Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 17, 2019

This coming Saturday, we’ll be participating in our first craft fair of 2019 at Falkland, Scotland. Our table will include knitwear, hand-made candles, pyrography (woodburning), laminated poetry sheets, and my two published novels. Hope to have a good time and sell a few things! All being well, the weather we’ve had over the past few days will continue so people will be out and about and stop by for a visit.

The bulk of the new kitchen has been completed, with just some tiling and painting to do. When things are finished, I’ll include a photo or two.

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

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Spanish poet; Louisa Lawson, Australian suffragist and writer; Samuel Sidney McClure, Irish-American newspaper editor/publisher; Mori Ōgai, Japanese novelist and poet; Fyodor Sologub, Russian symbolist novelist and poet; Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson, NSW Australia, poet (Waltzing Matilda); Henri Vandeputte, Belgian author/poet (L’homme Jeune); Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and writer; Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American novelist (Book-of-Month-Club); Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, British priest, broadcaster and author (Viaduct Murder); Georg Britting, writer; Theodor Plievier, German writer (Des Kaisers Kulis, Stalingrad); Albert Kuyle, [Louis Kuitenbrouwer], Dutch writer (Jesus’ Robe); Charles B Timmer, Dutch translator/writer (Russia Black on White); Alice “Andre” Norton, American sci-fi author (The Time Traders, The Zero Stone); Per-Jakez Helias, writer/teacher; Margaret Truman, Mo, pres daughter/writer (Murder at FBI); Chaim Potok, American novelist (Promise); Ruth Rendell, English thriller writer (Inspector Wexford novels); Dallas Adams, British actor/painter/writer (Terror From Within); and  Mo Yan, Chinese novelist and nobel laureate (Red Sorghum Clan, The Republic of Wine).

How many are you familiar with? There’s definitely one or two who should be recognizable, perhaps not by name, but by the title of their work. 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

Editing continues on my third novel, Carnage in Singapore. So far I’m still on 1539534550track to submit the manuscript to my publisher in May/June. Here’s another snippet:

Six wooden huts, each sheltered by immense monkeypod trees, stood in a semicircle near a small cave entrance at the base of Gunung Bintan, a small mountain of 340 meters. Although the occasional tourist group trekked up to the top and down the other side the huts were in an area not frequented by the groups.

A short, gaunt man with black hair, glasses and a full beard, stepped out of the largest hut. Known by the nom de guerre as Musa Rahmet, he was the local leader of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah.

Umar Darma dashed through the downpour from an adjacent hut and joined Musa. Scars crisscrossed his face, the result of a near-fatal motorcycle accident. He shook himself to remove excess water and squatted against the hut’s wall. “The foreigners are secured in their beds with chains. They won’t escape like the others.”

Musa nodded. “Has Wayan identified anyone else for us to seize from Trikora Beach Club?”

“Not yet.”

Musa waved his cigarette. “No matter. The four should be sufficient to make a statement. Too many have escaped.”

More next time.

1539535798I didn’t have much time left over to work on the final book of the series, Ultimate Escalation. However, I didn’t manage to complete some research.

In addition, I did some reformatting of two other works in progress: A Cartel’s Revenge and New World Revolution. More about these titles in upcoming posts.

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished Deep Wave (A Troy Bodean Tropical Thriller Book 2) by David F. Berens. This is an easy read with multiple humorous passages sprinkled throughout. One thing which seemed to identify Troy’s character was his hat, which he kept losing and it returned like a wayward puppy. What did Troy spot in the water–a shipwreck or something sinister? He’s hoping it might be a wreck filled with treasure. However, other parties are also interested in what he found with disastrous consequences.

Follow Troy, his brother, and friends as they rush to explore their find. David’s mix of humor, thrills, and even a bit of romance, provides something for everyone.

My Favorite Authors

Next time, I’ll introduce you to another author who has influenced my writing. Unfortunately, I ran out of time this week.

