Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

My Work in Progress

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

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

Here’s another snippet:

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

“From who? Government troops?”

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

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

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

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 21, 2020

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers around the world! Hope you have an excellent day! My son called yesterday for his weekly chat and wished me a good day. His card arrived the day before–it’s not always easy for him to judge how long it might take to reach Scotland from the States as so many things can cause a delay.

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

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 21st. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Hendrik van Wijn, Dutch histrorian and archivist (Algemeen Rijksarchief); Wolfgang Menzel, German writer; Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Brazilian writer (Epitaph of a small winner); Daniel Carter Beard, American author, social reformer and founder of the Boy Scouts of America; Johannes Schlaf, German writer and translator; H. M. Tomlinson, British writer (Sea & Jungle); Feodor Gladkov, Russian socialist writer (Cement); Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian (Nature & Destiny of Man); Milward Kennedy, British public servant and mystery writer; Donald C. Peattie, American botanist and writer; Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist philosopher and writer (Le Mur, Nobel 1964; declined); Aleksandr Tvardovsky, Russian poet and editor in chief (Novyj Mir); Mary McCarthy, American novelist (Group); Irving Shulman, American author and screenwriter; Wulf Kirsten, German writer; Françoise Sagan [Quoirez], French novelist (Bonjour Trieste); Henry S. Taylor, American writer and poet (Pulitzer 1986 for Poetry); Adam Zagajewski, Polish philosopher and poet; Ian McEwan, English writer (Atonement); Andrzej Sapkowski, Polish writer (The Witcher); Anne Carson, Canadian poet (Autobiography of Red); and Robert Menasse, Austrian writer (Die Vertreibung aus der Hölle).

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

My Published Work

This week I received fantastic news! Carnage in Singapore is now a finalist in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards in their Global Thrillers category. It’ll now compete for one of the limited First in Category winner positions, hopefully joining Dangerous Alliance from last year’s competition.

Or perhaps, it’ll go even further, and be identified as the category Grand Prize winner!  Due to the pandemic, the results of this year’s competition have been delayed, so we won’t find out the end results until September. Good luck to all the finalists in all of the genre!

 

Three of my novels are participating in Kindle Unlimited promotions during June: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks.  Here’s the links to this month’s promotions:

Kindle Unlimited New Readers Promo (includes Dangerous Alliance and Colombian Betrayal):

https://books.bookfunnel.com/kindleunlimitednewreaders/mnj2g8jagf

Beat the Summer Heat with Kindle Unlimited (all three are included):

https://books.bookfunnel.com/beatthesummerheat/epsn0gvpzr

Action packed romantic suspense in Kindle Unlimited (Colombian Betrayal):

https://books.bookfunnel.com/actionpackedromsus/2mczee4n7c

Colombian Betrayal is also participating in a Kindle Dark, Addictive Summer Thrillers bundle. This is for downloads only:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/darkthrillers/h1qbunoakq

Why not stop by and see if any of your favorites are hanging around. Or, you might find new authors to check out. I know everyone will appreciate you support!

My Work in Progress

Another positive regarding the weather is more time to write. This week I finished chapter Xavier Sear: Angola chapter twenty-five and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 310 chapter reviews, an increase of seventeen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

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

I’ll be providing another snippet next time.

This week I also completed the ninth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of 108 so far, an increase of nine over the past week.

I’m not sure how long I’ll continue to work on two novels simultaneously, but as long as the words continue to flow, I’ll capture them. I can always make changes during the editing phase. With the progress I’ve made thus far on Angola, I’m thinking of concentrating on it until the entire first draft is completed.

 

 

Books I’m Reading

This week I finished reading The Coelho Medallion: A Dan Kotler Archeological Thriller by Kevin Tumlinson is an action-packed story which will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Will Dan be successful in solving the mystery surrounding the medallion before it’s too late for a kidnapped colleague? Or will others wade in to create more mayhem as the story unfolds?

Kevin’s plot is full of twists and turns, making this a fantastic read. With a bevy of larger-than-life characters, who will end up on the right side of the law? This is the first of Kevin’s novels I’ve read and it definitely won’t be the last, as I’ve already downloaded the second volume in the Dan Kotler series.

I also completed Acts Beyond Redemption (Unintended Consequences Book 1) by Suzanne Burke, which is another page turner, with an exciting plot and real-life characters. Who is killing men, and why? Follow FBI Agent Mike Matheson as he attempts to unravel the clues and put the puzzle together before another body surfaces. This is also the first novel by Suzanne that I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 14, 2020

The bright sunshine and warm temperature we experience during May and the early part of June have given way to overcast skies, rain, wind, and even fog. One positive note to this–Mother Nature is watering the plants so I don’t have too. Even the neighborhood stray cat is taking refuge in one of the two houses we put in the back. Glad to see him staying dry!

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

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 14th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Giglio Gregorio Giraldi, Italian poet; Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author (Uncle Tom’s Cabin); John Bartlett, American writer and publisher (compiled Familiar Quotations); Louis Finkelstein, American historian and theologist (Pharizees); René Char, French poet and painter; Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator; Winifred Milius Lubell, American illustrator and writer (The Outer Lands); Judith Kerr, British children’s writer and illustrator (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Mog books); Vladimir Solouchin, Russian writer; Barbara Avedon, American scriptwriter (Bewitched); Hermann Kant, German writer; Charles McCarry, American author and former CIA spy (The Tears of Autumn); Jerzy Kosiński, Polish-American novelist (The Painted Bird, Being There); Irmelin Sandman Lilius, Swedish-Finnish writer; ohn F. MacArthur, American evangelist and author; John Edgar Wideman, American writer (Brothers and Keepers); Laurie Colwin, American author (Happy All the Time); Harry Turtledove, American author (The Guns of the South); and Leon Wieseltier, American writer (Kaddish).

Recognize anyone? One name stood out for me. Not only I heard of Harriet Beecher Stowe, but I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin (a long time ago). Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Published Work

Three of my novels are participating in Kindle Unlimited promotions during June: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks.  Here’s the links to this month’s promotions:

Kindle Unlimited New Readers Promo (includes Dangerous Alliance and Colombian Betrayal):

Beat the Summer Heat with Kindle Unlimited (all three are included):

Action packed romantic suspense in Kindle Unlimited (Colombian Betrayal):

Why not stop by and see if any of your favorites are hanging around. Or, you might find new authors to check out. I know everyone will appreciate you support!

My Work in Progress

Another positive regarding the weather is more time to write. This week I finished chapter Xavier Sear: Angola chapter twenty-four and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 293 chapter reviews, an increase of fourteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

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

After dropping his luggage in his double room, he grabbed his laptop and checked for messages.

To: Sear, Guzman

From: Kruger

Ag, man! Count me in. Send details.

Before he responded, a ping indicated another message:

To: Sear, Kruger

From: Guzman

Add me to the party.

Sear smiled and began typing his response:

Glad you’ve both joined the party. Our mission is to recover a doctor named Peter. He’s Angolan, the son of a local government official, who was kidnapped while working in the DRC. Since we’re gate crashing, I’m debating whether to use a coastal insertion into Angola or enter from Zambia.

A Portuguese friend is already on the ground, meeting with the government official, a former rebel commander. Rendezvous point and kick-off date to be provided shortly.

Attached is a copy of the weapons, communications gear, and supplies I ordered. Please advise if anything should be added.

Once the email was, Sear pulled up a map of Angola and began studying the common border with the DRC.

Hmm. He ran a Google search on Lucapa. Might be a possibility. Some foreigners in the area because of the diamond mines. Plenty of Congolese refugees, so the border could be porous. What about Saurimo? Similar to Lucapa, but a bit larger—might be easier to blend in. Also has a small airport—alternative way to get our equipment in if there is someone we can bribe to look the other way?

Sear stood and stretched his arms. Thirsty. Glad I asked them to put a small fridge in for me. He grabbed a Coke, popped the top, and returned to his research.

***

Sear checked for flights and found what he was looking for, with departure the evening after Guzman arrives. After purchasing two first-class tickets, he composed an email to his friends.

To: Kruger, Guzman

From: Sear

Party’s on. Guzman and I will arrive in Lusaka in forty-eight hours. Kruger, meet us at the airport. Requested boat, rifle, knives, explosives, and Cracker Jacks will be added to the delivery. Recommend we infil via vehicle from Zambia and rendezvous with remaining party members at Saurimo.

After activating the Tor software, Sear updated his weapons and supply requests. Satisfied with their progress, he logged out of his laptop, placed it back in the traveling case, and headed out the door to one of the nearby restaurants.

More next time.

This week I also completed the eight chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of ninety-nine so far, an increase of fifteen over the past week.

I’m not sure how long I’ll continue to work on two novels simultaneously, but as long as the words continue to flow, I’ll capture them. I can always make changes during the editing phase.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read Serenity (The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series Book 1) by Craig A. Hart. Set in Michigan, Craig has created a fast-moving plot filled with real-life characters. Follow Shelby as he’s involved in a deadly clash between members of a local family and those providing a new drug source into their territory.

This is well-written and definitely will keep you turning the pages. I don’t like to provide any spoilers, so you’ll have to grab a copy and decide for yourself. I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series.

I also completed Bones of the Innocent: A Mason Collins Crime Thriller 3 by John A. Connell. Who’s kidnapping teenagers from the streets of Tangiers? Mason is hired to investigate the disappearance of three girls from wealthy expats living in the city, since the local police are either unable or unwilling to purse the crimes. Before long,, Mason also becomes a target.

This is a riveting story with a plot full of twists and turns. Commiseration or anger toward the parents will depend upon your viewpoint but you’ll find yourself drawn into the story. Hang on to your seat as you urge Mason on as he tries to solve the case. Can’t wait to read another Mason Collins novel!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 7, 2020

It’s been a somewhat cooler week. Still plenty of sunshine to keep spirits up.  We managed to buy the extra plants we wanted at the local garden center (nursery) and Mother Nature has helped out with the watering by provided much-need gentle rain almost on a daily basis.

Businesses are slowly opening. but there’s definitely a change. I ordered some topsoil and crushed decorative stone (a metric ton of each) from my regular supplier. Prior to the pandemic, I would have received my delivery in 2-3 days. However, my order won’t be delivered until the 16th. At least I’m able to get what I need.

