Monday, May 28, 2018

RIP little Jaws - Blogger killed my virtual pet

May 28, 2015

He's gone. Blogger decided to no longer support third-party gadgets and killed my virtual goldfish, Jaws. He lived here for ten years. I fed him every day. 

Rest in peace, little Jaws. You will be missed. 


PS. I wonder why Blogger did not kill the Writing Tip of the Day add-on? What do they have against goldfish? 

****May 31 UPDATE****

He's back! Jaws is back! But he's red and not gold in this life, not that it matters. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ah, vacation

May 24, 2018

My spring vacation is a high point in my year. From January 2 to the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday, I don't take time off the day job. Who wants to take vacation time when it's cold, snowy and/or wet outside? Not me. I'm not crazy. 

As of 4:00 PM this afternoon, I'm "off" for ten days. I've already completed two items on my to-do list. Small things to be sure but it feels great to have two lines drawn on the list. 

Tomorrow we're up early to head to town to run a few errands. And cross off a few items. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are rest days. Days to just hang out and not concentrate on chores. We'll probably do something just keep boredom at bay, but no stress. Next Tuesday, the weather will dictate what we do next. 

It'll feel good to get some of the home and garden projects finished. That's what vacation time is for - to make us feel better. Heck, I might even get some writing done!

To each their own. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

MidWeek Tease - Between the Moon & the Deep Blue Sea

May 23, 2018
**Updated 4/2/21 - the MidWeek blog hop has been discontinued.**

Welcome to my corner of the Midweek Tease blog hop! Every Wednesday a group of authors band together to present excerpts from published works and sometimes a work-in-progress. 

This week here at Between the Keys it's Between the Moom & the Deep Blue Sea. Enjoy!


Between the Moon and the Deep Blue Sea
Contemporary gay romance
Book four of the Southern Cross series

Chad Collier’s had enough of providing stud service to rich men. It’s true he’s had more fun than any one man deserves, but now it’s time to make a plan for the rest of his life. At the urging of a mentor, he takes a leap of faith and breaks with his old ways. A job interview lands him smack in the path of Darcy Paulson, the sort of rich man Chad vowed to avoid.

Darcy Paulson came of age as the prodigal son in a wealthy manufacturing dynasty. Every man he’s ever met has been after his money until Chad Collier shows up on his doorstep. Darcy finds Chad prickly, standoffish, and utterly irresistible. Smitten by Chad’s dark good looks and determination to stand on his own two feet, Darcy is happy to give him an opportunity. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out that some private, no-strings fun is what they both need.

An unexpected event brings them face-to-face with the truth. The magic that happens between the moon and the deep blue sea is something a man can’t own, and it can be fully experienced only in the arms of a lover...


His low, husky voice rippled over me in the small space. I stood still, unmoving, caught between fight and flight, as his warm palm stroked my side. I looked up into his glittering eyes and fell into his intent. Hot blood pooled in my groin. My cock surged full in a handful of pounding heartbeats. Darcy’s dark pink tongue flicked over his lips, leaving them moist. He meant to kiss me and, against all better judgment, I wanted him to do it. I gripped his hips and pulled him closer.

Darcy’s lips touched mine, soft and clinging, whispering promises. The sweet contact jolted through me with its unexpected tenderness. His tongue teased my lower lip, and all too soon he pulled away and left me wanting more. Darcy’s thumb traced the path across my mouth his tongue had taken. He licked his lips, as though he could still taste me. All the while I stood rooted to the floor, aching for him to kiss me again, and cursing my own cowardice. I knew if I kissed him, he wouldn’t push me away, but I…

“I won’t hurt you, Chad. I swear.”

“Don’t promise me anything, Darcy. You don’t know where my head is these days.”
His hands skimmed my sides. “Fair enough. Just don’t lie to me and tell me you don’t want to be kissed again.”

I let my hands fall from his hips. “What I want and what’s best for me right now are several galaxies apart.”

Darcy studied me for the longest thirty seconds of my life, then nodded. “Okay. I’m backing off.” The corner of his mouth twitched in a quirky smile. “I don’t want to, but I will.”

The tiny spark of hope longing for him to push me past my reluctance died, and only when it faded did I realize what I’d done…


If the blowjob was hot, was it still stupid? I knew the answer was ‘yes’, but I kissed him anyway. I didn’t linger at his lips – I needed to catch my breath.

“So. Darcy. You always carry a rubber in your pocket?”

He snorted and rolled me onto my back. “I’m gay. What do you think? Don’t you?”

“I usually do, but this wasn’t in the plan, you know.” I grabbed his hands to stop him from pulling my pants completely off. “Let me up.”

“Oh no. I want you, Chad. I’ve got another rubber, and this was in my plan.”

His intent jolted through me. He meant to fuck me right here on the floor. I held him at arm’s length. “Now, wait a minute. This isn’t going to work for me.”

Darcy froze. His expression darkened as he moved toward anger. “You think it’s acceptable to leave me hanging, all hot and bothered, so long as you get off?”

“Don’t get pissy with me, Darcy. I’ve never let a guy up my ass, and this…”


“For God’s sake, don’t look so shocked. I’ll laugh, and you’ll be all hurt.” I twisted out of his grasp and tried to yank my jeans up. Strong hands closed around my hips to pull me back into the curve of his body. Soft lips nibbled on the back of my neck as his fingers teased my ass.

“I agree. The kitchen floor isn’t the place for auspicious beginnings. My bed is.”

I’d gone all shivery from what he was doing to my butt. The light strokes of his fingertips brought to memory the moans of pleasure I’d drawn from other men. Could he do that to me?

“Let me go, Darcy. I not ready for this.”

I felt the anger snap through him. It was there in the way the length of his lean body stiffened, the sharp intake of his breath. Abruptly, he shoved away from me and rolled to his knees.

“My mistake, Chad. You won’t get the chance to use me again.”

His words cut painfully into the part of me that struggled to break free of the mistakes of the past. I tripped my way to my feet, tossed the used rubber in the trashcan, and zipped up.

“I’m not using you. You started this. Yeah, I was wrong not to stop you, but you bushwhacked me – twice now!” 

Darcy got to his feet with more grace than I’d mustered and glared at me. Even pissed off, he had pretty blue eyes. 

“Why the fuck didn’t you stop me? Oh, yeah. Must have been that woody you popped up for me, huh?”

“Pardon me all to hell for being human! I never said I don’t find you attractive.”

Darcy’s eyebrows slid toward his hairline. I refused to blink under his scrutiny.

“Andrew says you’re broke.”

Maybe I was broke in more ways than one, but Darcy referred to my lack of funds. “What if I am? Do you think I’d come all this way looking for work if I had money?”

“Why didn’t the ex, what was his name? Sidney? Why didn’t he set you up?”

“Because I wouldn’t take his money. I didn’t want it. So now what are you going to do, Mr. Paulson? Offer to pay to fuck me?”

Darcy looked me up and down, then shrugged. “I’m going to eat my dinner unless it’s charred to ash.”

I stood, my mouth hanging open, as he got the bottle of wine out of the freezer and a corkscrew out of the drawer.

I hadn’t even gotten my hands on his dick.




Barnes & Noble/Nook


KC Kendricks
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Sunday, May 20, 2018

The danger of emotion

May 20, 2018

Our lives are being overshadowed by the lunatic fringe. 

Is it politically correct to call some of the people the organized media creates reports about "lunatics"? Probably not but I don't much care at this juncture. There's a feeding frenzy of unhealthy emotion and questionable mental health happening in the mainstream. It's frightening. 

The tragedy of others fills social media. People become unhinged and spew forth vitriolic emotion. They become a siphon of some celebrity's stated opinion. It has become all too real for them. Too few are able, or perhaps willing, to set aside emotion long enough to examine the root cause. 

There is a crisis of mental health in the world today. 

We spend our days listening to the lunatic fringe call everyone who doesn't agree with them racist, sexist, absurdist, obstructionist, abortionist, antagonist, capitalist, socialist, communist, fascist, bigamist, conformist, non-conformist, leftist, conservativist, cultist, diversionist, ideologist - the ist list goes on forever. If we don't agree with someone, we're labeled an IST of some sort. 

