Jealousy: Friday Flash Fiction Post

Misty by Justchasingfireflies by d2ybmge.jpg via DeviantArt.com

Misty by Justchasingfireflies by d2ybmge.jpg via DeviantArt.com

Edmund hissed.

His slave worried over the device. Enough was enough. The sun inched its way across the sky while the slave fussed and bothered over the machine. Edmund was bored. The slave had forgotten him.

He muttered to the other lord and lady. What is wrong with the slave?

“We don’t keep it busy enough.” Peaches licked her claws as she eyed the others.

“Nonsense.” Edmund rolled over and stretched then lay on his side. His yellow eyes blinked. We must give the slave some time to herself.

“Bollox.” Zaphod’s fur stood up straight as he arched his back. “Too much time on their own projects and they start to forget who’s in charge.”

Peaches rose up from her platform on the scratching tree and sank her claws into the central support, stretching her back into an inverted arch. “I agree with Zaphod. Let them take an inch and they want the whole house. Remember when we were kittens? All that bother about us not sleeping on the bed.” She ripped the carpet from the pillar. “As though the bed belonged to her!”

Edmund shook his head. “The slave uses the device to document us. That’s a good thing.”

“Sometimes.” Zaphod licked his paw and washed behind an ear. “Not often enough. The slave leaves us locked in the house for hours and comes home all involved with the device. What do we get when we investigate?”

“You walk on her controller.” Peaches coughed up a hair ball. “I’ve seen the monitor. All of the pictures go crazy. Your meddling ruined a perfectly good picture of me draped across the chair seat.”

“You think too much of yourself.” Zaphod sneered.

Peaches launched from the cat tree and chased Zaphod around the house. Candlesticks were knocked from the fireplace mantle, the end table lamp fell over and they pulled the curtains from one of the living room windows before they hissed at each other face to face and the slave separated them with tiny treats.

Back on the cat tree, Edmond sneered. “And you criticize the slave.” He rolled his eyes as he sharpened his claws. “Kittens. That’s what you are.”

Zaphod licked his paw and cleaned behind an ear. “Just a little exercise.

“The matter still remains about the device.” Peaches leapt down from the cat tree and stretched on the floor. “Time to take matters into my own paws.”

Zaphod and Edmond watched as Peaches wandered, nonchalantly, into the office. They followed. When they arrived, Peaches had already claimed the slave’s lap. Zaphod leapt up onto the printer. This device shook at random intervals and paper spit out that was easily hooked and destroyed. Edmond was left with the pile of paper in a basket at the side of the desk. Not ideal but paper wasn’t the cold of the glass topped desk, either. Good enough.

The slave did her best to work around Peaches, reaching over and around to the controller. Peaches wouldn’t hear of it. She butted her head into the slave’s hands at every move. The slave tried to remove Peaches. That only ended with the slave’s hand bleeding from Peaches’ retaliatory strike.

The slave set the detested device on the desktop. Peaches left the slave’s lap and approached the device. She sniffed it, then ever so gently, pushed it over the edge of the desk.

The slave leapt up, chair flying backward across the room. Edmond hissed and sprang straight up, paper flying through the air. Zaphod yowled and leapt onto the slave, who shrieked as the device hit the floor.

Peaches yawned and paced deliberately out of the room. Edmund and Zaphod followed as the slave yammered, kneeling over the broken device.

“My work is done.” Peaches eased into her cat bed, curled her tail over her nose and closed her eyes.

Edmond and Zaphod looked at each other. “I didn’t do it.” Edmond swiped a paw across his face.

“Me either.” Zaphod leapt up the cat tree and snuggled into a corner of a carpeted room. “Coming?”

Edmond followed. “Sure, twin. Don’t want to be around Peaches. She’s going to get it from the slave.”

They snuggled down together. “Not our problem.” Zaphod wrapped his tail around his nose. “Let her deal with it.”

 

 

Thank You!

712 Words

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The Diner: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Cafe001

The local radio station played in the background, a non-offensive blend of modern western music that appealed to the usual customer of the diner. The place was lightly populated this morning when I came in. Usually, you couldn’t find a table, or even a stool at the counter, because of the regulars who knew the names of all the waitresses as well as the line cook and the busser.

I was in for breakfast while my hubby was at the dentist. I enjoyed my alone time, where I wasn’t just half of a couple. Don’t get me wrong. Married for over four decades I was happily married to my best friend. It’s just nice, sometimes, to be my own person.

Across the diner, I noticed a man in a ball cap. Even with my glasses on all I could read from the cap was World War II Veteran. Not a tall man, his face was wrinkled around his goatee with time but his eyes behind the large lenses of his glasses were alert and he noticed everything that went on within the diner walls.

He was alone in his booth, a newspaper open on the table beside him. It looked like he was having oatmeal for his breakfast. I wondered about his life. Had he been Army, Navy, a Marine during his war? Was he in the Pacific or Europe? Had he been a prisoner of war? What happened when he came home? I supposed, like most men of his era, he married, had children, worked in the steel mills or the booming auto industry or went to California and like my now deceased father-in-law, found work in the aerospace industry with one of the big airplane manufacturers. Maybe he used his G.I. Bill and went to college and became a businessman or a university professor, built a nice, middle-class home and contributed to his community.

Dress in our town is pretty casual. You generally couldn’t tell who had money and who didn’t by clothing alone. It was a point of pride among most of the town retiree population to buy most of their clothing from one of the many thrift stores in town. His attire didn’t really tell me anything about him, except for that hat, which looked fairly new.

More people came in—an older couple, a family with two young children. Two young men, boisterous and spouting millennial slang entered and sat in the booth behind me. “Bro” and “Man” punctuated every sentence they spoke in voices that carried across the diner drowning out all other conversation. Too loud and too familiar for my taste I wondered what the man, who I now labeled, The Vet, thought?

I saw the Vet stare at the young men behind me. They talked fast and laughed at their own jokes which echoed too loud across the sparsely populated diner. More people came in, older couples mostly but one young man came in alone. That brought the tally to three of us single diners. He sat alone, head down in the menu, as though he was ashamed to have to appear by himself.

The Vet finished his breakfast and pulled bills from his wallet, dropping a couple on his table. I watched him get up, bringing a portable oxygen concentrator with him. I hadn’t noticed an oxygen tube from my table. He moved the way I did, taking care and moving slowly, giving hips a chance to remember what they were supposed to do. Despite that, he walked to the register easily for a man that would be in his late eighties or even into his nineties. He paid his bill, joked a moment with the cashier, and left.

Through the windows, I watched him walk to a beat-up old Chevy pick-up truck with a cap on the back. The brown paint was dull, faded and peeling in places from the brutal Arizona sun. I saw a small dog leap up on the steering wheel to greet him. So, the Vet wasn’t totally alone. I was glad. I hoped, as he got in and pulled away, that he had family in the area. That he was able to play with his great-grandchildren. I hoped he belonged to the local veteran’s group, or car club, or anything else that allowed him to get out of a lonely house and stay active.

I found myself on the point of tears, worried for the Vet yet wishing him a happy life, whatever he had left of it. My breakfast was done when I saw my husband walk in the door of the diner. He waved and came over.

“Are you finished?”

I smiled up at him. “Yes.” I dropped three dollars on the table and stood up, slowly, my hips had to remember their job, after all and picked up the check. “How was the dentist?”

“Just a little filling,” he told me as we walked to the register. “See anyone you know?”

I smiled to myself. “No, not quite.”

 

 

Thank You!

837 Words

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

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Chicken Cordon Bleu: Chicklets in the Kitchen

Finished Chicken Cordon Bleu

Finished Chicken Cordon Bleu

Once in awhile, I like to get fancy and in February, I did just that. I happened to have ham and swiss cheese on hand and boneless chicken breast in the freezer so I decided to make chicken cordon bleu.

The first time I ever had this dish was when my husband and I were stationed in West Germany in the late 70’s. We went to a local Gast Haus (pub) in the small town where we lived and I spotted it on the menu. I’d heard of it in movies and books. Here was my chance to try it. It arrived on a plate by itself and covered the entire plate. Crispy and golden brown on the outside, the inside was a delight of tender white chicken wrapped around a ham and cheese center that just oozed out onto the plate when I cut into it.

I’m still trying to perfect my dish but here’s the recipe.      Click here to see the rest.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Have you ever had chicken cordon bleu? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

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Happy Anniversary: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Green Velvet Gift Box 1 by http://fantasystock.deviantart.com/

Green Velvet Gift Box 1 by http://fantasystock.deviantart.com/

He was in his usual spot. I had dropped the bag of groceries on the kitchen table and went into the living room. I don’t know why I expected something else. Hope? I sighed. “You’re home early.”

He popped the top on another beer. Three empties littered the side table next to his recliner. “I was let go.”

My heart sank. Things were already tight. I walked around to stand between him and the history channel documentary on the black plague, arms crossed against my chest. “What happened?”

“Told me things were tough and they had to let someone go.” He took a sip and belched. “It happens.”

I nodded. It happened a lot to him. “You were drinking on the job.”

“I had a couple of beers at lunch. No big deal.”

I closed my eyes. I knew better. “And the whiskey shots at break?”

“A pick-me-up is all.”

I could feel the tears beginning to form so I went back to the kitchen to put the groceries away. A fast inventory of the fridge and cupboards made my stomach churn. There wasn’t much on hand. I’d been planning a big shopping expedition this weekend. Now that wouldn’t happen. I made tea and sat down at the table with a legal pad.

He came in, tossed his empties in the recycling bin and got four more beers from the fridge. For some reason, there was always money for beer. He didn’t even look at me before he went back to the living room. I started the list, mortgage, car payment, electricity, water, those were the most important. Then TV, phone, and internet, a combined payment that was lower than doing them separately. The phone and internet were important, that’s how he’d look for work. Groceries, ’cause we had to eat, but I knew how to pinch that particular penny. I knew to the last cent how much each of those bills cost; I was the one that paid the bills every month. The only bill with any give was the grocery bill. I drank the last of my tea, gone cold. My pay wouldn’t cover the bottom line.

He’d been so sweet back in college. Not scary aggressive like the rest of the boys. He played me soft love songs on the quad in the shade of a giant, ancient oak on his guitar. He read my tarot cards, each of us on opposite sides of his dorm room bed, the cards spread out in front of us. Sure, other guys vied for my attention. But I always came back to him. We married right out of college.

I didn’t notice the drinking at first. We all drank in college. After, it was get-togethers with people from work—kegs, now that we all had jobs and money to spare. Those friends dropped out after the babies started coming. Soon, it was just the two of us, uncomfortable with our friends since we didn’t have children. My heart constricted as I sat at the table, turning my tea mug around and around in front of me.

His drinking became a nightly thing. I didn’t realize there was a problem until he came home, fired, five years ago. One of his co-workers told me why when I saw him and his wife in the grocery one day. Drinking on the job. They were so sorry, they said. I nodded, the blush making my face hot. We had a three-hour screaming match when I got home. He promised he’d change. It worked, for awhile.

Now, this was the fifth job in as many years. I turned the kettle on for another cup of tea. Should I go in and confront him? Would it make any more difference than it had the last four times? I put a fresh tea bag in my cup and poured the boiling water over it and sat back down. The pad in front of me sat accusing, the bottom-line figure taunting me. Could I get a second job? My current job was nine-to-five and not very stressful. Maybe I could do something from home.

I was so tired of this fight. I went into the living room and pulled a footstool in front of him. “Do you want to change?”

He blinked at me; already a six-pack into the night’s drinking.

“Do you care at all?”

“Yes.”

“Do something.”

He muted the TV. “I tried.”

“Not hard enough.” He looked tired. No, beaten. My words made his face fall even more. “I can’t pay all of the bills on my salary. You have to get another job.”

“No one will hire me. Word is out.”

Rage washed through me. “Then DO something! Go into rehab! Quit cold turkey. I cannot do this anymore.”

He sat forward in the recliner and took my hand. “I can’t help it.”

I could feel something inside of me snap. He was pathetic. A loser. Why was I struggling with this man? I stood up. “You can move into the spare room.”

He blinked at me again. “What?”

“I’ve had enough. You can move into the spare room. I can’t afford to leave. I’m still responsible for the house and the bills. You get yourself together or get the hell out.”

I stood up and went into the kitchen. My hand shook as I picked up my tea mug. Did I just do that?

He shuffled into the kitchen, shoulders slumped. He handed me a small box of my favorite chocolate truffles. “Happy anniversary.”

I automatically took them, staring at him. An icy wave washed over me. Was he for real? I took the two steps to the trash can and dropped the box in.  I took my tea, went to my bedroom, and locked the door. There was no going back.

 

Thank You!

970 Words

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

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Valentine’s Day Weekend: Monday Blog Post

Valentine's Day Hello by Connie Cockrell

Valentine’s Day Hello by Connie Cockrell

Valentine’s Day was yesterday, did you celebrate? My husband and I don’t do much for it. I gave him a card, which from year to year may or may not happen. He took me to breakfast. That’s it. Both of us feel it’s a Hallmark holiday so don’t pay it much attention though with all of the ads on TV and the posts about how to make the Day romantic, well, it’s tough to miss. The picture at the top is one I posted for the holiday. Hubby took the picture of the humming birds at our feeder last July. They’re rufous hummingbirds if you live on the east coast and have never seen one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rufous_hummingbird They’re extremely aggressive toward the ruby-throated and other humming birds that frequent our area.

I have some breaking news. I’ve been invited to be a guest blogger on the site, CoolErbs.com on Wednesday the 17th. What’s great is that I get to talk to his readers and my readers get introduced to a new author, one, hopefully, you’ll like and want to read. Wins all around. He’ll be guest posting on my blog soon. I’ll let you know the details once they’re finalized.

Kindred Spirits is back from the editor. Now it’s up to me to take it through the final edit and begin formatting. I’m still looking for people interested in receiving an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today! Time is running out for an advanced ‘look see’ at the third book, and if I may say, the best book, in the series. You’ll want to get this in advance of your friends.

News from  the Phoenix-Scottsdale MysteryCon (http://www.azmysterycon.com/) that will be held on June 3rd and 4th. Final details are being communicated and I’m getting excited about it. I hope to see your there!

I mentioned last week that the darned mint is growing again. I spent about half an hour digging the bed all the way down to the ground and sifting roots out of it. I’ll have to keep an eagle eye out for new sprouts. In that same bed I see sprouts pushing up like daffodils but maybe they’re spring onion. The bulbs lived all summer in the purposely un-watered bed while I tried to kill the mint. Good for them. In another bed the parsley is re-sprouting. I dug it up and transferred it to a different bed as the one it was in will be tomatoes this year.

Last week we had a new sliding glass door installed. It is a bigger door than the old one so the installation involved cutting the wall out, reframing it, installing the door then finishing the walls, inside and out. Hubby spent Friday and Saturday repainted the whole wall the door is in, just to be sure there’s no strange paint color contrasts. One last step is required. The contractor will be back today to provide a fix for the carpet. Because we moved the edge, there’s about a six inch gap in the carpet at the door. Other than that, it’s done and I love it.

The Lovestruck Authors Giveaway ended Sunday, the 14th! I put up my book, Recall, signed, as my first prize and an Amazon Gift card as my second prize. The grand prize is $150 in Paypal cash.  Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter. I’m awaiting the list from the organizer for the prize winners. I’ll contact them directly.

Did you miss the Lovestruck Author Giveaway? No worries. The Luck O’ the Author Giveaway is starting. I’ll have the link up on my Facebook and Twitter pages. The more times you enter, the better your chances to win. I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you who sign up for my website, newsletter, Amazon Author page and Facebook page. Thanks for participating.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you missed it, leave a comment in the sign up form and I’ll send you January’s 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 shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. You’ve already missed out on great offers. Sign up now.

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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Superbowl Weekend: Monday Blog Post

Mint

Mint

Superbowl! Did you watch? My hubby and I were invited to a friend’s house to watch. She is a die-hard Bronco’s fan and I had my fingers crossed for her. I’m not a big football fan so I was really there to watch the great commercials. There were some great ones though I was disappointed that Budweiser didn’t use the Clydesdales this year. Which was your favorite?

Kindred Spirits is back with the editor. I had to do some re-writing and of course corrected all of the errors my editor found the first time around. Apparently I am never going to learn when to use an m-dash or an ellipse. I have improved on putting the hyphen into hyphenated words. I’m still looking for people interested in receiving an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. I may have it whipped into shape by the end of January for a February release. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today! Time is running out for an advanced ‘look see’ at the third book, and if I may say, the best book, in the series. You’ll want to get this in advance of your friends.

Over the week I booked my hotel room for the Phoenix-Scottsdale MysteryCon (http://www.azmysterycon.com/) that will be held on June 3rd and 4th. I’m so looking forward to that and the entry fee is pretty reasonable. If you’re a mystery reader, I think you’ll enjoy the conference. I hope to see your there!

I’m also going to be on January Jones web radio show, Sharing Success Stories, this afternoon, February 8th, 5pm Eastern, 3pm Arizona time. I’ll be on with my author friends Susan Haught www.susanhaught.com/ and Bonnie Bahn www.fourcaratpress.com/our-authors/bonnie-bahn/ who have both released new books this month. You can hear the show live at www.w4cy.com.

My Author Interview feature runs on the 10th and this week it is Susan Haught. Susie writes lovely romance. If you’re a romance reader, you won’t want to miss her interview. By the way, she just released her newest book, A Promise of Fireflies, now available on Amazon and other ebook retailers. Check it out!

The weather here in central Arizona is warming up. If you remember from last summer, I was trying to eradicate mint from my deep garden bed by not watering it. I went out on Saturday and looked at my beds. The darned mint is growing again. I’ll continue to try and dig it out but the wet winter here isn’t helping me kill it. Also my daffodils are poking up through the remnants of snow. Spring is coming! I posted a picture of them poking through the snow on my instagram account, https://www.instagram.com/conniesrandomthoughts/, check it out!

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you missed it, leave a comment in the sign up form and I’ll send you January’s 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 shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. You’ve already missed out on great offers. Sign up now.

The Lovestruck Authors Giveaway ends next Sunday, the 14th! I have put up my book, Recall, signed, as my first prize and an Amazon Gift card as my second prize. The grand prize is $150 in Paypal cash.  Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter. The more times you enter, the better your chances to win. I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you who sign up for my website, newsletter, Amazon Author page and Facebook page. Thanks for participating.

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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Too High For His Nut: Friday Flash Fiction

Hands

Take These Hands by theblueraja via DeviantArt.com

Too high for his nut — beyond someone’s reach. “That clay-bank hog wants the same pay as a Senator; he’s getting too high for his nut,” according to a grammar-corrected version of the Oakland, Calif., Tribune on Jan. 12, 1885.

Logan stared at the guy sitting next to him at the bar. “You what?”

“I think,” the guy took a long pull from his sixth bottle of beer, “that everyone should get paid the same.” He belched. “I mean, I work hard. Why shouldn’t I get paid enough to buy me a yacht or a fancy vacation house?”

“Taylor, just because you work hard doesn’t mean that you should get paid the same as the CEO of Arizona Banking and Loans.” Logan took a drink from his beer stein.

“Just because you’re a computer programmer doesn’t mean you should get paid more’n me.” Taylor glared at his old high school buddy.

“You’re a laborer, Taylor. I told you in high school you should get on with an electrician or plumber, but no. Digging ditches and hauling cement around a work site paid good, you said. You didn’t want to be bothered with the certifications.”

Taylor flagged the bartender for another round. “That’s still true.” He slid a ten dollar bill across the bar when the drinks arrived.

“That’s why you don’t get paid like someone who took the time to get an education. You can’t have it both ways.”

Taylor turned on the stool to face his friend. “You callin’ me stupid?”

Logan sighed. “Of course not. But you didn’t want to do the extra work, so you don’t get paid as much as I do, let alone a CEO.” He could tell his friend was getting mad. It never did work out well when Taylor was drinking. “Look, why don’t I drive you home.”

“I just got this beer.” Taylor upended the bottle and drank half of it down. He slammed the bottle on the bar. Several customers and the bartender turned at the noise.

“Fine. Finish up then I’ll drive you home.”

“I can drive.”

“Not after six brews, buddy. Better safe than sorry.”

“You’re not smarter’n me,” Taylor slurred.

“Never said so.” Taylor pushed the still full mug of beer back and stood up. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”

The bartender came over. “Everything okay over here?”

“Yeah,” Logan told him. “Me and my buddy are leaving.”

The bartender nodded. “Drive safe.”

Taylor drained his beer and slid off of the barstool. He wobbled when he stood. Logan took his friend’s arm and began to direct him to the door.

“Everybody should get paid the same,” he muttered as they walked by the bar.

“What a load of crap,” one of the customers snorted.

Taylor pulled away from Logan. “What’d you say?” His hands formed fists.

The customer turned around. “I said that was a load of crap. You’re too high for your nut.”

“What the hell does that mean?” Taylor shouted.

“Doesn’t matter.” Logan grabbed Taylor’s arm and shot the customer a sharp look. “We’re leaving.”

Taylor glared at the man but allowed himself to be led away. “What does he know, anyway.”

They reached the door and Logan pulled his friend outside into the darkness. “Not a thing, buddy, not a thing.”

After dropping his friend at his house, Logan drove home. He thought about what the stranger at the bar said. Too high for his nut, that’s a good one. I’ll have to remember that for the next time one of the other programmers makes a mess of the code.

 

 

 

The End

597 Words

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

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Individual Scalloped Sweet Potatoes: Chicklets In The Kitchen

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Finished individual scalloped potatoes with green beans and sirloin steak

One of my favorite dishes is scalloped potatoes. My mom taught me to make it in a huge pan and nestle pork chops into it for a delicious one pan meal that fed two parents and six hungry kids. I have posted a gluten-free version of it on this website in the past. Today I’m sharing a recipe I saw on a Facebook post. Have you ever done that? Seen something that looked tasty on Facebook and gave it a try?

Well, I did, mainly because this recipe looked easy and used very few ingredients. I love my traditional scalloped potatoes but it involves a lot of steps. Hey, I thought, let me try this easier version.

Hardware

One 12 cup muffin tin

Bowl (to hold potato slices)

Mandolin (or sharp knife)

 

Ingredients

One large sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 tsp dried thyme, or fresh if you have it

1 pint heavy cream

Vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

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If you have a mandolin, it makes the job faster and easier but using a knife is just as effective. Be sure to get sweet potatoes. There is a difference between the light yellow sweet potatoes and the dark orange yams we’re used to having at Thanksgiving. The yams would certainly work as would regular potatoes. Lots of options.

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In the bowl, mix the potatoes, melted butter, salt, pepper, and thyme.

IndiScallopedSweetPotato008.JPG

Lightly oil the muffin cups. Layer the potatoes in each muffin tin.

 

See the rest of the post at Chicklets In The Kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your favorite potato recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com.

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Keeping up the Pace: Monday’s Blog Post

D'Elen McClain at APW January meeting

D’Elen McClain at APW January meeting

Hiking and bronchitis update. I did not go on last Tuesday’s hike. As expected, the water was running high and fast. At least two hikers slipped on wet, algae-covered rocks and landed in the stream. I’m still coughing. It seems as though I cannot get my lungs clear. I continue to take the allergy meds the doc gave me and use the puffer to open airways. The hope is that with the airways open, the congestion left in my lungs can be coughed up. I hope so. I’m beginning to worry about using that puffer every day. This Tuesday’s hike is to the south of Payson. I’m planning on going on that. I haven’t been hiking since the week after Christmas. I need to get out of the house!

At last week’s monthly Arizona Professional Writer (APW) Rim Country Chapter meeting our speaker, D’Elen McClain, spoke on using social media to build our author platforms. We had a great turn out for the talk and a lot of enthusiasm from several people on using Twitter. The Thursday APW Phoenix chapter meeting panel on self-publishing was also very well attended. There was a lot of interest by traditionally published authors and even self-published authors on what our experiences were with the process.

My story, The Reunion, was rejected but FreezeFrameFiction.com included their reader’s comments on what they felt didn’t work with the story. That kind of feedback is invaluable and I’m very grateful that the publisher took the time to provide it. If you’re interested, you can find more about the company at http://freezeframefiction.com/ or on Facebook at facebook.com/freezeframefiction.

Kindred Spirits is still in edits. I’m glad my editor is so thorough but it takes time to get through everything. I’m still looking for people interested in receiving an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. I may have it whipped into shape by the end of January for a February release. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today!

Mystery in the Woods is moving forward. After a review of my scene cards, I realized one of the plot lines had been left hanging. I am fleshing out that part of the story and continuing to write on it. My enthusiasm for my Jean Hays story has been renewed. I hope to have this book out in late May so I can bring it to the June MysteryCon in Scottsdale, June 3-4.  More on the conference later in this post.

Vision Quest, the short story set in the Brown Rain series I mentioned last week is finished. Not only was it a fun little story but I used it to foreshadow upcoming series books. When the anthology comes out, I’ll let you know so you can buy a copy.

My next Author Interview posts Wednesday, January 27th, and is on author Katharina Gerlach. I hope you enjoy reading about Katharina as much as I did.

The Lovestruck Authors Giveaway is well underway. There are over 40 authors involved in this giveaway so there are books and prizes galore! I have put up my book, Recall, signed, as my first prize and an Amazon Gift card as my second prize. The grand prize is $150 in Paypal cash.  Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter.  I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you who sign up for my website, newsletter, Amazon Author page and Facebook page. Thanks for participating.

I’ve updated my Where Will I Be page on my website. The MysteryCon I mentioned above is on there with details about how to attend. Also listed are all of my planned January Jones, Sharing Success Stories, web-radio interviews. As other events come up, I’ll post them there. Oh! Just saying that made me remember that I didn’t put the Payson Book Festival on there. The festival is on July 23rd, 2016 again at the Gila Community College campus. I hope you can make it here. We already have a fantastic array of award winning authors attending, some from last year and there are several new authors attending this year. Mark your calendar. I’d love to see you at our Book Festival.

I put out the January newsletter on Saturday, the 23rd. I have a couple of contests in there. Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you missed it, leave a comment in the sign-up form and I’ll send you January’s 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 shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. 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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Writing, Meetings, Personal Appearance: Monday Blog Post

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

I’m still recovering from bronchitis. However, on Sunday, I went with the morning walk group and even though it was thirty-seven degrees, didn’t cough all that much. The walk was about three miles. I’m thinking about doing the hike on Tuesday with the Payson Packer C group. That’s the group I usually hike with and which my hubby leads. We’re going south, where it’s warmer but into a canyon with a year round stream. Since snow is still melting off of the mountains, I know that stream is going to be running high and we have to cross it several times. Hmm, I’m up for it breathing-wise but do I want to chance getting wet in an icy cold stream. I’ll decide Tuesday morning, I think.

Other fun stuff this week includes my usual Monday morning meeting with three other authors that live here in Payson. I love our Power Hour meeting. Also, this week is the Tuesday hike which I’ve already mentioned, and Wednesday is the monthly Arizona Professional Writer (APW) Rim Country Chapter meeting. We have a great speaker, D’Elen McClain, who’s going to speak on using social media to build our author platforms. It should be fun. Then on Thursday, I’m at the APW Phoenix chapter meeting where I’m on a panel with three other authors to talk about self-publishing. Full details are here.

My story, Bell Ring, was rejected again and is out again. My poem was rejected as was Eavesdroppers. I’ve sent Eavesdroppers back out. It’s harder to find a good poetry market. Cross your fingers for me that they’re all accepted. Kindred Spirits came back from the editor’s hands on Sunday morning. I took a brief look at the edits on Sunday but I’ll be using this week and next to make changes. I’m also looking for reviewers to send an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. I may have it whipped into shape by the end of January for a February release. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today! Above is a draft of the front cover. What do you think?

I re-read my unfinished draft of Mystery in the Woods and am pleasantly surprised at how much it doesn’t suck. I distinctly remember being very discouraged with it in July, part of my reluctance to get back into it. Now that I know it isn’t as bad as I remembered, I can get going on it again I’d like to have that first draft completed by the end of January. I know that’s ambitious but it’s already at 35,000 words, halfway done.

I’ve started a new short story, Vision Quest. It’s set in my Brown Rain series and Alyssa is heading off on a vision quest in Spring, just before they leave their winter home with the Ogonqwa in the Kindred Spirits book. The story is for an anthology being put together by fellow students in a recent on-line class for building our author platforms.  The theme is Journeys and what better story for me than one set in my Brown Rain universe where every book is a journey? The deadline for submission is end of March but I know I’ll have the story done long before that deadline.

Last Wednesday (the 13th) my new website feature, author interviews, went live. The first author was B. C. Mathews. She was a wonderful visitor to my website. I hope you enjoyed reading about her. I’m posting an interview twice a month, so the next one will be January 27th, Katharina Gerlach. At the end of the interviews are links to each author’s website, Amazon page or wherever else they have stories for you to read. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I am enjoying having these excellent authors on my site. Enjoy!

As soon as the Santa’s Christmas giveaway was over, the Lovestruck Authors Giveaway began. There are over 40 authors involved in this giveaway so there are books and prizes galore! I have put up my book, Recall, as my first prize and an Amazon Gift card as my second prize. The grand prize is $150 in Paypal cash.  Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter.  I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you who sign up for my website, newsletter, Amazon Author page and Facebook page. Thanks for participating.

Last week I mentioned I opened up my Instagram account. I’ve also opened a Periscope account. I haven’t posted a video yet, though. Do any of you use Periscope? Maybe you use Youtube? Do you like watching videos from your fav authors? If you do, what would you like an author to talk about? Maybe you’d like something more interactive, like a Google Hangout chat? Tell me what you think.

January’s newsletter is coming out soon. 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 shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up, you’ve already missed out on two great offers. 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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