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