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New trilogy from Kathryn Shay [May. 26th, 2012|02:41 pm]
AVAILABLE THROUGH NOOK ONLY until July 12.

My new trilogy is up at NOOK for an exclusive. Here's what it's about:

In her never before published trilogy RIGHT MATCH.COM, Kathryn Shay focuses on the lies told on dating websites and tackles some of her trademark emotional issues: the dangers of online dating, deception, divorce, disabilities, domestic violence and raising children, all framed by three brothers who finally find their soul mates!

In BETTER THAN BEFORE, charismatic and super rich venture capitalist Spence Wickham makes a bet with his brother to join an online dating service and prove people lie on these sites. But his deceit trips him up with sweet and generous Annie Hopkins who’s looking for the type of man he’s pretending to be. When the truth comes out, Spence must find a way to make Annie love him for the man he is. http://bit.ly/KZo1hn

In WAITING FOR YOU, tough cop Joe Moretti meets the love of his life, Dana Devlin, on his brother’s dating website. Little does he know she’s harboring a very big secret, one that almost destroys their relationship. Joe must find a way to prevent that secret, and his own personal ghosts, from ruining their chance together. http://bit.ly/LhooWY

In MEANT TO BE, thirty-four year old Cole Matheson gets himself entangled with Beth Montgomery, forty-five, while he’s lying to her about his age. When he finally tells her the truth, she reluctantly forgives him. But he’s unable to be completely honest with her and, eventually, Beth cannot deal with his consistent deceit. Now, sexy, adorable Cole must convince her he can be the kind of man she deserves. http://bit.ly/JPSe6e

Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Kathy


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George Takei [Apr. 20th, 2012|04:42 pm]

I returned home this week exhausted from a Popular Culture Conference I attended in Boston. The program, from Wednesday through Saturday, was a series of academic papers presented on anything that falls under its umbrella. I’ll write a blog about that later, but the keynote speaker was George Takei (pronounced Ta-kay), Mr. Sulu of Star Trek fame. I remember being newly married and while my husband was in grad school every night getting his Masters’ Degree, I’d turn on all the reruns of STAR TREK. I fell in love with Captain Kirk (who didn’t?), cried because Mr. Spock was so cold, and loved seeing an African American woman, a Russian and a Japanese man as members of the elite crew.

I was equally fascinated when Takei jogged out onto the stage last week in a huge room seating 2000 people—to thunderous applause, I might add. Unbelievably trim and fit (I’ve seen his online videos of him dancing) for a man of seventy-five, he appeared no older than fifty. And it wasn’t because he’s had an easy life—at five, he was herded into a Japanese internment camp and his family lost everything, though they were born in the US. He spoke of the stable stalls (literally) that they initially lived in for 3 months, then how they were sent to Arkansas, living in sweltering heat in tiny barracks like dwellings and later to a relocation camp in California. We were all riveted to his account of his stark, squalid environment and horrible treatment of those Americans who happened to be of Japanese origin.

He also talked about being gay in that macho Star Trek culture. Of course, he didn’t come out until years and years after his debut on the show, but he spoke of who suspected or knew (Walter and Leonard) but how Jim was clueless. His use of their real first names had star struck me in awe. He also went on to talk about how he had to keep being gay a secret to get parts in the initial stages of his career, his parents’ reactions to his sexual orientation, his husband Brad and how they were able to marry in California in 2008. He was always active in local and state politics and today he is a vocal proponent of gay rights. He has a new major musical coming out in September on the west coast which will then go to Broadway. It’s called ALLEIGENCE and is about “the forgotten part of American history”—the Japanese internments during World War II.

The striking thing to me was how he told the audience his stories with humor, using the inflection of that wonderful voice and a series of one-liners. Yes, even about the serious things. I was totally impressed by Takei. This man is a wonderful role model for adults and children alike.

And hearing him speak was truly a Trekkie’s dream.

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Benefits of Vacation [Mar. 18th, 2012|01:56 pm]

Dear Readers,

I just returned from five weeks in Florida. We’ve gone every winter since I retired, but this is the first year my husband has been able to stay the whole time, as he only retired in April. Being away has its benefits and they relate to my writing as well as to real life.

  1. I got to relax. I mean, really relax. I sat out by the ocean with a Nora Roberts book, I stayed up late and awoke late, I watched TV in the afternoon (sometimes!), and I got to chat with my husband about nothing—which rarely happens. I also had a lot of alone time as he golfed and fished—no friends around, no neighbors, no dog. This was good, as solitary time gives you a lot of opportunity to think about your life and what’s important to you.

  1.  I got to finish a writing project. I know this sounds contradictory to number one, but it isn’t. I was on a tight deadline to get a trilogy to the copyeditor by April first, and the last book wasn’t finished. On vacation, I had large blocks of time to complete the series. I’m so busy here with friends, family and volunteer work, that it’s hard to concentrate for too long on my work. I have a real sense of accomplishment over this.

  1. Conversely, I became more appreciative of my life back home. I missed my friends, I missed my volunteer work, I missed my dog, I missed yoga. (When I go back to Florida, I’m finding a yoga studio to take a few classes.) It was great to get back to my own home and my own things around me.  Getting lots of hugs from friends I haven’t seen, hearing “we missed you” from all my church members and in volunteer settings makes me count my blessings even more than I usually do.

  1. As I walked on the beach every morning (mostly) I came to appreciate nature. Not that I didn’t before, but watching those waves crash up on the shore each day (and hearing them as I fell asleep at night) was proof of things larger than me. It made me think about a bigger world, a higher power, giving me a sense of life outside my own experiences. I loved the chance to be in that frame of mind.

  1. Last, being away makes me value my relationship with my husband more. As I said before, we talked about nothing, played games like Banana Grams, held hands walking on the beach and tried new things together. We don’t have a lot of common interests, so back here we tend to pursue our own activities, but there, it was “just us.” This is important for a decades-long relationship.

Anyone have similar experiences when they’re away?

Kathy

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God and the Romance Writer [Feb. 28th, 2012|08:31 am]

I’m vacationing in Florida this month and as I was walking along the beach on Sunday, I came upon a man reading the Bible. I stopped, asked him about it, told him I missed my church back home, and we parted ways.

I had been trying to decide what to write my next blog about, and after meeting this man, the idea came to me: what would God think about my romance novels? Really, I was asking myself: what values do my romance novels exhibit and are they in keeping what I believe? When someone reads my books, can she tell what I think is important, how I think people should live their lives?

It’s pretty obvious to me what my writing reveals about me.

  1. First, I value relationships as the most important aspects of our lives. Yes, the romantic kind of love between partners is the focus of my books, but if you look closely, you’ll see how much I value friendship, children, and extended family—probably because I have always had them in my life. I’m the youngest girl of four sisters and have brother, too. My husband has eight siblings. My best friend has been in my life for forty plus years. And I’ve been married forever.

  1. I believe we should help others in need. You’ll see a lot of teachers, firefighters, doctors, cops and psycholgists in my work. And if my hero or heroine isn’t in a service profession, he or she often volunteers. I taught high school for decades and now that I’m home writing, I volunteer at several area locations. This is my view of life.

  1. I often have my characters in a situation where they work too much and need to slow down, to enjoy their family and friends and other activities. Can you tell by the fact that I wrote full time and taught full time for ten years that I have this “issue?”  Now, when anyone asks me to lunch or breakfast, I go. I tell my kids to drag me away from my computer whenever they want. I was thrilled when my husband retired and I could spend more of my day with him.

  1. I strongly believe in redemption. I think there is very little a person can do and not be forgiven. I believe there’s nothing a child of mine could do to make me not love him. I believe we struggle immensely in romantic relationships and we can forgive and forget what most people believe are egregious sins, i. e., adultery, alcoholism, betrayal.

  1. Last, I believe in being the best you can be, but at the same time, we have to be easier on ourselves. So many of my heroes and heroines are too hard on themselves, expect so much of themselves, and suffer when they don’t live up to their own expectations. Life is short, and we need to be kind to others and to ourselves.

I hope this didn’t sound preachy. I just got to thinking the other day on the beach what was important to me and wanted to share it with my readers. When you pick up a book of mine, see if I really illustrate the above.

