Friday, September 28, 2018

Bathroom revamp 2018

September 28, 2018

It seems I've been remiss. I mentioned the bathroom "spruce up" but never posted final pictures. Now is the time to set that right.

The bathroom has always been a decor dilemma for me. I want it to be tidy and clean but stylish? I don't know. The function is of more importance to me. I'm pleased with the final result that does mix in a little style while keeping function intact for the man of the house who has some special needs. 

The backsplash was the big splurge. We chose a peel-and-stick tile of natural stone. The counter was straight off the rack as was the faucet. The sink is the same one I had. It's in great shape and a nice size. The vanity got a fresh coat of paint with some country details. Same for the medicine cabinets. The shower enclosure and the toilet weren't replaced. They, too, are in great shape. 

A new light fixture was in order simply because I'd grown tired of the old one. We've actually slated the old light to be installed in our shed to light a dark corner. Why not? 

Lastly, the view out the window remains the same. I love the shutters but, in truth, we rarely close them. With thick woods behind us, we can't be seen except by the deer and trespassers. You don't want to be ranked among the latter. 

In short, it'll do nicely for myself and the spousal unit. Sometimes it's good to be an adult with little desire to have more than one truly needs.

My project for next summer? I think it's time to screen in the patio. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com






Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Station to Station for the #MidWeekTease

September 26, 2018

Welcome to my corner of the MidWeek Tease blog hop! Today I'm featuring a tease from Station to Station, which is part of the Men of Marionville collection. 

The MidWeek Tease blog hop is hosted by Angelica Dawson, and is open to all authors in whatever genre of romance you write. Go to her blog and send her an email if you have questions, or find her on Twitter. 

Be sure to check out all the participating blogs by using the list at the end of this post. 

Enjoy!



_*_*_*_

The guy behind me slid his chair back, bumping into me as he stood. He was fast to put a hand on my shoulder.

“Excuse me. I didn’t realize the chairs were so close together.”

I smiled into his unusual silver eyes. The black ring around his iris was fascinating. “No problem. The seating is pretty close.”

He smiled, nodded, and walked away, but not before I caught the quick glint of interest in his eyes. He’d slipped out a door marked “Patio.” Maybe some fresh air would do me some good, too, after I made a pit stop. I excused myself and headed to the men’s room.

Mission accomplished, instead of going back to rejoin the guys, I slipped out the patio door. The object of my interest was perched on the deck railing, smoking a cigarette. His gaze locked with mine, bright with the witchy curiosity a gay man has in another. I walked up to him and boldly lifted the fag from his fingers, took a drag, and exhaled to form a smoke ring.

Huh. I didn’t think I could still make them. I handed the cig back to him.

“Nasty habit. I took it up in my teens and quit when I was twenty-five.”

He took a deep drag and exhaled. “I get up every morning and say I’m gonna stop, but I don’t. How’d you do it?”

“A bad case of tonsillitis. But every once in a great while, I still want to get a taste. It convinces me I don’t need them.”

He grinned and flicked the butt into a sand bucket placed for that purpose. “You’re lucky if you can just taste and still keep away.” He held out his hand. “Dakota Reece.”

I pressed my hand to his warm, warm palm and dared the gods to zap me with a lightning bolt. “Scott Thomas.”

Dakota’s strong fingers closed around mine and I realized the extent of my foolishness. If I let this man get too close, he’d rip out my heart and hand it back to me, bloody and lifeless.

Hell, it’d happened before and I’d lived through it. He fixed me with a ruttish stare. “You’re not ‘with’ the guy you’re with, are you?”

I swear I saw an electric blue aura form around him. It flickered and danced over his shoulders, wild with tangible temptation and the promise to burn me to ash.

“Nope. He’s a good friend.”

He ran his thumb over my knuckles. “Good. When we get back to Marionville, I’ll buy you a drink. Where would you like to go? Frolic? Or someplace quieter?”

This gorgeous creature wanted to have a drink with me? I knew when to throw caution to the four winds…and the time was now.

I pulled him off the rail and slipped my free hand around his waist. Raw awareness crackled between us, man to man, laden with male pheromones and a shared knowledge we innately knew how to make the other moan with pleasure. I wanted to be sure, and kissing him was the most expedient way to strike a spark—or not.

My guess about his height had been right on, and he was just a tick shorter than me. It made kissing him easy. I pressed my lips to his, just a quick, soft touch that turned clingy when neither of us seemed to want to back off. He met me with an open eagerness that threatened to buckle my knees, and we never parted our lips. My body responded and then the sudden aching pooling of blood in my groin convinced me I needed to pull away before I got completely stupid with this guy in plain view of anyone who walked out the door.

Okay, so I kissed him. Okay, so we’d go have a drink and get to know each other. That didn’t mean I’d fuck him tonight. No taste of sweet titillation in that.

Dakota smiled at me. “That was nice. If you won’t have a drink with me, I’ll probably cry myself to sleep.”

“For the record, I don’t buy that line for a moment...."

_*_*_*_


ABOUT STATION TO STATION



Scott Thomas is tagged to oversee the new commuter rail line from Easton to Marionville, a high profile project that demands his expertise. When a friend invites him on a Mystery Train Dinner Adventure, Scott’s onboard for an evening of fun. He gets more than he bargained for when he meets his ideal tall, dark-haired stranger on the train.

Dakota Reece knows the new commuter rail is the opening he’s needed for him and his brother to build their own firm and future. Planning a start-up company while working on the commuter project is hard work. Needing an evening off, Dakota takes a trip to relax on the Mystery Train. When the train stops to serve dinner, Dakota is boldly cruised by a fellow passenger. He has to get to know this smart, sexy man and asks Scott to join him for a drink.

Scott and Dakota hit it off and a quiet cup of coffee leads to unexpected possibilities - and consequences. Their budding relationship could cause a multi-million-dollar conflict of interest. When Dakota makes a sudden decision to advance his timeline, Scott will do whatever is necessary to keep them together and on track.

STATION TO STATION
is available at

iTunes/Apple      

Barnes and Noble/NOOK
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/station-to-station-kc-kendricks/1119495906

Kobo
www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/station-to-station-2


KC Kendricks
http://kckendricks.blogspot.com
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mailing list: betweenthekeys-subscribe@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

September Morning for the MidWeek Tease

September 19, 2018

Welcome to my corner of the MidWeek Tease blog hop! The blog hop is hosted by Angelica Dawson and is open to all author. Go to the MWT page for more information.

This week, being that it's September, I thought I'd highlight an excerpt from September Morning. You can love again after a loss, as JD discovers.

Be sure to check out all the participating blogs by using the list at the end of this post.

Enjoy!

*_*_*_*_*

My eyes burned. It didn’t take a big leap of logic to figure out why and how Nate knew so much.

"You keep saying the exact right thing. Who was he?”

He took a quick breath and gusted it out. “His name was Aaron. We were together about three years. It tore me up when he got married.”

Somehow I didn’t think he meant Aaron married another man. If I didn’t ask, the unrequited curiosity would give me hives.

“As in he married a-?”

“Woman. Yes.”

“Damn.”

“Yep.”

“You didn’t-?”

“Nope. Had no clue until he packed his clothes and left.”

We lifted our cans in unison and both sucked down a long draught of beer. Nate let his arm slide down my back and dipped his fingers beneath the waistband of my shorts. I squirmed away from them.

“Your fingers are cold.”

He bumped against me. “Maybe I’m nervous you’ll reject me.”

“Well, you know I did tell Sven I’d have lunch with him in the not so distant future.”

Nate laughed softly. “I’m not worried about Sven. I saw Paddy whispering in his ear and he looked at us. He’ll have lunch with you but he won’t make a move on you.”

“Pity. I’ve never kissed a Norse god. I might like it.”

He growled and tumbled me backward onto the sand. His cool, beer flavored lips covered mine. Not gentle now, he thrust his silky tongue into my mouth and led me into a mock battle. Back and forth we teased, learning secrets few others would ever know.

I clung to him as long-forgotten heat coursed through me. I’d mourned the loss of having someone to touch, and to touch me, as much as I’d mourned losing Michael. Now my senses flooded with Nate’s nearness. My cock, so unresponsive for so long, swelled full and hard. I needed to breathe but I would have passed out from lack of oxygen before I’d pull away from him - or let him go.

“Ah, kick some sand on ‘em.”

Nate jerked away from me at the sound of a voice, close to our ears. Sven took a step back as we scrambled to sit. Good-natured laughter traveled around the bonfire. I glanced at Nate and hoped I wasn’t as glassy-eyed as he was. The man looked dazed.

I guess I did. Sven loomed over me and grinned.

“Does this mean our lunch date is off?”

I got to my feet with as much dignity as a guy with a big bulge in his pants can muster in front of a crowd. “That depends. I still need to eat.”

There was a smattering of applause as I reached out a hand to Nate and pulled him to his feet. 

Huh. He had a bulge, too. I liked it. 


_*_*_*_


September Morning
Contemporary gay romance

Jagger Davis, JD to his friends, is at a crossroads in his life. He takes a summer sabbatical at picturesque Sandbridge Beach in Virginia to enjoy sun, surf, and solitude while plotting a new direction for his life. Arriving at a rented cottage, JD finds sun and surf, but the cottage next-door houses six fun-loving guys determined to include him in their summer activities. It’s quickly evident JD won’t have time to feel lonely.

Nate Fischer is one of a group of friends who spend every summer at Sandbridge. An IT specialist, Nate’s taking a few weeks off before his next assignment sends him out to sea for months. He introduces himself to the new neighbor and invites JD to the first bonfire of the season.

JD fends off advances from Nate’s roommates as the two men become close. But JD harbors a secret in his past, one he worries Nate won’t accept. When Nate’s job abruptly calls him away, JD realizes his mistake. He hasn’t given his summer lover a fair chance. Now he has to convince Nate he’ll be waiting when Nate returns - if Nate still wants him. 

SEPTEMBER MORNING
Available at:


KC Kendricks
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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Cover reveal - Steel Wheels by KC Kendricks

September 16, 2018


I've been diligently working to finish the first draft of Steel Wheels. I'm near enough to achieving the goal that I took a break and made the cover. This led to reworking all of Ian and Rick's covers just because I CAN! 

Steel Wheels, book five in Ian and Rick's story, is about a blackmail case. When someone is blackmailed, who do you call? No, not ghostbusters - the FBI. And so Rick gets involved with Ian's case again. 

I'm pretty happy with the way the new covers look. I am getting better with Photoshop. I managed to update the website, too. Sometimes I amaze myself. 

So here's the cover for the upcoming Steel Wheels. I hope you like it.

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Monday, September 10, 2018

A cat's a cat and that's that

September 10, 2018

Having acquired a kitten earlier this year, I've set about making sure the little munchkin has plenty of toys and such to occupy his active mind. Jingle balls, foil balls, catnip mice. feathers on a stick, froggies that croak. Yes, I've spent some money on the little shithead cat. 

I could have saved the money. I've finally found what really hits Loki's hot button - little fuzzy glitter balls. They cost maybe twenty-cents a piece. 

I just ordered a bag of fifty. That should keep him off my desk for an hour or so. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Highway Nights new cover

September 9, 2018

This morning I needed to take a break from the work-in-progress, Steel Wheels. The words are flowing so fast my rear-end was numb from sitting in the chair! In my own defense of myself to myself for sitting so long, all I can say is we're in the middle of a torrential rain. What else could I do except write? (No, vacuuming the floor was not an option.)

Needing to be productive, I reworked the Highway Nights cover.  It's not a great change but it's a good one.

Back in the days of publishers, the author filled out a number of forms with each book. The cover art form asked the author to describe her/his vision for the cover. With Highway Nights, I had a picture of headlights at night and I sent that along with the form. I can't imagine Highway Nights without those headlights. Cover art belongs to the publisher but that photo did not. When I went indie, I reused the photo. And here it is again only this time I've added a diner which fits the storyline. 

I've heard some indie authors bemoan how difficult it is to get a good cover. Learning how to make your own gives you an edge. As your photoshopping skills improve, it's easy to improve on early covers. 

Is this the best cover I've ever created? Probably not. But it's as good as any I got from a publisher's cover artist and all the reworking of it cost me was a bit of perseverance. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com
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http://kckendricks.blogspot.com


Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Picnic Table

September 8, 2018

One of the last projects my father completed before he died was to build a picnic table. I'm not really sure why he decided he wanted one, but he did. So in the summer of 1982, he made a trip to Sears for a new tool whether he needed it or not to build the table. Every project required something new with the Craftsman imprint on it. Dad built the table and made it his spot to read the evening paper until cold weather drove him inside. Looking back and considering the seriousness of his illness, I think he simply wanted to enjoy being outside. 

Almost ten years after my father died, my mother remarried and sold the house I grew up in. She didn't want the picnic table at her new house, and so I grabbed a couple of the cousins and absconded with it one Saturday afternoon. After the fire ring was put together, the table got moved to its permanent location. It's a quiet, shady spot to sit and think. I like to take my laptop to the table and do story planning for the next little while. 

Well, I used to do that. These days, caring for the spousal unit, my mother, and stepfather eats up writing time. Life is full of seasons. This is the time to be there for them. 

The picnic table is part of the northern view from my sunroom office. Behind it is a what around here is called a stone fence. Yes, that wall of stone is as high as it looks. My grandparents were given copies of old deeds to this piece of property when they bought it, which they passed on to me, and the stone fence is listed as the property line going well back into the 1800s. Back then folks farmed this piece of land and the stones the plow dug up were laid along the property line, serving two purposes. Perhaps when I retire and become a lady of leisure, I'll re-stack the stones into a proper wall. Not the entire length of it but at least the section behind the picnic table. 

And when I need to take a break from such manual labor I can take a break in the shade sitting at the picnic table my father built. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com
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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Midweek Tease - Leather Jackets

September 5, 2018

Welcome to the Midweek Tease! Summer is lingering on here in the Mid-Atlantic with temps in the nineties. Baby, it's hot. It's not yet time for leather jackets but that's where we're going this week. 

Be sure to check out all the Midweek Tease participating blogs at midweektease.blogspot.com

This week, here is a bit from Leather Jackets, which is part of the Men of Marionville collection. 

Enjoy!

_*_*_*_


INTRO:

Wynn held the hip-length coat for me as I slipped my arms into the sleeves, then he let the weight of it come to rest on my shoulders. The jacket was light but incredibly warm. I flipped open the left side to check the lining.

“Don’t bother. You’d have to cut the cloth to see what the insulating layer is.”

I stretched my arms out in front of my chest. The jacket moved with me, giving just enough to remain comfortable.

“This is a nice jacket. I see why you liked. Does he make bombers?”

Wynn reached in the closet and pulled out a black bomber complete with silver studs and chains. He caressed a front panel. “This is so you, Jude. Take it.”

For a moment, I was tempted. “I can’t accept this. It’s hand-stitched so I’m sure it was expensive.”
“Nine large. But take it. Call it a signing bonus.”

“Wynn, I don’t know the first thing about modeling. You need a professional, or better yet, model this yourself. Your fans will go wild.”

His fingers trailed down my leather-clad arm until they found mine. He hesitated, then stroked his thumb over my knuckles. His voice was so low I had to strain to hear it.

“I knew you were here. I came back to Marionville to find you, Jude.”


EXCERPT

“C’mon on over here.” He lifted his arm, and I leaned in against him like I did it every day of my life. “Jude, where do you want to go from here?”

I could play coy—something neither of us had ever liked—or I could be upfront with him. I chose the latter.

“Wherever you’re sleeping, I’m sleeping, and you know it. Now we can try to find a bar where the clientele won’t mob you, or we can find a nice quiet—private—place and say some things that need to be said to each other.”

He grinned at me. “Damn, Mary, you should be out of breath after all that.”

I growled and turned on him. “Don’t. Call. Me. Mary!”

Wynn held up his hand in mock surrender and it was the opening I needed. I dug my fingers into his ribs. He yelped and twitched, and the next thing I knew, we were rolling around on the floor of the limo, choking with shared laughter.

We rolled left, and I rose over him. Wynn’s long legs wrapped around my waist, squeezing me. I feigned defeat so he’d release me. The ploy worked for about a second and a half and then I was on my back looking up at him. The smile faded from his face and his hand cupped the back of my head.

“I’ve thought about you so much, Jude. I was wrong not to find you years ago.”

It would do no good to argue. Too many years had gone by for either of us to resurrect blame. Nothing would be gained and all the steps we’d taken in the last day would be erased. I didn’t want that. He’d only be here for such a short time. I had to make the most of every moment.

“Maybe, Wynn, but perhaps not. You had things you had to do. I had things I wanted to do.”

“Having you with me would have made it all sweeter.” He lowered his mouth to mine.

I was startled by the gentle poignancy of his kiss. For a split second, he laid himself bare for me, then I opened my lips and invited him in. The change in him was swift. A deep groan rumbled in his chest. His pelvis flexed to mine. My balls drew up as my cock swelled, eager for his touch, for the wet swipe of his tongue.

Wynn’s lips trailed fire down my neck and along my jawline. My heart pounded as the skin on my back and buttocks prickled. Deep inside, small muscles twitched with anticipation of something I couldn’t be sure would happen. I hooked my foot around the back of his knees and rolled us against the other seat. We ended up on our sides facing each other.

“Damn, it’s tight quarters in here.”

Wynn’s big hand clamped onto my ass and squeezed. “We had to promise no sex in the limo to keep our driver happy. But he turns a blind eye to the occasional little grope-and-pant session.” His cool hand dipped under the waistband of my pants and his long fingers wrapped around my hard shaft and moved in short strokes. I rested my forehead to his.

“Oh, God. Every time I jerk off, I think of your hand.” I cupped his balls through his slacks.

He kissed me again, his tongue teasing mine and sending my pulse skyrocketing. “Do you want to get off now?”

I pressed forward, pinning his hand between our lower bodies and stopping his subtle movements. “No. Stop. After all this time, I don’t want to you to jerk me off in the damn limo and get your driver upset.”

Wynn gave my cock a last easy squeeze and pulled his hand out of my pants.

“We need to go to your place. If any of the local paparazzi has figured out where I’m staying, they might spot us sneaking into the parking garage at the hotel.”

I rimmed his ear as I murmured my agreement. He reached out a long arm, smacked the intercom button, told his driver to head to my place and put his arm around me. Wynn paused, his lips scant millimeters from mine.

“It’ll be okay, Jude. You’ll see...”

ABOUT LEATHER JACKETS

 Wynn DeRocher’s talent and ambition catapulted his band to the top of the charts, but he paid a steep price to achieve success. He needs a flesh and blood man, one who understands the demands of his music. He needs the man he let get away - Jude Thatcher.

Wynn pitches a proposal to Jude - a lucrative job modeling the band’s new line of signature logo'd clothing. Jude accepts but both men know it’ll take more than fancy dinners and limo rides to convince him to risk his heart again.

To covet might be a sin, but Jude needs a gesture of good faith. And he wants Wynn’s leather jacket as much as he wants Wynn. Almost.

LEATHER JACKETS is available at:


KC Kendricks
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www.pinterest.com/kckendricks
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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Best to wait another year

September 2, 2018

Many moons ago, my mother and I enjoyed making decorative ceramic pieces. This was precipitated by a woman my mom worked with opening a ceramic shop in her basement. Mom wanted to support her endeavor and since we did all sorts of crafty *stuff*, off we went. I made a pumpkin patch. 

I enjoyed every moment of making all those pumpkins. Mom was busy making flower pots and a mushroom patch. (It was the early 80s.) We kept all the tools of the trade at Mom's house and generally spent an evening a week sitting at her table, happily sanding, painting and glazing. Every Saturday morning, we took pieces to be fired and to pick up completed pieces. 

In years past, the pumpkin patch and the three wee ghosties I found at the old five and dime store came out of storage around the first weekend of September to welcome the approaching autumn. Some years it went on the hutch and others on the dining room table. It remained until the day after Thanksgiving when it was carefully packed and the box put back up in the attic. 

This year, the pumpkin patch is staying safely packed away. I can sum up the reason why in one word - Loki.  Don't let that sweet little face lull you into believing he's a good kitty. Loki is a one kitten wrecking crew, ergo, ALL the breakables have been tucked away. He goes for his "operation" this coming Wednesday. He's full of fresh, young male hormones at the moment and poor Deuce is paying the price with a shortage in his nap times. 

We'll give Loki another year and see if he settles down as an adult. I suspect this will be another season without a Christmas tree, too. We do what we must to accommodate our little furballs and live in harmony. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com