Friday, August 31, 2012

Cleansed By Fire - James R. Callan


James R. Callan took a degree in English, intent on writing.  He went to graduate school in mathematics to support a family and mathematics became a thirty-year detour from writing.  He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Data Processing Management Association.  He has been listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science, and Two Thousand Notable Americans. But writing was his first love.  He has published a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction, and picked up several awards along the way.  Cleansed by Fire, 2012, is the first of the Father Frank mysteries.  Murder a Cappella, a Sweet Adelines Mystery, was released in April by Wayside Press.  Callan wrote this mystery with one of his daughters, Diane Bailey, a well published YA author. Callan lives with his wife in east Texas and Puerto Vallarta.  They have four grown children and six grand children.  

Learn more about James R. Callan at his website.



Cleansed By Fire

Churches are burning and a man is murdered, plunging a small Texas town into a state of fear. Father Frank DeLuca, pastor of Prince of Peace Church, is thrust into an impossible dilemma when he hears that another church will be burned. But the disturbing information comes to him via the confessional, and church law forbids him from telling anyone—even the police.

He doesn’t know which church, when, or by whom. Still, he can’t sit idly by, and no law prevents him from looking into the matter himself. The crimes have set the town’s residents on edge, fraying the bonds of trust. Is the mysterious newcomer with ties to the drug scene involved? What about the man who says maybe the churches deserved to burn? Or the school drop-out into alcohol and drugs who attacks the priest with a knife?  

Countering this are a young widow whose mission is to make others shine, and a youth choir determined to help those whose churches have been destroyed by the arsonist.

Father Frank’s investigation leads him dangerously close to the local drug scene and he soon discovers the danger has come to him. Can he save his own church? Can he save his own life?


Excerpt:

   The lock yielded in less than five seconds. He picked up the plastic container, slipped inside and eased the door closed. He stood motionless, his eyes adjusting to the darkness, his ears searching for any sound that might indicate danger. He smirked. I am the danger.
    Faint light filtered through the dark windows on one side of the building. He shifted his stance and his shoe scraped the floor. His head jerked, startled by how loud it seemed in the com-plete silence that engulfed him. He held his breath, straining to see or hear anything he might have disturbed.
    The quiet and darkness remained unchanged. Too bad for anyone who came in now. The church would burn tonight. It would crash down into ashes. Crash to ashes. He liked the sound of that.
    Bad break, building. Not your fault. But it’s gotta happen.
   His eyes had adjusted to the minimal light. Shapes and features of the building came into focus. He could make out the pews, gauge the length of the aisle, and see the pulpit.
   Time to get to work, take care of business.
    He walked deeper into the darkness, stepping carefully, trying to make as little noise as possible. About halfway down the aisle, he stopped and unscrewed the top from the container he carried. He began splashing the pungent liquid on the floor, as he backed toward the door he had entered.
    When he finished, he screwed the lid back on, and set the can on the floor near the entrance. Carefully, he cracked the door and peered out, scanning the area, making sure no one had driven up. All clear. He eased the door closed.
   He pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, rolled it into a thin tube about the size of a drinking straw, then gave it a twist in the middle to hold it together. He fished a match from his shirt pocket, struck it and lit the paper.
    For a moment, he watched the flame crawl along the napkin, creating shadows that danced on the floor. When most of the paper tube was aflame, he tossed it on the floor a few feet in front of him. With amazing speed, the diesel caught and exploded to life.
    He stepped back and watched as the fire spread, his eyes reflecting the growing flames. Satisfied, he grabbed the can, ducked out the door, pushing it shut.
    Already, the windows were glowing.

Available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.

James R. Callan is giving away a copy of Cleansed By Fire. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your e-mail address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.

Remember to read wherever you wander, 
The Wandering Writer,

6 comments:

cjajsmommy said...

I could use a good mystery right now! Please enter my name to win a copy of this book. djragno [at] hotmail [dot] com.

ann said...

i would love to win this book. I enjoy reading a good mystery and am curious to find out why someone would do this.
amhengst at verizon dot net

Teela said...

I loved to watch Father Downing solve mysteries and would LOVE to read your book about Father Frank! Thank you for the chance to win!
Teelayoung@hotmail.com

Sally Carpenter said...

Hi Jim, thanks for the giveway. Your book sounds intriguing. I love books that treat people of faith in a positive light.
starcollector@earthlink.net

Anonymous said...


Please enter me win this book, "Cleansed by Fire".
Thanks. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

James R. (Jim) Callan said...

Hi Teela,

Father Frank is a bit different from Father Downing - but I think you'll like him also. Good luck on winning the book.

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