WELCOME TO THE
Black Friday Blog Hop!
I’m Kendall McKenna, author of M/M erotic romances
Many years ago, I realized that the holiday season in the U.S. (that runs from Thanksgiving in November through New Year’s Day) had become less about anything spiritual, or anything family, and had become more about shopping. Black Friday seems the penultimate of this skewed set of priorities.
Okay, that’s not true for everyone. There are a lot of people who still understand the true spirit of these holidays. But, I decided that I wasn’t going to succumb to the pressure to by a gift for every single person I know. I give a lot of holiday cards with hand written notes that tell people how much they mean to me. I further thinned my gift list by eliminating anyone who failed to say ‘thank you’. What this means is, there is far less stress in my life than there could be. It also allows me to truly enjoy the season itself.
I get my shopping done early in the holiday season and I spend the rest of the time admiring lights, decorations, the happy faces that sit on Santa’s lap. I can sit with my coffee and listen to the live music the shopping malls hire to play. I can still smile at sales clerks and genuinely wish them Happy Holidays.
You can imagine how uncomfortable I am with the events of Black Friday this year; the retailers who have moved Black Friday to Thanksgiving Thursday, and the shoppers willing to abandon their families to shop. Then again, I’d much rather eat than shop! Turkey and cranberry! Yum, yum!
And yes, I’m one of those who shops an awful lot online! It’s so easy these days! You can get practically anything, and sales prices usually apply to online purchases. No crowds and no searching for parking spaces! I’m even easy to shop for online. Books, music, jewelry, and gift cards to my favorite ‘stores’, all make me happy! My Kindle is a dream come true! Need a new book? DOWNLOAD IT! No need to wait until the stores open!
Yes, I DO leave the house, why do you ask? 😉 I just don’t have to leave to shop!
If you’re like me and you download your books to an e-reader, you’re in luck!
My first published story features kick-ass Marines saving the world, falling in love and having hot sex with each other. It’s called Brothers In Arms. For business reasons, I pulled this title from the original publisher and was fortunate enough to have MLR Press pick it up for re-release. Brothers In Arms will be available once again on December 14th.
Jonah Carver is a Marine and combat veteran. He and his former Captain, Kellan Reynolds, once shared a scorching night, but then lost touch; something Jonah has long regretted.
When an investigation into government corruption, and the murder of U.S. troops, ends in the killing of a V.I.P. on Jonah’s watch, the FBI arrives. With them is Kellan Reynolds.
Together once more, Jonah begins to believe in second chances and sparks fly. Nothing is that easy, though, as the suspects will stop at nothing to bring the investigation to an end. Jonah must keep everyone in his charge alive while helping the FBI and Kellan find the proof they need.
When Kellan is kidnapped, Jonah has to find and rescue him. If he doesn’t, not only will the investigation unravel, but he’ll lose Kellan for a second time–for good.
“Excellent. We’re done here then.” Jonah crossed the room and managed not to take the door off its hinges. He headed right for the front door of the manor house.
Anger seared Jonah’s insides. He wanted to run the perimeter of the firmbase, but he knew it wasn’t safe. His fury nipped at his heels, driving him away from the manor house and toward—he didn’t know what. Jonah needed to pace, to use up the energy of his rage. He kept running into cammie nets, Humvees, ammo cans, and trash. He balled his fist to punch something, and then stopped himself. He was right-handed and he needed that hand to pull the trigger. Jonah’s wrath tangled with frustration and he kicked viciously at rocks in the dirt.
“I thought I’d find you here.” Kellan’s words carried to Jonah, even before he stepped around a Humvee and into view.
Jonah’s temper dissipated slightly at the sound of Kellan’s voice, even as desire edged up his spine and settled in his belly. He damn well needed to get that reaction under control. The rapid ricochet of Jonah’s emotions threw him off and fucked with his equilibrium. He jammed his curled fists onto his hips. “You knew this was going to happen, Kellan?” Jonah winced at the accusation in his own voice.
Kellan drew a deep breath and seemed to weigh his words carefully. “I wrote an opinion for my consulting firm that dealt with the Big Three getting so many no-bid government contracts,” he said as he slowly approached Jonah. “I concluded they have strategically placed allies in the government to ensure they continue to make billions of dollars off of America’s armed conflicts.”
“You wrote the synopsis for a Tom Clancy novel and the President decided to send you to Iraq?” Jonah wanted Kellan to tell him he was right and it was all fiction.
Kellan came to stand directly in front of Jonah. He chuffed a laugh. “The President was dubious too when he read it. Still, he thought my arguments were sound enough to warrant a cursory investigation.”
Jonah took in Kellan’s familiar features: his lashes, the small mole beneath his left eye, and finally his mouth. “Obviously, the investigation turned up something.”
Kellan wet his bottom lip before he spoke. “The Attorney General has built a fairly strong case for corruption. She just can’t go before Congress and the President and say she thinks American weapons and munitions are being provided to the enemy for use against our own military personnel. So, she reached out to the State Department to find evidence of the supply chain here in Iraq.”
“They sent Grizzly?”
“Correct. And when they did, I issued another opinion that postulated he would be killed, using American-supplied weapons, in order to halt the investigation.”
“Hell,” Jonah sighed, tilting his head back to look blindly at the sky. He remembered all the friends he’d lost since this conflict had begun. His earlier rage flared again.
“I intended that first opinion to be a neutral stand for my consulting agency. We’ve received substantial funding from the Big Three, and I wanted it clear their money couldn’t influence us.”
“And then Grizzly was killed, making the investigation FBI jurisdiction, and since you’ve accurately predicted how things so far would go down, the President decided you should come provide guidance,” Jonah concluded with a harsh laugh.
“Which I could easily have done from DC, but I thought it would be fun to drop in and say ‘hi’.”
“There are these amazing devices called e-mail and cell phones, you know.” Jonah’s rage melted farther away as he smiled. “You didn’t have to get yourself airlifted to Iraq.”
“Well, the opportunity just presented itself.” Kellan grinned.
Jonah was pretty glad he hadn’t resorted to e-mail.
“You know, sir, I read that book of yours about the invasion” Jonah poked Kellan square in the chest with one finger. “When you run for President, I’m not voting for you if you run as a Democrat.”
Kellan’s laugh sent a shockwave rolling through Jonah.
“I have no intention of running for President,” he said.
“Well, maybe not right away. You’ll do some time in Congress or the Senate. Then you’ll become the Governor of New York. Maybe Massachusetts. Then you’ll make your run at the White House.”
“Actually, I’m more a ‘power behind the throne’ kind of guy.” Jonah felt a sort of perverse fascination as Kellan reached out and hooked two fingers into the waist of Jonah’s trousers.
“Is that a fact?” Jonah searched Kellan’s face.
“More to the point, some of the most powerful positions in DC are not elected but appointed.” Kellan leaned in, voice conspiratorial.
“You’re not an attorney, so you can’t be a judge,” Jonah mused. Kellan was standing so close; Jonah caught the scent of him and lost his train of thought.
“No, but there are cabinet positions. Say, Secretary of the Navy. Secretary of Defense.” Kellan paused. “Secretary of State.”
“Well then, Mr Secretary,” Jonah said solemnly. He believed Kellan would someday achieve that very thing. He wondered in passing what Kellan would do if Jonah leaned in and kissed him.
“Stop teasing me,” Kellan said, his expression serious.
Jonah became acutely aware of Kellan’s hand touching him. It was only teasing if Jonah didn’t mean it. He wasn’t teasing. He didn’t think Kellan was, either.
“When we’re both Stateside again, I’ll show you I’m not teasing.” The words were spoken before Jonah could stop them. He swallowed hard, his throat suddenly tight. This was the part where Kellan would tell him how much he’d enjoy a passing friendship with a former Team Leader; as if he was unaware this was exactly how things had started between them before.
Instead, Kellan looked pleased, and Jonah realized, with deep satisfaction, that was the reaction he’d been hoping for.
“I’m holding you to that.”
“I’m counting on it. For now, though, why don’t you head back inside and I’ll be in shortly.”
One corner of Kellan’s mouth lifted in a brief smile. “Good night, Jonah,” he said quietly, before he turned and climbed the steps into the firmbase.
“Good night, Kellan.”
Jonah took a cleansing breath and released it slowly. He rolled his head, stretching out the once tense muscles that had relaxed sometime during the last few minutes.
With a final upward glance, this time seeing the sky, Jonah followed Kellan inside, realizing he would finally be able to sleep.
Enter to win an E-Book copy of
Waves Break My Fall
Kage is a Marine, newly returned from Afghanistan and having difficulty adjusting to being home. He tries to decompress with a quiet trip to Puerto Vallarta. Zach is a new college graduate and facing the realities of adulthood. Will their hot summer fling grow into something more?
But that’s not all….
The Black Friday Blog Hop has THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!