Happy Halloween

HAPPY HALLOWEENN

Be safe!

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Available Now at Amazon.com

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KILLER NASHVILLE

 

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Typically in August, Killer Nashville is Halloween weekend this year. It has some other new elements as well. While the 500+ participants are attending seminars, meeting with agents, and hobnobbing with other authors, on Saturday there will be a Killer Nashville Book Con with free admission open to the public. Each hour will feature different authors, question and answers sessions and music. It will run from 10 to 5 at the Omni Hotel in Nashville.

So, it you aren’t attending the fabulous conference, consider the KN Book Con. I’m sure it won’t disappoint with best selling  author John Gillstrap,Donald Bain & Renee Paley-Bain (Jessica Fletcher and Murder She Wrote), Nashville’s own Edgar Award winner, Steven Womack, and many more. There will be folk musicians, country musicians, a singer-songwriters, celtic/country rock artist among the musicians.

Book Con will be in Broadway H of the Omni Hotel and there will even be a Halloween Room for the kiddies in Broadway G.

To learn more about the conference go to Killer Nashville .  It’s not too late to register!

 

~ Kay

 

Happy Anniversary to the one that I love

Today Hubby and I celebrate 13 years of marriage (to each other). If you count our marriage experience we have over 55 years. Not bad since we both turned 60 earlier this year.

My surprise divorce in 1998 was not my idea, but it was the best present my ex could have given me. Because had he and I stayed married, I wouldn’t have been free to find the love of my life. So, thank you ex-hubby.

And to my sweetheart, I say thank you for loving me even when I’m writing and have the world tuned out, even when I’m in a bad mood or don’t feel well, even when I’m stubborn just for the sake of being stubborn(yes, me), and all of those other reasons you love me that aren’t so flattering to me.

It’s probably not what you expected on that beautiful fall day when we said our vows at the lake, but you can’t say it’s been boring.

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All my love…all ways,

~ Kay

Blog Subscription and contest for free book giveaway

Did you know you can subscribe to my blog? Here’s how you do it:

  • Go to my website www.kayelam.com.
  • Beneath all of the dates of old blogs on the right there is a title “Subscribe by E-Mail” — enter your e-mail address there
  • One more step. Lest gremlins hacked into your computer and subscribed for you, you’ll get a confirmation e-mail asking you if you really, really meant to do this. You have to click on that link.
  • When you click on that link, you’ll get my posts in your inbox.
  • If you want to follow me, that’s the best way to do it since I post sporadically.

So…to add an incentive to boost subscriptions let’s have a little contest:

EVERY 15th PERSON TO SIGN UP WILL GET A FREE COPY OF Horrors: Real, Imagined, and Deadly edited by Matt Sinclair and featuring my short story The Trolls.

A few things about my blog (as my long-time subscribers can attest):

 

  • I’m a bit inconsistent in my frequency of posting (a good reason to have the posts come to you.) For the first three years, I blogged 3 times a week whether, I was sick, on vacation, no matter what. Plus I read about 100 blogs written by other people a day. I learned A LOT…but I didn’t get much writing done. So I cut back. I meant to cut back to once a week, but honestly it was easier to blog 3 times a week than once a week. Don’t know why; just was. Then I really got in to my writing and would go weeks, then sometimes months without a post. Yikes! If you look at my blog calendar, you’ll see I’ve posted a lot lately. I assure you, I won’t keep that up. I just had a lot of catching up to do for the year. (Still have a little more). My point…I won’t flood your mailbox with posts…promise.
  • Another reason I’ve posted a lot lately is we’re doing a PR blitz on the anthology. My website will be associated with it. I really needed to have something more recent than February posts should someone check it out, don’t you think?
  • I post about a lot of topics. I started the blog to be about writing, but it occurred to me my target audience, after I’m published, would be readers. Therefore I’ve posted about whatever so my readers could get to know me. Some posts are still writing based, some family based (I’m a grandmother, what can I say?), and some, I hope are amusing stories. I try not to get on tangents.
  • I tend to put a lot of pictures on my blogs — because I know how. Not really well, but sort-of. Maybe one day, I’ll learn how to do it better.
  • For some reason, my subscribers tend to e-mail me directly instead of leaving comments on the blog. I don’t mind, but I would like to see more comments on the actual posts (unless it’s personal, then by all means, e-mail me!) 🙂
  • I’ll never, ever share your e-mail list. (Heck, I can barely find it!)
  • You can always unsubscribe — you aren’t held hostage forever.

 

Well, that’s it…I hope to see your name on the subscription list! I’ll contact you if you’re a book winner to get a physical address to mail it.

~ Kay

 

 

PUBLICATION ANNOUNCEMENT

Now that I have your attention, no, my novels have not been published YET (my agent is working on that)…but this year I’ve had two short stories picked up by anthologies.

 

One is being released by the end of the month–in time for Halloween. Yes, I wrote something scary. Say, what?

 

I know I usually write mysteries and contemporary fiction, but when I saw Matt Sinclair was doing an anthology for Halloween, I thought I’d try my hand at horror. I’ve “known” Matt online for several years and respected his work. Since he opened his publishing house, Elephant’s Bookshelf Press, LLC. a few years ago, I’ve kept an eye on him.

 

This is Matt’s tenth anthology, and his selection committee only picks a dozen stories so I considered it a writing exercise more than anything else. He’s got a great reputation and with each new anthology he gets more and more submissions. I’ll go ahead and admit I’ve been rejected for two of his prior anthologies (in genres where I’m much more comfortable writing, I might add). I guess there’s something to be said about taking me out of my comfort zone.

 

Regardless, I was delighted to be included in this book, Horrors: Real, Imagined and Deadly. The cover by Charlee Hoffman is pretty scary!

 

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My short story is called The Trolls and was inspired by a conversation I had with a young lady who told me she was afraid of trolls as a child.

 

The book is available for pre-order (to download) through Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/583670).

 

It will also be available in paperback and Kindle versions from Amazon after the book is released.

 

Press releases have gone out, so I thought it appropriate to blog about the impending release. All twelve authors are anxiously awaiting…

 

~ Kay

 

 

Thanks for the Memories

One last birthday post, then I’m done…I promise.

There was one loose end of my own doing. At Christmas we were still planning a blow-out shin-dig; I sent out save the date cards. Oops! Since we decided to scale back, we had to deal with that.

One of my girlfriends came up with a brilliant idea. A card party. Friends printed cards (from Greg) to everyone on our Christmas list and in my personal address book that said: Kay is turning 60 on March 14th…but got overwhelmed trying to plan a big birthday bash! So…she nixed the formal party and decided to have a CARD PARTY instead! Here’s how to join the Party: Step 1: Turn this card over and share a meaningful experience or escapade you’ve had with the birthday girl and include the approximate year. Photos are welcome. Step 2: Return your card in the enclosed (self-addressed, stamped) envelope by March 1st. That’s it! On her birthday, Kay will have cards and beautiful memories from all her favorite people (that’s YOU) to open and cherish! Help Kay celebrate the first 21,915 days of her life, won’t you?!?

Cards started coming back immediately. I brought in the mail and put them in a bowl in the center of the dining room table with the exception of what my sister sent. It was in an oversized envelope, and it looked like the pages might get bent if not opened immediately. (Yeah, right!). I had to open hers. Otherwise I was good. The unopened cards kept pouring in until the bowl was overflowing. We’d hoped to get back at least the symbolic 60, but got well over 150. But I didn’t open them until between parties on my birthday.

After the Pi Party I had some quiet time while my houseguests were napping. I took all of the envelopes, went to my study and began opening them. Some made me cry. Some made me laugh until I cried. Some made me think of things I’d long forgotten. Some had photos or other mementos. Several said, “Are you kidding, do you really expect me to write my memories on this one card?” and enclosed pages and pages of shared experiences.

The idea was to make a scrapbook from what we received, and that’s still my plan. I actually have everything separated into sections and organized…I just haven’t put it into a book yet. I’ve read the notes many times, and each time I am humbled and grateful for the wonderful people who’ve passed through my life.

If you participated, thank you. If you didn’t and would like to, let me know and I’ll send you “the card.” (That gives me another excuse to postpone the scrapbook).

I can honestly say this was the most memorable birthday ever. The cruise, the Pi Party, the notes, the Pajama party—surrounded by people I love. What could be better? I think I like being 60!

~ Kay

 

 

 

 

Pajama Party

After all that, I usually don’t have birthdays for myself as an adult. I get together with a group of friends every few months and we celebrate birthdays, but that’s about it. But, this year I wanted to have a party.

I wanted something fun and laid-back, yet elegant. Ideally, I would have liked for it to have been at our home, but with a March birthday, the weather was just too iffy. My birthday is one day before the Ides of March, so I must Beware. When I made the guest list, it was too large for inside our house, so if we couldn’t spill into the back yard we’d have to have another venue.

I couldn’t find anything that was close to home that had the feel I wanted. I got frustrated and overwhelmed and, I wasn’t having fun pulling it together. I was stressed. Finally, Hubby and a friend who was helping plan it did an intervention and helped me put it in perspective.

I was ready to call the whole thing off, but I had to do something as some of my sorority sisters had already purchased airline tickets for the weekend. We decided on a smaller pajama party (not a sleep-over) for the girls. I was pretty scattered, so Greg and my friends went to work to pull it off.

The day was a blur. Deliveries. Flowers. Food. Friends coming and going. We had it catered so we didn’t have that to worry about.

When all was said and done we had about a dozen ladies and three husbands who were supposed to disappear, but never did. The ladies came from at least five states and during the party deliveries arrived from another state and another country.

My cake was stunning. Pictures cannot do it justice. It had lights and butterflies on it. The butterflies now grace plants throughout my house. And it tasted great, too!

The mix of friends who came (mostly sorority sisters) was perfect. The number was perfect for mingling and I think everyone talked to everyone. I loved it!

I tried to thank Hubby and those who helped him, but there is no way I could adequately express how much their loving attention to detail meant to me. It was a party I can snack on forever.

