Summer, Garden, Writing, : Monday Blog Post

Monsoon River in my Back Yard

Newest News:

Hooray! Saturday we had rain. For us, it was a welcome relief. The moisture helped fire fighters keep the forest fires under control and maybe even gain some ground. I know my garden was thankful and the birds and animals as well. The rain marked the start of what we in the southwest call monsoon season. Yesterday’s rain was very gentle. That’s not usual for a monsoon. During a regular monsoon rain the water comes gushing out of the sky like from a firehose. Start to finish, the storm may only last half an hour but it will drop inches of rain, flooding washes and streets and stranding people in place until the water recedes. It’s exciting to watch from safely inside the house. Terrifying to see when you’re driving around town.

Tomatoes

My garden is galloping away. I’ve had to tie up my tomatoes as they’re starting to sprawl all over. The cucumber, cantaloupe, and zucchini plants are all a healthy green and in bloom. I can’t wait for the fruit to come.

burned_out_building_by_chisatowatanabe-d8mdbcd via DeviantArt.com

Did you see my Friday story? The Doomsday Vault. What did you think? I was writing to a prompt from another author and I had too many ideas for it. I ended up with something I wasn’t very happy with but put it up anyway. I guess I can use it as an example of working to a deadline. I hate to miss posting a story on Fridays.

If you’re one of my mystery readers, I’ll remind you that I’m in a cozy mystery book bundle, Cozy Winter Reads.  The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. Just $7.99 for six books!

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ ends this week. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Author CA Asbrey

Today I want to give a shout out to an author friend of mine, C.A. Asbrey. She’s the author of The Innocents historical mystery series. C.A.Asbrey developed a deep interest in early forensics and detection methods working in the field. She researched early detectives and the tools available to them for years before developing her characters. They are compelling versions of real people, all her crimes are based on fictionalized versions of real crimes, and the methods used to solve them were available to detectives at the time. She likes her mysteries twisty, complex, and intricate; through a fog of history and a touch of light humor. The Innocents book 2, Innocent as Sin, is about to be published and I had the chance to read it. I loved it. The forensic details were fascinating, and she has a well-rounded story to go with it. Set in the west, her main character is a female Pinkerton detective and encounters all of the prejudices and biases you’d expect for that day and age. I find her a compelling character and the hints of her backstory are tantalizing. There’s a love interest, an outlaw and his outlaw uncle, that create a great conflict as well. I’m reminded of the series Moonlighting and Castle. I hope you’ll enjoy the series.

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

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 https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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The Doomsday Vault: Flash Fiction Friday Post

burned_out_building_by_chisatowatanabe-d8mdbcd via DeviantArt.com

I opened the Doomsday vault with shaky hands. Newly promoted to manager, it was my responsibility now to open the vault everyday and check expiration dates, and other things that were located inside. Then to replace as necessary.
Standing inside the massive door, I looked around. A hundred and thirty-two years, this vault had been in existence. Books lined the shelves in front of me. How-to manuals mostly as the planners assumed that there wouldn’t be power available for computers. I sighed. Those wouldn’t ever need replacing. But, the food would have to be replaced on a regular basis. Those shelves were clearly marked and I stepped over to them to check the dates.
As I pulled the expired boxes from the shelves I thought about the current world situation. Everything seemed good. After the Korean situation had been resolved, most countries became peaceful. There was the middle east, of course, there were still a couple of groups that demanded everyone convert to Muslim, but they were on the fringe, even in their own countries. Our group monitored them, of course, but in my morning briefing, they weren’t even mentioned.
I stacked the expired material outside the door and brought in the new foodstuffs. I marked the expiration date on them and stacked them neatly on their shelves. I made note on the inventory what I brought in, then walked over to the weapons rack. Someone had decided a long time ago that there would be some weapons in the vault, just in case of trouble. I wondered for a moment who the designers thought would be around to cause trouble, then put it out of my mind. I knew that most every country had some sort of doomsday vault. I’d been to a meeting last year as I was being prepped to take on the roll. There I met the other managers. As conventions go, it was pretty small, there were only two hundred and three attendees. Not every country had a vault.
It was fun, and I’d made some acquaintances. The British manager was an Irish woman and she’d been manager of her vault for twenty-seven years. If there was a doo-dad that helped with survival, she knew of it and had an opinion on the usefulness of it as well. I took another look around the vault. Everything was in order and I was reaching up to turn off the light when my assistant ran up to the door.
“Karen. Come quick. Terrorists have bombed the capital! It’s on the news!”
I hesitated. There had been no warning this morning of any unrest anywhere on the planet. What had happened? “Call security. We’re going to get a lot of people here in a hurry.”
She nodded and ran off. I pulled the emergency checklist out and began the initiation phase. Three hundred and twenty-two people were going to start arriving any time now. If they’d escaped the bombing. I had a lot to do to get ready.
All in all, two hundred and sixty people arrived. Tales of government buildings destroyed or on fire circulated around the arrival hall. The din was deafening. We weren’t supposed to but since there were empty spaces, I allowed my assistant and her children in. Then we closed the door. There was no telling how long we’d have to stay. The noise died down as everyone moved to their assigned rooms. The monitor in the lounge was on. Newscasters were giving reactions to the attack and showing pictures of the capital in flames.
A commotion in the hall pulled me away from the monitor. Two security officers were facing a man yelling obscenities.
“What’s going on?” I came out into the hall.
“I demand to know why my wife couldn’t come in. I had to leave her home.” He shouted the question at me, all red in the face and sweating.
I recognized him. He was the chief of staff for the vice president. New to the job. “You didn’t have your wife listed, Mr. Fairchild.” If he’d had brought her, I would have let her in. Like I did for my assistant.
“I was going to list her, but there’s just so much.” He looked around at the security guards, then made his case to the people who were gathering around, watching the drama. A few nodded. “I was going to get to it.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Fairchild. I truly am.”
“Open the door and let me out. I’ll go and get her.”
I shook my head. “We can’t do that until we get the all clear or we know it’s safe out there. Why don’t you go to the clinic and get the doctor to give you something to help you relax?”
“I don’t want drugs.” He was beginning to look wild eyed. “I want my wife!” He charged the security officers and the bystanders hurried off.
“Take him to the clinic.”
They dragged him off, him still screaming obscenities. I took a breath. The procedures mentioned that some number of people would not handle the emergency well. I wondered how many more there’d be. That was when I saw Mr. Fairchild running toward me. He had a gun in his hand. Where’d he get that? The security officers were running after him.
Fairchild pointed the gun at me. “Let me out!”
I held up my hand as I shook my head. “I can’t do that, Mr. Fairchild.”
“Yes, you can!” He fired.
I fell backward, hitting my head on the tile floor. It was hard to breathe, then he was standing over me.
“I told you! I told you!” He shook the gun at me.
I could see the officers take him down, wrestling the gun away from him and zip tying his hands behind him. I didn’t feel anything and I wondered about that. Shouldn’t I hurt? I closed my eyes and relaxed into a warm feeling of well-being. Let someone else work it out.
Words: 998

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Health, Garden, Writing: Monday Blog Post

Cactus Flower from my front yard.

Newest News:

The juice fast I began last Sunday was ended on Friday. I just never reached that point in the fast where I wasn’t hungry and on Friday at dinnertime, I went ahead and ate. Over all, I was 6 days on the fast and lost 6 pounds. The weight wasn’t the point, the fast’s de-tox was more important. Did the de-tox kick in? I have no idea. I never felt any different so I don’t know. Have you ever done a de-tox fast? How did it work for you?

The garden is doing well. I watered on Sunday. It hasn’t rained here in weeks and everything is so dry. Everything is now taking off and looking fabulous. Do you garden? What are your favorite things to grow?

Writing has been slow. I did go through my file of stories I’m shopping out to magazines. I have two that are still out. The rest have all been rejected. It sounds harsh to put it like that, but I don’t mind. On my story, Slave Elf, reader L.L. was the only person to send in an alternative title: To Catch an Elf. I’m not sure I like that one either but as the only contestant, I’m going to send her a copy of my book, Lost Rainbows. Thank you, L.L., for participating!

If you’re one of my mystery readers, I’ll remind you that I’m in a cozy mystery book bundle, Cozy Winter Reads.  The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. Just $7.99 for six books!

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ is still running but just for a few more days. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to my friend, A.F. Stewart. She’s one of those people who write horror and does a darn good job of it, too. One of her books is Ghosts, Gods and Sea Monsters. Here’s a bit:

In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.

Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.

His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.

What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…

Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.

You can find her at https://afallonblog.wordpress.com/.

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

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 https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Out of Touch: Flash Fiction Friday Story

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

“But I’m waiting for a call back!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey, Kari. What’s going on?”

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

“Sounds rough.”

“Yeah.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where’s the job?”

“Tokyo.”

Her eyes went wide. “Japan?”

“Yep.”

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

“Hundred twenty.”

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

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

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

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

“That’s cutting it close.”

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

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

“Lynn.”

“Hey, mom. How are you?”

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

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

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

“I do.”

“Well. I guess. What do you need?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Garden, Health, Writing: Monday Blog Post

Early Girl Tomatoes from 2017

Newest News:

The apple tree that the elk ate has re-leafed and is looking pretty good. Tomatoes are blooming and the potatoes are doing well also. The squirrel ate one of my zucchini plants so I planted some seed. I planted yellow squash seed too so we’ll see how good they do against the squirrels. I planted a cantalope and a cucumber plant that I bought at the Garden Club sale but neither of them seem to be prospering. The sage I bought has also died though the thyme and the mint are thriving. I’m hoping to harvest the potatoes around the fourth of July and replace them in that bed with beets. I love both beet greens and the beets. How about you? What’s your favorite garden veggie?

 

Healthwise, I struggled all last week, Friday, finally giving in to some “con crud” that made me feel like I had the flu. I got up about six in the morning and stared mindlessly at the morning TV shows, then took a two-hour nap. I got up, did a couple of chores and then tried to do some work on the computer. That was a no go. I could hardly stay awake, so I took another two-hour nap. That seemed to do the trick. I felt much better and on Saturday, was right as rain. I guess I was just tired. But I decided to do a detox green juice fast. So Saturday I went to GNC and bought a juicer and went to the store to buy the ingredients. On Sunday, I made my first batch of juice and the juicer died. No overheating smell, no clunking or clanking. It just wouldn’t start again. So off to Walmart to buy a juicer. This one worked like a champ. Today, we’re on the road to the Grand Canyon. I have my green juice with me. Tuesday is hiking day, and I’ll take some juice on that as well. I’m so sick of being tired and achy and out of shape. Time to take charge of my own health. How do you manage your health?

Cold

I did get a story written for the blog last Friday. Another is due this week. Since I was beat all last week, not much else got done. But I’m hoping that with the juice fast, I’ll have more energy and the brain fog will go away. I have lots of things pending and it’s time to get to work!

Here’s a reminder that privacy policies are being strengthened and updated all over the internet. My site is no exception. I have updated my privacy policy on my Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Contest Guidelines page. As always, for both this site and my newsletter, you are always able to unsubscribe at any time. For more information on what I collect or don’t collect or use, check out the Privacy Policy page.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ is still running but just for a few more days. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Here’s a shout out to my friend, Bonnie Bahn. She’s just released a new book, Fire Below Mystery Mountain. https://www.amazon.com/FIRE-Below-Mystery-Mountain-Bonnie/dp/1718615221.

Fire Below Mystery Mountain is a story of a family living in an isolated setting near Payson, Arizona. It’s perfect for children 8-12 years-old. Zach (12) and Cassie (8) move from Phoenix to an old ranch house. The mountain above their house is big and mysterious. Zach calls it Mystery Mountain. A series of events test the entire family. They include a hungry golden eagle, a wildfire, a broken leg, and a car that gets stuck. When things look hopeless miracles happen. First miracle is the dog, Brewer. The second miracle is the eagle. The third miracle is a pair of orange pajamas.

You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.bahn.

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with, I cannot say. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

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 https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Time for Tea and Treachery: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Tea Set by Connie Cockrell

Tea. My mom always told me it can fix just about anything. An ice-cold glass on a hot summer day after working in the garden makes everything seem right with the world. A nice hot mug of a mint and menthol tea, your face over the rising steam, is the best thing when you have a cold or it’s allergy season. Or a cup with your best friend as she sobs over the break-up with her boyfriend. That one needs pots of tea.

Today, though. Today was a different kind of day. The table was set with my best tablecloth and tea china. I’d selected a Lapsang Souchong tea for its smoky flavor and aroma. It was steeping in its pot in the kitchen as I expected my guest, Zuri Anranyo, any moment. I added a final cookie to the plate on the table then took the package back to the kitchen.

I took a deep breath. Time to put on some soothing classical music. By the time I had it playing on repeat, the doorbell rang.

I invited Zuri in after we hugged. I’m not much of a hugger but Zuri was so I endured the gesture.

“How lovely!” Zuri sat as she looked over the table. She leaned over the low bowl of roses on the table and sniffed. “What a wonderful scent.”

“I picked them this morning.”

“You did?” She shook her head. “You’re a super woman, Orly. Is there anything you can’t do?”

I smiled. “Oh, I’m sure there is. I just haven’t found it yet.” I gave a mock flip of my hand and she laughed. “I’ll be right back.” In the kitchen I took the tea ball out of the pot and put the pot on a tray with a plate of tiny sandwiches then took it into the morning room. “Tea and sandwiches. A proper English tea time.” I put the tray on the table. “Let me pour.”

“This looks wonderful, Orly.”

I poured tea for her and for me, then sat down. “Help yourself to the sandwiches. There are cucumber and a pate. Take what you like.” I watched as she selected one of each, then handed me the plate. I took what she did and put my napkin in my lap. “There is milk and sugar,” I said as I pointed out the little pitcher and the sugar bowl.

She poured some milk into her tea then two lumps of sugar. “Thank you for inviting me, Orly. After…” she shook her hand in a stopping motion. “After Bob came with me, well, it’s kind of you, anyway.”

I ground my teeth together but smiled. “You’re my best friend, Zuri. And, as for Bob, the heart wants what it wants, right.” I ignored the burning lump in my chest.

Zuri nodded and sipped her tea. She made a bit of a face. “That smoky tea, what’s it called?”

“Lapsang Souchong. I love it.” I knew she didn’t. I didn’t much care. “It goes well with the pate.”

She nodded and took a bite of the sandwich with pate. “Oh. Yes. It does.”

I watched as she ate the sandwich and then the cucumber one as well. She looked around the table. I knew she was looking for water, anything to wash the sandwiches down without having to drink the tea. I deliberately hadn’t put any out. I wanted her to drink that tea. I picked up my cup and put my lips to the rim but didn’t drink. She took another sandwich.

“I’ll admit I’m a bit famished.” She patted her lips with the napkin. “I totally skipped lunch. I wanted to get some of the wedding planning done and I knew I’d be here with you this afternoon and didn’t want to rush.” She looked me in the eyes and put a hand over mine across the table. “Things have been strained, I know. And, well, I’ve wanted to make up with you for months.”

I nodded. “I know. It’s,” I took a breath, “awkward, is all.”

She patted my hand and picked up her tea. Zuri sipped.

“Let me get you a cookie.” I handed her the plate and she took two. She always had a sweet tooth. “Your favorite.”

She smiled. She loved those crispy lemon cookies with the large crystals of sugar sprinkled on top. I’d gone clear across town to the bakery where she bought them, just to make her feel comfortable. I watched her bite into one, eyes closed, savoring the clean lemon flavor. “Ummm, these are so good. Did you get them from LaMont’s?”

“I did.”

“LaMont’s is the best. Thank you.” She finished the cookie and sipped more tea. “You know, this tea really goes with the tartness of these cookies.”

“I thought so too.” I picked up my cup and pretended to sip again. “Now tell me about your wedding plans.”

I listened to her drone on for an hour. I made sure her tea cup stayed full and the sandwiches and cookies were close to her hand. When she left, I closed the door. If she kept eating like that she was going to need a bigger dress. Then I snorted. No, she wouldn’t.

Bob called me the next morning. I could hardly understand him for all the blubbering. “She’s dead, Orly.”

I made the appropriate noises. “I’m so sorry, Bob.”

“She was so relieved when you invited her to tea. Thank you, Orly, for giving her a lovely afternoon.”

“My pleasure.” I smiled as I hung up. I’d cleaned up everything yesterday afternoon. One last thing remained. I pulled the bottle of poison from under the sink and dumped it down the drain. I rinsed it several times, soaked the label off of the bottle and taking them with me, tossed the bottle in a dumpster at a gas station on the other side of town. I threw the label in another dumpster in mid-town. No one would ever know.

999 words

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Memorial Day, Phoenix Comic Fest, Writing: Monday Blog Post

 

Newest News:

Wishing everyone a wonderful Memorial Day. It’s traditional for our American summer season to begin with this weekend. However, let’s take a moment to honor our fallen heroes. After all, they paid for it.

 

Love this woman!

Phoenix Comic Fest is over. I got home last night, exhausted. Today, I feel worn out so after I put all of my expenses and book sales in my financial spreadsheet, I’m writing this post. There may be a nap in my future. I had a great time at the fest. I’ve already bought my table spaces for 2019. Put it on your calendar now but make note, because of legal issues over the word, “comicon” they’ve changed the name to Phoenix Fan Fusion so look for that on-line.

2018 Planner

What are my writing tasks? I have to write a flash fiction story for Friday’s post. I need to continue to clean up my newsletter email list. I need to finish formatting the ebook version of my Gulliver Station book bundle. I need to get the poems I wrote in April, formatted and edited and put into a slim volume. I need to rewrite Mystery at the Reunion. My Jean Hays series fans are begging for the next book. I need to finalize my contest for renaming my serial Slave Elf and get that edited and out of the door. I have a few scifi stories picked from my flash fiction collection that I need to sort, re-edit, and put out as a collection. I’ll probably call it Science Fiction Tales, to go with my Christmas Tales and Halloween Tales books. There’s a lot more but I’ll leave it at that.

Here’s a reminder that privacy policies are being strengthened and updated all over the internet. My site is no exception. I have updated my privacy policy on my Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Contest Guidelines page. As always, for both this site and my newsletter, you are always able to unsubscribe at any time. For more information on what I collect or don’t collect or use, check out the Privacy Policy page.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ is still running but just for a few more days. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

A shout out to three of the authors I met at the Phoenix Comic Fest. First was Chuck Wendig. terribleminds.com. I saw him on Thursday afternoon, just before the Exhibits hall opened. He was strolling by, just checking things out. I called him over and we had a nice little chat. Also in the Exhibit Hall with their own tables were Michael A. Stackpole, http://www.stormwolf.com/. A few tables away was Tom Leveen, www.tomleveen.com. Both were really great guys—friendly and personable. I invited both of them to my 2019 Payson Book Festival. We’ll see how things work out.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with, I cannot say. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

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 https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Coconut-Lemon Whip: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Finished Lemon Whip

Coconut-Lemon Whip

I apologize for the lack of posts. March and April were extremely crazy for me but I didn’t forget about you. April saw me take an actual vacation, to see my daughter in southern California. We enjoyed the beach (cold!) and Solvang, CA, (hot!), and my daughter’s and her room mate’s new house. It’s small, but the back yard has producing fruit trees. One was a Meyer lemon, the lemons ripe and ready to pick. So of course, I brought home five of them. What else could I do but make a dessert?

I’m still sticking to my Paleo life-style. Whatever your eating style, there’s nothing wrong with whole, fresh food, especially straight from the tree! Fair warning, because of the coconut oil and milk, this isn’t low fat but it is “good” fat. Enjoy in moderation. It makes four 8oz, ramekins of dessert.

Paleo Lemon Curd

Hardware

Sauce Pot

Strainer

Measuring cups and spoons

Knife

Cutting board

Zester or Micro-plane

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup juice: 5 Meyer Lemons (6 or more regular lemons depending on how juicy they are.)

1 T Lemon zest

3 eggs (whole)

1/4 C Honey

6 T Coconut Oil

See the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve family or 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.

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Thirty Years: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Cold

You may remember I follow the Chuck Wendig blog over on TerribleMinds.com. He likes to toss out story prompts and see what the writers who follow him come up with. The stories are usually awesome, there are some great writers out there. Anyway, the most recent prompt was to write about revenge. Here’s my take on it.

Thirty Years

Joe didn’t even notice, at first. I start small. On his commute to work, I got mud on his trouser leg. He was annoyed, of course, but it barely registered with him. Then it was a wrong number, right in the middle of his presentation. You’d think he’d know enough to turn off his cell in a situation like that.

Then it was a flat tire on his car, just when he was about to take his second wife out to dinner. Life is so stressful. Just one more thing to aggravate a man. I cancelled his hotel reservation at his conference. He ended up paying extra after spending half an hour at the hotel desk. He missed his client dinner. His boss wasn’t very happy. Then I cancelled his order for his wife’s anniversary present. It was such a lovely sapphire and diamond necklace, too. He was on her shit list for a month.

I hacked his work computer and made files disappear. More trouble with the boss. He was passed up for that promotion he’d wanted. Wife wasn’t happy about that, either. I helped that along by planting a note in his pocket, lightly scented and written in lavender-colored ink, all hearts and flowers. She left the next day.

Under a lot of stress at his job, he made mistakes I didn’t create. He was let go six weeks after wifey left. That’s when the drinking really took off. I didn’t even have to drain his bank account. The wife handled that all on her own. The home owner’s association began hassling him because he was letting the yard go. Those fines really start to add up. It only took six months for him to lose the house all together. You’ve got to keep up the mortgage payments, and that’s tough to do when you can’t get a job. His old boss wouldn’t provide a letter of recommendation. That really looks bad to the prospective employer.

The police started showing up at the crappy apartment he rented, after an anonymous tip said he was building bombs. The landlord tossed him out. He was reduced to sleeping in a homeless shelter, where everything he didn’t have on was stolen, even his shoes. I didn’t do that. Not out of generosity, I just never thought of it. The homeless were doing my job for me.

He started begging on the street, a bottle of cheap booze tucked into the pocket of his thrift store jacket. The cops arrested him for taking a leak at the back of a building. Now he had a record, on top of all the other problems. His downward spiral hardly needed me to do anything any longer.

It was winter when they let him go. They found him, frozen, in the dumpster he was in trying to stay warm. My job was done.

Joe was number six. The last one. Now I could breathe. I was free. Free from the memory of those six college football players who thought it was funny to grab a hundred-pound girl heading to her dorm from a night study at the library. They took turns. Laughing, drinking, having a good time. My life was ruined. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies so I dropped out. I had nightmares. I went to support groups. None of that helped. But then one day, it occurred to me that I could make their lives a living hell, just like they did to me. So I took computer classes. I studied psychology. I apprenticed at a stock brokerage to learn finance. Then I started on the list.

One at a time. Some of them collapsed fast. Number four took ten years. But Joe was the last one. Revenge is best served cold, they say. Thirty years, cold, by my experience.

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Phoenix Comic Fest, Writing, Privacy Policy Update: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I’m so excited that Phoenix Comic Fest is coming up in 3 days! Over this last weekend I finished up my Firefly type costume. It looks good! I’m pretty excited. I’m at Artists Alley tables AA928 and AA930. I’ll have many of my books for sale there. Please stop by and say hello.

Lounging

Hubby caught a picture of the squirrel lounging on one of the support boards of the back fence. Cheeky little bugger.

I have to write a flash fiction story by Wednesday so you’ll have it to read on Friday. Since Comic Fest starts Thursday afternoon, I have to get the story written and scheduled by end of day Wednesday. I’ve been thinking a lot about horror. It’s not a genre I write though I do occasionally read horror. I’ve been trying to suss out what makes horror scary, at least to me. Hubby and I went to see A Quiet Place. I’d call that a scifi horror. The movie had me jumping out of my seat several times. I’d call it a psychological horror more than a blood and gore movie. I thought it was quite well done and I’d like to write a story like that. What do you like in a horror story?

Privacy policies are being strengthened and updated all over the internet. My site is no exception. I have updated my privacy policy on my Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Contest Guidelines page. As always, for both this site and my newsletter, you are always able to unsubscribe at any time. For more information on what I collect or don’t collect or use, check out the Privacy Policy page.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ is still running but just for 30 more days. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Shout out to my friend Lynn Lamb. Lynn writes The Survivor Diaries series. That’s post-apocalyptic, dystopian for those of you who love that genre. You can find out more about Lynn at www.LynnLamb.com.

Where Will I Be?

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

My next event is Phoenix Comic Fest. I have costumes this year! Come on by my tables in Artists Alley, AA928 and AA930 and we can take selfies!

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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