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It's amazing when my 5-year-old comes home talking about the history behind MLK day. When I was in Kindergarten, we learned our color...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Long Story But the Point is Worth it ...

I started a new full time job, on Friday, which means I now will not be able to go to any of the home games for The University of Oklahoma. (BOOMER SOONER!)  When I took the position, I told them I already had plans for Saturday, or yesterday.  It was the first game of the season - and we had a huge family tailgate planned and everyone was counting on me begin there.

It was in the high nineties yesterday with no cloud cover.  So to say it was hot was an understatement.  Some of the ladies around me literally had their makeup melting away as the heat had them drenched.   My sister had an awesome mister bottle that she kept spraying us with, and we had nice fan plugged in so we could get some air ... but it was still sweltering.

The reason I love these things is that all of our friends and family stopping in to visit and eat.  We all bring something and usually there's a ton of food.  We have our standard group of people in our tent, and they all usually bring something to contribute.  The tents next to us all know each other, and we all share food and swap stories.

However yesterday we had some people there that were not invited by us. Although they weren't total party crashers, as they were family members of of some friends, but they still came empty handed and sponged off everything in sight.  Okay ... I shouldn't say empty handed. They brought their own beer... but they didn't pack water for their own children.  So they ate all our food and let their kids fend for themselves.

(OKAY HERE'S THE MOM IN ME ROARING) What kind of parent packs beer for themselves, but doesn't plan ahead for a hot day for their child????

We ended up giving the kids, who were within minutes of exposure to the heat flushed, a ton of water to drink, which meant we didn't have our own water to drink.  I'd happily go without water to make sure a child was taken care of, but I thought it was a shame that I was caring for kids, as their parents partied down at the end of my tent.

Needless to say, I didn't have enough water, and by the time I climbed 76 steps to get to my seats in the stadium - I felt light headed and thought I could pass out.  BUT I kept my mouth shut because I know when it comes to games, my husband is zoned into football and heaven forbid I upset the apple cart.

He bought us both an strawberry freeze, and I thought something ice cold would be good for me, as I was feeling overheated and worn out. Within ten minutes of eating it - it felt like I bottomed out.  My head was pounding, my stomach was raging, and the noise of the crowds around me felt like it was ringing through every nerve in my system.  I felt like I was going to explode ... that's the only way I can describe it.

To add insult to injury ... I have a problematic tailbone from an old injury.  My husband forgot to bring something comfortable to sit on, so the hard benches had my tailbone in so much pain that I sat on either side of my behind to keep pressure off it.

Is that enough going on all at once?  I couldn't believe that a 42 year old was having so many issues.  I mean it felt like I should have be 65 with all that was happening in that moment.

Long story short ... I made it through one quarter.  My husband, although having a hard time understanding why I was having issues, stood me up and we left to pack up the tailgating gear.  It took another hour to get it all packed away.

He'd parked maybe 50-60 yards away in an apartment parking lot, with a note in the windshield, which let the apartment management know that he was a visitor.   We usually park about a mile away, and pay 20 bucks or so.  However a family friend told us to use his friend's apartments to park in, saying that we had permission to do so, if we put a note on our dashboard.

After my husband finished toting everything over to the back of the truck, he came back to get me near our tailgate (I was resting in a chair) and asked me to walk over to get in the truck.  He lifted up the generator and hauled it back to finish packing everything away.

When I got in our truck, I glanced to his back wind shield and noticed a large X had been shoe-polished on it.  I didn't think anything of it as I was just trying to lift myself up into the passenger side.  Once we got out of the parking lot and headed toward home, my cell phone rang ...

It was my mother in law and she said her car had been towed.  She parked where we did, with the same sort of note on her dashboard.  We asked her what happened ...

Apparently, the girl that gave them (and consequently us) permission to be her visitor gave us the wrong information.  She said all we had to do was leave a note on our dashboard saying we were visiting her.  However the apartment manager requires an official blue pass issued from their office, which none of us had.

212 dollars later my mother in law got her car back, which also had an X shoe polished on their car.

Long story short ... although my day had downward spiraled into a dehydrated, over heated, geriatric back, with a frustrated and abrupt husband kind of experience ... it was all used for our good as we were slated to be towed away.  Not only could we not spare 212 dollars at the moment, but we would have had no way to tote all that tail gate gear back to Oklahoma City.

Once we got home, my over anxious husband returned to his normal sweet self and actually thanked me for getting sick.  LOL.  God's plans were bigger than his expectations of what game day should be like.  He could have stayed and had a great game day ... and watch all four quarters of bliss ... only to find his truck gone.  I think he'd rather go home in a piss-poor mood, than to have to shell out money for his truck.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Launch Was a Success

This weekend was the launch for COMING HOME, and I'm still reeling from the amount of people that came in from all over the country.  There were people from California, Kansas, Texas, and of course ... Oklahoma.

