Author Interview: Mary Ann Edwards

Author Mary Anne Edwards

Today I’d like to welcome Mary Anne Edwards. Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne decided to listen to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January of 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, will be released in June 2017, with at least five more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband currently live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is active in the Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Mary Ann.

 

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

I love to read. Yes, I know rather boring but I rarely get the chance to sit down and read. Before I starting writing full-time, I read a book a week. Now it more like a book a month.

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

My mother passed away February last year. I’d like one more day to her how much I love her and how thankful I am for her support and influence.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else? Yes, please! I like coffee with lots of cream and no sugar. I also enjoy a good cup of hot tea. I LOVE diet Dr Pepper, too much. I’ve cut back from my 2 liters plus a day habit to one soda a few times a week. I’m drinking lots of water now. I purchased an infusion pitcher. I’ve made all sorts of water like Pineapple Jalapeno Mint to simple Lemon Mint water.

4. What are you working on right now?

My fifth book, Flirting With Time: A Charlie McClung Mystery, will be released June 30th. I’m currently working on the sixth book in the series, Good To Be Kind.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author and award-winning journalist described my style of writing this way, “It’s as if Agatha Christie wrote Hart to Hart.” My books are traditional mysteries with romance and fun.

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

Get a website or blog or both going right now. Start building your network before your book is released. Once your book is released you’ll have a fanbase ready to buy your book.

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

My ideas come from music and everyday life. Tom Petty’s music gets my writing juice flowing for some reason. I guess his music is my muse. LOL!

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Facebook and Twitter are my two major hangouts but I have a website and I can be found on Pinterest and a few other places. Here are my links.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authormaryanneedwards

Website:  http://maryanneedwards.com/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/maryanneedwards/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MaryAnneEdwards/posts

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/maryanneedwards

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/maedwards58

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Edwards/e/B00HZ28TIQ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzz9_nQ5yzE60nW-LMkgUQ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791576.Mary_Anne_Edwards

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-anne-edwards

Wiselike:  https://wiselike.com/mary-anne-edwards

Thank you so much for spending a little time with us today, Mary Ann. We really appreciate it.

And gentle readers, don’t be shy. Stop by Mary Ann’s sites and say hello!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Author Interviews: Sherry Knowlton

Author Sherry Knowlton

I’m so happy, today, to present author Sherry Knowlton. Sherry is the author of the successful Alexa Williams series of suspense novels: Dead of Autumn, Dead of Summer and Dead of Spring.  When not writing the next Alexa Williams thriller, Knowlton works on her health care consulting business or travels around the world. She and her husband live in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Sherry.

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

Reading, of course. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. My other interests include travel, photography, yoga and Pilates.  My husband and I do a lot of traveling.  In the past six years or so, we’ve been trying to visit remote and exotic places, recognizing that we aren’t getting any younger.  We’ve been to a number of countries in Africa, India, Indonesia, most of the Southeast Asian countries, Chile and Peru – with a few more sedate visits to Europe thrown into the mix.  We both also enjoy travel photography and exhibit many of our photos locally in Southcentral Pennsylvania where we live.  When I’m home, I attend yoga and Pilates classes at local studios.

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

I miss my mother so much that she’s the obvious answer.  But, if I’m choosing someone among the living, I’d like to spend an afternoon with Bill Gates. Obviously, his major accomplishments are co-founding Microsoft  and growing the company to a huge, profitable corporation. But, I would like to talk to him about his post-Microsoft efforts.  I really admire the way that he and his wife, Melinda, have spent so much of their fortune in philanthropy, especially in projects to eradicate malaria, bolster family planning, and address other health issues prevalent in African nations and elsewhere.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Tea first thing in the morning.  Cherry Coke Zero during the day.  I’d really like to kick my Coke habit.  Everything I read says drinking soda is bad for me.  But, so far, haven’t been able to do it.

4. What are you working on right now?

My third novel, Dead of Spring, was just released on April 22. Now, I’m in the early stages of working on my next novel in the Alexa Williams, which will be titled Dead of Winter.  Although I’ve written a draft of the first few chapters, I’m about to begin my research which should take a month or so.  Also, as always, I’ll write a fairly detailed chapter by chapter outline of the book before I plunge into the serious writing.  My outlines are never hard and fast; they often evolve as I write.  But, I like to have a roadmap to follow during the first draft phase.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I write suspense with an element of mystery and a little romance.  Each of my novels also includes a historical subplot that intersects with the main, contemporary story.  My protagonist, Alexa Williams, is a strong character who has a propensity for stumbling into danger. All the books deal with hot-button social issues that you read about in the headlines and are important to me, personally.

I’m probably not my most insightful critic, so I’m not sure that I can describe my actual writing style.  I can say that I emphasize description, sense of place, and have been told that some of my romance scenes can be a little steamy,  The suspense is action-packed because my goal is to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

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

Go for it.  I hope you enjoy writing as much as I do.  But, go into it with a willingness to learn.  I’ve done a huge amount of professional writing in my job – and before that high school and college journalism.  But, writing fiction required me to learn a whole different structure and style.  Don’t be afraid to take writing courses or seminars and benefit from expert advice.  A writing critique group and beta readers can also be helpful to obtain honest feedback on your work in process. And, above all, don’t become discouraged.  Writing requires inspiration, skill, and a huge amount of willpower.

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?

A little of both.  I’m in my sixties, so I’ve had quite a bit of life experience that I draw upon in my books. For example, I’ve used my travels, my work in government, and my participation in the Woodstock Festival of 1969 as fodder for my novels to date.  But, I also expand my knowledge with research, talking to experts and more.  My most recent book, Dead of Spring, deals with fracking, so I talked to a number of experts and did a tour of actual fracking sites in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

A lot of my ideas for imagery and plot points come from my everyday life. Things that I observe or experience can easily become the inspiration for something you’ll find in one of my novels.  An experience my husband and I had with Somali refugees in Kenya provided me with the springboard to an important scene in my second novel, Dead of Summer.  My frequent visits to the Pennsylvania State Capitol inspired me to set key events in my latest, Dead of Spring, in that historic building.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

www.sherryknowlton.com

www.facebook.com/sherry.knowltonbooks/

www.twitter.com/KnowltonSBooks

And you can buy my books at:

https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Alexa-Williams-Sherry-Knowlton/dp/1620068435

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-of-spring-sherry-knowlton/1125457948

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Dead-of-Spring-9781620068434.htm

Sherry I really appreciate you taking the time to come and talk with us today. Looking forward to the next book!

Gentle readers, don’t be afraid to check out Sherry’s sites. You’ll be glad you did.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Published!: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

The Arrastra by Jay Richmond

Last week I mentioned that my western story, Gold Dream, was going to be published in Frontier Tales. Well, it happened. You can find it here: http://frontiertales.com/2017/05May/gold_dream_1.php. Part II will be in the magazine in June. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, go to the home page of the site and please vote for it as your favorite. Winning will get the story in the Frontier Tales anthology. Thank you in advance.

I’m just about done with the edits of Mystery at the Book Festival. I have a few more things to check and then I’ll send it back to the editor for a final review. That should happen this week. After that it will come back to me and I can do the formatting and finalize the cover.

Sahara Sunrise by djluke9 via DeviantArt
http://orig05.deviantart.net/ab5b/f/2017/093/2/2/sahara_sunrise_by_djluke9-db4idv5.jpg

I’ve been enjoying the writing of Slave Elf. I’m totally winging it (called pantsing (for writing without a plan, by the seat of my pants)) so I have no idea where I’m taking the story. It could go on for a while.

First strawberries

Gardening: I bought marigolds to fill the one pot by my sidewalk to replace the pansies the javelina ate. The pot with the daffodil bulbs looks like the bulbs won’t sprout. That makes me sad. I guess I’ll have to buy something, more marigolds, perhaps, to go in there. I picked my first strawberries Saturday. Yummy. That’s them above. I attended this last weekend’s garden club plant sale. I got there an hour and a half after opening and nearly all the vegetable plants were gone. I did get 2 cherry tomatoes and 2 Early Girl tomato plants and 2 serrano chili pepper plants and put them in the garden on Sunday. I also planted seeds for straight neck yellow squash, Black Beauty zucchini, bush green beans, pole green beans (both Blue Lake) as well as peas and yellow wax beans. Have you ever noticed how you cannot get yellow beans in the freezer section? Very odd. Anyway, it wasn’t ideal weather to plant the tomatoes and peppers. We’re having a cold snap and the wind is blowing like crazy, but I put the plants in anyway. They’ll have to tough it out.

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading: Easter Giveaway is now on. If you missed out on the last one, this is your chance to win.

Shout Out:

I’ve joined an author group that’s gotten together to help support each other. This group is focused on mystery/thriller/suspense stories but some of us are going to form up a separate group for other genres. I’ll be posting here about their books and freebies and contests as we go along. For example, until the 12th of May, you can get 14 free mysteries at http://www.abbyvandiver.com/blog/go/free-books/

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

The Phoenix ComiCon is coming up the end of this month, May 25 – 28th and you can find details for tickets, events, special guests, at http://phoenixcomicon.com/. I would be so excited to see you in the Exhibits Hall in the Four Carat Press booth number 1797.

July 22nd is the Payson Book Festival. I have to say, this festival has turned into quite a thing. Over 600 people came to it last year. The tables have already been filled with authors. You can find out who is attending at www.PaysonBookFestival.org. The event is free to visitors and starts at 9am and runs until 3:30pm. Details about the location, video from last year, and more, can be found on the site.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts 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.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Big News: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So much is going on. I just put Mystery at the Fair on Bundle Rabbit. This is a new site that allows the author to list my book individually but also has curators who build bundles (ebooks!) at discounted prices. https://bundlerabbit.com. You do have to be a member but it’s free. Seach on my name. So far I just have one book in there but if it becomes popular, I’ll put other books in there.

I have a Thunderclap underway and it ends on the 13th! A Thunderclap is a way to let my readers, friends and family help me let people know my book has been released. It’s free for my readers, friends and family to do and it’s simple. Click on the link, tweet, facebook or tumblr post with the handy buttons. It’s simple, free, and helps me a lot. I’m doing this Thunderclap on Mystery in the Woods, my newest book. So, can you help me out? Click here, click on the social media button, and that’s it! I really appreciate the help. http://thndr.me/rzLcmq

By next week I’ll have an Instafreebie up, so stay tuned for that.

And! Just yesterday I put my blog up on Kindle Publishing for Blogs. You’ll be able to get my blog delivered directly to your Kindle and read it wirelessly! How cool is that! Check out Kindle Publishing for Blogs!

Giveaways:

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway winners were Karen Giasson and Emily Smith. I’ve sent them emails but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. When they do, Karen wins a free ebook and Emily won the mug! Don’t miss out on the next one. It’s being called For the Love of Books, Valentines Giveaway. 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!

 

Shout Out:

If you’re looking for books, perhaps you’d be interested in Joshua Robertson. He’s a author of dark scifi and fantasy and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/joshua.robertson.9235?fref=ts. Check out his page.

 

Where Will I Be?

The lovely author Gail Kittleson, who writes Women’s fiction based in the World War II era, has invited me to appear on her blog. That is today, January 9th! So click on this link, http://www.gailkittleson.com/ and see my post!

This is the week! The local Payson Library is doing a Book Blitz. Throughout the month of January, they’re inviting authors to do a reading and take audience questions. I’ll have books to sell there, too. See me at the Payson Library community room, January 11th at 9am. See you there!

 

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 January 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Happy Holidays: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

We had a good Christmas. It started with a light snow falling on Christmas Eve. My brother-in-law was coming over for Christmas Eve dinner. The house smelled of roast chicken and what could be more wonderful than a warm house on a cold day. Then Christmas morning was quiet, just the hubby and myself exchanging gifts while drinking hot tea. Most of the gifts were books, though my daughter sent us the cutest little bird house made to look like an old-fashioned travel trailer. Hubby and I each got each other socks, too. That’s what happens after 40 years of marriage. We don’t need much anymore. Christmas afternoon was spent with friends, sharing potluck dishes and enjoying the day. The snow was melting but it still covered the ponderosa pines and the distant mountains making the day look like a Christmas card. We went home fulfilled and satisfied to watch a little TV before bed. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Mystery in the Woods was published on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/691914 on Christmas Day. It was also entered into the CreateSpace review system as well. So, if you’re eager for the book, you can get it in your desired ebook format on Smashwords. It should be up on Amazon by Tuesday. You’re not on my A Team? Let me know you want to be. I’ll set it up. I’m also considering an Instafreebie (Mystery at the Fair is up right now!), Author Shout promo, and of course twitter and facebook announcements. I began the process of setting up a Reader’s Gazette account so Mystery in the Woods may show up there. And if you’ve never checked it out, Bundle Rabbit has some wonderfully priced collections of books.

I have scheduled a Facebook Live for Wednesday at 3pm, Arizona time. We can talk about Jean Hays and her friend, Karen, or my SciFi books or something else. Hope to see you on there.

I’m also considering a Thunderclap. This is a simple way for people to support my book release by sending a facebook post or tweet to announce the release. It doesn’t cost anything and can really get the word out. I’ll keep looking into it.

 

Giveaways:

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

 

Shout Out:

This week I’d like to shout out to my friends on Four Carat Press. https://fourcaratpress.com/ We write a variety of books from Children’s to Spicy Romance. Stop in and see if you can find an author new to you.

 

Where Will I Be?

Imzy Stickers

Do you follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. This is a troll free site and free to join. Enjoy.

 

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:

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Author Interviews: Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

I want to introduce one of my fav authors, Arlene Hittle. Arlene writes romance and does it very well indeed! She lives not too far from me so every once in awhile we get to actually meet in person to talk about writing and giggle. Here’s a little bit about Arlene.

Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in northern Arizona. She suffers from the well-documented Hittle family curse of being a Cubs fan, but will root for the Diamondbacks until they run up against the Cubs. Longtime friends are amazed she writes books with sports in them since she’s about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe and used to say marching band required more exertion than golf.

Arlene_Ogling the Outfielder300dpi750x1200

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

Lately, I’ve gotten back into crochet. On Jan. 1, I started a “temperature afghan” — one row to record each day’s temperature through 2016. (Saw the idea on Facebook.) I’ve also started quilting and have a fun quilt planned with some fabric I spotted that reminded me of Diva in the Dugout, my first book.

Arlene's Temperature Afghan

Arlene’s Temperature Afghan

 

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

Well, if Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt are busy, I’d like to spend another day with my mother. She died in 2003 before I sold my first novel. I’d like her to know I’m finally succeeding at what I always wanted to do.

 

Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

I should say water. But most days, I drink a combination of coffee, tea, and Diet Dr. Pepper. More coffee on the days I write at Starbucks; more Diet Dr. Pepper to power through long hours at the day job and iced tea or diet soda when I’m relaxing at home. I’ve recently started making sun tea in a Mason jar on my front porch. Yum!

 

What are you working on right now?

The next book in my All’s Fair in Love & Baseball series, Ogling the Outfielder, comes out March 4. I’m still writing pitcher Luis’ story, and I have a couple other projects in various stages of completion.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

Breezy romantic comedy. My books are plain fun to read.

 

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

Perseverance pays. I wrote my first manuscript in the mid-1990s and joined RWA sometime in 2002-03. Beauty and the Ballplayer finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest in 2011, and I sold Diva in the Dugout in July 2013 … close to 20 years after I started. Success might not come easily or quickly, but it will come to those who stick with it.

 

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

More day-to-day life. I get inspiration from weird newspaper articles, snippets of things I see on TV … although I’d love to have experiences that I can then turn into story fodder — like riding in a hot air balloon.

 

Where can we find you on the interwebs?

My website, arlenehittle.com, is under construction. I spend more time than I should on Twitter (@arlenehittle) and Facebook (Arlene Hittle, Author). I’m on Pinterest mainly to pin recipes that I’ll probably never get around to trying, and I’m on Instagram and  Goodreads.

 

I’d like to thank Arlene for stopping by the blog and chatting with us. I love the idea of that temperature afghan! Good luck with your newest release.

Want to know more about Arlene? Trek on over to her Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads social media pages or scope out her website. She’ll be happy to say hi!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

April Camp NaNo 2016: Monday Blog Post

CNW_Participant

Oh! Oh! Oh! It is April Camp NaNo and as of Sunday, I’m over four thousand words into my new book, Mystery at the Book Festival. Camp NaNo is a slightly different take on the November event. At Camp NaNo, we choose our desired word goal count. Some people choose just 5,000, some, like me, push for that 50,000-word goal. I’m already looking forward to digging deeper into my main character, Jean and her best friend, Karen. In Mystery at the Book Festival, Jean and Karen, both big readers, learn more about authors and book writing and publishing than they ever wanted to know. I think you’ll like the story.

 

Me, Begging for Reviews Photo by Brenda Warneka

Me, Begging for Reviews
Photo by Brenda Warneka

I have not received any notice of reviews yet, the new contest I started last week. Missed last week’s blog? 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 ratings. My several ratings on Amazon and other book-sellers is predicated on my reviews. 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! Prize? 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.

 

Author Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

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

 

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

On the gardening front, we had a big cold front move through and it did indeed drop some snow on us. Those tomato seedlings were safely inside. But now the forecast is for warm sunny days. It’s time for me to get the compost on the garden beds and get planting. The rosemary is a sprig I had cut to use with a chicken dish a month ago. I didn’t need that sprig, but thought I would later. I stuck it in a glass of water and not using it, the cutting rooted. So, I’ve stuck it in a pot of dirt. I think I’ll give it to a friend. She doesn’t have rosemary growing in her garden, yet! Who doesn’t need rosemary growing in their garden?

 

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.

 

StPatsGiveawayPromo

Speaking of the Spring Into Reading giveaway, I want to give a shout out to my winners of the Luck o’the Authors giveaway. My first prize winner was Petr Kristek and he won a free ebook. My second prize winner was Belinda Clemons who won a necklace and earring set. I want to thank both of them so much for participating in the giveaway. I’m glad these great fans won these prizes. Don’t forget to enter the Spring Into Reading giveaway.

 

Bookmark and Charms Swag

Bookmark and Charms Swag

The owl charms and the book marks I ordered have come in. I plan on attaching the charms to the book marks to give away to book purchasers at the events I attend. Aren’t they cool!? 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 am making special prizes for a drawing for those who have registered in advance and noted my name on the registration. I need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look below or at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

 

TempeBookFestival2016

Speaking of appearing, if you get my newsletter you may have clicked on my link to my newest YouTube video. (The video is something only newsletter people receive.) I know! I have a YouTube channel. I didn’t even realize I was setting one up! Anyway, you can see my hair is getting a little shaggy. Sometime this week I’ll be getting it trimmed so I don’t look like a sheepdog at the Tempe Book Festival.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

January-Jones

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.

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.

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. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

pbflogoorig1446X1253pxcroppedcontrast

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 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Cover Art Inspirations: Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

Mystery at the Fair New Cover2

Mystery at the Fair, New Cover!

Cover art is such a personal thing, isn’t it? For me, cover art that screams SciFi will draw me in any time. Spaceships seeming to scream through space, exploding planets, people adrift in space in space suits. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff. But what about other genre’s. I read widely, what attracts me to those other stories?

I’m not sure I can answer that. I’d off-handedly say the covers have nothing to do with it but marketers will statistically prove me wrong. I like adventure, spy stories, mysteries, even the odd western will catch my eye. Was it the cover or the back cover blurb? Many will say I was drawn in by the cover art.

But cover art, now that’s an arcane wizardry. Last year I wrote my first cozy mystery. I mostly do my own covers so I did a search on Amazon for cozy mysteries and found a mix of cartoon characters and English cottage gardens as covers. I shrugged. Neither of those were what I wanted for a cover that evoked Arizona, serious, or murder. The book was called Mystery at the Fair.

Not surprisingly, I decided on a fair ride picture hubby had taken years ago. I cut it out of the picture, pixilated it a bit to make it “cartoonish” and placed it, stand alone, against an Arizona yellow background. This year I hear from a trusted author friend, that the cover is killing me. While I trust this friend’s judgment, she is a much better author than I am, I reached out to another author, even more powerful.

Now this second author isn’t a personal friend. I frequent her blog site. I’ve been responding to her posts for a few years now. I did not expect an answer but this author is so nice, she actually responded to my question (and with associated links so she could see what I was talking about). Yep, you guessed it. She confirmed my first friend’s assessment. My cover sucked for the genre.

Now I hate those cutsie cartoon covers for cozy mysteries. No matter it’s a cozy, it’s a mystery. A death is involved. I think the cover should be more serious but I will defer to those smarter and savvier than I am.

Here’s the best part. My first author friend, out of the kindness of her heart, found some time in her overwhelming schedule and made me not only one cover for my existing book but one for my upcoming follow-on book as well. Am I blessed or what!?!?

The new covers rock! She even sent me all of the elements so I can recreate the ebook covers she made into wrap-around covers for my print books. I have everything I need to create a branded series because I’ve already started outlining the third book in the series. I’m not even going to address how she turned what I already in the way of blurbs and log lines into a fantastic tag line for the whole series.

I’m excited to recover/rebrand my first book and the subsequent books. You can tell me covers don’t matter but I’ve been up close and personal with my covers and I’m a new convert. Yes, covers DO matter.

How about you? Do you remember a cover that just sucked you right into the book? Please share!

Kindred Spirits released March 14th! I’m so 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 http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. 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.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com! Up next: L.C. Aisling.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Monday Blog Post: Surprise!

Town Car

Town Car

Last week my daughter texted me that she and her significant other would be driving down from Flagstaff to visit and “show us something.” I said, “Sure, come on down.” I’ll admit I was curious but I waited patiently and on Saturday she arrived in this.

Lincoln Town Car Interior

Lincoln Town Car Interior

Yep, a Lincoln Continental Town Car. Apparently one of only three made for the Soprano’s show. Two were destroyed and this is the only one left. Through an unexpected twist, their neighbor owned the car and was going to get rid of it. Sometime in the car’s past, someone had pimped it out with the running lights, decorative bling and the winged angel on the front. The wings light up! The interior is ostrich leather. It turns out they want to sell it.  So, if you’re interested, I can connect you.

Angel Hood Ornament

Angel Hood Ornament

I’m still picking peaches from my tree though as of Sunday morning, there is only about one branch full left on the tree. We’re really enjoying eating those fresh peaches. Of course I sent daughter home with a bag of peaches and apples as well as just picked cherry tomatoes, a New Mexico chili and a jar of canned peaches. I’ve been studying my squash patch. The yellow squash plant is producing little pumpkin looking fruit! I suspect a plant tag was misapplied at the store. I’m watching these fruits with some interest to see what they turn into.

Mystery at the Fair is released on Smashwords who has distributed the story to Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. It’s also up on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions. See the links at the end to find Mystery at the Fair on those sites.

As for writing, Betrayal Moon for the Forward Motion anthology is at the editors. In the meantime, I’m rewriting Gold Dream, a flash fiction I wrote earlier this year, into a short story. If I can get it written and edited in time, I’ll send it to the Society for Southwest Authors writing contest. That deadline is September 15th so I need to get in gear!

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) as of 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.

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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Monday Blog Post: August and Summer

Garden, Zucchini, Connie Cockrell

Garden Zucchini by Connie Cockrell

It’s amazing, really, how fast the summer goes. I stay busy, and that, I think, is the clue. I seldom have a lazy day, a day where I just lounge around, reading or binge watching movies. Even my downtime, hiking or gardening, is scheduled into my day so that they get done. I’m fully invested in the old saying, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. I’m never idle.

The garden is going nicely. Cantaloupes are just about ready to pick. Zucchini is growing well. Picked my first roma tomato a few days ago. Fortunately for me, the hornworms are few and far between this year. Yay! Yesterday I made zucchini fritters from one zuke I forgot about. It didn’t get too big but bigger than I want for grilling.

Saturday I canned peaches. A hiking friend had never seen it done so I invited him over and he helped me through the whole process. I ended up with 12 pints of peaches. There are still peaches on the tree. They’re not quite ripe yet.  I also picked all of my apples. Perhaps applesauce.

Mystery at the Fair is released on Smashwords. Smashwords will distribute the story to Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. See the links at the end to find Mystery at the Fair on those sites.

Camp NaNo is over and I missed my 50,000 word goal. I did achieve 32,000 so I’m satisfied. I’ll continue to write on it until it’s finished. In the meantime I need to edit Betrayal Moon for the Forward Motion anthology and rewrite Gold Dream, a flash fiction I wrote earlier this year. I want to turn it into a short story and send it to the Society for Southwest Authors writing contest. That deadline is September 15th so I need to get in gear!

I’m totally up on conniesrandomthoughts.com. The techs at GoDaddy, my hosting site, were very helpful and we’ve straightened out all of the problems. Yay! I’ll put a notice up on my wordpress blog so my readers can find me. Be sure to follow me at my new website. I’m going to stop posting to the wordpress site (www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com) after Friday.

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.

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! 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr