Happy Columbus Day, Calendar, Book Signing: Monday Blog Post

man climbing the mountain from Depositphotos_105717054_original

Newest News:

Happy Columbus Day! I love a three-day weekend and I’m retired. It’s the idea that everyone gets an extra day off of work to have a picnic or take a hike or do other family things that just makes me happy. So I hope you and your family get a chance to do whatever it is that makes you happy.

I’ve finished my 2019 calendar. Arizona is such a beautiful place and a calendar of pictures from central AZ fits in so well with my Jean Hays series, I really just can’t resist sharing. Now that it’s completed, you can find the calendar on Lulu. Just click on the link and purchase as many copies as you want for yourself, friends and family. Feel free to share the link, and this post!

This weekend, October 13th and 14th, I’ll be at the Pine/Strawberry Fall Festival. It’s a craft fair, antique show, book signing and chili cookoff all combined into one, great, two-day event. I’ll be there the whole weekend, ready to sell some books and sign them too. My hubby is entering a chili, he’s titled it Red Menace, in the chili cook-off. The cook-off starts at 11am on Saturday the 13th and the chili tasting and the chili, goes fast. So come early, try the chilis, and browse the many vendors there with great crafts, books, and antiques perfect for birthday or Christmas gift-giving. See you there.

The Gulliver Station box set still has some sort of error that’s preventing it from being distro’d to Kobo, iBooks and other places. That’s on Smashwords. I’ve tried a couple of things to fix it but it’s a no go. Over on Amazon, I’m trying to get the box set up as a paperback. For some reason the cover size isn’t doing what I want in the application. Then in the manuscript, I can’t get the pagination right. I’m about ready to pull my hair out. Still, I may have to make more phone calls to get it all put together correction.

I mentioned last week that I have my notice to transfer all of my paperback book files from Createspace to Kindle. I didn’t get that done because of the fight with the box set. Need to do that before they do it for me.


The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway is over. One of my winners is Jodie Pagan who’s won an ebook copy of my book, First Encounter. The other person who won actually unsubscribed in March but came back this summer to try for a prize. I’m not awarding that person the prize. I’ll be drawing a new winner.

I want to take a moment here to mention that as authors, we do these giveaways to build our newsletter lists. I happen to use the service MailChimp and they charge me quite a bit a month to use their service to contact you about my new books, contests and other news. When a contest subscriber joins my list and then unsubscribes, and several do that as soon as the contest is over, I get a nasty warning from the service that because of the number of unsubscribes, they may cancel my service. I know many of you enjoy the contests and love to get the gifts. But please, if you don’t want to hear from me, I understand. Really I do. Just don’t subscribe.

The 2018 Halloween giveaway is now open. You can join in the fun at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80+ as a Grand Prize Paypal cash, plus books and other prizes.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

Craft Fair Book Selling: Monday Blog Post

My Table at the Book Signing

My Table at the Book Signing

Newest News:

I spent the 8th and the 9th in Pine AZ at the Pine-Strawberry October Fall Festival. It’s the business community’s monthly craft fair and in October, they specialize in antiques, a chili cook-off, and tables for authors to sell their books. I had a table and one other author, a poet, Carena del Uno had a table. On Saturday, she shared her table with a mutual author friend, Annemarie Eveland. We had fun chatting with each other and with the attendees and all of us made sales so it turned out to be a successful weekend. A couple of people interested in being authors stopped by the tables and I invited them to attend our monthly Arizona Professional Authors meeting. The more the merrier! I hope they come.

Pat and Randy at the Chili-Cookoff

Pat and Randy at the Chili-Cookoff

Speaking of the chili cookoff. My husband and his brother, Pat, participated in that event. They had tables next to each other so they could talk. As usual they had a good time talking to friends and neighbors who came to enjoy the chili. At the end, it turned out Pat won second place in the cook-off! Hooray! That’s Pat in the red.


A delay on the release of Troubled Streets. Last week my computer died so I lost two and a half days of work time to troubleshooting, then buying and setting up the new computer. Then, I totally messed up the interior file format and am having to do it all over again. Correctly this time. It will be another day or two since I spent the weekend at the craft fair. However, the cover designer, J.A. Marlow, was able to correct the cover quickly. I had the updated cover in my email this morning! The book will be out soon.



It’s the Halloween Author Group Giveaway. You can find the Rafflecopter link on my website. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook and twitter pages, too. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Recall, or for second prize, a copy of my Halloween Tales ebook. Over a hundred prizes from 30 authors plus a grand prize of $100 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day!

Shout Out:

Author Veronica Sosa McDonald

Author Veronica Sosa McDonald

Today’s shout out is to author Veronica Sosa McDonald. A mom of two and a fiction author, she’s my author interview for Wednesday. If you can’t wait, you can find her at: VeronicaMcDonaldAuthor.com

Garden News:

We’ve had some lovely weather the last week so the garden is fading but I’m still picking tomatoes and the Swiss Chard hidden by the zucchini plant. We haven’t had a frost yet so my lemon tree and bay tree are still outside. Soon though, I’ll have to bring them in for the winter, along with my Jade plant. Then it will be time to clean up the garden and put it to bed for the winter. How about you? Is your garden clean-up done or do you still have some growing season left?

Where Will I Be?:

My book at Dog-Eared Pages Used Book Store

My book at Dog-Eared Pages Used Book Store

The wonderful people at Dog-Eared Pages Book store (http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/) were nice enough to put a few of my Mystery at the Fair books on their shelves. If you’re in Phoenix, stop by the shop and say hi to the nice people there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes 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.

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits Ad

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a 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.

Chicklets in the Kitchen: Making Soap

Lavender, Soap,

Lavender Soap by Connie Cockrell

The kitchen isn’t just for making breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t know about you, but a lot of crafts get done in my kitchen. Not long ago I showed you how to make butter. Here is another craft that is fairly easy to do at home and the result is great for gift giving. Hoo! Anyone thinking about Christmas?

So, here’s how you do it.

Some hardware and ingredients for making soap

Some hardware and ingredients for making soap


2 quart glass measuring cup

1 quart glass measuring cup

2 cup glass measuring cup

2 silicone muffin sheets (optional. 2 4X8 inch bread pans, lined with parchment)

1 cookie sheet

2 wire racks

1 large stainless steel spoon to still lye and water mixture

Stick Blender

4 quart stainless steel pot

Rubber Gloves and Eye Protection

Soap ingredients

40 ounces olive oil (not extra virgin)

10 ounces of coconut oil

16 ounces of warm water (from the tap is fine)

6.9 ounces of lye

1.5 to 2.2 ounces of essential oil, any scent (optional)

1/4 cup of crushed flower petals, chopped herb, whatever matches with your essential oil


Things move quickly when you’re assembling this so make sure you have all of the ingredients measured out, open and ready to add to the pot. Use glass and stainless steel so there won’t be any adverse reactions. Aluminum is not suitable for the measuring cups or pot.

To see the rest go here.

Monday Blog Post: Small Town Fun

Monster Mudder, Water Slide,  Randy Cockrell

Monster Mudder Water Slide by Randy Cockrell

Summer fun is in full swing in my little town. Friday was the first Friday of the month so some of the options for Friday night were a wine tasting at The Beverage Store and First Friday at the Down The Street art gallery where a person can look at and buy some of the wonderful selections of paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other art made by local artists. They offer a free glass of wine and various appetizers and this Friday, they also had the local drama club offer a one act play! Over at the Community Presbyterian Church, was a Jazz concert. Saturday was huge. See a picture from above from the Mogollon Monster Mountain days. There were ATV trail rides and the Monster Mudder. A wonderful 5K obstacle course race that had about 600 participants. Did I mention it rained for the first time in recorded weather keeping for Arizona on Friday and Saturday morning? Lots of muddy fun. Then there was the Farmers Market and in Pine, running all weekend, was the Craft Fair. I took my mom and she bought a cute little tea cup with a strainer basket that fits right inside and a cover to keep your tea hot while it steeps. Then Saturday evening was the concert in the park. This week it was a lovely group of a cappella singers with a doo wop focus. We were all singing along. So what happens in your town on the weekend? Lots of fun? Picnics? Concerts?

Over at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com I put up a button to advertise the upcoming Payson Book Festival. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to the www.PaysonBookFestival.org. Check out the Meet the Authors tab. We have SIXTY authors coming to the event. You’re sure to find a book or topic that interests you. We also are archiving the radio interviews of authors that will be at the Festival. Check out the Media tab, Interviews. There’s a new one every Friday until the Festival. The next one is my friend Susan Haught!

I’ll be closing down www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll notice at the top of the web page the notice. Please do transfer over to the website. I’d hate to lose you all.

Mystery at the Fair came back from the editors and I’ve read through the comments. This was a content edit. That means the editor was looking for places in the story where I may need to ramp up the action, tighten the dialog, that sort of thing. I want this book out for the July Festival so I need to get cracking on the re-writes. I’ll keep you posted.

The unexpected rain last Friday and Saturday were a wonderful gift for us gardeners. I still need to get my tomatoes, peppers and such. That bush I pulled out? Yep, I went to the garden center and replaced it with lavender. I can hardly wait for it to bloom.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re interested, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote their books. Thanks in advance.

Weekend at the Craft Fair: Author Signings

The Drawing Prize Basket by Connie Cockrell

The Drawing Prize Basket by Connie Cockrell

I organized a book signing for this weekend’s craft fair. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html I started a couple weeks ago, contacting the fair people and it happened a fellow author volunteers for the event. We teamed up and were hoping to get an outdoors 10X10 ft. space for a discount. It turns out they had space inside and the other authors (3 of them) that we were going to shoehorn into the space, sharing the cost, would get tables inside too, all for the fact the one author volunteers. Yay! So five 8 ft tables indoors. Here’s the low down on all of them.


Me at my table by Connie Cockrell

Me at my table by Connie Cockrell

I sold the entire Gulliver Station series at the craft fair. I sold 4 complete sets and 2 of the first novel of the series. I also had 11 people sign up for my newsletter. I’m calling that a win. You can find links to locations were you can find all of my books on the Books tab on this blog site. I also have an Author Page on Amazon where you can find a list of my books.

Nancy Lee Burns:

Nancy Lee Burns at her Table by Connie Cockrell

Nancy Lee Burns at her Table by Connie Cockrell

This is the wonderful volunteer. Many thanks Nancy. She had two books at the signing, her first book: Retirement: Sacred or Scared and her newest book, Enjoy the Apple: You Picked It. Click on the titles to go to the Amazon links. She calls these Spiritual Adventure books.

Ken Crump:

Ken Crump and his book by Connie Cockrell

Ken Crump and his book by Connie Cockrell

Ken brought his children’s book, The Last Moment, to sell and sign. Click on the book title to get to the Amazon page. He had a wonderful illustrator for the book, Amy Abney, also local to my area. Her art work is amazing. His blog is www.brickhousepiggy.com and can be reached at KenCrumpAuthor@gmail.com.

Carole Emma Mathewson:

Carole Emma Mathewson and her Book by Connie Cockrell

Carole Emma Mathewson and her Book by Connie Cockrell

Carole has two books out, The Hostess of Providence, a one woman play, and her newest book, The Waste of War, a Civil War era Historical Fiction that is about her great-grandparents, a Union surgeon and his wife, who served as his nurse through some of the most horrendous parts of the Civil War.

Finally but not least, AnneMarie Eveland:

AnneMarie Eveland doing a Face Reading by Connie Cockrell

AnneMarie Eveland doing a Face Reading by Connie Cockrell

She brought her Self Help/Psychology book, At First Glance: What Faces Reveal. She spent much of Saturday doing readings for people. It was quite well accepted. Her site is www.HurrahForHumans.com and can be reached at Annemarie@HurrahForHumans.com.

We all had a great time chatting with craft fair goers, trading writing tips and enjoying a wonderful camaraderie. The basket drawing was won by Tara Fuller of Chandler who has donated the basket back to us. We’ll have to decide what to do with it now. I threw all the rest of the tickets away in Pine so have no way to draw a new winner.

I for one, learned a few things.

– Many people saw my SciFi books and assumed they were for kids. I had to gently tell them they had adult themes.

– People visiting a craft fair tend to walk as far from the tables as they can get and do their best not to make eye contact.

– Having a drawing, which we did, brings people in close enough to chat. Our drawing was a basket with one book donated by each author and a big mug with 5 different ways to make hot chocolate. If the word free didn’t bring them in to make out a ticket to drop in the jar, the word chocolate seemed to do the trick.

– Once you have them in to chat, we had great conversations and some people even took our business cards. A few even bought a book.

– Catchy book titles will bring passing visitors in for a look. Nancy’s book, Retirement: Sacred or Scared generated quite a few conversations.

– Don’t throw the drawing tickets away until we actually get the prize to someone.

Overall, we had a great time and hope we can get together again sometime.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!