BOOKS BY JOE HARWELL
Since 2009, Joe has been writing and self-publishing novels and memoirs set in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and occasionally showing up at writers group meetings in Tulsa to maintain his cover. One novel is a futuristic thriller and the rest are historical fiction involving vampires, paranormal adventures, criminal investigation, political corruption, and the media.
Low Moral Compass
“Murder for hire with sex as the currency of payment.”
Handsome, successful telecom executive Clive Hill is a guest at an after-hours business mixer at the Red Lion Club in the Camelot Hotel. So is attractive, successful, business owner Sina Griffith. Instantly attracted to each other, conversation quickly turns to skipping the mixer and going upstairs to a room. Clive is a single, former Special Forces sharpshooter. Although Sina is married, both have a very Low Moral Compass. One thing is certain, there will be Hell to pay for this unheavenly match.
PRE-RELEASE ORDER NOW
Payne County Weekly
“There is always a price to pay for doing the right thing.”
Doing the right thing was always a clear, easy decision for LaShelle Roland, editor of Payne County Weekly in Stillwater, Oklahoma until she discovers the District Attorney’s Drug Task Force is actually shielding major drug dealers from prosecution. The Sun, Stillwater’s powerful daily newspaper is part of the corruption cover-up and is pressuring LaShelle to sell her struggling paper to keep a lid on the story. LaShelle shares details of the corruption with Bo Stark, a financially successful classmate from their days at Perkins High School in the 1970’s, who visits Stillwater with his family during spring break in 1994. Bo wants to help and offers an investment so she can withstand the financial backlash of publishing the story. What’s the right thing to do? Sell Payne County Weekly and take a marketing job that’s made for her in Oklahoma City, or accept the investment and break the story, placing herself, the informant, Bo, and others in mortal danger by going up against the local power brokers.
Length: 154 pages
The Legend of Michelle Sands
(Indian Rock Vampire Book 1)
“Live carefully my friend and remember, if you’re not the predator, you are the prey.”
Julia and Laura were supposed to be at home studying Bible verses for the Easter service, but on this Good Friday evening in 1910, they were determined to experience the full moon at their favorite place called Indian Rock. The twelve-year-old friends hiked to the foothills of Poteau Mountain conjuring up stories of the ancient tribes who carved the symbols on the stone. When Indian Rock was fully illuminated by moonlight, a magical and beautiful feeling began to flow throughout their bodies. Within weeks, both girls began dreaming about strange people at Indian Rock who don't look like Indians. When the dreams evolve into nightmarish scenes of a man being savagely tortured, both feel he is reaching out to them for help. As the frightening dream would become more than their sleeping minds can endure, they always wake with the sensation from the night of the full moon. Powerful forces have known the origin and meaning of the symbols for centuries and fiercely guard against anyone discovering the truth. In 1958, Julia's fourteen-year-old granddaughter Michelle disobeyed her parents and went to Indian Rock one evening with two older boys. When the dazed boys return without her looking like they've been savagely beaten, the meaning and power of the symbols begin to be revealed. This is the Legend of Michelle Sands, the Indian Rock Vampire.
Length: 183 pages
Mile of Cars Murders (Payne County Weekly Book 2)
“A lot of people didn't make it home after the Oklahoma City bombing, but not all of them went missing because of it.”
Joe Paul (J.P.) Britton and wife, Pat, are taking a much needed day off, going into Oklahoma City without their four boys tagging along. Eighteen-year-old Joe Paul, Jr. and his younger siblings are in charge of the farm outside Perkins until their parents return home by eight pm on April 19, 1995. As news of the Murrah Building bombing breaks, Joe Paul, Jr. is concerned about his parents who don't carry a cell phone or pager. Younger brother Thomas falls and breaks his arm after school, and eight pm comes and goes without J.P. and Pat returning. As weeks and months become years, the Britton boys face an awful truth. A lot of people didn't make it home after the Oklahoma City bombing, but not all of them went missing because of it. With no leads for two years, the bodies of five people missing since the day of the bombing turn up on hoods of vehicles on the Mile of Cars in 1998. This jump-starts the investigation which comes to a startling conclusion as the deadly F5 tornado rips through Bridge Creek and Moore on May 3, 1999. Mile of Cars Murders is a follow-up to the 2012 novel, Payne County Weekly.
Length: 156 pages
Upside Down Heart (The Indian Rock Vampire Book 2)
“Blood holds more power over man than love, greed, death, money, politics, or religion.”
Upside Down Heart follows beautiful Michelle Sands and the sisterhood of The Upside Down Heart Society as they continue using the power inherited from the ancient Vampire Glome. Religious and political leaders and the powerful group L’ordre de l’Aigle are determined to possess their power or destroy them. Each member of the growing sisterhood brings her own unique ability to protect herself and the group. Michelle's financial and political power expands from Oklahoma onto the world stage in the 1960s, including London, Paris, and Copenhagen. Upside Down Heart brings the group to New York City on New Year's Eve 1969, for the beginning of a new decade and the start of a global battle for their survival. Historical events such as the devastating tornado which struck Howe, Oklahoma in 1961, and a Presidential visit to the area the same year add to this unusual, character-driven twist on the classic Vampire story. Power and how it is used in all levels of society continues throughout this series along with love, greed, death, finance, politics, and religion.
Length: 331 pages
Welcome to Utica
“Without knowing who to trust, you’re already dead.”
In 2010, a badly injured, unclothed woman is found with the mutilated remains of a special forces team in Afghanistan and brought to a field hospital. Before anyone can determine who she is or why she was there, high ranking military Chaplain Gabriel (Gabe) Wingford arrives to give her a U.S. Military identity and take her out of the country. Moving to 2014, Gabe is retired and serving as a police chaplain in Utica, Oklahoma. Angeline (Angie) has no memory of her existence before encountering Gabe. She is exceptionally perceptive and working as an investigative consultant for the police department. When a pregnant woman is murdered, Gabe and Angie discover she is a patient of Utica's groundbreaking fertility clinic that is working miracles for women who are unable to conceive. As the investigation progresses, they discover dark forces are behind the DNA research and a battle between Heaven and Hell is underway for the soul of Utica with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
Length: 134 pages
“Even with a new face and name, it’s hard to hide in plain sight in your hometown.”
Waking in a Santa Fe, NM hospital with a breathing tube in his throat, former international drug smuggler, turned D.E.A. informant Rory Jacobs hears doctors discussing his critical medical condition. Barely surviving a second hit by the Cali cartel, he’s reluctant to let the feds protect him again. He convinces them to let him return to his hometown of Poteau, OK to hide in plain sight with a new face and identity after recovering from extensive plastic surgery.
An unexpected meeting with his high school friend Izzy and her teenage daughter Sasha triggers feelings of regret over leaving Poteau before their high school graduation 27 years ago without saying goodbye to Izzy. He’s torn between maintaining his cover and telling Izzy the truth, knowing the five million dollar cartel bounty on his life will put Izzy and Sasha in danger.
Length: 204 pages
“Unraveling conspiracies is a deadly job, but someone has to do it.”
Before even settling into his office, Craig Jackson, newly appointed VP of Operations at Houston based Docking Strategies, America’s last viable corporation in 2052, is sent to Ft. Smith, AR on another troubleshooting assignment. Craig was born there but hasn’t been back since he was sixteen and isn’t sure how family he hasn’t seen in two decades will react to him. Adding to his dilemma, Craig is sent to Ft. Smith without a clear picture of what’s wrong. Docking Strategies has been tasked to run what’s left of the American government, now subservient to China over unpayable debt. Not knowing where he stands or who to trust, Craig must quickly find allies with family and key employees. His first cousin Jeff, and Felicity, a young female security guard are his only backup to investigate rumors of a medical miracle. When Felicity is critically injured, Craig must gamble using the unproven drug with the potential to save her life and the future of the United States from total collapse before the Chinese derail it.
Length: 188 pages
“Cover ups always unravel, requiring more cover ups.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Sissy MacKenzie works for her grandfather Marlon at his coal mine near Hartford, Arkansas in 1973. The beautiful, hard drinking and hard loving redhead has good business sense and operates a bulldozer and the mammoth dragline with great skill. As a favor to the State Department, Marlon and Sissy’s father Jake travel to Colombia advising the government and coal industry officials there on strip mining techniques. While managing the mine in their absence, Sissy receives a call with news that her father and grandfather are missing. With the help of her mother and a trusted employee who she’s involved with romantically, Sissy launches an investigation into their disappearance and discovers her family has been drawn into an international conspiracy and her life is now in danger. She goes on the run to stay one step ahead of the military, National Security Agency and the CIA as they come for her during this tumultuous time in American politics as the Nixon administration begins to crumble from the Watergate scandal.
Length: 208 pages
Letters from Becky
As an insecure, immature, seventeen year old high school senior from Poteau, OK with a dismal dating history, Joe Harwell somehow managed to work up enough courage to ask a gorgeous sixteen year old girl to accompany him on a first date to a stock car race at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, OK on April Fool’s Day, 1972. The evening was chilly and they sat close, then went to dinner at Sambo's Restaurant at Central Mall in Fort Smith before he took her home. He didn't give her a good night kiss, which was typical of him, and he really didn't expect Becky Craig to ever look his way again. To his pleasant surprise, Becky not only looked his way, but she also accepted more dates and he soon worked up enough courage to give her an Oklahoma Hello (kiss). The rest is history and the love they shared for more than thirty-six years was a rare, special and precious thing in the universe.
Length: 48 pages
Wolf Mountain Weekend 1976
In 1976, a group of investors in the small, southeastern Oklahoma town of Poteau contacted popular, local radio disk jockey and concert promoter “Diamond” Don Barnes about putting together a large concert to celebrate America's 200th birthday. With only a few weeks to pull it off from scratch, Don took on the task of what would become known as Wolf Mountain Weekend 1976.
While working around the clock to pull together what they hoped would be Oklahoma’s Woodstock, Don and the investors were slapped with a court injunction to stop the concert. Just hours before Wolf Mountain Weekend 1976 was to begin, it made national headlines when a local judge upheld the constitutional right to assemble as a test of the U.S. Constitution and the show ultimately did go on. Although it was a financial failure, the story of how it came together in such a short time and the constitutional challenge to the right to assemble in celebration of the nation's 200th birthday is an amazing story well worth exploring.
Short stories, rants, ruminations and recipes
Random short stories about growing up in Poteau, Oklahoma in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, life with Becky, my amazing late wife, plus rants and ruminations written between 2010 and early 2018. Plus two previously unpublished fiction stories and four favorite family recipes like chocolate (cocoa) gravy are also included. I invite you to try the recipes, read the stories, laugh, cry, scratch your head and pass it on for someone else to do the same. Fair warning, as I assembled this collection it became obvious many of my childhood memories contain bathroom humor. Printed in large type.
Length: 196 pages