Spring, Poetry, Camp Nano: Monday Blog Post

A Friend protecting his garden from the elk.

Newest News:

Spring has sprung here in central AZ. My Swiss Chard is coming back up and I see I missed some tiny potatoes as little potato leaves are poking their heads above ground. Must be time for me to plant my seed potatoes. My daffodils have finished blooming, as have the peach and nectarine trees. The pear trees are just about finished blooming and the apple tree has just started. I’ll have a lot of fruit again this summer! Must also be time to put in my peas!

Just a reminder, 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!

April is both National Poetry month and Camp Nano. I’ve been working on my third, All About Bob story. I’m calling it “It’s all about the Music”. It’s slow going as I’ve missed several writing days but I’m nearly to 10k words. So, if I can get the butt in the chair, I should have no trouble completing the 20k I have left in the challenge. In celebration of poetry month, I’ve been writing a poem a day. An acquaintance of mine is a poet and on her site and facebook page she’s been giving us a different poetry form every day to play with. It’s fun using these different forms and I’ve been having fun with it. Here’s one, just something silly. It’s called a nonet poem.

Last

It’s a bright, warm, day, without a cloud.

I went to the store, saw a crowd

All trying to check out now.

It took some time, it did.

When my turn came then

I checked out fast.

No one wants

To be

Last!

Have you ever written a poem? Share if you like, in the comments.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has started. My St. Patrick’s giveaway winners were Jodi Hunter and Amy Walczyk. Thank so much for participating!

Shout Out:

To my brother, Don. Don is revamping his lifestyle for healthier eating. He’s already lost a lot of weight and is pressing on to lose even more. Big hugs, Don, for jumping into that with both feet!

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.

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Spring, Cozy Winter Reads, Mystery Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s spring! My daffodils are up and looking wonderful by my front walk. I also planted daffodils and woodland hyacinth in a large pot next to the sidewalk for everyone who walks by to enjoy. I’ll have to dig the bulbs up once they’re finished for the year so I can add more dirt to the pot. Then I’ll replant them this fall.

It’s the last week of March and Easter is on Sunday. I wish everyone a very happy Easter holiday.

Coming soon, April 6th, to be exact, I’m in an on-line Brains to Books Cyber-Con. There are all sorts of authors in just about every genre participating. Links to contests, author panels, and yes, areas for shopping for books, are being built right now. Next week I’ll have those links, ready to share with you. The con runs from Friday through Sunday and I know it’ll be fun because I participated last year. Stay tuned!

Just a reminder, 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:

Speaking of just a week to go until April, Book Funnel Mystery Giveaway is on its last week. 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!

Also ending this month is a March Fantasy Madness giveaway. That started on March 1st over on Book Funnel. Tons of fantasy stories up for grabs 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.

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ is over. But a new one will be starting up shortly. I’ll announce winners as soon as they’re drawn.

Shout Out:

Today’s shout out is to my niece, Nancey and her husband, Ben. They had a daughter on the 24th, Lilly. Congratulations Nancey and Ben!

 

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.

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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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Giveaways, Gulliver Series Box Set: Monday Blog Post

 

Newest News:

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

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

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

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

Giveaways:

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

Also happening this month are two other giveaways.

 

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

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

Shout Out:

Author Holly Lisle

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

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

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

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

It was a long hard slog between intent and realization.

It’s been a rollercoaster ever since.

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

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

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

Where Will I Be?

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

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

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

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

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

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

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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 http://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, http://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 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.

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Tested Release, Calendar, Interview and More : Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Tested is released! It should be up everywhere by now so go to your favorite book retailer and get your copy! I did a little fancy formatting on the interior and I’m very pleased with the resulting look in the paperback version. As I put new covers on the other three in the series, I’ll do that with them as well.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

Last Friday I was interviewed on Mistral Dawn’s blog. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, here’s the link. https://mistralkdawn.blogspot.com/2018/02/interview-with-connie-cockrell.html  Another SciFi author, you may enjoy her books as well as mine.

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. The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will start after Valentine’s Day. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

Be ready to greet Joshua Robertson. I decided to put up his info next week to match his release date. He’s a wonderful author with a new release, Heshayol. If you’re a SciFan lover, you’ll want to see this.

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 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, 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.

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Slave Elf Part 39: Flash Fiction Friday

Read Part 1 here.

Part 39

Inside the gate Delia saw the empty courtyard. Normally this space would be bustling, even with the army gone. Now, there was no activity except a couple of leaves drifting across the paved yard in the slight breeze. They put the horses in the empty stable, in itself a troubling sign, and proceeded to the palace.

No one was inside. Delia checked the kitchen, the great hall and both of her parent’s rooms. She stood in front of her mother’s dressing table and surveyed the room. “I don’t understand. Everything is in its place. There’s no sign of any struggle anywhere in the palace. But no one is here.”

Kaya put an arm around Delia’s shoulders. “Should we check the Mage’s rooms?”

Delia sighed. “I don’t expect to find anything different there. But we should check.”

The three went outside and stopped outside the workshop door. Kaya drew a deep breath and opened the door. The three went in. It was the same as in the palace. Everything in it’s place. “I’ve been using my magical sight,” Delia said as she brushed her hand across the table where she’d studied. “There’s nothing. No spells lingering around. Nothing to indicate where everyone went.” She looked at Aduella. “That’s not usual, is it? For every single elf in the palace to just leave?”

Aduello shook his head. “Not that I’ve ever heard. Ever. Even if the king and queen were travelling to another castle, there’d still be caretakers left behind. Spare horses. Guards.” He rubbed his chin and looked around the workshop. “I have no idea.”

“Let’s go back to the kitchen. We didn’t check for food. If there’s something here, let’s eat and think about this.”

They left, Kaya pulling the door shut gently, and went to the kitchen. The kitchen cupboards held some dry sausage and cheese. The fireplace had been swept clean. Rodent droppings were on the counters and table. Kaya cleaned the table while Delia sliced sausage and cheese for each of them. Aduello pulled plates from the cupboard and drew water for them to drink. They sat at the table and ate, saying nothing. Delia felt as though her heart had been squeezed. She’d only just reunited with her parents. Now they were gone. She was surprised when a tear fell on her hand.

Kaya reached out and patted it. “I’m sorry, Delia.”

Delia nodded and sniffed, reaching up with her other hand to dash away the tears. “This is unbelievable. Where could everyone have gone? Did Iyuno do this?”

Aduello shook his head. “Over a hundred people live and work here. Someone must know something about where they went. Perhaps the queen sent everyone away because Iyuno was going to attack.”

“There’s no sign of damage, though,” Delia said, sniffing again. “If he attacked, wouldn’t there be some damage? Bodies? Broken equipment?”

“There is that,” Aduello said. “You’re right.”

“Maybe he came. Saw the palace was empty and put the protection spell up out of spite.” Kaya patted Delia’s hand. “He’s mean enough to do that.”

“Yes. But he wants to be king.” Delia squeezed Kaya’s hand, then reached for her water. “Wouldn’t he move in right away?” She drank and put the mug down.

Aduello tucked a strand of hair behind his ear. “A good point, unless he was still chasing your father. If the king wasn’t here, then he’d have to chase after him. He wouldn’t want your father to gather another force and return.”

Delia leaned forward, elbows on the table, and rubbed her face with both hands. “We don’t have enough information. We should close up the palace and go back to your home. Perhaps the pigeons will have returned with clues.”

Kaya nodded. “I think that’s a good idea. Would you like to get some of your own things before we go?”

Delia pushed away from the table. “Good idea.”

“We’ll clean up while you go,” Aduello said, standing up.

Delia went to her rooms, a little spooked at the lack of people in the halls. She selected another travelling outfit, a comb and other essentials and stuffed them into a spare saddlebag. She went to her dresser and opened her jewelry box. There wasn’t much in there. Just a few coins and a couple of necklaces and bracelets she’d brought with her and her mother gave her. She scooped it all up and dropped them into a pouch. She needed someway to pay others. She couldn’t keep depending entirely on the generosity of others. Delia put the lid down and stuffed the pouch into a pocket. Perhaps there was a strong room in the palace where there was more coin, but she’d never asked about it and no one had thought to talk to her about it. What she had would have to do.

Back in the kitchen, the others were ready to go. “I packed the rest of the sausage and cheese,” Kaya told her. “It seemed wasteful to leave it for the rodents.”

They walked out to the stables and saddled up their horses. Aduello cleaned up after the horses and shut the doors after Delia led the horses out. Delia closed the gates to the palace and looked up at them. “I’m going to set a protection spell,” she said after a moment. “To keep others out.”

She set the spell and mounted her horse. “Maybe that’s what happened.” She studied her work with her magical sight. “Perhaps Mage Kaepli set the spell, so the palace would stay safe when they left.”

“A hopeful thought, Princess.” Aduello turned his horse. “Let’s hurry home and see what news has arrived.”

The three rode off at a fast pace. By riding long into the night, they were back at the treehouse in a day and a half.

Phara hugged them all. “There’s news.”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 40.

974 Words

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

 

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Slave Elf Part 38: Flash Fiction Friday

Energy Ball 001 by ISOStock, www.DeviantArt.com

Part 1 here.

Part 38

They took the rest of the day to prepare and send out the pigeons. The next morning, Delia put on her own clothes, washed and repaired by Phara. Phara had made them a big breakfast and then went out with them to saddle up the horses.

“Be careful,” Phara told them as they settled into the saddles. “Come home to me.”

“We will,” Aduello told her.

Kaya blew her a kiss. “Stay well, Mother.”

Phara blew one back. “You as well. And you, Delia.”

“Thank you.”

Aduello kicked his horse forward. Kaya and Delia did the same. Delia waved to Phara. Then settled into the ride. The trip took just two days. Much better, Delia thought, than the five-day slog had been to Aduello’s.

They made camp in front of the gate. After they had supper, Aduello stood, staring at the gate. “It’s very complicated.”

Delia stood beside him. “Yes. And strong. It took both Kaya and I to break the one at Iyunno’s.”

“Before you knew about fire.”

She nodded. “Yes. Tomorrow will be interesting.”

In the morning they packed everything onto the horses and Kaya led them up the road a little way and hobbled them, so they could graze. When she returned, her father and Delia were building up the campfire. They all brought wood from the forest and threw it on until it was taller than Aduello.

“That should be enough,” Delia told them as she brushed her hands off. She took a sip of water and stared at the gate then sighed. “Time to do this. Kaya, build a shield please.”

Kaya nodded and began to mutter under her breath.

“What shall I do?” Aduello asked.

“Keep watch. We’re going to be focused on the protection spell. I don’t want anyone sneaking up on us.”

He nodded.

Delia took a breath and looked at the fire. She urged the fire to come to her, just like she did in Iyuno’s. The warm glow reached her, and she began to feel stronger. More, more, she thought. The fire filled her. She felt invincible. Maintaining the connection with the fire, she turned to face the gate. Kaya had the shield up, large enough to cover all three of them. “I’m starting.”

She raised her hands and using a spell slightly different that the one the Mage taught her, began to try and take down the protection spell. It was hard, and a trickle of sweat rolled down her temple and another down her spine.

“You’re doing it, Delia! Keep it up,” Kaya said.

The yellow tendrils were unravelling but there was a long way to go. She wondered if she’d have to take out every single tendril. The gate was nearly clear, but she wanted the whole spell removed.

“The fire is going out,” Aduello told her.

“I don’t know how long this is going to take. Can you find more wood?”

“I’ll go now.” He hurried off.

Delia kept working. More and more of the yellow tendrils disappeared.

Aduello came back and threw more branches on the fire. He stood beside his daughter. “Shouldn’t it break soon?”

“We don’t know, Father. The last one blew back on us.

“I can feel it weakening,” Delia said. “But it’s putting up a fight, just like last time.”

“Shield is ready,” Kaya said.

Delia pulled as much power as she could from the fire. Sweat dripped from her chin as she took more and more of the yellow tendrils out. She could feel the protection spell tremble. “Get ready!”

Just as she yelled the words, the protection spell snapped. The shield Kaya made protected them from most of the blast but still they were all knocked down. Kaya lost the shield spell. Delia lay on the dirt of the road, eyes closed.

“Are you alright?” Kaya hurried to Delia.

“Yes. Just resting.” She opened her eyes and rolled to her feet. “Aduello? Are you alright?”

“Yes. Fine.” He got up. “That’s quite the blast.”

Delia dusted off the back of her trousers and shirt. “Well. Let’s take a look, shall we?”

Aduello and Delia, kicked dirt over the remains of the fire while Kaya went for the horses. By the time she got back, the fire was out and the rocks of the fire ring were kicked back to the side of the road.

They mounted up and rode inside.

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 39.

731 Words

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

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Slave Elf Part 37: Flash Fiction Friday

Elf’s houses by nikyelisey httpsorig00.deviantart.netb9d8f2010008a8elf__s_houses_by_nikyeliseyev.jpg

See Part 1 here.

Part 37

Dappled sunlight, tinted green after shining through the leaves of the tree, danced on the wall opposite the bed. Delia was so comfortable she simply lay and watched the light. It was the smell of bacon that lured her out of bed. She dressed after splashing her face and went down to the kitchen.

There she found Phara, Aduello, and Kaya at the kitchen table, mugs of tea in front of each. “Did you sleep well?” Kaya asked.

“Yes. Thank you. I don’t think I moved all night.”

“Please sit,” Phara said as she stood up. “I’ll get you some tea. Breakfast is almost ready.”

Delia chuckled. “The smell of bacon was the only thing that could get me up.”

Everyone smiled. “I felt the same way,” Kaya said and sipped her tea.

Breakfast was friendly, and Delia and Kaya insisted on doing the cleaning up. Phara finally relented when the two young elves shoo’d her out of the kitchen. It didn’t take them long to finish and they found Kaya’s parents in the library.

“Good. You’re done,” Aduello said. He closed the book he was reading. “I’ve been giving your father, the king, some thought, Delia.”

Phara motioned to the chairs. “Please sit.”

“What have you been thinking,” Delia asked.

Sandy the dog got up from under Aduello’s desk to get an ear rub from Kaya, then lay down at her feet.

“King Ucheni had fallen back from the fight at Iyuno’s castle. That much I know. I also know that Iyuno attacked the palace.” Aduello scratched his chin. “My theory is that Iyuno’s forces harried the king all the way back. The question now, is where is the king?”

Delia nodded, her hands twisting in her lap. “And why a protection spell over the palace?”

“Tell us about this protection spell,” Phara asked. “I’m not familiar with it.”

“We weren’t either, Mother.” Kaya leaned down to pet Sandy and was rewarded with a tail thump on the floor. “It was something Iyuno had done. Master Kaepli figured it out and had us all practice building it and taking it down.” She nodded at Delia. “Princess Delia was the strongest of us at it. She was the one at the gate, with me, trying to take it down. Then the black elves began erupting from hidden tunnels and we were cut off from the army. I had been knocked silly when the protection spell whiplashed back on us. Delia got us away but more of the black elves came from another tunnel and captured us.” She sighed. “If I hadn’t been so weak, Delia could have gotten away.”

Delia shook her head. “I don’t think so. Iyuno had it all planned out. I was going to get captured or killed, one way or the other.”

Kaya gave Delia a smile of gratitude. “Perhaps.”

“What are black elves,” Aduello asked.

“Oh. That’s what we called the elves following Iyuno. Because they all wear black,” Delia said. “Iyuno and Iyuno’s nephews, Ceinno, and Nethene are all very powerful and I figured out why. That’s how we escaped.”

Aduello and Phara leaned forward. “Do tell.”

“They can draw power from fire.” Delia clasped her hands. “I had wondered why they didn’t use the magical lights like we did. They had torches all over the castle. The magic lights are so much cleaner and safer, I didn’t understand why they didn’t use them. Then the day before I broke out, I saw Iyunno with my magic sight, power was flowing from the torch to him. Then they made a mistake and didn’t take the torches with them that night. I pulled power from all of the torches they’d left until I could break my bonds and get free.”

Phara’s eyes were wide. She looked at her husband. “Did you know this?”

He shook his head. “No. But that was a remarkable escape.”

Kaya nodded. “She came and got me, and we got out. Neither of us think that the other black elves could pull power from fire. Just the two nephews and Iyuno. And now Delia.”

Delia smiled her gratitude at Kaya. “I think I want to go back to the palace and break that protection spell.”

Aduello nodded thoughtfully. “I can see where that makes sense.”

“But won’t it whiplash back on you like at Iyuno’s?” Kaya asked.

Delia shook her head. “I’ll build a bonfire and have a lot more power than we did the last time. I have to know what’s in the palace.”

“Do you think your parents are in there?” Kaya looked at her friend with concern.

“Perhaps.” Delia shrugged. “Perhaps no one is there and Iyuno put the spell up as an annoyance. I don’t know. But it’s a first step.”

Aduello nodded. “I’ll send some pigeons out with a question, where’s Iyuno. We could hear back within a few days.”

Delia pressed her lips together. “Good. We have a plan. May I borrow a horse?”

“Of course. I’ll go with you,” Aduello said.

“You’re not leaving me behind. I can help,” Kaya said as she stood up.

“I’ll pack you some food,” Phara said. “And stay here to receive the pigeons.”

Delia smiled. “You are all so kind.” She felt a little weepy, and sniffed back tears. “Thank you.”

Kaya placed a hand on Delia’s shoulder. “You’re my friend. What else can we do?”

 

Thank You! Come back next week for Part 38.

898 Words

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

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Planning or Winging It: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Oh my gosh! It’s 2018 and the current topic of conversation in the author sites is planning for 2018. Goal setting is another name. And have you heard about the “word of the year” thing? It’s enough to make your head spin. Bottom line: what do you want for your new year? I usually make this huge, long list of things I want to do and generally, I get it all done. This year, however, I’m going minimalist. I want to do the rewrite and edit on my Zoe Ohale series book 2, Troubled Campus. I wrote the think April 2017. Time to get that bad girl done and out the door. I need to also rewrite and edit Mystery at the Reunion. I only wrote that in November but still—my mystery readers are waiting for it. I have the first book of my All About Bob series written. That was two years ago! But I think I want to write all 5 planned books, get them edited and release them one after the other. That way people who like the series can just dive in. Along with all of that, stop brainstorming my Christmas story and actually write it. Then, I want to release my Gulliver Station series as a box set for both ebook and for paperback. I’ve actually already began that process. Two of the books are reedited and the ebook book set already started on the formatting. Two books down, two to go. Then I have 2 major events and one minor one scheduled. The Phoenix Comicon starting May 24th and the Payson Book Festival, July 21st. My tables are already reserved for both of those. Then I’m scheduled for the Mesa Book Festival, about December 8th. Then, I’m getting healthier. I’ve mentioned I’ve started eating a Paleo diet to help with my Celiac and Hashimoto’s diseases. Food is the key for me. But in addition to eating better, I’ve upped my exercise. I’m already a week in and I can feel that I’ve lost weight.

Finally, there’s that word of the year I mentioned earlier. I started hearing about it last year. You choose the word for the activity or characteristic you want to focus on for yourself during the year. Some people choose FOCUS. Some choose DETERMINATION, or COMPLETION, or any other number of words. For me, I’m choosing FORTUNE. I did some work on this last year but this year, this is my focus. I have a pretty good back list of books. I have some great contacts in the author world. Now to get my stories out in front of you, the reader. What’s it going to take? Extra work in reaching my audiences. Encouragement for readers to leave reviews. Getting my name out in front of the right people for the genres I write. It’s not going to be easy, that much I know but it will be worth it.

http://magikstock.deviantart.com/art/Camel-1-319794644

Saying all of that, I’ve been working on my stand-alone fantasy story, Slave Elf. I’m at 50,000 words, a novel, and I’m loving where this is going. I’m nearing the end but I have one more twist to throw in there before wrapping everything up. It may be another 10k, it may be more, I don’t know but this story has been leading me a merry chase for months now. I hope you’re enjoying it. Once I have it done, I plan on cleaning it up, getting a formal edit and releasing it.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

It’s officially 20 days until my first Vision Board workshop. I’m getting everything prepared and I’ve already sent out my first emails asking people to come join me. Hoo!

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is over. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. The winners will be notified shortly.

We’ll be starting the Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway in a few days. This is a great way to find new to you authors. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

I have a January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Killer Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan on BookFunnel.com. https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery. It will run from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors are also in the giveaway. Click that link and find some great mystery stories.

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to author Abby L. Vandiver. https://www.facebook.com/authorabbyl.vandiver. Abby does a ton of promotional work with other authors, including me! She writes mysteries so if you’re a mystery lover, check out her books.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

I’m already scheduled to go to the Phoenix Comicon May24th – 28th.

On July 21st, I’m scheduled for the Payson Book Festival.

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 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.

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