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

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 7th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Étienne Pasquier, French lawyer and man of letters; Paulus Voet, Dutch jurist and historian; R. D. Blackmore, English novelist (Norie, Lorna Doone); Amelia Edwards, English author (The Phantom Coach) and Egyptologist; Julius P. Hoste, Belgium minister and daily newspaper publisher (Last News); William Walraven, Dutch journalist and writer (Indian Daily); Elizabeth Bowen, Anglo-Irish novelist (The Death of the Heart, Encounters); Jan Engelman, Dutch poet, translator and critic (Garden of Eros); Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet (Bean Eaters, Annie Allen, Pulitzer 1950); Martin Carter, Guyanese poet and political activist; Anthony Nicholas Maria Wahl, American historian; David Malcolm Lewis, English historian, expert in Greek Epigraphy; Harry Crews, American writer and actor (Indian Runner); Bert Sugar, American sports writer (Sting like a Bee); Judy Ann Scott-Fox, English literary agent; Nikki Giovanni, American poet (LHJ Woman of the Year 1973); and Louise Erdrich, American author (Love Medicine, The Bingo Palace).

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

My Published Work

Three of my novels continue to participate in Kindle Unlimited promotions: Dangerous Alliance, Carnage in Singapore, and Colombian Betrayal.  They’re also available for Kindle downloads or paperbacks.  Here’s the links to this month’s promotions:

Kindle Unlimited New Readers Promo (includes Dangerous Alliance and Colombian Betrayal):

Beat the Summer Heat with Kindle Unlimited (all three are included):

 

Action packed romantic suspense in Kindle Unlimited (Colombian Betrayal):

 

Why not stop by and see if any of your favorites are hanging around. Or, you might find new authors to check out. I know everyone will appreciate you support!

My Work in Progress

When I wasn’t working in the yard (garden), I continued progress on Xavier Sear: Angola. This week I finished chapter twenty-three and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 279 chapter reviews, an increase of thirteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s another snippet:

Armed with his coffee and a bolo de Mel da Madeira, he made himself comfortable after adjusting the sun umbrella overlooking his table. He savored the warm honey cake and sipped on his drink as he turned on his laptop. Once he checked his regular email account, he glanced around to ensure no one paid any attention to him.

Sear slid a USB stick from his pocket and shoved it into the appropriate slot. Once he typed in his password, he activated the Tor software. Moments later, he accessed his first Dark Web .onion link. After entering his desired search parameters, he leaned back and finished his coffee.

What has João gotten himself into this time? Well-meaning, but still doesn’t understand the world’s a dangerous place. He sighed. We need to recover Peter and leave Africa as soon as possible. He pulled up a text file containing a list of requirements he previously identified:

Weapons – LAWs, pistols, assault rifles, knives, grenades (concussion, smoke), ammunition, night-vision goggles, binoculars

Supplies – MREs, water purification tablets, med kit, mosquito netting/repellent, air mattresses, zip ties

Comms Gear – Sat phones, tactical comms

Documentation – Passports, ID cards, visa

In-country Contacts/Support Team – Angola, DRC. Who?

Recovery Team – Me, João, Theo. Who else?

Kickoff – ASAP

Infil – Coastal insertion or Via Zambia?

Rendezvous Point – TBD

Exfil – TBD

Something cast a shadow over his table. He shoved the laptop cover down before glancing up.

More next time.

This week I also completed the seventth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of eighty-four so far, an increase of sixteen over the past week.

I’ve reached out to my newsletter subscribers to see if anyone would like their first name used for one of the characters. A few people responded, and I’ll be including them in the character cast as the story progresses.

Perhaps next time, I’ll provide a short snippet.

 

Books I’m Reading

I finished two novels this week, and was working on my reviews when a four-legged member of the family jumped up on the workspace and promptly decided the keyboard would be a good place for a snooze. Can’t blame it on the dog–we don’t have one! However, Tommy, the latest feline addition to our family, loves to push in front of me when I’m typing. Unfortunately, he wiped out my reviews, so I’ll provide them next time.

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 24, 2020

Happy Memorial Day weekend to those celebrating. While normally a time to honor military personnel who gave their lives while serving their country, this year, there are plenty of others who should be recognized for the unselfish acts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial start to summer. Whatever you have planned, stay safe!

Mother Nature’s helping hand over the past week has been a welcome gift, saving me plenty of time as I haven’t had to do as much watering. The new plants are taking root, and the ones which have been moved from one are to another are flourishing. Several plants are showing their colors as flower begin to pop out.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 24th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Jean-Paul Marat, French journalist and revolutionary (Friend of the People periodical); Cornelis Eliza van Koetsveld, Dutch writer and preacher; Kathleen Hale, British children book writer and illustrator (Orlando); Henri Michaux, Belgian-born French poet and writer (Miserable Miracle); Mikhail Sholokhov, Soviet writer (And Quiet Flows the Don, Nobel 1965); Zdeněk Blažek, Czech composer and music theorist (Verchovina); Michael Roberts, English historian; Guillermo Díaz-Plaja, Spanish literary and poet (Lorca); Louis Fornberg, writer; Marģeris Zariņš, Latvian composer and writer; George Tabori, Hungarian writer; William Trevor, Irish writer (Children of Dynmouth, Fools of Fortune); Arnold Wesker, British playwright (Bratkartoffeln Inbegriffen); Joseph Brodsky, Russian-American poet and writer (Less than One, Nobel 1987); and Michael Chabon, American novelist (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay).

Recognize anyone? This was another 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 Published Work

Three of my novels continue to participate in a May 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.

In addition, Colombian Betrayal is participating in two Kindle mystery, crime, suspense, and thriller sales promotions called Sleepless Mind, which runs through the end of May. 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 time permitted, I continued working on Xavier Sear: Angola. This week I finished chapter twenty-one and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Angola has now received 254 chapter reviews, an increase of sixteen 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:

Long after dark, when Sear believed the house was quiet, he slipped out the French doors and into the back garden. He crept around the house through the light of the quarter moon until he spotted what he expected.

Parked beyond the gates underneath a huge jacaranda tree sat a black GMC Yukon with blacked-out windows and black rims. The parking lights turned off and on. Sear chuckled. Real stealth.

“I thought you died.” A voice broke the stillness as a rear passenger door opened.

“As a very wise man once said, ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.’”

Sear climbed in the back of the Yukon and closed the door.

“In any case, it is great to see you.”

“Lisbon Station Chief—that’s quite a few rungs up the ladder from where we started.”

The station chief nodded. “They offered you Moscow, London, or Paris. It didn’t surprise me you rejected those assignments. I knew you wouldn’t accept Beijing when someone suggested the post. But you certainly went down a path I would not have expected.”

“Not my thing. You’re the diplomat. I’m a strategist who happens to be an excellent shot.”

“Did you just call me an ass kisser?”

More next time.

This week I also completed the fifth chapter of Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal. Reviews are coming in, with a total of fifty-seven so far, and increase of ten over the past week. I think I provided the synopsis before, but in case I didn’t or you missed it, here it is:

Relegated to a desk job at the Pentagon despite his last field mission being a success, Colonel Javier Smith submits his retirement papers. He moves forward with his plans to create a security and investigative agency called the Brusch Agency. The focus will be aiding international clientele.

AJ Bruce, who co-led the mission with Smith, finds herself rooted at CIA Headquarters. Although now in charge of the division responsible for tracking terrorist groups in Latin America, she misses the action from being in the field.

Meanwhile, Alberto Cabrera was one of four terrorists who survived Bruce and Smith’s mission. Also known as Abdul Rahman, he enlists the assistance of the others who escaped and vows to track down those who killed his friends and comrades.

As Javier and AJ grow closer together, will the future hold wedding bells or funerals? Hang onto your hats as the story unfolds.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read Georgina, the latest blockbuster from Blair Howard. Who killed sixteen-year-old Georgina all those years go, and why? Was it some type of random attack, or was it a lover’s quarrel? Every year on the anniversary of Georgina’s death, Captain Kate Gazzarra relives the anguish of not finding the killer. Will this year be different? Kate and her team want things to be different, and begin going through the case step-by-step.


Once again Blair has created an exciting plot with a fantastic twist. As always, the characters are realistic, and we learn more about their personal lives as well as how they perform on duty.  It’s easy to be right there with them as the investigation unfolds, and it won’t be long before you’ll be cheering the team on and jeering at the potential suspects.

The Kindle version will be released on May 31st, but the paperback is available now. Grab a copy and get stuck into another super story!


I also read Pipeline Killers by Lynn Nicholson, the second novel in his Detective Bernadette Callahan mystery series. Follow Bernadette as she’s involved in another terrifying threat to the world’s oil pipelines. What started as an investigation into a supposed industrial accident shows how some people will stop at nothing to support their goals, no matter how far-fetched or dangerous they might be. Will Bernadette be able to solve the mystery before it’s too late?

With another great plot and a larger-than-life Bernadette, follow along this fast-paced mystery as she works with Canadian and American authorities to find the key to the devastating destruction caused by something so small it can’t be seen by the naked eye. You’ll stay up late as you won’t want to miss a moment of the action!

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers (or soon-to-be) in the U.S. Canada Mexico, Australia New Zealand. A belated happy Mother’s Day to those in the UK and Ireland. Hope I haven’t let anyone out!  Enjoy your special day.

We finally had some decent rain last night. The ground really needed it as cracks were beginning to appear where things had dried out. We have a breeze coming from the north so the temperature is much colder than yesterday, with more rain in the forecast. At least I won’t have to get the hose and watering can out to take care of the plants I’ve moved around this week!

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 10th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann Peter Hebel, German writer (Allemannische Gedichte); Jacques-Nicolas-Augustin Thierry, historian; James Gordon Bennett Jr., American publisher; Benito Pérez Galdós, Spanish novelist (Episodios Nacionales); Jan Kalf, literary/art historian (Preservation of museums); Ivan Cankar, Slavs author (Hlapec Jernej-Njegova Pravica); Fritz von Unruh, German writer; Karl Barth, Swiss theologian/author (Action in Waiting); Olaf Stapleton, British religious sci-fi writer (Star Maker); Jacobus C Bloem, Dutch poet (Sintels); Ariel Durant, writer (Story of Civilization); Anatole Litvak, Russian-born American film director, writer and producer (Mayerling, Anastasia, The Snake Pit); Bel Kaufman, American author (Up the Down Staircase); Monica Dickens, British author and founder of the Samaritians in the US; Nayantara Sahgal, Indian author; Ettore Scola, Italian director and screenwriter (A Special Day); Barbara Taylor Bradford, author; Caroline Cooney, American author; Thomas Tessier, American author; on Ronson, British journalist and author; and John Scalzi, American writer.

