Monday, February 27, 2017

I Froze, But I Had Fun!

On Friday, the high reached 76 in Dayton. Woke up Saturday to 30 degree temps (and a bit of snow). Drove to Pittsburgh and arrived around 1pm. Temps were better, in the 50s, but windy. Really windy.

And as the day went on, the clouds increased and the temps fell. Fell so much that the clouds started spitting snow.

So here I was afraid of getting rained on during the Stadium Series hockey game. Didn’t even think I might get snowed on! It was a brutal night, but I had a fun time because I got to spend the day with my daughter. Bonus: the Penguins won!

Here are some pictures of our day:

Here is Daughter and I at the Stanley Cup.
Yep, I touched it!

A trailer was on site containing items from the Hockey Hall of  Fame.
We got our picture taken in this "locker room."
 
This picture was taken from our seats. Right above that (out of the
picture) was a TV screen, so we were able to watch the
game when the puck was down on the other end.

Daughter and I cuddling against the cold.
Overall I had a great time. But would I do it again? Nope. I think once was enough. Frankly, I thought the stadium was just too big for the ice rink. It was very hard to watch the game. But I did love the energy in the stadium. Especially when the Penguins scored (plus we got to chant the Flyers sucked--hee hee).
 
So… Have you done anything you wanted to do but swear you’ll never do again?

Happy Monday!

Stacy

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hoping Life Gets Back to Normal Soon

Last week was hectic. This week is looking to be the same, but for a whole different reason.

Last week I was hosting the Sizzle and Sass page. I decided to just give up and dedicate my time to Facebook for the week (and ended up forgetting to post here Friday—oops). Did it get me any sales? No, but then I didn’t really expect it to. I did gain some likes on my own Facebook page, so that was nice. I might have even gotten a new subscriber to my newsletter, too.

Because of Facebook, I didn’t get much writing done. Then again, I find it hard to write when Hubby is home anyway. That could change this week if not for one thing:

Taxes

Yesterday I completed the LLC taxes (Hubby’s formatting business). What. A. Pain. The H&R Block software isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I tried to file electronically. It said I had to scan some form and add it to the pdf file. Of course, it doesn’t tell you HOW to do that. So the return is getting mailed today.

Next up, the 1040.

UGH!

I can only imagine the headache this will give me. But the taxes have to be done, so I might as well get them over with and do them this week. And yes, I expect it’ll take me all week. Most of my time will be spent getting the stuff together so I can easily enter it in the software.

I sure hope it’ll be easy.

I really must think about getting an accountant one of these days. I just don’t have any idea how to go about getting one. I’m so afraid of getting ripped off.

Last Tuesday Hubby and I actually made it to the theatre to see “Hidden Figures.” Wow. What a great movie. It’s kind of sad what those women had to go through, though. I’d like to think we’re a different country now, but sadly, I don’t think I can. The “stuff” just shifts. Seems like there is always some group who will be treated badly because of how they look/act.

Whoever said “the more things change, the more things stay the same” got it right, huh?

Hubby returns to work today. Tomorrow he has another doctor appointment where we hope to get some news. Hope it’s some Happy Valentine good news. Sure could use some of that. We just want life to get back to normal.
 
So... Have you filed your taxes already? If so... I might hate you. Just a little.
 
Happy Monday!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Back to the Treadmill

I started back at the fitness center this week. Just walking on the treadmill for now, for about 3 miles a day. Feels good so far. Plan on hitting the weight machines next week. It’s hard to get back into my routine when Hubby is home. An excuse? Probably. I tend to take them anyway I can. Still, it’s hard to get back into exercising when I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. So I’m starting slow. By walking. Better than nothing, right?

Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: January 28-February 4
Title: “Full Blaze”
Year of publication: 2014
Author: M.L. Buchman
Genre: Romantic adventure/suspense
Series: Firehawks #3
# of Pages: 317
Paper or plastic: Paper
How obtained: Free
Blurb from Book: The elite fire experts of Mount Hood Aviation fly into places even the CIA can’t penetrate. When Australian helicopter pilot Jeannie Clark rescues wildfire photographer Cal Jackson from a raging burnover, she doesn’t know she’s bringing aboard a firebrand. Cal is quickly recruited for MHA’s covert operations that reach far beyond the flames. Together Jeannie and Cal are assigned to an overseas operation with a lot more at risk than burning trees. And they’ll need all the skill, love, and trust they can muster if they’re going to survive the heat of this jungle battle.
My thoughts: You don’t have to have read the others in this series to enjoy this wild adventure. Romance is pretty good, too. I got this book free from some convention I attended. I never really read an adventure before, and it got a bit technical in parts, but it was a good read for me. Glad I finally picked it up!

So… What do you do for exercise?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, February 6, 2017

What a Sucky Game

I know. A lot of you think the Super Bowl game was great because it went into overtime. I say it sucked. And I no longer will ever root for the Falcons because they blew it. Big time! Arrgh!

And what even sucked more than just the game were the lame commercials. I haven't been able to listen to Super Bowl commercials for a few years because we've gone to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game (and get free food in their VIP party). But we didn't enjoy it so much last year and since it was also my son's birthday, we decided to stay home so we could actually watch the commercials.

Should not have even bothered. The only one I liked was the Buick commercial with Cam Newton. Well...and maybe the one with Melissa McCarthy (although I'm not a fan of hers). But what was Melissa's ad selling? I don't remember. FAIL!

Hopefully your weekend was better than mine. Only bright spot was spending time with the family. Son liked his birthday present and we stuffed ourselves at BDs Mongolian Grill (his favorite restaurant). Dessert was a big chocolate chip cookie (again, his favorite). We even got Alexa to sing Happy Birthday to him (yes, we have the Echo--a gift from my parents).

Hubby update: No word on the pathology yet. All we know is that it was cancer. Whether or not he'll have to go through chemo or radiation has yet to be discussed. Waiting is the pits, let me tell you.

So... Did you have a favorite commercial? And if you didn't see any of them, trust me, you didn't miss much.

Happy Monday!

Stacy


Friday, February 3, 2017

Ghostly Interlude Blurb and Other Important Stuff

Here I thought I would have problems posting on Friday for lack of information. Instead I get information overload!

First off, My Sunny Vampire is on sale! E-books are 99 cents during February. You can find all the buy links HERE.

FYI: the digital version of Ghostly Liaison is still for sale at 99 cents. Such bargains!

I entered A Vampire Wedding in the Judge a Book by Its Cover contest (paranormal category) and it is now up for reader votes (click HERE to start). So, if you have some spare time and are interested, I wouldn’t mind you giving my cover some stars (like, maybe, five??). Of course, don’t let me stop you from voting for other covers. Heck, you might find something interesting!

I wasn’t sure if I should enter the contest, but I really do LOVE that cover. Hopefully other people do, too. I wouldn’t mind finally winning a contest!

As promised on Wednesday, here’s the blurb I came up for Ghostly Interlude (book 2 in the Ghostly Encounter series):

Maggie Russell is a horror writer who works for lawyers to pay the bills. But she gets the scare of her life when she wakes up in a strange cafĂ© without any idea of how she got there. She’s starting to think her sleep walking is getting out of hand.

Dean Parker is a private investigator whose business is next door to the lawyers. Ever since Maggie started working there he’d been eyeing the pretty brunette from afar. He’d rather not explain how he can see and communicate with ghosts. Or the fact he should never have been born.

When Maggie suspects her sleep problems could be caused by her sue-crazy, money-grubbing cousin, Dean steps in to help. Instead of finding evidence pointing to the cousin, Dean discovers something even worse: a ghost is living with Maggie and appears another may be possessing her.

As much as Dean despises ghosts, he’s determined to help Maggie rid her home of the pest. He just never figured that Maggie might actually find an interest in him, too. But keeping his distance is no longer an option. If he fails, Maggie could very well be possessed forever.

Does it sound intriguing? Granted, if you’re not into paranormal romance, it probably won’t do a thing for you. And if it does…Yay!

So… Watching any football this weekend? Or will you be too busy voting for covers? Hee hee.

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Reads and That Synopsis is DONE

Happy February (the busiest month for me, birthday-wise). Here’s what I read the past week:

Dates read: January 18-26
Title: “Rogue: Sons of Sangue”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Patricia A. Rasey
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Sons of Sangue #4
# of Pages: 385
Paper or plastic: Paper
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book: Vampire MC member Anton “Rogue” Balan, aka Blondy, has turned his back on the powerful Sons of Sangue, betraying the brotherhood he once considered his family. Or so his vampire brethren think. Changing his appearance, his persona, and signing up with rival gang, the Devils, Rogue has gone deep undercover to catch the La Paz Cartel’s kingpin. Having lost a woman he once thought he would spend eternity with, Rogue now feels he has nothing left to lose…that is until a temptation named Kimber James invades his dangerous world.
Strait-laced Kimber has a problem and his name is Anton Balan. After an impulsive night of passion with him more than a year ago, the small-town librarian still has the hots for the sexy biker next door. She can’t deny her desire for Anton, even though she suspects he’s hiding a secret even darker than his affiliation with an outlaw MC. As for Rogue, no matter how much he tries to refuse the scorching need he has for Kimber—as much as his duty depends on it—he’s powerless to deny his rising feelings for her. And when a blindside by an enemy he once trusted puts Kimber’s life at risk, Rogue’s tarnished honor is put to the ultimate test.
My thoughts: This book is in that motorcycle club series I said I do enjoy because… VAMPIRES! If not for them, I dunno. Sometimes the dual names of the MC members can get confusing to me. I keep forgetting who is which nickname! Aside from that, I enjoyed Anton and Kimber’s scenes (Anton is hot!), and Kimber’s scenes with her friends. They are what made the book.

Well, I finally wrote the synopsis to Ghostly Interlude. Whew! I sent it to my daughter to make sure it doesn’t sound dorky, though. But man, when I can get that and my blurb sent to my editor, it’ll be a huge weight off my mind. And if I remember, I’ll post my blurb here on Friday. Because one—I could use some feedback, and two—I need something to blog about. Haha! J

I want to thank you all for the positive vibes sent Hubby’s way. He’s recovering from surgery as well as can be expected. He’s home now, so that’s good. Hopefully we get some good news soon regarding the pathology. I’d like to think it’s over with finally and that he kicked Cancer’s butt. Again.

So… Whatcha reading right now? Favorite genre or trying something new?

Happy Reading!

Stacy