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Tag: The Redheaded Stepchild

Go PORTRAIT, it’s your birthday!

Portrait of Woman in Ink is a year old today! Just a year ago I was feverishly promoting the initial release of my new book of short stories about women and their tattoos and trying to keep up with the buzz as my closest people supported my efforts. It’s been a good first year for Portrait of Woman in Ink, but there are many more good ones come! It’s like Christmas in July; even this guy popped by to wish Portrait a happy birthday…

To celebrate, I’m making the Kindle edition of my first book, The Redheaded Stepchild, free all damn week! Grab a copy if you don’t have one. If you have one, grab a copy anyway (um, they’re free) and gift it to someone you love or like just a little bit. When Portrait of Woman in Ink is a little older and wiser, it too can be given away for the low low price of free.

Spread the word, get my books (one a year old today and one free), and enjoy the swelter of summer! Have I told you people I love you lately? Well, I do.



Six Sentence Sunday 4/8/2012

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday! Today’s snippet comes from the “Hitchhike” vignette in my debut novel The Redheaded Stepchild.

Even in the blurry vision in front of me I could tell there was no wood paneling in this place. No ugly orange-pink flowers, no stiff brown shag carpet, no made-from-cardboard picture frames, no stacks of Lynyrd Skynyrd records, no made-from-pantyhose pillows, no Barbie dream houses made out of various shoe boxes with Tootsie Roll wrappers for doormats.  I bet Aunt Paulette never hitchhiked.

No, this was the real deal; this was what real city people lived like.  I decided that this was what I would have someday: a minivan with plush seats that drank the water from my soaking children’s bodies like a towel when I picked them up from the pool, a finished basement with a large orgy of brand name toys on the floor.  And wallpaper that swallowed diamonds.

Want more than six sentences from The Redheaded Stepchild? It’s available from Amazon and Smashwords for $2.99.

And be sure to check out the other talented authors at Six Sentence Sunday.

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Six Sentence Sunday 4/1/2012

Today’s six comes from The Redheaded Stepchild, my debut novel. In this vignette, Catherine and her siblings are saying goodbye to their father and hello to their mother for the summer.

Dad was one of the only people Luke would hug.  It took him almost a year before he was able to give Katrina a hug, and even that was like watching a walking stick try to hug a caterpillar.  He stretched one arm just above where Teresa was still attached and nodded as Dad told him to be good.  I’m sure Dad didn’t want another late July call from Mom about how his two oldest children had broken her blender trying to make a concoction called “Gross” which they made their baby sister eat by tying her to a chair.  Oddly, Mom had been angrier about the broken blender and wasted food than the sibling abuse. Teresa unleeched herself and went skipping off, holding the My Little Pony that had replaced Mr. Monkey Man as number one toy.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out all the other talented peeps over at Some of my favorites are Carmen DeSousa, Monica Enderle Pierce, and Wendy S. Russo.

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A splendid 5-star review for The Redheaded Stepchild

Maybe it’s just because I’m a Negative Nancy, but I fully expected my first review from someone I didn’t know to be completely negative. This morning, I woke up to find a link to this review tweeted on the Twitters:

I was only 4 pages into The Redheaded Stepchild by Kelly Hitchcock when I felt my blood pressure ease up and the knot in my stomach dissipate from having read and reviewed a particularly unreadable book of short stories that should have been written in invisible ink. Thank you Kelly, for reminding me that yes, there are amazing writers left in the world.

When I was 70% through it I’d found 4 typos. Ruined the whole thing for me. Nooooo, I’m kidding. There were 4, but this is the kind of writing, that distracts you from the typos instead of the other way around. Hitchcock’s power of observation is phenomenal and she has mastered the art of articulating the minute details of human behavior that most of us perceive only subliminally if at all.

I don’t think I’ve published enough reviews to expose myself as the harsh critic that I am, so you probably don’t realize the magnitude of the compliment I’m bestowing on this writer.

Here are just two examples of the many gems that delighted me:
…”It took him almost a year before he was able to give Katrina a hug, and even that was like watching a walking stick try to hug a caterpillar.”
…”my mother’s car looked as though it had been through menopause twice…”

The Redheaded Stepchild is a beautifully written coming of age story for readers of any age. The characters are multifaceted and well-drawn, the voice refreshingly unique, and the story poignant, hilarious, and horrifying all at once. And, as if the author doesn’t already attack all of our senses with her uncanny eye for detail, she adds a disjointed timeline as she jumps back and forth to the pivotal events that define her protagonist. We are fascinated by this because she does it deftly and because she innately understands that we are all the sum of the best and worst events of our lives, events that have no need to be told in chronological order.

Bravo! Kelly Hitchcock is definitely an author to follow for years to come. I wish I could give this novel 10 stars. Redundantly, I affirm that I am a fan.

I’m just… wow. If I only ever get this one amazingly glowing review for The Redheaded Stepchild, I won’t care, because my work truly touched someone I didn’t know from anyone. Not that I didn’t love my handwritten letter on pansy bordered stationery, but coming from a stranger it’s a different feeling. I really hope I can continue to inspire people with my literary work.

Also, I fully intend to hunt down those 4 typos.

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Six Sentence Sunday 2/26/2012

I don’t know why, but despite February being the shortest month of the year, it always feels like the longest month to me. And since the only real thing of note is Valentine’s Day (mine was lovely, thank you for asking), today’s six comes from one of the few lovey parts of my debut novel The Redheaded Stepchild.

In this scene, Cady has just had her first car accident and her best friend at work, Johnny, attempts to comfort her. Is comfort the right word…?

You’re right,” I said, wiping the mascara from my face.  “Thanks for listening.”

He put his hand on my knee, simultaneously exciting and surprising me.  My shin shot forward a couple inches as though it had been hit with a flex hammer.  I looked up at his face to see what he was thinking, only to watch his lips say “Any time.”

The door sounded that someone had walked in, and Johnny quickly removed his hand from my leg.

That’s all for now! Hope y’all make it through the last few days of February. If you like what you just read, you can buy The Redheaded Stepchild in paperback or Kindle. Don’t forget to check out all the other talented authors on


Six Sentence Sunday 2/12/2012

Another Six Sentence Sunday is upon us! I recently got a really great 5-star review on The Redheaded Stepchild from a friend of mine who’s not much of a literary fiction fan, and when I asked her what her favorite part was, she mentioned she really enjoyed the chapter where Cady O’Donnell, the protagonist, is 13 years old, spending her court-mandated summer with mom. Thanks for the review, Shannon – this six is for you (and from your favorite chapter)!

I half-walked, half-ran outside into the street, almost tripping over a brick that had been forced up by the roots of the big elm tree in the front yard.  I looked both ways as I ran across so I could be on the same side as oncoming traffic.  I stuck my thumb out, walking ahead with a quick, steady pace.  I had walked about 10 yards when a white hatchback Toyota Tercel with two Hispanic-looking men slowed to a stop beside me.

“Need a ride?” the one in the passenger’s seat said, obviously not sensing my urgency.  Of course I needed a ride; why else would I be risking my life trying to hitchhike out in the middle of Nowhere, Nebraska?

Thanks for reading! Feel free to tell me what you think (come on now, it takes five frakking seconds), pull out the 4 bucks to read the whole thing (available HERE), and whatever you do, check out the other talented authors sharing their excerpts on!


Six Sentence Sunday 1/15/2012

Here’s another six-sentence excerpt from my debut novel The Redheaded Stepchild. This is from the last chapter, where Cady finally comes to terms with the fact that her ex-step-mother is exactly that. In this scene, she runs into her ex-step-mother at one of her best friends’ wedding. Or rather, the ex runs into her…

Adrian reached the bottom and adjusted himself as he rushed to the bathroom with a cocky swagger.  Katrina’s big black chunky shoe caught on the edge of one of the gray-carpeted steps.  I watched her expression change to fear as she began to tumble down the stairs one by one.  The staircase was narrow, yet she managed to fall down the entire lower half of the staircase, moaning in pain with every descending step.  My heart sank as I knew she would be forced to sit at my table since it was the closest to the bottom of the stairs.  She tried to stand.

Be sure to check out all the other talented Six Sentence Sunday authors at!


The Redheaded Stepchild now available in paperback

Do not adjust your TV – you are, in fact, seeing a paperback version of The Redheaded Stepchild.  Late last week, I received my proof copy from CreateSpace, which I quickly ripped open in the lobby of my apartment office.  I am ridiculously happy with the way it turned out – the back cover is amazing, and even the spine of the book is very slick.

The book itself is thinner than I expected it would be – but it’s not super thin.  Having 12-point font and a 6×9 canvas probably reduces a little bulk that you’d typically find in a squatter paperback.  Most importantly, though, this means my #1 fans, all 5 of you, can get a paperback if you want one! They’re available on the Amazon page, but also in the CreateSpace store, where I get a little bit of a higher cut, I admit.

So there you go, Grandma.  Now you can believe me that I do, in fact, have a book floating around out there.  Also, stay tuned for some exciting The Redheaded Stepchild news this Friday, the 13th.

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