This Is A Bust Virtual Tour #historial #noir

Set in New York’s Chinatown in 1976, this sharp and gritty novel is a mystery set against the backdrop of a city in turmoil

Robert Chow is a Vietnam vet and an alcoholic. He’s also the only Chinese American cop on the Chinatown beat, and the only police officer who can speak Cantonese. But he’s basically treated like a token, trotted out for ribbon cuttings and community events.
So he shouldn’t be surprised when his superiors are indifferent to his suspicions that an old Chinese woman’s death may have actually been a murder. But he sure is angry. With little more than his own demons to fuel him, Chow must take matters into his own hands.
Rich with the details of its time and place, this homage to noir will appeal to fans of S.J. Rozan and Michael Connelly.

 

January 20, 1976. The Hong Kong-biased newspaper ran an editorial about how the Chinese who had just come over were lucky to get jobs washing dishes and waiting tables in Chinatown. Their protest was making all Chinese people look bad. If the waiters didn’t like their wages, they should go ask the communists for jobs and see what happens.Here in America, democracy was going to turn 200 years old in July. But the Chinese waiters who wanted to organize a union were going directly against the principles of freedom that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln had fought for.

Those waiters were also disrespecting the previous generations of Chinese who had come over and worked so hard for so little. If it weren’t for our elders, the editorial said, today we would be lumped in with the lazy blacks and Spanish people on welfare.

I folded the newspaper, sank lower in my chair, and crossed my arms. I banged my heels against the floor.

“Just a minute, you’re next! Don’t be so impatient!” grunted Law, one of the barbers. A cigarette wiggled in his mouth as he snipped away on a somber-looking Chinese guy’s head. When he had one hand free, he took his cigarette and crushed it in the ashtray built into the arm cushion of his customer’s chair.

He reached into the skyline of bottles against the mirror for some baby powder. Law sprinkled it onto his hand and worked it into the back of the somber guy’s neck while pulling the sheet off from inside his collar. Clumps of black hair scampered to the floor as he shook off the sheet.

The customer paid. Law pulled his drawer out as far as it would go and tucked the bills into the back. Then he came over to me.

Law had been cutting my hair since I was old enough to want it cut. He was in his early 60s and had a head topped with neatly sculpted snow. His face was still soft and supple, but he had a big mole on the lower side of his left cheek.

You couldn’t help but stare at it when he had his back turned because it stood out in profile, wiggling in sync with his cigarette.

He looked at the newspaper on my lap.

“We should give all those pro-union waiters guns and send them to Vietnam!” Law grunted. “They’ll be begging to come back and bus tables.”

“They wouldn’t be able to take the humidity,” I said.

“That’s right, they’re not tough like you! You were a brave soldier! OK, come over here. I’m ready for you now,” Law said, wiping off the seat. I saw hair stuck in the foam under the ripped vinyl cover, but I sat down anyway. Hair could only make the seat softer.

“I don’t mean to bring it up, but you know it’s a real shame what happened. The Americans shouldn’t have bothered to send in soldiers, they should have just dropped the big one on them. You know, the A-bomb.”

“Then China would have dropped an A-bomb on the United States,” I said.

“Just let them! Commie weapons probably don’t even work!” Law shouted into my right ear as he tied a sheet around my neck.

“They work good enough,” I said.

When Chou En Lai had died two weeks before, the Greater China Association had celebrated with a ton of firecrackers in the street in front of its Mulberry Street offices and handed out candy to the obligatory crowd. The association had also displayed a barrel of fireworks they were going to set off when Mao kicked, which was going to be soon, they promised. Apparently, the old boy was senile and bedridden.

“Short on the sides, short on top,” I said.

“That’s how you have to have it, right? Short all around, right?” Law asked.

“That’s the only way it’s ever been cut.”

If you didn’t tell Law how you wanted your hair, even if you were a regular, he’d give you a Beefsteak Charlie’s haircut, with a part right down the center combed out with a Chinese version of VO5. I was going to see my mother in a few days, and I didn’t want to look that bad.

“Scissors only, right? You don’t like the electric clipper, right?”

“That’s right,” I said. When I hear buzzing by my ears, I want to swat everything within reach. Law’s old scissors creaked through my hair. Sometimes I had to stick my jaw out and blow clippings out of my eyes.

The barbershop’s two huge plate glass windows cut into each other at an acute angle in the same shape as the street. Out one window was the sunny half of Doyers Street. The other was in the shade. How many times had I heard that this street was the site of tong battles at the turn of the century? How many times had I heard tour guides say that the barbershop was built on the “Bloody Angle”?

The barbershop windows were probably the original ones, old enough so they were thicker at the bottom than at the top. They distorted images of people from the outside, shrinking heads and bloating asses. In the winters, steam from the hot shampoo sink covered the top halves of the windows like lacy curtains in an abandoned house.

In back of me, a bulky overhead hair dryer whined like a dentist’s drill on top of a frowning woman with thick glasses getting a perm.

The barbers had to shout to hear each other. The news station on the radio was nearly drowned out. The only time you could hear it was when they played the xylophone between segments or made the dripping-sink sounds.

If you knew how to listen for it, you could sometimes hear the little bell tied to the broken arm of the pneumatic pump on the door. The bell hung from a frayed loop of red plastic tie from a bakery box. When the bell went off, one or two barbers would yell out in recognition of an old head.

The bell went off, and Law yelled right by my ear.

“Hey!” he yelled. Two delayed “Hey”s went off to my left and right. The chilly January air swept through the barbershop. A thin man in a worn wool coat heaved the door closed behind him and twisted off his felt hat. His hands were brown, gnarled, and incredibly tiny, like walnut shells. He fingered the brim of his hat and shifted uneasily from foot to foot, but made no motion to take off his coat or drop into one of the four empty folding chairs by the shadow side of Doyers. He swept his white hair back, revealing a forehead that looked like a mango gone bad.

“My wife just died,” he said. If his lungs hadn’t been beat up and dusty like old vacuum-cleaner bags, it would have been a shout. “My wife died,” he said again, as if he had to hear it to believe it. The hairdryer shut down.

“Oh,” said Law. “I’m sorry.” He went on with my hair. No one else said anything. Someone coughed. Law gave a half-grin grimace and kept his head down, the typical stance for a Chinese man stuck in an awkward situation. The radio babbled on.

The barbers just wanted to cut hair and have some light conversation about old classmates and blackjack. Why come here to announce that your wife had died? The guy might as well have gone to the Off Track Betting joint on Bowery around the corner. No one was giving him any sympathy here.

Death was bad luck. Talking about death was bad luck. Listening to someone talk about death was bad luck. Who in Chinatown needed more bad luck?

“What should I do?” the thin man asked. He wasn’t crying, but his legs were shaking. I could see his pant cuffs sweep the laces of his polished wing tips. “What should I do?” he asked again. The xylophone on the radio went off.

I stood up and swept the clippings out of my hair. The bangs were longer on one side of my head. I slipped the sheet off from around my neck and coiled it onto the warmth of the now-vacant seat. Law opened a drawer, dropped in his scissors, and shut it with his knee. He leaned against his desk and fumbled for a cigarette in his shirt pocket.

I blew off the hair from my shield and brushed my legs off. I pushed my hat onto my head.

“Let’s go,” I told the thin man.

 

Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid, and a trilogy set in New York’s Chinatown in the 70s: This Is a Bust, Snakes Can’t Run and One Red Bastard. Ghost Month, published by Soho Crime in July 2014, is a Taipei-based mystery, and Incensed, published October 2016, continues that series.
Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.
Connect with Ed at http://www.edlinforpresident.com or on social media at:

Monday, July 17
Book featured at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Book featured at Chill and Read
Guest blogging at Mythical Books

Tuesday, July 18
Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
Book featured at Elise’s Audiobook Digest
Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, July 19
Guest blogging at Must Read Faster
Book featured at Diana’s Book Reviews
Interviewed at Harmonious Publicity

Thursday, July 20
Book featured at The Writers’ Life
Book featured at Stormy Nights Reviewing
Interviewed at As the Page Turns

Friday, July 21
Book featured at Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
Guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress

Sunday, July 23
Book featured at T’s Stuff
Interviewed at The Literary Nook

Monday, July 24
Book featured at A Title Wave
Book featured at Stuck in YA Books

Tuesday, July 25
Book featured at The Angel’s Pearl
Book featured at Write and Take Flight
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge

Wednesday, July 26
Book featured at Don’t Judge, Read
Book featured at The Toibox of Words
Book featured at Comfy Chair Books

Thursday, July 27
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Friday, July 28
Book featured at A Book Lover
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Ideas expressed in this promotion are not those of this blogger.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Unlocking the Natural Born Leader’s Abilities Book Blast

 

 

Leaders orchestrate commands to people in order to accomplish objectives pertinent and in accordance with their personal principles and intentions. This book sets to identify the qualities and abilities of a certain kind of leader, which I refer to as the natural-born leader (NBL). The NBL possesses innate traits, refined and perfected over time with education, training, and experience. I will attempt to illustrate these traits by drawing from my fifty years of personal experiences and hope readers will look at this as an opportunity to introspect. I have also designed a self-assessment tool so you may self-evaluate the presence of these NBL abilities and identify where you ultimately fall on the spectrum.
Today, there is widespread lack of confidence in leadership whether in business, government, education, or elsewhere. The vision of a confident leader, that of an NBL, is needed for the betterment of the world.
Salar Ahmed Khan, MD, MBA, FACA, FCCP, DTCD, MCPS, worked as an Internist and Pulmonologist at Karachi, Pakistan from 1985-87; as the Chief of Medicine, the Acting Director of Medical Services, and Acting Hospital Director at Al-Midhnab General Hospital under the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia from 1988-93; as the Associate Professor Medicine at Baqai Medical College and Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan from 1993-94; as a Surgical Assistant, Material Management, and Acting Central Processing Supervisor at Edge Water Medical Center in Chicago from 1996-2000. He is working as a program specialist at Chicago, Illinois since 2000. He was nominated and won several awards at national and international levels. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, photography, and watching sport, like cricket. He lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife and two sons.

 

Ideas expressed in this promotion are not those of this blogger.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Great Objectives Book Blast

In his book Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill refers to the great objects of human life. We may assume that what Mill calls an object is the same as an objective in modern parlance. The examples of great objectives that Mill cites include power, fame, and money. One wonders how seriously Mill was actually endorsing such aims to be the overarching objectives of living or whether he was simply expressing his finding that many people actually do take such aims as these for life.
The contention is that Mill was indeed recognizing that people do choose such goals in life. After all, happiness has been recognized as an objective of life at least since the time of Aristotle, and virtue has a similarly ancient pedigree. It is quite common for ordinary people to adopt such mottos as “Healthy, wealthy, and wise” as aims for life. But we know that having more than one such value can lead to conflicts. This had been a concern to Sidgwick as well as other nineteenth-century moralists.
A resolution to the problem was found by the time of the twentieth century, when it was realized that we should not try to achieve definite objectives, but instead look to some other procedure, such as a variety of evolution, to shape our objectives. In that case, we make plans and evaluate them, as we proceed. We should use our values, as Dewey recommended, for guideposts. The book discusses the methods of arriving at such plans and weighs some of the ethical and moral problems an individual or a society might face at the present time.
Robert Finch is the author of five collections of essays and co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing. He broadcasts a weekly commentary on NPR and serves on the faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He lives in Wellfleet, MA.

 

Ideas expressed in this promotion are not those of this blogger.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#HeroLost & the #IWSG minds behind it; a #fantasy anthology.

The last, but certainly not least, stop on the tour. Let’s do this!

Hero Lost
Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Anthology
Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

 

 

So, today, dear readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, I have a special treat for you. I got a chance to ask some of the contributing authors some questions and even put them to a bit of a challenge. Please, enjoy!

1) What’s your name and a cool tag line?

Jen Chandler  – Artist, Author, Cat Herder (I really suck at tag lines…)

Ellen Jacobson – Purveyor of eccentric travel adventures on water and land.

Renee Cheung – a wanna be technomancer

Erika Beebe – a.k.a. “Cloud Nine Girl”

Sarah Foster Well, my blog says “The scribblings of a girl trying to become a real writer” (wait…am I a real writer now?)

Elizabeth Seckman – unrepentant daydreamer AKA writer

Olga Godim – My tagline would be “Fantasy and more”. That is what I write: fantasy and more.

Yvonne Ventresca – Because I primarily write young adult fiction, my tagline would be: Keeping teens turning the pages.

Tyrean Martinson – Writer, Daydreamer, Believer

I love these taglines. Each one gives a certain insight on the writer within the person.

2) What is the genre and title of your entry?

Jen: My story is a dark fantasy tale entitled, “The Mysteries of Death and Life”

Ellen: “The Silvering” is a fantasy story about a hero lost.

Renee: “Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight” – Fantasy, subgenre, technomancy

Erika: “The Wheat Witch.” Adult fantasy.

Sarah: “The Last Dragon” – a pretty straightforward fantasy, dragon skeletons and magic and such

Elizabeth: “Mind Body Soul” – Romantic Fantasy

Olga: “Captain Bulat” is a traditional fantasy story set in a quasi-medieval world.

Yvonne: “The Art of Remaining Bitter” (dystopian)

Tyrean: “Of Words and Swords” – high fantasy, humor, purposeful use of fantasy tropes

See now, I was worried that asking for the genre would be redundant considering it’s a fantasy anthology, but I’m glad I did it. I like discovering subgenres and important genre-blends within the overall genre. Thanks guys.

3) Without giving away your story, can you relay what Hero Lost means to you?

Jen: A Hero Lost is a lost soul, someone who, after a long time helping others, needs someone to come along, to be unafraid to confront them, and help them back to themselves.

Ellen: A Hero Lost initially struggles to do the right thing, but eventually finds the courage to stand up and fight for their principles.

Renee: For my entry, the theme of hero lost unfolds through the story someone who tried to do the right thing with unexpected and tragic consequences.

Erika: A “Hero Lost” is the lost soul mentality, the fall from your brightest and shiniest state in life, then something happens to knock you down to your knees.

Sarah: Someone who may have once been a hero, but for whatever reason has lost his way.

Elizabeth: Heroes make mistakes, too.

Olga: Exactly what the phrase says. A hero is lost. Nobody can find him. My protagonist is searching for him.

Yvonne: To me, “Hero Lost” means not having enough support and guidance to do the right thing.

Tyrean: A hero lost faces a dark night of the soul – a mid-life crisis or a world-changing expanse of horror.

Oh my, what a variety of responses; not one more fascinating than the other. I have a feeling this anthology will more than entertain people. It will help them in ways they didn’t know they needed.

4) Pick a song that represents or relates to the story you wrote?

Jen: Sarah McLaughlin’s “Building a Mystery” is the song that came to me when I started writing it and it stayed with me throughout the telling.

Ellen: Gorecki’s Symphony #3, also known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.

Renee: “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas (The theme that all things fade away resonates strongly with my story.)

Erika: “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival

Sarah: “Smoke and Mirrors” by Imagine Dragons (The band’s name had no influence on my choosing, I swear.)

Elizabeth: “Heroes” by David Bowie

Yvonne: “Hey Jealousy” by the Gin Blossoms

Tyrean: “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback ran through my head repeatedly and I used one line of the chorus in the story.

Man, you guys are good. Finding inspiration in such different songs, yet they all are impactful on their own, and you all used them to write “lost hero” stories. My mind is a little blown.

5) Assuming that you do, ‘cause why wouldn’t you, tell me why you love the IWSG?

Jen: It’s nice to know that once a month, I have a group of people stopping by to share in my insecurities or who may need a little encouragement.

Ellen: It’s the people that make the IWSG so awesome. Their support and encouragement is phenomenal.

Renee: The IWSG is an awesome community with great information. It  has become an invaluable resource for a newbie like me.

Erika: IWSG is truly about people and caring. I’ve connected with so many amazing talented people I would have never met.

Sarah: It’s such a supportive group (it’s right in the name!) and there are always new people to meet.

Elizabeth: It’s cheaper than therapy.

Olga: Ha! IWSG has an in-built community of readers for my blog.  

Yvonne: Because it’s such a welcoming community, and it provides support and opportunities for writers.

Tyrean: I love the encouragement! Plus, I love the inspiration, helpful tips, and thought-provoking posts that deepen my writing.

I agree with you all. IWSG is so many things and all of them are positive. I count myself blessed to have stumbled upon it and made it part of my home on the web.

6) Think you all could collaborate once more? Add one sentence to this story chain.

Leaves fluttered in the greying sky like birds suddenly robbed of their flight. A sound, not unlike a gunshot, careened through the empty streets, sending a shock wave through the man standing alone in the park. He turned toward the noise, the leaves crunching beneath his feet as he nervously shifted his weight back and forth. His eyes darted back and forth, seeking the source even as dread crept up his back. They had caught up to him, he knew, deep in his bones, but he would face them with all the dignity he could muster. Two black shadowy figures materialized next to an old withered tree. They whispered to each other, too faint to hear. A wind careened between them, carrying to the man a smell and a single word. “Silence.” The word swept over him with a salty brine smell and he struggled to call up his power with his mind. The peace in that silence opened his mind to power of the nether world channeling strength to his body and clarity to his mind. He turned towards them, bowed his head briefly and then pulled a small, wooden box out of the pocket of his robe. He opened the box, reached for the weapon he so desperately needed. His fingers grasped at the wooden walls of the box, and he lifted his eyes, breathing a heavy sigh. At last he found the answer he’d been seeking, it wasn’t what he expected, not at all.

Oh snap yall! You guys just made me turn back to my southern roots. That was sooo good… And did you see how I snuck my own two cents in there at the begining? Dream come true. I wrote a story with the authors of the Hero Lost anthology. Yay! 😀

7) So, now, what are your overall thoughts on anthologies?

Jen: It’s fun to know that your story is nestled in a book with so many other works and that you are buffered by so much talent!

Ellen: It’s a fun way to explore a particular genre and discover new authors.

Renee: Anthologies are a great way to sample different authors and their writing styles. I own quite a few myself.

Erika: It was an amazing opportunity and I’m so happy I chose to get up and write something different.

Sarah: As a writer, I think it’s a great opportunity to get your voice out there and team up with other writers.

Elizabeth: Excellent way to read when you’re busy. I’m loving anthologies as much as snacks between meals.

Olga: They give many writers a voice, especially new writers. Besides, multiple writers make promotion easier.

Yvonne: Writing can be a lonely endeavor, but an anthology offers an instant mini-network of writers with a common bond.

Tyrean: I love them!

Here here. I’m loving anthologies too. As a reader, they offer the most variety and bang for your buck and fit into a busy lifestyle quite well. As a writer, they are great for networking, exposure, and learning from peers and teamwork.

Well, that’s all I have for today. Since I plan on stalking… I mean, following all of you, what’s your favorite social media platform? 

Jen: Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jenchandlerwashere/

Ellen: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheCynicalSailor/

Renee: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/writerrenee

Erika: Twitter: https://twitter.com/cloudninegirl1

Sarah: Twitter https://twitter.com/Sarah_A_Foster

Elizabeth: I still enjoy my blog. www.eseckman.blogspot.com

Olga: Wattpad – https://www.wattpad.com/user/olga_godim

Yvonne: Twitter https://twitter.com/YvonneVentresca

Tyrean: Blog http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

This has been a

 Be sure to check out any stops you missed. They’re great!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

It’s Here! #B2BCyCon2017