December, Illness, Gold Dreams: Monday Blog Post

Christmas at my House

Newest News:

Are you in full Christmas swing? We’ve completed the outside decorations and lit them up Saturday night, December 1st. They look good. Hubby and I brought in the boxes of Christmas indoor decorations, which also contains the front door wreath so that will be going up shortly. And Sunday it was cold and snowy, so that actually puts me in the mood.

Hubby, Mom, and Me at Halloween 2018

Mom took a turn for the worse on Thursday, falling first thing in the morning. She rested all day, then fell again near midnight, then again on Friday morning. I took her to the emergency room and they tested her for all of the things that can usually be wrong with her causing severe weakness, confusion, and memory loss. By Saturday mid-morning, nothing had been found. They released her and we were home by 11:30am. She was still very weak and confused and after talking to the doc, my siblings, and hubby, I’ve signed my mom up for hospice care. I’ll talk more about hospice another time. I know she’ll get the care she needs. She was better on Sunday, managing to be able to rise from a chair on her own and with the walker, maneuvering around the house a little. This will be an on-going tale. And I hope that you and your family don’t have to go through this. I’m conflicted, as I suppose most people are, with my decision. But in the long run, I think it the best decision.

https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/australian_gold_nugget_by_nerodesign.jpg

For the last few weeks, I’ve been posting further adventures of my western, Gold Dreams. I finished the story and sent it off to my editor. I’ll post some more episodes, just know that they’re raw and sometimes, with my editor, I make some significant changes before actual release. I hope to have this done in time to sell the books at the Black Canyon Heritage Park Winter Fest on January 26th. Black Canyon is north of Phoenix off of I17. Check it out, and if you’re in the area, stop by. I’ll have several of my other books there as well.

Next appearance is in December, the Mesa Book Festival. That’s December 8th. You can find all of the details at https://mesabookfestival.com/.

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is live! We have $120 in PayPal cash as the Grand Prize and from the individual authors, 81 books and 81 prizes. Hoo! Get in on it quickly! You can go here to check it out. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/

From December 3rd to 7th, I’m in A multi-author giveaway with prizes. Check out Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/SuesBookingAgency/. Today begins a week filled with giveaways!! We will also have two author spotlights this week! Be sure to come by to make sure you’re entered….these are truly fabulous giveaways!!

 

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:

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. It is finally up on all of my other retailers in ebook format. You can buy it at Amazon, Apple, 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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5 Minute Perfect Paleo Sandwich Bread: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Paleo Sandwich Bread

We’re headed into the fall and one of the best things is roasted meat. You know—roast chicken, roast beef, roast pork, all the best things about cooler weather. And after the meal, what to do with the left-over meat? Sandwiches of course!

But if you’re on a gluten free or paleo lifestyle like I am, sandwiches are tough. Of course you can do a lettuce wrap. I like those, especially in the summer. But for cold weather, I like something a little heartier. And this bread fills the bill.

If you’re looking for a giant slice of bread, this isn’t going to be it. But taken as is, it’s tasty, holds together well, (especially lightly toasted), and easy to make. So give this a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Note: I took this recipe from the Paleo and Gluten Free Eats website. Find more tasty recipes there at https://paleoglutenfree.com/recipes/5-min-perfect-paleo-sandwich-bread/

5 Minute Perfect Paleo Sandwich Bread

Hardware

Bread Pan, 4.5 X 8.5 inches

Parchment Paper

Mixing Bowl

1 Cup Measuring cup

1/2 Cup Measuring cup

Measuring Spoons

Large Spoon

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cup Almond Flour

3 Tablespoons Psyllium Husk Powder

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

4 Large Eggs

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Apple Sauce

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

See the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite bread to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

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Saying Hello: Daily Post

Picture of the crowd.

Hey there!

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

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

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

Author and Blogger, Sharon Day

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

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

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

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on 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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Giveaways, Gulliver Series Box Set: Monday Blog Post

 

Newest News:

I’m working on re-editing and reformating my Gulliver Station series as a box set in both ebook and paperback formats. It’s slow going as I apparently don’t know how to use a comma. Also, I’m catching little typo’s. It’s coming! Really it is.

I have Mystery at the Fair in a 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!

I never did get started on the edits for Mystery at the Reunion or my new Zoe Ohale story. So much work to do, only 24 hours in a day.

I did, however, figure out how to automate getting my books into the hands of readers for reviews. I’ve started with Tested, my newest release. Twenty copies were available and two are already taken. So if you’d like an Adavnce Reader Copy of Tested and to write a review for me, go to https://booksprout.co/arc/1639/tested. You’ll have to join but it’s free. You can follow me there so you get updated on every new release!

Giveaways:

So 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 are two other giveaways.

 

First up 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.

Next, starting March 16th, is a Mystery promo. I’m in that with Mystery at the Fair, if you haven’t read it yet. But there will be a lot of other mystery authors in the promo as well. A link for that will be up closer to the date.

Shout Out:

Author Holly Lisle

Today I’m giving a shout out to Holly Lisle. If you like scifi and fantasy, she’s an author you should read. Hear what she has to say about herself.

I’ve been writing with intent to publish since January 1st, 1985 when my New Year’s resolution was to write a novel before I turned twenty-five (ten months later, more or less).

I hit my resolution with a few days to spare, but the book, Hearts In Stitches, sucked. I wrote a LOT after that, accumulating a big shoebox with well over a hundred rejection slips in it before anybody decided I was good enough to pay for fiction.

I actually started selling in 1991, and I broke in with with the fantasy novel Fire In The Mist (which won the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel), and with a couple of sonnets I sold to the SF magazine Aboriginal.

It was a long hard slog between intent and realization.

It’s been a rollercoaster ever since.

But I love telling stories. In fiction, I’ve found the work I want to do for the rest of my life.

You’ll find a little more about me by reading the rest of the About pages at www.HollyLisle.com. Frankly, though, there’s much more of who I really am spread across the writing articles and sprinkled through the heart of my fiction and sprawled all over the damn place in my weblog, Pocket Full of Words.

I am not my work. But my work is me.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my engagements through 2018.

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

And, on Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be at the renamed Phoenix Comic Fest. (formerly Phonenix Comicon) I’ll be in Author Alley at tables AA928 and 930 with author Marsha Ward. If you’re coming to Arizona, stop on by and say hello. I’ll be in costume this year! We can take a picture together. Tickets for the Fest are already on sale.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both 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! I have a contest running on my newsletter now. 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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Author Interview: Colleen Mooney

Author Colleen Mooney and her dog, Meaux

Today we have Colleen Mooney with us. Colleen Mooney was born and lived much of her life in New Orleans before a job moved her to other cities.  She writes a cozy mystery series set in New Orleans. It’s called The New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles and the third book, Drive Thru Murder, was released in early April.

Since January 2017 Colleen organized a Sisters In Crime chapter in New Orleans, has been elected President and has a planned a Mystery Writers’ Conference for June.  She is currently working on her 4th book in the Brandy Alexander series.  You would expect her protagonist with a name like Brandy Alexander to be a stripper instead of the girl next door with a serious passion for rescuing dogs. Brandy has a way of being at the eye of every storm that seems to go through the city and we’re not talking about the weather.  In the city known as The Big Easy, Brandy Alexander’s life is like a Category 5 Hurricane. You have to ask, Is there anything in Brandy Alexander’s life that is not complicated? There’s no place like New Orleans to have a good crime!

Colleen was born and raised in New Orleans and lived in the Irish Channel along with just about everybody else in her family.  She says, “New Orleanians are a lot like boomerangs or homing pigeons.  If we move away, we always move back.”

Colleen worked in corporate America for twenty-one years before retiring and has lived in Birmingham, Atlanta, New Jersey and New York. She moved back to New Orleans every time before another corporate reorganization would transfer her to another city.

“My vacation and work related travels opened my eyes as to how different we are in New Orleans.  We are very different from the rest of the state, let alone the rest of the country. We have different laws, different food and the way we cook it, different weather, different things we celebrate and how we celebrate them. We even have a different language in some cases.  Everyone thinks New Orleans is all about a good time in the French Quarter or on Bourbon Street, but those of us from here know that’s only the tip of the iceberg, well, if we had icebergs.”

Colleen loves to travel and do new things.  She is an avid Scuba diver and Underwater photographer, owned and raced sailboats in the Gulf of Mexico, Key West and the BVI. She has owned a  motorcycle and has skied Colorado, Idaho, California, New York State as well as the German and Austrian Alps.

In New Orleans, she’s been active in many Mardi Gras Krewes, Super Krewes, and organizations and has belonged to the Krewe of Cork, Orpheus, Iris, Tucks, Joan of Arc and the Halloween Krewe of Boo. Colleen says she has never met a parade she didn’t like.

She’s an ardent animal lover and the Director for a breed rescue, Schnauzer Rescue of Louisiana for the last fifteen years.  She has rescued and placed over 300 abandoned or surrendered Schnauzers.  She loves to write, and writes about what she loves. Colleen says, “New Orleans is where it all happens for me.”

