EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads Sunday Spotlight w/Giveaway: Cloud Dancer by Billy Ray Chitwood

Welcome to EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads
Sunday Spotlight!

Today we are spotlighting Billy Ray Chitwood's
Cloud Dancer!

Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Cloud Dancer from 
Billy Chitwood!

Billy Ray Chitwood's
Cloud Dancer!

A freeway accident in his modern world changes the life of Blake Fielding as he is transported back in time to the infamous 'Trail of Tears'. Back in today's world, he finds murder, mystery, and the woman of his dreams. This is a book that takes the reader to the pinnacle of love, crosses genres, and reveals the soul-rending fate of a people who suffered the inequities of history.

Grab YOUR copy TODAY!

Q & A with Billy Ray Chitwood about 
Cloud Dancer!

Tell us about Cloud Dancer.

CLOUD DANCER is essentially a love story with some twists...

A freeway accident in his 2017 world changes the life of Blake Fielding. While hospitalized and injected with pain medicine Blake time travels back in history to the infamous 'Trail of Tears', where civilized Cherokee Indian Tribes are uprooted from their homes in the southeast and suffer a long and deadly trek west...

This is a book that takes the reader to the pinnacle of love, crosses genres, and reveals the soul-rending fate of a people who suffer the inequities of history… The novel also touches the genres of mystery and suspense. My belief is the reader will find this read a very enjoyable one.

What initially inspired you to write Cloud Dancer?

I wanted to experiment with a story that covered more than one genre while keeping Romance and Love the centerpieces. My southern heritage has connections to the Cherokee atrocity.

Of course, I like the results of CLOUD DANCER, but it is the reader who can tell me whether my experiment is successful.

Tell us little about the characters that appear in Cloud Dancer.

Blake Fielding is a stock broker in Phoenix, Arizona, a man who is relatively comfortable in his own skin but is troubled by his love life’s direction and his future. He is confident, tall, handsome, and is thinking too much about his current romantic relationship when he makes a couple of mistakes on a busy freeway. His life takes a sharp turn when he vaguely meets a lovely EMT while trapped in his car.

Enter EMT, Ellie Cooper, a Rita Hayworth lookalike. At the freeway accident scene Ellie has some nascent deja vu moments as she stares at the handsome man who comes in and out of consciousness. She awaits the emergency equipment that will free the man and she is puzzled by her inner stirrings. Her life is changing in ways she cannot possibly understand.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

It was actually a fun writing experience. The hardest part was coming up with an ending that pleased me and, hopefully, would please the reader. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

That would be the chapter where Blake finds himself in Tennessee plowing a field and meeting Cloud Dancer. The chapter even got to me!

What are your future project(s)?

I’m currently working on a manuscript that deals with a young man finding his way out of youth and a bad relationship with his father. He connects with a noble war veteran who has some valuable influence and wisdom for the young man...too early to elaborate on the plot(s).

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about this book/series?

Only that it’s my hope the reader(s) will enjoy the book and write an amazon review.

Now an exciting excerpt from Cloud Dancer!

They met at the Phoenix PGA Golf Tournament on a beautiful sunny day.

He sat in the clubhouse bar and restaurant with his co-worker broker and a couple of clients, telling golf jokes and sipping their Tom Collins. The business chatter was cleared from their loose agenda, and fun was the order of the day. The men wore their golf shirts with the little alligator emblems, the dominant colors blue, white, and yellow. Their tanned arms and faces contrasted well with their well-matched shirts and trousers.

Blake Fielding, one of the blue shirts, started to sip his Collins when he saw her walk through the glass door from the golf course. She was with two other ladies, all colorfully dressed in short pastel skirts and coordinated blouses. She was blonde, a Nordic treat with lush lips and body that had all eyes in the room on alert. The other two girls were nice but out of the blonde’s league. Hip movements while walking had Blake’s seating area goggle-eyed.

Of his group, Blake stood out with his six-foot frame of muscle and little fat, his neatly trimmed black hair, his soft blue eyes and handsome face. He was not a womanizer, but he did appreciate fine art – and this lady had the franchise.

After a few contacts with the eyes, Blake excused himself from his group and confidently walked over to the ladies’ table, stood above the blonde, tapped her gently on the shoulder, and spoke.

“Look, I’m sorry about last week, but the guy was an important client…”

“But…” the blonde was not allowed to finish.

“I know, I know, it was rude, but could I talk to you in private for just a moment – out in the entry lobby?”

“But, listen…” again, not allowed to finish.

“Really, I know, but I can explain if you just give me a moment of your time.” He moved her stuffed chair around, grabbed her hand, pulled her up and walked away with her toward the entry lobby. She looked back at her friends, wide-eyed, and cocked her head.

Her friends were smiling and grinning at each other. The play was perhaps obvious to all, but cute in its execution.
In the lobby, they sat on the loveseat.

“Okay, not the smoothest approach ever used, but I had to meet you. You’re absolutely gorgeous – and I know you get that a lot.”

She clinched her face a bit, squinted, lifted her brows, and smiled. “That’s the best I’ve seen,” she said.

“So you know I’m a sham, but when is our dinner date? How about tonight?” He bore into her eyes.

With a bewildered but jolly look, she responded: “I’ll have to see if I can get out of something. You! You are something else, but, yes, I’ll have dinner with you tonight, but I expect the very best restaurant.”

“What? You don’t like McDonalds?” he gave a phony shocked expression.

“Do you think maybe we should introduce ourselves?”

“Well, now, I’m really embarrassed”, he smiled with fake sadness. “I’m Blake Fielding, and you…”

“Sherrie Paddock, when I really want someone to know.”

They laughed, chatted, did their teasing, non-sequiturs, and that began an affair that would last for months.

She gave him her address, and the date was on for 7:30 PM.

Chapter 1
The year: 2017

The thoughts crawled in his head like gnawing termites. All last night they crawled and refused him sleep.

Women! Go figure…

What the hell did she want from him? He saw her moods coming on, the silent treatment because he forgot to bring home milk from the store…because he stopped and had a beer with some of his pals…because he thought only of himself when they had sex – leaving her without a climactic moment. Most of the time she got her ‘jollies’ and thought he was a dynamo…

Who could figure women?

Jeez, that was the one thing so damned good about their relationship – the sex! Well, yeah, Sherrie was a lovely blonde with a super body in the Lady Gaga mode, and she turned him on red hot with just her lips and eyes.

Sherrie’s latest subject for ‘discussion’ was the two of them getting married. Thing is, it was not a discussion. It was more an ultimatum.

They started their affair nine months ago, and he discovered during the ensuing days and weeks that she was cursed with hang-ups that drove him up the proverbial wall.

Blake Fielding was at the moment navigating the US10 freeway, on the way to his brokerage office in downtown Phoenix.

Except for his mind occupation with Sherrie and her annoying maneuvers, it was a beautiful Arizona morning. He saw the familiar landmarks plus an incredible view of the great city and its high rises along the Central Avenue corridor north and south. At certain spots, the entire ‘valley of the sun’ was visible, plus the rugged McDowell Mountains, the famous Superstition Mountains with its storied ‘Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, and the great Camelback Mountain with its popular ‘Praying Monk’ outcropping.

The smog was non-existent this morning, and the perpetual sunshine was a divinity to him. He loved the desert, something primeval about it, and, despite many lucrative offers for positions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver, he would not leave this magical place. People thought him crazy for playing his golf in the furnace-like heat of summer when the courses were more available and void of the ‘snow birds’. He knew there were many people who actually hated the valley for the reasons he loved it.

Sherrie’s little plots left his mind, and he reveled in the views before him. The traffic flow was slow in spots and faster when the merging cars and trucks settled on their lanes after entering the freeway.

Suddenly a car moved too sharply from the HOV lane into his path, and Blake slammed his brakes, gave the guy a middle finger and a few appropriate words. The diversion nearly caused him to hit the car in the right lane next to him.

Nerves rattled, he moved too hastily over to the exit lane and got several prolonged horn honks from other harried drivers.

In his adjustment to get back in his lane he moved too fast. A semi tractor-trailer clipped his left rear bumper and sent his car into a fast spin.

Blake Fielding’s entire body and mind were in a state of tingling anxiety as he fought for control of his vehicle. During the next few seconds his vehicle flipped two times and slid rapidly on its side, smashing into the HOV retaining wall.

Lost in his frenzy, Blake did not hear the screeching of tire rubber, metal scraping harshly against metal, car horns blasting, and the awful screams that added to the freeway chaos.
Cars were now backed up as far as the eyes could see, and an eerie silence replaced rushing speeds of tire rubber and the calamity that lasted for only seconds.

Blake was trapped in the car, unable to move his body to any comfortable position, pinned tightly by auto metal, dashboard, and leather seating. He was semi-conscious of distant movement and softly echoic noises. He knew nothing of the immediate world which he occupied, only that it was foggy through aching eyes he could barely open…and a numbness controlled his body. He could not move a hand, a finger, a toe, a foot, and a wet warmness he could sense on his face.

Then, total blackness came upon him.

Blake would not hear the compassionate voice of the first EMT on the scene or hear her call to him, we will have you out soon. Please stay with us.

He would not hear her talking to the other EMTs. All the other injuries from the domino crash were miraculously minor. She told the others: this one, he’s pinned up against the HOV wall and losing a lot of blood, plus there’s a crunch of metal and seat leather from this side that may need the ‘jaws of life’ and/or some fast-working welding equipment. Get someone out here fast…I don’t know how long we might have… I’ll stay with him in case he opens his eyes and tries to talk.

Blake would not see the EMT, Ellie Cooper, gazing at his handsome face that would now have a few small scars…should he live through this accident. He looked to be tall with thick black hair cut short. She wanted to see the color of his eyes and hear his voice… It was silly of her to think such thoughts when a man was pinned inside a car on a busy freeway, but there was something eerie about his looks that struck a chord with her, some illogical mind and soul pulses that would stay with her all day and night. So stay with us, hunk, and let’s get you all well. Somebody has to be pining away for you…

Ellie smiled sadly and said a silent prayer.

As Ellie applied her skills at the accident site she could not understand the random flashes that would come and baffle her with the sense that the man in this crumpled vehicle was more than an accident victim…occasional tears came unbidden, slipped down her cheeks.
This kind of emotional reaction was not her way. Other than the natural desire to help someone in a crisis moment, she never felt these periodic flashes when working an accident. It frightened her in a way she could not define for herself. While she adjusted a tool to more easily dislodge some impediment to freeing the victim, a ‘flash’ hit her – it was the only word she could make fit the crazy moment. It was like a television screen bright with color and movement one moment, then blurred and indistinct in another. It was an odd experience she knew was beyond her comprehension, in so many ways, a paranormal anomaly.

During her work she often stared at the handsome man in his cramped position. When he momentarily regained consciousness, he looked at her, smiled, and, with a slight head sway, went back to his dark void.

For hours, Ellie and her crew worked on the rescue efforts. It was early afternoon when the EMT crew delivered Blake to the hospital.

Ellie promised herself she would stop by the hospital later to check on his condition.

That inexplicable itch lingered in her heart and mind, an aberration far outside her breadth of understanding.


Being an Appalachian lad I ate quite a lot of emotional soup and have been trying for all the years to digest it. I've taken the easy and the difficult routes to get at this point in life, a point not so different from that confused kid who joined the US Navy to escape the fragmented uncertainty of youth. All the mobility of childhood, all the harshness that comes with a broken and misplaced family, all the ensuing mistakes and successes, all have guided me to this place in time and space.

It is said that in the twilight years one reverts back to youth. For me, my youth never left me. It is still there, with the same titillating mind games and all the confounding realities. The tone here might speak of regret, remorse, sadness, and well it should. But there have been so many blessings and reprieves from loneliness. There is here in the end a good and patient wife. There are now grown children and grandchildren who make me joyous and proud. There is happiness in my life, so...where is the rub?

The 'rub' is in my being, in those countless moments of uncertain youth and adulthood, in the 'angry God' pronouncements of a Southern Baptist preacher, in all the myriad ways I shall never know. The 'rub' is in my nature, the wanderlust and the inner aches I cannot soothe. It is simply part of who I am. In the simple plots of my books, in the characters developed, I am allowed another journey in this life, a chance to find some parts of me that have been outside my awareness. I am allowed to find my God and a faith to carry me to the other side of existence.

My writing is my therapy. My existence and my meaning are there in the lines and between the lines I write. It is there where I can see myself most clearly, and there is much that displeases me, beguiles me, and pleasures me. Outside my windows I can see God's great work and His eternity in the beauty that are the rolling hills of the Kentucky countryside..

So I returned first to Tennessee where it all began for me...then on to Lincoln's land of Kentucky. Perhaps it is the hand of God that guides me across this Earth's great lands. From the incredible beauty of The Sea of Cortez, the desert elegance of Arizona, the magnetic lure of California, and all my stops along the way, surely He leads me toward some awesome purpose and truth.

Teacher - Sales - Actor FilmTV

Billy Ray Chitwood Spotlight Giveaway


  1. I would travel back into the 1800's . Because it was a more simplest time !


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