Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Reading Update

I am back to working on the first draft of Ghostly Protector. Feels pretty good, too. I hope the words continue to flow. Until I get the next round of edits back on Finding the Perfect Mate. Then who knows! Although, it helps that the holidays are behind me and life has slowed down. A lot.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #3

Dates read: January 12-19
Title: Immortal Born
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Lynsay Sands
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series:  Argeneau Vampire Series #30
# of Pages: 377
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. A simple promise to protect her friend’s infant son has turned Allie Chambers’ existence upside down. Caring for—and feeding—an orphaned vampire baby has been tricky enough. But as little Liam grows, so does his appetite. He needs more blood than she can personally supply. And when her attempts to steal from a blood bank go awry, Allie wakes up surrounded by doctors, cops … and the gorgeous, mesmerizing Magnus, who she can neither trust nor resist.
    Magnus never expected to find his life mate breaking into a blood bank. Clearly, Allie is already entwined with his world—in deeper, more dangerous ways than she realizes. A band of vicious rogue immortals is in pursuit, and Magnus’ first task is to keep her safe. His second: to awaken her to mind-blowing pleasure, and hope she’ll accept the life, and the passion, that only he can offer.
My thoughts: Still loving this series, even 30 books long! This one features a lot of couples from previous books. Was kind of nice to get caught up in their lives.

So … Has life gotten back to normal for you? And what is normal anyway? A lack of holidays? A lack of vacations? I’d much rather have holidays and vacations be normal. Wouldn’t you?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Reading Update and Blog Appearance

My friend, Jeanne, interviewed me over at Eight LadiesWriting. She also had some WONDERFUL things to say about Biting the Curse. Go check it out at: https://eightladieswriting.com/2020/01/14/jeanne-interview-with-stacy-mckitrick-2/

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #2

Dates read: January 6-11
Title: Where Winter Finds You
Year of publication: 2019
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood #17.5
# of Pages: 445
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death, his soul was crushed and his destiny relegated to suffering. But then he meets a mysterious female, and he is convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has grief created a disastrous delusion?
    Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for except the sexy Shadow proves to be irresistible.
    Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance … or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present clearly? In this sensual, arresting story of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads, where the heart may be the only compass that can be trusted …
My thoughts: Only J.R. Ward would call a 400+ book a novella. I would have said it’s a whole novel, and it’s a really good novel, too. I like how she corrected the huge mistake many readers claim she made in Trez’s first story (#13, The Shadows). I mean, you just don’t kill off the heroine! But she’s redeemed herself in this book. At least, for me. And I’m so happy for Trez!

I’m almost finished with the edits to Finding the Perfect Mate. Then it goes back to my editor to make sure I didn’t screw anything else up! After she gets another read and I fix it again (if there’s anything to fix), then it’s on to my copy editor (i.e. daughter). I may actually get this book ready before release day. Which is April 1st, in case you forgot. It’s on preorder now at a reduced price of $2.99 (after April 1 it goes up to $4.99). You can order it here:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081TM9KC1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-the-perfect-mate-stacy-mckitrick/1135043124?ean=2940163189878

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/finding-the-perfect-mate

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/finding-the-perfect-mate/id1488836101

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/992009

So … Have you set any reading goals this year? I set the bar low this year: 50. I read 57 books in both 2019 and 2018, so I figure it’s doable.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, January 13, 2020

Pictures from my Hawaiian Cruise

It’s a miracle! I finally got around to uploading the pictures from my phone to my laptop. And I’m blogging on a day other than Wednesday. How about that?

The cruise from San Diego to Hawaii and back was absolutely WONDERFUL. We weren’t sure how we would handle a 14-day cruise (and we have 16-day and 17-day cruises already booked). Or how we would handle 4 sea days. Well, we handled them just fine!

In fact, I really loved the long sea days. So relaxing. I’m so lucky Hubby enjoys cruising. It really is the best vacation.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures I took. Hope they aren’t too boring for you. And as usual, if you click on the photo, it should enlarge for you to see it better.