Although it was the launch for COMING HOME, I also had my other books for sale.  Since Finding Kylie has been re-released with a new cover, it was also a highlight of the day.

From 4-7 p.m. it was non-stop traffic, with about 140 in attendance.  The Shave Ice stand and the Egg Roll truck I had on site were also a plus.  From the free appetizers to door prizes - customers were lining up in support of my big day.

After I signed each book, I slipped out from my table for a picture with each new reader.  Here are a few for your enjoyment.

Thank you to all of you who drove in for the fun event.  I'm so grateful to you all and blessed by each one of you.

I look forward to your reviews coming in.  To leave a review for COMING HOME (paperback version) - go here.

I just saw this post from my first book launch and had a giggle.  Man, time flies.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What's in a Name?

When creating names for my character in any of my books, sometimes deep thought goes into what I name them ... and then one name will just spark something within and it becomes a name, which was meant to be.

Sometimes a name may come to me in a dream ... and then there are always those particular readers that send me an emial or leave a good review ... and if they make me smile ... their first name may make it into my next book.

So tell me - if you've read my books - which character has spoken to you most? Would have been the same if Chastity Banks were named Pam Brown? Or did her name, Chastity, give her something extra in your imagery of how she portrayed the character?

As I'm creating my fifth book, I'm loving some of the names that have come to me. I'm still re-working how they fit together. However, I'd love to hear from you ... write me at kimberlymckayauthor@gmail.com and tell me who your favorite character has been to date. If your words speak to me -- your name may make my next book, Second Chances. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reviews Make Me Smile

From time to time, I'll get onto Amazon or Goodreads and see that more people have left me a review for one of my books.  And no matter if its a 5 star or a 1 star review, I smile.  Even the bad reviews (although I'd rather they be good ones) mean someone was moved enough to take the time to review.

And in all honesty - no one is going to get 5 star reviews 100% of the time.  Look at every President or public figure in the world, do they have a 100% satisfaction rate?  No!  So why would a little author like me?

This week, I've seen some really sweet reviews come in though.  They've been the kind that make your heart warm.  So for those of you out there, who have been kind enough to leave such heartwarming words ... THANK YOU!

Here is one, for FACING REDEMPTION, that particularly made my day:

From time to time, I'll post a favorite or two here.  So if you've ever enjoyed my books.  Leave a review ... maybe I'll pick yours to share.

Have a great day and make time to read once in a while.  :)  We, authors, thank you.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Use What you Have

In 1991 and 1992, I lost both my grandparents.  They were the highlight of my life, as they were one of the only constants in it. As a military brat, I moved on average every two years so these two lovely gems were the part of our standard summer vacations when we would always come back to Oklahoma to visit.

I'll never forget each time we'd pull down my grandparent's tree-lined street and into their driveway how I yearned to escape from our beat up old blue station wagon. Immediately, I'd hop out, run up the driveway, and land in my grandmother's soft comforting arms as she patiently waited in her doorway. Smells of a home cooked meal and frigid air would waft through, as we crossed into the front room.  If you're wondering why the memory of frigid air would ever register.  Well, spend one summer in Oklahoma and you'll know how welcoming cold air is.  It's just as amazing as my grandmother's fresh baked homemade rolls or her green jello salad used to be.

Once inside, my grandfather would come shuffling in - cane in hand - as he carried his white poodle, Lucky, in his other arm. His face would light up with joy as he set her down to embrace me into a strong hug.  The second our heads came near his hearing aid would screech.  This would initiate that familiar chuckle and his common retort of - "Whoops!  Now you've done it!"  His laughter would start me in a fit of giggles, as his eyes were filled with a mischievous glint.

Papa and Grama were and are still so close to my heart.  The hardest thing I ever did was lay them to rest.

I'll never forget holding my grandfather in my arms as he passed. While in an unresponsive coma, his heart rate steadily dropped and with his last breath, he lifted his head, opened his eyes, and stared through me at something so pleasurable that his face shone with a passion like I've never seen.  It was clear he saw heaven's gate opening and angels coming for him.

Another life changing moment was helping my grandmother in the nursing home, as her cancer progressed.  I changed her diapers like she used to do for me.  I'm sure she was humiliated that I saw her like that - debilitated beyond her means.  But when you love someone you care for them through thick and thin.

These two were my angels then and now.

Once they'd passed my mother, sister, and I took on the task of cleaning out their home. I was amazed at how much stuff they collected.  But as children of the Great Depression, my grandparents made use of what they had by never wasting a thing.  Papa's garage was filled with mason jars, which he used for storage.  He also had gallon milk jugs, which had the tops cut off.  He also used the jugs for ... you got it ... more storage.

As I threw the plastic away from Papa's garage, I shook my head that he had to hold onto so much stuff.  But I'd never walked in his shoes.

Last week, I was rinsing out my plastic to put in my recycle bin, but held onto a small 1 quart plastic jug.  I absentmindedly rinsed it out and stuck it in my sink to use as a watering jug for my plant on the front porch.  As soon as I saw it sitting in my sink, to dry and be stored away, I let out a huge belly laugh.  As if my grandparents were standing there at my side, I felt their smiles of approval that I'd learned their lesson.  Less is more - use what you have.

I'm still learning from them ... even today.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Dare to be Disco

As I'm in my forties, I remember the 70's and 80's with a smile.  The fashion, the music, and the styles were one of a kind.  I loved my bell bottom jeans in the 70's and adored my madonna lace gloved and M.J. zippered pants in the 80's.  And the music ... ahhh. From the Bee Gee's to the Billy Joel - both eras were filled with amazing artists.

Some would say I loved the music so much that I even married someone, who plays that style of  music for a living. See my husband's work page to find out how Dancin' Dave McKay plays all your favorite hits from the 70's and 80's.

So when I saw the VeggieTales had a new flick, Celery Night Fever, I knew I had to get a copy to giveaway, as the VeggieTales daring to be Disco is something that could make us all smile.  

For the past 20 years, VeggieTales have been inspiring pre-schoolers around the globe with their upbeat story lines that focus on the Bible and the ethics that go along with Christian principles.  And with this new release, this rowdy group of vegetables is stirring up a fresh pot of fun as they boogie their way through silly yet adventurous tales.

Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and all their veggie disco dudes appear in this curiously catchy new release.  And their groovy new image will keep your preschoolers giggling throughout, as they dance around in their  retro polyester.  Heck, it will make you laugh too.

Terry Crews, from Brooklyn Nine & Who Wants to be a Millionaire, stars and sings in this timeless tale about friendship and forgiveness.  Along with him, you'll hear Kellie Pickler, from American Idol, who brings her unforgettable and irresistible charm and voice to this project.

Crews provides the essence for Bruce the Onion, a rotten real estate developer who intends to develop the green Celery Park into a parking lot.  His underhanded actions pushed Laura the Carrot and Junior Asparagus to initiate a reunion among the long-lost 70's band, the Groovy Brothers, who haven't spoken to one another in decades.  Their bitterness spills into the entire project - putting not only the Celery Park in jeopardy but the best friends involved trying to save the park.  

The bottom line - the story inspires young minds to learn about forgiveness, which is a seed that should be planted in us all.  At the essence of life lessons forgiveness needs to be key for our kids to be able to develop and push past disappointment.  Being able to forgive yourself and others, is a huge milestone that is life changing.  It's a hard pill to swallow but to instill it into your wee ones could give them a leg up.  This DVD provides some awesome life lessons ... 

Celery Night Fever features six original songs, including a rousing number from Bruce Onion (aka Terry Crews). 

Terry, who is an admitted long time fan of the VeggieTales, brings a passion to this project that is undeniable.  

Although this DVD releases on August 5th, I have a free copy to give away for one lucky reader.  Leave me a message, and I'll enter you in my drawing.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Finding Kylie got its groove back

It's been a very long journey to get my rights back for my first book, Finding Kylie.  

I first was published in 2008, by a publisher that will not be named as I'm ready to move on, as it was not a good union due to the fact that I NEVER received a dime in seven years ... not one red cent ... 

After checking my mail box for the contractually required royalty checks, which never came, I finally reached out to which my publisher kept saying 'your check is in the mail'.  

By the third time I called to receive the same empty promises - my reply was, "Hmmm. The books I ordered from you seemed to get to my house just fine ... so why isn't your check for my royalties?"

At that point I was verbally threatened by the publisher, as I 'hadn't been blogging about her other authors'.  My response was - "The contract I signed did not say one word about blogging about your other authors, and my royalties have nothing to do with it either".  

Her last excuse was that she didn't sell enough to give me royalties.  If I had a dime for every book that was directly mailed to me by fans and friends, to sign their copy, I'd have a hefty royalty from that alone.  She can not say she didn't sell any as I saw plenty come to my porch to sign and mail back...

So fast forward seven years and I finally have my rights back, which means I get to do what I always wanted to do with the book, which includes a new cover.  The previous cover was not eye pleasing, nor was it even legible.  I can't tell you how many times people would ask me if my book was titled 'finding kyle' because they couldn't read the font the previous publisher used. 

Well ... now its legible AND I'm in charge of the direction and implementation of all things Finding KYLIE ... that's right K-Y-L-I-E.   

In just eight more days the screenplay for Finding Kylie will have it's first hard read in London.  I'll Skype in at an unearthly hour due to the time difference, and record it for our use for future pitches.  The actors and actresses involved are very talented Off Broadway London actors, who are excited for this project.  I couldn't be happier with the progress and timing of this project, as it coincides with the release of the new cover.

When we sell the script, as we will (we already have some interest from some solid parties), the 'based on the book' cover will show the one below:  

Give me your thoughts?  I believe it's a serious improvement over this one here.

To purchase the new and improved Finding Kylie click the below links for kindle or the book.

Thanks and have a great day!!!