Ice Cream Maker, Interviews and Talks, The Garden: Monday Blog Post

Ice Cream Maker

Newest News:

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I couldn’t find the motor half of my ice cream maker. I’ve looked, hubby has looked, and it is just not anywhere to be found. We went to the local Walmart on Sunday only to find they don’t carry any, at least at the local store. So of course, I’m headed off to Amazon when I finish with this post, to order one. I’m thinking Cuisinart, as I already have a Cuisinart food processor and really like the brand. Probably less than 2 quarts. I don’t have any recipes that make 2 quarts of ice cream. In the meantime, I dug out my popsicle forms and poured the ice cream base in there, then took out a metal bread pan and poured the rest of the base in that. As I was putting it in the freezer I remembered I should have lined the pan with plastic wrap for easier removal. Sigh. I can now look forward to a fight to get the ice cream from the pan, but I’ll manage somehow. I’ll take a picture when I get a bowlful or eat one of the ice cream bars. Hmmm, wonder if I can make a chocolate shell????

 

I’ve been contacted recently by a couple of different people to appear on their radio show and in March, as a speaker at their fund-raising event. The show interview will probably be this fall. Details are still being set up. But the March thing is solid. I’m pretty excited and will certainly share specifics with you all when I get them, and the dates get closer. Both of these came about because I was at the Payson Book Festival. For many authors, attendance at these kinds of book signings is a money losing proposition. We never sell enough books to cover the costs involved in attending. However, the main reason we attend is to talk to readers. And, sometimes, we meet people that want to bring us along for other events. These are ways to get to meet more readers and, perhaps, generate future purchases of our books. I love talking to others about my journey as an author and about my books. I’m looking forward to both of these events. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a speaker, check out my media page. I have samples of interviews I’ve done, and basic information about me for you to download. There is contact information as well. I’m always looking for new opportunities to meet readers.

Hornworms

The garden is going strong. I’ve been in a battle for the tomato plants the last few days. Since last Wednesday I’ve gotten rid of about three dozen tomato hornworms. Ugh. They eat the plant down to the stem and they do it fast! Above is a picture hubby took of just a few of them before I sent them over the fence into the drainage ditch.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway is in progress at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

The Smashwords’ site’s Summer/Winter Giveaway ends tomorrow! I have books ranging from free to 25% or even 75% off. I don’t usually do this so if you’re interested in some discounts, this is your last chance for a whole year! You can find a list of all of my books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell with the discounts already marked. Enjoy!

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter.  I just published a new one last Sunday. 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 https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

 

Author Interviews: D’Elen McClain

D'Elen McClain

D’Elen McClain

I’m loving these interviews. Are you getting to know some authors new to you? Let’s do it again! Introducing D’Elen McClain!

D’Elen McClain aka Holly S. Roberts is the USA Today best-selling author of thirty books soon to be thirty-one. She went to police academy at age forty-five and spent ten years working in law enforcement. She retired as a sex crimes and homicide detective. She now spends most of her time writing high in the Arizona Mountains with her husband and two spoiled dogs.

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

Gardening. I love every part of it and have always liked getting my hands dirty. It may sound strange but the earth has energy that feeds my soul. I bring all my herbs inside in the winter and coax them until spring. Our kitchen window is a garden right now.

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

My great, great, great maybe great, grandmother. She was a Jefferson, related to Thomas Jefferson who has always fascinated me. I would love to know the thoughts of women in that time period. I come from a long line of female warriors. From raising ten children (my mother’s mother) to working on highly classified jobs for the military (my mother), our bloodline is filled with great women.

Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Water, coffee, tea in that order. It’s been years since I’ve had soda and I will most likely die without ever drinking one again.

What are you working on right now?

I’m so excited about Sizzle (writing as Holly S. Roberts) and I’ve just finished the first chapter. It’s the next book in the Hotter Than Hell series and I have a lot to live up to. The reviews for Heat, book I, have been outstanding and my readers are bugging me for the next installment. This book is about an enforcer for an Arizona crime syndicate. There’s a battle among readers for Team Moon (book I) or Team Gomez (book II). Oh, the pressure.

How would you describe your writing style?

I build a story in my head and put nothing on paper until I know the time is right. Things often change once I begin typing. The small problems also work themselves out. I can mentally be working on stories for several books at a time but once the actual writing starts, it’s all about the current work in progress.

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

I wrote a book in my twenties. It took over a year and was a painful process. I realized I wasn’t ready. At age 49, I wrote my next book in two months. This was while I worked full-time as a police detective. My writing flowed and helped me get through the insomnia I’ve always suffered. Then I wrote another book and another. I’m now a full-time writer. So my advice is to finish the first book, then the next. Write every day and every minute you can find time for. If you’re ready, you will know it.

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

My ideas come from odd places and or situations and sometimes research will spark that creative place in my brain. I’m always adding a note to my phone or iPad—a book title, phrase, idea. It’s become the norm for me and my husband is accustomed to that far off, slightly dazed look I get.

Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Website: www.wickedstorytelling.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/delenmcclainauthor

Facebook: http://facebook.com/hollysrobertsauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mywickedstories

Instagram: http://instagram.com/wicked_story_telling

Thank you so much for chatting with us today, D’Elen.

If you liked today’s interview, please check out one or more of D’Elen’s pages. She’d love to have you visit.

Author Interviews: Katharina Gerlach

Katharina Gerlach

Katharina Gerlach

I thought the thirteenth’s interview went well, don’t you? Let’s try it again with Katharina Gerlach.

Born and raised German with a generous helping of an adopted Scottish heritage, Katharina started writing at age seven (although she didn’t get serious until much later) when the tomboy adventures she lived in her father’s forest weren’t enough for her imagination anymore.

Writing about balloon people, flying hearts, giant spiders, and more was her lifeline to sanity and Real Life™ all through her education. After finishing with a Ph.D. in science, marriage and the start of a beloved but distracting family, she returned to her life-long vocation.

These days, Katharina lives for stolen moments of writing happiness in two languages while juggling her husband, two girls in puberty, a fledgling daughter that just left the house, a dog, and … laundry.

Find her online: Homepage, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest

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

Reading … what did you expect. 😀

But I also love spending time in forests, rowing, making dolls (although I haven’t made one in years), and – most of all – visiting friends.

2. If you had the opportunitywho would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Oh dear, there are so many people I’d love to meet, most of them historical. So assuming I had a time machine, I’d love to meet young Mozart (when he was a kid) because he wasn’t burdened with the daily chores of an adult man.

I’d love to meet Edith Nesbit (British author and full-time mother). She raised not just her own kids but also those of her husband’s affairs too, and she supported them all through her writing.

I want to meet Astrid Lindgren (writer) and Diana Wynne Jones just to learn from them.

I’d really enjoy talking to Alexander the Great, Cesar, Ada Lovelace, Nelson Mandela and many, many more.

If I were restricted to living people I’d spend most of my time with my writing colleagues, my reader friends and all those lovely book bloggers I met.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Tab, water or milk – seriously. I hardly ever drink anything else.

4. What are you working on right now?

I just finished writing book 8 of my fairy tale retelling series. Books 1-4 are already published, book 5 is edited and ready to go, and I’m currently translating books 6-8 back into German. Also, I’ve got the planning for a sequel to Scotland’s Guardians nearly done (I’m still missing some research), and the audiobook will go live sometime in early January. You see, I’m quite busy.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

Flexible. 😀

My writing style adapts to the story I’m trying to tell, so it’s never exactly the same. I hope my readers like not getting the same book over and over again. Diversity and tolerance are important themes in my books.

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

BIC = butt in chair. As long as you don’t have several books to sell anything else doesn’t make sense. You will learn all the additional stuff (like coding eBooks, marketing, print versions, etc.) when the time is there. Take it one step at a time and make writing new stories your priority.

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

Both. Usually, ideas happen when two things I noticed at some point in my life connect. They spark an AHA-moment which forces me to write.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

http://www.katharinagerlach.com

https://www.facebook.com/KatharinaGerlach.Autorin

http://www.pinterest.com/catgerlach/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/111863430632383297320

Many thanks for stopping by the blog today, Katharina. We appreciate having you on ConniesRandomThoughts.com

Be sure to visit Katharina at any of the links she’s provided.

Author Interviews: B. C. Matthews

Bethany Mathews

Bethany Mathews

I’ve been thinking over the last few months that it would be nice if I could introduce you to more authors. Of course, since you follow my blog, I assume you like science fiction, fantasy, a little contemporary, maybe even a western. I have eclectic reading tastes so what better way to tide you over on my writing that to introduce you to other authors. You may find that their stories are a treasure. I know I do. So let’s kick off my very first author interview.

Today I’m introducing you to B. C. Matthews.

B.C. Matthews grew up thinking that Clifford the Big Red Dog could use more evil demon-things-from-the-dark. By day, she battles mad scientists at an Environmental Laboratory and finds sleep deprived moments to tend to her reptile herd, strum her banjo-ukulele, and spot the invading alien body snatchers in the supermarket. You can find her work in Triangulation: Lost Voices, and the upcoming Spark: A Creative Anthology, STRAEON, and Eldritch Embraces: Putting the Love Back in Lovecraft.

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

Out of all of my oddball hobbies, which include spray paint art (not graffiti) and reptile keeping (say hi to my turtles and skinks, everyone!), the one that gives me the feels is the playing the ukulele. While I’ve played drums and percussion on and off for almost ten years, in general they’re not easily transportable, unless you’re that one dude or dudette with bongos hanging out in a park with the others playing hackie-sack.

I find it impossible not to smile whenever I see my cheap red Makala Dolphin uke perched in its miniature stand on my wall. Just touching its tiny nylon strings brings forth such a pleasant glissando that I inevitably giggle every time.Without fail. Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele player extraordinaire, says that there would be World Peace if only everyone played the ukulele.
And I believe it.

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

Alive? Dead? Or undead?

Most recently I’ve been reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, most famously known as one-half of the punk cabaret duo, The Dresden Dolls, and also known for her TED Talk on asking. I think she would be a fantastic person just to sit with somewhere and have a drink. Her outlook on life seems so beautifully hopeful despite all of the pain of the lyrics in her work, and I’d love to soak it in. That and she’s had such an artistic life that I’d love to ask her all of the ways she lives within the act of creation.
Also, she plays the ukulele…

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

For a long time I’ve had a love/hate relationship with a doctor…Dr. Pepper. I whisper endearing nothings to the doctor, gleefully consuming the sweet 23 flavors of ambrosia. Then because I’m prone to migraines, the caffeine content does a number on me, and suddenly the doctor must go. “You’re bad for me, and you give me headaches, Dr. Pepper!” And then my willpower crumbles and there it is—that sweet, sweet beverage.
Oddly enough, I won’t drink any other cola-type soda. I can’t stand the smell of coffee, much less the taste, and I only drink tea when I’m sick.

4. What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m madly scrambling to finish edits on my dark steampunk novel, Blood and Brass, in time for open submissions for Angry Robot Books.

And because I’m gonna’ toot my own horn like a’ runaway semi-truck, here’s what it’s about:William was designed for one purpose: to study a human-like mind as it slides into madness.

William was designed for one purpose: to study a human-like mind as it slides into madness.

In an era of clockwork wonders, psychologist Dr. Horatio Frost, a man with a replacement machine mind but human body, was raised with an unusual brother—a human-like automaton created by his genius father. Brought to life with a brilliantly creative mind, William Automaton Type W is human to a fault—artistic, charming, and emotive.

Treated as psychological experiment by his obsessed creator, William encouraged to learn all the things that make a true man—family, acceptance, and love. But as the experiment continues, Horatio refuses to watch as painful malfunctions are thrust upon his brother to test the strength of his mind.

As they to vie for the love of the same woman, they join the Royal Aeronautics Corps aeroships that prowl the skies for Half-Men—marauders who steal away the sick and dying for transfiguration into half-human half-machines.

But when the continent is terrorized by a madman calling himself the Master of the Half-Men, Horatio must delve into their shared past in order to uncover whether or not his extraordinary brother has finally slipped into madness—and is secretly the Master. For if he fails, the Half-Men will remake the world in their image. And not all may survive.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I think it might be hard to describe my writing style, though I believe that I have a unique voice. My style changes based on what I’m writing. With Blood and Brass I’m enjoying the Victorian manner of voice and description. But what most of my readers tell me is: I write dark. My style seems to automatically skew in that direction. Digging down deep into the beauty of the shadowy parts is where I derive the most joy in writing, and my style reflects that.

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

I try not to give out writing advice because so much writing advice I read at the beginning of my writing venture involved absolutes: Do this. Not that. Never do this! Always DO THIS or you will be a writing hack FOR-EV-ER.

All of those lists were overwhelming and at times disheartening. So really I only have one suggestion for someone just starting out: Write. Write more. Keep on keepin’ on my beautiful newbs. The only way you’ll learn is by doing. And making mistakes. Some of those mistakes are on those professional writing advice lists, but many are not. Or you might find that those “never dos” work for you after all.

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

Both. Absolutely.

Normal life has a way of slapping you in the face. I drink in those small moments, the quiet ones. The tiny revelations. Sometimes it’s the annoying traffic-ridden drive home where ideas strike hardest. Or the songs that pop up on my iPod at random.

However, I love traveling. Traveling recharges my idea-batteries. The idea for one of my most recent pieces accepted for publication came about because I was almost mugged at knifepoint in Morocco. I’ve written about strange horrors happening aboard the London Tube, about wonderfully talented buskers huddled in subways with nothing but a guitar and an empty case, about getting lost and walking on the side of the road on a stretch of cold, misty highway in New Zealand, and getting lost on a back trail in Yellowstone so far from any sign of people that the natural stillness is almost terrifying, yet somehow invigorating.Add magic, mayhem, or mad science to it all. Or all of the above. Voila! Speculative fiction ideas born of the real world and now rendered stronger because of it.

Add magic, mayhem, or mad science to it all. Or all of the above. Voila! Speculative fiction ideas born of the real world and now rendered stronger because of it.

So, yes. Both.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

You can find me, my writing, and sporadic art at: www.bcmatthews.blogspot.com

Thank you, Bethany for introducing yourself.

If you’d like to know more about B. C. Matthews, check out her blog at www.bcmatthews.blogspot.com