Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Reading Update and Having Some Fun

On Monday, Hubby and I (along with our friends) went to the Columbus Zoo. I got my 10K steps in, but man, I think my feet were about to declare a mutiny. I walk 2-4 miles a day (or try to), but can’t stand on my feet for 4+ hours! But all in all, it was a beautiful day at the zoo and I did enjoy myself (just my feet didn’t).

On Tuesday, Hubby and I (along with the same friends) went to The Wilds (www.thewilds.org). This time my feet were okay because we toured the area in an open-air bus. Again, a beautiful day for such a tour, too. We really picked two great days weather-wise. And Hubby feels like he did SOMETHING during his vacation.

He’s still vacationing this week, but we have to figure out what we want to do on Thursday and Friday. Or rather, HE needs to figure it out. It’s his vacation!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #36


Dates read:
September 12-17
Title: The Jackal
Year of publication: 2020
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #5/Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp #1
# of Pages: 351
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Won from Goodreads Giveaway
Blurb from book: The location of the glymera’s notorious prison camp was lost after the raids. When a freak accident provides Nyx clues to where her sister may still be doing time, she becomes determined to find the secret subterranean labyrinth. Embarking on a journey under the earth, she learns a terrible truth—and meets a male who changes everything, forever.
    The Jackal has been in the camp for so long he cannot recall anything of the freedom he once knew. Trapped by circumstances out of his control, he helps Nyx because he cannot help himself. After she discovers what happened to her sister, getting her back out becomes a deadly mission for them both.
    United by a passion they can’t deny, they work together on an escape plan for Nyx—even though their destiny is to be forever apart. And as the Black Dagger Brotherhood is called upon for help, and Rhage discovers he has a half brother who’s falsely imprisoned, a devious warden plots the deaths of them all…even the Brothers. 
My thoughts: I didn’t read the blurb before reading the book and I’m glad. I was surprised about one little tidbit mentioned at the end of the blurb. This book captivated me just like all the others in this series. I just love this world.

Funny story when I learned I won this book from Goodreads. It was release day and I checked B&N to see if it was on sale (they usually are on release day). Nope. And I didn’t have a coupon, either, so I e-mailed my daughter (or so I thought) to get a copy at Walmart (figuring it would be cheaper there). THEN I saw the e-mail that I had won a copy. Whoo hoo! So I went to e-mail my daughter back “Nevermind” and realized I had sent the e-mail to someone else whose e-mail address is similar (I hit enter when it highlighted and hadn’t paid attention—apparently). So I still had to send the “Nevermind” e-mail, just for a different reason!

So…Do you have vacation yet to use this year? What are your plans?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Reading Update and Meeting with Writer Friends

On Monday I was able to attend an in-person plot group meeting with some writer friends. What joy! We met at a Panera Bread that has outdoor seating (gotta be safe!). Only four of us showed, but it was wonderful. I really missed talking books with people and they helped me a lot with my own (which is a mess). Plus, they’re my friends and it had been so long since I’d seen them. It was the boost I needed to get back to work, especially since I now have some ideas of what needs fixing.

Here’s what I read since my last update:


Book #35

Dates read: September 4-10
Title: My Bonny Heart
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Synclair Stafford
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Pirate’s Progeny, Book #1
# of Pages: 277
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: A treacherous past haunts ex-pirate Anne Bonny’s attempt at a fresh start. Rescued from a Port Royal jail, she’s forced to marry a prominent landowner to retain custody of her children. She vows no other man will ever dictate her life again. But the lord she is to wed is more tempting and infuriating than the devil himself.
    Addison Blackhurst agreed to wed a fellow merchant’s daughter, solidifying the expansion of his rice plantation and trading business. Not mentioned in the contract? A temperamental, out-of-control widow who is unlike any woman of his acquaintance, complete with not one, but three children. But from the beginning, he’s drawn to her wild spirit and seductive charms.
    Through Anne’s husband-repelling schemes—and Addison’s equal endeavors to ignore them—they find an exasperating, yet most fascinating attraction. When Anne’s past threatens her future, and Addision believes he’s lost her for good, only a pirate’s resolve can determine if love will prevail. 
My thoughts: This was a fun read. If you like historical romances NOT set in England, this will be a treat for you. I hadn’t realized until after reading it that Anne Bonny was a real person, and that no one knows what happened to her after giving birth in jail. This story COULD be a possibility.

In sports… The Rams and Steelers won their first games of the season. Yay! But the Vegas Golden Knights season has come to an end with their loss Monday night. My hockey watching days are now on hold until the next season starts, whenever that will be. I’m thinking there won’t be much of a break after the finals.

So… what has brought you joy lately?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Reading Update, Hockey, and Football

I’m still watching hockey. I like the Vegas Golden Knights because Marc Andre Fleury is on the team (he used to be the goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins—my favorite team). He’s not always playing goalie, but by this point I’ve just become a fan. So as long as they’re in the playoffs, I’m watching.

