Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cruising in the Neutral Zone

December 30, 2014

The days between December 23 and January 2 are, for this author, a writing neutral zone. With Christmas successfully celebrated it's time to examine the year ending and plan for the year coming. If you're a regular here at Between the Keys, you know I believe the past is an important tool for planning for the future. That is to say a person needs to know where they've been to know where they're going. 

 Every year I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and then I pull up my contract information spreadsheet and discover I actually did accomplish a few things. It's amazing on some levels and a bit alarming in others. Did I in 2014 accomplish all I'd hoped? Nope. Did it all turn out the way I planned? Nope - but I won't dwell on that. 

My love affair with the American muscle car came to the forefront in 2014. First up in March - Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted. This story of a mechanic meeting the guy who happens to own the car of his dreams was very well received. Thank you all! Apparently, I'm not the only person out there who knows what "bored, stroked and blueprinted" means. (Hint: it's not about sex although the book is pretty sexy fare.) And the 1969 Camaro on the cover? My first car. 

Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted was followed by Moon Dances in June. Moon Dances is the fourth book in the Sundown saga. The entire series is, in order, The Back Stairs, Beneath Dark Stars, River Walk and Moon Dances. I love writing this series because of the world-building. Sundown is not your average shapeshifter. His people are alien, from another world. The challenge is not divulging everything about the Chal too fast. Once it all comes out, the series is over and I'm likely to get weepy emails when that happens. So if all goes well, book five will be out sometime in 2015. 

The Men of Marionville series was up next. How far can I go with Marionville as a backdrop for the story? Dreams to Sell is number eight in the series. Dylan and Cass are revisited when Dylan invites an old friend to join him in a business venture. The friend, Keith, jumps at the chance and meets the man of his dreams who happens to be a realtor with a listing for the house of Keith's dreams. The trouble is, Terry is a widower and Keith keeps putting his foot in his mouth. Keith does manage to pull himself together and get both his man and his house. We may not return to Marionville until 2016, but we will go back.

And speaking of fun, Ace, Deuce, Trey was absolutely the most fun I had in 2014. I love, love, love writing Ian and Rick's story. Rick is so serious and Ian is not. They're perfect for each other. Both have their fair share of insecurity about being in a "relationship" but they're working on it. Saylor Blackwood is back in this book and he and Rick are forced into the same room. Ian has to make them behave. Ace, Deuce, Trey is the third book in Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series. I'm running out of "deuce" title ideas so it's difficult to say what the next installment will be titled. Hopefully, title inspiration will strike one more time. Ace, Deuce, Trey will also be a stand-alone paperback at some point in time. 

When I wrote the first m/m story and signed with Amber Quill/Amber Allure, I was welcomed as an AQP author by Christiane France. At the time no one knew I was already published under another pen name, and I wasn't ready to enlighten them. It may sound strange but I had so many people telling me I was good that I stopped believing them. I needed to re-invent myself and see if that "new" writer would have the same success. Amazingly, I've had more! 

Anyway, Chris welcomed me and we struck up a friendship. We decided it would be fun to co-write a few stories. So we did. 

Here's to a happy, healthy and equally productive 2015! 

(partial content of this entry removed by the author after Amber Quill closed.)

KC Kendricks

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's What You'd Expect

December 21, 2014

It's what you'd expect for the days leading up to Christmas. The hustle and bustle of the holidays, the last-minute rush for the last-minute gift replacement when something arrives via a shipper damaged. It's the Christmas card that somehow slid between the passenger seat and the console in the Charger. You know all those things are likely to happen. Then you get surprised in a good way.

Yesterday was the annual Christmas gathering at the sister-in-law's house. Word must have gotten around, most likely from the lips of my beloved, that I want a new mixer. Christmas seemed like the time to tell the man of the house that if he wants to continue to eat cookies, mama needs new equipment. Besides, he owes me. Long story short, there was some collusion happening. I received gift cards totaling $170 all for the same store, and that would be the store that sells the mixer I want. 

I think I have new respect for the sneakiness of the spousal unit. We're going to town this afternoon. 

On other fronts, I have to show up at the day job Monday and Tuesday and then I'm off until the following Monday. I'm happy to report the work is done. I just have to commune with the copier for a short while, then I'm free for my own devices. I think I'll dial up the plan for the 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge and get serious about setting the daily topics. 

There's also a manuscript which needs to be turned in. I promised it by the end of the year so I need to fill out those dratted forms and get it all in. I've got another manuscript hanging in limbo and it can just hang. If I paid any attention to gossip at all it wouldn't be hanging, but that's for another blog. Gossip ain't my thing and my aversion to it bit me in the ass but I'm not about to become a gossip monger. 

Then there's the writing plan for 2015. I need to get that in order. I have deadlines for March 1, June 1 and September 1. What the fuck was I thinking? The deadline is not my friend. I get far too lazy with a deadline. When I know I have time, it slows me down. Not. A. Good. Thing.  Anyway, I need to work out a flexible plan for the coming year. 

So there it is. Like most of my "personal" blog entries, putting my thoughts into words has crystallized what I need to do. It's like talking out loud to myself with my fingers.  It's all part of my planning and organizing process and I'm happy to let you share in it here at Between the Keys.  

Have a healthy, safe and happy Christmas! 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ace, Deuce, Trey by KC Kendricks

Ace, Deuce, Trey – the sequel to Deuce of Diamonds
Book #3 in Ian Coulter’s Amethyst Cove series

Available now at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo

About Ace, Deuce, Trey:

Ian Coulter has his hands full with a sexy office assistant, a favorite movie star client and a drag queen determined to save the world one lost runaway at a time. He can juggle all of it because he and his lover, FBI agent Rick Mohr, are finally together.

Rick’s transfer to Amethyst Cove puts him in charge of multiple operations. When one of Ian’s clients is targeted, it doesn’t take long for Ian to suspect the con artist is on an FBI watch list. With their cases overlapping, Ian and Rick are short on time. Together they set a trap and spring it before their suspect escapes.

Doing the job is easy but figuring out the relationship is tougher. Fitting their lives together isn’t without obstacles, but one thing is certain. On or off the case, Ian and Rick always get their man.


An excerpt from Ace, Deuce, Trey

The description of the Harmon con man was a good match to the pictures we had of Saylor’s accuser. I checked the name of the detective on the Harmon case. I didn’t know him but I’d take the chance and call him to let him know I had a client with a similar situation and see what he said. I’d do what I could to ensure this con artist didn’t make Amethyst Cove his permanent home.

The air around me changed, expanded. I froze and listened into the quiet office. The outside door snicked closed. I drew my Sig Sauer P228 and held it in my lap.


“It’s me, Ian.”

I laid the gun on my desk. “You should have yelled first.”

It was so quiet I wondered if my mind had played a trick on me.

“What the fuck are you doing, Rick?”

He swaggered into my office. His hot green gaze slammed into mine. “Making sure the blinds are closed.”

I leaned back and put my feet up on my desk. “I have a gun, bucko. What are your intentions?”

Rick reached behind his back, pulled out his Glock .9mm and laid it beside my pistol. “Mine’s bigger than yours.” He leaned over and kissed me. I pulled back.

“Dream on. That must have been one hell of an arrest and booking to get you so worked up.”

“Oh, it was. Law enforcement agents in three countries are going to dance in the street when word gets around.”

I grinned up at him. “And your name is going to be on the report.”

He shook his head. “Not mine, no. I have an alias, you know.”

That was news to me. “Because you’ve done undercover work for the Treasury?”

Rick grasped my ankles and lifted them off my desk. I set my feet on the floor and he went to his knees in front of me.

“And I might have to do it again so my team second gets the credit and the public glory on this one.”

I spread my knees and he slid his big, warm hands up the inside of my thighs to my balls. “You have something in mind here, Mr. FBI man?”

“You don’t have anything to say about the fact I might have to go undercover again?”

I narrowed my eyes. “Something you need to fill me in about?”

“No, no. I’ve let it be known I’m the last option for those assignments.” He pulled my shirttail out of my jeans. “I even told them why.”

“That’s a good career move. ‘I’m gay and I’m shacked up so don’t call me.’ I bet your boss loved that.”

My cock swelled as Rick eased my zipper down. “He laughed at me. In my face. So I beat the shit out of him.”

I snorted. “Right. On the shooting range. What do you think you’re doing?”

He yanked my pants down and all but dragged me out of the chair to the floor. “I’m going to do you in your office, darling. It’ll be a fantasy come true.”

“I’ll scream.” I wiggled my ass to aid him in getting my jeans down and out of the way.

“Yes you will before I’m done with you.”


Available now at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo
Book #3 in the Ian Coulter’s Amethyst Cove series


Also available –

Contemporary gay romance mystery
available now AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble, and Kobo.

available now at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo

KC Kendricks
website at http://www.kckendricks.com
Between the Keys blog at http://kckendricks.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Oh, Christmas Tree

December 6, 2014

There's something that strikes me as very wrong about putting up my Christmas tree. 

I used to love, love, love to decorate for the Advent and Christmas seasons. The day after Thanksgiving was Decorating Day. Box after box after box of decorations were pulled from storage and chaos did ensue. 

First on the list - Aunt Jane's bells. Always. Then it was time to hang the tinsel and balls around the great room. Even today the tiny tacks remain in the crown moulding. Hook the tinsel on the tack, hang the red ball, and move on to the next tack until tinsel adorned the room. Forty-four tacks holding forty-four balls. The (almost) first to go up and the last to come down. 

After the tinsel, anything could happen. Maybe the reindeer herd migrated in or perhaps the elves and snowmen arrived before the deer. Candles and shiny baubles appeared. Snowflakes on almost invisible thread danced in the bow window. And then it was time to go get the tree. 

Acquiring the perfect tree was a Big Deal in my family. My parents never bought a tree at the first place they stopped. It was more like the sixth or seventh place. A few of those places weren't about the trees, though. It was about the people selling the trees, namely farmers my dad went to school with. Anyway, we'd get a tree and take it home, and I carried on the tradition when I built my house thirty-odd years ago. Back to my story....

Setting the tree had to be done before sunset then the lights were put on after it got dark. Never forget to check the strings of lights BEFORE you put them on the tree. All the lights and lamps were turned off for this step so you could make sure the bulbs were spaced correctly. Stringing the light brought out the fragrance of the pine. Oh, how I love the smell of fresh pine!!! 

After the lights were on and working, every light in the room was turned on and the balls were hung. I'm not much for ornaments. I like balls. (Oh, don't go THERE.) The star topper went on, following by many, many, many balls. Then the whole tree was smothered in sliver icicles. When the tree is finished, all the room lights were turned off and we sat oohing and ahhing at the lighted tree. 

The room was finished and it was beautiful.

But then the world turned, time marched on, and the spousal unit prevailed. 

Just the idea of wrestling a box with a pre-lit artificial tree through the attic hatch and plugging it in sucks all the joy out of Christmas decorating. Why bother?

And that's my take on decorating for Christmas 2014.

Unless he agrees to get me a real tree. TODAY.