Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Return to Sender by Mindy Halleck: Guest Post with Excerpt


3 Fun Facts about RETURN TO SENDER author Mindy Halleck


1-    In the 1970’s Mindy was in one all out bar brawl with about 100 other people.

How it started: The door man, Mike, of the nightclub (where she worked as a cocktail waitress) tried to control the crowd of 50 or more at the door when one guy in a sleazy jersey shirt (unbuttoned to his belt, gold chains; “the whole disco sleaze-glam”, Mindy says) started yelling,

“Get me a table!”

The two ‘ladies’ who clung to him did the same. Mindy walked over to see if she could help. Just then the disco king slugged Mike in the jaw.  Mike punched back and then he quickly turned and lifted Mindy up onto the bar for safety. The crowd at the door grew more riled; among them was Mindy’s cousin who she calls her sister who rushed to call the police. The disco king’s two ‘ladies’ in their rabbit fur coats and hot pants started to fight with a group of secretaries who were in line. The yelling pitched higher. The band (Paul Revere & the Raiders) played on, People rushed to the aid of Mike who was holding everyone back. Then Disco king pulled out a switchblade and stabbed Mike in the arm. Mindy then “flew” from the counter and landed on the culprit, she wrapped her arms around his neck, her legs around his waist, and tightly gripped his long hair. She hung on for dear life. Mike wrestled the knife from his hand. The Disco King punched Mindy’s legs and thighs repeated, but she hung on. Mindy’s sister bit him. Mike punched him in the face, then the gut. Still the disco king would not fall. Then one of the little secretary ladies realized she had a good shot and kicked disco king in the nads with her tiny pointed shoe. He dropped to his knees.  

The secretaries were given their own ladies night on Fridays, with a reserved table, free Champaign and the band introduced them whenever they came in, which was every Friday night thereafter. Mike had a flesh wound on his arm. Mindy’s knee was dislocated and legs were bruised from being repeatedly punched. Her sister got a bloody nose, broke two fingernails, chipped a tooth, and delighted in retelling that story – marveling at Mindy’s sudden and surprising bravado – for the next twenty years.


2-    At Oregon’s Mt. Angel Oktoberfest sometime after too much sun, too many mustard coated corn dogs and at least one too many trips to the beer garden, Mindy and her sister (both, twenty-ish-years-old) got thrown (gently) out of a biker bar, by bikers, for getting up on the bar and singing Elvira. . . out of tune.  They literally tossed them to the curb and said, “That took guts! But if ya can’t sing any better than that then don’t trash the Oak Ridge Boys.”


3-    On Mindy’s office wall is a newspaper clipping of her first piece of creative writing ever published. It was an essay about when her beloved partner in crime, her sister, who was 41 years young, died of cancer. Mindy says the reason that’s a ‘fun’ fact is, “Because it hangs there, she is with me on this journey, as she would have been in life. She loved my writing and for the first 40 years she was the only one who saw it. Because that article hangs there, she’s part of it all. She’s editing, laughing, crying and giggling at all the right times. Humming Elvira just to make me laugh or to remind me I have courage when I need it.”






Return to Sender

by Mindy Halleck





1955 ~ Father Theo Riley never wanted to be a priest, nor a killer. The former boxing champion and Korean War veteran gave up more than a career when he went into the Army. He lost the only thing he ever wanted:  his love, Andréa Bouvre. Friends thought Theo entered the priesthood to mend his broken heart or atone for the massacred orphans he couldn’t save in Korea.


However, the truth is much darker and more damning, tied to a blood debt and family secret that has haunted Theo since he was a boy. He drinks to forget he ever had a life of his own—waits for death, prays for mercy, and hopes for a miracle. He gets all three when a child goes missing, another shows up on his doorstep, and the love of his life drives back into his world; the seaside hamlet of Manzanita Oregon. 


Theo’s dream reunion with Andréa becomes a nightmare when a serial killer who considers himself a holy man targets the town and everyone Theo loves. Drinking days decidedly behind him, Theo and some old warriors set out to send evil back to hell and a few good souls to heaven in RETURN TO SENDER.

Amazon    B&N 



POV of the villain, Genghis Hansel


Used to think that in prison I’d at least be in good company: broken heroes, twisted knights, and righteous kings of the damned—the keepers of dark underworlds, that sort. But no!


In prison it’s mostly just a bunch of fools who did foolish things, guarded by other fools with guns who ultimately will do foolish things. Can’t suffer fools. There’s no excuse for ’em.


Just want out—out of this plaster hand cast, out of this cell, this prison, this puke green hell hole where one glance, one wrong word, one secretive tug can release an alchemy of hell on earth. Alchemy. That’s a good word; something his God would say. Still, hell on earth because, like I said, they’re all fools, and a foolish man doesn’t know to just shut the hell up and do his time, or bide time until he can get out, unnoticed, real quiet-like.


Rain pelted against the tin shingles outside the unreachable window near the ceiling. That pinging sound and the absolute boredom got on my last nerve—needed a distraction. I squeezed my face between the corner bars to see the guard and shouted, “Rain, rain, rain! Frickin’ rain.”


“Shut up, Hansel.” The fat guard with the moral fortitude of a hedgehog shouted back from the end of the corridor. He sat feet propped up on the desk, clipping his fingernails. Another sound I couldn’t abide.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Mindy Halleck is a Pacific Northwest author, blogger and writing instructor. Her short story, The Sound of Rain, which placed in the Writer’s Digest Literary Contest blossomed into her first novel Return to Sender. Halleck blogs at Literary Liaisons and is an active member of the Pacific Northwest writing community. In addition to being a writer, Halleck is a happily married, globe-trotting beachcomber, antiquer, gardener, proud grandma, and three-time cancer survivor.




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Mindy Halleck will be awarding a $100 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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