Kathy

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Mating squirrels and the romance writer [Feb. 3rd, 2012|08:28 am]

Imagine my surprise when I awoke yesterday morning to scurrying overhead. Something was in the attic, something that sounded like squirrels dancing. (Little did I know…) My dog Hattie began to bark at about 8:00 a.m. and at 10 o’clock I finally called a pest control agency. They’d send out a wildlife expert, they said. A bit later, an extremely personable young man came to the door. “It’s probably squirrels. Let me take a look outside.” Sure enough, he walked around the house and when he returned said, “I saw several gray squirrels on the tree closest to your house jumping onto your roof, found two holes in the roof soffits and saw a couple go inside!  Geez, I thought, now what?

We checked the attic and when he stuck his head through the small square opening and shined in his flashlight, he quipped affectionately, “Well, hello little guy.”  A squirrel was staring him in the face.  “You  have a REAL squirrel problem.”

Downstairs, while filling out the forms to pay him for trapping them (with a squirrel friendly device and he’d let them go in the wild) he added, “I’ve  had forty calls this week. It’s mating season early because the weather is so warm.”

What did that mean? I shuttered to think.

He explained without prompting. “The female squirrels are probably getting inside first and then the guys are popping in and out to find them.”

Oh, hell, I thought. I could have lived forever without that image in my head.

“Did you hear cooing?”

“Um, yeah.”

“That’s the female squirrel who’s not ready to mate yet trying to get the male squirrel off her back. Literally.”

I knew I didn’t want to hear more.

“The male squirrel bites her on the neck to encourage her to cooperate. She coos. You know,” he said philosophically, “it’s like human beings. We fight. We make love. We fight. We make love.”

OMG, did this guy know I was a romance novel writer?

I started to laugh—really hard. I know he couldn’t imagine why. But I was thinking about how I write my books on my laptop sitting on my bed. Up above…the unthinkable was happening.  As I sketched out some steamy loves scenes, squirrels from my backyard were making some steam of their own right there in my attic!

Later that day, the traps were set outside with a female he’d picked up earlier in it to attract the others. (Jailbait, I called this). After the man left, I heard more scurrying, and some banging (pardon the pun). Oh, no, I thought, is that the equivalent of hearing the bed hit the wall in the hotel room next to you? Can I possibly work up here anymore?

As I began to write this blog, I glanced outside. A squirrel happily (well why not? he knew he could get lucky) bounced on the tree limb outside my window, hopped onto my roof and sure enough, I heard the scurrying right over my head. Hattie began to bark. And I thought, here we go again. No cooing yet, but who knows what the day will bring until the problem is solved (about a week, my squirrel romance expert said).

I knew I had to share this story with my readers. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways. Can’t say it’s giving me much new material for my books, though. I just keep thinking about that biting…

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THE HAPPINESS PROJECT [Jan. 20th, 2012|10:40 am]

Happy New Year to all my readers and friends.

Starting with this post, I’m going to be telling you about a non-writing project that I’m participating in.  It’s called “The Happiness Project” based on the book by the same name, penned by Gloria Rubin. A debut book (Wow!), she relates methods and strategies to become a happier person. Doing both written research and spending a year interviewing others and trying out different methods they used to live better lives, she details how we all can become happier people.  For the record, I’m taking a class in this where we’re reading the book and meeting once a month to discuss one of the themes of the book.  Some themes are: vitality, play and relaxation, marriage, work and friendship.

The first one we’re doing as a group is vitality, then we get to pick our own for subsequent months. The participant is asked to list techniques to get more energy and enthusiasm which will in turn make her happier. Both physical and psychological aspects are to be considered.

For example, yoga energizes me physically with the stretching and standing poses. But it’s also mentally energizing with the meditation and restorative techniques involved. Walking does the same. I feel physically better when I walk, but it also cheers me up, particularly watching my dog explore her world as we trek around the cul de sac in front of our house. (Four times around is two miles.)

Outside of being physically energized, I find great solace and joy in my volunteer work. It gives me great satisfaction to help others. Same goes for church services. I’m renewed spiritually whenever I attend and particularly when I have a role in the service.

Low carbs and high vegies, fruit and protein sustains me better physically than anything I’ve ever tried. Oh, and a glass of hot water and lemon kicks starts my metabolism better than coffee.

Reading also renews me. I relax and enjoy a good story.  Watching TV does this to a degree.

Whirlpool baths definitely give me energy—through relaxation, again.

I need to find other things, though, besides what I’m already doing. I love art history, so I’m thinking about visiting museums and finding other activities that connect me to that.

I love to dance and took ballet, tap and jazz lessons in my thirties. Hmm, not sure I’m up for that. I also took piano lessons but had to stop when I had kids because there wasn’t enough time to practice.

However, when I look at the last two above, I wonder if they’ll just make me busier—something I don’t want to be!

I’ll be thinking about vitality through the month of January and let you know some new things I do. Any ideas from you would be greatly appreciated.  Share your experiences with me.

Kathy

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AMERICA'S BRAVEST a success [Jan. 9th, 2012|09:33 pm]
I've been getting some very positive email and reviews on AMERICA'S BRAVEST, my new set of novellas. My favorite came today from Stephanie Perez.

"This past Friday I caught your free ebook about Gabe Malvaso on the Nook website. I have now read ALL the Hidden Cove Firefighter books plus all the novellas. I loved spending the 3 days with these great characters.  Your writing puts the reader right there in the community and totally involved in their lives.  The attention to detail is what makes the story seamless and inviting. I hate reading something that is rushed and this is easy, engrossing, and just a lovely way to spend your reading time. "

And she's a new fan! How cool. Will keep you posted on other kudos!
Kathryn Shay
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A new year [Jan. 3rd, 2012|11:07 am]
Happy New Year, everyone.
Just a note to let you know the caroling contest offered on this site is over now. I'll be back this week to post some resolutions of sorts. You can respond with yours!
Kathy
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Here We Go A Caroling [Dec. 16th, 2011|10:07 am]
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Want to receive eight free books and the chance to win a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet?
Visit the contest tab on my Facebook Page.
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SIX FIREFIGHTER NOVELLAS OUT NOW! [Dec. 1st, 2011|06:54 am]
I’m happy to report that my big project, AMERICA’S BRAVEST, has been published this week and is now up at Smashwords, http://bit.ly/tUbpJ4; Amazon, http://amzn.to/vy6mUx; Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/rZiSCr. The cost of the entire volume is $6.99.

What’s more, you can test out the first one, free at http://bit.ly/vhLMrb and http://bit.ly/sdkqAn and $.99 at http://amzn.to/tHikJ3.

Here’s a peek at the storylines:

The Rescue Squad in the Hidden Cove Fire Department deals with all kinds of emergencies: blazing fires, horrific car accidents and a myriad of medical calls. Like most firefighters, they also have complicated personal relationships due to the nature of their jobs. In AMERICA’S BRAVEST, each of the six novellas details both the love and work of one firefighter with overarching themes of arson, a blogger out to discredit them, and balancing their personal and professional lives.

In IN TOO DEEP, Captain Gabe Malvaso struggles with his attraction to Rachel Wellington, a firefighter on his squad. But when they’re trapped in a basement, thinking they’ll die, all bets are off.

HOT SHOT picks up with Paramedic Brody O’Malley, who’s happy with single life until a class reunion where he meets Emma Walsh, the only woman he ever loved. But because he broke her heart, she’s refuses to rekindle old flames.

WORTH THE RISK follows Ryan O’Malley, Brody’s twin cop brother, as he pursues prickly Lieutenant Felicia White, who’s always disliked his “playboy” persona. But when they are forced to work together on an arson case, sparks fly.

EL BOMBERO is the story of Firefighter Tony Ramirez and his beloved wife Sophia, sweethearts since high school, who run into the biggest challenge of their lives: Sophia can no longer tolerate the danger her husband is in every day.

In RESCUE ME, twenty-four-year-old Sydney Sands saves the life of local businessman Max Delinsky only to fall head over heels in love with him. But trouble comes in merging the discrepancy in their ages and Max’s difficulty with her past.

TRIAL BY FIRE tells the story of Battalion Chief Cal Erikson, whose been fighting for two years with blogger Parker Allen about the fire department. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself attracted to the fiery journalist with deep scars from her past. The arson case is solved, but not before both their lives are endangered.

In THE EPILOGUE, get a closer look at how all six couples live happily ever after!
I hope you enjoy them!
Kathy
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