Out of Touch: Flash Fiction Friday Story

https://www.deviantart.com/art/A-Lineage-of-Flip-Top-Communicators-Grids-Opened-419088744 by Galaxy1701d via DeviantArt.com

“But I’m waiting for a call back!”

“I’m sorry Miz An. You’re on the twenty-hour plan.” He looked at me archly. “Unless, of course, you want to upgrade to the twenty-four-hour plan.”

I closed my eyes so he couldn’t see me roll them. “No. I can’t afford that.” I sucked in a deep breath, trying to think. I really needed this job or I’d be on the ten-hour plan. “Look. Why can’t I just pay for four hours.”

I thought his eyes were going to pop out. “Miz An! That is not possible. I mean,” he rolled his eyes, “the cost!” Then he looked at me, assessing whether I was lying about my financial status. “You can afford the hourly rate?”

I couldn’t afford the hourly rate. But I could borrow credits from my mom. The recruiter was in Japan. I needed to be available for the call as soon as they decided, which was supposed to be o-dark-thirty my time. “I can handle the cost of four hours.” I put on my confident face.

He took another breath. “Very well. That will be one-hundred and twenty credits. Will that be hard credits or your swipe?”

Crap. I didn’t have the hard credits or nearly enough on my swipe. “Uh.” I dug my comm out of my pocket and looked at the screen. “Look. I have to take this call. It’s about work.” I hurried out of the store but in the door reflection I could see him shaking his head. I held the comm up to my ear to make the ruse real and left. Out of sight, I stuffed the comm back in my pocket and leaned back onto the building.

Mom would still be at work and her company did not allow people to use their comm while on duty. Back in the day there was too much data trading so now, people had to give up their comms at the security desk and pick them up at break, lunch, or after work. Who else could I get the credits from. I called my sister.

“Hey, Kari. What’s going on?”

“Lynn.” I could hear the baby screaming in the background. “Nothin’ much. Little Johnny has an ear infection.”

“Sounds rough.”

“Yeah.”

I could see her run a hand through her failed pony tail. Hair was hanging loose all around her face. “He’s been screaming for five hours straight. The clinic said the meds would kick in soon.”

That didn’t bode well for me. “Uh. I need a favor.”

She looked me square in the screen. “No. Didn’t you just hear me say I had to buy meds?” Kari shook her head. “Unbelievable.”

“I had to try. It’s getting late and I need four hours on my comm plan for a job notification.”

“How do you know they’re going to call you.”

I sighed. Big sister jabs always hurt. “I’ll admit I haven’t always been the most reliable, Kari, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to get this job. But not if I don’t have a comm for them to call me on.”

“Where’s the job?”

“Tokyo.”

Her eyes went wide. “Japan?”

“Yep.”

A look of surprise, then an impressed look crossed her face. Finally. I did something she approved of. “Good for you. Get out of this dying excuse for a city.” Her face fell. “How much do you need?”

“Hundred twenty.”

“Holy crap, Lynn! We don’t have that kind of spread.” I watched her rub an eye. I knew this was going to be a tough sell. “I don’t have a spare credit, Lynn.” She looked so sad as she pulled out a kitchen chair and sat down. Her shoulders slumped and she rested her elbow on the table. She looked totally defeated.

“Sorry, Kari. I am. I’ll find the credits somewhere.”

She bit her bottom lip. “You know John just got that new job. He doesn’t get paid till the end of the month.”

I held up my hand. “Don’t worry about it. Mom get’s off at midnight. I’ll try her.”

“That’s cutting it close.”

“Sure.” I nodded but put on a happy face for her. She and John had been struggling even before little Johnny came along. “It’ll work out.” We traded good-bye’s and I clicked off.

I shoved off of the wall and began to walk. At a little park, well lit, I sat on a bench. There were lots of people out and about. It was a twenty-four-hour world after all. I called several friends, watching the time click closer and closer to midnight. Everyone was in the same boat as me. At midnight I had no choice. I called mom. The comm went to voice-mail. I waited ten minutes and called again.

“Lynn.”

“Hey, mom. How are you?”

“Tired. It’s after midnight, what do you need?”

That was my mom, right to the point. I explained the situation.

“You think you’re going to get the job?”

“I do.”

“Well. I guess. What do you need?”

“Just send me the credits. I’ll pay you back. Really.”

She gave me the stink eye. I’d been lax about that before. “You’d better.” I watched her punch the screen. “Okay. It’s done. Get your time.”

“Thanks, Mom. You’re the best.” I clicked off and hurried to the comm store. The clerk I’d dealt with was gone. A girl was at the counter. “I’d like to buy four hours, please. Added to my current plan.”

She looked at me like I’d grown a second head. “That can’t be done.”

“Yes. It can. I talked to the guy you replaced. It costs a hundred twenty for four hours.”

It was obvious she didn’t believe me. She checked her comm. “I guess.” She took her time punching in the order but eventually she asked for my swipe. I held the comm to hers. They both beeped. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had the time. Now, if I could just get the job.

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It’s So Beautiful: Flash Fiction Friday Post

New Babylon by DigitalCutti on DeviantArt

I was scrolling through Pinterest, a SciFi page, and saw the above picture. It looked so lovely. A place I wanted to go. But a story about a beautiful place with lovely, generous people who would help a bunch of refugees sounded like a boring story. So I came up with this. If it reminds you of The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells and Morlocks, well, yes. Read on.

It’s So Beautiful

We gathered around the monitors as if around ancient campfires.

“I thought it was a lie,” my best friend Jazana breathed softly, as though she didn’t want to break a dream.

“They said it was true.” My response was lame but I was too fascinated with what was on the monitor to think of a sharper comeback. Jazana was right. None of us had really believed what our board of governors had told us. Oh, yes. They’d shown us pictures. Both of Helicity, the new world, and of our old world, Earth System One, Ganymede.

The old world, which I clearly remembered, was a pit of corporate greed and too many people in too small a space. The ship, Rebellion, was put together secretly, though the details we were given were fuzzy. I mean, how’d the leaders of the rebellion hide a whole space ship? But anyway, we were loaded on in secret, shoved into cryo-pods and frozen. They’d woken us two years ago and began teaching us skills.

Jazana wrapped an arm around me. We were both orphans. Somehow both of our sets of parents had died in the pods. I sighed. The world looked so good on long-range. Modern, clean, beautiful. There wasn’t a trace of smog on the screen. As the planet rotated and our ship drew closer, we could see that the whole planet was like that. I dashed the tears from my eyes.

Jazana and I were in the same track, engineering with a minor in leadership. We were going to be management. There were lots of engineering lessons. We were the ones taking care of this ship. But there were also lessons on leadership and government. Economics, too, and social engineering. One day one of us could be the governor. Leader of our rebellion colony. Helicity was a stopgap home. We’d learned that the info about Helicity had been stolen. None of our data had indicated if Earth System had ever visited the planet. It was a risk, our teachers had told us. But one worth while if we could find a planet of our own.

A week later our leaders shuttled down to Helicity, their capital city of Tatham, to meet with their planetary leaders. I could hardly concentrate on our pulse engine power coupling lesson as thoughts about what was going on whirled through my head. A spanner banged down next to my hand on the cover of the coupling.

“Bang, Zuri. Congratulations. You’ve just killed us all.” Sergeant Aranyo glared at me.

I blushed to the roots of my blonde hair. “Sorry, Sergeant Aranyo. I lost my concentration.”

“Pull your head out. Start again. All of you. Thank Zuri for it.”

I had a sympathetic look from Jazana but the other five cadets gave me a glare. That was going to cost me. Probably my dinner. My stomach growled. We’d been on short rations for the last six months. I couldn’t afford to give up my dinner, but it looked like Jaque, the Captain’s son, biggest bully in our age group, was going to make me pay. The others went along because it was just easier that way. No one wanted Jaque’s attention on them. No one would stick up for me against that, despite all the training that said otherwise.

After dinner, the board of governors shared pictures of Tatham as they rode in hover cars from the landing pad to the Council chambers. It was so beautiful. There was no word on whether they’d let us stay, give us supplies, or even give us the address of another planet. It was too early, the Governor Prime said. I believed him. He was such a kindly looking man.

We worked all week, different engine systems each day, with combat training tossed in to keep us in shape. Somehow, I was always paired with Jaque. I had the bruises to prove it. The seventh day I limped to the medic. She took a look at my knee.

“It’s not broken, just bruised. I don’t have any pain meds. I have to save them for serious cases.”

I nodded. That’s the way things went on our ship. Too little of everything.

“Keep a cold pack on it when you’re not working.” She handed one to me. “Bring it back in three days.”

“Of course.”

On the tenth day, the Governor was back on the monitor. A deal had been struck. We were going to be allowed to move into the city—get jobs, while the council of Helicity decided on a home planet for us.

The cheering could be heard all over the ship.

Off-loading began on day twelve. I had everything of value I owned in my duffle. Jazana and the other girls from my cabin were in line with me. We couldn’t stop grinning. We talked about what new food there would be and how much of it. We talked about walking in the sunlight, breathing fresh air, getting pretty clothes instead of ragged ship suits.

Off the ship we were loaded onto transports and taken through the downtown out to the countryside. I was so excited. Even when we entered a tunnel, I didn’t think anything of it. We were off loaded into a cavernous space with cement-looking walls. We were escorted to various halls, separated into different rooms in some random-seeming fashion. I was separated from Jazana.

I was led to a conveyor belt and shown how to attach one strange widget to another. Then the belt started. We worked for hours, then given a dry ration and a bottle of water in a room with at least a hundred cots. I was too tired to eat and fell asleep.

The same happened the next day and the next. It’s been fifty years. I haven’t seen Jazana. There are rumors, of course, that we’d been sold to save the rest. And the shock collars, to keep us in line. I haven’t seen the sun in all that time.

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Brain 2 Books CyCon Post

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Fantasy Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes
B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

It’s Happening!:

The Brain 2 Books Cycon, http://b2bcycon.com/, starts April 6th and runs all weekend for #readers, #authors, and just anyone who loves books. If you’ve been to this totally on-line event, you already know how much fun it is. If you haven’t been, you’re in for a treat. Things are going on all over the place and all day and night. So, if you’re in Australia, no worries! There’s something for you, too! I’m part of several things, including SciFi, Fantasy, and Mystery events.

Fantasy Events:

One thing I’m part of is a blog hop about why I write Fantasy.

That’s pretty easy. I’ve loved fantasy my whole life. Not just the epic George R.R. Martin or Tolkein works but anything with fairies, elves, witches, mages, sword and sorcery, or anything else.

I love getting into a good story or book and entering that world. Forgetting all the stuff in my own world, I can be the heroine, fighting dragons or the evil queen. I can root for the hero and empathize with him when things go horribly wrong.

When I finish the book, I come out sort of dazed. Slightly confused about just where I am—I totally live that story and am sad when I have to leave. But those stories stay with me. They become part of who I am and like all good myths, frame my state of mind about the nature of good and evil, heroes and bad guys.

And what’s wrong with that!

Other B2BCyCon Events:

Over on GoodReads, we have a book expo running. #B2BCyCon2018 If you’re looking for the kind of Fantasy (or SciFi, Western, Mystery or other genre) that takes you off into another place and time, check out the expo. All of our authors have their work up for sale. Pick up a little of everything at: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fairgrounds. You can find all of my works under the 2018 SciFi Showcase (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19253368-connie-cockrell-scifi-author)  but by all means, check out all of the other showcases as well. Who knows what wonderful things you will find.

Another event I’m in is the Cover Wars, http://b2bcycon.com/cover-wars-2/. I’d love it if you would scroll down through the covers and vote for mine. One I’m especially happy with is the Tested cover. (It’s toward the bottom.). My good friend J.A. Marlow designed that one, replacing an earlier cover. I just love the colors and the design elements she came up with.

Then there are all of the other events for the other genres. I have to say, on the website, click the Events tab, then the other tabs, to find something that’s just for you!

Video:

Lots about the con is fun. One thing is this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id-l7f0i9LU. I love videos don’t you? They make the whole thing come to life.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://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 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.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters
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Another Giveaway, Tested is Free: Monday Blog Post

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!

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 Friday, March 16th, is a Mystery promo also on Book Funnel. 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. The link is:  https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/sfaebm0djq. It’ll open on the 16th.

Shout Out:

Today I’m giving a shout out to Autumn Birt. She says: “I’m a writer!

Oh, you probably wanted to know more than that.   And there is more, but writing is my passion. Despite the headaches of learning to edit, market, design covers, create websites, plot stalls, limited time… despite any drawback you can list, I love writing. That really is the first thing you should know about me.

And that is why I’m the author of 12 books and counting. I fell in love with fantasy in high school after stumbling across a short story of dragon impression on Pern written by Anne McCaffrey. So from day 1 I’ve loved dragons and adventures that are a bit farther flung than your average story.

Since writing my first epic fantasy trilogy, the Rise of the Fifth Order, I branched into new territory with the apocalyptic dystopian thriller Friends of my Enemy. With no magic, lots of explosions and a very adult theme, this genre jump may seem like a complete change. But the essence of my writing, exciting plots, strong characters, and a setting that feels real, lie at the core of both series. So if you love books that will keep you up flipping pages, check out my books. The first book of both series is free!

Besides that, I used to live in Maine in a small, off-grid cottage I built with my husband (our two Cairn terriers supervised). I love to travel though and that led us to selling our little house and hitting the road in a Landcruiser for overland travel. I would say travel is a second passion in my life. And I prefer slow travel: hiking, sailing, kayaking, and motorcycling. Especially the motorcycling! I have an F650 BMW that is my favorite thing next to a writing device (preferably a portable writing device). I’m attempting to combine my two loves of slow travel and writing by overlanding in a Landcruiser along with my husband and dog. Check out our progress on Escape with the Dogs to see where we are. Who knows, we might be just down the road from you!

I have plans for many further adventures both real and fictional. So stay tuned and stay in touch. I love to hear from people!”

You can find out more at www.autmnwriting.com.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://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 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! 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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Fall is in the Air: Monday Blog Post

Goat at the Fair by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

I don’t know about you but fall is in the air. The temperatures here have dropped and my garden looks like it. The squash is yellowing and looking sad. Same for the serrano peppers. The tomatoes, which didn’t really start producing until late August seem to have given up. I love the cooler temps, leaving the windows open to let in all that lovely cool air for sleeping.

from www.Bakerita.com

August 1st I began eating paleo. Dropping the grains and dairy caused me to lose 15 pounds over the month. September has been crazy with the fair but so far have held that loss. This week really starts the livestyle change back to paleo. The nice thing is that I don’t feel deprived at all and Pinterest has some great paleo recipes. I think I’ll try a paleo chili, no beans, which really, is Texas-style chili. I should do that and take pics for my Chicklets in the Kitchen blog. Here’s a link: from www.Bakerita.com https://www.pinterest.com/pin/512425263837837014/

With the Fair in full swing and dealing with the aftermath, I haven’t had time to edit Tested. I’ll pick that up this week. I’m shooting for an October release. The cover designers are working on the cover and I’ll share as soon as I can.

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!

Shout Out:

Author Bonnie Bahn

Let’s give a shout out to an author friend of mine, Bonnie Bahn. Bonnie has several children’s books out, one even about Halloween called Moon Balls! Bonnie’s on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Bonnie-Bahn/e/B01BCLAWD0.

Where Will I Be?

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

My next public appearance will be 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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Fair, Fair, Fair: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Thanks to everyone who went to my Book Funnel Giveaway. A large number of people signed up to my newsletter and received a free copy of Mystery at the Fair.  I have another giveaway, a YA Dystopian and Apocalyptic one, scheduled for September 4 – 10. That’s the same week as my Northern Gila County Fair but I plan on giving away a copy of my Brown Rain series, book 1, First Encounter. Over 50 authors are involved, so if you like SciFi, this is the giveaway for you. The link will be out next week in this blog and in my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Mark your calendars!

Tomatoes in bowls in the kitchen. Must be time to make a nice marinara sauce. Pears are beginning to ripen. So juicy!

The last few days have been all about data entry into our new fair database. The exhibits tent has 12 departments, each one with dozens of items to log into the database. Never fear. It will be done.

No responses to my Do you use KU, question. Does that mean no one uses Kindle Unlimited for their book reading?

Giveaways:

Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or a $130 in Paypal cash? Drop by https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Summer Blockbuster Giveaway.

Look here for next week’s YA Dystopian and Apocalyptic SciFi book giveaway!

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to Marina Epley. She’s fighting with the Houston floods right now but in calmer days she’s a YA Dystopian, SciFi/Fantasy author. Her newest book is Kora. Check out https://www.epleymarina.com/ to find out more about this great author.

Where Will I Be?

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

On September 16th I’m going to be at the Payson Flea Market. The details are still being worked out but this is a great event for picking up Christmas Presents and cool stuff for your house and yard. I’m inviting a couple of other authors to come to my space as well so there’ll be a lot of books to choose from.

My next public appearance will be 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.

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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Author Interview: Timothy Bateson

Author Timothy Bateson

Today I’d like to welcome author Timothy Bateson to my author interviews. Bateson is a writer who broke into the market in 2014, with three short stories being featured in Halloween and science-fiction anthologies. In 2016, Bateson self-published a re-release of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, the first of a several stories set in the “Shadows Over Seattle” world, which he co-writes with his wife, Sandi. Bateson is also a blogger who often spotlights books and fellow indie authors, alongside his other interests, such as the Brain to Books Cyber Convention (HTTP://WWW.B2BCYCON.COM) events, falconry, journaling, quotes, and reading.

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

Oh dear, I can only pick one? Okay, I’d have to say falconry. I’ve been interested in birds of prey since I was allowed to skip school one day and visit the school my dad taught at instead. I think I was probably around 12 or 14 at the time.

I was already fascinated by owls, but getting up close to them, watching them fly, and being given the opportunity to handle a Barn Owl and Harris Hawk was amazing. From then on, I’ve taken every chance I can to expand my experience and to fly as many breeds of raptor as possible.

The highlight of my handling experiences must be the day I was given the honor of handling and flying eagles for the first time. You gain a lot of respect for these amazing creatures when a 10-pound Martial Eagle lands on your wrist, you take two steps backward, and get an appreciation for how an aircraft carrier must feel.  And then you learn that each set of talons has the equivalent crushing power of an alligator jaw…

I challenge anyone not to be in awe at nature’s power and diversity.

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

Hmmm, this is a difficult choice. I think I’d take the opportunity to bring together all the indie authors that I’ve been working with in the last few years. I’ve met so many wonderful people through the online indie community that I’d love to see what kind of collaborations could come from getting so many creative people in one place.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Coffee for the mornings, because I’m not even remotely human until that first cup of coffee is in my system. Iced Tea for pretty much the rest of the time, even though it surprised me when I found that I enjoyed cold tea, having grown up in England drinking hot tea.

4. What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on editing several urban fantasy short stories, as well as trying to finish my first novel. I’m also in the process of promoting my latest release “Evaline Transcendent”, my first science fiction story.

Book Blurb: 

Evaline is the shipboard computer on the Miranda Two, a colony ship destined for the planet Karman-III-Delta. She is possibly Earth’s last hope of establishing a working off-world colony. However, her predecessor stopped reporting home, so now she and the colonists must establish what happened to the previous colony.

The Miranda Two has been traveling for twenty years, and now it’s time for Evaline to wake the crew and colonists in preparation or arrival at their destination. Can Evaline and the crew figure out what happened to the Miranda One expedition, and what price will they have to pay for the answers?
Note From the Author: This is the second release of “Evaline Transcendent”, which originally appeared in the “Across the Karman Line” anthology. Since that release, I have revisited the story and expanded on some aspects, and rewritten others. At it’s core, this is exactly the same story but reimagined for a wide audience.
Originally standing at around 8,500 words, this new release boasts a word count of closer to 14,000. I hope that those of you who have read the original story will discover new aspects to it when reading this version. For those coming to it for the first time, enjoy!

Buying Link: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G9FPZ8

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I’ve never really tried to define my writing style, because no two projects are the same for me. My urban fantasy stories have been compared to the Underworld series, but I see shades of Jim Butcher in there too.

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

No matter what you write, edit happens!

I’m a great believer in letting the story flow as naturally as possible, and to keep writing and editing separate. This is an essential separation of tasks, because writing requires getting the ideas down on paper as quickly as possible without analyzing things too much. Editing is the process of taking what you’ve already written and fine tuning the details. Both writing and editing require very different skills and mindsets, so never attempt to do the two things at the same time.

This was a lesson I learned the hard way while trying to complete my first year on NaNoWriMo.

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?

I like to try and gain as many experiences as possible, because I think it makes us better rounded people. Do I use some of those to get ideas for writing? Sure, I think it’s hard not to, because no matter how hard you try there is always something of yourself, and your experiences in whatever you write. And that’s where they day-to-day experiences come in, because it’s the small details of everyday life that bring characters to life, and tie them to the people around them.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

I want to thank you, Tim, for stopping by today and telling us about yourself.

Gentle readers, hop on over to one of Tim’s links and introduce yourself. You’ll be glad you did!

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Happy May Day!: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Happy May to everyone. Already into the fifth month of the year. Is everyone else asking themselves what happened? Good gosh!

April’s Camp NaNo is now over. I ended up with over 51,000 words written and a manuscript with serious flaws. It needs a lot of TLC but that’s all right. I can do that.

I’m still working on the edits of Mystery at the Book Festival. I’ve finished 24 chapters so far. I also received a couple of blurbs (book description) that I want to rework. I’m not sure the first sentence is good enough. So now I have that to do. Once the blurb is done, I can send it to my book cover designer and the book cover can be finished. I haven’t seen the draft cover yet. I’m crossing my fingers.

Malaysia Mosque with Muslim pray in Malaysia – Depositphotos_108130076_original

This week I will continue writing Slave Elf. I hope you’re enjoying the story so far.

Other writing news, my story Gold Dream, a western, has been accepted by the ezine, Frontier Tales. It will be in two parts. Part 1 will be in the May issue and Part 2 in the June issue. You can find it at www.FrontierTales.com. The magazine has a contest where readers can vote for their favorite story. Those stories get put into an anthology. So, take a trip over to the website and check it out. I’ll post again when the story is published.

Before

After

Gardening: Yesterday we found that a large flower pot I have out by my front walk had been totally torn up. Probably by javelina.  The pansy root balls were scattered all around the pot and the plants totally gone. That pot has been out there for three years. This is the first time the javelina have gotten into it. Maybe they didn’t like anything else I have had in there?

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading: Easter Giveaway is now on. If you missed out on the last one, this is your chance to win.

Shout Out:

My appearance at the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum last Saturday was a big success. I talked to a lot of people about the Payson Book Festival and I sold a few books, too. Also, the presentations were top notch. I really enjoyed them. Thank you, Mogollon Health Alliance, for putting on another great forum.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

The Phoenix ComiCon is coming up the end of this month, 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 in the Four Carat Press booth number 1797.

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 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 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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Camp NaNo Status and Book Signing: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

April’s Camp NaNo is in its last week. I passed 43k on Sunday so I don’t anticipate any trouble reaching my goal of 50,000 words. I’m still doing well in totally pantsing this new story. (book 2 of the Zoe Ohale series, currently titled Troubled Campus.) I have to get Zoe into the final conflict then tie up all the loose ends. Perhaps another 5 – 8 chapters. We’ll see how that goes. I still have no idea how to make that happen.

I’ve been working on the edits of Mystery at the Book Festival. I’ve finished 16 chapters so far. This editing and rewriting is a totally different skill set. I have to stay focused tightly, on what has happened so far, on every question I ask that has to have an answer and continuity. It’s a lot of work and slow going. Totally unlike writing the first draft of a story. Some authors say the editing is their favorite part of producing a book. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that but it’s not too bad if I don’t hold too tight to things that need to be cut or at least, rewritten.

Malaysia Mosque with Muslim pray in Malaysia – Depositphotos_108130076_original

I went into my Elf Slave story to post part three and it’s gone. The draft has only parts 1 and 2. Ugh. Now I have to write both my Zoe story and at least part 3 of this one. Thank goodness they’re different genre’s. I don’t think I’ll get too confused.

Gardening: The roses are Blooming. Last week I talked about everything I planted. So far the only thing coming up are the flower seeds I forgot to mention. Everything else is taking it’s time popping up. I’m nervous about the bonzai seeds. Nothing seems to be happening. I’m being impatient, I know. This last week I trimmed the dead apple tree, reserving the tiny tree that’s popped up from the root stock. It’s an experiment that will take at least five years to see what kind of apple I’m going to get. I also trimmed the root stock sprouts on my D’anjou pear tree and the peach tree. One large branch seems to have bent over, the top touching the ground, in the last big storm. I’ve decided to leave it. I’ve been picking peach buds off of the tree leaving just one at intervals so they will get large. Leaving all the clusters together means the peaches stay small. Also, it thins them out so the branches don’t break under the weight of all that fruit. There are a lot of buds remaining after the thinning. I’m looking forward to having a bumper crop this year.

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading: Easter Giveaway is now on. If you missed out on the last one, this is your chance to win.

Shout Out:

I know so many great authors, it’s always hard to choose who to feature. I think this time I’ll brag up the Phoenix Comicon. You can see their link below. But what’s great is that the conference features authors, writers, and creators of all kinds. SciFi, Fantasy, TV shows, Graphic Novels, Costume designers, it’s a free-for all, you people. Really! I took a look at the schedule with the fancy new PhoenixComiCon app (Google Play Store). It is just packed, every day, with presentations, demos, panels, it’s mind boggling. If you can come, you should. It’s going to be fantastic.

Where Will I Be?

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

Big news! I have received a half table at the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum next Saturday, April 29th. I’ll bring a good variety of books to sell and sign. If you’re in the area, come by. I’d love to talk to you. http://www.mhafoundation.com/

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 in the Four Carat Press booth number 1797.

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 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 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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The Drink: Friday Flash Fiction Post

Scarf

I originally wrote this story at the start of February, 2014! I know, right? I searched the blog and cannot find where I posted it, if I did. Anyway, I was searching for the recipe I have in the story, a specialty bar drink that I created for a Chuck Wendig prompt. So I thought it would be cool that I make the drink an actual recipe card to hand out at my Phoenix ComiCon appearance in May. www.PhoenixComiCon.com. I’m not sure the title fits. What do you think? What would be a better title?

The Drink

Paula Vance held up the heavily embroidered scarf with intricate metallic blue and silver swirls and stars. “Look at this, Rob! I’ve never seen anything like it.”

He stepped to his wife. “Beautiful.”

The stall keeper sensed a sale to the tourists. “I know the artist. She does fantastic work but as you can imagine, it takes a long time to hand embroider. I don’t get many like that.”

“We’re on our 10th anniversary trip,” Paula shared with the stall keeper. “We heard about the Gulliver Station BioDome and since it was on the way to Pica, we decided to stop here. I’m glad we did.” She tried on the scarf and looked at herself in the mirror standing on the counter. “I have to have it.”

Rob laughed. “Why not? It’s our anniversary after all.” He handed the stall keeper his ID.

“Shall I wrap it for you, Miss?”

Paula took a couple of steps backward to get a different perspective in the mirror. “No, I think…”

She shrieked as she was struck by a speeding methane breather transport pod. Paula slid over the bubble protecting the alien and rolled off of the back onto the floor.

“Paula!” Rob shouted.

The pod stopped. The stall keeper called Station Security. Passersby gathered around the fallen woman and the transport. In a few minutes, Station Security Officer, Helene Guzman, arrived on the scene.

“Are you alright, Ma’am?” Officer Guzman took a swift glance at the transport. There was no smell of methane so the bubble wasn’t cracked. The exterior speaker hissed and sputtered. She read the display.

“Fright. Female. Broken!”

Guzman sighed. She hated dealing with the V’Heeme. It was hard to figure out what their messages meant. Was it scared and broken or was it asking about the woman?

Rob helped his wife to her feet. “I think she’s fine.” He dusted off her dress.

“Stay right there, the medics are coming.” Guzman turned to the transport’s speaker. “May I ask your name, Honored V’Heeme?”

The screen printed, “Zmugn.”

“Honored Zmugn, are you injured?” She tapped her pocket pad with the V’Heeme’s name and the number of the transport pod. The message went straight to Security.

“No. Human?”

“I will inquire, Honored Zmugn.” She turned to the couple. “May I ask your names?”

Paula straightened the scarf, then her hair. “I’m Paula Vance, this is my husband Ron. We were just buying this scarf when the pod hit me.” She straightened her dress. “I never expected to see a Methane breather.” They peered into the bubble.

“So you didn’t see the pod travelling along the market aisle?”

Paula glanced around her, the crowd, smaller now that there was no apparent injury, hung onto every word. “Well, I stepped back a bit, to see the scarf in the mirror.”

“That’s true, Officer,” the stall keeper called out. “She was just admirin’ the scarf.”

Guzman nodded. This was an accident but with the V’Heeme involved it could turn ugly. “I can do a couple of things here. I can take both of you and the V’Heeme to the office where everyone can file complaints.

“Or, I can call it no harm, no foul, since no one is injured and you can go about your business.”

“Oh, no,” Ron said in a hurry. “We were just about to go to dinner.”

Guzman nodded. “Let me ask the V’Heeme.”

“Honored Zmugn, do you wish to go about your business or come to Station Security to file a complaint?”

The speaker hissed and crackled and the screen finally printed, “No. Business now.”

“Thank you for your courtesy, Honored Zmugn.” Guzman tapped the answer into her pad. She turned to the couple.

“Your lucky day, the V’Heeme is eager to get on about his business, too.”

They watched the pod speed away. “It goes kind of fast, doesn’t it?” Rob said as he watched it take the corner.

Guzman held out her pad. “Could you sign at the bottom of the screen, please? To confirm you are not filing a complaint.”

Paula reached out and pressed her thumb to the screen.  When the medics arrived, Officer Guzman stayed so she could complete her report. It only took a moment for them to do a scan and pronounce Paula fit. She thumb-printed her release on their pad.

“Have a good evening.” Guzman tucked her pad into her pocket.

“Wait,” Rob said. “Can you recommend a good place to eat? Some place you would go to have dinner?”

Guzman stopped. “Are you looking for fancy or for good local food?”

“We can get fancy food on the ship. Local food,” Rob said.

“Go to the Eastenders on this Level. Best Irish stew on the station.”

They thanked her and wound their way through the market to the maglev. It took them to the other end of the market. The Eastender’s was in full swing but they found seats at the bar. The stew and fresh bread was delivered promptly and they ate with gusto. “We should have an anniversary drink,” Paula said.

“Good idea,” Rob said. “Jake,” he called to the bartender. “Do you have a signature drink for the Eastenders?”

Jake, a long time bartender on the station, scratched his head. “No. None on Gulliver Station, as far as I know.”

“Good.” Rob rubbed his hands together. “Is there a particular favorite drink?”

Jake grinned. “That would be whisky. It’s made right here.”

The two men put their heads together. In a few minutes, the three of them had a squat glass filled with ice cubes and a light chocolate colored drink. “Cheers,” Rob toasted. They each tasted.

“What’s in it?” Paula asked.

“One and a half shots of whisky, half a shot of chocolate liquor, half a shot of Irish cream whisky, and a shot of coffee. We’ve decided to call it The Gulliver.”

“It tastes like dessert!” She sipped again. “Thank you, Jake.” She raised her glass. “To Gulliver Station.”

“To Gulliver Station,” they toasted.

The End

1000 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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