I just finished reading all 39 of the Robert Parker Spenser detective series that he completed before his death. Following the development of his characters as they aged and deepened their relationships with one another has been an education for me as a writer and a reader.
Tough man Spenser who, along with his posse of other tough guys, like Hawk, Chollo, and Vinnie Morris, has a code of honor and commitment where they do what they say they will do. Psychologist Susan Silverman, with her Harvard PhD reveals her own toughness through her love for Spenser. More on what I am reading later
Book & Author Lunch
Yesterday, I attended the San Antonio Express News Book and Author Luncheon for the FIRST time. Never could get a seat before--it was always sold out! And now I can see why.
Lucky for me my friend, Evelyn, had an open seat at her table, so I was able to join her and 7 other interesting women to hear this year's authors: Paulette Jiles, Lucinda Scala Quinn, Imbolo Mbue, John T. Montford, Candice Millard, Andrea Beaty and Jim Lefko.
Esteemed Mistress of Ceremonies Coleen Grissom, shared her hilarious views on the worst and best writing she has encountered in her illustrious career as a professor and writer of literature and introduced these writers. The 25th Anniversary of the San Antonio Express News Book and Author luncheon benefitted the Cancer Therapy and Research Center of the UTHSCSA. Loved it!
Fun in Houston!
Great success at my first book signing in Houston, Texas at the River Oaks Bookstore! It took place this past Thursday, October 20th from 5pm to 7pm. Many thanks to Michael Jones, Juan, Whitney, and the rest of the staff at River Oaks Bookstore for making it a wonderful evening. And thanks to all of you who joined me there and bought my books!
So thrilled to be doing my first book signing. It will take place at the River Oaks Bookstore, located at 3270 Westheimer Road between Kirby and River Oaks Boulevard. Join me on Thursday, October 20th from 5pm to 7pm to hear more about Virgin at the Speedway and the next book, Virgin at Sonoma!
La Prensa Review!!!
Barbie O’Connor’s ‘Speedway’ fuels women’s powerBy Christina Acosta -
June 26, 2016
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“Virgin at the Speedway” is one fictitious book you must read this summer that will empower and persuade you to learn what lies behind a raceway. (Photo, Christina Acosta)Many authors enjoy writing series that revolve around popular themes like romance— Barbie O’Connor, however, gives the reader the keys to a book full of topics and genres to drive around.
“Virgin at the Speedway” is the first installment of the Racing Resort Ranch novels written by the San Antonio author, who has been working on this novel for the past 10 years. Also the author of “MoneySmarts4U: The Basics,” O’Connor thought it was time to write a novel that captures motor racing’s excitement, romance and energy, giving her full control of the driver’s seat.
“My background up until I went to Indy was within the security industry. The financial service at that time was a male dominated system where there was one woman for every 10 men, and at the Indy, there was one woman for every 1,000 men, depending on what role a woman was playing. It may have seemed intimidating, but I was pretty comfortable with that,” O’ Connor told La Prensa.
O’ Connor stated that with her knowledge of the speedway, the story is not all truthful. However, the “details on the pit road, in the line for qualifying and the strategy involved at the raceway” adds fuel to the story.
The story takes place in San Antonio where investment adviser Luz Maria Dane finds herself in a new world at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the help of her friends Clint and Michelle Amberson, she has an all access pass to help them manage Amberson Racing until the Indy 500.
At first, Luz was a little wary until she finds out Jeff Harwood, a former Amberson employee who now has his own IndyCar team, will be there to quickly get her up to speed about Indy. As she leaves to Indy, strange things begin to occur and questions begin to arise: Who is embezzling funds from the team’s coffers? Is someone trying to kill her more than twice? And, can she escape their next attempt and survive the Indy?
The answers could be read if you follow Luz around the speedway while she works to get the team to the finish line before it is too late!
After reading the story, you learn how powerful a woman can be (whether real or fictitious) in persuading one into quickly finding answers to hard-hitting questions. As a female, Luz was a character many readers will enjoy going on an adventure with, as she bolsters her way into the world of raceway with learning experiences, disappointments and bruises.
The power the males carry at the raceway is only an intimation to keep women away from their secrets. The story is also full of surprises with plot twists and characters that are not what they seemed. In the world of racing, things can move in a different direction in a heartbeat, making it a fast-paced book you must keep up with.
Ultimately, the author implanted the theme that no man could ever underestimate a woman.
“I think that all women can identify with wanting to help someone, wanting a challenge, and having to go with the flow to make it happen,” stated O’Connor. “For men, I like to believe that there are a lot of men out there who want to be with a strong, smart woman, and so I like to believe that readers can relate to both the male and female characters and part of the story.”
If you are interested in taking a ride through literature this summer, you can find “Virgin at the Speedway” on Amazon.