Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Year in Review - A 2013 Writer's Retrospective

December 29, 2013


Like many, I’m amazed another year has passed. My recollections of the year just past tends to blend together in a blur of meetings, appointments, conflicting schedules and myriad responsibilities. That’s not all bad because I like what I do, but here in the long, dark evenings of winter, I wish I’d taken more time to relax and play. I don’t make formal New Year’s resolutions, but perhaps I’ll keep that in mind as we sail into 2014. 

I’m a firm believer that to know where you’re going you need to take stock of where you've been. The past and future is what this blog is all about as the present is taking care of itself very nicely.

January saw the release of Desert Snow.  Desert Snow was an easy story to write. I’d had it in mind for a while and it flowed onto the page. January also launched the new tradition of our Cousin’s Dinner, a more formal quarterly gathering of all us cousins. It gives us a chance to sit down together for a meal on a regular basis. Making time for each other has become more important as we all seem to be busier than ever. 

February brought the Snow Moon. They called the storm that went through here Winter Storm Nemo. We had some snow and then rain, but it could have been much, much worse. We were lucky, unlike folks north of us. Catching Fireflies was released in February 2013, and I’ve been wondering if I need to revisit the guys on Ocracoke Island.

March was a quiet month. I prepared for the blogging challenge and did my income taxes, and I didn’t write as much as I would have liked. My sunroom became an impromptu greenhouse as I planted seeds - dill, coriander, green pepper and more. 

April has taken on a new meaning in the last few years with the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Twenty-six blogs in twenty-six days going with topics from A to Z. More information about the A to Z Blogging Challenge can be found here. Think it’s easy to blog every day excepts Sundays for an entire month? Ha! I dare ya to do it and no cheating - write real entries!
May was the release month for Deuce of Diamonds, the sequel to Double Deuce. There’s definitely a third installment of Ian and Rick’s story in the works. We made a flying trip south to visit the brother-in-law and I came home with a mild case of strep throat. Luckily I got antibiotics promptly and my vacation wasn’t ruined.

June - my birthday month and Mercury went into retrograde. I still got some writing done but I took some time to work on my genealogy project. We got a small pool, just deep enough to relax and cool off in, and we enjoyed it all summer long.

July was a slow month. I wrote a lot of prose but no book releases. It was one of those stretches where foundations were laid for the future. Thinking about the future convinced me to actually make Twitter part of my daily routine. I now remember to go tweet, but I'm a lost cause with the pictures part of it. Perhaps I'll work on that in 2014. Liking photography, I did what I knew I shouldn't and joined Pinterest. No joke - I set a timer if I'm going to play on Pinterest. My website got an overhaul in July. 
August. The release of Kentucky 98 Proof. I knew this book would take off like a rocket and it did. Kentucky 98 Proof was the #1 Bestseller at Amber Quill Press in August and it was on the top ten bestseller list at All Romance eBooks. I went to my roots for this story and the end result was magic.

September was busy. I spent a lot of time on the promo circuit with Kentucky 98 Proof while doing the edits for Station to Station. The month also brought the worst news of the year when a young family member was diagnosed with cancer just before her first wedding anniversary. We know her fight will be difficult, but youth is on her side.


**The following paragraph was updated 4/24/2016**
October found us having a quiet celebration at my house. My partner passed the seven-year mark of being cancer free. Even as we give thanks and count our blessings we pray for others undergoing treatment. Station to Station released in October and seemed to be well received. I was delighted to have this new installment of the Men of Marionville series available but the truth is I privately think with our cultural focus on the fun sides of Halloween, October is only good for paranormal releases. So if you missed Station to Station in October, now’s the time to circle back and get it.

November 2013 marked the 30th anniversary of my father’s passing. That, coupled with a brutal month at the day job, left me a little tired. Not much writing happened in November, but sometimes it’s important to step back and take a breath while dealing with employer horseshit. Excuse me. Horse manure. No, I was correct the first time. It was all horseshit. I took a good look at my retirement portfolio and upped the ante. I don’t need to buy shoes in 2014. I have enough pairs of heels to last the next three years.

December, finally. There are stories submitted several places and I’m waiting to see if I can expand my horizons in the coming year. Keep your fingers crossed. With any luck, I can spread my wings a bit and take my writing up a step. It's a circular conundrum. If I retire I'll write more but I can't write more until I retire. So in preparation of writing more, I need to get my name into new places. It's a prime example of how interconnected all things are. I hope you’ll stay tuned and see how it goes.

There it is - 2013 in a single blog entry. My sincere thanks for coming along with me in 2013. All in all, it was a great year. I hope the good trends continue. 

To you and yours, I wish you a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling New Year.

KC Kendricks


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Grandpa! What's for dinner?

December 28, 2013

There are those of us who are of a certain age.... some of us edging toward middle age remember a cute but hokey television show called Hee Haw. I happen to be one of the fortunate ones forced by her elders to endure the first-run shows. The show had a segment where "Grandpa" rattled off what was cooking for the down-home dinner. 

And for the record when "Grandpa" said dandelion greens, I could relate. I pulled many a dandelion for my grandmother. She paid well for that service. But I digress...

"What's for dinner?" is frequently a battle cry at my house. The spousal unit and I have differing views on what makes a good meal. He's hooked on the cooking shows and wants to eat the way the tv cooks do. I lived alone far too long before I met him and there are many evenings I think tossing a potato in the microwave or a bowl of soup will suffice. It gets ugly if I only pick at the wonderful dinners my beloved prepares. 

But there's a light shining in the darkness of January: gift cards! 

This Christmas was the year of the restaurant gift card and I suspect these cards will help me win the food wars in January. When Himself decides he wants ME to fix him a down-home southern breakfast, we're going to Cracker Barrel. When Himself decides we should grab something quick before we head home from town, we're going to Bob Evans. There's no date night in January due to the Cousin's Dinner, but in February I've got it covered at the Olive Garden. And the next time Himself wants a steak, I'm going to shine like a star when I toss his whiney ass in my Charger and haul it to the Longhorn Steakhouse. 

So go ahead, Grandpa. Ask me what's for dinner! 

KC Kendricks
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

And a Merry Christmas Day it was!

December 25, 2013

12 Grand biscuits with real butter
11 dirty wine glasses (somehow?)
10 slices of coconut cake
09 serving dishes
08 plates filled with hot food
07 people liked the apricot sauce
06 servings of cranberry sauce (with two abstaining)
05 bottles of White Merlot (and none left)
04 cups of coffee, leaded
03 cell phones ringing
02 dishes brought by others (that I didn't have to cook)
and a turkey picked clean down to the bone

And a lovely Christmas Day dinner. 

KC

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

December 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve. 

I'm trying to discover what that means to me this year but I suspect I'm simply too tired to appreciate the nuances of the day. The hustle and bustle of the last week has caught up to me at a most inopportune time. 

The house is clean, the gifts are wrapped and the table is set for tomorrow. I have no shopping or laundry to do. I've tried to settle down and work on Sundown and Fallon's next story, but I find my eyes closing and my head nodding. The obvious thing to do would be take a nap. 

What? Take a nap and miss part of the day? Me? I don't think so.

I think I'll find my old sneakers and a long coat and head for the woods. It may only be a balmy thirty-seven degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, but that'll work for me. A brisk walk will get the blood flowing and help me contemplate all the good things in my life this Christmas Eve.

My health. My partner. My family. Friends. A warm, dry mortgage-free house. A career I enjoy. A day job that pays the bills. I've got a lot to be thankful for this Christmas Eve. 

Tomorrow there will be an eclectic group of eight at my table. My parents, my uncle and his "friend," and a couple in our circle whose children have scattered to the in-laws. It should make for lively conversation and a merry Christmas Day. 

May your holiday be equally blessed. 

KC




Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Cat Named Hercules for My Sexy Saturday #30

December 21, 2013

Welcome to the official start of Winter 2013. It's a toasty 50+ degrees in my neck of the woods - hardly what one would expect for the winter solstice. Since we can't do a thing about it, let's just enjoy it!

This is the next-to-the-last My Sexy Saturday of 2013, and probably my last time until January. Next Saturday is a full day, so I had to let go of something, and while it doesn't take much to schedule a blog, I have no hope of helping out on the promotion of #mysexysaturday next weekend, so I'll skip a week.

So with that said, let's get straight to the point of My Sexy Saturday and my seven sexy paragraphs from A Cat Named Hercules.

*_*_*

Gale opened his front door and moved back so I could step inside. Complimenting his choice of attire required breathing, and he’d knocked the air right out of me. Black slacks, a maroon and black long sleeved knit shirt in a classic argyle pattern, and loafers had never affected me like this before. I managed to speak the inane phrase.

“Wow. You look great.”

He smiled at me as he closed the door. “Thanks. So do you.”

Gale reached for me, then stopped. I hated to see his uncertainty. It was more proof he needed to do some living before he got serious about anyone, including me. I smiled and closed the distance between us, slipping my arms around his waist. Our lower bodies touched, then he leaned into me. His lips opened as my mouth covered his and I tasted the cinnamon freshness of chewing gum recently disposed of. He pulled away.

“What? You’re grinning.”

“I am. I just learned what gum you like.”

He rolled his eyes. “You’re a little nuts, aren’t you?”

*_*_*



A CAT NAMED HERCULES
Book five in the Men of Marionville series

Now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers

New in town, Shiloh Rudy joins a group of civic-minded volunteers to better acquaint himself with his recently adopted community. It’s a good way to make friends, network, and help make a difference, not to mention perhaps meet someone interesting  - in a romantic sort of way. The one thing Shiloh didn’t expect was a love to rival all others to come with four white paws.

Gale Widmyer is on his feet and moving forward after piecing his life back together following a series of wrong choices. In his darkest moments, the one bright spot in his existence was the fulfillment of his dream to become a veterinarian. Gale’s making good on a promise to himself when an abandoned kitten leads him to Shiloh Rudy and a chance at the happiness he never hoped to have.

Laying the cornerstone for a developing relationship comes easy for Shiloh and Gale. But the wounds of the past often remain unhealed at their deepest point. A few careless words erects a wall of silence between the two men, one Shiloh has to breach if he hopes to win Gale back. It will take more than apologies to win Gale’s forgiveness and put old fears to rest. It’ll take a cat named Hercules.

KC Kendricks
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http://www.kckendricks.com
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mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hop on the turntable and Step Into Christmas

December 20, 2013

A Christmas confession - I love Elton John's music. (What? You already know that? That's good!)  Well, I love Elton, too, in the way we're to love everyone. Closest I ever got to meeting him was shaking his hand during a concert in 1976 as he went along the edge of the stage. I really admire the guy for so many things but that's another blog some day. I generally rank his music on a scale from:
     Iconic!
     Great!
     Good! 
     Like it!
     It's Elton!

There is no bad Elton music, by the way.

It's hard to believe that forty years ago EJ put out a Christmas song, one that has kept up with the times better than most. No, no, no I'm not talking about the B side of the 45rpm.......I'm talking about Step Into Christmas! 

Thank you, EJ, for forty years of this iconic song and for all the music which has been the soundtrack of my life.  

Step Into Christmas
 
Welcome to my Christmas song
I'd like to thank you for the year
So I'm sending you this Christmas card
To say it's nice to have you here
I'd like to sing about all the things
Your eyes and mind can see
So hop aboard the turntable
Oh step into Christmas with me
Step into Christmas
Let's join together
We can watch the snow fall forever and ever
Eat, drink and be merry
Come along with me
Step into Christmas
The admission's free
Take care in all you do next year
And keep smiling through the days
If we can help to entertain you
Oh we will find the ways
So merry Christmas one and all
There's no place I'd rather be
Than asking you if you'd oblige
Stepping into Christmas with me
- - -
 
You can hop aboard the turntable with Elton at
 
 
KC Kendricks

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The passing of that one lover...

December 19, 2013

I suppose, having been with my spouse for twenty years, I shouldn't have some things marked on my calendar. You know - the birthdays of old boyfriends and dates special events happened with them. Like when they won the karate championship. That sort of thing. Maybe it's in bad taste. I don't really know. But there's one notation that pops up on my calendar every year on December 19 that I don't care if my partner knows about. I will not remove it: JRH, 2009.

It was foolish of me to believe old lovers, forever young and virile in my memory, would live forever. Life has proven to me they do not. It's also been proven that to mourn in private silence is unhealthy, yet in this instance that is my lot. Perhaps had I been able to mourn openly I'd be over the loss and this year I know I am not.

You know the story. It's a common one. Thirty or so years ago I met a man.... and we shared so much. The ending isn't one found in a romance novel. He wanted to travel a road I did not and I would not bend. He went one way and I went another. We saw each other, sporadically, and it was enough to know he was happy enough in his choices, one of which I may have forced upon him.

And then a mutual friend delivered the news - he was gone.  

It's odd to know I'll never meet him on the road again. I'd gotten used to suddenly looking in my rear view mirror and seeing the grill of his Chevy pickup about three inches from my bumper. He did it just to hear me yell profanities at him and he'd always laugh. I will always miss his grin and the quick kiss on my cheek he always gave me.

Life is full of loss, and it's what we do with those losses that shape and prepare us to handle the next one with more grace. I didn't get to say so many things to him, not even goodbye. I didn't get to tell him I wouldn't forget him and that every year I'd stop and remember the long talks we had and the secrets he told me. It is one of the few regrets I carry. 

His passing at the age of forty-nine reminds me to cherish the people I care about and to take the time to tell them they're important to me. I need to say the words as much as they need to hear them. Because I don't want to miss another chance to tell someone I care about them and they matter. 

KC

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nine Days until Christmas

December 16, 2013

And then there were nine. 

Days.

Until Christmas. 

And not all the presents have arrived via UPS, USPS or FedEx. 

I may start to worry soon. 

KC

Saturday, December 14, 2013

River Walk - KC Kendricks' My Sexy Saturday blog post

December 14, 2013

Who doesn't like a mischievous shapeshifter?

For this My Sexy Saturday, I have seven "sexy" paragraphs from River Walk, in which Fallon and Sundown's relationship is tested by startling new facts about a cold case that has some bearing on how they met, a kidnapped nestling, and Sundown's jealousy over Fallon's new office assistant, Monte. Monte is straight and has a girlfriend, but Sundown doesn't understand how anyone wouldn't want Fallon. (It's a shapeshifter thing.)


I've enjoyed the Sundown series and am, in fact, working on the fourth installment this month and next. River Walk was a bit intense, so the new one will be a bit more light-hearted. The cop and the shapeshifter will take a vacation together.  

So without more rambling, here's a bit from River Walk for My Sexy Saturday. Be sure to check out all the blogs on the list below.

= = = = =

I wanted to say yes, but my inner voice, the smarter half of me, said he’d try and shadow me himself. “No. I know damn well you’d follow me around yourself. I won’t have you in danger trying to protect me.”

“You are wise, my beloved, and you know me well.”

I scrunched down under the covers, pulling him with me. “Try to remember you’re the one who said it. Now go to sleep.”

Sundown’s warm hand cupped the soft lump of my genitals. He sighed when nothing happened, but twice was all I could manage. “Do you dream of me, Fallon?”

“All the time, darling. Sometimes I spank you in my dreams.”

He laughed at my words and flipped over, his butt against my hip. I rolled onto my side and tucked him into the curve of my body. “Where do you go when you rest?”

 Sundown was silent for so long I thought he’d declined to answer, but he finally did. “I go with you, Fallon, to be sure you dream of me and not Mon-tee.”
= = = = =

River Walk
gay romance with a paranormal shift



The Sundown Series
1) The Back Stairs
2) Beneath Dark Stars
3) River Walk
4)Moon Dances
5) Fly By Night

KC Kendricks
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Again? Really? More snow?

December 9, 2013

Did the people at the Weather Channel draw a bullseye on western Maryland? Yesterday we had 5 1/2 inches of snow at my location, followed by what amounted to about an inch of ice forming on top of the white stuff. This morning, warmer air made it possible to get to work, but relief that this early December blow was past was short lived. 

My once and future honey called me for the express purpose of telling me we might get up to another six inches of the white stuff tomorrow. Excuse me? Is this a joke? He does like to have fun at my expense, but he's not joking this time. 

I'm trying to see the silver lining in the clouds, but I guess because I had to come to work today I'm too grouchy. I don't want to have a snow day dangled in front of me like the carrot in front of the donkey again. I want a damn guarantee! 

So here's my bribe to the universe. Let me stay home tomorrow with my DSL intact and I'll finish my Christmas shopping online. It'll be good for the economy! 

KC Kendricks
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***UPDATE***
December 10 - It's snowing. Like REALLY snowing. Looks like today's the day to finish Christmas shopping. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Here comes the snow, ice and freezing rain

Once again, it seems that the Weather Channel has my world on high alert. I could poke fun at them, but that would be admitting that I've plugged into it. So, okay, I admit I have. I take seriously all the warnings of doom and gloom about the impending snow and ice freezing rain. My goodness, what are we going to do? Those folks on the television will tell you to the point of insulting your intelligence.

Maybe I’m a tad grouchy this morning. Today was the day I was supposed to go to Hershy, Pennsylvania to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. I haven't been to a concert in many years, not because I'm unable to go, or unwilling, but because I'm generally financially opposed to the cost of a concert. Anyway, the tickets are going to go unused. The Weather Channel says a winter storm is bearing down on our location.

I confess I've been watching the screen on my smart phone as the blue cloud closes in around us. I've also been looking out the window to see the first snowflake, but it hasn't come yet. I have a bit of an ulterior motive in watching for the snow to begin because snowfall is the best time to burn a brush pile, and I have a huge one that’s been growing all fall. If I can’t go see the TSO, I can at least play pyromaniac. The falling snow keeps the fire contained, and I don’t have to worry about burning the forest that covers the side of my mountain. Now there's an activity for keeping warm the Weather Channel won't mention.

Or maybe I’ll just fix a fresh cup of coffee and retire to the sunroom to watch the pretty snow. It seems a better plan for the remainder of the morning. 

KC Kendricks
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Sleepy Hollow - a rerun again??

December 2, 2013

I confess. I've gotten hooked on Sleepy Hollow. I love all the twists and turns plus some odd history tossed into the mix. But another rerun again? 

Rerun or not, Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane is definitely a little eye candy. Funny how he doesn't look nearly as hot in modern garb. Except for his eyes. I'll be disappointed as hell if it turns out he wears tinted contacts. 

C'mon all you programming dudes over at FOX! Use your heads and....oh....

I just now realized what the problem is. Y'all let your heads get away from you, right? 

KC

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's a "Shining Victory" for this week's My Sexy Saturday (KC Kendricks)

November 30, 2013

Levi Wright. How does one define Levi? Young? Brash? Eager? Talented? Determined? Levi is all those things, but it's all tempered by the fact he's simply a good person. Not that Stacy James saw all that at first glance. What Stacy saw was a bit of himself when he was a younger man. For this My Sexy Saturday, here are seven sexy paragraphs from Shining Victory -  because a who doesn't want a white knight to come to the rescue? (Maybe stubborn Levi!)

= = = = =

Mobile, agile and hostile summed up my first impression of the young man who made a running leap and glided across the hood of a 1967 Camaro on denim-clad knees. He landed on the other side of the car—on his feet—and went nose-to-nose with a man half again his size who’d dared to cast aspersions on his sexuality.

The young man stood six feet tall, lanky, with a head full of dark, curly hair, a scruffy three-day beard, and stunning sky-blue eyes framed by the longest black eyelashes I’d ever seen on a man, gay or straight. And he was pissed off past the point of reason.


I admit I don’t like it much when people refer to me as a “fag” either, but with age comes smarts, or so they say. I’d have ignored the beer-bellied redneck and walked on. But it’s true; testosterone poisoning is a malady of youth. I used to have it myself, and counted myself lucky it had passed. For the most part, anyway…This young man looked to have a bad case of twenty-something and hormones.



I set my soda down a safe distance from the imminent fisticuffs and prepared to save the young man from having his beautiful, perfectly straight nose take on a different shape—that of the other fellow’s fist.

He failed to appreciate my efforts, fixing me with an angry blue gaze that drilled its way straight to my groin as I stepped between them. Good God, what incredible eyes.

“Fuck off, old man!”

The little puppy called me old. I resented that remark, but let it slide for the greater good of the moment.

= = = =

About Shining Victory:


Stacy James survived a life-shattering accusation to become a successful businessman with a lot to offer a partner. At forty, he’s finally put his ghosts to rest, and is ready for someone in his life, if the right person comes along.

Young and wild, ace mechanic Levi Wright builds engines made for speed. When Levi’s volatile temper lands him nose-to-nose with trouble, Stacy ignores his own rules and steps in to save Levi from making a big mistake. But Stacy can’t ignore Levi’s smoldering sexuality as the younger man then pursues him. 

And Levi has made it clear - he's out to get his man. 

SHINING VICTORY
contemporary gay romance available at Amber Allure
http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1174-Shining-Victory.aspx

NO ONE BUT YOU
the sequel to Shining Victory is available at Amber Allure
http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1175-No-One-But-You.aspx





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Thanksgiving dinner that wasn't to be

November 27, 2013

I'm going to miss Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in my life, and if I'm completely honest, I'm a bit relieved. Truthfully, I'm exhausted. I spent last night in the emergency room with my partner, fearing he'd developed a blood clot in his leg. The problem turned out to be something equally serious and he's on medication to clear it, but it was not a good experience for either of us.  

It's at times like these I find it difficult to be thankful for the chemotherapy that saved his life. It saved him but between the cancer itself and the drugs, he is not the man he was. He's been cancer free for seven years, but the health issues left in its wake mount. But I am thankful for his presence in my life. His sense of humor is intact, and I'm thankful for that, too. 

Missing one dinner won't ruin my year. But you know what worries me? I'm afraid my partner and I will like having a nice quiet dinner, just the two of us. It's too late to get a turkey for two for tomorrow, but next year? A turkey for two will make a lot of hot turkey sandwiches, turkey salad wraps, turkey ala king over waffles, turkey tetrazzini, turkey rice soup - you see where I'm going with this. 

My mom and stepdad are pretty cool with missing the big dinner, too. They'd turned down several invitations from their friends to be with us and my partner's family so they simply made a phone call. I'll miss seeing them, but you know what? Maybe tomorrow, after I catch up on my sleep, I can bake a pie and invite them to come for dessert. And if they'd rather not come out in the cold? I'm all grown up. I won't pout. 

In the overall scheme of things, tomorrow will come and go, and everything will be fine. I'm hopeful my partner's leg will heal without additional medical intervention. I'm no less thankful for my family and those around me over missing one dinner. In fact, I may be more so. 

I suspect we'll share the Memories of Thanksgiving Past tomorrow - the good, the bad and the ugly - because it all makes family special. And ours. And we'll both be so very thankful for everyone we call family. 

And the very best thing? We know, without doubt, they'll be thankful for us. 

May it be so for you, as well.

KC Kendricks
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Double Deuce KC Kendricks - My Sexy Saturday

November 23, 2013

Welcome to Between the Keys and my little corner of this week's My Sexy Saturday. If you arrived via another path, My Sexy Saturday is a group blog hop where participating authors post 7 words, or 7 sentences, or even 7 paragraphs from one of their works. A list is at the end of this post so you can check out other blogs. It's great fun and a good way to find new-to-you authors and some great books.

This Saturday, I'm taking seven sexy paragraphs from Double Deuce. You won't find these anywhere else on the Internet, only at Between the Keys.

= = = = =

He was silent, swirling the ice in his glass. Every few moments, he shook his head. I’d had those kinds of discussions with myself, too. Selecting the lesser of two bad choices wasn’t easy. Rick looked at me.

“Can we just go to bed and forget all this for one night, Ian?”

“Fucking me compromises you, and your case. Why do you want to do take that risk?”

He tossed back the remainder of the liquid in his glass with a quick flick of his wrist. “If we were straight, no one would care who we fucked, would they?”

“No, but we’re not.” I sipped my bourbon. It’s amber magic hit my joints with a relaxing rush. “Did you inform your agency boss of your contact with me?”

Rick set his glass aside and massaged the bridge of his nose. “No, Ian. I did not.” He plucked the glass from my fingers and placed it beside his on the end table.
          He turned to me and I allowed him to press me down beneath him on the narrow couch. His gaze never left mine as he shifted his hips between my thighs. My cock hardened in three wonderful throbbing, pounding heartbeats. I ached with the need to feel him moving inside me and throw me into that almost forgotten white heat. I cupped the back of his head and dragged his mouth down to mine.
= = = = =  

About Double Deuce:



Free spirited Ian Coulter works hard and plays harder. An ex-cop turned private investigator, Ian enjoys meeting new men and making new friends. A night out ends up with one man on the floor at his feet, and another asking for his help. Big trouble’s brewing in little Amethyst Cove, and Ian’s a step behind. He’s quick to see Rick Mohr is the man holding the flare at the end a long, dark tunnel.

Undercover agent Rick Mohr walks a fine line, serving two masters. Insider trading, counterfeit printing plates, and a blown-up yacht have Rick stuck between two Federal agencies, one of which has been compromised. Rick has to discover the mole before it’s too late. When Ian Coulter walks into his life, Rick grabs the chance to salvage his assignment with both hands.

It doesn’t take Ian and Rick long to discover joining forces and sharing resources has definite perks - ones not found in any departmental manual.
DOUBLE DEUCE
Contemporary gay romance mystery
available now AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble, and Kobo.


KC Kendricks




Thursday, November 21, 2013

New author page at Rainbow Book Reviews

November 21, 2013

A big shout out of thanks to Serena at Rainbow Book Reviews for setting me up with my very own author page at Rainbow Book Reviews

Check it out here if you have a moment. I'll also be doing an interview with them, so stay tuned. I'll give another shout out when it goes live. 

KC

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dancing with my shapeshifter again

November 18, 2013

The last week morphed into a stretch of busy-ness that caught me off-guard. I don't mind being busy provided I'm accomplishing something. And I did! 

Last Monday started out with the tree trimmers in the morning and Ender's Game in the late afternoon. Having read the book twenty odd years ago, I had to see this movie and I'm glad we went. Did the film makers stay true to the book? Pretty much, but I'm sure having read first enhanced the movie. 

Tuesday it was back to work. I'm glad I had a blog pre-scheduled because it was full steam ahead on the WIP Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening. Friday - bowling. Saturday - cousin's dinner. And yes, I got the manuscript submitted. Whoo-hoo! I was happy. Sunday - take a deep breath. 

So now I'm back on track at a more normal pace. I guess the good news is I didn't pull out too many hairs as the end of the Tales from the Garage story developed. No word yet when the Tales from the Garage PAX will be scheduled for release or even if the publisher will leave it as Tales from the Garage. I hope they do since that's what we all signed up for.  

The next book in the shapeshifter series is underway. Both Fallon and Sundown, the main characters, say this part of their story needs to be a bit more light-hearted. They've weathered a few storms, this shapeshifter and his human lover, so I'll bow to their wishes. They're going on a vacation. Of course, Sundown, being Sundown, he's bound to find some mischief. He always does - and that's why everyone likes him. 

KC Kendricks
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Between the Keys


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Food for the Holidays: Carrots Au Gratin

November 12, 2013

As my annoying wonderful housemate pointed out to me yesterday, we need to start planning Christmas dinner. I can't believe he said that, and ever worse, I just typed the words. Let it be known, he still lives.

The man then raised the footrest of his recliner, leaned back, and rather off-handedly informed me he wanted "that carrot and potato thing you did two years ago."  Let it also be known I didn't correct him that the dish consists of carrots and parsnips, a root veggie my mother and stepdad, having grown up poor in a different time when large home gardens were the norm, both dearly love. (Please don't report the previous long sentence to my editor. She doesn't like them.) 

Once upon a promo op, another author made a rather exceedingly cavalier remark that you'd never catch HER sharing a recipe went she had books to promote when one of the group participants posted a recipe. I still don't buy her books. I still don't buy her books. That remark always comes to mind when I think about sharing a recipe, but I've decided I need to get past that because I don't think she was correct in her attitude. We all need to eat and fixing a dish for parents and grandparents with foods they remember from childhood is an expression of love. Piss on any writer person who would look down on another for simply sharing a recipe.  

Sooooo, here's my recipe for Carrots Au Gratin with parsnips. I'll make it for Christmas dinner, but I won't tell Himself those white veggies are not potatoes.   

Cooking for family is all about how much you love them. And yes, you might have to teach them how to properly show their appreciation of your efforts. Case in point - the man taking up space in my living room. But he's worth it. 

= = = =

1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves (fresh is great if you have it)
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon low-smoking oil
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar (go more if you love cheese)
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
2 to 3 peeled and sliced large carrots
2 to 3 peeled and sliced parsnips (parsnips look like white carrots)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I like Panko)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and slice carrots and parsnips. Set aside. 

Heat the milk, thyme and garlic almost to boiling, then let sit for twenty minutes for the flavors to infuse. Strain out the thyme and garlic unless you want the stronger flavors in which case leave them in. Set milk aside.(My folks aren't fond of garlic so I strain it out of the milk.)

Melt the butter and oil. When hot, whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Take enough time to cook the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Add Cheddar, spices and S&P. Warm until it thickens. 

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer in half the veggies. Pour in half the sauce. Layer in remaining veggies and then add the rest of the sauce. 

Mix the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan together then sprinkle evenly over the veggies. Bake at 350F until the veggies are tender when poked with a fork and the sauce gets bubbly - about an hour to an hour and a half depending on your oven. Resist the urge to turn up the heat. If the top starts to get over-brown, cover the dish with foil. After baking, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes for the sauce to stop bubbling and finish thickening. Garnish with parsley before serving. 

= = =
KC
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Monday, November 11, 2013

A shout-out for Antietam Tree and Turf

November 11, 2013

The tree-trimmers arrived this morning before eight o'clock. You can tell by some of the photos the sun was barely over the mountain. I was ready, though. These guys were here in May of 2011 and I remembered they get an early start. They also hustle. These guys WORK. 

And no, this is certainly not a paid endorsement of the company. We paid them to take down two problem trees. I just happen to think a company who exceeds what they said they would do is worth a recommendation. 

It was fascinating to watch the crew work. One guy floated among the treetops and the other handled duties on the ground. Safety first was definitely the first order of every thing they did. The trees came down, limb by limb and branch by branch, until nothing remained but the trunk. That came down in pieces, too. Everything but the largest pieces went through the shredder and became mulch. We have nothing to clean up, either. They did it all, raking the entire work area. There are no sticks left to hit with the mower.  

If you live in Maryland, anywhere from Frederick to Cumberland, and probably beyond, and need a tree service, Antietam Tree deserves a call. We have three more trees that are too large for us to feel comfortable with taking down ourselves. I won't even call and price shop. Come spring, after I've saved my pennies, I'll simply call these guys. 

A good job the first time is a pleasant surprise. A good job the second time is proof of the way a company does business. Antietam Tree has my business. 

Now I have to write a story about tree-trimmers. After all, I have videos saved to show my characters how to do it. 

KC
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Cause of Sleeplessness

November 10, 2013

My twelve year old dog had trouble sleeping tonight so he woke me. Now I'm awake and he's snoring.  What's a puppy parent to do when they need you so they can sleep? 

Isn't he just the sweetest looking fellow ever? I wonder if he'll miss me if I sneak back to bed?


KC

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Sexy Saturday: Beneath Dark Stars by KC Kendricks

November 9, 2013

Welcome once again to My Sexy Saturday! I hope you like shapeshifters. I know, I know - everyone likes shapeshifters! This week I have seven sexy paragraphs from Beneath Dark Stars, the sequel to The Back Stairs and the second book in the Sundown series. 

Czun Dun Nhunfi  - Sundown to you and me since it's easier for us humans to pronounce - isn't your average shapeshifter. His people were brought to earth a thousand years ago as slaves but they freed themselves and prospered. Fast forward to Sundown and Lt. Fallon Roxbury meeting and falling in love and you have a cop trying to do his job and his shapeshifter helping in ways only he can. 

I hope you'll enjoy this selection from Beneath Dark Stars. 

=====
Sundown handed me a small tumbler of juice and tapped his water glass to mine. I sipped my drink, sputtering at the lack of alcoholic bite. “This is plain cranberry juice!”

He blinked, a slow, lazy lowering and raising of his eyelids that put me in mind of big cat causally watching its prey. “I did not want you to fall asleep too soon.”

The skin on my thighs and belly prickled. My cock pulsed and lengthened. “You’re just full of wants, aren’t you?"

“I have many, yes, and all will be accomplished in the proper time.”

“Boy, that sounds ominous for me, doesn’t it?” Actually, I liked the implications of him thinking about different things to do to me, and so did my dick. My erection completed.

Sundown lifted his glass, drained it, and set it aside. I took a healthy swig of mine and put it on the nightstand to finish later. I lifted the sheet and pointed at my hard on. 

"Is it the proper time to do something with the little problem I have right there?"
=======

Thanks for stopping by Between the Keys today!

BENEATH DARK STARS 
Gay romance with a paranormal shift
available now at AmazoniTunes/AppleBarnes and NobleKobo, and other online booksellers. 


KC Kendricks
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

An unexpected stroll on a rainy day



November 7, 2013

It's gray and dreary in my corner of the world today. There's a chill in the air and a slow rain has spread dampness into every nook and cranny in the old building I work in, except the office areas. What the lack of heat is doing to this grand old lady, I wouldn't want to guess, but I know it's not helping the original plaster on the second and third floors any.

And being that it's raining, today is the day the man came to see about fixing the fence our neighbor's tenants destroyed when they were evicted. (Some people have no respect of another's property.)

I slipped off my heels and into the old shoes I keep in the closet and dutifully walked outside with him. He apologized for coming in the rain, explaining how he's blessedly busy these days, something I do understand. Once outside, something happened as I took the first mist-laden breath.

The tension of the morning bled out of me. I spread my arms wide and stretched, listening to all the "pops" in my shoulders and spine. The man grinned and told me he was glad he didn't have a desk job.

We walked along the fence, chatting, and I realized I was with an honest man - very good company, indeed. The chill didn't matter, nor the rain. For a few moments I was outside and free.

He shook my hand as we parted, and promised to send a bid within the next few days. I came back inside to a warm, dry office, but I'm ruined for the day. Spreadsheets and budgets can't compete with a stroll on a rainy day.

KC
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do you shake, pound, flip and slice?

November 6, 2013

It's time for me to come clean. Admit to being a bit narcissistic, even. I've been known to spend a lot of money on "beauty" supplies.

It's true. I won't leave the house if I haven't had a shower and washed my hair. I won't leave the house without at least SPF30 tinted moisturizer on my face. And since there is something in spray cologne formulas that makes me cough, I shower with scented gels which don't have the same choking effect.

The bottom line in all this is - it's not cheap to be a modern woman. If I could get back even a small percentage of the money I've spent on my hair, face and skin, I could retire now. But even with all the niceties available to prepare us to face the workday, I'm cheap. That's right - cheap. I take "frugal" to new levels. Give me a beauty product and I will find a way to shake, pound, flip, slice and scoop every last drop of elixir out of the container.

This morning I concluded I've reached the obsessive stage with my favorite body cream. I use this in several different scents and it's wonderful. (I like the Midnight Pomegranate so you can bet Bath & Body will stop making it.)  Thick and creamy, it goes on like silk and the scent stays on my skin all day and it doesn't give a person numb-nose. The thing is, it's a bit expensive, which to me means it's ever so important not to waste it down to the very last smear.

I shake the tube. I tap the tube on the counter. I squeeze it like I'm juicing a lemon. But this morning? Well, I cut off the sealed end of the tube and used my finger to scoop out enough cream for today. There's more in the tube, too, clinging to the inside so you can bet your butt I'll keep cutting until I get the cap and have used every drop. 

Frugal or tightwad? Say what you will in public, but I bet I won't be the only person cutting the ends off of tubes to use all the products after you read this. So maybe I'm a trendsetter!

Yeah. Let's go with that. It's better than kooky writer.

KC
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Passion's Victory makes for one My Sexy Saturday blog


November 2, 2013

It's Saturday again and that means another My Sexy Saturday entry. I think this is great fun because it's taking me back into older stories and reuniting me with those characters. Today I'm going back almost to the beginning to Passion's Victory


Be sure to read down to the My Sexy Saturday linky and visit the blogs listed. There's some great reading there! 

In this scene, Micah comes home to find Jonas waiting on the front porch for him. 


= = = = = = =


 “Jonas,” I murmured against his smiling lips. “Talk to…” His tongue flicked to mine, cutting off my request for a moment of conversation.


Any of my neighbors watching were getting quite a sideshow. I shoved my hand in my pocket, fumbled my keys. They fell from my shaking fingers to the porch decking. Jonas pushed me back, breaking physical contact. I longed to see his eyes, to get some idea of what he thought, what he felt.


“Bend over and pick them up,” he said cheerfully as he rubbed my nipple. I stared at him and tried to catch my breath.


“Not in front of you, Chadwick. I know all about men like you.”


“Do you?” Something rough and dark in his voice gave me pause. What demon did he battle?


“I know enough.” I pushed him back against the side of the house, not with some little force. “Why did you come back?”


“I don’t know. Maybe to satisfy my curiosity.”


= = = = == = =


Micah Souther is young, talented, and gay. As the junior owner of the family business, he knows better than to look for love “on the clock.”

Jonas Chadwick is the new guy at the firm. Older, wiser, and a survivor of the school of hard knocks, he’s not in the market for an office romance, even if he knew for certain his young boss were gay.

One kiss is all it takes to send them on a collision course, and when bodies collide, the friction gets hot.


KC Kendricks

Saturday, October 26, 2013

KC Kendricks - Catching Fireflies this MySexySaturday

October 26, 2013

Welcome to Between the Keys and my little corner of My Sexy Saturday. Today I've posted seven sexy paragraphs from Catching Fireflies. Our guys, Dale and Aubrey, have just met at a cookout although they glimpsed each other earlier in the day. They've hit it off and are busy flirting to get to know each other better. And while Dale is talking steak sauce, Aubrey is being ornery. Not that Dale minds, of course.

Catching Fireflies - the fifth book in the Southern Cross series and the direct sequel to Between the Moon and the Deep Blue Sea.
===========

I carried his glass over to Mark and requested another. I watched as he made Aubrey another drink - virgin. I looked at him, questioningly. 

“Apparently Aubrey doesn’t touch anything with alcohol in it. I’ve no clue why. The man’s a mystery to everyone except Chad.”


I thanked him for making the drink as he handed it to me. “A little mystery isn’t a bad thing, is it?”


“No, Dale, it’s not. But don’t expect too much. He’s only here for the commitment ceremony.”


“Thanks. That’s good to know.” I turned and reclaimed my spot beside Aubrey, handing him his drink as I sat. Brett was delivering the first steaks to those who liked to hear it go “moo” when they stuck a fork into it. Aubrey echoed my preference for medium-well to well when Brett asked. I touched my glass to his again.  


“Ah, I’ve learned something else about you. Now I’ve got a very important question for you. Sauce, or no sauce?”


“Hon, I’ve been thinking of nothing but sauce since I saw you standing in the driveway.”

==========

CATCHING FIREFLIES is available at
AmazoniTunes/AppleBarnes and NobleKobo,
and other online booksellers. 

Book five in the Southern Cross series
The sequel to Between the Moon & the Deep Blue Sea



Here's the My Sexy Saturday list for this week. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Social media check on KC



October 24, 2013

Oh, I had such grandiose plans for the day. I was going to accomplish so many things. And I almost did - until I started reading a few old blogs looking for a lost link.

I've come a long way since I began to write. Those old blog entries give an account of the last ten (almost eleven) years of my life. Some show their age and some could have been written yesterday. All of them evoke certain memories and I think this is a good thing.

So I can blog, but how am I doing with other social media? It's a mixed bag.

Twitter! Yes, I've been actively trying to increase my followers on Twitter.   ( http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks ) It's pretty easy to follow someone and it's easy to post a Tweet. Like blogging, I did resist for awhile but twitter is just blogging for people with ADD. Short bursts on a lot of topics. I can do Twitter.

Facebook! Egads. Facebook. Now that's a challenge for me. I don't know what the heck is going on there and every time I turn around I hear how dangerous it is to be on Facebook.

Pinterest! I love, love, love Pinterest. I've wasted a lot of time looking at bunches of really cool things on Pinterest. I can do Pinterest. I think I have seven or eight boards now. http://www.pinterest.com/kckendricks

Triberr. Oh, dear. Another one. I should do Triberr. It's called a "blog amplification platform" and I do like to blog. Triberr works to promote like subject matter and I blog all over the range of subject matter, not just about the books I write. Does one Tribe not fit all? Apparently not. I've no clue where to even start.

LinkedIn. Just say no to giving up the emails of your associates. Remember it's still a "do unto others" sort of world. You don't pass around my email and I sure as hell won't pass around yours.

Google +. It's on my list of things to add to my life provided I can figure out why.

And all this is just the tip of the iceberg. Type in "social media sites" into any search engine and stand back...

Thinking about all this social media stuff has worn me out and this Luddite needs a nap. I expect the next time you'll hear from me will be on October 26, 2013, for My Sexy Saturday. Hope you'll stop by for that!

KC
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Road Less Taken - Robert Frost

October 23, 2013
 
I have always loved The Road Less Taken by Robert Frost. Like the fellow in the poem, I find a long walk through the woods both invigorating and peaceful. I'm fortunate to live in a rural area surrounded by woods. I can choose a path for a morning walk and know mine are first feet to travel the road that day.
 
The autumn colors are slow in arriving this year, but by Saturday I expect to be able to walk the old paths and enjoy the fall woods. If I don't do it this coming weekend, I may have to wait a year. And like the poet, I may never pass this way again so now is the time.
 
Here's my favorite poem. Enjoy!
 
The Road Less Taken - Robert Frost
 
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 
 
KC Kendricks