Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nostalgia

April 16, 2014

2014 A to Z Blog Challenge
Day 15
A Rural Life

N is for Nostalgia

_*_*_*_*_ 

I remember a kinder, gentler time, and I feel very blessed to have those memories. When I was very small, the adults in my family loaded all the kids up in a car caravan and drove over four hours to Ocean City, Maryland. 

No, we didn’t stay in a motel. We pitched tents on the beach somewhere north of the boardwalk. Can you imagine doing that now? They’d probably throw you in jail, but remember, this was a different time. No one blinked at eye at our four-tent camp complete with campfire.

My first encounter with the ocean didn’t go well. My mother couldn’t convince me to get in the water. In fact, it wasn’t until my father put his camera away and carried me into the surf that I agreed with the idea of getting wet with water that “smelled funny.” After he went out far enough for the waves to splash on me, I was fine. Well, until he put me down on the beach and went into the deeper water without me. I understand I screamed about that as only a four-year old can. 

Not too many years later our family vacation car caravan headed for the mountains and Dolly Sods. Again, we simply pitched out tents and no one bothered us. A park ranger did stop and remind us to store our food where the bears couldn’t get it, but that was all. The spouse and I visited Dolly Sods a few years back and it was really cool to find the locations to match the old black and white photos. Now there are designated campsites, too.

I’m sorry my younger cousins won’t know those times. Their vacations are planned out on the Internet and motel rooms booked well in advance of travel. And they have to be. The days of pitching a tent on the beach with no rules and regulations are long gone, and while their memories will be different, I’m sure they’ll be just as meaningful to them.

But I think mine of a simpler time are just a little bit better.

_*_*_*_*_


You didn’t really think you’d get away without one more brief book promo, did you?

N is also for the NETTING NEPTUNE, book one of the Southern Cross series. For more information please visit my website at http://www.kckendricks.com/NettingNeptune.html



KC Kendricks

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Magnolia in the A -Z Blogging Challenge

April 15, 2014

2014 A to Z Blog Challenge
Day 13
A Rural Life

M is for Magnolia

We’ve made it to week #3 and the halfway mark of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge. This is the fourth year I’ve participated in the challenge and this year I’m focusing on A Rural Life. 
Thanks for coming along for the ride in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.

_*_*_*_*_*_

The word magnolia conjures up images of the Deep South. One can easily imagine stately old homes with huge magnolias blooming at the far end of the garden. Nothing says “southern” the way magnolias do.

We had a magnolia tree in the yard where I grew up. The story goes while visiting the southern branch of the family, my grandparents stopped along a country road in Georgia and dug it up. Family in Georgia vowed and declared it wouldn’t grow in the cold winters of western Maryland, but it did. It grew to a majestic seventy feet tall. (Us kids stopping jumping over it and getting our butts smacked when it reached about two feet.)

When I built my house I tried and tried and tried to get a seed from that tree to sprout and grow. Every attempt failed. A dear friend offered to buy me a potted sapling but I explained it wouldn’t be the same.

As with all things, the magnolia died. The strange thing is my grandfather died in March and by July of that same year, without warning, the magnolia died, too. It sort of makes my wonder what magic elixir he used on it to keep it healthy.

I was looking through my photo files and stumbled across a picture of a magnolia bloom. It makes me think history should repeat itself the next time we make a trip to Georgia. I’ll toss a shovel in the trunk, just in case, and see if my stepson can find an empty country road with a very young magnolia tree.

 _*_*_*_*_


 You didn’t really think you’d get away without one more brief book promo, did you?

M is also for the MEN OF MARIONVILLE  series. For more information please visit my website at http://www.kckendricks.com/MarionvilleSeries.html

KC Kendricks

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Life! (2014 A -Z Blogging Challenge)

April 14, 2014

 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 12 

L is for Life!



We’ve made it to week #3 of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge and tomorrow marks the halfway point. This is the fourth year I’ve participated in the challenge and this year I’m focusing on A Rural Life. It’s my life and it’s a darn good one! . 

Will I do a little promo along the way? Sure! Writing is a big part of who I am. I can’t blog if I cut out part of my life, now can I?

_*_*_*_*_




How did we get here? Did the building blocks for life come here from another world? Did we spring into being on the sixth day? Did we evolve? All of the above?

I suspect it’s all of the above. On the risk of upsetting folks on both the right and left of the political spectrum, I think a powerful hand brought all these things together to create life, using what was necessary to create order in a natural realm. It’s easy to imagine this great being looking over the recipe for life and saying, “Okay. I need some comet dust here….and now some protozoa right there….”

Life is a glorious mystery no matter what you believe as an origin story. Or even if your personal philosophy doesn’t include the myths of origin. Life is still a wondrous event to celebrate. 

Here on this wooded hillside it’s easy to see the order in life. Every spring the tips of the maple trees turn red until the entire forest appears to blush. Then the leaves sprout and a wave of green sweeps up the side of the mountain. The color darkens and holds steadfast until late September. Then in ones and twos, the leaves along the high ridges change until autumn claims the mountain in a march of red, yellow and orange soldiers leaving a trail of brown and gray behind until spring once again seizes power. It's amazing to me how nature is every-changing and yet so constant

I think we humans need nature's gentle anchor in our lives, ones that can let us move a bit to avoid harm but not get blown too far off course. I like to celebrate life in my stories, not politics that restrain us or doctrines that cause us distress.

We’re all here in this place and in this time - together. Let’s enjoy our lives and the lives of others. We’re all valuable and we all value our lives. If we truly love one another as we love ourselves, the world will be a finer place.

==================

You didn’t really think you’d get away without a
brief book promo, did you?

L is for LEATHER JACKETS, book six of the Men of Marionville series. For more information please visit my website at kckendricks.com .


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

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Moon Dances - new in the Sundown saga

April 13, 2014


Moon Dances - Book IV in the Sundown saga now available. 



When a pragmatic cop and an alien shapeshifter go on a vacation, rest and relaxation take on a new meaning. 


For Lieutenant Fallon Roxbury, Special Police Consultant, reality has taken on a strange shift. Shapeshifters exist and a clan of them live under his protection. One is his lover, Sundown. Protecting the Chal is a full-time job, a task which would be easier if they weren’t so secretive - and scheming. When Fallon’s police force partner suggests a vacation, Fallon jumps at the chance to take Sundown someplace private. A resort near where he grew up seems like the prefect place for a get-away. Ten days filled with sex, sleep and sun is just what they both need, but more than fun lurks in the woods.

The ancient nemesis of the Chal is still out there and could one day return to earth to enslave both Chal and human alike. Secrets of the Chal past come to light when Fallon’s suppressed memories of his early years resurface. The shapeshifters have always had a plan defeat their enemy, one with Sundown at its core. 
*_*_*_*_*



Vacation. I wanted a quiet vacation. A private vacation. We were supposed to discuss how we wanted to spend our week off today, and one thing was non-negotiable – I wanted to be alone with Sundown. I’d already informed him “vacation” was a code word for copious amounts of both sex and sleep, and for that we needed privacy. Taking our time and lingering over breakfast was no longer an option. I had to do something - and fast!
It was time to run like hell before my much-needed vacation vanished like smoke. I threw the covers off and swung my feet out of the bed.
“Sundown, my love, it’s been grand, but I’m getting the fuck outta here.”
With the speed of a talented shapeshifter, Sundown suddenly stood before me, his expression halfway between panic and, well, panic.
“You’re not going anywhere without me, Special Consultant Lieutenant Fallon Roxbury. You will not leave me here alone! Not yet! Not until after the maturation!”
I stared up at him, an idea forming. His black brows drew together in a vee above his emerald green orbs before they shot upward. His strong fingers closed around my arms. Relief poured off him.
“You have a plan!”
I rolled my eyes at him. “Of course I have a plan. I’m a cop. I’m trained to examine all the evidence and choose the best option.”
“Which is…?”
I stood and rested my hands on his shoulders. “Run like the cowards we are. We’re going to get the fuck out of town for a few days starting now, while the caretakers deal with the nestling.”
Czun Dun Nhunfi, the pride of his Clan, went completely still and blinked twice. I knew that look too well. He was telepathic, and he’d just communicated with the Elders. His gaze refocused on mine.
“I will pack my things and stay at your apartment until we can leave.”
I burst out laughing. It was pitiful. One grown man and one grown shapeshifter fleeing a little glowball no bigger than a housecat. But as usual, Sundown had his own sense of logic, which he presented to me. 
“You won’t laugh if Ozli decides to look like you. Nor will you like it if the nestling sneaks into our bed while I have you on your back making you howl with pleasure. It could mimic your pose and the sound you make, you know.”
I sobered - fast. “Get your pants on. I’ll help you pack.”
“I thought you’d see it my way, Lieutenant.”

_*_*_*_*_

Moon Dances is available today at Amber Allure.

Moon Dances is the fourth book in the Sundown saga. For more about the complete series, please visit the author's website at http://www.kckendricks.com

The Sundown saga is THE BACK STAIRS, BENEATH DARK STARS, RIVER WALK and MOON DANCES.

KC Kendricks
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kentucky 98 Proof (and KC)

April 12, 2014

2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 11

K is for Kentucky 98 Proof
  
Welcome to Between the Keys! Today’s blog is doing double duty. I’m participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge which happens in April, and I'm also taking part in the Seductive Studs & Sirens Blog Hop. Luckily, I have a book with a K title so it’s going to work out for me today. Next Saturday is another story. The A to Z will be on Q and that’s going to be problematic for both Seductive Studs & Sirens and My Sexy Saturday if the latter is back from hiatus. We’ll have to wait and see how creative I can be - or not.

For those of you unfamiliar with the A to Z Challenge, it’s twenty six blogs in twenty six days working the alphabet from A to Z. You post every day in April except for Sundays unless April 1 falls on a Sunday that year. It IS a challenge. Check out the survivor badges along the left side of the blog. They were EARNED, not just handed out.

For those of you unfamiliar with Seductive Studs & Sirens, every Saturday a group of writers post a short excerpt from a story for your enjoyment. The list of participants is below. It’s a great way to connect with other authors and find some great stories.

That’s it in a nutshell, so here is a short excerpt from Kentucky 98 Proof. Bragging a bit, this book was the #1 bestseller at Amber Allure in its debut month of August 2013 and a certified All Romance eBook bestseller in September 2013. Needless to say, I was thrilled!

Enjoy!
= = = = = =
Vic rolled his eyes and trudged into the bathroom. Boone followed, equally unwilling but probably for different reasons. He didn’t want to be in the small space with Vic. Their hips and shoulders would rub. He’d have to breathe in Vic’s scent. And worst of all he’d have to touch Vic and risk making a fool of himself. He took a deep breath and angled Vic’s chin up to the light and brushed the dark, damp hair off the man’s forehead.
 
He whistled softly as he gently ran his fingertips over the solid bump. “That’s going to be one fancy bruise.”

“I guess I’ll have to get a hat.”

Boone snorted as he tipped Vic’s chin to another angle. “Yeah. Call yourself Kentucky Jones. The skin doesn’t appear to be broken. Look me in the eye.”

“What?”

Boone tapped Vic’s chin and released him. “You’re pupils aren’t dilated. Got any double vision?”

Vic took a deep breath and turned to face him. His hands went to Boone’s hips. “I’ve got visions, but they’re not double unless you want to count the only men in them are you and me.”

= = = = =

For more about Kentucky 98 Proof and for buy links, please visit my website at http://kckendricks.com/Kentucky98Proof.html 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today as part of Seductive Studs & Sirens and as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Have a great day!


KC Kendricks

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is (not only) for Jingle Bells - 2014 A-Z Blogging Challenge

April 11, 2014

2014 A to Z Blog Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 10

J is (not only) for Jingle Bells….

We’re almost through the second week of the challenge, and so far I’m right on track. This is the fourth year I’ve participated in the challenge, and this year is all about My Rural Life and the forces that come together to make my unique world. 


_*_*_*_*_*_
The title of today’s blog might make you think I’m “pine-ing” for Christmas. While it’s an idea for a blogging theme, I’m not ready to embrace Christmas 2014 just yet. Let’s enjoy summer and fall first, okay?

When I built my house, so long ago in the way-back time, it happened that I moved into my new home in November. And as is often done, family members came by to see the “new digs” and nose around. My father’s sister arrived with a housewarming gift - Christmas bells she’d made.

Now, this was a big deal. My aunt didn’t normally do any sort of needlework but she’d made me this adornment for my new home. I was beyond appreciative. She instructed me to hang the bells on my front door, which I did until she left. Then I hung them inside of the house, on the coat closet door where they’ve been every Christmas season since. You see, my front door is due south and the winter sun would have destroyed the fabric in a few short seasons. I did not want that to happen.

In the course of time, all the cousins got the same bells when they moved into their own homes.  Of the five sets of bells my aunt crafted, only mine have survived. (Please don’t display fabric heirlooms in the sun!) My aunt is gone now and last Christmas I gave serious consideration to giving my bells to her son, but I didn’t.

It may be selfish of me but I want to touch the fabric she touched every year when I hang them and remember a lovely lady who graced my life and who was called away from us far too soon.

J is not only for Jingle Bells, it’s also for Aunt Jane.

_*_*_*_*_

You didn’t really think you’d get away without one more brief book promo, did you?

J is also for JONAS CHADWICK of Passion’s Victory, 
a 2008 CAPA nominee. 

For more information please visit the
Passion's Victory page at my website. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Ice World - A to Z Blogging Challenge 2014

April 10, 2014

2014 A to Z Blog Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 9

I is for Ice World

Thanks for joining in for the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.  We’re well into the second week of the challenge, and so far I’m right on track and meeting my schedule.   


Today is all about the picture I want to share with you. Several years ago we had freezing rain overnight and it coated the trees. The next day, the sun and ice created a frigid ice world full of sparkling diamond-like jewels. I lamented the fact I had to go to work and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the beauty, but the temperature stayed below freezing all day and I was able to get pictures in the afternoon after four o’clock. Mother Nature is truly talented and even this lovely picture captures only a portion of the beauty of that day.

_*_*_*_*_
You didn’t really think you’d get away without one more brief book promo, did you?

I is also for IAN COULTER of Double Deuce and Deuce of Diamonds. 
For more information please visit my website at 
http://www.kckendricks.com/DoubleDeuce.html


KC Kendricks

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Honeybees (and a master beekeeper)

April 9, 2014

2014 A to Z Blog Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 8

H is for Honeybees

We’ve reached the second week of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! This is the fourth year I’ve participated in the challenge, and this year, 2014, is all about My Rural Life. It’s sort of like middle America meets urban sprawl meets Walton’s Mountain. It’s my life and the forces that come together to make my unique world. 

So thanks for coming along for the ride in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.

_*_*_*_*_*_

I promised a long time ago I'd tell you about my grandfather's beekeeping. Today's the day to deliver on that promise. 

One of my earliest memories is helping my grandfather make frames for honeycomb. Not many people around here kept bees, but Pop was known for his honey. And like everything else, if Pop was doing it, I could be found lurking at his shoulder, learning. (I must have been a real nuisance to my dad and granddad, always following them and asking bzillions of questions.)

Keeping bees is easier than you might think. The bees do all the heavy lifting and you just help them along. The older folks in the community would call my grandfather with a report of a swarm and Pop would hitch the wagon to his tractor, load an empty hive he kept at the ready, and off he’d go to see if he could capture the queen. If I got away before my mother realized what was happening, I’d tag along. Pop and I got away with all sorts of things as long as my parents didn’t catch us. My parents didn’t think BEES were an appropriate hobby for me to adopt. (They didn’t like tadpoles and crayfish, either.) All in all they were correct, but when I officially retire, I might see if I can find and capture a swarm to keep a hive.

The pictures tell the story. I think I was in my twenties when I took them. Pop spotted a swarm along the back stone fence on what had just become my property, a gift from my grandparents. My grandmother called and said he was working a swarm so I grabbed my camera and went to watch.

He spread a piece of plastic and set the new hive on it. For some reason, Pop only ever used aged scrap wood for the hives. I suppose anything harmful in the wood and/or paint had aged out and no longer posed a threat to the bees. Anyway, once the hive was in place, Pop would cut the branch the swarm was hanging on, carry it to the hive and careful lay it on the plastic sheet. The bees would spread out and he could spot the new queen and get her inside the hive. Then all the worker bees followed her in and Pop would temporarily block the hive entrance to trap them so he could transport it to its place in the row. Bee charming is an art and he rarely got stung.

Honeybees - all our pollinators - are threatened these days, and it IS a serious matter. I’m grateful that scientists and biologists take the problem seriously and are working on solutions. The world is not going to be a nice place if we lose the pollinators. Less fruit. Fewer veggies. Fewer flowers. Fewer trees. We need the honeybee. Even if you’re a city dweller, plant a flower on your balcony and feed a bee. You might be helping to save more than one tiny life.

_*_*_*_*_
You didn’t really think you’d get away without a 
brief book promo, did you?

H is also for HIGHWAY NIGHTS. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Ghost Deer in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge

April 8, 2014

2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 7

G is for Ghost Deer

Welcome to the second week of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! Thanks for stepping into my world Between the Keys.

_*_*_*_*_*_

About seventeen years ago we began to hear rumors of white deer on the mountain. There was some discussion as we considered the source of this rumor, but we couldn’t discount the possibility. Albino deer are not an extreme rarity although my at the time eighty-eight-year-old grandfather, who'd lived here all his life, had never heard or seen any in our area. We were naturally curious and so kept our “eyes peeled.”

The story was eventually given credence when a local park ranger snagged a picture of a white fawn. My grandfather and I were ready to hike out at night and conduct a stakeout where we knew the deer came to the creek to drink. We had to get a look at this bambi. Unfortunately Pop mentioned our plan to the wrong family member (that being my mother, his daughter) and we were promptly grounded after dark. We didn’t give up hope, though. It took another two years for our patience to be rewarded.

The dog woke me one night with what I immediately recognized as his “critter” bark. I would have rolled over and gone back to sleep but it was autumn and I’d left the bedroom window open. It was cold. Half asleep, I staggered to the window, noted in some foggy part of my brain there were ghost deer in my front yard, closed the window and went back to bed.

Yep. You got it.

I woke up in the morning and realized what had happened. I used every foul word in my vocabulary and friends, I have an extensive vocabulary. There had been two white “ghost” deer in my front yard, two beautiful ethereal wraiths, and I had just gone back to sleep. Someone smack me, please

I couldn’t tell my grandfather. He’d stay up for a week sitting at his kitchen window watching into the night if I told him. I needed something else to happen, and it did. The next week as my partner and I were driving home from bowling, we were given a gift. Standing under the dusk to dawn light at the neighbor’s barn was a white doe with a late season fawn at her feet. We bolted to my grandfather’s door, hopped back in the car and let it drift down the hill. She was still there.

The three of us sat there in silence watching her for the longest time. She was worried about us, stomping her hooves and shaking her head and tail, but her baby refused to get up and run away and she refused to abandon it. Finally we decided to start the engine and leave her to the night. That did it. The fawn jumped up and ran into the darkness and mama followed. That was the only time my grandfather got to see the ghost deer. I was more fortunate as my picture attests. The ghost deer took up residence in the woods behind my house and frequently grazed in my back yard. There were four ghost deer living one year. I believe they were all doe because I never saw a rack on any of them. We know the last white fawn died young. Pop was out walking one day and found its body near the creek. 

The ghost deer have vanished from here again but maybe some day the gene will resurface and my woods will again be home to the white deer. I do hope so because I’d love for the new generation to see them, but I realize they may not even care. I already see the signs they won’t have the deep roots to this place my cousins and I do.

That will be as is. For myself, I feel the universe had given me a scared trust. I will ever be grateful for those few years the ghost deer lived in my woods.

_*_*_*_*_

You didn’t really think you’d get away without one more
brief book promo, did you?

G is also for GIVE ME ONE NIGHT. For more information
please visit my website at 
www.kckendricks.com/GiveMeOneNight.html

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Foxgloves

April 7, 2014
2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 6

F is for Foxgloves

We’ve reached the second week of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! As they say - time flies. I hope you're enjoying the variety the challenge offers as much as I am. Bloggers are writers and writing is all about telling people your story. So thanks for coming along for the ride in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  
_*_*_*_*_*_


If you’re a frequent visitor here at Between the Keys, you may have read my foxglove story before. I write often of my grandparents and the influence they had on my life. It’s less difficult than writing about my parents since my mom is still alive and I respect her privacy. My grandparents are ever constant in my mind, centered, together, always tolerant and loving in ways one’s parents cannot be. It’s the way of things, you know. 

I decided to reprint a blog from 2010, which just happens to be the most read entry I’ve ever posted. I think it has withstood the passing of time and is all the more appropriate given that those seeds from so long ago continue to sprout and grow with robust health.

July 11, 2010
I have faded memories of the old log cabin on the other side of the creek, the one my grandparents ‘went to house keeping’ in back in 1930. Abandoned by my grandparents when they built a brick home in 1940, the dark logs with their white chinking had almost disappeared when I was a girl, hidden by the poplar grove that sprang up in the old front yard. When I was about eight, my granddad hooked a chain on the old Allis Chalmers tractor, and pulled the cabin down lest one of his grandchildren come to harm playing in its shadow. From 1965 to 2007, the forest laid claim to the property, shrouding it in grapevines, behind a carpet of ferns.

Being an only child (and the only girl), in a generation of mostly only children, makes for some very close ties. My cousins and I act more like brothers and sister than some blood siblings do. When the subject was broached that one among the next generation was interested in the old lot, there was no need for discussion. All us grandkids are established with our own homes, on property given us by our grandparents (yes, we’re all neighbors and have been for almost thirty years). We welcomed the chance to honor the spirit of our grandparents, and pass the old property to one of the great-grandkids who would care for it. Clearing began in 2007, and the new, modern house was completed in 2008, built on the exact spot where the cabin stood so many years ago. 

Little did I know the treasure that would surface this year when I paid a visit to my young cousin. I strolled down my lane, hopped the creek, and walked across a carpet of grass where a few short years ago, wild ferns grew. Being family, I went around the corner of the house with the intent of using the kitchen door. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.

The entire length of the backyard, where lawn met the woods, was awash with pink, purple, and white foxgloves, yellow coreopsis, white daisies, and red sweet Williams. What sprawled before me were the flowers of my grandmother’s first garden. I plopped down on the porch step, and cried.

All those seeds, dormant in the good earth for decades, had fulfilled the promise of sun and rain, sprouted and grown, and now bloomed. I marveled at the miracle.

I’ve since transplanted roots and harvested seeds. Come fall, I’ll move more roots to my own garden, increasing my chances of good growth in the spring. I will cast the seeds back onto the earth, and watch for seedlings in the coming years, a precious legacy unknowingly left by a woman who loved her only granddaughter well.

_*_*_*_*_

You didn’t really think you’d get away without a brief book promo, did you?

F is also for Fallon Roxbury of THE BACK STAIRS, BENEATH DARK STARS, RIVER WALK and now MOON DANCES. For more information please visit my website at http://www.kckendricks.com/Sundown.html 

KC Kendricks

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Eye of the Beholder and blog hops

 April 5, 2014

2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 5

E is for Eye of the Beholder

Today’s blog, being it publishes on a Saturday, was originally intended to do double duty. Not only is this the first Saturday in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge, it would have been a My Sexy Saturday Saturday. I have a book with an E title which works perfectly except My Sexy Saturday is taking a short hiatus. 

In the spirit of the My Sexy Saturday blog hop, here are seven paragraphs from Eye of the Beholder. Our hero, Ben, met the new guy at the local coffee shop just yesterday. This morning, he goes back for more conversation and to see if Andy will go out with him. Andy knows how to flirt, as Ben discovers, and the good news is Andy already likes him a lot. Enjoy!
= = = = = = =

I nibbled at my muffin for a few minutes. Andy was sorta cute. I could invite him to a movie this afternoon and see what he said. It was one sure way to find out which team he batted for. “When do you get off, Andy?”

A smile teased his lips as he cocked his head to the left and raised his eyebrow. “Usually about midnight every night, one way or the other.”

I bet I looked stupid with my mouth hanging open. A wide grin split his face then he laughed, a low, happy sound that said he was pleased to have rendered me speechless. Andy sobered - at least a little.

“Ben, are you attempting to ask me out?”

I gripped my coffee cup for dear life as I gathered my wits. “I’m not sure now. I think you might need to go home and get some sleep.”

He leaned forward and brushed his knuckles across mine. “I don’t like to sleep alone, Ben.”

The smooth, silky way he said my name made me shiver, but I’m sure he intended that I would. Heart thudding unevenly in my chest, I met his gaze.

= = = = =

Thanks for stopping by Between the Keys today as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Have a great weekend! The challenge takes a break every Sunday, so see you Monday with a blog for F (unless I decide to blog tomorrow about Moon Dances).

For more about Eye of the Beholder, please visit my website at www.kckendricks.com/EyeoftheBeholder.html 


KC Kendricks

Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Dogs I Have Known - KC Kendricks (2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge)

April 4, 2014

2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 4

D is for Dogs I Have Known

We’ve made it to the first Friday in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year is all about my rural life with a little book promo tossed in at the end for good measure. Thanks for making a stop here at Between the Keys as part of your 2014 A to Z Blogging experience. 

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Only once in my life have I been without a dog. I’d lost a most beloved companion to Cushing’s disease and the thought of “replacing” him was unbearable. I suppose I took his loss harder than most because he was my companion for the seven years I lived alone. He was a pointer-hound mix, and very handsome with incredible yellow eyes that shone with bright intelligence.  In his prime he was a muscular ninety pounds and when people asked if I was afraid living alone, I laughed.

The dog who shares my life these days is an aging black Labrador Retriever. I got him as a pup and helped him develop every bad habit he has. In other words, he’s a bit spoiled. But he’s an excellent companion and if I had to choose between man and dog, it would be a close run thing keeping in mind the dog doesn’t watch sports.  I grieve a little with each new gray hair on his muzzle.

Life has many seasons and looking back, each dog who has shared my life has given me their particular season. Rebel was my youth, and Reba my teenage years. Kelly saw the passing of my father and beautiful Raven with her long feathers my first home. Little Bogart taught me life is sometimes unfairly short, and poor Blackjack that some souls are so damaged that to set them free from pain and fear is the greatest gift you can give them.

I’ve loved all of them singularly for who they were, and I loved them all as Canis lupus familiaris. Each one was a unique individual as identifiable as “self” as any person. The day is coming (far too soon) when it will be time to make a home for another pup. I know while I won’t forgot those dogs who came before this future bundle of joy, I’ll love the new one at least as much.

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Has a dog every been a character in a KC Kendricks book? Yes! Check out Ranger in Kentucky 98 Proof. He’s modeled on Cal, pictured above, and the best dog I ever had.

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You didn’t really think you’d get away without 
a brief book promo, did you?

D is also for DESERT SNOW. 
What happened at the White Party was more
than he ever dreamed possible.

For more information please visit
 my website at 
kckendricks.com/DesertSnow.html

KC Kendricks

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Caboose - 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge (KC Kendricks)

April 3, 2014
2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 3

C is for Caboose

Welcome to the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! This is the fourth year I've participated in the challenge, and this year is all about living in rural America. It’s sort of like Walton’s Mountain meets the big city meets middle America. 

Will I do a little promo along the way? You know I will! Writing is a big part of who I am. So thanks for coming along for the ride in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.

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The part of Maryland I call home has a long and storied rail history. My great-grandfather was a railroad man, as were two of his five sons. Around here, it’s hard to find a family that doesn’t have a connection to the rails. Even today, the CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Winchester and Western Railroads roll through town on a regular basis.

When I was a little girl it seemed every trip to anywhere meant a stop at a rail crossing to wait as a train rolled past. It was a big deal to count the number of cars in the train and then to blow the horn at the caboose, especially if the conductor was rear platform waving.

I’ve grown up some since those days but I still have a fondness for trains. It’s rare to have traffic stopped since in the last fifty years a concerted effort was made to build overpasses for cars. But every once in a while it happens and I’m drawn into memories of being in the car with my elders, counting.

These days,even when I see a train, I don’t see many cabooses, and I think that’s a shame. I guess it’s not cost effective to drag the weight of the caboose when it doesn't carry a payload, but I miss them. It makes me sad that it’s one more thing the little ones in my life will never know.

But caboose or not, I still wave when the last boxcar goes by. And sometimes I look over at the vehicle next to mine and the people inside are waving, too.

A note from the author: When a publisher call came for a stories with an “all aboard” theme, I pulled from the local history for the opening to the story, “Station to Station.”

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You didn't really think you’d get away without a brief book promo, did you?

C is for Catching Fireflies. For more information 
please visit my website at
kckendricks.com/CatchingFireflies.html 



KC Kendricks

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Bridges in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge

April 2, 2014

2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 2

B is for Bridges

Welcome to the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! This is the fourth year I've participated in the challenge, and I’m all set to go. This year, 2014, is all about my rural life. It’s sort of like Walton’s Mountain meets the big city meets middle America. It’s my life and the forces that come together to make my unique world.

Will I do a little promo along the way? Absolutely! I'm a writer. I can’t blog if I cut out part of my life. So just like life this year will be a mix-up - a wonderful combination of this and that all rolled into one that may seem chaotic on the surface but blends together to create the whole package that is A Rural Life.

So thanks for coming along for the ride in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.


*_*_*_*_*


Bridges fascinate me with the duality of their nature. Maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini I see the past, present and future in a bridge.

Bridges call to me to move forward, to cross to the other side with the quiet promise they won’t let me fall as I take those fateful steps. And yet they remain, a link to the past and the path recently traveled. From the purely functional, most aesthetic blending of steel and art to the completely metaphorical, I love bridges.

Needing to find both witty and/or sentimental quotes about bridges, I turned to Google. Once there, it was a struggle to pull the gems from the rubbish. I wonder, as always, if the quotes are real and if they’re attributed to the correct person. Maybe I shouldn’t let it bog me down.

Maybe, if the words give a proper representation of bridges, I should be happy with that and cross the bridge over to tomorrow and the letter C.

Quotes

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell, Scottish classical guitarist

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” - Jim Rohn, American Speaker and Author.

“Sometimes you get the best light from burning a bridge.” -Don Henley, founding member of Eagles

“We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have 'crossed bridges' in their imagination far ahead of the crowd.” - unknown

“What need the bridge be wider than the flood?” - Shakespeare

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You didn't’t really think you’d get away without a brief book promo, did you? B is for Beneath Dark Stars.
For more information please visit my website at
kckendricks.com/BeneathDarkStars.html

KC Kendricks

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for the Apple Tree Story- 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge

April 1, 2014
2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 1

A is for the Apple Tree Story

Welcome to the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! This is the fourth year I've participated in the challenge, and I’m all set to go. It’s time to reconnect with bloggers from past challenges and to meet new people and make new friends.

This year, 2014, is all about my rural life. It’s sort of like Walton’s Mountain meets the big city meets middle America. It’s my life and the forces that come together to make my unique world. 

Will I do a little promo along the way? Sure! Writing is a huge part of who I am. I can’t blog if I cut out part of my life, now can I? So just like life this year will be a mix-up - a wonderful combination of this and that all rolled into one that may seem chaotic on the surface but blends together to create the whole package that is A Rural Life.

So thanks for coming along for the ride in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.

_*_*_*_*_*_

My grandmother had an apple tree that she greatly favored for the quality of apples it produced. The tree was on a sight line from my grandmother’s kitchen window and she kept an eye on it throughout each summer to determine how much applesauce and apple butter she would be making in the fall.

One year, the old tree was so full of apples the branches bowed toward the ground. Anticipation ran high. Everyone counted their pies before they were baked until the day IT happened.

As dawn broke, the heinous crime was revealed. Every apple as far up as a person could reach was gone. My grandmother was livid.

Someone had crept in under cover of darkness and stolen the apples from her best tree. She was ready to shoot first and forget about asking any questions at all. You've heard the saying, “dig the hole, hire the hearse.” She was there and, let's face it, we have enough property we could sing along with Vicki Lawrence ("and that's one body that'll never be found....").

My grandfather went outside to investigate the crime in more depth and discovered the truth. No human hand had wrought such mischief. The local deer had come in for a midnight feast. It wasn't long until instead of rows of canned applesauce lining her shelves, venison filled my grandmother’s freezer. 

The tree is gone now, as is my grandparent's house, but the story remains part of my family’s dialogue. A cousin owns the old homeplace and has planted new trees in line from where the old one stood. We laughed about that old story as we stood and admired his new little saplings, counting the years until they produce. And I gave him fair warning - he shouldn't question where the apples came from if some day I give him a fresh-baked apple crisp.

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You didn’t really think you’d get away without a brief book promo, did you?


A is also for A Hard Habit to Break. For more information, please visit my website at http://www.kckendricks.com/HardHabit.html .  

KC Kendricks