Monday, April 29, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County" Chapter 1 A Novel of the 1970s - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 As he rounded the corner of the house, Connie also caught a glimpse of Pat, but could tell at a glance that the boy had eluded him once again. Rather than go any further, he kicked a stone at the vicious, growling German shepherd chained to the base of the tree. The dog was the other reason why the sheriff gave up chasing Pat, although he did consider shooting the mutt to relieve his frustration. While he eyed the dog, he simmered down enough to realize that this mess wasn't the mutt's fault. The sheriff rested his hand on the grips of his .38 caliber revolver, but he left the weapon in his holster. (to be continued)

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First Ebook Copy of Blood on the Prairie sells in the Netherlands through Ingram

This is terrific news. Hopefully there will be many more. Your support and your feedback is appreciated. 

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Bookstores around the globe can not only purchase this book through Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the above links, but also through Ingram if you have an account with the digital catalog. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County" Chapter 1 - A Novel of the 1970s, the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.


While Stacey and Connie savored their moment of male bonding, Ken conducted a brief search of the main floor. Besides the kitchen, it consisted of a living room, a bathroom, and a small bedroom where Stacey passed out most nights. An old black-and-white TV sat in one corner of the living room attached to a wire that snaked through the window to the antenna on the roof. What furniture there was had torn upholstery and was cuffed or broken entirely. Like the kitchen, the other rooms were filthy. They were full of junk, unwashed clothes, garbage, mice and other vermin, and reeked of the unimaginable. A "garbage house" is what the public health officials called a sty like this. The probation officer thought it should be condemned and burned to the ground. "What a pig pen," he muttered. (to be continued)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Here's a Surprise on Dream Research For You From Glen Just, Ph.D.

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Serialization: "Hawkins County" Chapter 1 - A Novel of the 1970s, The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

Coming, I'm coming." Stacey opened the door and peered out through the screen at the officers. "What in tarnation do you guys want?"

"Open up, O'Connor," said the sheriff. "We saw him run in here. You know - "

"Know what?" Stacey interrupted. "I know this is still my house, and you law dogs can't just come barging in when you ain't invited."

Ken took a deep breath and stepped up to the screen, knowing that he would end up having to go through the entire routine with Stacey yet again. He did this so many times before that it had become a  ritual between the two men. O'Connor, we saw Pat. I've been looking for him, and you know as well as I do that he hasn't been in school lately."

"I know you're getting me riled, you dumb idiot," Stacey said.

"So far, you're following the script," Ken said. "I'm having deja vu."

"You did what to who?"

 There's a warrant for Pat at the office," Connie said. "But of course, you know that too."

"A warrant, eh?" Stacey said. "There is? The devil you say! Well now, let's have a look-see at that warrant of yours, sheriff."

O'Connor, I got two good eyes that saw Pat run in here less than a minute ago," Connie said, getting red in the face. "That's all the warrant I need. Now stand aside or I'll arrest you for Obstructing Legal Process, a crime you O'Connors are particularly good at." With that, The sheriff threw open the screen door so hard that it banged against the porch, fell off its hinges, and bounced onto the ground.

"Hey, who get's the bill to fix this?" Stacey broke into a broad grin. "Why, of course, gentlemen, do come in," he gestured drunkenly toward the kitchen. "Welcome to my humble abode. If I knew you two were coming all the way out here today, I'da put the coffee pot on and we could've played us a few hands of poker. Call ahead next time, okay?"

The officers pushed past the drunk in bib overalls and entered the kitchen, glancing around the messy room. The sink was stacked with dirty dishes, doors hung askew on the cupboards, and th awful stench of of garbage was pungent in the air. Connie coughed and Ken wrinkled up his nose at the putrid odor. 

"Wait, remember the tree?" Ken said. "You check out back. I'll see if he's still upstairs."

"You got it," Connie said, grateful that he could leave the smelly house. He made it as far as the porch before he tripped on some rubbish and fell flat on his back.

"Watch it, Connie," Stacey teased as he surveyed the fallen sheriff. "It's a little bit slippery out here, and gosh, I'd sure hate to see you fall down and get get your nice uniform all dirty."

The sheriff crawled to his feet and glared at Stacey. He felt like slugging the old man, but was too busy for that now. (to be continued)

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blood on the Prairie A Novel of the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Conflict, American Civil War

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Blood on the Prairie - A Novel of the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Conflict, American Civil War

The next time you are in New Zealand, feel free to stop at and pick up a copy of "Blood on the Prairie - A Novel of the Sioux Uprising." The ebook version is also available to them through the Ingram Digital Catalog. Or, order the book in the format of your choice at the link below.

Book Review for "Hawkins County" A Novel of the 1970s - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly



Jack Johnson has just graduated from Mankato Stave University with a sociology degree. Teenager Pat O'Connor doesn't give a rip about school. Soon the lives of the two intertwine in Steven M. Ulmen's story of changing lives and changing times during the turbulent 1970s.

If you were growing into adulthood then, the details in Bad Moon Arising will seem all too familiar. From the powder blue leisure suit that Johnson wears for his job interview as a LeSueur County probation officer to the avocado appliances to the many song references, like the book title drawn from Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising," this is pure 70s.

Within the story line, you'll follow Johnson as he struggles to deal with rebellious, pot-smoking teens, except for O'Connor, who come under his probationary supervision. On a personal level, he struggles in his relationship with his long-time girlfriend. As you might expect of a 70s novel, Ulmen also tosses the Vietnam War into the mix when Johnson's childhood friend goes off to war.

Ulmen, a retired probation officer, writes with the knowledge of experience, making this fictional book even more believable. Sometimes, though, you simply have to shake your head and ask, "Was it really like this in the 70s?"

Through-out his story, this Mankato author weaves familiar (to Minnesotans) 1970s names and places--the Gibbon Ballroom, Whoopee John Wilfahrt, Chuck Pasek and The John Deere Bandwagon, The Jolly Green Giant...

Some of the sexual content and language in Bad Moon Arising may offend readers. Yet, both are an accurate reflection of the era. At times, though, Ulmen's many references to 1970s songs seem overused and contrived.

That aside, he offers a compelling story that draws readers into a rural Minnesota community, into the courthouse, into the backwoods home of a juvenile delinquent and, sadly, into a car driven by a high-on-weed teen.

(Review written by Audrey Kletscher Helbling and first published in Winter 2011 issue of Minnesota Moments magazine.)
This review was for the book "Bad Moon Arising" which has been retired. The same story exists in paperback and ebook under the title "Hawkins County." Purchase your copy in the format of your choice at at the following link. The epub, paperback, or ebook are the first three listed.
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County," Chapter 1 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Stacey O'Connor, dozing in a kitchen chair with a pint of whiskey on the table before him, awoke at the sound of Pat opening the door. "What're you in such an all-fired hurry about?"

"The cops are here again," Pat said. "Geez dad, I hate this!"

"Quick, the tree! I'll stall the jerks," Stacey said, luumbering to his feet and grabbing his bottle.

Pat's sneakers thudded against the steps as he raced up to the second floor. He peered out the window and saw Sheriff Lucas and Ken Goettl approaching the front door. Darting into his bedroom, he moved quickly to the window beyond his bed and threw open the sash. Outside, a thick tree branch rubbed up against the house, and beyond it, the steep hillside led to led toward the bluff again. Pat figured if he could just make it to the trunk, he could jump from there onto the hillside and circle back into the trees. He knew so many hiding places that once he got into the woods, the two officers would never find him. As he eased onto the branch, he heard Sheriff Lucas pounding on the front door. (to be continued)

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County" Chapter 1, A Novel of the 1970s


By this time, Pat was running into his yard, a yard so cluttered with junk he had to dodge and jump over some of it lest he fall and break a leg. The grass, which had not been mowed in years, added to the deserted look of the place. A couple dead trees, victims of Dutch elm disease, had been chainsawed down and cut into sections some time back, but still lay in the yard because nobody bothered to burn them or toss the chunks out into the woods. Pausing at the screen door, Pat looked down the driveway and and sure enough, the big Mercury was turning in. He threw open the door and dashed inside. (to be continued)

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Friday, April 19, 2013


Went out this morning for my daily 10 K bike ride and this is what I found. Time to switch to plan B; a healthy coleslaw salad for lunch, washed down with a six pack of beer. Lite, of course. Then I'll read this book, Hawkins County" written by some dork with the same last name as mine featured at Lulu in a variety of formats, ebook, epub, and paperback. You can too.


