Friday, February 24, 2017

Something Cool, Outdoor Hockey, and First in Series Sales

A friend showed me how I can add a “store” on my Facebook page, featuring my books (of course). The store is actually Amazon (for now). I think I’ll be able to add books so that it will also direct you to B&N. Won’t know that until I try it. But for now I’ve got the Kindle links on my Facebook page.

If they get seen, it might be a miracle, but hey, I’m ready! They’re there. And I was able to make my covers look kind of cool, too. Here's what one of them looked like:

 

I wanted the whole cover to show and Facebook’s photo allotment only allows 1024 x 1024 pixels, which meant it would chop off part of the cover. So I went to Canva and played around until I found templates that worked (which was a chore in itself, let me tell you). For fun (or maybe desperation—I wasn’t sure what was going to work), I used one of my moon shots for the background. Wow! I thought it turned out pretty cool. So I pretty much swapped out the covers for each picture so they all looked the same.
 
If you're on Facebook, you can check them out on my page here: https://www.facebook.com/StacyMcKitrickAuthor/. Just click on Shop over on the left hand side.

Tomorrow, Daughter and I will be headed to Pittsburgh to go see the Coors Light Stadium Series (Hockey!!) at Heinz Field where the Pittsburgh Penguins will take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Hoping for decent weather (like, no rain) and a big win! But just in case the weather decides to become wet, I’m taking my rain pants and boots (along with my jacket, of course!). I doubt I get too warm wearing them. Temps are supposed to start dropping once the sun sets.

Hmmm… I wonder if my jersey will fit OVER my jacket. And yes, I have a jersey. #87 Crosby, what else?

http://www.kristirose.net/seriessale
 
Looking for a deal in some romance reads? My author friend Kristi Rose has posted free or 99 cents first in series sales going on this weekend (or through the month). Yeah, my book is listed, and there are bunches of others. So if you like romance, this is something to go and check out.

Yesterday, Hubby and I met with the doctor who will conduct (?) the chemotherapy. We got some surprising news. Hubby won’t lose his hair. He’d been kind of prepping himself for that, so it was a nice surprise. All the other crap (nausea, fatigue, loss of taste) was expected and not something he’s looking forward to, but it’s only 8 weeks. 8 weeks is nothing. And then he’ll get better. We just want it over with (and for the cancer to never return).

So… Got any fun plans this weekend? Or has the weather kept you housebound? Have you ever played around with Canva? I’ve used it to make the headers on my newsletter and Facebook page. You might want to look into it if you do happen to be housebound this weekend. It’s not perfect, but so far it’s been free for me, so I can’t complain.

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Reads and I Still Haven’t Filed

Would you believe I still haven’t filed my taxes? That’s because I’m still waiting on a Schedule K-1 from some partnership distributions we received during the year. But once I get that form, I’ll be entering all my data, hoping I haven’t forgotten something that the software reminds me about. At least I have a GOOD reason for not filing yet. It’s not one I like, but hey, it’s a nice distribution so we don’t want to get rid of that stock. Not yet anyway.

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: February 15-20
Title: “Bound by Moonlight”
Year of publication: 2008
Author: Donna MacMeans
Genre: Historical paranormal romance
Series: Bound By #1
# of Pages: 257
Paper or plastic: Paper
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: Lusinda Havershaw turns invisible in moonlight—just her, not her clothes. She can’t help it or prevent the process; it just happens. The descendent of a rare race, her ancestors have been burned as witches, persecuted and tormented as the devil’s children. She must be careful to avoid detection. However, as her family has no other means of support, she reluctantly sheds her petticoats and corset during a full moon to prowl the gaslit streets of London, stark naked, as a thief for hire.
The only tools British spy and master safecracker James Locke needs are his hands and his brains. But when a hand tremor threatens his mission to secure a list of agents for the Crown, the accidental discovery of a lady thief with an extraordinary secret may just be his salvation. However, as James and Lusinda discover, there’s more than one kind of trouble to be found in the moonlight. The kind that begins with blackmail and ends with a kiss…
My thoughts: This book was first published under the title of The Trouble With Moonlight. After reading some non-romances in a romance contest (argh!), I needed to read a romance. This one filled the bill! I only had a tiny problem with the moon phases, but overall a very enjoyable read with some great sexual tension! Yay! Historical romance isn’t my go-to genre, but I could see me reading all of Donna’s books now.

I have finally finished my judging duties (yay!) and can now concentrate on writing, of which I need a swift kick in the behind to get started again. But looking at my WIP, I’m wondering if I’ve got the players right. One character started out being the ghost’s brother, then I switched him to the heroine’s brother, now I’m thinking he really does need to be the ghost’s brother. I know, you have no idea what I’m talking about. Sometimes I don’t think I do either. J But I just have to remind myself that the beginnings of most of my books have changed numerous times before I finally got it right. I’m sure it’ll be no different this time around.

Wait… It is no different. Ugh.

So… Have you watched the new series “Doubt”? It stars Kathrine Heigl and is about a defense lawyer (Heigl) who becomes romantically involved with a client who may or may not be guilty of a violent crime. We’ve watched the pilot and I was very impressed, so we’ll stick with this series for a bit. Of course, I liked “Conflicted,” too, but that series appears to have been cancelled. Boo.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, February 20, 2017

Feeling Frustrated

My book, My Sunny Vampire, is currently on sale for 99 cents (e-book version, that is) during February. When I found out about the sale in early January, I looked into advertising.

Book Bub was too expensive, even if they would have accepted my book. I just couldn’t see a good ROI on that (because frankly, the book has gone on sale for FREE before AND was on Book Bub (via the publisher) and it didn’t do much for sales on the other books).

Other newsletter advertisements (i.e. E-Readers News Today and Fussy Librarian) were all booked up in February for me to even consider. Which probably meant so was Book Bub, but I hadn’t gotten that far to check.

Facebook seemed promising. I was basically boosting a post I had made earlier. Request was rejected. They deemed my cover too suggestive (or something to that nature). I’ve seen them reject covers that showed less skin than mine, so what can I say? Still, I didn’t think showing the back of a guy in an embrace was all that suggestive.

That pretty much left Goodreads. They at least accepted my ad. Unfortunately, it’s not getting seen by that many people. No clicks, either (and I’ve got it up to $1/click hoping it will be seen by more people). The one good thing about that is I can get my money back from them once the ad finishes running this month, basically running what little it ran for free.

The sad thing is, I was told my publisher would do some pushing on social media. If they’re doing that, it’s not happening on Facebook. I haven’t seen anything.

So here is a good book on sale and no one knows about it (or those people who DO know have already read it). It’s kind of frustrating.

In more interesting news… Last month I was talking to my son about movies and he said he wanted to borrow “Air Force One” because he didn’t have it. I went to my DVD case and couldn’t find it. What? I was sure we owned it. Well, Hubby has a birthday coming up (tomorrow, although we celebrated it on Saturday), so I went and got it for him. We watched it last night. You know what? It’s still a great movie! And it’s 20 years old this year. Yikes!

So… Have you ever looked for something you could have sworn you owned, but didn’t? Even my daughter thought she owned “Air Force One.” We must have just owned the VHS version before and never replaced it. It’s the only explanation I can think of!

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Friday, February 17, 2017

Water Water Everywhere

Sometimes I think I’m jinxed when it comes to water problems. I always seem to be alone in the house. I was alone when the pipes burst in the upstairs bathroom a few years ago. I was alone when the sump pump hose decided to drain into the basement two years ago. And now I was alone when my refrigerator decided to shoot water out at me.

That’s right. Shoot. Water.

I’ve changed the water filter in the fridge twice a year since we bought the appliance five years ago. And I’ve been alone each time I changed it. No more, I tell you. No more.

I pulled the filter out yesterday and water shot out and hit me! I quickly stuck the filter back in, but it continued to leak into the bin below (which was thankfully empty, but not so thankfully water tight). I quickly pulled the fridge from the wall so I could reach the water shut off valve. You’d think I could turn it off easily. Well, you’d think wrong. I couldn’t get the spigot to move at all!

So I rushed downstairs to turn off the water to the house. But for some reason my brain told me it was someplace it wasn’t and I freaked when it wasn’t there. A call to Hubby told me where it was located (and I almost yelled d’oh!), but I needed him to come home and turn off the water to the fridge or I was without water all day (and since he needed me to wash his shirts, he obliged—although he could have been a little concerned since I was acting a bit hysterical).

About a bucket of water filled that bin. Too much of it leaked onto the floor. Once I cleaned up the fridge and dried everything, I replaced the water filter. Then Hubby turned the water back on and we waited.

No water leaked (shooting or otherwise). Whew!

Sure wish I knew why it happened this time. I certainly hadn’t done anything different.

Appliances. They’re just so…nutty.

So… Have you had any appliance work a way you weren’t expecting? How'd that go for you?

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday Reads and an Update

Writing is slow, but I'm getting reading done! Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: February 8-11
Title: “Eleventh Grave in Moonlight”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Charley Davidson Series #11
# of Pages: 310
Paper or plastic: Paper
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, errant wives, missing people, philandering business owners, and, oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. Now Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, will Charley be able to defeat the ultimate evil and find a way to have her happily every after, after all?
My thoughts: Besides the fact this ended in a cliff-hanger (grrr), and that pretty much most of her later books have, I still love this series. So much fun to read. From page one I’m sucked back into Charley’s world and I love it when I get lost in a book. The books in this series are one of the rare first person stories I’ll gobble up as soon as the next book comes out. I just don’t like that I have to wait until who knows when for the twelfth book. Arrrgh!

I needed some fun reading after some of the other books I’ve been assigned (judging) to read lately (I won’t mention which books anywhere until sometime this summer, if at all). Which means I need to get back to those assigned books. I’ve got a deadline which is fast approaching. So if I don’t have a Wednesday reads next week, you’ll know why. It’s not from lack of reading, just reading stuff I can’t talk about. And man, do I hate that. I doubt I put myself through this again. Not unless I have to. It’s just not fun reading (so far) and if reading can’t be fun, why do it?

Hubby update: Prognosis is not so good. Hubby will need radiation and possibly chemo, mainly to make sure the cancer doesn’t return (since it had returned and wasn’t contained in the lymph nodes his risk factor jumped up a bunch). It’s a bummer, but at least he’ll live (yay!). He’ll just feel like a truck ran over him for the next few months (boo!). It does appear he’ll be well enough to take our planned trip to the Mammoth Caves during the Memorial Day weekend, though. Something for him to look forward to.

So… Have you ever been a judge at anything? Did it require a lot of work on your part?  Did you like it? I don’t mind judging unpublished stuff so much (the writer is asking for help, in a way), but I doubt I judge another published contest. Not unless it’s required for entering. And with the speed I write, that would only be required once every few years! Haha!

Happy Reading!

Stacy