Happy President’s Day, Cozy Mystery Bundle, Painting: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Happy President’s Day to all. I hope you have the chance to hang out with family and friends and have a fun, relaxing day.

Painting by Connie Cockrell

Last week I mentioned that I was going to a painting class. Well, I did. I had a wonderful time with 11 other artists and the scope, breadth and quality of the work being produced was just wonderful. Now I will admit it’s been nearly 40 years since I’ve picked up a paint brush, but you can see my picture, while not perfect, came out pretty well. I now have it hanging in my living room. I encourage each of you to give something new a try.

I’m still working on It’s All About the Odds but I’m nearly done. This series won’t get published until I have the entire thing written and edited. That way readers won’t have to wait so long to get them.

Big news for those of you who love my cozy mystery series, Jean Hays. I’ve been selected to participate in a cozy mystery bundle over on the Bundle Rabbit site. The book is going to be called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. I think you’ll enjoy it. I’ll post the link to it when it’s published. We’re working on selecting a cover right now. In the meantime, check out BundleRabbit.com for other stories, mysteries or whatever genre you enjoy.

Giveaways:

The Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway now over.  Winners will be chosen soon and notified. Then, check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the next contest, 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.

Shout Out:

I want to give a shout out to author P.D. Workman who is the driving force behind the cozy mystery bundle I’m in.

Author P.D. Workman

For as long as she can remember, the blank page has held an incredible allure for Workman.  She has samples of stories and booklets that go back to her early childhood.  Workman collected notebooks of all shapes and sizes with plans to fill them with words and stories.  By grade four, she discovered that inventing a story in her head could rival the joy of reading one from a book.  She wrote and bound a series stories about a rabbit, painstakingly typed on her dad’s Selectric typewriter and illustrated by tracing pictures.

In grade five, Workman spent a lot of leisure time creating a Narnia-like world of her own.  She drew pictures of it… unicorns, rainbows, forests, mountains in the distance.  There were six meals a day (probably influenced by The Hobbit,) with names like nibble and munch.  She didn’t write a word of the story, though she imagined the plot line, which included her arrival in the land via a pair of magical red tennis shoes.

In grade six, Workman had a language arts teacher who had a box full of pictures to use as story prompts, and the class would write a creative writing story every Friday.  Workman loved it.  She wrote a number of stories about a pair of magical black dogs with glowing eyes.  In grade seven she continued to enjoy creative writing at school, much of it about horses, her new obsession as she read every book in the Black Stallion series.  She started to write her first full-length novel, a classic plot line about a class of school children who get marooned on a deserted tropical island.  No, no Lord of the Flies.  It was all about survival. She went to a young writer’s conference and talked about it.  She read it to the kids she babysat.  But she never finished it.

At the age of twelve, Workman finally did it, she wrote her first complete novel.  It was full of fantastic ideas.  It was the spring board for many other stories and books over the next few years.

Over the years, family and friends had encouraged her publish.  But she wrote for herself, for the joy of creating characters and experiencing their lives.   Most people didn’t even have any idea that Workman wrote. A few times, she took up the pen and dabbled with contacting publishers, submitting to contests, etc., but each time, the joy disappeared, and the creative juices dried up.  So, Workman went back to her hermit-like writing existence, proclaiming that her estate could publish her work after her death. Not until 2013 did Workman finally decide to publish her work, and she has been enjoying the process very much.

When not writing, Workman is a devout wife and a mother of one.  She was born and raised in Alberta, Canada.  She is a homeschooler and an executive assistant.  She has a passion for art and nature, creative cooking for special diets, and running.  She loves to read, to listen to audio books, and to share books out loud with her family.  She is an acknowledged technology geek with a love for all kinds of gadgets and tools to make her writing and work easier and more fun.  In person, she is far less well-spoken than on the written page. She tends to be shy and reserved with all but those closest to her and prefers communicating by e-mail and text rather than phone calls or face-to-face visits. Her sociable husband and son help keep her from becoming a complete recluse!

You can find her at https://pdworkman.com/ where you can find more of her works.

 

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 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:

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.

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Winter Weather, Tested, Giveaways: Monday Blog Post

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While the rest of the U.S. has been struggling through a very cold spell, Central Arizona has remained sunny and warmer than normal. That is, until Saturday. On Saturday, I attended our local Women’s March. I’ve never been to a march or demonstration, so I decided I had to come. Anyway, for the first time in months, it was cold and rainy. Of course! Over 50 people came to stand along the sidewalk on the primary street running through town with signs. We had lots of honks for us and a few who decided the middle finger salute was more appropriate. Oh well. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Anyway, it rained on and off all afternoon and in the evening, when the temperature dropped, it snowed. We woke to about an inch on Sunday morning, covering everything in the area. Very pretty. See the above picture.

My second All About Bob story, It’s All About the Game, is in full swing. I have several chapters written already. My main character Roberta Hixon, or Bobbie to her friends, is in trouble up to her neck. She has just days to figure it out! This is a YA contemporary, novelette series that I think everyone will like. The plan, as I discussed last year, is to write all five and release them one right after the other, probably in 2019.

Had a bit of a slump last week as my mom went into the hospital again. She’s doing better now, and my brain has come out of it’s fog and I can get some things accomplished.

I’m finalizing the formatting of Tested, then I’ll put it up for pre-sale. I’m thinking of putting it into my St. Patrick’s Day giveaway, so stay tuned for that.

I’ve made a calendar for 2018. It’s for sale at http://www.lulu.com/shop/connie-cockrell/my-calendar-2018/calendar/product-23462179.html. The photos were taken by my husband of places around Arizona where we live and hike. If you haven’t gotten your 2018 wall calendar, check it out. I hope you like it.

 

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is over. My prize winners were Sparrow Chaser, Richard Brandt, and Christina Tatt. They all have their prizes. Now, for the Lovestruck Authors and Bloggers Valentine’s Day giveaway there are 32 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $100 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. This is a great way to find new to you authors, but it doesn’t last long. The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will start after Valentine’s Day. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

My January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Killer Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan on BookFunnel.com ran from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors were also in the giveaway. For the over 1100 readers who downloaded my book, Mystery at the Fair, thank you. A welcome email will be coming to you shortly.

Shout Out:

I’m reading Connie Willis’s short story collection, The Best of Connie Willis. These are all award-winning science fiction, science fiction/horror stories. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of these appear on the hit show, Black Mirror. They are that good. I attended the 2017 Westercon with her and served on a few panels with her. She has an encyclopedic memory of everything science fiction. I was honored to be sitting next to her.

Where Will I Be?

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

I’m already scheduled to go to the Phoenix Comicon May24th – 28th. I’m putting together at least 2 costumes. Hope to see you there in your costume. I’ll be in Artist’s Alley!

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 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.

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NaNo, Vision Boards. Tested: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So today is day 27 of the National Novel Writing Month. I mentioned last week that I ran into trouble with my book being too short. What I finally decided to do was add a second point of view, Jean’s ex-husband, Dwight. I did that, and the book was still 12K too short. What I have done is start a new section, still with Dwight, but adding two problems for him. One is that he’s broke paying two alimonies and second, after his second divorce, he has been drinking too much and gambling with the local Irish Mob bookie. How I’m going to meld these three separate stories is something to worry about later. The plan for now is to make poor Dwight miserable.

On my new class on Vision Boards, I’ve completed the third module. I learned about the lesson plan and how to manage my own energy as well as the participants. Once the fourth module is done, this week, I’ll be doing my own vision board, gathering supplies and prepping to do a class in January. I’m still very excited about this.

I’m just about done with the formatting of Tested now and will be publishing in December. I know, months later than I had anticipated but it will be out soon. Thank you so much for waiting so patiently. I have a few copies ready for review if you’d like. It’s always good to start a new release with some reviews already on Amazon. Let me know if you’re interested.

Giveaways:

Starting on November 28th, I’m part of the below mentioned 12 Slays of Christmas promotion. It runs through December 4th. A lot of authors are participating in this Facebook event at www.facebook.com/events/122185258461170. I’m up on Saturday December 2nd at 1pm Arizona time. I’ll have games, talk about my books and maybe even have a contest to giveaway a copy of my newest book, Tested. Like all of the other authors participating, I’d love to have you join in the fun and win prizes.

Starting on December 1st, I’m part of the Roses and Dreams Christmas 2017 Facebook event. This is a combo event. FIRST EVENT will be a featured author each day. 23 authors in total (1 each day) who will intorduce themselves and their books. Competitions and giveaways at their discretion. 45 minutes with any winners notified the next day.  I’m scheduled for Sunday December 3rd at 1:30PM Arizona time (8:30pm London time). I’ll be on www.Facebook.com/events/1990733174542034, for 45 minutes with games and book talk.

SECOND EVENT will be our showcase and we are very excited to announce it. You’ve heard of the Eurovision song contest well now (drumroll please) we’d like to present World Bookovision (#WorldBookovision).

How does it work?

Two weeks starting Monday 4th December (Monday to Friday)

Week one a poll will be pinned with that week’s participating authors. Each day three authors will have a thousand words of one of their books posted (We will post it in the morning) and people get to vote on which ones they like. You can vote more than once. At the end of the week, the two people with the highest votes will go through to the final.

Week two follows the same pattern and the two with the highest votes will go through to the final.

On the week commencing 18th December, the four finalists will showcase the next thousand words of the same book and a new poll will be posted. At the end of the week, the poll will close and one author will win. The author will receive two weeks’ worth of social media advertising from Su and Maria. The winner will provide a copy of that book as a prize (print or e-book) and this will be presented to the person who has participated most in voting. If there are more than one, then we will put them into a draw and the winner will be picked randomly.

Throughout the day we will also post lots of Christmas fun. Come and join us as a reader or a participating author.

 

The Christmas Giveaway has begun. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. Check out http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

 

Shout Out:

Claudette Melanson, https://www.claudettemelanson.com/, writes and edits in Kitchener, Ontario with her four bunny babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters and Beckett. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five has left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. Her most recent book is Teggie Wants a Hippo for Christmas, a delightful children’s book, and she has a story in The 12 Slays of Christmas anthology that is donating all of it’s royalties to an animal rescue shelter. You can find The 12 Slays of Christmas at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075FGNTG4 and Claudette’s books at https://www.amazon.com/Claudette-Melanson/e/B00IHS7GBI. Enjoy!

to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

Where Will I Be?

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

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 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.

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Published!: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

The Arrastra by Jay Richmond

Last week I mentioned that my western story, Gold Dream, was going to be published in Frontier Tales. Well, it happened. You can find it here: http://frontiertales.com/2017/05May/gold_dream_1.php. Part II will be in the magazine in June. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, go to the home page of the site and please vote for it as your favorite. Winning will get the story in the Frontier Tales anthology. Thank you in advance.

I’m just about done with the edits of Mystery at the Book Festival. I have a few more things to check and then I’ll send it back to the editor for a final review. That should happen this week. After that it will come back to me and I can do the formatting and finalize the cover.

Sahara Sunrise by djluke9 via DeviantArt
http://orig05.deviantart.net/ab5b/f/2017/093/2/2/sahara_sunrise_by_djluke9-db4idv5.jpg

I’ve been enjoying the writing of Slave Elf. I’m totally winging it (called pantsing (for writing without a plan, by the seat of my pants)) so I have no idea where I’m taking the story. It could go on for a while.

First strawberries

Gardening: I bought marigolds to fill the one pot by my sidewalk to replace the pansies the javelina ate. The pot with the daffodil bulbs looks like the bulbs won’t sprout. That makes me sad. I guess I’ll have to buy something, more marigolds, perhaps, to go in there. I picked my first strawberries Saturday. Yummy. That’s them above. I attended this last weekend’s garden club plant sale. I got there an hour and a half after opening and nearly all the vegetable plants were gone. I did get 2 cherry tomatoes and 2 Early Girl tomato plants and 2 serrano chili pepper plants and put them in the garden on Sunday. I also planted seeds for straight neck yellow squash, Black Beauty zucchini, bush green beans, pole green beans (both Blue Lake) as well as peas and yellow wax beans. Have you ever noticed how you cannot get yellow beans in the freezer section? Very odd. Anyway, it wasn’t ideal weather to plant the tomatoes and peppers. We’re having a cold snap and the wind is blowing like crazy, but I put the plants in anyway. They’ll have to tough it out.

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading: Easter Giveaway is now on. If you missed out on the last one, this is your chance to win.

