From Torquere Press:
In 2008, Torquere Press' fantastic authors worked hard to support equality
in marriage. Our 2008 Charity Sip Blitz earned more than $5000.00 in
donations for GLBT legal organizations.
In 2009, Torquere's authors chose "Changing Lives" in memory of Matthew
Shepard for the theme of the Charity Sip Collection. Twenty one authors have
written short fiction pieces, and have agreed to donate all proceeds of the
sales of these stories to charitable organizations. Torquere Press Inc. will
match the authors' donations completely.
Torquere Press and our authors truly believe we can make a difference by
donating to organizations that promote awareness and equality. If you'd like
to help, please support the Charity Sip Blitz and enjoy some great romance
My contribution to the Charity Sip Blitz is called "Renovations of the Heart." Here's the blurb:
Renovations of the Heart by Kiernan Kelly
The boys from “Decisions of the Heart” and “A Forever Family” are back! Josh
Langram believes he’s finally put to rest the ghosts of his past. He’s built
a great life with his new husband, Brett, and their two children, Seth and
Amanda, but when a telegram arrives with unwelcome news, he’s forced to
confront demons he thought long buried. Can Brett help him wrestle his past
This year, I sat on a panel called "Exploring the Final Taboo: Writing Same-Sex Fiction. I worked with Kayelle Allen and Sascha Illyvitch on putting the panel together, getting it on the Writer's Track at Dragon Con, and promo-ing the panel. It was a huge amount of work, but well worth the effort.
The panel was an overwhelming sucess. I have to admit I was a little worried...they'd placed us in a very large room, and I was frantic that we wouldn't be able to fill the room. Luckily, my worries were for naught. We had nearly a hundred people come to the panel, a huge number conisidering it was at 10:00 p.m. Saturday night, traditionally "party" night at Dragon Con.
My personal thanks to everyone who chose to attend the panel, and to my fellow authors who donated their time to sit the panel with me -- Kayelle Allen, Sascha Illyvitch, Ally Blue, and Fiona Zedde.
Everyone seemed to have a good time. We laughed, teased, and still managed to give out some solid information. I've received good feedback on the panel already, and have high hopes of doing another next year!
From the left -- Kayelle Allen, Sascha Illyvitch, me, Ally Blue, and Fionna Zedde.
For more photos of my panel, Dragon Con, and various costumes, go to my Facebook! www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly
It’s a compound word in which two separate words are conjoined to form a new one -- “water,” meaning that big, wet, thing with the waves and the sharks, and “front,” meaning facing. In other words, “waterfront” means facing the water.
For most tourists at a beach community like Cocoa Beach, Florida, paying extra for a waterfront hotel room means getting just that – a room with a nice view of the beach.
Not for Kiernan.
For Kiernan, “waterfront” means a nice view of the parking lot. In this room, the only view of water I’ll have is if I sit on the toilet and run the tub. There is, however, a fabulous view of what we believe is a Cape Canaveral Space Center substation, complete with barbed wire fence and warning signs sitting directly across from my room.
For Kiernan, it seems “Waterfront” is synonymous with “ripoff.”
The hotel claims that the building faces the water, even if the rooms do not. Well, bully for the building. I’m so glad the cinderblocks get treated to sunrise over the waves each day.
It’s my own fault, I guess. When the hubs and I booked a two-day getaway online in Cocoa Beach, we were concerned with pricing and location. We found the Wakulla Suites, and it seemed perfect. It wasn’t the cheapest rate, but it wasn’t as extravagant as the Marriott or the Sheraton. We scanned the motel website, and saw that it boasted waterfront rooms, with the ocean only “two steps” from your door. The “waterfront” rooms cost more than the standard rooms, but that was to be expected.
It’s our own fault for not scouring the entire website with a magnifying glass. If we had, we would have found the single sentence buried deep within the web pages that references their so-called “waterfront” rooms, and tells you they don’t actually face the ocean. Still, the website does say that the ocean is “two steps” (a direct quote from the website) from your door.
Really? Whose steps did they have in mind? The Jolly Green Giant’s?
Here are a few pictures, all three from the door to my room. The first is the parking lot, the second is the suspected Space Center facility. The third is that infamous “two steps” to the ocean.
Do you see the ocean just two steps from my door? Last I remembered, the ocean was a whole lot bigger, a whole lot wetter, and wasn’t shaped like buildings, bushes, and ferns. I seem to remember there being quite a lot of sand, too.
There were other problems with the room, too. Yes, it was a suite. Hooray. Unfortunately, the only television was in the living room, which meant you had to sit on this disgustingly worn and dirty sofa (see below) to watch it. Ich. I’m sorry, but my heinie was not coming in contact with those sofa cushions. I didn’t want to end my getaway by needing to take a course of antibiotics, thank you very much.
At least I now know why the motel insists on a one-night, nonrefundable deposit when you book the room. Even if I wanted to leave once I saw it and go somewhere else, I’d lose the cost of a night, a fact they cheerfully informed me of when I called the front desk to complain.
I do not have good luck with motel rooms. The last time I stayed in a no-name motel, the repairman electrocuted himself on our air conditioning unit. The shock shot him five feet across the room, in fact.
Nothing so dramatic this stay, at least, not yet, but who knows? We don’t leave for home until tomorrow. Anything can happen.
And considering it’s me, it probably will.
Forty-freaking-five minutes, that's how long.
Well, let me tell you.
I found the ice cream immediately. Two minutes tops, from the front door to the ice cream aisle. The Breyer's Butter Pecan was sitting right there in the front of the case, just waiting for me. Another thirty seconds back to the front of the store, ice cream in hand.
Total time elapsed? Two and a half minutes.
At which point, time as I know it ceased to exist.
From the look of the front of the store, Armageddon was coming and everyone in the state of Florida was in my Publix, stocking up for the end.
For which, the store manager -- perhaps because they were shorthanded, but probably for some dark, twisted need to torture the rest of us -- had a single register open.
Manned by the Guinness World Book's Slowest Cashier Ever.
Fine. I followed the line of customers to the end, way back near the Pharmacy Department (God forbid you should ask the Pharmacist to check out anything not medicine-related, even when said Pharmacist is standing there behind his counter doing nothing. Good gravy, the guy has a sheepskin from the Acme Mail Order School of Pharmaceuticals and Refrigeration Repair! He can't be expected to ring up something as mundane as ice cream!). I got in line right behind the very large man with very pasty legs and very short-shorts, who smelled like garlic.
Inch by inch.
Step by step.
I got halfway to the register. I could see the end of the line, the light at the end of the tunnel. Good thing, too, because my ice cream was beginning to melt. If it took much longer, I'd be buying Butter Pecan soup.
A woman dressed in tennis whites cut into the line up ahead. No freaking way! I quickly scanned the nearby end caps for something I could throw and hopefully bean her in her perky, blond, highlighted head -- a jar of pickled beets, perhaps -- but there was nothing within reach. I overheard her telling the man whose turn was next that she only had a couple of things, and was in a hurry.
Of course. How rude of me to think my time had as much value as hers.
Shame on me.
Inch by inch.
Step by step.
I was less than ten customers away from the front of the line, when a young man walked behind the register right next to me, Number Four. Oh, joy! Rapture! Is he going to open? Is there a chance I might get to purchase my ice cream before its expiration date has come and gone? My heart began to beat wildly.
"Are you opening?" I asked hopefully.
He shakes his head. "No."
Inch by inch.
Step by step.
I watched the young man out of the corner of my eye. He fussed with a drawer, then used a fingernail to scrape something invisible from the black conveyor belt. He straightened the plastic bags in their dispenser. At one point he bent down, perhaps to tie his shoe, perhaps to take a nap, perhaps to blow himself for all I know, and disappeared behind the magazine rack. He popped back up a couple of minutes later, and pressed a few keys on the register. He took out the black money tray.
By now I have only three people in front of me in line at the register.
What happens then?
That lovely young man takes his black money tray and goes to Register Two (the one next to the one I'm in line for), and flicks on the "Open" light.
Hooray! Hooray! I'm so freaking excited that I don't even care that he told me he wasn't opening, when in fact, he was, just at at different register.
Except that he begins his line by calling over the person BEHIND me.
I believe I left imprints of my fingers twisted into the metal handle of the shopping cart.
Then, wonder of wonders, I was finally at the register. I put my leaky carton of Breyer's Butter Pecan ice cream on the conveyor belt.
And the cashier went on break.
Not to worry, though. Before I could totally lose my mind, grab the nearest pricing gun, and mark everything in the store down to a penny, her replacement stepped behind the register.
The World's Second Slowest Cashier.
This marvel of human evolution decided that my five dollar bill needed to be marked with one of those special black felt pens to make sure I -- who certainly looks like an international counterfeiter, for sure -- wasn't trying to pass off a fake five-spot. She even held it up to the light, looking for hidden gnomes or the meaning of life, or God-knows-what-all.
Of course, she couldn't find her marking pen, and needed to trot over to Register Two to borrow Young Man With Half-A-Brain's.
As I waited with my ice cream continuing to melt on the conveyor belt, they flirted with each other. She did the "hair flip" thing. He did the "chin-point, wassup" thing.
She came back without the pen.
"Well, I guess it's okay," she said hesitantly, shoving my soft, leaky carton into a bag. She said it as if she was doing me a huge, monumental favor, since both she and I KNEW I had a printing press in my nonexistent basement, churning out reams of fake five dollar bills, and it was only because she was in a really good mood because she scored a date with Young Man With Half-A-Brain over at Register Two, that I wasn't going to spend the night in lock-up .
She gave me my change.
And shorted me a nickel.
I didn't care.
By that time, I didn't want Butter Pecan ice cream.
I wanted cyanide.
I got back to the car, threw the bag in the trunk, and settled in next to my husband.
Who took one look at my face and, spurred by a lifetime's worth of experience, refrained from asking me what happened.
So, when was it that customer service went the way of the dinosaur? When did it become acceptable for service personnel not to smile, not to say "please" or "thank you," or -- heaven forbid -- "I'm sorry for the delay?" When did everything turn around? The customer used to be always right. Now, many employees act as if we're lucky they allow us to shop in their stores.
I'm off to drown my sorrows in a bowl of Butter Pecan soup.
Unfortunately, today's pirates have little in common with these bare-chested, rigging-swinging, rum-drinking hotties with hearts of gold.
I'm talking about folks who upload work they don't own the rights to -- movies, music, art, and books -- without a thought to the crime they're committing. Incredulously, they seem to be under the impression that they have some unalienable right to do so, just because they have the technology.
As Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic Park, ""Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."
Actually, I have a serious problem with calling these people "Pirates" anyway. The word romanticizes these people, paints them with a nostalgic brush that trivializes their crimes. We should call them for what they are.
Rat-faced bastards. RFBs.
Too vulgar? Okay. How about theives?
The thieves' rationale is that, since it's perfectly legal for someone to buy a book at a store, read it, and then pass it along to a friend, sell it at a garage sale, or to a used bookstore, then it should be perfectly legal for them to share a book via a peer-to-peer network.
While I have no problem with somebody sharing a book with a friend, or selling it to a customer at a garage sale, or second-hand bookstore, uploading it for potentially thousands of downloads is another story. The key word in that sentence is "A", as in a single friend, or a single customer, not offering my books for free to the entire population of the planet with access to a computer.
Every day I get a couple of emails from folks who tell me they've spotted yet another one of my titles up for free download at one or another of the plethora of file-sharing sites, and every day I'm forced to waste a bunch of time writing to each site, insisting that the link be taken down, providing links and proof that I own the rights. Every day, I lose money not only from the illegal downloads, but in the time spent chasing down the links and writing the hosting companies, time that I could have spent writing new stories.
I certainly don't mean to come off as being greedy, but writing is my livelihood. It's what puts food on my family's table, and keeps a roof over our heads. Would these thieves like it if somebody walked into their place of employment and declared that they would no longer be paid for a portion of their workday because this somebody believed they had a right to avail themselves of the service for free?
Oh, Lordy...we'd have riots in the streets if that happened, but somehow, because my work is in ebook form, it's okay for theives to do it to me.
I cry shenanigans.
It's not like there aren't any books to download for free legally. There are! I've got a bunch on my website, as do many other authors I know, and several online stores, like All Romance Books, offer free downloads. If your purse is tight and you really, really need to read some hot man love right now, go read one of the free ones.
No, I mean I had a new release come out on Wednesday, and I'm just now blogging about it.
On Wednesday, the "Cherry" anthology was released at Torquere Press, and it it I have a story called "First of Foot, Right of the Line." It stars the two characters who made their debut in "Caffeine for A Marine," and "V-Day" -- F.B. and Matt.
The theme for the anthology is -- surprise! -- popping cherries. The call stated that any kind of cherry would do, not just the typical "first time." In "First of Foot, Right of the Line," the cherry in question is F.B.'s, and concerns a series of "firsts" for him -- namely, meeting Matt's family for the the first time, and babysitting Matt's young niece and nephew -- also a first for him.
I really like F.B. and Matt. I enjoyed writing about their first meeting in "Caffeine for a Marine," and later, their engagement in "V-Day." "First of Foot, Right of the Line" is the next step in their relationship, and writing it was like old home week for me. I even wrote part of it while sitting in one of F.B.'s favorite places in the world -- Starbucks. :)
Here's the blurb:
What's better than a hot guy having his cherry popped? Ten hot couples doing it! From the first kiss ever, the first kiss with a new lover, or just the first time trying something new, Cherry has it all. From tender and sweet to raunchy and hot, from new lovers to old marrieds, this anthology has something for everyone.
With stories from Torquere newcomers and veterans alike, Cherry brings ten stories that are sweet and spicy, that explore the dynamics of trying out something new, be it kissing guys, meeting the in-laws or going places you've never gone before. There's just something about a first time, and Cherry brings you ten different ones.
No One's Cherry by Julia Talbot
First of Foot, Right of the Line by Kiernan Kelly
Nice Girls Do by Mallory Path
Lessons by Kathryn Scannell
Just Like Him by Dallas Coleman
Who Shall I Tell by Martin Delacroix
File Gumbo: A Roughstock Story by BA Tortuga
Alpha Male, Beta Male by Taylor Lochland
Different Strengths by JL Merrow
Graduation by Sean Michael
Here's an excerpt from "First of Foot, Right of the Line."
"Come on, F.B.! We've dated for two years, and have been married for six months. It's time you met my family," Matt said a couple of weeks earlier. "You didn't want a big, fancy wedding. I agreed to make you happy, but now it's your turn to give me what I want, and what I want is to show off my big Marine to everybody."
It was true, of course. When F.B. proposed to Matt in the middle of a hardware superstore a year ago last Valentine's Day, he hadn't really thought as far ahead as the actual wedding ceremony. He'd just assumed Matt would want what he wanted -- something small and fast, a quick civil service in front of a judge at City Hall.
As it turned out, they'd had very different ideas of what a wedding should be. Matt wanted an all-out, no-holds-barred, Bridezilla wedding complete with monkey suits, a full orchestra, limousines, and a three-tier cake with little plastic groom figures on the top, attended by everyone they'd ever met in their lifetimes. The very thought of such a public display made F.B. vaguely sick to his stomach. He was too used to keeping his private life… well, private.
In the end, when Matt saw how disturbed F.B. was with idea of a big wedding, he'd agreed to a simple ceremony at the courthouse, witnessed only by two of their closest friends, and followed by an intimate dinner at Matt's favorite restaurant. There'd been no invitations with lace and ribbon, no tuxedoes, no flowers, no music, and no lavish reception. Matt's family hadn't even attended.
Now it was payback time. Matt insisted F.B. meet his folks, and there was no way for F.B. to worm out of it. They'd driven into town last night, gotten a hotel room, and were due to leave for Matt's parents' house in an hour-and-a-half.
F.B. was a former Marine. He'd fought in the Gulf and participated in countless dangerous missions with the Corps. He was no coward, but today, as the clock inexorably ticked closer to go time, he wondered whether it might just not be preferable to eat a bullet rather than just bite it. After all, this visit involved F.B. coming out to Matt's parents to not only say, "hey, I'm gay," but also, "I'm the guy who has wild monkey sex with your son."
"Man up," F.B. said under his breath. "You can do this, Marine. First of foot, right of the line," he thought, referring to the honor given the Marines in 1848 that allows the Marines the place of honor in any Naval formation, bestowed upon them because traditionally, the Marines are usually the first to fight.
Unfortunately, the honor of meeting Matt's family was one for which F.B. would gladly suffer standing at the back of the line.
You can find the "Cherry" anthology here!
Hee hee...the title makes us sound like super spies. *hums Mission Impossible theme song*
The print version is a full page, and they used the cover art from Seti's Heart, along with a snippet from my free read, "Caffeine for a Marine." Woo-hoo!
Read the interview here!
Not literally, of course. Not in an Al-Gore-I-discovered-the-Internet sort of way.
But I did discover them, and woo-boy! Can anyone say "Instant Addiction?"
Games like this should not be allowed, or should at least come with a warning. They spell time-consumption disaster for writers with uncontrollable imaginations and addictive personalities, like moi. I took one look at the Sims 2, and was instantly overwhelmed by the compulsion to create some my characters as Sims.
Seti and Logan from Seti's Heart.
Yep. There he is in, in the house he shares with Logan, posing in his traditional loincloth, in front of his sarcophagus. He's got braids, and a torc, just like in the book.
Of course, the second thing I had to do was download was the nude patch. I get to see Seti's butt whenever I want! *giggles like a schoolgirl."
Next I had to have Seti and Logan make woo-hoo (Sim-talk for sex). They make out a lot, too. Here's a picture of Seti and Logan smooching.
Yes, I admit it...I'm twelve. Seriously.
Next up, I think I'll make Jake and Brett from Riding Heartbreak Road, and have them reenact the "chaps" scene.
Then maybe, just maybe, I'll have them invite Seti and Logan over for a party.
Oh, yeah...you're snickering. I can hear you. You know where I'm going with this.
Book character orgy.
Here's the blurb from Studs and Spurs:
Saddles, spurs, Stetsons . . . and love? Sexy cowboys grab hold of more than a saddle in these entrancing stories from four talented authors of the genre. Kiernan Kelly takes us on an adventurous cattle drive to the Oregon Territory with a greenhorn and an old hand. Angela Fiddler's retired rodeo men accept each other and the black riders. Two men overcome grief, rebuild a ranch and find love in Dakota Flint's story. And JL Langley offers a light-hearted tale of a city boy and a rancher filled with love, laughter and a marriage of convenience?
You can find Studs and Spurs at MLR Press http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?boo
or at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.
Here's the blurb from my story, The Judas Steer:
When Granger Blue signed on as a drover for the Lazy J, he expected to suffer all the hardships involved in riding herd across the wild, dust-choked plains from Nebraska to Oregon. What he didn’t expect was temptation in the form of a young greenhorn with cornflower blue eyes named Billy Bower. With as many secrets as heads of cattle, the drive may turn out to be the most dangerous of Granger’s life as he works to bring the herd in with his skin -- and heart -- intact.
You can find The Judas Steer at All Romance Books, http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-j
( Click for an excerpt from Collapse )