Flash Fiction Friday: Poltergeist

Energy ball 001 by ISOStock via www.DeviantArt.com

Energy ball 001 by ISOStock via http://www.DeviantArt.com

“How do you do that?” my friend, Linda, asked from the front passenger seat.

“Do what?” I tapped my fingers on the wheel.

“Hit every red stop light? No wonder you’re always late.”

She didn’t know the half of it. “Just lucky, I guess.”

That morning was typical. The toaster burned the bread. The electric kettle wouldn’t boil water. The car starter just turned over until I got out, fiddled with the cable and knocked on the engine block three times. Bad cable you may say but I’ve replaced that cable five times in the last six months.

Anything electrical or electronic is a challenge. At home that night I lit a few candles and an oil lamp and sat down to read. I was half a chapter into the book when I could smell the ozone and hear the zz zz zz. “Come on out, don’t be shy,” I called as I marked my place and set the book on the coffee table.

They did, just like the night a year ago when my great-aunt, Emily, came over to see what I was talking about. We sat in the living room, the lights on, chatting about her bridge club when the lights went out with a huge crackle. Then we saw the little balls of sparks flew out of the kitchen and race around the room, dancing up and down the walls where hidden electrical lines were buried. At the end they drifted to me, circling my head, making the hair on my arms stand up. They raced up and down my body and when I raised my hands, palms up, several settled in each palm, sparkling like fireworks.

After they drifted away and disappeared Aunt Emily took a breath. “Poltergeist, that’s interesting. Can you control them?”

The thought hadn’t occurred to me but from that point on that’s how I spent my evenings, learning to control my little electrical poltergeist. I’m getting pretty good. Most nights I let them come out when they want to. Some nights though, I call them. It was tough at first. I had no idea how to start. It turns out it’s a feeling, a need or desire. Once I mastered that, I began working on sending them to different parts of the room. Their reward is that I call them to me and let them swarm. Cuddle time, I call it. It doesn’t hurt, I feel energized, actually.

Recently I’ve been working on getting them to do actual work. They’ll turn on my lamp for me now when I ask. A week ago I was home, practicing with the poltergeist, when I heard the back door open. A shot of adrenaline surged through me. The little balls of sparks flew around the room in what I could only call a panic. “Who is it?” I rose from my chair.

Something glass hit the floor of the kitchen. The poltergeist shot toward the kitchen door and hovered there. I crept to the door jam and peeked around the corner. The light from the sparking dimly lit the room. A guy was standing in the middle of the floor, glass shards sparkled at his feet. The light from his flashlight hit me in the face. “Get in here,” he growled.

He had a knit balaclava over his head but his eyes were visible. They were wide. I can just imagine what I looked like with balls of sparks flying all around my head. He waved me into the kitchen with the hand that held a bag. “The lights were off. I didn’t think anyone was home. Sit in that chair.”

I slowly moved to the chair next to the kitchen table, pulled it out and sat down. The poltergeist were still with me.

“What is that?” He pointed the flashlight at the balls of sparks. Fear tinged his voice.

“I have poltergeist.”

He took two steps toward me, glass crunched under his feet. “Don’t be smart.” He batted at one that flew close to him.

“It’s true.” I stared him down. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Shut up.” He raised his flashlight and pointed it at me. “Where’s your cash.”

“My purse is on the cupboard,” I pointed to my right.

He crunched across the floor and dumped it on the counter. He ignored everything but the wallet. After he opened it he dug out my cash. “Seriously, twelve bucks?”

“Sorry, didn’t know you were coming.”

“Don’t be wise.” He pulled my credit card out of my wallet and turned to me. “This all you got?”

“Yeah. How many do I need?”

A few of the poltergeist swarmed over the credit card the guy was still holding up. That was going to ruin the magnetic strip on the card but I wasn’t going to tell him. He jerked his hand away and batted at the sparks with the flashlight.

More of the poltergeist flew over and swarmed the flashlight which went out. The guy batted furiously at the sparks. That caused all the rest of them to swarm him, up and down, round and round. I could see him in their light, whirling around and around, swearing. He began to choke and grab at his chest. The flashlight fell to the floor with a crash and rolled under the table. The would-be robber sank to the floor, groaning and gasping for breath.

I got up and went to my landline and dialed 911. “I have a robber in my house. It looks like he’s having a heart attack.”

Ten minutes later, the cops, then the ambulance were at the front door. I’d turned the lights on and encouraged the poltergeist to disappear. The cops took a statement; the EMT’s took the body. Heart attack, they told the cops.

After they left, I swept up the broken and crushed glass. The poltergeist came back out to play. I can think of several ways my friends could be useful.


The End

996 Words

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

Sewing, Cooking, Planning for NaNo, Writing, and Christmas Cards?

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Hubby and me, Bad Witch and Good Witch, photo by Randy Cockrell

Saturday my hubby and I attended a Halloween party with a lot of our hiking friends. That’s the pic, there at the top of the post. We had a lot of fun. I went as a good witch and made my own costume. That’s where the sewing part came in. I had to modify hubby’s costume as well so, more sewing there.

The planning for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo) proceeds down to the wire. I still need two stories for the 14th and 28th of Thanksgiving.  My outline for my Cozy Mystery, working title, Mystery at the Fair, continues with difficulty. I have 45 scenes. I seem to toss more than I write new. I keep going through the cards, wondering where I can insert more trouble for my main protagonist, Jean Hays. I’m starting to wonder if I need another plot line. I have 4 days to figure it out.

I’ve also been thinking about the cover for Mystery at the Fair. Since I want to write these as a series, I’ve been contemplating the theme that will continue from book cover to book cover. My first thought is to have the same background color on each book. I’ll keep you posted on what the unifying element will be. If you don’t know, NaNo is a writing challenge. Every November thousands of authors, new and experienced, try to write 50,000 words or more in the month. It turns out to be 1667 words per day, minimum. You can go to the website and check it out. www.nanowrimo.org/en/sign_in It’s free to join and there are forums to visit to talk with others about writing.

I’m well into the final edits for the second book in my Brown Rain series. It’s at the editor’s now and I expect I’ll have it back from them in the next day or two. I’ll make the final corrections and start the formatting process. I finished the cover for it. It looks great. I think I’ll do the cover reveal next Monday. Stay tuned for that.

That thyme? Still on the drying rack. Sigh. I’d better hurry up and get that down and the rosemary and sage up on the rack.

Oh, and the Christmas Cards? I have made my own Christmas Cards for several years. It’s so much fun to pick a design and then the paper and colors and make all the pieces for assembly. The problem is that I send out about 60 cards, it’s a big family and we have a lot of friends. Unfortunately, it’s the end of October and I don’t have anything planned. Then there’s NaNo taking up a lot of time in November. So, I’ve decided that there won’t be homemade cards this year. I’m a little bummed but relieved that I can put that stress away to concentrate on writing. So, to my friends and family used to getting a homemade card, I apologize, but something has to give.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Flash Fiction Friday: Day Ghosts

Red Sky by Randy Cockrell

Red Sky by Randy Cockrell

The summer sun still spread its fingers of light down my street. I hesitated in the doorway of my apartment building. I needed to get to work but I wanted to wait until the sun was gone from the sky.

The building super moved past me with a barrel of trash for the dumpster. He eyed me as he passed. I nodded. He viewed me with suspicion because I wanted the basement apartment on the north side of the building. “No one wants that apartment, why do you want it?”

I shrugged. “I work nights. I like it dark while I sleep during the day.”

He eyed me then too. “OK, but don’t come back in a month looking for a place on the top floor.”

I promised. I’d never ask for a place on the top floor. I love October. The days are noticeably shorter. I have more time to move around the city without sunlight. I know, most people want to be out in the sun. Not me. And before you ask, no, I’m not a vampire. Those are a myth. My problem is ghosts.

The sun’s last rays lingered but I had to go. I stepped out into the street and looked both ways. I didn’t see anything but I never do when I take this chance. I was nineteen when it first happened. I was leaving the college library after an all afternoon session. All I could think about was getting to the student union and filling a tray with a burger and fries. I was half a block from the Union when a cold shudder swept through me. I stopped dead on the sidewalk and felt as though I was going to vomit. I pushed hair out of my face with a shaky hand. I didn’t have time to be sick. I swallowed and looked around. There were a lot of kids but no one was paying any attention to me. I started on my way and was overcome again with that feeling of ice and doom. I made it to a bush, just loosing its yellowed leaves to the recent frost before I hurled into it. A couple of passing girls giggled. I blushed.

I turned around and headed for my dorm room. Hungry or not, I needed to lie down. I had three more attacks before I made it inside to rest. My mom called me three days later. “Have you been feeling all right, sweetie?”

“Yeah, I must have some bug.” My voice was weak, days of chills and vomiting had taken a toll.

The line was silent for a moment. “When do you get sick?”

“Outside, every time I try to go to class or to the cafeteria, I just lose it.”

She didn’t say anything. I thought the connection had been lost. “Mom?”

“Um, I need to tell you something.”


“You remember your grandmother Winston? Never went out in the daylight?”

“Yeah? Kinda strange. Only went to night mass, that kind of thing.”

“Well, she was cursed.”

I had to digest that information for a minute. “Cursed, like a gypsy curse? There’s no such thing.”

“There is. Look. I’ll drive up. It’ll be dinner time when I get there. You stay inside and rest. I’ll come and get you.”

I felt better by the time she came. It was dark when we left the dorm. She took me to a nice place and I tore into a medium rare steak, baked potato and green beans. Over dessert I opened the discussion. “So tell me about the curse.”

She sipped Pinot Noir. “She was about your age and told me when you were a baby. I never paid any attention to her activities, it all seemed normal to me. She did everything after sunset. I thought that’s what everyone did. As a teen she’d made fun of some old woman on Main Street. The woman glared at her and said, “Laugh now, young one. See how you like living in the dark. This is for you and your’s every other generation for three generations.” Then she spit on the sidewalk at your grandmother’s feet.”

I resisted the urge to lick the inside of the crème brulee cup. “Seriously, Mom?”

“I know. But the symptoms you’re experiencing are the same as hers. Ghosts, she told me, can’t be seen well in the light. They were attracted to her and swarmed her. At night, they left her alone.”

My fingers flipped the licked clean spoon over and over on the white tablecloth. “You expect me to believe that? I can’t go out during the day because I’m being swarmed by ghosts?”

She nodded.

It’s been six years. Mom was right. I can’t see them, but they’re there and if a ray of sun is around, they’ll swarm me. I haven’t told my fiancé yet. I’m not sure how to do that. I round a corner and step into the last of the sunshine. I’m washed in cold air and it feels as though I’ve been punched in the stomach. What’s left of my late lunch comes up as I hurl against the wall of the building next to me. The sun drops behind the horizon and the cold disappears. I dig a tissue out of my pocket and wipe my mouth. A wino on a nearby bench asks if I’m OK.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Must have been bad food.”

“Gotta watch that, Miss. Those diners, they don’t care, just keep serving the old stuff up.”

“Thanks,” I tell him and wobble away.

No, I’m not sure how my fiancé is going to take this at all.

Racing through October

Red Rocks of Sedona by Randy Cockrell

Red Rocks of Sedona by Randy Cockrell

Is the month going by as fast for you as it is for me? Wow, it’s been a crazy month. Last week my hubby and I went to Sedona with several of our hiking friends and had a good time hiking that area. The picture at the top of the post is from there. Too beautiful for words. Of course the weekend before was the craft fair, that was exciting. The 4th was my visit to the Sedona book fair.  Then there are the meetings for the book festival we’re planning for Payson, dental appointments, HOA meeting, project management phone calls and a luncheon for the neighborhood ladies.

In between all of that, I’m prepping for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo). I want to have stories scheduled for every Friday in November so I don’t have to worry about that while I’m writing my newest draft. I have 2 scheduled, 1 written and ready to be scheduled and one still to be done. I still need one for the 31st of October, too. That should probably be kind of Halloweeny, don’t you think? Other NaNo planning is my outline. It’s going to be a cozy mystery, the first one I’ve tried to write. I have five plot lines and about 30 scene sentences completed. I think another 30 – 40 scenes will fill the story out nicely. If you don’t know, NaNo is a writing challenge. Every November thousands of authors, new and experienced, try to write 50,000 words or more in the month. It turns out to be 1667 words per day, minimum. You can go to the website and check it out. www.nanowrimo.org/en/sign_in It’s free to join and there are forums to visit to talk with others about writing. I need to think about a cover for my cozy mystery, too. Hmmm.

The garden is still producing tomatoes and the sweet and hot pepper plants still have a couple peppers on them ripening. Otherwise the garden is looking a little worn and tired. Soon I’ll have to pull everything out and prep the beds for the winter.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Writing Platform? Do I have One?

Phoebe at Park by Randy Cockrell

Phoebe at Park by Randy Cockrell

When I saw this month’s topic, to be honest, I was baffled. I didn’t know what that meant. So, being a modern woman I went to the internet to get some help. I stumbled on http://www.be-a-better-writer.com/writing-platform.html and checked out the definition there. Here’s the first paragraph on their page.

“Having a writing platform means that you have an audience, and that you have some vehicle in place to reach that audience when you have books to sell. This platform is as important to those not yet published as it is to established writers.”

Oh! Yeah, how am I contacting people, selling books, putting my name out there? Good question. The site offers thirteen things you should or could do to create a rounded “platform”. If you’re interested in what they suggest, check out the site. However, we get all of this same information right here on Forward Motion. Here are a few of the things I do.

Aside from writing the next book, which is the number one suggestion, I started a blog. One day I’ll turn it into a regular website but for now, until I start earning money from my books, the blog does much of what a website will do for me. It forces me to write to my audience on a regular basis. I’ve settled on two days per week, Monday and Friday. Friday’s are for a flash fiction piece. It tends to be a little rough. After all, I’m putting out a story a week! But that regularity helps me be consistent. Don’t think I gained a lot of readers right off the bat, it took a long time and I still have fewer than 500. Monday posts are for getting to know me. I share news about my garden, my writing, my family, my hobbies. I’ve focused my blog on my readers, not other authors. You won’t find author tips there but you may find a recipe to use the abundance of your garden.

I have business cards for my writing. That’s another suggestion. When I mention that I’m an author, people want to take a look at what I’m writing. A business card makes it easy. I use the cover of my most recent book as the graphic and usually print ten or so at a time with my facebook page and blog page listed so people can find me. When do I buy business cards? See the next paragraph.

To get more exposure, do an author signing, or a reading at the local library, or give a presentation to a local group. An author signing can be at a book store, the local library or in my case, a local craft fair. I made sure I had plenty of professional looking business cards made up, they cost about $10, and I had a postcard made as a give away at my table. It’s good to offer a little something extra to those that buy your book. And it’s nice to have something with your info on it to give those who look interested but don’t buy right that minute.

Another thing I’ve done is help other authors. I had a lot of help in my path to learn how to be an author. Now, I feel confident enough to help other authors. Being generous with my knowledge helps others and who do you think they’ll mention to their readers when they talk about how they became successful? This is a good place to mention that you can use your website or blog platform to help authors advertise their books. Give them a platform or give them a review. It’s all good.

There are a lot of other ways to add to your writer’s platform. Some I have the time and competence to do, others I’ve not tried yet. If you’re a reader, how do you feel about going to your favorite author’s website? If you’re an author, what do you do to build your writer’s platform? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment box below.

About the picture above. I was looking for a picture of puzzlement. I didn’t find any I liked but I did come across this picture of a little chihuahua I know, Phoebe. It was so cute I had to use it.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara!

Flash Fiction Friday: Royal Apples

Gala Apple on Tree by Randy Cockrell

Gala Apple on Tree by Randy Cockrell

The prompt for this story came from a Chuck Wendig challenge. From a list of uncommon apple names, pick three and create a story using those names. I had fun with this and used more than three names.

King Solomon sat on his throne, Reverend Morgan standing on the floor of the throne room in front of him. All of the King’s advisors and courtiers had been sent from the room. He even dismissed the guards. They were alone.

“Tell me again?”

“Yes, Sire. Your son, Crown Prince Rudolph has come to me in private asking me to wed him and one of your maids, Malinda. I put him off, but it seemed to me that the young man was making an error in judgment. I’ve come to you, despite Prince Rudolph’s confidence in me, to let you know.” He spun his hat in his hands around and around the brim as he spoke.

The King drummed his fingers on the arm of the throne. It was just like his son to run off and try to secretly wed one of the servants. He scowled at the Reverend. “I find it disconcerting, sir, that you betray a confidence of one of your flock.”

Reverend Morgan had the grace to look ashamed.

“That being said, I appreciate the information. Have you met the girl?”

“No, Sire. Just the Crown Prince.” The man shuffled his feet and looked at the floor.

King Solomon glared at the far wall. “That will be all, Reverend. Thank you for telling me.”

The Reverend bowed, turned and hurried to the door of the throne room. By the time the echos of the door closing behind the man finished ricocheting around the room, the King decided what to do. “Guard!”

Two guards opened the door to the throne room and stood at attention. One of you find the Prince and bring him to my apartments. The other one, find the servant Malinda. Bring her to me after the Prince arrives in my apartment.”

The guards bowed and hurried off.

An hour later, Crown Prince Rudolph was shown into the King’s apartment. He was at his carved oaken desk in front of a window, reading dispatches.”

“Father,” the Prince bowed in front of the desk. “You sent for me?”

The King put down the dispatch he was reading and stared at his son. “You’re twenty-three this year, son, are you not?”

“Yes, Father.”

“And you think it’s time for you to marry?”

A blush crept up the young man’s face. He straightened his spine. “I do, Father. I take it Reverend Morgan spoke with you?”

The King stacked his papers neatly and set them to the side of the desk. He folded his hands in front of himself. “He did. You are aware that I am negotiating an alliance with the King of Russet for the hand of his daughter for you?”

“I’m aware, Father. But I’ve never met the girl. She could look like a horse and weigh as much.”

They were interrupted by a knock at the door. “Enter,” the King called out.

The guards escorted the servant, Malinda, into the room. The King dismissed them with a wave of his hand. A comely girl, the King thought to himself, as he watched the two young people exchange worried glances. She stood next to the Prince after a curtsy to the King.

“You wish to wed my son?”

She glanced at the Prince and swallowed. “Yes, Sire.”

“I have plans for the Prince. Marrying a servant does the kingdom no favors, girl.”

Her head drooped. “I understand, Sire.”

A teardrop sparkled in the sunlight streaming through the window. He felt sorry for them but he had to think about the kingdom. “Where are you from, girl?”

“From the Kingdom of Apple, Sire. I came here as a child, my parents were killed there.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I remember an uprising there, oh, ten years ago. The royal family was all killed. The country still hasn’t recovered.” He looked closely at the girl.

“Yes, Sire.”

“The King and his Queen were friends of mine. We held a hunt every year.” He leaned forward. “Let me see your face.”

The Prince nodded for her to comply. She held up her head, tears still in her blue eyes.

The King’s brow furrowed. “Who were your parents?”

Malinda twisted her skirt in her hand and looked as though she wanted to bolt from the room. “My parents here are shop keepers, Sire. They sell dry goods and imported items from other lands.”

He shook his head. “Your birth parents. Who were they?”

Her mouth worked and she twisted the bit of skirt even harder. “I was told never to say, Sire. For my own protection.”

The King pushed away from the desk and walked to the girl taking her face in his hand. He peered into her face. “Tell me.”

He could see her throat work. “King Oliver and Queen Lacy.”

“I knew it,” he shouted and dropped his hand. “You look just like your mother.”

She shrank back as the Prince put his arm around her.

“What is it, Father?”

“I’d heard that the Princess’ body had never been found. I sent spies into the revolution to try and find out what happened but the girl was gone without a trace. The shop keepers, who were they?”

She took the Prince’s hand. “My guard and my nanny. They married when they got here and kept me safe.”

King Solomon clapped his son on the shoulder. “Perfect. I’ve wanted to do something about that revolution for years. This is excellent.”

Two months later, the Crown Prince Rudolph married Princess Malinda. In the spring, he led the army to the Kingdom of Apple to retake the throne. After the war, he and Queen Malinda reigned there happily ever after.


The End

936 Words

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

Weekend at the Craft Fair: Author Signings

The Drawing Prize Basket by Connie Cockrell

The Drawing Prize Basket by Connie Cockrell

I organized a book signing for this weekend’s craft fair. http://pinestrawberrybusinesscommunityaz.com/fallapple.html I started a couple weeks ago, contacting the fair people and it happened a fellow author volunteers for the event. We teamed up and were hoping to get an outdoors 10X10 ft. space for a discount. It turns out they had space inside and the other authors (3 of them) that we were going to shoehorn into the space, sharing the cost, would get tables inside too, all for the fact the one author volunteers. Yay! So five 8 ft tables indoors. Here’s the low down on all of them.


Me at my table by Connie Cockrell

Me at my table by Connie Cockrell

I sold the entire Gulliver Station series at the craft fair. I sold 4 complete sets and 2 of the first novel of the series. I also had 11 people sign up for my newsletter. I’m calling that a win. You can find links to locations were you can find all of my books on the Books tab on this blog site. I also have an Author Page on Amazon where you can find a list of my books.

Nancy Lee Burns:

Nancy Lee Burns at her Table by Connie Cockrell

Nancy Lee Burns at her Table by Connie Cockrell

This is the wonderful volunteer. Many thanks Nancy. She had two books at the signing, her first book: Retirement: Sacred or Scared and her newest book, Enjoy the Apple: You Picked It. Click on the titles to go to the Amazon links. She calls these Spiritual Adventure books.

Ken Crump:

Ken Crump and his book by Connie Cockrell

Ken Crump and his book by Connie Cockrell

Ken brought his children’s book, The Last Moment, to sell and sign. Click on the book title to get to the Amazon page. He had a wonderful illustrator for the book, Amy Abney, also local to my area. Her art work is amazing. His blog is www.brickhousepiggy.com and can be reached at KenCrumpAuthor@gmail.com.

Carole Emma Mathewson:

Carole Emma Mathewson and her Book by Connie Cockrell

Carole Emma Mathewson and her Book by Connie Cockrell

Carole has two books out, The Hostess of Providence, a one woman play, and her newest book, The Waste of War, a Civil War era Historical Fiction that is about her great-grandparents, a Union surgeon and his wife, who served as his nurse through some of the most horrendous parts of the Civil War.

Finally but not least, AnneMarie Eveland:

AnneMarie Eveland doing a Face Reading by Connie Cockrell

AnneMarie Eveland doing a Face Reading by Connie Cockrell

She brought her Self Help/Psychology book, At First Glance: What Faces Reveal. She spent much of Saturday doing readings for people. It was quite well accepted. Her site is www.HurrahForHumans.com and can be reached at Annemarie@HurrahForHumans.com.

We all had a great time chatting with craft fair goers, trading writing tips and enjoying a wonderful camaraderie. The basket drawing was won by Tara Fuller of Chandler who has donated the basket back to us. We’ll have to decide what to do with it now. I threw all the rest of the tickets away in Pine so have no way to draw a new winner.

I for one, learned a few things.

- Many people saw my SciFi books and assumed they were for kids. I had to gently tell them they had adult themes.

- People visiting a craft fair tend to walk as far from the tables as they can get and do their best not to make eye contact.

- Having a drawing, which we did, brings people in close enough to chat. Our drawing was a basket with one book donated by each author and a big mug with 5 different ways to make hot chocolate. If the word free didn’t bring them in to make out a ticket to drop in the jar, the word chocolate seemed to do the trick.

- Once you have them in to chat, we had great conversations and some people even took our business cards. A few even bought a book.

- Catchy book titles will bring passing visitors in for a look. Nancy’s book, Retirement: Sacred or Scared generated quite a few conversations.

- Don’t throw the drawing tickets away until we actually get the prize to someone.

Overall, we had a great time and hope we can get together again sometime.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!