February – It’s a Hoot!: Monday Blog Post

 

Newest News:

I spent a lot of time this last week working on the Payson Book Festival and the Northern Gila County Fair. For the book festival, I completed the grant application and sent it in then talked with the director of the grant and received some tips on tweaking the grant application. I did that and sent it back. Authors are signing up for the book festival like gang-busters. I feel certain that the new on-line application and PayPal credit card process is making it so much easier for authors to sign up. I know I enjoyed it when I put my application in. For the fair, I contacted a local new shop owner that sells bath and body stuff made by local artisans. It’s a lovely little shop and she agreed to work with me to set up criteria for judging homemade soaps, lotions and other things in our fair’s Homemaking Arts department. I’m looking forward to seeing what our local crafters are doing in this area.

Hubby and I spent the day at home on Sunday and watched the Super Bowl with just the two of us. We had snacks and while hubby was interested in the game, I was more interested in the commercials. That didn’t stop us from picking opposite sides with him cheering on Atlanta and me the Patriots. It’s hardly any fun if there’s no opposition, right?

I broke down and bought two foot-torture devices. They have a hard plastic top that goes on top of the foot. Then there are straps to Velcro around the leg above the ankle and then around the ball of the foot to keep your foot in a 45-degree positon. I use one on each foot and sleep with them on my feet. You’re right, they catch in the blankets and wake me up when I turn in my sleep. On the other hand, after three nights using them, my feet do feel better. I’ll keep using them then try another walk at the end of the week. I’m missing out on great hiking and want to get back to it. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Good progress was made on Mystery at the Book Festival. I finished my paper edits and have started on the research edits. Those are places in the manuscript where I need to do more research on what a real police department or ambulance drivers would do. There are the notes, also, where I realized I changed names in the middle of the book, mention something from book 1 that I need to look up to be sure I have the details right, and spots where I mention the characters saying they’d do something but I have to make sure it happened or at least is mentioned again to tie up all of the loose ends and questions I brought up. It’s a lot of detail to keep straight but I don’t want to send it to my editor with a bunch of stupid errors in it.

 

Giveaways:

My science fiction giveaway ends today over on BookSweeps, https://www.booksweeps.com/enter-win-45-science-fiction-adventure-books/. This is your last chance to enter to win my book or 44 others and a grand prize of a Kindle Fire! Click on the link and enter now. Come back and leave a message when you do.

My multi-author giveaway called For the Love of Books, Valentines Giveaway is in full swing. The link is http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link. This is a short giveaway because we’re lining up one for St. Patrick’s Day. So get in on the opportunity to win $135 in Paypal cash plus prizes from over 40 authors, that’s over 80 prizes! Hurry! This giveaway ends at midnight the 14th.

 

Shout Out:

Are you figuring out your travel plans for summer yet? Consider coming to beautiful central Arizona. The Payson Book Festival is July 22nd this year. Check out http://www.paysonbookfestival.org/ for details about authors at the event and the tab labled Area Information, in the area. Camping, hiking, natural wonders and more await the savvy traveler.

 

Where Will I Be?

On February 23rd, at 5pm Arizona time, I’ll be interviewed on BackPorchWriter.com. This interview is in preparation for the April B2BCyCon, an on-line conference that runs from April 7th to the 10th. Both events are open to readers so as I get closer, I’ll give you more details.

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements. I have contacted both the Phoenix ComiCon (http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/) and the Tucson ComiCon (https://www.facebook.com/TucsonComicCon/) for information about attending their events. It’s still early, they’re not working yet. I’ll keep you posted.

 

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 to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

 

Newest Book Release:

Mystery in the Woods released on December 24th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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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:

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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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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:

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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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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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Spring has Sprung: Monday Blog Post

Unknown Desert Flower

Unknown Desert Flower

Last week has been a crazy week for me. So much work on writing and my volunteer efforts with the Northern Gila County Fair and the Payson book festival has just left me reeling. Author applications are flooding in for the book festival. On the fair side, a great deal of coordination is taking place for advertising, promotion, and multiple events coordination. Plus for both efforts, volunteers are needed in multiple capacities. Do you live in the Rim Country? I could use your help! Call me.

I’m starting a new contest. One focused on reviews. Reviews, you say. What’s up with that? Well, in the publishing world, reviews are everything. They are a measure of my audience involvement. My several ratings on Amazon and other book sellers is predicated on my ratings. How many, how good are they? It’s a thing. Other places actually count the number of ratings I have. If I don’t have “enough” reviews, they don’t want to take my ads or other promotional materials. So for an author, reviews are a big deal. So here’s the contest. If you have read or read one of my books, drop a review for it on your platform of choice. It doesn’t matter to me where you put the review. It also doesn’t matter to me what kind of review it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a good review but that’s not what I’m asking for. I’d like an honest review from you on how you liked my book, whichever one you read. Back to the contest. You write a review. Put it where ever you’d like. Send me a link to your review. In a couple of weeks I’ll do a random number generator choice of the people who’ve done a review and you win! Prise? An ebook of mine of your choice. Contest ends April 10th. I’ll announce the winner here on this blog and on my newsletter on the 11th.

Just so you know—my next author interview is romance author Arlene Hittle on April 6th. She’s a wonderful author and her books are sweet. You’ll want to hear what she has to say.

On the gardening front, the tomato seedlings are still doing well. A front is moving in and Tuesday is forecast as turbulent. What do I mean? I mean I have no idea what will happen in my town. It could be rain. It could be snow. It could be nothing at all. Tuesday is hiking day for us. Our group, the Payson Packers, C Group, is planning to drive down to Roosevelt Lake for a hike there. Forecast for that area is dry. I shrug. I’ll have to see what the morning brings both for my garden and for the hike.

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway has started. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day here.

Mystery in the Woods draft is FINISHED! I am ecstatic. I do have to let it “rest” for awhile before I pick it back up and do a heavy re-write and edit. I am hoping to release it in 2016. In the meantime, I’m outlining the next cozy mystery, Mystery at the Book Festival. It’s the 28th of March and I plan to start writing on April 1st. So I guess I’d better get my outline done.

Take a look at the places I’ll be, below. I’ve ordered owl charms, associated with Kindred Spirits that I’ll attach to new bookmarks. I’ll be giving these away to purchasers of books at the below events. The April 16th event at the Tempe Library is free but the June MysteryCon is a 2-day event with just a $35 entry fee for BOTH days. Sign up for that now. Mention my name on the registration. I may have a special gift for people who’ve registered in advance and visit me at the event. I need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out.

TempeBookFestival2016

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there. I have a nice giveaway for purchasers of any book.

Mystery Con Flyer

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery.  Tickets for both days are only $35. New! I’m offering a prize or two to people who register in advance and mention my name in the registration. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

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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Merry New Year 2016: Monday Blog Post

Bird by Betty Marsh

Bird by Betty Marsh

For those of you who read last week’s post, we did just fine on the fair audit AND we finished it in one, very stressful, day. Yay! We’re lining ourselves up to get the 2016 fair planned. If you live in my town, I have several openings for volunteers! If you’re interested in our fair, check out www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com or Northern Gila County Fair on Facebook.

We had my daughter and brother-in-law (hubby’s brother) over on Christmas Eve for our Christmas feast. As usual, I cooked way too much food. The duck was delicious and the company was great. We played both Chicken Foot and a game new to me, Sequence. There was a lot of trash talk and laughter. Good times. The daughter brought her hamster with her as no one was home to take care of it. We had fun watching the little critter in her hamster ball roam all over the house checking things out. Daughter shared her art. The pic at the top is one of her drawings. We think she’s awesome. How about you? LOL!

Writing is going. Even though it was Christmas week, I managed over 6000 words on my November NaNo novel, Zoe Ohale. I’ve got about six scenes to go and I’ll be close to 65,000 words on the work when I’ve finished the first draft. After that is done and put away to rest awhile, I’ll pick up July’s Mystery in the Woods. At this point I’ll have to read the whole thing through to figure out where I left off and what else has to be done. That story was an experiment in NOT plotting. This is where it has led me, down a rabbit hole. No matter. I’ll get it back to active status and finish it up. I’m planning on being at a Mystery Convention in Scottsdale the beginning of June and want to have it there for sale. So, I’d better get writing.

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway has been extended to run until midnight, January 1st. (midnight after New Year’s eve) Here’s the link through my website:  http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the supporting author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. I’ve put up the two signed paperback books in my Brown Rain series as my main prize. I also put up my Christmas Tales book (signed, of course) as a second prize. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

This is the time of year for me to look back at 2015 and think about what I want to do for 2016 at least as far as my writing goes. Do you do that in your life or job? I find it helpful to have a goal to shoot for. I did a blog post on this in my December 18th post. Click here to see how I did in 2015. I think my main goal in 2016 is to not only write and publish but to expand my reader base. I have 13 books out now plus stories in four different anthologies. I’ll be able to put out at least three books in 2016, perhaps more. Do you recommend my books you’ve read to other readers?  Do you write reviews for my books that you’ve read on Amazon, Goodreads or the site where you purchased the book or books? Those are some of the ways a reader can help out an author. What is your suggestion for bringing more readers to my books? I hope you had a productive and happy year. I wish you all the best with your goals for 2016.

I published my December newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The January newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! 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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NaNo Break: Monday Blog Post

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Since my last Monday blog post, it’s been crazy. I managed to get a few words written this week but for the most part, the week, at least concerning NaNo, has been a loss. I’ve only written two days out of the seven. Since today is the 23rd, that means I have only seven days left to get to 50,000 words. On Saturday I had 35.3k finished. That means I need over 2k per day to finish NaNo. I think I can do it. The rest of my month, except for Thanksgiving Day, is appointment free.

I attended for my first time, the Arizona Fair Commission Conference. I’m so glad I went. We’ve not attended, by we, I mean the fair board in general, this conference in years. It was way past time to do so. Several nearby fair managers, have all volunteered to help us out. It was so nice to be among such passionate people. I learned a lot about fairs, entertainment, management and organizational skills specific to fairs. I can’t wait to share it all with the rest of my board.

I taught a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing. What a wonderful group of writers. Everyone, no matter their skill level or time as a writer, had excellent points to offer on the topic. I think we all learned a lot! I know I did. I enjoyed meeting a whole new group of writers. They all have such unique points of view. I can’t wait to read more of their work.

I’m compiling a new feature on the site, author interviews. I don’t know about you but as a reader, I’m always on the lookout for authors new to me to read. I think I’ll start the new feature in January. Perhaps one article every other week to start. If you like the feature, please be sure to comment. I have to assume that no comments means that you’re not interested and I’ll drop the feature after a time. So, be sure to let me know what you think of the posts!

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway started 1 November. I have a link to the giveaway on my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s also a Youtube video at the bottom of the page to watch. You will love this. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

I finished getting all of my books but my first (The Bad Seed) up on Chatebooks.com. You can find my books by searching on my name or here’s a direct link. https://www.chatebooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Connie%20Cockrell  I’m very excited to be able to provide multiple platforms for readers to find my work. Chatebooks, as the name implies, is only for ebooks. To get a paperback copy of my books, go to Gumroad.com/ConnieCockrell or to Amazon.com. Both of these platforms can sell both ebooks and paperbacks.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving full of family and friend love and good food.

I published my October newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The November newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! 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, Books tab. 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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Fair is Done and In’D’Tale Conference is Coming

Draft horse logging demo 2015 by Randy Cockrell

Draft horse logging demo 2015 by Randy Cockrell

The Northern Gila County Fair is over! If you’ve never been involved in the administration of a fair, here’s a short explanation.

Since our event center has no buildings, everything that needs to be under cover must have a tent. So on Tuesday, after a pleasant Labor Day, I was at the event center at 7am to meet with the company that puts up our tents, and with the town Street Department Director, who was going to help us get our exhibit stands to the event center grounds. The day was spent moving those stands, cleaning them, and making sure the tent company brought the tables and chairs we’d ordered, too. Several of the Exhibit Tent departments brought in volunteers to set up on Tuesday night.

Wednesday. All departments had to finish setting up so that at 1pm, exhibitors could drop off their exhibits. The tent company set up the livestock tents. Lots of details like, the lighting didn’t work, or the air conditioning had to be brought and turned on, exhibitor questions and more all had to be handled.

Thursday. The tent company put up the entertainment tent. All departments have brought in judges to judge the exhibits. Each department has to complete a report on the number of exhibits, broken down by the age group the exhibitor belongs to, how many exhibits we have, and what awards were given. This report goes to the state. After that is the arranging of the exhibits so that everything can be seen and appreciated by the fair attendees. Livestock begins arriving on Thursday afternoon. Vendors set up starting at noon.

Friday. The fair opens. We have Kids Day on Friday morning. All of the elementary school children are bused to the fair and they get first look at everything. Lots of extra activities are scheduled for the kids. After that, it’s a regular fair day; music, draft horses, livestock judging, and more are scheduled. Added bonus, every third year  a state inspection occurs. This is an audit of the way the fair is run and how we spend the tax dollars that are sent to us. I felt we did very well. Of course there are always a few things that we can tighten. We’ll address those in the upcoming year.

Saturday. Fair opens at 8am and closes at 9pm. Horse shows, livestock auction, music, a dance and more happen on Saturday.

Sunday. Last day of the fair. Opens at 8am. Livestock sold on Saturday are loaded up for processing and gone by noon. The Exhibit tent closes at 4pm so that we can sort the exhibits by exhibitor, making it easy for them to pick up at 5pm. By 6pm, all of the exhibits are gone. The grounds are closed.

Monday (today). Back to the event center to make sure all trash is picked up and dealt with. Tents are removed. Portajohns retrieved. We all collapse.

If you’re thinking of volunteering for your fair, good for you. This is a wonderful community event that highlights the best of local talent, and whether that is growing tomatoes or woodworking, what a fantastic resource for your community. Good for you.

Author Friend Boost! Selena Laurence. Her newest book is the last in her Lush series, a lush reunion.  Here’s a description.

Ten years ago Lush bassist Colin Douglas met the love of his life. Then she broke his heart. Now, in a small Texas town, in the midst of the breakup of his band, Colin has found Marsha, and he has no idea what to do with her.

 Marsha O’Neill hasn’t had it easy. Since losing Colin, nothing’s gone right for this east Texas waitress—except for Sean, her six-year-old son. She’s worked hard to give Sean what he needs—the best of her. Then a hot bass player walks into her bar and she knows the world isn’t done screwing with her yet.

What happens when life gives you a second chance? Can you learn to trust again, live again, love again? Colin and Marsha are about to find out that second chances don’t come easy.

You can find more at http://selenalaurence.com/

Writing progress. Nothing on Mystery in the Woods. Instead I spent my time leading up to the fair writing flash stories for scheduling for the rest of September since three days after the fair, I’m headed to the In’D’Tale conference, http://indtale.com/indscribe-con-information, held the 17th, 18th and 19th. Hope to see you there. When I get back from the conference, it’s time to get ready for October. I plan on having all of the Friday Flash stories for October written and scheduled by the end of September. It’s a lot of writing and I’ve decided to write all horror/Halloween type stories for October. I already have six title prompts to work from.  We’ll see how this goes.

On September 24th, I’ll be in Strawberry, AZ, speaking to the writing group there about CreateSpace. I’d love to see you there.

I’m totally up on conniesrandomthoughts.com.  I’ve put a notice up on my WordPress blog so my readers can find me. Be sure to follow me at my new website. I stopped posting to the WordPress site (www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com) after Friday, August 7th.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I put a special offer up in my July newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blogs. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, too. Don’t delay. The September newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. 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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Monday Blog Post: County Fair, Story Submissions, and Event Jitters

Quartz Rocks by Connie Cockrell

Quartz Rocks by Connie Cockrell

Gardening has picked back up. The Early Girl and Roma tomatoes are producing like crazy. The trellis is leaning way over due to the weight of the plants and fruit. I’ve had to do emergency tie-offs to keep everything upright. I harvested two more cantaloupes and took them to my daughter. We just can’t eat everything fast enough. Pears are still being harvested. The zucchini is slowing down. A good thing as I still have two giant ones in my fridge to use up.

Author Friend Boost! Lazette Gifford. She has just released her newest book, In the Shadow of Giants. Here’s a description.

In a future filled with starships, a gathering of Norse sail far wider oceans than they had in the ancient past. When members of the Chinese pantheon abduct one of the Norse, it will take all of Odin’s skills to convince an estranged Loki to help get her back.

You can find more at: http://www.lazette.net/

The Northern Gila County Fair is September 11- 13th. We’re in the ramp up. Tuesday starts the major lifting. I’ve been posting like crazy on the Facebook page: Northern Gila County Fair. There were four articles in Friday’s paper. Monday starts the KRIM radio spots. We’re all scurrying to tie up those last minute details. If you don’t hear from me next week, you’ll know why.

I received my editor’s edits this morning and finished my final corrections of Gold Dream. (The post picture is meant to represent this story.) I wanted to send this story to a particular contest. Don’t know what I was thinking but I overshot the wordcount by 4X. Sigh. I thought I could pull up a story I’ve already written. I found one I liked, edited it to a good place and realized that I had posted that on my blog. Since it’s been “published” I couldn’t submit that one either. The deadline for the contest is September 15th. I don’t feel that I can write and edit a good short story in seven days. So! I sent Gold Dream to a western fiction story magazine and I’ve saved the edited version of the second story, a scifi, to a file for a collection to release next year. Yay! No work wasted. I’ll try and get my act together for the contest next year.

Did something fun last Friday. Hubby, me and Mom took a ride up to Flagstaff. We had to get the car a service for some sort of computer update. Afterward picked up the daughter and her friend and went to the Pioneer Museum. Housed in what was once the Indigent Hospital, we learned a lot about early Flagstaff history and of the homeless population problem. If you’re ever in Flagstaff, this is a great place to visit.

The Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff is located in the historic Coconino County Hospital for the Indigent. The Hospital was built in 1908 using purniceous dacite from the Mount Elden Explosive Eruption about 500,000 years ago. The building was used as a hospital until 1938 and was considered a Poor Farm. The exhibits within the museum reflect the history of Flagstaff and northern Arizona. Visitors will learn of the local history of ranching, logging, transportation and life in Pioneer Flagstaff. Festivals and events are also held on the grounds including the annual Wool and Fiber Festival, the Folk Festival and the Heritage Festival.

2340 N. Fort Valley Road

Flagstaff AZ 86001

Phone 928-774-6272

Email: wpeterson@azhs.gov

 

The week after the Fair I’m at the InD’Scribe conference in Palm Springs, CA. http://indtale.com/indscribe-con-information  This is my first conference and I’m more than a little nervous. I want so much to learn a lot of stuff from all of the experienced authors that will be there. I want to connect with the readers that are attending and, obviously, sell a lot of books. If you’re around the Palm Springs area September 18th and 19th, stop on by. I’d love to chat with you.

On September 24th, I’ll be in Strawberry, AZ, speaking to the writing group there about CreateSpace. I’d love to see you there.

I’m totally up on conniesrandomthoughts.com.  I’ve put a notice up on my WordPress blog so my readers can find me. Be sure to follow me at my new website. I stopped posting to the WordPress site (www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com) after Friday August 7th.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I put a special offer up in my July newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blogs. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, too. Don’t delay. The September newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. 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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Monday Blog Post: It’s Busy!

Apples, pie, Applesauce, Connie Cockrell

Apples for pie and as Applesauce by Connie Cockrell

The garden has slowed down. The pear trees are ready to pick and the Sungold Cherry tomatoes are ready but everything else is slow. It’s been super hot and I think the garden is just resting. The apples I picked weeks ago have been sitting on my kitchen table nagging me to do something with them. So Sunday I turned the majority of them into applesauce, some into an apple pie and the best ones went in the fruit crisper to eat out of hand. That’s the picture up at the top. Yay!

Author Friend Boost! J.A. Marlow She has just released her newest book, When the Skies Fell (A String Weavers, Book 6). Here’s a description.

A band injury forces Kelsey hale and her team to return to space station Sanctuary, the last remaining Weaver refuge among the multiple Universes. Not a good place to go considering the Weaver Council wants to take away her Weaver band. Kelsey turns the risky visit into an opportunity to learn more about Professor Hadrian’s ultimate plan for his Phoenix Eggs. Only one other person might know: Dr. Rozelle Mallard, his former aide and traveling companion.

Professor Hadrian arrives on Sanctuary to heal his own band injury and he will do anything necessary to keep certain information forever secret. He knows of a way to silence Rozelle while also stealing Kelsey’s Phoenix Eggs. Never mind that it will kill both of them.

He forgets the Weaver team he is dealing with.

He forgets Kelsey’s determination to never give up.

He forgets what Phoenix Eggs really are.

Join Kelsey Hale in a coming of age science fiction adventure across alternate universes and encounters with alien planets, species and societies. Thrust into a dangerous journey to places she could have never imagined, she is determined to discover the truth of her mysterious past. A truth that will change her life.

See more at: http://jamarlow.com/category/new-releases/

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo

 

I haven’t mentioned it before now but we’re creeping up on the dates for the Northern Gila County Fair. This year it’s September 11- 13th. I’m still the VP of Exhibits with all of the work that entails. But this year in addition to managing the website and Facebook page, I’m doing the marketing for the fair. I have ads in several high profile Arizona magazines and newspapers. I’m posting daily on our facebook page: Northern Gila County Fair and daily updating our website, www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com. I’d love it if you’d leave a comment on the facebook page. Saturday we (members of the fair board and some 4-H kids) were in the Payson Rodeo Parade and handed out a BUNCH of flyers advertising the fair. The picture at the top is our float. As we went we could hear the comments about the fair. “Oh, we have a fair!” “It’s just a dollar admission!” “Cool!” Let it be known, this is the 61st fair, shouldn’t be such a mystery but there you are. More people now know about it and will, maybe, come.

Betrayal Moon for the Forward Motion anthology is completed and turned in to the anthology editor. I’m pretty pleased with both the story and the world I’ve created.  I expect the book to be published in October or November, just in time for Christmas gift giving! I’m looking forward to writing in that world again.  I finished my edits of Gold Dream and sent it to my editors. They’ll get back to me this week with their edits and I’ll go final. The deadline is September 15th so I don’t have a lot of time to dither. I’ve gone back to writing Mystery in the Woods, the second book in the Jean Hays series that I started in July. Not as many new words on it this week as last but I’m getting there.

I’m totally up on conniesrandomthoughts.com.  I’ve put a notice up on my wordpress blog so my readers can find me. Be sure to follow me at my new website. I’ve stopped posting to the wordpress site (www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com) after Friday August 7th.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I put a special offer up in my July newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blogs. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up too. Don’t delay. The August newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. 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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