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.