Sunday, May 20, 2018

The danger of emotion

May 20, 2018

Our lives are being overshadowed by the lunatic fringe. 

Is it politically correct to call some of the people the organized media creates reports about "lunatics"? Probably not but I don't much care at this juncture. There's a feeding frenzy of unhealthy emotion and questionable mental health happening in the mainstream. It's frightening. 

The tragedy of others fills social media. People become unhinged and spew forth vitriolic emotion. They become a siphon of some celebrity's stated opinion. It has become all too real for them. Too few are able, or perhaps willing, to set aside emotion long enough to examine the root cause. 

There is a crisis of mental health in the world today. 

We spend our days listening to the lunatic fringe call everyone who doesn't agree with them racist, sexist, absurdist, obstructionist, abortionist, antagonist, capitalist, socialist, communist, fascist, bigamist, conformist, non-conformist, leftist, conservativist, cultist, diversionist, ideologist - the ist list goes on forever. If we don't agree with someone, we're labeled an IST of some sort. 

Worse than that, we're labeled a HATER and that hurts. But that's the point - to cause us pain. To elicit a strong emotional response which in turn causes us to say something "they" can latch on to and use against us to manipulate our thoughts and actions. Spending one's waking hours trying to control other people is not healthy behavior. People who have good mental health and who can control their emotions do not harm others unless in self-defense. 

It's time to spend less time and money on labeling and more time and money on solving. And to do that we need to stop. Stop and think. Speak responsibly. Act responsibly. Teach responsibly. Love responsibly. Guide responsibly. Nurture responsibly. 

It's time to set fear aside, not pass it on. It's time to address the root of the problem.

KC Kendricks

Saturday, May 19, 2018

New cover - Hot August Comes

May 19, 2018

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea? Yea! I'm glad I'm not alone. 

Deuce woke me about three-ish. It's difficult to sleep when an eighty-five-pound dog wants you to pay attention to him. In this instance, he needed to go outside in the middle of the night. We'd no sooner hit the mattress again when the idea that Hot August Comes needed a new cover hit me. 

Thanks, muttly. I'll keep after this one until I get it perfect because the story deserves it. 


Hot August Comes

Leo Corbin shook the dust of Westfall off his shoes to pursue opportunities among the bright city lights. When his mother suddenly dies, Leo returns home to settle her estate. His grief at her passing quickly turns to shock at what she left behind and rekindles old questions about the identity of his father.

Harrison Wade stuck by his father to help run the family farm. Life for a gay man in Westfall has limitations, but Harrison knows how to make the best of them. When Leo Corbin returns to town, Harrison’s quiet existence tilts. Leo is the guy who put an end to the high school bullying Harrison endured so many years ago. Harrison quickly discovers his old boyhood crush on Leo has matured into an adult attraction.

As the mercury rises, Harrison and Leo’s friendly buddy arrangement heats up. When hot August comes to Westfall, they discover home is more than where a man hangs his hat. It’s where he gives his heart.


KC Kendricks
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Friday, May 18, 2018

That rainy day feeling

May 18, 2018

Spring is a mixed weather bag in my little corner in the world. It goes from snow to ninety-degrees to frost warnings to rain. Lots and lots of rain. It can rain for days without ceasing. 

It's been raining every day for the last five days. Luckily, it's been a soft, gentle rain that has been absorbed into the ground. A mere two miles away, on the other side of the mountain, they've not been so fortunate and are dealing with flooding. 

Not to belittle what my eastern neighbors have been through, I saw this meme and smiled. 

I know the feeling, my furry friends. I know the feeling. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Poseidon's Pleasure for this MidWeek Tease blog hop

May 16, 2018

Welcome to Wednesday and another MidWeek Tease blog hop! Thanks to our host, Angelica Dawson, for keeping the blog hop up and running. Be sure to check out all this week's blogs by using the linky list at the bottom of this post. 

We're off to the Southern Cross one last time as Brett and Mark reconnect. They're destined to be together but the road to happiness is a bit rocky.



Poseidon's Pleasure
Contemporary gay romance (not fantasy)
Book three of the Southern Cross series

Brett Houston triumphed over his early 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 renewed future with Mark. It’s simpler for Mark. He won’t settle for anything less than a future tending to Poseidon’s pleasure.


