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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Laura Secord's famous trek through history, retold

A little story for my Canadian readers. You all know the story of Laura Secord, who drove her cow through 20 miles of forest to warn the British of an American invasion during the 1812 war with the US. You also know of our famous Laura Secord chocolates based in Ontario, named after the heroine. This is a little tongue in cheek story of Laura's walk to fame, based on the real story but of course, embellished.

You Won a Milk Chocolate Gold Cigar
by Kenna Mary McKinnon

The white house at the bottom of the green hill was more than twenty miles from the British forces at Beaver Hills. There in the white house,  a young woman, Laura Secord, and her wounded soldier husband, James, billeted American troops. It was June 21, 1813, the British forces unaware of a fiendish attack planned by the chocolate eating Americans in Laura Secord's home. James lay helpless with bullet wounds in his leg and shoulder, hardly able to lift a hand to pop a miniature mint into his mouth.
"Good men," Laura said to their slobbering guests, "I must go out and find Bossy Cow to have milk for the liqueur tomorrow. Otherwise no Bossy no Candy."
"You nefarious Loyalist," a captain said, "we won't need your box of miniatures tomorrow, nor a bag of your perfect sized bars…"
"… all made from premium chocolate." She concluded his sentence with pride. "Why not, may I ask, good Captain, do you not require my premium chocolate, or perhaps a box of premium teas?"
"Tea!" the Americans roared. "Remember the Boston Tea Party!"
"Oops," Laura said. "Sorry, fellows."
"This is Canada," James said gently, raising himself onto his good arm and reaching for a mug of French & Frosted Mint hot chocolate.
The American soldiers began to murmur amongst themselves. Laura could hear "surprise attack" and "June 23" and "Beaver Dams". She knew the British commander, Lieutenant James FitzGibbon, would be caught unaware if the Americans attacked his post, as her husband had informed her that their encampment, reached only through a trail of barbed wire, land mines, and cow dung, was not prepared for an invasion. James had recently come back from Queenston Heights himself, where he had been sorely wounded and now could scarcely lift a Milk Chocolate Crispy Chip to his mouth.
So it was that the next morning, brave Laura beat Bossy Cow with a stick ahead of her on the treacherous twenty mile journey alone to Beaver Dams, to warn the British Lieutenant FitzGibbon and his Loyalist troops of their danger.

She was successful. The Americans were beaten back, and upper Canada held. No acknowledgment was given to the slender, brown-eyed woman who so courageously trod the slippery path of loyalty to the Crown and warned the British and their Mohawk allies of an impending invasion. James later succumbed to an acute case of diarrhea, and Laura died impoverished and unrecognized at the age of ninety-three, other than having a number of schools, statues, a granite monument, a circulation stamp, a chocolate factory, a deluge of articles, entries, and plays, and a coin named after her.
            Of course, that was after her death. Small help it was to her then.


Brought to you by Blood Sister, a quirky and courageous mystery starring a schizophrenic young woman private eye and her two friends, formerly published under the title Red Herrings. 
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Friday, June 10, 2016

SHORT CIRCUIT sale over and BLOOD SISTER coming up next!

Thank you to all who helped bring Short Circuit and Other Geek Stories down to within 20,000 on Amazon, which is better than a million where it had sat for several months. I have my new publisher, Creativia, to praise and also my own efforts. 

Also the very good stories in the book, which may appeal to those younger people who love SF and fantasy, robots, and all good things my son liked so much growing up.

It's still 99 cents (pence) on Kindle but the sale will be gone soon.

If any of my readers remembers Red Herrings, it will be in it second printing with Creativia soon under the new name, "Blood Sister". 

We're working on a new book cover. Will keep you appraised of Creativia's decision. Their book covers rock! Can hardly wait to see what they come up with. I've given them some input and some graphics for the creative process.

Do you have any suggestions for a new book cover for a macabre double murder solved by a young schizophrenic female private eye?

It takes place on an island off the coast of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

 Look for more on this later.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

SALE 99 CENTS ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE WORLDWIDE

JUNE 3 - 9 NINETY-NINE CENTS
UK READERS GET IT HERE!

A collection of twenty-nine literary, fantasy, and science fiction short stories written by Canadian author Kenna Mary McKinnon in memory and honor of her son, Steven Wild, who died in September 2012 of cancer at the age of forty-four. Steve loved 'hard' science fiction such as that written by William Gibson and Greg Bear, as well as the classic authors including Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. We cannot hope to compare, but present these little stories with love and remembrance, and a nod to Steve's heroes.
The stories range from The Sea and His Guitar to Music of the Spheres and are a poignant reminder of the ephemeral nature of life and death. Sandwiched between these two works are twenty-seven vignettes culled from Kenna's imagination and life.
Predominant in this collection are the themes of music and love, both reminders of the legacy left by a remarkable man.

Presented with love and remembrance in memory of Steve Wild.
99 cents until Thursday
SALE
SALE
SALE

Monday, May 30, 2016

The true meaning of Memorial Day

The true meaning of memorial day is much more than barbecues, a day at the beach, and movies. Time for Kids explains:


Technically, summer doesn't start until June 20. But many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of the season. This year, we celebrate the holiday on May 30. Many families will heat up the grill, head to the beach or take in a big blockbuster movie. But Memorial Day has the word "memorial" in it for a reason.Soldier Donnie Terrell, a member of the U.S. Army, carries his daughter Hailey during a parade at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida. EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN—TAMPA BAY TIMES/AP
Soldier Donnie Terrell, a member of the U.S. Army, carries his daughter Hailey during a parade at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
The holiday got started on May 30, 1868, when Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day. On May 11, 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May. It is an occasion to honor the men and women who died in all wars.
Remembering Those Who Served
It is customary to mark Memorial Day by visiting graveyards and war monuments. One of the biggest Memorial Day traditions is for the President or Vice President to give a speech and lay a wreath on soldiers' graves in the largest national cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia. Most towns have local Memorial Day celebrations. Here are some ways you can honor the men and women who serve our country:
- Put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
- Fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon.
- Visit monuments dedicated to soldiers, sailors and marines.
- Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
- March in a parade.

Brought to you by:
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Get your autographed copy here



I received my print books of Short Circuit in the mail yesterday. They look great.

If anyone wants an autographed copy just email me and I'll send one out to you.

Paperback is $9.99 and five dollars shipping. US funds on Paypal.

Fiverr did some graphics for me. What do you think?


Passionate And Original Inventive Author


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My son's cat Fuzzy Kitty - a Memoir of a black cat who found its way home

I looked after my son's black, long-haired, affectionate and personable cat on many occasions. Nicknamed Fuzzy Kitty, we never were sure of his real name. He loved a certain brand of cat food, I discovered, and would provide it to him on every occasion.

Fuzzy Kitty wandered away one summer day when my son brought him to a park and fell asleep. He was sorely missed and didn't turn up for many months, long after he'd been given up for lost or worse. My son received a call from the Humane Society. He'd been tracked by a chip on Fuzzy Kitty's ear, and paid I think $100 to get him back. Fuzzy Kitty was thin and his fur was matted, obviously he'd spent many months on the street, and some kind soul had rescued him and brought him into the Humane Society. The cat was overjoyed to see my son and my son equally to see him, I'm sure. It was like a small miracle to get him back.

Please, pet owners, put a chip on your valued companion! It brought Fuzzy Kitty home.

Fuzzy Kitty in my suitcase

Fuzzy Kitty with his mouse

Surveying his kingdom at my place

Peek a boo

Fuzzy Kitty in an upturned basin. He loved enclosed spaces.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

CRIMINAL EMBARRASSMENT - A SKIT IN 4 ACTS

I wrote this a couple of years ago in a longer, and somewhat raunchier, format. This has been edited and shortened, and I present it to you as a little skit in four acts.

Would you pay a ticket price to come see this in a local theatre?

Criminal Embarrassment
A Skit

By Kenna Mary McKinnon

Act 1

A classroom. There are pots of orchids on shelves along the side and back. Professor Froot Loops at a lectern with a laser pointer in her right hand. A flowered cane leans on the wall beside her. Helen Wheels sits at a study desk poring over some papers, a large textbook open in front of her. A whiteboard behind Professor Froot Loops spells out in Greek, words and phrases of exorbitant praise for the professor. “Concrete Flats University – Glenora Annex” written in large letters on top of whiteboard.

Helen:             (Looks up and smiles). Well, here's our past, Professor Froot Loops.
Prof:                This is where it began, Helen Wheels. You and I in a classroom together and we ended up in a courtroom. (She moves her arm and the red pointer light descends on Helen’s head. Prof becomes more agitated each second as the red light simply harmlessly shines down Helen’s body.)

Helen:             (Sips on a slush type drink). Yup, Mrs. Froot Loops, studying Greek. It’s all Greek to me. By the way, I brought my dog. That’s how it all started. She’s on the lawn outside.

Prof:    That’s Professor Froot Loops to you, Mrs. Wheels. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. (pause) What kind of dog?

Helen:             She’s a Great Dane.

Prof:                Great Scott. (walks to window and looks out).

Helen:             Her name is Killer.

Prof:                Where is she now? If she bothers my little Precious, I’ll strike her severely with my cane.

Helen:             Precious is getting frisky with Killer’s leg. He took a shine to my ankle on the way in. I heard Dachshunds such as Precious have back problems. You ought to be more careful.

Prof:                Keep that big pervert away from my Precious!

Helen:             Too late.

Prof:                (Picks up cane and smacks it against the window). Chorus outside of “Don’t Pet the Dog”. There are children in the neighborhood, Mrs. Wheels. You’re such a bad example.

Chorus: “Don’t pet the dog
                        He gets it confused with romance…
                        Just leave him alone or the next thing you know
                        He’ll be asking your ankle to dance…”

Helen:             You don’t know how sorry I am. (Puts head in arms and sobs).

Prof:                What’s wrong now? If you won’t tell me what’s wrong, I can’t help you. Don’t be so vague.

Helen:             (Eyes streaming). If you must know, I’m allergic to orchids.

Prof:                My husband will protect my orchis militaris with his life. Don’t you talk about my orchids in this classroom, and don’t you let that Great Dane near my husband or my Precious. Dear Mr. Froot Loops. I love him so. He’s in the back with the wheelbarrow and the flowers right now. (Tall man leans into window and waves, dirt on his face, then ducks from view and disappears). Your dog dare not come near my sayrion or my Eddy. (leans out window) Ed! Ed! Get that Great Dane out of here! And bring me a box of miniature chocolates. I feel faint and need sweets.

Helen:             My dog assaulted your dachshund. I admit it.

Prof:                I’m not finished. You took duct tape and tied up my cats and rabbits, and left them helpless in the washroom. (She starts to cry and flings the laser pointer across the classroom downstage, where it falls on the floor still shining).

Helen:             I did what?

Prof:                Don’t deny it, you pervert. Your dog is a pervert too. It could be years before my Precious gets over this trauma. If ever.

Helen:             Why don’t we go see? Cogito ergo sum. E pluribus unum.

Prof:                I completely disagree with you. And don’t get fancy with me, missy.

Helen:             (Rises from her desk and goes to the window downstage, singing “Don’t Pet the Dog”. Eddy Froot Loops comes into the room stage left strumming a portable keyboard. He carries a huge box of miniature chocolates under his arm. They all join in the chorus of “Don’t Pet the Dog”.)

They lean out the window staring into the yard. There is loud deep barking, followed by a yelp growing faint.

Prof:                My arthritis hurts so bad, I’ll hardly be able to limp to the courthouse to file a complaint. My, these are delicious. (Takes a chocolate from the box).

Mr. Froot Loops:        Now that I finally have a job, I worry about leaving you at home, little lotus blossom.

Helen:             Upon my word of honor, I’m innocent, Mr. Ed. (Mr. Froot Loops smirks and pounds on the keyboard loudly. Helen helps herself to a chocolate.)

Act 2

Helen Wheels and her friend Chicken Little are in the back of Kelly’s Pub making cookies in the kitchen. Smoke emerges from the oven. They are drinking from amber glasses and singing a drinking song. A dog howls in the yard outside.

Helen:             I think I burned these cookies, Chicken Little.

Chicken:         Speak up, Wheels. You know I’m hard of hearing. Did you say you took a turn for the worse?

Helen:             I BURNED THESE.

Chicken:         No need to yell. I think you did take a turn for the worse. You’re looking a bit red in the face. I think you burned the cookies, though. (They put the cookies into a tin and Helen picks up her phone).

Helen:             I’m calling Mr. Instant Delivery. Professor Froot Loops will love these cookies. I bet she’ll be thrilled to get them. What time is it?

Chicken:         It’s about midnight. I’m supposed to close down the pub at one. You got a thank you card?

Helen:             I’m apologizing, Chick.

Chicken:         You’re apocalyptic?

Helen:             (sighs) Yes, I’ve got a thank you card.

Chicken:         Good. I thought we were near the end times.

Helen:             (Tapes the tin shut and writes something on the tin). Now we’re safe. The cookies are sprinkled and I’ll call the All Nite courier. They’ll meet us out back. (Dials and speaks briefly into her cell phone).

Chicken:         Oh, that’s good. I’m sure she’ll like them.

Helen:             I ruined her book. I ruined her lawn. I ruined her dog. And she can’t find her cats or bunny rabbits. I’m a failure. I had so hoped for better things.

Chicken:         She’ll be so happy to know you’re sorry, Hell.

Helen:             I can just imagine how thrilled they’ll be when they open the cookie tin.

Sound of car stopping outside. Helen and Chicken exit through a door marked “Alley”. Sound of car pulling away. A dog howls.

Act 3

Helen Wheels sits in a courtroom with lawyer and witnesses on stage right. Prosecutor is sitting on stage left with the two Plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs. Froot Loops. Chorus sits downstage left and right. Bailiff enters stage right.

Bailiff:            All rise. Here comes de judge.

(Judge enters in black robes and takes his seat).

Bailiff:            Order in the court.

Chicken:         I’ll have a fish sandwich.

Mr. Froot Loops:        Same here. With fries.

Prof:                I’ll have what he has.

Bailiff:            Order in the court.

Chicken:         I’ll have…

Bailiff:            Stop that.

Judge:             What is the charge, Ms. Tagonist?

Court Reporter:          (reads) Criminal embarrassment of the first degree.

Prosecutor:                 Kill her!

Judge:             Steady, Anne.

Prosecutor:     Sorry, sir.  I got carried away.

Judge:             We can arrange that. Order in the court.

Chicken:         Okay, two hotdogs…

Prosecutor:     Kill the witness.

Judge:             How do you plead?

Helen:             Not guilty, your honor. (looks at lawyer)

Lawyer:           Your Honor, we intend to prove my client was in Kelly’s pub at the time of the alleged offence.

Prosecutor:     Do you have a drinking problem, Mrs. Wheels?

Helen:             No problem. I drink, fall down, get up, drink again. No problem.

Prosecutor:     Where were you at midnight on the night of March 17?

Helen:             I was in Kelly’s pub.

Prosecutor:     Were you not in front of the Froot Loops house in Glenora delivering cookies?

Helen:             No, your Honorableness.

Prosecutor:     Those cookies are Exhibit A, seized as evidence by police and analyzed in the forensic lab by five police officers working overtime for twelve hours each. Did the cookies not contain flour and sugar and baking soda and chocolate sprinkles?

Helen:             I plead guilty to that, your Honor. I do make the occasional cookie.

Prosecutor:     Does Kelly’s pub have a kitchen in the back?

Helen:             Maybe.

Prosecutor:     I rest my case.

Court reporter:            Slow down. Chocolate sprinkles…

Lawyer:                       Objection!

Prof:                            Boo hoo. (Takes out tissue and wipes eyes).

Mr. Froot Loops:        There, there, dear. We can go home soon and water the orchids.

Judge:                         Order in the court.

Bailiff:                        Okay, I’ll have a…

Judge:                         Stop that!

Lawyer:                       Objection. My client is being harassed.

Judge:                         Objection sustained.

Prosecutor:                 Hang her! Hang them all.

(Chicken Little takes stand).

Prosecutor:                 What did you do with the cookies?

Chicken:                     We put them in a tin and delivered them to the Youth Shelter. They’ll eat anything with chocolate sprinkles on it.

Prosecutor:                 Objection! And when did Mrs. Wheels leave the pub?

Chicken:                     Helen stayed until the pub closed at midnight then we went home together.

Judge:                         Ah!

Prosecutor:                 Objection. The witness and defendant are obviously very dangerous perverts.

Judge:                         Overruled.

Prosecutor:                 Hang them!

Lawyer:                       You may step down now. (Chicken Little sits down).

(Chorus sings first verse of the Drinking Song). Drink, drink, drink…

Judge:                         Stop that.

Prof:                            Oh, DEAR, I can’t stand to be in the same room as that pervert.

Mr. Foot Loops:          There, there, dear. We’ll be home soon with your kitty binky.

Prof:                            Oh, I love you so, dear Mr. Froot Loops.

Mr. Froot Loops, glaring at the Defendant:               Hang her!

(Judge recesses court then returns almost immediately, fluffs his black robes and sits).

Bailiff:            All rise! Here comes de judge.

Judge:             I have made my decision.

(Chorus sings first verse of Oh Sweet Mystery of Life).

Bailiff:            Stop that.

Judge:             Order in the court.

Chicken:         I wouldn’t touch that line with a ten foot…

Prosecutor:     Kill her! She’s guilty of being… trite.

Judge:             Not guilty due to insanity.

Lawyer:           Insanity?

Prosecutor:     Insanity?

Judge:             The charge is insane. Therefore, not guilty due to insanity. I find you guilty of a lesser offense.

Lawyer:           What is the verdict?

Judge:             Guilty of making poor quality cookies. They were burned, you say? Disgusting.

Helen:             I’m sorry, your Honor. I honestly won’t do it again.

Judge:             I sentence you to a day of community service at the Glenora Community League kitchen learning how to make proper cookies.

Helen:             Thank you, your Honor.

Judge:             Case dismissed.

Bailiff:            There go de judge. All rise.

Act 4

Several women carrying signs printed in large pink and yellow letters, Women’s Temperance League and carrying black and white pots of orchids, surround a black limousine which is pulling up in front of the courtroom outside.

Journalist:       (Taking pictures and speaking into a microphone). Here ends a very curious case, ladies and gentlemen. The underdog appears to have been vindicated. But wait…could it be? A large black limo is pulling up to the front of the courthouse with men in brown shirts wearing dark glasses. Ladies and gentlemen, this is incredible! The president of Concrete Flats University is here and he’s carrying off the Froot Loops in the back of his limousine. There are brown shirts everywhere. They appear to be from Security. What is the meaning of this?

Prosecutor:     (Standing outside with the wind whipping her silver hair about her face, speaking into the microphone). I’m the prosecutor, Anne Tagonist, sir. We intend to appeal, Mr. Macy. This crime cannot go unpunished. Death to all perverts! Hang the infidel and her cookies! We prefer chocolate!

Journalist:       Do you mean to say this is not the end of the drama, Ms. Tagonist?

Prof (leaning out the window of the car):      I don’t want anything bad to happen to the Defendant. I am a good person… HANG HER! Non carborondum illegitimus!

(The Women’s Temperance League bursts into song and throws orchids at the limousine. Professor Froot Loops leans further out the window and playfully smacks the ladies with her cane, including Ms. Androgynous, who squeals with delight).

Prof:                Take that, Ms. Androgynous.

Ms. A:             Oh, Frooty! That hurts your dear Ms. Androgynous. Tee hee.

Lawyer:           We appeal the appeal.

Limousine drives away, covered with orchids. Several of the Women’s Temperance League have been knocked down by the blows of the cane.

Chorus:           (sings to the tune of The Drinking Song) Think, think, think…

Prosecutor:     Order!

Chicken:         Make mine an Irish soda bread, with beer. (She and Helen leave the scene arm in arm).

Journalist:       Wait a minute, ladies and gentlemen. Could it be? (Professor staggers down the street, leaning on her cane. Mr. Froot Loops follows her, pushing on her hips).

Prof:                They threw me out of the car onto the pavement! My satyrion were choking them.

Mr. Froot Loops:        Me too. (coughs) I think I’m allergic to orchids. (Prof dances the can can with her cane and sings “Putting on the Ritz.”)

Prof:                Where is that pervert?

Mr. Froot Loops:        I’m right here, dear. (She hits him with her cane and they link arms and run off stage left, he ducking her blows).

(The Chorus links arms and continues to dance the can can, tossing cookies into the air. A dachshund runs across the front of the stage followed by a large dog, followed by the Professor hopping and waving her cane into the air, swearing in Greek at the dogs. Mr. Froot Loops runs on stage behind her, steps in dog excrement, examines his shoe, and exits stage left. Chorus falls silent).

Journalist:       I think justice has been done.

Mr. Froot Loops comes leaping back from stage right, joins his wife, and they stand together center stage, she leaning on her cane and he holding a pot of orchids in one hand and a can of beer in the other. He sniffs the orchids deeply, burps and coughs.

Prof:                We’ll appeal!

Mr. Froot Loops:        You’re very appealing, Mrs. ‘Cute little Juniper berry’. Have you taken your meds today? (She hits him with her cane and puts her hand on his thigh. He throws the pot of orchids into the air and the entire cast dances on stage covered with blossoms, and they all sing, Don’t Pet the Dog.)

THE END