Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bad Hair Life

By guest blogger Kate Carlisle, author of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY

Award winning author Kate Carlisle spent over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show. She also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband.

A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Find Kate online at

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. It’s obstinate. Defiant, even. I coax it gently with conditioners and gels and flower-scented sprays and when it still refuses to behave, I torture it into compliance with a blow dryer and a flat iron.

I’ve had moments so frustrating that a seductive but scary thought has flashed through my head: shave it all off. Do it. Shave it.

Thank goodness for impulse control!

Much as my hair annoys me, I don’t think I’d look good bald. I cut my hair too short once, and for weeks I suffered every time I glanced in the mirror.

I admire women who are strong enough to brave the world without follicular protection. “Here I am, world, take me or leave me!”

In my latest Bibliophile Mystery, A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY, Brooklyn Wainwright’s sister Savannah does just that – moves through the world without a hair on her head. She owns a vegetarian restaurant in Dharma, in the Sonoma wine country, and she decided hair was not just unnecessary, it was unwanted.

Imagine being able to run a washcloth over your head and calling it done. No more cuts, colors. No more spending 20 minutes every morning trying to recapture the look from the salon. (Which never happens. Trick mirrors and sadistic stylists.)

Having no hair is less complicated, but it also means nothing to hide behind. In the past, Savannah had nothing to hide, but in A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY, all that changes. Savannah’s ex is murdered . . . and Savannah is found hovering over his body, a bloody knife in her hand.

She had motive for wanting the obnoxious celebrity chef to disappear forever, but so did a lot of other people. Baxter had more enemies than recipes. Unless Brooklyn can find the real killer, Savannah’s beautiful bald head will soon be sweating beneath the harsh lights of the SFPD interrogation room.

Would you ever willingly go bald? What’s your most embarrassing, most horrifying hair story?

(A Cookbook Conspiracy is available now at all online and brick and mortar bookstores everywhere! The Cozy Chicks thanks Kate for stopping by!)


Aurian said...

O no, I do love my long, long hair.

Kate Carlisle said...

It's a traumatic thought, isn't it? Hm... now my warped brain is thinking of a bad guy who surreptitiously cuts women's hair. ACK! Not sure readers would ever forgive me!

Jeannie D. said...

Oh, I love my long hair. I color it myself, and the day before we were going on a short trip I tried a new brand of hair dye. When I took off the towel it was this horrible mousie brown shade. I have light blond hair. It was supposed to be a sun blonde. I cried. I slid in and out of the local drug store. Hoping nobody I knew saw me. I fixed it, but it was a horrible surprise. I can't imagine not having my long hair or being blond!

Kate Carlisle said...

Oh, that's the worst! And then you worry about fixing it because they say you shouldn't color your hair more than once every four weeks or so. I always worry my hair is going to fall out if I treat it wrong.

cmgren said...

Lost my hair when I went through chemo several years ago. Good thing it was winter time - I wore hats for about six months - never so happy when it grew back. :)

Kate Carlisle said...

Mega congratulations on beating cancer! I'm so happy for you!!!

Liz Straw said...

My worst hair was in the 7th grade. It was down below my waist and I wanted it cut, my father wanted it long, so there was a compromise, sort of shoulder length and my mom kept trying to curl it and even tried to put a perm in it. I have very thick, but fine hair. It doesn't hold a curl and it has never held a perm. NEVER. It wasn't until 9th Grade when I had my own babysitting money that I went to a beauty salon and told them to cut it short. Has not been long since then. Except for a brief period of a Florence Henderson style shag. Teehee, with funky wire rim glasses. That was sort of a nightmare looking back at it. I am blessed with dark brown hair that does not need any coloring (in fact my mother and father have both accused me of dying my hair because it seems to get darker as I age) with natural wave. Yes I would shave my hair off in support of a child going through chemo. I have had cancer, but did not loose my hair.

Kate Carlisle said...

A lot of bad perms have happened to good people.

Rachelle21 said...

I have had long hair down to my waist and short hair. The worst was when it was so short it looked like I was Einstein. One of my best friends is complaining because chemo and or radiation has caused her to lose the hair on the back of her neck - where no one sees it unless she would put it up. I told her to get what was left shaved and it would look more natural.

Kate Carlisle said...

Einstein! ROFL!!! I think I've had an Einstein look at one point in my life, too. I'm not good enough at math to pull it off. ;)

Best wishes to your friend!

Cynnara said...

I love this series and adore Savannah, though I admit I am more Brooklyn in my eating habits. My hair story is actually partly mine, partly my sister's. We won tickets to a concert. I had turned 18, she was 15, but looked older. Ah, the '80s how I still giggle at many pictures. I let my sister do my hair. Normally, I would just curl the bangs and the ends, be done with it. Oh no, my sister, the hairspray bottle and the curling iron all converged on my hair. I still whimper when I think about the results. The poofy bangs, the fluffed out sides , and the proud mamma look my sister had. She had given herself a similar look.

When we talk about that time now, we laugh a lot about the rain defying hairdos. The concert was great, we had fun, and it was a great summer. Yet, we believe we managed to destroy all pictures from that night. We hope. Lol

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL!!!!! You only managed to destroy your own pictures. I bet there are hundreds of concert goers who have you immortalized. LOL

Thank you so much for your sweet words about the Bibliophile Mystery series. I'm so glad you love Savannah as much as I do!

Kate Carlisle said...

Thank you, everyone!!! I had a great time, and I so appreciate you helping me to get the word out about A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY.

May your life be filled with murder... mysteries.