Saturday, April 25, 2015

James Callan's Mystery, OVer My Dead Body

Back Cover Blurb: 
A large corporation is taking land by eminent domain.  Syd Cranzler stands in its way, threatening a court battle. After a heated meeting with the corporation representative, Syd is found dead from an overdose of heart medication.  The police call it suicide. Case closed.

But Father Frank, Syd’s pastor, and Georgia Peitz, another member of the church, don’t believe Syd committed suicide and begin to look for clues of what really happened. Will this affect Georgia’s romantic involvement with the lead detective?

When the priest is almost poisoned, the police are convinced to investigate further. Immediately, Father Frank becomes the target of rumors, plus speculation he might have had something to do with Syd’s death.

The more clues Father Frank and Georgia uncover, the more danger they find themselves in. Can they find the real killer before they become victims?   

 Book Excerpt:
Over My Dead Body

Chapter 1

yd snorted and thrust his chin toward his adversary. “Over my dead body.”
The man almost smiled. “If you insist,” he said easily.
Seventy-two year old Syd Cranzler squinted against the bright Texas October sun and scrutinized the well-dressed man in front of him. Syd was probably six inches shorter than the man, but Syd’s voice had more iron in it. “Was that a threat?”
“No sir, Mr. Cranzler,” Duke Heinz said.
Syd didn’t like this city slicker, wouldn’t have even if he weren’t trying to steal Syd’s homestead. Even Duke’s clothes irritated him. The conservative black pinstriped suit, power-red tie and black wing-tips polished to perfection made the man look like he was posing for a magazine picture in New York City. And what was this “Duke” bit? Did he think he was John Wayne? “Why don’t you just mosey on down the road a mile?” He jerked his hand up and pointed. “Lots of land there.”
They stood on pine needles under three towering trees. Forty feet behind them was Syd’s small, frame house, looking like a giant, square tumbleweed.
Bud Wilcox, Pine Tree’s City Manager pushed his straw hat back a little and took a step forward. “Syd, Pine Tree wants this shopping center here, inside the city limits. Think of all the tax revenue we’ll get.”
“So’s you can waste even more’n you do now? It ain’t your house and land, Pipsqueak”
Bud reddened at the nickname Syd often used on him, but kept his mouth shut.
A mud-caked ‘92 Camaro rattled to a stop half off the black-top road. A man got out and started across the yard to where Syd was shaking his finger at Bud.
Duke started to speak, but Syd cut him off. “And don’t tell me again it’s twice what it’s worth. You don’t know what it’s worth to me. And what’s this ‘fee simple’ bit?” He cocked his head to the side. “You think I’m simple? Take your money and go back to Jersey.”
Bud waggled his balding head. “It’s a lot of dollars.”
“He don’t need your money,” said the man from the Camaro. “He stole enough from me.”
“Stay out of it, W.C.,” Syd snapped. But his focus never left Duke. “You keep your money; I’ll keep my land.”
Duke spread his hands. “Mr. Cranzler, the Supreme Court says eminent domain can be used to obtain land needed for a project in the public interest.”
“I know all ‘bout the Supreme Court, and how they trampled all over people’s property rights. I’d like to see some private company try to take the land they live on. They’d change their tune right fast. But that case was decided for a Yankee town. This is Texas. We still believe in property rights down here. And this ain’t in the public interest. It’s in Lockey Corporation’s interest.”
Duke smiled as he pulled a folded paper from the inside pocket of his coat. “Here’s the court order, and it’s signed by a judge right here in Texas.” He held the paper out to Syd.
Syd ignored it. “Judge McFatage, right? He’d sign anything for a price.”
Bud Wilcox leaned in. “Now, Syd, you shouldn’t talk about the Honorable McFatage that way.”
“Honorable, my foot. He’s for sale. Common knowledge. You know what they say: he’s the best judge money can buy. And it looks like Lockey’s the buyer.”
“Look, Mr. Cranzler,” Duke said. “We’re going to start dirt work in three weeks. I’d like to have all the paperwork in order by then. You’ve lost this fight. You might as well recognize that. You can delay signing. But by fighting this, you may end up getting less money and paying a lot of it to lawyers. You can’t stop it. This project will be built. And it starts in three weeks.”
“Three weeks?” Syd pulled on his chin and a sly grin crept onto his leathery face. “I’m bettin’ my lawyer’ll have my appeal filed before then. And I’m thinkin’ I can tie this up for years. You sure Lockey wants to wait that long?” His head bobbed up and down as he continued. “Be a lot faster to go somewheres else.” Now he laughed. “Bet they’re gonna cut you loose when this don’t happen. Can your butt.”
Duke’s smile faded and his eyes turned hard. “Two months from now, this will all be asphalt.”
“Like I said, over my dead body.”
Duke put the paper back in his pocket. “Old man, you’ll hardly make a bump in the pavement.”

Author Bio:
After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing.  He has written articles for a national magazine, and published several non-fiction books.  He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mystery/suspense, with his sixth book released in 2015.  His work has also appeared in a number of anthologies. In addition to writing, Callan presents workshops in the U.S., Mexico, and on the Internet covering various phases of writing

You may find James on the internet at these links:
Amazon Author page:            
Twitter:  @jamesrcallan

You can purchase his book in Paperback or the Kindle version on Amazon
Or ask your local library to order it in for you!

James R. Callan is giving away a paperback copy of Over My Dear Body. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on the past few posts)


Carol Q. said...

This book sounds really good, thanks for this chance

Deanna Stevens said...

Nice meeting you today! I'd enjoy reading this one :)
dkstevensne AToutlookD OtCoM

Anonymous said...

Cannot find comment button. I so want to wnter this and read new author. jrs362 at hotmail do com

Caryl Kane said...

I love the title! I must read this one. :)


Anonymous said...

Found comment. I would love to enter this and get to know a new author. jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Sounds good so far. I'd love to read more.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Sounds mysterious! I wonder who is behind the crimes.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hello to BDBL ladies. Thanks for hosting James Callen today. I love mysteries and that his wife made him add some romance to his books. :) I would love to be the winner. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com )

Patricia Bradley said...

Great excerpt! Would love to win the book. pat at ptbradley dot com

James R. Callan said...

Thanks, Carol, for stopping by. Good luck ion the drawing.

James R. Callan said...

Deanna, Glad you stopped by, and good luck in the drawing.

James R. Callan said...

Thanks for stopping by - and I'm glad you liked the tile. Needless to say, I do too.

James R. Callan said...

Glad you enjoyed the first chapter. It gets better, so I hope you read all of it.

James R. Callan said...

Meredith, Thanks for stopping by. It IS mysterious. You'll have to read the rest of it. Good luck in the drawing.

James Rc. Callan said...

Hi Maxie,

Well, wives are great and always give good advice. And I ALMOST always follow it. Good luck.

James R. Callan said...

Thanks for the comment, Pat. And I wish you good luck in the drawing.

James R. Callan said...

Hi LInda,

Glad you enjoyed the first chapter. I hope you get to read more of it.

D.R. Ransdell said...

Suicide is an easy solution! But there's usually something much darker afoot.....

Marja said...

I can tell you right now that this is going to be a must read book! Thanks for sharing, Jim.

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