Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Binge-Watching Update

Hey lookee! I finished a book. Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #48

Dates read: August 9-22
Title: “The Sumage Solution”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: G.L. Carriger
Genre: Paranormal (M/M) romance
Series: San Andreas Shifters #1
# of Pages: 305
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Max fails everything – magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.
    Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet. If he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong. Even the mage in question.
My thoughts: It was an interesting read, but not what I was expecting. I was also a bit confused with the world and felt it lacked explanation. At least it did for this old brain of mine.

The Vampire Diaries binge-watching update: I’m in the middle of season 4. In fact, I might finish that season today. Chug, chug, chugging along.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, August 21, 2017

Taking a Break

What with getting ready for Dragon Con (watching The Vampire Diaries), hosting Sizzle and Sass this week, and finishing my short story for my newsletter, I think it's in my best interest to take a blogging break.

Unless I finish reading the book I'm reading before Wednesday, in which case I'll post Wednesday Reads. Those are easy to write (and don't take all that much brain power).

Friday I leave for New Jersey so I can attend my family reunion on Saturday. Looking forward to that, although keeping up with the Sizzle and Sass page will be a little difficult. Must schedule some posts ahead of time (so glad I can do that!). 

Anyway, I'll be back. Just don't know when.

Eventually life will slow down. Right?

Happy Monday & Happy Eclipse Day!! Are you in the totality zone? I'm not. But I believe I will be in 2024. I should still be around then. :)


Stacy

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday Reads, Still Watching, and My Rights

Binge-watching can really be time-consuming. Second week into The Vampire Diaries and I started season 3 yesterday. Nothing much else is getting done and you know what? I’m okay with that. I’d like to think I’ll really be prepared for the fan panel at Dragon Con.

Or at least not look like an idiot sitting there.

I’ve forgotten how much I really loved that series, though. And vampire stories in general. I’ve seen scenes and wonder, “Did I get my idea from that?” It’s highly possible.

Anyway, I did finish a book! Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #47

Dates read: August 2-9
Title: “Pretty Girls”
Year of publication: 2015
Author: Karin Slaughter
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 573
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Free at RT17
Blurb from book: It’s been more than twenty years since Claire and Lydia last spoke. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother dating an ex-con, struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the disappearance of their sister Julia two decades earlier—and the shocking murder of Clair’s husband brings the horror and heartbreak of the past roaring back into their lives.
    The vanishing of a teenage girl and the killing of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: What could connect them? As they form a wary truce, the surviving sisters unearth the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago…and find the astonishing truth where they least expect it.
My thoughts: Goodness. Karin Slaughter was at RT so I thought maybe this book would have some romantic elements to it. Nope. Not a bit. And you know what? It didn’t matter. I became riveted to the grisly story. And it is grisly.  

Good news! I got my rights back from Kensington for My Sunny Vampire; Bite Me, I’m Yours; and Ghostly Liaison. Those books are no longer for sale until I get them re-released. I’m getting the cover for Ghostly Liaison first, since I’d like the first book out when I release the second book. Then I’ll concentrate on getting my vampire books back out there.

It’s gonna be a lot of work after Dragon Con (because I’m sure I’ll be watching TVD until then) when I switch my attention over to getting them back into circulation. I just hope it doesn’t take long. I need to get back to writing eventually!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Friday, August 11, 2017

Cover to Ghostly Interlude

It’s a blatant self-promotion post! Yay!

Can I call this a cover reveal if I’ve already revealed it to my newsletter subscribers?

Not that that many subscribers have SEEN the cover. They would have had to open the newsletter to do that.

So, whether or not this is a “reveal,” I am now sharing the cover to Ghostly Interlude.




Isn't it pretty? I don’t have a release date yet. I’m not comfortable setting that date until I get the book back from my editor. Once I get more comfortable that it’s close to being finished, I’ll put the book up for presale. I’ve never done that before, so it’ll be interesting to see if it does any good. It certainly can’t hurt. Right?

So, for some more blatant self-promo, here’s the blurb:

Maggie Russell—legal assistant by day, horror writer by night—gets the scare of her life when she wakes up in a strange café without any idea of how she got there. But if she tells anyone about her sleepwalking escapades, she could lose her grandmother’s house, and she’d fought so hard to keep it.

Dean Parker is a private investigator whose office is next door to Maggie’s law firm. He’s been eyeing the pretty brunette ever since she started working there, but getting involved with anyone isn’t in his game plan. When he finds out she’s been having sleeping problems, he suspects her money-grubbing cousin is involved. Instead, he discovers something worse: a ghost is living with Maggie and it appears another may be possessing her.

Dean is determined to help Maggie rid her home of the uninvited guests. He just never figured his attraction to her would be reciprocated. Keeping his distance is no longer an option, though. If he fails, Maggie could very well be possessed forever.

