Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shine A Light favorably reviewed


In the way back time, when I was a neophyte in this writing business, I was told that to succeed, one must promote, promote, promote. If it involved your book, you had to go tell it on the mountain. Coming soon, new release, good review, bad review, reader reviewer, website update, blog update…you get the picture. You’ve seen the promo wheels in action.

I’ve never been comfortable with the promo machine. My definition of success might need a little work, too. Simply finishing a story makes my endeavor a success. What comes after, well, so much of that is out of my hands it hardly counts. No matter how hard I work the machine, people will only buy what they want to buy.

But, with all that said, here I am today touting three very good reviews for Shine A Light. Should I confess to a profound relief over good reviews? Sure. Why not? Especially when I wrote Shine A Light twice. The first draft didn’t satisfy me, which actually feeds back to the need to promote, ad nauseam. Write a good book, and it promotes itself.

Which ties back to where I am this morning, hawking a set of reviews because at least three people think Shine A Light is a good book. So without further author babbling, here are the review snippets, with links, from Joyfully Reviewed, Literary Nymphs, and the incomparable Elisa Rolle.

Go ahead and Shine a Light on this sensual and satisfying page turner. Well written, intriguing characters are the focus. Van is picking up the pieces, stumbling, in shock from a betrayal he never saw coming and Shane, tender and strong, is the perfect match for Van. Well paced, with solid secondary characters and the setting is nicely detailed as well. Shine a Light has steamy moments – hot enough to fog your glasses - and characters you will care about. Seriously entertaining and totally engaging. - Lisa, reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed

http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Apr10/shinealight.kck.html

The characters of Van and Shane are likable and the chemistry between them is obvious from their first meeting. This 32K novella length release is definitely a love story, but the sex doesn’t overwhelm the other things going on within its pages. There’s plenty of time left for our guys to build a relationship and renew Van’s career, all while dealing with Lynn and his crazy determination to keep Van for himself. This contemporary romance is enjoyable, leaving the reader with that happy, satisfied feeling at the end. - Mystical Nymph, for Literary Nymphs Reviews
http://literarynymphsreviewsonly.blogspot.com/2010/04/shine-light.html?zx=efca84f445ea1aa

Sincerely this story surprised me since it’s not at all the light romance I was expecting, it has some deep layers that is a joy to discover….this extended novella was really a nice surprise, [one] that I recommend more people to give it a try. - Elisa Rolle
http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/995650.html

For more about Shine A Light, including an excerpt, please visit my website ,

KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Available now! A Hard Habit to Break

April 11, 2010

New releases are always a Big Deal to me. I don't know if others who have been writing for a while still get excited - and nervous - over them, but I do. A lot of hard work goes into the creation of a story. It's not easy to pull pure thought from the air and transform it into a properly formatted, grammatically correct, politically correct, spellchecked, twice edited, cohesive and still entertaining story that reflects the authors original seed of inspiration.

Whew! That was a mouthful! Or a keyboard full, depending on how you look at it.

After all the hours of typing, after all the hours of struggling to define the core of the story, it passes from the author's hands and becomes, as defined by contract, "the Work." And I guess if the writer hasn't withered with exhaustion after all that, it's still a Big Deal when the story is finally released.

Without further poor attempt at wit, here's the promo on my latest Big Deal.



A HARD HABIT TO BREAK
As the reigning stud of the local gay club scene, every guy in the county knows Travis Templeton, and vies for his attention. Travis wears his crown lightly, careful not to break any hearts. He knows what it’s like to really love someone who doesn’t love you back-at least, not in the way you want.

Heath Kelley made the biggest mistake of his life the night before his best friend Travis left for college. One small action snowballed into years of silent misunderstanding and empty distance. When Heath accepts a transfer that sends him to his hometown, he doesn’t know Travis has moved back home, too. It doesn’t take long for the men to reconnect.

Admitting they never stopped thinking of each other as “best friends” is easy. Forgiveness of past sins is easy, but confessing their secrets comes harder. When Heath discovers the truth about Travis’ private life, the newly repaired bonds of friendship are stretched taut.

It’s time for Travis to choose – the love of his best friend, or a life of being second best.

Excerpt:

The ghost of his lips slid coolly over mine like they had so many times over the years, a phantom whisper that raised gooseflesh on the back of my thighs and buttocks. Travis fixed me with a stare far colder than my memories. His angry, hurt voice froze my insides.

“You had what I wanted, Heath. You were normal. You dated girls. You fucked girls.” He sucked in a deep, difficult breath. When he spoke again, the anger was gone, but not the hurt.

“Then you kissed me and brought the very thing I hated right to my bed. How could you do that to me? Why didn’t you tell me you were really gay?”

Stunned, my knees wobbled, and I leaned back against his car before they gave out and I ended up on the pavement. Never had I imagined he felt such self-loathing. I hadn’t seen it, but then I’d been just seventeen. Liking some girls muddied the water for me, and I never thought of myself as anything but straight, back then.

What I felt for Travis was special, outside everything, and everyone, else. He was my best friend. I was a senior in college before I dared put a name to my sexuality, and begin to accept what it meant. I took a chance he wouldn’t shake me off, and grasped his elbow. He trembled under my fingertips.

“Travis, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. How could I?”

He shivered, like he had a sudden chill. The anger left his beautiful eyes, to be replaced by a great sadness.

“I’m sorry, too, Heath. I didn’t know how to tell you. I thought you’d hate me.
I thought you’d run away from me, and then I ran away from you.”
My chest ached. Thirteen years lost.

“I could never hate you, Travis. There was a lot I didn’t know about my teenage self. So much I didn’t understand.” I took a deep breath. “The truth is, I’m bi.”

His eyebrows drifted up. He blinked. I nodded and rolled my eyes at him.
“Don’t look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language.”

Travis swallowed, hard, his Adam’s apple moving convulsively. “Um, sorry. Not that you’re…Your mom… I mean, I thought… is Dani a man or a woman?”
It was my turn to blink. “How’d you hear about Dani?”

“Your mother mentioned her.”

Fuck.

“Well, buddy, Dani is a guy. Daniel.”

“That’s not what I heard, man. Your mother thinks you had a live-in girlfriend.”

I snorted. How was he going to handle this bit of information?

“Well, Travis. Dani is fucking hot in a skirt, and on the telephone, it would be easy to jump to several conclusions.”

He blinked owlishly. “I see.”

I doubted it. Dani did standup comedy in full drag regalia, and it was damn funny.

Travis slumped against the fender beside me, our shoulders brushing. “You still want to go get that pizza? I really have to eat something so my glucose level doesn’t bottom out on me.”

That sounded like my old friend. “Do you still run for fun?”

Travis treated me to a real grin. “Yeah. Gotta feed the machine. Do you still run?”

I shook my head. “It wasn’t the same without you. Maybe I can get back into it, though. What do you think? Will you help me start training again?”

He looked pleased as he nodded. “Sure. It’ll help us get to know each other again.”

I leaned a little closer. “So, you’re not going to blow me off?”

Travis drew back like I’d struck him. Too late I realized the double-entendre. I grabbed his arm.

“Oh, no. No, man, I did not mean I wanted…I meant you weren’t going tell me to go to hell and then run away again.”

His eyes narrowed. “What? I’m not good enough to give you a blow job?”

We’d veered into very murky waters, the potential for disaster suddenly and exponentially increasing. We’d just reconnected, and the only thing that kept me from throwing my arms around him and never letting go was fear he’d bolt again.

As for blow jobs, I’d go to my knees for him anytime he snapped his fingers and pointed at the spot, but I didn’t dare tell him that for the exact same reason. “Lord, Travis. Let’s not talk about sex just yet.”

To my surprise, he chuckled. “Heath Kelley, backpedaling. I’m amazed I lived long enough to see it happen.”

“Laugh all you like. We can talk sex over lunch.”

Travis turned to me, arms crossed over his chest, his hip against the car.

“No, Heath. We won’t talk sex. You’ll always be my best friend. Hell, you’re more than that. I’ve missed you so much.” He paused and took a deep breath.

“Sex is off limits, Heath. I don’t want to talk about it with you, and as friends, we’re not going to do it.”

He might think that, but I knew better.

A HARD HABIT TO BREAK
Available now at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other online booksellers. 


KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com/
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Hard Habit to Break, and why I don't like 'coming soon'

April 6, 2010

I'm not real big on the "Coming Soon!" promo. Some people are really good at it, and have it down to a science. I can't tell you how many times I've read a promo excerpt only to discover I can't purchase the book NOW. And therein lies my problem. I'm a bit of a book tramp.

It's true. When it comes to books, I want instant gratification. Don't tease me - please me. NOW!! Yet, here I am, trying my best to do a coming soon promo on my next release, A Hard Habit to Break, due out April 10 or 11, 2010. 


(Get back on track, KC)

A Hard Habit to Break is about two boys who were best friends forever growing up, but each had one secret they kept from the other, with disastrous consequences. It takes a few years until the boys, now men, reconnect and realize what they still mean to each other.

So hold on to a few of your book buying dollars until this weekend. I know I am.
***
Click here to read an excerpt from A Hard Habit to Break.
***
Want to get the word about new releases when they happen? Join my mailing list by using the link below.

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

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Blue Moon Cafe by Rick R. Reed


An odd thing happened on my life journey one day - I met Rick Reed. Rick is a talented, funny guy. Just Google him sometime, and prepare to be amazed by his body of work. When Rick was putting together his blog tour for The Blue Moon Cafe, a great read by the way, I knew it would be a cool thing to have Rick as the first guest author on Between the Keys. Enjoy! - KC






The Blue Moon Café by Rick R. Reed
Release Date: March 7, 2010
Publisher: Amber Allure (the GLBT imprint of Amber Quill Press)
Publisher Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/BlueMoonCafe.html


Sometimes a book comes along where I completely fall in love with the characters. The Blue Moon Café is just such a book. Not only is it set in my relatively new home town of Seattle (which is a great place for not only a creepy story, but one where new love can blossom and flourish), but Todd, Jared, and Sam became so real to me, I hated to say goodbye to them.

I hope you’ll take the time to check out The Blue Moon Café. It’s the book where I finally succeeded in fusing romance and horror into one page-turning read. I hope you agree!


Blurb:
Someone—or something—is killing Seattle’s gay men.

A creature moves through the darkest night, lit only by the full moon, taking them, one by one, from the rain city’s gay gathering areas.

Someone—or something—is falling in love with Thad Matthews.

Against a backdrop of horror and fear, young Thad finds his first true love in the most unlikely of places—a new Italian restaurant called The Blue Moon Cafe. Sam is everything Thad has ever dreamed of in a man: compassionate, giving, handsome, and with brown eyes Thad feels he could sink into. And Sam can cook! But as the pair’s love begins to grow, so do the questions and uncertainties, the main one being, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

Prepare yourself for a unique blend of dark suspense and erotic romance with The Blue Moon Cafe, written by the author Unzipped magazine called, “the Stephen King of gay horror.” You’re guaranteed an unforgettable reading experience, one that skillfully blends the hottest romance with the most chilling terror...

Excerpt:
Sam leaned back against the headboard and lit a cigarette. The room filled with the acrid stench of burning tobacco and paper and instead of being repelled as he normally would be, Thad moved close to Sam again, taking up his newly claimed spot on the man’s chest. He stared up at him, watching him smoke. Lazily, he traced circles in the hairy mat covering Sam’s chest. His fingers stopped when he caught sight of a design on Sam’s left pectoral, something he had hadn’t noticed in the dim light or perhaps because it was all but hidden by the forest of hair. Thad got up on one elbow.

“You have a tattoo?”

In the dark, Sam nodded. “I’ve had it for years, way before tattoos were all the rage like they are these days.”

“Especially here in Seattle.” Thad often wondered if there was some requirement that all citizens of Seattle must have at least one tattoo. “What’s it of?” Thad strained to make out the design’s contours in the dim light and couldn’t.

Sam leaned forward to switch on the bedside lamp. Thad squinted at the sudden light source, then directed his gaze down at the muscled chest before him. “What is it?” Thad traced the design with his fingers, lowering his head to peer more closely at it. He nipped at Sam’s nipple and Sam laughed.

“It’s Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, the twins who founded Rome in mythology. Cool, no?” Sam flexed his chest so the wolf seemed to move. Two cherubic twin boys below the figure suckled at her teats.

“It’s kind of weird. But it suits you.” Thad reached over Sam to turn off the light again.

“What brought you to America?”

Did Thad detect a slight stiffening when he asked the question?…


BUY The Blue Moon Cafe: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/BlueMoonCafe.html

Website:
www.rickrreed.com

E-mail:
jimmyfels@gmail.com

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/RickRReed

MySpace:
http://www.myspace.com/rickrreed

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/rickrreed

Blog:
http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/