Monthly Archives: March 2014

Issue 272 – My Two Western Novels

Issue 272    —    The Paregien Journal    —    March 26, 2014

My Two Western Novels

by Stan Paregien Sr.

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I spent many long hours, days and years researching, writing and re-writing these manuscripts. Now, thanks to the wonderful world of eBook publishing they are seeing the light of day. Here are the details:

The Austin Chronicles, Book 1: Boggy Depot Shootout

(Approximately 187 pages and 71,340 words. Adult situations & language)

This is the first in a series of novels about the Austin family. Long-time residents of Tennessee, the Austins had to cope with the unique challenges of living in the wild West just after the end of America’s Civil War in 1865.

 The main character in this novel is young Daniel Austin. Both he and his father Henry had served in the Army of the Confederacy for just over a year when the war ended. As war-weary veterans, they returned home to Tennessee only to find their way of life destroyed by a renegade band of ex-Union soldiers. The clan head, Henry Austin, decided to move on to western Arkansas and start over. So Daniel, his father and mother (Veda) and younger siblings (Amanda and David) headed west with little money but a lot of Christian faith and solid determination.

 Daniel Austin’s uncle, Benjamin Franklin Austin, had acquired a large tract of pine tree-covered land near Gravely Hills, Arkansas. Crusty ol’ Frank offered to give his brother, Henry, part of that land in exchange for helping Frank work his cattle and farm land on occasion. And so their new life began.

 Soon, however, their joy was tested by the severe realities of frontier life. Then late one night their lives changed forever as intruders forced their way inside and committed unspeakably brutal acts. And when they left, the lawless men took young siblings Amanda and David with them.

 Thus began a desperate search to find and rescue Amanda and David, as well as to see that the guilty were punished. Daniel Austin, his uncle Frank Austin and their neighbor Shorty Russell tracked the men deep into the Indian Territory. And it all came to a dramatic and violent climax at the small village of Boggy Depot.

The Austin Chronicles, Book 2: The Abilene Trail

(Approximately 185 pages and 73,880 words; adult situations and language.)

This the second in a series of novels about the Austin family and how they coped with the unique challenges of living in the West just after the end of America’s Civil War in 1865. The main characters in this book are young Daniel Austin, his younger brother David and his grouchy but tough-as-steel uncle named Frank Austin. This book marks the start of their adventure traveling from Arkansas west to Oregon.

 While crossing the Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma, the trio is robbed by a Frenchman and his men. The leader, “Father” Marius Thibodaux, quotes the Bible while robbing them. The thieves take their money, horses and clothes and leave them to die on the merciless prairie under a scorching sky. They barely survive the ordeal. And, by necessity, they hire on as drovers on a cattle drive to Abilene. The drive is plagued by bad weather, rustlers, nesters, quicksand, a raging river and the deaths of four good cowmen.

 They finally arrive at the new cattle shipping yards beside a railroad in Abilene, Texas. The three, like the other trail hands, have pockets full of money. So they go to town and by morning, Daniel has lost his virginity and ol’ Frank has lost all of the Austin family money.

 Then young David spots the three horses they had stolen from them by the Frenchman, “Father” Marius Thibodaux. And in an attempt to recover their stolen horses and money, they wind up getting into a fight at a cafe with the men who have the horses. And the Austins are thrown in jail and beaten.

 They manage to escape from jail and ride miles to the east and south, hoping to elude the dishonest sheriff and his posse. Late that night they spot a fancy house and barns, so they sneak up to check it out before asking for a place to spend the night. But they are discovered, only to find out that the Frenchman and his gang have joined up with the owner of this ranch. And the situation results in a knife fight to the death between Daniel and the much larger “Father” Marius Thibodaux.

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Each of these exciting Western novels is now available at  http:www.smashwords.com

Each eBook is just $3.99. Simply search for the title or Stan Paregien’s name and select from any of these download formats:

epub   –   This is the format Smashwords distributes to the Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, B&N, Aldiko, and others. EPUB is an open industry format. Kindle (.mobi)   –   Mobipocket is an eBook format supported on the Kindle, as well as Windows PCs and many handheld devices.

PDF    –    Portable Document Format, or PDF, is a file format readable by most devices, including handheld e-readers, PDAs, and computers.

Palm Doc (PDB)   –   PalmDoc is a format primarily used on Palm Pilot devices, but readers are available for PalmOS, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC/Smartphone, desktop Windows, and Macintosh.
Sony Reader (LRF)    –    LRF is the format used on older Sony Reader eBook devices. The newer Sony Readers use EPUB. RTF   –   Rich Text Format, or RTF, is a cross-platform document format supported by many word processors and devices.

Plain Text   –   Plain text is the most widely supported file format, working on nearly all readers and devices.

Soon each of the novels will also be available through Amazon.com, Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, plus many other online outlets.

If you’re a fan of Western novels, I sure hope you’ll consider forwarding this flyer to your friends who share that same interest.

 Marketing is always the hardest part of any self-published book. Each of us only has so many friends and acquaintances . . . and no money to spend on a big advertising campaign.

 So, as many other writers have done, I am respectfully asking you to do these things: (1) Go online and read for FREE about the first twenty pages of each of these novels. (2) If you like what you read, please purchase and read each book. And (3) tell others about them.

 My aim for the Austin Chronicles collection is to follow the adventures of Daniel, David and Uncle Frank Austin as they travel all the way to Oregon. They will return to Arkansas through California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with exciting challenges each step of the way. However, the continuation of the series will depend upon the response to the first two books. So, yes, your own response is very important. That, neighbors, is the pure-dee ol’ truth (as Uncle Frank often says).

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 Thanks for your interest in my Western novels. 

  –Stan        March 27, 2014

Issue 271 – Paregien’s Bed and Breakfast

Issue 271    —  The Paregien Journal    —  March 17, 2014

Paregien’s Bed and Breakfast:

Rules of the House

by Stan Paregien Sr.

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Well, neighbors, we have been invaded by visitors to our little piece of Paradise here in the Florida swamp. So we have decided we have to establish some guidelines for such visits. So here they are.

Paregien's Bed and Breakfast - 01 - Part B

It all began with visits, however brief, here by Darrell and Martha Russell of Edmond, Oklahoma (and now of . . . the open road, as they have retired and are cavorting  around the nation in their RV), then James and Glenda Cotton from Edmond and Phil and Kay Coldiron from near Wellston, Oklahoma.

Then for a week we hosted Peggy’s sister Paula Allen King from near Portland, Oregon. She had previously lived in Guadalajara for some 20 years, so she seemed glad to get back to some warm, dry weather.

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We took Paula to the airport in Tampa on a Saturday and then the next day, on Sunday, we went to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport and picked up my cousin Jerry Paregien and his wife Muriel. Jerry was born in California, while I just grew up there from the age of one. Neither of us had a brother, so we are about as close as brothers as you can get. We laughed and laughed, and ate and ate, and laughed some more while they were in Bradenton with us.

2014--0217  Bradenton, FL - Logo Jerry and Muriel Paregien - March 2 to 9

2014--0218-E  St Petersburg, FL - Muriel Paregien and Jerry plus Stan Paregien and Peggy-- March 2

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STAN PAREGIEN JR., BECKY and DANIEL

Well, folks, we took Jerry and Muriel back to the St. Pete/Clearwater airport on Sunday, March 9th at . . . gulp . . . 2:30 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. flight which did not leave until 9:00 a.m. Their carrier, Tree Tops Airline, says it took the ground crew longer than usual to re-wind the rubber-bands which turn the plane’s propeller. But they got back to the mountains of East Tennessee just fine.

The next day, Monday, March 10th, Peggy and I drove to Tampa International and picked up our son, Stan Jr., and his wife Becky and their son Daniel. During the course of the next week we took them to three of the finest beaches in the region — Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island here in Bradenton, to Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, and to Venice Beach & Pier at Venice. We also spent considerable time around the pool and hot tub here in Plantation Grove MHP, plus seeing other area attractions.

2014--0315 -- Bradenton, FL - logo - March 10--16 visit by Stan, Becky & Daniel Paregien

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On Thursday, March 19, Peggy and I hosted a music jam here at our house. There were 19 of us squeezed together in our little cabin, including two guitar players (myself and #1 Son), a mandolin player (Daniel) and a violin/fiddle player (Christine Haines). Everyone seemed to have fun as we also consumed a mountain of “finger foods.”

2014--0368 -- Bradenton,  FL - March 13 - music jam - group - by Peggy Paregien

2014--0355D -- Venice, FL - March 11 - Venice Pier - Stan Paregien JR  and Becky - by Peggy Paregien

2014--0355H -- Venice, FL - March 11 - Peggy and Becky Paregien - by Stan Paregien JR

2014--0374--A Bradenton,  FL - March 14 - shuffleboard - Becky Paregien and Daniel - by Peggy Paregien

We also indoctrinated them with the joys of Senior Citizen and Mobile Home Park shuffle boarding and bicycling. They left without experiencing Senior Citizen bingo (is there any other kind?) and Euchre, not to mention horse shoes.

All good things must come to an end. So about 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 16, we took Stan Jr., Becky and Daniel to Tampa for their plane ride back to St. Louis, where they were scheduled to have freezing rain and 2 to 5 inches of snow. Yep, that reminds me again as to why we moved to Florida.

COUSINS “PSYCHO” & “BUBBA”

Well, the real pressure to come up with a set of rules for the Paregien Bed & Breakfast is this: We just got word that two more cousins are headed our way. Those would be biker Willard “Psycho” Paregien from Sioux City, Iowa and Homer “Bubba” Paregien from Sandusky, Ohio (see photos, below). They told us they can’t stay more than a month or so.

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2014--0357 -- Sarasota, FL - March 13 - car museum -  by Stan Paregien

Where is that doggone “No Vacancy” sign of ours when we really need it?

End.