The Church: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Adirondack Fall by Randy Cockrell

It was a September, my first Sunday in my new house. I’d cleared enough boxes from the dining room table for me to sit at one end. The sun was just up, and I gazed out of the window, mug of tea in front of me. Maples that bordered the edge of the yard between my neighbor and me were still in shadow but the tree tops catty-corner across the street were in sunlight. The church behind those trees, I didn’t know the denomination, had its steeple bathed in light as well. The church had been built in the early 1900’s and wasn’t large but had that village church look that was postcard pretty.

The belfry was just a square mounted atop the church building. Slats covered the openings. At seven-thirty in the morning, I really didn’t expect to see anything or anyone over there. Too early, even on a Sunday. But just as I was looking away to pick up my tea, I saw something up at the belfry. When I looked back, it was gone. I rubbed my sleepy eyes and looked again. A squirrel jumped from one maple branch to another. The branches dipped and swayed with the squirrel’s weight.

I shook my head. Just a squirrel.

The next morning I was clearing the rest of the boxes from the dining room. It was ten and I was hot, sweaty and dirty and ready for a glass of iced tea. It was a relief to sit down in what I’d established as my spot at the dining room table. The leaves on the maples were starting to brown, I noticed as I sipped my tea. There were already many fallen leaves in the hosta border between my neighbors and me.

I was watching the sunlight dancing on the tree leaves when a movement at the church caught my eye. Again, something up at the belfry. It seemed too big to be a squirrel, but it was hard to tell with all the trees in the way.

The leaves changed, turned orange, red and yellow and fell from the trees. Every day I saw something over at the church. I’d have asked my neighbor, but she only came up from the city once a month for a weekend to check on her house. The neighbors bordering the church parking lot had fir trees on their lot border, so couldn’t really see the church itself. As I got to know the neighbors, I asked about the church.

“Haunted,” Karen Carmichael told me as we chatted in her front yard. She lived four doors down from me on the same side of the street. “The histories say that spot where the church was built was a burial ground. When the colonists pushed the Indians out, they just built over it.” She nodded sagely but I privately wondered.

“Wow. And this is common knowledge?” I wasn’t sure if she was just pulling my leg or not.

“No. It’s in the town histories. If you go to the town historian, it’s all there.”

“Thank you.” I gave her a wave and continued my walk. I’d have to check that out.

A few days later at the historian’s office, I read through the old records. Karen was right, there had been a burial ground there, but the colonists had dug up the graves and transferred the bones to the Indians before they built the church. I thanked the historian and left.

It was mid-November and the whole town was decorated for Thanksgiving. The church was having a harvest festival the week before the actual holiday and had invited everyone on the street to attend. It was a potluck and I came with a casserole.

At the door I was greeted by the pastor’s wife. “Welcome,” she beamed at me. “Thank you for coming. I’m Allison.”

“Hi. I’m Corrine. I live in the white house, two doors down.” I raised the casserole dish. “I brought a ham and scalloped potato dish.”

“Bless your heart,” she said enthusiastically. “Everyone brings pasta and it gets a little old.” She turned to a passing woman. “Elaine, would you show Corrine where to take her dish?”

The woman agreed and we proceeded to a table in the community hall that was packed with food. I mingled, meeting familiar neighbors and others I didn’t know. People lined up and got their food then sat at long rows of tables to eat. The meal was about complete, and I was telling the people around me about how I was seeing something over here nearly every day.

There was a lot of speculation. Ghosts, were, of course, the main topic but many of the men were convinced it was just squirrels running around the roof. The pastor stood up to give a little speech thanking everyone for coming when we heard some sort of noise coming from the ceiling. The pastor drifted to a stop as everyone’s eyes rose to the noise. There were two screams and everyone gasped. A few even stood up. That’s when the ceiling collapsed, and two huge raccoons fell onto the table in front of me. Men were shouting. Women and children were screaming as they jumped up and tried to escape. The raccoons ran in different directions creating even more havoc as more tables of people began to run, screaming, for the exits.

The next day, workers were at the church. I went over to see what was going on. The pastor was in a denim shirt, sleeves rolled up. “A whole nest of raccoons. Several generations worth,” he said as he wiped his forehead with a bandana. We had no idea.”

“I should have said something. I’ve been seeing something up around the belfry and roof since I moved in but never could get a good look.”

He nodded. “Well, thank you anyway.”

As I left, I got a card from the exterminators. I wanted my house and attic checked as soon as possible.

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Summer, Garden, Writing, : Monday Blog Post

Monsoon River in my Back Yard

Newest News:

Hooray! Saturday we had rain. For us, it was a welcome relief. The moisture helped fire fighters keep the forest fires under control and maybe even gain some ground. I know my garden was thankful and the birds and animals as well. The rain marked the start of what we in the southwest call monsoon season. Yesterday’s rain was very gentle. That’s not usual for a monsoon. During a regular monsoon rain the water comes gushing out of the sky like from a firehose. Start to finish, the storm may only last half an hour but it will drop inches of rain, flooding washes and streets and stranding people in place until the water recedes. It’s exciting to watch from safely inside the house. Terrifying to see when you’re driving around town.

Tomatoes

My garden is galloping away. I’ve had to tie up my tomatoes as they’re starting to sprawl all over. The cucumber, cantaloupe, and zucchini plants are all a healthy green and in bloom. I can’t wait for the fruit to come.

burned_out_building_by_chisatowatanabe-d8mdbcd via DeviantArt.com

Did you see my Friday story? The Doomsday Vault. What did you think? I was writing to a prompt from another author and I had too many ideas for it. I ended up with something I wasn’t very happy with but put it up anyway. I guess I can use it as an example of working to a deadline. I hate to miss posting a story on Fridays.

If you’re one of my mystery readers, I’ll remind you that I’m in a cozy mystery book bundle, Cozy Winter Reads.  The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. Just $7.99 for six books!

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ ends this week. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Author CA Asbrey

Today I want to give a shout out to an author friend of mine, C.A. Asbrey. She’s the author of The Innocents historical mystery series. C.A.Asbrey developed a deep interest in early forensics and detection methods working in the field. She researched early detectives and the tools available to them for years before developing her characters. They are compelling versions of real people, all her crimes are based on fictionalized versions of real crimes, and the methods used to solve them were available to detectives at the time. She likes her mysteries twisty, complex, and intricate; through a fog of history and a touch of light humor. The Innocents book 2, Innocent as Sin, is about to be published and I had the chance to read it. I loved it. The forensic details were fascinating, and she has a well-rounded story to go with it. Set in the west, her main character is a female Pinkerton detective and encounters all of the prejudices and biases you’d expect for that day and age. I find her a compelling character and the hints of her backstory are tantalizing. There’s a love interest, an outlaw and his outlaw uncle, that create a great conflict as well. I’m reminded of the series Moonlighting and Castle. I hope you’ll enjoy the series.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my future engagements.

My next event adventure is the Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’re completing the final touches and now heavily promoting the festival. It’s again at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino ballroom. The organizer there is so wonderful to work with. At any rate, we’ll have 80 authors, entertainment, children’s story times (yep, more than one!) and of course the casino has great food in it’s restaurants. Hope to see you there.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest 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 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. 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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Phoenix Comic Fest, Wildlife, Writing: Monday Blog Post

Lounging

Newest News:

I’m so excited that Phoenix Comic Fest is coming up in 10 days! I spent some time Sunday getting books sorted and boxed up to take with me. Luckily, I don’t have to order anything. I also bought a red cloth wagon to carry everything. Last year I was using a luggage carrier and I had a heck of a time keeping everything on it as I moved my stuff around. The wagon is much better. I got the wagon at Walmart, this one, https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-Folding-Wagon-Red/437376731, if you’re looking for something similar. It’s going to be a blast!

 

Just a reminder, Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is: https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

The wildlife in my yard, especially my back yard, has been very active. My hubby got a picture of one of the ground squirrels, lounging on the back fence. Then, a couple of days ago, he spotted a snake, getting a drink from the bird bath.

How, you ask? It had climbed up the rose bushes. He got a quick shot of the snake’s head from the kitchen window, backing up from the water. Then he went out and got some pics of it in the roses. Crazy!

I’m still working on It’s All About the Music. I managed to write a couple of new chapters last week. I like where this story is going. So, for fun, here’s an excerpt that may or may not make it to the final book.

The next day at lunch, Dot showed up at his table. “Mind if I sit?”

Rob didn’t know what the feeling was that shot through him. Relief? Joy? Gratefulness? Whatever it was, he was happy to see she was talking to him. “Sure.”