And if the blurb’s not enough, here’s the UNEDITED beginning of Ghostly Interlude:

Something poked Maggie in her shoulder and she swatted it away. Time to have a serious talk with her cousin about boundaries and if that didn’t work, she would finally install a lock on her bedroom door.

“Ma’am, wake up. You have to go.”

Ma’am? That didn’t sound like Erica because, well, Erica wasn’t a guy. So what was a guy doing in her bedroom? Maggie bolted upright and blinked as the bright room came into focus. Better question: Where was her bedroom?

Keep calm. Keep calm. You’ve just been sleep walking. Again.

The mantra did nothing to keep her heart from racing. Probably because every other time it had happened she’d woken up at home. Not at some strange café.

Dirty dishes littered the table before her. God. She was eating in her sleep now? Should she be thankful she wasn’t wearing her pajamas? She apparently had the sleep-sense to put on a sweater and jeans.

The person who’d poked her was actually a waiter, and a young one at that. He couldn’t be more than twenty. “Here’s the check. I have to close up.”

“What day is it?”

“It’s seven. We’re closing.”

She grabbed his arm. “Not time. Day. Day!”

His eyes widened and he shrugged free. “Sunday?”

“Sunday?” No. No-no-no. That couldn’t be. She’d lost two days. Two freakin’ days! Who slept-walked for two days?


So… if you made it this far, how did you like the cover? How about the excerpt? Intriguing enough to read more? I sure hope so!

Happy Friday!

Stacy

 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

No Wednesday Reads Because...

I’m reading a really good book, but it’s long (573 pages) and I’m now spending my days binge-watching The Vampire Diaries, so it’ll be awhile before I finish the book.

And I’m certainly not getting any writing done. Priorities!

But I’m amazed at how much I remember of the first season of TVD. So much so, that I thought some of the characters showed up in later seasons. Wrong! Maybe my memory isn’t as bad as I thought.

I’m having fun watching the episodes again. Especially now that I don’t have to zip through commercials. I swear, The CW shows more commercials than any other network. Each episode of TVD is 40 minutes long. That’s 20 minutes of commercials when it airs. This is why I record all shows.

Well… except for sports. I do watch those live.

Recently, Spectrum changed our “bundle” package by taking out all the movie channels and charging us separately. I don’t know what kind of “bundle” that left us, except phone and internet. But I wasn’t about to pay $59 for channels we rarely watch, so I called and cancelled that portion. I’d probably quit cable altogether, but we like our sports and face it, TV is easier to record and watch than downloading from some internet site (especially when our internet is wonky at times).

So… How often do you read really long books? Do you like them long? I prefer long to short, but sometimes those thick ones will cause me to hesitate picking it up. I like time to read those books (because they tend to be complicated reads due to many story lines) and if I see I won’t have time, then I’ll find something shorter. But in this case, I guess I forgot I wanted to watch TVD (and have little time to get the series watched). Ooops.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting Sick at a Con and some GREAT News

Wouldn’t you believe it? I’m not at Rust City Book Con for one day and I come down with another cold. I can’t even blame this on con crud because I might have left the house with this cold. I had thought it was just my allergies being my allergies ignoring my pills.

Because my allergies tend to do that.

But no. As I drove closer to Detroit, the scratchier my throat became. Not a good sign. Luckily, the scratch went away. Not so lucky, the running nose and coughing took over. Finding cold medicine became a trick, since I didn’t want to drive in that crazy town (traffic was unreal) and there wasn’t ANY store within walking distance (I tried). I discovered the hotel sold Nyquil pills. $5 for 4 pills. Expensive, but Yay! I’d been sure I was saved.

I wasn’t. Those pills didn’t help all that much. Oh, they dried me up all right, to the point of clogging my nose. I couldn’t breathe! I don’t care what anyone says, the liquid stuff is better (I came home and took some Nyquil and it worked wonderfully).

Even though I became sick (I’m sooooo glad I packed lots of Kleenex packs—sure came in handy), I tried not to let it get to me too much. I did have a good time (and my friend liked it so much she wants to go back next year). Actually sold two books (which is two more than last year).

I still wish more people would have attended the book signing (which was open to the public). That’s something Jackie will have to work on.

Other than that, Jackie did and OUTSTANDING job of running this convention. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard just to make sure everyone had a good time.

And if it weren’t for my cold, I might have been able to enjoy more than I did.

Here’s my GREAT news: Hubby’s PET scan came back clean. No cancer! Of course, that’s what last year’s PET scan showed, so to be safe, he’ll have another PET scan in six months. Hubby is doing great though. He’s gained back some of the weight he lost, but is hoping he can stay at the weight he’s at now. He doesn’t want to gain it ALL back. So he’s back to walking after work (he’s up to 8 miles, but says he’ll stick with that number for awhile—before he walked 10 miles a day). I doubt I’ll ever walk that much. I’m lucky to get in 4 miles and my pace has really slowed down. Can’t blame that on my heart, though. Nope. It’s all due to my stupid arthritic knee.

Getting old sucks.

So…  Why do we get sick at the most inopportune times? Is there ever an opportune time? Hmmm…

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wednesday Reads

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #46

Dates read: July 25-31
Title: “Wolf Tales 12”
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Kate Douglas
Genre: Erotica
Series: Wolf Tales #12
# of Pages: 366
Paper or plastic: Trade Paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Gifted with exceptional strength and extraordinary sensuality, the shape-shifting Chanku have learned to survive on their own, far away from their one time home in the mountains of Montana. But as the years pass, the packs begin to long for one another, for the incredible passion they enjoy together and for the erotic pleasure they find only with their own kind…
    It is then they hear Anton’s call. He has learned even more about the fascinating past of the Chanku. And the young girl, Lily, has made the most astonishing discover of all…
    The time has come for all Chanku to come together as one, to reclaim their primal past and to enter an amazing future that no one ever dreamed. Their epic journey is over, and least for now…
My thoughts: I wasn’t all that impressed with the last few books in this series, so I hesitated to read this. But I did and glad I had. Lots of stuff is packed into this (with lots of sex, can’t forget that!), making it longer than the others in this series. But it is a nice ending and I enjoyed the story.

I still have to pack my clothes, but I think I’m ready for the Rust City Book Con. When I get back from that on Sunday, then I have to start thinking about Dragon Con. I need to start binge-watching The Vampire Diaries (since I’m on the fan panel), and take lots of notes. Must remember to take notes! I can’t afford to procrastinate there. The Vampire Diaries lasted for 8 seasons! I still need season 8, but I’m not even sure I’ll get through seven seasons before the end of the month. It’ll be fun trying, though. J

So… How do you decide which book to read next? Do you look at your stack and see which one grabs you? Or do you have a specific list you’re whittling down? Me, I tend to look at my stack. Unfortunately the books on top get my attention first and I always put the newest purchase on top. Hmmm… Maybe I need to change my strategy there.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, July 31, 2017

Getting Ready for Another Convention

I leave for the Rust City Book Con on Thursday. And you’d think I’d be ready, wouldn’t you? But I’m not.

Not even close.

I want to donate a series of books I own (for the raffle), but I have to finish reading the last one before I can do that. And then figure out how I want to give them away. Wrap them up in cellophane? Put them in a box (which would require finding a box that would fit AND display them)? Or maybe stick them in one of the numerous bags I’ve gotten from other conventions? Decisions, decisions.

I’m on a couple of panels and one of them might require some work ahead of time (still trying to get that confirmed). And if I do have to do some work, well, then, I’m gonna have to figure out what to work on.

I plan on giving away some frame-style key chains I bought from Oriental Trading. They’re really cool. I thought they’d look awesome with my covers. All I have to do is print out copies of my covers and insert them. Easy peasy, right? Only thing is, I needed a paper cutter, photo paper, labels (to stick on the back of the photo with my website), and ink for the printer. At least I bought all those on Friday. I had planned to print the covers, cut them out, and insert them yesterday, but did I? Nope. I decided to read the book instead (which I still haven’t finished).

Why or why do I wait until the last minute to do everything? I think my characters are toying with me, too. They know I’m busy, but now they’re talking. No fair!!!

So… Do you tend to “plan” for stuff, but then wait until the last minute to do it? At least I planned, though. Right? That’s gotta be better than flying blind. J

Happy Monday!

Stacy

 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Baby Steps

I actually reached 5000 words on my current project this week. It had been sitting at around 4600 for months (since March if you really want to know). So yeah, 400 words aren’t all that much, but for someone who has been struggling to write this book, it’s AWESOME. I finally got past that scene that has stymied me and am into the next chapter.

I expect this book will be like my others and eventually take over my life. It’ll just take baby steps. And I took 400 of those baby steps this week. That’s progress, and I’ll take it!

Tomorrow my dearest friend is getting married (she’s the one who loves to cook!). I’m so glad she found someone who makes her happy. She deserves it.

And to have some “bridal” fun, I found this on Youtube. Anyone remember “Here Come the Brides”? I was a HUGE Bobby Sherman fan. J


Happy Friday!
Stacy

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Awesome Weather

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #45

Dates read: July 18-25
Title: “The Aggrieved”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense/thriller
Series: Jonathan Quinn #11
# of Pages: 323
Paper or plastic: Trade Paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: The unthinkable has happened. A life has been extinguished—one belonging to someone Jonathan Quinn and his partner Nate care about more than almost anyone else in the world.
    Those responsible will pay.
    No matter how long it takes, no matter how far and wide the search, Quinn, Nate, and their colleagues will stop at nothing to exact the appropriate justice
    Because if there is one thing those in the shadow world should know, you do not mess with Quinn’s people.
My thoughts: I probably cried at the end of #10 in this series. Had a few tears at the beginning of this one. If you like fast-paced thrillers, then by all means, read this series. I even got Hubby hooked on them.

