Wrapping Up October: Monday Blog Post

Fall Color

Fall Color

Newest News:

Oh my Gosh! It’s the last full week of October. Are you planning on attending any parties this coming weekend? Hubby and I are. I’m going as a Ghost Buster. Fun! I’ll try and post a pic in next Monday’s blog post.

If you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites, you’ll see some changes. If you don’t follow me on those sites, why not? You can find all my links here.

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

In my efforts to prep for November’s National Novel Writing month I’ve been writing blog posts (not the Monday posts) and newsletters and my flash fiction Friday stories in advance and scheduling them to be sent out on the appropriate days. That means even if I’m deep into Tested, my 4th Brown Rain series book, you don’t miss out on those free Friday stories or my Chicklets in the Kitchen post at all.

troubled-streets-graphic-meme-004

Troubled Streets is out! Hooray! It’s already up on Amazon, both as an ebook and as a paperback. It’s also now up on Kobo and Barnes and Noble. See my links at the end of this newsletter. I’m very excited to have the 1st book about Zoe Ohale out and into reader hands. As always, if you get it, I’d appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes and give me a review.

Giveaways:

spooktacular-author-giveaway

The Halloween Author Group Giveaway is still going until the end of the month. You can find the Rafflecopter link on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Recall, or for second prize, a copy of my Halloween Tales ebook. Over a hundred prizes from 30 authors plus a grand prize of $100 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day!

13-days-of-halloween

I’m also going to be on Facebook for an event called Thirteen Days of Halloween. From the 19th, a number of us authors have been on the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1103648499703425. Scroll all the way to the bottom to See All Discussions. I’ll be on the site on the 31st at 6pm Eastern time. Yes, I’ll remind you next Monday. I’ll have some giveaways myself but don’t wait for me. The group I’m working with have some event prizes as well as the individual prizes the authors are giving out during their hour. So stop on by. There’s a complete list of the author schedule under About as you scroll down the event page in the Details. Find some new to you authors today!

 

 

Shout Out:

Author S.C. McCole

Author S.C. McCole

Author S.C. McCole is on tap to talk to us during my author interview on Wednesday. A multi-talented person and world-traveler. If you can’t wait, you can find him on facebook at facebook.com/SCMcCole.

Garden News:

I watered the lemon tree and the bay leaf tree and my jade plant since we haven’t had rain in weeks. I’m tired of the garden at this point. I should take some time this week and clean it all up before the November NaNo madness. The question is, will I have the gumption or not? How about you? Is your garden clean-up done or do you still have some growing season left?

Where Will I Be?:

matfatdogearedpagesbookstore

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were kind enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I sent one out on Sunday with all kinds of news. 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

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, Smashwords, Gumroads or Chatebooks today! I’m still getting it loaded onto Gumroad and Chatebooks. You can also see all my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. 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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NaNo Prep: Monday Blog Post

Bear Canyon Lake

Bear Canyon Lake

Newest News:

Spent Saturday the 15th in Scottsdale for the Arizona Professional Writers State Conference. Oh my gosh! So much information. And time to renew acquaintances with the people I see only once or twice a year. Because of the presentations, I’m planning some social media changes. If you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites, you’ll see some changes. If you don’t follow me on those sites, why not? You can find all my links here.

This week I’m getting ready for National Novel Writing Month. This will be my sixth one. My first one, and where I picked up the writing bug, was November 2011. The challenge is the same. Write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. I’m as excited about it now as I was in 2011. This year I have some notes to write the 4th Brown Rain novelette, already titled, Tested. I also have a short story, partly written, to finish and other projects, if I finish with that.  I’ll be doing some tweeting and Facebook posts about the process for sure.

Troubled Streets is out! Hooray! It’s already up on Amazon, both as an ebook and as a paperback. It’s up on Smashwords and other places. See my links at the end of this newsletter. I’m very excited to have the 1st book about Zoe Ohale out and into reader hands. As always, if you get it, I’d appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes and give me a review.

Giveaways:

14355594_10153990683271317_3995576374014877399_n

The Halloween Author Group Giveaway is still going until the end of the month. You can find the Rafflecopter link on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Recall, or for second prize, a copy of my Halloween Tales ebook. Over a hundred prizes from 30 authors plus a grand prize of $100 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day!

Shout Out:

Author and Social Media Consultant, Raleigh Pinskey. Raleigh was one of the guest speakers at the APW conference on Saturday and I enjoyed every minute. You can find her on Amazon at: http://www.raleighpinskey.com/ or on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Raleigh-Pinskey/e/B001ITXFFO.

The other guest speaker was Ric Hinkie. Ric is a multi-talented speaker, writer and business professional. Funny and inspirational, Ric kept us riveted with his presentation on how to fast forward our career to thrive as a writer. He can be found at: https://twitter.com/rhinkie, or at http://www.richinkie.com/.

I recommend both speakers for your next conference!

Garden News:

Some critter has killed the Swiss Chard and is slowly nibbling to death every single broccoli plant. Very disappointing. Some tomatoes are left and I’m picking them. Leaves are starting to turn yellow on the fruit trees but without a frost, it’s a slow process.  How about you? Is your garden clean-up done or do you still have some growing season left?

Where Will I Be?:

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were kind enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

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, Smashwords, Gumroads or Chatebooks today! I’m still getting it loaded onto Apple, Gumroad and Chatebooks. You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. 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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Ambush: Flash Fiction Friday Post

The Arrestra by Jay Richmond at http://bit.ly/1SsjrfT

The Arrestra by Jay Richmond at http://bit.ly/1SsjrfT

Zeke wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his wrist. The grit scratched like a rasp. He would have used his bandana but it was caked with the mud of his sweat and the dust. The donkey plodded around the arrastra, crushing the gold bearing quartz so he could get at the gold ore.

It seemed like it had taken forever to build the thing. He had to level the ground then water it heavily until he could smooth the caliches into a cement-like floor. Hauling water from the creek took more than a week with nothing but empty gunpowder casks to use as barrels, and that was using both donkey and horse to move the water.

Finding the wood to use for the arms and center of the arrastra was another problem. He’d had to cut, trim and haul the right sized trees to his site. The central pivot and the rock crusher pole had to be installed and assembled. He decided to attach the donkey to the rock crusher pole as best he could. Fitting it all together was a nightmare, especially as he should have put the center pole in the ground before he made it hard as cement and he’d only had some old-timer’s word on how it went together. Zeke had wanted to bash his own skull in with the pickaxe before he managed to get the set-up to work.

The crusher was the final problem. It didn’t seem possible to move, let alone carve rocks big enough to be useful. He walked around and around the empty arrastra trying to come up with a plan. The old miner told him he needed two flat-bottomed drag stones, one at the end of each arm. He had the chain. But finding rocks in the creek, then dragging them to the camp, then drilling holes in them drove him to distraction. After a long search he found two rocks, about the right size, beggars couldn’t be choosers, and with his mismatched pair of haulers, dragged the rocks to camp, drilled them out and hooked them to the newly assembled arms. It was easier to dig the damn quartz than to build the arrastra. When it was done he sank to his knees, and wept.

Three nights later a noise penetrated Zeke’s exhausted sleep. He heard his horse, Butter, whinny—it seemed wrong. Too far away.

He tossed off his wool blanket and rolled to his feet. If that horse has broken free again I’m going to shoot it. This is the fourth time in a month. He pulled on his boots without bothering with socks and grabbed his rifle.

Zeke stepped into the night. A half-moon in a star-studded sky provided a little light. At the picket line the donkey stood, looking to the west. “Damn horse.” Zeke patted the donkey to reassure it before moving in the direction the donkey was pointing.

He whistled softly then called, “Butter, Butter,” in a low voice. He didn’t want to spook her. Zeke stubbed the toe of his boot on a rock. I’m gonna trip and break an arm out here in the dark. If I had any sense I’d go back to my bedroll till daybreak.

Just as he decided to go back to his tent he heard Butter nicker. He followed the sound, grazing a prickly pear cactus in the dark. The thorns stabbed him in the shin and despite wanting to catch the horse, had to stop and pull the spines from his leg. Butter whinnied. She sounded close.

“Butter?” Zeke heard the horse stamping. “Come on girl. She’s close. He followed the noise and in a moment was at the horse’s side. “Hush, hush,” he whispered to her as he stroked her neck. Butter shivered. “Let me untangle your lead.” Zeke struggled in the dark to remove the reins from an acacia. “You couldn’t have got tangled in a shrub oak?” he asked the horse as the acacia thorns caught in the skin of his hands.

Something whizzed past his head. He dropped the lead and hit the ground. Butter danced around him. Zeke hoped he wouldn’t die by trampling from his own horse. More whizzing. Something hit the ground a foot away from him. He reached out and grabbed it. An arrow! The Apache were on him. The old timer’s stories raced through his mind.

“They take your horse in the night, boy. You think your stock has wandered off and you go out, barefoot and unarmed. That’s how they get you, sonny!” The old coot cackled at his bad joke.

Zeke tried to swallow around his dry mouth. Not so funny, old timer. But he had his rifle and a handful of rounds in his pocket. Please Lord. Let it be enough. Leaving Butter to her own chances, he rolled behind the acacia not knowing if the Apache were all in front of him or he was surrounded. He fired a shot into the dark where he thought the arrows came from.

He was rewarded with the sounds of scrambling. “There’s more where that came from.”

More arrows fell around him. The thickness of the acacia main branch saved him from one. Zeke fired again. More scrambling and a hoot. Did he hit someone? He fired toward the sounds and hoped, his heart beating out of his chest. Was he going to die?

Butter pranced left, then right, rearing and snorting. It was the distraction Zeke needed. He rolled to his left and crab walked on hands and feet what seemed a long distance ignoring the cactus spines that stuck in his hands. Butter ran off into the dark.

Sounds of running, then more horses, then horses running off. Was it over?

Zeke hid behind a boulder, rising with the sun to a deserted landscape. He swiped a dirty sleeve across his forehead and limped back to camp. He hoped Butter would be there but he called it a wash. He was alive and that’s all that counted.

 

 

Thank You!

1008 Words

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

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Favorite Conventions and Events: Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

Payson Book Festival 2015

Payson Book Festival 2015

I was about to say I’ve only ever been to one convention but then re-read the rest of the prompt. I can include National Novel Writing Month (NaNo). Not mentioned might also be Book Festivals. Well now, I think I have something to talk about.

InD'Tale Conference 2015

InD’Tale Conference 2015

Let me talk about my only convention. That was the In’DTale convention in September 2015. I went with a Romance author friend and I had a blast. First of all, there’s all the excitement of talking to other authors. They get it when you say you’re worried you can’t figure out the ending. They also have all kinds of great tips and tricks for writing, for marketing and promotion, and for, well, everything. There’s a lot of learning going on as well. There were workshops scheduled all day. I went to one titled How to put more Sex in your Book. It was a romance convention after all. Then there were the after-hours parties where we could get to know each other better. I’m still emailing and facebooking many of the women I met at that event. Definitely worth the money.

CNW_Participant

Then there is National Novel Writing Month. (NaNo) I did my first NaNo in November of 2011 and while I didn’t get into the forums on that site too much, I did look at the forum for Arizona Elsewhere. This is the spot for us Arizona authors that don’t live in one of the big cities. Here I met a lot of cool people and was invited to join their usual home, the Forward Motion writer’s group. I’m so glad I did. There was and still is a lot for the new author to learn and this group really helped me along the new author path. I haven’t missed a November NaNo or the Camp NaNo’s that have been held since. These are ready made groups ready to commiserate with your writer’s block, your search for just the right word or your lack of motivation for the day.

Book Fest032

Finally, let’s talk about Book Festivals. There was nothing in my area for book festivals. There were art festivals, art walks, art shops and art auctions but nothing for writers and I knew there was a writer community here, I just didn’t know where they were. So I decided to start a book festival. Talk about high energy. We held our first one last year in Payson, AZ and it was a huge success. People came in the morning and stayed all day they were having such a good time! We’ll be holding it again this year, July 23rd, at the Gila Community College. This was a fantastic opportunity for the authors to meet readers and create interest not only in their own books but in reading in general. I am so glad I dragged others into my mad plan.

One of these days I’m going to go to a SciFi convention. The Phoenix ComiCon is just down the highway after all! I can hardly wait.

Kindred Spirits released March 14th! I’m so 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 http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. 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. Check out the rest of the tour starting at http://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/favorite-conventions-2016-merry-go-round-blog-tour/.

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It’s January So That Means Goals!

Goals! Of course. It’s the start of the year and yep, I do have a list of things in mind to help guide myself along my writer’s course in 2016. You’ll note that I’m only talking about writing goals. I could put a lot of other goals in here but that would lead to chaos. Let’s just stick to the writing goals.

  1. Goal: Start an author interview post on my website for 2X per month.

Note: I began this process in November when I put out a call for authors who’d like to be interviewed. I posted the first interview on January 13th, one of our own Forward Motion authors, B. C. Mathews. I loved how she answered the interview questions. You can see that interview here.

  1. Goal: Submit stories to newspapers/magazines about my appearances before and after each appearance.

The thinking here is that this goal is one of several to help me increase my readers. It’s hard for most readers to find new authors. This is one way I can help increase my visibility.

  1. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2016

I had this as a goal for 2015 and only published two books. This year, though, I already have two books in the editing process, one book finished and resting before editing, and another book about 2/3 finished. I also want to do a collection, probably science fiction, of pieces I really loved and posted on my blog. I’d have to select those stories, polish them up or maybe even expand them, and then edit and publish. That leaves one more book. I’d like to do a Christmas book. I may draft that at the April Camp NaNo. I’ll see what I can think of between January and the end of March.

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

I mentioned the April Camp NaNo in goal 3. But I like to do the July camp and the November NaNo as well. After all, I have to have something to publish in 2017, don’t I!

  1. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

Again, see goal number 3. I love to read Christmas stories. Aside from A Visit from St. Nick, the first Christmas story I remember was The Gift of the Magi, by O’Henry. I read that story in grade school and it always stuck with me. It’s become my yardstick for what a good Christmas story is all about.

  1. Goal: Submit a story to the 2016 FM Anthology.

This is one of those goals that may be out of my control. If Forward Motion doesn’t have a 2016 anthology, I want to submit a story to some other anthology. In any event, it will get done.

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

This is another one that may be out of my control. The How to Write a Series class is dependent upon Holly Lisle’s health and her ability to finish writing the class. The other one, the World Building class, that one is within my control. So, it’s up to me to schedule the time to improve my writing!

  1. Goal: Submit at least 20 stories to contests/magazines in 2016

I might have been ambitious here. However, I have already subbed: Bell Ring, Rest (a poem), The Reunion, and Eavesdroppers, to various magazines. My stories Gold Dream and After Math were subbed in late December so I’m counting them for 2016 as well. That makes 6 stories out by mid-January. Not a bad start.

  1. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

May Story A Day is a writing challenge on the Forward Motion site. We can try for a story every day of May or set ourselves a goal. My usual goal is twelve stories. That way I can write short stories instead of just flash stories and I have a pool of stories to apply to number 8!

  1. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books to 12.

This goal works hand in hand with number 2. I’m trying to expand the number of readers of my books.

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

This goal is a no-brainer. I’m the organizer of the event. Unless I’m deathly ill, I’ll be there.

You’ll notice I don’t have the goals in chronological order. I put them down as I thought about them. It doesn’t bother me that they’re not in order. I’ll get to all of them sooner or later. How about you? Do you have a few goals for 2016? What’s driving them? 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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Completed! Monday Blog Post

NaNo-2015-Winner-Certificate-Halfsize

Completed! I completed my National Novel Writing Month Challenge! I hit 50,000 words on Saturday the 28th. That felt pretty darn good. The book, however, is not completed. I may have about 10,000 more words to go on Zoe Ohale. That’s what I’m calling this YA book. I may change the name later but that’s it for now. It will be out mid-late 2016.

I have begun the process of editing both Kindred Spirits, the 3rd book in the Brown Rain series, and All About Bob, the 1st book in my All About Bob series. The ‘Bob’ book needs a title. I may hold a title writing contest for my newsletter folks. See below for how to sign up. I still need to finish Mystery in the Woods, which I started in July. Those of you who are waiting for the next Jean Hays book, I promise, I’m working on it.

I’m going to be on the January Jones web radio show, Sharing Success Stories, on both December 7th and December 14th. The show on the 7th is me wrapping up 2015. The show on the 14th is a Christmas show. I have links to the show on my Where Will I Be page and the times. I hope you tune-in to listen.

I’ve been signing up authors for my new feature, author interviews. I’m leaning toward every other week, on Wednesdays. What do you think would be a good day to post them?

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. I’ve put up the two books in my Brown Rain series as my main prize. I also put up my Christmas Tales book as a second prize. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

The mornings here in Central Arizona have been cold, with hard frosts. Most of the garden has died off. However, the parsley, the sage, and the rosemary are still good to cut. I love being able, this time of year, to walk outside my back door and cut fresh herbs. I put a small bunch of sage in my giblet stock on Sunday, when I roasted a chicken. The chicken was sprinkled with a lemon zest, salt, pepper, sage and rosemary mixture both inside and out. I stuffed the bird with cut up orange, lemon and apple. Best roast chicken ever.

Holiday gift giving. I’m making candy to send to my mom and siblings and my daughter. They all enjoy the dark chocolate confections I make. Are you ramping up your holiday buying? I have decreased the prices on all of my books. Right now, the most you’ll pay is $2.99. That makes it very affordable to buy the whole Gulliver Station series or the Brown Rain series. I even have a middle grade book, Lost Rainbows, which I’ve put on sale for .99. Yep, Ninety-nine cents. Several other of my books are also .99. You can check them out on Chatebooks.com, Gumroad.com, or find links to many other sellers on my website, My Books, page.

Chatebooks.com is a new reader/author site that allows readers to connect directly to authors. Each book has its own forum space. You can ask questions, leave comments, and tell your fav author how much you liked the book. You can find my books by searching on my name or use this direct link. https://www.chatebooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Connie%20Cockrell  I’m very excited to be able to provide multiple platforms for readers to find my work. Chatebooks, as the name implies, is only for ebooks. To get a paperback copy of my books, go to Gumroad.com/ConnieCockrell or to Amazon.com. Both of these platforms can sell both ebooks and paperbacks.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve brought all of my Christmas decorations out of the garage and am prepping to put everything up.

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

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

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NaNo Break: Monday Blog Post

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Since my last Monday blog post, it’s been crazy. I managed to get a few words written this week but for the most part, the week, at least concerning NaNo, has been a loss. I’ve only written two days out of the seven. Since today is the 23rd, that means I have only seven days left to get to 50,000 words. On Saturday I had 35.3k finished. That means I need over 2k per day to finish NaNo. I think I can do it. The rest of my month, except for Thanksgiving Day, is appointment free.

I attended for my first time, the Arizona Fair Commission Conference. I’m so glad I went. We’ve not attended, by we, I mean the fair board in general, this conference in years. It was way past time to do so. Several nearby fair managers, have all volunteered to help us out. It was so nice to be among such passionate people. I learned a lot about fairs, entertainment, management and organizational skills specific to fairs. I can’t wait to share it all with the rest of my board.

I taught a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing. What a wonderful group of writers. Everyone, no matter their skill level or time as a writer, had excellent points to offer on the topic. I think we all learned a lot! I know I did. I enjoyed meeting a whole new group of writers. They all have such unique points of view. I can’t wait to read more of their work.

I’m compiling a new feature on the site, author interviews. I don’t know about you but as a reader, I’m always on the lookout for authors new to me to read. I think I’ll start the new feature in January. Perhaps one article every other week to start. If you like the feature, please be sure to comment. I have to assume that no comments means that you’re not interested and I’ll drop the feature after a time. So, be sure to let me know what you think of the posts!

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

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

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving full of family and friend love and good food.

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

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

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Wild Ride: Monday Blog Post

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

VetFest table for Connie Cockrell

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

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

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

Some of the VetFest Authors

Some of the VetFest Authors

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

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

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

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Monday Blog Post: Birthday News

Payson Book Festival, Banner,  Chamber of Commerce

Payson Book Festival Banner at the Chamber of Commerce

There’s only 7 more days until the festival and we’re finalizing all of the tiny details required to be completed before we have our author Meet and Greet on Friday and the Festival on Saturday. Banners have been hung around town. TV, Radio, Blog and Newspaper interviews have been conducted all over Arizona. Posters are up. We’re ready!  I hope you can make it to Payson on July 25th, 9am – 4pm, and stop by the festival to say hello!

If you missed any of the interviews or media releases or want to read the proclamation, click here to find everything.

So Friday was my birthday. A hiking friend of mine had her birthday a week earlier. We’re the same age. Twins! So we had a joint birthday party on Saturday.  We belong to many of the same groups so we sent out an email to all of our friends to join us. We had a blast. Burgers and dogs, salads, cake, cookies, watermelon and oh, way too much food! Below is a picture from the party.

Birthday Cake, Connie, Ruth

Birthday Cake for Connie and Ruth

Mystery at the Fair is released! I’m happy that I have it done and was able to buy copies to have for the Book Festival. So far it’s only up on Amazon. Soon I’ll have it up on other sites: Apple, Barnes and Noble, and a few others.

Camp NaNo progresses. I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to hold two major functions, release a book, and write 50K in a month but there you go, certifiably crazy. As of today I have over 30,000 words.  I’m working on the second Jean Hays series book, Mystery in the Woods. When will it be out, you ask? No idea. I have two other books, that I wrote in April, waiting for editing. Maybe you can tell I’m not as enthusiastic about the editing and rewriting part as I am about writing the first draft.

The garden is looking wonderful. I’ve picked four zuchinni already and harvested the potatoes. Now I’m in the process of not water the bed where the mint has run amok. I’m going to have to let that bed go until I can dig out all of the mint. The tomatoes are looking good even though none are ripe yet. This is Tomato Hornworm season so I have to carefully examine the plants. The damage a tomato hornworm can do is incredible.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I have a special offer going up in my newsletter, sign up today! Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

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

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