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
**updated 4/2/21 - the MidWeek Tease blog hop is no longer operational**

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. 

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... 

Eye of the Beholder
Available now at:



Barnes & Noble/Nook


KC Kendricks
My home on the web- Between the Keys:
My country life at Holly Tree Manor

Monday, March 19, 2018

The dance of my people

March 19, 2018

Every time I see this, I laugh. I even added it to my desktop backgrounds folder to be part of the rotation. It's usually up on Mondays. 

I think we can learn a lot from the horse. 


Monday, March 12, 2018

The Kendricks 900

March 12, 2018

A lot has happened since the Kendricks 800 and I'm not talking about the obvious one hundred posts here at Between the Keys. Post number 800 happened on December 31, 2016, and so was the retrospective for that year. Number 900 is a bit different.  I'm a wee bit annoyed today and willing to go where I don't normally go. You might want to skate on this one because I'm going political.

I've been thinking a lot about the changes in my life and the world at large. Getting older isn't a picnic. It's a subversive process and the perpetrator is your own body. Mind over matter becomes more important because what matters is your mind. Keep your mind and thoughts in order and your physical health benefits. Sometimes my mind listens to my body and allows me to be lazy and that is not a good thing.

Another trap is to allow yourself to slip into the mindset of others. I see that a lot today. The only way to escape the political posturing going on right now is to go totally off the grid. (That's quite tempting, by the way.) Everyone is repeating what everyone else is saying without knowing what the hell they're actually saying which means the pigeons are winning. Personally, I think way too many of the pigeons are pretty fucking stupid. 

Writing advice is everywhere one looks. Pinterest contains a plethora of such "wisdom" that in turn gets spewed out onto Twitter. It's the same advice that was passed around in the old Yahoo chat rooms twenty years ago. We've not learned much, have we? The sage wisdom of the ebook publisher has always been "give the reader what they want because it sells." Then publishers want everything to be the same, allowing editors to change everything to the "house style" which is code for everything WE publish is the same and it's the way WE like it. Really? No wonder ebook publishers have lost the market to Amazon.

Maybe THIS reader wants something different. Maybe this reader will write it, too.

Everywhere I look I see various groups of people vying for the control of others - and they'll boldly lie to obtain that control. The founding fathers of the United States lived in times such as these and they boldly wrote a Constitution to prevent the usurping of personal freedoms. Oh, Mr. Madison. Too few are listening. 

There are too many people telling us what to think and how to live, and too many pigeons telling us those people seeking to control us are correct. The rhetoric spouted in the news media, in our books, in our music - even from our pulpits - is damaging our individual rights because too many blindly believe. 

It truly doesn't matter what side of a political issue you come down on. It doesn't. Both sides lie. It's time to take a good look at the people seeking to control you.  It's time to take a good look at where ceding that control to them will take us. It's time to closely examine and understand their agendas because, in the end, it's all about the power and control you allow them to have over you.

It's time to be an eagle.  


 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:
My country life at Holly Tree Manor:
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Key

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Blogger's Vanity

March 11, 2018


It's a fear that's haunted me for years and with good reason. I've been around awhile. I remember first hearing about weblogs way back in about 1995 when I got my first desktop computer and went online. My first blog was over at Live Journal. I made all my mistakes there and [hopefully] that blog is long gone. Then came Blogger and it was a much better fit. Or was it?

Back in the day, it was a good idea to have a newsletter mailing list. I thought it might be nice to put my newsletter out on a blog so everyone could read it. I put a lot of work into that project only to have Blogger shut it down. Why you ask? Because I ended each blog with the same signature line and, back then, the system tagged it as spam (and not the kind that comes in the can). Now everyone has a signature line and it's cool with Blogger. 

Not one to give up, I tried again but eventually I was targeted by someone who obviously didn't like the romance genre. After a particularly nasty, and personal, attack, I deleted that blog. To this day I believe this was another writer who was angry I had a book final in the 2007 EPPIES and she did not.

It's all water under the bridge now, but oh how I wish I had saved ALL those blog entries! I have a few but I tend to compose straight into Blogger instead of a document. The next blog post after this one will be The Kendricks 900. That's right. NINE HUNDRED BLOGS here at Between the Keys. A lot of what is here is like the old weblogs. It's not all about promoting the books. It's about sharing my life with readers and other authors. I would hate like hell to lose this record of the last ten years of my life. 

Last week I was fact searching and blundered upon a reference to a service that turns blogs into books. The service is called Blog2Print and I jumped right on it. It works. I now have three neat and tidy .pdf volumes of Between the Keys from the first post in 2008 to the end of 2017.  I'm amazed at how relieved I am to have those items! 

Who knew I had so much vanity that I needed my silly little blog posts to be preserved - and at a price. Not a high price. I do have limits. But under $10 apiece for each .pdf. If I wanted to spend the big bucks I could have had them printed on paper, but I just said no. A digital copy is adequate. 

It did get me thinking, though. There's no reason in the world I can't create a single document for my blog entries in Word and save it as a .pdf at the end of the year. Seriously. You'd think a reasonably intelligent person would have thought of that years ago, but again, noooo. Anyway, that's underway now and it's a habit I'll continue. I can approximate a matching cover with Photoshop. Live and improve is one of my mottos. 

So is spending about $30 to preserve my blog entries nothing more than writer's vanity? Maybe, but I don't really care if it is. 

KC Kendricks

Friday, March 9, 2018

Time's relentless march

March 9, 2018

This week marked another year since my grandfather's passing. I remember him well. I knew him longer, and probably better, than I knew my father who died twenty-two years earlier than Pop. I remember Pop standing beside my father's casket, weeping, asking God why he took such a young man and let "this old man" live. Pop was seventy-three at the time.

I had a wonderful relationship with my grandfather. He taught me so much of the old ways, ways I see dying. I have no one interested in learning about the earth, the flowers, the bees, the woodland creatures but that doesn't negate the fact of how very blessed I am that someone cared enough to impart that knowledge to me.   

Time's relentless march has me thinking about Pop and how much he enjoyed his retirement years. It's just one more life thing he gave me subtle guidance about. He had a plan, every day. As each day brings me closer to my "retirement" years, I'm making plans, too, plans that will honor what Pop taught me. 

So for now, take a step into the Way Back Machine with me, to what I posted on a different blog the day Pop passed from this life, thirteen years ago. Will the next generation remember me and blog about my life? I doubt it. Some things one must do for one's self. 

KC Kendricks


March 7, 2005

Minutes to Memories

A little girl watches as a man glues square wooden frames together. The man shows a young girl how to plant a flower. A young woman gets her first car and the man smiles, pride warring with concern. Thanksgiving Day and they leave the warmth of home and family to walk along the mountain ridge in silence. Words are not needed between them.

The man, suddenly old, holds the woman’s hand as they mourn together. An old man’s face lights up with joy when the now not-so-young woman hands him a little black puppy and tells him to meet his new “grandson.”

My grandfather has left this life. He was ninety-five. I love him. Death will not change that.

His passing was not sudden, nor was it unexpected. It was blessedly peaceful. I’m saddened by it and yet I will not give in to grief. He wouldn’t want that. He told me in a thousand ways across seventeen thousand days that life was to be lived. And to live, you keep moving forward, every day.

It’s the way he lived his life. He enjoyed a retirement that spanned thirty years. He had a plan for every day of those years. Until these last few months, he had a plan for the next several years.

Did he travel the world? No. Did he have fancy cars, a big house, and a big bankroll? No. He was a “plain” man. A gentle man, and a gentleman. He lived simply. He loved deeply. He was deeply loved.  He was the best grandfather in the world.

I think I will pause these next few days. Moving forward can wait just a little while. I’ll spend some time looking back at days that turned into minutes, and minutes to memories.

Rest well, Pop.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Perfect Hire for the MidWeek Tease today

March 7, 2018
**Updated 4/2/21 - the MidWeek blog hop has been discontinued.**

Welcome to the MidWeek Tease blog hop! Thanks to our host, Angelica Dawson, for making sure the MWT happens every week. She must be one organized lady!

This week, I'm highlighting a book with a storied past - A Perfect Hire. It's a little piece that I hope breaks a few of the PC meters. Consenting adults should be able to... have coffee together. Or do whatever. Whenever. Wherever. However. You get the drift.

Here's a bit from A Perfect Hire. Be sure to check out all this week's teases using the list at the end of this post. Enjoy!


“You’re full of tricks aren’t you?”

“The name of the game is get them in here. They can’t purchase if they don’t come in.”

We enjoyed our java in comfortable silence for a few minutes but I sensed something was on his mind. 

“You’ve bought me coffee—several cups. Can I treat you to breakfast at my place?”

I didn’t want to him to think I was too eager nor did I want to blow the chance to get laid. The crowd I hung out with was fun, but they were friends and we didn’t fuck. I wanted the man across the table from me.

Hell, I wanted him bent over it or sprawled on it, or even under it if we happened to slide off. I met his smoky gaze and shivered.

“I’ve a better idea since my knee isn’t up to much walking. Why don’t we go to my place for breakfast? You can still cook, though.”

He nodded. “Where do you live?”

I pointed at the ceiling. “It’s a short commute.”

I’d purchased the building a few years ago not caring that the elevator went only as far as the second floor. With the street storefront, the second floor stockroom and a third level apartment, it had been perfect for my needs. After living in the small space for a year, I discovered adding a fourth story for a bedroom suite was not only financially feasible, but would keep me sane. I liked the old industrial elevator so I didn’t replace it with one that went all the way to the top.  

Having to gimp my way up the stairs on a bum knee in front of a guy I planned to repeatedly fuck senseless was embarrassing.  It also brought home the fact we would need to be a bit creative since I couldn’t put a lot of pressure on the joint. Of course, figuring it out could be interesting. 

Eric did the heavy lifting in the elevator, pulling the grate down with a grin.

“Going down?”

I snorted and answered truthfully. “Nope. It’s going up.”

His gaze dropped to my zipper and that shit-eating grin on his face widened. “I’m not sure it’s acceptable to take advantage of you when you can’t run from me.”

“What makes you think I’d run even if I could?”

He closed the distance between us and my dick finished its rise to attention. The smile faded from his face, replaced by a searching seriousness as I grasped his hips and pulled him closer. His hands went to my shoulders, his intense hazel gaze locked with mine. I stared into those gleaming orbs and memorized every golden and green fleck. The elevator jolted to a stop but I barely felt the bump in my knee.

“Time to get off.”

Eric shook his head, his husky voice barely above a whisper. “It won’t be that fast.”


ABOUT A Perfect Hire

Shopkeeper Chris Douglas traveled the world as a tour guide. He settled in New York City and turned his love of coffees and wines from around the world into a thriving specialty business. He enjoys meeting new people and his small emporium just off Bleecker Street brings all sorts through his door. After he falls off a ladder, Chris tapes a “help wanted” sign on the door and hopes it will attract the right person.

Eric Todd is at loose ends after the company he worked for changed hands and he was let go. He can get by financially, but with too many hours to fill in a day, he’d like a part-time job to keep busy. When he spies the hand-drawn sign on the door of The Corked Bean, he goes inside to check out the store - and the sexy proprietor.

The two men hit it off and Chris hires Eric on the spot. Now the pay and benefits aren’t as enticing, or satisfying, as the after-hours perks available for the perfect hire.

AVAILABLE at:  Amazon       Itunes       Barnes and Noble       Kobo

KC Kendricks