University instructor reviews “Santa Barbara Secrets”

So, I liked Santa Barbara Secrets a lot. You have cut out your own turf and are sticking to it. As far as I know, no one has staked out this turf as you have.

The luxury life is your beat. The men hopelessly shopping for summer togs was quite funny. Also, the detective agency opens up lots of interesting avenues for sub- and parallel plots.  The ladies’ shit-kicking men remain my fave scenes. I think we need them to meet a foe whose skills match their own in hand-to-hand.

And, gotta love them kitties.

Good work, my friend, and I look forward to the next installment.

Best always, Les Wiseman

Royal Roads University

“If you like to read, try this book, a very good read and hard to put down.” Curtis Leithead Corrections Officer

“Hooah! MAX congrats! and WELL done!”

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

“I love Jessica! She is a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. Am loving the book!”

Lucille – A Fan

“I hope by now your Jessica has found a literary agent worthy of her exploits. Be well! Write on!” Harley Jane Kozak.

“Congratulations on the publication of “Wyoming Secrets…” I trust you are at work on the next book.” Sue Grafton

Writer’s Digest reviews “Wyoming Secrets”.

In Wyoming Secrets, a mystery / thriller novel written by Jonathan McCormick, we are presented with a fast-paced globe-hopping tale that presents flawed characters and convoluted plans in a way that keeps the reader turning pages to uncover those titular secrets.

The title for the novel seems to this reader to be haunting and interesting, providing a suggestive entry point to the work that establishes keen alignment with the genre and strong expectations. The dialogue here is particularly solid, sounding realistic and still readable, aiding the characterization and adding layers of nuance to the proceedings. An ear for dialogue is a wonderful thing in a writer and, throughout, scenes come alive and motivation seems earned as a result of believable dialogue.

The characters here are fully realized, vivid and alive, directing the action with trackable motivation which the reader can believe. And, the hallmark of well-drawn characters, they often do surprising things making them very human, which can be rare.

The overall design of the book is professional. It features an interior layout that is crisp and clean with text design on each page that is readable and presented soundly. It may seem minor but getting the interior in order is an important step in getting the reader hooked and able to enter into the flow of the work! Also, the cover image for the book is much too dominated by script font, slightly difficult to read, to allow the imagery to really take over and give the reader an impression.

“Yes, Jessica reminds me of a big cat, lioness – Bengal Tiger-!! No fear. Once again she has her martial arts to fall back on and plenty of cooooooool.”

Eileen – A Fan

University of Alaska

Former University of Alaska Student Publishes First Novel Some of you may remember Jonathan McCormick, who took graduate courses in Diagnostic and Prescriptive Teaching while working on Hoonah Island before transferring to U of Portland. He has just published his first novel: Wyoming Secrets: A “J” Team Novel, which was released on recently available in paperback and Kindle version. Take a look on Amazon to read the synopsis and check ou this author website at and Twitter @lazeejjs.

University of Washington

“The University of Washington Libraries each day (sees) more than 25,000 people visit our facilities on the three campuses while another 100,000 access our resources via the Web.
It is my privilege to express our appreciation for your contribution of “Wyoming Secrets”.

University Educator comments on McCormick’s writing.

“Jonathan McCormick has just released his second book in the J-Team series. It is called 30,000 Secrets. It totally rocks. McCormick’s books (the first being Wyoming Secrets) take the side of women as heroes/heroines and enables women with strategies and tactics to help themselves with self-defense maneuvers.

A black belt in a number of self-defense arts, McCormick donates 100% of sales of his books to support abused women.

If you like a team of good gals against the contemporary ills of the world then this is the book for you. If you dig Brad Thor, Stephen Hunter, Tess Gerritsen, Andrew Vachss, Patricia Cornwell, John Connolly, Elizabeth George, or David Morrell, you want to add McCormick to your reading list.”

Les Wiseman Royal Roads University

Wiseman is the 2017 recipient of the Associate Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence from the School of Communication and Culture (SCC) for his teaching in the RRU Bachelor of Professional Communications program.

American periodical’s appraisal

“In 30,000 Secrets, a genre novel by Jonathan McCormick, we are presented with a taut and captivating thriller that travels the lengths of the world and the depths of the human heart as it works to clear the convoluted plot.

The title for the novel seems to this reader to be a key to expectations, signaling a sense of mysteries and hesitancies, of the importance of what is said and what is unsaid. The overall design of the book is professional.

It features an interior layout that is clean and clear with text design on each page that is readable and crisp. Also, the cover image for the book has the gloss of a political thriller but with perhaps too much of the wedged title elements interposed.

The characters here are fully realized, vivid and alive, and often do surprising things – or do / say things that are very human, which can be rare. I especially like Jessica. In short, she is a well-developed character, fully realized on the page with a plausible sensibility in an increasingly tragic and complex world.

The chapters are nicely paced, with enough meat to make them satisfying but not so ponderous as to make it difficult to keep track of the narrative as it develops.

In fiction, so much of the pacing comes from the deployment of the chapters, how they build the suspense or momentum of the narrative arc, and in this case things move along in a compelling manner.”

Writers’ Digest

Black Press Review

Writing has always been more than just a hobby for Jonathan McCormick.

With a background in martial arts and as a law-enforcement trainer, the former United States Marine has penned many articles for publications, such as the law enforcement periodicals, Blue Line, Twenty-Four-Seven, and the Canadian Firearms Journal. He was also the security columnist for the Vancouver Province newspaper.

When he decided to write his first novel, “Wyoming Secrets”, it was natural the story is set in a world that he knows so well.

The suspense thriller follows Secret Service investigator Jessica Fukishura and her hand-picked team of cow hand agent Rebecca Simpson, former Delta agent Jackson Pennington, North African Al-Qaeda fighter Jason Spencer and former junior high computer science teacher and hacker Elisabeth Peltowski on assignment in trendy spots all over the world. McCormick tells his story through a plot seeped in suspense, mystery, love, sex and martial arts.

“Wyoming Secrets” was published on Jan. 28, 2012 and already it’s destined to become part of a series called “J” Team Novels. The second of the series, “30,000 Secrets”, is due to come out in February 2017.

The series’ target reading audience is women aged 21 years and over, but the reading demographics is fifty percent male.

“I’ve used personal background for the book, including martial arts, education, military and shooting.”

All his books are available from and


Reader responses via Amazon

“The beginning of the book was like a Robert Ludlum book, but once the characters are introduced it gets very intense. I could not put the book down,and disappointed that the next book wasn’t sitting waiting for me to read. I would highly recommend this book to readers.”

5.0 out of 5 stars For Wyoming Secrets!

“What a treat for me to receive your book!…Thank you so much for sending it and remembering me …Made my heart feel very very good. I had no idea you were as ‘dangerous’ as you are … Heh!”
Dr. Barrie Bennett University of Toronto

5.0 out of 5 stars Wyoming Secrets, March 4, 2012 by Colleen

This review is from: Wyoming Secrets A “J” Team Novel: “J” Team Series (Paperback)

“The beginning of the book was like a Robert Ludlum book, but once the characters are introduced, it gets very intense. I could not put the book down, and disappointed that the next book wasn’t sitting waiting for me to read. I would highly recommend this book to readers.”

GROOVE335.0 out of 5 stars ACTION PACKED Reviewed in Canada on April 24, 2014 Only about a third of the way through. Really enjoying it. What’s really cool is I recently found out I went to school with the author

5.0 out of 5 stars
 Great read!!
Wyoming Secrets Reviewed in Canada on January 16, 2019 This book is great! You will fall in love with the characters. Bad ass female lead. Very empowering!

Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2020

Kindle Customer1.0 out of 5 stars Lot of blather – not much story.

After page after page of detailed descriptions of every piece of clothing, hair, shoes, every bite of food, every detail of rooms, every thing OTHER than the story – I gave up. I was sure it was written by a woman given the catty details of each and every female character.
Waste of time.

By Brian Lavery on April 10, 2018

I enjoyed “30, 000 Secrets”

4.0 out of 5 stars

“I enjoyed 30,000 Secrets. Lots of action. And it is educational too. You will learn about weapons and wines you probably never heard of.”

“Santa Barbara Secrets” Kindle Customer3.0 out of 5 stars Well…..Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2020 This is a good book, once it got going. I think the author wanted to be either a fashion designer or an interior decorator. Descriptions of both are way too detailed and more than we needed.

Toby M. Shapiro 5.0 out of 5 stars Santa Barbara Secrets Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2020 I liked it very much. But I didn’t need all the fashion descriptions of clothes and furniture! I thought some of the good guys were going to turn out to be bad guys’. Nope!

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