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Why I am a Writer: Guest Blog on Book Obsessed



Check out my guest blog today on Book Obsessed with Cecile Sune

“Why I am a Writer”

 I sometimes get asked why I chose to be a writer. The truth is that I didn’t chose it as much as writing chose me. Having three older sisters, two of whom turned out to be teachers, gave me an early and life-long love of reading. I loved going to the library and getting my quota of books for the week. And I was fascinated and amazed by the fact that people could, would and did, write these fabulous books that filled my school bag.

I always wanted to be like them, to write a book. But of course I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to do that, and growing up in a working class family, the artist life did not come highly recommended. You could and would get beat up in my neighbourhood for just talking about it. So I kept my writing desires to myself, but secretly starting writing small pieces that I would destroy all evidence of shortly after their creation.

When I entered the working world I gravitated towards jobs that had some element of writing to them. Mostly clerical and administrative jobs that meant routine and mundane correspondence. But I realize now that it helped me hone my craft. As my experience grew I was able to move up and around a little more and that led me into communications and all of the corporate manifestations of that, from newsletters to briefing notes. I even found work as a ghostwriter and speechwriter, did a little editing and production-side work.

But deep inside of me still lived that little boy who wanted to write a book and until I did I knew, I just knew, I would never be satisfied. So, I did. I wrote a small fiction book based on characters that had been building inside of me since my early days. And once I started writing that book, it was like a flood had been released and the words kept tumbling out in wave after wave. I couldn’t stop them if I wanted to. So that’s the first reason I write: Because I am a Writer and I have to write.

The second reason that I write is because I have stories to tell. These stories are not mine. I am simply the messenger, the carrier of the legends and stories that live inside the creative current. I am not the only one who has sat on the wharf in Grand Bank and thought about the stories in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series. But I am the only one who sat and watched and listened and then took the time to write down the stories that the fictional characters inside me were trying to tell.

That doesn’t in itself make me special or even a good writer. But it opens the door to the possibilities that are already sitting, waiting for us on the other side. I also get to tell these stories in my own, very personal and unique style that is mine alone. I get to include pieces of other people’s stories that they have told me. Stories that they heard from their parents or grandparents. Parts of history and parts of family traditions. Portions of culture and artifacts and sometimes just a great yarn!!

If you are a writer you know what I mean. But if you want to be a writer I think you also know what I am talking about. I have someone approach me at almost every public event who tells me that they have a great story, a great book that they want to write. I believe them and encourage them to let that story out. Not only will it drive you crazy trying to get out of your head, we need your story out here amongst us so that all of us can learn and grow together. That’s why I write: because my story needs to be out here in the world to learn and grow with yours.

Finally, I write, or maybe it’s I continue to write simply because there are readers. In particular, people that will take a chance on an unknown, indie writer like me and spend a few bucks to check me out. Readers that come up to you at a book signing or other event to tell you how much they enjoyed the last book or the series. Sometimes they are the big and powerful like the Member of Parliament from my home town who called me out of the blue to tell me how much fun he was having with Sgt. Windflower. At others it’s just an ordinary bloke like the guy in Grand Bank who came up to me on the street, with his library book under his arm, to tell me how much he loved the books.

I write in the hopes that I can bring joy, a few laughs, maybe a couple of hours of escape from the dreariness of life. That’s what books have done for me and what I want to give back to the world. Let me share a phone call that I just received from a long-time reader and book reviewer. She said that people around her part of the world had been reading the Sgt. Windflower books and she had some feedback to give me. I welcome feedback, good and bad, and was expecting some combination of both. I was not expecting what she told me.

She said that three people had contacted her that had read the Sgt. Windflower books based on her reviews and recommendations. The first was a retired RCMP officer who liked the fact that the books rang true to his experience with the Force. The second was a man from a small community who connected with the small town feel and food and culture of Grand Bank where the stories are mostly set. Both of these were high compliments. But what really blew me away was the third person who contacted my friend. This person was suffering from pancreatic cancer and undergoing horrific treatments to try and repel the disease. He told my friend that the only way he could relax before the treatments was to read, and the only books that brought him any peace or reduced his anxiety were the Windflower books. Wow!!

This just reminded me again of how fortunate I am to be able to write. And that every book has the potential to not just make fame or fortune, but to actually impact another person’s life in a positive way. I think I’ll keep writing.


