Working, Working!

I managed to get the garden cleaned up in time for Saturday’s birthday party for my hubby. Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate. We had 20+ people in our very small living room and kitchen. Didn’t matter. We all had fun and hubby got a great birthday party, Yay! Here’s a picture of the Santa Hat brownies I made for the event.  Image

Sunday we had a quiet day. I had a chance to start developing my book covers for the Gulliver Station series. So far I have draft pencil drawings. Don’t give me too much credit. The drawings look like a 3rd grader did them. However, I chose my font and made note of what goes where. The text, most of the back cover, title and author name is finished on the cover. I spent 3 hours on the background and it’s only partially done. I’m still learning Gimp, so everything takes forever. On the plus side, many of the elements for this book cover can and will be used on the subsequent covers. I love reusable work.

I have a Chuck Wendig challenge, number five of five to complete, and will post it on Friday, as my Friday Flash Fiction. I’m also going to try and post the completed stories I participated in. That may take a few Mondays or maybe special posts. I’m still behind on my 2 Year Novel Course. Sigh, I’ll get to it, I promise. I want that story for my 2014 Christmas book. I need to begin revision on The Challenge. This is the second of my four novel series about Gulliver Station, a SciFi series about a space station. I’m working toward an end of March release for the second book. Book 1, A New Start, was passed to my beta readers Saturday. Stay tuned. Will I make my January release date?

Finally, please have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I appreciate all of my followers for checking in with me each week. I appreciate your support and comments on my posts.

If you’re still looking for a Christmas gift, check out my Christmas Tales. Links are below. In each of those markets you can find my other books as well. Hope you enjoy.

Links:

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get first dibs on any promotions, book announcements, and other information. Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. http://conniesrandomthoughts.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=8c24bb15bdf9245512f722298&id=0a097feea0

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

Links Christmas Tales:

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-tales/id761282885?mt=11Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/christmas-tales-3

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Tales-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1494200570/ref=la_B009O6199C_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385963121&sr=1-4

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-tales-connie-cockrell/1117497310?ean=9781494200572

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/christmas-tales-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379010

December Madness

I finished the first pass through the first book of my Gulliver Station series. There’s a lot of changes and updates to make. In addition I still have to design the cover. I release the first book of the series at the end of January so stay tuned for the announcements. Lots and lots to do!

Christmas stuff  update. I made the fondant for my peppermint patties and made chocolate covered toffee. I cut the base of my Christmas cards. I still have to make the decorations for the cards and stamp the insides.  Then of course, there’s the addressing and mailing. Hope to get those cards in the mail by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest.  Still to do for candy and cookies are truffles, roll out the fondant, cut in circles and dip in chocolate for the peppermint patties. I also make Russian Teacakes or some people call them Mexican Wedding Cakes or even Snowballs. They’re a tradition of mine and it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them.  By December 16th that all has to be made and boxed up and boxes put together with gifts and the candy/cookies to send to my Mom and my son-in-law.

After that it’s my husband’s birthday and we’re having a host of people over for a party. Somewhere in there I have to wrap gifts. I did get the tree up and the house decorated.  Check that off of the list.

Links:

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get first dibs on any promotions, book announcements, and other information. Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. http://conniesrandomthoughts.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=8c24bb15bdf9245512f722298&id=0a097feea0

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

Christmas Tales released November 17th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Amazon or Smashwords today!

Links:

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-tales/id761282885?mt=11

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Tales-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1494200570/ref=la_B009O6199C_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385963121&sr=1-4

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-tales-connie-cockrell/1117497310?ean=9781494200572

Kobo: Still loading.

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379010

Join My Team and Other News

I’m finalizing my Christmas Tales collection. Would you like to be among the 1st to read it? I’m looking for beta readers. If you’d like to be “in the know” and a critical part of my next book, sign up for my Newsletter. You can do that two ways. There’s a link at the top right of the page and a Newsletter tab where you can sign up. In a week or so, I’ll be sending the draft out and looking for critical feedback on punctuation, missing or misspelled words and any other mistakes to be found in the stories. Sign up today!

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Other news, NaNo starts on Friday. My writer friends and I are gearing up, finalizing our outlines, cleaning our desks and stocking up on snack food. It will be 30 full days of writing madness.

Halloween Tales released September 30th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Amazon or Smashwords today!

Links:

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/halloween-tales-a-collection-of-stories

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/halloween-tales-connie-cockrell/1116995365?ean=2940045288972

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Tales-Collection-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1492783072/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380515780&sr=1-2&keywords=Halloween+Tales

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359689

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/halloween-tales-collection/id716418558?mt=11

Spotlight: Selena Laurence’s New Book – Camouflaged

I don’t do book reviews very often and I’ve never done a spotlight. But Selena’s part of my writing group, Power Writing Hour, and we like to give each other a hand when our books come out. I’ve read both this book and it’s follow on book, Hidden. They’re both page turners to say the least. Here’s some info about the author and the book. For fun, I’ve posted an excerpt and a picture of the book cover at the end. If you’re ready to buy, there’s a link at the bottom that will take you directly to Amazon. Enjoy!

To celebrate the release of Camouflaged Selena is having a great giveaway, go to this rafflecopter link to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ef955d0/

The Book

 Camouflaged (Hiding From Love Novella #0.5)

Gabe Thompson enlisted to help out his buddy, but three years later he’s 100% US military bad boy, serving in the desert of Afghanistan where the days are hot, but the nights are hotter.

Alexis Garcia is out to save the world. The University of Texas freshman has come to Afghanistan to do aid work with the United Nations. She’s all about the peace, and she has no use for the camp’s biggest, baddest, gun toting player.

But, sometimes camouflage is more than a color, and people aren’t what they seem. When conflict develops not only between Gabe and Alexis, but also all around them, they’re forced to look deeper, and what they find will rock their worlds and change their hearts forever.

Camouflaged is the prequel novella to Top 100 bestselling Military Romance, Hidden.

The Author

 Selena Laurence lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and spends a hell of a lot of time at soccer games, on her laptop, and reading. She requires a Mocha Latte every day to function, keeps a goldendoodle at her feet most of the time, and has more kids than she knows what to do with. Her husband, Mr. Laurence, spends as much time as he can at the office and the gym in order to avoid the kids, the dog, the laptop and the reading, but he always shows up for the soccer games, and he makes a mean Mocha Latte.

Selena can help you Escape the Everyday at these online locations: www.selenalaurence.com

Twitter: @selenalaurence

Facebook: SelenaLaurenceRomanceAuthor

The Reviews

 5 STARS: “absolutely amazing. Definitely another book that is going on my perfect romance shelf.” – Heather, Not Everyone’s Mama Book Reviews

4 STARS: “Selena does a fantastic job building the characters and the story line so that you’re sucked in from page one.” – Michele, Goodreads

5 STARS: “well written beautiful storyline and characters” – Caryn, Goodreads

5 STARS: “This is a perfect love story” – Mary, Goodreads

4 STARS: “Selena Laurence grabs you from the first paragraph and pulls you into Gabe and Alexis’ story which keeps you interested until the very end.” – Mary, Goodreads

The Excerpt

             I slowly looked down, meeting up with a tight t-shirt stretched across full breasts and a tiny waist that was followed by low-riding cargo pants which fell from narrow hips down long legs. The top of her head barely reached my chin, so I put her at about five foot four. Her crazy mess of hair was half hanging alongside her face in loose waves and I thought it would feel really good if I dug my hands into it while I yanked her in for a hard, hot kiss on those lips slick with some kind of girly lip crap.

“Sorry,” she said, looking at me like I was the enemy. Her voice was low and rough, like a great torch singer. I wondered if she was musical, because looking at her made my head spin like there was a song ricocheting around in it. I grinned at her a little to see what her reaction would be.

“No problem, babe. Can I do something for you . . . or even to you, if you’d prefer?” She scowled more and her eyes narrowed. “My name’s Alexis, not ‘babe,’ and I really doubt there’s anything you could do that I’d be interested in,” she snapped.

The book is now available on Amazon and other ebook retailers.  Here is the buylink for Amazon: http://amzn.to/1duopGr

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More Big News: My Book is being Released!

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to release 4 books, self published, this year. I’m on number three. I plan on releasing my new book, Halloween Tales, on September 30th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can preorder at: Apple, Barnes and Noble or Kobo a couple of days before the 30th. I’d attach a link but it isn’t up yet.

So, here’s a snippet from 666 Devil Dog Road.

The rest of the day was spent dusting and polishing the built in wooden bookcases. She lovingly put her books on the shelves, admiring the glow of the wood and the look of the leather bound volumes on the shelves. At supper time Victoria reheated the casserole Nancy brought. She considered the dog ghost story. How can dogs be ghosts? She put the puzzle aside after she ate, there was more cleaning to do. At 10pm, after reading over her class notes, she went to bed.

It was 3a.m. when ferocious growling woke her. She turned on the bed lamp. Circling her bed were a pack of dogs, all growling and snarling. They paced back and forth, staring at her. She clutched the bat she’d brought to bed with her, but it seemed like a bad idea to strike at the dogs. They paced around her for about an hour. When she blinked a moment, they were gone.

You can get the rest of 666 Devil Dog Road and 4 other stories next Monday. Just for fun, here’s the cover.

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New Story has been Published!

The Adventure of Creation, an anthology by students of author Holly Lisle, (A Think Sideways Writers Anthology) is now for sale on multiple on-line retail outlets. I have a story in there called, Just Add Copper. There are 35 stories in the book and a forward by Holly, herself. I’d appreciate it if you would buy an e-copy or a paperback version. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Creation-Foreword-Sideways-Anthology/dp/3956810007/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374965288&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Adventure+of+Creation

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AND! I have my newest book, Recall up on a promotion on Smashwords.com. For a three more days, it will be free to download. Go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Connie+Cockrell and use coupon code SW100. Go today. This promotion will END on the 31st so hurry!

Cover Reveal for The Adventure of Creation, an Anthology

In January 2013, the moderators of Holly’s Forum (that’s us), approached her with the idea of an anthology. With the 5th anniversary of “How to Think Sideways” drawing nearer, it seemed a good idea to match the release date with the anniversary. Holly agreed to the idea and even added a monetary price for the top stories. After a very, very difficult selection process, we settled on thirty-five stories. It’s a pity that we couldn’t take them all. The scores were so close. we had lengthy discussions and finally went five stories over the 30 story limit we had planned.

With the stories selected and in Holly’s hands to pick a winner, we are proudly presenting to you:

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The Adventure of Creation

The Think Sideways Anthology #1 presented by Holly Lisle

35 marvelous short stories by gifted new writers

Follow a girl to the Below-World to slay the Sharkshadow, or help a timid girl to overcome the destructive criticism of her art teacher. Witness a solitary drone on Mars or a naive homunculus struggle to become human. Sew with a mother who lost her daughter in a quilt, defeat super-villains in a bank robbery with an unlikely superhero, or join a great mage in the fire.

In thirty-five imaginative stories, emerging authors present the diversity of their creativity. Each author found a different angle for the unifying theme: The Adventure of Creation. Witness the talent nurtured by writing teacher, Holly Lisle. For the 5th anniversary of her first big writing course, How to Think Sideways, this anthology features the best of her talented students in a great variety of genres.

The eBook and print book will be released on the 24th of July. Help us spread the word. If the anthology is successful, we might do another one next year.

I’m one of the lucky 35 so get ready, it’s going to be a fabulous book!

A new book by Selena Laurence: Hidden

I beta read this book for my writer friend Selena. I’m not usually a reader of romances but I wanted to help her out. I was totally impressed. The story is fast moving and engaging. The characters are realistic and I was interested in them and the story from the first chapter. I hope you check it out.

HIDDEN – A Hiding From Love Novel

New Adult Contemporary Romance

Nick Carlisle comes to Hawaii to hide—from what happened during his service in Afghanistan, from relationships, from his future. Lyndsey Anderson came to Hawaii to hide too—from the man who abused her, from the sacrifices she made, from her dark past. But when Nick meets Lyndsey, Hawaii gets a whole lot hotter, and they find they can’t hide their hearts. As Nick fights to come to terms with what he’s done, Lyndsey struggles to forgive herself for the choices she’s made. But when the dangerous past threatens the beautiful present, can they survive to learn how to love? And who will finally reveal what’s hidden?

And here’s a little about Selena Laurence:

I love to write romantic stuff that helps you get away. Life can be a grind, and things like jobs and school and dirty dishes make Jill a dull girl – and me too! So, I write Contemporary and New Adult romances about hot guys and smart girls and cool places. It’s an Escape from the Everyday. I love to hear from readers, so don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, and feel free to email me, Tweet or Facebook any time! www.selenalaurence.com.

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Book Release Update

I’m trying very hard to get my book, Recall, released. So I apologize for no story this week.

Instead, I’ve finalized the cover and am working via CreateSpace to get the cover and interior files  (that’s the story!) properly formatted so it can go to print. I’m pretty excited, as you can guess.

Here’s the final cover of my book. I’ll keep you all posted on it’s actual release date and when it can be found on Amazon.

The final version

The final version