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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Monday Blog Post: Spring is here

Daffodils, Connie Cockrell

Daffodils by Connie Cockrell

Above is a picture of some of my daffodils. The really early ones, the miniatures have been up for two weeks. The tall ones, with the orange centers, just started blooming. I have a few late bloomers in the beds as well so I’ll have daffodils well into April. I also began my gardening. Saturday I pruned the dead wood out of my blackberries. I have let them run amok all over the ground. I really should trellis them and prune them back. I suspect they’d produce better if I reined them in. I still have to trim my rosebushes, they still have dead blooms on them from last fall. I had really wonderful roses last year after pruning them back very hard.

My book signing for March 21st at the Scoops Ice Cream store here in Payson is just a handful of days away. If you’re in town on the 21st between 1 and 3pm, stop by to grab an ice cream and chat. You can find both of these events and the July Book Festival on the Where Will I Be? tab on this website. I’m featuring my latest book, Lost Rainbows, but I’ll have my other books there to buy as well.

The month has been so full of Fair planning and Festival planning that I haven’t written or edited as much as I should have. However, I wrote two flash fiction stories last week but only posted Sixty-Four. The other one became a long telling instead of showing and needs a lot of editing to become presentable.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. You can see the information on www.PaysonBookFestival.org if you’d like. Kick-off pricing on author tables is now over. There’s still time to sign up for a table, though. You can share a table, too, to make your costs less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. Author registration closes at the end of April so we can put the program together. You’re not an author? Then mark your calendar to come to Payson for July 25th to meet us. We’d love to chat with you.

My short story, After Math, came back from my content editor. It has a few more comments but I haven’t had a chance to take a close look at it. I’m hoping to get that polished up and off to a magazine soon.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Monday Blog Post: March is Here!

InD'Scribe Conference

InD’Scribe Conference

Big news, I’ve signed up to attend my first ever writer’s conference. It’s called InD’tale Con and is being held in Palm Springs, CA on September 17 – 20, 2015. I’m pretty excited. I’m catching a ride with another author from Payson and I expect we’re going to have a lot of fun. If you’re around Palm Springs at that time, stop by my signing table and say hi!

I’ve also arranged a book signing for March 21st at the Scoops Ice Cream store here in Payson. I put info out on the radio, the newspaper and put up posters all around Rim Country. If you’re in town on the 21st between 1 and 3pm, stop by to grab an ice cream and chat. You can find both of these events and the July Book Festival on the Where Will I Be? tab on this website.

I’ve managed to create a couple more chapters in my All About Bob story. Poor Bob. I’m being pretty mean to him. I’ve also begun the planning and outlining for my next Brown Rain book, not sure what I’m calling it yet. Rest Stop, has come to mind. Anyway, in this book Alyssa will be the main character though Kyra will have a lot to do as well. I’m planning to write it during April’s Camp NaNo. I still need to edit Mystery at the Fair. I’d like to release that in May, and have it ready for the summer reading season and for the July Book Festival and the September conference.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. You can see the information on www.PaysonBookFestival.org if you’d like. Kick-off pricing on author tables, half price now ends March 15th. Hurry, sign up for a table, you can share a table, too, to make your costs even less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. They’re going fast at this great price.

I’ve sent my short story, After Math, to my content editor. I hope I’ve rewritten it enough to change the feel of it and make my main character the girl I had in my head. I’d like to get it circulating, maybe even sold.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Monday Blog Post: Am I Catching Up?

February, Gardening, Parsley, Connie Cockrell

February Parsley by Connie Cockrell

 

I had a great time speaking on the 18th, last Wednesday at the Arizona Professional Writers monthly meeting.  I talked about my adventures as an Indie author, provided a hand-out with a ton of great links and sold a few books. Many thanks to everyone who came.

Also on the 18th was the first installment of Lost Rainbows as a serial. It’ll be posted on my blog and on Wattpad (www.Wattpad.com).  I’m ConnieCockrell on that site. It goes live on Wattpad  Wednesday, the 25th.  A new chapter will be released each Wednesday for 16 weeks. Enjoy. I’m also posting my monthly contribution to Chicklets in the Kitchen on the 25th so it’s another banner Wednesday for me. I’ll be showing you how to make gluten and dairy free oatmeal-raisin cookies. Yum! Please feel free to share those posts with friends and family.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. We’ve begun the Sponsorship drive and you can find a form on www.PaysonBookFestival.org to contribute if you’d like. We have a Kick-off pricing on author tables, too. Half price now through mid-March. Hurry, sign up for a table, you can share a table, too, to make your costs even less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. They’re going fast at this great price.

The warm weather here has caused the green onions to come up and self-seeded parsley to start sprouting.

February, Gardening, Spring Onions, Connie Cockrell

February Spring Onions by Connie Cockrell

The fruit trees are starting to bud out too. Several flowering trees in the neighborhood are already blooming. It’s too soon, of course. If my fruit trees bloom now, they’ll get frost blasted for sure and I won’t get anything. I keep telling my trees to go back to sleep. I don’t think it’s working. We haven’t had rain in a long time, I may have to water. Ack!

I also volunteer for the Northern Gila County Fair. (www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com) We’ve come very close to cancelling the fair because we didn’t have enough volunteers. Fortunately, we did a big newspaper and radio push and several people stepped up to help us out. Yay! The 61st Northern Gila County Fair is a go!

The Book Festival and the Fair have been taking a lot of my time this month and I haven’t done much writing because of it. But this week has no appointments so I think I can get back to my writing. My All About Bob story has been languishing long enough. I also need to edit my November story, Mystery at the Fair and finish editing my short story, After Math, so I can re-start submitting it to magazines. Lots of writing still to do, so I’d better get cracking.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Monday Blog Post: Running As Fast As I Can

Wading, creek, hiking,

Wading Sycamore Creek by Randy Cockrell

How many of you are helping a parent through the Medicare maze? I am because as I mentioned in my December posts, my mom moved in with me. The move has inspired a complete redo of her Medicare insurance, this being another state and all. What a mess! It’s a federal program! So why aren’t there federal guidelines, places to go, consistent standards and pricing? I’ll live through this process but the aggravation is all on the government.

Lost Rainbows is up on both Smashwords and CreateSpace so you should be able to find the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and other sites.

Mybike ride on a Greenway path from Scottsdale to Tempe Town Lake and back again, about 30 miles was fantastic. What a wonderful resource for the town. After a year break from bike riding, yes, I was sore. But, I’m healed up now and the ride is so lovely that I may do it again. The Tuesday hike had us wading a couple of streams. A picture is at the top of the blog. Stream wading isn’t something we usually have to confront in Arizona and a few hikers had some reservations. However, in the long run, everyone crossed safely, in both directions and we had a wonderful hike.

On the writing front. I’ve done practically no writing last week. I’m the chair of a committee for putting on Payson’s first ever book festival as well as a board member for a couple of other volunteer organizations. All of them have collided this week to put me off of my regular schedule. This weekend my hubby and mom and I snuck away and I have had time to write. I’m excited about new stories.

Sign up for the newsletter on my blog, www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll get the scoop on what I’m writing much earlier than I post it here.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Monday Blog Post: Busy January

Bridge, Roosevelt Lake, Dam, Hike

From a hike to Roosevelt Lake. The bridge near the dam from a different POV than most people get.

I’m sitting down to write this blog and all of the things I had thought to write about have flown out of my head. That’s what I get for not jotting them down as I think of them. No matter, there’s so much going on in January, I have plenty to talk about.

First of all, my leprechaun story, Lost Rainbows is proceeding along my editing path. All of the copies are back from my readers and I’m busy looking through the comments and making changes. Next, I’ll send it off to my editors, Silver Jay Media. They are marvelous people and are working very hard to make my work shine. I have contracted out my cover this time. JA Marlow, jamarlow.com, is a wonderful author in her own right and uses her graphic arts background to make great covers. I haven’t seen the first draft yet but she told me it’s almost done. I can’t wait to see it. I’m still hoping to make my self-imposed deadline of the end of January. We’ll see how that goes. It may slip into February.

Also on writing, I just started a new novel. I call it my All About Bob series for New Adults. That’s the 15 – 20 year age group. I thought of this series over a year ago when I was taking a writing class. I developed the first story a little bit and wrote a tiny bit about each of four other stories to go with it. Here’s my series blurb:

This is a series of novelettes about five Bobs, from different towns and circumstances, but they each dream of a different life.

The first story is about one Bob who dreams of college. The second story looks at another Bob, still in high school and desperate to date the cute girl in Social Studies. The third Bob dreams of leaving home for more excitement. Bob number four would love some economic security, self-respect and a way out of the dead end life his parents live. The fifth Bob wants to see the world and the wonders it holds. See how each Bob confronts the obstacles that are denying him his dreams and how each young man forges his own path to adulthood.

I have no idea why I wrote about a young man instead of a young woman. It just seemed the way it should go. Anyway, I’m excited about the first story; It’s a Question of College, and have been writing it fairly steadily. No plans yet on when it will be published.

On the volunteering front, I’m hip deep in planning for the first ever Book Festival in my town. It’s a lot more complicated than you would think. However, we do have a website: www.paysonbookfestival.org and a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PaysonBookFestival. The committee is very excited about putting this together.

I’m also on the Northern Gila County Fair board. Our first meeting of the year is coming up at the end of the month. We need volunteers, like any other non-profit organization. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Gila-County-Fair/136645043024179 and our website there is www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com

Since it’s January there’s not a lot of gardening going on. My Meyer lemon tree bloomed over Christmas and as I do every year, I took a small watercolor paintbrush and moved pollen from one flower to the next. I have several teeny tiny lemon buds which I hope will grow to fantastic lemons.  My orchid is also sending out a new flower shoot. My daughter gave me the plant a couple of years ago as a Mother’s Day gift. I’m surprised I’ve kept it alive for so long. The dry Arizona air isn’t exactly ideal for a tropical rainforest flower.

Also on the agenda for this week is a hike on Tuesday, and a massage. My daughter gave me a gift certificate and on Thursday I’m going to indulge. It’d be nice if I could give myself a whole spa day but that is not going to happen. There’s too much writing to do for me to skip a day.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

The Downtrodden: a Brown Rain Story released November 22nd! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Flash Fiction Friday: Final Third of Mystery at the Fair

Fonda Fair Butter Sculpture 2009 by Randy Cockrell

Fonda Fair Butter Sculpture 2009 by Randy Cockrell


Here’s the final third of the story with the whole thing in place so you don’t have to look for it. This is my first experiment with the cosy mystery genre. It’s a lot of fun. What do you think? Are you interested in hearing more about Jean Hays? Leave a comment!

Sweat rolled down the side of Jean Hays’ face, her short graying brown hair stuck to her forehead. The sun beat down out of a cornflower blue sky while end of the monsoon season thunderheads built up into towering blinding white and ominous portents of future rain. Rain every year for the fair, she thought as she trudged to the storage container where the plastic tubs of left over ribbons, banners and other fair paraphernalia resided the rest of the year.  She wiped her face and hoped the units were unlocked. The Fair Board President, Arris Van Horn wasn’t answering his phone. He should have them open by now.

She wiped the sweat from her face and lightly touched the metal handles of the shipping container. The front of the unit had been in the sun all day but while it was hot to the touch, she could grab the lever and pull it up. Must be ninety degrees out here. She swung the door open with relief that she wouldn’t have to trudge all over the fairgrounds looking for Arris and stepped inside. It was dark just a few feet inside the metal box and at least a hundred and twenty degrees. Sweat began dripping in earnest. Smells like mice in here, hope they haven’t gotten into the tubs, she thought.

Winding her way past safety cones, stacked tables, buckets of rope, steel cable and broken metal chairs, she stepped over a pile of rebar to reach her stack of tubs. One, two, three, four, she counted, where’s the fifth tub? The heat was giving her a headache. Maybe it’s farther to the back. A pile of cardboard boxes labeled, Mud Run, blocked her way. The storage container held material for several events that occurred on the fairgrounds during the year. Jean moved the three boxes behind her and stepped over a pile of rusting chain. Wish I’d brought a flashlight, she thought. It’s dark back here.

Squinting, she saw the medium blue tub four feet away on top of another stack of bins. There you are. She wiped her face again and held her breath. The smell of dead things was over whelming. I hope nothing crawled into my bin. The ribbons will be ruined. She picked her way past boxes, rusting metal things she couldn’t identify and a broken ladder. She pulled the tilted bin toward her and the pile of bins it was on fell over. Her bin slid to the floor, taking part of her thumbnail with it. “Owww,” she cried as she jerked her hand away. In front of her, the two doors of a metal cabinet creaked open and a desiccated human body fell out on top of her bin. She shrieked and scrambled outside.

She stared, panting, at the open door of the container then dialed 911. “This is Jean Hays. I’m the VP of Exhibits for the fair. I just found a dead body in the storage container on the fairgrounds.”

——-

Standing inside the yellow crime scene tape, Jean watched what looked like complete chaos as an EMT bandaged her thumb.

“That should do it,” he said as he smoothed the tape. “You should get a tetanus shot, too. The Emergency Care place over on the corner of the Highway and Longview Street can take care of you. If you go to the hospital emergency room it’ll cost more.”

“Thanks.” Jean examined her thumb. “I’ll do that.” She nodded toward the crowd of milling police and coroner and EMT’s. “Crime scenes always look like this?”

He shrugged. “Don’t know. There hasn’t been a murder in town since I started working, eleven years ago.”

They were interrupted by a uniformed officer. “Who said it was a murder?”

“It looked like a murder to me.” Jean nodded her thanks to the EMT who left. The officer’s tone annoyed her. She held out her right hand. “I’m Jean Hayes.”

He shook her hand, after a look of suspicion. “I’m Chief of Police Nick White. You found the body?”

“Scared the crap out of me. Fell out of the double door cabinet. Stuff was piled in front of it that held the doors closed. If it was a suicide, how’d stuff get piled in front of the door?” She jerked her chin at the small crowd gathering outside the tape. “The press is here.”

Chief White turned to see a photographer taking pictures with a long lens. “That’s Scott Duley, works for the town newspaper. The editor will be calling me soon for the story.” He turned back to her. “Did you recognize the body?”

“No.” Jean was hot and wanted a drink of water. A whole bottle of icy cold water sounded really good, what with the sun beating down on her head. “It was too dark in there and I was busy getting out. I’ve only lived here a year, anyway. Most people are still strangers.”

His left eyebrow cocked up. “You’re on the Fair Board.”

Jean shrugged. “Not hard. They needed volunteers and I’m a good organizer.”

Nick eyed her then said, “The body had ID, Ida Grange.” He studied her reaction.

She shook her head. “Sorry, Chief, It doesn’t ring a bell.”

“She and Arris Van Horn were an item last year.” He adjusted his equipment belt.

It was Jean’s turn to raise an eyebrow. Why would he share that information? she thought. “You think Arris did this? A poor place to hide a body since he’s in charge of the container.”

The Chief sniffed. “Maybe.” He looked around and waved an officer over. “Take Ms. Hays statement and let her get back to her business.”

“What about my bins?”

He looked directly at the officer. “Check the bins and if they’re clean, let her have them.” He never looked at her, just turned and walked back over to the gurney where the body lay covered.

—–

After an eternity of questions and a maddening examination of the bins, Jean was released. In the Exhibits building the Superintendents surrounded her.

“What happened?” was the primary question. She told them what she knew and they drifted off to complete their set up.

Karen Carver, Superintendent of Homemaking Arts, approached her half an hour later as Jean reviewed paperwork for the exhibits. She handed Jean an icy bottle of water. “I expect they kept you standing in the sun. You’re probably thirsty.”

Jean took the bottle and untwisted the cap. “They did.” She drank half the bottle then her right eye squinted. “Sorry, ice cream brain.” She recapped the bottle. “Thanks.”

“No problem.” Karen glanced around the building. “Um, did you hear anything?”

Jean cocked an eyebrow. “As in?”

“You know; any suspects?”

Jean didn’t really know these people. While they’d had a few planning meetings, she wasn’t friends. She wondered how much to say. “Well, the Police Chief asked probing questions.”

“Probing?”

Jean asked, “What do you mean?”

Karen shrugged. “Well, you know, it’s a small town. A body was found in one of our storage containers. It’s got to be a short list of suspects.”

“Do you have a theory?”

The woman looked around again. The fans that moved the hot air drowned out any nearby conversations. “Well, Ina George has been missing for months.”

“What do you know?”

“Maybe I shouldn’t say.”

Jean’s military training kicked in. “If you know something, you need to say so, to the authorities.”

“Well,” she tugged at the hem of her sleeveless blouse. “I don’t know for sure.”

“Come with me,” Jean said in her best Master Sergeant voice.

Karen fidgeted but after a command wave, followed Jean to the crime scene.

“Chief White,” Jean called from the outside of the crime scene tape.

“Yeah.” Annoyance spread across his face.

Jean had the urge to say “FU” and turn away but she held her ground. No small time police chief was going to intimidate her. “It’s important.”

He said something to the officer beside him and strode to the tape opposite them. “I’m a little busy, Ms. Hayes.”

“I understand that, Chief.” Her voice rose slightly and he scowled. “Ms. Carver is one of my Superintendents and I believe she has some pertinent information.”

He questioned Karen, then called an officer over to take her information while he stepped away to make a call on his radio. Two squad cars raced off, dust spewing into the air.

It wasn’t until the next Tuesday that she read in the paper that Arris had been arrested for the murder of Ida Grange.

A week later she bumped into Chief White at the local grocery. “Ms. Hays.”

“Chief.”

“Thank you for the tip last week.”

“My pleasure, Chief.”

He looked uncomfortable. “Uh, have a good day.”

“You too, Chief.”

She rolled her eyes when they parted. “What a clown,” she muttered.

 

The End

500/485/488 Words

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

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Mid-September Update

Pink Roses against the September sky by Randy Cockrell

Pink Roses against the September sky by Randy Cockrell

Oh my gosh! Totally forgot to do a blog post last Monday. I was exhausted after the fair ended last Sunday and didn’t have any brain power left to do a post. I apologize for that. The fair went pretty well. Like military plans, fair plans rarely survive first contact but we got most things done and fair-goers had fun. That’s all that counts. I’ve been posting pictures of livestock 4H and FFA winners on the fair Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Gila-County-Fair/136645043024179. These kids work really hard raising their animals and learning how to show them. It seemed fitting to post their accomplishments.
First Encounter, the first book in my new Brown Rain series is up on Amazon’s new Pre-Order feature. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MW8AYOK If you use another ereader, it’s also up on Kobo for pre-order at http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/first-encounter-6. Release date is scheduled for September 18th.
The garden is in fall mode. The green and yellow beans have withered, so no more of them. The peppers, both sweet and hot, are ripening. I may be able to roast and freeze the hot peppers soon. I have poblano and Fresno chilis. They’ll be very good this winter in my chili. I had to cut my mint down. The bees love the flowers but the flowers were going to seed. I can’t have mint seed spreading everywhere. I’d never get rid of the stuff. The bees can still visit the oregano flowers so they’ll have flowers until they go into hibernation. My butternut squash is also ripening. The very first ones to grow this spring are ready to pick. I’ll store them in my garage and the last ones will keep all winter. Tomatoes are sprawling all over. I still am picking more cherry tomatoes than we can eat. The regular tomatoes I par-boil, skin, chop and freeze. They’ll make great spaghetti sauce this winter. Do you garden? What’s still going strong for you?
The picture accompanying my blog today was taken by my husband of some of the roses I have blooming right now. I love the way they look against this mid-September sky.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.
Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.
Revolution: A Gulliver Station Story released August 1st! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Happy Labor Day

BBQ by Amanada Supak via www.deviantart.com

BBQ by Amanada Supak via www.deviantart.com

Here’s hoping you have a good Labor Day and a safe and fun weekend. We made no special efforts this year. No travel or special barbeques. It’s been nice to just stay home and take care of things around the house.

The Northern Gila County fair is in five days. The set up work starts today when the tents are set up. Then Tuesday we put up exhibit stands and the livestock people set up corrals, pens and show rings Wednesday people can bring their exhibits. It’s always fun to see what everyone has been working on all year.  Thursday is the exhibit judging. Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the Fair. We have a lot of fun things planned for the weekend: Hotdog eating and watermelon eating contests, a Battle of the Bands, a lip sync contest and a lot more. Check out the Attractions and the Entertainment tabs at www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com. We’re also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Gila-County-Fair/136645043024179.

My novella, First Encounter is with the editing service, SilverJayMedia.com. It should be back soon. Hot! I tried out Amazon’s new Pre-Order feature. It was very easy for me to use and I put First Encounter up on it for pre-order. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MW8AYOK Release date is scheduled for September 18th.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.

I have an in depth interview on my Smashwords Author page. You can read it here.  Don’t see information about me you’d like to know? Leave me your question in my comments and I’ll try to answer it.

Revolution: A Gulliver Station Story released August 1st! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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