Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Road Just Traveled - Looking Back at 2010

**Post updated 4/12/2017**

December 22, 2010

It’s the time of year when it doesn’t matter what blog you read, you’ve got a better than fifty-fifty chance of landing on some version of “My Year in Review.” I don’t think it’s so much that we authors who blog are looking for material to post, but more that it’s a time for us to gather our thoughts and energies and focus on our future.

What better way to look forward than to first look back? To understand the road just traveled guides us around the potholes in the road ahead. Those who stop here at Between the Keys are my honored guests, and welcome traveling companions. So what is newsworthy about the year 2010? Let’s look back and see.

The year started out with the release of two paperback compilations. I can’t say enough nice things about Amber Quill Press, and their paperback program is just one of the great marketing tools they have in their arsenal. Night Moves*, which contains my favorite story Tango in the Night, and Give Me One Night, was released at the turn of the last new year. I love the Night Moves cover! It’s my favorite of all Trace Edward Zaber has done for me. This talented cover artist is another reason AQP tops my list of publishers.

At the Southern Cross, a three-story compilation that includes Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, and Poseidon’s Pleasure, was also released near the first of the year. Poseidon’s Pleasure is my second favorite story of among those I’ve written. Having paperbacks available is such a treat for me, the author. Ebooks are the way of the future, and in my case outsell the paperbacks probably about 100 to 1, but I still enjoy having a stack of MY paperbacks on my nightstand. Call me old-fashioned for having this one little backward-thinking indulgence.

The first new release of the year was Shine A Light. A difficult story to write, I struggled with how far a “romance,” even a contemporary gay romance, should tread into the topic of HIV. In the end, I have to ask if I handled the subject to the best of my ability for my readers. How sophisticated has the romance reader become? It wouldn’t bother me one iota to read a story where one character was HIV positive, but I’m looking at it from the mixed perspective of writer/reader.

Shine A Light was quickly followed by In the Limelight, another paperback that includes Shine A Light, and Seducing Light. (In the Limelight went out of print 3/31/16.) As I’ve stated, Amber Quill Press has a lot going for it, and offering the author the opportunity to have each book in both ebook and paperback, thereby broadening availability, is a marketing program other publishers would do well to adopt.

April brought the release of A Hard Habit to Break, the first of many stories set in the fictional town of Marionville. Some of you may be familiar with the term ‘world building,’ and this is what I’m doing in Marionville. I’ve developed a town/city setting in which to create a community of characters. The books won’t be sequels to each other, but you may discover that your favorite characters from A Hard Habit to Break are still happy together when you read Open Roads, and What You Don’t Confess.

Between A Hard Habit to Break and Open Roads there was a neat little shapeshifter story entitled, The Back Stairs. This is the first shapeshifter I’ve written as KC Kendricks, and I had a lot of fun with it. Sundown is a different sort of shifter, and it’s not your standard shapeshifter story. The transformation is not the main event – the romance is, and to that end, the human half of the pairing stumbles a bit on his way to accepting the differences between himself and his lover. Metaphorical? You decide. I’ve actually just completed a sequel to The Back Stairs, and hope to delight my publisher by getting a cover blurb written so I can send it in. Will he be delighted? One hopes.

So that’s a surprising look back. I had five new books released in 2010, along with four paperbacks. You’d think I wouldn’t lose track since it’s my backlist, but I don’t often stop and take a long, retrospective look back at my body of work. When it comes to many things, including writing, my focus is forward.

My year closes with a sense of accomplishment. I’ve grown in my writing and learned a few things, which I endeavor to do at all times. Life and living go hand-in-hand with learning, whatever your passion. Outward growth is encouraged by inward growth, even if the universe sends us in marvelous, unexpected directions.

I’ve been happy at my keyboard throughout 2010, finding secrets between the keys. As we dive headlong into the holiday season, that’s good enough for me.

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

* The paperback Night Moves is no longer available.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 LBGT Rainbow Awards - An Honorable Mention for Tango in the Night



December 12, 2010

Congratulations to all the winners and to all those who received an honorable mention in the 2010 LBGT Rainbow Awards sponsored by Elisa Rolle.

What sets this award apart, other than Ms. Elisa Rolle herself, is that there are no fees and no payments. Any LGBT book published in the last year may be entered, and readers do the judging. A few authors are also invited to judge, but not in any category they may have entered a book.

I'm pleased Tango in the Night was selected as an Honorable Mention in the Best Gay Erotic Contemporary. It's a book I believe in, a story which became my favorite before I'd finished writing it.

To check out the entire 2010 LGBT Rainbow Award winners and honorable mentions, click here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Remembering old friends

I came to writing contemporary gay romance by a circuitous path. I’d been published for several years in the world of erotic romance under a different nom de plume. It was fun, and rewarding, and I enjoyed it immensely. For those reasons, it came as quite a surprise to me to wake up one morning and know that if I wanted to continue to write, I had to change direction. I'd grown through my writing, now my writing had to grow with me. But what path to take?

No, slash fiction wasn’t my first thought, but the universe works in mysterious ways. I sat down at the computer and opened my calendar. The reminder, “J-s birthday,” popped up. My friend would have been fifty that day, had he not died so young.

J-’s home was the first house over the line to attend a different elementary school, and as we entered the same middle school together, we started to hang out. Did I suspect he “didn’t like girls?” By the time we were in high school, certainly. Did it matter? Not a bit. We were buddies. In 1975, our senior year, he had a copy of The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren. He handed it to me and told me to read it. I did. When I returned the book, he asked me if I knew what it meant, and he asked me if we were still friends. Silly boy.

To keep the story short, I got my copy of The Front Runner off the shelf, where it had resided unopened for so many years, and reread it. But I didn’t need to open it to know it. I first read the opening line in 1975, but I remembered it like it was yesterday. TFR remains one of the most hauntingly powerful stories I’ve ever read.

J’s fiftieth birthday was the day I decided to write a contemporary gay romance story for him. It snowballed from there. I like to think of him perched on the hood of his 1965 Impala, that damned unlit cigarette tucked behind his ear, and smiling his I-know-a-secret smile at me.

What would he be like today? Would he be happy? Would he have someone special in his life? Would he like the stories I write for him?

I think he would.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Amber Allure November 2010 Top Ten List



4/24/16 - This entry contains updated information but it doesn't change the fact What You Don't Confess hit the best seller list.
* * *

I suppose it's okay to brag just a tad over this - What You Don't Confess was the NUMBER 2 BEST SELLER during November 2010 for the publisher.

In case you missed it, What You Don't Confess was the NUMBER 2 BEST SELLER during November 2010 for the publisher.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's so unbecoming to go around shouting and bragging and carrying on like it's a REAL BIG DEAL or something, but sometimes a writer just has to seize the moment and get it out of their system so they can get back to work. So let's call this one of those moments, and move on to something more important, which is just about anything else I could name - ending world hunger, world peace, cure for cancer. That sort of thing.

More important than my own spot at number two - a big CONGRATULATIONS to everyone else on the list. We're a hard working bunch. Well, except when we're bragging and resting on our laurels, which I'm going to stop doing right now because I really do have a pile of work to clean off my desk before the weekend.

