Fire, Interview, Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Beautiful Sunset with Father and son fishing by Randy Cockrell

Newest News:

If you live west of the Mississippi, you know we’re in a severe heatwave and drought. Arizona, where I live, has multiple fires in progress, one, the Backbone Fire https://www.facebook.com/BackboneFireInfo, is just 13 miles from me. Two small towns, Pine and Strawberry, have been evacuated to the town where I live. Smoke fills the sky to the north of us, where the fire is, at this point, 0% contained. It’s moving north, so now threatening another town, Camp Verde, and the multiple neighborhoods that dot the forest northwest of us. 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.

I was interviewed on KRIM radio this morning about the Payson book festival. I have details below, but if you’d like to see and hear the interview, it was recorded and put up on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/c/KRIM963FMPayson/videos. I’ve written this post before my video was uploaded but you’ll see my name and/or Payson Book Festival in the title once it’s loaded.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together.

Giveaways:

Our Spring giveaway is nearing its end. Soon, 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 now 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.

Payson Book Festival, Radio Interview, Dried Tangerines: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I’ve been working hard along with the rest of our team, to finalize the Payson Book Festival. Finalizing table assignments, setting up author radio interviews, scheduling Facebook posts, there’s a lot to do. Finding equipment is a big one since we didn’t have the festival last year, it’s been 2 years since we’ve gotten our stuff out of storage. It’s been a scavenger hunt let me tell you! Want to get in on the author interviews? Check out Payson Book Festival on Facebook.

I have an interview with KRIM’s Randy Roberson on the 21st at 10am for the book festival. I’ll be on his Community Spotlight program. You can check it out at https://www.krimfm.com/communityspotlight

I had to run down to Phoenix last week to pick up my permanent retired military ID card. We couldn’t let a trip to the Valley go to waste. We had to make a stop at CostCo. While there I found a product new to me, Dried Tangerines. See the photo for a picture of the bag. These are a major delight. Slightly tangy, orangey, and sweet. I love these things. I only got one bag because I’d never had them before. Next trip though, buying 2 or 3 of these suckers.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together.

Giveaways:

Our Spring giveaway is now live. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at 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 now 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.

AZ Creates Podcast Appearance, My Garden, A New Story Idea: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

This is the week! My Youtube podcast interview with Laurie Fagen and AZ Creates, will be posted at 7pm on May 27th! I thought it was a great interview. Even better, once the link is up, you’ll be able to see it at anytime that’s convenient for you. I’ll have the link on my website. First on my blog, then in my media page for viewing at any time. I’ll post it on Facebook as well. Join me for my interview!

Garden Rose with Shower Sprinkles

This is the time of year everyone talks about their garden. Whether it’s a container on your balcony or a quarter acre in the back yard, we are all excited about the growing season. I need to spread my new garden dirt and go down to the garden shop and pick up some small plants. Some fencing too, if we want anything to survive the chipmunks and squirrels. My herbs are doing very well. I have ground lamb to turn into mini-meatballs for tonight’s pasta dinner and my oregano will be just the thing to mince up and include in the meat and sauce. Yum. I’m looking forward to that.

Lonely Old Woman From DepositPhotos.com/53251343 x1 2015

Anyone listen to their local FM Radio? I do. And Saturday I had it on while I did up the breakfast dishes. A song which I’m very familiar with came on the air. You may know it, Only 100 years. I had to look up the proper title and band, which is Five For Fighting and the song title, “100 Years”, from their album, The Battle For Everything. The song, always kind of melancholy and sad, brought me to tears over my dishwater. A sign of old age I suspect as when it first came out in 2004, I was not as emotional about those 100 years. I bring this all up because an actual story idea, probably a flash or short story, popped into mind with the song as the base of it. Over twenty-four hours later and the story is still bubbling in my back brain. It may turn into something or not. I’ll have to take some time to put words to screen. Is there a song that just brings you to tears? I’d love to hear why. Share in the comments if you like.

Hoping everyone is able to access a covid shot, or two if needed. We’ll only beat this disease if we all work together.

Giveaways:

Our Spring giveaway is now live. New with this giveaway is a video graphic to show the books and prizes. How cool is this! Big thanks to Lynn Lamb, one of our administrators, for this lovely graphic. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

Artists on AZ Creates! for May

An established novelist from Payson is one of the guests in May for the final season episodes of AZ Creates!, a YouTube web series television show highlighting artists and authors. Other interviewees include creatives from Chandler, Tucson and Scottsdale.

In Episode 16, which premieres May 27, the Creative Connection artists are actors Harold and Maedell Dixon of Tucson. Husband and wife, both have performed off Broadway, where Harold also directed. They’ve worked in theatre, television and films, and both are long-time Actors Equity members.

Also on that program is author Connie Cockrell of Payson, who has written 20 books, is in five anthologies and published online. Following a 20-year Air Force career, she writes in many genres, and will be discussing her cozy mystery series.

In the program’s regular arts events segments, called “Something to Look Forward To,” co-host and graphic designer Cathy Beard of Chandler will highlight in-person and virtual art happenings from around the state.

The featured nonprofit for Episode 16, the Arizona Professional Writers will be highlighted.

The programs all close with a “Creative Quote of the Day.”

Episode #16 on May 27. All episodes are available on the AZ Creates! YouTube channel on demand, along with other video content.

AZ Creates! is a half-hour video web series to highlight artists, writers, dancers, musicians, film, theatre and TV creatives, and other artistic people in Arizona. Fagen, an artist and crime fiction novel writer, designed the program to connect art patrons with artists, and to work on a positive project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fagen is resuming her work on “Bleeder,” book three in her mystery series.

Sponsors for the show are Sibley’s West, an Arizona and Chandler Gift Shop and Times Media.

Subscribe to the AZ Creates channel on Youtube.com at www.youtube/c/AZCreatesShow, visit the Art Online AZ Facebook and Instagram pages or email AZCreates.ArtOnlineAZ@gmail.com for details.

On July 17th, I’ll be at the Payson Book Festival! Yes!! That’s correct! The Payson Book Festival is now a GO! Details are being resolved, but 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.

My Interview, ReadFree.ly event, Read an eBook Sale, Someone is Trying to Hack Me: Monday Blog Post

The Arizona desert

Newest News:

Happy March!

A reminder that I’m going to be interviewed on Mystery writer Brenda Whiteside’s website on March 3rd. I want to give Brenda a shoutout to all of you mystery story lovers out there. Her website is www.BrendaWhiteside.com and I’d love it if you went over there to check out her books and my interview.

Over on the booklover’s page http://www.readfree.ly/newsletter/ I’m advertising Mystery at the Fair but there are so many free or nearly free books on the site that I want you to have plenty of time to browse for your new favorites. They don’t carry just mysteries, by the way, any genre you can think of is on the site so check it out for some really great deals. Oh yes! If you’re twitter fans, they can be found at @indieauthorland.

In writing news, I mentioned last week that I’ve been struggling to update my Gulliver Station covers. I’m still working on it. So, here’s an apology to anyone looking to buy A New Start. I had to unpublish it to do this work and I’m still struggling with it.

A Read an eBook sale starts on March 7th over on Smashwords. I’m doing something I’ve NEVER done before. I’m making every book that’s over .99 for sale at 25% off. Needless to say, you’ll want to check it out because thousands of other authors are also putting up sales. Here’s your chance to get some great books at a discount. So go to https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos/1, to see Featured Smashwords Read an eBook Week Deals.

This week my website came under attack. My security was set up to let me know it was happening and so I called my web host and made further security arrangements. The attacks seem to have been stopped but it was a close one. So as a reminder, be sure to have good passwords on your accounts and whatever other kind of security you can arrange and afford.

Paleo Sandwich Bread before starter

Not writing related, I have mentioned before that I tend to follow a paleo/gluten free diet. Primarily because I have Celiac and Hashimoto’s diseases. One thing that’s disappointing is gluten free and paleo pizza. By disappointing, I mean, sad. I really, really want a nice crust, just like I remember from before my auto-immune issues. So, to that end, I’ve started a paleo sourdough starter. It’s been going a few days now and Saturday, I used my first batch of “discard” to make pancakes. There was no noticeable “sourness” but the pancakes came out very nicely. My starter is still less than a week old but soon I’ll try a pizza dough and bread. We’ll see how that works out.

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The Valentine’s Day giveaway is over and the winner drawing will be soon. This one has a $24 Grand Prize of Paypal cash and 16 other prizes.

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway is running. There are 24 prizes and a $60 Paypal Cash Grand Prize. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

I have my interview with Brenda Whiteside on Wednesday March 3rd on her blog, https://brendawhiteside.com/blog.   I’m looking forward to being on her site.

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

Phoenix Fan Fusion, previously called Phoenix ComiCon, has been cancelled for 2021. I was really sad about it. However, they have rescheduled for January, 2022. Mark your calendar! I’m going to be 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, in Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at $.99. 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.

An Interview, ReadFree.ly event, Want an Acknowledgement in My New Book? : Monday Blog Post

Animal tracks at Watson Lake. I’d say racoon. What about you?

Newest News:

I don’t know about you, but this month is just running away from me. First, I want to give you a heads up that I’m going to be interviewed on Mystery writer Brenda Whiteside’s website on March 3rd. I know that’s a couple of weeks away and yes, I’ll remind you all next week, but I just wanted to give Brenda a shoutout to all of you mystery story lovers out there. Her website is www.BrendaWhiteside.com and I’d love it if you went over there to check out her books.

Another thing, mystery related. I’m getting a shoutout over on the booklover’s page http://www.readfree.ly/newsletter/ starting the end of this week, Saturday the 27th. I’m advertising Mystery at the Fair but there are so many free or nearly free books on the site that I want you to have plenty of time to browse for your new favorites. They don’t carry just mysteries, by the way, any genre you can think of is on the site so check it out for some really great deals. Oh yes! If you’re twitter fans, they can be found at @indieauthorland.

This is one version of the cover with updated front and updated bio on the back. The size is wrong, Amazon says.

In writing news, I’ve been struggling to update my Gulliver Station covers. I had to unpublish A New Start to work this issue and have had two, so far, email conversations with Amazon techs. Again, on Sunday I redid the cover trying to clear up the last little anomalies. Today I hope to see that the cover has updated correctly. Cross your fingers for me.

Also in writing news, despite the fact I want to finish up Mystery at the Reunion, an idea popped into my head for a non-fiction book. We’ve all watched with dismay the disaster that is Texas right now. People are struggling with conditions they’ve never experienced before and don’t know how to handle. That has prompted me to put together a little book I’m calling A Housewife’s Guide to Emergency Survival. I’ve written a short introduction, just to get the background firmly in my head and already have identified several chapters to include in the book. Do you have a favorite “survival” action that you and your family use for emergencies? Share them with me and I’ll give you an acknowledgement in the book.

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

The Valentine’s Day giveaway is still running. This is a small one with just eight authors so there’s a $24 Grand Prize of Paypal cash and 16 other prizes. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

I have my interview with Brenda Whiteside on Wednesday March 3rd on her blog, https://brendawhiteside.com/blog.   I’m looking forward to being on her site.

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

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 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.

Happy Valentine’s Day, AZ Statehood Day, Pandemic Update, Interview Recording: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Happy Valentine’s Day! My husband and I are not ones for celebrating this day. When we dated and then after we were married, we both considered it a “Hallmark” holiday. I know, I know, we’re a little weird and a great many people love this day. We’re not sentimental like that. Probably why I don’t write romance. But for those who do celebrate and love the mushy, romantic side of the day, I hope you have a great day. By the way, hubby did buy me a bag of peppermint patties, the mini ones, and a bag of Almond Roca. The last is not a candy I normally eat. I thanked him for the candy then later in the morning realized the Almond Roca bag had already been opened. When I called it out, he said, “Yeah. Well. About that.” I just laughed. It was all right by me. I don’t want to eat two bags of candy all by myself anyway.

Coronavirus update: Hooray! Saturday my husband and I drove down to Globe to get our first Covid shots. My arm became a little sore by afternoon and today it’s still a little achy, but nothing to worry about. Hubby’s arm is also a little sore, and he says he has a bit of a sore throat, but again, nothing to worry about. We’re now counting down to March 13th for the second shot. A note, this drive through event did not schedule the second shots. We’ll have to do that ourselves. I’m hoping we can get the shots here in town instead of having to drive to Globe or Phoenix to do it.

In addition to Valentine’s Day, today is also Arizona’s Statehood day. KTAR has a nice little article about how February 14th was chosen as statehood day. The article also has some interesting facts about the state. You can find it at https://ktar.com/story/1948988/5-things-to-know-about-arizona-as-it-celebrates-109-years-of-statehood/ . Enjoy.

If you missed my interview on The Author’s Show, don’t worry. I’ve acquired the link to the interview and will be putting it on my website on the Media Page, Recorded Interviews and Presentations. Now you can listen whenever you have a spare fifteen minutes. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/media-page/recorded-interviews-presentations-and-appearances/

Please be careful out there. Weather can turn nasty, accidents can happen, illness can overtake us. Till we can meet in person, stay at home when you can and wear a mask when you go out.

Giveaways:

New, is the Valentine’s Day giveaway. This is a small one with just eight authors so there’s a $24 Grand Prize of Paypal cash and 16 other prizes. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

I have my interview with Brenda Whiteside on Wednesday March 3rd on her blog, https://brendawhiteside.com/blog.   I’m looking forward to being on her site.

On May 13th at 2pm Arizona time, I’ll be on the podcast with Laurie Fagan on her show, AZ Creates. It’s a lovely podcast and as soon as I have the link for my interview, I’ll put it up. In the meantime, enjoy her show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teajmtQ4-90&feature=youtu.be. Note, Karen Landau is a mystery author right here in my town! How great is that!

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 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.

Phoenix Fan Fusion T’s, Book Sale, Radio Interview, Payson Book Festival: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

After the show, I began showing some of the t-shirts from the Phoenix Fan Fusion. Above is one for this week.

What a deal. For the month of July, I’m offering many of my books either 50% off or free! That’s right, the entire month of July is Smashwords’ Summer/Winter Sale and I’m participating. If you decide to pick up one of my books, I hope you enjoy it. If you do, a small review would be greatly appreciated.

On Tuesday morning, I’ll be on KMOG radio to talk about my books and the upcoming Payson Book Festival. If you’d like to hear me, go to http://www.kmogcountry.com/programs/rim-country-forum-8 to hear the show.

Giveaways:

The Summer Giveaway is just about ready. There are 33 participating authors with 33 book prizes and 33 summer gift prizes. The Grand Prize is $100 in Paypal cash. This is certainly a giveaway to get involved with. I’ll post a Facebook message when it goes live.

Where will I Be?:

The Payson Book Festival 2019. Mark your calendars for July 20th. Go to www.paysonbookfestival.org for all of the details! We have nearly 90 authors, lots of speakers in both the Fireside and Maple rooms, and again, the silent auction. Want to just make a donation? Go to our Paypal.me page, Payson Book Festival.

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:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is only up on Amazon, at the moment. I’ll let everyone know when the print version is up and is up on the other platforms. 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.

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

Newest News:

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

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

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

Did you know I have a Pinterest page? It’s here: https://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/. I have a board for my books and stories and just Saturday, learned how to link my book pin to the Amazon buy page. I’m so excited about that! I don’t have all of them linked yet, but soon. Anyway, I have lots of other boards on there, including one for Paleo recipes, so I hope you stop by.

Giveaways:

The Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway has 32 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $100 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. This is a great way to find new to you authors, but it doesn’t last long. The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will start after Valentine’s Day. Check out https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Shout Out:

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

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, 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, 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.

Author Interviews: Terra Luft

Terra Luft

Terra Luft

I’ve been having a LOT of fun getting to know authors and chatting with them as we prep to have them on my blog. One of the things I’ve made an effort to do is introduce authors who write as many different genres as possible. We don’t want to get dull, now, do we?

This week I’m introducing Terra Luft. Terra has a terrific sense of humor and a wicked bend in her horror stories.

Terra Luft is a speculative fiction author whose imagination is most often drawn to dark tales. An overachiever by nature, she tackles every project with coffee and sarcasm and believes all rules exist to be broken. She works full time by day and writes by night searching for an elusive work-life balance people tell her exists. She lives in Utah with her husband and two daughters, their naughty dog and a cat who stole her heart. Terra is published with Crimson Edge Press and Griffin Publishers and is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association.

The Secret Door Society by Terra Luft

The Secret Door Society by Terra Luft

Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

That’s actually a hard one to answer. In many ways, writing is my favorite hobby but it’s also one of my jobs so I feel like I can’t use that as my answer. Aside from writing, I love yoga and I love reading. I don’t have enough time to do either of them as much as I like.

 

If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Initial response: my mom, because I lost her a little over a year ago. I’d love to hear her voice again and tell her all the things I didn’t get the chance to before she died. If I’m limited to someone still living: Stephen King, hands down. He’s the one author who had the most influence on who I became as a reader which led to the kind of writer I am. I’d love to meet him and thank him for all his hard work and for sticking with his craft.

 

Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Coffee. All day. Every day. Long into the evenings on most days. I like to say that I’m fueled by coffee and sarcasm. I’m relying on the coffee a whole lot more often to keep me going.

 

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently writing a near-future novel exploring some of the most frightening aspects of our current political landscape. I’m in the pre-writing stages working on character development, plot outlining and research. If the year goes as planned, it will be finished and ready to shop it around to publishers in the next six to eight months. I’ve also got two urban fantasy novels in various stages of revision.

I’m also working on marketing and promotion for my latest release. It is a short story called “Baby of the Lake” in the upcoming anthology “It Came From the Great Salt Lake: A Collection of Utah Horror” set to release February 11, 2016 from Griffin Publishers. My story is about a pregnant woman haunted by a ghost who drowns pregnant women – usually in the lake.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

I’m a pretty dark writer. I love writing speculative fiction because I love speculating on the world either through supernatural, horror or science fiction stories. In every story, I explore the darker sides of people and situations and showcase alternative ways of looking at things. If I can connect with a reader and either show them that they aren’t alone or open their eyes to a different way of looking at the world, I’ve done what I have set out to do.

 

Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Just write! The best piece of advice I ever got was to finish something and immediately start something new. There are two valuable lessons in that one sentence. First, every project you finish makes you a better writer since each project you finish is better than the last. Finishing a novel for the first time took me five years. But I learned so much in those five years that I was able to write the next one AND revise it in a single year. Secondly, once you get to the professional level, you’ll have to know how to consistently produce both for your agent and/or publisher and for your readers who will demand it. If you already know how to write consistently, you’re ahead of the game.

Just write. There will always be critics and sometimes the stories you have to write will never be read by the masses, or even published, but they are still your stories and you need to write them.

 

Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m a spontaneous person who does a lot of crazy things in the impulse of a moment so my day-to-day life is full of new situations to fuel my imagination. I’m also a people watcher. Every year my writing group does a weekend retreat – usually to attend a writing conference – and I always come away with loads of inspiration.

The idea that inspired my first published short story came to me at a writing conference listening to a panel on magic. The bulk of another story came to me from a dream. My current novel grew from an interview I heard on NPR last year. I have a notebook (okay, it’s really a file on my phone) and any nugget that sparks my imagination gets written down no matter how small or large. As a writer, I never know which seed will send my imagination into the depths where the next big story will grow from. If I don’t capture them as they happen, I could miss a good one.

It Came From the Great Salt Lake Anthology

It Came From the Great Salt Lake Anthology

 

Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Website: terraluft.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TerraLuftAuthor

Twitter: @earthandair

Amazon: amazon.com/author/terraluft

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/TerraLuft

 

Author Interviews: Susan Haught

Susie Haught

Susie Haught

I think this author interview thing is off to a fine start already. Don’t you? Let’s keep it going. Next up is Susan Haught.

At home in a small town in the mountains, Susan Haught lives in Arizona’s Rim Country with her husband and Shih Tzu, Mercedes, who believes her princess status earns her the right to sleep on pillows, ride shotgun, and sit at the table. Thankfully, her husband isn’t quite as spoiled, and Susan will share her Australian black liquorice with him. On special occasions.

When Susan isn’t creating quaint settings with captivating characters, you’ll find her tackling an overgrown garden, engrossed in a movie, glued to a craft project, or curled up with a good book—Mercedes and a stash of Australian black liquorice close at hand. She and her husband have one son.

Susan writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance with the belief that love is ageless and has the power to change lives–one step, one touch, one kiss at a time. She is the author of Shall We Dance?, Under the Mistletoe, and Paper Hearts, which will soon become the heart of a full-length novel, Seasons of the Heart.

Look for new releases from Susan in 2016, and you can stay connected at:

www.susanhaught.com

Twitter: @srhaught

Facebook, Google+, Pinterest & Goodreads as Susan Haught, Author

Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

That’s a great question, Connie. My favorite hobby is eating Australian black liquorice (yes, that’s spelled correctly) because I’m secretly addicted. I limit buying it, or I’d seriously need a “liquorice eaters anonymous” group therapy intervention. Other than my passion for Australian black liquorice, I enjoy all kinds of crafts and recently discovered scrapbooking. What fun! In the spring, summer and autumn, you’ll find me tinkering with our flower garden—although nature and I share a love/hate relationship. I love to grow things. Nature hates me. I tend to kill flowers I want to grow, and weeds thrive. Hobbies are a great way to escape writing for a bit and let my mind wander.

If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Another great question. I’m going outside the box here because there are actually three I’d love to chat with. The first is Stephen King. The way his mind works fascinates me, and he’s deliriously funny in interviews. He’s a master with the written word and an afternoon wouldn’t be enough time, but I’d take it in a heartbeat. The next is Mark Twain. One of my characters in A Promise of Fireflies (coming January 2016) resembles him in looks (quite by accident) and when I saw his picture one day in the newspaper, I said, “That’s him! That’s Ambrose!” While doing research on Mr. Twain, I became quite intrigued with him, and I think it would be delightful to chat with him. He’s also quite humorous. And the last is my mother. She always told me I could do anything I wanted to do, but she passed away before I’d become an author. I keep her picture above my desk and I know she’s encouraging me with her heavenly smile.

Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Oh, coffee, no doubt! Unless it’s the occasional Diet Coke with a splash of Jack Daniels. And did I mention Chocolate Shop wine? Red wine infused with a hint of chocolate. Oh my! Coffee gets the day revved and keeps me going through the afternoon, and a glass of wine or mixed drink occasionally end the day either with a celebratory salute or if it’s been “one of those days”. The latter seems to outweigh the former quite a bit.

What are you working on right now?

A Promise of Fireflies (women’s fiction with romantic elements) is in the hands of my editor and I’m working with a graphic designer on the cover. It’s scheduled for a January 2016 release and I’m very excited about sharing this story. My focus now is on Seasons of the Heart, a heartwarming story of a young nurse who chooses to start her career in a nursing home. Rachel has a soft heart and risks her job to help the elderly realize their dreams and in some cases, their last wishes. Three of the stories were traditionally published as separate novellas, but I’ve received the rights back and I’m adding to the stories, elaborating on Rachel’s relationship with Ben (the nursing home’s resident psychiatrist) and Nico (an orderly) and combining them into a novel. I’m also working on several novellas to be published after Fireflies that either add to or elaborate on the storyline.

How would you describe your writing style?

I’ve been told my writing is emotional, lyrical, and with dialogue that creates banter and intimacy between characters. I dig deeply into the emotional side of the characters I write about, and I love creating vivid secondary characters. Actually, I don’t create them—they usually just show up unannounced, knock loudly inside my head and demand their page time. (No, I haven’t had a Jack n Coke today) I also try to create settings that have a character of their own—many times the setting can be as emotionally tantalizing as a person, and have as much impact. I hope it shows in my stories. I’m a slow writer—I tend to agonize over sentence structure, rhythm, and the overall “feel” of the scene. So it takes me longer than most writers to finish a novel.

Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

LEARN the craft. Write your story, but learn HOW to put your story on the page. I learned this the hard way. My manuscript was complete, but I didn’t have a clue about point of view, scene, setting, plot, emotional writing, dialogue, sentence structure, etc. I joined writer’s groups and attended workshops, online classes, read books on craft, entered contests, and I realized I knew nothing about the craft of putting a novel together. I’d learn a new skill and revise. Then another and revise again. It took forever until I was comfortable with it. I still have a lot to learn, but I love it when a new aha! moment pops up and I can incorporate it into my work. I’m always learning and becoming a better writer for it. Start with learning the craft, and if writing is your dream, never, ever give up.

Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

I think both. I recently visited Butterfly Wonderland (amazing place) in Scottsdale, AZ not far from my hometown, and I knew instantly that this experience or at least the setting would someday end up in one of my novels. I never would have thought of this had I not visited. As an older person, I’ve been through a lot in my life and I take from those experiences quite often. But as a young writer, I’m like a kid in a candy story—itching to get my hands on a new and exciting treat. You won’t find me bungee jumping, or scaling a rock cliff (back. away. from. the. edge) or anything remotely life threatening or scary. I’m too big a chicken and an extreme introvert. But when I do discover something new and fun, you’ll see me jotting notes like a fiend.

Where can we find you on the interwebs?

You can find me at www.susanhaught.com @srhaught on Twitter; on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads and Google+ as Susan Haught, Author. I also have an author page on Amazon.

I want to thank you, Connie, for inviting me to this interview today. It’s been a blast answering these great questions, and to you and all the readers out there—I wish you rainbows of happiness and wishes come true. Hugs!

Many thanks, Susan, for taking time out of a busy day to chat with us.

If you liked Susan’s interview, please check out any of her sites.