Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 8, 2019

Today, I’d like to begin by letting you know about a new release by author K.C. Sprayberry:

Winter Holidays

Brad only wants to protect those flying from one place to another, to make up for not being able to protect his wife and daughter. They were on the first aircraft to strike the twin towers on 9/11. Cali seems to have it all—her most recent book gave her the celebrity status she once thought was so important but nothing can penetrate the grief she feels after losing her husband. Dex, the guy in high school that scored more than any other guy, seeks vengeance for all that’s gone wrong in his life.

Three individuals living life alone while the world whirls around them. Can they overcome their pasts and see a better future?

Blurb

Memories of the past and present take Cali Hinton on a special journey of discovery. She needs to release the past and reconcile with the present.

Dex Marino sees a woman and remembers her as a teenager. He has plans to renew their relationship, even if she isn’t willing.

Brad Mason still grieves the loss of his wife and child on 9/11. After meeting Cali, he learns how to release the sadness.

The holidays often bring the saddest of memories. Can Cali stop a predator from her past and prove her worth to her family? Will Dex understand the girl he nearly destroyed can no longer be conquered? Will Brad discover the magic of this special woman?

They Feel Alone

eBook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0826VTQDX/

Print Book: https://www.amazon.com/They-Feel-Alone-K-C-Sprayberry/dp/1711752835

Excerpt

Brad Mason felt the gut punch of reality as he passed a store advertising the perfume his wife had loved. He inhaled the scent, a mixture of wildflowers and the ocean, and shivered from head to toe. More than eighteen long years had passed since two passenger jets had toppled New York City’s twin towers but he was unable to move past the grief and longing that beset him whenever important holidays came around.

Someday. I’ll be able to move past this one day.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/LU30NTZXlVU 

About K.C. Sprayberry

1b. love what you're doing

“I have a secret… a very special secret. Perhaps you’ve heard this one before… from the time I was a child, I wanted to write stories for people to read. “ K.C. Sprayberry

Former California native, K.C. Sprayberry traveled the U.S. and Europe before finally settling in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. She’s been married to her soulmate for more than a quarter of a century and they enjoy spoiling their grandchildren along with many other activities.

Inspiration strikes at the weirdest times and drives her to grab notebook and pen to jot down her ideas. Those close to her swear nothing or no one is safe if she’s smiling gently in a corner and watching those in the same room interact. Her observations have often given her ideas for her next story, set not only in the South but wherever the characters demand they settle.

Social Media

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorKCSprayberry/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog:

http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/collection/playlists

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

AUTHORSdB:

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

MeWe:

https://mewe.com/join/kcsprayberryauthor

Website:

http://www.authorkcsprayberry.com/

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGGHaiNhvTSsb6bXddR59iw

Authorgraph:

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Email:

kcspray01@gmail.com

My Work in Progress

Whenever I need a break from editing A Cartel’s Revenge, I continue to work on Ultimate Escalation. The first four chapters have received forty-seven reviews on the two online subscription writing sites I use. Excellent suggestions as always to enhance my stories.

For those who enjoy the twists and turns I include in my novels, there will be more appearing in this one.

It’s with a heavy heart I announce my collaborative effort with author Michael Maxwell on Xavier Sear: Angola has changed due to circumstances beyond our control. Therefore, Michael has asked me to continue on with the story, which I shall do, ensuring he is recognized for the humorous comradery and sound guidance he has shown, not to mention his inspiration for the creation of Xavier Sear.

Angola coverI finished the synopsis last night, which Michael has seen and blessed:

Joao and Caterina Regaleria’s twentieth wedding anniversary celebration was fast approaching when a contact from the past reaches out for his assistance.

Colonel Theodore Mwelewe, a former enemy commander during the Angolan war and now an important politician, requests Joao’s help. The colonel’s adult son, Peter, was kidnapped while working as a doctor for the Christian Aid Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Reluctant to get involved, Joao contacts Xavier Sear, a former CIA operative. They became friends when Joao served as a member of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces in Angola and Sear was an observer.

