Sunday, December 30, 2012

When Is The Best Skiing In Tahoe?

In the six days starting Friday, December 21st, we got hammered with 5 feet of snow at our house. There was much more on the Sierra crest. All this fresh snow fell on an already decent base.
The resorts are 100% open. Because the weather is relatively cold, the snow conditions are are some kind of wonderful.
The sun came out, the wind died down.
Tahoe locals are all outside, be it up on the mountain or heading across the meadows.
Where are you?
Time to grab your gear and get up the mountain to join us.
See you on the snow...
I know it looks like I'm playing hooky from writing, but I'm really working.
Really. You don't believe me? Just ask any writer when they're goofing off.
I mean, when they're doing outdoor research. They'll tell you. It's hard work.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tahoe Mystery Haiku

Celebrate the snow
The mountains and the river
Great scene for a book


Sunday, December 16, 2012

No Words

Our thoughts are with those families in Connecticut. No words are adequate. We send our love.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Bloggers Rock!

Back in ancient history (a few years ago) book reviewers in print publications ruled the book world. Review journals and newspapers and magazines controlled what was said about books, and that in turn controlled book sales.
Today, while many of those publications are now online (there is a link or two below to bloggers from print publications), and some have gone out of business, individual reviewers have set up shop on their own blogging websites and have found large audiences. In some cases, those individual book bloggers have surpassed the old journals in the number of readers they reach.

Some of the old guard are upset. How dare lay-reviewers think that they have the critical skills to decide what readers might like? 
But readers are thrilled. It turns out that these reviewers – many of whom are librarians and other professionals in the book business – are exactly what readers want for book recommendations. The book bloggers write thoughtful, considered reviews that are often uncluttered with the kind of analysis that often made old-guard reviews seem stiff, formal, and focused on ivory-tower concerns more appropriate for a university literature class than for readers who simply want a good book.
There are also tens of thousands of new mini-book bloggers, and these are the people who post reviews on Amazon and other sites.
What about authors? Those who have had the good fortune to connect with book bloggers are also thrilled. We now have a much more direct line to readers. Speaking for myself, I think book bloggers are the best thing to happen to books. (I might be biased because many times readers have written me to say that they learned about one of my books on a book blog.)
I'd like to thank some of those bloggers for the fantastic service they provide. Here are a few. You can click on the links to read what they wrote about my books. 

"A constantly surprising series of events involving murder, kidnapping, two nasty hired killers from Vegas... and the final motivation of the killer comes as a major surprise. (I love when that happens.)"

"I love Todd Borg's books... There is the usual great twist ending (in Tahoe Trap) that I never would have guessed. If you like mysteries, you really need to read this series."

"Super clever!... More twists in the plot toward the end of the book turn the mystery into an even more suspenseful thriller."

"The plots are high octane and the action is faster than a cheetah on speed, but those elements never, ever assume more importance than the characters."

"You will fall in love with the almost-silent, unemotional Paco and feel his pain for the life he has lived for the past ten years."

"An open-throttle ride from a murder on the mountain roads of Tahoe to the growing fields of Stockton and back again."
"Tahoe Trap offers a chilling thriller, a wholesome story, deeply researched topics, and a compilation of friendly and recurring characters who cannot help but unravel the mystery in just the nick of time."

"The chase for the boy is frighteningly fast-paced. In desperation, McKenna sets a trap, with Paco as the bait. And it almost works. The impending catastrophe takes a sudden twist and the reader, as well as young Paco, has one more hair-raising episode before the story ends."

"A fascinating story with first class writing and, of course, my favorite character, Spot, a Great Dane that steals most of the scenes."

"Once again Todd pulls together interesting and divergent story line strands and weaves an exciting murder mystery. During what's left of my down times these days, I read mystery/crime novels. And I watch for the newest chapters in the ongoing developments of characters like Jack Reacher, Joanna Brady, Dismas Hardy, Peter and Rina Decker, and Alex Cross to name a few. But these days I look forward most to the next installment of Owen McKenna. If you're a mystery reader, do yourself a favor. Dig into the Owen McKenna series."

"Another wild ride through the Tahoe geography we all know and love with private investigator Owen McKenna and his dog Spot... Another must read for mystery lovers far and wide."

"My personal pick for Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books BEST FIND: Todd Borg's Owen McKenna Mystery series."

"McKenna's adventures are thrillers of the best kind."
 "The stories themselves are first-rate, completely captivating, and hard to put down."

There are other bloggers who have given much recent and valuable attention to my books without writing a review of my latest. Some of them have written great reviews of my other titles. I owe them all a great deal of thanks.

Freedom Acres blog (Tahoe Deathfall is gush-worthy! I love it.)

I'd also like to thank the hundreds of people who have posted reviews and ratings on, and other sites! Like professional book bloggers, their thoughtful comments about books are more helpful than they know, and we authors are hugely grateful.
Incidentally, I'm not the most organized person, so I may have missed multiple bloggers and reviewers who've paid me attention. To those, I'm very sorry in advance! Please let me know and I'll add a link to the list.
Thanks again to all. I'm honored and humbled by their efforts on my behalf.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Perfect Storm, Tahoe Style

Pyramid Peak in the Crystal Range (southwest of Mt. Tallac)

We're coming around the final turn in our biggest storm of the early season, and it was a great one with lots of high-moisture snow at higher elevations. Yes, that means the wet, heavy stuff, which is exactly what the resorts want in the early season. Why? Because it puts down a base that provides solid cover for slope debris and irregularities. And when we get the inevitable string of hot-sun, postcard days, the higher moisture content means the snow won't easily evaporate away. (Scientists call that sublimation.)
Because this storm had relatively high snow levels, long-term locals were especially pleased. At our house, we had major periods of thick, heavy, slushy flakes, melting as they fell out of the sky. (We call these things slush storms.) As of this writing, it looks like the mountains have gotten two to three feet, while our walk and drive have stayed mostly clear. Perfect.
Early Sunday morning, the snow level is supposed to rise to 9000 feet - ouch - then drop back down to 6500. Perfecter.
It's no small thing that in a storm like this, most of the roads also stay clear, easy for the plow crews, and easy for us and tourists alike to get around town. But just “up there,” not far above the tops of the trees, those flakes stay snow. After the 2010-2011 season when we got something like 700 inches (55 feet) on the West Shore, we don't mind snow that stays "up there."
Echo Summit Highway (lower center) with Steven's Peak left rear and Roundtop Mountain, far right rear

In another three or four weeks, most people will want three feet of fluffy white stuff at lake level for that holiday feel. We will, too. But that can happen in three weeks. Perfecter and perfecter.