Tag Archives: suspense

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

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

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

TO BUY

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.

 

 

School of Lies – Mickey Hoffman

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A few days ago, I featured a review of Mickey’s second book, Deadly Traffic. Today, I’m posting a review of her first book, School of Lies. Both novels are available on Amazon, B&N, or through Second Wind Publishing.

Kendra DeSola teaches special education at an inner city school, Standard High School. Short of money for her program, Kendra does the best she can for her students. If there’s one thing the kids know, Miss DeSola is there for them. So it’s a shock when an apparent blackmail picture shows up, implicating Kendra in a scandal.

Terrified her boss, Vice-Principal Zant, will find out and use it against her, Kendra begins to investigate. Her search for the truth turns deadly when one of her colleagues is killed. Was it an accident or murder? Kendra is determined to find out, because she is a suspect.

Vice-Principal Zant is an ambitious, connected and not very bright administrator. Confident he will be chosen to replace the current principal, Mr. Favor, he wields his power mercilessly.

As Kendra investigates, she discovers that her colleagues aren’t the people she thought they were. Everyone has secrets that can end their careers and it’s possible that she’s not the only one who had a really good motive for murder.

School of Lies is a riveting mystery centered around the shy, mousy teacher, Kendra DeSola. She overcomes her timidity as she pursues a puzzling mystery. I highly recommend this book for all mystery/ suspense lovers.

Five Golden Acorns!

© 2011 Dellani Oakes