NaNo, Facebook Hop, Giveaway ending: Monday Blog Post

Have a Happy Halloween!

Newest News:

I’m still prepping my NaNo story, Mystery at the Reunion. I’m getting excited because NaNo starts in 2 days!

The cover designer has not sent me my Brown Rain covers and I’m both disappointed and upset. It’s going to delay my release.

Starting today, I’ve joined over 70 authors to conduct a 4 day Facebook hop. What is that? Each of us has an hour on our Facebook author page to run a contest, play games, and promo our books. I have from 4 – 6pm Eastern today on  https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts/. Sign in and join me for the fun.

Malaysia Mosque with Muslim pray in Malaysia – Depositphotos_108130076_original

I continue to write my serial, Slave Elf. I wrote another Slave Elf episode yesterday. I’m really enjoying this story. You can find the first episode here.

Giveaways:

Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or $150 in Paypal cash? Drop by http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Spooktacular Authors Halloween Giveaway. There are 2 days left so get it now!

2018 Planner

I have started a contest over on my newsletter. What? You don’t get my newsletter? That’s a shame. But see below on how you can join in on the fun. I already have several people writing in to enter it. It runs to the end of October, just 2 days away, when I’ll use a random number generator to select the winner. Let me know you’ve joined the newsletter and I’ll send you the information to enter.

P.S. By the way, you can get the pictured mug at: https://www.gearbubble.com/gbstore/conniesrandomthoughts

Shout Out:

Rita and her mom!

I’d like to give a shout out this week to Payson Book Festival author Rita Reger.  Rita is the author and illustrator of the children’s series, The Adventures of PEPE QUACKAMOLE™. I caught up with her and a few other Payson Book Festival authors at the Cottonwood Book Fair being held during the Cottonwood Fall Festival. If you’re looking for children’s books to give this holiday season or for birthdays, you can’t go wrong with her series. You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/rita.m.reger/.

 

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

On December 9th I’ll be at the Mesa Book Festival. Get full details at https://mesabookfestival.com/. I’ll be in a booth with my author friend, Marsha Ward. www.MarshaWard.com. Between the two of us, we have a large number of genre’s covered. Come get your Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. The festival runs from 2pm – 8pm.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts 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.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st and 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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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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Monday Blog Post: March is Here!

InD'Scribe Conference

InD’Scribe Conference

Big news, I’ve signed up to attend my first ever writer’s conference. It’s called InD’tale Con and is being held in Palm Springs, CA on September 17 – 20, 2015. I’m pretty excited. I’m catching a ride with another author from Payson and I expect we’re going to have a lot of fun. If you’re around Palm Springs at that time, stop by my signing table and say hi!

I’ve also arranged a book signing for March 21st at the Scoops Ice Cream store here in Payson. I put info out on the radio, the newspaper and put up posters all around Rim Country. If you’re in town on the 21st between 1 and 3pm, stop by to grab an ice cream and chat. You can find both of these events and the July Book Festival on the Where Will I Be? tab on this website.

I’ve managed to create a couple more chapters in my All About Bob story. Poor Bob. I’m being pretty mean to him. I’ve also begun the planning and outlining for my next Brown Rain book, not sure what I’m calling it yet. Rest Stop, has come to mind. Anyway, in this book Alyssa will be the main character though Kyra will have a lot to do as well. I’m planning to write it during April’s Camp NaNo. I still need to edit Mystery at the Fair. I’d like to release that in May, and have it ready for the summer reading season and for the July Book Festival and the September conference.

The Payson Book Festival planning is moving right along. You can see the information on www.PaysonBookFestival.org if you’d like. Kick-off pricing on author tables, half price now ends March 15th. Hurry, sign up for a table, you can share a table, too, to make your costs even less. Fill out the Author Registration and get that in to us so we can reserve you a table. They’re going fast at this great price.

I’ve sent my short story, After Math, to my content editor. I hope I’ve rewritten it enough to change the feel of it and make my main character the girl I had in my head. I’d like to get it circulating, maybe even sold.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Challenge The Spy/Bride Post

P1010937-1000x750 RAF Chicksands Priory by SBuxton https://www.lumixgexperience.panasonic.co.uk/gallery/sbuxton/chicksands-priory/#.VFW7LPldWo0

P1010937-1000×750 RAF Chicksands Priory by SBuxton https://www.lumixgexperience.panasonic.co.uk/gallery/sbuxton/chicksands-priory/#.VFW7LPldWo0

Here’s the deal. I was informed of this cool web site: beyardandholmes.com (http://bayardandholmes.com/2014/10/22/new-release-and-the-spy-bride-contest/)   and a challenge they are running. Here’s their challenge:

 We are inviting all bloggers to write a post about absolutely anything espionage or wedding related. Link back to this post to be entered in a contest for a $25 Amazon card and a copy of RISKY BRIDES.

Write about your favorite Bond movie, your favorite historical spook, or how you used to spy on your siblings. Tell us about your wildest bachelor party, you favorite wedding, or your worst bridesmaid’s dress. If you manage to write about both spooks and weddings in the same post, you’ll have your name entered twice.

So, really, how can I go wrong?

Here’s the post.

As some of you may remember, I spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. One of the best assignments I ever had was to RAF Chicksands in the United Kingdom. It was a small, tranquil base about an hour north of London. We didn’t have planes. We had antennas.

The antennas were for listening to what was going on in Europe. I’m sure if anyone is interested they can find information on the internet about “Elephant Cages” and what information was being gathered.

What I liked about the place was that it was an excellent location for my family. We arrived there just as my daughter was turning eight. She was sure that because her name was Elizabeth, she’d be invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. Unfortunately that never happened but we did stay there for two tours. We left that idyllic base when my daughter was 16.

One other aspect of the base that was a real draw was that the base had a Priory. An old religious cloister sat smack dab in the middle of the base. It was the hub of many social activities. It never hurt that it had a ghost. Halloween parties were a huge deal. But the place was so lovely, many a wedding was held there. There was a volunteer organization that worked to fund building repairs, keep the gardens up, and just make use of the place.

That was by far my best assignment and many of us that served there still chat via social networks. It no longer serves as a military installation and the Elephant Cage is long gone but the Priory is still there, and I expect, still hosting weddings.

In other news:

By the way, NaNo has started and I’m just ahead of my target goals. I love that. Then if I have to miss a writing day, I’m not all behind and weepy.

I’ve also developed a cover for the cozy mystery I’m writing. Just for giggles, I’ve loaded it on my Pinterest page. Check it out: http://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/ That would be my My Books and Stories board, Mystery at the Fair is the cover pin.

That thyme? I got it down, spent an hour and a half picking the leaves from the stems and hung both rosemary and sage to dry.

Last week I talked about Christmas Cards. No can do. But, I’m not giving up my candy making. I’ll try and do some steps in advance in November that can be held in the fridge until I’m ready to complete them and get the tins in the mail.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo

Antro-Calendar- Cinco de Mayo by Golden Druid via  www.deviantart.com

Anthro-Calendar- Cinco de Mayo by Golden Druid via www.deviantart.com

Cinco de Mayo in America seems to mean having a big party with tex-mex food and margaritas or Mexican beer. I’m all for parties, tex-mex and margaritas, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a celebration of Mexican victory over France’s imperialism. I’m all for independence so yeah, a celebration is in order. Hubby and I will be having chicken tacos/burritos for dinner. The lines blur at my house over those two things. Not to worry. It will be tasty no matter what flour or corn conveyance we use.

This month I’m continuing the writing habit with my writing site’s May Story a Day. I’ve committed to writing at least 10 stories this month. Yep, we don’t hold ourselves strictly to a story a day. What I love about this is that at the end of the month, I have a lot of stories drafted. Some I publish right away on my blog, if they’re flash fictions. But I don’t hold myself to flashes. Some stories go longer and those or my favorite flashes, go into my pile of stories that I send out to magazines, ezines and contests.  Still trying to make a name for myself and attract an audience/fanbase. In the meantime, I’m still writing. While I am writing, I’m doing the final edit for my next book to be released, Hard Choices. I am still looking to release the end of May so as my daughter says, I need to get crack-a-lackin’.

April’s Camp National Novel Writing Month, https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in  is done and I made some sort of math error so didn’t write 50K words, which was my goal. No matter. I finished my novelette, 2 short stories and made a big dent in my novel.  I’m still writing on that and on my 2YN novel about Mrs. Claus.  I’m solidifying a habit to sit down and write 1000 to 2000 words per day. Editing though, not my favorite thing.

The local area has entered the summer season. The first craft fairs have been held, the local artist community has held its annual tour around town to various artists homes, and yard sales are proliferating like mushrooms after a rain.  Things get busy in my little town in the summer.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Please sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get first dibs on any promotions, book announcements, and other information.  Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. I don’t send newsletters out often so sign up and get those cool things I save just for newsletter recipients.

I have an in depth interview on my Smashwords Author page. You can read it here.  Don’t see information about me you’d like to know? Leave me your question in my comments and I’ll try to answer it.

The Challenge: A Gulliver Station Story released March 23rd! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Status of May’s Goals

May has been hectic to say the least. I’m not sure I even remember everything but here’s my recollection of how I did.

– Write 4 Flash Fiction Friday Stories (one per week)

I wrote more than 4 but missed one Friday posting.

– Update my Blog and Facebook Fan page (Both are titled ConniesRandomThoughts) weekly

I updated regularly.

– May Story A Day

Finished with 12 stories, two over my goal. Not every one is a gem but I’ll set them aside and one day I may actually fix them up and publish them.

– Submit Recall to Publisher or Self-Publish

I did finish Recall and on May 27th, self published it. I designed the cover and my hubby gets credit for the photography on the cover. I’m pretty excited because I think it’s the best story I’ve written yet. It can be found for purchase on CreateSpace, Smashwords, and Amazon.com.

– Begin revision of TriPoint

I actually started my revision a couple of months ago but with the April Camp NaNo and the May Story A Day, I let it drop. I’ll pick it back up now and try and get it done in June.

Other stuff not in the plan.

1. Signed up for and completed a Holly Lisle Flash Fiction course. That generated 5 flash fiction stories for May Story a Day.

2. Entered a Holly Lisle short story contest and actually had my story, A Taste of Copper, accepted for her anthology! It will be out sometime in July.

3. Entered a Scribophile contest and was not selected as the winner but I had enough confidence in the story to enter it in the Writers of the World contest for the 3rd quarter. I won’t hear a thing until late September.

4. Today I cleared the wreckage from my computer desk, putting things away and digging out my TriPoint story to continue its revision. Now I’m ready to get serious about finishing that revision and outlining my July Camp NaNo story.  I’ve signed up on a different site, http://julnowrimo.com/ for my July efforts. Several of my Forward Motion friends love the site so I thought I’d try it out for the next book in the TriPoint series.

Here’s hoping your May was productive and your June will be a success!

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April’s Camp NaNo

For those of you who have been following my blog I’ve mentioned National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo or NaNo, before. In April and in July, the organization offers Camp NaNo, just because we’re (writers that is) not crazy enough.

Anyway, I had this idea for a series. Stories about a fictional space station. I’ve been writing what I consider to the the first book of the series this month as part of the Camp NaNo challenge. (Writing 50,000 words in one month.) I’m not happy with my book. It seemed fine enough in outline but it’s not working. Yesterday is the first time in the 20,000 words I’ve written so far that I actually had a writing day that wasn’t a drag.

This is the first time since participating in the NaNo challenge (this is my 4th one!)  that I’ve had such a poor experience. I already know the problem. The book is boring. It’s cerebral, not much action. I’m growing as an author if I can figure that out for myself. So I’m happy in that regard. I’m going to keep writing this book, because I know it can be a compelling story. Yesterday was a good start.  I just have to keep that action and excitement going. Then in a couple of months, go into revisions with a heavy hand to improve the first half.

In the meantime, I just reissued my first book, The Bad Seed. My inexperience was obvious when I put it out. I’ve spent the last two weeks reformatting it so that it now looks more professional. It should be available on Kindle tomorrow. I’ve priced it fairly low, (the ebook) at $2.99. If you buy it, I’d appreciate a review on Amazon.com.

Oh, and happy Tax Day!

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August NaNo Finished

Whew,

I wrote over 3000 words yesterday to finish my August National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short).  It finished with about 50,600 words, the working title is Recall.  I like the way it ended but even while I was writing it I was taking notes on places that I need to fact check, reword  or generally make more descriptive.   The title needs work too.

That will come later, December or January.  I need space from it right now to give me better perspective on it later.

Now, I can focus on Flash Fiction Friday, preparing my outline for the November NaNo and next week, I’m the Northern Gila County Fair VP of Exhibits.  I’ll be very busy next week!

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