Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zion on the last day of the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

It's All About the Books

Day 26
April 30, 2013

We’re done for another year, at least on the surface. So are we finished? I doubt it! There are a lot of days left between now and 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge. (And having said that I sure hope it happens again next year!) The blogging challenge is about more than 30 blogs in April. It’s about online communities, and I hope some of you have found one and perhaps made me part of yours. I’d be honored if you have. Now, on to Z.

I don’t know why when I sat down to write the blog for “Z” that Zion came to mind. All my life, Zion has been this mystical, magical place. As steeped in religious rhetoric as Zion is, you’d think someone who believes the spiritual state of Zion would have some problems writing gay romance, wouldn’t you? Obviously that's not the case at all. It's more likely to be at the root of the reason I do write gay romance.

Leaning back in my chair to ponder why the word Zion came to mind provided no insights. The religious connotations aside, it’s not a word one often hears. So I googled it. Well, actually I used Alta Vista just to be different but I’m sure the results were similar. What popped up?
1) The historic land of Israel as a symbol of the Jewish people. (knew it)
2) A place or religious community regarded as sacredly devoted to God. (knew it)
3) An idealized, harmonious community; utopia. (knew it)

I suspect the reason I thought of Zion was the third - the idea of a harmonious community. The notion of living in harmony has a lot of appeal, doesn’t it? What could be better than a world where we’re all free to live and love as we please as long as we do not harm, cause to be harmed, or burden one another? It’s been on my mind lately as I listen to the news. If we can’t get along, we lose the potential for personal greatness.

Smiling at a stranger on the street, holding a door for our elders, and returning the empty shopping cart might not seem to be the building blocks for a personal happy space, but it works for me. I always feel better if I’ve done something that potentially adds to another person’s day. Maybe my personal path to a utopian world of Zion lies in doing little things and not grand sweeping gestures. Those grand sweeping gestures sound exhausting to me and I need to save some energy for writing.

You know, maybe I should blame all this contemplation of Zion on Gene Roddenberry. I did grow up with Star Trek, after all. Life in the Federation had its problems, but it also presented a view of a future where it seemed people understood they had to work together and make nice with one another to make the universe a better place.

I like that idea. I really do.

Make it so.

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com


Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Your Whisper in the Dark by KC Kendricks

2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

It's All About the Books

Day 25
April 29, 2013

Today is the next to the last day of the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s a relief to be so close to the finish line and it's exhilarating at the same time. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me a little better and reading the promos about the books. Yes, with me, it IS always all about the books. No matter what else I do in my life, I’m a writer first.

Finding the perfect title for a book is fraught with unrecognized peril. I thought “Your Whisper in the Dark” was a great title, but I might have been…misguided...by my inspiration. Suffice it to say as many future titles as possible will begin with A, B, C, D or E. Gotcha curious about why?

I learned that some third party vendors rank their titles alphabetically. And where does “Your Whisper in the Dark” end up? Last. I could have every other book on my backlist in the top 100, but this book will still be last. Yep. I wasn’t too smart when I settled on this title. It’s a major disservice to this book. Sooooo, I hope you’ll ignore its spot in the rankings and take a chance on it. It's only there because people can't find it! Live and learn something new every day!

_*_*_*_*_


Your Whisper in the Dark is now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

Book four of the Men of Marionville series. 

Kenzie Zahn is starting over as a single man. Left with few immediate options, he accepts a friend’s invitation to visit and house sit. It’s the perfect opportunity for Kenzie to put a little space between the past and present while figuring out the best path for his future.

Mason Hall enjoys the carefree single life. He works hard, plays a little harder, and doesn’t think much about settling down. The right man will come along – or not – and he’s content to wait. A night out to enjoy a little dancing leads to a hook-up with Kenzie, the kind of man Mason has only ever fantasized about. Mason can’t let him get away.

Kenzie’s smitten. Mason is irresistible, but home is a thousand miles away and a long-distance romance isn’t workable. A strange twist of identity brings a linked past to light. Kenzie and Mason are brought to the realization that even when Fate arranges a man’s destiny, he still has to take a leap of faith, or lose out on love.

INTRO:

I scampered off to the parlor like a love struck teenager, snatched the receiver off the hook, and fell breathlessly onto the sofa.

“Hey, Mason.”

“Hey. I had this number on the service ticket from last fall. Um, is it okay I called?”

I heard the ‘click’ as Tyler hung the phone upstairs. “Yeah, sure. I guess I should give you my cell phone number, though.”

“Yeah. Do it tonight.”

My stomach plunged. The weather wasn’t conducive to going out. I appreciated Tyler’s offer of his truck, but it would be foolish to go out on unfamiliar icy roads when I didn’t really need to.

“It’s snowing, Mason.”

There was a clattering crash in my ear.

“Fuck. Dropped my screwdriver. Dropped my wrench. Hold on.”

I grinned as I listened to more noise and additional foul language. Was he nervous over calling me? His smooth voice flowed back into my ear. “Sorry about that. I know it’s snowing, damn it. So you’re not coming into town?”

“I’d better not. I don’t know the roads around here that well.” I held my breath, dreading his next words. What if he hung up and we never connected again?

But wouldn’t that be best? My head and my heart weren’t in agreement.

“I guess you’re right.” He cleared his throat. I heard him take a deep breath. “Kenzie, will you have dinner with me tomorrow night?”

I failed to remember I was thirty-six, and a mature man. I ignored how bad of an idea it was to get involved with anyone a thousand miles away from home.

We’d already had each other in the most physically intimate ways possible, and now he wanted to take me dinner. I pumped my fist in the air in a gesture of victory.

“I would love to have dinner with you, Mason.”

EXCERPT:

“Kenzie, please. We need to go someplace private so I can tell you everything.”

I couldn’t think about anything except getting the hell away from him. “I’m leaving, and neither one of us is going to make a scene. Goodbye, Mason.”

I stood, turned on my heel, and left him sitting there. I needed fresh air, to somehow manage to breathe again. If I could get out the door, I could quiet the pounding ‘why, why, why’ beating inside my skull. Was this what people meant by a surreal experience? I fumbled my car keys, dropping them. I bent over to retrieve them without paying attention to how close to the car I was and whacked my head on the car door.

“Fucking hell!” I plopped down on the frozen tundra of blacktop and grabbed the right side of my head to make sure my brains weren’t spilling out.

Just fucking great. I’d sport a bruise for sure come morning, not to mention the fucking headache already eating through bone.

Every time I went queen-out, something nasty happened and it was usually my own fucking fault. Like now. I welcomed Mason’s body heat as he knelt beside me. “Kenzie? Are you okay?”

I kept my right palm pressed to my forehead and glared at him.

“What the fuck to you think?” I moved my hand. “Just tell me if I’m bleeding.”

Mason hesitated, then stroked my face with cold fingertips. “The skin isn’t broken, but I think you’re going to have a bump.” He eased down beside me and I hoped his balls would freeze fast to the macadam through his jeans and stick when he got up. “Please talk to me, Kenzie.”

I suspected there was no way to avoid a conversation with him. Self-induced concussion aside, I seemed to have regained some composure. Maybe. I had one burning question for him.

“Mason, why the fuck even tell me? Why not let me live in blissful ignorance?”

He reached for my hand but stopped short of taking it. I sighed and held it out to him. His chilly fingers closed around my equally cold ones. My gloves were in the car instead of my pocket. Score another point for the home team.

“I had to tell you, Kenzie. It was the only right thing to do once I realized who you were.” He started to put his arm around me but I froze him with a look.

Yes, it was. I had to agree with him on that point. He could have kept it from me. How would I ever learn of it? Dennis and I weren’t in touch, and as far as I was concerned, we never would be. It was all in the past, his and mine, and it couldn’t be changed. Generally, I held with the belief that if there was one thing gay men had no right to judge, it was another gay man’s past sexual history – casting the first stone and all that crap.

My immediate thought was he’d blown that out of the water, but maybe not. He’d taken a big risk by telling me about knowing my ex-partner. Lord, my head hurt.

“So you told me. Now you can fuck me guilt free.”

Mason blew out a short, tired breath. “Kenzie.”

“Sorry. I’m not at my best when my head is splitting and my balls are freezing.”

This time, I didn’t stop him when he moved to put his arm around my shoulders. “I told you because you deserved to know my side of it, okay? If I could take back that day, I would.”

That day? One day? Had Dennis wrecked our life together over one lousy fuck? I certainly saw why he’d be attracted to Mason. The man was smoking hot and, heaven help us all, principled.

“I’m going home, Mason. I need to think about a few things.”

“Will you come to my place so we can talk? And I mean talk. No sex unless you say so.”

The man’s sincerity rang clear and true in his low voice. I hated to turn him down, but I had to.


Your Whisper in the Dark is now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

Book four of the Men of Marionville series. 

KC Kendricks
website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kckendricks
mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
personal blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com


Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for What, X-actly, Do I Want?

It's All About the Books

Day 24
2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge
April 27, 2013

How do you like the title for today’s entry in the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge? Do you know that X is even more difficult the U to write a blog about????? At least it is for me.

Exactly what I want. It’s not about having my own way everyday of my life, although it would be nice to have that happen every once in a while. It’s not about shopping either. (Here again I wouldn’t say no to finding the perfect pair of boots and I know all you fellow boot lovers understand that very well.) It’s a lot deeper than the superficial day-to-day things in life.

Do any of us know what we really want? Deep down inside, what do we want? We all want to be healthy and happy, to have a loving spouse and family support, a weather-tight dwelling to call home and a job that brings satisfaction. But what else do we want? Tough question, isn’t it?

Think fast and remember the first thing that pops into your mind when you answer to this question I pose: What, exactly, do I want for my life?

Did the answer surprise you? Did it take sudden root within you? Are you brave enough to listen to that voice? Because if you are, your life will change and you’ll love it.

When I was in high school (in the way back time) a question frequently asked by faculty members was “What do you want to do with your life?” I never responded by saying I wanted to be a writer, but now I know a writer is X-actly what I want to be and who I am.

KC Kendricks


Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for What You Don't Confess

April 26, 2013

It's All About the Books

Day 23
2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge


We’ve made it all the way to W. That’s means three days to go, after today, in the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Whew. Deep breath. Thanks to everyone who has come along for the ride!

“Every man has a secret past and an unwritten future. What he won’t confess lies between the two.”

When the powers that be at Amber Allure decided to do a coming out themed PAX, those words just popped into my head. And since I was ready to do the third story in the Men of Marionville series, the two came together.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading What You Don’t Confess as much as I enjoyed my writing time with the characters of Dylan and Cass.

*_*_*_*_*   What You Don't Confess
Contemporary gay romance
available at 
What You Don't Confess is available now at 
AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

(book three of the Men of Marionville series)


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, are 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

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
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Victory (series)

2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

It's All About the Books

Day 22
April 25, 2013

Welcome to the final days of the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge, and V is for Victory and The Victory Series, which we’ll get to in a moment, but mostly it’s pure personal victory.

Everyone likes to win. Win the game, win the guy, win the Powerball lottery…. I need a moment to focus on the numbers.....…. Whether it’s public or private, winning is, on the whole, considered a good thing. I happen to think private victories are much sweeter than public ones.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the big blowout celebrations because I do. It’s great fun to join a group and whoop it up! I do it when the opportunity arises. But in my day-to-day life I find savoring the small victories to be more rewarding.

Those small victories are celebrated in The Victory Series. A man comes out. A father is accepted by his son. Cancer is beaten. A man risks his heart. A life is rebuilt. Parents embrace a son. Love wins the day. These are victories that matter.

And for me the victory was that of writing my first stories in a genre I loved to read. There’s something a little special about those stories because of it. I was feeling my way, much the same as my characters, and I shared in their victories as they created mine because writing is a symbiotic relationship between author and character.

So here’s a bit about The Victory Series. If you haven’t read it, I hope you will. And if you’ve read it, I hope you’ll re-read it and experience the victory love brings again.

KC

_*_*_*_*_*_

Surrendered Victory, Passion's Victory, and Shining Victory are available by individual download, or in the paperback, A Taste of Victory. Follow the links for excerpts or visit my website.

Surrendered Victory
2008 Amber Heat Wave Contest Winner
ISBN 978-1-60272-283-5 (ebook)
Contemporary gay romance
Now available at Amber Allure

Dalton makes Reed tingle in all the right places. Now Reed’s ready to answer the question that’s haunted his every failed relationship. Is he really gay?

Reed walked into Dalton’s life and everything changed. This time, Dalton won’t hide the fact he’s gay from anyone, even his son.

Together they surrender all to each other and claim the ultimate victory - love.

*****
Passion's Victory
2008 CAPA Nominee
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-330-6 (ebook)
contemporary gay romance now available at
http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1173-Passion-s-Victory.aspx

When passion is the prize, it’s time to change the rules….

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 knows for certain his young boss is gay.

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

****

Shining Victory
ISBN 978-1-60272-422-8 (ebook)
contemporary gay romance
now available at
http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1174-Shining-Victory.aspx

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.

********
A Taste of Victory
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-898-1 (Paperback)
All three Victory stories in one paperback edition available at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/187-0777424-5465613?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=a+taste+of+victory


KC Kendricks
Website: http://www.kckendricks.com
Blog: http://kckendricks.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/kckendricks
http://pinterest.com/kckendricks
Mailing List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Ubiquitous

It's All About the Books

2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 21
April 24, 2013


Only five days to go after today! We’re fast approaching the finish line! This year I’ve been blogging about the books and doing a little promo, but today is for more ubiquitous things.

I love the word “ubiquitous.” The root word, “ubiquity” is a noun from the Latin and means a presence everywhere simultaneously. Ubiquitous is the adjective form and is defined as existing or being everywhere at once. The sky is ubiquitous. Noise is ubiquitous. Most importantly, love is ubiquitous. Ubiquitous is not a word often used to describe love, but maybe it should be. I can’t think of one bad thing that would happen if love were everywhere at once.

Language is valuable tool in the writer’s arsenal. We love and embrace words, but where to we draw the line with using words such as ubiquitous? Or myriad? Or enigmatic? I happen to love all three. They’re just so darned descriptive! As a writer, I feel it’s my responsibility to pen my stories using language everyone will connect with. Is that enough? Do I not also have a responsibility to expand my reader’s knowledge of language?

I don’t want to come across as being super smart and condescending because I’ve read some authors who really are and I didn’t like it. On the other hand, I don’t want my readers to believe I think they don’t understand multi-syllabic words. It’s a quandary (another word I like) and something every writer addresses on a word-by-word basis.

So here near the end of this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, I have a challenge for you the reader. I challenge you to use the ubiquitous in conversation today just for fun. You’re sure to get a smile or two.

KC

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Taming Triton - KC Kendricks


2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 20
April 23, 2013

It's All About the Books

One week to go in the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge! Hasn’t this been a fast month? It seems like it to me. Even with the prep work out of the way prior to April I haven’t made it around to as many blogs as I’d hoped, but I’ve managed to hit a few each day and I think that’s pretty good.

Today T is for Taming Triton, the second book in the Southern Cross series and touches on bisexuality. Apparently some people don’t believe it’s for real, but I do. I think there are those who have a more complex sexuality and the rest of us are monochromatic by comparison. Anyway, in Taming Triton our hero Steve is aware of the shades of gray in his orientation and without that knowledge of self, he’d have missed out on the love of his life. So if Taming Triton has any sort of message beyond that of tolerance and love, it’s that it’s a good thing to know and accept yourself.

Taming Triton is the sequel to Netting Neptune and Colby and Theron make appearances in this story and in Poseidon’s Pleasure. Writing the original trilogy start to finish was both a challenge and great fun. I really need to get another trilogy plotted and go for it to keep my writing skills sharp. And I think I have an idea, so stay tuned.

KC
_*_*_*_

Taming Triton

Contemporary gay romance
Available at Amazon and other online booksellers.


Austin Michaels accepts his brother’s standing invitation for a Caribbean vacation at his island resort. Some time in the sun is just what he needs to map out a plan for his future. He gets lucky and meets a handsome teacher willing to have a little vacation fling with, as long as they can keep things fun.

Steve Guthrie’s secret longings have haunted him all his life. It’s time to face his questions and find the truth of who he really is beyond a staid college professor. His love of the sea prompts him to take a vacation at a Caribbean hide-a-way for relaxation and reflection. A sexy stranger with a tattoo tempts Steve to abandon his plans, enticing him to share a vacation romp.

Now Steve’s the student in a high-stakes class of one, and to pass the course, he has to tame his very own Triton.

EXCERPT

There was a soft knock on the door. I didn’t need a rocket scientist to tell me who it was.

What did I want from him? An explanation? Or did I want to tell him to go have a nice life? I opened the door and took in his worried face. Austin stared at me, and his expression shifted to wariness.

“Steve, what’s wrong?”

Men lie to men all the time. Well, not me. I wasn’t sliding into that gutter. Ever.

“I saw you being very cozy with Colby Denton’s boyfriend.”

He flinched at the accusation, at my sharp voice, but his hand snaked out and grabbed my wrist.

“It’s not what you think. Let me come in…”

“Men lie to men--isn’t that what you said? Should I let you in so you can lie to me?”

"Babe, you should let me in so the neighbors on their terrace don’t get a good laugh, or call the front desk and complain.”

I hesitated a half-second too long, and Austin pushed past me into my suite. “Call Colby and tell him what you saw. Go ahead. Let him tell you didn’t see Theron and me sneaking around.”

Austin jumped as I slammed the door shut behind him. I rounded on him. “I fucking saw what I saw, Austin!”

“Yeah? You saw my brother give me a kiss. Is that really a big deal to you?”

The hot rage of his betrayal died in my belly, cooling as if it had never even existed. His brother? He’d mentioned a brother. My knees threatened to give out on me and I plopped down on a dinette chair. Austin took the seat next to mine and held out his hands, palms up.

“Steve, I’m sorry. I’d have gotten around to explaining how I know Theron and Colby tonight. I didn’t think…I mean I didn’t see any reason to tell you my total life story right away. There’s a lot we don’t know about each, and most of it won’t make any difference while we’re having vacation fun.”

I wanted to believe him, I really did. “So tell me about your brother now, and don’t leave anything out.”

That wary look he had teased at his features, a clear indication he had something to hide. If this Theron were his brother, there shouldn’t be any problem, but the trapped look on his face said more than words ever could. Anger licked at my guts again.

“Lie to me, Austin.”

He shook his head. “No. I won’t. Theron is my foster-brother. Let’s walk over to the main building and you can ask him to verify it. Just don’t cross-examine him because you don’t have the right, and his nerves can’t take it.” Austin reached out and took my hand. I yanked away.

Damn him. “Let’s just go our separate ways, Austin. I can’t trust you.”

Very slowly, he reached for my hand again, wrapping his fingers around mine. This time, something in the earnest way he looked at me, his posture, kept me from pulling back. He took a deep breath.

"I don’t remember my mother. She’s just a name on my birth certificate. I was put into the child welfare system early. So was Theron. We ended up with the same foster family, one that understood gay teens.”

“That’s the real short version, isn’t it?”

To his credit, he didn’t deny it, merely nodded. I had a choice to make. Accept his explanation, or ask him to leave. I knew I didn’t have the right to know every detail of his life story based on our short acquaintance, sex or no sex. The other side of the coin--I’d not told him anything about my life, either. I looked down at our hands. His grip tightened for an instant.

“Okay. So I’m an ass to jump to conclusions and have a little fit.”

Austin’s other hand gripped my knee. “No, you’re not. Theron and I are pretty close. The first time I came for a visit, I thought Colby’s head was going to explode when he caught us…You don’t wanna know yet.”

“The hell I don’t! You’d better spit it out now, Austin.”

“We, um, got a little drunked up. Colby came up to my suite and found us flopped on the bed together, giggling like fools, talking about old times.” Austin flashed me a sheepish look. “Babe, he was not pleased.”

A thought formed, growing stronger as a flush stained his cheeks. I closed my eyes, then opened them slowly. "Jeez, Austin, you and Theron were each other's first, weren't you?"

I didn't attempt to deny it. It wouldn't have worked on me if he had.

"Steve, it was a long time ago. We were two lonely teenagers with the same big secret-we were queers. Somehow the universe gave us to each other to take care of and made us brothers. He and Colby are all the family I have."

I let out a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding. “I get it, Austin. I really do. I’m sor…”

His fingers pressed to my lips. “Don’t say it. Not for this. You don’t know me, so you’re right to question me.”

“For what it’s worth, I just learned a lesson about jumping to conclusions. Never too old, right?”

He leaned forward and kissed me, a tender pressing of his lips to mine. I kissed him back, more relieved than I should be.

This was a vacation thing. I needed to keep it that way.

TAMING TRITON
Book Two of the Southern Cross series
Available at Amazon


NETTING NEPTUNE
Book One of the Southern Cross series
www.amazon.com/Netting-Neptune-Southern-Cross-Book-ebook/dp/B01FEST0I0

POSEIDON'S PLEASURE
Book Three of the Southern Cross series


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

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sundown

2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

It's All About the Books

Day 19
April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Welcome to my little corner of the blogoshere and the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Have you been visiting the different bloggers? I know there are too many to get to every one, but it’s great fun to pick a couple every day and go meet the blogger.

We’re rapidly approaching the home stretch and I’m pretty pleased I’ve kept up for a third year in a row. It would be easy to do a little backsliding, but I signed up for it and by golly I’m gonna do it!

Today S is for Sundown, my mischievous shapeshifter. He got a bit miffed when I interviewed Fallon and I had to promise him equal time. So last night, much to my surprise, he knocked on the door. Yes, it was the knocking that surprised me. He usually comes right into my study and makes himself at home.

Here’s an excerpt of our conversation that I hope you’ll enjoy. I’ve used the initials from his real name, Czun Dun Nhunfi and not the name he gave for Fallon to call him.

_*_*_*_*_*_

KC: So you’re out running about the woods this evening? Please tell me you’re not leaving Bigfoot tracks around here. (He looked a little bashful at this point.)

CDN: Have you not seen the show on television where they seek the Sasquatch?

KC: Okay, you did, but please stop it. And if you can’t help yourself, you need to leave bear tracks, or maybe cougar tracks.

CDN: Very well.

KC: I’d want to change the subject, too, if I were you. Fallon told me you’ve learned to drive.

CDN: It was fun, although I must confess Lt. Roxbury was not very enthusiastic about the process.

KC: I think because you scared him, Sundown.

CDN: I have been a passenger in his car many times. This would be what you refer to as “turn about is fair play” would it not?

KC: In all probability. I heard you enjoyed running through the woods on four paws on your vacation.

CDN: I was informed vacations are where one has as much fun as one can handle. Is this not true? Fallon and I had a great deal of fun. By the way, you should make sure your cat is inside at night. I have seen several coyotes very near here, although they would not approach me.

KC: Because they know you’re different. Be careful, Sundown. We have a lot of hunters here on the mountain. Do any Chal still live up here?

CDN: Only three, but they are not members of Clan Nhunfi and I do not know them well. They are old ones and seek solitude so we do not intrude on them.

KC: You’re a mystery to a lot of the Chal, aren’t you?

CDN: I am a direct descendant of one who died long ago. My existence was kept secret for many years.

KC: What made you… hmm. I’m not sure how to ask this since the Chal don’t actually give birth. What made you join your fellow nestling when you did?

CDN: I am a catalyst, a mirror image, of most Chal. Even while I remained within a host Chal, I learned many things. The Chal verge on a new era and I came to help guide them into it.

KC: What new era? I’ve not heard of this before.

CDN: The Chal are many. Our presence on your world is becoming known. Already many live as I do with a human companion. Technology exists that makes it possible to identify our DNA. We must adapt, and we must find new ways to protect ourselves until we are accepted.

KC: And I’m part of educating the humans that we’re not alone and the Chal are not a threat.

CDN: Yes. We appreciate your help. But not all feel as you do. To some we are evil and must be destroyed. These are the ones we must reach and the hearts we must change. Once they are sure in their hearts we mean harm to no one, that we can in fact protect this world from the Others, more will accept us.

KC: I know, but it’s not easy. The best thing you can do is life your life honestly. It’s the best proof you can offer that the Chal deserve to live here. And I'd be careful telling too many people about the Others. It will frightend them. 

CDN: As long as the Chal are here, we will protect this beautiful planet. Even though the Others brought us here as slaves so long ago, we embraced this world. We share in it's bounty. Should we not all share in protecting and maintaining it so our nestlings can prosper?  

KC: You sound like an environmental activist, Czun Dun Nhunfi.
(He blinked his emerald green eyes at me here and I thought for a moment he thought I'd insulted him, but I didn't mean it like that.)

CDN: Fallon said once we should leave the polictal nonsense for others and simply do what we can do when we can do it and not expect a pat on the back for doing what is right.

KC: Well, Fallon's a smart guy.

CDN: I am fortunate he choose me.

KC: I had a little to do with that, you know.

CDN: And we both thank you.

*_*_*_*_*

We chatted a little more, but he was eager to get home. It seems he didn’t tell Fallon how far afield he planned to come this night. He told me a few more things which will be in an upcoming book after I’ve had time to sort it out and write the story. Stay tuned!

KC Kendricks

website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys





Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for River Walk

It's All About the Books
2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

Day 18
April 20, 2013

For this A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’ve been concentrating primarily on the books which leads us straight to R is for River Walk.

River Walk is the third installment in the Sundown series, and it cuts a wide path to delve into the Chal and their shrouded past. What are the Chal? The short answer is they are shapeshifters who have lived on Earth for at least a millennium. Where’d they come from? What are they doing here? Are they a threat to humans? River Walk touches on some of that as Fallon is forced to ask his Chal lover Sundown some hard questions.

Sundown gives up a few of his secrets in River Walk. Some he’s happy to finally be able to share with Fallon - others not so much. River Walk takes a serious turn but in the end shows the strength of Fallon’s relationship with the two most important beings in his life - his lover Sundown and his cop partner, Sgt. Juny Mack.

River Walk also shows the depth of Fallon’s commitment to protect Sundown and his people. Fallon is first and foremost a cop. “Protect and serve” are more than words to him, and he makes some hard choices to protect and serve both the humans and the Chal.

The saga of Fallon and Sundown has endless possibilities for the singular theme that love overcome all odds. I hope you’ll enjoy the series, beginning with The Back Stairs, then Beneath Dark Stars, and then River Walk. With any luck book four, Moon Dances, will be available late 2013 or early 2014.


*_*_*_*_*


RIVER WALK


Gay romance with paranormal shift

Book three of the Sundown series

Detective Fallon Roxbury has a big problem. A twenty-year old cold case turned hot threatens to expose his secret - shapeshifters exist and they’re living in Montgomery Circle under his protection. Between a new witness and a group of fanatical alien watchers, Fallon’s scrambling to uphold the law and keep his promises intact. He already knows no power on earth can keep his shapeshifter lover from stepping into the mix.


Sundown has come into his own with his human lover by his side. Fallon is his compass, and shield, as he seeks to keep his Clan united and teach them most humans can be trusted. A catalyst, Sundown is rare among his kind, a descendant of heroes. The status of his Clan rests on him and he’s determined to see his people prosper on this world owned by humans - without the humans knowing shapeshifters walk among them.


Secrets have a way of being exposed. Fallon’s not the only one who knows about Sundown’s kind. A cop used to right and wrong being black and white, Fallon struggles to learn shades of gray. Their relationship is tested as Fallon and Sundown race against the clock to find a kidnapped shapeshifter before the Clan takes matters into their own hands. Because if they fail, Fallon knows his lover will be forced to stand with his people and act against him.

INTRO


“So when do you teach me how to change shape?”


His eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “Fallon, wearing a different skin is not possible for you.” Sundown blinked rapidly, looking more and more shocked. “You would wish it?”


I shook my head. “No, I do not wish it for myself. It’s not normal for a human, Sundown. Come sit on the couch with me.”

I picked up my coffee cup and eased down on the brightly colored scarves covering his sofa. I loved his room with its red and gold brocades, bead curtains, and bright cloths. It made me nostalgic for the days of Woodstock even though I’d not been born until nine months after the Summer of Love changed the world. I lifted my arm and Sundown nestled in against my side.


“Are you angry with me, Fallon?”


Was I? Some inner knowledge assured me he’d not harmed me in any way.


“I’m concerned. That’s different. What happens if I get hurt and some doctor discovers weird little cells dancing around inside me?”


Sundown sipped his coffee. He licked his full lips and took another drink. He was trying to stall me in the hopes I’d ask something else and give him the opportunity to bypass giving me an answer. I wasn’t going to allow him to get away with such a ploy, not this time. I waited. Sundown finally sighed.


“It hasn’t happened yet, Fallon.”


His answer didn’t surprise me. The Chal used every means at their disposal to protect themselves and the clan, whether or not we humans would approve their actions.


“Here’s a news flash for you, lover. Forensic medicine has come a long way in a short time, and it’s possible today’s technology can detect those cells now.”

Sundown sat up straight and twisted to stare at me. I saw Czun Dun Nhunfi, the pride of his clan, before me. His quick intelligence absorbed the information, considered the ramifications, and developed options. I stroked his smooth cheek with my knuckles, and gave his words back to him, gently.


“It hasn’t happened yet, darling. How many humans have you done this to?”


His chin lifted. “You once accused me of using you as my science project. In this, you’re correct. The knowledge handed down to me said it was indeed possible to blend with a human in this way and thus know their thoughts. I needed to know if this were true.”


“You’re avoiding giving me a number, Czun Dun Nhunfi.”


“What was handed down said it was possible for those like me. My ancestors who were catalysts did this to gain knowledge of their captors. It is said without doing this, the Chal could not have escaped slavery on this world thousands of years ago.”


If the folks at SETI only knew how right they were – and how late they were to the game.


RIVER WALK

Gay romance with paranormal shift

Book three of the Sundown series


KC Kendricks
website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys





Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quintessential


2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge
It's All About the Books
Day 17
April 19, 2013

This is the third year I’ve participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and this time around I’ve been concentrating on the books. But the letter Q is a stopper. Q means day seventeen is a bit of a departure. It’s time to get a little philosophical.

_*_*_*_*_*_

How would you define the quintessential writer? Maybe a better question would be CAN you define the quintessential writer? As the topic of our “Q” blog day, I thought I’d better start with the word itself.

Typing “quintessential” into the search box of the Merriam-Webster online dictionary got me to definition of the root word, quintessence.

1: the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies

2: the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form

3: the most typical example or representative

Ah… philosophy. You can debate with yourself and call it a philosophical discussion and no one will think you’ve tilted over the edge.

So is the quintessential writer one who is the most typical example of her/his craft? One whose writing is of the purest form? Should that writer produce perfect, flawless stories that appeal to a widest possible audience? Or is it one who cares not about fame, but about being part of a bigger whole?

I think the quintessential writer is one who loves and enjoys the craft. It’s an individual who constantly strives to improve herself/himself through the craft. It’s a writer who challenges the reader to learn, whether it’s a trivial fact presented in the text or the inspiration to search for and read available information. It’s a person who understands that through this thing we call the printed word, knowledge is shared and preserved, and people are inspired.

For myself, I like the idea of being an atypical individual who is a typical example of a writer. I don’t kid myself that I’m the consummate writer, or that my stories are masterly or superior. Don’t get me wrong - I think they’re good and apparently lots readers out there agree since they keep buying (and pirating) them. And while I do aspire to be the best writer I can be, but not necessarily the best writer of all time, maybe I’ll never be called the quintessential writer.

But then again perhaps one day someone will say, “she loved writing for the joy of it,” and I don’t think it could get any more quintessential than that.

KC


Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Poseidon's Pleasure

It's All About the Books

2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge

Day 16
April 18, 2013

Welcome to my corner of the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge. This is my third year and I’m not tired of it yet! The challenge is a lot of work, but I’m pretty good organizing projects. It’s preparation, preparation, preparation but it’s really worth it. It’s great to reconnect with bloggers from last year’s challenge and to meet new people and make new friends. Thanks for stopping by!

Poseidon’s Pleasure is the third book in the Southern Cross series. I doubt I’m the only writer who connects better with some characters than others. Brett Houston was one of those characters. I felt an instant affinity for Brett and I think it comes through in the story. He's a little older, settled, and yet he still longs to live life to the fullest - if he can get past his regrets. In the story, he gets a some help with that from the only man he regrets letting get away.


_*_*_*_*_*_

Poseidon's Pleasure
#8 Best Seller, Amber Allure, November 2009
contemporary gay romance available at
Amazon and other online book sellers

Brett Houston triumphed over his life. Raised by an abusive father, Brett sacrificed his personal happiness to keep the ones he loved safe. Ready to make big changes in his life, Brett treats himself to a Caribbean vacation. To his surprise, he ends up at a seaside ball, wearing a G-string and presiding over the festivities as Poseidon, the God of the Sea.

Mark Matthews left behind his hometown, and his first love, to put down roots in California. With vacation time to use, or lose, Mark books a holiday on the island of St. Lucia, unaware of the surprise reunion Fate has waiting for him.

Brett cautiously examines the fractured bonds of the past, while questioning the possibility of a future with Mark. It’s simpler for Mark. He won’t settle for anything less than a future tending to Poseidon’s pleasure.

EXCERPT

“So how’d you get to be Poseidon, Brett?”

“Wrong place, wrong time, is my best guess. They cornered me.”

“Aw, come on. Don’t tell me you’re not having any fun at all.” Mark offered me some sort of meatball on a toothpick. I accepted it and chewed, its peppery, bourbon-tinged flavor made my mouth water for more.

“I can’t say that. Actually, I’m flattered they asked. How’d you get to be a member of my court?”

I’ve no clue. When I checked in, there was an envelope waiting for me at the front desk informing me I’d been selected, if I wanted to, so I said why not?”

I looked him in the eye. “That ‘why not’ used to get you in all sorts of trouble.”

Mark nodded, and met my gaze without flinching. “I know, but I’m more careful these days.”

It was my turn to roll my eyes. “Sure, you are, Mark. I believe you.”

He leaned in, his green eyes hot and serious. “I am, damn it! I grew up. Now stop trying to make me feel seventeen again.”

Why should he get off the hook? The years dropped away, and I regressed to seventeen again, too. I drilled him with my best stare, and kept my voice down.

“You gave me the clap!”

Mark’s fingers closed around my wrist. “Christ! I didn’t do it on purpose, you know.” He scanned the crowd, and so did I. No one was paying any attention to us.

"I don’t have it now, for your information. I don’t have anything.”

I really wanted to believe that, but I knew I couldn’t.

“Bully for you. I’m not going to be your fuck buddy for the next few days, so if that’s what this is about, you can get over it.”

“Fuck bu…? Have you lost your mind?”

Yes, I had, and I didn’t care if I got it back. I stared at him as he forged ahead.

“I wouldn’t fuck you again, Brett Houston, if you were the last man on the island! I loved you, man, and you just walked away like I was nothing more than dog shit you needed to clean off your shoes!”

“You told me you weren’t out fucking anyone else. That was a lie, you little twink. You tricked your way across town and back.”

Mark ripped off his mask and glared at me. “You were the older know-it-all, the one in too much of a hurry to put on a fucking rubber!”

He had me with the truth on that fact. “You weren’t the only one who was younger, Mark.”

“And that makes it all better?” He leaned back and blew out a long breath. “Okay, okay. Can we not do this? We haven’t seen each other in twenty years, and we’re going at it like it’s only been twenty minutes.”

He had me again, because he was right again. Nothing would be served by sniping back and forth. Seeing him thrust me back to an uneasy era in my life. It was time for me to act like the man I was if I wanted to stay in touch with him from now on, maybe even call him friend.

“I’m sorry, Mark.”

He gawked at me, then stuck his pinkie finger in his ear and wiggled it around.

“I’m going deaf. I would swear I heard Brett Houston say he was sorry.”

“Funny. See me laugh? I mean it, Mark. I’m sorry for a lot of things.”

But I’m not sorry about those times I had you.

He handed me another meatball. His eyes asked me to accept it as a peace offering.

“I was young, dumb and full of cum, Brett. If it was the wrong thing to do, it came naturally to me. But you know that.”

I accepted the meatball, making sure my fingers stroked his as I grasped the toothpick.

“Yeah, I know. And I forgot what it was like to be young and free. I remember it better now, for some reason.”

Mark’s hand touched my thigh. My whole body tightened, my balls drew up, my cock swelled. I didn’t want to react so strongly to him, but I was glad I did. I’d forgotten what it felt like to make love, to touch more than some man’s hard dick. I ached to feel alive again...

POSEIDON'S PLEASURE
Book Three of the Southern Cross series
#8 Best Seller, Amber Allure, November 2009
Available now at Amazon and other online book sellers. 

KC Kendricks