Monday, September 29, 2014

Waste of Time

Writing a book is time-consuming work. Not only the writing part, but the thinking-about-it part. But it’s work I love and time I love to spend.

Once I became published, my time to write shrunk. Now I have to market. I was never on Facebook all that much. Now I feel I should be there. To be seen. Not that it’s working all that much, but if I wasn’t there at all, I wouldn’t be seen at all. It’s thoughts like that that are also making me think about joining Twitter (***shudder***). Marketing is a necessary evil if I wish to make it in the publishing business.

What I do not want to spend my writing time doing is hunting down piracy. Mainly, because I don’t see the profit in it (in time or money).

Sure, I’d love it if all the pirate sites would just disappear (I’d also love to get 5 star reviews all the time!). But I really believe that people who download pirated books would not have bought the books in the first place. Heck, I’d be surprised if 10% of pirated books were actually read.

Some authors see hundreds of downloads of their books from these pirate sites and panic. They see it as lost income. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that’s true (unless these authors are hiring someone to send out takedown notices and then in that case, it is lost income). Do authors panic when people share their purchased paper book with a friend? How about when the reader sells the book to another reader? They didn’t get any money for that, so how is that any different? People who like to read, people who are honest, will buy the book (or get it from the library). People who are fans will want their own copy. Plus, smart people probably stay away from these pirate sites anyway. Who doesn’t think a lot of these sites aren’t set up to steal your information? I certainly don’t trust them.

I also don’t visit these sites because if I do search for my books and they’re not there, I’ve just flagged an interest. I truly believe they work that way.

So… what do you think about pirate sites? Am I in the minority here?


Friday, September 26, 2014

Status Update

So far my goal of writing 2000 words a day is turning out to be 2000 for the week! Didn’t help that I had to delete 2800 words yesterday. Talk about painful! But most needed. I had taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque and had to get back on course. That’s the peril when you write by the seat of your pants. But I wouldn’t write any other way.

Let me tell you, though. While deleting those 2800 words hurt, I’m so GLAD those scenes were thinly written. I hadn’t spent all that much time on them (although they were really great scenes and I wish I could have salvaged them); I only wrote what needed to get the story moving. If I had spent hours editing them to make them sound right, it would have hurt a whole lot more.

So basically, when I come to a kissing scene, I just say they kiss and move on. No descriptions. No emotion. Okay, maybe a little emotion. Love scenes (and fighting scenes) are hard. No use spending time on them if there’s a good chance they’ll be cut. Once I know everything is in place, THEN I can add the meat. And as long as I can remember all that, the scenes should get written faster.

At least, that’s the plan!

So… my eye exam went well (no big changes). I couldn’t believe I’ve owned my current set of glasses since 2008. Okay, maybe I could believe it a little bit. They are pretty scratched up. Time to get a new pair, something I hate shopping for. Not only are they expensive, I’ll be wearing them all the time, so they have to look like me. And they can’t distract me (no shiny frames). I have a feeling when I finally get to the store to buy them, I’ll be spending quite a bit of time there (I’ve been known to try on nearly every frame). And no, I won’t consider contacts. Those are even MORE expensive (since I have an astigmatism). If you wear glasses, how often do you buy a new set? Do you get more than one? Yeah, I only get the one pair.
They don’t call me cheap for nothing! J
Have a good weekend!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Reads

Even the best laid plans get stomped all over, huh? My daily writing goals have pretty much crashed and burned right out of the gate. If my exercise routine had suffered such events, I’m not sure I’d still be going. Good thing I love writing. Just gotta dust myself off and do better the next day. And that day would be today. Keeping fingers crossed I’m not interrupted.

Hey, I got a book read this week. Here it is:

Sep 18: “Hearts in Harmony” by Gemma Brocato, the 2nd book in the Five Senses series, a contemporary romance. Blurb from Goodreads: Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love. Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far. Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits. What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony. I really enjoyed this story. The family has captured my heart and I can’t wait to dive into the next one, which I just happen to have on hand (love getting those advanced reader copies!!). Not only lots of romance and some sexy scenes, it held a bit of a suspense/thriller, too. Really captured my attention. I don’t say THAT about too many contemporaries.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve done away with my star ratings here. Felt it wasn’t needed when all I’m doing is sharing what I’ve read. You can still see the ratings on Goodreads, but you’ll have to work at finding them. Yes, I’m mean like that, but I’m guessing you really don’t care! J

So… Does it seem like when you finally make plans that something always comes up at the most inopportune time? Why can’t that happen when it’s something I DON’T want to do? Never does, though, does it? ***grumble***

Happy reading!



Monday, September 22, 2014

I’ve Set a Goal. Can I Succeed?

I certainly HOPE I succeed. My goal is to finish the first draft of Ghostly Interlude by Thanksgiving. That means writing about 2000 words a day, M-F (weekends and my cruise week off).

Can I do it? I should. My first book was written that quickly and I had a day job back then. I just have to “vomit” the words out and not worry about it being perfect. I also have to stay away from blogging and Facebook until I’ve reached my daily goal. THAT will be the challenge. I was doing that stuff BEFORE I write. My reasoning was to get it out of the way. But I’m realizing now that that’s garbage. So I gotta stay away until AFTER. It’s the only way I’ll get the job done. And I sooooo want to get the job done.

My reward for accomplishing this goal? Getting to watch “American Horror Story.” I’ve got the first two seasons on DVD. Never seen the show, but it sure looks interesting.

In other news… I’m finally getting ready to send out a newsletter. If you want to be on the mailing list, you can sign up for it on the side bar. I have no idea how well I’ll do (or what I’ll put on it), but I DO know that I’ll only work on it either AFTER I’ve reached my writing goal or on the weekend. Because, man, getting that stuff ready is really time consuming! Mainly because I’m learning as I go.

Update on my exercise routine: I’ve done really well the last couple of weeks going to the gym. Made it four days each week. Haven’t lost any weight, but I’m hoping I’m gaining muscle. Muscle eats more calories and takes up less space than fat. Plus, there’s this whole wanting-to-get-in-shape thing. The gym is killing me, but breaking up the exercise routine (legs on one day, arms on another), is really working out well. I’m walking at least 30 minutes before the weights (and getting my reading done during that time), which means I’m working out for about an hour a day. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can stick with it. I am motivated, though. Got a cruise in October (and again in December) and I’d like to be able to not look as fat. I know… I’m asking a lot! J

So…what did you do this weekend? Or did it go by in a blur?


Friday, September 19, 2014

A Change in Plans

See… I complain about not having anything to blog about and then I go and have stuff to blog about. Of course, it would be nice if I wasn’t blogging about this particular thing.

I knew this would eventually happen, just not so soon, and not for Blind Temptation. I really, really love that story and feel it’s my best yet. But my publisher doesn’t want it (paranormal romance is selling slowly), which leaves me free to self-publish it.

I’m glad I have that option to consider. It certainly beats sending it out on submission. I mean, what publisher is going to want the third book of a series that started with another publisher? And it’s not as scary as it seemed last year. Still…it’s a lot more work on my part and we all know how lazy I am (haha!).

So it appears my road is changing a bit. A little bumpier with more outlying costs, but will get me to the same place. I just hope I can recoup my tolls. J

Life is an adventure. Isn’t it?

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Reads and Mish Mash

It’s so frustrating. I get an idea of something to say on this blog, I open a Word document and then… It’s gone! Just like that. I feel like my mind is a sieve. I didn’t used to be this way. At least, I don’t THINK I used to be this way. It’s kind of scary. Is it just old age creeping up on me or something worse? God, I hope it’s not something worse.

On Monday, someone left a nice 5 star review of “My Sunny Vampire” on Amazon. Short & sweet, but very enthusiastic. I like enthusiastic! Then on Saturday, someone else left a beautiful 4 star review of “Bite Me, I’m Yours” on Goodreads (it showed up later on Amazon and she also blogged about it). Very articulate. I was moved and blurted out “I love you!” Is that strange or what? But hey, it’s nice seeing the good reviews for a change. Those one starred ones were getting a bit depressing.

Okay, on to what I read:

Sep 10: “Blood Gate” by Amy Lee Burgess, the 2nd book in the Circle series, a paranormal erotica. Blurb from Goodreads: Vampire Claire finds herself caught in the middle between her Master, Parker, and her Trigger, Andre. Little love is lost between the former friends, but somehow Claire must build a bridge between them when they are sent to Edgewood to settle their differences. The cost of her failure will be deadly. Deep in the cellars of Edgewood, a game of sexual bondage unleashes unexpected dangers, twisting open, loving Andre into a secretive virtuoso of manipulation. Is this just another part of the game, or is he losing his mind? Parker will take desperate steps to protect his apprentice, but he won’t be dragged into the game with them. Can Parker set aside forty years of bitter rivalry, or will he sacrifice Andre to save Claire? I enjoyed this story. It had some nice twists and turns. But…when it came to the kinky sex scenes (and some included bondage), well… I just don’t care for them in first person. And when it came to the romance, I really wanted to be in everyone’s head! My issue, I suppose, since a lot of people don’t seem to mind it (by the amount of books out there IN first person). Would the twists and turns worked if not in first person? Not sure. It would have been more suspenseful, though.

I really wish I knew why some first person books bug me more than others. Could it just be the genre? I expect them in mysteries. And in urban fantasies (although they tend to lean toward being mysteries). I guess I love some suspense in my books and feel I get it better when I’ve been teased that something bad is coming, which you can’t get with first person. And with kinky sex, I kind of need a tiny bit of distancing, which I get in third person (even close third person). Then again, I also love Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, which has tons of kinky and is in first person. But overall, they’re mysteries in a way, so I expect it. So why don't they bug me? My reading has changed a lot in the past few years (of which I blame my writing), and I’ve been introduced to a lot of new authors with varied writing styles. It’s certainly opening my eyes as to what I like and don’t like. I just wish I could tell you WHY I like and don’t like it. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out.

So…are you a first person junkie, or do you prefer third person with multiple points of view?

Happy reading!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Misc Pictures and a Decision About Blogging

I’ve been blogging fairly consistently on Mon, Wed, & Fri for awhile now. I like blogging, when I have something to blog about. When I don’t have something to blog about? Well, it’s frustrating. I wish my life were more interesting. Or I could REMEMBER interesting stuff that happened. But I don’t always write those things down, so they tend to get forgotten. Yeah, getting old is the pits.

So, I will definitely blog on Wednesdays, since I usually have a book or two to write about. As for Monday and Friday… I may or may not blog. I’m not going to force it any more. Forcing it is not fun and I want to have fun. I want this place to be fun.

I thought about maybe having a guest author post, something more than just a “here’s my book and blurb.” I have an author friend that has other authors answer the same silly questions each Sunday (she calls it Sundae with Nuts). Maybe something like that would work. Providing I could FIND people (authors) willing to do this, would you all even stick around for that? You can let me know in the comments.

I am NOT going away, though. I don’t have much of a social media presence and can’t afford to abandon what little I do have. Besides, I DO like to blog—when I have something worthwhile (or funny) to share. Heck, this blog gives me REASONS to take pictures now (so does Facebook), and I like sharing pictures.

And I do have some pictures to share today. Just some miscellaneous stuff.

The other morning was super foggy, but the full moon was shining (super moon, too). Would you believe it was clear about 10 minutes later? Glad I got these pics before then.

Then I saw something that looked like a leaf that had lodged on my screen only to discover it was a moth. Cool, huh? Well, cool that it was OUTSIDE. Glad it wasn't IN.

And the husband and I finally laid the new area rug in the family room. Yeah, he loves it. We’re tempted to get an OSU rug for the family room, not that we use that room all that much.

So… How was your weekend? Enjoy the football games? Steelers lost on Thursday, but the Rams WON yesterday. Yay!


Friday, September 12, 2014

To Blog or Not

I can’t tell if I need a break from blogging or if being on Facebook has just drained me dry! At least my stint ends tomorrow. We’ll see how I feel after that.

In good news, I started working on my WIP again. I still need to make that a priority and I will. Soon.

Have a good weekend.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

No Wednesday Reads

As I sat down to write this, a spider landed on my arm. Yuck! My heart is still racing. But yes, the thing is dead. Squished by my shoe. Man, I hate those things!!

I really thought I’d have at least one book to talk about this week, but hosting the Sizzle and Sass Facebook page really put a crimp in my reading. Heck, just keeping a Facebook presence put a crimp in my reading. And writing. Well, it’s only one week every 17 weeks (or so). Don’t know if it’s doing any good, but I suppose it isn’t doing any bad.

Man, I’m jumping at every little thing right now. Real or imagined? I can’t tell. Feels real.

So…what makes you jumpy?

Happy reading!



Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Monday -- Don't Bring Me Down

I am soooo cheating today. I've been spending my time getting posts ready for the Sizzle & Sass Facebook page (I'm hosting this week, in case you're wondering), that I just haven't gotten around to figuring out what to write for today's post! Since a lot of you bemoan Mondays, I thought this music video would be perfect. Besides, I'm still a huge ELO fan.

My laptop doesn't always play these things (although my phone does--go figure!). I hope you're able to enjoy it and maybe bring a smile to your face (or a tap to your toes) this Monday. And hopefully I'll have finished the book I'm reading before Wednesday so I'll at least have a book to report. It's not looking good, though (and here I was, almost caught up to my goal--darn!).

So...what makes Monday especially bad for you? For me, it's having to go back to the gym. I just can't seem to get any motivation. But I will go back today. Even if I have to drag myself there.

Have a great Monday!



Friday, September 5, 2014

Dragon*Con Pictures

While attending Monday's Being Human panel at Dragon*Con (and these actors attended a panel on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, too!), I knew by then to make sure to have my camera ready on video because this foursome was liable to do ANYTHING.

Now, whether or not I get these videos to actually WORK on this site, that's another issue altogether!

The first video, Sam Huntington (Josh), Sam Witwer (Aiden), Meaghan Rath (Sally), and Kristen Hager (Nora) are demonstrating the irritating way SyFy shows these pop-up ads while the show is in progress. Sam W. is the "pop up ad" in this demonstration.

In this next video, Sam W. talked about how one director was very serious (even though he'd been known to direct comedies), so Sam showed what he did one day. And let me tell you, what he did isn't any different than what these four did on every single panel. They are truly unpredictable!

As for actual pictures I took at Dragon*Con, I only took pictures of celebrity panels. I just found it was easier that way. My pictures of the costumes never turned out all that great anyway. Remember, click on the photo and it should enlarge.

My first panel of the con was, naturally, Karl Urban!

Karl Urban
Karl Urban panel. My seat wasn't tooooo bad.
On my first Being Human panel (which I think was on Saturday), Jesse Rath came out impersonating his sister, Meaghan Rath (he also played her brother on the show).

Being Human cast
Jesse Rath (pretending to be Meaghan Rath), Sam Witwer,
Sam Huntington, and Kristen Hager

The real Meaghan came out (tied up and gagged) and they had to "guess" who the real Meaghan Rath was. I wish I had video'd this, because it really was funny. Fake punches were thrown and Jesse was "knocked" unconscious, where he collapsed on the floor and remained that way for the rest of the panel!

Being Human cast
Meaghan Rath, Sam Witwer, Jesse Rath,
Sam Huntington, & Kristen Hager
I made it to one of the Arrow panels. Katie Cassidy is all the way on the right. My daughter actually got up the nerve to ask her a question. Basically, if her stint with Jared and Jensen on Supernatural prepared her for Stephen (Amell) and John (Barroman) on Arrow, and which duo was funnier (because John is a wild creature, too). She said that J&J were always trying to get her to crack up while she was filming her lines. She couldn't answer who was funnier, though. I think they're all a little crazy!

Arrow cast
Moderator, Not sure, Caity Lotz, David Nikl, Manu Bennett,
Paul Blackthorne, and Katie Cassidy

You can see my seats were a little better (except for being behind that bald-headed guy) on Monday's Being Human panel than they were on Saturday (although those seats were pretty darn good, too). By Monday, they all looked a little worse for wear, though. I'm just glad they stayed (since a lot of celebrities don't stay through Monday). It's sad that the series has ended. I doubt they'll return to Dragon*Con. They really were fun to watch.

Being Human cast
Sam Huntington, Meaghan Rath, Sam Witwer,
and Kristen Hager
Those are my pictures. I would have had pictures of Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden if I had been able to get into that panel. I stood in line for over an hour, but the room filled up before I got there (I was sooooo close, too!!!). It was the only panel those two were on, which made it disappointing. I didn't even bother to try and see Jeri Ryan. There really was tooooo many people there and not enough repeat panels, so of course the lines started early and grew long!

My daughter helped pimp my books while at Dragon*Con (she carried around  my postcards and handed them out). There used to be a table with freebie stuff on it, but of course, it wasn't there this year (figures!), but I managed to place some postcards in the Urban Fantasy room and in the Westin lobby. Have no idea if anyone took any, though.

So... Did the videos work for you? Or had I wasted my time getting them posted? Because let me tell you, it took a long while since I had to upgrade my software then upload the videos to You Tube before I could post them here--whew!

Have yourself a great weekend. Football is BACK and Hockey isn't too far away! Yay!!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Reads

I’m back from Dragon*Con (and still recovering) and can say I managed to catch up a bit on my reading goal. Three books this week! Yay! Anyway, here’s what I read:

Cover to Undeniably Yours by Heather Webber
Aug 27: “Undeniably Yours” by Heather Webber the 5th book in the Lucy Valentine series, a paranormal-ish mystery. Blurb on book: While still recuperating from injuries sustained in her previous case, the last thing psychic investigator Lucy Valentine wants is to dive into another job. But when Detective Lieutenant Aiden Holliday comes calling for help in finding a missing woman, saying no is not an option. TV journalist Kira Fitzpatrick has vanished without a trace. There’s little for Lucy to go on except picking up Kira’s current investigation where she left off. The fearless reporter had been close to cracking one of the year’s biggest cases: the disappearance of a two-year-old boy. Now Lucy must use her abilities to find both of them. As she follows a twisted trail of lies and deceit, she uncovers a shocking twist to Kira’s expose that someone is desperate to keep secret. It’s a race against the clock as Lucy struggles to discover who’s telling the truth…and who’s willing to kill to keep her from solving the case. This is a mystery. In first person. Things I usually avoid. But I LOVE this series. I LOVE the characters. The story flows and keeps my interest—probably why it’s a winner for me. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Cover to Syphon's Song by Anise Rae
Aug 31: “Syphon’s Song” by Anise Rae, a paranormal romance. Blurb from Goodreads: Legends say a syphon can drain a mage dry. He’ll brave the danger. Will she? Someone’s playing pranks. The body of the late Casteel patriarch has been stolen and gifted to the family’s enemy, the powerful Rallises. As far as Bronte Casteel is concerned, they can keep it. She hasn’t spoken to her family in thirteen years, not since they exiled her from society for her lack of mage power. But she’s a syphon mage, able to drain another mage’s power. Syphons’ destinies are always the same: death by fiery stake. She hides her secret by living among the Nons--powerless humans and the lowest class in the Republic. When her family orders her to go plead for the body’s return, she comes face to face with the one man who knows her secret. Colonel Vincent Rallis isn’t letting his syphon get away this time. Not when she’s under suspicion of body-napping and aiding anti-mage terrorists. He’ll prove her innocence whether she wants him to or not, and then convince her they belong together...forever. Vincent’s help comes with a steep price: Bronte must reveal her power. The inevitable ensuing witch-hunt and trial would be bad enough, but even a tough girl might buckle if her prosecutors are her own parents. I really enjoyed this book. The only issue I had was trying to figure out if the setting is an alternate reality or if it’s set in the distant future. No dates are given and I would have liked to have known WHEN the story was set. It’s definitely USA, though. But besides that, I loved Vincent and Bronte. Very good story. I look forward to reading more from Anise and gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. FYI—I know this author through our Sizzle and Sass Facebook page (she’s another Sassy) and met her in person (during Dragon*Con, no less), but I bought the book because the story interested me. So glad I wasn’t disappointed!

Cover to Better Than Perfect by Kristina Mathews
Sep 2: “Better Than Perfect” by Kristina Mathews, a contemporary romance. Blurb from Goodreads: The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field. Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.” Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son. With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love. While I'm not a HUGE fan of contemporary romance, I love baseball and the blurb intrigued me. And yes, some parts of the book bugged me (one of the reasons I'm not a huge fan of this genre), but I loved the characters and it was a fun read, because hey, it IS a romance and I got my fill. I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads. FYI – Kristi is also a Sassy with the Sizzle and Sass Facebook page (and a Lyrical author), which is also another reason I bought this book (I try to support my author friends, really!), but my review is what it is. Again, I’m just glad I liked the story, or I wouldn’t have said ANYTHING. J

So… How do you recover from being away from home so long? I’m tempted to lie down and sleep! J

Happy reading!


Monday, September 1, 2014

My Picture with Karl Urban!!!! And...

It's Release Day for "Bite Me, I'm Yours"!!!!

Cover to Bite Me, I'm Yours by Stacy McKitrick

That's right. It's now available for sale. Eventually, it will be available in print, but for now you can get it for your e-reader. Links are located on the side bar, or go to my Book Page on my website.

And now for the picture you're really wanting to see, right??? Here's how my photo op went with Karl Urban...

Picture of Karl Urban and Author Stacy McKitrick

Yep, I'm grinning like a fool, I know. I was just so happy I wasn't shaking like a leaf!

I'm still at Dragon*Con, so this is all I have for now. Just wanted to share the news about my latest release AND the best picture taken this weekend!

Happy Monday! Hope it's a holiday for you. :)