Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 17, 2019

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all the Irish!

Mother Nature had another laugh yesterday, throwing rain, sleet, and snow at us. Eventually, it turned back to rain and the snow disappeared, at least at the lower elevations. This morning, when I went to get the daily paper, snow still graced the higher elevations. 

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 17th. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Ebenezer Elliott, British Poet. Know as the “Corn Law Rhymer'”; Jean Ingelow, English poet; Oskar Peschel, German journalist/geography (Volkerkunder); Kristian Elster, Norwegian author (Less bror Harris); Urmuz, Romanian writer; Paul Green, American novelist/playwright (In Abraham’s Bosom); Boris N Poveloi, [Kampov], Russian journalist/writer; Siegfried Lenz, German writer (Ein Kriegsende); Nancy Sheehan, writer; James Morrow, American author; William [Ford] Gibson, Canadian sci-fi author (Neuromancer, Count Zero); Rory McGrath, British comedian, television personality, and writer (Who Dares Wins, They Think It’s All Over);

How many did you recognize? There’s definitely one or two who should be familiar, perhaps not by name, but by the title of their work. 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

Editing continues on my third novel, Carnage in Singapore. I’m almost done with my second pass through the manuscript this week. Here’s another snippet:

“Uncle, this is Noah Appleman from Australia. DG Robertson sent him. Noah, this is my favorite uncle from my mother’s side of the family, Feng Lee.”

“An honor to meet you, sir. DG Robertson sends his regards and hopes we can provide some assistance.” 1539534550

Feng Lee nodded and waved the men to seats. “What do you know of ISD, Mr. Appleman?”

“Please, call me Noah. I admit not much, a bit from the Internet. Whatever you guys do here, you sure know how to keep it under wraps.”

His host nodded. “We are a secretive organization, so we share little information. We address various threats to the security of the Republic of Singapore. Of most importance are domestic terrorism, apprehension of suspected militants, and protection of our national borders. Most of our personnel come from the Singapore National Police.”

“A complex portfolio. How might I assist?”

“Over the past few weeks, nine bodies have washed up on our shores. All appear to be foreigners. The identities of three are known.” Feng Lee crossed his legs and sighed. “What disturbs me is they did not enter Singapore in any legal manner, so where did they come from? I’m receiving pressure from the Prime Minister’s office to resolve this matter as soon as possible.”

“What are their nationalities? Is someone targeting a specific country?” If so, why? Noah pursed his lips. “Are you certain the bodies were washed ashore or did someone put them there to create that impression?”

Feng Lee glanced at Koh and nodded.

“We believe they are from Australia, England or the United States, where most of our Caucasian tourists originate.” Koh lifted a single sheet of paper from the desk. “The first two identified themselves but succumbed to their injuries. The one from England, a woman, is still alive. We’ll meet with her later.”

“Any idea about the cause of death?”

More next time.

I’ve also continued working on the next chapter of Ultimate Escalation. Hopefully, it’ll be finished over the next week.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Aftermath by Blair Howard. The fourteenth book in the Harry Starke series, it’s even more riveting than its predecessors. Blair never ceases to amaze me with his intricate plots and life-like characters.

What’s Harry up to this time? It’s become personal–saving members of his family and protecting those who work for him. There’s even a stunning revelation from Bob, but you’ll have to buy the book to find out more as I don’t like to spoil the fun. I hope Harry continues with more exploits for us to follow. This has been an excellent series!

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

News About My Published Work

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

short_list_sticker_2018_wording_jpg-150x150

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

 

 

My Work in Progress

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

Books I’m Reading

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

My Favorite Authors

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved