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://www.about.me/brchitwood

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

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

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

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

Nine Blog Awards, including:

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

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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. Meet John Dolan.

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BUY SITES:
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 tender
all 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.
Please follow John Dolan on twitter – @JohnDolanAuthor
Visit his website/blog (‘Galericulate’):
posts!)
Also visit JD’s amazon site: goo.gl/nElP1
(Really, follow him and read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get
him here for thisChaosinterview/review!)
One final word: Since this interview John Dolan has written three more novels: Hungry
Ghosts  –  A Poison Tree  – Chaos is Come Again (written with author Fiona
Quinn) Find these great reads on Amazon US – UK.

Sunday On The Sea Of Cortez

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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

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

Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

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

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

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)

A Speck of Dust

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A Speck of Dust

In the Aeonic repetition

Of night enveloping day,

A tiny universal speck

Of dust contemplates

The great mystery of

Endless orbits and

Infinity…

The insanity of war and

Fragile unstable peace…

The beauty of a sunrise,

Sunset, love’s wondrous

Bliss confused by anomalous

Inanity…

The speck of dust mingles

With all other specks

And awaits an ordained

Anonymity in the darkness

Of eternal oblivion – or the

Healing light of Salvation…

(Billy Ray Chitwood – June 27, 2015) 

So much of that ‘Speck of Dust’ contemplation is dispensed in my fictional memoir which is 90% true…it is titled, The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son.  The book is an account of a boy/man chasing his past and finding some of his dreams along with the despair from mistakes made along the way…it also has a bit of history that you might find interesting…

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BUY SITES:

Amazon US: http://www.goo.gl/x459WR

Amazon UK: http://www.goo.gl/oyc499

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

Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billlyrayscorner

http://goodreads.com/dashboard/author/billyraychitwood

http://linkedin.com/billyraychitwood

Prologue from “Stranger Abduction” (A new novel from Billy Ray Chitwood)

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Stranger Abduction is in the oven – over half-cooked – but I wanted to write a bit about the book and present the prologue…you can let me know if you like or don’t like what I’m sharing with you. Just be gentle and remember, I’m your elder. :-)

This is the second time I’ve written this book…let me explain. In the 1980’s, on an 80-acre non-working ‘Lazy Rabbit Ranch’ in southeast Arizona near the ‘town too tough to die’, Tombstone, I began writing on a Starwriter 60 word processor my ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’. There were to be seven books in the series, with five inspired by trues events. At the ranch I completed three of the ‘BC Series’ (except for final editing), neatly put the manuscripts pages in boxes, and moved to Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Stranger Abduction was Book 2 in the series. In my lovely Sea of Cortez digs, I finished the rest of the books in the series, pulled each manuscript from its dusty box, and started the final drafts and editing. The manuscripts had been stored in a shed at my daughter’s house in Las Vegas, Nevada. My son-in-law drove all the manuscripts down to me – sweet guy, but I was irked because Stranger Abduction was missing. My son-in-law went back to Las Vegas and could not find the manuscript… Thus ends the long piece of the story, but.not without reliving the frustration and anger I felt at losing that manuscript – we finally assumed it was lost in our move.

Because each book in the ‘BC Series’ stood alone and was ready for publishing I forthwith took that action…hoping that one day I would by some stroke of luck and karmic event find the missing manuscript. I finally decided to write the book again with different plot angles but not as a ‘Bailey Crane Mystery’. Stranger Abduction was inspired by an actual mother/daughter abduction a few years before we moved to the Lazy Rabbit Ranch…in fact, that abduction took place within a few miles of our ranch. I believe, I hope that ‘mystery’ readers will enjoy the book which should be ready by late 2015 or early 2016.

So, here is the ‘prologue’ for Stranger Abduction:

Prologue

Cigarette smoke slowly swirls around the dimly lit and crowded room. The smell is mixed with spilled beer, bad whiskey, body odor, stale smoke, something nostalgically reminiscent of old Mexico. The men belch, burp and fart when the need comes. The few women of the night, old, young, short, tall, slender, fat, some rather lovely beneath their cheap glitter, are gaudy in their colorful dresses. That is as it should be in Aqua Prieta, Mexico. There is nothing new in this old room, tables gouged and scarred, chairs uncomfortable without padding. The bar is the only area of the big room that has an ornate finish, and the stools are padded – ripped here and there but padded.

At a stained checker-cloth table in the corner of the Casa Orca Cantina three men sit talking. One is refilling the near empty mugs. Two of the men are from the United States, the other from Mexico’s resort cities along the Sea of Cortez. The US pair are mean-looking, swarthy, both with long oily dark hair, ruddy complexions and unshaven for many days, befitting the surroundings. The one called Eddie has a long diagonal scar on his forehead. The other man called Carl is younger and has a long bulbous nose. They are dressed in soiled sweatshirts, faded jeans, and well-worn sneakers.

The short rotund Mexican man sits in stark contrast in his dark suit, mustache, and bald head. He is obviously a man of some power and respect in the Casa Orca Cantina and anywhere else he might be. He does cringe and wrinkle his brow when the crude denizens belch, burp, and fart. The Casa Orca is simply a convenient venue for the type of men with which he must deal. Aqua Prieta is not home to this dignified man of Mexico. He is from the Sea of Cortez cities that offer better cuisine, better manners, and more elegance. Yet, he actually enjoys these short visits to the underclass environments…here, Mexicali, Nogales, San Luis, Tijuana. There is much respect paid to a man of his stature in these border towns.

The Mexican speaks. “My contacts tell me that you have been useful in delivering our products to your Denver, Colorado area. Are you pleased with the arrangement you now have with us?” He puffs his cigar and plumes the smoke upward.

“Yeah, sure, we are pleased,” the ugly American with the forehead scar speaks as the man in charge.

“I am also informed that you might be interested in performing some other activities for us. Are you aware of what I speak?”

“Yes, we are aware.” The American stares sternly into the face of the Mexican.

“It is my opinion that we can together make much money if you agree to our terms.”

“Some of your terms we’re already aware, but please lay them out for us again.” He sips from his mug.

“Of course…” the Mexican pauses, leans closer to the two across the table, takes a long puff on his cigar. “ First, you find the product which meets our requirements. Second, you make a phone call to our agent and comply with his directions – you have the name and phone information. Third, upon delivery of the product in good condition to the final destination, you will receive a cash payment of $25,000 US dollars. Upon satisfactory receipt of three such satisfactory products, your payment is to reach $35,000 US dollars. Fourth, in the event of your arrest in the United States, this business of which we speak cannot be revealed under penalty of your immediate deaths. You can be assured that those arrangements can be easily made. Fifth, if at any time it is your wish to betray us, number four is to apply… as you can see, it is a simple arrangement for us both, and, of course, you assume all risks in these matters. Do you completely understand?”

“These ‘products’ as you call them, these females, it is my understanding that you are more interested in younger women?”

“I prefer that you use the word, ‘product’ when discussing our business. Is that a problem for you?”

“That is no problem. Sorry, but I would still like an answer to the question.”

“Yes, that is our preference, but there are benefits to us for products even older… We do pay less for the older products, by thirty per cent. There can be times when one must come with the other. We understand that.”

“Who is ‘we’?” asks the man called Carl.

“Pardon me but that is of no concern to you. Other than the phone agent and possibly others with whom you will speak, I am the only one from Mexico who will have contact with you. I should ask, do you have a problem with that arrangement?”

“No, we have no problem,” says the man called Eddie.

“Good! You say you have the number to call regarding the products, yes?”

“Yes… Is it any of my concern as to why you refer to the females as products?”

“No, it is of no concern to you… Just, don’t do it! Is that clearly understood at this time and in the future?”

With a short shake of the head, he answers, “Yes, that is clearly understood, but, listen, we do your work and we don’t appreciate being talked down to…”

“Do you wish out of the arrangement?”

“No, just some common courtesies, please.”

“You present yourself to me unshaven, poorly dressed, and you are common criminals… You are paid well for what you do, and you tell me to act a certain way with you? I ask you again, do you wish out of the arrangement? Think before you give me another frustrated shake of your head and say what you think I wish to hear. This is how I conduct business, and there are others who wait in line to do what you are doing. So, be sure of your answer. You are not dealing here with a Boy Scout Director. So, I await your answer?”

Feeling deflated, Eddie and Carl exchange glances. Eddie answers, this time with more humility of tone, “No, sir, we do not want out of the arrangement. I’m sorry.”

“Good!” The Mexican puffs rapidly on his cigar. “Now, I can tell you the date of the next pick-up for your van…”

When finished with the details of the pick-up, the Mexican takes from his pocket a small pouch and hands it to the man called Eddie. “You will be given directions when the time comes on how and when to use this. Do not lose it and keep it in a safe place.”

*** 

 

Sunday breaks with another sunny day in southeast Arizona, the long, wide Sulphur Springs Valley desert stretching out to the mountains east, west, north, and south to the Sierra Madres in old Mexico. It is the way of this Sunizona, Arizona community some forty-odd miles below Willcox, the heat and warm breezes bringing life to a lazy and slow pace for most inhabitants. The land is arid and without showy vegetation. There are only cactus, sand, gravel, sagebrush, and the tumbling tumble weeds crossing the roads for cars and trucks to dodge or splinter. To say the area is rural might not be enough, but it is beautiful and home to many who would not want it any other way.

The valley farmers grow barley, corn, wheat, vegetables, turning the soil often to get maximum value from the land. Great pistachio orchards, bee colonies, Christmas tree farms are part of the valley landscape, and all around the large rotating watering systems provide the irrigation. The big farmers belong to a coop to smooth the operative marketing of the goods. Great herds of sheep and cattle co-exist here in the Sulphur Springs Valley and the sheered wool and meat are significant sources of income for many in the area.

To the near west of this vast valley rise the rocky Dragoon Mountains and the well-known monument known as Cochise Stronghold. Tombstone, the ‘town too tough to die’, sets just over the Dragoons some fifty miles from Sunizona…conjuring up tales of Wyatt Earp, his brothers, bar room brawls, gun duels, and ‘the shootout at the OK Corral’.

To the nearer east lies the Chiricahua Mountains and, farther north, the Dos Cabezas Mountains where Cochise and Geronimo roamed well over a century ago. Much of our cowboy/Indian history was written in this valley and among these rock and cavernous mountains. The people who live here love the tranquil way of life, at least, most of them. Some want more than this somnolent existence and move away to the big cities and towns that offer more in the way of diversity.

Donna Pickering lives now in the East, has a lovely family and remembers well her home of youth here in Sunizona, her many brothers and sisters, her wonderful father and mother, and the crazy and wonderful memories of her young growing years on this quiet sun-filled prairie…the hikes around the ‘Stronghold’, Dos Cabezas, and the Chiricahua National Park.

There is one memory from Sunday, May 23, 1993, that still lingers, haunts Donna and her family – a sleepy Sunday Sabbath afternoon with some dust devils playing touch and go on the desert floor, breezes touching bodies with warm caresses, lemonade under the trees.

This is the backdrop for the story of that tragic and awful memory… Only this sun-scorched and storied land knows the actual events. While this tale gives a fictional account, there is some plausibility as to what could have happened. Some references here have viability, and, just perhaps, the story can offer an alternate truth.

Billy Ray Chitwood  – June 20, 2015

While waiting for Stranger Abduction why not read Book 1 of the ‘Bailey Crane Series’, An Arizona Tragedy Book 1, inspired by the actual brutal murder of a good friend of mine. The lovely actress and mother was missing for weeks and finally found in the desert northeast of Phoenix, ravaged by denizens and the relentless summer sun.

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BUY SITES:

Amaxon US: goo.gl/fMt82R

Amazon UK: goo.gl/HTQGo

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

Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

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

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (My books & short bio on ‘home’ page)

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

http://linkedin.com/billyraychitwood

http://googleplus.com/billy-ray-chitwood

Arthur and the Bullies

BullypicUSE_3

Arthur and the Bullies

It is true that some have sensitivities that make them both a target for people who would bully them and for those who would feel kindness and an urge to protect them in an unfair situation. This story exemplifies this thought.

***

Arthur Chadwick carried a lot of emotional baggage at the age of ten. He was born in poverty, knew well the anger and battles of dysfunctional parents, the seeming endless cycle of mobility, moving from one location to another, divorce, and state run institutions.

The battle scenes when his parents were together became the most hypnotically paralyzing and terrifying moments he would put in that baggage of emotions…his father using his fists against his mother, the blood splattering, the bruises she carried, and her inability to get out of bed for work because of the pain inflicted.

Arthur could not adequately describe those terrible moments when his body inwardly quivered and he came to the edge of dissociative and suffocative anxiety. He would not know the long-term effects of these stressful periods. Those awful fights over, he could eventually resume normally his play and school time.

At school, Arthur had his friends. He also had those young hooligans who could read his sensitive nature…it was there in his eyes, in a secretion of his body, making him a live toy of whom a fool could be made…to dare, intimidate, mock, push, shove, and wrestle to the ground.

In his young mind Arthur worried constantly about his cowardly behavior. He didn’t wish to be a coward. He wanted to stand up for himself, to fight his battles, but there was a fear attached to fighting…it seemed his mind reverted back to the domestic battles between his Mom and Dad at home – the paralysis of spirit and survival.

All through the last year in elementary school, an older kid named Rick befriended him, talked to him kindly and firmly that he must defend himself against those who would take advantage of him. Arthur listened and wanted to be that person of whom Rick described. Still, the bullies prevailed, waiting for him after school to taunt and torment him. One bully named Will was the worst and also the leader of the others.

The last day of school came and Arthur was walking along a gravel road with his friend Rick when Will and his friends came alongside and began their shoving and taunting.

“Come on, Arthur, don’t let them do this to you.” Rick was a big kid and the bullies wanted nothing to do with him.

Arthur just lowered his head and walked along.

When the boys reached a small creek by the side of the road, Will was still shoving and taunting Arthur. Rick was still encouraging Arthur to do something.

The thoughts were running crazily through Arthur’s head. Rick’s words, the ugly words of Will, Arthur’s own self-loathing thoughts, and, finally, his anger erupted. Arthur rushed at Will, threw a few punches, grabbed him, and shoved him in the creek.

Will was stunned by the action, and Arthur spoke: “Come on out of there and I’ll give you some more…” Then, Arthur spoke to the other bullies: “If any of you want to join Will in the creek, come on and I’ll give you all you might want.”

The bullies stopped where they were, shaking their heads sideways. When Will got out of the creek, they all headed in the other direction.

Rick put his arm around Arthur’s shoulder. “That’s showing them, Art. They won’t be bothering you again…you got in some nice punches there, but the creek scene was the best of all. Did you see the defeated look on Will’s face?”

Those sensitivities are still with Arthur and he still has some fears, but a lesson was learned on that last day of school… When you know you’re not alone you can accomplish deeds you never thought possible.

***

It’s rather superfluous but we have bigger and barbaric bullies in our world today, cutting off heads and setting people afire. While my little tale was not necessarily meant to be allegorical, it is my thinking that peace-loving folks need to come together and throw those barbaric monsters in the creek of historical oblivion. That is to say, they need to be eradicated. We already have quite a few of those black-hooded ogres here in our country…

What are we waiting for???

Billy Ray Chitwood – June 12, 2015

Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

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

http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN – Independent Author Network)

http://twitter.com/brchitwood – (@brchitwood) – Please follow me.

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

Linkedin.com profile – http://www.goo.gl/317AtX

http://www.askdavid.com/11070

http://www.amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

 

I am flattered and honored to have received nine blog nomination. 

most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1)reality blog award  one-lovely-blog booker-award very-inspiring-blogger-award11-1 beautiful-blogger-award liebsteraward inner-peace-award the-wordpress-family-award

 

 

A New Novel by Christoph Fischer – “The Gamblers”

A New Novel by Christiph Fischer

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The Gamblers

I just finished The Gamblers by Christoph Fischer and it is my pleasure to feature him and his book on my humble blog.

Christoph has a penchant for understanding the actions, desires, foibles, and motivations of people. That can be discerned by some of his previous books like The Healer and In Search of a Revolution and The Luck of the Weissensteiners and other titles listed below. This new launch of The Gamblers carries forth his strong desire to know the inner cravings of his fellow human beings.

Imagine yourself a handsome geeky accountant and introvert, your DNA dictating a mind absorbed with numbers, calculations, statistics, and probabilities. Now, imagine a sudden 64,000,000 lottery windfall of British currency coming into your life. Your psyche will not allow you the wild excitement of a grand spending spree, your calm and careful considerations lead you to give a small portion of the money to Cancer Research and to a homeless children project. The rest of the money goes into an interest-bearing bank account that provides income of some 60,000 per month… You would be imagining yourself as Englishman Ben Andrews.

Ben takes a trip to his favorite city, New York, his ‘business class’ ticket for some reason upgraded to ‘first class’. Enter a stewardess named Wendy, blonde, blue-eyed, curvaceous, and beautiful. Wendy gives Ben some sites to visit in New York, and Ben becomes immediately smitten.

While in New York, Ben meets a charismatic man named Mirco. A gambler and big spender, Mirco quickly takes to the English chap after some discussions about how each approach gambling – Mirco’s intuitive approach and Ben’s constant search for a formulaic pattern in poker betting. The two men solidly bond, and Mirco picks up all the bills in their subsequent meetings – in NY, London, Nairobi, and other exotic spots for gambling and romance.

So, you have the major players in this interesting tale, a tale that will appeal to those who are romantic at heart, risk-takers, and the general reader. The novel has a most pleasant reading style and the chapters cover sequentially all of the action. The ending might surprise – not in an unpleasant way – and will encourage you to read more books by Christoph Fischer.

Billy Ray Chitwood – June 6, 2015

 BUY SITES for The Gamblers:

Amazon US: http://www. goo.gl/g50IUv

Amazon UK: http://www. goo.gl/OZAbfb

Amazon Worldwide: http://www.authl.it/38f

CreateSpace:https://www.createspace.com/5491989

goodreads.com/book/show/25541467-the-gamblers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gamblers/1483080171982117

christophfischer

Short Biography of CHRISTOPH FISCHER:

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015 and his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalization.

Below are links to Christoph’s social network sites, his blog, and praise for some of his other books:

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

Praise for Fischer’s thriller “THE HEALER” on Amazon:

“Very Unforgettable Read” – “One of the best-in-class books I’ve ever read in this sub-genre”

– “Touching thriller that raises many profound questions.”

– “Multi-layered, multifaceted, expertly credible psychological thriller”

Praise for “IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION” on Amazon:

“Excellent read. Cracking pace.” – “Christoph Fischer is a skilled and accomplished story teller”

“Fischer does an excellent job in distilling the macro into the micro. This talent could be compared to Kazuo Ishiguro’s gift of ‘writing in the miniature’ “

An Arizona Tragedy

AZTragedy

Buy Sites:

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

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

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

An Arizona Tragedy

The year was 1967. There was exciting news on radio, television, and in the daily papers. Some of the news was reasonably good, some very bad.

Vladimir Komarov, a Russian cosmonaut, died as his descending spacecraft got entangled in its parachute cords.

Congress was fighting about taxes … okay, not so tantalizing!

In May of 1967, the United States Marines took ‘Hill 881′ (the ‘forbidding twin peaks’) just below the DMZ in Vietnam, and there were many casualties.

A huge segment of the world’s population was all atwitter with the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Elvis Presley were on their honeymoon in Palm Springs, California.

Joey Bishop was trying very hard to make it on late night television.

There was a national deficit of some twenty-four billion dollars … could this year have been part of ‘the good old days?’

A. J. Foyt continued to sell a lot of STP by winning his third Indianapolis Five Hundred race.

Bacon was sixty-nine cents a pound.

Ice cream was fifty-nine cents per half-gallon.

Peanut Butter was eighty-nine cents for a two and one-half pound jar.

Instant coffee was eighty-nine cents for a ten-ounce can.

Mass murderer Richard Speck was sentenced to death row for the July, 1966 murders of eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. This very ugly man broke into their townhouse dormitory on the evening of July 13 and methodically, systematically tortured, stabbed and/or strangled his victims, one by one. He also raped his final victim before strangling her. A ninth student nurse, spending the night with her eight friends, managed to hide under a bed during one of the killings. She stayed hidden until dawn, then crawled out of a window onto a roof ledge, screaming: “They’re all dead! All my friends are dead!”

Carl Sandburg, poetic voice of the Midwest, died on July 22, 1967.

Basil Rathbone died at age seventy-five in August of that year.

There were riots in Detroit.

In Selmer, Tennessee, on August 12, Sheriff Buford Prusser was ambushed and wounded. His wife was killed.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, Frank Sinatra was at the Sands Hotel, became angry and threw some chips in the face of Carl Cohen, age fifty-four. Mr. Cohen retaliated, giving the world famous crooner a hardy haymaker.

On May 24 in Washington, D. C. a young and lovely twenty-five year old secretary was found beaten beyond recognition. The coroner stated in his report that the young lady had died as a result of multiple blows of force to the head and face, and, strangulation.

On July 19, 1967, after midnight, a young and lovely twenty-six year old secretary and model disappeared in Phoenix, Arizona. Her body was found on August 12, 1967, in the desert northeast of Phoenix. The young divorcee, mother of two children, had died of multiple rock blows to the head and face.

*

The ‘Preface’ data above set the stage for An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery – Book 1. This book was inspired by two actual homicides in Phoenix, Arizona and Washington, DC. While the book is fiction I do use actual newspaper accounts and police documents. The Phoenix homicide was particularly close to me as I was a friend of the victim – she was a legal secretary to two of my attorney friends. She was mother to a daughter and a son, while also pursuing an actress and modeling career. She had many dreams for all her tomorrows, taken away on a late Wednesday night in July of 1967 by an evil son of Satan. For the better part of a month her body was not found, ravaged by August heat and denizens of the desert.

An Arizona Tragedy introduces Bailey Crane, a different kind of sleuth, a man who muses about his life and loves while chasing the bad guys. ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ consists of six books – hope you can check them out. Each book stands alone. Here are the six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries': 

           

* An Arizona Tragedy – Book 1 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sv

Satan’s Song – Book 2 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http;//www.authl.it/1sw

The Brutus Gate – Book 3 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sx

 * Murder in Pueblo del Mar – Book 4 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sy  
A Soul Defiled – Book 5 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sz

A Common Evil – Book 6 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1r2

The asterisk in front of the title denotes book is inspired by true events.

I leave you with a few excerpts from An Arizona Tragedy and links to some of my sites.

 Excerpts —

Running late, Cathy gave her daughter and son a kiss goodbye, embraced her mom, and hurried out the door of the apartment. She dropped her purse while fumbling for keys and mumbled a mild obscenity under her breath. She finally made it to the car and headed for work.

Going west on Osborn Road she passed the northern boundary of the Phoenix Country Club. The golf course was hidden by a long row of eucalyptus trees but early morning golfers could be seen through a break in the hedgerow. Later, when the heat reached the one hundred plus mark, there would be very few players on the course.

The temperature was already in the early nineties and promised to reach one hundred ten degrees by mid-afternoon. This was the norm for Phoenix in July. The cloudless sky was sapphire deep and wide, with a slight shimmering haze on the far off western horizon.

People either hated Phoenix or they loved it. There seemed to be no middle ground opinions. For Catherine Gibbs, Phoenix and the desert was her Shangri-La. She did not mind the heat. She loved the constancy of sun and clear skies, found the daily regimen strangely soothing and somnolent. The Southwest climate better suited her senses than the dreary days of clouds, rain, and snow that came to the plains of Kansas. Besides, there were memories she would just as soon forget. As she looked at the hot earth and the various types of cacti, she felt close to some subtle and mysterious awareness of life. The saguaro, cholla, ocotillo, barrel, all the spiny plants of this arid mini-world held a fascination for her, somehow speaking to her in some arcane way of some nebulous truths that she might one day know…

***

After Midnight on Wednesday, July 19

She seemed strangely out of her body, off in a wispy connecting chamber, floating through a kaleidoscope of sight and sound … lights flashing … and motion.

She was in a car, moving fast, then slow, stopping, starting … she could see the night sky filled with a million bouncing stars, but she couldn’t be sure if her eyes were really open … car slowing down, stopping again, motor shut down, door opening … heavy breathing, cursing, mixed with cricket chirps, all coming through a fog horn of slow motion sound and movement … fingers, hands, arms on her body … tugging at her, pulling her from the car … a soft tinge of fear, anesthetized but it was so far away, this fear, and there was an eerie peace within the connecting chamber, an almost rhapsodic bending and twisting of the past, present, and an inescapable but caressing future …

There came a cacophony of cymbal sounds, a further muting within the connecting chamber, and a light that had begun so dimly now becoming greater … pain was palpable but peripheral, and, while the light grew brighter, micro seconds lingered on the desert air, in her connecting chamber, and she recounted her life … kids, family, school, jobs, friends, loves, hates, joys, disappointments, all coalescing into the awesome, wonderful, totality that was her being …

The scraping sounds … her body dropped yet again to the desert floor, once more the cursing, the heavy breathing …

The final cacophony splintered the light into a dazzling crystal brilliance …

She felt the connecting chamber, her body, her last thoughts of betrayal, beauty, and forgiveness all merging into the warm and timeless cosmos of light.

***

Sunday, August 13, 1967

It was Sunday, and my hound dog face glared back at me through the bathroom mirror … “Another round, Sam!” my lips wryly opened and muttered, mocking me with a stupid smile. My eyes were not glaring … they were looking like two very weak and damaged headlights on an ugly foggy morning, The cold water splashes were supposed to help, but the desert heat had the liquid running timidly tepid through the pipes.

Somehow, I managed the bathroom chores, got dressed in easy clothes, gray shorts and a red golf shirt, went barefooted to the kitchen, and began the world famous, obligatory coffee phase to a hangover. Outside the front door was my rolled-up, rubber-banded newspaper, its weight feeling like a twenty-five pound barbell … Ah, the awesome heft of advertising!

Before opening the newspaper, smiling smugly, my mind went to some good news already known to me. There was a beautiful house guest sleeping in the very bed from which I just arose. Her name was Connie, a lovely blonde from Los Angeles. A talented singer, Connie had just last night finished her ‘gig,’ her engagement, at ‘The Islands,’ Phoenix’s version of ‘Trader Vic’s.’ Along with the talent, she was a fun lady, and this country boy from the Tennessee hills was just a touch smitten with the lass.

The warm thoughts of Connie were curling around in my head as I sipped my coffee, the rolled up newspaper there on the sofa side table. Connie was not only lushly gifted in the looks and the lovemaking departments, she had a compelling sensitivity and could articulate her thoughts well. We had known each other a few weeks, and she had been my house guest since we met. Her musical performance at ‘The Islands’ ended, she was spending a few extra days with me before returning to Los Angeles.

Connie had been one of my most promising conquests, and, as previously stated, I could get serious over this one. She had already made it known to me that she was serious about our relationship going forward. In our talks we had spoken of our lives, our mistakes, our love affairs, our ambitions, and our dreams. She knew about the torch I still carried for Pam, a lady with whom I had lived at different stages in our long and tempestuous affair.

Finishing my second cup of coffee, I stopped my Connie thoughts, reached for the newspaper, pulled away the rubber band, and found the front section.

Cathy Gibbs picture was on the front page, with a large bold headline: Battered Body of Model Found. Underneath that headline was a less bold sub-heading: Victim of Brutal Slayer.

Numbing is likely the best word to describe my initial feelings. My God! She’s gone! What a horrible way to go! The terror and agony she was forced to endure! My eyes became misty as the image of her came to me, that image of her on the day we last were together. My simple solitary grief was so real, yet, so inadequate, somehow.

We, her friends, had become reconciled over the three weeks of her missing that she would be found dead. Now, our subliminal thoughts had been realized. Now, it was real and final. Only her mother had visibly and vocally held out hope that she would be found alive. Perhaps that hope at such a moment kept mothers from emotionally imploding. Cathy’s two children were too young to fully realize what was happening … or, were they? Did all the emotions that were around them somehow leave psychological marks so profound that they would follow them the rest of their lives? Rani Gibbs was six years old. Her brother, Spike, was four years old. They simply wanted their mom back.

“Christ!” I blurted aloud, “this happens to people I don’t know!”

***

It was 8:55AM when I left the apartment for a 9:30 appointment with one of my neglected suppliers. As a multi-line rep and my own boss it behooved me to keep suppliers happy. In return, they furnished me with ‘lay-down’ leads and a comfortable income. Really, there should be only one mood for me: thankful, happy, positive! It was the best of all worlds … working with attorneys, legitimately playing part-time detective, golfing, and lucky in love. My attitude, mood, had gotten a lot better after that shower, and I was ready to tackle and enjoy the day.

In the car, Tony Bennett was singing Rags to Riches. Turned the car onto a palm tree lined section of 32nd Street. Too relaxed, too inattentive to my known surroundings, hardly noticed the car to the left of me, moving in dangerously close. Finally forced me to jerk my wheel sharply to the right. Hardly noticed the window shattering and a sharp thorn-prick near my left temple. Hardly noticed the palm tree as it came toward me in a mighty rush. Hardly noticed how quickly the unity of hands, feet, and partially dazed mind worked so well in slowing the car, yet not avoiding the inevitable crunch of metal and tree.

Shaken quite thoroughly but still among the living, there was a tingling all over my body and a sticky wetness on the left side of my face. As my dazed head lolled on the back of the driver’s seat, the events around me appeared in seeming slow motion. People peered in at me, their lips moving in incomprehensible gibberish. The car shook as someone tugged at a door that did not want to open. Hands gently touched my forehead, my face, my neck. The loud voices became comprehensible, asking the same dull questions: “Is he okay? Is he dead? What happened?” Then, the siren sounds got closer and closer. The ambulance. The police. The Emergency Room and St. Luke’s.

— End of Excerpts —

The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ (6 books) are intended to be easy and fun reads while addressing serious crime issues. It is my hope you can read and enjoy some of the titles  Each book stands alone, but Bailey ages, tackles other crimes of mystery, suspense, and personal issues in his life. Please enjoy and, if so inclined, write an Amazon review. My best wishes to all.

All twelve of my books are listed on some of the following links – mystery, romance, memoir, et al.

Billy Ray Chitwood – May 29, 2015

Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

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

http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN – Independent Author Network)

http://twitter.com/brchitwood – (@brchitwood) – Please follow me.

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

Linkedin.com profile – http://www.goo.gl/317AtX

http://www.askdavid.com/11070

http://www.amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

I am flattered and honored to have received nine blog nomination. Two are listed here:

most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) reality blog award

Do You Know This Man?

Do You Know This Man?

No?

I knew him, not so well, some forty years ago…he was a devotee of the Phoenix neon night life, searching for parts of himself he lost along the emotional road from Appalachia: lost in an abusive and disoriented childhood; lost in a flawed and impetuous marriage; lost in the glittering promise of booze and lovely ladies. Yes, I knew him, not so well, as he made all his stumbles along the way, losing not only himself but the connections to family and friends, to the people who loved him.

Yes, of course, I’m the man in the photo, and there’s a lot more to the story…hope you’ll read THE CRACKED MIRROR, Reflections of an Appalachian Son, by Billy Ray Chitwood.

CrackedMirror Nook Size

Amazon US: goo.gl/x459WR

 Amazon UK: goo.gl/oyc499

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

*** Continue reading