Randall's Ramblings

An Interview With Author Russell Moran

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Russell Moran, the author of twelve novels and five non-fiction works. A lawyer and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Russell lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife, Lynda.

Let’s learn more about him:

RFM Photo from SC News TWOWhat are your ambitions for your writing career? To write as many high quality books as my years allow me. Emphasis on “high Quality.”

Which writers inspire you?  Nelson DeMille, Stephen King, Estelle Ryan, Kristin Hannah

So, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest, professional or hobby.) The Gray Ship is Book One of The Time Magnet series. (Number one Amazon Best-Seller, and recipient of a Kirkus Best Indie Books of 2013. Also won four other awards.)

The Thanksgiving Gang is Book Two of The Time Magnet series.

A Time of Fear is Book Three of The Time Magnet series.Time Magnet Series

The Skies of Time is Book Four of The Time Magnet series.

The Keepers of Time is Book Five of The Time Magnet series.

The Shadows of Terror is Book One of The Patterns series.

The Scent of Revenge is Book Two of The Pattern Series

A Reunion in Time is a time travel novel, but not in The Time Magnet Series.

Sideswiped, a legal thriller, is Book One of the Matt Blake Series.

The Reformers is Book Two of the Matt Blake Series.

The President is Missing is Book Three of the Matt Blake Series.

Robot Depot, published in August, is a novel about our automated future.

A Climate of Doubt, a terrorism thriller. May 2018.

The Maltese Incident, is Book One of the Harry and Meg Series, June of 2018.

The Violent Sea, Sequel to The Maltese Incident – Coming soon.

I also published five nonfiction books: Justice in America: How it Works—How it Fails; The APT Principle: The Business Plan That You Carry in Your Head; Boating Basics: The Boattalk Book of Boating Tips; If You’re Injured: A Consumer Guide to Personal Injury Law; How to Create More Time.

 Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? All my books include a strong male and a strong female character. Not without flaws (As in Sideswiped, where the two lovers discover they both once had problems with drugs and alcohol.

The Shadows of TerrorWhat are you currently working on and what is it about? The Violent Sea, a sequel to The Maltese Incident. It’s about time travel, and as always, two strong characters who compliment each other.

What drew you to write in this genre? I’ve always been fascinated by time travel, in that it allows the author to completely suspend reality and speculate on what may have been, or what might be.

How much research do you do? A lot. I try to make my fantastic stories believable by anchoring them in solid facts, including history. I don’t know what writers ever did without Google.

Have you written works in collaboration with other writers, and if so: why did you decide to collaborate and did it affect your sales? No. I’ve served as a beta reader and editor for a few other authors but haven’t collaborated.

When did you decide to become a writer? In 2012, after listening for the umpteenth time to my wife asking me, “When are you going to write a novel?” I’ve been a writer all my life, mostly as a legal journalist, but fiction began with The Gray Ship, begun in 2012 and published in 2013.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Yes, full time.

How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write? I try to write every day, except for those days when I’m consumed by marketing. I do not have a specific time that I write. I look at what’s ahead in my day and then decide to hit the keyboard.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? 2,000 words a day when working on a first draft. No number allocation for rewrites.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Computer. I can’t believe that Nelson DeMille, as great as he is, writes on yellow pads.

Where do your ideas come from? This is a great question and I wish I had an answer. I just sit (or walk) and think. Suddenly an idea shows up. I start to ask “what if,” and a few months later a book shows up. I look back at all my books and for the life of me I can’t recall how the story popped up. Maybe Stephen King is right—stories are like fossils and it’s the writer’s job to unearth them.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I am what I call an In-Betweener, halfway between a strict outliner and a “panster,” who writes from the seat of his pants. I keep trying to outline, but the story suddenly takes me off my outline in a different direction.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Being “stuck,” when the wonderful story idea you had suddenly sucks and it’s hard to repair it. I have a book project like that right now. I hate it. Will I expect readers to like it?

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Being stuck. See my above response.Sideswiped

What is the easiest thing about writing? Getting to know my characters. They become like old friends.

How long on average does it take you to write a book? About six months.

Do you ever get Writer’s Block, and do you have any tips for getting through it? I refuse to acknowledge the existence of writer’s block. See my responses above about “being stuck,” which is different from writer’s block. Once I can see a story in front of me I just charge ahead and the words flow out my fingertips. My tip? Keep on writing.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors. See my response to number 2 above.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books? I love to read on my Kindle (or iPhone).

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I proof and edit my own books, and also have two editors to find my (many) mistakes.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? Yes, let it stew. When you come back to it it’s a fresh story, and time to murder your darlings.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? I think so, at least that’s what professional cover designers keep telling me. My simple requirement is that it should grab the eye and create intrigue.

How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) My next book will be my first traditionally published novel, thanks in no small part to Randall Krzak, who told me all about the publisher.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I could write a book on this question alone. Indie publishers have come into their own as the brilliant writer Hugh Howey has noted. I know a lot of writers who signed their rights away to a small publisher and are stuck without marketing.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I’d consider it, although I haven’t given it much thought.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Get reviews and keep at it.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? 50 percent.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Most “bad” reviews are really not reviews at all but “hits,” from people with an agenda I can’t control. In three-star reviews, however, there is useful critical information.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? A woman came up to my table at a book signing and said she had been looking forward to buying my book. She then walked off with it without paying. I later found out that she suffered from dementia. I hope she remembers my book.

A Climate of DoubtWhat’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you? I do Twitter and Facebook all the time, but I’m not sure I see any results.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing? Don’t put it off, just write. You can’t edit a document that doesn’t exist.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? No, I haven’t but I probably should.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? Email.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I wish I paid more attention to my sub-titles. They’re great for marketing.

What do you think of “trailers” for books, and do you have a trailer/will you create one for your own work? I think trailers are great, but just be careful not to spend too much. I did one for The Gray Ship, and it seemed to help. Cost me $250, which I think is cheap.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Yes, if you have a reasonable expectation that the done will promote you.

If you hired someone else to format your work, how did you select them and what was your experience? After Createspace got out of the formatting business I’ve hired designers/formatters for about $500. My next self-published book will be done by myself with the software Vellum (but you need to have a Mac).

How do you relax? I read and write.

What is your favorite motivational phrase. “You can avoid reality, but you can’t avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” Ayn Rand

What is your favorite quote? “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekov

What is your favorite movie and why? The Godfather, I and II. Nothing has come close.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t smoke.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Abraham Lincoln, the image of greatness. He even made it into my first novel.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Always find ways to improve your craft.

Where do you see publishing going in the future? Self-publishing and small publishers will blend in many ways.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse? It’s a gift, but sometimes it feels like a curse. However, I can’t imagine my life without the joy of writing.

The Maltese IncidentIs there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content? Keeping dates and numbers straight. I try to force myself to type in numbers and dates into a separate document that I can search on.

Did you come across any specific challenges in writing?  What would you do differently the next time? No

What do your fans mean to you? Everything. At a book signing, a couple of ladies walked up to me and asked if certain characters, by name, will appear in future books. Made my day. My biggest fan unfortunately is off the grid and doesn’t even own a computer or smart phone. She thinks Amazon is a river. But she always praises me in public whenever we meet.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day? Creating characters and scenes lies before me.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? Yes, The Edge of Sadness, by Edwin O’Connor. I was blown away by the author’s use of words, and the way he wove a beautiful story without a lot of action. From then on I started my library. I was a high school sophomore at the time.

What motivated you to become an indie author? I went through a few weeks of querying and pitching and then decided that I’d go it on my own. My favorite response came 30 seconds after I hit send, saying the usual crap about my fine talent but I was just not a right fit for them. I’d rather talk to myself, because I don’t BS myself.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Yes, The Gray Ship, like it was yesterday.

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go? My characters tell me who they are and create their own dialog. Sound weird but it’s true.

Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas. Once a story idea pops into my head I jot down “beats” usually asking the “what if” question.

Where is your favorite place to write? My library, which is also my office – With a stand-up desk I might add.

What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors or aspiring authors? I strongly recommend the Author Marketing Club, amc.com, as well as Writer’s Digest and its tutorials.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into Russell’s writing journey. Follow him at: https://www.morancom.com/

Stayed tuned for another author interview soon!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 2, 2018

For those living in the United States and Canada, Happy Labor/Labour Day! Do you know the origins of what is considered the unofficial end of summer? A day set aside to honor the labor movement, in 1887, Oregon was the first state to recognize a day for the workforce. There was a push by labor unions for eight-hour work days. By the time Labor Day was recognized as a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states had already made it an official holiday.

The origins of Labour Day in Canada go back to 1872, when a parade was held in Toronto to support a union strike for a 58-hour work week. It became an official holiday in 1894. Many of the traditions associated with the day are similar in both countries.

Anyone celebrating a birthday today? If so, you’re in good company with the following people associated with the writing world, compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

William Somervile, English poet; Caroline von Schelling, [Michaelis], German author; Esteban Echeverría, Argentine writer; Henry George, land reformer/writer (Progress & Poverty); Giovanni Verga, Italian writer (Eros); Eugene Field, author/journalist (Little Boy Blue); Paul Bourget, French novelist and critic; Hans Jæger, Norwegian writer and political activist; Joseph Roth, Austrian journalist/writer (Hotel Savoy); Andreas Embirikos, Greek surrealist poet; Johan Daisne, [Herman Thiery], Belgian writer (magic realism); Allen Drury, author (Advise & Consent-1960 Pulitzer Prize); Peter Mansfield, British political journalist and author; John S. Hall, American poet and spoken-word artist; Jon Berkeley, author and illustrator; and Chris Kuzneski, American bestselling author.

Recognize anyone? I did, but not as many as in some weeks. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more to follow.

News About My Published Work

Dangerous Alliance-001

My second novel, Dangerous Alliance, will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. This week, I received the manuscript back from the editor and we are collaborating on a variety of small changes.  Stay tuned for more information about its release!

United Nations’ sanctions are crippling North Korea. China has turned her back on her malevolent partner. The North Korean military machine is crumbling, unable to function. Oil reserves are minimal and the government seeks new alliances.

Cargo ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound, but inaction emboldens al-Shabab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons.

Bedlam Bravo team leader Colonel Trevor Franklin (Ret.) leads the small international team into East Africa. Tempers flare as the team is embroiled in a political quagmire. The axis must be stopped to avert an international crisis but at what cost?

My Work in Progress

With the editing work on Dangerous Alliance and a myriad of external requirements, work on Carnage in Singapore took a backseat this week. I did spend a bit of time on the next chapter, but decided another chapter was needed first to bring readers up-to-date with the activities of two characters.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read Ernest Dempsey’s The Norse Directive: A Sean Wyatt Archaeological Thriller (Sean Wyatt Adventure Book 5). As with the first four novels in the series, we once again meet up with Sean Wyatt and his longtime friend, Tommy Schultz. In search of a relic deemed to be an ancient weapon, the duo battle wits with a Frenchman who is also seeking this item.

As with all of Mr. Dempsey’s novels, this is another action-packed thriller, filled with realistic characters and plenty of twists and turns. Once again Sean and Tommy have taken be on a whirlwind ride, visiting numerous countries and encountering one obstacle after another. Who will recover the prize? That would be telling—but you won’t be disappointed in this story. I look forward to Book 6!

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 to post my interview with author Preston Holtry (posted earlier this morning), 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

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Rambling, July 29, 2018

As we approach the end of another month, I’ve noticed the gradually shrinking of daylight, with dawn coming a bit later and dusk a bit earlier. Nothing we can do about it except enjoy the days as they come along. At least our temperatures continue to be a bit cooler than what we began the month with, with the occasional rain to keep things watered.

Are you having a birthday today? Here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Simon Dach, Prussian German poet; George Bradshaw, British publisher; Alexis de Tocqueville, French statesman/writer (Democracy in America); Max Nordau, Austrian author; Georg Kerschensteiner, German educator (Theory of Education); Booth Tarkington, American novelist (17, Magnificent Ambersons); August Stramm, German poet and playwright; Don Marquis, Ill, journalist/poet (archy & mehitabel); Porfirio Barba-Jacob, Colombian poet and writer; Henri Liebrecht, Belgian playwright/journalist; Karl Otten, German Expressionist writer; Eyvind Johnson, Swedish novelist (Return to Ithaca); Diana Vreeland, French-American fashion editor (Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue); Stanley Kunitz, American poet; Henry Brian Boyne, journalist; Bruce R. McConkie, LDS apostle and author; Vladimir Dudentzev, Russian writer; Miltos Sachtouris, Greek poet; Harry K V Mulisch, writer (Message to King Rat); Marilyn Tucker Quayle, novelist/wife of Vice President Dan Quayle; Ruud Janssen, Dutch writer and artist; and Chang-Rae Lee, Korean-born author.

I particularly enjoy this search as I never know who I’ll meet. Recognize anyone? I certainly did, but not as many as in past weeks. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

My Work in Progress

I continue to make good progress on Carnage in Singapore while I’m waiting for my publisher to finish going through Dangerous Alliance. As with the previous couple of weeks, I’ve managed to complete another three chapters (fifteen through seventeen) despite a fair bit of required research to make the content as realistic as possible.

A further thirty-five chapter reviews were sent to me this week, bringing the total for Carnage in Singapore to 237. I greatly appreciate everyone’s input to improve my writing. Perhaps next week I’ll include another snippet.

Books I’m Reading

Despite my best efforts, I ran out of time to complete a couple more book reviews. Stand by for further comments next week.

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

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

Fleeting Muse – Check out this site filled with inspiring poetry, thoughts, and creative writing.

This brings us to a close for another week as I’ve run out of time. 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, July 15, 2018

Here it is, the middle of July. How the weeks are passing by! Just yesterday, I noticed most of the corn in the surrounding fields seems to have shot up in just a couple of weeks. Tassels are swaying in the breeze, reaching out to the sun’s rays. Won’t be long before we’ll have locally-grown fresh corn to munch on!

Anyone out there have a birthday today? If so, here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Clement Clarke Moore, US professor and author (‘Twas the Night Before Xmas); Thomas Bulfinch, mythologist (Bulfinch’s Mythology); Eduardo Gutiérrez, Argentinian author; Kunikida Doppo, Japanese writer; Walter Benjamin, German literature critic/writer; Rudolf Arnheim, German-born author; Ralph Hammond Innes, English author; Abraham Sutzkever, Yiddish language poet and memoirist; Robert Conquest, English historian and poet (The Great Terror); Iris Murdoch, novelist (Severed Head, Unicorn); Jiri Lederer, Czechoslovakia, journalist/dissident; Driss Chraïbi, Moroccan author; Larry Lamb, newspaper editor; Clive Cussler, American writer (Raise The Titanic, Sahara); Carmen Callil, publisher; Arianna Huffington, Greek-American author, syndicated columnist and creator of The Huffington Post; Kate Kellaway, English literary critic; and Jean-Christophe Grangé, French writer and screenwriter.

Recognize any names? I certainly did, including one of my favorite authors. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more.

My Work in Progress

Dangerous Alliance, which recently placed fourth (3rd runner-up) in the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards, is under contract with Solstice Publishing. Over the past week, I’ve provided a few requirements as part of the pre-publication process, including my bio, a blurb, my dedication, social media links, and a photo. More to follow as things progress.

I continued to move forward on the third book in the Bedlam series, Carnage in Singapore. Chapters nine, ten, and eleven were posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, Carnage in Singapore has received 168 chapter reviews, excellent sources for enhancing the story. I continue to spend a great deal of time doing research to ensure the story is as accurate as possible, keeping in mind it is fiction.

Books I’m Reading

As I mentioned last week, I’m reading faster than I can post my reviews. Here are comments on three of the latest novels I’ve read.

The Templar Heresy by James Becker is an interesting mix of historical facts and fiction. Why is the curator of the Baghdad Museum having everyone who gets in his way knocked off? The archeologists’ find appeared to be an empty room, except for a carved likeness of a man and a phrase. What did they signify?
Join Chris Bronson and his former wife, Angela, as they struggle to maintain a step ahead of those seeking the same answers. Travel through the Europe and the Middle East, surviving pitfalls and disappointment until reaching the ultimate prize. A great thriller.
The Chronicles of Aveline: Awakening by Ken Fry and Eeva Lancaster. An excellent story right from the first page. Aveline isn’t your typical girl growing up in a privileged family in England during the Crusades. As she grows, she spurns activities normally suited for ladies and learns how to use a sword, and a bow and arrow, both with deadly force.
A forbidden tryst ends in misery for Aveline and her lover, the son of the local earl. He’s banished to the Crusades while she’s tossed into a convent for their sins. Before long, Aveline escapes and begins her journey to join her love. This is a superb read. As I turned each page, I hoped Aveline would succeed in her quest. A captivating read, I finished the story in less than a day. I only regret–there wasn’t more to read!
Fire Arrow by Franklin Allen Leib. A whirlwind ride after the hijacking of an U.S. military aircraft. Forced to a former American base in Libya, the U.S. Navy responds. However, the terrorists are aided by Libya and their comrades-in-arms, the Russians.
A plot filled with high-velocity tension, realistic characters, and non-stop action. This is the first novel I’ve read by Franklin and it won’t be the last.

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. However, with my work on Dangerous Alliance and Carnage in Singapore, I wasn’t left with much time to check out other sites. Perhaps next time.

This brings us to a close for another week. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing and reading.  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, July 8, 2018

Over the past week, our friends in Canada celebrated Canada Day on the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, coming into force of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united three separate colonies into a single country.

On July 4th, Americans celebrated Independence Day, celebrated the anniversary of publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. Of course, with the holiday falling in the middle of the week many communities held their festivities yesterday.

Hope people in both countries enjoyed their holidays.

Last Sunday I provided a list of people from the writing world who had birthdays on the 1st of July. Today, we’ll look at those who born on the 4th of July (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Paul Scarron, French writer (Virgile Travesti); Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet and novelist (Fables & Tales); Nathanial Hawthorne, American author (House of 7 Gables, The Scarlet Letter); Mao Dun [Shen Dehong], Chinese writer (Midnight); Lionel Trilling, American literary critic and author (1969 Poses Award, The Liberal Imagination); Lynette Roberts, British poet; Christine Lavant, Austrian poet and writer (Das Kind); Abigail Van Buren [Pauline Phillips], American columnist and radio show host known for “Dear Abby” advice column, twin sister of fellow “Ask Ann Landers” advice columnist Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer); Patrick Tilley, British sci-fi author (1st Family, Blood River); Paul de Wispelaere, Flemish writer and critic; and Ron Kovic, American anti-war activist and writer, his memoir (Born on the Fourth of July) became an Academy award-winning film.

Whether your birthday was on the 4th of July or another day this past week, I hope you had a good one!

My Work in Progress

Breaking News: Dangerous Alliance, which recently placed fourth (3rd runner-up) in the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards, is now under contract with Solstice Publishing. Stay tuned for further updates.

I continued to work on the third book in the Bedlam series, Carnage in Singapore. Chapters seven and eight were posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, Carnage in Singapore has received 125 chapter reviews, excellent sources for improving my writing. I continue to spend a great deal of time doing research to ensure the story is as accurate as possible, keeping in mind it is fiction.

