Animal Clouds




Animal Clouds

Okay, too much time on my hands, you say! Really, do we ever have enough time? It was only yesterday I was a young man ‘courting the girls’ when my ‘young man’s fancy lightly turned to thoughts of love’. Time has taken those wonderful moments away from me, yes, but it has given me a love, comfortable and serene. Or, is it that my dotage has made it so much easier for my mind to wildly ponder the unrealities of life? Or, is it that my cleverness lives only in a return to childhood? That seems an inconsistent thought when one foot is already inside the boat that gives passage to the River Styx.

Animal Clouds, indeed!

Today, I write and find a multitude of ‘fancies’ as subjects for my pen – well, the laptop, if you must! Today, as I gaze out upon a sunny day with clouds drifting by as if on parade, I make of the shapes animals of all kinds…there’s a boar kneeling in prayer…there, a heavily plumed fowl stretched full out and zipping along with the wind…above the fowl, there’s a huge turtle creeping by the lovely blue background.

Actually, I’m procrastinating! I’m writing my thirteenth book, a saga about my saintly grandfather, his family’s turbulent emigration in 1885 from the Canton of Bern, Switzerland as his fetus lay curled in the tummy of his mother. Well, perhaps it is not to be a saga – don’t know if I have a saga in me, perhaps a mini-saga if there be such a thing. Through the genealogical channels, my wife has found a very interesting life of the man I loved very much as a child. There is of course love, two lovely sisters vying for his troth, his devotion and loyalty. There is madness, literally, as my grandfather’s mother spends much of her life in a mental institution. There is murder, suicide, and all sorts of interesting turns and twists in his life, so I shall make it into a fictional novel that will contain much factual information. After all, there is much that my novel mind must create.

So, I procrastinate, take a break from the longer form of writing to hallucinate and enjoy the circuitous routes the synapses dictate.

Should you wish to form your own animals from the scudding clouds, do not use mine…be proper and original with your laptop. If there is some other wild writing trip you wish to take, turn to any page in the dictionary and pick a word with which you’re not familiar…you can then amaze us blog lovers with the profundity of your wisdom – ahem, as I have here…

‘Tongue in cheek’ time over, I’m back to my saintly grandfather.

Oh, one last thing, I do have twelve books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, politics that really need to be read…consider them lonely for attention, words and phrases ‘just looking for a home’. Books have ‘feelings’, too, you know!

Might I suggest one (or, all) of my six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ – some inspired by true crime?

If ‘Romance’ is your staple, my Butterflies and Jellybeans – A Love Story will answer your call, plus add a dash of suspense (don’t let the title fool you).

If you want the hard reality of evil in our world, try my Mama’s Madness (fiction from truth) OR The Reluctant Savage (romance, mayhem, murder) OR my brand NEW thriller A Common Evil.

 Memoirs of my sordid and wonderful life might interest you. The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son and What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale.

Finally, you can determine whether or not you truly hate me or like me by reading Joe Public’s Political Perspective, a ‘rant and rave’ about government – yes, I had to open my mouth, or, in this case, my laptop! Don’t know if I have it right but the thoughts come from an honest place.

All these books are on my personal website – – just scan the home page after the short bio section. Really, could you just start something ‘viral’ for me? The books are entertaining and non-convoluted – I would not know how to make a book too complicated!

Now you’ve seen the begging and crass side of me after getting your attention with animals in the clouds.

Next week, I promise to behave! (@brchitwood) (Billy Ray Chitwood)

Feel free to comment. My best wishes.

very-inspirational-blogger1 reality blog award the-wordpress-family-award one-lovely-blog most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) booker-award liebsteraward inner-peace-award beautiful-blogger-award 

Flowers and Fate


Flowers and Fate

“Red or yellow roses, Sir?” the older lady in the flower shop asked.

The young man in his early thirties smiled and raised his brow. “Now, how did you know it was to be roses, Millie?” He knew her from a name tag.

“It’s the body language, young man. Your step, your face, the happy gleam in your eyes.”

“Really! I’m that obvious?”

“You’re that obvious,” she teasingly grinned, “plus I’ve had this shop too many years not to know when love walks through the door.”

He put his hands on the counter and gently asked, “And, do you know how many roses I’ll be sending FTD today?”

“You’re a two-dozen fellow, I’m betting.” She pursed her lips.

“And, does my step, my face, and the happy gleam in my eyes tell you which color I’ll pick?”

“Red, of course! You’re obviously in love and you want the red roses to convey your love for the young lady.” She tilted her head slightly in a positive gesture.

“Why would I not choose yellow roses?” the man asked, amused by the conversation.

“Yellow roses would be fine, but you wish to make a deeper statement. Red gets the point of love across rather profoundly. They say, ‘I love you’. Yellow roses convey happiness and joy in more of a friendship fashion… My goodness, listen to me, giving you information you likely already know.”

“No, you’ve actually tagged me perfectly, and I thank you. It will be two dozen red roses, and I trust you will pick out twenty-four of your very best.”

“It will be my pleasure, plus an extra red rose to accentuate the strong statement. I shall make it a very special arrangement for you. You will wish a card sent with the roses…”

His name was Farris Stanley Ballanger. The flowers were going to Johnnie Mahannic. Stan spent some time in thought at the counter as to the words he would put on the card. Smiling, finally satisfied with his choice of words, he placed the card in the accompanying envelope, wrote ‘Dear Sweet Johnnie’ on the front, and handed it to Millie.

Stan paid for the flowers and chatted a few moments more with Millie.

As Stan was about to leave the store, he asked: “Do you mind if I hug you, Millie? You are such a great person.”

Millie obliged, and Stan left the store.

Later around midnight as Stan closed and locked his service station, he was robbed at gunpoint, marched to the ‘Men’s Room’ and shot to death at close range.

Stan’s roses arrived the next morning before news of the robbery and homicide reached Johnnie. Her heart filled with love overflowing as she read what Stan had written on the card:

Love and Time Eternal

It matters not the hours, the days, the years, the lifetime we spend together!

What matters is all the love we have gathered in our hearts

That will last eternally…

Forever, Stanley

(Flash fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood)

In Memory of my Uncle Stanley who lives forever in my heart! 


I’ve written a novel about love called, Butterflies and Jellybeans – A Love Story 

Butterfly Jellybeans Nook Size




This book begins with two joggers fatefully brought together on a running path when a lightning strike hits… The story that follows is about love and the obstacles that get in the way: betrayal, sibling rivalry, gambling, murder, a matriarch’s secret, a desert odyssey, and redemption. It is my hope that you will read and enjoy. (for a bio sketch and all my books) (@brchitwood) 


Please feel free to leave a comment below – after the blog awards I am proud to display.

most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) reality blog award booker-award one-lovely-blog inner-peace-award beautiful-blogger-award liebsteraward the-wordpress-family-award very-inspirational-blogger1

Confused and Mystified

Bill Chitwood

Confused and Mystified

Participating, watching others participate, wondering what and where is the magic in this digital mind-boggling world. You are a writer. You write because of need and because you have identified writing as the talent you most likely possess more than any other, because just maybe that activity keeps you alive and in tune with the world around you. You go through the spasms of depression, frustration, and an occasional adrenaline rush of encouragement and excitement.

Then, you take a look at the marketing aspects of selling your books, the various providers of platforms, tools, and applications. Perhaps, like me, you become aware of the specialized and confusing language used in the digital market places, things like Avatar, widgets, SEOs, RSS feeds, URLs, hash marks, and all of it somehow cannot seem to make sense to you. You become angry with yourself, with the computer and its devious foreign language, and with the madness of minds making life so much more complicated than it really needs be. You wonder what you should be doing that you are not doing but most of all how to do it. Could you have been selling more books and yourself if you had joined this group, used this platform, done this, done that?

Sure, you can hire someone for a tidy sum you think you can trust to take the marketing worries away that allows you to concentrate on your writing. Yet, you either feel not quite comfortable among the so-called professional or you are too money-tight to give it a try. So, you muddle on, writing good books – books that should be selling – and attempting a one-person publishing house. Is there an answer? Is there a Nirvana out there for you?

The odds might not be great, but you figure to keep on writing – because that’s what you love to do. Hopefully, before the grim reaper comes calling, a benevolent event, a magic will come your way and finally make all those moments at the laptop pay off. A Publishing deal with a handsome sign-up bonus? An Amazon selling spree that puts your books virally in the top echelon of the Indie market? Okay, more realistically, beautifully written and sincere heartfelt reviews may lack the money and fame but they do make you soar for a few moments in those heady clouds of success. Maybe that is all we can hope – that and learning the foreign language that is the internet.

Writing mimics life and weather! Just wait a few moments with the emotion you are currently feeling…it will soon pass and be replaced by another. Time is the arbiter of all things – it is here and gone!

Just in the time it took me to write this blog post, I became a famous writer! Talk about an emotional uplift… A good caring and loving spouse can do that for you.

Keep Writing! Good things can happen!


My NEW BOOK,  A Common Evil is set in Mexico along the Sea of Cortez – murder, mystery, suspense as good fights evil among the drug cartels. The initial reviews are 5-Stars – Hope you can enjoy it at Amazon Worldwide (@brchitwood) (billy ray chitwood)

Why Did I Write “A Common Evil…?”

Bill Chitwood


Why Did I Write A Common Evil…?

The title could just as easily be ‘Why Do I Write’? This book, however, has a rather significant place in my heart and mind. A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery is the last book (6) in ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series but that is not the reason it occupies that significant place in my heart and mind.

It was a marvelous pleasure for my wife and me to live full-time in Mexico on the Sea of Cortez in a small fishing village some sixty miles south of the Arizona border. We were there for several years, and I served proudly as the president of the Homeowners Association at our resort…that part of the book is accurate for the character of Bailey Crane. Another part of A Common Evil which is indeed couched in fact is the early morning raid at our resort some months back in which a cartel boss was killed, along with some other bad drug people. It must also be stated as fact that this incident occurred shortly after my wife and I left Mexico in our return to the United States. The raid, or ‘sting’, by the Federales and their allies was the true inspiration for writing the book – that, and exploring the unlikely drug solutions south of the border. There are other truths in the book taken from my experiential mind vault, but, for the most part, it is a fictional novel that has all the necessary disclaimers.

It was important for me to write the book for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it gave me a poetic license to tell a story and relive some aspects of my life and times in Mexico, a country for which I have had a love affair for many years. The allusions to the Sea of Cortez, its incomparable beauty, and to the hospitable, nostalgic, warm people of Mexico, are all from a truly thankful mind and heart. My thoughts in the book about the people in general and the country come from a good place. It is true that Mexico has its poverty, its cartels, its corruption, and it also has a desire to become more than what some in the world perceive it to be…not so different from many countries. In the main, my full-time years spent in Mexico were enjoyable and my love for the people genuine and heartfelt.

Second, I wanted to explore a common evil shared by most if not all the nations of the world. Because Mexico gets so much media attention drawn to its drug cartels, its brutal murders, and the sometime popular opinion that the government is an awed and intimidated partner in the awful business, I wanted to explore some off-the-wall solutions to the drug wars. While living by that beautiful sea and in having a resort position that gave me perhaps more opportunities for contact with local government officials, there came to me an emerging microcosmic vision of the country as a whole…certainly, not empirical, nothing measurable or notable in scientific terms, simply a desultory and superficial mix of observations.

Another reason for writing A Common Evil, the most crucial to me, I wanted to write an exciting novel that readers might enjoy, one with believable characters, one with a few twists and turns, some irony, perhaps even a red herring here and there.

Finally, writing is life for me. It keeps the old heart ticking and gives me clues to identifying myself, providing dimensions otherwise not known…after all, some of us need a lifetime to figure out just who we are.

Hope you will check out A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery – book 6. Incidentally, each book in ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ stands alone…while fleshing out the central character in each story. Some of the mysteries are inspired by true crimes.

BookCoverImage (3)


Amazon US: (Kindle)

Amazon US: (Paperback)

Amazon UK:


If you enjoy A Common Evil perhaps you will write a review of your reading experience on and You, the readers, are the life-blood of writers. Without you, authors can lead a very lonely life.

Feel free to comment below. My very best wishes.


Follow me on Twitter – @brchitwood 

(NOTE: I’m very proud to have received nine awards for my blog and I usually display those awards at the end of my posts – as required. On this occasion, I will hold my pride in check – almost!)

An Interview With Author Eden Baylee


An Interview With Author Eden Baylee

My blog post this week is a most particular pleasure. Having been interviewed myself by this adorable lady, here is my chance to change seats, to be the inquisitive one. To Eden’s many friends who are in the audience, please feel free to re-blog this interview.

So, without delay:

An Interview with Eden Baylee

Eden Baylee is one of the grandest ladies I know…supportive of so many authors and friends. She is one of those people who has a lot of humanity the world would not necessarily know about. She is an author who has written erotic books – and written them with a literary flair and without the raw and gratuitous verbiage that many readers might associate with erotic writing. Her style is warm and inviting, and her themes touch on real life issues and content. There are described in her writing the beauty of love, romance, and sadness that drops in on all of us. Her writings speak to life and have literary melodies that flow through them.

With a course change, Eden launched her very first full-length novel, Stranger at Sunset, and this psychological thriller hit the streets on June 30, 2014. I can tell you there is a beautiful, strong, female protagonist who may have dabs of quirk in her behavior but you will love her – guaranteed! Here is the beautiful cover and the buy sites:



Amazon US –

Amazon UK –

(There are rave reviews already accumulating on Amazon – US and UK) 

Hmmm, I think I saw the book on Times Square…


Why don’t I stop with the monologue and have you meet this great lady, Eden Baylee, a Canadian lass who writes under the alias just mentioned, a banker for some years before she began writing…but, wait, the Q and A will tell her tale…

Question: Surely you have much more to tell us about yourself, your personal life, and times?

Answer: Oh my, Billy Ray! You sure know how to make a girl blush. Thank you so much for that incredible introduction. Hmm … as for my personal life, I never think people are all that interested in me. Most of anything you want to know can be found on my blog or website.

But in a nutshell, I’m born and bred in Canada, raised French, now living in Toronto, which is English. As you know, Canada is a bilingual country. I speak four languages fluently and get by with mediocre German and Spanish. In 2010, I left banking after twenty years to write full time. I haven’t looked back since. I’m an audiophile, logophile, and an introvert, though I do enjoy being with good friends.

Question: What do you consider the most dramatic event of your life?

Answer: Wow, you’re not letting me off easy, are you? 😉

I suppose it would be when I had cancer. It took almost two years out of my life, but it reset my priorities. Though I would not wish an illness upon anyone, it brought into focus what was really important for me. Leaving my job was part of it.

I had a lot of fear about failing as a writer, but that fear paled in comparison to how I would feel if I never gave writing a chance. I never wanted to look back and regret that I was too afraid to make a life change. As much as I can, I don’t allow fear to rule me anymore.

Question: What was the very first piece of writing that gave you the passage and passion to become a full-time author?

Answer: It’s the first erotic novel I read: Story of O by Pauline Réage. I was eleven. It left an impression that has stayed with me all my life. In your introduction, you alluded to good vs. bad erotica. I have read both, just as I have read good and bad mysteries, and other genres. I think it’s important to know the difference, and this can only happen by exposing oneself to both ends of the spectrum.

I have always loved ‘sensual’ writing, the type that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, it does not necessarily have to contain sex. Writing that draws in the reader emotionally spans all genres.

My goal was to write stories to make others feel like I did when I read that first erotic book. Of course, erotica left an indelible mark on my psyche, so that’s what I started writing. You can find many of my non-erotic works in my shorts and flash fiction.

Question: Which authors and/or life themes have inspired and motivated you to write?

Answer: I won’t name any one author because there are many, including you, Billy Ray. You are inspiring in that you have written so many books. “Prolific” does not even begin to describe you!

As for life themes, I love writing about foreign places because I love travel even though I haven’t had much opportunity of late to go away. I also love music, poetry, art, and languages. All these themes play into my stories.

My latest book shows my love for psychology, which I majored in while going to university … then I became a banker. Go figure. I don’t even like numbers!

Question: How about the process of writing itself? What emotions run unbidden within you while sitting and pecking at your laptop?

Answer: Oh god, Billy Ray! I laughed aloud with this question! I have never been asked this before. First of all, I don’t sit to write. I stand. I find sitting for too long makes me tired and hurts my back, so standing at my kitchen counter has proven to be much better for keeping me alert.

As for emotions? I’m probably just saying to myself: Get this damn book written already. What’s taking you so long?! I’m not the most patient person.

[That’s interesting that you stand and write… One of my favorite authors of old was Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward Angel and You Can’t Go Home Again) — he was a tall man and wrote his long novels standing, penning his words atop a refrigerator.]  

Question: Is there a time of day you feel more effective as a writer?

Answer: I’m a night owl, though lately I have been getting up with the birds and have been surprised by my productivity. I usually don’t go to bed until well after midnight, so it makes for long days. I love the quiet of the night and can write clearly after dark.

Question: Other than writing, what are some of your most favorite moments of leisure?

Answer: I love good conversation, so it’s usually time spent with friends, dinner, wine, or something in that vein. I enjoy good films, my harmonica, and now that the weather is hot (finally!), I tend to my small flower and herb garden.

Question: This may be tough for you, but is your good husband aware of our current affair – AND, the discarded affair you had with John Dolan? (Tee Hee!)

Answer: Billy Ray! I thought you were going to keep our little secret.

There are some wonderful and supportive authors in my social network. Both you and John rank highly as two of my favorite and closest friends.

As you know, writing is a solitary profession, and it’s always wonderful to meet like-minded people who can help pass the day with humor.

Question: More seriously, and I know you are being interviewed consistently since Stranger at Sunset came outcan you give us a brief summary of the book and what motivated you to write this psychological thriller?

Answer:  Stranger at Sunset is inspired by a real place, but my love for characters inspired the story. The title is a play on words, as it’s meant to explore the ‘stranger’ in all of us. I was motivated to write a psychological mystery/thriller because I enjoy the genre, both in books and in film.

Here is a summary of Stranger at Sunset:

A vacation can be a killer. 
Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot, Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Included in the mix are friends of the owners, a businessman with dubious credentials, and a couple who won the trip from a TV game show. It is January 2013, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The luxury resort is struggling, not from the storm, but due to a scathing review from caustic travel writer, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation. Even though she is haunted by her own demons, Kate feels compelled to help. She sets out to discover the motivation behind Kane’s vitriol. Used to getting what he wants, has the reviewer met his match in Kate? Or has she met hers? 

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/thriller as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice. As Kate’s own psychological past begins to unravel, a mysterious stranger at Sunset may be the only one who can save her.

Question: Finally, will there be a sequel to Stranger at Sunset and/or more writing in this (or, these) genres?

Answer: Yes to both. I envision Stranger at Sunset to be the first of a trilogy. I’m working on the second book right now called: A Fragile Truce, and there’s an excerpt in the current book. The books will feature my protagonist Dr. Kate Hampton and maybe a few other recurring characters, but she is always in the starring role.

Question: Any ending comments and/or suggestions you would like to leave with your many fans, with authors, potential authors, and readers in general?

Answer: First and foremost, THANK YOU, Billy Ray, for your generous spirit as a man and author. I’m amazed you find the time to both write and help promote other authors with such zeal. It has been my pleasure to be a part of your blog, and I am so thankful for your help and continued support. Your humor continues to keep me on my toes. 😉

As for readers, I truly hope they enjoy the book. I’m always grateful for feedback via a review or connection through any of my networks. Talking to readers is one of the biggest pleasures of being a writer.

Thanks again, Billy Ray. xox

We tease a lot and find amusement in our interchanges on Twitter and the other networks, but I do want the cyberspace folks and the world to know that you have a big heart, a lovely writing style, and a most charitable, generous nature. I cherish our simpatico relationship…and bless your husband for putting up with my inanities.

Also, to the world, I say: Please buy and read Stranger at Sunset – otherwise, that ‘generous’ check will not reach me. 🙂 


With her new psychological thriller, Stranger at Sunset, Eden’s body of work consists of ten books. A few are listed below… For a complete list of her books, visit the links below:

Image Image Image Image

http://www. (US)


http://www. – (UK)


To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list at her website.

There may be duplication but here following are all of Eden’s Links:

Website –

New Link –

Amazon Author page US

Amazon Author page UK

Twitter @edenbaylee






Of course, you can always find me here, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and