Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 2, 2020

It’s hard to believe how fast July sailed by. It seemed just a blink since we were in June. We’ve been busy with a variety of outdoor tasks which needed done, but not so much we couldn’t stop and enjoy the colorful array of flowers which our efforts (and Mother Nature) produced this year. Absolutely fabulous!

This week, we continued doing some more Scottish genealogy. It took four eyes, a magnifying glass, and a bit of patience to decipher some of the documents we uncovered. However, we were successful in sorting through the loops, scrolls, and faded areas to identify the births of several ancestors dating back as far as 1692! It’s always a thrill when we uncovered a new piece of information.

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

Kaspar von Stieler, German poet (Teutsche Wolredner); Joan Lucaz, Dutch journalist and patriot; Adolf Friedrich von Schack, German poet; F. Marion Crawford, American author (Mr. Isaacs); William Watson, British poet (Prince’s Quest, Father of Forest); Irving Babbitt, American writer (Rousseau & Romanticism); Ernest Dowson, British poet (Decorations in Verse and Prose); Aino Kallas, Finnish writer (White Ship, Estonian Tales); Ethel M. Dell, English author (Storm Drift); Johannes Tralow, German writer (Ottoman tetralogy); Viktor Maksimovich Zhirmunsky, Russian literary historian and linguist; John Kieran, American columnist and author (Natural History of NYC); Charles Bennett, English screenwriter; Mary Hamman, American writer and editor (Pictorial Review, Good Housekeeping); Lou Zara, American writer (Stump the Authors); Roger MacDougall, Scottish playwright and screenwriter (The Man in the White Suit); Louis Pauwels, French writer and editor; James Baldwin, American novelist (Go Tell it on Mountain, Another Country) and playwright (The Amen Corner); Isabel Allende, Chilean-American author (The House of the Spirits, City of the Beasts); Rose Tremain, British novelist and playwright (Restoration); Robert Holdstock, English sci-fi author (Ghost Dance, Labyrinth); James Fallows, American writer and journalist; and Caleb Carr, American novelist and military historian.

One name stood out for me this week: James Baldwin. Did you recognize anyone? 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

When I first released Colombian Betrayal in late March 2020, it was at the introductory price of $2.99 for the Kindle version. I had planned to keep it at this price for thirty days before raising it. However, due to the global pandemic, I’ve kept it at this price.

However, all good things must come to an end. Tomorrow, August 3rd, the price will increase to $4.99. So, if you want a copy but haven’t taken the steps to grab one, now is your chance. Here the universal link for Amazon: books2read.com/u/4Az0j0

Many thanks for your support!

My Work in Progress

This week, I completed chapter thirty-one of Xavier Sear: Angola, and began work on chapter thirty-two. As of today, there’s been 376 chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use.

Here’s another snippet:

Sear gripped the arms of his seat as the Emirates flight began its descent into Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. His eyes closed as the knuckles on his hands turned white from his exertion.

“Ease up, man. You’ll rip your seat apart.” Guzman gave a soft chuckle.

Sear glared at him. “Easy for you to say. I hate flying.”

“Flying isn’t an issue.” Guzman gave Sear a sideways glance. “It’s the abrupt landings which cause a problem.”

“Whatever. We’ll be on the ground soon, so take a few breaths and relax.”

* * *

Kruger continued toward Mongu, the sounds of snoring filling the vehicle. After coming around a bend in the road, he slowed. “Wake up, guys. Checkpoint ahead. Hand over your passports.”

Sear and Guzman passed their documents to Kruger before pulling out their weapons ad tucking them out of sight under their legs.

“Here we go.” Kruger pulled to a stop as three armed police officers pointed their AK-47s at the vehicle.

A fourth officer, with a Heckler and Koch G3 rifle slung over his shoulder, lowered a barricade he stepped forward. “Papers.”

Kruger handed over their passports. Inside his, four one-hundred-dollar bills were folded in half.

The officer glanced through the documents before handing them back. He smiled and waved for the others to raise the barrier.

Kruger pulled ahead, gaining speed as they left the checkpoint behind. “Check my passport. I put four hundred dollars in mine, and I didn’t see him take the money.”

