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Sunset photo by Kay Smith-Blum Historical Fiction and evnviornmental thriller Author


Debut novel, Tangles, coming December 3, 2024

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"Haunting...hopeful…an unforgettable story” 
—Readers Favorite

Available for preorder
Barnes and Noble

 Black Rose Writing
and your favorite bookstores via

For a 15% discount click Black Rose Writing and use code Preorder2024

December 3rd

A Suspense-Filled
20th-Century Historical
Environmental Thriller

A quietly fierce secretary, a brash young scientist,

a small town cloaked in secrecy...and

an entire region

under threat.

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for more details and upcoming appearances in Seattle, Portland, Tri-Cities, Carmel, Houston, Dallas, El Paso, Austin, Charlotte, and many more!

Robert Dugoni, New York Times Bestselling author of

The Tracy Crosswhite Series

“In a well-crafted debut,
Smith-Blum provides the reader a ringside seat to the
birth of the nuclear age…a beautifully written, important story…much like A Civil Action - Tangles packs a punch and hits close to home.”

James Anderson, Award-winning author of

The Never-Open Desert Diner

"At once labyrinthine and simply and deeply human…in stunning and engrossing multiple narratives, Smith-Blum reminds us about the lasting costs of love, loyalty and freedom and, above all, the enduring solace of nature and family.” 

Kevin O'Brien, New York Times Bestselling author of 

The Enemy at Home

"In her knockout debut novel, Kay Smith-Blum sheds new light on Hanford…skillfully blending historical details and nail-biting suspense, she delivers two complex protagonists you can really root for…”

Joshua Frank, Award-winning journalist and author of

Atomic Days

"Tangles is a brilliant, captivating ride through a very dark period in America's nuclear history. Although  fiction, Smith-Blum reveals many truths about our radioactive legacy."

Cam Torrens, Award-winning author of

The Tyler Zahn novel

"Kay Smith-Blum’s voice radiates, with Annie Proulx-like dialogue and descriptive prose reminiscent of Guterson, KSB explores America’s Northwest at the dawn of the nuclear age!
A genre-defying novel that is impossible to set aside."

Steve Olson, Award-winning author of

The Apocalypse Factory

"Smith-Blum has gorgeously re-created an obscure time and place that were critical to the future of the planet. Her story speaks to us all."

Joseph Lewis, Author of 

Blaze In, Blaze Out, Fan Mail

other tales of the Evans Family

"A master storyteller, Kay Smith-Blum is now 

on my "go to" list 

of authors to read...

she should be for you, too! 

Gut-wrenching and heart-warming...characters as memorable as the setting...Tangles is 

  a 5-Star, Must Read!" 

Michelle Gerber, PhD, author of On the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site

"Tangles is a fascinating read…set against the backdrop of an important time and little-known place in American history, Smith-Blum keeps the reader guessing.
I couldn’t put it down.” 

Morris Hoffman, author of 

         Pinch Hitting         

"...a triumphant artistic reconstruction of the radiation horrors at the Hanford, Washington plutonium processing ode to the irrepressibility of caring in the face of uncaring dangers. Tangles is 
first-rate literature." 

Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women

Co-edited by Carolyn Korsmeyer, Christy Matheson, Elaine Aucoin Schroller, Kay Smith-Blum and Kimberly Sullivan 

Feisty Deeds, Historical Fictions of Daring Women

THE STORIES IN THIS COLLECTION depict ordinary women from the 1470s to the 1970s meeting life's challenges with fierce determination.


An unhappy housewife in 1950s California gathers the courage to escape an abusive marriage. As local men are shipped off to WWI, a young Yorkshire woman joins others to keep a munitions factory at peak operation. As her land and way of life are threatened, a 19th-century Chickasaw wife and mother rekindles the strength of her ancestors. A midwife strives to protect mothers from accusations of witchcraft. A Victorian portrait artist possesses a rare sought-after talent that dispatches unwanted relatives.


Foreign invaders, rigid domestic authorities, strictures of society and religion, the supernatural and love and family bonds serve as catalysts for the feisty women in these tales. 

Feisty Deeds on Amazon
Feisty Deeds co-edited by Kay Smith-Blum
Feisty Deeds co-edited by Kay Smith-Blum, Barnes & Noble

Other Short works by Kay Smith-Blum

Literary magazine cover featuring Kay Smith-Blum essayist creative non-fiction
Literary magazine with creative non-fiction from Kay Smith-Blum essayist
Literary magazine with short fiction from Kay Smith-Blum historical fiction author

VIRUS DAYS / a humorous essay series

Literary magazine art for creative non-fiction from Kay Smith-Blum humorous essayist
Literary magazine art for creative non-fiction from Kay Smith-Blum humorous essayist
Literary magazine art for creative non-fiction from Kay Smith-Blum humorous essayist
Literary magazine art for creative non-fiction from Kay Smith-Blum humorous essayist


“Ha! True-to-life and so well rendered.”

author of Failing Paris and Not by Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life, Executive Editor of Coast Magazine

“Wonderful essays!”

National Best-Selling author, founder Sonoma County Writers Camp, adjunct professor UCLA, Stanford, Rutgers, San Francisco Library Laureate

“Years from now, people will look back at 2020 and scratch their heads trying to imagine what the COVID-19 atmosphere must have been like. KSB summed it up perfectly with humor and grace. I laughed out loud at the spot-on observations!” 

professional editor, The Meticulous Type


Kay Smith-Blum Author Historical Fiction and Enviornmental Thriller and humorous essayist
Photo credit Marc Von Borstel

An Austin, Texas transplant, Kay Smith-Blum is a recovering retailer who writes from her bayside perch in Seattle. Named Woman Business Owner (NWWA) of 2013, her wit, humor, and resourcefulness helped her high-end retail fashion business endure multiple economic shifts in a decades-long career. She and her husband sold their company in 2016, allowing KSB to write full-time.

Winner of the 2023 Black Fox Lit short story contest, Smith-Blum is a member of the Historical Fiction Writers Group, WFWA (serving on the Scholarship committee), HistFic Feisty Women Anthology 2024 committee, Ravenna Writers Circle, CommuterLit Writers Group, the Authors Guild, PNWA and AWP. She has been published in over a dozen literary journals and her debut novel, TANGLES, will be published on December 3, 2024 (available for pre-order end July 2024).

As a publicly elected official (President of the Seattle School Board 2012) she led multiple initiatives on behalf of the students of Seattle. As a private citizen, Smith-Blum raised millions of dollars for education, the arts, and medical research. She established the first greenhouse and urban gardening program in Seattle Public Schools. She has served on numerous charitable boards in the Pacific Northwest. An active member of the downtown Seattle community, she is currently advocating for a park in the last green space in the urban core, made available by the demolition of the Highway 99 viaduct. An avid gardener, Smith-Blum works out her writer's block in her three sons' gardens and the nearest lap pool.

A graduate of the University of Texas, Smith-Blum chaired Downtown Seattle’s first marketing campaign and published a seasonal magazine for 10 years. She co-authored the “Every Man, Every Woman” inspirational series of cards and posters, published by Schurman Fine Papers, Portal Publications, and Sawdust City. Smith-Blum is a dynamic speaker and experienced producer of large and small events that leverage both traditional and social media.


"Every Man...Every Woman Should..." Inspirational poster series published in 1991, co-authored and edited by Kay Smith-Blum (original text written by Teresa Elliott)

“Targets,” humorous essay, Virus Days series, nominated for Best of the Net 2020

Heavy Feather Review, May 2020

Down in the Dirt Magazine (reprint):

Online issue, June 2020,

Print version, November 2020,

 Late Frost collection, December 2020,

Anthology 2020,

The Furious Gazelle, (reprint) January 2021,

“Zooming Right Along,” humorous essay, Virus Days series Quail Bell Magazine, June 2020


“Testing, Testing,” humorous essay, Virus Days series Bewildering Stories, June 2020


“Syon and Me,” humorous essay, Virus Days series Pif Magazine, December 2020


“Ringed In,” flash fiction (drawn from first novel), September 2020


“The Newcomer,” flash fiction

Fiction Attic Press, January 2021, reprint June 2021


 “Desco Drive,” a short story (drawn from second novel) Minerva Rising Press, Fall 2021

Print issue


“Reach,” flash creative non-fiction Change Seven Magazine, January 2022


“Wallpaper,” a flash fiction drawn from first novel, The Stray Branch, April 2022


“On Edge,” a creative non-fiction piece, nominated for a 2023 Pushcart Prize,

Yellow Arrow Publishing, Summer 2022

“Lines,” a fictional short story, Grande Dame Literary, August 2022

"Daylight Saves," a flash creative non-fiction piece, Adelaide Magazine, December 2022

"Ten Days," a personal essay, winner of Black Fox Lit's 2023 short story contest, April 2023

"Stripped," a flash fiction piece, Zoetic Press, Heathertide Orphans anthology, December 2023

print only, 

"The Calf," a companion short story to Tangles, Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women Women, an anthology, June 2024

"Free Will," flash fiction, Fiction Southeast, coming TBD

Upcoming Events

Author Appearance Calendar Coming Soon!
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