A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery

A Common Evil - A Bailey Crane Mystery

Kindle Version Just out today! Paperback out in week or so.

The Kindle version of A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery came earlier than expected. The paperback will be available in a week or so. The link for the Kindle version is goo.gl/5PsAie . One beta reader has given me a 5-Star review which should be published on Amazon US and UK shortly. Other reviews are coming in and will be posted as soon as received. Any other reader reviews are most welcome.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post query regarding a book cover. The cover shown here is obviously the first choice.

Amazon Kindle – goo.gl/5PsAie – gives the reader a few pages of the book to preview, and, superfluously, it’s my hope you will want to read the entire novel.

JUST ONE LAST NOTE: my next post on JULY 3, 2014 will feature an interview with Eden Baylee with some Q and A about her life and her new novel, Stranger at Sunset – I think you will enjoy the post, so see you there.

Thanks so much to all the great followers of my blog for your good support…all my very best wishes.

Billy Ray Chitwood – June 29, 2014



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



Book Cover To Be Or Not To Be!




A Book Cover To Be Or Not To Be!

A Book Cover To Be Or Not To Be?

I’m told by so many people that a cover can make or break a book, in terms of drawing readers to it. Of course, the content goes a long way in deciding whether or not success comes its way.

Having just finished my 12th book, A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery, having worked within the constraints of Create Space for all of my book covers, the two shown above are those that come close to my parameters – Title on one line, Sub-Title on one line, Author on one line, and the image of Evil pretty much captured. Any other ‘theme fonts’ used would put the first three items mentioned on two lines. So, I came up with these two choices: one, bold, dark, and hard in visually presenting the book; the other, soft and rather elegant in its visual appeal.


 I’m still processing cover designs but thought you might be willing to comment on the two covers presented here and give me your thoughts. Label the top darker cover ‘A’ and the lower softer cover ‘B’. Or, just tell me to keep working on a cover. Those of you who might be reading this on Goodreads or my personal website (Weebly), please go to https://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com for a look at the covers. Thanks so very much.

It is ultimately the content between the covers of a book from which the reader will render a final verdict, but a visually attractive glossy front can be a good draw. If you have the time and inclination please leave a comment if you like the covers shown here or whether I should keep exploring.

Speaking of content, here is an early sampling from A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery:

When I raise myself for a look-see, the site appears under siege. Much of the shooting is coming from an interior villa, and through the moonlight and gun flashes I can see bodies, some moving, some on the ground, probably dead or dying. To my surprise, on one of the balconies in building 3 to my left, there is a machine gun set-up. The firing that reaches my ears is coming from pistols, semi-automatic rifles, and AK-47s. Clearly there is a strong presence of lawmen, Federales, and there are bad guys with guns, most assuredly members of the cartel.

Suddenly there are other sounds. Three Blackhawk helicopters dip and roar in from the sea, the guns aboard shooting down on precise points of the resort. It is all alarming and dramatic, like I’m privy to filming of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie…my mind stupidly thinks of “True Lies.” I’ve had some action and drama in my day but nothing quite as panoramic as this. The early morning sky, the color streaks from the ammo display, the distant town lights of the Pueblo del Mar port, and the shadowy figures flickering by on the ground below me, all are vivid Technicolor at its best.

For long moments I watch the battle play out, more mesmerized than gripped by fear. Somewhere behind me I hear Wendy calling me… I yell back, “I’m coming!” but stay fixed for more moments watching the gun display far down on the eastern edge of the resort’s grounds. Then I notice moving figures getting into a van and dashing toward the front gate area, more figures climbing over an 8-foot stucco wall to the neighboring resort.

As the rapid firing slows to periodic bursts I rise and discover that Wendy is crouched behind me at the arcadia doors. “What are you doing, Wen? Get inside, please!”

She gives me an instant reply: “You can’t figure bullets can bend and reach us up here, Bailey-cakes. But, then, I was always more swift of mind than you.”

“Point made, Genius, but stray bullets can and has hit some of our towers. That scattering shrapnel can harm and maim.” I grab her by the arm, and we move inside, close, lock the doors, and sit on the sofa in our great room. There are now faint, sporadic rounds of fire but it is my guess that the show is about to wind down… Of course, my clever wife has beat me to that conclusion.

Stunned by this early morning anomaly, my thoughts turn to our homeowners and resort staff. I have to find out more clearly about the health of our people and just what the hell is going on. (End of sampling.)

In case you can’t read the back cover of the first sample cover (‘A), I repeat it here:

Former sleuth Bailey Crane and lovely wife Wendy are enjoying their penthouse pleasures until a cartel sting operation at their Mexican resort brings chaos and emotional uncertainty into a blurry reality. Wendy is kidnapped, and Bailey faces the demons running loose in his mind as he struggles with his choices. Also President of the resort’s HOA, Bailey has not only kidnapping and murders with which to contend, but other problems which add to this suspenseful chapter in his life. The surprising end point brings back to Bailey and Wendy those memories better left in the memory vault. 

An exciting, intense thriller in the sand and cacti of Mexico’s Sonoran desert by the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

This is the final Book 6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’.

Evil can be so common as not to be seen.

A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery will be published in mid-July, 2014.

One final word about A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery, my wife and I lived in the lovely falsely named resort depicted in this novel. While the book is a work of fiction there are many elements of truth here as well. In fact, one of those truths was the real inspiration for the book. It is my hope that you watch for the publication of A Common Evil mid-July, 2014 (next month). I hope also that you will enjoy this suspenseful tale.

Each book in ‘The Bailey Crane Mysteries’, though showing the natural progression of the central character, stand alone and can be read independently – that is, there is a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion. The books in the series, some inspired by true events, are meant to be not so convoluted. Hopefully entertaining to the readers, the books allow the author through his characters and plot lines to muse, wander in his thoughts on life, while staying focused on the business at hand.

There, I have had my say!  

Billy Ray Chitwood – June, 2014

Please leave a comment below after the links. Thank you.

http://www.about.me/brchitwood (Bio)

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Meet Author Billy Ray Chitwood


Meet Author, Billy Ray Chitwood

NEW BOOK COMING: Mid-July, 2014

A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery

[The following comments from a husband standing behind his wife as she reads a blog post]

“Okay, know what I’m thinking… I would never read an author who can’t get a bowtie correctly in place on his tuxedo.

“My next thought is… What’s the guy doing in a tuxedo? Authors don’t make the kind of money to be wearing tuxedos. They walk around in smelly shoes, jeans, and soiled t-shirts. This guy’s after something… Got to be careful here!

“Look at the guy! He’s got a smug know-it-all half-smile and bags under his eyes – probably an alcoholic or an insomniac. He’s looking like he’s God’s gift to literature! Give me a break. These author-people – what? Maybe a hundred million of them? And they all think they can sneak up on us with their words and phrases, make us fans, pay enormous prices for their fancy-covered books, and make them millionaires.

“What! The guy’s written twelve books… I’ve played Texas Hold’em twelve times and won one hundred grand. Big freaking deal!

“Six books in his ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ and he’s saying some of them are inspired by true events… Yeah, I’m sure! His new book: A Common Evil… what kind of title is that for a book? Supposed to turn us on? The guy knows the world thrives on murder and mayhem – he’s likely trying for a movie deal. Hey, he’s got a chance! It’s about murder and Mexican cartels. They’re in the news.

“The guy’s even written a romance novel, two more mysteries, two memoirs, and a political rant and rave… Bet money the guy’s a right-wing zealot! He just looks the type. Ah, he is, see what he says right there?”

Finally, the wife has had it. “Will you finish your diatribe? I happen to like this author’s writing style and I find what he has to say very interesting. Go slobber down another beer, Fred. At least, that will keep you in the bathroom most of the evening.”

“Touchy, touchy, Wilma! So, one question before I leave you alone… What’s this guy’s writing style you’re so excited about?”

“Would not expect you to understand, Fred, but I’ll try… His style embodies the elements I like in writing. He’s not convoluted in his plots. He is not afraid to show his emotional side and he loves his wife. He stays focused on his plot but muses about life’s idiosyncratic turns and twists, and I suspect he puts quite a lot of himself into his books. He is in some ways a polymath.”

“Well, if you’re going to use your big words, I’m outta here. Let me know when the author has left the room.”

Billy Ray Chitwood – June 19, 2014

Happy to have your comment if inclined…

http://www.about.me/brchitwood (Bio)

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The Beginning of a Book Launch


The Beginning of a Book Launch

A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery (Book 6)

Authored by Billy Ray Chitwood

The Beginning of a book launch?

First, an admission, I’ve never been very good at my own book launches. With this book, I would really like to get it as right as I possibly can. You see, I think my previous eleven books, five of them part of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’, are very good books – there are aside from ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ a romance-suspense novel, two other mystery-suspense novels, and two memoirs. Some of these fictional books are inspired by true stories.

The truth is the manuscripts of some ‘Bailey Crane’ books sat and gathered dust for a few years before I cleaned them up, rewrote and edited them. Then, the books were published one after the other without any fanfare, without reviews, and put on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. In short, I did no pre-launch, very little social networking, and tried to catch up by tweeting like crazy – it was not a professional marketing effort at all. Good Twitter followers, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook friends supported as best they could. Ergo, the sales never kept up with the hopes.

Look, I’m a humble guy and understand that my writing style might not please everyone. I do inject some musings, dabs of humor, and some diversionary little bits here and there, but I know the books are good, some close to damned good, have great characters and plot lines. I also know that there are millions of readers and books, so it behooves me to start doing something right in launching/marketing my books.

So, with this twelfth book, A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery (Book 6), I’m after some folks reviewing the book prior to publication, designing a dynamite cover, blogging some sample sections, tweeting, using Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms. I want to make sure that every best effort is made to make this book and all my books known to the reading public with the strongest launch effort I’ve ever attempted.

‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ are books that can stand alone, but the progression in age and circumstance of the central character, Bailey Crane, is evident book to book… One side note, one ‘Bailey Crane’ manuscript was lost in all my wandering – it was a book titled “Stranger Abduction” (it was to be Book 2 in the series – “Satan’s Song” is now in that position). “SA” was about a mother and daughter gone missing from Arizona who were never found (based on true events). As each book stands alone, the only missing elements with no “SA” have to do with some of Bailey’s personal life. I have searched everywhere I know to search for the missing manuscript, and, if it’s ever found it will be published.

So, now I have honestly shared with you my ineptness in launching my books and what I hope for in a new invigorated launch attempt. Now, here is a brief description of A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery (Book 6)…

Bailey Crane and wife Wendy have retired to a small fishing village in Mexico, living the good life in a most beautiful resort – a penthouse no less. Early one pre-dawn morning gunshots ring out at the resort and Black Hawk helicopters swoop in from the sea. Thus begins another adventure for Bailey. Several cartel people die in the ‘sting’ operation at the resort, most notably one of the more notorious cartel leaders. In many respects Bailey is partially responsible for the raid as the story will report, forcing him and his wife to reflect on safety issues and other living quarters.

Wendy will be kidnapped, and Bailey will be frantic in his attempts to find and rescue her. Bailey will have an emotional desert experience like no other experience he has ever faced. Other bad guys will be killed while the Mexican government and the principal Cartel boss attempt a coup of sorts. There is an abundance of romance, mystery, suspense in this book about corruption and evil, and the ending will come where the Sonoran desert meets at an estuary and the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Next week I will share some of Bailey’s narrative in the book, perhaps have a cover design for your preview and acceptance.

Now I’m off to find some reviewers for A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery (Book 6). If anyone reading this blog would like to give me a review, just contact me at the Twitter link below. Please include your e-mail address. Thank you.

Billy Ray Chitwood – June 12, 2014

Your comments are welcome.

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

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Writing Therapy


Writing Therapy

Unless your brains and emotions have been so scrambled that you’re hopelessly lost and unable to vent in any form, try writing as therapy. Who knows, you could save thousands of dollars in psych office visits…

Take me, for example, those who occupy psych offices are loony types – he says rather tongue in cheek but not without respect. Me, I write books and blogs for my therapy and my thought is I might use this space to describe what it is my words and phrases are trying to convey.

My writing first and foremost is hopefully entertaining and connecting with some kindred souls. There is no formula that I use for writing – I simply take off and hope in the end it all makes some sense. Sure, I try to build a cohesive story, mixed with some interesting characters, some philosophical meandering, and a dash of humor. There was a time when I taught ‘Advanced Writing’ and I’m the first to admit that my style probably defies all the rules of good story-telling…you know, the ‘big bang beginning’, the sustaining plot and sub-plots, the unforgettable characters, the action, or, the ‘mesmerizing middle’, and the ‘bigger bang ending’. Don’t get me wrong, I try for these good elements and to one degree or another make them.

Where I likely deviate a bit from rules is my subconscious need to ‘diarize’, to inject so much of me into the narrative and out of the characters’ mouths. You see, I really want to write something most worthy but I have a selfish motive… I want to see if I can find pieces of me that give me a better sense of my life and times. We have all begun somewhere, been delivered to this place or that place, and have our scars to show for the life experiences. Me, I’ve always been an incurable romantic, a risk taker, not so much a multi-task type of guy, more interested in finding and evaluating all the variables in my journey, finding the reasons for this action and/or event.

So, through the made-up characters and the stories (even those inspired by true events) I’m hoping to get a better handle on me. The dialogues and the personalities are my inventions, and somewhere there on the lines and between the lines, am I. There is no question about my writing ability. Humbly, I believe it good to excellent – given a careless mistake here and there. The story will be simple and compelling…interesting but with some digression here and there. The books I’ve written are like the wanderlust author who penned them – hobos looking for a place to settle…but, then, hobos don’t look to settle, methinks.

I’m envious of those good folks who live in the same house, city, community, town for most if not all of their lives… I’ve lived in some beautiful places over my journey and part of me wishes I had never left some of those places. Like now, I’m living in a magnificent home with a bluff view across the valley on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, and, guess what, I’m getting antsy for another move.

Therapy? Hey, I’ve got to do a lot of writing! 

One more thing… I’m finishing up my twelfth book titled “A Common Evil” – The setting is a small fishing village on The Sea of Cortez in Mexico. It is the sixth and final book of my ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ and possibly the best. “A Common Evil” stands alone as do all the books in the ‘Bailey Crane Series’ and there are some musings in the book taken from my experiences while living in this fishing village by the sea. Actually, I can say the book was inspired by some actual events that took place in the very resort where I lived. All the books in the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ are quick and simple reads that will attest to my claims in this blog post. Obviously, I hope you will read “A Common Evil’ and the rest of the ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ — you will find me on and between the lines in each and every book. LOOK FOR IT – COMING SOON!

Thank you for taking time to read “A Common Evil’ when it is available – and any of my novels and/or memoirs now available at links below. If you enjoy one of my books, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend. 

Billy Ray Chitwood – June 6, 2014

Please leave a comment if so inclined. Thank you and best wishes.


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