Worse than that, we're labeled a HATER and that hurts. But that's the point - to cause us pain. To elicit a strong emotional response which in turn causes us to say something "they" can latch on to and use against us to manipulate our thoughts and actions. Spending one's waking hours trying to control other people is not healthy behavior. People who have good mental health and who can control their emotions do not harm others unless in self-defense. 

It's time to spend less time and money on labeling and more time and money on solving. And to do that we need to stop. Stop and think. Speak responsibly. Act responsibly. Teach responsibly. Love responsibly. Guide responsibly. Nurture responsibly. 

It's time to set fear aside, not pass it on. It's time to address the root of the problem.

KC Kendricks

Saturday, May 19, 2018

New cover - Hot August Comes

May 19, 2018

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea? Yea! I'm glad I'm not alone. 

Deuce woke me about three-ish. It's difficult to sleep when an eighty-five-pound dog wants you to pay attention to him. In this instance, he needed to go outside in the middle of the night. We'd no sooner hit the mattress again when the idea that Hot August Comes needed a new cover hit me. 

Thanks, muttly. I'll keep after this one until I get it perfect because the story deserves it. 


Hot August Comes

Leo Corbin shook the dust of Westfall off his shoes to pursue opportunities among the bright city lights. When his mother suddenly dies, Leo returns home to settle her estate. His grief at her passing quickly turns to shock at what she left behind and rekindles old questions about the identity of his father.

Harrison Wade stuck by his father to help run the family farm. Life for a gay man in Westfall has limitations, but Harrison knows how to make the best of them. When Leo Corbin returns to town, Harrison’s quiet existence tilts. Leo is the guy who put an end to the high school bullying Harrison endured so many years ago. Harrison quickly discovers his old boyhood crush on Leo has matured into an adult attraction.

As the mercury rises, Harrison and Leo’s friendly buddy arrangement heats up. When hot August comes to Westfall, they discover home is more than where a man hangs his hat. It’s where he gives his heart.

Friday, May 18, 2018

That rainy day feeling

May 18, 2018

Spring is a mixed weather bag in my little corner in the world. It goes from snow to ninety-degrees to frost warnings to rain. Lots and lots of rain. It can rain for days without ceasing. 

It's been raining every day for the last five days. Luckily, it's been a soft, gentle rain that has been absorbed into the ground. A mere two miles away, on the other side of the mountain, they've not been so fortunate and are dealing with flooding. 

Not to belittle what my eastern neighbors have been through, I saw this meme and smiled. 

I know the feeling, my furry friends. I know the feeling. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Poseidon's Pleasure for this MidWeek Tease blog hop

May 16, 2018
**Updated 4/2/21 - the MidWeek blog hop has been discontinued.**

Welcome to Wednesday and another MidWeek Tease blog hop! Thanks to our host, Angelica Dawson, for keeping the blog hop up and running. 

We're off to the Southern Cross one last time as Brett and Mark reconnect. They're destined to be together but the road to happiness is a bit rocky.



Poseidon's Pleasure
Contemporary gay romance (not fantasy)
Book three of the Southern Cross series

Brett Houston triumphed over his early life. Raised by an abusive father, Brett sacrificed his personal happiness to keep the ones he loved safe. Ready to make big changes in his life, Brett treats himself to a Caribbean vacation. To his surprise, he ends up at a seaside ball, wearing a G-string and presiding over the festivities as Poseidon, the God of the Sea.  

Mark Matthews left behind his hometown, and his first love, to put down roots in California. With vacation time to use, or lose, Mark books a holiday on the island of St. Lucia, unaware of the surprise reunion Fate has waiting for him.

Brett cautiously examines the fractured bonds of the past, while questioning the possibility of a renewed future with Mark. It’s simpler for Mark. He won’t settle for anything less than a future tending to Poseidon’s pleasure.


“So how’d you get to be Poseidon, Brett?”

“Wrong place, wrong time, is my best guess. They cornered me.”

“Aw, come on. Don’t tell me you’re not having any fun at all.” Mark offered me some sort of meatball on a toothpick. I accepted it and chewed, its peppery, bourbon-tinged flavor made my mouth water for more.

