Mystery at the Dog Park 1 of 7: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Little Dog by Randy Cockrell

Hi,

I had this idea for a Jean Hays story but it wasn’t enough of a story for even a novelette so I’ve decided to make it a serial short story. Not every section is 1000 words or less. Some run over to 1200 but I didn’t think you all would mind too much.

I hope you enjoy it.

Mystery at the Dog Park

Part 1 of 7

Jean pulled the leash around her body as the lab-pitbull mix lunged forward.

“She’s giving you a run today.” Karen laughed

“It’s not funny.” Jean puffed. The dog was wearing her out. “Can’t wait to get to the dog park and let her run.”

“I hear ya.” Karen stopped to untangle the two Chihuahuas and the Yorkie mix she was walking.

They arrived at the park and herded the dogs through the gate. Karen took her dogs to the small dog enclosure while Jean let her dog loose in the large dog area. They stood next to each other on opposite sides of the fence to talk as the dogs played.

A woman left the group of dog owners at the picnic table provided and came over to them. She handed them a flyer with a picture of her caramel colored cockapoo, Sandy. “Have you seen my dog?”

Jean took the flyer and held it so Karen could see. “No.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry. I haven’t.”

Karen shook her head, too. “No. How long has she been gone?”

“Since yesterday.” The woman sniffed, eyes red, as she scanned the area. “I was talking with the usual people yesterday,” she waved her hand at the group around the table, “while Sandy and the other dogs played. Then, she was just gone when I looked for her.” Her voice quavered. “I don’t know how she got out of the dog park.”

“We’re walking the humane society dogs,” Jean explained. “But we’ll keep an eye out for Sandy.”

Shoulders slumped, the woman nodded. “That’s my number on the bottom. Call anytime if you find her.”

“We will,” Karen said. “Good luck.” They watched her shuffle back to the table. “How awful. I wonder what happened?”

After hearing the woman’s story, Jean looked for her dog, Arthur. She spotted him chasing a squirrel on a tree trunk around and around the tree. It looked to her that the squirrel was teasing the dog on purpose. “It’s not a big dog, probably got through a hole in the fence.”

Karen turned around to watch the dogs she brought. The Chihuahua’s were chasing each other while the Yorkie dug a hole. “Poor woman. I hope the dog doesn’t get caught by a coyote or a hawk. One of my neighbors lost her little dog when an eagle swooped in and plucked it right out of the backyard.”

Jean’s eyes went wide. “That sucks.”

Karen nodded. “Yep.”

Back at the humane society, the women turned the dogs in. It broke Jean’s heart to make Arthur get back in the kennel. They stopped in the office. “Margaret,” Jean pulled the flyer from her pocket and unfolded it. “Have you seen this dog come in?” She handed the shelter manager the paper.

Margaret looked at the picture and shook her head. “Nope. Poor little thing. I had a call from this woman this morning.” She sighed. “I told her to do the flyers. And talk to the neighbors around the park. What I didn’t tell her was that the dog may have been stolen.”

“Stolen? Who would do that?” Jean asked.

Margaret handed the flyer back to Jean. “People who then sell the dog on Craig’s list or in a newspaper ad.”

“Oh no!” Karen looked horrified.

“Yep.” Margaret went back to her desk. “Happens all the time in the bigger cities but we’ve been seeing it more and more up here. There’s a market, especially for little dogs like that one. And the bad guys just scoop up the little ones when no one is looking.”

“They don’t take big dogs?” Jean leaned on the counter.

“Oh, they do. They’ll disguise themselves as handymen or maintenance people and take dogs right out of their backyards. No one pays any attention to those guys coming or going in the neighborhood. Purebred dogs are the target, German Shepherds, Labs of any sort, those kinds of dogs.”

“That happens here?” Jean couldn’t believe that people would just go into someone’s backyard and take another person’s pet.

“Not that one, so much. That’s more in the big cities, too. Also, they disguise themselves as animal control and knock on the door. They tell the owners that a complaint of abuse has been filed and they’re taking the dog under protective custody. They show the owner some sort of legal looking document. In confusion and fear, they hand the dog over planning to go to court and get it straightened out but it’s too late. The dog and the thieves are long gone.

“I would be so ticked!” Karen said.

“Me too. Isn’t there anything that can be done?” Jean asked.

“Not usually. They don’t advertise the dog in the area where it was stolen from so you can’t even check the paper or anything to try and find it.”

“How awful.”

Margaret nodded. “Yep. Unfortunately, little Sandy, there,” she nodded at the flyer in Jean’s hand, “wasn’t microchipped. If she had been, there would be some chance of finding her.”

Jean and Karen said their good-byes and left. “Who knew there was a market for stolen dogs?” Jean drove them both to lunch as was their habit after their turn at walking the humane society inmates.

“I had no idea. I mean, you see dogs up for sale in the paper and on the radio all the time. It never occurred to me they might be stolen.”

“Let’s grab a paper and see if there are any dogs for sale in there.”

Karen nodded. “Good idea. Though the current paper came out Friday and Sandy was stolen yesterday. Tomorrow’s paper would be a better bet.”

“You’re right. Tomorrow we’ll look. In the meantime, let’s call the radio station and see what they have on their ads.”

“Great idea. After lunch though. My tummy’s growling.”

 

Thank You!

974 Words

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

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Parade, Garden, Fair: It’s Busy!

Northern Gila County Fair float, with Chicken!

Northern Gila County Fair float, with Chicken!

Newest News:

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

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

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

Giveaways:

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Red Hot Summer giveaway ends on Labor Day so you’re running out of time to get in on the fun. You can find the Rafflecopter link above on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day but hurry, only 14 days left!

Shout Out:

51z4suEsxYL

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

Garden News:

AugGarden007

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

Where Will I Be?:

My book at Dog-Eared Pages Used Book Store

My book at Dog-Eared Pages Used Book Store

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were nice enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. Doesn’t the book look good there? If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there. @Dog-EaredPages

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’m getting ready to share some things on the Zoe Ohale book. I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Merry Christmas! Monday Blog Post

My Tree

My Tree

Last week I talked about the 21st and 22nd being busy days for me. It’s true. I’ve mentioned before that I’m on the board of the Northern Gila County Fair. I love the fair and it’s very exciting for me to be on a team that puts on this great event every year. There are drawbacks. One of them is the every third year audit required by the state of Arizona. Like every volunteer, I dread these audits.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re necessary but no one likes to be put under a microscope. At any rate, it starts at 8am today and will run through the end of the day. It may bleed into tomorrow, too, more than likely, actually. Cross your fingers for us. We have to produce paper trails for everything. Let’s hope we have everything they need.

Want to wish my hubby a very happy birthday. He’s such a sweetie and I want everyone to know.

I have everything ready for Christmas. Presents are under the tree, food is on hand, brother-in-law and daughter are invited to participate. It’s a big day. We’re having duck and ham. I love duck and ever since we were stationed in England, I fell in love with goose for Christmas dinner. It’s too expensive for goose here but duck is doable as I only buy it once a year. I’m looking forward to it, actually. Some people don’t like duck, they feel it’s too fatty or too strongly flavored. I love it. How about you? What is your Christmas dinner plan?

I’ve been having fun with my new Instagram account. This week I posted pictures of the snow coming down on Monday and our Tuesday hike on the south end of town high up on a ridge. It was just stunning. Here’s a pic.

Bike Trail to Mogollon Rim in Snow by Randy Cockrell

Bike Trail to Mogollon Rim in Snow by Randy Cockrell

You can find me on Instagram at ConniesRandomThoughts. What a fun way to share pictures. I hope you stop by my page and follow.

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

I hope you had a chance to sign up for the Holly Lisle How to Revise Your Novel, offer. It ended Tuesday (the 15th!) at mid-night. I’ve used this course myself and found it to be just the thing to get me from a hot mess of an initial draft manuscript to a real story. It’s been revised and is better than ever. If you missed out, I know it will be out again, probably the end of 2016 but it may come out sooner. Even so, Holly has a lot of other classes, including the free, How to Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t Suck. You’re coming onto her site at the end of a massive six month overhaul. Click on this link to take a look around the site and join up. It’s free. Then you’ll be in on the next classes opening back up. https://hollyswritingclasses.com/?home&aid=10009

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you’re having a marvelous December. Do you have family Christmas stories? Kitchen disasters to share? Fun in the snow pictures? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments below.

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

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Wild Ride: Monday Blog Post

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

I have to say, this has been a wild ride of a month for me. So much is going on in all aspects of my life. First, it’s National Novel Writing Month. That means I am being committed have committed, to writing 50,000 words this month. This annual challenge gets thousands of authors all around the world pumped up and super excited to just write. I tend to write 2k words per day, a little over the 1667 words per day requirement to meet the 50k goal by the end of the month. This is important for me, especially this year, because…

From Tuesday the 17th through Thursday the 19th, I’ll be in Laughlin, Nevada to attend for my first time, the Arizona Fair Commission Conference. The reason I’m going? Because I serve on the Northern Gila County Fair board. For the first time in a very long time, the board has decided someone should attend. That turns out to be me! I’m supposed to attend workshops and presentations and attend the associated trade show where I can sign up acts, carnivals, and whatever else, for my fair next year. I’m a little nervous about all of the responsibility. Good thing the other board members are a phone call away.

This last weekend, Saturday, November 14th, I was in Avondale, AZ to sell and sign books at their VetFest. Avondale’s Western Avenue is being updated to be beautiful and visitor friendly. It’s a lovely spot. Besides a full-blown craft show, there were at least 17 authors there to talk to readers and sell a few books.

Some of the VetFest Authors

Some of the VetFest Authors

I sold two and lost at least two sales because my Square application couldn’t connect to the internet. That was very disappointing. I have a picture above of my table at the show. Also offered, veteran support: ID’s, services, and so much more were available for visiting vets. See http://www.historicavondale.org/vet-fest.html for more pictures of the entire festival.

I’m teaching a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing which means I’m ditching the banquet at the Arizona Fair Commission conference so I can be back on time. If you live in the area, call the Camp Verde library to sign up. There’s still time! I have an entry for this event on my Where Will I Be tab on my website.

No Author Friend Boost this week. I’m working on National Novel Writing Month. I’m doing well, a little ahead of plan, as I know I’ll lose writing days while in Laughlin. I’m working on a Zoe Ohale novel so if you’ve liked the flash fiction story I posted about her not too long ago, I have a short story about Zoe in the upcoming Forward Motion Anthology, and now, this!

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

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

I’ve also started my Christmas candy making. One of the things I make is miniature peppermint patties. I’ve been having a horrible time making the fondant that is the center of the candy. You can read all about it on the 25th in my post on Chicklets In the Kitchen, blog. Have you started your holiday prep?

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

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. How about you, is November starting to feel like a marathon? Post your comments below.

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

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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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: Rainy Weekend in Central AZ

Rainy day, Birdbath, Central Arizona, Connie Cockrell

Rainy day at the Birdbath in Central Arizona by Connie Cockrell

We’ve had four days of rain here in Payson, Arizona. This is very unusual weather. I’ve used it to my advantage though. I made a lasagna Saturday instead of my usual spaghetti and remembered to take pictures of the process for my post on the 25th of this month on Chicklets in the Kitchen blog. I also finished up a 3 day mini-workshop held by Holly Lisle. My flash fiction Friday post is the result. Be sure and check it out on Friday.

Lost Rainbows is moving along as a serial. I’m posting the 3rd installment on 4th here on my blog and the 2nd installment on the 4th on Wattpad.  (www.Wattpad.com).  I’m ConnieCockrell on that site. A new chapter will be released each Wednesday for 16 weeks. Enjoy.  I’ve also managed to create a couple more chapters in my All About Bob story. Poor Bob. I’m being pretty mean to him.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. You can see the information on www.PaysonBookFestival.org if you’d like. We still have a Kick-off pricing on author tables, 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.

I’m still working on the Northern Gila County Fair. (www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com) We have to do a lot to catch up but we’ll be starting the sponsorship drive soon, decisions are being made about events to be held, the new volunteers are getting into the swing of their responsibilities and we’re getting ourselves organized. The volunteers are very enthusiastic so I think we’ll have a great fair year.

The Book Festival and the Fair are still taking a lot of my time I still need to edit my November story, Mystery at the Fair. I’m working hard on my short story, After Math, so I can re-start submitting it to magazines. I’m keeping pretty busy, hope you are, too.

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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