Sear rifled through Kruger’s passport. “No dough—pretty adept at making things disappear.”

More next time.

I managed several hours of research for chapter seven of New World Revolution this week and should begin writing soon. To date, there have been 116 chapter reviews.

Anyway, there’s been plenty of positive feedback on this one, which is fantastic as I spend countless hours each week doing research to make this as historically accurate as possible.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading three novels from the Will Finch Mystery Thriller series by D.F. Baily. In the opening novel, Bone Maker, we meet Will Finch, a crime reporter trying to put his life together after a family tragedy. Before long, Will is hot on the trail of a new story, with some gruesome results. Did a bear eat the sole witness to a multi-million dollar fraud or was it murder?

With a story filled with plenty of twists and turns, along with characters who could come from any part of the country, you’ll be turning the pages to find out what happens next!

It didn’t take me long to move into the next novel, Stone Eater. Once again Will Finch is on the trail of another story. However, this time, he teams up with a former police officer, Eve Noon, as they attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a daughter of a U.S. senator.

If anything, D.F. Bailey, has amped-up the tension and excitement in this one, with even more twists and turns. Will Finch and Noon be able to solve the mystery before someone knocks them off? If you enjoy a fast-paced and well-written story, this one’s for you.

The third novel in the trilogy, Lone Hunter, was just as exciting to read as the first two. This time, Will teams up with Noon and a new player, Sochi. This one is another roller coaster ride as we meet new high-powered individuals who think nothing of taking a life to get what they want. I’m pleased to say each story in the series outdoes the previous ones. I just found out the thrills don’t end as there are now at least two more novels 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 and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 26th, 2020

It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the end of July. Seems like only yesterday we were in the middle of May. Time is definitely marching on!

It’s been a pretty damp week, with rain most days. A couple of times it didn’t stop raining all day. At least everything is looking nice and green, with a huge array of colors as all of the plants which were late getting in the ground or decorate pots are blooming or getting ready to show us their stuff.

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

George Catlin, American author and painter (American Indian scenes); Winthrop Mackworth Praed, English politician and poet; George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist (Pygmalion, Nobel Prize for Literature 1925); George Louis Beer, American historian (authority on British colonies); Antonio Machado, Spanish poet (Campos de Castilla); Alexander J. Kropholler, Dutch architect and writer; Andre Maurois [Emile Herzog], French writer (Balzac); Marcel Jouhandeau, French writer; Aldous Huxley, English author (Brave New World, Island); Lodewijk Rogier, Dutch historian (Henric van Veldeken); Paul Gallico, American novelist (The Snow Goose); Jean Shepherd, American writer and actor (A Christmas Story); Blake Edwards, American writer and director (10, SOB, Breakfast at Tiffany’s); Jan Berenstain [Janice Marian Grant], American author (The Berenstain Bears); Ana María Matute, Spanish author (Fiesta al noroeste); Ibn-e-Safi, Pakistani fiction writer and Urdu poet; Wopko Jensma, South African poet and graphic designer; Lawrence Watt-Evans, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Sword of Bheleu); Rick Bragg, American journalist and writer; and Anne Provoost, Belgian author (In the Shadow of the Ark).

Two names stood out for me this week: George Bernard Shaw and Aldous Huxley. Did you recognize anyone? 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

When I first released Colombian Betrayal in late March 2020, it was at the introductory price of $2.99 for the Kindle version. I had planned to keep it at this price for thirty days before raising it. However, due to the global pandemic, I’ve kept it at this price.

However, all good things must come to an end. On August 3rd, the price will increase to $4.99. So, if you want a copy but haven’t taken the steps to grab one, now is your chance. Here the universal link for Amazon: books2read.com/u/4Az0j0

Many thanks for your support!

 

 

My Work in Progress

This week, I completed chapter thirty of Xavier Sear: Angola, and began work on chapter thirty-one. As of today, there’s been 367 chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use.

Here’s another snippet:

João pushed his plate away and finished a tall glass of water. He smiled at his hosts. “That was the best fish calulu I’ve eaten in years.”

Theo and Shantae laughed. She waved a finger at João. “The secret is the fresh vegetables to offset the dried fish. Would you like some cocada amarela? The cook made is especially for you.”

João patted his stomach. “Perhaps, later. If you don’t mind, I must discuss things with Theo.”

Shantae nodded. “I will leave you men to men’s business. When you are ready for the custard, we shall serve it with coffee.”

“I thought Angolans didn’t like coffee.” João pursed his lips. “Things have changed over the years.”

“As a member of the government, I must encourage our citizens to drink coffee because it is healthy for us.” Theo frowned as he stood. “I still do not like the taste, but the Americans say it contains antioxidants, which help control cancer cells.”

They went into the room Theo used as his office. “Would you like a drink, my friend? We made some of the whiskey kota you enjoyed many years ago.”

João laughed. “Perhaps later, we might share a glass of your homemade whiskey. But, first, can I connect to the internet? Cat should be sending me an email reading our rendezvous point with Sear.”

“As a member of the government, I receive one of the best internet connections in Angola.” Theo grinned. “Broadband is available in Luanda, but outside the major cities, we must rely on satellites, which can be erratic. Of course, our internet will not compare with the services in Portugal.”

After Theo helped João connect, he scrolled through his unread email. The usual batch of internet spam. Some business stuff to take care of later. Ah, yes! He glanced at Theo. “Just a moment—there’s a message from Cat.”

More next time.

I finally finished and posted chapter six of New World Revolution. To date, there have been 113 chapter reviews. I had provided a higher number last time, but I was looking at the wrong title.

Anyway, there’s been plenty of positive feedback on this one, which is fantastic as I spend countless hours each week doing research to make this as historically accurate as possible.

I hope to begin including small snippets some time during August.

 

Books I’m Reading

This past week, I’ve been reading The Finch Trilogy (Will Finch Mystery Thriller Books) by D.F. Baily. I’m almost finished with the final novel in the trilogy, so I’ll provide my assessment of the three books 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 and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

Here’s another snippet:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes. Start a fire. Very hot.”

“What for?”

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

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

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

“Such as?”

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

Alimasi yelled in the dialect Peter couldn’t understand.

Three men rushed forward.

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

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

“Wait, Doctor.”

Peter stopped and turned.

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

More next time.

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

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 12, 2020

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

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

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

Recognize anyone? I sure did–Henry David Thoreau. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Since it’s late in the day, I’ll stop here and hope to bring a fuller post next Sunday. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 5, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

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

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

My Work in Progress

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

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

Here’s another snippet:

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

“From who? Government troops?”

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

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

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

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 31, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

My Published Work

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

Here’s another snippet:

Here we go. Sear gestured for Vincent to continue.

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

“How grateful?”

“Enough to let you retire.”

“We?”

“You know how it is. Enough said.”

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

“That’s all I can hope for.”

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

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

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

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

More next time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps a bit more next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 8, 2020

The weather cooperated enough for the builder to finally tackle the plans for the front porch. Everything has now had 3-4 days to cure and is covered under heavy plastic to protect it from the frost we’ve had a couple of mornings. I’ll be removing the covering today, and the builder will be back tomorrow (weather permitting) to do the top step leading into the house and the pointing.

In the meantime, I was able to remove the top soil (only six inches) and a foot of clay and rubble from two of the flower beds in front of the house. They’ve been refilled with new top soil. This week, I’ll replant everything I moved and we’ll begin adding new things.

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 8th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann von Rist, German composer and poet known for his hymns; Wilhelm Bleek, German linguist (Father of Bantu Philology); oão de Deus [Sao Bartolomeu de Messines], Portuguese poet (Flores do Campo); Kenneth Grahame, Scottish author (The Wind in the Willows); Mechtilde Lichnowsky, German writer; Stuart Chase, American writer and economist (The Tragedy of Waste); Eric Linklater, British novelist and poet (Blue Swallows); Elmer Keith, American firearms enthusiast and author (Guns & Ammo); Robert Wolfgang Schnell, German writer; A Marja, [ATE Mooy], Dutch literary (Shreds on the River; Heinar Kipphardt, German writer and playwright (In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer); Sembene Ousmane, Senegalese author/novelist/director (Doctor Noir); Victor “Toby” Neuberg, teacher/writer; John McPhee, American author; Richard Farina, American writer and folk rocker (Reflections in a Crystal Wind); George William Reed, astronomy writer/cartoonist (Dark Sky Legacy); and Jim Bouton, American baseball pitcher, author, broadcaster (NY Yankees, MLB All Star 1968, “Ball Four”).

Recognize anyone? No one stood out for 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!

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, chapters seven through nine were posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received sixty-five chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-six in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s the first snippet from Angola:

The young doctor paused outside the hospital tent and glanced at the clear blue sky. The pain and suffering are like a kick in the stomach. It’s worse when I see the children. Doctor Peter Mwanga gritted his teeth before grabbing the tent flap and entering.

With a smile plastered across his face, he stopped at the first bed. “Good morning, little one.”

There was no answer from the emaciated child lying motionless on the cot of the once snow-white sheets, now a dingy gray.

“Let me examine your dressings.” He pushed a three-legged camp chair closer. With gentle motions, he touched the bandage covering the right side of her face.

The little girl turned away. Tomorrow would start her third week at the makeshift hospital.

She understands what’s to follow will be unpleasant and even painful. The doctor blinked as he helped her roll back over. “Mathy, I will be as gentle as possible. I must see how your cheek is doing, okay?”

After she gave a slight nod, the doctor peeled back the tape.

Mathy whimpered, tears streaking her chocolate brown skin.

“I’m sorry. I’m trying to be careful.”

She winced when he pulled the tape from her forehead, yanking out a few hairs.

“Almost done.” He loosened the adhesive and removed the bandage hiding the stitches and discolored flesh. “Finished. You’ve been a brave girl.” He leaned closer to examine the wound, and steeled himself against the pain he knew he would inflict on her. “We’ll give this a clean, and you’ll feel better.”

Mathy gave him a brief smile and squeezed his hand.

“Doctor Mwanga?”

He glanced over his shoulder. A nurse stood nearby, accompanied by a stranger. The doctor patted Mathy on the arm and stood. “Yes?”

“Doctor Mwanga, this is Pastor Eric Marker from Australia. He brought a group to work with us for the next two weeks.”

Mwanga tried his best to make his smile look sincere, but he was pretty sure it didn’t. Great. Another foreign do-gooder who shows up for two weeks before returning to their normal lives. “Nice to meet you, Pastor. This is Mathy Mahlangu. She is a very brave girl. We examined her stitches this morning. I am happy to report she is doing just fine.”

Standing and facing the newcomer, Dr. Peter Mwanga called to a nurse at the far end of the open-air tent. “You can clean her face and put on fresh bandages. Our little one will be going home tomorrow.”

“What’s wrong with her?” Marker squinted as he stared at the girl.

“Cancrum oris. Heard of it?”

The preacher shook his head.

“I thought not. It is a strange, horrible disease. It is born of malnutrition, poor hygiene, and one of a million African bacteria that attack a weakened vessel. You see, the mucous membranes of the mouth develop ulcers, then a rapid transformation occurs.” Mwanga turned, grabbed a clipboard from the end of Mathy’s bed before resuming his explanation.

“Painless tissue degeneration begins. Without treatment, which I may say, is in nearly all cases, it attacks the tissue around the bones in the face. By the time we see the child, substantial portions of the cheek and jaws are degraded to the point the teeth, gums, and often the tongue are exposed.”

The pastor glanced from Mwanga to the bed next to Mathy. “Like him?”

A boy of about twelve sat on the bed playing with a small plastic car. The right side of his cheek was completely eaten away, exposing his top and bottom teeth, and far into his lower jaw.

“Yes. We operate on him tomorrow.”

Boom! Rat-a-tat! Blam! Boom!

“What was that?” Marker’s eyes flitted toward the exit, wild with fear.

Explosions filled the air. Screams shattered the morning’s tranquility.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I just finished reading Nothing New Under The Sun, the first novel in the Carter Devereux mystery series by JC Ryan. I didn’t get a chance to compile my thoughts, so I’ll provide my review 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

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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

39375-96

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

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