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, February 10, 2019

It’s been a busy week. A wall came down; a doorway was sealed. Parts of the floor were ripped up. The old kitchen was ripped out and a new one is installed, except for a few tweaks. Hopefully, the new flooring will be delivered as scheduled and by the end of this coming week, things will be wrapping up.

Of course, there will still be some tiling to do, as well as some painting, and an island added. When everything’s finished, we’ll have a new eat-in kitchen.

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

John Suckling, English Cavalier poet/dramatist/courtier; William Congreve, England, writer (Old Bachelor, Way of the World); Aaron Hill, English playwright/poet (Tragedy of Zara); Charles Lamb, British critic/poet/essayist (Essays of Elia); [Fran J] Vital Celen, Flemish literary/author; Giuseppe Ungaretti, Italian poet (Hermeticism) and journalist; Howard Spring, British author/novelist/writer/critic (O Absalom); Boris Pasternak, Russian novelist and poet (Doctor Zhivago, Nobel 1958); Bertolt Brecht, German poet and playwright (Mother Courage); Joseph Kessel, French journalist/writer (Army of the Shadows); Armand Bernier, Belgian poet (Sorcier Triste); Alexander Comfort, English poet/writer (Wreath for the Living); Jakov Lind, German/British author (Counting My Footsteps); Thomas Bernhard, writer; Fleur Adcock, New Zealand poet; John Shirley, and American sci-fi author (Eclipse Penumbra, Eclipse Corona).

How many are you familiar with? There’s definitely one who should be recognizable, perhaps not his name, but his work. 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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Nothing new to report this work. As I previously mentioned, both The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance are two of the thirteen semi-finalists for the CIBA Global Thriller Book Awards, which will be announced the end of April. Stay tuned.

 

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Both novels are available across the Amazon Network, through Barnes&Noble, and other outlets.

 

My Work in Progress

Editing is progressing nicely on my third novel, Carnage in Singapore. So far I’m still on 1539534550track to submit the manuscript to my publisher in May/June. Here’s another snippet:

After the cell door shut, Evelyn sat on a chair opposite the prisoner. Ollie leaned against the door while Barbara took up a position within easy reach of the terrorist should she need to subdue him again.

Evelyn gazed at the man, allowing the silence to build.

Beads of perspiration broke out on his forehead, trickling down his face. Unable to maintain eye contact with Evelyn, he turned to the side and spat on the floor.

The members of Bedlam Charlie remained quiet as the man squirmed and tested his bonds. Unable to break free, his eyes flicked from one face to another. He licked his lips, staring at a water bottle on a small table to Evelyn’s left.

Noticing his interest, Evelyn opened the bottle and took a sip. “Are you thirsty? Answer our questions and I’ll give you the bottle.”

He glared at her but didn’t respond.

“First question. What is your name?”

Silence.

Evelyn jumped to her feet. “Name!”

In what appeared to be a reflex action, the man leaned back in his chair. “Kaku.”

“What is your full name?”

Kaku shook his head.

“You will answer our questions. Otherwise, Captain Kusuma and his men will resume their questioning.”

“They beat me. If I free, I kill them.”

“Tell me your full name.”

Kaku fidgeted in the chair. “Kaku Paton.”

“Where are you from?”

He closed his eyes as he shook his head.

“Where?”

“One of the islands.”

“Stop playing games.” Evelyn’s jaw clenched. “Which one?”

Kaku stared at her, seeming to summon up new courage. “You are an infidel. Our effort might be wasted, but there are many more. Jemaah Anshorut Daulah will raise jihad against the West.” He spat toward her.

Barbara pushed forward and backhanded Kaku across the face. He grinned as blood seeped from his nose. He glared at her. “I will kill you.”

More next time.

I didn’t have much time left over to work on my new novel, Ultimate Escalation. Perhaps I’ll squeeze in more time next week.

Books I’m Reading

I have two books almost finished, so I hope to post my reviews next week. In the meantime, happy reading!

My Favorite Authors

Another of my favorite authors is Tom Clancy. While he’s no longer with us, he’s inspired numerous writers throughout his career. The Chicago Tribune quoted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stephen Hunter as saying, “When he published The Hunt for Red October, he redefined and expanded the genre and as a consequence of that, many people were able to publish such books who had previously been unable to do so.”

I felt very honored when a recent review posted on Amazon about Dangerous Alliance referred to me as the next Tom Clancy. If only!

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, February 3, 2019

When I got up this morning and checked the temperature, it was a balmy 32F/0C. At least it was compared to the past few days. The dusting of snow we received still lingers but I suspect its days are numbered.

Despite our cold spell, Tommy, one of our cats, insists on staying outside, coming in only for a brief bite to eat before he’s out the door again. While we normally have our cats indoors for the evening, he’s the exception. He was a feral who joined us in January 2017, and it took almost eighteen months before we could handle him. Now, he’s a regular member of the family.

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

Caroline von Wolzogen, [von Lengefeld], German author; Horace Greeley, editor (“Go west, young man”); Sidney Clopton Lanier, American composer/poet (Hall of Fame); Martinus Ballings, Flemish Jesuit/author (Will Power); Gertrude Stein, Penn, author (Autobiography of Alice B Toklas); Clarence Mulford, Ill, western writer (Hopalong Cassidy); Georg Trakl, Austrian poet (Autumn of the Lonely); Johannes Urzidil, writer; Lao She, Chinese writer; James A. Michener, American author (Tales of the South Pacific, Hawaii); Jann Willem Holsbergen, author (Zakenmensen Fair as Gold); Joop C Swart, Dutch publisher/founder (World Press Photo); Joan Lowery Nixon, American writer; Randolfe “Randy” Wicker [Charles Gervin Hayden Jr.], American author, LGBT and pro-cloning activist and blogger; Paul Auster, US author/poet/director (Mr Vertigo, Smoke); Henning Mankell, Swedish playwright and author (Wallander novels); Stephen Euin Cobb, American novelist; Lizzie Borden, director/writer (Love Crimes, Working Girls); and Sarah Lewitinn, American writer.

How many are you familiar with? There’s definitely one who should be recognizable. 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

DA-3D-coverDangerous Alliance was covered under new releases in the February 1st edition of the monthly magazine, The Big Thrill, issued by the International Thriller Writers. To check out this magazine, click here.

Stay tuned for more news about semi-finalist Dangerous Alliance and The Kurdish Connection as the Global Thriller Book Awards moves toward the finals.

 

My Work in Progress

Editing is progressing nicely on my third novel, Carnage in Singapore. So far I’m still on 1539534550track to submit the manuscript to my publisher in May/June. Here’s a snippet:

Evelyn slipped past Ollie and stood between them. “Listen, you two. You’ve been at each other for hours. You act like siblings instead of professionals. Button it.”

Ollie leaned to the side to catch Barbara’s eye. Both burst into laughter.

Unable to maintain a stern expression, Evelyn joined in the laughter. “I understand, twenty-one hours is a long journey. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made.”

“Well, we’ve achieved success.” Ollie stifled a yawn with the back of his hand. “Between mediocre food, cramped seats, and old movies, we’ve made enough sacrifices.”

They chuckled as the seats in front of them emptied, allowing them to move closer to the exit. As they left the plane and walked up the jetway, a police officer stepped forward, holding a small sign: ‘Evin Party.’

“Hey, Evelyn, there’s our contact.” Ollie adjusted his backpack after a passenger shoved past, knocking the bag from his shoulder.

Evelyn stepped toward the officer and pointed at his sign. “I’m Evelyn Evinrude. I believe you’re expecting me?”

“Yes. I’m Kusuma Bagus with Detasemen Khusus Eighty-Eight—a Special Forces counterterrorism squad attached to the police. I’ll be your escort while you are here.”

“Thank you for meeting us. We’re ready to go.”

Kusuma led them to a nondescript blue van parked in a no parking zone. After they piled in, Kusuma turned the key. The engine started and died. He tried again with the same results. Getting out of the van, he walked to the front, lifted the hood, and let it drop.

Evelyn observed Kusuma muttering to the vehicle before he climbed back in, but couldn’t lip read his words.

He tried to start the vehicle for the third time—success. He smiled and pulled away from the curb.

“What did you say to the engine after you closed the hood?” Evelyn glanced over her shoulder at her team.

Kusuma chuckled. “I said if it wouldn’t start this time, I’d recommend the van be used for target practice on the range.” He patted the dash. “We have our ways of persuasion.”

More next time.

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I’ve also continued working on the fourth and final novel in the Bedlam series, Ultimate Escalation. So far, the drafts of two chapters have been posted to the two subscription writing sites I use, with twenty chapter reviews coming in. All contain excellent suggestions as I move forward with this story.

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Stone of Fire (ARKANE Book 1) by J. F. Penn. Follow Morgan Sierra as she searches for twelve stones. These aren’t just any stones lying around, but supposedly given to each of the Apostles at Pentecost. This is an excellent blend of myth, psychology, and beliefs, which will keep action-adventure readers glued to their seats.

Will Morgan and the secretive ARKANE group recover the stones before they fall into the hands of others? Stone of Fire is any easy read with plenty of twists and turns to delight most readers. Look forward to reading the second book in the series.

My Favorite Authors

The first books I remember reading were Westerns and the Nancy Drew mystery series. I don’t recall when I first picked up a book written by Robert Ludlum, the author of twenty-seven thriller novels, but I was immediately hooked and became an avid fan.

Looking back at my own writing, I can see he was one of the authors who contributed to my choice of genres. As I continue to explore some of my favorite authors, I’ll try to identify why the thriller genre was for me. Perhaps it was living in numerous countries and wanting to share with readers a story set in exotic locations, hoping to bring other cultures into our lives, irrespective of beliefs and norms. I guess we’ll find out.

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, January 27, 2019

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of the first month of the new year. At least I’ve noticed daylight is coming a bit earlier and staying a bit later. Always a good sign! We’ve been fortunate thus was regarding the white stuff (knock on wood), which means those animals and birds who forage during the winter will be able to get to their food supplies.

We assume our two hedgehogs are sound asleep in their nests, as we haven’t seen them for several weeks and their food is undisturbed. Roll on spring!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 27th. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann A Cramer, prime minister/poet; Hester Thrale, Welsh diarist; David F Strauss, German theologist (Jesus’ Life); Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], English author (Alice in Wonderland); Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Austrian writer (masochism); Rafael Obligado, Argentina, writer (Santos Vega); Neel [Cornelia H] Doff, Dutch/French/Belgian painter’s model/writer; Giuseppe Prezzolini, Italian writer (La Voce, La Cultura Italiano); Ilja Ehrenburg, writer; William Randolph Hearst, Jr., American newspaper magnate (Hearst Newspapers) and 1955 Pulitzer Prize winner; E. R. Braithwaite, diplomat and writer (To Sir with Love); Fritz Spiegl, Austrian journalist; Gastón Suárez, Bolivian novelist; Mordecai Richler, Montreal author, (Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz); Ismail Kadare, Albanian author/poet (Dimri i Madh); Ethan Mordden, American author; Alexander Stuart, British author; and James Grippando, American novelist.

How many are you familiar with? 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

transparentbeverly_sweets_png copyI’m absolutely thrilled with the news I received earlier this week. Both of my published novels, The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance have moved forward in the judging rounds from SLUSH pile to the 2018 Long List (aka the Slush Pile Survivors) to the SHORTLIST and have competed for the 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER SEMIFINALISTS positions. They are two of the thirteen novels making the semi-finalist lists! The complete list is available by clicking here: CIBA.

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Dangerous Alliance will be featured in the February 1st edition of the monthly magazine, The Big Thrill, issued by the International Thriller Writers. To celebrate this event, the Kindle version of Dangerous Alliance will be free across the Amazon network on February 1st and 2nd. 

My Work in Progress

I completed the first draft of my manuscript for Carnage in Singapore last weekend. Now my time is spent going through the myriad of chapter reviews and selecting suggestions which I feel will help improve my story. As of this morning, I have 681 chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use, so plenty of recommendations to choose from.

I’ve also been playing with the outline for my fourth novel, Ultimate Escalation. While I do have an initial opening chapter, I’ve decided to add at least one additional one at the beginning. This will be used to show how the story’s main protagonist came to be.

Books I’m Reading

Contact, by author M.D. Neu, was released this week. This is a well-crafted story from an up-and-coming author about a civilization searching for a home after the destruction of their home world. But, what if this really happens? Will we be able to handle things as Todd Landon and his husband, Jerry, did?

Warning signs appear when the American President begins shifting troops back to the U.S. Why? Before long, he appears on television and explains: the Nentraee, a humanoid race, is approaching Earth. While some people begin panicking, thanks to his estranged brother, Brad, Todd and Jerry, although sceptical, appear to be handling the mind-boggling news rather well. When Todd is chosen by his company boss to be part of a welcoming committee when members of the Nentraee visit, before long he finds himself in a vehicle heading to a reception with one of their leaders.

Not everyone can handle the development, and their transportation is blown up in an attack. Todd is injured, along with the Nentraee leader. Racked with physical and mental pain, Todd is at wit’s end when the Nentraee state they want him to be their envoy to work with Earth. He eventually takes the role, much to the delight of the Nentraee and to the angst of the American Secretary of State. What will the future hold?

Although I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, I can’t wait for the sequel. M.D. Neu’s a brilliant writer and this story is begging to be read.

I’m also assisting a fellow writer in trimming the length of his memoir to meet his publisher’s desired word count. I think it’s a fantastic story about his father’s life during the Great Depression.

My Favorite Authors

I had planned to share with you one of the authors who helped to shape my interest in writing thriller novels. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, so I’ll cover this 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, January 20, 2019

Another mild start to the day, with temperatures hovering in the mid-30s (F). Unlike the past couple of days, where there’s been plenty of sunshine, it’s gray. Not just a bit, but an ugly mass of gray as far as the eye can see. Oh well–it is winter after all. So far, the white stuff has stayed away, although the other evening as I stood watching the rain and waiting for one of the cats to come inside, I noticed the rain became whiter and whiter. Fortunately, it didn’t last long before the precipitation stopped altogether.

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

Susanna van Baerle, Dutch poet; Michiel de Swaen, South Netherland physician/poet; Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, Italian writer and jurist; Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer and numismatist; Eugène Sue, French novelist; Nathaniel Willis, writer/editor/founder (American Monthly Mag); Richard Le Gallienne, English writer (Maker of Gainborg); Johannes V Jensen, Danish novelist/poet (Energy Storage, Nobel 1944); A[braham] Merritt, American sci-fi author (The Moon Pool, Burn Witch Burn); Elmer R Diktonius, Finnish musicologist/author (Janne Kubik); Theodore Brameld, author/educator (Use of Explosive Ideas); C W Ceram, [Kurt W Marek], German/US writer (March of Archaeology); DeForest Kelley, American actor, screenwriter, poet and singer (Star Trek); Thorleif Schjelderup, Norwegian author and ski jumper; Bernt Engelmann, German writer; Eugen Gomringer, writer; Jamiluddin Aali, Pakistani poet, essayist and columnist; Qurratulain Hyder, Pakistani novelist; Sawako Ariyoshi, Japanese writer (Compound Pollution, Doctor’s Wife); Eddie Shah, English publisher (Today, Post); Susan Vreeland, American author (The Passion of Artemisia); Nancy Kress, American writer; and Edward Hirsch, American poet.

