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






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. 


EXCERPT

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



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 www.kckendricks.com/TheQuest.html.

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. 


KC Kendricks






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, 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 enduring 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 had the comments on Yahoo news articles not been disabled a few short months ago. 

Who and what controls you, and how? They are important questions to ask.

KC Kendricks



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 Donoghy, is the character that ties the series together. This is his story. 

Enjoy!
*_*_*_*

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 Donoghy. 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 Donoghy’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 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2xHQrcknsA&feature=youtu.be

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.

Enjoy!

_*_*_*_*_

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. 

LIGHTNING SHIFTS
Paranormal gay romance (shapeshifter)

Available at:


Excerpts and more at www.kckendricks.com


KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com