Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday somethings (ramblings, actually)

October 30, 2016

I'm procrastinating. It's October 30th, and I'm waiting for the mercury to hit 70F. On October 30th. And it's going to. I do love Indian summer. Can I still call it that? Deuce knows there's a walk in his immediate future. He's watching my every move. It might be a good day to set up his tunnel, too. He'll like that. 

Deuce and I have to leave soon because there's fucking football  coming on at 9:30 AM this morning. 

Good news! Where There's Smoke is up to #5 on the All Romance eBook best seller list. I think the highest I'd ever made it, before today, was #7 with SABRE. ARE is having a Halloween sale. Maybe that'll drive it on up the list. That would be cool. (see update below)

We went out to dinner with the cousins yesterday. It was good to see them, but the venue was far too noisy for conversation. Either we can't seem to pick a quick place or the public at large has taken to shouting. The food was good, though. Hickory Bridge, Fairfield PA. Reservations are a must. 

A good witch, Spiderman, and Thor knocked on my door last night after we returned home. Poor Deuce! This is his first Halloween. He didn't know what the heck was going on at first. Then I'm sure he recognized Spiderman as part of our youngest generation from across the creek. 

I'm pondering what to do about Thanksgiving. With my mother in a care facility, it feels a bit tricky. She's not a prisoner there - my stepfather takes her somewhere every day. It's the taking her back for the night that's the problem. The place is nice, like a very expensive hotel with night time care, which we learned the hard way my eighty-year-old stepfather can't provide. Mom's taken to refusing to get out of the car. One of the staffers picks her up with ease and puts her in a wheelchair. She doesn't like either. 

I love it when my cell phone plays Lovely Linda by Paul McCartney. I need to call my cousin back about the Maryland Christmas Show, a big craft fair that will be in Frederick, Maryland the last two weekends in November. Admission is up to $8. Parking is $2. Do you think they realize this is why a lot of people are looking and not buying? Apparently not. I don't buy. I get ideas and make things myself. My honey and I are very handy that way. 

I bowled a 238 game Friday night. I had a dollar in the pot, too. I might get lucky and win the money on that game. I won't know until this coming Friday. 

Social commentary? Figure this one out. I keep hearing Jimi Hendrix sing part of the last verse of All Along the Watchtower:
Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl. 

And a thought to stop on: I really must get better about doing stretching exercises. 

Happy Sunday!

KC 
www.kckendricks.com
www.twitter.com/kckendricks
www.facebook.com/kckendricks

***UPDATE***
All Romance eBooks closed on December 31, 2016. Where There's Smoke is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Where There's Smoke for #MSS165

October 29, 2016

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday #165! 165? To use a word that's way over used, that's awesome! My Sexy Saturday is a weekly blog hop that allows you to sample some of the best romance available today. Use the list at the bottom of this post to navigate to the participating blogs. But most of all - enjoy! 

Here are seven sexy paragraphs from my latest release, Where There's Smoke. (Where There's Smoke is already a best seller at All Romance eBooks. Just saying.)

KC

_*_*_*_*_

“Fuck if I know.” I let go of his hand and took a couple of big swallows of ginger ale. I stood and offered him my hand again. “Let’s go dance before the thumpa-thumpa starts again.”

He held my hand as we walked down to the dance hall. We joined the slow-dancers, cautiously moving into the classic positioning for the fox trot. I noted he moved stiffly, as though he didn’t dance often or, heaven forbid, he felt trapped by my arms around him.

Or worse yet, he was aware of my growing erection and believed I’d lied about coming here for sex.

He looked at the sparkling mirror ball over our heads. “I love this song.”

“I love everything by DeRocher, but this might have just become my favorite.” I applied a little pressure to his back to coax him closer.

He resisted at first, and then suddenly closed the distance between us. Chest-to-chest we moved to the slow beat. He shifted his posture and I came dick-to-dick with another truth. He wanted me. It would be gauche to mention it, but privately I danced with glee. I brushed a kiss to his temple.

Jere leaned away, which had the effect of pressing our lower bodies even closer.  He looked worried, unsure. The dance floor lights sparkled in his dark eyes. “Leon, do you want to go to the back room?” 

*_*_*_*


WHERE THERE’S SMOKE
Book #10 of the Men of Marionville series

Leon McNamee successfully worked his life plan to a good job, his own home, and the one thing he always wanted as a boy - a dog. He hasn’t had much luck in the relationship department, but in Smoke, he has all the company he usually needs.

Jeremy Cooke’s new plan is to stay clear of entanglements and not get hurt again. He moves to Marionville to start over and decides to rescue a damaged dog. After all, he’s well acquainted with abuse.

Leon and Jere get acquainted over their shared love of dogs, but Jeremy holds close his secrets. When an argument escalates, disaster strikes. Leon has to fight to save Jere’s dog - and the man’s trust. At the end of the day, his best ally is a black Labrador Retriever named Smoke.

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

Join my new release mailing list by clicking the Yahoo group button on the left sidebar. Low volume, no chatter, just the news on new books. 



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Where There's Smoke by KC Kendricks

October 23, 2016

Where There's Smoke is now available! "Smoke" is the tenth book in the Men of Marionville collection.

When I wrote A Cat Named Hercules, which featured combined stories from those special felines who shared my life, I knew I had to write a story that included a special dog. I thought that dog would be Jett, but it turned out to be both Jett and Deuce. (That's Deuce on the cover.)

I hope you'll enjoy Where There's Smoke.

KC

_*_*_


WHERE THERE’S SMOKE
Book #10 of the Men of Marionville series
Contemporary gay romance available at:


Leon McNamee successfully worked his life plan to a good job, his own home, and the one thing he always wanted as a boy - a dog. He hasn’t had much luck in the relationship department, but in Smoke, he has all the company he usually needs.

Jeremy Cooke’s new plan is to stay clear of entanglements and not get hurt again. He moves to Marionville to start over and decides to rescue a damaged dog. After all, he’s well acquainted with abuse.

Leon and Jere get acquainted over their shared love of dogs, but Jeremy holds close his secrets. When an argument escalates, disaster strikes. Leon has to fight to save Jere’s dog - and the man’s trust. At the end of the day, his best ally is a black Labrador Retriever named Smoke.

EXCERPT

“Yeah, it’s like twice the size and population. I think people here are nicer, though.” He paused and took a deep breath. “I…had a bad relationship. Like, really bad. My bad judgment. I knew someone here, a relative of sorts, so I came here to… I guess start over.”

The flat tone of his voice spoke volumes. It was a hopeless defeat, a tiredness I’d never personally experienced. What tore at my heart was the total absence of any defiance.
I’d been bitter when Allan decided he didn’t like my dog enough to stay with me. Good riddance, I’d said. I’d been determined to put him behind me and move on - and I had. I sensed Jeremy had floundered on his way to ending the relationship. Maybe he still did.

Today wasn’t the day to pry further. Today was for building a friendship and finding possibilities.

I put my hand on his knee. “Are you sorry it ended?”

He stared at my hand but didn’t move away. “I’m sorry it began.”

I patted his knee. “Well, it’s Saturday. What should we do now? Take in a flick?”

“You’re nothing if not predictable, Leon. I knew you were going to suggest a movie some time before I let you drive me home.”

“Okay. No movie. You like boats?”

He leaned away and looked down his nose at me. “Seriously? You really can’t help yourself, can you? What’s wrong with sitting here and chilling out?”

“My dog is on a leash. My dog ate and will no doubt want to poop in public grass where kids play, and I won’t allow him to do his outside activities here. My dog needs to go home to his backyard, and then his crate for a nap.”

Jeremy straightened. “Good points. I guess you should take me and Mo home so you can get on with your day.”

I didn’t want to do that. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to him for fear I’d never see him again. My instinct said he’d never call me, and if I called him, he might hesitate to answer. I showed my desperation.

“Do you like baseball?”

“Yeah, I do! It’s really cool Marionville is getting a double A team.” He narrowed his eyes. “What?”

I hung my head. “I don’t know a fucking thing about baseball.”

“So why the hell did you ask me if I liked it?”

“Would you like to hang out at my place and watch the game? You can teach me about it.”

He stared at me, lips slightly parted, an enigmatic expression in his eyes. “Do you like anything other besides dogs?”

“I like to ski.”

He glanced at the sky, and then looked at me. “Water or snow?”

I grinned at him. “Both.”

“Thank God. I’ve never been water skiing, but I’m pretty good on the slopes.”

“I didn’t know they had mountains in Peoria,” I quipped, still smiling.

He smirked at me. God, he was adorable when he wrinkled his nose and rolled his eyes.

“When I was a mere lad, we spent every, and I mean every fucking Christmas at my grandfather’s place in Pennsylvania. I learned to ski. And you’re a smartass, Leon McNamee.”

“And you’re just too cute Jeremy Cooke.”

I didn’t actually think about it. Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have done it.

I slipped my arm around his shoulders, leaned in, and kissed him.

He started and sucked in a quick breath. I’d never had anyone go so still in my arms. But he didn’t pull away. His lips trembled under mine, and yet he didn’t push us apart. I moved my lips over his in a soft caress and ended the kiss.


WHERE THERE’S SMOKE
Book #10 of the Men of Marionville series
Contemporary gay romance available at:


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





Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A true blessing

October 19, 2016

Yesterday marked a major milestone in my life - my beloved hit the 10-year cancer free mark. It's a stark reminder that not all people who develop a metastasized cancer are so fortunate. 

I would have remarked on this yesterday, but the evening belonged to us. We didn't do anything special. We didn't need to. We're old enough to know there is no social convention to display our unity. It's not a thing we wear or drink. It simply is. 

So debate politics and other nonsense without us. We'll sit on the porch, together, and ponder those things in life that truly matter - and enjoy the last roses of summer.

We are together, and we are truly blessed. 

KC

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Stat check time

October 16, 2016

The internet puts the world at our fingertips. It also gives us information overload. Anything we want to know is out there. Well, some version of it is out there. In the cloud. Floating. Drifting. Doing whatever the hell it does until we search for it and reel it in. 

There are a lot of author groups and I belong to a bunch of them. I rarely post information although I do read. It's not that I'm anti-social, it's that I'm not doing anything vastly different from the other participants. Why take up air time just to say, "Hey, I do that, too!" There's enough posts to get through without that. 

In one of these groups, a recent discussion focused on websites so I paid attention. I do my own with some very simple software, but I'm always looking for ways to improve it. I'm not an ace by any stretch of the imagination. I'm simply too frugal to pay hundreds of dollars a month from something incredibly fancy and frilly when I'm not a fancy and frilly sort of girl. 

When the discussion turned to the number of people using cell phones to traverse the wide plains of the Internet, I paid attention. And then I zipped over to Blogger to check some stats. Why Blogger and not my website? 1)The log-in for my web info is a huge pain in the ass and 2) I knew I'd be writing a blog post, ergo, just make one Internet stop. I'm frugal with my time, too. 

So looking at my stats, it appears that only 17 people viewed my blog via cell phone, and I know one of those Android viewers was me on my Kindle. I showed a girl at the bowling alley the page about our trip to New River Gorge. 

What I actually find more interesting is that Chrome has the largest share of browsers used and Windows is the big operating system. The little rebel in my soul is snickering at me for being so mainstream.  

More to the point is I just don't see a new trend developing. I'm not going to revamp kckendricks.com to be more cellphone friendly at this juncture. (Sorry, all you hip boomers.) 

And now, curiosity satisfied, I'm going back to my writing. 

