Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 27, 2020

As another months rolls toward the end, leaves are changing color and growth spurts from plants and the lawn are slowing down. Chilly evenings are upon us, with heavy dew most mornings.

At least we’ve gone from rainy August to a more settled September. As Mother Nature continues her never-ending cycle, we’re once again reminded of the miracles which abound around us. Try to take time to enjoy the wonders–you’ll be glad you did.

Do you know who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 27th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Galle, Flemish engraver and printer; Jacques-Benigne bossuet, French bishop and writer (Louis XIV court preacher); Michael Denis, Austrian poet, bibliographer and lepidopterist; Maria Versfelt [Ida Saint-Elme], Dutch writer, stage actress, and mistress (General Moreau & Marshal Ney); Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer (Grains de Mil); Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer (Grains de Mil); Alexander Cohen, Dutch anarchist and author; Tryggve Andersen, Norwegian writer (Fra Cancelliraadens Dage; Grazia Deledda, Italian author (Nobel 1926); Cyril Scott, English composer and author (Heroic Suite); Joannes Cornelissen, Dutch historian (Hooft & Tacitus); Vjekoslav Kaleb, Croatian writer (Splendor of the Fabric); William Empson, English poet and critic (Milton’s God); Jim Thompson, American author (The Killer Inside Me); Giles Playfair, English writer; Louis Auchincloss, Lawrence NY, lawyer/novelist (Watchfires); Bernard Waber, American author; Josef Skvorecky, Czechoslovakia, writer and publisher (End of the Nylon Age, The Cowards); Dick Schaap, sportscaster/author (Bo Knows Bo, Instant Replay); Carol Lynn Pearson, American poet and writer; Kay Ryan, American poet (Hide and Seek); and Irvine Welsh, Scottish writer.

Anyone familiar to you? I didn’t spot any names I know. 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

I found out this week Carnage in Singapore was selected as one of six First in Category winners in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Global Thrillers category.  What an honor and needless to say, I’m thrilled!

If you’d like to check out the  First in Category winners and the Grand Prize winners for all of the categories , head to: Chanticleer.

So what is Carnage in Singapore about?

Terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah have flourished in recent years with new recruits joining them and ISIS-affiliates at an alarming rate. Blended operations by various Asian countries have forced the groups to work together to identify a new operational base.

They seek an island nation to call home, one where they can plot against countries who oppose their ideals. They found a target, a small nation-state, perfect for their needs: The Republic of Singapore.

Before anyone can respond, the ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain, and Australia are kidnapped from their residences in Singapore. Right index fingers of each victim are sent as a warning. Any attempt to recover the ambassadors will result in the removal of additional body parts.

Bedlam Charlie team leader, Evelyn Evinrude, leads the group to rescue the ambassadors and capture the local leaders of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Can Bedlam succeed or will events escalate, resulting in more deaths?

My Work in Progress

This week, I’ve spent most of my writing time with editing. However, the next manuscript I’m concentrating on writing is Revenge, the sequel to Colombian Betrayal.

I’ve only finished the first ten chapters so far, but they’ve received 169 reviews on the two subscription writing sites I use. Plenty of support as I continue my writing journey!

In case you missed an earlier posting of the synopsis, here you go:

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.

Next time, I’ll begin including snippets.

That’s all for this week as I didn’t get a chance to write down my thoughts about recent books I read. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 31, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

My Published Work

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

Here’s another snippet:

Here we go. Sear gestured for Vincent to continue.

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

“How grateful?”

“Enough to let you retire.”

“We?”

“You know how it is. Enough said.”

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

“That’s all I can hope for.”

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

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

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

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

More next time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps a bit more next time.

Books I’m Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 19, 2019

First of all, I’d like to tip my hat to all those in the medical profession, first responders, and everyone involved in making life as normal as possible for the rest of us. THANK YOU!

I’d also like to extend a special note of appreciation to ninety-nine-year-old British Army Captain Tom Moore. He set out a couple of weeks ago to cover 100 laps of his back yard (garden) in the hopes of raising £1,000 for the National Health Service.  He’s raised a staggering amount–at last check, the total is approaching £25.5 million! Well done, Captain Tom!

The weather hasn’t been too bad this week, except a bit chilly when the wind blows. We’ve taken advantage of the weather to do some much-needed pruning. One of the areas we hadn’t tackled yet since moving into the house was the clematis climbers, some of which are fifteen feet or so off the ground.  Armed with pruning sheers and attacking the myriad strands as if it was a jigsaw puzzle, most of the dead material has been removed. It’ll still take another day or so to get rid of the rest of the old stuff and tie the new/newer shoots into place. It’ll look fantastic when they’re in bloom!

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

Jacques Lelong, French bibliographer; Francisco Albergati Capacelli, Italian writer and playwright; David Ricardo, English economist (On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation); Louis Amédée Achard, French novelist (The Cloak and Dagger); Edward Vermeulen, Flemish writer; Ricardo Bacchelli, Italian playwright and poet (La Ronda); Richard Hughes, English writer (Fiction as Truth); Walter Stewart, Canadian writer and journalist; and Steven H. Silver, American sci-fi editor.

Recognize anyone? I drew a blank this week. 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’s online book tour is still ongoing until the end of the month, sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours. Why not stop by and learn a bit more about me?

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

My novel continues to participate in two Bookfunnel. 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.

April 7th-30th:

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

April 11th-26th:

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

 

As of January 26th, Carnage in Singapore became a semi-finalist in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBAs) in their Global Thrillers category. With the coronavirus outbreak, the completion of the 2019 competition has been delayed.  Chanticleer just announced a new level in the competition has been added. The judges requested a new level of achievement to be added to the rounds to acknowledge the entries that they deemed should receive a high level of recognition.

The 2019 CIBA Finalists for each division will be announced over the next few weeks. The CIBA First Place Category Winners, Division Grand Prize Winners, and Overall Grand Prize Winner will be determined from the CIBA Finalists and announced on September 5, 2020 at the CIBA Banquet and Ceremony scheduled for Sept. 5, 2020 during CAC20.

Once I know how Carnage in Singapore fared in the finalist round against the other twelve novels in the Global Thrillers category, I’ll share the information.

My Work in Progress

When I’m not working on marketing/promoting Colombian Betrayal, or working on my newsletter,  I’m continuing to move forward with my next novel, Xavier Sear: Angola. This week, chapter sixteen posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Although only posted for a short time, Angola has now received 175 chapter reviews, an increase of fifteen 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’ll provide another snippet next time.

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Lion on Fire by Ted Galdi. This is an exciting thriller and shows how things can go wrong despite the best of intentions. College grad Brian, a clean-cut man who tries to help his younger brother out of a jam. Before long, Brian’s up to his ears in trouble as he runs into the Russian mafia. Will he be able to hold them off long enough to help his brother, or will the plan he’s worked out with his friend Dusty result in a bitter end?

Ted’s created a superb plot with realistic characters. Through in a twist here and there and you’ll be burning the proverbial midnight oil as you continue turning the pages as you’ll want to find out what happens next. This is the first of Ted’s books I’ve read, and 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 2020 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

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