Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Family #Drama #Romance – Linda Bradley, Christine Campbell, Billy Ray Chitwood and Angie Dokos


Time for another selection of books from the Cafe and Bookstore that would make great gifts for Christmas.  And an author that definitely leaps off the page at this time of year is Linda Bradley with a novella, A Montana Bound Christmas: Ho,ho, Home for the Holidays  (Book 4 in the popular Montana Bound Series). The series would make a great gift for lovers of family/romance dramas.

About the book

Chloe and John McIntyre await Maggie Abernathy’s arrival at the 617 Ranch, but snowfall has halted flights from Michigan to Montana. While Maggie and her mother prepare for a delayed departure, eight-year-old Chloe prepares for disappointment by inviting her Hollywood mother to the ranch in hopes of filling the void. Brook’s unexpected acceptance raises the stakes for John who longs for the perfect Christmas. This cast of misfits bands together in true Montana Bound style when unexpected guests arrive and a curious dog goes missing.

One of the reviews for the book

Perspectivepower, Annette Rochelle Aben 5.0 out of 5 stars A Holiday Gift

What fun! From the first chapter to the last, this story is a like a warm hug. Linda Bradley weaves the different worlds of each of the characters together in a rich tapestry that mirrors the story line itself. This could easily become a beloved holiday movie classic, if it were given the chance. Maggie, John and Chloe will feel as much like family to you as they do to each other. Open a wonderful gift of the holidays, when you open A Montana Bound Christmas. 

Read the reviews and the book: https://www.amazon.com/Montana-Bound-Christmas-Home-Holidays-ebook/dp/B0772BBQ4W

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Montana-Bound-Christmas-Home-Holidays-ebook/dp/B0772BBQ4W

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set of the series: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

Read more reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6498473.Linda_Bradley

Connect to Linda via her website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com

Another book that would be enjoyed by those who love family dramas is the latest release by Christine CampbellGold Plated.

About Gold Plated

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating fifty years of marriage.

Their daughter, Heather, has helped plan their Golden Wedding Anniversary party, and it looks like being a wonderful night: sixties music, all their friends and family present, and Rosanna has bought the perfect golden gift for Paul.

What could possibly go wrong?

When an uninvited guest shows up, Rosanna’s world is shaken and she is forced to look back over their fifty golden years and see them as they were.

Were they golden? Or just gold-plated?

One of the reviews for the book

Rosanna and Paul are celebrating their Golden Wedding with a grand party at the local Golf Club. Aided by their only daughter Heather, Rosanna is making sure that everything is perfect including baking a delicious cake and buying Paul the ideal gift, but have all their years together been so perfect?

The clock is turned back to 1964 when Rosanna started at Art college and Paul was her young, charismatic tutor. Lacking confidence in herself, she was astonished that he chose her as his “secret” girlfriend, but against all odds, they have now been married for 50 years.

Abandoning her earlier artistic ambitions, Rosanna has looked after their lovely home while Paul continued his successful teaching career.

Christine Campbell is skilled at putting us inside Rosanna’s head. We begin to understand her calm, quiet personality and her loyal, loving nature. We can see that Paul takes her for granted but they seem to have a happy marriage. But at the party everything changes in a dramatic way. Secrets are revealed, treachery exposed, and Rosanna’s life is in tatters.

This is a story, with which we can all identify in some way. It is sadly true that many women, and men, can suddenly find themselves alone as old age approaches and dealing with the collapse of all they believed in can be catastrophic. But this is not a sad story, there is a positive message that life is what we make of it and Rosanna discovers new personal qualities of independence and self-reliance as well as rekindling her creativity.

Personally, I would have preferred the story to have been written in the past tense, especially for the scenes from the past, but that is probably just my particular bête-noire! The detailed involvement in Rosanna’s rollercoasting emotions and cleverly plotted, surprising events make this book a very rewarding read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Plated-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B07D6PFFYN/

A selection of other books by Christine Campbell.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126731.Christine_Campbell

Connect to Christine via her blog: http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

The next author with a compelling drama is Billy Ray Chitwood and his latest release Hammer’s Holy Grail – A novel of Love and Redemption.

About Hammer’s Holy Grail

A star quarterback at Grand View University in Knoxville, Tennessee battles not only his gridiron foes but his Appalachian father’s anger toward his mother and sister. By a turn of fate and nature, Wesley Walton will meet a man ravaged by war and lost love, a man, through his hardships, has come to peace with his spirituality, a man who will become a surrogate soulmate and mentor to the confused young athlete.

This is a short novel but it is long on love, family, forgiveness, and football action – all blending to make this short read a ‘tour de force’ in its own right, with a twist at the end to tie the ribbon to this gift of a novel!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Like many compelling stories, “Hammer’s Holy Grail” is a journey – in this case, both for its main protagonist and for some of its minor characters.

Wesley Walton is a young man with serious potential to make it as a professional quarterback. But he is also a troubled soul, weighed down by family problems and relationships.

Author Billy Ray Chitwood takes the reader on an emotional voyage of highs and lows, injecting some surprises along the way. As is usual in Chitwood books, there are reflections on some of life’s big questions, especially the issues of redemption and what family really means.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a good heart-rending tale (not to mention sports fans!).

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FCVQX36/

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hammers-Holy-Grail-BR-Chitwood-ebook/dp/B07FCVQX36

Here is a small selection of Billy Ray’s books

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

Connect to Billy Ray via his website: https://brchitwood.com

The next author with with books that have a family theme is Angie Dokos  and here is her first novel  MacKenzie’s Distraction.

About the book

Mackenzie’s Distraction is a New Adult Romance about a young lady with a rough past and a promising future. Just when he career is within reach, tragedy strikes. A terrible accident and a family secret turn Mackenzie’s world upside down. She’s sure her life can’t become any more complicated, then she meets Trevor. Will he be just what she needs or the distraction that pushes her over the edge?

This book is not erotica, but does have sexual content. It includes some curse words, but not many. It doesn’t have any major violence.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Reading new genres has become part of my routine to find fantastic new authors, understand different writing styles, and explore great stories and content. I found all three with the latest book I read, Mackenzie’s Distraction, written by Angie Dokos in 2016. The book is considered new adult contemporary fiction, but it’s stocked full of romance, emotions, attitude, and possibilities. I bought the book a few weeks before a recent vacation and read it poolside on the Amalfi Coast while in Italy. What a perfect combination of beauty in a book just like the many splendors of my surroundings.

Mackenzie’s been hurt in the past and steers clear of relationships especially when the man seems too good to be real or true. But in this case, before she even meets him, her life is traumatized when her mother is a car accident and struggles to survive. Though Mackenzie has friends and other family to help her handle the huge blow, it’s not quite as simple as all that. Her mother’s hospitalization leads Mackenzie to learn a few deep-rooted family secrets, meet friends from a parent’s former life, and discover things about herself she never knew existed. That’s when the potential man of her dreams walks into her life, but is she too crushed and shocked to accept it? Let’s not forget the sudden onset of several available and potentially great catches who are very interested in getting to know her. Who will she choose, if any? Now that’s where the plot of this book takes off… weaving readers on a very emotional and manic ride with the unfortunately impacted young woman just looking to heal.