Thanks to all of you for making 60 my best birthday yet.

 

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~ Kay

Still catching up — What did you do for Pi Day last March?

My family didn’t celebrate birthdays; we celebrated birth months. I had to do an in-service on that when Hubby and I married in 2002. Birthdays were, well, just birthdays in his family. They got their favorite cake, but not a lot of hoop-la. Actually, I had to in-service his whole family!

My birthday is in mid-March and always fell during spring break when I was growing up. When I was in elementary school, I thought spring break was because it was my birthday. (No ego issues here!)

I have a friend who was pregnant with twins 25 years or so ago. She got to choose the date to have the girls (within a few days) because it was going to be a C-Section. Of course, and she chose my birthday because she said she couldn’t wait for me to explain the whole Spring Break theory to them.

The actual date of my birthday is March 14 or Pi Day. This year it was 3/14/15 so it really was Pi Day.

On the morning of my birthday, my out of town guests and I hosted a Pi party and invited the ladies of my neighborhood.

Pi Day was birthday party #1 of the day… We invited the ladies to arrive around 9 a.m. We found a computer site that did a count down to the second of 3.141592653…

We passed out mimosas and as the clock hit 9:26:53 on 3/14/15 we toasted Pi Day (and my birthday) followed by yummy food prepared by my friend and writing partner, Jane.

By the way, the next time there will be a ten digit Pi Day will be in a hundred years. I’m glad I didn’t miss mine!

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~ Kay

 

 

 

 

Turning 60 in Style … with the girls

I turned sixty in March. 60! Six! Zero! And it didn’t even bother me (well, not too much).

I had several friends with zero birthdays either this year or last. Most of theirs started with a five, but zero nonetheless. One friend decided all of us with zero birthdays in 2014 or 2015 should do something special. She arranged a group cruise (4 nights) from Tampa to Cozumel (and back). Six of us were able to clear our schedules and go.IMG_2316

The timing couldn’t have been better. It was the first week of March, just as Nashville was hit by its second major ICE storm. I wanted to visit an aunt who also had a zero birthday this year (90) and lives in central Florida, so I flew down a couple of days early. Two others decided from the beginning to travel to Tampa the night before and, when the weather rolled in, two more went down early. We had one hold-out who waited until the day of the cruise to fly to Tampa for our 4 pm departure. Yep! They closed the Nashville airport, and she missed the cruise. We sure did miss her!

The cruise was a blast. We decorated our doors so there would be no doubt we were celebrating our birthdays. One of the girls got us matching shirts for dinner one night. Another night we had matching tiaras. We weren’t the only birthday girls on the ship, but we were the best known.

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We decorated our doors to celebrate our zero birthdays — 50 – 3; 60 – 1; 70 – 1 (even though her sign said 75 — oops!)

 

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 We had verandah suites

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Some of us took a cooking/dancing class called Salsa/Salsa

 

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Great service and great entertainment

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Matching shirt night

 

We returned home on a Tuesday evening, and Hubby flew out that afternoon for a two-day business trip. I called him when I landed to let him know I was back in Nashville, safe and sound and he asked if I was home. I told him I was driving home. He told me to call when I got there. Odd. I’d already checked in, but whatever, we would’ve touched base before going to bed anyway.

I walked in from the garage and realized why Hubby had wanted me to call him when I got home. He had removed ALL of our art from the walls and replaced it with canvasses (12×12, 11×14 and 16×20) he and his new best friends at Walgreens had made.

During the ice storm, he’d plowed through boxes and boxes of photos of me growing up, high school, college, and pre-him. He also scoured old yearbooks and copied things like majorette and dance pictures. He took a few of my favorite girlfriend shots from my study. On some he put one photo per canvass, on others he made a collage. They hung in every room in our home, including the bathrooms. He even found some framed baby pictures, school pictures, etc. and hung them.

 

He’d draped the doors and lights with reminders of my age…I could go on and on, but you get the picture (especially since I’m posting pictures.)IMG_2443

Oh…and there were flowers…lots of flowers…and a table filled with candles (the battery kind). It was lovely.

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My actual birthday was at the end of that week on Saturday, and a girlfriend party had been planned mostly with sorority sisters. They were to start flying in on Thursday, the same day Hubby was to return home.

In my next post, I’ll tell you all about my parties.

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~ Kay

Great Niece

On Sept 14, I became a great aunt.

Hubby’s niece gave birth to a 8 lb 15 oz baby girl. I think it took about twelve minutes from the time she crowned. This girl was made to have babies, which knocks me over with a feather. She’s probably a hundred pounds soaking wet, and her husband played first string college football and could still go pro. You’ll see both of them in the pictures I’m going to attach.

They first met when they were kids and he “escorted” her at homecoming in elementary school. She moved across town, and he looked her up years later on Facebook. The rest is history.

The baby is named Blythe, which is my husband’s mom’s maiden name.

Here are some photos for the new family.

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I had a cold with Blythe was born so I didn’t get to meet her until she was almost three weeks old.12122674_10153009615221673_8134092451218503519_n

 

It will be fun being a great aunt!

~ Kay