The weather has been super-duper these past few days (feels more like spring than summer). I’ve enjoyed my walks more, that’s for sure. Now, if I can only get motivated to go back to the fitness center. I’ve been away too long. But I just can’t seem to get motivated to do anything.

So… have you been enjoying cooler weather, or are you in the melting zone?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, July 24, 2017

When Your Headache Won’t Go Away…

I think the not wearing glasses bit has finally gotten to me. At least it did yesterday. I don’t know how many times I took Tylenol, but none of the doses seemed to get rid of my nagging headache. I’ll be so glad when I get those glasses back.

Of course, now I wonder how long that prescription will last. Finding out I have a cataract forming on my right eyeball kind of shocked me. And irritated me, since the doctor knew about this back in October (during my scheduled eye exam) and didn’t seem fit to mention it then. Because I’m pretty sure I would have remembered being told that.

Anyway… because of the headache, I don’t have much to say. Hopefully the pain will be gone by the time this post airs and I’ll wake up all rested and ready to walk.

That’s if my knee isn’t acting up. I swear, I’m falling apart. Leaky heart valve. Funky eyesight. And arthritic knees. Aaack!

So… How has your body reacted to getting older? (I refuse to say old age, since I don’t feel old.)

**fingers crossed for a good week**

Stacy

 

Friday, July 21, 2017

I'm Gonna See Huey Lewis & The News Tonight

That's right. It's concert night for Hubby and me. I love Huey Lewis and the News. I had hoped to see them back in the mid 90s, after a Columbus Clippers (AAA Baseball) game, but my daughter decided (yes, decided) to have an ear ache that evening and I didn't get to see them. play.

I never let her forget it, either.

So when I saw they were playing in our home town I told Hubby, "I'm going. Are you?" Because yeah, I'd go alone if no one wanted to go with me. Luckily, Hubby DID want to go with me.

In honor of tonight's concert, I'll share one of their music videos with you. It was so hard to pick one. I love all their songs. This one was cute. Enjoy "Stuck With You"!




So... You doing anything fun this weekend? My friend is coming over Saturday to cook my birthday dinner. Steak, potato salad, and corn. Hubby is supposed to get the cake. Sure hope he remembers!

Happy Friday!

Stacy





Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday Reads and I Got Picked!

I didn’t comprehend that yesterday was Tuesday, because it was my birthday, so days of the week don’t seem to matter; therefore, I didn’t set up this post last night when I should have. Then again, if I had posted it last night, I wouldn’t have been able to share the news I got this morning, which I mention later. Right now, here’s what I read the past week:

Book #44

Dates read: July 10-17
Title: “UNSUB”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Meg Gardiner
Genre: Suspense/thriller
Series: UNSUB #1
# of Pages: 366
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased (heck, I pre-ordered this one!)
Blurb from book: Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.
    The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once-promising career.
    Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the same haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.
    Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the abyss?
My thoughts: Whoo. I had a hard time putting this book down. If not for my stupid eyes (and maybe trying to get back into writing), I would have read this much quicker. I love Meg’s books and this one is no exception.

And now for my news!! This morning I got a message from the Urban Fantasy Track from Dragon Con. I’ve been selected to be a panelist for The Vampire Diaries! I had put my name into the “hat” awhile back (which wasn’t an easy thing for me to do, let me tell you) and really didn’t think I’d get chosen. Even now I could have still backed out, but I was strong and I didn’t. Now I just have to go back over the whole series and see what I forgot. Because I’m sure I forgot a lot.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Brain is Full and I’m Another Year Older Tomorrow

This past weekend I attended two workshops, which encompassed six classes, all taught by Laurie Schnebly Campbell. My brain is full.

So full, I might have figured out the problems with Ghostly Protector. You don’t know what a relief that is, because I was pretty sure that story had died. So maybe I will be writing Ghostly Protector next. It would certainly be nice if I could actually write something.

Well, I guess I am writing. I write blogs. I write short stories. But it’s been awhile since I wrote the first draft of a novel. I just have to focus and plow on through the barriers I’ve apparently set up for myself. Barriers I might have broken through this past weekend. Yay!

Speaking (okay, writing) about short stories, the Literary Escapism blog is supposed to feature the Hidden Treasure part of a short story I wrote about Rob and Bridget (from Ghostly Liaison) today. It’s to help generate some interest for the Rust City Book Con (you know, if people like what they read, maybe they’ll come out and see me??). I’m only sharing the middle portion of the story (which is basically a complete story in itself) in the hopes that people would want to read the rest of it. The thing is, I’m only sharing the story in my August newsletter, so they’d have to sign up to read it. Aren’t I evil that way?

Still, if you’d like to see my Hidden Treasure story, hop on over to Literary Escapism (I’ll edit with the direct link when I get it). Then come back and tell me what you think.
[EDIT: Here's the direct link to the post: http://www.literaryescapism.com/49840/hidden-treasures-ghostly-treasures-by-stacy-mckitrick]

You could do that for my birthday, couldn’t you?

Yeah, that’s right. Tomorrow’s my birthday. A pretty significant one, too. Doubt I do anything special tomorrow, but my friend is cooking a nice dinner for me on Saturday (and if Hubby remembers, he’ll get me a birthday cake!).

Today I have an appointment with my eye doctor. Decided I should finally find out why my right eye suddenly sees better without my glasses than it does with them. I’ve even gone the last few days not wearing them because they’ve been bugging me so much.

So… What kind of fun things do you think I should do tomorrow? Maybe sit at home and write? Hmmm… Maybe.

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Friday, July 14, 2017

First and Third Person: Together or Separate?

A writer friend posted on Facebook about a romance she was reading and that she hated how it had switched from first person in the female’s point of view (POV) to third person in the male’s POV. She wanted to know if this was a new thing.

I pointed out that it’s not that much of a new thing in suspense/thrillers (I’ve seen the villain’s POV in first person a lot). Romance? Maybe. But then I haven’t read a lot of first person romances because I’m not fond of them.

I think certain genres kind of lean toward one POV over another. I’m okay with mysteries and urban fantasies in first person (although one POV in third would work for me, too). But I don’t expect to see another POV in those books. And while seeing first person POV for a villain in a thriller is a little jarring, I get it. Sometimes. But for romance? I like it in third for ALL the characters.

A romance in first person doesn’t to it for me. This romance reader WANTS to know what both characters are thinking/doing. That’s the fun part of it for me—the knowing and wondering when the other character will get a clue. But to put one character in first person and the other in third? That just distances me from the other characters. Why do it? Is this a writer thing or a reader thing? Frankly, I think it’s a writer thing (the writer likes writing in first person, but wants the other POV shown and can’t imagine writing a different first person voice for the man).

And don’t even get me started on both characters written in first person with alternating chapters. I enjoyed one book like that. The others were just too darn confusing. I couldn’t remember which “I” I was reading about without going back to the beginning of the chapter! I avoid those books now.

So… Does having both first and third person POV characters in a book bother you? What about alternating first person points of view? Or would the genre make a difference? If so, which ones?

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Avoidance

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #42

Dates read: June 28-July 6
Title: “Wolf Tales 11”
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Kate Douglas
Genre: Paranormal erotic romance
Series: Wolf Tales #11
# of Pages: 298
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: They are Chanku, a race of shapeshifters whose bodies hunger for sexual passion and pleasure. Protective of their own, the Chanku have always relied upon their primal instincts to keep their packs safe…until now. Tala and Lisa have been kidnapped and no one knows where they are. Mik, AJ, and Tinker fear not only for the safety of their mates but for that of their unborn children as well…
    Unwilling to concede to the kidnappers’ demands, the men summon Anton for help. Devising a daring rescue plan of his own, Anton calls upon all the Chanku to lose themselves in an erotic encounter like never before. As they link together and succumb to complete carnal desire, their sexual energy fills him with a superhuman ability to outmatch even their strongest enemy…
My thoughts: Hmmm… Besides the kidnapping part, the pace was too slow for me. It just seemed to drag on forever. Of course, all those forevers were filled with sex. I’m beginning to think that too much is just…too much. I only have one left in this series before I can call it quits. And since I bought them all, I will read them.

Book #43

Dates read: July 6-8
Title: “Avenge Me”
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Maisey Yates
Genre: Contemporary romance (steamy)
Series: #1 in the Fifth Avenue trilogy
# of Pages: 264
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Free (from some convention)
Blurb from book: Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York’s elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof.
    Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen’s reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and subline pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?
My thoughts: The blurb intrigued me, which is why I had kept this book around to read for so long. It’s a good book, and a lot steamier (close to BDSM) than I expected (not that I’m complaining about that). And while the couple’s story has a satisfying ending, the overall story is left hanging. Yeah, that tends to happen with series. Thing is, different authors write the other books and those stories don’t intrigue me like this one did. Probably why I’ve never been a Harlequin fan (which yes, this book is).

Yesterday was a good day to start working on my next novel. So what do I do instead? Clean the kitchen. And I HATE cleaning. Why am I putting it off? It’s baffling me.

So… What would be a surprising thing you’d stoop to doing as an excuse to do something you THOUGHT you loved doing? And are there to many “do”s in that sentence? I’m thinking there is. J

Happy Reading!

Stacy

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

I Finally Did It!

Sunday morning I finished reviewing (which I really must call it since I wasn’t doing much revision or editing) Ghostly Interlude and sent it to my editor.

Whew!

I realized the story was the story and if it needs fixing, someone else is going to have to tell me. I’ve been working on this story for three years.

THREE. YEARS.

It was time to let it go.

Now I really feel free to write the next Ghostly book. Hopefully it won’t take me that long. Although to be fair, I suffered my heart issues and Hubby’s cancer issues during the writing and editing of Ghostly Interlude. It’s amazing I finished it at all.

So… What’s the longest it’s taken you to finish a project? Any project. Well... preferably one that shouldn't take as long as it did.

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Decisions, Decisions

I’m currently in the process of deciding the cover to Ghostly Interlude. Apparently I can’t decide. Ugh. But hey, I’m getting farther along in my editing. Let’s see if I can get that book to my editor by next week, shall we?

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #41
Dates read: June 24-28
Title: “Deadly Silence”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Blood Brothers #1
# of Pages: 362
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Under siege. That’s how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can’t outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he’s been trying to keep at arm’s length is in danger…and he’ll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.
    Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She’s making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There’s a lot Ryker isn’t telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn’t catch up to them first…
My thoughts: I didn’t realize until I bought this book that this series is a spin off of her Sin Brothers series, which I loved very, very much. Seems I love this series, too. Lots of suspense! Lots of romance! Lots of sexy scenes!! Unfortunately, I have to wait to read them all, since they’re not all released yet. Now I don’t mind that she writes fast, so maybe I won’t have to wait that long. This series has a little bit of a paranormal bent—genetically engineered people—but not too much (or weird) if paranormal’s not your thing. If romantic suspense is, then you gotta give this book a try. And then if you haven’t read the Sin Brothers series yet, I bet you’ll want to after (or do it now, that 4-book series is out).

So… The CW is remaking Dynasty? Ugh. I couldn’t stand it the first time around. How about you? Does it seem like there are more TV remakes than ever? Or have there always been remakes and I just didn’t notice?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

The States I’ve Been To

When JeffO asked what I regarded as a successful visit to a state, I thought it would be fun to list them all and state how I came to visit that state. So here you go.

  1. Alabama: Basic training at Ft. McClelland, stationed at Ft. Rucker
  2. Alaska: Stationed at Ft. Greeley & Ft. Wainwright (son born there)
  3. Arizona: Stationed at Ft. Huachuca (met Hubby & got married there)
  4. Arkansas: Vacationed at Hot Springs
  5. California: Born and raised
  6. Colorado: Attended RomCon in Denver
  7. Connecticut: Drove through several times
  8. Delaware: NOT YET!
  9. Florida: Visited in laws when they lived there; Disney World; cruises
  10. Georgia: Dragon Con (Atlanta) every Labor Day since 2010
  11. Hawaii: Vacationed for 25th wedding anniversary
  12. Idaho: Drove through in 1969
  13. Illinois: Vacationed in Chicago numerous times
  14. Indiana: Drove through numerous times; been to Indianapolis Zoo
  15. Iowa: NEXT YEAR!
  16. Kansas: Drove through on way to RomCon
  17. Kentucky: Stayed numerous times (work related) and drive through a lot
  18. Louisiana: Attended RT & FF&P conventions in New Orleans plus cruises
  19. Maine: Stayed in Augusta and drove down the coast
  20. Maryland: Stayed for cruise out of Baltimore
  21. Massachusetts: Visited Boston & Salem (via work)
  22. Michigan: Stayed in Detroit a few times; Rust City Book Con
  23. Minnesota: Drove through in 1969
  24. Mississippi: Drove through numerous times
  25. Missouri: Vacationed in Branson & St. Louis (separate trips)
  26. Montana: NEXT YEAR!
  27. Nebraska: NEXT YEAR!
  28. Nevada: Vacationed in Las Vegas (2009) and stayed in Reno (1969)
  29. New Hampshire: Drove through a few years ago
  30. New Jersey: Stationed at Ft. Monmouth (daughter born there)
  31. New Mexico: Stayed in Albuquerque in 1969
  32. New York: Visited numerous times (Baseball HOF, Albany, NYC, Niagara Falls)
  33. North Carolina: Visited Raleigh, drove through many times
  34. North Dakota: NEXT YEAR!
  35. Ohio: Live here!
  36. Oklahoma: Stayed in Oklahoma City in 1969
  37. Oregon: Vacationed at Crater Lake, stayed in Portland and Salem
  38. Pennsylvania: Visited Pittsburgh many times. Too familiar with the Turnpike.
  39. Rhode Island: Visited Hubby’s family a few times
  40. South Carolina: Stationed at Ft. Jackson for training; stayed in Charleston for cruises
  41. South Dakota: Saw Mt. Rushmore and Badlands in 1969
  42. Tennessee: Drove through numerous times, visited Nashville
  43. Texas: Dallas for RT; Austin & San Antonio for Footy; driven I-10 end-to-end
  44. Utah: Floated in the Great Salt Lake in 1969
  45. Vermont: Visited a couple of times
  46. Virginia: Friend has time share in Massanutten we’ve stayed at a few times
  47. Washington: Stationed at Ft. Lewis
  48. West Virginia: Lived there for a month with in laws; visited many times
  49. Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dells—twice (first time in 1969); Racine for Footy
  50. Wyoming: Yellowstone in 1969
As you can see, not many states are just drive-throughs. Yeah, it surprised me, too!

Those states visited in 1969? My parents bought a camper and we drove from Santa Barbara to Newark, NJ to see my dad’s side of the family (first time for my sister and me, probably my mother, too). Dad was determined for us to see a lot of America. Mom said it was probably the worst vacation she ever had. You see, she still had to cook. J

So… Think you would like to travel across the states in a camper? It was a memorable trip, but not something I would want to do again. I’m spoiled: give me hotels and restaurants.

Happy Monday! And have a great 4th!

Stacy

 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Going Back to Alaska

When you finally pay off the mortgage, you can think about more elaborate vacations. And when the Hubby survives cancer—twice (we’re thinking positive here even though we don’t have test results yet)—you want to celebrate. We’ve always wanted to go back to Alaska. Now we are. On a cruise!

It won’t happen until next summer, and yes, we’ll be driving to Seattle. There are some states we haven’t visited yet. We both want to say we’ve been to them all and this trip will do it for Hubby (I still have Delaware, but we’ll take care of that on a different trip). So yeah, this will be an extended vacation. Pretty much have it all planned out already. I’m so excited.

Oh, and the states I haven’t been to and will hit on this trip: North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, and Iowa. Hubby will finally see North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Minnesota.

So… How many states do you need to visit to say you’ve seen them all?

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday Reads and a Costly Repair

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #40

Dates read: June 19-23
Title: “A Shot With You”
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Genre: Romantic comedy
Series: Bourbon Brothers #2
# of Pages: 165
Paper or plastic: E-book
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Bourbon is in Brandon Morgan’s blood. His family owns the best bourbon brand in the country—or it will be with his marketing genius. And after meeting the fiery daughter of a tequila distillery owner, he’s never been more sure.
    His barrels, her tequila. It’s a match made in heaven. But only if he can keep his hands off the owner’s daughter…and his secrets to himself.
    Lesa Ruiz will do anything to keep Little Possum afloat, but one look at Brandon’s gorgeous dimples and Lesa knows two things for sure: forever is not in the cards with this man and he’s way too sexy to resist for long.
    Well, three things… Brandon is hiding something, and she’ll need to get a lot closer to figure it out and save her family’s legacy. Shots, anyone?
My thoughts: Teri Anne is a friend, so I’ll say that up front. But that’s not why I read her books. I read them because they’re enjoyable, and this one is no different. I sometimes wish they were longer, though. If you’re looking for a funny, quick read (with some hot, sexy scenes) give this one a try.

Got the A/C fixed on Monday. Repairman suspects a leak. The thing is only 8 years old. We bought the top of the line unit and right now it’s worse than the cheapie thing we had that died at 12. Ugh. Anyway, he put dye in the line so the next time it starts not cooling again, he can determine where the leak is. Hopefully it will be fixable, because it could be leaking where it can’t be fixed. At least it’s working now. Not that we need it.

The weather has been super-duper the last couple of days. Cool and dry. I could get used to summers like this. Then I wouldn’t need the stupid A/C.

So… How long do you think an A/C should work?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, June 26, 2017

Footy, Lovely Weather, and Eyesight

Hello, hello, hello! My trip to Raleigh, NC went well. Except for a bit of rain on Saturday evening (okay, more like monsoon!), the Footy tournament (this was the Eastern Regionals) went well, although a bit on the warm side (temps close to 90 and the humidity a bit high). Luckily we were able to sit in the shade for a good portion of the games.

As for my daughter’s team, they didn’t win, but it was close. The women played 20 minute quarters (normally they play 20 minute halves). I was very impressed with their play. I was even more impressed that 13 Jillaroos made it to the tournament. There had been a time when my daughter was the only Jillaroo. Good thing they can combine to make a team. In this case, the Jillaroos combined with the Baltimore Eagles. They played against the New York Magpies/Boston Lady Demons/Philadelphia Hawks (which was made up of mostly NY).

Want to know what the USAFL is all about. Well here’s a video for you to check out. Some of the shots go by fast, my daughter could be in it and I just don’t see her!


We came home yesterday to 70 degree weather. And dry. But the house was hot and stuffy! Good thing I have the A/C repairman coming by Tuesday. Although the temps are supposed to stay in the 70s for awhile (man, it feels soooooo good outside). I opened the windows to cool the house down. Now, if it can only stay this way, I won’t need the A/C at all!

Can eyesight get…better? I’ve been having issues with my eyeglasses lately. Especially my right eye. I thought something must be wrong with my eye, because I’ve only had this new prescription for less than a year. Then I noticed something even stranger. Seems my eyesight in my right eye is practically perfect without the glasses.

So I took off my glasses and watched TV. I was able to make out all the detail I couldn’t with my glasses on. Hmmm…

My left eye still prefers the glasses, but since my right eye appears to be the dominant one, I see better without my glasses than I do with. It’s bizarre.

So… Do you wear glasses? How often do you have to get your prescription changed? I haven’t really felt comfortable with these glasses since I got them. Now I’m beginning to understand why. Just never figured my eyesight would get better instead of worse.

Happy Monday!

Stacy

 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pictures from Albany Trip!!

Wow! I did it. I actually downloaded my pictures in a timely manner. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Our first day in Albany was actually spent in Bennington, VT. We were told there was a great place to eat (there was) and while there we did a little site-seeing.

One thing that was basically hard to miss, was the Bennington Battle Monument. We got there too late to climb to the top, but it sure is impressive on the outside. If we had known they closed at 5, we probably would have eaten after seeing it (instead of before).

Bennington is home to three covered bridges. They basically all look the same, though. But they're labeled, so you can see there are three of them.



As I said Wednesday, it rained on Monday, so we didn't do much (but go out to eat). Tuesday Hubby got finished early, so we drove up the interstate to Cohoes to check out the falls. You'd think the park would be impressive with this sign. You'd think wrong. Haha!

This is the view from the Overland Park. Of course, I zoomed in a bit because I didn't know there was another (better) park.

This is the Overland Park. Yeah, not much there.

We then went to the Falls View Park. A much better park (although I failed to take pictures of that park--dumb me!

We were able to walk down closer to river level, so the view of the falls was much improved. The walkways were pretty nice, too.



Of course, once we walked down, we had to walk back up! Hubby counted 85 steps. Ah, we walked up more steps at Mammoth Caves. Still was a trek for me, though. **puff puff**

Couldn't resist taking a picture of the wild daisies (at least they looked liked daisies).

Anyway, that concludes my pictures. Hope you enjoyed them.

On Wednesday, I posted the link to a short story I started on the Alpha Heroes blog. If you missed that, you can find it HERE. The second installment has also been posted. If you're interested in how another author continued it, you can read it HERE. Took me by surprise, that's for sure.

I'm on my way to Raleigh, NC today. Daughter will play Footy on Saturday. Not exactly sure what teams are showing up. Guess I'll find out when we get there. Oh, and we decided to just take my car on this trip. Hubby wants to wait until he's put a few local miles on the RAV4 until we take it on a longer trip. We'll definitely be taking the RAV4 to Ft. Lauderdale when we drive down for our cruise, though. That's several months away.

So... Do you like babying new cars or is that just my husband? I think nowadays cars don't need babying, but hey, what do I know? Nothing when it comes to cars, apparently.

Happy Friday!

Stacy





Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday Reads and I’m Headed Home

I didn’t get my three things done while in Albany, NY, but I did finish one: judging! The short story is further along and I figured out how to finish it, so there’s that. And I also walked on the treadmill for an hour each on Monday and Tuesday (while reading!), so I wasn’t a total slacker. It was nice to get my steps in.

We’re headed home today. Then we get a day at home (laundry!) before we leave for North Carolina on Friday (daughter is playing Footy in Raleigh on Saturday). And we’re taking the new car!! Gee… think we drive enough places? Good thing we don’t mind. Of course, if we did, we wouldn’t do it.

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #39

Dates read: June 11-19
Title: “Hot Head”
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Damon Suede
Genre: Erotic romance (M/M)
Series: Heat #1
# of Pages: 310
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from Book: Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feeling for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.
    Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do...until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?
My thoughts: I’ve seen Damon Suede at a couple of RTs and the guy is a hoot. When I found out my daughter owns many of his books, well, I just had to read one. While this wasn’t a comedy, it sure was hot. And good. It’s told only from Griff’s point of view (although in third person—yay!), and in a way it kind of had to be. It’s not a typical romance, but it can’t be, either. If you like M/M romance, then check this one out. You won’t be disappointed. But don’t go looking for the next book in the series. After 6 years, there still isn’t one.

If you're interested, my start of a short story is now posted on Alpha Heroes blog http://www.alphaheroes.net/2017/06/rustcity-17-flash-fiction-stacy.html. Other authors are supposed to add to the tale, but I got lucky and got to start it. If you check it out, let me know what you think.

On Monday, it rained and rained and rained, so we didn’t get to go out and do too much. Yesterday was much nicer and we drove up to see the Cohoes Falls. According to their sign, they’re second in size to Niagara (east of the Rockies, which probably isn’t saying much). I took some pictures, so I may get them posted for Friday. Of course, you know how I am when it comes to downloading pictures. **ahem ahem** J

So… How’s your week going so far? Reading anything interesting?

Happy Reading!

Stacy