Issue 272 — The Paregien Journal — March 26, 2014
My Two Western Novels
by Stan Paregien Sr.
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.
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).
Thanks for your interest in my Western novels.
–Stan March 27, 2014