Saturday, August 19, 2017

Just Desserts - short story

Just Desserts




   It was after the fifth time I told my son to clean up his room and the clear indication that it wasn't going to happen that I set on the unenviable task of doing it myself. With only the sole protection of yellow rubber dish-washing gloves to keep me alive, I told my wife I was going in.
  “Better you than me,” she encouraged and pushed me in the general direction. As I entered the room, I wondered if there was ever a smell as dank as the teenage male. I also wondered if I had smelled this bad and what gas masks my parents used to deal with it.
After I had excavated several dirty dinner plates turned science experiments from the area, I came upon a small wadded up white sack, the kind you would get from a bakery. I blinked as I remembered a time long ago, toward the end of elementary school. It involved me, a girl and a brownie. A frozen brownie.

***

I guess it was while Tommy Whitzberger was playing his rendition of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” on the accordion that I found out DeeAnn Smith liked me. I had just gotten off the stage where I’d performed my magic act for the 6th grade talent show at our elementary school. Getting used to the dark of the auditorium, I finally found a seat in the audience.
Mrs. McIntyre, my homeroom teacher, was emcee. She came on stage, clapping and said, “That was ‘The Great Howard’ and his wonderful magic act. Good job, Howard.” She then began the task of building up the anticipation in the audience for accordion rock wizardry.
I happened to sit next to Misty Oppenheimer, the school blabbermouth and one of DeeAnn’s friends. I really wasn't part of the “in crowd”, so didn't trade much on the gossip circuit. So I was surprised when she whispered in my ear. She told me that DeeAnn told her that she thought I was kinda cute. She went on breathlessly that she wasn't supposed to tell anybody, especially me. This is, of course, the one thing you never tell Misty Oppenheimer, but I guess DeeAnn hadn’t learned that at the time.
When I heard this I felt dizzy. My face flushed and my vision blurred. After the talent show, I went to one of the school restrooms and looked in the mirror to check myself. I was just sure I had come down with something. A disease that flares up whenever someone tells you you’re cute and you immediately start to turn ugly. A few years later, I would learn there is such a disease.
It’s called puberty.
The thought of a girl being remotely attracted to me really didn’t occur to me at all. I was simultaneously thrilled and terrified. I was happy because as far I as knew, this was the first time anyone had expressed an interest in me. It also terrified me because I did not want to screw this up. And if my life up to that point was any indication, there was a very good chance of that happening. I really don’t think the words ‘paralyzed with fear’ would be too far from what I was feeling. After all, I had been on this planet for almost 12 years now and this was my first. Who knows when the next one was going to come around.
When DeeAnn stopped by my house after school to again tell me how much she really enjoyed the magic show, the gray brain cells that processed this sort of thing came alive for the first time and wondered what the hell was going on. Immediately, they clumsily lurched into action. The first thought was realizing that sometimes DeeAnn came by my house on her way home from school. Then, these limp barely-used ganglia and neurons thought it would be a good idea to get her something. I went to the corner market. Flowers were too expensive on my lunch money budget and cards were too schmaltzy for my preteen idea of romance. A small fifteen-watt light bulb went off above my head when I thought of the bakery. I scanned the displays and settled on a brownie. To make it extra special, I had her name written on it with pink frosting. I have no idea why I thought this was significant. Like she was going to look at the brownie I gave her and wonder, “But is this for me? I don’t know, it doesn’t have my name on it.”
All things considered, I was a thoughtful, sweet, awkward, stuttering, sweating bucket of quivering nerves. What could possibly go wrong?
Since she passed by my house infrequently, I put the brownie in the freezer, so that it wouldn’t go bad. Weeks went by as my after-school-vigil-of-looking-for-DeeAnn droned on. I was getting tired, my eyes were getting sore and my brownie was getting frostbite. Then one day, there she was.
I ran to the fridge, grabbed the brownie, sped to the front door and yelled, “DeeAnn!” She stopped, turned around and smiled. And then everything moved in slow motion.
I wondered if she still liked me. I wondered if this had all been a joke. I wondered if perhaps she was allergic to brownies. I wondered if she was on a diet and if she was going to be offended and how dare I get her a dessert. All these fearful ‘what-if’ scenarios went through my head, and I panicked.
And in that panicked moment of brain vapor lock, I hurled a dense completely frozen brownie at the only girl who had, up to that time, expressed an interest in me and slammed the door.
Because, that makes sense.
I put my head in my hands. How could I be so stupid? What did I just do? She is probably not enjoying her brownie and basking in the knowledge of what a fine and sweet young man I am. She’s probably suffering a concussion, laying unconscious on my lawn, bleeding out as her friend screams with horror about the maniac who just beaned her schoolmate with a frozen dessert.
All of this was interrupted by a knock on the door. Was it DeeAnn? Was it her friend? Was it the police? I slowly opened the door.
It was DeeAnn.
I inexplicably feigned surprise (“Ohh, DeeAnn. What are you doing here?”). DeeAnn wanted to thank me for the gift as she ate (okay, sucked on) her frozen brownie. I said, no problem.
And that was it. That’s as far as it went. The next year was junior high, which had its own share of drama, hellish  anxiety concerning the other gender and fleeting moments of fun. And DeeAnn? She went the way of every other girl who’s had refrigerated rock-hard confections thrown at them.
Therapy.
And then Tommy Whitzberger. How was I to know she had a thing for accordion players?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Ballad of Keith and Judith Anderson

   In the Fall of 2014, I had about three short stories I'd written and I texted a published author and good friend of mine if there was a market for BDSM Erotica Short Stories. One thing led to another and I ended up self publishing "Pretty When You Cry", a collection of those short stories with a few others, under the pen name "Keith Anderson" in February 2015. I chose "Keith" because I had been called that half the time whenever anyone couldn't remember my name and Anderson, was the last name of a childhood friend, one of my favorite musicians (Laurie Anderson) and was fairly common like "Smith" which was the last name of the pen name of my friend, the published author.
   Shortly after publishing, my author friend said, put together a blurb, your buy links and the front cover image and post it to few book groups on FB.  Keep that up for awhile, then put a pin a twenty to its lapel, wish it luck as you send it off into the world and start work on your next book. Which I did, more or less. "Pretty When You Cry" by Keith Anderson got some attention and made some good sales and I got an offer from someone to be my PA and assemble a street team, which I took them up on. And that helped sales even more. And also attracted the attention of Blushing Books, which has been publishing spanking and BDSM fiction since the 90's on the Interwebs.
   Ever since FSOG, they had been inundated by submissions by people and they were abysmal. Seeing as how I was in the lifestyle, they were interested if I were writing a novel. I was and when I was done I send it to them in the fall of 2015. Lo and behold, they wanted to publish it. But there was a problem.
  They always had issues with romances and their readership if it was under a male pen name. The sales were always flat and were never received well. So, it would be a condition in my contract, that I would publish my novel (original title - "Kinky in Flatland", since renamed "Nadja's Choice") under a feminine pen name. For me, this was a simple business decision. I wrote under one fake name, I'll just write under another fake name, big deal. And so, "Nadja's Choice" was published under the pen name "Judith Anderson" in the beginning of 2016.
   And I'm certainly not the first to be asked this. Harold Lowry wrote romance novels involving country girls and rugged cowboys under the pen name Leigh Greenwood for over twenty five years. Thomas Elmer Huff was a best selling author of twenty three gothic romance novels under the names Edwina Marlow, Beatrice Parker, Katherine St. Clair and Jennifer Wilde. Bill Spence is a grandfather, father of four and WW II vet who published twenty two romance novels as Jessica Blair. Publishers asked him that he assume a female name in order to better the reception of his novels, which Bill didn't mind at all.
   I'm a slow writer and I wanted to build a list of credits, not split up my books between two names, so I re-published "Pretty When You Cry" under "Judith Anderson". I've since published two novels "Nadja's Choice" and "Smart As A Whip" with Blushing Books and a short story "Tongue in Geek" in "The First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology" with Riverdale Avenue Books under the pen name "Judith Anderson". "They Say Its Your Birthday" was published in "Confessions of a Spanking Author" by Blushing Books under "Keith Anderson".
   Now hopefully, I hope things are clear as mud. There are quite a number of people among the book groups here on FB who knew me as "Keith Anderson" and some who know me only as "Judith Anderson". I realize there was some confusion, so hopefully, this clears the air. Or not.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Book Spotlight : Jake's Redemption by Jean Kelso



Having grown up in a small town as the youngest of four girls, Jean Kelso learned a lot about life. And one of her dreams was to write. In school, she excelled in short stories and silly poems that her teachers loved and she also came to realize that she loved helping people.

She went to college, became a nurse and met her dream man. They soon married and had kids. Her full-time nursing career pushed her writing to the side, but then fate intervened. Jean was diagnosed with cancer. While being laid up in treatment, her passion for writing returned and in 2014 self-published her first novel.

Thankfully now in remission, she continues to write novels and delight her readers with well-written stories full of romance and engaging characters.



In the spotlight today, is her newest release, "Jake's Redemption". At the age of twenty-eight Jake had seen and done it all, enjoyed a few of the perks, but mostly regretted every experience. He became a man he had sworn he would never become–an enforcer, just like his father. His father had pulled all the strings, and had all the control.

Sex, drugs, and fighting. Stealing, lying and cheating. That wasn’t the life he wanted. He wanted better. Then, betrayal from family turns his life upside down and the only source of scenery he has for the next seven years is from behind bars.

Now on parole, Jake Green wants to start over. New. Fresh. He wants to learn from his mistakes and fix his broken past, especially with his family. He will do anything to have it all.

Until he sees Devon–the one woman who sees Jake, the real man inside.

With Jake’s screwed up past, and a family so torn apart, can he and Devon work through everything together? Is Devon the angel he seeks, who can give him the redemption he craves and deserves?

Excerpt:

I’ve had seven years of thinking about my life, about the mistakes I’ve made. I have tattoos and scars to prove the errors of my ways. The only thinking I need to do now is to figure out how to make up for those wrongs. To make right to all those who deserve the best. The top of the list I suppose should be me. I need to do what is right for myself. To fix what was done wrong to me. I need to salvage my identity and make it, to make me who I really want to be. And that isn’t who I used to be. Too many years I did wrong. I can’t do wrong anymore. ~ Jake

Buy Jake's Redemption at these following stores!

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2ajD9ed