Monday Blog Post: Birthday News

Payson Book Festival, Banner,  Chamber of Commerce

Payson Book Festival Banner at the Chamber of Commerce

There’s only 7 more days until the festival and we’re finalizing all of the tiny details required to be completed before we have our author Meet and Greet on Friday and the Festival on Saturday. Banners have been hung around town. TV, Radio, Blog and Newspaper interviews have been conducted all over Arizona. Posters are up. We’re ready!  I hope you can make it to Payson on July 25th, 9am – 4pm, and stop by the festival to say hello!

If you missed any of the interviews or media releases or want to read the proclamation, click here to find everything.

So Friday was my birthday. A hiking friend of mine had her birthday a week earlier. We’re the same age. Twins! So we had a joint birthday party on Saturday.  We belong to many of the same groups so we sent out an email to all of our friends to join us. We had a blast. Burgers and dogs, salads, cake, cookies, watermelon and oh, way too much food! Below is a picture from the party.

Birthday Cake, Connie, Ruth

Birthday Cake for Connie and Ruth

Mystery at the Fair is released! I’m happy that I have it done and was able to buy copies to have for the Book Festival. So far it’s only up on Amazon. Soon I’ll have it up on other sites: Apple, Barnes and Noble, and a few others.

Camp NaNo progresses. I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to hold two major functions, release a book, and write 50K in a month but there you go, certifiably crazy. As of today I have over 30,000 words.  I’m working on the second Jean Hays series book, Mystery in the Woods. When will it be out, you ask? No idea. I have two other books, that I wrote in April, waiting for editing. Maybe you can tell I’m not as enthusiastic about the editing and rewriting part as I am about writing the first draft.

The garden is looking wonderful. I’ve picked four zuchinni already and harvested the potatoes. Now I’m in the process of not water the bed where the mint has run amok. I’m going to have to let that bed go until I can dig out all of the mint. The tomatoes are looking good even though none are ripe yet. This is Tomato Hornworm season so I have to carefully examine the plants. The damage a tomato hornworm can do is incredible.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I have a special offer going up in my newsletter, sign up today! Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

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 their books. Thanks in advance.

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Monday Blog Post: Interview on a National Web Broadcast Radio Program Scheduled

January Jones

Tomorrow on June 23rd I’m scheduled to be interviewed by January Jones on her web radio broadcast. Talk4 Media,  Talk4Media.com , w4cy.com/radio-shows/january-jones-sharing-success-stories/  This is a first for me and I’m very excited about it. We’ll be talking about my books but also about the Payson Book Festival scheduled for July 25th. I will be on the show at 5pm Eastern time and 2pm Arizona time. Here’s the list.

Connie Cockrell– Her books, The Gulliver Station Series, and more run the gamut from SciFi and Fantasy to Contemporary.

D’Elen McClain- Under her pen name, Holly S. Roberts, she is the USA Today Best-Selling author and writes “romance with wicked intentions.”

Edward Miles- Using his experiences in the military and the National Forest Service several novels including, Sanctioned.

Then at 6pm Florida time and 3pm Arizona time, three more authors will be interviewed.

Steven Andrew Cole– enjoys leading his readers down dark alleys, through crawl spaces and anywhere they dare not to venture with thrillers

Sherry Engler– reveals the unusual, quirky behaviors a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer )may display

Annemarie Eveland writes about challenges in life and the insights gain from them.

How awesome is that! Please tune into the show and support all of these fine Arizona authors, me included!

It’s 34 days until the first ever Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’ve organized several radio interviews with festival authors. Check out the web site Media Tab or our Facebook page (Payson Book Festival) or our Twitter feed at @PaysonBookFest for information about the next interview. At the Festival we’ll have authors speaking, authors signing their books, music, live radio broadcast, entertainment, workshops and food. Make plans now to come up to  the cool pines of Arizona Rim Country and enjoy the festival. You can find additional things to do in the area on the Area Information tab. Stay the whole weekend. You’ll love it here.

I’ll be closing down www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll notice at the top of the web page the notice. Please do transfer over to the website. I’d hate to lose you all.

