Welcome to my first electronic newsletter! As promised, about once every six months you’re invited to share and comment on these updates about my two favorite to pics: energy and books.

Energy: To day the price of oil is in the $100/bbl range. Average gasoline prices are predicted to reach $4.00 /gallon and spot reports show prices have already hit that level in California and Hawaii. Diesel prices, used by trucks to transport everything, are also at an all-time high. Jet fuel prices, same story. Four factors are pushing oil prices high.

A) The yield on oil and all commodities is perceived to be much richer than for stocks. With a new way to invest in commodities (exchange traded funds) global cash has poured into commodities, raising the price o f not just oil, gasoline and corn, but also wheat, soybeans, and metals. Gold at $1000 /ounce?

B) The price of oil is denominated in dollars and the dollar is extraordinarily weak compared to its historical averages.

C) US demand for oil is only now starting to slow. Demand continues strong in China, the second largest user, where oil imports were up 18 % last month.

D) Supply is limited. Supply from sources friendly to the United States is even more limited. The risk is somewhat geological (“Hubbert’s peak”), but more typically reserves are politically off-limits, both in the US and abroad.

If you’re on MySpace, you may want to see my occasional energy blog there. Publications: Sales of 13 DAYS continue strong at about 2000. This is great news; the average book sells less than a hundred copies. I am marketing to and getting interest from several libraries. For example, last month I participated in an author’s panel at the central Arlington Library. Next month, April 30th at 7 PM, I’ll be giving a talk on oil price factors sponsored by the Hamon Oil and Gas Institute at the Dallas Public Library’s main branch in downtown Dallas, 1515 Young Street. Stop by if you get the chance.

I am also signing at the Sherman, TX Hastings bookstore on Saturday, March 29th, from 1-3 PM and will be interviewed this Thursday at 4 PM Mountain Time by El Paso radio station KHRO.

Two stories are upon Amazon Shorts. “Robert and Therese Guillard: Choices” will tell you secrets you never knew about the antagonist from 13 DAYS. “A Time for Eating Wild Onions” gives pre-story or back story for some of the characters in my second book.

The first round of research for my second book is close to completion. I started with a– dare I say it– coffin-sized stack of papers, articles and notes. April 21st -27th is TV turn-off week, but it’s always a good time for a great book.

‘Til September! Best regards and happy reading , L. A. Starks