Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Hercules

April 9, 2013

It's All About the Books

Day 8
A to Z Blogging Challenge

Welcome to day eight of the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year, my third, I’m blogging on the wide range of topics that tie into my books.


Elton John has laid down the soundtrack of my life. From the first crystal notes of Tiny Dancer, I was hooked. While Tiny Dancer remains my absolute favorite EJ song even to this day, there have been other songs with equal impact for myriad reasons. A Cat Named Hercules was one but not for the music as much as for the tiny tan kitten that came into my life in 1979.

Back in those days I had introduced a buddy to Elton’s music and he loved it as much as I did. We made the trip to the city to see EJ live every time he was in town between 1976 and 1990. Citizen band radios were also the rage in the late 70’s and our “handles” reflected our love of Elton’s music. So when this tiny, starving kitten somehow wandered into my grandparent’s yard needing a loving home, it was a natural he was Hercules. From there, jump forward to 2011 and a publisher’s call for stories in which our heroes are brought together by pets, and A Cat Named Hercules was the only story I could write.

The fictional Hercules is a combination of several felines I’ve had over the years, and in character most closely resembles my current furball, the black and white tuxedo that posed for the cover photo. But there are pieces of the original Herc to be found - he was abandoned and he loved his ball with the bell inside.

I tried to find a photo of my Hercules only to discover time degraded my old pictures from that era. His marking were classic tabby with the distinctive side whorls which set him apart from every other tabby I’ve ever personally known. The rest have all had mackerel shadings. Being unable to find a picture of him, I resorted to the Internet and came up with a cat of his color, but not the markings. It will have to do to show you his coloring though not his markings.

Sadly, I lost Herc at a young age. I think the early starvation always worked against him even though he matured into a rather large boy. And if I ever come across a creamy tan tabby with similar markings, I’ll give him home and love him just for himself, as the unique individual he’ll surely be.

But I won’t give him a ball with a noisy bell in it. History doesn’t need to repeat some noisy things.


A Cat Named Hercules
Book five in the Men of Marionville series

Now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers

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

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

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


…The abrupt weaning I understood, but the other? Who would do that to such a helpless creature? “Then I’m keeping him.”

“In that case, your kitten has fleas, ear mites, and a touch of conjunctivitis. He’s also under nourished and almost surely has worms.”

My heart pounded as I snatched the kitten from Galen’s hands and tucked him safely against my chest. “Is he going to die?”

Galen pushed his sunglasses up to rest on top of his head and grinned at me. I fell into his gorgeous hazel eyes as he stared into my sky blue orbs with open curiosity. Damn, the man had long eyelashes.

“He’ll be fine. Do you think we can finish our chores here this morning, or do we need to go straight to my clinic so I can treat him and fix you up with what you need?” He poked the kitten’s paw and those tiny, wicked claws popped out again. “You’re in for a real treat with this little guy.”

I’d go anywhere he asked me to go, but I didn’t want to appear too eager. “Oh? Why is that?”

“They call cats with these black and white markings a ‘tuxedo’ because, obviously, they look like they’re wearing one. This fellow has the added bonus of white ‘gloves.’ Tuxedos tend to have a lot of personality.” Galen squeezed my elbow. I thought his hand lingered a moment too long, but perhaps it was just wishful thinking.

“C’mon. I’ll tell the other work crew they’ll have to finish pulling up these bricks and we’ll go to the clinic.”

“Thanks, man. I owe you.”

I knew I was in two kinds of trouble when he nodded and grinned. “I’m afraid you will…”

Book five in the Men of Marionville series

Now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers

KC Kendricks
Website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com
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Shelly said...

Tweeted and shared.
Hugs and chocolate,

KC Kendricks said...

Aww...thank you for tweeting. Here's a cyberhug {{{{{Shelly}}}}} just for you!

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog. I do appreciate it :)