I’m normally a plot, then character guy. In this book, though the plot is important, it’s less about what the secrets and actions are and more about how Mackenzie deals with all the repercussions. It was a great change of pace for me as you had to settle in, listen, and understand why Mackenzie reacted the way she did in each instance. I didn’t always agree, and I sometimes got angry with her for what seemed like an unnecessary or spoiled adolescent attitude; however, I also haven’t suffered through the craziness that hits her in the span of a few days. In that sense, she certainly tries to find a balance, and readers can easily connect with her on the journey. I vividly recall thinking, if she didn’t accept Trevor’s love and attention, I’d certainly volunteer to stand in. (I won’t tell you if she does or doesn’t, but it’s complex!) He was practically perfect in every way, what exactly was stopping her? Well… that’s where psychology and personality truly come into play and drive her responses. It takes a truly analytical, sensitive, and courageous mind to deliver this kind of story. Kudos to Dokos.

Writing style and caliber were strong. Characters were vivid and relatable. Actions and dialog were balanced well, even if at times I was feeling a little frustrated with some of the things people did or said. But that’s the beauty of a good book: sometimes it takes the writer to challenge the reader to engage outside their normal comfort zone, and readers should keep an open mind to fully understand the vision of the author. Then you see why it works… and you have a thrilling escape in someone else’s complicated life. Being a teenager or even in you early 20’s is ridiculously tough in a modern world. Dealing with siblings who have different attitudes, step families with bigger concerns and questions, friends who just want you to be happy but get in your face all too often… wanting to open your heart to love but not knowing how any more… trusting someone who is virtually a stranger despite spending days with him in the first week… people are often secretive and misleading, so I understand Mackenzie’s concerns. But from one particular scene, the girl can take care of herself! Awesome scene, Ms. Dokos. 😊

I really enjoyed the book and will definitely look for more from the author this year, as she has another book published and is hopefully working on a few more already! She’s got a new fan and I’m confident many more as they take a chance on reading her work. I recommend giving it a chance for all readers, but most definitely if you enjoy balanced romance and emotions, journeys, analytical decision-making and learning how to let go and accept change.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mackenzies-Distraction-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B01BL4H20E

Also by Angie Dokos

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14905574.Angie_Dokos

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website: https://angiedokos.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I do hope you have enjoyed the selection of books for Christmas. Thanks Sally

 

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Judy Penz Sheluk, Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton, Billy Ray Chitwood and Diana J. Febry


The first book with a recent review is one that I am currently reading and is the latest release of Judy Penz Sheluk – Past & Present – A Marketville Mystery.

About Past & Present

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

This is the second in Judy Penz Sheluk’s Marketville Mystery series, set in a small town outside Toronto, and the series establishes a cozy, warm-hearted atmosphere. As in her earlier book, Skeletons in the Attic, the first-person narrator is Calamity (Callie) Barnstable.

Along for the adventure are her friends Chantelle Marchand and Arabella Carpenter, owner of a nearby antiques shop (the protagonist in Sheluk’s other series, the Glass Dolphin Mysteries).

In this book, Callie and Chantelle team up in a new business called Past & Present Investigations, in which they hope to use Callie’s research acumen and Chantelle’s genealogical knowledge to help people find missing relatives. Arabella will help if someone brings in an old object related to the missing person, and Callie’s retired librarian friend will do the archive searches.

Callie vacillates between loving the business idea and fearing they will find nothing but dead ends, but Sheluk has written nicely three-dimensional characters that are game to try. Callie also faces an ongoing personal challenge. It seems she cannot escape the hostility of her grandfather. He has never forgiven her mother for marrying Callie’s father who was, her grandfather felt, many ladder-rungs beneath her.

Before long, Arabella sends Callie a potential client. Louisa Frankow’s German grandmother, Anneliese, immigrated from England in 1952 on the ship Canberra. A mystery surrounds her grandmother’s death only a few years after that voyage. Family papers and photos and other clues to the grandmother’s past are few, but Callie locates an ephemera dealer with relevant artifacts from voyages of that era—much more glamorous than modern-day trans-Atlantic air travel, that’s for sure!

Callie and Chantelle capitalize on the growing online availability of genealogical databases, newspaper archives, and the like. You may be familiar with these possibilities, if you’ve done some family research of your own, and Sheluk makes the search for Anneliese’s past full of the thrill of discovering how the pieces fit. They learn that Anneliese was murdered, and her husband convicted of manslaughter (on very flimsy evidence, in Callie’s view). He’d been in prison only a few months when he was stabbed to death in the showers. If he was not guilty, as Callie suspects, the real murderer is responsible for two deaths.

Sheluk includes a couple of features that require a bit of a leap of faith. She relies on a long-ago coincidence, which, granted, might have been more likely in the early 1950s when Toronto’s population was a third its current-day size. And, she’s helped by a psychic who interprets objects, and while Callie remains skeptical of the validity of psychic phenomena, the psychic’s revelations help confirm her hypotheses about the crime.

The murder in this book is many years old, but it has consequences for Louisa and Callie too, which makes it significant even without splattering fresh blood all over the pages. It’s fun to watch Callie and her friends in action, and the book ends with the promise of another interesting case to come.

It’s a quick and satisfying read for those who like cozy mysteries or are fascinated by the long tail of the past.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FYZ6HPF/

And Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Past-Present-Judy-Penz-Sheluk-ebook/dp/B07FYZ6HPF/

Also by Judy Penz Sheluk

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Read the reviews and buy all the books: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04/

Read more reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8602696.Judy_Penz_Sheluk

About Judy Penz Sheluk

Connect to Judy via her blog: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/

While the Bombs Fell which is written by Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton is also receiving new reviews.

About While the Bombs Fell

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes

One of the recent reviews for the book

While The Bombs Fell is a well written book about growing up in England during World War II. It’s brimming with great appreciation for the simple things in life that we take for granted these days, such as, eating bread and butter and getting a new dress. The accounts about families spending time together enjoying songs brought a smile to my face. It was impossible not to be in awe of the hard work and patriotism of the men, women and children so vividly depicted in this novel.

If you enjoy reminiscing or are interested in learning about growing up in Britain during World War II, then you’ll definitely enjoy While The Bombs Fell.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GZ2NZFK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/While-Bombs-Fell-Robbie-Cheadle-ebook/dp/B07GZ2NZFK

Children’s books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie Cheadle via her blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is Billy Ray Chitwood for Hammer’s Holy Grail – A novel of Love and Redemption.

About Hammer’s Holy Grail

A star quarterback at Grand View University in Knoxville, Tennessee battles not only his gridiron foes but his Appalachian father’s anger toward his mother and sister. By a turn of fate and nature, Wesley Walton will meet a man ravaged by war and lost love, a man, through his hardships, has come to peace with his spirituality, a man who will become a surrogate soulmate and mentor to the confused young athlete.

This is a short novel but it is long on love, family, forgiveness, and football action – all blending to make this short read a ‘tour de force’ in its own right, with a twist at the end to tie the ribbon to this gift of a novel!

One of the recent reviews for the book

Billy Ray Chitwood has a wonderful way of telling a story. He writes as though he is sharing with a close friend. With humble casualness, he draws the reader into situations often hidden from sight and exposes a deeper story. His characters are familiar and their passions relatable. Through their vulnerabilities, we see our own. We experience domestic violence – as the hurt child, as the beaten spouse, and as the abuser. We experience love – driven, consuming and also tender. Hammer’s Holy Grail takes the reader on a journey through life’s challenges and life’s gifts.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FCVQX36/

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hammers-Holy-Grail-BR-Chitwood-ebook/dp/B07FCVQX36

Here is a small selection of Billy Ray’s books

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

Connect to Billy Ray via his website: https://brchitwood.com

Reviewer Gwen Plano is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Gwen Plano, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Gwendolyn-M.-Plano/e/B00I5TAJ04/
Website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

The final author today with a recent review is Diana J. Febry the author of the Peter Hatherall mysteries and her recently published book Five…Twisted Truth

About Twisted Truth

It’s hard to defend yourself when you have memory lapses, and everyone thinks you are crazy.

Journalist, Megan Roach, is given a story by an old man in a nursing home that could make her famous. When her carefully constructed life starts to unravel, she is forced to confront her childhood demons and the possibility she could be a murderer.

DCI Peter Hatherall uncovers a conspiracy that confronts his own beliefs and goes far deeper than Megan Roach imagined. But can he believe anything she says?

One of the recent reviews for the book:

Twisted truth. What an apt title in our age of fake news and so much corruption, where truth is hard to come by or believe. Of course that title captured my attention but I’m also a frequent reader of this author, having read the earlier in the Powell series. And speaking of fake news, no surprise that one of the main characters is a reporter, Megan Roach, who works with her photographer, Rob. They are cast well; she with the frustration of working for a rag newspaper and wanting for her chance at fame and accolades and he a great counter-part to her character, a gay man who is just embarking on a relationship with a man in the closet (an elementary school teacher). Then factor into the cast of great characters is Peter Hatherall, his side-kick DI Fiona Williams (who he has an unrequited attraction for), his wife Sally, and their children (featured in the backdrop).

Into the storyline comes David Prater a wealthy and influential businessman, his mother, Miranda, a deceased wife, Carolyn (the victim who we learn about in hindsight who has a lover on the side who was also murdered with her), and mention of the rich and well connected deceased politician father. There are many other characters who enter for subplots that shine richness into the story: the newly married couple who ask Hatherall to check into another of their friends who have gone missing, a young runaway boy who stole a horse from a glue factory but this is no ordinary horse, and Lorna a friend who mysteriously pops up from Megan’s childhood (a childhood she doesn’t remember as she’s been adopted).

The story begins with Megan and Rob covering a story at a nursing home. There an elderly man on a wheelchair surreptitiously captures her attention. She mistakes him for a demented elderly, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He has a box he wants to give to a reporter. He can’t go to the police; it’s too dangerous—the police are in cahoots with the powerful involved. Megan is doubtful about its contents until later when she opens it and see evidence that points to a murder; of David Prater’s wife and lover. As the story unfolds the reader comes to learn that Carolyn Prater knew her life was endangered. She wanted to leave her husband who she claims has secrets.

The storyline’s intensity increases when Megan asks a police officer friend of hers to send her the file on the auto accident that killed Carolyn and others. It’s missing. Been deleted or sideswiped and she is told to leave it alone. Into the story factors the earlier mentioned boy on the horse who Hatherall and Fiona are now looking for. This leads them to David Prater, who takes an interest in working with the boy; training him for races as news has spread that the boy on bareback is jumping hedges and fences and showing great show promise. While on that case Hatherall catches wind that a reporter has asked about Prater’s wife’s missing file. When his interest is piqued, he enquires to some locals to discover that David and Carolyn had a discreetly open relationship. And another juicy tidbit is it’s questionable that their sons are his.

As the storyline comes together the reader goes beyond questioning if Carolyn and others in the car were murdered to who did it? No spoilers here. This is a tightly-written, well-crafted, detailed story rich in a main theme and subplots. The relationship between Hatherall and Fiona is witty and well dialogued, which has always been a treat in reading this author. Febry knows how to weave a mysterious yarn that not only captures and holds attention but is highly entertaining. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twisted-Truth-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07DK5L1YT/

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Truth-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07DK5L1YT/

The other books in the DCI Peter Hatherall series

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J7AG9U4https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989441.Diana_J_Febry

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dianaj.febry.9

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will head over and check these authors and their books out further. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday August 31st, 2018 – Marcia Meara, Christy D. Birmingham and Billy Ray Chitwood.


The first post is from Marcia Meara Website and features an excerpt from the latest release, Tortured Souls, by Staci Troilo.

Hi, Marcia. Thank you for opening your blog to me today.

I know you have an interest in the paranormal, in romance, and in thrillers. Today, I’m going to share an excerpt from my newest release, Tortured Soul, the fourth and final installment of the Medici Protectorate series. This book has all those elements (and then some). I hope you and your readers enjoy it.

(Note: These guys are battle-hardened and make free use of swear words, particularly when in the heat of action. To keep this post reader-friendly for all audiences, all instances of such words have been tamed or deleted.)

Tortured Soul Teaser

Mike? Where are you?”

“I do not know that ‘where’ is the correct term for what you are asking.”

Coz glanced around. No one reacted like they could hear him.

“They cannot hear me.”

Where the heck was he talking from? “Mike?”

“You do not have to speak aloud, Roberto. I am communicating with you, mind-to-mind.”

Coz started thinking his replies instead of speaking them. “Didn’t know you could do that.”

“I could not, before I died.” 

Head over and read the blurb for the book and the rest of this excerpt : https://marciamearawrites.com/2018/08/29/cover-blurb-and-excerpt-for-tortured-soul/

Marcia Meara is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Marcia Meara, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Meara/e/B00EUCXRU4
Bookin’ it blog: https://marciameara.wordpress.com/

Please visit Marcia’s Amazon page to view all her books.

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My next blogger is Christy Birmingham who hosts a post from Linnea Tanner talking about mythology, Celtic Goddesses and her Curse of the Clansmen Series.

Today author Linnea Tanner is visiting to talk about mythology and her Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Welcome, Linnea. I have known her for several years and watched her accumulate literary nominations and awards for her historical fantasy writing. Want to learn more about the Celtic goddess and how she is still relevant today? Then keep reading!

The female protagonist, Catrin, in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series is a Celtic warrior princess with mystical druidic powers in ancient Britannia. Her characterization is based on the complex archetypes of ancient Celtic goddesses whose functions embrace the entire religious spectrum from healing to warfare, from creation to destruction, and from nourishment to the Otherworld of the dead. Her Roman lover, Marcellus, is the great-grandson of Marc Antony. Interestingly, the Romans blended Celtic beliefs into their religion throughout the Romano-Celtic region.

In the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series, Catrin’s mythological odyssey will take her back and forth between first century Britannia and Rome. She derives powers from her dual nature of absolute love and loyalty countered by destruction and vengeance. She embodies the complex archetypes of Celtic goddesses who are described below.

Goddesses of War

Read more about Goddesses of war and the rest of this fascinating post : https://whenwomeninspire.com/2018/08/30/author-linnea-tanner-celtic-goddess/

Christy Birmingham is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

And I will end with a short story from the charming Billy Ray Chitwood, who wrote this for the other charmer in our community John Howell, following his recent replacement knee surgery.

Comes the Dawn! by Billy Ray Chitwood – (For John Howell – Re-coup-knee-repl.)

The long night was over: no more voices whispering in the darker shadows of the bedroom; no more misshapen forms parading slowly past the end of the bed, blood pouring in ghastly lava-flows; no more screaming from my beloved wife, not knowing why, but screaming from seeing my white-blanched face, my red, tear-streaked cheeks, and my uncontrollable shaking.

The doctor gave me a mild pre-warning, but I will never forgive myself for the agony I put my good wife Jackie through that first night home from a knee-replacement surgery.

Dr. Driscoll told me that the pain medicine and its delivery system did not necessarily go well with the current pill regimen I was on. “Some medications collide with pain pills, Jeremy, so hallucinations are not out of the question. There is no way to predict the nature of the hallucinations, but I’ve heard some grotesque tales from patients in the past. You must take your medications, so it’s ‘pain or pain-pill’.”

The pain last night was excruciating, so I opted for the ‘pain-pill’, figuring the hallucinations could not be too much worse than the pain. Well, it was a ‘toss-up’! Still, that phantasmagorical experience was a ride down one of Hell’s terrifying roller coasters.

Okay, my pain threshold is weak to cry-babyish! AND, I’m about to take another pain-pill as I’m writing this because the pain is eating me alive – again! And, it’s daytime.

Head over and read the rest of this scary story…..: https://brchitwood.com/2018/08/16/comes-the-dawn/

Billy Ray is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Website: https://brchitwood.com

Visit Amazon or Billy Ray’s blog to view all his books.

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s selection and will head over and explore the posts further… thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on book on the shelves – Kentucky Kernels by B.R. Chitwood


Delighted to showcase the latest Kindle release by Billy Ray Chitwood Kentucky Kernels is a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

About Kentucky Kernels

This is a book of Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry, and two excerpt sections devoted to two of the author’s 15 books. The major purpose of the book is to introduce the author and his writing style to a wide audience of readers who might wish to read some of his longer novels of mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and memoir.

The book has short fiction for the Sci-Fi lovers, and there are short fiction for those readers who lean toward Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Romance, and Memoir.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Kentucky-Kernels-BR-Chitwood-ebook/dp/B07FBQ3KN6/

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kentucky-Kernels-BR-Chitwood-ebook/dp/B07FBQ3KN6/

Here is a small selection of Billy Ray’s books

 

About Stranger Abduction

It is a sunny Sunday in May, 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.

They never make it home…

The deputy sheriff of the county believe there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.

There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Can you imagine anything more frightening than a mother and daughter disappearing from a quiet rural road? That’s exactly the tale that Billy Ray Chitwood relates in Stranger Abduction. This is a fictitious account of an actual event. A mother and daughter walking home from the store, happy and eating ice cream when evil pounces. The way the author wove this tale around all the characters involved is gripping. I discovered many sub-plots in this book and sometimes that doesn’t work. But, in this book, it worked perfectly and I had no trouble following along. This is a chilling, well-written story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, break your heart and then mend it slowly but surely. A great read!

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

About Billy Ray Chitwood

An Appalachian hill boy from east Tennessee, Billy Ray Chitwood has family roots that go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Billy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, taught high school ‘Advanced Writing’ in Lorain, Ohio. He has served honorably and proudly in the United States Navy. Aside from sales/marketing management positions with top textbook publishers, he has been a model and an actor in film, stage, television. He is still active in his own business as the CEO of Chitwood, Inc.

Billy Ray has written fifteen books, most of which you will find on amazon and amazon UK. Many of his novels of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. His first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has much factual and historical accuracy about the author’s own life.

Currently, Billy Ray spends his time on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with his lovely wife, Julie Anne, and their feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Connect to Billy Ray

Website: https://brchitwood.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brchitwood
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/billyrayscorner/

Thanks for dropping in today and please share the news about Billy Ray’s new Kindle release.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 10th July 2018 – Sharon Marchisello, Robbie Cheadle and Billy Ray Chitwood


Welcome to the daily post where I share some of the blogs I have visited. Apart from featuring articles that I found interesting, I am also sharing book review posts to entice you to buy more books…..

The first post today is from finance expert Sharon Marchisello who shares her expertise on making the most of your money when traveling especially in relation to booking transport tickets in advance.

The Link Between Fitness and Frugality

Being healthy and physically fit is a blessing. Not everyone has the capability or stamina to walk significant distances. But, as we realized on our recent vacation, taking the “shoe-leather express” whenever possible can save a lot of money.

We just returned from a 16-day cruise along the coast of Norway, stopping in many small to medium-sized towns with compact historical districts. The ship usually docked within a mile or two of the city center if not within easy walking distance of the major attractions. Yet in two of our ports, the ship’s tour desk sold tickets for a shuttle service at $8.50 per person, each way. Tickets had to be purchased in advance from the cruise line; we were warned we couldn’t decide on the spot to buy them from the bus driver once on shore. So, most passengers signed up to buy the transfers before we arrived.

After looking at maps and listening to talks from the destination port lecturer, my husband and I figured we could find better ways to spend $34. So, we walked into town. In both places, there were sidewalks and crosswalks to accommodate the locals and the more adventurous visitors traveling on foot. The areas we traversed seemed relatively interesting and perfectly safe, making the treks reasonably pleasant.

And what were most people who bought the transfers planning to do once they got off the bus in the main square? Walk around and explore the city. Some fellow passengers ended up not using their return tickets because when they’d finished sightseeing, they were closer to the ship than to the pick-up point for their bus.

Head over and read the rest of this useful and interesting post: https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-link-between-fitness-and-frugality.html?

Sharon is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Sharon Marchisello, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/
Blog : https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/

Now time to celebrate an award.. Robbie Cheadle was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Robert Goldstein...

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The very talented Rob Goldstein nominated me for this award. You can read his entertaining post here: https://robertmgoldstein.com/2018/06/26/the-sunshine-blogger-award-2/.. While you are visiting be sure to enjoy some of Rob’s wonderful artwork.

I liked Rob’s questions. Here they are with my answers:

Why do you blog?

I blog because I really enjoy the interaction with other, similar minded people. I have met so many wonderful writers, poets, artists, quilters and other artistic people through my blog. I enjoy the array of viewpoints, thoughts and creative outpourings that I read every day as well as all the lovely book reviews which have raised my TBR to house roof height.

What most frustrates you about blogging?

I don’t find blogging frustrating. If I did I probably wouldn’t do it. I sometimes feel annoyed by my own lack of technical expertise when I can’t get something right on my blog.

What do you enjoy most about blogging? I enjoy the lovely bloggers I meet and their interesting posts and ideas.

Head over and discover what else Robbie has to say for herself: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/the-sunshine-blogger-award-2/

Robbie and Michael, her son are in the Cafe and Bookstore

Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ
Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

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Now for a special treat from Billy Ray Chitwood… an excerpt from his latest book ‘Hammer’s Holy Grail’ due out later in July.

Hammer’s Holy Grail” is a relatively short read of 36,000-+ words. It will be published without launch, without fanfare (except for this blog post!) later this month! The book is about a kid who has an emotional family situation – angry father, his critical Appalachian uncertainty, gifted with football talent and a beautiful girlfriend he’s known since junior high.

Wesley Walton is a sophomore at Garden View University in Knoxville, Tennessee, has a great passing arm and faces a great future. The pro-football scouts are already looking at the kid with a golden arm.

Wesley meets a man named ‘Hammer’ who is both a decorated veteran and a person of great wisdom and with a unique hobby. Wes and Hammer become immediate friends.

The short tale follows Wesley’s football season as well as his parental love and woes. The book is not a ‘thriller’ or destined to be a classic by any means, but the pages do carry some interesting moments, and I believe it to be well-written… In any event, it will be an inexpensive read and one I hope the book buyer will like, PLUS, I’m giving you the first chapter free of charge in this post. Feel free in letting me know what you think.

So, no launch, no parades and graffiti, just my usual ‘do nothing’ marketing campaign with a hope some of you will buy the book, give me some ‘reviews’, and ‘PUSH’ it forward.

Here’s the first chapter (working on the cover):

HAMMER’S HOLY GRAIL

Chapter One

The darkness and fog are palpable viscid sweat things crawling all over my flesh! A gentle wind stir comes and my skin does shiver dances. I swallow and it’s like I’m somewhere between passing out and regaining my breath.

My eyes cannot be trusted. I rub my eyes and they project things that are not really there. My mind questions the logic that brought me to that decision. My concentration is drawn to these vague flashing images that keep popping up in spaces to the front, sides, and back of me… I figure it’s the mind doing its reckoning! I’m likely trying too hard to see and my brain is trying to accommodate me.

Okay, I admit it. I’m a big boy, scared. I mean, there is no way this world can be this dark and foggy.

“Why?” Someone might ask, “are you so stupid to be standing where you’re standing?”
 

Head over and read the rest of the excerpt of Billy Ray’s latest book: https://brchitwood.com/2018/07/08/hammers-holy-grail/

Billy Ray is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Website: https://brchitwood.com

Visit Amazon or Billy Ray’s blog to view all his books.

I hope you have enjoyed this small selection of blog posts and will explore them further  thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – With friends – William Price King, Paul Andruss, Carol Taylor, Esme, Billy Ray Chitwood and other brilliant writers.


Welcome to the weekly round up and the posts that you might have missed.  I am finding it hard to believe we are into June already and I have to say we have had an amazing week as far as weather is concerned here in the south east of Ireland. A little overcast today but we have been spared the terrible thunderstorms and flash flooding suffered by our friends across the Irish Sea. Our first crop of sparrow babies is now fledged and that usually means that mum and dad will be producing a second clutch of eggs. Judging my the noise they are making at dawn, they have already made a start on that project!

We have a water bath for the birds and the starlings take full advantage, and no sooner than I have refilled it (several times a day) they are in their splashing and preening. The bird feeding tree and bath were our joint Christmas presents to each other this year, and I have to say that it is a gift that keeps giving. The view from our kitchen window is entertaining and heart warming.

As always a massive thank you to the regular contributors who share their expertise with us.  And to you for dropping in and showing your support by liking, commenting and sharing.

Here are the posts from the week.

William Price King shares the early successes of Josh Groban who won the hearts of his fans and stormed up the charts within months of his debut album being released.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-josh-groban-part-two/

Paul Andruss our Writer in Residence, with a post on his own blog which is well worth you reading, especially if you are a classical music lover… Frederick Delius

Please head over and read on Paul’s blog: http://www.paul-andruss.com/freds-amanuensis/

Carol Taylor took one of our most popular proteins and gave Chicken a makeover in her weekly column.. Thai Basil, Lemon, Jerk seasoning and Tarragon are the stars.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-a-veritable-feast-of-chicken/

Esme’s Party Piece – Predictions for June

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/smorgasborg-blog-magazine-esmes-party-piece-monthly-forecast-june-2018/

Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview with Billy Ray Chitwood.

Welcome to the Sunday interview and this week my guest is author Billy Ray Chitwood.  Before we find out which of the questions Billy Ray has chosen to respond to including something he lost, his favourite music, Mountains or Beach and his alternative career path.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-getting-to-know-you-author-billy-ray-chitwood/comment-page-1/#comment-147305

Personal Stuff..

Odd Jobs and Characters – some of the jobs that were featured in my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. This week, I am  the landlady of a pub at the entrance to Cowes Harbour… Saturday nights the booze cruises would come over from Southampton with interesting results.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-odd-jobs-and-ch-pub-landlady-saturday-night-shenanigans-cowesaracters/

Letters from America – July 1985 – and a visit to Hanna Barbara Land with three young children and lilo racing!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-hanna-barbara-land-bbq-and-lilo-races/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist. – 1972.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1972-elton-john-and-johnny-nash/

Sally’s Cafe and BookstoreNew on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-scout-pilot-of-the-free-union-spaceopera-by-will-macmillan-jones/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-stevie-turner-d-g-kaye-terry-tyler-and-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-teri-polen-marina-osipova-amy-m-reade-and-pamela-s-wight/

Smorgasbord Short Stories

Flights of Fancy – The Sewing Circle  Part one and Two.

A group of elderly women have formed a sewing circle that meet regularly. They offer support, friendship and love to each other on an estate that is being plagued by hooligans.

Part One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/smorgasbord-short-stories-flights-of-fancy-the-sewing-circle-part-one-by-sally-cronin/

Part Two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/smorgasbord-short-stories-flights-of-fancy-the-sewing-circle-part-two-by-sally-cronin/

Health Column

The five part digestive system series.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/smorgasbord-health-column-the-digestive-system-part-one-it-begins-in-the-mouth-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/smorgasbord-health-column-the-digestive-system-part-two-the-oesophagus-acid-reflux-and-stomach-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/smorgasbord-health-column-the-digestive-system-part-three-the-liver-largest-waste-organ-inside-the-body/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/smorgasbord-health-column-the-digestive-system-part-four-liver-diseases/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/smorgasbord-health-column-the-digestive-system-the-pancreas-gallbladder-and-intestines/

Nutrients the body needs – Vitamin E.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-vitamin-e-tocopheral-brain-health-circulatory-and-immune-systems/

Food in the news – Research is showing that you do need the good carbohydrates that are whole grain and contain essential nutrients.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/smorgasbord-health-column-food-in-the-news-carbs-dont-throw-out-the-good-ones/

Alternative Therapies – The Alexander Technique – Introduction.

A technique used by performers all over the world to improve their posture and open up their lungs and strengthen muscles.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/smorgasbord-health-columns-alternative-healing-therapies-the-alexander-technique-part-one-backpain-headaches-posture/

Humour and Afternoon Videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-lets-all-have-a-mud-bath/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-one-liners-marathon-part-two-31-60/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-a-compilation-of-unusual-animal-friendships/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-one-liners-part-three-feel-free-to-groan/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-anyone-for-table-tennis-the-cats-whiskers/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You – Author Billy Ray Chitwood


Welcome to the Sunday interview and this week my guest is author Billy Ray Chitwood.  Before we find out which of the questions Billy Ray has chosen to respond to… here is his official biography.

About Billy Ray Chitwood

An Appalachian hill boy from east Tennessee, Billy Ray Chitwood has family roots that go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Billy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, taught high school ‘Advanced Writing’ in Lorain, Ohio. He has served honorably and proudly in the United States Navy. Aside from sales/marketing management positions with top textbook publishers, he has been a model and an actor in film, stage, television. He is still active in his own business as the CEO of Chitwood, Inc.

Billy Ray has written fifteen books, most of which you will find on amazon and amazon UK. Many of his novels of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. His first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has much factual and historical accuracy about the author’s own life.

Currently, Billy Ray spends his time on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with his lovely wife, Julie Anne, and their feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Time to hand over to Billy Ray and discover more about something he lost, music and bearskin rugs,

Welcome Billy Ray and can you tell us what is the most valuable thing you have lost and did you ever find it?

One of my most productive periods as an author was during residence in historic Southeast Arizona – historic because the residence was close to Tombstone (‘The Town Too Tough to Die’), home for a while to Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the ‘Shoot-out at the OK Corral’, and legendary bad guys and Indians).

My writing at the time focused on ‘The Bailey Crane Mysteries’ which was to be a 7-book series. The first book – “An Arizona Tragedy’ – was finished. The second book – “Stranger Abduction” – was finished except for final editing. Both manuscripts were placed in individual boxes. These books were written on my ‘Star-Writer’ word processor…did not have a laptop at the time.

During a subsequent move, the “Stranger Abduction” manuscript was lost…the only manuscript missing of the many already written and in their boxes.

I searched for weeks trying to find it as I had started the publishing process (too many-too fast, I must add). While each book in the series stood alone, each still followed the aging and woes of the central character, ‘Bailey Crane’. Angry, dumbfounded, I finally re-wrote “Stranger Abduction” as a stand-alone book. It’s my belief it is much better than the original that was lost.

What is your favourite music genre and why?

I’m an incurable ‘Romantic’ so I’m a ballad-type of guy. Back in my ‘lotus-eater’ days, there was nothing more soothing, more overwhelming for the emotional-me than ‘Ole Blue Eyes’ Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett entertaining me and my lady…with, of course, some wine, cheese, and grapes on a bearskin rug!

Those were the moments when dying, taxes, and tomorrow were never considered and nowhere on the immediate horizon. Fellow ‘lotus-eaters’ will know of what I write here. Somehow, without the music, those moments would not be the same. So much of me is still there in those moments.

Sally here.… I hope that this will provide another bearskin and wine moment Billy Ray….

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains and why?

The beach… If I’m a ‘Romantic’, you know it’s got to be the beach! I’ve got to be able to see the horizon and wonder just what’s beyond. That’s not all! There’s the sun, the waves caressing the shore, the smell of salt water, and those yummy yellow polka-dot bikinis incessantly walking by – with one hopefully lying next to me on the beach towel. Now, this should not be surprising to anyone… I’m seriously impaired, incurable beyond redemption, and my epithet should read: ‘Here lies Billy Ray – The Spirit of his Day!’ I’m just saying… PLUS, there are tons of space in front of me!

Do you prefer cats, dogs, or neither?

Billy Ray and Julie Anne

I love both cats and dogs. ‘Lady Gray’ is our recently added fur-buddy… Interesting story: ‘Lady’ was an outdoor cat, kept showing up at our backdoor morning, noon and evening for ‘handouts’…which Julie Anne was eager to accommodate. On some occasions, ‘Lady’ would come in, but, then dash out, not quite sure of the situation. Finally, she came in for keeps, pregnant and in need of Vet treatment. She is now at home, wants nothing from outside, not even her siblings. She sits on the back of a stuffed chair and watches her friends romp outside.

And one very lucky ‘Lady Gray’

 If you could choose a different career, what would it be and why?

I would be a golfer – and a writer’! They blend nicely. Hey, I’m out in the sun, at least, most of the time…and, I don’t even mind playing in the rain. There is one proviso: my game would have to be in the professional range of competition. I’m way too much of a ‘Ham’ and maybe I get rich swiftly and have all the pretty ladies ‘following’ my action. On the side, you understand, I’m writing my ‘Best Sellers’! What a perfect fit!

Sally here... you wanted birds following you around the course Billy Ray.. here are a few for you, plus an alligator, turtle and squirrel. Hazards when you play in the big leagues. Courtesy of PGA Tour Channel where you will find more of the same and all the action of the tour.

Here is a small selection of Billy Ray’s books

About Stranger Abduction

It is a sunny Sunday in May, 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.

They never make it home…

The deputy sheriff of the county believe there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.

There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Can you imagine anything more frightening than a mother and daughter disappearing from a quiet rural road? That’s exactly the tale that Billy Ray Chitwood relates in Stranger Abduction. This is a fictitious account of an actual event. A mother and daughter walking home from the store, happy and eating ice cream when evil pounces. The way the author wove this tale around all the characters involved is gripping. I discovered many sub-plots in this book and sometimes that doesn’t work. But, in this book, it worked perfectly and I had no trouble following along. This is a chilling, well-written story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, break your heart and then mend it slowly but surely. A great read!

Read the reviews and discover and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

Connect to Billy Ray

Website: https://brchitwood.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brchitwood
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/billyrayscorner/

If you would like to participate in the Getting to Know You series… here is how, with the questions to select your five from: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/the-new-series-of-the-smorgasbord-sunday-interview-geting-to-know-you-and-i-will-go-first/

Billy Ray would love to receive your comments and thank you for dropping in today… Sally

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Sundays with The Grandparents by Billy Ray Chitwood


Sadly the last in the present series of posts from Billy Ray Chitwood from his archives… We shall have to twist his arm to send us a few more!  This week Billy Ray shares his memories of the weekends with his grandparents with ice-cream, watermelons and whole lot of love.

Sundays with The Grandparents by Billy Ray Chitwood

It’s been so long ago, but I remember the wonderful weekends at my grandparents – kerosene lamps, outhouses, and all… those inconveniences of the times that were taken for granted and did not spoil the most special feeling of family and love.

Many of my uncles and aunts were there with their families, and the setting was perfect – even with the L&N Railroad tracks within fifty yards of the old gray railroad section house. My cherubic Grandpa was an L&N Section Foreman and the finest dispenser of love and wisdom that I’ve ever known.

In the afternoon, some of us boys played catch and some played horseshoes. The girls were either helping, or, getting in the way of the women cooking up that good old southern food. I remember hearing the giggles and playful sounds coming from inside the house.

It seemed the weather was always sunny in Madisonville, Tennessee during those family weekends, but, surely, there would be no rain in my memory banks. The side lawns were freshly mown and that familiar delicious smell filled the air. Hedgerows separated the L&N tracks from the house, only minimally muting the sound of passing trains and their lonesome whistles. Lovely beds of flowers of all colors dotted the landscape.

In his coveralls (can’t remember ever seeing him in clothes other than his coveralls), my beautiful ‘Santa Claus’ built grandfather brought the old ice cream maker, the rock salt, and ice to the side yard nearest the kitchen, ready for cranking that handle round and round. We little guys would do the initial cranking while the cream in the cylindrical metal container was not ready to thicken. When more rock salt and ice were added, that old crank got harder and harder to turn. So, the little guys would reach a point where they could not budge the crank. Then, the big guys would take over.

There were watermelons and some would turn out to be a whitish-green inside – that is, uneatable – but we would all laugh about it.

Grandma and her inside crew, including my Mom and her sisters, were the real heroines of the day. There was so much good tasting food, most of us swore off eating for a week.

The really big thing, though! Well, actually, there were two really big things!

There was something almost sacred about those weekends. Happiness and Love were there in abundance and they showed on all the faces. Oh, there was always some mention of family and world’s problems, but most of all, it was a reaffirmation of family closeness.

The other big thing was Grandma’s prayers. Now, you have not heard anyone pray like my sweet Grandma prayed. She gathered us all in the big living room, and we knelt on the floor while she cried, laughed, screamed her long, long prayer of thankfulness, of hope, of peace and the great glory of Jesus and our ultimate eternal homes.

They were weekends I find easy to remember and, while we go through our orbits and wars and our political uncertainties, I can find in those childhood memories some semblance of unity and love…

We just need to find a way to dispense that unity and love throughout a troubled world.

I’m thinking we need more of my Grandmas and Grandpas.

©Billy Ray Chitwood 2016

Thanks to Billy Ray for another wonderful post and I am sure he would love to hear your special memories of time spent with your grandparents.

A small selection of the books by Billy Ray Chitwood

A recent review of Mama’s Madness

Karen Ingalls  4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling  February 4, 2018

A chilling and disturbing story based on a true event. I had difficulty putting the book down hoping that the main character would be found and punished. There were some editorial issues and at times there was too much repetition, but overall a good book. I appreciated the author’s epilogue which gave the story more meaning.

And one for Stranger Abduction

“Stranger Abduction” is a well-written novel based on an actual event. A mother and daughter walk from their home to a store in Arizona and never make it back. Mr. Chitwood gives a very viable and chilling account as to what might have happened next. Doris and Deena find themselves thrown into the human trafficking trade, while the Deputy Jack Kiefer never gives up on finding them. The details and characters kept this a page turning book as well as the side story with the Deputy. This is a glimpse into an evil that is going on around us as “products” (a label used for Doris and Deena) are being drugged and used for other’s gratification or service. I highly recommend this book, because even with a dark subject matter there are always heroes.

Read the reviews and discover and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

About Billy Ray Chitwood

An Appalachian hill boy from east Tennessee, Billy Ray Chitwood has family roots that go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Billy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, taught high school ‘Advanced Writing’ in Lorain, Ohio. He has served honorably and proudly in the United States Navy. Aside from sales/marketing management positions with top textbook publishers, he has been a model and an actor in film, stage, television. He is still active in his own business as the CEO of Chitwood, Inc.

Billy Ray has written fifteen books, most of which you will find on amazon and amazon UK. Many of his novels of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. His first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has much factual and historical accuracy about the author’s own life.

Currently, Billy Ray spends his time on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with his lovely wife, Julie Anne, and their feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Connect to Billy Ray

Website: https://brchitwood.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brchitwood
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/billyrayscorner/

If you would like to share some of your older posts with a new audience, and promote your blog or books, then please take a look at this post that outlines what I would need. Thanks Sally

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – The Restless Spirit by Billy Ray Chitwood


It is time for another post from the archives of Billy Ray Chitwood. As someone who has lived a nomadic life as a child with my father’s career in the Royal Navy, and then in the last 38 years of marriage and travelling for work and to live, I can empathise with Billy Ray as he talks about his restless spirit. This is meant to be our last house!  About the time that the house and and garden are fully restored in the next few months…. watch this space.

The Restless Spirit by Billy Ray Chitwood

Under a pale blue morning sky a long plume of white misty cloud softly touches the Sea of Cortez, and I ponder the spirit of the restless.

In fact, it is my own restless spirit that dictates this post, given energy by the ghosts from an Appalachian youth of mobility and uncertainty, by my own selfish need to describe the nature of my beast. This restless spirit is not something that embarrasses me or shames me in my eyes. It is a constant companion which I have nourished all my life with impulsive, spontaneous acts. It is something I accept as I do the color of my hair, my skin, the whole DNA networking inside my body walls. It is likely not so distinctive as one might expect. This restless spirit, this wanderlust component, must reside in legions of us.

This post began with a description of the beautiful sea that displays its gaudy deep green beauty outside my windows. This sea, this constant sun, this life style is the stuff of dreams. How could anyone be restless watching the sail boats, the ski jets, the parasailers high above the crystalline water, the people frolicking along the long stretch of sandy beach? Grab a Corona, a Tequila Sunrise, and live your dream, right? Well, that great big sea reaches out to a far horizon, and, after a few Coronas and Tequila Sunrises, the restless spirit can start its gnawing litany of thought… What’s beyond that horizon?

Where have I not yet been? What have I not yet done? I’ve been here for a few years now. Is it not time to go? Even Paradise has its limits!

Okay, here’s the deal! I buy a new car. In a year I tire of the car and want another make and model. The same with living quarters! After a few years I want new quarters. It does not matter to the restless spirit that it is contemplating giving up ‘heaven,’ its life style of which other people can only dream. In this case, it is a stunning, luxurious two-level penthouse where the host of the restless spirit has come to retire, where the only really pressing decisions to make daily are food selections, social media caretaking, and the book-writing periods. There are people who live in the same house in the same town in the same state all their lives. Not me! In the past thirty years, I’ve lived in twelve different places. You do the math! I’ve probably lost count.

Yes, I’ve still got a lovely wife who is a polar opposite. She is calm, patient, puts up with me, would have been happy to live our lives out in that first place thirty years back. Guess she loves me to keep uprooting her the way I do. Is this crazy, or, what?!

So, anyone interested in a 3600 square foot penthouse? I’ll buy yours. You buy mine. I’ll be fair, even leave all the furniture, utensils, everything, totally turnkey — just bring your clothes and a toothbrush. You will have constant sun, constant sea, constant beauty. The only catch is, you need to have something equally as nice, something that turns on my restless spirit, and your place has to be free and clear like my place. Any takers?

Worried about Mexico and all the media hype? Been coming here from Arizona for over forty years. I’ve felt safer here than any place I’ve ever lived. The people of Mexico are friendly, helpful, kind, and appreciative of our US dollars. Crime, drug cartels? I’m sure they’re around somewhere in the country, killing off themselves, mostly. One could be reminded that my great country, the US, has its share of drug cartels and crime…

But back to this restless spirit thing… Do I wish that it was not there? ‘Yes’ is the honest answer, but there is an honest qualifier. The books I’ve written, the poems, the songs, the posts, all the penning? Are they worthy? Of course, I think so, but the true judges are the readers and the lovers of poetry and song. But ‘worthy’ is not the point I’m making here.

The point is, maybe all my words would not have been out there in print and Cyberspace had I not had the restless spirit — not that one cannot write without it. But, me, could I have ‘done all that’ in ‘my way’ without that restless spirit.

I’m just saying…

©Billy Ray Chitwood.

Thanks to Billy Ray for another wonderful post on life and the human condition. I know he would love to hear about your restless spirit…..

A small selection of the books by Billy Ray Chitwood

A recent review of Mama’s Madness

Karen Ingalls  4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling  February 4, 2018

A chilling and disturbing story based on a true event. I had difficulty putting the book down hoping that the main character would be found and punished. There were some editorial issues and at times there was too much repetition, but overall a good book. I appreciated the author’s epilogue which gave the story more meaning.

And one for Stranger Abduction

“Stranger Abduction” is a well-written novel based on an actual event. A mother and daughter walk from their home to a store in Arizona and never make it back. Mr. Chitwood gives a very viable and chilling account as to what might have happened next. Doris and Deena find themselves thrown into the human trafficking trade, while the Deputy Jack Kiefer never gives up on finding them. The details and characters kept this a page turning book as well as the side story with the Deputy. This is a glimpse into an evil that is going on around us as “products” (a label used for Doris and Deena) are being drugged and used for other’s gratification or service. I highly recommend this book, because even with a dark subject matter there are always heroes.

Read the reviews and discover and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

About Billy Ray Chitwood

An Appalachian hill boy from east Tennessee, Billy Ray Chitwood has family roots that go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Billy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, taught high school ‘Advanced Writing’ in Lorain, Ohio. He has served honorably and proudly in the United States Navy. Aside from sales/marketing management positions with top textbook publishers, he has been a model and an actor in film, stage, television. He is still active in his own business as the CEO of Chitwood, Inc.

Billy Ray has written fifteen books, most of which you will find on amazon and amazon UK. Many of his novels of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. His first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has much factual and historical accuracy about the author’s own life.

Currently, Billy Ray spends his time on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with his lovely wife, Julie Anne, and their feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Connect to Billy Ray

Website: https://brchitwood.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brchitwood
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/billyrayscorner/

If you would like to share some of your older posts with a new audience then please take a look at this post that outlines what I would need. Thanks Sally

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Enigma Of The Soul by Billy Ray Chitwood


Welcome to the second of the archive posts from Billy Ray Chitwood.. This week Billy explores our perception of ‘Soul’.

Enigma Of The Soul by Billy Ray Chitwood

How often do you use the word, ‘Soul?’ How often do you think about your ‘Soul?’
Mirriam-Webster defines ‘Soul’ as:

1. the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2. a: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe

So, that’s enough, right? The two definitions pretty much say it all, and there are more definitions there in the dictionary if you want more.

‘Soul’ seems to me, though, such a huge word to be so small. Writers likely get the most use out of the word than the people who really work for a living — no anger, please, just adding a little levity here. Really, it seems to me that ‘Soul’ is not in too many mundane conversations. ‘Soul’ is usually saved for the philosophers, poets, preachers, Romantics, sentimentalists, and writers.

You can almost envision the literary expatriates who gathered in Paris between the period of World War One and the onset of World War Two…writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Sherwood Anderson, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Lawrence Durrell, Gertrude Stein to name a few — okay, okay, I’m name-dropping — but these were the people I read and studied in college and their lives got somehow interwoven with my own, with my ‘Soul.’ I can see them sitting at the sidewalk cafes talking in the afternoon about their writings, about how the devastation of war had impacted their lives.

I can see them drinking the Bacchus liquids and debauching in the evenings, pausing in their fun and frivolity for serious and sober moments to discuss the condition of the ‘Soul.’ These were the people Gertrude Stein referred to as ‘the lost generation.’ Certainly, why not Paris? Why not gather in the great city of lights with so much art and beauty? It was the place to be if you were disillusioned by a world intent on war and destruction. It was the perfect place and time to discuss matters of the ‘Soul,’ and these great writers held those discussions in the finest style and with some of the most celebrated erudition prevalent in those days.

So, why do I post about ‘Soul?’

Guess it’s easy for me, an old timer looking back on his life, how he’s lived, somewhat of an anachronism in today’s fast moving digital world. ‘Soul’ is such an all-encompassing word. It holds such a fascination for me in these sunset years, but it has always held that fascination for me — guess ‘Soul’ for me is what writing is all about. We live, we pay taxes, and we die, but the ‘Soul’ offers us so many delectable scenarios of which to consider and ponder.

‘Soul’ is that defining part of us that we can’t pinpoint, can’t know exactly where it is, but we have to know that it is there. ‘Soul’ is everything Mirriam-Webster says it is, but so very much more. There are times when the directions we take as a world concerns me greatly. It is my hope that we can still take time, Paris or not, to discuss the implications of such an enigmatic and beautiful word.

‘Soul.’

©Billy Ray Chitwood.

I am sure that Billy Ray would love to hear your thoughts on ‘soul’.. our own… others.

For me, having been with both my father and then my mother as they died, I can honestly say that I felt a physical leaving of the body that was their ‘essence’. I am not a religious person but I like to think that I am spiritual and I saw that physical essence as a sign that perhaps there maybe something that came after for our souls.

A small selection of the books by Billy Ray Chitwood

A recent review of Mama’s Madness

Karen Ingalls  4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling  February 4, 2018

A chilling and disturbing story based on a true event. I had difficulty putting the book down hoping that the main character would be found and punished. There were some editorial issues and at times there was too much repetition, but overall a good book. I appreciated the author’s epilogue which gave the story more meaning.

And one for Stranger Abduction

“Stranger Abduction” is a well-written novel based on an actual event. A mother and daughter walk from their home to a store in Arizona and never make it back. Mr. Chitwood gives a very viable and chilling account as to what might have happened next. Doris and Deena find themselves thrown into the human trafficking trade, while the Deputy Jack Kiefer never gives up on finding them. The details and characters kept this a page turning book as well as the side story with the Deputy. This is a glimpse into an evil that is going on around us as “products” (a label used for Doris and Deena) are being drugged and used for other’s gratification or service. I highly recommend this book, because even with a dark subject matter there are always heroes.

Read the reviews and discover and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4832225.Billy_Ray_Chitwood

About Billy Ray Chitwood

An Appalachian hill boy from east Tennessee, Billy Ray Chitwood has family roots that go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Billy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, taught high school ‘Advanced Writing’ in Lorain, Ohio. He has served honorably and proudly in the United States Navy. Aside from sales/marketing management positions with top textbook publishers, he has been a model and an actor in film, stage, television. He is still active in his own business as the CEO of Chitwood, Inc.

Billy Ray has written fifteen books, most of which you will find on amazon and amazon UK. Many of his novels of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. His first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has much factual and historical accuracy about the author’s own life.

Currently, Billy Ray spends his time on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with his lovely wife, Julie Anne, and their feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Connect to Billy Ray

Website: https://brchitwood.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brchitwood
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/billyrayscorner/

Billy Ray would also like to recognise Craig Boyack for his support for his blog and here is the latest post from Lisa Burton, Craig’s sidekick: https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/why-windemere-needs-champions-on-lisaburtonradio/

If you would like to share some of your older posts with a new audience then please take a look at this post that outlines what I would need. Thanks Sally

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/