Braking PointsI sat with a tall, cold beer at the end of the day, feeling like I’d earned it. I shook my head at myself, relieved, disgusted, and amused. Exhausted, too.

I’d been putting off the project for weeks, and after long-distance threats from my best friend, Holly Wilson, I’d sworn to tackle it today. The best I could say is I’d gotten through it, but I didn’t think I could claim great success.

“Holly,” I said aloud, “I can hear you telling me practice will make perfect.” I sighed and took another slug of my Chama River Jackalope IPA. “But I promise you, pigs will fly first.”

The rest of the day hadn’t been so bad. After a protein-rich breakfast, I’d done a heavy strength workout with a trainer at a local gym, upping my bench press record to five pounds over my body weight. Another snack, then a ten mile run through the New Mexico summer—good training for the 100-plus degree temps I sometimes had to deal with in the Corvette racecar’s cockpit.

Then I’d forced myself to sit down and respond to a variety of e-mail requests and tweets. I still wasn’t good at the social media thing, but I was learning.

But I’d only been putting off the worst. The inevitable. The practicing with makeup.

I mean, really? Me, Kate Reilly, racecar driver and lifelong tomboy, expert at makeup? I still didn’t understand why a major worldwide beauty company had chosen me as one of their representatives—sure, I got the focus on mostly unknown female athletes. But wouldn’t you think they’d prefer someone actually familiar with cosmetics? Apparently not, since they’d ended up with me and five other women—all of us more used to sweating than to primping.

But at least I hadn’t looked like a clown today. Holly assured me of that, after I snapped a phone photo of my efforts and sent it to her. I wasn’t too thrilled with how I did look—and we won’t go into my botched attempt at a smoky eye … raccoons come to mind—but I supposed I was getting better.

The best part? How easily foundation, concealer, blush, three colors of eye shadow, eye liner, brow gel, mascara, lip liner, and lipstick all washed right back off. I caught sight of myself in the glass of the sliding door and smirked at my scrubbed-clean face. That was the Kate I was used to: more racecar driver than supermodel.

I’d done enough for one day. I toasted my reflection and polished off the beer.

Tammy is giving away one (1) copy of DEAD MAN’S SWITCH. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the author. Contest ends April 26 and US entries only.

You can read more about Kate in Braking Points, the second book in the “Kate Reilly” mystery series. The first book in the series is Dead Man’s Switch.

Meet the author
Tammy Kaehler’s freelance writing career landed her in the world of automobile racing, which inspired her with its blend of drama, competition, and welcoming people. Her debut, Dead Man’s Switch, was praised by mystery fans as well as racing insiders; she takes readers back behind the wheel in Braking Points, the second Kate Reilly Racing Mystery. Tammy works as a technical writer in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and many cars. Visit Tammy at, on Twitter or Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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