How many are you familiar with? 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

DA-3D-coverI was delighted to find out that my latest novel, Dangerous Alliance, moved from the slush pile and is now on the official 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards shortlist!  This is a prestigious award sponsored by Chanticleer International Book Awards. Dangerous Alliance is one of seventeen novels making the shortlist, so competition for the semi-finalist positions will be stiff. Wish me luck!

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I’m not sure when the semi-finalists will be announced, but I’ll include the names of the authors and the titles of their work when I find out.

 

 

My Work in Progress

My poor brain! It continued to work overtime this week, and I’m pleased to announce the completion of the entire first draft of Carnage in Singapore. Lots of editing to do as I work my way through the 622 chapter reviews it’s received from my faithful followers on the two subscription writing sites I use. Stay tuned for more information and a snippet or two.

Books I’m Reading

My nightly reading time has been focused on a beta read of a new novel by up-and-coming author, M.D. Neu. Watch for the release of Contact on January 21st! I’ll be posting my review on Amazon and Goodreads tomorrow and here next Sunday.

My Favorite Authors

Feedback from blog followers suggested I talk about my favorite authors. I plan to begin this section next Sunday, barring any unavoidable circumstances. I think it’s a good idea to share with you the authors who have influenced my work. I’ll discuss famous authors and also introduce you to new authors whose work I’ve enjoyed.

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, January 13, 2019

So far, so good–no ‘s’ word. Today’s already at 48F/9C, with scattered clouds.  Our four-legged family members have already scattered outdoors, taking advantage of another decent day. I did spot a couple of neighbors raking their yards yesterday. Is this a good sign or are they too optimistic?

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

Matteo Palmieri, Italian writer (Della vita civile); Mark Alexander Boyd, Scottish poet; Richard Hurd, English bishop and writer; Victor de Laprade, French poet and critic; Horatio Alger, American clergyman and author (Disagreeable Woman, Ragged Dick); Karl Bleibtreu, German author (Revolution of Literature); Kostis Palamas, Greek poet; Clarke Ashton Smith, American sci-fi author (Lost Worlds, Genius Loci); Anton Betzner, German writer; A. B. Guthrie, American novelist, historian; Dachine Rainer, British writer; Carolyn Heilbrun, [Amanda Cross], author (Lady Ottoline’s Album); Pamela M Cunnington, English architect/author (Change of Use); Michael Bond, British writer; Ron Goulart, American sci-fi author (Deadwalk, Plunder); Edmund White, American author; [Eileen] Joy[ce] Chant [Rutter], UK, sci-fi author (High Kings); Jay McInerney, American novelist (Bright Lights, Big City); and Lorrie Moore, American writer.

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

My brain cells were working overtime this week as I completed three chapters of Carnage in Singapore. I anticipate completing the first draft of the manuscript by the end of February. Then the fun will begin–editing! 

To assist me with improving my craft, I continue to post my chapters on the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, I’ve received 569 chapter reviews, all very useful to me as I move forward with this novel.

My outline for Carnage in Singapore has been modified, hopefully for the final time. I’m pleased with the progress thus far and look forward to the next stage in the process. Perhaps next time, I’ll include a snippet or two.

Books I’m Reading

During the past week my nightly reading has increased and I finished two more novels. The first is The Viking (The Vikings Series Book 1) by Marti Talbott.  I found this to be a delightful story, even if some of the attempts at Scottish dialect seemed a bit off. The story is well-written and the characters are vivid. It’s easy to conjure up the hard life most people had under clan rule and how two young people, the Viking Stefan, and the Scottish lass Kannak, could fall for each other. Look forward to reading another in the series.

