Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, August 19, 2018

As summer winds down, families are doing their final thrills with their kids before they head back to school. Stores are pushing ‘back to school’ sales. At least Mother Nature keeps reminding us it’s summer, with plenty of heat, humidity, and showers (and sometimes, thunderstorms). We also began today with fog!

Anyone out there celebrating a birthday today? Here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Marqués de Santillana, Castilian politician and poet (serranillas); Lodovico Guicciardini, Italian historian (Descrittione di Tutti); Paulus Merula, Dutch lawyer and historian (Historia Belgica); John Dryden, English poet (1st Poet Laureate 1668-1700); Eustace Budgell, English writer; Samuel Richardson, English novelist (Pamela); Pierre-Jean de Béranger, French poet and songwriter; Arnoldt Bronnen, writer; Ogden Nash, humorous poet (I’m a Stranger Here Myself); James Gould Cozzens, American novelist (1949 Pulitzer-Guard of Honor); Jerzy Andrzejewski, Polish writer (Ashes & Diamonds); Quentin Bell, artist, author/teacher; Ring Lardner Jr, American journalist and screenwriter (Woman of the Year, M A S H);  Malcom Forbes, American publisher of Forbes Magazine; D[avid] G[uy] Compton, UK, sci-fi author (Synthajoy, Radio Plays); Bodil Malmsten, Swedish writer; Jennie Bond, British journalist; and Li-Young Lee, Indonesia-born American poet.

Recognize anyone? I certainly did. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

My Work in Progress

Once again external pressures meant I had to forego my normal writing periods this week. However, I still managed to complete and post another chapter of Carnage in Singapore. I also refined my outline to reflect recent changes in how some chapters are plotted.

Despite my unplanned slowdown, reviewers added another nineteen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 313. Here a bit more from Carnage in Singapore:

“Please take a seat.” A secretary gestured toward several chairs. “Mr. Robertson will be with you in a few minutes.”

Before Evelyn skipped through the ads in a magazine to the first article, the inner office door opened. Framed in the doorway stood a tall, gray-haired man. His chiseled jawline and deep brown eyes commanded attention.

Harrison Robertson, the Director-General of Security for ASIO, stepped forward, his arm outstretched, a grin plastered on his face. “Lady Evelyn, thank you for stopping by.”

“Please, Harrison, drop the title. Given my background and the Australian culture, it doesn’t fit.”

Harrison chuckled. “Come in.” He leaned toward his secretary. “Margaret, would you rustle up a pot of tea and biscuits? Thank you.”

Evelyn and Harrison entered his austere office. An immense oak desk, devoid of papers but holding three telephones and an Apple computer, stood in front of the windows. A safe in the corner, three easy chairs, a coffee table, and photographs of beach scenes completed the furnishings.

***

“How is your hip? I spotted a slight limp.” Harrison handed a cup to Evelyn and offered her the biscuits.

She nibbled on a Tim Tam. “The doctors say the limp might remain forever but is less noticeable every week. The joint is healthy—they believe some nerves might be damaged beyond repair.”

Harrison nodded. “Good to hear the joint is sound. How is your new team shaping up? I suspect it won’t be long before there’s a suitable mission for you.”

“Alfie—how he hates his nickname—is running them through their paces at our training facility. We’re ready for whatever you throw at us.”

“Excellent.” He nodded. “Islamic State affiliates are popping up around the world. I think Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah still pose significant threats in our region. With the apparent death of Abu Sayyaf’s leader, I fear AS will be more dangerous than ever.”

***

Evelyn entered her office. About the size of a standard living room, a red cedar desk and chair, two five-drawer safes, and four easy chairs crammed the space. On the wall opposite her desk, two photographs.

One was of the Queen. She walked over to the other one and read the inscription.

Lady Evelyn,

Thank you for your endeavors in retrieving me from a rather sticky situation. I shall assist you whenever it’s possible. George.

At her desk, she booted her computer and thought about her previous mission to recover Prince George. Never would have thought my crowning achievement with MI6 was to serve in a liaison role with a Somali terrorist. Now, I’m running my own covert team.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading several novels in the Sean Wyatt series by Ernest Dempsey and one by Nick Thacker.

Mark for Blood (Mason Dixon Thrillers Book 1) by Nick Thacker was a riveting story. Bartender Mason Dixon has a secret—an on-demand secondary job, which leaves victims out in the cold. Assisted by his short-order cook and occasional fill-in bartender, they take care of the latest mark. Except there was a problem. The person didn’t provide the standard token confirming their identity. Troubles abound as Mason becomes a target himself—who is after him?

This is the first novel by Nick that I’ve read and I guarantee it won’t be the last. With excellent characters, a laid-back manner of presenting the plot, and twists and turns galore, this is an excellent thriller!

The Last Chamber by Ernest Dempsey was set up by the first two novels in the Sean Wyatt series. Sean, along with his long-time friend Tommy Schultz, set out on their continuing quest to find the Lost Chambers. Danger lurks around every corner as they are joined by Adriana Villa, something of an enigma in her own way.  Join the as the trail lead to the Caucasus Mountains not far from Armenia as they seek a treasure thought to be hidden forever.

Just when I think I’ve been there before, Ernest adds a new twist or additional characters pop up to take the story on a separate tangent. His life-like characters, attention to detail, and superb blend of historical facts and his splendid plots means I’m always in for a treat. Highly recommended for action-adventure thriller seekers!

The Grecian Manifesto, also by Ernest Dempsey, takes us on a new adventure with Sean Wyatt and his sidekick, Tommy Shultz. Adriana Villa goes missing during her search for the Eye of Zeus and the President of the United States requests Sean’s help to find her.

However, an unknown player also seeks the Eye of Zeus and doesn’t seem to care whether Europe and the rest of the world falls into economic ruin. Will Sean and Tommy locate Adriana and recover the ancient device in time?  With new thrills on almost every page, this story will delight those who love non-stop action. I can’t say enough about Ernest’s ability to create fast-paced scenes carried out by believable characters stuck in impossible situations. Grab a copy and find out what it’s all about!

An Interview With ???

This is a new section for my blog where I’ll be interviewing various authors I’ve recently read. I hope to have the first interview posted next Sunday or the following 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 will also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, I ran out of time this week and didn’t come across anything new to share.

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 12, 2018

As the sun began setting last night, a pinkish glow reflected off the cumulus clouds etched across the sky. A perfect ending to a fabulous day. In the field, a doe and her two fawns nibbled at the grass, with mom alert for any suspecting danger. The daily visits by the deer are always a gentle reminder of what’s around us.

Anyone celebrating a birthday today? Here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann Heinrich Acker, German writer; Robert Southey, English writer (The Story of the Three Bears), Poet Laureate (1813-43) and biographer (Nelson); Macellus Emants, Dutch writer/poet (Along the Nile); Katharine Lee Bates, American author (America the Beautiful);  Edith Hamilton, American writer (Mythology); Mary Roberts Rinehart, American mystery writer ( The Circular Staircase); Marguerite “John” Radclyffe-Hall, author; Frank Arthur Swinnerton, English novelist (Summer Storm, Sanctuary); Sir Keith Murdoch, Australian journalist and newspaper owner; Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane); Alfred Kantorowicz, German historian (Spanish Diary); Samuel Fuller, American actor and writer (The Steel Helmet, Return to Salem’s Lot); [Hendrik] Jan Bakker, Dutch resistance fighter/journalist (Parool); Norris McWhirter, author (Guinness Book of World Records); Ross McWhirter, author (Guinness Book of World Records); Wallace Markfield, American writer; William Goldman, author; Karl Mickel, German writer; Geoff Hamilton, gardener/journalist; Walter Dean Myers, African-American author; Réjean Ducharme, Quebec novelist and playwright; Jim Beaver, American actor and writer; Ann M. Martin, American author; and Anthony Swofford, American novelist.

Recognize anyone? I certainly did. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

News About My Published Work

My debut novel, The Kurdish Connection, moved up another notch to 54th on Goodreads’ Political Thrillers list! There are some well-known names on the list ahead of me, so I feel I’m in good company.

BREAKING NEWS: My second novel, Dangerous Alliance, will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Stay tuned for more information.

Dangerous Alliance-001United Nations’ sanctions are crippling North Korea. China has turned her back on her malevolent partner. The North Korean military machine is crumbling, unable to function. Oil reserves are minimal and the government seeks new alliances.  North Korean Supreme Leader Wook Sung holds the family of Soo Khan Chin, Ambassador to China, hostage until he can formulate a workable plan.

Cargo and tourist ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound, but inaction emboldens al-Shabaab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons. Soo Khan Chin approaches the pirate leader, Dacar Khadaafi, and works out a trade: oil tankers for weapons.

A recently-formed organization, referred to as Bedlam, obtains intelligence regarding the North Korean-Somali pirate plans. Bedlam Bravo team leader Colonel Trevor Franklin (Ret.) leads the small international team into East Africa. Tempers flare as the team is embroiled in a political quagmire. The axis must be stopped to avert an international crisis.

Meanwhile, al-Shabaab leader Tahliil Wardi tasks his lieutenants to attack targets in Kenya and Somalia. One of them seizes two foreigners from a refugee camp in Kenya, George and Silvia. Although unknown at the time, George is an heir to the British throne. Tahliil Wardi is also more than he seems. Appearing to be a semi-illiterate who struggles to make even simple sentences, his family was originally part of the Somali ruling government before being deposed. While manipulating his forces for what seems to be appropriate actions against the current Somali and Kenyan governments, he’s also an informant for MI-6.

Bedlam informs Colonel Franklin about George’s kidnapping and instructs him to split his small team to rescue the prince while continuing to stop the axis. Additional forces are tossed into the mix so Colonel Franklin can achieve both missions.

Will Bedlam Bravo break up the weapons-for-oil deal and at the same time, recover Prince George?

My Work in Progress

Efforts continue with Carnage in Singapore, albeit at a much slower pace. External events and the need to spend additional research time meant I was limited in putting words to paper. One chapter was completed and posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Carnage in Singapore received another thirty-one chapter reviews over the past week, bringing the total to 294. Watch for another snippet in next week’s post.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past week my evening reading time was devoted to an upcoming novel by Preston Holtry. You’ll have to wait for its release before I can share my thoughts, but I will say it’s another great story!

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but will also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. While I spent hours reading through various links doing research, I didn’t have time to find anything to include here.

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 4, 2018

As we move into August, the higher temperatures and humidity have returned. At least we received some rain, which will definitely help the local farmers and avid gardeners. I suppose one good thing about the dry spells—grass didn’t grow as much so people didn’t have to mow as often.

Are you celebrating a birthday today? Here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

François Hédelin, abbé d’Aubignac, French writer; Percy Bysshe Shelley, English romantic poet (Adonais); Walter Pater, writer (Plato & Platoism); Knut Hamsun, Norwegian writer (Nobel Prize 1920); Erich Weinert, German communist writer; Witold Gombrowicz, Polish author (Ferdydurke, Pornography); Leslie Wilkinson, journalist; Osbert Lancaster, English cartoonist and author (Daily Express); Robert Hayden, African-American poet (Those Winter Sundays); Iceberg Slim (a.k.a. Robert Beck), African-American author; Helen Thomas, American reporter and UPI journalist (starts press conferences); Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi, Pakistani satirical and humor writer; Rutger Kopland, [Rutger van den Hoofdakker], Dutch poet; Allison Hedge Coke, American poet and writer; Laurence Anholt, British children’s author; Tim Winton, Australian author; Dennis Lehane, American crime writer; John August, American screenwriter.

Recognize anyone? I certainly did. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

News About My Published Work

This is a new category for my blog and will only be included when there’s an update. My debut novel, The Kurdish Connection, is currently ranked 55th (out of 364) on Goodreads’ Political Thrillers list! There’s some well-known names on the list ahead of me, so I feel I’m in good company.

The Kurdish Connection received another five-start review this week (posted on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc.):

“Five Stars “The Kurdish Connection” by Randall Krzak is an excellent and exciting read by a brilliant author who kept me entertained throughout the complete story.

I liked the short chapters which kept this thrilling and well-crafted story moving with a lot of suspense and unexpected twists and turns which I didn’t anticipate.  All of which made this an invigorating, fast-paced and great story and one of the best books I’ve ever read and one I seriously (and don’t mean to sound cliché) just couldn’t put down!

