L. A. Starks Newsletter

Writing: Look for the Launch!

The Second Law, Lynn Dayton Thriller #3, is going to press soon! In the meantime, here is an advance, pre-publication review from Midwest Book Review.

The Second Law, Lynn Dayton Thriller #3
L. A. Starks
Nemaha Ridge Publishing Group, LLC

The Second Law is a Lynn Dayton thriller revolving around a new challenge in Lynn’s job as a top refining executive working in the busy San Francisco Bay Area. What seems like a puzzling computer glitch could turn out to be sabotage, and too many false alarms are undermining the safety warning system of the refinery, among other odd problems. Only this time the siren’s warning isn’t another false alarm, but a portent of the biggest disaster Lynn has yet to face: one which has roots in China and connections with California’s oil history.

As the story moves to New Orleans, the challenges of risk management, Arch Webber’s involvement as a top lease bidding specialist, and Reese’s assistance in Lynn’s investigation, it probes both domestic and overseas special interests, influences, and powerful forces that threaten not just one refinery operation, but the energy grid of interconnected power.

As near-deadly encounters with everything from bears and murderers escalate, Lynn begins to understand that someone has targeted not only refinery operations, but individual lives. Her encounters with hit men after her and whoever is with her and China’s involvement in creating an oil emergency they could vastly profit from makes for a riveting blend of murder mystery and international espionage thriller.

Disintegrating safety systems, attacks, oil executive murders and traitors from within coalesce into a spellbinding story that moved between the San Francisco Bay Area, China, and New Orleans, exploring the special talents and interests of a host of intersecting characters whose lives are all dictated by special interests.
The result is a compelling thriller that’s hard to put down, absorbingly powerful in both characterization and plot and filled with satisfying twists and turns that introduce readers to the world of not just refinery safety and operations, but high-stakes international intrigue between groups holding special government interests at the heart of their actions.

Readers who enjoy stories of mystery, murder, mayhem and espionage will relish the intricate, complex yet highly accessible series of events The Second Law unfolds.

–D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


Join Us at the Goodreads Discussion and Giveaway

I’m honored the Action/Adventure Aficionados Goodreads group has chosen 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy, Lynn Dayton Thriller #1, as one of its two September-October Author/Reader Reads. Do join the discussion here:

And between September 12-September 23, Goodreads is hosting a giveaway for 100 copies of 13 Days. If you’d like to enter, you can do so here:


In the last six months I’ve read 24 books, so many of which were excellent. Apex, third and final in the Ramez Naam trilogy, is globally ambitious science fiction with a heart. Through the Evil Days is another in Julia Spencer-Fleming’s great upstate New York-set series, with a big chunk of the action sequences assigned to five-months’-pregnant Clare Fergusson. Give Me Your Hand, by Meg Abbott, is a very readable, well-researched mystery cross between Gone Girl and Lab Girl. My favorite of the books I’ve read in the mystery/thriller/suspense category during the last six months—and highly recommended—is Liar’s Candle, a debut thriller by August Thomas, written with an insider’s view of Turkey.

In a change of pace, I read a considerable number of non-fiction books, most of which I recommend. Here, in quick-hit/speed-dating format, are ten: Lost City of Z, by David Grann; Hooking Up, by Tom Wolfe (especially the piece on Silicon Valley); Bourgeois Equality, by Deidre McCloskey; The Operator—Firing the Shots that Killed Bin Laden, by Robert O’Neill; I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara; The Great Revolt, by Salena Zito and Brad Todd; The Man Who Caught the Storm, by Brantley Hargrove; The Girl With Seven Names, by Hyeonseo Lee; What’s Wrong with China, by Paul Midler; and When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, by Daniel Pink.


I continue writing three articles a month for the open Seeking Alpha platform and three a month for a Marketplace subscriber platform, Econ-Based Energy Investing (EBEI). If you’re interested, here’s the EBEI link: https://seekingalpha.com/author/laura-starks/research

Until next time,
L.A. Starks

Fiction (books) by L. A. Starks–in reverse order

Strike Price (Lynn Dayton Thriller #2)

  • Print ISBN 9780991110704, 2nd edition published by Nemaha Ridge Publishing Group LLC, March 2014, $18.95.
  • E-book ASIN B01K5Y406A, published by Nemaha Ridge Publishing Group LLC, August 2016, $6.99.

13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy (Lynn Dayton Thriller #1)

  • 2nd Print ISBN 978-0991110711, published by Nemaha Ridge Publishing Group, LLC, August 2016, $18.95.
  • E-book ASIN B015LI65GI, published by Nemaha Ridge Publishing Group, LLC, September 2015, $4.99.

Please note all L. A. Starks electronic and print editions published by L&L Dreamspell and StoneThread Publishing are no longer available. Both companies have gone out of business. Also, new copies of the first print edition of 13 Days (ISBN 9781933285450) published by Brown Books Publishing Group in May 2006 are no longer available. They are replaced by the August 2016 edition.

Short stories by L. A. Starks on Amazon Kindle, in reverse order

  • “Josh Rosen & Bubbe” gives additional background on series character Josh Rosen and insight into his relationship with his grandmother when she falls ill. 2014. ASIN: B00O854YKA, $0.99.
  • “A Time for Eating Wild Onions” introduces two key characters in the second Lynn Dayton book, STRIKE PRICE. The tragedy that befalls them profoundly shapes the next generation. 2007. ASIN: B003NE6DGA, $0.99.
  • “Robert and Thérèse Guillard: Choices” is a story about 13 DAYS’ Parisian antagonist and how it feels to fly in a wing suit. 2007. ASIN: B003NE6D74, $0.99.