Books I’m Reading

I’m reading faster than I can post my reviews. Here are comments on two of the latest novels I’ve read, both by Russell F. Moran.

A Climate of Doubt – Why is the world experiencing drastic fluctuations in temperatures, with blizzards in July? Homeland Security Director Rick Bellamy and his wife, Ellen, along with several familiar characters, are tasked by the President of the United States to determine if these changes are a result of climate change or something more sinister. Once again, Russell has created an easy-to-read and fast-paced plot. I won’t provide a spoiler, so you’ll have to follow Rick and Ellen as they strive to uncover the cause before the world becomes a frozen wasteland!

The Maltese Incident – What could go wrong on a cruise from Manhattan to the Azores? It seems Captain Harry Fenton is about to find out. With a flash, the cruise ship Maltese is thrust back in time. Not just a few years but back to when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Explore their new world with Harry and his new wife, Meg Johnson, as they and the crew and passengers of the Maltese come to terms with their new surroundings. How will they survive and will they ever find their way home again? Another whirlwind story by a great storyteller. I couldn’t put this one down and read it over two evenings. Grab yourself a copy of this excellent and entertaining story.

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

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

Sideways Eight Series – Join author AJ Wallace as she spins the tales of Charley and Murphy, two FBI agents. Two novels have been published so far (Mindfield and Devil’s Door), with two more to follow. Well worth the read!

Moran Communications – The Write Stuff – the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction works, check out Russell’s blog, books, and his suggestions for writers.

That brings us to a close for another week. Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing and reading.  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, April 22, 2018

This morning I woke to a calm lake, with plenty of sunshine shimmering across the water. In the background, the low throttle of engines from a passing freighter actually added to the serenity, along with the occasional song provided by myriad birds.

After last weekend’s severe ice storm, the past three days have been the same: blue skies with occasional clouds, still water, and brilliant sunshine. While the temperatures are still a bit below the average for this time of year, things are finally warming up. Spring is here!

My Work in Progress

Not much to mention regarding my work in progress. Editing of the paper copy of Dangerous Alliance is moving along, with about a quarter of the 102,425 words completed. Some corrections and a few changes, but overall, things are looking good!

Here’s another snipped from New World Revolution:

William turned to the boys. “Collect our possessions and we’ll wait here.” In a rare show of fondness, he took his wife’s hand. “Take a good look around, Mary. This is our new home.”

He bowed his head, closed his eyes, and prayed in silence. By the time he finished, Thomas and George returned, struggling to carry a heavy, wooden trunk. They set it down and disappeared, returning a short time later with five bags made of wool.

“Is this all, lads?”

Breathless, Thomas and George nodded.

William glanced over the meager assortment, a grim reminder of their life in England. “‘Tis everything, I reckon.” He took Mary and Hannah’s hands. “Come, the New World beckons.” He led them ashore, Thomas and George following with their bundles.

 Once his family were seated in the back of the wagon and the possessions stowed, William climbed upon the seat with Abraham. The wagon jolted forward as Abraham flicked the reins over the horses’ backs. As they departed, William glanced back at the Wester. We’ve made our way thus far. What are the Lord’s plans for us?

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

This week I finished two novels from David Wood’s Dane Maddock’s adventure series: Quest and Icefall. In both stories, Dane and his business partner and friend, Bones, are off on new adventures. As always, David does an excellent job of blending historical facts and myths into his plots, making for quick-paced and exciting reads.

In Quest, the daring duo (Dane and Bones) help the daughter of their former naval commander in a search for the daughter’s boyfriend who disappeared in the Amazon.  With plenty of thrills and near mishaps, they travel through dangerous terrain, made all the more sinister as they run up against an organization searching for the missing professor. Without giving away secrets regarding the success or failure of their trek, I think it’s sufficient to say that adventure seekers will enjoy the action-packed plot and larger-than-life characters David has created. Highly recommended!

Icefall introduces readers to another thrilling plot, this time set in Europe. Dane and Bones, along with a couple of their friends, have traveled to Germany for Christmas. This is a shorter story than David’s other novels in the series, but still provides plenty of ups and downs for the group during their visit to a German cathedral. Once again, David does an excellent job of mixing history and legends together. You’ll have to grab a couple to find out what happens, but this novella is filled with plenty of high octane to keep you reading through the night!

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time this week to find new sites to share with you. Perhaps next week.

That brings us to a close for another week. Hope you’ve 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, February 11, 2018

Winter is hanging on with a tight grip. Plenty of snow this past week but at least the KODAK Digital Still Cameratemperatures are above zero (fahrenheit). The photo above was taken yesterday from the back of the house. I could take a picture today and it would look very similar, but the snow might be a bit thicker.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

This photo was also taken yesterday during a lull in the storm. The view is from our deck overlooking Lake Huron. Approximately forty-three miles away is the Canadian shoreline. The snow piled on the rail is now about two inches higher. Today’s forecast calls for another four to six inches of snow over the next eight hours. Brrrr!

My Work in Progress

Editing on Dangerous Alliance and external activities consumed a lot of time over the past week. However, I’m please to report I completed the third chapter of New World Revolution. It’s posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. There’s been six reviews of the chapter so far, all positive.

Here’s a snippet from New World Revolution, chapter one:

Mary came out the barn carrying a small bucket. “Hello, husband, lads. Milking’s finished.” She handed the milk to Hannah. “Take this inside.”

While the boys stored the scythes in the barn, William and Mary walked arm-in-arm toward the house. The mouth-watering aroma of the stew hurried them forward.

“Wash up and set yourself to the table.” Mary waved her family inside before going to the kettle and filling plates with the turnip, carrot, and onion stew. Once everyone was seated, Mary returned to the hearth. She slid a slender board attached to a long pole into a heated stone alcove, and drew out a single loaf of fresh bread.

“Oooh, ‘tis a treat indeed.” William’s brown eyes bulged, a wide grin on his face, as the rich aroma set stomachs rumbling.

“One piece each. No more, and be thankful you have this.” Mary smiled at her family and joined them at the table. “Another surprise today as well—fresh churned butter. Father, will you offer the blessing?”

William bowed his head and closed his eyes, pressing his hands together. The family followed his lead.

“Oh, almighty God. ‘Tis right we give thanks to you. Bless this food prepared by loving hands. Keep us in good health, so we might continue to prosper even in bad times. Thy will be done. Amen.”

After William said grace, he kept his head bowed. Hannah and her brothers raised theirs, eyeing the food. At last, William nodded, and everyone reached for a spoon. No one spoke. An occasional contented slurp broke the sound of utensils scraping on wooden plates, the coarse, dark and heavy wholegrain bread mopping up the last of the gravy. Plates were licked clean, consuming every drop.

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read The Gray Ship, the first novel in Russell Moran’s Time Magnet series. With well-crafted characters and a riveting plot, this is a compelling read. Join Captain Ashley Patterson, the commanding officer of a nuclear warship as the unthinkable happens. One moment, they’re near Charleston, South Carolina. Moments later, Ashley and her crew are still by the same port, but find themselves in a strange setting. Gone are modern buildings and ships. Instead, the ship has arrived just prior to the beginning of the Civil War.

Follow the crew as they try to come to terms with their new reality. I don’t want to give away anything, but will they alter history? Russell has created a story so easy to become immersed in, it’s hard to believe time travel doesn’t exist. Or does it? I thoroughly enjoyed the story and couldn’t wait to get a copy of the sequel.

In The Thanksgiving Gang, Russell has gone with a different twist, but still as full of suspense as The Gray Ship. What would happen if we traveled into the future and found out we had died well before our time? Join Jack Thurber as he stumbles across a wormhole and goes into the future, only to discover he and his wife, Ashley, died in a terrorist attack.

