July 13, 2012

Waves Break My Fall: Kendall McKenna

Waves Break My Fall
by Kendall McKenna
Book title: Waves Break My Fall
Genre: M/M Erotic Romance
Cover artist: Reese Dante
Length (words): 20,573
Heat rating: NC-17
Blurb: 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?
What are your main characters' names?
Kage and Zach
Kage is in his early 30’s.
Zach is in his early to mid-20’s. He’s old enough to be graduating college.
Kage is a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps.
Zach has just graduated college and his new occupation is a spoiler.
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.
Their impasse was broken only when the guy was jostled by the crowd. Kage drank down half of his beer in one go. Against his better judgment, he looked back at the mezzanine. The guy's back was to him now, his hips grinding into the girl pressed up against him. Something hot flared in Kage's chest. His heart slammed against his ribs, and he couldn't catch his breath.
He was just about to step to the bar for another beer when the guy released his dance partner and turned back to Kage. Struggling to keep anything from showing on his face, Kage watched the guy pull his tank top up over his head and tuck it into the back pocket of his jeans.
Kage's mouth was dry with desire. He might have a young face, but the guy's body belonged to a full-grown man. Kage could now see that tan skin covered those broad shoulders and a well-defined, muscular chest. The guy's cut abs were on full display as he gyrated around the dance floor to the pounding, pulsating beat of the music.
Pushing away from the table, Kage set his empty bottle on the bar with a jarring clunk, signaling the bartender for another. If the guy was going to be putting on a show, Kage was going to need more alcohol.


How did you get your start in the industry?
I started writing. I just started and kept writing. I found people to give me critical feedback so I got better at it. About two years ago, I was laid off from my day job, so decided to take advantage of it. I got a short story and a novella ready and began to submit to e-presses with good reputations. At the same time, I started writing articles for an online newsletter for a popular television show. Then, I received an offer from Silver Publishing three days after I received the offer for my current day job. I accepted both!
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
Today it’s all about social media, marketing and ME, instead of being about improving the writing. While getting better at the writing is always important, now the focus is on putting myself out there as an author. I have to market myself and the books through social media such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
That is a particularly tricky question for me! My first book, Brothers in Arms, has received two consistent pieces of good natured criticism. First, is that it’s too short. Second, there’s not enough sex. Part of me would love to go back and fix both of those things. On the other hand, fixing either one would make it a completely different story and could potentially ruin it. Ultimately, it’s a great story just like it is, so I wouldn’t change a thing, even though I do think about it from time to time!
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
Sherry Lansing. She was a movie studio executive when women were still being told their worth was based on their skills as wives and mothers. Women were told to stop work when they married so they didn’t take jobs from men who had families. She was a trail blazer and is still producing movies today.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
You don’t have to play it safe. Those things you want to do but think you shouldn’t because they aren’t practical and won’t earn you money? Do them. At least try. You’ll be surprised just what you’ll accomplish when you stop playing it safe.
Do you have a muse? Describe this person, please.
I have many muses. They take the form of my MCs. Sometimes I only have one at a time, sometimes both the boys talk to me. They tell me the story, and they tell me about their fears and their dreams. They point me in the direction the story needs to go. My muses are right there in the stories for everyone to get to know.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I worked in one of the first Public Health HIV testing clinics in the country. That tells you how old I am! I spent almost a decade as a Police Dispatcher. That was an adventure!
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
Brothers In Arms. Because it’s heavy on plot and light on the sex, I think it would be a great way to give a reader a taste of the genre. Once they realize they enjoy it, they can seek out all the other wonderful stories with the heat level they find suits their tastes.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
The same kind I write! I love M/M erotic romance. However, I also like fantasy and sci-fi, contemporary mysteries with strong female lead characters, and true history.
What do you think is the future of epublishing?
I think the future is here! Print books may never go completely away, but e-books are so versatile and well-priced (by e-presses), they’re here to stay. The technology and the industry are in their infancy, but once it shakes out, the NY publishers with either get with the program, or go under. The indie presses will continue to rise. Much like we saw Napster and iTunes revolutionize the music industry by allowing artists to distribute their work without being beholden to a label, we’ll continue to see the influence of agents and legacy presses shrink.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
It’s a very small moment that happened recently. My hubby was leading his father through the house and I was on the couch doing some marketing of a book. As he passed by, hubby told his father, “We have to be quiet, she’s working. She’s a writer.”
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
I would pack jeans, t-shirts and comfortable shoes. My Kindle, my iPod and my passport. I’d be on my way to New Zealand to take the Lord of the Rings filming tour! Yes, I’m a geek.
What good book have you read recently?
I just finished Mercy Celeste’s “Beyond Complicated” and I highly recommend it.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
At a party, hanging off of a balcony with my then girlfriend, banging pots, pans and lids together while cheering drunkenly.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Read and write. You could have guessed that answer, I’m sure.
Which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
I am laid back and relaxed. I love lying on a warm beach with a drink, listening to my iPod and reading my Kindle. 

Fill in the Blanks

My favorite type of car is a Mustang.
A perfect date would be coffee in a Barnes & Noble.
My characters would love it if I just let them have sex without having to examine their feelings.
I think Coldplay is overrated. I prefer Matchbox 20.
If all the hot men in the world were mine, I'd like it.
Paying someone else to do it is the best way to clean my house.
There is more to writing than typing words.
Brothers in Arms

My Current Books

Brothers In Arms

Find Me Here


  1. I cannot wait for this book to be released! I've read Brothers in Arms(quite a few times lol). Your characters are so vivid I wouldn't be surprised to see them walk down the road.

  2. Thank you, Nean! That's a wonderful compliment. I work hard to develop characters so it's fantastic when the effort pays off. Who is your favorite, Jonah or Kellan? Are you one of the ones who has a soft spot for Corey Yarwood?

    I received a few requests for Corey's love story so that's the next thing I'm going to write. Those muses have begun to talk to me!

  3. Great interview. I totally agree with your house cleaning comment! And I love your proudest moment. That it had to do with your husband validating your work, rather than some outside award, speaks volumes.


  4. OH I want both of these they both look so yummy!!


  5. I loved what your hubby said. That was awesome. One of my proudest moments came when someone asked my husband if he was ever intimidated by my success. He said, "My wife and I are a team. If part of the team is winning, the whole team is winning." Amazing. I will never forget that. A real man isn't intimidated by his wife's or his children's -- or anyone else's -- success. Awesome interview, Kendall.

  6. I can't wait for the new book. I have read Brothers in Arms numerous time and of course love it.

  7. Can't wait to read this! The excerpt keeps enticing me.

  8. I really like to see a main character that has just returned from Afghanistan/Iraq. It's so relevant and I like to see what spin the author will take on this theme. The book sounds great. Have you been to Puerto Vallarta before?

    And absolutely agree with you on having someone else clean the house!

  9. Donna-

    Thank you! And I really DESPISE house cleaning! Always have! Just ask my mom! LOL! Luckily, once I actually had a book sell, Hubby realized the potential and that my time really is better spent elsewhere, so I get someone to come in and clean twice a month!

    I guess I should also point out that I have a full-time job and no kids, so it's not like I'm shirking a responsibility or anything!

    Hubby coming to realize that I have spent all these years working toward something and that I actually ACHEIVED it, and having my back and being proud of me is worth more than any 5-star review (but I like those, too!). He knows I write M/M and he's got my back about that, too, not that I've encountered anyone who truly has an issue with it.

    Thanks for stopping by to read and comment! Good luck!

  10. Thanks, Kerry! I'm proud of them both. They're a bit different from each other, but I think that shows my versatility as a writer. Brothers is very plotty and intense. Waves is a pure erotic love story with a broken hero.

    I hope you read and enjoy them both! Good luck!

  11. Kayelle-

    Thanks for having me again! I'm loving all the activities you have going!

    Your Hubby sounds awesome. It's a mark of a good, strong man that they can take pleasure in the success of the ones they love without being threatened. It's a fact that getting to where I am right now would have been more difficult without Hubby.

  12. Thank you, Yvette! Reading it multiple times is a huge compliment to me, because that's what I do with stories I love. Most I can read and enjoy once, but some I love to revisit over and over. So, for Brothers to be that enjoyable for you makes me very happy!

    I hope you enjoy the new story, as well. And I guess you'll have to keep an eye out for the sequel to Brothers, since I've been told Corey Yarwood needs a boyfriend!

    Thanks for stopping to comment! Good luck!

  13. Thank you, sxswann! I posted that excerpt because for me, the first meeting between characters should hook me. I like for there to be an instant reaction (even if it's DISlike!) and I think I acheived that. So, I thought it would be a good way to let everyone get a feel for the story.

    Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck!

  14. Scatteredword-

    I agree, I enjoy stories about returning warriors, especially when it's done right and done well. It is very relevant to our time. I think you'll like Kage. He's hurting, but he'll heel. And I think I gave a realistic pitcture of what these guys are often experiencing once they're home.

    I've been to Puerto Vallarta several times and I love it! I think that shows through in the story, too. I really tried to use it almost as a character itself, as if the town was playing matchmaker!


    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Good luck!

  15. SOunds like a hot read. Would love to add it to my collection. If picked, of course. :-)

  16. Also, as a blog writer on Art History, I agree with your statement that... "There is more to writing than typing words." Writing is way harder than people think.

  17. Interesting that both of your books are with military MCs. Do you have military role models in your family or friends? Both books sounds like good reads.

    strive4bst at yahoo dot com

  18. Christopher-

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! And good luck! If you win, I hope you enjoy it!

  19. Jess1-

    Several upcoming stories feature either Marines or cops. I grew up in San Diego which has 3 Marine bases (not to mention a lot of Navy bases, too!). My favorite grandfather was a Marine in WWII. He fought at Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. I have dated many a Marine in my day! I have a pretty extensive list of friends and relatives who served in some branch of the military. Currently, I live near a Navy base that has a small company of Marines stationed on it, and I'm not shy about talking to them when I run into them in public.

    Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

  20. I keep promising no new authors on my list but you caught me attention tonight. I am going to add you to my wish list. Thanks for the giveaway. jepebATverizonDOTnet

  21. Jen B.-

    I know that feeling! I think we all mean that promise when we make it, but then we just have to break it!

    Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Sounds like an awesome book, can't wait to read it!!


  24. Hello Kendall,

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to spend with Us, sharing about yourself & your writing in your Great Interview. I read "Brothers in Arms" & thought it was a FANTASTIC Read. I also remember the Cover Art LQQking so AMAZING, it definately pulls a Reader in, wanting to know MORE! Thanks for posting it here so we may be Captivated by it again.

    Congrats on your new release of "Waves Break My Fall", I'm Realllllyyyy LQQking forward to reading Kage & Zach's Story! I just know it's going to be another AWESOME Book!!!

    I would very much appreciate the opportunity to be considered in your very generous giveaway of an e-book copy of "Waves Break My Fall" & a $20.00 Gift Card to Silver Publishing.

    Take Care Kendall & Stay Naughty,
    PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)
    paranormalromancefan at yahoo dot com

  25. Emily-

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Good luck!

  26. Renee-

    Glad you enjoyed Brothers! And yes, Reese Dante is one of the best cover artists out there. I couldn't be happier with that cover.

    You are entered for the giveaway! Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck!

  27. M'mmm,,, if the book is as good as his picture then this will be one HOT read! Oh baby.....



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...