Fire! Christmas Gifts, Book Festival: Monday Blog Post

By Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

Fire! By now everyone knows that California is in severe distress from fire. My daughter lives in Oxnard, right next to Ventura where the Thomas fire is creating havoc and devastation. She and her roommate are under a prepare to evacuate notice. The air is too thick with smoke to breathe and as a mother, I’d just as soon she come here until the danger is over. But, she’s volunteering at the Ventura Fair Grounds where the county has set up an emergency animal shelter, despite the fact that a section of the city was burned. I know many of you also have friends and/or family in southern California that you are worried about. We send prayers of hope that the courageous firefighters can get these fires under control and that no one else has to perish.

Photo by Randy Cockrell

I don’t know where the year has gone but I was not prepared for December and Christmas. Anyone? Anyone? I had no idea what to get my husband. He’s the sort that when he wants something, if we can afford it, he just gets it. Frustrating. Anyway, I have thought of a few things for him and have gotten them and wrapped them and put them under the tree. All the decorating I’m going to do is done. All the holiday baking and candy-making is done, and packages have been mailed to family. Now it’s time for the party rounds to start. I love this time of year and can’t wait to hang with friends over bring-a-dish buffets and the New Year’s Eve party my friend Karen always has.  I hope you’re preparations are going well.

On my Vision Board business, I’ve been locating supplies, gathering magazines and think I’ve found a venue where I can hold it for not a lot of money. I still need to call the place but unless they’re booked, I should be booked this week. Women I’ve talked to about getting their magazines have expressed interest in the workshop. I’ve priced materials like poster board, glue, glue brushes, scissors, and other materials I’ll need to conduct the workshop. So, I’m moving forward and eager to do my own vision board.

Me, Story Monster and Marsha at the Mesa Book Festival

I attended the Mesa Book Festival Saturday with my friend Marsha Ward. I found out when I was there that it was their first one! It was well organized, and the weather cooperated with us. A lovely 75 degrees or so and no wind. Several of the Payson Book Festival authors were there and many from Marsha’s ANWA (Arizona Night Writers Association) member were there as well. Also there was Story Monster, a regular attendee at the Payson Book Festival. We talked with so many readers! It was a great day.

Giveaways:

Starting December 1st, the Roses and Dreams Christmas 2017 Facebook event began. This is a combo event. FIRST EVENT will be a featured author each day. 23 authors in total (1 each day) who will introduce themselves and their books. Competitions and giveaways at their discretion. 45 minutes with any winners notified the next day. I was scheduled for Sunday December 3rd at 1:30PM Arizona time (8:30pm London time) on www.Facebook.com/events/1990733174542034, for 45 minutes with games and book talk.

The SECOND EVENT will be our showcase and we are very excited to announce it. You’ve heard of the Eurovision song contest well now (drumroll please) we’d like to present World Bookovision (#WorldBookovision).

How does it work?

Two weeks starting Monday 4th December (Monday to Friday)

Week one a poll will be pinned with that week’s participating authors. Each day three authors will have a thousand words of one of their books posted (We will post it in the morning) and people get to vote on which ones they like. You can vote more than once. At the end of the week, the two people with the highest votes will go through to the final.

Week two follows the same pattern and the two with the highest votes will go through to the final.

On the week commencing 18th December, the four finalists will showcase the next thousand words of the same book and a new poll will be posted. At the end of the week, the poll will close and one author will win. The author will receive two weeks’ worth of social media advertising from Su and Maria. The winner will provide a copy of that book as a prize (print or e-book) and this will be presented to the person who has participated most in voting. If there are more than one, then we will put them into a draw and the winner will be picked randomly. I’m in this WorldBookovision on Thursday the 14th with 1000 words of one of my stories and I’d appreciate a vote! www.Facebook.com/events/1990733174542034

Throughout the day we will also post lots of Christmas fun. Come and join us as a reader or a participating author.

The Christmas Giveaway has begun. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. 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:

Author Kebba Buckley Button

Kebba Buckley Button was a 2017 Payson Book Festival author and was also at the Mesa Book Festival with me on the 9th. She is an ordained minister and former engineering manager, a Masters’ Degree scientist, award-winning author and corporate stress management trainer. Rev. Kebba Buckley Button creates books and programs that help people live with both the vitality and inner peace they have been seeking.  For spiritual people who ache for self-calming, Kebba wrote Peace Within. For those who want an easy how-to for meditation, she created Sacred Meditation. For anyone who wants to trade in their stress for energy and joy, the answers are in Discover the Secret Energized You.  Yes, you can enjoy life!  You can find out more at www.kebba.com.

to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

My book events for the year are now completed. Enjoy your holidays and come back in January to see the 2018 line-up.

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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Christmas Lights, Tested, Giveaways: Monday Blog Post

Photo by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

Last week we put up the Christmas Tree and on Saturday, the outdoor lights. They look good. Instead of lighting the big pine in our front yard, I decided to dress up the little tree beside the driveway. Hubby took a picture of it. It’s only about 4 feet high. The other tree just got too tall for me to deal with.

NaNo is over and I won! Not too excited though as I ended up doing a lot of experimentation in the manuscript and there’s a lot to clean up. I’ll let that rest through the holidays though and let my brain rest.

Not Using This One

Tested is waiting for the cover. I’ve decided not to use the covers I bought. Instead, I’ve contracted with a cover artist I know, and a writer in her own right, J.A. Marlow. (http://jamarlow.com/) Use the link to check out her books. I know she’ll do a wonderful job and it will be worth the wait.

On my new class on Vision Boards, I’ve completed the fourth and final module. Now, I need to do my own vision board, create a logo, call around to venues to find a place to hold the workshop, and then email possible attendees. This is going to be fun!

I’m in three separate giveaways this month. If you look below, you’ll see them. They are going on for a long time. I had a time slot on the 12 Slays of Christmas last Friday. I was on the Roses and Dreams event yesterday. If you aren’t attending these Facebook events, you’re missing out. There is talk about the author’s books but also contests, giveaways, and fun. Next time you see one, come on by!

Giveaways:

arting on November 28th, I was part of the 12 Slays of Christmas promotion. It runs through December 4th. A lot of authors are participating in this Facebook event at www.facebook.com/events/122185258461170. I was up on Friday December 1st at 1pm Arizona time. This event will continue through today. I’d love to have you join in the fun and win prizes.

Starting on December 1st, I’m part of the Roses and Dreams Christmas 2017 Facebook event. This is a combo event. FIRST EVENT will be a featured author each day. 23 authors in total (1 each day) who will introduce themselves and their books. Competitions and giveaways at their discretion. 45 minutes with any winners notified the next day. I was scheduled for Sunday December 3rd at 1:30PM Arizona time (8:30pm London time) on www.Facebook.com/events/1990733174542034, for 45 minutes with games and book talk. This

SECOND EVENT will be our showcase and we are very excited to announce it. You’ve heard of the Eurovision song contest well now (drumroll please) we’d like to present World Bookovision (#WorldBookovision).

How does it work?

Two weeks starting Monday 4th December (Monday to Friday)

Week one a poll will be pinned with that week’s participating authors. Each day three authors will have a thousand words of one of their books posted (We will post it in the morning) and people get to vote on which ones they like. You can vote more than once. At the end of the week, the two people with the highest votes will go through to the final.

Week two follows the same pattern and the two with the highest votes will go through to the final.

On the week commencing 18th December, the four finalists will showcase the next thousand words of the same book and a new poll will be posted. At the end of the week, the poll will close and one author will win. The author will receive two weeks’ worth of social media advertising from Su and Maria. The winner will provide a copy of that book as a prize (print or e-book) and this will be presented to the person who has participated most in voting. If there are more than one, then we will put them into a draw and the winner will be picked randomly.

Throughout the day we will also post lots of Christmas fun. Come and join us as a reader or a participating author. I’m in this WorldBookovision and I’d appreciate a vote! www.Facebook.com/events/1990733174542034

The Christmas Giveaway has begun. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. 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:

Here’s a shout out to my friend, Holly S. Roberts. She’s a fantastic author and working hard to create new stories. You can find her at http://wickedstorytelling.com/ She has several complete series and calls herself the Princess of Wicked Kissing Books! Really! Check her out.

Where Will I Be?

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

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 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Poached Pears: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Poached Pears with Frozen Custard and Orange Slice Garnish Picture by Connie Cockrell

Lots has happened to me since my last post in June. July held the Payson Book Festival for which I am the director, then August is prep for the Northern Gila County Fair which is the weekend after Labor Day. Then, well, I was just tired.

But, news! In August I began eating the Paleo Diet. I love it! I lost 15 pounds in August alone. If you don’t know what the Paleo Diet is, a quick explanation is that you stop eating grains and dairy. You can Google it for a more complete explanation. I have Celiac Disease which is closely related to Hashimoto’s disease. With that, you should also stop eating sugar (well, we all should anyway), caffeine (which I gave up years ago), and raw cruciferous veg (cooked is ok). So that’s what I’ve done.

I don’t feel deprived at all, despite my strong love of anything pasta. But it was making me feel bad so, while I may make the very seldom choice to go gluten-free pasta, it’s gone! Now I eat as clean as possible (meaning organic, grass-fed meat, organic veg, organic fruit. It helps that I have my own pear, apple, and peach trees, and grow a lot of veg in my small garden.

The pears are where this blog comes in. My Bartlett pears became ripe the end of September. They’re not a soft pear. I was having my brother-in-law and his girl for supper and was thinking about dessert. At first, I thought about an avocado-chocolate mousse, (more on that next month), but then I was looking at all of my lovely ripe pears and decided poached pears would be a better choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really missing anything on my new diet, but a girl does like the occasional sweet, am I right?

Serves 4 – 6.

Hardware

Cutting board

Knife

Saucepan

Ingredients

4 pears, peeled, cored, cut into quarters or sixths

3 navel oranges, 2 juiced (1/2 cup or more if extra juicy), 1 sliced into rounds

See the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Mars Wings Part 4: Flash Fiction Friday Post

This image shows the floor of Suzhi Crater, an approximately 25-kilometer diameter impact crater located northeast of Hellas Planitia.

https://www.nasa.gov/topics/journeytomars/images/index.html

Part 4 of 5

You can find Part 1 here:

I met Kayla mid-morning the next day in the concourse outside of Glenna’s Gifts. The concourse was busy, Christmas was only a day away. I had my eye on a bracelet made from gold found right here on Mars with a red Martian stone set in the middle for my mom. She lounged on the bench until Tommie and Albert showed up, then the rest of the gang. Amber showed up last, Tayln getting up to give her his spot on the bench.

“What’s the news?” Amber asked.

I shrugged. “Just Christmas.”

Tayln laughed. “Oh. It’s going to be a good one, all right.”

Amber gave him a look that was plainly meant to mean shut up.

“Something going on?” I didn’t like the way Tayln was grinning. He was up to something.

Amber sighed. “Nothing important.” She changed the subject and it was an hour before we all began to drift away.

“Don’t be on the concourse on Christmas Day,” Amber said to us before we left.

Again, Tayln smirked.

“Why not?” I liked to come down to hear the Choral Society sing. It was something my family always did. I’d even sent a message to the Korians about it.

Amber shook her head. “Just don’t.” She turned and left, Tayln on her heels.

Everyone else was gone, even Kayla so I couldn’t ask her what she thought about Amber’s comment. Did she mean something was planned? Something bad? I didn’t like it. I went to the Security office at the end of the concourse. At the desk I asked for my dad then sat down to wait. He came a few minutes later and took me back to his console.

“What’s up, pumpkin?” He drew up a chair for me and sat in his spot.

“I don’t know for sure, Dad.” I took a breath. “Something Amber said a few minutes ago.”

“What’s that?”

“Not to come to the concourse on Christmas. But we always go, to hear the music. Why would she say that?” I twisted my hands in my lap.

He turned to his console. “What’s her last name?”

“Novak.”

He typed a few strokes. I could see her file come up. The picture was from last year. Her hair was longer now. His fingers tapped on the desk as he read. “Anyone else?”

“Tayln Roose. They both talk about separating from Earth.”

He typed and Tayln’s file came up. Dad read and sighed, then typed some more. Other reports came up, which I was too far away to read. “She talk about a time?”

I shook my head.

His fingers twitched on the keyboard. “Could be nothing.” He spun his chair around to face me. “Thanks for bringing it in.” He stood up. “I’ll check it out.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

He walked me out and I wandered down the concourse. What if it was something? Something bad. I hoped not.

The next morning was Christmas. Mom loved the bracelet and Dad loved the new shirt I’d bought them. They gave me three new games, just up from Earth, a new tunic top and a bracelet. The bracelet had a tiny button and when I pushed it, a tiny hologram of mom and dad appeared over the bracelet. I couldn’t wait to show Kayla.

Mid-afternoon we went to the main concourse. I was a little worried. “But what about Amber?” I asked dad in a soft voice so mom couldn’t hear.

“We rounded up some agitators yesterday.” He wagged an eyebrow at me. “It’s all taken care of.”

That made me feel better. I took his hand as we walked along. “Good.” I saw the Korians at the concert spot and introduced my parents to them. We sat together and enjoyed the music. Afterward, we were all walking together back to our berths, when from behind us, at the end of the tunnel where the Security office was, there was an explosion. The blast knocked me and Ali off of our feet. People were screaming and smoke filled the air. I could hear the blast doors slam shut, trapping us in the tunnel.

Idai was yelling, “What do we do? What do we do?”

Dad pulled me and mom together. “Get them,” he pointed with his chin, “Somewhere safe. I’ve got to go.”

Mom nodded. “Be safe.”

Dad ran toward the blast site and disappeared into the smoke and crowd. I grabbed Ali’s hand. “Stay with us.”

Mom got Idai and David together and pushed David to take Zane’s hand. “Follow me.”

She led us to the other end of the concourse. Many of the shops already had their blast doors shut. She hustled us into Frank’s Grocery, just as Frank was closing the blast doors. “Come on,” he said as he waved us in. “Hurry.”

We hustled in and joined the small crowd at the back of the store. The blast door clanged shut. Frank came to the back. “We don’t know how long this is going to be so everyone get comfortable. I let go of Ali’s hand and she went to her mother. All of us had smoke streaked faces. We sat down, backs against the shelves and I leaned my head on mom’s shoulder, her arm around me. The Korians sat across from us.

“It’ll be fine,” Mom told them. “I’m just sorry this happened so soon after you’ve arrived.”

David nodded, his arm around Idai. “What do you think happened, the separatists?”

“We won’t know until it’s over.” Mom shook her head. “Sorry.”

He gripped his wife tighter and with his other arm, hugged his son. Idai had her arm around Ali. “So be it.”

 

 

 

Thank You!

943 Words

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

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Happy Holidays: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

We had a good Christmas. It started with a light snow falling on Christmas Eve. My brother-in-law was coming over for Christmas Eve dinner. The house smelled of roast chicken and what could be more wonderful than a warm house on a cold day. Then Christmas morning was quiet, just the hubby and myself exchanging gifts while drinking hot tea. Most of the gifts were books, though my daughter sent us the cutest little bird house made to look like an old-fashioned travel trailer. Hubby and I each got each other socks, too. That’s what happens after 40 years of marriage. We don’t need much anymore. Christmas afternoon was spent with friends, sharing potluck dishes and enjoying the day. The snow was melting but it still covered the ponderosa pines and the distant mountains making the day look like a Christmas card. We went home fulfilled and satisfied to watch a little TV before bed. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Mystery in the Woods was published on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/691914 on Christmas Day. It was also entered into the CreateSpace review system as well. So, if you’re eager for the book, you can get it in your desired ebook format on Smashwords. It should be up on Amazon by Tuesday. You’re not on my A Team? Let me know you want to be. I’ll set it up. I’m also considering an Instafreebie (Mystery at the Fair is up right now!), Author Shout promo, and of course twitter and facebook announcements. I began the process of setting up a Reader’s Gazette account so Mystery in the Woods may show up there. And if you’ve never checked it out, Bundle Rabbit has some wonderfully priced collections of books.

I have scheduled a Facebook Live for Wednesday at 3pm, Arizona time. We can talk about Jean Hays and her friend, Karen, or my SciFi books or something else. Hope to see you on there.

I’m also considering a Thunderclap. This is a simple way for people to support my book release by sending a facebook post or tweet to announce the release. It doesn’t cost anything and can really get the word out. I’ll keep looking into it.

 

Giveaways:

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

 

Shout Out:

This week I’d like to shout out to my friends on Four Carat Press. https://fourcaratpress.com/ We write a variety of books from Children’s to Spicy Romance. Stop in and see if you can find an author new to you.

 

Where Will I Be?

Imzy Stickers

Do you follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. This is a troll free site and free to join. Enjoy.

 

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. 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.

Newest Book Release:

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Creating the Gift: Friday Flash Fiction Post

Blue Pottery Bowl by Connie Cockrell

Blue Pottery Bowl by Connie Cockrell

Emily Wu checked her bank statement and sighed. It wasn’t going to work, getting her mother a nice Christmas gift. She was sick of the TV talking heads telling everyone it was the economy. The economy seemed good for the rich. Why didn’t any of that trickle down to her? She closed the bank app on her computer and rubbed her eyes. Her $8.53 per hour job gave her just over $1700 a month. It wasn’t enough. With rent so high, she had to live at the edge of town which meant she needed a car to get to work. She needed nice clothes to be the receptionist at the office she worked at. Thrift stores helped with that, but then there was the medical insurance, poor as it was, it was at least something if she got sick. Then the life insurance, taxes, cell phone bill, internet, and on and on and on. She choked back a sob. All she wanted to do was buy her mom a nice Christmas gift.

At work the next day she was looking through the paper. A local artists group was doing a workshop for gifts. Anyone could come and create a project. At the bottom was the price for the workshop, $25, and a name, Brian Wellsley with his phone number. Emily sighed. Twenty-five dollars was a quarter of her grocery bill or half a tank of gas. She thought about it all day. Finally, deciding that she could live on rice and beans for a week, she called the number.

“Hi, I’m Emily Wu. I saw your article in the paper. I’d like to sign up.”

“Great. Love to have you.” He gave her the address and time and when they hung up, Emily smiled. He sounded nice. It would be good to do something besides watch TV in the evening.

The day of the workshop, Emily brought clothes to change into after work. No sense wasting gas by driving home then back into town. The address turned out to be an old factory, turned into artist workshops and apartments. She’d heard about these. It seemed cool. There were signs directing people to a large open space where wooden tables, easels, stools were scattered around the room. Art hung on the walls and from the ceiling. The splashes of color made the room seem friendly and alive.

She found an empty stool and sat down at a table, greeting others who had also signed up. Brian introduced himself and several other artists and that they’d be helping everyone with their projects. After going over the projects available, they broke into groups, each around the project they wanted to do. Emily had to switch tables. She wanted to work on a pottery project. She was pleased to see that Brian was the mentor for her group.

At every step of the process of molding the clay, shaping it, prepping it for the oven and decorating it, Brian was there. His hands over hers, laughing. They went out for coffee after class and talked about their dreams. After five weeks, the workshop was over. Emily had a bowl, glazed blue, for her mother. But she had received a gift, too. New friends, a new-found passion and a new love.

They went out nearly every night. He spent the weekends at her house. By Christmas, he was invited to meet her family. Her mother loved the bowl. Even better, in the kitchen, she complemented Emily on Brian. “He’s a lovely young man, Emily.” She gave Emily a hug. “I’m happy for you.”

The next spring, they were married. One afternoon, Emily was looking at her bank statement. She played with the ring on her finger. The statement didn’t look any better but she no longer fretted. Her life was now full. Happiness covered everything and she felt rich beyond measure. Brian came into the room and gave her a kiss on top of her head.

“We still solvent?”

“Barely.” She laughed and turned off the computer. “And that’s enough for me.”

 

Thank You!

677 Words

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

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Christmas is Creeping Up: Monday Blog Post

From this year's Electric Light Parade

From this year’s Electric Light Parade

Newest News:

Christmas is creeping up on us. Hubby and I attended a Christmas open house at a friend’s house on Sunday. It’s nice to see everyone, for sure.

xmastree

Presents are wrapped and under the tree. Christmas cards are trickling in. I love opening them up and then putting them on my wall. The collection is another decoration! Brother-in-law has been invited to a Christmas Eve celebration at our house. I guess I’m ready! Hope you are, too! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

mystery-woods-meme-population

Mystery in the Woods made it back from the editor and I spent all week doing the rewrites. I sent it back to him on Sunday. We’re trying very hard to get it out before the end of the month. And as I said last week, I’ve been brainstorming ways to promote the release. One way is to contact my A Team people, and have them let me know if they’d like an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Mystery in the Woods to read and review. There are several other ideas on my list. We’ll see if I can make them work for me. You’re not on my A Team? Let me know you want to be. I’ll set it up. I’m also considering an Instafreebie (Mystery in the Woods is up right now!), Author Shout promo, and of course twitter and facebook announcements. I began the process of setting up a Reader’s Gazette account so Mystery in the Woods may show up there. And if you’ve never checked it out, Bundle Rabbit has some wonderfully priced collections of books.

One thing I’m considering is a live chat. Who’d be up for that? Put a comment below if you are. I could set one up on Imzy, on Google +, or maybe somewhere else. What do you think?

I’m also considering a Thunderclap. This is a simple way for people to support my book release by sending a facebook post or tweet to announce the release. It doesn’t cost anything and can really get the word out. I’ll keep looking into it.

 

Giveaways:

2016-christmas-giveaway-my-meme

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

 

December 16th – 18th, was the Brain to Books Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler. This  Holiday Book Giveaway ended on Sunday and we had a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out and we had so many games and giveaways it was amazing. I had signed up to host the 5pm Eastern (3pm Arizona) time slot on December 17th and had so much fun! I’m sorry if you missed it. There were a LOT of giveaways. Next time, right?

Shout Out:

Author Maggie West

Author Maggie West

On the 21st, my author interview is with Maggie West. She’s a cozy mystery author and if you can’t wait, check her out on MaggieWestBooks.com.

 

Where Will I Be?

Imzy Stickers

Imzy Stickers

Do you follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. This is a troll free site and free to join. Enjoy.

 

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. 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.

Newest Book Release:

troubled-streets-graphic-meme-004

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Facebook Live: Monday Blog Post

xmastree

Newest News:

Ha! I got the boxes all mailed to family on Tuesday. It took me all morning but I got it done. Hooray! Major Christmas task done. Also got my tree up so that is done as well. That’s it at the top. The big blue square? That’s a cloth picture I cover in paper every year to display the Christmas cards I receive. Only 4 cards so far but it’s still early. People already have the boxes!

mystery-in-the-woods-cover2

Mystery in the Woods has made it to the editor. We’re trying very hard to get it out before the end of the month. I’ve been brainstorming ways to promote the release. One way is to contact my A Team people, and have them let me know if they’d like an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Mystery in the Woods to read and review. There are several other ideas on my list. We’ll see if I can make them work for me. You’re not on my A Team? Let me know you want to be. I’ll set it up.

house-lites

I have this to-do list for book marketing and promotion and one of the things on it was to look into Facebook Live. I finally figured out that it’s only on my smart phone. Can’t use my laptop mic and camera to record. So I did a quick 30 second test. I was so surprised to see friends commenting on the video while I was recording! All totally unannounced. I felt the test was successful so I’ll set a time to do a full one and mention it in my newsletter. Then people can look for it. If you aren’t in my newsletter list, see below to sign up today.

Giveaways:

14925555_10154128590631317_3701655618015299006_n

Rudolph’s Reads Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

14702331_1344993582191009_7933048603693284889_n

December 16th – 18th, is the Brain to Books Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler. Every year Brain to Books hosts a Holiday Book Giveaway. This year, our giveaway is a CyCon Sampler. Get a sneak preview of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention to be held in April. While you’re here, we have a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out to someone along with a list of books we’re giving away! Here’s what’s happening.

1 – Browse the Author Takeover displaying sales, giveaways, games, prizes, etc.

2 – $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

3 – Holiday Book Giveaway

4 – Blog Hop (YA, Science Fiction, and Romance)

5 – Vote in Character Tournaments

It should be a lot of fun and who couldn’t use a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

You’ll find us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/624679124381085/

I’ve signed up to host the 5pm Eastern (2pm Arizona) time slot on December 17th. Want to have some fun, play a couple of games? Click on the link and join in the fun.

Shout Out:

516oqnqqkol

Mark Dawson is a great thriller/suspense author selling his series, John Milton. If you, like me, love to read a good thriller, check out his site at http://markjdawson.com/

 

Where Will I Be?

Do you follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. This is a troll free site and free to join. Enjoy.

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. 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.

Newest Book Release:

troubled-streets-graphic-meme-004

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

NaNo 2016 Week Four and the End: Monday Blog Post

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner_congrats

Newest News:

This is the end of the fourth week for of the 2016 National Novel Writing Month. I finished with 50,129 words. My fourth Brown Rain series novelette, Tested, is done as is my already started short story, a space opera, Jania, Princess of Tania, and a short story I started in October and never finished that’s currently titled, Granny, is also done. Since Granny ran shorter than I expected I also began a non-fiction book I’ve been working on called How to Organize a Book Fesitival. And I’ve won! I printed out my certificate for winning and put it in my binder with the rest of my certificates.

I’ve been posting pretty much daily over on Imzy.com/conniesrandomthoughts. Check it out! I’ve had fun moving from work to work this month, though I haven’t been immune to the second week slump (was writing Tested at the time) where it seemed to me that every word I typed on the page was the worst thing ever. I haven’t looked at it since I finished the draft, or the two short stories. I will in March or April. Before then I need to edit Mystery at the Book Festival and get that out into the open. I’m sure fans of Mystery at the Fair are more than ready for their next installment of Jean and Karen.

xmas-lites001

And, because it’s now after Thanksgiving, it’s time to think Christmas. On Sunday I pulled all of the decorations out of their storage spots in the garage. We’ll do the outside lights first. Then I’ll take a few days to decorate inside. I don’t go overboard but it’s fun and I like it. Picture is the outside from last year. It’ll look pretty much the same this year.

mystery-in-the-woods-cover2

And in the good news category, I’ve spent the last few days since winning NaNo, editing Mystery in the Woods. I was right. I had some significant time line issues, name confusion and other problems with the book which I’ve straightened out. I’m doing another round of edits, correcting misspelled words and other stuff then, this week, it will be off to the editor! I’m so happy. I really want this out by the end of December. Then I’ll have an Instafreebie for you in January. Stay tuned for that information.

And, for my A Team people, let me know if you’d like an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Mystery in the Woods to read and review.

Giveaways:

14925555_10154128590631317_3701655618015299006_n

Rudolf’s Reads Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

writers-colony-press

I’m also going to be on Facebook for an event called Writers Colony Press Holiday Indie Extravaganza. The event runs December 3rd and 4th which is THIS Saturday and Sunday. Writers Colony Press publishes anthologies for charity. The Longest Night Watch Volumes 1 and 2 are to raise money for Alzheimers. We dedicated them to Terry Pratchett and Gene Wilder. The other Anthology out is “Stardust Alway’s” for Cancer research, and dedicated to Alan Rickman and David Bowie. And also, to our very dear friend Stacy Whitemire who passed away recently. She will be greatly missed. Find some new to you authors today and do a good deed for charity. Come join our extravaganza. Lots of authors will be on the event page sharing books, contests and fun. A couple of contests have already started. Readers, don’t miss out. The hourly author hosts give away a lot of stuff! I’ll be on the page hosting on December 4th, at 3pm Pacific, which is 4pm Arizona time and 6pm Eastern. I’ll have at least one ebook to give away, a game or maybe two, and pictures to share. Mark your calendars and join me. https://www.facebook.com/events/364089737264705/ Click on the Discussion tab.

14702331_1344993582191009_7933048603693284889_n

Then later in December, on the 17th, is the Brain to Books Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler. Every year Brain to Books hosts a Holiday Book Giveaway. This year, our giveaway is a CyCon Sampler. Get a sneak preview of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention to be held in April. While you’re here, we have a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out to someone along with a list of books we’re giving away! Here’s what’s happening.

1 – Browse the Author Takeover displaying sales, giveaways, games, prizes, etc.

2 – $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

3 – Holiday Book Giveaway

4 – Blog Hop (YA, Science Fiction, and Romance)

5 – Vote in Character Tournaments

It should be a lot of fun and who couldn’t use a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

You’ll find us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/624679124381085/

I’ve signed up to host the 5pm Eastern (3pm Arizona) time slot on December 17th. Want to have some fun, play a couple of games? Click on the link and join in the fun.

Shout Out:

I have so many people to mention it’s hard to pick just one. How about Chuck Wendig? Chuck Wendig is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and the Heartland YA series, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his popular blog, terribleminds.com, and his books about writing. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.

You can find his work on his Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Wendig/e/B003P9JZ0O

 

Where Will I Be?

Imzy Stickers

Imzy Stickers

Do you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. I’ve been posting daily updates on my NaNo progress there including snippets and random pictures. Enjoy.

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. 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.

Newest Book Release:

front-troubled-streets

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Freezing the Year: Friday Flash Fiction Post

Sunrise by Randy Cockrell

Sunrise by Randy Cockrell

Mairissa shivered in the dawn light with the rest of the novitiates. The High Priestess chanted at the well at the top of the hill. Mairissa didn’t have a good vantage point from the last row of the gathering but she could see Mother Superior raise the chalice high, a wisp of steam coming from the cup to touch the first ray of the sun. They were supposed to be adding their power to the priestess’s own for the ceremony. Mairissa only knew that she was cold to the bone and wished for a warm mug of tea.

In the dining hall Mairissa’s hands circled her mug of tea, her face in the steam, a bowl of oatmeal in front of her. She had just taken that first, satisfying sip when Sister Yahlin touched her shoulder.

“Mother would like to speak with you.”

The girls around the table sent her silent looks of commiseration. Mairissa was often called into Mother Superior’s office for one offense or another. She wan’t disobedient, but full of life and she saw no reason to be all glum and dumb as she called it, all of the time.

She took a last, defiant sip of her tea and got up. She followed Sister Yahlin to the High Priestess’s office. The sister closed the door behind Mairissa, who walked to stand in front of the Mother’s table. She wasn’t sure why she was here. There was no prank, no missed class time, no shirking of her tasks, in over a week.

Mother looked up from the parchment in front of her. “I missed you this morning.”

“Missed, Mother? I was at the morning ritual, then in the hall to break my fast.”

“Do you know why we had that ritual this morning? It wasn’t a normal gathering.”

“To try and halt the year from freezing.”

“Yes. You learned about it in class. The band of mages called The Aladrin are slowly freezing the planet. They’re mad, of course, but their magic is strong. I know every mind in the convent, Mairissa, and I could not feel yours this morning.”

The girl gaped. It never occurred to her that the priestesses could do that. “But, but I’m just a novice, Mother. What help could I be? I’m only in my third year here.”

The priestess rose from her stool and leaned over the table to stare at the girl. “You have the potential to be the strongest mind of us all. That’s why you were brought here.”

Mairissa shook her head. “My parents sold me. It was a hard year, the crops failed, and there was no dowry for a marriage.”

Mother Superior laughed and stood, folding her hands into the pockets in her deep-sleeved woolen robe. “We paid, certainly. But it was because we could feel you broadcasting for twenty miles around. You had to be brought in before the Aladrin could pick you up. The convent is shielded, girl, protecting you and the rest of us in this fight.”

Mairissa’s head whirled as she rearranged all of her preconceptions. “So this morning?”

The old woman sighed. “We are close. The battle is on the edge. We’ll have another ceremony tomorrow morning. Perhaps we can push back their black magic and bring the year back from the freeze.” She walked Mairissa to the door. “Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year. It will make the dark magic that much stronger.” She rested a hand on the girl’s shoulder. “You, and all of the rest, must focus in the morning or we shall surely freeze this winter.”

Mairissa nodded and left. She spent the rest of the day talking to the other novitiates and even the youngest priestesses. She didn’t know if she believed the High Priestess but at the very least, everyone she knew would understand that tomorrow they had to focus.

In the dark morning the priestesses assembled in their amphitheater, the Mother Superior at the top of the hill at the well. The wind was whipping and tiny crystals of ice bit into exposed faces and hands. Tears formed in Mairissa’s eyes from the cold but she let them run. She was focused on the High Priestess. Every lesson she’d ever had on controlling her magic was brought to bear.

The wind whipped the woolen cloaks and gowns and the freezing air circled her legs. The tears froze on her face. It was as though the mages were doing their best to distract her. She refocused, sending energy to the Mother Superior. This time, it seemed as if the chalice glowed. Mairissa renewed her effort.

The clouds roiled in the pre-dawn sky. The breath of the sisters rose in the cold air and was snatched away by the wind. Tendrils of hair escaped their hoods but still the sisters and even the novices, focused on the chalice. The sky brightened. First one small pale blue patch appeared, then another. Mairissa could feel the others in her thoughts. She linked with them, pushing her power to the High Priestess. More of the sky broke open and the chalice became too bright to look at. Each priestess began to hum with power until every woman and girl there began to vibrate.

The clouds disappeared and the first ray of the rising sun touched the sacred chalice. A wave of light and sound exploded from the High Priestess’s hands and washed over the assembly. The High Priestess slumped and two priestesses ran to support her. They carried her to the front of the assembly. Mairissa wiped the ice from her face, her body trembling with the cold and sudden absence of power. As the sun’s rays touched the women, Mother Superior called out. “The Sun has arisen.”

“The Sun has arisen,” the priestesses cried out.

Mairissa didn’t know for sure that the mages had been beaten back but if not, they’d been dealt a severe blow. “The Sun has arisen.”

 

The End

983 Words

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

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr