Sunday, January 29, 2023

New blog post up at The Hideaway

The Hideaway at Holly Tree Manor
January 29, 2023

There's a new blog post up at Holly Tree Manor. Holly Tree Manor is where I talk about my personal life outside of writing. It's about rural living and my country lifestyle. 

Today, I wrote about some of the difficulties the month of January brings.

If you'd like to visit Holly Tree Manor to read about it, click here


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Netting Neptune - new cover!

January 25, 2023

A few days ago, I shared my ponderings about whether or not the Southern Cross books needed new covers. Such things are usually on my mind for a while before I blog about them. One big thing to consider before undertaking a new cover is finding a layout that works. If parts of the older cover still work for me, I really hate giving them up. 

I began to play around with ideas for a new cover for Netting Neptune that would keep the guy dancing in the surf. I also knew I wanted to add the Southern Cross banner I made. But I needed a new guy, one without sunglasses, and I needed a new title font. I'm a lot better with Photoshop than I used to be and everything came together rather quickly. I like it. It's a change but not a huge one. 

One thing I gave serious consideration to was changing the titles of the first three Southern Cross books, but I decided against it. It might have aided sales on the series but it felt dishonest. The use of the name "Neptune" is figurative, not literal. If a book buyer thinks it's fantasy and bypasses the book, that's fine. Netting Neptune was, after all, written for ME. 

You can check out all the new Southern Cross titles here


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

KC Kendricks, Netting Neptune, Southern Cross series, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, LGBTQ romance, romance books for Kindle, book covers, a writer's life, Taming Triton, Poseidon's Pleasure, Photoshop, 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Now available! Step Into Tomorrow by Rayne Forrest

 January 17, 2023

Step Into Tomorrow

Romance/futuristic/time travel

Rhys St. Clair is the best of a select group of highly trained time specialists. When events in the layers of time run amok, it’s his job to step through the Matrix and fix the problem. A mistake in his calculations sends him back to the year 1996 and nets him more than he ever bargained for – Sophia Townsend. 

Sophia Townsend needs a life makeover. When a confused stranger shows up inside her home, with no idea of where he is, or even what year it is, it doesn’t take Sophia long to figure out the man in her living room is the most interesting guy she’s ever met, and the sexiest, too. 

When Rhys whisks her away, Sophia isn’t sure if she’s been kidnapped, or if the handsome stranger is taking her on the greatest adventure of her life. When the truth catches up to them, Rhys has only one thing left to offer her – but only if she’s brave enough to step into tomorrow with him.



“I could’ve done better.”

“No doubt. You’ve had practice. Now open that fancy atlas you bought and figure out where we can stop for the night, because we’re stopping as soon as it gets dark. I want off this main thoroughfare before we lose the light, too. ”

Sophia gave him a surprised look then grabbed up the book and started rapidly flipping through the pages.

Rhys hoped she realized they would share a room tonight. And a bed. He couldn’t let her out of his sight. It was too risky. She’d bolt like the hounds of Hell were after her. Thank all deities she’d never see the real thing. They’d blocked the way out of the lower layers of time known as Hell.

The thought of being in a bed with her, even if he stayed on top of the covers while she was under them, brought his cock to attention. The memory of her beneath him burned in his blood. He wanted her, and he had five years to get her. Starting tonight would work out just fine.

“Oh, and find a place that has, um, what’s it called? Room service? I’m hungry.”

“Eat your crackers if you need food,” she shot back. “We can cross the state line and look for a place. Crossing the state line makes you a worse sort of felon or something.”

“Really? You mean I might become wanted by NASA?”

She groaned. “Why me? Why does it always have to be me? Why do I get the good ones?” She finally shifted in her seat to face him. “It’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rhys. The F-B-I. Not NASA. NASA is the people who go into outer space. You know outer space. Isn’t that where you came from? Didn’t Scotty beam you down?”

His hands clenched around the steering wheel as he gave her the truth.

“No, beautiful. I didn’t come here from outer space. I came from the seventeenth layer of time. Oz.”


Step Into Tomorrow is available at:


Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Barnes & Noble:



Universal link to additional book sellers:


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

Rayne Forrest, Step Into Tomorrow, KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, time travel romance, science fiction romance, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, HEA romance, chance romance, erotic romance, romance novel for Kindle

Monday, January 16, 2023

Is it time for Patreon?