After Caterina’s persuasive intervention, Joao and Sear head to the DRC to rescue Peter. Treachery abounds at each step of the way. Will they be successful or will the situation deteriorate even further?

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished John L. DeBoer’s Skeleton Run. It’s an exciting story filled with realistic characters and enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning by themselves.

What happened to four teenagers in the past ends up haunting them in their prime of life. Who will out in this struggle between doing what’s right and what organized crime desires? Or will someone sell their soul? I don’t like to spoil anything, so I won’t go further except to say John created an excellent plot which will keep you up late at night. An excellent read and I can’t wait to read more of John’s work.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 17, 2019

We noticed the two hedgehog houses we provided for our wildlife friends last year are now occupied. Some straw has been dragged out and replaced with leaves we piled near the structures for their use. We put two containers with hedgehog food and another with water in close proximity. Our cats don’t like this food, so we’re fairly confident the hedgehogs are still grazing during the evening.

Since we’ve seen three hedgehogs at the same occasion during the summer, we decided to purchase another home, as the ‘hogs’ appear to like solitary residences. The new house is ready, in what we’re now referring to as ‘The Village.’

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

Johan van Beverwijck, Dutch physician/writer (Treasure of Health); George Grote, British historian (History of Greece); Petko Slavejkov, Bulgarian writer; Crane Wilbur, American director and writer (Bat, Canon City, Yellow Cargo); Gregorio López y Fuentes, Mexican author; Roger Vitrac, French poet/dramatist (Coup of Trafalgar); Salomėja Nėris [Salomėja Bačinskaitė – Bučienė], Lithuanian poet; Wazyk, [Adam Wagman], Polish poet/author (Eyes & Mouth); Dahlia Ravikovitch, Israeli poet;  Auberon Waugh, British author; Lorne Michaels [Lipowitz], Canadian producer, actor and comedy writer (Saturday Night Live); Steven E. de Souza, American scriptwriter; Mark “Chopper” Read, Australian criminal and crime author (Chopper: From the Inside); and Christopher Paolini, American novelist.

Were any names familiar to you? None stood out 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 Work in Progress

1541181671I began editing A Cartel’s Revenge this week, taking advantage of the many chapter reviews posted on the two subscription writing sites I use. The number of reviews increased during the past week by thirty-three, reading 555. I’ll keep the later chapters posted for now, but the earlier ones will be deleted from the sites as I select suggestions I want to use.

Over the next few days, I’ll begin looking for another photo to use as the cover. Once I have picked a number of pictures, I’ll solicit input from my reviews on what they think is top five to use–my publisher will make the final selection.

Here’s another snippet from A Cartel’s Revenge:

Días helped himself to a cerveza and directed the men to the seating area. Once everyone settled into the plush leather sofas, chitchat ceased.

“Alberto, when we met last month, you mentioned working as a recruiter for an organization wanting an out-of-the-way place to train new personnel.”

“Si. My—our organization has a special mission. We must convert everyone to the one true religion.”

“Weren’t you raised Catholic?”

“Yes.” Alberto raised a finger in the air. “But no longer. My new brothers call me Abdul.”

“And what about you, Michael?”

“I grew up in the Church of England. Disillusioned, I studied several religions until I settled on Islam. Now I go by Mahmood.”

“If you don’t mind, while you’re in Colombia I’ll keep referring to you as Alberto and Michael.”

“No problem.” Alberto pointed at Michael. “We use our original names for traveling—makes it easier to cross borders.”

“During our training in al-Raqqah, our instructors singled us out,” Michael paused before whispering. “As non-Arab members of the Islamic State, we’re able to move about easier than our Middle Eastern brethren.”

“What do you hope to achieve in Colombia?” Días switched his gaze between the two men.

