Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 27, 2019

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

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

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

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

How many are you familiar with? Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

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

My Favorite Authors

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 20, 2019

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

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

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

How many are you familiar with? Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

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

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

 

 

My Work in Progress

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

Books I’m Reading

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

My Favorite Authors

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 30, 2018

Despite the end of the year being upon us, the weather hasn’t been bad, with temperatures around 50F/10C. Of course, it also means we’re having damp days, but it can’t be helped. I think I’d rather have this than be out with the shovel taking care of the ‘s’ word.

With the dawn of 2019 approaching I want to wish everyone health and prosperity for the new year.

Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on this last day of the year. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Vincenzo da Filicaja, Italian poet; Theodor Fontane, German writer (Effi Briest); Heinrich Hart, German writer (Song of Humanity); Rudyard Kipling, English author (Jungle Book, Gunga Din-Nobel 1907); Georg von der Vring, German painter and writer (Soldier Suhren); Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author; Daniil Kharms [Yuvatchov], Russian surrealist and absurdist writer, poet, and playwright; Paul Bowles, writer (The Shelting Sky); Elyne Mitchell, Australian author; Sara A Lidman, Swedish author (Jag Och Min Son, Samtal in Hanoi); Patrick Bowles, American writer and translator; Richard Christ, writer; Glenda Adams, Australian author; Vladimir Bukovsky, Russian author and dissident; Lewis Shiner, American sci-fi/fantasy author; Somtow Sucharitkul [S. P. Somtow], Thai composer and sci-fi author (Utopia Hunters); Douglas Coupland, Canadian author; and Chandler Burr, American author.

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

News About My Published Work

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A special thank you to all who purchased copies of my books during the past year. Your support has been greatly appreciated and makes all the hard work worthwhile. Thank you!

This brings us to a close for this year and I’ll return again next Sunday with a full post. 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. Happy New Year!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 23, 2018

As the year draws toward its close, the weather continues its erratic behavior. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have an enjoyable time with friends and family. With the dawn of 2019 approaching I want to wish everyone health and prosperity for the new year.

I decided to skip this Sunday’s birthday list and will take a look at those associate with the writing world who were born on December 25th. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Dorothy Wordsworth, English poet and diarist, brother of William Wordsworth; Alexandros Rhizos Rhankaves, Greek poet and statesman; Alfred Kerr [Kempner], German-British writer; Rebecca West, [Cicely Isabel Fairfield], English author (Meaning of Treason); Quentin Crisp, English author; Salah Jaheen, Egyptian poet and cartoonist; and Lex Hixon, religious teacher/author.

December 25th seemed to be a popular day for the birth of composers, not writers. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

DA-3D-coverTKC

 

For those with access to Kindle, Dangerous Alliance and The Kurdish Connection and both be gifted across the Amazon network. So if you need a last-minute gift, why not select an ebook for that special person!

My Work in Progress

Much of my writing time of the past week was once again devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. The Christmas decorations are in place and the final touches are being taken care of before our son arrives today to spend the holidays with us.

I did manage to complete another chapter of Carnage in Singapore. The manuscript received another fifteen reviews this week, bringing the total to 529 chapter reviews, all assisting me in improving my writing and tweaking the story.

Books I’m Reading

Chickamuaga and Three Days in Hell by Blair Howard will appeal to history buffs, especially to those interested in the Civil War. You’ll experience the same emotions as those who fought did–fear, joy, heartache. Thousands died and even more were maimed in an extraordinary battle in 1863.

Blair’s created a splendid rendition of historical events, combined with a number of fictional characters to bring the story to life. Once again, he’s demonstrated his story-telling prowess and painstaking researching to bring the story to life. 

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. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 16, 2018

Yesterday, we had freezing temperatures, rain and sleet. Today has started out much better, with the temperature hitting 39.2F/4C. Had to put my sunglasses on while driving when the sun came out, but it was a short-lived threat as the clouds are rolling in.

As always, let’s check out those associated with the writing world who celebrate birthdays today (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Louis-Jules Mancini-Mazarini, Duc de Nivernais, French diplomat and writer; Elizabeth Carter, English poet, bluestocking and translator (All the Works of Epictetus Which Are Now Extant); Jane Austen, English novelist (Pride and Prejudice); Mary Russell Mitford, English writer; Eugene Demolder, Belgian writer (Sous la robe); George Santayana, Spanish philosopher/poet/humanist (Last Puritan); Paul Neuhuys, Belgian playwright and poet (Le Canari et le Cerise); Noel Coward, England, playwright (In Which We Serve-1942 Acad Award); Victor S Pritchett, literary critic/author (Myth Makers); Rafael Alberti, Spanish poet (El hombre deshabitado); Piet Hein, poet/inventor; Arthur C. Clarke, English sci-fi author (2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood’s End); Pierre Chany, writer/cycling journalist; Anthony Simmons, British writer and film director; Tip [Silvio A] Marugg, Antillian writer (Weekend pilgrimage); G Randall P D Garrett, American sci-fi writer (Takeoff (too)!); Peter [Malcolm] Dickinson, Zambia, sci-fi author (Heartsease); Philip K[indred] Dick, US, sci-fi author (Hugo-1963, Blade Runner); and Adriaan van Dis, Dutch TV host/writer (Promised Country).

Today seems to be a popular day for the birth of sci-fi writers. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

DA-3D-coverFor those using Kindle, Dangerous Alliance today will be the last day it’s available free across the Amazon network. Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

 

My Work in Progress

Much of my writing time of the past week was once again devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. Also spent time getting Christmas decorations in place.

I did manage to complete another chapter of Carnage in Singapore. The manuscript has now received 514 chapter reviews, all assisting me in improving my writing and tweaking the story.

Books I’m Reading

I don’t have my reviews ready for posting, but I just finished reading The Lazarus Succession by Ken Fry. Tonight I should complete my reading of a new story by Blair Howard.

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

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved