NaNo, New Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So today is day 13 of the National Novel Writing Month. Yesterday I reached over 26k words on my fourth book of my Jean Hays series, Mystery at the Reunion. I’ve been pantsing (writing by the seat of my pants, no outline), since day four. I have one more chapter to write to bring the book to a close. The problem is that I’ll only be at about 28k words, nowhere close to winning NaNo. What’s a girl to do? Why, weave in a new plot line, of course. I’m not sure what, yet, but it may be from the bad guy’s point of view. We’ll have to see when I start writing tomorrow.

On my new class on Vision Boards, I completed the first module on Saturday. I’ve compiled a list of places to hold the workshop and decided on a date, with two backup dates. I’ll be making those phone calls starting Monday. I’m excited about this. I’ve even begun drafting a tab on my website to be a Vision Board contact.

Giveaways:

The Spooktacular Authors Halloween Giveaway is over and the winner’s list was compiled. I’ve contacted all of my winners (three of them!). I hope they like the prizes.  The Christmas Giveaway has begun. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

Madeline at the Northhampton Diner. Waffles!

A shout out to my mom, Madeline, today. She checked into the hospital yesterday with pneumonia. Nothing to ignore if you’re an 80-year-old woman. Hugs from across the continent, mom. Hope you feel better soon!

 

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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Special News! How To Revise Your Novel!

Well, National Novel Writing Month is over. Whew! Due to travel, I missed several days and it took me just about down to the wire to make my fifty-thousand words. How about you? How did you do? Did you finish your novel? Have you read through it yet?

I know when I finished my first one, way back in November 2011, I was so excited. I’d actually written a whole book. While I was writing it, I was seeing the whole thing up on the big screen. I could see me on the red carpet on opening night dressed to the nines and waving to adoring fans. I imagined opening up the New York Times and seeing my name on the top ten list. Writing that book was an amazing accomplishment and I took December off to celebrate.

When I returned to my manuscript in January and read through it, I liked what I had done but it was rough, gangly, moving in fits and starts and jumping from one plot hole to the next. I knew something else had to be done with it. But what? I’d heard that editing was required before a manuscript could be published, but I didn’t know how to go about it.

I started to look around. Soon I found this author’s site that offered a class that would help me, step-by-step, revise my novel. The author is Holly Lisle and she’s doing it again. She’s offering a newly revised How to Revise Your Novel workshop.

If you’re interested in a step-by-step approach to making your novel the best it can be, consider taking this class. It opened today! If you’re ready now, you’ll get 3 free mini-classes! This offer closes on December 14th. Follow my link to https://hollyswritingclasses.com/index.php?page=home&aid=10009

 

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Weekly blog post: Finishing off the Year

Books, Book Table, Sell Books

Me and My Book Table, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving at my friend’s house was great. Of course we all ate more than necessary but lots of good conversation was had.

I signed books at the Swiss Village Small Business Saturday Christmas kickoff. The day started warm enough, I was in the sun. By noon the sun had moved to put my spot in the shade. It got cooler after that until at 4pm I called hubby to have him bring my winter coat. I stuck it out until 7pm. Met some nice people, sold a few books and had three people sign up for my newsletter.

My NaNo book, Mystery at the Fair, finished first draft at about 52,000 words. I need to do some research and lots of rewriting and editing. It may be my March 2015 release, I’m not sure yet.

My book, The Downtrodden, book two of the Brown Rain series is up on Smashwords and I’m finally got it up on Amazon, Apple and Barnes and Noble. I’m still featuring a special for newsletter recipients. Sign up for my newsletter and tell me you’d like to do a review and I’ll send you a free ebook. 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. If you’re already a newsletter recipient and you’d like to review a copy, drop me a comment or an email and I’ll send you the secret code!

No work has been done on the last two garden beds. Last week was nutso and nothing was accomplished. I did, however, manage to get my outdoor Christmas lights up on Sunday. Hubby and I will do the final connectivity today and test the timers. Yay, Christmas! I sent my Christmas cards out on Friday, day after Thanksgiving. It’s a lot easier when I’m not making the fifty or so cards I send out. Up next? Candy making and sending, interior cleaning and Christmas decorating as well as getting those garden beds cleaned up. I only decorate for Christmas so for me it’s a pretty big deal.

I’ve been talking to my Mom nearly every day. Looking forward to her flying out here. Sixteen days to go!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

The Downtrodden: a Brown Rain Story released November 22nd! 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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Mid-September Update

Pink Roses against the September sky by Randy Cockrell

Pink Roses against the September sky by Randy Cockrell

Oh my gosh! Totally forgot to do a blog post last Monday. I was exhausted after the fair ended last Sunday and didn’t have any brain power left to do a post. I apologize for that. The fair went pretty well. Like military plans, fair plans rarely survive first contact but we got most things done and fair-goers had fun. That’s all that counts. I’ve been posting pictures of livestock 4H and FFA winners on the fair Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Gila-County-Fair/136645043024179. These kids work really hard raising their animals and learning how to show them. It seemed fitting to post their accomplishments.
First Encounter, the first book in my new Brown Rain series is up on Amazon’s new Pre-Order feature. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MW8AYOK If you use another ereader, it’s also up on Kobo for pre-order at http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/first-encounter-6. Release date is scheduled for September 18th.
The garden is in fall mode. The green and yellow beans have withered, so no more of them. The peppers, both sweet and hot, are ripening. I may be able to roast and freeze the hot peppers soon. I have poblano and Fresno chilis. They’ll be very good this winter in my chili. I had to cut my mint down. The bees love the flowers but the flowers were going to seed. I can’t have mint seed spreading everywhere. I’d never get rid of the stuff. The bees can still visit the oregano flowers so they’ll have flowers until they go into hibernation. My butternut squash is also ripening. The very first ones to grow this spring are ready to pick. I’ll store them in my garage and the last ones will keep all winter. Tomatoes are sprawling all over. I still am picking more cherry tomatoes than we can eat. The regular tomatoes I par-boil, skin, chop and freeze. They’ll make great spaghetti sauce this winter. Do you garden? What’s still going strong for you?
The picture accompanying my blog today was taken by my husband of some of the roses I have blooming right now. I love the way they look against this mid-September sky.
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. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.
Revolution: A Gulliver Station Story released August 1st! 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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Today It’s All Writing News

I have TWO books coming out at the end of July. One is the final book in the Gulliver Station series, Revolution. The second is the first book in a new series, a dystopian science fiction about two young women, one of whom is very special, who set out to heal the world. It’s called The Beginning: A Where The Brown Rain Fell series. I’m writing the second series in conjunction with a writing class about series. I’m very excited to both finish one series and start a second one.
So the covers. The first is, obviously, for Revolution. The second is for The Beginning, The Brown Rain Series. Under each cover is a snippet of story for you to enjoy.
Revolution Cover

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

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

Kenna stood in front of fifty of her members, men and women, in a Level 8 warehouse. “You’ve been selected by your team leaders for your knowledge of this station. You know every nook and cranny. It’s your job to search this station, from Level 9 to Level 1 and find my daughter.”
Sean and Darin stood to Kenna’s left behind her.
“I want every room searched. Not just the empty rooms, every room. I don’t care how you do it. We do not have StaSec support, it may get ugly. I’ll do the best I can for you and your families if things go wrong.”
She stopped and looked them in the eyes. “Think about how you’d feel if it was your child.” She stopped again as she choked on the last word. Kenna cleared her throat and took a deep breath, controlling the tears that threatened to flow. “I’m trusting my daughter’s life to you. Please find her.”

The Beginning Cover (Draft) Tell me what you think about it. Would you make any changes?

The Beginning, 1st book in the Brown Rain Series, Draft, by Connie Cockrell

The Beginning, 1st book in the Brown Rain Series, Draft, by Connie Cockrell

Kyra held her shot. Now that it had come down to it, she was reluctant to kill the dog. She was reluctant to kill anything. She’d only shot at targets back at the school. Malcolm had told her not to hesitate. “The first time is going to be hard, Kyra,” he told her. A faraway look shone in his eyes. “It will be the hardest, but if you’re threatened, don’t hesitate. Doesn’t matter if it’s an animal or a human. Hesitation will get you and Alyssa killed. Take the shot.”
Sweat ran down her forehead and into the outer corner of her left eye. She blinked and the center dog, crouched down, still approaching slowly. The first dog was on her right, also in a crouch. “Alyssa. Is your dog in a crouch?”
“Yes. I think it’s going to attack.”
“I think so, too.” Kyra pulled the string back just a hair more and fired at the center dog. The dog screamed and flipped around as the arrow hit him in the middle of his chest. She turned and pulled a new arrow in one fluid movement. The first dog was charging. She could hear Alyssa scream, “Look out!” behind her. The first dog was five feet away when Kyra pulled the bow and shot the dog in the neck. She dropped the bow and pulled her boot knife while spinning around to Alyssa. The last dog was in the air, a snarl sounding as it leapt straight for Alyssa’s face.
Kyra threw her knife, hitting the dog in the ribs and knocking it aside. It yelped and rolled. Kyra grabbed Alyssa’s knife from her hand where she was frozen with fear and charged the dog. It rolled to its feet and crouched, ready to lunge, it’s mouth in a snarl and teeth ready to tear her apart. The blood pounded in her ears as she circled the dog. The thing must weigh about fifty pounds, she thought. It’s wounded. I can do this. It leapt, her knife falling out of its ribs. She slashed at the throat, as she braced herself in a crouch for the impact. The knife slashed the animal but not enough. It yowled as she spun to get out of its way. She crouched again, knife ready as the dog hit the ground, spun around and leapt at her again. This time she let the creature hit. It snapped at her, its breath foul in her face. From her left she could hear a yelp. Alyssa! screamed through her mind but she had to deal with this dog first. Holding the dog’s throat with her left hand, she swung with all her strength for the dog’s ribs with her right. The knife plunged into the dog, she could feel the blade scrape a rib as the knife went in up to the hilt. She pulled it out as she rolled over, the dog thrashing, and on top, she stabbed it again. The dog screamed and she rolled to her feet in a crouch. Where’s Alyssa!
In front of her, Alyssa stood over the first dog, Kyra’s knife in her hand, blood dripping from the tip. The dog lay at her feet, unmoving. Kyra ran to her. “Are you all right?”
Alyssa stared at the dog, her eyes filling with tears. “I had to, Kyra. It was getting up. Getting ready to kill you.”
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. Let me know you’d like to be a reviewer on the e-tailer or Goodreads site of your choice.
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.
Hard Choices: A Gulliver Station Story released May17th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Odds and Ends!

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Want a free ebook? Smashwords is running a promotion through March 8th. Called Read an ebook Week, you can go to their site, https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/1 and start browsing. I have my book up on the site so look for A New Start, the first book in my Gulliver Station series. It’s free and please feel free to pass the word. It only lasts this week, so hurry!

I have been sending my short story, Where The Brown Things Are, around to different magazines. The magazine Clarkesworld (a science fiction and fantasy magazine) rejected it Saturday morning. I immediately sent it to Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. Who knows, someone may want to publish it.

Arizona finally received some rain on Saturday.  Not as much as forecast but we were all happy to see it. It’s been so warm and dry here that my daffodils, peach, and nectarine trees are blooming.  I’m hoping we don’t get snow; that will kill the buds on the fruit trees.

My anniversary is March 8th. We’ll be married 34 years. Oh my! We’ve come a long way since then.

Go ahead and 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 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.

A New Start: A Gulliver Station story released January 31st! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Kobo: Not Available Yet

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Read An EBook Week

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The ebook site, Smashwords, is having a promotion. From today, March 2nd through March 8th, you can find free or steeply discounted ebooks to download. I’ve added my newest book, A New Start, to the promotion. For one week only, you can get the book FREE! Go here to see the catalog of free or nearly free books and search for A New Start by Connie Cockrell.

Feel free to pass the word on this excellent opportunity to acquire great reads for little or nothing.

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Flash Fiction Friday: A Chapter from Recall

I wrote a new flash fiction for today’s post but made other plans for it. For those of you following this blog, you may need an explanation. I post these stories every Friday for your enjoyment. They are mostly writing exercises for me. I like to fool around with Point of View, or a new genre, for example Westerns or Ghost Stories, in addition to my favorite SciFi.

The problem is, if I post them here, they’re considered published. What’s that mean? It means that if I like a story and want to submit it to a print or e-magazine, it’s already been published. First publishing rights, is the official term. That means, they don’t want the story, won’t pay me anything for it.

Normally, not a problem. But the story I wrote for today is one I feel pretty good about. I want to get paid for writing it. So, no story. I’m having a number of other people critique it so I can polish it up and submit it to a magazine or e-zine.

But I hate leaving you all, who have been so kind as to follow my blog, story-less. Therefore, I’ve found a Chapter of my recently released book, Recall, that’s under 1000 words, to share with you.

If you’re intrigued with the chapter I’m posting, you can find the whole book both print and e-book, on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Recall-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1484886224/ref=la_B009O6199C_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371780926&sr=1-2) or on Smashwords.com (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320233). If you get the book and like it, a review would be nice.

Enjoy!

Chapter Sixteen 

Dr. Jim Abernathy was in his office going over monthly budget reports. Ha, Alan’s team is under budget again this month. I don’t know why the other teams can’t do that.  He initialed the bottom of the last page and dropped it in his out box. He looked up at a knock on his door.

His secretary Mrs. Townes opened the door. “Mr. Parker to see you sir.”

“Show him in.”

He put down his pen as Dwayne Parker came through the door. Dwayne was an ex-special forces officer. He wasn’t a huge man but if you looked, you could see he moved with cat-like grace and an economy of motion. As Bioline’s Director of Security, he was all business.

“Is there a problem, Dwayne?”

“A small one Dr. Abernathy. The computer security team has noticed a significant number of searches on the company and its records. We get those occasionally as people search the company on the web for employment info, drug information and so on. This particular batch of searches is by a local reporter.”

Abernathy sat back in his chair. “So? Maybe he’s doing research for a story about us.”

Dwayne nodded. “Could be. But he’s got a reputation for taking down companies and politicians who are dirty. Could be he’s writing an expose. He’s searching for dirt, the computer guys can tell by the keywords he’s searching on.”

Dwayne stood in front of Abernathy’s desk at parade rest while Abernathy thought.

“What’s he found so far?”

Dwayne pulled the folder he carried around in front of him and opened it. “He’s searched you, Dr. Briggs, the company financials, and previous problems the company has had with the FDA so far.” He closed the folder and went back to a parade rest position this time with his hands clasped in front of him.

Abernathy picked up his pen and turned it end over end on his desk. “Any other searches?”

Dwayne didn’t have to look again, “Information on Dr. Sparks.”

“Hmm, Dr. Sparks again.” He put his pen down. “Have the computer boys set up a false file on LeanderAll. I’ll send them the data to put in it.”

“Yes sir.”

“Oh, and set up a false file on Dr. Sparks. I’ll have some data for that one too.”

“Yes sir.” Dwayne nearly came to attention, turned and left the office.

Abernathy hit the intercom button for Mrs. Townes.

“Yes, Dr. Abernathy?”

“Get me the electronic files on Dr. Sparks and the files we submitted to the FDA on LeanderAll.”

“Yes sir. Is this urgent?

“Yes, as soon as possible.”

#

Angela was in her apartment on her computer. Since her job had cut her hours to just three days a week, she had plenty of time to work on her new project. She had the jewelry her mother recovered from Elaine’s apartment sitting next to the monitor. It glittered in the sunlight coming through the window. She couldn’t resist reaching out and letting the pieces run through her fingers, sending sharp flashes of light all over the living room.

She put them down and turned back to her computer screen. She dropped the dating sites and was now signing Elaine up on Escort sites. “She thinks she’s so smart, calling all of those magazines and dating sites and getting her name removed. This is better. She’ll be getting phone calls all day and night.”

“There,” she finished putting in Elaine’s statistics, “now I just need a picture.” She pulled up Photoshop and started modifying an old picture of Elaine she’d pulled out of her scrapbook. She and Elaine were at the beach, one of the few times they got together while they were still in college. Elaine was in a two piece suit, and Angela had caught her looking out over the water. Angela had called her name and snapped the picture just as she turned to face her. The sunlight had been good to her in that picture, she looked beautiful.

She loaded the picture into an electronic file and pulled it into Photoshop. She enhanced Elaine’s breasts, cleaned up the picture and uploaded it onto the Escort site. “There, let her get out of that one.”  She laughed as she hit the save button; then went to the next Escort site.

Words: 718

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

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My New Book, Recall, is now Available!

I’ve been revising, reviewing and designing the cover for this book since January and it’s finally out!

Check it out on: Connie Cockrell’s Smashwords Author Profile: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell
Book page to sample or purchase Recall: http://smashwords.com/b/320233

or

on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Recall-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1484886224/ref=sr_1_113?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369679735&sr=1-113&keywords=Recall

If you get it, I’d appreciate a review.

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