Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 10, 2019

We’re off to a chilly and gloomy start to the day. With temperatures at 34F/1C and cloudy skies as far as one can see, the hint of moisture in the air will likely dampen things before too long. Even with this, it’s reported March temperatures are above normal and this is borne out by the abundance of buds and flowers appearing. Hopefully, the weather won’t take a turn for the worse, although the forecast is for some snow today.

Oops–spoke too soon. The rain’s coming down!  Could be worse–I saw there were thousands of people without power in Michigan. Hope it’s restored soon.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 10th. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Constantine Huygens Jr, Dutch poet/painter/cartoonist; Georg F Creuzer, German philological/historian (Idea und Probe); Friedrich von Schlegel, German romantic writer/critic (Lucinde); Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, German poet (Das Marmorbild); Samuel Ferguson, Irish poet; Ina Donna Coolbrith, American poet laureate of California; Mary Mills Patrick, American author and 1st President of Istanbul Woman’s College; Pim [Willem JH] Mulier, Dutch journalist/writer/sport-organizer; Jakob Wassermann, German novelist (My Life as German & Jew); David M Chumaceiro, poet; Karel van de Woestijne, Flemish writer/poet (God at Sea); Nancy Cunard, British writer and activist; Pamela Mason [Ostrer], British actress, author and talk-show host (Lady Possessed); Boris Vian, French writer and musician; Adam Kennedy, American actor, screenwriter, novelist and painter (The Californians, Just Like Humphrey Bogart); Manolis Anagnostakis, Greek poet; Laurie Langenbach, Dutch author; Omer Tarin [Omer Salim Khan], Pakistani poet, scholar and activist; and Felice Arena, Australian children’s author.

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. I completed my first pass through the manuscript this week. Here’s another snippet:

Back in the team office, Barbara reached out to her former colleagues at the Security 1539534550Intelligence Service in Wellington, New Zealand. She picked up the receiver of a secure telephone on her desk and dialed a number from memory. A woman answered on the first ring.

“Research. How may I help?”

“Harper, is that you? Barbara Battersea here.”

A squeal of delight forced Barbara to pull the phone away from her ear. “Babs! How the hell are you? Been ages since we last spoke.”

“I’m cooking with gas. Busy finding a place to live and settling into the new job.”

“Any opening for a primo researcher? I could sure use a change of pace.”

“None right now, but send me your resume and I’ll pass it to our team leader.”

“Right. So, other than a chat, what did you call for?”

Barbara glanced at the ceiling. “Almost forgot.” She gave a breathy laugh. “I’m working up a profile about Jemaah Anshorut Daulah. Would you mind sending over whatever’s available?”

“I’ll check with my supervisor, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem. There isn’t much. Since they haven’t made any attacks against New Zealand, they’re not on our radar.”

“Whatever you can provide will be fine. I’m reaching out to the Brits, America, Singapore, and Malaysia, too.”

***

Back in the lab, Alf checked the output of the mass spectrometer that analyzed the effluent from the HPLC. The graph showed two peaks. The smaller one was identified as acetone, which he’d expected since he used this to prepare the sample. His eyes widened as his gaze rested on the label above the larger spike, which almost reached the top of the graph. “I’ll be ….”

More next time.

1539535798I didn’t have much time left over to work on the final book of the series, Ultimate Escalation. However, I did manage to complete and post chapter three to the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, there’s been thirty-seven chapter reviews, all helping me improve the story and my writing.

I also continued 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

I’m currently doing two beta reads, so I won’t be able to post my reviews until they’re published.  I should have one or two over reviews for you 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, 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, February 24, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Work in Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Thank you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More next time.

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

 

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

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

My Favorite Authors

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

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

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 17, 2019

This coming Saturday, we’ll be participating in our first craft fair of 2019 at Falkland, Scotland. Our table will include knitwear, hand-made candles, pyrography (woodburning), laminated poetry sheets, and my two published novels. Hope to have a good time and sell a few things! All being well, the weather we’ve had over the past few days will continue so people will be out and about and stop by for a visit.

The bulk of the new kitchen has been completed, with just some tiling and painting to do. When things are finished, I’ll include a photo or two.

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

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Spanish poet; Louisa Lawson, Australian suffragist and writer; Samuel Sidney McClure, Irish-American newspaper editor/publisher; Mori Ōgai, Japanese novelist and poet; Fyodor Sologub, Russian symbolist novelist and poet; Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson, NSW Australia, poet (Waltzing Matilda); Henri Vandeputte, Belgian author/poet (L’homme Jeune); Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and writer; Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American novelist (Book-of-Month-Club); Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, British priest, broadcaster and author (Viaduct Murder); Georg Britting, writer; Theodor Plievier, German writer (Des Kaisers Kulis, Stalingrad); Albert Kuyle, [Louis Kuitenbrouwer], Dutch writer (Jesus’ Robe); Charles B Timmer, Dutch translator/writer (Russia Black on White); Alice “Andre” Norton, American sci-fi author (The Time Traders, The Zero Stone); Per-Jakez Helias, writer/teacher; Margaret Truman, Mo, pres daughter/writer (Murder at FBI); Chaim Potok, American novelist (Promise); Ruth Rendell, English thriller writer (Inspector Wexford novels); Dallas Adams, British actor/painter/writer (Terror From Within); and  Mo Yan, Chinese novelist and nobel laureate (Red Sorghum Clan, The Republic of Wine).

How many are you familiar with? There’s definitely one or two who should be recognizable, 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:

Six wooden huts, each sheltered by immense monkeypod trees, stood in a semicircle near a small cave entrance at the base of Gunung Bintan, a small mountain of 340 meters. Although the occasional tourist group trekked up to the top and down the other side the huts were in an area not frequented by the groups.

A short, gaunt man with black hair, glasses and a full beard, stepped out of the largest hut. Known by the nom de guerre as Musa Rahmet, he was the local leader of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah.

Umar Darma dashed through the downpour from an adjacent hut and joined Musa. Scars crisscrossed his face, the result of a near-fatal motorcycle accident. He shook himself to remove excess water and squatted against the hut’s wall. “The foreigners are secured in their beds with chains. They won’t escape like the others.”

Musa nodded. “Has Wayan identified anyone else for us to seize from Trikora Beach Club?”

“Not yet.”

Musa waved his cigarette. “No matter. The four should be sufficient to make a statement. Too many have escaped.”

More next time.

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

In addition, I did some reformatting of two other works in progress: A Cartel’s Revenge and New World Revolution. More about these titles in upcoming posts.

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished Deep Wave (A Troy Bodean Tropical Thriller Book 2) by David F. Berens. This is an easy read with multiple humorous passages sprinkled throughout. One thing which seemed to identify Troy’s character was his hat, which he kept losing and it returned like a wayward puppy. What did Troy spot in the water–a shipwreck or something sinister? He’s hoping it might be a wreck filled with treasure. However, other parties are also interested in what he found with disastrous consequences.

Follow Troy, his brother, and friends as they rush to explore their find. David’s mix of humor, thrills, and even a bit of romance, provides something for everyone.

My Favorite Authors

Next time, I’ll introduce you to another author who has influenced my writing. Unfortunately, I ran out of time this week.

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 10, 2019

It’s been a busy week. A wall came down; a doorway was sealed. Parts of the floor were ripped up. The old kitchen was ripped out and a new one is installed, except for a few tweaks. Hopefully, the new flooring will be delivered as scheduled and by the end of this coming week, things will be wrapping up.

Of course, there will still be some tiling to do, as well as some painting, and an island added. When everything’s finished, we’ll have a new eat-in kitchen.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on February 10th. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Suckling, English Cavalier poet/dramatist/courtier; William Congreve, England, writer (Old Bachelor, Way of the World); Aaron Hill, English playwright/poet (Tragedy of Zara); Charles Lamb, British critic/poet/essayist (Essays of Elia); [Fran J] Vital Celen, Flemish literary/author; Giuseppe Ungaretti, Italian poet (Hermeticism) and journalist; Howard Spring, British author/novelist/writer/critic (O Absalom); Boris Pasternak, Russian novelist and poet (Doctor Zhivago, Nobel 1958); Bertolt Brecht, German poet and playwright (Mother Courage); Joseph Kessel, French journalist/writer (Army of the Shadows); Armand Bernier, Belgian poet (Sorcier Triste); Alexander Comfort, English poet/writer (Wreath for the Living); Jakov Lind, German/British author (Counting My Footsteps); Thomas Bernhard, writer; Fleur Adcock, New Zealand poet; John Shirley, and American sci-fi author (Eclipse Penumbra, Eclipse Corona).

How many are you familiar with? There’s definitely one who should be recognizable, perhaps not his name, but his 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!

News About My Published Work

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Nothing new to report this work. As I previously mentioned, both The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance are two of the thirteen semi-finalists for the CIBA Global Thriller Book Awards, which will be announced the end of April. Stay tuned.

 

DA-3D-coverTKC

 

Both novels are available across the Amazon Network, through Barnes&Noble, and other outlets.

 

My Work in Progress

Editing is progressing nicely 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 the cell door shut, Evelyn sat on a chair opposite the prisoner. Ollie leaned against the door while Barbara took up a position within easy reach of the terrorist should she need to subdue him again.

Evelyn gazed at the man, allowing the silence to build.

Beads of perspiration broke out on his forehead, trickling down his face. Unable to maintain eye contact with Evelyn, he turned to the side and spat on the floor.

The members of Bedlam Charlie remained quiet as the man squirmed and tested his bonds. Unable to break free, his eyes flicked from one face to another. He licked his lips, staring at a water bottle on a small table to Evelyn’s left.

Noticing his interest, Evelyn opened the bottle and took a sip. “Are you thirsty? Answer our questions and I’ll give you the bottle.”

He glared at her but didn’t respond.

“First question. What is your name?”

Silence.

Evelyn jumped to her feet. “Name!”

In what appeared to be a reflex action, the man leaned back in his chair. “Kaku.”

“What is your full name?”

Kaku shook his head.

“You will answer our questions. Otherwise, Captain Kusuma and his men will resume their questioning.”

“They beat me. If I free, I kill them.”

“Tell me your full name.”

Kaku fidgeted in the chair. “Kaku Paton.”

“Where are you from?”

He closed his eyes as he shook his head.

“Where?”

“One of the islands.”

“Stop playing games.” Evelyn’s jaw clenched. “Which one?”

Kaku stared at her, seeming to summon up new courage. “You are an infidel. Our effort might be wasted, but there are many more. Jemaah Anshorut Daulah will raise jihad against the West.” He spat toward her.

Barbara pushed forward and backhanded Kaku across the face. He grinned as blood seeped from his nose. He glared at her. “I will kill you.”

More next time.

I didn’t have much time left over to work on my new novel, Ultimate Escalation. Perhaps I’ll squeeze in more time next week.

Books I’m Reading

I have two books almost finished, so I hope to post my reviews next week. In the meantime, happy reading!

My Favorite Authors

Another of my favorite authors is Tom Clancy. While he’s no longer with us, he’s inspired numerous writers throughout his career. The Chicago Tribune quoted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stephen Hunter as saying, “When he published The Hunt for Red October, he redefined and expanded the genre and as a consequence of that, many people were able to publish such books who had previously been unable to do so.”

I felt very honored when a recent review posted on Amazon about Dangerous Alliance referred to me as the next Tom Clancy. If only!

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

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 3, 2019

When I got up this morning and checked the temperature, it was a balmy 32F/0C. At least it was compared to the past few days. The dusting of snow we received still lingers but I suspect its days are numbered.

Despite our cold spell, Tommy, one of our cats, insists on staying outside, coming in only for a brief bite to eat before he’s out the door again. While we normally have our cats indoors for the evening, he’s the exception. He was a feral who joined us in January 2017, and it took almost eighteen months before we could handle him. Now, he’s a regular member of the family.

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

Caroline von Wolzogen, [von Lengefeld], German author; Horace Greeley, editor (“Go west, young man”); Sidney Clopton Lanier, American composer/poet (Hall of Fame); Martinus Ballings, Flemish Jesuit/author (Will Power); Gertrude Stein, Penn, author (Autobiography of Alice B Toklas); Clarence Mulford, Ill, western writer (Hopalong Cassidy); Georg Trakl, Austrian poet (Autumn of the Lonely); Johannes Urzidil, writer; Lao She, Chinese writer; James A. Michener, American author (Tales of the South Pacific, Hawaii); Jann Willem Holsbergen, author (Zakenmensen Fair as Gold); Joop C Swart, Dutch publisher/founder (World Press Photo); Joan Lowery Nixon, American writer; Randolfe “Randy” Wicker [Charles Gervin Hayden Jr.], American author, LGBT and pro-cloning activist and blogger; Paul Auster, US author/poet/director (Mr Vertigo, Smoke); Henning Mankell, Swedish playwright and author (Wallander novels); Stephen Euin Cobb, American novelist; Lizzie Borden, director/writer (Love Crimes, Working Girls); and Sarah Lewitinn, American writer.

How many are you familiar with? There’s definitely one who should be recognizable. 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-coverDangerous Alliance was covered under new releases in the February 1st edition of the monthly magazine, The Big Thrill, issued by the International Thriller Writers. To check out this magazine, click here.

Stay tuned for more news about semi-finalist Dangerous Alliance and The Kurdish Connection as the Global Thriller Book Awards moves toward the finals.

 

My Work in Progress

Editing is progressing nicely 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 a snippet:

Evelyn slipped past Ollie and stood between them. “Listen, you two. You’ve been at each other for hours. You act like siblings instead of professionals. Button it.”

Ollie leaned to the side to catch Barbara’s eye. Both burst into laughter.

Unable to maintain a stern expression, Evelyn joined in the laughter. “I understand, twenty-one hours is a long journey. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made.”

“Well, we’ve achieved success.” Ollie stifled a yawn with the back of his hand. “Between mediocre food, cramped seats, and old movies, we’ve made enough sacrifices.”

They chuckled as the seats in front of them emptied, allowing them to move closer to the exit. As they left the plane and walked up the jetway, a police officer stepped forward, holding a small sign: ‘Evin Party.’

“Hey, Evelyn, there’s our contact.” Ollie adjusted his backpack after a passenger shoved past, knocking the bag from his shoulder.

Evelyn stepped toward the officer and pointed at his sign. “I’m Evelyn Evinrude. I believe you’re expecting me?”

“Yes. I’m Kusuma Bagus with Detasemen Khusus Eighty-Eight—a Special Forces counterterrorism squad attached to the police. I’ll be your escort while you are here.”

“Thank you for meeting us. We’re ready to go.”

Kusuma led them to a nondescript blue van parked in a no parking zone. After they piled in, Kusuma turned the key. The engine started and died. He tried again with the same results. Getting out of the van, he walked to the front, lifted the hood, and let it drop.

Evelyn observed Kusuma muttering to the vehicle before he climbed back in, but couldn’t lip read his words.

He tried to start the vehicle for the third time—success. He smiled and pulled away from the curb.

“What did you say to the engine after you closed the hood?” Evelyn glanced over her shoulder at her team.

Kusuma chuckled. “I said if it wouldn’t start this time, I’d recommend the van be used for target practice on the range.” He patted the dash. “We have our ways of persuasion.”

More next time.

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I’ve also continued working on the fourth and final novel in the Bedlam series, Ultimate Escalation. So far, the drafts of two chapters have been posted to the two subscription writing sites I use, with twenty chapter reviews coming in. All contain excellent suggestions as I move forward with this story.

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Stone of Fire (ARKANE Book 1) by J. F. Penn. Follow Morgan Sierra as she searches for twelve stones. These aren’t just any stones lying around, but supposedly given to each of the Apostles at Pentecost. This is an excellent blend of myth, psychology, and beliefs, which will keep action-adventure readers glued to their seats.

Will Morgan and the secretive ARKANE group recover the stones before they fall into the hands of others? Stone of Fire is any easy read with plenty of twists and turns to delight most readers. Look forward to reading the second book in the series.

My Favorite Authors

The first books I remember reading were Westerns and the Nancy Drew mystery series. I don’t recall when I first picked up a book written by Robert Ludlum, the author of twenty-seven thriller novels, but I was immediately hooked and became an avid fan.

Looking back at my own writing, I can see he was one of the authors who contributed to my choice of genres. As I continue to explore some of my favorite authors, I’ll try to identify why the thriller genre was for me. Perhaps it was living in numerous countries and wanting to share with readers a story set in exotic locations, hoping to bring other cultures into our lives, irrespective of beliefs and norms. I guess we’ll find out.

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.

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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