Sophie Katz series but obviously these days a lot of you have been introduced to me through Just One Night: The Stranger. That's interesting because the people who have only read The Stranger will have a very different impression of me than those who have been fans of the Sophie series. I mean a REALLY different impression. An Amazon review for Just One Night: The Stranger said this:
I was expecting her writing on this book to be very much in the same line as Sophie Katz. But it wasn't. YES this is a positive. It shows the author has multiple facets. So often you read multiple series by an author, and you're just reading the same book over and over again...If I hadn't of bought this book because of Kyra, I'm not sure I would have realized she was the author. Which impressed me beyond belief. (Note: The Sophie Katz series is amazing. Just because I say they are different, doesn't mean you shouldn't read them. You should. Immediately).
It's true that I wrote the Just One Night trilogy in a very different tone than I wrote the Sophie series in. People are always comparing me, personally, to Sophie, in the way I talk, my sense of humor and so on. NO ONE ever compares me to Kasie. I wanted to stretch myself with this new series and I'm so glad that the reception has been as positive as it has been from my old readers because I knew I was giving them something that they were not expecting...at all. But on the flip side I really believe that readers LIKE diversity from their authors (many publishers disagree with me on this point). But I think that sometimes we all want to be seduced and sometimes we want to laugh (I mean, okay there's some seduction in the Sophie series and by book two some fairly graphic sex but it's ALL done with humor where as in the Just One Night series it's pretty angsty). I just don't see why the same author shouldn't be allowed to offer both (again, I say "allowed" because publishers are wary of this idea). But for those of you who have read The Stranger but none of my other books...well it only seems right that I introduce you to Sophie, a multiracial, Jewish San Francisco based murder mystery novelist. She's become a BFF for a lot of my readers and the Sophie Audiobooks have been #1 bestsellers on audible.com and iTunes. Different tone...but I hope it makes you smile. The following is a short excerpt from the first Sophie novel. Quick set up: Sophie has just recently received a weird note that says in letters cut out from a magazine: You Reap What You Sow. But since it literally came out of nowhere and nothing bad has happened to her she's not taking it too seriously...yet. So without further ado, Sex, Murder & A Double Latte:
I headed on foot to one of the fifteen or twenty Starbucks located in my vicinity and when I arrived I decided that the experience wouldn’t be complete without a NY Times. There was one last paper for sale on the rack by the counter and I could practically hear it calling to me, enticing me to spend the hours necessary to read it cover to cover knowing the whole time that I had absolutely nothing else I needed to do. My fingers had literally grazed the first page when it was snatched out of my grasp.
“Hey, I was going to buy that.” I whirled around to see a six foot something brunette already scanning the paper with dark brown eyes.
“Guess you’ll have to buy another one.” He spoke with the slightest foreign accent.
“In case you haven’t noticed, there isn’t another one. I had my hand on that paper and you took it.”
“So buy a Chronicle. I just came from New York this morning and I’m going to buy a New York Times.”
“Well if the Times is so damned important to you, you should have bought one in New York.” He shrugged and started reading the paper again. “Hello. We’re having a confrontation here. Look I don’t really care if you’re from New York. I don’t care if you’re Rudolph Giuliani himself. That’s my paper.”
“Next in line please.” A voice called from behind the cash register.
“Are you going to order or shall I go in front of you?” he asked, not even looking up from his reading.
“Oh. My. God!” This was not happening. No one was this big of an ass. I stormed up to the perky little blonde in the green apron.
“Hi. Can I take your order?”
“That guy just took my paper.”
“Oh, umm….” The blonde glanced around trying to find someone else she could pass me off to. “Okay, sorry. So he took your paper?”
“Yes. I was going to buy it and he took it.”
“Oh, well, okay, the thing is…well, this is kind of my first day and this sort of thing wasn’t covered in the training. Do you want to talk to a supervisor?”
I just stared at her for a moment. It was a fairly reasonable answer but somehow I had been hoping that the blonde Starbucks trainee was really a ninja in disguise and was ready to knock Mr. New York senseless. But that didn’t seem to be the case and it was probably a pretty safe bet that her supervisor would also be lacking in the Super Hero department. I quickly reviewed my options. That didn’t take much time because I had none. “Fine. Fine, fine, fine, fine. Just get me a Grande Caramel Brownie Frappuccino and there had better be a lot of whipped cream to make up for this.”
The girl nodded and wrote some illegible words on a plastic cup before hesitating and leaning forward conspiratorially. “You know, my sister’s dating a Native American. I think you all have a really interesting culture.”
Oh, I was so not in the mood for this. “Actually I’m Irish. I’m just wearing a lot of bronzer. Could you make my drink now?
The girl quickly entered my order into the register.
I looked back at the newspaper thief. He was watching…and laughing. The fucker was laughing at me. That’s it, he was on the list. In my next book I would be sure that the first murder victim would be a dark haired New York tourist and the police would find him bludgeoned to death in an alley behind a Starbucks with a New York Times shoved up his ass.
I picked up my drink and sat down at a table by the window that happened to have a discarded Chronicle resting on top. Although it was probably not the intention of its previous owner, it felt like it was left there for the sole purpose of further pissing me off. I pushed it aside and busied myself by mentally formatting the details of how I was going to whack the jerk that had just fucked up my morning. The task plus the extra dose of sugar and caffeine were just beginning to perk me up again when my desired victim strolled over to the table, winnings in hand.
“I read the articles I wanted to read. Would you like this now?”
Oh, this was too much. “No thanks, I’m pretty happy with the Chronicle.”
He gave me a little half smile and sat down opposite me. “Now you obviously want it. You’re not going to let your pride keep you from taking what you want, are you?” He pushed the paper towards me and I unwillingly noted his hands…big, strong…God I loved guys with hands like that, with the exception of this guy. This guy was a schmuck.
“Shouldn’t you be out taking pictures of cable cars or something like that?”
“Oh I’m not a tourist. I was just in New York wrapping up some old business. I made San Francisco my home a few months ago.”
“Oh goody, another East Coast transplant moving to our wonderful city. How original.”
He laughed. “Actually I was originally a Russian transplant moving to Israel and then an Israeli transplant moving to New York. So you see I’ve been condescended to by the natives of three continents. You’re going to have to work a little harder if you plan on offending me now.” He gently pushed the paper a little closer to me. “Take the paper.”
I gave him my best glare but I couldn’t quite keep my fingers from inching towards the publication.
“There are some really interesting articles,” he said. “Corruption in the political world, greed in the business world, violence in the art world, all the usual sensationalism.”
I begrudgingly took the paper. “Violence in the art world?”
“Mmm…it seems there’s been a conviction in the KK Money murder trial.”
I noted the headline on the front page. “It’s JJ Money.” JJ Money was a gangsta rapper who seven months ago had been killed in the exact same manner as one of his songs, shot in both knee caps, once in the stomach and once in the head. Rival rap star DC Smooth, who already had a rather long criminal history that included a few assault and battery charges, had been tried for the murder and had now been found guilty despite his continual protests of innocence, a detail I found a little odd. After his previous arrests he had been known to brag about his crimes. But then again this was a different situation. This time his victim didn’t just end up in a hospital but in a morgue.
“Well I knew it was some letter of the English alphabet. The basic premise is the same, reaping what you sow and all that.”
I nearly choked on my Frappuccino. “What did you say?”
“What, that the premise was the same?” he asked.
“No the other part…you know what, never mind. Look, thanks for the paper, now if you don’t mind I would like to read it and enjoy my coffee by myself.”
The man nodded in accession and stood up. I couldn’t help but notice his physique. He certainly spent enough time at the gym. He turned to leave, then paused and leaned over me causing me to shift uncomfortably in my seat. “By the way,” he said, his Russian accent a bit more pronounced, “That’s not coffee, that’s a milkshake.” And with that he walked out.
I stared at the door. Had he just insulted my coffee drink? Unbelievable! Everyone who had evolved passed the Cro-Magnon level knew that one should never make snide remarks about a person’s weight, religion or choice in caffeinated beverages, which meant he was most likely a Neanderthal. A Neanderthal with really good hands.
That's it for now. If you want to read another passage Amazon has it available in their "Look Inside" feature and Audible.com has a sample clip you can listen to.
Hope you enjoyed the peek and happy reading!