“We want to establish a foothold so we can train recruits.” Michael stroked his reddish-brown beard. “These men will be from various countries. Once they arrive in Colombia, I’ll be their commander. After their training, their Western features will allow them to infiltrate America with ease.”

***

“When will you require the camp?”

“In about two weeks.” Alberto deferred to Michael, who gave a slight shrug and took over.

“What about payment? We can handle this via bearer bonds, diamonds, gold, or electronic transfer through a dummy corporation.”

Días gave them an evil smile. “Money isn’t necessary. But, I’ll ask a favor for my help. Once your men are trained, I want their assistance in taking over a drug cartel.”

He paused before voicing his desire. “I also want them to capture or kill the cartel’s leader: Olivia Perfecta Moreno.”

More next time.

While I was working on this manuscript, I was also tinkering with the opening chapters 1539535798of the fourth novel in my Bedlam series, Ultimate Escalation. Three chapters were posted to the two subscription writing sites, and I received forty-four very helpful reviews.

I’ve started editing these chapters and once I finish, I’ll begin posting the revisions and continuing to work on this story.

In case you missed it in a previous post or would like a refresher, here’s the synopsis:

Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandr Nikolai, a disgraced Spetsnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

Books I’m Reading

I recently read The Fulcrum, the first novel in JC Ryan’s Rex Dalton Thriller series. Rex’s life is turned upside down when quite by chance he escaped a horrible terrorist attack in Madrid. Despite a loving girlfriend, the loss of his family is too much for him. He pushes his girlfriend aside as he searches for a way to avenge their deaths.

With a riveting plot and larger-than-life characters, JC takes readers on a whirlwind tour of exotic locations. But first, we find out how Rex will carry out his plan. The story is well-written and you’ll find it hard to put down. I don’t like to spoil stories for others, so you’ll have to get a copy, but this is a fantastic story. I’ve already become a fan of JC’s work and will definitely be continuing to read more!

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 22, 2018

We took a cruise to the island of Inchcolm on Friday. Armed with a picnic lunch, we landed on the island and wandered around before finding an unoccupied table. 100_4732.JPGWith clear blue skies and moderate temperatures, it was a great day out. Originally inhabited by a hermit  and his cow, Alexander I sheltered on the island during a storm in 1123. Alexander I promised to build a monastery on the island but passed away the following year. However, his brother, David I, kept the promise. For more details, please check out the following link: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/inchcolm-abbey/history/

We took advantage of the last evening trip of the season on the Maid of the Forth, this time a cabaret cruise, complete with champagne and canapes. With a cloudless sky and a slight breeze it was a grand evening, with music from the ’50s to today. The biggest surprise was sailing as close as a police boat allowed (about 300 meters) from the recently launched HMS Prince of Wales, Britain’s newest aircraft carrier, which as assembled in the nearby port of Rosyth. The ship entered the waters of the Firth of Forth for the first time on Thursday and will begin sea trials soon, so it was a great experience!

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

Bilbo Baggins, Fictional main character of J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit (in Shire Reckoning); Philipp Nikodemus Frischlin, German philologist and poet; Barthold Heinrich Brockes, German poet; Lord Chesterfield, letter writer; introduced Gregorian calendar; John Home, Scottish writer; Quintin Craufurd, British author; Theodore Edward Hook, English author; Louis Van Deyssel, writer (Small Republic, One Love); Babette Deutsch, American poet (Animal vegetable mineral); F R Boschvogel, [French LJ Ramon], Flemish writer (War of Worlds); Phyllis Hartnoll, writer/editor; Dannie Abse, Welsh poet and writer; Rosamunde Pilcher, English novelist (The Shell Seekers); Robert Morace, American writer; Jim Keith, American conspiracy theorist and author; Geoff Gilpin, American author; and Diogo Mainardi, Brazilian writer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit, I didn’t know most of this group. 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

39375-270The photo to the left of my three novels is compliments of AllAuthor’s new Magic Tool, released on September 20th. There are loads of options available, but I went with this one, which I shared on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  As I continue to spread the word about my stories, I’ll be using additional options.

 

 

My Work in Progress

Writing continued on A Cartel’s Revenge this week with the completion of chapter thirty. 1541181671As always, it’s now posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. The chapter review count continues to increase, now standing at 407, an increase of  thirteen in the past week. As always, plenty of good advice to help me improve my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

One of the guards inched the door open, and Ramon slid inside. Pedro lay on the bed groaning, blood spread across his face, the pillowcase, and splattered upon the blanket and the wall. Stench from the blood permeated the air.

Ramon held his breath and knelt to check for a pulse—weak and irregular. “Call for an ambulance—he’s alive!” A quick check revealed no other injuries.

Pedro struggled to sit. His face screwed in agony, he gasped and collapsed onto the sheets.

Ramon took in a sharp breath. Unfortunate he lives—but for how long? Ramon pointed to one of the guards. “Stay with him. Did you find the girls—where are they?”

The two guards remained silent. Ramon shoved them aside and rushed to Maria’s room, cursing under his breath.

Yanking a pistol from its holster, he eased the unlocked door open. In the middle of the tile floor, a pool of blood created a Rorschach pattern. He glanced around. No Maria, no body. Where is she?

As he scanned the room, a quiet whimper emanated from one of the walk-in closets. Ramon motioned with his weapon for a guard to enter the room and approach the closet. In position, he gestured for the man to open the door.

On the floor, a child lay curled in a ball. Tears trickled down her cheeks.

Ramon’s eyes ran along the rack of clothes before kneeling. He spoke in a soft voice, “Maria, it’s me, Ramon. You’re safe now. Please, come out.”

“I-I’m afraid.”

“Maria, no one will hurt you. I won’t allow any harm to come to you.”

A tiny hand appeared, clasping the edge of the doorframe. From within, eyes filled with fright peered at Ramon.

“Ramon!” Maria jumped up and lunged at him, grasping his legs as she burst into tears.

“Shhh. You’re safe now.” He examined her for injuries before patting her on the shoulder. “Tell me what happened.”

“I-I, heard a loud bang, like shooting but louder than Mamá’s gun. The noise woke me. Someone stood in my room, staring at me. A man—he wore an evil mask. He held a coatimundi and slit its throat. I screamed, and he ran, taking the raccoon with him.”

“Okay, Maria. Stay with the guard. I must check on Silvina.” He signaled for a female guard to remain behind. He raised his hand, beckoning the other two to follow.

In Silvina’s room, they found a similar pool of blood on the floor. Silvina sat on her bed, a tennis racket in her hand, the other end balanced on her knee. She scooted off the bed and raced to Ramon when she spotted him.

“Ramon, a bad man came into my room. He killed a coati and let the blood seep out. I hit him with my racket. Twice. He ran out.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished the third novel of the Four Seasons series, Into Winter: The Armed Invasion, by Larry Landgraf. With Sandra Hawkins, the ruthless leader of Corpus Christi out for revenge, those living in Peaceful Valley prepare for an onslaught. Larry has cranked up the tension in this novel, as we follow Robbie and Sean, as well as the other residents of Peaceful Valley as they take the war to Sandra.

With a superb plot and plenty of action, those seeking an outstanding thriller have come to the right place. I kept rooting for Robbie and Sean’s success, staying up late as it was so hard to put this one down. Look forward to the series finale!

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 7, 2019

The weather continued to be decent this past week, so outdoor chores were the primary focus. The builder completed stage one in the back yard, and it looks fantastic.  I also continued painting the fences, and things are coming together. We also shifted some plants around. One area is now covered primarily with rhodedenrons, while another is filled with lupins. Still plenty more to do.

