Small businesses are the heart and soul of America. They're locally owned, and the money they bring in from customers goes right into the community, as opposed to big corporations--think Amazon or Walmart, as two examples--where the money you spend goes to a corporate headquarters in Washington state or Arkansas. Most of what small businesses take in is paid out in salaries to the people who work there--who are our friends and neighbors--and who, in turn, spend that money in the community. When that small business pays local taxes, that money stays in your city, county, and state. Not so with the big corporations. Small business owners typically keep a considerably smaller portion of the money you spend as their own salary than corporate heads keep of their proceeds.
So when you're thinking about shopping for the holidays, be sure to think about supporting small businesses as well as giant ones. You're helping your community, which directly benefits you.
Every year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is designated as Small Business Saturday (much more about that here). The idea is that lots of people rush to big-box stores on Black Friday, but on the next day, they should do some shopping at locally owned small businesses.
This year, Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell and I are doing what we expect to be our last public event of the year at a Small Business Saturday celebration put on by Bonny Books. We'll be at Jarrod's Coffee, Tea, & Gallery, 154 W. Main Street, in Mesa, AZ. Bonny Books will be there all day, with author signings and giveaways running non-stop. We're on from 1:30 until (I think) 3 PM. We'll have an assortment of our books with us (and as always, if there's something in particular you're looking for, leave a comment here and we'll bring it along).
In other news, here's a recent review of Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising, by local author Hal C F Astell. One takeaway: "Beyond Tuck Bringloe, who has a peach of a story arc, I honestly had little idea which of the cast of characters would become prominent and which would be ruthlessly killed off. I've been told by a couple of authors that every single character are the lead of their own story and they should be written that way. Mariotte does a fantastic job of doing that here, because even his minor characters are drawn well enough to invite us into their lives. It felt notable when they died and it felt important when those with a higher purpose met each other."
Also, NCIS: Los Angeles: Bolthole will be available everywhere on November 29, but you can (and should) preorder now. If you're a fan of the show, you'll want to read this one. If you're not but you like fast-paced thrillers, great characters, and snappy dialogue, you'll still want it.