Friday, December 6, 2019

Instagram Class (Online)

The last time my local RWA chapter held an online class, I didn’t mention it here and regretted that later. So, this time I’m listing all the classes as they occur (free advertising for my chapter!). You don’t have to be a member of my RWA Chapter or even RWA to register, either. Our January class looks to be super good, too (I already signed up).

Intro to Instagram by Alana Albertson, January 1-31, 2020


Four-week course with TWENTY classes! In this course, we will focus on how authors can use Instagram to grow their fan bases and sell more books.

  • Week 1: How to set up your Instagram to attract your ideal reader.
  • Week 2: How to gain followers and turn them into fans.
  • Week 3: Instagram Stories and IGTV
  • Week 4: Working with bookstagrammers and Instagram Ads.

There will be 20 lessons with instructor feedback and worksheets.

Alana Albertson is a Latina bestselling romance author (#3 in entire Amazon store) with over half a million views on her Se7en Deadly SEALs serial on Radish. She's the former President of Romance Writers of America's Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, and Chick Lit chapters. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, she lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and six rescue dogs. When she's not spending her time saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses™, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of Cobra Kai, Vida, Younger or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. Visit her website at authoralanaalbertson.com

Cost: $25 COFW, $30 RWA, $35 non-RWA

REGISTER AT: http://cofwevents.org/classes/january  



This is an online course and classes will be sent via groups.io e-mails. After you register and as we get closer to the start date of the class you will be sent an invite to the group.

So … Do you use Instagram? I have an account, but always forget to post my pictures there. Not that I take that many pictures to begin with. Seems like whenever I see something that would make a great picture, my phone is being used for something else or the opportunity went by too fast. My life story. J

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Reading Update and You Can Pre-Order Finding the Perfect Mate!

I really got brave this week. I listed Finding the Perfect Mate with a release date of April 1, 2020. The book is currently being edited, so I don’t think I’ll have any problem meeting that date. But I’ve never put a book out that early before. Gives me lots of time to advertise, I suppose. We’ll see how it goes.

And what’s a pre-order without the pre-order buy links?

Amazon          Barnes and Noble

Apple              Kobo

Goodreads

I haven’t set it up on Google Play yet because it appears they don’t allow pre-orders without uploading the book. I’m not ready to upload anything yet (heard too many horror stories of the wrong file being sent to customers), so it will be awhile before I set it up there. And the pre-order price is $2.99. After release day it will go up to $4.99. So better to pre-order than wait!

I added the Goodreads link in case you’d like to add it to your reading list. You do, don’t you? J

Last week, Author Voices asked if they could interview me. Me. Yeah, I was skeptical at first, but it appears they’re legit. On Monday, my interview went live. You can check it out HERE.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #49

Dates read: November 14-26
Title: Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend
Year of publication: 2018
Author: AE Jones
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  The Realm Book 2
# of Pages: 231
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book:. Aleksei Chesnokov is one busy demon. Between leading the immigration team to bring realm demons to earth and preparing to one day succeed his father as clan leader, his priorities and current project plans do not include finding a mate.
    When his clan is attacked by the very demons he’s trying to help, Aleksei must enlist the help of Naya, the leader of the realm guard. A strong, determined, frustrating female, she challenges his decisions and acts before she thinks.
    As they work together to stop an impending war, Aleksei is drawn to Naya and the world she protects. When she’s taken hostage, Aleksei will move earth and the realm to save her. Because with all his agendas, checklists, and timelines, the one thing Aleksei never planned to do was fall in love.
My thoughts: The first half of this book kind of repeated the story from the previous one, just in different points of view. And frankly, I didn’t like it. But once it got past the first book’s story, I became interested again. I hope the third doesn’t overlap as much, but seeing as that brother wasn’t in it all that much, I’m guessing it’ll be a completely different story. At least I hope so.

I had to erase a LOT of words from my current project yesterday. But I think I got it all straight now. At least I hope so. If I think positively, that should help. Right? If you celebrate, have a Happy Thanksgiving and try not to eat too much!

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Reading Update and Starting Over

It’s never a good feeling to start over. At least, not for me.

I realized I messed up something in Ghostly Protector when the ending was happening too soon and I hadn’t even really gotten started on the romance! Luckily my friends gave me some suggestions, but it still comes down to starting over. It’s not like I haven’t done that before. In fact, that’s what I did with the last ghost book, Ghostly Interlude.

Oh hell. Am I doomed to do that with all the books in this series? Gosh, I hope not!! Not fun. Not fun at all!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #48

Dates read: October 30-November 12
Title: Demons Will Be Demons
Year of publication: 2018
Author: AE Jones
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  The Realm Book 1
# of Pages: 223
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: 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. Misha Sokolov is one frustrated demon. While his professional life with the Bureau of Supernatural Relations is rewarding, his personal life is woefully lacking. His teammates Kyle and Jean Luc have found their mates (with his help, he might add). Was it too much to ask for his happy ever after?
    When Misha finally meets an amazing demon female who could be THE ONE, Fate conspires against him. With the escalating tensions between the earth and realm demons, and his newest case involving supernatural seven-year-old twins, he’s too busy for romance.
    Callie, a human female, can’t seem to convince her half-demon sons that using their powers in front of humans is a bad thing. The more time Misha spends with her, the more he realizes she’s keeping secrets. When these secrets jeopardize both her and her sons, Misha will stop at nothing to keep them safe.. Because instead of conspiring against him, Fate may have put a spunky, green-eyed woman and her incorrigible sons in his path for a reason.
My thoughts: This was cute and I enjoyed reading it. It’s a spinoff of another one of her series, but I wasn’t confused or anything, so a nice way to become introduced to this author. Although I purchased this series from the author when I met her a couple of months ago, I’m really glad I liked her writing and will have no problems reading the other two next.

So … when you discover you’ve messed up, are you gung ho in fixing it or do you get depressed looking at all the work laying ahead? I wish I was gung ho, but I will fix my story. After I’ve had time to sulk about it. The snow on the ground ain’t helping my mood any, either.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, November 11, 2019

Biting the Curse Is a Finalist!!


First off, Happy Veterans Day. If you served, thank you for your service. And if you’re like me, take advantage of a free meal somewhere. There are lots of restaurants treating veterans today. I plan on visiting a couple. Why not, right?

Last week I got some WONDERFUL news! My book, Biting the Curse, was a finalist in the Oklahoma Romance Writers International Digital Awards contest. I got a badge! Ain’t that cool?












A great review AND a finalist. I’m feeling really good about this book. Don’t know if I’ll enter it in as many contests as I did Ghostly Interlude, but I will definitely enter it in the Ritas (Romance Writers of America’s contest). Not that these contest actually help sell books. At least, not that I’ve been told. I guess I just feel the need to be recognized since I suck at advertising!


I’m hoping now that I’ve sent my next release, Finding the Perfect Mate, off to my beta reader I’ll be able to write more on the next ghost book. Of course, I think I screwed up somewhere. Good thing I meet with my plotting group tonight. I really need the help!!

I plan on revealing the cover to Finding the Perfect Mate in my next newsletter. Also plan on giving away some neat Buffy and Supernatural cards I picked up at Dragon Con last year. If that interests you, then sign up for my newsletter. The link is on the sidebar of this blog and at my website http://stacymckitrick.com.

So … Do you think awards help books? How about movies? I have to admit, I never planned on watching Rocky until it won the Oscar for Best Picture. And then it turned out I loved the movie. Go figure!

Happy Monday! And Happy Veterans Day!

Stacy

Friday, November 1, 2019

Vacation Pictures, Part II

Oh my! Yesterday was quite a Halloween. We went from 50s and rain to 30s and flurries. And the wind was brutal! I’m surprised we had as many trick-or-treaters that we did. Still way more than we ever got at our last residence on a good weather night!

I was still hoping for more, though (and would have gotten them if the weather cooperated), so yeah, I have lots of candy leftover.

But was October one crazy month or what? Started out breaking records in the 90s and ended on flurries. And I thought March was bad!

Good time to post pictures of Florida, right? To think the warm weather wasn’t all that long ago.


Can you see that little creature on the walkway? That's a gecko. There were bunches of them around the hotel we were staying at in Key West. Maybe he was waiting for the shuttle. :)

On this visit to Key West, we toured Ernest Hemmingway's house. His house was the first one to have a built-in pool. Not by his choice, though. That would be his ex-wife's.

Hemmingway's favorite bar was Sloppy Joe's (not the one that's there now). When it closed down, he decided to take one of the urinals and use it here as a fountain.

This is where Hemmingway did a lot of his writing. I could easily write in there, too. It was a very nice space.

One of the many six-toed cats roaming on the premises. They allow each female one litter before having them fixed. You can tell they are all well taken care of.

Chickens and roosters like to roam Key West, too. This one managed to sneak into the restaurant. The wait staff ran after it, squirting it with water to get it to leave!

I finally had a chance to wear my swimsuit (no, I don't have a picture of me in it) and make it to the beach. The water was so warm! We only spent about an hour out there (didn't want to get sunburned, and didn't!), but it was a wonderful hour.

One of the few houses I saw decorated for Halloween. They went a little crazy, didn't they?

After our stay in Key West, we headed up to Sarasota/Bradenton to watch Daughter play Footy in the the US Australian Football League Nationals. Her team won their last game and came in fifth place. In case you're wondering about the scoring, her team had 4 goals (6 points each) + 6 behinds (1 point each) = 30 points. The other team only had 3 behinds.

We've been to Sarasota before but had never visited the beach. We were told we needed to see the Siesta Key Beach. That it is considered the #1 beach in the U.S. So we made it out there just after sunset. Wow, were we impressed! The beach is HUGE!

And the sand! It was the softest sand I'd ever felt. Powder soft!

I would have liked to have seen the sun set, but this was pretty, too!

Oh, and while the sun set, the moon was rising. It was an absolutely lovely night. I hope Nationals are held there again. I'll make a point of going back to this beach during the day! In my swimsuit, even!


So … Can you believe it’s November already? I miss summer.

Happy Friday!

Stacy

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Reading Update and Happy Halloween!

Tomorrow is Halloween. Kids are trick-or-treating in the neighborhood here, then. The weather looks to be a bit wet. It was wet last year, too. Hopefully it won’t keep too many kids away. I’ve got a lot of candy to hand out!!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #47

Dates read: October 11-29
Title: Sorcerer’s Spin
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Anise Rae
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series:  Mayflower Mages #3
# of Pages: 329
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. The spectacles perched on sorceress Mara Rand’s nose declare her imperfect.
    Mage society prizes perfection.
    Though Mara bucks that expectation, it’s the mission of her company, Blue Light Mills, to help other mages who want to hide their deficiencies. She spins threads and weaves clothes embedded with spells that conceal their weaknesses. Her most powerful creation, a dress spun with the silk of the fairy spider, lands her in the dungeon, accused of harboring the ancient fairy spinning wheel prophesied to unravel the Republic. When a search of her factory proves fruitless, she’s tasked with a new mission: find the spinning wheel or die.
    As she travels on her quest, she is guarded by Gregor Whitman, an ex-army captain with powers and secrets of his own…ones that could shatter the tentative trust they build between them and send Mara to the gallows of a fairy’s prophecy.
My thoughts: Don’t let my lengthy read-time fool you. I enjoyed this book; I just lacked time to read it! I was going to add Book 4 to my B&N wish list, but sadly, it’s only on Kindle Unlimited (and I don’t do Kindles). I guess I should consider myself lucky I bought this when I did, because this book is no longer available on Nook, either. But if you’re a Kindle person and you like witches and fantasy, this is a very enjoyable book (series, too!). Full of action and adventure and romance. Can’t forget the romance!

So … Does your neighborhood celebrate Halloween on Halloween? Do you stay home and hand out candy? I’m just glad Hubby is home to help again this year. Last year we sat in the garage. I’m guessing we’ll be doing that again this year.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Monday, October 28, 2019

Vacation Pictures, Part I

Lookee there! I finally downloaded the pictures from my phone to my laptop (or would that be uploaded? I always get those mixed up).

And I realize I have so many pictures, I'm breaking them up in hopefully two parts. Today's pictures are from our cruise to Grand Turk and Bermuda.

So here we go!
 Hubby at Grand Turk. The water is really pretty!

Grand Turk isn't all lovely, though. A lot of it looks like this.

Even their lighthouse looks all rusted!

One thing you can find a lot of on Grand Turk: Donkeys. They aren't exactly friendly, either.

When we arrived at Bermuda, we were met with a beautiful rainbow! We ended up docking behind that ship.

See? I made it to Bermuda!

Some wall paintings. I really loved the color all over the island.


I was hoping to see one of those pink sand beaches. Apparently you only see the pink sand if you go into the water. I wasn't dressed to go wading, so I just took a picture of where you can find the pink sand (I did buy a small bottle of it, though).

Bermuda is kind of long and skinny, almost shaped like a comma. You can see our ship across the water.

The area where the boat was docked is an old fort. The buildings are really neat.



We had some issues with the cold water in our room (we didn't have any). Customer service gifted us with a bottle of wine. I did drink some. I still haven't found a wine I like.

On the Carnival Magic, they have this BBQ joint outside. It had some really good pulled pork! If you ever go on a Carnival ship and see one of these, you must try them. We had lunch there a couple of times. Good food!!

Since we're Platinum members (meaning we have more than 75 days (I think) of cruising), they put on a party for us and Diamond members (200 cruise days, I think). Free booze! Hubby discovered he likes Sex on the Beach (the orangey drink). I enjoyed the blue margarita.

If I haven't finished reading the book I'm currently reading, I'll post Part II on Wednesday. Otherwise, I'll try and remember to do it Friday.

We've been waiting for the Alaskan cruises to show up for 2021 (because our friends want to go there then) and Hubby's dream cruise (well, one of them), also popped up for 2021. It's a journey cruise from Seattle to Ft. Lauderdale, via the Panama Canal (it also stops in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Columbia), 17 days in September-October 2021. It really depends on when our friends want to go to Alaska. I'm steering them toward late May 2021 (it's cheaper, but yeah, a little colder) so we have a break between cruises.

But right now I'm concentrating on our next cruise in December to Hawaii!! 14 days! I'm really looking forward to that one. We sail out of San Diego, so we're arriving a few days early to go up to Santa Barbara to visit my mother. A must whenever I'm in the state.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Stacy


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Facebooking and Breast Cancer Awareness

Back in 2010, when I was just starting out with this writing gig, I knew about Facebook and Twitter. And I knew I didn’t want anything to do with them.

Ahhh, but then I wanted to be published. I was querying my book. I was told (by writer friends and published authors) I should be on one of those social media sites for any hope of being noticed. So I chose Facebook (I do have a Twitter account, just so no one else would grab my name in case I became a big-time author, but I don’t monitor it).

I don’t know if Facebook is working out so well for me book-wise, but that’s not the purpose of this post.

For the most part I enjoy Facebook, even though it can be a huge time suck. But there are some things that go on there that I just don’t get. Like what happened to me the other day.

A friend posted a status. Sure, she did it in a strange, vague kind of way, but I’m not exactly close friends with this person (although we have met), so I have no idea what her life is actually like. So I made a flippy comment (because she’s always humorous so felt no fear there).

Well, it seems I’ve been had. Because I commented, now I was supposed to post some stupid vague status and do the same to people who comment on that post. And get this…

It’s all for breast cancer awareness.

How the hell is punishing your friends for commenting on a post that has to do with nothing doing any good for breast cancer awareness??

And yes, I feel as though I was punished for commenting.

You want breast cancer awareness? Post about getting a mammogram.

Needless to say, I did not continue this “game.” You see, I actually want people to CONTINUE commenting on my posts. Not drive them away!

By the way, I did get my mammogram on Monday (along with my flu shot). Everything is still a-okay!! No more six-month follow ups. I’m back to annual mammograms!

Life is good.

No reading update today because I haven’t finished anything since last Wednesday. And no pictures of my vacation because I haven’t uploaded the photos to my laptop yet. Looks like I’m a real slacker, huh? But I’m not. I’m busy with my treasurer duties (of my local RWA chapter). I got sick and tired of paying QuickBooks, so I bought a new laptop for the chapter (yes, I was reimbursed) for pretty much what it would have cost for another year of the online version. The chapter owned a desktop version of QuickBooks (2010) and after much hair pulling and my son’s help, finally got it to work. So I’m now setting it up and entering data from the beginning of this year to make sure I’m doing it correctly. It’s kind of a time-suck because there is more work involved. But it’ll be sooooo much cheaper. And I’ll have written instructions for the next treasurer (because I can only be treasurer for two years in a row before they make me take a break). I don’t mind doing it because it isn’t all that hard and it’s kind of fun work (the accountant in me enjoys it anyways).

So … Did you get your flu shot? If not and you’re able, do it. Not for yourself, but for the people you love. You wouldn’t want to get them sick, now would you?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

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