November 2010 Top Ten

1. Tensaw Blues - T. D. McKinney & Terry Wylis (Gay / Contemporary)
2. What You Don't Confess - KC Kendricks (Gay / Contemporary)
3. Once Upon A Secret - Christiane France (Gay / Contemporary)
4. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Scorpio: The Heart To Help - Jamie Craig (Gay / Contemporary)
5. Runes Of Revelation - Deirdre O'Dare (Gay / Dark Fantasy)
6. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Sagittarius: Mr. November - Pepper Espinoza (Gay / Contemporary)
7. Out On The Net - Rick R. Reed (Gay / Contemporary)
8. Manfred's Curse - Shawn Lane (Gay / Shapeshifter)
9. Island Heat - A. J. Llewellyn & D. J. Manly (Gay / Contemporary)
10. Tough Guy - Bryl R. Tyne (Gay / Western)

What You Don't Confess is available now at 
AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Dreaded Word Dump...

...a.k.a. Deleting Chapter 7 and Starting it Over

Deleting a block of text I spent five days writing is something I do not love to do. Or even like to do. Heck, I can barely breathe before I hit the delete key - which is why I never *really* delete text. I cut and paste into a separate document because it might work later on in the story, or even in another piece of prose.

The cold, hard truth is sometimes it's simply necessary to dump text. It could be because of a new, better idea. Or even an older better idea. In this case, I saw two possible directions for the story to take, and I chose what turned out to be the wrong one. Well, maybe wrong isn't the right word, but it's the word I have this rainy night.

Typing the chapter solidified where the story should be going, so it was in no way a waste of time. The only deadline on this story is one I set for myself, so I have the luxury of being able to dump almost a week's work and regroup. And honestly, it's not the first time I've done this over the years - nor will it be the last.

What's the point of sharing? I guess it's just to let other writers, especially those new to the craft, that dumping text happens no matter how long you've been writing. And I needed to whine about it a bit.

But as Don Henley said - get over it.

So I'm going back to work now. With any luck, I can bang out a new chapter seven by Thursday. Or not. Either way, it will be okay.

KC

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What You Don't Confess

November 14, 2010

What You Don't Confess
Contemporary gay romance

What You Don't Confess is available now at 
AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

****
I'm so pleased this book is finally available. What You Don't Confess closes the story arc about Dylan Donoghy, a character introduced in A Hard Habit to Break, and continued in Open Roads. Dylan is a friend and confidant to both Travis and Tyler, so it's only fitting he have the rest of his story told. All three stories stand alone, but I think the reader will enjoy the Marionville setting more if all three are read. I hope you enjoy Dylan's journey to coming out. - KC Kendricks
****


Bright and beautiful, Cassidy Barlow is one of Marionville’s new breed of movers and shakers. Outspoken on political and social issues, Cass draws a lot of media attention and knows how to us it. Out and proud, Cass makes no apologies for who he is, or who he wants – and he wants Dylan Donoghy. The only thing is, from where Cass stands, Dylan seems to be involved with two different men.

Coming out. The most difficult phrase in Dylan Donoghy’s vocabulary. Handsome, successful, wealthy, he’s made it this far in life with only his closest friends knowing he’s gay. Dylan has a good reason for that to change – his deepening attraction to Cassidy Barlow. It doesn’t come easy, but Dylan takes a few first steps out of the closet. It’s his only choice if he wants to be with Cass, even though he knows Cass has some secrets of his own.

Every man has a private past and an unwritten future. What he won’t confess stands between the two.

EXCERPT

“You do know those four watchdogs of yours were there the entire evening, don’t you?”

I nodded. “They like to keep an eye on me. Obviously, it didn’t discourage you at all.”

His hand gripped my shoulders again. His amber gaze drilled into mine. “Just so I don’t step in it, Dylan, how many of them have you slept with? And don’t lie to me.”

I fought back against of wave of anger. How dare he imply I’d not tell him the truth? Being astute, he knew he’d pissed me off. I saw the apology in his eyes as he touched his fingertips to my lips.

“That didn’t come out right, Dylan.”

“ Apology accepted. Before today, I might have told you it was none of your business, but now I think you should know. We’re no longer intimate, but I have a very close, special relationship with both Travis and Tyler. I’m very happy for them that they both found a partner.”

“That’s what I figured out Friday night when they spent all that time running in and out of an area marked ‘private’. Especially Templeton.”

“Don’t test me too often, Cass. I don’t like it.” I spoke sharper than intended, but he needed to know my boundaries. “There’s a lot of space between your age and mine. Be careful not to judge until you get to where I am.”

Those restless hands of his skimmed along my sides. “I’m not being judgmental, I swear. I just needed to know what the dynamics are between you and them so I don’t put both feet in my mouth.”

“Okay. I get it. And for what it’s worth, all four of them, especially Travis, is rooting for you.”

“Really? He’s in my corner, is he?” Cass tucked his fingers under my belt and tugged. I levered my weight off the door and stepped past him, capturing his hand to pull him into the casual space I used for informal gatherings.

“He’s using tough love on me when it comes to you, so don’t be shocked, or surprised, at his little quips. Have a seat.”

Cass eased down on the love seat and patted the spot beside him. I ignored him, and went to the bar. “What would you like to drink?”

“Ginger ale?”

I nodded and poured two, handing his to him with an apology it didn’t come in a brandy snifter as I settled in beside him. I stopped him when he moved to put his arm around me.

“You’re killing me here, Dylan.”

“No, I’m not.” I sipped my drink. “Cass, I don’t want to make a misstep with you. I know what you want tonight, but what do you want next week? Or next month? Christ, what do I want next week?”

He leaned back and watched me with those amber eyes. His cool, even regard gave little indication of his thoughts. Cass downed his drink in three fast swallows, then swirled the ice around in the bottom of the empty glass.

“Do you always think everything to death, Dylan?”

“It’s a hazard one encounters in middle age.”

“I’m not some mistake you’ll regret when you’re ninety.”

I laid my hand on his thigh. The heat of his skin penetrated his jeans, and snaked up my arm. “You’re right, you know. I won’t regret meeting you, whether dinner is all we share, or we become friends, or if we become lovers.”

“Or? If? I don’t appreciate being jerked around.”

“Well, poor little you that I haven’t figured this out yet.”

Cass’s mouth dropped open, then snapped closed. He stared at me, blinked, and stared again. I reveled in private glee that I’d seen him speechless twice in one day, but that amusement was strongly tempered by the knowledge I had him too far off balance. I squeezed his knee.

“Look, Cass. I’m not jerking you around. Getting involved with someone isn’t easy for me. I’ve never been someone who gets a hard-on for a guy and loses my mind until I fuck him. I have to think things through, and consider the impact it may have on my life.”

He shook his head. “Babe, you’ve got to start living in the moment, and stop living in fear.” Cass set his empty glass down on the end table and stood. With angry, disappointed eyes, he met my gaze. A muscle moved in his clenched jaw.

My heart beat painfully. I knew what he was going to say...

WHAT YOU DON'T CONFESS
Contemporary gay romance

What You Don't Confess is available now at 
AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Many Rooms

November 11, 2010

There is a lovely line in an episode of Queer as Folk, spoken by the character of Lindsay, that strikes a chord with me.

My house has many rooms. I occupy but a few. The rest go unvisited.

In my house.

I am a daughter, a partner, a cousin, a friend, a co-worker, a supervisor, an employee.

I am a writer, a bowler, a music lover, a cook, an artist, a seamstress, a photographer.

These are rooms I occupy frequently.

But what about those other rooms, those I do not visit? I'm not sure I've even identified them all, although I sense their presence. Perhaps one day my journey will lead me to open some of those doors, be it slowly one by one, or recklessly flinging several open at once.

Many rooms.

I like that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do ebooks change the rules?

In this age of information saturation, it's easy to hit overload and stay there for a weeks on end. I know. I've been there a few times, and yet I still browse for articles pertinent to the art and craft of writing. Some days, like today, I do consider deleting all my Google alerts, but that's a blog for a different day.

If you follow the link below, you'll find a good article on how ebooks are changing the publishing world. I doubt that's news to anyone who reads author blogs. What struck me in this article was what it put into words something I believed to be true, but never articulated - the Kindle reader is so successful because it's a simple device with a singular function that it does well.

The article also touches on a few unpleasant truths. Piracy abounds in the ebook world, stealing a decent living from the serious writer. And (my opinion)if the serious writer needs to work a day job to support herself, it becomes difficult to find the time to write. Everyone loses when that happenes.

Anyway, it's a good article with food for thought and is worth the read.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/e-books-rewrite-the-rules-of-engagement/story-e6frg6zo-1225942072478

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An affirmation of the prolific writer

November 3, 2010

I read an interesting article on prolific authors today. I think why it struck a chord with me is because of a post on a review site several months ago in which the owner of the review site and another author criticized a particular unnamed author for being a prolific writer. In the course of their conversation, it was admitted they'd discused this author, in depth, privately. I'm still deeply affected by having read such cruelty.

When I read the article by Philip Womack today and learned that Barbara Cartland had penned 722 books in the course of her career, I was a bit gaga. That's a lot of books. The article states that comes out to about a book every 40 days. What it didn't tell me was how in the heck to channel that ability.

The link to the article is below. No matter where you are in your writing career, you owe it to yourself to read it, especially the last paragraph with it's affirmation of the prolific writer. For it's affirmation we need to hear from other writers, our brothers and sisters in arms. Who else knows the pieces of self we pour into each work? And who else can wound - or heal - us with mere words?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/8080503/Being-a-prolific-author-isnt-a-bad-thing.html

Amber Allure October 2010 Top Ten Best Sellers

I didn't have a book release in October, but kudos to those who did. Congratulations to all for a book well written!

1. The Beach House - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
2. Troy's Surrender - K. M. Mahoney (Gay / Western)
3. Inhabiting The Night - Carolina Valdez (Gay / Shapeshifter)
4. The Club At Cool Harbor - Christiane France (Gay / Contemporary)
5. Wolf's Survival - T. A. Chase (Gay / Werewolf)
6. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Scorpio: The Heart To Help - Jamie Craig (Gay / Contemporary)
7. Trust Your Tutor - Lilith Grey (Gay / Contemporary)
8. Between A Rock And A Hard Place - Clare London (Gay / Contemporary)
9. Tough Guy - Bryl R. Tyne (Gay / Western)
10. The Wild Bunch: Stace - Deirdre O'Dare (Gay / Western)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The End of an Era, October 31, 2010


The 1955 Chieftain - My Dad purchased one of these, brand new, when he and my mother were married in 1955.


The 1977 Pontiac Can Am. A rare beast, virtually extinct.



The 1969 Firebird. Until my generation has passed on, discussion will continue about which was the better car - the 1969 Firebird, or the 1969 Camaro.

And arguably the most famous of them all -


1969 GTO Judge

RIP, Pontiac.
1926-2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Return of the Muse

October 30, 2010

The creative process is often a mystery to me. I’d like to understand it on a deeper level, but I have this sense of it that says it’s best not to examine it too closely or it will cease to function. What I do know is, in the context of my own creativity, external stress damps it down to a virtually non-functioning level.

It’s an unfortunate fact of our society – a person is expected to want to climb the ladder of success. Whether you’re successful or not, you MUST want it. You must buy into the grind.

Okay – define success.

I’ve spent my working life taking steps up the ‘corporate’ ladder, only to discover I’m really a writer. The older I get, the more I realize that while my day job(s) have certainly provided me with the means to live comfortably, the daily nine-to-five grind has exacted a toll.

Perhaps I’m simply tired, having once again lived through the yearly process of setting the corporate budget for the new year. Ten years ago, it took two weeks, start to finish, to get all those involved to sign off on the budget, and move on. Yea! Success! Let’s all get back to work and do some good in our community.

This year, it took two long, whine-filled, miserable, argumentative months.

It’s been awhile since I fervently wished women ruled the world, but after dealing with so many little boys wearing fancy suits and scuffed shoes, I’m there again. Be careful what favors you need, fellas. I’m not in the mood to share my meager departmental resources.

And while things worked out favorably for my little niche in the operations, my heart longs for something else. It cries for the comfort of my home office. The quiet. The serene view of golden leaved trees through the windows, instead of the blur of cars cruising the streets. My dog sleeping behind my chair as the prose flows from my fingertips. The real me. The writer.

It’s all behind me for another year, but I mourn the loss of two months writing time. The muse, if you want to call it that, flees when stressed. It’s not a good thing. She controls more than writing. She’s that part of me that goes around the house ‘fluffing’ things, that knows how to rearrange the furniture, what new recipe to try, and how to string a new bead necklace in the perfect color combination. When she vanishes, there’s not much going on inside.

But you know what? Maybe she’s a smart muse. Maybe she needs a little vacation from time-to-time. With the stress behind me (or is it us?) she’s back, and she brought a truckload of ideas with her. It’s pretty evident this October morning that instead of hiding, she was merely resting quietly, giving me the space I needed handle outside affairs.

The words once again flow, birthed somewhere deep inside that well of creativity that constantly astounds me. Why I was given such a gift is a mystery, one I can be thankful for even if I don’t understand everything about it.

But then, maybe I’m not supposed to understand it. Maybe I’m supposed to simply enjoy it for the gift it is.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cat Got Your Tongue?

October 24, 2010

I didn't write the following, and I have no clue who did. It made the rounds a few years back, and like all jokes passed around on the Internet, it resurfaced this week. It's just as funny today as it was years ago. Enjoy!

CALLING IN SICK

Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable. No matter how legitimate my illness, I always sense my boss thinks I am lying.

On one occasion, I had a valid reason, but lied anyway because the truth was too humiliating. I simply mentioned that I had sustained a head injury and I hoped I would feel up to coming in the next day. By then, I could think up a doozy to explain the bandage on my crown.

The accident occurred mainly because I conceded to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty. Initially, the new acquisition was no problem, but one morning, I was taking my shower after breakfast, when I heard my wife, Deb, call out to me from the kitchen. "Ed! The garbage disposal is dead. Come reset it."

"You know where the button is," I protested through the shower(pitter-patter). "Reset it yourself!"

"I am scared!" she pleaded. "What if it starts going and sucks me in?" (Pause) "C'mon, it'll only take a second."

So out I came, dripping wet and buck naked, hoping to make a statement about how her cowardly behavior was not without consequence. I crouched down and stuck my head under the sink to find the button. It is the last action I remember performing.

It struck without warning, without respect to my circumstances. Nay, It wasn't a hexed disposal drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, clawing playfully at the dangling objects she spied between my legs. She had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I took the bait under the sink. At precisely the second I was most vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I unwittingly offered and snagged them with her needle-like claws. I lost all rational thought to control orderly bodily movements, while rising upwardly at a violent rate of speed, with the full weight of a kitten hanging from my masculine region.

Wild animals are sometimes faced with a "fight or flight" syndrome. Men, in this predicament, choose only the "flight" option. Fleeing straight up, the sink and cabinet bluntly impeded my ascent; the impact knocked me out cold.

When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me. Having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics snorted as they tried to conduct their work while suppressing hysterical laughter. At the office, colleagues tried to coax an explanation out of me. I kept silent, claiming it was too painful to talk about.

"What's the matter, cat got your tongue?"

If they had only known.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The stuff of family legend

October 17, 2010

Way back when in 1984, about a year after my father died, my mother decided it was time for a road trip. She loaded me and my grandmother in her car and off we went, heading south, to Williamsburg, Virginia.

