The happy endings and the biggest oranges were the ones that California saved for export.
- from 'The Drowning Pool' by Ross Macdonald

Sixteen stories. One day in L.A.

'Hard Place Rock' is Winter Bel's debut novel. It is made up of thirteen interconnected stories that capture the courage, charisma, deceptions and dangers of one summer's day in contemporary Los Angeles.

An ensemble crime drama, the novel offers a cross-sectional portrait of contemporary America -- with gun violence, addiction, government corruption, poverty and self-defined family all among the issues folded into its stories.

Highlights include: 'Two Scorpions', a crime noir that has twice been recognized in the Screencraft Cinematic Short Story Contest; 'Force List', in which a college name-and-shame list threatens to ruin one boy's life; and 'Oatmeal', a one-night road trip around Los Angeles that enables a grieving family to heal.

The website for the novel is here.

To follow developments with 'Hard Place Rock' in its approach to publication, sign up to the Winter Bel newsletter below.

'The Second' is a novel about gun violence in America.

Winter Bel will follow 'Hard Place Rock' with 'The Second', a legal/political thriller about gun control in the United States. The plot is under wraps for now, but Winter has already made a great start on the extensive research and interviewing with which she will be bolstering the realism of the storyworld. Check back here for news about 'The Second' in the future.