Randall’s Ramblings

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 26, 2020

With the weather cooperating, it’s been a busy week in the yard (garden). Managed to do some pruning and shifted plants into better positions for sunlight or shade as we continue to pull everything out of the overgrowth.

Even with the current lockdown situation, there are some firms slowly re-opening, but at a very reduced staff level and maintaining social distancing. We would out we could finally have the dumpster (skip) removed, which had been full and sitting in our driveway for weeks. The company brought a new one, but no exchange of paperwork as normal, to ensure we maintained our distance.

This coming week, we’ll have two metric tons of topsoil delivered. This had been ordered right before the lockdown commenced. The company called late last week to confirm whether we still wanted the order.

Thanks again to all those who are putting themselves on the front lines. Stay safe!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on April 26th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Gian Paolo Lomazzo, Italian painter and poet (Trattato); David Hume, Scottish philosopher and historian (A Treatise of Human Nature); Joan Melchior Kemper, Dutch lawyer (designed civil code law book); Ludwig Uhland, German writer; Martha Finley, American children’s book author (Elsie Dinsmore series); Alice Cary, American poet (Cincinnati Sentinel); Frederick Law Olmsted, American writer and landscape architect (designed Central Park); Wilhelm Scherer, German literature historian; Arno Holz, German writer (Phantasus); Otto zur Linde, German author (Charon); Ğabdulla Tuqay, Tatar poet (Oh My Mother Tongue!); Anita Loos, American screenwriter, novelist (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes); Vicente Aleixandre, Spanish writer (Ambito, Bird of Paper, Nobel 1977); Theun de Vries, Dutch writer (The Girl with the Red Hair); A. E. van Vogt, Canadian sci-fi author (Wizard of Linn); Bernard Malamud, American novelist (The Fixer, The Natural, Pulitzer 1967); H. L. Gold, American sci-fi writer and editor; Morris West, Australian novelist (Shoes of the Fisherman); Richard Mitchell, American professor and author (The Underground Grammarian); and Joanne Gobure, Nauruan poet.

Recognize anyone? The only name I was familiar with was David Hume. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

Colombian Betrayal’s online book tour is still ongoing until the end of the month, sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours. Why not stop by and learn a bit more about me?

https://www.bewitchingbooktours.biz/2020/04/now-on-tour-colombian-betrayal-by.html

My novel continues to participate in two Bookfunnel promotions. If you’re interested in checking them out and perhaps finding new authors to read, here’s the schedule.

April 7th-30th:

https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/a3k53rc4a2

April 11th-26th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/2nd-quarter-mystery/tvyvcj2sx6

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, or working on my newsletter,  I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter seventeen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 199 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-four 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 grabbed a lupini bean from the plate and bit into the salty snack. “Just like I remember. Great stuff!” He took another sip and helped himself to more beans. “On the phone, you hinted you might be taking a trip to hotter climates but didn’t want to discuss anything in detail. What’s up?”

“Do you remember Theo Mwanga?”

“Whoa! That’s a name from the past. Wasn’t he the rebel commander you had in your sights in Angola?”

João nodded. “You urged me to take the shot, but I couldn’t. I remembered his son gazing up at me—never knew why he did.” He shook his head. “I couldn’t take his father away from him. Now, he’s an important member of the Angolan government, we have worked on war reparations, and open trade agreements, and I now consider him a friend.”

“Oookay.” Sear rubbed a hand through his short, black hair. “What does he have to do with—you’re not planning a trip back to Angola, are you? Why?”

“Theo contacted me—twice. A DRC thug named Masudi kidnapped his son Peter. Theo can’t convince anyone in Angola to help, so he turned to me.”

“Always the do-gooder, aren’t you?” Sear smiled. “You aren’t serious about going?”

“I do have reservations about setting foot back in the area. I witnessed enough violence and bloodshed to last a lifetime. But, what if I—we could save Peter? Some women and older girls were kidnapped with him. Who knows what they’re experiencing now?”

“I’ve no desire to return to Angola either—for different reasons.”

João signaled for another round of drinks. “I tried to convince Theo I couldn’t do anything to help, but he kept insisting. In the end, I said I’d come, subject to two conditions.”

“And?”

“I told him I wouldn’t come unless Catarina agreed.” João gave a sheepish grin. “I thought for sure she’d want me to remain in Portugal. No—she insists I help Theo.”

“What’s the other condition?” Sear twirled the glass with his new drink in his hands.

“I told Theo I wouldn’t come unless you agreed to help.”

Sear pursed his lips. “João, you should understand me well enough to realize I don’t stick my neck out for anybody—at least for strangers. I’m not crazy about this idea.”

João glanced at his watch. “We better drink up. Catarina is making the meal for us this evening, and she’ll kill us if we’re late and ruin it.”

More next time.

I also finished the first chapter of Revenge, Book two of my Bruce & Smith thriller series. I don’t have a cover ready yet, but one will be coming as time passes. Despite this being early days for this novel, which is the sequel to Colombian Betrayal, it’s already received eleven reviews.

Books I’m Reading

I recently received an advanced copy of The Lolita Conspiracy by Blair Howard. Harry Starke and Lieutenant Kate Gazarra are embroiled in another mystery. A man is dead, but is it a suicide or a murder? This becomes personal for Harry as he becomes a suspect. But, is he being set up or did he commit the crime?

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one definitely does not disappoint. With a brilliant plot, filled with plenty of suspects and theories, combined with the romantic glimpses of Harry and Kate’s relationship, make this another page turner. As soon as I thought I knew what had happened to the dead guy, a new scenario surfaced. This one is out in paperback now, and available for Kindle pre-order until April 30th, when it goes live. Don’t miss out! Get your copy ordered now!

I also finished Never Die Twice by Mark Caldwell Jones. Join DIA/DARPA operative Natalie Nicks in this action-packed technothriller, as she embarks on a mission which has far-reaching implications. Who can she trust? Has her team been infiltrated?

There’s plenty of non-stop action in this story as Natalie searched for weapons of the future before they can be used. Prepare to burn the proverbial midnight oil as the action will keep you up late at night turning the pages to find out what happens next. This is the first book of Mark’s 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.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 
 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 19, 2019

First of all, I’d like to tip my hat to all those in the medical profession, first responders, and everyone involved in making life as normal as possible for the rest of us. THANK YOU!

I’d also like to extend a special note of appreciation to ninety-nine-year-old British Army Captain Tom Moore. He set out a couple of weeks ago to cover 100 laps of his back yard (garden) in the hopes of raising £1,000 for the National Health Service.  He’s raised a staggering amount–at last check, the total is approaching £25.5 million! Well done, Captain Tom!

The weather hasn’t been too bad this week, except a bit chilly when the wind blows. We’ve taken advantage of the weather to do some much-needed pruning. One of the areas we hadn’t tackled yet since moving into the house was the clematis climbers, some of which are fifteen feet or so off the ground.  Armed with pruning sheers and attacking the myriad strands as if it was a jigsaw puzzle, most of the dead material has been removed. It’ll still take another day or so to get rid of the rest of the old stuff and tie the new/newer shoots into place. It’ll look fantastic when they’re in bloom!

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

Jacques Lelong, French bibliographer; Francisco Albergati Capacelli, Italian writer and playwright; David Ricardo, English economist (On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation); Louis Amédée Achard, French novelist (The Cloak and Dagger); Edward Vermeulen, Flemish writer; Ricardo Bacchelli, Italian playwright and poet (La Ronda); Richard Hughes, English writer (Fiction as Truth); Walter Stewart, Canadian writer and journalist; and Steven H. Silver, American sci-fi editor.

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

News About My Published Work

Colombian Betrayal’s online book tour is still ongoing until the end of the month, sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours. Why not stop by and learn a bit more about me?

https://www.bewitchingbooktours.biz/2020/04/now-on-tour-colombian-betrayal-by.html

My novel continues to participate in two Bookfunnel. If you’re interested in checking them out and perhaps finding new authors to read, here’s the schedule. The links won’t be active until the first day of each giveaway. I’d greatly you forward these to anyone you think might be interested.

April 7th-30th:

https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/a3k53rc4a2

April 11th-26th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/2nd-quarter-mystery/tvyvcj2sx6

 

As of January 26th, Carnage in Singapore became a semi-finalist in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBAs) in their Global Thrillers category. With the coronavirus outbreak, the completion of the 2019 competition has been delayed.  Chanticleer just announced a new level in the competition has been added. The judges requested a new level of achievement to be added to the rounds to acknowledge the entries that they deemed should receive a high level of recognition.

The 2019 CIBA Finalists for each division will be announced over the next few weeks. The CIBA First Place Category Winners, Division Grand Prize Winners, and Overall Grand Prize Winner will be determined from the CIBA Finalists and announced on September 5, 2020 at the CIBA Banquet and Ceremony scheduled for Sept. 5, 2020 during CAC20.

Once I know how Carnage in Singapore fared in the finalist round against the other twelve novels in the Global Thrillers category, I’ll share the information.

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, or working on my newsletter,  I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter sixteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 175 chapter reviews, an increase of fifteen 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’ll provide another snippet next time.

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Lion on Fire by Ted Galdi. This is an exciting thriller and shows how things can go wrong despite the best of intentions. College grad Brian, a clean-cut man who tries to help his younger brother out of a jam. Before long, Brian’s up to his ears in trouble as he runs into the Russian mafia. Will he be able to hold them off long enough to help his brother, or will the plan he’s worked out with his friend Dusty result in a bitter end?

Ted’s created a superb plot with realistic characters. Through in a twist here and there and you’ll be burning the proverbial midnight oil as you continue turning the pages as you’ll want to find out what happens next. This is the first of Ted’s books I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Anniversary Freebie – Reaper: A Horror Novella

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the launch of Reaper: A Horror Novella, author Jonathan Pongratz is offering a free copy of his work on Sunday, April 19th. Don’t miss out on this fantastic story!

Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is different. If he proves he can take care of Imogen all by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of.

That was before the basement door opened on its own.  Before the strange door appeared in the basement and Imogen was taken from him by the monster.

Now everyone in town is blaming him for her disappearance, but no one is listening to his story. Where did the door come from? What was that creature? And most of all, can he find his sister before it’s too late, or will he bury his memories of her along with his parents?

Excerpt:

Call me a scaredy cat all you want, but there was always something about the basement that I didn’t like. It always made me feel like I was being watched, like there was some

thing in the shadows just waiting for me to make a wrong move. Even now, the frigid air crept over me, creating more goosebumps on my arms and legs. I quickened my strides up the stairs, Imogen dragging behind.

We were halfway up the stairs when the knocks stopped. For a moment, I stopped my climb. The house was eerily quiet, and for reasons I can’t explain I felt a sudden urge to hurry back upstairs. I charged forward, trying to pull Immy along with me, but she resisted.

“Too fast!” she whined.

“If you hurry, we can play dress up sooner, now come on!” I yanked on Immy’s arm, practically lifting her into the air. Seven steps. Just seven more steps and we could look back on this night and laugh it off. Seven, six, five. Almost there.

I was just three steps away from the door when I leaped for the landing. I’ll never forget that jump. Time seemed to stand still, as if those cold icy fingers in the air had somehow found a way to slow time down. I remember that I had a smile on my face, a smile that disappeared when the door slammed shut in my face.

Purchase Link (free of course)
 
 
Social Media: 
 
 
 
 
 

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Meet The Author Gang

With the current situation keeping people from external pursuits, why not reach out and make some new friends through reading?

Author friends who write alone but come together from time to time to help each other and have fun.

Our stories will make you wonder, laugh, shake with fear or shed a few tears, but most of all, give you escape from the burdens of everyday life. Check out our books and find yourself whisked away to lands and places you’ve never been.

The Author Gang:

Erika M Szabo

https://www.authorerikamszabo.com

“The writing bug bit me on a rainy afternoon when I couldn’t find any new book to read. My daughter had enough of my moping around and snapped at me, “Mom, stop whining! If you haven’t a book to read, then write one.” Her challenge shocked me, but I started playing with the idea and I’ve been writing stories, that I like to read, ever since.”

Erika loves to dance to her own tunes and follow her dreams, introduces her story writing skills and her books that are based on creative imagination with themes such as alternate history, urban fantasy, cozy mystery, sweet romance and supernatural stories. Her children’s stories are informative, educational, and deliver moral values in a non-preachy way.

“I followed my dream to become a writer. As an artist, I paint pretty pictures with my brushes, and as a writer, I paint vivid pictures with my words.”

Cindy J. Smith

https://cindysvoices.blogspot.com/

I was taught if I couldn’t say anything nice don’t say anything. Since biting my tongue was painful and soap tasted bad, I developed voices arguing inside my head. When I found writing my thoughts brought me some silence, I took up the pen. It was not long before I realized poetry was much easier than full sentences and I could say exactly what was in my heart.

Strangely, I soon noticed I could put myself in other’s shoes and empathize with their viewpoint.

It was my daughter who encouraged me to share my poems. She believed they would help others cope…letting them know they were not alone in their thoughts.

I write now about every aspect of life in hopes someone may be touched and be encouraged to keep trying.

Christina Weigand

http://www.weigandchris.com/

A writer, wife, and mother of four grown children. She is also Nana to five granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania after a short sabbatical in the lovely state of Washington. She has three published YA Christian Fantasy novels; Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One, Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two and Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. She also has a woman’s Bible study Women of the Bible: A Study published. Recently the first two books in a MG Fantasy series were published, Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully and Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective with the remaining four to be published the near future. Through her writing she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

Darlene Deluca

https://www.darlenedeluca.com/

“Books . . . chocolate . . . tea. These are a few of my favorite things. Combine them with a sunny summer day, and perhaps a beach or pool, and call me happy!”

Deluca writes women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and mainstream fiction with romantic elements. She likes to explore relationships – what brings people together or keeps them apart. Her intent is to bring to life interesting characters that readers can relate to in real-life situations that combine a little fun, plenty of drama (with perhaps a tear or two), and big helpings of friendship, love and self-discovery, and will leave you either cheering or sighing with a satisfied smile as you turn the final page.

And just so you know . . . she likes a happy, or at least a positive, ending.

Alan Zacher

https://www.amazon.com/Alan-Zacher/e/B00APQXPEW

Author of private investigator mysteries, humorous occult fiction, fantasy adventure fiction, and short stories. After many years of being a “struggling” actor in LA, Alan turned to writing.

“My writing has always been for entertainment–to put a smile on someone’s face who might be having a bad day. I write, mostly, light-horror and murder/mystery. I like these two genres because of the freedom they give me to explore man’s inner emotions, feelings and emotions–but it must always have humor! We must always laugh; mostly at ourselves. I have had MS for serval years now; I know physical and mental pain; so I need much laughter to endure it. Hopefully, my novels do just that–give you much laughter.”

Carol Ann Kauffman

https://visionandverse.blogspot.com/

Carol Ann’s books range from short stories to full-length novels. Her novels are classified as romantic action adventures with a sci-fi/ fantasy twist, and mysteries. They’re about life, love, loss, and lunacy. She is a retired teacher. She has worked as a printer, managed a department store office, worked as an insurance agent, and in the hardware and automotive industries. She was a Red Cross volunteer.

Carol loves to travel; her favorite places being Italy, Aruba, and the American Southwest, which tend to show up in her novels.

“I also love to stay home. I get lost in my own little world, where I always have more than a few stories in progress. I grow orchids and African violets, and still like to play in the dirt!”

Suzi Albracht

https://www.amazon.com/Suzi-Albracht/e/B00PB1JNLK/

I am the author of Supernatural Horror Crime Thrillers and Paranormal Romance/Ghost novels. My characters have full, normal lives that get twisted into something horrific or intensely strange. Whether they become a ghost and discover a new, undead world to roam or find themselves in pursuit of a dangerous madman with connections to the dark underworld, I want my readers to feel their pain, their joy, their fear… with every right or wrong turn they take along the way.

While I humbly submit that my main influences are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and William Faulkner, my style leans closer to that of early Stephen King. My twitter bio describes me to a T – Write, scare myself, turn all the lights on, write some more. Take a break, play pool, kick butt/get butt kicked, go write more horror, double lock door.

You can find my books at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Randall Krzak

http://www.randallkrzak.com

A U.S. Army veteran and retired senior civil servant, spending thirty years in Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. His residency abroad qualifies him to build rich worlds in his action-adventure novels and short stories. Familiar with customs, laws, and social norms, he promotes these to create authentic characters and scenery.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and two master’s from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Randall and his Scottish wife, Sylvia, currently reside in Dunfermline, Scotland. His hobbies include hiking, reading, candle making, pyrography, and sightseeing.

Why did Randall become a writer? Someone suggested he give it a try, so Randall blames his friend. Randall ventured into fiction writing later in life, with his first novel being released at age 62. In just over three years, he’s published four novels. He enjoys reading and writing global thrillers and has three more underway.

Rebecca Tran

https://rtranbooks.net/

I am a mother, pharmacist and author. I love all things fantasy and sci-fi. Romance is always a welcome bonus. I have two little girls and I love dogs,I have two of those as well, a Boston Terrier and a Pittie mix. So technically some would say I have four kids. I am currently working on my blog as well as my romance and fantasy series. I am the ultimate nerd who can’t choose between Star Wars and Star Trek and thinks that Dr Who would figure out a way to beat all of them. I still read comic books and love watching anime. We can talk for hours if you know who Kirito, Naruto, or Goku are. If you’d like to read my blog or know more about me or my books, please check out my website.

A.L. Butcher

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

L.L. Thomsen

https://llthomsen.com/

Pick up one of L. L. Thomsen’s high fantasy books and you get treated to an explosion of immersive prose, complicated characters, mystery and plots. Her main world, Dallancea, is home to nine realms and a wealth of races – some known, some entirely new. You do not have to be familiar with fantasy to enjoy the books, but those who are will recognise her zest to spin you an epic tale of complexity and to explore her characters to the core.

“I invented my first character when I was around five years old,” L. L. laughs, “they lived in my head and took me on adventures at bedtime after ‘lights out’. These days I allow them onto paper. There’s not enough space in my head anymore.”

L. L. currently lives with her family + two cats and a dog, in the back-of-beyond near the Sherwood Forrest, U.K.

PJ Mann

https://pjmannauthor.com/

My name is Paula and I write novels. I live with my husband and a rabbit. I work as an engineering geologist at a construction firm in Finland, and only in my spare time, I sit down at my desk writing stories. You can consider me a sort of wandering writer, and I try, as much as possible, to be on the move. My stories are strongly influenced by what I experience and see during my travels around the world. I am a multi-genre author, but the red wire of my novels is the suspense/drama.

I love to walk in nature with my camera; photography is another of my passions. I believe it’s very closely connected to writing novels as every image tells a story, for those who stop to listen.

 

R.M. Garino

https://www.rmgarino.com/

How now, folks. I’m R.M. Garino, the author of the Chaos of Souls Series. Ever wish you could bring your D&D characters to life? Well, that’s exactly what we did. Although the overarching story of angels and demons is much older, our two main characters were fleshed out from a D&D game my wife and I played with friends ages ago. They’re introduced, along with their misfit squads, in The Gates of Golorath, and their adventures continue throughout the series. We’ve also released a standalone series, the Chaos of Souls Novellas, which capture separate side stories that enrich the main series. Requiem’s Reach is the first volume, and we continue from there. If you’re looking for a thoughtful, somewhat irreverent fantasy that puts the stories and character first, then come on over and give us a read.

 

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

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Randall’s Ramblings, April 12, 2020

I’d like to start today by wishing those who celebrate Passover and Easter, warm wishes. Also, a big thank you to all who are putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others. THANK YOU and stay safe!

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

Antoine Coypel, French painter and poet; Christopher Smart, English poet & journalist (Ceremony of Carols); Manuel Jose Quintana, Spanish author and poet (El Duque de Viseo); Claude Tillier, French journalist and writer (My Uncle Benjamin); Bernard O’Dowd, Australian poet; Léo-Paul Desrosiers, Quebec novelist (Les Engagés du Grand Portage); Sándor Márai, Hungarian writer (A gyertyák csonkig égnek); Glenway Wescott, American writer (Apartment in Athens); Quentin Reynolds, American newscaster (Its News to Me) and author (FBI); József Attila, Hungarian poet; Leo Rosten, American writer and humourist (Joys of Yiddish); David Westheimer, American novelist (Von Ryan’s Express); Marlen Haushofer, Austrian writer (The Wall); Antoine Blondin, French writer (L’Europe buissonnière); Theodore Isaac Rubin, American psychiatrist and author credited with popularising psychotherapy; Clive Exton, British scriptwriter and playwright; Mark Strand, American poet, editor and translator (Another Republic); John Milius, American screenwriter (Red Dawn, 1941, Big Wednesday); James Patrick Kelly, American sci-fi author (Think Like a Dinosaur); Sergei Lukyanenko, Russian sci-fi author (Labyrinth of Reflections); and Walid Soliman, Tunisian author.

Recognize anyone? The only one I’ve heard of is Westheimer. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

Colombian Betrayal’s online book tour is still ongoing until the end of the month, sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours. Why not stop by and learn a bit more about me?

https://www.bewitchingbooktours.biz/2020/04/now-on-tour-colombian-betrayal-by.html

My novel will also be participating in three Bookfunnel promotions during April. If you’re interested in checking them out and perhaps finding new authors to read, here’s the schedule. The links won’t be active until the first day of each giveaway. I’d greatly you forward these to anyone you think might be interested.

The links will go active on the first day of the promotions.

April 7th-30th:

https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/a3k53rc4a2

April 10th-17th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/assassins-kill-kill-kill/qjgu8z6ymr

April 11th-26th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/2nd-quarter-mystery/tvyvcj2sx6

Colombian Betrayal also picked up another five-star review on Amazon this week, which I’d like to share with you:

Randy Krzak’s latest novel reflects his tremendous abilities as a writer. These abilities combined with his real world experience provide the reader with a wonderful journey through mystery, intrigue, action, and pure reading enjoyment. His ability to interweave multiple characters and plots is simply beyond reproach. Come join main characters AJ and Javier in this most excellent story that combines drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism, kidnapping, murder, and suspense in a book that your simply will not want to put down. His professional experiences provides a platform of realism that simply can not be matched by other authors. During this challenging time of “sheltering at home”, do not hesitate to purchase not only this great book but all of Krzak’s award winning novels, The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, and Carnage in Singapore, and provide yourself with pure reading enjoyment as you “travel the world” of action with Randy! Hollywood needs to pay attention to this talented outstanding author if they are looking for a blockbuster movie script for all to enjoy! Very much looking forward to Book 2 of this series!

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter fifteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 160 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.

Here’s another snippet:

How would Catarina react to his going to one of the most dangerous, yet unreported, trouble spots in the world? “Oh don’t worry dear, I’m only going to negotiate the release of an old friend’s son, taken by butcherous thugs, I’ll be fine.” It sounded like idiotic thinking. She was far too well-read to believe such a trite and blatant falsehood.

“What are the rebel’s demands?” João needed time to think. His heart understood what was right, yet his head told him to run away screaming in the opposite direction.

“Nothing so far. We received word from the people Peter works with. They said the rebels almost wiped out the village, with only one or two surviving the attack. They said Peter was taken, along with some of the women and older girls.”

“Perhaps the rebels are unaware of Peter’s connection with you.” João realized this was foolish. The name Mwanga was a common Swahili name, meaning independent and autonomous. Coupled with the desire for adventure, challenge, and responsibility, it’s no wonder Theo headed into politics. So, recognition of the name was inevitable. Theo was a war hero, a government leader, and held a place of honor and respect in the hearts of his people. “That isn’t possible, is it?”

“It is unlikely.”

“It would seem if you have received no demands, there is time to gather together a group of people who can formulate a plan. People are more familiar with this Masudi than I am. Don’t your army and police understand his ways? What about your intelligence and state security service—SINSE?”

“The official policy is no one wants to anger Masudi, or do anything that might provoke him. Doing so will cause the raids inside Angola to increase. They have all take a long step back from me.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading The Malvern Murders, by Terry Tombs. This is the first novel in Terry’s Inspector Ravenscroft Detective Mysteries series. Set during the Victorian period in England, Terry has created an excellent blend of scenery, descriptions, and characters to allow readers a glimpse of what the times were like.

In this novel, Inspector Ravenscroft, despite being a hard-working police officer, has the worst record on the force. He’s sent to the spa town of Malvern in the hopes a water treatment will cure his asthma.  Before long, he’s embroiled in a new case when a new acquaintance from Malvern is found dead. Ravenscroft works with local constable Tom Crabb. Bodies begin to pile up with no definitive suspect. To find out how it ends, you’ll have to grab a copy as I don’t like to spoil anyone’s reading pleasure. Suffice to say, there is plenty of intrigue, twists and turns to this story and you’ll stay up late turning the pages. I enjoyed this one so much, I’ve already downloaded the second book in the series.

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, April 5, 2020

I hope this update finds you and yours in good health and in a safe place. If you’re a medical professional, a first responder, or just helping others in this serious time of need, I salute and thank you.  Many thanks!

I had a bit of a laugh on Saturday when I happened to look out our home office window and spotted three of our cats. They were practicing their version of social distancing, each about three feet apart.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

From left to right, meet Flora, Tommy, and Charlie. Flora came to us in December 2014, the day before she was to be euthanized. Charlie joined us during a heavy Michigan snowstorm in late January 2015, while Tommy appeared during another storm in January 2017. Without our intervention, none of them would have survived. In the meantime, they use their rain shelters as a place to sun themselves–at least when the sun appears.

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

Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher (Leviathan); Sydney Thompson Dobell, English poet; Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet (Atalanta in Calydon); Chester Bowles, American ambassador and writer (Conscience of a Liberal); Robert Bloch, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Psycho); Arthur Hailey, English novelist (Hotel, Airport); Hugo Claus, Belgian writer (Cool Lover, Sugar); and Ann Maxwell, American sci-fi author (Jaws of Menx).

Recognize anyone? The only one I’ve heard of is Hobbes. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

Colombian Betrayal will be heading out on a blog tour beginning on April 6th at 6 a.m. EST, sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours.

https://www.bewitchingbooktours.biz/2020/04/now-on-tour-colombian-betrayal-by.html

My novel will also be participating in three Bookfunnel promotions during April. If you’re interested in checking them out and perhaps finding new authors to read, here’s the schedule. The links won’t be active until the first day of each giveaway. I’d greatly you forward these to anyone you think might be interested.

The links will go active on the first day of the promotions.

April 7th-30th:

https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/a3k53rc4a2

April 10th-17th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/assassins-kill-kill-kill/qjgu8z6ymr

April 11th-26th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/2nd-quarter-mystery/tvyvcj2sx6

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter fourteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 143 chapter reviews, an increase of fourteen in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s another snippet:

The faint sound of a tingling bell came from João’s computer. He sat deep in thought, hands behind his head, as he proofread the draft of a document. The sound registered a second time. He glanced at the screen, aggravated by the distraction. The Skype icon continued to pulse. He moved the mouse, not wanting to accept the call.

He clicked the small powder blue symbol.

The out of focus face of a black man popped up on the screen. “Major Regaleira?”

The man used a voice so soft João almost didn’t catch it.

“Can you hear me?”

João turned up the volume on his speakers. “Hello. Who is calling?”

“Can’t you see me?”

“A silhouette—nothing more. Turn to face the light.” João became more annoyed by the second.

The image began to pitch and shift. The dizzying effect diminished as the man lifted and turned the laptop. “Now?”

João smiled as the face of his old friend Theo Mwanga came into focus.

“Theo! How are you, old man?”

“I’m in need of help.” Worry lines crisscrossed Theo’s face, and his voice carried a slight tremor. “Did you receive my message?”

He knows I received his email, as I sent a response. He sighed. Anyone João knew in power had retired long ago. He now represented business and cultural initiatives. Diplomatic concerns remained far outside his jurisdiction.

“I am sorry not to be of any help. Any word about Peter?”

“The Congolese Marxist, Jonah Masudi, took him. He’s using his so-called rebellion to murder, rape and extort from the people in Congo and Angola. Our troops are too few and too spread out to be effective. His people know where we are at any given time. He strikes at will.”

As João stared into the eyes of this former enemy, he saw a tired and defeated old man. His mind drifted into the past as his friend spoke.

More 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

New Release – Deadly Secrets By H. R. Kemp

Can ordinary people thwart a powerful conspiracy?

Shelley Ormond’s life is about to change forever. Her friend, a young refugee, dies suddenly and the federal police have shrouded her case in secrecy. Shelley has never been bold, but she will have to break the rules and jeopardise her safe, public service career to learn the truth.

Her new friend Adrian, a medical researcher, is studying a mystery illness in outback communities. Young children are falling fatally ill, but there’s no obvious cause although suspicious mining activity in the area is worth investigating.

Shelley delves deeper and is drawn into a sinister world of police cover-ups, organised crime and corporate greed. If she obeys the law, the powerful can go on breaking it.

The stakes are high, and the treacherous schemers will do anything to keep their deadly secrets. Lives don’t matter, not even hers.

Can they expose the plot before more lives are lost?

Will the formidable and ruthless forces behind the conspiracy stop them?

Amazon in eBook & Paperback

Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=9780648766308&ref=nb_sb_noss

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=9780648766322&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

USA https://www.amazon.com/s?k=9780648766322&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss

Available from Fishpond.com.au

Also available from Amazon in Europe

The eBook is also available from Apple, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Tolino and Subscription services: Scribd & 24 Symbols at https://books2read.com/u/bzoZVZ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/deadly-secrets-66

The paperback is also available from https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadly-secrets-h-r-kemp/1136661961?ean=9780648766308

About HR Kemp

I’m an Australian author and my debut novel, Deadly Secrets is available in both paperback and eBook format. Several of my short stories have recently been published, most notably in the anthology, When Stars Will Shine, and two in The Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine, Jan 2020 & Oct 2019. Another was previously published in the anthology, Fledglings, by Birdcatcher Books in July 2016. I’m currently editing my second novel, another political conspiracy mystery/thriller, while the beginnings of a third novel are sitting in the bottom drawer awaiting my attention.

I live in Adelaide, Australia, although I grew up in country areas near Melbourne. In 2011 I decided to seriously pursue my creative writing ambitions. I enrolled in and successfully completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing at Adelaide University. Over the years, I’ve completed numerous creative writing courses at Writers SA and WEA and once I’d written a first draft I joined a novel-writing writer’s group, The Novelist Circle which has a number of published authors.

My first degree was a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, and I have a Graduate Diploma in Education. Besides working at a selection of casual jobs as a student, a short stint working in an electronics factory; my long term public service career spanned roles as diverse as Management Trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician and Laboratory Assistant.

Besides writing, travelling and discovering new places is a passion for me. I have visited many fabulous countries and cities around the world. I keep a daily travel journal and take copious photos and these inspire scenes for my stories e.g. Deadly Secrets begins in Paris and has scenes set in Normandy, Nice and Barcelona before returning to Australia. I subscribe to the Adelaide State Theatre company, enjoy art exhibitions and galleries, and of course, I love to read. In March each year, I take full advantage of the Adelaide Writers’ festival to discover new authors and to hear my favourites. Some of the writers I admire are Elliot Perlman, Anna Funder, John le Carré and Peter Temple.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 29, 2020

As we head toward the end of March, we hope everyone is safe and getting what they need during these trying times. Many thanks to all of those putting themselves in harm’s way to take care of the rest of us.

On to better things. Who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 29th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Vitsentzos Kornaros, Greek Renaissance poet; John Lightfoot, English theologist and scholar (Horae Hebraicae); Konstantin Sergeyevich Aksakov, Russian historian and poet; Amelia E. Barr, British-born American writer; A. M. de Jong, Dutch writer (World Tour of Bulletje & Bonestaak); Ivan Goll, French-German writer (the Landless John); Ernst Jünger, German author and entomologist (Storm of Steel); Cecil Arthur Lewis, British fighter pilot and writer; Uuno Kailas, Finnish poet; Marcel Aymé, French novelist and playwright; Yvonne Waegemans, Flemish writer (Gnome Patjoepelke); R. S. Thomas, Welsh poet; Chapman Pincher, British journalist and author (about secret service); Sheila Kitzinger, British author, anthropologist & child birth educator; Yayoi Kusama, Japanese artist and writer; and Jacques Brault, French Canadian poet (Quand nous serons heureux).

Recognize anyone? II admit this group had be wondering. 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

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter thirteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 129 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-six in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible. I’ll provide another snipped next time.

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter thirteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 129 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-six in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible. I’ll provide another snipped next time.

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Die Every Day by Gordon Bickerstaff. Another brilliant plot with plenty of twists and turns. Follow scientist Gavin Shawlins and Lambeth Group agent Zoe Tampsin as they’re once again embroiled in a high tense situation. As with all of his stories, Gordon brings his characters to life, making readers feel like they know every one of them.

This time, Gavin is accused of murdering his fiancée. But, are things as simple as they appear to be? Zoe doesn’t think so, and charges forward to find out the truth. I don’t want to spoil your reading pleasure, so you’ll have to pick up a copy to find out what happens. I will say you’ll be burning the proverbial midnight oil as you won’t want to put this one aside until you’ve read to the end! An excellent story!

I also recently finished The Improbable Journeys of Billie Battles by Ronald Yates. This is an excellent continuation of Billie’s journeys. This time, we follow him from his roots in Kansas to faraway lands of what eventually becomes Vietnam and the Philippines. It seems no matter where Billie goes, trouble follows him like a magnet.

Once again Ronald has created a superb story, filled with excellent descriptions which put the reader in Billie’s location. With outstanding characters and a fast-moving plot, this was a great read. I look forward to reading the final novel in the trilogy.

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

California Dreamin’ – New Release by K.C. Sprayberry

“We are fighting a war with no front lines, since the enemy hides among the people, in the jungles and mountains, and uses covertly border areas of neutral countries. One cannot measure our progress by lines on a map.”

—General William C. Westmoreland.

Vietnam – the name of a country that still evokes strong emotions even forty-seven years after our troops left that region. For far too many people, the memories of their time there are as fresh today as they were when they were fighting in those jungles. Back home, families not only had to contend with the horrific images on nightly news reports, but also the hatred generated by the anti-war protestors.

Tish says goodbye to her long-time boyfriend, Steve, hoping and praying she will see him when his thirteen months in country are over. When she’s told he’s MIA, status unknown, her world shatters. But she never gives up on him, and always believes they will one day reunite…

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/60dY75hvOSdU7kvtxa31gh

Blurb

Dear Steve, I miss you so much and promise that I will never give up on you. Love you always and forever, Tish.

Tish Brady embarks on a journey she hopes will give her perspective for her future. During a time of unrest, she connects with young men bound for Vietnam, war protestors, and others with no idea what their future holds during the turbulence of 1967.

The Summer of Love is just the beginning of Tish’s journey…

Amazon eBook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086C9ZRFZ/

Amazon Print Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086B8FKKT/

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ-djjk2Uj0

Excerpt

Dear Steve, I can’t say this out loud. If I do, I might start crying, and I don’t want your last sight of me for the next thirteen months to be of tears. I also don’t want you to go, but I understand that you must. Keep your head down, darling. Love you always and forever, Tish.

***

We don’t speak for most of the ride. I can’t help myself. My birthday is coming up soon but I don’t feel happy to be turning eighteen. Instead, I’m ready to cry for the rest of my life, or the thirteen months my guy, Steve Mason, is in Vietnam.

About K.C. Sprayberry

“I have a secret… a very special secret. Perhaps you’ve heard this one before… from the time I was a child, I wanted to write stories for people to read.” K.C. Sprayberry

Former California native, K.C. Sprayberry, traveled the U.S. and Europe before finally settling in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. She’s been married to her soulmate for more than a quarter of a century and they enjoy spoiling their grandchildren along with many other activities.

Inspiration strikes at the weirdest times and drives her to grab notebook and pen to jot down her ideas. Those close to her swear nothing or no one is safe if she’s smiling gently in a corner and watching those in the same room interact. Her observations have often given her ideas for her next story, set not only in the South but wherever the characters demand they settle.

Social Media

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorKCSprayberry

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog:

http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/collection/playlists

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

AUTHORSdB:

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

MeWe:

https://mewe.com/join/kcsprayberryauthor

Website:

http://www.authorkcsprayberry.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGGHaiNhvTSsb6bXddR59iw

Authorgraph:

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

email:

kcspray01@gmail.com

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 22, 2020

I’d like to start today’s post with a resounding THANK YOU! to all those dealing with the coronavirus, from the medical professionals to those ensuring we have sufficient food and necessary supplies available, and everyone in between. We’ve had several neighbors offer to give us a hand if we need something during this trying time. Thank you!

It’s another crisp and sunny start to the day, so it’s a good time to continue working in the flower beds and getting them prepared. Plenty to do, but we’ll also take time to enjoy a coffee and tea on our new porch, which is an excellent morning suntrap.

On to better things. Who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 22nd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Antonio Francesco Grazzini, Italian writer; Edward Moore, English writer; Heinrich D Zschokke, Swiss author (Das Goldmacherdorf); Theodor Birt, [Beatus Rhenanus], German classical/writer; Arnold Sauwen, Flemish poet (Along the Meuse); Ellen Glasgow, novelist; Giulia D De Albertis, writer; Ellin Berlin, [MacKay], Mrs Irving Berlin, writer (Lace Curtain); Jochen Klepper, writer; Phyllis McGinley, poet; Albrecht Goes, German writer and theologian; Louis D L’Amour, American best-selling author (Hondo, Jubal Sackett); Gabrielle Roy, French-Canadian novelist (Tin Flute); Nicholas Monsarrat, English novelist (The Cruel Sea); Georgiy Zhzhonov, Russian actor and writer (The Secret Agent’s Blunder); Charles Pick, British publisher (William Heinemann); Al Neuharth, newspaper founder (USA Today); Paul Fussell, American historian (The Great War and Modern Memory); Igor Hajek, translator/writer; William Shatner, Canadian author, director and actor (Star Trek, T J Hooker); Billy Collins, American poet; Rudy/Rudolf [von Bittner] Rucker, American sci-fi author (Wetware); James Patterson, American author (Alex Cross, Witch and Wizard)

Recognize anyone? I spotted three very familiar names: Louis D L’Amour, William Shatner (although I know him for Star Trek, not as a writer), and James Patterson. 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!

New Release!

I mentioned last week the release of Colombian Betrayal, the first novel in my Bruce & Smith thriller series.

To celebrate its release, I’ve teamed with other thriller authors to bring you a bevy of reading material. Some authors you might recognize, while others could very well be new to you.

To find out more, click on BookFunnel and explore the options available! I hope you find something of interest!

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter tweleve posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 103 chapter reviews, an increase of eighteen in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s the another snippet from Angola:

João enjoyed a meandering stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the Alfama district of Lisbon, winding his way through small plazas and dozens of four-to-five table restaurants. The aroma of cooking meat and spices aroused his appetite. The music of Fado singers intertwined with excited voices in numerous languages created a carnival-like atmosphere.

He entered the ground floor of Casa do Alentejo, a restaurant housed in a Moorish-style palace not far from Rossio Square. Still a bit early for his rendezvous with Catarina, he browsed in the attached gift shop selling handicrafts, searching for a small gift.

As he glanced up from a table laden with colorful scented candles, he spotted a man with African features staring at him. When João took a step forward, the man rushed out of the shop and disappeared.

He purchased two cranberry-scented candles and hurried to the second floor of the building and into the restaurant. With wood-paneled walls, Casa do Alentejo offered fine dining for its guests.

Catarina was seated at their usual table.

João kissed her cheek and took a chair opposite. A guitarist approached, providing a romantic backdrop to the setting as he gently strummed love songs.

“I’m famished, so I ordered tuna steaks for both of us.” Catarina gave João a heart-melting smile. “Since they stock your family’s wine, I left it to the waiter to choose a special one for tonight.

“Thank you, Catarina. Sorry, I’m late. I wandered through the area and lost track of time.” He held out a blue box tied with a green ribbon. “For you, my darling.”

She opened the box and clapped her hands. “My favorite scent. Shall we ask the waiter to light one of them?”

“Of course.” João snapped his fingers, and a waiter rushed to his side.

“Senhor, I shall take care of this for you.” He pulled a lighter from his pocket, and after two attempts, a glow came from the candle as the light cranberry scent filled the air.

“I spoke with Sear this morning.” João grinned. “He agreed to be my best man—again.”

“Fantastic! I know he’s one of your best friends, even if you don’t keep in regular contact.”

“Just the way I am.” João shrugged. “But, he knows I’m always here if he needs my help—and vice versa.”

The waiter set plates of seared tuna steaks and seasonal vegetables in front of them. He popped the cork out of a bottle of white wine and poured a sample for João to taste.

A sniff, a twirl around the glass, and João held it toward the light before taking a careful sip. João smacked his lips as he enjoyed the perfect blend of plums and other dark fruits. “Perfect.”

* * *

After a delightful meal, they exited the restaurant arm-in-arm.

Two men approached, stopping them. One brandished a knife and spoke in accented Portuguese. “Give me your wallet.”

Catarina’s eyes grew wide. “Give them what they want.”

João pushed her behind him and stepped forward. “No. Get out of our way.”

The man lunged, the blade aimed toward his chest.

João parried the thrust and reached for the man’s arm. With a deft twist, he brought the attacker’s arm across his leg and bent the assailant’s wrist until something snapped.

Howling with pain, the coward fled.

Meanwhile, the second man circled behind Catarina and grabbed her.

She dug her elbow into his side and stomped her high-heeled shoe into his sneaker.

He released his grip. An evil grin etched his face as he waved his knife toward her face.

Bang!

The shot echoed off the nearby buildings.

João leveled his SIG Sauer P228 at Catarina’s attacker. “Leave her, or I won’t miss.”

Another snippet 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