Recognize anyone? The only name I was familiar with was Barbara Taylor Bradford. 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 May 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.

Continue reading “Randall’s Ramblings, May 10, 2020”

Randall's Ramblings

Meet The Author Gang

With the current situation keeping people from external pursuits, why not reach out and make some new friends through reading?

Author friends who write alone but come together from time to time to help each other and have fun.

Our stories will make you wonder, laugh, shake with fear or shed a few tears, but most of all, give you escape from the burdens of everyday life. Check out our books and find yourself whisked away to lands and places you’ve never been.

The Author Gang:

Erika M Szabo

https://www.authorerikamszabo.com

“The writing bug bit me on a rainy afternoon when I couldn’t find any new book to read. My daughter had enough of my moping around and snapped at me, “Mom, stop whining! If you haven’t a book to read, then write one.” Her challenge shocked me, but I started playing with the idea and I’ve been writing stories, that I like to read, ever since.”

Erika loves to dance to her own tunes and follow her dreams, introduces her story writing skills and her books that are based on creative imagination with themes such as alternate history, urban fantasy, cozy mystery, sweet romance and supernatural stories. Her children’s stories are informative, educational, and deliver moral values in a non-preachy way.

“I followed my dream to become a writer. As an artist, I paint pretty pictures with my brushes, and as a writer, I paint vivid pictures with my words.”

Cindy J. Smith

https://cindysvoices.blogspot.com/

I was taught if I couldn’t say anything nice don’t say anything. Since biting my tongue was painful and soap tasted bad, I developed voices arguing inside my head. When I found writing my thoughts brought me some silence, I took up the pen. It was not long before I realized poetry was much easier than full sentences and I could say exactly what was in my heart.

Strangely, I soon noticed I could put myself in other’s shoes and empathize with their viewpoint.

It was my daughter who encouraged me to share my poems. She believed they would help others cope…letting them know they were not alone in their thoughts.

I write now about every aspect of life in hopes someone may be touched and be encouraged to keep trying.

Christina Weigand

http://www.weigandchris.com/

A writer, wife, and mother of four grown children. She is also Nana to five granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania after a short sabbatical in the lovely state of Washington. She has three published YA Christian Fantasy novels; Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One, Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two and Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. She also has a woman’s Bible study Women of the Bible: A Study published. Recently the first two books in a MG Fantasy series were published, Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully and Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective with the remaining four to be published the near future. Through her writing she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

Darlene Deluca

https://www.darlenedeluca.com/

“Books . . . chocolate . . . tea. These are a few of my favorite things. Combine them with a sunny summer day, and perhaps a beach or pool, and call me happy!”

Deluca writes women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and mainstream fiction with romantic elements. She likes to explore relationships – what brings people together or keeps them apart. Her intent is to bring to life interesting characters that readers can relate to in real-life situations that combine a little fun, plenty of drama (with perhaps a tear or two), and big helpings of friendship, love and self-discovery, and will leave you either cheering or sighing with a satisfied smile as you turn the final page.

And just so you know . . . she likes a happy, or at least a positive, ending.

Alan Zacher

https://www.amazon.com/Alan-Zacher/e/B00APQXPEW

Author of private investigator mysteries, humorous occult fiction, fantasy adventure fiction, and short stories. After many years of being a “struggling” actor in LA, Alan turned to writing.

“My writing has always been for entertainment–to put a smile on someone’s face who might be having a bad day. I write, mostly, light-horror and murder/mystery. I like these two genres because of the freedom they give me to explore man’s inner emotions, feelings and emotions–but it must always have humor! We must always laugh; mostly at ourselves. I have had MS for serval years now; I know physical and mental pain; so I need much laughter to endure it. Hopefully, my novels do just that–give you much laughter.”

Carol Ann Kauffman

https://visionandverse.blogspot.com/

Carol Ann’s books range from short stories to full-length novels. Her novels are classified as romantic action adventures with a sci-fi/ fantasy twist, and mysteries. They’re about life, love, loss, and lunacy. She is a retired teacher. She has worked as a printer, managed a department store office, worked as an insurance agent, and in the hardware and automotive industries. She was a Red Cross volunteer.

Carol loves to travel; her favorite places being Italy, Aruba, and the American Southwest, which tend to show up in her novels.

“I also love to stay home. I get lost in my own little world, where I always have more than a few stories in progress. I grow orchids and African violets, and still like to play in the dirt!”

Suzi Albracht

https://www.amazon.com/Suzi-Albracht/e/B00PB1JNLK/

I am the author of Supernatural Horror Crime Thrillers and Paranormal Romance/Ghost novels. My characters have full, normal lives that get twisted into something horrific or intensely strange. Whether they become a ghost and discover a new, undead world to roam or find themselves in pursuit of a dangerous madman with connections to the dark underworld, I want my readers to feel their pain, their joy, their fear… with every right or wrong turn they take along the way.

While I humbly submit that my main influences are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and William Faulkner, my style leans closer to that of early Stephen King. My twitter bio describes me to a T – Write, scare myself, turn all the lights on, write some more. Take a break, play pool, kick butt/get butt kicked, go write more horror, double lock door.

You can find my books at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Randall Krzak

http://www.randallkrzak.com

A U.S. Army veteran and retired senior civil servant, spending thirty years in Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. His residency abroad qualifies him to build rich worlds in his action-adventure novels and short stories. Familiar with customs, laws, and social norms, he promotes these to create authentic characters and scenery.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and two master’s from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Randall and his Scottish wife, Sylvia, currently reside in Dunfermline, Scotland. His hobbies include hiking, reading, candle making, pyrography, and sightseeing.

Why did Randall become a writer? Someone suggested he give it a try, so Randall blames his friend. Randall ventured into fiction writing later in life, with his first novel being released at age 62. In just over three years, he’s published four novels. He enjoys reading and writing global thrillers and has three more underway.

Rebecca Tran

https://rtranbooks.net/

I am a mother, pharmacist and author. I love all things fantasy and sci-fi. Romance is always a welcome bonus. I have two little girls and I love dogs,I have two of those as well, a Boston Terrier and a Pittie mix. So technically some would say I have four kids. I am currently working on my blog as well as my romance and fantasy series. I am the ultimate nerd who can’t choose between Star Wars and Star Trek and thinks that Dr Who would figure out a way to beat all of them. I still read comic books and love watching anime. We can talk for hours if you know who Kirito, Naruto, or Goku are. If you’d like to read my blog or know more about me or my books, please check out my website.

A.L. Butcher

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

L.L. Thomsen

https://llthomsen.com/

Pick up one of L. L. Thomsen’s high fantasy books and you get treated to an explosion of immersive prose, complicated characters, mystery and plots. Her main world, Dallancea, is home to nine realms and a wealth of races – some known, some entirely new. You do not have to be familiar with fantasy to enjoy the books, but those who are will recognise her zest to spin you an epic tale of complexity and to explore her characters to the core.

“I invented my first character when I was around five years old,” L. L. laughs, “they lived in my head and took me on adventures at bedtime after ‘lights out’. These days I allow them onto paper. There’s not enough space in my head anymore.”

L. L. currently lives with her family + two cats and a dog, in the back-of-beyond near the Sherwood Forrest, U.K.

PJ Mann

https://pjmannauthor.com/

My name is Paula and I write novels. I live with my husband and a rabbit. I work as an engineering geologist at a construction firm in Finland, and only in my spare time, I sit down at my desk writing stories. You can consider me a sort of wandering writer, and I try, as much as possible, to be on the move. My stories are strongly influenced by what I experience and see during my travels around the world. I am a multi-genre author, but the red wire of my novels is the suspense/drama.

I love to walk in nature with my camera; photography is another of my passions. I believe it’s very closely connected to writing novels as every image tells a story, for those who stop to listen.

 

R.M. Garino

https://www.rmgarino.com/

How now, folks. I’m R.M. Garino, the author of the Chaos of Souls Series. Ever wish you could bring your D&D characters to life? Well, that’s exactly what we did. Although the overarching story of angels and demons is much older, our two main characters were fleshed out from a D&D game my wife and I played with friends ages ago. They’re introduced, along with their misfit squads, in The Gates of Golorath, and their adventures continue throughout the series. We’ve also released a standalone series, the Chaos of Souls Novellas, which capture separate side stories that enrich the main series. Requiem’s Reach is the first volume, and we continue from there. If you’re looking for a thoughtful, somewhat irreverent fantasy that puts the stories and character first, then come on over and give us a read.

 

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 5, 2020

I hope this update finds you and yours in good health and in a safe place. If you’re a medical professional, a first responder, or just helping others in this serious time of need, I salute and thank you.  Many thanks!

I had a bit of a laugh on Saturday when I happened to look out our home office window and spotted three of our cats. They were practicing their version of social distancing, each about three feet apart.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

From left to right, meet Flora, Tommy, and Charlie. Flora came to us in December 2014, the day before she was to be euthanized. Charlie joined us during a heavy Michigan snowstorm in late January 2015, while Tommy appeared during another storm in January 2017. Without our intervention, none of them would have survived. In the meantime, they use their rain shelters as a place to sun themselves–at least when the sun appears.

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

Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher (Leviathan); Sydney Thompson Dobell, English poet; Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet (Atalanta in Calydon); Chester Bowles, American ambassador and writer (Conscience of a Liberal); Robert Bloch, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Psycho); Arthur Hailey, English novelist (Hotel, Airport); Hugo Claus, Belgian writer (Cool Lover, Sugar); and Ann Maxwell, American sci-fi author (Jaws of Menx).

