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Title: SAFE HARBOUR
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Pages: 264
Genre: Mystery

BOOK BLURB:

Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city. But he still manages to enjoy all of the good things in life. His family, old and new friends, and the love of living so close to the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome back to St. Windflower Mysteries.

Windflower looked across the lake. Well, he would have if he could have seen anything through the thick blanket of fog that had been sitting on Quidi Vidi Lake for the past seven days. One whole week, he thought. Every day since they had arrived in the port city of St. John’s, it had been the same. Windflower knew the lake was out there because he remembered running around it as his daily exercise when he was temporarily stationed here a few years back.

Sheila Hillier, his wife, knew the lake was out there as well. She’d spent a couple of months doing rehab at the nearby Miller Centre when she was recovering from a serious car accident. If there wasn’t any fog, she could look out her window in May and see the rowers getting their practice in as part of their training for the Royal St. John’s Regatta, an annual event that took place down there in August.

But it was a long way from spring as Windflower gazed out his window at the typical scenery for a January morning. He was the first one up, except for Lady, his collie, and Molly, the cat who never seemed to sleep anyway. She would close her eyes sometimes, but Windflower had never come into a room with her in it when she wasn’t awake and watching him. Windflower liked this time of day when his two children got up. They were Amelia Louise, his soon-to-be two-year-old daughter, and his almost-daughter, Stella, who he and Sheila were fostering.

He liked this house on Forest Road, too. It wasn’t similar to his and Sheila’s in Grand Bank on the southeast coast of Newfoundland, but for a rental it suited them perfectly. It had four bedrooms, two and a half baths and a large backyard for the kids to play in and, if the weather held, for Windflower to barbeque. But the likelihood of the weather staying just simply foggy and damp was not good. There was snow in the forecast and more snow coming after that.

Windflower had been in snowstorms in St. John’s before. It was hard to miss one if you travelled here regularly in the fall, winter or spring. And they didn’t come with a few flakes or a few inches of accumulation. No, snowstorms here often meant feet of snow, sometimes in the double digits, and he had come out some mornings to look for his car, only to find it buried under a virtual mountain of snow. The worst storms came in double or even triple waves. That’s when a storm system would blow through and dump one load of snow and then drift out to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately for the good people of St. John’s, it would blow back in and repeat the damage—sometimes more than once.

Windflower grabbed his anorak and hat and took Lady out to the backyard. He also brought his smudging kit. Inside were small packets of his four sacred medicines: cedar, sage, sweetgrass and tobacco. There was also an abalone shell, a small box of wooden matches and an eagle feather fan that had been gifted to him by his grandfather many years ago.


Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in beautiful Grand Bank. There are now 10 books in this light mystery series with the publication of Safe HarbourA Tangled Web was shortlisted in 2017 for the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn won the 2019 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Mike has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.

Mike is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.

Website: www.sgtwindflowermysteries.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mike54martin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore

A PERFECT STORM

A TWIST OF FORTUNE

Fire Fog and Water

FIRE FOG AND WATER

MORE…

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A PERFECT STORM

BOOK BLURB:

Sgt. Windflower is back, untangling another swirling mystery, this one bringing the meth crisis and biker gangs to the quiet Newfoundland town of Grand Bank, feeling the sting of their deadly tentacles reaching all the way from Las Vegas.  He’s working with his familiar crew of RCMP characters – but wait, are some of the faces changing? New challenges for Jones, an unknown side of Smithson reveals itself, and what ever happened to Tizzard?  In the midst of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, Windflower and his beloved Sheila also find themselves navigating sorrows and surprises on the family front.

Come back to Grand Bank for more fun, food and cool, clean, Canadian crime fiction with Sgt. Windflower Mysteries…

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/36sHEBz

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One

Eddie Tizzard passed his card over the sensor and pushed the door open. He flicked on the light. “Holy jumpins,” he said when he saw what was on the bed in his hotel room— thousands of dollars strewn around like confetti. When he looked closer, he saw something else. There, right in the middle of the bed, was a very red, very large bloodstain.

His first instinct was to run. But his years as an RCMP officer got the best of him, and he had another look around. Soon the source of the blood became obvious. It was a man in a suit lying face down in the bathroom with a visible hole in the back of his head. Tizzard should have trusted his first instinct because when he did decide to leave the room, he walked directly into the path of who he would later find out was the head of hotel security.

He was remembering all of this as he sat in a holding cell with a dozen other men in the Las Vegas jail. Tizzard had gone to Vegas for private detective training, having decided on a new career path after leaving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or the Mounties. Technically, he was on leave for the rest of the year, but he doubted he’d ever return to his old job. He’d applied for and received his firearms license, but he wanted a certificate to put on the walls of his new office, that is when he got an office. That seemed very far away right now, about as far as he could get from his home in Newfoundland on the eastern tip of Canada.

He’d watched enough police shows on TV to know that he could make one phone call. But nobody had said when he could do that. The duty officer kind of smirked when he pushed him into the lock-up with his dozen new friends and told him, “Yeah, yeah, coming right up.”

Tizzard was confused but tried to look like he fit in with his fellow cell mates. They, in turn, looked like they were measuring his clothes to see if they might be a fit. As long as they don’t find out that I used to be a cop, I’ll be OK, thought Tizzard as he backed up as far as he could into a corner.

It seemed like he had waited forever, but as several of his new friends came in for a closer look, he heard his name called, “Tizzard, Tizzard.”

“That’s me,” he said and pushed by the two large men who had got the closest.

The duty cop opened the door, and Tizzard walked along the hallway to an interview room. He was pushed inside, and the door clicked shut behind him. It was a small, windowless room with a camera in the ceiling, a mirror on the wall, a single chair on one side of a table, and two on the other. Tizzard knew the drill and took a seat on the one-chair side. Then he waited, again. Feels like home, he thought. Just not my home.

On the other side of the continent Mayor Sheila Hillier was wrapping up her town council meeting and was on her way to meet Moira Stoodley who was babysitting her daughter, Amelia Louise. The meeting had been made unpleasant by a couple of contentious issues, including whether the older buildings in the downtown core of Grand Bank should be modernized or restored to maintain their historic character. But Sheila also realized that most of the tension was really about who would replace her as mayor in the election only a couple of weeks away.

Jacqueline Wilson was Sheila’s preference, but there was another candidate, Phil Bennett, who was leading the anti-tax faction of council. Every meeting, Bennett would try to disrupt things to show how influential he thought he could be, but Sheila would have none of it and would put him back in line. Bennett’s behaviour in itself was more than enough reason for her to want to leave, she thought.

Sheila had decided to go back to school part-time, eventually do an MBA once she had cleared up her scholastic records and completed the course load for an old degree program she had started several years earlier. Politics had never really been her thing, even though she was very good at it. She had only taken the mayor’s job to try to improve the town’s economy. And she had succeeded, mostly. The Town of Grand Bank’s fish plant was now operating on a regular basis with a quota for crab and the sea urchins considered a delicacy in Japan and China. The town also had a recycling factory and a solar panel fabrication plant.

Half of the town’s people wanted to not just preserve the past but to live in it. The other half wanted to blow it all up and start over. They had no use for the old and wanted everything to be modern, like the way it was in St. John’s or even nearby Marystown. It seemed there was no middle ground for the residents of Grand Bank, yet Sheila was sure you could have the best of both worlds. Getting others to agree with her, though, seemed impossible.

Sheila gathered up her things and drove to the Mug-Up, which was known through much of the province to be the best little café there was in Grand Bank. That it was the only café in Grand Bank was usually not mentioned. Sheila had owned the place years ago but gave it up after a horrific car accident left her with a slight limp and no desire to stand all day. Moira and her husband, Herb, had taken it over, and it was there that she found Amelia Louise sitting at a table with her Poppy Herb.

“Mama, mama,” she shrieked as Sheila’s heart melted. “Ook, ook.”

“I think she’s got talent,” said Herb Stoodley.

Sheila examined the crayon scrawls on the paper and murmured her approval. “It’s so nice,” she said. “Is it Lady, your doggie?” she asked, making a leap of faith based on the fact that there was one small circle on top of a large mass of scratches.

Amelia Louise smiled and nodded her head up and down emphatically. She had always been able to somehow say no, but now the 20-month-old toddler was happy to signify yes with a grand gesture.

“Well, thank you,” said Sheila. “And thank you, Herb. And here’s Moira, too. Thank you, Moira, for looking after her.”

“It’s our pleasure,” said Moira, wiping her hands on her apron. “I was just finishing off some baking.”

“Em,” said Amelia Louise. “Ook, ook,”

“I can see,” said Moira. “Has Poppy Herb been nice to you?”

“She’s like our baby, too,” said Herb. “It’s easy to be nice to her. ‘Those that do teach young babes, do it with gentle means and easy tasks.’”

“Okay, my soon-to-be-famous artist, let’s go,” said Sheila as she put on Amelia Louise’s jacket. Once outside again, Sheila noticed the November air had lost any tinge of summer warmth, and the wind was picking up, making it a bit of an adventure to walk the short distance to their house. Sheila tried to carry her daughter, but Amelia Louise was determined to walk on her own, while examining every leaf that blew their way.

When they got home, Molly the cat watched them carefully as they came up the walkway. The dog, Lady, was more directly affectionate and showed how much she had missed them both by almost knocking them over in the hall. The only one missing from the happy family was Sheila’s husband and the father of Amelia Louise, Sergeant Winston Windflower of the RCMP Grand Bank Detachment. He was at work, but Sheila expected to hear from him soon because his stomach would be rumbling any minute now, and he’d want to know what was on for dinner.

About the Author

Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have been published in various publications across North America. 

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune, and A Long Ways from Home, followed by A Tangled Web, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn, which won the 2018 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Fire, Fog and Water was the eighth in the series. He has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.

He is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.

A Perfect Storm is the latest book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mike54martin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore

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Title: CHRISTMAS IN NEWFOUNDLAND: MEMORIES AND MYSTERIES

Author: Mike Martin

Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing

Pages: 113

Genre: Mystery/Memoir

From the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mysteries comes “Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries,” a welcome addition to the Sgt. Windflower family of books.

Christmas in Newfoundland is a special time. In the depths of long winter nights memories are made and stories are told. Of Christmas by candlelight and horse and buggy rides to church. Of shopping on Water Street in St. John’s before malls and the Internet.

In later years, Sgt. Windflower came to work and then to stay in the quiet town of Grand Bank by the Atlantic Ocean where the salt air froze in the wind and the Mounties were welcomed to warm themselves by every fire.

Come and warm yourself by the fire and hear their stories. Some memories and some mysteries. Enjoy some holiday time with Sgt. Windflower and all the familiar characters that you’d come to know and love. Good food, good friends and always another chair at the table.

Book Excerpt:

A Windflower Christmas

It was just days before Christmas, and Sergeant Winston Windflower only had one big problem. That was what to get his girlfriend, Sheila Hillier, for Christmas. Other than that, life was good for the RCMP officer in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Crime was low, if not non-existent, and spirits were running high as the holiday neared its peak in this little seaside town.

Of course, being the holiday season, the Mountie was concerned about impaired driving. But Windflower and his team had been out on the roads for the past two weekends with the R.I.D.E. program. He figured that meant everyone would be on their best behaviour for the next couple of weeks. That was especially true since one town resident had been charged with impaired driving and two others had received suspended licences because they were just over the legal limit of alcohol.

Fortunately, even the weather was cooperating. They hadn’t had any snow in Grand Bank for almost two weeks. That was a relief to not only the snow shovellers catching a break after a series of early winter storms but also to the RCMP officers, as they had already worked several overnight shifts because of storms. The best news was that there wasn’t even any snow in the short-term forecast.

All of this meant the town could be festive and safe during the holiday season already well underway.

The old Town of Grand Bank went all out to pretty itself up for Christmas. Almost every house had some form of decoration, and Christmas lights were aplenty all over town. Some people went old-fashioned and just had a wreath on their front door and a couple of strings of lights hanging from their eaves. Others decided to splurge on nativity scenes and blow-up Santas, as they held nothing back in their gaudy and joyous celebration of the season.

Old Saint Nick had already made one visit. That was last weekend during the Santa Claus parade led by the antique pumper truck from the volunteer fire department. Local RCMP vehicles were decked out in flashing lights and ribbons as the Mounties collected toys and gifts along the parade route for the Salvation Army. Sheila had rounded up a few extra dollars from local businesses to ensure that even the abandoned buildings near the wharf were gaily festooned with ribbons, bows and the essential Christmas lights in time for the parade. Now, Saint Nick’s return engagement on December 25th was eagerly anticipated.

Amazon → https://amzn.to/32hC9zY 

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn which won the Bony Blithe Award in 2019. A new book in the series, Fire, Fog and Water is being released in October.

Mike is currently Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers.

Website → www.sgtwindflowermysteries.com

Twitter Link: → http://ww.twitter.com/mike54martin

Facebook→https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore/

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Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin, Mystery, 280 pp.

Title: DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN

Author: Mike Martin

Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing

Pages: 280

Genre: Mystery
Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston
Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a
new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble
that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved
break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying
time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and
the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through
even the darkest days.Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new character enliven the pages as
Windflower and Tizzard and the other police officers awaken the secrets
that have been lying dormant in this sleepy little town. The deeper they
dig the more they find as the criminals they seek dive deeper behind
the curtains of anonymity and technology. But more than anything, this
is a story of love and loss, of growing up and learning how to grow old
gracefully. It is also about family and community and looking after each
other. Of not giving up hope just before the dawn.

 

 

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and
now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance
writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers,
magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and
New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

 

 

 

 

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Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I was a born reader, at least a very young one. I had 3 older sisters who would drag me to the library with them and I was hooked early. Writing came a little later, and fiction writing much later. But as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a writer.

What was your inspiration for A Tangled Web?

In all of my books there has been an image that inspired me. That was true of the very first book in the Sgt, Windflower Mystery series, The Walker on the Cape, when the image of the lighthouse in Grand Bank appeared in the fog and Sgt. Windflower himself walked out and started talking to me. At least in my head. In A Tangled Web there was a large truck with its back doors wide open and no driver in sight. I thought that would be an interesting place for a child to climb inside and explore. And so little Sarah Quinlan did, and the story had a starting point.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I like to weave history and local customs with Sgt. Windflower’s native background. And all stories are really about relationships. Sometimes loving, sometimes not. But always interesting.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It takes me about 3 months to write the first draft of a book. Then there’s another 6 months of editing and tweaking before it’s ready for production.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

You have to be disciplined to write a book. So, when I’m doing that I set a word count for the day. Usually about 1500 to 2,000 words a day. I start writing early in the morning, my best time to write. If I get my quota I get a break. If not, I have to go back at until I hit my word count.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

This book has a set of scenes that were very emotional because of the main characters was in a dangerous, life or death situation. It was tense, even for me, just to write about it. I can’t tell you the outcome. Only that things were and are as they were supposed to be. But it was tough to write, because, like some readers, I too have an emotional attachment to the characters.

What do you love most about being an author?

I love the interaction with readers, online or in-person. Without readers, writers would have no echo to their words. Our characters would never come to life. That’s what the readers do as part of the bargain in fiction writing. So, I love to meet them and thank them for the gift they have given me.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I have used small presses and self-published. Both are viable options that I would choose again. I have been pleased with both choices and the truth is that for every author, big publisher or indie, we all have to do our own promotion. No publisher does much of that anymore unless you are JK Rowling or somebody. The most important thing for a writer is to write the best book you can and to invest in professional editing and proofreading services as your budget permits. Then you will be a successful writer.

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: www.sgtwindflowermysteries.com

Twitter: @mike54martin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore/

About the Book:

 

Life is good for Sgt. Wind­flower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But something’s missing from the Mountie’s life. Actually, a lot of things go missing, including a little girl and supplies from the new factory. It’s Windflower’s job to unravel the tangled web of murder, deceit and an accidental kidnapping that threatens to engulf this sleepy little town and destroy those closest to him. But there’s always good food, good friends and the love of a great woman to make everything better in the end.

A TANGLED WEB is available at Amazon.

 

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