islamic State, and she is in the way.

On the run, Moreno is captured by a CIA team. She spins a tale to use her money and manpower to destroy ISIS in an effort to save herself. Laws and rules of engagement are meaningless to Moreno, her life and her family are her only concern. Will the CIA leader fall for her offer?

Will team leader AJ Bruce strike a deal to turn the tables on Islamic State? Can she stop them from launching an attack on the United States? Or will she be too late?

Is it worth trading control of Afghanistan’s poppy fields with Moreno as a reward for her cooperation? Or is Bruce playing her in an attempt to double-cross her and kill two birds with one stone?

Get your copy today, and watch this high stakes game of kill or be killed.

The Kindle version of Colombian Betrayal are on pre-order until March 30th, while the paperback is available now across the Amazon network. Sign up for my newsletter and perhaps you’ll be one of twenty readers to receive a Kindle copy!

Work is also continuing on my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter three through six were posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has already received thirty-nine chapter reviews. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Stay tuned for the first snippet of Angola. I hope to bring it to you next time, but as everyone knows, plans can be disrupted.

Books I’m Reading

This week I read Prequel to the Firesnake: Plan8 Slaves by Rayner Ye. It’s an interesting story, which is sure to have you putting on your thinking caps.

Find out where it all began in a fast-pace read. Is this a sign of things to come? Will humankind evolve to such a level where we live on different planets, each creating their own legends. What about time travel? Is it a case of when not if, for traveling into other dimensions? This is an exciting series and well worth grabbing this one to explore what could be!

This brings us to a close for this 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, February 23, 2020

What a week! Rain, hail, snow, and wind. Sometimes, all in the same hour! At least we’ve been fortunate though, as some areas have really been hit hard. At least the snow didn’t stick around for more than a couple hours–a good thing for the flora which has been greening up, thinking spring was here.

As a result of the bad weather, our builder wasn’t able to get started. Good thing, as I couldn’t take care of the preliminary stuff he wanted done before he began. Will see how the coming week goes, although high winds and snow are predicted for the next couple of days.

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

Samuel Pepys, English navy administrator and Member of Parliament famous for his Diary of the English Restoration period; Wilhelmus Schortinghuis, Dutch theologist (Profound Christianity); Herman N van der Tuuk, Dutch philologist (Tobasch’ Grammar); W. E. B. Du Bois, American civil rights activist, writer (Souls of Black Folk) and founder of the NAACP; Agnes M Royden, writer; Norman Lindsay, Creswick Victoria, artist/novelist; Ventura Garcia Calderon, Peruvian diplomat/author; Erich Kästner, German writer; Aartje W “Mien” van It Sant-van Bommel, author (Mieke-serial); William L Shirer, historian (Rise & Fall of 3rd Reich); Walter Ernest Allen, writer/critic; Heinrich Schirmbeck, German author (Das Spiegellabyrinth); David Wright, South African-British poet (Deafness: A Personal Account); Gery Florizoone, Flemish poet; Gerry Davis, British screenwriter (Dr Who); Jef Geeraerts, Flemish writer (Black Venus); Donna J. Stone, American poet (Wielder of Words); Edmund Boyd Fisher, publisher; Bernard Cornwell, English historical novelist; John Sandford, American novelist; and Doug Moench, American comic book writer.

Recognize anyone? There were a couple I’m familiar with: Bernard Cornwell and John Sandford. 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

This week, Dangerous Alliance will be participating in TaleFlick’s Discovery contest. For those who aren’t aware, this is a weekly contest that allows the public to vote on which stories they want to see adapted to the screen.

I’ll be needing all the help I can get to push Dangerous Alliance forward. Voting will begin on Wednesday, February 26th at 10 a.m. Pacific Time and continue until Friday at 4 p.m. PT. Participation in the contest is free, so I hope I’ll be able to count on your support.

My Work in Progress

Editing is in the final stages for Colombian Betrayal, so today will be the final snippet:

The Afghan woman led Olivia inside and took her to a rough-hewn table. After she was seated, the woman brought Olivia a plate of food and motioned for her to eat.

“Where’s my knife and fork? Or a spoon?”

The woman gave a toothless grin and mimed lifting some of the goat and rice with her right hand and placing it in her mouth.