Mike Martin is the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in small communities on the southeast coast of Newfoundland. The latest book A Twist of Fortune is available in Canada through Chapters/Indigo/Coles and select independent book stores.

It is also available online and as an e-book here:


Barnes and Noble


Books a Million


You can follow the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries at:

Or on Facebook:

Newfoundland News: Costco Onboard, Book Events in August

NL flag




Lots to report on from Newfoundland. First of all we are very pleased to announce that A Twist of Fortune is now available from Costco on Stavanger Drive in St. John’s.

Costco Book Signing August 6, 2015

Costco has been onboard with Sgt. Windflower Mysteries since near the beginning and have been very supportive (and sold lots of books). We are also very excited to report that they will be hosting a Book Signing for a Twist of Fortune at the store on Saturday August 8. More details to follow.


Grand Bank: Sharon’s Nook and Tea Room

Just got back from Newfoundland and while the weather is horrific the people are as warm and welcoming as ever. Got to drop in to see Sharon and Jack Grandy in Grand Bank at Sharon’s Nook and Tea Room. Drop in for a piece of their speciality cheesecake. They have dozens of varieties including Windflower’s favourite: Peanut Butter Chocolate. And buy a copy of A Twist of Fortune while you’re there!!



Downhome Shoppe and Gallery

We also visited the Downhome Shoppe and Gallery on Water Street in St. John’s where they have a large display of all the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries including a special boxed set. This is a fabulous place and a must-visit if you get to St. John’s. It’s a craft and gift store, an art gallery and a bookstore all rolled into one. Yes it’s kitschy and touristy but it is also a great location to buy books, particularly local books. If it’s written by a Newfoundlander, or about Newfoundland, or the Atlantic Ocean you will find it at the Downhome Shoppe. And if you come by on Saturday afternoon you just might be lucky enough to get a taste of the best toutons in St. John’s. If you want to know what toutons are, you have to read Sgt. Windflower Mysteries.

Downhome Shoppe






Provincial Seamen’s Museum Special Event August 6, 2015

We are also thrilled to announce that we’ve been asked to do a very special event at the Seaman’s Museum in Grand Bank. On Thursday August 6 there will be a series of readings from the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series along with music from a popular local band, The Pidgeon Family who play traditional Newfoundland tunes and favourites. There will be a book signing and light refreshments afterwards. Admission will be free and open to all. More information and a poster will be available soon.








Mike Martin is the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries which are set in Newfoundland at the easternmost tip of Canada. His latest book is A Twist of Fortune, available from Amazon in paper and Kindle all over the world, and in Canada through Chapters/Indigo/Coles and select independent book stores.

Twitter @mike54martin




Writers: Don’t Get the Summertime Blues



It’s summertime and the writing is, well sometimes it’s hard to write in the summer. That’s why I don’t even try anymore. I have learned that summer is supposed to be about relaxing and enjoying myself, visiting with friends and family and just lolling about in the garden or at the beach. But the craziest thing happens when I give myself permission to relax. I get these amazing ideas.

It’s almost like unlocking a safe. Once I open up my mind and loosen my grip on the day to day, the universe releases all of this energy about the possibilities, the writing possibilities, of the future. So as I relax by the water I take a notepad or a small notebook with me and I jot down these ideas as they appear. I don’t try and analyse them or make them fit into any particular order. I just watch them appear and I write them down. When I have some quiet time later in the day, or sometimes early the next morning I take a look at them.

I still don’t try and make sense of them or where they are going, or supposed to go. I observe them and then I put them away. But here’s the cool thing. After my summery days at the beach or lying in the hammock reading a good book are over I take them all out again. As I read these random notes I realize that they’re not really random at all. They have transformed into a story line or a series of activities or aspects of characters in my current series that that I had never thought of before. Sometimes even new characters and ideas for new stories are there. It’s kind of like Christmas morning for a writer!!

So I don’t write in the summer anymore. I have realized that’s not my job. My job is to listen and observe and take notice of what is happening underneath the surface. All I have to do is sit back and relax. I can do that. I’m actually quite good at it.

