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