Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 18, 2018

Another week has passed us by. At times, it appears Mother Nature has given up for this winter, only to send a gust or two our way to remind us who’s in control. A dusting of the white stuff was added overnight, adding to the majesty of the season.

KODAK Digital Still CameraThis photo was taken from our deck mid-week. What a fantastic scene to wake up to!  If only this type of view remained throughout the day. Still, each day brings a new snapshot of an ever-changing scene. Someone once told us the water is boring, as it never changes. It’s anything but!

 

 

My Work in Progress

Editing on Dangerous Alliance and external activities continued to consume most of my time over the past week. I’ve also run into a bit of a problem. Which of my other three novels-in-progress should I work on?

Feedback from reviewers on chapter three of New World Revolution has been positive and several people are waiting for the next chapter. The same is happening with Carnage in Singapore. I haven’t posted a new chapter of A Cartel’s Revenge in a year, so perhaps that’s where I should go next. Decisions, decisions! Too much to write and not enough time.

Books I’m Reading

I still covet my hour or so of personal reading each evening. Not long ago, I finished Ryan Kaine: On The Defensive, the third book in the Ryan Kaine action thriller series by Kerry J. Donovan. Each novel in the series showcases Kerry’s outstanding attention to detail, a superb plot, and characters so well-crafted they jump off the pages.

This time, Ryan is sought out to help a family in distress. They had already suffered as a result of the aircraft Ryan was tricked into bringing down in the first novel. Racked by a sense of guilt and the need to help the families of the survivors, Ryan shows us what he does best. Along with his growing group of like-minded friends to provide invaluable support behind the scenes, he steps into the fray and comes to the rescue of an innocent family hounded by killers.

Follow the thrills, lies, and deceit as Kerry weaves an intricate plot leaving readers wanting to turn the page and not miss anything. Another masterful story. The fourth in the series is due out in March and I can’t wait to begin reading.

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.

Natalie Ducey – Check out Natalie’s inspiration poetry and verse.

Linda Mims – Dig into Linda’s long and short stories of life.

That brings us to a close for another week. 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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 11, 2018

Winter is hanging on with a tight grip. Plenty of snow this past week but at least the KODAK Digital Still Cameratemperatures are above zero (fahrenheit). The photo above was taken yesterday from the back of the house. I could take a picture today and it would look very similar, but the snow might be a bit thicker.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

This photo was also taken yesterday during a lull in the storm. The view is from our deck overlooking Lake Huron. Approximately forty-three miles away is the Canadian shoreline. The snow piled on the rail is now about two inches higher. Today’s forecast calls for another four to six inches of snow over the next eight hours. Brrrr!

My Work in Progress

Editing on Dangerous Alliance and external activities consumed a lot of time over the past week. However, I’m please to report I completed the third chapter of New World Revolution. It’s posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. There’s been six reviews of the chapter so far, all positive.

Here’s a snippet from New World Revolution, chapter one:

Mary came out the barn carrying a small bucket. “Hello, husband, lads. Milking’s finished.” She handed the milk to Hannah. “Take this inside.”

While the boys stored the scythes in the barn, William and Mary walked arm-in-arm toward the house. The mouth-watering aroma of the stew hurried them forward.

“Wash up and set yourself to the table.” Mary waved her family inside before going to the kettle and filling plates with the turnip, carrot, and onion stew. Once everyone was seated, Mary returned to the hearth. She slid a slender board attached to a long pole into a heated stone alcove, and drew out a single loaf of fresh bread.

“Oooh, ‘tis a treat indeed.” William’s brown eyes bulged, a wide grin on his face, as the rich aroma set stomachs rumbling.

“One piece each. No more, and be thankful you have this.” Mary smiled at her family and joined them at the table. “Another surprise today as well—fresh churned butter. Father, will you offer the blessing?”

William bowed his head and closed his eyes, pressing his hands together. The family followed his lead.