“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.

“And 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...


Available at:


Barnes & Noble/Nook

KC Kendricks
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Taming Triton for the MidWeek Tease

May 9, 2018

Welcome to another Midweek Tease blog hop! This week I'm featuring some tidbits from Taming Triton. No, it's not fantasy. It's a tattoo on Austin's shoulder. Yes, catching Austin was easy - he didn't run. Getting him to let go of a few things? Not so easy, but Steve is the right man for the job.

Be sure to check out all the MidWeek Tease blogs by using the list at the bottom of this post.  Enjoy!


Taming Triton
Contemporary gay romance
Book 2 of the Southern Cross collection 

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.

* * * * *


“You’re early. I need to get a shower.” 

Austin's grin widened. “I’ll come wash your back, Steve.”

I put my hands on my hips and stared him down. “You’ll go get something to open that bottle later. It won’t take me long to get rinsed off.”

He set the bottle on the table, opened a drawer, and held up a corkscrew. “They think of everything at the Southern Cross.”

“I’ve known you six hours, and you’re not climbing in the shower with me, Austin.”

His gaze locked with me, gluing my feet to the floor as he stepped in front of me. “Me thinketh the lad protesteth overmuch.”

My heart stuttered, then beat faster. I wondered if he could hear it. “I’m not protesting. I’m taking a shower.”

His right hand reached out, coming to rest on my shoulder, briefly, before his fingers slid into my hair. The breeze coming through the open window cooled my heated face and brought the light scent of his aftershave to me. No musk for Austin, the fragrance was clean and icy crisp, like snow.

My knees started to shake as he leaned closer to me. His eyelids fluttered closed as his warm breath caressed my cheek. A drumbeat pounded in my ears, deafening me, as his mouth touched mine.

I wrapped my arms around him and held on tight.

* * * * *


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 that 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?"

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

Available at:

Barnes and Noble/Nook

KC Kendricks

Saturday, May 5, 2018

New obsessions

May 5, 2018

It seems like every spring I develop a new obsession. This year, it's infused water.  I know! If one is going to obsess on something, how fun is it that it's something healthy? 

Infusing water with a slice of lemon is nothing new for me. For years I've shoved a slice down into a bottle of water but this fancy infusion bottle takes it to a new high. Today's brew is Lemon Ginger Mint. 

It's just what it sounds like. Several lemon slices, two slices of ginger root, and two sprigs of mint fresh from where it grows beside the patio. Shove the ingredients in the sleeve, cap it, put the sleeve in the bottle and fill it with water. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavors. Just don't let it sit out of the fridge until it ferments, ok? 

This particular bottle was slightly more expensive than some but I wanted glass, which can go in the dishwasher. It came with a downloadable recipe book and I can't wait to test out their ideas. 

I'm sure I'll come up with a few concoctions of my own along the way. I'm sure I'll also be making a note on the location of the ladies room wherever I go. Life is a series of trade-offs. 

KC Kendricks

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Maybe I'm blogging incorrectly

May 2, 2018

I wonder if I'm blogging correctly. Maybe I need to ramble a bit more. They say content is king. Hmmm. Why can't content be a Queen? 

Being a fan of the headlines, I scroll down and read most of what Yahoo's homepage offers. I rarely read the articles because I detest having to click through to read the content and it seems like everyone is using that annoyance these days. Yes, even here at Between the Keys there is a click through to an expanding private realm full of personal pages and book excerpts.

Those backdoor pages are a work in progress and always will be. I work on them as time permits but I'm getting there. Okay. I'm adding content. Is it the correct content? Who knows? I think a lot of this stuff is a crap shoot.

What's the content in the headlines today? Sinkholes Plague Florida Neighborhood. Old Tweet Comes Back to Haunt Trump. Kayne Talks Slavery. Meghan Markle's Royal Allowance. 

Jeez. Is this really relevant content? I don't know. I'll confess to a curiosity about Meghan Markle and why a well-paid actress would need an allowance except she apparently has a liking for expensive clothes. And she is required to look tidy. Did the headlines mention little Princess Charlotte turns three today? Why, no. It's too much a happy thought. 

Sinkholes in Florida? I told my BFF not to move there. 

Trump tweeting? Not going there.......Not gonna go there.....Nope.....

So what about publishing news? That is the biz I'm in. Should I exclude everything else of interest in the world in favor of publishing? Maybe. 

It's a point to ponder while I sort out ways to better make content a Queen. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

MidWeek Tease - Netting Neptune by KC Kendricks

April 25, 2016

Welcome to another MidWeek Tease blog hop! It's been a busy few weeks for me, and Deuce was a sick puppy for a bit, but things have calmed down. I'm happy to be able to say, "she's baaack!"

This week I have an excerpt from Netting Neptune. No, it's not about Roman sea gods. It's about a sexy human swimming out of the sea in front of the man Fate has chosen for him. That's as close to mythology as we get in this story (or Taming Triton and Poseidon's Pleasure).

Be sure to check out the other participant's blogs using the linky below. Leave a comment. We authors love that.

Without further ramblings by the author, here is an excerpt from Netting Neptune. Enjoy!


“Listen, Colby, I’ll pay you once I get home. You’re trying to run a business here.”

“And I can afford to do a nice thing for a stranded traveler. Now give me the name of whatever official you spoke with, and I’ll make a few calls. Maybe your luggage will turn up.”

Theron pulled an envelope from his canvas duffle bag and handed it to me. The business card was stuck in the fold and I recognized the name listed. The man liked to make sure everyone knew he was in charge, but I groveled like a pro, when necessary, to get what I wanted.

“Thanks, man. I really owe you.”

I shook my head. “You really don’t, so let’s just forget it, okay? If we don’t, we’ll sit here all day and not get anything done.” I slid the cold crab dip at him. “Tell me what you think about this.”

Theron scooped up a healthy helping on a wheat cracker and shoved the whole thing in his mouth. I watched his pink tongue flick bits of dip off his lower lip. His gaze locked with mine. Very slowly he licked his upper lip. I squirmed in my seat. He didn’t even try to stop from laughing at me as he went for another cracker. I held his gaze.

“If you tease me like that again, babe, I’m gonna lick the extra off for you.”

He broke the cracker in half and handed a portion to me. “I wouldn’t want you to go to any more trouble for me.”

I took the cracker. “You’re a slick one, Mr. Bowman, but I’m known for my persistence.”

He popped a melon ball into his mouth and swallowed. “I sorta figured that out about you.”

Before I could reply, Josie tapped me on the shoulder. “Sorry to interrupt, but you’re needed at the front desk, Colby.”

“I’ll be right there.” I turned back to my guest. “Please. Finish your meal, then come inside and find either Josie or me. Josie, if you can’t find me, please take Mr. Bowman to my suite so he can get a shower and relax for a while.”

I didn’t linger. The sooner I took care of whatever problem had occurred, the quicker I could get Theron alone. After that, I was already too worked up over this guy and it wouldn’t be smart to speculate.

Right. I planned to cast a net over my Neptune and give him a Southern Cross night to remember.

The problem at the front desk was minor. The computer had pulled one of its usual tricks. I inputted my password, the software reset, and all was well. I slipped into my office and called the local airfield. Better to start with folks who were friendly. If they had off-loaded Theron’s suitcase, then I’d grovel.

They were certain Theron’s luggage had not been removed from the plane, and had no idea how it had been missed. It was likely back in Charlotte, North Carolina by now. I made another call, this one to the States to a travel agent friend of mine. He agreed to make a few stateside calls. The suitcase had to be somewhere, and I wanted to know where. Once I had the information, a decision based on my guest’s plans was possible.

Meanwhile, Theron could borrow some of my clothes for tonight.  Maybe, just maybe, I’d manage to steal a kiss, or more, before the party started. I checked the patio and he was gone, so I headed for my suite with all due haste. The sound of the shower spray zinging against the tiles greeted me.

My knees quivered with the knowledge he was behind the door, naked. I had to let him know I was here. I couldn’t let him stroll out of the bathroom in his birthday suit, all clean, smelling fresh like soap, and dripping wet. Could I?

No, damn it.

I knocked on the bathroom door and told him I was in the living area. He called back to me, his voice muffled by running water and the wooden door between us.


I raised my voice a few decibel levels. “I said I’m out here.”

“You could be in here, you know.”

Say…why the hell not?

Cock swelling, pulse skipping, I set a new “stripping world record” and opened the door. Through the clear glass enclosure, Theron’s gaze slammed into mine, wanting yet wary. I paused, shivering in the steam teasing my sweaty skin. His gaze flicked down to my erection, hanging heavy, and mine went to his.

Completely aroused, his penis jutted out, full and rosy red. Cut, he was a solid eight inches, maybe a bit more, with prominent veins. I was of an equal length, but he looked to have me on girth. From the sudden gleam in his green eyes, I didn’t think it a problem.

“Are you coming…in?” He stroked his cock with a soapy hand.



Theron Bowman is in the throes of a life crisis. He needs to make some serious decisions about his future, ones that will help him escape his past. He splurges on a two-week vacation in the Caribbean, and like everything else in his life, things quickly go awry and he ends up working at the Southern Cross resort to pay for his room. 

Forced by his father to break ties with his family, Colby Denton drifted until he came to rest on St. Lucia. With nothing to lose, he rolled the dice and bought a run-down hotel and turned it into a popular resort. To celebrate his tenth year on the island, and his birthday, Colby arranges for a series of festive beachside parties. When Theron swims out of the ocean in front of him, Colby has a brand new birthday plan – netting his sexy Neptune.

Available at:



Barnes and Noble/Nook


KC Kendricks

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Men of Marionville: The Un-Series

April 22, 2018

There are about a gzillion writing rules to be found on the Internet. There are probably ten gzillion opinions about those rules. So it goes for writing "wisdom." Opinions abound. Some say only a series will sell. Others vow and declare series aren't worth the time. What about the un-series? 

An un-series? Yeah, that's what I call it in private. In public, I call it a collection. The Men of Marionville is comprised of stand-alone stories all set in the fictitious town of Marionville. Where's Marionville? Somewhere between the Eastern Continental Divide and the Mississippi River, south of the Great Lakes and north of the thirty-fifth parallel. It's there somewhere, if only in my mind. As with all fictitious towns, it's exact location is a bit vague. 

The un-series began with Travis and Heath finally, after many years, coming home and reconnecting. Travis has a past with an older man named Dylan, but it's cool. Next up is the hotter than hot mechanic Tyler - who just happens to know, and is loosely involved with, this same Dylan. At least he is until Noel drifts in to his shop with car trouble. Dylan finally finds true love with Cassidy. 

And what is it about Dylan? Dylan, it turns out, has become the anchor to the entire un-series. He's just that kind of guy. He knows people. He employs people. He helps people. Dylan shows up when he's needed.

Kenzie came to Marionville to see his buddy Noel. Cassidy hires Shiloh who meets Gale and adopts a kitten. Jude lives in Marionville and when his rock star ex-lover comes to town, they have dinner at Dylan's restaurant. Scott goes on a mystery train ride with Dylan and his posse and meets Dakota. Keith is an old friend of Dylan's who comes to town to work for him and falls for the realtor he gets to find his dream home, Terry.

In The Right Brew, Caleb wants to have his microbrew sold at Dylan's restaurant. He passes his card to Dylan while on a date with Hollis. In Where There's Smoke, Leon meets Dylan at the card club one Sunday afternoon while deciding what he should do about Jere. It's also Deuces' first cover! He modeled the role of Smoke. It's more serious for Kory when his father is out of town and asks Dylan to give Kory a ride home from the county jail - which is where Kory met Griff. 

And in the [currently] newest Marionville story, Twice Removed From Yesterday, Chandler comes to town to see his college buddy Travis and ends up as a temporary bartender at Dylan's restaurant, where August is the new manager. 

The Men of Marionville. No sequels or prequels. Everyone gets their own story. But what the author likes, that's me, is that I get to go back and check in with old friends. It's nice to know Travis and Heath made it legal even though Dylan and Cassidy don't feel the need for ceremonies. That shy Gale has grown with Shiloh's protective love, and Mason and Kenzie are doing alright. 

Yep. It's an UN-series. I like it that way.

KC Kendricks

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Seventy degrees and the sun is shining

April 12, 2018

Things have been a little slow in my world. It's been like molasses in a cold January. Honest. I think I have a bad case of "It Needs to Actually Be Spring!" Today is the first truly spring-like day we've had and suddenly I feel like communicating with words and not grunts and glares. It's a miracle! 

I've got a list about a mile long. My yard is its usual after-winter mess. Ditto for the patio. I'd had grand plans to get the pool filled early this year. What I didn't have plans for was to put down new flooring, but that seems to be on the spousal unit's list so guess what? We're doing the bathroom floor. That means I'll want a new countertop, sink, and backsplash. Why wouldn't I want that? And, of course, a fresh coat of paint in there. Not. On. My. List. 

What is on my list is finishing up the ghostie story. Our hero buys a house and finds it's already occupied. Then there's the boss who's a friend and becoming more than a friend. And maybe the boss had a little something to do with our hero's ex-boyfriend leaving him. And maybe the ghost had a hand in running people out of "his" house throughout the years. But maybe the three of them work it out to cohabit in peace and harmony. The story is coming along. Now if I can just discipline myself enough to finish it. The cover is ready. 

The cover that's not ready is for Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted. With Loose Id closing, I need to get the cover created. It will FINALLY BE THE COVER I WANTED FOR THIS BOOK!!!!  Seriously, with all the bitching and whining about covers, why doesn't everyone learn to do this task? It's fun, not a chore! 

Before anything else happens, I'm going to leave the day job, go home, and take Deuce for a decent walk. The poor guy has cabin fever. What's a young, energetic Lab to do when the weather is bad and his parents don't want to go outside? Get depressed, that's what. This afternoon I'll see if I can lift his spirits with a jaunt through the woods. I know it will elevate mine. 

KC Kendricks

Saturday, April 7, 2018

So Blogger taught me a lesson

April 7, 2018

Every now and again I think it might be nice to change the appearance of the background here at Between the Keys.  Next time I get those thoughts, I'm turning the computer off and going for a walk to clear my head.

Earlier this morning I thought I might look at the Blogger themes. Just look. (Just fucking LOOK, Blogger!) I toddled over to look at current themes and got caught in a Blogger loop. Scared me silly. I didn't like what was on the screen and I couldn't get back to the regular look. I hadn't changed anything. I hadn't clicked 'save' on anything. 

After frantically trying to figure out what the fuck I was going to do, I bowed to the inevitable and clicked on save. This was a bad start to the day.

But by some miracle of a power greater than Blogger, my beloved ethereal fuzzy hexes returned. All my backdoor pages, my hidden little world, returned. 

Is my background dated? Probably. But it's better than the option I almost got stuck with this morning. 

Dated, smated. I'm going to leave it the hell alone.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Heralds of spring

March 31, 2018

I'm hesitant to actually suggest this for fear of the repercussions, but I think spring may have arrived in my neighborhood. From my desk, I can look across the backyard and into the woods. I've spent years planting daffodils in my woods. Many of those clumps are blooming. Most of them need to be dug up and thinned, an easier job now that we have the John Deere. 

What pleases me most this year are the little blue snow glories along my lower driveway. I first planted them on the bank in 1981, or maybe it was 1982. Regardless, they've had decades to multiply and finally, this year, put on a grand show. That's the thing about country living. Everything moves at its own pace and we rarely have a say in it. I think it's worth the wait.  

Even more telling that spring may finally be here are the little peeper frogs. This past Wednesday night brought a drizzly rain and a deep fog. I stepped outside with Deuce and heard one or two tiny voices in the distance. When I arrived home from bowling last night there were many loud voices. I loved hearing them, being grateful they're still around to sing. I think they have some sort of magic that tells them it's safe to emerge from their winter sleep.

Spring brings a lot of work. We have a lot of yard clean-up to do this season. There are branches down all around the perimeter of the lawn, a lawn which is getting a bit of over-seeding this year. It's time to take the snowblower off the John Deere and get the loader back on it. Yesterday, I put the bistro patio set on the porch outside my office and I can't decide if I like it there. I'll have my mind made up on that by next weekend and can swap things around if I chose. 

While we wait for the ground to dry out, we have a few inside projects to complete. There's new flooring for in the bathroom and a fresh coat of paint. That may well lead to new kitchen flooring. Laminate is cheap and easy to change out. 

I rescued my late grandmother's set of East Lake platform rockers from my mother's basement and they're getting a fresh coat of paint and new fabric on the seats and backs. Those rockers set in my grandmother's kitchen, one at each window, for decades. When I visited my grandparents, I often found them in the kitchen watching the birds from their respective spots. My grandmother's rocker is replacing the chair in my office and my grandfather's is replacing the rocking chair the spousal unit hangs his "wear again" clothes on. (We need to discuss that habit.)

Yes, there is much to do. It's spring, you know.

KC Kendricks

Friday, March 30, 2018

44444 - You know it will never win

March 30, 2018

Frequent readers here at Between the Keys have probably figured out I quite admire the American Muscle Car. Yes, the caps are intentional. I believe American muscle is in a class of its own regardless of manufacturer. (Although I admit the only Ford in the bunch is the Mustang.) 

I drive a 2011 Dodge Charger and I pay attention to what's going on with my expensive piece of machinery. Yesterday, on the way home from the day job, the odometer rolled up to 44444. Of course, I pulled over and took a quick snapshot. 

44444 got me to thinking about playing the lottery. Why wouldn't it? I had two-bucks in my pocket to help make someone's dreams come true. What numbers to play? Certainly the number 4.

As you may surmise, I didn't win. Winning numbers last night in the Maryland Lottery Multi-Match were 03-07-14-18-22-27. Okay, so I did play 14 but one match gets a girl zippo. It was worth a shot. 

The next interesting number that will roll up on the odometer is 45678. I've got about six weeks to figure out how to play that one. Wish me luck!

KC Kendricks

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Striking "one day" off my list - The Rea Cheveyo Chronicles

March 25, 2018

Many, many, many moons ago I began my writing career using the pseudonym Rayne Forrest. I had some good successes but I wanted to branch out. KC was "born" and that took off like a rocket. Here I am fifteen years later with a lot more knowledge under my hat and just as many questions as to where I go from here as I had in 2003. Changes in the publishing industry come hard and fast these days, but as with all things, a door closing means a door opening. Nature isn't the only thing that abhors a vacuum - so does publishing. 

One of my early successes was The Rea Cheveyo Chronicles. I set out in 2004 to write an intentional trilogy. I love science fiction and world building so off I went, embarking on the spaceship Rea Cheveyo. I'm still proud of myself that I finished the project and of how well it turned out. 

And the world turned...

When the publisher who had the Rea Cheveyo Chronicles closed, I mothballed the trilogy. It had a great run. The middle book was even an EPPIE finalist. It just didn't feel like the right time to shop the series around and find a new publisher. 

At the beginning of this year, 2018, I took stock of how many stories I had mothballed. It's a bit sobering. There were a few I'd actually forgotten about. The time was right to begin the work of getting those old Rayne Forrest books back out, starting with the chronicles. I decided to put both pseudonyms on the cover - they're both me so why not? 

The books are in the process of populating to the various online booksellers. By next week this time, all three will be available. I'm working on updating my website, which now includes all the available Rayne Forrest books. 

What does the future hold? Will we travel through space? One day perhaps we will. Until then, I'll just do what writers do and imagine for myself how that may be. 

Rea Cheveyo. Flowing spirit. 

I think there's beauty in that. 

KC Kendricks
Rayne Forrest

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Eye of the Beholder for the MidWeek Tease

March 21, 2018

So they say it's spring...hmmmm. Must be spring in the city because halfway up the mountain it's still rather chilly outside.

Welcome to this week's MidWeek Tease blog hop!  Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for continuing to host the blog hop. If you're an author, zip her off an email about joining in. Be sure to check out all the participating blogs by visiting

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean it's not hot in here! This week I'm highlighting a longer excerpt from Eye of the Beholder. Perhaps with that title, it shouldn't surprise you our hero finds himself a voyeur. They do say the Big Apple has everything. 

Be warned - this little tease is more explicit than the usual tease. 
It IS spring, you know. Enjoy!


I was just about to tuck my toes under the sheet when, for no real reason, a movement on the other side of the narrow alley drew my attention. I yawned as the lights in the apartment across the way and down a story went out. The lower half of the window rose about six to eight inches and a pair of male hands set a block to keep it from falling closed. The hands, now unseen, pushed the sheer curtains apart to allow what little breeze stirred this night entrance to his room. Still visible in the glow of the ever-present city light, I watched as naked, he flopped down on his bed, his back arched as he stretched his arms over his head.

Why I didn’t crawl between the sheets and go to sleep will forever remain a mystery. I never aspired to be a peeping Tommy. I might watch a little gay porn now and again, but what poor deprived country boy hadn’t resorted to the joys of the Internet to get by until he could find a real man? That didn’t make me a pervert. Unlike a few of the tricks I’d had since arriving in lower Manhattan, I didn’t even like to have sex in public places. But in the blink of an eye, I became a voyeur.

I suppose I was surprised to be able to see him so clearly, but I didn’t give it much thought. Hell, who could think? Not me. I could only watch and ache as my cock swelled.

He was beautiful. His face was shrouded in shadow, but the city lights revealed his lean, toned body in all its well-formed splendor, cast in liquid silver. He stretched a second time, and I longed to trail my fingertips over the long lines of his torso. I cupped my balls and settled them in a more comfortable position, then stroked my shaft. Arousal teased my nerve endings before it shrieked through me as the man on the bed ran his hands over his thighs.

The inside of my thighs prickled. I soothed the skin, rubbing gently. The hair on my legs was rough under my palms. Were his thighs dusted with hair, or did he have a darker pelt like mine? I followed his path as he caressed the softer skin where leg blended to hip, sliding my fingertips down the valley and in alongside my sac. My dick throbbed, but until he stroked the dark rod that rested on his pale abdomen, I couldn’t give in to the temptation to reach for relief.

I groaned as the man flipped over onto his belly and wiggled his hips, the perfect muscular mounds of his buttocks alabaster in the starlight. He spread his legs, knees well apart. How could he do that to me?

Was that a movement in the shadows behind him? Heart pounding, I froze, fearing my presence would be detected by this second man, who eased between the man’s open thighs, his sizable boner pointing straight out at my phantom lover’s ass.

I forgot how to breathe as the new man poured something from a container into the palm of his hand, then caressed those lovely white globes, dipping low into private spaces. He gripped the first man’s hips and pulled him up to his knees. His tool rode against the man’s ass, then ever so slowly vanished from view. I fisted my cock and pumped, rapidly approaching the edge. I sucked in a lungful of air and stopped, transfixed as they changed position.

They were on their knees now with the man of silver’s back pressed tightly to his impaler’s chest. The top thrust into him with an easy steady rhythm. I strained to catch a glimpse of the bottom’s dick, but his arm, moving in rhythm with each thrust, blocked my sight. Silver’s head dropped back. They kissed, a long, passionate melding of mouths. I stretched out my legs and rolled the velvety skin that covered my shaft over the hard inner core.

I was beyond them now. They filled my vision, but the heat coiling inside my belly burned too hotly. My arm met their pace and matched it. I panted, struggling to breathe and keep from surging ahead of them. They faltered, the man in front falling forward onto all fours.

My balls tingled. The scent of my own musk rose from between my sticky fingertips. The top shoved his hips forward and hung there, spine arched and head back. I blinked the sweat out of my eyes and focused my blurry vision on the two men across the narrow alley.

They sprawled on the bed in a jumble of arms and legs. A lighter flared, momentarily casting the face of the top into stark golden light. The tip of a cigarette glowed orange and hot, then the smoker perched on the edge of the mattress, his hands busy in the shadows between his legs. I recognized the posture as the one assumed for condom removal.

I’d intruded, and that simple gesture that showed they cared enough to protect each other said how much. I grabbed a tissue, wiped off, and lay down. I tugged the sheet up and rolled over to face away from the window. I hoped the next time they got down and dirty they’d keep the curtains closed and not tempt me again.




Andy Madison is city born and bred. Filling in for a friend at a coffee shop, Andy meets Ben Hardin and sparks fly. They spend a long, lazy Sunday afternoon together to get to know each other, and when they decide to let nature take its course, they go to Ben’s cozy apartment.

Ben’s taking his time becoming acclimated to his new life in the big city. He’s got a great job he loves, he’s making new friends, and his starter apartment has the most incredible views a young man could dream of. Ben’s discovered there’s more to admire than the arts, music and architecture. All he has to do is look out his window and across the narrow alley.

Andy thinks he’s seen it all living in the Big Apple, but what he spies through Ben’s window is something that can only be enjoyed by the eye of the beholder... 

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KC Kendricks
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