Bye, 2021!

I usually start my end of the year posts saying how I’m looking forward to the new year ahead. This time, I’m not sure I am. 😉 2020 was crazy. 2021 stepped up and said, “Here. Hold my beer.” I’m almost scared to see what 2022 will bring.

The Pandemic

2021 was strange. We’re still in the pandemic yet a lot of us have tried going back to our normal lives. I say tried because every time it looks like we can, there’s another COVID-19 variant. I got my COVID vaccine back in early April, though I still need a booster. I got the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot. I’ll have to talk to my doctor to see which booster to receive. I should be seeing her in a week or two. Nobody likes getting shots, but I’ll do it because getting vaccinated is the right thing to do. If you don’t agree, that’s your right, but I’ll respectfully disagree with you.

Christmas in Holly Pines & Hooper Lake Series

I only published one book in 2021, Christmas in Holly Pines (Small Town Gay Romance), my most successful book to date. I don’t know if it’s done so well because it’s in Kindle Unlimited, or if some of my other readers have read it and recommended it. Regardless of why, I’m beyond thankful for how it’s been received. There are a couple of things in the book I wish I could go back and tweak, but overall, I’m quite pleased with the story I wrote. Well, two stories, as it’s told in two sections – Jacob & Owen’s and Dustin & Reese’s.

One of the main complaints I’ve had about the book – and something I’ll remember the next time I get the crazy idea to publish two books in one edition – is that it’s too long at 366 pages. It’s that length because it is two books in one. Even so, I’m happy to have the feedback from readers. I could’ve easily published the two sections of Holly Pines as two different books, but then the reader is paying more (each book would’ve been at least $2.99), and they’re also not getting the full picture as Jacob and Owen’s story has an epilogue at the end of Dustin and Reese’s that ties up their story.

A quick tip for those interested in just Jacob & Owen’s story (the first one) – After their section of the story before it goes to Dustin & Reese, skip ahead in the book, past Dustin & Reese’s story, to ‘Not Quite An Epilogue’. That one ties up Jacob and Owen nicely. The actual Epilogue (taking place a year later) is in Dustin’s POV and basically ties up everything else.

E-Book Pricing

Another thing to note – and I really hate doing this – is that I’ll likely be increasing the prices of some of my books in the very near future. It won’t be anything drastic, but I do want the readers to know before I do it. I could’ve easily charged $4.99 for Christmas in Holly Pines, but I’ve been consistent over the years with the $2.99 price tag for my longer books. I’ll wait until the sales of the book slow in the coming weeks before I’ll be increasing it. It’s also in Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re subscribed to that, it won’t affect you. The cost of the paperback will remain the same.

This will mostly only apply to my longer, novel-length, books, not the shorter stories.

Willy the Kinky Elf, Kindle Unlimited, & Paperbacks

With the series ending at the end of 2020, I’ll be pulling the Willy the Kinky Elf series from all e-sites except Amazon and adding it to Kindle Unlimited. I’ve been asked by SO many readers over the years to put it in KU. I wanted to wait until interest waned on the other e-sites before doing so. I’m not, nor have I ever been, overly thrilled with being committed to just one site for the ninety days required for KU, but I’m going to see how it goes. A lot of my readers are subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, and again, have asked when/if I’ll be doing it with ‘Willy’ and some of my others.

In the coming weeks I’ll be focusing on publishing most of my books (except for the really short ones) as paperbacks, like I did Holly Pines. I’ve balked on doing paperbacks over the years because the formatting was such a hassle. I now use an amazing program (Reedsy.com) that does most of the work for me. With each new paperback I’ll be skimming over the content to ensure there were no issues missed before I published the original e-books. The stories won’t change but a word here and there might.

2022 Goals

My goals for 2022 (including what I mentioned above) will be to complete some of the works-in-progress that I’ve been working on for months and (for some) even years.

Hooper Lake Series – It’s about five adopted brothers who all have a past who come home when the oldest (Noah) receives some life-changing news. The first book is Noah’s, and the other brothers have their stories following his. The first three are complete. The last two, about the only biological brothers, twins Elijah and Ethan, aren’t. I had to walk away from Eli and Ethan’s for a while. I know exactly in my head what I want to say in both books and to close out the series. Unfortunately, what I want and my writing it haven’t exactly been in sync. I’m hoping that changes in the coming weeks.

The feedback I’ve received regarding the length of Holly Pines will be considered greatly when I publish the Hooper Lake series, that I hope to be publishing at some point in 2022. The original plan was to publish them all in one edition because they all take place pretty much during the same time period. It’s highly unlikely I’ll be doing that now, though I will be publishing all five books around the same time. The cost of each story will depend on the length of each individual one.

Cupid – If you’ve read Eros (published in 2016) you know that in my fictional worlds Eros and Cupid are two different gods – one Greek (Eros), one Roman (Cupid). I started on Cupid’s story a long time ago but walked away until recently. I went back into it right after Christmas, and should be finished with it very soon. Unfortunately, that ‘very soon’ isn’t soon enough for me to publish it before Valentine’s Day of 2022. So, expect a 2023 release of that.

New stories – I have several I’ve started on recently. Three involve characters with substantial age differences. Two of those stories will go together but will be published separately. They involve two best friends – in their forties – and two other best friends – early to mid-twenties – who come together. The first one is about a young man who falls for his father’s best friend. His dad gives his blessing so there’s no drama or the two main characters being forced to keep secrets, which I absolutely hate in the books I read. The other one involves the same dad falling for his son’s much-younger best friend. Again, there will be no issues with said best friend knowing about the relationship.

