Friday, October 30, 2015

Do You Reread?

Since I quit my job earlier this year (yay for self-employment!), my book-buying habits have come to a screeching halt. I suppose it's proof that I wasn't actually addicted, since I was able to stop, but phew, it was tough!

But because I'm a fast reader, and because I've had a Kindle since day one (in defense of bookstores, I buy there, too!), I have LOTS AND LOTS of ebooks in my library. So this year, I started rereading instead of buying.

Fortunately, I'm one of those people who doesn't remember every single detail of every book I read two years ago—I remember very few, to be honest—so it's almost like buying new books! It's better, in a way, because I remember that I liked a series, but not precisely why, and then I know I have four, eight, or 17 books ahead of me that I'm going to love.

It's like Christmas. All year.

So here's what I want to know from you you reread? do you remember everything you've read? and how many books do you buy each month?!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Red Flags—Updated!

That's right, we zazzed up the back-of-the-book copy a little bit (what? it's a word). Still the same great cover and release date (coming next April)!

And look, major links are up: Poisoned Pen Press, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

When Kate Reilly arrives in Long Beach, California, a week ahead of the Grand Prix, she’s immediately plunged into a new social scene—as well as a murder investigation. Her cousin Billy is found dead, with Kate’s card in his pocket. The cops want to know why, and sponsors and race organizers—anxious to keep racing’s image clean—want Kate to investigate. Doubting she can solve another murder, especially that of a relative she despised, Kate reluctantly agrees.

At the same time, coaching a gorgeous and talented actress for a celebrity race brings Kate into the orbit of Hollywood’s hottest bachelor. And then a local FBI agent takes notice of more than her driving and sleuthing skills. She goes from Sony Studios to Venice Beach and from Rodeo Drive to the Hollywood Hills, attending parties, power-shopping, and dodging unwelcome paparazzi. Kate’s ballooning media exposure generates national commentary, testing her composure and forcing her to get ahead of the stories—whether critical or flattering.

Kate’s professional dreams are also coming true. The upcoming Grand Prix is her first race with a new sponsor that’s also funding an IndyCar test drive and a ride in next year’s Indy 500—along with future possibilities in NASCAR. The downside? New sponsor Frame Savings is owned by her family, and its management, outside of her long-estranged father, is unfriendly to her…even rivalrous.

Kate must stay on her toes as the Long Beach race weekend begins. She’s negotiating the next steps in her career, driving two racecars and coaching a third, discovering more about the disreputable members of her father’s family than she wanted to know, and juggling questions and suspects. On track, red flags fly to warn her of danger. Off track, Kate struggles to interpret warning signs and stay out of a killer’s grasp.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Note About California

Dear retailers,
Dear the rest of the country,
Dear Mother Nature,

It's October 6. I realize Alaska and Austria have already had snow. I realize the East Coast is swimming down their streets. And I realize it's officially the Halloween season.

But it's still summer here.

I further realize no one feels sorry for us Californians when we talk about the monotony of dry, 86-degree weather day after day, month after month. I get it. We're fortunate in a lot of ways. But our seasons are as every bit as screwed up as yours.

You all know about our high average temperatures. But there's something else about the climate out here you don't understand ... and it causes a hell of a lot of problems.

Summer in the rest of the world is June, July, and August.

Summer in California starts in mid-July and goes to mid-October.

Of course, we residents are all pretty used to this. But the rest of you aren't, and that's what causes us so many problems. (I'm looking at you, retailers.)

I've got plenty of examples:

  • Summer supplies and clothing are taken out of stores in mid-July—right as it gets hot here.
    Which means there are four air conditioning units for sale at Home Depot when hundreds of overheated California residents go looking for one on July 22.
  • Winter supplies and clothing appear in August.
    Which means it's 95 degrees outside and Target's featuring wool coats.
  • Social media fills with comments and delight over fall weather, first rainfalls, and pumpkin-spice everything. Christmas decorations appear. It's late September.
    It's 95 degrees here, and we haven't seen rain in three years.
I'm not asking for sympathy, I'm merely explaining the flip side of sunny California. Though I do admit to wishing some enterprising store managers would buck their corporate orders and keep appropriate stock on shelves for an extra month. 

And if anyone wants to stock up on air conditioning units next May, come September, you could make a killing selling them at two or three times face value. Something to consider...

Still Roasting in Southern California