Today it’s Friday and time to share a new book. As you know I am always eager to bring you back the work of authors who’ve already visited us, as it’s always a great encouragement to see people dedicated to honing their skills and I can’t wait to see what new stories they bring us.
Billy Ray Chitwood is coming back today (and I know there are quite a few of his books I haven’t brought you yet) with his new book. As a visitor of his blog, I know that many of his stories have more than a grain of truth in them, but I’ve been fascinated by the story of this book, Stranger Abduction, that in itself deserves a book.
The author had written the story (based on a case he was familiar with), years back, and it was, he thought, stored with some of his papers. When he went to retrieve it, he could not find it. But still, as we writers know, there are stories that insist and nag at us to be told, and there’s no peace until they are on paper (or on a computer file), so, here it is. You can read more about the story of the creation of the book, here.
It is a sunny Sunday in May, 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.
The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.
They never make it home…
The deputy sheriff of the county believe there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.
There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.
It’s Friday and it’s time for a new book or a guest author. Today I bring you the new book by Billy Ray Chitwood. I’ve come across Billy Ray in a variety of platforms (blogs, Twitter) and saw that he had published a new book in his series. Billy Ray has been writing and publishing books for a while, and I intend to bring you more of his books soon, but I was sure his new book would grab your attention and make you look for more…especially as it is the last book in the series!
A Common Evil
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’.
From East Tennessee. My family roots go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.
Never knew what it was in life that I really wanted to do…guess that had something to do with those roots in East Tennessee, a broken family, and so much mobility. Saw a lot of cowboy movies as a kid and thought about acting for awhile. Loved to sing and thought about being a singer. Being an actor or a singer meant there would be audiences, and I was a bashful boy who wasn’t too comfortable in crowds. Wanted to be a fireman. Wanted to be a cop. A professional golfer. A tennis pro. The ‘want list’ just kept changing.
You likely know where I’m going with this opening bio brevity. My dreams were fleeting because I was a fickle fellow whose roots never got too deep anywhere, any time. So. when those Tennessee hills were behind me and that big adult world opened up to me, well, it kind of overwhelmed me. There were so many Appalachian and bible belt emotions conflicting inside my heart and mind that made it easy to make a lot of mistakes. Make them, surely did, too many to enumerate, and my guess is I’ve been blaming old Appalachia, the hills of Tennessee, the broken family, the mobility, all the emotions laid upon me, for this rather wanderlust life I’ve been living. Guess I’ve always been chasing that something that was missing in those long ago days.
Now, don’t get me wrong. With the mistakes, which you can read about later, there were successes and honorable service to my country in the US Navy. The successes, in my way of thinking, were: my good wife and wonderful children; a college BA degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA with a major in English; high school teaching; sales and marketing management positions with some of our top educational publishers; acting in film, stage, and television; my own business.
The most exhilarating success has been my writing eleven books. The writing has allowed me to purposefully wander through some simple plot lines and characters’ lives to explore my own dimensions, to discover some things about myself I never really considered. Up front, I’ll state too brashly for some, my books are good, well written, and easy to read. Sure, the critics, even I, will still find the occasional errata that most writers disdain. There is nothing, however, that has given me more pleasure than turning a phrase that says everything I want it to say, to re-read a passage that brings back some emotional echoes.
So, you have a short bio glimpse of Billy Ray Chitwood, an Appalachian kid who ate some emotional soup and spent a lifetime trying to digest it. Are Billy Ray’s books worthy of a read? My vote doesn’t count. Only you can tell me with any certainty…
Eleven books and a lifetime later, reading, writing, and family are the biggest parts of my life. Many of my works of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. My first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has 90% factual accuracy about my own life. Later, I wrote a rather shameful non-fiction 100% accurate portrait of myself, “What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale.”
Currently, my time is spent on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with my lovely wife, Julie Anne, and our feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.
Writing is therapy for the soul and allows me to explore dimensions of myself otherwise neglected or never known. It would not surprise me to know that writers find pieces of themselves heretofore never considered in the words they pen. Within my plot lines and my characters I can fuse and muse the most difficult and simple elements of living. My characters can embolden me with youthful heroism or with the skeptical observations of an aging man. Through my pages of people I can be a buffoon, clown, hero, villain, and/or a super solver of the world’s problems…Writing then must be another life for me to live.
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