Mystery at the Fair rewriting is finished. The manuscript is back with the editors for a final content check and final line edits. Don’t want any misspellings or grammar errors now do we? After that there will be the book formatting for both print and e-book. I’m still shooting for an early July release.

I planted another pepper, an Anahiem, as well as a Black Beauty zucchini and a Straight Neck yellow squash. The potatoes are already beginning to die back. I’ll be able to dig them up in a couple of weeks. The yellow onion sets I planted in a big planter are up and looking good. The blackberries are still very green and the blueberries are just about all picked. I have a half barrel with strawberries. The initial big spring fruiting is over. From now till frost, I’ll only get a couple of berries at a time. It’s kind of a sweet treat to pick them and eat them right there in the garden.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re interested, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

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! 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 their books. Thanks in advance.

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 3 – Tracking the Thief

Lost Rainbows

Lost Rainbows

Chapter Three – Tracking the Thief (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

Tracking the Thief

A quarter mile from the sidhe boundary, Shamus reached the entrance to one of the secret leprechaun roads. He drew his sword. It would glow green when it detected magic along the road and for a short distance outside of it in the real world. The road was more of a tunnel than anything else. The walls glowed pale green, like sunlight through a woodland canopy. With the sword drawn, Shamus could see eddies of residual magic as he followed the road. Once he reached the treasury he looked around for clues. Even in the darkness he could see the torn ground and broken bushes.

His sword glowed bright green. A lot of magic had been used here. The treasury doors, usually secured by strong spells, were shattered into splinters. The bodies of the guards sprawled near them. They’d been blasted by strong magic as well. Shamus straightened them out. He knew these men and their families and he ground his teeth in anger. Who would do this? The humans didn’t know about the treasury. Like the sidhe, it was protected by ancient magic. It had to be leprechauns or perhaps a dragon. They were very fond of gold.

He re-examined the area. No, there were no burned areas. Not a dragon. Leprechaun then. He left the bodies with a salute. Guards from the King would be along soon to take them back to the sidhe. He re-entered the magic road, determined to find the culprits.

The road led toward the sea. Travel was fast within the road. He bypassed much of the countryside and, in what would have taken him four days of travel in the real world, was at an exit in four hours. The magic led him out of the door.

Dawn was breaking when he emerged. He was at the bottom of a hill and as he faced it he could see the sun would soon appear over its left shoulder. The top of the hill was covered by the ruin of a castle. It wasn’t uncommon for a road door to come out near a castle or castle ruins. Hundreds of years ago the leprechauns were friendlier with humans. Now there were too many humans and they no longer believed in leprechauns, so his people stayed out of sight.

He followed the magic trail along a newly hewn path through the brambles up the hill. He moved quietly. There was no need to alert the thieves to his presence. Shamus followed the trail through the ruins. Blocks from the internal walls had been restacked to clear a path. Noise reached him and he stopped to listen, back against the moss-covered granite. The noise was a high-pitched whine, not natural. Shamus moved forward slowly, sword held out in front of him, until he reached a corner. The noise was louder.

Machinery? What machinery would be here? He turned the corner, ready to defend himself. In a cleared space in front of him were several pots of gold. It was a man, human from the look of him, dressed in a long gray gown with a dark blue cloak, and a leather belt cinched it all at the man’s waist. He was moving the pots by magic into the glass of a mirror with a wand. As each pot went through, the mirror flashed red light across the space.

Shamus shook himself out of his shock. The wizard, as he supposed the man was, lifted the last pot. You!” he shouted.

The wizard looked up at the call but never stopped moving the gold.

“Stop!”

The wizard moved the pot through the mirror. He looked at Shamus once more, then slid the wand through his leather belt and stepped through the mirror.

Shamus ran forward as the whine increased. Without understanding why, Shamus knew he had to get through the mirror fast. He flung himself forward as the whine reached an ear-splitting crescendo. He tucked himself into a ball and rolled as he hit grass, leaping to his feet, sword at the ready.

It was dark. Shamus spun around, breath coming fast, expecting to be attacked. There was nothing. He lowered his sword. There was no sign of the mirror either. He slid the sword into his scabbard and took a deep breath. The night was broken by lights many feet overhead, placed at regular intervals along a wide paved road. He was outside a high stone wall with a metal-grilled gate ahead and to his right. He hurried to it and peeked around the corner through the gate. A large castle lay beyond, at the end of another paved road, about a quarter mile away. Dogs were barking inside.

He wondered why he’d come out of the mirror here, instead of where the wizard was. He suspected the mirror shut off in some way so he didn’t make it all the way through. Shamus shuddered. He didn’t want to think about where he might have come out of the mirror, or if he would have come out at all. He could sense the iron in the gate. Iron and magic never mixed. Touching it would burn him. A gentle kick confirmed the gate was locked. Now what?

The night air was cool. Shamus adjusted his floppy hat and weskit, then settled his pack more comfortably on his back. A quick look around showed him large mansions across the street. They had huge expanses of lawn. From the size, he knew they had to be human habitations. He needed to get inside the gated castle and find the wizard. Could he hide across the street and watch the gate?

Lights approached along the roadway. He ducked into the bushes beside the gate. It took only a moment for the thing to pass. It had been many years since he’d left the safety of the sidhe but he remembered the humans called those automobiles. It was much quieter than the ones he had seen so long ago. He pulled his sword–it wasn’t glowing. He was reassured there was no magic nearby.

He crossed the road to see if he could find a good hiding place. Half an hour later he was back at the gate. The houses across the street and on either side had no good hiding spots. His only choice now was to walk along the wall and find a way to climb over.

~~~~~

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

 

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 2 – Taking His Leave

Lost Rainbows

Lost Rainbows

Chapter Two – Taking His Leave (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

Taking His Leave

Shamus was in his room, putting the last things he needed in his rucksack. As he buckled the leather straps, a knock came at his door. When he opened it his heart skipped a beat. It was Lyeen, dressed now in a plain, light-green lambs-wool frock, a white linen blouse underneath, lace at the blouse’s collar and cuffs. He stepped back and bowed. “Princess Lyeen.”

She stepped into the room. “I see you’re nearly ready.”

He nodded, his heart beating so fast he could barely hear. “Yes, Princess.”

“Be at ease, Shamus. We’ve known each other since childhood.”

He bowed again. “True, but we’re no longer children.”

She sighed. “Also true.” She looked around. Shamus had made the court-appointed space comfortable, despite the fact it was one of the smallest apartments a courtier could get. He had painted the room a light green so it resembled the light drifting through a clear pond. On the small window-sill opposite the door, a potted rose grew. A single blossom was just unfurling, yellow as the sun. On either side of the window, under which stood his bed, his father’s weapons were displayed. The sword was mounted on one side and bow and arrows on the other. One end wall held a tapestry his mother had woven. It told the story of the family O’Malley. The other end wall held framed, pressed ferns and flowers. The wall on the right side of the door held hooks over a chest for his clothing. On the other side of the door he’d hung drawings and paintings he’d done.

“I like it,” she said as she turned back to him with a smile. “I see much of you in this room.”

“Thank you.” He moved to the bed where the rucksack lay. “I leave as soon as I stop by the armory. I want to get a better sword.”

She looked at him. His shirt was the color of lichen, a blend of grey, green and olive. His jacket and pantaloons were sage green as was the wide-brimmed hat, lain on the bed beside the rucksack. An overcoat also lay on the bed. It was the traditional coarse wool, curly side out, to be worn in inclement weather. “You don’t like your sword? Isn’t that your father’s sword?”

“It is Father’s sword, but I don’t like it for this task. The magic in it is too weak. If I’m to pursue thieves bold enough to steal from the King, I need a more powerful weapon. Father will understand.”

Lyeen nodded. “Of course.” She paused and looked him in the eye. “I have something for you.”

Shamus’s heart, which had begun to slow its rapid beating, sped back up. He repressed the desire to wipe his forehead.

She pulled a pale green silk kerchief, sheer as gossamer, from the bosom of her dress. “This is for you, for luck.” She smiled as she tied the kerchief to his left upper arm. “May it bring you home safely.”

He could hardly believe his luck. They’d always gotten along as children and she’d treated him with kindness and respect during his time as a courier. But this was more than he could have hoped for. Maidens, especially princesses, didn’t give their kerchiefs away lightly. “Th…Thank you, my lady.” He bowed low to hide the blush on his face.

She turned and walked to the door. He heard her open it, and he stood upright. She bowed back. “Good luck, Shamus O’Malley.”

#

Shamus left his father’s sword in his apartment and procured a more powerful sword from the armory. His kind used swords for war and as magic wands. He was sure the thief had used powerful magic to steal the rainbows and wanted to be ready with a weapon capable of fighting back. The King met him in the courtyard where flickering torches lit the cobbled space.

“Majesty.” Shamus bowed.

“Rise, Shamus. I want to wish you luck.”

“I appreciate the blessing, Sire.”

King Shadenan looked around the courtyard. “No horse?”

“No, Sire. I plan on taking the magical roads. I can move faster and the magic used to move the gold will be more apparent.”

The King clapped him on the shoulder. “Good plan. I can see my trust in you is merited.” Shadenan grew somber. “Take care, boy. I would send a platoon with you if any of those sniveling courtiers had an ounce of courage.”

“I appreciate it, my lord, but I can move faster by myself.” He paused. “Did Draum have any other news?”

The King shook his head. “Nothing pertinent to your quest.” Shadenan glanced at Shamus’s upper arm. “I see you have received another blessing.”

A blush crept up Shamus’s neck. “Aye, Sire.”

The King nodded. “Be careful. We don’t know if the monster is still about.” He stepped back and Shamus bowed.

“I’ll send word if I can.” With that Shamus turned and strode out of the sidhe gate.

~~~~~

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Flash Fiction Friday: Chapter from The Downtrodden

Book, The Downtrodden, Brown Rain Series, Connie Cockrell

Front Cover for The Downtrodden

I thought, for something different, I’d share a partial chapter from The Downtrodden, the second book of the Brown Rain series. Links to purchase are at the end.

MOVING ON

As for food, the damaged gas station was a bust. They spent the first night in a house, cheering when they found a mylar packet of rice dinner in a cupboard, untouched by mice. The next day they began their hunt for food. On Main Street they found a hiking store where they acquired two sleeping bags in the back room, still in plastic-wrapped boxes. Kyra actually whooped.

The other bags in the store were full of mouse nests. They also managed to replace their knives which had been stolen by the Children of God. Kyra was happy about that. Since they’d escaped she’d been afraid of running into more wild dogs or even wolves. Memories of the fight with the last feral dogs they’d run into haunted her dreams. She wanted a knife for close fighting.

The shop didn’t have any bows or arrows. She felt that lack most of all. A knife was good but better to have some distance between her and any enemy. It was her best weapon and she felt naked without it. The store also had two cases of dehydrated food, one of chili and one of chicken stew. The mice had demolished the chicken but there were several packets of chili that were still in good shape. Those went into the packs. The grocery store in the center of town had been thoroughly looted. “Looks like the Children did get over here,” Kyra said as they left the empty store.

“Maybe there’s one on the outskirts,” Alyssa said as she bent over the sidewalk, clearing a way. They stopped by any store that looked as though it would have gear or supplies, but it was the same as the grocery. By noon they were resting in the park in the center of Fern Springs where the town had erected a pavilion, similar to the one at their school over their spring. Kyra had found packets of honey at the hiking store and shared them out, two for her and two for Alyssa.

“I wonder what happened to the bees.” Kyra had her back to a pavilion support as she squeezed crystallized honey into her mouth.

Alyssa licked her fingers. “They may be all gone. The brown rain covered everything. Without flowers the hives, even the biggest ones, wouldn’t have been able to survive more than a year or two. The rain lasted four years.”

Kyra gazed at the little park. She tried to imagine what it looked like all green grass and leafy trees, the little stream from the spring meandering through the park, flowers growing on its banks. It wasn’t possible. She was so used to seeing everything covered with the gray-brown oily sludge from a toxic rain that ended over a decade ago that she couldn’t imagine anything else. The color of the path that Alyssa had healed so they could get to this pavilion was a startling green against the depressing oily sludge. “How big do you think this park is?”

Alyssa looked around. “A quarter acre, maybe.” She turned to Kyra. “Why?”

“Just thinking how nice this park would be if it was green, the way it should be. Maybe animals could come and eat the grass, drink the clean water.” She waved her hand. “Never mind, it’s a silly thought.”

“No it’s not. This is exactly what I came out here to do.” She stood up. “You can watch from here.” Alyssa danced down the spongy wooden steps and began to work. She started close to the pavilion, around and around in bigger and bigger squares. Grass mostly, but there were a few oak and maple trees in the park that she healed too. She stopped at the sidewalks that surrounded the park and washed her hands in the stream as it dropped into a culvert and flowed out of the park.

“There,” she said, her face full of smiles as she reached the pavilion. “An oasis in a toxic desert.”

Kyra handed her a bottle of water. “I like it. Do you think your paths and these patches will help?”

“I know they will.” She wiped her mouth and handed the bottle back to Kyra. “The toxins are breaking down, I can feel it.”

Kyra’s face lit up. “They are?”

“Yeah, but it’s going to be a long time yet. In the meantime, my little paths are a break. A spot for wildlife to get a toe-hold. Bugs, then birds, then bigger prey and predators.” She looked thoughtful. “To be honest I was completely surprised that dogs had survived. They must be finding something to eat. Maybe something we can eat too. ”

Kyra refilled the bottle. “If it’s going to be a long time we’d better get going. You up for more paths? I want to check more stores and if that fails, houses.”

“Sure.” Alyssa turned and walked to Main Street and made a path to the store side of the street.

That night they stayed in a house near the edge of town. As expected, pickings had been slim in the stores but for some reason the Children had left most houses alone. The two raided closets for suitable hiking clothes, dry goods, or anything else they thought would be useful. Just outside of town they explored a farm house with a large but mouse-eaten pantry. Fortunately a bag of beans was found and cooked, mashed into a paste and dried into patties as road food. They had enough to eat for nine days so they moved on.

End of Chapter Section

You can buy The Downtrodden and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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

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Monday Post: Mixed Bag of News

e-book Cover, Lost Rainbows, J.A. Marlow

Cover for Lost Rainbows by J.A. Marlow

Review of The Self Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide by Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Finally, a resource guide for indie authors. A few of the suggestions I was aware of but there are so many more listed in this essential guide. I love how the book is broken into logical parts as the independent author goes through the writing and publishing process: Prepare, Publish and Promote. As always, the indie author must do their own research and choose the options and people they want to work alongside with care and take all due diligence. Now the hardest part will be picking from so many wonderful options. Thanks Joel and Betty. Well done.

And even more for my writing friends, I’m posting this link to Donna Fasano’s blog Author Donna Fasano: In All Directions, http://donnafasano.blogspot.com/2015/01/facebook-offers-authors-call-to-action.html . As you can read from the post and the comments, not all author pages on Facebook have this button yet. Even more interesting is that I never noticed the Offer, Event tab on the Status block. I clicked on it and a new window opens allowing me to create an offer for my books. Also very cool. I haven’t used it yet so don’t know if I would have to pay Facebook but it’s something to look into.

Now news for my readers. I’m finishing up the formatting of Lost Rainbows. It’s just about ready to appear in your favorite ebook or paperback on-line book vendor’s site. But surprise, I’m going to try something a little different. Since Lost Rainbows is appropriate for children, I’m going to serialize the book and post it chapter by chapter on a website called Wattpad.  Wattpad  is a reading site marketing to young people. So, it will appear there. I’ll be posting the link sometime in the next week. If you don’t want to read it chapter by chapter, it’ll be at your fav on-line book vendor’s. And by the way, that’s the cover, up there at the top. Many thanks to J.A. Marlow for the wonderful design.

I’m on the calendar to speak at the Rim Country Arizona Professional Writer’s monthly meeting on February 18th at noon in the Payson Library community room. I’m going to talk about my self-publishing adventure. The meeting is open to the public so if you’re in town, come on over. I’ll have a selection of books available to purchase.

The garden is sleeping, though as the weather warms up here in Central Arizona, a few hardy things will start poking their heads up. I’m looking forward to the parsley, onions, and maybe Swiss Chard to taking the lead in the garden but probably not until late in February. In the meantime I’m still able to cut and use fresh sage and rosemary.

If you like food, stop by the Chicklets in the Kitchen blog. I just posted a meatloaf recipe over there. http://chickletsinthekitchen.com/2015/01/25/gluten-free-meatloaf/

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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Monday Blog Post: Freedom of Speech

Pen, Pencil, Newsprint, Charlie Hebdo

Pen and Pencil on Local Newsprint in support of Charlie Hebdo by Connie Cockrell

A more serious blog post for me today than I usually write. I refer to the terrorist attack on the French newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. My blog picture today is a reference to the French demonstrators using a pencil to make their point. An old saw goes, the pen is mightier than the sword. This is the truth, I think, at least in the long run. In the meantime, blood flows in the streets.  I wasn’t going to comment on the attack; it was days ago, after all, and so not very timely for today’s blog post. However, Sunday I see in my internet news feeds, that there were demonstrations in Pakistan against the French demonstrations. They feel Charlie Hebdo’s satire is a direct attack on them.

I can sort of understand. If someone says something bad about one of my family, I’m offended. How much more so if someone says or draws something unflattering about my prophet? However, hurt feelings aren’t an excuse to go around shooting people. You feel insulted, go ahead and draw a caricature of God, or Jesus, or Budda, or Krisha. My feelings might be hurt, but no one dies.

So in my own little protest, I’ll be using the above picture of pen and pencil on a page of my local newspaper to support the freedom of speech. It’s not much of a protest in the larger scheme of things but I want people to know that even if I disagree with someone’s spoken comment, written statement, or drawing, that person has every right to say, write or draw it. I spent 20 years in the Air Force defending that constitutional right. I’m not going to stop now.

I’ll update my writing, gardening, and hiking next week.

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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Weekly blog post: Finishing off the Year

Books, Book Table, Sell Books

Me and My Book Table, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving at my friend’s house was great. Of course we all ate more than necessary but lots of good conversation was had.

I signed books at the Swiss Village Small Business Saturday Christmas kickoff. The day started warm enough, I was in the sun. By noon the sun had moved to put my spot in the shade. It got cooler after that until at 4pm I called hubby to have him bring my winter coat. I stuck it out until 7pm. Met some nice people, sold a few books and had three people sign up for my newsletter.

My NaNo book, Mystery at the Fair, finished first draft at about 52,000 words. I need to do some research and lots of rewriting and editing. It may be my March 2015 release, I’m not sure yet.

My book, The Downtrodden, book two of the Brown Rain series is up on Smashwords and I’m finally got it up on Amazon, Apple and Barnes and Noble. I’m still featuring a special for newsletter recipients. Sign up for my newsletter and tell me you’d like to do a review and I’ll send you a free ebook. 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. If you’re already a newsletter recipient and you’d like to review a copy, drop me a comment or an email and I’ll send you the secret code!

No work has been done on the last two garden beds. Last week was nutso and nothing was accomplished. I did, however, manage to get my outdoor Christmas lights up on Sunday. Hubby and I will do the final connectivity today and test the timers. Yay, Christmas! I sent my Christmas cards out on Friday, day after Thanksgiving. It’s a lot easier when I’m not making the fifty or so cards I send out. Up next? Candy making and sending, interior cleaning and Christmas decorating as well as getting those garden beds cleaned up. I only decorate for Christmas so for me it’s a pretty big deal.

I’ve been talking to my Mom nearly every day. Looking forward to her flying out here. Sixteen days to go!

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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Last Monday in November

Thanksgiving Day, Mom, Turkey

My mom checking out the Thanksgiving Day turkey. Photo by Randy Cockrell

Are you wondering, as I am, where 2014 went? Zoom! It’s gone. Thanksgiving is upon us already. My hubby and I are going to a friend’s house for the big meal. We’re bringing coleslaw. In my family we called it Cabbage Salad and cabbage was grated on an old fashioned box grater along with a carrot and an onion. Miracle Whip was the dressing. Now, since I’m celiac, Miracle Whip is out of the question. But I still make a pretty mean ‘cabbage salad’ and it reminds me of my childhood. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it.

I’m definitely on tap to sign books at the Swiss Village Small Business Saturday Christmas kickoff.  http://conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/where-will-i-be/. On Saturday the 29th, the biggest day of the three day event, I’ll have a tent set up to sell and sign my books. I have invites out to a few other authors, so I’m hoping there will be four of us there to say hi and sign books. The event starts at 10am and runs until after Santa leaves, probably 9pm. Hope to see you there.

I’m still doing well on my National Novel Writing Month challenge. I’ve passed the 40K  point and to be honest, I’m enjoying the story more and more. Estimated release date? Maybe March. I’ll see how the revisions and editing go.

My book, The Downtrodden, book two of the Brown Rain series is up on Smashwords and I’m working to get it up on Amazon. I’m having a bit of a cover snafu but it will be resolved soon. As usual, I’d love to have some reviews. Sign up for my newsletter and tell me you’d like to do a review and I’ll send you a free ebook. 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.

I’ve been working on cleaning up my garden from the summer excesses. The compost bin has been cleaned out and two garden beds (I do raised bed gardens here in central Arizona) have been cleaned of dead or dying vegetation and readied for winter. We’ve had several frosts and even the Swiss Chard is lying limp and sad in the garden bed. The sage, however seems to be as healthy as ever. I’ll use fresh sage for as long as it lasts. Then I have an awesome supply of dried to get me through the winter.

I mentioned that I’m getting ready for my mom to come and live with me. I’ve ordered a new bed for her and curtains that have already arrived. We still need to clean the room, paint and put up the curtains and new furniture. We are going to have so much fun.

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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More News on Where I’ll be and Other News from my Life

Bird, Fence, Fall Color

Bird on Fence by Randy Cockrell

The picture is of a western jay sitting on my back fence. The neighbor’s tree is in the background in full fall color.

I updated my Where I’ll Be page on my blog. http://conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/where-will-i-be/. I’ve just lined up an author signing here in Payson for November 29th. The Swiss Village shopping strip has a Christmas kick-off the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. On Saturday the 29th, the biggest day of the three day event, I’ll have a tent set up to sell and sign my books. I have invites out to a few other authors, so I’m hoping there will be four of us there to say hi and sign books. The event starts at 10am and runs until after Santa leaves, probably 9pm. Hope to see you there.

I’m still doing well on my National Novel Writing Month challenge. I’ve passed the halfway point and to be honest, I’m really getting into this story. Estimated release date? Maybe March. I’ll see how the revisions and editing go.

My book, The Downtrodden, book two of the Brown Rain series came back from the editors and I’ve made all of my corrections. Now I need to format it and get it put up on Amazon and other places. As usual, I’d love to have some reviews. Sign up for my newsletter and tell me you’d like to do a review and I’ll send you a free PDF file of the book. 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.

We started having a cold snap two days ago so I brought my lemon tree, my bay leaf tree, my jade plant and my daughter’s plant inside. I picked all of the rest of the tomatoes and peppers, sweet and hot. Once we get a really hard frost, I’ll go out and clean up the garden beds for the winter.

I mentioned last week I’m getting ready for my mom to come and live with me. Saturday I found a used chest of drawers. It is in very good shape. I’ll paint it to match the bed and put it in the room we’re prepping for her. I’m so excited.

 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! 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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