Kindred Spirits Release Day: Monday Blog Post

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Draft front cover: Kindred Spirits

Hoo! I’m releasing the third book in my Brown Rain series, Kindred Spirits, today. I mentioned last week that 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’m really get some excitement going. I’m actually promoting the release. I’ve made up little meme cards and posted every day. I’ve started a giveaway. More about that below. I’ve created a video of all of the meme cards and quotes I’ve made and put it on YouTube. Here’s the link. Please share it with all of your friends, family and significant others. Note that the cards have links on them. Not clickable, unfortunately an  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. The book is up on Amazon, paperback and Kindle, and Smashwords and GumRoad for the other ebook formats. Soon it will be out on the other ebook sites and up on chatebooks as well.

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.

Last week was Author Interview week and Terra Luft ( was my guest. What do you think about the author interviews? Have you found a new-to-you author that you’re checking out?

A friend of mine just gave me some tomato transplants. She always starts way more than she needs. She gave me six plum tomatoes and six unspecified cherry tomato seedlings. About for more of each than I need. I’ll give those away. I will, however, still grow or obtain Sungold cherry tomato plants and some Early Girls. Both of those varieties grow really well for me here in central Arizona. And we LOVE the sungolds. There’s no way I’m going to have tomatoes and not sungolds.

Have you entered the Luck O’ The Authors giveaway? This is going to end at midnight St. Patrick’s Day, just 3 days away. That means a lot fewer contestants over some of the longer giveaways. Go to to enter the Rafflecopter. Even if you’ve signed up for all of the authors, there are daily ways to win. Check it out!

Another fun thing I found a few weeks ago is called Cover Wars over on I submitted my book cover for Mystery at the Fair even though I knew I was going to revise it. Anyway, here’s the fun part. You can go to the site, vote for my cover or someone else’s every day through Saturday. You get to see some new to you authors and I get a little free publicity for my book. It’s a big win all the way around. Stop by to vote and/or share this page so that all your friends can vote. You don’t even have to sign up for anything. Just scroll down the page past the covers and vote for me or someone else daily through Saturday.

Speaking of covers and Mystery at the Fair. I’ve been thinking about redoing the cover before Mystery in the Woods comes out. A friend of mine had some time and designed me the best cover ever, and one for Mystery in the Woods! It is so awesome! Can you tell I’m excited about it?  Here it is. What do you think?

Mystery at the Fair New Cover2

I’m continuing to work 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. I’m also now writing non-fiction hiking stories for my local paper. Hubby does most of the photography. A friend of mine told me he ran into some hikers on a trail I wrote about a few weeks ago and they were there because of the story in the paper. How cool is that! April is Camp NaNo and I’m plotting out my next mystery book, Mystery at the Book Festival. It takes place the summer following Mystery in the Woods and poor Jean Hays is starting to look like the murder whisperer. In the mean time my novel Zoe Ohale is up for rewrites and edits, then after that, my still not really titled book, All about Bob. I’d like to get both of those out this year!

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.  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.

Mystery Con Flyer

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. 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 today! 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 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.

Flash Fiction Friday Post: Mean Girl

Preacher's Cave Mouth by Randy Cockrell

Preacher’s Cave Mouth by Randy Cockrell

I wonder at times if my readers are interested in the writing process? I wrote this as part of a 3 day mini-workshop. This is the final step to the workshop, writing the opening scene to a story. What do you think? Do you want to read more? Is the character engaging? Do you sympathize? Comments are open.

Mean Girl

“Don’t leave me!” sobbed Sonia Lizzaro to Kortni Forsythe but Kortni had already crawled ahead, leaving Sonia in the pitch black cave, bugs crawling all over her and with a broken leg besides. She was on her own. She couldn’t even hear Kortni any longer.

Sonia wiped her teary face on her shoulder. She could feel the mud slide across her face. She sniffed and could smell the decay around her. “Serves me right,” she said out loud. The cave was too quiet. She wanted to hear a voice, even if it was her own. “I should have known better to try and save her. She’s picked on me since we were in grade school, why would she change now?”

Sonia steeled herself to crawl through the mud and muck of the cave floor. It was certain that Kortni wasn’t going to help. Her broken leg hit a rock in the dark, sending pain shooting up her leg to her brain. She groaned but kept moving. Chubby and out of shape, Sonia gasped for breath. The mud and cave were cold but she was sweating.

“I should have let that crazy hike have her. I shuld have run back to the teacher as soon as I got up from where he knocked me down. Nooo. Instead I go after them, watching till he left. She’d do the same for you, I though. Ha, what a joke. Who was I kidding?”

She slithered forward, the cave ceiling just inches over her head. “She was so grateful when I untied her. We cleared the rock fall together. I thought we’d be friends. Yeah, friends. As soon as I showed her the direction out she left me. If only that rock hadn’t fallen on my leg.”

Another wave of pain flooded through her. She stopped and gasped. A wave of fresh air hit her face. “Maybe I’m nearly at the entrance,” she told herself. “Come on, Sonia. Get a move on. It’s freezing in here.” She crawled further, raising her head and forcing her eyes wide to catch any glimmer of light.

She screamed and brushed wildly at her face where a bug was crawling. Sonia sobbed with fear and disgust. “Let me out of here,” she wept. “Please, God, just get me out.” Crawling again she counted every arm pull forward. “You can do it. Keep it up. Go ten more.”

It seemed to take forever but after ten sets of ten she saw a glimmer of light. “Thank you, God.” She moved faster not that she could see the way out.

Finally she stuch her head out of the crevice. She wept with joy at the sun’s warmth on her face. Sonia slid out of the hole onto the rock surrounding the cave mouth and lay on the warm rock. She looked at herself after she caught her breath. She was covered in mud and squashed bugs. Kortni’s scarf, tied around the gash in her leg was filthy. “That’s never gonna come clean,” she said to herself.

Sonia pulled herself up on a rock then stood on her good leg. She looked around for a stick to help her walk. She just wanted to go home and get clean. If she never went outside again it would be too soon. She hobbled from rock to tree, finally finding a stick. When she got back to school she was going to tell everyone how Kortni had left her.

Struggling to stagger along, she didn’t hear the brushes rustling. It wasn’t until a shadow fell across her path that she looked up.

“You again,” the hiker grinned. “You look like crap.” He frowned at her. “You took my girl away from me.”

Sonia’s heart fell. The fear and terror of the cave came boiling out of her. “Leave me alone!” she screamed at him.

He laughed then grabbed her arm. “You’ll have to do.” He pulled her back the way she’d just come.

She began to cry.


The End

664 Words

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