Exciting New Cover Reveal: Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? by Sojourner McConnell

Today is a special day. Today is the reveal for the cover of Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? This children’s chapter book is filled with colorful illustrations created by Ellie Barrett. I will be sharing more about Ellie as she has agreed to be the illustrator for the entire series.

What that means is that she has forgiven me for being overprotective of my characters and bossy about colors and such. If she can overlook my newbie tendencies, we are going to work together well.

So let me introduce you to Dolcey and Emily.  These two girls are featured in book one of the Dolcey series. I hope you and your children will find them amusing, fun and insightful. Emily has a problem and she doesn’t know what to do. She is miserable and in turn, she is being frightful. When Dolcey is called into action, she appears at Emily’s house as a cat. From there, lessons are learned, magic occurs, and amazing things happen.

dustjacket_covt.indd

When the wind brings the cries of children to her ears, Dolcey is spurred into action. Comforting and aiding children in need are her main focus. Welcome to Dolcey’s world. Welcome to a world of magic and endless possibilities. When Emily has a big problem, her family tries to help, but some problems need something special to make things right. In Emily’s case, the special treatment is a visitor named Dolcey.

I hope you enjoy Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? The release date is June 2, 2017, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Let me know what you think of the cover, I am so excited to see Dolcey in living color.  I hope you find her as adorable as I do. I am happy to say, everything is on schedule.

 

I Am One Excited Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 Winner!

As you have just seen I verified the official word count on the novel called Blip.

Blip has become such a fun chance to grow creatures, spacemen, heroines, heroes, bad guys, bossy people, and more. Not only all that; I also get to be called a NaNoWriMo Winner.

Camp NanoWrimo Winner 4-2017

I can assure you this year has been almost impossible. I am so proud of myself for completing this commitment. There was a death in the family that took me away from the computer for 7 days. I wrote on my phone then transferred it to Scrivener when I got home. I also am working on getting Sojourner McConnell’s first children’s book, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? ready for publication. That didn’t even go into the final word count.

(psst: if you want to be an ARC reader or on the Launch Team of any of my books, sign up for my newsletter or send me an email.)

So this morning as I finished chapter sixteen, I added in the word count and voila! I was over by almost a thousand.

Camp-2017-Winner-The Page Turner-Vicki-Goodwin-Sojourner-McConnell

If you have stayed with me this far, I think I will give a small taste of Blip in its rawest form. I relish your feedback. Please let me know what you think of my guy.

The young black-haired, creamy-skinned man sat at the metal table in the windowless room. With odd green eyes which sloped into an exotic shape. His wide lips were moving in and out between his hidden teeth. An odd tick the soldier thought. The young man looked over at the soldier near the door as if he could tell what the soldier was thinking. He shrugged slightly, raised one recently crafted eyebrow, then he spoke for the first time.

“To what do I owe the pleasure of being caged in this room? Are you armed? Do you plan on shooting me? Are you afraid?”

The soldier at the door looked away from this penetrating eyes. The soldier, LT. Brad Davies, looked at the young man and shook his head.

“The General and his assistant will be here momentarily.”

“My name is Hiram. Well, I go by Hiram here. My real name is unpronounceable by mere humans. It involves clicks, gurgles and a sound that only a body with two larynx’s can form.“ Slowly blinking his green eyes, he continued.

“Seeing as you were born on this blue ball you call Earth; I will assume you have only one larynx. So you may call me Hiram.”

“But I digress; I came here in 1949 and have lived here for the over 66 years. I have moved about in the last six decades and never remained too long in one place, since I do not age like your frail bodies. I am one hundred years old, yet since I have a lifespan of five hundred, I am what you would consider twenty.” His eyes never wandered from the soldier’s face yet, Brad felt a vibration in the room as if machinery was being used. He knew there was no equipment being used in this room. Brad felt more than a little uncomfortable.

“I have lived in many countries, but I tend to move about the United States more often than others. The freedom of the interstate makes it easy to set up a new identity as needed. My neurovisage has allowed me to remain undetected. I was fortunate to excel in the skill which allowed me to be sent for this mission.” Casually stroking the table top with his fingers, he continued in his strangely quiet voice.

“I am still curious as to how you caught up with me. I am from Insorna a non-ringed planet with five lunar satellites, located in the galaxy you call Andromeda. My intelligence is of course superior. This one fact makes my capture even more astounding.” Hiram bit his lip with the flat edge of his bottom teeth.

“Before I proceed, will you tell me how you came to know about me?”

Now that Brad knew this man was not as he appeared, he was more conscious of Hiram’s unusual facial features. Brad was not ordered to engage in conversation, only to guard the door to prevent escape.

Hiram blinked his green eyes slowly in a nonchalant way, letting Brad know that he was not concerned. He had escaped being noticed all these years, and he would soon be back off the grid. He had supreme homogenization skills.

Brad tried not to look at the mirror, he tried to remain calm. He had no idea what he was supposed to do now. So he spoke again.

“They will answer your questions, perhaps.”

Hiram knew that he would soon be free. His contacts in the monitoring station, on the far side of the moon, would not allow him to become a prisoner. They were aware of his situation. He would be protected. Of that, he was confident.

“I eagerly await the General and his assistant. I am able to detect that they are watching me from the other side of that window. Feel free to join me, General. I am ready to speak face to face.”

Climbing down the Family Tree and meeting some amazing Characters.

My name is Vicki Turner-Goodwin, but I write as Sojourner McConnell. That seems innocent enough and I have shared the reason for my pen name before, so I shall do it again on a larger scale here.

 

Mama Kate and Grandpa with Mama McConnell
Mama McConnell, Mama Kate, and Grandpa

 

My grandmother was a massive influence in my life.  She was a supremely intelligent woman that believed in women’s rights back in the earliest days of women stepping out into the workforce. Of course,  I had met her brothers and sisters, strong strapping Scottish looking men. With reddish tints to their hair, they were all tall rangy men. They had booming voices and they loved to laugh.  My grandmother was Annie Kate McConnell Dunning.  She had married young and had two children a son, Arthur Benjamin Dunning Jr. and a daughter, Anne Katherine Dunning. Anne is my mother. My grandmother, “Mama Kate” as we called her would regale us with stories of being a highly valuable member of the girls’ basketball team of her high school. It so impressed me that she was athletic and a star of sorts at her school. I also knew her mother, Readie Delilah Nichols McConnell. The thing about Mama McConnell was her ability to outlive every one of her children and remain a sweet docile yet independent woman until the age of 103.

Mama Kate as we called her would regale us with stories of being a highly valuable member of the girls’ basketball team of her high school. It so impressed me that she was athletic and a star of sorts at her school. I also knew her mother, Readie Delilah Nichols McConnell. The thing about Mama McConnell was her ability to outlive every one of her children and remain a sweet docile yet independent woman until the age of 103.

This article is going to be about her husband and my search for his family.  Charles T. (Doc) McConnell was a boarder in Readie’s mother’s boarding house in the early 1900’s. Readie was a teenager and Doc was a handsome young man about fifteen years older than her. She was smitten and nothing would do but that they marry. He came to see the light by 1910.  She loved him so much and always shared how much she loved him with us freely. It was a testament to her love that she never looked at another man after he passed away, leaving her a young widow with a house full of seven children. She told my sister a long time ago, she never felt that way about a man after Doc died. So she spent the next almost seventy years alone. Sadly due to his home burning taking all her possessions and photos with her, I only have photos of her in her 90’s. I have no photos of Doc, but I do have a photo of his father, the Judge, Joseph A.P. and his brother Kindred Balatka McConnell and KB’s lovely wife Lillie May Alexander McConnell.

Joseph A.P. McConnell       Kb MCConnell    Lillie Mae Alexander McConnell

I found out some amazing details on the McConnell family as they lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. They moved as a group and the majority of the McConnells ended up in Cullman County Alabama. That city is about forty miles north of where Kate and Readie lived. They lived in Mount Olive on the outskirts of Birmingham. The rest were in the Atlanta Georgia area.  Doc’s father, Joseph Archibald P. McConnell was a judge and a liquor store owner in the Atlanta area. Now as we go back farther up the tree we find that the family began in the Americas in the South Carolina area. There was Joseph’s father, James, who was born in 1795.

His father before him, Joseph McConnell,  was born in Scotland and was the first McConnell in this line to immigrate to America.  He married Mary McCurdy from Ireland and they had seven children.  Joseph’s Father Samuel McConnell who married Eliza Russell is as far back as I can go. I will, of course, keep pecking away, hoping a little information comes forward. I have to form a solid connection, that last thread, may not be accurate. I just have to keep checking dates, links and more links.

The name McConnell comes from a very unique source. The name associated with McConnell is actually a misspelling.  I quote from www.mcconnell.com.

The surname McConnell is the closest pronunciation to the original Gaelic name, “MacDhomnhuill.” The “Dh” in the Gaelic pronunciation was like a hard C so McConnell is not far from the original Gaelic pronunciation. Early English documents usually refer to the MacDonalds as McConnells. McConnell is one of the more common of spelling variations of the original surname, which also include MacDonald, McDonald, McDaniel, and McDonnell and a huge number of variations of these names. Most variations of the original Gaelic name rely on translating “Mac” as “son of” and “Dhomnnhuill” as Donald into English. The differences that resulted after the translation to English did not exist when the MacDhomnhuills all spoke Gaelic.

This is how I find my days being spent when I am having a NaNo virus. I am supposed to be writing my novel, and here I am researching away on a totally different, but fascinating subject. All this is due to my daughter getting her DNA results from 23andme. From the moment she got her results, I was off. I am having such a wonderful time researching and looking at photos, wedding dates, and links, always one more link.  Now if only I can find out one single thread to the mystery that is called, Albert Nichols, born August 28,

I am having such a wonderful time researching and looking at photos, wedding dates, and links, always one more link.  Now if only I can find out one single thread to the mystery that is called, Albert Nichols, born August 28, 1855, and died January 1898 at the age of 42. Oh, these little mysteries that make research fun!

Now you know why I use the pen name, McConnell.  Sojourner? Oh, that one is easy, I love to take journeys with my characters, I am basically a traveler at heart.  Have fun reading and writing and beware the NaNo Virus that pulls you away from the word count.

 

New Feature on Sojourner McConnell’s blog, The Path of the Writer

New Feature on The Path of the Writer with Sojourner McConnell with guest authors and writers weekly Friday's Fun and Family-friendly Guest Posts

This Friday, March 31, 2017, begins a new tradition on Sojourner’s author page. We reached out to authors, writers, bloggers and people with something uplifting, fun, or endearing, to share in what we are calling, Friday’s Fun and Family-Friendly Guest Posts.

This will happen each Friday as long as we have participation. I am excited to say, there are already several scheduled posts lined up and are looking forward to this new venture.  If you have uplifting, fun, stories, artwork, videos, or poetry, then I ask you to consider sharing your posts on this blog where I will make sure that black links are in place allowing for you to have potential visitors on your blog and author pages.

I hope you will join the fun and watch writers from across various genres bring a little humor, hope, fun, and happiness to the world.  If you have a post or want more information on this, just drop me a line in email or in the comments below.

Friday morning we have cj petterson with a lovely story called “Romance at the Do Drop In” that I believe everyone will enjoy. I hope you will join us there.

 

New Author Page Needs Some Blog Love!

Path of the Writer
The Path of the Writer

 

Sojourner McConnell has increased her writing over the last months and will be releasing at least 1 new book by May 2017. With that in mind, an author page just for her work alone has been created. Now, she needs some love. She needs some lovely Google Plus subscribers and Blogger friends to follow her page. She just needs some help. Lonely Sojourner misses all her Friends on WordPress.

I have the best followers and friends in the world and would never impose, but I sure could use some support on the new page.  I will continue to do reviews and there will, of course, be some overlap on our content, but I felt this was a good fit for Sojo.  I hope you feel welcome at both sites and find enough to keep you entertained.  After resting up from the marathon posting on MTW I am finally back in the groove and am anticipating

After resting up from the marathon posting on MTW I am finally back in the groove and am anticipating Camp NaNoWriMo and completing another book. I am so excited about this new story. It is trying to get me to write it before next week and I am taking copious notes from what the characters are sharing. I can tell you this much though when someone close to me read the first few pages, they said that it had a Sean Connery vibe.

one ping only
One ping only, please.

You know I love The Hunt for Red October, so I was beyond thrilled with the comparison. I am having to make myself not talk about it on here. It is just too much fun to chat about, and write about.

There is another quite different anthology coming out soon in which I hope to be included. I will know more about that later and will share as soon as I know.

On a totally different note, my cat Mufasa has a man cold. It is pitiful to see him unable to hunt and glare at us as we walk past him.

Thanks for always being so special to me. I have from the first day I started reviewing and sharing been so supported. I hope you feel I am supportive of you as well.  Thanks for your time!

Vicki

 

 

 

Nervous Author Wants to Sign Book and needs Advice

 

Has anyone set up their own book signing, let’s say at a coffee house, a library, or another place that doesn’t immediately come to my mind? I would love as an indie author to promote my book in person at least once to see if I can get over my timidness.

I talked tonight with another indie author and he suggested that I set up a book signing complete with 4 or 5 author friends. I just happen to have 3 other local writers that I might coax into joining me.

Are you able to help me come up with more ideas for such an event? Any ideas would be so appreciated. Believe me, I have already been to Pinterest and my mind is buzzing with ideas, but share your own with me!

In fact, if you are local to the Lexington Kentucky area, there would be a spot for you to join us.

Please let me know. I look forward to meeting more indie authors and learning how you promote in person and off of the Internet.

For a nice change of pace let’s log out of Facebook and Twitter and hit the streets of Lexington Kentucky.

I have a set of questions that perhaps someone could assist me with:

  1. How many books should you bring with you?
  2. Should you also bring bookmarks, business cards, pens, and other swag?
  3. Does swag help in brand retention?
  4. How far ahead should you plan an event?
  5. If you have a book almost ready to publish should you promote it while selling your last book?
  6. Would you suggest a mailing list sign up sheet?

Thank you in advance, don’t be shy. This is what leads me to this blog post. I want to be able to face new readers with confidence. Won’t you help me figure this out, or even better join me?

The Horizontal Coffeemaker

When I am sleepy, as seldom as that is, I have a struggle.  Once I lay on my left side, my right brain becomes as fluid as coffee.  A stream of thoughts images and plots pour into the carafe that must be residing in my left brain.  The horizontal coffeemaker once again stirs me out of bed where I write down the stream of consciousness before it cools.

 

coffeemaker