Art, BookShop.Org, The Garden, Fire: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I belong to a Facebook group that does casual art. The admin posts a new prompt once a day and if you feel the prompt, you draw, paint, photograph to the prompt. The other day the prompt was campfire. Above is what I did. It’s pencil and watercolor paint on art paper.

The other day I was scrolling through Facebook posts and there was one from an author group I belong to talking about a newish website called BookShop.org. They said the site had their books on it so I clicked over to take a look. BookShop’s About page describe it as an alternative to Amazon and the site supports local bookstores. I went ahead and set up a page on there. You can now find my books, all except Gold Dreams, at bookshop.org/shop/conniesrandomthoughts. Check it out.

The weather here has been hot and dry and windy. My garden plants are taking a bit of a beating but still doing well. The tomato plants are blooming, so that’s a good thing, though I won’t have any tomatoes until well after the 4th of July. The basil is still surviving, and the potatoes are dying back quickly. I just need to harvest them promptly when they’re ready. The peas and beans that were overwhelmed by the potatoes are now visible and the peas, especially, seem quite happy. They’re blooming too. The roses are past their 1st glorious bloom and if I weren’t so lazy, I’d deadhead them and get a nice second blush. Sigh.

https://wildfiretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Bush-Fire-closes-Hwy-87.jpg

There is a major fire burning just 60 miles south of us, called the Bush Fire. https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6773/ Nearby neighborhoods, directly east of the fire just this morning, have been issued an evacuate order. The air here is smoky and people with breathing problems have been advised to stay indoors. This was a human caused fire, a car caught fire on the highway that runs between Phoenix and Payson. So not deliberately set. Unfortunately, it has closed the highway since Friday afternoon and the traffic confusion that has resulted on Saturday and Sunday has been immense. All the valley campers up here for the weekend were forced to take very long reroutes to get back home. I17, to our west, had 50-mile backups as there was a fire near that travel artery as well. Arizona is beautiful, but escape routes, especially for rural areas like ours can be down to just one or two ways out. So everyone who heads out of your city and to the country for weekends or vacations, please, please, please follow no burn rules if they’re in place. A careless camper can devastate miles and miles of countryside, potentially destroying local towns, and send residents running for their lives. We have a saying up here, “If it’s not camping without a campfire, just think what it’s like with no forest.”

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page.

Where will I Be?

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

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

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

Phoenix Fan Fusion T’s, KJZZ Book Fest, Interview with January Jones: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Last week I began showing some of the t-shirts from the Phoenix Fan Fusion. Above is one for this week.

My table at KJZZ

I attended the KJZZ Arizona Story Fest and Authors Showcase on June 1st.. It was held at the Mesa Convention Center – Building C, a place I’d never been. So I was a little nervous about driving down by myself and finding the place. I shouldn’t have been. It was very easy to find and the venue was just perfect for the event. Activities at the KJZZ Arizona Storyfest included: Storytellers Main Stage, Authors Showcase & Reading Stage, Children’s Storyteller Stage & Craft Area, Arizona Expo. I had a blast, talking to all of the attendees. There was also time to network with the authors, so that was fun, too.

I have an interview at 7am tomorrow morning with January Jones on her BlogTalkRadio.com show January Jones Sharing Success Stories. I know it’s early, but you should be able to find the recorded show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/januaryjones. Come on over to hear what January and I have to talk about.

Giveaways:

I’m gearing up for the Summer giveaway. I see other authors signing in and getting their prizes ready. I’ll let you know when it goes live.

Where will I Be?:

The Payson Book Festival 2019. Mark your calendars for July 20th. Go to www.paysonbookfestival.org for all of the details! I just saw the book that we’ve been doing with the Payson Community Kids. What a darling project for our little authors and artists. We’re having the book printed and available for sale at the festival. The Payson Middle School, 6th graders made a microzines. We worked with Rosemary Dumbrowski of ASU and Sophia McGovern to make them and the kids were amazing. Many of those microzines will be on display at the festival. We have nearly 90 authors, lots of speakers in both the Fireside and Maple rooms, and again, the silent auction. Want to just make a donation? Go to our Paypal.me page, Payson Book Festival.

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is only up on Amazon, at the moment. I’ll let everyone know when the print version is up and is up on the other platforms. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. 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.

Errors in Books, My YouTube Channel, Book Festival: Monday Blog Post

Security concept. Laptop with exclamation mark on the display from Deposit Photos

Newest News:

Slave Elf. I had a reader contact me after getting my book. This person found several errors, just in the first chapter! After so many times through it myself, and two separate editors, still errors managed to stay hidden. Sigh. Luckily for me and for you, this is fixable! As an independent author, I’ll be correcting the errors found and get that reader a fresh copy. Hopefully error free. This isn’t the first time this has happened and won’t be the last. If you find an error in my books, let me know. They’re all fixable and I’d love to give you a replacement copy after you’ve been so kind as to let me know about those persistent little punctuation, grammar, spelling and spacing errors.

Cattle in the Arizona woods by Randy Cockrell

Do you all use YouTube? I have a channel which, up until a couple of weeks ago, hardly ever was viewed and only had six subscribers. Then, all of a sudden, people found a video I’d posted seven months ago called Monsters in the Woods. So far it has 13k+ views and I now have 222 subscribers. I’m flabbergasted. I just posted that as a bit of fun. Now, I guess, I know what attracts viewers. You can find my page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2rN2MWxDPLrI0bMv3vTKvg

The Payson Book Festival organizing is in full swing. All of the author tables are now occupied. All of the Fireside room speakers have been selected. We have new authors, new speakers, and more children’s activities than ever before. This year is going to be more exciting than last year. Mark your calendars for July 20th. Be in Payson for the book festival. www.paysonbookfestival.org for all of the details!

Giveaways:

The Valentine’s Day giveaway is now over and there are 45 prizes to give away and 45 books. The grand prize is $135 in Paypal cash. A winner’s list will be out soon, and I’ll let you know who’ve won my prizes.

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway is now up. Here’s the link and I hope you get in on this fast. This one isn’t going to run very long.  https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/

In the meantime, I’m in a promotion with 19 other women writers on Book Funnel. You can check out the books here. There are romances, mysteries, shifter stories and even a non-fiction. Don’t miss out. These are all free for a short time.

Where will I Be?:

If you are a fan of most any genre, I’m participating in an on-line cyber conference here: http://owscycon.ourwriteside.com/about-ows-cycon/. The event is May 17th through May 19th. There are discussion forums, author giveaways, and so much more. Check out the link and sign up to participate. Sign up also gets you news on what’s happening and when. So sign up today. You might just be the person we want to have in our panel discussion!

Phoenix Fan Fusion! Oh My Gosh! If you haven’t ever been to this event you need to check it out. The prices for entry are so reasonable! Three days is $75 at this point. The catalog of things to do is humongous! I’ll be down in Artists Alley, Four Carat Press, booths 930 and 932. Come check it out. If you’ve never been, it will blow your minds. It’s May 23 – 26th. Come see me!

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

The Slave Elf story released February 19th, 2019. It is finally up on all of my other retailers in ebook format. You can buy it at Amazon, Apple, 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 or BookBub. 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.

Read an EBook Week, Anniversary, Book Festival: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Hey! If you’re on Smashwords, and why wouldn’t you be? It’s Read an eBook week! I have several books on special. So hop on over there and not only check out my specials, but other, new to you, author specials as well. You’ll be glad you did. https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos/1/any/any or me at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell

Slave Elf still has a few copies up on Booksprout for an advanced reader copy (ARC) at https://booksprout.co/arc/10825/slave-elf. I do require at least one review. If you’d like to take part, check it out.

https://www.deviantart.com/kittykatofhyperness/art/Sapphire-71832070
https://www.deviantart.com/kittykatofhyperness/art/Sapphire-71832070

Friday is my anniversary. At this point, we have become a little blasé about it but it’s 44 years. We had to count it up. Our daughter asked us what “anniversary” this was, meaning, the gift. As in the first anniversary is paper. Turns out, not that we’ve ever participated in this particular ritual, at this level, only major points in the anniversary years get special attention. Turns out 44 is not one of them. But 45, next year, happens to be sapphire. Well, color me lucky. I love sapphire. I’ll be fortunate to get a blue anniversary card. That’s because we have never bought into expensive gifts. Except Christmas this last year when I broke down in tears trying to format a book and hubby bought me a Macintosh laptop and a copy of Vellum so I could easier format my books. This is why I love this guy.

The Payson Book Festival organizing is in full swing. All of the author tables are now occupied. All of the Fireside room speakers have been selected. We have new authors, new speakers, and more children’s activities than ever before. This year is going to be more exciting than last year. Mark your calendars for July 20th. Be in Payson for the book festival. www.paysonbookfestival.org for all of the details!

Giveaways:

The Valentine’s Day giveaway is now over and there are 45 prizes to give away and 45 books. The grand prize is $135 in Paypal cash. A winner’s list will be out soon, and I’ll let you know who’ve won my prizes.

A St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will run soon. Stay tuned for that or check out my giveaways page on my website.

In the meantime, I’m in a promotion with 19 other women writers on Book Funnel. You can check out the books here. There are romances, mysteries, shifter stories and even a non-fiction. Don’t miss out. These are all free for a short time.

Where will I Be?:

I went to the 2nd PEO International meeting in Goodyear, AZ this last weekend and had such a wonderful time! The people were so lovely, welcoming, and kind. I had a great presentation and sold so many books! Thank you PEO members. You are wonderful. I didn’t have a partner there to take pictures and no one has forwarded me any yet. But if you’d like to know more, search on PEO International at http://www.PEOInternational.org.

If you are a fan of most any genre, I’m participating in an on-line cyber conference here: http://owscycon.ourwriteside.com/about-ows-cycon/. The event is May 17th through May 19th. There are discussion forums, author giveaways, and so much more. Check out the link and sign up to participate. Sign up also gets you news on what’s happening and when. So sign up today. You might just be the person we want to have in our panel discussion!

Phoenix Fan Fusion! Oh My Gosh! If you haven’t ever been to this event you need to check it out. The prices for entry are so reasonable! Three days is $75 at this point. The catalog of things to do is humongous! I’ll be down in Artists Alley, Four Carat Press, booths 930 and 932. Come check it out. If you’ve never been, it will blow your minds. It’s May 23 – 26th. Come see me!

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

The Slave Elf story released February 19th, 2019. It is finally up on all of my other retailers in ebook format. You can buy it at Amazon, Apple, 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 or BookBub. 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.

Gulliver Station Box Set, 2019 Calendar, Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

The Gulliver Station box set still has some sort of error that’s preventing it from being distro’d to Kobo, iBooks and other places. That’s on Smashwords. I’ve tried a couple of things to fix it but it’s a no go. Over on Amazon, I’m trying to get the box set up as a paperback. For some reason the cover size isn’t doing what I want in the application. Then in the manuscript, I can’t get the pagination right. I’m about ready to pull my hair out. Still, I may have to make some phone calls to get it all put together correction.

I mentioned last week that I have my notice to transfer all of my paperback book files from Createspace to Kindle. I didn’t get that done because of the fight with the box set. Need to do that before they do it for me.

Hiking where it’s cooler. Willow Lake outflow.

I’ve started picking pictures for my 2019 calendar. The pictures are all from right here in central Arizona. Since my Jean Hays series is set here in central AZ, it seemed only appropriate to use these pictures. All of the pics were taken by my husband, generally on our hikes around the countryside but one or two may have been take right in our yard. It was incredibly difficult to choose just one for each month. This is such a beautiful place. Once I have the calendar completed, I’ll post a link here, my newsletter, and on my website.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway is over. The list of winners was recently published and again, now that I’m home, I’ll get my winners notified and let you know who won.

The 2018 Halloween giveaway is now open and I had a chance to create all of the links. You can join in the fun at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80+ as a Grand Prize Paypal plus books and other prizes.

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

Gulliver Box set, New Ice Cream Maker, Gardening: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So, I have the Smashwords copy of the Gulliver Station Box set formatted and the table of contents linked. I’m going to go through it today to try and get rid of the punctuation and grammar errors I see in there so when I do the paperback version, it will be cleaner. I’ll update the Kindle copy as well. It’s a tedious process, folks, so please bear with me.

Ice Cream Maker

I mentioned a few of days ago that I was buying a new ice cream maker because I couldn’t find the motor and paddle for my old one. Well, the Cuisine Art maker came, and Saturday I made a new batch of vanilla paleo ice cream. I put it into the maker and it worked beautifully. Hubby tried it Saturday night and while he declared it wasn’t as creamy as regular ice cream, it was good. Better with the addition of fresh, cut-up peaches, of which we’re swimming. That’s a whole ‘nother story.

The garden is going strong. I have peaches. Lots and lots of peaches and they all ripen at once. So we give away a lot to friends. The a good many I’ll blanch, peel, and cut into slices to freeze. The freezing part is easy. Lay the slices out on a freezer paper lined baking sheet and put in the freezer. The next day, loosen them from the paper, put into a gallon freezer bag, and you’re done. Unless of course, like me, you have several more containers of fresh peaches in the fridge. Then it’s round two! The picture is of 2 containers already washed, and my gathering basket of just picked peaches, before they get their bath.

Giveaways:

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

The Smashwords’ site’s Summer/Winter Giveaway is over. I hope you had the chance to get many of my books for free or at a significant discount. Now you can find a list of all of my books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell and in whatever ebook format works for you.

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

Cozy Winter Reads, Mystery Giveaway is Live, Looking for Reviews: Monday Blog Post

Yellow squash hiding from the sun

Newest News:

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

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

Gardening. It’s time, here in central Arizona to trim my roses back and prep for the gardening season. We’re still getting hard frosts, here, so still a tiny bit early to plant but it’s coming!

Giveaways:

As of Friday, March 16th, our Book Funnel Mystery Giveaway is live. I’m in that with Mystery at the Fair, if you haven’t read it yet. But there are 35 other mystery authors in the promo as well. The link is:  https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/sfaebm0djq. This won’t last long so get your books today!

Then check out https://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 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.

Shout Out:

A shout out today to my mom who has just been released from the hospital. Hi, Mom! Glad you’re back home!

 

Where Will I Be?

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

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

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

Art, All About the Odds, Joshua Robertson: Monday Blog Post

Rufous Sided Towhee using Filters to Make an Oil Painting

 

Newest News:

I write this blog on Sunday for posting on Monday. So right now, I’m looking forward to going to a painting class in a couple of hours. I haven’t done oil painting for decades and when a friend invited me to come along, I jumped at the chance. I think I’ll enjoy a more physical and colorful method of being creative as a break from my daily writing. If it’s any good at all, or maybe even if it isn’t, I’ll share a picture of the painting next week.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on the second story in my All About Bob Series. Over the course of last week, I changed the name of it from All About the Game to All About the Odds. I have to say I’ve written my main character, Bobbie, into quite a pickle. Let’s see if I can get her out of it!

Did you know I have a Pinterest page? It’s here: https://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/. I have a board for my books and stories and just Saturday, learned how to link my book pin to the Amazon buy page. I’m so excited about that! I don’t have all of them linked yet, but soon. Anyway, I have lots of other boards on there, including one for Paleo recipes, so I hope you stop by.

Giveaways:

The Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway has 32 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $100 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. This is a great way to find new to you authors, but it doesn’t last long. It’ll be over on Valentine’s Day. Check out https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

Author Joshua Robertson

Hey, it’s time to shout out to Joshua Robertson. Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. 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. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins.  You can find out more at: Newsletter

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Author J.C. Boyd

He’s co-authored his newest book, Heshayol, with JC Boyd. J.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs and has an M.A. in English Literature. The first novel in his world, Blood and Bile, was released in 2017. Before completing junior high, J.C. had received his first box set of Dungeons & Dragons and devoured J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since, he has been heavily influenced by a myriad of fantasy authors, such as Weis and Hickman, Robert Jordan, and Ed Greenwood. You can find out more at: Amazon

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Here’s a bit about Heshayol.

Over a millennium ago, at their father’s command, Tyran and Drast sent the Horned God to the Netherworld in hopes of gaining everlasting life. Instead, they sparked a chain of events that led to the near destruction of the Ash Tree and the liberation of the old gods. Now, with the world waning, the two brothers are freed from Anaerfell to travel to the frozen realm of the dead and resurrect their enemy with hopes of restoring balance. Tyran and Drast journey between time and space with limitless magic at their fingertips to face demon legions, forsaken immortals, and the realization that the malevolence of their father is not yet done.

They knew killing a dragon wasn’t going to be easy. Especially not one that was also a god. But they never expected to be punished so brutally, or for so long. Death is no escape when you’ve already slain the Horned God to the Netherworld.

Heshayol releases March 5th so get your Pre order for only $2.99 and for a limited time you can get the first book Anaerfell for only $.99.

Where Will I Be?

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

The 20th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum
​Saturday, April 28, 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

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:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Author Interview: Mary Ann Edwards

Author Mary Anne Edwards

Today I’d like to welcome Mary Anne Edwards. Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne decided to listen to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January of 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, will be released in June 2017, with at least five more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband currently live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is active in the Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Mary Ann.

 

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

I love to read. Yes, I know rather boring but I rarely get the chance to sit down and read. Before I starting writing full-time, I read a book a week. Now it more like a book a month.

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

My mother passed away February last year. I’d like one more day to her how much I love her and how thankful I am for her support and influence.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else? Yes, please! I like coffee with lots of cream and no sugar. I also enjoy a good cup of hot tea. I LOVE diet Dr Pepper, too much. I’ve cut back from my 2 liters plus a day habit to one soda a few times a week. I’m drinking lots of water now. I purchased an infusion pitcher. I’ve made all sorts of water like Pineapple Jalapeno Mint to simple Lemon Mint water.

4. What are you working on right now?

My fifth book, Flirting With Time: A Charlie McClung Mystery, will be released June 30th. I’m currently working on the sixth book in the series, Good To Be Kind.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author and award-winning journalist described my style of writing this way, “It’s as if Agatha Christie wrote Hart to Hart.” My books are traditional mysteries with romance and fun.

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Get a website or blog or both going right now. Start building your network before your book is released. Once your book is released you’ll have a fanbase ready to buy your book.

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

My ideas come from music and everyday life. Tom Petty’s music gets my writing juice flowing for some reason. I guess his music is my muse. LOL!

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Facebook and Twitter are my two major hangouts but I have a website and I can be found on Pinterest and a few other places. Here are my links.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authormaryanneedwards

Website:  http://maryanneedwards.com/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/maryanneedwards/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MaryAnneEdwards/posts

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/maryanneedwards

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/maedwards58

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Edwards/e/B00HZ28TIQ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzz9_nQ5yzE60nW-LMkgUQ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791576.Mary_Anne_Edwards

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-anne-edwards

Wiselike:  https://wiselike.com/mary-anne-edwards

Thank you so much for spending a little time with us today, Mary Ann. We really appreciate it.

And gentle readers, don’t be shy. Stop by Mary Ann’s sites and say hello!

Author Interviews: Sherry Knowlton

Author Sherry Knowlton

I’m so happy, today, to present author Sherry Knowlton. Sherry is the author of the successful Alexa Williams series of suspense novels: Dead of Autumn, Dead of Summer and Dead of Spring.  When not writing the next Alexa Williams thriller, Knowlton works on her health care consulting business or travels around the world. She and her husband live in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Sherry.

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

Reading, of course. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. My other interests include travel, photography, yoga and Pilates.  My husband and I do a lot of traveling.  In the past six years or so, we’ve been trying to visit remote and exotic places, recognizing that we aren’t getting any younger.  We’ve been to a number of countries in Africa, India, Indonesia, most of the Southeast Asian countries, Chile and Peru – with a few more sedate visits to Europe thrown into the mix.  We both also enjoy travel photography and exhibit many of our photos locally in Southcentral Pennsylvania where we live.  When I’m home, I attend yoga and Pilates classes at local studios.

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

I miss my mother so much that she’s the obvious answer.  But, if I’m choosing someone among the living, I’d like to spend an afternoon with Bill Gates. Obviously, his major accomplishments are co-founding Microsoft  and growing the company to a huge, profitable corporation. But, I would like to talk to him about his post-Microsoft efforts.  I really admire the way that he and his wife, Melinda, have spent so much of their fortune in philanthropy, especially in projects to eradicate malaria, bolster family planning, and address other health issues prevalent in African nations and elsewhere.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Tea first thing in the morning.  Cherry Coke Zero during the day.  I’d really like to kick my Coke habit.  Everything I read says drinking soda is bad for me.  But, so far, haven’t been able to do it.

4. What are you working on right now?

My third novel, Dead of Spring, was just released on April 22. Now, I’m in the early stages of working on my next novel in the Alexa Williams, which will be titled Dead of Winter.  Although I’ve written a draft of the first few chapters, I’m about to begin my research which should take a month or so.  Also, as always, I’ll write a fairly detailed chapter by chapter outline of the book before I plunge into the serious writing.  My outlines are never hard and fast; they often evolve as I write.  But, I like to have a roadmap to follow during the first draft phase.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I write suspense with an element of mystery and a little romance.  Each of my novels also includes a historical subplot that intersects with the main, contemporary story.  My protagonist, Alexa Williams, is a strong character who has a propensity for stumbling into danger. All the books deal with hot-button social issues that you read about in the headlines and are important to me, personally.

I’m probably not my most insightful critic, so I’m not sure that I can describe my actual writing style.  I can say that I emphasize description, sense of place, and have been told that some of my romance scenes can be a little steamy,  The suspense is action-packed because my goal is to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Go for it.  I hope you enjoy writing as much as I do.  But, go into it with a willingness to learn.  I’ve done a huge amount of professional writing in my job – and before that high school and college journalism.  But, writing fiction required me to learn a whole different structure and style.  Don’t be afraid to take writing courses or seminars and benefit from expert advice.  A writing critique group and beta readers can also be helpful to obtain honest feedback on your work in process. And, above all, don’t become discouraged.  Writing requires inspiration, skill, and a huge amount of willpower.

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

A little of both.  I’m in my sixties, so I’ve had quite a bit of life experience that I draw upon in my books. For example, I’ve used my travels, my work in government, and my participation in the Woodstock Festival of 1969 as fodder for my novels to date.  But, I also expand my knowledge with research, talking to experts and more.  My most recent book, Dead of Spring, deals with fracking, so I talked to a number of experts and did a tour of actual fracking sites in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

A lot of my ideas for imagery and plot points come from my everyday life. Things that I observe or experience can easily become the inspiration for something you’ll find in one of my novels.  An experience my husband and I had with Somali refugees in Kenya provided me with the springboard to an important scene in my second novel, Dead of Summer.  My frequent visits to the Pennsylvania State Capitol inspired me to set key events in my latest, Dead of Spring, in that historic building.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

www.sherryknowlton.com

www.facebook.com/sherry.knowltonbooks/

www.twitter.com/KnowltonSBooks

And you can buy my books at:

https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Alexa-Williams-Sherry-Knowlton/dp/1620068435

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-of-spring-sherry-knowlton/1125457948

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Dead-of-Spring-9781620068434.htm

Sherry I really appreciate you taking the time to come and talk with us today. Looking forward to the next book!

Gentle readers, don’t be afraid to check out Sherry’s sites. You’ll be glad you did.