Mindsets and Regrets


Mindsets and Regrets

As many will know I have used at times my blog as a podium for Faith and Political venting, and, yes, I know, these are personal subjects that would be better left to political pundits and our religious leaders. My only excuse is that I care about the direction of our country, whether it is to be a nation where freedom and liberty give each individual equal opportunities to become whatever he and she desires, or, it is to be a nation based on some form of Socialism where history appears to tell us that the power elite government controls the people in this ‘ism’ and it ultimately spirals into anarchy. Here, I admit that my views of a capitalist society dominate…based on my life’s experiences. ‘Give me Liberty or give me…’

But, wait, I have begun this post with a ‘digression’. What I really wish to express in this post is why my mindset is to write most of my books in the genres of ‘Mystery’ and ‘Suspense’, while I would prefer to write about the heart and soul of man, uplifting and humble stories about the heroic deeds, the unselfish desires by so many to help other folks rather than themselves.

For instance, I would prefer to write an inspirational book about the three young men from the US and one young man from France, who, on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, charged and subdued a Moroccan terrorist intent on killing many people. These young men had only their natural instincts, no weapons, in charging this evil wacko from some subterranean nihilist world of thought. These young men embody the character of our country and our ideals. I would prefer to trace their lives through childhood and parental guidance, to find what lessons from which society might benefit.

God Bless and hats off to: Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Mark Moogalian… Perhaps your courage and special spirit will ignite the military powers of the freedom loving countries of the world to eradicate the barbarians from hell.

Crime and evil fascinate me.

The fascination began many years ago when an actress friend of mine was brutally murdered in Phoenix, Arizona. She was a lovely young lady with two children and a lot of dreams. Her body was found in the desert northeast of Phoenix six weeks after her car was found near an elementary school – just across the road from her apartment she shared with the children and her mother. The case was moved to the ‘Cold Case’ file after all leads were exhausted and the people who knew her were interviewed. Some were polygraphed. Her good friends had a definite idea of whom the perpetrator was.

Finally, I wrote a fictional book on this crime, using some of the gathered data, the evidence (what she was wearing and what was found in the desert) and locations. In my book the case is solved…to use a much over-used word, the ending gave me some modest ‘closure’. The book is called, “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery” (Book One of a six-book ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’). Anyone interested in reading the novel can find it on Amazon Worldwide http://authl.it/1sv. Bailey is a bit different from most sleuths – he muses about his life, loves, his golf game, and all the bad people in the world. He gets the job done…plus, Bailey gives me a platform for expression.

So, I write my novels, some inspired by the true crimes committed across the country… I can muse and vent some anger and rage that these fiends co-exist among us. Sure, most of us know anger and rage, can even say things we regret, but we have some morality, some inner automatic turnoff valve within us.

It would please me greatly to sustain my laptop pecking through a virtuous and compelling novel about those young men who acted so bravely and heroically on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, paragons of all that is so truly great about our wonderful country.

Perhaps there is time yet in my life that I can write such a book.

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 28, 2015



Amazon US: http://goo.gl/fMt82R

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/HTQGo

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1sv












Member: #asmsg and #IAN

I’ve been honored with nine blog award nominations, including these two: 

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I Wonder

Bill Chitwood

Billy Ray Chitwood 

I Wonder

Many years ago, on my way home from a ‘boy’s night out’, after a delightful evening and after planting one more goodnight kiss on the lovely lips of my fair lady, the incurable romantic within me possessed my heart and mind. Still feeling the mild vapors from a few drinks, I began to sing, the words coming from some source I’ve yet to adequately and poetically identify. A soft ballad it was, words and music all, and it stayed with me. Arriving at my bachelor apartment I set up my recording device and sang the song into the mike…later on I would have my cabaret piano friend write the sheet music based on that taping – I feel music but cannot write the sweet symbols on those ‘key’ lines…through the years I would write a number of songs in the same fashion.

Having reached the golden years, I still occasionally sing my songs while showering, while driving along on a trip. The songs are important to me as they convey some pivotal moments in my life, and I still occasionally write them. With today’s knowledge exploding, with technology reaching its golden years as well, there comes a reckoning point for me, a point of irrelevance, a dinosaur among the SEO and APPS experts of the worldwide web. I feel so frustrated most of the time I’m on my laptop, convinced there is so much more I could be doing to enhance and promote my BRAND – I assume this means me and my books… Anyway, I sing ‘I Wonder’ quite often these days.

With all events and hard news delivered with such rapidity and urgency in this new age of technology, it is so easy to feel anxiety and confusion about the world, about our nation and its direction. Like so many others, ‘I Wonder’ why so many people can have gaping differences of opinion, why there is so much anger and hate, why ‘common sense’ seems to be absent from important decision making, why greed and special interests infect our politicians, why we the people are blatantly fed the political soup of the day, why barbarians want to chop off heads and burn people alive, why we bargain with people who hate us, on and on.

Perhaps it is simply the romantic me, the me who remembers calmer news days, people caring for people, problems, yes, but more decisive action to fix the negative issues. I don’t hear too many ballads these days, just the jarring sounds of musical instruments drowning out the singers. Then, again, I don’t hear so well anymore. Come to think of it, there is not much I can do well anymore…

But I can still write my books and my songs, my books getting a fair share of 5-Star reviews. So I can find reason to awake in the morning, work on my writing and try to find out about those SEOs and APPs that might make one or more of my twelve books go viral.

‘I Wonder’? Maybe history just keeps repeating itself. Maybe I’m a malcontent! ‘I Wonder’? My wife loves me! I love my wife! Things are not so bad!

I Wonder?

(Here’s the song I wrote all those years ago…think soft ballad!)

I Wonder

I see trees with green leaves in winter

I see the moon where the sun should stand

I see a lake where there should be a meadow

A forest where there should be sand.

And, with all this, I Wonder:

Can life be merely a dream?

A dream that can build

A love that is real…

A love to last eternally?

I Wonder!

I Wonder!

Oh, how I Wonder!


I hear a song with soft words of silence

I see a lark when there is no bird

There’s a horn when there should be no music

A sound that should not be heard.

And, with all this, I Wonder:

Can life be merely a dream?

A dream that can build

A love that is real…

A Love to last eternally?

I Wonder!

I Wonder!

Oh, how I Wonder!

                                                                                (©Billy Ray Chitwood)      

 Billy Ray Chitwood – April, 2015

Some links:


http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (Bio and my 12 books)

http://twitter.com/brchitwood (@brchitwood)

https://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com (My blog)


Nine Blog Awards, including:

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An Interview With John Dolan – Author of “Everyone Burns” – AN UPDATE


John Dolan

This is a ‘Don’t Miss’ combo for you: an interview with a quality author and a partial review of his 5-Star book, “Everyone

Burns.” If you have not had the pleasure of reading John Dolan you’ve missed a great experience from a writer

extraordinaire. JD is truly a wordsmith for his times. He is also the man who introduced me and countless others to the

word, ‘Galericulate’ — that’s the name of his website/blog. (See end of interview/review.) He’s the man hidden under the

hat and he’s roaming around some continent or another. At last report, he was in Amsterdam… OOPS – UPDATE: that was

2012…he was just recently released from Foxes aHounds Tranquility Center!  He’s much better now, I’m told! I do

so hope my information is accurate… But, be gone, my foolishness! Here’s a re-blog of my 2012 interview with this

important literary figure and an update on his writing…

.everyone burns

 Amazon US goo.gl/nvGmne
Amazon UK:  goo.gl/wpwjfC
 ‘Burning’ John Dolan, Writer Extraordinaire – An Interview (Sort of!)’
(Billy Ray Chitwood=BR) (John Dolan= JD)
BR: Okay, Filbert, take off the blindfold!
JD: Hey, not so rough! You just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, do you?
BR: Why should I? You can leave us now, Filbert, and take Salome with you.
JD: You kidding me? ‘Salome!’ ‘Filbert!’ They’re ‘junkies…’
BR: Had no money…they grabbed you for the ‘grass.’
JD: Are you mocking me? Are you stealing my interview ideas?
BR: Show me a legal document!
JD: At least my chair is comfortable, and my straps are pure leather, not this cord crap!
BR: You left me no choice, JD, you broke your promise to take my books viral and…
JD: Correction! I said your books were vile and pretentious…
BR: Okay, okay, I understand you’re a bit angry…just some tit for tat, that’s all. I really like
your book, “Everyone Burns,” and I’m thinking ‘movie,’ ‘TV series,’ something really big.
Can we just relax and talk about the book?
JD: Can you at least put a cushion on this orange crate? You’re not helping my hemmies.
BR: How’s that? Better? Good…Now tell me about “Everyone Burns” and how you came
to write it.
JD: Guess I got no choice, but you gotta promise me you’re not going to make a habit of
this kind of interview. This is my idea, not yours. Do we have a deal?
BR: Yes, we have a deal…Hell, I thought you would be pleased!
JD: Well, I am, sort of, but this is intellectual property, not something you mess with, BR.
Plus I only get one original idea per decade.
BR: Okay, no more kidnaps for interviews! Got it! Can we proceed?
JD: The events in “Everyone Burns” take place over seventeen days while Thailand is still
numb from the giant tsunami of December, 2004. Like everyone of sane mind this great
catastrophe made my emotions run wild, made me think of life like I had never really
thought about it. “Everyone Burns” gave me some escape from the reality all around me.
BR: Really?
JD: No, not really. I wrote it for the money and the groupies.
BR: And how’s that working out?
JD: Probably about as well as it’s working out for you, I’d guess. Well … looking at you,
probably slightly better with the groupies.
BR: Here’s a quote from ‘Everyone Burns, just after a bar fracas:
To summarise, my life is one of split personality. I am in two minds about it myself.
 Nevertheless, down these narrow streets a man must walk, even if it is in flip-flops.
But I am no Philip Marlowe, and Koh Samui is not film-noir USA. There is nothing
of Hollywood’s black and white morality on this most colourful of Thailand’s
 Islands. And long overcoats just make you sweat in the sun. Here The Postman
Never Rings Twice, simply because he never rings at all. He has better things to
do. Lamai’s and Chaweng’s adventurers generally pack a condom, not a gun.”
You open the book with a broken cue stick inflicting injury to your protagonist and it’s like
the excitement and action just never stops after that. I picked this quote because it’s one
of my favorites but also because it gives the reader a sample of your splendid writing…
Do you have any disagreement with my assessment here, JD?
JD: Take these cords off and I’ll kiss you. The passage is also a favorite of mine. Aside
from the style thing in my writing, it is just basically who I am. But I’m NOT David
Braddock, by the way. I want to make that clear in case my wife Fiona is reading this! A
book of this genre for me has to move at a rapid pace, the action mostly non-stop. A lot of
what I write about in “Everyone Burns” has some factual similarities, the people, the
places, the time certainly. And, of course, you know my English is rather precise, proper,
as it was intended to be! WHY are you smiling and shaking your head?
BR: Never mind, just me being me! It’s a great book, JD. Wish we had more time
because I’d like to mention “People With Real Lives Don’t Need Landscapes,” a book of
poetry you wrote in 2003. You certainly have a way with words, JD, and I happen to love
poetry. As Amazon puts it, “This big bouncy collection of contemporary poetry draws on
both popular and high culture. The poems have energy, imagination, humor, and lively
speech rhythms. They are light, weighty, topical, intellectual, gory, sad, wild, and tenderall at once.”
JD: I didn’t write that.
BR: What?
JD: I didn’t write that collection of poetry. That was a different John Dolan.
BR: Are you sure?
JD: What do you mean, “Am I sure”? I’m not likely to forget a thing like that, am I?
Sheesh! It’s scary how your brain can live in such a small space.
BR: That hurts, JD. Well,regardless, I loved your book “Everyone Burns” and can’t wait
for the sequel. People should really take a long look at you, my friend…
JD: ‘My friend!’ My butt is sore here, BR!
BR: Filbert and Salome are napping right now. I’ll untie you, but, please, no fracas here.
Tit for tat, remember? Be gentle.
End of Interview…
51fQQvQVwNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ 140502 3D-Book51aiSFjGA-L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_
Amazon US goo.gl/dyunVU                     Amazon US goo.gl/A6t512               Amazon US goo.gl/eTp0UC
Amazon UK goo.gl/gpzxXU                     Amazon UK goo.gl/1NK3ok               Amazon UK goo.gl/ISsHAl
You want good reading? Check out the books above…you will not be disappointed. John Dolan is destined for literary
greatness! YOU HEARD IT HERE!
Visit his website/blog (‘Galericulate’): http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com 
http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com/search/label/Home  (You do not want to miss his posts!)
Also visit JD’s amazon site: goo.gl/nElP1
(Really, follow on him and read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get him here for this ‘Orange Crate’ interview!)

