Friday, January 31, 2014

Some Music on a Friday

I've got nothing to blog about. Sad, huh? Too busy writing, I guess. And maybe reading, too. :)

Here's some music from a group I like. Enjoy!

Have a super, hopefully warmer, weekend!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Reads and Feeling Good

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 Goodreads: Brooding 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.

So, what’s made you feel good lately?

Happy reading!



Monday, January 27, 2014

I Love Writing!

When I’m starting a new story and getting to know my characters, I love writing.

When I’m in the middle of my story, trying to keep the tension and conflict going, I love writing.

When I’m near the end of my story and see it all come together, I love writing.

When I’m adding “meat” to my story to give it more emotion, I love writing.

When I’m chopping the hell out of my story to fix a major plot hole, I love writing.

When I’m polishing my story to a fine shine, I love writing.

And when I manage to find someone who loves my story as much as I do, I REALLY love writing.

I love writing!

What do you love?



Friday, January 24, 2014

Cold as a Witch's...

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 it again.

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 come. Ugh!

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 keep warm.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Reads and Movie Night

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 Goodreads.

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 “Vampire Academy.” Now, those books I loved. Any movies you’ve gone out to see recently? Any recommendations (either to go to or stay away from)?

Happy reading!



Monday, January 20, 2014

Thirty-Eight Years Ago?!

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. Army.

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 (Santa Barbara). 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 to Ft. McClellan, Alabama. 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?



Friday, January 17, 2014

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

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*):

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 think so.

I’m taking a free tax class with the RWA University 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 otherwise.

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.”)

Snow fog!!
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 Columbus 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 before.

So, what will make you want to watch a movie over and over?
Have a good weekend--and try to keep warm!



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Reads

Life has slowed down (finally). It’s all writing and reading. Nothing wrong with that, right? Anyway, here’s what I read during the week:

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.

Happy reading!



Monday, January 13, 2014

Cover Reveal of My Chapter’s Anthology

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 Press

Edited by Michele Stegman, Barbara Lohr, Lorrie Moggenberg, Rosie Murphy, and Mary Ulrich

Warm up 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 West coast.
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 watch next?



Friday, January 10, 2014

One Broken Water Pipe, Coming Right Up

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, that is).

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?

Have a good weekend!



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Reads

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?

So, what are you doing during this cold snap?

Happy reading!



Monday, January 6, 2014

Release Date Postponed *Sigh*

I kind of knew this might happen.

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!

In the meantime, my cover is one of many featured at Calisa Rhose’s blog today. She’s having a contest to see which featured author can generate the most comments. Once I get the link to the blog, I’ll post it HERE ( If you could stop by and just say hi, I would sure appreciate it. It’d be cool if I could generate the most. I’m certainly going to try anyway!!

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.

At least I have hockey. Go Pens!!

So, did you get snow this weekend? How much?



Friday, January 3, 2014

Pinch Me, I Think I'm Dreaming

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!



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year and Wednesday Reads

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 Goodreads: When 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.

Happy reading!