Let’s give Colleen a warm welcome and get started.

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

My favorite hobby is anything to do with or on the  water…sailing, diving, swimming, water skiing, tubing, sitting on the beach—anything. I can walk along the waters’ edge for hours.  My dad had me swimming before I could walk.  My mother was terrified of the water…guess who I took after?

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

Who would I spend an afternoon with and why?  Jacques Cousteau pioneered scuba gear to open up a world of adventure for the average person. He is a legend in his efforts to save the oceans from dumping waste and raise awareness on why we should protect them. I would ask how and what got him on that path. What adversities did he experience and how did he overcome them.  I’d like to hear his most exciting  explorations and how he discovered them.  When you consider his travels, his underwater filming of documentaries, his explorations and his equipment he designed and pioneered it all seems too much for one person. I’d like to know what he ate for breakfast (smle).

He was a unique individual that inspired me to find  a water world of adventure and excitement.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Not just coffee…coffee WITH chicory.  I’m a New Orleans girl.

4. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the 4th book in my series, New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles. I have a working title but I don’t think that will be it when I’m finished.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

My writing style is part plotting and part organic (pantser).  I have an outline but my characters don’t always follow it.  (smile).

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

My advice to someone beginning their writing career?  Don’t do anything like I’ve done because it seems most of it was wrong.  I don’t know what to tell anyone.  We all need to find our own path in life. What worked for me might work against someone else.  I draw a lot from my experiences and that of others since I’ll never live long enough to make that many mistakes on my own!

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?

Many of my ideas come from day-to-day life in New Orleans, which is to say, not a normal, day-to-day, life  All of my stories are grounded in real life events, characters or places that I fictionalize. A reader once wrote a review saying that my stories were preposterous and could not really happen.  She should see what I left out!

Here’s where you can find me:

Email:      colleen@colleenmooney.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ColleenMooneyAuthor

Website: www.colleenmooney.com

Twitter: mooney_colleen@twitter.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8548635.Colleen_Mooney

And thank you Colleen for spending a little time with us. Gentle reader, please take the time to visit Colleen on any or all of her social media. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

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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 6 of 7: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Dos – Available for adoption now from:
Annie Bamber
Outreach Programs Coordinator
(928) 474-5590 ext. 100
annie@humanesocietycentralaz.org
www.humanesocietycentralaz.org
Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/humanesocietycentralaz/
“Because They Matter”

 

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

Trigger warning: Dog violence.

 

Jean was in her black jeans, a black t-shirt and a black sweatshirt, which she’d just bought today. It could be chilly out in the woods and she wanted it with her. She’d spent Saturday afternoon reacquainting herself with her big camera. Usually she used her little hiking camera or just her cell phone to take pictures. She made the house as dark as she could to practice shooting without a flash. Frustrated, Jean had to download a YouVid how-to video to get it right. She had a sandwich for supper and fidgeted as she stared out of her patio window watching the sun go down.

It was after six when Karen pulled up in her Jeep. “Ready?” she asked as Jean hopped into the car.

“Yes. I thought this afternoon would never end.” Jean buckled her seat belt. “I have everything. We just need to get there and not get caught.”

Karen pulled away from the curb. “That’s the trick. Isn’t it?”

They rode in silence, even after turning onto Forest Road 222. Jean watched behind them. “I see lights two switchbacks back.”

Karen nodded. “We’re almost down.”

Jean twisted in her seat to watch more comfortably. “Hurry, but don’t crash.”

Karen snorted. “Thanks.”

A minute later, “We’re down, now to find that spot.” Karen crept along, not wanting to miss the turn off. “Got it.” She pulled in and around the bushes and turned off the car and lights.

Jean spun around in her seat and watched out to the road. “They’ll be right along.”

They sat, hardly breathing, staring through the bushes. Even in the Jeep, they could hear the roar of a diesel truck engine. A moment later, they watched the lights pass, engine loud enough to make the Jeep shake. They sighed at the same time, then giggled with nerves. “Okay. Let’s get out and do some sneaking.” Jean gathered the camera and her sweatshirt. “Ready? Open doors, get out, close doors so as little light as possible shows.”

Karen nodded.

“One, two, three.” Jean opened her door, slid out and closed it as fast and as quietly as she could. “You there?” she asked into the dark.

“Yep. I’ve got my flashlight and a hiking stick.”

“I’ve got my camera and my flashlight.” Jean pulled the camera strap over her head. “I guess we’re ready.”

“We should cross the road here. Then keep to the woods along the way. If we turn off our flashlights when we hear a car, they’ll never see us.” Karen came around the end of the Jeep and waited for Jean.

“Sounds like a plan. I’m ready.”

The two women picked their way to the road and hearing nothing, crossed it, moving as far away from the forest road as seemed prudent. They kept their flashlights pointed down. It meant that they could only see a couple of feet in front of them but better than making themselves a target.

Jean’s heart pounded. Every step they made sounded like it could be heard in Greyson but without being able to see too far ahead, there wasn’t much they could do about it. As they moved forward, more and more cars passed on their left. Each time they shut off the light and hunkered down. With every car that passed, they grew more comfortable. “They can’t see us.” Karen whispered.

“They’re not looking.” Jean whispered back as a pick-up truck, every external light known to man lit up on the truck, passed by. It’s very hard for the human eye to pick out shapes in the dark unless they’re looking for them, are lit up in some way or are moving. It’s when we get to the ring that we’ll have to be careful.”

By the time they made the third of a mile, festivities were in full swing. From the edge of the woods they could see trucks surrounded the ring, lights on. At the moment, it was empty. One guy was selling beers from coolers off of his tailgate. Men and women were standing around the fence, laughing and joking, while others sat on the truck hoods, able to see over the heads of those standing.

Men and dogs were at the poles Jean and Karen had noted earlier, one dog tied per pole. People wandered among the tied dogs, as men debated the merits of the dog or the dog in relation to some other dogs. Jean took pictures of the dogs and their owners as best she could without a flash.

Karen pointed out that the men were giving their dogs rubdowns and checking their paws. “They’re treating them like boxers.”

“Yeah, but a boxer has a choice.”

She saw a number of smaller dogs, ones that didn’t look like fighting dogs at all. “I wonder why the little dogs?”

“No idea,” Karen whispered back.

They were interrupted by an announcement. They looked at the ring. From the back of a huge white pickup, a man stood with a microphone. “To start the evening, a demonstration by Bill Munson on training your fighting dog.

The gate farthest from them opened. Jean moved to get shots of the man in the ring. He led a German Shepherd. Behind him another man led a small terrier on a leash. Jean moved closer, standing on a fallen pine to get higher. Karen followed.

The man in the ring spoke without a microphone. He slipped the leash off the shepherd and began to talk. She was too far away to hear. Jean could see Karen straining to hear. The second man let the terrier loose. The first man called a command. Before she knew what was happening the shepherd ran straight for the little dog. She began snapping. The dog grabbed the terrier by the neck and with only a small squeal, the shepherd shook its head and tossed the small dog in the air.

The man called the dog back and snapped the leash in place. Jean stopped snapping and got off the log. Her hands were shaking so hard she was glad she had the strap around her neck. Karen was bent over, retching.

 

Thank You!

1025 Words

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

 

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Author Interviews: Colleen Cross

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I’d like to welcome Colleen Cross to my blog today. Colleen Cross writes page-turning thrillers and fun, cozy mysteries. She lives with her family on the West Coast. When she’s not writing, she loves to run, hike, and explore with her rescue dog Jaeger, who reminds her daily that life’s too short to not follow your dreams–or a squirrel or two. Her books are international bestsellers and have been translated into multiple languages with more to come.

I’m sure we’ll have fun today. Let’s get started, shall we?

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

I like to run and hike with my dog, Jaeger. We have fun wearing each other out. 🙂

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

Agatha Christie. Aside from her talent as a mystery writer, she was extremely successful as a businesswoman in an era where women didn’t work. It would be fascinating to get her perspective on things.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Strong coffee.

4. What are you working on right now?

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I am writing books 3 and 4 of a humorous witch cozy mystery.

5. How would you describe your writing style? Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Read lots on the craft, join a critique group and write as much, and as regularly, as you can. Practice makes perfect. I would also advise someone just starting out to research their genre by studying bestsellers. You can write what you love, but you also want to be able to see it. There’s a way to do both if you study the market.

6. 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 am never short of ideas. I probably have 3-4 ideas a day for different books. Plotting and writing it out is where the real work is for me.

7. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

You can find me here:

Website: http://colleencross.com

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

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Thank you so much Colleen. Both of your series sound like a lot of fun. Dear readers, please visit her website at www.colleencross.com and sign up for her twice-yearly private newsletter to hear about new releases and exclusive subscriber-only offers. You can also connect with her on social media: Twitter: @colleenxcross or find her on Goodreads.

 

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Author Interviews: Lyndsey Cole

I’d like to welcome author Lyndsey Cole to the blog today. Lyndsey Cole lives in New England in a small rural town with her husband who puts up with all the characters in her head, her dog who hogs the couch, her cat who is the boss, and 3 chickens that would like to move into the house. She surrounds herself with gardens full of beautiful perennials. Sitting among the flowers with the scent of lilac, peonies, lily of the valley, or whatever is in bloom, stimulates her imagination about who will die next!

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

I would have to say gardening, especially flower gardens. I spent thirty years growing cut flowers to sell to flower shops and there’s something about the scent, the colors, the variety, and the short life span that has me addicted to flowers!

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

I would love to meet Sue Grafton. I love her Kinsey Millhone character –a strong, smart female – and it would be fascinating to hear how she develops a story, where the initial idea comes from, her plotting method, where she pulls her characters from, and her writing discipline.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

That’s an easy choice—tea. I’ve never been a coffee drinker even though I love the smell of coffee and soda is just too sweet for my taste buds. My routine is a pot of black tea in the morning and a pot of either lemon ginger or peppermint in the afternoon.

 

4. What are you working on right now?

I’ve just completed book 9, Jingle Buried Cookies, in my Black Cat Café series and I’m working on an outline for book 5 in my Hooked & Cooked series.

 

5.  How would you describe your writing style?

Usually I just start right in once I have an idea for the first paragraph but with my latest project, I’m forcing myself to spend more time plotting with the hope that the writing will go quicker.

 

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

Write! Put one word after another and repeat until done! Sounds easy, doesn’t it, but if you don’t start, you will have nothing. One of the first things I remember reading is, you can fix crap but you can’t fix nothing, or something like that. You will get better the more you write.

 

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?

Both but probably more the normal, day-to-day stuff. My secret idea generator is my 90 year old mom who moved in with me a year ago. She loves giving me ideas and I’ve used several in my books!

 

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

http://lyndseycolebooks.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/LyndseyColeAuthor/

Thank you so much, Lyndsey for joining us today. We’ve enjoyed talking to you.

Readers, if you’d like to know more or follow Lyndsey in her writing journey, check out her website and facebook pages!

 

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Big News: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So much is going on. I just put Mystery at the Fair on Bundle Rabbit. This is a new site that allows the author to list my book individually but also has curators who build bundles (ebooks!) at discounted prices. https://bundlerabbit.com. You do have to be a member but it’s free. Seach on my name. So far I just have one book in there but if it becomes popular, I’ll put other books in there.

I have a Thunderclap underway and it ends on the 13th! A Thunderclap is a way to let my readers, friends and family help me let people know my book has been released. It’s free for my readers, friends and family to do and it’s simple. Click on the link, tweet, facebook or tumblr post with the handy buttons. It’s simple, free, and helps me a lot. I’m doing this Thunderclap on Mystery in the Woods, my newest book. So, can you help me out? Click here, click on the social media button, and that’s it! I really appreciate the help. http://thndr.me/rzLcmq

By next week I’ll have an Instafreebie up, so stay tuned for that.

And! Just yesterday I put my blog up on Kindle Publishing for Blogs. You’ll be able to get my blog delivered directly to your Kindle and read it wirelessly! How cool is that! Check out Kindle Publishing for Blogs!

Giveaways:

Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway winners were Karen Giasson and Emily Smith. I’ve sent them emails but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. When they do, Karen wins a free ebook and Emily won the mug! Don’t miss out on the next one. It’s being called For the Love of Books, Valentines Giveaway. The link is https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link. This is a short giveaway because we’re lining up one for St. Patrick’s Day. So get in on the opportunity to win $135 in Paypal cash plus prizes from over 40 authors, that’s over 80 prizes! Hurry!

 

Shout Out:

If you’re looking for books, perhaps you’d be interested in Joshua Robertson. He’s a author of dark scifi and fantasy and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/joshua.robertson.9235?fref=ts. Check out his page.

 

Where Will I Be?

The lovely author Gail Kittleson, who writes Women’s fiction based in the World War II era, has invited me to appear on her blog. That is today, January 9th! So click on this link, http://www.gailkittleson.com/ and see my post!

This is the week! The local Payson Library is doing a Book Blitz. Throughout the month of January, they’re inviting authors to do a reading and take audience questions. I’ll have books to sell there, too. See me at the Payson Library community room, January 11th at 9am. See you there!

 

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:

Mystery in the Woods released on January 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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