Happy Thanksgiving and NaNo Week 3: Monday Blog Post

happy-thanksgiving-2016

Newest News:

If I don’t get to it this week, I want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I don’t have any family nearby except my brother-in-law. Usually we go to a local friend’s house but this year they are feeling under par so I invited them, and the brother-in-law here. I’m excited. I haven’t made Thanksgiving dinner in about four years. Time to get back in the saddle! I’m making the cranberry sauce we always had when I was growing up and my friends are bringing their go-to sweet potato casserole. We’ll all feel right at home. What is your must have dish for Thanksgiving?

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

This is the end of week three of the 2016 National Novel Writing Month. As of the end of the day, Sunday, I have over 45k written. My fourth Brown Rain series novelette, Tested, is done and my already started short story, a space opera, Jania, Princess of Tania, is also done. Sunday I began work on a short story I started in October and never finished that’s currently titled, Granny. That’s kind of a supernatural. It was intended for Halloween but I didn’t get it done. No matter. It’ll be ready for 2017. So, only 5K to write to win the NaNo challenge. I’ve been posting pretty much daily over on Imzy.com/conniesrandomthoughts. For example, yesterday I posted a snippet of the Granny story and a recipe for snickerdoodles. Check it out!

 

Giveaways:

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

writers-colony-press

I’m also going to be on Facebook for an event called Writers Colony Press Holiday Indie Extravaganza. The event runs December 3rd and 4th. Writers Colony Press publishes anthologies for charity. The Longest Night Watch Volumes 1 and 2 are to raise money for Alzheimers. We dedicated them to Terry Pratchett, and Gene Wilder. The other Anthology out is “Stardust Alway’s” for Cancer research, and dedicated to Alan Rickman and David Bowie. And also, to our very dear friend Stacy Whitemire who passed away recently. She will be greatly missed. Find some new to you authors today and do a good deed for charity. Come join our extravaganza. Lots of authors will be on the event page sharing books, contests and fun. A couple of contests have already started. You could win a prize, or two! https://www.facebook.com/events/364089737264705/ Click on the Discussion tab.

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Then later in December, on the 17th, is the Brain to Books Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler. Every year Brain to Books hosts a Holiday Book Giveaway. This year, our giveaway is a CyCon Sampler. Get a sneak preview of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention. While you’re here, we have a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out to someone along with a list of books we’re giving away! Here’s what’s happening.

1 – Browse the Author Takeover displaying sales, giveaways, games, prizes, etc.

2 – $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

3 – Holiday Book Giveaway

4 – Blog Hop (YA, Science Fiction, and Romance)

5 – Vote in Character Tournaments

It should be a lot of fun and who couldn’t use a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

You’ll find us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/624679124381085/

 

Shout Out:

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I’ve just begun reading the book, Hild, by Nicola Griffith. https://www.amazon.com/Nicola-Griffith/e/B000APEZ4W. The historical fiction follows Hild, from the time she’s three years old, in ancient Britain. The story is compelling and the writing is lush. I just want to roll around in the words, they’re so rich. Check it out and her other books as well. I think you’ll enjoy them.

 

Garden News:

The Meyer Lemon tree, the bay leaf tree and the jade plant have been moved inside for the winter. That’s it for gardening news until spring.

 

Where Will I Be?

Do you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. I’ve been posting daily updates on my NaNo progress there including snippets and random pictures. Enjoy.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Newest Book Release:

troubled-streets-graphic-meme-004

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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Memorial Day! Monday Blog Post

MemorialDay2016

Newest News:

I have resolved my video issues with my multiple cameras and Windows 10. Not exactly sure how I resolved it but it seems to work and yay! I have a new vid on YouTube for my newsletter. I’m taking that as a win. Want to see it? Sign up for my newsletter! See the instructions below.

Giveaways:

The Spring Into Reading giveaway closes in June. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway 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 ways to enter. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, please enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

Today is Memorial Day. Lots of posts on Facebook about how it’s all about the dead today. I had planned a meme card with a pic of me and my hubby in uniform and Happy Memorial Day in tasteful lettering in the upper left corner. But after all the posts I’ve decided not to post anything. My family has been fortunate not to have lost anyone in a war. Grateful, actually, since my father and his brother served during the Korean conflict. I served during Vietnam as did my husband. My two brothers just after that and my daughter served in the Air Force. Now my niece, in the Air Force, and my nephew, in the Army are serving. I suppose I could construct a meme card with a flag or a candle and honor the day but I’m ticked that the posts imply I shouldn’t honor my warrior family just because we didn’t die in combat. So. Here I am. Honoring my warrior family.

Garden News:

I haven’t taken pic but my peach tree branches are just bent to the ground with the baby fruit. I need to get out there and remove the crowd so the remaining peaches get huge! Yep. I should do that. Tomato plants I planted last week are thriving. Need to dig out my bean seeds and get those in the ground. Watering, watering. It’s spring and no rain forecast until July. How’s your garden growing?

Where Will I Be?:

Mystery Con Flyer

June 3rd and 4th I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. Did I mention this is a reader conference? It’s all about the mystery reader so you really need to register. I’m giving a presentation at 3pm on Saturday on cozy mysteries. The conference is THIS WEEKEND! Tickets for both days (Friday evening author book signings and Saturday presentations) are only $39. I do hope you can make it. Here’s a flyer telling all about it. Register in advance on the site so we know how many are coming to lunch, then email me or comment here that you registered. I’ll put your name in for a drawing of a special prize for one person on both Friday night and Saturday at my presentation. The prize? A bracelet, hand made by me, with Kindred Spirits as the theme. I’m done with the book marks. I’ve made the bracelets. I’m the last presentation of the day on Saturday in my room, so if you want any of my books autographed, buy them at the book seller and bring them to the presentation. Can you make it? Email me.

Color Color Arched Book Logo w Event Date 2016

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival, partly funded by the Arizona Humanities. 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.

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. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Newest Book Release:

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

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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February: Ready, Set, Go! Monday Blog Post

Aspens in the Woods

Aspens in the Woods

It’s February already! Since I’ve spent most of January sick, I feel like I’m way behind the curve. Projects I thought would be done by now are just barely started. Ugh. I did what I could and now I’ll pick up and do my best to make progress. Update, I was still coughing too much to go on last Tuesday’s hike. I’m definitely going on the hike on the 2nd. It’s time to get back to exercising. I hope you all are getting your exercise. What’s your favorite? Mine is hiking. Do you skate, bike, go to the gym?

I’m just finishing the edits and rewrites for Kindred Spirits. I had hoped to have it finished by Friday but that didn’t happen. No matter. I’ll get it to my editor today or tomorrow. That means I’m very close to releasing! 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.

I managed a few more chapters for Mystery in the Woods. It’s still several chapters from being completed. Who likes mysteries? I’ve loved mysteries since I read my first Miss Marple book. Like the cop shows on TV, I’m always trying to guess who the killer is. What is your favorite mystery story?

How did you like Katharina Gerlach’s interview last Wednesday, January 27th? She’s an awesome author and I hope you took a look at her list of books. I’m sure you’ll find something you like. The next author up 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!

Did you know that your library lends ebooks? They do! I’ve been working to get my books on the library catalogs. It’s not complete yet but I’m crossing my fingers that it will be soon. I’ll let you know when it has actually happened. Then you can go to your library and borrow one of my books in ebook format! I think that’s so cool, don’t you?

Do you love to enter contests? I put two contests into the January newsletter released on Saturday, the 23rd. Also in my newsletter, a new feature, a short video by me! The one in January’s newsletter was less than a minute. A test, if you will. Did you like it? February’s will be longer, perhaps two minutes. I hope you’ll comment back. 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 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. This giveaway ends at midnight on February 14th, so start clicking. 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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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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Merry-Go-Round Blog Post: Conclusions

Goal by oscarsnapshotter via DeviantArt.com

Goal by oscarsnapshotter via DeviantArt.com

Goals? Arrggh, I haven’t looked at my goals since May, I think. Let’s see what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t. I feel like Santa, checking my list, lol! So much has happened to me this year I really need to think about what is new and what isn’t. I’m including May’s status first, then my current status.

Status:

1. Goal: Upgrade my blog site to a real website

MAY: The blog is half transformed. If you look for www.conniesrandomthoughts.com, you’ll find it but I’m having trouble getting into it from the WordPress side. I also want to dress it up better. Many of the cool things I had on my blog did not transfer over to the website. I have to figure all of that out. Stay tuned.

DECEMBER: The blog is now a website. I seemed to have lost all of the WordPress followers, maybe not, but I am signing up new followers so that’s a good thing. Goal achieved.

2. Goal: Research the pros and cons of selling my books from my own website. If it seems good, get that page set up.

MAY: No activity

DECEMBER: Research the pros and cons of selling my books from my own website. If it seems good, get that page set up. I haven’t begun selling from my own site, but I am selling directly on Gumroad.com which allows me to sell both paperback and ebooks. I have to sell the paperbacks from my home, which means I need a supply of each book on hand to satisfy any buyers. So far, I don’t have buyers but, that could change. I am also selling directly on ChateBooks.com. ChateBooks is a great, reader-friendly site. Every book has its own chat! So until my sales increase, I’m sticking with these options for direct sales. After that, I will re-examine selling directly from my own website. I’m calling this, goal achieved

3. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2015

MAY: One book published in January. One (from November) is being edited. The 3rd book in my brown rain series is drafted. A new series, All About Bob, has the first book drafted.

DECEMBER: I published a second book, Mystery at the Fair, in July. That was it. I wrote 2 novellas, and part of one novel and am finishing up a second novel manuscript from November’s NaNo. Hopefully next year I’ll get more out. Goal not accomplished.

4. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

MAY: Participated in April Camp NaNo! Yay, a small win for me.

DECEMBER: Participated in July’s Camp NaNo drafting Mystery in the Woods, which is not finished. Also in the November NaNo with my Zoe Ohale book. So this goal was achieved.

5. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

MAY: Working on my 2013 2YN story, Mrs. Claus. Maybe.

DECEMBER: Mrs. Claus is not completed. No other Christmas story was written. Goal not achieved.

6. Goal: Submit a story to the 2015 FM Anthology.

MAY: Had an idea, changed it, haven’t messed with it in two months. It may be part of the May Story a Day or the July CampNaNo.

DECEMBER: In late June I took a flash fiction I had written and as part of July’s CampNaNo, expanded it into a full short story. I did submit that to the anthology. Goal achieved.

7. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

MAY: Still working on the How to Write a Series Expanded class. Holly’s been putting it together slowly, that’s what being on the beta group means. No matter. I don’t mind working slowly.

DECEMBER: With all of the July, September, and November activities and October’s vacation, I didn’t get back to the World Building Class. I also haven’t finished the Write a Series Expanded class as Holly got sick and then has been totally involved in a complete site rebuild and revisions of her major workshops. Will have to pick both of these back up in January. Goal not achieved.

8. Goal: Develop a schedule of contests for short story submission process

MAY: I have the schedule of contests. What I don’t have is good material to submit. Working.

DECEMBER: I have submitted to a couple of the contests from the list I generated before May. I didn’t feel I had a lot to send off.  Goal achieved.

9. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

MAY: Participating in MAD. So far 4 stories drafted.

DECEMBER: Completed 10 flash and short stories in May. I thought that was pretty good. Goal achieved.

10. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books.

MAY: Appeared at an Arizona Professional Writers lunch in February. Did a book signing locally in March. Plan on a book release in July and an appearance at the Payson Book Festival on July 25th. Have my tickets and table for the InD’tale conference in September.

DECEMBER: I did the July book release, and was an author at the Payson Book Festival. I attended the InD’tale conference in September. In October, while on vacation, did a book signing in Gloversville, NY. In November I had a table at the November 14th VETFest in Avondale, and did a workshop in Pine for the Pine/Strawberry writer’s group. I also did a workshop in Camp Verde in November, Critiquing on a Shoestring. The addition of Gumroad.com and Chatebooks.com is also part of the increase in opportunities to get my name out there. Goal achieved.

11. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

MAY: All ready to appear at the book festival.

DECEMBER: Participated. Goal achieved.

For me, 2015 was a year mostly successes! Three goals were not achieved but progress was made on them so I don’t feel too bad. How about you? Did you have a few goals for 2015? How did you do? What would you do differently? I’d love to hear your comments.

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

 

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

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Anything But Quiet: Monday Blog Post

Jade Plant with Christmas Decorations

Jade Plant with Christmas Decorations

It’s the middle of the month and my supposed quiet month is anything but. I’m working on two non-profits, with no respite since their actual operational dates. I know I shouldn’t put so much energy into them but both are dear to my heart. I have mentioned in past weeks about my editing projects and trying to get my Mystery and NaNo novel to finished 1st draft. None of that has happened. What I have started is a project for another writer, formatting her book. That has been a struggle but I think I’m about done. It had to be converted from PDF to word, which made the formatting that much harder. On the positive side, she’ll have a word doc that she can actually work with once I hand it back. That’s a win in my book. Aside from the 21st and 22nd, the remaining days of the month are actually appointment free. I may get things done after all.

I took my Christmas boxes to the post office last week. It only took half an hour in line to get them mailed out. I count that as a win. My friend, eight people in line behind me, was there over 45 minutes.

On the Christmas front the front yard is decorated beautifully. Best of all on Saturday we had snow. All day the trees were frosted but that didn’t last long. By sundown, most of the snow had melted. I was hoping by the time the outdoor lights came on there’d be snow to offer a frosted effect but that did not happen. A little sad but that just means my Sunday walk with friends was less slippery. I have the tree up and the cloth picture we cover with wrapping paper to tape received Christmas cards is hanging up. The rest of my interior decorations I’ve left in the bins and taking back out the garage. Other than my jade plant, the tree and the card display, I’m not going to put up any other decorations. My heart just isn’t into it. No real reason except I keep thinking about all the work to put them up only to take them down in two weeks. Just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

I had a January Jones web radio show scheduled for today but January is travelling. If you missed my show last week, you can go to my Media tab and the Recorded Interviews sub-heading to find links to any of the six supporting stations broadcasting last week’s show. Author friend, D’Elen McClain, was on with me. A two for one deal. Please listen. We talk about our work, how we go about doing it and even some personal Christmas stories. By January I’ll have my 2016 appearances, at least the ones I have scheduled so far, up on my Where Will I Be tab. Take a look. If you’re in the area, please stop by and see me. I’d love to chat with you.

I’m excited about Christmas, despite my reluctance to decorate inside my house. My daughter is coming to visit, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, depends on other family obligations. I’m going to try and convince her to come Christmas Eve. I’ll make duck for dinner. When we were stationed in England, I always bought a goose, an English tradition, for our Christmas feast. Goose isn’t available here so duck is the next best thing. I love duck and can’t wait to share it. I’ll have the traditional mashed potatoes and green beans and from my own family, cole slaw, or as my people say, cabbage salad. I’ll make cranberry sauce too, the fresh kind with ground up cranberries and orange. There’s nothing better in my opinion.

I mentioned last week that I started an Instagram account. I’ve posted a few pictures since last Saturday’s Electric Light Parade. There are pics of our Tuesday hike to a spot called the Spanish Ruins, putting up my tree and even Saturday’s snow. 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 getting down to the last two weeks 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.

If you are an author, please take a look at the Holly Lisle How to Revise Your Novel, offer. It ends Tuesday (the 15th!) at mid-night. I 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’d like to turn your NaNo novel, or any other manuscript, into a work that can be published, you want to sign up for this workshop. Click on this link to sign 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 Christmas decorating 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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Merry-Go-Round Post: Favorites from 2015

Nettle pod 2015 by Randy Cockrell

Nettle pod 2015 by Randy Cockrell

Oh my! New stuff!

So much has happened to me this year I really need to think about what is new and what isn’t.

One thing that is new is my love of a new to me author, Nevada Barr. I started writing cozy fiction last year and published my first work this year. See the subtle nudge at the end of this post. Anyway, my brother-in-law lent me his collection of Nevada Barr stories set around her protagonist Anna Pigeon. I love this series. First of all Anna Pigeon is my kind of gal. She loves the outdoors, fancy dress is not for her and to be honest, she likes her cat better than most people. What is not to love? I’ve read mystery for years, starting with Miss Marple stories by Agatha Christie. Anyway, I thought it was time to read some newer stuff. There is SO much out there and to be honest, I love it all. Anyway. If you’re looking for some new mystery fiction, check out Nevada Barr.

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

 

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

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Provoking: A Monday Blog Post

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Do you watch the show Madam Secretary? I do. I love the show. I know. Much of it is way over the top. Every week it’s an international crisis. That begs the question, what would we do? That’s what the show is really about. What would we do? What is fair? What is appropriate? What should our policies be on SO many issues? It’s a show, regardless of its grand-standing, which asks, what would we do? What should we do? Big questions.

Anyway, I get to my question in a round-about way. As an author, no matter the genre, the goal is to ask, What if? What if the girl is angry and then falls in love with the very person she’s furious with? What if the government decides (and by that I mean what if the “people” decide) that offspring of criminals cannot expect any governmental assistance? What if, as a society, we allow corporations to run roughshod over our rights as human beings?

Today’s post is different. I am poking the bee’s nest, if you will. I’m provoking, and on purpose. As an author, I want to tell a story. Since my favorite genre is science fiction, I’m used to the story making me question, making me look at reality in a whole different perspective. All of the other genres do the same, some with more subtlety, perhaps than SciFi or Fantasy do.

So, tell me, what’s your beef? What are you passionate about? Is it about the lack of budget to take care of our mentally ill? Is it about our food and the control the big conglomerates have over what we eat? Do you fume over the fact that our major “food” companies have an express mission statement to take over the control of all drinkable water on the planet? What about the distance in income between the richest and the poorest in our society? What’s your beef?

I’m here to tell you that stories, whether they’re mysteries or romances, SciFi or Noir, Westerns or Erotica, is talking to you about the issues that you are most passionate about. If you have a favorite genre, it’s because that form of story speaks to you and what you’re passionate about.

So, that’s all I have to say. I want you to question. I want you to be passionate. Love the authors that speak to you. Support them! Buy their books. Respond to their Facebook posts. Follow them on Twitter and GoodReads. Sign up for their newsletters. An author cannot write in a vacuum. They need to pay the rent, buy groceries, purchase clothing and food for themselves and their children. You are a patron of the arts. Support your local author.

I’m appearing on November 14th in Avondale, AZ to sell and sign books. I hope to see you there. See http://www.historicavondale.org/vet-fest.html

I’m teaching a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing. I have an entry for that 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, just in case. I’m working on a Zoe Ohale novel so if you’ve liked the flash fiction, I have a short story about Zoe in the upcoming Forward Motion Anthology, and now, this!

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.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Feel free to comment.

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 shareable, 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 or Gumroads today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: What I’ve Learned from my Favorite Authors

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Cover Reveal by Connie Cockrell

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Series by Connie Cockrell

Last month we talked about my favorite genre being Science Fiction. I read a lot before then but other than Gone With the Wind, which I first read at twelve, I don’t remember any of the stories. I was a regular at the classroom library and the school library but there was no lasting impression.

What did impress me was that box of books I mentioned last month. Notable in there were books of short stories by Robert Heinlein and Issac Asimov. I fell in love with Heinlein’s, Podkayne of Mars, and Asimov’s robot stories. In high school I dove into the much larger science fiction section. There I found Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula LeGuin. As a young adult I found C.J. Cherryh and Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon.

Now there are newer authors like Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Each of these authors is skilled at world building. They can transport me, for an afternoon at least, to another world. Usually one with more problems than we have right here but in the long run the hero or heroine saves the planet by challenging the status quo and insisting that their society do the right thing.

I suppose I’m in love with these authors’ ability to take a look at existing problems and come up with a new solution. They also alert us to the possible consequences of what we’re doing right now. Whether that’s environmental disaster or Artificial Intelligences, makes no difference. They can point and say, “Look! This is what might happen if we don’t smarten up!” This has influenced me greatly in my outlook on new technology and in my optimism that somehow, we’ll get through these problems.

So, for me, it wasn’t one author, it was the whole field of speculative fiction. How about you? Do you have an author who has influenced you? Share in the comments!

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

 

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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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: What Genres do I like to Read and Write?

A New Start: A Gulliver Station Story

A New Start: A Gulliver Station Story

My very favorite genre is Science Fiction. When I was a young teen my friend received a whole box of SciFi books from someone who gave them away for a paper drive. I spent the whole summer with my nose in those books. I found the worlds fantastic and the ability of Science Fiction to explore an alternate way of life has not lost its charm for me yet.

I also like mystery stories. I discovered Miss Marple, by Agatha Christie when I was 19. I thought it was wonderful that an old lady was going around solving murders. This might have been the first time I was exposed to the idea that the elderly could do more than sit around in a rocking chair, knitting.

Then there are the westerns. I live in Zane Grey country and so many of his stories have been made into movies that I’ve lost count. Really, who doesn’t love Sam Elliott in a Zane Grey western? What I like about western stories is the thought of taking off from settled towns and cities and travelling thousands of miles in horse-drawn wagons and making a new life for yourself. Actually, westerns and scifi have a lot in common. The same themes seem to run through both genres.

Other genres I read? Thrillers, Spy Novels, Women’s fiction, Young Adult, I read it all. If the story sounds promising on the back of the book, I’ll look at the first chapter. After that I’m sold.

As to what I write? I’ve written SciFi: My Gulliver Station and Brown Rain series. I’ve written Fantasy: Lost Rainbows, and I’ve written Mystery: Mystery at the Fair, the first of my Jean Hays series. I’ve written westerns too, though only as short stories so far, and posted them on my blog. I haven’t tried my hand at a spy novel or a thriller yet. I have drafted a Young Adult, It’s All About College. It’s waiting to be edited.

What are your favorite genres to read?

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

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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