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Some Author’s Book Reviews

SOME AMAZON BOOK REVIEWS

*****

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Editorial Reviews Review – 5.0 out of 5 stars – Sin and sand

By CA reviews on August 6, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase


A COMMON EVIL is the 6th and final novel in his Bailey Crane mystery series and takes us to a seaside resort along Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Bailey is a retired Arizona cop who, with his wife Wendy, has settled into the condo resort in Mexico and is now the homeowner’s association head honcho. But along with sun and luxe, the Cranes also find danger and duplicity.

The cornerstone of the story is a scenario in which the largest cartel in Mexico, with a jefe who is not too objectionable, promises to clean up the violence and strike a deal with the Mexican government. Part of the clean-up action (read: getting rid of his rivals in order to run a drug monopoly with Mexico City’s approval) spills over onto Bailey’s turf. There’s a shootout on the resort property, Wendy is kidnapped because of a letter Bailey wrote protesting the dubious dealings of an American in with the cartels, and Bailey’s survival instincts surge to the fore, although not always with the results he intends.

This isn’t the usual whodunit but a look at Mexico’s drug war through an expatriate’s eye. The charm of the novel–and the series–is driven by Bailey’s unmissable musings on life and love. His voice is a gutsier, spicier, and more raw version of Alexander McCall Smith’s point of view in the latter’s Isabel Dalhousie series but his subject matter is both more intense and immediate. Recommended.

*****

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Compelling and Disturbing
By Diogenes on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback

Billy Ray Chitwood’s novel `Mama’s Madness’ is a real find.

While many Indie authors follow well-trodden paths of `popular genres’, Chitwood’s work cuts its own route through the underclass wilderness of modern America. Based on real-life events – but fictionalised in the telling – Chitwood’s story is by turns compelling and disturbing.

The central character, Tamatha Preen, is a monster for our time. Inhabiting her own self-centred and embittered world she inflicts psychological and physical damage on her daughters while keeping her sons cowed by alternating violence with affection.

Chitwood has an authentic voice articulating the world of the grifter and petty criminal hovering at the margins of society. The writing is gritty, laying bare the animal beneath the thin veneer of civilisation. Child abuse, theft, deception and murder all feature in an heady cocktail of corrupted morality – yet these topics are handled without sensationalism, and at times the novel has an almost journalistic feel to it.

This is a brave book, swimming against the tide of literary popcorn, and it deserves a wide readership.

By Diogenes on March 21, 2018

*****

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Jay Squires
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Ending That Sneaks Up on You
March 20, 2019
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Oh my God! It’s over. I’ve been reading this most remarkable book, knowing in my heart that all good things must end, but hoping this could be an exception. I’ve been having so much fun with the characters as they explore all the avenues of love while embroiled in the midst of a who’s-gonna-be-next murder mystery that could forever sever their romantic exploration.

Pulled this way by tension, that way by tenderness, I can be forgiven for not seeing the ending sneak up on me. Once it washed over me and I could think again, I can easily say that Dominique is the finest Romantic Mystery book I’ve read in recent memory.
*****

Timothy M. Tays
5.0 out of 5 starsLove, Lust and Murder as told by a prolific mystery storyteller
January 13, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
“Dominique” is pure Chitwood murder mystery laced with love and lust. Chitwood continues exploring the mystery of men’s hearts and the lengths they will go to capture and hold the women who entrance them. Sometimes it’s murder. Another excellent Chitwood read. Timothy M. Tays, author of “Wannabe Distance God”
*****

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5.0 out of 5 stars! Inspiring and compelling!!!
ByAnthony Woods on August 20, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

As a new author, I find this book [MAMA’S MADNESS]
to be brilliantly written and truly inspirational. This was such a great read!

Anthony D. Woods

c/o Velvet Tears: Breaking the Silence

  *****
5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
By dianne weiner on August 11, 2016
Format: Kindle E dition|Verified Purchase

Great Read !!!


*****
5.0 out of 5 stars – Beautifully written by Blisa05

This is beyond compare. I don’t have the words to say how well written this is. Tammi Jo went through hell and does so with grace. I seldom reread books, but I’ll reread this one.

Published 9 months ago by Blisa05
*****
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Exceptional Story
 So Well Written
By John W. Howell on July 8, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition

Mama’s madness is a work of fiction, but according to the author Billy Ray Chitwood, there are some inspirations from actual criminal behavior. This is a story about the meanest, lowlife, straight razor totin’ woman named Tamatha Preen. She is the mother of six kids and the ex-wife of four husbands. 
Although this seems a little abnormal in everyday life, compared to mama’s proclivities having four husbands is normal in comparison. Let’s say mama has some problems and as you can guess the children are the ones who bear the brunt of her mental issues. To describe any of the abusive behaviors would be courting spoilers, so I’m just going to summarize by saying mama is evil.

The writing in this story is so good the reader feels like a transportation into the scenes has taken place. The descriptions of people, places, and events are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Mr. Chitwood has been blessed with a golden pen (or keyboard). He can show the reader all the sights, sounds, and smells of each scene through a tapestry that only can be woven by a perfectionist literary genius. I think that pretty much describes Billy Ray Chitwood. He has honed his writing art, and there is no more exquisite example of the resulting output than this book. I would recommend Mama’s madness to anyone who enjoys a deeply disturbing story told effectively and with great taste.

*****

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5.0 out of 5 stars Multi-genre, blended-genre author

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I’m a fan of author Billy Ray Chitwood and have read most of his body of work. This means I’ve read multiple genres, from suspense to romance to memoir to political commentary—and genres blended together, such as his latest effort “Cloud Dancer.” Mr. Chitwood is good at writing romantic plot lines, but he soars the darker he writes, the deeper into twisted human psyches he delves, the more depraved his characters (the antagonists) behave. So I keep coming back for more, and look forward to his next effort. Great fun, excellent reading.
M. Tays on October 3 – Chitwood produces another excellent effort
By Timothy1, 2016


   *****
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and enjoyable

By Molly Flanders on September 26, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

A wonderfully written story with great intrigue and a heart-felt romance at its core.
A sudden car crash takes our hero Blake Fielding out of his busy life and into hospital where he experiences the surreal world of pain medication – until a time slip transports him even further, to the tragic events of the so called ‘Trail of Tears’. Native Americans take him in, he meets and falls for a girl, just as one of America’s darkest hours of history is about to happen.

There is a lot going on in this story, historically, romantically and plot wise. It never fails to engage with itsd beautiful prose and imaginative storyline
Very enjoyable.

*****
A very accomplished 5.0 out of 5 stars Multi-genre, blended-genre author
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I’m a fan of author Billy Ray Chitwood and have read most of his body of work. This means I’ve read multiple genres, from suspense to romance to memoir to political commentary—and genres blended together, such as his latest effort “Cloud Dancer.” Mr. Chitwood is good at writing romantic plot lines, but he soars the darker he writes, the deeper into twisted human psyches he delves, the more depraved his characters (the antagonists) behave. So I keep coming back for more, and look forward to his next effort. Great fun, excellent reading. 

M. Tays on October 3 – Chitwood produces another excellent effort!

*****
5.0 out of 5 stars – Beautiful and enjoyable

By Molly Flanders on September 26, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

A wonderfully written story with great intrigue and a heart-felt romance at its core.
A sudden car crash takes our hero Blake Fielding out of his busy life and into hospital where he experiences the surreal world of pain medication – until a time slip transports him even further, to the tragic events of the so called ‘Trail of Tears’. Native Americans take him in, he meets and falls for a girl, just as one of America’s darkest hours of history is about to happen.

There is a lot going on in this story, historically, romantically and plot wise. It never fails to engage with its beautiful prose and imaginative storyline!

Very enjoyable.
 Accomplished novel about meaning in life and inequality, love and honour.
*****

5.0 out of 5 starsPowerful
By Molly Flanders on December 21, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition – STRANGER ABDUCTION

A harrowing tale about the abduction of mother and daughter, based on true events.

The prologue between two ‘businessmen’ agreeing a ‘trade’ regarding the delivery of ‘products’ lets you know immediately just who the women will have to deal with. Gripping seems almost the wrong word for the novel, due to its real life relevance. Some chapters give insight into the victims, others tell the story from a more distant perspective, which for me contrasted really well how the personal experience is compared to the ‘story’ of an abduction.

Fortunately, in this fictionalised account, there is much that lightens the tone and helps the novel to steer clear of formula and predictability. A well composed book that stayed with me long after I put it down.
*****

5.0 out of 5 stars STRANGER ABDUCTION is a powerful read
By eden on February 10, 2016
Format: Paperback

Author Billy Ray Chitwood has firsthand knowledge of a mother and daughter team who were abducted, never to be found.

How does he know this?

He lived near the site of their disappearance when it happened—in the Sulphur Springs Valley area of Arizona. Although inspired by actual events, Stranger Abduction is a work of fiction, but I believe the author’s connection to this part of the country informs his writing. A riveting and grim storyline is tempered with his compassionate voice for the plight of the victims.

Humanity, loss, and hope are enduring themes and make for a powerful read.

*****
5.0 out of 5 starsA Gripping Narrative
By Diogenes on November 7, 2015
Format: Paperback – STRANGER ABDUCTION

Based on a real case of a mother and daughter disappearance (which was never solved), Billy Ray Chitwood’s latest novel is a darkly-imagined story of exploitation and violence South of the Border. As is usual with Chitwood’s books, the descriptions are spare, the pace is fast, and the characters drawn with a few deft strokes of the pen. Human and romantic elements lighten what could otherwise be a grim tale, but in the hands of this writer makes for a great read.
*****

Gwendolyn Plano
5.0 out of 5 stars – A gripping story based on actual facts
November 26, 2017 – STRANGER ABDUCTION
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The story is a frightening one – the abduction of a mother and her daughter, but it becomes a haunting masterpiece through the writing skill of the author. I was entranced by Billy Ray Chitwood’s ability to create a scene through description and dialogue. Characters emerge warts and all; they are believable, they are people you might know. We travel with them through time and shifting circumstances and experience their world through the writer’s able pen. This is a gripping story based on actual events, but it is also a beautifully structured novel.

*****
Karen Ingalls 
5.0 out of 5 stars – Chilling – STRANGER ABDUCTION 
November 26, 2017Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

A chilling and frightening account of a mother and daughter abduction. I appreciated that the author spared the reader of any details as to how they were treated sexually and physically. They are kept in a drugged state which affects their memory, ability to try to escape, and communicate with one another. I never lost interest in the book which was a page turner.
The role of the sheriff and his own personal struggles and successes are nicely woven in without distracting from the abduction. Well edited.

*****
D.L. Finn 
5.0 out of 5 stars – STRANGER ABDUCTION  
Even with a dark subject matter–there are always heroes!

February 14, 2018Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“Stranger Abduction” is a well-written novel based on an actual event. A mother and daughter walk from their home to a store in Arizona and never make it back. Mr. Chitwood gives a very viable and chilling account as to what might have happened next. Doris and Deena find themselves thrown into the human trafficking trade, while the Deputy Jack Kiefer never gives up on finding them. The details and characters kept this a page turning book as well as the side story with the Deputy. This is a glimpse into an evil that is going on around us as “products” (a label used for Doris and Deena) are being drugged and used for other’s gratification or service. I highly recommend this book, because even with a dark subject matter there are always heros.
*****

JKS
5.0 out of 5 starsHeartbreaking story! STRANGER ABDUCTION 
May 19, 2018 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Can you imagine anything more frightening than a mother and daughter disappearing from a quiet rural road? That’s exactly the tale that Billy Ray Chitwood relates in Stranger Abduction. This is a fictitious account of an actual event. A mother and daughter walking home from the store, happy and eating ice cream when evil pounces. The way the author wove this tale around all the characters involved is gripping. I discovered many sub-plots in this book and sometimes that doesn’t work. But, in this book, it worked perfectly and I had no trouble following along. This is a chilling, well-written story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, break your heart and then mend it slowly but surely. A great read!
*****

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix Fire is a story written with heart
  • By eden on July 3, 2016
  • Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
  • Phoenix Fire is a story about many things:—sibling rivalry, love, and family. Two brothers raised by their grandmother is the foundation for a tale that delivers both tender and taut moments. Even when competitiveness for fortune and the love of a woman threaten to drive them apart, the story brings us back to the relationship of brothers. It’s a bond that cannot easily be broken, not unlike that between a man and a woman.

Focusing on values that bind us and a love that is enduring, Phoenix Fire is a story written with hear

*****

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*5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Ray Chitwood does it again!
I highly recommend this book!By Timothy M. Tays 
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

In his latest release, 
“The Reluctant Savage,” Mr. Chitwood expertly creates suspense as he develops his flawed-yet-likable characters. After protagonist Billy Jay Campbell is set up to take the fall for a grisly and especially depraved massacre, he must prove his innocence, uncover the powerful hidden evil behind the deaths, and figure out his own heart which is torn between two equally beautiful and loving women. Masterful writing by the author of the Bailey Crane Mystery Series.
Bravo, Mr. Chitwood. You keep us coming back for more. A
uthor Billy Ray Chitwood does it again, creating yet another gritty and spine-tingling five-star murder mystery full of carnage and romance. 
                                                                           
*****
5.0 out of 5 stars Girls and Bullets
By Words! September
  – Format: Paperback
  

Billy Ray Chitwood’s newest novel has all of the elements of a fun read – The handsome, just-home-from-the war detective has his hands full juggling women and bullets. Who will remain standing after all of the bodies fall? And who will win the hero’s heart? Have fun finding out.

                                            *


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