Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: What I’ve Learned from my Favorite Authors

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Cover Reveal by Connie Cockrell

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Series by Connie Cockrell

Last month we talked about my favorite genre being Science Fiction. I read a lot before then but other than Gone With the Wind, which I first read at twelve, I don’t remember any of the stories. I was a regular at the classroom library and the school library but there was no lasting impression.

What did impress me was that box of books I mentioned last month. Notable in there were books of short stories by Robert Heinlein and Issac Asimov. I fell in love with Heinlein’s, Podkayne of Mars, and Asimov’s robot stories. In high school I dove into the much larger science fiction section. There I found Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula LeGuin. As a young adult I found C.J. Cherryh and Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon.

Now there are newer authors like Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Each of these authors is skilled at world building. They can transport me, for an afternoon at least, to another world. Usually one with more problems than we have right here but in the long run the hero or heroine saves the planet by challenging the status quo and insisting that their society do the right thing.

I suppose I’m in love with these authors’ ability to take a look at existing problems and come up with a new solution. They also alert us to the possible consequences of what we’re doing right now. Whether that’s environmental disaster or Artificial Intelligences, makes no difference. They can point and say, “Look! This is what might happen if we don’t smarten up!” This has influenced me greatly in my outlook on new technology and in my optimism that somehow, we’ll get through these problems.

So, for me, it wasn’t one author, it was the whole field of speculative fiction. How about you? Do you have an author who has influenced you? Share in the comments!

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.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling 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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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: What Genres do I like to Read and Write?

A New Start: A Gulliver Station Story

A New Start: A Gulliver Station Story

My very favorite genre is Science Fiction. When I was a young teen my friend received a whole box of SciFi books from someone who gave them away for a paper drive. I spent the whole summer with my nose in those books. I found the worlds fantastic and the ability of Science Fiction to explore an alternate way of life has not lost its charm for me yet.

I also like mystery stories. I discovered Miss Marple, by Agatha Christie when I was 19. I thought it was wonderful that an old lady was going around solving murders. This might have been the first time I was exposed to the idea that the elderly could do more than sit around in a rocking chair, knitting.

Then there are the westerns. I live in Zane Grey country and so many of his stories have been made into movies that I’ve lost count. Really, who doesn’t love Sam Elliott in a Zane Grey western? What I like about western stories is the thought of taking off from settled towns and cities and travelling thousands of miles in horse-drawn wagons and making a new life for yourself. Actually, westerns and scifi have a lot in common. The same themes seem to run through both genres.

Other genres I read? Thrillers, Spy Novels, Women’s fiction, Young Adult, I read it all. If the story sounds promising on the back of the book, I’ll look at the first chapter. After that I’m sold.

As to what I write? I’ve written SciFi: My Gulliver Station and Brown Rain series. I’ve written Fantasy: Lost Rainbows, and I’ve written Mystery: Mystery at the Fair, the first of my Jean Hays series. I’ve written westerns too, though only as short stories so far, and posted them on my blog. I haven’t tried my hand at a spy novel or a thriller yet. I have drafted a Young Adult, It’s All About College. It’s waiting to be edited.

What are your favorite genres to read?

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.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling 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: Website Update

Garden, Produce, Connie Cockrell

Garden Produce by Connie Cockrell

Update on the new website: managed to get a follow button posted so you all can receive the blog posts. That has been a major headache for me but I’ve finally figured it out. It’s now the top thing on the right-hand side of the home page. After that is the follow buttons for other social media. Don’t be shy! Go ahead, follow me on those as well!

I picked peaches from my tree on Saturday. There are some left, hard to get to. I’ve decided the birds can have those. Also on Saturday I picked a good number of cherry tomatoes, several cantaloupe, two zucchini which have gotten too big, and one New Mexico chili still green. The chili received full sun and had some sun scald so I decided not to wait for it to turn red but to pick and use it on tonight’s dinner. I put the cherry tomatoes in a bowl on the counter. We all love to go over there when we’re trolling the kitchen and grab a handful to snack on. Yummy.

Author Friend Boost! D’Elen McClain. She has just released her newest book, Dragons Live for Ever. Here’s a description.

It’s Tahr, my silver dragon’s turn to find happiness. And of course it doesn’t come without him growing up and changing his perspective. It seems like I’ve been waiting so long to tell his story. I also hope I answer many of the questions readers have had about my world building.

 

Just a little secret… I take you on a quick trip back to Bastian, Laryn, Sarn and Tahr’s youth and also relive the day the curse began. The story has been in my head and it was so nice to have it come alive.

 

I’m going to miss these characters so much. Eventually I’ll need to drop in and see how they’re doing and I promise to share the experience with you.

 

I humbly ask my readers to leave a review where you purchased the book. It’s the nicest thing besides buying my work that you can do for me. Thank you and enjoy Tahr and his adventure as he discovers his mate in his own back yard.

 

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z2QH7H6
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Z2QH7H6
iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/qxt58hc
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/nck4lju

 

I have been checking out the indie publishing site Draft 2 Digital. A site that helps put an author’s manuscript up on electronic book sales sites. I may try it for my next book. It looks helpful and a good many other authors have recommended it highly. As a reader, you probably won’t notice anything different but for me, the reduction of formatting time will be a tremendous thing.

Betrayal Moon for the Forward Motion anthology is at the editors. I should hear from them this week.  The deadline for that story is September 1st and I’m close to that now.  I finished turning Gold Dream into a short story. I’ve been letting it simmer for a week to give myself some perspective before I start my first edit/rewrite pass. I have a limited number of words to work with, 8,000, and the story is nearly at the limit so I’ll have to be careful with my edits. That deadline is September 15th so I need to get in gear on this one too. This week I’ve gone back to writing Mystery in the Woods, the second book in the Jean Hays series that I started in July. I managed nearly 4,000 words on it this week and have enjoyed getting back into that story.

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’ve 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.

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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Chicklets in the Kitchen: Pasta Primavera

Pasta, Primavera, Ingredients

Pasta Primavera Ingredients

It’s summer and the Farmer’s Market is overflowing with fresh, beautiful vegetables. We’re fortunate enough in our area that we have local dairies as well, both fresh cow’s milk butter and cheeses and goat’s milk cheeses and delicacies. If you haven’t been to your Farmer’s Market yet this year, you’re missing out. Last Saturday I scored marvelous young Swiss Chard, just picked cherry tomatoes, and fresh goat cheese. I had a plan when I went, you see, to pick up just those luscious things for Saturday night dinner, Pasta Primavera.

Pasta Primavera is great for whatever vegetables you happen to pick up at the market or what’s growing in your garden. You can substitute whatever you have for what I used. Feel free to mix and match.

Read the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen

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Merry Go Round Blog Tour: Beach Reads

Beach, Scene, Randy Cockrell

Beach Scene by Randy Cockrell

I’ll have to admit. My To Be Read (TBR) pile is full of adventure stories. I like adventure, always have. These are the easy Clive Cussler, James Patterson, stories that just take you from scene to scene, leaving you breathless at the end. Then there’s the pile of cozy mysteries by Nevada Barr. I haven’t started these yet but they’re as much research into the current cozy mystery scene as they are pleasure reading.

After that are the TBR’s I have on Goodreads, modern SciFi and Fantasy by Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig. And the women’s fiction, such as Hild by Nicola Griffith.

If you’re a reader, you know what it’s like. There are so many books out there. The few I’ve mentioned here are just a light dusting of all of the stories I want to read. Then we get to the delivery method.

If you’re actually travelling this summer, you want to take a Kindle or ereader of some sort. Then you can read those novels as fast as you want because you can have hundreds of them on call, ready to read when you finish the last book. If you’re like me and vacation isn’t until October, I still want to get my reading fix. So, I pull from the pile on my bed stand and dresser. Probably about 3 square feet at this point. Then, of course, the large number I have downloaded onto our ancient Kindle. So many SciFi and Fantasy stories are there, just waiting for me to read them.

So, what’s the point? Easy. I have a book ready, at all times. And in multiple genres. Are they all literary gems? No, not so much. But I read for pleasure as well as for education. It’s OK to read fun stuff. Stuff that makes your heart race. Stuff that makes you wonder about how the world could be different. Stuff that takes you back in time and lets you get a feel for what it was like to live in a different era with different mores and culture.

So let’s read. The adventures, the scifi, the romances, it’s all good. Really. Pick up a book!

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling 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: Small Town Fun

Monster Mudder, Water Slide,  Randy Cockrell

Monster Mudder Water Slide by Randy Cockrell

Summer fun is in full swing in my little town. Friday was the first Friday of the month so some of the options for Friday night were a wine tasting at The Beverage Store and First Friday at the Down The Street art gallery where a person can look at and buy some of the wonderful selections of paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other art made by local artists. They offer a free glass of wine and various appetizers and this Friday, they also had the local drama club offer a one act play! Over at the Community Presbyterian Church, was a Jazz concert. Saturday was huge. See a picture from above from the Mogollon Monster Mountain days. There were ATV trail rides and the Monster Mudder. A wonderful 5K obstacle course race that had about 600 participants. Did I mention it rained for the first time in recorded weather keeping for Arizona on Friday and Saturday morning? Lots of muddy fun. Then there was the Farmers Market and in Pine, running all weekend, was the Craft Fair. I took my mom and she bought a cute little tea cup with a strainer basket that fits right inside and a cover to keep your tea hot while it steeps. Then Saturday evening was the concert in the park. This week it was a lovely group of a cappella singers with a doo wop focus. We were all singing along. So what happens in your town on the weekend? Lots of fun? Picnics? Concerts?

Over at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com I put up a button to advertise the upcoming Payson Book Festival. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to the www.PaysonBookFestival.org. Check out the Meet the Authors tab. We have SIXTY authors coming to the event. You’re sure to find a book or topic that interests you. We also are archiving the radio interviews of authors that will be at the Festival. Check out the Media tab, Interviews. There’s a new one every Friday until the Festival. The next one is my friend Susan Haught!

I’ll be closing down www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll notice at the top of the web page the notice. Please do transfer over to the website. I’d hate to lose you all.

Mystery at the Fair came back from the editors and I’ve read through the comments. This was a content edit. That means the editor was looking for places in the story where I may need to ramp up the action, tighten the dialog, that sort of thing. I want this book out for the July Festival so I need to get cracking on the re-writes. I’ll keep you posted.

The unexpected rain last Friday and Saturday were a wonderful gift for us gardeners. I still need to get my tomatoes, peppers and such. That bush I pulled out? Yep, I went to the garden center and replaced it with lavender. I can hardly wait for it to bloom.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re interested, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! 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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Merry-Go-Round Post for May: In Memoriam or My Favorite Stories

Books, Library, Connie Cockrell

Books in my Library by Connie Cockrell

I was a pre-teen when I discovered science fiction. I was a reader before then and not the easy stuff either. I read Gone With the Wind when I was twelve. I wonder now what the librarian who checked out the book for me thought but she never said a word about the appropriateness of that title for a 12-year-old.

My first SciFi authors? E.E. “Doc” Smith, Robert Heinlein, Issac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke, all sadly gone now. No one told me that those books were for boys. I read through them avidly and reread them over and over. If you haven’t read Doc Smith’s the Lensman, it can be kind of dated but the last book in the series really shows women in a strong light and the ultimate conclusion must have been controversial at the time. Probably still is. No spoilers, read the series.

Then I found Andre Norton and Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey, who is thankfully still with us. As a retired USAF Master Sergeant, military SciFi really appeals to me and Elizabeth Moon’s books are a delight to read as are C.J. Cherryh’s. You can tell from the author list that I’m as comfortable with the hard SciFi as with the softer SciFi and fantasy. I love them all.

But it’s not just SciFi, mystery is also a favorite. Who hasn’t read Miss Marple by Agatha Christie, or Ellery Queen or Dashielle Hammett or Raymond Chandler, even Issac Asimov wrote mysteries. Modern mystery authors range from Dan Brown and Steven King to Mary Higgins Clark and Robin Cook. So many delicious tales from cosy’s to hard-boiled detective stories.

There are so many books out there and really, so very little time. I hope I’ve mentioned an author or a book that piques your interest. Go to your library and pick up something you haven’t tried before. I think you’ll like it.
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling 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: Updates for May

Bird, Rufous-sided Towhee, Randy Cockrell

Rufous-sided Towhee by Randy Cockrell

This month’s challenge is called May Story A Day, May SAD and I committed to write 10 stories for the month and actually shoot for 12. As of the 16th, I have 6 stories written, 5 flashes and a short story. In my other writing group I’m in a 5 minutes per day writing challenge. I’m supposed to write at least 5 minutes per day. I’m keeping up with the 5 minutes of writing per day pretty well. I have missed a day or two but I’ve been diligent about putting something on the screen every day.

Our illness appears to be over. There is still some coughing but we felt well enough to go hiking last Tuesday. Probably not our best move. We hadn’t fully recovered yet and the hike wiped us both out. We’ll be better on this Tuesday, really, we will.

Last week I mentioned that I’ve upgraded my newsletter. I’m also upgrading my website. I now have a basic site up and running at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com. Notice there is no more wordpress in the URL. I’ll be closing down www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. Go check up the new site and follow that before you lose out on weekly stories and my writing updates!

I have finished content editing Eavesdroppers  but the problem is the story ended up 600 words too long. I’ve been cutting words without cutting the changes however I still have 150 or so words to go. The editors at Silver Jay Media have offered to help me with it and I think I will. Then I’ll go to the line edits.

The Payson Book Festival is now hot and heavy into finalizing author lists and starting up the production of a print program for the event. We have so many great authors, sponsors, and vendors; we hope to get a great program that attendees will treasure for a long time to come. Want to help the book festival this year? Buy an ad! Mark your calendar to come to Payson for July 25th to meet us. We’d love to chat with you.

Today’s picture is a rufous-sided towhee sitting on top of the metal hook that holds the hummingbird feeder. A handsome bird.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re interested, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: April – On Line Communities for Readers

Books, Connie Cockrell

Books by Connie Cockrell

Uh oh, you caught me. I’ll have to confess that I don’t know about online reader communities. I should, as an author, have a whole list of reader communities that read my genre’s books but I don’t.

I do use Goodreads. I have an author page there, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7033046.Connie_Cockrell but don’t use it much. I do make sure that I have my books listed there. I opened the Ask the Author function but only one person has sent me a question. My site blog post is woefully old and I had nothing in my Upcoming Events section. I just changed that to reflect the local Book Festival in July.

One other reader site I do use is Wattpad. http://www.wattpad.com/user/conniecockrell And by use, I mean I post there. I have a story, Lost Rainbows, currently being posted as a serial, one chapter per week. Unfortunately, I don’t join any discussions and have little time to read posted work, despite the fact it appears interesting.

You’ll note a pattern here, of course. As an author, I get the most value out of a reader site if I’m an active participant. Posting what I’m doing on my page and disappearing isn’t very helpful if my true goal is to get readers to find me and my work. And I’m missing out on wonderful stories and the chance to meet other people who love to read.

OK, I promise to do better. Really.
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling 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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