Sunday, March 24, 2013



“Twitter” and “Tweet,” our baby hummers made their appearance in early March — at least that’s when we discovered them. Mama Tweet busily tended to their care in the grapefruit tree “nursery” for several more weeks.

Incubation period for hummers, depending on type, is approximately 15 – 19 days.

Nesting period is approximately 20 – 26 days.


Many cold spells and high winds were still with us as March came in and we learned, once again, Mama’s wisdom of making and securing her nests with spider silk. Mama Tweet kept her hatchlings warm sitting on them!

 3/11/13: Twitter and Tweet enjoy warming in the sunshine.

 3/19/13: Fully feathered but yet to leave the grapefruit tree.

3/20/13: Twitter and Tweet are now out of the nest. They’ve taken to a favorite branch in the kumquat tree, waiting together for Mama to bring them dinner.

 3/20/13: And Mama delivers!

Tweet has a special fondness for the ocotillo bush. He often comes to sit there for a visit when I come out of the house. We “talk” for a long time. How he stays on those spiny thorns I’ll never know, but he’s comfortable enough he — or “she” — is now taking many daytime feedings there.

Such wonderful life events as births and hatchings should always be celebrated. Being a foodie with a bit of a long memory, I turned to — what else? — the classic “Hummingbird Cake.” It’s full of bananas, pineapple and nuts (pecans or walnuts, your choice).

It seemed natural to turn the recipe into mini cupcakes in honor of our tiny friends. Here is a link to the original recipe as it appeared in Southern Living Magazine in 1978. (I confess, since I love cinnamon, I increased the amount just a tad, and used one-and-a-half teaspoons.)

The cupcakes are delicious and have Mr. KK’s stamp of approval. I may have to padlock the fridge! The minis are just the right size for a snack and they freeze well too. Enjoy!

Friday, March 22, 2013

BLAZING A TRAIL: Your Self Publishing Journey

Thinking of taking the dive into self-publishing, or still new to navigating the Indie waters and need a life line? Happy news, BLAZING A TRAIL: Your Self Publishing Journey has just been released.  

Settle in for a warm chat with award-winning author, Frankie Robertson, as she shares her own journey and offers generous advice and lots and lots of resources.

I’ve known Frankie since her early days as an Indie author and before I started on that path myself. How I wish I’d had this book as an introduction to what was often an overwhelming prospect – Where do I start? Where can I find the answers I need? How much will it cost? How do I produce the book and then promote it? Etc.

Be sure to check out her super-informative blog, “Frankie’s Soapbox” at:

where she’s posted over a dozen interviews from BLAZING A TRAIL with best-selling authors who have gone Indie and for current musings from this talented author.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fabio in his Golden Fifties!?!

Incredible! Fabio turned 54 this week on Friday, March 15.

I’m still getting my head around that, but I think that the man still looks great for every one of those years. Huffington Post celebrated Fabio's birthday by revisiting 40 of his best book covers. Yippee! THE VALIANT HEART appears at #20. Here he's portraying my Danish hero, Rurik. The cover was painted by artist, David Stimson, in 1991.

Stop by and check out all the wonderful covers by clicking on the following link:

A LITTLE UPDATE: Jimmy Thomas will soon begin the photo shoots for the four new HEART series covers. He's going to great lengths, having had a new, period-accurate wardrobe sewn, selecting just the right medieval weapons and will even be dying his hair blonde and adding hair extensions for my two Norse heroes, Rurik and Lyting. Much more to come on that!

Jimmy has been absolutely fabulous to work with and I'm looking forward to sharing the new covers with you soon, as well as the newly revised books.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tucson Festival of Books

March in Tucson is “TFOB Time” — meaning it’s time for the annual Tucson Festival of Books when authors and readers congregate on the University of Arizona campus for two days of books, panels and fun. This year’s festival had a chilly start with rain on Saturday when we were all bundled up in our coats. But on Sunday, temperatures rose to a sunny high and the outer layers were shed.

Yours truly was privileged to share a panel with the wonderful NYT authors, Jennifer Ashley and Laura London. Our topic — “Writing History as Fiction.”

Left to Right: Jennifer Ashley, Laura London, Kathleen Kirkwood
Mr. KK came out for the event as well. We walked our feet off, attended some great talks, and reminisced of our days at the U of A back in the late ‘60’s. Couldn’t resist closing out this blog with a glimpse of where we first met. Pictured is the Admin building where, long ago, a student dance was held on the back (parking lot) side. Whether Murphy’s Law was at work, for or against us, that night, I cannot say. The dance was delayed an hour due to trouble with one of the band’s instruments. I hung around, almost ready to leave when the music finally started. Just then, Mr. KK, who had been on a date that had totally “bombed,” as we used to say, returned the co-ed to her dorm and came over to the dance.  The rest, of course, is history.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Large Print Editions now available!

Hi, Mr. KK here with a quick note to let you know that the Large Print Editions of SHADES OF THE PAST, A SLIP IN TIME and HIS FAIR LADY are now up and available on Amazon and Amazon's Createspace subsidiary websites. These books are 6"x9" (the largest size we can use cream colored paper for) and set in 16 point Book Antiqua type. They are in general compliance with the standards for Large Print editions from the National Association for the Visually Handicapped (NAVH). They will be available from Createspace's Expanded Distribution channel sources as they move through their Expanded Distribution channel system. Here are the Covers and Createspace Product Links:
They can also be purchased through Amazon by searching for "Kathleen Kirkwood Large Print".

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Large Print" edition of SHADES coming soon!

Mr. KK here. This is a quick note to let you know that we’ve just finished reformatting Shades of the Past for distribution as a LARGE PRINT trade paperback book. We’ve adhered to the guidelines provided by the National Association for the Visually Handicapped (N.A.V.H.) and have set the 6” x9” book in 16 point Book Antiqua typeface with generous leading (space between lines). It is now in the approval process with Createspace and will be available in a day or two on Amazon. It will be distributed via Createspace’s Expanded Distribution channels and thus available to other booksellers and libraries, as well.

Below is the new cover flat (the flat is 9.25” tall by 13.5” wide – 1/8” will be trimmed off of every edge, which will make the final size 9” tall by 13.25” wide and the book will be 1.25” thick). Createspace will add the UPC bar code label to the flat in the blank space on the back cover.

Additionally, here’s a screen capture of sample pages from Microsoft Word. Please keep in mind that each page is 6” x 9”.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Free e-books on Smashwords!

In celebration of the upcoming Tucson Festival of Books (March 9-10), I've enrolled in Smashword's "2013 Read an Ebook Week" promotion and am offering a couple of our ByDand Publishing e-books for free.

Follow the links below and use coupon code RW100 at checkout to claim the free books

Coupons are good from now until midnight Pacific time, March 9th.