Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Cat Named Hercules - The Midweek Tease #MidWeekTease

June 27, 2018
**Updated 4/2/21 - the MidWeek blog hop has been discontinued.**

Welcome to this week's MidWeek Tease! To celebrate the newest member of my family, Loki, and to honor Shooter, the real Hercules of the story, I'm featuring an excerpt from A Cat Named Hercules.



“I know I don’t want one. Galen Widmyer is a vet. I asked him to come take a look.” Cass motioned at an approaching figure. I forgot about the cat in favor of staring at the man coming my way.

He was five-eleven, or maybe even six feet tall, slender, with a mop of curly light brown hair. His long legs were encased in snug, faded denim that showcased lean thighs. The soft fabric clung to the outline of his penis, snaked down to the left. Sunglasses hid his eyes, but nothing could hide the lazy, fluid way his body moved. He could fuck me any time, any place, any way.

Cass introduced us. We nodded and murmured the proper words of greeting at each other. Damn, I wished I could see his eyes.

“Well, let’s see what you have here.” He accepted the kitten from me and the light brush of his fingertips to mine sent a powerful jolt of carnal speculation through me. Galen scratched under the kitten’s chin. “This one has great markings. All black with white whiskers, a white chest and belly, white toes, and a small white goatee.”

With practiced hands, he lifted the stubby black tail. “Congratulations. It’s a boy.”

I squinted. I didn’t see any evidence of the kitten being male—no balls. “How can you tell?”

He raised the tail again. His fingers were long and slender, much like the man, and I wondered if he played the piano. They were also grass-stained. I surmised he’d been on the weed-pulling brigade.

“See the two dots, Shiloh? Male. If we could see a dot with a dash below, it would be female.”

“Okay. I know nothing about cats so I guess that’s a good first lesson. But shouldn’t he have, you know, balls?”

Galen ruffled the kitten’s fur and rubbed his ears. “He’ll grow ’em in a few months. Are you going to keep him? If so, I have several more lessons for you, all unpleasant.”

Cass laughed. “Just look at him, Galen. He can barely stand it you’re holding his flea hotel. Yeah, he’s keeping the cat.”

I glared at my friend. “Don’t you have work to do?” I looked at Galen. “Do you think he’s just lost?”

Galen made a sweeping gesture with his arm. “Look around. No one lives here, and the closest house is half a mile away. This little guy didn’t wander here by himself. Someone tossed him out or his mother’s a feral cat and, given his situation, would be about to abandon him to ensure her own survival for her next litter. Either way, he needs a home.”

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 undernourished 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. This first checkup is going to be expensive.”

I didn’t give a damn how much it cost. I had a cat, and my cat’s sexy vet was welcome to anything he wanted to get him healthy. 

Book V in the Men of Marionville series

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. In his darkest moments, the one bright spot in his existence 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 erects a wall of silence between the two men, one Shiloh has to breach if he hopes to win Gale back. It will take more than apologies to win Gale’s forgiveness and put old fears to rest. It’ll take a cat named Hercules.


Available now at:



Barnes & Noble/NOOK


KC Kendricks

Monday, June 25, 2018

One memory restored; a project half completed

June 25, 2018

A while back I finally came into possession of my late grandmother's Eastlake platform rockers. They're a part of my history and memories so I was delighted to get them even though they weren't in the best condition. They had a black lacquer finish and I've set out to repaint and restore them to their glossy best. I decided to work on the one in the worst condition first, Pop's chair, and it's finally finished and sitting in a place of honor in my sunroom office. 

Not everything worked the way I'd planned. Getting the seat and back cushions made proved beyond my skillset. It didn't matter what I did, the end result was sloppy. I gave in and purchased matching seats and backs for both chairs. Red was my grandmother's favorite color so red was the only possible choice. 

The chairs sat facing each other at the large windows in my grandmother's sunny kitchen. When they're both finished, they will sit facing each other in my sunroom.

Maybe the spirits of my grandparents will come and sit with me while I'm working. Or, more likely, I'll simply pretend they're here.  They were married for sixty-six years. Pop outlived Mam by eight years but I like to think of them as always together. Whenever I stopped to see him, he always told me to sit "in Jean's chair." 

And so I'll sit in Jean's chair again, very soon. That pleases me.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

We have a new family member - Loki

June 24, 2018

After two years, we finally have a new kitten. He has some pretty big paws to fill but I think this one can do it. 

Meet Loki! Loki is the Norse god of mischief and misadventure, and so far this critter has lived up to his name. We considered calling him Screech, for obvious reasons (he can screech), but decided it wouldn't be very dignified when he's a mature feline. Loki does fit him and he's already responding to it so I'd say it was a good choice. 

Like Shooter, this one is a Tuxedo. They are known for having personality. If this one is even half the cat Shooter was, we'll have something special. It's going to be a joy to watch him grow and mature. Equally fun will be watching him and Deuce develop the dog/cat bond. It's starting to happen which I think is very cool. 

I'm sure Deuce and Loki will provide me with plenty of blogging material in the coming years, most of which will be on Deuce's Day. Deuce does have a unique perspective on cats. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2018


June 13, 2018

I suppose I'm easily amused. Back on March 30, the odometer in the Charger rolled up to 44444.  I took a picture and stopped to play combinations of 4 in the lottery. I didn't win anything, but I helped make someone's dreams come true. At least, I hope I did. 

Today I hit the next number - 45678. It's kinda cool so I pulled over and took a quick picture. Not bad mileage for a 2011 model car considering the national average per car is 15,000 miles a year. According to that figure, I should have upwards of 100,000 miles on the car. Huh.

Part of me wants to stop by my insurance agent's office and shove my cell phone straight up his arse, picture and all. They will not drop my annual driving to below 7500 miles. I've had the car three years and only about nineteen thousand of those miles are mine. Do the math... that's just a tick above six thousand miles a year. Insurance companies are greedy money grabbers. But enough of my bitching about it. I've got another thousand dollars in dividends accumulated and I'm pulling it out after my anniversary date. I'll throw it at my money guy and he'll make more money with it than the insurance agency does. 

I'm not sure how to convert 45678 into a lottery win but I'm going to think on that between now and quitting time. Who knows? It might be my dreams coming true for a change.

KC Kendricks
(do you sense a pattern here?)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Catching Fireflies for this week's MidWeek Tease

June 6, 2018
**updated 4/2/21 - the MidWeek Tease blog hop is no longer operational**

Welcome to this week's MidWeek Tease! Thanks to our host, Angelica Dawson, the MidWeek Tease blog hop presents some of the best teases you'll read this week. 

Today I have an excerpt from Catching Fireflies, the final-to-date story set in the Southern Cross circle of friends. 

Be sure to check out all of this week's blog hop participants either by using the linky list at the end of this post or by visiting



“That glass had better have the same amount in it when I get back.”
Aubrey swiped his index finger over his heart, specifically his left nipple, up and down then side-to-side. The man was all tease and I liked it. I wasn’t ready for anyone serious.
I carried his glass over to Mark and requested another. I watched as he made Aubrey another drink - virgin. I looked at him, questioningly.
“Apparently Aubrey doesn’t touch anything with alcohol in it. I’ve no clue why. The man’s a mystery to everyone except Chad.”
I thanked him for making the drink as he handed it to me. “A little mystery isn’t a bad thing, is it?”
“No, Dale, it’s not. But don’t expect too much. He’s only here for the commitment ceremony.”
“Thanks. That’s good to know.” I turned and reclaimed my spot beside Aubrey, handing him his drink as I sat. Brett was delivering the first steaks to those who liked to hear it go “moo” when they stuck a fork into it. Aubrey echoed my preference for medium-well to well when Brett asked. I touched my glass to his again. 
“Ah, I’ve learned something else about you. Now I’ve got a very important question for you. Sauce, or no sauce?”
“Hon, I’ve been thinking of nothing but sauce since I saw you standing in the driveway.”
I grinned at him, appreciating his wicked sense of humor. “You are so bad. I was talking about steak sauce.”
“If you see me put anything on a steak, you’ll know it was ruined before it got to me, and I’m pretty sure Brett isn’t going to do that.”
“I have a feeling you’re right about that.” I sipped my drink, wondering if I should pry into why he didn’t imbibe. He beat me to it.
“You’re wondering why I don’t drink.”
It was a statement, not a question, and I gave him a nod. “So you’re psychic, too?”
“No, but everyone wonders why a man of my comparative youth isn’t out getting inebriated every night of the week, a behavior best described as gauche.”
“That’s not a word I hear often. Hmm…Brett just motioned for us to get our plates.”
Aubrey batted his eyelashes and smiled at me. I shook my head.
“Nope. You have to go fix your own plate.” I stood and held my hand out to pull him up. He sighed and wrapped his fingers around mine. I was right - his hands were strong.
We fixed our plates with a veritable feast. Steak, grilled mushrooms and peppers, fresh diced tomatoes in light vinaigrette, a cold couscous salad, macaroni salad and fresh fruit. I gathered from the conversation meals at Brett and Mark’s place were somewhat potluck. The hosts simply looked in the larder and presented what appealed to them on the spur of the moment, and whatever leftovers they had in the refrigerator, but it sure worked. I grabbed the last steak knife and squeezed in at the table beside Sam.
Drat that flirty Aubrey for parking his very fine little butt between the two old guys. I’m sure he did it because they fawned over him - and he was just as bad over them. It was honest and genuine, and fun to watch even with so many questions hammering inside my head.
Would he really take a walk with me this evening? The sun was well on its way toward the far horizon, and I loved being along the shore at dusk…crap.
How the hell had this happened? When I crawled out of bed this morning all I had on my mind was a long, peaceful, albeit cold, winter on the island. I was going to rest, relax, rejuvenate - and not get all hot and bothered over any guy that crossed my path. But here I sat doing just what I didn’t want to do.
Funny how life constantly gives a person what they think they don’t want.
Aubrey smiled at me.
Shit. I’d taken his bait and if I wasn’t careful, he’d set the hook. 


Dale Langley longs for some triple R time - rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. He accepts his cousin’s invitation to winter over on Ocracoke Island, far away from the hustle and bustle of life on the mainland. He’s always loved being a rolling stone, traveling for his job without the worry of a place to call home, but it’s time for something different. Now Dale anticipates several blissful months to learn how to be still with no demands on his time while he prepares for the next phase of his life.

Aubrey Zimmerman came to Ocracoke to attend a friend’s commitment ceremony. Never one to settle down, Aubrey’s had enough of involvements that took him from man to man without a place to call home. He needs a break - and a little solitude. House sitting while his friend is on his honeymoon is the perfect way to clear his head and catch up on his sleep. At least it seemed that way until Dale arrived and Aubrey realized sleep is the last thing he needs.

Fate has changes in store for Dale and Aubrey, the sort neither one knew they wanted. Sometimes the more you wander the closer to home you get


 KC Kendricks

Life through the eyes of Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:

Friday, June 1, 2018

Restoring a memory

June 1, 2018

And so it goes. Today is the last day of my annual spring vacation and I'm feeling ambivalent. I've crossed a lot of home and garden items off my list - pro. I didn't take much time for myself - con. Today, Saturday and Sunday remain but I'm not hopeful I'll actually take time to be lazy. 

This particular vacation I've been working on refinishing my maternal grandmother's set of Eastlake platform rockers. I know I'm talking about the project quite a bit but the memories of hours spent sitting in one of those rockers talking with my grandmother (my Mam) are alive and vibrant within me. Some of those memories define who I am at my core. 

My grandfather built the house he and my grandmother lived in. He and his cadre of brother-in-laws did all the work. The stone foundation, the framing, the brick exterior, the kitchen cabinets. That's the way it was done back then. The kitchen had two almost ceiling to floor west-facing windows. Pop built extra-wide window sills for flower pots. Apparently, after Mam brought home the rockers, the sills were only used for setting one's coffee cup on. I remember those sills as having a lot of coffee rings on them. 

The rockers arrived long before I did as the picture of my mother holding a newborn me attests. Mam found them at a sale or auction and brought them home in the trunk of her car. She made new cushions for them - once. Now, over sixty years on, they need a lot of tender loving care. So that's my current project. I'm refinishing the chairs and they will have a place of honor in my sunroom office. It seems fitting they sit in the same room as my grandmother's favorite lamp and my great-grandfather's desk. 

I'm excited to have the project underway, but I'm almost equally annoyed at the condition of the chairs. Oh, I get it. To my grandparents, they were simply chairs. The spot in Mam's sunny kitchen where all the problems of the world were solved with a cup of coffee and quiet conversation. Little did my grandparents realize the legacy those old chairs would help create. 

It's difficult to predict where the chairs will one day end up. I look at those in the next generation and think that because the chairs are not in pristine condition those girls won't want them. Nor do they have the memories of lazy Sunday afternoons shared. My grandmother - their great-grandmother. There is the disconnect of generations in that. 

But perhaps by the time I leave this world one of them will have cause to need a rocking chair in a sunny spot to ponder their memories. I can only hope their's will be as rich as mine.