Sunday, February 18, 2018

Today in History, February 18 - It's in the nickname

sunrise on the mountain
February 18, 2018

Today is one of the few days a year I know I won't open a manuscript-in-progress and work on it. Today is Daytona Sunday. 

My enjoyment of NASCAR began way back in the day when my Uncle Bob would take my cousin Linda and me with him to the local dirt track. I'm sure I thought the dirt track was great fun but you won't find me at one now. Dirt in my hair is NOT my thing. Linda and I could also pick any Sunday to sit in our Aunt Libby's backyard and watch the cars at the local dragstrip, too. Our county has a long and storied history of a vibrant car culture.  

NASCAR has gone through a lot of changes since the 1970's, some good, some bad. NASCAR is a single-family owned franchise - an oddity in the realm of sport. Sometimes they make crazy stupid rules but my sense of it is they don't want another death during a race. NASCAR is a lot tamer than it used to be. 

On this date in history, February 18, 2001, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died in a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500. I think Darrell Waltrip summed it up best: "Live by the push, die by the push." I think he was talking in a more metaphysical sense when he said that, nevertheless, Earnhardt earned his nickname of The Intimidator by perfecting "the push." He did a lot of "blocking," too, and we all saw how badly that ended. 

I wasn't a Senior fan, although I did like Junior. "My" driver was always Terry LaBonte (#5). I just liked the way he drove. They called him The Iceman for his seemingly unflappable style and coolness under pressure. Terry didn't go out and deliberately wreck other drivers. Later, they called him "Iron Man" for the number of consecutive starts he had over his career. After Terry retired, I started to pay attention to Tony Stewart. You know. The guy they called "Smoke" for his temper. I loved his outspoken attitude and fearlessness in telling the France family (NASCAR owners) the truth. Alas, he too retired. 

You know folks in the South love their nicknames. If you earn one, wear it like the badge of honor it is.

But there was hope. Stewart partnered with Gene Haas to create Stewart Haas Racing, which has four drivers. And one of those drivers is Kevin Harvick. I kinda slid into paying attention to him and now he's my driver. Happy Harvick is what Darrell Waltrip calls him. I think they should call Harvick "The Instigator" but that's for another blog. 

It wasn't until this morning that it struck me that Kevin Harvick is the driver they tapped to take over the #3 ride when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was killed on this date back in 2001. 

So here we are with this year's Daytona 500 falling on the date in history, February 18, of Senior's demise. I can just hear those chatterbox announcers now. 

Maybe, just maybe, I'd be better off writing today. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

PS. The spousal unit will be cheering for Kyle Busch. They call him, "Rowdy." 





Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cover reveal - A Perfect Hire by KC Kendricks

February 10, 2018


Greetings from wet western Maryland! Snow, ice, rain. Gotta love living in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

I suppose the winter weather inspired me to get to work on A Perfect Hire. You've heard the phrase, "when hell freezes over." Well, hell froze over. That's the only explanation I can give for my decision to re-release this book. 

That and fact that since I've undone all the "editing" done at a publisher-who-will-not-be-named, the book is back to its original vision and story. 

The cover turned out okay. I've made better. I've made worse. This one is okay. I wanted to keep it simple with a store/shop background and a guy. And since the guy is hired to work in a specialty shop that sells coffee and wine, it was appropriate to have a cup of coffee and a glass of wine by his side. It works for me. 

The big question? When is the story going live? Probably February 24 or 25. I know it won't be on February 18. That's the day of the Daytona 500. Priorities, you know. 

ABOUT A PERFECT HIRE

Shopkeeper Chris Douglas traveled the world as a tour guide. He settled in New York City, and turned his love of coffees and wines from around the world into a thriving specialty business. He enjoys meeting new people and his small emporium just off Bleecker Street brings all sorts through his door. After he falls off a ladder, Chris tapes a “help wanted” sign on the door and hopes it will attract the right person.

Eric Todd is at loose ends after the company he worked for changed hands and he was let go. He can get by financially, but with too many hours to fill in a day, he’d like a part-time job to keep busy. When he spies the hand-drawn sign on the door of The Corked Bean, he goes inside to check out the store, and the sexy proprietor.

The two men hit it off and Chris hires Eric on the spot. Now the pay and benefits aren’t as enticing, or satisfying, as the after-hours perks available for the perfect hire.


KC Kendricks
mailing list: groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Beneath Dark Stars by KC Kendricks for the MidWeek Tease

February 7, 2018

Welcome to the MidWeek Tease blog hop! This week I've got an excerpt from Beneath Dark Stars. Our heroes are a detective and his shapeshifter lover. And he's not your garden variety shapeshifter, either. He's a true shapeshifter, able to take on many forms. 

Be sure to check out all the MidWeek Tease blogs using the list at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy the excerpt! 

