Friday, September 28, 2012

Welcome Kendall McKenna

I'd like to give a warm welcome to Kendall McKenna.   Let's find out more about her and her book "Waves Break My Fall."

1. How long have you been writing?

All my life. I know how cliché that sounds! A lot of authors say it, and it’s usually true. It probably goes hand in hand with the fact that I’m a reader, as well. My mother recognized while I was young that I was rapidly outgrowing my children’s books and bought me my first YA novel, a mystery similar to the Nancy Drew stories. I loved to read so much, it seemed to make sense that I try to write. It started off with silly poems and ridiculous short stories, until I had a teacher that made us journal. I found my creativity, I developed my basic skills, and most importantly, my teacher encouraged me. And I continued to write. I entered contests and competitions, and even wrote stories as gifts for family and friends.

Somewhere along the way, I let the voices in my head, and my mother’s very real one, convince me that it was too hard to make a living as a writer. I looked at my own work and decided I wasn’t good enough to be published. So, I went to college, got a job, and limited my writing to professional documents and manuals.

Until about five years ago.

I had begun to dabble once more in fanfiction and realized I really loved to write. I did so passionately. Friends introduced me to the m/m erotic romance genre being produced in e-book format by the indie e-presses, and I was in love. I felt called. I knew this was something I could and that I could do well. So, I set out to improve my writing and prepare myself for dealing with criticism. Several years, and several rejections later, Brothers In Arms was published. The rest is history.

2. What is your favorite genre to write?

At this moment, it’s m/m erotic romance. It’s my current passion and will most likely never completely wane because it is so closely linked to, and so closely resembles m/m fanfiction. I do have an idea for a couple of manage stories, and I would never say I won’t ever write m/f. But m/m is where my heart is at. I also love to read very graphic stories, so that’s naturally what I write. Will I ever try my hand at YA or a less graphic m/m romance? It’s very possible. But my first love is m/m erotic romance.

3. What are you working on now?

That is a three-pronged answer. Lee Tiffen, a friend of mine who is also a cover artist for Silver Publishing, asked me if I thought I could write a werewolf story. She loves shifters and I’ve always been partial to vampires. I’ve read a few paranormal stories with shifters and enjoyed them, I just haven’t yet made it a point to seek them out to read. But, my personal belief is that, if a writer is skilled enough, he or she can write anything well. We’re naturally going to have more enthusiasm for writing certain things, but I believed I could do a shifter story justice. What I ended up with was 90,000 words of Marine Corps werewolves. It’s currently in the first round editing stage with my beta reader, and will be ready for submission pretty soon.

I am currently putting the finishing touches on the sequel to Brothers In Arms. It’s nearly ready to go to the beta reader. There were so many requests to read more about one of my supporting characters, Corey Yarwood, that I’ve written an unplanned sequel. It’s not just another love story about another two men, either. Since BIA takes place in Iraq during a combat deployment, I made the new story, The Final Line, a spiritual sequel as well by bringing the action stateside and showing what happens to our veterans as they attempt to adjust.

And I’m currently doing research for a special submission I was asked to write. It involves an Ancient Vampire and an Ancient Warrior, who would rather make love than war. I’m setting it in Jerusalem during the last Crusade.

I’m busy!

4. When you start a new story do you begin with a character or plot?

Character. I’m a very character-centric person in all things. I am fascinated by good characters in the books I read and the movies and TV I watch. When I write, I start with a character or characters who have issues I want to explore or a journey I want to take them on. I build the story and the plot around where I want the characters to go or end up.

5. Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?

My most recent release is called Waves Break My Fall. I was in Puerto Vallarta, which I love, and I thought it would be a fantastic place to fall in love. There was a special submission call for summer romances that incorporate the setting heavily into the story. I had these two characters running around in my head who needed their individual stories told, so I took them on their journeys by having them meet and stumble into love while on vacation in Mexico.

Kendall McKenna was born and raised in Southern California. As a tomboy, she preferred playing softball and riding horses to taking dance classes. An early love of reading eventually led to attempts at writing. Kendall’s first notable work of fiction was written at the worldly age of nine, and was a transformative work that expanded on the story told in a popular song of the time. She tried her hand at vampire and cowboy fiction, winning high school poetry and short story contests along the way. It wasn’t until she discovered the world of m/m erotic fiction and found her stride with cops, Marines, firearms, and muscle cars, that she felt inspired to share her stories with readers who enjoy the same things. Kendall still lives and works in Southern California. A non-conventional relationship has kept her happy for the last decade. Her four dogs enjoy it when she writes, since she sits still long enough for them to curl up around her, or even on her, if they can manage it.

Kage is a Marine, newly returned from Afghanistan and having difficulty adjusting to being home. He tries to decompress with a quiet, solo trip to Puerto Vallarta.

Zach is newly graduated from college and facing the realities of adulthood and beginning his new career. Their mutual attraction is immediate and intense. Zach is undemanding and seems to understand what Kage is going through. Kage has the physical strength that Zach desires, as well as the strength of character to let him be his own man.

Their summer vacation romance sizzles, but when the time arrives for Zach to return home, will either of them be willing--or able--to walk away?

Excerpt (adult):
The taxi pulled to the curb on the first block of the Malicon. Ahead stretched the five or six blocks of bars, restaurants, pharmacies, and knick-knack shops that comprised the central tourist area of Puerto Vallarta. Kage tossed a bunch of crumpled bills onto the front seat and climbed out. It was summer in Mexico, and the humid heat of Puerto Vallarta slammed into him like a wall, stealing his breath. Already, denim was sticking to his legs and he wished he'd worn shorts. His white tank top and sandals at least mitigated the heat.

Kage was looking for a specific type of bar for his night of drinking, and he'd know it when he saw it. As he made his way down the sidewalk, he struggled not to flinch each time he was jostled by innocent passersby. He reminded himself he was no longer in Afghanistan.

On one of the last blocks of the Malicon, he found a place that just felt right: Surf Shack. Kage snorted. The décor was straight out of a 1960's beach-blanket movie. Cartoon sea life was painted on the walls and decorative surfboards hung throughout.

He was about to step inside when a loud noise sounded from the beach across the street. It echoed along the street, bouncing off of the building fronts. Kage startled violently, ducking his head and shoulders, nearly dropping into a crouch. His body was already looking for cover even as his brain told him there was no real threat. Glancing around, it didn't seem anyone had noticed his strange behavior.

Inside, the music was typically loud. It roared over Kage, deafening him and thundering through his bones. He'd found just what he was looking for. A circular bar stood just to the right of the room. There was a small dance floor on the other side of the bar with a second dance floor up a split flight of stairs. A handful of customers sat around the bar, drinking quietly, and watching the dancers. It was perfect.

Kage took in his surroundings as he approached the bar. He marked both exits. He sized up all the drinkers and dismissed most of them as threats. There was one guy Kage decided to keep an eye on. He had an angry expression and a tense set to his shoulders that made him look like he might be belligerent when drunk. There was only one bartender and he looked friendly. The crowds on the dance floors looked happy and not aggressive. Kage rolled his shoulders, trying to ease the built-up tension.

Shouting over the music, he ordered a Pacifico. Kage had to unclench his hands to take out his money. He took the sweating bottle and moved to a bar-height table in the corner, leaning against it in what he hoped looked like a relaxed pose. He had all entrances and exits in sight, as well as the seething crowd itself. Halfway through his beer, he felt his muscles finally begin to release their tense hold on him. Kage ran his hand over his light brown hair. He'd let it grow out to some extent. He scratched at his cheek. The three-day growth of his beard was coarse under his nails. He was a week into thirty days of leave, and he'd told the grooming standard to go fuck itself. Kage knew he no longer resembled the Marine Gunnery Sergeant he was.

His second beer was icy in touch and taste. It was soothing. The ocean breeze couldn't reach him inside, so it was hotter in here than out on the street. Kage was already starting to sweat through the cotton of his tank top. Again, he wished he'd worn shorts.

Kage clasped the neck of his beer loosely in his fingers as he leaned his elbows on the table behind him. He could finally watch the mass of dancing people with interest instead of caution and distrust. It was an unfamiliar sensation, not having to constantly be on the lookout for danger.

Something on the mezzanine captured Kage's attention. The writhing crush of dancing bodies parted as he glimpsed a beautiful young man. Kage frowned and glanced around the bar again, looking closer at the occupants. Kage suddenly felt so fucking old. He was easily ten years older than everyone else here.

What the hell had possessed him to come here?

His eyes were drawn again to the guy on the upper dance floor. He seemed to be dancing with an entire group--the boys as well as the girls--rather than a single partner. He was lithe and graceful but unquestionably masculine. His shoulders and chest were broad, tapering into a trim waist and narrow hips. The thick muscles of his arms bunched and flexed with his every movement. Kage's cock shifted in his jeans, showing interest despite his brain's misgivings.

The guy's face was flushed with the heat and exertion of his dancing. He smiled broadly at his companions, showing off perfectly straight, white teeth. His dark hair caught the dim bar lighting and shone with burnished copper. Kage took a long drink of his beer and shifted his weight, trying to mask the way his dick pressed insistently against his zipper.

Just then, the guy glanced up from the woman who was shouting into his ear and looked right into Kage's eyes. When Kage didn't look away, the guy's grin grew into a wide smile.


Buy Link:


  1. Hi Kendall,

    Just dropping by to say Hi and that I really enjoyed your first two releases. Already looking forward to the sequel to Brothers in Arms. Any ideas on release date?


    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them! I'm writing as fast as I can to get the next ones out!