Guest Chick: J.C. Kenney

Ellen here, so happy to welcome back the always entertaining J.C. Kenney and help him celebrate his newest release!

Life is Too Short…

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing in your neck of the woods. Here in Indianapolis (home of this year’s NCAA Men’s basketball tournament for you sports fans), Spring is in full swing. The trees are budding, the grass is turning a lovely shade of green, and I can finally work outdoors without shivering again.

Which is good because, like so many of us, I’ve been working from home for the last year. I’m not here to talk about the pandemic, though. Well, kind of, but only tangentially.

This time last year, like so many of us around the globe, I was searching for something, anything, to lift my spirits. My wife and I still had our jobs. The kids were at home safe and sound. We were extremely fortunate. Still, as one who was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2012, it was tough to keep the blues at bay.

It was at that time, while watching an episode of Psych, to be exact, that I decided to make a change in my life. A pretty significant one. For me, at least. I decided it was time to emulate the wardrobe of Henry Spencer.

Why, you ask? Well, I realized my wardrobe wasn’t helping my presence of mind. It was, at its best, dependable, reliable, dull, drab, boring.

As one who’s spent my working life ensconced firmly in the middle class, I live on a budget. I wanted my clothes to be affordable, durable, versatile, and machine washable. That meant lots of solid-colored polos, chinos in various inoffensive shades, and cotton sweaters that didn’t include the dreaded “dry clean only” in the care instructions.

Over the years, I’d owned the odd Hawaiian shirt, so I’d have the appropriate attire for one of the many Jimmy Buffett shows I’ve attended. This was going to different, though. A wholesale change in style. Solids were out, replaced by beauties like these. (Warning – the following are only samples from the new eyeball-assaulting wardrobe. Proceed at your own risk.)

That was just the beginning, though. Putting some stimulus funds to good use, I found amazing pieces like these two.

I didn’t stop at shirts, though. For me to complete the makeover, I needed some shorts in colors I would have never thought I’d wear. Like coral and yellow for example. Begone, the staid shorts in shades of tan and blue!

Of course, no ensemble is complete without the proper pair of shoes, so behold!

The other day I was wearing the green shoes. I told my wife Nancy that, if we got separated, she should look down to find me. That shade of green is impossible to miss!

So, there you have it, folks. In the last year, my side of the closet’s gone from dependable and boring to loud and obnoxious. Or maybe exuberant, instead? The bright colors and fun patterns make me happy. Since I’m working from home, I don’t have to worry about dress code infractions, either.

So, is the new wardrobe a foul against good taste and style? Perhaps, but hey, if I’ve learned nothing else in the past year, I’ve learned this. Find joy whenever and wherever you can. After all, life is too short…to wear boring clothing.

A big time thank you to Ellen Byron and all of the Chicks for letting me hang out with you all today. I’d also like to offer a Rushing Creek Mysteries prize pack to a lucky winner who will be drawn at random from the folks who answer the following question:

What do you do these days to put a smile on your face? Let me know and good luck!

And if you’re at a mystery book event in the future and you see some gray-haired dude who looks like stepped right out of a Jimmy Buffett song, stop and say hi. And I won’t be offended if you need to put on sunglasses to ward off the glare from my ensemble!

SYNOPSIS FOR A Deadly Discovery: Certain she’s seen more than enough death for one lifetime, literary agent Allie Cobb is ready to close the book on her amateur sleuthing, even when she learns that an unidentified body has been unearthed in a local state park. But when a worn and haunted-looking woman shows up on her doorstep with a grim story about her young daughter’s disappearance twenty years ago—and the police confirm that the recently discovered body is hers—Allie can’t bear to turn the poor woman away. Determined to uncover the truth about the young woman’s murder, Allie begins delving into the circumstances of her life and those she knew so many years before. And when she meets powerful resistance from those she questions—many of whom are now trusted leaders in her small, tight-knit community—she’s sure she’s on the right track. But as she narrows down the list of suspects, Allie realizes too late that a cold-blooded killer is dead-set on keeping the secrets of the past buried, and it will take all her wit and cunning to avoid becoming the second young woman to meet an untimely end… 

BIO: J.C. Kenney is the Amazon and Kobo bestselling author of The Allie Cobb Mysteries. His debut, A Literal Mess, was a finalist for a Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers’ Association in mystery fiction. His latest mystery, A Deadly Discovery, was published in January 2021. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two children, and a cat. You can find him at www.jckenney.com

PURCHASE LINK

37 thoughts on “Guest Chick: J.C. Kenney

    1. Thanks a bunch, Annette! If you’re going to Bouchercon in August hopefully we’ll see each other there. If not, definitely Malice in 2022!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Dru! Music’s a great suggestion. The past few months, I’ve been listening to a lot of raggae to tide me over until warm weather arrives. Enjoy your tunes!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love your new duds! If I’m ever at a conference, I’ll look for bright shoes:) When I need to lift my mood, I cook. Not great for my weight, but it does wonders for my happiness quotient.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Judi! I’m not much of a cook, but I’ve gotten better over the last year. I’ve found that when I’m cooking I don’t think about anything else, which is something nice to focus on!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your author photo there is looking rather drab. Think it is time to get a new one.

    Love those shirts. They are the kind I already wear most of the time myself.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Love this, JC! I heartily approve of your new wardrobe … everyone loves a bit of color, and—dare I say—whimsy in their life!

    I love that connection between your mood and your clothes. I always feel better when I’m wearing something I love. I used to chide my husband for the plaid short-sleeved button-up shirts that fill his side of the closet, until he reminded me that we own a print shop, and ink stains aren’t as noticeable on plaid. Duh, Becky!

    I’m a big TV watcher so watching a funny sitcom or movie will ALWAYS lift my spirits.

    Thanks for visiting us today, and continued good luck with your books!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Becky! Funny television is a fab mood lifter. Recently, I’ve been watching QI on BritBox. It’s a talk/game show hosted by Sandi from Great British Bake Off. SO funny. And a tip of the hat to your hubs for his use of plaid at work. Genius!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. J.C. you and my husband would be besties! He’d wear every shirt you bought – although not the shorts and footwear, I’m afraid. I love your new wardrobe. Especially since I know it comes with one of your warm, glorious smiles!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re so kind, Ellen! Someday, maybe I’ll get to meet your hubby and we’ll get to create some mischief in our loud shirts. Cheers!

      Like

  5. I’ve been a fan of loud clothes for years, and you’ll often see me sporting a bright yellow or orange shirt at conferences. But my wife draws the line at my wearing loud clothes below the belt. I used to have a pair of teal and green madras-print slacks (think old school golf pants) that I adored, but she HATED it when I wore them–especially if she was with me. So a few years back I donated them to Good Will as a present for her birthday. I still miss those slacks…

    Be looking for you and your swell new wardrobe at the next conference, J.C. And thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Jim, what a fun post! Now your wardrobe is bright and colorful like your book covers. And the shoes are great! Cooking has been a bright spot for us — we finally conquered making pizza at home, and are now working our way through a series of Julia Child videos. And now that spring is about to spring, smiles will be popping all over the gardens!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Julie Child videos! That’s is so cool, Leslie. Your mention of home made pizza brought to mind the episode from the Great British Bake Off when Pru had the contestants make margherita pizza. It was so much harder than I thought it would be. Cheers to baking and to gardening!

      Like

  7. Yay JC! What a great post and hooray that the new bright colors and patterns makes you happy (love love love them).

    Life IS too short to wear boring clothing! 👏

    Just realized that I haven’t put on any “work” clothes in over a year. Actually enjoy picking out jackets with embroidered designs or textured fabrics and now am missing them since I’ve basically been living in tees and yoga pants while working from home. (Not that I mind the comfort level, ha.)

    Can’t wait to see you and everyone at a conference!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks a bunch, Cynthia! I hear you about the yoga pants thing. I think I spent the winter rotating between three pairs of track pants. Unsurpassed comfort. Hope to see you soon!

      Like

  8. Great new wardrobe, J.C.! I think wearing the clothes that bring us joy is a fabulous idea. (However, I must admit that I do feel more productive when I’m *not* wearing lounge pants.)

    I like the fun colors you picked out. Hoping to meet you in person at a conference sometime!

    As for me, I think taking a walk puts a smile on my face. That, and the occasional culinary treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, Jen, I am amazed at the power something as simple as a walk does for us. I really have no excuse for not talking more walks, especially now that the weather here in Central Indiana is improving. Thanks for the inspiration! Cheers!

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  9. J.C., your wardrobe joy is absolutely contagious! I love the new togs. I can practically hear Cheeseburger in Paradise just looking at them (and that’s a wonderful thing!)

    As for things that put a smile on my face, friends like YOU that I get to “see” on the blog and elsewhere in the virtual world during these still-socially-distant times do that for me on a daily basis. Love this wonderful group! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french fries potato…”
      The Parrothead life is a great life, isn’t it, Kathy! And life with the Chicks is equally awesome. Y’all are the best and, like you, I love visiting with folks here. 🍹

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the duds! Jim, I’m especially partial to that cocktails shirt. Wear it to the bar to have drinks with the Chicks at the next mystery con! Cheers!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The cocktail shirt is my favorite, too! We’ll have to all find cocktail shirts for Malice. (Leslie, I know you’re going to say every shirt is a cocktail shirt!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like the direction this is going, Lisa! Cocktails with the Chicks-proper festive attire strongly encouraged.🥂

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  11. Great post, JC–and Leslie B. is right, now your outfits match your book covers! I visit the “fun” (or at least more interesting) clothes in the back of my closet every once in a while. You know, wave to them, give them a little pep talk, make sure they’re not wrinkling or in need of breathing room. Here in NH it’s still a bit cold sometimes, so we haven’t really ditched the sweaters yet. I share the above enthusiasm for fun movies and TV shows. Lately I’ve become an armchair traveler, so I’ll admit to Emily in Paris, anything from Iceland, and Stanley Tucci’s Seaching for Italy. I’m also enjoying reconnecting with old friends from way back. So much fun, because it’s weirdly as though zero time has passed. Always puts a smile on my face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Armchair traveling is a fab idea, Lisa! I adore Stanley Tucci, so I’ll have to check that out. As for the chilly weather, I hear ya. Right now, it’s 30 degrees here in Indy. We need tropical print sweaters and sweatshirts!

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  12. Well…. I have never understood why men can’t wear colors as women can, an do. After all, thblaere were centuries of men wearing vibrant blatant colors. There are examples still out there! Anyhoo. How do I pick myself out of the doldrums? My cat does it for me. That and being outdoors when it is warm. I’m just above you, in Anderson, so I know thereof of Indiana weather. NOT consistent!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Anne! That’s a great point about men wearing bright colors in the past. And cheers to your kitty putting a smile on your face. My cat Maria does the same for me. Have a great day!

      Like

  13. We have a winner! The lucky soul of the prize pack is … Anne Harris! Congrats, Anne! If you will contact me at jc@jckenney.com and provide a mailing address, I’ll get the prize pack out to you in the next few days! 🌴🎇

    Like

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