Friday April 19, 2013, Mankato, Minnesota, USA. Since none of us will be doing anything today, how about reading a book?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Serialization" "Hawkins County" Chapter 1 - A Novel of 1970s Americana

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A few minutes later, Ken and Connie arrived at the same spot on the bluff where Pat stood when they first saw him. They actually caught a glimpse of the boy's white T-shirt just before he leaped over a patch of cocklebur and vanished under a low-hanging weeping willow tree.

"Oh, for Pete's sake!" said Ken. "Look at that kid run! I think I see smoke coming off his tennis shoes, he's going so fast."

"He's headed for the house," Connie said. "I bet we can catch him there."

"It's worth a try, I guess," Ken said.

The men descended the bluff following the same route, but going downhill was even slower because they were both off balance. When they got into the squad car, Ken braced himself. "Let her rip," he said as Connie floored the gas pedal. (to be continued)

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Blood on the Prairie: A Novel of the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Conflict, American Civil War

 2012 was the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Conflict of 1862

"In a week, and mostly within forty-eight hours, 1,000 persons perished in excruciating pain, 2,000 more were maimed sufferers from the outrage, and 8,000 who before were comparatively well-to-do, were thrown, as paupers, on the charity of individuals, or on the bounty of the state. A stream of 30,000 fugitives rushed down the Minnesota valley,seeking protection in the interior towns of the state, or fleeing to the neighboring states, and even to their New England friends. Not less that $2,000,000 worth of property was destroyed within a belt of two hundred and fifty miles, and in ten counties, nothing was left." - Biography of Henry H. Sibley, Commander of the Indian Expedition.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County" Chapter 1 - A Novel of 1970s Americana


"Yeah, darn it, I suppose we'd better go up there," Ken replied, starting up the hillside with Connie in tow.

Before Pat ran off, he spied a couple fair-sized rocks lying in the weeds. He thought about picking one up and pitching it at the men, but he changed his mind. Although a rock to the old noggin would slow his pursuers down, it would also seriously hurt them, and that would not be a cool way to play this game. Instead, he rolled the rocks down the hill, forcing Ken and Connie to jump back onto the road. Now they had to scale the bluff all over again, which gave Pat enough time to high tail it for home. (to be continued)

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County" Chapter 1 - A novel of 1970s Americana


"Yeah Pat, we need to talk to you," Ken said.

Rather than comply, Pat backed away from the bluff top until the two men were unable to see him. This forced the officers to decide if they should go ahead and do what neither wanted to. Should they climb the twenty feet or so to the top of the bluff and with a ton of luck capture the boy? Then they'd still have to drag him all the way back down to the squad car and haul him off to jail. On the other hand, maybe they should just call it quits and and admit the kid had bested them once again. Ken, dressed in his suit like always, hated the idea of getting it dirty crawling around on the bluff. The sheriff was in uniform and thus better outfitted for the climb, but he was also wearing his cowboy boots. With their smooth soles, they were much too slippery to get a good footing in the loose clay soil.

"He's getting away!" Connie said. 

You can read this story either as an Ebook or as an Epub at by going to the following link. Lulu was the first to bring Hawkins County to the marketplace. Special devices such as kindle or nook are not necessary, but can be used, to read these versions. Also available in paperback at Lulu.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who Was This Man? Blood on the Prairie A Novel of the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Conflict, American Civil War

This man played a major role in setting off the Dakota Conflict of 1862 in Minnesota during the Civil War. He was Andrew Myrick, a trader on the Dakota reservations. When starving Dakota approached him and begged for food, he replied that if they were hungry, they should eat grass. When the Sioux uprising broke out in August of 1862, Myrick was one of the first to be killed, and his mouth was then stuffed with grass. He paid for his sarcastic comment with his life.

2012 was the 150th anniversary of the Great Sioux Uprising of August, 1862.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County Chapter 1 (Continued)


The twin cherry tops on the roof rack were now clearly visible as Toke crawled to his feet and squinted at the car. Without saying a word, he climbed unto the dirt bike and took off down the deer trail toward his house. By the time the squad car approached the bluff, it had slowed to a crawl, allowing Pat to see the two figures inside scanning the hillside. The mostly-bald head of Probation Officer Ken Goettl peered directly at him and then swiveled toward the driver as he raised his arm to point at the boy.

The squad car stopped at the base of the bluff and Ken stepped out, followed a second later by the driver, Sheriff Conrad "Connie" Lucas.

"Come down here, kid!" the sheriff bellowed.
(to be continued)

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blood on the Prairie A Novel of the Sioux Uprising ow Available in Germany

To our German readers, get all editions, including Ebook, of Blood on the Prairie - A Novel of the Sioux Uprising at your favorite bookstore. The Dakota Conflict of 1862 caused the greatest loss of civilian life in an Indian war, and resulted in the largest mass execution in U.S. history. 2012 was the sesquicentennial year.;jsessionid=C5B61207225465FE165B5FF2532E34D3.www04?searchString=blood+on+the+prairie+a+novel+of+the+sioux+uprising&mainsearchSubmit=Suche&facetNodeId=-1

Monday, April 8, 2013

Serialization: Hawkins County" Chapter 1 (continued) Nostalgia of the 1970s

"You're hot for Dawn Lundin, ain't ya? Pat-ty lo-oves Daw-ney," Toke sing-songed the words and laughed. "Have ya taken her to the mountaintop yet? That's what Dawn calls making out."

"Toke, you're so dumb," Pat said, feeling himself blushing. "And no, I'm not into all that messing around stuff." Translated, that meant Dawn had not yet made the offer, and he was too unsure of himself yet to push the issue.

He sensed movement far off on the gravel road below and for that was grateful, because  it gave him something other than Dawn Lundin to think about. Even before he saw it clearly, Pat knew the big black car with the star centered on the white door panel was Sheriff Lucas's Mercury Grand Marquis. He also knew the squad car moving toward them was on the hunt for prey, just like the eagle overhead. "We got company," he said, eyeing the squad car. Head on home, okay? It's me they're after." (to be continued)

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Serialization: "Hawkins County" is a Nostalgia Trip back to the 1970s, Chapter 1 (continued)

"Hey Pat, you need to build a tree fort up here." Earl "Toke" Watson sat next to his dirt bike ten feet away. Although only five-foot-seven, a glandular problem caused Toke to swell to a massive 235 pounds. He hated how he looked, so besides his weight, he carried all the insecurities that went along with a teenaged fat boy. Twirling a dandelion flower between his fingers, he placed it under his chin and turned sto pat could see the yellow reflection. "See, I like butter."

For an instant, Pat was irritated with Toke. When everything's so cool out here, why do you have to spoil it all by blabbering? However, the irritation passed, for after all, Toke really was his best friend. The two boys grew up together along the river and had known each other forever.

Even though he wasn't looking at his companion, Pat reflected on Toke's comment and knew the boy was doing the old dandelion under the chin routine again. He wondered why Toke had turned into a burglar, while he had never stolen anything in his life. Toke also was a boozer and a pothead, but not him. About a year back, when he got so dizzy off his dad's whiskey that he puked his guts out and got a throbbing headache to boot, he decided booze was not for him. He never got into smoking dope, either.

Pat's biggest flaws, as he saw them, were that he had a hot temper that got him into fights a lot, and he refused to go to school. Those flaws were enough to get him labeled as a juvenile delinquent, however, putting him in the same category as Toke, but he and Toke were different in so many ways that how they ever became friends was a wonder. Toke lived a half mile downstream in a ramshackle house not unlike Pat's own, and both their dads work at the stone quarry; that was about all they had in common. He broke his gaze  with the eagle, stood up, yawned, and stretched. "Nah, tree forts are for kids. Now, a raft with a tent on it like Huck Finn had, maybe." (to be continued)

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Blood on the Prairie - A Novel of the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Conflict, American Civil War

Thank you for your continued support of this title.

"Toby Ryker, chief scout for the Sixth Minnesota, is a red-headed, half white-half Chippewa man. Living life to the brim, he would rather ride the prairies than plow them. But his Sioux neighbors, despairing a life of near starvation and broken treaties, rise up like a prairie whirlwind in September 1862. They mercilessly ravage the frontier, killing more than 1,000 settlers on Indian lands in the greatest storm of death rivaled only by the Civil War battles decimating the South. Ryker must remain loyal to the Army, aid his Indian kinsman or just stand aside. When the outgunned Sioux surrender, Ryker is left with one more bitter duty. Somehow he must find words to comfort the sorrowing wives of the 38 warriors who are condemned to hang." WILLIAM GARWOOD - TRUE WEST MAGAZINE MAY 2009

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Serialization: Chapter 1 (continued) "Hawkins County"

A few miles down the road from the slowly moving vehicle lay Pat O'Connor, and he loved days like this. He even stopped daydreaming about Dawn Lundin, at least for a little while. Lying in the grass atop a bluff west of his house, he gazed at a bald eagle as it soared on the warm air currents rising above the Minnesota River Valley. The weather was warm enough at 78 degrees to wear just a T-shirt with no jean jacket. Oh sure, the mosquitoes were out, but in the summertime they were just a fact of life in this neck of the woods.

The slim, redheaded boy smiled as he looked at the eagle, knowing that when he was born back in the fifties,  none of the noble creatures nested along the river. He knew where the nest was too. Two years back he found it in a dead cottonwood tree when he was hunting upriver a ways, but he stayed clear of the spot because he knew the majestic birds liked their privacy. No one ever taught him that; it was one of those things he could just sense, like he could always tell where North was.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Serialization Chapter 1 "Hawkins County"

"McCoy spotted him last night, but he ducked into the woods and disappeared," the driver said, turning off the highway onto the gravel. "Keep your eyes peeled." He glanced beyond the 12-gauge shotgun at his passenger. "He could be hiding anywhere along here."

"Do you really think so?" the passenger replied. "This is awful wild country."

"This kind of country doesn't bother him a bit," the driver said. "In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's watching us right now."

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Serialization: Prologue - Hawkins County

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

   Jack Johnson did not hear Blowin' in the Wind, the Bob Dylan tune, playing on the radio. After all, it was only ten o'clock on Saturday morning so he was still in bed at his folk's place, comfortably enjoying the sleep of the innocent. He didn't plan to get up until noon anyway, since he and Fletch felt obligated to spend the better part of last night hitting the bars to celebrate sliding through his final quarter at the university. Maybe it was best he did not hear the song because it would disturb him if he knew how prophetic it was, how the lyrics applied not only to his life, but also to the lives of his friends and to people he had yet to meet. Although he didn't know it, Jack Johnson was about to enter a world that had more questions than answers, and discover what few answers did exist remained elusive, as if they were blowin' in the wind...

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Hawkins County" Relives the 1970s - the Good the Bad, and the Ugly

The link below is to a licensed promo made in behalf of the book "Bad Moon Arising" by yours truly. It was published by Publish America two years ago. I bought back the rights and have re-issued the ebook at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The new title will be "Hawkins County," but it is the same story. The YouTube link below takes you to the promo. I apologize for the ad at the beginning but have no control over that.

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We are attempting to make  this book available through in the coming weeks. It also has been written as a screenplay at Scriptbuddy, so, who knows?