Have you ever woken up and decided to start a new project? To begin a new book or a collection of short stories was on my mind today. But I had a birthday party to attend, a house to clean after a hamster minded child spent the night and no clue of where to start.
Here’s my special thank you to Renee Gauthier for making me these incredible banners for Dolcey. You all know how important these Indie group members on Facebook are to me. This is where I meet amazing people like Renee and my illustrator Zsa-Zsa Venter. I could keep mentioning names on and on like, Nancy, Eva, Stephen, Audrey, Mandy, Cj, and on and on.
Since you hung with me this long, I am sharing a chance to get a free signed copy of 31 Days of October Volume 2, through Goodreads. You must hurry deadline is November 21, 2017.
Click here to Enter
Last time I spent any time sharing what was happening in my life, I shared that I had been sick. After 5 weeks of medication, meditation, prayers, positive affirmations, essential oils, and sleep, I can say I am better. I got up early yesterday morning for a very special event in South Africa, then I left the house and attended a book signing. My very first book signing. I am thrilled with my day. But I will do this in chronological order so as to stay focused.
October 10, 2017, was the launch for When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit. The Kindle version has been published and is now available on Amazon in KindleUnlimited or sale for only $.99 until November 7th.
The paperback is available at Lulu.com by clicking here.
Signed copies can be purchased at a discount price by emailing a request. Include the name you want personalized and the number of copies. The personalized books will be available for shipment on November 15th.
This is book two in the Dolcey series and the story is one of magic, bullies, dreams, goals, and fears. When Dolcey the Fairy comes to visit, she brings hope and a new perspective to Michael. I hope you will embrace Dolcey and Michael.
Here is an excerpt:
Lying in the dark bedroom, Michael heard a noise, clunk, followed by a thud. Was that a Shuffle? Over by the window, he heard that sound, it wasn’t the usual wind on the window noise. Swish.
There he heard it again. He rolled over and looked at the long window with the streetlight shining through.
What’s that? What’s that shape? He pulled his covers over his head and lay very still. When he heard another odd clunk he peeked over the top of the blanket.
Squinting at the window he noticed what looked like a snake climbing into his room. Michael’s heart was pounding in his chest. He felt his knees begin to clack together.
It can’t be a snake, no one ever had a snake climb in their window. That window was shut, how could it get in here?
“Ga ga go away” the whisper was harsh and did not even sound like his voice. Clearing his throat he sat up straighter in his bed and said a little louder. “Go away!”
He heard a faint voice, “So, you’re awake then?” That was when he heard a giggle.
International Book Launch
Johannesburg, South Africa. Skoobs Theatre of Books allowed an indie author to ply her wares through Skype while sitting on their champagne bar. There was no place I would rather be at 4 AM Eastern Standard Time, than on that champagne bar meeting children and adults via Skype.
I wore my tiara and even brought my fox ears with me in case I had to do a quick change. I was asked to read from a favorite book as a child so I chose The Gull That Lost the Sea. A sweet story that I still love to this day. Both Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? and When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit were featured and are currently on sale at Skoobs in the paperback version.
While sharing this launch with children, parents and other authors in South Africa, we held a contest and Adiba was the winner. She was able to choose the child’s name for my next book which is to be titled, Is there an Owl in the house?
Karen’s Book Barn Trick or Treat Event
Saturday was my very first book signing. I was excited to be seated with Jen Selinsky at Karen’s Book Barn in La Grange, Kentucky during the La Grange Trick or Treat event. La Grange is 80 miles from my home and after getting up at 1:30 to do the book launch, I might have started to get tired. That exhaustion passed as quickly as it came when I arrived in La Grange. The entire town showed up dressed up and having a wonderful time. Many parents, grandparents, and children strolled into the bookstore and took a look four of my books. I was happy to have both of the Halloween anthologies, along with The Path of the Child and Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? all available in paperback. I was thrilled with the turnout and with the response from the customers. I happily signed for adults and children and a serious young reader that wanted them all. Don’t even get me started on the train that runs straight down Main Street. What a treat that was!
There you have it, my October in a nutshell. The main thing I want to convey is that I appreciate everyone for your lovely thoughts, prayers, love, and kindness. I have the best people in my life, both online and off. I have chosen my friends and family well and have been blessed by those that have chosen to befriend me. My heart is full.
Bring on November and a valid attempt at NanoWriMo. Today I decided to give it a go, win or lose, it is better than not trying at all. If you have not decided to start, then think it over, what’s to lose? If you are participating then let me know so we can be writing buddies. November is going to be another great month.
I am borrowing this from author Paul Russell Parker as he said it so much better than I!
Hello, readers and fans! Remember, you don’t have to purchase my books from Amazon to leave a rating or review. If you were gifted any one of my books, downloaded them for free, bought them, found them in a Little Library, found them at a rest area, at a mall, some other random place, etc… You can still leave a rating. I encourage and ask that you do so, regardless of how you received any copies. If you really enjoyed my books, let me know. My main concern is how well you liked my stories, not how much I can make.
Ratings and reviews really help. It helps other readers know that they are getting a good read, and it also helps me, the Author. When I see how much someone enjoyed one of my books, it reminds me why I’m doing this in the first place. I want you to have a new literary universe that you can lose yourself in after you had a long, frustrating, or busy day.
So, go ahead and leave a rating or review at Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, etc. You don’t have to post much more than two or three words if you don’t want to. Even just a star rating will do. After that, you can follow me on my many social media platforms. Thanks, and I appreciate the time you spent reading my books and reading this post.
Robbie Cheadle, author, reader, mother, teacher, and blogger at Robbie’s Inspiration, tagged me in this Book Lover’s Tag Tour. You can read Robbie’s answers to the Book Lover’s Tag post here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/book-lovers-tag-for-lovers-of-reading/.
As an avid reader, I just had to participate. Thank you for inviting me, Robbie!
Do you have a specific place for writing?
I mainly write on my computer in the computer room. as I am usually alone during the day and I tend to stay up late at night, I get a good bit of quality thinking / creative time.
Book mark or random pieces of paper?
I use scraps of paper and book marks, and many times envelopes. I realize I am hungry, thirsty or need to take Beau out for a potty break after hours of devouring books and grab up the first thing I find to mark my spot.
Can you stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?
I can stop anywhere. If I am invested in the story, I can pick right back up. If I decide to write or interact with the family, I might have to catch back up. I am a bit of a flibberty gibbet. I bounce up and I bounce around, so I have to skim to find my last point.
Do you eat or drink whilst reading?
I do keep a bottle of water nearby. I do not eat while reading. I find it a distraction. When I read, I am all in.
Music or TV whilst reading?
Not usually. On occasion I have a song enter my head and dance around so I have to search it out and play it, but usually, I read in the quiet. Otherwise, I am singing along not following the story. I do sometimes listen to an audiobook while writing my own books. I listen to Thriller audiobooks and I write feel good fiction. So it somehow works.
One book at a time or several
I tend to have several going at a time. I keep a book on my bedside table for those have to hold a physical book in my hand moments, I keep one on my Kindle on my phone, one on my Kindle Fire, and one on my desktop in the Kindle reader. I have to admit I have some also on iBooks on my phone. I am not even going to mention the audiobooks I love to listen to.
Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?
I prefer to read anywhere I happen to be. I love that we can now read on the phone and Kindle as we stay mobile. It makes road trips so much more fun. Funny thing, I sometimes get carsick when reading on a long trip. Especially if there are curvy roads involved. Having a Kindle and phone means I can read at night without light.
Read out loud or silently?
I read silently, I will, however, scoff about a sentence and read it aloud to make myself laugh. My grandchildren think that is funny when I am in my room alone reading funny bits to myself.
Do you read ahead or skip pages?
It is quite funny, I am intimidated by massive books so I will skim a bit until I am involved, then I will go back and reread. If it is a bit slow at the start, I skim. I don’t ever read the ending first. I am a bit of a purist about spoilers.
Break the spine or keep it new?
I try to keep them looking beautiful. I love having them on my shelves after reading and I do not want them looking scruffy.
Do you write in your books?
I do not write in books. I have journals for note taking and reference.
What books have you read recently?
I have been really involved in Children’s books and so I have been a bit heavy on the children and middle-grade books. I also have been enjoying :
All time favorite book?
Every time I open a book I run into the possibility of a new favorite, that’s how I found, Jessica Lost her Wobble by J. Schlenker and The BeeKeepers Daughter by Jane Jordan. But Dickens is the torch bearer. He is the one that begins and ends the favorites at the end of the day.
My nominations for the Book Lover’s Tag are:
Colin Garrow – Author and reviewer
Orangutan Librarian Reviewer extraordinaire
Book Club Mom Prolific reader and reviewer
If you want to join in, please answer the above questions, link back to this page and then tag three new book lovers.
Vicki / /Sojourner
Books by Sojourner:
Pre-order When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit now for only .99. Prices go up after the September 26th launch. Find out what Michael needs a fairy intervention about. Dolcey is ready to help Michael recapture his dream. Won’t you come along for the adventure?
Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? Book 1 in the Docley series. Meet Docley and find out how her special brand of magic allows children to find the answers they seek. Fun for all ages. https://www.amazon.com/Whos-That-Pajamas-Dolcey-Book-ebook/dp/B07118C3NZ
The Path of the Child. The coming of age story about Melanie and her struggle for freedom, happiness, and an opportunity for a real life. Uplifting with strong characters. https://www.amazon.com/Path-Child-Sojourner-McConnell-ebook/dp/B008IN4HKK/
Find Sojourner McConnell on Facebook.
Find Vicki on Facebook
I admit, it is hard for me to ask, but I was nominated and I am allowed to share my nomination and ask for votes, so I am doing that.
I’m so excited because my book was just nominated for the 2017 Readers Choice Awards! Please vote for it at www.tckpublishing.com/readers-choice-voting.
The title is, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? YOu can locate the nomination in the children’s section. I would appreciate your votes! I am so very excited to have been nominated!
I hope you will check in on my book in the Children’s book division and vote. It would be so appreciated! You will have to go over a few divisions to find Children’s but you might see another book you loved in a different section too.
This is an exciting moment for me. If you want to read Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? You can ask for a signed physical copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the book as always it is available on Kindle and in paperback through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books a Million.
I hope you will vote for this first book in the Docley series. Your votes are extremely appreciated!!
Thunderclap. Sure, right now it might bring up thougths of the weather that is spreading all across the United States, but it can also mean a new opportunity for a writer, a small company, or an event.
I began my very first Thunderclap campaign today. It is a little unnerving as it depends on the kindness and action of at leaqst 100 people to bring it about. With that said, you would be correct if you are thinking, oh no she is going to ask me to click something.
This is a fun way to get the message out on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, about my new release. It also lets me promote a special price on the new book until September 26, 2017.
Let me tell you all about the new project.
- The Title: When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit
- The second book in the Docley Series
- The first edition with my new illustrator, Zsa-Zsa Venter.
- The story about Michael, a child that has been treated unfairly at school and is afraid to persure his dream career.
- The arrival of a fairy named Dolcey
- Dolcey comes dressed as animals to be welcomed into the homes of children she helps.
- Release date in papaerback and Kindle is September 26, 2017.
- New friends are made.
- New adventures take Dolcey and Michael up and away from his home.
- The early readers have given positive feedback on the new book.
Let me share the way this works. You sign up your event, opening, launch, or promotion, on Thunderclap.it and after the approval of the campaign you begin to share the link. You can share on a bllog, (case in point) on Facebook, Twitter, through email and newsletters. When you create your campaign you place a number of supporters that you believe you will manage to receive no less than 100. 100 seems to be a reasonable goal and so I am hopeful.
Once the caqmpaign has been approved, you start sharing the word. Then remember to share on a regular basis to inspire people to support the campaign. It is a fun way to have your campaign seen by thousands and potentially millions of people you would never ordinarily reach.
At this point, I have either utterly confused you, alienated you, or intrigued you. If you are intrigued, please click this link and support my new children’s fairy adventure book and its special pre-order price of $.99. The price will go back to the normal selling price of $1.49 after the official launch.
If you want to pre-order this children’s book, you can do so here.
I hope you will chime in about your own experiences. I am excited when I discover a new method of marketing. I always have supported other people’s campaign, but I never had the nerve to try it before now.
Thanks for stopping in and learning about my marketing plan. Comment below and share your marketing expiriments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.