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
Book featured at Mello and June

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

Author Promo Co-op-Dream Soundtrack for #itslikethefullmoon #romance #IndieBooksBeSeen

Yes people, I’m still touring my first romance. This time around, I’m sharing my dream soundtrack. If you care to follow along, I think you’ll enjoy it. Oh, and of course there is a giveaway.

Source: Author Promo Co-op

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

Who would you be in a Love Triangle? #itslikethefullmoon by Glorie Townson #IndieBooksBeSeen #romance

See other reviews and interviews, and follow this tour here.

FullMoon-1frontTitleIt’s Like the Full Moon
Series: Sayings Series 1
AuthorGlorie Townson
GenreContemporary Romance
Reading LevelAdult
Content RatingPG-13
Formats: paperback and ebook
Pages: 235
Words: 57,000

Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.
In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist; but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the states and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.
A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?
Follow this mini-tour below:
Dec. 14th– Tour Kick-off
Dec. 14th– 4covert2overt – Promo
Dec. 15thAuthors to Watch – Interview (Glorie Townson)
Dec. 15thIntrospective Press – Promo
Dec. 16th4covert2overt – Interview (Toi Thomas)
Dec. 17th– DETOUR*
Dec. 18thGirl With Pen – Promo
Additional stops (non-tour related)
Dec. 16thJ. H. Moncrieff – Guest Post (True friends stick with you through the creepy.)
*Dec. 17thThe Wizard’s Cauldron – Interview (Toi Thomas)
This book is currently available for Pre-order as an ebook through Amazon.com and as a paperback direct from the author. Be sure to pre-order your copy at its reduced introductory rate and save your receipt number to earn extra entries into Glorie’s cool giveaway
Pre-order Kindle | Pre-order Paperback | add to Goodreads

So, who were you in the love triangle? 
Share for a chance to WIN below!
 
Glorie Townson is more than just a pen name for the author, Toi Thomas; she’s an entirely different personality. Glorie is the softer side of Toi, who puts down her comic books and picks up a volume of Robert Frost poems. Like Toi, Glorie is happily married to her wonderfully supportive husband, and together they share a home with their pet turtle, Betty. This is Glorie’s first publication, but she’s already feeling the inspiration to pen another tale, to which she’ll gladly share with the world. 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this stop on the 
It’s Like the Full Moon Tour and will consider
supporting the Thunderclap to announce the 
official release of this book. 
~
The giveaways for this tour will include:
a $5 gift card, or signed and personalized 
digital sneak peek, and or something for everyone.

#itslikethefullmoon Cover Reveal & #Giveaway Winners announced! #IndieBooksBeSeen

Thank you to everyone who helped me select the official book cover for It’s Like the Full Moon, by voting and or sharing this contest with others. The winning cover is listed below along with the synopsis.
Winner
FullMoon-1front
Title: It’s Like the Full Moon
Series: Sayings Series 1
Author: Glorie Townson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reading Level: Adult
Content Rating: PG-13
Formats: paperback and ebook
Pages: 235
Words:57,000
Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.
In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist; but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the States and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.
A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?

 

Winner
Now it’s time to announce the winners of the giveaway.
Angelica K. won a $5 gift card
Angie D. won a signed & personalized sneak peek+
&
Michelle W. along with everyone
else who signed up for my email list
won a digital 1st chapter sneak peek.
Congratulations you guys!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book is currently available for Pre-order as an ebook through Amazon.com and as a paperback direct from the author. Be sure to pre-order your copy at its reduced introductory rate. The next mini tour and contest will begin December 14th. Follow along and join the fun.

Pre-order Kindle | Pre-order Paperback | add to Goodreads

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

#IWSG November 2015: Fear & Gratitude

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

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Hi there all. This will be a short post of mostly pictures, but I will share my current insecurity and my current source of gratitude. Hopefully my words will encourage someone.

As the first leg of my 3-part virtual book tour for It’s Like the Full Moon launches, I find myself in a constant state of jitteriness (not even sure if that’s a word, oh well). I guess what it all boils down to is that after all this planning and time and effort, I fear people will reject my story. I’ve put together some really fun activities to pique people’s interest, but I’m afraid no one will try them because I’m no one special. I’m not a big name. There is a chance that those who’ve agreed to review it may not like it. My concern with that is will they be constructive or cruel in their review?

On the other hand, though, I’m so grateful for everyone who signed up for my tour and are helping me spread the word. I’m grateful for all the FB group members who I know will help spread the word because that’s what they do. As much as I fear the unknown, I know I have so much more to be grateful for; including the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I’m so looking forward to that special time.

Last month was my birthday and I promised to share some pictures, so here you are.

Vinyl Records Party – dress as your favorite musical genre, era, or artist(s)

Posted by Toinette Thomas on Friday, October 30, 2015

Also, I had a small book signing/meet & greet at a local indie bookshop. I kept forgetting to take pictures, but here are a few.


The first mini tour in my It’s Like the Full Moon, pre-order extravaganza has started and you can see the lineup or follow along over at the Author Promo Co-op blog. Please check it out if you have the time.


I’m trying to start a new bookish blog hop for anyone who might be interested. Last month was our first post and we all had a great time. It’s a great way to sample books and get an opinion on them without scouring their list of reviews. Please check out the BooktagsBlogHop.

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Do you ever worry that all your effort and planning will be rejected by others?
Is there something you are grateful for right now?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Tyrean Martinson,
Karen Walker,
Denise Covey, and
Stephen Tremp!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #98).

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