Snowmageddon, Slave Elf Goes Live, Where I’ll Be: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Here in central Arizona, we’ve been in a battle with snow. It snowed last Monday, creating a mess and leaving behind snow covered roads. That’s all right. While this area isn’t used to snow, there is snow-clearing equipment and the snowfall was only a few inches. The weather cleared so that Tuesday and Wednesday, while slightly above freezing, let everyone shovel out. That didn’t prepare us for a massive snowstorm that hit on Thursday. It snowed non-stop all day and into the night at a record-breaking pace. Hubby and I shoveled the driveway 4 times on Thursday. No snowplows on our street at all. On Friday morning, another foot of snow was on the ground. Hubby gave up shoveling the whole driveway, just doing the half behind our Jeep. A plow came down our street once. On the side of the street where no one lives, left the half of the street where all the houses are, snowed in, and left. No plow on Saturday. A couple of my neighbors called in private snow-clearing, who shoveled them out to the half of a cleared street. On Sunday, still no plows, hubby and I shoveled a path across the snow-filled street to get to the open road. Temperatures are going up and there is significant melting, but it takes a long time to melt three feet of snow. Glad that’s over.

Slave Elf is released on Amazon in both ebook and paperback. It will release on Smashwords on the 28th. I still have a few copies up on Booksprout for an advanced reader copy (ARC) at https://booksprout.co/arc/10825/slave-elf. I do require at least one review. Only 13 copies available at my last check. I do have a 5-star review up on the ebook edition. Many thanks to Firefly Girl for the review!

The next project I have going is Gold Dreams. I went through the edits, and the story is looking pretty good! I need to get that formatted so the cover for it can be finished. Next week, though. I have to get Slave Elf onto Amazon this week!

Giveaways:

The Valentine’s day giveaway is now over and there are 45 prizes to give away and 45 books. The grand prize is $135 in Paypal cash. A winner’s list will be out soon, and I’ll let you know who won my prizes.

A St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will run soon. Stay tuned for that or check out my giveaways page on my website.

In the meantime, I’m in a promotion with 19 other women writers on Book Funnel. You can check out the books here. There are romances, mysteries, shifter stories and even a non-fiction. Don’t miss out. These are all free for a short time.

Where will I Be?:

I have a speaking engagement at the March 2nd PEO International meeting in Goodyear, AZ. See the above flyer for all of the information. You can find out more about PEO International at http://www.PEOInternational.org.

If you are a fan of most any genre, I’m participating in an on-line cyber conference here: http://owscycon.ourwriteside.com/about-ows-cycon/. The event is May 17th through May 19th. There are discussion forums, author giveaways, and so much more. Check out the link and sign up to participate. Sign up also gets you news on what’s happening and when. So sign up today. You might just be the person we want to have in our panel discussion!

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 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.

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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Snowfall: Flash Fiction Friday Post

It started snowing at seven in the morning. By seven-thirty, it was coming down at about an inch an hour. Social media filled with pictures people took of the snow in their yards, their neighborhoods, their towns. No one had seen anything like it.

“It never snows this far south,” one woman said as she was interviewed by a local TV reporter. I don’t even have a snow shovel!”

Estelle turned the TV off. It was February. Why did they all panic at the sight of a snowflake. She got up and went to the kitchen to make some hot tea. Estelle had come from upstate New York. Snowfall of a foot or even two was pretty normal. It was just after noon and she’d already been out twice to shovel her short driveway and even shorter front walk.

Big improvement over New York, she thought as she waited for the electric kettle to bring the water to a boil. There it would have taken me two hours just to get the driveway cleared, let alone the walks and the decks. No, she decided. It is much better here.

Tea made, she took it into the living room and settled in under an afghan her mother had made for her and read a book. Three hours later, it was time to clear the driveway again.

She dressed lightly. Shoveling snow was a workout. Estelle grabbed the shovel out of the garage and began. It was wet and heavy, this late in the day, not like the fluffy, dry snow from the colder morning. Working steadily, she cleared the walk, then began the driveway. Halfway done she stopped to rest. The street where she lived was populated but no one was out. The snow was still falling at a fast clip, big, fat, wet flakes, drifting down, smothering all the sounds she normally heard in the area.

When she got to the street, she realized the city plows still hadn’t been through, no one had. She shook her head. What if one of the neighbors needed an ambulance. She glanced next door. Trudy Willa had been carried off by ambulance twice in the last year. There was no sign of Trudy or her husband, Dave. Obviously, they were going to wait to clear their drive. They always hired someone.

Estelle knocked the wet snow off of her shovel and got back to work. The cloudy day made nightfall that much sooner. She wanted to get this done and get back inside and make a little dinner. Spaghetti, she thought, with jarred sauce. That’ll be quick and easy. She stopped shoveling to move her shoulder around. It was hurting. No wonder, she thought. She hadn’t had to shovel snow in the six years she’d been here.

After two more shovelfuls, she stopped again. She was a little nauseous, too. Good thing she was going to make a quick dinner. Estelle looked around. The driveway was nearly done. Good. She shoveled more, tossing the snow as far as she could. This storm was supposed to last through tomorrow. She didn’t want the snow to pile up too much right next to the driveway. She rubbed her arm again. Going to have to do more arm work in the gym, she thought and went back to work.

She was close to being done and the daylight was fading fast. Just in time, she thought. She was ready for another hot cup of tea. That’s when the pain hit her in the chest, radiating out to her arms so hard and fast Estelle fell to her knees, the shovel falling from her hands. What the…, she thought as she gasped for breath. What was going on?

The pain wouldn’t stop. She wanted to get up, get inside, call someone, but she just couldn’t get her legs to move. Another sharp pain came washing through her. She fell over on her side, still gasping from the intensity of it. Get up, she told herself. You can’t lay on the driveway. You’ll freeze. But still, she couldn’t move. Estelle lay there, the snow drifting down on her. She concentrated on just breathing. Slow and steady, she thought, but any deep breath made her hurt even more.

Ridiculous. I’m not going to just lay out here. She tried to roll to her knees, but any movement just set off more chest pain. Heart attack, she thought. I’m having a heart attack. She lay her head on the cold, wet, cement of the driveway, her knees pulled up to her chest. She could feel the wet soaking into her jeans and the shivering start.

Gently. Very gently. Get inside and call the ambulance. You can do it. Don’t worry about how much it hurts. So slowly, very slowly, she rolled up, gasping with the pain and began to crawl to the garage door. It was fifteen feet away. You can do it, she told herself. This will teach you to carry the phone in your pocket. At ten feet from the open maw of the garage, she had to rest. Her knees were protesting the crawl on the hard cement. Shut up, she told them. We’ve got bigger problems. Ten feet, let’s go.

It was getting darker. The lights weren’t on. She hadn’t needed them when she’d first come outside. You can’t lay here, Estelle, she told herself. Get inside. Do it! She raised herself and crawled. Her gloves had soaked through and her hands felt like ice. Three feet from the edge of the door, her arms collapsed as another chest pain hit. She fell over and pulled her knees up to her chest, her head next to the wooden door frame. Please no, she thought. Not like this. Then she felt nothing.

Dave found her the next day when he took his fat little chihuahua for its walk—Estelle was a shapeless blob of snow near the open garage door, frozen.

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Flash Fiction Friday Story: The Drive Home

Do you ever get those days where it’s all going wrong? You wonder why, and even more, how you got to this point in your life? Ever ask yourself, is this all there is? So do I. Here’s a story about it.

The Drive Home

Pat stood in five inches of snow beside her car. Once the car was unlocked, she tossed in her purse and grabbed the snow brush from the floor of the back seat. Snow was sliding into her pumps. She’d already started the car and turned on the defrosters. By the time she finished brushing off the five inches of snow, the windows would be clear and the car would be warm.

Perfect, she stepped into the pile of snow she’d just brushed off of the rear window and trunk. I might as well be barefoot. It wasn’t supposed to snow today. Damn forecast.

The wet snow was soaking through the leather gloves she had on. Nothing’s gone right today, why should the drive home be any different. And what was with the programmers today. Sheesh, did they think I was going to swallow the excuse their computer has been down all week so they couldn’t get their assigned tasks done? All they had to do was call the trouble desk. She brushed the snow off of the side windows so hard it flew in a spray, sparkling in the parking lot lights, ten feet.

And the Financial Officer, my God, it’s a computer development company, yes, I need more servers. He needs to let go of a nickel now and then. She finished cleaning off the windshield and threw the brush back into the back seat. Once in the driver seat, she turned the heater vent onto the floor. Her feet were wet and half frozen.

The parking lot hadn’t been cleared yet so she had to back up carefully and creep slowly out of the parking lot. She breathed a sigh of relief when she reached the road.  Thank God the plow has been through.

It was an hour after the standard 5pm quitting time but the snow had delayed everyone in the city. Roads were slushy and the snow was still falling. Getting to work in the morning is going to be a treat. She maneuvered through the traffic lights and to the on ramp of the cross-town highway.

The four lane highway was bumper to bumper, delayed motorists anxious to get home. At the toll booth of the New York State Thruway, only a few lanes were open causing cars to criss-cross in front of each other to find an open booth. Pat saw several cars sliding uncontrollably, miraculously missing other autos as they all jockeyed for the booths that seemed to be moving the fastest.

She slowly moved through the chaos until she was on the Thruway. The three lanes were all clear, at least here, close to the city. Plows must have started clearing as soon as it started snowing. Pat could relax a little, driving in the middle lane, so the people with no sense could race along the fast lane but out of the way of the people getting off on these near exits.

She didn’t turn on the radio. She wanted quiet, time to decompress. It was an hour and a half drive home on a good day, so she had time to try and get over the frustration, anger and tension of the day.

After most of the motorists had left the highway she could relax a little more. She cranked the heat up another notch, her feet were still cold. Taking a big breath, she let it out slowly. The Chief of Operations had chewed out her boss that afternoon in a meeting with her, because the project was behind schedule. She shook her head. Why is it always the project manager’s fault the programmers didn’t do their jobs? Seriously, I told them the schedule was too compressed at the start of the project. And the building manager, what’s his problem? Why snipe at me in a meeting when I asked how long it would take to install the electrical for that room? That’s his job!

She glanced at the clock on the dash. Six thirty, I’m still fifty minutes from home in this weather. Why do I bother? I could just keep driving. Just keep going, all the way to Buffalo, across Ohio, all the way to California. I’ll bet it’s not snowing in San Diego. I wouldn’t have to put up with the building manager, the programmers, the crazy clients. I could sell the car and live in a camper on a beach somewhere, tending bar for a living. I did it in college, I could do it now.

She glanced at the road sign for the next exit. Two exits to go. I could just speed on by. I could use the credit card to get some cash, sell the car, buy a bus ticket. No one would know where I went. Nobody yelling at me. No responsibilities. No 4-H club meetings to plan, no more worry about the dog’s arthritis, just me; relaxing on a beach. No more snow shoveling. No more refereeing arguments between my brothers.

The road sign for the last exit before hers went by. I wonder if I could change my name? How hard can that be? Do you need a new Social Security number? How do people disappear anyway? They make it look so easy on TV. Bill would worry, I’d have to give him a call, just to let him know I was OK. It’d be unkind to take off and not at least let him know I was OK.

Pat passed the road sign warning that her exit was in two miles. She sighed. He’s making me spaghetti for supper. The other women are envious, a husband that makes dinner every night. She flipped on the turn signal and pulled onto the off ramp. Spaghetti’s my favorite, that’ll be good, I’m starving.

The End

964 Words

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