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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Found: Key, Part V – Flash Fiction Friday Post

Available Keys by Art by Star LaMoore

Available Keys by Art by Star LaMoore

Part V Available Keys by Art by StarLaMoore, http://orig05.deviantart.net/37af/f/2012/185/3/f/available_keys__by_starl33na-d56176f.jpg

Ying waited a week before going back to the antique shop to see Eleanor. Once she was there, she told the guardian what she’d done the previous Friday.

Eleanor’s eyebrow arched. Ying watched as the fingertips of Eleanor’s right hand tapped on the sofa arm and Eleanor stared off into space. “Interesting,” she finally said. “No, no women, that we know of, have ever held the key. Times were different, women didn’t go into business, in general, anyway.” She smoothed the gray skirt over her legs. “What has the key done?”

“Nothing different than last month. My projects are all going well. I’m getting valuable clients. Presentations are flawless.”

“You haven’t met your dream match?”

Ying shook her head. “Nope. Not yet. But it has just been a week. It looks like the key wants to stay with me, so that’s something.”

“Indeed.” Eleanor’s fingers tapped again. “Not to pry, but I’d really like to follow this, if you wouldn’t mind sharing.”

“Why not.” Ying shrugged, then stood up. “You don’t want the gory details, just the progress toward making a family. I can do that.” She picked up her purse and briefcase. “You don’t mind if I email you, do you, with updates?”

“Not at all. You have the shop card. Use that email. I’m the only one that checks it.”

“Appreciate it. I’ve left early two Friday’s in a row, now. People at work notice these things.”

Eleanor stood and walked with Ying to the door, holding it for her. “Not at all. But don’t be shy. When you can, come by and we’ll have tea. I like our chats.”

“I’ll do that. Thanks again.” Ying started out of the door and as she cleared the recessed entryway onto the sidewalk, a young man in a gray business suit collided with her. She spun and the heel of her shoe broke. Her briefcase went flying, tangling with the man’s and both of them skidded off of the curb into the street. “Oh!” She landed on her hip, stockings shredding on the sidewalk.

The man was down on one knee, having done his best to catch her when she fell. He was looking at her face, an arm around her shoulders.

Eleanor hurried to them. “Are you all right?”

Ying took a breath. His face pulled her in, high cheek bones, deep brown eyes and sandy brown hair framing it all. She blinked the second time Eleanor called her name. “Uh, yes. I think so.”

“I’m so sorry,” the man said as he helped her to her feet. “I didn’t see you there.” He hurried to the curb and picked up both briefcases. “A little scuffed, but I’m afraid I’ve ruined your shoes and your suit.” He handed Ying her briefcase.

Ying was brushing off. “I’m sorry. I didn’t look before I came out of the doorway.”

“My fault entirely, miss.”

He looked so upset she had to smile. “I’m Ying Lee.” She held out her hand.

“I’m Jason Fitch.” He shook her hand. “I am like a bull-dozer. I am so sorry.” He looked at Eleanor. “Thank you for rushing to her aid.”

Eleanor smiled. “No problem at all. I wasn’t much help, I’m afraid.” She turned to Ying. “I’ll leave you to it, then.” She quirked an eyebrow out of sight of Jason and went back inside.

“I should catch a cab, I think.” Ying took off both shoes. There was no way to walk in them with one broken.

“Let me pay,” Jason said. “It’s the least I can do.” He walked to the curb and went between two parked cars and began to wave down an approaching cab.

“That’s not necessary. Really.” Ying picked her way to the street beside him. Gravel dug into the bottoms of her feet.

“It is, Ms. Lee. I won’t take no for an answer.”

The cab pulled up and Jason opened the back door. “Please. My treat.”

Ying sighed. “Very well, then.” She got into the cab and pulled a business card out of the brief case. “Call me.”

His face brightened. “Certainly. I’d be happy to.” He closed the cab door and leaned in the front passenger window. “Please take the lady where ever she’d like to go.” He pulled his wallet out and handed the driver a hundred-dollar bill.

“Yes, sir.” The cabbie gave him a salute.

As the cab pulled away, Ying could see Eleanor in the shop window watching. She told the cabbie her address and settled back into the seat. She patted her suit jacket pocket. Thank you, key.

She thought about Jason Fitch’s eyes. How she’d just fallen into their depths. She tingled with excitement. He seemed nice. Polite. Considerate. Well dressed. And obviously successful the way he paid the cabbie. Her cell phone rang. She pulled it from her purse and looked at the screen. Perfect timing.