“Oh, almighty God. ‘Tis right we give thanks to you. Bless this food prepared by loving hands. Keep us in good health, so we might continue to prosper even in bad times. Thy will be done. Amen.”

After William said grace, he kept his head bowed. Hannah and her brothers raised theirs, eyeing the food. At last, William nodded, and everyone reached for a spoon. No one spoke. An occasional contented slurp broke the sound of utensils scraping on wooden plates, the coarse, dark and heavy wholegrain bread mopping up the last of the gravy. Plates were licked clean, consuming every drop.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read The Gray Ship, the first novel in Russell Moran’s Time Magnet series. With well-crafted characters and a riveting plot, this is a compelling read. Join Captain Ashley Patterson, the commanding officer of a nuclear warship as the unthinkable happens. One moment, they’re near Charleston, South Carolina. Moments later, Ashley and her crew are still by the same port, but find themselves in a strange setting. Gone are modern buildings and ships. Instead, the ship has arrived just prior to the beginning of the Civil War.

Follow the crew as they try to come to terms with their new reality. I don’t want to give away anything, but will they alter history? Russell has created a story so easy to become immersed in, it’s hard to believe time travel doesn’t exist. Or does it? I thoroughly enjoyed the story and couldn’t wait to get a copy of the sequel.

In The Thanksgiving Gang, Russell has gone with a different twist, but still as full of suspense as The Gray Ship. What would happen if we traveled into the future and found out we had died well before our time? Join Jack Thurber as he stumbles across a wormhole and goes into the future, only to discover he and his wife, Ashley, died in a terrorist attack.

How will Jack come to terms with this mind-numbing discovery? Will he be able to alter events in the future and return before he and Ashley are killed? Russell has done it again with this story. His writing style is easy to follow and he does an excellent job in portraying events to present readers with plenty of action and suspense. I now include Russell in my list of favorite authors and can’t wait to get the next novel in the series, A Time of Fear.

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’ve been too busy this week, so I don’t have anything to share with you.

That brings us to a close for another week. 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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 4, 2018

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! After a week’s reprieve, Mother Nature has reminded us it’s still winter. With at least three inches of snow overnight and up to another four forecast over the next eight hours, it’s clear winter is still with us.

Just finished dusting off the bird feeders and clearing a path to where the deer forage. It’s always a treat to have the ‘neighbors’ drop by.

My Work in Progress

Editing on Dangerous Alliance and external activities consumed most of my time over the past week. This coming week will be the last concentrated editing effort before I put it aside to work on other things. Needless to say, I’ll resume work on Dangerous Alliance later.

In the meantime, I want work on the novels I mentioned last time. They might appear neglected, but they’re not–just not enough time to do everything I want.

Books I’m Reading

I keep rolling through books as if there’s no tomorrow. I didn’t have a change to finish writing my reviews, but I’ll provide comments on the first two novels in Russell Moran’s time magnet series: The Grey Ship and The Thanksgiving Gang.

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.

John Howell – follow American author John Howell’s blog as he discusses fiction favorites.

Harmony Kent – check out British author Harmony Kent work across different genres.

That brings us to a close for another week. 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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 28, 2018

As we head toward the end of January, it’s great to see the days are longer. Not a great deal yet, but we’ll take what we can get. It’s been a mixed winter thus far, and I’m sure a lot of readers will agree it can end for this year.

The snow’s been melting thanks to some above-seasonal average temperatures, but that just provides a false sense we’ve seen the last of the cold and snow. Not so fast–we’re supposed to receive some more of the white stuff tonight and additional flurries tomorrow. At least the wildlife are getting a bit of a reprieve, making it easier for them to forage. Roll on spring!

My Work in Progress

The bulk of my writing time this past week has been devoted to editing Dangerous Alliance. I think another week or so and I’ll put it aside and have a go at a new chapter for one of my other works in progress. Of course, the draw to complete Dangerous Alliance is a strong one, so I anticipate editing will continue to be at least a partial focus.

For those who didn’t catch the cover and what it’s about, here you go: 

United 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.

dangerousalliance02

Cargo and tourist ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound in the United Nations, but inaction emboldens al-Shabaab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons.

Soon after Bedlam Bravo is called upon to disrupt their plans, a VIP’s son is kidnapped while on a mission to aide refugees. Can they manage to disrupt the North Korean-al-Shabaab axis and save the kidnapped son?

Team leader Colonel (Ret.) Trevor Franklin 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 but will it be at the expense of the VIP’s son?

If you’ve read my debt novel, The Kurdish Connection, you’ll know I like subplots with plenty of twists and turns. Dangerous Alliance will be the same.

So I’ll have to make a decision on what to work on next: Carnage in Singapore, the follow-on to Dangerous Alliance with Bedlam Charlie is an option. So is A Cartel’s Revenge, which features an interesting leader fighting for survival to keep the family safe while others plot their downfall (full synopsis at a later date). At present, this is planned as a stand-alone novel, but I’ve been tinkering with a spin-off series from it.

Lastly, there is New World Revolution, where we find a tenant farmer and his family in dire straits in northern England. They are handed a lifeline, only to end up in America in time for the Boston Tea Party. I’ve planned this to be a three-volume set, but enough background will be provided so they could be read in any order. Decisions, decision!

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been reading a number of novels simultaneously and still collating my thoughts as I finish each one. I recently read The Chaos of Change by J.T. Riggen. This is a super political thriller and well worth reading. Imagine the U.S. breaking up into diverse territories, each thinking they know what’s needed to run the country. With a complex plot and a myriad cast of characters, it’s hard to believe something like this could happen. Is this a warning to us of what might happen in the future? Pitting brother against brother, family against family, it begs the question–is a second civil war on the way?  I’ll have to grab a copy of book two to find out how things continue.

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!

That brings us to a close for another week. 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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 21, 2018

Another week has passed. At least the weather warmed up and the snow is beginning to melt. Not sure how long the above-average temperatures will last, but we’ll take what we can get.

It’s great looking out toward the lake and seeing all of the trails the deer have made in the snow. Crisscrossing every direction, it seems like a herd might have visited.

My Work in Progress

The Kurdish Connection ended up fourth in the thriller category of the 20th annual Preditors and Editors reader’s poll, sponsored by Critters / Critique.org. Not bad! If I get Dangerous Alliance released this year, then it’ll be eligible for next year’s contest.

dangerousalliance02.jpgAs promised, here is the cover for Dangerous Alliance.

I’ve now transferred reviewer comments for all forty-eight chapters. Still plenty of editing to do, but things continue to progress.

What’s the novel about?

United 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.

Cargo and tourist ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound in the United Nations, but inaction emboldens al-Shabaab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons.

Soon after Bedlam Bravo is called upon to disrupt their plans, a VIP’s son is kidnapped while on a mission to aide refugees. Can they manage to disrupt the North Korean-al-Shabaab axis and save the kidnapped son?

Team leader Colonel (Ret.) Trevor Franklin 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 but will it be at the expense of the VIP’s son?

With my concentration on Dangerous Alliance, I still didn’t finish chapter four of Carnage in Singapore as I had planned. Too much going on!

Books I’m Reading

I  recently finished a number of novels. I’m still collating my thoughts and hope to bring you two or three reviews next time. I’m also continuing to collect new novels to read from a number of authors, so I’ll have plenty of material to share with you.

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 published author, Follow MD’s writing journey and check out his interviews with other authors.

B. Douglas Slack – A newly published author, Mr. Slack provides an interesting style as he brings us a romance spanning the globe–an American man and a Japanese woman.

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 14, 2018

What a time with the weather! Early in the week, we had extremely cold temperatures and received about four inches of snow. On Thursday, the mercury climbed, reaching 52F/11C and most of the snow disappeared.