I think football starts up tomorrow. Hubby is looking forward to that. I may be, too. My Rams play on Sunday night. Steelers play on Monday night. So at least we’re able to watch those games at home. Not sure I want to go to a restaurant to watch games this year.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #34

Dates read: August 28 – September 3
Title: Break the Day
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Lara Adrian
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Midnight Breed #16
# of Pages: 260
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: After a shocking betrayal nearly killed him and the people he cares about the most, what Breed warrior Rafe wants more than anything is revenge against the insidious brotherhood called Opus Nostrum. But to achieve that goal, he must turn his back on the Order and infiltrate a dangerous gang with ties to Opus. Risking everything to redeem himself and carry out his deep-cover mission, Rafe will let nothing stand in his way—least of all his desire for one of the loyalists he should despise, a mysterious, dark-haired beauty named Devony Winters.
    But Devony has secrets of her own to protect, as well as a personal duty she will do anything to fulfill. And as a daywalker passing herself off as human to the gang she’s been embedded with for months, the last thing she needs is a dangerous former member of the Order unraveling all her hard work. Her plans depend on keeping Rafe at arm’s length, but if she surrenders to the dark need he stirs within her, it will be her heart that pays the ultimate price. 

My thoughts: Been awhile since I read the last book in this series and had no problems getting caught up in the characters (or even remembering who is who!). Great romance.

So… Are you watching sports on TV this year? Do you miss going to the games? High school football has started up, but only family members are allowed to attend (and I’m not so sure I’d go anyway). They used to broadcast the games on the radio, which is what we used when we were out of town, but the announcers aren’t allowed in the booth, so no radio, either. I can pay to watch via a streaming thing, but I don’t miss it THAT much.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Reading Update and August Walking Stats

August was a great month for walking. I walked 26 of the 31 days for a total of 73.71 miles. That averages out to 2.835 miles/day!

Although, I try really hard to walk at least 3 miles a day now. That’s the best way I can make my 10K steps a day. I’m really hoping I can continue as the weather cools, too. I need to keep this habit regardless of the temps. About the only thing that stops me is rain (or a morning appointment).

I prefer to walk in the morning before the sun gets too hot. But once the daily temps are lower than 80 (or the mornings are lower than 50), I might need to change my walks to the afternoon. Good thing I don’t have a job to worry about. I just need to get my body on board. And maybe my mind, too.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #33

Dates read: August 17-28
Title: Broken
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Deep Ops #3
# of Pages: 366
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: Former Navy SEAL Clarence Wolfe’s unit was taken out with a land mine. Injured and devastated, he hasn’t been quite right since. Worse, the tragedy was no accident. All Wolfe wants now is to take down the man responsible. In the meantime, he’s good with being the muscle for the Deep Ops team—and leading a steamy no-strings-attached personal life. Until one intriguing woman changes everything…
    Reporter Dana Mulberry is on a mission to avenge the death of a fellow journalist. She’s finally hot on a trail—right to a sex club—where she runs into…Wolfe? It seems both their leads have led to the same spot. To keep from blowing their covers, they’ll have to at least pretend to have a little fun. Trouble is, they genuinely like each other. And that’s way too risky for Wolfe, especially when, to his surprise, Dana agrees…
    Drawn to each other in ways they can’t understand, Wolfe and Dana keep it professional—until they’re shot at one night. And when their adventures land them both at the heart of corruption in D.C.—and at odds in their missions—they’ll have to dig deeper than ever to succeed in their quests—and with each other… 
My thoughts: These characters are also in the first two books of this series and I knew they’d get their own book…eventually. Lots of action and suspense in this romance and I loved it.

Seems like a lot of changes are going on and I’m not enjoying them. Facebook is changing (hate the new format) and Blogger has changed. Or is in the process of changing again? I’m not sure. I switched over months ago (because I wanted people to be able to read my blog on a mobile device) and wasn’t having any problems, but now they did something to the posts. I used to be able to just copy and paste from Word and only have to tweak minor stuff. Now? I’m fixing major stuff. And adding tags to a post is a PAIN IN THE BUTT. I don’t like it. Then again, I’m not a fan of change so much. Especially when the old ways were working (and seem more efficient).

So… has anything irritated you lately?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Reading Update and No Jury Duty…for now!

I was soooooo happy to see that the trial I was assigned to was cancelled and I don’t have to report to jury duty. Whew. That’s good. Well… except I’m still on call, but they will contact ME if I’m needed this month. I don’t have to do anything else, like call them every three days for status. That’s nice, because I tend to forget to call!

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #32

Dates read: August 10-16
Title: Midnight Sun
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Twilight #5
# of Pages: 658
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from book: When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.
    This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger? 
My thoughts: I’m a huge Twilight fan (it’s what got me interested in writing my own books), so of course I bought this. I had read the beginning of this story when Meyer posted the leaked portion on her blog (way back in 2008) and was instantly hooked. So glad she finished it and I was able to read the rest. Now, will she do the same to the rest of the series? I don’t know, but I’d read them.

I’m officially off of quarantine now. Celebrated in a way—my daughter came over (I sure did miss her). But it’s also nice to know I’m in the clear and I didn’t get sick from the convention (no one did—yay!). So… see? It is possible to have fun and not get sick if you wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and keep your distance whenever possible.

Now I just have to wait and see if our December cruises are a go (we have two scheduled back-to-back, sailing out of Mobile, AL). I’d feel less worried if there was a viable treatment or vaccine, but frankly, I’d be surprised if any of the ports will be open if there isn’t a vaccine by then. Heck, would any island/country want USA visitors if we don’t have this disease under control? I highly doubt it.

So… Are you getting more or less read during this pandemic? I think I’m reading about the same, but then my life hasn’t changed all that much! I just don’t go out to eat anymore.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Reading Update and Updating a Computer

We’ve had a tower unit as our “home” computer what seems like…forever. It included a separate 750g drive AND a 750g backup drive. All were getting old. And bulky. We were looking to streamline and we needed to do it before the tower unit failed for good. Problem is, when you get a new computer (in this case, a laptop to replace that tower unit), it’s like starting all over getting software and files transferred over.

The worst? iTunes. I had music files all over the place, but when I opened the software, it only showed those songs purchased from iTunes. Nothing from the CDs I had uploaded over the years. Took me awhile to figure out where the music files should be stored, move the music over there, and how to get iTunes to recognize them. And then the OCD/Organized person in me took over. I wanted everything to be just right. To get all the compilation albums recognized as one album (instead of by the individual artist). To have all the covers showing (a lot of the albums didn’t show one). It took me a few weeks (and a lot of copying of album covers from Amazon or Google) and now it’s nice and pretty. I even managed to upload some new CDs I’ve been wanting to upload for awhile now (but not on the old tower unit). I was happy to see everything working.

Well… except I had lost all my playlists. What a bummer. I’m almost afraid to link my iPhone up to update my playlist. Will it delete/replace what I have on my phone or add the new one? I only have one playlist on my phone. Will it recognize more than one? Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

I do know that I can no longer link my iPod Classic to iTunes (iTunes doesn’t recognize the device anymore), which is a bummer. I like my iPod Classic. It still works. I just can’t add new music to it. Doesn’t seem right. What’s wrong with making sure the new software can work with the old devices?

As for the computer, I’m still getting files off the two separate drives (like pictures I thought had been lost!). After I’m done, Hubby will go over the drives and then he plans on reformatting them. We’ll probably use them as backup drives (provided they’re still good).

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #31

Dates read: August 3-6
Title: No Way Out
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #16.5 (novella)
# of Pages: 123
Paper or plastic: e-book for Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. Nine years ago, mercenary Kane Rogan and photojournalist Siobhan Walsh risked their lives to rescue Hestia Juarez, a thirteen-year-old girl being forced to marry a much older man to expand her father’s crime family. Her enraged father has never forgotten.
    Now, Kane and Siobhan are finally getting married. They only invited a few people—including FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid and her husband Sean Rogan—to celebrate. When Sean and Kane go missing the day before the wedding, Lucy must put her fear aside and work the case. Because someone believes that Siobhan knows where Hestia is … and will do anything or kill anyone to make her tell the truth. 
My thoughts: Lots of suspense packed into this novella. Whew!

So… When was the last time you had to update a computer? Was it an easy process or were you ready to pull your hair after you finished?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Reading Update and I’m Self-Quarantining

Last Tuesday, Hubby and I drove to Savannah. We came home Sunday. Now we’re doing the self-quarantining thing. If all goes well, I’ll be able to go out again right around the time I’m supposed to have jury duty (provided the trial is a go). Perfect timing, huh?

But you’re probably wondering what I went to Savannah for. Well, I went to the Literary Love Book convention. There were about 100 of us, masks were required for EVERYTHING, and we did our best to keep our distance from one another. Of course, that wasn’t possible all the time, but that’s why we wore masks.

I had a good time. It was nice to interact with people (authors and readers) again. I’m hoping all the safety measures that we took were enough. I’d hate to think they weren’t. I may never go to another convention if that’s the case.

Frankly, I’m more afraid of attending jury duty than I was attending the convention. I just can’t see how I’ll be able to social distance in a court room, and I can’t imagine the room is all that big, either. So I’m crossing my fingers that the trial is cancelled or postponed.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #29

Dates read: July 20-31
Title: Fallen
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Deep Ops #3
# of Pages: 347
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. A talented hacker who got caught, Brigid Banaghan is now forced to work with a secret Deep Ops unit. But she won’t reveal any more to these renegade Feds than she has to. Especially not to Raider Tanaka, her control freak of a bodyguard and handler. It’s enough that his body is tensed for action and his heated gaze is always on her…
    Raider knows there’s more to his new assignment than he’s been told. Why send a deadly agent of his experience to guard a computer genius—even a gorgeous, unpredictable, undisciplined one? But when Brigid’s estranged father is named in an investigation into Boston’s organized crime, Raider’s mind switches onto high alert, just like his senses…
    To clear her father’s name, Brigid needs Raider’s help. The Unit’s idea that she bring a straight-laced Fed in as her “fiancĂ©” won’t fly, though—not unless Raider can release his inner bad boy and become the rebel Brigid can’t resist…
My thoughts: I liked this book—the suspense, the romance—but I can see which couples will be featured in future books. I don’t know if I like that part or not. Raider did tend to be a bit more of an alpha man than I like, but he wasn’t mean, so that helped. For me.

Book #30

Dates read: August 1-2
Title: Storm Warning
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #14.5 (novella)
# of Pages: 108
Paper or plastic: e-book for Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Goodreads:. FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid and her colleague Nate are racing a hurricane, but the storm is the least of their worries...
    Lucy and Nate head to rural Texas in order to take an FBI Most Wanted armed robber into custody. When they reach the jail hours from San Antonio, the local cops ask them to transport another prisoner, too, since the transfer location is on their way. With the hurricane keeping everyone busy, Lucy and Nate don’t have much of a choice but to help out.
    When the two prisoners stage an escape and take a child hostage on their way, Lucy and Nate must try to rescue the boy and survive the storm, without letting these violent criminals get away
My thoughts: Nice, quick read with characters I enjoy reading about. Nice little suspense, too.

So… have you had to self-quarantine during this pandemic? I really hope neither of us get this dreaded disease. My daughter is apt to kill us if we do! Okay, not kill. But she’ll definitely scorn us or something evil like that.

And if we manage to not get COVID, I’ll be a lot less nervous going to a restaurant. They really are doing their best to keep everything sanitized. Their business depends on it.

Happy Reading!

Stacy


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reading Update and Publishing Decisions


What do you do when a series isn’t selling? I have six books in my vampire series. The latest was released on April 1 to lackluster sales. I started advertising on Amazon (took a class in April that showed me how to create low bid ads). Sales have increased on book 1 (yay!), but unfortunately I’m spending more than I’m bringing in. It’s not a huge loss ($20-30/month), but not exactly the profit I had hoped for.

I was told that my series is probably perfect for Kindle Unlimited (vampire romance does well there, I guess). But I would make less per book based on what they pay for pages read vs the royalties I get on the selling price. Of course, I have to SELL the books, right?

I’m really wondering whether I should even bother writing more books in this series. If I decide to stop, then it might not matter if they’re sold wide. Right? Luckily, this isn’t a decision I need to make anytime soon. And I may wait at least until the last book has been out a year. If my advertising loss becomes too pricy, I can always stop the ads. Right now I’m still acting on hope. Hope that the series takes off. Thing is, it takes time to get recognized. And I have to advertise to get recognized.

This publishing business sure can be frustrating.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #28
Dates read: July 12-19
Title: Cut and Run
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Suspense
Series: Lucy Kincaid #16
# of Pages: 432
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid is dead-set on solving a cold case—even if the original investigators stonewall her every step of the way. A violent storm has uncovered the remains of a family that authorities assumed fled the country years ago to avoid prosecution. But the boy of the youngest Albright son never turned up. If the child is dead, why wasn’t his body found with his parents? If he’s alive, where has he been…and what does he know? Now Lucy and her partner Nate must reconstruct an old crime to find a missing child in the present day.
    Meanwhile, investigative reporter Maxine Revere is called to San Antonio. A confessed killer of a young woman named Victoria has recanted his statement, which opens the door to a whole new world of secrets and betrayal. Max hires Sean Rogan, Lucy’s husband and seasoned PI, to help. The discovery that Victoria might be connected to the Albright family leads Max, Sean, and Lucy to the darkest corridors of corporate crime. But how can they untangle their complex web to find justice for the victims…and the killer in their midst?
My thoughts: This series is beyond being romantic suspense (but it is how Lucy and Sean started). Doesn’t matter much to me, though. I enjoy these characters so much.

It’s probably a good thing I stalled on writing the 7th book in the vampire series. But I really need to work on something new (besides revising the next ghost book). Yesterday I might have gotten an idea for another ghost book. But I really need to get book 3 in the ghost series done and published. Apparently my ghost series is selling better than my vampire series. See? There’s still hope I’ll make a profit at this gig!

So... What are you reading? Anything good?

Happy Reading!
Stacy

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Reading Update, an Injury, and an Online Class


Well… my walking came to a stand-still (haha, see what I did there?). I apparently pushed myself too far and pulled something in my hip area. I’m resting it and using Arnica cream to help with the pain (it’s working). Of course, the last couple of mornings have been wonderfully cool and dry and I couldn’t go out and enjoy it. Not the way I wanted to, anyway.

I wish I knew what I did. I don’t walk THAT fast! And I stretch after every walk, too (have to or I’ll get cramps and that’s no fun!). So hopefully later this week I’ll give walking another try (slowly and not as far). But then the humidity is due back, too. Figures, huh?

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #27
Dates read: July 6 – 12
Title: Inherit Truth
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Alicia Anthony
Genre: Psychic Suspense
Series: Blood Secrets #1
# of Pages: 302
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. When Liv Sullivan’s dead grandmother beckons for help from beyond the grave, the reluctant psychic is forced back to her small Ohio hometown. Scrambling to make sense of her grandmother’s legacy, Liv finds herself face to face with undercover Agent Ridge McCaffrey.
     Assigned to protect the woman whose gifts unnerve him, all for a covert psychic intelligence operation he doesn’t understand, Ridge struggles to place duty over desire. But when a body is found at Sullivan Farm and Liv’s allegiance is called into question, Ridge’s mission becomes clear.
    Can Liv unearth family secrets that are best left buried before the ghosts of her past destroy her dreams of a normal future?
My thoughts: I really thought my issue with this book would be because her point of view was written in first person and his was written in third (I really don’t like it when authors do that). Instead, my mistake was thinking this was a romantic suspense (I had to look up categories on Amazon after I read it to see where it fit). If I had gone into reading this with that information, maybe I wouldn’t have any problems. So if you’re looking for a romantic suspense, you won’t find it here because there is no HEA (happy ever after) or even a HFN (happy for now) at the end of this book. The story isn’t over, either. Yep. Cliffhanger. Big time, too. I’m not happy. So while I can’t recommend it to romance readers, suspense readers may enjoy this kind of series. Just make sure you have all three books to read before you start on the first because I’m guessing the second will also end with a cliffhanger.

For all you writers out there: My RWA chapter, COFW (Central Ohio Fiction Writers), is offering the following online class for the month of August (it’s all done in groups.io). You don’t have to write romance or belong to RWA to benefit.


This August, COFW is offering a class from Linnea Sinclair! CHARACTERIZATION: MAKING STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES WORK FOR YOU (or No More Mary Sues!)

Down with one-dimensional cartoon-like characters! Down with the two-dimensional ones, while we’re at it. Embrace your characters—warts and all—in this lively workshop with Bantam author Linnea Sinclair. Reviewers note that: “Her characters are intelligent, no-nonsense and have a depth that gives me an instant mental picture...” (Road to Romance Reviews) and “The author's sure hand with characterization makes each twist of this emotionally laden storyline as suspenseful as any well-wrought battle scene.” (Science Fiction Weekly)

Sinclair will help writers dialogue with their characters to bring out information that builds depth and uniqueness. She’ll also discuss the pros and cons of using archetypes, astrology and tarot to build story people.

About the instructor: Winner of the prestigious national book award, the RITA®, science fiction romance author Linnea Sinclair has become a name synonymous for high-action, emotionally intense, character-driven novels.

Sign up at cofwevents.org/classes. Price as follows: COFW Members, $25; RWA Members, $30; Non-members, $35.

This is a great deal and I can attest that Linnea’s classes are AWESOME. I’ve learned so much from her.

My birthday is Saturday (Happy Birthday to me!!!) and we’re meeting friends and family at a park for a picnic (keeping our distance and ordering takeout). We found a covered picnic area with plenty of seating, but with the temps forecasted for the low 90s, I hope we don’t melt. Although, if I melted off some fat, maybe I wouldn’t complain.

Happy Reading!
Stacy

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Reading Update and it’s HOT

Yesterday was the 7th straight day of 90+ degree weather. We’re expected to be in the 90s for the next three days, too. I like summer, but this is ridiculous!

Walking in the morning is almost unbearable. Thankfully there are shaded streets I can walk on. If not for that, I don’t know if I’d be able to walk as much. I’m back up to 3+ miles a day, now, too!

Shocker, huh?

Today I might not walk as far, though. I think my poor bones need a rest. But I hate breaking a streak (I’m up to 9 days), thus I’ll stick to 2 miles. Or less. We’ll see. Or rather, my bones will tell me when it’s enough.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #26

Dates read: June 26 – July 5
Title: Angels’ Blood
Year of publication: 2009
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Series: Guild Hunter #1
# of Pages: 339
Paper or plastic: Paperback
How obtained: Free from a convention.
Blurb from Book:. Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best—but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option—even if the task is impossible.
    Because this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.
    The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break…
My thoughts: This is not the type of paranormal romance I enjoy. The “hero” has too much power and control over the “heroine” for me to accept they could ever be equals (or that her love wasn’t being coerced). I’ve enjoyed other books by this author, but I won’t be reading any more of this series.

So… Dragon Con has officially cancelled this year. When the hotel offered to roll our reservation (and payment) to next year, we took it and figured we’d just lose out on our tickets to Dragon Con. But last week we were able to roll our tickets, too. So we did that before they cancelled, but I’m glad they were able to cancel. I can’t imagine what celebrities would have been there anyway.

Have any of your plans been cancelled or postponed? Kind of depressing, isn’t it? This year really sucks.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Reading Update and a Set Back

I was doing so well. Last Wednesday I walked almost 4 miles that day. I was on another walking streak. I was looking to blast my FitBit numbers something big! Then Wednesday night hit me.

I got sick.

I first thought dinner just didn’t agree with me. Hubby had eaten the same thing I did and he felt fine, though. Turned out to be much worse than that. I caught some kind of stomach bug (which is crazy since I don’t go anywhere). By 2am on Thursday I was exhausted and couldn’t take the trips to the bathroom anymore so I had Hubby take me to the ER on base. I was dehydrated, still nauseous and cramping, but they got some fluid in me and I was able to actually sleep (and keep water down and in!). But man, that bug really did a number on me. I’m still recovering!

At least it wasn’t COVID. On Monday and Tuesday I was able to go out and walk again. Not as far (only a little over a mile), but it’s a start…again. And I’m finally getting back to my revisions. Funny how you don’t feel like writing when your stomach is flipping and flopping and your head is hurting.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #25

Dates read: June 17-26
Title: Low Pressure
Year of publication: 2012
Author: Sandra Brown
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 500
Paper or plastic: Paperback
How obtained: I don’t remember. Could have been free.
Blurb from Book:. Bellamy Lyston was only twelve years old when her older sister, Susan, was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. A tornado destroyed the crime scene—along with Bellamy’s memory of what really happened. Now, eighteen years later, Bellamy has penned a bestselling novel based on Susan’s murder, and to protect her family, she published it under a pseudonym. But when Bellamy’s identity is exposed, she becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who is out for vengeance. In order to identify her stalker, Bellamy must confront the ghosts of her past, including Dent Carter, Susan’s wayward boyfriend—and an original suspect in the murder case. As Bellamy delves deeper into the mystery, she discovers elements of the crime that call into question the people she holds most dear. Though haunted by partial memories and conflicted over her feelings for Dent, she won’t stop until she reveals Susan’s killer. That is, unless her killer strikes first…
My thoughts: This was the first Sandra Brown book I’ve read and I enjoyed it very much. I’ll definitely read more of her books.

So… Does it sometimes feel like the recovery from an illness lasts longer than the illness? I sure hope I stay healthy the rest of the year. I’d like to stay active for more than a few weeks! It’s HARD to start a routine as it is. At least for me.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Reading Update, an Award, and I’m Walking!

Alex  J. Cavanaugh gave me this award on Monday. You can find it and the other awardees on his blog HERE. Thanks, Alex! You made my day.

I finally got back into a walking routine: do it first thing in the morning. I’ve done it seven days in a row so far (today will make eight) and I walked more than three miles yesterday (that was my goal for now). Thank goodness the weather has cooperated. I hope it lasts, or I get into the routine that I don’t care if it isn’t perfect out there. I really need to get back into some kind of shape. I hate feeling so…weak. My heart shouldn’t be racing when I’m walking from my car to my doctor appointment. And that was the SIGN for me to finally do something about it.

I had to do some major reading Tuesday so I had a book to post today. I know, what a chore, right? Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #24

Dates read: June 8-16
Title: Serpentine
Year of publication: 2018
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #26
# of Pages: 452
Paper or plastic: Paperback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita’s fellow U.S. Marshal and her best friend, Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it’s the first trip she gets to take with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…
    In this tropical paradise, Micah discovers a horrific new form of lyncanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.
    When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blowup within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel, and worse, her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless. Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places. Help that she will most certainly regret—if she survives at all that is…
My thoughts: Frankly, only fans of this series will enjoy this book. Too much repetition and ramblings, especially in the beginning, really slowed the pace. It picked up around page 300, but like I said, only the fans might have stuck around that long. And I am a fan. I went in knowing what I would probably find. I’ll keep reading this series because I want to know what’ll happen next.

So… has the weather been cooperating where you live? It’s been great here. Low humidity and cooler temps. That will all change this week as the high temps and humidity will return. But as long as I get up early to walk (like, at 6:30), it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. I hope.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Reading Update and Eating Out

Have you gone back to a restaurant yet? Actually sat down, ordered, and ate there? We haven’t. I was going to wait and see what the numbers were like after they’ve been open for a few weeks, but what with all the protesting and people not wearing masks, I fear those numbers will be completely skewed now. And not in a good way.

So I guess I’ll just wait a little longer.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #23

Dates read: May 29-June 7
Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Hunger Games #0
# of Pages: 517
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
    The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined—every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute…and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
My thoughts: I wasn’t sure what this book was going to be about when it was released, but since it had to do with the Hunger Games, I was all in to read it. It was an interesting story. There wasn’t much suspense for the character, since we all know who he is in the other books, but I became curious to see how he survived. If you enjoyed reading The Hunger Games, you will most likely enjoy this, too.  

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Reading Update and I was Supposed to Start my Vacation

Hubby and I were supposed to board a cruise today, but COVID-19 spoiled all that. It was going to be an awesome cruise, too. With stops to Iceland, Greenland, Scotland, Ireland, and ending in London. Then, we were to start the next leg of our vacation: a European land tour traveling through 9 countries. We would have been gone for a month.

I knew it was too good to be true. We’d never ever planned such an elaborate vacation before. It certainly makes me gun shy to try and schedule another. Because it sure is a pain in the you-know-what when you have to try and get your money back. Which we really didn’t get back. Oh, sure, we got credit for the cruise and land tour. The flight home, not so much. Luckily, credit for the cruise will be easy to use as we have some future cruises booked and not paid for yet. But that land tour? They do have tours in the US, but what if they go out of business? What if the cruise line goes out of business? It really is something to worry about.

Something we also worry about this year is our season tickets to the Dayton Dragons. We’ll really be surprised if they even have a season this year. Don’t know what that will mean for our tickets. Especially since I read that many minor league teams just might go under. I don’t know if Dayton is in danger of doing that, but who knows? I think right now I’ll be happy to have my tickets good for next year. Better than losing outright.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #22

Dates read: May 21-28
Title: A Taste of You
Year of publication: 2017
Author: Teri Anne Stanley
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Series: Bourbon Brothers #3
# of Pages: 216
Paper or plastic: Trade paperback
How obtained: Purchased from author
Blurb from Book:. Office supply addict Eve McGrath’s meticulously organized life is on the verge of crashing at her feet. Blue Mountain distillery’s new tasting and visitor center has to be finished pronto or her mother will lose her mind. Good thing Eve likes a challenge—which is exactly what she’ll face trying to convince the flaky contractor’s hot son to finish the job.
    Nick Baker is back in Kentucky just long enough to get his wayward dad back on his feet. Then he’s gone. Unfortunately, he can’t resist helping Eve, the sexy distiller-in-distress, whose addictive, bourbon-flavored kisses threaten his carefully constructed boundaries. And if he can’t rein himself in, the uncomfortable secrets of his past will nail him to the wall…
My thoughts: The author is a friend of mine, but that’s not why I read her books. I read her books because they’re fun. Lighthearted. And really good stories. I can count on Teri Anne to give me a laugh and make me go awww.

So… Did you have any vacation planned for this year? How about tickets to events? How’s that turning out for you?

Stacy

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Reading Update and a Giveaway

I’ve teamed up with 30+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Paranormal & Sci-Fi Romances to 2 lucky winners! And a grand prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader!



You can win my novel, Finding the Perfect Mate, plus books from authors like S.E. Smith and Ann Charles.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: bit.ly/SciFi-PNR-May2020

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #21

Dates read: May 12-20
Title: Revival
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 403
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing in the yard with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Reverend Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.
    Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that “revival” has many meanings.
My thoughts: This one is not one of my favorites. The story is told in first person, and when it starts I really have no idea what the book is about (because I don’t read the blurb, apparently). Half-way through the book, “revival” is first mentioned. I enjoyed reading it enough to want to figure out how it was going to end, but it does ramble on at times. Good thing I don’t mind Stephen King’s rambling, but this won’t be anything I will want to re-read.

As you can see, I’m building up my BookBub followers. Whether it does me any good… only time will tell. Same with my Amazon ads. I’m getting more sales (yay!), but losing money in the process (boo!). I’m just considering the money spent as gathering data. I need it in order to advertise efficiently. Of course, right now I’m hearing from the majority of clicks “love your cover, love your copy, but not interested.”  It’s probably not true. I could have been added to someone’s wishlist. But during this time, during this crisis, feeling depressed as it is, it’s where my mind goes. Probably a good thing I’m crocheting a lot right now. It gets my mind off of depressing things, especially when I’m watching a favorite movie doing it!

Happy Reading! And if you enter the giveaway—Good Luck!!

Stacy

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Reading Update and Keeping Busy

My writing has stalled (can’t figure out the main conflict), so I’ve been keeping busy with some crochet projects (and using up the yarn stash I have—finally). And when I crochet, I like to have the TV on with something I don’t have to give 100% of my attention to. So I’ve been watching lots of old movies. More than I have all of last year!

I’m still reading, too, because my fingers can only crochet so much a day. Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #20

Dates read: April 29 – May 10
Title: The Institute
Year of publication: 2019
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Series: N/A
# of Pages: 557
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at the Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and the youngest of them, ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduate to Back Half, “like the Roach Motel,” Kalisha says. “Kids check in, but they don’t check out.”
    In this most sinister of institutes, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.
My thoughts: Whoa. That’s all I got right now. Whoa. It has been awhile since I read a Stephen King book. This one sucked me in right away, too, and I can see me reading this one again. One of these days I just need to claim a reading season to be nothing but Stephen King and then re-read all the books I’ve been wanting to read again. Heck, it might be more than a season. It could possibly be a year!

Do you ever feel like binging a favorite author’s books, to re-read them, one after another? Or are you a one-and-done kind of reader?

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Short Story - Sam's Journal

So… I haven’t finished reading The Institute (which is good, by the way), so I have no books to report today. Instead, I thought I would share the short story I wrote for Book and Main Bites. I was directed to write from the POV of one of my characters in journal form about the first encounter with their love interest. I chose Sam from Biting the Curse.  

I also shared this story with my newsletter subscribers, so if you’ve seen this before, enjoy it again. If you haven’t, you’ll have to let me know what you think. I like it (yes, I’m biased, so what?) and hoped it would grab interested readers. I don’t think it did the job at Book and Main Bites (I didn’t notice sales increase in March), but it was fun to write. That’s all that matters, right?



Sam’s Journal



July 12

I, Sam Kincaid, nearly outed the vampire race—again. Actually, it can still happen.

I had a close call tonight. I couldn’t control the woman I’d fed from. Couldn’t erase her memories, either. Luckily I still had a brain and was able to talk my way out of that mess. I hope. But man, when we touched I actually felt warmth from her. Warmth! And her scent of peaches and cream came alive. I thought I’d been transported home. Back when I could eat real food. Back before I was turned into a vampire.

I nudged her for a kiss, or thought I had because she was into it as much as I was. When I took her sweet, sweet blood, I swear we both nearly came, it was so erotic. But when she screamed, and not the ecstasy kind, I realized I was hurting her. I had no control. She slapped me, too. No human has ever been able to slap me before. Hell, no human has ever had a reason to slap me. At least, I make sure they don’t have a reason.

I’m sad that I had to let her go, but a mortal who can’t be controlled is a dangerous mortal. But I couldn’t kill her, either, even though it’s practically the rule among vampires regarding anyone whose memories we can’t erase. But how could I kill someone who made me feel so … alive? Almost mortal?

I have a feeling it’s going to be a long time before I forget one Janie Robinson.



July 19

It’s been a week and I still can’t get Janie out of my head. Oh sure, I’ve been scouring the news outlets—especially the entertainment rags—to see if she claimed to have been bitten by a vampire. So far, nothing. So it looks like I’m in the clear. So why can’t I forget her?



August 22

It’s been over a month and I still haven’t washed the T-shirt I wore the night I met Janie. Her scent is nearly faded now, but still, can’t wash it. Won’t wear it, either. That sucker is stashed in a sealed baggie. I only open it when I need a whiff of her scent. Lately, I’ve needed lots of whiffs.

Why did I let her go?



July 12

It’s been a year and I still can’t get Janie out of my head. I even went back to that old gas station, hoping she’d stop by again. But nope. Just dumb luck I’d run into her the first time.

I wouldn’t mind having some more of that dumb luck.



July 12

Has it really been two years? I still have the T-shirt in the baggie. Her scent faded long ago, but for some reason washing it seems wrong. So does throwing it away. I should throw it away. I need to forget her.

I think I’m going crazy.



September 15

This is the worst day of my life. I lost the T-shirt! 3+ years of saving it and it’s gone! I’ve looked everywhere. This is what happens when a vampire moves. They lose stuff. Hopefully Vegas will get my mind off Janie (I’m a bartender here now). Not having the T-shirt anymore should help, too.

Maybe my subconscious lost it on purpose.

I hate my subconscious.



June 1

It’s been almost four years since I met Janie. Nine months since I lost the shirt. Nine months of getting over my obsession. Then the Committee posted an announcement on their website.

I can’t believe my eyes. Perfect Mates are real. First time I heard that story, it sounded like a stupid myth and I never gave it another thought. But to find out the story is real? That Perfect Mates exist?

Is Janie a Perfect Mate? Vampires can’t control Perfect Mates. I couldn’t control Janie. Perfect Mates smell like home. Janie smelled like peaches and cream, a scent I always associated with my old home. And the kicker? When a vampire touches a Perfect Mate they feel warmth! I felt warmth with Janie.

And I let her go!

Has she been thinking about me all this time like I’ve been thinking about her?

I need to find her. But how? I don’t dare ask another vampire to help. She’s mine! What am I gonna do?



June 2

Three vampires have found their Perfect Mate. Three! Would it have been four if I hadn’t let Janie go? John Pennington is one of the vampires. He lives in Dayton, Ohio, and owns a bar. I’m a bartender. Wonder if I can get a job, and some advice?

I need lots of advice. And I can trust him. He has his own Perfect Mate.



June 8

Perry contacted me about setting up a bachelor party for his friend, who is getting married in this crazy city on the 28th. Even invited me to the event. I was going to decline because I planned on going to Dayton then, until I found out which friend was getting married.

John Pennington.

Holy shit.



June 28

I have hope. For the first time in four years I have hope.

John said he’ll help me. That he’ll even keep this information from Perry. Because, let’s face it, Perry is determined to find his own Perfect Mate and no one could be more perfect than Janie Robinson.

Only thing, I had to promise not to interfere if she’s already married. John isn’t going to help break up a marriage.

Just the thought of her being married to someone else makes me on edge. She can’t have found someone else. All I think about is her. All I want is her. She has to feel the same way toward me.

Right?

But I agreed. I mean, I don’t want to ruin her life. I want her to be happy. I just hope she’s still single if, no, when I find her.

Because I will find her.

I have hope.



Read Sam and Janie’s story in Biting the Curse, Book 5 in the Bitten by Love series, which can be found at the following vendors:

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

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Stacy_McKitrick_Biting_the_Curse?id=rMaxDwAAQBAJ

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

FYI: There are no years listed in this short story because I write slow. Some of these events happened in A Vampire Wedding. While there are three years between that and Biting the Curse's release, only seven months had passed in that timeline.

Happy Reading!

Stacy

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Reading Update and I Started the Next Project

On Monday I finally came up with a decent title and on Tuesday, I started writing it. Yay! Book 7 of the Bitten by Love series (and my 11th book!) will be titled Embracing Her Vampire. I think coming up with the title helped make me figure out what my story will be about. Kind of important, don’t you think?

Yeah, I still have to revise Ghostly Protector, but I’m not ready for that, yet. I’m still learning about police officers/detectives (my hero character is one) and need to get that all sorted out before I start making changes. And then I still have to decide whether or not my heroine character is biracial. I pictured her that way, but I still have to figure out why I did and if it matters. I always seem to create myself problems (or rather, deep-thinking) when it comes to the ghostly books. So glad I don’t have those issues with the vampire ones.

Here’s what I read since my last update:

Book #18

Dates read: April 24-25
Title: Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide to the Kindle Store
Year of publication: 2018
Author: David Gaughran
Genre: Non-fiction
Series: NA
# of Pages: 52
Paper or plastic: Nook
How obtained: Free for signing up for newsletter
Blurb from Goodreads:. The author of Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible is back to reveal the inner machinations of the biggest bookstore in the world. By reading Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide To The Kindle Store, you will:
    *Learn what “visibility marketing” is and how factoring Amazon’s bookselling philosophy into your promotions can boost your sales;
    *Discover what goes into Sales Rank and dispel some remarkably common myths in the process;
    *Understand the critical differences between the Best Seller list and the Popularity list, and why that is important for marketing strategy.
    And you will get practical, actionable advice, turning all this new knowledge into marketing plans you can implement right away.

My thoughts:
I learned a little from this book. I’m trying to understand Amazon ads and this was a good overview of the Kindle store and how it works.

Book #19

Dates read: April 21-28
Title: A Bad Day for Sunshine
Year of publication: 2020
Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: Sunshine Vicram #1
# of Pages: 390
Paper or plastic: Hardback
How obtained: Purchased
Blurb from Book:. Del Sol, New Mexico, is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee—and now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus a kidnapped prize-winning rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.
    But even clouds have their silver linings. This one’s got Levi, Sunshine’s sexy, almost-old flame, and a fiery-hot U.S. Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol’s normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty—and find the kidnapper who’s terrorizing her beloved hometown—without falling head-over-high-heels in love…or worse?
My thoughts: While Darynda Jones is better known for her urban fantasy books, this one doesn’t have any paranormal/supernatural stuff going on. And I was okay with that. I enjoyed reading this (still has her wonderful humor). Just wish it hadn’t ended on a semi-cliffhanger. I understand it’s a series, but I still don’t like cliffhangers. Makes me feel like I didn’t get the whole book, ya know?

So… if you’re a writer, do you need a title before you can start writing? How about an outline? Thankfully, I don’t need one of those. I might try to come up with a blurb (or copy ad). That helps sometimes, too. But not an outline. I like the discovery of issues/conflicts as I write the story. That’s what makes writing fun for me. And if you’re not a writer, ever think about being one?

Happy Reading!

Stacy