Shout Out:

I’ve joined an author group that’s gotten together to help support each other. This group is focused on mystery/thriller/suspense stories but some of us are going to form up a separate group for other genres. I’ll be posting here about their books and freebies and contests as we go along. For example, until the 12th of May, you can get 14 free mysteries at http://www.abbyvandiver.com/blog/go/free-books/

Where Will I Be?

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

The Phoenix ComiCon is coming up the end of this month, May 25 – 28th and you can find details for tickets, events, special guests, at http://phoenixcomicon.com/. I would be so excited to see you in the Exhibits Hall in the Four Carat Press booth number 1797.

July 22nd is the Payson Book Festival. I have to say, this festival has turned into quite a thing. Over 600 people came to it last year. The tables have already been filled with authors. You can find out who is attending at www.PaysonBookFestival.org. The event is free to visitors and starts at 9am and runs until 3:30pm. Details about the location, video from last year, and more, can be found on the site.

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 in the Woods released on December 24th! 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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Happy Holidays: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

We had a good Christmas. It started with a light snow falling on Christmas Eve. My brother-in-law was coming over for Christmas Eve dinner. The house smelled of roast chicken and what could be more wonderful than a warm house on a cold day. Then Christmas morning was quiet, just the hubby and myself exchanging gifts while drinking hot tea. Most of the gifts were books, though my daughter sent us the cutest little bird house made to look like an old-fashioned travel trailer. Hubby and I each got each other socks, too. That’s what happens after 40 years of marriage. We don’t need much anymore. Christmas afternoon was spent with friends, sharing potluck dishes and enjoying the day. The snow was melting but it still covered the ponderosa pines and the distant mountains making the day look like a Christmas card. We went home fulfilled and satisfied to watch a little TV before bed. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Mystery in the Woods was published on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/691914 on Christmas Day. It was also entered into the CreateSpace review system as well. So, if you’re eager for the book, you can get it in your desired ebook format on Smashwords. It should be up on Amazon by Tuesday. You’re not on my A Team? Let me know you want to be. I’ll set it up. I’m also considering an Instafreebie (Mystery at the Fair is up right now!), Author Shout promo, and of course twitter and facebook announcements. I began the process of setting up a Reader’s Gazette account so Mystery in the Woods may show up there. And if you’ve never checked it out, Bundle Rabbit has some wonderfully priced collections of books.

I have scheduled a Facebook Live for Wednesday at 3pm, Arizona time. We can talk about Jean Hays and her friend, Karen, or my SciFi books or something else. Hope to see you on there.

I’m also considering a Thunderclap. This is a simple way for people to support my book release by sending a facebook post or tweet to announce the release. It doesn’t cost anything and can really get the word out. I’ll keep looking into it.

 

Giveaways:

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

 

Shout Out:

This week I’d like to shout out to my friends on Four Carat Press. https://fourcaratpress.com/ We write a variety of books from Children’s to Spicy Romance. Stop in and see if you can find an author new to you.

 

Where Will I Be?

Imzy Stickers

Do you follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. This is a troll free site and free to join. Enjoy.

 

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. 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.

Newest Book Release:

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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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Holiday Season Madness: Monday Blog Post

Homemade Truffles

Homemade Truffles

Newest News:

It’s December. That means baking and candy making. I do it every year because for the longest time there was no candy for celiacs. If I wanted Christmas chocolates, I had to make them myself. This year I found out that Reeses has gluten free peanut butter cups. That’s one item I no longer need to make. I still make truffles and peppermint patties. And in addition to my usual Russian Teacakes, I replaced the peanut butter cups with a cranberry bar cookie. I had hoped to have all the baking done by Sunday but that didn’t happen. So, today, Monday, I’ll be dipping the truffles and they’re the last thing to be done. Then it’s box everything up and send it to various family members. Hopefully done by Friday so I don’t miss the mailing window. How about you? Do you mail things across country? Are you done or are you, like me, still scrambling.

house-lites

We had some outdoor lighting issues this year. Timers have died or become terribly sensitive. I don’t have any interior decorating done since I spent the weekend on cookies and candy. This week though, it’ll all be done. I’ve also accepted some party invitations for the month. So, now there’s finger food to consider. On Saturday evening we went to the Electric Light Parade our town holds every year. It’s always fun to watch the little kids along the street. They’re so pleased with the Christmas music and the lights. And the parade isn’t shabby either. Every year it seems to get better and better.

mystery-in-the-woods-cover2

Mystery in the Woods has made it to the editor. We’re trying very hard to get it out before the end of the month. I’ve been brainstorming ways to promote the release. One way is to contact my A Team people, and have them let me know if they’d like an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Mystery in the Woods to read and review. There are several other ideas on my list. We’ll see if I can make them work for me. You’re not on my A Team? Let me know you want to be. I’ll set it up.

I’ve mentioned it before but since it is gift-giving season, check out my store www.conniesrandomthoughts where you can get very nice coffee mugs with my book covers on them. A handy, useful give and a collectible at the same time! Very reasonably priced.

Giveaways:

2016-christmas-giveaway-my-meme

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway is in full swing. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

On Sunday I spent 2 hours hosting the Writers Colony Press Holiday Indie Extravaganza. Writers Colony Press publishes anthologies for charity. The Longest Night Watch Volumes 1 and 2 are to raise money for Alzheimers. We dedicated them to Terry Pratchett and Gene Wilder. The other Anthology out is “Stardust Alway’s” for Cancer research, and dedicated to Alan Rickman and David Bowie. I had a great time. In addition to the event contests and contests the other authors held, I held my own. The prizes have been awarded and I had people buy my books and were interested in my website and a couple of the sites I frequent as an author. All in all a good day.

14702331_1344993582191009_7933048603693284889_n

December 17th, is the Brain to Books Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler. Every year Brain to Books hosts a Holiday Book Giveaway. This year, our giveaway is a CyCon Sampler. Get a sneak preview of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention to be held in April. While you’re here, we have a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out to someone along with a list of books we’re giving away! Here’s what’s happening.

1 – Browse the Author Takeover displaying sales, giveaways, games, prizes, etc.

2 – $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

3 – Holiday Book Giveaway

4 – Blog Hop (YA, Science Fiction, and Romance)

5 – Vote in Character Tournaments

It should be a lot of fun and who couldn’t use a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

You’ll find us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/624679124381085/

I’ve signed up to host the 5pm Eastern (3pm Arizona) time slot on December 17th. Want to have some fun, play a couple of games? Click on the link and join in the fun.

Shout Out:

Author J.B. Hawker

Author J.B. Hawker

J.B. Hawker is my featured author this week on my Author Interviews. J.B is currently living in the wilds of Northern California, J.B. is a woman of a certain age with a lot of living behind her, who looks forward to all the great adventures ahead.

J.B. mines the richness of her history as a pastor’s wife in small communities all over the Western United States to people her not-quite-cozy mystery/thrillers. (If you’ve ever attended a small-town church, you may even recognize some of the characters.)

Writing from a Christian perspective, her stories include men and women at all stages in their faith walk, along with some truly scary villains.

Can’t wait? You can find her at: http://jbhawker.com/

Where Will I Be?

Do you follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. This is a troll free site and free to join. Enjoy.

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. 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.

Newest Book Release:

troubled-streets-graphic-meme-004

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! 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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Peachy August: Monday Blog Post

Color Logo for Print 051216 500X320

Newest News:

The book festival is over, now it’s time to go full steam ahead on the Northern Gila County Fair. www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com. We have totally revamped the website and designed a new logo and they look so good! You should check it out right away. So much new stuff this year, I’m very excited about it. We have a Ranch Rodeo this year on Saturday right after the livestock auction. We have a dance troupe coming on Saturday morning who will perform for an hour and a half. We also have some hotdog, watermelon, and chicken wing eating contests, a magician, and of course, all of the wonderful exhibits the crafty people of Gila county have made. We’re open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check the website for all of the details.

Giveaways:

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The Red Hot Summer giveaway is still in full swing. Just click on the Rafflecopter link. You do have to sign up to Rafflecopter but after that, you’re free to click away. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. This giveaway I offer a free ebook, Mystery at the Fair, or for second prize, a $10 Amazon card. Over a hundred prizes from 50 authors plus a grand prize of $150 Paypal Cash. It’s not hard to enter, there are multiple ways to enter, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You could easily win a prize. If you haven’t entered yet, enter today and every day.

Shout Out:

Author DMG Byrnes

Author DMG Byrnes

This week’s author interview is with DMG Byrnes. a fantasy author. If you’re in a hurry, you can find her at dmgbyrnes.com. We have a great interview lined up and you can see the cover to her new book, the Fortelling Spark. So stop on by on Wednesday!

Garden News:

Peaches from my tree

Peaches from my tree

I picked my first batch of yellow beans a few days ago and ate some for supper and froze the rest. The patch is ready for picking again. I also picked a lot of cherry tomatoes which we’ve already eaten. They’re ready to pick again, too. The big news, I picked all of the peaches from the tree. That’s the picture above. They’re small because I didn’t thin them this spring but they taste wonderful, especially still warm from the sun. I’m running behind the zucchini production. I’ve made zucchini patties, those were delicious. Browned and crisp on the outside and wonderfully creamy and soft on the inside. Yummy! I’ve also added them to Saturday night’s Hot Chili oil and lemon spaghetti with fresh, halved cherry tomatoes. How’s your garden doing?

Where Will I Be?:

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 on Saturday. There are also crafters and a very excellent antique show scheduled, not to mention music and food!

Want more details about this event? 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. 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! I’d love to see you there.

Newest Book Release:

I’ve been editing and rewriting Zoe Ohale. I still have some work to do. I’ve also thought of a cover for the book so I’ll be working on that soon. If you’re a Brown Rain Series fan, I think you’ll like Zoe Ohale. You may remember a short story I published on my blog on 8/20/15, Extra Baggage. That was the second story about Zoe. The first, Betrayal Moon, is in the Forward Motion anthology, due out in the next couple of weeks. 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.

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April Camp NaNo 2016: Monday Blog Post

CNW_Participant

Oh! Oh! Oh! It is April Camp NaNo and as of Sunday, I’m over four thousand words into my new book, Mystery at the Book Festival. Camp NaNo is a slightly different take on the November event. At Camp NaNo, we choose our desired word goal count. Some people choose just 5,000, some, like me, push for that 50,000-word goal. I’m already looking forward to digging deeper into my main character, Jean and her best friend, Karen. In Mystery at the Book Festival, Jean and Karen, both big readers, learn more about authors and book writing and publishing than they ever wanted to know. I think you’ll like the story.

 

Me, Begging for Reviews Photo by Brenda Warneka

Me, Begging for Reviews
Photo by Brenda Warneka

I have not received any notice of reviews yet, the new contest I started last week. Missed last week’s blog? Reviews, you say. What’s up with that? Well, in the publishing world, reviews are everything. They are a measure of my audience involvement, my ratings. My several ratings on Amazon and other book-sellers is predicated on my reviews. How many, how good are they? It’s a thing. Other places actually count the number of ratings I have. If I don’t have “enough” reviews, they don’t want to take my ads or other promotional materials. So for an author, reviews are a big deal. So here’s the contest. If you have read or read one of my books, drop a review for it on your platform of choice. It doesn’t matter to me where you put the review. It also doesn’t matter to me what kind of review it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a good review but that’s not what I’m asking for. I’d like an honest review from you on how you liked my book, whichever one you read. Back to the contest. You write a review. Put it where ever you’d like. Send me a link to your review. In a couple of weeks, I’ll do a random number generator choice of the people who’ve done a review and you win! Prize? An ebook of mine of your choice. Contest ends April 10th. I’ll announce the winner here on this blog and on my newsletter on the 11th.

 

Author Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

Just so you know—my next author interview is romance author Arlene Hittle in two days on Wednesday, April 6th. She’s a wonderful author and her books are sweet. You’ll want to hear what she has to say.

 

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

Tomato Seedlings and Rosemary Cutting

On the gardening front, we had a big cold front move through and it did indeed drop some snow on us. Those tomato seedlings were safely inside. But now the forecast is for warm sunny days. It’s time for me to get the compost on the garden beds and get planting. The rosemary is a sprig I had cut to use with a chicken dish a month ago. I didn’t need that sprig, but thought I would later. I stuck it in a glass of water and not using it, the cutting rooted. So, I’ve stuck it in a pot of dirt. I think I’ll give it to a friend. She doesn’t have rosemary growing in her garden, yet! Who doesn’t need rosemary growing in their garden?

 

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway has started. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. 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 times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day.

 

StPatsGiveawayPromo

Speaking of the Spring Into Reading giveaway, I want to give a shout out to my winners of the Luck o’the Authors giveaway. My first prize winner was Petr Kristek and he won a free ebook. My second prize winner was Belinda Clemons who won a necklace and earring set. I want to thank both of them so much for participating in the giveaway. I’m glad these great fans won these prizes. Don’t forget to enter the Spring Into Reading giveaway.

 

Bookmark and Charms Swag

Bookmark and Charms Swag

The owl charms and the book marks I ordered have come in. I plan on attaching the charms to the book marks to give away to book purchasers at the events I attend. Aren’t they cool!? The April 16th event at the Tempe Library is free but the June MysteryCon is a 2-day event with just a $35 entry fee for BOTH days. Sign up for that now. Mention my name on the registration. I may have a special gift for people who’ve registered in advance and visit me at the event. I am making special prizes for a drawing for those who have registered in advance and noted my name on the registration. I need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look below or at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

 

TempeBookFestival2016

Speaking of appearing, if you get my newsletter you may have clicked on my link to my newest YouTube video. (The video is something only newsletter people receive.) I know! I have a YouTube channel. I didn’t even realize I was setting one up! Anyway, you can see my hair is getting a little shaggy. Sometime this week I’ll be getting it trimmed so I don’t look like a sheepdog at the Tempe Book Festival.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

January-Jones

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out.

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there.

Mystery Con Flyer

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery.  Tickets for both days are only $35. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

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July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. 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.

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

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. 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. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

Kindred Spirits Ad

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.

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Spring has Sprung: Monday Blog Post

Unknown Desert Flower

Unknown Desert Flower

Last week has been a crazy week for me. So much work on writing and my volunteer efforts with the Northern Gila County Fair and the Payson book festival has just left me reeling. Author applications are flooding in for the book festival. On the fair side, a great deal of coordination is taking place for advertising, promotion, and multiple events coordination. Plus for both efforts, volunteers are needed in multiple capacities. Do you live in the Rim Country? I could use your help! Call me.

I’m starting a new contest. One focused on reviews. Reviews, you say. What’s up with that? Well, in the publishing world, reviews are everything. They are a measure of my audience involvement. My several ratings on Amazon and other book sellers is predicated on my ratings. How many, how good are they? It’s a thing. Other places actually count the number of ratings I have. If I don’t have “enough” reviews, they don’t want to take my ads or other promotional materials. So for an author, reviews are a big deal. So here’s the contest. If you have read or read one of my books, drop a review for it on your platform of choice. It doesn’t matter to me where you put the review. It also doesn’t matter to me what kind of review it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a good review but that’s not what I’m asking for. I’d like an honest review from you on how you liked my book, whichever one you read. Back to the contest. You write a review. Put it where ever you’d like. Send me a link to your review. In a couple of weeks I’ll do a random number generator choice of the people who’ve done a review and you win! Prise? An ebook of mine of your choice. Contest ends April 10th. I’ll announce the winner here on this blog and on my newsletter on the 11th.

Just so you know—my next author interview is romance author Arlene Hittle on April 6th. She’s a wonderful author and her books are sweet. You’ll want to hear what she has to say.

On the gardening front, the tomato seedlings are still doing well. A front is moving in and Tuesday is forecast as turbulent. What do I mean? I mean I have no idea what will happen in my town. It could be rain. It could be snow. It could be nothing at all. Tuesday is hiking day for us. Our group, the Payson Packers, C Group, is planning to drive down to Roosevelt Lake for a hike there. Forecast for that area is dry. I shrug. I’ll have to see what the morning brings both for my garden and for the hike.

SpringIntoReadingGiveawayPromo

The Spring Into Reading giveaway has started. I have links to it on my facebook, twitter, and website pages. 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 times to enter. You could easily win a prize. Enter today and every day here.

Mystery in the Woods draft is FINISHED! I am ecstatic. I do have to let it “rest” for awhile before I pick it back up and do a heavy re-write and edit. I am hoping to release it in 2016. In the meantime, I’m outlining the next cozy mystery, Mystery at the Book Festival. It’s the 28th of March and I plan to start writing on April 1st. So I guess I’d better get my outline done.

Take a look at the places I’ll be, below. I’ve ordered owl charms, associated with Kindred Spirits that I’ll attach to new bookmarks. I’ll be giving these away to purchasers of books at the below events. The April 16th event at the Tempe Library is free but the June MysteryCon is a 2-day event with just a $35 entry fee for BOTH days. Sign up for that now. Mention my name on the registration. I may have a special gift for people who’ve registered in advance and visit me at the event. I need to know in advance, though, so register today. Look at my website, Where Will I Be tab for specifics.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out.

TempeBookFestival2016

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there. I have a nice giveaway for purchasers of any book.

Mystery Con Flyer

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery.  Tickets for both days are only $35. New! I’m offering a prize or two to people who register in advance and mention my name in the registration. I do hope you can make it to that one. Here’s a flyer telling all about it.

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. 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.

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

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. 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. The YouTube video I just made about Kindred Spirits will be in the newsletter. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

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.

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Kindred Spirits Promotions: Monday Blog Post

Kindred Spirits Releasing March 14th PTSD w Name

Oh my goodness I’m releasing the third book in my Brown Rain series, Kindred Spirits, on March 14th. What’s all the hoopla about then? Well, I’m doing something different this time. Usually, I put the book up for sale, mention it once or twice and call it a day. This time, I’d like to really get some excitement going. I’m actually promoting the release. I’ve made up little meme cards to post every day. I’ve started a giveaway. More about that in a moment. I’m doing my best to create a bit of buzz. That’s where you come in. If you see one of my posts on Facebook or Twitter or one of the other social media sites, please share. Note that when you see the cards, I’ve put links on them. Not clickable, unfortunately, some issue with jpeg files, but I encourage you to check out the links. Every link discusses something in the book. I hope you find the information both informative and fun.

So what’s this about a giveaway? I’ve started a giveaway on Amazon that ends March 20th. I have 10 First Encounter ebooks to give away. You could win one! You’ll have to follow my Twitter account but that’s all it takes! Click on this link to enter. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/402a5ef0fe1e0234

This is Author Interview week and Terra Luft (terraluft.com) is my guest. Her interview will pop up on the 9th so get ready. She’s an excellent author and a real sweetheart. Stay tuned for that on Wednesday!

Last week I mentioned February as a slow growth time. Not this year. The peach and nectarine trees are blooming. The roses have leafed out and the daffodils are blooming. I’m afraid a March or even April killer frost will descend and all of the fruit buds will be lost. Sigh. A picture of the peach blossoms is at the top of the page.

Have you entered the Luck O’ The Authors giveaway? 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 signed up for all of the authors, there are daily ways to win. Check it out!

Where am I with my writing? Of course, I put up a free flash fiction story every week on Friday on my blog. Do you catch those? I vary genre just because I quite often write to what I’m exposed to that week. The story could be scifi but it could also be a western, or a contemporary, or a fantasy. Free and easy every week. I’m still working on Mystery in the Woods. There are only a few more scenes before I finish the first draft. To be honest, I still don’t know who did it.

Where will I be? Here’s the scoop.

April 11th at 3pm Arizona time I’ll be on the January Jones Sharing Success Stories web talk radio show. Have you heard me there? Don’t miss out.

April 16th I’ll be at the Tempe Public Library book festival where I’m on a panel talking about Science Fiction and World Building. I’m looking forward to meeting you there.

June 2nd and 3rd I’m at the Scottsdale MysteryCon, Death and Deception in the Desert. I’m giving a presentation there as well on writing a mystery. I do hope you can make it to that one.

July 23rd is the Payson Book Festival. 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!

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

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I did something radical. If you are a Brown Rain series fan, I’ve created a list just for you! If you join my regular newsletter, that’s all right too as I’ve put sign-up prizes on both. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for some time and this last week I spent several hours setting it up. Yay! I’m also including my second newsletter video within the newsletter. I’m having fun making these and this time I talk about my nectarine tree and the above giveaway. My next newsletter is being drafted so sign up today. Just a note. I’m going to be sending out newsletters more frequently. Be prepared for fun and contests!

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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