Olivia cringed. How disgusting! However, hunger soon overcame the lack of utensils, and she mimicked the woman, who began eating from her own plate. Food’s good, though.

Her food finished, Olivia drank from a bottle of lukewarm water. Her eyes became heavy.

Before long, she leaned forward, head resting on her arms. I’m so tired. Did the woman put something in the food to poison me? Tears seeped from her weary eyes. How are my babies? Her eyelids closed, and she drifted into an uneasy sleep.

* * *

Wham! Wham!

The building shook, and the shabby furniture bounced across the uneven wooden floor. Walls cracked as a hole large enough for a new door appeared.

Olivia screamed and scrambled under the table.

Wham!

A third explosion rocked the house.

Craack!

One end of the building tipped as a wall and corner gave way.

Yeeeah!

A blood-curdling scream filled the room as the roof collapsed, crushing the table.

And Olivia.

* * *

Seven thousand miles away, Lintstone stared at the live footage of the drone attack in Lashkar Gah being piped into his office. Yes! One loose end tied up. I’ll get Alonzo to send me more money, or I’ll release the photos.

His office door locked so no one could enter, Lintstone burst into laughter and clapped his hands. “After I bleed him dry, his body will be found. The autopsy will find he died using his own product.”

Watch for further snippets of my other works in progress.

Work is also continuing on my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, the first two chapters were posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has already received eleven chapter reviews. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Stay tuned for the first snippet of Angola. I hope to bring it to you next time, but as everyone knows, plans can be disrupted.

 

Books I’m Reading

I received an advance copy of The Peacemaker, the first novel in a new series by Blair Howard, will have you flipping the pages to find out what happens next. Bodies are flying all over the place as assassin Cassandra Wu and a former British SAS sniper known as Nero declare an uneasy truce to deal to stop the Peacemakers before they succeed in their quest to achieve peace on earth through another world war.

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one won’t disappoint. With a formidable plot and larger-than-life characters, you’ll find yourself switching your loyalties as the story progresses. With a timely twists here and there, you’ll really enjoy this one! I can’t wait for the release of the next one in the series!

 

This brings us to a close for this 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.

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© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, February 16, 2020

Last weekend and the beginning part of the week, we had plenty of snow squalls, heavy winds, and rain, compliments of Storm Ciara. This storm caused severe flooding and damage, and winds apparently reached ninety-seven miles per hour in some places, but our area wasn’t hit hard. Since then, there’s been Storm Dennis. It seems to have been a pussycat in comparison–still bringing some wind and rain, but nothing like Ciara.

Hopefully, things will settle down. We’re supposed to have some building works done this coming week. Nothing major, but there’s an area leading to the front porch we want redesigned as it becomes a water trap. The porch concrete-slab flooring will be replaced and extended out over this area. First though, there are a few plants and soil I have to move.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on February 16th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Ordericus Vitalis, French monk/historian/poet; Giambattista Bodoni, Saluzzo Italy, printer/typeface designer (Bodoni); Johann Heinse, German Sturm und Drang novelist/art critic; Joseph V von Scheffel, German writer (Gaudeamus); Nikolai Leskow, writer; Henry Adams, historian, writer (Education of Henry Adams); Octave Mirbeau, French writer (Journal of a Lady’s Maid); William Scarborough, Macon Ga, linguist/author (Birds of Aristophanes); Maurits H E Uyldert, Dutch poet/writer (Youth of a Poet); Elizabeth Craig, British writer; Van Wyck Brooks, NJ, literary historian/writer (Ordeal of Mark Twain); Albert Maurice Hackett, playwright/screenwriter; Hal Porter, Australia, writer (Tilted Cross, Paper Chase); Arthur Crook, British editor (Times Literary Supplement); Bob Tadema Sporry, Dutch (female) author; Hubert van Herreweghen, Flemish writer/journalist; Paul van ‘t Veer, Dutch journalist/writer (Het Vrije Volk); Peter NF Porter, Australian/British author/poet (Chair of Babel); Alfred Kolleritsch, Austrian writer; Aharon Appelfeld, Israeli writer; Paul Bailey, English novelist and biographer; Richard Ford, American author (Sportswriter); Eckhart Tolle, Author and spiritual teacher; Dorus Vrede, Surinam poet (Otobanda; the Other Bank); Iain [Menzies] Banks, UK, sci-fi author (Wasp Factory); and Guy Gallo, writer (Under the Volcano).

Recognize anyone? I admit I’m stumped 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!

News About My Published Work

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The Amazon Kindle Countdown Special, which started on Valentine’s Day, finishes this evening at 11:00 p.m. PST. If you haven’t read Dangerous Alliance or Carnage in Singapore yet, there’s still time to pick them up at a reduced price, for yourself or gift a copy to someone you know.

My Work in Progress

Editing is in its final stages on Colombian Betrayal (A Bruce and Smith Thriller: Book 1), which was previously called A Cartel’s Revenge in earlier posts. The name change came about after receiving feedback from my team of beta readers.

During the past week, I began the penultimate edit pass. This should go quickly as I’m not finding a great deal to change. However, I’m not going to rush. Here’s another snippet from Colombian Betrayal:

Javier sipped his coffee, glanced at his phone, and read the incoming text: New arrival—seems important based on activities. Will provide mug shot when we return—no app on this phone. Will stay in position longer to monitor the situation.

He concurred and turned to AJ, who was typing on her iPad. When she finished, Javier nodded and sent a response: Continue mission.

 “Wonder who arrived? Wish they had taken one of the SAT phones with them to send the photo right away.” AJ drained the last of her coffee, reached for the carafe, and refilled both cups. “I received an update from MacKenzie. She says they’ve picked up chatter about a training camp in Colombia.” She pursed her lips. “Wonder if this is related to the facility we’re interested in or if it’s something else?”

Javier shrugged. “If they can gather more intel, we should be able to check it out.”

AJ’s eyes widened as she reread MacKenzie’s message. “There’s an unclear reference to two young girls. Someone is speculating they were taken and sold into slavery.” She shook her head. “After discussing the camp with the caller, the called party mentioned the girls—both men seemed pleased.”

Heat flushed through Javier’s body. He pounded a fist into the palm of his other hand. “Perverts—they need to be eradicated.”

AJ nodded. “MacKenzie finished her note by saying Lintstone gave us the green light.” Her eyes lit up with excitement. “We’ll eliminate the kidnappers if they get in our way.”

More next time.

Last week, I mentioned I have a bit of a conundrum on what to work on next. The decision’s been made–I’ll work on Xavier Sear: Angola, the first in the Xavier Sear thriller series.

Synopsis:

Joao and Caterina Regaleria’s twentieth wedding anniversary celebration was fast approaching when a contact from the past reaches out for his assistance.

Colonel Theodore Mwelewe, a former enemy commander during the Angolan war and now an important politician, requests Joao’s help. The colonel’s adult son, Peter, was kidnapped while working as a doctor for the Christian Aid Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Reluctant to get involved, Joao contacts Xavier Sear, a former CIA operative. They became friends when Joao served as a member of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces in Angola and Sear was an observer.

After Caterina’s persuasive intervention, Joao and Sear head to the DRC to rescue Peter. Treachery abounds at each step of the way. Will they be successful or will the situation deteriorate even further?

Over the past week, I’ve also started setting up my newsletter. A few people have signed up. Those who have will receive a link to my award-winning short story, “A Dangerous Occupation,” read by an author. They’ll also have the opportunity for their first name to feature as one of my characters in an upcoming novel.

If you’d like to sign up and the pop-up window didn’t appear when you opened today’s post, go back to the main page of my website and select Randall’s Newsletter. Thank you.

Books I’m Reading

Cassidy, the seventh novel in the Lt. Kate Gazzara series by Blair Howard, continues the great trended Blair has established with Kate. Another riveting plot with larger-than-life Kate trying to solve the latest mystery. It doesn’t take long before a ‘simple’ appearance of a stranger in a farmer’s vehicle quickly turns into another murder investigation.

Filled with suspense, Kate’s investigation will keep you burning the proverbial midnight oil as you won’t want to put this one down until you find out who the culprit is. As with all of Blair’s novels, there are plenty of twists and turns for you to explore. Hope for another book in the series soon!

This brings us to a close for this 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

All being well, things will settle down and remain calm for some time. We’re supposed to have some