Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Halloween Short Story

As promised on Monday, here’s the short story (900 words) I wrote for and read during the Beatnik Café my writers group put on last Saturday. Seemed fitting to post it on Halloween. And to put you in the mood, here's a picture of me READING it! Haha! Hope you like it.
 

TRICK OR TREAT
By Stacy McKitrick

Joey Ferraro manned the house while his wife, Corinne, braved the streets with their son, Frankie. This was their first Halloween in the neighborhood and Joey had wanted to go, too, but Corinne insisted someone stay home and hand out the candy. “Someone would toilet paper the house if no one was home,” she said. Pointing out that they didn’t own any trees hadn’t swayed her fear.

The doorbell rang for the umpteenth time. Wondering if he’d get a chance to watch any of his hockey game, he opened the door to the sounds of “Trick or Treat.” Little ballerinas, princesses and comic book heroes jumped up and down, begging for candy. He dropped one piece into each bag. After a chorus of thank yous, they raced off to the next house, leaving one familiar beggar holding out his bag.

“Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat.”

Joey shook his head and stared at the chubby Chewbacca. At least he assumed that was what the kid was dressed as. “Listen, you might have gotten seconds from me, but you’re not about to get thirds.”

“I haven’t been here before.”

“Uh, yes you have. I don’t know of any Wookiee that would be caught dead carrying around a pink My Little Pony bag. Now scram.” Joey pushed the door shut, but the kid wedged one pudgy leg inside.

“If you don’t give me a treat, I’ll have to trick you.”

The kid couldn’t be any older than ten. Joey searched his yard. The next batch of beggars were two doors down and not a parent lingered in front of his house. “Where’s your mother?”

Chewbacca held out his bulging candy bag.

Joey clenched his jaw. The kid was determined, he’d give him that, but then so was he. “No,” Joey said as he kicked the kid’s leg aside and shut the door before the little bugger could stop him. He slid the bolt locked.

This was the thanks he got for passing out candy? The kids in this neighborhood were greedy little gremlins. Most of them could stand to be on a diet, too. Next year he’d accompany Frankie, and Corinne could hand out candy and watch for any would-be toilet paperers.

Before he could return to his hockey game, the doorbell rang. He peeked through the side window. Surrounded by a new group of children was Chewie. Joey no sooner opened the door than the chubby beggar stiff-armed his way to the front.

“Kids, if you ever want to know what kind of behavior will not get you candy, follow this kid’s example.” Joey then gave everyone candy except the Wookiee.

He shut the door as the kid pounded on it. “This is your last chance!” Chewie cried.

“I’m shaking in my boots,” Joey yelled back. Yeah, he probably should have taken the high road and kept quiet, but the brat brought out the beast in him.

When the next round of beggars appeared, there wasn’t any sign of the creature from hell, thank goodness. But just as the last beggar trotted away, he got hit in the chest with an egg. Goo splattered everywhere, leaving a sickly stench.

“Oh gross!” Joey fought to keep his dinner down and couldn’t dispose of his shirt fast enough while the chubby Chewbacca cackled from the safety of the sidewalk. By the time Joey got his queasiness under control, the Wookiee had disappeared. Good thing, too. Who knew what he would have done with the little monster?

He slammed the door shut. That was it. Halloween was over as far as he was concerned. Kids wouldn’t miss one piece of candy, like they needed it at all. And if they got toilet-papered, so be it. He turned off the porch light and cleaned up before settling in to watch his hockey game.

The doorbell rang. He ignored it.

Someone knocked. He ignored it.

Minutes later, the set went dark. What the? He pushed the guide button, the power button. Nothing.

Laughter came from the front of the house.

Joey threw open the door. “What the hell did you do to my cable?”

“Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat.” Chubby Chewbacca held out his bag.

“You have got to be kidding me!”

“Don’t you get it? I don’t kid.”

Joey grabbed the bowl. “Fine. Here.” He dumped the candy into the kid’s bag. A few Snickers and Kit Kats tumbled to the ground. “Have it all, you big pig. Now go.”

“What did you call me?”

“You heard me. Now get out of here before I call the cops.” Joey slammed the door in the kid’s face. Now he had to figure out what the monster did to his cable. Armed with a flashlight he marched to the box on the side of his house.

The cable lay curled in the grass. He was re-attaching the connector when that familiar voice echoed between the houses.

