Tomato Soup: Chicklets in the Kitchen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s the end of summer and I have a glut of tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes. Fortunately, the variety I chose for this year has that cherry tomato sweetness but isn’t too sweet. What to do with a giant bowl full of cherry tomatoes? Why tomato soup, of course! A few random Amish Paste and Early Girls found their way into the soup as well but it’s all good. The batch ended up making 3 pints of soup. Half a pint made it into my lunch but the rest I froze for future meals. Happy cooking and eating.

Hardware

4 Quart Pot

Cutting Board

Knife

1 or ½ pint freezer containers

Immersion Blender

 

Ingredients

Bowl full of cherry tomatoes, washed

¼ cup sliced onion

2 med garlic cloves, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onion and garlic. Cut the tomatoes in half.

Click here to see more.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. What do you do with your tomato abundance? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

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Found: Key, Part IX – Flash Fiction Friday Post

Keys III by Catherine-Elizabeth via DeviantArt.com

Keys III by Catherine-Elizabeth via DeviantArt.com

 

Part IX  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Keys-III-63716735, by Catherine-Elizabeth

Tuesday dawned clear and warm. She arrived at work an hour early, just to be safe and was well into her work as the other partners came in. That should reassure them, she thought as Felicity nodded at her when she passed by the door. She’d already been there three hours when Jason called.

“Lunch? One o’clock at Revise. The chef has chicken, fresh from some farm upstate.”

“Sure.” She grinned as she held her cell phone to her ear. She felt good. His call last night had put her in a good mood and her nausea had disappeared. “I have something to talk over with you.”

“Uh oh.” He laughed. “Bad news or worse news?”

“It’s not bad. Just something we need to discuss.” She briefly wondered what he’d think about going to her parent’s for Thanksgiving then pushed the thought away. She’d find out at lunch. “See you at one.”

“See ya.” He blew a kiss into the phone and clicked off.

She sighed and dropped her phone in her pocket. Ying wasn’t sure if he was ready to meet the parents but November was still weeks away. It would be fine, she decided, and went back to work.

#

At lunch, she was shown to a table, the waiter whisking the RESERVED sign away with a flourish. Jason arrived as the water glasses were being filled. “Sorry about that. A call came in just as I was leaving.”

Ying noticed him spin the watch on his wrist. She smiled at him, her usual warm glow returning, just like every time she saw him. “No worries. I just sat down.” She looked around. “Pretty fancy for lunch.”

“The chef is a high school buddy of mine. He was just hired here, a real coup for him since he’s only twenty-seven.”

“Good for him.” Ying sipped her water as the waiter placed menus on the table. “What’s the specialty here?”

The waiter nodded. “The chicken, madam. Organic, local, fresh chicken, roasted or grilled.”

She grinned across the table. “Sounds wonderful. I’d like it grilled and placed atop a salad, no onions please.”

He nodded. “And the gentleman?”

Jason handed the waiter the menu. “Roasted, and I’m starving so I’ll take the scalloped potatoes and the side salad. No onions for me either, I’m meeting a client later.”

“Very good, sir, madam.” He tucked the menus under his arm and left.

“So,” Jason took her hand across the table. “What’s the discussion.”

“Mother was quite cross at me Sunday night, I mentioned that yesterday. She wants us to come for Thanksgiving.” Ying held her breath. This was where guys usually started backing away.

“Fantastic! I’d love to.”

Ying blinked at the speed of his happy response. “Don’t you have family to visit?”

“They’ll understand.” He twisted the watch around again. “I’m looking forward to meeting the people responsible for the lovely young woman sitting across from me.”

Another wave of well-being flowed through her. “You will get everywhere flattering my parents like that. I warn you. Mother can be…demanding. But if she likes you, you’re in and never escaping. Trust me.”

Jason laughed. “I’ll take my chances.”

#

After meeting her client Ying was at her desk, making notes and organizing her thoughts on the best products for her. She absent-mindedly stroked the key she now wore as a necklace. The move made her nauseous, as usual. For a moment she wished it would give her the warm glow she got whenever she saw Jason. It sucked feeling sick so often. She stopped tapping her keyboard. Warm glow. She looked up at the far wall of her office. Every time she saw Jason. Every time he played with his watch. His antique watch.

She called Eleanor, skipping the pleasantries. “Your group have a watch artifact?”

After a short pause, Eleanor said, “Let me look.”

Ying could hear Eleanor pull down the ancient book and flip through the pages. “No. At least not that I can find at the moment. Why?”

Feeling more and more angry, Ying blurted, “Because I think Jason is using an artifact on me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Not totally.” Ying took a breath. Maybe she was just reading too much into it. “He said it’s a watch that’s been in his family. Every time he plays with it, I get a warm, loving glow.”

“Every time? Or just every time you notice it?”

Damn her for being so logical. “I don’t know.” Ying drummed her fingertips on the desk, furious that it could be that she was being manipulated into liking him. “I know it’s every time I notice. How can I be sure?”

“You could have him bring the watch in. Tell him you’d like to get it appraised.”

“If he knows it’s magic, he’s not going to show it to you. And even if I can get him to your shop, how would you know if it’s an actual artifact?”

“We have tests. But it’s up to you.” Her voice was eager. “We haven’t identified a new artifact in decades. It would be a feather in my cap to bring a new one in.”

Ying understood Eleanor’s enthusiasm. “I suppose it would. Is there some way to counteract the magic?”

“You don’t like being manipulated.”

“No. I don’t.”

“Usually not. I’ll do some research. Love artifacts are fairly common. I’ll let you know.”

“Fair enough. I’ll see if I can get him into the shop. We’ll work it out from there.”

“Excellent. Take care, Ying.”

“I will.” Ying clicked off. She had to think about how to get Jason to the shop.

 

Thank You!

End Part IX: 938 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

 

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Author Interviews: Kim Bailey Deal

Author Kim Bailey Deal

Author Kim Bailey Deal

Let’s give a big hello to Kim who has graciously accepted my invitation to visit with us today. Kim Bailey Deal writes Women’s Fiction, short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. She’s been published in Firefly Magazine, A Journal of Luminous Writing. Kim has also been a guest blogger for Robert Lee Brewer’s blog at www.writersdigest.com. She authors a weekly column and is Social media manager for www.five2onemagazine.com. Kim also has a creative non-fiction piece published in Pilcrow & DaggerAugust/September Issue http://pilcrowdagger.com/issues/, and three poems, two short stories, and a creative non-fiction piece to be published in September and October 2016. Kim is mom to three sons and one daughter, Nim, to her grandchildren and step-daughter. She lives with her husband, John, near Chattanooga, TN.

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

There are so many. Reading, playing guitar, and watching movies are  my top three.

 

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

My dad. He’s been gone 28 years now, but I’d like to tell him that I learned no one is perfect and he was the best dad he could be, and I’m proud to be his daughter.

 

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Coffee in the morning, peach tea during the day, water in between.

 

4. What are you working on right now?

Several things. I write a weekly column for Five2One Magazine. Also, a couple of poems, two short stories, a song I wrote for my kids, and my finished first draft of my women’s fiction novel I’m also helping to co-edit an anthology..

 

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I don’t hold anything back. It’s raw, honest, and unflinching in my examination of life, whether it’s fiction and non-fiction.

 

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Do it. Now. Carve out the time. Don’t stop and don’t write for anyone but yourself.

 

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

My writing comes to me from my past, from current events, and when dealing with messy life situations. It’s a kind of therapy for me.

 

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

I’ve been published in MORE magazine, Member Voices, The Pull of Strays at http://www.more.com/member-voices/your-stories/pull-strays?page=2; a poem “Spirit Awakening” and featured short story Nu Na Da Ul Tsun Yi in the 3rd issue of Firefly Magazine www.fireflymagazine.weebly.com; on Robert Lee Brewer’s blog, There Are No Rules, as a guest blogger at www.writersdigest.com; and I write a weekly column, Breaking The Legacy Of Silence, at www.five2onemagazine.com. I blog at least weekly on my website, www.kimbaileydeal.net. I can be found on Facebook and Instagram at Kim Bailey Deal, and on Twitter @wordjunkie1966.

Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Kim.

Readers, you can learn more of what Kim is doing by visiting one or more of her pages. It will be worth your time!

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Found: Key, Part VIII – Flash Fiction Friday Post

The Jack's Keys by delusional

The Jack’s Keys by delusional

Part VIII The Jack’s Keys by Delusional, http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Jack-s-Keys-149318217

Saturday night melted into Sunday morning. Jason was attentive, both in bed and out. She woke to the Sunday paper and a tray of croissants, butter, jam, fresh fruit and both coffee and tea. “You’ll spoil me.” She picked up the soft pastry, spread a bit of jam on the end and bit it.

“You deserve it.” Jason lolled across the end of the bed, a mug of coffee in hand. “What’s your pleasure, Miss?” he asked as they finished breakfast. He picked up her hand and kissed the back of a finger. Ying’s spine tingled. “Dress and go out? The day is beautiful. A walk in the park?” He kissed the next finger. “Go see a movie? The new Space Avengers is playing just down the block.” He arched an eyebrow and kissed the next finger. “Or perhaps, you’d rather stay here, indolent and pampered?”

Ying laughed and pulled her hand away to caress his cheek. He hadn’t shaved and the dark beard was beginning to show. She liked the scruffy look it gave him. “You are a tempter, Sir. You know I love the Space Avenger series.” Ying sighed and gazed into his eyes. “But I think I’d rather stay. We’ll read the paper, watch a movie, make dinner.”

Jason grinned. “Just as milady desires.” He reclaimed her hand and pulled her close, breath mingling. “That leaves time for this.” He kissed her.

#

It was after eight Sunday night before Ying returned home. She hummed as she entered her apartment. She felt the most relaxed she’d ever been. Kicking off her heels, she padded to the bedroom barefoot. The black evening dress was peeled off and dropped into the bag for the dry cleaners. When she finished her shower, she put on her pajamas and emptied her clutch. Her cell phone tumbled out with a tiny makeup bag, her credit card and driver’s license and two tens. She was putting them in her purse for the morning when she realized the phone was off. Puzzled, she turned it on. It took a moment. Then message after message alert came in, the phone dinging and buzzing nearly non-stop for over a minute. The office, her mother, her girlfriends, had sent message after message. The last ones were near frantic, especially from her mother. She hit her mother’s speed dial.

“Mom, it’s me.”

“Where have you been? I was going to call the police!” Her mother’s voice was a mix of panic, relief and anger.

“I’m sorry, Mom. My phone was off. I was on a date.”

“Date? What date lasts two days? Who is this date?”

Ying sat on her bed. Mom was ticked off. “Jason. I told you about him. We went to the opera last night, then I stayed over at his apartment.”

The other end of the call was silent for a moment. “You should call. Why your phone not on?”

Her mother drifting back into patois was an indicator of how upset she was. “I’m sorry, Mom, really. I don’t know how the phone was off. Maybe I never turned it back on after the opera. I should have called you today, I know. It’s my fault.”

Ying heard a snort from the other end.

A long breath could be heard then, “You must like this boy.”

“He’s not a boy, Mom. He’s a couple years older than me.”

“Hmmph. Still a boy. An inconsiderate boy who does not think about your family.”

“Stop, Mom. Jason treated me like a queen. I had a wonderful time.”

Her mother hummph’d again. “Maybe. Now we have to meet this Jason. You and him come for Thanksgiving.”

Ying rolled her eyes. That would be stressful at the very least. “Maybe. He runs a big company, Mom. He may not be able to get away.”

“You tell him. Thanksgiving. Our house. Now go to bed. You have to work in the morning.”

A grin spread across Ying’s face. She’d won her mother over. “Okay, Mom. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“You’d better.” The line clicked off.

Ying stared at the phone in her hand. Now to see what work was calling about. She hoped it wasn’t something critical.

#

Ying massaged her temples. The shit had hit the fan Sunday with a client and the office had been calling her all Sunday to come in and help. When she arrived an hour early Monday, every partner was in the conference room and turned to stare at her entry. Felicity gave her head a slight shake as the lead partner sneered, “Glad you could join us.”

“I’m sorry. My cell phone died. I couldn’t get the store to recover my old one until this morning and then all the texts came in. I hurried right over.” She sank into the chair at the end of the table that was hers and quietly opened her portfolio.

After the meeting, Felicity gave her the dressing down of her life. All of the scut work, stuff that should have gone to the newest associate, had been handed to her to handle. Phone calls, deep data entry, excruciating research, it was all hers and she had partners coming in all day to check on her progress. Now it was eight. The partners and even the partner’s secretary had gone home. The crisis was averted and Felicity had stopped at her door on the way out.

“Good work today. We never would have thought to take the direction you uncovered.”

Ying nodded. “Thank you. It just came to me.”

“Well, a bad start but a good end.” She turned and left.

Ying opened a desk drawer and opened the bottle of aspirin. She took two with a swallow of cold coffee, making a face at the taste. She never would have found the solution without the key. She’d used it so much during the day that she was still nauseated. Wearily she stood, gathered her things and headed home. She hoped that never happened again.

 

Thank You!

 

End Part VIII: 1000 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Found: Key, Part VII – Flash Fiction Friday Post

Key by pej0

Key by pej0

Part VII  Photo Key by pej0, http://www.deviantart.com/art/key-110125031

A month later Ying was having tea with Eleanor on Saturday afternoon.

“Why do you track these dusty old relics?” Ying put her empty tea cup and saucer on the tray in front of the sofa in the antique shop. “What do you get out of it?”

Eleanor smiled and dunked a cookie in her cup and delicately bit it. She chewed, lost in thought. “I was 22, just out of college when I was first approached. I had just graduated with a degree in French History and looking for a job.” She smiled and shrugged. “It was a passion. I loved everything about it. I just didn’t think about how that would pay for a roof over my head and food in my belly.” She sighed. “I was approached by a very distinguished gentleman. He took me out for lunch.” Again Eleanor shrugged. “It’s embarrassing, really, how I stuffed my face. I was so hungry.” She took a deep breath. “Anyway, I turned him down. I was young and full of myself. I was going to make my degree pay.” She chuckled. “Six months later, my girlfriend was giving me the eye about crashing in her apartment and the man approached me again. I wasn’t so dismissive that time. Again, I stuffed my stomach full but I actually listened. It was intriguing, being an agent in charge of historic artifacts.” She made a face. “That’s how he put it. But really, job prospects for a French History major are few and far between.” Eleanor sipped her tea. “I agreed.”

“And you ended up with an antique shop?” Ying was fascinated. This woman had taken a wholly different path but still seemed successful.

“Eventually. There was training. By the time I actually realized what they were about, I was fully invested. Talk about history!”

Ying organized her thoughts. “Jason and I have been dating. I’ve told you all of that.”

Eleanor nodded and refilled her cup.

“What I haven’t told you is that I don’t use the key with Jason.”

Eleanor’s cup hovered just off of the saucer. “Not at all?”

Ying shook her head and refilled her cup. She sipped. “Nope. What does that mean?”

The back of Eleanor’s fingers rubbed against the bottom of her chin as her eyes drifted to the elaborate antique tin ceiling, now painted white. “You’ve told me that you and Jason are happy. Good company, fine dining, happy outings.” She looked Ying in the eyes. “You’re in love?”

Ying was surprised to find her face flushing. She shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve only known him a month.”

Eleanor smiled. “That’s enough, isn’t it?” She sipped her tea. “I like that you’re not using the key on him. You’re doing this for real, as the youngsters say. That’s good.”

Another flush rushed up Ying’s cheeks. It was suddenly clear to her why she’d not used the key. She didn’t want a man that had been coerced. Her hand shook and the cup rattled in the saucer. She put it down on the table. “So there’s nothing in your book about this?”

Eleanor shook her head. “Nothing. The previous owners were focused on becoming rich and powerful. You’re different. The key is behaving differently with you than our records indicate.” She grinned. A sheepish one that made her blush. “I have to admit. The other guardians are very interested in this case. It’s seldom that we get new data on an artifact’s behavior.”

Ying grinned. “Ah. You’re becoming a celebrity. Good for you.” She stood and smoothed her pantsuit. “I’ll keep you informed. I have a date with Jason tonight. I’ll let you know if anything unusual happens.”