She sat, putting her tray of bottled water and salad in front of her. “Word is your video is almost done.”

“Yeah. Mister Barry and I saw it yesterday. They have a couple of other things to do with it, then it will be ready. I pick up my still shots today.”

“Good.” Dot opened her water and drank. “Are they making you copies?”

“Yeah.” He put his grilled cheese down on the plate. “A couple of everything. For my records, they said.” Rob picked up his sandwich and took a bite. It was nice sitting with her again. He’d missed her yesterday. “I should have the package for the admissions office out by Friday.”

Dot stirred her salad around in the bowl. “I heard that Ned is bad-mouthing you to anyone who’ll listen.”

The bite of grilled cheese Rob had just taken tasted like ashes all of a sudden. “I heard.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

Rob shook his head. “Nothing. He has a right. I did rat him out.”

Dot sighed heavily and put her fork down. “It’s best for him, you know. You too.”

Rob wiped his hands on his napkin. “I guess.”

She turned to look at him. “It is. You’ll get help. He’ll get help. It will be worth it.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. But he’s my best friend and I,” he shook his head. “I just totally narc’d on him.”

She sighed again. “It feels that way now. But you may have saved his life.”

Rob pushed his tray away to the center of the table and put his elbows on it. “Who knows.” He scrubbed his face with both hands. He’d heard about Ned all morning. It was like everyone in school was enjoying telling him every word. The snide looks, the snickering as he passed in the halls had hurt. Wait until Mr. Barry heard. That wasn’t going to be a good conversation. “What should I do about it?”

“Ask him to stop.”

Rob had to roll his eyes at that suggestion. “You don’t know Ned. He doesn’t like being told what to do. If I ask him to stop, he’ll just shout it out in the middle of the quad.”

Dot pushed her tray away and rested her head on one fist. She studied him. “So you’re just going to let him tell everyone in school about it? What about the teachers. They’re going to hear sooner or later.”

He threw his hands up. “I’ve thought of that. It’s a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Mister Barry wrote me a letter for my admissions packet. What if he asks for it back?”

She folded her hands on the table. “Talk to Mister Barry.”

Eyes wide, Rob turned to Dot. “Are you kidding?” The very thought made his stomach clench.

She put a hand on his arm. “I’m not kidding. Get in front of the rumors. Fess up.”

Rob covered his face with both hands, fingertips pressing into his eyes. This couldn’t be happening. His hands dropped to the table, his head drooping. What a mess. All because he couldn’t keep his word to himself. He wanted a drink. Bad. “What if…” all the things that could go wrong flashed through his mind.

“What if what? That he finds out by over-hearing a bunch of kids talking about you? How’s that going to look—you hiding it? What do you think he’ll think of that?”

She’s probably right. Look at how Mom and Dad reacted to me hiding my drinking. “Fine. I see him after school. I’ll tell him then.”

“Good. You want support? I can come with you.”

He desperately wanted her to come. To know there would be someone in the room on his side. “No. That would look strange. You’ve never come before.”

Dot nodded. “Okay then. I can walk down with you though.”

A small life preserver. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”

She stood up and grabbed her tray. “Good. I’ll meet you at your locker.”

“Okay.”

“Good. See you at three.” With that she left. He watched as she took her tray to the window. She gave him a wave as she left the lunch room.

At three, he was pulling his flute out of his locker when she tapped him on the shoulder. “Ready?”

He wasn’t ready. His stomach hurt and he felt like he was walking to his execution. “I guess.” He zipped the flute into his back pack and put it on. “Let’s go.”

She strolled along beside him. He realized the top of her head only came to his shoulder. He sniffed. “Lavender.”

Dot smiled at him. “Yeah. I thought you could use a little calming.”

Rob nodded. He did need some calming. “Nice of you to think of it.”

“I figured you wouldn’t want to walk around smelling like flowers. You’ve got enough issues.”

He chuckled. “Yeah. That would be perfect. Getting beat to snot for smelling like perfume.”

At the music room, Dot stopped. “You can do this.”

Rob wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, staring at the door. “Yeah. I can do this.”

“Good luck.”

“Thanks.” With that, he opened the door. Best to get it over with fast.

Half an hour later, he left. He was surprised to see Dot at the end of the hall. “Hey.”

“Hey. How’d it go?’

Rob took a deep breath. Held it for a moment and let it go. He’d been so nervous he could feel the sweat trickle down his back. “He was disappointed. But he told me he’d been hearing the rumors and was glad I’d come to him and told him the truth.” He stopped at a water fountain and drank. His mouth felt like old leather. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “He didn’t ask for his letter of recommendation back. I’d been afraid he would.”

Dot walked with him out of the building and to the street. She handed him a piece of paper. “You get home, and you want to talk, call me.”

All Rob could do was stand and blink at her.

She waved it at him. “Take it. You can’t talk to Ned anymore. So call me.”

He reached up, slowly, and took the paper. “Uh. Thanks.” He jammed it in his pocket. I might.”

She smiled. “Good. I go this way. Take care.”

He nodded as she walked away. Rob watched her until she got to the corner and lost sight of her behind a building. He turned and headed home, grinning. She was helping him. He didn’t even have to ask for her number. That was good, right? At home he grabbed a quick sandwich and a glass of milk and headed to his room. He ate quickly and turned on his keyboard. Happy tunes made his fingers dance across the keyboard. Maybe everything didn’t suck after all.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has started. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.

Shout Out:

Shout out to my friend C.A. Asbrey. She’s getting ready to release Innocent as Sin, book 2 in her Innocents Mysteries series. Like mysteries? This is a western, historical mystery set in Wyoming. It’s a page turner, I tell you. Want to know more? She can be found at:

Blog – C.A Asbrey – all things obscure and strange in the Victorian period http://caasbrey.com/

The Innocents Mystery Series Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/937572179738970/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mysteryscrivener/

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/author/caasbrey

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CAASBREY

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17899618.C_A_Asbrey

Link to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BMHFXSJ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_wTSSAb8J40Q9H

 

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my future engagements.

My next event is Phoenix Comic Fest. I have costumes this year! Come on by my tables in Artists Alley, AA928 and AA930 and we can take selfies!

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

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 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. 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 paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Cozy Winter Reads, Mystery Giveaway is Live, Looking for Reviews: Monday Blog Post

Yellow squash hiding from the sun

Newest News:

Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is:   https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!

If you’d like an Advance Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. There are only 18 copies left so hurry. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there, so you get updated on every new release!

Gardening. It’s time, here in central Arizona to trim my roses back and prep for the gardening season. We’re still getting hard frosts, here, so still a tiny bit early to plant but it’s coming!

Giveaways:

As of Friday, March 16th, our Book Funnel Mystery Giveaway is live. I’m in that with Mystery at the Fair, if you haven’t read it yet. But there are 35 other mystery authors in the promo as well. The link is:  https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/sfaebm0djq. This won’t last long so get your books today!

Then check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the 2018 Authors/Bloggers St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

Also happening this month is a March Fantasy Madness giveaway. That started on March 1st over on Book Funnel. Tons of fantasy stories up for grab for just signing up for author newsletters. If you love Fantasy, this is the giveaway for you. Here’s the link: http://www.autumnwriting.com/march-fantasy-madness/. Click on the book you are interested in and it takes you right to the purchase page.

Shout Out:

A shout out today to my mom who has just been released from the hospital. Hi, Mom! Glad you’re back home!

 

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

I’m excited to say I’m booked for the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum on April 28th, 2018. What’s more healing that getting lost in a novel! I’ll be there all day and you can buy, and I’ll sign, any of my books. SciFi, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery and more. You can find tickets at https://www.mhafoundation.com/upcoming-events.html

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on 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 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. 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 paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

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Tested, Mystery at the Fair: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I spent last week finishing up my synopsis and query letter for Mystery at the Fair and have submitted it to the Hallmark Channel for consideration on Saturday. I expect there have been thousands of submissions. Who knows how long it will take for them to review them all. In the meantime, cross your fingers for me.

A pic I was considering for the Tested cover until I went in an entirely different direction.

I have the fourth Brown Rain story, Tested, edited. I am now formatting the manuscript for both print and ebook. I’ve contacted the cover designer. I should have all four covers, including Tested, back this week. Release will be early November if all goes well.

Mystery at the Reunion is set in Vegas, Baby!

I’m still brainstorming elements of my next Jean Hays story, Mystery at the Reunion. November’s National Novel Writing Month is just eight days away!

Energy Ball 001 by ISOStock, www.DeviantArt.com

I continue to write my serial, Slave Elf. Sunday, I wrote two more episodes. Delia is in deep trouble. We’ll have to see how she gets out of it. You can find the first episode here.

Giveaways:

Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or $150 in Paypal cash? Drop by https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Spooktacular Authors Halloween Giveaway. There are 8 days left so get it now!

2018 Planner

I have started a contest over on my newsletter. What? You don’t get my newsletter? That’s a shame. But see below on how you can join in on the fun. I already have several people writing in to enter it. It runs to the end of October, just 8 days away, when I’ll use a random number generator to select the winner. Let me know you’ve joined the newsletter and I’ll send you the information to enter.

P.S. By the way, you can get the pictured mug at: https://www.gearbubble.com/gbstore/conniesrandomthoughts

Shout Out:

One of the Arizona authors that helps with the Payson book festival is Jan Cleere. She says, “I write about the people, legends and tales of the Old West that I have uncovered among tattered documents, tear-stained journals and diaries, and the accounts told by old-timers.” An award-winning author, a historian, and speaker, Jan will next be at the Tucson Corral of Westerners, 4855 Eat Broadway Blvd, Tucson, on November 6th at 6pm. Her topic is “The Woman Who Shot Cowboys” a biography of rodeo photographer Louise Serpa. If you can’t see Jan in person, you can find her books and calendar at https://www.jancleere.com/.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

The Payson library’s first ever mini-comicon has been post-poned from November 2017 until perhaps March of 2018. I’m committed to being on a panel so I’ll keep you posted on all of the details.

On December 9th I’ll be at the Mesa Book Festival. Get full details at https://mesabookfestival.com/. I’ll be in a booth with my author friend, Marsha Ward. www.MarshaWard.com. Between the two of us, we have a large number of genre’s covered. Come get your Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. The festival runs from 2pm – 8pm.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st 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.

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Special Announcement: Mystery Giveaway!

For one week only, if you don’t already have it, you can get Mystery at the Fair free! Go to the August Book Funnel Mystery Giveaway at https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/wrllo9pt15.

There are 25 new to you books from 25 authors and every one is a winner. Get your free books today and discover great authors! Giveaway ends on the 25th of August. Don’t delay.

 

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Author Interview: Mary Ann Edwards

Author Mary Anne Edwards

Today I’d like to welcome Mary Anne Edwards. Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne decided to listen to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January of 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, will be released in June 2017, with at least five more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband currently live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is active in the Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Mary Ann.

 

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

I love to read. Yes, I know rather boring but I rarely get the chance to sit down and read. Before I starting writing full-time, I read a book a week. Now it more like a book a month.

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

My mother passed away February last year. I’d like one more day to her how much I love her and how thankful I am for her support and influence.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else? Yes, please! I like coffee with lots of cream and no sugar. I also enjoy a good cup of hot tea. I LOVE diet Dr Pepper, too much. I’ve cut back from my 2 liters plus a day habit to one soda a few times a week. I’m drinking lots of water now. I purchased an infusion pitcher. I’ve made all sorts of water like Pineapple Jalapeno Mint to simple Lemon Mint water.

4. What are you working on right now?

My fifth book, Flirting With Time: A Charlie McClung Mystery, will be released June 30th. I’m currently working on the sixth book in the series, Good To Be Kind.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author and award-winning journalist described my style of writing this way, “It’s as if Agatha Christie wrote Hart to Hart.” My books are traditional mysteries with romance and fun.

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

Get a website or blog or both going right now. Start building your network before your book is released. Once your book is released you’ll have a fanbase ready to buy your book.

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?

My ideas come from music and everyday life. Tom Petty’s music gets my writing juice flowing for some reason. I guess his music is my muse. LOL!

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Facebook and Twitter are my two major hangouts but I have a website and I can be found on Pinterest and a few other places. Here are my links.

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

Website:  http://maryanneedwards.com/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/maryanneedwards/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MaryAnneEdwards/posts

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/maryanneedwards

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/maedwards58

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Edwards/e/B00HZ28TIQ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzz9_nQ5yzE60nW-LMkgUQ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791576.Mary_Anne_Edwards

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-anne-edwards

Wiselike:  https://wiselike.com/mary-anne-edwards

Thank you so much for spending a little time with us today, Mary Ann. We really appreciate it.

And gentle readers, don’t be shy. Stop by Mary Ann’s sites and say hello!

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Author Interview: Devorah Fox

 

Author Devorah Fox and her pet dragon, Inky.

Today I’d like to welcome Devorah Fox. “What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of award-winning books including The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam literary historical fantasy series and several thrillers, she also penned Mystery Mini Short Reads and contributed short stories to popular fantasy anthologies. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky. Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com.

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

Sleeping. Seriously, between running a business, writing new stories and promoting existing titles, and managing a house, there’s not much time for anything else. I do belong to two local book clubs and two writers groups. Occasionally, I paint. Our local art center has Wine, Whine, and Design nights. An artist guides us in creating an acrylic painting while we sip wine, eat snacks, and socialize. It’s very relaxing and three hours later, I have a finished painting, some of which have been even been suitable to display.

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

Alice Marks, a dear friend, terrific writer and author, who moved to a distant state. Before she moved, we did enjoy spending afternoons eating cupcakes (so NOT on our diets) and talking about books, ours and everyone else’s. We’re still in touch of course, by email and snail mail, but it’s not the same. We miss the cupcakes!

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Coffee. I do try to develop an appreciation for green tea, since it has health benefits. But coffee. I even like coffee-flavored beer.

4. What are you working on right now?

I have three works in progress. One is Blood Guilt, a police procedural with a paranormal twist. Another is Dying to Get Hung, a cozy mystery featuring Candy Wadsen, the heroine of Murder by the Book. The third is a new adventure for Mercedes, otherwise known as the superhero, Lady Blackwing.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

My stories feature memorable characters in whom readers really get invested. A common thread is that these characters are for the most part ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances and rise to the challenge, learning something new about themselves.

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

Write a lot. It’s a worthwhile habit to write every day. Plus it’s a lot like training a muscle. The more you write, the easier it gets and the more skilled you become.

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?

Ideas come to me, totally unbidden. Plot bunnies breed, well, like rabbits.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

email: devorahfox@aol.com

Website: http://devorahfox.com

Twitter: @devorah_fox   http://twitter.com/devorah_fox

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/DevorahFoxAuthor

amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B006L9BJAO

smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mbapub
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DevorahFox

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/devorahfox

authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/devorah_fox

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751371.Devorah_Fox

Subscribe to my email newsletter: http://eepurl.com/LrZGX

Thank you, Devorah for stopping by today. We enjoyed chatting with you.
Gentle readers, I think you’ll enjoy going to Devorah’s website and social media pages. Stop by and say hello to her!

 

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Author Interview: Kittly Boyes

Author Kitty Boyes

Today I’d like to welcome Kitty Boyes to the blog. Kitty lives on the coast of Western Australia. She has three amazing children and six gorgeous grandchildren. Her debut novel, The Sins of our Mothers; published in November 2015 had readers asking for more so she published the second book to the series; Her Father’s Daughter in March 2016. Stay tuned for book III. Her Brother’s Keeper. Out in 2017. 

Make yourself at home, Kitty!

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

I have a few so it’s difficult to decide which one is my favourite. I enjoy so many things life offers.  Is reading a hobby or a pastime?  I live for my next exciting book. There’s nothing quite like delving inside a world quite different to my own; where all my senses are alerted from laughing to feeling a little terrified or anxious hoping for the protagonists’ victory over an antagonist, yet knowing it must end with the good guys prevailing. Always. Yet the journey is what takes me there and moves me along. My real hobby, apart from renovation work and scrapbooking is writing.

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

Quite clearly for me my immediate answer is the family I’ve lost over the years. (Parents, two brothers and two sisters) I miss them and it’s more or less since losing each one, in particular my parents, that I’ve accumulated dozens of questions I want the answers to. Ahh, the thought of spending an afternoon with them conjures up familiar smells, old conversations and distant memories both good and not so good.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or domething else?

Coffee!  Iced coffee, hot coffee, cappuccino, espresso, with milk, black, instant, percolated, dripolated, pods or in cake. Coffee and walnut cake with a hot cuppa? Heaven.

4. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on book three to my series and revisiting the first two to make them the best books I can write. I wrote The Sins of our Mothers, published in 2015. I then wrote Her Father’s Daughter in 2016 but only due to people saying they wanted to read more about my protagonist Arina Perry.  At the time I didn’t think I had it in me to write another book, but I was pestered enough to give it a little thought at least. Then when I asked that all time question (What If) I had another story. Thus my third book is under construction, so far titled Her Brother’s Keeper and is almost ready.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I’ve got no idea really because I write in a number of different ways from letters to friends and family, an opinion on Facebook, a post to my blog sites, a children’s story for different ages, a couple of non-fiction  wellbeing e-books and then my novels. So it varies I guess depending on the situation in which I’m penning something. And even though it all comes from the same place, the style is always different.

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

Never give up!  Even though you may find that writing the story has its own share of difficulties, be aware that unless you can afford an editor and a graphic designer for your cover, which a lot of us can’t, then doing these yourself is very time consuming and has its own set of frustrations. Don’t give up! Ask for beta readers when your first draft is done. Edit, edit and re-edit until you’re almost sick of the sight of all those words, but continue because every single time you go over your book you find something else to fix, something else, even if it’s only the way you structured a sentence or two that when you fix it, you feel the satisfaction in making your story that much better each time. Come launch time, and you’re an indie Author (self-publishing to Amazon for instance) you need to find that other hat. The one that has Merchandiser Extraordinaire, Advertising Guru or World’s best Marketer on the brim. But never give up! Find a way to make it happen. If you’re filthy rich just hand your manuscript over to the experts and sit back to write your next exciting adventure. But even then be prepared for all the input needed here too. There’s never a dull moment that’s for sure.

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?

I tend to immerse myself. Once I get the initial plot thought in my mind I start writing and from there different ideas or better twists may present themselves both in my day to day thoughts doing chores or whatever but more so whilst I’m writing.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

I’m all over the place, just open your computer and there I am. Haha. I would welcome it if you chose to join me on some of these. There’s always an opt-out if you get sick of me. If you were to buy a book and review it too, you’ll be my new best friend. Most are only 99 cents USD. For now. Until I get famous.

https://kittyboyes.com is my website

kittyb2153@gmail.com is my email address

https://kittyboyeswordpress.wordpess.com is my books blog site

https://booknook1blog.wordpress.com  is another blog site for readers and writers

https://www.facebook.com/kittysebooks  My Facebook page

https://twitter.com/kitty_boyes My twitter URL

My books on Australia Amazon 

My books on American Amazon

My books on Smashwords

Thank you, Kitty for such a lovely chat.

Dear readers, don’t be shy. Take Kitty up on a visit to one or all of her sites. You’ll be glad you did!

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Mystery at the Dog Park Part 7 of 7: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Sadie – Available for adoption now from:
Annie Bamber
Outreach Programs Coordinator
(928) 474-5590 ext. 100
annie@humanesocietycentralaz.org
www.humanesocietycentralaz.org
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“Because They Matter”

Part 7 of 7. You can find Part 1 here. Part 2 here. Part 3 here. Part 4 here. Part 5 here. Part 6 here.

 

They hurried back to the tree line and sat down in the forest duff. “I can’t believe it.” Karen’s voice quavered. “What the hell?”

Jean, sitting next to her shoulder to shoulder, nodded. “I’ve never seen anything like it. My hands are still shaking.”

“Did you get pictures?”

“Yeah. Not that I ever want to see that again.”

“I know. We should get pictures of the license plates. I recognize that announcer from the diner.”

“Good idea.” Jean put her hands over her eyes. “I just need a minute.”

The announcer came on again, introducing the first fight of the night.

Jean closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Let’s get this done and get out of here. I don’t want to see a fight.”

“Good.” Karen stood up and gave Jean a hand. “Get the announcer guy’s truck first.”

“Yep. But it will be hard with the tailgate down.”

“Do what you can. A picture of him would be good too.”

“Agreed.”

They crept back out of the woods working their way around the parked vehicles, staying to the shadows, as Jean tried to get a position on the announcer and the truck. She got pictures of men taking bets and a good bit of the crowd, as she moved into place. Finally, staying low, she managed a shot through the fence of the truck plate. Then more of the guy himself, standing in the bed of the truck, narrating the fight. Jean did her best not to look but the sound of the dogs screaming and the people shouting was overwhelming.

She led Karen out of the crowd. They edged around the outside, taking pictures of all the plates until they were nearly back to the woods. That’s when the world lit up. Car headlights came on. Cruisers with their light bars flashed red and blue. A high-volume PA system came on and a male voice was shouting for everyone to stand still, they were all under arrest. Jean and Karen broke for the woods but three guys stood up and pointing assault rifles, yelled at them to halt. Jean put up her hands, Karen right beside her, did the same.

It was an hour and a half later when Chief of Police Nick White came over to the group of prisoners and picked them out. “Come with me.”

Jean’s stomach, already knotted with dread, did flip-flops. She glanced at Karen who gave her head a shake. Nick didn’t look like he was going to be happy.

Next to his cruiser, he turned on them. “What in the name of all that’s holy are you two doing here?” His hands went to his hips and he was glaring at them so hard Jean thought lasers would shoot from his eyes.

She held up her camera. “We took pictures. To bring to you.”

Jean saw Nick shudder as he drew in a slow breath. “Do you have any idea how dangerous that was?”

Karen nodded. “We do. Did. Well, they didn’t see us.”

He glared at her and she wilted.

“I should arrest you and take you with the rest of these…” he waved a hand. “Where’s your car?”

“Back up the road. Hidden.” Karen replied in a near whisper.

“Then get to it. Don’t let me see you for many days.”

Jean and Karen turned to hurry off.

“Wait.”

Jean’s heart froze along with the rest of her muscles. She turned around. “Yes?”

“Send me those pictures.”

She nodded, turned and scurried away with Karen.

When Karen arrived at Jean’s, Jean invited her in. “Come in. We’ll have a glass of wine and download these pictures. Get them off to Nick.”

Karen nodded. “Might need some of that scotch tonight.”

“Agreed.”

They poured their drinks and went upstairs to Jean’s computer. She quickly downloaded them, put them in a file, and copied it to a thumb drive.”

“You aren’t going to look at them?”

Jean shook her head. Karen looked white as the computer paper. “Nope. I’ll take this over to the station in the morning. I don’t want to see these pictures.”

“Good idea.” Karen slammed back the scotch. “I’ll go with you.”

#

At the Police Department in the morning, Jean and Karen asked for Lieutenant Oliver. When Paul came to the window, he glared at them. “Didn’t I tell you to stay out of it? Nick was incoherent. I’ve known him since grade school. I’ve never seen him so mad. He should have dragged you two in here to spend the night.”

Jean and Karen nodded together. “I know. I’m sorry.” Jean slid the thumb drive through the small slot at the bottom of the window. “We brought the pictures.”

Paul snatched them up out of the bin. “Good.” He took a breath and shook his head. “Why’d you do it?”

Jean shrugged as Karen shook her head. “We hoped to get pictures. For evidence.”

Paul scrubbed his face with his right hand. “I’d tell you not to do it again but I know that’s a waste of breath. Go on now before Nick sees you.”

The two women hurried off.

“Dang, Paul was mad too,” Jean said as she held the door for Karen. “I thought he was going to drag us in and put us in jail.”

“I’ve known Paul and Nick back as far as grade school, too. They’re usually so calm. I guess that’s what makes them good cops.” Karen got in the car when Jean popped the locks. “Let’s go take some dogs for a walk.”

Jean nodded.

A week later the woman from the dog park hurried up to them as they turned loose their temporary charges. “Thank you, thank you.” She gave them each a bear hug. “The police found Sandy.”

Jean and Karen both grinned. “How nice!” Jean said.

“Where was she?” Karen asked.

“Someone took her.” The woman said. “She was going to be used as a bait dog, they called it. Some horrible dog-fighting ring.”

Jean felt her stomach roll. Karen’s face went white. “What?”

The woman nodded. “They did a raid a couple of Saturday’s ago, and picked up a whole lot of little dogs. Poor Sandy was in the group. They just called me yesterday. I can get Sandy today from the Animal Control Office.”

“Good for you.” Jean said. “But we didn’t have anything to do with that.”

“Yes, you did. You went around town and asked about Sandy. The police told me.”

Jean and Karen exchanged glances. “Well. I’m glad we could be of some small help.”

The woman hugged them each again and hurried back to her friends at the picnic table. Jean chuckled. “So Nick and Paul gave us the credit.”

Karen grinned. “I guess so. I always knew they were great guys.”

The two of them followed their charges out into the yard. “Here Arthur. Here Arthur.” She wagged a brand-new tennis ball at him and he came charging over. “Get the ball,” she yelled and threw it. Every dog in the park went after it. She grinned. It felt good to help.

 

Thank You!

1186 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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