Sunday On The Sea Of Cortez


Sunday on the Sea of Cortez

The day is starting with patches of blue in a cloudy sky. Soon the clouds will be gone and a full canopy of soft blue will replace them. There will be ski jets on the deep green sea along with banana boats, motor boats, multi-colored sails. Hawkers of serapes, jewelry, and other trinkets will be strolling the long beach through throngs of people under palapas or umbrellas, walking along water’s edge, or sunbathing. The pools of the many resorts along the beach will be busy with laughing children, and condo/villa homeowners will be walking their dogs and getting their daily exercise.

One thing that is near constant at this lovely latitude is that the sun is constant like the sea. There is humidity, not as bad as farther south toward the more tropical Matzatlan and Puerto Vallarta, but there is also a prevailing breeze that keeps the palms swaying and the conditions pleasant. The views are spectacular: the old port juts out into the sea, adding more to the curving shoreline; the new Malecon at the old port has restaurants and shops along its palmed walkways and its rocky section along the coastline.

Rocky Point is coming of age. Tourism is much bigger this year. Viper Jet, an aerospace company (AeroMxII) is hiring hundreds of people for their ‘flight simulation’ and ‘global positioning systems’ (GPS) projects. It means growth for our sleepy fishing village, and it likely means that our international airport will bbegin sooner than later to add regular US flights…now, there are only charters. Looming in the near future is a home cruise port which will, when completed, add exponentially to Rocky Point’s growth. With Rocky Point’s proximity to Arizona (one hour’s drive to the border) and the US, it is time.

There will be some who will cling to the media hype that Mexico is not safe. For me, this town has been part of my history as I’ve been coming here since the seventies. It is safe, and the people are friendly, supportive, and welcome us to their desert/sea paradise. People with common sense will already know that our US cities have pockets of drugs and crime where most of us would not venture. Bad things happen everywhere, of course, but when using common sense, we can usually avoid problems. In point of fact, safety is never a concern for me here in Rocky Point.

Why do I write this post? Because I love this old port city of Rocky Point. There is a large contingent of ex-pats who live here full-time who will tell you the same thing. They love it here and they tire of the negative media blitzes that are directed toward this beautiful area.

The other reason I write this post is, for the most part I live and write here along this lovely coastline of the Sea of Cortez. It is here where my creative impulses are most active. It is here where I’ve been inspired to write some books. I’m still inspired and I’m still writing. The United States and Mexico are friends for the long term, and, in many ways, there is some catching up for Mexico to get up to speed with some of our technological advances. They are getting there, faster than many might realize.

If you have a nostalgic and romantic sense of old Mexico as I’ve always had, come on down. You won’t be ‘wasting away in Margaritaville’ unless that’s your desire.

Billy Ray Chitwood


BUY SITE: Amazon Worldwide – http://www.goo.gl/1sy

Some Links:



http://twitter.com/brchitwood (@brchitwood)


The Final Curtain1 by Billy Ray Chitwood

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“The Final Curtain1” 

        I’ve always been a Frank Sinatra guy and “My Way” has accompanied me on many romantic adventures. “My Way” has been one of those ‘etchings’ to enjoy with someone special at the end of a candlelight and wine dinner, a song that can be parsed and qualified in so many ways…guess that’s my best reason for the blog title.
        It isn’t so much that those lines in the song, “The Final Curtain,” need to conjure up morbid thoughts and ‘let’s all be sentimental’ thoughts. In fact,”The Final Curtain” can conjure up benign thoughts, those that lift the spirit and put an extra swagger in our strides.
        I’m pretty much a ‘romantic’ with some life dreams realized and some that still wish to be. Mostly, these days, my writing speaks to me in so many ways, telling me so many truths about myself. Through the characters pecked out on the laptop, in their actions, reactions, interactions, there are glimpses of me, mini-portraits never seen before. Some are scary. Some are strangely uplifting and gratifying. Some glimpses make me sad. Some make me happy. Some make me confident. Some make me doubt myself.
        There is this ‘thing’ that always keeps me rooted to some true genetic spot: we can be no more in life than what we are intended to be.
        So, what’s with all the gibberish about “The Final Curtain” and the writing and the glimpses? Truth is, I’m aging with a great deal of reluctance, going through the ‘pages’ past, present, and future, still searching for the elusive and the unattainable, trying very hard to make up for some wasted moments in this passage. I’m here in the ‘wings’ and the curtain has not closed and I’m wanting to know about you, how you differ so much from me, how we are so much alike, how we can somehow better know each other.
        One of my favorite poet/writers is an ex-priest named James Kavanaugh. Among all his work, he has written two beautiful books of poetry: “There Are Men Too Gentle To Walk Among Wolves” and “Will You Be My Friend?” There is so much of his verse with which I identify. His words speak to me with the most marvelous clarity. With my Appalachian bible-belt roots, there is little wonder.
        Sinatra and Kavanaugh are my two favorite ‘etchings’ with some Kahlil Gibran thrown in, each of them fodder for the romantic and soulful parts of me. There is of course nothing wrong with the different tastes in music. There are those who like the brassy groups, the rappers, and the new gents and ladies of song — most of my soul dances favor the ballads. We can’t all like the same music. And, yes, of course, age, time, and place carry our predictable favorites.
        Now, ‘will you be my friend?’ Are you a ‘romantic’ – dreamer – pragmatist – young adult – baby boomer – timid – out-going… How do you approach the page on which you are about to spill your guts — or, your character’s guts? How much of you do you leave on the written pages of your books? You tell me, and I’ll tell you.
        If this kind of soulful musing is not your thing, pass me by…’thirty-one flavors’ you know. If you do like to muse and don’t mind sharing, jump on in. I’ll be lurking around the ‘curtain’ to see if someone shows up on stage. There’s a lot of time before the final curtain.
Billy Ray Chitwood
CrackedMirror Nook Size
BUY SITE: Amazon Worldwide – http://authl.it/1su
Some Links:
http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN – Independent Author Network)
http://asmsg.com (Authors Social Media Support Group)

What Madness is This?


What Madness is This?

What Madness is this?

This concoction of the mind

That delivers death and destruction?

This barbaric substance most evil –

Borne on the winds of perceived injustice?

Martyrs of vengeance promised paradise and virgins

For their rampant slaughter of wary innocents –

Cherished lives cut short, deprived their destinies?

Cannot these unfeeling devils of death know

That their quest for world dominance can never be?

There is too much nobility and wisdom among the

People of our world to surrender to such atrocities.

Each of us has lost something valuable in our lives –

No one lives without pain and suffering…

Cannot these vicious dogs of carnage and rage know

That GOOD will never be conquered by EVIL?

(BY: Billy Ray Chitwood – November, 2015­)


Writing of evil above, I carry the theme forward with Book 6 of the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series. A COMMON EVIL – Book 6 is the final book in the series and, as with each book in the series, stands alone. A COMMON EVIL is fictional but was inspired by a true event at the resort where I lived for several years – a Cartel shoot-out at the same lovely resort on the Sea of Cortez. Of course, the book deals with Mexican Cartel business, with murder and a lot of suspense. If you are into the genres of mystery and evil, you will enjoy the taut pace, the characters, and Bailey’s musings. The climax to the book is shocking and unusual. I hope you will enjoy the read.

BookCoverImage (3)


Amazon US: goo.gl/d1fSnc

Amazon UK: goo.gl/U3pZtP

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1r2











Breaking Up


Breaking Up

Jan Cowper was a bit late in her arrival at the restaurant for a dinner date with her live-in boyfriend.

“Sorry I’m late, Tony…had some things to do after work.” She sat opposite him at the table for two and placed her purse on the floor beside her.

Tony eyed her… She was a knockout! Beautiful blue eyes and face framed by golden tresses… He hated what he was thinking.

“No, you’re not!” Tony spoke, three martinis up on his dinner date and his mind working at its peak.

“No, I’m not, ‘what’?” She responded, as the waiter took her martini order.

“You’re not sorry about being late…just words.”

“Just ‘words’, huh? Got it all figured out, do you, Tony?”

“You know what they say!”

“They, being?”

“The smart people of the world…”

“And, how would you know them, Tony?”

“You do that a lot!”

“I do what a lot.”

“You put me down a lot, Jan… It’s okay. I’m used to it, but it does get old.”

“I put you down a lot?”

“You do that a lot, too… Why are you always repeating everything I say? Do I have marbles in my mouth?”

“Why do I repeat what you say?” Jan chuckled. “Yeah, guess I do…just a dumb habit. It appears I’m irritating you a lot, Tony. You have any more observations?”

“As a matter of fact, I do… Your eyes wander all over the restaurant we might be in. You stare into the cars we pass on the road.  You watch people walking along the streets. It’s like you’re always thinking and planning something when we’re together. It’s not just annoying…it’s stupid! I’m not a jealous man, and you’re not going to make me into one. So, are you just bored with our relationship or are you a short-term commitment person?”

“Where’s all this coming from, Tony? I’m the same dame you met and gave a moronic pitch at Madison Square Garden a year ago. Maybe it was the Knicks that brought us together, though I admit you got me hot and bothered with your phony come-on and your ‘bulge’…you had that black curly hair and Dean Martin look that turned me on. Everything was great until you got too controlling and possessive…”

There was a short pause as the waiter delivered Jan’s martini…and Tony ordered another.

“Me, ‘controlling and possessive’, with you. You’re nuts! I would never attempt to control a woman, or, anybody for that matter. I thought we had something going when we decided to share living space. You gave me every indication that was so – your little pecks on the upper cheeks and your hands roaming on the lower cheeks… Now, for the past six weeks or so, you’ve changed big time. What is it, Jan? You got a new lover? Got all you want from me? What? Want to trade me in? Is that it?”

“Hey, Tony, lower the decibels! The other diners are looking at us. You trying to get us kicked out of this nice joint?”

“There’s the Jan I know these days! Skirting the questions, bringing it all back on me… Tell you what! It’s all so obvious to me what you’re doing, I’m going to make it easy for you. I mean, Jeez, I’ve seen this coming for weeks – an excuse here and there, working late, or, drinks with the girl-buddies, too tired for any fooling around, all the signs were there. Old ‘Jerk-water’ Tony, too easy on the patience and not wanting to believe what I instinctively knew…”

Tony rose from the table, tossed a fifty-dollar bill on the table. “We never got to dinner so that should handle the tab. If not, you get the rest. Enjoy the martini I just ordered…one of the guys at the bar will likely have the lack of good sense and approach you. I’ll have your clothes neatly packed in boxes for you to pick up outside the apartment door… This train is leaving the station.”

With that, Tony was gone, and Jan showed a half-smile to the other staring patrons and waiters. The smile was not a ‘poor-me’ smile, but more of a ‘victory’ smile. She finished her martini, left the fifty bucks on the table and exited the restaurant.

Jan walked several blocks down Fifth Avenue and entered another upscale restaurant. She was ushered to a nearly hidden table in the rear of the large room, in an area most lovely decorated with exotic plants and special pictures of notable people.

“How did it go?” the handsome and smartly dressed man stood and pulled out her chair.

She smiled and spoke, “Just as anticipated. The doofus is packing my clothes in boxes and putting them outside the apartment door. He will be a bit shocked when he notices my clothes already gone… Hope your end is all set. He will definitely be checking his floor safe in the master bedroom closet sooner or later.”

“It’s all set…don’t worry. Tony will likely booze a bit before going home and won’t have time to think about anything. You’re sure he knows you are not aware of the safe?”

“There is no way he can know…”

The couple smiled sweetly at each other and sipped their martinis.


Tony stopped and had a few more drinks before going back to his plush apartment. He was in a strange mood, not eager to eyeball the pretty ladies in the bistros, just mellow and somehow content with the decision he made relative to Jan. No question he was easy going, but he knew when he was being played. He bought her some beautiful gifts but that was his way…he did not second-guess himself, and, for a while, all went very well. Now, it was over, and he was glad it was over. He might feel some remorse in the next few days, but, tonight, he was in a good mood and happy to be free again.

When he finally made it home, he was not so tight with booze that he failed to notice Jan’s clothes all gone. Perhaps she had gotten the clothes during the day or this evening. In any event he was happy that all vestiges of Jan were out of the apartment. He turned on his stereo for some soft jazz, had a nightcap, and went to bed…still fully sober and content.

It was three days later when he discovered the robbery of his safe. Jolted by the discovery, losing a major portion of his financial fortune caused a great wave of distress to settle within him… Oh, he still had funds elsewhere and he would not be forced into great hardship like so many before him. Still, the effort and time to accumulate such wealth could not be simply accepted without some anger and anxiety.

The theft brought immediate rise to thoughts about Jan and her possible involvement. He spent days trying to locate her but she no longer worked with the same company. He visited restaurants and night spots they had frequented but no one had seen her or heard anything about her.

Time moved on – three weeks passed, a month, two months…

It was in the third month that he saw her in one of New York’s finest gourmet restaurants.

She was sitting in a lush leather and gold cloth booth across the opulent room. With her were two men and another woman. They were engaged in an animated argument about something, arms and hands waving in frantic gestures. Jan’s companion appeared really irate, his voice reaching a level that brought the maître d’ to the booth and diners to stare.

Whatever the disturbance, Jan and her companion rose from the booth and left the restaurant in angry haste.

Their dinner at an end, Tony and his business associate separated, the associate moving to the piano bar, and Tony leaving the restaurant. Tony was eager to follow Jan and her angry friend if it were possible to do so…he still felt Jan was somehow the instrument used to rob him of his floor safe finances.

Outside the restaurant Tony was only able to see Jan running after her companion’s car…it was obvious that he decided to leave her behind. She quickly hailed a cab and went into pursuit mode. Tony’s guess was that Jan would not catch him. Tony stood for a moment watching the cab become a tiny twinkle in the night…he felt no urge to hail his own cab and follow her. Instead, he was close enough to walk to his own apartment where he found it difficult to fall asleep – his mind was busy reliving the entire evening. For his part, the night had been successful with a business contract which would during its course give back all the finances lost in his safe robbery.

For a few moments more he remembered some of his good times with Jan, and, in some ways, he felt sorry for her. In her own way she was trying to cope with the challenges of living in one of the most eclectic and electric cities in the world – she loved Manhattan, and as the song so beautifully proclaimed, she was ‘caught between the moon and New York City’. He was no longer angry at Jan. Aside from feeling sorry for her, he wanted her to succeed and be truly happy – without the constant manic urges from life.

Two nights later the late night TV news carried a story about the body of a female found in the East River, later identified as Janice (Jan) Cowper.

Tony Peterson felt a range of emotions with the TV announcement and allowed the tears to flow unabashedly… Sleep was again difficult to attain.

At his office the next day two NYPD detectives visited and asked many questions, indicating to Tony that he was under heavy scrutiny in Jan’s homicide, the cause of death already determined by autopsy and forensic evidence.

Tony answered honestly all of the detectives’ questions and was crushed that they were considering him as a suspect in Jan’s death. They told him not to leave town and departed his office.

For several days, Tony was unable to maintain his ongoing business dealings and stayed home to meditate on possible scenarios for Jan’s killing. He figured it had to have something to do with the night he saw the outburst at the swanky restaurant, saw Jan and her companion leave abruptly. He remembered Jan chasing after the companion, hailing a cab and giving chase. Had she caught up to him? Had the companion killed her? Had the two of them conspired to rob him? Had perhaps Jan’s new lover and killer somehow connected him to her murder?

It was late when Tony retired for the night, restless, unable to sleep, his mind relentless with its pounding observations and questions.

Just when sleep did come, through the fog Tony heard a persistent ringing noise, then loud voices…finally fully awake and aware of his doorbell and the yelling.

Tony put on his robe and answered the doorbell and shouts.

“Tony Peterson?” one of the three policemen asked.

“Yes, I’m Tony Peterson,” came the soft answer from a man who knew that fate was about to take him down some precipitous and unknown pathways.

“You’re under arrest for the murder of Jan Cowper,” said the tall handsome officer.

Handcuffed, read his Miranda Rights, Tony was taken away.

Tony’s heart sank as he was led to the patrol car. Tony suddenly noticed that the arresting officer was the man he had seen with Jan Cowper at the swanky restaurant.

Short Story by Billy Ray Chitwood – November 14, 2015


If you liked the above story, please try one of my full-length novels…actually, please try one of my full-length novels even if you don’t like the above story.  I’m thinking you might like THE RELUCTANT SAVAGE. This novel is a fast-paced ‘noire-type’ read that has a lot of action, a love triangle, murder, romance, and suspense. Please give it a read and leave an amazon review – reviews can be the life blood for authors.


Amazon US: http://goo.gl/YE8e4X

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/5QH8Sb

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1SS


http://brchitwood.weebly.com (Website)







Member: #asmsg and #Ian

The Red Demon


The Red Demon

Okay, you can call me crazy! Hey, maybe I am…does a crazy person know he’s crazy? All I can say is ‘I know what I see in the pit of dark night’. Criminy, everything else in my routine life seems normal enough. I rise in the morning, shave, take a shower, dress, drink some orange juice, eat a slice of toast, and take the crappy subway to Manhattan and work all day…

‘What’s up with this guy?’ That’s what you are asking, right? ‘Where’s he leading us?’

Okay, just be patient, stretch your mind a wee bit, and I’m about to tell you. I know how it’s all going to sound, weird, off the wall loony, but I have to tell somebody. It’s driving me…well, crazy!

Three weeks ago, it starts!

I get off work at this mid-town bookstore and have a couple of beers before catching the subway back to my apartment. The bar is a cheap basement joint but the beer doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Anyway, it’s already dark outside…comes early this time of year, you know. As I walk up the short steps of the bar to the sidewalk, people are passing, jabbering and laughing…lots of people, you know. Well, that’s what makes this story so…well, loony!

I’m walking to the subway entrance when I see a guy in a car thrashing about, his blood splashing all around…and, all these people passing on the sidewalk are oblivious to this ugly scene, just jabbering and laughing.

I run to the car, look through the passenger-side window. What I see blows my mind. I’m telling you true! Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true!

There’s this red – yeah, RED – demon in the front seat whaling away on the driver… The demon is all red, I’m telling you, with long pointed ears, a satanic face with wild-glaring eyes. His long tail is pointed like an arrow at the end, and, get this, he’s got wings. He’s small…no more than four feet in height. (Now, I’m saying ‘he’ and ‘his’, just assuming, you know, his gender.)

I’m yelling at the people passing, and they look at me like I’m just another nutty New Yorker. Amid all the action and screaming in the car itself, and these people don’t hear or see anything… Only I see this feral display of snarl and assault.

I open the passenger door and whack the red demon hard with my fist… Now, here’s something else you’re not going to believe. The red smallish ogre just…disappears, poof, into the black of night.

‘What about the driver of the car?’ You ask.

The guy’s got scratches and gashes, blood covering his face. He murmurs to me, “Thank God for you!”

“What the hell was that?” I asked.

He weakly answered, “I saw nothing…just felt the attack…”

“You did not see the little red demon that was attacking you?” I asked, astonished.

“No, I saw nothing, only felt the awful pain.”

“My God! Am I the only one to see it? The people on the sidewalks did nothing, with all my yelling. Did they not see it?”

I took him to the hospital where he was quickly patched up and released. A really good guy, he offered me some money which I did not take. We never saw each other again…guess that’s part of life in the big city.

You want more crazy?

During the past three weeks I saw this red demon attacking others in the Manhattan darkness. Those attacked could remember only the attacks. They saw no red demons. Apparently I was the only person to witness these attacks, the only person to see the red demon, the only person to make him disappear.

Hey, it’s okay if you think I’m crazy… Hell, I think I am as well. I’ve been to doctors, even some psych people, and they can find nothing wrong with me… I’m not a raving beerholic – it’s infrequent I have a beer, but, when I do, it’s Dos Equis…forgive the attempt at lightness. A comedian, I’m not.

So, these days, I go to work and straight home after pushing books all day.

It’s Friday night, and, for lots of people it’s hell-raising night – you know, getting plowed and, just maybe, you meet a sweet companion that races your motor…you know, someone who opens a door to some wakeful day-dreaming, to some possible tomorrows for life-sharing.

Me, I’m home alone, really into this old movie, An Affair to Remember. The syrupy ending is winding down, and I’ve got these tears coming down my cheeks, feeling like a ten on the scale of idiots, and my doorbell rings, loud and often. I’m thinking, ‘who the hell is ringing my doorbell this time of night’?

I mute the movie, probably because I want to cry some more later, go and answer the door.

Okay, time for crazy again!

It’s that damned red demon! He had this weird jerk going with his head and what I believe might have been a smile. In a low, menacing, guttural voice, he says, “Hi, sweet yummy, it’s time we get to know each other…how’s about a little kiss?” (Hey, maybe I was wrong about the ‘gender’ thing! Or, not!)

My heart did a couple of flips and I went into a catatonic seizure! There are only three rooms in my apartment, and I was like a whirling dervish (oops, apologies to Muslims!), or, like a wild human pinball bouncing from room to room, or, like one of those old silent screen ‘krazy kops’, zigzagging all over the place.

The manic behavior stopped when I fell and hit my head on the porcelain tub in the bathroom. I was out like the proverbial light.

When I awoke, the red demon was gone.

Two possibilities: 1) Too much ‘green beer’ at the basement tavern, or, 2) The porcelain tub in the bathroom knocked something in my brain back into its rightful position.

Folks, I had to tell you about this event in my life because it was the most otherworldly and scariest production my sub-conscious brain has ever presented…

Where the hell do they come from?

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood, November 6, 2015


My new book, Stranger Abduction, came out last month – October, 2015 – and it has many ‘red demons’ of a sort. The book was inspired by a true Arizona abduction some years ago… A mother and her fourteen-year old daughter walked three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. They made it to the store but never made it home.

The story has interesting characters, clarity of writing style, and entertainment value. Hope you read Stranger Abduction and give it an Amazon and/or Goodreads review.


Amazon Buy Sites:

Amazon US: http://goo.gl/ZBpnt5

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/iEM3sR

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/3yi










Reality Within Reality

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Reality Within Reality

His gait was unsteady and his mind wandered aimlessly down tunnels of aberration. Like a maze, each turn he took presented a moment in time that was vaguely representative of some reality that he could not hold but for seconds before a new reality came. He was dizzy with the thought patterns and scared of what they meant. He clamped his hands to the sides of his head and screamed, but there came no relief. He stumbled and fell.

He heard a voice, soft and desperate, calling a name he could not recognize.

He began to cry, his tear-filled face lifted to a deity of mercy…

Then came a moment of lucidity…his wife, Helen, stood above him, she, too, sobbing, tenderly touching him with shaking hands. “Oh, Jimmy, I wish there was a miracle handy…”

He looked up at her, smiled weakly, and spoke, “It’s okay, my sweet lady, I just had a few bad moments.” He stood, grasping the edges of the bathroom counter. “Come, let us go have our breakfast.”

They walked together to the kitchen. He sat at the padded booth near the granite counter and watched his wife putting the bacon slices in the frying pan, enjoying the familiar and enticing smell. He watched her fry the eggs and hash browns, put the  bread slices in the toaster, heard the tinkle of the plates and silverware, and he felt contented.

When Helen placed his bacon and eggs in front of him, he smiled and touched her hand. “Ah, Judy, it’s so nice to have breakfast at dinner time… Please, join us.”

Helen placed her plate beside him and sat, looked wistfully at her husband of forty years, smiled sweetly for him.

It was 2:30 in the morning…

Quick Flash Fiction – Billy Ray Chitwood – November 1, 2015










How Do I Get There From Here?


How Do I Get From Here To There?

I’m a simple man, amazed at the great minds that have given me so many toys with which to play in my adult existence, a man so simple in fact he cannot figure out how to magically utilize the power of SEOSearch Engine Optimization. I’m told that is the meaning of that acronym. If I knew how to use SEO, I’m sure my blog posts and my 13 books would reach more people.

Okay, I’m an ‘old dog’ trying to learn new tricks and beginning to realize that some quaint bromides make a lot of sense.

Now, those ‘widgets’, if I could only drag them to the ‘bar’ that’s mentioned on the page I’d be proud of the accomplishment.

Aw, never mind me! It’s a dreary Monday and I’m just a bit ‘down’…just finished my 13th book, Stranger Abduction, and I’ve not found the formula for a good launch, other than blogging, reblogging, tweets, Facebook mentions, and paid advertising. I know there are ‘Book Launch Tours’ but don’t really know how they work or the value of them. Guess I could run a few giveaway days on Amazon KDP, but it goes against my nature. I mean, working on a book for months, edits, re-writes, etc., all the time spent and give it away? PLUS, it’s a good book with a solid story line and great characters – inspired by an actual event. PLUS, I’m not so full of energy these days…okay, ‘lazy’ might be a more suitable word! PLUS, I did not do enough prep work – beta readers, seeking reviews, press releases, interviews, and the like…maybe I’m a good writer but a lousy promoter.

Anyway, ‘getting there’ (successfully selling my book(s)) from here (‘in La-La Land’) is a problem for me. SO, I must rely on more pleading blog posts and my relentless tweets. Some of you out there in ‘Blogville’ and ‘Tweetland’ have got to take pity on me, pay the dumb .99 cents (or, borrow on KDP free)  reviews. Tell you what, if you don’t like my new book, Stranger Abduction, my fairly popular Mama’s Madness, or any of my 13 books, I’ll give you your money back…just come down (or, up, depending on where you are) to Kentucky, find me, and I’ll return your  .99 cents – or, if you splurge for the book, I’ll return that amount. However, I won’t be able to pay your airfare, car mileage, and food costs…

Well, you think about it while you check out the two books below…and the other eleven books at http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com. You will find summaries there of each book.

You wonderful folks could be my way of getting ‘there from here’! Bless you all! AND, I’m not running for any government office…

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 26, 2015   

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                     http://authl.it/3yi                        http://authl.it/1SQ

Amazon Worldwide

Stranger Abduction just out this month – NEW! Inspired by a true Mother and Daughter disappearance in SE Arizona.

Mama’s Madness has many 5-Star reviews on Amazon. Inspired by an actual Northern California case – a mother from hell tortures and murders two of her daughters and an ex-husband.









(Proud to be the recipient of eleven blog nominations!)



LAUNCH OF NEW BOOK: “Stranger Abduction”



BookCoverImage (1)


Amazon US:  goo.gl/RgXHn2

Amazon UK: goo.gl/F7MkD8

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/3yi


* A Mystery inspired by a True Event!

* A mother and her 14-year old daughter disappear!

*The World stops for the father and siblings!

*What happened on that sunny Sunday afternoon walk to the rural store for cigarettes and ice cream?

* The county sheriff proclaims it a STRANGER ABDUCTION!

Please leave an Amazon review…the author appreciates your efforts.

Billy Ray Chitwood – Oct. 14, 2015









-Proud recipient of eleven blog awards-

The Magic of Diversity

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,          Felix Borges>    

The Magic of Diversity

I write blogs, books, poetry, and songs. The truth is these creative activities provide me with therapy for my heart and soul, and, it is my hope they provide some entertainment value for the readers. My writing provides me also with an escape from the sometimes blunt and hard realities of life.

The young men pictured above divert their creative energies toward their beautiful and soulful musical instruments…the flute and the cello. Born in Brazil, they brought their dreams and large talents to our Kentucky bluegrass, teaching in our colleges, pursuing doctoral degrees and studies at University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

It was my pleasure to attend a concert last Sunday where these two virtuosos regaled the audience in superb fashion with both classical and light music. For example, the master flutist, Denis Santos, had the large audience bouncing, smiling, standing in ovation and delight with his version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Moments before, the master cellist, Felix Borges, held all of us spellbound with the rapturous Cello Suite No. 1 – The Prelude – by J. S. Bach…truly music to soothe the soul.

Joining in this considerable talent mix was pianist and conductor extraordinaire, Teresa Tedder, a professor at St. Catherine’s College – the lady who treats us with the annual productions of the Mid-Kentucky Arts Group in Bardstown, Lebanon, Springfield, KY, and other locales… I should not fail to add that she gets much support and hard work from the most charitable Susan and Len Spalding. Last and no means least was the super-talented Higo Rodrigues who performed both duets with Teresa and solos on the ivories.

It struck me that these multi-talented people could easily be in big-city symphonies. I’ve traveled much over the years, am amazed and perhaps should not be, that our little towns here in Mid-Kentucky are blessed with talent that can be a force anywhere in the world.

This blog title, The Magic of Diversity, came to me as I mused about the different paths people take to communicate creatively with the masses – the artists who use their easels of paints to bring us fresh and unique events, popular personalities, sunrises, sunsets…the authors who lose themselves over their lap-tops to bring us memorable stories from all the genres…the sculptors who tediously give us historical impressions…the architects and builders who together erect our magnificent buildings, bridges, and roads…the electronic wizards who supply us with machines that make life easier (and, sometimes, a wee bit difficult – like, me, on the laptop)…yes, even the farmers who grow the nutritional foods that keep our bodies healthy…so very many who contribute positively to our lives.

I’m happy to be living in the land of Lincoln, only a couple of hours from my humble birth place in Tennessee.

A final observation…maybe, two. For anyone considering a college education in the Mid-Kentucky area, please visit a most beautiful campus and the stately halls of learning at St. Catherine College in Springfield, KY. The society of Nuns will be happy to arrange a tour – as will the most knowledgeable and pleasant college Trustee, Leonard Spalding.

Billy Ray Chitwood – Oct. 13, 2015

Some Links to the author:













Honored to be the recipient of nine blog award nominations.