Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 7, 2018

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer.

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

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

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and all the best for 2018!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 31, 2017

As we move into a new year, I hope everyone is blessed with better health and prosperity. Happy New Year to one and all!

My Work in Progress

This week I continued to concentrate on reciprocal reviews for those who have worked so hard on my behalf regarding Dangerous Alliance. Reviews are still coming in as readers go through the final chapters. As of yesterday evening, there were a total of 709 chapter reviews!

Books I’m Reading

Over the past two or three weeks, I’ve finished a number of novels. It’ll take a couple of weeks to get every review posted. There is one in particular I’ll mention today, as it is the debut novel of M.D. Neu, and will be released tomorrow.

MD Neu has created a credible cast of characters, leading the way with Duncan Alexander and Juliet de Exter. One of several people called to Juliet’s mansion, it turns out Duncan is the chosen one. But will he accept his calling? He can have it all, but does he want to become a vampire?

MD’s story covers all facets–love, action, suspense–as well as good and evil. Hang onto yourself and enjoy a superb ride with Duncan as he explores a new life. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and all the best for 2018!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December, 17, 2017

It’s been a snowy and cold week, causing the birds and deer to hit our feeders harder than normal. Glad to see all of the wildlife, even though we know they struggle when the ground’s covered, making it difficult for them to forage.

Even our indoor-outdoor cats have rarely ventured outside. One looks at us like we’re crazy when we open the door for him to go out. He’ll sit and stare outside, but any attempt to usher him outside is met with a quick dash to warmer areas of the house. At least the next few days are supposed to be warm enough to melt some of the snow. The ice that had formed at the shoreline began breaking up yesterday, and once again we could hear the waves crashing.

My Work in Progress

My final giveaway of The Kurdish Connection ends tonight at midnight, PST. This event is hosted on Goodreads and if you don’t have a copy, head over and enter the contest.

This week I concentrated on reciprocal reviews for those who have worked so hard on my behalf regarding Dangerous Alliance. Reviews are still coming in as readers go through the final chapters.

I also did some additional research for the next chapter of Carnage in Singapore. As with all of my stories, I try to get the settings as accurate as possible, and when I haven’t been to a specific location or know someone who has, online research tools come into play.

Here’s a snippet from Carnage in Singapore:

Unsure if wild creatures or savage humans created the path, she didn’t care. All she wanted was to escape.

The pain in her chest easing, she staggered away. She struggled in the mud and stumbled, her foot caught in the roots of a nearby tree. She fell to the ground, her hands sinking into the thick ooze.

“Help!”

Who would save her in the middle of nowhere? She kicked at the root and twisted her leg until her foot popped free.

Craack!

Back on her feet, she pumped her knees to escape the sludge, her heart rate accelerating as panic skyrocketed.

A bolt of lightning lit the sky, striking a nearby tree. Shadows slithered in front of her, blocking her way forward.

She turned, searching for an escape route.

Rough hands grabbed her by the shoulders in a vise-like grip and threw her to the ground.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been reading a number of books but haven’t collected my thoughts yet. I hope to have one or two reviews posted next week.  In the meantime, I had the opportunity to read a short story by up and coming author, M.D. Neu, which will be released on Amazon tomorrow, December 18th.

A Dragon for Christmas is a lighthearted short story packed with plenty of emotions. Will Carmen get the dragon of her dreams for Christmas? The family and the facility staff are pulling for her, which is especially important given her curse. Like her best friend, Mattie, both use the bond with their dragons as a means to cope with their affliction. Will they always be together?

A perfect story for this time of year-bringing hope out of despair as we watch both girls mature and deal with what life tosses at them. An excellent story told in a way which is suitable for children and adults of all ages. Well done, M.D.!

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer.

MD Neu – writer and published author, Follow MD’s writing journey and check out his interviews with other authors. His short story, The Reunion, is now available through Amazon, and his new story, A Dragon For Christmas, will be released tomorrow.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 10, 2017

What a hectic week! First, our computer decided to die. This happened a couple of hours after I posted last week’s blog. Nothing I could do brought it back to life. That evening, we had dinner with some friends and sold another copy of The Kurdish Connection. They’ll be giving it as a Christmas present.

On Monday, I tried to have someone pull the data from the dead hard drive–no joy. I bought a replacement computer so we’re back in business. It’s amazing how much rely on them.

On Wednesday, I underwent my very first surgery. Nothing major and obviously I survived. I’m still feeling the effects of the anesthetic and the follow-on painkillers, but this too shall pass. I’m still slow on my feet and can’t lift more than ten pounds for the next six weeks–a good reason to spend more time writing.

My Work in Progress

My final giveaway of the year began on December 8th. I’ll be giving away twenty Kindle copies of The Kurdish Connection. This event is hosted on Goodreads and will run through December 17th,

I didn’t get much editing done on Dangerous Alliance this week, and with the computer crash, I have to rebuild the later chapters. Fortunately, everything is posted on the two subscription writing sites I use, so it’s a case of copying and pasting what I need. Just a hiccup in the process.

Despite the ups and downs of the week, I did manage to edit the first three chapters of Carnage in Singapore and begin working on chapter four. I’ll begin providing snippets next week.

Books I’m Reading

The First Chapter by Michael Maxwell is an interesting collection of short stories culminating in his first novel, The Whistler. I enjoyed following Michael as he shared his earlier work, giving us insight to how even as a novice writer, he clearly exhibited outstanding storytelling skills that have matured as time passed. While this is the first of his work I’ve read, it won’t be the last. Many thanks for sharing your journey with us.

The Romanov Ransom by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell didn’t disappoint. Clive has been one of my favorite authors for years, and this one is another excellent journey by Sam and Remi Fargo. With plenty of twists and turns, lifelike characters and a compelling plot, all Cussler fans should enjoy this one, too.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer.

MD Neu – writer and published author, Follow MD’s writing journey and check out his interviews with other authors. His short story, The Reunion, is now available through Amazon, and his new story, A Dragon For Christmas, will be released this month.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 3, 2017

Yesterday I participated in a small Christmas craft fair. There were at least forty-one vendors. What an amazing arrays of talent! Everything from homemade goodies to an interesting display of wooden puzzles that kept young and old alike how to disassemble three pieces and put them back together.

Our contribution?  Sylvia’s knitwear, oil and acrylic paintings, and some of her poems printed on rainbow-colored paper and laminated–always a big hit. My side of the stall included a variety of scents and colored candles in a variety of shapes and sizes, and several pieces of pyrography (woodburning). The organizers allowed me to include The Kurdish Connection, and I sold three autographed copies!

My Work in Progress

My giveaway of The Kurdish Connection on Amazon ended this past week but the one on Goodreads is still open until December 6th, so there’s still time to enter. A Kindle giveaway will commence on December 8th on Goodreads, too.

This week saw plenty of effort in editing Dangerous Alliance. My goal is to finish going through the 600 plus reviews and tweaking the story by the end of January. Since goals usually slip, it might take a bit longer.

I also continued working on Carnage in Singapore, the third novel in my Bedlam series. The third chapter was posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. My faithful readers and a few new ones to my work have already provided twenty-two chapter reviews. I hope to get the next chapter posted over the coming days.

What’s Carnage in Singapore about?

Terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah have flourished in recent years with new recruits joining them and ISIS-affiliates at an alarming rate. Blended operations by various Asian countries have forced the groups to work together to identify a new operational base.

They seek an island nation to call home, one where they can plot against countries who oppose their ideals.  They found a target, a small nation-state, perfect for their needs: The Republic of Singapore.

Before anyone can respond, several foreign ambassadors are kidnapped from their residences. Right index fingers of each victim are sent as a warning.  Any attempt to recover the ambassadors will result in the removal of additional body parts.

Bedlam Charlie team leader, Evelyn Evinrude, leads the group to rescue the ambassadors and capture the local leaders of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Can Bedlam succeed or will events escalate, resulting in more deaths?

Stay tuned for more.

Books I’m Reading

I didn’t get a chance to complete my review this week. I plan to have two for you next time: The First Chapter by Michael Maxwell and The Romanov Ransom by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer. Click on the events tab to learn about our exciting book give-away!

MD Neu – writer and published author, Follow MD’s writing journey and check out his interviews with other authors. His short story, The Reunion, is now available through Amazon, and his new story, A Dragon For Christmas, will be released this month.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 26, 2017

I went into a farmer’s store yesterday to purchase some supplies for the animals and birds who frequent our home throughout the year. With it being Thanksgiving weekend, the ‘Black Friday’ sales were still ongoing. While some things were wiped out because of the sale prices, I still managed to buy what I wanted and saved some money, too. Playing in the background were Christmas carols, the first I’ve heard for this season. I’ve also noticed several homes have already set up their exterior decorations. While to me this seems a bit early, I must admit when driving in the evening, the colored light displays do brighten up the gloom.

My Work in Progress

untitledMy giveaways of The Kurdish Connection are live. If you haven’t stopped by and entered, take a moment to do so Just click here on Goodreads if you want to enter for a chance at one of five autographed copies.

