Critters in the Yard, Hurt Back, Creature in the Night: Monday Blog Post

You can see one branch stripped but the rest of the tree is fine.

Newest News:

I’m reporting more critters in the yard, some nice, some destructive. I have a better picture of the birds in my basil. Turns out they’re gold finches. Cute, and there’s still lots of basil seed for me to gather for next year’s planting.

Goldfinch eating basil seed. There’s one below and to the left, sitting in the dried out arugula stems, probably eating the arugula seed.

The front yard apple tree, attacked last week, was decimated, probably early Sunday morning. Above is the picture from the earlier attack and below, my poor tree when I got up Sunday morning. The elk probably did the damage and they eat the little apple producing buds so again, for another couple of years, no apples for me. I’m also still harvesting the abundance of zucchini and yellow squash. I found a recipe today for zucchini ravioli. No pasta, just zucchini as the shell and stuffed with seasoned ricotta. It will be on the menu in the next few days.

Poor tree. all the branches stripped.

Critters in the Yard, Hurt Back, Creature in the Night: Monday Blog Post

Has it only been a week since I broke my toe? I did see the doc. They took x-rays. It’s fractured. The primary care doc referred me to a podiatrist, but everyone had said there’s not much to do about it but what I did immediately after breaking it. Buddy taping, the primary doc called it. So I declined the referral and am just going on about my days, hobbling around. Then on Thursday, yep, that’s right, just a week after the broken toe, I felt good enough to start a beginning yoga class on a Youtube channel. That morning, I “tweaked” my back by shifting slightly in the bathroom while brushing my teeth. I didn’t think much of it other than the yoga may stretch out the injury. Because of my toe I skipped difficult floor exercises and did mostly chair yoga. Ha! Silly woman. By 11am I was in big pain so laid down and napped for nearly 4 hours. Could barely move by the time I got up. Hubby thinks it was damage from limping around. I don’t know. All I do know is that between my toe and my back, sleeping is mainly an on again off again struggle.

I mentioned last week that I have been coordinating with my cover designer for Creature in the Night. We’ve selected the major art, see above, to provide the feeling of “poor little girl” and “mystery”. Since the story is Halloween, Christmas, Fantasy, we’re trying for a mix of all three between the art and the font choices. This is a semi-final product.

Stay safe. Stay well.


The Summer giveaway has ended! My winner for Prize 1: an ebook copy of Mystery at the Fair, is Mary Preston. She’s already received her book. Prize 2: an Amazon gift card, was sent to Lisa Christoph. She’s already received her gift. I just want to thank everyone who participated. All of us authors truly appreciate it.

The Halloween giveaway is up! You can check it out at: As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting is October 26th, at 1pm. 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 and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on 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 I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Broken Toe: Monday Blog Post

Early Girl Tomatoes flank a Zucchini plant

Early Girl Tomatoes flank a Zucchini plant

Newest News:

Friday a bag of heavy groceries slid out of the child seat where I’d hurriedly put it and directly onto my right big toe! Painfully I hobbled to the car, loaded groceries in, put the cart in the corral and drove home. Once the groceries were put away the toe still hurt like the dickens. I peeled off shoe and sock and there was a small bruise already forming just below my toenail.

In sandals the rest of the day, I watched as the toe became more bruised and swollen. I couldn’t bend it, touch it, or walk on it. By Saturday I knew—it was broken. WebMD said the doc would just tape it to the next toe. Takes 2 – 4 weeks to heal. So I didn’t go to the doctor. It’s taped, with a cushion, to my next toe and I have bought a larger pair of sandals to wear so I can put a sock on to keep my feet warm.

Why is this important? Because I’ve been doing research hikes for articles for a hiking book the local newspaper is doing. I had planned a hike for Sunday. I had to drop that. I’m also not going to be able to document the regular Tuesday hikes, for the twice per month articles in the paper. I’m seriously bummed. And the toe still aches. I’ll spare you the picture.


The Spring Into Reading giveaway closes in June. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple ways to enter. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, please enter today and every day.

Shout Out:


A shout-out goes to my next author interview, Jason Meadors. Jason’s interview will appear on Wednesday, the 25th. Yep! This Wednesday. Don’t miss out on Jason’s interview and a little bit about him. Can’t wait? Check out his site:

Garden News:

The local garden club held a plant sale on Saturday. Hubby, I, and my broken toe hobbled to the sale site where I bought 2 Early Girl tomato plants and a zucchini plant. All are quite large and blooming. That will be a good head start on my veggie season. Yay!

Where Will I Be?:

Mystery Con Flyer

June 3rd and 4th I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there at 3pm on Saturday on writing a mystery. The conference is just two weeks away! Tickets for both days are only $39. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it. Register in advance on the site so we know how many are coming to lunch, then email me or comment here that you registered. I’ll put your name in for a drawing of a special prize on both Friday night and Saturday at my presentation. The prize? A bracelet, hand made by me, with Kindred Spirits as the theme. I’m nearly done with the book marks. I still need to make the bracelets. I’m the last presentation of the day on Saturday in my room, so if you want any of my books autographed, buy them at the book seller and bring them to the presentation. Can you make it? Email me.

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival, partly funded by the Arizona Humanities. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes 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. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Newest Book Release:

Kindred Spirits Ad

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.