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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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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Fire! Christmas Gifts, Book Festival: Monday Blog Post

By Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

Fire! By now everyone knows that California is in severe distress from fire. My daughter lives in Oxnard, right next to Ventura where the Thomas fire is creating havoc and devastation. She and her roommate are under a prepare to evacuate notice. The air is too thick with smoke to breathe and as a mother, I’d just as soon she come here until the danger is over. But, she’s volunteering at the Ventura Fair Grounds where the county has set up an emergency animal shelter, despite the fact that a section of the city was burned. I know many of you also have friends and/or family in southern California that you are worried about. We send prayers of hope that the courageous firefighters can get these fires under control and that no one else has to perish.

Photo by Randy Cockrell

I don’t know where the year has gone but I was not prepared for December and Christmas. Anyone? Anyone? I had no idea what to get my husband. He’s the sort that when he wants something, if we can afford it, he just gets it. Frustrating. Anyway, I have thought of a few things for him and have gotten them and wrapped them and put them under the tree. All the decorating I’m going to do is done. All the holiday baking and candy-making is done, and packages have been mailed to family. Now it’s time for the party rounds to start. I love this time of year and can’t wait to hang with friends over bring-a-dish buffets and the New Year’s Eve party my friend Karen always has.  I hope you’re preparations are going well.

On my Vision Board business, I’ve been locating supplies, gathering magazines and think I’ve found a venue where I can hold it for not a lot of money. I still need to call the place but unless they’re booked, I should be booked this week. Women I’ve talked to about getting their magazines have expressed interest in the workshop. I’ve priced materials like poster board, glue, glue brushes, scissors, and other materials I’ll need to conduct the workshop. So, I’m moving forward and eager to do my own vision board.

Me, Story Monster and Marsha at the Mesa Book Festival

I attended the Mesa Book Festival Saturday with my friend Marsha Ward. I found out when I was there that it was their first one! It was well organized, and the weather cooperated with us. A lovely 75 degrees or so and no wind. Several of the Payson Book Festival authors were there and many from Marsha’s ANWA (Arizona Night Writers Association) member were there as well. Also there was Story Monster, a regular attendee at the Payson Book Festival. We talked with so many readers! It was a great day.

Giveaways:

Starting December 1st, the Roses and Dreams Christmas 2017 Facebook event began. This is a combo event. FIRST EVENT will be a featured author each day. 23 authors in total (1 each day) who will introduce themselves and their books. Competitions and giveaways at their discretion. 45 minutes with any winners notified the next day. I was scheduled for Sunday December 3rd at 1:30PM Arizona time (8:30pm London time) on www.Facebook.com/events/1990733174542034, for 45 minutes with games and book talk.

The SECOND EVENT will be our showcase and we are very excited to announce it. You’ve heard of the Eurovision song contest well now (drumroll please) we’d like to present World Bookovision (#WorldBookovision).

How does it work?

Two weeks starting Monday 4th December (Monday to Friday)

Week one a poll will be pinned with that week’s participating authors. Each day three authors will have a thousand words of one of their books posted (We will post it in the morning) and people get to vote on which ones they like. You can vote more than once. At the end of the week, the two people with the highest votes will go through to the final.

Week two follows the same pattern and the two with the highest votes will go through to the final.

On the week commencing 18th December, the four finalists will showcase the next thousand words of the same book and a new poll will be posted. At the end of the week, the poll will close and one author will win. The author will receive two weeks’ worth of social media advertising from Su and Maria. The winner will provide a copy of that book as a prize (print or e-book) and this will be presented to the person who has participated most in voting. If there are more than one, then we will put them into a draw and the winner will be picked randomly. I’m in this WorldBookovision on Thursday the 14th with 1000 words of one of my stories and I’d appreciate a vote! www.Facebook.com/events/1990733174542034

Throughout the day we will also post lots of Christmas fun. Come and join us as a reader or a participating author.

The Christmas Giveaway has begun. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

Author Kebba Buckley Button

Kebba Buckley Button was a 2017 Payson Book Festival author and was also at the Mesa Book Festival with me on the 9th. She is an ordained minister and former engineering manager, a Masters’ Degree scientist, award-winning author and corporate stress management trainer. Rev. Kebba Buckley Button creates books and programs that help people live with both the vitality and inner peace they have been seeking.  For spiritual people who ache for self-calming, Kebba wrote Peace Within. For those who want an easy how-to for meditation, she created Sacred Meditation. For anyone who wants to trade in their stress for energy and joy, the answers are in Discover the Secret Energized You.  Yes, you can enjoy life!  You can find out more at www.kebba.com.

to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

 

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 33: Flash Fiction Friday

Celebration by S Tar Maiden via DeviantArt.com

See Part 1 here.

Part 33

Iyunno placed his napkin on the table. “I do hope you’ve enjoyed your meal. It will be the last for a while.” He nodded and the black elves surrounded Delia.

Her heart pounded as her hands grew slick.

“No!” Kaya leapt up.

At a simple wave of Iyunno’s hand, she froze, face in a grimace of both anger and fear.

That made Delia even more afraid. “What are you doing?”

Iyunno sniffed as both Nethene and Ceinno chuckled. “We’re going to bring you over to our side.”

Delia’s head shook no of its own accord. “No. No I won’t.”

“We’ll see.” Iyunno nodded again and one of the black elves grabbed her arm.

Her magic exploded. The elf holding her flew back, his sword flying through the air. Delia rounded on the others, using the push she’d just hit Ceinno with on the other black elves trying to surround her.

Ceinno and Nethene slid around the table, surrounding her and held her with their magic. She fought, but they held her arms to her sides and aside from a trembling whole body shield, she could do nothing. They walked her, Kaya still held in stasis, out of the room and to the dungeon. They shoved her onto a wooden table, slanted so one end was on the floor with a small platform for her feet and strapped her to the table. Helpless tears of anger and fear and frustration leaked from her eyes as they tilted the table up to a forty-five degree angle and wrapped her in a protection spell.

They laughed when they finished. “Not so much after all,” Nethene said.

“It took two of you to wrestle me down here,” Delia said. “And me with just a few months training.”

Ceinno made a movement with his hand.

Delia strained for breath.

“Careful, little one, or I’ll set the grid so small no air will get in.” He waved again, and her breathing became easier.

She glared but said nothing.

Nethene turned to leave. “Sleep well. We begin in the morning.”

Delia watched them leave, shutting the door and soon, a protection spell covered it. It was dark. She tried to remember what was in the room as they forced her into it. She closed her eyes to avoid the oppressive absence of light. On the wall behind her a table. There were things on it but she hadn’t really seen them in her struggle. To her right, a stone wall, not a few feet away. On her left, she tried to remember, but nothing came to her. A larger space than on her right. In front of her was the wall with the door. No windows, though it was dark, perhaps there was one on one of the walls but she just didn’t see. More tears slid silently down her face, dripping into her ears or along her jawline.

She sniffed and did her best to stop crying. Her heart was still pounding from the fight and the fear. What happened to Kaya? Is father really dead? What can mother do to defend the castle? What did Iyunno mean he can force me to turn? Delia struggled against the straps. She could feel her wrists grow wet and slick. Bloody, she thought, and tried to pull her hands through the straps. It didn’t help, they remained in place.

Delia grew tired with the struggle. As well, she wasn’t really standing and wasn’t lying down. The board at her feet wasn’t wide enough for her whole foot, just her heels and that was wearing as well. Her back began to hurt as well as her now injured wrists. She wished she could wipe her eyes and nose. Everything was a discomfort or pain.

It finally occurred to her that the protection field would hold her in place. When she tried it, it didn’t shock her as other protection fields had. She closed her eyes and tried to rest, a steady drip, drip, drip, from behind her a strangely comforting sound as she fell asleep.

At the sound of the door being unlocked, she woke, her eyes gummed together by last night’s tears and sleep. She squeezed her eyelids together then forced them apart just as the door opened. It was Ceinno and Nethene. They were followed by black elves with torches they put in brackets on the walls on each side of the bed and behind her.

Nethene clucked as he approached the table.  He clucked softly. “What’s this! Blood?” He looked over her to her right wrist. “And on this side too.” He shook his head. “Look Ceinno, she’s damaged herself.”

Ceinno shrugged. “She’ll heal. But look at her face! She must have been crying all night.” He laughed. “Afraid, little one? Afraid?”

If she hadn’t been so thirsty she’d have spit, then thought better of it. It wouldn’t get through the protection field anyway. Then she was surprised when Nethene took it down.

Her eyes must have shown the surprise as Nethene chuckled. “You think we’re so afraid of a child that we’d leave it up while we’re standing right here?”

Her mouth was too dry to reply.

Ceinno came back to her side from behind her. He held a mug to her lips. “Drink, little one.”

She tried to shake her head no but Nethene grabbed her by the hair and Ceinno forced her mouth open and poured the liquid in. Delia sputtered, water flying in every direction. It was water and she swallowed some but there was something else in it. Metallic tasting. Ceinno laughed. “There will be more, little one. Oh yes. And you will drink.”

“May you die a horrible death,” Delia managed to croak out.

They both chuckled. “Excellent,” Nethene said. “A good sign, there’s still fight in her yet.”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 34.

969 Words

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

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