The Kurdish Connection The Bedlam Series Book 1
by Randall Krzak Genre: Action, Adventure Thriller
KURDISH SCAVENGERS UNCOVER A CACHE OF NERVE GAS IN IRAQ AND OFFER THEM TO KURDISH FIGHTERS IN TURKEY. THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS BEDLAM ALPHA TEAM MUST SECURE THE WEAPONS BEFORE THEY CAN BE USED.
In their daily struggle for survival, Iraqi Kurdish scavengers uncover a cache of chemical weapons. They offer the weapons to Kurdish rebels in Turkey and Syria to assist in their quest to free an imprisoned leader and create a unified homeland. After receiving a tip from an unlikely source, the newly formed Special Operations Bedlam team is called to arms. Can the team recover the weapons before it’s too late?
“The Kurdish Connection—a compelling read. A story of friendship, danger and intrigue.”—Ann Everett, Amazon Best Selling Author.
“... Randall's authentic voice adds a powerful push to keep a reader turning the pages.” —Janet Taylor-Perry, author of The Raiford Chronicles, The Legend of Draconis Saga, and April Chastain Intrigues.
“Topical - Engaging - Intriguing – Powerful ... A real page turner.”—Rikon Gaites, author of Mummy's Little Soldier and Darius Odenkirk.
“... Randall Krzak brings his wealth of experience living in this troubled part of the world and his military knowledge to bear in this exciting story...”—John L. DeBoer, author of When the Reaper Comes.
"... a journey full of history, suspense, intrigue, and action...a MUST READ for all!”—Les Stahl, Retired NSA Executive.
“... Readers need to fasten their seatbelts for a fast-paced tale made believable by a writer who knows what he’s writing about.”—Preston Holtry, author of the Morgan Westphal mystery series and the Arrius trilogy (forthcoming).
“A behind the scenes story, ripped from today’s headlines deepening the reader’s understanding of an ancient strife ... filled with the sights and smells of the market place and secret meetings, the reader is admitted to the secret heart, the desperate longings of those that must fight and win, or see continued subjugation by their masters...”—Oliver F. Chase, author of Camelot Games, Levant Mirage, Blind Marsh, and Marsh Island.
United Nations’ sanctions are crippling North Korea. China has turned her back on her malevolent partner. The North Korean military machine is crumbling, unable to function. Oil reserves are minimal and the government seeks new alliances.
Cargo and tourist ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound, but inaction emboldens Al-Shabab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons.
Bedlam Bravo team leader Colonel Trevor Franklin (Ret.) leads the small international team into East Africa. Tempers flare as the team is embroiled in a political quagmire. The axis must be stopped to avert an international crisis but at what cost?
Terrorist 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?
I'm a U.S. Army veteran and retired senior civil servant, spending thirty years in Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. My residency abroad qualifies me to build rich worlds in my action-adventure novels and short stories. Familiar with customs, laws, and social norms, I promote these to create authentic characters and scenery.
My first novel, The Kurdish Connection, was published in 2017, and the sequel, Dangerous Alliance, was released in November 2018. Both placed in the 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards sponsored by Chanticleer International Book Awards, with The Kurdish Connection finishing as a semi-finalist and Dangerous Alliance being selected as one of seven first in category winners. I recently signed a contract for the third novel in the series, Carnage in Singapore. Work on my fourth novel in the series, Ultimate Escalation, is underway, as is the first book in a new series, A Cartel's Revenge.
I also penned A Dangerous Occupation, a winning entry in the August 2016 Wild Sound Writing and Film Festival Review short story category.
I hold a general Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Focus, both from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. My wife, Sylvia, six cats, and I currently reside in Dunfermline, Scotland. I'm originally from Michigan, while Sylvia is a proud Scot.
In addition to writing, I enjoy hiking, reading, candle making, pyrography, and sightseeing.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I never planned to be an author. In fact, I never considered it until a longtime friend suggested in 2011 (when we were both retiring) I try writing a novel. I gave it some thought and decided to see what I could do. Big mistake, in more ways than one. First, I didn’t have any idea how to write fiction. I spent years doing expository writing, but what I knew about creating characters, scenes, and dialogue would fit on the head of a pin.
I compounded by mistakes by asking friends and family to read my work and provide feedback. I wasted everyone’s time, including my own. I ended up shelving the attempt until my wife, Sylvia, bought me several books regarding my deficient areas in writing fiction, which have been a tremendous help.
When I was searching for something on the internet related to crafts, I stumbled across a subscription writing site, www.thenextbigwriter.com. It didn’t take long to begin sorting out my writing issues and later I joined www.scribophile.com. I don’t remember how many chapter reviews The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance had, but between the two sites Carnage in Singapore had 710—plenty of excellent advice. All of my novels were workshopped on these sites and I’ll continue to use them as I continue my writing journey.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane—twice! I still remember one of the instructor’s deadpanned comments before we jumped: “It takes two minutes to get to the ground with your chute and seventeen seconds without. Please take your chute.”
What are you passionate about these days?
Writing, reading, sightseeing, crafting.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Read, watch American sports (Go Michigan, Michigan State, and the Detroit professional teams!)
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Based on feedback from reviewers as I wrote my novels, potentially both might be considered if the right connections were made. Reviewers have compared my writing with Tom Clancy, Lee Child, and Vince Flynn (If only!!)
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
None so far.
Can you tell us a bit about the books? The Kurdish Connection isn’t just about the recovery of chemical weapons and a threat to use them to obtain the release of the Kurdish leader from a Turkish prison. Readers will learn about the different cultures in the areas. Many of personal experiences are told through the characters when applicable to the story. Dangerous Alliance was created in the same style, pulling together personal experiences and persistent research. Both stories also have a human side. In The Kurdish Connection, Dersim is given an opportunity to live in America but is concerned about leaving his family behind. In Dangerous Alliance, Tahliil wants to recover what his family lost, so he struggles with fulfilling the role of a terrorist leader and a family man trying to keep his family together.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve planned at least two more novels to follow in the Bedlam series after Carnage in Singapore. I’m currently working on the first book of a new series, A Cartel’s Revenge (Bruce and Smith Book 1). The first book in a three-book series, New World Revolution, is also underway.
I’m working with Michael Maxwell, the author of thirteen mystery novels, to create a new series based on one of his characters. The tentative title of the first one is Phillip Sear: Angola.
Lingering in the background are several other stories. Tentative titles and synopses have been created, along some of the main characters. Readers can find out more about what I’m working on by following my Sunday blog at www.randallkrzak.com/blog.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the books?
The concepts for The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance are based somewhat on personal experiences and discussions with a variety of authors and readers. I also scan a myriad of online newspapers and periodicals to further refine my synopses.
After deciding upon the makeup of the Bedlam teams in both books, I start with the names and add physical and personal characteristics. Some are based on people I’ve met, while others are a total fabrication.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I use a variety of online first name searches for the relevant nationalities of my characters. I choose ones which should be relatively easy to pronounce, and for foreign names, I try to use only one name per letter of the alphabet. Because I have so many characters, this can sometimes be a challenge.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
Having lived in Turkey and aware of the Kurdish people living there and the neighboring countries, it just seemed to fit.
Who designed your book covers?
The cover for The Kurdish Connection was designed by my publisher for this novel, Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC. Solstice Publishing, who released Dangerous Alliance last year and will be releasing Carnage in Singapore, allow their authors to select five photos from www.bigsrtockphoto.com and complete a cover art form. Solstice reviews the photos and selects what they think is the best one.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
Every time I think I’m running the show, one or more characters put me in my place.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
None which are completed. I’ve been fortunate to sign contracts for my first three novels within 17-45 days.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
A mixture of vanilla and cranberry—one of the scents I used in the candles I make.
What did you edit out of this book?
In The Kurdish Connection, the publisher cut about 3,000 words. I don’t think any specific scene was cut, some a tightening of some areas. In Dangerous Alliance, less than 300 words were removed.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
Yes, I read—a lot. In addition to reading draft stories from a variety of people, I’ve also read 30+ published novels so far this year. My interests include action-adventure, crime & mystery, and historical fiction, but when helping others, I read almost every genre.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
My first one took about two years. I cut six months off my writing time for the second one, and I’m down to about a year.
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