Tag Archives: Coming of Age

Section Roads – Book Tour

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Coming
of Age / Mystery / Humor
Date
Published:
June 8, 2019
Publisher:
Acorn Publishing
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
When
attorney Cullen Molloy attends his fortieth high school reunion, he doesn’t
expect to be defending childhood friends against charges of murder… 
In
a small town on the high plains of Eastern New Mexico, life and culture are
shaped by the farm roads defining the 640-acre sections of land homesteaders
claimed at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Cullen and Shelby Blaine explore
first love along these section roads during the 1960’s, forging a life-long
emotional bond.
  
      As junior high school band nerds, Cullen
and Shelby fall under the protection of football player and loner, Buddy Boyd.
During their sophomore year of high school, Buddy is charged with killing a
classmate and is confined to a youth correctional facility. When he returns to
town facing the prospect of imprisonment as an adult, Cullen becomes Buddy’s
protector.
       The case haunts the three friends into
adulthood, and it isn’t until their fortieth reunion, that they’re forced to
revisit that horrible night. When a new killing takes place, Cullen, Shelby and
Buddy find themselves reliving the nightmare.
  
         Murder is an easy thing to hide along
old country section roads.
Advance
Praise
“An
ambitious, evocative small-town tale located somewhere between Peyton Place and
The Last Picture Show.” –Kirkus Review
 
Read
the Full Review

EXCERPT

July 2009 Friday

 

“I’ll ride with Buddy,” Shelby whispered. “Do you mind? It’ll give us a chance to talk.”

“No, I think that’s a good idea.” Cullen lifted his eyebrows, which Shelby dismissed with a wave.

             Buddy stood a little apart from them at the Enterprise counter. They’d been through the greeting rituals. A hug for Shelby, which she returned with a kiss to his cheek. A polite, interested handshake with Lori.

Cullen and Lori left them and began an hour-long drive through the agricultural blight of West Texas.

“So, what’s the deal with Buddy?” Lori asked. “I know you worked together a long time ago, but you really haven’t talked much about him.”

They drove along a paved road—an impossibly straight line heading north. Deep green alfalfa fields alternated with stubby rows of cotton and weedy, untilled soil bank every few miles forming a pattern replicating itself off into a horizontal infinity. Heat waves shimmered along the pavement. From the soil bank, dust and debris climbed columns of rising, swirling air.

At the age of five, Cullen came to believe these thermal dust devils were pathways for souls fleeing to heaven. He believed this because on the summer day his grandmother was buried at a rural cemetery with brown grass and a few gnarled, wind-battered elms, one of these dust devils sprang from an uncultivated field across the road and as it grew—sucking dirt and paper and tumbleweeds along—passed over the mounded red earth marking the new grave. A spurt of dust leaped from the mound, painting a segment of the great undulating pillar a pale rosy shade. This pink apparition climbed as the thermal moved across the cemetery, finally disappearing into a hot, whitish-blue, eastern New Mexico sky.

Dust devils always made Cullen think of the people he loved who were no longer alive. His mother and father rested with his grandmother at that same cemetery.

Cullen had a ready description when his friends asked him about his home town. Arthur, New Mexico, along with hardscrabble oil patch towns like Hobbs, Artesia, Midland and Odessa, was located on a high plane called Llano Estacado which, Cullen originally speculated, was Spanish for something like really windy dry flat place.

Occupying Eastern New Mexico and Northwest Texas, the region is characterized by hot blustery summers and even colder blustery winters. The wet part of the Llano received barely twenty inches of rain during a good year. “Arthur,” Cullen would note, “is in the dry part.”

Bleak as they might be, the Hobbses, Odessas and Artesias of the world were at least plopped down atop semi-vast underground puddles of oil. Not Arthur. Not a drop. If tumbleweeds had been a cash crop, though, the homesteaders would have prospered.

Arthur and Arthur County were named for Chester A. Arthur, America’s twenty-first president. Researching a junior high school history assignment, the most compelling facts Cullen found about him were that Arthur was America’s fifth fattest president and owned eighty pairs of pants.

The community of eight thousand—at an elevation of four thousand feet above sea level—had nothing geographical, like a river or a canyon or an oasis, to warrant its location.

Arthur just was.

The flat monotony spread in every direction. “Given a clear day,” Cullen was fond of saying, “you could climb a six-foot stepladder and see the earth curve.”

He often puzzled over the pioneers’ judgment. Certainly, more attractive locations waited further west. He supposed the settlers might have been tired and stopped to rest, thinking they would wait for a good rain to replenish their water supplies before they moved on. And when the livestock had all died of thirst, they were stuck.

Still, despite this hardship, there grew a civilization defined geographically by dirt roads that formed the borders of all those perfectly square six hundred and forty-acre sections of land claimed by early twentieth century homesteaders.

As Cullen composed his answer to Lori’s query about Buddy, he thought of those section roads, and all the ways straight lines and straight laces had twisted the paths of this small group of friends.

“I told you about Christy Hammond, didn’t I?” Cullen answered. “The girl who was shot to death our sophomore year?”

Lori gave a little gasp. “That was Buddy? Oh, no. And he went to jail?”

“Juvenile detention. He pled guilty to manslaughter. They kept him until his eighteenth birthday. They took him away in November of 1966. He came back May of 1969.”

“At least he got to come back.”

Cullen gave a rueful laugh and shook his head.

“No, that was part of the punishment. A lot of people thought he should have been charged with murder. They thought he should have been sent away for life. When the judge didn’t agree, half the town was furious at the injustice of it all. Christy’s uncle is a lawyer. He convinced juvenile court authorities to make Buddy finish high school here as a condition of his release.”

“But why would they—”

“It was their last shot at punishing him,” Cullen said. “They had a few weeks to give him hell when they knew he couldn’t fight back.”

About
the Author

 photo Author_zpslfaxxb8o.png

Mike
Murphey is a native of eastern New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an
award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest.
Following his retirement from the newspaper business, he and his wife Nancy
entered in a seventeen-year partnership with the late Dave Henderson, all-star
centerfielder for the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners.
Their company produces the A’s and Mariners adult baseball Fantasy Camps. They
also have a partnership with the Roy Hobbs adult baseball organization in Fort
Myers, Florida. They love baseball, fiction, cats and sailing. They split their
time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona. Mike enjoys life as a
writer and old-man baseball player.
Contact
Links
Purchase
Links

 

RABT Book Tours & PR
WELCOME TO THE Summer Book Blast BLAST!    Click on any of the below book
  Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn
Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing
  Science Fiction, mystery, fantasy Date Published: February 6, 2018 Publisher: Chattercreek The mystery that

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Section Roads – Blitz

Section Roads banner

 

 photo Section Roads - Ebook_zpsw41oo54w.jpg

Coming
of Age / Mystery / Humor
Date
Published:
June 8, 2019
Publisher:
Acorn Publishing
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
When
attorney Cullen Molloy attends his fortieth high school reunion, he doesn’t
expect to be defending childhood friends against charges of murder… 
In
a small town on the high plains of Eastern New Mexico, life and culture are
shaped by the farm roads defining the 640-acre sections of land homesteaders
claimed at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Cullen and Shelby Blaine explore
first love along these section roads during the 1960’s, forging a life-long
emotional bond.
  
      As junior high school band nerds, Cullen
and Shelby fall under the protection of football player and loner, Buddy Boyd.
During their sophomore year of high school, Buddy is charged with killing a
classmate and is confined to a youth correctional facility. When he returns to
town facing the prospect of imprisonment as an adult, Cullen becomes Buddy’s
protector.
       The case haunts the three friends into
adulthood, and it isn’t until their fortieth reunion, that they’re forced to
revisit that horrible night. When a new killing takes place, Cullen, Shelby and
Buddy find themselves reliving the nightmare.
  
         Murder is an easy thing to hide along
old country section roads.
Advance
Praise
“An
ambitious, evocative small-town tale located somewhere between Peyton Place and
The Last Picture Show.” –Kirkus Review
 
Read
the Full Review
About
the Author

 photo Author_zpslfaxxb8o.png

Mike
Murphey is a native of eastern New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an
award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest.
Following his retirement from the newspaper business, he and his wife Nancy
entered in a seventeen-year partnership with the late Dave Henderson, all-star
centerfielder for the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners.
Their company produces the A’s and Mariners adult baseball Fantasy Camps. They
also have a partnership with the Roy Hobbs adult baseball organization in Fort
Myers, Florida. They love baseball, fiction, cats and sailing. They split their
time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona. Mike enjoys life as a
writer and old-man baseball player.
Contact
Links
Purchase
Links

 

RABT Book Tours & PR
WELCOME TO THE Summer Book Blast BLAST!    Click on any of the below book
Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing
  Science Fiction, mystery, fantasy Date Published: February 6, 2018 Publisher: Chattercreek The mystery that

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SPOKEN – Cover Reveal

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SPOKEN

by Melanie Weiss
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Genres: Adult, Young Adult, Coming of Age

SPOKEN cover

AVAILABLE NOW! (#Free with #KindleUnlimited)

SPOKEN front & back cover

SYNOPSIS

High school freshman Roman Santi has everything — good looks, great friends, a mansion with an infinity swimming pool — except the one thing he really wants. A relationship with his father.

When Roman’s life gets turned upside down, (thanks, Mom!?), he is forced to leave his pampered Hollywood lifestyle and move into his grandparents’ Midwestern home. Sleeping on a lumpy pullout sofa and starting at a new high school is the worst, but Roman’s life starts to look up when his pink-haired friend, Zuzu, and his crush, a classmate named Claire, introduce him to performance poetry through the high school’s Spoken Word Club. While his mom is flying back and forth to L.A., trying to return them to the life they had, Roman becomes part of a diverse group of characters who challenge his rather privileged view of the world. Through Spoken Word, Roman recognizes the hole in his own life he needs to fill and discovers his voice. Spoken Word leads Roman on a journey of new friendships, first love, and finding the dad he never knew.

“Spoken” is an uplifting, funny, and heartfelt coming-of-age story that captures how the honesty of performance poetry binds together students from all different walks of life and forever changes Roman’s life.

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SPOKEN cover 2

EXCLUSIVE REVEAL EXCERPT

I crash onto the brown leather sofa in the family room, even though I’m all sweaty from playing an hour of basketball with Sebastian. I jam a mound of Chunky Monkey into my mouth straight from the container. Those are two things I’m not supposed to do in my house.

Technically, this is Kirk’s house, but my mom and I have lived here for four years, so, basically, it’s my house, too. I’m watching, for the umpteenth time, Catch Me if You Can, which is one of Kirk’s favorite movies. I figure that cancels out the other stuff I shouldn’t be doing.

Rather than more hanging out, I know I need to deal with The Iliad, which Mrs. Lee assigned us last week in English. But if there ever was a quick fix for wanting to read, this 750-page epic Greek poem written a thousand years ago would do the trick. I mean, maybe in college you have to read a book like that. In ninth grade, it’s just a sadistic teacher move. I’ll look at the SparkNotes later on, which is probably what every single kid in the class will be doing.

I commit to the seventy-inch screen and burrow my whole body into the cushy sofa. I love this part, where a teenage con artist, played by Leo DiCaprio, starts to write his name on the chalkboard, introducing himself as the substitute teacher, even though he is really another student in the class.

Just as I’m comfortably comatose, I hear tires screech into the driveway. As I look out the window, Kirk jumps from his silver Mercedes sedan and rushes toward the house. Now this is weird, because Kirk is never home before dinner on a weekday, especially when he’s directing a movie, like he is now, on the Universal backlot.

I slide down lower on the couch, but he doesn’t even glance my way. I watch as Kirk, his face flushed red, charges through the marble foyer and up the stairs toward the master bedroom suite. His hefty frame makes a loud thud on each step as he climbs.

I grab another full spoon of ice cream and return my attention to Leo, but then I hear the yelling.

“This is shameful, Steph!” Kirk screams at my mom.

The bedroom door slams shut. Now it’s just muffled voices as they continue to argue. I drop the full spoon back into the sweating carton, not hungry anymore. This is ratcheted up way past their usual fighting.

I turn the volume up on the TV, hoping that will help me focus on what’s in front of me instead of what’s going on upstairs.

Then I see a few big drips of ice cream on the dark cushion between my legs.

“Shit!” I say to myself as I lean forward to mop up the mess with my T-shirt. My smearing has the wrong result. The white, sticky stain takes on a life of its own.

I don’t need Kirk to see this and be pissed at me today, too. Mom’s got him worked up enough about something.

I shift my thigh so it’s covering the evidence. I’ll deal with it later.

Turning my head to look up at the stairs, I wonder what annoying thing Mom did now. I’m caught off guard as I see her whip down the stairs, calling frantically from the hallway, “Roman, where are you?” Seeing me on the sofa, she rushes into the room. As she grabs my hand, my left thigh sharply separates from the sofa, and she pulls me up to my feet.

“We’re leaving here. We have to go now.”

Mom sniffles big. Her eyes are wet and red. She’s wearing white shorts and a black tank top with the word PINK spelled out in pink rhinestones. Her dark hair is shoved into a messy ponytail. This is not how my mom would ever leave the house. Something bad happened.

“Pack some clothes,” she says softly. “And your toothbrush.”

Dazed, I stand my ground until she grabs my arm and marches me through the sparkling kitchen, with its white-marble countertops and two of everything—two fridges, two ovens, and even two dishwashers. Sunlight pours in through the many windows. I’m hurried past the kitchen island, with its four red-leather barstools. I’ve spent countless hours here, sitting on my butt and eating, doing homework, or just hanging out.

I’m not giving up all this awesomeness, am I?

SPOKEN cover 3

ABOUT MELANIE WEISS

Melanie Weiss is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines for 20 years. She began writing her novel, Spoken, shortly after her younger child left for college in 2015 and she became an “empty nester.” She currently manages a scholarship foundation at her local high school that provides scholarship support to more than 60 graduating high school seniors each year. Spoken is her first novel but it won’t be her last.

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Dawn Michelle Hardy
Publicist | Literary Agent | Book Consultant
IG @TheLiteraryLobbyist

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Section Roads – Reveal

 photo Section Roads - Ebook_zpsfldhzbzd.jpg
Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor
Date Published: June 8, 2019
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
 
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
When attorney Cullen Molloy attends his fortieth high school reunion, he doesn’t expect to be defending childhood friends against charges of murder… 
In a small town on the high plains of Eastern New Mexico, life and culture are shaped by the farm roads defining the 640-acre sections of land homesteaders claimed at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Cullen and Shelby Blaine explore first love along these section roads during the 1960s, forging a life-long emotional bond.
As junior high school band nerds, Cullen and Shelby fall under the protection of football player and a loner, Buddy Boyd. During their sophomore year of high school, Buddy is charged with killing a classmate and is confined to a youth correctional facility. When he returns to town facing the prospect of imprisonment as an adult, Cullen becomes Buddy’s protector.
The case haunts the three friends into adulthood, and it isn’t until their fortieth reunion, that they’re forced to revisit that horrible night. When a new killing takes place, Cullen, Shelby, and Buddy find themselves reliving the nightmare.
Murder is an easy thing to hide along old country section roads.
About the Author

 photo Author_zpsxehb8nhz.png

Mike Murphey is a native of eastern New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Following his retirement from the newspaper business, he and his wife Nancy entered in a seventeen-year partnership with the late Dave Henderson, all-star center fielder for the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, and Seattle Mariners. Their company produces the A’s and Mariners adult baseball Fantasy Camps. They also have a partnership with the Roy Hobbs adult baseball organization in Fort Myers, Florida. They love baseball, fiction, cats and sailing. They split their time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona. Mike enjoys life as a writer and old-man baseball player.
Contact Links
RABT Book Tours & PR
WELCOME TO THE Summer Book Blast BLAST!    Click on any of the below book
Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing
  Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn
  Science Fiction, mystery, fantasy Date Published: February 6, 2018 Publisher: Chattercreek The mystery that

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Shadow Games – Blitz

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Coming of Age
Published: June 2018
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Danny McCall loves basketball more than anything in the world. So why would he risk his basketball scholarship, his girlfriend and his entire future to fix the point spread in a series of college basketball games?  Set in the early 1990s, Shadow Games is a topical novel with a powerful portrayal of the loss of youthful innocence.
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Excerpt
There was a dead body in the next room and it was my fault.
     For a while, I stayed in the room with the body. The TV set was on. President Clinton’s face filled the screen. He was taking questions from reporters and they seemed to be having a heated exchange. The sound on the TV was turned off.
     I couldn’t stop looking at the corpse. What had I done?
     When I couldn’t stand it anymore I went into the kitchen. My heart jumped around in my chest like it wanted to leap out and flop around on the floor.
     The cops were on their way. I thought about running but they’d find me. There was no escape. I had to face the music.
     I’d made a mess of my life in just two years. How was that possible?
About the Author

 photo Shadow Games Author Jim Lester_zpserdctalw.jpeg

Jim Lester is the author of three successful young adult novels: Fallout, The Great Pretender and Till the Rivers All Run Dry. He has a Ph.d in history and is the author of a non-fiction book entitled Hoop Crazy: College Basketball in the 1950s.
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RABT Book Tours & PR
Coming of Age Date Published: June 2018 Danny McCall loves basketball more than anything in
Coming of Age, Historical Fiction  Date Published:  July 27, 2016 In 1941, when thirteen-year-old Ricky
Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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