Payson Book Festival, Gardening, Northern Gila County Fair : Monday Blog Post

Story Monster greets festival-goers

 

Newest News:

The Payson Book Festival was Saturday, July 21st, and those of us on the committee are recovering from the activity. We had a great turn out though we’re still counting the numbers. The authors all had a good time talking to everyone who came and we even sold some books. Win! Win! Above is a picture from the event. After the stats are compiled, we meet on August 6th to go over everything from this year, then, BANG! We start planning for 2019. Mark you calendars. The next festival will be July 20th, 2019. www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Tomato Horn Worm

Horn Worm

I’m picking mostly cherry tomatoes so far, and keeping an eye out for the above pictured fellows, called, Horn Worms. You can see why I pick them off of the plant and send them sailing over the fence into the drainage ditch. And a picture of the whole creature, just in case you find one in your tomatoes.

Next up on my personal schedule is the work on the Northern Gila County Fair. I’m the Exhibits Tent Director and there are 12 departments in my tent. I’m excited about the fair but like the book festival, it’s a huge undertaking. The fair this year is September 5th, 6th and 7th. You can find out more information and sign up for several events at www.NGCFair.com.  This is going to be so much fun!

Giveaways:

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

The July Smashwords’ site’s Summer/Winter Giveaway is still running for a few more days. I have books ranging from free to 25% or even 75% off. I don’t usually do this so if you’re interested in some discounts, this is your month! You can find a list of all of my books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell with the discounts already marked. Enjoy!

Shout Out:

I mentioned Sharon Day in my post yesterday. What? Yesterday? Yes. I’m now posting daily. At least I’m going to try to. Sharon is the reason and you can check out my post here, to see why. Here’s her blog link again. She’s written Ghost of a Chance, the first in her Seek Team Investigations. If you like spooky, this is the book for you.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the October Pine/Strawberry Business Community Fall Festival. http://psbcaz.com/. The festival is a two day blast and I’ll be there both days selling and signing my books. Saturday is a chili cook-off which my hubby usually enters. The rest of the craft fair is just full of wonderful crafters and the best weather ever. You’ll never see such a blue sky so come on out. Try some chili, come by my table and say hi, buy your Christmas gifts early.

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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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Monsoon, Payson Book Festival, Gardening : Monday Blog Post

Monsoon by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

It’s rained everyday since last blog post. We’re all enjoying the moisture and we’ve had enough that the Forest Service has reopened out local forests for camping, hiking and other recreation. Only one small fire was started because of lightning and put out right away so everyone in the area is happy. Except for the humidity. We’re just not used to it. But overall, we’re happy the rains have come.

The Payson Book Festival is Saturday, July 21st, and those of us on the committee are ready for it to be here. So much is planned for the day. If you’re in the area, please do come to the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino and say hello to all of the authors. You can find the speakers schedules and info on all of the authors at www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

Cantaloupe

Some garden news. The garden really likes the rain. It was doing okay with my watering but since last Monday, it has just exploded. Above is a picture of my cantaloupe bed. That’s just one plant, filled up the 4 square foot bed and is now escaping across the back yard. Behind it you can see my zucchini. That’s also just one plant. The tiny zukes grew to 18-24 inches in no time. Thank goodness I have a spiralizer. The pears and the peaches are doing well. My peaches usually ripen by the end of July. These look pretty green yet, so I don’t know if they’ll be on schedule but no matter. There are a lot of them, that’s all I care about.

I spent most of Sunday writing my new newsletter, creating a YouTube video to include in it, and in writing this blog post. You have to sign up for the newsletter (see below) but you can see the video on my YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2rN2MWxDPLrI0bMv3vTKvg. Check it out!

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has ended. The winners are BN100 and Sherry and I’ve emailed them their gifts.

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

Also, July is the Smashwords’ site’s Summer/Winter Giveaway. I have books ranging from free to 25% or even 75% off. I don’t usually do this so if you’re interested in some discounts, this is your month! You can find a list of all of my books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell with the discounts already marked. Enjoy!

Shout Out:

I don’t know who to shout out for this month. So let’s shout out all of the authors at the Payson Book Festival. They’d love your support and you can see who they are and go to their websites and/or Facebook pages to learn more when you go to http://www.paysonbookfestival.org/who-is-coming/.

Where Will I Be?

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

Payson Book Festival 2017

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. I’ll be at table, 53 and hope to see you there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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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Giveaways, Gulliver Series Box Set: Monday Blog Post

 

Newest News:

I’m working on re-editing and reformating my Gulliver Station series as a box set in both ebook and paperback formats. It’s slow going as I apparently don’t know how to use a comma. Also, I’m catching little typo’s. It’s coming! Really it is.

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

I never did get started on the edits for Mystery at the Reunion or my new Zoe Ohale story. So much work to do, only 24 hours in a day.

I did, however, figure out how to automate getting my books into the hands of readers for reviews. I’ve started with Tested, my newest release. Twenty copies were available and two are already taken. So if you’d like an Adavnce Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there so you get updated on every new release!

Giveaways:

So check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the 2018 Authors/Bloggers St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Also happening this month are two other giveaways.

 

First up is a March Fantasy Madness giveaway. That started on March 1st over on Book Funnel. Tons of fantasy stories up for grab for just signing up for author newsletters. If you love Fantasy, this is the giveaway for you. Here’s the link: http://www.autumnwriting.com/march-fantasy-madness/. Click on the book you are interested in and it takes you right to the purchase page.

Next, starting March 16th, is a Mystery promo. I’m in that with Mystery at the Fair, if you haven’t read it yet. But there will be a lot of other mystery authors in the promo as well. A link for that will be up closer to the date.

Shout Out:

Author Holly Lisle

Today I’m giving a shout out to Holly Lisle. If you like scifi and fantasy, she’s an author you should read. Hear what she has to say about herself.

I’ve been writing with intent to publish since January 1st, 1985 when my New Year’s resolution was to write a novel before I turned twenty-five (ten months later, more or less).

I hit my resolution with a few days to spare, but the book, Hearts In Stitches, sucked. I wrote a LOT after that, accumulating a big shoebox with well over a hundred rejection slips in it before anybody decided I was good enough to pay for fiction.

I actually started selling in 1991, and I broke in with with the fantasy novel Fire In The Mist (which won the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel), and with a couple of sonnets I sold to the SF magazine Aboriginal.

It was a long hard slog between intent and realization.

It’s been a rollercoaster ever since.

But I love telling stories. In fiction, I’ve found the work I want to do for the rest of my life.

You’ll find a little more about me by reading the rest of the About pages at www.HollyLisle.com. Frankly, though, there’s much more of who I really am spread across the writing articles and sprinkled through the heart of my fiction and sprawled all over the damn place in my weblog, Pocket Full of Words.

I am not my work. But my work is me.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my engagements through 2018.

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

And, on Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be at the renamed Phoenix Comic Fest. (formerly Phonenix Comicon) I’ll be in Author Alley at tables AA928 and 930 with author Marsha Ward. If you’re coming to Arizona, stop on by and say hello. I’ll be in costume this year! We can take a picture together. Tickets for the Fest are already on sale.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both 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! I have a contest running on my newsletter now. Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

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

Newest Book Release:

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

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Contest, Craft Fair: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I had a really good Columbus Day weekend. First, on Saturday, I had tickets to the local Saluting Our Veterans benefit concert featuring the Charlie Daniels band. There were so many people there it was amazing. That’s just a section of the crowd at the top. There were twice again that many there.

Second, I went to a craft show on Sunday. There weren’t a lot of vendors but the locally made jewelry was fantastic. I saw a little cuff bracelet I really would like to have but I didn’t get it. Mostly because I never wear jewelry. I’d have bought it and it would have landed in the jewelry box, forgotten.

I’m still brainstorming my next Jean Hays story. So there’s that. Also, it’s been too long since I’ve heard from my editor so I think my mail is again giving me a hard time. None of his emails come through. I’ll have to work on that this week.

Purple by Dinky03 http://www.deviantart.com/art/PURPLE-14567744

I continue to write my serial, Slave Elf. I’ve left my girl, Delia in quite a pickle. We’ll have to see how she gets out of it. You can find the first episode here.

Giveaways:

Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or $150 in Paypal cash? Drop by https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Spooktacular Authors Halloween Giveaway. This ends after Halloween! Get it now!

This week only! A Young Adult, Instafreebie giveaway that runs only until tomorrow, October 10th. Eleven authors and 12 books to give away in mystery, SciFi, Fantasy and Thriller genres. https://www.instafreebie.com/gg/8B0D07lf5WpRswSUwjQS

Finally, I have started a contest over on my newsletter. What? You don’t get my newsletter? That’s a shame. But see below on how you can join in on the fun. I already have several people writing in to enter it. It runs to the end of October when I’ll use a random number generator to select the winner. Let me know you’ve joined the newsletter and I’ll send you the information to enter.

P.S. By the way, you can get the pictured mug at: https://www.gearbubble.com/gbstore/conniesrandomthoughts

Shout Out:

In honor of October’s everything horror, this shout out is to Joshua Robertson. He is a bestselling author in dark fantasy, and a writer for Fantasy-Faction. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin’s and Christopher Paolini’s dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. Among other places, you can find him at http://www.robertsonwrites.com.

Where Will I Be?

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

My next public appearance will be this coming weekend at the Pine Fall Festival October 14th and 15th. On both days, I’ll be in the Community Hall with a few other authors selling and signing books with the antique dealers. On Saturday besides crafters, is the annual chili cook-off. Saturday hours are 9am – 5pm and the chili cook-off starts at 11am. Be there at 11am. The chili usually runs out by noon. Buy a ticket, taste the chili, vote for your fav top three! My hubby is usually there with his version. Sunday the hours are 9am – 4pm. Lots of crafters will be there and the weather is lovely in October. Come on by and say hello.

NEW! In November the Payson library is having it first ever mini-comicon. SciFi and Fantasy fans, get ready to head to central Arizona. There’ll be costumes, SciFi and Fantasy panels. I’m excited! I’ll post the date as soon as I have it.

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 April: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Last Friday and Saturday hubby and I drove up to Nellis AFB to celebrate the promotion of my nephew to Chief Master Sergeant. We were very proud of his accomplishment and it was nice to see so many of the family. We’re spread all over the U.S. and don’t get together very often. He’s a handsome young man, isn’t he?

April’s Camp NaNo started Saturday and I was on the road all day. So I hand wrote four pages of the next Zoe Ohale story in the car. I’m not sure how many words that is, I still need to type them up. At least I got a few words in. After I finish drafting this blog post (written on Sunday), I’ll have to do that and see what my first day’s shortfall is and work extra hard to catch up.

I bought nine dollars worth of pansies at Walmart last week and put some in my front planter, and the rest in two pots I had in the back yard. Aside from watering, not much gardening though the Swiss Chard was big enough to cut and have with dinner one night last week. I just love going out to the garden and picking my food, bringing it in and cooking it up. Talk about convenience food!

Last week I talked about my Elf Slave story. I have 3 episodes written and it’s not done yet. So that story is going to run into May, at least. I’m not fond of Elf Slave as a title, what else can I call it?

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading, Easter Giveaway is now on. Grand Prize is $100 in Paypal cash and lots of other prizes from 48 authors. My prize winners of the St. Patrick’s Day giveaway are Ashley Nichole Poteet and Zarah Robinson. Congratulations ladies. Check your emails for a message from me about your prizes.

 

Shout Out:

Author Marsha Ward

I have an interview this week with Marsha Ward. An author local to me, she is just putting out a historical fiction cook book with recipes from one of her characters. I love the cover on this cook book and it not only has recipes, but also tiny stories. I think you’ll love it. Can’t wait till Wednesday? Check her out at http://marshaward.com.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

This coming weekend, I’ll be part of B2BCyCon, an on-line conference that runs from Friday April 7th to Sunday the 10th. Events are open to readers and here’s a link to my Science Fiction Author Showcase: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18367091-2017-connie-cockrell-science-fiction-author-showcase. On this link I’ll be talking about the whole Brown Rain series and my other books in general. I may even offer up a prize. I’ve added some content. Please feel free to comment on the posts. Are you a Goodreads user? Love to see you there. If you aren’t a Goodreads member, here’s your chance to find a ton of books, chats with other readers and even ask an author a question. Me included! If you’re a Facebook user, I’ll be part of a Science Fiction event on that platform at  https://www.facebook.com/events/1466110423422872/. It will run Saturday, from 5pm Eastern time until midnight Eastern. So if you’re on Pacific time (or Arizona time like me) that’s 2pm – 9pm. Other fun stuff is happening on http://b2bcycon.com/ so be sure to check it all out. Our panel discussions on multiple topics are being posted as we speak. Check those out on http://b2bcycon.com/panels/.

I have contracted for a booth at Phoenix ComiCon with some other author friends. The ComiCon is May 25 – 28th and you can find details for tickets, events, special guests, at http://phoenixcomicon.com/. I would be so excited to see you in the Exhibits Hall.

July 22nd is the Payson Book Festival. I have to say, this festival has turned into quite a thing. Over 600 people came to it last year. The tables have already been filled with authors. You can find out who is attending at www.PaysonBookFestival.org. The event is free to visitors and starts at 9am and runs until 3:30pm. Details about the location, video from last year, and more, can be found on the site.

 

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 December 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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August Already: Monday Blog Post

Crowd at the Payson Book Festival 2016

Crowd at the Payson Book Festival 2016

Newest News:

So I have had a week’s recovery from the Payson Book Festival, held July 23rd. It was a great success with over 90 authors and over 600 visitors. Food, music, story-telling, author presentations and all of those authors selling books from every genre, fiction and non-fiction, imaginable. As the committee, we’re all involved in the wrap-up phase. Financial sheets need to be filled in, evaluations and feedback forms reviewed and reports compiled, and sponsors, volunteers, festival goers and authors need to be thanked. We’ll have our after-action meeting on the 8th to go over what went well and what we can do better. The evaluations everyone leaves for us goes a long way to help us sort good and popular aspects of the festival from those not so good.

AuthorShout.com has been a fantastic promoter for me the entire month of July. I’m so pleased with the publicity they’ve been giving me. My book, Kindred Spirits, was on their site for the month of July. http://authorshout.com/recommended-reading/ Take a look around the site. It will be worth your while if you’re looking for a new to you author and fine reading.

Giveaways:

The Smashwords.com’s Summer/Winter Sale is now over. Four of my books, Mystery at the Fair, A New Start, First Encounter, and Lost Rainbows, were free on the site. A good many of you did go and get free books. I hope you enjoy them. They’re still available on Smashwords.com with my other books, as well as on Amazon, Kobo, Itunes, Barnes and Noble and other retailers for both paperback and ebooks. On my website, I have direct links to every book and where it is retailed.

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Red Hot Summer giveaway is still in full swing. Just click on the Rafflecopter link. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from over 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

Book Festival flier 2016 FINAL Front Pg

Let me give a big shout out to Payson Book Festival co-committee members Carol and Bing Brown. They have a back ground in media, both newspaper and radio, and Carol was a professor at Arizona State University teaching communications and media. They were responsible this year for both doing the grant work to gain us a grant from Arizona Humanities, and handling all of the media blitz involved in advertising the book festival all around the state of Arizona. They sent news releases to every paper we had an author from, arranged advertising in the Arizona Republic and electronically on the East Valley Tribune. Skilled writers and media persons, they were instrumental in the success of the 2016 Payson Book Festival. Thank you, Carol and Bing.

Garden News:

Garden014

The yellow beans are ripening, as are the cherry and early girl tomatoes. I can hardly wait. Yellow beans, especially, are only available in cans. I look forward to having them fresh in the summer. The peach tree branches are groaning under the weight of the ripening peaches. The birds have already begun pecking at the fruit. The hot weather and lack of monsoon rain has killed my youngest apple tree. It was about 3 years old and I’m very sad it’s died. I’ll have to go to the garden store in September and get another. The weather should be cooler and the new tree will have time to get some roots established before winter sets in. How’s your garden doing?

Where Will I Be?:

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? 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. 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! I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

Zoe Ohale is out for editing and is 100% done at the editors’. Now that the book festival is over, I’ll get to the further edits. If you’re a Brown Rain Series fan, I think you’ll like Zoe Ohale. You may remember a short story I published on my blog on 8/20/15, Extra Baggage. That was the second story about Zoe. The first, Betrayal Moon, is in the Forward Motion anthology, due out in the next couple of weeks. Just 17, Zoe has been an orphan living on the streets of Baia Mare since she was 12. Street smart and fiercely independent, Zoe has been offered the chance to move back into legal society by the police officer that arrested her a few months ago. But first, she has to help protect the little kids in her group, help her friend save her father from assassination, and find a criminal ring that just stole all of the physical credits being delivered to the Planetary Bank of Baia Mare. The book, the first of a series, should be out in August, if I can find time to work on it between the Book Festival and the Fair.

The third book in the Brown Rain Series, 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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Kindred Spirits Promotions: Monday Blog Post

Kindred Spirits Releasing March 14th PTSD w Name

Oh my goodness I’m releasing the third book in my Brown Rain series, Kindred Spirits, on March 14th. What’s all the hoopla about then? Well, I’m doing something different this time. Usually, I put the book up for sale, mention it once or twice and call it a day. This time, I’d like to really get some excitement going. I’m actually promoting the release. I’ve made up little meme cards to post every day. I’ve started a giveaway. More about that in a moment. I’m doing my best to create a bit of buzz. That’s where you come in. If you see one of my posts on Facebook or Twitter or one of the other social media sites, please share. Note that when you see the cards, I’ve put links on them. Not clickable, unfortunately, some issue with jpeg files, but I encourage you to check out the links. Every link discusses something in the book. I hope you find the information both informative and fun.

So what’s this about a giveaway? I’ve started a giveaway on Amazon that ends March 20th. I have 10 First Encounter ebooks to give away. You could win one! You’ll have to follow my Twitter account but that’s all it takes! Click on this link to enter. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/402a5ef0fe1e0234

This is Author Interview week and Terra Luft (terraluft.com) is my guest. Her interview will pop up on the 9th so get ready. She’s an excellent author and a real sweetheart. Stay tuned for that on Wednesday!

Last week I mentioned February as a slow growth time. Not this year. The peach and nectarine trees are blooming. The roses have leafed out and the daffodils are blooming. I’m afraid a March or even April killer frost will descend and all of the fruit buds will be lost. Sigh. A picture of the peach blossoms is at the top of the page.

Have you entered the Luck O’ The Authors giveaway? This is going to end at midnight St. Patrick’s Day. That means a lot fewer contestants. Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter. Even if you’ve signed up for all of the authors, there are daily ways to win. Check it out!

Where am I with my writing? Of course, I put up a free flash fiction story every week on Friday on my blog. Do you catch those? I vary genre just because I quite often write to what I’m exposed to that week. The story could be scifi but it could also be a western, or a contemporary, or a fantasy. Free and easy every week. I’m still working on Mystery in the Woods. There are only a few more scenes before I finish the first draft. To be honest, I still don’t know who did it.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

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.

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. I do hope you can make it to that one.

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!

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

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I did something radical. 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. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for some time and this last week I spent several hours setting it up. Yay! I’m also including my second newsletter video within the newsletter. I’m having fun making these and this time I talk about my nectarine tree and the above giveaway. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

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, 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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Keeping up the Pace: Monday’s Blog Post

D'Elen McClain at APW January meeting

D’Elen McClain at APW January meeting

Hiking and bronchitis update. I did not go on last Tuesday’s hike. As expected, the water was running high and fast. At least two hikers slipped on wet, algae-covered rocks and landed in the stream. I’m still coughing. It seems as though I cannot get my lungs clear. I continue to take the allergy meds the doc gave me and use the puffer to open airways. The hope is that with the airways open, the congestion left in my lungs can be coughed up. I hope so. I’m beginning to worry about using that puffer every day. This Tuesday’s hike is to the south of Payson. I’m planning on going on that. I haven’t been hiking since the week after Christmas. I need to get out of the house!

At last week’s monthly Arizona Professional Writer (APW) Rim Country Chapter meeting our speaker, D’Elen McClain, spoke on using social media to build our author platforms. We had a great turn out for the talk and a lot of enthusiasm from several people on using Twitter. The Thursday APW Phoenix chapter meeting panel on self-publishing was also very well attended. There was a lot of interest by traditionally published authors and even self-published authors on what our experiences were with the process.

My story, The Reunion, was rejected but FreezeFrameFiction.com included their reader’s comments on what they felt didn’t work with the story. That kind of feedback is invaluable and I’m very grateful that the publisher took the time to provide it. If you’re interested, you can find more about the company at http://freezeframefiction.com/ or on Facebook at facebook.com/freezeframefiction.

Kindred Spirits is still in edits. I’m glad my editor is so thorough but it takes time to get through everything. I’m still looking for people interested in receiving an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. I may have it whipped into shape by the end of January for a February release. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today!

Mystery in the Woods is moving forward. After a review of my scene cards, I realized one of the plot lines had been left hanging. I am fleshing out that part of the story and continuing to write on it. My enthusiasm for my Jean Hays story has been renewed. I hope to have this book out in late May so I can bring it to the June MysteryCon in Scottsdale, June 3-4.  More on the conference later in this post.

Vision Quest, the short story set in the Brown Rain series I mentioned last week is finished. Not only was it a fun little story but I used it to foreshadow upcoming series books. When the anthology comes out, I’ll let you know so you can buy a copy.

My next Author Interview posts Wednesday, January 27th, and is on author Katharina Gerlach. I hope you enjoy reading about Katharina as much as I did.

The Lovestruck Authors Giveaway is well underway. There are over 40 authors involved in this giveaway so there are books and prizes galore! I have put up my book, Recall, signed, as my first prize and an Amazon Gift card as my second prize. The grand prize is $150 in Paypal cash.  Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter.  I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you who sign up for my website, newsletter, Amazon Author page and Facebook page. Thanks for participating.

I’ve updated my Where Will I Be page on my website. The MysteryCon I mentioned above is on there with details about how to attend. Also listed are all of my planned January Jones, Sharing Success Stories, web-radio interviews. As other events come up, I’ll post them there. Oh! Just saying that made me remember that I didn’t put the Payson Book Festival on there. The festival is on July 23rd, 2016 again at the Gila Community College campus. I hope you can make it here. We already have a fantastic array of award winning authors attending, some from last year and there are several new authors attending this year. Mark your calendar. I’d love to see you at our Book Festival.

I put out the January newsletter on Saturday, the 23rd. I have a couple of contests in there. Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you missed it, leave a comment in the sign-up form and I’ll send you January’s newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

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, 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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Writing, Meetings, Personal Appearance: Monday Blog Post

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

I’m still recovering from bronchitis. However, on Sunday, I went with the morning walk group and even though it was thirty-seven degrees, didn’t cough all that much. The walk was about three miles. I’m thinking about doing the hike on Tuesday with the Payson Packer C group. That’s the group I usually hike with and which my hubby leads. We’re going south, where it’s warmer but into a canyon with a year round stream. Since snow is still melting off of the mountains, I know that stream is going to be running high and we have to cross it several times. Hmm, I’m up for it breathing-wise but do I want to chance getting wet in an icy cold stream. I’ll decide Tuesday morning, I think.

Other fun stuff this week includes my usual Monday morning meeting with three other authors that live here in Payson. I love our Power Hour meeting. Also, this week is the Tuesday hike which I’ve already mentioned, and Wednesday is the monthly Arizona Professional Writer (APW) Rim Country Chapter meeting. We have a great speaker, D’Elen McClain, who’s going to speak on using social media to build our author platforms. It should be fun. Then on Thursday, I’m at the APW Phoenix chapter meeting where I’m on a panel with three other authors to talk about self-publishing. Full details are here.

My story, Bell Ring, was rejected again and is out again. My poem was rejected as was Eavesdroppers. I’ve sent Eavesdroppers back out. It’s harder to find a good poetry market. Cross your fingers for me that they’re all accepted. Kindred Spirits came back from the editor’s hands on Sunday morning. I took a brief look at the edits on Sunday but I’ll be using this week and next to make changes. I’m also looking for reviewers to send an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. I may have it whipped into shape by the end of January for a February release. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today! Above is a draft of the front cover. What do you think?

I re-read my unfinished draft of Mystery in the Woods and am pleasantly surprised at how much it doesn’t suck. I distinctly remember being very discouraged with it in July, part of my reluctance to get back into it. Now that I know it isn’t as bad as I remembered, I can get going on it again I’d like to have that first draft completed by the end of January. I know that’s ambitious but it’s already at 35,000 words, halfway done.

I’ve started a new short story, Vision Quest. It’s set in my Brown Rain series and Alyssa is heading off on a vision quest in Spring, just before they leave their winter home with the Ogonqwa in the Kindred Spirits book. The story is for an anthology being put together by fellow students in a recent on-line class for building our author platforms.  The theme is Journeys and what better story for me than one set in my Brown Rain universe where every book is a journey? The deadline for submission is end of March but I know I’ll have the story done long before that deadline.

Last Wednesday (the 13th) my new website feature, author interviews, went live. The first author was B. C. Mathews. She was a wonderful visitor to my website. I hope you enjoyed reading about her. I’m posting an interview twice a month, so the next one will be January 27th, Katharina Gerlach. At the end of the interviews are links to each author’s website, Amazon page or wherever else they have stories for you to read. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I am enjoying having these excellent authors on my site. Enjoy!

As soon as the Santa’s Christmas giveaway was over, the Lovestruck Authors Giveaway began. There are over 40 authors involved in this giveaway so there are books and prizes galore! I have put up my book, Recall, as my first prize and an Amazon Gift card as my second prize. The grand prize is $150 in Paypal cash.  Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter.  I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you who sign up for my website, newsletter, Amazon Author page and Facebook page. Thanks for participating.

Last week I mentioned I opened up my Instagram account. I’ve also opened a Periscope account. I haven’t posted a video yet, though. Do any of you use Periscope? Maybe you use Youtube? Do you like watching videos from your fav authors? If you do, what would you like an author to talk about? Maybe you’d like something more interactive, like a Google Hangout chat? Tell me what you think.

January’s newsletter is coming out soon. Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up, you’ve already missed out on two great offers. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

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, 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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