Bake, Love, Write: Welcome Mystery Writer Kay Kendall

          Since I retired from the classroom, I’ve learned to cherish my simple, uncomplicated lifestyle. A few mornings ago I was enjoying my first cup of coffee while watching dark-eyed juncos have their breakfast at my bird feeder. It caused me to reflect on one particularly stressful year. I was teaching full time (7th-graders mind you); writing for a textbook company; writing for a local monthly magazine; and finishing my Alfred Hitchcock trivia book. I don’t know how I managed such a demanding schedule.
            If you’re balancing a busy schedule and feeling anxious about the added activities the holidays bring, check out Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing edited by writer Lois Winston. Contributing author Kay Kendall shares her family recipe, Aunt Martha’s Oatmeal Cake. Not only is it quick and simple, this delectable dessert is perfect for the holidays. Just throw all the ingredients into one bowl, mix them without an electric mixer, turn into a pan and bake. During the thirty-five minutes the cake is in the oven, check out Kay’s four Cs for a lasting, loving relationship and sensible, simple advice on writing.  And here’s a bonus: Kay provides readers with a look at her debut novel, Desolation Row—An Austin Starr Mystery. 

          Kay Kendall's first novel was published by Stairway Press of Seattle in 2013. Desolation Row—An Austin Starr Mystery is set in 1968, with the Vietnam War backdrop illuminating reluctant courage and desperate love when a world teeters on chaos. The sequel, Rainy Day Women (06/2015) finds amateur sleuth Austin Starr proving a friend didn’t murder women’s liberation activists in Seattle and Vancouver. Kay is an award-winning international PR executive living in Texas with her Canadian husband, three house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Terribly allergic to bunnies, she loves them anyway! Her book titles show she’s a Bob Dylan buff too.
            Kay Kendall, while growing up in the bucolic Flint Hills of Kansas, dreamed of returning to her father’s ancestral home of Texas and becoming a latter-day Nancy Drew or John Le Carré.  Instead, higher education and circumstance led her down a long and winding road (footnote, the Beatles) to Harvard, Canada, international corporate communications, Russia and, finally, to her beloved Texas.
            In the spring of 2013, she took a leap in the direction of Nancy Drew and le Carré with publication of her debut historical mystery, DESOLATION ROW.  She’s now working on its sequel at her home shared with her husband and Wills the cavalier King Charles spaniel, plus three house rabbits—while aspiring to become an author able to say she “lives part-time in the Cotswolds,” an anglophile’s version of her upbringing.
        During her career as a corporate communications executive in the United States and Canada, she both organized and starred in cross-country media tours for consumer services (American Express) and products (distilled spirits) and managed worldwide publicity when McDonald's opened in Russia. After returning to Texas in 1990, Kay managed public relations for a biomedical research institute that was a part of the Texas A&M University System in Houston. Once her pension was topped up, she left in order to focus on writing fiction, and her first mystery, DESOLATION ROW, is the result.

          About the book:  In 1968 a young bride from Texas uses her CIA-honed skills to catch the killer when her husband lands in a Canadian jail for murdering the draft-resisting son of a United States Senator.  
          Cookbook authors include: Brenda Novak, Lois Winston, Debra Holland, Dale Mayer, Shelley Noble, Caridad Pineiro, Diana Orgain, Lisa Verge Higgins, Lynn Cahoon, Jasmine Haynes, Jan Carol, Meg Bellamy, Bobbi Chukran, Melissa Keir, Amy Gamet, Kristy Tate, Terry Shames, Barbara Phinney, Kitsy Clare, Raine English, Cathryn Cade, Haley Whitehall, Shilpa Mudiganti, Melinda Curtis, Jessa Slade, Jill Blake, Daryl Devore, Molly MacRae, Elizabeth Rose, Helena Fairfax, Lourdes Venard, Jessica Aspen, Maegan Beaumont, Kay Kendall, Elizabeth John, Victoria Adams, Cyndi Pauwels, Alice Loweecey, June Shaw, Donnell Ann Bell, T. Michelle Nelson, Nina Milton, Pam DeVoe, Skye Taylor, Conda V. Douglas, Pepper Phillips, Judy Alter, Cadence Denton, Lesley Diehl, Erin Farwell, Regan Walker, Kaye Spencer, Barbara Monajem, Kathleen Kaska, Catherine Kean, Rose Anderson, Suzie Tullett, Deborah Hughes, Cynthia Luhrs, Judy Baker, Alicia Dean, Leslie Langtry, Janis Susan May, Mitzi Flyte, Ruby Merritt, Renee D. Field, Kathryn Quick, Susan Cory, Judy Penz Sheluk, Kay Manis, Kathryn Jane, Debra Goldstein, E. Ayers, Chantilly White, Sloan McBride, Triss Stein, Ana Morgan, Adele Downs, L.C. Giroux, Pamela Aares, Nancy Warren, Barbara Lohr, J.J. Cook, Lynn Reynolds, Cori Arnold, B.V. Lawson, Lynn Franklin, M.L. Guida, Irene Peterson, Sue Viders, Liese Sherwood-Fabre, Susan Santangelo, Sheila Seabrook, Elaine Charton, Sharleen Scott, Kathy Bennett, Jody Payne, Reggi Allder, Ashlyn Chase, Beverley Bateman, Susan Lohrer, Donis Casey, Barbara Leavy, Stacy Juba, Karen Rose Smith.
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