Monsoon, Payson Book Festival, Gardening : Monday Blog Post

Monsoon by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

It’s rained everyday since last blog post. We’re all enjoying the moisture and we’ve had enough that the Forest Service has reopened out local forests for camping, hiking and other recreation. Only one small fire was started because of lightning and put out right away so everyone in the area is happy. Except for the humidity. We’re just not used to it. But overall, we’re happy the rains have come.

The Payson Book Festival is Saturday, July 21st, and those of us on the committee are ready for it to be here. So much is planned for the day. If you’re in the area, please do come to the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino and say hello to all of the authors. You can find the speakers schedules and info on all of the authors at www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

Cantaloupe

Some garden news. The garden really likes the rain. It was doing okay with my watering but since last Monday, it has just exploded. Above is a picture of my cantaloupe bed. That’s just one plant, filled up the 4 square foot bed and is now escaping across the back yard. Behind it you can see my zucchini. That’s also just one plant. The tiny zukes grew to 18-24 inches in no time. Thank goodness I have a spiralizer. The pears and the peaches are doing well. My peaches usually ripen by the end of July. These look pretty green yet, so I don’t know if they’ll be on schedule but no matter. There are a lot of them, that’s all I care about.

I spent most of Sunday writing my new newsletter, creating a YouTube video to include in it, and in writing this blog post. You have to sign up for the newsletter (see below) but you can see the video on my YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2rN2MWxDPLrI0bMv3vTKvg. Check it out!

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has ended. The winners are BN100 and Sherry and I’ve emailed them their gifts.

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway has started. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

Also, July is the Smashwords’ site’s Summer/Winter Giveaway. I have books ranging from free to 25% or even 75% off. I don’t usually do this so if you’re interested in some discounts, this is your month! You can find a list of all of my books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell with the discounts already marked. Enjoy!

Shout Out:

I don’t know who to shout out for this month. So let’s shout out all of the authors at the Payson Book Festival. They’d love your support and you can see who they are and go to their websites and/or Facebook pages to learn more when you go to http://www.paysonbookfestival.org/who-is-coming/.

Where Will I Be?

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

Payson Book Festival 2017

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. I’ll be at table, 53 and hope to see you there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter.  I just published a new one on Sunday. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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:

Tested released January 31st 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Four Doomsdays – Doomsday Two: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Monsoon River in my Back Yard

I watched from my backyard—luckily a high spot—as a storm cell, a super cell, formed to the south. The fifth one in as many months. Damn! I’d just repaired the roof. I went to the front yard and rang the bell I’d found after the first storm in a local antique shop.

Once, a life-time ago, my sister-in-law used a similar bell to call my niece, Nell, in from her explorations, for dinner. Why didn’t I just call the neighbors? The phones and internet went out with the first storm and were never restored.  Power went out the second storm. That did return but storm three killed it. Apparently forever.

I sighed. My neighbors and friends around town finally stopped claiming climate change was a hoax. Many of them, all over sixty, were dead. Like my husband who had been out looking for supplies, killed by one of the hoard of refugees swarming out of the big cities. Or like our friend, Rick, who was on the roof too long making last second repairs just before a storm hit. Dead. My neighbor to the left, the other side of the drainage ditch, was critically injured as super storm two drove a tree from the empty lot across the street through the front door of his house, right through his chest.

It was a struggle getting him to the hospital, debris littered every flooded road. When we got there injured crowded the emergency room and halls. There were too many injured and not enough staff or medicine. As a 20-year retiree from the Air Force, I could see the doc shake his head at the triage nurse. She made my neighbor as comfortable as they could but he was dead in half and hour. As the neighbor, I told his wife. She went pale. Then tears began to flow but she never made a sound. I sat with her all night, relieved by another neighbor in the morning. kShe died two weeks later. I’m not sure if it was grief or just that she’d run out of her diabetes medicine.

All of us worked together in our immediate neighborhood as best we could but at sixty-five I was the youngest. It was summer but none of us had real fireplaces or even wood stoves. We were cooking over campfires in our front yards with fallen branches and downed trees. There were certainly plenty of those. All of our houses had piped in gas. I’d gone down to the gas company after the first storm and asked how to turn off the gas. Once mine was off, I went to all of the neighbors and got them to turn theirs off. Three days later across town, a house blew, taking a block and a half of neighborhood with it.

Supplies were scarce as the highway up from the major city was blocked by landslides. Without power we were using hand tools to do just about anything. The local hardware stores were major hubs of exchange and advice. The newspaper was also a spot of major importance. They posted messages in their windows and amazingly, they had an antique press in the basement. Probably the only basement in town. They put out a paper a week with news from the state and federal government, what was left of them, information about deaths, where supplies could be located, and food. Food was very important.

My tiny vegetable garden had been ripped to shreds the first storm. The local community garden as well. People with food allergies, like me, were suffering. Many had died, just as those with severe injuries or major issues, like my neighbor’s diabetes. I had gotten some tips from an old-timer about snares. I’d gotten some rabbits. I’d hunt but my husband and I had never had gun. None of my neighbors did either. A small meat market had sprung up in front of the now defunct Walmart from local hunters selling their excess deer, elk, and javalina. Money was gone, it was worthless. Everything was by barter. Civilization as we’d once known it was gone.

How’d this happen? Simple. We’d ignored the climate scientists for too long. I’d demonstrated in front of our state capital for changes to environmental laws but the right in this state and others, was too strong. The arctic and Antarctic ice caps began melting at ever increasing rates. The Pacific current became warmer, as moisture from the melting ice caps not only flooded into the oceans but rose into the air. The heat and the moisture began making storms. Bigger and bigger storms. Then the tundra in Russia, Canada, Alaska and other northern places began to thaw releasing ancient carbon dioxide into the air. It has been a perfect storm, after storm, after storm.

It didn’t matter now, I thought as I went to check my backyard fence. The drainage ditch, twelve feet deep, flooded every super storm. My fence was washing out. There was nothing I could do about it. I worried about my house, at the edge of the ditch. Would this storm wash it out? Like the country and the world, I had to just survive.

The wind was picking up. As I watched the storm come in I realized, Mother Nature was doing what we wouldn’t do, fix the imbalance.

 

Thank You!

891 Words

 

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Heat! Payson Book Festival, Writing : Monday Blog Post

Monsoon River in my Back Yard

Newest News:

Did you see the movie Temple Grandin? Ms. Grandin is an autistic success story and known world-wide as an expert on animal behavior.  I mention it because as a teen, Temple went out west from her east coast home to visit with a relative in Arizona. It being the 60’s, (I think), she deplaned onto a movable stair onto the tarmac. As she exited the plane into summer Arizona’s blazing sun she exclaimed, “It’s hot!” If you’ve ever been to Phoenix in the summer, you know what she was talking about. I loved that movie and was very excited to see a person with autism become a success. Today we were teased with rain. Dark clouds moved overhead and a shower fell from the sky for a very short time, very monsoon-like. We wait, praying the lightning doesn’t cause a forest fire before the rains come.

The Payson Book Festival is just two weeks away, July 21st, and much excitement is building. Saturday, author Chrisann Dawson was the featured author at the Payson Farmer’s Market book festival booth. Again, she reports, many people were very interested in the event and said they plan to attend. If you’re in the area, please do come to the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino and say hello to all of the authors. You can find the speakers schedules and info on all of the authors at www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

I totally spaced last Friday’s doomsday story. I apologize. I’ll have one up this coming Friday for sure.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has ended. As soon as the admin generates the winners, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, here’s the 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

Also, July is the Smashwords site’s Summer/Winter Giveaway. I have books ranging from free to 25% or even 75% off. I don’t usually do this so if you’re interested in some discounts, this is your month! You can find a list of all of my books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell with the discounts already marked. Enjoy!

Shout Out:

Author Chrisann Dawson

Here’s a shout out to Chrisann Dawson. Chrisann Dawson, who was raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has experienced a life of travel and missionary adventure. She successfully published her first book, Congo Crisis, early September 2015. Chrisann then finished teaching another year of high school English in her small town in Arizona. She looks forward to spending more time studying, researching, and writing.

Chrisann and her husband, Gale, are currently pumping fresh vision into their national-led Congo ministry, called Rise Congo. Chrisann believes regular contact with the Congo and its incredible people will bolster her goals to write more Congo-themed stories.

You can find more about Chrisann’s book, Congo Crisis at https://www.facebook.com/CongoCrisisBook

 

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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:

Tested released January 31st 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Fourth of July, Giveaways, Writing : Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Fourth of July already! Did you take several days off or are you starting today and taking off through Wednesday? Since I’m retired, I don’t have to take time off from work but hubby and I decided to just stay home and chill out. We’ll do our usual Tuesday hike with the local hiking group for our excitement and I’ll be at my town’s 4th of July festival in a booth to promote the upcoming Northern Gila County Fair. I’m excited about that. It should be fun. Whatever you’ve decided or decide to do, stay safe and come home healthy.

See below for two new giveaways!

Connie Promoting the Payson Book Festival and talking to a customre about her books.

I had a blast at Saturday’s Farmer’s Market. Lots of people were interested in hearing about the book festival and many stopped to chat about my books. All in all it was a great visit but hot and breezy!

meteor_by_brandonstricker-d6ai470 via DeviantArt.com

I’ve decided to do the next three Friday flash fiction stories on Doomsday. I did one last Friday and I’m still thinking about what to do for story number 2. What do you consider doomsday?

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has ended. As soon as the admin generates the winners, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, here’s the 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

Also, July is the Smashwords site’s Summer/Winter Giveaway. I have books ranging from free to 25% or even 75% off. I don’t usually do this so if you’re interested in some discounts, this is your month! You can find a list of all of my books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell with the discounts already marked. Enjoy!

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to Marsha Ward, an Amazon best-selling author who writes authentic historical fiction set in 19th Century America. She is a multi-published writer, editor, workshop presenter, mentor, and consultant. Marsha has written five novels in The Owen Family Saga, another that begins the Promised Valley series; and many other works. A former journalist, Marsha is the recipient of the 2015 Whitney Lifetime Achievement Award and President of Rim Country Chapter of APW.

Marsha’s latest work is Lies and Secrets. This is a 3-story collection filling in more of the Owen Family saga.

Scandalous: An Owen Family Story

Young Julianna Owen didn’t think flirting with Parley Morgan at the barn raising would lead him to put his hands where they ought not to be. But even worse, her sister discovers them, and Parley abandons her, running off into the woods.

Julianna’s strict father has found where she is hiding, and her world on the Colorado frontier is crashing down around her ears. She thought love and romance was only about going on picnics and holding hands, not rough kisses and hurtful pawing.

Now the consequences of her actions might be beyond what she can bear.

In the 1866 Owen Family universe, Scandalous shines a light on teen hormones run amok during a trying time in the family’s story, as it ties up a loose thread from the novel, Spinster’s Folly.

Review: “Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it. I love the Owen Family stories. The love of family and the adventures are made so real in Mrs. Ward’s writings. Details are so vivid a reader can feel themselves there.”

Broken: A Shenandoah Neighbors Story

Rida Owen didn’t know married life on the Colorado frontier could be so difficult. Nothing in her Catholic upbringing prepared her for long, lonely nights when her husband, Bert, goes drinking. And womanizing. And then comes home to beat her.

Her mother-in-law thinks she’s stuck up when she doesn’t participate in homestead washday. Rida only wants to hide her bruises and preserve her marriage.

Then a neighbor from her past stops to say hello and reveals a secret of his own.

Broken is a Shenandoah Neighbors story that illuminates a dark corner of the Owen Family universe in 1875.

Review: “Marsha Ward writes a compelling story of strength and endurance, beautifully worded and detailed to the post Civil War era.”

Bloodied Leather: A Shenandoah Neighbors Story

Isabelle Gilbert chafes against the restrictions that Victorian life puts on a young lady.

Forced to accept a betrothal to Percival Egmont, an English ex-patriot like her father, she is disturbed by his passion for prize-fighting—and other pursuits. And what if Mama spots the bruise on her cheek?

Then shared secrets perplex Isabelle even more.

A Shenandoah Neighbor story, Bloodied Leather extends the Owen Family universe into 1886.

Review: “An interesting short story with good characterization and dialogue that says more than the words alone. So worth the read.”
~~~

Read the stories free on KindleUnlimited, or get your copy today before the price goes up. Link to Amazon

Learn more at http://marshaward.com The Facebook author page link is

https://www.facebook.com/authormarshaward/

https://www.amazon.com/Marsha-Ward/e/B003RB9P9Q/

 

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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:

Tested released January 31st 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Four Doomsdays – Doom One: Flash Fiction Friday Post

meteor_by_brandonstricker-d6ai470 via DeviantArt.com

The social media feeds and the news outlets and the television and the radio had been blasting for weeks. Everybody had an opinion, but no one really knew anything. I know I’d been hearing about a nuclear attack since I was a child, hiding under our school desks, arms over our heads at the sound of the alarm.

I thought our leadership was nuts. The president, especially. Ranting one minute, friends with all the foreign leaders the next. The Congress was nearly as bad. It was all or nothing all the time. No one wanted to compromise. If a person tuned into foreign news broadcasts, they were calling us out of control.

I kept my head down and took care of my farm. What else was I going to do? I didn’t travel to a whole other planet to stand around whining. People needed to eat and I was good at farming, so I stuck to that.

This is, until the bombs fell. Well, not bombs, actually, just asteroids. I knew that they could be just as destructive, but, my brain, at least, never grasped it fully. Made sense, after all. Why contaminate the environment? The blast from the rocks hitting pretty much was the same as with nukes. Each one wiped out what it hit. Each one also threw so much dirt and dust into the air, the land was cut off from the sun. It got cold. The crops died in the fields. Survivors scavenged across the countryside like a cloud of locusts, stealing anything they could get their hands on.

Me and other farmers, we tried. Bert Spark lost his wife Ann when a mad pack of survivors attacked their farm. Ann was trying to keep them from stealing everything in the cupboards, she had kids to feed, too. But they overwhelmed her and took everything, including her life.

Bert was hurt trying to keep them from stealing the chickens. After that, we consolidated on my farm as it was the most defensible. Everyone brought their stock, any feed they had, food supplies, bedding, the whole lot. We were sleeping in every room of my house but the kitchen and the baths. It worked for a while. That is until the survivors banded together and raided police and army weapons caches.

We had shotguns, some hunting rifles, and were totally out-matched. They shot the livestock and took the carcasses. They surrounded us and wouldn’t let us leave the house. They had trucks and took all the animals they didn’t shoot. Then they raided the barns. There went all the small stock and the feed stores. We lost six farmers in all, four men and two women. I was surprised to see them all drive off without raiding the house. I guess they figured they didn’t need to. We were beat.

Winter came early and we struggled through that. We set traps and caught rabbits and game birds. There was a lot of thin soup. Spring was cold and wet, no good at all for growing crops with the seed we’d saved. We did forage but not much vegetation on this new world was good for humans to eat. We lost the oldest among us. I think she just gave up as we found her in her bed, dead. We lost a couple of the toddlers, too. They caught cold, then pneumonia, and there just wasn’t any medicine to give them. We had a nice spot on a hill, overlooking the farm, where they were all buried.

It never really did get to be summer. The dust in the air kept the planet from warming. The second winter was bad. We lost three more. I’m not sure if it was starvation or disease. Either one had the same outcome. When the calendar said it should be spring, we started getting messages from Earth. Surrender, the messages said, and there would be help coming.

We sent a message out surrendering. Hell, if someone would come and bring food, that was good enough for us. We kept a person on the monitors all the time. Some fool on the coast decided to put up a fight. Moron. That kept help from arriving. We still didn’t have enough warmth to plant. None of us thought we could make it another year.

Then a jet flew over the farm. Those of us outside just stood and stared, mouths open. Days later, military trucks came driving up the road. By the time they parked, we were all outside. Some young Captain got out and soldiers poured out of the back in full fighting gear. I sighed as they surrounded us. There was no point, really. We didn’t have enough strength left to fight them.

He read a long announcement about how we were conquered and were now citizens of Earth. A local planetary government would be established and we’d be taxed to pay for the war. We had to sign a surrender, then they gave us rations. I asked for seed and livestock for us all. We were ready to get back to farming. He said that would all be coming. LeAnn asked for more rations as we were starving. A couple of soldiers took a couple of cases from the last truck and handed them over. LeAnn started crying. The Captain signaled and the soldiers got back on the truck. We were reminded to keep listening to the broadcasts as he got into his seat. We all nodded and he and the convoy drove off.

I heard that there were pockets of resistance. No matter to me. When the seed and livestock arrived, everyone divided evenly and went back to their own farms. It was tough. The weather didn’t really get back to normal for three more years. It was tough to pay the taxes, but whatever. Life is just tough, isn’t it?

Words: 981

Next week, Doom Two

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Banana-Loquat Smoothie: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Banana-Loquat Smoothie

So last month I posted a coconut-lemon whip recipe which I made from meyer lemons from my daughter’s back yard tree. She also had, loquats, ripening. A loquat is a cross between a plum and a cumquat. Sweet, yellow, small (1 – 2 inch) oval shaped fruit with anywhere from 1 to 4 fair-sized seeds inside, depending on how big the loquat is.

The loquats are delicious, sweet and succulent. Unfortunately, they don’t travel or keep well so not a commercial fruit as far as I can tell. I was very fortunate, then, to get about a pint of them.

Rather than eat them one by one, I cut them in half, de-seeded them, cut in quarters, and dropped into my blender. This time of year I prefer smoothies for breakfast to juice as with a smoothie you get all of the fiber. Also, I don’t, yet, have a juicer.

Banana-Loquat Smoothie

Hardware

Cutting Board

Knife

Blender

Cup and straw

 

Ingredients

1 pint Loquats, cut in half, seeded, then cut into quarters

1 ripe banana, chunks

1 cup Almond Milk (more or less as desired thickness)

See more at Chicklets in the Kitchen.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite smoothie to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

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

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End of June, Tomatoes, Writing : Monday Blog Post

Tomatoes

Newest News:

Oh my gosh! It’s the last week of June already! I know I’m not the only one wondering what happened to the month. Or the year! Here in central Arizona it’s been hot, hot, hot. We’re all hoping for the monsoon rains to come.

Two of my cherry tomatoes were ripe yesterday so I picked them and ate them, right there next to the garden bed. Delish, all warm from the sun. I have a couple of little zuchini’s, too. Too small yet but I’ll have to check them daily to catch them at the perfect size. Hopefully before the chipmunk finds them. Another month and the peaches will be ripe. Love those fresh from the tree, fully ripe peaches.

Friday’s story was Haunted. Set on a spaceship, we explore a little bit of what happens when parts from a crashed ship are installed on another ship.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has ended. The summer giveaway will begin in a week or two. As soon as the admin generates the winners, I’ll let you know.

Shout Out:

Shouting out today for Lazette Gifford. She’s just released a new book titled, Tales From Elswhere. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/840466

When Mark killed the sheriff’s son in self-defense, he rushed to escape through the gate into Elsewhere and hide for a while. However, once through the gate, things turned worse, and it has nothing to do with what happened back in the human world.

Originally written as three flash fiction serials on my Joyously Prolific Blog, this new version has been expanded and the inconsistencies corrected.

Where Will I Be?

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

This coming Saturday, the 30th, I’ll be at the Payson Farmer’s market with my books and promoting for the Book Festival. Come on down to say hi, enjoy the market and have some fun. https://www.paysonfarmersmarket.com/

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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:

Tested released January 31st 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Haunted: Flash Fiction Friday Post

screamer-by_eurai at https://www.deviantart.com/art/Screamer-29923535

https://www.deviantart.com/art/Screamer-29923535

“Where’d you get the parts?” Lieutenant Wong studied the inventory on his crystal.

“From a salvage company. They recovered the Del Rio from Hippolita Four.” MaintTech Dora Soledad checked her crystal. “Shame about the Del Rio.”

Wong nodded and clicked off his crystal. “Yeah. Three hundred and twenty-seven colonists and the whole crew, dead.” He sighed. “Okay. We’ll go with these. Start with the engine. That capacitor is way over due for replacement.”

Dora nodded. Wouldn’t be if the company cared about anything but the bottom line, she thought. Wong turned and left the maintenance shop. Dora went over to the shelf where the capacitors were stored. She looked over the parts. They all looked pretty good, so she picked one, grabbed her took kit, and headed for the engine room.

The Chief Engineer, Sue Goode, was sitting watch at her boards and greeted Dora when she arrived. “No kidding, there are parts?”

“Yeah.” Dora grinned. “I grabbed a whole list of parts as soon as I saw them come up on the sales boards. Used but in good condition.”

“Fantastic.” Sue grinned back. “About time.”

Dora put the part in, tested it, and was done in an hour. She gave Sue a wave as she left.

The next day she was at the noon mess with the third engineer, Dave Bookman. “It was creepy down in engineering last night.” He sighed. “I kept hearing things.”

“What kind of things?” Dora took a sip of her soup.

Dave shrugged. “It sounded like screaming.”

Dora’s eyebrow rose. “Screaming.”

“Yeah! I checked over that whole engine. Everything in the room. Couldn’t find anything wrong.” Dave shuddered. “Creepy.”

Dora nodded. “Sure.”

Two days later, she was walking along a passageway when she caught sight of something from the corner of her eye. When she turned to see it, it drifted away, like smoke, through the bulkhead. She shook her head. That wasn’t possible. Seeing things, she thought, and went on her way.

At the evening mess, it was all the talk. Just about everyone had seen or heard something. Just inside hearing range, or just about in sight, it was scaring everyone. “What could it be?” Dave asked her. “Are we all going nuts?”

“Everyone? All at once?” Dora shook her head. “I’m not buying it.”

“Well, something is happening.” He crossed his arms. “What’s the Captain going to do about it?”

Dora shrugged. “He can’t stop people from seeing things, Dave.”

Dave stood and picked up his tray. “I guess. But something is going on.”

Dora finished her meal after Dave left. Thinking about it. Finished, she went to see the Lieutenant. “Sir. Have you heard about the ghosts?”

He nodded. “Yeah. I’ve been hearing stuff myself.” He studied her. “You?”

“I’ve seen something, not sure what.”

“Okay. What do you have?”

“It seems to me the sightings started after I began using the parts from the Del Rio”

He rubbed his chin. “How do you figure?”

The sighting I had was in the hall where I’d replaced a fan blade the day before in the air handling system. Dave Bookman heard screaming the night I replaced the capacitor in the engine room. I’ve been listening to people talk about where they were when they had a sighting. It’s all places I’ve worked over the last three days.” She took a breath. “Where were you when you heard stuff?”

He thought a moment. “Outside the bridge, for one.”

“I replaced the switch plate to the door.”

“Let’s talk to the Captain.”

They met in the Captain’s ready room and explained Dora’s theory. “And how did it happen?” he asked.

“I heard the Del Rio crashed hard, Sir. Quite a psychic shock. Drove their, souls, I guess, right into the nearest thing.”

The Captain nodded. “Sounds like a lot of hooey to me.”

“What can we do about it?” Wong asked.

“Nothing. It’s a figment of people’s imaginations.”

“But Sir,” Dora started to speak. He cut her off.

“No. I’m not buying it. Dismissed.”

Dora spent the next week doing her best not to use any parts from the Del Rio but often, they were the only parts available. Apparitions hung clearly beside the shelves and racks in the Maintenance Office. She tried to talk to them, reassure them, but it didn’t seem they could hear her.

People were starting to look haggard, especially the people who were hearing screaming. Dave Bookman collapsed and had to be taken to the clinic where they sedated him.

The Captain showed up in the Maintenance Office, stopping short just inside the doorway. His eyes grew bigger as he looked around the crowded room. “How long?” He gestured at the ghosts.

“Four days.” Dora looked around. “I try to talk to them. But no response.”

He rubbed his cheek. “I’ll check with the doctor.”

Dora nodded as he left and went back to work.

The doc started in the Maintenance Office. “Captain said you’ve been talking to them.”

“Yeah. It doesn’t help, though.”

“Supportive counseling, it’s called.” He watched the ghosts as they drifted around the room. Better is what you’ve already done, in vivo exposure. They’ve been put back on a space ship. Eventually they’ll see that nothing bad is happening and they’ll get better. Probably disappear.” He turned to her. “They don’t bother you, interfere in any way, anything?”

“Nope. They just drift around. I walk around them, though. It seems rude to walk through them.”

The doc nodded. “Yeah. I can see that. Just keep talking to them. It’s about the best we can do.”

He gave the people who could hear screaming drugs to keep them calm and set others to talking to the parts that had been installed around the ship.

It took three months for the first of the ghosts to disappear. Last to go were the screamers, the shock of their death more acute with them. Dora was a little sad to see her ghosts go. They were good company.

Words: 1000

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Summer, Garden, Writing, : Monday Blog Post

Monsoon River in my Back Yard

Newest News:

Hooray! Saturday we had rain. For us, it was a welcome relief. The moisture helped fire fighters keep the forest fires under control and maybe even gain some ground. I know my garden was thankful and the birds and animals as well. The rain marked the start of what we in the southwest call monsoon season. Yesterday’s rain was very gentle. That’s not usual for a monsoon. During a regular monsoon rain the water comes gushing out of the sky like from a firehose. Start to finish, the storm may only last half an hour but it will drop inches of rain, flooding washes and streets and stranding people in place until the water recedes. It’s exciting to watch from safely inside the house. Terrifying to see when you’re driving around town.

Tomatoes

My garden is galloping away. I’ve had to tie up my tomatoes as they’re starting to sprawl all over. The cucumber, cantaloupe, and zucchini plants are all a healthy green and in bloom. I can’t wait for the fruit to come.

burned_out_building_by_chisatowatanabe-d8mdbcd via DeviantArt.com

Did you see my Friday story? The Doomsday Vault. What did you think? I was writing to a prompt from another author and I had too many ideas for it. I ended up with something I wasn’t very happy with but put it up anyway. I guess I can use it as an example of working to a deadline. I hate to miss posting a story on Fridays.

If you’re one of my mystery readers, I’ll remind you that I’m in a cozy mystery book bundle, Cozy Winter Reads.  The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. Just $7.99 for six books!

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ ends this week. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Author CA Asbrey

Today I want to give a shout out to an author friend of mine, C.A. Asbrey. She’s the author of The Innocents historical mystery series. C.A.Asbrey developed a deep interest in early forensics and detection methods working in the field. She researched early detectives and the tools available to them for years before developing her characters. They are compelling versions of real people, all her crimes are based on fictionalized versions of real crimes, and the methods used to solve them were available to detectives at the time. She likes her mysteries twisty, complex, and intricate; through a fog of history and a touch of light humor. The Innocents book 2, Innocent as Sin, is about to be published and I had the chance to read it. I loved it. The forensic details were fascinating, and she has a well-rounded story to go with it. Set in the west, her main character is a female Pinkerton detective and encounters all of the prejudices and biases you’d expect for that day and age. I find her a compelling character and the hints of her backstory are tantalizing. There’s a love interest, an outlaw and his outlaw uncle, that create a great conflict as well. I’m reminded of the series Moonlighting and Castle. I hope you’ll enjoy the series.

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery 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:

Tested released January 31st 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.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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The Doomsday Vault: Flash Fiction Friday Post

burned_out_building_by_chisatowatanabe-d8mdbcd via DeviantArt.com

I opened the Doomsday vault with shaky hands. Newly promoted to manager, it was my responsibility now to open the vault everyday and check expiration dates, and other things that were located inside. Then to replace as necessary.
Standing inside the massive door, I looked around. A hundred and thirty-two years, this vault had been in existence. Books lined the shelves in front of me. How-to manuals mostly as the planners assumed that there wouldn’t be power available for computers. I sighed. Those wouldn’t ever need replacing. But, the food would have to be replaced on a regular basis. Those shelves were clearly marked and I stepped over to them to check the dates.
As I pulled the expired boxes from the shelves I thought about the current world situation. Everything seemed good. After the Korean situation had been resolved, most countries became peaceful. There was the middle east, of course, there were still a couple of groups that demanded everyone convert to Muslim, but they were on the fringe, even in their own countries. Our group monitored them, of course, but in my morning briefing, they weren’t even mentioned.
I stacked the expired material outside the door and brought in the new foodstuffs. I marked the expiration date on them and stacked them neatly on their shelves. I made note on the inventory what I brought in, then walked over to the weapons rack. Someone had decided a long time ago that there would be some weapons in the vault, just in case of trouble. I wondered for a moment who the designers thought would be around to cause trouble, then put it out of my mind. I knew that most every country had some sort of doomsday vault. I’d been to a meeting last year as I was being prepped to take on the roll. There I met the other managers. As conventions go, it was pretty small, there were only two hundred and three attendees. Not every country had a vault.
It was fun, and I’d made some acquaintances. The British manager was an Irish woman and she’d been manager of her vault for twenty-seven years. If there was a doo-dad that helped with survival, she knew of it and had an opinion on the usefulness of it as well. I took another look around the vault. Everything was in order and I was reaching up to turn off the light when my assistant ran up to the door.
“Karen. Come quick. Terrorists have bombed the capital! It’s on the news!”
I hesitated. There had been no warning this morning of any unrest anywhere on the planet. What had happened? “Call security. We’re going to get a lot of people here in a hurry.”
She nodded and ran off. I pulled the emergency checklist out and began the initiation phase. Three hundred and twenty-two people were going to start arriving any time now. If they’d escaped the bombing. I had a lot to do to get ready.
All in all, two hundred and sixty people arrived. Tales of government buildings destroyed or on fire circulated around the arrival hall. The din was deafening. We weren’t supposed to but since there were empty spaces, I allowed my assistant and her children in. Then we closed the door. There was no telling how long we’d have to stay. The noise died down as everyone moved to their assigned rooms. The monitor in the lounge was on. Newscasters were giving reactions to the attack and showing pictures of the capital in flames.
A commotion in the hall pulled me away from the monitor. Two security officers were facing a man yelling obscenities.
“What’s going on?” I came out into the hall.
“I demand to know why my wife couldn’t come in. I had to leave her home.” He shouted the question at me, all red in the face and sweating.
I recognized him. He was the chief of staff for the vice president. New to the job. “You didn’t have your wife listed, Mr. Fairchild.” If he’d had brought her, I would have let her in. Like I did for my assistant.
“I was going to list her, but there’s just so much.” He looked around at the security guards, then made his case to the people who were gathering around, watching the drama. A few nodded. “I was going to get to it.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Fairchild. I truly am.”
“Open the door and let me out. I’ll go and get her.”
I shook my head. “We can’t do that until we get the all clear or we know it’s safe out there. Why don’t you go to the clinic and get the doctor to give you something to help you relax?”
“I don’t want drugs.” He was beginning to look wild eyed. “I want my wife!” He charged the security officers and the bystanders hurried off.
“Take him to the clinic.”
They dragged him off, him still screaming obscenities. I took a breath. The procedures mentioned that some number of people would not handle the emergency well. I wondered how many more there’d be. That was when I saw Mr. Fairchild running toward me. He had a gun in his hand. Where’d he get that? The security officers were running after him.
Fairchild pointed the gun at me. “Let me out!”
I held up my hand as I shook my head. “I can’t do that, Mr. Fairchild.”
“Yes, you can!” He fired.
I fell backward, hitting my head on the tile floor. It was hard to breathe, then he was standing over me.
“I told you! I told you!” He shook the gun at me.
I could see the officers take him down, wrestling the gun away from him and zip tying his hands behind him. I didn’t feel anything and I wondered about that. Shouldn’t I hurt? I closed my eyes and relaxed into a warm feeling of well-being. Let someone else work it out.
Words: 998

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