Sunday, August 28, 2016

Looking out the window

August 28, 2016

August brings the anniversary of a personal milestone that generally goes unremarked. I've now lived in this same spot for thirty-five years - definitely more than half my life. It's almost two-thirds of my life, but I shall drop that thought and move on. 

Back in 1980, when my grandparents gifted me with three acres of land, it was completely wooded. I worked alongside grandfather, father, and then husband to clear an acre to drill a well, install a septic system, and build a house. It was hard, physical work and I regret none of it. 
Two-story dog trot log cabin.

I had a vision of a log cabin in the woods, but those people in my life at that time overruled me. That I do regret. I wanted - I still want - a log cabin. Specifically, I want a dog trot styled log cabin, or house, with its central breezeway, but I must be realistic. It's not something I'm likely to acquire at this point in my life. 

It's not that my little house in the woods isn't sufficient. It is. In many ways, it has shaped my lifestyle and I have few complaints about that. I have all that I truly need here. The house is easy to heat, cool and clean. The mechanical systems have been well maintained. My property is secluded and private, which makes it rather safe against some of the things that can happen in the world. If you're not visible, you're not a target. I think my grandparents knew that, which is why their only granddaughter got this particular piece of ground. My male cousins are subject to every manner of annoyances living beside a road. 

Which finally brings me to the unchanging view from my office window. 

My home office is my favorite room in the house. It's me. There was no compromise on wall color, flooring, rug, furniture and its placements, lighting, curtains and artwork. I spin stories in this room, travel via the wonders of the Internet, and I read and learn in this room. I share my innermost thoughts from this room. And yet I gaze out at the lush green of my backyard (so very green for the end of August!) and for the first time question is this all there is to see for the next thirty years? 

They say identifying a problem is the first step in solving the problem. My father and grandparents are gone, and soon so shall be my mother. My retirement income will follow me wherever I live. My husband of over twenty years would welcome a place that is his in ways this property never has been, its history being that of my family. There's nothing to hold me here if I choose to let go of roots and begin a new adventure elsewhere. 

Except, that is, the view through my window. 



Coming soon: Where There's Smoke by KC Kendricks
Part of the Men of Marionville collection

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Deuce of Diamonds: a sexy reunion

August 20, 2016
**updated 4/2/21 - the My Sexy Saturday blog hop is no longer operational**

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday #155! My Sexy Saturday is a blog hop that brings the reader a sampling of different authors in the romance genre. I like to participate in MSS because 1) it's fun and 2) I get to build a relationship with other authors and 3) it's pretty clear from the bump-up in the number of visitors I get on MSS days that readers like it. Be sure to check out all the blogs using the Linky List below. 

This week is about the sexy reunion. Right away I thought about Ian and Rick. They thought they'd never see each other again, but Fate works its magic in strange ways. Here are seven sexy paragraphs from Deuce of Diamonds


“I need you, Ian.”

The last night he’d spent here, the one before his job in Amethyst Cove was wrapped up, we’d gone to bed and stared at the ceiling. Lying side by side in the dark, we’d not shared our thoughts. I’d regretted not making love one last time, even though I knew at the time he’d made the only decisions he could. Our last kiss had been bittersweet, full of regret and mourning for what would never be. Now it might be if we were both brave enough to reach for it. Was I? I turned my head and found his mouth.

His lips were fever hot, but soft and willing. He held me tighter as my mouth slid over his to taste longing mixed with hesitation. I licked his lips with a slow, deliberate swipe of my tongue, and he let me in. His tongue moved over mine—silky smooth—and the need to have him burst free in my groin. My balls tightened as my cock swelled. I pushed him against the counter and ground my pelvis to his.

Rick’s big hands cupped my ass and held me tight to him, never breaking the kiss. He was equally hard, the firm ridge of his dick bumping and grinding against mine as we mock fucked. Rumbling sounds vibrated through his chest and into mine as the kiss deepened. I needed to breathe, but I’d sooner pass out from lack of oxygen than give up his lips.

There were so many things I wanted to say to him, but none of them mattered. I needed him as much as he did me. The things that we had to say, and they were many, would have to wait until we healed the distance of the last few months.

His lips burned a path down my neck and to my ear. "Ian. Dear God, I've dreamed of you. Been haunted by you."


The sequel to Double Deuce
available now at 
AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo

About Deuce of Diamonds:

Private investigator Ian Coulter has a knack for finding trouble even when he’s minding his own business. Ian’s in the midst of a routine weekly job for movie star client Saylor Blackwood when the man confides he thinks he has a fan turned stalker. Ian stays close to Saylor to observe the people around him and gets an unwelcome shock when FBI agent Rick Mohr contacts him.

Rick Mohr has a problem. Ian’s name just popped up on an FBI watch list. Rick knows it’s guilt by association where Ian is concerned, but what about Blackwood? Rick won’t allow Ian to get dragged into the mix when he’s not involved. For Ian he’ll break whatever confidentiality rule necessary.

It doesn’t take long for Ian and Rick to join forces to clear Ian’s name and get to the bottom of what’s going on in Amethyst Cove, because on or off the case, together is how they work best.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Some good advice arrived too late

August 11, 2016

I'd love to be sitting in the shade, under one of the majestic oak trees in my backyard. Truly, I would. There's only one problem with that. It's too hot outside. To stay cool, I'm sitting in my office with the air conditioning on, and the lights off. Am I staying cool? You bet. 

I'm also in the midst of an afternoon of staying current with the publishing industry. I consider myself a social media novice, so I ran a search for articles with tips and techniques to get the word out about my books. I'll confess the number of articles the search returned was a string of digits with about a gzillion commas, so no, I didn't read all of them, only a few. 

Keeping a presence on social media isn't easy. Blogs, Twitter, facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and oh my God who knows what else. I doubt I could name them all and it's too hot to think about it. Let's just say it's all out there if you have the energy to utilize it. 

One recurring theme is to center everything on a website. I've given that one a second, third, heck, maybe even a fortieth look. Do I really want to host Between the Keys on my website? I don't know. How big do I want to allow my website to grow? It already has about seventy-five book pages. Here at Between the Keys, I'm approaching my eight-hundredth blog. Do I want to lose that history? Nope.

I understand the logic behind having everything on one site. If I were just starting out with blogging, I'd heed the advice and set the blog on my .com. 

It's a good idea that came my way a few years too late. Moral to the story - I need to make time to read industry-related articles more often. 

KC Kendricks

Available now - The Sundown Saga
He's a different sort of shapeshifter. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Deuce at six months

August 7, 2016

It's hard to believe Deuce is almost seven months old. He's been a real joy, and a challenge as any Lab owner can testify. 

I wouldn't change a moment I've had with him. Even when he was only weeks old and had to go outside at midnight and again at four a.m., it was all worth it. 

He's a great dog, and already a faithful companion. We'll never require him to win a ribbon (not into it at all) because he's already our champion. He even has his own blog.

But maybe I would change ONE thing. He sure takes up a lot of space on the bed. Maybe I can convince him to sleep on the floor. 

Probably not.

KC Kendricks

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Depends on the author

August 4, 2016

Over the last several years, it was a bit of a habit for some people in my circle to occasionally do a bit of Amazon bashing. Most of what was said was neutral ground for me, although I do agree with the assessment Big A is in fact a monopoly, whether it meets the legal criterion for said entity or not. 

Yes, Amazon has changed the publishing business. Is this bad for the author?

That depends solely on the individual author.

Is the author willing to independently do their best work without the aid and/or expense of an editor? Maybe the question should be is the author talented enough to work without an editor? Some are, and some have been good students of the editors they worked with.

A critique partner is invaluable. Is the author ready to accept suggestions from a colleague? Is the author ready to acknowledge colleagues have experience wisdom, too?

Is the author willing to learn how to make a book cover? Or is the author willing to pay a premium price for a cover if they don’t want to learn Photoshop or similar software?

Is the author willing to take the time to properly format a manuscript for digital publication?

Is the author willing to take the time to learn Amazon’s upload system, or any other for that matter? The All Romance eBooks system requires patience, but the results of my first full indie quarter there were both rewarding and...enlightening.

Is the author willing to either put their book out for review or simply not worry about it? 

Is the author willing to accept direct payment?

Is the author ready to accept her/his perceptions of the industry and those who made money from the author's intellectual property may be changed forever? 

And, for what is probably the most eye-opening part of direct publishing with Amazon or any online book seller, is the author willing to know exactly how many copies of each book is selling without that information going through a “middle man” or publishing company?

If you answered “yes” to those questions, get ready to seize the day and take charge of your future. 

KC Kendricks

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Triple H (how far do you go?)

August 3, 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Here in the Mid-Atlantic states, we often refer to our summer weather as being triple-H. That’s hazy, hot and humid, and not a reference to a wrestler. We also call the weeks from approximately July 15 to August 15 the Dog Days of Summer, so named by the dog star Sirius’ helical rising. 

In other words, if you live in Maryland, it’s hot outside. 

But is it hot between the pages of the latest work-in-progress?

A writer friend once told me, when I mentioned the phrase triple-H, that she’d never heard it applied to the weather before. Her triple-H was hot, hard and hung. Writing romance, I certainly get that in a big way. 

Writing hot is a topic those of us in the romance genre frequently discuss. What’s too hot? What’s not enough? What are readers looking for right now, today? Maybe it’s all about trends, and maybe not. If I write the next story and move one way or another, will it impact readership? 

I’ve second-guessed myself more than a few times on that question. I’ve flip-flopped back and forth on just where I think the line is between romance and nothing more than “triple-H.” It’s difficult to define a line that keeps moving. (And please don’t think I’m not a fan of the purely triple-H story. I’ve read some excellent stories that easily fall into that category.)

Trends generally take a few months to develop in the writing world, which is why it’s so important to study the part of industry you’re in, and the industry in the whole. At the time of the writing of this blog entry, Dreams to Sell had just been on the All Romance eBooks best seller list. That was quite a surprise as the book has been available since 2014. What suddenly lifted it to that list?  

So how far into triple-H should a writer go? I say go as far as you’re comfortable with going within each story (stay true to the characters). If you’re not comfortable writing hot, hard and hung, then your reticence will show in your work and disappoint your readership. Trust your instincts and you'll get it right.  


Dreams to Sell - book eight in the Men of Marionville series. 
Dreams to Sell is available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers. 

KC Kendricks

Monday, August 1, 2016

Give Me One Night

August 1, 2016

Another new cover, and another second edition in the midst of being re-issued. Give Me One Night is the fourth contemporary gay romance I wrote. You may have noticed I've re-issued newer works first and am now down to my first novels, with the exception of Undeniable. 

I loved the original cover for Give Me One Night. I could have recreated it, I did, in fact, try to do that very thing. It didn't work to my satisfaction, so I kept looking for the right guy and background. 

Give Me One Night is now available at 
AmazoniTunes/AppleBarnes and NobleKobo, and other online booksellers. 


Brody O’Connor joins the revelry of the yearly St. Patrick's Day pub crawl, hunting a like-minded man for a night of fun and frolic with no strings attached. When a mystery man in an emerald green shirt engages Brody’s interest, it doesn’t take long for the hunter to become the prey.

Well-matched with his mystery man, Brody regrets his "no strings" approach to a night of shared passion that leaves him hungry for more. The morning after, Evan is gone, as agreed. Brody knows it was a mistake to let him go, and vows to find him.

Evan also never expected to meet someone like Brody. Now Brody wants to change the rules, and Evan decides he’ll give Brody one more night to convince him to stay...