Thursday, December 31, 2015

Retrospective: 2015

December 31, 2015

Happy New Year's Eve! Will you stay awake until midnight to see the ball drop in Times Square? I probably will.

This will be the last post of 2015. As you may glean from the title, it's my annual year in review post. It's when I look back and see if where I've been as a writer in the year closing was good enough for my harshest critic - me.

First up in 2015 - Hot August Comes was released at the end of February. Hot August Comes was one of those stories I started, then had to set aside to finish other projects. This story was on the back burner for a long time with me pecking at it over the course of many months. Not my favorite way to write, but the end result was pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Hot August Comes got some good reviews

Hey, Joe is the first story I self-published. It's not that I think self-publishing is the greatest thing since white bread - I don't - but I think it's a valuable tool in the author's arsenal. You might see a photo of a guy in blue jeans and suddenly say to yourself, "Well, hello, Joe."  And you might be with a publisher who has strongly indicated covers by authors will not be accepted. I wanted my name on that guy's jeans. So I self-pubbed Hey, Joe in March. It was a great learning experience, one I do not regret. 

April is the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I completed the challenge for the FIFTH year in a row, every day and on time. It's a huge investment in time (which just happens to be my 2016 theme) but it's worth it. A writing career should have many facets, like a diamond. 

Undeniable was released in May and hit the All Romance eBooks best seller list in June. You can't plan for that. You can only be thankful for each and every reader who purchased a copy. Undeniable is the story of two college boys who reconnect years later as adult men. Each of them feared the other lost forever when they vanished so completely from each other. It may be a common theme, lovers finding each other again, but it's one so many of us can relate to. 

The older I am, the more important it becomes to reconnect with the people in my past that matter to me, if only to say hello. I never thought about visiting the grave of an old lover, but suddenly I had to. If you need to go tell a special person you still think of them, don't wait too long. 

May brought the passing of my beloved Jett. He was thirteen, a grand age for a dog. My study is lonely without his quiet presence. 

What can I say about Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series? Ian is the bad boy in my stable. Well, he's not too bad, being an ex-cop turned private investigator, but he doesn't suffer fools and bullshit with anything that approaches grace. Circle of Steel is the fourth installment in Ian's story. His lover, Rick, is shot by a sniper. It has some honest moments in it where fear and reaction to events cause Ian and Rick to say things not normally said in a "romance" novel. But it's a real relationship moment between mature individuals and their reconciliation reflects that maturity. 

Saddle up! Ride Your Luck is my first true cowboy story. I had so much fun writing this story - it could have gone on forever! But I had a deadline... well I had a deadline. Seems like a few others in the same PAX didn't think they did. This one sat on the publishers shelf from May 18 until September 22. It really made me rethink a few things. I had this great story, if I do say so myself, and it languished. I was so disappointed it had to wait so long! It's a thing of the heart because my head knows that no matter when a good story is released, it will still be a good story. 

September Morning. Man takes the summer off to regroup and form a plan for his life. Man meets the sexy neighbor. Man acts like an idiot and the sexy neighbor gets away. Too late man realizes his mistake. But this is romance and you know things are going to work out with some hope for a bright future, even with three in the relationship. (That's a teaser for you.)

Also finished in 2015, but not going live until 2016 are the aforementioned The Ghost Gets Even, SABRE:Union Jack, SABRE:City of Lights, and the next Sundown and Fallon story, Fly By Night. 

On the plot boards are a couple of stories set in Marionville. I've been away from there for too long. It's time to visit a few old friends and see what they're doing. The first of those stories is at about the halfway point. 

All-in-all, it was a good year. I didn't accomplish every goal I set for myself, but in many ways that's a good thing. Plans change. People change. We suddenly grow in an unexpected way. We change directions. It's healthy provided we stay flexible in our thinking. 

I'm looking forward to the new year and what 2016 may bring. Will I get a puppy? Will I be able to retire ahead of schedule in June? Will the people I love still be in my life when 2017 dawns? 

All I can do is live each day to the fullest. I'll hope you'll join me on the journey.

KC Kendricks 
http://www.kckendricks.com

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A dog-less Christmas Eve

Baby picture (March 2002)
December 24, 2015

For the first time in many, many, many years I'm without a dog. My beloved Jett left us back in May, and with one thing and another, I've not yet found a pup that strikes a chord inside me. It may seem strange, but I know if I hold a pup and that special lightning doesn't strike, he's not the one for me. 

Gimme a kiss, Mommy! (2002)
Jett was very special. The first time I picked him up, he didn't want back down with his litter mates or seem interested in his sudden higher perspective on the world. He gripped my arm with his stubby legs (and big paws) and held on. Then he cried when I tried to put him down. He wanted me. And so began our thirteen year journey. 

I'm pretty sure Jett didn't care much about the whole Christmas-time-of-the-year thing. Let's face it. Everything in the living room, including his bed, got moved around to accommodate the tree. And his stocking? He wanted his treats and toys NOW, not on Christmas morning. Oh, yeah. Don't forget the roasted turkey skin. He had dibs on that, too. I think it's safe to say the mutt was a bit spoiled.

Jett was the first Lab I had. My family has always raised hounds and setters, and acquiring a dog was as easy as telling my uncle, "sure I'll take a pup from the next litter." Now having had a Lab, I'd like to share my life with another. I'm just not sure paying upwards of two thousand dollars for a dog is a sound idea. Two grand will buy a lot of kibble and cover a lot of vet bills. Two thousand dollars makes it about the money, not the fact I can provide a good home to a dog. 

I can hear folks saying, "get a rescue Lab!" and if I didn't have an older cat, I'd consider it. If the cat was still a young lion, that would be different, too. Since he's not, we need a young puppy who will learn right from the start that the cat is the boss. A pup grows into the rhythms of the household. They watch and learn so much just sitting in the middle of the floor observing their humans.  

One of my Christmas Eve traditions is to walk a few of the old trails that crisscross the mountainside above my home. Only a few times in my life have I done so without a dog as my companion. Lovely Raven with her long setter feathers, noble Callahan whose bright coonhound soul shone in his eyes, and my beloved Jett - each knew the way out and back. 

Maybe next year I'll show a new companion the way to the secret pond. Maybe next year. 

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com/KCKendricks_bookshelf.html

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Surrendered Victory

December 19, 2015

Merry Christmas! Everyone I know is saying how they can't believe Christmas is almost upon us, and I'm right there with them. The Year of our Lord 2015 virtually flew by at sonic speed. It was a good year for me and mine, though. We are truly blessed. 

I first joined the My Sexy Saturday blog hop September 14, 2013. Recently, it's occurred to me I need to track what I'm doing. I've got a lot of books out and I'm sure I've missed a few. I need a spreadsheet. 

So with that in mind, I'm going back to the beginning and the first book I published for MSS122 - Surrendered Victory.

*_*_*_*


His hand brushing mine excited me beyond anything I’d ever known. Large, tanned and callused, I knew he earned a living with his hands. His long, strong fingers possessed a muscled elegance, much like the rest of him. Short, neat nails belied his trade, that of a carpenter. I shivered as his hand found mine, hidden from public view between our torsos and the bar. Dalton trailed those well-tended fingernails lightly across my palm, sending me his teasing invitation.

“What do you say? Come back to my place for a while?” His clear tenor held no hint of accent, yet he’d alluded he hailed from somewhere in the South. I’d not heard the story of how he’d made his way to the West Virginian outback, although doubtless he knew my tale.

Everyone in the company knew I’d been banished here by my loving family with little hope for redemption, following some sort of serious disagreement with my father, the supposed details of which continued to fuel the rumor mill. None of my fellow barflies would guess the truth. I didn’t wear it on the skin. It went much deeper, all the way to the soul.

Almost none of the assembled crowd would guess the truth, I corrected myself. Dalton suspected. Clearly he recognized the indefinable aura that marked us as different, as outsiders. I could still shake my head, decline his invitation, and tender my apologies with no hard feelings. His invitation would remain ambiguous to anyone who’d overheard it.

My body thrummed with awareness of his nearness. I did my best to avoid breathing, since every time I inhaled, the clean, crisp scent of his aftershave sank red-hot talons into my brain. And underneath the Old Spice, undeniable, alluring, dangerous and unmistakable on the gentle breeze from the ceiling fan overhead wafted a delicious, forbidden male musk.

“I was hoping to have another drink,” I said, matter-of-factly, painfully, acutely aware that all walls have ears. “It was a long day and I need to unwind for a bit.”

His sky blue eyes, so different from my blue-grey orbs, didn’t flicker, reminding me he had some experience at this dance. 

_*_*_*_

SURRENDERED VICTORY
2008 Amber Heat Wave Winner

www.kckendricks.com/SurrenderedVictory.html

More about Surrendered Victory:


Dalton makes Reed tingle in all the right places. Now Reed’s ready to answer the question that’s haunted his every failed relationship. Is he really gay?

Reed walked into Dalton’s life and everything changed. This time, Dalton won’t hide the fact he’s gay from anyone, even his son.

Together they surrender all to each other and claim the ultimate victory – love.
- - -

Be sure to check out all the My Sexy Saturday blogs for more great excerpts here!




KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com
www.twitter.com/kckendricks
www.pinterest.com/kckendricks

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hmmm..... Someone didn't advertise

December 14, 2015

I confess. I'm an American Muscle car lover. If you read my books, especially Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted, that comes through loud and clear. That doesn't mean I think newer, cleaner cars are worthless. Quite the opposite. I think embracing the future and celebrating our heritage can peacefully co-exist. 

I drove down to the Hub City over the weekend to do a little Christmas shopping. It's nice to know the Prime Outlets folk are progressive. 

The downside is.... Tesla? In western Maryland? Certainly doesn't appear so. 

(Yep, that's my Charger on the edge of the frame.)

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Saturday, December 5, 2015

River Walk by KC Kendricks (#mss120)

December 5, 2015

Welcome to another My Sexy Saturday blog hop! This week's theme is about sexy in another galaxy, but I'm switching that around a bit. What if someone from another galaxy came here? What if that someone is a shapeshifter and his entire Clan is here? Urban legends begin somewhere, don't they?

Here are seven sexy paragraphs from River Walk, the third installment in the Sundown saga. Enjoy!

_*_*_*_*_*_*_


I wet my lips and slid down over his cock again, working mouth and hand in tandem. His fingers twisted into my hair. After a few moments, his face took on a blissful, dreamy look. I knew he’d stay wrapped in his pleasure peak until motion fatigue forced me to stop, and I was determined not to falter for at least five minutes.

Sundown moaned softly. There was a subtle movement beneath my fingertips and I knew he was satisfied—for the moment. I released his rod and sprawled over him to find his willing mouth. His knees slid along my sides as his hands gripped my shoulders. The familiar hesitation washed through me, the moment where the ingrained habits of years of safe sex practices hovered.

No matter his outward appearance, my lover was Chal. The usual precautions didn’t come into play. I slipped my hand between us to guide my cock, and slid into his heat, shuddering in the wake of possessing him. He smiled up at me.

“You have such pretty blue eyes, Fallon. I have often thought of emulating them.”

I smacked his hip and flexed into him, the wiry dark hairs of my bush tight to his ass. “Nice try to distract me, lover.” I thrust into him again. “Now put your pleasure receptors where they’ll do you the most good and prepare to be fucked.”

His powerful thighs squeezed me as he laughed. I rocked into him, hard. His eyes widened, and I proceeded to show him I meant what I said, using my dick like a piston. Sundown loved it, and oh, God, so did I.

Not for the first time I wondered what it would be like to be Chal and experience what equaled five-, ten-, or even more-minute orgasms. Where before he’d enjoyed the blowjob, it was clear he’d now passed the gates of his personal Nirvana. I had one very happy shapeshifter impaled under me.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*


RIVER WALK
Book 3 of the Sundown Saga
Gay romance with paranormal shift

About River Walk:

Detective Fallon Roxbury has a big problem. A twenty-year old cold case turned hot threatens to expose his secret - shapeshifters exist and they’re living in Montgomery Circle under his protection. Between a new witness and a group of fanatical alien watchers, Fallon’s scrambling to uphold the law and keep his promises intact. He already knows no power on earth can keep his shapeshifter lover from stepping into the mix.  

Sundown has come into his own with his human lover by his side. Fallon is his compass, and shield, as he seeks to keep his Clan united and teach them most humans can be trusted. A catalyst, Sundown is rare among his kind, a descendant of heroes. The status of his Clan rests on him and he’s determined to see his people prosper on this world owned by humans - without the humans knowing shapeshifters walk among them.

Secrets have a way of being exposed. Fallon’s not the only one who knows about Sundown’s kind. A cop used to right and wrong being black and white, Fallon struggles to learn shades of gray. Their relationship is tested as Fallon and Sundown race against the clock to find a kidnapped shapeshifter before the Clan takes matters into their own hands.  Because if they fail, Fallon knows his lover will be forced to stand with his people and act against him.  

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com
twitter.com/kckendricks

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

“Step into Christmas with me…”

December 2, 2015

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

“…so hop aboard the turntable and step into Christmas with me!”

That’s my nod to Sir Elton John. It’s a line from my fave Christmas song from 1973, Step Into Christmas. It plays as well today as it did forty-two years ago. Happy. Upbeat. Downright freakin’ cheerful. Just like the holiday season…

Every year the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are like the BLACK HOLE THAT KILLS WRITING. Maybe it only attacks me, but I suspect it sucks in many, many, many writers.

Forward progress - halted.
Momentum - blasted to hell.
Productivity - squashed like a bug.

I try to enjoy the holidays but the fact that I’m not writing bothers the hell outta me. I’m busy at work and at home. The only thing I can do to work around the holidays is plan for the slowdown and plan for writing time. And once I have a bit of time blocked out on my calendar for WRITING, woe be on the head of anyone foolish enough to interrupt me.

It might sound strange I’ve had to resort to serious threats and tantrums just to write, but I use whatever means necessary to get the job done. Whatever means. What. Ever. Means.

There’s nothing insecure about it.

So Merry Christmas to you - and don’t bother me between six a.m. and noon on December 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2015. I’ll be writing.

KC Kendricks
http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks