Monday, September 1, 2014

A Busy September Ahead

September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day 2014 to all! Thanks to everyone who works hard, even on Labor Day, to keep our country strong. 

Quite often September isn't sure if she's coming or going, but we welcome her for what she is as she prepares us for October's splendor.

The end of summer. The beginning of the school year.
The reaping of the harvest. The gathering of seeds for spring. 
The falling of leaves. The planting of grass.
The evening chill. The warmth of first fires. 

September brings a flurry of activity to my world. There's lots of yard work to be done as the deer stand in the woods and watch. It's time to cut or uproot dying flowers, one by one, as the daylight hours shorten. There's all the downed wood to cut, split and stack. Mother Nature provides us with what's needed to heat the house in cold weather but she doesn't give it for free. We must labor for it. 

Our little pool needs to be drained and stored for next year. The hummingbird feeders need to be removed and cleaned in the attempt to hasten the departure of the tiny birds south to warmer climes. I've been outside listening for the screech owls to begin calling but nothing yet. 

On the writing front, September should bring two new KC releases: Dreams to Sell at Amber Allure, A Perfect Hire at Ellora's Cave. (More about these titles later. Check back.) And while those are coming out, my alter ego will begin the process to self-publish some older titles that have been out of print for several years. 

Will this leave me time to actually write? I believe so. With the ousting of the previous CEO, my lot at the day job has improved immeasurably. I find I can function again. It's like a new job at the same desk. Weird and wonderful. 

For the first time, I'm taking this week off. Being at my day job for many years, I get a generous amount of vacation time, but with that said I think taking the days after a Monday holiday off helps maximize that benefit. I realize how fortunate I am with paid vacation and I promise I'll make good use of this time and not squander it.  


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Highway Nights by KC Kendricks on this My Sexy Saturday

August 23, 2014

Welcome to my corner of My Sexy Saturday. This week I'm highlighting seven paragraphs from Highway Nights. 

With My Sexy Saturday #56, we're talking about love for the ages and that's what happened to Garrett and Oliver. They didn't see it coming in the beginning, but it made the ride more fun.

I hope you enjoy this snip from Highway Nights.


“To each his own.”

Garrett grasped Oliver’s hips and yanked him against him. He held him there and soaked up the heat from Oliver’s body. The corner of his mouth quirked in a small smile.

“So, am I going to have to beg you to kiss me again?”

Oliver ran his thumb over Garrett’s lower lip. He swallowed, the muscles in his throat moving. “Garrett, be sure you want this. Don’t lead me on, then tell me to stop.”

“I came for this, Oliver.”

Something dark and unsettled sparked in Oliver’s eyes. “Don’t get too attached to me, either, boy.”

“I’m horny. I want to fuck you, not marry you.”


For what it's worth, I saw the photo of cars on the highway at night and it was the inspiration for the story. I was thrilled when the cover artist agreed to use it. 

More about Highway Nights:

Garrett Webb has a five-point plan for starting his own business. To keep it on track, he takes a second job and settles into the evening delivery run between Owensville and Mt. Franklin. When a foggy night sends him to the safety of The Downshift Diner and its owner, Oliver Sanderson, that future takes an unforeseen turn.

Good intentions can’t hold out against their budding attraction. Garrett makes the diner a regular stop during his nightly run, and the men get better acquainted. But Garrett’s past isn’t done with him. In a single heart-stopping moment, Garrett is forced to a decision that risks Oliver’s life – one that could forever end their highway nights.

HIGHWAY NIGHTS is available at Amber Allure, All Romance eBooks and other third party vendors. 

KC Kendricks

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Chilly Situation

August 16, 2014

If you're a long-time visitor here at Between the Keys you already know I enjoy living in the woods. I'm very blessed to have three acres of land to call my very own but with that blessing comes a duty of stewardship. I pay attention to the flora and fauna on my patch of paradise. It's not like I can do a lot but clean up the debris if a tree falls in my woods, but I at least I am aware it happened. 

In the midst of the outcries about global warming we're having a very cool summer here in western Maryland. In my particular realm there is some snickering regarding the political silence on the matter. And you must allow us our snark because, you see, my compatriots and I live a mere ninety or so miles northwest of the hottest air found on the planet, that being the real source of "global warming" - the incessant talking of the Capitol Hill politician. We suffer from something akin to radiation exposure from the gases they expel. 

I wonder if they've finally shut the fuck up because it was a mere fifty degrees on the patio this morning. 

That I can't drink my first cup of coffee on my patio in the middle of August is virtually unheard of. And I was really looking forward to those fifteen minutes of peace and solitude before I start what will be a Saturday full of activity. Spending quiet time watching my world turn from a dusky grey-green to glowing green-gold as the sun comes up is one of life's simple pleasures. I'm going to miss it this morning and it doesn't please me.  

But never mind what I think about this chilly morning. You should ask my cat his opinion. While I at least stepped outside to take a look around, he retreated the moment his little pink paw pads hit the cold concrete. He looked up at me and screeched his unhappiness. I'm not sure what he thinks I can do about it but obviously I'm to come up with a solution. Seriously - does he look happy to you? I'm going to have  to deal with His Majesty's displeasure until the mercury hits at least seventy. It's going to take a lot of cat crack, er, Mix-up treats, to fix this. 

The first cup of coffee is gone and it's time I find a sweatshirt so I can begin my outside tasks. We're leaving on a day jaunt mid-morning and there are potted flowers to water, a pool filter to change, tomatoes to pick, and hummingbird feeders to replenish before I go, not to mention finding a way to put the cat in a happier frame of mind.

A sweatshirt. In August. It's certainly a chilly situation. 


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tango in the Night by KC Kendricks (#MSS54)

August 9, 2014

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday #54. Hot August is here and it's time to heat up the sheets even more. In my hometown if you talk about the tango in the night you're talking about sex, not a song by a rock group although I do like the song. So here are seven sexy paragraphs from one of my favorite stories (if the author is allowed to admit that), Tango in the Night. Enjoy!


Ellis’ gaze locked with mine. I knew that interested look, having been on the receiving end of it often enough in my life. It was nice to know I could still turn a head. He reached out and trailed his fingertips down my arm. “You want some help feeling young again, Jubal?”
I hated to disappoint him. He was a nice looking man, and I couldn’t deny my curiosity about him. But…I rebuffed him as gently as I knew how. “Not with a co-worker, Ellis, even a handsome stud like you.”
Ellis didn’t blink. His chin lifted the slightest bit as those blue eyes saw straight through my act. A warm little glow sparked to life in my belly. I knew by the way he pressed his full, sexy lips together he knew. We stood there staring at each, the air between us sparking with a strange blue lightning. He tried, but he couldn’t keep the corner of his mouth from quirking up in a little smile.
“If you change your mind, Jubal, just say so.”
I nodded. Ellis pushed off from the counter and walked towards the door, the wide vees on the pockets of his jeans showing off his swagger to good advantage. I had one more thing I had to say to him. “Ellis?”
He stopped and turned around. “Yeah?”
“Nice ass.”

Here's a bit about Tango in the Night:

Jubal Graham is back on the job after a shooter took the life of his long-time partner, and sent him into a coma followed by months of rehab. Determined to have justice, Jubal is focused on finding a killer, not a new romantic entanglement. Ellis Banks, with his smoldering blue eyes and denim-clad swagger is a distraction Jubal can’t afford – or ignore. 

Ellis Banks came to Philadelphia to bust a drug operation; one that connects to the same case agency legend Kentuckian Jubal Graham is working. Ellis finds himself drawn to Jubal, but Jubal holds him off. Sure that Jubal is interested, even though Jubal wears his slain lover’s ring, Ellis mounts a determined siege.

Jubal’s surprise at having a suitor develops into a growing affection for Ellis, one clouded with old fears. Fate ripped one lover from his arms, and now Ellis is in the line of fire. Jubal’s courage can protect Ellis, but is it powerful enough to love him?

KC Kendricks

Check out all the My Sexy Saturday blogs using the links below. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sundry things for a Sunday

August 3, 2014

Yesterday my family gathered and it was good. All the cousins and kids were there except one who had to work and we certainly forgive his absence. Our young widower came and I don't know if we did well by him by not speaking much of his loss but taking our cues from him, we remained silent to allow him peace in our midst. The women had a new baby coming soon to speculate about and the men spent time in the driveway trash talking each other's new rides.

As chance would have it, my honey's family reunion was also yesterday. He joined us for a meal then traveled to his to play poker with his brothers. It's the first time I've missed his family reunion in twenty years but I think I can manage the absence.

On the writing front I finally finished the short story. I started it months ago and it sort of floated in and out of focus as I worked on other projects. Because it features a trio of canines, I started calling it "Lick Me." I'm not at all convinced I should title it that but I'm afraid it's going to stick.  

With Lick Me finished (oh, God, it IS going to stick...) it's time to line up the ducks in a neat row. They won't stay there, but I refuse to give up making the attempt to keep things orderly. 

Up next is "Ace, Deuce, Trey." Savvy readers will guess correctly that with Deuce in the title it's the third installment in the Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series. Ian and Rick's cases overlap when a thief/con artist targets Ian's client.

Sundown, Fallon and Juny have caught a lead on an old cold case. Local history, a crooked politician, a skeleton and a burned body figure into the mix. It could be that the shapeshifting Chal have information dating back to 1850 that can link everything together. Fallon and Juny just have to pry it out of Sundown. It might be easier this time since Sundown is looking for reasons to avoid his tiny doppelganger.   

I jumped into a trio of PAXes for next year, too. The first one is about lovers reuniting (a fave theme of almost everyone). The second PAX is called Texas Roundup so you know a cowboy type is going to figure into that one. My story for that one is called "Ride Your Luck." Then I got sideswiped by the third PAX. Three of us authors had our names on this for so long I didn't think it would ever fly but finally two more of the group signed up and the Beachcombers PAX is now a go. 

Then there is a story hot off the idea board. I had a different title for this blog and as soon as I typed it in I knew it was perfect for a story. So I changed the blog title to something more mundane. 

With all these plot lines, blurbs and character bios to develop, I think it's time to grab a second cup of coffee and a notepad and head for the patio. I really must replace my old laptop (RIP old friend). Maybe the next royalty check can cover a new toy. 

May you also enjoy the day doing something you love. 


Friday, August 1, 2014

Old Buck is family, too

August 1, 2014

It seems to me that August is a strange month. Time slows in August. The days seem to have extra minutes that are stolen from too fast nights. Maybe it's the angle of sun because for a few fleeting days my little sunroom glows golden in those last moments before the sun dips below the treetops. Right on schedule the big tulip poplar has begun its annual shedding of single yellow leaves. 

The lightning bugs, or fireflies if you prefer, are disappearing. The occasional cicada sings. The big eight-point buck is hanging out in the quiet of our west woods not seeming to care that we know he is there. This worries us greatly. Old Buck has been around for many years, at least six and maybe seven, and there are two younger bucks trailing him now. It's the way of it but I'll be sad to see him pass. He and I have an understanding. I allow him to eat my flowers and he won't cross the road in front of my car. It smacks of blackmail but I'm okay with it. 

Buck doesn't bother my big flower pots, though. I think he's seen me wield the broom at the rabbits. 

Tomorrow we'll make our way down the lane to my cousin's house for a family picnic and to remember what makes us family. It's an August theme for a lot of families. 

I expect August won't be a very productive month on the writing front. It's time to enjoy the evenings on the patio or in the pool. Western Maryland is known for being hazy, hot and humid in August and slowing down and relaxing is a survival strategy. Who cares the pool is small and not all that deep when the water is ninety-two degrees in August? Not me. 

Now it's time to step outside and shoo Buck away from the hosta. I think he's had enough for one day. 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cover reveal - Dreams to Sell

July 27, 2014

It's the last Sunday in July and I'm hitting and running with a quick cover reveal. 

Dreams to Sell - book eight in the Men of Marionville series. Look for it in August.

Keith Mitchell needs a new challenge in his life. When an old friend pitches him a business proposition he agrees to pull up stakes and more to Marionville. Keith decides his new house will be in the style he’s always dreamed of having even if he will live in it alone.  

Realtor Terry Thomas has one goal in mind for his clients: find and sell them the house of their dreams. Recently widowed, Terry’s not in the market for companionship, or so he believes. His latest client is handsome, interesting and his age, but is he really ready to love again?

Keith becomes an eager suitor, waging a persistent siege until Terry gives into temptation. When Terry finds the right house for him, Keith redoubles his efforts to win Terry’s heart. After all, what good is a the perfect house if the man of your dreams doesn’t share it with you?


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kentucky 98 Proof on #MSS52

July 26, 2014

Welcome to another My Sexy Saturday blog hop. This one comes with a big congrats to My Sexy Saturday for being week fifty-two. That's right. The blog hop turns 1-year old today. That's a lot of blogs and a lot of hopping.

Today at Between the Keys we're highlighting a first kiss with seven sexy paragraphs from the best seller Kentucky 98 Proof. Enjoy!

“Why don’t you pick me up and show me the way to Ridgemont?”
Boone snorted. “I thought you’d see it my way.”
Vic grinned and it was like sunshine lighting the room. So what if he was on duty? He closed the distance between them and cupped the back of Vic’s neck, burying his fingers in Vic’s soft hair. Vic’s smile faded into a serious look.
“What do you want, Sheriff?”
Boone managed to swallow but it didn’t ease his dry throat. “Just this for now.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Vic’s. Surprise rippled through him as Vic gripped his hips.
The touch spurred Boone on and sent his heart rate soaring. His dick hardened again in a wonderful rush as arousal shot hotly through his groin. He laved Vic’s lips with his tongue, stroking and licking, enticing him to open and let him in. Vic’s lips parted and Boone seized the advantage, thrusting his tongue into Vic’s hot mouth. A startled awareness arced between them as the heat grew in Boone’s belly, torturing him with each burning stroke of Vic’s silky tongue over his. He pulled Vic closer, needing to know if he was as hard. Vic jerked away and stared at him with dazed, dark eyes.
Vic’s emotions flashed across his face. Longing. Arousal. Panic. Aching desperation. It was all there for Boone to see. He did the one thing he didn’t want to do and let his hands fall away


Kentucky 98 Proof
contemporary m/m romance available at Amber Allure

About Kentucky 98 Proof:

Victor Carter knows his grandfather only from a handful of black and white photographs, so his surprise when the man’s will is read is genuine. What’s he going to do with seventy acres on the side of a Kentucky mountain? More importantly, how’s he going to survive living there for a year to satisfy the conditions of the will so he can sell the property? Even worse, it’s not like the hills of Kentucky are teeming with gay companionship.

Boone Mosely is Kentucky born and bred with a proud family heritage he can trace back to his home state’s founding. Following in his uncle’s footsteps, Boone’s in his second term as sheriff of Four Points. He takes the job seriously and doesn’t suffer fools - or crime - in his town.

When city slicker Victor Carter arrives on Shepherd Mountain, Boone knows he’s got a whole new brand of trouble to deal with. And this time, the badge isn’t going to help him at all.

KC Kendricks

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Friendly Neighbor still going strong

July 21, 2014

Authors do more than write. In fact, we wear a lot of hats. Oh sure we can hire publicists and ad people, private editors, secretaries. Even if we do it just goes to prove the point we're representative of every business owner out there. 

We research and develop the product, produce the product, run quality control, engage others to market the product, promote or pay to promote the product, and we pay our taxes on the product. So with all that invested into each and every book, you'll understand if we go a bit off-center when a book is doing really well. 

I checked in at All Romance eBooks this morning and discovered A Friendly Neighbor is #15 on the Ellora's Cave list. That's the list which ranks recent sales. That's #15 out of 4752 selections. 

Damn. I should have been paying closer attention. 

A Friendly Neighbor is available at:
Ellora's Cave
All Romance eBooks

KC Kendricks

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Such a quandry

July 20, 2014

When faced with life's little problems, the writer in me turns to blogging. Blogging is like talking to myself or talking out loud. I can hear myself and then see the printed words. You'll never know how many times I've written a blog and then deleted it because just the act of putting the words on the screen in front of me clarified how I felt or focused my decision making in the proper direction. 

So here it is: I've got seven stories promised between now and the end of 2015. That's not a typo. This morning I opened my email and there's one from the head guru at Amber Quill with an idea for a themed collection which is not a PAX at this time. Okay, but I've already written a book titled very loosely on this theme. Yes, it did very well but do I want to get stuck in that particular rut? 

I don't think I do. Using the names of popular drinks as book titles isn't new by any stretch of the imagination. I don't want to be lumped in that group. I thought long and hard about using Kentucky 98 Proof for a title. It's not a drink but it is based on a distillery fact. Anything ninety-eight proof is very potent. 

Then there's my editor who has always given me a very difficult time when my characters have a drink and drive home. Back in my day the term "politically correct" hadn't even been coined. EVERYTHING I did as a teenager and young women is now considered "politically incorrect" or "unsafe." Yet here I am. Healthy and gainfully employed. Go figure. It looks like cruising the streets of my hometown in my 1969 Camaro with the steering wheel in one hand and a ginger ale spiked with Jim Beam in the other didn't do too much damage to my prospects. Or anyone else's in our group for that matter. It was simply what kids in this town did in those days. The past is the past and I won't judge any of them today.

So do I want to add to the writing stack? I think seven new stories on the plot board to be finished between now and the end of 2015 is plenty. It's more than enough! So as much as I'd like to join the ranks of JA Konrath with a Whiskey Sour, a Bloody Mary, a Rusty Nail, a Dirty Martini, a Fuzzy Navel, a Cherry Bomb, Shaken, Stirred, Last Call....  It goes on forever! I think I'll pass. 

KC Kendricks

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sometimes you can over-think a task

July 15, 2014

The spouse and I are sharing shared cooking duties tonight. Right now I'm hiding in my office so I don't beat him with a skillet say something I'll regret. He's attempting a recipe he saw Trisha Yearwood make on her cooking show. Potatoes, ground beef, cheddar cheese, onions, breadcrumbs. Think a variation on shepherd's pic with cheese instead of corn or peas. I've never known him to have such difficulty with a recipe and all because it said "make a rue" and to use a whisk to do it. Apparently whisks are bad things in his world. Like I said - I had to leave the kitchen.

I try to be methodical with my To-Do list. What's on the top of the list should get done first if at all possible. It helps keep me focused because I've been known to over-multi-task. About a week ago the task of updating all the publisher links here at Between the Keys rolled to the top and I did balk. If there's one thing I do not like is fixing any problem someone else initiated. But it had to be done. 

Setting about updating the links back to the Amber Allure site has not proven to be an onerous chore. It's been rather simple, actually. I've completed 29 of the 33 books I need to do and I hope to finish those by Friday. It's also been the perfect opportunity to update with the spell-checker, too. And to delete a few things that have changed over the years. It will be good to have order restored to my blog. 

I suppose I should go restore order to the kitchen as well. I can't hold it against the spouse for over-thinking his projects when I do the same thing. Fair is fair, after all. 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Fox on the run

July 14, 2014

The eastern red fox. We had a pair of them in the backyard this evening. 

No, we weren't pleased. A fox will eat a cat. 

I have a cat. 

A brave cat. 

A cat is not a match for a pair of foxes. 

This is not a good thing. 

Pa, get yer gun....and put some bullets in it....

Friday, July 11, 2014

July Fridays

July 11, 2014

It's a lazy Friday afternoon in my world. I'm sure there are things I could and should be accomplishing, but it's Friday. It's July. Concentration is a problem right now. 

Looking at my To-Do list didn't inspire me. In fact, it made me yawn. And that's the To-Do at the day job, too. I worked my butt off this week and I'm mentally bushed. With an hour to go, do they really expect to get a lot out of me? Probably.

Guess what? Not happening. I simply crammed too much into Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to be able to function now. I hope this passes by the time I get home later this afternoon. I've got lots to do!

There are two special projects on my desk at home and I need to finish both of them so I can get back to work on my own stories. AND the Beachcombers PAX I signed up for a while back finally got another three participants so now it's a "go" for next year. I said I would only do two PAX stories a year and now this will be three for 2015. Deadlines are not my friends,

Then there is the little project of updating all the *(#!&^ links here at Between the Keys. It's making my wrist ache. Not a good sign. 

And My Sexy Saturday. Do I want to hop in at the last minute and go for it? Don't know. Can't focus. Need a nap.  

I'm sure it will all work itself out, one way or the other because it's Friday. And it's July. 
And it's the best reason I know of to relax and let what will be, be. 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Caution - mini rant ahead

July 6, 2014

I'm not a person who rants. I bitch. Is there a difference? Of course there is. I do my best to bitch in a lady-like manner. 

Earlier this year my home publisher moved to a new server. Every URL to every book I have published through the company changed. Think about this for a moment. 

All the links on KC's website needed changed. 
All the blogs KC ever did now contain bad and broken links, and there is over 500 entries.
All the promo posts KC ever did in every Yahoo group now contain broken links. 
All of KC's old tweets that promo a book at that publisher now contain broken links.

Let's face it. Everywhere KC ever did a promo prior to 2014 now has at least one broken link. 

Do you ever wonder why the Internet is so slow? I usually blame my crappy rural DSL but the real reason is because the Internet can't find anything!!!

ALL is not lost. The links to All Romance ebooks, Amazon, and other third-party vendors remain the same. It helps some but in the past I've tended to link to the publisher where, frankly, the writer gets a slightly better slice of the pie for all her/his hard work. 

I can't do a thing about what the publishers do. I can't round up all the old tweets and Yahoo posts and fix them. What I CAN do, and will do, is fix the links here at Between the Keys. 

Is it the best use of my time? I don't really think so but it seems to me if I want to remain proud of my work and of Between the Keys then I need to do this. The old adage states "if it's not broke don't fix it." Unfortunately, it is broke and I do have to fix it even though I'm not the one who broke the links and even though it will take a lot of my time.  

Please bear with me as I finish updating the links at Between the Keys. If you've wondered why more recent links tend to direct you to my website instead of a publisher page, it's so I don't have to do this again here at Between the Keys. 

And this is how I bitch like a lady. 


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy July the Fourth

July 4, 2014

Let not it be said I'm not feeling patriotic today.

Enjoy the holiday, but take a moment to reflect on what it means to be free - how fragile that freedom has become and our personal responsibility in maintaining the freedom we take for granted. 

We're free to be the best person we can be.

We're free to pursue what makes us happy.

We're free and able to live life without fear of oppression. 

We're free to make mistakes and grow from them. 

We're free to vote away our freedoms with a touch to a computer screen. 

Let us all prayerfully and mindfully protect our precious freedoms.