Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 19, 2020

It’s been a busy week. I finally managed to clear out an area in the back yard (garden) which had been neglected by the previous owner for eight years. Several shrubs had grown out of control, with some of them reaching tree proportions, requiring the use of a ladder so I could remove the higher branches.

Now the brick steps leading between two areas are dry–they used to remain wet several days after a rain and were a tripping/sliding hazard. A stunted maple tree is finally getting the sunshine it deserves!

Most of the verbenas which were planted in the front borders or in pots are now flowering, adding a mass of color which was sorely lacking. Once they’re all blooming, I’ll get the camera out and grab a few photos.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 19th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Heinrich Christian Boie, German author and editor; Gottfried Keller, German-Swiss poet and novelist; Ferdinand Brunetière, French writer and critic; Hermann Bahr, Austrian writer (Concert); Dwijendralal Ray, Bengali poet, playwright and lyricist (Dwijendrageeti); Vladimir Mayakovsky, Russian poet (Ode to Revolution); A. J. Cronin, Scottish writer (Citadel, Shining Victory); Marc Turfkruijer, Flemish movie journalist and writer; Edgar Snow, American author and journalist (Red star over China); Robert Pinget, French novelist (The Interrogation) and playwright; Max Sordam, Suriname warden and writer (Dictionary Sranantongo); Jan Myrdal, Swedish writer and journalist (Albania Defiant); and John Bratby, English painter and writer (Breakdown).

Recognize anyone? This was an unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

This week, I completed chapter twenty-nine of Xavier Sear: Angola, and began work on chapter thirty. As of today, there’s been 366 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-one.

Here’s another snippet:

As the sun began to set, the vehicles pulled into a small clearing. A dilapidated building, constructed of wood and sheet metal, stood inside a cluster of trees.

Hearing others climbing down from the vehicles, Peter and Namali approached the tailgate. He jumped down, offering her his hand to help her to the ground.

A faint sheen of perspiration covered her face, and she wobbled on her feet.

“What is wrong with her, Doctor?” Alimasi grabbed Peter’s arm. “What is it?”

“I—I am not sure. Perhaps the journey was too much for her.”

Alimasi pointed to the hut. “Take her inside. There should be something to sit on. My men will bring whatever you require.”

Peter nodded. “I need fresh water, clean cloths—and my medical bag—the one your men took when you captured me.”

“Anything else?” Alimasi rubbed his hands toward, his forehead wrinkled with concern.

“Yes. Start a fire. Very hot.”

“What for?”

“In case …. Peter stared into Alimasi’s face. “To sterilize my tools, in case I need to operate.”

“What?” He grabbed Peter by the shoulder. “What did you do?”

Peter shook his head. “I didn’t do anything. When we were traveling here, Namali groaned a couple of times and clutched her stomach. There are several possible causes.”

“Such as?”

“In this part of the world, food poisoning, parasite infection, indigestion, dengue fever, cholera, or hemorrhagic fever are common. I should have something in my bag to help with these.” Peter swallowed. “However, I might need to operate if Namali has appendicitis, or if the baby is ready to join us.”

Alimasi yelled in the dialect Peter couldn’t understand.

Three men rushed forward.

Alimasi pointed at two of them and switched to Lingala. “Take my woman and the doctor inside the building. Get him whatever he requests.” He turned to the third man. “Go find everything taken from the hospital when we captured the doctor. Bring everything here. Hurry!”

The men each took one of Namali’s arms and led her toward the hut. Peter began to follow.

“Wait, Doctor.”

Peter stopped and turned.

“If anything happens to Namali or my unborn child, I will hold you responsible.” Alimasi stared into Peter’s eyes. “If either of them dies, so will you.”

More next time.

I didn’t get too far working on the next chapter of New World Revolution. The groundwork is laid for chapter six, with almost half of the chapter written. So far, there’s been over 140 chapter review, with plenty of sound advice.

I’ve struggled with a decision whether to have the characters speaking with contractions as I’m trying to keep the voice in the past. Fortunately, the Massachusetts Historical Society has provided some excellent information to help me. I’ll be going back to the original chapters and will begin changing things like do not to don’t, as contractions with n’t were some of the first to be used. Definitely plenty of research going into this one!

Speaking of research, I took somewhat of a break in research for my novels this week to concentrate on some geneaology research, working on my wife’s Scottish family history. I’ve been working on this occasionally for several years, but something sparked a return to the Scottish government website I use to trace records related to birth, marriage, death, census, and valuation rolls. The oldest ancestor confirmed with an online copy of a document, was a birth from 1692!

Books I’m Reading

I recently completed The Atlantis Riddle: A Dan Kotler Archaeological Thriller by Kevin Tumlinson. This is the second book in the series as was equally as good as the first one, with an excellent plot surrounding archaeologist Dan Kotler and his FBI friend, Special Agent Roland Denzel. Dan’s interest in a new project is stirred when a wealthy woman brings him an ancient stone. Before long, Dan’s on the hunt, with able assistance from Roland.

Will they be successful in rewriting history? Or will there be unsuspecting dangers lurking in the background? I don’t like to spoil things, so you’ll have to grab a copy and find out. With plenty of twists and turns, along with a bevy of interesting characters, it’s easy to immerse yourself in this story. If you enjoy action-adventure stories with some historical facts thrown into the mix, this one’s for you!

I also completed Bad to the Bone, the first book in Tony J. Forder’s DI Bliss series. Follow the exploits of Detective Inspector James Bliss as he attempts to unravel the mystery of a dead body. Examination indicates the woman had been killed several years ago but had been dumped in a new location.

With a riveting plot and well-defined characters, this story is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages. Not only do we follow DI Bliss through the tangled details the victim, we also learn about his personal life and what makes him the person he is today. This was the first book I’ve read by Tony and it’s definitely not the last as I’ve just downloaded books two through five!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 12, 2020

A had a very late start to writing today. The morning began with warm sunshine and the front patio was very inviting. So, we decided to have our toasted fruit load, tea, and coffee outside. Plenty of bees buzzing and bird singing as the aroma of the lavenders, guems, verbenas, daises, and hydrangeas provided a peaceful backdrop.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 12th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Henry David Thoreau, American naturalist and pacifist (Walden Pond); N.G. [Nikolay Gavrilovich] Chernyshevsky, Russian philosopher (What Is to Be Done?); Abraham Goldfaden, Russian-born Jewish poet and playwright (Shulamis); William Osler, Canadian physician and author (circulatory system); Stefan George, German lyric poet (Algabal); Max Jacob, French poet and writer; Han Yong-woon, Korean Buddhist reformer and poet; Ludwig Rubiner, German poet and essayist; Bruno Schulz, Polish writer (The Street of Crocodiles); Fjodor Godunov-Tcherdynchev, Russian poet (Life of Tchernyshevsky); Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet (Residence on Earth-Nobel 1971; Johanna Moosdorf, German writer (Next Door); Beah Richards, American actress, poet, playwright and author (Roots, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner); Pierre Berton, Canadian author (War of 1812); James E. Gunn, American sci-fi author (The Listeners, Station in Space, Immortal); Donald E. Westlake, American author (The Hunter); Voja Antonić, and Serbian inventor and writer.

Recognize anyone? I sure did–Henry David Thoreau. 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

This week I concentrated on Xavier Sear: Angola, and completed chapters twenty-seven and twenty-eight. Both have been posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. As of today, there’s been 345 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-three.

Next week, I’ll include another snippet from the story.

 

 

 

 

I also continued working on A New Home: New World Revolution Book 1.  Not too much written this week, but I spent over fifteen hours doing research in preparation for writing chapter twenty-six. So far, the story has received 142 chapter reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

Since it’s late in the day, I’ll stop here and hope to bring a fuller post next Sunday. 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 hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 5, 2020

Happy 4th of July weekend to all who celebrate! Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

We’ve had a wet week, with showers every day. It’s been great for all of the plants, many of which were late getting into the ground because of non-availability during the spring. Many of them are now beginning to flower, adding an array of colors. Unfortunately, the rain is also helping the weeds to grow, too. However, we’re tag-teaming against them and seem to be on the winning side.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 5th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Mandell Creighton, British historian and a bishop of the Church of England; William T. Stead, British newspaper editor (The Pall Mall Gazette – exposed child prostitution); Jean Cocteau, French poet and writer (Les Enfants Terribles); Frederick Lewis Allen, American social historian and editor of Harper’s Magazine; Tin Ujević, Croatian poet (Žedan kamen na studencu); Frank Waters, American writer; W. M. Diggelmann, Swiss writer (appeared in The self-destruction of W. M. Diggelmann); John Gilmore, American true crime author (Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder); Brooke Hayward, American author (Haywire); Barbara Frischmuth, Austrian writer; Julie Nixon Eisenhower, American author and the youngest daughter of Richard Nixon; Meredith Ann Pierce, American sci-fi author (Darkangel); and Veronica Guerin, Irish crime journalist.

Recognize anyone? I didn’t. 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!

Are you a thriller aficionado? If so, Thrillerfest XV begins tomorrow!  If your interested, here’s the link to register: https://thrillerwriters.org/virtual-thrillerfest-2020/. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

My Work in Progress

I changed tack with my writing over the past few days, reaching back to a novel I began in 2017 but haven’t finished. This historical series will be called New World Revolution, with the title of book one tentatively being: A New Home. Here’s the synopsis:

The members of the Alexander family are hard-working tenant farmers in northern England. In 1770, massive crop failures threatened the very existence of the farmers. William Alexander and his two sons, sell what they can of their crops, but are unable to pay their debt, forcing them into a difficult situation.

The landowner’s factor takes pity on the Alexander family since they always paid their debts and never caused any problems. Since they could pay their way to the New World, the factor arranges their passage. They work off the costs as indentured servants to his brother, a wealthy tea merchant in Boston.

Little does anyone know, the Boston Tea Party and other events leads the colonies into a fight for their survival. What will become of the Alexander family?

This story requires an extensive amount of research so I can balance real events and people with my fictional characters. Just this past week I spend conducted over fifteen hours of research. I completed chapter five yesterday. So far, the story has received seventy-three chapter reviews from the two subscription writing sites I use. To aid my online research, I’ve also purchased ten non-fiction books related to the time period. More to come as the story unfolds.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh Book 1) by Michelle Kidd. I was drawn to the story after reading the synopsis. There’s no doubt the plot is fantastic, with plenty of twists and turns. Many of the characters come across as realistic. Follow DI MaCintosh as he attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding The Phoenix Project and an organization referred to as PRISM. Will he solve the puzzle before everyone who is involved ends up dead?

This would have been a fantastic read if the manuscript had been subjected to an intensive editing regime. As a result, my rating is lower than it would otherwise have been.

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 28, 2020

It’s hard to believe how fast the month is passing. Seems like only yesterday we were in the middle of May! Are you experiencing the same? There certainly is something to the saying, “Time Stands Still for No One.”

We’ve been having some mixed weather, which is helping out as there’s less watering of the plants to do. Most of the spring flowers have faded away, but there’s a new crop of buds on the way. Our rose bush is blooming and the flowers on the hydrangaes are getting ready to burst into color!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 28th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Giovanni Della Casa, Italian poet (Galateo); Otto Julius Bierbaum, German writer (Irrgarten Der Liebe); Luigi Pirandello, Italian writer (Six Characters in Search of An Author-Nobel 1934); Esther Forbes, American novelist (Johnny Tremain); E. H. Carr, English historian (History of Soviet Russia); Leon Kruczkowski, Polish author (Kordian into Cham); Arnold Shaw, American writer on popular music and composer; Eric Ambler, suspense writer (Epitaph for a Spy); A. E. Hotchner, American editor, novelist and playwright; Terje Stigen, Norwegian author (Det siste paradiset); Henk van Stipriaan, Dutch journalist and VARA radio host; Harold Evans, English-American journalist and writer (editor of The Sunday Times); Nick Virgilio, American Haiku poet; Gisela Kraft, German writer; Robert L Asprin, American sci-fi writer (Thieves World, Cold Cash War); Mark Helprin, American writer (A Soldier of the Great War); and Florian Zeller, French novelist (La Fascination du Pire) and playwright.

Recognize anyone? They all stumped me this time. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

Are you a thriller aficionado? If so, there’s still time to sign up!  If your interested, here’s the link to register: https://thrillerwriters.org/virtual-thrillerfest-2020/. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

 

 

My Work in Progress

Another positive regarding the weather is more time to write. This week I finished chapter Xavier Sear: Angola chapter twenty-six and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 322 chapter reviews, an increase of twelve in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

I don’t remember if I mentioned before, but the snippets I post are all first drafts, so things likely change a bit by the time the final edit is completed.

Here’s another snippet:

Once the guards appeared, they each grabbed one of Peter’s arms and led him to the tent’s exit. They shoved him outside, where he stumbled.

Sprawling on the ground, Peter struggled to his feet. I must endure their childish games—until help comes or I can escape.

Laughter followed him as the guards returned him to his tent. Inside, Peter collapsed to the floor. At least I’m no longer trussed up like a chicken. He crabbed to the tent flaps and pulled one aside.

Not five yards from the tent, a young guard stared at him. He picked up his rifle and waved Peter back inside.

He dropped the flap and sprawled on the floor. My guard can’t be more than fourteen, fifteen at the most. His weapon is longer than he is tall. Peter shook his head. Might as well get some rest. No telling what the rest of the day will bring.

***

“Up! Up!” The teenage guard poked his AK-47 inside the tent and motioned Peter outside. A second guard waited. They grabbed Peter’s arms and hustled him toward the command tent.

After being told to enter, Peter stepped inside. Alimasi sat on a three-legged camp stool, watching several youths packing the contents of the tent.

Peter stopped in front of his captor. “What is it? Did something happen?”

“No.” Alimasi yelled something in an unfamiliar dialect at one of the youths before turning his attention back to Peter. “Something in here ….” He thumped his chest and pointed to his head. “Something tells me we should relocate our camp. We’ve been in one place too long.”

“Where will we go?” Will I be able to escape? What about the women and children captured with me?

“Not far. About twenty kilometers is one of our old camps near another river. We haven’t used this location for over a year, so it should be safe.”

“From who? Government troops?”

Alimasi shook his head. “My informers let me know if the government is planning any action against us. But many rival groups want to things their own way, and they dislike my plans for Africa.”

Perhaps these rivals have more common sense. “When will we leave?”

“As soon as they pack my belongings.” Alimasi waved his hand at the workers. “Perhaps one hour, or it might be two. You will ride in the back of my truck—take care of Namali during the transfer.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

If you haven’t read any of Blair Howard’s novels, here’s an excellent beginning for you–The Genesis Files (Books 1-3).

I first read these individually as I didn’t want to wait for a bundle. Glad I did as each story enthralled me. Sure, I had to wait for the next one, but so what? I didn’t want to miss a word! I’ve reread my initial reviews and stand by every word. In case you missed my comments, here they are:

Genesis is superb thriller revealing the creation of Harry Starke’s private eye business after he stopped being a cop. As with all of Blair Howard’s books, this is another well-crafted story, starting with Harry meeting a young girl–who disappears. Who’s behind the girl’s disappearance, and why? A real pager turner for those who enjoy an excellent plot with realistic characters. Blair, bring on another story soon!

Blair has done it again with The Raven (Harry Starke Genesis Book 2). Someone knocked off a wealthy woman, leaving behind a distraught husband. A friend of Harry’s father, the husband, who is a judge, turned to Harry and his new private investigation service to find the killer. Things become complicated with the addition of Russian mobsters into the story.

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one is fast-paced with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing who might have killed the judge’s wife. Realistic characters help Harry in his quest for the truth. Just when I thought I knew where the story was heading, different suspects crept forward, muddying the water. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll have to grab yourself a copy. You won’t be disappointed!

Blair Howard’s, The Assassin, the third book in the Harry Starke Genesis series, ranks right up there with his best work. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, as I kept turning the pages to follow Harry and Kate Gazzara as they deal with someone trying to kill Senator Hawke. With a thrilling plot, plenty of realistic characters and loads of twists and turns Blair doesn’t disappoint with this story. As with all of Harry’s exploits, I kept turning the pages late into the evening. My only regret is I have to wait for the next installment in the series! Well done!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 21, 2020

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers around the world! Hope you have an excellent day! My son called yesterday for his weekly chat and wished me a good day. His card arrived the day before–it’s not always easy for him to judge how long it might take to reach Scotland from the States as so many things can cause a delay.

Are you a thriller aficionado? If so, there’s still time to sign up!  If your interested, here’s the link to register: https://thrillerwriters.org/virtual-thrillerfest-2020/. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 21st. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Hendrik van Wijn, Dutch histrorian and archivist (Algemeen Rijksarchief); Wolfgang Menzel, German writer; Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Brazilian writer (Epitaph of a small winner); Daniel Carter Beard, American author, social reformer and founder of the Boy Scouts of America; Johannes Schlaf, German writer and translator; H. M. Tomlinson, British writer (Sea & Jungle); Feodor Gladkov, Russian socialist writer (Cement); Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian (Nature & Destiny of Man); Milward Kennedy, British public servant and mystery writer; Donald C. Peattie, American botanist and writer; Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist philosopher and writer (Le Mur, Nobel 1964; declined); Aleksandr Tvardovsky, Russian poet and editor in chief (Novyj Mir); Mary McCarthy, American novelist (Group); Irving Shulman, American author and screenwriter; Wulf Kirsten, German writer; Françoise Sagan [Quoirez], French novelist (Bonjour Trieste); Henry S. Taylor, American writer and poet (Pulitzer 1986 for Poetry); Adam Zagajewski, Polish philosopher and poet; Ian McEwan, English writer (Atonement); Andrzej Sapkowski, Polish writer (The Witcher); Anne Carson, Canadian poet (Autobiography of Red); and Robert Menasse, Austrian writer (Die Vertreibung aus der Hölle).

Recognize anyone? They all stumped me this time. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

This week I received fantastic news! Carnage in Singapore is now a finalist in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards in their Global Thrillers category. It’ll now compete for one of the limited First in Category winner positions, hopefully joining Dangerous Alliance from last year’s competition.

Or perhaps, it’ll go even further, and be identified as the category Grand Prize winner!  Due to the pandemic, the results of this year’s competition have been delayed, so we won’t find out the end results until September. Good luck to all the finalists in all of the genre!

 

Three of my novels are participating in Kindle Unlimited promotions during June: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks.  Here’s the links to this month’s promotions:

Kindle Unlimited New Readers Promo (includes Dangerous Alliance and Colombian Betrayal):

https://books.bookfunnel.com/kindleunlimitednewreaders/mnj2g8jagf

Beat the Summer Heat with Kindle Unlimited (all three are included):

https://books.bookfunnel.com/beatthesummerheat/epsn0gvpzr

Action packed romantic suspense in Kindle Unlimited (Colombian Betrayal):

https://books.bookfunnel.com/actionpackedromsus/2mczee4n7c

Colombian Betrayal is also participating in a Kindle Dark, Addictive Summer Thrillers bundle. This is for downloads only:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/darkthrillers/h1qbunoakq

Why not stop by and see if any of your favorites are hanging around. Or, you might find new authors to check out. I know everyone will appreciate you support!

My Work in Progress

Another positive regarding the weather is more time to write. This week I finished chapter Xavier Sear: Angola chapter twenty-five and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 310 chapter reviews, an increase of seventeen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

I don’t remember if I mentioned before, but the snippets I post are all first drafts, so things likely change a bit by the time the final edit is completed.

I’ll be providing another snippet next time.

This week I also completed the ninth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of 108 so far, an increase of nine over the past week.

I’m not sure how long I’ll continue to work on two novels simultaneously, but as long as the words continue to flow, I’ll capture them. I can always make changes during the editing phase. With the progress I’ve made thus far on Angola, I’m thinking of concentrating on it until the entire first draft is completed.

 

 

Books I’m Reading

This week I finished reading The Coelho Medallion: A Dan Kotler Archeological Thriller by Kevin Tumlinson is an action-packed story which will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Will Dan be successful in solving the mystery surrounding the medallion before it’s too late for a kidnapped colleague? Or will others wade in to create more mayhem as the story unfolds?

Kevin’s plot is full of twists and turns, making this a fantastic read. With a bevy of larger-than-life characters, who will end up on the right side of the law? This is the first of Kevin’s novels I’ve read and it definitely won’t be the last, as I’ve already downloaded the second volume in the Dan Kotler series.

I also completed Acts Beyond Redemption (Unintended Consequences Book 1) by Suzanne Burke, which is another page turner, with an exciting plot and real-life characters. Who is killing men, and why? Follow FBI Agent Mike Matheson as he attempts to unravel the clues and put the puzzle together before another body surfaces. This is also the first novel by Suzanne that I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 14, 2020

The bright sunshine and warm temperature we experience during May and the early part of June have given way to overcast skies, rain, wind, and even fog. One positive note to this–Mother Nature is watering the plants so I don’t have too. Even the neighborhood stray cat is taking refuge in one of the two houses we put in the back. Glad to see him staying dry!

Are you a thriller aficionado? If so, there’s still time to sign up!  If your interested, here’s the link to register: https://thrillerwriters.org/virtual-thrillerfest-2020/. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 14th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Giglio Gregorio Giraldi, Italian poet; Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author (Uncle Tom’s Cabin); John Bartlett, American writer and publisher (compiled Familiar Quotations); Louis Finkelstein, American historian and theologist (Pharizees); René Char, French poet and painter; Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator; Winifred Milius Lubell, American illustrator and writer (The Outer Lands); Judith Kerr, British children’s writer and illustrator (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Mog books); Vladimir Solouchin, Russian writer; Barbara Avedon, American scriptwriter (Bewitched); Hermann Kant, German writer; Charles McCarry, American author and former CIA spy (The Tears of Autumn); Jerzy Kosiński, Polish-American novelist (The Painted Bird, Being There); Irmelin Sandman Lilius, Swedish-Finnish writer; ohn F. MacArthur, American evangelist and author; John Edgar Wideman, American writer (Brothers and Keepers); Laurie Colwin, American author (Happy All the Time); Harry Turtledove, American author (The Guns of the South); and Leon Wieseltier, American writer (Kaddish).

Recognize anyone? One name stood out for me. Not only I heard of Harriet Beecher Stowe, but I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin (a long time ago). 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 Published Work

Three of my novels are participating in Kindle Unlimited promotions during June: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks.  Here’s the links to this month’s promotions:

Kindle Unlimited New Readers Promo (includes Dangerous Alliance and Colombian Betrayal):

Beat the Summer Heat with Kindle Unlimited (all three are included):

Action packed romantic suspense in Kindle Unlimited (Colombian Betrayal):

Why not stop by and see if any of your favorites are hanging around. Or, you might find new authors to check out. I know everyone will appreciate you support!

My Work in Progress

Another positive regarding the weather is more time to write. This week I finished chapter Xavier Sear: Angola chapter twenty-four and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 293 chapter reviews, an increase of fourteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

I don’t remember if I mentioned before, but the snippets I post are all first drafts, so things likely change a bit by the time the final edit is completed. Here’s another snippet:

After dropping his luggage in his double room, he grabbed his laptop and checked for messages.

To: Sear, Guzman

From: Kruger

Ag, man! Count me in. Send details.

Before he responded, a ping indicated another message:

To: Sear, Kruger

From: Guzman

Add me to the party.

Sear smiled and began typing his response:

Glad you’ve both joined the party. Our mission is to recover a doctor named Peter. He’s Angolan, the son of a local government official, who was kidnapped while working in the DRC. Since we’re gate crashing, I’m debating whether to use a coastal insertion into Angola or enter from Zambia.

A Portuguese friend is already on the ground, meeting with the government official, a former rebel commander. Rendezvous point and kick-off date to be provided shortly.

Attached is a copy of the weapons, communications gear, and supplies I ordered. Please advise if anything should be added.

Once the email was, Sear pulled up a map of Angola and began studying the common border with the DRC.

Hmm. He ran a Google search on Lucapa. Might be a possibility. Some foreigners in the area because of the diamond mines. Plenty of Congolese refugees, so the border could be porous. What about Saurimo? Similar to Lucapa, but a bit larger—might be easier to blend in. Also has a small airport—alternative way to get our equipment in if there is someone we can bribe to look the other way?

Sear stood and stretched his arms. Thirsty. Glad I asked them to put a small fridge in for me. He grabbed a Coke, popped the top, and returned to his research.

***

Sear checked for flights and found what he was looking for, with departure the evening after Guzman arrives. After purchasing two first-class tickets, he composed an email to his friends.

To: Kruger, Guzman

From: Sear

Party’s on. Guzman and I will arrive in Lusaka in forty-eight hours. Kruger, meet us at the airport. Requested boat, rifle, knives, explosives, and Cracker Jacks will be added to the delivery. Recommend we infil via vehicle from Zambia and rendezvous with remaining party members at Saurimo.

After activating the Tor software, Sear updated his weapons and supply requests. Satisfied with their progress, he logged out of his laptop, placed it back in the traveling case, and headed out the door to one of the nearby restaurants.

More next time.

This week I also completed the eight chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of ninety-nine so far, an increase of fifteen over the past week.

I’m not sure how long I’ll continue to work on two novels simultaneously, but as long as the words continue to flow, I’ll capture them. I can always make changes during the editing phase.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read Serenity (The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series Book 1) by Craig A. Hart. Set in Michigan, Craig has created a fast-moving plot filled with real-life characters. Follow Shelby as he’s involved in a deadly clash between members of a local family and those providing a new drug source into their territory.

This is well-written and definitely will keep you turning the pages. I don’t like to provide any spoilers, so you’ll have to grab a copy and decide for yourself. I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series.

I also completed Bones of the Innocent: A Mason Collins Crime Thriller 3 by John A. Connell. Who’s kidnapping teenagers from the streets of Tangiers? Mason is hired to investigate the disappearance of three girls from wealthy expats living in the city, since the local police are either unable or unwilling to purse the crimes. Before long,, Mason also becomes a target.

This is a riveting story with a plot full of twists and turns. Commiseration or anger toward the parents will depend upon your viewpoint but you’ll find yourself drawn into the story. Hang on to your seat as you urge Mason on as he tries to solve the case. Can’t wait to read another Mason Collins novel!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 7, 2020

It’s been a somewhat cooler week. Still plenty of sunshine to keep spirits up.  We managed to buy the extra plants we wanted at the local garden center (nursery) and Mother Nature has helped out with the watering by provided much-need gentle rain almost on a daily basis.

Businesses are slowly opening. but there’s definitely a change. I ordered some topsoil and crushed decorative stone (a metric ton of each) from my regular supplier. Prior to the pandemic, I would have received my delivery in 2-3 days. However, my order won’t be delivered until the 16th. At least I’m able to get what I need.

Are you a thriller aficionado? If so, this is for you!  If your interested, here’s the link to register: https://thrillerwriters.org/virtual-thrillerfest-2020/. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 7th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Étienne Pasquier, French lawyer and man of letters; Paulus Voet, Dutch jurist and historian; R. D. Blackmore, English novelist (Norie, Lorna Doone); Amelia Edwards, English author (The Phantom Coach) and Egyptologist; Julius P. Hoste, Belgium minister and daily newspaper publisher (Last News); William Walraven, Dutch journalist and writer (Indian Daily); Elizabeth Bowen, Anglo-Irish novelist (The Death of the Heart, Encounters); Jan Engelman, Dutch poet, translator and critic (Garden of Eros); Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet (Bean Eaters, Annie Allen, Pulitzer 1950); Martin Carter, Guyanese poet and political activist; Anthony Nicholas Maria Wahl, American historian; David Malcolm Lewis, English historian, expert in Greek Epigraphy; Harry Crews, American writer and actor (Indian Runner); Bert Sugar, American sports writer (Sting like a Bee); Judy Ann Scott-Fox, English literary agent; Nikki Giovanni, American poet (LHJ Woman of the Year 1973); and Louise Erdrich, American author (Love Medicine, The Bingo Palace).

Recognize anyone? I didn’t recognize anyone this time. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

Three of my novels continue to participate in Kindle Unlimited promotions: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks.  Here’s the links to this month’s promotions:

Kindle Unlimited New Readers Promo (includes Dangerous Alliance and Colombian Betrayal):

Beat the Summer Heat with Kindle Unlimited (all three are included):

 

Action packed romantic suspense in Kindle Unlimited (Colombian Betrayal):

 

Why not stop by and see if any of your favorites are hanging around. Or, you might find new authors to check out. I know everyone will appreciate you support!

My Work in Progress

When I wasn’t working in the yard (garden), I continued progress on Xavier Sear: Angola. This week I finished chapter twenty-three and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 279 chapter reviews, an increase of thirteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s another snippet:

Armed with his coffee and a bolo de Mel da Madeira, he made himself comfortable after adjusting the sun umbrella overlooking his table. He savored the warm honey cake and sipped on his drink as he turned on his laptop. Once he checked his regular email account, he glanced around to ensure no one paid any attention to him.

Sear slid a USB stick from his pocket and shoved it into the appropriate slot. Once he typed in his password, he activated the Tor software. Moments later, he accessed his first Dark Web .onion link. After entering his desired search parameters, he leaned back and finished his coffee.

What has João gotten himself into this time? Well-meaning, but still doesn’t understand the world’s a dangerous place. He sighed. We need to recover Peter and leave Africa as soon as possible. He pulled up a text file containing a list of requirements he previously identified:

Weapons – LAWs, pistols, assault rifles, knives, grenades (concussion, smoke), ammunition, night-vision goggles, binoculars

Supplies – MREs, water purification tablets, med kit, mosquito netting/repellent, air mattresses, zip ties

Comms Gear – Sat phones, tactical comms

Documentation – Passports, ID cards, visa

In-country Contacts/Support Team – Angola, DRC. Who?

Recovery Team – Me, João, Theo. Who else?

Kickoff – ASAP

Infil – Coastal insertion or Via Zambia?

Rendezvous Point – TBD

Exfil – TBD

Something cast a shadow over his table. He shoved the laptop cover down before glancing up.

More next time.

This week I also completed the seventth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of eighty-four so far, an increase of sixteen over the past week.

I’ve reached out to my newsletter subscribers to see if anyone would like their first name used for one of the characters. A few people responded, and I’ll be including them in the character cast as the story progresses.

Perhaps next time, I’ll provide a short snippet.

 

Books I’m Reading

I finished two novels this week, and was working on my reviews when a four-legged member of the family jumped up on the workspace and promptly decided the keyboard would be a good place for a snooze. Can’t blame it on the dog–we don’t have one! However, Tommy, the latest feline addition to our family, loves to push in front of me when I’m typing. Unfortunately, he wiped out my reviews, so I’ll provide them next time.

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 31, 2020

It’s been another glorious week, with the temperatures reaching as high as 79F (26C). No rain at all, so each day the more delicate plants have required a drink or two to keep them going, especially the newly-planted ones.

Even with the changes to current lockdown procedures now in place, we’re still sticking to our regular routine and minimizing our exposure. However, since our back yard (garden) is secluded, we’ve been able to spend several hours each day, puttering around, getting things just the way we want–subject to still needing a few plants. With the garden centers (nurseries) open in our area as of this past Friday, we’ve stayed away, expecting them to be mobbed. Hope to make a quick trip this coming week to pick up a few things.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 31st. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Alexander Cruden “Alexander the Corrector”, Scottish biblical scholar and eccentric, compiler of a concordance to King James Bible; Ludwig Tieck, German writer; Georg Herwegh, German poet; Walt Whitman, American poet (Leaves of Grass) and volunteer nurse during the Civil War; Ernest Daudet, French journalist and writer (White Terror); Saint-John Perse, French diplomat and poet (Nobel 1960); Konstatin G Paustovski, Russian author (Bespokojnaja Joenostj); Johan Brouwer, Dutch pianist/writer/resistance fighter; Ilse Lagner, German antiwar writer; Leonid Leonov, Russian writer; Helma Wolf-Catz, Dutch author (Undercurrent, Coral Reef); Dave O’Brien [Fronabarger], American actor and writer (Reefer Madness, Kiss Me Kate, 1st Aid); Robert Arthur Ley, UK, sci-fi author (Telepath, Power of X); Svetlana Alexievich, journalist and author (Noble Prize for Literature 2015); and Laura Baugh, American golfer, writer, broadcaster (LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year 1973).

Recognize anyone? Walt Whitman was the only name I’m 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!

My Published Work

Three of my novels continue to participate in a Kindle Unlimited promotion: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks. There are a total of 384 KU works included in the promotion, which ends in a few hours.

In addition, Colombian Betrayal is participating in a Sleepless Mind mystery, crime, suspense, and thriller sales promotions which also ends today. Please stop by and see if any of your favorite authors are listed, or perhaps you’ll find someone new to check out.

My Work in Progress

When I was outside enjoying the brilliant weather, I continued working on Xavier Sear: Angola. This week I finished chapter twenty-two and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 266 chapter reviews, an increase of twelve in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s another snippet:

Here we go. Sear gestured for Vincent to continue.

He pointed to the envelope Sear held. “There are names, photos, and all the background info available on the two leading players in Angola. If something were to befall them in the process of your visiting their country, we would be grateful.”

“How grateful?”

“Enough to let you retire.”

“We?”

“You know how it is. Enough said.”

Sear offered his hand to his old friend. “I’ll do what I can. But, helping João is a priority for me.”

“That’s all I can hope for.”

Sear slipped from the car and made his way back into the house, making sure to lock the French doors. He headed up the stairs to his bedroom, flicked on a light on the bedside table, and dumped the contents of the envelope on the bed.

Let’s see what Vincent gave me. Sear flipped through the documents and photos. With a near eidetic memory, he cataloged as much as he could.

An hour later, he stuffed everything back in the envelope. I’ll leave this for Cat to hold. Can’t take it with me. He yawned and headed for the bathroom.

After a quick shower, he climbed into bed. Reaching over, he turned out the light and settled down. I hope João doesn’t do anything foolish before I arrive. Talk about heading into a viper’s nest. Is Theo part of the problem, or is he the solution? Only time will tell. I need to get there ASAP before it’s too late—for João, Peter, and Theo. He closed his eyes. And me. Otherwise, Cat will be attending a funeral instead of an anniversary celebration.

More next time.

This week I also completed the sixth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of sixty-eight so far, and increase of eleven over the past week. Here’s the opening to the story:

“Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” General Douglas MacArthur, during his farewell speech at West Point Military Academy, 12 May 1962

Colonel Javier Smith woke to the strains of Born in the U.S.A. echoing in the room. He rolled over and grabbed his phone. “Yeah?”

“Are you up yet?” AJ Bruce chuckled. “It’s five a.m. You wanted me to make sure you were up for your big day.”

“You’re pretty cheerful this morning.” He glanced at the clock. Yep—five a.m. “How much coffee did you drink?”

“Just started my second cup.” She slurped her coffee. “See you tonight?”

“You betcha.” Javier broke the connection and shook the cobwebs from his head. He propelled his six-foot-four-inch muscular body from the bed and dashed into the bathroom for a quick shower. After drying himself and combing his black hair, he returned to the bedroom. Before he finished dressing, he glanced at the ribbon rack on his uniform. First and last time to wear all of them at once.

Perhaps a bit more next time.

Books I’m Reading

This week, I finished Only One Cure: A Medical Mystery Thriller (FBI and CDC Thriller Book One) by Jennifer Ruff. FBI antiterror specialist Quinn Traynor and CDC epidemiologist Madeline Hamilton find themselves trying to solve a deadly plot. Madeline is trying to determine the cause of a potentially fatal disease, which has infected several teens, including the president’s son. Terrorists claim they have the cure, and it’s up to Quinn to track them down.

This is a riveting plot with plenty of twists and turns. You’ll find yourself rooting for Madeline and Quinn, while at the same time, you’ll be hoping the terrorists are captured or killed. Will Madeline and Quinn be successful or will the president’s son die?

A riveting tale which will have you staying up late and turning the pages to find out what happens next. This is the first book of Jennifer’s I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!

I also read The Tomb of El Dorado (Sam Reilly Book 18) by Christopher Cartwright will not disappoint. A fantastic plot involving an ancient tribe and a city cloaked in mystery. Will Sam put the pieces together and uncover the lost tomb of El Dorado? Join him on his globe-hopping journey as he tracks down clues, not knowing a previous contact might not be as upfront as Sam thinks.

If you enjoy fast-paced and exciting stories, this is definitely one for you!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 24, 2020

Happy Memorial Day weekend to those celebrating. While normally a time to honor military personnel who gave their lives while serving their country, this year, there are plenty of others who should be recognized for the unselfish acts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial start to summer. Whatever you have planned, stay safe!

Mother Nature’s helping hand over the past week has been a welcome gift, saving me plenty of time as I haven’t had to do as much watering. The new plants are taking root, and the ones which have been moved from one are to another are flourishing. Several plants are showing their colors as flower begin to pop out.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 24th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Jean-Paul Marat, French journalist and revolutionary (Friend of the People periodical); Cornelis Eliza van Koetsveld, Dutch writer and preacher; Kathleen Hale, British children book writer and illustrator (Orlando); Henri Michaux, Belgian-born French poet and writer (Miserable Miracle); Mikhail Sholokhov, Soviet writer (And Quiet Flows the Don, Nobel 1965); Zdeněk Blažek, Czech composer and music theorist (Verchovina); Michael Roberts, English historian; Guillermo Díaz-Plaja, Spanish literary and poet (Lorca); Louis Fornberg, writer; Marģeris Zariņš, Latvian composer and writer; George Tabori, Hungarian writer; William Trevor, Irish writer (Children of Dynmouth, Fools of Fortune); Arnold Wesker, British playwright (Bratkartoffeln Inbegriffen); Joseph Brodsky, Russian-American poet and writer (Less than One, Nobel 1987); and Michael Chabon, American novelist (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay).

Recognize anyone? This was another unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

Three of my novels continue to participate in a May Kindle Unlimited promotion: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks. There are a total of 384 KU works included in the promotion.

In addition, Colombian Betrayal is participating in two Kindle mystery, crime, suspense, and thriller sales promotions called Sleepless Mind, which runs through the end of May. Please stop by and see if any of your favorite authors are listed, or perhaps you’ll find someone new to check out.

My Work in Progress

When time permitted, I continued working on Xavier Sear: Angola. This week I finished chapter twenty-one and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 254 chapter reviews, an increase of sixteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s another snippet:

Long after dark, when Sear believed the house was quiet, he slipped out the French doors and into the back garden. He crept around the house through the light of the quarter moon until he spotted what he expected.

Parked beyond the gates underneath a huge jacaranda tree sat a black GMC Yukon with blacked-out windows and black rims. The parking lights turned off and on. Sear chuckled. Real stealth.

“I thought you died.” A voice broke the stillness as a rear passenger door opened.

“As a very wise man once said, ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.’”

Sear climbed in the back of the Yukon and closed the door.

“In any case, it is great to see you.”

“Lisbon Station Chief—that’s quite a few rungs up the ladder from where we started.”

The station chief nodded. “They offered you Moscow, London, or Paris. It didn’t surprise me you rejected those assignments. I knew you wouldn’t accept Beijing when someone suggested the post. But you certainly went down a path I would not have expected.”

“Not my thing. You’re the diplomat. I’m a strategist who happens to be an excellent shot.”

“Did you just call me an ass kisser?”

More next time.

This week I also completed the fifth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of fifty-seven so far, and increase of ten over the past week. I think I provided the synopsis before, but in case I didn’t or you missed it, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers. He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read Georgina, the latest blockbuster from Blair Howard. Who killed sixteen-year-old Georgina all those years go, and why? Was it some type of random attack, or was it a lover’s quarrel? Every year on the anniversary of Georgina’s death, Captain Kate Gazzarra relives the anguish of not finding the killer. Will this year be different? Kate and her team want things to be different, and begin going through the case step-by-step.


Once again Blair has created an exciting plot with a fantastic twist. As always, the characters are realistic, and we learn more about their personal lives as well as how they perform on duty.  It’s easy to be right there with them as the investigation unfolds, and it won’t be long before you’ll be cheering the team on and jeering at the potential suspects.

The Kindle version will be released on May 31st, but the paperback is available now. Grab a copy and get stuck into another super story!


I also read Pipeline Killers by Lynn Nicholson, the second novel in his Detective Bernadette Callahan mystery series. Follow Bernadette as she’s involved in another terrifying threat to the world’s oil pipelines. What started as an investigation into a supposed industrial accident shows how some people will stop at nothing to support their goals, no matter how far-fetched or dangerous they might be. Will Bernadette be able to solve the mystery before it’s too late?

With another great plot and a larger-than-life Bernadette, follow along this fast-paced mystery as she works with Canadian and American authorities to find the key to the devastating destruction caused by something so small it can’t be seen by the naked eye. You’ll stay up late as you won’t want to miss a moment of the action!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 17, 2020

The days all seem to run into one another, but here it is–another Sunday. Our yard (garden) is finally taking shape. A few minor things to sort out and then we’ll be in a position to only need to do maintenance to keep things in order.

We received some osteospermum plants this week–via an online order. They arrived safely, and once we harden them off for a few days, they’ll be used to fill a few spaces behind the house. It’s great to look out and see our hard work is paying off!

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

Jien, Japanese poet and historian; Andreas Felix von Oefele, German historian and librarian; Anna Brownell Jameson, Anglo-Irish historian and writer (Loves of the Poets); Robert Smith Surtees, British novelist (Jorrocks’s Jaunts and Jollities); Virginie Loveling, Flemish writer (Sophie) and poet; Dorothy M. Richardson, English novelist (Pilgrimage); Henri Barbusse, French novelist (Le Feu); Alfonso Reyes, Mexican writer (Simpatías y diferencias) and diplomat (Higenia Cruel); Hannah Tillich, German-American writer (Harbor Mouse); John Patrick, American screenwriter and playwright (Pulitzer Prize 1954); Lars Gustafsson, writer; Trinus Riemersma, Dutch-Frisian writer (Conquest of Leeuwarden); Gary Paulsen, American author of young adult literature; F. Paul Wilson, American novelist; and Lise Lyng Falkenberg, Danish writer.

Recognize anyone? This was an unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

Three of my novels continue to participate in a May Kindle Unlimited promotion: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks. There are a total of 384 KU works included in the promotion.

In addition, Colombian Betrayal is participating in two Kindle mystery, crime, suspense, and thriller sales promotions: Sleepless Mind, which runs through the 19th. The second one is also called Sleepless Mind, and begins tomorrow, running through the end of May Please stop by and see if any of your favorite authors are listed, or perhaps you’ll find someone new to check out.

My Work in Progress

When time permitted, I continued moving forward with Xavier Sear: Angola. This week I finished chapter twenty and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 238 chapter reviews, an increase of twelve in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s another snippet:

Sear stepped into their new operations center, a cup of coffee in hand. A sheepish expression spread across his face when he realized João and Catarina were already hard at work.

“About time.” Catarina stood stern-faced, with hands on her hips.

“Ah … well.”

She laughed. “Just playing with you. We just started within the past fifteen minutes.”

“I needed my morning run.” He nodded. “What’s the game plan?”

Catarina gestured toward one of the flipcharts. “We did some brainstorming before we got out of bed this morning. We thought doing an update on Theo and his family might be necessary. We should also investigate what the opposition party is publicly trying to do. Also, a search for any information on this Masudi is needed.”

“Since you’re running the show, what do you want me to do?” Sear’s sipped on his coffee, his eyes twinkling with mirth.

“Why don’t you help João? He can use your expertise, I’m sure.”

“Okay, boss lady.”

They both laughed as they strolled toward the workspace where João sat immersed in something on his computer screen.

Catarina cleared her throat. “Find anything interesting, dear?”

“I discovered an obscure website providing background information about several Angolan authorities.” João pursed his lips as he reread to himself. ” Here’s some of the interesting stuff. Did I ever mention Theo has a daughter?”

Catarina shook her head. “I don’t recall.”

“The Angolan culture frowns on people with any type of disability. I knew Theo had a daughter, but all he said was she lived in a private treatment center, which was helping her cope with her deafness and learn sign language. The opposition party is trying to use Theo’s position in the government as an example of the corrupt way the politicians are looking after their own at the expense of the rest of the population as this private clinic wouldn’t be available to everyone.” He shook his head. “Unbelievable someone would want to make the disabled a political issue. The Theo I knew wouldn’t do this.”

“Interesting, but not sure if this will help when you return to Angola.”

More next time.

This week I also completed the fourth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of forty-seven so far, and increase of twelve over the past week. I think I provided the synopsis before, but in case I didn’t or you missed it, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers. He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read The Long Island Project by Russel F. Moran. The third novel in Russel’s Puzzles series, we meet up again with the infamous detectives, Bobbie Nelson and Bob Lawson as they’re called upon to solve another problem. Why is Long Island under quarantine, and who is behind it? Before long, they uncover a conspiracy, which could lead a takeover through mind control and time travel.

As with all of Russel’s novels, the characters adapt to the situations they find themselves in and their interactions bring the best out in the ‘good guys and gals’ and will turn readers against those behind the conspiracy. There’s plenty of intrigue for everyone as the ‘BBs’ solve their latest puzzle. I look forward to their adventure!

I also completed The World Beneath by Rebecca Cantrell, the first book in the Joe Tesla series. Imagine being afraid to venture outdoors and find yourself living beneath the New York subway system. That’s what happened to Joe and his peaceful existence is shattered when he stumbles into a plot which began during WWII. Will he survive being a target? I don’t like to reveal too much to those reading reviews, so you’ll have to grab a copy to find out.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Rebecca and it won’t be the last. With a plot filled with plenty of twists and turns and a great mixture of the past and present, this one will delight all thriller readers.

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

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