Tag Archives: mystery

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah, Y’all!

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As much as I love Christmas, I’ve come to dread the holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving preparation, I begin to stress over the meal. Afterward, I start planning what to give as Christmas gifts and when I’m going to put a package in the mail for my daughter’s family. Also, her birthday is a week before Christmas, and I have to find a present for her.

Things I used to find absolutely imperative every holiday season: sending cards, writing a newsy letter, decorating the house, preparing holiday treats— They have become a pain in my butt and I simply don’t have the energy for them. I have serious allergies, and almost always have a sinus infection going on. I also have developed asthma over the years, so it’s difficult to go out. Too many scents out there to plague a sensitive nose or a delicate set of lungs. Not to mention, my son has to use our truck for his job—he works 5:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. This makes getting out difficult.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining, but dammit, I feel like it! Okay, getting worked up takes too much energy, so I will quietly state that I don’t give a shit about doing it up for Christmas. I like presents, but I hate shopping. I love finding the perfect gift, but I loath trying to decide what that may be. I enjoy the meal, but as I do the bulk of the cooking, it’s a pain in the ass. I like spending time with family and friends, but right now, I’d rather spend my time writing and editing, than actually communicating with anyone.

If you’re like me, and you dread the holiday season (though you really like cookies and other tasty treats) I have a suggestion for you. Go through the list of folks you have to buy gifts for, and buy them books. Yes, I know, not everyone is a reader. But if you can capture the one thing they find appealing, you’ve just given them the perfect gift. Cool thing is, even without a Kindle, they can read an Amazon book on any phone, tablet or computer by downloading the free app.

I realize that not everyone likes the same books, so I encourage you to explore some of my suggestions below. These names are by no means the only books I’m recommending. No one paid me to do this, no one twisted my arm to get me to include them. I’m listing people whose books I have read personally, and enjoyed. They aren’t in any particular order, mostly just train of thought. 

First of all, my books. Dellani Oakes writes historical (retro) romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, sci-fi and fantasy. To Buy Dellani’s Books 

Karen Vaughan is one of my favorite authors. She writes light hearted mysteries. To Buy Karen’s books 

Kenneth Weene writes a variety of genres, which will appeal to a lot of readers. To Buy Ken’s Books

Amanda Thrasher writes delightful books about fairies, but she also has a hard hitting anti-bullying book that is not to miss. To Buy Amanda’s Books 

Ruth Hays writes magical, epic fantasy that gets the heart pumping. To Buy Ruth’s Books 

Heather Poinsett Dunbar writes fantasy, that’s a bit on the dark side. To Buy Heather’s Books 

William Beck writes political thrillers that set your pulse racing from beginning to end.To Buy William’s Books

S. A. Bailey writes, what he calls, redneck noir. Think Mickey Spillane with an east Texas spin. To Buy Seth’s Books

Mark David Gerson also writes a wide variety of books. From learning to write, to mystical fantasy, he’s sure to appeal. To Buy Mark David’s Books 

Jo Ramsey writes wonderfully insightful stories for teens who don’t fit into the normal mold. To Buy Jo’s Books

Rowena Cherry writes sci-fi that carries you into space. Swords clang as a royal alien race tries to out maneuver one another. To Buy Rowena’s Books 

Gary D. Henry writes in many genres from retro romance to horror. To Buy Gary’s Books

Suzette Vaughn mostly writes romance, but she has other books as well. Sure to appeal to a wide number of readers. To Buy Suzette’s Books

J. Conrad Guest – sci-fi, romance, biography, memoir…the list goes on and on. To Buy J. Conrad’s Books

Rico Austin from a lighthearted children’s book, to memoirs, with a stop off at Graceland to visit The King, Rico has it. To Buy to Buy Rico’s Books

Stephanie Osborn’s Displaced Detective series brings Sherlock Holmes into the modern age. She also has fantastic sci-fi books that are a must read. To Buy Stephanie’s Books

Rachel Rueben’s book, Hag, is a wonderfully poignant look at teen life and the problems some face. Rachel also has some great How-To books for authors. To Buy Rachel’s Books

Marta Moran Bishop is another versatile author. Her books are mostly for children or young adults, but they are great for adults too. To Buy Marta’s Books

Barbara Ehrentreu The same can be said of Barbara’s books. Though geared toward teens, they are an enjoyable read for adults. To Buy Barbara’s Books

Fran Lewis has books in so many genres, I can’t name them all. Very approachable, they are sure to entertain. To Buy Fran’s Books

J.D. Holiday’s books for children are cleverly written and beautifully illustrated by the author. To Buy J.D.’s Books

Dianna Graveman’s books will appeal to those who like history. She has wonderful books on a variety of subjects. To Buy Dianna’s Books

Whit McClendon’s fantasy novels are cleverly crafted and full of action.To Buy Whit’s Books

Janet Morris has been a favorite author of mine since the Eighties. If you like sci-fi, fantasy or historical fiction, Janet has something for you. To Buy Janet’s Books

 Viv Drewa writes mystical mysteries with a hoot of a hero—an owl! To Buy Viv’s Books

Kemberlee Shortland writes romance with an Irish flavor. To Buy Kemberlee’sBooks 

I will continue to update and add to this list as I think of new people. Share this with your friends! Above all, have a Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah! Dellani

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Books by Beck

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William Beck has become one of my favorite authors. His books are interesting and fast paced. His characters are engaging and well rounded. I have reviewed this three books below.

H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY

haarpe beckTen years ago, they all disappeared without a trace. No one knew how or why, but every living soul on the base in Alaska was gone. It was a secret the military didn’t talk about and couldn’t admit—until the past came back to haunt them.

Bryson McGann, no longer in the military, follows the clues that lead him to discover yet another secret base—one the US military doesn’t control—and the H.A.R.R.P. What is the H.A.R.R.P.? A mighty weather machine, originally designed for the betterment of man, it’s use has been corrupted to blackmail world governments. It’s up to McGann and his friend, Joe Canton, to find the base and destroy the H.A.R.R.P.

Beck’s style is engaging. He draws readers in, leading them through the story, giving us plenty of action along the way. His characters, though heroic, have flaws and fallibility, making them human and ultimately believable. Beck also gives us an exceptional villain—always a plus—with clear motivation.

In the company of such authors as Clive Cussler, Dan Brown and Tom Clancy, William Beck stands out. H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY is a must read for anyone who lies intricate novels of political intrigue. I greatly enjoyed H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY. It was an action packed roller coaster ride.

Five Golden Acorns

© 2011 Dellani Oakes

Red 7red 7 beck

Bryson McGann’s in a pickle again, but that’s the way he likes it. McGann, hero of William Beck’s novel H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY, returns in Beck’s second book, Red 7.

As I perused Red 7, I found myself wondering what do Vikings, a disappearance at sea, a plastic surgeon and the theft of rare objects have in common? Beck skillfully answers all these questions for his readers, gradually picking up the pace to a wonderfully climactic moment.

Intrigue’s the thing in Red 7, a government conspiracy unlike any other, on a level as yet unseen—or is it? To speculate much would give spoilers to an intricate, detailed plot, and I have no intention of doing that. Simply keep in mind that the events, and people, in Red 7 may not be exactly what you think.

One thing I love in an action novel is a clear cut bad guy. Once again, Beck’s villains, yes, more than one this time, are ruthless and exceedingly nasty. As in H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY , (Beck’s debut novel), the motive is clear. I dislike a muddled master mind, don’t you? I want a villain with a well defined agenda, and Beck does that in spades. He also gives each villain a proper dressing down before eliminating them with extreme prejudice.

H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY and Red 7 are wonderfully fast paced novels of political intrigue. A must read for any Cussler or Clancy fans. I highly recommend both novels and look forward to reading Caribbean Agenda, Beck’s third book.

Five Golden Acorns

© 2011 Dellani Oakes

caribbean beckCaribbean Agenda
Sun, Sand & Slavery?

Bryson McGann is at it again in William Beck’s third novel, “Caribbean Agenda”. The NESSA Assistant Projects Director can’t seem to stay out of trouble. But as always, McGann finds a way to defeat it.

A routine dive for an NESSA project in the Caribbean reveals a grisly secret—a dead woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Roni Canton, younger sister of Bryson’s best friend, Joe. When Roni suddenly disappears from her Trinidad hotel, Bryson knows something is terribly wrong. He and Joe travel to the island to find Roni and bring her home, little knowing where fate will lead them.

Argan Vance is a businessman, a very successful one. Rich and powerful, he maintains a patina of respectability. His real business is as vile as they come—human flesh—slavery. Vance traffics in the misfortunes of some to feed the perversions of others.

One of his best customers is Asian magnate, Liam Chen. Pock marked by acne, Chen is not a handsome man. He also has a medical condition which causes him to sweat profusely. In other words, not the kind of man girls fall for. Vance provides him with entertainment at a price, a profitable arrangement for both men.

Roni’s trail leads them from Trinidad to Honduras, into Nicaragua and eventually to Singapore. Will their worldwide search prove successful? Or is Roni Canton another casualty of Vance’s flesh mongering empire?

Bryson McGann and Joe Canton follow Roni’s trail, leading then to Vance and Chen. What follows is mayhem as only the two NESSA men can serve it—hot and heavy with a side order of bullets. “Caribbean Agenda” is truly Beck at his best. I am, and remain, a Bryson McGann fan.

© 2011 Dellani Oakes

I haven’t read William Beck’s newest offering, Crosscurrents, yet but you can be sure I will! When I do, I’ll add the review here.

The Tangled Web – JP Lane

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the tangled web joan lane

There’s trouble in paradise and it’s up to a handful of the hierarchy to contain the problems. How they plan to accomplish this task is a matter of extreme sensitivity.

Lauren Anderson is a nosy reporter. She’s also the niece of an important government official. Her Aunt Maggie is Minister of Finance of the exotic island they call home. As a favor to her aunt, she gets involved in a tangled web of conspiracy.

Logan Armstrong is among the rich and elite of the island’s upper class. There’s an air of mystery around him that attracts Lauren when she goes out to interview him. What is it about the handsome, sexy, playboy that makes Lauren want to pull him close as well as push him away?

The Tangled Web is a wonderfully crafted novel of love, romance, assassins and intrigue. The characters are well rounded and the plot compelling. In fact, I think I fell a little bit in love (lust) with Logan myself as he pursued and charmed Lauren.

I highly recommend The Tangled Web by JP Lane for anyone who likes their romance spiced up with political intrigue that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

5 golden acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes

To Buy

The High Bridge – Elizabeth Haysmont

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high bridgeSeth Monclair has a secret. Not a deep, dark secret, but one he doesn’t want anyone to learn. Keeping it becomes harder – and more important – when he meets sassy, opinionated, self-possessed Sandra Yorken.

Sandra is a journalist who debunks ghost stories. She’s in Colorado to do just that. Little does she know that the greatest ghost story of all time is waiting for here at the High Bridge.

“The High Bridge” is not just a spine tingling ghost story, but a tale of love between two unlikely lovers. The character are marvelous, the plot intricate and compelling. I didn’t want to stop reading – only giving up when my Nook needed to charge.

I highly recommend this novel to lovers of true romance with a paranormal twist.

 

Five Golden Acorns

© Dellani Oakes

TO BUY

Even a Succubus Can Get the Blues!

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Succubus Blues – Richelle Mead

succubus bluesGeorgina Kincaid wasn’t always a succubus, but now that she is, she takes her job seriously – sort of. Bookstore assistant manager by day and life force stealing succubus by night can be rough on a girl – especially when she finds a human man who is difficult to ignore and figure out.

Seth Mortensen is a confusing man. Famous author of Georgina’s favorite books, he’s nothing like she imagined. He writes amazingly well, but finds it hard to put together a sentence when confronted with the beautiful and somewhat intimidating Georgina. Even so, she finds herself attracted.

As if life isn’t chaotic enough, there’s a new player in town and he’s killing immortals. Even after Georgina is warned to stay out of it, she can’t help but investigate, getting herself in a heap of trouble.

“Succubus Blues” is a fun romance novel with a mysterious, paranormal twist. The characters are engaging, the dialogue is realistic and moves the story along. The plot goes at a brisk pace as Georgina investigates – steeping herself in trouble. I greatly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it.

5 golden acorns

© Dellani Oakes 2013

TO BUY

The Ghost of Whispering Willow – Amanda Thrasher

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whispering willowThere’s something in the Whispering Willows. Andy, Stewart and Zach are sure it’s a ghost. Amateur ghost hunters, they set up equipment hoping to get pictures and videos of the elusive spirit. Finally, luck is with them and they see a boy about their age, obviously a ghost. Imagine their surprise when Ally, Kendall, Maggie and Krista quietly announce that they’ve seen a ghost too, only their ghost is a little girl! Together, the children figure out how to contact the ghosts and find out their story.

This well crafted ghost story is intended for middle range YA readers, but has enough mild chills for older readers too. Even I got a tingle when the ghost first appears and talks to the children. It’s not too spooky for timid readers and is a great adventure tale too.

The Ghost of Whispering Willow is a story of love, mystery, family and friendship. Readers enjoy the ride as the children do their best to help Elias, the ghost, and his little sister, Margaret-Rose. Who knew ghosts even need help? But they do and it’s a dangerous situation for all involved.

The characters in novel are wonderfully crafted preteens who are very lifelike in their speech and actions. Thrasher captures their courage and naivete well. The ghosts are also incredibly well delineated. They sound as if they are from a different time. Even though they’ve existed through the years, their thoughts and perceptions are those of less modern people.

 I really enjoyed The Ghost of Whispering Willow and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good, well crafted, warmhearted, exciting ghost story.

Five Golden Acorns

© 2012 Dellani Oakesamanda thrasher

TO BUY

Scorpion Bay – Michael Murphy

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scorpion bayParker Knight is a television news man. His wife, Erica, works for the District Attorney’s office and is investigating an important businessman, Harrison Bradley. In the course of the investigation, the car with her informant blows up, killing him, the driver and mortally wounding Erica.

Driven by grief, Parker embarks on a mission to bring the guilty parties to justice. What he finds in the course of his investigation, shocks him. With the help of his friends, Justin Kendall and Tina Banks, he brings the villains to justice.

“Scorpion Bay” is a fast paced adventure novel. It’s appropriate for adult readers who like a mystery packed with action, adventure and surprising plot twists. I found it extremely hard to put down.

Parker Knight and his friend Justin, are wonderful characters. They’re brave and heroic, though they aren’t infallible. They do make mistakes, showing their humanity. Somehow, by skill or plain dumb luck, they live to fight another day.

My favorite character is Tina Banks, Justin’s girlfriend. At first meeting, she comes off as kind of a bimbo, but as the book continues, she reveals more of her skills. She’s funny, intelligent and capable, keeping the men in line and kicking bad guy butt.

“Scorpion Bay” by Michael Murphy is a great read. I highly recommend it.

Five Golden Acorns

© Dellani Oakes

Below is an interview with Michael Murphy

Hi Michael, how long have you been writing?

I’ve enjoyed writing most of my life. I started my first novel 12 years ago.

What is your first novel and what is it about?

The first novel I wrote was called The Class of ’68, best one the most formative year of my life and perhaps America’s most traumatic year of the twentieth century.

What is your favorite genre? Would you consider writing anything else?

I write mostly mystery/suspense, but my first is historical fiction and my last, and best yet, is a general fiction novel about Woodstock called Good-bye, Emily.

Is writing more of a hobby for you?

I’m fortunate enough to be a full time writer, so staying focused on my writing is what I do.

How do you go about writing and editing your novel?

I try to finish a first draft of a novel in four to six month and then I polish, polish, polish. 

Describe your author’s voice.

I’ve gradually found my voice, which is a touch of humor throughout. None of my novels are comedic in nature, with the possible exception of Ramblin’ Man, which is a romantic comedy. Each of my novels have been increasing funny to where my readers expect to laugh out loud from time to time. 

What novels have you written?

After The Class of ’68, I began my Casey Bannister series about a retired NYPD homicide detective who just can’t stay retired. The first was Try and Catch the Wind, followed by Secrets of Sheridan Manor and Cuts Like Knife. Ramblin’ Man is a spinoff of that series. Casey Bannister appears toward the end. The main character was a supporting character in the series. I also wrote an Arizona mystery/suspense novel, Cold File. I also have Scorpion Bay and Goodbye, Emily.

My books are available through Amazon and are available in most e-book formats.