“I can’t say that. Actually, I’m flattered they asked. How’d you get to be a member of my court?”

“I’ve no clue. When I checked in, there was an envelope waiting for me at the front desk informing me I’d been selected, if I wanted to, so I said why not?”

I looked him in the eye. “That ‘why not’ used to get you in all sorts of trouble.”

Mark nodded and met my gaze without flinching. “I know, but I’m more careful these days.”

It was my turn to roll my eyes. “Sure, you are, Mark. I believe you.”

He leaned in, his green eyes hot and serious. “I am, damn it! I grew up. Now stop trying to make me feel seventeen again.”

Why should he get off the hook? The years dropped away, and I regressed to seventeen again, too. I drilled him with my best stare and kept my voice down. “You gave me the clap!”

Mark’s fingers closed around my wrist. “Christ! I didn’t do it on purpose, you know.” He scanned the crowd, and so did I. No one was paying any attention to us.

“And I don’t have it now, for your information. I don’t have anything.”

I really wanted to believe that, but I knew I couldn’t. “Bully for you. I’m not going to be your fuck buddy for the next few days, so if that’s what this is about, you can get over it.”

“Fuck bu…? Have you lost your mind?”

Yes, I had, and I didn’t care if I got it back. I stared at him as he forged ahead.

“I wouldn’t fuck you again, Brett Houston, if you were the last man on the island! I loved you, man, and you just walked away like I was nothing more than dog shit you needed to clean off your shoes!”

“You told me you weren’t out fucking anyone else. That was a lie, you little twink. You tricked your way across town and back.”

Mark ripped off his mask and glared at me. “You were the older know-it-all, the one in too much of a hurry to put on a fucking rubber!”

He had me with the truth on that fact. “You weren’t the only one who was younger, Mark.”

“And that makes it all better?” He leaned back and blew out a long breath. “Okay, okay. Can we not do this? We haven’t seen each other in twenty years, and we’re going at it like it’s only been twenty minutes.”

He had me again because he was right again. Nothing would be served by sniping back and forth. Seeing him thrust me back to an uneasy era in my life. It was time for me to act like the man I was if I wanted to stay in touch with him from now on, maybe even call him friend.

“I’m sorry, Mark.”

He gawked at me, then stuck his pinkie finger in his ear and wiggled it around.
“I’m going deaf. I would swear I heard Brett Houston say he was sorry.”

“Funny. See me laugh? I mean it, Mark. I’m sorry for a lot of things.”

*But I’m not sorry about those times I had you.*

He handed me another meatball. His eyes asked me to accept it as a peace offering.

“I was young, dumb and full of cum, Brett. If it was the wrong thing to do, it came naturally to me. But you know that.”

I accepted the meatball, making sure my fingers stroked his as I grasped the toothpick.

“Yeah, I know. And I forgot what it was like to be young and free. I remember it better now, for some reason.”

Mark’s hand touched my thigh. My whole body tightened, my balls drew up, my cock swelled. I didn’t want to react so strongly to him, but I was glad I did. I’d forgotten what it felt like to make love, to touch more than some man’s hard dick. I ached to feel alive again...


Available at:


Barnes & Noble/Nook

KC Kendricks

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Taming Triton for the MidWeek Tease

May 9, 2018
**updated 4/2/21 - the Midweek Tease blog hop is no longer operational**

Welcome to another Midweek Tease blog hop! This week I'm featuring some tidbits from Taming Triton. No, it's not fantasy. It's a tattoo on Austin's shoulder. Yes, catching Austin was easy - he didn't run. Getting him to let go of a few things? Not so easy, but Steve is the right man for the job.


Taming Triton Contemporary gay romance
Book 2 of the Southern Cross collection 

Austin Michaels accepts his brother’s standing invitation for a Caribbean vacation at his island resort. Some time in the sun is just what he needs to map out a plan for his future. He gets lucky and meets a handsome teacher willing to have a little vacation fling with, as long as they can keep things fun.

Steve Guthrie’s secret longings have haunted him all his life. It’s time to face his questions and find the truth of who he really is beyond a staid college professor. His love of the sea prompts him to take a vacation at a Caribbean hide-a-way for relaxation and reflection. A sexy stranger with a tattoo tempts Steve to abandon his plans, enticing him to share a vacation romp.

Now Steve’s the student in a high stakes class of one, and to pass the course, he has to tame his very own Triton.

* * * * *


“You’re early. I need to get a shower.” 

Austin's grin widened. “I’ll come wash your back, Steve.”

I put my hands on my hips and stared him down. “You’ll go get something to open that bottle later. It won’t take me long to get rinsed off.”

He set the bottle on the table, opened a drawer, and held up a corkscrew. “They think of everything at the Southern Cross.”

“I’ve known you six hours, and you’re not climbing in the shower with me, Austin.”

His gaze locked with me, gluing my feet to the floor as he stepped in front of me. “Me thinketh the lad protesteth overmuch.”

My heart stuttered, then beat faster. I wondered if he could hear it. “I’m not protesting. I’m taking a shower.”

His right hand reached out, coming to rest on my shoulder, briefly, before his fingers slid into my hair. The breeze coming through the open window cooled my heated face and brought the light scent of his aftershave to me. No musk for Austin, the fragrance was clean and icy crisp, like snow.

My knees started to shake as he leaned closer to me. His eyelids fluttered closed as his warm breath caressed my cheek. A drumbeat pounded in my ears, deafening me, as his mouth touched mine.

I wrapped my arms around him and held on tight.

* * * * *


There was a soft knock on the door. I didn’t need a rocket scientist to tell me who it was.

What did I want from him? An explanation? Or did I want to tell him to go have a nice life? I opened the door and took in his worried face. Austin stared at me, and his expression shifted to wariness. 

“Steve, what’s wrong?”

Men lie to men all the time. Well, not me. I wasn’t sliding into that gutter. Ever.

“I saw you being very cozy with Colby Denton’s boyfriend.”

He flinched at the accusation, at my sharp voice, but his hand snaked out and grabbed my wrist.

“It’s not what you think. Let me come in…”

“Men lie to men--isn’t that what you said? Should I let you in so you can lie to me?”

“Babe, you should let me in so the neighbors on their terrace don’t get a good laugh, or call the front desk and complain.”

I hesitated a half-second too long, and Austin pushed past me into my suite. “Call Colby and tell him what you saw. Go ahead. Let him tell you that you didn’t see Theron and me sneaking around.”

Austin jumped as I slammed the door shut behind him. I rounded on him. “I fucking saw what I saw, Austin!”

“Yeah? You saw my brother give me a kiss. Is that really a big deal to you?”

The hot rage of his betrayal died in my belly, cooling as if it had never even existed. His brother? He’d mentioned a brother. My knees threatened to give out on me and I plopped down on a dinette chair. Austin took the seat next to mine and held out his hands, palms up.

“Steve, I’m sorry. I’d have gotten around to explaining how I know Theron and Colby tonight. I didn’t think…I mean I didn’t see any reason to tell you my total life story right away. There’s a lot we don’t know about each, and most of it won’t make any difference while we’re having vacation fun.”

I wanted to believe him, I really did. “So tell me about your brother now, and don’t leave anything out.”

That wary look he had teased at his features, a clear indication he had something to hide. If this Theron were his brother, there shouldn’t be any problem, but the trapped look on his face said more than words ever could. Anger licked at my guts again.

“Lie to me, Austin.”

He shook his head. “No. I won’t. Theron is my foster-brother. Let’s walk over to the main building and you can ask him to verify it. Just don’t cross-examine him because you don’t have the right, and his nerves can’t take it.”  Austin reached out and took my hand. I yanked away.

Damn him. “Let’s just go our separate ways, Austin. I can’t trust you.”

Very slowly, he reached for my hand again, wrapping his fingers around mine. This time, something in the earnest way he looked at me, his posture, kept me from pulling back. He took a deep breath.

“I don’t remember my mother. She’s just a name on my birth certificate. I was put into the child welfare system early. So was Theron. We ended up with the same foster family, one that understood gay teens.”

“That’s the real short version, isn’t it?”

To his credit, he didn’t deny it, merely nodded. I had a choice to make. Accept his explanation, or ask him to leave. I knew I didn’t have the right to know every detail of his life story based on our short acquaintance, sex or no sex. The other side of the coin--I’d not told him anything about my life, either. I looked down at our hands. His grip tightened for an instant.

“Okay. So I’m an ass to jump to conclusions and have a little fit.”

Austin’s other hand gripped my knee. “No, you’re not. Theron and I are pretty close. The first time I came for a visit, I thought Colby’s head was going to explode when he caught us…You don’t wanna know yet.”

“The hell I don’t! You’d better spit it out now, Austin.”

“We, um, got a little drunked up. Colby came up to my suite and found us flopped on the bed together, giggling like fools, talking about old times.” Austin flashed me a sheepish look. “Babe, he was not pleased.”

A thought formed, growing stronger as a flush stained his cheeks. I closed my eyes, then opened them slowly. "Jeez, Austin, you and Theron were each other's first, weren't you?"

He didn't attempt to deny it. It wouldn't have worked on me if he had.

"Steve, it was a long time ago. We were two lonely teenagers with the same big secret-we were queers. Somehow the universe gave us to each other to take care of and made us brothers. He and Colby are all the family I have."

I let out a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding. “I get it, Austin. I really do. I’m sor…”

His fingers pressed against my lips. “Don’t say it. Not for this. You don’t know me, so you’re right to question me.”

Available at:

Barnes and Noble/Nook

 KC Kendricks

Life through the eyes of Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:

Saturday, May 5, 2018

New obsessions

May 5, 2018

It seems like every spring I develop a new obsession. This year, it's infused water.  I know! If one is going to obsess on something, how fun is it that it's something healthy? 

Infusing water with a slice of lemon is nothing new for me. For years I've shoved a slice down into a bottle of water but this fancy infusion bottle takes it to a new high. Today's brew is Lemon Ginger Mint. 

It's just what it sounds like. Several lemon slices, two slices of ginger root, and two sprigs of mint fresh from where it grows beside the patio. Shove the ingredients in the sleeve, cap it, put the sleeve in the bottle and fill it with water. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavors. Just don't let it sit out of the fridge until it ferments, ok? 

This particular bottle was slightly more expensive than some but I wanted glass, which can go in the dishwasher. It came with a downloadable recipe book and I can't wait to test out their ideas. 

I'm sure I'll come up with a few concoctions of my own along the way. I'm sure I'll also be making a note on the location of the ladies room wherever I go. Life is a series of trade-offs. 

KC Kendricks

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Maybe I'm blogging incorrectly

May 2, 2018

I wonder if I'm blogging correctly. Maybe I need to ramble a bit more. They say content is king. Hmmm. Why can't content be a Queen? 

Being a fan of the headlines, I scroll down and read most of what Yahoo's homepage offers. I rarely read the articles because I detest having to click through to read the content and it seems like everyone is using that annoyance these days. Yes, even here at Between the Keys there is a click through to an expanding private realm full of personal pages and book excerpts.

Those backdoor pages are a work in progress and always will be. I work on them as time permits but I'm getting there. Okay. I'm adding content. Is it the correct content? Who knows? I think a lot of this stuff is a crap shoot.

What's the content in the headlines today? Sinkholes Plague Florida Neighborhood. Old Tweet Comes Back to Haunt Trump. Kayne Talks Slavery. Meghan Markle's Royal Allowance. 

Jeez. Is this really relevant content? I don't know. I'll confess to a curiosity about Meghan Markle and why a well-paid actress would need an allowance except she apparently has a liking for expensive clothes. And she is required to look tidy. Did the headlines mention little Princess Charlotte turns three today? Why, no. It's too much a happy thought. 

Sinkholes in Florida? I told my BFF not to move there. 

Trump tweeting? Not going there.......Not gonna go there.....Nope.....

So what about publishing news? That is the biz I'm in. Should I exclude everything else of interest in the world in favor of publishing? Maybe. 

It's a point to ponder while I sort out ways to better make content a Queen.