The intelligent author writes very well in a highly professional manner.  The author is accomplished since he has the ability to write clearly from several points of view, and I had no trouble following this story and the action and excitement generated by this author.

If you like to read entertaining books that keep your interest, I highly recommend you read this book!”

I could certainly use a few more reviews like this, but I’ll happily take whatever comes along.

My Work in Progress

Progress continues on Carnage in Singapore while I’m waiting for my publisher to finish going through Dangerous Alliance. As with the previous few weeks, I’ve managed to complete another three chapters (eighteen through twenty) despite a fair bit of required research to make the content as realistic as possible.

A further twenty-six chapter reviews were sent to me this week, bringing the total for Carnage in Singapore to 263. I greatly appreciate everyone’s input to improve my writing.

Here’s a bit more from the story:

Her head whipped to the left and the right, her mouth open but no sound came forth. She lurched forward to a sitting position.

“An island.” She whispered. “I holidayed on an island. Where?”

She lay back on the bed. Murky images continued to appear. Men and women—she covered her ears to block out their cries. Tears streamed from her eyes, soaking her pillow. Her head lolled to the side.

***

The police officers returned to their station and filed an initial report. While Sergeant Ang met with the Station Inspector, Special Constable Goh continued searching through Interpol’s international missing person database.

“Inspector, we met with a young woman at the hospital. She couldn’t remember her name.” Sergeant Ang sat in a metal folding chair in front of the inspector’s desk. “What she did tell us confirms what other victims reported—something nefarious is occurring on one of the neighboring islands.”

The inspector nodded. “I suppose your mother tossed you out of the hospital again?” A smile transformed his craggy face, reaching to his eyes.

Sergeant Ang glanced at the floor, his face reddening. “You know what she’s like.”

“Yes. When is your next interview with the woman?”

“My mother said to return late afternoon. If we show up earlier, she’ll turn us away.”

“Very well. Do what you can—we have a mystery on our hands—one with terminal outcomes.”

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been reading faster than I can write my reviews. Finally, here’s a couple more to share with you.

The Cleric’s Vault: A Sean Wyatt Archaeological Thriller (The Lost Chambers Trilogy Book 2) by Ernest Dempsey takes us further into the escapades of Sean Wyatt and his long-time friend, Tommy Schultz. Still running around the United States in search of clues, they end up in Ecuador. A beautiful woman named Adriana Villa appears on the scene and offers them assistance.

Will they find what they need to uncover a mysterious lost treasure? Ernest has surpassed his first novel in the trilogy with a smooth blend of fiction and historical fact, set around a rollercoaster journey. A captivating story which will delight both mystery and thriller readers! Can’t wait for the final novel in the series.

The Nostradamus Equation (Sam Reilly Book 6) by Christopher Cartwright is another excellent example of fiction merging with history. Is Dr. Zara Delacroix’s quest to uncover an ancient manuscript called The Book of Nostradamus a foolhardy journey or does it really exist?

Christopher’s larger-than-life characters think so. A warlord believes the manuscript holds the key to his successful takeover of an African country. With twists galore, follow Zara through the sands of the Sahara Desert and into Europe in the hunt for Nostradamus’ last written words. Who will reach the coveted prize first? A riveting ride which makes me want to read more of Christopher’s work.

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

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

Teamgolfwell – a Zealand retiree group who combined two great loves—golfing and reading. Check out their website to find out what they’re up to!

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Rambling, July 29, 2018

As we approach the end of another month, I’ve noticed the gradually shrinking of daylight, with dawn coming a bit later and dusk a bit earlier. Nothing we can do about it except enjoy the days as they come along. At least our temperatures continue to be a bit cooler than what we began the month with, with the occasional rain to keep things watered.

Are you having a birthday today? Here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Simon Dach, Prussian German poet; George Bradshaw, British publisher; Alexis de Tocqueville, French statesman/writer (Democracy in America); Max Nordau, Austrian author; Georg Kerschensteiner, German educator (Theory of Education); Booth Tarkington, American novelist (17, Magnificent Ambersons); August Stramm, German poet and playwright; Don Marquis, Ill, journalist/poet (archy & mehitabel); Porfirio Barba-Jacob, Colombian poet and writer; Henri Liebrecht, Belgian playwright/journalist; Karl Otten, German Expressionist writer; Eyvind Johnson, Swedish novelist (Return to Ithaca); Diana Vreeland, French-American fashion editor (Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue); Stanley Kunitz, American poet; Henry Brian Boyne, journalist; Bruce R. McConkie, LDS apostle and author; Vladimir Dudentzev, Russian writer; Miltos Sachtouris, Greek poet; Harry K V Mulisch, writer (Message to King Rat); Marilyn Tucker Quayle, novelist/wife of Vice President Dan Quayle; Ruud Janssen, Dutch writer and artist; and Chang-Rae Lee, Korean-born author.

I particularly enjoy this search as I never know who I’ll meet. Recognize anyone? I certainly did, but not as many as in past weeks. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

My Work in Progress

I continue to make good progress on Carnage in Singapore while I’m waiting for my publisher to finish going through Dangerous Alliance. As with the previous couple of weeks, I’ve managed to complete another three chapters (fifteen through seventeen) despite a fair bit of required research to make the content as realistic as possible.

A further thirty-five chapter reviews were sent to me this week, bringing the total for Carnage in Singapore to 237. I greatly appreciate everyone’s input to improve my writing. Perhaps next week I’ll include another snippet.

Books I’m Reading

Despite my best efforts, I ran out of time to complete a couple more book reviews. Stand by for further 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.

Fleeting Muse – Check out this site filled with inspiring poetry, thoughts, and creative writing.

This brings us to a close for another week as I’ve run out of time. 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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 22, 2018

My first attempt at writing this week’s post was wiped out by a four-legged creature jumping on the keyboard. I’ve tried to resurrect as much as possible.

After weeks of high temperatures and plenty of sunshine, Mother Nature decided we needed a bath. It began with a twenty-minute thunderstorm on Friday evening, followed by periodic showers throughout the evening. Saturday saw the occasional shower, all much needed by local farmers and those with vegetable gardens. Now the temperatures are more moderate, but it does look like another shower might be on its way. Correction: Just glanced outside and we have another gentle rain falling.

Anyone out there celebrating a birthday today? If so, here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Mikhail Shcherbatov, Russian philosopher and writer; Victor Schoelcher, French writer (abolitionism); Karolina Pawlowa, writer; Emma Lazarus, poet (“New Colossus” – on the base of Statue of Liberty); David D Salas, Antillian writer (Josefina); Lucien Febvre, French historian (Un destin: Martin Luther); Oskar Maria Graf, German writer; Stephen Vincent Benét, American author; Amy Vanderbilt, American authority on etiquette (Complete Book of Etiquette, Complete Cook Book); Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah, Pakistani politician, diplomat and author; Tom Robbins, American author (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues); Paul Schrader, director (Blue Collar) and writer (Taxi Driver); S. E. Hinton, American author; Steve Albini, American writer, recording engineer and musician (Big Black, Rapeman, Shellac); Don Van Natta, Jr., American journalist; and Lauren Booth, British journalist.

Recognize anyone? I certainly did, but not as many as in past weeks. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

My Work in Progress

Nothing new to report about Dangerous Alliance as I’m waiting for the manuscript to come back from the editor. I did notice I’m wearing out some letters on the keyboard (A, S, N, L), which I guess isn’t too surprising given the amount of writing and editing I’ve been doing.

I’m making good progress on the third book in the Bedlam series, Carnage in Singapore. Despite missing a couple of days this week because of external events, chapters twelve, thirteen, and fourteen were posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, Carnage in Singapore has received 202 chapter reviews, excellent sources for enhancing the story. I continue to spend a great deal of time doing research to ensure the story is as accurate as possible, keeping in mind it is fiction.

Books I’m Reading

As I’ve mentioned the past couple of weeks, I’m reading faster than I can post my reviews. Here are comments on two of the latest novels I’ve read.

Apocalypse (The Harry Starke Novels Book 13) by Blair Howard. The latest adventure in Harry Starke’s life is just as appealing as the earlier ones. When radicals plan to set off a tactical nuclear bomb, an FBI acquaintance turns to Harry to help find the man involved in smuggling the terrorists into the country. As with Blair’s other novels, this one is filled with numerous twists and turns, with familiar characters and new ones, all attempting to recover the bomb before it’s too late? An excellent read which will keep you glued to the edge of your chair!

The Secret of the Stones: A Sean Wyatt Archeological Thriller (The Lost Chambers Trilogy Book 1) by Ernest Dempsey. A superb blend of historical facts, modern-day characters and a plot with excellent twists. This is the first novel by Ernest that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. A captivating story from beginning to end as someone tries to uncover the mystery Sean is searching for before he figures out the numerous riddles. This novel is stuffed with plenty of suspense and mystery, making for a delightful read. Will the end result change civilization as we know it? You’ll need to grab a copy to find out.

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.

Bernard Jan – Check out the musings of author Bernard Jan, who writes his stories in English and Croatian.

C. M. Baker Design – Cara is a Navy veteran with a degree in graphic design. Browse through her book covers and when you’re ready for her assistance, give her a shout.

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 15, 2018

Here it is, the middle of July. How the weeks are passing by! Just yesterday, I noticed most of the corn in the surrounding fields seems to have shot up in just a couple of weeks. Tassels are swaying in the breeze, reaching out to the sun’s rays. Won’t be long before we’ll have locally-grown fresh corn to munch on!

Anyone out there have a birthday today? If so, here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Clement Clarke Moore, US professor and author (‘Twas the Night Before Xmas); Thomas Bulfinch, mythologist (Bulfinch’s Mythology); Eduardo Gutiérrez, Argentinian author; Kunikida Doppo, Japanese writer; Walter Benjamin, German literature critic/writer; Rudolf Arnheim, German-born author; Ralph Hammond Innes, English author; Abraham Sutzkever, Yiddish language poet and memoirist; Robert Conquest, English historian and poet (The Great Terror); Iris Murdoch, novelist (Severed Head, Unicorn); Jiri Lederer, Czechoslovakia, journalist/dissident; Driss Chraïbi, Moroccan author; Larry Lamb, newspaper editor; Clive Cussler, American writer (Raise The Titanic, Sahara); Carmen Callil, publisher; Arianna Huffington, Greek-American author, syndicated columnist and creator of The Huffington Post; Kate Kellaway, English literary critic; and Jean-Christophe Grangé, French writer and screenwriter.

Recognize any names? I certainly did, including one of my favorite authors. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

My Work in Progress

Dangerous Alliance, which recently placed fourth (3rd runner-up) in the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards, is under contract with Solstice Publishing. Over the past week, I’ve provided a few requirements as part of the pre-publication process, including my bio, a blurb, my dedication, social media links, and a photo. More to follow as things progress.

I continued to move forward on the third book in the Bedlam series, Carnage in Singapore. Chapters nine, ten, and eleven were posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, Carnage in Singapore has received 168 chapter reviews, excellent sources for enhancing the story. I continue to spend a great deal of time doing research to ensure the story is as accurate as possible, keeping in mind it is fiction.

Books I’m Reading

As I mentioned last week, I’m reading faster than I can post my reviews. Here are comments on three of the latest novels I’ve read.

The Templar Heresy by James Becker is an interesting mix of historical facts and fiction. Why is the curator of the Baghdad Museum having everyone who gets in his way knocked off? The archeologists’ find appeared to be an empty room, except for a carved likeness of a man and a phrase. What did they signify?
Join Chris Bronson and his former wife, Angela, as they struggle to maintain a step ahead of those seeking the same answers. Travel through the Europe and the Middle East, surviving pitfalls and disappointment until reaching the ultimate prize. A great thriller.
The Chronicles of Aveline: Awakening by Ken Fry and Eeva Lancaster. An excellent story right from the first page. Aveline isn’t your typical girl growing up in a privileged family in England during the Crusades. As she grows, she spurns activities normally suited for ladies and learns how to use a sword, and a bow and arrow, both with deadly force.
A forbidden tryst ends in misery for Aveline and her lover, the son of the local earl. He’s banished to the Crusades while she’s tossed into a convent for their sins. Before long, Aveline escapes and begins her journey to join her love. This is a superb read. As I turned each page, I hoped Aveline would succeed in her quest. A captivating read, I finished the story in less than a day. I only regret–there wasn’t more to read!
Fire Arrow by Franklin Allen Leib. A whirlwind ride after the hijacking of an U.S. military aircraft. Forced to a former American base in Libya, the U.S. Navy responds. However, the terrorists are aided by Libya and their comrades-in-arms, the Russians.
A plot filled with high-velocity tension, realistic characters, and non-stop action. This is the first novel I’ve read by Franklin and it won’t be the last.

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. However, with my work on Dangerous Alliance and Carnage in Singapore, I wasn’t left with much time to check out other sites. Perhaps next time.

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

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 8, 2018

Over the past week, our friends in Canada celebrated Canada Day on the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, coming into force of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united three separate colonies into a single country.

On July 4th, Americans celebrated Independence Day, celebrated the anniversary of publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. Of course, with the holiday falling in the middle of the week many communities held their festivities yesterday.

Hope people in both countries enjoyed their holidays.

Last Sunday I provided a list of people from the writing world who had birthdays on the 1st of July. Today, we’ll look at those who born on the 4th of July (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Paul Scarron, French writer (Virgile Travesti); Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet and novelist (Fables & Tales); Nathanial Hawthorne, American author (House of 7 Gables, The Scarlet Letter); Mao Dun [Shen Dehong], Chinese writer (Midnight); Lionel Trilling, American literary critic and author (1969 Poses Award, The Liberal Imagination); Lynette Roberts, British poet; Christine Lavant, Austrian poet and writer (Das Kind); Abigail Van Buren [Pauline Phillips], American columnist and radio show host known for “Dear Abby” advice column, twin sister of fellow “Ask Ann Landers” advice columnist Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer); Patrick Tilley, British sci-fi author (1st Family, Blood River); Paul de Wispelaere, Flemish writer and critic; and Ron Kovic, American anti-war activist and writer, his memoir (Born on the Fourth of July) became an Academy award-winning film.

Whether your birthday was on the 4th of July or another day this past week, I hope you had a good one!

My Work in Progress

Breaking News: Dangerous Alliance, which recently placed fourth (3rd runner-up) in the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards, is now under contract with Solstice Publishing. Stay tuned for further updates.

I continued to work on the third book in the Bedlam series, Carnage in Singapore. Chapters seven and eight were posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, Carnage in Singapore has received 125 chapter reviews, excellent sources for improving my writing. I continue to spend a great deal of time doing research to ensure the story is as accurate as possible, keeping in mind it is fiction.

Books I’m Reading

I’m reading faster than I can post my reviews. Here are comments on two of the latest novels I’ve read, both by Russell F. Moran.

A Climate of Doubt – Why is the world experiencing drastic fluctuations in temperatures, with blizzards in July? Homeland Security Director Rick Bellamy and his wife, Ellen, along with several familiar characters, are tasked by the President of the United States to determine if these changes are a result of climate change or something more sinister. Once again, Russell has created an easy-to-read and fast-paced plot. I won’t provide a spoiler, so you’ll have to follow Rick and Ellen as they strive to uncover the cause before the world becomes a frozen wasteland!

The Maltese Incident – What could go wrong on a cruise from Manhattan to the Azores? It seems Captain Harry Fenton is about to find out. With a flash, the cruise ship Maltese is thrust back in time. Not just a few years but back to when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Explore their new world with Harry and his new wife, Meg Johnson, as they and the crew and passengers of the Maltese come to terms with their new surroundings. How will they survive and will they ever find their way home again? Another whirlwind story by a great storyteller. I couldn’t put this one down and read it over two evenings. Grab yourself a copy of this excellent and entertaining story.

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.

Sideways Eight Series – Join author AJ Wallace as she spins the tales of Charley and Murphy, two FBI agents. Two novels have been published so far (Mindfield and Devil’s Door), with two more to follow. Well worth the read!

Moran Communications – The Write Stuff – the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction works, check out Russell’s blog, books, and his suggestions for writers.

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

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved