Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Hard Habit to Break - Blogging

March 31, 2011

These days, blogging would be a hard habit to break. I’ve come to enjoy it, so much so that I signed up for the April 2011 A-Z Blog Event. Every day in April, except for Sundays, I’ll post an entry here at Between the Keys starting with the letter ‘A’ and ending on April 30th, with the letter ‘Z’.

I have a list, and a neat-o calendar you can scroll down to see. I hope to cover myriad subjects, and not just boring promo (but you know there will be some promo!). I hope you’ll stop by and read, and click on the little A-Z blogging button and check out some other great blogs such as Melissa’s Imaginarium. I’m kicking off event with a bit about how I came to blogging.

And now a little history…

As it happened in the Wayback Time, so many years ago it defies the memory of a woman of a certain age, I resisted blogging. It’s true. I didn’t want to fool with blogging. Writing kept me busy. When would I find time to blog? What the heck would I blog about?

We were all younger in the Wayback Time, and more foolish. A writer friend started a blog and asked me for an opinion of her first entry, and that, as they say, was that. If she could write about her dog, so could I since my dog is infinitely smarter, handsomer, and better behaved than any other dog ever. I moseyed over to Live Journal and signed up. It didn’t go well.

I didn’t take to blogging. There was no ‘like a duck to water’ moment for me. I felt so incredibly stupid, and foolish, telling the world how I came to writing that words fail me. I vowed I was done and the best thing to do was delete the blog. The only thing was, I couldn’t figure out how to delete a blog! So I sloughed ahead, and you know what? It got easier. And here I am. Blogging A-Z. Life is good.

I hope you'll stick with me this month. See you tomorrow with A Hard Habit to Break - The Book.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Gearing Up for the A-Z Blogging Challenge

March 28, 2011

In just a few days, the A to Z Bloggging Challenge for 2011 will begin. I'm ready. I've got my ideas plotted, the middle fleshed out, and I know where it ends.

Now the real challenge begins. REMEMBERING to post the blog every darn day.


Friday, March 25, 2011

New wallpaper

March 25, 2011

It's been a long week. I get to do some neat things at my day job, but by Friday I'm always ready for a break. This afternoon, when I finally made it home, a nice surprise waited for me in my inbox - the cover for Between the Moon and the Deep Blue Sea, which will be out in May. Instead of writing for a bit, I played on my computer and made a wallpaper.

Now playtime is over and it's time to do something more constructive, like WRITE!

**updated May 30, 2016**

Between the Moon and the Deep Blue Sea has a new cover! And I made it myself, too. I think it came out quite well.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Holy Cwap, Bloggers!

At this moment in time, as I type this, the A to Z Blogging Challenge has 627 participants. I hope everyone is prepared to read until their eyes bleed!

Just read Between the Keys first, okay?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour 2011.

On Saturday, March 26, 2011, from local time 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., millions of people will turn off all the lights in their house, garage, barn, workshop, wherever. Computers will go offline and televisions will go dark.

Earth Hour began in Australia in 2007 to raise awareness about global warming and is an idea that has swept around the world. In 2010, it was estimated about 90,000,000 homes in the United States participated. Mine was one of them.

I'm sure to get flamed for this, but for a lot of us average folks, the drumbeat about global warming is like any other drone in the background - it's gone to white noise. I think that for me, since I'm taking what steps I can, I don't feel the need to hear it over and over and over. I GET IT ALREADY, OKAY!?!?!?!

Whew. I feel better now. Anyway, Earth Hour is coming up March 26th. My partner and I have discussed it, and we've agreed to pull the plug on everything excerpt the refrigerator. We're willing, but not to the point of needlessly ruining the stuff in the freezer because this year, we're doing one better than just an hour. At 9:00 PM our time, we're shutting it all down and going to bed. That's right. No electric in the house at all for the entire night, except for the 'fridge.

Although if it's below freezing outside, the heat will be left on, albeit at a lower setting. Frozen pipes? How stupid would that be?

I know some people might be disgruntled that I can cut my carbon footprint for eight or nine hours without experiencing a lot of pain, but that's the way it is. Naysayers will surely point out that during the night we use less power, and this is true. But we'll chop at least three hours of kilowatt usage out because it's the weekend.

We're wondering how much money we'll save on the next electric bill. Not the point of Earth Hour, but it's only natural to wonder. Heck, I'd be willing to flip the breakers every weekend and see what happens. So it would only be a 1.5% monthly reduction. What if 30 million households did that?

The point is, my husband and I can make some small changes and feel no pain. And if we can do it, anyone can. Yes, it's actually very insignificant to our personal lives, but if others are doing similar things, it's going to add up.

We need to use less and it doesn't have to hurt. We need to make a difference, and we don't have to do it alone. One hour for one household isn't even a blip on the radar. But NINETY MILLION houses in the US? That makes a difference. Add about 150 countries around the world and it's an even bigger difference.

Earth Hour. I'm proud to be a part of it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just released! Beneath Dark Stars by KC Kendricks

Sometimes an idea comes along that defies categorization. Like a different kind of shapeshifter. A bit paranormal, a bit sci-fi, and ALL uniquely Sundown. I hope you'll enjoy Beneath Dark Stars. Oh - and cool cover, too, isn't it? - KC

Gay romance with a paranormal shift
available now at AmazoniTunes/AppleBarnes and NobleKobo, and other online booksellers. 

The sequel to the bestselling The Back Stairs...

Fallon Roxbury, seasoned detective and special police consultant, knows that appearances can be deceiving. Trained to gather the clues and arrive at logical conclusions, he fits the puzzle pieces of a situation together to find the truth. But there’s nothing reasonable in Fallon’s attraction to the sexy, secretive shapeshifter called Sundown.

Sundown has studied people all his life. Having his very own human male is all he ever wanted. In Fallon, he’s found a man he can trust with his secrets and reveal his true nature. Keeping Fallon happy is a joyful exercise into which Sundown puts his heart and soul—when he’s not teasing Fallon’s police partner by leaving strange footprints at crime scenes, that is.

Fallon’s new case ties into an old one. At a dead end, he knows it’s time to ask Sundown for a little help. With his special abilities, Sundown can get into places Fallon can’t. All Fallon has to do is figure out a way to prove what he already knows. But what’s a cop to do when the truth takes a shift that’s stranger than fiction?


Sundown slipped into my arms, his supple body pressed to mine. We held each other for a moment, then he pulled away, presumably to accomplish his task. I let him go and concentrated on mine. He was fluffing the pillows as I joined him in the bedroom. I slid between sheets still rich with fragrant sandalwood and knew I’d miss his scent while he was gone. We settled in skin-to-skin with each other. I draped my arm around him.

“So you plan to sneak outta here under cover of darkness?”

He nodded. “I already feel the need to go, Fallon, but the Elders permitted me to spend most of this night with you.”

“Sounds like a conundrum for you.”

He handed me a small tumbler of juice and tapped his water glass to mine. I sipped my drink, sputtering at the lack of alcoholic bite. “This is plain cranberry juice!”

He blinked, a slow, lazy lowering and raising of his eyelids that put me in mind of a big cat causally watching its prey. “I didn’t want you to fall asleep too soon.”

The skin on my thighs and belly prickled. My cock pulsed and lengthened. “You’re just full of wants, aren’t you?”

“I have many, yes, and all will be accomplished in the proper time.”

“Boy, that sounds ominous for me, doesn’t it?” Actually, I liked the implications of him thinking about different things to do to me, and so did my dick. My erection completed.

Sundown lifted his glass, drained it, and set it aside. I took a healthy swig of mine and put it on the nightstand to finish later. I lifted the sheet and pointed at my hard-on.

“Is it the proper time to do something about the little problem I have right there?”


I missed you, Fallon. I want to stay here all night.”

I hugged him. I certainly wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere. “Then we will, at least until one of us gets cold. Oh, wait. You even have blankets.”

He reached for a pillow. I thought it was a splendid idea and grabbed one, too. We maneuvered around a bit, snagging a few more and getting comfortable. I wanted more of him, but I’d have to wait a while. Unlike him, I couldn’t whip up another woody with a single thought. It would be several minutes before I could get it up again. Sundown settled against me with his head on my shoulder. I rubbed his arm.

“So just where are all your pleasure receptors aligned at now?”

He chuckled softly. “If you keep petting my arm, they’ll be there.”

“Uh-huh. Will you answer a few questions, if you can?”

Sundown was silent for several moments. Were he human, he’d probably think having him fuck me was my way of softening him up so I could get information out of him, and maybe some small—very small—part of it was. Now I wondered if he paused to read my mind, and therefore the intent of my questions, which were purely personal. There were many things about him I refused to allow the cop part of me to consider. He kissed my neck.

“First you must tell me if you truly find this altered appearance unacceptable.”

“I told you—I like it. Why do you worry?” I did like it, even though it meant I’d have to compose a new chapter in the Sundown companion’s manual I’d been mentally creating.

“Because of what caused it.”

Did he mean he hadn’t deliberately changed his outward appearance to reflect a more mature being? I would ask after I reassured him I was fine with the way he looked.

“Sundown, if you were human, I’d tell you that your looks need to please you first, and everyone else can go fuck themselves if they don’t like it.”

I could almost see his brain scrambling to consider my words. I smiled up at the stars at the mental image of neurons doing a rapid-fire dance inside his head, and suddenly, without being told, I knew what had wrought the change in his appearance.

“I think I’m envious of the Chal.” I held my hand up, and he laced his fingers through mine. Once joined, I guided our hands to my rest on my chest. “We are all enriched by knowing others, but it’s more for you, isn’t it?”

Sundown was quiet for so long I began to think he wasn’t going to talk about it. Finally, he spoke. “Yes. When I give of myself, what is returned to me contains the knowledge possessed by the other.”

That was one heck of an exchange. The creation of a new Chal with the knowledge of the old one. “And then all this shared knowledge gets passed on to the next generation. Am I right?”

“Yes. In this way, all Chal are…enriched.”

I lay still, trying to process the myriad implications of what he’d just confessed. Sundown was beyond value to his species, and yet they allowed him free reign of the city. He didn’t merely appear older; the new maturity went soul deep. He’d gained layer after layer of Chal history and individual experiences, all nuanced by the giver. In him it all came together, the bits and pieces reordered to form a cohesive whole. Then, to keep it safe in the event something happened to the catalyst, every Chal passed it all on to their offspring as a form of species memory. But what if some harm came to him before the next catalyst was born, would the chain break? It boggled my mind and made me uncomfortably aware of how fragile Chal existence might actually be.

“So, tell me. Will there be another catalyst?”

Sundown levered up on his elbow to look at me. The city lights cast his face in stark relief, rendering a severity to the angles of cheekbone and jaw. I stroked his cheek, and he smiled, the lines softening into the gentle countenance of the being I knew.

“We are fortunate. There may be four. We will not be sure for some time, but it is likely.”

“Well, congratulations. Should I buy cigars?”

“I don’t understand. Do you speak of a human custom?”

My sudden understanding found a new depth. “Let me guess. In all this exchange of molecules and knowledge, you didn’t learn much about humans, did you? But you taught the others plenty, correct?”

“Is this a problem?”

“That I’m your science project? I don’t know, Czun Dun Nhunfi. I really don’t know...”

Gay romance with a paranormal shift
available now at AmazoniTunes/AppleBarnes and NobleKobo, and other online booksellers. 

Life through the eyes of Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Weird and Wonderful in the News

March 9, 2011

I enjoy oddball news stories provided they’re the sort that makes a person smile. This headline caught my eye this morning: Oldest wild bird in US is new mother.

Okay- how do they know she’s the oldest wild bird in the US? Big Brother sees all, but birds, too?

Actually, they do know. Long ago in the Wayback Time, in 1956 before I was born, a US Geological Survey scientist banded the Laysan albatross they’ve named Wisdom. People who know birds determined she was about five years old at the time of banding.

Now scientists have recorded her with a chick on the Midway Atoll, thirteen hundred miles northwest of Honolulu.

Well done, Wisdom!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Secrets of K-cup Coffee

Just before Christmas last year we decided it was time for a new coffee maker. The task of researching the best buy for our lifestyle fell on my housemate. I'm a Wri-tah. I don't have time for such mundane chores.

Aye. Right.

Truthfully, I didn't care what we ended up with as long as we got a new unit before the old one quit completely. You see, I've developed a condition whereby if I don't have coffee in the morning, I'm not safe to be around. Himself wanted a marriage of functional appliance and boy toy. As long as I get my fix, who am I to deny him life's little pleasures? He settled on a Cuisinart.

I was skeptical. Those little k-cup coffees are expensive, and I'm notoriously tight-fisted with my cash. Then there were the product reviews - not all of them glowed with praise for this product. My honey prevailed, mostly because he dipped into his rainy day stash and bought it without touching the household expense account.

We've had this gadget for about three months, and I confess coffee never tasted better. I've come to the conclusion single-brew is the way for me to go. I love Green Mountain Dark Magic, but it's very bold. I use one K-cup to brew sixteen ounces into an insulated travel mug and pour into a regular cup as desired. Hot coffee on demand for hours. I love it.

Brewing this way is sooo worth 50-cents a day for coffee. I've searched the Internet for good deals on k-cups. The Cafe Express works best for us right now, but I'm always alert to better bargains. We can use bag coffee with this brewer, too, if we so choose. Since I have no other vices, I probably won't.

There it is - my dirty little coffee addiction indulgence secret. I'm hooked on k-cups. Don't try to save me.


PS. My fears about the product reviews eased because the owner's manual makes it clear on how to avoid air bubbles and not burn up the pump.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Amber Allure February 2011 Top Ten List

March 4, 2011 

**update 6/4/2016**
Amber Quill Press closed earlier this year. That doesn't negate the fact December Promise made the bestseller list or that the other books sold equally well. 
- - - - - - 

Congrats to all!

AMBER ALLURE / February 2011

1. Embrace My Reflection - T. A. Chase (Gay / Contemporary)
2. Remember Me - Lynn Lorenz (Gay / Contemporary)
3. December Promise - KC Kendricks (Gay / Contemporary)
4. In From The Cold - Carolina Valdez (Gay / Contemporary)
5. Chance Encounter - Christiane France (Gay / Contemporary)
6. Into The Woods - M. L. Rhodes (Gay / Shapeshifter)
7. Long-Term - Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks (Gay / Contemporary)
8. The Impersonator - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
9. How The Other Half Lives - Clare London (Gay / Contemporary)
10. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Pisces: From Behind That Black Door - Pepper Espinoza (Gay / Contemporary)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Can Do

March 3, 2011

Can Do

Did is a word of achievement.
Won’t is a word of retreat.
Might is a word of bereavement.
Can’t is a word of defeat.
Ought is a word of duty.
Try is a word of each hour.
Will is a word of beauty.
Can is a word of power.
-author unknown

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ya Gotta Have Friends

March 1, 2011

One of my friends sent me this. She knows I get a kick out of these 'inspirational' posters.

I think I've seen it before, but I still laughed when I opened the email.

Thanks, girlfriend.

Don't forget I have your email....