We left San Diego around 5pm. This was our view of the port from our room.

Honolulu greeted us with a rainbow!

Hubby and I drove up to the North Shore, hoping to see the surfing competition. It was really windy, and threatening to rain, so not much was going on. But man, the waves were crazy.

On the ship, they brought in some local talent and put on a show for us. The next few pictures are from that show. They were featuring the different peoples in the Pacific. It was very entertaining and I'm glad we were able to see it (since we were still in port!).





Maui also greeted us with a rainbow. We saw lots of rainbows on this cruise.

On Maui we took an excursion to see some waterfalls. Didn't realize how remote most of them were and I couldn't walk down with everyone else. Well, I could have walked down, just wasn't sure I'd be able to walk back up!

Another waterfall I couldn't venture to (or rather, didn't want to wade through the creek to get there). I'll say one thing, Hawaii may not have snakes, but they sure have mosquitoes! I got eaten alive!

Lots of waterfalls, so couldn't complain about that.

Our Maui guide showed us a neat trick on how to take this picture. Put it on panoramic and scan upward instead of across. Turned out really cool, don't you think?

Still in Maui! Scenic shot on our way back to the ship.

Some kite surfers in Maui. There were a lot of them there, too! Pretty neat. They have to learn how to use the kite before they can surf with it, though.

Our third stop was in Kona (on the big island). It's very dry on this side of the island (they only get about 10-12 inches of rain a year, compared to the 300 inches Hilo gets). Lots of lava, though. Hawaii is the youngest and largest of the islands, and it's still growing.

Lava rock on the black and white sand beach.

Our excursion was supposed to take us to a black sand beach, but instead they had to change it to the Cloud Forest (don't know why). Top soil is only about six inches deep, so the roots get more nutrients on top of the soil and in the air (since the mountains are usually in cloud cover).

Hilo greeted us with a rainbow, too!

Our excursion took us to one of the many lava tubes on the island. We were told if you cut the island in half, it would resemble swiss cheese.

Lots of waterfalls in Hawaii. At least I didn't have to hike to this one!

Our guide spotted these turtles from the road (she has some awesome eyesight!). There are three in this shot, sunning themselves. By the time we left the area, seven turtles had perched on the rocks.

I finally got to see a black sand beach in Hilo! I never realized how black sand was created. I thought it was just like how regular sand was created, by the water hitting the rocks. Nope. Lava that flowed down and hit the cold water exploded and created the sand. I found that fascinating.

And here's some of that black sand up close. Couldn't take any with me, though. It's illegal to take any off the island. It's not even bottled (like the pink sand was in Bermuda). Too bad. I would have liked to have some as a souvenir.

So … Have you ever been to Hawaii? I think I could spend a month there and not get enough.

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Reading Update and Blogging in General

Well, I’m back home and my reading has slowed again. So has my posting, apparently. Ha!

I’m debating on whether or not to keep blogging as it is. Or at least rethink what I want my blog to do. Could it be blogging is just plain dying? I went through the list of blogs I follow (over there on the sidebar) and was surprised at how many were gone. And how many haven’t been active in FOUR YEARS! I guess everyone is over on Facebook or Twitter or even Instagram. I’m learning how to use Instagram now, but do I want to give up my blog? That is an answer I need to make, probably sometime this year. Kind of silly to be blogging if no one is reading.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #1

Dates read: December 22 – January 3
Title: The Haunting of a Duke
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Chasity Bowlin
Genre: Historical romance
Series:  The Dark Regency Series, Book One
# of Pages: 220
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Facing danger from both sides of the grave, will two souls merge to find a love that conquers all?
    Communing with spirits has been both gift and curse to Emme Walters. Now it's made her a killer's target. Emme knows why the Dowager Duchess of Briarleigh invited her to a house party—to investigate whether the duke, Rhys Brammel, murdered his wife years ago. But Emme never imagined she would fall in love with the brooding duke.
    Branded by society as a possible killer, Rhys is suspicious of Emme and her alleged "gift." Then a late night encounter creates awareness of her other, more attractive, aspects. When Emme's life is threatened, Rhys becomes her protector.
    Emme and Rhys find passion and peril as they join forces to solve the mysteries at Briarleigh. She made him believe in spirits, but can she make him believe in love?
My thoughts: I started reading this book a year or two ago and stopped because the head-hopping was getting to me. Because, frankly, there is waaaaay too much of it going on in this novel for my tastes. But, I really wanted to read about the story, so I put that distaste in a corner and just read it for the story. And I enjoyed the story. Enjoyed the little twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. Still hated the head-hopping, which it made it hard for ME to really get into the character’s head. But if that kind of stuff doesn’t bother you, and you like to read stories with ghosts, then you’ll probably enjoy this way more than I did. FYI: my Nook version had some formatting mistakes (Chapters 13 and 16 were the same and there were two identical Epilogues), but I’ve been told these have been corrected when formatted for Kindle Unlimited (which is the only way you can get this book now).

So … Why do you blog? Why do you read blogs? I read blogs because I felt connected to someone (writing can be very isolating) or because I was learning how to be a better writer. Most of the writing blogs have gone away, though (at least the ones I followed). And even those blogs I read for fun are dwindling. Because, let’s face it: blogging is HARD. It’s hard to come up with something to blog about. Well … at least it is for me.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Reading Update on Thursday!

I’m home. It took some doing. We were supposed to arrive home on Sunday evening, but ended up missing our connection in Atlanta (due to a late start in San Diego because of mechanical issues) and had to spend the night, so we didn’t get home until 11am on Monday. Really put a kink in my plans, but I managed to get everything wrapped and ready for Christmas and we had a great time. I hope your Christmas was great, too!

Since Wednesday was Christmas and I forgot to post on Tuesday night (because I was busy with family), you get my update today. I didn’t want to put it off too much longer, because it’s kind of lengthy. Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #54

Dates read: December 17-18
Title: Cat Scratch Fever
Year of publication: 2016
Author: LC Alleyne
Genre: Paranormal romantic suspense
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 94
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Inspector Rafael Montigue’s ordered life turns chaotic when he detects the unexpected scent of a potential human mate amongst the political delegates he’s guarding. When terrorists attack, the only thing on Rafe’s mind is getting the woman to safety—and screw police protocol.
    Kristin Wallin has information that will bring down Brazilian Minister Teixeira’s drug ring. Working undercover as an executive assistant to the minister, the surprise attack finds Kristin trying to stay alive until a security agent with amazing green eyes drags her to safety. His version of safe is his cabin in the Norwegian forest, and Kristin isn’t complaining.
    Espionage and passion make a potent, dangerous mix. With the terrorists closing in, Rafe throws caution aside and exposes his panther shifter identity to Kristin, afraid that his chance at forever will run away. But Kristin surprises him with a few secrets of her own that make him look like an innocent kitty cat.
My thoughts: I’m trying out new-to-me authors and I’m sure I bought this because it is short (or maybe it was free, I don’t remember). However, this kind of story would have been sooooo much better as a longer novel. Sexual tension was lacking and all the events happened way too quickly for my taste. But it was an enjoyable story and kept my attention (even though I clamored for more). If you enjoy shorter stories like this, then give it a try. Yes, it has a sexy scene in it, too. Will I try this author again? I checked out her other books. All her stories are short like this, so … no. I like to be more involved in romance books and short ones just don’t do it for me.

I know, I should talk about short romantic stories, huh? I have a few out there. But I wrote them for other people, not me! Does that make sense?

Book #55

Dates read: December 19-20
Title: Angel Bait
Year of publication: 2013
Author: Tricia Skinner
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series:  Angel Assassin #1
# of Pages: 208
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. He’s not that kind of angel. Jarrid is a “Bound One”: half angel, half human, trained from childhood to enforce Heaven’s laws on earth. An assassin with no remorse. And no choice. When he discovers an ancient ritual called Ascension, which might give him a shot at freedom, he can’t resist his lifelong dream. He only needs to find one last Renegade angel and take him down…using a certain woman to flush the angel out of hiding.
    She’s not what he’s expecting. News reporter Ionie Gifford has no clue an outlaw angel wants her dead, much less why, but she does know one thing: the enigmatic Jarrid, with his penetrating silver eyes and his worship-worthy body, is her ticket to the city’s supernatural underworld, where she might finally be able to locate her mother’s killer. For that kind of information, she’s willing to risk everything...
    They can’t be together – but can’t keep apart… Blindsided by Ionie’s beauty and tenacity, Jarrid finds the millennia-old glacier around his heart melting. But when he’s faced with a choice, will he sacrifice Ionie for freedom from his brutal servitude—or agree to be bound for eternity to protect the life of the woman he’s falling in love with?
My thoughts: Another new-to-me author and I struck gold! This story was great. Love the romance, the tension, and the suspense! I will definitely be checking out the other books in this series.

Book #56

Dates read: December 21
Title: Hunger Revealed
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Dee Carney
Genre: Paranormal
Series:  Vampire Hunger #1.5
# of Pages: 92
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Free
Blurb from Goodreads:. ~A between the books short~ It’s no wonder Corin Gerulatis is cautious about his wife’s safety… One year ago, she became a vampire. One year ago, she’d been tortured by someone who thought she was a new breed of vampire. Fortunately for them both, one year ago, Jasmine met and fell in love with Corin, a vampire executioner. Jasmine is overwhelmingly stifled by her husband’s overprotective nature. But she’s sure the danger has passed and they can now enjoy a simple life together. When a routine shopping trip ends with Jasmine’s abduction however, they face not only trying to get her out, but also putting an end to the demons haunting Corin. They’ll get back to that simple life…if they survive.
My thoughts: When you have books on your reader and are looking for something to read, it would be nice if the blurb was included in the book. Or even the series #. I wouldn’t have bothered reading this little … nothing. Because that’s what it is without having read Book 1. It’s nothing important to me. Meant nothing. And I’m not so sure I care to read Book 1 now, since I basically KNOW what going to happen. Not so sure this freebie was meant for someone who hasn’t read the series. But this “book” has been on my reader for a long time, so I thought I would finally read it. Oh well, it passed the time and it’s no longer on my list to read. But a warning: don’t read this if you haven’t read Book 1 yet.

Book #57

Dates read: December 21-22
Title: Taken
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  Deep Ops #1.5
# of Pages: 106
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Hunter Holt might be the most stubborn ex-soldier ever born, but when he’s called on to help find a lost foster kid, he jumps into action. Even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart five years ago—the woman who still haunts his dreams . . .
    Faye Smith has spent five long years trying to get her life back on track. She knows she should’ve turned toward Hunter and not away from him. But they both had too many demons to destroy. Maybe now they’ll get another chance—and save someone else’s life too . . .
    But first they’ll have to stop arguing long enough to trust the Deep Ops team. Hunter was a lost boy himself once. In fact, he ran away from the exact same man, their monster of a father. Now he and Faye will have to unite to find the brother he never knew—and maybe each other...
My thoughts: This was a good read, and you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one. I did like how there were some Easter Egg characters in this from her other paranormal series, though (and this series is not paranormal in any way shape or form). That was fun. I really like this series and look forward to reading the next book in line.

I really enjoyed the time I had on this cruise to read. And I’m so glad I enjoyed reading again (even those books that weren’t all that great). I almost thought maybe something was wrong with me. I gotta remember to always put some reading time into my day. Life can’t always be writing and social media. Oh, and watching TV (I’m currently watching Season 4 of The X Files).

So … How was your Christmas? I was so happy to spend the entire day with my family. My daughter, son, and daughter-in-law were able to spend the whole day. We watched Die Hard and Die Hard 2. If I wasn’t busy cooking dinner, I might have suggested playing a game, but cooking doesn’t always put me in a great mood. Thankfully, it was mostly prepared (I just had to reheat everything), and there were instructions that worked, too! Shocker! And now we have tons of leftovers, so we’ll be eating in for the next few days, I’m sure.

Happy Reading!

Stacy