KC



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Seducing Light - #MSS163

October 15, 2016

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday #163! Thanks for stopping in at Between the Keys. Today I have seven sexy paragraphs from Seducing Light. Enjoy!
*_*_*


Nick said he planned to cut back on his workload. Being a fan and following along in the trades, I knew he’d purchased the property in Montana three years ago, and the house had taken fifteen months to complete. It wasn’t much of a stretch to surmise he’d made a nest to feather with someone out of the public eye.

The shift to directing movies instead of acting in them wasn’t an unusual one. Lots of actors did it with great success. And, like a lot of other A-listers, if directing didn’t work out, he would not have lost a thing. He could step back into acting, if he chose to, no harm done.

He was at least forty-three and looked five or six years younger, a big plus in an industry that catered to youth. Was he having a mid-life crisis? For a gay man, youth and good looks were important. If your preferences ran to macho, you wanted to nail the most virile and attractive studs, or have them nail you. This I understood all too well.

I wasn’t egotistical enough to believe for one moment he’d spied my scrawny ass and lost his mind, no matter how it appeared on the surface.

Everyone needed touch. Was it as simple as he’d denied his true nature for too long? If I wanted to be a part of his life—and I wanted that more than I wanted air—I needed to figure out where his head was. Right now, what was best for Nick was best for us. That wasn’t going to be easy to reconcile with the excitement I had over my re-blooming career and my renewed passion for my craft.

Twilight brought a few flying insects to my vine-shrouded retreat. I poured the dregs of my tea into a flowerpot, amused that the huge coleus in that crock obviously liked caffeine. The hinges of the back gate creaked. Boot heels clicked on the concrete walk, then stopped just behind me. He stood so close I felt his body heat. I smiled, but didn’t turn around.

“What took you so long?”

_*_*_*_

Be sure to visit all the My Sexy Saturday blogs. The list is at the bottom of this post.
_*_*_*_

About SEDUCING LIGHT:

Asher Myles struggled to put his life back together after an identity thief stripped him of everything but his talent for capturing light and shadow with a camera lens. With a new job and a new start, Asher’s on his way to Montana – and a meeting with the man he’s fantasized about since he first saw him on the silver screen. 

Nick Light, actor, director, and Hollywood royalty, doesn’t like paparazzi. When he agrees to have his Montana ranch photographed for a style magazine, the unexpected happens. Asher's not the man Nick expected to find behind the camera. Asher knows he'll have to convince Nick they belong together, but he has an edge.

Because if there’s one thing Nick can’t resist, it’s a man with a talent for seducing light.

Available at Amazon, iTunes and other fine online book sellers. 


KC Kendricks
blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com (you are here)
mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys



Sunday, October 9, 2016

Finally - autumn

October 9, 2016

I love the changing seasons. I love the rhythms of nature and studying how they echo within me. I can't imagine stepping onto my patio to the same weather every day. I would find that completely depressing, even boring. We are all wonderfully diverse in what we love, aren't we? 

In my world, winter comes sneaking on tiny cat paws. You sense the stealthy approach, day by day, until by Christmas you know winter has settled in for a stay. Spring arrives in a steady progression of green. Summer makes an abrupt arrival, like a plane touching down and dropping off a cargo hold full of mosquitoes. But autumn? Autumn is the guest whose presence you long for and who can't get here fast enough. 

The big poplar tree out back is my autumn herald. It's the first to have leaves turn yellow and drop by ones and twos until by October, it's looking a bit bare. Things are moving a bit slower this year. It still shows green which makes me wonder if everything will be later this season. 

Deuce and I went walking earlier today. It was a bit breezy and I needed a sweatshirt, but it was far from chilly. Deuce wore his orange safety vest because, state park or not, and even though it's not yet the season, there are already hunters in the woods. 

Brown leaves are down, and the sky has turned to that perfect autumnal blue, but the maples have not yet begun to change color, baring the odd leaf here and there. It was a great day to be outside enjoying one of country life's most enduring pleasures - a simple walk in the woods. 

Sweet seasons. Autumn's rhythms. I can't imagine a life without them. 

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com
twitter.com/kckendricks
facebook.com/kckendricks


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Email Etiquette and the Three Email Rule - IWSG


When I was in my early twenties, a good friend moved away. We used to pen letters back and forth, then emails, but in time, with so much mundane in our lives, the correspondences dwindled and finally ceased. We reconnect from time to time, via email, but it’s not the same. For one thing, she types in all caps. Regardless of that, it’s good to hear from her. But my last email went unanswered for months. I wondered if harm had befallen her. She’s fine, but it got me to thinking about mail and email etiquette.

There was a day, in the 19th Century, it was considered quite impolite not to respond to a personal letter. Email changed all that. Or did it? Polite is still polite. Isn’t it?  Is being too busy to respond a valid reason not to respond? If you’re legitimately swamped, I think a day or two lag is acceptable between friends, but not business associates. You can set an auto response stating you’re unable to answer until such and such a time for business.

Your friends will know why you didn’t respond yesterday. They’ll know you’re email provider is dumping everything into the spam folder or the dog is missing and you’re going crazy. (They'll be searching with you if they can.) Friends will know the day job is slowly killing you. Just don’t post on your personal Facebook while you’re ignoring them or they’ll never believe the “busy” excuse again.

One of my major gripes with every publisher I’ve ever been with is the failure to respond to emails. Even worse is the Three Email Rule.

I send to ask a question.
Publisher X responds with obtuse information I didn’t ask about.
I ask for clarification.
{echo chamber goes here}

See? Three emails and you’re done. I don’t consider it to be a good practice to ignore authors. Hey publishers! See all those INDIE OPPORTUNITIES out there? That’s where the authors are going when you ignore them.

And aspiring authors - build your email bridges carefully. Don't send cartoons to business connections. Don't send photos of naked men (or women), either. Be professional and use email etiquette at all times. At least until you have a circle of email friends you can claim as your posse. There's where you relax and have fun. 

Thinking about this has me thinking about improving my own practices. Maybe I need to reiterate that if you email me after nine o’clock at night, I probably won’t answer until the next morning because that's my reading time. Of course, reading time for an author is technically work. Perhaps I need to set an auto-response saying that. It would be the polite thing to do. 

KC Kendricks
website: http://www.kckendricks.com
mailing list: betweenthekeys-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pulling the tail of justice

October 4, 2016

The writing world is a small, yet global, community. Author groups abound, and we join and get to know, if not the person, their name and online presence. Memories are long in the writing community.

You may have heard the buzz-buzz over the course of today. Ellora's Cave is closing, so they say. Authors have the option of getting a reversion of rights effective December 31, 2016, or... Choices do remain although I'd imagine there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to prevent those moves well before the announcement was issued. 

Closing, they wrote. Not filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would open the financial records to the courts. Making that a moot point is one of the moves, I'd think. 

I have two KC titles caught in this. While I'll be glad to get the rights back, republishing those two stories isn't high on my priority list. They feel tainted, and I need to wait until that feeling passes before I even click on the file folder and look at the original manuscript. 

I could detail what went wrong, but I think most people in the writing world know by now it was two things: greed and the failure to treat people correctly.

Karma: destiny or fate following as effect from cause.

"Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." - Luke 6:28


While this is a sort of closure to many people, it's a beginning to others. I for one have no plans to sue for those monies owed me. I doubt that it's all that much, and I simply can't be bothered to drag out my association with that company. Is it cut and run? Sure.

Rarely do I actually talk about my faith, but I do believe there is a higher power at work in this world. I think it's a good power. At least it feels benevolent in its dealings with me.

I'd love to see some sort of justice done for those authors who are owed large sums of money. I truly would. Contracts were signed in good faith. If money was made on their product, they deserve to be paid accordingly. It's the RIGHT thing to happen.

There's another sort of justice I doubt any of us will be privy to. It's the justice meted out by some greater power, the universe, karma - whatever you choose to call it. And whatever you call it, it's a fan of justice. 

And sensible folk don't pull its tail, especially repeatedly.