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Tony Burton

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Member Since: Jul, 2006

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By the Chimney With Care
by Tony Burton  Nineteen different authors 

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Publisher:  Wolfmont Publishing ISBN-10:  0977840239


Copyright:  September 2006

Barnes &
Wolfmont Publishing
Wolfmont Publishing

A collection of Christmas-themed crime, suspense and mystery short stories. Prize-winning authors combined with relative unknowns, and all profits go to Toys for Tots.

From my story, "Not So Silent Night"...

Christmas memories for most kids revolve around the time they got a new bike, or a puppy, or when they got a Red Ryder 300-shot air rifle with a compass in the stock. My memories are different, I guess.

It was 1973, and times were tough for us. My dad had been killed in Viet Nam the year before. We were struggling along on what remained of his serviceman’s life insurance payout and my mom’s wages from waiting tables at Shoney’s. I was ten at the time, and really missed my dad, but my mom missed him more, I could tell. She cried even more than I did.

The Christmas of 1972 had been bad enough. My dad wasn’t there, and unlike the previous two Christmases when he couldn’t be there because he was in Phnom Penh or Mekong or some other weird-sounding place, we all knew he would never be there again for green bean casserole or red velvet cake or Uncle Greg’s stupid knock-knock jokes. He just wouldn’t.

But for a nine-year-old boy, one of the most important things about Christmas is getting gifts. You know it’s true. I guess because my dad had only been killed six weeks before Christmas, lots of people felt sorry for me. So, I actually got more presents that Christmas than I ever had before. I felt sort of guilty about being happy for getting all those presents since my dad couldn’t be there, but I finally figured he would want me to enjoy my new stuff instead of moping around.

But that was 1972 and this was 1973. Money was really, really tight. Gas was expensive, and people weren’t leaving big tips for my mom any more. People didn’t think about me being the kid whose father had just gotten killed in Viet Nam. It happened to too many other kids, and I wasn’t special now.

So, in late summer my mom started working a second job at a QCQ Discount Sporting Goods. She had to beg for the job, because the only position they had open was in the firearms department, and the manager had never hired a woman to work there before, much less with the guns. But my mom knew about guns, thanks to my dad. She dazzled the store manager with her talk of calibers, bores, grains and semiautomatic shotguns vice pump shotguns.

Professional Reviews

By the Chimney With Care
Twenty authors have put together this wonderful book of short stories involving crime at the Christmas Season. The profits from the book will go to Toys for Tots Foundation so the purchase of this book will benefit others and make Christmas a little brighter for some children.

The stories are all unique and I think most anyone would enjoy them whether a mystery fan or not.

Although it is hard to pick a favorite from this group, I think "Secret Santa" was a great story. In addition, you will not want to miss Detective Dickery Dock.

Each story deserves a gold star as far as I am concerned.

If you are lacking in Christmas spirit this year I think this book will be just the ticket.

The book makes a wonderful Christmas gift and it is one that I will no doubt read many times.


Lesa's Book Critiques
By the Chimney With Care is a holiday crime story collection edited by Tony Burton. The anthology offers a little for everyone - murder, nostalgia, hauntings. Herschel Cozine kicks off the collection with "The Plight Before Christmas," a crime-ridden takeoff of "The Night Before Christmas." "Popcorn for Christmas" by Debra Gray De Neoux & O'Neil De Noux takes the reader to New Orleans for a sad, lonely story. Readers of Jasper Fforde will appreciate "Murder in Toddler Town" by Rob Rosen. Gary R. Hoffman's Christmas story is haunting. The entire collection of stories of crime during the holidays is a gift to the reader, introducting authors that might be unfamiliar. The authors and publisher are also making an additional holiday present. All proceeds from this enjoyable little collection benefit Toys for Tots.

The holiday season is such a busy time that reading often falls by the wayside. This appropriate collection will offer short, appropriate breaks during the hecticness of the season. By the Chimney With Care will keep you in the holiday spirit.

By the Chimney With Care

This is unlike any anthology I have ever read. To my surprise, it was one of the best.

'Tis the season to hustle and bustle, hitting the malls at the crack of dawn and wrapping packages into the wee hours. I would highly recommend giving yourself a break -- a mug of something warm, your favorite recliner and "By the Chimney With Care." Better pick up two or more as you will certainly want to stuff stockings with this gem.

Twenty authors contributed their stories -- "tales of crime, humor, pathos and even redemption." The theme is the "winter holiday season" and after reading the first story (with an unexpected ending), by John Floyd, I couldn't wait to read the next one. The best part of this is that the profits from sales go to "Toys for Tots Foundation" to help make Christmas better for children in need.

There is something for everyone inside "By the Chimney With Care" -- con artists, a little double crossing and "the occasional dead body in a Santa hat." The stories come from "talented tale-tellers," some well-known like Nick Andreychuk and Margaret Fenton. You may even read about Santa and ask yourself, "Is elf blood red?" This is pure entertainment for those nights when the kids are tucked into their beds and your spouse is at the police station -- working the desk on the late shift, I hope.

Contributing authors include the editor, Tony Burton. I spoke with Mr. Burton and he is as excited about this collection as I was to read it. He assured me that 100% of the profits go to the "Toys for Tots Foundation" and that the book is available through the publisher (Wolfmont Publishing, or through your local bookstores.

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