Saturday, December 26, 2020

Capping off Christmas

December 26, 2020

We're going to hear it said a lot - this Christmas was different. Can I get an "amen!"? I'll settle for you muttering under your breath, "you got that shit right." In the year 2020, it's about the same thing. 

No, I'm not making fun of Christians. It's the faith to which I espouse. Lighten up, folks. 

I'm part of the generation which, so it seems, was the first to be vocal about the commercialization of Christmas. Christmas is big money. I'm curious as to what the retail numbers will be this year. Our own personal experience with Christmas buying is not a good marker. We tend to discuss our needs and wants and settle on that one big thing we agree on instead of a bunch of little things. This year we decided to wait until spring to make that purchase since it's for outside. 

But what we received this Christmas isn't something we could purchase. I spoke with my two closest male cousins which did my heart good. I left a message for another cousin and I hope she'll be able to call me back today. My partner's siblings all joined together in a facebook chat (or zoom or whatever) with various spouses and offspring wandering in and out in the background. It was a welcomed connection to family.

Back in the day, I wasn't much of a fan of the digital lifestyle. I foresaw us being exactly where we are, although I never saw a pandemic coming. I saw the reliance on digital or virtual as the end of the personal gatherings. One of my friends used to shake her head at me, telling me that going digital was a great way to keep tabs on a friend without putting up with all their shit. She was right. I do that with her. 

Our Christmas was a solitary one. It's really good that after twenty-six years we still tolerate each other pretty well. The one cousin popped in with his new puppy but outside those ten minutes, we had our solitude. Last Christmas, I penned a light-hearted little poem entitled The Elder and The Crone. It was meant in fun but has deeper significance this year. 
So as the hours of Christmas 2020 ticked away, the Elder and the Crone enjoyed a slice of bourbon-laced sweet potato pie and some heavily spiked eggnog. After that, the two old farts fell asleep in their respective recliners while the dog put himself to bed. It was a great way to cap off this particular Christmas. 

KC Kendricks

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Are breaks really a good thing?

 December 19, 2020

Are purposeful breaks a good thing? My answer is it depends. The old adage to "write something every day" has never worked well for me. It works well three days a week since I don't work at the day job Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, but the other four days of the week? Not so much.
Knowing that for four days a week I'll be too emotionally tired to write has always been an annoyance and frustration for me. The year 2020, well, who can adequately describe 2020? What usually happens to me is that I'll come home from the day job and want to write until I sit in the chair and stare at the monitors. Then I sort of crash. It's very unproductive. 

We've arrived at what is my annual Christmas break, that time from the weekend before Christmas to January 2. It feels like a cheat to take the time off. I've almost finished a Rayne Forrest story and it would be great to kick-off 2021 with a new release. 

Sometimes it really works to tell myself I can't do something. I believe writers should be well-rounded in knowledge. That doesn't mean an expert. It means to take an interest in many topics - except politics. That shit will rot your brain. My planned breaks are so I can indulge myself by working with genealogy, ancient cities and peoples, crafts, cooking and baking, and planning a spring garden. This year I've added spying to my repertoire of interests. We bought a trail camera to keep an eye on the deer in the west woods. Something is having way too much fun out there at night and we think it's a coyote. 

Just typing the words "I'm on a break" has me itching to open the folder and work on the story. Any story. It's not only the Rayne Forrest story I have on the plot board. 

Maybe a huge part of staying motivated is getting myself to relax. The thing I've wanted in my life, above all else, is at hand. If not for the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to maintain really good health insurance, I would have retired back in June 2020. I came so close....

It snowed a few days ago providing me with a winter wonderland vista outside the windows of my sunroom office. Maybe if I write a few hundred words, I can take a break and go wander about the manor. Then tomorrow I can watch the footprints melt. I've got to fit that imagery in a story now. 

First day of being "on break" and already I have a new idea to jot down. Breaks can be good. 

KC Kendricks

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Passion's Victory promotional card

 December 6, 2020

Passion's Victory is the second story I wrote as KC Kendricks. It garnered a CAPA nomination, which both surprised and pleased me. It shouldn't have. Passion's Victory is a solid story if I do say so myself. 

One of the tasks I've set for myself is making a promo card for every book. This morning, it was Passion's Victory's turn. This card is about my third effort and I think I'll stop while 
I'm behind! 

Here's a bit about Passion's Victory, available at the usual on-line booksellers. You can also check out the book page here at Between the Keys. 




 Micah Souther is young, talented, and gay. As the junior owner of the family business, he knows better than to look for love “on the clock.”

 Jonas Chadwick is the new guy at the firm. Older, wiser, and a survivor of the school of hard knocks, he’s not in the market for an office romance, even if he learns for certain his young boss is gay.

 One kiss is all it takes to send Micah and Jonas on a collision course, and when bodies collide, the friction gets hot...


... My pulse pounded loudly in my ears and my cock rose, anticipating something I knew wasn’t a certainty. He’d come back, but for what? His warm lips found mine, seeking permission. I opened to him, inviting him to plunder at will. He did, thrusting his tongue into my mouth. I met him eagerly, hungrily. I wanted this, and more.

Jonas’ strong fingers encircled my wrist as he lifted my arm above my head to body pin me, full length, against my front door. He pressed the hard ridge of his erection firmly to mine. I reached for him with my free hand, wanting to feel his length and girth, but he grabbed that wrist, too, and lifted it beside the other. I bucked against him, totally turned on by the aggression I sensed in him.

“Be still,” he growled in my ear. He trailed kisses down my neck, even as his grip tightened. I struggled to break free of the vise grip he had on my wrists.

His pelvis ground against mine. I tilted my head and delved into the heat of his mouth. I moaned. He moaned. I wanted my hands free in the worst way. I needed to touch him, caress the sensitive, silky skin I knew sheathed his penis. I ached to feel his lips on my cock.

I threw my weight forward, desperate to force him to take a step back. It worked and I quickly spun him around and pinned him with my body. He grunted as he came in contact with the door and his lips bowed beneath mine. His strong fingers released my hands, and I reached for him, gathering him to me. His muscled thigh slipped between mine and applied upward pressure on my balls. Instead of worrying about injury I pressed down, reveling in the tingling sensation.

“Jonas,” I murmured against his smiling lips. “Talk to…” His tongue flicked to mine, cutting off my request for a moment of conversation.

Any of my neighbors watching were getting quite a sideshow. I shoved my hand in my pocket, fumbling for my keys. They fell from my shaking fingers to the porch decking. Jonas pushed me back, breaking physical contact. I longed to see his eyes, to get some idea of what he thought, what he felt.

“Bend over and pick them up,” he said cheerfully as he rubbed my nipple.

I stared at him and tried to catch my breath. “Not in front of you, Chadwick. I know all about men like you.”

“Do you?” Something rough and dark in his voice gave me pause. What demon did he battle?

“I know enough.” I pushed him back against the side of the house, not with some little force. “Why did you come back?”

“I don’t know. Maybe to satisfy my curiosity.”

“Bullshit.” I fisted my hands in his shirt and gave him a shake. “We take this inside, make it private, or we’re done here.”

Jonas stared at me for the longest twenty seconds of my life, then he nodded. I released him and he bent over, snagged my keys, and dropped them into my outstretched palm. I unlocked the door and invited the devil into my home for the second time in one day.

“I need a drink. Do you want one, Jonas?” I needed to haul him into my bedroom and have my way with him, that’s what I needed. My insides quivered. I shivered despite the warm evening.
But I knew, to my sorrow, that quickie sex now would be a mistake, and I bet he knew it, too.

“I’ll take a brandy, if you have it.”

“I hope you’ll settle for bourbon.”

I poured us each a generous shot and handed him one. He nodded and tossed it back like a pro. I followed suit, and we set our empties down on the counter in unison. Jonas reached for me again. I lifted my chin and stared him down. His hand dropped to his side.

I wanted him. God, how I wanted him. I ached with it. His gaze met mine before flicking down to the bulge in my pants and back up.

“Looks nice.”

“It’s a sock,” I told him cheerily, in the same tone that he’d used to tell me to bend over.

“Hmm. Well, that’s the risk we run, isn’t it?”

I snorted. “Ya think?” I went to check his package, and he moved away.

“Shy?” I hardly thought shyness to be a problem for him given his examination of my tonsils with his tongue.

“Let’s just say I’m cautious.”


 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:

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

Doors of Time promo card project

 November 30, 2020

I distinctly remember the conversation that took place after Amber Quill Press announced they were folding. One of the other AQP authors with a cavalier attitude boldly proclaimed she didn't need to learn how to make her own covers. 

Hmmm....More power to her. I chose a very different path. 

