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13 Days_600What could spike gasoline prices even further?

What would the world look like if nothing worked?

Energy executive Lynn Dayton thinks her challenge is fixing the troubled refinery her company has just acquired on the Houston Ship Channel. But soon she must save it, and other oil refineries, from the industrial havoc and deaths directed by a French saboteur, simultaneously fighting off threats to her own life.

As Lynn deals with chemical leaks, disloyal employees, a new season of hurricanes, and mounting casualties, Robert Guillard, a corrupted idealist, plans to manipulate her through her vulnerable sister.

But Robert underestimates his prey.

13 DAYS is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.


Rating: Excellent  “Author L A. Starks delivers an unstoppable thriller that put this reviewer in mind of bestselling novels of this genre over the last several decades, with the welcome addition of depth . . . When the reader turns the final page of 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy, it will be with an understanding and education gleaned smoothly and without strain or difficulty. This is truly a book which will linger in the reader’s mind long after the final ending, as we wonder: “What if?” . . . 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy is a thriller whose potentials are altogether too probable to ignore.”
Annie – – – Euro-Reviews

5 Stars. “13 Days takes readers on a fast paced ride into the world of petroleum. I would describe this book as espionage, thriller, suspense and entertaining. The quality of the plot and character make it difficult to believe this is a debut novel. The characterization is exquisite. The plot is exciting and informative.”
– – – Readers Favorite

“A gripping yarn of industrial espionage that keeps the reader guessing until the very end . . . Oil industry readers will relate to some of the red-necked attitudes of the refinery staff and will appreciate the dedication of Lynn Dayton who leads by example and could be anybody’s favorite boss . . . This is an excellent first novel.”
Roger Herrera – – – Petroleum News

“After reading the first 10 pages, I could not stop… very well written book and could be a case study.”
Zaki – – – Chemical Engineering World, (one of world’s top-ranked engineering blogs)

Rating: Preferred over most other fiction.  “13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy, moves along at a brisk pace . . . it is refreshing that Starks selected a group other than the stereotypical Middle Eastern extremists or the US Government to be the puppet master pulling the strings behind the conspiracy.”
Mysterious Reviews – – – Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

“For those who like tough can-do heroines, pull up a chair: you’ll like Lynn Dayton . . . If you like a fast-paced thriller with lots of technical information and a whole skein of loose threads that have to be knotted up, you’ll enjoy this.”
Karen Treanor – – – New Mystery Reader Magazine

“Starks tells the perfect conspiracy story in this richly, delightful tale of suspense and chills.”
Mark – – – Book Cove Reviews

“Four stars…an explosive debut novel . . . that keeps you up reading way past your bed time . . . the plot, characters, and settings are all well thought out and delivered with expertise.”
R.J. McGill – – – 3Rs Reading Den, Amazon, Boston Globe Book Forum, other online review sites.

“Readers will enjoy the courage and risk taking of the female protagonist as she is a combo of vulnerability and strength.”
Harriet Klausner

“This book is worthy of a careful read, and yet it provides entertainment and food for thought . . . Rating: 4 Hearts”
Bob Spear – – – Chief Reviewer, Heartland Reviews

“Four Stars. A reverse femjep.”
Jack Quick – – –

“Very realistic. Thankfully, most weeks aren’t as intense as these are.”
CR – – – oil company vice president

“A knock-down conspiracy exposing the darkest secrets of the oil industry. Starks has made an impressive debut with command, passion and the insight of an insider… because she was one.”
Michael Lucker – – – executive producer at Trailblazer Studios

“This is a tight, compelling story . . . Guillard is truly a despicable villain and how he manipulates even Lynn’s private life is frightening.”
– – – wpbookreviews

“This was a very fast-paced book! I couldn’t put it down! It is a superb blend of the oil business, current events, and international intrigue. I felt like I was experiencing a front-page news story.”
Kathy Norderhaug – – – international oil executive

“Thanks for writing such a suspenseful book.”
Mike Witzgall – – – (ret.) Dallas Police Department SWAT team member

“13 Days is a suspense thriller with an engineering twist. With the oil refining industry as a backdrop, Starks weaves a story with lots of turns and subplots to keep you guessing. It’s a great read!”
L. Gros – – – marketing manager, global petrochemical company

“A great thriller, in the tradition of John Grisham and Dick Francis. Full of interesting insights into the energy business, 13 Days features a tightly woven plot and vivid characters.”
Mike Barron – – – retired energy CFO and senior vice president

“13 Days weaves a gripping suspense plot around the very real, and complex operations of oil refining. The attention to detail and factual content is extraordinary, while creating a spellbinding story that we hope could not be real.”
KS – – – vice president, energy industry consulting firm

“13 Days is a cross between Vince Flynn and Patricia Cornwell.”
– – – reader

“Starks grabs the reader from page one with this well-researched page-turner.”
Harry Hunsicker – – – Shamus-nominated author of the Hank Oswald series

“Starks’ first novel seems to be coming closer to reality and current events than any of us would like to realize.”
Carine Nadel

“As a mystery enthusiast, I am always looking for something fresh and intelligent. 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy is just that: a well-done industrial espionage and terrorism thriller about the global oil industry that along the way provides a fascinating look into the technology, politics, and vulnerabilities of this all-important sector of the world economy.”
William Rich – – – telecommunications executive

5 Stars. “I very much enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot about oil and petroleum- about quality issues and the refining process . . . The author jumps right into the story and takes us along an elaborate plot for a big reveal in the end. It was straightforward and enjoyable.”
Hennessy A. – – – “Boarder Babe”

“This is an enjoyable and interesting thriller that showcases too well the current and ongoing vulnerability regarding U. S. oil production and processing . . . Oil production and processing is a highly complex subject and the author draws upon her long career in the industry to write what she knows . . . The premise works, as do the character situations . . . the author conveys real world concerns while delivering a good story worth reading.”
Kevin Tipple – – – Mouth Full of Bullets, Blogger News Network

“This is a great read, fast-paced, good plot twists, entertaining. When I read, even fiction, I like to learn about something. Starks pulled me into the world of the refinery business, its risks, its jargon, painted with character’s New Orleans drawls and slithering French accents. I could hear it, smell it, and see it with my eyes. I have been married to a man for 16 years who is a key investor in the natural gas business, but never really understood the workings of a refinery or that hydrogen sulfide could be such an instant, lethal killer. I would read parts of 13 Days to him for verification and he would nod, pleasantly surprised that a fiction book strove to be so accurate… Kudos to Starks on her first book. I hope to see more from her.”
Julie Hersh – – – reader and author, Struck by Living


L. A. Starks was born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in northern Oklahoma, and now lives in Texas. Awarded a full-tuition college scholarship, she earned a chemical engineering bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from New Orleans’ Tulane University, followed by a finance MBA from the University of Chicago. While at Chicago she made time to play for a celebrated women’s intramural basketball team, the Efficient Mockettes.

Working more than a decade for well-known energy companies in engineering, marketing, and finance from refineries to corporate offices prepared Starks to write global energy thrillers. She continues to research and consult on energy economics and investing, often speaking to professional groups for their members’ continuing education credit.

In addition to her books, two of Starks’ short stories have been published in Amazon Shorts. Her nonfiction has appeared in Mystery Readers Journal, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express-News, Sleuth Sayer (MWA-SW newsletter), Natural Gas, Oil and Gas Journal, and investor website Seeking Alpha. She is also co-inventor of a US patent.

Starks has run eight half-marathons. She serves as investment committee chair on the board of the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, a fund-raising and advocacy group that supports Dallas’ 28-branch civic library system. She previously served as president of the board of directors of the 7-branch Dallas Metropolitan YWCA.

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