Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Melding Spirits by Michael E. Burge + #Giveaway

Melding Spirits by Michael E. Burge

Category: Adult Fiction, 371 pages
Genre: Literary fiction, Mystery, Coming of age
Publisher: Michael E. Burge Publishing
Release date: June 2017
Tour dates: Jan 14 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (The book alludes to criminal acts and deviant behavior, but does not provide graphic description.)

Twelve-year-old Evan Mason’s life has been turned upside down by the sudden death of his father. His mother isn’t home much, the insurance office during the day, waiting tables at night. Evan is spending a great deal of time alone.

Now he finds himself on a Greyhound bus headed for a small town on the Wabash River where he’ll spend the summer of 1958 with his loving grandmother.

Evan soon meets his new neighbor, Katie Dobbins. She’s a feisty blue-eyed girl with a ponytail, the type of girl Buddy Holly might sing about on American Bandstand. Evan is instantly enamored with her.

It seems the perfect summer is underway—but strange things are happening in the woods surrounding the Ghost Hill Indian Mound.

There’s a dark cloud lingering over the Wabash Valley—It won’t be long before it erupts into a raging storm.

To read reviews, please visit Michael E. Burge's page on iRead Book Tours.

Meet the Author:

Michael E. Burge grew up in the Chicago suburbs and a small town on the Wabash River in Southern Illinois.

In the late sixties, he left college to serve on a U.S. Navy destroyer out of Norfolk, Virginia. Upon leaving the service, he transitioned to a career in the burgeoning computer industry, positions in product management and marketing.

He is now pursuing his lifelong interest in writing, publishing his debut novel, Bryant’s Gap, in 2015 and his second, Melding Spirits, in 2017.

Michael also plays piano, paints, and is an avid golfer. He and his family currently live in Illinois.

Connect with the Author: Twitter ~ Facebook

The Mystique of Trains, a Guest Post 

by Michael E. Burge

Since the inception of railroads, people have associated trains with adventure, danger, and intrigue. What has more mystique than a train rolling along in the distance, smoke belching from its stack, the whistle sounding as it rolls into a junction? In light of this, writers often integrate this element into their stories to bolster the plot. Consider, Murder On The Orient Express, Strangers On A Train, and North By Northwest. In all these stories, a train plays a major role. 
My great grandfather began working for the Illinois Central Railroad in the 1890s. He was a conductor. His son, my grandfather also worked for the railroad as an engineer. He was active for 43 years, and died at the Illinois Central Hospital in Chicago, 1951.
Within the pages of both my novels, Bryant’s Gap and Melding Spirits, there are references to trains and railroads, specifically, the Illinois Central.
In chapter nine of Bryant’s Gap, Grady, a railroad detective, is conversing with Bert, the local chief of police, and tells him, “Yep, I know three men who died in that mine. If you live in Centralia, Illinois, and you’re not working in those mines, there’s a good chance you work for the Illinois Central Railroad. Believe me, mining and railroading are two dangerous ways to put food on the table.”
That particular dialogue stemmed from genealogical data my wife Cynthia and I uncovered about the family. 
In 1904, my great uncle, Thomas E. Smith, a yardmaster, was killed in a railroad accident. The newspaper stated: He died in the yards at about 1:30 this afternoon . . . the nose of the switch engine was shoved into the flat car on the east side, and Smith was caught under the front part of the engine and literally ground to pieces. Thomas was well liked by all the railroad boys.
Then, again, in 1918, my grand uncle, William Hope Burge, a switchman, was fatally injured when he fell under the wheels of a train and both legs were severed. I won’t post the article here; the reporter’s article was much too graphic!
These are just two of the numerous accounts of accidents and “close calls” involving family members or friends who worked for “the railroad” over the years.
Like Grady said  “. . . it’s a dangerous way to put food on the table.”

Enter the Giveaway!
Win Melding Spirits by Michael E. Burge.
Two winners will also get a $20 gift card
(open to USA & Can / 7 winners total)
Ends Feb 7, 2019

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Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Michael E Burge / Mystery fiction / Books from America


  1. This sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing with us Stephanie!

  2. A summer coming of age mystery sounds great. My dad loves trains and got me hooked a little so the railroad element is a plus

    1. I didn't realise the cover showed a railway bridge at first glance. I saw a partly built barn or house frame!

  3. It sounds like this one is going to deal with death and grief while also having an entirely separate storyline which sounds pretty cool.

    1. and 1950s America is such an evocative period :-)

  4. Replies
    1. It took me a while to recognise what the structure was!

  5. thia looks like arelly good read and right up my street