“That’s him, Daddy. He’s the one who called me a pig.”

Joey rose past muddy boots fit for Shaquille O’Neal and a pair of ham hock thighs that could probably crush a walnut, and no amount of standing on Joey’s part would make him taller than this dude. Frankenstein, anyone?

“Pick on someone your own age, jerk.” A massive fist collided with Joey’s chin.

Trick or treat, indeed.

 

 

Stacy

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Reads and Videos of Footy!

Hey! I finally figured out how to post the videos I took of the footy games. But before I get to them, here’s what I read during the last week:

Oct 23: “Animal Attraction” by Lori Foster, Maisey Yates, Heidi Betts, and Jules Bennett. This is a romance anthology. Blurb on back: Four of today’s most popular romance authors introduce four sizzling new tales of finding love unexpectedly--with a little help from man’s best friend. Normally, when I get an anthology, I’m happy to find one or two I really like. Well, color me surprised! I loved ALL of these stories! Guess I’m just a sucker for love and animals. I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads.

A short list this week, but then I’m reading a honkin’ big book now (and loving every minute of it, too). If it weren’t for my writing, I would have finished it long before now, that’s for sure!

Anyways, on with my videos. I’ve never used my camera in this capacity before, so don’t judge, please. At least you don’t have to suffer long (if you wish to suffer at all, that is). Both videos are under a minute.

This first one features the Sacramento Lady Suns (in yellow/orange - my daughter is back by the goals, wearing black shorts, if you can see her at all!).


video


This next one features the Columbus Jackaroos (in white shirts), winners of Division II. I think you'll notice a difference of play.

video
 
 

If anything, you can get a feel for what the game is about. And that clock doesn’t stop for anything (except for a major injury).
 
Still keeping up with those links from Lyrical Press's blog, Celebrate Paranormal Month. Don't want you to think I forgot (just in case, you know?).
Oct 29: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/29/celebrate-paranormal-month-renita-pizzitolas-dream/

So, does your city have a footy team? If you don’t know, you can find out here: https://usafl.com/findateam.
 
Happy reading!
 

Stacy


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pictures of our Trip to San Antonio

I must be doing something right at the gym, now. I'm not sore! Haha! While I'm not thrilled of driving to the gym in the dark of the morning, next week it'll probably be lighter, what with the time change and all. Sometimes I wish we didn't have daylight savings at all. I liked Arizona for that (back when I lived there).

Anyway, here are the pictures I took while in San Antonio:

The Alamo. You can't take pictures inside the shrine,
but there were displays inside I don't remember from
our trip in 1982. In fact, it was rather empty back then!

This is across the street from The Alamo. Where the Ripley's
sign is, used to be a Woolworth's in 1982.

This tree is inside the park area. I thought
it looked cool. The low building to the left
used to be part of the sleeping quarters.

Saw this while walking to the Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk

My daughter doesn't miss an opportunity to go geo-caching.
Here she is with the little container, ready to put it back
into it's hiding spot (after she put her name inside, of course).

During our boat ride, the tour guide warned us
of this photo opportunity. Sure looks like one
skinny building, doesn't it?

These seats face the stage (pictured below). Like the
natural padding?

Hey look - a picture of me and hubby! The stage is behind us.

Proof we had dinner ON the Riverwalk! And it was yummy!
I hope you enjoyed these pictures. They turned out better than I expected!

I WILL get some videos of the footy games posted tomorrow. I finally figured out how to do it! Yay!!

More links for Lyrical Press's Celebrate Paranormal Month:
Oct 28: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/28/celebrate-paranormal-month-renita-pizzitola/
Oct 28: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/28/celebrate-paranormal-month-brynna-currys-take-sword/

Have a great Tuesday!


Stacy

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pictures of our Trip to Branson

Heads up: I will be blogging everyday this week. Today and tomorrow I'll post pictures of Branson & San Antonio. Wednesday is my normal reading list. On Halloween I'll post the short story I read at the Beatnik Cafe (which went well, by the way). Friday I'll post whatever (as usual - haha!).

The following were taken at the Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. There were lots of different bridges and waterfalls throughout the park. These are just a sampling (click picture to enlarge):





If you look closely, you can see the fish
swimming around. Yes, you can fish in some
parts of this park. Not sure where, though! :)

They even let you know when you cross the state line!

This was at the end of the 3.2 mile path.
The trip back went faster - thank goodness
or we'd probably still be there! Haha!

The following two pictures were of our train excursion. Most of the pictures I took from the train didn't turn out so well, but then you can see what our view looked like. Lots of trees!



Tomorrow I'll post pictures of San Antonio.

While we won't ever return to Branson (on purpose), we did enjoy our stay. We just didn't do the normal Branson stuff (no shows for us).

Have you ever gone someplace not knowing what to expect? Were you pleasantly surprised or disappointed?


Stacy

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beatnik Café and Catching Up

My writers group, Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA), is putting on a Beatnik Café tomorrow at the Books & Company in Beavercreek, Ohio. It’s at 7pm, so if you’re in the area and want to hear some writers read their short, Halloween-themed stories, come on out. Then again, if you’re an Ohio State Buckeye fan, you might not want to (apparently that noon game was moved to 8pm - FIGURES!). Anyway, I’ll be there reading my piece, for whatever that’s worth!

I spent part of Thursday night trying to figure out how to post the little videos I took of the Footy games and still haven’t figured it out. By the time I finished, I realized how late it was and I hadn’t gotten my post ready (thus the lateness).

I do get up early in the morning, but I head straight for the gym, afraid ANY distraction will keep me from going. You know??? And I definitely need to be going. Seems that 10-day vacation without exercise was not in my best interest and my body is letting me know. Talk about stiff! Oh well, I’ll get it worked out. Eventually!
 
Kind of glad it’s Friday. Usually the days don’t mean that much to me, but I feel like I’m still trying to catch up from vacation. I will get my pictures posted next week (but won’t promise anything on the video).

Celebrate Paranormal Month at Lyrical Press is back (and catching up). Here are the latest links:
Oct 24: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/24/celebrate-paranormal-month-amy-lee-burgess-face/
Oct 24: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/24/celebrate-paranormal-month-brynna-currys-earth-enchanted/
Oct 24: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/24/celebrate-paranormal-month-shay-lacy-grave-secrets/
Oct 25: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/25/celebrate-paranormal-month-mary-abshires-immortal-revenge/
Oct 25: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/25/celebrate-paranormal-month-across-line-amy-lee-burgess/
Oct 25: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/25/celebrate-paranormal-month-brynna-currys-fires-ice/

So, you got any plans for the weekend? You ever read any of your stories OUT LOUD in front of an AUDIENCE? I’ve done it once before, so hopefully I won’t look like a total wreck.

Stacy

 

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Reads

I’m home! Long trip and now I have laundry and mail to sort. Fun stuff! Haha! Here’s what I read during the last week:

Oct 18: “Danger Close” by Lindsay McKenna. This is a military romance. Blurb from Goodreads: Placing women in ground combat is only a test for Congress, but for volunteer Corporal Cathy Fremont it's life...and probably death. In the exotic jungles of Thailand, she's trapped in a hotbed of deception and abuse because the enemy she can't escape is on her side of the battle line. One risk she doesn't need is an alliance with a marine, but trusting intense Captain Jim Boland might be her only chance of survival.
Caught in the crosshairs of danger and political intrigue, Jim must sacrifice his hidden agenda to protect the woman who reawakens the passion inside him. But deadly corruption is closer than they think, and may destroy them both.
I am not the intended audience for this book, but it was a freebie and I wanted to give it a try. I liked the romance very much and cared for the characters, but the head hopping really got on my nerves and the military stuff kind of dragged it down for me (I guess I had enough of the military when I was IN it!). So for MY benefit only, I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads. Don’t let that sway you, though. If you like military romance, you’ll probably feel differently about this book than I do.

Oct 21: “Secrets of a Mayan Moon” by Paty Jager. This is the first book of the Isabella Mumphrey series, a romantic action-adventure. Blurb from Goodreads: Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions. DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle. I don’t know if I ever read an action-adventure and I enjoyed the story in this one. I just wish I fell in love with the hero. For some reason he wasn’t believable to me, which was a shame. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads (although it’s more like 3.5).

Oct 22: “How I Met My Husband: The Real-Life Love Stories of 25 Romance Authors” by Michele Stegman (and others). I’m not going to dispense with the blurb, since the title pretty much says it all. These were originally on a blog and Michele put it in book form, which is free on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Some cute stories and each author also has an excerpt from their book (which I mostly skimmed over). This doesn’t show on Goodreads, but if it did I’d give it 3 stars.

Seems Lyrical Press’s blog has been quiet since the 18th. If I see any more activity regarding Celebrate Paranormal Month, then I’ll start posting the links again.

I feel like I have to get caught up on so much stuff since I've been away. Like exercising. Yep, didn’t do ANY of that and I’m not really looking forward to going back to the gym. But go back I must. We’ll see how I do.

Happy reading!

Stacy

Monday, October 21, 2013

Austin and Footy

We couldn’t have wished for better weather this past weekend. Low 70s, sunny. Perfect weather to play Footy. And this shirt says it all…



My daughter’s team (she played with the Sacramento Suns since she’s basically the only player on the Columbus Jillaroos) didn’t play as well as she’d hoped, BUT she played all game, every game, so she was pleased. And they won one game. Overall, they came in fifth out of seven teams.

The Columbus Jackaroos, however, played AWESOME. Undefeated, they are the USAFL Division II Champions!! It was so much fun watching them play. Here’s a picture I took of them right after they won.


Columbus Jackaroos - 2013 USAFL Division II Champions!
 
This was the first time we actually stayed to watch the men play and I'm so glad we did. Next year Nationals will be held in Dublin, Ohio, so we (the husband and I), won’t have to drive far to get there.

I took some video of the games on my camera, but I can’t get the format to play on my computer. I’m hoping I have the CD at home to convert the files to something I can post here so you can get an idea of what Footy is all about.

We’re on our way to Memphis today. Our plan is to check out Graceland tomorrow before we head on home. I’ll be glad when we return. I miss my bed!

Here are the latest links to Lyrical Press’s Celebrate Paranormal Month (which I guess isn’t celebrating every day like they said!):
October 18: There was no post.
October 19: There was no post.
October 20: There was no post.
October 21: Will update when I get the link (which might not be until tonight, provided there’s a post!).

So, have you ever been to Graceland? I was never an Elvis fan, but sometimes I just like to check out and see what all the hubbub is about!

Stacy

 

Friday, October 18, 2013

San Antonio - "Hey isn't that the woman I almost killed?"

We arrived in San Antonio on Tuesday. It rained all day on our drive from Branson. It also rained all day on Wednesday, so we spent the day at the movie theatre. Watched “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips.” First one was good (we saw the non-3D version), but the second one was intense! My emotions were all over the place with that one. What a great movie.

Still, with the weather the way it was, I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever see the sun again (dramatic, aren’t I??). We got LUCKY. Thursday was GORGEOUS!

We were staying at a hotel only about a mile from The Alamo, but, not knowing the area, we drove (and paid for parking). While looking for a parking lot, my husband almost hit this woman (I told him to watch out, but he apparently hadn’t heard me). She screamed. He yelled he was sorry. She yelled, "What, are you crazy?" He yelled back that he was a crazy guy.

We parked and headed to The Alamo. The place has changed A LOT since 1982. I’m talking about inside the shrine. I just don’t remember it having so much stuff on display. In fact, I remember (and so does my husband) it being rather empty! Also, the Woolworth that used to be across the street is no longer there. Now, it’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Of course, it still seems strange how this landmark is in the middle of downtown San Antonio.

As we sat outside and contemplated our next move, my husband said “Hey, isn’t that the woman I almost killed?” She was standing not that far from us, taking a picture of The Alamo. He asked where we were going next. I said the Riverwalk. He got up and said, let’s go this way (in the direction away from the woman). My daughter and I laughed and called him a chicken.

At the Riverwalk, we decided to take one of the boat tours. When we finished our tour and decided what we wanted to do next, my husband pointed at a boat driving by “Hey, isn’t that the woman I almost killed?” Sure enough, it was. My daughter and I laughed, but we made sure she didn’t see us.

We walked the path and not ten minutes later my husband said, “Hey, isn’t that the woman I almost killed?” She was getting off her boat tour (at a different spot than where we took ours) and thankfully across the river. After my daughter and I finished laughing, I said, “If we see her at Hard Rock (which was our ultimate destination), I’m going to wonder what’s going on!” Then my daughter found the restrooms across the river and needed to use it. My husband said, “Sure, get us closer to her!” I said, “Let’s hope she remembers the car more than she remembers the driver.” Luckily, that was the last we saw of her. But what the heck! I mean, what are the odds we’d see that same woman over and over? Weird…

We found Hard Rock and I got my magnet. My daughter got her shot glass. We did not eat there, though. Instead, we wanted to eat at a place local to the area and found a BBQ place next door. We even got a table by the river. We all ordered the brisket sandwich. Man, that was one goooood sandwich. If you ever find yourself on the Riverwalk and want a good place to eat, I highly recommend The Country Line Riverwalk.

Today we head on up to Austin. Nothing else planned. But Saturday and Sunday is the USAFL Nationals (the purpose of our trip). My daughter plays two games on Saturday and at least two games on Sunday (she’s playing on the Sacramento team as a free-agent). We’re hoping the rain stays away. I didn’t bring any rain gear and we only have one umbrella!

Here are the latest links to Lyrical Press’s Celebrate Paranormal Month:
October 16: There was no post, so I didn’t screw up by not updating Wednesday’s post!
October 17: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/17/celebrate-paranormal-month-amy-lee-burgess-inside/
October 18: (will update when I get the link)

Happy Friday! And please send my daughter some good luck. She’d like to play more this year than she did in last year’s Nationals.

Stacy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Reads

When I travel I get lots of time to read - you know, during the time I’m NOT driving. Haha! Here’s what I read during the last week:

Oct 12: “One Lucky Vampire” by Lynsay Sands. This is the 19th book in the Argeneau Vampire series, a paranormal romance. Blurb on book: When Nicole Phillips agreed to hire a housekeeper, she pictured someone a little frumpy and almost certainly female. Instead, she gets gorgeous, unmistakably male Jake Colson. The man is proving indispensable in the kitchen--and everywhere else. Except Jake might not be a mortal man at all. Who wouldn’t want to be a tall, dark, powerful vampire? Jake, for one. He’s barely had time to adjust to his new state before he’s roped into a family favor. Still, secretly playing bodyguard to sweet, sexy Nicole is turning out to be the wildest ride of his life. First, he’ll put a stop to whoever’s targeting her. Then he’ll prove that this kind of love, and luck, happens only once in an eternity. I love this series and I’m not getting tired of it, even with this many books. They are just so much fun to read. I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads.  

Oct 15: “Wishing for a Highlander” by Jessi Gage. This is a historical-ish romance with some paranormal (time travel) stuff thrown in. Blurb from Goodreads: While examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact--for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific. Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father's windmills and keeping up the family manor house...alone. Darcy's uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would--protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan. I fell into this book quickly and even when I was forced to put it down, the story resonated, making me itching to get back to it! That alone made it worthy of the 5 stars I gave it on Goodreads. I’ll definitely look for more books by this author.

Here are the latest links to Lyrical Press’s Celebrate Paranormal Month:
October 15: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/15/celebrate-paranormal-month-with-mary-abshires/
October 16: (will update when I get the link)

Today we’re in San Antonio (got in last night). Tomorrow we’ll do the Alamo and River Walk with my daughter (she arrives late tonight). Haven’t quite figured out what we’ll do today. I’ll find something, though!

Happy reading!

Stacy

 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Branson - No Pictures Yet, Though

Many, many years ago, my husband stated one day he’d like to see Branson, MO.

“What’s there?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “But I’ve heard of it and I want to go.”

Well, we now KNOW what’s here and it’s really not to our taste. Besides the humongous crowds, we’re not into country and western music. I don’t know a lot of the entertainers and the ones I do know, I’m not so sure I WANT to see them. Anyone remember Barry Williams? Even during the Brady Bunch fame, I didn’t think he could sing all that well.

So, I searched for other things to do and hit the jackpot.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park (http://www.dogwoodcanyon.org/) is about 25 miles away in Lampe, MO and has a 6.4 mile nature walk (well, it’s 3.2 miles long, but you walk one way and you HAVE to walk back). But if walking isn’t your thing, they also have a tram tour that takes you along the same walkway, but also into an animal park. Or you can rent a bike and pedal your way. We visited the park on Sunday and walked (my feet felt it, too). It was a beautiful day and the park is gorgeous. I’m so glad I found it in the AAA Tour Book. So is my husband!

I did take lots of pictures and once I get them off my camera, I’ll share some with you. You all love my pictures, right? Right??

Today we might take the Scenic Railway (provided we can get tickets). As for taking in a show? Yeah, not happening.

Tomorrow we head for San Antonio. I hear it’s been raining a LOT down there. Sure hope it’s finished by the time we arrive!

On our drive to Branson, we did stop in St. Louis and I bought some Rams T-shirts. I wore one Sunday and apparently it worked! The Rams WON!! It apparently also helped the Steelers. They won their first game this season! Whoo hoo!!! I LOVE my T-shirt! It must have magical powers.

It was nice being in Rams territory where there are FANS around. I rarely get that in Dayton. It would have been nice to watch the game (as I’m sure it was on TV here), but we didn’t come down here to watch football, we came here to sight-see and we’ll sight-see gosh darn it!

And in case you’ve been following, here are the latest links to Celebrate Paranormal Month at Lyrical Press’s blog:
October 12: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/12/celebrate-paranormal-month-jessi-gage-road-rage/
October 13: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/13/celebrate-paranormal-month-return-fae/
October 14: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/14/celebrate-paranormal-month-amy-lee-burgess-wolf-within-series/

Happy Monday!

Stacy

 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Road Trip! and More Bugs

Tomorrow we start our vacation! Three nights in Branson, MO, three nights in San Antonio, TX, and three nights in Austin, TX. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

The United States Australian Football League is holding their National Tournaments in Austin Oct 19-20. Our daughter will be playing in this tournament. Since we’re not keen on flying (plus it’s expensive), we decided to visit a city we’ve never been to (Branson) and a city we haven’t been to since 1982 (San Antonio). Our daughter will fly into San Antonio a day early so she can sight-see with us. We’ll take her to Austin and then back home. Yeah, the drive home will be semi-brutal (right now we’re planning on making it in one day), but there will be three of us driving, so maybe it won’t be that bad. If we decide to stop, then we might (MIGHT) stop in Memphis and see Graceland. We’ve never been there, either.

I’m looking forward to the change in scenery. I love road trips. And on our drive to Branson, I told my husband we were stopping in St. Louis and picking up some St. Louis Rams t-shirts. Can you believe I don’t own any? Crazy! I love my Rams.

I will have internet connection in our hotels, but that will be at night and early morning, since I’m hoping we’re out doing fun stuff during the day. I won’t promise I’ll continue my blogs during my trip, because, let’s face it, I have trouble doing that. Let’s say I’ll try and post a picture or two! Key word: TRY.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think the bugs are out in full force this year. Luckily, I haven’t seen many stink bugs (like that picture I posted a couple of weeks ago), although two have found their way in between the back door and the screen (I will have to go outside and open that screen if I want them to leave, I think), and those moths haven’t hatched yet (if they ever do), but the worst right now are the boxelder bugs.
Boxelder Bug - Ugh!
The front of our house faces south and that’s where they have migrated to (sunny and warm). So far I’ve been lucky and they’re staying outside, but it’s forced me to enter and exit the house through the garage now! If I even open the front door, they’ll get in (that’s how many there are). We’ve tried spraying them with Raid, but I think they just laugh in our face and fly away. Certainly hasn’t reduced the numbers any. It’s so bad, it’s making me wish for winter, and that’s BAD! If you’ve had these pests and managed to get rid of them, please share your secret.

Here are the latest links to Celebrate Paranormal Month at Lyrical Press’s blog, just in case you’ve been interested in discovering new paranormal authors.

 
October 11: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/11/celebrate-paranormal-month-scratch-surface-amy-lee-burgess/

Do you like taking road trips? What’s the farthest you’re willing to drive?

Happy Friday!!

Stacy

 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday Reads

Not much else is going on this week. I had enrolled in a romantic suspense RWA class last week only to discover the Goodreads RWA class started this week. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up with class overload and not get any writing done. At least it hasn’t happened yet, as the writing is going GOOD. Which means the reading was light. Here’s what I read during the last week:

Oct 7: “Dexter is Delicious” by Jeff Lindsay. This is the fifth book in the Dexter Morgan series and is a horror. Blurb on book: Dexter Morgan’s happy homicidal life is undergoing some major changes. He’s always lived by a single golden rule--he kills only people who deserve it. But the Miami blood-spatter analyst has recently become a daddy--to an eight-pound curiosity named Lily Anne--and strangely, Dex’s dark urges seem to have left him. Is he ready to become an overprotective father? To pick up soft teddy bears instead of his trusty knife, duct tape, and fishing wire? What’s a serial killer to do? Then Dexter is summoned to investigate the disappearance of an eighteen-year-old girl who seems to have been abducted by a bizarre group…who just may be vampires…and--possibly--cannibals. Nothing like the familiar hum of his day job to get Dexter’s creative dark juices flowing again. Assisting his bull-in-a-china-shop detective sister, Deborah, Dex wades into an investigation that gets more disturbing by the moment. And to compound the complication of Dexter’s every-more-complicated life, a person from his past suddenly reappears…moving dangerously close to his home turf and threatening to destroy the one thing that has maintained Dexter’s pretend human cover and kept him out of the electric chair: his new family.  It had been awhile since I read book #4, and wasn’t all that fond of it, but I have all the books to the series and with the television series completed, thought it was time to see how the books fared (since the story lines are no where near the same). I was pleasantly surprised to find this book better than the last and look forward to reading the last two.


If you’ve been interested in checking out the blogs associated with Celebrate Paranormal Month at Lyrical Press, here are the latest links (links to other dates can be found on previous blog posts here):

October 9: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/09/celebrate-paranormal-month-daisy-banks-timeless/

So… Have you been watching any new shows this season? We’re kind of hooked on “Sleepy Hollow.” Especially my husband, a guy who won’t watch “Supernatural” and thinks “The Abyss” is a scary movie. I doubt I’ll ever understand him.

Happy reading!

Stacy

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another Convention, Another Guest Post

The RT Booklovers Convention (to be held May 14-18, 2014) opened up registration on Friday. Great, I thought. I’ll register on Tuesday, when I’m in the next month’s billing cycle of my credit card. Then RT Convention posted on Facebook that the E-book signing was maxed out. What? That’s what I wanted to be included in. So I left a comment to that posting (as did others) asking why I should even bother going and then promptly shut down my computer, since I was going out for the night (HS Football, and yes, our team won--Yay!).

On Saturday morning, I saw their reply to my statement, which didn’t really sway me. However, a friend also replied, and she did sway me. Seems I can sign up for the Indie book signing on consignment. Not for “My Sunny Vampire” (can I even do that? I’ll have to check), but with “Home for the Holidays.” Who knew? Not me! I can still promote my novel (and any other books I just MIGHT happen to have for sale at the time, such as BITE ME if I self-pub it), but that anthology is able to get me in the Giant Book Fair, which is the main reason I wanted to attend this convention.

So it’s official. I’m attending the 2014 RT Booklovers Convention, held in New Orleans, as a published author. Anyone else planning on going? If so, your goal is to hunt me down and say hi. You hear?

Today is my day to be featured on Lyrical Press’s blog! I’ll add the link as soon as I get it, though, so if it isn’t there yet, and you want to come over and say hi, it’ll show up later this morning.

Here are the most recent posts (if you want to see the older links, check Friday’s blog):
October 4: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/04/celebrate-paranormal-month-welcome-amy-lee-burgess-beneath-skin/
October 5: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/05/celebrate-paranormal-month-pamela-turners-death-sword/
October 6: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/06/celebrate-paranormal-month-author-bernadette-walsh/
October 7 (ME!!!): http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/07/celebrate-paranormal-month-stacy-mckitrick-brings-sunny-vampire/

WRiTE CLUB update: Well, I was IN the quarterfinals, but didn’t get enough votes to get OUT of the quarterfinals and into the semis. Oh well… I have to admit, my second piece wasn’t quite a good as the first, but that’s what happens when you realize you need another 500 word piece and quickly! Haha! If you’re curious as to which writer I was, you’ll have to ask me in the comments.

I had a nice football weekend. Wayne HS Warriors won, OSU Buckeyes won, Cincinnati Bengals won, and the St. Louis Rams WON!!!! Yay!! Steelers were on a bye, so the Pittsburgh Penguins (hockey) won for them, right? Haha! Did your team win? Or are you oblivious to sports?

Stacy

 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Walking and Winter (Brrrr)

Yesterday it rained and put a crimp in my plans. I like to walk on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the neighborhood - my route takes me 3.7 miles (a little over an hour). I’ve already adjusted my schedule from walking at 6:30 am to 9:00 am (it just got too dark out there), but I refuse to walk in the rain!

Yeah, I could have walked on the treadmill, but I didn’t. Somehow it’s just NOT the same. I like the fresh air. Still…I’m thinking I might need to adjust my exercise schedule this winter or I’ll end up doing what I did last year: not exercise. And man, when I go THAT route, it’s sooooo hard to get back into exercising!

So, once the temperatures really drop (anything colder than 40 degrees), or it’s continually raining or snowing, I will start going to the gym everyday. I’ll just alternate on which body parts I work on (arms one day, legs the next). I won’t get my walking in (just that 20-minute warm-up I do before I use the weights), but at least I’ll be burning calories everyday and hopefully stick with my program. I can’t afford to quit! You see…I still eat. See my problem? J

WRiTE CLUB is still active. Quarterfinals are going on now and voting ends on Sunday (I think!). Voting numbers appear to be on a decline, which is sad. The good stuff is what is left to vote on! Anyway, it’s still not too late to play. Bouts ran on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. If you haven’t signed up, do that first HERE and then vote. The remaining participants would surely appreciate it!

 
As I mentioned on Wednesday, Lyrical Press is hosting “Celebrate Paranormal Month” during October, featuring paranormal authors from Lyrical Press (my day comes up on October 7 - Monday!!). If you’re looking for new authors in the paranormal genre, give it a look-see.

Here are links to the posts so far:
October 1: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/01/celebrate-paranormal-month-meet-kt-grant/
October 2: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/02/celebrate-paranormal-month-mary-abshires/
October 3: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/03/celebrate-paranormal-month-welcome-hero-hire/
October 4: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/04/celebrate-paranormal-month-welcome-amy-lee-burgess-beneath-skin/

Do you have to adjust your exercise schedule in the winter? Or are you one of those crazies who like to walk in the freezing temps? If I did, I’d have to carry a box of tissues with me. My nose would go crazy drippy!

Weekend’s almost here. Enjoy!

Stacy

 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday Reads

I got great news from my publisher, Lyrical Press. They’ve decided to offer their books in print as well as digital, and they’ll be starting this with their November releases. So it looks like “My Sunny Vampire” will also be available in print. Ain’t that the BEST news ever? I sure think so!

Writing is moving along, so reading has been slow. Priorities! Here’s what I read during the last week:

Sep 26: “Deeply Odd” by Dean Koontz. This is the sixth book in the Odd Thomas series. Not sure if I should call this a horror or paranormal thriller. Is there a difference? Blurb on book: How do you make sure a crime that hasn’t happened yet, never does? That’s the critical question facing Odd Thomas, the young man with a unique ability to commune with restless spirits and help them find justice and peace. But this time, it’s the living who desperately need Odd on their side. Three helpless innocents will be brutally executed unless Odd can intervene in time. Who the potential victims are and where they can be found remain a mystery. The only thing Odd knows for sure is who the killer will be: the homicidal stranger who tried to shoot him dead in a small-town parking lot. With the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock riding shotgun and a network of unlikely allies providing help along the way, Odd embarks on an interstate game of cat and mouse with his sinister quarry. He will soon learn that his adversary possesses abilities that may surpass his own and operates in service to infinitely more formidable foes, with murder a mere prelude to much deeper designs. Traveling across a landscape haunted by portents of impending catastrophe, Odd will do what he must and go where his path leads him, drawing every closer to the dark heart of his long journey--and, perhaps, to the bright light beyond.  I’ve enjoyed this series until this book. Lots of rambling; it was a struggle to get to the end. Thing is, the story was interesting, and I loved the new character that was introduced, but it just took forever for events to happen. I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads.


 
All this month Lyrical Press is hosting “Celebrate Paranormal Month,” because, apparently, that’s what October is now. Paranormal authors from Lyrical Press will talk about their books and what made them decide to write them. My day comes up on October 7. If you’re looking for new authors in the paranormal genre, check it out. Here’s the link to the October 1 entry: http://lyricalpress.com/2013/10/01/celebrate-paranormal-month-meet-kt-grant/

So, are you looking for new authors to read or are you overwhelmed with the books you have? Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, then I go on a trip and read like crazy! In fact, I’m stocking up on my Nook because I will be going on a trip this month. I’ll probably take some paper books, too, because I still don’t trust electronics. Doubt I ever do!

Happy reading!

Stacy