I also completed Rogue Operator (Dylan Kane #1) by J. Robert Kennedy. What happens when three scientists working on a top secret project which could destroy the world disappear? Chris, a CIA research analyst, and a field agent named Dylan become embroiled in a plot to create a world war so certain companies could reap the financial benefits. No spoiler alert–you’ll have to pick up a copy and find out who wins!

This is a well-crafted story with plenty of twists and turns. It didn’t take long for me to read as I found it difficult to put it down. The main characters are realistic and share a variety of emotions with the readers, including love, hate, anxiety, worry, and elation. Although this is the first book I’ve read by J. Robert Kennedy, 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, January 6, 2019

Happy New Year! Hope the new year brings everyone health and prosperity!

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

Helius Eobanus Hessus, German poet (Silvae); Claude Favre de Vaugelas, French man of letters; Domingos dos Reis Quita, Portuguese playwright & poet; Matija A Reljkovic, Habsburg military officer & Croatian writer (Satir iliti divji covic); Ion Heliade-Radulescu, Romanian writer (Gramatica); Herman Grimm, German writer & novelist (Ralph Waldo Emerson); Kanagaki Robun [Bunzo Nozaki], Japanese humorist/gesaku-author; Carl Sandburg, American poet & biographer of Lincoln (The People, Yes); Khalil Gibran, Lebanese mystic & poet (The Prophet, Broken Wings); Jan Filip Boon, Flemish journalist & editor (De Standaard 1929-39); Eric Frank Russell, British sci-fi author (Hugo, Deep Space, Dark Tides); Benedict Vilakazi, South African Zulu poet & educator (Zulu-English Dictionary); Wright Morris, American novelist & photographer; Joey Adams [Joseph Abramowitz], American comedian, actor and columnist (ABC’s Back That Fact); Alan Watts, British-American philosopher (Book on the Taboo); Vincent Serventy, Australian writer and conservationist; Leah Chase, New Orleans chef & author; Jacobo Timerman, Soviet-born Argentine writer; Denis Pitts, English journalist; E. L. Doctorow, American author (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate); P J Kavanagh [Patrick Joeseph], British poet, actor and journalist (The Perfect Stranger); Mario Rodríguez Cobos (aka Silo), Argentine writer and spiritual leader; Penny Lernoux, American journalist; Osvaldo Soriano, Argentine journalist & writer; Barry Lopez, American author (Of Wolves & Men); and Allen Appel, American novelist.

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

As we move into the new year, much of my writing time has been devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. However, I still found time to complete another chapter of my next novel, Carnage in Singapore. To date, there’s been 541 chapter reviews from the two subscription writing site I use, all helping to improve my stories.

I also spent time revising the outline for Carnage in Singapore so things all come together as the final chapters are written.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past few days I finished reading Corktown (Abby Kane Thriller Book 1) by Ty Hutchinson.  This is the first novel of Ty’s that I’ve read and it won’t be the last. Corktown is a whirlwind plot of action, violence, sex, and some tender moments. Will FBI agent Abby Kane be able to solve the spate of murders or will she become a victim?

I don’t like to provide spoilers, but suffice to say all thriller readers will find something in this first book of a new series by an established writer. With a well-written plot, believable characters, and a crime to solve, you’ll be hard-pressed to put it down until you’ve turned the final page. I look forward to reading the next on in the series!

I also read The Blackstone Conspiracy by Sylvain Pavlowski. Jack, a journalist, and Thomas, a computer genius, uncover a conspiracy to shake up the world. Is the murder of a prominent politician part of the plot or a coincidence? This is a well-crafted story with plenty of twists and turns before coming to its climax. From my perspective the manuscript could have benefited from the services of an independent editor as I found myself ‘fixing’ the myriad of errors as I read. Saying this, I will still check out more work by Sylvain as he’s done an excellent job spinning his tale.

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