Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Indiana’s Timeless Tales - 1782 - 1791

Seal of the Northwest Territory
Indiana’s Timeless Tales - 1782 - 1791
The Northwest Territory - Book 1
Projected Publishing Date - December 7, 2018

Description:
Indiana’s Timeless Tales - 1782 - 1791 is a fascinating time line of events in the Northwest Territory that occurred before Indiana was a state. This volume covers events from the inception of the Northwest Territory until the tragic events surrounding St. Claire's Defeat. 
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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Gardener's Guide to Those Other Brassica Crops




Gardener's Guide to Those Other Brassica Crops
Description:
Brassica crops in the cabbage family are among the most nutritious and flavorful crops grown in the garden. The Gardener's Guide to Those Other Brassica Crops is a useful gardening guide for both beginning and veteran gardeners, includes cultural, preservation and planting information for collards, kale, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi.
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Available in multiple ebook formats and softbound
Buy Paul Wonning's At:

Picker's Paradise Trader Mall

129 N Broadway Street
Greensburg, Indiana, IN 47420
(812) 663-0021

On the Square in Downtown Greensburg
The Bookshelf
101 N Walnut St,
Batesville, IN 47006
http://www.bookshelfbatesville.com/
(812) 934-5800
bookshelf101@hotmail.com
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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sample Chapter - A Stranger Lurks - Horror

A Stranger Lurks
Paul R. Wonning
Chapter One

A Stranger Lurks
Memories fluttered around Margaret’s mind like the butterflies hovering over the buddleia bush. She remembered that it was her mother’s favorite flower. Those were long gone, but the fragrant sweet peas survived, covering the slope below the old house. Black eyes Susan’s, Queen Anne’s lace and other wildflowers also occupied the formerly well-kept lawn. Trees had encroached here, as well. Nature threatened to swallow up what remained of her parent’s life.
Her girlhood home had vanished in a cloud of smoke and fire. Its charred remnants remained, littering the blackened stone foundation. She turned to face the other structure that remained. The round barn built by her great grandfather remained in good shape over a century later. Its stone walls and wooden shingled roof had withstood the storms, rains and snow which nature had thrown at it.
She glanced at the watch on her wrist. He would be here soon. Their appointment was at ten o’clock and it was now five minutes before the hour. She walked down the overgrown sidewalk to her car, parked at the base of the hill below the neglected home site. The July sun was starting to beat down, promising a scorcher of a day.
The southern Indiana forested hills surrounded the old farm. It was a beautiful spot. Additionally the property was close to town and on a good road, not too far off the main highway. It should bring a good price. In some ways, she wished she could sell some of the memories with it. Some of those memories she would like to shuck off and bid farewell.
Selling this place was not something that came easy. It had been in the family for generations. Another glance at the unkempt lawn and fields told the story, though. It was time to let go. She could not keep it up anymore and since the death of her mother, she had lost interest.
The crunch of rubber tires on the gravel driveway announced the arrival of the realtor. He was on time, anyway. She watched as his car bounced down the driveway and pull up beside hers. His arrival marked the end of another chapter of her life. Another would soon open.

Reuben Steen slowed down as he approached the driveway and turned in. He saw that the seller was there awaiting him. Behind her, he could see the old round barn. It was an imposing structure that dominated the scene before him.
He slowed still more as his car bounced. The neglected driveway had grown a good crop of potholes and muddy water splashed over his newly washed car.
Damn, he would have to have it washed again.
His mood brightened as he drew up beside the other car and saw the attractive brunette who awaited him. He had seen her before in the diner he frequented and also at the library. He had not known her name, but now he did.
He opened the door and smiled as he extended his hand.
“Margaret Dreu? My name is Reuben Steen,” he said as he shook the smooth, firm hand she extended to him.
“Yes, I am Margaret Drue,” she replied. “But my friends all call me Peggy.”
“Nice to meet you, Peggy,” Reuben said. “I think I have seen you working in the library.”
“Yes, I handle the kid’s reading programs so I mostly work afternoons and evenings. However, through the summer we switch to a daytime program. I think I have seen you in the library at times in the evening.”
“Yes, I sometimes go in there for research. The courthouse closes at four o’clock. Sometimes I can find the information I need for a property in the old town records in the library. I think I have also seen you in Benny’s Diner.”
“I like to eat breakfast in there. He has some divine Danish rolls. Wanda recommended you to me when I told her I wanted to sell the old farm. She said you sold her brother’s house and he liked you.”
“I will have to give Wanda a bigger tip the next time I go in there.”
“Yes, you will. I am sorry about the driveway but I haven’t been maintaining it. A few months back someone set fire to the house. I thought if the driveway was in bad shape it might deter other trespassers.”
Reuben glanced up the slope at the burned out farmhouse.
“Darn shame,” he said. “It was probably just kids out on a lark.”
“The house was pretty well shot, anyway. No one lived in it for years. I took an apartment in town when Mom moved out and to the nursing home. I needed to be near her. This was too big a place for me to rattle around in anyway. It has become a party place for the local kids. I guess I will have to put up a locked gate to keep them out.”
“At least they didn’t burn this barn. This is a great building. You don’t see many round barns around anymore. I love the windmill on top.”
“My great-grandfather built this barn around 1900. Purdue University was touting it at the time as a great time saver. Grandfather added the windmill later on. He laid a pipe from the well by the house. The windmill pumped water into some big water tanks on the third level. A pipe fed water back to the house. We had great water pressure.”
“Ingenious,” said Reuben. “Does the windmill still work?”
“As far as I know it does. I don’t know about the pump. The water company laid water lines past here a few years back, so there is city water available making the well unnecessary. It is still up by the house, though.”
Reuben pulled a notepad from his pocket and jotted it down, saying, “I will take notes as we go.”
Peggy opened the door and Reuben followed her inside.
“It is wonderful in here. The stone foundation keeps it nice and cool,” said Reuben.
“They built the first level into the side of the hill which rises behind the barn. It is always cool in here in the summer, and warm in the winter.”
Reuben turned in a slow circle, taking it all in.
“It is like a huge, circular tunnel.”
“This lower level was where we kept the livestock. This outer circle goes all the way around the stable area. You can see the openings for the stalls. They pulled wagons in here to load manure on. You could run the cattle around from one stall to another without going out into the weather. You could also run a team of horses around it without having to back up. Of course, my dad had a tractor. It wasn’t on of the big ones you see now. It was small enough to navigate around in here.”
“This was one efficient barn.”
“Yes it was. But the one reason my great grandfather built it he wouldn’t talk about much.”
“What was that?”
“It was an old superstition. The old timers said that in a round barn there weren’t any corners for evil spirits to hide in.”
Reuben laughed and said, “That would be true. There are no corners in here.”
As they walked, one stall door was open. Reuben glanced inside.
“This is the one my father died in. He was forking manure out into the spreader when he died. Mom found him when he didn’t come in for lunch.”
Reuben glanced at a pitchfork that stood against the one wall.
“He left it right there. He had a heart attack. None of us felt like moving that fork, so it is right there where he left it. Mom sold the cows after he died.”
“This place holds some bad memories for you, then?”
“It does. However, it holds many good ones too. One of our cats had kittens in that manger. I wouldn’t let Dad use it until they were big enough to move.”
She smiled, her voice deep in memory, “It was my favorite cat. She was a big calico I named Butterboot, because she was white and black with huge yellow splotches and white boots.”
“It does sound like there were good ones then, too.”
“We were happy here when I was a girl. It is the later ones that are bad. Dad died. Then Mom took sick and I had to take care of her. An aunt moved in to help when I went to college. I moved back after college. Then my aunt got sick and died after that. Mom had a bad stroke and had to go to the nursing home. I moved into town to be near her. That was three years ago and Mom has since passed on. It has set empty ever since. And as you can see, it is too much for me to take care of. So I decided to sell it.”
“I will try my best,” said Reuben. “But it is a slow market right now. It may take some time.”
“I understand,” said Peggy.
They walked down a passageway to the center of the barn.
“This was the feeding area,” Peggy said. There are chutes which they dumped the grain and feed down here, and hay and they lowered the straw using a winch fastened on the roof.”
They climbed a spiral staircase that rose to the second level.
“This floor has a ground level door. They brought the wagons in here for unloading. They raised the hay to the haymow with a winch. They stored grain in the second level.”
“It sounds like an efficient way to farm.”
“It was. Dad still used it. But now, with the larger equipment and different way of housing the animals, it is obsolete.”
Reuben again turned in a circle, studying the barn.
“It looks like the structure is still good. It seems to be the old mortis and tendon construction.”
“It is all native timber.”
Reuben wrote some more in his notepad, musing “I can see this having commercial applications. It would make a great winery. This second level could be a restaurant, tasting room and gift shop.”
“I had the same thought.” Peggy replied with a smile. “It looks like we are on the same page.”
“I think we are,” said Reuben. “I bet there is a great view from up there?”
“There is,” said Peggy as she began ascending the stair. Soon they were looking out one of the windows at the hilly landscape that surrounded the barn.
“This is a great piece of property,” said Reuben. “I would like to get it on the market as soon as possible.”
He looked at the center of the barn. There is where the water tank was. There was a large enclosure near the tank. A door, fastened with a latch, faced him.
“What’s in there?”
“That is where the pump was, as well as tools and other things they needed up here. It still has everything in it, as far as I know.”
Reuben pulled on the latch. The door would not budge. “
“It must be stuck,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be.”
Peggy tugged on the door, but it remained jammed.
“H’mm. It seems to be stuck pretty well,” she said.
“I will have to come back later,” said Reuben. “I forgot my camera. I think I left it by my computer at home. I will bring a few tools along and see if I can get it open. I would like to see that pump.”
The two moved back to the window.
“I will draw up the contract this afternoon,” said Reuben. “Can you stop by the office tomorrow morning to look it over and sign it?”
“I don’t go to work until one o’clock. I can stop by in the morning.”
“Great. Let’s say around 10:30, is that okay?”
Peggy nodded. “I will stop on the way to work.”
“Good. I will get the photos later tonight, and if we can get the paperwork done in the morning I can have it listed by afternoon.”
“That sounds great. The sooner the better,” said Peggy. “It may sound crazy, but the last time I came in here a few days ago, I was alone. It seemed that I felt an evil presence here. I haven't come back until now." She shuddered visibly.
The two walked back down the staircase and back to their cars. They stood talking for a while, as Peggy indicated the property lines and told him more things about the property.
After a bit more conversation, they got in their cars and both bounced out the driveway and into town.

In the enclosure in the haymow, the reason the door wouldn’t open waited. As he heard the car doors close, he opened the door and walked to the outer edge of the barn. He watched as the cars drove out the driveway.
It was she. His Margaret. She looked just the same as she looked many years before. That man would be coming back. He would be waiting.
Evil does not always need a corner in which to hide.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sample Chapter - George Washington Buys Blacksmith Tools - A Year of Colonial American History - Book – 2

A Year of Colonial American History Stories - Book 2
Sample Chapter 
January 22, 1755 - George Washington Buys Blacksmith Tools
A Year of Colonial American History Stories - Book 2
 366 Days in History Series
January 22, 1755 - George Washington Buys Blacksmith Tools
A receipt found in the archives of the Mount Vernon Plantation lists a number of blacksmithing tools purchased by twenty-two year old George Washington for the blacksmith shop on the plantation. 
Blacksmithing at Mount Vernon
Blacksmiths were valuable tradesmen at any plantation. The blacksmith added to the many craftsmen that made a large plantation like Mount Vernon as self-sufficient as possible. The blacksmith performed many tasks on the plantation. These ranged from shoeing horses, repairing iron pots, tools and implements on the plantation. The blacksmith also made many of the tools used on the plantation. 
Tools Made by the Blacksmith
There were four different types of tools manufactured by the blacksmith in his shop. These included farm tools and implements, kitchen accessories, weapons for hunting or war and blacksmiths tools. The farm tools included axes, plow points, hoes, shovels and cultivators. Kitchen and domestic tools included tongs, forks, spoons, cleavers and things for the hearth like pokers and ash shovels. Hunting weapons included knives, tomahawks, gun parts, and other necessities. The blacksmith also made some of his tools like tongs. 
On the List
The items found on the receipt include a bellows, a vice, files, anvil, tongs and a nail-making tool. These were all necessary tools for the blacksmith. The bellows supplied a steady flow of air to stoke the fires of the forge; he used the vice to hold items while working on them, the anvil to beat metal into shape and the nail-making tool to make the scores of nails needed for construction projects on the plantation. 
Slave Labor
On plantations like Mount Vernon, the blacksmith was a slave. Most, if not all, of the artisans employed on a plantation were slaves. Many times farmers in the area brought work to the blacksmith shop for repairs for which the plantation owner charged fees. Many times the owner gave the slave a percentage of the profit from the fee. The blacksmith also produced nails and other things for the plantation owner to sell. A skilled blacksmith might produce several thousand nails a day in various sizes and styles. The owner sold many of these nails to area farmers and merchants, producing a profit, which in turn he might share with the blacksmith. 
The Blacksmith Shop at Mount Vernon
The easiest reference to a blacksmith shop at Mount Vernon is around 1755, the time the tools on the list were purchased, though researchers have evidence of earlier shops. Visitors can find a replica of this shop at the Mount Vernon Plantation.

Available in multiple ebook formats and softbound
Buy Paul Wonning's At:
Picker's Paradise Trader Mall

129 N Broadway Street
Greensburg, Indiana, IN 47420
(812) 663-0021

On the Square in Downtown Greensburg

The Bookshelf
101 N Walnut St,
Batesville, IN 47006
http://www.bookshelfbatesville.com/
(812) 934-5800
bookshelf101@hotmail.com
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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sample Chapter - Ben Franklin Attempts to Electrocute a Turkey - A Year of Colonial American History - Book – 1

A Year of Colonial American History - Book – 1
December 23, 1750 - Ben Franklin Attempts to Electrocute a Turkey
Ben Franklin spent many hours studying the force known as electricity, an energy source scientists knew little about in the Eighteenth Century. His December 23, 1750 attempt to electrocute a turkey left the turkey safe and sound. Franklin, however, was quite shocked by the experience.
Retirement, Science and Philanthropy
By 1750, Franklin had retired from the printing business and spent his time doing various scientific, educational and philanthropic activities. The greater part of his time, he spent studying the force that Archibald Spencer had introduced him to seven years before. Franklin had acquired an assortment of Leyden jars, glass rods, silken threads and other equipment he used to study this mysterious force. His efforts had led to a device he called an electrical jack, a rotisserie device he used to turn chickens and turkeys over a fire. He had gathered an assortment of friends to watch as he used electricity to kill the bird, then roast it over a fire he had kindled using a bottle he had electrified. He would roast the turkey over the fire using the electrical jack he had invented. Sometime before December, he had already successfully electrocuted some turkeys and chickens, so he knew the process worked, killing the birds quickly and, he felt, made the meat more tender by the process.
The Turkey Escapes
Franklin had readied his equipment, storing static electricity in over forty Leyden jars. The crowd had gathered to watch and eat turkey. As Franklin prepared to shock the bird, somehow he touched the electrical leads himself. The watching crowd heard a loud "crack" as an orange cloud of fire engulfed Franklin. The shock left Franklin dazed and sore. He later wrote his brother John, relating the experience, “I have lately made an experiment in electricity that I desire never to repeat. Two nights ago, being about to kill a turkey by the shock from two large glass jars…I inadvertently took the whole through my own arms and body…Do not make [this] more public, for I am ashamed to have been guilty of so notorious a blunder."
Relenting
He relented, wishing to charge other scientists studying this force to take care during their experiments. He wrote about the experience in his book, “Experiments and Observations on Electricity.” This book had helped lead him to winning the coveted Godfrey Copley Medal in 1753.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A History of the Telephone

A History of the Telephone

A History of the Telephone

The telephone has come a long way from the primitive “Lover’s Phones” invented in 1667 to today’s sophisticated cell phone and satellite communication systems.
Description:
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Available in multiple ebook formats and softbound
Buy Paul Wonning's At:

Picker's Paradise Trader Mall

129 N Broadway Street
Greensburg, Indiana, IN 47420
(812) 663-0021

On the Square in Downtown Greensburg
The Bookshelf
101 N Walnut St,
Batesville, IN 47006
http://www.bookshelfbatesville.com/
(812) 934-5800
bookshelf101@hotmail.com
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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sample Chapter - Campout - A Dark Fantasy Novel - Chapter 1

Campout
A Dark Fantasy Novel
Chapter 1

Campout
Campout
Johnny Berg pressed down on the brake pedal, bringing his bike to a rasping halt as the tire scratched a deep gash in the gravel. The smell of fresh mown summer hay from the field on one side of the road filled his nostrils. The June heat of summer had brought a fresh coating of perspiration to wet his shirt. Summer vacation was just starting and already the boys were searching for fresh adventures. Johnny was twelve and at an age that adventures came readily to mind.
His friend, Jim Wester stopped beside him. Jim was a couple of years younger than Johnny, however, the boys hung together because they were neighbors and the only boys that lived along the rural highway that went past their houses.
The boys peered through the summer heat at an abandoned road that poked into the forest, disappearing in a mysterious shadow of darkness.
"Let's go down that road, Jim," Johnny said.
"Wow, you can hardly tell it’s a road, Johnny."
"It's an old county road that has not been used in a long time. It goes through to the road that the Hicks farm is located on."
Jim nodded and replied, "I know where it comes out. The other end is as overgrown as this end is. I wonder why they stopped using it."
"It goes through Laughery Creek," said Johnny. "Old Charley Nudson said there was a little town back there at one time, right along the creek."
"It looks like its open enough to ride our bikes through," said Jim.
"Some of the farmers use it to get to the back of their farms," Johnny said.
"Have you ever been back there, Johnny?"
Johnny shook his head and answered, "Nope. Grandpa was telling me the other day that him and his friends used to go back once in a while to swim in the creek. But they stopped after a while."
"Why did they stop?"
Johnny hesitated, and then said, "He didn't really say. Let’s go on back. I want to see that swimming hole."
With that, Johnny pedaled off and entered the road with Jim in close pursuit.
The burst of speed did not last long. The roadbed began to descend into the creek valley and became a series of rock ledges that the bikes could not negotiate easily. There were briars and roots obstructing their path. They had to stop frequently to lower the bikes down from one ledge to another.
"Apparently the tractors don't come back this far, Johnny," Jim observed as he stopped to survey the abandoned road ahead of them.
"Apparently not," Johnny said in answer. "We are almost down the creek, though."
Indeed, they could see water ahead of them through the underbrush.
The rest of the way down was a bit easier as the terrain leveled out as they reached the creek.
"There is the crossing," said Johnny, pointing to a spot below them. "They slip scraped the banks away. You can see the road continue on the other side of the creek."
Jim nodded as he wondered, "I wonder where the old town was."
"I don't know. Charley said all that is left are stone pillars they used for foundations for some of the buildings and a couple of boarded up old wells."
"The boards on the wells will be rotted away by now, Johnny."
"Uh, huh," the boy agreed as he dismounted his bike. He flipped the kickstand down and rested it on the bedrock slab they were standing on.
"Lets see if we can find it."
Jim extended his kickstand, put his bike beside Johnny’s, and followed the older boy as he plunged into the forest beside the old road. In just a moment he stopped.
"Here it is," he said, pointing to a rectangular configuration of stone pillars that jutted up from the forest floor. There were several other remains of similar type scattered along the old road.
"It looks like there may have only been three or four buildings here," said Johnny.
"There may have been some on the other side of the road," Jim said as he surveyed the area.
"Maybe. We can look later."
Johnny walked to the edge of the bank and peered down musing, "This would be a great place for our summer camp out, Jim."
"It would, but it is a bit hard to get to."
"We can work on the road, Jim. I saw some spots that we can make it easier to get our bikes down."
"That would be a lot of work, Johnny."
"We have all summer, Jim. We usually have our big camp out in August. That gives us almost two months to get a campsite ready down here. Heck, we can camp down here ourselves a couple of times."
Jim nodded and said, "It does sound like fun if our parents let us." His face clouded at the thought.
Johnny glanced at Jim saying, "We can't tell our parents," he said. They won't let us camp down here. We have to keep this place secret. It can be our own little hideaway."
Jim's face lightened as he said, "That would be neat. No one comes here. We can make a secret camp here. But what about your grandpa? We have to ride past his place to get here."
Johnny thought a moment before saying, "We can work down here on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Grandpa always goes into town to see his friend Bill Watson on those days. They spend the afternoon talking and always go out for supper at The Dinner Bell and he doesn't get home until at least seven o'clock. That gives up plenty of time to ride over, get his tools and return them before supper."
Jim nodded and said, "I like that plan. We should do it."
The two boys walked about the abandoned town. At length Johnny stopped on a level area near a huge beech tree.
"We can put the tent up here, on this bank overlooking the creek. There is a pretty good hole there that I bet is chock full of bluegill," Johnny said.
"Yup, we can catch some fish and cook them over the fire. I see a good spot for a campfire on that sandbar. There are a lot of old logs and limbs to use for firewood and we can swim in there when we are done fishing."
"This is going to be a great spot, Jim. I can't wait."
The afternoon was wearing on and the two boys had finished their exploration.
As they got on their bikes, Jim glanced back towards the deserted town and asked, "I wonder why they abandoned this town."
Johnny shrugged as he replied, "Charley Nudson said that something scared the people off. He didn't say what."
Jim shot a quick glance at Johnny and queried, "You mean this place is haunted?"
Johnny, knowing Jim's aversion to all things supernatural, said carefully, "He didn't say haunted. He just said something scared the people off. But that was a long time ago, Jim. This place has been deserted for a hundred years. The log cabins that were here have rotted away and all the wooden structures are gone. Whatever scared them is gone a long time ago."
He glanced at his friend and observed, "This will be a great place for our camp out, Jim."
Jim, with an unsure smile on his face said, "Yeah, it will. When do you want to start working on that road?"
"Tomorrow. I can't wait to get us a path down here."
Their summer project set, the two boys made their way slowly back up the road.
The beech tree near where the boys had laid their plans held a secret of its own. Its innards had, over the many years it stood here, hollowed out, forming a cavernous crevice within it. This crevice, dark and damp, was large enough to hide a person. From this crevice, a figure stepped out and watched as the boys moved off. It watched as they faded from view, listening to the creaking of the bicycle chains as they strained from their labors of propelling the boys up the hill.
The eyes were not happy at this intrusion.

Available in multiple ebook formats and softbound
Buy Paul Wonning's At:

Picker's Paradise Trader Mall

129 N Broadway Street
Greensburg, Indiana, IN 47420
(812) 663-0021

On the Square in Downtown Greensburg

The Bookshelf
101 N Walnut St,
Batesville, IN 47006
http://www.bookshelfbatesville.com/
(812) 934-5800
bookshelf101@hotmail.com
Wholesale Pricing Available
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