Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Reading Update and Arrrgh!

Why can’t life just go back to normal after you get home from vacation? I was so looking forward to just writing yesterday (after returning home at midnight on Monday), but can I? Of course not. Too much other crap—life, basically—to do. Bags to unpack. Laundry to wash. Errands to run. And all I wanted to do was write because I hadn’t been able to for the last few days.

Arrrgh!

I’m hoping today will go a little slower. Wish me luck.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #46

Dates read: October 5-10
Title: The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Sharon Buchbinder
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  Hotel LaBelle #1
# of Pages: 147
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years. Cursed by a medicine woman, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in. With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can't help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again. When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years. Cursed by a medicine woman, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in. With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can't help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again. Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: Pretty interesting book (even if it was short). And it actually has ghosts! Well, sort of. I’ll have to check out the rest of the series.

I did have high expectations that I would get lots of reading and writing done during my vacation. But the rooms we stayed in made working on my laptop uncomfortable and then football was on, so no reading when we were in our room. I did manage to get some crocheting done, so all was not wasted. But I really missed writing. And in a way, I’m kind of glad. Tells me that it’s still what I want to do. What I love to do. And that’s not such a bad thing to learn, is it?

So … How does life treat you after a vacation? Does it rebel at you, too? It’s almost like it’s punishing you for going away, isn’t it?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Reading Update and Vacation Brain?

FYI: I’m currently on vacation, but just got off a cruise, so this might be a little lengthy.

Even with a checklist, we still screw up. Every trip we take we go over our permanent checklist to make sure we don’t forget anything. Apparently I need to add something to that list, although, technically, it’s a no-brainer.

Hubby placed the clothes he wanted packed on the bed (I’m the one who actually packs the suitcase). I asked if he was done and I could pack. He said he was. Did I question his choices? I did not. I also did not go through his choices.

We stopped for the night in Daytona Beach on our drive down to Ft. Lauderdale. In the morning, I was pulling out what he was going to wear on our first day of the cruise. There were no T-shirts in the suitcase (only the polo shirts he planned on wearing in the dining room). He’d forgotten to pull some out to pack (and stupid me really thought they were mixed in with the polo shirts).

Okay. No problem. There was a Walmart nearby and we got a few there. The rest we figure he would buy in Grand Turk, Bermuda, and maybe the ship. I stuck the bag in the trunk, next to the suitcases. I would have put them in the suitcase then, but it was raining.

I had planned on putting the shirts in the suitcase after we parked the car, thinking we had to carry the bags to be checked in. Nope. We got to drop them off before we parked. Never even thought about the shirts then, but then I was in the car and Hubby took care of getting the suitcases out (yeah, I can blame him).

We parked the car. Everything we didn’t take on the ship (such as my bag containing the blanket I’m crocheting) we put in the trunk (to get it out of sight). Did I pull out the bag with his shirts? Of course not! I didn’t even SEE the bag (it was dark grey and the interior of the trunk is black, plus we were in a garage, so the light wasn’t that great).

I did remember to take some stuff OUT of my backpack and put it in the trunk, so my brain wasn’t completely on vacation.

I didn’t even realize I left the shirts behind until we were on the ship. By then it was too late.

And then I got this sinking feeling that I left something else behind, too. That something being my Nook. I was reading it in the car and couldn’t remember if I put it back in my purse.

I checked my purse. Nope, not there. It was where I was afraid it was in: the bag with the blanket I’m crocheting. So here I was, planning on getting caught up in my reading, and I leave my Nook behind. Arrrgh!! I was able to use my phone to read, but man, I really hate reading for any length of time on that thing. Can’t imagine it’s all that good on my eyes, either.

Hubby said that we’re going to need to create a checklist for when we leave the car. He might be right. And then I’m going to add T-Shirts to our permanent list at home.

Here’s what I read since I last posted:

Book #43

Dates read: September 10-26
Title: Licensed to Thrill
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Gemma Brocato
Genre: Paranormal mystery
Series:  Jayne Bond #1
# of Pages: 295
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Allow me to introduce myself: Bond. Jayne Bond. Master spy, loose cannon. Oh, and undead.
    As an operative for the secretive Vampire Intelligence Service saving the world is my job. And because I am secretly clinging to my soul, I’ve been known to go rogue to save random humans. When the leaders of the VIS learn of a conspiracy to take over the world, they saddle me with a bumbling rookie agent to track down the mastermind behind the plot.
    While investigating a deadly chemical spill I learn that all mortals are targets in the battle between good versus evil and my arch-nemesis is more determined than ever to see me dead. Matters go from bad to worse when I discover my trainee isn’t as inexperienced as I’ve been led to believe.
    If I disobey direct orders on this assignment, my secret will be out. But I’ll gladly break the rules to save my life, and those of all humans.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: I enjoyed it well enough. The first person telling of this story bugged me, though. Probably because I’m not really sure how I feel about Jayne. It would have helped me tremendously if I could have been in someone else’s head to see her in action. Or to find out why they liked her. But that’s my main issue with first person stories and always has been (even though there are some series I love that are written that way).

Book #44

Dates read: September 27-October 3
Title: Shadows of Ghosts
Year of publication: 2017
Author: L.A. McGinnis
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  The Shadows Series
# of Pages: 216
Paper or plastic: Nook, but read on my iPhone (ugh)
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Driving to South Carolina to claim an inheritance from a total stranger didn’t figure into Logan Dean’s long term plans. But she'd be a fool to pass up an opportunity, and her mother didn’t raise any fools. Now she's fighting to stay alive in the middle of a vampire war. Thankfully, she’s discovered an ally in mysterious Ian Grant. As her feelings for Ian grow, Logan realizes if she wants the love she deserves, she'll have to fight the demons of her past.
    For over a hundred years, cynical Ian Grant swore to never love another woman. But from the first time he saw Logan, he knew an ancient part of his history had come back to haunt him, and the one thing he doesn't want becomes the one thing he has to have.
    Two irreconcilable lives, five hundred years of history, and all they have to do to live happily ever after is defeat the evil that threatens to tear them apart.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: I’m not a happy reader. Besides the fact I thought it was a book about ghosts (it’s about vampires, which is fine, I like vampires too—duh!, but that’s the problem with e-books, the blurb/description isn’t always included with the book like it is with a paperback), the story fell flat for me and it read like it hadn’t been edited. I would have enjoyed experiencing a lot of the scenes that were skimmed over or included as back story. I also didn’t like that I wasn’t in Ian’s head until page 90, and then one other time around page 160. Other than that, it was all Logan’s point of view (done in third person, which I prefer, but I did have problems with her name since I associate it as a boy’s name). So much potential and way too much telling; I did not become invested in anyone’s lives, thus I really didn’t care what happened to them. Harsh? Maybe. I’m just tired of picking poor books to read, especially when I have such hopes.

Book #45

Dates read: October 4-5
Title: Whistleblower
Year of publication: 1992
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 196
Paper or plastic: Nook, but read on my iPhone (ugh)
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: When Victor Holland came flying out of the night, he ran straight into the path of Catherine Weaver’s car. Having uncovered a terrifying secret that leads all the way to Washington, Victor is running for his life—and from the men who will go to any lengths to silence him.
    Though Victor’s story sounds like the ravings of a mad-man, the haunted look in his eyes—and the bullet hole in his shoulder—tell Cathy a different story. As each hour brings pursuers ever closer, she has to wonder, is she giving her trust to a man in danger or trusting her life to a dangerous man?
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: Now I’m a happy reader. Breezed through this one. Just didn’t want to put it down. It’s an older book re-released (written in 1992) and I wondered at first if it had been updated for the times, but once I got into the story, realized the events couldn’t have happened now. Social media and cell phones would have made it impossible.

Since I’m still on vacation and this is already super-long, I’ll save the pictures from our trip for when I get back home.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, October 7, 2019

Crowned Heart for Excellence Review for Biting the Curse!

FYI: I’m currently on vacation.

While on our cruise Friday morning (after spending a wonderful two days in Bermuda), I was able to take advantage of the Internet package Hubby purchased (only one person is allowed on it at a time and he pretty much hogs the thing, which is fine, because he needs it in case someone at work has to contact him). So of course the first thing I did was go through my e-mails.

And there, near the top, was one about my excellent review in InDtale Magazine!

I was surprised. Not just because I’ve never received such a review, but because I wasn’t expecting the review for Biting the Curse (which I requested through the magazine back in June) to show up until November’s issue! I quickly searched my e-mails for October’s issue and opened it (on my phone, which wasn’t all that easy or quick). Biting the Curse got 4-1/2 stars! And has that little Crowned Heart for Excellence next to the cover! (if you have an account (and you can set one up for free), you can view the review here: https://www.indtale.com/reviews/paranormal-urban-fantasy/biting-curse-–-bitten-love-book-5-stacy-mckitrick or in the magazine here: http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/2019/october/viewer/desktop/#page/74)

Here’s my favorite part of the review: “Ms. McKitrick’s vampire tale is filled with explosive adventure, mouth-watering sensuality and is delicious enough to warrant a second helping request!”

The other books I’ve submitted for review to the magazine have only gotten 3-1/2 stars (although the reviews have always been very nice and positive).

I couldn’t stop grinning! But about the only thing I could do at the time was make a quick post on Facebook about it. Now that I’m off the cruise and have an easier access to the Internet (like via my data plan, if not the hotel’s wifi), I’m sharing that news everywhere!

I’m so freakin’ happy!

Oh, and if you're looking for buy links, you can find them on this blog on the side panel or book page, or click HERE.

Stacy

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Reading Update and My Trip to Washington DC

My reading has slowed to a crawl (which is why I didn’t post last week). And I really thought it would pick up this time of year. But every time I start reading a book (and it doesn’t seem to matter what book), I fall asleep. I’m getting a bad case of fatigue. Don’t know whether to blame that on my funky heart or my lack of exercise. Walking can certainly wipe me out (as I found out in DC last weekend), but I should probably add other types of exercise to get in shape. I just wish I was motivated to do more.

Needless to say, I have no books to report this week.

I had fun in DC last weekend, though. Daughter’s Footy team was playing against the DC team (they lost, by the way) and the game was at the ball fields near the FDR Memorial. We arrived early so we could walk around and sight-see. Saw FDR Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the WWII Memorial (all three added since our last trip to DC). Here are some pictures I took:


FDR Memorial (which is a whole bunch bigger than just
this statue. I was very impressed with it).
Hubby and Daughter across from the
Washington Monument
MLK Jr Memorial
(If you look near his head, you'll see the moon!)
Lincoln Memorial as seen from the WWII Memorial
(which I apparently forgot to take pictures of??).
Washington Monument from the WWII Memorial

I’m also crocheting again. Almost finished with the baby blanket I plan on donating to the Literary Love convention in Savannah for raffle next year. I made it because I wanted to see how it turned out. And it’s turning out really nice. I’ll post a picture when I finish.

That’s all I have for now. I may be getting lazy in my reading and blogging, but at least I’m still getting my writing done. Problem is: I should be revising Finding the Perfect Mate instead of writing Ghostly Protector.

What a problem to have though, right?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Reading Update

Went to a concert last night. Saw ZZ Top with Cheap Trick and some other act. The first act was fine. ZZ Top (the last act) was good. But Cheap Trick? What the heck happened to them? They were so stinkin’ loud I couldn’t understand the music or the words. It hurt my ears (so much so, I covered them with my fingers). I saw them last year (or maybe the year before) and don’t remember them being that bad. Made me wonder if ZZ Top was going to be the same. Glad they weren’t!

Here’s what I read this week:

Book #41

Dates read: August 25-28
Title: A Discovery of Witches
Year of publication: 2011
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  All Souls Trilogy #1
# of Pages: 579
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Library
Blurb from Goodreads: Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries—and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: After reading 107 pages of this, I could no longer go on. It started out in first person, and I was okay with that. It is an urban fantasy and something I expect in that. Then it got to HIS point of view. Third person. And I might have been okay with that, too, except when he was with someone else. The head hopping every paragraph just got too distracting for me to continue reading. And then I found out it ends on a cliff hanger! 579 pages and it couldn’t end? No thank you. I’m so glad I didn’t waste my money on this and got it from the library. But I am counting it as a book read because I read 100 pages of it!

Book #42

Dates read: August 28-September 6
Title: You Belong to Me
Year of publication: 2017 (originally released in 2006)
Author: Patricia Sargeant
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 238
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Science fiction author Nicole Collins is delighted when she learns her first book will be made into a movie by Celestial Productions—until she finds out who owns the company: Malcolm Bryant, her ex-husband. Nicole still loves him, but she fears Malcolm is the same man who crumbles in the face of adversity. And then there are those threatening letters…
    Somewhere out there is a deranged fan, one who has adopted Nicole’s characters as his own family—and he’s not about to see his loved ones distorted by the camera lens. Nicole’s life is in danger. With a killer closing in, the only person who may be able to save Nicole is Malcolm—the man she so desperately hopes will finally make a stand.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.Deeddd
My thoughts: The story was okay. I kind of figured who the culprit was pretty early on, though.

Sometimes I think maybe I’m getting too old for concerts. My ears just can’t stand the loudness of it all. But then I feel sad thinking I may never go to another concert. ZZ Top was the last one for us this season. Guess we’ll see what we buy next year, huh? Do you like to attend concerts or do you prefer to listen to the music in your home?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pictures from Dragon Con 2019

Meant to post this on Monday, but I ended up going to a concert I forgot I had tickets for (B-52s, OMD, and Berlin) and then I watched the last few minutes of the Steelers game (UGH). That doesn't mean I would have posted this on Monday, though. I would have had to download the pictures from my iPhone (which I didn't do until Monday afternoon). In any case, I have pictures to show you now.

And there aren't a lot because I suck at remembering! Or I was in line and the awesome cosplayers were walking past too fast to say, "Hey, can I take your picture?" Not to mention, it would have caused a major traffic jam and I wasn't about to do that.

I know, excuses. I'm really good at them, aren't I?

First, I'm going to start with the two pictures I paid to have taken.

Any Doctor Who fans here? If so, you should recognize Martha and the Doctor (#10). If not, well... in order (left to right) is: a friend, Freema Agyeman, ME, Daughter, David Tennant, and another friend. FYI: I bought that Doctor Who shirt just for this occasion!!

My other photo op was with William Shatner. I decided I wouldn't get another chance at this and pretty much told Hubby he was going with me. I think the picture turned out great. I'm getting it framed.

Next, pictures I actually took.
While standing in line for David Tennant, I spotted these X-Men (or would that be X-Women?).

Same line also included Mary Poppins and Bert!

While standing in line to see Doctor companions Donna (Catherine Tate) and Martha (Freema Agyeman), I came across this guy dressed as the sixth doctor. I only started with #9, so I can only assume he's dressed accordingly. He certainly looked colorful!

While standing in line to see Zachary Levi (who is awesome, by the way), this woman was behind me. Said she was a princess in Pokémon. I just thought the costume was great. A lot of people stopped to take her photo.

The next two shots are pictures taken during our fire alarm. Yep, the Sheraton (the host hotel we stayed at), had a minor fire. Seems the speaker during the Aly & AJ concert caught on fire after they turned it up. Nothing like a little excitement during our Dragon Con, huh? I really don't think everyone inside the hotel evacuated, either. Good thing it wasn't serious!!



Anyway, that's it (told you it wasn't much). I'll be back tomorrow to post what I read.


Stacy


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I’m On the Road Again

On the road again… I can hear the song in my head, can’t you? And yes, I am on the road again. This time we’re headed to Atlanta and … DRAGON CON!! And this year they decided to actually start the activities on Thursday instead of Friday. Used to be minor stuff was set up for us early-birds, but more and more people show up early, that they decided to extend the fun! Whoo hoo!

I will do my best to take pictures this year, but my brain has to be working that way for me to automatically pull out my phone. It still hasn’t gotten on board with that. With anything picture-wise.

I go to my family reunion. Do I take pictures? Of course not!

I go to book conventions. Do I take pictures? Of course not!

It’s only after the events that I think, “Why didn’t I take any pictures?”

I think I’m hopeless.

Here’s what I read this week:

Book #40

Dates read: August 19-24
Title: Blood Truth
Year of publication: 2019
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  Black Dagger Legacy #4
# of Pages: 400
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: As a trainee in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s program, Boone has triumphed as a soldier and now fights side by side with the Brothers. Following his sire’s unexpected death, he is taken off rotation against his protests—and finds himself working with Butch O’Neal, former homicide cop, to catch a serial killer: someone is targeting females of the species at a live-action role-play club. When the Brotherhood is called in to help, Boone insists on being a part of the effort—and the last thing he expects is to meet an enticing, mysterious female … who changes his life forever.
    Ever since her sister was murdered at the club, Helania has been committed to finding the killer, no matter the danger she faces. When she crosses paths with Boone, she doesn’t know whether to trust him—and then she has no choice. As she herself becomes a target, and someone close to the Brotherhood is identified as the prime suspect, the two must work together to solve the mystery before it’s too late. Will a madman come between the lovers, or will true love and goodness triumph over a very mortal evil?
My thoughts: I love this series. Love this world. Love the characters! I just can’t get enough.

So… Does your brain go bye-bye whenever you should be doing something and you don’t? Or is that just me?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I Started Walking … Again

I don’t know how many times I’ve STARTED my walking regime. I was doing okay in May and June and then … Ooops. Yeah, it’s been hot, but still, I need to walk. It’s in my best interest to walk. And I hate being out of shape.

So yeah, I started … again. Just this past Monday. And I’m back to posting about it on Facebook. I’m hoping THAT will keep me motivated to walk. At least Monday-Friday. I won’t promise anything on the weekends, but that doesn’t mean I won’t TRY.

Now, can it be a little cooler outside? Maybe less humid? That would be nice.

Here’s what I read this week:

Book #38

Dates read: August 9-13
Title: The Forbidden Door
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Suspense thriller
Series:  Jane Hawk #4
# of Pages: 434
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive, a happily married woman before becoming a devastated widow. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stand between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.
    But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden … for now. As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.
My thoughts: The best decision I made was waiting until Book 5 was out before reading Book 4. Man, what a ride. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

Book #39

Dates read: August 14-18
Title: The Night Window
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Suspense thriller
Series:  Jane Hawk #5
# of Pages: 417
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: A visionary young filmmaker hunted for sport across a vast Colorado ranch by the celebrated billionaire at the heart of a monstrous cabal…
    A brilliant computer hacker slipping through top-secret databases as whisper ahead of security trackers, gathering the facts to fight the all-powerful perpetrators of mass murder…
    A pair of brutal operators, methodically shadowing their targets with every cutting-edge tool in the arsenal of today’s surveillance state…
    A sequence of quiet heroes—everyday citizens—stepping up, stepping forward, intent on countering the advancing darkness…
    A Vegas mob boss teamed with a homicidal sociopath, circling a beloved boy and his protectors, aiming to secure him as leverage against his fugitive mother…
    And that fugitive mother herself, ex-agent Jane Hawk, closing in on the malevolent architects of ruin she has stalked as they stalk her, prepared to sacrifice herself to finally bring them down.
My thoughts: Whoo boy, what a finale. A very tense, suspenseful series. Horrific, too. Scary how easily I could see it happen. **shiver**

Every time I think I’m getting caught up in my reading, I’m still 17 books behind in my goal. STILL! I guess it’s better than 18, huh? I did get a lot of reading done during our trip to and from NJ this past weekend (the reunion was a blast, by the way!). But I’m also crocheting some coasters to give away at next year’s Literary Love convention (yep, I signed up for next year already, that’s how much fun I had). Figure it doesn’t cost me anything to make as I’m using up old yarn and I’m using up old yarn! That’s always a bonus. The coasters are turning out pretty neat, too. I’ll try and get some pictures taken later on (when I have a bunch to show). I’ve only got seven done so far.

So… Do you like to craft stuff? What’s your favorite? And do you start and stop your exercise routine? If not, how do you keep with it (provided you exercise, that is)?

Happy Reading!

Stacy
P.S. So far I haven't needed to push the button on my heart monitor and I've been wearing it a week! And it's still on (I think I'm more surprised at that). It comes off on Monday. Boy, will I be glad to get rid of it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I'm Wearing a Heart Monitor

You know, you tell your cardiologist that you might have felt some fluttering in your chest since you last saw her six months ago and the next thing you know, you’re wearing a heart monitor.

This thing is itchy. I wasn’t expecting that. But then it’s taped on, so why wouldn’t it itch, right? And it’s bigger than I thought. I’m supposed to wear it for 14 days (if it stays on that long—I’ve been warned it might come off before then) and push the device if I feel anything … different. Considering the differences I feel every now and then are not all that frequent, I’m wondering if I’ll push it at all. But we shall see.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #37

Dates read: August 5-8
Title: The Fractured
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: Suspense thriller
Series:  Jonathan Quinn #12
# of Pages: 351
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Jonathan Quinn has had better years… But now most of the trouble is behind him, if not forgotten.
    There is one issue that remains unresolved—the break between him and his partner, Nate. Quinn has come to accept the only potential path to healing the wound is via the passage of time.
    The secret world has other ideas.
    Quinn and his girlfriend, Orlando, are hired for a new mission, but they must include on their team the operative who is one of the few to have ever seen the face of the job’s target. This operative is unknown to the client, but not to Quinn and Orlando.
    Now, to stop a plan that could slaughter tens of thousands of people, they must turn to the one person who wants nothing to do with them.
    If they can even find him in time.
My thoughts: It’s always a joy to return to Quinn’s world. And I hated putting this book down (but of course, you know, I have other things I have to do, like…write). If you’re looking for a good suspense thriller series, start this one at the beginning. You won’t be disappointed. It’s one of my favorite series.

My only qualm with Brett Battles is that his books show up on Amazon first and I have to wait for the paperback to appear on Barnes & Noble. I was notified last month that his latest Quinn book (The Damaged) was released when I realized I never got the one before that (The Fractured). I’m sure I had forgotten about it after searching a few times. So I made sure to save the latest e-mail to remind me to search B&N for the newest book until it shows up and I can purchase it. And it’s a good thing I don’t normally read on my Nook, or I’d never be able to read this series again. That’s how much I refuse to buy books from Amazon. Even when the books are written by one of my favorite authors.

Last weekend we went to Nashville to watch Daughter play Footy on Saturday. Both the women and men lost to the Nashville teams, and it was a stinkin’ hot day, but we had fun. Hubby and I got to sit in the shade at least (no sunburn for us!) and root for Columbus. What we don’t do for our kids, huh?

So… Did you know Dragon Con is only 15 days away? Fun fun! Maybe one of these days I can go as a guest. But I think I need to either sell more books or write more books before my application gets notice. And since I can only control the writing portion, I guess I better get to it, huh?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Wednesday Reads and Weekend Trips

When August rolls around, it seems our weekend trips pick up. We can thank Daughter’s footy team for part of it, I suppose. An unanticipated trip (well, unanticipated on our part, she knew about it and said she put it on our calendar) is because of an away game.

This weekend we’ll be in Nashville watching her play. Thank goodness it’s only a five-hour drive, so we don’t have to leave until Saturday morning (her game is at 3). The following weekend is my family reunion in New Jersey (a longer trip, so we’ll leave on Friday). I’m looking forward to seeing all my cousins again (the ones on my father’s side—he had four sisters and one brother, so lots of cousins!).

We get a little reprieve as the weekend after that is free, but then on the 28th we leave for Dragon Con! This will be my tenth year!! I see some photo opportunities this year (David Tennant for one) and lots of fun ahead.

What a busy month. Sure hope I get some extra reading done (like, maybe in the car when I’m not the one driving). I’m so far behind on my reading goal.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #36

Dates read: July 26-August 4
Title: Shadow Game
Year of publication: 2003
Author: Christine Feehan
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  GhostWalkers #1
# of Pages: 323
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: The classified experiment is the brainchild of renowned scientist Peter Whitney and his brilliant daughter, Lily. Created to enhance the psychic abilities of an elite squadron, it can transform their natural mental powers into a unique military weapon. But something has gone wrong. In the isolated underground labs, the men have been dying—victims of bizarre accidents. Captain Ryland Miller knows he is next. When Dr Whitney himself is murdered, Ryland has only one person left to trust: the beautiful Lily. Possessed of an uncanny sixth sense herself, Lily shares Ryland’s every new fear, every betrayal, every growing suspicion, and every passionate beat of the heart. Together, they will be drawn deeper into the labyrinth of her father’s past…and closer to a secret that someone would kill to keep hidden.
My thoughts: I almost did not finish this book a few times. It was torture for me to read. The story was interesting, but the head hopping was annoying. It was so bad that I couldn’t really get into either character. I don’t know if this will keep me from reading any more of her books, but I’m not going to bother with this particular series. Maybe her newer stuff isn’t so annoying? I don’t know. I hear such good stuff about her books, but it’ll be awhile before I chance another one.

So… What are you reading now? Anything good? I’m reading a good one now. Know how I can tell? I don’t want to put it down (and I was half-way through it in the first day of reading it).  

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wednesday Reads and a Duck Update

Ducks are not graceful fliers. And their landings? Almost comical. But they sure do like black sunflower seeds. We’ve had up to 24 ducks milling around the bird feeder, foraging for droppings (which the smaller birds oblige). We’re the popular spot, I suppose. And it’s so great. We love seeing all the ducks. But now the Canadian geese want in on the action.

They’re messy, though. Hubby has already complained about the droppings they’re leaving on our patio. But it’s not like he can control them. Well, unless he stopped filling the feeders and he’s not about to do that. That would make the other birds sad. Especially the ducks. They have gotten spoiled.

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #35

Dates read: July 16-24
Title: Shadow and Ice
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  Gods of War #1
# of Pages: 480
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Knox of Iviland, the most ruthless warrior in All War history, has spent his life fighting others to the death, winning new realms for his king. Now the stakes are higher than ever. If he prevails in the battle for Earth, his slave bands will be removed. Victory is his sole focus…until he meets her.
    On an arctic getaway with her foster sister, street tough but vulnerable Vale London is shocked to stumble upon a cave filled with ancient gods waging epic combat. When she is inadvertently drawn into their war, she is forced to team up with an unlikely ally—the sexy god who makes her burn with desire.
    Though Vale is his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can triumph, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.
My thoughts: Wow! Lots of action and sexy scenes in this book. And of course overall story is not finished, because it’s a series and there’s this war going on, so basically the war hasn’t ended yet, but it did have a satisfying ending, so all’s good. I guess I better see if Book 2 is out there (it is, but not available until September!!!) because yeah, I’m buying it. I’d never read anything by Gena Showalter before, but I really like this book and I want to read the rest of the series.

So… Do you enjoy watching birds? They are very interesting creatures. It’s a good thing I don’t let them distract me too much, though. I’d never get any writing done!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, July 29, 2019

Where Have I Been?

In case you were wondering where I went off to (because it’s been awhile since I last posted), I went to Savannah for the Literary Love: Authors Rock Savannah book convention.

And I had a lot of fun!

I even sold books! The most at any convention. I can’t tell you how shocked I was. These readers were awesome. I really do believe I’ll go back next year, especially if I can talk my friend in going with me (she loves these kinds of conventions).

Savannah was a lot of fun, too. Did so much walking! My FitBit probably wondered who stole it.

Last Tuesday, Hubby and I went up to Hilton Head Island and checked out the beach there. Wow. I can see why people like to stay there. Huge beach. Warm water. I thoroughly enjoyed walking up and down the coastline (and I made sure to wear my sunscreen). The wind off the water was lovely, but once we got away from the water, boy did we melt! I think it was in the 90s until Thursday, and by then I was staying inside, since the convention started.

But I’m home now (and posting late, because I couldn’t remember I wanted to post this on schedule—guess my brain is still on vacation) and it’s time to get back to writing. I haven’t done it in a week!

So…What have you been up to this past week? As you can see I didn’t even get a book read, that’s how much fun I was having!

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wednesday Reads, Happy Birthday to Me, and Release Day!

Tomorrow is my birthday. Oh, and tomorrow is also release day for Biting the Curse!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #34

Dates read: July 8-15
Title: Deadly, Calm, and Cold
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Susannah Sandlin
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  The Collectors #2
# of Pages: 270
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased from author
Blurb from book: How far will ordinary people go to protect their secrets? The Collectors’ games are as much about manipulating lives as finding lost treasure. Everyone is expendable as the ruthless C7 pushes people into gambling with their lives in order to find priceless objects lost to history.
    Samantha Crowe’s secrets could ruin her career, while Brody Parker’s could get him killed. They become pawns for two Collectors seeking Bad King John’s crown jewels, which disappeared in rural England back when Robin Hood roamed Nottingham. This time, however, the Collectors—a ruthless dotcom billionaire and a desperate London detective—might not be playing for the same team, leaving Sam and Brody trapped in the middle.
    One thing’s for sure: if either hopes to survive, Sam and Brody will have to find a way to overcome their distrust—and their growing attraction—in order to succeed on this winner-take-all treasure hunt.
My thoughts: I liked this one a lot more than the first book in the series. Probably because the first book didn’t really mention the C7 until near the end. This time it’s up front and so much more suspenseful. I liked Sam and Brody, too.  

Tomorrow is RELEASE DAY for Biting the Curse. Last chance to get it at $2.99, too. By Friday it’ll be at its regular price of $4.99. So far my advertising garnered around 20 pre-sales. That’s the best I’ve ever done (that I know of). Didn’t make my advertising money back, but I rarely ever do. I think I just need to get more books out there. And I’m working at it (slowly, but surely).
Here are the buy links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T8F7BYL/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/biting-the-curse-stacy-mckitrick/1132154386?ean=2940161328767

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/biting-the-curse

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/biting-the-curse/id1469527645

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/945106

On Thursday I turn 62. I start collecting Social Security in September (apparently I have to be 62 for a WHOLE month before I can claim it, and September is actually August’s payment). I’m taking a chance I won’t make $17,000 a year in book royalties. And if I do, well, I’ll have myself a happy dance and then worry about the consequences!

So… What age do you think you will retire? I don’t really consider myself retired, but in a way I am, since I don’t have to work if I don’t want to. Semi-retired, maybe? I doubt I’ll ever give up writing and selling books. It’s who I am now.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wednesday Reads and I'm Finished!!

I finished the first draft of Finding the Perfect Mate! Well, I sort of finished it yesterday. I still have to go over what I wrote yesterday because I always find stuff wrong the next day. Always. So I’m finished, but not officially finished. Does that make sense?

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #32

Dates read: July 2-6
Title: You Can’t Hide
Year of publication: 2006
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  Romantic Suspense #5
# of Pages: 497
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Terror has forever changed the life of psychiatrist Tess Ciccotelli. Someone is tormenting her patients, pushing them to commit suicide, and setting her up to take the blame. But Tess can’t break her oath to protect her patients’ privacy at all costs. Even when detective Aidan Reagan demands a list of everyone she’s treating. Even when the mounting danger threatens Tess herself.
    Aidan doesn’t like anyone who stalls his cases. Still, he can’t help but admire Tess’s fierce loyalty to her patients, especially when it becomes clear that a nameless, faceless enemy is set on destroying her career, her family, and, finally, Tess herself. As Aidan’s heart softens, the killer’s will hardens, and one thing becomes clear—the noose if tightening around Tess’s neck.
My thoughts: Wow. I did NOT see that end coming. And I had a lot of guesses, too (all wrong, of course). Nice meaty romantic suspense. I highly recommend her books.  

Book #33

Dates read: July 6-8
Title: The Friend Zone
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Abby Jimenez
Genre: Romantic comedy/Contemporary romance
Series:  N/A
# of Pages: 361
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Kristen Peterson doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.
    Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen—especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.
My thoughts: I followed the author before she became an author. She’s the owner of Nadia Cakes and became kind of viral after her geode cake became better known as vagina cake. It was hilarious on Facebook. She was hilarious. And then I found out she wrote a book. It wasn’t a surprise she got a publishing deal. She was FAMOUS! Then she got raving reviews. Well, I just had to see what it was all about. And wow! Am I glad I read this. It’s great. Made me laugh. Made me cry. It’s a great story. I did NOT want to put it down (and for the most part, I didn’t).

I can’t believe it only took 5 months to write Finding the Perfect Mate (my ninth book). I haven’t written a book that fast since 2012 (my fifth, and that book took 6 months to write). It’s a great feeling and very motivating. I kind of want to start on the next ghost book. And I may do that in a few days. But Finding the Perfect Mate will simmer until I get back from the convention later this month. And then it will be time for rewrites!

Tonight Hubby and I are going to see Sheryl Crow in concert. I loved her concerts (we’ve been to two), but was sad to see she had switched over to country. But she’s back now and I really liked her last album. Now I just gotta hope it doesn’t rain. The Fraze Pavilion isn’t covered (boo!).

So… Have you ever gone to a concert? Which one was a favorite of yours?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, July 8, 2019

A Workshop featuring Damon Suede!


Central Ohio Fiction Writers (a chapter of Romance Writers of America) is having a workshop in November featuring Damon Suede. I figure since I have this blog, I’d use it to help get the word out (in case there are any writers out there that just might be interested).

This is what Damon Suede will be talking about:

PART I: BRINGING YOUR A-GAME

Your A-Game explains the tools and rules of kickass genre marketing to let you make your best next move. He breaks down the tricks and traps facing all novelists so you can:

·       Build your personal brand into a professional force

·       Polish your public presence, online and in person

·       Reach your ideal market and access your fans

·       Raise each project to the next level

PART II: TROPES

Uses and abuses of form and formula in genre stories. Narrative patterns and recurring structures specific to certain subgenres. Trope history and evolution. Navigating the border between cliché and archetype.

And here are the details:

Location: The Dublin Rec Center, 5600 Post Road, Dublin, Ohio 43017
Fee: $75 for COFW members, $85 for non-members (price includes lunch)
When: Saturday, November 2, 2019, 9am-4pm

Sign up at the website www.cofwevents.org/workshop.

You can find out more about Damon Suede here: http://www.damonsuede.com/author.html

Space is limited! If you’re interested, don’t wait to register.

~~~~~

So… Did you watch the USA women win the World Cup Soccer? I don’t usually watch soccer, but I watched from the quarter-finals up. Exciting!  

Happy Monday!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wednesday Reads and Happy 4th of July!

Here’s what I finished reading this week:

Book #30

Dates read: June 25-29
Title: After Dark
Year of publication: 2000
Author: Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz)
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  Ghost Hunters #1
# of Pages: 332
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Life is tough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed para-archaeologist. Seriously stressed-out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work part-tie in Shrimpton’s House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn’t going well. Stuff keeps happening
    Take the dead body that she discovered in one of the sarcophagus exhibits. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn’t helping matters either. And that’s just today’s list of setbacks. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don’t really heat up until
After Dark.
My thoughts: This book was NOTHING like I thought it was going to be. I was looking for a ghost book (something similar to what I write). Not even close. I can’t even say that the things that are called ghosts are actual ghosts (or at least what we consider ghosts). This book is set in a futuristic time, on a planet we apparently populated a couple of hundred years before. Yet, everything is kind of old-fashioned (no space ships, no internet, no cell phones???) with some magic stuff thrown in. I enjoyed it okay, it was cute, but I won’t bother with the rest of the series.

 Book #31

Dates read: June 30-July 2
Title: Dirty Secrets
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series:  Romantic suspense #4.5
# of Pages: 130
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads: Emma Townsend is astonished when she comes across a love letter tucked away in an old high school year book, written by her once dear friend Chris Walker. Having never seen it until now, the letter has taken seventeen years to touch Emma’s heart. Now she’s determined to find Chris and maybe even get a second chance at romance.
    For Chris, now a college professor, seeing Emma again has brought back a flood of memories, rekindling a passion he thought was long gone. But in the shadows, someone is watching Emma and Chris, someone nursing revenge, and plunging Emma into a nightmare where no one can be trusted and every dirty little secret is sealed with a kiss.
My thoughts: Mmmm… A nice little romantic suspense to whet my appetite for a larger romantic suspense. I’m hooked on Karen Roses’s stories so I think I’ll read a few in a row now.

I am sooooo behind in my reading. Thirteen books behind schedule! But you know what? I don’t care. I always seem to panic around this time and then I manage to reach my goal. And I should do the same this time because you know why? I’ve got two cruises coming up this year! Getting my Nook stocked up for them, too. Even I have to admit it’s easier to carry around. I still don’t like them, but it’s better than lugging books around.

So… Got any plans for the 4th of July? Tonight we’ll be going to the Dragons game, which will feature fireworks. And then when we leave the park, we can enjoy Dayton’s fireworks. But tomorrow? Nope, not doing a darn thing (although Hubby does want to use the grill).

Happy Reading!

Stacy