Delayed Post, Christmas Prep, Editing:Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

You may have heard about this from other bloggers you follow. I was caught up in the WordPress (my blog host) upgrade. They upgraded to 3.0, then a few dayslater, 3.1, and when I tried to schedule last Monday’s post, I couldn’t get the post to schedule, or even publish. I waited, hoping that all of the other bloggers calling into their web host support companies would generate the upgrades fixing all the bugs, to create another upgrade. It did.  Create another update. And I tried again. But nope. No go for scheduling the now way past due blog post. So, I called Go Daddy, my provider and the nice tech figured out what the issue was and fixed it. So you got the post on Saturday, only six days late. Sigh. Hopefully today’s post pops up in your feed at the regular time.

Christmas is ready at my house! Candy is made. I cheated. I only made chocolate truffles. Cookies are made. I made sugar cookies this year as my mom has difficulty with nuts. And boxes were sent to my daughter, her ex-husband, and my brother. Little packages are ready to hand to my mail delivery person, my newspaper carrier and the trash man. Presents are under the tree. Now I’m free to enjoy the rest of the month. I hope your preparations are moving along.

https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/australian_gold_nugget_by_nerodesign.jpg

I mentioned in what is now Saturday’s post that my story, Gold Dreams, is at the editor. He emailed me to say he was working on it. And I reformatted Slave Elf so that another editor can do a theme/content edit on it. So, two stories in editing at the same time. A first for me. I have a front cover for Slave Elf. I’ll expand that to a full cover over the next two weeks. Gold Dreams is at the cover designers. She needs to know the page length before she can develop all of the covers. I’m so looking forward to her design. She did the cover for my award-winning story, Tested, so I’m sure it’s going to be fantastic.

Giveaways:

There’s still time to get in on the Christmas Giveaway! We have $120 in PayPal cash as the Grand Prize and from the individual authors, 81 books and 81 prizes. Hoo! Get in on it quickly! You can go here to check it out. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-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 arecoming.

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. It is finally up on all of my other retailers in ebook format. You can buy it at AmazonAppleBarnes and Noble, Kobo,and Smashwords 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.

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Mesa Book Festival, Candy Making, Next Appearance: Monday Blog Post


Newest News:

Saturday I shared a table with author MarshaWard at the Mesa Book Festival. The weather was pretty good though got cold after the sun went down. We met so many people who just love books and even sold a few ourselves. If you were able to stop by and say hello, thank you. I loved talking to you. If you didn’t get to come down, I’m sorry. The day was gorgeous and there was a lot to do in downtown Mesa on the 7th. Hope to see you at my next event.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Part of my Christmas prep is to make candy. I like to make peppermint patties ,almond butter cups, and everyone’s favorite, chocolate truffles. What’s your favorite Christmas candy? Anyway, I haven’t started any of the candy making yet, so I’ll have to get on that. What’s next on your Christmas to do list?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been posting further adventures of my western, GoldDreams. I finished the story and sent it off to my editor. I’ll post some more episodes, just know that they’re raw and sometimes, with my editor, I make somesignificant changes before actual release. I hope to have this done in time to sell the books at the Black Canyon Heritage Park Winter Fest on January 26th. Black Canyon is north of Phoenix off of I17. Check it out, and if you’re in the area, stop by. I’ll have several of my other books there as well.

In other writing news, I did a first pass edit on Slave Elf. I haven’t put out a fantasy book since Lost Rainbows so I’m pretty happy with getting the edit step started. Now to get it into an editor’s hands for a 2019 release.

There’s a new interview from me up on Ellwyn Autumn’s site and you can read it here. I hope you enjoy it. Follow Ellwyn’s site for lots more interviews with authors you may come to love! She can also be found on Lemondrop Literary. Another great place to find new to you authors and stories. Enjoy!

Giveaways:

There’s still time to get in on the Christmas Giveaway! We have $120 in PayPal cash as the Grand Prize and from the individual authors, 81 books and 81 prizes. Hoo! Get in on it quickly! You can go here to check it out. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-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 mynewsletter 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 arecoming.

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

Newest Book Release:

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. It is finally up on all of my other retailers in ebook format. You can buy it at AmazonAppleBarnesand Noble, Kobo,and Smashwords 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 criticalto help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

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Oldest Life Lessons: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Oldest Life Lessons

It seemed like just a few days ago I was sitting, well, all right, fidgeting, in the seat my young pupil was in. Might have been the same exact stool.
I watched him as I settled. Ten years old. Brown mop of hair hanging in his eyes. Flirting with the girl beside him, though I suspect they didn’t realize it was flirting. I’ll have to tell the Ward of Novices about that but not right now. Let them enjoy their little moment.
I tapped my cane on the stone floor and the children turned, reluctantly as I remember my time, to face me. I looked into all of their shining faces. Bored already, a good number of them. The girl, though, what was her name? Oh yes, Naiomi. And the boy, Azri, both looked expectant. I nodded. We could tell, who will be a good mage and who just average, even though the novices were in their second year. The ones who actually listened. They would be great.
This year was no different. I was just a middling-mage myself. I was one of the ones already bored. But no matter. I am good enough to teach the young ones. And too old, really, for anything else.
I had my dreams, of course. I’d be a great mage and save the Emperor from some dastardly dragon or an evil demon. That never came to pass. First of all, because dastardly dragons and evil demons are few and far between. Most often the problems are so common that even my middling powers could handle them. But secondly, the really hard problems are for these, Naiomi and Azri, who had the power and the education to handle them.
I sighed and began the class on basic spells. I’d given this class for the last fifty-three years. I could keep up a running internal dialog while I gave them the class. Mostly, though, I wondered where my life had gone? What did I have to show for it besides a handful at best of great mages and a few hundred average ones?
What would these bright young faces before me think if they knew how their lives would turn out? Most of them would be sent to small towns and villages to help the councils keep the peace and handle any sicknesses that might emerge. Lives of drudgery, really, and no family of their own to ease their loneliness. No children, unless you count the ones in our classes, to leave a legacy for.
I drew my shawl around me as we discussed what makes a good spell. I’d been getting colder and colder for more than a year now. Just winter coming on, I told myself. And age, of course. No getting around that.
I was lucky. After doing a few stints with various mages in villages and towns, I was called back to Castle Porta to teach. Life here was more comfortable. The food was better and came reliably. I still remember the year I was with Mage Selean in the village called Thorson. Snow drifted to the eaves and even the wood had to be rationed. Many elderly and young died from the cold or starvation or both. No. I enjoyed my three meals a day, thank you very much. And a hot tea whenever I wanted to send my intern for it.
That’s a good life lesson. Don’t be in a situation where you’re freezing or starving. The children were startled at my wheezing snort. I covered it quickly as a sneeze and they settled back down. We finished the class with a simple spell. One each of us learned in our turn. It was also a sorter. The children who couldn’t manage the spell were sent back to their villages. Or if they were smart or talented in some other way, we kept them on. After all, much has to be done to keep a castle running that doesn’t need magic.
When I released them, the children leapt from their stools as though a wolf were after them. I sat, slumping. Resting. You’d think their energy would feed mine but no. Another lesson. They suck the energy right away. I rested, half-dozing. My intern, Katarina, woke me with a hand on my shoulder. “Master Wheren?”
I gave myself a shake as I woke. “Yes. Yes. I’m awake.”
She helped me to my rooms. Had me sit in front of the fire and brought me tea. I woke again in bed.
Drean stood next to the bed. The old mage raised an eyebrow. “With us still, I see.”
“And why is the castle healer at my bedside?” I looked around my bedroom. “And where is Katarina?”
“I sent her for tea. And I’m here because she couldn’t wake you.”
I struggled to sit up. Embarrassingly, he helped me. “I can do it.” I slapped at his arms as he helped me.
“I know. Just thought a helping hand would be welcome.”
“Hmph.” I pulled the bedding up to my chin as Katarina arrived with a tray.
“Master!” Her face lit up as she put the tray on the table. “I’m so glad.”
Later, I watched her sleep in the chair beside my bed. The fireplace was burning very low. Probably close to dawn. She was so young. Given me as a nurse more than for what I could teach her. I sighed. Again. Too much sighing lately. I tucked my hands under the blankets. I was too cold, but I settled into the pillows and closed my eyes. The last life lesson, I suppose. At least I wasn’t alone.Share this:
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Gulliver Station Box Set, Brown Rain Series, Slave Elf: Daily Blog Post

 

Hey!

So I put the Gulliver Station Box set up on Amazon Kindle and it went live, Monday morning. Of course, in my efforts to reformat the set for Smashwords, I found some errors. So, I’m going to finish reformatting for Smashwords then copy the file over to the Amazon Kindle site, to correct that file. That means you can buy it now on Amazon Kindle if you don’t mind hyphenated words not being hyphenated and other esoteric errors like that, or wait. I’ll have that file corrected by the end of the week. Then I’ll be working on the paperback version, should you be interested in that.

Then, it’ll be time for the reformatting of the first 3 Brown Rain books. I did interesting formatting in book 4, Tested, that I’d not done before and I want to bring the first 3 books up to that standard. Plus add the new covers. So there’s that.

In the meantime, I’m doing my 1st pass edits on Slave Elf. Since I have a cover, I’m thinking of putting that book up on pre-sale. To decide, I need to estimate when the edits will be done and allow time for the interior formatting. There’s the Northern Gila County Fair in September for me to consider as that’s a week-long time commitment. Lot’s to think about there.

That’s it for today!

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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.Share this:
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Health, Garden, Writing: Monday Blog Post

Cactus Flower from my front yard.

Newest News:

The juice fast I began last Sunday was ended on Friday. I just never reached that point in the fast where I wasn’t hungry and on Friday at dinnertime, I went ahead and ate. Over all, I was 6 days on the fast and lost 6 pounds. The weight wasn’t the point, the fast’s de-tox was more important. Did the de-tox kick in? I have no idea. I never felt any different so I don’t know. Have you ever done a de-tox fast? How did it work for you?

The garden is doing well. I watered on Sunday. It hasn’t rained here in weeks and everything is so dry. Everything is now taking off and looking fabulous. Do you garden? What are your favorite things to grow?

Writing has been slow. I did go through my file of stories I’m shopping out to magazines. I have two that are still out. The rest have all been rejected. It sounds harsh to put it like that, but I don’t mind. On my story, Slave Elf, reader L.L. was the only person to send in an alternative title: To Catch an Elf. I’m not sure I like that one either but as the only contestant, I’m going to send her a copy of my book, Lost Rainbows. Thank you, L.L., for participating!

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

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ is still running but just for a few more days. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to my friend, A.F. Stewart. She’s one of those people who write horror and does a darn good job of it, too. One of her books is Ghosts, Gods and Sea Monsters. Here’s a bit:

In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.

Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.

His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.

What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…

Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.

You can find her at https://afallonblog.wordpress.com/.

Where Will I Be?

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

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

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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.Share this:
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Slave Elf Part 51: Flash Fiction Friday Post

 

Part 51

Find Part 1 here.

 

When they arrived at the palace, Mage Kaepli took down the protective spell and they all entered.

Delia went to her rooms over the objection of Master Kaepli. “But Majesty, you belong in the King’s rooms.”

“Not until I talk to my mother. That will be the end of it.” She went in and closed the door. Outside she could hear two guards take their positions on either side, and sighed. They were just as tired as she was but there they were, standing guard. All she wanted was a proper bath and a huge dinner. But the few cooks the army had with them wouldn’t have had time to heat water, let alone cook anything. She remembered the state of the kitchen. Totally cleaned out. Someone would have to go hunting or something before anyone had anything other than camp rations to eat. She hoped her mother had supplies.

It was a week before her mother arrived.

Delia was in the courtyard to meet her. She gave her mother a hug and a kiss on the cheek after she’d dismounted. “Mother. I’m so sorry.” Her mother looked pale and thin in her white mourning dress.

Raele patted her daughter on the cheek. “I’m so proud of you. You defeated our enemy. There is much to be happy for.”

Delia walked with her to Raele’s rooms. “Rest, mother. May I get you anything?”

“Later, daughter. We’ll go see your father before the burial.”

Delia nodded. “Let me know when you’re ready. I’ll escort you.”

Raele nodded. “Thank you.”

That evening they went to the throne room together. Now Ucheni was in his finest robes, his crown upon his head. Candles surrounded the body and an honor guard of twelve surrounded him. Raele, put her hand on his. “He loved you. Very much.”

“I know. He showed it in every way.”

Raele sniffed and used a delicate handkerchief to wipe her eyes. “He died too young.”

“Iyuno paid for that.”

Raele turned to her daughter. “I heard stories.”

Delia shrugged. “He treated with orcs, Mother.”

Raele sighed. “True.”

They had a quiet supper in the Queen Mother’s rooms and Delia took her leave early.

Three months later, the coronation was held. Raele was still in her rooms but Delia had moved into her father’s apartment. It seemed weird, to her. She stood in front of a floor length mirror as Alia stood by and servants fussed with the coronation gown. It had been less than a year since Corpet the caravan master had given her that blue gown to wear. Slave to Queen in that short amount of time. It didn’t seem real.

Alia nodded. “You look beautiful.”

Delia studied her reflection. Her hair had been just lightly dressed, so that the crown could go on her head. Her hair mostly flowed down her back. A black river reaching to her waist. She teleported a mug of tea to her hand from a nearby table. It was a trick she’d developed one day by accident when a quill was just out of reach. Alia’s eyebrow rose. “Just in private, Ali. It seems silly to have you fetch it when I can just call it.”

Alia shook her head. “As you will, Majesty.”

Delia rolled her eyes. Alia was a stickler. Fortunately, Kaya still had a sense of humor, as did Couran, Relan and Sisruo. She needed friends and confidantes, not masters. “I’ll not do it in public. I promise.”

The ceremony lasted too long, Delia thought, but her mother looked pleased and that’s all she could hope for.

She thought about Captain Catari and poor little Gallett. Both had died in the sick tent, some poison they’d gotten from orc darts. Her thoughts turned to her mother. One day, her mother would move out of the next door apartments, replaced by a husband. That might be Sisruo. He’d passed his exams after he’d healed and was now a Master Mage himself. They would be a powerful couple, if it all worked out. She was still too young to marry, though. Another hundred years or so to get to know him, and her people, and her culture. It would pass in no time.

Thank You for Reading this Serial

670 Words

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story. It was supposed to be a simple flash fiction of 1000 words or less. It ran long the first day and I thought it’d finish up in four or five parts. Hah! Little did I know. The story took off with me and here we are, over 50,000 words later, finally come to an end.

I don’t like the title, Slave Elf, but it was all right for a working name. Here’s the thing, I’d like a new title. So I’m going to hold a contest. I’m going to get this story edited and put into novel form. Whoever suggests the winning title, will get the story as a signed paperback. Make your suggestions in the comments. I give this contest a month, closing May 18th. Get your suggestions in before then. Yes, you may make multiple suggestions. US residents only for the paperback. Overseas readers, I’ll send you an ebook if you win.

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

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Slave Elf Part 50: Flash Fiction Friday Post

campfire_by_kiaraz via DeviantArt.com

 

Part 50

Find Part 1 here.

 

Alia called for help and two elves Delia didn’t know took her back to the king’s tent. “No.” She pushed away from the tent. “My tent.”

“But Your Majesty,” Alia began.

“No!” Delia shook her head. “My tent.”

Alia directed them to Delia’s tent. “Get the mage,” Alia directed one of them. To the other she said, “Get hot water and cloths.”

Alia got Delia’s breastplate off and her boots. By then water arrived in a basin with cloths. She washed Delia and put her clean shirt and trousers on her then let her lie down and sleep.

When Delia woke the table had a single candle and Alia was dozing, head propped on her fist at the table. She sat up. The small noise waking Alia.

“Princess.” She leapt from the chair. What do you need?

“I need to know what’s happening.”

Alia ducked her head. Everyone is at Master Kaepli’s tent.”

Delia put on socks and boots, having to shoo Alia away. “I’ve been dressing my own feet for years, Alia. Leave me be.”

Alia complied but fidgeted in the corner of the tent while she waited.

“Is there anything to eat?” Delia asked.

“I’ll bring it to the mage’s tent.”

“Good.”

Alia insisted on walking her there before going to get the food. When she entered, everyone, including Master Kaepli, stood. Delia sighed to herself. So this is what is was going to be like from now on? “Reports?”

“We’re glad to see you recovered, Prin, excuse me, Majesty.” Kaepli bowed.

“Thank you. How are our forces from the passes?”

He motioned for her to come to the map table. Juner stepped aside. Kaya nodded her greeting and Delia gave her a smile. Mystesto and Neoni weren’t in the tent but Lord Enaur was. “Tell me.”

Kaepli took a deep breath. “Orcs, Majesty. We had no idea any were left.”

“There are fewer now,” Delia said. The very thought of the ugly creatures she’d had to fight made her skin crawl. “My uncle apparently made a pact with them.” She shook her head. “I’ll never understand it.”

“Agreed.”

“And Captain Catari? Neoni? Mystesto?”

“Catari took heavy losses at the south pass, Majesty. He was severely injured and lost all but one of his men and many of ours.”

A quick thought of Gallett flashed through her mind. She’d find out later. “And the north pass?”

Neoni took a wound, but not too bad.” He sighed. “Mystesto was killed. They had orcs there as well.”

She hadn’t known either of them long but still a pang of grief, sharp as a blade went through her heart. Delia swallowed back tears. She was a queen now, tears were for private times. Still, it took a moment for her to find her voice. “My uncle’s forces were stopped, though?”

“Yes, Majesty.”

“And Sisruo?”

“He took the brunt of the orc attack at the field, Majesty.”

Delia stared at him. “And?”

“He, Couran and Palen were all injured. They’re in the sick tent.”

Alive, she thought. Still alive. “I’ll have to go visit them.”

“Yes, Majesty.”

Alia came in with a plate of roast meat and vegetables. “Majesty. Your dinner.”

The aroma made Delia’s stomach growl. Apparently power from fire didn’t satisfy that need. She sat down, the plate on top of the maps and ate as though she’d not eaten in days. “Go on.”

“We’ve lost nearly a thousand elves, Majesty.”

“And where are Nethene and Ceinno?”

“Dead, Majesty.”

Delia nodded. Painfully, she thought but kept that to herself. “Has word been sent to my mother?”

“Not yet, Majesty.” Kaepli licked his lips. “We await your order.”

Of course, she thought as she ate the last bite of the roast. “Send word that father has died but that I have survived.”

“Where is father’s body?” She stood up.

“In his tent, Majesty.”

“I’ll go see him.”

Kaepli bowed.

Delia left the tent, Alia behind her. After her trailed two elven guards. I’ll have to get used to that, too, I suppose.

There were two guards outside of the king’s tent door, one on each side. They saluted as she passed and she saluted back. Alia stayed outside.

Inside she found her father, washed and dressed in the best robes he had with him, lying in state on a makeshift table, draped in long, cotton cloth. His cloak was wrapped around him and four large candles stood at the corners of the makeshift byre. Gold coins weighted his eyes and a makeshift crown of flowers was on his head.

Delia rested her fingertips on the cloth, not touching the body. It’s too soon. I didn’t get to know you. Why? Why? Tears fell as the pain in her chest grew. So much time, wasted. Damn Iyuno. Damn Nethene and Ceinno. Why? The tears fell and fell but quietly, so the elves outside couldn’t hear. She didn’t know how long she’d stood there but finally the tears stopped and she wiped her eyes with her sleeve. Delia sniffed and left.

“Sick tent,” she said when she got outside. Alia raced ahead as her two guards followed.

Once there she made the round of cots, greeting each one in turn. Finally, she reached Sisruo, Couran and Relan. “I see you survived.”

“And you, Princess.” Couran said.

Relan reached over and smacked his brother. “Majesty, you dolt.” He looked at Delia. “Exuse my brother, Majesty. He’s had the sense knocked out of him.”

“I understand. I had the sense knocked out of me today too. “I’m glad you three are all right,” she said, looking at Sisruo. “May you all heal quickly.”

She spoke to Kaya. “I’m glad you are here to help them.”

“Rest, Majesty. You’ve had a bit of a day as well.”

All of a sudden, Delia felt like an old, used up rag. “Perhaps you’re right.” She took Kaya’s hand and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Delia went back to her tent. “Alia. I need to sleep. Unless we’re under attack, let me rest.”

“Yes, Majesty.” She bowed and backed out of the tent.

Delia sat down and pulled off her boots. That didn’t mean she was alone. There’d be someone outside the tent all the time, listening for her least command. She pulled the blanket over herself and turned on her side, asleep in a moment.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 51.

1061 Words

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

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Slave Elf Part 49: Flash Fiction Friday Post

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Part 49

Find Part 1 here.

 

Her father, Delia could see, was a formidable fighter but Iyuno, even without a fire to draw power from, was better. She found herself making tiny movements, fighting Iyuno with her father. Twice she found a fireball in her hand, ready to throw, but had to extinquish it in frustration. Ucheni was missing multiple chances to deal Iyuno a blow. In return, he was falling back, step by step. She gripped and re-gripped her sword pommel until her hand hurt.

Alia approached. “The fire is ready, Princess.”

Delia nodded, never taking her eyes from her father. “Can you tell what Iyuno is going to do, Alia?”

Alia focused on the fight in front of her. She shook her head. “No, Princess.”

Delia sighed. “What if you pretend you are the king? What then.”

Alia blinked at the Princess. “Let me try.” She took a breath and took a fighting stance.

Delia watched at Alia did what she’d been doing. The shield maiden shifted minutely, hands and arms twitching. Alia stood up. “No Princess. It doesn’t seem to work that way.”

“Thank you for trying.”

Delia took a breath and blew it out. Her hopes to use Alia’s magic sight for strikes were dashed. Besides, even if she could see a blow not meant for her, they’d never talked about whether Alia could send her thoughts to her. She didn’t even know if she could herself. Her fingers drummed against the sword’s pommel. Both Ucheni and Iyuno were using swords. Magical, Delia supposed. Iyuno was driving her father back. It was if he were getting stronger. She looked again at his soldiers. There was no smoke from a fire. Where was he getting his strength?

Suddenly, her father’s foot caught on something as he was stepping back he went to one knee. Iyuno raised his sword and before Delia could scream, he brought the sword down. Her father paused, sword half-raised. The army went silent. A gash appeared at the base of his neck. The sword, dropped, in seeming slow motion, in one direction as her father followed.

Then, she did scream. “FAAATHERRRRR!”

She ran out onto the field. Fireballs in both hands. She had flung them at Iyuno before her father had finished falling.

Iyuno swung his sword around and slid it into its scabbard as he held up a hand. Delia was knocked back, falling into the long grass. She turned on her magical sight. Now was not the time to be emotional, she thought as she rolled to her feet. She used her invisible heat force but the force bounced from Iyuno’s magical shield.

Delia made a shield for herself and glanced back at her army’s line. Her army, came the flash of thought. Alia had lit the fire. Delia pulled its strength to her then faced Iyuno.

“So, pup. You think you’re ready to face me?”

“Face you I will, evil one.” She moved into a fighting stance. “You killed my father.”

“Not much of a father, handing you over to slavers,” he said as he circled.

She watched as he moved. Where was he getting his power? She flung the sleeping spell at him. It splashed against his shield.

He threw another fireball while swinging his sword at her. She stepped outside the swing as his fireball hit her shield.

This could go on forever, she thought. Each of us is getting power from fire. How long can I pull on that and survive? His constant barrage of fireballs, force balls and other tricks she’d never seen were keeping her busy but she did her best, now that she was closer, to see where his power was coming from while still putting up some resistance.

A flash at his feet drew her attention. What sort of magic was that? She looked closer as she chanted the sleeping spell and threw a fireball. The ground? He was getting power from the earth? How could that be?

Where was Sisruo? Shouldn’t Iyuno’s hundred elves be asleep by now?

She scrambled as Iyuno pressed his attack. He was powerful, and her magical shield was taking a beating. Delia drew more heavily from the fire. He had to know what she was doing. Why didn’t he try to stop her?

She tried everything she knew, including throwing up a protection spell around him but she didn’t have the skills and training he had. He was going to kill her too if she didn’t do something.

He taunted her again. “You’ve developed some small skill, niece. Congratulations.” He delivered an invisible blow as he used his other hand to try and force her off of her feet.

Delia didn’t answer. At his feet were flashes of light. What was he drawing from?

“Die, traitor.”

He laughed and somehow, clapped his hands together, creating a gong sound.

She took a step back. Now what?

Screams from her army sounded behind her, as in front of her, behind Iyuno, the ground opened up and orcs came streaming from the holes. She stared. Orcs? Weren’t they all dead?

“You’ve broken the protocol, Uncle.”

He laughed. “Winning is winning, niece.”

She struck out, anger washing through her as orcs came racing across the field. Delia doubled her efforts as she used the anger to fuel her magic. She wasn’t sure just what she was doing, fire and lightning burst from her finger tips. Delia swatted at her uncle, a force ball like none other she’d ever done flew from her left hand, making him stagger. She pulled power from the fire. Ah, his fire was underground. That was it. Delia pulled power from that as well.

She charged as the first of the orcs reached her. They swirled around her as though she were not there. That wasn’t what she’d expected. Her army, though, were in the fight of their lives. Iyuno was not so lucky. Her charge took her right up to him. She held him, magically, with one hand as she drew her sword. “You killed my father!” She ran him through, twice, three times. Again, as he lay on the ground. She pulled her sword and began chanting the sleeping spell and swinging at orcs.

She was half way back to her own lines when she realized Alia was beside her, taking out orc after orc. The field was littered with bodies, orcs mostly but elves as well. Delia’s anger exploded and she seemed to swell, larger and larger as she charged after the orcs. When she’d finally killed the last one she found, Alia was calling to her.

“Princess! Princess! Stop! It’s over.”

Delia drew a breath and blinked. “Over?” She felt shrunken and old.

“Over, Princess. You’ve won.”

Delia removed her helmet and pushed loose sweat-soaked hair back from her face and looked around. “Over.” She sank to the ground, exhausted.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 50.

1141 Words

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

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Brain 2 Books CyCon Post

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Fantasy Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes
B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

It’s Happening!:

The Brain 2 Books Cycon, http://b2bcycon.com/, starts April 6th and runs all weekend for #readers, #authors, and just anyone who loves books. If you’ve been to this totally on-line event, you already know how much fun it is. If you haven’t been, you’re in for a treat. Things are going on all over the place and all day and night. So, if you’re in Australia, no worries! There’s something for you, too! I’m part of several things, including SciFi, Fantasy, and Mystery events.

Fantasy Events:

One thing I’m part of is a blog hop about why I write Fantasy.

That’s pretty easy. I’ve loved fantasy my whole life. Not just the epic George R.R. Martin or Tolkein works but anything with fairies, elves, witches, mages, sword and sorcery, or anything else.

I love getting into a good story or book and entering that world. Forgetting all the stuff in my own world, I can be the heroine, fighting dragons or the evil queen. I can root for the hero and empathize with him when things go horribly wrong.

When I finish the book, I come out sort of dazed. Slightly confused about just where I am—I totally live that story and am sad when I have to leave. But those stories stay with me. They become part of who I am and like all good myths, frame my state of mind about the nature of good and evil, heroes and bad guys.

And what’s wrong with that!

Other B2BCyCon Events:

Over on GoodReads, we have a book expo running. #B2BCyCon2018 If you’re looking for the kind of Fantasy (or SciFi, Western, Mystery or other genre) that takes you off into another place and time, check out the expo. All of our authors have their work up for sale. Pick up a little of everything at: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fairgrounds. You can find all of my works under the 2018 SciFi Showcase (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19253368-connie-cockrell-scifi-author)  but by all means, check out all of the other showcases as well. Who knows what wonderful things you will find.

Another event I’m in is the Cover Wars, http://b2bcycon.com/cover-wars-2/. I’d love it if you would scroll down through the covers and vote for mine. One I’m especially happy with is the Tested cover. (It’s toward the bottom.). My good friend J.A. Marlow designed that one, replacing an earlier cover. I just love the colors and the design elements she came up with.

Then there are all of the other events for the other genres. I have to say, on the website, click the Events tab, then the other tabs, to find something that’s just for you!

Video:

Lots about the con is fun. One thing is this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id-l7f0i9LU. I love videos don’t you? They make the whole thing come to life.

Where Will I Be?

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

I’m excited to say I’m booked for the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum on April 28th, 2018. What’s more healing that getting lost in a novel! I’ll be there all day and you can buy, and I’ll sign, any of my books. SciFi, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery and more. You can find tickets at https://www.mhafoundation.com/upcoming-events.html

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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 paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

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Happy Easter, B2BCyCon, Cozy Winter Reads: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Happy Easter to all. I hope you had a wonderful day. I went to my brother-in-law’s house with my husband. We had a nice meal, played some games. A good evening out.

Coming April 6th, I’m in an on-line Brains to Books Cyber-Con. There are all sorts of authors in just about every genre participating. The link is www.b2bcycon.com for contests, author panels, and yes, areas for shopping for books. There is also a GoodReads component at  https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fairgrounds.   I have a showcase at (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19253368-connie-cockrell-scifi-author) if you’d like to take a look. The con runs from Friday through Sunday and I know it’ll be fun because I participated last year. See you there!

Just a reminder, Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

If you’d like an Advance Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. There are only 18 copies left so hurry. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there, so you get updated on every new release!

Giveaways:

The March Fantasy and Mystery giveaways are now closed. I hope you had a chance to get some new to you authors’ books.

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has started. I’ll announce winners from the St. Patrick’s giveaway as soon as they’re drawn.

Shout Out:

To Phoenix Comic Fest. They have an incredible line up of artists, actors, vendors and more. https://phoenixcomicfest.com/ Tickets are on sale now.  I’ll be there the entire weekend. I’m going to be in Artist’s Alley booths 928 and 930. Hope to see you there.

Where Will I Be?

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

I’m excited to say I’m booked for the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum on April 28th, 2018. What’s more healing that getting lost in a novel! I’ll be there all day and you can buy, and I’ll sign, any of my books. SciFi, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery and more. You can find tickets at https://www.mhafoundation.com/upcoming-events.html

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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 paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.Share this:
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