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

Waiting for the Mail?

Newest News:

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

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

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

Giveaways:

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

 

Where will I Be?

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

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

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

 

Newest Releases:

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

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

Mystery at the Reunion, Pinterest Changes, Updating Gulliver Station: Monday Blog Post

We break up the ice for our little bird friends every morning. I do believe they appreciate it.

Newest News:

So, just what needs to be fixed in Mystery at the Reunion? First of all, it’s too short. So, my plan is to add more “flashbacks” or extend the ones I’ve written to give the reader a sense of what Jean did in Afghanistan and to explain her connection to her old comrades who are at the reunion. Second? I do not know. It depends, I suppose, on how item one works out. Perhaps some more background on her marriage to Dwight? Just what did go wrong between them? Would anyone care about that? Let me know. Third, my editor may have some ideas, if these first two plans don’t work out. We’ll have to see.

So for the last week or so of December I’ve been jotting notes in my 2021 calendar/planner, for work I want to get done in 2021. Some has to do with writing/editing, as I’ve discussed in the previous paragraph. Other actions have to do with marketing, entering contests, getting reviews. That sort of thing. For example. In addition to working on Mystery at the Fair, I have changed my Pinterest page to a business page. When I first joined Pinterest, there was no such thing as a business page. But now, after a chat with an author friend of mine, I have changed my page to a business page. That means I can do some ads on there. I had a page for my books and another for my serials, but nothing like what I can do now. Check out my page Pages & Ink owned by author Susan Haught. It’s full of other author’s book ads. If you’re looking for something to read, this is a great spot to check.

For those of you who follow me for SciFi, I’m going to be updating any front and back matter in my Gulliver Station series this month. This was my first series and things need some serious updating. I’ll be starting some ads for this series as well once the updates are done. I have done updates to the interior files before. Cleaning up spelling/grammar errors, fixing little stuff like that, but since I’ve taken an ad course, I see now that more can be done than I have been doing. My short story, Creature in the Night, was my 21st published story and up until now, I barely make double digit dollars in any month. Time to rectify that.

So stay with me. Once Mystery at the Reunion is published, it’ll be time to address all of those All About Bob stories.

Giveaways:

The Christmas giveaway is still live! There’s a $75 Grand Prize of Paypal cash and 30 other prizes. Check out the link at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ to enter.

Where will I Be?

Unfortunately, I’m self-isolating, so right now there are no scheduled events for me for now. However, because many events I had scheduled for 2020 just moved my registrations to 2021, I am signed up for a few things this year. Will I attend? Hmm. Not sure. It depends, I think, on the immunizations for Covid. If I have my shots, and a good many other people have their shots, it’s probable that I’ll attend. First up for me is the Phoenix Fan Fusion over Memorial Day weekend. I have a conference in June, my Payson Book Festival in July, and CokoCon in September all scheduled. I feel good about CokoCon but the rest. I don’t know. If I go, I’ll have my mask with me.

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:

Just because it’s not Halloween or Christmas doesn’t mean you can’t read this delightfully creepy short story. It’s on Kindle Unlimited. Enjoy!

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.

October, Mystery at the Reunion, Jury Duty, Speaking Engagement: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

October, I think, may be my favorite month. In upstate New York, this is the leaf changing season and the tree colors change to eye-popping reds, golds, and yellows. Here in Arizona, the color change is more muted but the colors do change. Especially aspens. Their leaves become a brilliant yellow. And since they have white trunks and grow in groves, the scene in stunning. The above picture was taken just north of Flagstaff and the trees hadn’t quite turned color yet, but you can see how stunning they are now. Just think about how gorgeous they’ll be in a week or so. Also, the heat has dropped to perfect temps and the sky is the very best sapphire blue. It’s definitely time to pull out the heartier recipes and unpack the fall and winter wardrobes. I hope your autumn is just as wonderful.

I’ve dug out my story, Mystery at the Reunion, and read over it. It’s not as horrible as I remember. That’s a typical response for me (and to be honest, other authors when they re-read their work after a space of time), but I’m always glad to see my story again. That doesn’t mean it’s ready to release. I’ve duplicated several chapters in some sort of echo chamber between the two main characters and there’s still this other plot line from Jean’s time in Afghanistan that I want to add. Lots of work, in other words, needs to be done. But I’m re-excited about the story and am looking forward to finishing it and getting it out of the door.

Jury duty is back on my calendar. I’m now scheduled to appear on October 9th. As before, I’m looking forward to it. The biggest drawback is that it’s an over 2-hour drive to the county seat and the appearance time is 8am. Ugh. That makes for very early days.

On October 12th, I’m speaking to the APW Central Chapter in Scottsdale, AZ. The topic is writing series stories. So, if you’re in the area, stop on by. It’s free to attend.

Giveaways:

In the meantime, the Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Author/Blogger giveaway is now running! Twenty-two authors are participating giving us a $66 Paypal grand prize plus 22 other great prizes and 22 free books. So jump on this giveaway, over on my website Giveaways page. It won’t last long.

Where will I Be?:

I don’t have anything on my calendar until the December Mesa Book Festival. The date is December 14th from 10am – 5pm and the location has changed to 225 E Main St, Mesa. This is the Benedictine University, for those familiar with Mesa. I am sharing a booth space with the wonderful Marsha Ward. The site only promotes the author registering the table, so you’ll only see Marsha’s name, not mine. But I promise, I’ll be there. You can find all the details and a map at https://anthology.org/category/mesa-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 Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is now available. I love doing these calendars. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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