Our relief was short-lived. On Friday morning, the temperature had dropped thirty degrees, and we were hit with another four to five inches of snow. On top of that, we had blustery winds up to thirty-five miles an hour, blowing snow everywhere. Part of the driveway was clear to the asphalt, while there were two-foot drifts on the other side. Since Friday, the temperature has remained about the same, but the winds have calmed and no more snow.

My Work in Progress

The Kurdish Connection is entered in the thriller category of the 20th annual Preditors and Editors reader’s poll, sponsored by Critters / Critique.org. Currently sitting in fourth place, I could use your votes, but check out all of the categories to get a glimpse of works released during 2017. Here’s the link to the thriller category: http://critters.org/predpoll/novelthrill.shtml. The contest runs through until midnight this evening, so hope you’ll be able to check things out.

I’ve now transferred reviewer comments for forty-one of the forty-eight chapters in Dangerous Alliance. Once I finish, I’ll still have plenty of editing to do, but things are moving along. I had hoped to share the cover with you today, but I’ve been too busy to get things organized. Promise it will be in next week’s post.

With my concentration on Dangerous Alliance, I didn’t finish chapter four of Carnage in Singapore as I had planned. Too much going on!

Books I’m Reading

I finally gathered my thoughts on novel by one of my favorite authors, David L. Golemon. One of his latest adventures, The Traveler: An Event Group Thriller, has it all. The story begins in Germany during WWII but before long we’re taken on a roller coaster ride. Want Russia mobsters and Italian mafia? They’re along for the ride.

How about a trip to another continent–not in modern ages, but back over 200,000 years? One of the Event Group’s people made such a journey and others are heading back to find him. How is this possible? A time machine, created in Germany, perfected, and now in the U.S.

I’ve enjoyed every one of Mr. Golemon’s novels and can’t wait for another thrilling adventure. Well done!

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.

Wolfe’s Rants – Check out Wolf’s advice, works and musings about a writer’s life.

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 and all the best for 2018!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 7, 2018

While people might debate what’s causing our current cold snap, there’s one thing for certain:  it’s frosty outside. This morning I glanced out the window toward the lake. Usually, there are waves, sometimes gentle, sometimes slapping the shore, but today it’s quiet. Why? The water is freezing, literally, and the waves are now breaking much further away on the new artificial shoreline. Plenty of ice, creating myriad shapes. Last night’s moon cast an eerie glow, perfect for creating a scene or two for a story.

My Work in Progress

The Kurdish Connection is entered in the thriller category of the 20th annual Preditors and Editors reader’s poll, sponsored by Critters / Critique.org. Currently sitting in second place, I could use your votes, but check out all of the categories to get a glimpse of works released during 2017. Here’s the link to the thriller category: http://critters.org/predpoll/novelthrill.shtml. The contest runs through next Sunday, so hope you’ll be able to check things out.

Once again, I continued to concentrate on editing Dangerous Alliance and providing reciprocal reviews for those who had been reading/reviewing the story. Reviews are still coming in as readers go through the final chapters. As of yesterday evening, there were a total of 720 chapter reviews!

This is all extremely helpful as I continue my editing. Copies of Dangerous Alliance have been sent out to collect ‘reader blurbs’ for the back cover and on the beginning pages. A cover is well underway and I hope to provide a glimpse next week as I begin to promote the story. I’m looking for a mid-Spring release at this time.

Next time I’ll also share a bit more from the third book in the series, Carnage in Sinapore. I’m currently working on chapter four, so this one has a long way to go.

Books I’m Reading

As I mentioned last time, I’ve recently finished a number of novels. I’m still collating my thoughts and hope to bring you two or three reviews next time. I’m also continuing to collect new novels to read from a number of authors, so I’ll have plenty of material to share with you.

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.

Reader’s Abode – 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.

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

B. Douglas Slack – A newly published author, Mr. Slack provides an interesting style as he brings us a romance spanning the globe–an American man and a Japanese woman.

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 and all the best for 2018!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved