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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Zoe Ohale Rewrite: Monday Blog Post

ZoeMeme001

Newest News:

I’m finally making progress on rewriting the end of the story. There were so many decisions to make about the rewrite it took me a bit to get it all straight in my own mind. Those decisions have been made and I’m writing away! Once done, it will get one more pass through the editor, because I’m really making changes, then after the cover is finished, I’ll publish. This has taken longer than I anticipated but it’ll be so much better for having taken the time to do the rewrites. Thanks EJ from Silver Jay Media for pointing these things out.

Giveaways:

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Red Hot Summer giveaway is still in full swing. Just click on the Rafflecopter link. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

I think this week’s shout out should be David Bridger who has just released his newest book, The Honesty of Tigers. I’ve already started reading it and if you all are interested in powerfully drawn characters; you have to pick up this book! It’s on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Honesty-Tigers-David-Bridger-ebook/dp/B01K7DHUO8. Don’t delay, get it today!

Garden News:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Garden Produce

I have a steady crop of yellow beans, a batch every other day. The green beans are still teeny-tiny. The tomatoes are plentiful enough for me to share with friends and I have way too much zucchini even though I only have one plant. I cut one up and put it in last night’s spaghetti sauce. Healthy living through gardening, for sure. How’s your garden doing?

Where Will I Be?:

FallFest2016

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

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

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team! I’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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Author Interviews: DMG Byrnes

Author DMG Byrnes

Author DMG Byrnes

I want to welcome DMG Byrnes to the blog today. DMG Byrnes is an author with a book addiction; reading and writing them. She is in the process of looking for the right agent to represent her first novel, The Foretelling Spark. She also writes poetry and short stories, publishing short pieces of fiction on the Fiction Fridays page of her website every week. She is a survivor of abuse and sexual assault, a chronic illness warrior, and on the side, a dragon tamer. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology that took her 9 years to earn and taught her that if it’s important enough to you, you’ll make it happen, no matter how slowly you have to go; a lesson she tries to remember when she’s writing.

 

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

I’m notoriously bad with “favorite” questions…my first thought was reading, but that’s more of a way of life for me than it is a hobby. I suppose possibly gaming, or crafting, maybe learning or drawing…I mentioned I’m not good with “favorites” right?

 

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

I really don’t know how to answer a question like this…there are too many variables and possibilities…if I was spending an afternoon with someone, though, I would hope it was good company.

 

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

I’ll take water, thank you.

 

4. What are you working on right now?

Well, I need to be focusing on the revisions for my novel, The Foretelling Spark, but those have been slow. My time has also been filled with a story that started on my Fiction Friday page, it’s become much more involved that first intended, but it’s interesting to me so far. I’m also (I know, I need focus) planning to start writing a fantasy novel later this year for NaNoWriMo in November. Hopefully my revisions will be finished before then.

 

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I wouldn’t know how to describe it. My style can and does change to suit genre, character, plot, story, timeframe…I’m not sure what to say specifically about my style. I try to find that line between description and action, and most importantly, give the reader the feeling they are connecting with a character.

 

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

I’m still pretty new myself but my first thought is, start now. You will always look back and find time has slipped by and wish you’d started last week, last month, last year, last decade. Also, if it’s important enough, you will find the time and a way to make it happen, no matter how long it takes. But these are true for more than just writing, or so I’ve found in my life.

 

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?

I rarely sit down and try to specifically come up with ideas (unless I’m in the all-out plotting stage of a novel, but that’s a different story).  I get a lot of ideas while I’m doing other things, or just musing to myself, so I often end up jotting ideas down as I go about my day.

 

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

There’s my website, dmgbyrnes.com

I can also be found on Facebook (facebook.com/DMGbyrnes) and Twitter (@dmgbyrnes)

 

I want to thank DMG Byrnes for stopping by my blog and getting to know us. Please stop by her facebook or twitter pages and see what she’s up to.

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Crazy Week: Monday Blog Post

Baby Plants

It was a crazy week for me last week. All day meetings, volunteering, a trip to Scottsdale for a workshop on Screen Writing, it seemed never ending. That of course, affected my writing. I continued to work on my Camp NaNo novel, Mystery at the Book Festival, but made barely any progress on it. As of today, I’m just reaching 35K to my goal of 50,000 words. The challenge ends on Saturday. So I have to write about 3K words per day every single day for the rest of the week (also the month!) to reach 50K. I can do it if I put my mind to it. Cross your fingers for me.

The Spring Into Reading giveaway is in full swing. 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.

Butterfly002

The picture at the top of the page is of my tomato seedlings. The weather continues to cycle through mild and cold so I’m not sure when to plant. Friends of mine in southern Arizona are already harvesting their tomatoes! I plan on visiting the local garden shop to get some lettuce and Swiss chard. I should also get my peas and beans into the ground. None of these will be harmed by a little cool weather. The roses have been blooming long enough that I now need to go out and dead-head the spent flowers. It’s good to get away from the computer, even with my high word count goal, and get some sunshine and fresh air. It always helps me clear my mind and recharge the creative juices.

RD Teaser 3

Yesterday I did a special blog post bragging up my author friend Mistral Dawn. Her new book, Rainbow Dreams, is just out and as a science fiction fan, I’m stoked! Anyway, check out yesterday’s blog post with all of the links to buy Rainbow Dreams and the first chapter, free!

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

June 3rd and 4th, 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 $39 and Friday night is open to the public for Author Signings. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling you all about it. Register in advance on the site and mention that you heard about the event from me. I’ll put your name in for a drawing of a special prize on Friday night and/or Saturday. The prize? A bracelet, hand made by me, with Kindred Spirits as the theme. I might even make two and have a giveaway both Friday and Saturday. What do you think?

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

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

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

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

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Mistral Dawn Publishes Rainbow Dreams

An author friend of mine, Mistral Dawn, has just released her fantastic new book, Rainbow Dreams and I wanted to share this new Science Fiction book with all of you. I’m going to let Mistral speak for herself.

RD Teaser 3

Hey Everyone!!! 🙂

 

Guess what? It’s finally here!! Rainbow Dreams is now out! What’s it about?  I’m glad you asked!  Here’s the blurb:

 

Have you ever had a terrible secret you didn’t want anyone to know? Petri does and it may get her killed. Life is hard on Upworld, especially for the residents of Under City, and it’s even harder for those who don’t fit in. Petri has always been different and now those differences may cost her life. Her one hope is to leave the only home she’s ever known while evading the mob that’s calling for her blood. But Petri has never been outside of her sector of Under City, never mind off the planet. And the laws of Upworld forbid people like her from leaving. Will Petri overcome the odds and make good her escape? Maybe…with a little help from her friends.

 

Sound interesting?  You can download it in seconds from the following merchants:

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E1INIQE/

 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rainbow-dreams-mistral-dawn/1123649619?ean=2940152964004

 

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rainbow-dreams/id1101890767?mt=11

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/628561

 

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/rainbow-dreams-2

Rainbow Dreams Fullsize

Now allow me to take a moment to draw attention to that amazing cover. The wonderful and talented Julie Nicholls created it, and I think she did a fantastic job of capturing Petri’s likeness. If you’d like to see more of her incredible work, check out her website here:

 

Artwork by Julie Nicholls

 

Okay, okay, I know, enough stalling.  If you’re as excited as I am about this story, I know you’re all ready for a peek:

Rainbow Dreams Chapter One

Lightning bolts of fire and ice shot up and down Petri’s spine as she moved over the human man on the bed. Her short, slender body bowed with the sensations that washed over her. His lust was like a fountain of cold water on a hot day, and she was parched. It had been too long; she needed this. Desperately.

Looking down at him as she slid her body onto his straining cock, she smiled. This client had wanted to be blindfolded; he said he enjoyed the mystery. There was more mystery in Petri than most humans would know what to do with, so that was fine with her. With him blindfolded, she didn’t need to be careful to keep her own eyes shut. This was going to be a good feed, and there was no way she could have kept her eyes from glowing.

The man moaned in pleasure. Being fed upon felt as good for humans as feeding did for Petri. None of her clients knew she sipped from their energy, their life force, when she fucked them. All they knew was that she was one hell of a talented dolly. A win-win for all involved.

This client was a regular; Petri had shown him many times how good it could be with her. Some of her regulars came to crave her, almost like the dream dust that was sold in the club below. They were guaranteed repeat business, and she always made sure to show them a good time. After all, that was her job.

The energy of the man’s lust filled Petri as she glided up and down on top of him. She shivered. It was renewing, rejuvenating. She couldn’t get enough. A few grains of dust remained on his upper lip as evidence of his earlier indulgence in some of the chemical delights that were available at Abracadabra.

It was clear her client was high long before Petri started feeding. Before she blindfolded him, she had noted the man’s dilated pupils and the flush of pleasure on his face. She had no doubt the management of Abracadabra would go to great lengths to make sure he received the maximum enjoyment possible during his visit. There was a reason it was the hottest nightclub in this part of Under City.

The club specialized in hedonism in all its forms. Drugs of every description, games, gambling, and other, darker pleasures could be found within its walls. House dollies, little more than sex slaves, waited to fulfill the customers’ every desire. Freelance dollies, like Petri, rented space to ply their trade as well. The house allowed it because the dollies offered the club’s clientele more variety and were motivated to attract business. Once a patron had satisfied their lust, they often wandered downstairs in search of other entertainments.

Leaning down, Petri pressed her cat-like mouth to her client’s lips in a sizzling kiss. Their tongues tangled as he responded, and she undulated her hips against his, faster and faster. The drugs he had consumed tainted his energy, giving Petri a pleasant buzz. She never took dust herself since it interfered with her ability to control her power, but she enjoyed the effect when one of her johns indulged. As their sex intensified, Petri drank deeper, swallowing down the man’s whimpers and sighs of ecstasy as she swallowed his desire.

Lost in the haze of feeding for the first time in days, Petri didn’t realize it at first when the man suddenly went still underneath her. His penis remained stiff and eager inside her, and she continued to ride it, draining his energy. It was only when the cold, clamminess of his skin penetrated the pleasurable trance she often sank into when feeding that she realized that she had gone too far. Her heart skipped a beat.

Swinging her leg over him, she clambered off his body and knelt beside him on the bed. She grabbed his shoulder, shaking him, but there was no response. He was as still and cold as death.

Petri’s breath froze in her chest as she tried to suppress her rising panic. She slapped him, hard, across his face, trying to provoke a response. There was nothing. Leaning down, she put her ear against his chest, listening for something, anything. Any sign that a spark of life remained in the man. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have heard a faint fluttering within.

Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and put her hands on his chest, fingers splayed. She had never done this before, but her instincts said it might work. The process of drawing energy from others had come automatically when she reached physical maturity. It was as natural as breathing to her. But reversing the flow of energy… That was something else altogether. She forced herself to focus; all she could do was try.

Reaching down into the well of energy within her, Petri tried to snag a wisp of it. It was like trying to catch fog. Gritting her teeth, she concentrated and managed to grab a small piece of the mist and tease it up, out of herself and back into the man. It flowed at a slow trickle, but it did flow. The man took a deep breath and Petri slumped in relief.

Before she could stop him, or even turn away, the man reached up and snatched the blindfold from his face. When he saw her glowing eyes, he shrieked, “Mgeni!”

Petri swore. She knew she didn’t have much time. Sitting up, she sucker-punched her client hard in his stomach. The man folded over, clutching his gut, just like she knew he would. As her former client coughed and wheezed, Petri scrambled into her tight, red mini-dress and stiletto pumps and clambered out the window. She couldn’t risk trying to make it through the crowded club below; she needed to be gone before the man recovered enough to sound the alarm.

As she scurried down the fire escape, Petri cursed herself. She should have known she needed to be more careful. After having gone without feeding for several days, she shouldn’t have broken her fast in such a public place. At least he wasn’t dead. That was the one thing that might save her. If she had killed an Upworld client in Under City, the houses would have banded together and hunted her no matter where she went.

The funny thing about Under City was it could be a wild, crazy place, but only within certain parameters. In some ways, it was as restrictive as the world above. Upworld citizens were fair game for cons, beatings, muggings, pick-pocketing, and many other crimes. As long as the citizens left Under City breathing, the houses would look the other way. After all, most people from Upworld came to Under City for the thrill of danger, so, in many ways, the underworlders were just giving them what they paid for.

But too many deaths were bad for business and that the houses would not allow. The only reason an Upworld citizen could be killed in Under City with the blessing of the houses was if the citizen killed an underworlder without paying for it first. Life was cheap in Under City, but it wasn’t free. And no one left Under City without paying their bill. No one.

Even though the man was alive, Petri’s life was still in danger. She had survived thus far in Under City because everyone thought she was a Human/Paka hybrid. Half-breeds weren’t especially loved, even among the generally open-minded underworlders, but they were tolerated. Arcanum, on the other hand, were universally despised, and the glowing eyes and energy draining power were unmistakable. Petri was now a marked woman, and it wouldn’t be long before half the underworlders in the Southern sector were howling for her blood. She needed to get away.

The problem was where could she go? Each sector of Under City was isolated from the other sectors, and the only way to get from one sector to another was to travel through Upworld. And the only way underworlders were allowed into Upworld was if they had a pass. Even if she did manage to get to another sector, that would only be a temporary reprieve. Word would travel and her appearance was too distinctive for her to be able to disappear into a crowd of strangers.

No, the only possible way for her to survive was for her to find passage off-world. Petri grimaced. She might as well wish for the planetary presidency.

The moment she reached the ground, Petri looked both ways down the alleyway she was in. Everything seemed normal. The bass from club Abracadabra throbbed through the street, lending the night a syncopated heartbeat. The fast food dollies who worked the crowd outside the club seemed to be doing a brisk business. The groans and gasps of pleasure from their johns blended with the music.

Other than the regular street activity, nothing was happening. Maybe the hottest club in the sector wasn’t the worst place this could have happened. At least, she was central. It wouldn’t be hard to get anywhere in the sector from here; if she could only decide where it was she should go.

Hiding and lying low were out of the question. There were too many people in Under City who would be thrilled to earn a couple of easy creds by informing on her. Which also made going home impossible; that was the first place they would look for her. The distant rumble of a subway broke through her temporary paralysis and got Petri moving.

But she didn’t run. Running in Under City was never a good idea. Running meant trouble and attracted attention. Predators chased those who ran, and Under City was full of predators.

Neon signs glittered in the night, advertising the wares to be found in the many businesses in this central part of Southern sector. Outlines of naked men and women, frothing drinks and steaming food, new hairstyles, and more had been recreated out of glowing lights and buzzing bulbs. Abracadabra wasn’t the only purveyor of pleasures in the area; there were others, though each was smaller and had a narrower focus than the popular club. Brothels, restaurants, bars, dust dens, casinos, gaming establishments, salons, and chop shops abounded. This part of Under City existed to cater to the whims of the rich, and there was nothing subtle about the offerings that were available to those with money.

Shops of all kinds welcomed customers from Upworld with open arms. Clothing, children’s toys, vehicles, sex aids, personal electronics, game programs, jewelry, and domicile furnishings could be purchased right next to each other at any time of the day or night. “Come In!” flashed their advertisements. “Good Deals!” “Low Prices!” “Rare Merchandise!” A constant siren song of the consumerism that ruled the underworld.

There were also businesses with darker, less obvious entryways. The snuff industry was alive and well in Under City. Upworld citizens who had the creds could indulge their most twisted and violent fantasies, and there were snuff houses that specialized in providing those services. Fights, snuff porn, torture, cannibalism—it was all available for the asking. And no matter if a citizen wanted to watch, participate, or direct, their most hidden desires could be satisfied by the snuff houses. Customers were only limited by their bank accounts, and the grinders waited to clean up the mess afterwards.

Petri ignored all the enticements and offerings and tried to keep her mind away from where she might end up if she failed in her escape attempt. A short, brisk walk brought her to the transit station just as a train pulled up to the stop. It wasn’t a perfect solution, it wasn’t even a good solution, but at least it was a stopgap that might give her the time she needed to formulate a plan. Being a moving target was better than being a stationary one.

She hopped on the train and found an empty car. As she dropped into a seat at the back of the car, she sighed. It had started out as such a good night.

 

Looks like Petri’s night has taken a bad turn, huh? Want to find out what happens next? Head to your favorite online merchant and download your copy now! 😉 Thank you all for stopping by today and for checking out my first sci-fi novel!! Happy reading! 🙂

 

Thanks Mistral. I’m so happy to help you spread the word about your new book.

 

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Author Interview: Chevoque!

Chevoque

Chevoque

I’m so happy to introduce author Chevoque! She writes contemporary, historical, and paranormal stories, among other things. If you’re looking for stories with an international flair, Chevoque may just be what you’ve been searching for. Here’s a little bit about Chevoque.

I was born as Rochelle de Beer on 15 May 1992 in Klerksdorp, South Africa, and as an only child, the world seemed like a lonely place, until I set my mind free and got lost in the worlds I created myself. My writing started at a young age and with numerous stories still waiting to be released from my mind, only time now seems to hold me back. I also have a degree in BSc. Environmental and Biological Sciences, because I’m a tree-hugging animal lover, who hopes to never use my degree to cause cruelty.

Cover Just Like You

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

Writing used to be just a hobby, but now as a full-time author, I have to say photography and photoshop are past-times I can’t get enough of.  Which is likely a good thing, as I have created most of my covers myself and I enjoy doing digital art as well, so all those things combined sure keeps me sane.

 

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

Sir David Attenborough.

I will shamelessly admit that I envy all the things he has done and all the things he has achieved.  I primarily decided to do a degree in BSc. Botany and Zoology, because of all the amazing TV shows I had watched of him growing up.  So an afternoon with tea and a long conversation with him would be a bucket list tick down I hope to actually one day achieve.

 

Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

I’m a sucker for caffeine! Be it in the form of coffee, I love Nescafé’s Alta Rica and Rosabaya blends the most and when it comes to tea, I love Rooibos and Lager’s is my absolute favourite.  Apart from that, I love a Steelworks when it is hot, so basically in South Africa, that means every day.

 

What are you working on right now?

The Marked Series, it is a two book series about two different people, who have birthmarks on their faces, and how they deal with being different in a society where looks are everything.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

Easy with a lot of South African flare…or so I hope.  I use South African slang, as there really is no better way to describe some situations than with a few proudly South African trimmings, but I do keep in mind that most of my readers are international.  Thus, I always keep it descriptive enough so all can enjoy the sarcasm or jokes, because I love adding humour in everything I do, while never forgetting to add a cause/theme to my books.

 

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

Don’t think you can’t and never aspire.  Only be.

If you take the time; wrote your heart out, sold your soul and nearly lost yourself in your own mind, you’ve proved yourself worthy to be known as an author.

 

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

They come to me in whatever I do, I can literally be out to buy some groceries and then I’ll need to rush home to get the idea down, before it slips from my mind.  Or I can even be working on something and then I’ll hear a song (I love music) and then everything will be put on hold, so I can get this new idea down.  Thus I own four notebooks filled with ideas for books and it grows every week!

 

Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/ZaDsnM

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

Newsletter: http://goo.gl/ME5hsS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Chevoque

Website: http://goo.gl/X9ifYB

 

Thank you so much, Chevoque! I appreciate you taking time from a busy schedule to tell us about yourself and your books.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please go to Chevoque’s website, facebook or twitter page or sign up for her newsletter. You’ll be glad you did.

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Monday Blog Post: Payson Book Festival Report

Main Room, Payson Book Festival, by Randy Cockrell

Main Room, Payson Book Festival, by Randy Cockrell

The first ever Payson Book Festival (www.PaysonBookFestival.org) is over and we’re calling it a success. Authors made sales and met new readers. Visitors found new authors and old favorites. There was music, presentations, workshops, Story Monster, food and books. Lots and lots of books. We are only estimating at this point but we think we had 500 visitors at the festival. We’re very happy of course, but very tired. It turned into a bigger event that we had initially anticipated but the wide variety of authors and things to do, including breakfast and lunch, made the festival a place where many people lingered for quite awhile. Soon we’ll have some festival pictures available to post on the above website. Take a look!

J.A. Marlow and Connie Cockrell talking to Readers photo by Randy Cockrell

J.A. Marlow and Connie Cockrell talking to Readers photo by Randy Cockrell

My personal day statistics? I sold 11 books and passed out my card to many people and chatted with even more. I also had the opportunity to speak with a great many of my fellow authors. I even received an offer of a speaking engagement. I also was able to spend the day with four author friends. Two of them J.A.Marlow (http://jamarlow.com/) and Sunny Lewis shared my table and my friend D’Elen McClain (www.wickedstorytelling.com) was right next door on my right and another, Sharon Langdale, (http://sharonlangdale.com) on my left. It was a fantastic opportunity. Here’s my Amazon Author page link. http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009O6199C

Mystery at the Fair is released on Amazon. I’m working on the formatting for Smashwords so I can put it up on Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. See the link at the end to Amazon’s Mystery at the Fair page.

Camp NaNo progresses but after I reached 30K words and with the Book Festival and the Meet and Greet looming, I just couldn’t get any words last week. So, I gave myself permission to take the rest of the week off and got out from under all of the stress I was self-creating. I felt better for it and on Sunday, sat down and wrote. Yay! I won’t make my goal of 50,000 but I may make 40K. Not half bad and Mystery in the Woods will be half done.

I also need to edit my entry in the Forward Motion anthology. I titled it Betrayal Moon. The anthology prompt was rogues and reprobates and I think I found a good protagonist for this prompt. The anthology is due out in October so I need to hurry!

The garden is looking wonderful. I’ve picked more zucchini though the straight neck yellow squash has produced nothing this year. It flowers but I’m getting no fruit. Perhaps I needed two of them? I’m in the process of not watering the bed where the mint has run amok. Letting that bed go until I can dig out all of the mint roots. Sunday I cut a bunch of it out, prepping for the digging. The tomatoes are looking good even though none are ripe yet. So far I’ve picked six hornworms out of the tomatoes. The cantaloupe is looking good though the little pillbugs like to eat it from underneath. I’ll have to take drastic measures. Also on Sunday, I picked a basketful of peaches. The apples must also be ripe because Sunday morning a herd of javalina were in the yard eating all of the low hanging apples. Hubby caught a picture of them.

Javalina eating my Apples. Photo by Randy Cockrell

Javalina eating my Apples. Photo by Randy Cockrell

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I have a special offer going up in my newsletter so 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 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.

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Merry Go Round Blog Tour: Beach Reads

Beach, Scene, Randy Cockrell

Beach Scene by Randy Cockrell

I’ll have to admit. My To Be Read (TBR) pile is full of adventure stories. I like adventure, always have. These are the easy Clive Cussler, James Patterson, stories that just take you from scene to scene, leaving you breathless at the end. Then there’s the pile of cozy mysteries by Nevada Barr. I haven’t started these yet but they’re as much research into the current cozy mystery scene as they are pleasure reading.

After that are the TBR’s I have on Goodreads, modern SciFi and Fantasy by Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig. And the women’s fiction, such as Hild by Nicola Griffith.

If you’re a reader, you know what it’s like. There are so many books out there. The few I’ve mentioned here are just a light dusting of all of the stories I want to read. Then we get to the delivery method.

If you’re actually travelling this summer, you want to take a Kindle or ereader of some sort. Then you can read those novels as fast as you want because you can have hundreds of them on call, ready to read when you finish the last book. If you’re like me and vacation isn’t until October, I still want to get my reading fix. So, I pull from the pile on my bed stand and dresser. Probably about 3 square feet at this point. Then, of course, the large number I have downloaded onto our ancient Kindle. So many SciFi and Fantasy stories are there, just waiting for me to read them.

So, what’s the point? Easy. I have a book ready, at all times. And in multiple genres. Are they all literary gems? No, not so much. But I read for pleasure as well as for education. It’s OK to read fun stuff. Stuff that makes your heart race. Stuff that makes you wonder about how the world could be different. Stuff that takes you back in time and lets you get a feel for what it was like to live in a different era with different mores and culture.

So let’s read. The adventures, the scifi, the romances, it’s all good. Really. Pick up a book!

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling 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: Jean Schara

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Monday Blog Post: Small Town Fun

Monster Mudder, Water Slide,  Randy Cockrell

Monster Mudder Water Slide by Randy Cockrell

Summer fun is in full swing in my little town. Friday was the first Friday of the month so some of the options for Friday night were a wine tasting at The Beverage Store and First Friday at the Down The Street art gallery where a person can look at and buy some of the wonderful selections of paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other art made by local artists. They offer a free glass of wine and various appetizers and this Friday, they also had the local drama club offer a one act play! Over at the Community Presbyterian Church, was a Jazz concert. Saturday was huge. See a picture from above from the Mogollon Monster Mountain days. There were ATV trail rides and the Monster Mudder. A wonderful 5K obstacle course race that had about 600 participants. Did I mention it rained for the first time in recorded weather keeping for Arizona on Friday and Saturday morning? Lots of muddy fun. Then there was the Farmers Market and in Pine, running all weekend, was the Craft Fair. I took my mom and she bought a cute little tea cup with a strainer basket that fits right inside and a cover to keep your tea hot while it steeps. Then Saturday evening was the concert in the park. This week it was a lovely group of a cappella singers with a doo wop focus. We were all singing along. So what happens in your town on the weekend? Lots of fun? Picnics? Concerts?

Over at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com I put up a button to advertise the upcoming Payson Book Festival. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to the www.PaysonBookFestival.org. Check out the Meet the Authors tab. We have SIXTY authors coming to the event. You’re sure to find a book or topic that interests you. We also are archiving the radio interviews of authors that will be at the Festival. Check out the Media tab, Interviews. There’s a new one every Friday until the Festival. The next one is my friend Susan Haught!

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 came back from the editors and I’ve read through the comments. This was a content edit. That means the editor was looking for places in the story where I may need to ramp up the action, tighten the dialog, that sort of thing. I want this book out for the July Festival so I need to get cracking on the re-writes. I’ll keep you posted.

The unexpected rain last Friday and Saturday were a wonderful gift for us gardeners. I still need to get my tomatoes, peppers and such. That bush I pulled out? Yep, I went to the garden center and replaced it with lavender. I can hardly wait for it to bloom.

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 16 – Shamus Receives His Reward

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Sixteen – The Leprechauns Win (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 16 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

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

Shamus Receives His Reward

That night in the great hall, the King called each leprechaun that had taken part in the battle to the dais where his throne sat and gave each one a reward and the recognition of the kingdom. Shamus was the last one to be called forward. He bowed before the King.

Mac Shadenan waved for Shamus to rise, then took his hand and made Shamus to stand beside him. “People of the Sidhe! I have called Shamus O’Malley to my side last. Not because he is the least, but because he has done the most. It was Shamus who followed the evil wizard, Bannon, to a strange land and recovered both our gold and our rainbows. It was Shamus who brought to us Miss Becca, descendant of the Tuatha De Danann.” The crowd cheered. Becca was popular within the hall.

The King continued. “At the battle of the Castle Ruins, Shamus assisted Miss Becca in magic to help destroy the robots giving us a chance to win the battle. He protected her from harm throughout the entire fight. It was he who recognized the return of the Tuatha De Danann in our just battle.”

The crowd in the hall cheered again. Shamus blushed bright red.

“So, in keeping with his efforts, I grant Shamus O’Malley a pot of gold, an estate next to my own, and an appointment as one of my Advisors.”

Shamus stood stock still, eyes wide. Later, when the dancing had begun, he turned at a tap on his shoulder. Princess Lyeen stood there, a smile on her face.

“Congratulations, Advisor O’Malley.”

“Thank you, Princess.” He bowed low as he kissed the back of her hand. “Your father, the King, was most generous.”

“You’ve risen in rank, Shamus O’Malley.” Lyeen was tapping her toes to the music drifting through the hall. She smiled up at him, a twinkle in her eye.

“It seems so, Princess. Would you care to dance with an Advisor to the King?” His eyes searched hers, hope springing.

She held out her hand. “I would, Advisor O’Malley.” A grin spread across her face.

Shamus took her hand and swept her into his arms. “I think I’m going to like being an Advisor.” With that, he kissed her full on the lips. They danced the rest of the night.

The End

 

~~~~~

Lost Rainbows

Thank you for reading my story, Lost Rainbows. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this book, 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.

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

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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