Tag Archives: Humor

Section Roads – Book Tour

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

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

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

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

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

Hide Not Seek – Teaser Tuesday

Hide Not Seek banner

 photo HnS FP3_zpsuld0ffc3.jpg

Cozy Mystery, Romance, Humor
Date Published: April 18th
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
I know who you really are.
Pru has a secret, which she has no plans to reveal – ever. But after a woman is murdered and all clues point to her, she has no choice but to disclose her true identity. When her revelations help thwart the killer’s plan to frame Pru for the murder, the killer begins stalking her. With each note he sends, he gets closer. The police are stumped. Pru wants to run away. She really, really wants to run, but Ajax has found the woman of his dreams and he’s not letting her go anywhere. He can be patient. In the meantime, he’ll protect her with his life. Pru isn’t feeling very patient, and her friends, Mel and Terri, are definitely not willing to wait until the police discover who the stalker is. The three friends take matters into their own hands and jump headfirst into the investigation.
Will Pru and her friends uncover her stalker before he turns his violence on Pru?
 photo teaser 3_zpsgmrlqrfd.jpg
Excerpt
“What the heck are you wearing?”
In response to Pru’s question, Mel stuck her hip out and struck a pose. “You like?” She strutted off a few paces and then twirled around before swaggering back as if she were at a fashion show. Only women at a fashion show normally didn’t wear dark blue men’s pants suits. And they certainly never showed off bulky, black oxford shoes.
“Um…” Pru could think of nothing nice to say.
Terri, who was giggling next to her, didn’t have the same problem. “Did you raid Owen’s closet?”
Mel ignored her and reached into her pocket and pulled out a pair of glasses.
“When did you start wearing glasses?”
Terri leaned over and whispered to Pru, “she doesn’t.”
“This is my detective look,” Mel explained.
“Because all detectives wear glasses?” Terri turned to Pru. “I have no idea where she gets these ideas.”
Pru shrugged. “Not from books. Detectives in novels never wear glasses.” There may be some modern-day detectives who wore glasses, but Sherlock certainly didn’t although Hercule Poirot did use a pince-nez for reading. “I thought you said they would talk to us because we aren’t detectives. And now you’re dressed up as an extra on Law & Order.”
Terri bumped her shoulder. “Mel will do almost anything to buy a new outfit.”
Mel ignored them and picked a briefcase up for the ground. Another item she’d acquired for her detective ‘look’. “Let’s go.” She didn’t wait for a reply before marching off to the entrance of the Daily Grind, the coffee shop where Kathy Greene had been killed. Pru and Terri stood in the parking lot staring after her.
“Aren’t we going to come up with some kind of plan before parading in there?” Pru asked Terri.
“I’d say Mel is going to wing it, but I’ve learned there’s a method to her madness.” With a shrug, Terri followed Mel.
“Please tell me this method won’t end up with us at the police station again.”
Terri shook her head. “Sorry, can’t do that.”
 photo teaser 2.1_zpserr7ncve.jpg
About the Author

 photo _MG_0371_2_zpszzzuxjxa.jpg

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Hide Not Seek is my fifteenth novel.
Contact Links
Purchase Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
RABT Book Tours & PR
Psychological Crime Thriller Date Published: July 26, 2019 (preorder available now at 99 cents) Marco
Epic Fantasy Date Published: July 12, 2018 The Provinces are falling. From the south, the
Military Sci Fi Published Date: 5/10/2018 A republic under attack. A reluctant soldier. An all-out
Sweet Romance Date Published: 2/24/2018 A Whole New Life is a sweet romance combined with

4 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

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

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

Doug Liberty Presents Bandit the Raccoon – Blitz

Doug Liberty Presents Bandit the Raccoon banner

 photo unnamed_zpsymd716ll.jpg

Humor
Published: November 2018
Publisher: Paragraph Line Books
 
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Effete alcoholic Tris Edgar finds a talking raccoon digging through his trash one evening. Tris tells a story of heartbreak, loss and self-defeat, and of his life as an instant celebrity in the internet age. At turns dark and whimsical, Doug Liberty Presents Bandit the Dancing Raccoon is a uncanny fable for the 21st century.
Praise for Doug Liberty Presents Bandit the Dancing Raccoon:
“Sheppard is a hugely imaginative writer, deftly balancing humor, pathos and lyricism.” -Self-Publishing Review
 photo unnamed 1_zps4gdsniqn.jpg
Excerpt
When I went to work the next night, Delores wasn’t there. She was supposed to be there. She left behind a note on the back of an order pad that said she was returning to Zanesville, Ohio, and that I shouldn’t follow her because nothing good could come from my following her to Zanesville. She’d double-underlined and capitalized Zanesville in each instance of its use in the note. She helpfully wrote down the address for what she said was her parents’ place in Zanesville at the bottom of the note.
This is how people get in trouble, you know. Not following directions.
It was an adventure. I took the note, left the restaurant, locked the doors and shoved my key under the front mat. I could have tried to drive my car to Zanesville, but it wouldn’t have made it.
I didn’t have much money. I’m not very good with money. This is a problem of mine going way back. All the way back. And all the way forward, too, to the present day. Ask the raccoon, if you can find him. He didn’t appreciate my situation.
I walked down to the Trailways bus station with the intention of buying a ticket to Zanesville, or maybe Cincinnati or Cleveland. I was unsure concerning the geography part of the adventure. Ohio was north. I knew that much.
At the bus station, a dude wearing a white, bellbottomed jumpsuit with “FATTU” spelled out in golden sequins sparkling on his back and sequined flames sewn into the seams from his armpits to his white ankle boots, hired me to ride shotgun with him from Florida to Ohio. I found him pacing around the bus station near the coin-operated TV sets. I’d been on my way to the ticket counter. I expected him to speak in an Elvis-inspired drawl, but he didn’t. His voice was Midwestern flat. There was no musicality to it whatsoever. He spoke quickly, too. “You want to go to Ohio? Let’s do this. Here’s two hundred dollars.” He handed me $300 in twenties. I counted it in front of him and tried to give back the extra hundred. “You keep it! You keep it! Good job! You’re trustworthy. We have a circle of trust going.”
I was wearing my work uniform. We were quite a pair walking out of the bus station to his waiting car, a mid-1970’s Camaro painted gold, like the car in the Rockford Files, glowing under a streetlight. Or was it a Pontiac Firebird? The engine was running. I could see blue smoke rising out of the tailpipe and up into the humid air. It was the rainy season. Everything was wet—ground, trees, people, air. I flung my straw boater onto a palmetto bush growing at the edge of the lot.
Where did I leave my car? Should I have sold my car? It wasn’t worth the effort to think about the car, so I didn’t.
He produced an glass amber bottle of black beauties. The bottle had been around since the 1970’s, like his car. Maybe he’d found it under the bucket seat. I popped a tablet, he popped four. He told me he was going to dictate his novel to me, and I was going to type it all down. He handed me an Olivetti in a brown leatherette zipped case and a roll of paper from a paper towel dispenser. “This is going to be my masterpiece. Type it all down! I’m the new Kerouac!” The speed made me feel like there were invisible live wires under my skin. I kept shouting, “Woop! Woop!” I typed the guy’s masterpiece while he drove. He had an organist’s keyboard built into the dash, and he played it. Bach fugues, mostly, to accompany his dictated writing. There were pipes in the doors. Every note vibrated through them. 
“Her lips were pillows for my psionic mind.” I remember that line. I don’t remember a lot of the rest of it. Most of it was like that, though.
All the roadsigns that I’d read from my annual trips north were still there somehow (Stuckey’s, See Rock City, etc.).
I typed, and the paper kept getting stuck. The ribbon was on its last legs. The paper tore, so I ripped it and tossed it in the seat behind me. I looked back at some point and there were all these curls of typed-upon paper back there.
“Is it done?” he asked me, riffing on the keyboard. “Is it done? Is it done?”
“Yes,” I told him. “It’s done.”
“Cool,” he said, and drove us off the side of a low bridge in Kentucky, bounding over rocks ten feet down before sloshing nose first into the river below.
“I should have asked for more money,” I muttered as the car splashed down.
“What’s that?!” he shouted.
“Never mind.”
We somehow survived. I rolled down the window, climbed out of the car, swam ashore and looked back. The car was gone. So was the author.
About the Author

 photo unnamed 3_zpsilr3uem6.jpg

John L. Sheppard, a graduate of the MFA@FLA creative writing program at the University of Florida, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in Illinois. He wrote a series of books about the adventures of Audrey Novak.
Contact Links
Purchase Links
RABT Book Tours & PR
  Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn
Cozy Mystery, Romance, Humor Date Published: April 18th I know who you really are. Pru
Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn Publishing

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS