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Sunday, January 23, 2022

RRR presents... TOW AWAY ZONE by Chris Towndrow - EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY!

Hi there! 
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. 

Now that my Cybils Awards reading is done, it’s time for the conversations to discuss everything between the pages and select a winner. What does that have to do with today’s post? Well, the shear fact that there IS a post, at the very least, because now we can start to return to a bit more of our regularly scheduled programming, or rather posting. So, without further ado, let’s welcome back to the site Rachel’s Random Resources as we shine the book spotlight on a title currently on tour, and waiting for you to discover... 

Tow Away Zone 
Chris Towndrow 

About the book... 
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. 


~~~ EXCERPT ~~~ 

 Our MC, Beckman, finds himself on a desert road and needing petrol. The character he meets leads to a conversation which kicks off the main themes of the book – honesty vs dishonesty, and the world not being a black-and-white place. Whilst Beckman can only see in monochrome, circumstances are seldom all-or-nothing.

It also introduces the first in a series of quirky characters.

Mercifully, before long, a shape rose from the heat haze. A stationary shape. A building-shaped shape. A gas station-shaped building shape.

He exhaled theatrically and slowed the car. Deliverance.

He hoped there would be no banjos.

Out front, a tall pole reached for the clear sky. At its summit, a sign bore the legend, “REGULAR $2.00”.

Two bucks a gallon?

Suddenly, less pitiful.

He coasted up to the single pump and killed the engine. Emerging from the lone wooden hut came a guy straight out of a movie.

Bet his name’s Earl,’ Beckman mumbled to himself, clambering out into the shrouding heat. ‘Morning,’ he offered.

Morning.’ Possibly-Earl scratched his stubbled chin.

Sign says two bucks a gallon.’

Sure does.’

Then fill her up, I guess.’

Earl” thumbed a dungaree strap further onto his shoulder, unhooked the pre-Springsteen pump, and proceeded to give the Buick a drink. He locked off the handle, happy that his part in the process was done (and he couldn’t have been making a wafer of a margin to live off at two bucks a gallon, Beckman considered).

Possibly-Earl surveyed the customer and his steed and clocked the license plate. ‘Guessing you’re a technical guy, musician maybe?’


Sound engineer, Mr Beck?’

Beckman shook his head. The guy stared at “12 BECK” again, then the penny dropped.

It’s not one-two, it’s twelve. And it’s Beckman.’

Ah. Ah.’ Possibly-Earl nodded. ‘Where you from, Mr Beckman?’

He let the misunderstanding slide. Hell—everybody assumed it was a surname.







Baton Rouge.’

Possibly-Earl’s eyes narrowed. He mistook Beckman’s honesty for chain-yanking.

Like Frankenstein,’ he said.

Beckman gave a faint smile. ‘From all over.’

The pump handle clicked. The ageing attendant holstered it, checked the pump display, flicked his eyes to heaven for a ready-reckon.

Forty-seven bucks.’


Forty-seven twenty. Keep the dimes.’

Beckman checked the towering sign. It still said $2.00 a gallon. ‘Sign says two bucks a gallon.’


In black and white.’ Even Beckman knew it was black and white. Not maroon and cream, or navy and beige, or any other pair of well-contrasted colours.


So why forty-seven bucks for—,’ Beckman looked at the weather-beaten analogue pump display, ‘—sixteen gallons? You said it was two bucks a gallon.’

Nope. The sign says it’s two bucks a gallon. Sign ain’t been changed in years.’

Beckman opened his mouth to vent but instead sighed and fished out some bills. ‘False advertising, that’s what it is,’ he grouched to himself.

Possibly-Earl eyed him up and down. ‘Salesman, then, are you, Mr Beckman?’

They have irony out here.

Uh-huh,’ he replied warily.

Reckon you know some about false promises.’

Not me.’

Saint in a world of sinners, huh?’

He shrugged. ‘Something like that.’

You want me to take the gas back out?’

No, thank you.’ He handed over fifty bucks.

The attendant brightened a little. ‘Want me to wash the windshield for you?’

Water’s three bucks?’

Their eyes met. Would Possibly-Earl be cordial or go postal?

Water’s free. Labour’s a buck,’ he said with a whisper of a glint in his eye.

Beckman smiled. ‘Labour’s a buck or sign says labour’s a buck?’

The man turned, located a nearby pail of post-Springsteen water, and began the task. ‘Back aways, some suits stopped by. Said they were looking at getting the road blacktopped. I said, that’s great. They said they knew it was. I said, great. They left.’

How long ago?’

Five, six years.’ Possibly-Earl squeaked the rubber squeegee across the glass. A myriad of dead wet flies left their graves.

Beckman looked down the line of the road. The surface, as he’d found, mimicked a teen’s face.

So, what happened?’

Like I say, they said they were looking at getting it fixed. Looking. Not getting.’ He dumped the squeegee in the bucket with a sploshing flourish, jammed hands on hips, and proclaimed, ‘Selling dreams. Bringing nightmares.’

More sinners, huh? You still the saint?’

Something like that.’ A full glint appeared this time.

Beckman scanned the windshield. ‘Thanks.’

No problem.’

He slid into his seat and fired up. ‘Have a good day.’

Back at you.’


Earl. Name’s Earl.’

Beckman flashed a smile. ‘Full service next time, Earl.’

He eased in the gas and re-joined the road, checking the rear-view mirror as the antiquity merged back into the anonymous landscape.

I’ll be a son of a gun.’


About author Chris Towndrow... 

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. 




1 of 3 Hardback copies of Tow Away Zone! 

(Open INT) 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you as well as the excerpt to share. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today! Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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