_*_*_*_*_

Beneath Dark Stars
Book 2 of the Sundown Saga
Gay romance with a paranormal shift


Have you met a shapeshifter? How would you know?

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?

EXCERPT

With a groan, I collapsed onto him. He let out a loud umpf and, with his surprising strength, flipped me over onto my back. I was too limp to protest even had I wanted to. A satisfied purr vibrated out of him as he snuggled tight against my side. I found his hand, laced my fingers through his, and asked him a question he’d so far avoided answering.

“When are you going to tell me what it’s like for you, Sundown?”

He sighed. “It’s what I wish it to be, Fallon.”

I’d heard that before. He was uncomfortable with my curiosity about what was normal for his kind. It wasn’t like he didn’t trust me, but more I needed to be patient with him for a little longer. I turned my head and kissed his temple.

“I’ll do a little better by you this afternoon, babe. I promise.”

“Now you’re trying to bribe me, are you not? Very well, Fallon. The more pleasure receptors I align for sexual enjoyment, the more intense the experience.”

I had asked, so I confirmed one of my suspicions. “So sometimes you ‘align’ a lot of them, like this morning?”

“Yes. And sometimes, I wish for something different. This afternoon may be one of those times.” His green eyes gleamed warmly above his smile. “You’ll need to spend a lot of time touching me to find them all.”

“Not a problem, babe. Is coffee a problem? I mean, since I’m awake now and all that. And I did stimulate your pleasure receptors for you.”

Without a word, Sundown rolled from the bed and padded off to the bathroom, his footsteps silent on the carpet. The skin he wore for me was quite attractive. Tall and slender, he moved with a controlled grace, each step measured, no effort wasted. His shiny dark hair, green eyes, and full, berry-colored lips were perfect—too perfect if someone looked closely at my shapeshifter lover. I closed my eyes and listened to him move around the apartment, finally reopening them to admire his form as he returned carrying two cups of coffee.

I accepted both mugs until he rejoined me under the sheet, then handed one back to him. I loved these lazy mornings when we the most strenuous thing we had to do was nothing at all. Sundown rubbed his thigh against mine.

“Tell me more about this girl whose killer you seek.”

If I didn’t tell him, he’d chatter at me until I did. It was better to give him the short version and get it over with, even though I knew it would upset his tender heart.

“Maria DeLong’s parents reported her missing ten years ago. She turned up dead four years ago. Someone beat her to death and tossed her body out along Route 17. They carved the letter W into her cheek.”

Sundown grew still and silent. Not for the first time I wondered if his kind had racial memory and could remember those things done to their brethren in the Chal ancient past he refused to discuss with me. His people had been enslaved when they arrived on this world, and that’s all the Chal history I’d gotten out of him.

He drew in a quick, short breath and then blew it out.

“The Chal can help. We are able to go into places where you can not.”

For once, his people would be on my side. “The Elders will sanction that? Right. Tell me another story.”

“I was with the Elders yesterday, apologizing for my actions regarding Sergeant Mack. I have promised them—again—that I will cease to play Sasquatch tricks on him.”

“But did you promise not to play any tricks on him, period, or just the Bigfoot ones?”

He blinked at me, dismay written all over his face. Uh-huh. I had him now. “Chupacabra, perhaps?”

His mouth dropped open. His eyes widened. “That is not me! I’ve never been to Texas!”


Beneath Dark Stars
Gay romance with a paranormal shift available at:

Amazon
iTunes
Barnes and Noble/Nook
Kobo


KC Kendricks
mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to fix a dead processor

Image result for computer processor dellJanuary 31, 2018

I've been remiss about blogging this month. As January comes to a close, it seems like a good time to explain myself.  Yes, I've participated in the MidWeek Tease blog hop, but that's promo. And yes promotion is a big part of why I have a blog. Beyond that, blogging keeps me focused on my writing life. 

Hmmm. One could conclude from that I've been focused this January and didn't need to take a look and explore where I am. That's only partially correct. 

Getting Twice Removed From Yesterday out was definitely the high point of the month. And just when I'm cruising on a new story, along comes the computer gremlin. It didn't hit me, thank goodness, but it sure as hell zapped the spousal unit. 

Oh, my God, have you ever seen a grown man whimper? It's not a pretty sight. 

I tried to save his old processor by hitting a restore point. No good. So I did a recovery reset. Even worse. A ten-year-old processor is a ten-year-old processor and when it's dead, it's dead. It's time to yank the hard drive out and play Taps. Thank goodness the man has the important *stuff* backed up. 

I'd hoped he'd be able to use the laptop for a couple of weeks, but he doesn't like a laptop any better than I do. It seems we're both spoiled by unmoving flat surfaces and the ability to scroll with one hand. Imagine that. 

Soooo, with my honey in computer crisis mode, I did the only thing I really could do. I offered him my old processor effective upon receipt of a new processor for me. A one time only good deal that will cost him nothing but an HDMI to VGA adapter for one of my monitors. 

You know he said yes. With any luck, it will arrive tomorrow and all will be happy again at my humble domicile. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Twice Removed From Yesterday by KC Kendricks

January 24, 2017

Welcome to the MidWeek Tease blog hop! This week I'm debuting the latest book in the Men of Marionville collection, TWICE REMOVED FROM YESTERDAY

New release time! I'm probably not alone in the occasional bout of new release doubt. You know - those moments in the dark of computer hell when one wonders if the spell check is working, where the computer tossed the original manuscript into some obscure folder. When you wonder into what folder the blasted computer dumped the brand new cover you just created into (found it!). This one had it all happen but don't despair - all is well! The book is up everywhere except Amazon and that'll be done soon!

Here's an excerpt from Twice Removed From Yesterday. Be sure to check out the other MidWeek Tease blogs by using the list at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

_*_*_


That got me a sharp look. “So, you’re just taking advantage of Dylan, are you?”

“No! What is wrong with you, man? You need to relax.” I set the cup of coffee in front of him. “You really need to chill out. Stop pushing people away.”

He put his elbows on the bar and covered his face with his hands. His shoulders slumped. I recognized a man at the end of his endurance when I saw one.

I grasped his wrist. “Hey. You’re exhausted, aren’t you? What can I do to help?”

August raised his head. Our gazes locked. "First off, don’t presume you know anything about me beyond what I tell you. Secondly, I need a glass of water, too.”

“Coming right up.”

I drew a glass of carbonated water from the soda tap and set it in front of him. He drew a small tin from his pocket. “You didn’t see this.”

What I saw was him select a white pill from the tin, neatly crack it in half, and swallow one of the pieces. Did he have a drug problem? Since he’d taken the pill in front of me, I didn’t consider it as being nosey to ask what it was.

“Okay. What sort of medication did I not see you take?”

“I messed up my back so bad ten years ago I was forced to quit the tour. Whenever I’m on my feet for hours on end, it becomes painful. Even with acetaminophen, I won’t take more than I absolutely need to take the edge off.”

Tour? The pro golf tour. I gawked at him as the bits and pieces came together in my mind. “Oh, my God. You’re August Howard. I saw you play at Augusta in the Open. You were really good and then you vanished.”

He grimaced. “Two weeks after Augusta, I unloaded on a tee shot and hit the ground. Herniated disc. Pinched nerves. Two surgeries. No…more…golf.” He pushed the empty water glass in my direction and reached for his coffee. “I can’t even play a par three course now.”

The grief in his voice was palpable. I thought I understood. The guy had had the world by the ass. Money, fame, recognition - and it vanished in a second. Not only had the talent he’d been given been rendered useless, he now lived with physical pain. What did one say in the face of his loss?

“I’m so sorry, man.”

His angry gaze locked with mine. We stared at each other. I refused to blink. To my surprise, his features softened and he took a deep breath as he searched my face.

“I think you mean that, don’t you?” he asked, his voice pitched low to almost a whisper.

“Yeah, August. I do. I can’t imagine losing a dream like that.”

He almost smiled. “Who said golf was my dream?”

I did smile. “You know what they say. Don’t kid a kidder.”

He rapped his knuckles on the bar and slid off the barstool. “We have work to do, kidder. We should get to it so everyone can get out of here and go home for the night.”

I grabbed his arm, stopping him. “Hey. Did we just have a moment?”

August grinned and walked away. 
*_*_*

About Twice Removed From Yesterday


Chandler Beck is at a crossroads. To move forward, he has to take a trip back to the biggest regret in his life. He discovers a man happily settled down with a partner, both of whom are ready to call him a friend. When they offer him a place to rest, Chandler ends up in their guest room and with a job at the best restaurant in town.

Once a rising star on the pro golf circuit, a back injury forced August Howard to give up the game. Swallowing his pride, he accepted a job waiting tables and worked his way up to the manager of The Wharf, the area’s premier restaurant. He’s not happy when the owner does a favor for a friend and hires the seemingly inexperienced Chandler Beck as a bartender.

It doesn’t take Chandler long to win over the prickly August, but August is a man with secrets. Their friendship heats up and when August’s past comes calling, Chandler pays the price. The only option open is for August to confess all and hope those around him, especially Chandler, will accept he’s a different man from who he was in his yesterdays.  

_*_*_

Available at:

iTunes/Apple: itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1338493712

Barnes and Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twice-removed-from-yesterday-kc-kendricks/1127870493

KOBO:  www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/twice-removed-from-yesterday-1


KC Kendricks
mailing list: betweenthekeys-subscribe@yahoo.com





Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ace, Deuce, Trey for this week's MidWeek Tease

January 17, 2018

Welcome to another MidWeek Tease! I hope your January is going well! It's cold here and we're getting a bit of snow, although it's not enough to slow anyone down. 

Ace, Deuce, Trey is the third installment in Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove. Ian's a PI with an FBI lover, a sexy office manager, a movie star client, and a drag queen BFF. Life stays pretty interesting for Ian as he and Rick struggle to work things out. Cases they can solve. Relationship issues between two strong-willed men take a bit more work but they're determined to find a way to be together, especially when their cases overlap. 

Here's an excerpt from Ace, Deuce, Trey. Enjoy!  And be sure to check out all the MWT blogs using the list at the end of this post.

_*_*_*_*



The description of the Harmon con man was a good match to the pictures we had of Saylor’s accuser. I checked the name of the detective on the Harmon case. I didn’t know him but I’d take the chance and call him to let him know I had a client with a similar situation and see what he said. I’d do what I could to ensure this con artist didn’t make Amethyst Cove his permanent home.

The air around me changed, expanded. I froze and listened into the quiet office. The outside door snicked closed. I drew my Sig Sauer P228 and held it in my lap.
“Hello?”
“It’s me, Ian.”
I laid the gun on my desk. “You should have yelled first.”
It was so quiet I wondered if my mind had played a trick on me.
“What the fuck are you doing, Rick?”
He swaggered into my office. His hot green gaze slammed into mine. “Making sure the blinds are closed.”
I leaned back and put my feet up on my desk. “I have a gun, bucko. What are your intentions?”
Rick reached behind his back, pulled out his Glock .9mm and laid it beside my pistol. “Mine’s bigger than yours.” He leaned over and kissed me. I pulled back.
“Dream on. That must have been one hell of an arrest and booking to get you so worked up.”
“Oh, it was. Law enforcement agents in three countries are going to dance in the street when word gets around.”
I grinned up at him. “And your name is going to be on the report.”
He shook his head. “Not mine, no. I have an alias, you know.”
That was news to me. “Because you’ve done undercover work for the Treasury?”
Rick grasped my ankles and lifted them off my desk. I set my feet on the floor and he went to his knees in front of me.
“And I might have to do it again so my team second gets the credit and the public glory on this one.”
I spread my knees and he slid his big, warm hands up the inside of my thighs to my balls. “You have something in mind here, Mr. FBI man?”
“You don’t have anything to say about the fact I might have to go undercover again?”
I narrowed my eyes. “Something you need to fill me in about?”
“No, no. I’ve let it be known I’m the last option for those assignments.” He pulled my shirttail out of my jeans. “I even told them why.”
“That’s a good career move. ‘I’m gay and I’m shacked up so don’t call me.’ I bet your boss loved that.”
My cock swelled as Rick eased my zipper down. “He laughed at me. In my face. So I beat the shit out of him.”
I snorted. “Right. On the shooting range. What do you think you’re doing?”
He yanked my pants down and all but dragged me out of the chair to the floor. “I’m going to do you in your office, darling. It’ll be a fantasy come true.”
“I’ll scream.” I wiggled my ass to aid him in getting my jeans down and out of the way.
“Yes you will before I’m done with you.”


_*_*_*

About Ace, Deuce, Trey:

Doing the job is easy but figuring out the relationship is tougher. Fitting their lives together isn’t without obstacles, but one thing is certain. On or off the case, Ian and Rick always get their man.


Ian Coulter has his hands full with a sexy office assistant, a favorite movie star client and a drag queen determined to save the world one lost runaway at a time. He can juggle all of it because he and his lover, FBI agent Rick Mohr, are finally together.

Rick’s transfer to Amethyst Cove puts him in charge of multiple operations. When one of Ian’s clients is targeted, it doesn’t take long for Ian to suspect the con artist is on an FBI watch list. With their cases overlapping, Ian and Rick are short on time. Together they set a trap and spring it before their suspect escapes.





Sunday, January 14, 2018

Happy Birthday to my darling Deuce!

January 14, 2018

My darling Deuce is two years old today! What a joy he's been and he is - every day. 

He was a whopping nine pounds when we brought him home. Today he's eighty pounds of muscle wrapped in a sleek, shiny black coat. He takes up a lot of room in the bed but we wouldn't have it any other way. The pack that sleeps together, stays together, or something like that. 

Deuce is chronicling his life in his very own blog, Deuce's Day. http://deucesday.blogspot.com . We invite you to stop by and see what his dog's life is like. It has its moments. 

Happy Birthday, Deucie-baby! 

Mom



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Deuce of Diamonds for my first MidWeek Tease of 2018

January 10, 2018

Welcome to another MidWeek Tease! I hope your holiday season was everything you wanted it to be. Mine wasn't, but it's okay. Sometimes things are out of our control. We're moving on for 2018 and getting back in the swing of things. Be sure to check out all the MWT blogs using the list at the end of this post.

Deuce of Diamonds is the second installment in Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove. Ian's a PI with an FBI lover, a sexy office manager, a movie star client, and a drag queen BFF. Life stays pretty interesting for Ian as he and Rick struggle to work things out. Cases they can solve. Relationship issues between two strong-willed men take a bit more work but they're determined to find a way to be together. 

Here's an excerpt from Deuce of Diamonds. Enjoy!

_*_*_*_*_



His gaze slammed into mine, hot with anger that didn’t touch me. “I was a fool to walk away from you. ‘One more try’ he said. What a joke.”

“I’m sorry.” And I was sorry he’d been hurt.

“Jesus, Ian. I knew when I left you standing there on the street, leaning on your car tipping your hat at Frank Bunson, it was a mistake to give Johnavan a last chance.”

He’d seen my little act of defiance at Frankie-boy? Huh.

“Why was it a mistake?”

His mouth dropped open. “Why? Why? Why the fuck do you think?”

“I think all sorts of things, Rick. I’d like for you to tell me the truth so I can make sense of some it.”

“It was a mistake because I’d met you.” He sighed heavily. “I didn’t …my heart wasn’t really in giving him another try.”

“And yet you did.”

“I wish I could lie to you, Ian, but I can’t. I’m not that big a bastard. You know what I thought? I thought I’d get him moved back east where he’d be happy and I’d be free to move on.”

I winced inwardly. Rick wasn’t a cold or calculating man in his personal life. “So how’d that work out for you?”

“How the fuck do you think?” He scrubbed his palms over his face. “I’m not good doing things to deliberately hurt people. He didn’t find a job right away, so I couldn’t just say ‘bye’ and leave him without rent money, now could I?”

That sounded more like him. “No, you couldn’t. Did he get a job or find someone else?”

Rick looked at me, a mix of emotions on his handsome face. He shook his head and rolled his eyes at the ceiling. “I came home from a day at the office and he was all packed and ready to go. It seems he used me as his ticket back to New York.”

“Oh, jeez. Hoist with your own petard.”

“Yeah, Shakespeare. I was. So I said it was fine and decided to enjoy a couple of weeks of solitude to make sure my head was out of my ass. Then you fucking call me and you’re going the fuck out with movie star Saylor Blackwood and I’m a fucking idiot!”

My joints went to jelly as the realization he was jealous I’d tricked Saylor sank into my brain. I grinned at him. “You’re not too fucking stupid. You are here now.”

“And you want to sleep on the couch!”

I echoed his tone. “Well maybe not!”

We stared at each other.

_*_*_

About Deuce of Diamonds:

Private investigator Ian Coulter has a knack for finding trouble even when he’s minding his own business. Ian’s in the midst of a routine weekly job for movie star client Saylor Blackwood when the man confides he thinks he has a fan turned stalker. Ian stays close to Saylor to observe the people around him and gets an unwelcome shock when FBI agent Rick Mohr contacts him.

Rick Mohr has a problem. Ian’s name just popped up on an FBI watch list. Rick knows it’s guilt by association where Ian is concerned, but what about Blackwood? Rick won’t allow Ian to get dragged into the mix when he’s not involved. For Ian, he’ll break whatever confidentiality rule necessary.

It doesn’t take long for Ian and Rick to join forces to clear Ian’s name and get to the bottom of what’s going on in Amethyst Cove, because on or off the case, together is how they work best.


DEUCE OF DIAMONDS
The sequel to Double Deuce
contemporary gay romance





KC Kendricks
mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kckendricks











Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The writer in the new year

January 9, 2017


When I embarked on this so-called writing career, there were a few things of which I was unaware. Yes, it's true. I was the perfect example of the neophyte. I was lucky enough to get some good advice early on, and perhaps I should recount that here for posterity. It's really quite simple: keep track of everything you do. 

Welcome to 2018 and the blank spreadsheet! 

With the arrival of January, it's time to close out the last year's spreadsheets. I have spreadsheets for everything. It's ridiculous but necessary. 

Taxes. I have individual folders for each tax year and a spreadsheet summary on all income and expenses for each year. It makes filing the annual tax return a lot easier. 

Activity. Speaking of taxes, I may one day need to prove I actually "participated" in the business I report income and expenses on. I have a spreadsheet with book names, dates, word count progress, completion date, upload to the .com date, and release date. 

Sales. I have a spreadsheet to track the number of copies sold per book and the income per book. This is also handy at tax time but mostly it's because I think it's important to know these things. 

Backup your work. It's January so I have a new jump drive (memory stick, flash drive, whatever you prefer to call it). I keep the old ones in a little box just in case something fucking weird should happen. 

Ideas. I have a spreadsheet with possible titles and possible character names. The best titles come to me while I'm driving. I've actually called home to ask Himself to write down a title for me so I don't forget it by the time I get to my computer. 

Who, in the beginning, knew writing was a business? Not me. But you know what? It's sort of a mood booster to look back over those spreadsheets at the beginning of a new year and pause for a moment. Looking at the data can bring to mind specific moments in the evolution of each creation, a snapshot only the author can see. 

Rather than inciting me to rest on my laurels, they send me forward to the next story. I will make the first wordcount entry on a new spreadsheet and feel as though I've accomplished something that binds my past, present, and future as a whole. 

I like that. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 - Looking back at a year of change

December 30, 2017

This has not been a year I will remember with much gladness. Much of what I'd hoped to accomplish is left undone. If I simply say I'm caring for aging parents, most of you will know exactly what that entails and I need not expand on the facts. It's been a year of change. Nonetheless, I won't be deterred. Slowed down, yes. Stopped, no. 

Now on to the writing front! 

First up in 2017 was Undeniable. I didn't do much of a re-release launch for this one due to how many copies went out in the original release. To my chagrin, I missed out. I should have done more promo because it went well again. I highlighted this book on January 14th, which just happens to be Deuce's birthday. He was one year old, and as we approach his second birthday, he is undeniably a joy in my life. MSS also went on hiatus with a projected return date in June. It didn't happen and after all this time I doubt that vehicle will return. 

In February, Bourbon and Blues debuted! It's always fun to take two characters and plop them down in circumstances they'd never find themselves in on a good day. Kory and Griff meet in the drunk tank, a place neither of them had ever been before, nor will be again. Lady Fate does like to have her fun although getting locked in a cemetery after hours is, I admit, nothing I would chuckle about. 

Bourbon and Blues is part of The Men of Marionville series. Dylan, Cassidy, and Leon make cameo appearances. Revisiting old friends is why I love this series so much. It's nice to check in with them to see how they're getting along. 

In March I performed an experiment with the Sundown Saga. I *think* that story is finished although as a writer I know to never say never again or there will be more. My experiment consisted of putting all five Sundown stories into a mega-book with a limited release. Strangely enough, it depended on the vendor as to how well received it was. Amazon, with all the free stuff, was a bust. I may offer the mega book again sometime, but not on Big A. 

I sat out the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge due to changes in the format. Guess what? I didn't miss it. I was too busy putting the finishing touches on Chain Lightning.

I like to call Chain Lightning a contemporary shapeshifter. Eli and Rio are true shapeshifters, able to take on any form the situation calls for. I think it's more fun than having them restricted to just one creature alter ego. Maybe I should stop watching Ancient Aliens. 

By the time May rolled around I grappled with what has been a constant burr under my saddle - noise. Specifically, the noise the man of the house creates when watching any sport on the television. The 2017 baseball season promised to be rather miserable. I gave up my lovely merlot inspired office where every story I'd ever written to that point was created. I moved to the sunroom, desk, computer, lock, stock, and dog. It's much, much quieter. And with windows on three sides, very light and breezy. I catch myself staring out the windows instead of working. I will confess comfortable digs doesn't negate the feelings of resentment I continue to harbor after being driven insane by the ceaseless shouting at the TV screen. ("And that, Your Honor, is when it happened.")


Next on the agenda was the re-release of Passion's Victory. This story was a Romance Studio CAPA nominee in its debut back in 2008. It's a complex story - an age difference, an on the job romance, grief, and having the courage to make a leap with someone who has an uncertain future. Even with all that, the ending is one of hope and victory. I love this story as much today as when it was written. 

Several years ago, I co-wrote two series with Christiana France. With the closing of Amber Quill, we decided to each take a series and run with it. I pulled the card for The Ghost at the B and B and she got The Escort. We maintain equal writing credits on the covers and copyrights. I'm delighted with the way it worked out. The Ghost at the B and B is actually three stories combined into one edition. Writing the ghost gave me idea after idea for more ghost stories. All I need now is time. The series is set in Williamsburg, Virginia, which is one of my favorite vacation destinations.

July brought another re-release, or rather two. Shining Victory and No One But You tells the story of Stacy and Levi. Shining Victory is written from Stacy's point of view. No One But You picks up five years later from Levi's point of view.  I re-read the pair before the re-release and was amazed I wrote them. 

Life intruded in the second half of the year. I was needed elsewhere and all the best-laid writing plans needed to be put on hold. But one thing was ready - Surrendered Victory. Surrendered Victory is where it all began for KC Kendricks. Sometimes it's difficult to believe I've been "KC" in my writing life for ten years now. 

Surrendered Victory represents several "firsts." The first contemporary gay romance I penned, the first KC book, the first acceptance at Amber Quill which was a good company back in 2008. I still consider it to be one of my finest works. 

Currently, there are two works-in-progress. One is another installment in the Men of Marionville series and the second has a ghostly theme. The MOM story is all but finished, the friendly spirit barely begun. I'll get there, eventually.

The year of our Lord 2017 didn't pan out as I hoped. One of the better things about gaining life experience is one learns to roll with what comes your way. The needs of loved ones has me moving in a reactive mode instead of a proactive mode. My mother has Alzheimer's Disease and if 2018 sees her passing, that will bring a mixture of sadness and relief. It will also bring a new phase of living to my life. When it happens, as it surely will, my hope is to return more fully to the pages and submerge myself back into writing. For now, the writer is forced to operate on the fringes but she's still operating. 

I hope you'll come with me, down into the spaces between the keys.

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com


The 2016 Retrospective

The 2015 Retrospective

The 2014 Retrospective

The 2013 Retrospective

The 2012 Retrospective




Friday, December 29, 2017

I not a subversive individual, honest I'm not

December 29, 2017

Every once in a while, a person reaches the end of their endurance. That day came for me on Wednesday. I'd been trying without success to update my stepfather's method of payment on one of his insurance policies. The company, Cigna, refused. 

It didn't matter he's in the hospital.
It didn't matter I had all the information.
It didn't matter I have complete legal Power of Attorney. 

The people at Cigna said they couldn't update the payment information because of the HIPAA laws. 

HIPAA was enacted to protect a person's MEDICAL information. 

I didn't, nor do I, need his medical information. I'm willing to bet I know more about his health than Cigna does. All I needed to do was update his method of payment from a debit card to an auto-pay, which his bank said is more secure. 

At my wit's end, I tweeted a nasty little note to Cigna - and got a response. Problem now resolved. 

It should never have gone to that point. 

We didn't need to spend $400 on Power of Attorney papers. 

We simply needed the Power of the Tweet. For free.

KC Kendricks
www.kendricks.com


PS. The next contestant is in my crosshairs. 



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Take that, you ghosts of Christmas

December 26, 2017

I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.
A magical thing and sweet to remember.
                                   - Oliver Herford

The ghosts of Christmas past kept me awake last night. They came to remind me of how very blessed I've been in my life and how life changes. 

The ghost of Christmas present was absent and no wonder. We didn't have our traditional Christmas.

The ghosts of Christmas future are pouting because we're not buying into their little Ponzi scheme. 

We had a remarkably quiet Christmas. My partner's parents are gone, as is my father. My mother has Alzheimer's and is in a care facility. My partner isn't all that close to his children due to geography. For the first time ever we had Christmas dinner for just the two of us. 

We could have gone next door to my cousin's home. We had the invitation and I would have enjoyed sitting at their table, but we decided quiet would be a good thing for us at this juncture. Perhaps, I very much hope, the invitation will be extended again next year. 

Our gift to each other is parked outside. Christmas came in September when we got the new-to-us Silverado. We each pulled a couple grand out of our individual slush funds for that and so neither of us felt the need for additional gifting this calendar year. As for Deuce, his toy basket is overflowing and since he got a few gift cards it will stay that way for months. 

I used to wonder at my grandmother and mother's waning interest in all the trappings of the holiday season. I understand it now. The amount of Christmas decorating I want to do decreases every year. As decorations become tattered they are not replaced. Not even the ghosts of Christmas past can make me sad about that. 

It's the way of things. The world changes. The need for extravagances is dwindling, at least among those in my circle. My cousins and his siblings all seem to be embracing a simpler lifestyle. I proclaim it to be a good thing as it is not a reflection of dwindling resources but a philosophical shift. It seems to me that as I mature the real heart of Christmas is more evident. It's the people around us, not the stuff. 

The ghosts of Christmas past are fine visitors but it is the ghosts of the future that pique my interest. The signs are there. The shapes of those imaginings of new memories are changing. 

It feels like a good thing.


KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com




Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017


Christmas Bells

 I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play, 
    And wild and sweet 
    The words repeat 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 

And thought how, as the day had come, 
The belfries of all Christendom 
    Had rolled along 
    The unbroken song 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 

Till ringing, singing on its way, 
The world revolved from night to day, 
    A voice, a chime, 
    A chant sublime 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 

Then from each black, accursed mouth 
The cannon thundered in the South, 
    And with the sound 
    The carols drowned 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 

It was as if an earthquake rent 
The hearth-stones of a continent, 
    And made forlorn 
    The households born 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 

And in despair I bowed my head; 
“There is no peace on earth," I said; 
    “For hate is strong, 
    And mocks the song 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: 
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; 
    The Wrong shall fail, 
    The Right prevail, 
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 - 1882

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017


In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.



Saturday, December 23, 2017

Give Me One Night - new cover reveal

December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas Eve eve! It's a rainy day here in western Maryland. I have cordless blinds in my sunroom office and they're up to let in as much light as possible. Plus the view of a misty, rainy morning is better with them up. Instead of lounging in the chair and slowly enjoying a cup of coffee, I've been playing with Photoshop.

The best thing about making book covers is the ability to change them whenever you want. Back when I did the first cover for Give Me One Night I knew I'd upgrade it at some future date. I'm not sure why the "bug" to do it happened this morning, but hey - I say roll with those urges!

I knew I liked the blurry background so I kept it. Not that as many of the colors show in this version of the cover. That's unfortunate and I didn't catch it in time. I knew I wanted to keep the guy on the right and that he needed a companion. The relationship starts off as the guys follow each other around town during the annual St. Patrick's Day pub crawl so I added the Jaguar. The font has always been yellow, even on the AQP version, so I kept it. And there it is. An updated cover. 

It'll do as well as any, so the author says. 

Here's a bit about Give Me One Night.

GIVE ME ONE NIGHT
Contemporary gay romance

Brody O’Connor joins the revelry of the yearly St. Patrick's Day pub crawl, hunting a like-minded man for a night of fun and frolic with no strings attached. When a mystery man in an emerald green shirt engages Brody’s interest, it doesn’t take long for the hunter to become the prey.

Well-matched with his mystery man, Brody regrets his "no strings" approach to a night of shared passion that leaves him hungry for more. The morning after, Evan is gone, as agreed. Brody knows it was a mistake to let him go, and vows to find him.

Evan also never expected to meet someone like Brody. Now Brody wants to change the rules, and Evan decides he’ll give Brody one more night to convince him to stay...


EXCERPT:

My quarry stood at the bar, sipping what appeared to be a soda. I stepped into the whirling lights, planted my feet, squared my shoulders, put my hands on my hips, and waited for him to spot me. It didn’t take long.

He looked me up and down, a slow, lazy appraisal that focused my attention on his face. Then he smiled and lowered his eyelids with a slight nod of his head.

In that instant I knew something about him there are no flowery or romantic words for – only gut instinct. He wanted me to fuck him.

My body responded to the knowledge. Arousal snapped through me, sending shivers down my spine. My nipples, sensitive as any girl’s, tingled to the point that the fabric of my sweater rubbing against them became deliciously painful. My cock swelled to its full seven and three quarter inch glory in a single pounding heartbeat.

I’d fuck him until he was limp as a rag doll in less time than that if I could get my hands on him.

His chin lifted, the knowledge of the game joined in his eyes. I gestured for him to join me on the dance floor. He smiled and weaved his way through the crowd in my direction. A dancer whirled between us and I bolted for the door, no doubt in my mind he’d follow.

I made it to my car in time to see him step out the door, pause, and look around. He handed something to the bouncer cum doorman. His keys?
He allowed others to drive his Jaguar? The man held stunning, hidden possibilities.

Sure enough, the burly attendant loped across the street and out of my line of sight. Within a minute, the Jag whirled into view and Blue Eyes reclaimed his ride. When he pulled out into the center lane, I steered my car in behind him.

The next stop, according to the pub crawl itinerary, was Rumours, and that was good for me. Blue Eyes turned left onto Potomac Street and his turn signal stayed on. I made a sharp left into the alley and the Rumours private rear parking lot.

Rumours was part of my regular circuit. I breezed through the kitchen door like I owned the place, which I did. I held a very modest, and quiet, ten percent of the business and the real estate.

Several of the wait staff yelled friendly profanities at me – and made a few offers. I smiled and waved as I hustled my way through, exiting the kitchen beside the bar. A buddy had the barstool on the end and I shooed him off it with the promise of imminent entertainment.

Thank heavens the chair was right in front of an air vent and a breeze blew from it to cool the mob of revelers. I was sweaty, sticky, and not because the night was at all warm. The bartender handed me a glass of ice water with a lime twist and I gulped down a few swallows.

No more alcohol for me until I got Blue Eyes home.

And speaking of, there he was, just on the other side of the dance floor, smiling at me, one eyebrow cocked up and looking amused. He gestured to me to join him with the same palm up wave of the arm I’d used at Tully’s.

I shook my head, lifting my glass to indicate I was thirsty. He clasped his hands over his chest and feigned heartbreak.

Right.

The dancer behind him was rubbing his butt, without any protest from Blue Eyes, so how crushed could he be? I finished my water and walked towards him, my gaze never leaving his. He stepped into the throng of dancers, meeting me halfway.

We moved easily to the music, our movements mirroring each other. I’d worry about the stupid grin on my face, but his expression matched mine. Our hips swayed closer. Our hands brushed. Blue Eyes turned, shaking his very well-shaped ass at me. I laughed in his ear, pulling him back against me. I was so achingly hard that my resolve to taunt him, to wear him down to a begging blob of gel, almost cracked. He grinned over his shoulder when I licked the rim of his ear.

“Are you going to tell me your name?”

I flashed my pearly whites at him. “Just before you come for the first time.”

“Cocky bastard, aren’t you?”

“You’ll have to wait a while to find that out.”


GIVE ME ONE NIGHT

Available at Amazon

Available at Apple/iTunes

Available at KOBO

Available at Barnes & Noble/Nook



KC Kendricks
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