In Monday’s comments, Maria mentioned I must be in a good
mood. And going by that post, it sure seemed like it. But actually, I was
trying to stave off some depression. Reading certain blogs lately has been kind
of disheartening, making me feel kind of stupid. And it wouldn’t be the first
time I thought it.
I felt that way when I stayed with a job where I felt I
wasn’t appreciated by the higher-ups. Instead of being rewarded with pay raises
and bonuses, I was rewarded with more work. So why was I staying? Because I had
friends there and I felt knowledgeable. Eventually money became a concern and I
quit for a better paying job. And that was my downfall in my accounting career.
I hated it. I missed my friends. I learned it’s not always about the money. My
husband might think that way at times, but I can’t.
So after reading some of those blogs, I started wondering if
I was doing things all wrong. If I was being stupid. But there are reasons
behind everything and I know why I’m doing what I’m doing. It might not be
right for those other bloggers, but it’s right for me. Thus I wrote that post.
It made me feel good just writing it, so in that I succeeded.
And I think I’ll avoid those bloggers for awhile, too.
Now, here’s what I read during the week:
Jan 24: “Blood Reunited” by Amber Belldene. This is the
third and final book in the Blood Vine series, a paranormal romance. Blurb from
vampire halfling and biologist Bel Maras
is determined to create a cure for the wasting disease that plagues his vampire
family. His work becomes essential as the Hunters intensify their global and
bloody campaign. When Bel's cure fails, only his ancient and estranged
godmother Uta Ilirije can help. But seeing the ice-cold Uta reveals something
shocking--she is his bonded mate. She may be a dangerous warrior, but Uta feels
her failures acutely. She has been unable to protect her kind from Hunters, and
vampires are dying out. Worse, she tied Bel to her long ago in an accident of
blood, then abandoned him for his own good--a choice he has never forgiven.
Many days, she is convinced Bel and the vampires would be better off if she
just walked into the sun. Biology has fated them to be mates. Now these old
enemies must overcome their past to save the vampires and come to peace with
the bond they never chose. I
bought and read the first two books of this series and loved them. I told Amber
(yes, we’re friends) I couldn’t wait until her next one came out, so she sent
me an ARC! I still bought the e-book when it came out yesterday, because the
formatting on that ARC sucked. So, what does that say about the book? I loved
it. It was such a wonderful ending to a wonderful series. I’m really glad, too.
Nothing worse than disliking a friend’s book, you know? While this book is
mainly based on a hetero couple, it also features a same-sex couple and some
m/m action. It wasn’t a problem for me, but just thought I’d warn you. I gave
it 5 stars on Goodreads.
Can you believe it? It’s warmer in Alaska
than it is here in Dayton, Ohio. That’s just disgusting. If it’s going
to be frigid here, it should be frigid there. Only makes sense. Ah, but when
has Mother Nature ever made sense?
Have you ever experienced below zero temps? I know when it
gets that cold and I don’t need a thermometer to tell me. Nope. I just have to
breathe through my nose. The hairs all freeze up. The first time I ever
experienced that was when I was stationed in…now get this…Alaska! I’m not thrilled I get to experience
All this cold weather is really getting me nervous, too. The
last cold snap froze the master bath pipes. At least this time I remembered to
let the faucet drip (drip,drip) and the heater is on non-stop (well, as long as
someone is home, that is). So far, so good. Of course, the worst is yet to
I’d like to say all this cold weather has stifled my
writing, but I guess I finally hit my stride with my current project and I’m
sailing along, better than I have in a LONG time. I certainly won’t give credit
to the cold. I give credit to finally seeing the end in sight! I just hope I’m
not writing crap. THEN I’ll blame the cold! Haha!
So… you got any plans this weekend? I think I’ll stay in and
I’ve got to read some shorter books. These longs one are
putting me behind. Like three books behind! Dang! And it’s only January.
Anyway, here’s what I read during the week:
Jan 21: “Beautiful Darkness” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is a YA paranormal, the second in the Caster series, and I got this
book as a Christmas gift. Blurb on cover: Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town
he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met
mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who
revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin
that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked
sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena’s
family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible,
magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending. Together Ethan and
Lena can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic
loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets
that test their relationship. And now that Ethan’s eyes have been opened to the
darker side of Gatlin, there’s no going back. Haunted by strange visions only
he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town’s tangled history and finds
himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly
crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems. I’m still
enjoying the series, although this book wasn’t quite as good as the first.
Parts of it seemed to drag a little, I guess. Plus, I wanted more of Ethan and Lena (whiny reader here). I gave this book 4 stars on
Went and saw “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” last night
(discount movie night). It was good. Chris Pine wasn’t too bad to look at,
either (haha!). If this is the re-boot of the series, I’d go see the next one.
Funny how I could NEVER get into reading the books (too technical for me), but
I’ve loved the movies. Or maybe it was the actors in the movies! Okay, maybe a
little bit of both.
Next movie I see will probably be “VampireAcademy.”
Now, those books I loved. Any movies you’ve gone out to see recently? Any
recommendations (either to go to or stay away from)?
I saw the date on the calendar yesterday and realized that
date fell on the same day of the week as it did in 1976 (yet the calendar for
2014 isn’t same as 1976, because 1976 was a leap year). How do I know that?
Because on this date in 1976, on a Monday, I raised my hand and joined the U.S.
Thirty-eight years ago! Talk about feeling OLD.
Strange how much I remember of those two days, though
(considering a lot of my life is a blur!!). On Sunday, the 19th, I attended the
St. Francis Pro-Am Celebrity Golf Tournament held at the Montecito Country Club
I loved going to this tournament and not just because I loved golf. It was the only
time I got up close and personal to some celebrities (Bob Hope was there one
year) and some of my favorite pros (not Jack Nicklaus, though - he was my
favorite-favorite!). I don’t know when they stopped holding this tournament,
because I can’t find any information on it, so it was probably awhile ago (and
that didn’t help in making me feel any younger, either).
My parents drove me down to the Los Angeles recruitment center after. I
remember the ratty hotel the Army put me up in (I wasn’t about to venture
outside alone, that’s for sure) and my roommate, Kathy Spoon (we ended up being
in the same platoon during basic training--pure luck!). The next day after
swearing in, I found out I wasn’t going to Ft. Jackson,
South Carolina (as I was originally told), but
Yeah, I freaked a little. I had no idea where Ft.McClellan
was located. But I had a new friend, so the trip wasn’t all bad.
If I could go back, would I do it all over again? Yep. I
really enjoyed my stint in the Army. Of course, the world was a lot different
in the 70s than it is now. If I were an 18-year-old today, I’m not so sure I’d
be brave enough to join. Kudos to those who do!
At the Central Ohio Fiction Writers meeting I attended Saturday, I was given a gift for my first sale! Isn’t that just the coolest thing ever?
Pen states: Stacy McKitrick, First Sale, COFW 2013.
So, did you serve in the Armed Forces? If not, did you ever
THINK about serving?
Tomorrow I will be featured on Romancing the Genres as a
debut author. Too bad my book isn’t out yet, though; the timing would have been
perfect. Anyway, here is the link to their blog (in case you wish to visit
*hint, hint*): http://romancingthegenres.blogspot.com/
Wednesday I mailed out a copy of My Sunny Vampire to my very
first Goodreads Giveaway winner: Emma! Let’s all give her a hand (*clap,
clap*). I’ve entered a lot of those giveaways and never won anything and I had
over 900 people enter to win my book. When MSV is available as an e-book, I’ll
probably do another giveaway on Goodreads. I gained THREE followers from that
month-long contest and it only cost me a book. Now isn’t that something? I
I’m taking a free tax class with the RWAUniversity
this week and realized something (or maybe it just became fortified): I’m so
glad I’m not a teacher. I don’t know how teachers do it. I always thought of
myself as a patient person, but maybe I’m not. Or my husband’s attitude has
rubbed off on me, which is kind of funny when you consider that HE’S A TEACHER!
Hmmm… Maybe that’s why he has that attitude.
And before you go all “you were an accountant and you have
to take a freebie tax class?” on me, let me tell you… I was a cost accountant.
Way different than a tax accountant. Besides, you can never learn too much
about taxes, especially the kind that will get you a better return. I hate
filing our taxes and if I wasn’t so cheap, I’d hire someone else to do it. But
you know what? The part I hate the most is the part I’d still have to do if I
hired someone else to do it. Well, that, and actually trying to decipher the
tax codes (I think that’s why I need glasses!).
When I decided to make writing my business, that’s when I
finally broke down and bought tax software (yes, I’m THAT cheap!!). At least
it’s now considered a business deduction, because I would have never bought it
Last night I finally watched “French Kiss.” I had never seen
it before, which is kind of amazing since I like Meg Ryan. It was an okay
movie, but probably not one I’ll watch again. I just didn’t get the chemistry
between her and Kevin Kline. Or maybe it was the character Kevin Kline was
playing. Whatever--they just didn’t have that spark. It’s the spark that will
make me watch a movie over and over (you know, like Lucy and Jack have in “While
You Were Sleeping.”)
I took this picture on January 10th. It had
snowed the day before and then a warm front came through and caused all this
fog. I thought it was pretty. I also hoped it was the last of the snow, but
winter isn’t finished yet (it’s just getting started, right?). More snow fell
yesterday and more snow is forecasted and of course I have a chapter meeting in
tomorrow. I don’t go to those meetings very often (uhh, I’ve been to one, but
only because they usually conflict with my Cincinnati chapter meetings), and I’m hoping
the weather doesn’t keep me away. Oh what am I saying…It won’t. Not THAT much
is expected to fall. Then again, the forecasters have been known to be wrong
So, what will make you want to watch a movie over and over?
Life has slowed down (finally). It’s all writing and
reading. Nothing wrong with that, right? Anyway, here’s what I read during the
Jan 14: “Doctor Sleep” by Stephen King. This is a horror book and was a "must read" for me since King is one of my favorite authors.
Blurb on cover: On
highways across America,
a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They
look harmless--mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as
Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot
are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce
when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the
Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been
drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair,
alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that
sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power
provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he
becomes “Doctor Sleep.” Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her
spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own
demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. When
this book finally grabbed me, it refused to let go. But warning: it took me a
bit to get there. Whether it’s because I had to get used to reading omniscient
again or it was slow, it’s hard for me to tell. Still, I really enjoyed
learning all about Dan and wished I’d have been able to read this book faster!
I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads (but technically, if it existed, I’d have given
it 4.5--like a good accountant, I rounded up).
Have you ever read “The Shining”? I remember I began reading
it in 1980, after having watched the movie. I got a few chapters into the book
when our new puppy, Natasha, chewed the back end of the paperback. Saw no sense
in reading a book I couldn’t finish (oh, we were stationed in Alaska at the time, so I’m sure I couldn’t
find a replacement). It was several years later, probably in the mid 90s, when
I finally bought another copy and read it. Man, I sure liked it better than the
movie, but I still consider “The Stand” my favorite King tale.
I’ve mentioned about the anthology members of my RWA Chapter has gotten
together that was supposed to be released last summer. But as things go…yeah,
it got delayed. It’ll be out next month though -- YAY!
I saw the cover for the first time yesterday and now I’m
sharing it with all of you.
Love’s a Beach
Coming in February, 2014 from Mythical
Michele Stegman, Barbara Lohr, Lorrie Moggenberg, Rosie Murphy, and Mary Ulrich
your winter with this anthology of stories of springtime and summer love by
members of the Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America. From heartwarming to
mysterious, comical to suspenseful, these romantic tales show that there really
is someone for everyone. Featuring stories by Linda Chalk, Ann Gregory, Dakota
James, Stacy McKitrick, Sandy Pennington, and Jennette Marie Powell as well as
flash fiction and poetry, Love’s a Beach proves there’s
something magical about finding love when the warm breezes blow, whether it
happens today or a hundred years ago, from the Atlantic shore to the American
Love’s a Beach will be available in trade paperback, and in
all major electronic formats from your favorite retailers.
Cover was created by Jennette Marie Powell (isn't it great) and I have two short stories included in this anthology: “The
Ferris Wheel” and “The Wish.” Both are romances, but neither one are
paranormal. Who knew I had it in me? Haha! J
Last night I saw my first Elvis film from beginning to end. Shocking,
huh? When we went through Graceland, back in
October, I saw clips to “Viva Las Vegas.” It looked interesting so I asked for
that movie for Christmas. Figured it would be a cheap gift. Well, I got all 17
Elvis movies. Don’t know if I’ll watch them all, but I did finally see VLV. I
swear, it felt like I was watching a tourism film on Las Vegas! But it was fun.
So, are you an Elvis fan? If so, which movie of his should I
You know what the weather was like, heck you probably
experienced it. I don’t think Tuesday got out of the negatives around here. And
all that cold air finally got to our pipes.
Now, we’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t think things
through when we had our house built (back in 1996). The master bath hangs over the
front porch which means three walls, the floor and ceiling are exposed to the
elements. Which also means, so are the pipes.
A couple of years after we moved in we got a cold snap and
the pipes froze at the sink and shower (they share the same wall). Found out
the builders failed to properly insulate that wall (or the floor). After we stuck in more insulation, we hadn’t
really had any problems since.
Until Monday night.
Lost water to the sink. Lost water to the shower. But the
real killer: lost water to the toilet (on the opposite wall). That had never
happened before. Yes, we were stupid regarding the sink and shower (should have
left them running--I really don’t know what we were thinking!). Wasn’t sure how
we could have prevented the toilet from freezing (plumber later suggested
flushing it every hour). Anyway, we opened all the cupboards and turned on our
little heater, leaving it running all day (as long as someone was in the house,
Wednesday morning we got water to the sink and shower - yay!
The toilet? Nope. I wasn’t even sure where to aim the heater at!
I had some errands to run and met my husband for lunch, so I
turned off the heater. When I got home and hung my coat, I heard water running
upstairs. I thought: Oh good, the toilet is filling. Except when I went up to
the bathroom, water was leaking out from the closet. I ran outside. Water was
leaking onto the porch. I rushed downstairs. It was raining in the basement!
Now, I had NO IDEA where the shut off valve was located. I
called my husband. No answer. I think I tried him ten times. Even tried his
desk phone. No answer. I called a plumber. They can’t get anyone out. I called
another, they can only promise to put me on a wait list. She tried to tell me
how to find the water shut off valve, but we have a drop-down ceiling, so I can’t
follow any pipes. And did I mention it was raining down there?
I finally got a hold of my son and he knew how to turn off
the water. Now I know, too.
But dang, you would think with the bathroom hanging over the
porch that all the water would end up outside. No such luck. And in case you
were wondering, nothing important in the basement got wet (whew!).
I’m just glad I don’t work away from home. I can only
IMAGINE the mess I would have come home to. The basement would have been
flooded, no doubt. So would our bathroom, part of our bedroom, and the front
entry (where we have hardwood floors).
You don’t really realize how much you use water until it’s
not available. No water on Wednesday and no water on Thursday morning. Plumber
was able to arrive by 10:30am. Yay!
$167.55 later the pipe is fixed and we have water, but now I
have a hole in my closet wall. I can live with that. I’m just glad I was able
to tell the guy where I noticed the water first. Who knows how many walls he
would have had to check?
So that was my excitement for the week. I think I can live
without experiencing that again!
Hey, in a lighter vein… I’ve been thinking about putting
together a giveaway basket at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, but I
was wondering what to put in it. Then I thought of my mad crochet skills (okay,
semi-mad) and thought about crocheting some bookmarks. Or maybe some coasters.
That would be unique, wouldn’t it? I certainly have enough crochet thread leftover
in the house and they shouldn’t take all that long to make. It’s something I’m
considering anyway. What do you think?
You’d think with the cold weather keeping me indoors I’d get
more reading done. You know, curl up beside a fire, sip some coffee or hot
chocolate, and just go to town. It certainly sounds like fun. Instead, I’m
writing more, which is just as enjoyable. Here’s what I read during the week:
Jan 1: “Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia & Margaret
Stohl. This is a supernatural YA book with romantic elements, Book 1 of the
Caster Chronicles. Blurb on cover: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and
she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family
for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and
crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden
forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from
Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous
plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the
connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change
everything. My daughter told me to read this book (after we saw the
movie). Said I would love it. I’m always hesitant to read YA (I’m not exactly
the writer’s audience), but my daughter has rarely steered me wrong. I loved
this book! I even loved how it was told from Ethan’s point of view (first
person). If not for the fact I want to read Doctor Sleep (Stephen King) next, I
would delve into the next book of this series, because this book was hard to
put down! I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.
I’ve set a goal to read 90 books in 2014 and I’m already
behind! Well, I do tend to read more in the summer. Or maybe I just read
shorter books in the summer. The first five books I have planned to read in
2014 are all over 500 pages long. That really makes a difference, doesn’t it?
Today was supposed to be my e-release day for My Sunny Vampire, but with the changes
at Lyrical Press, and the fact all books have now been pulled to be reformatted
to show Kensington as the publisher, well… let’s just say that all takes time.
As soon as I find out my new release date, I’ll be sure to
let you know. Just in case you’ve been waiting to purchase it!
I don’t know about you, but I was highly disappointed in the
football games yesterday. All this talk of snow and NOTHING! I love watching
them play football in the snow. I hope the Super Bowl gets snowed on - lots! It
will certainly make it more fun to watch, especially if there aren’t any teams
I care about in it. All I have left to root for is the Colts. If they don't make it in, I couldn’t care less who wins.
Yesterday I was told that my publisher, Lyrical Press, is
now a division of Kensington Publishing. To say I was (am) shocked is putting
it mildly. I always figured I’d need an agent to be part of Kensington.
Did I luck out or what?
And the e-book of "My Sunny Vampire" releases on Monday!
Man! 2014 is already looking great. I can almost forget about
the snow and cold weather.
We got about 3-4 inches and then the winds came and blew it
all around (I hate it when it does that). Temps fell into the single digits through
the night. And I hear we’re to get more snow on Sunday and even colder weather
on Monday. I guess Old Man Winter is sticking around for a bit now. Brrr!
Have you been watching any of the Bowl Games? I only watched the Rose Bowl on New Year's, but had more fun watching hockey played in snow in the Winter Classic. But tonight Ohio State plays against Clemson in the Orange
Bowl, so I'll definitely be watching that. Go Buckeyes!
Have a good weekend. I know I will. I’m still floating!
A new year ends on my last book read in 2013! If you’re
interested in what my favorites were for the year, check yesterday’s post or
click HERE. Here’s what I read during the week:
Dec 27: “The Circle: Blood Gift” by Amy Lee Burgess. This is
an urban fantasy (with romantic elements), the first in a series. Blurb from
Claire became a vampire, she hoped she could forget her abusive past. But her
mentor, the sexy, perfect Parker destroys her dreams of a new start. Soon,
Claire devotes her newfound psychic powers to helping abused women. Drawn to
the mysterious and handsome Andre, another master in the London Circle and Parker's archrival,
Claire enters into a passionate clandestine affair which causes her powers to
ramp out of control. Wild, sensual sex morphs into something deeper and, for
Claire, terrifying. Andre soon discovers her abilities and realizes he is her
trigger--the one vampire in the world who can help her control her spiraling
powers. Bonding with him requires Claire to trust and accept his love, two
things she cannot bring herself to do. The gift of love is something her past
won't allow her to accept. Even so, Andre will have to reach her in time to
save her life or stake her when her powers drive her insane.I wanted to finish this book the night before
I had, but I couldn’t SEE no less READ. This is an emotional book and I cried
numerous times, that’s how much I felt for Claire. I just wish the book could
have been in third person, though. I really wanted to know more about Andre
from Andre’s head! And because it’s in first person, I can’t call it a romance,
but it’s really close to being one. A wonderful vampire tale, though. I gave
this book 4 stars on Goodreads.
I’m guessing most of you did NOT party last night. But have
you EVER partied on New Year’s Eve? The husband and I tried it once and
realized it just wasn’t our thing. Playing games (card or otherwise) with
friends is so much better! Plus, I’m able to watch the Rose Parade and football
games without a hangover.