Hello! My name is Kendall McKenna and I write M/M Erotic Romance novels and novellas. You’ve probably made your way here as part of the Magic Touch Blog Hop; Welcome to my blog!
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I grew up reading fantasy books. I dabbled in sci-fi, but mostly fantasy. I love mystical, magical creatures of all sorts, but I love dragons the most, as my tattoos will attest. However, I felt drawn to stories about sorcerers, mages, magicians, and wizards. Of course I read Tolkien (my favorite was always The Hobbit). I loved the first two Weis & Hickman Dragonlance trilogies. The world I spent the most time in was Katherine Kurtz’s The Chronicles of Deryni, The Histories of King Kelson, the prequel trilogy The Chronicles of Saint Camber, and all of the stand-alone books and anthologies. Think Medieval Europe with sorcerers and sorceresses.
What I like most about these stories is that the magic is Earth based. The incantations and spells they use invoke the four cardinals and the four elements. There is always balance; balance in the magic, in the world, and in the universe. The practitioners draw strength and power from the four elements, but nothing is unlimited and at some point, there is a price to pay, even if it’s just the price of fatigue and currency is sleep. The magic is neutral and the practitioners use it either for good or for evil. In other words, they have a choice; they have self-determination. There is no ‘dark side’. Practicing magic does not suck the goodness from the soul.
My professional writing career is just barely a year old. I haven’t yet written a book featuring magic. I have no characters who are mages or sorcerers. As I sat down to write this blog entry, I intended to just pay homage to the near-flawless world building of Katherine Kurtz. I planned to mention that I ‘borrowed’ from her when I wrote my paranormal story, Strength of the Pack. Her Deryni abilities are tied to the X chromosome, so people are born either with power and ability, or they are not. There is no dilution of the ‘race’ (her term), there is only an on/off switch.
I borrowed this concept when I created my werewolves. In my world, shapeshifting is a dominant gene on the X chromosome. So, it’s easy to have werewolf children of both genders, and they either are weres, or they’re not, there is no dilution of the traits.
Then suddenly, I remembered that I had consciously written magic into my vampire story, Nights In Canaan. Vampires are supernatural, which is kind of magical, but I went several steps further. The entire premise of my story is that the universe requires balance. Every so many centuries, when the human race is at a particularly dark, selfish, and violent place, an ancient vampire finds a portal through space and time. He arrives on Earth with the sole intent of creating an army of evil vampires with which he will conquer and rule the planet.
But the universe requires balance.
Each time the ancient vampire is reborn, an ancient warrior follows him soon after. His sole purpose is to locate and destroy the vampire, saving the human race and restoring balance to the universe. The trouble is, the ancient vampire and the ancient warrior have fallen in love with each other. Time after time they’re forced to choose between their destinies and their love, knowing that if they choose love, the universe will still require balance and there will be a steep price to pay when the bill finally arrives.
But here’s the magic part: each time the ancient warrior is reborn, he starts out lacking his own knowledge and memories. There are also two physical, shall we say, weapons, that he has to retrieve so that he can fulfill his destiny. This is where the magic comes in. While Nights In Canaan is set in the real world as we know it, there are vampires in the story. That gives me an opening and an opportunity. It is by magical means that the ancient warrior locates and retrieves the weapons he needs to defeat the ancient vampire and restore balance to the universe. He draws strength and guidance from the Earth, then uses magic to retrieve his weapons. And it’s pretty dramatic! Thunder and lightning, scorching heat, and pain is the price the universe demands as payment.
I would love to elaborate on the magic, but that would spoil the story for anyone who wants to read it!
Nights In Canaan
by Kendall McKenna
Love and hate. Good and evil. Life and death. The universe requires balance, whatever the cost. An ancient vampire rises, time after time, threatening the survival of the human race. An ancient warrior is reborn, again and again, with the singular purpose of halting the vampire’s bloody rampage. With each encounter throughout time, their passions burn and their emotions deepen. The vampire shares his body and the warrior shares his blood. When they are no longer able to cause one another harm, the lovers hesitate to fulfill their destinies. Will the ancient warrior sacrifice the whole of the human race, in exchange for eternity in the arms of the vampire he loves?
Strength of the Pack
(The Tameness of the Wolf, Book 1)
by Kendall McKenna
Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn’t know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas’ platoon, the Marine Corps’ True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant’s authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond.
During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.
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