Monday, February 26, 2018

Tuesday is Release Day!

That’s right! Ghostly Interlude goes live tomorrow! Happy happy joy joy! If you can’t wait that long, you can always read an exclusive excerpt that was posted over at the USA Today HEA blog on Friday here: https://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2018/02/23/ghostly-interlude-excerpts-stacy-mckitrick/ . How cool was that, huh?

Today I’m taking my glasses back to the optical shop and getting them changed to trifocals. I just can’t handle these things on the computer or reading my book, so I’m not going to torture myself any longer.

One thing these glasses did was trigger a huge mood swing on Friday. I’m talking rage followed with a crying jag. I was a mess. I figured my hormone therapy pills were to blame for that so I stopped taking them until I can talk to a doctor, who I hope to see today, after I turn in my glasses.

Never a dull moment is it? I’m ready for some dull, though. Honest!

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Friday, February 23, 2018

My Eyes Hurt

I swear, these new glasses of mine will be the death of my eyes.

It’s either that, or maybe I’m just tired from staying up until 2am (Thursday morning) watching the women’s US Hockey team beat Canada! What a nerve-wracking… ahem… exciting game that was! I really didn’t think I’d stay awake for the whole thing, but that game sure kept my attention.

So while my lack of sleep could be the cause of my poor eyes, I really think it’s also the glasses.

You see… I went from trifocals to progressive lenses and either there’s something wrong with the glasses or there’s something wrong with my eyes.

I’m thinking some of the blame is on the glasses. I went yesterday to get them adjusted, but the only person at the shop was the one person who couldn’t fix them (because she had carpel tunnel surgery and couldn’t grip things). I’ll be back today, though and hope for the best.

I really hope it’s my glasses. Because I can’t imagine working on the computer, or even reading, for any length of time with these things the way they are now. I’m going bonkers trying to keep the stupid screen in focus!

So… Have you ever stayed up late to watch a game? Did you regret it the next day? I might have if USA hadn’t won, but they did, so it was well worth being tired yesterday!

But I still don’t like my glasses. Yet.

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Reads and Happy Birthday to Hubby!

Today is Hubby’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Sweetie!). He’s officially an old person. At least, that’s what he’s telling everyone because he was forced to start Medicare this month. I say he won’t be old until NEXT year, when he starts collecting Social Security. Haha!

Guess I shouldn’t laugh too loud, though. I plan on collecting SS in 1-1/2 years. It’s not like I’m making tons of money now, so I really doubt I’ll have to worry about giving any of it back. But hey, things could change. My books could take off!

One can hope.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #4

Dates read: February 7-14
Title: “Into the Black Nowhere”
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Meg Gardiner
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: UNSUB #2
# of Pages: 352
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: On Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin, Texas.
    Caitlin and the FBI discover the first victim’s body in the woods. She’s laid out in a bloodstained white nightgown. A second victim lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a different woman, wrists slashed suicide-style—posed like Snow White awaiting her prince’s kiss.
    To track the unknown subject, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with her mentor, a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for that elusive point where character and action come together. This is a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy—dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. As another Saturday nigh approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.
My thoughts: Another winner from Meg. I’d have read this book much faster if I didn’t feel guilty every time I picked it up (you know, because I should be writing!). I like how Caitlin isn’t perfect. But sometimes I’d like to slap her upside the head, too. Not because of the case she’s working on, but because of her private life. But I also like how she has one…sort of. J If you like FBI suspense dramas, you’ll definitely like this book.

Book #5

Dates read: February 16-20
Title: “Poisonous”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: Maxine Revere #3
# of Pages: 420
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: When teenage Internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff, few people cared—except her developmentally challenged eighteen-year-old stepbrother, Tommy. In spite of her occasional cruelty, Tommy loved her. Now it’s been a year since Ivy’s disappearance and the police still have no answers. Was it suicide, an accident, or something more sinister?
    This isn’t the type of case investigative reporter Maxine Revere normally takes on, but when she receives a heartbreaking plea from Tommy, Max feels driven to help. At first, the police are willing to cooperate as she looks for clues about what happened to Ivy. But once Max delves deeper into the investigation, and learns more about Tommy and his dysfunctional family, the more she thinks she’s taken on an impossible task: this may be the one case she can’t solve. If Ivy was murdered, it was exceptionally well-planned…and that kind of killer could be hiding in plain sight and plotting the next act of violence. Max believes the truth is the only path to justice. Will finding it get her killed?
My thoughts: I might not have been planning on reading this book right now, but wow, what a great read. I keep forgetting how much I love Allison’s books. Of course, I think I have a whole stack of books from authors I keep forgetting I love, too. If only I could read all the time. But my writing wouldn’t be the only thing that suffers. My eyesight would too! J

The taxes are now behind me. Yay! Wasn’t quite as bad as last year. Not good, but not as bad. It helped taking it a little bit at a time. It also helped seeing we’re getting a refund. Double yay!

So…  Did you read to the end? (thank you, by the way) Do I bore you with my books? Or have you been tempted to check some of them out?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, February 19, 2018

Where Did the Weekend Go?

I got nothing done this weekend. I even had a to do list on the white board:

Change water filter (in fridge).

Change outside light.

Put tags on car.

Oh, and a sad face next to TAXES.

I did get some of our taxes done. Filed the business return, which was a pain. I really should write notes, but I haven’t and I doubt I will, either. It’ll most likely change next year anyway.

I refuse to change the water filter by myself. You can read HERE what happened last year when I changed it. I’m not going to go through that again, at least not alone! Yeah, sure, all I have to do is shut off the water, but why should I have all the fun by myself?

One of our outside lights has been out a couple of weeks. I suppose if it were an important light it would have been changed by now. But it’s not and it hasn’t. Yet.

Technically, Hubby has until his birthday to put his new tags on the car. That’s on Wednesday. I’m not gonna do it for him, though. Yeah, I’m mean like that because he’s lazy like that.

I still have to finish the taxes, but I’m just taking it small steps at a time. Got the business one finished, which is a relief. Next I have to work on my schedule C stuff (make sure I have everything recorded). Then later I need to go over the medical expenses. Might not be eligible for deduction in the federal return, but should in the state.

I know I said I’d get an accountant for this year, but that never happened. We’ll see if I have any hair left after this year. That might be the clue I need to finally hire someone.

But none of that got done because on Saturday I was at a chapter meeting in Columbus, then spent the rest of the day waiting. Waiting an hour at bd’s Mongolian Grill for dinner. Waiting nearly an hour at Cheesecake Factory for dessert. Then waiting 30-40 minutes at B&N to see if they could get Hubby’s Nook to work (they did!). We now know not to bother going out to bd’s & Cheesecake Factory on a Saturday. Madness!

Yesterday we all (Hubby, daughter, and I) went to Columbus to see the Penguins play the Blue Jackets. We got there early hoping to find a place to eat, but had to wait over an hour for that, too. The Pens won, though, so I think it was all worth it. Such fun!

So… How was your weekend? Crazy busy, or lazy slow?

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Trouble With Series

Authors are a tricky bunch. Especially when it comes to series. I should know. I write them.

Still…

I was all set to read the latest Lucy Kincaid (LK) story (by Allison Brennan). I love this series and #13 had just been released last month. But then I remembered she had some novellas out and a crossover book from her Max Revere (MR) series, a series I’m also reading. The problem is…

I only buy the paperbacks and MR starts out in hardback, so I’m two books behind in reading and a book behind in buying.

Now, I have nothing against buying hardbacks when I have the rest of the author’s books that way, but to switch in the middle... yeah, I don’t like that. Don’t mess with my bookcase!

I also don’t like that the novellas only came out in e-book, but there’s nothing I can do about that except maybe grumble a lot.

I do like to grumble a lot, don’t I?

So instead of reading LK #13, I’m reading MR #3, then will read the two novellas (one for LK the other for MR—they’re in the same e-book) and MR #4 (the crossover). But the paperback for #4 isn’t released until May and I don’t want to wait until May to read LK #13! So I may just have to get MR #4 at the library. Doesn’t mean I won’t buy the paperback, because I will. I still want the book.

And now you’re probably wondering why I just don’t skip over all the MR series and just read the LK series. Why would it matter? Because the crossover story focuses on a huge event that happened in Lucy Kincaid’s past. I can’t imagine it won’t be mentioned or affect Lucy in some way or form and I really don’t want to be spoiled, ya know?

I guess the good thing about all this is that I know the next 4 books to read. Sometimes it’s a struggle to decide which one to pick up next.

So… Are you as crazy as I am when it comes to reading series? Or does reading out of order not bother you? To me, reading out of order is like reading the end of the book first. I won’t do that either.

Happy Friday!

Stacy

P.S. Today is the first of my dad’s birthdays that he’s not around. He would have been 93. Even though we lived 2300 miles apart for many decades, I still miss him.

 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

No Wednesday Reads and Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought I was going to get a lot of reading done on Monday. I thought wrong, and boy was I happy about that. Meant I didn’t have to spend the day at the hospital.

Of course, it meant I spent most of the day with a roaring headache, but I survived. Didn’t finish reading my book, but I survived.

And I no longer have skin cancer. That’s the best news!

It was nice that I only had to feel that shot of lidocaine once (the other time the doctor shot me with that stuff I was still numb, so I didn’t feel it). It was also nice I only had to get cut once. That meant the hole is way smaller than I thought it would be, so my bangs should cover it up fine enough.

They don’t cover it up so find now, though. Now I have this huge bandage on my forehead. Hubby likes to tell people I fell when he hit me.

Ain’t he a hoot?

So after going to bed Monday with a huge headache, I was happy I woke up pain-free. Meant I wouldn’t be miserable during my stress echo test.

In case you were wondering what a stress echo test is, they do an echocardiogram after I exhaust myself on the treadmill.

I started on a slight incline at an easy pace. Every three minutes they raised the incline and made it faster. I lasted 9 minutes only because I knew I couldn’t walk any faster (although I was breathing rather hard) and I wasn't about to run. Still, not too shabby for someone who hasn’t exercised in awhile.

And good news! The results showed my leakage isn’t as bad as it showed the last time. So instead of being moderate to severe, I’m just at moderate.

Gee, does not exercising work or could it have been the radiation? Whatever, I don’t care. I just want to prolong surgery as long as I can and having results like that is very encouraging. Told Hubby he could now look to book cruises in 2019!

And I really need to get back to exercising.

So… It’s Valentine’s Day. Do you celebrate the day? Buy something for your sweetie? Hubby and I never really celebrated the “holiday.” Oh sure, we’ll say Happy Valentine’s Day to each other, but that’s about it. We don’t need a special day to say we love each other because we say it every day!

Happy Reading and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Stacy

 

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Lot of Waiting

I expect to be gone most of the day, since I’m having surgery to remove the basal cell carcinoma I have on my temple. A surgery that could last 9 hours, only because they’ll take a little, send it down to the lab and wait to see if they got enough. If not, they cut some more out and send it to the lab. They'll continue this until the cut comes out clean. So I expect a lot of waiting.

And getting stuck with that needle to numb me. Why does lidocaine have to sting so much?

Here’s hoping I don’t have to get stuck a lot. And that maybe I can get some reading done. J

See you on Wednesday!

Stacy

Friday, February 9, 2018

This Time I'm Getting Help

When I released my first book, I knew better than to spend a lot on advertising or promotion. It was one book and the ROI would have stunk. Same with the second. But I continued to do the same for the third, fourth, and fifth. Well, now number six is coming and it’s time I changed.

It’s time I get some help.

Because surely, I need it. Plus, I now have a back list. Not a big back list, but it’s something.

So I hired Barclay Publicity to help me however they can in the month I have until release day. Danielle Barclay wasn’t sure how much she could do on short notice. Well, so far she’s doing way more than I could have done on my own.

She’s already got me on three blogs: Fresh Fiction, Just Paranormal Romance, and USA Today Happy Ever After. That’s right… USA Today!

Won’t know how much of an impact it’ll have on sales since all of these happen at the end of the month, but I’m feeling pretty confident. Certainly better than anything I’ve done on my own.

I’m excited to see what else they have in store for me.

So… Are you watching the Olympics? I love them!

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wednesday Reads and When it Rains…

First off, I’m finishing this post up after returning from a wonderful night in Pittsburgh. Plus, the Penguins won! Didn’t enjoy driving home in the snow, though…

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #3

Dates read: January 31 – February 6
Title: “Blood Fury”
Year of publication: 2018
Author: J. R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #3
# of Pages: 411
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Borrowed from daughter
Blurb from book: A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family’s traditions. And he thought he’d found his perfect match—until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the enemy endangers the life of another trainee, Peyton has to face the idea that his future, and his heart, actually lie with another.
    Novo, as a female in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program, feels like she has to prove herself to everybody—and she has no interest in being distracted by falling in love But when Peyton proves to be so much more than a rich playboy, she is forced to confront the tragedy that has broken her soul and closed her off from love.
    As the two grapple with Novo’s past and Peyton’s present, another couple must contend with an erotic connection that is unparalleled—and potentially scandalous. Saxton, who has had his heart broken, discovers in himself a deep-seated attraction to Ruhn, a new member of the household. But will the other male explore the connection? Or will he close his mind and his heart to what could be true love…and cost Saxton everything?
My thoughts: Two romances in one book! I loved it. Then again, I love this series, and the series it’s spun from and the world and just everything about it.

When you make one appointment doesn’t it seem like another pops up and then another? When it rains, right? That’s what I’m faced with anyway.

It started with this funny mole-like thing on my temple. Turns out it’s cancerous (basil cell carcinoma, not melanoma, thank goodness). They wanted to schedule the Mohs surgery for Feb 5th. But I was going to Pittsburgh the next day and asked if that would be possible. They didn’t think it would be a good idea and since I wasn’t NOT going to the hockey game, they moved the surgery to Feb 12th. All is good until this past Monday.

I get a call from the cardiology department regarding my stress echo test. I expected the call, because I told them I was ready for the test now (I was supposed to have it back in November, but with all the surgeries and radiation, they said to wait until I was finished with that). The tech told me it was scheduled for Feb 13th. Hmmm… I told her I had Mohs surgery the day before. If they didn’t like me traveling to Pittsburgh and going to a hockey game, I wasn’t sure how’d they feel about a stress test.

Couldn’t I do the stress echo another week? Seems not. My doctor is being deployed the week after for six months and didn’t want to wait that long. But if I was okay with using a different doctor, I could probably do that. Didn’t really want another doctor (I’m already on my second cardiologist), so I said I’d call dermatology and see what they said.

Turns out they’re sort of okay with it. I’m not on any blood thinners and I’ll be at the same hospital. They’ll just wrap me up good on Monday and said to stop in on Tuesday if it starts leaking after the stress test.

The cardiology nurse said to remind them about my surgery. I said I’d probably have this huge bandage on my head and she replied that they aren’t always the brightest to spot that sort of thing. Gosh, don’t you love it when your cardiology department has a sense of humor?

So… How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? Did Liam come visit you? And don’t you just love these storm names?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, February 5, 2018

Happy Birthday to my Son!

First off… Whoo hoo! The patriots LOST! I’m so damn happy. Okay, now on to today’s post.

It’s been awhile since my son’s birthday has fallen on a post day, so of course I can’t let the day go by without wishing him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Would you believe this fella is now 36 years old?

And would you believe he picked the Melt Bar and Grilled for his birthday dinner because the February special he’d been waiting for since he saw a picture of it (and was thrilled it was for his birthday month) was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cowabunga Melt?

I mean, is this a sandwich YOU would crave? Not me.

We did have a nice dinner there last Thursday (it was the only day everyone could get together and celebrate—we can never seem to celebrate birthdays ON the actual birthday!). Hubby and I split a meatball and mozzarella sticks sandwich (it was HUGE but very yummy), where most everyone else just ordered a half sandwich. And that TMNT sandwich that my son got? Yeah, he couldn’t finish it. Besides the fact he couldn’t order only a half-size (not on monthly specials), I think the green pesto sauce got to him (it certainly smelled strong!). At least he no longer craves it, because he doesn’t plan on getting it again.

Tomorrow my daughter, her friend, and I will be going to Pittsburgh to see a Penguins game. Yay! Actually, we’re going to see Fleury. He’s returning via the Vegas Golden Knights. This will probably be the only time I won’t root for the Knights, though (I have my priorities!). I’m really looking forward to the game and I’ll be wearing Hubby’s Fleury Penguins jersey. The Penguins are planning on doing some kind of welcome back thing and my daughter is sure there will be a lot of wet eyes around (hers included).

So… Do you ever get to celebrate birthdays on the actual birthday? It seems to get harder and harder to do. Especially as the family grows.

Happy Monday! And Happy Giving Birth Day to me! :)

Stacy

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ghostly Interlude and Box Set Out Now

So glad to finally post the buy links to my two latest books. One a new book in the Ghostly Encounters series, the other a box set of the Bitten by Love series.

GHOSTLY INTERLUDE (Book 2 in the Ghostly Encounters series).

Release date is 2-27, but you can pre-order your copy now.

Maggie Russell—legal assistant by day, horror writer by night—gets the scare of her life when she wakes up in a strange cafĂ© without any idea of how she got there. But if she tells anyone about her sleepwalking escapades, she could lose her grandmother’s house, and she’d fought so hard to keep it.

Dean Parker is a private investigator whose office is next door to Maggie’s law firm. He’s been eyeing the pretty brunette ever since she started working there, but getting involved with anyone isn’t in his game plan. When he finds out she’s been having sleeping problems, he suspects her money-grubbing cousin is involved. Instead, he discovers something worse: a ghost is living with Maggie and it appears another may be possessing her.

Dean is determined to help Maggie rid her home of the uninvited guests. He just never figured his attraction to her would be reciprocated. Keeping his distance is no longer an option, though. If he fails, Maggie could very well be possessed forever.

PRE-ORDER LINKS:





 

BITTEN BY LOVE SERIES, BOOKS 1-3.

Available now.

This box set includes the first three books in the Bitten by Love series: My Sunny Vampire; Bite Me, I’m Yours; and Blind Temptation.

BUY LINKS:





So… Are you planning on watching the Super Bowl? Do you make it a big party with friends and food? Or do you make it a quiet time so you can watch the commercials? Or do you say, “The heck with all that, I’m watching the Puppy Bowl!”?

Happy Ground Hog’s Day! There better not be six more weeks of winter!!

Stacy