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

Albert Vandal, French earl/historian (Le Pacha Bonneval); Ludwig Ganghofer, German writer; Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer; Robert A[nson] Heinlein, American sci-fi author (4 Hugos, Red Planet); Helene Johnson, American Harlem Renaissance poet; Harriette Arnow, novelist (Dollmaker); Margaret Walker Alexander, poet/novelist (For My People); Yvonne Mitchell, writer (Johnny Nobody, Genghis Khan); Reinhard Baumgart, German writer and critic; Hasan Abidi, Pakistani journalist and poet; David Eddings, American sci-fi author (Belgariad, Malloreon); Howard Rheingold, American author; Jason R. Rich, American writer (Celebrity Teen Talk); and Jeff VanderMeer, American writer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit, there weren’t many recognizable names 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!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour began on June 25th as scheduled. During the first week, I picked up over eighty new followers and one hundred twenty-eight people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. At one point, The Kurdish Connection was #23 for terrorism thrillers in Australia and 888 in the U.S.

If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet:

Noah exited the elevator and located Koh’s home. He unlocked the door and whistled at the luxurious decor. “Wonder how Koh made enough money for this place.”

He walked through the apartment, the straps of his backpack thrown over a shoulder. A mixture of taupe, mauve, peach, cream, gray, muted blues, and purples featured throughout the four-bedroom home. Downlighters and chandeliers highlighted the accent chrome features and decorative mirrors. Each room seemed to make a statement, whether it was a rare oriental carpet or a centered piece of artwork. A hint of sage permeated the air.

Noah collapsed onto a sofa in the sunken living room. The sudden movement made his head throb again, and he cursed. He spotted a remote and turned on the television. A local news channel presenter gave a recap of the rocket attack. “Balagan (a mess)!” He shook his head. “These terrorists must be captured before the situation worsens. They’ve been successful once, which will encourage them to escalate their attacks.”

He muted the television and pulled his laptop out of his bag. Using his satellite phone, he made a secure connection.

To: Skylark

From: Petrel

Sorry for delay in providing an update. Wild visit so far. Involved in a shoot-out with unknown individuals when heading to the survivor’s location. Received a graze and spent an evening in the hospital. Returned to hotel room and found it ransacked. Now staying at ISD contact’s apartment.

Unless otherwise advised, will offer my assistance to ISD in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

More next time.

Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil again this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. 1541181484Chapter seventeen is nearing Readers continue to provide their input, with 214 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

 

 

 

 

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three is now completed.  There’s been a bit of tweaking to some of the characters’ names and the timeline. An additional chapter has been added to the outline. More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

With all of the outdoor activities, I was pretty tired in the evenings, so I’m afraid I don’t have a book review ready for you. Will work on one during the week and present it next time.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 24, 2019

As another month draws to a close, we’ve had temperatures between 55-62F/13-16C over the past week. The rhododendrons are covered with green shoots and our cats are spending more time outdoors in the pleasant weather.

Yesterday, we attended our first craft fair of 2019. Things went well, with a few candles and several poetry sheets sold. With a six-foot table and the warm weather, we decided not to include the knitwear, and I forgot to take the pyrography (woodburning).

In addition, three copies of The Kurdish Connection and two of Dangerous Alliance were autographed for customers.

Painting also continued during the past week; the new kitchen/dining area is sparkling. Just need a few tiles on the wall near the sink and hob and it will be finished.

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

Muhammad ibn Battutah, Arab travel writer (Travels in Asia & Africa); Sixt(us) Birck [Xystus Betulius], German writer (Suzanna); Matthias C Sarbiewski, [Sarbievius], Polish jesuit/poet; Vincent Voiture, French poet; Wilhelm Grimm, German story teller (Grimm’s Fairy Tales); Rosalía de Castro, Santiago de Compostela Galician writer and poet; C Grant B Allen, Canadian writer (Woman Who Did); George A Moore, Irish painter/novelist (Esther Waters); Daniel Berkeley Updike, printer/publisher/writer (Printing Types); Herman Teirlinck, Belgian writer (Sun); Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski, Polish novelist/satirist (Black Wings); Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer and painter; Mary Ellen Chase, US linguistic/author (White Gate); Jacob Presser, Dutch historian/writer (Down-fall); Alexis Curvers, Belgian author (Tempo di Roma, Bourg-le-Rond); August William Derleth, writer (Judge Peck Mysteries); Ludvig Aschkenazy, writer; David Mourao-Ferreira, poet/politician; Michael Harrington, socialist/author (Fragments of Century); and Maurizio Giuliano, writer and traveller.

How many did you recognize? There’s definitely one or two who should be familiar, perhaps not by name, but by the title of their work. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

Editing continues on my third novel, Carnage in Singapore. So far I’m still on 1539534550track to submit the manuscript to my publisher in May/June. Here’s another snippet:

Two additional guards patrolled the terrace. When Musa approached, one patted him down while the other watched monitored the perimeter. Not finding any obvious weapons, the guard motioned him to the door.

After entering, Musa removed his shoes and put on a pair of slippers. He crossed the teak floor and joined Abu Zeze, who waited for him near a small fire. They clasped right hands and gave a slight nod to each other.

Selamat (Peace), Musa. It’s good to see you again.” Abu Zeze stared at Musa through thick glasses which gave him a bug-eyed appearance. Gray hair, covered by a skull cap, and a traditional multi-colored sarong and shirt. A pair of brown slippers completed his ensemble.

“And to you. I’m honored you had time to meet with me.”

Abu Zeze gave a dismissive wave. “Come sit by the fire and share a cup of wedang jahe with me.”

“Thank you.”

Abu Zeze clapped his hands, and a young boy appeared with a tray holding two cups of the warm ginger drink and a plate of orange slices.

Once the boy served the men, he departed. Friends for several years, Musa and Abu Zeze brought each other up to date on news worth repeating. After they finished their light repast, Abu Zeze gazed at his friend.

“What is on your mind, Musa? You seem preoccupied.”

“Yes, I guess I am. I want JAD to become further linked with Jemaah Islamiyah.”

Abu Zeze tilted his head to the side and rubbed his scrawny beard. “As with all other groups who seek access to JI resources, you must show how you plan to serve us.”

Musa sighed. “We’ll use a tiered approach. To start, a barrage of mortars from Batam Island and explosive charges at several Singapore tourist attractions.”

His host pursed his lips and nodded. “All achievable, but insufficient for our purposes to instill fear.”

“I’m not finished.” Musa raised his hands. “We’ll also kidnap the senior official from each of the British, Australian, and American embassies. Their right index fingers will be severed and sent to the respective embassy as a warning to leave. We will spread out the kidnappings to garner wider press coverage.”

More next time.

1539535798I didn’t have much time left over to work on the final book of the series, Ultimate Escalation. However, I did manage to complete some additional research.

 

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

With the work around the house and preparation for the craft fair, my reading time was cut short. I have another novel almost finished and will provide my thoughts next time.

My Favorite Authors

Another of my favorite authors is Clive Cussler. The international exploits of his various characters no doubt influenced my decision to begin my writing career with journeys to distant lands and cultures.

I have to laugh; an individual once referred to Mr. Cussler as a hack writer. With over seventy books to his credit and at least twenty novels making The New York Times fiction best-seller list, many writers could only dream of having this kind of success.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 2, 2018

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrated last week. Hope no one was crushed in the Good Friday sales!

The hedgehogs are doing well, filling up on food and preparing their new home for hibernation. Each morning we check on their exploits through videos taken by our trail camera. They are definitely active after the sun goes down, whether it’s eating or hauling more leaves and twigs into the nest. It’s very interesting to watch their preparations. We’ll know when they are asleep, as the food will no long disappear each day!

As always, we’ll check out those associated with the writing world who celebrate birthdays today (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Carlo Bertinazzi, Italian actor and writer (commedia dell’arte); Francis Jammes, French poet/writer (Jammisme); Jonas Cohn, German/English philosopher (Theory of the Dialects); Charles H. Wesley, author writer and Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc.; Klaas Voskuil, journalist; Russell Lynes, American art historian, photographer, author and managing editor of Harper’s Magazine; Randolph Apperson Hearst, American newspaper publisher (Hearst Newspapers); Brian Lumley, England, sci-fi author (Compleat Crow, Psychomech); Yael Dayan, Israeli writer and politician; Botho Strauß, German author; T. Coraghessan Boyle, American writer; George Saunders, American writer (Lincoln in the Bardo); and Ann Patchett, American novelist.

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

News About My Published Work

Dangerous Alliance received its fourth five-star review this week: Just WOW! If Author Randall Krzak’s intention was to draw you into several different plots at once, he

DA-3D-cover

certainly succeeded! Each action-packed chapter of this novel, “Dangerous Alliance,” pulls you into the next one. It’s one you can’t put down. Plenty of high-energy, heart-pumping scenes that will leave you breathless. Cargo and passenger ships are disappearing at a rapid pace along the coastline of Somali and Kenya, yet no one’s in a hurry to do anything about it. This allows Al-Shabab to set its sites on Kenya. That’s when things change.

Author Krzak knows how to spin a tale and comes up with plenty of surprises and non-stop action scenes. Follow Colonel Trevor Franklin, the team leader of Bedlam Bravo, as he leads his group into East Africa and keeps his cool during heated political confusion.

Whatever you do, don’t miss this one! This is the second novel I’ve read by this author, and he does not disappoint. He pulls all the subplots together in the end in an unexpected way. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

My new novel, Dangerous Alliance, is up for the allauthor.com Cover of the Month. Please vote at: https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/ Thank you!

My Work in Progress

Much of my writing time over the past two weeks was once again devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. However, I did manage to complete two more chapters of Carnage in Singapore. The manuscript has now received 485 chapter reviews, all assisting me in improving my writing and tweaking the story.

I also finished the draft synopsis for a 10,000-word short story. The tentative title is The European Caper: Both retired, Larry Samson a former DEA agent and his wife Cyndi is a CPA. They head out on their annual vacation. Before they board the aircraft, the yare asked to check into a drug smuggling ring using pleasure craft to move their goods through the various European capitals.

Will they be able to trace the conduits and pass the information along or do Larry and Cyndi run afoul of the group and end up in harm’s way? Only time will tell.

Stayed tuned for more.

Books I’m Reading

Into Autumn: A Story of Survival by Larry Landgraf is the first in his Four Seasons series. Larry’s blended the perfect story about those trying to survive after the world as Lars knew it collapsed into a nightmare. Already living in a small valley, Lars is joined by Eileen, who stumbled upon his safe haven. With several like-minded neighbors, they cope without modern conveniences. Utilities cut off, food scarce and others trying to take from them, using deadly force.

Lars and Eileen build a new life and before a close-knit ‘family’ with Samuel, Reggie and their spouses and children. Follow their adventure as they make tough decisions in order to survive. Cheer them on as they deal with one challenge after another. An exciting plot, which kept me turning the pages late into the evening. Can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Russ Moran’s The Violent Sea shows once again his ability to mix historical events into a thrilling read. His well-crafted characters come to life in the latest time travel adventure. Join Rear Admiral Harry Fenton and his wife, Lieutenant Meg Fenton on their latest ride through the ages. Once again, they are involved in major events, which change the course of history. A superb plot with plenty of thrills and tension for all readers!

Arabian Days by Barbara Russell is a delightful story, which will have you cheering for the underdogs. Can a disfigured slave who is curse find the girl of his dreams and find happiness? Will Chloe be the one? This plot has plenty of action, twists, and a bit of romance. A fantastic read for various ages and well work a look.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but will also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Larry Landgraf. Learn more information about Larry and his other books.

Russ Moran. Find out more about the various books written by Russ and follow his blog.

Barbara Russell. Follow writing Barbara’s journey and find out what she’s up to.

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, November 11, 2018

Today’s the one hundredth anniversary of the armistice signifying the end of World War One. Called the ‘war to end all wars’ we are reminded of the brave sacrifices of men and women to protect our freedom, regardless of our backgrounds. Give a moment of silence for those who served when called upon.

After a series of author interviews, I’m back with my regular ramblings. As always, we’ll check out those associated with the writing world who celebrate birthdays today (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Bernardo Tasso, Italian poet; George Savile, 1st marquis of Halifax/author (Character of a Trimmer); Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist (Crime and Punishment, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man; Thomas Bailey Aldrich, American author/editor (Story of a Bad Boy); Alceu Amoroso Lima, Brazilian author; F. Van Wyck Mason, American author; Daisy Bates, publisher/head (Arkansas NAACP); Eladio Rusconi, writer/publisher/businessman; [Dallas] Mack/McCord Reynolds, American sci-fi author (Earth War); Kalle Päätalo, Finnish novelist; Kurt Vonnegut Jr, American author (Slaughterhouse Five, Sirens of Titan); Piet van der Sanden, Dutch journalist and politician (CDA); Carlos Fuentes, author (The Death of Artemio Cruz); H M Enzensberger, writer; Callum Alexander MacDonald, historian; Mircea Dinescu, Romanian poet; Mary Gaitskill, American novelist; and Lee Battersby, Australian author.

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

Dangerous Alliance was released this week by Solstice Publishing. There have already been two five-star reviews! Here’s the first one: “A Nail-Biting Thriller! This is the first book I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last.

Krzak masterfully weaves together four subplots all aiming toward a powerful ending. In the background, throughout the book, is a poignant and moving story of a man separated from his family. The man constantly faces a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dilemma. Plenty of crisp action scenes pull you from one chapter to the next. Krzak knows how to turn a literary phrase. One of my favorites was: “Evelyn pulled the wig from her head, years draining away.”

You follow the groups of determined characters, some of whom are quite creepy, as they take care of business with some horrifying results. I will never be a spoiler, but the author pulls it all together toward the end, as if all the characters have gotten together for a meeting.

If you like an engaging read with a lot of imaginative stories tied together, this is definitely a book for you. Highly recommended.”

The second one is from a repeat reader! “Great Read! After reading the first book of the series, The Kurdish Connection, I couldn’t miss the second instalment of the series. The Bedlam boys are back with a new adventure. There’s more action, more tension in this novel, but the same smooth writing with lots of details about life in North Korea. Strongly recommend it.

Hopefully,  others will soon join these two.

My Work in Progress

During the time I focused on author interviews, I continued working on Carnage in Singapore. The drafts of thirty-one chapters are finished thus far and are posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. So far, there’s been 433 chapter reviews, all of which help to improve my writing and tweak the story. Here’s the synopsis:

1539534550Terrorist 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?

In addition to working on Carnage in Singapore, I’ve also started on the finale of the four-book series, Ultimate Escalation. Just the first chapter is completed, and ten reviewers have provided their comments. Here’s the synopsis:

1539535798Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandr Nikolai, a disgraced Spetnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

Perhaps next week I’ll include a snippet from one of these and also tell you about a couple of other stories I’m working on.

Books I’m Reading

I just finished an exciting story last night, The Patmos Enigma: An Archaeological Thriller by Ken Fry. I’ll provide my comments next time, But I will mention I can’t wait to grab another of his books!

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but will also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. While I spent hours reading through various links doing research and preparing for various posts, I didn’t have time to find anything to include here.

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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved