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.

Spring has Sprung: Monday Blog Post

Unknown Desert Flower

Unknown Desert Flower

Last week has been a crazy week for me. So much work on writing and my volunteer efforts with the Northern Gila County Fair and the Payson book festival has just left me reeling. Author applications are flooding in for the book festival. On the fair side, a great deal of coordination is taking place for advertising, promotion, and multiple events coordination. Plus for both efforts, volunteers are needed in multiple capacities. Do you live in the Rim Country? I could use your help! Call me.

I’m starting a new contest. One focused on reviews. 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 several ratings on Amazon and other book sellers is predicated on my ratings. 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! Prise? 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.

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

On the gardening front, the tomato seedlings are still doing well. A front is moving in and Tuesday is forecast as turbulent. What do I mean? I mean I have no idea what will happen in my town. It could be rain. It could be snow. It could be nothing at all. Tuesday is hiking day for us. Our group, the Payson Packers, C Group, is planning to drive down to Roosevelt Lake for a hike there. Forecast for that area is dry. I shrug. I’ll have to see what the morning brings both for my garden and for the hike.

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 here.

Mystery in the Woods draft is FINISHED! I am ecstatic. I do have to let it “rest” for awhile before I pick it back up and do a heavy re-write and edit. I am hoping to release it in 2016. In the meantime, I’m outlining the next cozy mystery, Mystery at the Book Festival. It’s the 28th of March and I plan to start writing on April 1st. So I guess I’d better get my outline done.

Take a look at the places I’ll be, below. I’ve ordered owl charms, associated with Kindred Spirits that I’ll attach to new bookmarks. I’ll be giving these away to purchasers of books at the below events. 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 need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

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.

TempeBookFestival2016

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. I have a nice giveaway for purchasers of any book.

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. New! I’m offering a prize or two to people who register in advance and mention my name in the registration. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

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 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.

Fast Ride: Monday Blog Post

Kindred Spirits Ad

Did you read that last week I released Kindred Spirits? I’ve created a video of all of the meme cards and quotes I’ve made and put it on YouTube. Here’s the link. Please share it with all of your friends, family, and significant others. Note that the cards have links on them. Not clickable, unfortunately, an  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. The book is up on all of my ebook and paperback sales sites, see the last paragraph below for links.

I started a giveaway on Amazon that ended yesterday, March 20th. I had 10 First Encounter ebooks to give away. Did you get one? I hope so. If not, I have a couple of free books up for grabs if you sign up for my newsletter. See below for more on how to do that.

This is Author Interview week and Lazette Gifford (http://lazette.net) will be my guest. Lazette writes SciFi and Fantasy among other things. Have you found a new to you author that you’re checking out? Lazette may be one! The post pops up on Wednesday.

Peach Blossoms

Peach Blossoms

The tomato seedlings I talked about last week are still all doing well. I notice the plum tomatoes are growing faster than the cherries. Not a bad thing at all but just interesting to note. The mid-season daffodils are up as the miniatures are fading out. My pear trees are in full bloom as the nectarine and peach are dying out. The apple trees are just starting to blossom. I’m crossing my fingers that we do not get a hard frost or snow any more this year. If we do, I’ll lose all of the fruit. The parsley I transplanted to a different bed has died. I feel a little bad, it would have been nice to harvest it sooner than I could get from seed but it’s not a disaster. I have lots of seed I collected from last year’s second-year parsley and failing that, I can get plants at the nursery.

The Luck O’ The Authors giveaway is closed. We’re compiling all of the winners and should be contacting them along about Wednesday or Thursday. Hundreds of people participated, it’s a lot to sort out. Thank you so much for participating. If you missed out, don’t worry, we have a Spring giveaway coming up. I’ll keep you posted.

Did you pop over to Cover Wars on http://authorshout.com to vote for my cover? The contest ended Saturday. I did not win but many thanks to those who stopped by that website to vote.

I’m continuing to work on Mystery in the Woods. I know, I’ve been saying that every week but really, I am. I made a big break through this week writing over 10,000 words and getting down to my last four scene cards. What do I mean by that? I plot my story out by using scene cards. A 3X5 card that I write a sentence on with who will be in the scene, where the scene is, what the conflict is and what the twist to the story is. Anyway, I’m getting to the end of the story, and the last four cards don’t match what’s going on at this point at all. So I tossed them and wrote out six different cards which take me to the end and ties up the loose ends. Ha! Now I know who did it and what happens. I’m pretty pleased and should be able to have the draft done by this time next week. Yay!

I printed out Zoe Ohale and have it ready for me to begin my first pass through edits. I always do the first pass on paper. The difference between looking at the story on the computer screen and on paper is huge and I spot a lot of things I miss when I’m looking at it for the millionth time electronically. Zoe is a long book for me, longer than I’ve done before, over 70,000. I think you’ll like 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.  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.

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. 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 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.

Kindred Spirits Release Day: Monday Blog Post

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Hoo! I’m releasing the third book in my Brown Rain series, Kindred Spirits, today. I mentioned last week that 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’m really get some excitement going. I’m actually promoting the release. I’ve made up little meme cards and posted every day. I’ve started a giveaway. More about that below. I’ve created a video of all of the meme cards and quotes I’ve made and put it on YouTube. Here’s the link. Please share it with all of your friends, family and significant others. Note that the cards have links on them. Not clickable, unfortunately an  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. The book is up on Amazon, paperback and Kindle, and Smashwords and GumRoad for the other ebook formats. Soon it will be out on the other ebook sites and up on chatebooks as well.

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

Last week was Author Interview week and Terra Luft (terraluft.com) was my guest. What do you think about the author interviews? Have you found a new-to-you author that you’re checking out?

A friend of mine just gave me some tomato transplants. She always starts way more than she needs. She gave me six plum tomatoes and six unspecified cherry tomato seedlings. About for more of each than I need. I’ll give those away. I will, however, still grow or obtain Sungold cherry tomato plants and some Early Girls. Both of those varieties grow really well for me here in central Arizona. And we LOVE the sungolds. There’s no way I’m going to have tomatoes and not sungolds.

Have you entered the Luck O’ The Authors giveaway? This is going to end at midnight St. Patrick’s Day, just 3 days away. That means a lot fewer contestants over some of the longer giveaways. 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!

Another fun thing I found a few weeks ago is called Cover Wars over on http://authorshout.com. I submitted my book cover for Mystery at the Fair even though I knew I was going to revise it. Anyway, here’s the fun part. You can go to the site, vote for my cover or someone else’s every day through Saturday. You get to see some new to you authors and I get a little free publicity for my book. It’s a big win all the way around. Stop by http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/ to vote and/or share this page so that all your friends can vote. You don’t even have to sign up for anything. Just scroll down the page past the covers and vote for me or someone else daily through Saturday.

Speaking of covers and Mystery at the Fair. I’ve been thinking about redoing the cover before Mystery in the Woods comes out. A friend of mine had some time and designed me the best cover ever, and one for Mystery in the Woods! It is so awesome! Can you tell I’m excited about it?  Here it is. What do you think?

Mystery at the Fair New Cover2

I’m continuing to work 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. I’m also now writing non-fiction hiking stories for my local paper. Hubby does most of the photography. A friend of mine told me he ran into some hikers on a trail I wrote about a few weeks ago and they were there because of the story in the paper. How cool is that! April is Camp NaNo and I’m plotting out my next mystery book, Mystery at the Book Festival. It takes place the summer following Mystery in the Woods and poor Jean Hays is starting to look like the murder whisperer. In the mean time my novel Zoe Ohale is up for rewrites and edits, then after that, my still not really titled book, All about Bob. I’d like to get both of those out this year!

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.  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.

Mystery Con Flyer

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. 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 released today! 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.

How To Revise Your Novel Special Gift Today Only

Have you ever taken a class, or read a How-To book, or had someone teach you a craft or a specific skill and later, you realized that what you learned there applies perfectly to a different project that you are doing now?

I have had that happen. When I took the How To Revise Your Novel, or HTRYN, back in the winter and spring of 2012, I thought I was learning how to edit a novel. I was so new I had no idea what I didn’t know. I was so green, every time another author mentioned something they were doing, like writing a bio to put on the back of their books, or they mentioned marketing or social media, I was completely clueless.

One thing that helped me was the HTRYN class. The structure of it taught me to break what seemed like monumental tasks, down into component parts. It taught me to really see how something is put together and how each part is related to the whole. It changed how I approached new tasks. It gave me the confidence to take on new challenges.

If you’re interested in a step-by-step approach to making your novel the best it can be, if you want to learn how to approach new tasks with confidence, consider taking this class. It opens tomorrow Tuesday, December 8th at 10:00AM EST for just one week. Registration will close on Monday, the 17th at 11:59pm EST. Don’t miss this class. It will not be offered again for at least six months, perhaps a year. Full information and details about the class will be released tomorrow. Set your alarm!

Note: Today ONLY! Holly Lisle and I have a free gift for you if you sign up today. If you sign up, contact me by email at ccockrellauthor@gmail.com, and I’ll send you the link for your free gift.

Here are the links for joining and for the mini-workshop on revising.

JUST NOW JOINING:
https://hollyswritingclasses.com/?home&aid=10009

ON DAY 3:
https://hollyswritingclasses.com/member/index.php?page=launch-option-htryn-day3&aid=10009

Special News! How To Revise Your Novel!

Well, National Novel Writing Month is over. Whew! Due to travel, I missed several days and it took me just about down to the wire to make my fifty-thousand words. How about you? How did you do? Did you finish your novel? Have you read through it yet?

I know when I finished my first one, way back in November 2011, I was so excited. I’d actually written a whole book. While I was writing it, I was seeing the whole thing up on the big screen. I could see me on the red carpet on opening night dressed to the nines and waving to adoring fans. I imagined opening up the New York Times and seeing my name on the top ten list. Writing that book was an amazing accomplishment and I took December off to celebrate.

When I returned to my manuscript in January and read through it, I liked what I had done but it was rough, gangly, moving in fits and starts and jumping from one plot hole to the next. I knew something else had to be done with it. But what? I’d heard that editing was required before a manuscript could be published, but I didn’t know how to go about it.

I started to look around. Soon I found this author’s site that offered a class that would help me, step-by-step, revise my novel. The author is Holly Lisle and she’s doing it again. She’s offering a newly revised How to Revise Your Novel workshop.

If you’re interested in a step-by-step approach to making your novel the best it can be, consider taking this class. It opened today! If you’re ready now, you’ll get 3 free mini-classes! This offer closes on December 14th. Follow my link to https://hollyswritingclasses.com/index.php?page=home&aid=10009

 

Provoking: A Monday Blog Post

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Promo for Winter Wonderland Giveaway

Do you watch the show Madam Secretary? I do. I love the show. I know. Much of it is way over the top. Every week it’s an international crisis. That begs the question, what would we do? That’s what the show is really about. What would we do? What is fair? What is appropriate? What should our policies be on SO many issues? It’s a show, regardless of its grand-standing, which asks, what would we do? What should we do? Big questions.

Anyway, I get to my question in a round-about way. As an author, no matter the genre, the goal is to ask, What if? What if the girl is angry and then falls in love with the very person she’s furious with? What if the government decides (and by that I mean what if the “people” decide) that offspring of criminals cannot expect any governmental assistance? What if, as a society, we allow corporations to run roughshod over our rights as human beings?

Today’s post is different. I am poking the bee’s nest, if you will. I’m provoking, and on purpose. As an author, I want to tell a story. Since my favorite genre is science fiction, I’m used to the story making me question, making me look at reality in a whole different perspective. All of the other genres do the same, some with more subtlety, perhaps than SciFi or Fantasy do.

So, tell me, what’s your beef? What are you passionate about? Is it about the lack of budget to take care of our mentally ill? Is it about our food and the control the big conglomerates have over what we eat? Do you fume over the fact that our major “food” companies have an express mission statement to take over the control of all drinkable water on the planet? What about the distance in income between the richest and the poorest in our society? What’s your beef?

I’m here to tell you that stories, whether they’re mysteries or romances, SciFi or Noir, Westerns or Erotica, is talking to you about the issues that you are most passionate about. If you have a favorite genre, it’s because that form of story speaks to you and what you’re passionate about.

So, that’s all I have to say. I want you to question. I want you to be passionate. Love the authors that speak to you. Support them! Buy their books. Respond to their Facebook posts. Follow them on Twitter and GoodReads. Sign up for their newsletters. An author cannot write in a vacuum. They need to pay the rent, buy groceries, purchase clothing and food for themselves and their children. You are a patron of the arts. Support your local author.

I’m appearing on November 14th in Avondale, AZ to sell and sign books. I hope to see you there. See http://www.historicavondale.org/vet-fest.html

I’m teaching a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing. I have an entry for that on my Where Will I Be tab on my website.

No Author Friend Boost this week. I’m working on National Novel Writing Month. I’m doing well, a little ahead of plan, just in case. I’m working on a Zoe Ohale novel so if you’ve liked the flash fiction, I have a short story about Zoe in the upcoming Forward Motion Anthology, and now, this!

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway started 1 November. I have a link to the giveaway on my website, https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s also a Youtube video at the bottom of the page to watch. You will love this. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

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I published my October newsletter. Did you miss it? 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. The November newsletter is coming out soon. 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 or Gumroads today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

New Appearance Date

I moved to Arizona in July of 2010 from upstate New York. My hubby and I love it here. So much so that we haven’t been back to visit friends and family in the five years we’ve been here.

So this year we’ve decided to go back to NY and visit. Since I’ll be in my hometown, I thought it would be cool to do a book signing. I contacted the Mohawk Harvest Co-op on Main St. in Gloversville and spoke with Chris, the manager of the co-op.

He’s all for my doing a book signing at his store! So on October 10th, 10am – noon, I’ll be at the Mohawk Harvest Co-operative Market, 30 N. Main St., Gloversville NY.

Come on by, get some wonderful food and chat with me.

Monday Blog Post: Birthday News

Payson Book Festival, Banner,  Chamber of Commerce

Payson Book Festival Banner at the Chamber of Commerce

There’s only 7 more days until the festival and we’re finalizing all of the tiny details required to be completed before we have our author Meet and Greet on Friday and the Festival on Saturday. Banners have been hung around town. TV, Radio, Blog and Newspaper interviews have been conducted all over Arizona. Posters are up. We’re ready!  I hope you can make it to Payson on July 25th, 9am – 4pm, and stop by the festival to say hello!

If you missed any of the interviews or media releases or want to read the proclamation, click here to find everything.

So Friday was my birthday. A hiking friend of mine had her birthday a week earlier. We’re the same age. Twins! So we had a joint birthday party on Saturday.  We belong to many of the same groups so we sent out an email to all of our friends to join us. We had a blast. Burgers and dogs, salads, cake, cookies, watermelon and oh, way too much food! Below is a picture from the party.

Birthday Cake, Connie, Ruth

Birthday Cake for Connie and Ruth

Mystery at the Fair is released! I’m happy that I have it done and was able to buy copies to have for the Book Festival. So far it’s only up on Amazon. Soon I’ll have it up on other sites: Apple, Barnes and Noble, and a few others.

Camp NaNo progresses. I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to hold two major functions, release a book, and write 50K in a month but there you go, certifiably crazy. As of today I have over 30,000 words.  I’m working on the second Jean Hays series book, Mystery in the Woods. When will it be out, you ask? No idea. I have two other books, that I wrote in April, waiting for editing. Maybe you can tell I’m not as enthusiastic about the editing and rewriting part as I am about writing the first draft.

The garden is looking wonderful. I’ve picked four zuchinni already and harvested the potatoes. Now I’m in the process of not water the bed where the mint has run amok. I’m going to have to let that bed go until I can dig out all of the mint. The tomatoes are looking good even though none are ripe yet. This is Tomato Hornworm season so I have to carefully examine the plants. The damage a tomato hornworm can do is incredible.

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Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote their books. Thanks in advance.

Monday Blog Post: Spotlight on Selena Laurance’s New Book: Lush Reunion

Book, Release, a lush reunion, Selena Laurencea lush reunion by Selena Laurence

Every once in awhile I like to point out a friend’s new release. Today is release day for Best Selling Author, Selena Laurence’s newest book, Lush Reunion. I received this contemporary romance book as an ARC, a sample copy. The final book in the Lush series ties up the saga with a gigantic bow.

This story revolves around Colin, bass player for the band, Lush, and his long, lost high-school sweetheart, Marsha. The opening prologue sets the scene perfectly and introduces us to Marsha Lynn, Colin’s lost love. After that, the love, the hurt, and the pain ebb and flow in a way that Ms. Laurence has mastered. Sparks fly and tears flow in a fast paced book that I defy you to put down.

There were a number of twists and turns, that to be honest, I never saw coming. If you’re looking for your next beach read, this is the story for you. All of the characters were as real as the people in my own life. Grab this book as soon as you can.

On June 23rd I was happy to be interviewed by January Jones on her web radio broadcast. Talk4 Media,  Talk4Media.com , w4cy.com/radio-shows/january-jones-sharing-success-stories/  This is a first for me and I’m very excited about it. We talked about my books but also about the Payson Book Festival scheduled for July 25th. I was on the show at 5pm Eastern time and 2pm Arizona time. Here’s the list of who else was interviewed.

Connie Cockrell– Her books, The Gulliver Station Series, and more run the gamut from SciFi and Fantasy to Contemporary.

D’Elen McClain- Under her pen name, Holly S. Roberts, she is the USA Today Best-Selling author and writes “romance with wicked intentions.”

Then at 6pm Florida time and 3pm Arizona time, three more authors were interviewed.

Steven Andrew Cole– enjoys leading his readers down dark alleys, through crawl spaces and anywhere they dare not to venture with thrillers

Sherry Engler– reveals the unusual, quirky behaviors a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) may display

Annemarie Eveland writes about challenges in life and the insights gained from them.

If you missed them go here to get the links.

It’s 26 days until the first ever Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’ve organized several radio interviews with festival authors. Check out the web site or our Facebook page (Payson Book Festival) or our Twitter feed at @PaysonBookFest for information about the next interview. At the Festival we’ll have authors speaking, authors signing their books, music, live radio broadcast, entertainment, workshops and food. Make plans now to come up to Rim Country and enjoy the festival.

Mystery at the Fair edits are in their final rounds. All that’s about left is to do the book formatting for both print and e-book. I’m still shooting for an early July release.

Squash, Melon, Garden, Connie Cockrell

Squash and Melon by Connie Cockrell

In the garden I have acquired zucchini and yellow squash and planted butternut squash and Swiss Chard. Saturday the butternut squash poked its first leaves up. The Swiss Chard still must be thinking about it. The plant next to the butternut squash is a self-seeding melon. It produces little, one-person cantaloupes. It seems to be doing very well, yay!

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