Spring Giveaway Winners, An Excerpt for You: Monday Blog Post

Mushroom Season in Rim Country. No idea what this mushroom is, do you? Picture by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

The Spring Author/Blogger Giveaway has officially ended and I have two winners for my part of the event. My prize number one, an ebook copy of Slave Elf, was won by Jory. My prize number two, a $5 Amazon gift card was won by Richard. The overall event Grand Prize winner was Emy. I want to thank all of the hundreds of people who participated and I hope that you enjoy your prizes. Our Summer Giveaway has started, check out the info below to enter.

Writing has been slow for me. I have been involved in several other things in my life and the writing, unfortunately, has fallen off. I haven’t forgotten it though. I’m still mulling over Mystery at the Reunion. How can I make it better? I may just have to throw myself on the mercy of my editor and get some advice. How about a short excerpt? This is Dwight, Jean’s ex-husband.

 

He circled the glass on the bar in the moisture under it, idly watching the spiral circles it made on the glossy top. Dwight sipped again. How had he gotten here? Dawn had left him. That was the start. Too much time at the local bar. Crown Royal wasn’t exactly cheap. Then the gambling at the Off-Track Betting shop. That didn’t help matters. Especially since he was losing. OTB didn’t give credit, so he found himself in a little neighborhood still mostly Irish. There was a helpful young man there that would take his bets on the cuff. Dwight sighed and rubbed the spot just above the bridge of his nose.

What the hell had he been thinking? Now he was ten grand in the hole and the bookie wanted his money. Dwight sipped again, his stomach in a knot. He didn’t have ten grand. Hell, he had all he could do to pay the rent on the low-end apartment he was living in. Damn! He drank the last of the Crown Royal and signaled for another. He really couldn’t afford to come to the reunion despite the fact he wanted to see all of his old friends from Afghanistan. While the place had been a living hell, he’d made good friends with the people in Combined Joint Force Command squadron AG2017. They were good people sharing a hard, miserable assignment. His arrival in Las Vegas reminded him a lot of Afghanistan. Hot sun scorching everything it touched, even in April, dust, blinding light, it was not a pleasant reminder.

The bartender brought the drink. Dwight nodded his thanks. He was about to pick it up when a hand fell heavy on his shoulder. His heart nearly stopped.

“Dwight! Old buddy. What brings you to Vegas?”

Dwight turned to see who belonged to the deep voice. “Duncan?” His heart skipped a beat. “A long way from Boston.”

Duncan sat on the stool next to Dwight and waved over the bartender. “Irish Whisky.”

The bartender nodded and moved off.

“I’m here ‘cause Jimmy noticed you leavin’ town.” Duncan shook his head. “And you owin’ all that money. It made Jimmy think you were skippin’ out on your debt.”

“No, no, Duncan. I’m here to attend a reunion. Old military buddies from Afghanistan. I’m just here for the weekend. You know, catch up with old friends.”

Duncan nodded. “I hear ya. My brother, Mike, joined the Army. He got sent to that pit. Died when his hummer hit an IED.” Duncan said all of that while staring into the bottles on the bar back.

“I’m so sorry for your loss, Duncan. Too many young men and women died there.”

Duncan nodded as the bartender brought him his drink. Duncan peeled a twenty from a roll he’d taken from his pocket and dropped it on the bar. The bartender grinned. “Any change?”

Duncan shook his head.

“Thanks, buddy.”

Duncan nodded and the bartender moved off. “I’m sorry you had to serve there.”

“Two tours, with my wife.”

Duncan’s eyebrows rose. “No shit?”

“Yeah. We left our son with the grandparents and spent a year there. Then two years later, another tour.” Dwight shook his head Why the hell didn’t they go separately instead of leaving Jim all alone twice. It must have made sense at the time.

“That’s a shame. The little man must have missed you.”

“Yeah. He did.” Dwight sipped his drink.

“Despite that, Dwight, you gotta pay up. By the end of the month.” Duncan drank his whisky down in one gulp and slapped the glass down on the bar with a thump that made the bartender turn to look.

“I’m trying to get the money together, Duncan. Tell Jimmy that. I’m good for my debts.”

Duncan nodded. “Good to know, Dwight. But if we don’t get the money by the end of the month,” he cracked his knuckles. “Well, I’ll have to have a more…personal discussion.”

Dwight could feel his blood pressure rise. “Understood. I’ll get it to Jimmy as soon as I can.”

Duncan swung off of the barstool and with a heavy hand, smacked Dwight on the shoulder. “Remember what I said.” He moved off as Dwight nodded.

Dwight realized he was holding his breath after Duncan moved out of sight. He took a deep breath and swallowed his drink in one gulp. He signaled for another. The bartender brought the bottle over and poured. He eyed Duncan’s empty glass.

“He’s gone. Won’t need another.”

The bartender nodded and went back to the other end of the bar where he was chatting up two young women.

Dwight drummed his fingers on the bar. He needed to make some contacts this weekend. He needed a new job, one that paid more. That didn’t answer his immediate problem, though. Where was he going to get ten grand in two weeks?

That’s our introduction to Dwight. What do you think? Good guy? Bad guy? Glad Jean divorced him? Leave you comments in the comment box below.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

The Summer event, called the Summer Breeze Books Giveaway, is now live! There are 24 prizes and $66 as the Grand Prize in Paypal dollars. Hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

I have no plans at present for any other in person events. Any I was thinking about joining I’m now reconsidering due to the uptick in the Covid 19 Delta variant illnesses spreading across Arizona. See you in 2022!

 

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 Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

Fire Update, Mystery at the Reunion, Giveaway Ending: Monday Blog Post

Waiting for the Mail?

Newest News:

Last week I talked about the Backbone Fire https://www.facebook.com/BackboneFireInfo, just 13 miles from me. Two small towns, Pine and Strawberry, were evacuated to the town where I live. Saturday, word came down that Pine evacuees could go back to Pine but the danger level is at SET. Strawberry is still on evacuation orders. The fire is still a threat to Camp Verde, and the multiple neighborhoods that dot the forest northwest of us. Last Friday, all of the National Forests and many of the State Forests were put on Level 3 fire restrictions, meaning they’re closed. No camping, hiking, smoking, fires, shooting. Closed. Please, please, please, if you live in the west or are just visiting, fire is our greatest enemy. Obey all fire restrictions, our property and our lives depend on it.

It’s the weekend as I write this blog. I’m pondering my story, Mystery at the Reunion. I love the story but it’s just too short. I’ve thought about other side stories (plot lines) that I could put in the book. One thought was to follow Karen back in Grayson but that really doesn’t fit in with the theme of the book which is Las Vegas. Could I involve one of Jean’s old buddies as a sidekick? Probably not as I’ve pretty much set up her ex-husband in that role. His second plot line is miniscule but really, not worth expanding. What I need is a new direction. Probably using the already introduced characters. One that is with Jean to distract her, lead her in the wrong direction or one that is really trying to help but is perhaps not helpful? Perhaps a totally new character? But who might that be? A Vegas resident? An attendee at the reunion that Jean just met there? It’s a struggle to be sure. I hope my editor has an idea or two.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

Our Spring giveaway will end tomorrow or maybe sooner. Then, the summer giveaway will begin. So hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

On July 17th, starting at 9am – 3:30pm I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is a GO! You’ll be able to visit us in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

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 Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

April’s National Poetry Month, Giveaway is Live: Monday Blog Post

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Newest News:

April. It isn’t bringing any showers for Central Arizona but it is bringing both National Poetry Month and Camp NaNo.

First, the poetry. I’ve been posting on my Facebook page, if you haven’t been there, some of the poetry I’m writing daily. Today’s poem was a form called the 5 W’s. Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Here it is:

The Toad

Eating bugs with a quick flick of his tongue

In my back yard

In the sunny afternoon

To keep nature in balance as he eats his lunch

Probably not Pulitzer Prize winning material but it is fun. You can follow my Facebook page for the daily posting.

That leads us to Camp NaNo. I have made it my mission to finish Mystery at the Reunion. Well, I did. The problem is that it’s not a full novel. It comes in as a Novella, not as long as I’d like it to be. My plan is to finish editing it (I do at least 3 run throughs before sending it to my editor) then send it to him. I’m going to ask for a developmental edit, to see if he can think of ways I can add to the story without making it full of exposition and wasted words. I hope so. Otherwise, I’m just going to release it as a novella and call it a day.

Also as part of Camp NaNo, I’m finishing the fifth book in my All About Bob series. Once I get that done and Mystery at the Reunion published, I’ll start putting out the All About Bob series. This is a planned, five book series, YA, Contemporary, and novelette/novella length stories. So it’s possible I can put out six books this year. About time is all I have to say. Probably you too!

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway over. As soon as the administrator pulls the winners, I’ll let you know who won.

Our Spring giveaway is now live. It was a struggle as while my website was accessible to readers, the update function on my side was broken. It’s taken several chats with GoDaddy techs but it seems to be fixed for now. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

On July 17th, I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is now a GO! Details are being resolved, but you’ll be able to visit us, in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

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 Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

An Interview, ReadFree.ly event, Want an Acknowledgement in My New Book? : Monday Blog Post

Animal tracks at Watson Lake. I’d say racoon. What about you?

Newest News:

I don’t know about you, but this month is just running away from me. First, I want to give you a heads up that I’m going to be interviewed on Mystery writer Brenda Whiteside’s website on March 3rd. I know that’s a couple of weeks away and yes, I’ll remind you all next week, but I just wanted to give Brenda a shoutout to all of you mystery story lovers out there. Her website is www.BrendaWhiteside.com and I’d love it if you went over there to check out her books.

Another thing, mystery related. I’m getting a shoutout over on the booklover’s page http://www.readfree.ly/newsletter/ starting the end of this week, Saturday the 27th. I’m advertising Mystery at the Fair but there are so many free or nearly free books on the site that I want you to have plenty of time to browse for your new favorites. They don’t carry just mysteries, by the way, any genre you can think of is on the site so check it out for some really great deals. Oh yes! If you’re twitter fans, they can be found at @indieauthorland.

This is one version of the cover with updated front and updated bio on the back. The size is wrong, Amazon says.

In writing news, I’ve been struggling to update my Gulliver Station covers. I had to unpublish A New Start to work this issue and have had two, so far, email conversations with Amazon techs. Again, on Sunday I redid the cover trying to clear up the last little anomalies. Today I hope to see that the cover has updated correctly. Cross your fingers for me.

Also in writing news, despite the fact I want to finish up Mystery at the Reunion, an idea popped into my head for a non-fiction book. We’ve all watched with dismay the disaster that is Texas right now. People are struggling with conditions they’ve never experienced before and don’t know how to handle. That has prompted me to put together a little book I’m calling A Housewife’s Guide to Emergency Survival. I’ve written a short introduction, just to get the background firmly in my head and already have identified several chapters to include in the book. Do you have a favorite “survival” action that you and your family use for emergencies? Share them with me and I’ll give you an acknowledgement in the book.

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The Valentine’s Day giveaway is still running. This is a small one with just eight authors so there’s a $24 Grand Prize of Paypal cash and 16 other prizes. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

I have my interview with Brenda Whiteside on Wednesday March 3rd on her blog, https://brendawhiteside.com/blog.   I’m looking forward to being on her site.

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

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 Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

Mystery at the Reunion, Pinterest Changes, Updating Gulliver Station: Monday Blog Post

We break up the ice for our little bird friends every morning. I do believe they appreciate it.

Newest News:

So, just what needs to be fixed in Mystery at the Reunion? First of all, it’s too short. So, my plan is to add more “flashbacks” or extend the ones I’ve written to give the reader a sense of what Jean did in Afghanistan and to explain her connection to her old comrades who are at the reunion. Second? I do not know. It depends, I suppose, on how item one works out. Perhaps some more background on her marriage to Dwight? Just what did go wrong between them? Would anyone care about that? Let me know. Third, my editor may have some ideas, if these first two plans don’t work out. We’ll have to see.

So for the last week or so of December I’ve been jotting notes in my 2021 calendar/planner, for work I want to get done in 2021. Some has to do with writing/editing, as I’ve discussed in the previous paragraph. Other actions have to do with marketing, entering contests, getting reviews. That sort of thing. For example. In addition to working on Mystery at the Fair, I have changed my Pinterest page to a business page. When I first joined Pinterest, there was no such thing as a business page. But now, after a chat with an author friend of mine, I have changed my page to a business page. That means I can do some ads on there. I had a page for my books and another for my serials, but nothing like what I can do now. Check out my page Pages & Ink owned by author Susan Haught. It’s full of other author’s book ads. If you’re looking for something to read, this is a great spot to check.

For those of you who follow me for SciFi, I’m going to be updating any front and back matter in my Gulliver Station series this month. This was my first series and things need some serious updating. I’ll be starting some ads for this series as well once the updates are done. I have done updates to the interior files before. Cleaning up spelling/grammar errors, fixing little stuff like that, but since I’ve taken an ad course, I see now that more can be done than I have been doing. My short story, Creature in the Night, was my 21st published story and up until now, I barely make double digit dollars in any month. Time to rectify that.

So stay with me. Once Mystery at the Reunion is published, it’ll be time to address all of those All About Bob stories.

Giveaways:

The Christmas giveaway is still live! There’s a $75 Grand Prize of Paypal cash and 30 other prizes. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

Unfortunately, I’m self-isolating, so right now there are no scheduled events for me for now. However, because many events I had scheduled for 2020 just moved my registrations to 2021, I am signed up for a few things this year. Will I attend? Hmm. Not sure. It depends, I think, on the immunizations for Covid. If I have my shots, and a good many other people have their shots, it’s probable that I’ll attend. First up for me is the Phoenix Fan Fusion over Memorial Day weekend. I have a conference in June, my Payson Book Festival in July, and CokoCon in September all scheduled. I feel good about CokoCon but the rest. I don’t know. If I go, I’ll have my mask with me.

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 Releases:

Just because it’s not Halloween or Christmas doesn’t mean you can’t read this delightfully creepy short story. It’s on Kindle Unlimited. Enjoy!

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

Writing, Gardening, Lifestyle Change: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

About 7 chapters lightly edited. At this point I’m checking for the continuity issues that are most certainly being added as I add the flashbacks to Afghanistan. I’m also pulling the stupid, just for words only, stuff I put in the story in Dwight’s point of view. Not that Dwight, Jean’s ex-husband, is stupid. Just the repetitive crap I put into the story in his POV. It’s a work in progress, people. Emphasis on work.

Zucchini madness is still upon me. Friday I foisted, er, uh, gifted, my author friend Sue a bag full of zucchini. She claims to love zoodles, so there she is. Unfortunately, Saturday I found 2 large zukes and 3 small ones hiding under the leaves. Ugh. Sunday I turned the big ones into grated zucchini and froze them. Zucchini patties and zucchini bread for the winter, I guess. Others I turned into zoodles for more zoodles and spaghetti sauce on Sunday. I’m closing in on getting the veggie drawer emptied but I know there are at least 5 of the little green guys growing in the garden. Probably at harvestable stage on Monday.

In other garden news. The hummingbirds are in a feeding frenzy for their migration. The pic at the top is of one of the little guys loading up. Above, this bug, bee?, appeared on my oregano as I was watering Saturday. Not the best picture, I know, but still, he’s quite a distinctive looking little fellow. Anyone know what it is?

On my new diet, no weight loss last week. Still at 218. I knew the rapid weight loss was just water, but it was nice while it lasted. I certainly feel better. I’m just thinking about how much better I’ll feel when I drop another 20ish pounds. I’ve changed up my first thing in the morning celery juice for a more mixed green juice. If you’ve ever seen Fat Sick and Nearly Dead with Joe Cross, you’ll know what I mean. My friend Debbie is a certified trainer and swears by the stuff. See her story here, https://thehealthygrandma.wpcomstaging.com/my-family-and-our-story/. At any rate, it’s a wider variety of vitamins and minerals and a different flavor from straight celery juice, so I’m liking it. Have you tried Green Juice? Drop a comment below!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting,is October 26th, still at 1pm. So, if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

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 Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

Writing, Gardening, Getting in Shape: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I got into Mystery at the Reunion last week and will continue on with it this week. I added the scenes I wrote early in the month and have been making some corrections and additions as I read through the manuscript. I still have at least one more scene to add, maybe a couple, that are set in Afghanistan. I also have to delete some horrible chapters I added just for word count. Ugh. I will have to make that word count up somehow just to make the book actual novel length. Unless… Hmm… Unless it really just should be a novella. What would you all think about that? Something to ponder.

The garden is overflowing with zucchini. I have just one plant. It produces about 4-5 zuke’s per week. My veggie drawer is full of them. Then, the other day I asked hubby to pick up organic cucumbers while he was at the store. He came back with 4 zucchinis. Sigh. Sunday, I made spaghetti sauce from scratch, no sugar added, and zoodles. Just to use them up. Hubby wasn’t interested in zoodles, he wanted regular pasta. All I have on hand is gluten free stuff. He picked a box of that and made it for himself. No matter to me. Zoodles and sauce are great, and I have leftovers for weekday lunches. Yummy. Disappointing are the tomatoes. I have had a few ripen but not a lot. The ones I have had though, have been just wonderful. Come on, tomatoes! Let’s get ripe!

Cilantro Lime Salmon ove rCaliflower rice

I began my lifestyle change on the 12th of August, with cutting out the unnecessary stuff. Like the evening wine! I had a chat with a nutritionist friend of mine on the 18th, where she recommended a sugar detox. Since I’d already begun just that sort of thing, though not completely, I said I’d go for it. I began that on the 19th. Had a bit of a headache that day, nothing major. I don’t eat a lot of sugar to start with and dropping what was left wasn’t difficult though I was surprised by the headache. My friend mentioned that sugar is as difficult to kick as cocaine, and I guess the headache proved it, though I’ve felt fine since. I began my diet on the 12th at 230 pounds. Sunday morning, my usual weigh-in day, I was at 218. Did I mention I eat gluten free and paleo? Works for me every time. Want to share your path to wellness? Jump in the comments and leave a story!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. If you happen to be in Pine, AZ, on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

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 Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

The Bunny, Writing, Getting in Shape: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Last year a baby bunny moved into my fenced back yard and ate my garden all summer. Then it disappeared. A few days ago I saw it streak across my back yard from south to north. Uh oh, I thought. The bunny is back. On Saturday, I saw it crossing the back yard again, this time north to south. It was moving along but not as though it was being chased. I got up to see if it stopped at the fence. Nope. It stopped at my last garden bed. This year I have basil in there. It also turns out that I had watered in the morning. The rabbit stood for a moment at the edge of the raised bed, then hopped in amongst the basil. I was going to pound on the glass patio door to scare it off but it didn’t even begin to eat the basil. It just sniffed at it, moving around the individual plants. Then it settled down in the shade of the basil, belly to what I can only imagine as still damp and cool dirt, at the edge of the bed, right behind the solar light. It’s little head just stuck up over the edge of the board, but it looked so comfy, and it was so hot out, (about 101F), that I took pity on the creature and let it be. Fifteen minutes later a thunderstorm blew up and the bunny took off. So. If I whine about the rabbit eating my tomatoes, peppers, or summer squash, I guess it’s all my fault.

No writing this week though I have had some writer Zoom meetings which all go to fueling my reviving desire to get writing. My Jean Hays mystery is calling me. But it’s such a mess, I’m reluctant to tackle it. I know. I know. One thing at a time and then, before I know it, it’ll be done.

I don’t know about you, but it’s time to get back into shape. I understand that round is a shape but it’s not the shape I want to be. So. Last Wednesday I cut my evening wine. This week I start juicing my organic celery again. Shoot. Exercise may even reenter the equation as well as moving back to my Paleo diet. Note: I always eat gluten-free as I have both Celiac and Hashimoto’s, but dropping the rest of the sugar, grains, and dairy from my diet really helps me drop the poundage. My 2nd brother started in mid-July and has dropped 18 pounds. Time for me to join him. You can join in too! Leave a note in the comments and share what you’re doing. I know I’ll appreciate the company.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is over and the winners have been drawn. The Grand Prize Paypal cash winner is Denise and she’s been notified by the giveaway organizer. My first prize winner, Ignazia, won an ebook copy of  my book, Troubled Streets. An email has been sent to her with instructions on how to pick up her prize. My second prize winner, Mike, won a $5 Amazon gift card. He’s been notified and has collected his prize. Thank you to everyone who participated. Don’t miss the Summer giveaway, links below!

The Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So, if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

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 Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

October, Mystery at the Reunion, Jury Duty, Speaking Engagement: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

October, I think, may be my favorite month. In upstate New York, this is the leaf changing season and the tree colors change to eye-popping reds, golds, and yellows. Here in Arizona, the color change is more muted but the colors do change. Especially aspens. Their leaves become a brilliant yellow. And since they have white trunks and grow in groves, the scene in stunning. The above picture was taken just north of Flagstaff and the trees hadn’t quite turned color yet, but you can see how stunning they are now. Just think about how gorgeous they’ll be in a week or so. Also, the heat has dropped to perfect temps and the sky is the very best sapphire blue. It’s definitely time to pull out the heartier recipes and unpack the fall and winter wardrobes. I hope your autumn is just as wonderful.

I’ve dug out my story, Mystery at the Reunion, and read over it. It’s not as horrible as I remember. That’s a typical response for me (and to be honest, other authors when they re-read their work after a space of time), but I’m always glad to see my story again. That doesn’t mean it’s ready to release. I’ve duplicated several chapters in some sort of echo chamber between the two main characters and there’s still this other plot line from Jean’s time in Afghanistan that I want to add. Lots of work, in other words, needs to be done. But I’m re-excited about the story and am looking forward to finishing it and getting it out of the door.

Jury duty is back on my calendar. I’m now scheduled to appear on October 9th. As before, I’m looking forward to it. The biggest drawback is that it’s an over 2-hour drive to the county seat and the appearance time is 8am. Ugh. That makes for very early days.

On October 12th, I’m speaking to the APW Central Chapter in Scottsdale, AZ. The topic is writing series stories. So, if you’re in the area, stop on by. It’s free to attend.

Giveaways:

In the meantime, the Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Author/Blogger giveaway is now running! Twenty-two authors are participating giving us a $66 Paypal grand prize plus 22 other great prizes and 22 free books. So jump on this giveaway, over on my website Giveaways page. It won’t last long.

Where will I Be?:

I don’t have anything on my calendar until the December Mesa Book Festival. The date is December 14th from 10am – 5pm and the location has changed to 225 E Main St, Mesa. This is the Benedictine University, for those familiar with Mesa. I am sharing a booth space with the wonderful Marsha Ward. The site only promotes the author registering the table, so you’ll only see Marsha’s name, not mine. But I promise, I’ll be there. You can find all the details and a map at https://anthology.org/category/mesa-book-festival/.

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 Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is now available. I love doing these calendars. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.

Mystery at the Reunion, Website Updates, Mice: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Had a really good interview with a military woman who was stationed in Afghanistan! I received excellent details about the living arrangements, how and when people could leave the compounds, what weapons they carried, all sorts of stuff. Now mulling over how to use that information. Mystery at the Reunion. Yes, it will be out. Probably early 2020.  

Website updates. Spent some time last week in my website trying to figure out where the blog signup button went. Can’t find it anywhere though the newsletter links still work. I cleaned up the social media share buttons, so that’s a plus. Then spent a lot of time looking for a widget or a plug-in to get my blog sign-ups back. No luck on that. I’ll have to find a web admin group and ask them what they use.

I go to jury duty tomorrow!

Mouse patrol! Taping up the under the car duct covers has eliminated our mice in the car problem. I’m pretty sure they’re still in the garage though. Ugh.

Giveaways:

The Summer Giveaway is open! There are 33 participating authors with 33 book prizes and 33 summer gift prizes. The Grand Prize is $100 in Paypal cash. This is certainly a giveaway to get involved with.

Where will I Be?:

I don’t have anything on my calendar until the December Mesa Book Festival. The date is December 14th from 10am – 5pm and the location has changed to 225 E Main St, Mesa. This is the Benedictine University, for those familiar with Mesa. I am sharing a booth space with the wonderful Marsha Ward. The site only promotes the author registering the table, so you’ll only see Marsha’s name, not mine. But I promise, I’ll be there. You can find all the details and a map at https://anthology.org/category/mesa-book-festival/.

On the other hand, if something juicy comes up, because it’s a long time between now and December, I’ll let you know. Do you know of an event where you’d like to see me? I’d love to know about it. Contact me here and say the word.

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:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. I have finished reformatting the book for the other platforms. It sometimes takes a few days or even a week to get them all live. It up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. 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 or BookBub. Your review is 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.