#

They walked across the opera house lobby floor arm in arm. Ying could see the men’s eyes snap in her direction as they passed. She knew she looked good in her black ankle-length dress, décolletage cut to her navel. But more, she and Jason together were a power couple. She could see it when they passed in front of a plate glass window coming into the opera. Her entire body buzzed with it. The key, made into a necklace on a fine gold chain, hung between her breasts. The buzz must be the key, she thought, the subtle movement creating the magic, but this was different. The key usually made her dizzy or nauseated. This was like electricity flowing through her. She thought that if she held her hand out and pointed, lightening would come shooting out of her fingers. It was heady.

After the opera and stops to talk to people each of them knew, they were seated in a quiet bistro on a side street. The wait staff, even at nine-thirty at night were attentive and smiling. The chef came out to personally take their order.

“Impressive.”

Jason shrugged. “I come here a lot. I tip well.”

Ying grinned. “Maybe. But these people seem to really like you.” She watched a blush run up his cheeks.

“Yeah. Well. What can I say.”

While drinks and appetizers were served, they talked about the opera. Over dinner and wine, they exchanged their plans for the future.

“What about you, Jason?” Ying took a sip of the Beaujolais Jason had ordered.

She noticed him play with his watchband. It was something he did when he was thinking. “I want the company to grow, of course.” He spun the band around on his wrist. “Perhaps rival The River one day.”

Ying grinned. “Ambitious, going from a gaming company to a world-wide distribution corporation.”

“Why not?” He grinned. “The River was just a book seller when they started.”

She laughed. The tingling returned. The power she felt was intoxicating. “I’m sure you’ll get there one day.”

After dinner the night air was cool and refreshing after the heat of the day. “Come to my house for a nightcap,” Jason offered.

Ying hesitated.

“Come on. It’s been a month. More if you count the time I knocked you on your butt.”

She understood. Going to his house meant staying the night. On one hand tomorrow was Sunday so no having to get up to go to work. On the other hand, did she want to move to that step? She glanced at her phone, waiting for it to ring. Her mother always knew. “Yes.” She threaded her arm through his right arm. “It’s time.”

 

Thank You!

 

End Part VII: 1064 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Author Interviews: Dawn Simpson

Author D.M. Simpson

Author D.M. Simpson

I want to welcome D.M. Simpson to my Author Interviews today. Here’s what Dawn has to say about herself.

I am a native Floridian. Most do not believe anyone is native to Florida, but I am here to tell you there are many of us. I am from a large family. I have six siblings, four sisters, and two brothers. I have seven incredible children, five boys, and two girls. I love animals. I have a cat, and a dog, who are now the only children in the house. I am an eclectic spirit. I have a BS in Criminal Justice. I have lived in two foreign countries. I have traveled to Germany. I have traveled from coast to coast here in the states. I, however, prefer the east coast. I have been writing now for three years, and I would not give it up for anything. I started this adventure of writing as a challenge to myself after reading several books written by self-publishers and even some traditionally published. I sat down on my birthday and just started writing. I had a twelve-chapter book staring back at me after four weeks. I wrote every spare moment. I wrote while I cooked dinner. I wrote while the kids did their homework around me at my desk. I wrote on my breaks at work. I wrote while my husband watched TV. Motivated by friends and one of my sisters, who would read as I wrote, begging for more as I completed each chapter. The support was euphoric. My first book was originally going to be my only book, but once the writing bug bites, you cannot stop. Here I am three years later writing two thrillers, the fourth book in my erotic romance series and editing the third book in the erotic romance series.

Wow. That’s a lot going on. But let’s get into the rest of the interview.

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

I love horseback riding, but I don’t get to do it very much.

 

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Marjorie Collins; I would like to ask her if she was proud of the person her rebellious granddaughter has become. To hear her laugh, see her smile and to feel her arms wrap around me as she hugs me.

 

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Green tea or Black tea or soda just depends on my mood.

 

4. What are you working on right now?

Currently, writing two thrillers, editing the third book in my romance series and writing the fourth book in the romance series.

L&M Cover

Here’s a bit about my newest book, The Ties That Bind, Lyric and Michael. https://www.amazon.com/Lyric-Michael-Ties-That-Bind-ebook/dp/B00DKMKGFO

Career was the focus as Lyric headed to the big city of Boston, she had no interest in anything else. Running from her past to a place where no one knew who or what she was or was not, on a path of the destiny of her choosing. However, fate had other plans. Finding herself and learning there was so much more than she ever imaged. Caught in a love triangle of danger and death.

 

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I would have to say mental and eclectic. I write as I think and a lot as I speak. My writing is related to my mood as I write. I attempt to draw the reader into the story, make them feel what they are reading. I do not feel I fit in a single genre, eclectic, I incorporate several genres in all my stories.

 

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

If you find yourself getting easily agitated because you cannot sit down and write, you are a writer. Writing is the easy part, putting yourself out there for the world to review is the challenging part. I would not say you have to have a thick skin to be a writer; you have to have the ability to take a review of your writing and make it a learning experience. Not a negative/positive thing. Not everyone is going to like what you write or your style of writing, that doesn’t make it wrong or right, it makes it yours and that is what writing is, it’s yours.

 

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

Ideas come to me through normal day to day life. I also have them come to me in dreams.

 

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

My blog: http://simpsondm7071.blogspot.com/

My facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dmsimpson7071

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DM-Simpson/e/B00KYRQQTI

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7211741.D_M_Simpson

Dawn, Thank you so much for coming by my blog today and talking with us a little about your work.

All, please stop by Dawn’s pages and say hello. She’ll be happy to see you.

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Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

Newest News:

Happy Labor Day everyone. My mom and dad were blue collar workers and both were in unions. Mom, because she worked for White Mop company making steel mop heads, buckets, wringers and such, was a steel worker. Dad was a Laborer, meaning he did the heaviest grunt work in the construction world. I’m proud of both of them for providing all of us kids a home, food, clothes, and a knowledge of the value of a dollar and hard work. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Zoe Ohale rewrite is with my editor for the second time. I’m am working on my cover and it’s taking longer than I thought. I still want my “A” Team to review possible covers and tget to select which of the draft covers will be my release cover. If you’d like to be in on the action, respond to this blog and let me know your name and email address. Do it now cause who knows when I’ll finalize those covers and get ready to release. Cover reveal will be to the “A” Team first, then the newsletter subscribers, then here on the blog. Want to be in the know first? Comment on this blog to join the A Team.

Color Logo for Print 051216 500X320

The Northern Gila County Fair again took up a lot of time last week with meetings, last minute details and other work. The fair starts this Friday, the 9th, at 8am, so this week will be filled with the setup in preparation for the opening. I also attended a meeting for the Book Festival finalizing details of a new venue. All of my book festival goers and authors, stay tuned for an announcement about that. Are you in Central Arizona this coming weekend? Come to the fair! www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com

Giveaways:

13516250_10153776031376317_3183914869650072987_n

The Red Hot Summer has been extended to the 8th, so you have just a little more time to get in on the fun. You can find the Rafflecopter link above on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day but hurry, only 14 days left!

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Starting 1 September, I’m involved with a group doing a promotion on Instafreebie. The main promo is going to be September 19-20th. There will be a lot of authors involved and we’ll be cross promoting the books so you get the best selection of cozy mysteries we could put together. Click on http://annertan.com/free-mystery-books/ and then click on the book cover to take you directly to the book you want. My link on Instafreebie is https://www.instafreebie.com/free/rXIZT and the book, Mystery at the Fair, is free! I know! Last week I said .99 but nah, it’s free! Hashtags for the giveaway will be #instafreebie, #mystery, #freemystery, #20Mysteries. Please share the tweets and posts. Let everyone in on the fun. More details as they come out. But check for us on Facebook and Twitter.

Shout Out:

L&M Cover

On August 7th, my author interview is with D. M. Simpson, author of Lyric and Michael. An author of paranormal romance, Dawn lives in Florida with an assortment of pets, kids and husband. You can find Lyric and Michael at http://www.amazon.com/DM-Simpson/e/B00KYRQQTI as well as her newest book, Christine and Daniel!

Garden News:

AugGarden007

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Paste, Early Girl and Cherries. Then there’s the zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini. We eat them at just about every meal. I made a spaghetti sauce from mostly cherry tomatoes on Saturday because I had so many. Some paste and Early Girls went into the sauce, too. I thought it’d be sweet but an application of red pepper flakes gave it a nice balance. Yay! Sunday I froze a bumper pick of green beans. We’ll have plenty for all winter long. That’s very satisfying. How’s your garden doing? Are you enjoying an abundance of something? Do tell.

Where Will I Be?:

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were nice enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’m getting ready to share some things on the Zoe Ohale book. I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits Ad

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Found: Key, Part VI – Flash Fiction Friday Post

Fairy Keys by bodaszilvia

Fairy Keys by bodaszilvia

Part VI Fairy Keys by  bodaszilvia, http://www.deviantart.com/art/Fairy-keys-127068674

She met Jason at a coffee shop near her office building. It felt a little awkward when she walked in. He was already at a table, wearing Dockers and a polo shirt, and stood up to greet her when he saw her come in. Ying extended her hand, it seemed too early in the relationship to even kiss cheeks in greeting.

He looked a little surprised but grinned as he held her chair. Jason waved a waitress over. “I’ll have coffee, a bowl of oatmeal and a side of fresh fruit.”

Ying was pleased. He didn’t go for a huge fry-up. “Coffee, soft boiled egg and I’ll have the fruit, also.”

“Right away, folks.” The waitress left.

“How’s your leg?” He sat quietly, not fidgeting with the salt and pepper shakers, his hands folded together on the table.

Ying liked that he looked interested. She held the leg out and pulled up her suit pant’s leg. The skin was scraped, a few streaks where blood had been drawn. He leaned over the table to look. “I didn’t want to pull stockings over it.” She dropped the pant leg.

“Sensible. You’re working today?”

“I am.” Ying paused as the waitress brought their coffees. “Thank you,” she told the waitress.

Jason thanked her, too, then reached for the cream.

Ying reached for the sugar. “I just made partner and six work days a week is kind of standard.”

“Congratulations.” Jason handed her the creamer as she pushed the sugar toward him. “What do you do?”

“Thank you. I’m a sales rep for Stein and McVie, selling financial products. You?” Now she’d find out how a young man could peel off hundred dollar bills to pay for cabs.

“Video game designer. Race to the Moon is one of our recent games.” He stirred the sugar into his coffee.

“Nice. I haven’t heard of it but good for you.”

Jason rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I get that a lot. But it doesn’t matter. It’s a big market anyway.”

“You have a company? I heard you say ‘our’?” Despite the fact they were seated in the middle of the coffee shop, the conversations going on around them felt like a curtain. Totally private.

“Yeah. I’m the owner, well, third owner. My two college buddies are the other partners.”

Ying smiled. “Very good! I’m impressed. You’ve done well for yourself.”

“So have you. Partner already and you’re what, twenty-two?” He arched an eyebrow and grinned.

“Cute way to ask. No, I’m twenty-seven. You?”

“Twenty-eight!

Just then the waitress brought their food. As they ate, they traded information on favorite hobbies and books. As she paid her check, Ying realized she never even touched the key in her pocket, she’d been that comfortable with Jason.

When she stood up to go, Jason stood with her. “Look,” he gave her a card. “Call my number, make an appointment with my secretary. We might be in the market for some financial products.”

Ying’s eyebrows went up. “Oh!” She took the card, confused. Had he called her because he liked her or because she was a financial rep? “Uh, sure. First thing Monday.” She turned and left the shop, tucking the card in her jacket pocket. All the way to the office she tried to puzzle out what just happened. She thought they were getting along so well.

In her office she researched video game companies and drafted out a plan to talk to them about. By three, most of the rest of the partners and associates had left. She tidied up her desk and left notes with the outline for Sharon to type up in the correct format and went home, still confused about Jason. Was the key keeping them apart or did he think she was just after his business? She changed into running gear and left her apartment. A run would help clear her mind.

Sunday morning, she was deep into the financial pages of the Sunday paper when the phone rang. “Hello?”

“Hey, Ying. It’s Jason.”

Her heart began to beat like humming bird wings. “Hi, Jason. I wasn’t expecting a call.”

“Well, I meant to ask you yesterday but you left me bemused. How would you like to have brunch? I hope you haven’t eaten. The Ritz has the best brunch on the planet. Tell me you haven’t eaten!”

She laughed with relief that it didn’t seem as though he was just looking for financial products and the way he was pleading. “Well, I did have some fruit a couple of hours ago but I think I can manage brunch. What time should we meet?”

“Let’s say noon. That gives you an hour to get ready.”

“Very considerate. I’ll meet you at noon at the Ritz.”

“Great! See you there.”

Ying, grinning, clicked her phone off. So, based on his enthusiasm, he liked her too. She took a deep breath and patted the key in her lounging pants pocket. “Thank you key,” she murmured and got up from her sofa, pages of the paper cascading to the floor. Time for a shower and a look through the closet. She wanted to strike just the right note when he saw her.

Thank You!

End Part VI: 865 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Garden and Zoe: Monday Blog Post

ZoeMeme001

Newest News:

Zoe Ohale rewrite is DONE! Whew! It took a lot of thought and some shifting around of chapters but it’s done. I’m now working on my cover and my “A” Team is going to get to select which of the draft covers will be my release cover. If you’d like to be in on the action, respond to this blog and let me know your name and email address. Do it in the next day cause I’m finalizing those covers and getting ready to release. Cover reveal will be to the “A” Team first, then the newsletter subscribers, then here on the blog. Want to be in the know first? Comment on this blog to join the A Team.

The fair again took up a lot of time last week with all of the coordination required to get everything “on the table” at that same time. I’m also attended the Book Festival volunteer thank-you luncheon so that took up a few hours of my time as well.

I met with my editor at the local paper, Pete Aleshire of the Payson Roundup. I’m now an official “stringer” with the paper and filled out the paperwork to get paid for my hiking stories in the new Trails book the paper put out. It is not, unfortunately, on Amazon. But if you’re going to be in central Arizona and like to hike, let me know, I’ll send you a copy for $5 plus shipping. Nine of the hikes in the book were written by me. Photos for those hikes are by my hubby, Randy Cockrell, and our hiking friends Randy Wilfong and Jim Hadder. The photos are mislabeled as being all by my husband. But I know who took them!

Giveaways:

Summer Giveaway

The Red Hot Summer giveaway ends on Labor Day, just 5 days away, so you’re running out of time to get in on the fun. You can find the Rafflecopter link above on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day but hurry, only 14 days left!

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Instafreebie September 18- 20th, 2016

Starting 1 September, I’m involved with a group doing a promotion on Instafreebie. I’m starting on 1 September by selling Mystery at the Fair for just .99. I know. A whole ebook for ninety-nine cents! The main promo for free books is going to be September 18-20th. There will be a lot of authors involved and we’ll be cross promoting the books so you get the best selection of cozy mysteries we could put together. Hashtags will be #instafreebie, #mystery, #freemystery. More details as they come out. But check for us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Shout Out:

Author LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden

Author LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden

I missed shouting out my author interviewee for August 24th, LeeAnn Jackson. You can go back on the website blog page and find the interview. You’ll want to pick up her links and check out her books for sure.

Garden News:

AugGarden007

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Paste, Early Girl and Cherries. Then there’s the zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini. We eat them at just about every meal. I didn’t make the zucchini pizza yet, instead I’m going to blog late (August 25th) on Chicklets in the Kitchen with Peach Shortcake. I’m still eating through my peaches too! How’s your garden doing? Are you enjoying an abundance of something? Do tell.

Where Will I Be?:

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were nice enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’m getting ready to share some things on the Zoe Ohale book. I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits Ad

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Peach Shortcake: Chicklet’s in the Kitchen Blog Post

PeachShortcake005

Mid-Summer in my neck of the woods means peaches. My peach tree tends to ripen late July, depending on the weather. It held off to the 1st week in August when all the peaches ripened just about at once. Nothing like an avalanche of peaches to make you put on your thinking cap. After giving away a LOT! I decided peach shortcake would be just the thing. Now it’s not complicated, but after all those peaches, I didn’t have too much brain power left. And it’s hot! So why not peach shortcake for supper. Or breakfast!

Hardware

Medium Bowl

Cutting Board

Knife

Individual serving bowls

 

Ingredients

Bowl full of peaches, washed

½ to 1 cup sugar (your choice)

Can of Whipped Cream

Shortcake

PeachShortcake001

Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, chop up and put in the bowl. Continue until all of the peaches are chopped up. Read the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

 

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