Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Rambling, October 15, 2017

Here we are in the middle of October. Hard to believe, as it seems like summer was still here a few days ago. No doubt about it–the wet, dreary days are reminiscent of previous Octobers, although we’re still having 60F+ temperatures.

Despite the weather, necessary yard work continued. It was a good time to trim all of the pesky unwanted shoots growing up through the pine trees. With almost 100 trees, it took some doing, but almost finished. Now, I’ll wait for the rain to stop so I can bundle the stuff and have a beach fire (wind permitting).

My Work in Progress

Two more autographed copies of The Kurdish Connection went to new homes during the past week. Great to have continued interest in my debut novel. I just need to figure out how to increase the online sales and I’ll be delighted. Blair Howard (I provided a review of his first Harry Starke novel last week) provided me with insights into his marketing program. All I need to do is apply his recommendations and see what happens.

This past week saw the completion of two more Dangerous Alliance chapters. Both are posted to the two subscription writing sites I use for review by my fellow writers. As one reviewer said, “Plots, plots and more plots. I look forward to each additional chapter and the characters are becoming more real as details of the life unfold.  I’m sure it will be one of those books that you couldn’t put down, an ‘all night read’ as they say.

The next chapter is also underway. I mentioned last week I had revised my outline. I did this again and believe I’ve tightened the last third of the novel and will complete with about forty-seven chapters. It still should be close to 100,000 words before the editing phase begins.

Here a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

“Tahliil! At last, I’ve reached you. I’ve been trying for hours.”

“We had bad sandstorm. It stopped. The sky is clear.”

“I need your advice, Tahliil.” Dacar explained what had transpired since they captured the oil tanker.

“Dacar, make Greeks fear you. Kill one.”

***

“How, why? Who would do this?” Alf clenched his hands into tight fists, his knuckles whitening. An occasional tear fluttered down his face as he tried to come to terms after witnessing human brutality for the first time.

“May I have your attention, please?” David stood on a small crate. “We volunteered to help those in this camp who are in distress and require assistance. Sometimes, evil forces take advantage of those who are weak.”

David wiped his eyes before continuing. “We must be strong for those who remain and depend upon us. We’ll never forget what’s happened, but we must continue our work.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reading two novels in Kerry J. Donovan’s new series, Ryan Kaine. Since I’m doing an interview with Kerry, which will be posted in Readers Abode next month, I’ll hold my reviews and include them at that time.

I’m almost finished with another Dane Maddock Adventure, by David Wood. Stay tuned for my comments next week.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

MD Neu – writer and soon-to-be published author, Follow MD’s writing journey and check out his interviews with other authors. He’ll be releasing a short story on October 23rd, just in time for Halloween!

Reader’s Abode – Don’t forget to check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer. Click on the events tab to learn about our exciting book give-away!

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 7, 2017

If you’re from Michigan, you’ll know the big game was played last night between the University of Michigan and Michigan State. As always, this was expected to be a thriller. Even Mother Nature wanted in the act with pelting rain and driving winds. The winner? Well, just in case someone reading this recorded the game but hasn’t finished watching, I won’t spoil it. Suffice to say, a Michigan team won!

My Work in Progress

Yesterday I met with the store manager of the local Barnes & Noble. With the run-up to Christmas, they’ll be putting a display of works by local authors. The Kurdish Connection will be one of the novels they will showcase. In January 2018, they’ll also hold a book-signing event for me. I also sold two autographs copies this week. Things are moving along, slow and steady, but in the right direction!

This past week saw the completion of another Dangerous Alliance chapter. It’s now posted to the two subscription writing sites I use for review by my fellow writers. As one reviewer said, “Holy crap! What a way to end a chapter. Suspense abounds. You were right, the twists and turns keep coming.”

Needless to say, I’m moving forward with chapter twenty-nine. I also revised my outline, which now indicates a total of fifty chapters to complete this story. Plenty more to write as I want to complete the entire first draft by the end of January.

Books I’m Reading

Last night I finished reading Harry Starke by Blair Howard. The first in the Harry Starke series, this was a treat to read. It has everything a thriller reader could ask for: mystery, intrigue, action, romance, and plenty of twists and turns. Did I mention the deceit, extortion, and murder?

Harry is a middle-aged private eye thrust into a roller coaster ride after a beautiful woman rushed past him and dives off a bridge. If you love detective stories, you’ll love this one! I’ve already grabbed the next in the series, Two for the Money!

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Blair Howard – After reading the first novel in the Harry Starke series (there are eleven so far) and becoming hooked, I’d like to share Blair’s website with you.

Reader’s Abode – Don’t forget to check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer. Click on the events tab to learn about our exciting book give-away!

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 1, 2017

In the past eight days, we’ve seen the thermometer reach the high for the year (91F) and drop over thirty degrees to yesterday’s 59F. Wave action on the lake has been as varied as the temperature, with three-foot waves crashing against the shore and today’s almost mirror-like calm. At least there’s been on thing consistent–the sunrises have been superb. We began this morning with a brisk 38F and are climbing towards the forecast high of 64F. Plenty of sunshine so it’ll be a good day!

The wildlife continues to visit, seemingly oblivious to these changes. I was sitting in a chair in back of the house yesterday, when a young white-tailed deer buck sauntered by. He couldn’t have been more than twenty feet from me. An incredible sight!

My Work in Progress

I’ve been on fire with my writing the past three or four weeks. I finished chapter 27 of Dangerous Alliance and posted it for review. After spending a bit of time making adjustments to the remainder of my outline, I’ve also started on the next chapter.

We held another garage sale yesterday. As I’ve been doing, I have a small table set up with a couple of my novels, The Kurdish Connection, along with several business cards. I don’t mention anything but most people check the table out. Some make comments such as, “Oh, you’re a writer” while others don’t say anything but take a card. Yesterday, another individual wanted a signed copy. It’s always a great feeling when this happens.

I’m also assisting two writers with editing of their work, so I didn’t do much more on my own. Still, it’s been a good week. I hope it continues so I can achieve my goal of completing the entire first draft by the end of the year.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

Loud engines noises drowned out whatever the man planned to say. Dacar rushed to a window as two military aircraft circled the ship. “I think the Americans called those planes Hornets.”

“What should we do?” The young man’s eyes widen with fear at the mention of the American aircraft. “Go ou—”

***

“They must be satisfied we’re not the missing Zeus.” Dacar laughed. “Good thing we changed the name as quick as we did.”

“Yes. Should I continue searching for the missing crewmen?” Sahid shoved his knife back in its sheath.

“Not yet. I want to speak with Tahliil and ask his opinion.”

***

Three hours ago, U.S. Naval aircraft located an oil tanker proceeding in established shipping lanes towards India. They identified the ship as the Zebu, flying a Bahamian flag. No sign of the Zeus.

Maintain current operation with Greek frigate. Will advise.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Loch: A Dane Maddock Adventure, by David Wood. Not sure how I stumbled across this as it’s the ninth in the series when I usually like to start with the first one.

I couldn’t ask for a better adventure story. Two former SEALs turn treasure hunters end up seeking treasure in Scotland. Plenty of action as Maddock and Bones assist others in trying to uncover a treasure, which might be guarded by the Loch Ness monster.

David has created excellent and realistic characters. As soon as I finished reading this adrenaline rush, I did what I should have done before–started with book one. Needless to say, I’m hooked on David’s writing style and his plots. More to come as I continue to read this series.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, with everything else going on, I didn’t have an opportunity to check out anything new. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share next week.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 24, 2017

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the September or Autumnal Equinox began on Friday. Someone forgot to inform Mother Nature. In the past three days, we’ve had temperatures ranging from 89F to 91F. Certainly not fall weather, but I won’t complain. During the summer, we only had a single day reach 90F, and that was on June 12th!

Today’s supposed to be a bit cooler, only 83F, with more seasonal temperatures returning by the end of the coming week. At least there’s still plenty of sunshine!

My Work in Progress

It’s been another good week regarding my progress with Dangerous Alliance. I completed another chapter (26) and started on the next. Since I hope to complete the entire first draft by the end of the year, this is good news. However, I’ll have to step it up to achieve my goal.

In addition to working on Dangerous Alliance, I spent a bit of time casting characters for Carnage in Singapore, the next novel in the Bedlam series. The initial synopsis is already completed, I know where the Bedlam team will be headquartered, and at least one individual stepped forward to be on the operational team.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

Stavros grinned, his teeth covered with blood. “What’s the matter? Are my men too smart for you?” Stavros spat on the deck to clear his mouth.

Sahid placed the point of his knife under the captain’s left eye. “How did they escape? Where did they go?”

***

“Commander, a signal from the South Africans.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” Commander Ben Pierce, commanding officer of HMS Snapdragon, a type-45 destroyer, glanced at the short paragraph before handing the paper back.

“Seems the Somali pirates might be causing problems again, Lieutenant.”

“Yes, sir. Shall we give pursuit?”

Commander Pierce laughed at Lieutenant Smith’s enthusiasm. “Since we don’t know where the Zeus is, how do you propose we give pursuit? Pass the word to Navy Command Headquarters. We’ll wait for orders.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been on a roll reading novels by Paul Kemprecos. Recently, I finished Death in Deep Water, the third in the Aristotle Socarides series. The college dropout, former Marine, former Boston detective continues to stumble along with his private eye business, at least when Aristotle’s not out fishing.

As with the first two in the series, this is another fast-paced read with plenty of action from beginning to end. This time “Soc” might be in the water over his head, when he’s hired by an aquatic park to clear a staff member of murder. Sounds something made for a private eye–except the supposed culprit is Rocky, a ten-ton killer whale!

With the help of a beautiful dolphin trainer, Soc gets to work. In the background, someone is trying to stop him at all costs. Just when you think you know who is behind the entire plot, another suspect arises. A great story, filled with plenty of twists and turns. I can’t wait to read the next one!

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Authors Interviews – Fiona Mcvie interviews the authors she loves to read. This week it’s my turn!

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 17, 2017

Even without a calendar, there are plenty of signs we’re in the last days of summer and the official start of autumn is upon us. Children are back in school, baseball season is heading toward the playoffs, football season is underway, and the coats of the white-tailed deer have shifted from a reddish tint to gray. Despite the glorious weather we’re having in the upper 70s with clear blue skies, sunset is much earlier and I have to wait to watch the fantastic sunrises over the water.

Thus the annual cycle continues marching on. Before long, the days of summer will be a distant memory. But that’s life.

My Work in Progress

External events requiring my attention eased somewhat over the past week. As a result, I ended of up more time for writing. My goal for the week was to complete and post the next chapter of Dangerous Alliance to the two subscription writing sites I use for reviews. Not only did I complete the next chapter, I finished a second one. As one reader said, “You’re on fire!”

Needless to say, I’m pleased with this week’s writing progress. The next chapter (26) is now underway and I hope to post that within the next week. It’s always a great feeling to complete another section of my story and see how things are evolving. My goal is to finish the entire first draft by the end of the year. Stay tuned to see how I’m doing.

More from Dangerous Alliance:

After pushing past several of his men, Dacar entered the bridge. He walked up to the captain, a small white-haired man, who remained in his chair. “How did you get your limp?”

“I fell during a severe thunderstorm and broke the femur in two places. Never been the same since.”

***

“Well, Captain Stavros, you are mistaken. This hijacking is not about a ransom.” Bet you want the information. It’s much better than a ransom. “If you and your crew don’t—”

“Dacar.” Breathless, Sahid entered the bridge. “I-I must speak with you. Now.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I didn’t get a chance to finish my review of another novel by Paul Kemprecos so I’ll provide it next time. In addition, I’ll have my thoughts on a novel by David Wood. This is the first time I’ve read David’s work and I’m enjoying it thus far.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

MD Neu – writer and soon-to-be published author, Follow MD’s writing journey and check out his interviews with other authors.

Dragon Breath Press – a newly established company providing honest and quality editing and publishing services to aspiring authors in multiple genres.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 10, 2017

A golden orb hanging in a background of reds and blues sprinkles its rays across the calm waters. Quite a contrast to what’s been happening in the Caribbean and in Florida, not to mention the huge earthquake in Mexico. Let’s hope the other formed hurricanes dissipate without causing any further death and destruction. When you have a moment, please think about those who have been caught up in Mother Nature’s extreme forces.

My Work in Progress

Despite a bevy of activities to keep me busy, I finally completed chapter 23 of Dangerous Alliance and posted it to the two subscription writing sites I use. My readers are being their true selves, letting me know what works and what might need a tweak or too. One did manage to point out what definitely worked: “Wow! That ending … so stunning.”

I’ve already started the next chapter, pulling some threads together from earlier ones. As always, there might me another twist and we learn a bit more about a bumbling character introduced earlier as well as meeting a new pompous one.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

“Yes, sir.” Kim sighed. “I lost him.”

Sung stomped his foot and slammed a fist into the palm of his other hand. “How can you lose him? He’s a pathetic, dumb-witted man. You’re an intelligence officer. Are you saying he’s smarter than you?”

***

“Thank you, Supreme Leader. This makes me happy.” Why does he keep torturing me? He should give my family back.

“Do as you’re told without any further mishap.” Sung stood, signaling the end of the meeting. “You know the penalty.”

***

“You must know, as a senior official for our Supreme Leade—”

“On this ship, I am the supreme leader. You will do as I say. Or, I’ll toss you overboard.”

***

Soo nodded. I hope we don’t get sick on this floating garbage pit. “Lead on, Kim.”

“We must keep a sharp eye on the captain and is crew. There’s something—I don’t trust them.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

Last week I finished reading the sequel to Cool Blue Tomb by Paul Kemprecos. It’s called Neptune’s Eye and was every bit as good as the first story in the series. Aristotle Socarides continues his somewhat meandering approach to life while at the same time delves into a missing person case.

Just when I thought I had figured out the identity of the culprit, Paul throws another wrench into the story. As a result, Aristotle must follow new clues to bring his latest adventure to a satisfying conclusion despite various obstacles.

In my humble opinion, Paul has created a fast-paced yet easy-to-read series. I’m looking forward to reading Aristotle’s next adventure.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, I don’t have any new links to share with you this week.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 3, 2017

Let’s hope the water subsided in Texas and Louisiana so people and pets can begin putting their lives back together. Mother Nature can certainly unleash a storm with a vengeance.

For readers in the U.S., I hope your Labor Day weekend is off to a good start. Considered the official end of summer, children will be heading back to school next week if they didn’t already start during the past few days. 

We had excellent weather yesterday, with more promised for today. Bright skies, temperatures in the low 70s, and just the occasional hint of a breeze–a great way to begin September. Hope the forecasters have it right as we plan to hold another garage sale.

My Work in Progress

My writing has slowed over the past couple of weeks due to unavoidable external circumstances. Therefore, chapter 23 of Dangerous Alliance isn’t quite ready to post for my reviewers to critique. Perhaps over the next few days.

Here’s a bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

“Move.” The man pointed to his left, away from the crowds.

***

A hand grabbed his shoulder.

Soo gasped and swung at the unknown assailant.

The man caught Soo’s arm in mid-swing. “Ambassador Soo. What are you doing?”

“I-It’s you.”

“Yes. We were supposed to meet fifteen minutes ago.” Kim gave Soo a glance from head to toe. “Did something happen?”

“No. Yes.” Soo’s shoulders sagged. “T-The men who kidnapped me. They’re here.”

Kim glanced around. “Where?

***

“We must put our story together. Sung will ask why we stayed out of contact for several days. He might ask both of us.”

“I can understand him asking me, Kim, but why you? You’re my aide, nothing more.”

“True, but Sung is devious when he suspects anyone.” If you realized the truth, you’d require more than tea. When do you meet with our leader?”

“In two days.”

Perhaps a bit more next time.

Books I’m Reading

As promised a couple of posts ago, here are my thoughts regarding Neptune Island by Tony Reed. This is a fast-paced adventure, with Mr. Reed’s Lincoln Monk leading the way throughout the adventure. Set on an Asian island, Monk, a former police officer, is embroiled in a billionaire’s plot to lull the world into his way of thinking until it’s too late.

Neptune Island is an easy read, with plenty of action from the first page until the finale. While sometimes, things might seem to be turning worse for Monk and his associates, it’s hard to put this one down.

I also read Cool Blue Tomb by Paul Kemprecos. I’ve already read some of his work when he collaborated with Clive Cussler, but this was the first time I’ve read a novel solely written by Paul. I can certainly understand by Mr. Cussler decided to work his him!

A college dropout, former marine, ex-cop turned private eye, Aristotle Socarides stumbles from one precarious situation to another. Unlike some main characters who never get a scratch, Aristotle is frequently on the wrong end of an altercation. Despite this, he takes us on a journey through Cape Cod as he puts aside his day job as a fisherman to search for buried treasure to uphold his family’s honor. I enjoyed this story so much I’ve already read the sequel!

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Readers Abode – Our second collection of short stories and poetry has now been released. Drop by for a read–there’s bound to be a genre of interest for you!

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved