Saying Hello: Daily Post

Picture of the crowd.

Hey there!

So you may have gathered from previous posts, and my facebook and twitter feeds, that the Payson Book Festival was yesterday.

As the founder and director of the festival, last week and especially Friday and Saturday, were full. Some of Friday was consumed with a workshop the festival puts on for our signed up authors. A little bit of extra value for the price of thier table. We had Richard Draude from Mystic Publishers come and talk to those of us assembled about how to pitch a book to a publisher or an agent.

Mind you, this isn’t a submission process, most publishers/agents have submission guidelines right on thier websites. A pitch is a face to face, probably at a conference or other event, where the author in 30 seconds or less, lets the person they’re talking to know about thier book. Then there’s some conversation as the publisher/agent finds out more. After the workshop, Mr. Draude was kind enough to take a few pitches. Four authors were brave enough to do it.

Author and Blogger, Sharon Day

Later that evening, we had a meet and greet where authors, mostly confined to their tables on Saturday, have a chance to mingle and meet each other. Sponsors and town officials are also invited. I sat and talked with author Sharon Day. She’s a fantastic blogger over on http://sharondaybooks.blogspot.com/. I was asking her how to increase the followers on my blog and one answer was to blog every day.

My mind boggles. But she said it doesn’t have to be a huge post. It can be short and funny, even.

So. Here I am. Recuperating from getting the book festival off of the ground for another year, starting my daily blogging habit. I email 75 people my blog. Let’s see if the number goes up. Can you help? Share my blog with interested friends and family. I’d like to get my reader number up into the thousands. Think big or go home, right?

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.

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Fun at MysteryCon: Monday Blog Post

AZMysteryCon.com Friday Night Book Selling

AZMysteryCon.com Friday Night Book Selling

Newest News:

I’m back from the MysteryCon in Scottsdale. We had a good time Friday evening with an author signing. Lucky us, we were right across the lobby from the Happy Hour so a lot of people came in and talked with us and I even sold a few books! Yay!  A lovely young woman won the first bracelet on Friday night.

Saturday was more about presentations with the book selling room opening from noon to four, when the con was over. I had a lot of fun getting to know the other authors and met a few that are scheduled to come to the July Payson Book Festival. I have a lot of swag and won 2 bottles of wine! On my second bracelet? No one signed up for the giveaway. That’s okay. I have it for the book festival.

Now it’s time to get some books ordered for July.

Giveaways:

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway closes in about 10 days. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook or for second prize, a $5 Amazon card. There are other prizes as well. Over a hundred prizes plus a grand prize. It’s not hard to enter and there are multiple ways to enter. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, please enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Author L. M. Hinkey

A shout-out goes to my next author interview, Lynne Hinkey. Lynne’s interview will appear on Wednesday, the 8th. Yep! This Wednesday. Don’t miss out on Lynne’s interview and a little bit about her. Can’t wait? Check out her site: http://www.lynnehinkey.com

Garden News:

Last week I bought some hot and sweet green peppers and put half in the garden the day before I left for MysteryCon. Bad time to plant, it’s been 99 – 100 degrees here (it was 115 in Phoenix!) but when I got home, the plants were mostly fine. I suspect chipmunks, one has been investigating my back yard for the last couple of weeks, ate my hot chili pepper plants! I hope they got heartburn. Anyway, the little buggers left some stem and leaves so maybe the plants will recover.

The soil was bone dry when I watered Sunday morning so I watered heavily and planted bean (pole string and yellow beans), butternut squash, and Swiss Chard. I suspect I’ll have to protect the seedlings when they pop up. Birds, especially like sprouted bean seeds.  So now the garden is fully planted. The tomatoes I bought from the garden club are doing fine, blossoms and tiny green tomatoes are evident. The zucchini I bought has lost the tiny zucchini and the original leaves but new leaves and blossoms are evident so I just have to wait a little longer.  How’s your garden doing?

Where Will I Be?:

pbflogoorig1446X1253pxcroppedcontrast

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival, partly funded by the Arizona Humanities. I’ll be at my table all day, ready to talk to YOU! I hope you can make it as we will have over 70 authors attending as well as music, food, author presentations and workshops. It will be stupendous! www.paysonbookfestival.org and click on the Meet the Authors tab.

FallFest2016

9th annual Fall Festival in Pine, AZ. October 8th and 9th. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html. I’ll be there all weekend as part of the local author book signing. My hubby will be there as part of the chili cook-off at noon. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention musing and food!

Want more details about these events? Click here for more information.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

I’m in the middle of the Zoe Ohale re-write. If you’re a Brown Rain Series fan, I think you’ll like Zoe Ohale. Just 17, Zoe has been an orphan living on the streets of Baia Mare since she was 12. Street smart and fiercely independent, Zoe has been offered the chance to move back into legal society by the police officer that arrested her a few months ago. But first, she has to help protect the little kids in her group, help her friend save her father from assassination, and find a criminal ring that just stole all of the physical credits being delivered to the Planetary Bank of Baia Mare. The book, the first of a series, should be out in August, if I can find time to work on it between the Book Festival and the Fair.

Kindred Spirits released on March 14th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

Feel free to share this blog post with others who may be interested.

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Author Interview: Chevoque!

Chevoque

Chevoque

I’m so happy to introduce author Chevoque! She writes contemporary, historical, and paranormal stories, among other things. If you’re looking for stories with an international flair, Chevoque may just be what you’ve been searching for. Here’s a little bit about Chevoque.

I was born as Rochelle de Beer on 15 May 1992 in Klerksdorp, South Africa, and as an only child, the world seemed like a lonely place, until I set my mind free and got lost in the worlds I created myself. My writing started at a young age and with numerous stories still waiting to be released from my mind, only time now seems to hold me back. I also have a degree in BSc. Environmental and Biological Sciences, because I’m a tree-hugging animal lover, who hopes to never use my degree to cause cruelty.

Cover Just Like You

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

Writing used to be just a hobby, but now as a full-time author, I have to say photography and photoshop are past-times I can’t get enough of.  Which is likely a good thing, as I have created most of my covers myself and I enjoy doing digital art as well, so all those things combined sure keeps me sane.

 

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

Sir David Attenborough.

I will shamelessly admit that I envy all the things he has done and all the things he has achieved.  I primarily decided to do a degree in BSc. Botany and Zoology, because of all the amazing TV shows I had watched of him growing up.  So an afternoon with tea and a long conversation with him would be a bucket list tick down I hope to actually one day achieve.

 

Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

I’m a sucker for caffeine! Be it in the form of coffee, I love Nescafé’s Alta Rica and Rosabaya blends the most and when it comes to tea, I love Rooibos and Lager’s is my absolute favourite.  Apart from that, I love a Steelworks when it is hot, so basically in South Africa, that means every day.

 

What are you working on right now?

The Marked Series, it is a two book series about two different people, who have birthmarks on their faces, and how they deal with being different in a society where looks are everything.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

Easy with a lot of South African flare…or so I hope.  I use South African slang, as there really is no better way to describe some situations than with a few proudly South African trimmings, but I do keep in mind that most of my readers are international.  Thus, I always keep it descriptive enough so all can enjoy the sarcasm or jokes, because I love adding humour in everything I do, while never forgetting to add a cause/theme to my books.

 

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

Don’t think you can’t and never aspire.  Only be.

If you take the time; wrote your heart out, sold your soul and nearly lost yourself in your own mind, you’ve proved yourself worthy to be known as an author.

 

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

They come to me in whatever I do, I can literally be out to buy some groceries and then I’ll need to rush home to get the idea down, before it slips from my mind.  Or I can even be working on something and then I’ll hear a song (I love music) and then everything will be put on hold, so I can get this new idea down.  Thus I own four notebooks filled with ideas for books and it grows every week!

 

Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/ZaDsnM

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChevoquePublic/

Newsletter: http://goo.gl/ME5hsS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Chevoque

Website: http://goo.gl/X9ifYB

 

Thank you so much, Chevoque! I appreciate you taking time from a busy schedule to tell us about yourself and your books.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please go to Chevoque’s website, facebook or twitter page or sign up for her newsletter. You’ll be glad you did.

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Cover Art Inspirations: Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

Mystery at the Fair New Cover2

Mystery at the Fair, New Cover!

Cover art is such a personal thing, isn’t it? For me, cover art that screams SciFi will draw me in any time. Spaceships seeming to scream through space, exploding planets, people adrift in space in space suits. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff. But what about other genre’s. I read widely, what attracts me to those other stories?

I’m not sure I can answer that. I’d off-handedly say the covers have nothing to do with it but marketers will statistically prove me wrong. I like adventure, spy stories, mysteries, even the odd western will catch my eye. Was it the cover or the back cover blurb? Many will say I was drawn in by the cover art.

But cover art, now that’s an arcane wizardry. Last year I wrote my first cozy mystery. I mostly do my own covers so I did a search on Amazon for cozy mysteries and found a mix of cartoon characters and English cottage gardens as covers. I shrugged. Neither of those were what I wanted for a cover that evoked Arizona, serious, or murder. The book was called Mystery at the Fair.

Not surprisingly, I decided on a fair ride picture hubby had taken years ago. I cut it out of the picture, pixilated it a bit to make it “cartoonish” and placed it, stand alone, against an Arizona yellow background. This year I hear from a trusted author friend, that the cover is killing me. While I trust this friend’s judgment, she is a much better author than I am, I reached out to another author, even more powerful.

Now this second author isn’t a personal friend. I frequent her blog site. I’ve been responding to her posts for a few years now. I did not expect an answer but this author is so nice, she actually responded to my question (and with associated links so she could see what I was talking about). Yep, you guessed it. She confirmed my first friend’s assessment. My cover sucked for the genre.

Now I hate those cutsie cartoon covers for cozy mysteries. No matter it’s a cozy, it’s a mystery. A death is involved. I think the cover should be more serious but I will defer to those smarter and savvier than I am.

Here’s the best part. My first author friend, out of the kindness of her heart, found some time in her overwhelming schedule and made me not only one cover for my existing book but one for my upcoming follow-on book as well. Am I blessed or what!?!?

The new covers rock! She even sent me all of the elements so I can recreate the ebook covers she made into wrap-around covers for my print books. I have everything I need to create a branded series because I’ve already started outlining the third book in the series. I’m not even going to address how she turned what I already in the way of blurbs and log lines into a fantastic tag line for the whole series.

I’m excited to recover/rebrand my first book and the subsequent books. You can tell me covers don’t matter but I’ve been up close and personal with my covers and I’m a new convert. Yes, covers DO matter.

How about you? Do you remember a cover that just sucked you right into the book? Please share!

Kindred Spirits released March 14th! I’m so excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today!  You can also see all of my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com! Up next: L.C. Aisling.

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A Friend Visit: Monday Blog Post

Me on the left and friend J.A. Marlow on the right at Montezuma's Castle National Monument

Me on the left and friend J.A. Marlow on the right at Montezuma’s Castle National Monument

Have you had a close friend visit you? One that hasn’t been to your area before? I love it! I get to show off the best stuff in my town and surrounding countryside. All the best tourist stuff. All the best restaurants. Saturday we went to the Montezuma Castle and then the Montezuma Well. Okay, look them up, central Arizona, Verde Valley! Anyway, we felt a nosh coming on and supper with brother-in-law many hours away. So we stopped in the tiny town outside of Montezuma’s Well called Rimrock, AZ, and stopped in this restaurant we’ve never been to before. It’s called Vintage Café on the left side of the road as you drive to Montezuma’s Well. It’s also in a depression, only the sign sticking up. Do not let that deter you. This is a fabulous place. It’s in a new building with a fantastic patio. The interior is hallmarked with black and white checks which the wait staff uniforms reflect. They are knowledgeable and friendly. Even before I tasted the food I could tell from the menu that I wanted that place transported to my town of Payson. The chef is knowledgeable with food allergies, I’m celiac after all. As I expected after just seeing the restaurant and the menu, the food was To. Die. For. Hubby had an appetizer (we were having his brother over in just 4 hours for dinner) of chicken wings. He pronounced them the best he had ever had. My friend and fellow author, J.A. Marlow, http://jamarlow.com/,  had a BBQ sandwich which she absolutely loved. I ordered an appetizer of 3 mini-tacos, filled with barbeque pork topped with a jalepeno slaw and it came with a small side salad of red and green cabbage, sweet dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and a finely chopped green which may have been kale but I’m just guessing. It was delicious! The best little side salad I think I’ve ever had. Best of all it was not drowning in dressing. I love that light touch. The mini taco’s were not too spicy, despite the jalapeno warning. Anyway, I’m totally recommending this place. Drive a long way, it’s worth it.

You all, I was on coolerbs.com site last week and I loved it. He has such a great blog. Did you miss it? Not to worry. Check out http://coolerbs.com/2016/02/17/connie-cockrell-what-it-means-to-be-a-writer/ and read my guest blog. Check out the rest of his site while you’re there. He’s a great guy and a wonderful author. Stay tuned for his guest blog to my site!

Since I’ve had company I haven’t gotten into my final edit and the formatting for Kindred Spirits. I know! I seem like such a powerhouse! Still, I’m only one person and there are only 24 hours in a day. I’ll get it done, I promise. Time is about out for people interested in receiving an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. So if you’d like an advance copy, let me know today! You’ll want to get this in advance of your friends.

Just to let you know, the next Author Interview is Wednesday, the 24th, with the fabulous D’Elen McClain (http://wickedstorytelling.com/). I was so pleased when she agreed to be one of my author interviews. Watch for it on Wednesday!

I’ve not mentioned the Payson Book Festival in awhile. The second year is definitely on and planning is going full throttle. New this year is a pre-event, a poetry slam for the youth of the area to be held sometime in June. Organized by the Arizona Humanities Council, it’s being supported by not only the Payson Book Festival but by the Payson Ministerial Christian Fellowship. They’re publicizing and fully supporting this opportunity for the youth of this area to become involved in the expression of the written and spoken word. Not only that! We’re having a special event for authors arriving early with a workshop on publishing. We’ll have a panel of publishers here to talk about the current state of publishing and answering our author’s questions. These are two wonderful additions to the festival and we couldn’t be more happy to add them to our calendar of events.

It’s still February and even in central Arizona that means a slow growth time. However, those sprouts in the deep garden bed are certainly green onions. I have begun watering since there hasn’t been any precipitation here for at least three weeks. I’ll have to water out in the front yard too as the lavender is growing and the one flower pot out front has hyacinth. But they’ve migrated to the bottom of the pot. What that means is that they expend all of their energy getting shoots to the surface. I get no flowers. A disappointment. Why don’t I dig them up and get them nearer the surface? Because I have marigold seed scattered across the top of the soil. If I disturb the soil, I lose the marigold. If I leave the pot as is, I lose the hyacinth. It’s a difficult decision.

Used my new patio door for Saturday’s dinner with brother-in-law and my friend. I LOVE being able to get in and out of the door with trays without turning sideways. So happy with my decision to have the work done.

Our new giveaway is called Luck O’ The Authors. This is going to end at midnight St. Patrick’s Day. That means a lot fewer contestants. Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter. Even if you’ve sighed up for all of the authors, there are daily ways to win. Check it out!

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’m about to send out my February newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is shareable, send it to whomever you think will like it. You’ve already missed out on great offers. Sign up now.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Merry-Go-Round Post: Favorites from 2015

Nettle pod 2015 by Randy Cockrell

Nettle pod 2015 by Randy Cockrell

Oh my! New stuff!

So much has happened to me this year I really need to think about what is new and what isn’t.

One thing that is new is my love of a new to me author, Nevada Barr. I started writing cozy fiction last year and published my first work this year. See the subtle nudge at the end of this post. Anyway, my brother-in-law lent me his collection of Nevada Barr stories set around her protagonist Anna Pigeon. I love this series. First of all Anna Pigeon is my kind of gal. She loves the outdoors, fancy dress is not for her and to be honest, she likes her cat better than most people. What is not to love? I’ve read mystery for years, starting with Miss Marple stories by Agatha Christie. Anyway, I thought it was time to read some newer stuff. There is SO much out there and to be honest, I love it all. Anyway. If you’re looking for some new mystery fiction, check out Nevada Barr.

Want to read more? Click here.
Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. I’m also selling directly. You can find my work on www.gumroad.com/conniecockrell.  If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads.com/conniecockrell. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

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Monday Blog Post: Back from the InD’Scribe Conference

InD'Scribe Reader-Writer Conference

At my Signing Table at the InD’Scribe Reader-Writer Conference by Connie Cockrell

I spent the weekend at the InD’Tale Magazine, InD’Scribe Reader-Writer Conference in Palm Springs, California. Let me start by saying that I had a blast and learned so much! The cherry on the top of the cake, though, was the opportunity to meet SO many fantastic authors.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you saw a few of the pictures I took over the course of the conference. Thursday we started the event and had a great time getting to know each other. We did a mini-writing afternoon, huddled around a table pool-side, writing, editing or outlining with occasional breaks to ask each other brainstorming questions. How great was that!

Friday began the official conference and there were both book signings and presentations. I managed to attend two of the presentations.

The facility: Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center. It’s not a huge facility so the conference felt intimate and very comfortable. Amenities included a pool, spa, gymnasium, and enough meeting rooms and ballrooms to accommodate all of our needs. Hotel staff were pleasant and extremely helpful. The hotel even had a shuttle that will take the resident to historic downtown Palm Springs so the guest (you!) can park your car and enjoy your weekend.

This was my very first writer’s conference and I’m so happy I chose to attend this one. But, you may be thinking, why attend what’s primarily a Romance conference when you don’t write romance? For one reason, I came with my friend, D’Elen McClain, WickedStoryTelling.com. We live in the same town and drove to the conference together. She introduced me to a lot of authors and showed me the “ropes”. Additionally, romance authors are smart, savvy business people. I wanted to “up” my game, so who better to talk to and learn from than the authors at this gathering.

The last night, Saturday, of the conference held the RONE awards. Some of my favorite friends, new and old, were listed in the winners and honorable mentions: Susan Griscom, Marsha Ward, and Donna Michaels. Wow. I was so impressed at how close the competitions were.

The pictures are from the conference. I apologize for the late posting. I’m so tired but happy. I hope to see you at my next event. I’m signing in Gloversville, NY at the Mohawk Valley Cooperative on Main Street, on October 10th from 9am to Noon. I hope to see you there. Bring one of my books or buy it there and I’ll be happy to sign it.

 

Author Friend Boost! Susan Griscom. Her newest book, A Gypsy’s Kiss, is the first in an eight book series, The Sectorium.  Here’s a description.

Breena Cassidy 

Cursed with what could be one of the worst supernatural abilities imaginable, Breena has never had the luxury of falling in love. Hell, she’s never even held a guy’s hand. At only twenty-two years old, she’s just about given up on the whole love thing. After all, when you can see twelve hours of someone’s future by a simple touch, and they, in turn, can see what you see, well… relationships are sort of out of the question. Her gigs performing psychic readings at parties, and the occasional one-on-one private appointment are just about Breena’s only connection with people. No matter how much she might wish otherwise.

Hawk Covington

Hawk’s hard body and skill have earned him a starting position on the Pioneer’s college hockey team. But it’s not his talent with a hockey stick that’s the most remarkable. His gorgeous two-colored eyes not only draw the attention of every female on campus, they also allow him to track people and objects. But when he suddenly finds himself stalked by a stranger, he seeks out the help of the rumored, “campus gypsy” for help.

Despite his vow to stay single and play as many college women as he can while the fun lasts, Hawk can’t ignore his attraction to the lovely and spirited Breena. And she can’t get the hunky star hockey player out of her mind once a single touch of his hand reveals something utterly strange. Surrounded by mystery, they realize that fate has brought them together for a reason, but can they stay alive long enough to recognize the depth of their feelings for one another? 

You can find more at: http://www.susangriscom.com/

Writing progress. On Thursday of the conference I managed a chapter on Mystery in the Woods. I also did more outlining on my November National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) project. I haven’t titled the story yet but it’s going to be a Zoe Ohale story. I’ve written two short Zoe stories. One will be published on my web site as a free flash. The other one is in the Forward Motion anthology for this year. It will be released in October or November. I’ll keep you posted.

Now that I’m back from the conference, it’s time to get ready for October. I haven’t finished writing the Friday Flash stories for October. It’s a lot of writing and I’ve decided to write all horror/Halloween type stories for October. I already have six title prompts to work from.  I only have a few days to get this done. I also must get my October Chicklets in the Kitchen post written. I have the pictures done. It’s just a matter of writing it up and getting it posted. On Thursday I’m on tap to attend the Strawberry Author’s group meeting and teach them a little about CreateSpace. If you’re an author and would like to learn more about self-publishing, please stop by.

I’m totally up on conniesrandomthoughts.com.  I’ve put a notice up on my WordPress blog so my readers can find me. Be sure to follow me at my new website. I stopped posting to the WordPress site (www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com) after Friday August 7th.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I put a special offer up in my July newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blogs. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, too. Don’t delay. The September newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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New Appearance Date

I moved to Arizona in July of 2010 from upstate New York. My hubby and I love it here. So much so that we haven’t been back to visit friends and family in the five years we’ve been here.

So this year we’ve decided to go back to NY and visit. Since I’ll be in my hometown, I thought it would be cool to do a book signing. I contacted the Mohawk Harvest Co-op on Main St. in Gloversville and spoke with Chris, the manager of the co-op.

He’s all for my doing a book signing at his store! So on October 10th, 10am – noon, I’ll be at the Mohawk Harvest Co-operative Market, 30 N. Main St., Gloversville NY.

Come on by, get some wonderful food and chat with me.

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Monday Blog Post: Payson Book Festival Report

Main Room, Payson Book Festival, by Randy Cockrell

Main Room, Payson Book Festival, by Randy Cockrell

The first ever Payson Book Festival (www.PaysonBookFestival.org) is over and we’re calling it a success. Authors made sales and met new readers. Visitors found new authors and old favorites. There was music, presentations, workshops, Story Monster, food and books. Lots and lots of books. We are only estimating at this point but we think we had 500 visitors at the festival. We’re very happy of course, but very tired. It turned into a bigger event that we had initially anticipated but the wide variety of authors and things to do, including breakfast and lunch, made the festival a place where many people lingered for quite awhile. Soon we’ll have some festival pictures available to post on the above website. Take a look!

J.A. Marlow and Connie Cockrell talking to Readers photo by Randy Cockrell

J.A. Marlow and Connie Cockrell talking to Readers photo by Randy Cockrell

My personal day statistics? I sold 11 books and passed out my card to many people and chatted with even more. I also had the opportunity to speak with a great many of my fellow authors. I even received an offer of a speaking engagement. I also was able to spend the day with four author friends. Two of them J.A.Marlow (http://jamarlow.com/) and Sunny Lewis shared my table and my friend D’Elen McClain (www.wickedstorytelling.com) was right next door on my right and another, Sharon Langdale, (http://sharonlangdale.com) on my left. It was a fantastic opportunity. Here’s my Amazon Author page link. http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009O6199C

Mystery at the Fair is released on Amazon. I’m working on the formatting for Smashwords so I can put it up on Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. See the link at the end to Amazon’s Mystery at the Fair page.

Camp NaNo progresses but after I reached 30K words and with the Book Festival and the Meet and Greet looming, I just couldn’t get any words last week. So, I gave myself permission to take the rest of the week off and got out from under all of the stress I was self-creating. I felt better for it and on Sunday, sat down and wrote. Yay! I won’t make my goal of 50,000 but I may make 40K. Not half bad and Mystery in the Woods will be half done.

I also need to edit my entry in the Forward Motion anthology. I titled it Betrayal Moon. The anthology prompt was rogues and reprobates and I think I found a good protagonist for this prompt. The anthology is due out in October so I need to hurry!

The garden is looking wonderful. I’ve picked more zucchini though the straight neck yellow squash has produced nothing this year. It flowers but I’m getting no fruit. Perhaps I needed two of them? I’m in the process of not watering the bed where the mint has run amok. Letting that bed go until I can dig out all of the mint roots. Sunday I cut a bunch of it out, prepping for the digging. The tomatoes are looking good even though none are ripe yet. So far I’ve picked six hornworms out of the tomatoes. The cantaloupe is looking good though the little pillbugs like to eat it from underneath. I’ll have to take drastic measures. Also on Sunday, I picked a basketful of peaches. The apples must also be ripe because Sunday morning a herd of javalina were in the yard eating all of the low hanging apples. Hubby caught a picture of them.

Javalina eating my Apples. Photo by Randy Cockrell

Javalina eating my Apples. Photo by Randy Cockrell

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I have a special offer going up in my newsletter so sign up today! Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blogs.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Monday Blog Post: Birthday News

Payson Book Festival, Banner,  Chamber of Commerce

Payson Book Festival Banner at the Chamber of Commerce

There’s only 7 more days until the festival and we’re finalizing all of the tiny details required to be completed before we have our author Meet and Greet on Friday and the Festival on Saturday. Banners have been hung around town. TV, Radio, Blog and Newspaper interviews have been conducted all over Arizona. Posters are up. We’re ready!  I hope you can make it to Payson on July 25th, 9am – 4pm, and stop by the festival to say hello!

If you missed any of the interviews or media releases or want to read the proclamation, click here to find everything.

So Friday was my birthday. A hiking friend of mine had her birthday a week earlier. We’re the same age. Twins! So we had a joint birthday party on Saturday.  We belong to many of the same groups so we sent out an email to all of our friends to join us. We had a blast. Burgers and dogs, salads, cake, cookies, watermelon and oh, way too much food! Below is a picture from the party.

Birthday Cake, Connie, Ruth

Birthday Cake for Connie and Ruth

Mystery at the Fair is released! I’m happy that I have it done and was able to buy copies to have for the Book Festival. So far it’s only up on Amazon. Soon I’ll have it up on other sites: Apple, Barnes and Noble, and a few others.

Camp NaNo progresses. I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to hold two major functions, release a book, and write 50K in a month but there you go, certifiably crazy. As of today I have over 30,000 words.  I’m working on the second Jean Hays series book, Mystery in the Woods. When will it be out, you ask? No idea. I have two other books, that I wrote in April, waiting for editing. Maybe you can tell I’m not as enthusiastic about the editing and rewriting part as I am about writing the first draft.

The garden is looking wonderful. I’ve picked four zuchinni already and harvested the potatoes. Now I’m in the process of not water the bed where the mint has run amok. I’m going to have to let that bed go until I can dig out all of the mint. The tomatoes are looking good even though none are ripe yet. This is Tomato Hornworm season so I have to carefully examine the plants. The damage a tomato hornworm can do is incredible.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I have a special offer going up in my newsletter, sign up today! Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote their books. Thanks in advance.

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