Mystery at the Reunion, Paleo, Calendar: Monday Blog Post

 

Newest News:

Saw a contest for mysteries and thought my cozy, Mystery at the Reunion, might be a good fit. The site is called InkShares and I’ve never used that site. So, I figure, what the heck, right! Anyway, I’m putting chapters from the story up over there and I can win the contest by getting people to read the story. So here’s the link. https://www.inkshares.com/books/mystery-at-the-reunion. I’d appreciate it if you’d go over and have a read. At the end, I’ve been putting up alternative chapters from Dwight’s point of view. It fleshes him out a little better and makes the story a little more interesting. I introduced a new plot line in his voice. We’ll see how that goes.

I also bit the bullet and am reformatting my Gulliver Station box set for Smashwords. Sunday I managed to remove all formatting from the entire set and get the title page, the table of contents, and the first book, A New Start in there and formatted. I’ve linked the TOC with A New Start chapter headings as well. So that’s done. Three books to go and the endmatter. Then I’ll try to get it up on Smashwords again.

Still keeping up with my celery but being kind of hit or miss with the rest of the paleo diet. Those dang candy bars keep calling my name. And, we went to a Halloween party on Saturday, so of course there was wine. Anyway, I’ll keep plugging away at it. How about you? What goal are you working on?

National Novel Writing Month, NaNo for short, starts November 1st. I’m prepping to write in my All About Bob series. I have to finish book 3 then write books 4 and 5. If I stay focused, I can do all of that. The stories are meant to be novelette/novella length, so totally do-able. I’m also leading a write-in for my local chapter of the Arizona Professional Writers. This should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it. That’s scheduled for November 21st.

A reminder that 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!

Next appearance is in December, the Mesa Book Festival. That’s December 8th. You can find all of the details at https://mesabookfestival.com/.

Giveaways:

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 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.

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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A Writer’s Job: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s possible that you wonder why, as a writer, I cannot get stories to you faster. I understand. It seems to take a really long time for me to produce and publish your next favorite series book. To be honest, it feels like a long time for me, as well.

A look at my current to do list might let you in on what’s going on. These are not in any kind of order. Just how they occurred to me as I was making the list.

AuthorShow.com – a note to myself to apply to the audio and visual podcast program that provides some exposure for authors. (Marketing)

Brown Rain Covers – I have them done, just want to update the interiors to match Tested’s interior. (Marketing)

Brown Rain Interiors – Yep, see above. (Marketing)

Gulliver Box Sets – What I’m currently working on. (Marketing)

Pre-Order Slave Elf – Get the story Slave Elf up on multiple platforms/sites as a pre-order. (Advertising)

Edit Slave Elf – (Editing)

Amazon Affiliate – Re-apply to Amazon for affiliate status. That way people coming to my author page or a book page, can continue their other Amazon shopping and I get a tiny cut at no additional expense to my readers. (Cross-Promotion)

Set up Amazon AUS, NZ, CAN – Officially set up my author page and books on these country sites for more exposure to English speaking readers. (Marketing)

Set up Optimize Press – This is a site that gives me assistance in setting up my marketing pages. (Marketing)

Pinterest Class – This is a Mark Dawson beta class that I have not been able to access despite the fact it appears on my class page. I’ll have to contact someone to get it to open for me. I’d love to learn how to use Pinterest to expand my reader base. (Marketing)

SAM – this is actually a book festival reminder that as a non-profit organization I have to annually re-certify that our organization is tax-exempt. (Volunteer)

Post Review – I had a nice review of Tested from Reader’s Favorite. I need to post it on my Tested pages (Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords) (Advertising)

You may notice there’s no reminder to write. I don’t need a reminder to write, it’s always in the back of my mind. I need to write a flash fiction to post every Friday and current writing projects include finishing It’s All About the Music, (plus 2 more to make 5 in that series), a horror story for December deadline, and edits for both Mystery at the Reunion and the 2nd Zoe Ohale story, Troubled Campus.

I’m also scheduled for a book selling/signing on September 15th, October 13 – 14th, and December 8th. So I need to inventory my on-hand books to see what needs to be ordered. I sold quite a few at the Payson Book Festival and need to re-supply.

It’s obvious I do a lot of tasks that are marketing oriented. I need to if I want my reader numbers to grow.

And that’s it! Lots to do and all of it needs time and energy. Some days I just want to play games on Facebook.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway is in progress at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

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 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.

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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Saying Hello: Daily Post

Picture of the crowd.

Hey there!

So you may have gathered from previous posts, and my facebook and twitter feeds, that the Payson Book Festival was yesterday.

As the founder and director of the festival, last week and especially Friday and Saturday, were full. Some of Friday was consumed with a workshop the festival puts on for our signed up authors. A little bit of extra value for the price of thier table. We had Richard Draude from Mystic Publishers come and talk to those of us assembled about how to pitch a book to a publisher or an agent.

Mind you, this isn’t a submission process, most publishers/agents have submission guidelines right on thier websites. A pitch is a face to face, probably at a conference or other event, where the author in 30 seconds or less, lets the person they’re talking to know about thier book. Then there’s some conversation as the publisher/agent finds out more. After the workshop, Mr. Draude was kind enough to take a few pitches. Four authors were brave enough to do it.

Author and Blogger, Sharon Day

Later that evening, we had a meet and greet where authors, mostly confined to their tables on Saturday, have a chance to mingle and meet each other. Sponsors and town officials are also invited. I sat and talked with author Sharon Day. She’s a fantastic blogger over on http://sharondaybooks.blogspot.com/. I was asking her how to increase the followers on my blog and one answer was to blog every day.

My mind boggles. But she said it doesn’t have to be a huge post. It can be short and funny, even.

So. Here I am. Recuperating from getting the book festival off of the ground for another year, starting my daily blogging habit. I email 75 people my blog. Let’s see if the number goes up. Can you help? Share my blog with interested friends and family. I’d like to get my reader number up into the thousands. Think big or go home, right?

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 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.

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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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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NaNo, New Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So today is day 13 of the National Novel Writing Month. Yesterday I reached over 26k words on my fourth book of my Jean Hays series, Mystery at the Reunion. I’ve been pantsing (writing by the seat of my pants, no outline), since day four. I have one more chapter to write to bring the book to a close. The problem is that I’ll only be at about 28k words, nowhere close to winning NaNo. What’s a girl to do? Why, weave in a new plot line, of course. I’m not sure what, yet, but it may be from the bad guy’s point of view. We’ll have to see when I start writing tomorrow.

On my new class on Vision Boards, I completed the first module on Saturday. I’ve compiled a list of places to hold the workshop and decided on a date, with two backup dates. I’ll be making those phone calls starting Monday. I’m excited about this. I’ve even begun drafting a tab on my website to be a Vision Board contact.

Giveaways:

The Spooktacular Authors Halloween Giveaway is over and the winner’s list was compiled. I’ve contacted all of my winners (three of them!). I hope they like the prizes.  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 https://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:

Madeline at the Northhampton Diner. Waffles!

A shout out to my mom, Madeline, today. She checked into the hospital yesterday with pneumonia. Nothing to ignore if you’re an 80-year-old woman. Hugs from across the continent, mom. Hope you feel better soon!

 

Where Will I Be?

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

On December 9th I’ll be at the Mesa Book Festival. Get full details at https://mesabookfestival.com/. I’ll be in a booth with my author friend, Marsha Ward. www.MarshaWard.com. Between the two of us, we have a large number of genre’s covered. Come get your Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. The festival runs from 2pm – 8pm.

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 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.

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Happy New Year 2017: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Happy New Year! I hope that you, your family, and all of your friends have a wonderful and productive new year.

One of the things I do each year is set some writing goals. Usually I check in July to see how I’m doing but July was so busy this year, I never did get around to seeing how I was achieving the goals I set in January. Here’s the breakdown.

  1. Goal: Start an author interview post on my website for 2X per month.

I did that. I had two author interviews per month all year long. I plan on continuing this feature on my blog. See below for who’s coming up next, January 4th! Do you enjoy these? Is there an author you’d like to see on the feature? Let me know.

 

  1. Goal: Submit stories to newspapers/magazines about my appearances before and after each appearance.

I didn’t do so well on this goal. I would get busy and forget to send something to the paper for local appearances. However, I think I will keep this goal for 2017. Promotion is a big part of an indie author’s life and a good way to build a local following.

 

  1. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2016

I didn’t publish 6, but I did publish four: Kindred Spirits, Troubled Streets, and just under the wire, Mystery in the Woods. On the non-fiction side, I had 9 hiking articles in the Payson Roundup’s Trails book. Not too shabby. I don’t know if I can do another year with six books published but for 2017 I do want to put together a collection of my Science Fiction. I also have Mystery at the Book Festival to edit and publish. I also have a Brown Rain book drafted, called Tested. Which will also come out in 2017. I have a fun, novelette, Jania, Princess of Tania drafted. This is my take on a campy Space Opera. I may release that ebook only, I’m still thinking about that.

 

  1. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

I did participate in April and in November but because I run the book festival, there was just no way for me to get involved in the July Camp NaNo.

 

  1. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

I did not do a Christmas Book this year but some author friends and I were having a little fun brainstorming conversation in December and I came up with some ideas for a Christmas book. Some of them are doing the same. Not all of us liked all of the ideas so even if we all write a Christmas book out of the discussion, they’re going to be very different books. So that would bring my total 2017 published books to 5. Oh! I’m getting closer!

 

  1. Goal: Submit a story to the 2016 FM Anthology.

I did that. It’s a short story about a trip Kyra and Alyssa take just before they leave the Algonqwa tribe, just after Kindred Spirits. It’s called Vision Quest. No publishing date is available yet.

 

  1. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

This was not achievable. Holly came down with a life-threatening health condition and her site was totally under reconstruction. I just had a recent email though that she’s back at it, and putting the two classes back up on her renovated site. Yay! It’ll be on the 2017 goal list.

 

  1. Goal: Submit at least 20 stories to contests/magazines in 2016

I came close, 17 stories submitted to contests/magazines. I’ll keep this goal, too.

 

  1. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

I did and created 12 stories. This goal stays as well.

 

  1. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books to 12.

I didn’t achieve 12 but I did the following:

Appeared on an Indie Author panel at an Arizona Professional Writer meeting 1/21/16, April 16th I was at the Tempe Library Book Festival, June 3rd and 4th was the AZ Mystery Conference, June 30th I was on KRIM local radio as an author and to publicize the Book Festival. July 22nd was the Book Festival. On September 21st, I spoke at the Rim Country Chapter meeting on writing NaNo. In October I spent the 8th and 9th at the Pine, AZ, craft show selling and signing books. November 12th, I was with other local authors at the Romance Cottage here in Payson to chat with visitors to the rental’s open house. Total appearances: 9.

 

  1. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

Easy since I’m the organizer. We had a great festival in 2016, over 600 attendees and 95 authors. If you all are in Central Arizona on July 22, 2017, stop by the festival. All the details will be on my Where Will I Be tab.

 

I scheduled a Facebook Live for January 28th at 3pm, Arizona time. I had several people on the broadcast and I answered questions both live and afterward on the Facebook Live recording. That was fun! I’ll schedule another one for January.

 

Giveaways:

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway is now over. I’ll be notifying the winners of my prizes soon. Don’t miss out on the next one. It’s being called For the Love of Books, Valentines Giveaway. The link will be on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

 

Shout Out:

This week I’d like to shout out to Megan O’Flynn. She writes mysteries with a supernatural edge. If you like your mysteries a little dark and creepy, you’ll want to check out her interview. Can’t wait? She can be found at: www.meghanoflynn.com.

 

Where Will I Be?

I already have a January appearance. The local Payson Library is doing a Book Blitz. Throughout the month of January, they’re inviting authors to do a reading and take audience questions. I’ll have books to sell there, too. See me at the Payson Library community room, January 11th at 9am. See you 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:

Mystery in the Woods released on January 24th! 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.

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NaNo 2016 Week Four and the End: Monday Blog Post

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner_congrats

Newest News:

This is the end of the fourth week for of the 2016 National Novel Writing Month. I finished with 50,129 words. My fourth Brown Rain series novelette, Tested, is done as is my already started short story, a space opera, Jania, Princess of Tania, and a short story I started in October and never finished that’s currently titled, Granny, is also done. Since Granny ran shorter than I expected I also began a non-fiction book I’ve been working on called How to Organize a Book Fesitival. And I’ve won! I printed out my certificate for winning and put it in my binder with the rest of my certificates.

I’ve been posting pretty much daily over on Imzy.com/conniesrandomthoughts. Check it out! I’ve had fun moving from work to work this month, though I haven’t been immune to the second week slump (was writing Tested at the time) where it seemed to me that every word I typed on the page was the worst thing ever. I haven’t looked at it since I finished the draft, or the two short stories. I will in March or April. Before then I need to edit Mystery at the Book Festival and get that out into the open. I’m sure fans of Mystery at the Fair are more than ready for their next installment of Jean and Karen.

xmas-lites001

And, because it’s now after Thanksgiving, it’s time to think Christmas. On Sunday I pulled all of the decorations out of their storage spots in the garage. We’ll do the outside lights first. Then I’ll take a few days to decorate inside. I don’t go overboard but it’s fun and I like it. Picture is the outside from last year. It’ll look pretty much the same this year.

mystery-in-the-woods-cover2

And in the good news category, I’ve spent the last few days since winning NaNo, editing Mystery in the Woods. I was right. I had some significant time line issues, name confusion and other problems with the book which I’ve straightened out. I’m doing another round of edits, correcting misspelled words and other stuff then, this week, it will be off to the editor! I’m so happy. I really want this out by the end of December. Then I’ll have an Instafreebie for you in January. Stay tuned for that information.

And, for my A Team people, let me know if you’d like an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Mystery in the Woods to read and review.

Giveaways:

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Rudolf’s Reads Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

writers-colony-press

I’m also going to be on Facebook for an event called Writers Colony Press Holiday Indie Extravaganza. The event runs December 3rd and 4th which is THIS Saturday and Sunday. Writers Colony Press publishes anthologies for charity. The Longest Night Watch Volumes 1 and 2 are to raise money for Alzheimers. We dedicated them to Terry Pratchett and Gene Wilder. The other Anthology out is “Stardust Alway’s” for Cancer research, and dedicated to Alan Rickman and David Bowie. And also, to our very dear friend Stacy Whitemire who passed away recently. She will be greatly missed. Find some new to you authors today and do a good deed for charity. Come join our extravaganza. Lots of authors will be on the event page sharing books, contests and fun. A couple of contests have already started. Readers, don’t miss out. The hourly author hosts give away a lot of stuff! I’ll be on the page hosting on December 4th, at 3pm Pacific, which is 4pm Arizona time and 6pm Eastern. I’ll have at least one ebook to give away, a game or maybe two, and pictures to share. Mark your calendars and join me. https://www.facebook.com/events/364089737264705/ Click on the Discussion tab.

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Then later in December, on the 17th, is the Brain to Books Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler. Every year Brain to Books hosts a Holiday Book Giveaway. This year, our giveaway is a CyCon Sampler. Get a sneak preview of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention to be held in April. While you’re here, we have a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out to someone along with a list of books we’re giving away! Here’s what’s happening.

1 – Browse the Author Takeover displaying sales, giveaways, games, prizes, etc.

2 – $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

3 – Holiday Book Giveaway

4 – Blog Hop (YA, Science Fiction, and Romance)

5 – Vote in Character Tournaments

It should be a lot of fun and who couldn’t use a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

You’ll find us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/624679124381085/

I’ve signed up to host the 5pm Eastern (3pm Arizona) time slot on December 17th. Want to have some fun, play a couple of games? Click on the link and join in the fun.

Shout Out:

I have so many people to mention it’s hard to pick just one. How about Chuck Wendig? Chuck Wendig is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and the Heartland YA series, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his popular blog, terribleminds.com, and his books about writing. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.

You can find his work on his Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Wendig/e/B003P9JZ0O

 

Where Will I Be?

Imzy Stickers

Imzy Stickers

Do you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. I’ve been posting daily updates on my NaNo progress there including snippets and random pictures. Enjoy.

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:

front-troubled-streets

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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.

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Winner! Monday Blog Post

HONORABLE MENTION

Newest News:

I’m am so pleased to announce that after four years of trying, I’ve won an Honorable Mention with the Writers of the Future contest with my science fiction story, Eavesdroppers. The logo at the top of the page was sent to me after winning and I’ll be getting a certificate in the mail from them sometime soon. I’ll share that, too, when it arrives.

Writers of the Future is THE contest for science fiction and fantasy authors. Many of the biggest names in the genres have won this contest. This just doubles my determination. If I can do it once, I can do it again. So stay with me!

Giveaways:

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway closes in June. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple ways to enter. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, please enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

Bahn Bonnie Cover Bumblefoot

I’m giving a shout out to my friend Bonnie Bahn. I’m hoping to interview her on this blog in the future. Right now she’s re-writing Bumblefoot and creating a new cover for it. She can be found on Twitter at @BonnieBahn or on her website at bonniebahn.wordpress.com so watch out for her re-release announcement. Follow my blog so you don’t miss out on this and other special features.

Garden News:

I have broken down and planted my seedling tomatoes in my garden. The rest I’ll give away. I also planted my basil. The reason? The weather went from cold to hot in a day. Also, a volunteer tomato plant has sprung up. I figure if the weather is right for the volunteer it’s good enough for my seedlings. I need to get my trellis set up and buy some Early Girl tomato plants to finish my tomato garden. Other plants? Beans and peas, peppers, butternut squash, zucchini and yellow squash. All of those do really well here. The peach tree, despite the cold, is heavily laden with peaches while my two apple trees have one apple between them. Interesting. How about you? What do you plant?

Where Will I Be?:

Mystery Con Flyer

June 3rd and 4th I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there at 3pm on Saturday on writing a mystery. The conference is just two weeks away! Tickets for both days are only $39. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it. Register in advance on the site so we know how many are coming to lunch, then email me or comment here that you registered. I’ll put your name in for a drawing of a special prize on both Friday night and Saturday at my presentation. The prize? A bracelet, hand made by me, with Kindred Spirits as the theme. I’m the last presentation of the day on Saturday in my room, so if you want any of my books autographed, buy them at the book seller and bring them to the presentation. Can you make it?

pbflogoorig1446X1253pxcroppedcontrast

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival, partly funded by the Arizona Humanities. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

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. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Newest Book Release:

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 a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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April Camp NaNo 2016: Monday Blog Post

CNW_Participant

Oh! Oh! Oh! It is April Camp NaNo and as of Sunday, I’m over four thousand words into my new book, Mystery at the Book Festival. Camp NaNo is a slightly different take on the November event. At Camp NaNo, we choose our desired word goal count. Some people choose just 5,000, some, like me, push for that 50,000-word goal. I’m already looking forward to digging deeper into my main character, Jean and her best friend, Karen. In Mystery at the Book Festival, Jean and Karen, both big readers, learn more about authors and book writing and publishing than they ever wanted to know. I think you’ll like the story.

 

Me, Begging for Reviews Photo by Brenda Warneka

Me, Begging for Reviews
Photo by Brenda Warneka

I have not received any notice of reviews yet, the new contest I started last week. Missed last week’s blog? Reviews, you say. What’s up with that? Well, in the publishing world, reviews are everything. They are a measure of my audience involvement, my ratings. My several ratings on Amazon and other book-sellers is predicated on my reviews. How many, how good are they? It’s a thing. Other places actually count the number of ratings I have. If I don’t have “enough” reviews, they don’t want to take my ads or other promotional materials. So for an author, reviews are a big deal. So here’s the contest. If you have read or read one of my books, drop a review for it on your platform of choice. It doesn’t matter to me where you put the review. It also doesn’t matter to me what kind of review it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a good review but that’s not what I’m asking for. I’d like an honest review from you on how you liked my book, whichever one you read. Back to the contest. You write a review. Put it where ever you’d like. Send me a link to your review. In a couple of weeks, I’ll do a random number generator choice of the people who’ve done a review and you win! Prize? An ebook of mine of your choice. Contest ends April 10th. I’ll announce the winner here on this blog and on my newsletter on the 11th.

 

Author Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

Just so you know—my next author interview is romance author Arlene Hittle in two days on Wednesday, April 6th. She’s a wonderful author and her books are sweet. You’ll want to hear what she has to say.

 

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

On the gardening front, we had a big cold front move through and it did indeed drop some snow on us. Those tomato seedlings were safely inside. But now the forecast is for warm sunny days. It’s time for me to get the compost on the garden beds and get planting. The rosemary is a sprig I had cut to use with a chicken dish a month ago. I didn’t need that sprig, but thought I would later. I stuck it in a glass of water and not using it, the cutting rooted. So, I’ve stuck it in a pot of dirt. I think I’ll give it to a friend. She doesn’t have rosemary growing in her garden, yet! Who doesn’t need rosemary growing in their garden?

 

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway has started. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day.

 

StPatsGiveawayPromo

Speaking of the Spring Into Reading giveaway, I want to give a shout out to my winners of the Luck o’the Authors giveaway. My first prize winner was Petr Kristek and he won a free ebook. My second prize winner was Belinda Clemons who won a necklace and earring set. I want to thank both of them so much for participating in the giveaway. I’m glad these great fans won these prizes. Don’t forget to enter the Spring Into Reading giveaway.

 

Bookmark and Charms Swag

Bookmark and Charms Swag

The owl charms and the book marks I ordered have come in. I plan on attaching the charms to the book marks to give away to book purchasers at the events I attend. Aren’t they cool!? The April 16th event at the Tempe Library is free but the June MysteryCon is a 2-day event with just a $35 entry fee for BOTH days. Sign up for that now. Mention my name on the registration. I may have a special gift for people who’ve registered in advance and visit me at the event. I am making special prizes for a drawing for those who have registered in advance and noted my name on the registration. I need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look below or at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

 

TempeBookFestival2016

Speaking of appearing, if you get my newsletter you may have clicked on my link to my newest YouTube video. (The video is something only newsletter people receive.) I know! I have a YouTube channel. I didn’t even realize I was setting one up! Anyway, you can see my hair is getting a little shaggy. Sometime this week I’ll be getting it trimmed so I don’t look like a sheepdog at the Tempe Book Festival.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

January-Jones

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out.

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there.

Mystery Con Flyer

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery.  Tickets for both days are only $35. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

pbflogoorig1446X1253pxcroppedcontrast

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

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 a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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It’s January So That Means Goals!

Goals! Of course. It’s the start of the year and yep, I do have a list of things in mind to help guide myself along my writer’s course in 2016. You’ll note that I’m only talking about writing goals. I could put a lot of other goals in here but that would lead to chaos. Let’s just stick to the writing goals.

  1. Goal: Start an author interview post on my website for 2X per month.

Note: I began this process in November when I put out a call for authors who’d like to be interviewed. I posted the first interview on January 13th, one of our own Forward Motion authors, B. C. Mathews. I loved how she answered the interview questions. You can see that interview here.

  1. Goal: Submit stories to newspapers/magazines about my appearances before and after each appearance.

The thinking here is that this goal is one of several to help me increase my readers. It’s hard for most readers to find new authors. This is one way I can help increase my visibility.

  1. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2016

I had this as a goal for 2015 and only published two books. This year, though, I already have two books in the editing process, one book finished and resting before editing, and another book about 2/3 finished. I also want to do a collection, probably science fiction, of pieces I really loved and posted on my blog. I’d have to select those stories, polish them up or maybe even expand them, and then edit and publish. That leaves one more book. I’d like to do a Christmas book. I may draft that at the April Camp NaNo. I’ll see what I can think of between January and the end of March.

  1. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

I mentioned the April Camp NaNo in goal 3. But I like to do the July camp and the November NaNo as well. After all, I have to have something to publish in 2017, don’t I!

  1. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

Again, see goal number 3. I love to read Christmas stories. Aside from A Visit from St. Nick, the first Christmas story I remember was The Gift of the Magi, by O’Henry. I read that story in grade school and it always stuck with me. It’s become my yardstick for what a good Christmas story is all about.

  1. Goal: Submit a story to the 2016 FM Anthology.

This is one of those goals that may be out of my control. If Forward Motion doesn’t have a 2016 anthology, I want to submit a story to some other anthology. In any event, it will get done.

  1. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

This is another one that may be out of my control. The How to Write a Series class is dependent upon Holly Lisle’s health and her ability to finish writing the class. The other one, the World Building class, that one is within my control. So, it’s up to me to schedule the time to improve my writing!

  1. Goal: Submit at least 20 stories to contests/magazines in 2016

I might have been ambitious here. However, I have already subbed: Bell Ring, Rest (a poem), The Reunion, and Eavesdroppers, to various magazines. My stories Gold Dream and After Math were subbed in late December so I’m counting them for 2016 as well. That makes 6 stories out by mid-January. Not a bad start.

  1. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

May Story A Day is a writing challenge on the Forward Motion site. We can try for a story every day of May or set ourselves a goal. My usual goal is twelve stories. That way I can write short stories instead of just flash stories and I have a pool of stories to apply to number 8!

  1. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books to 12.

This goal works hand in hand with number 2. I’m trying to expand the number of readers of my books.

  1. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

This goal is a no-brainer. I’m the organizer of the event. Unless I’m deathly ill, I’ll be there.

You’ll notice I don’t have the goals in chronological order. I put them down as I thought about them. It doesn’t bother me that they’re not in order. I’ll get to all of them sooner or later. How about you? Do you have a few goals for 2016? What’s driving them? I’d love to hear your comments.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. 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 the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara.

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