Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 9, 2018

A crisp but sunny start to the day. Definitely beats the slightly warmer but rainy weather! Since it’s December, who know what the next week will bring?

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

Peter, Duke of Coimbra and writer (Virtuosa Benfeitoria); John Milton, English poet and puritan (Paradise Lost); Johann Winckelmann, German archaeologist (History of Ancient Art); George Grossmith, British actor, comedian and writer (The Diary of a Nobody, A Society Clown); Joel Chandler Harris, US journalist (created Uncle Remus stories); Maksim Bahdanovič, Belarusian poet; Jean de Brunhoff, French children’s book author (Babar the Elephant); Leonie Fuller Adams, US poetess (Those not elected); Ödön von Horváth, Hungarian-born writer; Dalton Trumbo, American writer/film director (Johnny Got His Gun); Herbert Huncke, writer; Jerome Beatty Jr., American author; Jan Křesadlo, Czech writer; Joe McGinniss, author (Selling of President 1968); Ki Longfellow, American novelist; and Dobroslav Paraga, Croatian politician and editor.

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-coverFor those using Kindle, Dangerous Alliance will be available free on December 14th-16th across the Amazon network. Also, Dangerous Alliance made it through the first round of cover voting from allauthor.com. Could certainly use some additional votes but check out the site and vote for the covers you like the most. https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/

My Work in Progress

Much of my writing time over the past week was once again devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. However, I did manage to complete another chapter of Carnage in Singapore. The manuscript has now received 504 chapter reviews, all assisting me in improving my writing and tweaking the story.

This brings us to a close for another week as external events require my attenion. 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, 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

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, June 17, 2018

To those who are fathers or soon-to-be, Happy Father’s Day! Hope you have a great day.

Any fathers with a birthday today? Here are some folks from the writing world who were born on June 17th (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Everhardus J Potgieter, Dutch writer/publisher (The Guide);Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian author; Ferdinand Freiligrath, German poet and translator; Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya/Chatterjee, Bengali writer and poet (Vande Mataram); Henry Lawson, Australian poet; James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, leader of the NAACP and Harlem Renaissance poet; Nicolae Iorga, writer/poet/literature historian/President of Romania; Carl Van Vechten, American writer and photographer (Red, Nigger Heaven); Michail Swetlow, writer; Jacob “Jimmy” Herman Huizinga, journalist/writer; Viktor P Nekrasov, Ukrainian author (Vokopach Stalingrada); Felix Hartlaub, writer; John R Hersey, author (Hiroshima, Bell for Adano, Wall); Max Dendermonde, [Henk Hazelhoff], Dutch literary; Gotthold Gloger, writer; Harry Browne, American free-market libertarian writer, politician, and investment analyst; Hanna Johansen, writer; Peter Rosei, Austrian writer; Gail Jones, Australian author; and Will Forte, American writer, actor and comedian.

Recognize anyone? Even if you don’t, I hope you have a fantastic birthday!

My Work in Progress

FINALIST - 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards

On June 15th, the winner of the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards was announced. Amy J. Markstahler’s Life Happens on the Stairs grabbed the top prize.

The other finalists were: Mari Clark for The Road to Dusty Death, Barbara Kline’s Inside the Enemy, your’s truly for Dangerous Alliance, and Chio Ojukwu’s To Cross a Blade and a Dagger.

  • Many congraDangerous Alliancets to all as the competition was stiff. I hope to have another novel ready for next year’s competition. I suspect many of the finalists are already hard at work on their next stories. Watch for publication of these novels and support these rising writing stars.

This week I concentrated on reviews for people who had helped out with Dangerous Alliance. Without their support, I wouldn’t have ended up as a finalist. Many thanks to all of my supporters!

I should be back to writing as normal next week. In the meantime, here’s a snippet from Carnage in Singapore, the follow-on story to Dangerous Alliance:

The woman gasped for breath, her slight figure paused against a tree. Her head snapped from right to left, a whimper whipped away in the wind. Covered in slime and blood, her clothes in tatters, she lunged into the middle of the path.

The gnarled roots of a monkey pod tree remained hidden beneath a layer of mud. A perfect trap to catch any unsuspecting creature, they waited for someone to approach.

Unsure if wild creatures or savage humans created the path, she didn’t care. All she wanted was to escape.

The pain in her chest easing, she staggered away. She struggled in the mud and stumbled, her foot caught in the roots of a nearby tree. She fell to the ground, her hands sinking into the thick ooze.

“Help!”

Who would save her in the middle of nowhere? She kicked at the root and twisted her leg until her foot popped free. She pulled herself to the edge of the mud pit and onto hard ground.

Craack!

Back on her feet, she pumped her knees to escape the sludge, her heart rate accelerating as panic skyrocketed.

A bolt of lightning lit the sky, striking a nearby tree. Shadows slithered in front of her, blocking her way forward.

She turned, searching for an escape route.

Rough hands grabbed her by the shoulders in a vise-like grip and threw her to the ground.

 

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I finished reading two books this week, the second one at almost midnight last night. I haven’t finished my reviews yet, so I’ll post them 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. Since I mentioned the rising stars who were finalists in the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards, it’s only fitting I include several up and coming authors:

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!

MD Neu – writer and published author, Follow MD’s writing journey and check out his interviews with other authors. He’s also released The Calling, an excellent sci-fi story, plus several others.

B. Douglas Slack – A newly published author, Mr. Slack provides an interesting style as he brings us a romance spanning the globe–an American man and a Japanese woman. Follow their story in You Only Love Twice.

Michael Kent – If you love crime stories, Michael has a great selection for you to read!

End of The Lime; The Beginning – a website dedicated to poetry by J.S.T. Louise.

Texas Outlaw Poet – check out this site by poet/author Jeff Callaway.

Alan Kemister – Follow Alan’s blog to learn more about him and his writing adventures.

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, June 3, 2018

Another month has passed us by. Hard to believe how fast times speeds by. The end of May brought us superb temperatures, reaching up to 88F/31C. However, the hot weather didn’t last long. Yesterday was only 59F/15C. While this would have been fine back in April, with a drop of twenty-nine degrees in just a day or so required the use of a sweatshirt to keep warm outdoors. Oh well–Michigan weather!

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

Sydney Smith, preacher/reformer/author; William Hone, author/bookseller (Every-Day Book); Eugeen van Oye, Flemish writer/poet (Morning Twilight); Detlev [Freiherr Friedrich A von] Liliencron, German poet; Rosa Chacel, spanish novelist; Gerard den Brabander, [Jan G Jofriet], poet (Nothing New); Louis Simmonds, bookseller; Wilfred Thesiger, explorer/writer; Pedro Mir, Dominican Poet Laureate; David Richard Holloway, literary editor; Gerhard Zwerenz, writer; Allen Ginsberg, American beat poet (Howl);  Marion Zimmer Bradley, American sci-fi author (Storm Queen); Larry McMurtry, US scriptwriter (Lonesome Dove, Pulitzer 1986); Melissa Mathison, American screenwriter (E.T.); and Lawrence Lessig, American lawyer and author.

Recognize anyone? Even if you don’t, I hope you have a fantastic birthday!

My Work in Progress

My plans to finish the cast of characters for Dangerous Alliance this week didn’t work out as planned. Once again, too many external requirements meant I did very little with my works in progress. Hopefully, the next week will be more promising and I can get back to writing. I also plan to bring another snippet or two.

Books I’m Reading

Even my evening reading and reviewing suffered this past week. All being well, I’ll be back to normal and continue providing my thoughts on the various works I’ve been reading.

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.

Michael Kent – check out Michael’s crime novels–well worth a read.

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, May 27, 2018

Happy Memorial Day!  Originally an American public holiday to honor veterans who served in the armed forces, it’s morphed into the unofficial start of the summer holiday season. Friends and family join together to open up vacation homes, relax, fire up barbecues, and enjoy the long weekend.

The weather is certainly giving a summer feel to the weekend, with temperatures in our area reaching as high as 86F/30C. Of course, with the high temperatures comes the threat of thunderstorms. There were a few scattered thunderclaps yesterday afternoon, but no rain in our area.

Are you celebrating a birthday today? If so, here’s a few people from the writing world and the Civil War you share with (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Julia Ward Howe, American author/lecturer (Battle Hymn of the Republic); Henry Parkes, British journalist/premier of Australia; John Gray Foster, American Major General (Union Army); Edwin Gray Lee, Brigadier General (Confederate Army); Robert Frederick Hoke, Major General (Confederate Army); Luigi Capuana, Sicilian author/critic (Roccaverdina); Georges Eekhoud, Belgian writer (Jeune Belgium); Arnold Bennett, English novelist/ playwright/critic (Great Babylon); Richard von Schaukal, Austria poet/writer (Eros Thanatos); Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski, Polish writer; Rudolf Pannwitz, German writer; Max Brod, Czech-born Israeli composer, writer and biographer of Kafta; Erich Kuttner, German journalist/historian (Vorwarts); Dashiell Hammett, detective novelist (Sam Spade, Maltese Falcon); Louis-Ferdinand Céline, French writer (Die Nacht); Uładzimir Zylka, Belarusian poet; Rachel Carson, American marine biologist, conservationist and writer (Silent Spring); Torolf Elster, Norwegian journalist/writer (Frihet och demokrati); John Cheever, writer (Wapshot Chronicle); Herman Wouk, American novelist (Caine Mutiny, Winds of War); Sidney AK Keyes, English poet (Iron Laurel); Tony Hillerman, American writer; Jan Blokker, Dutch writer/journalist (VPRO, People’s Newspaper); John Barth, novelist (Sot-Weed Factor); Harlan [Jay] Ellison, American sci-fi author (7 Hugos, Doomsman, Babylon 5); Adriaan Venema, Dutch journalist/author (Mussert); Norma Jean Almodovar, American author (Cop to Call Girl); and Rebekah Brooks, English journalist.

Recognize anyone? Even if you don’t, I hope you have a fantastic birthday!

My Work in Progress

I had hoped to finish my cast of characters for Dangerous Alliance this week. However, too many external requirements meant I did very little with my works in progress. Hopefully, the next week will be more promising and I can get back to writing.

Books I’m Reading

As mentioned a week or two ago, I finished another novel fro David Wood’s Dane Maddock’s adventure series. I hoped for another intriguing plot and Buccaneer didn’t disappoint. I’m sure many of you have heard of the Oak Island money pit. Used as the primary setting for Buccaneer, David created a whirlwind of a story, with treasure maps, Templar churches and a secretive organization trying to revive an ancient kingdom.

As with all of David’s novels in the series, Dane Maddock leads us on a roller coaster ride with plenty of twists and turns and plenty of realistic characters to aid readers in finding the treasure. This is one of those novels I just couldn’t put down and look forward to the next one in the series.

I had also hoped to provide a review of A Body in the Sacristy (Barrettsport  Mysteries Book 1) by Alan Kemister but will do this next time.

 

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