Or if you prefer trying to win a Kindle version, clicking on Amazon will take you where you need to be. I’ll be giving away ten Kindle copies.

Stay tune for future giveaways between now and Christmas.

In the meantime, editing is still underway for Dangerous Alliance, the sequel to The Kurdish Connection. With over 600 chapter reviews, iI have plenty of reading and writing to do. My goal is to have the novel completely edited by the end of February. Since this is a self-imposed deadline, it might slip if there are extenuating circumstances requiring my time be spent elsewhere.

I’ve also been working on the initial chapters of Carnage in Singapore, the third novel in my Bedlam series. So far I’ve written two chapters and posted them to the two subscription writing sites I used. My faithful readers and a few new ones to my work have already provided fourteen chapter reviews. I hope to get the next chapter posted over the coming days.

Next time, I’ll provide a bit more from Dangerous Alliance and also the synopsis for Carnage in Singapore. Hope you’ll keep reading.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past few days, I finished another book written by Russell Moran. The second in the Patterns series, The Scent of Revenge was as good as the first one. Russell created another excellent political/terrorism thriller. Returning to take on new challenges caused by terrorist attacks, Rick Bellamy, a FBI counter-terrorism expert and a CIA official named Buster tackle the latest threat.

Both men use their specific talents to take on what is the biggest terrorist attack they’ve faced. It becomes personal for Rick, when is wife becomes one of the targets. Will Rick and Buster be successful? I don’t want issue an alert spoiler, so you’ll have to purchase a copy and find out.

Once again Russell’s well-crafted characters, believable plot, and several twists will keep you guessing until the end. If you enjoy roller coaster stories, this is one for you.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. With the Thanksgiving holiday, I didn’t spend much time researching new sites to share, but will provide the link below to a group of international writers who are bringing some of their favorite writers to you.

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer. Click on the events tab to learn about our exciting book give-away! A new review of The Scourge and interview with author Roberto Calas will be published soon.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 19, 2017

Each morning when I head towards the computer, I’m met by various four legged members of the family. Are they glad to see me–you bet! At least, until I pop the top on their food. If I’ve chosen wisely, they hunker down and begin eating. It I’ve goofed, I know in seconds, as they walk away, leaving the tender morsels alone.

I’ve tried playing the ‘that’s all you get, so eat it’ game. Sometimes this works, but other times, I’m not so lucky. There’s no doubt who is setting the rules–and it isn’t me.

My Work in Progress

untitled

As many of you are aware, The Kurdish Connection is my debut novel. I’m holding my first giveaway on Goodreads, between November 23rd and December 6th.

I’ll be giving away five autographed copies of The Kurdish Connection. Unfortunately, due to exorbitant international shipping costs, I’ll only be including those with U.S. mailing addresses in this one.

However, I’ll also be running two more giveaways in early December, one on Amazon and the other on Goodreads. Both will be for Kindle versions, so this will open up for those residing elsewhere. Stay tuned for the Kindle giveaway dates!

The inclement weather continued over the past week, so I was able to spend more time writing. I’m pleased to report the entire first draft of Dangerous Alliance is now posted to the two subscription websites I use. Despite November being NaNoWriMO month, reviews are trickling in–a total of 605 chapter reviews as of this morning! What a fabulous bunch of supporters. They’ll be quick to point out what’s working and what does, so I can make necessary changes.

This week also saw the initial start to the first chapter of Carnage in Singapore, the third book in my Bedlam series. This one will feature the Bedlam Charlie team. More about this next week.

Books I’m Reading

Last night, I finished reading Two Roads to Sunday by Carol W. Huff and Arthur F. Torrance, IV. This is the first Western novel I’ve read in years, and I couldn’t have picked a better one for my return to this genre.

Dirt, a wanderer, is seeking revenge for the murder of his brother, Owen. Meanwhile, Sarah and her husband, accompanied by their daughter Cassie, join a wagon train heading west. Join Dirt and Sarah on their individual journeys as they seek their respective futures. Sharing their joys and sorrows, you’ll be on an adventure which will energize your emotions.

Events lead to them finally meeting each other Will this be a joyful union or a devastating one? You’ll have to read for yourself, as I don’t want to spoil anything. With well-crafted characters, a superb plot, and an unexpected outcome, I thoroughly enjoyed Two Roads to Sunday and look forward to reading further novels by these authors.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer. Click on the events tab to learn about our exciting book give-away! A new review of The Scourge and interview with author Roberto Calas will be published soon.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved