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.

Sparky the Spiney Lizard: Flash Fiction Friday Story Post

Sparky lived in the desert. She liked it there. It was hot and dry and the sun beat down from the sky every day and make her feel all warm and sleepy.

Sparky set off on a trip, one day. She felt the need to find a new home. The one where she grew up was very crowded with her brothers and sisters. So she bid everyone farewell, and began to travel.

She came upon a very nice agave. It was just beginning to send up a flower stalk. The flower bud at the top of the stalk was at least ten times bigger than Sparky. Evening was coming on so she crawled under the lowest leaves and went to sleep.

In the morning, she crawled out, oh so slowly, as her blood was very cool, to lie in the sun. It felt very good there and as she warmed up, she whipped out her long tongue and caught a passing fly. Yum! Breakfast. This is a nice spot, Sparky thought to herself. A nice place to hide and bugs passing by to eat. What else can I ask for?

Sparky explored the area,  A rock wall was a short distance away with a nice flat top for sunning herself and great little cracks between the rocks for hiding if a bird happened to fly overhead. There was wooden fence as well which Sparky climbed. It went up very high but Sparky wasn’t afraid. Her toes had sticky pads and she could hang onto the wood of the wall very well. What surprised her though, was the sight in front of her when she peered over the top.

It was a riot of color and flowers. Sparky had never seen so many flowers in her whole life.

“Hi there.” Suddenly, a giant butterfly flew up from the flowers and hovered in front of the lizard.

Startled, Sparky blinked. “Um. Hi.”

“I’m Indigo,” the butterfly said.

Sparky watched the long lower wings shift and sway with the butterfly’s fluttering. “I’m Sparky,” she finally remembered to say. “What is all that?”

Indigo fluttered down to the flowers and back to the top of the fence. “That’s a flower garden. I just love it. All kinds of different flowers with lots of nectar for me to eat. It’s nice and moist, too. The human who grows the flowers, waters them often.”

“Oh.” Sparky rolled the thought of nectar and water around in her mind. “I don’t eat nectar.” She blinked and quick as a flash, lashed out her tongue and caught another fly. “And, I’m not partial to a lot of water, either.” She shivered a little at the thought of cold water on her warm, dry skin. “But if you like it, great.”

“Thanks.” Indigo fluttered down to the flowers. She settled on an orange one and Sparky thought Indigo’s purple and blue wings looked very nice against the orange. “There are a lot of bugs, too, if that’s what you like.”

Sparky nodded. “But what if the human waters?”

“Oh. Don’t worry. Humans make a lot of noise. You’ll have plenty of time to get away before you get wet.

So, Sparky lived in the front yard and Indigo lived in the back. They met every morning in the garden after they warmed up and ate, and played, and rested. Best friends for life.

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

Amazon

Instagram

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Twitter

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

Facebook Group

Twitter

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.