After the summer is over I have not only gotten myself back into a healthy frame of mind from just taking it easy, I also have these great ideas to work on. Some become the seeds that grow into the next Sgt. Windflower Mystery while others are left to ferment and grow inside of me. Still others never become anything more than that cool breeze you feel every so often on a hot summer day, they are not supposed to be anything but a thought, an idea, or maybe just a way to help you and your brain relax.

That’s how I’ll be spending my summer. Not really looking for inspiration but ready to jot it down when inevitably comes. How about you?

Mike Martin is the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries which are set in Newfoundland at the easternmost tip of Canada. His latest book is A Twist of Fortune, available from Amazon in paper and Kindle all over the world, and in Canada through Chapters/Indigo/Coles and select independent book stores.

Book Signings in June

Chapters Queensway in Toronto on Friday June 26 7-9 pm

Chapters Kingston in Kingston on Saturday June 27 1-4 pm

Twitter @mike54martin



Re-Discover the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries

For those of you who are just discovering the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series through A Twist of Fortune here is some more information about the first three books in the series. They can be read as stand-alone stories, but if you want all of the flavour and colour of Sgt. Windflower’s adventures you can pick up the rest of the series anytime. They are all available online through Amazon all over the world and through Chapters/Indigo in Canada.


Here is a snap shot and a cover shot of the first three books in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series.


The Walker on the Cape (Book 1 in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series)

A man’s body is found in a small fishing community on the East Coast. First everyone thinks it’s a heart attack or stroke but then it’s discovered that he was poisoned. Who would do this and why? Finding that out falls to Winston Windflower and his side-kick Eddie Tizzard. Along the way they discover there are many more secrets hidden in this small community and powerful people who want to keep it that way.

The Walker on the Cape

Cover Walker


Amazon Kindle:

Barnes and Noble Nook:



 The Body on the T (Book 2 in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series)

Sgt. Winston Windflower is enjoying an idyllic life in the small town of Grand Bank, Newfoundland when a mysterious and very dead body washes up on a nearby beach. Follow along with Windflower and his team as he tries to solve this mystery and uncovers a whole lot more lurking under the fog on the southeast coast off Atlantic Canada. Windflower is the ultimate outsider, an RCMP officer and a Cree from northern Alberta, yet he feels right at home with the rich culture, food and history of this part of the world. But his world is shaken by a series of events that threaten his new-found happiness. And it all starts with the discovery of The Body on the T.

The Body on the T

 The Body on the T FC





Beneath the Surface (Book 3 in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series)

Sgt. Windflower is back!!! This time he faces down an international crime syndicate. Murder, mayhem and the Russian Mafia. Windflower is joined again by his trusted ally Eddie Tizzard, his rock-steady girl, Sheila, and a cast of supporters from the new Mayor to an old Crown Attorney. Together they fight the bad guys, at home and abroad. Windflower has to take on modern challenges like sexual harassment while re-discovering his roots and inner strength.


Beneath the Surface





Barnes and Noble:

Twitter @mike54martin


Two Big June Events for the Big Smoke aka Toronto



We are very pleased to be heading back to Toronto for two big book signing events in June. We are also pretty excited about a special Sgt. Windflower Mystery contest that is being run by NOW magazine in June as well.

We have always had great support in Toronto, particularly from our friends at Indigo Bay Bloor and Chapters Queensway and from the Toronto Star.

Jack Batten reviewed A Twist of Fortune in his Whodunit column in the Star on May 30. Here what he had to say:

“Sergeant Winston Windflower, the mild-mannered aboriginal Mountie at the centre of Mike Martin’s Newfoundland series says he isn’t accustomed to handling more than one emotion at a time. This time out, Windflower endures so many grim events- a possible breakup with his girlfriend, the drunkenness of an RCMP superior, a murdered pharmacist- that we readers expect Windflower’s emotional sang-froid is bound to snap. But as ever, it’s the man’s attractive good nature that carries the day and the book.”

So join us in Toronto to celebrate A Twist of Fortune

On Friday June 19 we will be at Indigo Bay Bloor in Toronto from 6-9 pm.

On Friday June 26 we will at Chapters Queensway in Toronto from 7-9 pm.

Hope we see you there!!


And stay tuned for information on the NOW magazine contest. Win a signed copy of the complete set of Sgt. Windflower Mysteries including A Twist of Fortune. Contest scheduled to begin June 18.


A Twist of Fortune is now available in the GTA at

The Sleuth of Baker Street

Indigo Bay Bloor

Chapters Queensway

Indigo Eaton Centre

More Chapters/Indigo locations coming daily!!

And always on line from Chapters/Indigo Twitter @mike54martin

Where to Buy A Twist of Fortune



A Twist of Fortune, the new Sgt. Windflower Mystery is available for order online all over the world. See below for links. It is also starting to be available in stores across Canada. Here are some retail locations where you can buy A Twist of Fortune in Canada.

And stay tuned because more locations are being added every day.


Books on Beechwood, 35 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa

Chapters Rideau, 47 Rideau Street, Ottawa



Sleuth of Baker Street, 907 Millwood Road, Toronto

Indigo Bay/Bloor, 55 Bloor Street, Toronto (Book Signing July 19)

Indigo Eaton Centre,  220 Yonge Street, Toronto

Chapters Queensway, 1950 The Queensway, Toronto (Book Signing July 26)



Chapters Kingston, 2376 Princess Street, Kingston (Book Signing July 27)


St. John’s, Newfoundland

The Downhome Shoppe and Gallery, 303 Water Street, St. John’s

Chapters St. John’s , 70 Kenmount Road, St. John’s

Coles Avalon Mall, Avalon Mall, St. John’s

Coles Village Mall, Village Mall, St. John’s


Fredericton, New Brunswick

Chapters Fredericton, Regent Mall, Fredericton

All Sgt. Windflower books are also available for order in Canada from:

Red Tuque Books and Downhome Publishing


And Online:


Chapters Indigo


United States


Barnes and Noble


Books a Million


United Kingdom

Amazon UK




The Reviews So Far: What People are Saying about A Twist of Fortune



The reviews are starting to roll in and reviewers really like A Twist of Fortune. Here are some samples from the reviews to date.

“A Twist of Fortune” is a leisurely stroll through some of Canada’s wild places, where no one can hide from the effects of crime. We get an insight into the communities and people who choose to live away from the bright lights of the cities.”

Rosie Amber: Book Reviewer, Avid Reader and Bookworm


A Twist of Fortune tells the story of drug smuggling gangs and multiple homicides, but the book isn’t fixated on murder mystery and instead weaves the criminal investigation narrative around those of the decline of the local fishing industry and Windflower’s personal life, relationships and his love of the local food and not so local scotch whisky.”

Kindle Book Review


“A Twist of Fortune is the 4th in the Windflower series that grows on you. It’s essentially a character driven story, the character being Winston Windflower and those around him but also a character called Grand Bank Newfoundland, a small town facing change that it’s not quite ready for. It’s a police procedural that feels real, no instant forensic results but the real backstory of how cops deal with a mixture of crime, highways closed because of weather and small town life meeting today’s demands.”

Don Graves D.D. Mystery Reviews


“Sgt. Winston Windflower is a food loving member of the RCMP.  A Twist of Fortune continues the romantic involvement of Sheila Hillier and Winston through some ups and down.  Sheila is arrested at the beginning of the book for helping to save the fish plant in Grand Banks.  If you have been following their romance you will love the ending of this book.”

Linda Grant aka The Crafty Gardener


A Twist of Fortune is a reminder that good people can do good things, be good friends, and believe in the good life of small communities. Festivities and principles are still important and the Canadian cuisine can still be celebrated. The story reads more like a day-to-day, step-by-step, report of life in a close-knit community, where criminal activities are handled as part of the make-up of the people in town. I would compare it with a Maeve Binchy novel with a crime plot thrown in, without the high drama and suspense of the murder mystery genre.”

Margitte Mayer on Goodreads



“The real strength of A Twist of Fortune lies in the author’s ability to make the characters and setting come alive to the reader. The reader is quickly wrapped up in the lives of the people. The chapters are relatively short and the narrative voice is succinct, dry, straightforward, and easy to read. I liked reading about the morning rituals of the protagonist. The description of the traditional Cree beliefs was certainly a bonus. The sexual activity between the characters is only ever gently implied and I liked that as well.”

Online Book Club


“Sgt Windflower is back and I must admit, this made me smile. He is perhaps the most laidback detective I have ever come across in literature, loving his food and his walks around Grand Bank as much as he does locking up the criminals in the sleepy Newfoundland town. In A Twist of Fortune Sgt Windflower is back on a murder case, as well as keeping an eye on the unrest in Grand Bank caused by the fish plant, one of the town’s biggest industries, closing down.”

Cheryl Pasquier: Madhouse Family Reviews


“Relying on good, old-fashioned detective work to solve his cases, Sgt. Windflower thrives in a skilfully nuanced, though not overly contrived plot that delivers a number of surprises, but it’s the dialogue and the subtleties of Windflower’s character that really makes this superb detective novel stand out. On many levels he defies our expectations, living his life according to values which are wholly congruent with the setting that surrounds him and it’s due credit to Martin that he captures the beauty, contrasts and grandeur of his chosen backdrop to create a real sense of visual ambience.”

Book Viral


“Sgt. Winston Windflower becomes more interesting with each book. He is not the typical renegade or fast action cop; he does his job, follows the rules whenever possible, and keeps his balance with his beliefs and personal relationships. He has high expectations of the people he supervises and doesn’t let problems slide and yet has great empathy. The other characters hold their own too, especially Tizzard, Sheila, Herb and the coroner. In A Twist of Fortune the plot is well done; the Mounties must work together to track the complicated drug network. I especially love the setting. In this book the Newfoundland winter is a major factor. Some might think the snowstorms are overdone but those of us in the northern climes are well aware that once one of these systems starts pounding an area, it can be relentless. Well done!”

Prairie House Reviews


This book is well written and is the kind of story that makes you feel good when you read it. The characters are well-developed and it has a strong plot. Though there is probably a little too much focus on food and coffee consumption, the story unfolds nicely and comes together well at the end. It has the perfect blend of showing an interesting daily life, the charm of a small town, the intrigue of police work, and the love shared between two people in a strong relationship. A Twist of Fortune is well-written, entertaining and interesting, and while at times it is a bit predictable, it doesn’t detract from the quality of the story. It’s a fun and heart-warming book that makes you want to read the rest of the series.

Red City Reviews

Here’s where you can buy A Twist of Fortune online


Chapters Indigo


United States


Barnes and Noble


Books a Million


United Kingdom

Amazon UK







The Sgt. Windflower Reading Equality Program is Back




The Sgt. Windflower Reading Equality Program is back. Every time we have released a new Sgt. Windflower Mystery we have made a number of copies available, absolutely free, to people on low or fixed incomes who simply cannot afford to buy a new book.


Tons of people are living on a tight budget, on social assistance or on a fixed income because of disability or not being able to work anymore. It’s hard to comprehend in this world of plenty, but $20.00 is a lot of money if you haven’t got it and one of the ‘luxuries’ that many people give up is purchasing new books. They wait until they are available from the library or get them lent from friends or from the second-hand bookstore.


We can’t give people a raise in their monthly stipend to help them with their book budget, but we can help at least a few of them enjoy my new books, fresh out of the printer’s box. This idea is called Reading Equality, a radically new concept that everyone should have access to quality, new release books. That’s why we are making 25 copies of A Twist of Fortune available to people on a low or fixed income. Absolutely free.


First come will be people who have liked Sgt. Windflower Mysteries on Facebook but if you find out about or if you know of someone who could use one but can’t afford it, just message me on Facebook or Tweet me @mike54martin and we’ll make arrangements to get the book out to you. And yes I will even sign them.


I also challenge other authors to join me in making Reading Equality a part of your regular practice. If you are an author you don’t have to give away a lot of books, try 5 as a start. And if you are not an author but want to support this initiative then you can participate by buying a few extra copies of your favourite author and passing them along to people that you know can’t afford them.


As a writer and an author I know that I am in a privileged position. I have been given a great gift and a great opportunity. It seems to me a very small price to pay to give a little back, especially to people who want to read my books and the only thing standing between me and my readers is a couple of dollars. So join me in helping to promote Reading Equality. We may not be able to change all the world at once, but we can make our part of it a little better, one reader at a time.


Of course if you have the cash, you’re certainly welcome to buy A Twist of Fortune. Here are some places you can get it.



Chapters Indigo


United States


Barnes and Noble


Books a Million


United Kingdom

Amazon UK


Twitter @mike54martin