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 3, 2020

It’s been another busy week–laying some turf (sod), clearing away old rubble and gravel, adding some new topsoil, moving a few plants to fill in empty areas, and cutting the grass. Whew! At least Mother Nature lent a helping hand a couple of times, with gentle evening rain to help water everything.

While the lock downs are disruptive, they are necessary and seem to be working. Hopefully, we’ll be moving toward the new ‘normal’ soon. In the meantime, a heartfelt thanks to all those who put themselves out there everyday, providing vital services to all. Thank you!!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 3rd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian politician and writer (Prince); Joannes Antonides van der Goes, Dutch poet (Bellone aen bant); August von Kotzebue, German dramatist; Andy Adams, American writer (Log of a Cowboy); Nicoline Magdalene Roll Anker, Norwegian author (Kvinnen og Den); B. Traven, (German?) writer (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) whose real identity is disputed; Tadeusz Peiper, Polish poet; Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian writer and public benefactor; Ernst Kantorowicz, German-American historian (Laudes regiae); Dodie Smith, English novelist and playwright (101 Dalmatians); Earl Wilson, American journalist and columnist (Midnight Earl); Eleanore “May” Sarton, Belgian-American writer (Land of Silence); Pierre Emmanuel [Noël Mathieu], French poet (Sodome); Yehuda Amichai, Israeli poet (Now and in Other Days); Jahanara Imam, Bangladeshi writer and political activist; Juan Gelman, Argentine poet; Nélida Piñon, Brazilian writer (The Republic of Dreams); and Daryl F. Mallett, American writer and editor.

Recognize anyone? The only name I was familiar with was Niccolo Machiavelli. 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 a May Kindle Unlimited promotion: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  There are a total of 384 works included in the promotion.

Why not stop by and see if any of your favorite authors are listed. If not, why not choose someone new to check out? There’s bound to be something of interest, as this promotion cover multiple genres. Head to: https://books.bookfunnel.com/mayyouread/24lhdvqujo

My Work in Progress

Despite all of the outdoor work, I’m still working on my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter eighteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 212 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:

A slight sliver of light came into the tent as dawn broke. Peter tried to roll to ease the pain in his shoulder. He attempted to shift and twist his bonds in an effort to free himself, but still couldn’t feel any sensation in his hand. He forced himself into a sitting position, his back leaning on a tent pole.

Outside, the camp inhabitants stirred, and the first full day of captivity began.

Peter closed his eyes and sighed as the tingling and feeling came to his hands.

“Get him up!” The flap flew back, and two men burst into the tent and yanked Peter to his feet. “Bring him.”

Still bound, the men dragged Peter, stumbling and tripping, to a small building at the far end of the clearing. Wooden slats about four feet high created the bottom portion of the walls. Heavy canvas topped the walls, adding height to the structure. Two men stood guard on either side of the door. Their piercing stares caused Peter to shiver.

The inside of the structure surprised him—simple and portable decor, yet elegant. The furnishings were well-crafted and expensive. Tasteful paintings and small items adorned the tables and free-standing shelves. Nothing suggested the occupant was anything but a well-to-do business person, doctor, educator, or another upstanding member of the community.

A long table of dark wood leaned against floor-to-ceiling drapes at the back of the tent. At one end of the table, Alimasi sat, a hand held over his forehead and covering his eyes. In front of him, flies buzzed around a plate of food. He stirred his food with the tip of his fork, not looking up until the men escorting Peter spoke.

“Here is the doctor.”

“Release him.”

One of the men produced a knife and cut the rope on Peter’s wrists.

“Come and sit.”

Peter stretched his shoulders and rubbed his wrists as he crossed the room toward the table.

“Please. Sit.” Dressed in a clean and pressed camo uniform, Alimasi gestured toward the seat at the other end of the table.

An old and hunchbacked woman stepped from behind the drapes. She placed a plate of food and two bottles of water in front of Peter. Without a sound, she returned from where she came.

Neither man spoke for a long moment as Peter opened one of the bottles and drank until he quenched his thirst.

“Joseph died in the night.”

“Joseph?”

“My friend you treated when we arrived. He is dead.”

More next time.

I also completed the second chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of twenty-one so far. Eventually, I’ll have a cover sorted out, but hope to add at least a filler next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Polar Bear Dawn by Lyle Nicholson. This is the first novel in the Bernadette Callahan Detective Mystery/Thriller series. Who is killing workers from a company supporting oil camps in the Arctic and Northern Canada. More importantly, why? Will Canadian Detective Bernadette Callahan answer these questions before she’s sidelined in favor of other agencies? Find out how she works with an Alaskan detective named Frank Mueller and others to piece things together.

Lyle has created an excellent plot with plenty of twists and turns which will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. There’s a bevy of characters to love or hate, depending upon your viewpoint. For those who love action and adventure with plenty This is the first novel I’ve read by Lyle and it’s definitely not going to be the last as I already purchased the sequel.

I also finished When Winds Blow West. This is a tragic story of what is an everyday occurrence throughout the world, given voice by a talented author, Alex Tatievsky. This is a gripping tale of human despair, sadness, but also shows glimmers of hope and love.

Alex has created a superb plot and gives life to his characters as they struggle to survive what’s been thrown at them. This is a very moving and thought-provoking story which is one not to miss.

This brings us to a close for this week. I hope you found something of interest. 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

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

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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 9, 2020

Heavy winds and lashing rain hit us last night. It went on for hours, making it difficult to hear the television with the constant beating on the conservatory roof next to the living room.

While it calm at the moment, the sky is laden with thick, dark clouds. The upcoming projection is for continued rain and gusting wind up 60 MPH throughout the day, with that dreaded white stuff due to hit us between Monday and Wednesday. If the forecast is accurate, we’ll only receive a dusting but the higher elevations could see as much as eight inches!

With trees, bushes, and shrubs beginning to bud, and early flowers starting to pop out, we certainly don’t need any of this. Mother Nature has been kind to us so far this winter, with just a few flurries one evening, but she might have more in store for us yet!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on February 9th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Ali Sjir Neva’i [Fani], Turkish poet/author (Mahbub al-kulub); Vasily Zhukovsky, Russian poet; Felix Dahn, German Historian, jurist and poet; Anthony Hope [Hopkins], English novelist; George Ade, American journalist/playwright/humorist (Fables in Slang); Fran Saleški Finžgar, Slovene folk writer (Our Blood, Service Girls); Amy Lowell, American poet and critic (Patterns, Sword Blades & Poppy Seed); Frederik Gerretson, [Geerten Gossaert], Dutch poet/politician); Vital Celen, Flemish writer (Puppy Love); Max Manus, Norwegian resistance fighter and author who specialized in sabotage during World War II; Charles Montgomery Monteith, publisher; Brendan Behan, Irish author and poet (Borstal Boy, The Hostage); J.M. Coetzee, South African novelist; Alice Walker, American novelist (The Color Purple, Meridian); and Janet Issaca Ashford, writer.

Recognize anyone? There was only one notable name for me this week: Alice Walker, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple, also became a movie. 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

39375-96

Both of these novels will be participating in an Amazon Countdown Special on Valentine’s Day starting at 12:00 a.m. PST. They’ll start $0.99 and gradually increasing in price, returning to normal on February 16th at 11:00 p.m. PST. If you haven’t read them yet, what better time to pick up a copy or gift them to someone you know.

As previously mentioned, Dangerous Alliance was one of seven First in Category winners in the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the global thrillers category. Meanwhile, Carnage in Singapore is currently a semi-finalist in the 2019 competition, with the final results due in late April. Hope you’ll check them out!

My Work in Progress

Editing continues on Colombian Betrayal (A Bruce and Smith Thriller: Book 1), which was previously called A Cartel’s Revenge in earlier posts. The name change came about after receiving feedback from my team of beta readers.

The fifth edit pass was completed last night–a few word changes and some adjustments to the punctuation. Once the last couple of beta readers provide their comments, I’ll update the manuscript as needed and begin the final edit pass.

I have a bit of a conundrum–what to work on next? Should it be Ultimate Escalation, the next novel after Carnage in Singapore? Or should it be Genesis (tentative title), the sequel to Colombian Betrayal? What about New World Revolution: A New Home or Xavier Sears:  Angola?  Both of these are the first novels in their respective series.

See what I mean? I’ll eventually sort it out, I’m sure.  In the meantime, here’s another snippet from Colombian Betrayal:

At last, the final condemned man was brought to the table to choose his weapons. He fingered the remaining knives and one of the pistols before falling to his knees. “Please. Forgive me. My family—they won’t survive without me.”

Días kicked the man in the side. “Quit sniveling and take your punishment like a man. Grab a weapon and run.”

Dejected, the man stood and walked away, his head hung low.

The last team leader glanced at his men. They each gave a slight nod before they strolled after their target.

With the slow pursuit, the prisoner approached the fence unharmed. He glanced around—no one. He placed a foot on the first plank and began to climb.

Snap!

His head jerked around at the sound of a branch breaking.

Five men stepped from the trees, their weapons by their sides.

The team leader stepped forward and motioned for the man to continue climbing.

“Why would you let me go?” He made the sign of the cross. “Are you Christians?”

“No. However, you were the only prisoner to mention a family. We do this for them, not you.”

* * * *

When the last team returned to the hacienda, Días glared at them. “We heard no shots. Where is the prisoner?”

The team leader shook his head. “He was too fast for us and was over the fence when we arrived.” He shrugged. “You said any prisoner who made it over the barrier was free.”

“I-I ….” Días’ face turned purple with rage. “I wanted them all dead.”

“You should have done your own dirty work.” As one, the team turned and headed to their billeting.

Días slammed a fist on the table. “Michael, Alberto—these are your men. Control them.”

Alberto grinned. “He’s right—you said if anyone made it to the outer boundary, they would live.”

“So, I lied.” Días laughed.

Alberto ignored the comment and gestured at Michael. “We depart tomorrow for Panama to oversee the training there. Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

Not long ago, I finished reading Unchained: A Rex Dalton Thriller by JC Ryan. This is the third novel in the series. Join Rex and his trusty canine friend, Digger, as they flee from Afghanistan and head to India. Before long, they’re embroiled in a new adventure, while Rex tries to uphold the myth he died in an attack in Afghanistan.

With a riveting plot and a bevy of new characters, Rex shows his ‘human’ side regarding the welfare of others when he and Digger try to locate the missing daughter of an Indian couple. The trail eventually leads to Saudi Arabia. What happens there will be up to you to explore, as I don’t like to give away the full story. Suffice to say, you’ll be in for another nail-biting journey, so grab yourself a copy and prepare for late nights as you keep turning the pages!  I can’t wait for the next one 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, February 2, 2020

Here we are, already in February. As dawn breaks earlier and daylight hangs around a bit longer, winter is passing by. Only a few snow flurries thus far–hope I haven’t jinxed things by making a mention of this!

This past week, the writing world lost an icon: Mary Higgins Clark. Every one of her suspense novels (over 50 of them!!) have been best sellers in the U.S. and various European countries. She’ll definitely be missed by her family and fans!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on February 2nd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Anna Roemers Visscher, Dutch poetess; Hans E Schack, Danish politician/writer (Phantasterne); Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav, Slovak poet; Christian Gauss, educator/writer (Phi Beta Kappa award namesake); James Joyce, Irish novelist and poet (Dubliners, Ulysses, Finnigan’s Wake); James Stephens, Irish poet (Crock of Gold); Aldo Palazzeschi, [Giurlani], Italian writer (I cavalli bianchi); Carroll Righter, American columnist and astrologer to the stars; Ayn Rand [Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum], Russian-American author, screenwriter and philosopher who developed the philosophical system of “Objectivism” (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead); Bernardas Brazdzionis, Lithuania, poet/editor/critic; Evert Werkman, Dutch journalist (Het Parool); Xuân Diệu, Vietnamese poet; Hella [S Lelyveld-]Haasse, Dutch author (Cider for Poor People); James Dickey, American poet, novelist and lecturer (Deliverance, Buckdancer’s Choice); Liz Smith [Mary Elizabeth], American journalist and gossip columnist known as “The Grand Dame of Dish” (WNBC, NY Daily News); Nydia Ecury, celebrated Afro-Dutch writer, translator and actress (Kantika pa Mama Tera); Judith Viorst, American author; Thomas M[ichael] Disch, American sci-fi author (Genocides, 102 H-Bombs); and Ina Garten, American author and TV cooking show host (Barefoot Contessa, Food Network).

Recognize anyone? Two stood out for me: James Joyce and James Dickey. 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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I was mistaken last Sunday when I mentioned the countdown specials for Dangerous Alliance and Carnage in Singapore. These will actually begin on Valentine’s Day at 12:00 a.m. PST beginning at $0.99 and gradually increasing in price, returning to normal on February 16th at 11:00 p.m. PST. I hope you’ll check them out!

Global-Thriller-semiA bit more news about Carnage in Singapore. It is now on the official semi-finalist list for the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards, competing in the global thriller category.

This is a super thrill for me as it joins my other novels in being recognized in this prestigious competition. The Kurdish Connection finished its run in 2018 as a semi-finalist, while Dangerous Alliance was selected as one of seven first in category winners. It’s so hard to believe!

I won’t learn until Chanticleer’s annual conference in April whether Carnage in Singapore has moved forward in the competition. Fingers crossed it does!

My Work in Progress

Slide1Editing work continues on A Cartel’s Revenge, although I mentioned last time the title would be adjusted. It’s now called Colombian Betrayal (A Bruce and Smith Thriller: Book 1) which is more fitting for how the story has actually turned out.

I’m midway through by fourth edit pass, having added over 12,000 words to the story. Feedback continues to come in from my beta readers, not just about the manuscript but ideas for the cover. Stayed tuned for more about this.

In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

Días glanced at Ramon. “What is with all of the threats? I feel like I am unwanted in this hacienda.”

Olivia shoved her chair back and stood, eyes burning with hatred. “Get out! Now!”

Alonzo jumped to his feet, pointing the shogun at Días, his finger tightening on the trigger.

Ramon pulled his second pistol from its holster. He motioned Días toward the door.

He grinned and addressed Olivia. “I shall keep Ramon informed of any information that I might come across.” He tipped an imaginary hat. “I bid you a somewhat pleasant day, given the circumstances. You have my deepest condolences during this stressful time.”

Días and Ramon left the room and headed outside. After shaking hands, Días climbed in his vehicle and waved for the driver to depart.

As his car left the compound, a smile caressed Días’ cheeks. Who is behind the kidnapping? An inside job or is someone else making a move on the Moreno cartel? He shook his head. Whoever it is, this is not good for business. I know just the person to speak to.

* * * *

The thick foliage from a copse of rosy trumpet trees hid a brown Jeep Cherokee. Inside, a man focused his binoculars on Días’s vehicle. He watched the car grow smaller as it continued along the driveway from the hacienda toward the distant gate. He chuckled. Perfect!

Watch for another snippet next time.

This brings us to a close for this week. I hope you found something of interest or possibly useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be adjust the format of my posts and website. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved