Spring Giveaway Winners, An Excerpt for You: Monday Blog Post

Mushroom Season in Rim Country. No idea what this mushroom is, do you? Picture by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

The Spring Author/Blogger Giveaway has officially ended and I have two winners for my part of the event. My prize number one, an ebook copy of Slave Elf, was won by Jory. My prize number two, a $5 Amazon gift card was won by Richard. The overall event Grand Prize winner was Emy. I want to thank all of the hundreds of people who participated and I hope that you enjoy your prizes. Our Summer Giveaway has started, check out the info below to enter.

Writing has been slow for me. I have been involved in several other things in my life and the writing, unfortunately, has fallen off. I haven’t forgotten it though. I’m still mulling over Mystery at the Reunion. How can I make it better? I may just have to throw myself on the mercy of my editor and get some advice. How about a short excerpt? This is Dwight, Jean’s ex-husband.

 

He circled the glass on the bar in the moisture under it, idly watching the spiral circles it made on the glossy top. Dwight sipped again. How had he gotten here? Dawn had left him. That was the start. Too much time at the local bar. Crown Royal wasn’t exactly cheap. Then the gambling at the Off-Track Betting shop. That didn’t help matters. Especially since he was losing. OTB didn’t give credit, so he found himself in a little neighborhood still mostly Irish. There was a helpful young man there that would take his bets on the cuff. Dwight sighed and rubbed the spot just above the bridge of his nose.

What the hell had he been thinking? Now he was ten grand in the hole and the bookie wanted his money. Dwight sipped again, his stomach in a knot. He didn’t have ten grand. Hell, he had all he could do to pay the rent on the low-end apartment he was living in. Damn! He drank the last of the Crown Royal and signaled for another. He really couldn’t afford to come to the reunion despite the fact he wanted to see all of his old friends from Afghanistan. While the place had been a living hell, he’d made good friends with the people in Combined Joint Force Command squadron AG2017. They were good people sharing a hard, miserable assignment. His arrival in Las Vegas reminded him a lot of Afghanistan. Hot sun scorching everything it touched, even in April, dust, blinding light, it was not a pleasant reminder.

The bartender brought the drink. Dwight nodded his thanks. He was about to pick it up when a hand fell heavy on his shoulder. His heart nearly stopped.

“Dwight! Old buddy. What brings you to Vegas?”

Dwight turned to see who belonged to the deep voice. “Duncan?” His heart skipped a beat. “A long way from Boston.”

Duncan sat on the stool next to Dwight and waved over the bartender. “Irish Whisky.”

The bartender nodded and moved off.

“I’m here ‘cause Jimmy noticed you leavin’ town.” Duncan shook his head. “And you owin’ all that money. It made Jimmy think you were skippin’ out on your debt.”

“No, no, Duncan. I’m here to attend a reunion. Old military buddies from Afghanistan. I’m just here for the weekend. You know, catch up with old friends.”

Duncan nodded. “I hear ya. My brother, Mike, joined the Army. He got sent to that pit. Died when his hummer hit an IED.” Duncan said all of that while staring into the bottles on the bar back.

“I’m so sorry for your loss, Duncan. Too many young men and women died there.”

Duncan nodded as the bartender brought him his drink. Duncan peeled a twenty from a roll he’d taken from his pocket and dropped it on the bar. The bartender grinned. “Any change?”

Duncan shook his head.

“Thanks, buddy.”

Duncan nodded and the bartender moved off. “I’m sorry you had to serve there.”

“Two tours, with my wife.”

Duncan’s eyebrows rose. “No shit?”

“Yeah. We left our son with the grandparents and spent a year there. Then two years later, another tour.” Dwight shook his head Why the hell didn’t they go separately instead of leaving Jim all alone twice. It must have made sense at the time.

“That’s a shame. The little man must have missed you.”

“Yeah. He did.” Dwight sipped his drink.

“Despite that, Dwight, you gotta pay up. By the end of the month.” Duncan drank his whisky down in one gulp and slapped the glass down on the bar with a thump that made the bartender turn to look.

“I’m trying to get the money together, Duncan. Tell Jimmy that. I’m good for my debts.”

Duncan nodded. “Good to know, Dwight. But if we don’t get the money by the end of the month,” he cracked his knuckles. “Well, I’ll have to have a more…personal discussion.”

Dwight could feel his blood pressure rise. “Understood. I’ll get it to Jimmy as soon as I can.”

Duncan swung off of the barstool and with a heavy hand, smacked Dwight on the shoulder. “Remember what I said.” He moved off as Dwight nodded.

Dwight realized he was holding his breath after Duncan moved out of sight. He took a deep breath and swallowed his drink in one gulp. He signaled for another. The bartender brought the bottle over and poured. He eyed Duncan’s empty glass.

“He’s gone. Won’t need another.”

The bartender nodded and went back to the other end of the bar where he was chatting up two young women.

Dwight drummed his fingers on the bar. He needed to make some contacts this weekend. He needed a new job, one that paid more. That didn’t answer his immediate problem, though. Where was he going to get ten grand in two weeks?

That’s our introduction to Dwight. What do you think? Good guy? Bad guy? Glad Jean divorced him? Leave you comments in the comment box below.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

The Summer event, called the Summer Breeze Books Giveaway, is now live! There are 24 prizes and $66 as the Grand Prize in Paypal dollars. Hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

I have no plans at present for any other in person events. Any I was thinking about joining I’m now reconsidering due to the uptick in the Covid 19 Delta variant illnesses spreading across Arizona. See you in 2022!

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

 

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

Fire Update, Mystery at the Reunion, Giveaway Ending: Monday Blog Post

Waiting for the Mail?

Newest News:

Last week I talked about the Backbone Fire https://www.facebook.com/BackboneFireInfo, just 13 miles from me. Two small towns, Pine and Strawberry, were evacuated to the town where I live. Saturday, word came down that Pine evacuees could go back to Pine but the danger level is at SET. Strawberry is still on evacuation orders. The fire is still a threat to Camp Verde, and the multiple neighborhoods that dot the forest northwest of us. Last Friday, all of the National Forests and many of the State Forests were put on Level 3 fire restrictions, meaning they’re closed. No camping, hiking, smoking, fires, shooting. Closed. Please, please, please, if you live in the west or are just visiting, fire is our greatest enemy. Obey all fire restrictions, our property and our lives depend on it.

It’s the weekend as I write this blog. I’m pondering my story, Mystery at the Reunion. I love the story but it’s just too short. I’ve thought about other side stories (plot lines) that I could put in the book. One thought was to follow Karen back in Grayson but that really doesn’t fit in with the theme of the book which is Las Vegas. Could I involve one of Jean’s old buddies as a sidekick? Probably not as I’ve pretty much set up her ex-husband in that role. His second plot line is miniscule but really, not worth expanding. What I need is a new direction. Probably using the already introduced characters. One that is with Jean to distract her, lead her in the wrong direction or one that is really trying to help but is perhaps not helpful? Perhaps a totally new character? But who might that be? A Vegas resident? An attendee at the reunion that Jean just met there? It’s a struggle to be sure. I hope my editor has an idea or two.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. The delta variant of the virus is racing through my county. Hospitalizations have jumped three-fold and the majority of the people hitting the ERs are unvaccinated. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together. Please schedule your vaccination as soon as you can. The shots are still free!

Giveaways:

Our Spring giveaway will end tomorrow or maybe sooner. Then, the summer giveaway will begin. So hop on over to the page with the following link and get in on the prizes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

 

Where will I Be?

On July 17th, starting at 9am – 3:30pm I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is a GO! You’ll be able to visit us in person, meet authors, and have some fun picking out your next books to read. See more at http://www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

 

Newest Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

Health, Cozy Mystery: Monday Blog Post

Widgeons at our local park

Newest News:

I’m still recovering from the surgery I had on the 1st. Incisions are at the itching stage of healing, and I’m restricted from lifting anything for a few weeks yet. Broken toe is also healing, though I still need to keep it taped to the toe next to it. Between the two issues, there’s no exercise for me which kind of sucks because the weather has cooled down and every day right now is just gorgeous. It would be great to walk around the neighborhood but while the mind is willing, the body isn’t ready.

I didn’t work much on writing. The healing process involves naps in the afternoon and that cuts into my writing time. No worries though, I’ll be working on Mystery at the Reunion soon.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

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

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting is October 26th, at 1pm. This is still on! It will be held at the ramada next to the Pine Thrift Store. If you happen to be in Pine, AZ, on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing. Social distancing and mask wearing will be the fashion. 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 Releases:

Creature in the Night, a short Halloween, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Fantasy story has been published. It is up on Amazon, 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 or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

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

Newest News:

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

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

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

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

If you’d like an Advance Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. There are only 18 copies left so hurry. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there, so you get updated on every new release!

Giveaways:

Speaking of just a week to go until April, Book Funnel Mystery Giveaway is on its last week. I’m in that with Mystery at the Fair, if you haven’t read it yet. But there are 35 other mystery authors in the promo as well. The link is:  https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/sfaebm0djq. This won’t last long so get your books today!

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

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

Shout Out:

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

 

Where Will I Be?

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

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

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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.

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.

Cozy Mystery Bundle Release, Giveaways, All About Bob Series: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Remember the cozy mystery bundle over on the Bundle Rabbit site I talked about last week?  Well, it’s been released. The book is called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. I think you’ll enjoy it. The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

I finished the first draft of It’s All About the Odds. I need to let this story rest before I begin editing. This series won’t get published until I have the entire thing written and edited. That way readers won’t have to wait so long to get them. In the meantime I have edits to do on both the next Zoe Ohale story and the next Jean Hays story.

I’m also getting ready to release my Gulliver Station series as a box set in both ebook and paperback formats. Every book is being re-edited and has to be reformatted to a box set format so it will be a while yet. But if you’ve put off buying the series, you might want to hold off a bit longer to pick up the box set.

Giveaways:

The Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway now over.  Winners will be chosen soon and notified. Then, check out https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the next contest, the 2018 Authors/Bloggers St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Also happening this month are two other giveaways.

First up is a March Fantasy Madness giveaway. That starts on March 1st over on Book Funnel. Tons of fantasy stories up for grab for just signing up for author newsletters. If you love Fantasy, this is the giveaway for you. Here’s the link:

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

Shout Out:

I want to give a shout out to author Autumn Birt who is the driving force behind the fantasy giveaway I’m in.

And that is why I’m the author of 12 books and counting. I fell in love with fantasy in high school after stumbling across a short story of dragon impression on Pern written by Anne McCaffrey. So from day 1 I’ve loved dragons and adventures that are a bit farther flung than your average story.

Since writing my first epic fantasy trilogy, the Rise of the Fifth Order, I branched into new territory with the apocalyptic dystopian thriller Friends of my Enemy. With no magic, lots of explosions and a very adult theme, this genre jump may seem like a complete change. But the essence of my writing, exciting plots, strong characters, and a setting that feels real, lie at the core of both series. So if you love books that will keep you up flipping pages, check out my books. The first book of both series is free!

Besides that, I used to live in Maine in a small, off-grid cottage I built with my husband (our two Cairn terriers supervised). I love to travel though and that led us to selling our little house and hitting the road in a Landcruiser for overland travel. I would say travel is a second passion in my life. And I prefer slow travel: hiking, sailing, kayaking, and motorcycling. Especially the motorcycling! I have an F650 BMW that is my favorite thing next to a writing device (preferably a portable writing device). I’m attempting to combine my two loves of slow travel and writing by overlanding in a Landcruiser along with my husband and dog. Check out our progress on Escape with the Dogs to see where we are. Who knows, we might be just down the road from you!

I have plans for many further adventures both real and fictional. So stay tuned and stay in touch. I love to hear from people!

Where Will I Be?

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

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

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, 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.

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 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.

Tested, Mystery at the Fair: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I spent last week finishing up my synopsis and query letter for Mystery at the Fair and have submitted it to the Hallmark Channel for consideration on Saturday. I expect there have been thousands of submissions. Who knows how long it will take for them to review them all. In the meantime, cross your fingers for me.

A pic I was considering for the Tested cover until I went in an entirely different direction.

I have the fourth Brown Rain story, Tested, edited. I am now formatting the manuscript for both print and ebook. I’ve contacted the cover designer. I should have all four covers, including Tested, back this week. Release will be early November if all goes well.

Mystery at the Reunion is set in Vegas, Baby!

I’m still brainstorming elements of my next Jean Hays story, Mystery at the Reunion. November’s National Novel Writing Month is just eight days away!

Energy Ball 001 by ISOStock, www.DeviantArt.com

I continue to write my serial, Slave Elf. Sunday, I wrote two more episodes. Delia is in deep trouble. We’ll have to see how she gets out of it. You can find the first episode here.

Giveaways:

Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or $150 in Paypal cash? Drop by https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Spooktacular Authors Halloween Giveaway. There are 8 days left so get it now!

2018 Planner

I have started a contest over on my newsletter. What? You don’t get my newsletter? That’s a shame. But see below on how you can join in on the fun. I already have several people writing in to enter it. It runs to the end of October, just 8 days away, when I’ll use a random number generator to select the winner. Let me know you’ve joined the newsletter and I’ll send you the information to enter.

P.S. By the way, you can get the pictured mug at: https://www.gearbubble.com/gbstore/conniesrandomthoughts

Shout Out:

One of the Arizona authors that helps with the Payson book festival is Jan Cleere. She says, “I write about the people, legends and tales of the Old West that I have uncovered among tattered documents, tear-stained journals and diaries, and the accounts told by old-timers.” An award-winning author, a historian, and speaker, Jan will next be at the Tucson Corral of Westerners, 4855 Eat Broadway Blvd, Tucson, on November 6th at 6pm. Her topic is “The Woman Who Shot Cowboys” a biography of rodeo photographer Louise Serpa. If you can’t see Jan in person, you can find her books and calendar at https://www.jancleere.com/.

Where Will I Be?

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

The Payson library’s first ever mini-comicon has been post-poned from November 2017 until perhaps March of 2018. I’m committed to being on a panel so I’ll keep you posted on all of the details.

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 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.

Mystery at the Book Festival Released!: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Mystery at the Book Festival has released on June 1st. Both the paperback and ebook are available. You can find it at Amazon on (https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Book-Festival-J…/…/B072LKF3DM) and on Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/725756). I’d love it if you could help me with my rankings and buy that book, then leave an honest review.

Gardening: Peas, beans, and squashes are up and doing well. The other cherry tomato plant was eaten so Saturday I sent hubby to the store and he bought a Million cherry plant and an heirloom Purple Cherokee. These plants are bigger than the cherries that were eaten so nothing should bother them.

For my SciFi readers, I finished the edits on Tested, the fourth book in the Brown Rain series and sent it off to the editor. Now I need to make the cover and get it ready to go. I’m also thinking of putting together a collection of my SciFi short stories and releasing that this year. So much to do!

I’m happy to announce that Part 2 of my western short story, Gold Dreams, is now out on http://frontiertales.com/2017/06Jun/gold_dream_2.php.  Part 1 ran last month and you can find the link on the Frontier Tales home page. I’d appreciate your vote for best story!

 

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading: Easter Giveaway and is still running for another ten days. There is a grand prize PayPal card and multiple prizes from the participating authors. There’s still time. You can find the link to the Rafflecopter on my Giveaways page.

Shout Out:

Author Kitty Boyes

I have an interview scheduled to run on Wednesday the 7th with mystery author Kitty Boyes. Her debut novel, The Sins of our Mothers; published in November 2015 had readers ask for more so she published the second book to the series; Her Father’s Daughter in March 2016. Stay tuned for book III, Her Brother’s Keeper, out in 2017. Can’t wait for the whole interview? Check out her website at https://kittyboyes.com.

Where Will I Be?

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

July 22nd is the Payson Book Festival. I have to say, this festival has turned into quite a thing. Over 600 people came to it last year. The tables have already been filled with over 80 authors. You can find out who is attending at www.PaysonBookFestival.org. The event is free to visitors and starts at 9am and runs until 3:30pm. Details about the location, video from last year, and more, can be found on the site.

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 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.

Phoenix Comicon!: Monday Blog Post

Better late than never. I at least have it out on the right day!

Newest News:

Oh my gosh! This is the week! I’ll be at Phoenix Comicon (www.phoenixcomicon.com) starting Thursday! I’m so excited. I’ll be in the Four Carat Press booth (1797) with three other authors all weekend. If you’re in the area, come on in and say hello. It’s going to be just wonderful!

I’m also releasing Mystery at the Book Festival. I have the book up on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Book-Festival-J…/…/B072LKF3DM) and on Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/725756) for pre-sale. The book, ebook and paperback, will release on June 1st. I’d love it if you could help me with my rankings and buy that book on presale, then leave an honest review.

Gardening: Peas, beans, and squashes are up. One of my tomato plants was eaten by something so I’ll have to replace it. My apple tree branches are bending to the ground. This is worrisome. I’m afraid the branches are going to break.

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading: Easter Giveaway is now on. If you missed out on the last one, this is your chance to win.

Shout Out:

Author Joanie Chevalier is promoting her book Heads Will Roll by having it free on Amazon from the 23rd until the 25th. If you’re a mystery/thriller/suspense fan, you will want to take a look at her book. See it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711X9XLN. As always, an honest review will go a long way to helping her out.

Where Will I Be?

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

The Phoenix ComiCon is this week, May 25 – 28th and you can find details for tickets, events, special guests, at http://phoenixcomicon.com/. I would be so excited to see you in the Exhibits Hall in the Four Carat Press booth number 1797.

July 22nd is the Payson Book Festival. I have to say, this festival has turned into quite a thing. Over 600 people came to it last year. The tables have already been filled with authors. You can find out who is attending at www.PaysonBookFestival.org. The event is free to visitors and starts at 9am and runs until 3:30pm. Details about the location, video from last year, and more, can be found on the site.

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 in the Woods released on December 24th! 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.

Mystery at the Dog Park Part 7 of 7: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Sadie – Available for adoption now from:
Annie Bamber
Outreach Programs Coordinator
(928) 474-5590 ext. 100
annie@humanesocietycentralaz.org
www.humanesocietycentralaz.org
Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/humanesocietycentralaz/
“Because They Matter”

Part 7 of 7. You can find Part 1 here. Part 2 here. Part 3 here. Part 4 here. Part 5 here. Part 6 here.

 

They hurried back to the tree line and sat down in the forest duff. “I can’t believe it.” Karen’s voice quavered. “What the hell?”

Jean, sitting next to her shoulder to shoulder, nodded. “I’ve never seen anything like it. My hands are still shaking.”

“Did you get pictures?”

“Yeah. Not that I ever want to see that again.”

“I know. We should get pictures of the license plates. I recognize that announcer from the diner.”

“Good idea.” Jean put her hands over her eyes. “I just need a minute.”

The announcer came on again, introducing the first fight of the night.

Jean closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Let’s get this done and get out of here. I don’t want to see a fight.”

“Good.” Karen stood up and gave Jean a hand. “Get the announcer guy’s truck first.”

“Yep. But it will be hard with the tailgate down.”

“Do what you can. A picture of him would be good too.”

“Agreed.”

They crept back out of the woods working their way around the parked vehicles, staying to the shadows, as Jean tried to get a position on the announcer and the truck. She got pictures of men taking bets and a good bit of the crowd, as she moved into place. Finally, staying low, she managed a shot through the fence of the truck plate. Then more of the guy himself, standing in the bed of the truck, narrating the fight. Jean did her best not to look but the sound of the dogs screaming and the people shouting was overwhelming.

She led Karen out of the crowd. They edged around the outside, taking pictures of all the plates until they were nearly back to the woods. That’s when the world lit up. Car headlights came on. Cruisers with their light bars flashed red and blue. A high-volume PA system came on and a male voice was shouting for everyone to stand still, they were all under arrest. Jean and Karen broke for the woods but three guys stood up and pointing assault rifles, yelled at them to halt. Jean put up her hands, Karen right beside her, did the same.

It was an hour and a half later when Chief of Police Nick White came over to the group of prisoners and picked them out. “Come with me.”

Jean’s stomach, already knotted with dread, did flip-flops. She glanced at Karen who gave her head a shake. Nick didn’t look like he was going to be happy.

Next to his cruiser, he turned on them. “What in the name of all that’s holy are you two doing here?” His hands went to his hips and he was glaring at them so hard Jean thought lasers would shoot from his eyes.

She held up her camera. “We took pictures. To bring to you.”

Jean saw Nick shudder as he drew in a slow breath. “Do you have any idea how dangerous that was?”

Karen nodded. “We do. Did. Well, they didn’t see us.”

He glared at her and she wilted.

“I should arrest you and take you with the rest of these…” he waved a hand. “Where’s your car?”

“Back up the road. Hidden.” Karen replied in a near whisper.

“Then get to it. Don’t let me see you for many days.”

Jean and Karen turned to hurry off.

“Wait.”

Jean’s heart froze along with the rest of her muscles. She turned around. “Yes?”

“Send me those pictures.”

She nodded, turned and scurried away with Karen.

When Karen arrived at Jean’s, Jean invited her in. “Come in. We’ll have a glass of wine and download these pictures. Get them off to Nick.”

Karen nodded. “Might need some of that scotch tonight.”

“Agreed.”

They poured their drinks and went upstairs to Jean’s computer. She quickly downloaded them, put them in a file, and copied it to a thumb drive.”

“You aren’t going to look at them?”

Jean shook her head. Karen looked white as the computer paper. “Nope. I’ll take this over to the station in the morning. I don’t want to see these pictures.”

“Good idea.” Karen slammed back the scotch. “I’ll go with you.”

#

At the Police Department in the morning, Jean and Karen asked for Lieutenant Oliver. When Paul came to the window, he glared at them. “Didn’t I tell you to stay out of it? Nick was incoherent. I’ve known him since grade school. I’ve never seen him so mad. He should have dragged you two in here to spend the night.”

Jean and Karen nodded together. “I know. I’m sorry.” Jean slid the thumb drive through the small slot at the bottom of the window. “We brought the pictures.”

Paul snatched them up out of the bin. “Good.” He took a breath and shook his head. “Why’d you do it?”

Jean shrugged as Karen shook her head. “We hoped to get pictures. For evidence.”

Paul scrubbed his face with his right hand. “I’d tell you not to do it again but I know that’s a waste of breath. Go on now before Nick sees you.”

The two women hurried off.

“Dang, Paul was mad too,” Jean said as she held the door for Karen. “I thought he was going to drag us in and put us in jail.”

“I’ve known Paul and Nick back as far as grade school, too. They’re usually so calm. I guess that’s what makes them good cops.” Karen got in the car when Jean popped the locks. “Let’s go take some dogs for a walk.”

Jean nodded.

A week later the woman from the dog park hurried up to them as they turned loose their temporary charges. “Thank you, thank you.” She gave them each a bear hug. “The police found Sandy.”

Jean and Karen both grinned. “How nice!” Jean said.

“Where was she?” Karen asked.

“Someone took her.” The woman said. “She was going to be used as a bait dog, they called it. Some horrible dog-fighting ring.”

Jean felt her stomach roll. Karen’s face went white. “What?”

The woman nodded. “They did a raid a couple of Saturday’s ago, and picked up a whole lot of little dogs. Poor Sandy was in the group. They just called me yesterday. I can get Sandy today from the Animal Control Office.”

“Good for you.” Jean said. “But we didn’t have anything to do with that.”

“Yes, you did. You went around town and asked about Sandy. The police told me.”

Jean and Karen exchanged glances. “Well. I’m glad we could be of some small help.”

The woman hugged them each again and hurried back to her friends at the picnic table. Jean chuckled. “So Nick and Paul gave us the credit.”

Karen grinned. “I guess so. I always knew they were great guys.”

The two of them followed their charges out into the yard. “Here Arthur. Here Arthur.” She wagged a brand-new tennis ball at him and he came charging over. “Get the ball,” she yelled and threw it. Every dog in the park went after it. She grinned. It felt good to help.

 

Thank You!

1186 Words

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

Mystery at the Dog Park Part 6 of 7: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Dos – Available for adoption now from:
Annie Bamber
Outreach Programs Coordinator
(928) 474-5590 ext. 100
annie@humanesocietycentralaz.org
www.humanesocietycentralaz.org
Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/humanesocietycentralaz/
“Because They Matter”

 

Part 6 of 7. You can find Part 1 here. Part 2 here. Part 3 here. Part 4 here. Part 5 here.

Trigger warning: Dog violence.

 

Jean was in her black jeans, a black t-shirt and a black sweatshirt, which she’d just bought today. It could be chilly out in the woods and she wanted it with her. She’d spent Saturday afternoon reacquainting herself with her big camera. Usually she used her little hiking camera or just her cell phone to take pictures. She made the house as dark as she could to practice shooting without a flash. Frustrated, Jean had to download a YouVid how-to video to get it right. She had a sandwich for supper and fidgeted as she stared out of her patio window watching the sun go down.

It was after six when Karen pulled up in her Jeep. “Ready?” she asked as Jean hopped into the car.

“Yes. I thought this afternoon would never end.” Jean buckled her seat belt. “I have everything. We just need to get there and not get caught.”

Karen pulled away from the curb. “That’s the trick. Isn’t it?”

They rode in silence, even after turning onto Forest Road 222. Jean watched behind them. “I see lights two switchbacks back.”

Karen nodded. “We’re almost down.”

Jean twisted in her seat to watch more comfortably. “Hurry, but don’t crash.”

Karen snorted. “Thanks.”

A minute later, “We’re down, now to find that spot.” Karen crept along, not wanting to miss the turn off. “Got it.” She pulled in and around the bushes and turned off the car and lights.

Jean spun around in her seat and watched out to the road. “They’ll be right along.”

They sat, hardly breathing, staring through the bushes. Even in the Jeep, they could hear the roar of a diesel truck engine. A moment later, they watched the lights pass, engine loud enough to make the Jeep shake. They sighed at the same time, then giggled with nerves. “Okay. Let’s get out and do some sneaking.” Jean gathered the camera and her sweatshirt. “Ready? Open doors, get out, close doors so as little light as possible shows.”

Karen nodded.

“One, two, three.” Jean opened her door, slid out and closed it as fast and as quietly as she could. “You there?” she asked into the dark.

“Yep. I’ve got my flashlight and a hiking stick.”

“I’ve got my camera and my flashlight.” Jean pulled the camera strap over her head. “I guess we’re ready.”

“We should cross the road here. Then keep to the woods along the way. If we turn off our flashlights when we hear a car, they’ll never see us.” Karen came around the end of the Jeep and waited for Jean.

“Sounds like a plan. I’m ready.”

The two women picked their way to the road and hearing nothing, crossed it, moving as far away from the forest road as seemed prudent. They kept their flashlights pointed down. It meant that they could only see a couple of feet in front of them but better than making themselves a target.

Jean’s heart pounded. Every step they made sounded like it could be heard in Greyson but without being able to see too far ahead, there wasn’t much they could do about it. As they moved forward, more and more cars passed on their left. Each time they shut off the light and hunkered down. With every car that passed, they grew more comfortable. “They can’t see us.” Karen whispered.

“They’re not looking.” Jean whispered back as a pick-up truck, every external light known to man lit up on the truck, passed by. It’s very hard for the human eye to pick out shapes in the dark unless they’re looking for them, are lit up in some way or are moving. It’s when we get to the ring that we’ll have to be careful.”

By the time they made the third of a mile, festivities were in full swing. From the edge of the woods they could see trucks surrounded the ring, lights on. At the moment, it was empty. One guy was selling beers from coolers off of his tailgate. Men and women were standing around the fence, laughing and joking, while others sat on the truck hoods, able to see over the heads of those standing.

Men and dogs were at the poles Jean and Karen had noted earlier, one dog tied per pole. People wandered among the tied dogs, as men debated the merits of the dog or the dog in relation to some other dogs. Jean took pictures of the dogs and their owners as best she could without a flash.

Karen pointed out that the men were giving their dogs rubdowns and checking their paws. “They’re treating them like boxers.”

“Yeah, but a boxer has a choice.”

She saw a number of smaller dogs, ones that didn’t look like fighting dogs at all. “I wonder why the little dogs?”

“No idea,” Karen whispered back.

They were interrupted by an announcement. They looked at the ring. From the back of a huge white pickup, a man stood with a microphone. “To start the evening, a demonstration by Bill Munson on training your fighting dog.

The gate farthest from them opened. Jean moved to get shots of the man in the ring. He led a German Shepherd. Behind him another man led a small terrier on a leash. Jean moved closer, standing on a fallen pine to get higher. Karen followed.

The man in the ring spoke without a microphone. He slipped the leash off the shepherd and began to talk. She was too far away to hear. Jean could see Karen straining to hear. The second man let the terrier loose. The first man called a command. Before she knew what was happening the shepherd ran straight for the little dog. She began snapping. The dog grabbed the terrier by the neck and with only a small squeal, the shepherd shook its head and tossed the small dog in the air.

The man called the dog back and snapped the leash in place. Jean stopped snapping and got off the log. Her hands were shaking so hard she was glad she had the strap around her neck. Karen was bent over, retching.

 

Thank You!

1025 Words

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