I decided I would learn how to create a cover and I've really enjoyed - yes, ENJOYED the process. Not every cover turns out exactly the way I thought it would, but that's okay. I've discovered that I need to allow the creative side of my brain to simmer some ideas (some longer than others), and can redo a cover at any time. No begging for it to be done by someone else. No paying extra for a re-do. 

This past year I've been creating some promo cards. I've seen some really good ones and they gave me the idea to try it. Mine are basics, but I think that's ok. My message is basic - here's my book. 

Photoshop is a challenging piece of software. It does things I don't have a clue about. I stick to the basic photo merge process. It takes me about an hour to do a promo card although I know I'm getting faster. I create every layer separately and save each combination as a separate .jpg. My copy of Photoshop will simply shut down if I try to do too much at once. So I work with that knowledge instead of against it. 

This morning I settled down to do a card for Doors of Time. I've always loved the way that cover turned out, and I think the promo card does it proud. 

Here's a bit about Doors of Time, one of my author picks. Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Contemporary gay romance available at
Amazon, iTunes and other online booksellers

Calvin Lawson arrived in Clear River to rebuild bridges with his ailing father, not hook up with Emory Fleming, although being an honest man, he has to admit Emory’s on his mind. But first things first, and before he goes looking for his boyhood friend, he needs to find a restoration project to generate personal income so he’s not sponging off his father. Gutted by an arsonist, the Clocktower Theatre, affectionately called the Time by everyone in town, is in dire need of his special skills. 
As an on-the-air journalist, Emory Fleming is making a name for himself and getting noticed. He’s back in Clear River at the local network affiliate, preparing for the move up to a major market in a few years. When Calvin Lawson rolls back into town, Emory’s stunned. The old pal he worked with at the Time kept a big secret - he’s gay. All the fantasies Emory had as a teenager about Calvin suddenly become real as he and Calvin reconnect and quickly become lovers.
Calvin’s planned restoration of the Clocktower Theatre may not be a practical possibility. He has to secure a lot of funding to do the job properly, and money is tight everywhere. When Emory’s big break comes faster than anticipated, Calvin sees only one option. He'll step aside so Emory will accept the job he’s worked all his life to attain, and allow the doors of time close between them permanently.

“You don’t know what to do when someone acts all gentlemanly toward you, do you?”

Emory reached out and squeezed his shoulder. “Not really, but I’m willing to work on it.” He climbed into the car, and Calvin closed the door.

If he were lucky, his knees wouldn’t buckle as he walked around to the driver’s side of the Charger and got the vehicle moving.

It wasn’t news to Calvin that Emory liked to lead, but some habits were hard to break. From an early age, his mother had drilled polite manners into him. A man opened doors, carried packages, pulled chairs out from tables, and held umbrellas. As far as Calvin was concerned, being genteel applied to gay men as much as straight guys. But maybe Emory didn’t see it that way.

“I won’t open the door for you if it makes you that uncomfortable.”

Emory pulled his keys out of his pocket and fidgeted with them. “It’s been a long time since anyone did it. It’s not all good memories, Calvin.”

Had one of those older men who swarmed around Emory hurt him? “What’s that mean, or don’t you want to tell me?”

“As a younger man, I seemed to attract a macho element intent on making me their bitch.” Emory looked at him and lifted his hands, palms up. “And there you sit, only gay for a few hours.”

Calvin snorted. “Disconcerting, isn’t it?”

“You don’t know the half of it. I mean, I tell you that you’re dessert, and that makes you decide to have dinner with me?”

Calvin parked the car beside Emory’s little sports coupe. “I was leaning toward dinner without dessert, but your way sounds more interesting.”

Emory scrambled from the car as he reached for the door handle. “I’ll leave your name at the front desk.”

Calvin hurried after him and blocked his escape into his own ride. “Wait a second! What are you scared of, Emory?”

“Feeling sixteen and clueless again.”

He was familiar with what Emory described. He had a case of it right now, but Calvin wasn’t going to let it stop him. He’d thought about Emory for so many years, and in the blink of an eye, he had a chance. Even if he screwed it up royally, he had to take his shot. Calvin cupped the back of Emory’s neck and kissed him.

Shock jolted through Calvin, an electric current that left heat in its wake. Emory’s soft lips opened, and his tongue flicked across Calvin’s upper lip. His mouth opened, and Emory dove in, his silky tongue gliding over Calvin’s with invitation and promise. 

Calvin’s body tightened as blood rushed through his veins to deafen him. His cock filled, rock hard in just a few throbbing beats. He pushed Emory back against the side of the car. Emory’s thighs strained against his as he arched his pelvis against his, the ridge of his dick riding along Calvin’s hard-on. Stars danced behind Calvin’s closed eyes.

This is what had been missing when he kissed other guys. They weren’t Emory. How could he have known the man’s taste and smell when they’d never been this close before? But he’d known all the others weren’t “right.” And Emory was.

Calvin pulled away and sucked in a desperate breath before he did something silly like pass out from lack of oxygen. Emory blinked at him, his blue eyes gone black and wild.
“Why didn’t you do that ten years ago?”

Calvin opened his mouth to speak and finally managed to shake his head and shrug. He swallowed and tried again, but the words wouldn’t come, so he did the only thing he could think to do. He cupped Emory’s cheeks with his palms and kissed him again. 

Calvin had no doubt where they were headed when Emory moaned softly into his mouth and gripped his hips to pull him closer. He ended the kiss and rested his forehead against Emory’s.

“We, um, should get moving.”

Emory’s hands slid up his sides in a slow caress. “To where? The station or my place?”

Contemporary gay romance available now at

Barnes & Noble/Nook


KC Kendricks

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Working retro

November 22, 2020

A long time ago in another life, I wrote as Rayne Forrest. Long story short, my mother wanted me to use my grandfather's last name. I had no problem with this. My Forrest heritage is long and proud, stretching back many generations and into Scotland. But what to team with Forrest? Tropical? Nope. In a moment of hilarity with many options being bandied about, someone hit on Rayne and I liked it. 

I had good success with the nom de plume, but I always knew when I branched out into other subgenres it wouldn't go with me. It was all about branding the nameplate. Like a car. Anyway...

My computer houses several files with partially completed Rayne Forrest manuscripts. I've decided I need to take the time to finish them, working between other projects. First up is an idea I had when I began working on Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, and Poseidon's Pleasure. I do love a futuristic story, so this one is set at an undersea resort. It's a bit light-hearted, which may not fit in with today's dystopian views, but I like it. 

And by the way - Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, and Poseidon's Pleasure have nothing at all to do with fantasy. The three stories are all contemporary gay romances set at a seaside resort, hence the reference to sea gods. 

To give myself a bit of inspiration, I've created the cover for After the Sea Sprite Ball. It feels a bit retro but that's okay. The future is all about the past. 

Stay tuned. I'll post updates when they become significant. 

KC Kendricks

Saturday, November 21, 2020

A Holiday Romance?

 November 21, 2020

The holiday romance. What writer has not entertained the thought of a happily ever after romance set against the backdrop of the Christmas season? I've certainly considered it more than once. But do I really want to dedicate the time necessary to develop new characters, a plot, and the actual writing on a book that may only sell a few copies once a year? Isn't it more prudent to use that time to craft a story that will sell a few copies every month for many years? That long reach sell is how most of us survive. In the elevator at the 2008 Romantic Times convention, I overhead a well-established writer say her earlier books were gifts that kept on giving. I know now how true that statement was, and is. 

What to do? The holidays are fast approaching and I know myself well enough to know that now would be the time - the only time of year - I'd be able to write a themed story. Writing a story with a loving couple watching it snow, in June or July, is beyond my brain's ability. I need to see the snow, feel the chill, breathe in the cold, crisp air of a snowfall that is like no other to be able to romanticize that part of the season. And of course, being me, the big fluffy flakes will also show their dark side - melting slush sent by the gods of weather to antagonize a hero's driving. 

And if I write this cheery holiday story this season, am I willing to shelve it until next year and release it when the holiday-themed books are selling? The long reach sell requires a lot of patience. 

There's no reason for me not to write the story I want to write - and read. It will be my story and if others want to come along for the ride, that's just a bonus. 

I think that's something we "older" writers sometimes forget. We've been writing so long and so successfully for our readership, our "market," that we overlook the fact we need to write for ourselves, too. It's an amazing thing to go back and read one of our own older works and realize that, yes, we did write that! 

So now I have points to ponder. Perhaps I can shortcut some of the planning process by giving one of my earlier couples a Christmas to remember. Considering a themed story would need to be a shorter work (my opinion), that may be the way to go, at least for me. 

Decision made or decision deferred? Isn't being a writer a lot of fun? 
On Instagram...somewhere 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Between the Keys newsletter updates

 November 7, 2020

The Autumn 2020 issue of the Between the Keys newsletter is now available on my website. 

Writer's wisdom from long ago was full of things a writer had to do to reach readers. You had to have a website (check), a blog (check), a mailing, Yahoo is ending its groups feature so there goes that one out the window. You had to have a newsletter (check). 

They should have said you should have a newsletter AND be faithful in issuing them on a regular basis. 

I have at times in my writing career produced a newsletter regularly. I have at times in my writing career been a little lax with a newsletter. That's life, or at least my life. I've put together an Autumn 2020 newsletter and that's a good thing. I'll take it as a success, at least for today. 

KC Kendricks

Sunday, November 1, 2020

What fresh hell is this?

 November 1, 2020

Why, yes, I've stolen a quote from the fictional Sheldon Cooper. Just what the hell is this fresh hell? Oh yeah. They call it the "time change." Daylight Saving Time, as if we can save daylight. What a quaint notion. Should I mention it was started in CANADA? Probably not. 

It's a lot of fun in the summer months, but now comes the reckoning. I reckon I'm awake at 3:00 AM and I reckon I do not like it much. Eastern Standard Time has resumed.

I set the clocks in the house back an hour before going to bed last night. That's not much of a chore these days. Our Black Forest cuckoo is paused for an hour, set the microwave clock, and reset my alarm clock. Everything else electronic takes care of itself. 

But I'm awake in the middle of the night. 

The concept of Daylight Savings was introduced in the US in 1918. At the time it was to save energy and make better use of daylight, i.e., more active daylight hours in which to work harder and get more done. That's the way true Americans think - get the work done. 

But I'm awake in the middle of the night. 

So if Daylight Savings Time will save energy, i.e., lower electric bills, why do we "turn it off" in November? If you live in a rural setting, you still need that daylight because unlike city dwellers, your work doesn't end at four or five or six in the evening. When you get home from the day job, you still have outside work to do. 

But I'm awake in the middle of the night. 

Okay. I'm whining but I do wonder why we bother with changing the time twice a year. Just give us more daylight hours and be done with it. We've reached the point where 29 states have introduced legislation to abolish the twice a year time change and to extend Daylight Saving. The US has four time zones at this juncture. Isn't that confusing enough without driving from South Carolina to California and resetting your watch an additional seven times?

This is what happens to my brain when I'm awake in the middle of the night. 

Readjusting to Eastern Standard Time becomes more difficult as we age. The spousal unit has been retired for a few years and he complains, rather bitterly, about his sleep pattern getting all fucked up out of sync. Is he just griping? 

But I'm awake in the middle of the night. And I don't like it much because I'm sure as hell not being productive. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A good time to get back to basics

 October 25, 2020

Earlier today I started making the rounds in the Facebook groups to promo the release of The Quest. Before I began posting, I took some time to go down my timeline and see who was up to what. That led down a bit of a rabbit hole, but I feel a lot better for the trip. What I learned was quite a few writers have had a 2020 that echos, and equals, mine. 

As I type this blog, The Quest has just gone live and I'm fighting with Amazon to get the re-worked manuscript of A Hero's Bargain to upload correctly. The Amazon system continually reverts to the older manuscript - very annoying to say the least. It'll get worked out or not offer it there, but it proves Amazon is nothing but free publicity for me. My Apple sales outstrip Amazon about 10 to 1. 

It's time for me to get a story or two into development, republish the rest of my backlist (both as KC and Rayne), and it's time for me to go back to basics with character information sheets. Having written seventy books, you'd think those sheets would be obsolete, but I need the refresher course. The character's physical traits, mannerisms, values, expectations, flaws, the tragedy of his life are all detailed on the sheet for reference. It builds the characters in the writer's consciousness before the opening lines are typed. I also have a sheet of compatibility points that comes in handy for developing the characters. 

I'm excited about this back to basics approach. I've been mired in caregiving, winding down my career at the day job, and grieving the loss of several people I was close to for too long. And let us not forget the pain in the ass the Year of Our Lord Two-thousand Twenty has been. 

It's probably enough fodder for an entire library. Surely I can get three stories out of it. Stay tuned. 


 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:

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Now available - The Quest

 October 24, 2020

The Quest is now available at Amazon and these online booksellers! Soon there will be a few more and I'll have that information on my website, or check out the universal link at the end of this post for a list that includes everywhere except Amazon. 

Here's a bit about The Quest. Enjoy!


The Quest

Edan Romney believes he’s on the trail of the most significant archaeological find of his life. He’s tracked the legend from Bolivia to Chaco Canyon and beyond. His next stop is Alaska, but a sudden winter storm takes down his plane in the Colorado mountains. 

Del Martinez is surprised there is a survivor when a small plane crashes at the end of his mountain meadow. His surprise turns to shock when he discovers it’s Edan – the one lover he regrets losing.  With a blizzard closing in fast, Del needs to get Edan inside his cabin and warm, and then see how badly he may be injured. It's not a magical reunion as past hurts and indiscretions quickly bring contention. 

Edan won’t abandon his quest to find if what’s written on an ancient scroll is true. Del can’t forget seeing another man in Edan’s arms – even if it was a setup. With the blizzard freezing outside, passion heats up inside. Both men know they must find a way to bury the past instead of digging it up. 


Del wanted to forget what had happened and see if they had a second chance, but he wasn’t sure he could do that. Hell, where would he start? What was he supposed to say to find out if Edan wanted that, too?

He knew one way to get their conversation back on less boggy ground but also knew better than to ask. Honest to God, he did. Edan would seize the question and run with it, just like a blue-eyed wolf with a juicy ham bone. It was like some bedeviled troll landed on his shoulder and dragged the words out of him.

“What’s this proof you have that Wintress came this far north? Not that I actually believe the story about her.”

Edan glared at him, silent. 

“Talk to me, Romney. I’m really curious why you almost killed yourself flying today. And I did save your life, so you owe me.”

Edan’s chin lifted. “I have a scroll. Mackley tested it for me and authenticated it to be a thousand years old.”

Del blinked. Was he serious? 

“Mackley can’t be trusted. You know that. He drinks in his lab. Shit gets fucked up.”

Edan shook his head. “Nope. I was right there with him. We ran the tests twice. The leather, I repeat, leather, is a thousand years old, give or take a decade or two.”

A leather scroll that old? That was an incredible find. Edan’s being here meant the scroll was legible…“Who translated the scroll? Don’t say Mackley again.”

Edan smiled and lifted the middle finger of the hand holding his soup mug. “I did. You don’t think I’d take the entire scroll to him, do you? I’m not a fucking idiot. I snipped two corners.”

Del lifted his middle finger off his mug in reply. It was an old familiar gesture between them, and often, like today, meant “don’t imply I’m stupid” when questions with obvious answers were asked. “Okay. Point taken. Please tell me this fabulous find didn’t get incinerated in the plane.”

Edan tapped his middle finger against his mug and grinned. “You’ve gone batshit, old boy. Did my phone survive my landing?”

“As a matter of fact, it did.” Del stepped into the kitchen to retrieve it. “It’s not on and I didn’t mess with it past plugging it in for a charge.” 

He handed it to Edan and watched as he fiddled with it. After a few minutes, Edan gave it back. “Take a look at that photo.”

Del did as instructed, sliding the photo around until he’d seen every inch of it. The writing looked very similar to Sumerian proto-cuneiform, but with subtle differences. He glanced at Edan.

“And you found this at Tiwanaku? How is any of that site unexplored?” He knew damn well archaeologists had scoured the site for years. “Did you test the ink on this?”

“Of course, we tested the ink. I didn’t find that at the site, but a few miles away. I’d had a lousy day. You’d left angry and I was upset, and frankly, I was scared you really meant we were over. Our permit was about to expire. We were due to pack up and move out and I’d found nothing. Nada. So, I went for a walk to figure out how to get you to talk to me again, and, not watching where I put my foot down, I stepped into a hole.”

“A hole. For real, Edan? A hole?”

“Yeah. A little sinkhole. Almost pissed myself as the dirt fell in around me. Then it got weird.”

Del snorted. “Like this conversation.”


 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:

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

To type THE END - The Quest is done!

 October 19, 2020

In what may be the longest quest of my life (pun intended), The Quest is finished! Yes, it's true. I even have the promo blurb written and my website partially updated. 

It should have taken ten weeks to write, but it took ten months. But, you ask, weren't you home due to the Covid-19 lockdown? Yes, I was, but I was working the day job from home. And when I wasn't doing day job shit stuff, I was enjoying being home and spending time with my guys. I was working on my property, cleaning the shed, reorganizing my pantry, and a lot of other projects I'd long wanted to accomplish. 

It's of no matter. The Quest is finished. I'll get it uploaded by the weekend, and hopefully, it will go live on Saturday or Sunday. 

Here's the blurb. An excerpt can be found at



The Quest

Edan Romney believes he’s on the trail of the most significant archaeological find of his life. He’s tracked the legend from Bolivia to Chaco Canyon and beyond. His next stop is Alaska, but a sudden winter storm takes down his plane in the Colorado mountains. 

Del Martinez is surprised there is a survivor when a small plane crashes at the end of his mountain meadow. His surprise turns to shock when he discovers it’s Edan – the one lover he regrets losing.  With a blizzard closing in fast, Del needs to get Edan inside his cabin and warm, and then see how badly he may be injured. It's not a magical reunion as past hurts and indiscretions quickly bring contention. 

Edan won’t abandon his quest to find if what’s written on an ancient scroll is true. Del can’t forget seeing another man in Edan’s arms – even if it was a setup. With the blizzard freezing outside, passion heats up inside. Both men know they must find a way to bury the past instead of digging it up. 


 KC Kendricks

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Another area of free speech squelched -Yahoo is closing groups

 October 14, 2020

All good things come to end, or so they say. Yahoo has announced it is closing Groups effective December 15, 2020. It's no surprise. The writing has been on the wall for some time. Yahoo has systematically encumbered the Groups feature over the last few years to the point the groups became impossible to employ for any promotion. 

Now they say, "Yahoo Groups has seen a steady decline in usage over the last several years." Well, duh. That was the goal, apparently. 

In the beginning, Yahoo Groups was about free speech. If you had a group, you could pretty much say whatever you wanted to within the group. Yahoo touted groups as connection builders, but I suspect people made a few of the wrong connections.

Yahoo has also disabled comments on its "premium, trustworthy content." Why would they disable comments? Don't we live in a society where free discourse is to be encouraged? Apparently not. 

I'm alarmed at the growing trend of censorship on the Internet. I find I don't take anything at face value now. I look for the motive behind every action and I see companies like Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube becoming subversive in their actions to control content and thereby free expression and speech. 

Perhaps Neal Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee said it best way back in 1982 when they recorded, "Subdivisions."  We must conform or be cast out. 

When I embarked on my writing career, Yahoo Groups were an invaluable source of information. I did make connections with other writers and develop relationships in a secure forum. In my personal life, a Yahoo group led me to meaningful friendships that continue to this day. 

I view the closing of Yahoo groups as another step in a grander plan to control people. Could Facebook groups be next? We all know Facebook rewards like thinkers and punishes opposing views. YouTube censors monetized videos that mention Christian views. I watch a cooking stream called The Hillbilly Kitchen and I know this to be true even though the cook's beliefs are quite harmless to the general public.

It's easy to shrug the Groups closing off as a business decision, or that it simply ran its course and it's time to end it. I'd really like to believe that, and I would have had the comments on Yahoo news articles not been disabled a few short months ago. 

Who and what controls you, and how? For what purpose is this done? Who determines what is for YOUR greater good and what do you gain, or lose, at their hands? These are important questions to ask.


 KC Kendricks

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Monday, October 12, 2020

A revamp for What You Don't Confess

 October 12, 2020

When I was forced to go independent several years ago, I recognized how important it was going to be to know how to create my own covers. I purchased a photoshop program and got to work. The cover artist at Amber Quill Press offered to sell covers to the authors for $50 each. There was no way in this life or any other I was going to pay for covers for which the artist had already been paid by the publisher - out of MY sales, no less. So I had, in fact, already paid for the cover. 

I did my due diligence and learned. Some of my early covers were passable, but not great. I always planned to redo them as my skill level increased. Then, if you follow allow here at Between the Keys you know, my life took a left turn. My mother developed Alzheimer's Disease, my stepfather died and I had to settle the estate, and my partner had three major surgeries. Writing took a back seat out of necessity. 

But.....I'm back! I'm writing! I'm working! It feels so good to jump back into the pool and swim around. 

Today's projects were making a new cover for What You Don't Confess, a promo card for What You Don't Confess, and burning the brush pile. I'm three for three! I wanted to warm up the background on this cover and by chance found a good photo of the inside of a restaurant, which fits perfectly in the story.

What You Don't Confess is the third book in the Men of Marionville series. The main character, Dylan Donaghy, is the character that ties the series together. This is his story. 


What You Don't Confess
Contemporary gay romance
Book three in the Men of Marionville collection

Bright and beautiful, Cassidy Barlow is one of Marionville’s new breed of movers and shakers. Outspoken on political and social issues, Cass draws a lot of media attention, and knows how to use it. Out and proud, Cass makes no apologies for who he is, or who he wants – and he wants Dylan Donaghy. The only thing is, from where Cass stands, Dylan seems to be involved with two different men.

Coming out. The most difficult phrase in Dylan Donaghy’s vocabulary. He’s made it this far in life with only his closest friends knowing he’s gay. Dylan has a good reason for that to change – his deepening attraction to Cassidy Barlow. It doesn’t come easy, but Dylan takes a few first steps out of the closet. It’s his only choice if he wants to be with Cass, even though he knows Cass has some secrets of his own.

Every man has a private past and an unwritten future. What he won’t confess stands between the two.  

If you're curious about our adventure in the woods today, visit 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Desert Snow - a new cover

 October 6, 2020

One of the things that has been on my To-Do List seemingly forever has been a new cover for Desert Snow. That's another book that never did have a good cover. Now I think I've finally hit on one that's a keeper. Yes, the guy's jeans fade into the party background, but it's okay. I like it, and I hope you do, too.

Here's the new cover for Desert Snow, once again available at the usual third-party vendors.

Enjoy the excerpt!


Contemporary gay romance

Laird Bennett accepts a friend’s invitation for a vacation with his eyes wide open. His buddy is pimping for him - in a sneaky sort of way. Why else set up his business meeting in Palm Springs the week of the annual White Party and ask Laird to go along? Laird goes with every intention of enjoying the eye candy, the weather, and behaving himself. Those plans change his first night out while waiting to cross the street and a younger man in white leather greets him. 

Haydn Rinehart is at a crossroads. His pilgrimage to the White Party is to honor a promise made to his late partner before moving into the next phase of his life. Haydn strikes up a conversation with an attractive party-goer while waiting for a traffic light to change and invites him for a drink. When he discovers Laird is one of his favorite authors, Haydn volunteers to assist in some hands-on research in his hotel room. After all, they are at the White Party and some fun is in order. 

It doesn’t take long for Laird to realize he has something special in Haydn but they live on different coasts. He says goodbye and goes home. Lucky for him, Haydn won’t let him go that easily. 

Available at:

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Re-issue: Lightning Shifts

 October 3, 2020

I've re-released Chain Lightning under the title, Lightning Shifts. There are several reasons why an author or publisher re-issues a book. The main one is that the cover just doesn't resonate with readers. My feedback from other authors indicated this was the case in this instance. They loved the one guy on the cover, but not the other. It happens. 

Deciding to re-issue the book gave me the opportunity to go through it and add a few things I wished I'd thought of the first time. Stories are like that. Some of them never stop growing and maturing. I don't think I have a book on my list I couldn't find something to add. When writing the story, sometimes the author has to say "finished" and stick to it else the book would never get published. I'm having that problem with The Quest. Too many ideas crowding into my thinking. 

I liked the story Chain Lightning, now Lightning Shifts. It's about a shapeshifter - a true shapeshifter, one that can take on any form. That means he's not a werewolf or a werecat. He's not a "were" anything. He's something different but at the beginning of his story, he's lost his memory and he doesn't know what he is. All he knows is he's different and he needs to hide. 

Here's a little bit about Lightning Shifts.




There is something a little peculiar about Eli Tate. He appears normal on the surface, but he’s spent years trying to remember what happened to him - and why he doesn’t age. Then there’s the way he can shift shape and take on any form he desires. He doesn’t know what kind of being he really is or if there are any others like him. What he does know he’s been in the same town for thirty years and he must move on before his secret is discovered. 

Returning to the Big Apple, Eli takes up residence in his old apartment. An evening walk turns deadly when he's attacked by a being reeking of pure evil. He barely escapes with his life - thanks to a stranger named Rio who is just like him – able to shift shape. 

Rio says he knows Eli, that he’s been searching for him for many years, that they were once lovers, and the creature stalking them once held them both captives to experiment on them. Eli has no memory of such a time, but he’s out of options. To remember his past, and destroy the creature pursuing them, Eli has no choice but to trust Rio, even if that trust fails him. 

Paranormal gay romance (shapeshifter)
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KC Kendricks

Sunday, September 27, 2020

September Morning by KC Kendricks

September 27, 2020

There was a time in my writing career I thought to write books with the months in the title. So far, I've got December Promise, Hot August Comes, and September Morning. I'll eventually get through the months, I hope. One should never give up on an idea with promise. 

To celebrate this month that is coming to a close, here's a bit about September Morning.



September Morning
KC Kendricks
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. 

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KC Kendricks