Keeping It Simple (Falling For The Neighbor, #1)

Keeping it Simple, the third story I’m working on, involves a forty-eight-year-old bisexual man whose name hasn’t been finalized yet. With a little help from his adult daughter and pre-teen grandson, he meets his hot new thirty-two-year- old neighbor. The new neighbor has moved next door from the other side of the country to escape an unstable ex.

At the time of my typing this post I’ve written close to 19,000 words on Keeping it Simple. Once the story took hold in my head I went with it. All except around 500 of those words have been written since December 27th. The story is REALLY flowing for me right now.

The series title will likely be changing before the story even makes it to my best friend to read because I’m not loving it. Keeping it Simple, the book title, likely won’t because of the reasons behind the title that are explained in the book.

One of the most difficult things I have to do when I write a book is come up with character names, hence why the two MCs in Keeping it Simple haven’t been finalized. Both guys have placeholder names for now. None I’ve come up with so far have worked because they don’t ‘look’ like the guys in my head. All the secondary characters, no problem. The main two? Grr.

As for the second book in the series, that’s still being worked out in my head. All the books may connect in some way or they may be like my An Unlikely Romance series, where none of the characters are connected. Time will tell on that.

~*~

I’ve written quite a bit on all of the above stories I just mentioned. My number one goal right now is to finish Keeping it Simple and Cupid. And, of course, I need to finalize character names for the former. I then hope to figure out what’s holding me back on the Hooper Lake series. First, I have to get my head right on how to finish it with Elijah and Ethan. I’m hoping it’ll click soon so I can get that series out into the world. Because each book involves a brother with a past, there are a LOT of timelines I have to keep straight. Hopefully it’ll all come together soon.

Something that will MOST DEFINITELY be happening in 2022…

I’ll be moving my website hosting and all my domains (I have quite a few, both writing related and non) away from GoDaddy. While the issues I had earlier in the year are resolved for now, it’s only a matter of time before they start up again. My followers can see that I’m no longer sending email alerts when I publish a post, though I’m going to ATTEMPT to with this one and hope the plugin doesn’t go crazy. I’ve been advised by GoDaddy to deactivate most of my plugins or risk my website screwing up again.

That’s only one of the plugins that I’ve had to temporarily deactivate. I refuse to keep paying an outrageous price every month for hosting that may or may not work. The last time things went crazy it lasted for over a month. That’s a month I could do NOTHING. Nothing I typed could be saved, much less be published. GoDaddy Help did everything they could to help fix it, but they couldn’t duplicate the issue on their end, so it didn’t work. It only started working on its own after I walked away in frustration for a few weeks.

If I’m paying for something, I should get what I pay for, right? I didn’t, and I haven’t since the day I made the mistake of setting up a website via GoDaddy. The domains are dirt cheap, but trust me, if you go with them on the hosting, it’s just not worth all the hassle.

A lot of you already know that I took down the Reindeer Secrets site. I’m going to say it’s temporary for now because I’ll likely do a landing page only site when I switch hosts. Like with CandiKay.com, there were constant issues with the hosting, and the amount of spam that was able to get through was just too much for me to keep up with on a site that wasn’t updated regularly.

Closing Out 2021

I can’t not mention the passing of the great Betty White. Losing her hit home yet again how crappy 2021 was. There were a lot of others who passed during the year, and they’re no less important, but she was someone you just always think will be there. I’ve been a big fan of hers for as long as I can remember. To lose her was the icing on the cake of a very crappy year.

We also closed out the year with a big win for my Alabama Crimson Tide football team against Cincinnati. We’ll be playing Georgia, who beat Michigan on the 31st, in the National Championship game on January 10th. This will be a rematch game as we played Georgia in the SEC Championship game not that long ago and beat them, knocking them out of first place and putting us back there. I’m not a fan (by any means) of the Georgia Bulldogs coach (a former assistant at Alabama), so hopefully we’ll pull out another win for back-to-back championships.

~*~

What else?

I really can’t think of anything other than to tell you all how thankful I am for every single one of you who has supported me and my writing over the past seven or so years. I’m still in awe that people actually read what I’ve written. I honestly thought maybe five people would read my stories (*cough* my best friend’s family) and that would be it. 😉 I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that so many readers have embraced me and my (often kooky) fictional worlds and characters.

And a huge thank you to my above-mentioned best friend, who I swear keeps me from throwing my laptop at times. Without her, I never would’ve published my first book. Without her, there would be no Willy or any of my other characters, though she swears Rick Preston (from the Taking Lance series) is her man. 😉 Taking Lance (#1) was my very first published story.

Of all my books I’ve written over the years (published or no), the Lance books are the ones I have a hard time going back and rereading. My writing style has changed drastically since those days, and I always want to make changes. So I’ll just be proud of the series, and be grateful that people like reading them, are still reading them all these years later. Strangely, I think more people read the whole series in 2021 than they did in all the prior years combined.

I hope everyone who celebrated had a nice holiday, and here’s hoping for a much better year in 2022.

Until next time,

Candi

 

 

Christmas In Holly Pines (Small Town Gay Romance) – Excerpt

Hello, all!

I hope you all are having a nice December. I’m so far behind on pretty much everything, but it’ll all come together. It usually does. 🙂

Christmas in Holly Pines was published on November 1st. I’ve published quite a few books over the years (the Willy series included), but I’ve never had the success that I’ve had so far with Holly Pines. Honestly, it surprised me. Not because I’m not proud of the book – I am – but because it was the first book I’ve published since the Willy series ended last year. It surprised me because it’s a Christmas story not set in my crazy version of the North Pole, and there are no kinky elves or shifting reindeer to be seen. 😉 There is, however, a small shout out to Randy.

Thank you to everybody who has bought or downloaded Christmas in Holly Pines so far. I held on to that story (well, 2 stories in one) for over 2 years. Jacob and Owen’s was written and polished approximately 2 and a half years ago. Only later did I add Dustin and Reese to the mix.

I also send a huge thank you to my best friend for encouraging me to publish it even though she hadn’t read it yet. Just knowing she had that kind of confidence in me and my writing means everything.

Below is a quick excerpt from Holly Pines. It describes the first time Reese Wells and Dustin Knight meet face-to-face. You can find out a little about how Jacob and Owen met in an excerpt that was published in October on On Top Down Under Book Reviews. You can find it here and Kazza’s review of the book here.

Excerpt –

I barely have time to react before Jesse’s yelling my name and running to me. I just manage to lift him up before I fall back on my ass.

“Reese, you’re here.”

“I am. You must be Jesse.”

“Well, duh. You’ve seen me a million times.”

“I’ve seen you exactly twice outside of pictures.”

“Yeah, same thing. Dad, Reese is here,” he calls out as he climbs down.

I look over, and I swear my heart stops. Dustin Knight is standing a few feet away. I take a step toward him, but Owen has other ideas. He nudges me to Jacob.

“This is Jacob Knight,” he gushes. “He’s mine, so hands off, little brother.”

“You’re so weird, Owen,” Jesse tells him.

“Nice to officially meet you, Jacob,” I tell him as I shake his hand.

“You too, Reese.”

Jesse grabs my hand and pulls me to his dad. “This is my dad, Doctor Dustin Knight.”

“Hello, gorgeous,” Dustin says with a grin as he takes my hand in his.

“Oh, my gawd,” Jesse blurts out. “You can’t be calling people that, Dad. This is Reese. He’s practically family. He might not want to stay if he thinks you’re a weirdo.”

I laugh and look down at the kid, my hand still in Dustin’s. “There’s not a person alive who doesn’t like being called gorgeous. And you’ve met Owen. You know I’m used to being around weirdos.”

“I resemble that remark,” Owen says from somewhere behind me.

“Let go of his hand, Dad. Geez. You’re embarrassing me in front of my new best friend.”

“We can’t have that, can we?” Dustin says, letting go of my hand, reluctantly, if his expression is to go by. “Go wash your hands for dinner.”

“You’re not going anywhere, are you, Reese?”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

He rushes off to do as he’s told.

“We’ll, uh, be somewhere,” Owen says, pulling Jacob with him.

“In the kitchen where dinner is?” Jacob asks him.

When they’re out of sight, I get a good look at Dustin. “Hey there.”

“Hey there, yourself.”

He surprises me by leaning in and kissing me softly on the lips. He’s smiling when he pulls back.

“I’m suddenly really wishing we’d met the first time without the others around,” he whispers.

“We have time, don’t we, Doc?”

“Yes, we do. Now let’s go to the kitchen before a certain little boy comes in and fusses at me for monopolizing his new best friend’s time.”

Blurb –

Holly Pines, Vermont, is a traditional small tourist town. In the off-season, there are fewer than two thousand residents. A snow skiing paradise, that number increases dramatically during the holidays. It’s been home to brothers Jacob and Dustin Knight their entire lives.

Being the chief of police in a busy tourist town makes it hard for Jacob to find the time to date. Dustin is bisexual and has plenty of options but no interest in anyone in town. He’s a single father who knows that anyone he brings into his world has to accept that he and his son are a package deal.

Owen Wells is a professional photographer who plans to snap a few shots of the Christmas lights on Holly Pines Bridge then be on his way. A matchmaking seven-year-old boy has other ideas. When unforeseen circumstances keep Owen in town overnight, sparks fly between the photographer and chief of police. Suddenly, Owen’s not so keen on leaving after all.

Reese Wells is a traveling nurse who never stays in one place for long. His older brother may have found love, but he has no plans to follow suit. That changes during a video call with Owen and young Jesse Knight. When the boy’s dad joins the chat, all bets are off. Reese is suddenly eager to take a trip to the small town of Holly Pines, Vermont.

Jacob and Owen’s relationship runs smoothly from the get-go. Dustin and Reese’s, not so much. Between a quick misunderstanding, a jealous nurse, a busybody teacher, and a less than maternal ex-wife, these guys have to work hard to become the family they desperately want to be.

Available from Amazon in Kindle Unlimited and paperback.

You can add it on Goodreads here.

~*~

In the event I don’t pop in again before the end of the month, I hope you all have the best of holidays and a very Happy New Year!

Until next time,

Candi

 

 

Upcoming Release: Christmas in Holly Pines

I’m happy to announce that my new release, Christmas in Holly Pines (Small Town Gay Romance) is up for pre-order on Amazon. It’ll be published on November 1st.

This is my first time in years to not be writing about Willy the Kinky Elf and the rest of the North Pole gang. I have to admit, it’s been really hard not jumping into their world over the past few months. I’m not going to lie… I miss the hell out of those guys. But it was time to move on.

Christmas in Holly Pines has been in the works for a couple of years. It tells the tale of two sets of brothers who come together thanks to a matchmaking seven-year-old boy. The first part of the book – that would be Jacob and Owen’s – was written and completed two years ago. It was originally written to just be their story. I didn’t publish it because it wasn’t time. Then last year I made the decision to add both Jacob and Owen’s brothers – Dustin and Reese – to the mix.

While I haven’t made a definitive decision yet, there’s a big chance Christmas in Holly Pines will be on Kindle Unlimited, meaning it will only be available on Amazon for the first 90 days. I hate doing that but it might be the best option.

Another thing to note – the entire Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series will also go into KU. This likely won’t happen until after January 1, 2022, as I simply don’t have the time to finish reformatting them, nor do I want to go through the hassle of pulling them from the other e-sites right now.

I hope you all enjoy Jacob & Owen’s and Dustin & Reese’s stories. Both stories are in one book and told in alternating points-of-view. Each story plays out until the very end. You can find the info below.

It’s roughly 103,000 words, or 367 Kindle pages. It’s long because, as I said above, it’s 2 stories in one.

You can find the pre-order link here.

On October 21st I’ll be giving away an e-copy of Christmas in Holly Pines as well as a $10 Amazon gift card as I help On Top Down Under Book Reviews celebrate 9 years. I’ll update with the link when it goes live. Click the link to check out their schedule of events for October. There are a bunch of great author posts and giveaways happening.

Until next time,

Candi

Blurb

Holly Pines, Vermont, is a traditional small tourist town. In the off-season, there are fewer than two thousand residents. A snow skiing paradise, that number increases dramatically during the holidays. It’s been home to brothers Jacob and Dustin Knight their entire lives.

Being the chief of police in a busy tourist town makes it hard for Jacob to find the time to date. Dustin is bisexual and has plenty of options but no interest in anyone in town. He’s a single father who knows that anyone he brings into his world has to accept that he and his son are a package deal.

Owen Wells is a professional photographer who plans to snap a few shots of the Christmas lights on Holly Pines Bridge then be on his way. A matchmaking seven-year-old boy has other ideas. When unforeseen circumstances keep Owen in town overnight, sparks fly between the photographer and chief of police. Suddenly, Owen’s not so keen on leaving after all.

Reese Wells is a traveling nurse who never stays in one place for long. His older brother may have found love, but he has no plans to follow suit. That changes during a video call with Owen and young Jesse Knight. When the boy’s dad joins the chat, all bets are off. Reese is suddenly eager to take a trip to the small town of Holly Pines, Vermont.

Jacob and Owen’s relationship runs smoothly from the get-go. Dustin and Reese’s, not so much. Between a quick misunderstanding, a jealous nurse, a busybody teacher, and a less than maternal ex-wife, these guys have to work hard to become the family they desperately want to be.

Happy 7th Publishing Anniversary to Me & Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

On April 5, 2014 I published bi-erotica Taking Lance, the first book in the Taking Lance series. I’d never let anybody (outside of teachers during writing assignments way back when) read anything I’d ever written. During a terrifying moment, I sent the story to my best friend for her thoughts. I’d always written, had been writing short stories for as long as I could remember, but Taking Lance was different. It was written solely to get another book out of my head – a book I didn’t write. Taking Lance was nothing at all like that book but the character names were kind of similar. My best friend encouraged me to publish the story and here I am.

Since Taking Lance, I’ve published a lot of books, including the 7-book Willy the Kinky Elf series that ended in December. And while I may not publish a lot each year, I’m always writing something. At the moment, I’m going back and forth between 7 books I’m writing at the same time – 5 from one series and 2 from another.

To celebrate Taking Lance’s 7th birthday, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one winner. To enter, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter link below. The giveaway will run from April 5th to April 15th, with the winner being notified within 48 hours of the giveaway ending.

Unlike my other books, the Taking Lance series is bi-erotica, not strictly gay romance. Both Lance and Rick have sex with others on-page, sometimes even together. Once they become a true couple, they’re only with each other. It’s leading up to that when they aren’t.

If that’s not your thing, don’t read the series.

Thank you to every single person who has taken the time to read one of my books. You’re the reason I keep doing this and I appreciate every single one of you.

As always, thank you to my best friend in the world. Without you, my stories would still be hidden away. Much love, my friend. ?

Candi Kay

Note that my computer has died so I’m using my phone and Kindle Fire for pretty much everything. If you comment and it takes me a little while to approve it or respond back, that’s why.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Updates, Life, and Smashword Sale & Freebies

How is it already March?

We’ve just gotten through one of the coldest winters on record for my area so I’ll be happy to see spring, even if my already bad allergies will get a lot worse.  My car is already covered in pollen. I won’t even get started on the crazy hurricane season we had last year.

I’ve been dealing with some health issues (not COVID) so I mostly disappeared from social media for the past few weeks. I’m a little better now so I wanted to pop in and let you all know I’m still alive and well. 🙂  I had planned to do a ‘good riddance 2020’ post – had even typed a lot of it a few weeks ago – but then 2021 rolled in and said, “Here, hold my beer.”

2021 didn’t get off to a good start. Here’s hoping the rest of it will fare much better.

Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer Series

As most of you know, the series ended with Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate. Ending it was bittersweet. Normally when March rolls around I’m heavily involved in working on the next installment. It’s strange to not be writing about Willy’s shenanigans right now. I’m not going to lie. I miss the hell out of that naughty elf and the others in the North Pole.

After Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Mate, I’d written (and made available for download) 2 short freebies that went with that book. One was a quickie Randy and Willy scene and the other was Doc and Andrea (the only M/F story in the Willy’s World universe). I’ve since written another one that goes with Santa and Drew’s story. It’s about Logan (Luke’s bio dad) finding his mate. I’ve not made that one available yet because I ran out of time in December. The story is written but it wasn’t edited fully.

I’ve not pushed the freebies much because when I did that in 2019 hardly anybody read them – or that’s what the download count at Book Funnel told me anyway. I will likely (in the coming week or so) post those stories (including Logan’s) on this site somewhere so the reader doesn’t have to be taken to somewhere else for it.

If you’re interested in the first 2, click the link above. It’ll take you to the page where you can download them. If you’ve not read the rest of the series (especially Luke and Micah’s book), you’ll be confused if you read the short stories.

There are no words for how truly appreciative I am to everyone who has read Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate. In my almost 7 years of publishing I’ve never had a book do as well as the Willy the Kinky Elf finale.  Thank you to all who have read the series and to those who have been kind enough to share (publicly or privately) how much they truly enjoyed it. It means more than you can know.

Smashwords Read An Ebook Week – Now through March 13th

I’m going to throw this out there – I do not have all my books on Smashwords. In fact, I only have the first 5 of the Willy the Kinky Elf series and a few of my others on there.

Right now through March 13th (I think?) all of my books currently on Smashwords are either 50% off or free. The ones that are free are short stories The Guy In The Coffee Shop and (M/F erotica) My Son’s Girl & My Son’s Friends.

The link above takes you to my Smashwords profile page where the books are listed.

The Hooper Lake Series (Upcoming)

The Hooper Lake series consists of 5 stories that take place during the same time period. Each one has new main characters and love interests, but they’re all linked – the stories, characters, etc. Each book focuses on an adopted adult son of Esther Hooper (who insists on being called Gran or Gran Es, even by her adopted sons). Esther is a character. Her only goal in life seems to be pushing her sons to get laid. If their getting laid leads to falling in love, even better. She has no filter but she has a heart of gold.

While there may be a little humor in each story, they all touch on serious topics as well. All 5 brothers have a past that brought them to Esther as teens. The years before Esther were not at all flowers and sunshine. Some were worse than others. Each book will start with a short prologue that gives the reader an idea of what they went through, though more will come out in their individual stories.

The first one is about Noah, the oldest of the 5 adopted brothers. Something life-altering from his past sets the stage for his story and that of the others. The brothers are (listed from oldest to youngest) Noah, Aiden, Matthew, and Elijah (Eli) and Ethan, who are identical twins.

These books will not be standalones.

If they’re not read in order they won’t make any sense. I’m more than halfway through writing all 5 books – I’m writing them all at the same time – so I’ve not yet decided if they’ll be published in one e-book edition or as individual stories. That will depend on the length of each one. Noah’s book (not yet finished) already has almost 52,000 words. I’m hoping to cap it at 60,000 and move on to finish Aiden’s story,  but that’s likely to change.

There will be more updates when I have them.

Upcoming Christmas Stories

Hopefully 2021 will have me publishing at least 2 new Christmas stories that I wanted to publish in 2020. It didn’t happen for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I didn’t want to take away from the finale of the Willy series. They take place in a small Vermont town during Christmastime. The first one is about Jacob and Owen. Jacob is the police chief of the small town who meets Owen, who’s just passing through. The second one is about Jacob’s brother (a doctor) and one of Owen’s relatives.

These two books will be published together in one e-book edition.

If you like kids, you should enjoy these books. Jacob’s nephew Jesse steals the show a few times. If you don’t like kids, you might want to pass on these when they’re released. Jesse’s not everywhere in Jacob and Owen’s story, but he’ll play a big part in Dustin’s because Dustin is his father.

The first story was written last year. The other one will be completed (hopefully) in the coming weeks.

As with the Hooper Lake series, I’ll post updates when they’re available.

Alabama Crimson Tide

If you know anything about me, you know I’m one of the biggest Alabama football fans in the world. I won’t go on and on about how awesome my team was this past year, but I will say this…. even with the pandemic, they killed it. I’ve never seen a team play like this one. I doubt there’s ever been one as good in the history of the program.

They won the championship the day before my birthday so you know I had a blast celebrating. I’m hoping the 2021 season is as good as 2020’s was. It was nice watching the haters (there are SO many Alabama haters) eat their words about us only ever playing ‘cupcake’ teams.

The Pandemic

I don’t know where to even start with the pandemic. The amount of new cases and deaths have dropped drastically in my state (Alabama). Honestly, I don’t know how. The only place I ever see people consistently wearing masks is at a specific grocery store and I’m not talking about Wal-Mart. I and my family wear them everywhere we go. I can’t tell you how many smartass comments I’ve gotten from anti-maskers because I cared enough about THEM to wear a mask in public.

Two of my sons had COVID. Both were serious but thankfully didn’t get bad enough for hospitalization. My youngest had it in late October and early November. He still can’t taste or smell. My oldest had it in January. He’s still feeling weak.

Today someone whose family I know well will be buried after suffering in the hospital for over six weeks before his body just couldn’t take it anymore. My heart breaks for all of them.

I want to scream when I hear someone say it’s not real or not that bad. There’s no rhyme nor reason when it comes to COVID. I’ve seen people who have all kinds of underlying conditions recover without a problem. But then I’ve seen others (like the man I mentioned above) who are perfectly healthy but end up dying from it.

Wear a mask. Get the vaccine if you can, when you can. If you don’t believe in wearing the masks, don’t be a jerk to those who do.

And please don’t @ me with political stuff or any of the ‘it’s not real’ nonsense. I won’t respond. Everybody has an opinion and I think I made mine pretty clear.

I avoid political stuff like the plague with everyone except those closest to me. It does me no good to go back and forth with people (usually total strangers) who want to argue. I refuse to allow myself to be dragged into something that will end up upsetting me. It’s just not worth it.

COVID is not a political thing. It’s a real disease.

That’s all I’ll say about that.

~~~ * ~~~

I think that about covers everything for now. For those who have asked about An Unlikely Romance: Brett & Casey, there’s something holding me back from publishing it. It’s been edited and ready to go for a couple of years but I feel like something is missing. When I figure out what it is – and fix it – I’ll hit publish on it. Note that the cover on the right is tentative. It may change slightly before it’s published.

I hope everybody is doing well. Thank you all again for making Santa and Drew’s story a success.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

Until next time,

Candi

Happy Holidays!

What a year it’s been, huh? Geez. I’m sure I speak for everybody when I say that 2021 can’t get here fast enough.

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate, the final installment of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series. It’s been a great ride and I’m beyond thrilled that so many readers have embraced my crazy version of the North Pole. Ending the series was bittersweet. I hated to say goodbye but I knew it was time. Don’t be surprised if I pop up in the coming years with short stories and updates from that world. I love these guys and I can’t imagine walking away permanently. And then there’s the fact that Willy the elf rarely shuts up in my head. 😉

Kazza of On Top Down Under Book Reviews added Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate to her favorite books of 2020 list. How awesome is that? She’s been a huge supporter of my books since Taking Lance way back when. I’ll forever be grateful. Check out her list here. To be included with so many amazing authors and their amazing books means so much.

Also, you have to read/listen to her review of the book. You can do that here. She always has the best visuals. The Darth Vadar wearing a Santa hat one is perfect for Willy’s quote. I love it!

Something else that’s pretty awesome? Author KC Faelan asked me to do a follow-up interview for her website to the one I did last year. You can check out last year’s post here and the follow-up here. It’s always a pleasure stopping by and talking with KC. I can talk anybody’s ear off about my books, but it means much more when I’m discussing them with someone who’s read them, who knows the characters and the stories. She’s a fan of the series and knows all about Willy’s crazy world. 😉

~~~

I’ve been bad this year about posting. Worse than usual, I mean. I think 2020 has been crazy for everybody. I’ve barely even promoted ‘Santa’. I’m truly blessed to have the amazing readers I have. If you’re new to the series, welcome! And I guess I should apologize in advance for Willy. 😉 If you’ve been with me from the beginning and are still hanging around, I adore you. Seriously.

There was never supposed to be more than one book. I’ve said this a million times but I’m saying it again… there’s no greater compliment to an author than to be asked for more. I love every single one of you.

Happy Holidays to all who celebrate! Here’s hoping for an amazing 2021!

I’ll be popping back in real soon with my end of 2020 post.

Until next time,

Candi

Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate: E-book and ‘Willy’ Swag Giveaway

I’m in the middle of preparing for yet another tropical storm or hurricane to hit my area.

I mean, really, WTF, 2020?

This has been the craziest year ever for hurricanes.

Even so, I wanted to pop on and let everybody know that I have a giveaway happening at On Top Down Under Book Reviews right now. It’s to celebrate their 8th (yay!) blog anniversary and the November 1st release of Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate.

The giveaway –

An e-book of the winner’s choice from my catalog, 1 ‘Santa’ cover magnet, 1 ‘Willy’ quote magnet, 2 (different kinds) naughty list postcards, one ‘Santa’ cover keychain, and a reusable tote bag with Santa’s cover on it. There are also a couple of surprises I’ll be throwing in for the winner.

This giveaway is open to international entries and ends on October 31st.

Check out the giveaway here or by clicking the banner below and enter via Rafflecopter or by commenting on the giveaway post. There’s also a quickie excerpt from the story that hasn’t been shared anywhere else.

Good luck and I hope y’all enjoy Santa and Drew’s story.

Until next time,

Candi Kay

Pre-Order: Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate (Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer, #7)

Hi, all.

I’m excited to announce that Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate, the 7th and final installment of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series, is now available for pre-order and will officially be published on November 1st. Right now, it’s only available on Amazon. It will be added to other e-tailers in the coming weeks.

I mention this in the blurb but I need to stress it again – this book cannot be read as a standalone. If you’ve not read the other books in the series you’ll be confused.

You can find the pre-order link here.

Blurb –

From the World of Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer.

The North Pole isn’t exactly as it appears in fairy tales. It has the elves and Santa and his reindeer, but Santa and Mrs. Claus aren’t the jolly couple the world believes them to be. The reindeer are all shape-shifters who transform into gorgeous beings in human form and are respected by all.

Santa Claus has everything except the one thing he craves most – a mate of his own. Forever told it wasn’t in the cards for him, he goes about his days longing for something he knows he can never have. Maybe Andrew Lanzer isn’t his fated mate, but he knows what he feels for the reindeer goes far beyond simple attraction.

Drew sees how Santa looks at him, but he’s not stupid. Santa’s wife may be gone now, but history has proven she’ll be back. Time and again. He’s hoping one sexual encounter will be enough to get him out of his system. What he doesn’t expect is for it to open the door to so much more.

When Mary Claus demands to be heard, the entire North Pole is thrown into chaos. With the man he loves and his newfound son by his side, Santa must fight harder than he’s ever fought before to rid the North Pole of her conniving presence once and for all. Along the way, he may even discover that what the Fates have always led him to believe might not be true after all. With help from Willy the elf and a few new allies, Santa Claus may finally get the happily-ever-after he’s only ever dreamed of.

Santa Claus & His Unexpected Mate cannot be read as a standalone. The finale of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series, it contains characters and stories from each book that will be confusing to readers who have not read the series.

 

 

Final Willy the Kinky Elf Book, New Series, Latest Author Drama, This and That, Updates

I’d already taken a step back from writing and doing blog posts for awhile.  Then 2020 hit and I was forced to step back whether I wanted to or not. Y’all know me. When I do pop in and do updates in a blog post it’s usually pretty long. My apologies in advance.

Now to some long overdue updates…

Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer, #7

I typed the words THE END on the 7th and final installment of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series. Ending that series is bittersweet. I admit to getting quite emotional when I typed the last chapter. If you’ve read the series you know that the last chapter or two always takes place at the annual Christmas party. There’s usually quite a bit of drama, more than a little humor, and tons of announcements about things that have changed over the previous 12 months. In this book, Santa’s story, it takes place over 4 chapters, the equivalent of 26 Microsoft Word pages. Note that a lot of cuts will be made and chapters shortened before the book is finalized so expect that number (maybe even the number of chapters) to drop substantially.

For those who don’t know, Santa’s love interest is Andrew (Drew) Lanzer, Luke Lanzer’s (from last year’s installment) younger brother.

There’s also the matter of Mrs. Claus and ridding the North Pole of her and her meanness once and for all.

Expect the usual Willy the elf shenanigans, including what he dubs Operation Rid-A-Ho – his personal mission to get rid of Mrs. Claus – who he’s always (not so) affectionately called a ho. 😉

It’s also a bit serious in some places. Santa has a lot to do to prove to the residents of the North Pole that he’s changed and won’t be taking his wife back.  He’s always taken her back for reasons brought out in this book. Not everything is as it has appeared in the past.

There’s also the matter of Santa being told throughout his existence that he’s not allowed a mate. This was discussed at length in Barry the Lonely Reindeer & His Bashful Elf (#4 in the series). Drew, however, believes wholeheartedly in the mate bond and is convinced his own mate is out there somewhere and he knows that it can’t be Santa Claus, regardless of the connection they seem to have.

Right?

Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

Each couple from the previous 6 books, and the themes of their stories, are brought in and mentioned at a critical moment. That’s all I can say about that and the story as a whole. Just keep in mind that this is the FINAL book of the series so a lot of things need to be elaborated on that haven’t been in the past, and some issues need to be put to bed once and for all.

The (very rough) first draft came in at almost 108,000 words, by far the most I’ve ever written for one book. Again, expect that number to change.

I have a title and a cover. The blurb still hasn’t been finalized.  I always have a hard time with blurbs, as my best friend could attest.

The plan (as always) is to put the book up for pre-order in the coming weeks, to be published on November 1st.

Another thing to note is that Willy the elf hasn’t shut up in my head for 7 books, plus 3 short stories (the last of which will be published in Santa’s book). For that reason, you can probably expect a freebie or more in the coming years catching you up on the happenings in the North Pole.

Other Updates 

I’ve basically thrown my hands up on all others I’d planned to publish this year. Some are written but they need final run-throughs. I had originally planned to publish a 2-book An Unlikely Romance Christmas Edition about 2 brothers who find love in their small Vermont town during the weeks leading up to Christmas. The first book has been long finished (first draft) but it’s on hold because one of the main characters in the first story is a small town cop. I’m not opening the door for that because of the current political climate. I’m very proud of the story, and I love the character, but it’s just not happening this year.

I have other An Unlikely Romance books that are honestly ready to be published. I’ve just not had time to do anything with them. The same applies to at least 2 books of the College Encounters series. Here’s hoping that 2021 isn’t quite so crazy.

Hooper Lake Series

The Hooper Lake series (series title subject to change) is a little different from other books I’ve written. It’s a 5 book series about 5 adopted brothers who all have to come back to their family home when the oldest brother has a life-changing event occur. Each brother has a unique backstory. I’ve tried to add humor but there are some pretty serious issues delved into with each of the brothers.

The series has been completely outlined (something I’ve never done) and I’ve already started writing all 5 books, another thing I’ve never done before. The first two are pretty much complete. They’re all basically being written at the same time in order to keep details accurate and consistent. I hope to publish all 5 books at the same time not long after the 1st of the year. I may place them in Kindle Unlimited but that’s undecided at this point.

More details will come out as I complete the books.

Latest Erotic Author/Social Media Scandal

If you follow the erotica genre on social media you’ve probably seen the latest. If not, I’m sure a quick search will take you there. A male author has been using a female pen name to write lesfic. Okay, no big deal. I write gay romance under a pen name. I’m a female and have never claimed to be a gay male. Every bio I’ve ever written for Candi Kay describes the real life me 100%. The only difference is the name I write and publish under.

What is a big deal is that this author didn’t just write under a pen name, he catfished a lot of women. As in, gaining  trust and sexting. From what I’ve read, private photos were sent to him that would not have been sent had the women known he wasn’t the female he claimed to be.

I don’t know this author, but I’ve seen him ALL OVER THE PLACE when I’ve gotten on Twitter. We followed each other and he was always, ALWAYS tweeting, retweeting or I’d see comments he made on there. He typed a blog post outing himself as a married (for 25+ years) father of 3.  Apparently he thought that he’d tell the truth and all would be dandy. Uh, no. He violated the trust of a lot of people who never would have shared what they did had they known who he really was.

Do you know what else is bad? The fact that so many people (mostly men from what I’ve seen today, though I’ve seen some women too) are supporting him and telling him he’s ‘brave’.

Uh, what the hell?

Brave?

For lying and catfishing innocent victims?

I seriously just saw a comment where a man called someone on Twitter bigoted for daring to give her views on the above-mentioned author. He then said (later down in his comments) that what the catfish did was ‘marketing’. I kid you not. The man who said this is an author. Below is his quote. I’m not naming him.

‘You’re exhibiting awful, bigoted behavior. Be better. {author name} was incredibly brave and deserves our admiration. Bravery is in short supply today when so many cower before a minuscule number of hard left woke fanatics.’

Incredibly brave, my ass. He was a predator who got his kicks by preying on unsuspecting women. Had he simply been writing as a pen name and not using that pen name to gain the trust of others who sent him photos and talked sexually with him, no biggie.

I’ve been asked for years why I’m not as ‘out there’ as most authors. In my early days of being published I trusted two people I never should have trusted. The first one outed my (and other authors’) real names on Twitter when he had a mental breakdown. The other one was worse. I put a lot of trust in that one. He was someone I considered a friend and mentor. The first one angered me. The second one hurt me. It took a lot of time to get over both so my trust is minimal when it comes to new people. I hate that because I’d never been this way before.

I know those mentioned above are the minority, but it still makes it difficult to trust again after you’ve been stabbed in the back not once but twice. My closest friend and I met online and we’re still going strong almost a decade later so I’m not saying all people you meet online are fake or are out to hurt you. I’m just saying be careful who you trust. I could seriously write a book about the 2 who betrayed me but they’re not worth it. Not anymore.

That’s all I’ll say about that. If you want names of the latest author and the one whose quote I used defending him, shoot me a message. It’s all public. As for the other 2 in my own life, I won’t be sharing that information. The past is the past and I’m over it now.

What else?

I’m sure there’s a lot I’ve missed considering my long absence from this blog and most of social media. Just know that I read all my messages and emails and I can’t stress enough how much I love hearing from readers.

Take care of yourselves. We’re in trying times right now and the new numbers of COVID-19 cases are staggering, my state now considered a hot spot. Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and if you’re told to wear a mask, wear a mask. It’s a small inconvenience. I live in the South where it’s miserably hot this time of year. But you know what? I go nowhere without my mask on, regardless of how uncomfortable it gets to be. And trust me, when the heat index is often close to 110 F with sky high humidity, it gets uncomfortable.

I still wear my mask.

Until next time,

Candi Kay

 

Freebie: Happy Anniversary to Me!

Every year on April 5th I celebrate my publishing anniversary. My first book, Taking Lance, was published April 5,2014 so I’m celebrating #6. Normally I do some type of contest for people to win one or more of my books. This year I’m making it easy.

To celebrate my 6th publishing anniversary, I’m giving away an e-book of the reader’s choice to anybody who asks for it. If it has been published by me, it’s available.

Tell me in the comments what book and what format you want it in. Don’t put your email in the public comments. You’ll be asked to list it privately in order to publish a comment. I’ll see it there.

If you don’t want to leave a comment, send me an email to candikayauthor@gmail.com or a private message on one of my social media accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. If you do it that way, I will need you to privately give me the email address you want it sent to.

Disregard where Facebook says I have a 0% response rate on my author page. That’s far from the truth. I just don’t respond to messages asking for boob pics, offers to send me dick pics, or others who think that because I write erotica that I get turned on by anonymous pervs on the internet. 😉 If you prefer, you can request me as a friend on my other Facebook page and send me a PM there.

This giveaway will run through April 15th.

If your book choice is Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Mate I’ll also send you two bonus stories from that book, Doc’s and Randy’s. Note that those stories won’t make a whole lot of sense if you’ve not read Luke.

Thank you to every single person who has read one of my books. I know I’m not as out there as some authors, so it means a lot knowing that I’m being read. Thank you for the past 6 past years. I appreciate every single one of you.

And a special thank you to my best friend who gave me the encouragement to finally put my words out there. She’ll forever be credited for every single book I publish.

You can find all my books on my Amazon page or here.

Please take care of yourselves during the pandemic. I live in a state that takes the ‘wait and see’ approach. Only on Friday did they finally decide to take things seriously. I fear for how many people were infected leading up to it. One of my sons works in the medical field so the fear for me is quite real, as it is for most people right now.

Stay inside and away from people. Follow all the guidelines, including social distancing. I’ve seen so many people complaining. I’d rather be inconvenienced some that end up in the hospital or worse.

Until next time,

Candi

P.S. For those wondering where I’ve been… I spent almost 9 months out of 2019 traveling. During that time, I was focusing on publishing Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Mate and Kane the Fake Elf & His Sexy Mall Santa. When I got home, and after the books were published, I took a step back from everything. I’m back writing again and happy to report that the 7th and final book of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series (that would be Santa’s) is only a chapter or so from being complete. It will be published November 1st, 2020.