Recognize anyone? The only one I’ve heard of is Hobbes. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

Colombian Betrayal will be heading out on a blog tour beginning on April 6th at 6 a.m. EST, sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours.

https://www.bewitchingbooktours.biz/2020/04/now-on-tour-colombian-betrayal-by.html

My novel will also be participating in three Bookfunnel promotions during April. If you’re interested in checking them out and perhaps finding new authors to read, here’s the schedule. The links won’t be active until the first day of each giveaway. I’d greatly you forward these to anyone you think might be interested.

The links will go active on the first day of the promotions.

April 7th-30th:

https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/a3k53rc4a2

April 10th-17th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/assassins-kill-kill-kill/qjgu8z6ymr

April 11th-26th:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/2nd-quarter-mystery/tvyvcj2sx6

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter fourteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 143 chapter reviews, an increase of fourteen in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s another snippet:

The faint sound of a tingling bell came from João’s computer. He sat deep in thought, hands behind his head, as he proofread the draft of a document. The sound registered a second time. He glanced at the screen, aggravated by the distraction. The Skype icon continued to pulse. He moved the mouse, not wanting to accept the call.

He clicked the small powder blue symbol.

The out of focus face of a black man popped up on the screen. “Major Regaleira?”

The man used a voice so soft João almost didn’t catch it.

“Can you hear me?”

João turned up the volume on his speakers. “Hello. Who is calling?”

“Can’t you see me?”

“A silhouette—nothing more. Turn to face the light.” João became more annoyed by the second.

The image began to pitch and shift. The dizzying effect diminished as the man lifted and turned the laptop. “Now?”

João smiled as the face of his old friend Theo Mwanga came into focus.

“Theo! How are you, old man?”

“I’m in need of help.” Worry lines crisscrossed Theo’s face, and his voice carried a slight tremor. “Did you receive my message?”

He knows I received his email, as I sent a response. He sighed. Anyone João knew in power had retired long ago. He now represented business and cultural initiatives. Diplomatic concerns remained far outside his jurisdiction.

“I am sorry not to be of any help. Any word about Peter?”

“The Congolese Marxist, Jonah Masudi, took him. He’s using his so-called rebellion to murder, rape and extort from the people in Congo and Angola. Our troops are too few and too spread out to be effective. His people know where we are at any given time. He strikes at will.”

As João stared into the eyes of this former enemy, he saw a tired and defeated old man. His mind drifted into the past as his friend spoke.

More 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, March 22, 2020

I’d like to start today’s post with a resounding THANK YOU! to all those dealing with the coronavirus, from the medical professionals to those ensuring we have sufficient food and necessary supplies available, and everyone in between. We’ve had several neighbors offer to give us a hand if we need something during this trying time. Thank you!

It’s another crisp and sunny start to the day, so it’s a good time to continue working in the flower beds and getting them prepared. Plenty to do, but we’ll also take time to enjoy a coffee and tea on our new porch, which is an excellent morning suntrap.

On to better things. Who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 22nd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Antonio Francesco Grazzini, Italian writer; Edward Moore, English writer; Heinrich D Zschokke, Swiss author (Das Goldmacherdorf); Theodor Birt, [Beatus Rhenanus], German classical/writer; Arnold Sauwen, Flemish poet (Along the Meuse); Ellen Glasgow, novelist; Giulia D De Albertis, writer; Ellin Berlin, [MacKay], Mrs Irving Berlin, writer (Lace Curtain); Jochen Klepper, writer; Phyllis McGinley, poet; Albrecht Goes, German writer and theologian; Louis D L’Amour, American best-selling author (Hondo, Jubal Sackett); Gabrielle Roy, French-Canadian novelist (Tin Flute); Nicholas Monsarrat, English novelist (The Cruel Sea); Georgiy Zhzhonov, Russian actor and writer (The Secret Agent’s Blunder); Charles Pick, British publisher (William Heinemann); Al Neuharth, newspaper founder (USA Today); Paul Fussell, American historian (The Great War and Modern Memory); Igor Hajek, translator/writer; William Shatner, Canadian author, director and actor (Star Trek, T J Hooker); Billy Collins, American poet; Rudy/Rudolf [von Bittner] Rucker, American sci-fi author (Wetware); James Patterson, American author (Alex Cross, Witch and Wizard)

Recognize anyone? I spotted three very familiar names: Louis D L’Amour, William Shatner (although I know him for Star Trek, not as a writer), and James Patterson. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

New Release!

I mentioned last week the release of Colombian Betrayal, the first novel in my Bruce & Smith thriller series.

To celebrate its release, I’ve teamed with other thriller authors to bring you a bevy of reading material. Some authors you might recognize, while others could very well be new to you.

To find out more, click on BookFunnel and explore the options available! I hope you find something of interest!

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter tweleve posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 103 chapter reviews, an increase of eighteen in the past week. Plenty of good advice from my faithful reviewers to provide as good a story for you as possible.

Here’s the another snippet from Angola:

João enjoyed a meandering stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the Alfama district of Lisbon, winding his way through small plazas and dozens of four-to-five table restaurants. The aroma of cooking meat and spices aroused his appetite. The music of Fado singers intertwined with excited voices in numerous languages created a carnival-like atmosphere.

He entered the ground floor of Casa do Alentejo, a restaurant housed in a Moorish-style palace not far from Rossio Square. Still a bit early for his rendezvous with Catarina, he browsed in the attached gift shop selling handicrafts, searching for a small gift.

As he glanced up from a table laden with colorful scented candles, he spotted a man with African features staring at him. When João took a step forward, the man rushed out of the shop and disappeared.

He purchased two cranberry-scented candles and hurried to the second floor of the building and into the restaurant. With wood-paneled walls, Casa do Alentejo offered fine dining for its guests.

Catarina was seated at their usual table.

João kissed her cheek and took a chair opposite. A guitarist approached, providing a romantic backdrop to the setting as he gently strummed love songs.

“I’m famished, so I ordered tuna steaks for both of us.” Catarina gave João a heart-melting smile. “Since they stock your family’s wine, I left it to the waiter to choose a special one for tonight.

“Thank you, Catarina. Sorry, I’m late. I wandered through the area and lost track of time.” He held out a blue box tied with a green ribbon. “For you, my darling.”

She opened the box and clapped her hands. “My favorite scent. Shall we ask the waiter to light one of them?”

“Of course.” João snapped his fingers, and a waiter rushed to his side.

“Senhor, I shall take care of this for you.” He pulled a lighter from his pocket, and after two attempts, a glow came from the candle as the light cranberry scent filled the air.

“I spoke with Sear this morning.” João grinned. “He agreed to be my best man—again.”

“Fantastic! I know he’s one of your best friends, even if you don’t keep in regular contact.”

“Just the way I am.” João shrugged. “But, he knows I’m always here if he needs my help—and vice versa.”

The waiter set plates of seared tuna steaks and seasonal vegetables in front of them. He popped the cork out of a bottle of white wine and poured a sample for João to taste.

A sniff, a twirl around the glass, and João held it toward the light before taking a careful sip. João smacked his lips as he enjoyed the perfect blend of plums and other dark fruits. “Perfect.”

* * *

After a delightful meal, they exited the restaurant arm-in-arm.

Two men approached, stopping them. One brandished a knife and spoke in accented Portuguese. “Give me your wallet.”

Catarina’s eyes grew wide. “Give them what they want.”

João pushed her behind him and stepped forward. “No. Get out of our way.”

The man lunged, the blade aimed toward his chest.

João parried the thrust and reached for the man’s arm. With a deft twist, he brought the attacker’s arm across his leg and bent the assailant’s wrist until something snapped.

Howling with pain, the coward fled.

Meanwhile, the second man circled behind Catarina and grabbed her.

She dug her elbow into his side and stomped her high-heeled shoe into his sneaker.

He released his grip. An evil grin etched his face as he waved his knife toward her face.

Bang!

The shot echoed off the nearby buildings.

João leveled his SIG Sauer P228 at Catarina’s attacker. “Leave her, or I won’t miss.”

Another snippet next time.

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

The Other Side Series -Author A.A. Schenna

The Other Side Series – No More Chances.

The moment of truth We have to try every day to become better human beings. We shouldn’t fear death but whatever happens after the moment we die.

What will this mean for you? Grab a copy now and find out. Just click on the photo to head to Amazon.

Author A. A. Schenna brings you a wide range of stories to help take your mind off day-to-day events.

As a child, A.A dreamed of being a cardiac surgeon. Later, Schenna realized that this was not what he wanted. Writing has always been his greatest pleasure. When he doesn’t write action, adventure, horror stories or anything else, he reads everything. admires all the writers he comes across and enjoys talking about books and magazines. A.A also loves meeting new people, discovering new places and he also likes traveling along with his partner and family.

Trapped in Timelessness, Lake’s Curse, The Alphas, Limitless Love Collection, On the Sixth Floor, Fear the Darkness, What She Needs and other, intriguing stories are available through the Solstice Publishing website.

Social Media Links

Website: www.aaschenna.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AA-Schenna/701740166542505?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ASchenna

Trapped in Timelessness

“When Brittany saw the beast running toward his side, she started screaming.” The chemistry teacher couldn’t stand staring at the nasty, bloody creature. She was only interested in her beloved partner, her Bruce.

The moment the four teenagers heard the mysterious man’s confession, they were ready to give up. For a while, the silence made their minds walk on the paths of the past. If only they knew the way to go back home.

The carefree stroll in the woods managed to trap them in timelessness. The four students along with their teachers would have to deal with an absurd fate.

The red scorpions, the large eagles, the nasty bats, and the bloody creatures were determined to haunt them forever. The moment they came across the craziest adventure of their lives, they would have to struggle to survive.

Trapped in Timelessness: Lake’s Curse

Green Lake was a beautiful place any time of year. A beautiful place where ten people disappeared every century at the end of a muddy rope.


On the verge of graduation, Nick and Leona knew nothing of this. It wasn’t until the nightmare came for them that the curse became real, and their futures changed far beyond what they could ever have dreamed.

The Alphas

The black angels have come, destroying the world to remake it in their own image. Some humans will survive, even overcome. As their world burns, they will rise from the ashes.

Trapped in Timelessness: Fallen Angels

The black angels have come, destroying the world to remake it in their own image. Some humans will survive, even overcome. As their world burns, they will rise from the ashes.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved