Monday, January 24, 2022

Tow Away Zone by Chris Towndrow - Book Tour + Giveaway

Tow Away Zone

When a travelling salesman finds a town that’s not on the map, he must choose between romance and a long-held promise of untold riches.

Beckman Spiers is a grey man in a grey world—and he’s happy with that.

After 12 years of routine and grind, he’s again fighting to become Number One Salesman of the Year. Legend has it, Number Ones get so rich, they never work again. With a week to go, Beckman is gaining on his nemesis, smooth-talking Tyler Quittle.

When a chance blowout on a deserted Arizona highway leaves Beckman stranded, the mysterious Saul arrives, and tows him to the strange neon-lit town of Sunrise. Here, he meets the glamorous Lolita Milan and his fortunes change.

Yet, Sunrise’s small-town charms conceal secrets, and his world becomes one of private investigators and backstabbing business deals.

What will he have to do to reach Number One? And what will he do if he wins the race?

In this comedic, stylistic, and mysterious story, meet the most unique characters and get pulled into the colourful world of Sunrise.

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With the last week of the sales year upon him, Beckman returns to the Head Office to stock up on the product he peddles. It’s our first experience of his boss, showing what a fearsome and and unsympathetic character he is – even the death of one of his employees, Belcher, is not a big deal. He merely wants the salesmen to work hard. Yet he, like Beckman, has a lizard as a pet… just a less cute one.

 He opened the second door on the left, which was already ajar. His nostrils were caressed by the familiar gentle whiff of musty air overlaid with lavender.

The face at the desk brightened. ‘Mr. Spiers.’

PA Amaryllis Broomhead referred to everyone like that. Well, not exactly like that. If he were James Bond—which would be a significant stretch of the imagination all around—she would be Miss Moneypenny. If Miss Moneypenny had a ten-inch beehive and a penchant for garish red bangles.

‘Miss Broomhead.’

He always called her Miss, even though neither he nor anyone else at Pegasus had any clue about whether she was currently married, had ever been married, had been repeatedly married, abhorred marriage, dated the boss, hated the boss, or was married to the job or married to the mob.

He also harboured a notion she had a soft spot for him. However, she might have been faking it and had a soft spot for everybody, nobody, the job, the mob, the boss, the husband, the non-husband, the ex-husband, the future husband, or long evenings at home with a kilo tub of salted caramel ice cream.

One truism remained: she appeared Of Indeterminate Age and had remained so for the last ten years.

Another odd rumour circulated that she was family to Mr Malvolio. Beckman couldn’t see it, but seeing anything in total clarity was far from his strength.

‘Congratulations on your recent success,’ she offered.

He assumed she meant the completely un-earned promotion to Number Two thanks to the voltage-induced demise of Esmond Belcher. Either that or news of his Sunrise-fuelled upswing in sales had reached these shores, which he sorely hoped wasn’t the case.

If arch-rival and current leaderboard-topper Tyler got wind that someone was on his tail, he’d no doubt resort to ever more desperate tactics to secure the prize. Beckman’s assault on the summit of the sales chart needed to be SWAT-level in its execution. Surely, the nature of Sunrise made that a shoo-in? Still, he needed to tread carefully.

‘Thank you, Miss Broomhead.’

She looked at the bag clutched in his hand. ‘Bruno?’

He nodded. ‘Is there a condolence card to sign?’

‘For who?’


‘We sent flowers.’

It had surely been her idea. Malvolio would probably have sent a tardy slip as a reward for Belcher turning up late for work and as a pile of ash.

‘He wants to see you,’ she continued.

Beckman gulped. The dark wood-stained walls closed in. ‘Okay,’ he peeped.

She thumbed the intercom. A buzz sounded in the adjacent room. ‘Mr. Spiers is here, sir.’

‘Send him in,’ said the tinny decade-old speaker on the desk.

Miss Broomhead gestured towards the frosted glass door to her right.

‘Is he in a good mood?’ Beckman asked.

‘A what?’ He might as well have asked her to outline some peculiar nuances of the legal system in Chad.

Abandoning that conversation, he took a deep breath and breezed through the panelled door as if he hadn’t a care in the world, which was far from true.

‘Spiers, finally.’

Beckman moved immediately to his right, steering away from Bruno, who would soon sense the contents of the bag he held.

‘Morning, sir.’

Mr Malvolio was sixty or so, with a huge mane of unkempt black hair, a black suit, a white shirt, and a black tie. A younger Ronnie Wood, if he were pallbearer.

His desk stood vast and ornate, something Pepys would have used. In the corner towered an old hat stand, which never held anything so much as a beret. All the walls were plain moss-green, apart from one, on which hung a sizeable self-portrait of the CEO, imagined as if he was gunning for Time’s Man of the Year. Behind the picture lay a secret—one known only by everyone at Pegasus, including the guy who came in each Friday at 6 pm to empty the wastebaskets: Malvolio’s wall safe.

Naturally, nobody brought up the fact, least of all because Bruno guarded it.

Bruno was a Gila monster. A long chain held him in place to the left of the desk, Mr Malvolio’s right-hand side. It wasn’t the fastest thing on four legs, but it was venomous.

Irking Bruno was likely Not A Good Plan. Neither Beckman nor anyone else at Pegasus felt inclined to test that theory.

Mr Malvolio also possessed a silver-topped cane, which usually rested against the desk but could be snatched up and whacked down for effect.

Beckman wondered if today’s visit would pass sans cane.

\Author Bio –

I've been a multi-genre author since 1991.

My favourite work to date is 2019's Tow Away Zone, a quirky American small-town romantic black comedy. It’s been well-received by readers, with 5* reviews on Amazon.

In 2020 I published the sequel - Go Away Zone. In 2021 I'm completing the trilogy.

My sci-fi journey started with space opera “Scared Ground” being available on Kindle in 2012.

In 2018 I published my 2nd sci-fi novel - Imperfect Isolation - which embraces robotics, asteroid mining and a snowy drive in an 80-year-old Porsche 911.

The sequel, Reprisals, followed in 2019. In early 2021 I released the 3rd instalment, Trip Hazard.

I'm currently editing a reflective Western. It explores prejudice against the deaf community and the Native Americans, as a man struggles to reconnect with his lost son and come to terms with his own failings.

I've written a collection of offbeat humorous stories and vignettes in the style of early Woody Allen prose. The Real Jamie Oliver and Other Stories is basically a window into my nonsensical side.

I also write pantomime & stage drama scripts. I’ve had 8 works performed and reached a total audience of over 5000 to date.


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Giveaway to Win 3 x Hardback copies of Tow Away Zone (Open INT)

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