Slave Elf Part 38: Flash Fiction Friday

Energy Ball 001 by ISOStock, www.DeviantArt.com

Part 1 here.

Part 38

They took the rest of the day to prepare and send out the pigeons. The next morning, Delia put on her own clothes, washed and repaired by Phara. Phara had made them a big breakfast and then went out with them to saddle up the horses.

“Be careful,” Phara told them as they settled into the saddles. “Come home to me.”

“We will,” Aduello told her.

Kaya blew her a kiss. “Stay well, Mother.”

Phara blew one back. “You as well. And you, Delia.”

“Thank you.”

Aduello kicked his horse forward. Kaya and Delia did the same. Delia waved to Phara. Then settled into the ride. The trip took just two days. Much better, Delia thought, than the five-day slog had been to Aduello’s.

They made camp in front of the gate. After they had supper, Aduello stood, staring at the gate. “It’s very complicated.”

Delia stood beside him. “Yes. And strong. It took both Kaya and I to break the one at Iyunno’s.”

“Before you knew about fire.”

She nodded. “Yes. Tomorrow will be interesting.”

In the morning they packed everything onto the horses and Kaya led them up the road a little way and hobbled them, so they could graze. When she returned, her father and Delia were building up the campfire. They all brought wood from the forest and threw it on until it was taller than Aduello.

“That should be enough,” Delia told them as she brushed her hands off. She took a sip of water and stared at the gate then sighed. “Time to do this. Kaya, build a shield please.”

Kaya nodded and began to mutter under her breath.

“What shall I do?” Aduello asked.

“Keep watch. We’re going to be focused on the protection spell. I don’t want anyone sneaking up on us.”

He nodded.

Delia took a breath and looked at the fire. She urged the fire to come to her, just like she did in Iyuno’s. The warm glow reached her, and she began to feel stronger. More, more, she thought. The fire filled her. She felt invincible. Maintaining the connection with the fire, she turned to face the gate. Kaya had the shield up, large enough to cover all three of them. “I’m starting.”

She raised her hands and using a spell slightly different that the one the Mage taught her, began to try and take down the protection spell. It was hard, and a trickle of sweat rolled down her temple and another down her spine.

“You’re doing it, Delia! Keep it up,” Kaya said.

The yellow tendrils were unravelling but there was a long way to go. She wondered if she’d have to take out every single tendril. The gate was nearly clear, but she wanted the whole spell removed.

“The fire is going out,” Aduello told her.

“I don’t know how long this is going to take. Can you find more wood?”

“I’ll go now.” He hurried off.

Delia kept working. More and more of the yellow tendrils disappeared.

Aduello came back and threw more branches on the fire. He stood beside his daughter. “Shouldn’t it break soon?”

“We don’t know, Father. The last one blew back on us.

“I can feel it weakening,” Delia said. “But it’s putting up a fight, just like last time.”

“Shield is ready,” Kaya said.

Delia pulled as much power as she could from the fire. Sweat dripped from her chin as she took more and more of the yellow tendrils out. She could feel the protection spell tremble. “Get ready!”

Just as she yelled the words, the protection spell snapped. The shield Kaya made protected them from most of the blast but still they were all knocked down. Kaya lost the shield spell. Delia lay on the dirt of the road, eyes closed.

“Are you alright?” Kaya hurried to Delia.

“Yes. Just resting.” She opened her eyes and rolled to her feet. “Aduello? Are you alright?”

“Yes. Fine.” He got up. “That’s quite the blast.”

Delia dusted off the back of her trousers and shirt. “Well. Let’s take a look, shall we?”

Aduello and Delia, kicked dirt over the remains of the fire while Kaya went for the horses. By the time she got back, the fire was out and the rocks of the fire ring were kicked back to the side of the road.

They mounted up and rode inside.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 39.

731 Words

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

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Martin Luther King’s Birthday: Monday Blog Post

Vegas by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

Happy Martin Luther King’s Birthday! Are you doing something special today with family or friends or just relaxing at home with a good book or binge watching favorite movies. I’m staying home today. It’s nice sometimes, isn’t it, to just hang at home with your hubby or wife and enjoy the time together.

 

I’ve begun my second All About Bob story. I’m calling it: It’s All About the Game. My main character is Roberta Hixon. Named for her grandmother, she calls herself Bobbie. Bobbie lives with her grandmother since her parents were killed in a car crash. Bobbie is too smart for her own good and is in the jam she’s in because of it. This is a YA contemporary series that I think everyone will like. The plan, as I discussed last year, is to write all five and release them one right after the other, probably in 2019.

I ordered the supplies I need for my vision board workshop. Now to do my own vision board.

Slave Elf is completed! I finished it the end of last week. Now I just need to post all of the remaining chapters. Then do another edit and send it off to the editor. I hope to publish it this year as a stand alone novel.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

 

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is over. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. The winners will be notified shortly. We’ll be starting the Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway in a few days. This is a great way to find new to you authors. 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.

I have a January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Killer Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan on BookFunnel.com. https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery. It will run from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors are also in the giveaway. Click that link and find some great mystery stories.

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to author J.A. Marlow. www.JAMarlow.com. J.A. also does some work on covers for other authors. She’s designed the new covers for my Brown Rain series. Isn’t the cover for Tested wonderful? I’m very pleased. Check out her books at her website. You’ll be glad you did!

Where Will I Be?

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

I’m already scheduled to go to the Phoenix Comicon May24th – 28th. Hope to see you there. I’ll be in Artist’s Alley!

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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Slave Elf Part 37: Flash Fiction Friday

Elf’s houses by nikyelisey httpsorig00.deviantart.netb9d8f2010008a8elf__s_houses_by_nikyeliseyev.jpg

See Part 1 here.

Part 37

Dappled sunlight, tinted green after shining through the leaves of the tree, danced on the wall opposite the bed. Delia was so comfortable she simply lay and watched the light. It was the smell of bacon that lured her out of bed. She dressed after splashing her face and went down to the kitchen.

There she found Phara, Aduello, and Kaya at the kitchen table, mugs of tea in front of each. “Did you sleep well?” Kaya asked.

“Yes. Thank you. I don’t think I moved all night.”

“Please sit,” Phara said as she stood up. “I’ll get you some tea. Breakfast is almost ready.”

Delia chuckled. “The smell of bacon was the only thing that could get me up.”

Everyone smiled. “I felt the same way,” Kaya said and sipped her tea.

Breakfast was friendly, and Delia and Kaya insisted on doing the cleaning up. Phara finally relented when the two young elves shoo’d her out of the kitchen. It didn’t take them long to finish and they found Kaya’s parents in the library.

“Good. You’re done,” Aduello said. He closed the book he was reading. “I’ve been giving your father, the king, some thought, Delia.”

Phara motioned to the chairs. “Please sit.”

“What have you been thinking,” Delia asked.

Sandy the dog got up from under Aduello’s desk to get an ear rub from Kaya, then lay down at her feet.

“King Ucheni had fallen back from the fight at Iyuno’s castle. That much I know. I also know that Iyuno attacked the palace.” Aduello scratched his chin. “My theory is that Iyuno’s forces harried the king all the way back. The question now, is where is the king?”

Delia nodded, her hands twisting in her lap. “And why a protection spell over the palace?”

“Tell us about this protection spell,” Phara asked. “I’m not familiar with it.”

“We weren’t either, Mother.” Kaya leaned down to pet Sandy and was rewarded with a tail thump on the floor. “It was something Iyuno had done. Master Kaepli figured it out and had us all practice building it and taking it down.” She nodded at Delia. “Princess Delia was the strongest of us at it. She was the one at the gate, with me, trying to take it down. Then the black elves began erupting from hidden tunnels and we were cut off from the army. I had been knocked silly when the protection spell whiplashed back on us. Delia got us away but more of the black elves came from another tunnel and captured us.” She sighed. “If I hadn’t been so weak, Delia could have gotten away.”

Delia shook her head. “I don’t think so. Iyuno had it all planned out. I was going to get captured or killed, one way or the other.”

Kaya gave Delia a smile of gratitude. “Perhaps.”

“What are black elves,” Aduello asked.

“Oh. That’s what we called the elves following Iyuno. Because they all wear black,” Delia said. “Iyuno and Iyuno’s nephews, Ceinno, and Nethene are all very powerful and I figured out why. That’s how we escaped.”

Aduello and Phara leaned forward. “Do tell.”

“They can draw power from fire.” Delia clasped her hands. “I had wondered why they didn’t use the magical lights like we did. They had torches all over the castle. The magic lights are so much cleaner and safer, I didn’t understand why they didn’t use them. Then the day before I broke out, I saw Iyunno with my magic sight, power was flowing from the torch to him. Then they made a mistake and didn’t take the torches with them that night. I pulled power from all of the torches they’d left until I could break my bonds and get free.”

Phara’s eyes were wide. She looked at her husband. “Did you know this?”

He shook his head. “No. But that was a remarkable escape.”

Kaya nodded. “She came and got me, and we got out. Neither of us think that the other black elves could pull power from fire. Just the two nephews and Iyuno. And now Delia.”

Delia smiled her gratitude at Kaya. “I think I want to go back to the palace and break that protection spell.”

Aduello nodded thoughtfully. “I can see where that makes sense.”

“But won’t it whiplash back on you like at Iyuno’s?” Kaya asked.

Delia shook her head. “I’ll build a bonfire and have a lot more power than we did the last time. I have to know what’s in the palace.”

“Do you think your parents are in there?” Kaya looked at her friend with concern.

“Perhaps.” Delia shrugged. “Perhaps no one is there and Iyuno put the spell up as an annoyance. I don’t know. But it’s a first step.”

Aduello nodded. “I’ll send some pigeons out with a question, where’s Iyuno. We could hear back within a few days.”

Delia pressed her lips together. “Good. We have a plan. May I borrow a horse?”

“Of course. I’ll go with you,” Aduello said.

“You’re not leaving me behind. I can help,” Kaya said as she stood up.

“I’ll pack you some food,” Phara said. “And stay here to receive the pigeons.”

Delia smiled. “You are all so kind.” She felt a little weepy, and sniffed back tears. “Thank you.”

Kaya placed a hand on Delia’s shoulder. “You’re my friend. What else can we do?”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 38.

898 Words

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

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Planning or Winging It: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Oh my gosh! It’s 2018 and the current topic of conversation in the author sites is planning for 2018. Goal setting is another name. And have you heard about the “word of the year” thing? It’s enough to make your head spin. Bottom line: what do you want for your new year? I usually make this huge, long list of things I want to do and generally, I get it all done. This year, however, I’m going minimalist. I want to do the rewrite and edit on my Zoe Ohale series book 2, Troubled Campus. I wrote the think April 2017. Time to get that bad girl done and out the door. I need to also rewrite and edit Mystery at the Reunion. I only wrote that in November but still—my mystery readers are waiting for it. I have the first book of my All About Bob series written. That was two years ago! But I think I want to write all 5 planned books, get them edited and release them one after the other. That way people who like the series can just dive in. Along with all of that, stop brainstorming my Christmas story and actually write it. Then, I want to release my Gulliver Station series as a box set for both ebook and for paperback. I’ve actually already began that process. Two of the books are reedited and the ebook book set already started on the formatting. Two books down, two to go. Then I have 2 major events and one minor one scheduled. The Phoenix Comicon starting May 24th and the Payson Book Festival, July 21st. My tables are already reserved for both of those. Then I’m scheduled for the Mesa Book Festival, about December 8th. Then, I’m getting healthier. I’ve mentioned I’ve started eating a Paleo diet to help with my Celiac and Hashimoto’s diseases. Food is the key for me. But in addition to eating better, I’ve upped my exercise. I’m already a week in and I can feel that I’ve lost weight.

Finally, there’s that word of the year I mentioned earlier. I started hearing about it last year. You choose the word for the activity or characteristic you want to focus on for yourself during the year. Some people choose FOCUS. Some choose DETERMINATION, or COMPLETION, or any other number of words. For me, I’m choosing FORTUNE. I did some work on this last year but this year, this is my focus. I have a pretty good back list of books. I have some great contacts in the author world. Now to get my stories out in front of you, the reader. What’s it going to take? Extra work in reaching my audiences. Encouragement for readers to leave reviews. Getting my name out in front of the right people for the genres I write. It’s not going to be easy, that much I know but it will be worth it.

http://magikstock.deviantart.com/art/Camel-1-319794644

Saying all of that, I’ve been working on my stand-alone fantasy story, Slave Elf. I’m at 50,000 words, a novel, and I’m loving where this is going. I’m nearing the end but I have one more twist to throw in there before wrapping everything up. It may be another 10k, it may be more, I don’t know but this story has been leading me a merry chase for months now. I hope you’re enjoying it. Once I have it done, I plan on cleaning it up, getting a formal edit and releasing it.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

It’s officially 20 days until my first Vision Board workshop. I’m getting everything prepared and I’ve already sent out my first emails asking people to come join me. Hoo!

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is over. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. The winners will be notified shortly.

We’ll be starting the Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway in a few days. This is a great way to find new to you authors. 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.

I have a January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Killer Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan on BookFunnel.com. https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery. It will run from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors are also in the giveaway. Click that link and find some great mystery stories.

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to author Abby L. Vandiver. https://www.facebook.com/authorabbyl.vandiver. Abby does a ton of promotional work with other authors, including me! She writes mysteries so if you’re a mystery lover, check out her books.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

I’m already scheduled to go to the Phoenix Comicon May24th – 28th.

On July 21st, I’m scheduled for the Payson Book Festival.

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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Slave Elf Part 36: Flash Fiction Friday

Elf’s houses by nikyelisey httpsorig00.deviantart.netb9d8f2010008a8elf__s_houses_by_nikyeliseyev.jpg

See Part 1 here.

Part 36

They hustled through the woods as best they could in the dark, circling around the castle until they were headed in the direction of the camp on the road they’d come in on. “What if they aren’t there?” Delia asked Kaya?

“Then we’ll head home. Not much else to do if we don’t know where they are.” After a moment she asked, “Your strength?”

“Fire. I saw Iyuno drawing power from fire. That’s why they have torches all over instead of the magic lights.”

“Oh my.”

“Yes. I puzzled over those torches from the first.”

“You think all of his forces can do that?”

“I don’t think so. Just Iyuno, Nethene and Ceinno.”

They walked along in silence until they reached the spot where the camp was. Delia looked around at the spot where her tent once stood and sighed. “It’s going to be a long walk home.”

“You’re right.” Kaya took a deep breath. “Let’s walk farther tonight. I still feel too close to that castle.”

Delia nodded. “Agreed.”

They headed off side by side, stopping very late to sleep. They woke at dawn and continued on their way. It took ten days to get back. They stopped on a hillside overlooking the valley where the palace was. “It doesn’t look like it’s under attack. Maybe Iyuno lied about fighting with my father. Maybe he’s not dead.”

“It would be just like Iyuno to tell us that. Making us grieve.” Kaya crossed her arms. “Let’s go. I’m looking forward to something to eat besides berries.”

Delia laughed. “And just splashing my face in cold streams.”

As they approached the gate, Delia felt as though something was off. “The gate is shut. Why would that be?”

Kaya shook her head. “I don’t know. It’s always open during the day.”

Switching to her magical sight, Delia gasped. “It has a protection spell over it. I can’t feel anyone inside!”

“Oh no,” Kaya said. She grabbed Delia’s arm. “Don’t go any closer.”

“What happened here?”

“No idea.” Kaya turned to leave. “We can’t stay here.”

“Where did everyone go?” Delia felt crushed. She so wanted to find her mother, take a bath, eat, and she wasn’t sure in what order.

“We’ll go to my family’s home.”

Delia nodded, fighting back her tears. “Of course.”

She followed Kaya back down the road. Her feet hurt and she was hungry and worse, she didn’t know if her parents were alive or dead. And what about Mage Kaepli and Sisruo? The tears leaked down her face.

Kaya put an arm around her shoulders. “We’ll figure it out, Delia.”

Delia nodded but at the moment, she just felt exhausted.

It was another five days before they reached Kaya’s home. Even in her exhaustion and hunger, she was amazed at the woodland setting that Kaya called home. The house was in a huge tree. They climbed up stairs that wound around the trunk until they reached a platform. Kaya opened the door. “Mother! Father!”

A dog came running, it’s whole body gyrating in welcome. Kaya squatted down to greet the dog. “Sandy, Sandy. Hello, girl. Hello!”

“Kaya!” An elf appeared in the doorway across the room.

“Mother!” Kaya left the dog and hurried across the room. She embraced her mother in a bear hug. “I’m so happy to see you.”

The two hugged and hugged, finally separating. “This is my friend, Princess Delia. Delia, this is my mother, Phara.”

Delia stepped forward extending her hand. She felt shy and a little out of place. Phara wrapped her arms around Delia. “Welcome. Welcome.”

When Phara finally let her loose, Delia had to sniff back tears. “Thank you for the warm welcome.”

Phara looked at both of them. “We heard you were captured or lost.”

“We were captured, Mother. But can we tell the tale later? We’re starved.”

“Of course. Of course, how silly of me. Come. We’ll get you something quick, then you can bathe and we’ll eat again. Your father is out in the woods.” She patted Kaya’s arm. “He’ll be so happy to see you.”

After a quick snack of bread and cheese, they bathed and Kaya loaned Delia a dress. They finished at supper-time and Kaya led Delia to the dining room. There they found Kaya’s father.

“Father!” Kaya dashed across the room and in a repeat of earlier with her mother, embraced him in a huge hug.

She introduced Delia. “My father, Aduello.”

He shook Delia’s hand, clasping her’s in both of his. “Welcome. Thank you for bringing our daughter home.”

Delia could only nod she was so overcome with the warmth of her welcome.

“Sit, please. Your mother is bringing out dinner.”

They sat and he poured them each a glass of wine, just as Phara brought in a platter of roasted venison and vegetables. “There. Eat till you’re full.” She beamed at the two of them.

Delia could hardly restrain herself as she loaded her plate with meat and vegetables.

Phara left and returned with a bowl of gravy. “This should help.”

Delia poured a generous amount on her food and passed it to Kaya. “Thank you so much. It’s been a very hungry fortnight.”

After dinner, they retired to a study. There, Aduello poured more wine and they all sat in front of the fireplace. “Are you ready to tell your tale?”

“We are,” Kaya said. She related the whole story to her parents and when she finished, both of her parent’s faces were full of worry. “But what happened to the king and the palace? Do you know?”

Aduello shook his head. “We know the king left the battle at Iyunno’s castle, but the entire army and the king just disappeared. The palace was attacked by Iyunno’s forces, but no word has come about what happened. And you say there’s a spell over the palace.” He sat back in his armchair and sighed.

Delia didn’t know what to think. “No one returned from the battle and no one escaped from the palace? Are they still in there? Frozen or worse?”

Phara shrugged. “We just don’t know.”

Delia rubbed her finger at the spot between her eyes. “I’m too tired to think.”

Phara and Aduello rose. “We’ve kept you up too long. Rest. We’ll figure this out in the morning.”

Delia stood. “Thank you for taking me in.”

Phara gave her a hug. “Don’t be silly. We welcome you.”

In her room, Delia climbed into bed in her borrowed nightgown and stared at the ceiling. What happened? Were her parents alive or not?

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 37.

1092 Words

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

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Happy New Year!: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

 

I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. For many of us, 2017 has felt like a constant chain of catastrophe and bewilderment. The start of a new year is a new slate. I am setting some goals, working on being healthier, and doing what I can to make 2018 a much better year. How about you? Any goals?

http://magikstock.deviantart.com/art/Camel-1-319794644

I’ve been working on my Slave Elf Story. I publish a new chapter every Friday on my blog. I originally started this story thinking it would be just 4 or 5 chapters long but yesterday I passed the 40,000 word mark so it’s officially a novella now instead of a short story. I’ve several times thought I’d written myself into a corner but every time I’ve sat down to write, something just comes to me and off I go again. I’m at that spot again today as I write. I have no idea what comes next. We’ll see.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

It’s officially 27 days until my first Vision Board workshop. I’m getting everything prepared and in a few days will send out my first email asking people to come join me. Hoo!

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is over. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. The winners will be notified shortly. We’ll be starting the Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway in a few days. This is a great way to find new to you authors. 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.

I have a January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Killer Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan on BookFunnel.com. http://annertan.com/ It will run from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors are also in the giveaway. I’ll post the link as soon as I get it.

Shout Out:

To my readers, friends and family. I’m wishing all of you the best possible year filled with love, joy and hope.

Where Will I Be?

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

I’m already scheduled to go to the Phoenix Comicon May24th – 28th. On July 21st, I’m scheduled for the Payson Book Festival. I’m also scheduled for the Mesa Book Festival December 8th. I’ll be adding other events as they come up.

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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Merry Christmas : Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I want to wish everyone Merry Christmas. May today and everyday be peaceful and joyful. Hubby and I are going over to a friend’s house with others for a Christmas day brunch. Later, I’ll cook a duck and have a cozy meal with my spouse. What are you doing today?

The little bit of rain we had last week was it. It’s been sunny and dry, and chilly, ever since. Birds flock to our bird bath. Since it freezes overnight, we go out and pour water on top of the ice so the poor things can get a drink.

On my writing, I sent a story off to Pilcrow & Dagger. www.PilcrowDagger.com. It’s a great little magazine. Check it out!

I’ve just made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. I hope you like it.

I did take a tour of the facility I told you about last week. It’s perfect for my Vision Board workshop. Now to gather all of my supplies. Thank goodness for internet shopping!

Giveaways:

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.

I have a January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Killer Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan. http://annertan.com/ It will run from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors are also in the giveaway. I’ll post the link in January.

Shout Out:

Today it seems appropriate to give a shout out to our military, police, fire fighters, hospital workers and all of the others who are at work today supporting, protecting and defending us. May your day be peaceful.

Where Will I Be?

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

My book events for the year are now completed. Enjoy your holidays and come back in January to see the 2018 line-up.

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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Slave Elf Part 35: Flash Fiction Friday

Moon and Clouds by Randy Cockrell

See Part One here.

Part 35

She ran, Kaya following, hit the guard with a magic blast and with her magic, began to raise the portcullis. The clanging and banging brought more shouts. She saw Kaya look behind her and throw a blast at the first black elf out of the kitchen door.

When the gate was four feet off of the ground, Delia charged forward, Kaya on her heels. She let the portcullis drop as soon as they passed. “We have to get into the woods and hide.”

Panting, Kaya said, “That didn’t work so well the last time.”

“It will this time.”

They covered the half mile of open land quickly though Kaya was tiring fast. “Where?”

“There.” Delia pointed into the woods. It was the wrong side of the castle from their old camp but they needed to hide first.

Into the woods, Delia led them. She held Kaya’s hand and passed some of her strength to her friend. Kaya nodded and ran.

Delia used her sight. She could see the tunnels the black elves used. There, she thought. On the granite outcropping. She pulled Kaya to a granite mound and hid behind some boulders. She lifted one to make an impromptu cave. They sat, out of breath, listening.

“Will this work?” Kaya asked.

“Yes,” Delia whispered. “Shh.” She used her sight to follow their trackers. Iyunno was so angry, she could feel him from here. Delia pulled her magic around them, making them as granite. For hours they could hear the black elves casting back and forth. Ceinno and then Nethene riding by berating the black elves.

By dark, the hunters had retreated to the castle. Delia pulled her magical hide down. “Let’s go.”

“You have strength after all of that?”

“Yes. I’ll tell you how once we get farther away.”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 36.

299 Words

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

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Tested, Vision Board, Giveaways : Monday Blog Post

Our Tree

 

Newest News:

My new cover for Tested is coming along wonderfully. JA Marlow is designing the covers for the whole series and a couple of days ago she sent me two samples. It was hard to choose between them they both looked so good! But I finally made a choice and the final cover will be done in short order. So, I may get the book out by the end of December. Stay tuned.

We had a bit of rain Sunday which was very welcome. It hasn’t rained here since September and the plants really needed it. I’ve had to water my fruit trees to keep them going.

On my Vision Board business, I’ve found a great place to hold the workshop. I take a tour of it today. I still need to get the supplies (scissors, paste, etc.) but I can work on that this week. I’m prepping a page on my website for the business with links to a sign-up application and a PayPal button. I’m very excited about this.

Giveaways:

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.

I have a January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan. http://annertan.com/ It will run from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors are also in the giveaway. I’ll post the link in January.

Shout Out:

Author Claudette Melanson has just released her 12 Terrors of Christmas and it’s already hitting best seller lists! She has a giveaway going on the Tome Tender blog, https://tometender.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-12-terrors-of-christmas-by.html?zx=df6bb21d8298b3e9, and it ends the 21st so you have a couple of days to get in on the fun and maybe win a prize! To reach the giveaway, scroll all the way down.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

My book events for the year are now completed. Enjoy your holidays and come back in January to see the 2018 line-up.

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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Slave Elf Part 34: Flash Fiction Friday

alnwick_castle_by_americamarten-dbomzh2 via DeviantArt.com. https://www.deviantart.com/art/Alnwick-Castle-706511126

See Part one here.

Part 34

There was no time to worry about Kaya or her mother that day, or the next, or the next. Thirsty, she couldn’t but help drinking the metallic tasting drink. She could tell the first day that it was making her compliant. She fought anyway.

The first day was the hardest. She tried making fireballs and sticking them to her tormenters when they neared. They responded with fireballs of their own. Soon her arms and legs were covered with burns. What of her long, black hair they didn’t tear out, they finally shaved off. She had to endure the humiliation of her bowels releasing after so many hours on the table. They made especial remarks about that.

By day three she had to resist quietly, reserving her strength for that only. There had been no food at all and just the tainted water. She pulled strength from inside, strength she’d built up all of her childhood as a slave. She was quiet, obedient but still, despite the drugs, her thoughts were her own.

Day four, Iyunno came to see her. He stood at the end of the table, staring. She realized as his eyebrow twitched that she must be a sight. Ravaged head, arms and legs, blood stained hands and wrists and what skirt remained. Gaunt, she suspected, after no food.

She’d been using her magical sight since the beginning. In this lull, she realized that the fire was bending toward Iyunno. When she looked at Ceinno and Nethene, the same was happening with them to a lesser degree. Were they feeding on the energy of fire? Why hadn’t she seen that before?

“You’re not as pretty as you once were, neice.”

She didn’t answer. What was the point?

“My nephews seem to think you’re more compliant.” He stroked his chin, then shook his head. “No, you’re not. You’re waiting.” He sighed. “Much stronger than I thought.”

On either side of her the two elves began to object. Iyunno raised his hand to stop the protestations. “No. She’s still stronger than you.” He turned and left.

The day was particularly trying after that. When they finally left, Delia rested as best she could. Today’s terror was a beating by invisible forces from face to feet. Everything hurt even more than before. Hunger woke her after a while. They’d forgotten to take the torches! They were getting confident in her weakness.

Could she draw strength from the flame? She studied the flame nearest her. Would the protection field over her allow energy in like it did air? Delia did her best to push all thought of her pain away and concentrate on the fire. Feel it, she thought to herself. Look at it, coax it to you like a shy kitten. Delia trembled with the effort, but she could see a tiny arm of flame move toward her.

Come little flame, come. Don’t be shy. You and I will be great friends. It seemed to take forever but she shoved that kind of thought away and concentrated. “Come,” she whispered.

The barest thread of flame tickled the protection field. “Come,” she whispered again. In it flowed through the field’s mesh. It touched her arm, but it wasn’t hot. A warmth spread through her making her dizzy. The aches and pains began to ease away. Ribs she hadn’t realized were broken, eased and her breathing became easier. Stronger, she called more of the flame’s energy to her. When that torch burned out, she called on the next.

She could feel the space around her, as she grew stronger. It felt as though she was the owner of the universe. Delia moved her sight outside the walls of the dungeon. It was nearly daybreak. Servants in the castle were beginning to stir, making the fires in the kitchen, preparing food. Her sight ranged through the castle. She could see Ceinno, a human female huddled, naked at the foot of his bed. Nethene slept alone but in the corner, a wretch of a boy, wrapped in a ragged blanket, whimpered in his sleep. Iyunno was in a tower room, already up and at the window, staring out at the brightening eastern sky.

Kaya was in the dungeon, a quarter of the way around the castle, chained to a wall, asleep on a pile of straw.

As the last of the torches gave up the last of its power, Delia gave a heave and the protection spell broke along with the heavy leather straps holding her down. She surprised herself by stepping lightly from the table and to the door. They hadn’t bothered to put a protection spell on it, so she opened it and headed for Kaya.

Iyunno was sure to have felt her punch through the protection spell. She hurried along the corridor, more than surprised that there were no guards. Delia smiled. They’re mistake, she thought. She broke the spell on Kaya’s door and scurried across the dark room. Startled awake, Kaya cried out.

“Hush, it’s me.” Delia took the cuffs in her hands and at the elemental level, broke them from Kaya’s wrists. “Hurry, we don’t have much time.”

Kaya moved quickly, falling behind Delia. “How’d you escape? They told me you were done.”

“They’re mistake. Later though. Iyunno must already know we’re about.”

With her sight, Delia led the most direct route to the back of the castle where the servants already had doors open to the morning air.

She could hear Iyunno calling out. “They know. Hurry.”

Along the way, any torch she found she drained quickly, though they were few and far between. They burst into the kitchens. Servants ran out of the way, screaming.

Delia said, “Hurry, the black elves are on their way.”

“How…” Kaya started.

“Later. Hurry.”

They ran out into a small courtyard. Delia spied the small gate to the outside, a sleepy elf standing guard. “Come!”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 35.

982 Words

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

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