Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 30, 2019

Hard to believe we’re already six months through 2019!  Where has the time gone?

We’ve been fortunate with some decent weather over the past week.  About a third of the fence has been transformed from its weather-worn appearance with a coat of forest oak preservative/stain. When the sun shines, it appears to have a plum color, but when it’s in shadow, it almost looks black. All being well, more will be done this week.

A builder and his assistant arrived on Tuesday to rip up the old patio and install a new one. When they removed one of the old slabs near a retaining wall, a plume of water shot up. It continued for hours before the influx stopped.  As a result of this, completion of the new patio was delayed as it took a day and a half to dig through clay and install proper drainage, dumping into a drain on the other side of the property. The system was tested last night with a heavy thunderstorm, but everything looks fine this morning.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 30th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Gay, English poet and dramatist (The Beggar’s Opera); Thomas Lovell Beddoes, English poet (Death’s Jest-Book); Friedrich Theodor Vischer, German philosopher and writer (Auch einer); Stanko Vraz [Jakob Frass], Slovenian-Croatian poet (illyrism); Hendrik Jan Schimmel, Dutch writer and dramatist (2 Tudors); Gerrit Kalff, Dutch professor (history of Dutch writers); Georges Duhamel, French author (Vie et aventures de Salavin, 5 vol.); Charles Camproux, French linguistic and author (Bestiari); Winston Graham, British writer (Poldark novels); Czesław Miłosz, Polish-American writer (Bells in Winter, Nobel 1980); Juan Bosch, 43rd President of the Dominican Republic (1962-63) and writer; Sam Moskowitz, American writer and historian of science fiction; James Goldman, American screenwriter and playwright (The Lion in Winter, They Might Be Giants); Frank Marcus, German playwright and critic; [Jacob] “Jack” Rosenthal, American journalist and government official; Assia Djebar [Fatma-Zohra Imalhayène], Algerian writer and filmmaker; and Robert Ballard, explorer/geologist/author/discoverer (Titanic in 1985).

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple recognizable names. 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 Tuesday as scheduled. I’ve picked up over thirty new followers and at least one hundred people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. 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: 

“We’ll wait until the lights go out.” Umar turned to Seto. “Did you bring your tools?”

Seto patted a bag on the seat. “Be inside within seconds. The builder used basic locks—no problem for me.”

“Good. We’ll enter the apartment and locate the woman. If others are present, knock them out.” He handed both men a leather-covered sap and a black hood. “Gag the woman, put this bag over her head, secure her arms, and bring her downstairs. I’ll wait with the car I hired this afternoon.”

Lights went out one by one throughout the building. After the last was extinguished, Umar waited fifteen minutes. “Go.”

Seto and Joko jumped out of the car and raced to the entrance. Joko held a small penlight on the lock. Seto gave a twist with two different lock picks, and the latch clicked. Joko pulled the handle, and they entered.

Locating the stairs, they padded up to the second floor. They glanced around the hallway—no one.

Seto worked his magic, and the door to apartment four opened. A body stirred on the sofa.

Joko put a finger to his lips and whispered, “Shush.”

They separated and approached from either side. In the moonlight shining through a window, Seto glanced at a woman sleeping on her stomach, her blonde hair spilled across the pillow. A click echoed in the room as the air conditioning switched on.

They paused after the noise, but the woman never stirred. Seto covered her mouth to smother any screams while Joko secured her wrists with rope. After shifting the strap of his tool bag over his shoulder, he wrapped a cloth gag around her face. They pulled her upright and dragged her outside.

Seto closed the door, and they rushed the struggling woman down two flights of stairs. Stopping at the building’s entrance, Seto pulled a black bag over her head. The coast clear, they hurried out to the car and pushed their captive inside the back seat. Joko climbed in after her while Seto ran around to the other side. As soon as the doors shut, Umar drove in a sedate manner until he reached the corner and sped away.

***

Back in Seto’s apartment, they dumped their struggling prisoner onto one of the chairs. Seto held her in place until Umar had bound her ankles and wrists. Panting from his efforts, Umar grabbed the hood and pulled it away.

He gasped. “It’s not her!”

More next time.

1541181671Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. Readers continue to provide their input, with 210 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three and four will soon be completed.  More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Rope on Fire (John Crane Series Book 1) by Mark Parragh. This is Mark’s first novel and he’s burst on the scene with a well-polished story. Once a government agent, but now jobless, John Crane refuses to take a new position offered on the outside, and seeks employment elsewhere.  Before long, a billionaire hires him to find out why someone is sabotaging a project he’s funded in Puerto Rico.

Mark’s story is filled with a wide array of characters, and the non-stop action was an easy read and kept me turning page after page. Can’t wait to move onto the next novel in the series!

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, June 23, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice! We celebrated by setting up a stall at the Falkland festival, an annual event. In addition to selling a few candles, eight copies of some of Sylvia’s poetry was sold, along with two signed copies of The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance. Happy days!

The weather cooperated a few days this week so painting continued on the fence. It’s transforming from its weather-beaten gray to a forest oak.  Still plenty to do, but at last some progress has been made. A morning shower is forecast, but if it doesn’t materialize or if it does but isn’t heavy, perhaps I’ll get some more painting done. If I can’t, there’s always a stone wall needing a good power spray to rejuvenate the colors.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 23rd. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Justus G Schottel, [Schottelius], German poet; Giambattista Vico, Italian philosopher and historian; Irvin S Cobb, Ky, writer/humorist (Old Judge Priest); Ernst Rowohlt, German publisher (Rowohlt-Verlag); Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet; Vladislav Vančura, Czech writer (Rozmarné léto); Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Turkish poet, novelist, recognized as one of the most important representatives of modernism in Turkish literature (A Mind at Peace, The Time Regulation Institute); Anthony Veiller, American writer (Night of Iguana, Moulin Rouge); Hans C Branner, Danish writer (Two Minutes of Silence); Carleton Coon, American anthropologist (What in the World); Wolfgang Koeppen, German author (Death in Rome); Paulus Akkerman [Paul fen Nijenborn], Frisian writer (Each om Each); Jacques Rabemananjara, Hungarian author/vice-president (Antsa); Michael Shaara, American writer (Killer Angels); Urs Jaeggi, Swiss sociologist and writer; Roger McDonald, Australian author; Kjell Albin Abrahamson, Swedish journalist and writer; Darhyl S. Ramsey, American author; and Maggie Greenwald, American film director and writer.

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple familiar ones. 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

Stay tuned for my online book tour, which begins on June 25th. Click on the following link for more information: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/the-bedlam-series-tour-sign-ups

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)The new cover for Carnage in Singapore, which will be released soon by Solstice Publishing, is now ready. Here’s another snippet: 

Alone in a corner of the ferry’s deck, the two men leaned over the railing. Umar finished the last of his cigarette and flicked the glowing remains into the water.

Joko glanced around. “What’s the next step?”

“We’ll meet with a Singapore police contact. He advises me on matters of interest to our cause. Afterward, we’ll join a friend who will help us with our next task.”

The Sindo Ferry docked an hour after departing Sekupang. They scampered off the vessel and joined other passengers heading to immigration. They waited their turn and stepped up to the desk.

The official glowered at them. “What is your purpose for visiting Singapore? How long?”

Umar placed their passports, completed disembarkation cards, and return tickets on the desk. “We came to visit the shopping mall.” He pointed at Joko. “My friend has never visited Singapore, and we thought we’d make the journey. We have return tickets to Batam Island in three days.”

***

The officer shook his head. “No names.” He gestured at the box. “The information you requested is under the chocolates.”

Umar fished a small paper bag out of a pocket and placed it beside the candy. “A small gift for sharing your sweets with us.”

The man slid the bag off the table and underneath. Leaning back, he inspected the contents, a smile growing across his face. “A fair trade.” He drained his cup and stood. “Enjoy your stay. I must return to the office.”

Umar turned to Joko. “Go get two drinks to take away. I’ll find out what he left for us.”

After Joko left, Umar lifted the plastic tray from the box. Underneath, a white envelope. Inside, a single sheet of paper, with an address. Umar shoved the paper in his pocket and helped himself to another Malaysian chocolate. He placed the cover on the package and tucked it under his arm. He spotted Joko returning with two cups and joined him.

“Did he provide what you wanted?” Joko nodded toward the box as he sipped on his beverage.

Umar tossed the container in a nearby trashcan. “Yes. Now we meet with someone else. When we join him, I’ll explain everything.”

More next time.

With my external activities this past week, work on A 1541181671Cartel’s Revenge slowed, although I’ll post the next chapter today to the two subscription writing sites I use. There’s been 189 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

Once Carnage in Singapore is released, I’ll begin adding snippets from A Cartel’s Revenge. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the synopsis, here you go:

A Colombian drug lord watched her profits diminish over the years. Unable to increase market share because of a shrinking consumer base and a new international competitor, she form an unholy alliance.

Olivia Moreno, head of the Barranquilla Cartel, struck a deal with a regional leader within the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Little did she know but she initiated her own death warrant. FARC had an unknown support group who wanted a foothold in South America – Islamic State.

Forced to flee, Moreno is captured by a small CIA team. Fearing for her life, she spins a tale about using her money and manpower to destroy ISIS. Laws and rules of engagement mean nothing to her, only her life and family matter.

Will team leader AJ Bruce strike a deal to turn the tables on ISIS and stop them from launching a concentrated attack on the United States? Or will they be too late? If successful, will Moreno’s reward be total control of Afghanistan’s poppy fields or will she be doubled-crossed?

Books I’m Reading

I didn’t have a chance this week to gather my thoughts regarding my latest reading. I hope to provide one or two reviews 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, April 28, 2019

After a brilliant Easter weekend filled with plenty of sunshine and temperatures reaching 74F/24C, we’ve struggled since Tuesday to hit 60F/15C. The lower temperatures were accompanied by rain and hail but at least that seems to be behind us for the next few days. I hope–more work to do outside, with several shrubs waiting to be planted.

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

Charles Cotton, English poet and writer; Karl Kraus, Austrian satirical writer; Franz Arnold, German writer; Bruno Apitz, German writer (Nackt unter Wölfen); Johan Borgen, Norwegian author (Lillelord); Pierre Boileau, French novelist (Vertigo); Sam Merwin, Jr., American mystery fiction writer; Lee Falk, American comic strip writer (The Phantom); Joop Waasdorp, Dutch writer (Naked Life); Robert Anderson, American writer (Tea & Sympathy, I Never Sang for My Father); Alistair MacLean, Scottish novelist (The Guns of Navarone); [Nelle] Harper Lee, American author (To Kill a Mockingbird); Lois Duncan, American young adult novelist (I Know What You Did Last Summer); Iryna Zhylenko, Ukrainian poet (An Evening Party in an Old Winery); Terry Pratchett, English author of fantasy novels (Discworld); Roberto Bolano, Latin American author and poet; Nicky Gumbel, British author and priest; and Ian Rankin, Scottish novelist.

How many did you recognize? There’s two or three who might 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

Carnage in Singapore is now ready for submission. Just working on the query letter and anticipate forwarding my manuscript next Sunday. Here’s another snippet:

1539534550Harrison stifled a yawn. “Didn’t get much sleep last night. Might be the novel I started about a couple of FBI agents. A cracker couple, both on the job and in their personal lives. Outstanding stuff.”

“After reading report after report all day, I don’t understand how you manage to read at home.”

“Work-life balance.” Harrison took a tentative slurp of his Tetley tea. “It gives me pleasure to read a variety of authors and immerse myself in their imaginary worlds. An excellent stress reliever and helps keep me sane after what we deal with on a regular basis.”

Margaret chuckled before she slipped out the door. She returned moments later with a leather-padded binder labeled, ‘Daily Read Folder.’ “Happy reading.”

Harrison leaned back in his chair, the folder in one hand and his tea in the other. After propping his feet on the corner of the desk, he nudged the binder open with a thumb and began perusing.

He took another sip of his drink and bolted upright. “Damn!” Hot liquid splashed onto his lap, soaking the bottom of his shirt and his trousers. He leapt to his feet, banged the empty cup and saucer onto the tray, and threw the folder to the far side of the desk. “Margaret! I need your help.”

She rushed into the room and spotted Harrison’s dilemma. After grabbing a handful of napkins from the tray holding his saucer and now-empty cup, she tossed several to him and bent down to soak up the runaway tea from the carpet and chair.

“Never mind the spillage—I’ll take care of it. Did you read through the folder?” She glanced at her boss. “The memo from the Indonesians?”

He nodded. “Yes. What did we miss? I better speak with Evelyn right away. Will you take care of the Viper connection? I never get it to work.”

Margaret cocked her head. “Sure thing. It must be bothersome being challenged by technology.”

“You’re not much younger than me.” He laughed. “One of these days, I might surprise you and conquer the blasted thing.”

***

Ollie and Barbara focused their attention on Alf.

He nodded. “Yes. My contact in the FBI finished his examination of the sample I sent him. He confirmed my diagnosis of PETN, but a trace of another chemical showed up.”

“Anything we should worry about?” Barbara doodled on a piece of paper by her side, a stick character with a noose around its head.

“Someone tried to enhance the PETN. My FBI guy identified the material as hydrochloric acid, an ingredient in Triacetone Triperoxide, or TATP, an explosive popping up with terrorist groups in the Middle East. The British ‘shoe bomber’ tried to use TATP as his detonator to take down an American Airlines flight back in 2001, but he didn’t succeed.”

Alf glanced around the room. “This is a serious threat to commercial transportation when it’s added to sheet explosives that can be concealed inside luggage. According to America’s Homeland Security, conventional detection systems have difficulty in identifying the low atomic signatures of this explosive. Perhaps an alert should be issued.”

Evelyn nodded. “I’ll talk to Harrison about the alert. Thanks for the update, Alf. Anything else?”

After Alf shook his head, Evelyn continued. “Noah must still be busy in Singapore. No word from him yet. I’ll ask DG Robertson to contact Sir Alex and arrange for a member of Bedlam Bravo to join us.” She heaved a sigh, expelling her tension.

“Right. Continue with your training. As of now, you’re on thirty-minute recall.” Evelyn gazed at her team. “Check your bags. Full arms. When we deploy, we’ll be the hunters.” Heaven help us all ….

Perhaps more next time.

I’ve continue to edit the original chapters of  A Cartel’s Revenge. Originally, this was to be a stand-alone novel, but now this will be book one of the Bruce and Smith series. So far, I’ve revised chapters 1-6, with thirty-eight new chapter reviews from the two subscription writing sites I use.  Here’s a snippet for you: 1541181671

Three armored vehicles raced through the hacienda’s open gates. Dust billowed in their wake as guard took up defensive positions from the top of the wall to strategic areas of the drivway. Two unarmored SUVs escorted the procession. One took the lead while the other brought up the rear.

Seventy-year-old Jesús Pedro Zapata and his forty-five-year-old son, Oscar, relaxed in the middle vehicle. The Medellin Country Club’s weekly buffet luncheon drew father, son, and Zapata’s daughter, Olivia, along with numerous local dignitaries and powerful landowners. On this rare occasion, she missed the gathering due to a prior commitment in Panama City, where she and their lawyers sought to close a deal for the purchase of a sugar cane plantation.

The convoy slowed. Zapata dropped the inner glass partition to find out why. Ahead, yellow flashing lights and trucks emblazoned with Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. blocked the road. A man waved the convoy onto a side street. Additional trucks blocked the next intersection. Before the vehicles reversed, more trucks cut off their escape.

Zapata screamed, “Get us out of here! Hurry, before it’s too late!”

Perhaps I’ll include a bit more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Cassandra by Blair Howard. This is another excellent read, given to us by a master storyteller. Lt. Kate Gazzara is up to her ears with internal police department issues when she’s instructed to update the assistant police chief on the cases she’s working on, including a twenty-three-year-old murder of a young woman named Cassandra.

I enjoy how Blair blends his larger-than-life characters together with an excellent plot, which keeps readers guessing as to the perpetrator of the crime. This is well-written and moves at a fast pace. Highly recommended for those you enjoy crime stories.

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.

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 3, 2019

Here we are in another month. Seems like only yesterday we celebrated New Year’s! It’s great to have more daylight, even if the weather’s still a bit unsettled. The plants seem to think spring is on the way as more and more buds are popping out each day. Hope there’s no sudden dip in the temperature to cause them harm.

The painting moved from the hallway to the living room. Things appear to be completed for now, although when the doors and windows can be left open, it’ll be time to paint the trims.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 3rd. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Edmund Waller, England, poet (Penshust); Thomas Otway, England, playwright/poet (Venice Preserved); William Godwin, philosopher/political writer (Caleb Williams); Charles Sealsfield [Carl Anton Postl], Austrian-American writer; Vissarion Belinsky, Russian author (Literary Review); Alexandros Papadiamantis, Greek author; Arthur Machen, Welsh-born author; Alain, [Emile-Auguste Chartier], French philosopher/writer; Tore Ørjasæter, Norwegian poet; Beatrice Wood, potter/artist/author; Yuri Olesha, Russian writer; Rabbe A Enckell, Fins author/poet (Lutad about Brunnen); Artur Lundkvist, Swedish writer/Swedish Academy (Agadir); Aar van de Werfhorst, [Pieter G Jansen], Dutch writer; Kenton Kilmer, American writer; Roger Caillois, French writer (Les Jeux et les Hommes); Bert van Aerschot, Flemish writer (Elevator, Women); James Ingram Merrill, US poet/author (Scripts for the Pageant); Gudrun Pausewang, German writer; Hans Pieter Verhagen, Dutch poet (Hoepla/Holland’s Hole); Germán Castro Caycedo, Colombian writer and journalist; Roger Swaybill, actor/writer (Porky’s II, Breaking Point); and Clifton Snider, American poet and writer.

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:

After sharing a breakfast of fresh-squeezed orange juice and a variety of sliced fruit, Musa bid farewell to his old friend. He stepped onto the veranda where the same armed men waited to escort him to the beach. They helped him onto the waiting speedboat, which pulled away and skipped over the calm waves.

Musa thought about the past twenty-four hours. So, it begins. We’ve created a path to join JI. Now, I must make things work.

Before long, the rhythmic rocking of the boat lulled Musa to sleep.

The next morning as he awoke, the boat pulled into the harbor of Tanjung Pinang, the largest town on Bintan Island. After he clambered up a ladder to the dock, he spotted Umar waiting for him. Umar took Musa’s single bag, and they walked to a nearby microlet, a battered, once-white, minibus.

They remained silent until they left the outskirts of Tanjung Pinag, heading toward Gunung Bintan. Umar glanced at Musa. “How did your visit go with Abu Zeze?”

Musa smiled. “Excellent. He supports us.”

“We will not let you down.” Umar released a pent-up sigh. “The men are waiting for us.”

***

Once they hid the van in a tight copse of trees, they climbed the hill. Dusk beckoned, and a few flickering lights could be seen through the foliage as they approached the camp.

Umar led Musa into the central hut. Ten men jumped to their feet. Musa sat in his self-appointed chair and grinned at his followers as they grabbed seats on the benches. “Abu Zeze agreed to our plan. We are now aligned with Jemaah Islamiyah. Our first strike will be within two weeks.”

The men whistled, stomped their feet and slapped each other on the back.

Musa waved for quiet. “We have one other issue to decide.” He stared at each man in turn. “What should we do with our remaining hostages?”

“Kill them! Kill them! Kill them!”

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 write a bit more on chapter three.

I’m also assisting a fellow writer with paring down his first book, a memoir based on his father’s life as a hobo during the Great Depression. A fascinating read!

Books I’m Reading

Over the past few days, I finished reading Five Light-Years to the Firesnake. Rayner Ye’s debut novel depicts what the future might hold for people of distant planets and galaxies. Those with power continue to prey on the powerless, forcing them into a life of misery. Follow Aedre as she deals with the death of her mother and eventually ends up as a slave. But the future holds some promise that things might change for her.

Rayner’s characters come across as vivid and believable as the plot unfolds. An excellent space fantasy story. Look forward to the next installment.

My Favorite Authors

In addition to Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Clive Cussler, another favorite author is Brad Thor. Like the others, Brad’s stories have an international flavor to them, are full of action and suspense, with life-like characters. It’s no wonder he’s on my list of favorites!

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, January 27, 2019

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of the first month of the new year. At least I’ve noticed daylight is coming a bit earlier and staying a bit later. Always a good sign! We’ve been fortunate thus was regarding the white stuff (knock on wood), which means those animals and birds who forage during the winter will be able to get to their food supplies.

We assume our two hedgehogs are sound asleep in their nests, as we haven’t seen them for several weeks and their food is undisturbed. Roll on spring!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 27th. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann A Cramer, prime minister/poet; Hester Thrale, Welsh diarist; David F Strauss, German theologist (Jesus’ Life); Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], English author (Alice in Wonderland); Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Austrian writer (masochism); Rafael Obligado, Argentina, writer (Santos Vega); Neel [Cornelia H] Doff, Dutch/French/Belgian painter’s model/writer; Giuseppe Prezzolini, Italian writer (La Voce, La Cultura Italiano); Ilja Ehrenburg, writer; William Randolph Hearst, Jr., American newspaper magnate (Hearst Newspapers) and 1955 Pulitzer Prize winner; E. R. Braithwaite, diplomat and writer (To Sir with Love); Fritz Spiegl, Austrian journalist; Gastón Suárez, Bolivian novelist; Mordecai Richler, Montreal author, (Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz); Ismail Kadare, Albanian author/poet (Dimri i Madh); Ethan Mordden, American author; Alexander Stuart, British author; and James Grippando, American novelist.

How many are you 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!

News About My Published Work

transparentbeverly_sweets_png copyI’m absolutely thrilled with the news I received earlier this week. Both of my published novels, The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance have moved forward in the judging rounds from SLUSH pile to the 2018 Long List (aka the Slush Pile Survivors) to the SHORTLIST and have competed for the 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER SEMIFINALISTS positions. They are two of the thirteen novels making the semi-finalist lists! The complete list is available by clicking here: CIBA.

TKCDA-3D-cover

 

Dangerous Alliance will be featured in the February 1st edition of the monthly magazine, The Big Thrill, issued by the International Thriller Writers. To celebrate this event, the Kindle version of Dangerous Alliance will be free across the Amazon network on February 1st and 2nd. 

My Work in Progress

I completed the first draft of my manuscript for Carnage in Singapore last weekend. Now my time is spent going through the myriad of chapter reviews and selecting suggestions which I feel will help improve my story. As of this morning, I have 681 chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use, so plenty of recommendations to choose from.

I’ve also been playing with the outline for my fourth novel, Ultimate Escalation. While I do have an initial opening chapter, I’ve decided to add at least one additional one at the beginning. This will be used to show how the story’s main protagonist came to be.

Books I’m Reading

Contact, by author M.D. Neu, was released this week. This is a well-crafted story from an up-and-coming author about a civilization searching for a home after the destruction of their home world. But, what if this really happens? Will we be able to handle things as Todd Landon and his husband, Jerry, did?

Warning signs appear when the American President begins shifting troops back to the U.S. Why? Before long, he appears on television and explains: the Nentraee, a humanoid race, is approaching Earth. While some people begin panicking, thanks to his estranged brother, Brad, Todd and Jerry, although sceptical, appear to be handling the mind-boggling news rather well. When Todd is chosen by his company boss to be part of a welcoming committee when members of the Nentraee visit, before long he finds himself in a vehicle heading to a reception with one of their leaders.

Not everyone can handle the development, and their transportation is blown up in an attack. Todd is injured, along with the Nentraee leader. Racked with physical and mental pain, Todd is at wit’s end when the Nentraee state they want him to be their envoy to work with Earth. He eventually takes the role, much to the delight of the Nentraee and to the angst of the American Secretary of State. What will the future hold?

Although I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, I can’t wait for the sequel. M.D. Neu’s a brilliant writer and this story is begging to be read.

I’m also assisting a fellow writer in trimming the length of his memoir to meet his publisher’s desired word count. I think it’s a fantastic story about his father’s life during the Great Depression.

My Favorite Authors

I had planned to share with you one of the authors who helped to shape my interest in writing thriller novels. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, so I’ll cover this 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, January 20, 2019

Another mild start to the day, with temperatures hovering in the mid-30s (F). Unlike the past couple of days, where there’s been plenty of sunshine, it’s gray. Not just a bit, but an ugly mass of gray as far as the eye can see. Oh well–it is winter after all. So far, the white stuff has stayed away, although the other evening as I stood watching the rain and waiting for one of the cats to come inside, I noticed the rain became whiter and whiter. Fortunately, it didn’t last long before the precipitation stopped altogether.

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

Susanna van Baerle, Dutch poet; Michiel de Swaen, South Netherland physician/poet; Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, Italian writer and jurist; Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer and numismatist; Eugène Sue, French novelist; Nathaniel Willis, writer/editor/founder (American Monthly Mag); Richard Le Gallienne, English writer (Maker of Gainborg); Johannes V Jensen, Danish novelist/poet (Energy Storage, Nobel 1944); A[braham] Merritt, American sci-fi author (The Moon Pool, Burn Witch Burn); Elmer R Diktonius, Finnish musicologist/author (Janne Kubik); Theodore Brameld, author/educator (Use of Explosive Ideas); C W Ceram, [Kurt W Marek], German/US writer (March of Archaeology); DeForest Kelley, American actor, screenwriter, poet and singer (Star Trek); Thorleif Schjelderup, Norwegian author and ski jumper; Bernt Engelmann, German writer; Eugen Gomringer, writer; Jamiluddin Aali, Pakistani poet, essayist and columnist; Qurratulain Hyder, Pakistani novelist; Sawako Ariyoshi, Japanese writer (Compound Pollution, Doctor’s Wife); Eddie Shah, English publisher (Today, Post); Susan Vreeland, American author (The Passion of Artemisia); Nancy Kress, American writer; and Edward Hirsch, American poet.

How many are you 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!

News About My Published Work

DA-3D-coverI was delighted to find out that my latest novel, Dangerous Alliance, moved from the slush pile and is now on the official 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards shortlist!  This is a prestigious award sponsored by Chanticleer International Book Awards. Dangerous Alliance is one of seventeen novels making the shortlist, so competition for the semi-finalist positions will be stiff. Wish me luck!

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I’m not sure when the semi-finalists will be announced, but I’ll include the names of the authors and the titles of their work when I find out.

 

 

My Work in Progress

My poor brain! It continued to work overtime this week, and I’m pleased to announce the completion of the entire first draft of Carnage in Singapore. Lots of editing to do as I work my way through the 622 chapter reviews it’s received from my faithful followers on the two subscription writing sites I use. Stay tuned for more information and a snippet or two.

Books I’m Reading

My nightly reading time has been focused on a beta read of a new novel by up-and-coming author, M.D. Neu. Watch for the release of Contact on January 21st! I’ll be posting my review on Amazon and Goodreads tomorrow and here next Sunday.

My Favorite Authors

Feedback from blog followers suggested I talk about my favorite authors. I plan to begin this section next Sunday, barring any unavoidable circumstances. I think it’s a good idea to share with you the authors who have influenced my work. I’ll discuss famous authors and also introduce you to new authors whose work I’ve enjoyed.

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 30, 2018

Despite the end of the year being upon us, the weather hasn’t been bad, with temperatures around 50F/10C. Of course, it also means we’re having damp days, but it can’t be helped. I think I’d rather have this than be out with the shovel taking care of the ‘s’ word.

With the dawn of 2019 approaching I want to wish everyone health and prosperity for the new year.

Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on this last day of the year. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Vincenzo da Filicaja, Italian poet; Theodor Fontane, German writer (Effi Briest); Heinrich Hart, German writer (Song of Humanity); Rudyard Kipling, English author (Jungle Book, Gunga Din-Nobel 1907); Georg von der Vring, German painter and writer (Soldier Suhren); Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author; Daniil Kharms [Yuvatchov], Russian surrealist and absurdist writer, poet, and playwright; Paul Bowles, writer (The Shelting Sky); Elyne Mitchell, Australian author; Sara A Lidman, Swedish author (Jag Och Min Son, Samtal in Hanoi); Patrick Bowles, American writer and translator; Richard Christ, writer; Glenda Adams, Australian author; Vladimir Bukovsky, Russian author and dissident; Lewis Shiner, American sci-fi/fantasy author; Somtow Sucharitkul [S. P. Somtow], Thai composer and sci-fi author (Utopia Hunters); Douglas Coupland, Canadian author; and Chandler Burr, American 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

DA-3D-coverTKC

 

A special thank you to all who purchased copies of my books during the past year. Your support has been greatly appreciated and makes all the hard work worthwhile. Thank you!

This brings us to a close for this year and I’ll return again next Sunday with a full post. 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. Happy New Year!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved