Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

December 31, 2009

December 31st. The end of another year and I find myself a bit short in the profound wisdom department. That sounds as trite as saying 2009 was a good year.

Well, 2009 was a good year, and not just because I’m still breathing, which, I confess, ranks right up there as a good reason to celebrate. That aside, it was a banner year for my writing career. The year saw the publication of Give Me One Night, No One But You, Seducing Light, Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, Poseidon’s Pleasure, and Tango in the Night, plus the release of the paperback collection, At the Southern Cross. I’d be lying if I said I was anything less than ecstatic those stories made it out and were so well received. To all my loyal readers – thank you!

If that looks like a lot of work in one year, let me confess it wasn’t all physically written in 2009. I don’t think I’m unique in that I have a tickler file full of story ideas and partially written manuscripts. When I get a hot idea, I pause and type out notes, or even the opening scene if that’s what popped into my head.

As I’m working on a story, and additional bits and pieces come to mind, I add them to the tickler file. Sometimes, I’ll be into a scene and realize it works better for another story. That’s copy, paste, and start the scene over time. “Process” is such a buzz word these days, but getting a manuscript completed is a process. In 2009, the process completed on those six stories.

Will 2K10 bring equal productivity? One can hope, but not guarantee. There is a business side to being a published author, but there is also the fickle Muse to contend with. Get the Muse on track, and there is still family, friends, and the day job that pays the bills that demand equal time. Not to mention the need to occasionally sleep, something I’m not doing well as this snowy New Year’s Eve 2009 day dawns.

There’s much to do this day that doesn’t involve writing. My partner has decided we need to get rid of some junk in the den. I need not tell you how unpleasant that task may become because his real agenda is de-booking my bookcases so his Clive Cussler tomes can have their very own shelf. We’ll see about that. I have to watch him like a hawk because last time he wanted space, he tried to give away my C.J. Cherryh collection. Bad boy. A better option is giving away all those VHS tapes we (meaning he) will never watch again.

It’s finally daylight, and time to put coffee on to brew and take a few minutes to watch the snow. Just like the writing, watching the snow fall never gets old. And after I indulge myself for a bit, it will be time to remember that the books don’t get written by magic, and devote an hour to pulling pure thought from the air, and getting it on the page.

Here’s to the year 2010. May we all be healthy and happy.


KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
Join my mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Veritas



My best friend got me a little plaque for Christmas that says, "Having abandoned my search for truth...I am now looking for a good fantasy."

It's safe to say, she knows me well.

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

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve




It’s Christmas Eve, and like every day I don’t have to go to my day job, I’m up early. It's strange how that works. Heaven knows that on a typical Thursday, I can barely drag my butt out of bed in time to make it to work on time. But this is not a typical day. It’s Christmas Eve.

Being up so early has several benefits. The house is quiet, except for the ticking cuckoo clock. I started a fire in the woodstove, and it snaps and pops from time-to-time, but I like that. It reminds me of my grandparents home when I was very young. I suppose I even like the clock, but it wasn’t always so.

When my partner first moved in, and wanted to hang that monstrosity on my living room wall, I balked. The cuckoo has a stag on top, and a hare and pheasant hanging upside down on the front. Dead carved animals. Just what my décor screamed for. But I confess I’ve gotten used to the chiming, especially in the night. And one clock is a small concession for those finer things the man brings to my life.

The winter solstice is past, and the days are getting longer. Already I sense the difference in the light. It’s still early, and the world outside my window has been cast in shades of gray, but the moment when the sunlight sneaks in under any cloud cover, and what colors found in winter appear, is upon me. The tiny green holly tree outside my window is a thing of beauty against the white snow, as are the cardinals hopping around on the snow, coaxing for a handout.

There is also that old saying, “red sky at morn, sailors be warned.” The sky to the west is quite pink, but as long as I can write, all warm and cozy in front of my monitor, let it snow, sleet, rain, whatever.

I need to get writing. I’ve crested the 10K mark in the current work-in-progress. That’s almost a third of this story, or so I think. It may go a bit longer depending on what the characters have to say about it. I do want to get it done, so that means no more promo work until it’s finished. Some writers can do lots of promo work and still churn out several thousand words a day, but I’m not one of them.

The writing will have to wait one more hour. The man of the house has shuffled out of the bedroom, moaning, in need of caffeine. I’ll spend a little time sitting at the dining room table with him, watching the birds, and then he’ll have to amuse himself for a few hours while I write.

It’s Christmas Eve.


KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Looking forward to a white Christmas

December 19, 2009

It’s snowing, and it's not the light, gentle flakes we typically see in December. Nooooo. It’s snowing. That's not a face in the picture, it's the milkcan on the west end of the deck. Since 10:15 last night, we’ve gotten ten inches.

Don’t go there, not with me. I write erotic romance. I’m way ahead of you. But I digress.

It’s snowing, and the possibility of a white Christmas has increased exponentially. I won’t debate whether or not it has to actually snow on Christmas to be a white Christmas. If there’s leftover snow on the ground, that’s good enough for me. I can’t remember the last time we had snow like this in December. Most of our snow starts in January, and our big storms are late February or early March.

There’s something about the falling snow that makes it almost impossible for me to concentrate. I have a galley to look at, and an edit to work on, but I’d rather sit at the table and gaze out across the yard and watch it snow. Or better yet, go out and play in it.

I convinced my dog he needed to go outside, and off we went. He’s a lot of fun in the snow. I like to make snowballs and throw them. Yes, I laugh at him when he can’t find the snowballs, but he doesn’t seem to mind as long as I make another one. After a quarter-hour, I started to get chilled, so we came back inside to find my housemate dumping the ingredients for chili into the crock pot. Works for me on a snowy day.

I need to get on with my Saturday. There’s the writing chores, laundry, and a few last-minute Christmas gifts to wrap. I still have a few promo things I want to do with Tango in the Night, and now, At the Southern Cross has been loaded at Amazon.com , and I need to check if that link is active yet.

Maybe I’ll get another cup of coffee first, watch the snow fall for a bit longer, and dream of a white Christmas.

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've been for a walk, on a winter's day

December 16, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside! My silly cat hasn't touched real terra firma in days. His paws are just too delicate. Even the dog needs a good shove to get him out the door. And people call them 'dumb animals'. For myself, I brave the cold air almost daily for a walk. I know I shouldn't ask, but what does that say about the level of my intelligence?

One summer, way back when in the 1980's, my mom and I used to get up at five in the morning, Monday through Friday, and walk. We were faithful until winter hit, and we thought it too cold to go outside. We stopped "for the winter" and we never started again. Now, since I'm finally walking almost every day again, I'm afraid to stop for fear the same thing will happen again. I bundle up and go unless it's raining buckets.

Does the walking help me as a writer? I'm not sure. I'd like to think so. What's good for me is good for the stories.

Yes, we writers can be an obsessive lot. Everything goes back to the writing with us. We can't escape writing - it's our drug. It keeps our brains happy.

I do wonder what people think as I stroll along, grinning, or even talking to myself as I work on dialogue. Of course, I walk with my iPod plugged in, so maybe they think I'm trying (and failing) to sing. It doesn't really matter. I walk to please myself, much like the writing.

Walking has helped with other things, too. It's taken a few months, but my co-workers no longer have panic attacks when I leave them alone for half an hour. Apparently, it stresses them when the den mother abandons them. Well GOOD!! They cause me enough stress, and walking eases that. I've lost a few pounds, and my blood pressure cuff keeps telling me I'm really dead.

Today, as I walked along, my iPod spit out an old song, one full of magic - "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and the Papas. I turned up the volume, and inside my headphones, the wonderful stereo sound of the Sixties bloomed, rendering the incredible harmonies in their full glory. It transported me back to a very different time when my best girlfriend and I knew every word to every song on the AM radio bands. We'd sit on the porch steps for endless hours and sing along. Winter's cold didn't stop us.

I think I'll load a few more old songs into my iPod, and try to let go of even the writing as I walk. And when I return to my desk to finish out the workday, I'll be able to smile at the kiddies in the office. Because, you see, I've been for a walk, on a winter's day.

KC Kendricks
Visit my website at http://www.kckendricks.com

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tango in the Night


December 31, 2009

Tango in the Night
contemporary gay romance


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 he 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?


Intro for book:

“I’ve got a lot of miles on me, Ellis. I feel old.”

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. I had one more thing I had to say to him. “Ellis?”

He stopped and turned around. “Yeah?”

“Nice ass.”

He laughed as the door closed behind him.

Website Blurb:

Ellis sat behind his desk, chin anchored in his left palm while his right index finger idly tapped the page in front of him. Lucky for me, a member of the janitorial staff busily washed the windows in my new office and I had an excuse not to go in there yet.

I had two choices. I could hide my interest in him, be the gruff senior agent, or I could let him know how strongly he had things stirring inside me. If I chose the latter, we needed to hash a few things out, namely how not to allow a mutual sexual curiosity affect the job.

Standing in the doorway, looking at him, I didn’t know which would win today. Ellis glanced up and saw me. He straightened, his chest expanding as he drew in a deep breath. I nodded and stepped into the squad room.
“Ellis. Are you on call, or just catching up?”

“I’m puzzled, mostly.”

I snorted and let the southern drawl creep into my speech. “Ain’t we all, most days?”

He almost smiled, the corner of his mouth twitching, and mimicked my accent. “I heard you hailed from Ken-tuck.”

“Yep. With a name like ‘Jubal’, where the hell did you think I was from?” I snagged the nearest chair and rolled it a bit closer to him. “What are you puzzled about?”

His gaze drilled into mine, his warm blue eyes eloquently saying he meant me. I smiled to let him know I appreciated his interest, but was careful not to show encouragement. He must have gotten the message. He flipped a folder at me. “There’s a few missing pieces here.”

I opened the folder and kept my surprise out of my voice. “This is an old case. I worked it for a while, but it went cold.”

“It ties into a new one, I just know it.”

A cold fist seized my heart. This case was potentially dangerous. I looked up at him. Ellis was running on instinct and that gut feeling that settled over you when you know what you can’t yet prove. His earnest expression begged me to believe him. I did, and I wished to heaven I could warn him off this one, but it would tip my hand.

“Keep digging, then. Trust your gut.”

“Should I trust what my gut says about you, Agent Graham?”

I closed the file and laid it back on his desk, my gaze flicking to the window washer. He was finished, putting all his supplies back in his cart. I waited until he exited to reply. 

“Ellis, you and I need to get a few things straight.”

He tapped the signet ring. “That’s not your initial. The guy you were with last night?”

“No. I was with a friend last night. You were on a date.”

“So, maybe I should take you out on a date.”

“Ellis…” I froze as his fingers closed around mine, a delighted little quiver pulsing through my penis. I was intensely curious about the man, but we were in too public a place for this to continue. I pulled away. “Don’t do that here.”

“Will you go out with me, Jubal?”

Persistence was a good thing for a drug enforcement agent to have, but I wasn’t sure I liked his directed at me. I wasn’t sure I didn’t like it, either. It was certainly different to be on this side of the pursuit.

“Why did you come to my house last night?”

Ellis looked away as a flush crept up his neck. “I needed to know if your boyfriend lived with you.”

I clamped down on my temper. He was out of line, and his eyes said he knew how far. I counted to five before I responded. “He’s not my boyfriend. Don’t do it again. If he sees you dogging me, it’ll scare him.”

“Like I’m scaring you, Jubal?”

“You’re not scaring me.”

“Oh, the hell I’m not.” Ellis leaned back in his chair. “Okay. We’ll do it the old southern way. Even straights say a year is enough to mourn. You can play the reluctant widower for another two months. I’ll let you. Then you go out with me.”

"Boy, you don’t know anything about me.”

“Wrong. You were all anyone talked about when I transferred in. I took notes.”

“You’re an arrogant fucker, aren’t you?”

Ellis grinned as he stood and stretched, treating me to an eye level display of the full, rounded bump at the base of his zipper. He looked down at me, his expression pure insolence.

“Takes one to know one, Agent Graham.”


TANGO IN THE NIGHT

Also available:

NETTING NEPTUNE
#6 Best Seller, Amber Allure, Sept. 09
www.amazon.com/Netting-Neptune-Southern-Cross-Book-ebook/dp/B01FEST0I0

TAMING TRITON
Available at Amazon and other online booksellers

POSEIDON'S PLEASURE
Available at Amazon and other online booksellers

KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
Join my mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
Read my personal blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rebel, Rebel

I usually balk at being part of the In Crowd. I’m not into trends, the newest restaurant, or the latest ‘must see’ movie. I drive a ten-year-old Chevy 4x4 that still runs like a champ, and when everyone wanted to build a castle, I opted for a tiny fifteen-hundred square foot rancher that doesn’t take much to heat, cool and keep clean. Don’t look for me to wear clothes with a designer label in this lifetime.

So why is it I like the band Billboard just named the Band of the Decade? Yeah, yeah, Chad Kroeger’s butt is a work of art in black denim, but that’s beside the point. (Yes, I looked! Call me a dirty old woman!)

By all accounts, no one in the world should like Nickelback. I’ve never, ever read a review of their music that wasn’t a direct attack on their musical talent. Or supposed lack thereof. Yet they’ve sold over 30 million albums worldwide and gotten at least one Grammy nomination. How can anyone, or group, possibly be that popular when the all-important holy grail of reviewer opinion is against them?

Could it be because at a time when the world is obsessed with “political correctness,” those boys are out there just doing what they want to do the way they want to do it - without apology?

I think so. And I think that’s why I like them.

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The power of planning

December 9, 2009

I know it’s only December 9th, and maybe a little early to work up a ‘year in review’ blog, but the past holds keys to the future. What works, you improve upon. What doesn’t work, you find a way to improve, or acknowledge it’s time to try something different. So with two new stories on the desktop, each vying for my attention, it’s time to look behind to plot a more prosperous path.

Now, don’t think that by prosperous I’m talking about money. I’m not. Contrary to popular belief, most writers are not retiring to Tuscany on their royalties. We make a little bit, take the family out to a nice dinner or whatever, pay for the webhosting, and that’s about it. We write because we love doing it. The prosperity I’m referring to has to do with the craft of writing.

Any good writer never stops wanting to find new and better phrasing, more descriptive yet more concise words. We want to create a single sentence that weeps with the joy of being created. The challenge comes from within, not without, and we don’t shy away from it, no matter how difficult it may seem. Our prosperity increases when we accomplish this creation. It’s an internal prosperity on which to build the future.

If you read back across some of my blogs, you’ll find how best to serve the future is actually a recurring theme of mine. I tend to look forward more than I tend to dwell on the past, but the two have a symbiotic relationship.

Am I excited about what’s ahead in the year 2010? Very! A year’s worth of planning is coming to fruition. Two early 2009 releases will finally be paired with two new releases in two paperback anthologies. “Tango in the Night” will finally be released this coming weekend as part of a PAX collection. It seems like I’ve been waiting forever for this one (I’ll never submit a story early again).

Tango in the Night,” and “Give Me One Night,” will pair up in the paperback, “Night Moves.” Both of these stories give the characters one more chance for happiness when they aren’t looking for it.

Then, “Seducing Light” will pair with the upcoming “Shine a Light” in a paperback. Both of these stories are set against a backdrop of movies and live theater, so the paperback will be, appropriately enough, “In the Limelight.”

Beyond February 2010, I’m expanding my work to include a limited urban legend series. I think it will be fun to add that. I love writing contemporary stories. This is simply contemporary with a little twist. Currently, the plan is for six stories. We’ll just have to see how it pans out.

Also in the works, a three story set that, like the Southern Cross series, will have a central location and recurring characters, linked by family and friendship. Until the first one is done, I won’t have a clear picture of how the second and third will work.

So many stories, and so little time, so I’d best stop blogging and get busy.


KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Slice of the Life - Snowy Saturday

December 5, 2009

It snowed today. I know that’s not exactly a newsflash – a lot of people woke to snow. I knew before I opened my eyes the white stuff was falling. A friend who lives nearby tipped me off to something. Around here in the winter, if you don’t hear the wind at night, it’s snowing. Being a bit of a doubting Thomasina, I’ve paid attention and found she’s correct.

The weather forecasters didn’t call for much accumulation, so my other half ordered me to put my boots on and accompany him to town. Amused that he just had to get out in the snow, I obeyed (not something I ever promised to do, you understand, but I figure it doesn’t hurt once a year). We hopped in my trusty 4x4 and off we went. After about a mile, he dropped all pretense of needing to go to the home improvement store. We made a left and headed for the top of the mountain.

There is something beautiful, and peaceful, about an empty country road. A feeling of isolation descends, and worries fade. What is unseen beyond the trees no longer exists.
The feeling intensifies when the trees and ground are covered with snow.

We stopped on a remote stretch of the road, opened the windows to the cold air, and cut the ignition. Without the sound of the engine to interfere, we sat and listened. When the world is covered in white, so far from the background noise of civilization, you can actually hear the snowflakes hiss as they settle against each other on the earth.

I’d brought along a travel cup full of coffee to share, and when it was empty, we moved along, making it all the way to the end of the road without passing another vehicle.

Our little jaunt had a profound impact on the rest of our day. There has been no television, no music playing, no keyboard clicking busily by the hour, just the sporadic tapping of the email addict as both of us touched base with our private worlds. We sat at our dining room table, watched the snow fall until dark, and shared the peaceful sounds of a house whose occupants are, for now, in harmony.

The snowfall is over. Darkness obscures the view out our window. Things are back to normal.

The television is on, and I'm happy at my keyboard, looking for the secret words hidden between the keys.

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Amber Allure Top Ten List - November 2009

December 2, 2009
**links updated 5/17/2016**

Maybe I'm amazed.

No, I'm definitely amazed that the streak continues. I think a lot of writers never stop feeling amazement that people like their work. For me, every sale is like a dark chocolate Hershey's kiss, but without the calories.

Without further ado, here's the Top Ten List from Amber Allure for November 2008. Poseidon's Pleasure clocked in at #8, and as of this date, is still #2 at All Romance eBooks. Just as a side note, Taming Triton is #14 at ARE, and Netting Neptune is at #17.

Maybe I'm amazed, and maybe I'd better get back to work on the new story.

KC


AMBER ALLURE
1. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - Lynn Lorenz (Gay / Contemporary)
2. Son Of A Preacher Man - Jamie Craig (Gay / Contemporary)
3. Wranglers: The Defense Rests - Vivien Dean (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Lynx Woods - P. A. Brown (Gay / Contemporary)
5. The Impossible Dream - Christiane France (Gay / Contemporary)
6. Superstar - Rick R. Reed (Gay / Contemporary)
7. Somebody To Love - Carolina Valdez (Gay / Contemporary)
8. Poseidon's Pleasure - KC Kendricks (Gay / Contemporary)
9. Secrets We Keep - Caitlyn Willows (Ménage [M/M/F] / Contemp.)
10. Deeper Blue - A. J. Llewellyn (Gay / Contemp. / Mystery)


KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
Join my mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
Read my personal blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

I’ve hit the big time. A blogger has commented that, in a nutshell, I write like myself, and a KC Kendricks book reads like a, well, a KC Kendricks book.

Move over, John Fogerty. You’ve got company.

KC