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
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.
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