Forget the historical significance of Williamsburg. Mumsy had a culturally lower destination in mind - The Pottery Shop. If you've never been, think treasure hunt, because sitting side-by-side with some really tacky shit are true finds.

Williamsburg is about a four to four and a half hour drive from where I live, depending on traffic, etc. We left at five o'clock in the morning. It was dark. I whined. Mumsy hit the DC beltway, and I cowered in fear in the backseat with a pillow over my head. It became very clear that my mother did, in fact, possess the need-for-speed gene, and I didn't only get mine from my dad. I got the double whamee. I knew we were in trouble when she noted the speedometer only went to 100, and she slowed to 80 and kept right on going without missing a beat, passing everything on the road. When we got to Fredricksburg, I took the driver's seat and refused to budge. The color came back into my grandmother's face.

1984 was a time before cell phones. We reached The Pottery Shop and those two women took off like they'd been shot from a rocket. I didn't see them again for hours. I'd like to think they missed me, but who knows? Who cares? I had the car keys. Which meant I carefully packed my treasure in the trunk first. I'm not just another pretty face, you know.

When nothing else would fit in the trunk and the vacant spot on the backseat, and remember trunks were bigger in those days, we headed home. In a moment of weakness, I gave the keys back to Mumsy with the proviso I would drive from Fredericksburg home, which meant I'd drive the beltway. No problem - except for the fact that Mumsy was on I95 south to get to Williamsburg so she took I95 south to get home. You see the problem with this? It was my fault. I was in the backseat with my nose in a book. When I finally realized what was going on, Mumsy wanted to argue. I told her to wake me up when we hit the North Carolina line. She did turn around.

We finally made it home, and the day became the stuff of family legend. My grandmother declined to go with us again, citing it was too long a day for a woman her age. Personally, I think my grandfather had waaaay too much fun without her that day...But that's another story.

Mom and I had so much fun the trip to Williamsburg is an annual October pilgrimage for us. Every year, the first one out of bed calls the other. (I let her win, you understand.) We hit the open road at six in the morning, and we don't stop chattering until we get back in the evening, well after sundown. We see each other all the time, talk on the phone daily, but there's something about our trip that finds us sharing deeper feelings and opinions.

And that's the real reason we still go. We don't need additional earthly 'treasures'. Our storehouses are full. We are so blessed to have everything we need and most of what we want. In these times, the trip is a luxury, of sorts. A selfish day we share. A day for me to store up memories to hold me over through the times ahead when my mother won't be with me.

In the new millennium, we've missed a few years due to various reasons, but this year is a "go." The only variable is the day. Will it be this coming Friday or Saturday? Depends on the weather. It's a long way to drive in the rain so we don't.

And yes, I do ALL the driving now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

In the news

October 16, 2010

I should have skipped the headline news this morning while swilling down some really nasty pomegranate juice.

It seems the Charger is NOT one of the cars Forbes says is most likely to be ticketed by the police. I find that amazing because I've discovered the Charger only has two speeds - fast and go faster.

It seems people still don't know how to save energy. Okay folks. Fifty-three years of being told to turn the lights off when I leave a room is ENOUGH. I got it.

The Dow closed the week over 11K. Sorta like the current work-in-progress, the one with the December deadline.

Rapper Vanilla Ice is starting a gig on ...say what?... HGTV??? That's just weird.

And lastly, Maryland authorities plan to curb drug use in Green Ridge State Forest. Hey, dudes. It's October. The camping season is over...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Amber Allure Top Ten Best Sellers September 2010

**Update - Amber Quill Press has closed but it doesn't detract from the success of these books.**


October 4, 2010

A big congratulation to all the Amber Allure authors who had new releases in September 2010. I didn't have a book release in the September (or scheduled October for that matter), but look for my next release, What You Don't Confess, on November 14th.

In the meantime, thanks for supporting these talented writers.

AMBER ALLURE / September 2010

1. Wolf's Survival - T. A. Chase (Gay / Werewolf)
2. Twice In A Lifetime - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
3. Sonoran Heat - Katrina Strauss (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Tommy's Blind Date - Anne Brooke (Gay / Contemporary)
5. Driven To Distraction - Anah Crow & Dianne Fox (Gay / Contemporary)
6. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Libra: Outlined In Ink - Vivien Dean (Gay / Suspense)
7. Wicked Cool - Val Kovalin (Gay / Suspense)
8. Workin' On The Railroad - Deirdre O'Dare (Gay / Contemporary)
9. The Brothers Of Hogg's Hollow - G. R. Richards (Gay / Contemporary)
10. Sonata Appassionata - Cat Grant (Gay / Contemporary)

What You Don't Confess is available now at 
AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

5 Kiss Review for The Back Stairs

October 2, 2010



It's refreshing to get a review from a reviewer that does what she does simply because she loves to read! Hats off to Tina at Two Lips Reviews, and many thanks.

Here's what she had to say about The Back Stairs.

I found The Backstairs by K. C. Kendricks to be a really intriguing read. I never really knew what was coming next and I found that fascinating. The chemistry between Fallon and Sundown was hot, but it was Sundown's story that I really found memorable. I would love to know more about people like Sundown, so I hope there is a series spin off here in the future. I cannot tell you more - it would spoil the book - but it is really a fresh take on shapeshifters that I really hope is explored more.

This book also touches on the idea of loving someone regardless of gender and about gender being what you feel inside rather than what you are on the outside. I really loved this story on many levels and highly recommend it. It has hot man-love in it for anyone who loves it like I do, but the story itself is unforgettable. I know I am not going to forget it anytime soon. I completely applaud K. C. Kendricks for coming up with a character twist that kept me guessing till the last page was turned. - Tina for Two Lips Reviews


Read the entire review here.

And to answer a question, yes, Tina, there will be more of Sundown soon.

KC

**Update** The Back Stairs is available at
www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebackstairs-2004038-145.html

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It explains so much

For nearly 30 years, the American Library Association has observed Banned Books Week, an annual tribute to the First Amendment and the "freedom to read." This year's just began; it runs throughout the coming week, September 25 to October 2, 2010.

As to the books chosen, it never makes sense to me. Heck, an organization banning books makes no sense to me. What happened to one's mother coming in to your room and snatching the book away to read for herself? You know - that odd ritual called parenting? It's a parent's responsibility to guide their kids, not the ALA.

Anyway, this year's list contains The Lord of the Rings, Fahrenheit 451, the entire Harry Potter series, The Grapes of Wrath, and Grimm's Fairy Tales.

Say what? Yes, Grimm's Fairy Tales. I read the Brothers Grimm...

So THAT'S what happened to my sense of humor.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A nice review of Open Roads

September 22, 2010


My thanks to E.H. on Books for the very nice review of Open Roads.

From the review:
"...OPEN ROADS hits the spot, it wasn’t over the top, there [were] no elaborate sex scenes - it dealt with that point in life where it’s just nice to have options, nice to have a choice knowing that there really is open roads ahead of you."

(This review is no longer posted, I assume because Amber Quill closed. I've retained a copy in my files.)

Thanks, E.H.! Happy to have you as a reader.

_*_*_*_*_


Tyler Phillips enjoys his small-town life. He’ll never get rich working the family business, but he knows there’s more to a man than the size of his bank account. Easing into mid-life, Tyler’s restless for something he can’t find in the little borough of Easton—male companionship.

Noel Springs got caught up in the economic downturn. With his job gone, and retirement many years in the future, Noel decides to take a long drive and see some of the country before dedicating himself to finding new employment. The open road is just what he needs.

But when Noel's car overheats outside the little town of Easton, he discovers the local mechanic is far hotter than his radiator, and just as eager to blow off some steam... 

Open Roads - book two of the Men of Marionville collection.

Open Roads is available at AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

KC Kendricks
kckendricks.com

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Original ideas

Why is the world afraid of original ideas? Why are we so afraid to be different and unique? Why is having a separate identity such a scary thing?

I ponder these things as Yahoo attempts to become FaceHoo. Or is it YaFace? Or YaBook? Or FaceYa?

Change merely for the sake of change. What a bust.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My movie review: Shelter




September 14, 2010

Shelter is an amazing, beautiful movie. The unhurried pace reels the viewer in, unsuspecting, and unfurls a powerful, complex story that is simply told.

Set against a backdrop of contrasting economic backgrounds and surfing, Shelter is first and foremost a love story. If you need to label your movies beyond that, then yes, it's a gay love story. Except for one (to the writer of erotic romance) modestly - and very well done - love scene, this film transports you past the 'gay' label and proves that love is about what is in a person's heart, not their pants.

What few surfing scenes that are included are brief and beautifully shot, so don't let the apparent "surf theme" keep you from this movie. Zach and Shaun could just have easily been roller bladers for all it has to do with the heart of the movie, which is Zach.

The plot follows a wonderfully familiar arc, but that doesn't detract from the movie one iota. Instead, it's a poignant reminder of the shared human experience. We all struggle with who we are, how we want to grow as a person, and how family expectations are often at odds with personal needs. Trevor Wright, as Zach, brings this to the screen with a powerful and unpretentious portrayal of a young man on the edge of faltering, yet able to keep it all together and find his way. When he does, Shaun is there.

Trevor Wright and Brad Rowe (Shaun) deliver wonderfully understated and nuanced performances. In an era of big budgets, flashy movie stars, and special effects saturation, Shelter shines like a diamond, free of those detracting inclusions and focusing its light on people.

Shelter is a beautiful movie. If you have the chance, watch it. Better yet, buy your own copy of it, because you will want to watch it again and again.

So there it is - my first movie review. Obviously, I don't review for a living, and I don't have all the little buzz phrases down pat. That's okay. I know what I like, and I like this movie.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What You Don't Confess

September 12, 2010

New cover time!

What You Don't Confess - a man on the edge of big life decisions.

Coming out.

A new relationship.

Embracing his past, present, and future as a stronger man.

Taking a first step.

Good cover. I like it.

What You Don't Confess.

**update**
What You Don't Confess is available now at 
Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other online book sellers.

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com
kckendricks.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/kckendricks

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm ready for the open road

September 7, 2010

Every once in a while, a girl has to treat herself to a little something new. Something she's admired. Something fun, yet with a practical side. Something dependable, and affordable, but not boring. Something fast and shiny.

Today that something became a 2006 Charger.

Some days a girl has to do what she wants to do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Open Roads hits #5 on the Amber Allure August 2010 Top Ten List


As strange as this seems, the number FIVE is a recurring number in my life. Terry LaBonte drove #5. The great Brooks Robinson wore the #5 jersey for the Orioles. I've had five cars, and five jobs. Now Open Roads is number five on the best seller list. I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Like - stick with FIVE.

Silliness aside, a big CONGRATS to all my fellow authors for making the list with me. What amazing company to be in!

AMBER ALLURE / August 2010
(Please note Amber Quill Press closed on 3/30/16)

1. Lift Your Voice - T. A. Chase (Gay / Contemporary)
2. A Bid For Love - T. D. McKinney & Terry Wylis (Gay / Contemporary)
3. A Big Hunk O' Love - Hunter Raines (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Best Laid Plans - Cassie Stevens (Gay / Contemporary)
5. Open Roads - KC Kendricks (Gay / Contemporary)
6. White Out - Heidi Champa (Gay / Contemporary)
7. Sins Of Affection - India Harper (Gay / Suspense)
8. Chain-Male - Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks (Gay / Contemporary)
9. The Manituw - Lisbeth Jenkins (Gay / Contemporary)
10. Cops And Rubbers - A. J. Llewellyn (Gay / Contemporary)

I'm going to give my own honorable mention to the three authors whose books released on August 29th, and therefore didn't really have time to rack up August sales: Pepper Espinoza, Terry O'Reilly and Devon Rhodes.

My to-be-read list just got longer, not that I mind on iota.

Open Roads is available at AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Obsidianbookshelf reviews Open Roads



September 2, 2010

My thanks to Val Kovalin at Obsidianbookshelf for the wonderful review of OPEN ROADS. The review is totally good with only one caveat, that of the mention of other characters at the end. However, KC Kendricks readers will certainly recognize those characters and be pleased to know life continues to be good for them. I can't fault the reviewer for not reading ALL of my published works, but with the glowing review she gave OPEN ROADS, I really wish she would!



From the review:
Here at Obsidianbookshelf.com, I'm impressed by Open Roads, especially by how much it offers while keeping to the challenging novella length. I have no gripes other than a tiny wish that the epilogue hadn't widened its focus, however briefly, to include four extra minor characters. Open Roads achieves its quiet power by focusing on that stunning moment that we all get once or twice in our lives when the path of our entire existence comes into sharp clarity and we regret our choices. - Val Kovalin

Thank you!!!

Open Roads is available at AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

KC Kendricks
www.kckenricks.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The daily confusion

Gemini’s Horoscope for August 25, 2010

You need to let yourself really push on your career track, even if you'd rather be doing other things. You can make more progress than you realize if you just shift some resources around.

I’ve been thinking about my horoscope all day and wondering to which career it refers. There’s my day job, where I spend forty-plus hours a week wowing everyone with my administrative skills, and there’s my writing career where I spend forty-plus hours a week trying to survive as a little bitty fish in a great big pond.

You’d think I’d rather concentrate on the career where I get heaps of praise, but not so. I prefer life in the crowded waters of the pool.

If I had my ‘druthers’ my career as office manager/administrative assistant would be winding down, and my writing career ramping up. Maybe that’s my answer. Writing is what I want to do, so I need to make the push at the day job.

Do the stars and planets deliberately set out to confuse me?

And what resources are they talking about? I wish these things came with a detailed outline and a roadmap. I'd worry about getting it all figured out, but come tomorrow, I'll have a new puzzle to solve. Until then, it's time to get back to work. I'll let you figure out which career I'm working on today :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Back Stairs reviewed by Sensual Reads


August 23, 2010

I suppose since this is my blog, it's okay to do the self-promotion bit, right?

Elise Lyn of Sensual Reads reviewed The Back Stairs, and here's what she had to say:

Taking us into an unknown world, KC Kendricks pens an intriguing novel where we can only see this world if we have enough nerve to go up the Back Stairs. Fallon does, and is surprised at what he finds. Sundown is only the tip of the ice berg. Together, these two will be able to survive the revelations that will shake Fallon’s world. Intriguing and compelling, Back Stairs makes for some thrilling reading and excitement . Back Stairs is another electrifying tale from the pen of KC Kendricks.

Thanks, Elise!

The Back Stairs is available at
www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebackstairs-2004038-145.html

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The dreaded writer's bl....bottleneck

August 15, 2010

I parked my butt in my office this weekend, intent on writing. I did write - all the way to about 3,000 words. If only those words had all been on the same story!

The Muse can be a fickle little thing. Even after spending so much time with her, she's often a mystery, but I think I may have figured out something.

I read a lot of blogs, and writers everywhere address writer's block. No one wants to come down with it since it's often resistant to standard cures. A writer can re-read their favorite books, take a little vacation, sit and stare at a blank screen until the ice breaks- whatever it takes. For me, the solutions are as myriad as the causes.

Experiencing either a total lack concentration or complete tunnel vision locked on one unsuspecting target, I have to figure out which pole I've gone over to before I know what to do to break a block. Complete focus is the easier of the two to manage. I simply take a walk, ride my bike - anything but write. It clears my head and allows my thoughts to reorder themselves back into some semblance of coherency. Lack of concentration is a harder row to hoe.

I never know for sure what triggers these little episodes of scatterbrainitis. Stress is such a catchall, but I'm sure it has a lot to do with it. And we all know modern stress is killing us, breath by breath. I'm sure if I could afford to retire, I'd be soooooooooo much calmer. (So buy more KC Kendricks books, please!)

This weekend, I realized part of my lack of productivity stemmed from not knowing what project I wanted to work on next. I'm signed up for two PAXes with deadlines of December 1, 2010, and March 1, 2011. I have another adventure for Fallon and Sundown started, and I'm developing a new series that ties the threads together through one or two central characters, much the way Theron and Austin did in the Southern Cross series. So with all this floating around in my head, it was no wonder I couldn't focus.

I decided to use that energy in as positive a way as possible. I opened each folder, one at a time, and went through all my notes, adding whatever flowed quickly out. As soon as the train of thought broke, I closed the folder and moved on - to the sum of 3K words! Writer's block busted wide open!

Do I want to work this way all the time? NO. I don't think it's good for me personally to reinforce this little problem I have with my attention span. But now I understand that sometimes the block isn't a block - it's a bottleneck. Now I have an easy, productive way to forge ahead.

Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out a simple problem.

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, August 10, 2010

Old dog, new tricks, same questions

August 10, 2010

The release of a new book is a satisfying experience for me. While it's certainly the culmination of a lot of hard work, in many ways, it's just the beginning - of more hard work. For the epublished, once the book goes 'live', there is a lot of promotion to do. Or not do if you're not into promoting your work.

For those of us who do promote, we get to know other authors, at least by name, quite quickly. I recently read a blog comment that one particular author "tripped" over the same other author everywhere they went. I giggled like an idiot.

Yeah, babe. We'll ALL out there with you. It's what we do! I'm still laughing.

So my sense of humor needs a little work. It'll be okay, honest. (Note to self - BEHAVE!)

In my defense, let me say it's been a long, hard day. I spent hours trying to figure out Facebook today. Jeez, could they make it more frustrating? And what's with the nasty, dull white background? I much prefer the brilliant colors of MySpace. No matter. I'm getting the hang of it.

Learning my way around Facebook comes at the expense of writing time. With my frustration level at Code Red, I knew better than to attempt to work on either of the two stories I have started. Now it's past ten, time to head for bed, and I regret not having written anything.

Tomorrow is another day, and I know from experience that when I settle down in front of my computer, the words will come faster, and better, for giving my subconscious time to simmer the story a little longer.

But I wonder as I get ready to close up shop for the night if all the time spent learning new tricks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) is worth the time away from the work. I haven't come up with that answer. Maybe I never will. Even as I finally learn Facebook, I know the next big "in" thing lurks around some corner, waiting to suck the hours out of my day, just like it's predecessor. Efficiently and without remorse.

The old dog is going to bed, but first a word.

Open Roads is available at AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

BLURB:

Tyler Phillips enjoys his small town life. He’ll never get rich working the family business, but he knows there’s more to a man than the size of his bank account. Easing into mid-life, Tyler’s restless for something he can’t find in the little borough of Easton – male companionship.

Noel Springs got caught up in the economic downturn. His job gone, and retirement a lot of years in the future, Noel decides to take a long drive and see some of the country before dedicating himself to finding new employment. The open road is just what he needs right now.

When his car overheats outside the little town of Easton, Noel discovers the local mechanic is hotter than his radiator, and just as eager to blow off some steam.



KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com
kckendricks.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/kckendricks

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mark your calendar

August 6, 2010
7:56 PM

So I'm finally leafing through the latest RWR magazine. The 2011 RWA Conference will be in New York from June 28 - July 1.

You girls are gonna have to change your mind about gay romance or stay the hell out of Greenwich.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hurtful words

August 5 2010
9:03 PM

Don't give a second thought to what came before -- you've got to get going in a new direction today, and yesterday's business is ancient history by now. You can't go wrong by pushing forward.


That’s my horoscope for today. I only pay attention to the good ones, and ignore any and all about gloom and doom. As wise as today’s may seem, I’m struggling with it. Specifically, the letting go of yesterday’s business is giving me trouble. Yesterday I read a blog that left me unsettled, and greatly saddened.

When I was a novice, I had the good fortune to learn the rules of online etiquette from the owners of two of the major online publishers over lunch one sunny afternoon. Both live within driving distance of my little hometown, and had come for a booksigning event. Their top two rules at that time were 1) be careful what you say online because it never goes away and you never know how far it will be carried or by whom, and 2) never publicly criticize other authors about anything because they will never forget and someday they may be in a position to do you great harm by simply remaining silent when your name is mentioned instead of giving you a positive recommendation. That was seven years ago, and I believe those lessons are even more important today.

It does an injustice to the novice and the struggling to post anything that can be misconstrued as unsupportive. The individual career path is as unique as the individual writer. As authors, we should be aware of the ambiguity of words, and take precautions that we don’t open the door for others to use them in ways we did not intend, for example, advancing a private agenda.

Those of us who are established need to give support where we can, and remember there are those who are easily wounded by censure. No one should be subjected to ridicule, either for their writing ability or their productivity. Let us remember not everyone is blessed with a sense of humor, and let us never be so full of ourselves that we forget our gift comes from beyond our poor human skins, and should be carefully tended, not poisoned from within.

So, yes, my horoscope today is one I should pay attention to. I need that new direction to lift my spirits.

I can’t stop the hurtful words of others, I can only avoid using them myself. I was once a novice with tender feelings, and the hurtful words said to me resulted in the fact that there is a group of women whose work I haven’t purchased in seven years.

I do not want to ever join their ranks.

KC

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Amber Allure Top Ten Best Seller list, July 2010

August 1, 2010
7:13 AM

Congrats to my fellow Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure authors who made the monthly top ten best seller list for July 2010.

AMBER ALLURE / July 2010

1. And The Survey Says... - Karma Eastwick (Gay / Contemporary)
2. Pieces - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
3. Save Me From Myself - Cassie Stevens (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Revealing The Past - T. A. Chase (Gay / Paranormal)
5. Bus Stop - Pepper Espinoza (Gay / Contemporary)
6. Yesterday's Names - Vivien Dean (Gay / Contemporary)
7. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Leo: All That You Are - Jamie Craig (Gay / Contemporary)
8. Night Train To Naples - Carolina Valdez (Gay / Vampire)
9. On Days Like These - Christiane France (Gay / Contemporary)
10. Wings Of Love - Deirdre O'Dare (Gay / Shapeshifter)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's a trashy problem

July 24, 2010
7:21 AM

I read this morning where Wal-Mart plans to use "smart tags" on clothing. Privacy advocates aren't too fond of this idea. There's no way to turn the tag off, and the theory is the unscrupulous can track you by your jeans. While some of their concerns sound a wee bit far-fetched for 2010, I'm sure by 2015 they have the potential to be manifested. So here's my solution.

From now on, when I buy something from Wal-Mart, I will cut out the tags and put them in a little baggie. My next trip to Wal-Mart, I'll take the baggie with me and let Wal-Mart dispose of it. Let's call it recycling.

It's the principle of the thing, you understand.

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/110152/wal-mart-radio-tags-to-track-clothing

On the other hand, tracking this fellow by his jeans wouldn't be a hardship for anyone I know.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My research tip of the week

July 22, 2010




I suppose most of my readers have figured out by now that I’m a bit of an American Muscle Car devotee. Nothing turns my head faster than the purr of a well-tuned V-8 except the sound of another well-tuned V-8. My first car was a 1969 Camaro, and let me go on record as saying it took Chevrolet another forty years to produce a new generation worthy of the Camaro nameplate.

Time and responsibilities have kept me from driving the muscle car of my choice, but the longing for one doesn’t dim. There is no practical sedan in my future, for my future retirement. No, my retirement gift to myself will be something hot and fast – but only if he has a muscle car. (Note to spouse – just kidding, dear.)

Bits and pieces of my life sneak into my writing. How can they not? My own experiences are the basis of what I know. So I’d like to impart a bit of car wisdom to you, to help you avoid one of the pitfalls that my character Noel Springs encounters in the upcoming book, Open Roads. (UPDATE - Open Roads is available at Amazon.)

My editor, and rightfully so, questioned me on the facts about anti-freeze. She didn’t know you shouldn’t mix the two types, which most people don’t if they haven’t had any problems with their automotive coolant. So in the interest of spreading the word, and hopefully saving you from a nasty surprise, here’s my story.

Listen well, grasshopper, and protect your wallet, and your ride.

Late in 2008, I took my vehicle in to one of those places that change the oil for about twenty bucks. They usually do a good enough job, and my spouse was laid-up with an injury, so I stopped on the way home from work one day. Everything was fine – until cold weather hit. I couldn’t get the heater to work. I stopped at the radiator shop, and the proprietor took a look. Then he gave me the bad news. Someone had mixed the pink organic anti-freeze in with the older style green I use. The result – gunk. Lots and lots of gunk. (Believe me when I say I instruct those places very carefully now.)

The whole cooling system was then flushed and refilled. A new heater core was installed. The mechanic told me he’d never been able to salvage one because the resulting goo was impossible to remove. What’s a girl to do? I wrote the check- $184.00.

A few months ago, the spousal unit noted the anti-freeze was a very peculiar color, and not green, probably due to residual corrosion. I took my vehicle back for another flush and fill, and wrote the check for $80.00.

The east coast is in the middle of an historic heat wave. It’s not surprising cars are overheating along the road. Last week, I got a whiff of anti-freeze when I parked my ride. I checked, and sure enough, there was a small spot growing on the pavement. Not good. So now I have a new radiator – to the tune of $285.34 - as a direct result of having the two types of anti-freeze mixed and the chemical reaction and corrosion it caused. At least I was able to keep driving it for a few days, and didn’t end up walking.

So that’s my $548.34 story on the research for in Open Roads, and my tip of week. Know what's in your radiator, and be sure to tell anyone who might top off the coolant reservoir what to use - and what NOT to use.

Do you think I can deduct that as a research expense on my taxes? No, I don’t think so, either.

KC

Open Roads is available at AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

www.kckendricks.com/OpenRoads.html

Monday, July 19, 2010

Excerpt up! Open Roads

July 19, 2010


Summer in the Mid-Atlantic region weeds the weak from the strong. If the heat doesn't do you in, the mosquitoes will. It's hot. I won’t even mention it’s tick season except to say be aware of the little bloodsuckers.

I'm a country girl, but even I'm holed up inside with the air conditioning. I didn't used to be this wimpy, but then I used to be younger, too. I feel for all the guys, and gals, who work construction out in this heat.

Quite happily on the writing front, I got the first round edits on Open Roads last night. I haven't actually gone through the document yet, but I did check out the passages I want to use for on my website and get the intro and excerpt posted.

Open Roads is the second story set in the fictional town of Marionville. You can check out the excerpt at http://www.kckendricks.com/OpenRoads.html.

Stay cool!

KC

UPDATE - Open Roads is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and other online book sellers. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Night Train to Naples by Carolina Valdez

July 14, 2010

When the PAX group at Amber Allure firmed up the "That's Amore" offering, I knew I'd have to get it, and I knew Carolina's story, "Night Train to Naples" would be the first one I read. Show me a title that says a night train to anywhere, and I'm there. Maybe it was all those black and white movies I saw as a girl, although I don't think I ever glimpsed anyone that looked like Alex.

Just remember that between now and July 17, 2010, you can get this PAX at the unheard of price of $14 and change. Seriously! The new release discount will be in effect until Saturday.

Here's what Carolina said when I asked her what were the first words Alex said to her. I love it when a character speaks so clearly to the author.


My title--NIGHT TRAIN TO NAPLES--came to me first. But who would be traveling at night, and why? Alexandros Nicolaides appeared to me, saying, "I am Greek and a diamond courier. I'm big, blond and powerful, and my beauty is the transcendental beauty of an immortal. Yes, I am Vampire. And I am gay."

About Night Train to Naples:
After seven-hundred years, Alexandros Nicolaides has adjusted to life as an immortal. Employed by a New Orleans diamond courier, the gemologist travels to Italy in the hope of gaining a new customer for that business. On the night train to Naples, he confirms what he’s suspected—someone is following him.

Human Dante Rocco has his reasons for tailing the tall blond. Unaware he follows an immortal, he’s in for a bad shock. When Alex rescues him from thugs and evil, a hot, urgent sexual bond flares between these two rivals for the courier account. As they struggle with the reality of their relationship, they discover they’re now the ones being pursued—by an unstable, vengeful vampire.


Buy link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/NightTrainToNaples.html
PAX buy link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/AP_ThatsAmore.html

KC

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fall Into the Night by P.A. Brown

Due to Amber Quill's closing, this book is no longer available.

July 6, 2010

When the idea came to me to invite a few other authors I know to strut their stuff on Between the Keys, I knew it would be a great way to get to know some of them much better. P.A. Brown – Pat – and I share a publisher, but our paths don’t cross much. So when she had a new release on July 3rd, I knew it was my chance to send an email and the invitation to share what the first words her character Terik u Selhdun from Fall Into the Night said to her.

Being a writer, I like to read, and I’m slowly working my way through everyone at Amber Quill. I say ‘slowly’ because 1) I spend my time writing, and 2) I can’t read someone else’s work while I’m actively involved in one of my own stories. During a break earlier this year, I read Pat’s book, Lynx Woods, and enjoyed it very much. I confess I don’t have the new one yet, but it’s only been out three days!

Speaking of, if you want Pat's new book, get over to Amber Allure before July 10, 2010, and get it at a thirty-five percent (35%) discount. It’s a good deal. Here's what author P.A. Brown had to say when asked, "What were the first words Terik u Selhdun said to you?"

And Pat - you go girl. Some rules need to be abandoned, and that's one of them!

The first thing my nihilistic character Terik u Selhdun said to me was "So the old fool finally decided to die. I'd say it's about time, but it's really 50 years too late." and he was talking about his father. Right away I had this image of a jaded, bitter man who never had the love of his father, the powerful head of a family that ruled their planet with an iron fist. The line was so powerful to me I used a variation of it as the opening sentence in my novel, Fall Into the Night, even though I've been told more than once not to start a novel with dialog. But I guess I'm enough like Selhdun that I don't listen to what other people say.

BLURB:
The death of his father catapults Terik u Selhdun into the position of Ogema of Tiamat, the planet of his birth. It was a position he rejected years before when he and his autocratic father clashed over Selhdun's homosexuality. Instead, Selhdun became a linked pilot and owner of his own ship, the Necromancer. Linked pilots are the only ones who can take a ship through Jump, a form of hypserspace travel that allows the empire of man, known as the Autarch, to thrive.

War drove the humans off their home world of Terra (Earth). In the subsequent years, the coordinates of the Terran Jumpoint were lost. When they eventually resurface, Selhdun and the Necromancer are hired to transport a group of scientists back to Terra in order to ascertain whether humans can safely return to the planet of their origin.

But numerous forces in and out of government don't want Selhdun to succeed. Troubles plague the expedition, including an assassination attempt and brutal enemies hell-bent on stopping Selhdun and the ship, even as he and his crew make strides in their mission. Yet in Terran space, a new lethal menace awaits, and soon everyone on board the Necromancer discovers the battle to stay alive has only just begun...



Pat Brown
http://www.pabrown.ca
The vacation from hell -- Forest of Corpses

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Who gets paid for doing the work?


July 3, 2010

I subscribe to a few Google alerts, and am constantly amazed at the garbage...er...interesting facts that come my way. The name of this blog, Between the Keys, has made me a psuedo expert on Alicia Keys, whoever she is. It's actually fun to see where some of the links take me. Usually.

This morning, a new alert for Seducing Light popped up in my mailbox, so of course I clicked. It turns out, it's just a Joyfully Reviewed copy of an old review, posted on blogger to generate a click through to the Seducing Light buy page at Amazon.

Say..what? A review site generating money for itself off my book? Maybe. Anyone could have copied that review and posted it on blogger to get the click-through kick-back. I do wonder.

I do wonder what my publisher is going to say.

I do know what I am going to say to my publisher.

Attempting to keep my perspective, it IS a good review of Seducing Light, which is a good book, if I do say so myself. It's my second favorite right after Tango in the Night. Joyfully Reviewed gave it high praise, and this reposted review goes so far as to give it a 5 out of 5 ranking.

So here's the thing. If you'd like to own a copy of Seducing Light, why not purchase it from the publisher who worked with me to get the book ready for sale? We did the work. I wrote it. A joint effort with an editor polished it. The publisher created the stunning cover for it.

It's time to pay the people who work, not work the system.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Amber Allure June 2010 Top Ten Best Sellers

The Top Ten Best Seller list for June, 2010, at Amber Allure has just been released, and is posted at the Amber Allure website. Congratulations to all!

AMBER ALLURE / June 2010

1. Bastet - T. A. Chase (Gay / Shapeshifter)
2. Double Shot Cappuccino - Stephani Hecht (Gay / Contemporary)
3. His One And Only - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Martin And The Wolf - Anne Brooke (Gay / Werewolf)
5. The House Of Driscoll, Book I - A. J. Llewellyn & D. J. Manly (Gay / Vampire)
6. The Alpha's Pet - Louisa Gough (Gay / Werewolf)
7. Blood Oath - Keta Diablo (Gay / Vampire)
8. Everybody Wants Somebody - Shara Bloodstone (Gay / Contemporary)
9. A King's Ransom - Aislinn Kerry (Gay / Fantasy / Pirate)
10. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Gemini: The Wicked Things - Pepper Espinoza (Gay / Fantasy)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Independence Day, books 1 & 2, by Christiane France

Back in my grandmother's day, the written word connected one to distant friends. The mailbox at the end of the lane was a lifeline to the outside world. And that world was smaller somehow. The letters my grandma exchanged with much-loved yet distant cousins are full of family tidbits, flowers and fabrics.

Today, the written word still connects us, but it is read on high definition, wide screen monitors, not ivory vellum. Saving a letter in its original, pristine condition is a click away. No longer do we need to scan through several letters to refresh our memory about Aunt Bessie's gall bladder. Letters are neatly filed, and searchable by our operating systems.

The Internet has delivered pen pals of this new media. Making friends who live far away is easier than at any time in our history. Christiane France is one of my new cyber friends.

Chris is a fellow writer, one of the original authors to be published at Amber Quill Press. Being a nice lady, Chris welcomed me to the company back in 2008, and we've corresponded ever since. Having read and enjoyed Independence Day, I posed the question to her, "What was the first thing Nick Gregorio said to you?" This was her reply:

"Independence Day was my contribution to the Blockbusters Pax. I'd played with several titles and ideas, but then Nick Gregorio appeared out of the blue and said, "I've played second fiddle to Al Martinsen's ambitions for entirely too long. Now, I'm making a stand. Either he moves to Vegas so we can be together, or we're done."

I love it when the characters tell the author what to do!

Thanks to Chris for agreeing to be on Between the Keys, and sharing her conversation with Nick. Independence Day, volumes 1 & 2, are just two of Chris' many titles. Check her out at Amber Heat and Amber Allure.

KC

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday and Sundry things of June

My life is a cycle of chaos and order. June, my birth month, seems destined to be a time of chaos. Perhaps 'chaos' equates to 'excitement' in my world. I do normally have a rather quiet life - and I like it that way.

This month started off with a wedding, a birthday, a week of vacation, a slightly tardy contractor, and an unpleasant surprise.

The wedding was quite nice. My spousal unit sang a solo, which made me tear up. I guess it's a good thing that after almost twenty years he can do that to me. My birthday came and went with a shower of cards and calls. Very nice.

The contractor was supposed to arrive and build a roof over my patio while I was on vacation. He didn't make it on time. Some people say never hire family, but I say call 'em up if they have a license to do the work and you can trust them to do a good job. In this case, when the young man said he was "stuck" on another job, I knew it was the truth, and not some contractor jive.

Bottom line - the roof is finished and I love, love, love my new patio space, and I'm dreaming of the next job for my contractor cousin - laying quarry tile on the patio next summer. I hope to score some new patio furniture when the seasonal sales begin since the roof actually came in under his estimate. Did my young cousin do a good job? Yes, he did. And if I have any problems, and he's slow getting here, hey, I know where he lives. He's family. I'll hold his wine chiller hostage if I need to.

As for unpleasant surprises, I've had two. My partner needed a little medical procedure. I'd go into detail, but all the men reading this would drop their mouse, grab their "boys," break out in a cold sweat, fall off their chair, and lie curled in a fetal ball, twitching on the floor. Suffice it to say, my hubby is fine now and everything seems to be in good working order.

The other unpleasant surprise is truly frightening. My stepdad, whom I think the world of, will be having open heart surgery to replace a faulty valve. It's a serious operation, but he's in otherwise good health, and went to the doctor as soon as he felt his heart rhythm change. This means the problem will be corrected quickly, and his overall health hasn't suffered. A plus, yes, but I'll be worried until the operation is over and he's back on his feet with a clean bill of health. I need him around for at least another twenty years.

So half of this June has passed, albeit in a blur. My TO DO list is growing. My writing, out of necessity, has slowed. It's hard to get the story out of my head and into the computer when I'm sitting in waiting rooms. But this, too, shall pass. Order will eventually be restored. Until then, I will enjoy my new patio space, cherish my loved ones, and try not to worry myself into a state of exhaustion.

All of it, good experiences and bad, make up who I am and how I handle the next Big Crisis. It improves me as a person as it adds layers of knowledge and confidence. My life, and my craft, will survive these short-term set-backs. I'm a tough old bird. I just wish I didn't have to keep proving it.

None of it matters in this moment. The sun is finally peeking through the trees, and it's a fine June morning. Family, chores and writing will have to wait just a wee bit longer. I'm taking my coffee outside, to my new patio space, and concentrate on nothing more than breathing.

KC