How will Jack come to terms with this mind-numbing discovery? Will he be able to alter events in the future and return before he and Ashley are killed? Russell has done it again with this story. His writing style is easy to follow and he does an excellent job in portraying events to present readers with plenty of action and suspense. I now include Russell in my list of favorite authors and can’t wait to get the next novel in the series, A Time of Fear.

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Unfortunately, I’ve been too busy this week, so I don’t have anything to share with you.

That brings us to a close for another week. Hope you’ve 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, January 14, 2018

What a time with the weather! Early in the week, we had extremely cold temperatures and received about four inches of snow. On Thursday, the mercury climbed, reaching 52F/11C and most of the snow disappeared.

Our relief was short-lived. On Friday morning, the temperature had dropped thirty degrees, and we were hit with another four to five inches of snow. On top of that, we had blustery winds up to thirty-five miles an hour, blowing snow everywhere. Part of the driveway was clear to the asphalt, while there were two-foot drifts on the other side. Since Friday, the temperature has remained about the same, but the winds have calmed and no more snow.

My Work in Progress

The Kurdish Connection is entered in the thriller category of the 20th annual Preditors and Editors reader’s poll, sponsored by Critters / Critique.org. Currently sitting in fourth place, I could use your votes, but check out all of the categories to get a glimpse of works released during 2017. Here’s the link to the thriller category: http://critters.org/predpoll/novelthrill.shtml. The contest runs through until midnight this evening, so hope you’ll be able to check things out.

I’ve now transferred reviewer comments for forty-one of the forty-eight chapters in Dangerous Alliance. Once I finish, I’ll still have plenty of editing to do, but things are moving along. I had hoped to share the cover with you today, but I’ve been too busy to get things organized. Promise it will be in next week’s post.

With my concentration on Dangerous Alliance, I didn’t finish chapter four of Carnage in Singapore as I had planned. Too much going on!

Books I’m Reading

I finally gathered my thoughts on novel by one of my favorite authors, David L. Golemon. One of his latest adventures, The Traveler: An Event Group Thriller, has it all. The story begins in Germany during WWII but before long we’re taken on a roller coaster ride. Want Russia mobsters and Italian mafia? They’re along for the ride.

How about a trip to another continent–not in modern ages, but back over 200,000 years? One of the Event Group’s people made such a journey and others are heading back to find him. How is this possible? A time machine, created in Germany, perfected, and now in the U.S.

I’ve enjoyed every one of Mr. Golemon’s novels and can’t wait for another thrilling adventure. Well done!

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

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

Wolfe’s Rants – Check out Wolf’s advice, works and musings about a writer’s life.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 all the best for 2018!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 31, 2017

As we move into a new year, I hope everyone is blessed with better health and prosperity. Happy New Year to one and all!

My Work in Progress

This week I continued to concentrate on reciprocal reviews for those who have worked so hard on my behalf regarding Dangerous Alliance. Reviews are still coming in as readers go through the final chapters. As of yesterday evening, there were a total of 709 chapter reviews!

Books I’m Reading

Over the past two or three weeks, I’ve finished a number of novels. It’ll take a couple of weeks to get every review posted. There is one in particular I’ll mention today, as it is the debut novel of M.D. Neu, and will be released tomorrow.

MD Neu has created a credible cast of characters, leading the way with Duncan Alexander and Juliet de Exter. One of several people called to Juliet’s mansion, it turns out Duncan is the chosen one. But will he accept his calling? He can have it all, but does he want to become a vampire?

MD’s story covers all facets–love, action, suspense–as well as good and evil. Hang onto yourself and enjoy a superb ride with Duncan as he explores a new life. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

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

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

Reader’s Abode – Check out the bi-weekly blogs from the site’s group of international writers (including yours truly). Plenty of new things to read no matter what genre you prefer.

I’m afraid that’s all the time I have today. Hope you’ve 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 all the best for 2018!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved