Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Friendly Neighbor for the Midweek Tease

January 16, 2019

Welcome to another MidWeek Tease blog hop! Does it feel like 2019 is off to a slow start? It does for me. My goal is to pick up some steam and get a wee bit of momentum going. The spousal unit's recovery following neck surgery is progressing ahead of schedule, so I might actually get some words on the page within the next few days. 

Be sure to check out all the participating MidWeek Tease blogs at midweektease.blogspot.com,

This week, I've got an excerpt from an older story that has languished on the hard drive. It has been made a pretty thanks to a nifty little program (and a few dollars), and it's ready to go back out into the world. 

Soooooo - coming soon - A Friendly Neighbor. 

Enjoy!
*>*>*>*>*

“Thanks for asking me over, Jackson. I’ve, um, noticed you before.”

Jackson met his gaze. “I’m happy to provide good service to my neighbors whenever I can.”

Kyle’s cheeks grew pink. “I’m done with spying on the neighbors.”

“Shucks. I mean, why, since you obviously enjoyed watching me?”

“That wasn’t the real me. I’m a more ‘hands-on’ sort of guy.”

Jackson’s skin prickled. To be honest, he’d hoped the conversation would take a personal turn, but how fast should he cruise Kyle? If he listened to his dick, he was already going too slow, but he’d never let his penis rule him again. Besides, he’d yet to confirm Kyle was gay. Ninety-percent sure still left room for error.

“Yeah, I noticed that about you. I shouldn’t tease you like that. You could have company some night, and they might not like it.”

Kyle snorted. “They’d like you, Jackson.” He lifted his glass and downed the contents. 
“Thanks for asking me over, but I need to get to bed. Tomorrow’s a work day.”

“For me too.” He had to bite the bullet and ask Kyle or risk not getting the chance again. 
“Would you like to come for dinner some night? Maybe this Saturday?”

“Sure. What can I bring?”

Jackson stammered. He’d not expected Kyle to say yes to dinner without even thinking about it. “W-whatever you like to drink if you don’t like rum.”

“Ah, you’re a rummy. I’ll bring a rum cake too.”

“Excuse me. I need a moment. You bake?”

Kyle laughed as he got to his feet. “No. I’ll go to the bakery around the corner and order one.”

Before Jackson had time to respond, Kyle leaned over and kissed him. Jackson sucked in a deep breath, and the man’s spicy scent exploded in his brain. Those full lips moved over his with skill and promise. Jackson opened his mouth to deepen the kiss, to get a better taste, and Kyle pulled away.

“I’d better go. Goodnight Jackson. I’ll let myself out.”

He wanted to leave? Jackson grabbed Kyle’s hand.

“Whoa. You can’t kiss me like that and then walk out the door.”

“Rushing into bed isn’t the smartest thing two people who just met can do, Jackson.” 
Kyle squeezed his hand. “I’m really sorry about that because I got a bad case of stupid happening.”

Jackson stood and backed Kyle against the side of the balcony. He wanted to show Kyle just how easy it would be to get stupid together. He pressed against Kyle, thigh-to-thigh and belly-to-belly, making sure Kyle felt how hard he was. Kyle wrapped his arms around him.

“Maybe I need to reconsider saying goodnight.”

“Damn right you do.” Jackson didn’t wait for a reply as he slanted his lips over Kyle’s. This time Kyle opened and let him in, meeting him boldly. It was Jackson who pulled away.

“I gotta catch my breath.”

“I bet you’ll breathe better in your bedroom.”

Jackson held out his hand as he backed away. “Follow me and we’ll see.”

Kyle grinned and took a step. “So you’re going to lead me astray.”

Jackson put his index finger up to his lips. “Shhh. We don’t say s-t-r-a-y in front of the c-a-t.”

“I’ll be more careful in the future.” Kyle closed the balcony door behind them as Max darted inside. Jackson let go of his hand and pointed toward the dark hall.

“Stay right here until I turn the lights on.” Jackson reached inside the first doorway, and a dim light came on. “Bathroom.”

Kyle took a step closer. Jackson backed up another step and flipped another light switch to turn on a small bedside lamp. “And bedroom.”

“Your place has all the amenities. Booze, mood lighting, a big bed and you.”

*>*>*>*>*>

ABOUT A FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR

Kyle isn’t a voyeur, but when his sexy neighbor forgets to close his curtains, he finds it difficult to look away. And why should he? It’s just a little harmless fun, and maybe an erotic bit of self-pleasure to balance out the long hours he’s put in on the job lately. Next time, he’ll exercise some self-control and turn away from the too-hot for words spectacle, but just this once he’s determined to let himself enjoy the show.

Jackson might have been offended by his neighbor’s voyeuristic evening had he not taken advantage of the delicious show he unwittingly inspired. Unwilling to let the opportunity to turn a smoldering fantasy into a scorching hot sex life, Jackson invites Kyle over for a drink and is pleasantly surprised to find Kyle is smart, sexy, and someone Jackson wants to get to know—in bed and out.

*>*>*>*>*>

A Friendly Neighbor is an enjoyable, light-hearted read that is both humorous and sexy. I would love another glimpse into the world of these two and see how they’re fairing in the future. – Long and Short Reviews

Look for A Friendly Neighbor to be available within the next few days!




Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Midweek Tease - Tango in the Night

January 2, 2019

Welcome to 2019! A new year. A new cycle of seasons. It's a bit bemusing to see both sides of that "new year" coin. Has it become boring after so many years, or is a new adventure beginning? Stick around and we can find out together. 

I wasn't sure where to begin 2019 in the MidWeek Tease Blog Hop. Then the batteries in my mouse quit (as they are wont to do). The cursor was on Tango in the Night. It's kismet! 

Be sure to check out other Midweek Tease blogs here. Keep in mind, we just made it through the holidays. Not everyone is up to speed yet. 

Here's an excerpt from Tango in the Night. Enjoy!
_*_*_*_

Ellis sat behind his desk, chin anchored in his left palm while his right index finger idly tapped the page in front of him. Lucky for me, a member of the janitorial staff busily washed the windows in my new office and I had an excuse not to go in there yet. 

I had two choices. I could hide my interest in him, be the gruff senior agent, or I could let him know how strongly he had things stirring inside me. If I chose the latter, we needed to hash a few things out, namely how not to allow a mutual sexual curiosity affect the job. 

Standing in the doorway, looking at him, I didn’t know which would win today. Ellis glanced up and saw me. He straightened, his chest expanding as he drew in a deep breath. I nodded and stepped into the squad room. 

“Ellis. Are you on call, or just catching up?”

“I’m puzzled, mostly.”

I snorted and let the southern drawl creep into my speech. “Ain’t we all, most days?”

He almost smiled, the corner of his mouth twitching, and mimicked my accent. “I heard you hailed from Ken-tuck.”

“Yep. With a name like ‘Jubal’, where the hell did you think I was from?” I snagged the nearest chair and rolled it a bit closer to him. “What are you puzzled about?”

His gaze drilled into mine, his warm blue eyes eloquently saying he meant me. I smiled to let him know I appreciated his interest but was careful not to show encouragement. He must have gotten the message. He flipped a folder at me. “There’s a few missing pieces here.”

I opened the folder and kept my surprise out of my voice. “This is an old case. I worked it for a while, but it went cold.”

“It ties into a new one, I just know it.”

A cold fist seized my heart. This case was potentially dangerous. I looked up at him. Ellis was running on instinct and that gut feeling that settled over you when you know what you can’t yet prove. His earnest expression begged me to believe him. I did, and I wished to heaven I could warn him off this one, but it would tip my hand.

“Keep digging, then. Trust your gut.”

“Should I trust what my gut says about you, Agent Graham?”

I closed the file and laid it back on his desk, my gaze flicking to the window washer. He was finished, putting all his supplies back in his cart. I waited until he exited to reply. 

“Ellis, you and I need to get a few things straight.”

He tapped the signet ring. “That’s not your initial. The guy you were with last night?”

“No. I was with a friend last night. You were on a date.”

“So, maybe I should take you out on a date.”

“Ellis…” I froze as his fingers closed around mine, a delighted little quiver pulsing through my penis. I was intensely curious about the man, but we were in too public a place for this to continue. I pulled away. “Don’t do that here.”

“Will you go out with me, Jubal?”

Persistence was a good thing for a drug enforcement agent to have, but I wasn’t sure I liked his directed at me. I wasn’t sure I didn’t like it, either. It was certainly different to be on this side of the pursuit. 

“Why did you come to my house last night?”

Ellis looked away as a flush crept up his neck. “I needed to know if your boyfriend lived with you.”

I clamped down on my temper. He was out of line, and his eyes said he knew how far. I counted to five before I responded. “He’s not my boyfriend. Don’t do it again. If he sees you dogging me, it’ll scare him.”

“Like I’m scaring you, Jubal?”

“You’re not scaring me.”

“Oh, the hell I’m not.” Ellis leaned back in his chair. “Okay. We’ll do it the old southern way. Even straights say a year is enough to mourn. You can play the reluctant widower for another two months. I’ll let you. Then you go out with me.”

“Boy, you don’t know anything about me.”

“Wrong. You were all anyone talked about when I transferred in. I took notes.”

“You’re an arrogant fucker, aren’t you?”

Ellis grinned as he stood and stretched, treating me to an eye level display of the full, rounded bump at the base of his zipper. He looked down at me, his expression pure insolence. 

“Takes one to know one, Agent Graham.”

_*_*_*_

About TANGO IN THE NIGHT:

Jubal Graham is back on the job after a shooter took the life of his long-time partner, and sent him into a coma followed by months of rehab. Determined to have justice, Jubal is focused on finding a killer, not a new romantic entanglement. Ellis Banks, with his smoldering blue eyes and denim-clad swagger, is a distraction Jubal can’t afford – or ignore.

Ellis Banks came to Philadelphia to bust a drug operation; one that connects to the same case agency legend Kentuckian Jubal Graham is working. Ellis finds himself drawn to Jubal, but Jubal holds him off. Sure that Jubal is interested, even though he wears his slain lover’s ring, Ellis mounts a determined siege. 

Jubal’s surprise at having a suitor develops into a growing affection for Ellis, one clouded with old fears. Fate ripped one lover from his arms, and now Ellis is in the line of fire. Jubal’s courage can protect Ellis, but is it powerful enough to love him?


Tango in the Night is available at:




Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Retrospective - The Year It All Changed

December 31, 2018

We've notched another year under our belts. Seems like I just posted the 2017 retrospective. But then again, I did.

I've often said "live and learn" and "work smarter, not harder." To that end, I decided to try to be smarter this year and document the months as they pass. Did it seem to be a bit strange beginning a blog post that won't be out for eleven months? Yep.

January
Baby, it was cold outside! January 2018 brought frigid temps. My little sunroom office was chilly, even with an auxiliary heater. I wrapped up in a blanket and kept working - to a good end. Twice Removed From Yesterday, the twelfth book in the Men of Marionville collection was finished and subsequently released. I decided the three books I'd had out through a notorious now-defunct publisher could indeed be salvaged and re-released. What precipitated the decision? I saw a cover model sitting on the floor and knew he was perfect for one of the stories. Nothing like making more work for one's self.

February
The Snow Moon month arrived with snow. It's true! I settled down and worked on several projects including covers for three older Rayne Forrest titles. Getting The Rea Cheveyo Chronicles back out had been on the back burner for too long but I finally got there. I also decided it would be just fine to put both my pen names on the cover - Rayne Forrest and KC Kendricks. Why not? The covers turned out to be the best the trilogy ever had. That's what happens when you get to translate your own vision.

Also in February, I set to work going over one of the aforementioned titles from that "publisher that will not be named." After a lot of editing to the professional editor's work, A Perfect Hire was ready to go and I pushed the button. For more about A Perfect Hire, visit the page on my website.

March
After being on hiatus for many years, I made The Rea Cheveyo Chronicles available again. Kiana, Talyss, and Reza are older science fiction stories written under the pen name of Rayne Forrest. The middle story, Talyss, was an EPPIE finalist, something I'm quite proud of to this day. I decided to put both pseudonyms on the covers because of Amazon's unfair algorithms that punish books that don't sell x-number in a twenty-four hour period. These are for lovers of more traditional male/female romances. For lovers of GLBT and science fiction, I hear you. It may happen. Just remember it takes a long time to write a book.

I also learned to create an alien with light blue skin on the book cover is very challenging. Maybe I won't do that again.

March 20, the first day of spring, brought a snowstorm to my area. Ten inches of the white stuff fell. Spring? Really?  I don't think spring arrived "in real life" until March 28. That's when I heard the peeper frogs.

April
April started off with a whimper. Yes, I whined my way into April. I discovered that two years ago I forgot to format and load Loving Luke (Rayne Forrest title) at Amazon. As they say, "better late than never." Before much else got finished, Deuce fell sick. I don't need to tell anyone who loves their dog how distracting that can be. All is well now. The dog recovered faster than my wallet and my writing momentum. And while the WIP did advance, there was nothing much to do but move on to May.

May
Well, things got derailed a bit more in May. We put down new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom and it was a bitch of a job. Not enough of anything else got accomplished except getting the spousal unit in for an MRI on his back. I watched the royal wedding and surrounding hoopla and revamped the Hot August Comes cover, which I still don't like it. The story needs something more on the cover but I'm not sure of exactly what. The last week of the month is my annual spring vacation. You can read about that here.

June
What to say about June... I got a kitten and there I went. Off on a tangent. It's just he was so damn cute when I brought him home. The spousal unit and I took a major detour through Billy Bob Thornton's drama, "Goliath." I was unfamiliar with Billy Bob's body of work but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Goliath.

The spousal unit spent a couple of nights in the hospital and everything ground to a halt.

On the writing front, I took care of the business of writing but didn't get either work-in-progress completed. I had to be content with knowing I'm almost there. The level of writing output does correspond with this season of my life, that of caregiver to aging parents and an ailing partner. The end of this season will come all too soon as loved ones depart this world.

July
I almost got to the finish of Please Use the Door. I would have if the spousal units brothers hadn't come to town. Missed it by about fifteen hundred words - but it's all good. Finished it the first full week of August. I got two covers done for Christianne France and published a July/August newsletter. As I said, it was all good. I attended the wedding of a young cousin without the spousal unit. Much fun was had. What happens in Waynesboro stays in Waynesboro...

August
August was great! I shoved Please Use the Door out the door on the 13th, finished the new cover for Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted (it finally looks the way I want - yes!), and worked on Steel Wheels. We attended two family reunions and the wedding of the spousal unit's third grandson.

I'd been wanting to redo the covers on my Amethyst Cove series and I made the attempt in August. It's been a struggle to get just the right look but they say the third time's the charm. This set is the best yet.


September
September came wheeling in fast. The words started to flow on Steel Wheels and I made fast progress. It helped that I always take a week's vacation after Labor Day and so I was home.

By the end of the month, Steel Wheels was finished and ready to publish, and I'd spruced up the bathroom with a new countertop, faucet, backsplash, and a fresh coat of paint. Good month.

October
The month got off to a great start - I pushed the button to make Steel Wheels live. That precipitated the need to complete the next newsletter. One task always leads to another in my world. Then things came to a screeching halt when my stepfather fell and broke a hip. Welcome to my world.

November
Working out the wrinkles in a "new normal" is very time-consuming. My stepfather was moved to an assisted living facility and he may be there permanently. The spousal unit had all the necessary pre-operative testing necessary for his December 14 surgery.

Did I make much progress on the writing front? No, I did not. Am I happy about that? No, I am not. Such is life. All we can do is keep plugging away in sorry little drips and drops.

December
"I heard a bird sing in the dark of December - a magical thing and sweet to remember." - Oliver Herford

With the spousal unit having surgery, everything else stopped, even the day job the management of which I'm grateful to say allowed me to dip into my sick leave to have enough time off to be with him. He had two surgeries on his neck, one on December 14 and the other on December 17. As I'm completing this blog it remains to be seen if the surgeries will improve his quality of life. I rather have my doubts since he now has a rod fused in his neck. 

And while this year ends on low notes, I think Robert Plant summed it up best. 
"The mirror tries to please me, the image wouldn't stay, the stranger is too perfect to take my breath away. The future rides beside me - tomorrow in her hand. The stranger turns to greet me, and takes me by the hand."

The future is a stranger,  a mirror image of a new and unknown me, ready to lead me down the path I choose. Yes, I do see the choices, and while many are limited by the needs of others, there are still directions I'm free to choose. 

The Year of our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen will be a balancing act to take care of myself in the face of the demands of others. I'm strong, healthy, smart, and determined. That has been a winning combination for all the years of my life and it won't change now. 

I hope you'll stick around to see how it all unfolds.  

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Riding the whirlwind

December 23, 2018

It's difficult to wrap my head around the fact this year is rapidly coming to a close. It's not been quite the annus horribilis HM Queen Elizabeth spoke about a few years ago, but it's not been the best of times. 

My partner in life has had two surgeries on his neck, one on December 14 and one on December 17. He's now in a facility for rehab and he is NOT loving life. For my part, this facility is too close to home. I've been running the road, there and back, repeatedly. It's the same facility my mother is in although she's in the lockdown Alzheimer's unit. Even now I have a collection of items he wants me to deliver to him. And then there's my stepfather - he's in a different assisted living facility recovering from a broken hip.

A caregiver I am not. It's not in my nature. There is multiple staff personnel to see to his needs and yet it's difficult to put my foot down and demand time for myself.

I don't know myself these days. Somewhere along the line in 2018 I lost the plot on my entire life. I desperately want to get it back. I haven't written a word in at least a month. Having the time to write wrenched away from me has left me feeling crushed. Don't they know I can't continue to help them if I'm not given time to do something that feeds my own soul?

I'm not alone in this. People everywhere around the world face circumstances that force them into negative roles. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going, hoping and praying with every step the burden will ease. And it is a burden.

We aren't supposed to admit that those we love can be burdensome. I've rarely been afraid to express myself, though. It's a burden. 

My best friend moved to Florida several years ago. She calls and we talk but it's not the same. The distance has changed everything and it will never go back to what it was. To declare otherwise would be an untruth. 

Christmas will be a solitary affair for me. To say that makes me sad would be another untruth. Not having to put on a happy face is a relief. Not having to exchange gifts is a relief. Not because I have a "Scrooge" attitude but because I'm simply exhausted by the demands of being a caregiver. Perhaps I should be cavalier and say those nearest have my time and there's nothing more precious than that I can give them.  

There is one truth in all of this. Someday, soon I hope, I will get back to writing. And I hope the emotions I'm feeling will find their way onto the page. That is what writers do. We ride our own whirlwinds and spin them in the direction we want them to go, down into the spaces between the keys. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com





Sunday, December 9, 2018

Internet censorship is a growing concern

December 9, 2018

Why should my content on the Internet be censored due to its adult nature?

No, I'm not trying to be funny.

An author friend seems to be scandalized that some of my books lack a strong "over 18" warning. Why would that be a problem? I'm not responsible for someone else's kids being on a computer/phone unsupervised. If you're a parent, block your kid's access to the Internet. I'm serious.

Another author just had her book cover censored by Facebook for not meeting their "standards." I didn't know Facebook had any "standards." I know Twitter doesn't. Maybe that's why I enjoy Twitter. Anything goes, for the most part. I enjoy the freedom of expression. If someone is too radical for too long, I can mute them.

I just read where Tumblr is now blocking adult content. I certainly understand that Yahoo, which owns Tumblr, is within its rights to do so. What I don't like is someone else deciding what is "adult" and what is not. Again - parents should police their children, not me. 

If I come across a site that has content beyond what I want to have burned into my corneas, I simply click away. It's not difficult. It's like changing the channel on the television. Just click and leave.

I remember back in the day, way back in 1984/85, when Tipper Gore decided some music lyrics were too explicit to be in a song. For you younger folks, I'm not joking. Who's Tipper Gore? Ex-wife of Vice-President Al Gore, under Bill Clinton. It was a personal turning point for me, politically speaking. I knew at that moment how destructive censorship is to free speech and creative, artistic freedom of expression.  Now, as a more mature woman, I understand how censorship is a weapon of those with a Socialist bent. 

I have no illusions that my single voice will make much of a difference. I have neither money or beauty, power or position. I see these things unfolding and I know it's not the "good thing" we're told it is. 

The Internet is "of itself" an adult medium. It's not a babysitter. It's not a cure for parents too lazy to see to their children. 

And what of those who use the Internet to express themselves creatively? 

Conform or be cast out. 

We need to seriously consider where censorship is headed. 

KC Kendricks  









Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Back Stairs for this week's Midweek Tease

December 5, 2018

Welcome to this week's MidWeek Tease! Be sure to check out all the participating blogs by using the linky list located at midweektease.blogspot.com

I've been walking a jagged path lately but that's life (or so I tell myself). Today seemed like the day to wave at everyone and let y'all know I'm still lurking about, writing when I can and grousing about it when I can't. Just ask the spousal unit. He'll say I don't "grouse" about not having the opportunity to write, I flat out bitch about it. He should know. He's the individual I bitch at because he's the one sucking away my time. Please keep him in your prayers that his surgery on December 14 is completely successful. But I digress...

Today for the MidWeek Tease I have an excerpt from The Back Stairs that has never been shared anywhere. Fallon has been suspicious of Sundown even as they've become lovers. In this moment he realizes just how different Sundown really is. 

Enjoy! 
_*_*_*_


First thing in the morning, I planned to have a long talk with my partner, then with the captain. I needed a break. Maybe I could wrangle a week off to rest and regroup, and get my head screwed back on. I was going to fuck up this investigation because I was too tired to focus. But for right now, I had to look alive and keep Juny from seeing something was wrong. I took a deep breath. A strong hand squeezed my shoulder.

“Do you need help getting up?”

I raised my head at the familiar voice, and the hand swam into focus in front of my face. I accepted his offer and he hauled me to my feet. Sundown was strong for such a slender man.

“What the hell are you doing here, Sundown? I told you to stay put.” I searched his face for some clue of why he’d followed me. The urgency in him was palpable as he gripped my wrist.

“I can help, but you must trust me.”

“How can you help? You weren’t here. You couldn’t have witnessed anything.” My heart dropped to my feet. “Do you know this victim, too?”

“I’ve seen him around. He was a runaway, like Michael, only this boy was troubled. I think he did not care for his life and probably welcomed death.”

My stomach churned. “Not like this he wouldn’t, Sundown. No one would.”

“No, you’re right. Time is precious.” He tugged on my sleeve. “Fallon, will you trust me?”

I frowned at him. He kept asking me to trust him, and I didn’t know how to do it yet. “What are you going to do?”

Sundown looked worried. “You’ve got to pay attention to the dog. He’s got something to show you.”
What the fuck? “The dog has to show me something? Why the dog?”

“He has to show you because no one can question him.” His scent and heat washed over me as he stepped closer and lowered his voice. “I beg you, Fallon. Do this.”

Sundown released my wrist and backed into the shadows before I could draw a breath to argue. Behind me, Juny yelled for me, calling me to come see something he’d found. I rolled my shoulders and tried to get my mind back on my work, but my brain refused. I yelled at Juny to take a chill pill. He shouted a few obscenities at me, but I didn’t hear all of it. The dog was back, his green eyes glowing at me.

No way. No fucking way.

The strangest notion I ever had in my life teased the fringes of my sanity.

Think, asshole. When have you ever seen a dog with green eyes?

No, I hadn’t, ever. Dogs don’t have green eyes.

Sundown does.

The world took a nasty dip in front of me, tilting me sideways before it suddenly righted itself. The dog whined. I hunkered down, but my shaking thighs betrayed me and I ended up with my knees on the ground to maintain my balance. I held out my hand to him and whispered what should have been complete and utter nonsense.

“Sundown?”

The dog rushed me. I grabbed at him to keep from falling over. His tail wagged furiously as he licked my face while I held on to his wiggling body in a vain attempt to get him to calm down. My vision hazed around the edges, and for a split second I feared I was about to black out. What had Sundown done to me at his apartment? He spoke of burning herbs. Had it been something with properties similar to marijuana? Was I fucking high?

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and turned my focus inward. I experienced no dizziness, no urge for sleep. My heart pounded abnormally fast—and hard—but that was all. No strange aftertaste when I blew my breath out. No munchies, either. I was much too sober to believe what I did. I opened my eyes and stared at the dog. With great care, he grasped my wrist with a mouth full of very sharp teeth and tugged.

Heaven help me.

“Okay. Let go of me, and I’ll follow you.”

He released me and raced away. I stared into the blackness, unable to fully comprehend what I knew was true.

How could I possibly believe Sundown could change… I needed help. Too many crime scenes. Too many mutilated bodies. Years of being on the front line and seeing the carnage that mankind inflicted upon itself had won. I’d snapped. No vacation could fix me now.

_*_*_*_

ABOUT THE BACK STAIRS:

Fallon Roxbury has a nose for trouble and the uncanny ability for landing in the middle of it the moment he finds it. While investigating the gruesome murder of a young male prostitute in the red-light district, Fallon gets a whiff of something very strange. Forensics has unidentified hairs. Very unidentified hairs, like nothing in any of the textbooks. Following a tip from a person of interest, Fallon meets Sundown, an apparent hustler who knows a lot more than he will admit.

Getting personally involved with Sundown breaks every rule in the police manual, and in Fallon’s own personal code. Sundown is like a drug, and Fallon can’t stop at just one hit. When Sundown is forced to reveal the truth, Fallon’s world is turned upside down, and he’s left with only two options: check himself in for psychiatric evaluation, or accept a new reality with a strange shift.

Shapeshifters, that is.

THE BACK STAIRS is available at:

iTunes/Apple



KC Kendricks
















Saturday, November 24, 2018

Peace and freedom

bittersweet
November 24, 2018

The new normal is here. 

In my world, Thanksgiving has ceased to be the traditional tableau. This shift has been a gradual thing over many years. Children marry and move away. Friends abandon us to meet the demands of their own spouses and families. Grandparents pass from this life. Siblings become grandparents. Parents age. We age.

I passed our day of Thanksgiving quietly. We decided to keep our meal small and simple. Never as a younger woman would I have thought my Thanksgiving table would be set for only two. With his health issues, next year it may be set for only one. With each year I become more and more of a statistic. 

Curious as to my comments on the holiday last year, I scrolled back and discovered one of the few poems I've written.  I'd actually forgotten I did that. It reminded me that last year, as with this year, it was just the two of us. 

There's something to be said for quiet, private celebrations in the midst of the chaos modern living has become. We had no timetable. We let the turkey dictate the time we prepared everything else. There was no need to rush. No stress of having to have food ready as guests arrived to partake of it. The turkey landed on a platter to rest and then we cooked. 

We ate a lot less, let me tell you. Without witnesses, Deuce got more turkey, too. Loki apparently doesn't like poultry, silly cat that he is. And horror of horrors, the pumpkin pie is still unbaked. I think I'll do that today. Pie, with a glass of eggnog, can be our supper. Deuce can have a shot of whipped cream. Yes, we are now freed of Thanksgiving obligation to eat in traditional form. 

I feel as though I've transitioned into a singular place unexpected. I wonder if people accustomed to sitting in the midst of a huge gathering fear to arrive at such a place? It's not so bad, you know. 

This stepping back from the world brings peace and freedom. One by one those whom I love have been stripped from me, changing my life but not who I am at my core. I've paused to take a breath but now I'm ready to once again forge ahead. 

Peace and freedom may be my new mantra. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com





Thursday, November 15, 2018

And then it snowed

The view ahead on the way home 11/15/18 at 10 AM
November 15, 2018

I've been MIA for the last ten days. It seems like everything in my sphere needed a spin or a brake applied. Just when it seemed I was getting control back, it snowed. A lot. Don't misunderstand me - I like snow days. It's just I've got a lot to do at the moment.

Last week the spousal unit had a consultation at the University of Maryland. His surgery is scheduled for December 14. Happy Holidays, anyone? He'll be there a week and then go to a rehab facility for at least a week. I've promised Deuce ice cream to ease our separation anxiety. 

We've been apart some over the last twenty-five years. He's had other surgeries. He's gone to visit his brothers while I stayed home to take care of the dog. I've attending writing conferences and such on my own. I guess I'm not looking forward to this because of the time of year. I'll be alone for Christmas for the first time since 1992. I think I've gotten used to the man being around. But if it snows for Christmas, I'll be fine. Between the pickup and the John Deere, Deuce and I won't be stuck. 

My work-in-progress languishes. I've not opened the file in two weeks. Perhaps I should be working on it now, but I've decided to pursue those things I can complete this day. With the snow falling, everyone at the day job loaded up what work could be done from home computers and headed out. My four tasks are saved and emailed back to myself to retrieve tomorrow morning. I've updated my checkbook program and taken Deuce for a snowy walk. And since my blog is as much for me as for you, dear readers, I've blogged. 

Now I think I'll take a moment to enjoy a cup of tea and watch the snow fall.  Loki insists he wants to give the snow another look-see. I'll open the door for him and see how it goes. I predict he'll back up instead of step into the snow. He's not a stupid cat. 

Forward we go. I suspect this snow will melt quickly, but it's not a good sign for this winter. I may be blogging about snow a lot. 

KC
www.kckendricks.com






Sunday, November 4, 2018

Seasonal addictions

November 4, 2018

Autumn is here. I observe the seasonal changes around me with a wonder that never seems to fade. Out in my woods, I'm still a child, soaking up the mysteries like a sponge. In autumn, I see the world preparing for rest while celebrating the passing of another bountiful summer. 

I've had my share of trials and tribulations this summer just past, but hasn't everyone? As I edge toward my own autumn I'm inspired by October. I've seen the bloom of spring, endured the heat of summer. Now begins the time for me to wrap myself in my finest colors and face the sun without fear. Winter, with the pristine beauty of her deep sleep, will arrive soon enough. I will be like that final leaf, refusing to fall until the wind seduces me with his promise of freedom. 

The end of summer brings the end to a few more things. I have a confession to make. I’m a Blizzard addict. Yes, that’s the sad, ugly truth. This has been the summer of my addiction.

I’m not sure how it all started. (Yes, I am but I don’t want to put the blame on my best friend’s shoulder even though she’s the one who forced me to go to the Dairy Queen one late night when they had Key Lime Pie as a flavor.) It doesn’t matter how, but that first Blizzard was my undoing.  

I was able to resist the lure of that creamy, soft, icy, smooth confection for months. Then, one miserably hot day, I was on my way back to work at the end of my lunch break and I acted on impulse. I made that fatal right-hand turn into the drive-thru. Do you know how many calories are in a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard? Me neither. And please don’t tell me.

So there it is. My secret. I’m standing up in front of everyone and admitting – I’m a Blizzard addict. It could be much worse. I hope that with the coming of cold weather I can put the habit behind me. We'll see, won't we? 

KC



Friday, October 26, 2018

JMO - I need a new homepage

October 26, 2018

I'm a fan of headline news. My homepage is set to Yahoo so I can get my mail and my horror-scope first thing in the morning. You can tell an awful lot about an article just by the Yahoo headlines.

Take anything that says, "Sponsored." I avoid "Sponsored" like it's the plague. Too many click-throughs. Who has the time?

Yahoo Lifestyle. Nope. I don't go there, either. One of the recent headlines through Yahoo Lifestyle had a nun yelling at a woman for breastfeeding her baby. Okay - in order to write this post I went and took a look at the article. As I suspected, more is gleaned from what it DOESN'T say.  It left me wondering if the intent was rabble-rousing.

Health headline - we need more protein. Heck, we knew that back in 1984 when Wendy's asked all of television land, "Where's the beef?"  What? We still can't eat beef in 2018? Seriously? 

Style section. Who's style? The Duchess of Sussex in Oscar de la Rents shouldn't be a headline. We EXPECT her to wear Oscar freakin' de la Renta.

Politics. Oh, my God. Make my head hurt why don't you? 

Stock market. Oh, my God. Make my head hurt worse. 

I think the jury is in. I'm making my blog my home page. Forget all that other crap. I want my little orange hexes to make me feel happy. Orange like a happy sunrise. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com




Sunday, October 21, 2018

Small change, big impact

October 21, 2018

Every year as summer slips into fall I swear I'm finished with any home and garden work. Autumn is the time to kick back and enjoy the brisk air and perfect skies. Every year I am determined I will relax and breathe. 

Ha. Ha. It didn't work this year, either. Ha. Ha. Ha. 

Circa 2005, the spousal unit wanted to get an entertainment center. At the time I wasn't about to refuse him.  He was in the middle of chemotherapy and an ugly piece of furniture was a small thing to agree to. I didn't know he would eventually clutter it up with a gzillion DVDs he never watches. All my subsequent attempts to get this monstrosity out of my house have failed. #men

Fast forward to 2018, and I'm still staring at this thing. But now, Himself decided he wanted an electric fireplace. I pondered it for a bit and decided it couldn't make it any worse. When he dusted out his wallet to plunk down $199 for the thing, again, I couldn't argue. The unit arrived yesterday. It had the WORST set of instructions I've ever seen. Truly.

It took us five hours to put the cabinet together. No joke. We prevailed and the unit works, thank goodness. 

In the end, it's a vast improvement. I'm not sure the photos really do it justice. The TV now fills up the space, and the end cabinets are closer together. The DVD collection he doesn't watch is stored in the old base which is now beneath the bow window. It just looks better. 

Don't tell him. It'll go to his head. 

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







Wednesday, October 17, 2018

It's just life

October 17, 2018


Tomorrow marks an important anniversary for us. On October 18, 2006, in a last ditch, hail Mary procedure, my beloved underwent surgery at Johns Hopkins to remove half his liver. It worked and we've had another twelve years together. He remains cancer-free, thank God. 

Now we're facing another surgery, this one to relieve pressure on his spinal cord. It's pretty scary. Neither of us are looking forward to it but if it's not done, he will eventually be paralyzed. The operation could have the same outcome. I don't like my future hanging on a roll of the dice. 

To say that I "worry" about being alone is a bit dramatic. Of course, I think about it but it doesn't fill me with dread. The spousal unit is nine years older. I expect to outlive him. I've lived alone before. I will manage. 

Life is full of changes. It's foolish not to consider how you will handle different scenarios. I've made up my mind I will be fine - I believe that mindset is the key. 

I could whine and cry about my lot. My father died thirty-five years ago, my mother has Alzheimer's Disease, her second husband is rapidly declining and I'm tending to his affairs, my best friend moved a thousand miles away, and now my husband is once again fighting for his life. 

But you know what? We all have a season to carry burdens. This is mine. It's just life. 

KC

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Latest release - Steel Wheels by KC Kendricks (#midweektease)

October 10, 2018


Welcome to another MidWeek Tease blog hop! The MWT is hosted by Angelica Dawson and we thank her for providing this opportunity to join in with other authors and strut our stuff. Be sure to check out the other participating blogs using the linky list below.

This week, I have a second, more serious tease from the new release, Steel Wheels. Things are going well for Ian and Rick but there's always a hiccup or two along the way to happiness. 


Enjoy!


_*_*_*_*_*_



INTRO

I drove by the bank and deposited the Steel Wheels check and headed home as fast as the ʼCuda could safely maneuver through the in-town traffic. Rick was on the balcony when I walked into the condo.

“Agent Mohr. Did ya miss me?” I laid the contract packet on the charging table with our electronic gizmos. “I’m going to indulge in a drink. Do you want one?”

“Sure, babe. Make it about three fingers with a lot of ice.”

That sounded good to me. I poured two bourbons and carried them outside. I handed one to him. “Sláinte mhaith."

He tapped the rim of his glass to mine. “Good health to you. Cheers."

We sipped and I leaned over to kiss him. He drew back and raised an eyebrow. “New aftershave, Mr. Coulter?"

Just fuck me. Fuck me here, fuck me now. I never gave it a thought he’d smell any transfer on me.

“Nope. I can’t say as I even like it." I collapsed into my chair. This conversation had to be handled delicately.

He sat eerily still. “You met an itinerant salesman and he offered you a sample?”

As much as I didn’t want to talk about this, honesty was the only way to handle it. That way he had of not moving spoke volumes about how upset he was. In his past, he’d lived with a man who did cheat on him. Sometimes, like now, his emotions got the better of him.

“No, Rick. The guy at Steel Wheels hit on me again.”

“Wow.”

I had no idea what that meant and I was not about to ask. Anything I said would probably set him off. I’d just keep quiet until he had a few moments to process what I knew was a spike of jealousy. He struggled with the emotion. I struggled to keep my smart-ass attitude in check.

We were learning when to tread lightly with each other. If there was ever a time to test how well we were doing, it was now.

It seemed like an eternity before he spoke. “Okay. What did you do?”

“I didn’t deck his ass. He’s likely the kind that would sue me. What pissed me off is that just yesterday I told him I was happy about getting married.”

His enigmatic gaze locked with mine. “Obviously that didn’t make an impression on him. Please tell me you walked away from doing business with him.”

I took a deep breath. This could get dicey. “No, I didn’t. What I did do was call Gary and arrange for him to do the bulk of the work so I can limit my time there.”

He was quiet for a few minutes. “Will you do me a favor?”

God alone knew what he might ask me to do. I steeled myself to the possibility of having to say no to him. “You know I will if I can.”

“Go take a shower. His scent on you is more than I can stand.”

ABOUT STEEL WHEELS



When Amethyst Cove’s reigning drag queen is blackmailed, private investigator Ian Coulter searches to find the truth. He doesn’t believe his friend committed a murder and he won’t allow money to change hands. He gets support from his FBI lover Rick Mohr.

Ian and Rick have conquered a long road to be together. Working together is easy. Keeping their relationship strong is more difficult. With their wedding day approaching, Ian questions if he can go through with the ceremony but not his love for Rick.



When Ian is propositioned, Rick falls back into old ways. Ian’s guiltless but overcoming his jealousy isn’t easy for Rick. With time running out, they leave no avenue unexplored in their quest to find the truth and the blackmailer – before the honeymoon cruise. 

STEEL WHEELS is available at: 




For a limited time book one of the series, Double Deuce, is at a special anniversary price at Amazon and iTunes. See how the story begins! Get your copy by 10/15/18 when the regular price comes back. 

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com
www.pinterest.com/kckendricks

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

New today! Steel Wheels by KC Kendricks

October 3, 2018


Welcome to Between the Keys! Today I'm highlighting the new release, Steel Wheels. Steel Wheels is the fifth installment in the Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series. This time, Ian and Rick help a friend who is targeted by a blackmailer. 

Thanks for stopping by as part of the MidWeek Tease blog hop hosted by Angelica Dawson. Be sure to check out all the participating blogs using the list found at http://midweektease.blogspot.com

Now here's a spicy hot tease from Steel Wheels. There's more at my website, too. Enjoy!

_*_*_*_*_*_


From Steel Wheels:

Sprawled back against the pillows in the dim light, he idly stroked his hard dick. I paused to admire his lean frame. The familiar tingling settled in my balls. My cock swelled. I could look at him for hours and never get tired of the eye candy.

I perched on the edge of the bed beside him. “You need to gain back a few pounds. How’s the shoulder feel tonight?”

“It’s better every day but I sure hope I never get shot again. I really hated being helpless.”

I peeled my shirt over my head without unbuttoning and tossed it on the chair. “It was pretty fucking scary for me too, hon. Roll over and let me look at the incisions."

He grumbled and grunted but he flipped over. I got the bottle of vitamin E oil out of the drawer and dabbed some on the scars. “It still looks red and nasty. They really opened you up to reconstruct your shoulder blade. I’m glad it doesn’t hurt much any longer."

“It still aches, deep down, if I lift anything. It's different from in the beginning, though. It’s not like that pain.” He took the bottle from me, recapped it, and set it on the nightstand.

His shoulder blade had broken when the bullet struck it, deflected, and lodged near his spine. The reconstruction surgery had been long and involved. I didn’t doubt for a nanosecond it ached deep down. I stood and finished stripping. I flopped on the bed and we rolled to face each other. We hadn’t made love since obtaining the marriage license.

“It’s been a long five days.”

“Seems like years, babe. I’ve suffered these last few days. You almost got it up the butt in your sleep a bunch of times. Whatchya got in mind for tonight?”

I moved to press him beneath me. “Giving you a long look at the ceiling.”

He smiled and I kissed him, teasing his lips with the tip of my tongue. He stroked my back and sides with warm hands as he moved restlessly. I flexed my hips to his, coaxing him to join me in a mock fuck that would soon become real.

I showered kisses on his neck and shoulders on my way down to his dick. I had in mind to suck him off and then fuck him. He deserved a night of hedonistic pleasure. He buried his fingers in my hair as I went down over him, deep throat.

Giving good head is an art form. It’s very intentional. You have to pay attention to your lover and his responses. I had great material to work with. Rick was vocal about what felt good and, lucky for me, he thought everything I did was just right.

The thing was I’d figured out his signals. I knew by the way his thigh tensed under my palm if I was hitting it for him. When that long, lean muscle quivered, I knew I had him ready to pop.

I reached down to give my hard-on a stroke and moaned with relief. I wanted to be rock solid when I fucked him and I would be. Nothing short of being inside him would satisfy me tonight.

I swirled my tongue around the rim and licked the flat mushroom of his glans. He loved that move. I did it three more times and switched my attention to his balls. They drew up tight against his body and I moved back to his cock. His breathing changed.

“Ian. Stop.”

I released him with a little pop. Stop wasn’t a word I heard from him in the middle of a blowjob. “What?”

“Fuck me now.”
_*_*_

ABOUT STEEL WHEELS

When Amethyst Cove’s reigning drag queen is blackmailed, private investigator Ian Coulter searches to find the truth. He doesn’t believe his friend committed a murder and he won’t allow money to change hands. He gets support from his FBI lover Rick Mohr.

Ian and Rick have conquered a long road to be together. Working together is easy. Keeping their relationship strong is more difficult. With their wedding day approaching, Ian questions if he can go through with the ceremony but not his love for Rick.


When Ian is propositioned, Rick falls back into old ways. Ian’s guiltless but overcoming his jealousy isn’t easy for Rick. With time running out, they leave no avenue unexplored in their quest to find the truth and the blackmailer – before the honeymoon cruise.  

Steel Wheels is available at iTunes/Apple, Amazon, Kobo

Coming soon to other online booksellers.


KC Kendricks