Tag Archives: birthdays

Of Brothers, Birthdays & Books!

This weekend, I’m participating in Stacy Green’s Birthday Blast, and there’s a CONTEST involved, with multiple chances to win an $80 gift card (details below). Yay!

Birthday Book Blast banner

Stacy got a bunch of authors together, and many of us have put one or more of our books on sale as part of this blogfest. My latest release, An Unsaintly Season in St. Augustine, is on sale for just $.99 and I’ve also reduced the price on two other books, Family Fallacies and Celebrity Status, to $2.99. This is a limited time offer so grab up your copies soon!

(More great book buys below!)

But first, my post on the subject of birthdays… and big brothers!

My family didn’t make a huge deal over birthdays when my brother and I were growing up. We got a present, usually sitting next to our plate at dinner, and a birthday cake (chocolate icing for me, coconut for him), and that was about it.

Which was kind of a shame IMHO because one’s birthday is a special day that is all yours! You’re the only one being celebrated. Now I’m not faulting my mom. My parents didn’t have a lot of money when we were little shavers and I know she did the best she could. But I think there should be a bit of a hoopla about one’s birthday, especially when you’re a kid.

birthday party

One of the few times my mother threw a party for us. This was my brother’s 5th birthday. I’m the one in the high chair.

My brother and I are now in our 60’s, so we have mixed emotions about birthdays. On the one hand, we’re damn glad we’re still having them. 🙂  On the other hand…

Since my brother’s birthday is coming up in just a few days, I decided to dedicate this post to him, and to brothers everywhere.

THINGS MY BIG BROTHER TAUGHT ME FOR WHICH I AM VERY GRATEFUL:

1.  How to say ‘brother’ as one of my first words. (No kidding, folks, he actually got in my face and actively taught me to say that word. It came out ‘bludder’ and the family story goes that I licked his face when I said it, as in “Ah, Bludder!” *tongue slurp*)

2.  How to ride a scooter. (I’ve long since forgiven him that little mishap involving a huge gash on my forehead that needed several stitches. But I’ve still got the scar… just sayin’.)

3.  How to ring the little bell on my bike handlebars with one hand while not losing control of my bike. (I’ve gotten a lot better at multitasking since then.)

4.  How to make figure-eights with my bike. (Okay, that one ended badly too; there was a concussion involved.)

5.  How to stand up to bullies.

6.  How to catch a softball (although I never quite mastered the football lesson) and dance the cha-cha.

7.  How to control my temper. (Okay, I’m still working on that one.)

8.  What to say to boys so I wouldn’t sound stupid (yeah, still working on that one, too).

9.  How to make the guys in my books sound and act realistic. (He beta reads all my books and advises on the ‘guy stuff’ even though he doesn’t particularly like to read.)

10.  How to be generous with the people you love (see above and below) and be a fiercely loyal friend.

If you’ve got a brother (or sister) you’d like to brag about, go for it in the comments below. But I won’t be able to respond until next week.

Why? Because my brother is very generously traveling with me today up to Maryland to help me paint the outside of my summer cottage up there. Even though it’s his birthday week!

My brother now, in my summer cottage sunroom.

This is the last project he helped me with… finishing off the sunroom in my Maryland cottage. It turned out great!

Don’t worry. I’m gonna bake him a cake! (And I’ll post before and after pictures of the house next week.)

Happy Birthday, Ralph! I love you, Bludder!  😀

Now the Book Deals and Contest!

The following authors also have birthday-related posts up today, and they are all featuring one of their books!We’ve got something for everyone’s tastes.

You can enter the contest at each blog site (i.e. multiple times) plus there are bonus opportunities to enter! Prize is an $80 gift card!!!

Stacy Green’s postIt’s my birthday, and I’ll cry if I want to!

Stacy’s second novel, TIN GOD is an Amazon Hot New Release at just $3.99 ~ Black market adoption, two dead women, and a demented killer. How far would you go to bring justice?

Melinda VanLone’s post:  Birthdays: Looking Back? Or Looking Forward?

Melinda’s debut urban fantasy, Stronger Than Magic, is just $2.99 ~ Tarian Xannon fights demons, like the rest of us. Hers just happen to be real.

Julie Day’s post:  An Aspergirl and Birthday Celebrations, or Not

Julie’s Don’t Get Mad, Book 4 of Geraldine’s Gems romance series is just $1.99 ~ Sandra follows her aunt’s advice, “Don’t get mad, get even,” develops a buff body at the gym, falls in love with a new man and learns to stand up to her estranged control-freak husband.

Catie Rhodes’ post:  Time’s Ticking Away

Catie is featuring her debut novel, Forever Road, starring Peri Jean who owes a ghost a favor and must solve a murder to pay it off ~ $3.99

Tamara Ward’s post:  Birthday Cake Fiasco 

Tamara’s new release, Hidden Betrayal, is featured at $3.99.

Gregory Carrico’s post:  Missing Child in Gator Infested Swamp. sort of.

Gregory is featuring Children of the Plague ~ Can teenage Lanni save her brother, and what’s left of mankind from plague infected mutants in post-apocalyptic Manhattan? ~ $3.99

Patricia Sands’ post:  Look Out! Here Comes Another One!

Patricia is featuring her new release, The Promise of Provence ~ Is home exchange in the south of France a remedy for heartbreak? ~ $3.99

book cover

 

And last but not least, don’t forget that my new novella, An Unsaintly Season in St. Augustine, is on sale for just $.99.

I’ve also reduced the price on Family Fallacies and Celebrity Status, to $2.99, for a limited time only.

 

Here is where you enter the contest!
It starts at 12:01 a.m. April 12 and runs through Sunday, April 14th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

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Are You Aging Graciously?

Every time my 32-year-old son says, “Oh, man, I’m getting old,” I want to smack him. I don’t, of course, because (1) I love him and (2) he’s just doing what we all do. It has become the norm in our society to complain about aging, while fighting it tooth and nail.

I do it myself, and I’m sure my older friends want to smack me sometimes (maybe for more reasons than that). One of them has a favorite line, whenever somebody is moaning and groaning about getting older. She says, “It sure beats the alternative.” One of my older brother’s favorite lines is, “Ain’t none of us getting out of this alive!”

But I think I like another of his favorites best. “Enjoy life now; it has an expiration date.”

photo by Ardfem, Wikimedia Commons

So why do we Americans waste so much of our precious lives fighting the inevitable? The beauty industry, with its hair dyes and anti-wrinkle creams, is a multi-billion dollar industry. Western countries–the U.S. and to a lesser degree Europe–lead the charge on this. We have face-lifts, lipposuction and Botox. We’ve even got children on TV encouraging their dad to use Just For Men so he can get a date! And of course, he magically does, as soon as he ditches that nasty graying hair.

Today is my 60th birthday so it’s to be expected that I might have aging on the mind.



Me at 30; said son is 3.



Me at 60.

I like to think that I’m handling it well.
But it’s tricky, finding a balance between
not letting age stop me from doing what
I want to do, and respecting my limits.

I’ll admit to dying my hair and using some
of those anti-aging products. What bothers
me the most is that I look in the mirror and
my mother is looking back. Now don’t get
me wrong, I loved my mother. But I don’t
want to be her. I want to be me.

And I guess that’s the crux of the matter. As
we age, we have to keep redefining ourselves.
I used to be the one who loved doing fixer-
upper type projects around the house. Now
I get vertigo on a four-foot stepladder and
I’m exhausted after a couple hours of such labor. A couple weeks ago, I finished a task–spraying all the mildew off the rafters of my screened-in back porch–that took four sessions on four separate days to complete. The first time I did that chore, seven years ago, I got it all done in one day.

Mother at her 75th birdthday party.

But there I go again, complaining about aging. We in the West don’t really get it that there are advantages to age. We develop expertise, wisdom, confidence. Those of us in ‘late adulthood’ (the euphemism now for being old) are comfortable in our own skins, wrinkled as it may be, in a way that we often didn’t experience in our youth.

My husband is a retired linguist. He now teaches English part-time to international students. He loves it, mainly because a lot of his students come from countries that revere age. His Asian students especially adore him, because he is the wise old man who deigns to spend his time helping them learn. They call him, in their various languages, the equivalent of “Grandfather,” with no clue that in our country, that is a bit of an insult. But he doesn’t take it that way at all.

The strangest thing is that this birthday isn’t particularly bothering me. Not like turning 40 or 50 did (I flipped out over 50).

I’ve lived six decades, and every one of them has been packed full of interesting experiences, poignant moments and learning opportunities. I’ve had my share of heartache too, but I wouldn’t trade a minute of my life in order to magically be thirty again, or even forty.

And my forties were probably my best years. No wait, I think it was my fifties.

Or maybe it will be my sixties.

How are you aging?

(Kassandra Lamb is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.)