“Hello, mom.”

“Hello, Ying.”

“You have perfect timing. I just met someone.”

“Really!”

Ying had to chuckle at the excitement in her mother’s voice. “How do you know exactly when to call?”

“I’m your mother. Now. Tell me all about this young man.”

“Okay, mom. I’ll tell you everything.”

She was still talking to her mother when the cab pulled up in front of her building. “Hey. I’m home. Let me call you later.”

“You’d better.” She blew her daughter a kiss.

“I will, mom. I promise.” Ying clicked off and thanked the driver. In her apartment she tossed the shoes into the trash, the stockings too.

She’d just finished washing the blood from her scraped leg when her phone rang. Unknown number, she noted. “Hello?”

“Is it too soon to call?”

 

 

Thank You!

 

End Part V: 945 Words

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

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Author Interviews: LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden

Author LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden

Author LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden

I’d like to welcome author LeeAnn to the blog today. LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden is a wife, mom, and author. She lives with her family in their fixer-upper house they’ve been renovating for three years and hopes it will be finished before her six-year-old goes to college. She is the publisher and an editor for Pilcrow & Dagger, has six short stories published and is still reworking her first novel. Thank you, LeeAnn for visiting with us. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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

Knitting. I learned to knit about 5 years ago. I made two scarves using the garter stitch then made a striped sweater vest for my husband that actually turned out pretty good. He wears it, anyway. I’ve taught myself how to knit in the round, and how to do strand knitting and I’m about to tackle Aran knitting. I like the complex patterns and rhythms and to me, knitting is very restful. I can shut out the noise and the rest of the world and just knit.

 

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

Hmmm…. good question. Probably Benjamin Franklin. He was a printer and publisher, an accomplished author under several pseudonyms, a diplomat, a scientist, a historian, and an all-around fascinating person.

 

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Coffee. In the afternoon more coffee. If it’s hot, iced coffee. In the evening, bourbon. On the rocks.

 

4. What are you working on right now?

July Cover Pixlr1

I publish a literary magazine, Pilcrow & Dagger, that takes up the bulk of my time. I finished the first draft of my first novel a couple of years ago. With the aid of a beta reader I discovered a GAPING hole in my plot. And so I set out to rewrite/revise it. And in the process, I discovered that my novel is actually three novels and, of course the sequel to those. I’ve taken too much time out from writing recently and to get back into the swing of things I’ve been entering short story contests. Don’t care if I win, it’s the writing that I need to do. But I’ve set a goal to complete the first novel in my series.

 

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I’m a pantser. Just like the way I talk (I have no censor. I just blurt). I write what comes into my head, typically disjointed scenes, and then I move them around until they are coherent. And then comes the editing to get rid of the yucky stuff.

 

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

Set a daily goal of words and stick to it. Set it at a reasonable amount like 500 words. If you go over that amount then fantastic! And it doesn’t have to be related to any particular work in progress either. Many times you may feel stumped or bored with your project. You may be too tired or overwhelmed with what the day brought. Look out your window and write 500 words on what you see. Play with sensory descriptions – sight, sound, smell, touch/feelings, taste. Play with words. Make up new words. Just write your daily amount.

 

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?

Both.

If I’m done with my soul-sucking life chores (meal preparations, laundry and housekeeping, errands, etc.) and I am able to carve a few peaceful moments to be by myself I can open my mind and imagination and “see” the characters and story in front of me and write freely.

But, many days the soul-sucking chores get in the way of writing time. Still, ideas and phrases will come at you from what you hear standing in line at the grocery store, or something you see driving down the street. I carry index cards and a pen, always, and write them down for later.

 

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

I have six short stories self-published on Amazon.com in the Kindle Store https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=LeeAnn+Rhoden&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3ALeeAnn+Rhoden

I publish a literary magazine, Pilcrow & Dagger, with 8 issues per year. http://www.pilcrowdagger.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeeAnnRhoden

Facebook (Author page): https://www.facebook.com/LeeAnnJacksonRhoden

And coming soon, my website: http://www.LeeAnnRhoden.com

Thank you so much LeeAnn for visiting with us today. Dear readers, take the time to visit LeeAnn on her sites and find out what she’s up to recently.

 

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Parade, Garden, Fair: It’s Busy!

Northern Gila County Fair float, with Chicken!

Northern Gila County Fair float, with Chicken!

Newest News:

I made quite a bit of progress last week on Zoe’s ending. It’s not done yet, there was a LOT of Fair stuff to take care of but it’s coming right along. Poor Zoe is in trouble again with the Syndicate. That’s all I can say for now but I think you’ll like it.

The fair, www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com, http://northerngilacountyfair.com/, took up a lot of time this week with the last minute coordination required to get everything “on the table” at that same time. I’m also working a few book festival details to prep for next year so that took up a few hours of my time as well.

Saturday was the Rodeo Parade. Hosted by the Kiwanis it’s a celebration of the Rodeo that occurred the 18th, 19th, and 20th. The Rodeo Queens and Princesses were out on their beautifully dressed horses, floats from many volunteer/charitable organizations, as well as commercial businesses had floats. As the Northern Gila County Fair, we put a float together with the 4H kids and had a great time handing out flyers for the fair along the parade route. So many people were happy to see the 4H kids on the float and to hear that the Fair was just 2 weeks away. Lots of fun was had by parade participants as well as the audience.

Giveaways:

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Red Hot Summer giveaway ends on Labor Day 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!

Shout Out:

51z4suEsxYL

Do you like humorous stories? If so, you’ll love my friend Simon Batt’s work. He publishes under S.E. Batt so go to https://sebatt.com, and get a free flash fiction every Friday. He publishes other short works on Thursday and has several wonderful books out, too. Check out his site and say hi!

Garden News:

AugGarden007

The yellow beans are just about finished but the green beans have now reached harvest stage. At hubby’s poker game the other night, cherry tomatoes were on the menu as one of the night’s snacks and the guys all took baggies of those tomatoes home with them. A good many paste tomatoes have found their way into gallon freezer bags to use later in the winter. Two more zucchini escaped my notice and now I have THREE gigantic zucchini. What to do? Hmm, I think this month’s Chicklets in the Kitchen is going to be zucchini pizza. I turned those three zuke’s into two one-gallon and 3 quart bags of shredded zucchini to go into the freezer. How’s your garden doing? Are you enjoying an abundance of something? Do tell.

Where Will I Be?:

My book at Dog-Eared Pages Used Book Store

My book at Dog-Eared Pages Used Book Store

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. Doesn’t the book look good there? If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there. @Dog-EaredPages

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 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 IV – Flash Fiction Friday Post

heart_keys_by_dementedviking

Heart Keys by DementedViking, http://www.deviantart.com/art/Heart-Keys-78977694

Part IV Heart Keys by DementedViking,  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Heart-Keys-78977694

Ying hurried out of the shop and onto the street where she had room and air to think. No family? She’d always assumed there would be a family. There had never been a rush before. She was only twenty-seven. As she walked to her apartment, the briefcase she carried seemed heavier than usual. Like a boulder, trapping her in a job she was no longer sure she wanted. Her steps were slow, not at all her usual brisk pace. Her eye caught every woman with a child that came along the sidewalk. It occurred to her there weren’t a lot of those. There were plenty of shops, even a toy store but not a lot of children. Why?

At home unusually early, only five p.m. she changed into casual clothes and took a walk to the park. Ying sat on a bench near the playground and watched. Moms with little kids in close view chatted on benches. Kids screamed with delight as they raced each other up slide ladders or dared each other to swing higher. Mothers called to children and they left in ones and twos, to go home and make supper, Ying guessed. What was that like? Get supper on the stove, get the kids washed, send a fast kiss hubby’s way when he came home? Maybe it was all rush, rush. Ying remembered soccer practices and games, or skating lessons, or piano lessons most every night of the week. Sure, there were sit down dinners but generally only on Sunday.

Is that what she wanted? Domestic bliss? She shook her head. It hadn’t seemed important before today. She pulled the key from her pocket and studied it as it lay in the palm of her hand. The scroll work on it was now free of dirt. The key was beautiful—more art than function. She mused on the original owner and the castle study. Was it a den, books lining the walls, or a lab, beakers and flames and mysterious bubbling colored potions? An alchemist, Eleanor had told her. Ying pictured an old man in robes and a pointed hat, more wizard than scientist. More Merlin than Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Slipping the key into her pocket she rose and wandered through the park, trying to sort her thoughts.

Her cell rang. A glance at the screen showed a picture of her mother. “Hey, Mom.” Appropriate her mother would call now.

“Ying. I was thinking of you and decided to call.”

The woman must be psychic. “Nice to hear from you, Mom. How are you and Dad?”

“We’re fine. Your father insisted on fixing the bathroom sink himself. Now the sink is completely broken. We have to use the guest bath.”

Ying chuckled. Her father was an excellent attorney, but a terrible handyman. “Ouch. Will it cost much?”

“More than it would have.” Her mother’s voice was dry. “Anyway, I thought you’d like to know your old best friend, Lena, is having a baby.”

Ying rolled her eyes. This was how her mother reminded her that they wanted grand-children. “How nice. She’s been married, what, three years? Her wedding was so beautiful.”

“Yes, it was.”

There’s another hint. “I took off of work early today. I’m in the park.”

“Good. You work too hard. No wonder you’re so skinny. Men don’t like boney girls.”

“Mom! I’m perfectly healthy. I work out and eat right, that’s all.”

“Hmmpf,” sounded clearly over the cell. “Maybe. Are you coming home for Thanksgiving?”

“Thanksgiving is four months away. I’ll see. I’m a new partner, I don’t want to seem too privileged.”

“You didn’t come last year.”

There was that tone. “True. I was trying to make partner, Mom.”

“Well, now you’re a partner. You come home.”

“I’ll do my best, Mom. Look. I have to go.” Ying blew a kiss into the phone. “Tell Dad I love him.”

“I will.” She blew a kiss back to her daughter. “Find a husband!” She clicked off.

There it was. Ying wondered when she’d toss that into the conversation. She slid the phone into her pocket. What if I do want children? What if that’s what makes me happy? Were any of the other owners women? Perhaps the key would work differently for a woman? Ying stopped in the shade of a huge maple and pulled the key out of her pocket. A short distance away, a young family was spreading out a blanket, the two toddlers hindering in their efforts to help. She smiled as they all laughed at the mess they were making. So, key. What do you think? If I want a successful family and success in business, can you give that to me? She stroked the key, wrapped her hand around it and closed her eyes. Ying formed a picture in her mind of a husband and a child, laughing at the beach, her taking a picture.

A wave of nausea roiled her stomach. She opened her hand and stared at the key. “What did you give me, key? What did you do?”

 

Thank You!

 

Part IV: 842 Words

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

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Zoe Ohale Rewrite: Monday Blog Post

ZoeMeme001

Newest News:

I’m finally making progress on rewriting the end of the story. There were so many decisions to make about the rewrite it took me a bit to get it all straight in my own mind. Those decisions have been made and I’m writing away! Once done, it will get one more pass through the editor, because I’m really making changes, then after the cover is finished, I’ll publish. This has taken longer than I anticipated but it’ll be so much better for having taken the time to do the rewrites. Thanks EJ from Silver Jay Media for pointing these things out.

Giveaways:

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Red Hot Summer giveaway is still in full swing. Just click on the Rafflecopter link. 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, twitter, and website pages. 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.

Shout Out:

I think this week’s shout out should be David Bridger who has just released his newest book, The Honesty of Tigers. I’ve already started reading it and if you all are interested in powerfully drawn characters; you have to pick up this book! It’s on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Honesty-Tigers-David-Bridger-ebook/dp/B01K7DHUO8. Don’t delay, get it today!

Garden News:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Garden Produce

I have a steady crop of yellow beans, a batch every other day. The green beans are still teeny-tiny. The tomatoes are plentiful enough for me to share with friends and I have way too much zucchini even though I only have one plant. I cut one up and put it in last night’s spaghetti sauce. Healthy living through gardening, for sure. How’s your garden doing?

Where Will I Be?:

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 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 III – Flash Fiction Friday Post

Keys by KororowoxDD

Keys by KororowoxDD 

http://www.deviantart.com/art/keys-79877806

You can see Part 1 here.

Part III

The new account needed to be set up and work begun on sending the client the required products. Each time she sent the owner an email or talked to him on the phone, she fingered the key. It occurred to her about the third time she did it, that she knew the key was working because she’d feel dizzy or nauseous. She did her best not to be fingering the key all day long. It seemed greedy, somehow. But for important transactions, dealing with her clients, sitting at the partner meetings, she would stroke it once or twice and then take her hand out of her pocket.

At the end of the month she remembered the antique store owner, Eleanor. I need to talk to her. Get more information about this key. Ying left her private office early, telling the partner’s secretary, Sharon, “I have some personal business to take care of. See you on Monday.”

Outside of the antique store, Ying hesitated. The tray of keys was no longer in the window. What did that mean? She took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. I’ll have to ask.

Inside Eleanor was ringing up a customer. She nodded at Ying and went back to her transaction. Ying wandered the store. She saw a carved, enameled screen, black with gold edging, an oriental scene done in the same pastel colors she had decorated her apartment in. It would look stunning in the living room corner.

Eleanor arrived as Ying was turning over the price tag. “It is a lovely piece, isn’t it?”

Ying’s eyebrows rose at the $3,000 price. Too much for her. She wasn’t used to her new pay scale yet. She dropped the tag. “Yes. Very pretty.” She turned to Eleanor. “I’ve been using the key.”

Eleanor’s cocked an eyebrow. “Interesting. Let’s sit down. Tea?” She led Ying to a small seating area near the counter.

“Yes. Thank you.”

Eleanor went into the back and came out a few minutes later with a china teapot on a tray, two cups on saucers and a plate of cookies. “I do believe the English tea time ranks right up on the civilized behavior scale with the European mid-afternoon nap time.” She poured for both of them and sat back, cookie on her saucer and cup in hand. “Tell me all about your month.”

Ying settled back and related the subway terrorist incident, her other uses of the key and that it made her dizzy or sick when used.

“The sickness is in the book. I can confirm that. I’m interested in the key saving you the first morning. You were taking care of the key. It seems to me it was reciprocating the favor.”

Ying sipped her tea, now cold. She leaned forward and poured more into the cup to warm it. “I hadn’t thought of it like that.” Cup returned to the saucer she sat back. “What happened to the tray of keys in the window?”

“Those?” Eleanor looked over the rim of her cup. “I change the display often. I moved them into the back.”

Ying had the feeling the tray was supposed to attract her inside the day she found the key. “Does the key show up on a schedule?”

“Perceptive. It does have a cycle. It was time for it to appear. We never know where, though.”

“We? Who are you? Your group?”

Selecting another cookie from the tray, Eleanor dunked it lightly into her cup. “I suppose you could call us guardians. We know the history of many powerful objects and do our best to keep track of them.”

“And the key is just one?” Ying’s mind began to race at the thought of many of these objects circulating through the world.

“One of many. When one does show up, we try to offer the finder help.”

“Why not just get the things and lock them away?”

Eleanor chuckled. “That was tried, centuries ago. The objects have a mind of their own. They select their users and will not be denied. The key is benevolent, for the most part.”

A shock ran through Ying. “What do you mean?”

“Magic has to be paid for. Nothing is free, in this world or the arcane world.” Eleanor shrugged. “How have you been?”

“Fine, except for when I use the key. But that’s just a little momentary discomfort. Why?” Ying put the cup and saucer back on the tray and waited for the answer.

“Have you been out at all? Socialize, date?”

“I’ve been too busy. I was just made partner. I’m working eleven or twelve hour days, six days a week.”

Eleanor nodded. “The key is giving you what you want. You’re a professional woman. You’re focused on your job. You’re young and already a partner. Did you have any plans for a family?”

Ying blinked. “Someday. Of course. When I find the right man.”

Eleanor sighed. “In the key’s history, there has been no mention of the users ever marrying or having a family. That’s the price your object charges.”

Up until now, a husband and family were just vague future plans. Her parents had been riding her since high school to find a husband and start a family. They were very Chinese that way. But she kept putting it off, first for college, then to work. They approved of her every advancement but grand-children were their primary goal. “I. Um, I’m not sure.”

“Sure of what?”

“Whether I want a family. What if I do? Will the key leave me? Has anyone tried to have a family while they had the key?”

“If they did, the other guardians never made a note of it.”

Ying stood up. She had to think. “Here’s my card.” She pulled a card out of the little pocket on her briefcase. “Has no one given up the key?”

Eleanor shook her head. “Not that we know of.”

 

Thank You!

 

Part III: 989 Words

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

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Author Interviews: DMG Byrnes

Author DMG Byrnes

Author DMG Byrnes

I want to welcome DMG Byrnes to the blog today. DMG Byrnes is an author with a book addiction; reading and writing them. She is in the process of looking for the right agent to represent her first novel, The Foretelling Spark. She also writes poetry and short stories, publishing short pieces of fiction on the Fiction Fridays page of her website every week. She is a survivor of abuse and sexual assault, a chronic illness warrior, and on the side, a dragon tamer. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology that took her 9 years to earn and taught her that if it’s important enough to you, you’ll make it happen, no matter how slowly you have to go; a lesson she tries to remember when she’s writing.

 

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

I’m notoriously bad with “favorite” questions…my first thought was reading, but that’s more of a way of life for me than it is a hobby. I suppose possibly gaming, or crafting, maybe learning or drawing…I mentioned I’m not good with “favorites” right?

 

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

I really don’t know how to answer a question like this…there are too many variables and possibilities…if I was spending an afternoon with someone, though, I would hope it was good company.

 

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

I’ll take water, thank you.

 

4. What are you working on right now?

Well, I need to be focusing on the revisions for my novel, The Foretelling Spark, but those have been slow. My time has also been filled with a story that started on my Fiction Friday page, it’s become much more involved that first intended, but it’s interesting to me so far. I’m also (I know, I need focus) planning to start writing a fantasy novel later this year for NaNoWriMo in November. Hopefully my revisions will be finished before then.

 

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I wouldn’t know how to describe it. My style can and does change to suit genre, character, plot, story, timeframe…I’m not sure what to say specifically about my style. I try to find that line between description and action, and most importantly, give the reader the feeling they are connecting with a character.

 

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

I’m still pretty new myself but my first thought is, start now. You will always look back and find time has slipped by and wish you’d started last week, last month, last year, last decade. Also, if it’s important enough, you will find the time and a way to make it happen, no matter how long it takes. But these are true for more than just writing, or so I’ve found in my life.

 

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?

I rarely sit down and try to specifically come up with ideas (unless I’m in the all-out plotting stage of a novel, but that’s a different story).  I get a lot of ideas while I’m doing other things, or just musing to myself, so I often end up jotting ideas down as I go about my day.

 

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

There’s my website, dmgbyrnes.com

I can also be found on Facebook (facebook.com/DMGbyrnes) and Twitter (@dmgbyrnes)

 

I want to thank DMG Byrnes for stopping by my blog and getting to know us. Please stop by her facebook or twitter pages and see what she’s up to.

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Peachy August: Monday Blog Post

Color Logo for Print 051216 500X320

Newest News:

The book festival is over, now it’s time to go full steam ahead on the Northern Gila County Fair. www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com. We have totally revamped the website and designed a new logo and they look so good! You should check it out right away. So much new stuff this year, I’m very excited about it. We have a Ranch Rodeo this year on Saturday right after the livestock auction. We have a dance troupe coming on Saturday morning who will perform for an hour and a half. We also have some hotdog, watermelon, and chicken wing eating contests, a magician, and of course, all of the wonderful exhibits the crafty people of Gila county have made. We’re open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check the website for all of the details.

Giveaways:

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The Red Hot Summer giveaway is still in full swing. Just click on the Rafflecopter link. 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, twitter, and website pages. 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.

Shout Out:

Author DMG Byrnes

Author DMG Byrnes

This week’s author interview is with DMG Byrnes. a fantasy author. If you’re in a hurry, you can find her at dmgbyrnes.com. We have a great interview lined up and you can see the cover to her new book, the Fortelling Spark. So stop on by on Wednesday!

Garden News:

Peaches from my tree

Peaches from my tree

I picked my first batch of yellow beans a few days ago and ate some for supper and froze the rest. The patch is ready for picking again. I also picked a lot of cherry tomatoes which we’ve already eaten. They’re ready to pick again, too. The big news, I picked all of the peaches from the tree. That’s the picture above. They’re small because I didn’t thin them this spring but they taste wonderful, especially still warm from the sun. I’m running behind the zucchini production. I’ve made zucchini patties, those were delicious. Browned and crisp on the outside and wonderfully creamy and soft on the inside. Yummy! I’ve also added them to Saturday night’s Hot Chili oil and lemon spaghetti with fresh, halved cherry tomatoes. How’s your garden doing?

Where Will I Be?:

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’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

I’ve been editing and rewriting Zoe Ohale. I still have some work to do. I’ve also thought of a cover for the book so I’ll be working on that soon. If you’re a Brown Rain Series fan, I think you’ll like Zoe Ohale. You may remember a short story I published on my blog on 8/20/15, Extra Baggage. That was the second story about Zoe. The first, Betrayal Moon, is in the Forward Motion anthology, due out in the next couple of weeks. Just 17, Zoe has been an orphan living on the streets of Baia Mare since she was 12. Street smart and fiercely independent, Zoe has been offered the chance to move back into legal society by the police officer that arrested her a few months ago. But first, she has to help protect the little kids in her group, help her friend save her father from assassination, and find a criminal ring that just stole all of the physical credits being delivered to the Planetary Bank of Baia Mare. The book, the first of a series, should be out in August, if I can find time to work on it between the Book Festival and the Fair.

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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