Monday, August 4, 2014

"Avoidable Contact"

Before trying her hand at fiction, Tammy Kaehler established a career writing marketing materials, feature articles, executive speeches, and technical documentation. A fateful stint in corporate hospitality introduced her to the racing world, which inspired the first Kate Reilly racing mystery. Kaehler works as a technical writer in the Los Angeles area, where she lives with her husband and many cars.

Kaehler applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Avoidable Contact, the third Kate Reilly racing mystery, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Avoidable Contact is one of my favorite parts of the book. Kate’s behind the wheel of her #28 Corvette C7.R, in her first stint at the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race. Already that day, she’s absorbed the news that her boyfriend, Stuart Telarday, was critically injured in a hit-and-run just outside Daytona International Speedway. But despite Stuart’s grave condition, Kate—who can’t be of any use to him while he undergoes hours of surgery—is soldiering on and racing with her Sandham Swift team.

And then, near the end of her first hour in the car, Kate witnesses a terrible accident right in front of her. The team’s sister car, with a friend behind the wheel, is punted off track and into a wall, very hard. Kate has to circle the track for many laps behind the safety car, wondering if her friend, Ian, is all right. The page starts with the Sandham Swift team owner, Jack, speaking to Kate:
“… We think he was an innocent victim of something going wrong in the Porsche.”

“Other than incompetence?”

“Easy,” Jack put in. “We don’t know anything yet.”

I knew Race Control and anyone with a scanner—including other teams—could be listening to our conversation. But I’d exhausted my small store of calm, and I didn’t care. “All I’m saying is some of the amateur drivers in this race have been a menace.”

My hands tightened on the Corvette’s steering wheel. “And they’re going to need to watch out if Ian and the 30 car end up paying the price for their mistakes.”
It’s only a 100-word selection, but page 69 perfectly captures the flavor of the book’s mystery and of the racing world—a setting that delivers incredible drama and tension even without a mystery attached. Tension is high. Kate’s “at work,” behind the wheel of the racecar, focused on her car and her race. But she’s also ready to do battle for what’s right and just—whether that’s catching a killer (later in the book) or making sure a poor driver doesn’t have the opportunity to hurt anyone else. Keep reading!
Learn more about the book and author at Tammy Kaehler's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Man’s Switch.

My Book, The Movie: Dead Man's Switch.

The Page 69 Test: Braking Points.

Writers Read: Tammy Kaehler.

--Marshal Zeringue