January 16, 2023

Quite a while back I opened an account at Patreon for the purpose of being able to check out what was so special about the site. One of my must-read authors has a presence there and I wanted to see how she utilized the site. I also needed to know what terms of service Patreon required. 

I was still working at the time and I questioned if I'd be able to generate "exclusive" material. Then there's the entire "exclusive" issue. I'm not a fan of "exclusive." It seems to me to be part of a more liberal mindset than what I have. It's the reason I don't put my backlist on Kindle Unlimited. You'll find only one book of mine on KU, and that's the very short book of poems, Just the Rain. Frankly, you can find most of those poems previously posted on this blog. The book was my way of getting them together so I could have them on my Kindle.  

I may be in the process of changing my thinking about Patreon. 

The results of the Smashwords end-of-year sale are in. I moved a lot of books, and I do mean a lot. Now is the time for you to make note that I said I moved a lot of books. Yes, I sold a number of books, too, but the stats clearly show the freebies won. Those taking advantage of the sale swept up the four books they could get for free faster than Grant took Richmond. 

This led me to examine the value I place on my time, specifically the time it takes to write and market each book. That led to pondering the benefits of Patreon, if there are any.

I already create "exclusive" material right here at Between the Keys, at Holly Tree Manor, and at Deuce's Day. I also have a YouTube channel called The Hideaway. Everything I post at these four sites is free which is apparently what people want - free stuff. I've never monetized my blogs because 1) it seemed like too much hassle, and 2) I hate blogs with a bunch of pop-up ads. 

But this "something for nothing" mindset is bugging the hell out of me. I participated in that sale and it feels like I sanctioned piracy. I won't do it again.


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

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, Patreon, piracy, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, exclusive content, a writer's life, value of time, Smashwords, sale price, poems, Kindle Unlimited, LGBT romance, career choices, focus thinking, 

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Scary times: use the tools available to you

January 14, 2023

A few days ago I commented on a Facebook post about artificial intelligence. The discussion mentioned quite a few things including, but not only, the use of Grammarly. I use the free version of Grammarly and find it helpful. Will I ever use AI to write an entire book and then put my name on it. That's a firm NO. 

There are a substantial number of programs available to assist the writer. A quick Google search turned up 236,000 hits and listed things I'd never heard of. It's never occurred to me to have AI write for me. Spell-check me? Yes. Find those pesky missing words, as in a forgotten "the" or "and?" Sure thing. But a whole book? But that's just me.

I was up early this morning. My bed got too crowded around four o'clock. Hello, Deuce. Hello, Loki. Goodbye me. I toddled to my recliner and settled in to get a bit more sleep by myself. It was a fruitless endeavor, and I ended up reading an older book of mine - and finding a typo.

Now this book had three sets of human eyes edit it, and I still found a typo. I mention this because, in that Facebook thread, there was a bit of insinuation that only a human editor is suitable. Really? I've had some good human editors but I just found a typo none of us caught. Being the curious sort, I ran that page through Grammarly, and Grammarly caught it on the first pass. 

So what's my point? It's this - a writer should use the tools available to them be that a human editor, a program like Grammarly, or any combination necessary to get the book written to the best of their ability. The second part is that we as writers need to be careful in suggesting there is only one way to get the job done. 

Would I prefer to be a newbie writer in this decade? No, I would not. I benefited greatly from having human editors. I have what they taught me to fall back on. I may have argued with some of them over a point or two to protect my vision of a story, but that doesn't mean either of us was entirely wrong. Would I want to have to rely on nothing but computer software to edit? No, I would not.  

I suspect that one day soon I'll download a book that has been written by AI and I'll not know the difference. Why not? Because somewhere along the line, a real human writer had to read that manuscript and if they're worth the moniker, they made sure it was their story. 

This brave new world is pretty scary. 


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

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, writers on writing, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, AI, editing, editors, writer's tools, GLBT gay, LGBT gay, 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Does it need a new cover?

January 13, 2023

I can't speak for other authors, but after a while, I get tired of looking at the same old book covers. It's a problem because I generally create my own covers, and I'm not in the mood at the moment. I fear retirement is making me very lazy and that simply will not do. 

Creating my own covers is usually a fun endeavor. I love to play around with Photoshop - if I have a clear vision of what I want the end product to look like. If I don't have that vision, it gets frustrating. 

With summer coming (and it can't be too soon for me!), I thought I'd take a look at my three problem books and see what I should do to give them a boost for 2023. I'm talking about Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, and Poseidon's Pleasure

Something about those three books doesn't seem to resonate well, and I think people just don't get the titles. It's not mythology, for heaven's sake. I wrote them as an intentional trilogy which is why there is the reference to Neptune, Triton, and Poseidon. The God of the Sea isn't part of the stories. They are NOT fantasy stories. I just thought they were good titles. Now I think I went over a few heads which is not a good thing for an author to do. 

I don't want to change the titles because I don't want people to purchase the story with a new title and then realize they already own the story. That would not be good. It's happened to me a few times and it didn't make me happy. It's the only reason I've ever returned a book. 

So I'm back to should I or shouldn't I make new covers? I suppose I'll do it. I've not given those stories a look in a long time. I need to update the booklists in them, and maybe the author bio. It wouldn't happen at a publishing house, but I have no reason not to do updates. 

If you're looking for reads set in a sunny location to hide from the winter blues, give the Southern Cross series a look. I know they will surprise you.


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

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, contemporary gay romance, Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, Poseidon's Pleasure, m/m romance, LGBT gay, Kindle ebooks, erotic romance,

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The author as censor

January 4, 2023

Very little raises my blood pressure the way censorship does. 

More to the point it's people expecting ME to protect THEIR delicate feelings. Or expecting ME to police THEIR children who are on the Internet/Interweb. 

Personally, if you post something I don't care for, I just click away. Problem solved. 

What has me growling is Draft2Digitals recently put in place requirement for uploading a manuscript. They want to know if the manuscript is for "mature" readers. Define mature. I read Gone With the Wind before I was twelve. It was my mother's copy and she gave it to me. I've never been a snowflake. My parents and grandparents made sure of that. 

Yes, I've given ground and put a trigger warning on a couple of my books. Bad things to happen to people. I was kidnapped at gunpoint when I was seventeen. I got past it, and I'm a legal gun owner. It doesn't bother me a bit to read detective fiction in which there is a kidnapping and the use of weaponry. I'm not a snowflake. 

I've said this before, many times, that censorship is inherently wrong. It's about controlling someone else. When I participate in censorship, I've increased someone's control over ME as well as everyone else. 

Do I understand a corporate entity like Draft2Digital suddenly after so many years requiring authors to take an extra step to categorize and censor their work? Sure. It's legal crap. 

I don't want to follow the herd and tell YOU what is proper for you to read. I don't want to make YOU afraid to read a particular book because of fear - yours or mine. 

Our rights are being eroded, nibble by nibble. Wake up. Free speech, freedom of the written word, matters, people. Let our so-called government acquire a toe-hold and watch how fast freedom goes away. We should not be making decisions for another person. If you think making a decision for someone else doesn't matter, think abortion. Yeah. Control. 

The censorship game is not something I'm willing to play.  

KC Kendricks/Rayne Forrest

Between the Keys, KC Kendricks, Rayne Forrest, censorship, freedom of speech, constitutional rights, legal fears, restricting others, controlling others

Monday, January 2, 2023

The results are in: Smashwords end of year sale

January 2, 2023

Thanks to everyone who purchased a book during the Smashwords end-of-year sale! The numbers bear out that quite a few of you also went for the freebies, and I knew that would happen. It's fine to do that. 

I was hesitant to participate in this sale event but decided since my books were newly listed on Smashwords, I should. I'm glad I did. I hope some of you have found a new favorite author - ME! 

It's nice to see those numbers as we begin a new year.

Thank you, everyone!


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

KC Kendricks, Rayne Forrest, Between the Keys, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, sci-fi romance, LGBT gay, love and romance, ebooks, sale, Smashwords

Sunday, January 1, 2023

New Year's Day 2023

January 1, 2023

There is a song I like by the group U2 entitled, "New Year's Day." The song says all is quiet on New Year's Day, and that nothing changes on New Year's Day. 

Some things do in fact change, but one thing does not. It is the hope and optimism of people around the world who embrace this new year. We all strive for peace and prosperity for humankind. 

We are learning, each of us, to be more understanding and embracing of the differences and similarities of those around us. Some are merely tolerant of the differences, but accept that for the positive change that it is! Don't insult the person walking behind you if they can't keep up. Be gentle and show them you pose no threat to them. Allow them to catch up! 

 A lot can happen in one short year. 

How you look back on 2023 will depend on you, and only you. 

I wish you health and success on your journey to 2024.