Today is the day my newest novel, ‘L.A. Ladies’, goes live on Kindle, Nook and Kobo. I worked on this story for almost a year, off-and-on, and the book already received outstanding reception among lovely Goodreads readers.
In this novel Robin, who has lived a privileged life in Los Angeles, begins anew after the unexpected death of her husband and finds herself in situations she never dreamed she would encounter. Love and danger seem to be turning her new life upside down. And the collie on the cover? Her name is Pretty Girl and she plays an important role at two turning points in the book.
The main character in this romantic mystery is Robin, a woman who has lived a privileged life in Los Angeles until it all came apart with the unexpected death of her husband. Now, as she reawakens emotionally she finds herself attracted to Darius, a client of her blog-writing business. He is a younger, brash sports trainer which makes him off-limits in her mind. “No cougaring”, she says to herself, when she goes to his home to photograph his rough collie, Pretty Girl. Then another man cruises into her world. Russ is a wealthy businessman who recently returned to Los Angeles after decades of living in Singapore and he seems to be perfect for her. Everyone thinks so, but is he? Robin’s new life is soon overtaken by one shocking event after another. How could all this happen to her? Who is behind it? She realizes she is now facing circumstances she never imagined encountering.
The paperback edition will published on February 18th, too.
This romance-mystery is coming soon on iTunes and Scribd. I’ll update the links as I’m notified by those stores.
I’m tooting my own horn here! My new novel, ‘L.A. Ladies‘ is now ready for pre-ordering on Kindle. You can find it here and read more about Robin, a ghost-blogger who is re-starting her life after the death of her husband. (And–Yes!–a collie is a character in the novel.)
The paperback edition will published on February 18th, too.
This romance-mystery is also available for pre-order at other online bookstores, including Nook and Kobo. Coming soon on iTunes and Scribd. I’ll update the links as I’m notified by those stores.
As storms sweep into the West Coast the Los Angeles River has become at times a raging flood of water racing to the Long Beach harbor. But most of the year the river channel would be bone dry were it not for the treated sewage water from the Donald Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys that is dumped into the river. Other water treatment plants across the valley also pour their water into the river.
Yes. That means the water carrying you down river in kayaks in summer is treated sewage from homes and businesses across the San Fernando Valley. And the water that went into those homes probably came either from the Colorado River or via the California Aqueduct from the Sacramento River in Northern California. Water is peripatetic in California! But I digress…
The Tillman Water Treatment Plant is also home to the beautiful SuihoEn water garden designed by Koichi Kawana. The photos in this post were taken in Spring, but with the increasing interest in the river it seemed like a good time to show the water garden. It’s located at 6100 Woodley Ave. in Van Nuys in the Sepulveda Basin, by the way, and part of the water outflow goes into Lake Balboa.
While the garden is quite beautiful, there is a faint but distinct smell of sewage. Entry fee of $5 for adults, $3 for kids and seniors.
The first of several months’ of heavy El Nino storms blew into Southern California this last week and the Los Angeles River went from being a trickle in an almost-dry concrete channel to being a flood sweeping into the ocean. (These photos were taken after the flood had passed.)
Because the river paths, in particular at the Glendale Narrows and in Studio City, are the settings of key scenes in my new novel, ‘L.A. Ladies’, I decided to take a few photos in winter when the area is anything but the pretty pictures of the area in summer. (‘L.A. Ladies’ will be published on Kindle on February 18, 2016.)
I’m going to include some Summer vs. Winter photos here as well as some sights away from the river.
Here is what I saw on a walk along the Los Angeles River in January 2016:
As I was nearly done writing my new novel, Finding Mr. Yes, I began to read reports that notable architect Frank Gehry had been hired by an organization I’d never heard of to design plans to revitalize the Los Angeles River. What!!??! I had already written several scenes set along the trails and pathways by the river and was alarmed to think that the man who designed Disney Hall was going to put his imprint on the 51 mile long river. And I wasn’t the only one alarmed by this.
Then there was this organization that almost all Los Angeles area residents, including me, had never heard of. What the heck is the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corp.? Well, it turns out that it is a public-private non-profit group that now has deep deep pockets: the federal government has granted the City of Los Angeles a billion dollars toward restoring the river and this “non-profit” appears to be the beneficiary of the money. As the L.A. Times has reported this is controversial. It also appears that the Friends of the Los Angeles River, a grassroots organization which has sponsored riverside clean-ups and championed river bank restoration and trails for years and years, has been squeezed out of the picture. The Revitalization Corp is now busy holding events–no doubt paid for with the federal tax dollars–in what appears to be an attempt to create “grass roots.”
Sadly, a real estate rush is on. Speculators are buying up property along the river and prices for tiny homes and highly polluted lots are skyrocketing. I shudder to think of what the riverside will be like with MacDonald’s and Starbucks and million dollar condos and who knows what else lining the banks. Perhaps the scariest real estate venture is a plan to buy an old, 40 acre train yard and use it for housing for Olympians if L.A. gets the 2024 Olympics. I wouldn’t walk across that land wearing anything less than a hazmat suit. It is highly polluted and filled with toxins!
On the other hand, Mother Nature has her ways. I remember one El Nino year when we were living in Studio City three blocks from the river. One storm brought so much rain that the river overflowed its concrete banks and our front yard was flooded. We were spared but there was a lot of damage closer to the river.
Anyway… Here are some photos of the Los Angeles River. I had intended to post photos about the CicLAvia going on in downtown L.A. today, celebrating the 5 Year anniversary of the event, but it is raining. Here comes El Nino!