Tag Archives: Second Wind Publishing

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.

One Hot January – J. Conrad Guest

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J. Conrad Guest 039Cynical, sarcastic, wary and somewhat paranoid, one might even say Joe January’s jaded. He’s very much a man’s man and enjoys being single and playing the field. So, it’s a bit of a puzzler why, when he meets Melissa MacIntyre, he doesn’t jump at the chance to bed her. Instead, he does his best to rid himself of both Melissa and her brother whose story of their missing father fails to elicit any sympathy from the hard bitten January.

Imagine Joe’s surprise when six years later, he meets up with Melissa once again. Not only has her father never been found, but her brother, Benjamin Junior, has gone missing as well. Mysterious notes and a strange package found their way to Miss MacIntyre’s possession and she’s come to Joe January once again for help.

Set in the 1940’s, the backdrop of WW II infiltrates the story of “One Hot January”. Pursued by Nazi spies, Joe, Melissa and his friend Lance must find why her father disappeared and what happened to Benjamin Junior before it’s too late.

“One Hot January” is a cleverly written sci-fi detective story for all mystery lovers.

© Dellani Oakes

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More Deaths Than One – Pat Bertram

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more deaths“More Deaths Than One” will leave you breathless—first with anticipation, finally with a contented sigh of a job well done. Set in 1988, this well crafted, fast paced novel of love and intrigue spans the globe from Denver, Colorado to Bangkok, Thailand.

Bob Stark is a quiet man. A Vietnam vet, he’s returned to the states after nearly 18 years in Thailand. He came back to his childhood home of Denver because his life in Thailand couldn’t continue. His friend and mentor, Hsiang-li, left on a personal quest to find a golden Buddha in the jungle—the place where he had to bury his wife and child after they were murdered.

Kerry Casillas works nights in the diner Bob frequents. One night, she introduces herself and they get to know one another. Soon after meeting Kerry, strange things start to happen. Bob and Kerry find themselves embroiled in a mystery far beyond their understanding.

“More Deaths Than One” is an interesting tale of one man’s journey to find the truth. The character of Bob Stark is deep and many faceted. He’s quiet, kind and resourceful, showing abilities even he didn’t know he possessed.

Kerry is a fun loving character and the opposite of Bob in many ways. She’s talkative, outgoing and imaginative. She is the perfect partner and counterpart to Bob. She, too, has hidden talents that surprise and please Bob.

The well paced plot of “More Deaths Than One”, keeps the reader riveted, waiting to discover the many mysteries in Bob’s past. I enjoyed the fact that though I guessed at all of these secrets, I was right about only a few. Bertram truly kept me hopping as I made my way through the book. I like when a novel isn’t so predictable that I know the end before it arrives.

I highly recommend “More Deaths Than One” – a must read for all mystery and suspense lovers.

5 golden acorns

© Dellani Oakes

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Amazing Authors Stirrin’ It Up!

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I feel very fortunate that I was chosen to be among the amazing writers with Second Wind Publishing. We have some fantastic authors and I am still working through my “to read’ list. Below are some reviews from these fabulous folks!

Images of BetrayalImages of Betrayal by Claire Collins initially seems like a romance novel. Tysan meets Walker, a handsome photographer, who shows her an alarming secret. His pictures show the future! Dubious, until events start coming true, Ty clings to Walker for help and support. But can those pictures hold something else more sinister?

This book is amazing. The plot has more twists and turns than a corkscrew. I thought I had it figured out, but every time I thought I knew the outcome, Collins gave me another twist. Fast paced an exciting, this story seems like it’s going one direction. In an unexpected twist, the story goes 360, then about another 180 degrees, spinning nearly out of control. An amazing thrill ride from start to finish. An amazingly thrilling mystery/ love story. A must read for anyone.Fate and Destiny

Fate and Destiny Like Collins’ other book, Images of Betrayal, Fate and Destiny blends a little romance with a whole lot of crime! Someone dropped Destiny out of a truck and into the snow. If Andrew hadn’t found her, she would have frozen to death. Who dumped her and why? Was it Fate that brought them together? If so, what else does Fate have in mind?

A wonderfully well crafted book that’s a delight to read. It charms and thrills from start to finish. An excellent choice for anyone who likes love and crime mixed together.

 

 

Carpet Ride coverCarpet Ride – Norm Brown

Someone left a roll of carpet in the road. Did it fall off a truck unnoticed? Or was it on purpose. Whatever happened, Sam and his new wife, Lynn nearly crash their rented RV as a result of running over it. This accident triggers a series of events that nearly cost them their lives. If not for the help of Sam’s good friend, John, the story would have had quite a different ending.

Each step of John’s investigation gives him more questions and fewer answers. Finally, between the two of them, he and Sam discover the truth, but is it too late for Sam and his family?

The story takes Sam and his family from a narrow mountain road in Oregon, back to their home in Texas. Meanwhile, clues lead to Colorado making Sam and John wonder what exactly was in that rolled up carpet and why is someone now trying to kill Sam, Lynn and their son?

Carpet Ride is a wonderfully intricate plot with more twists and turns than a narrow mountain road. Every time I thought I had it figured out, Norm Brown threw me a curve ball and I realized I didn’t have it figured out until he told me! It’s an excellent book and a Must Read for all mystery lovers.

Murder in Winnebago County – Christine Husom is a great mystery story. MurderWinnebago_thSgt. Corky Aleckson takes a routine call for a missing person that turns out to be not so routine. The death of Judge Fenneman is only the beginning of the bizarre sudden deaths around the county. Can Corky figure out “who done it” before the killer strikes again?

This is an excellent murder mystery with a twist. It gives us a poignant insight into the mind of a disturbed and grieving woman and her attempts to ease her pain. A must read for all murder mystery lovers.

 

 

ALOT_bookcover-148x223A Love Out of Time – Mairead Walpole — Little does Olivia Vernon know that evening that she’s about to step into a whole new world. Or, more accurately, have an old one come calling. Alden Scott hardly can believe that he’s come from the distant past into the future. Compelled by forces greater than they are, the couple finds one another.

Mairead Walpole has crafted a wonderful paranormal, love through time novel that truly unites two kindred souls. Walpole weaves a tale of romance and intrigue in this imaginative novel. I’ve read it twice, and will read it again for years to come.

 

 

Night & Day by Sherrie Hansen is a lovely romance about two stubborn, set inNIght_and_day_cover-148x223 their ways people who meet quite by accident on the Internet. Though one lives in America and the other in Denmark, they find they have a connection that transcends location. Knowing they are right for each other isn’t enough, though, when neither is willing to compromise. Can the two find love, or are they destined to be apart?

I greatly enjoyed this book. Hansen captures the unique qualities of the characters, making them come alive. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a true romance.

 

 

Badeaux Knights – Suzette Vaughn

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badeaux knightsSonja Mitchell is running from an abusive boyfriend. She returns to the one place she feels really safe, the home of Nick and Kaleb Badeaux. She hopes to escape, only to have her ex redouble his efforts, threatening her and the two men she loves.

Vaughn’s story immediately draws the reader into a world that’s a mixture of modern and arcane. The Badeaux brothers are two of the sexiest romantic heroes of all time. This novel leaves the reader breathless, wanting more.

This story is an atypical love triangle between Sonja Mitchell, a young woman in an abusive relationship, and two brothers, Kaleb and Nicholas Badeaux. Running away from her abusive boyfriend, Sonja seeks refuge with the Badeaux brothers, embroiling them all in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with her sadistic ex. Badeaux Knights is exciting, seductive, terrifying! I couldn’t put it down!

5 Golden Acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes

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Backstop – A Baseball Love Story in Nine Innings by J. Conrad Guest

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Backstopfront-148x223Backstop – A Baseball Love Story in Nine Innings by J. Conrad Guest, is a unique novel. Told in first person by the catcher, or backstop, of the Detroit Tigers, it chronicles his career from rookie to career’s end.

Backstop, as everyone calls him, is an interesting man who breaks the jock mold. Hardly dumb, he continually surprises the reader with his intuitive insights and literary interests.

Darlene, the woman who wins Backstop’s heart, is also an interesting character. Hurt by a bad relationship, she’s loathe to commit, but finds herself drawn to this far from ordinary man. It’s up to Backstop to win her heart, but can he keep her love and trust?

Backstop’s reflections on his relationship with Darlene are interspersed with with play by play account of baseball games. Though I know very little about baseball, I enjoyed the descriptions. J. Conrad Guest makes the game come alive with his words. The reader can visualize the events as they unfold.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a great baseball game and a good romance.

Five gold acorns!

© Dellani Oakes 2011

A Spark of Heavenly Fire – Pat Bertram

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spark of heavenly fire cover Kate Cummings works in a medical clinic as a patient advocate. Since the death of her husband, she’s led a quiet, uneventful life. All that changes when a jogger in the park falls on her, hemorrhages and dies. This event is strange enough, but when the same symptoms appear in a woman at the clinic, Kate realizes that something more is going on.

 At the park, Kate meets Greg Pullman, a reporter for the newspaper. He’s somewhat younger than she, but they click on many different levels. When his fiancee, Pippi O’Brian, dumps him, he finds friendship and solace with Kate.

Together, Kate and Greg begin investigating the odd circumstances surrounding the deaths of the jogger and the woman at her office. As more and more people get ill, the city of Denver finds itself under military quarantine.

“A Spark of Heavenly Fire” is a well paced thriller. Kate and Greg race against time, trying to find the cause of the outbreak as well as survive in the aftermath. The characters are 3 dimensional and believable. The reader feels a link them them, and hope that they will somehow survive.

I highly recommend “A Spark of Heavenly Fire” for anyone who likes a good mystery with a dash of romance. It’s an excellent book and I look forward to reading Pat Bertram’s other novels – “More Deaths Than One”, “Daughter Am I”, “Lightbringer” and “Grief: The Great Yearning” (non-fiction).

Look for all Ms. Bertram’s books at www.secondwindpublishing.com as well as Amazon.com, BN.com and Smashwords.com

© Dellani Oakes