Thursday, September 22, 2022

Riding Against the Wind by KC Kendricks

September 22, 2022

Today is the day. I pressed the button on Riding Against the Wind to go live everywhere but at Amazon. It feels like a major victory! I fought to get this story finished, formatted, and for sale, and it was worth the battle. 

Riding Against the Wind is written in the dual first person that is so popular these days. It's the first time I've tried it and I'm eager to get feedback on it. 

Riding Against the Wind will be available at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Rakuten kobo, Scribd, tolino, vivlio, and through Kobo's subscription service outside the US. You can visit the universal link at https://books2read.com/u/bP7ynY to keep an eye on when it goes live at your preferred vendor. It will be up at Amazon in a few days. 

Here's a bit about Riding Against the Wind, the sequel to Ride Your Luck

RIDING AGAINST THE WIND

Riding Against the Wind by KC Kendricks
Modern-day cowboy
Sequel to Ride Your Luck

A Saturday night out goes sideways when Zane Walker discovers a naked man hiding in the weeds along the side of the road on his way home. Zane doesn’t know how the guy got there, but it’s obvious help is needed. Zane takes him to the Bar RC Ranch, confident his foreman will know what to do. 

Weston Allen doesn’t remember much, especially how he ended up along an empty stretch of highway in the middle of the night. When a pickup stops and the driver offers help, he’s not at all sure it’s a good idea, but he gets in the truck with the stranger not knowing if he’ll be left worse off than before. 

Weston’s journey through a dark tunnel isn’t easy, but Zane is a light to lead him back to a new life he never knew he wanted with a cowboy at his side. 

This modern-day cowboy romance may contain triggers for some individuals. It is intended for mature readers. 

EXCERPT

How did I explain to Zane I was unsure of what I needed – wanted – other than to avoid the atmosphere in the bunkhouse? I wanted his company, but did I want the comfort he could offer me? What if I did ask him to hold me? Would I freak out if he kissed me again and things between us heated up? 

We strolled across the grounds to the barn as though neither of us had a care in the world, but we didn’t speak until we’d reached the loft. Zane took off his hat and ran his fingers through his dark hair. 

“Talk to me, Wes. Why are we out here?”

“The hands all feel sorry for me. I can sense it. It’s a little heavy.”

He pointed at one of the blankets. “Grab a corner and let’s get this spread out. I’m taking off my pants and I don’t want straw poking me in the ass.”

We ended up spreading out the two heavier blankets and keeping the lighter one for a cover even though the night was warm and we didn’t think we’d need it. Zane promptly sat and pulled off his boots and pants, and then skimmed out of his shirt. I tried not to gawk at him as he stretched out with the arms beneath his head. 

I tried not to wish he hadn’t worn a t-shirt, too. I’d have liked to be able to admire the long lines and planes of his torso without the interference of cotton. I eased down beside him and stripped to my boxers and t-shirt. When in Rome and all that. 

He rubbed my back. “You ready to talk?”

I sighed. “I’m remembering more bits and pieces. Billy tried to stop those men from taking me. We’d seen them in the nightclub and they were really out of place. They didn’t drink but they moved in a pack like they were hunting for someone.”

“Maybe they were.”

“Yeah. It’s pretty obvious they were. Why me? Billy didn’t know them, and he admitted to me they made him uneasy. He said we weren’t going to go to that establishment ever again. It’s like he had some sort of premonition or something. We left early, but they were outside waiting for us.” My throat closed up making it difficult to speak. “They didn’t have to kill him but they wanted to. It was sport to them. They held a cloth over my face and I blacked out.”

“Wes, can you identify them?”

I shook my head. “I don’t seem to have that memory. I hope the security footage Deputy Clinton spoke of shows their faces but I can’t be sure enough to identify them.”

“Okay. That’s enough for now. Come here.” He patted the spot beside him. “Stretch out here and take a couple of deep breaths.”

I twisted around to meet his gaze. “Will you kiss me again?”

His eyes darkened to black. “Is that what you want?”

“Yes.” I swallowed hard and then moved to lie beside him. He rolled onto his side and rested his hand on my belly. 

“Listen, Wes. I’d like nothing more than for us to get naked and do what comes natural-like, but I’m not sure that would be good for you. You’ve been through a whirlwind here. Hell, you’re still in it. I found you, you learned something bad happened to you, and that’s a lot to take in.”

“I hear you. I really do, but I need you, Zane. Just hold me even if you can’t do more. Please.”

I hated to beg him, but I craved touch. I needed his reassurance and the comfort of two strong arms around me. The horrible loneliness and loss of Billy, who had loved me and whom I could never repay, squeezed my chest and stole my breath. I clutched at Zane and struggled to suck enough air into my lungs. He put his arms around me and hugged me to his body.

“I’ve got you. I’ve got you, Wes. It’s okay. Do you hear me? It’s okay.”

He kept saying that, like a mantra, while he stroked my back and I got my breathing under control. “Wow. Was that a panic attack? I didn’t like it much.”

Zane snorted. “Me, neither. Then again, it might have been a good reason to try out some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.” 

I choked on a laugh and coughed on him. How romantic was that? It was a good thing he didn’t seem to mind. I still wanted him. Would he shoot me down if I made a decisive move on him? I tilted my head back and pressed my lips to his. 

Zane didn’t pull away. I felt him jump as if a shock hit him, and then he cupped the back of my head and buried his fingers in my hair. I stopped thinking as his mouth moved over mine in a soft, sweet kiss. He pulled away, sucked in a breath, and came back to me with intention.

Gone was any tentative softness as he plundered. I opened my lips and he plunged his silky tongue into my mouth. I gathered my wits and licked over his tongue and then followed as he withdrew. He rolled me beneath him and the hard ridge of his cock met mine. I thrust up, seeking friction. Zane moaned into my mouth and my better judgment deserted me. I had to touch him.

I slipped my hand between our bodies, seeking rigid heat. His cock filled my hand, thick, long, firm. He bucked against me and then quickly withdrew.

“Wes, this might not be a good idea.”

“Bullshit. It’s the best idea I’ve had today.” 

I stroked his length and he whispered my name in my ear before he reached for me. I was hard and dripping, and from the way he kissed me, I think he was as pleased as I was with what he’d found. 

“Hands only,” I managed to say against the press of his lips.

He nodded and we got busy. I let go of all the uncertainty in my life and allowed his hand to capture me and sweep me away. 

His touch was firm but never rough. I followed his lead, rolling my palm over his crown to spread the silky drops he gave up, then down to his base, his lips on mine the entire time. It was so easy, so basic, and so much more than I expected. 

We shifted closer. I rested my knee on his hip and he moved his leg between mine giving us just enough room to work. His touch was sure but slow as he stroked me, and I followed his lead. We didn’t need to hurry. Time suspended as we shared breath and touch in a slow climb.

“Don’t hold back,” he murmured against my lips. 

I wasn’t. I couldn’t at that moment speak. My balls tingled and tightened as heat flared at the base of my cock. An incoherent sound was ripped from me as I hit the finish line, coming in a hot, wet burst into his hand. I barely had time to suck in a breath before Zane groaned, tensed, and flooded my hand. 

“Wes. Wes.” He said my name over and over as his breathing slowed to normal. “Are you okay?”

Was I? I did the only thing I could manage to do. I kissed him

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Sales links coming soon!



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 KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com
My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
http://kckendricks.blogspot.com
Visit my bookshelf at: 
https://kckendricks.blogspot.com/p/the-bookshelf-of-kc-kendricks-and-rayne_3.html
Social media links:
twitter.com/kckendricks
pinterest.com/kckendricks/boards
instagram.com/kc_kendricks
facebook.com/kckendricks
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, Riding Against the Wind, Ride Your Luck, contemporary gay cowboy, M/M romance, LGBT romance

Saturday, September 17, 2022

It's been a busy summer (2022)


September 17, 2022

It's a beautiful morning here in western Maryland! Sunshine, blue skies, 71F/22C, and I should be outside working on the many projects we've yet to undertake in 2022. We've done really well this year, but if you have a home in the woods, there are always cleanup projects. Sometimes you have to let them go in favor of authorly pursuits. 

Not everyone who reads Between the Keys clicks over to my more personal blog, Holly Tree Manor. That's fine. Not everyone is interested in my private life, and that works in reverse. Not everyone who likes to read about living in the country cares that I'm also a writer. I think that's fine. This morning, however, I want to give a little recap on my summer because it occurred to me last night that this blog shows up places like my Amazon home page and a recap would be a good thing - so here goes!

I started the 2022 gardening season in March with seed trays. It was wonderful to have growing green things sharing my office space by mid-April. In May, I finally upgraded my greenhouse options. We have a serious deer problem and a greenhouse is almost a necessity. 

In May, I officially retired. Almost. I did sign a one-year contract to be the Administrative Consultant. I don't regret doing it, but I won't renew it if asked. I wanted to retire a few years ago and would wait no longer. It's been everything I wanted it to be, so far. 

My garden corral turned into a garden jungle in the woods, but it was a good thing. It's a small space and I grow in containers, again to thwart the deer. It worked and I had a bountiful harvest. 

One of the things I want to focus on in my "retirement" is eating better. To that end, I'm home canning a lot of things so we can more frequently avoid chemical preservatives. I canned molasses beans, pork and beans, butter beans, strawberry jam from a sale on fresh frozen strawberries, pizza sauce, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes from our garden. I wanted to make applesauce and apple pie filling so I purchased apples from a local orchard. This was also the year I wanted to can pears, so again I went up to Gardenour's and got pears

It's been a great summer for us as a couple - twenty-eight years and still going strong. We'd worried a bit about suddenly being together 24/7, but I can hop in the Charger and go shopping whenever I want. We got Himself a van which is easier for him to get into and out of, plus transport his scooter, so he can take off and go manly places like the hardware store without me. 

Now we're moving into firewood season. The appointment is set for the chimney sweep to come, and arrangements are made with cousins to come and help us split wood. 

I'm working on the edits to Riding Against the Wind, and I hope this coming winter will be more productive than the last few. Covid-19 slowed more than the economy and it's time to get going again. 

That's my summer recap for Between the Keys. Thanks for coming along! 

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Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys



Between the Keys, KC Kendricks, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, LGBTQ author, a writer's life, country lifestyles, romance author, romance books for Kindle, ebooks, indie publishing, book promotion, author promotion

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Promoting the Men of Marionville - a test of my resolve


September 6, 2022

Earlier this year I set a goal to promo the entire Men of Marionville collection on Facebook groups. I knew this would not be a small, or easy, undertaking as there at twelve books set in the fictional town of Marionville. Couple that with the number of groups I've joined for the purpose of doing promos and you've got in the neighborhood of three hundred sixty total promos. And let us not forget that doing any sort of deliberate promotion is not really my thing. Yes, it's been challenging but I'm actually succeeding! As of this date, I have the last two books in the collection remaining - Bourbon and Blues and Twice Removed from Yesterday

I've found some of the Facebook groups to be problematic. Many of the smaller ones are great, though. The admins go through and approve each post and I'm appreciative of their efforts. That's a lot of work if the group is active. 

Some of the groups leave random posts in limbo waiting to be approved. Then when I repost the same promo, it goes through immediately. What's the rhyme and reason for that? I've had a promo declined only to repost the same thing and it goes through. There are group owners who suddenly decide to close the group to promotions and have deleted all old posts. That's a lot of effort and I wonder why the owner would bother with it.

I've given up trying to figure it out. I keep a spreadsheet that shows me what book I'm doing next in whichever group I'm looking at. There's also a worksheet with info on groups that have seemingly disappeared. I'd be lost without the spreadsheet and I wonder if I need to add a worksheet for Twitter. 

Picking up the threads of my writing career is something I've looked forward to for the last couple of years. I woke up this morning with the opening of a new story. Maybe it will turn out to be one that has lingered on the plot board or maybe it's one straight out of left field. Either way, it's good to have ideas start to pop into my head again. 

September should see me complete my goal of promoting the entire Men of Marionville collection. I'm looking forward to that, and to begin to do the Centerville Muscle series. Centerville Muscle is only three books and that'll be comparatively easy after the Men of Marionville. 

And now I'd best get to it. Up next: Bourbon and Blues.

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Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys


Between the Keys, KC Kendricks, contemporary gay romance, LGBTQ, romance series, a writer's life, Men of Marionville, Centerville muscle, writing career, romance authors, promotions, Facebook, m/m romance