Penn County, Indiana: 1986
Eleven-year-old Trudie Brice is strangled to death in her home two weeks before Christmas. The crime goes unsolved.
Twenty years later, writer Ray Krouse is looking for material for his next book and is mysteriously drawn to the little girl’s gravesite. When Ray approaches the girl’s mother to ask if she would like to know who killed her daughter, she tells him, “They know” — a term professional investigators say people use when they know who the “they” is.
Haunted by Trudie’s spirit and believing that she deserves no less, Ray and his friend and publicist, Kick Jetton, set out on a long and trying two-year investigation to find her killer.
In a community where folks leave their doors unlocked, share their supper, keep an eye out for each other, Ray discovers the townsfolk have different theories about who committed the crime, and mixed feelings about discussing it. Some are reluctant to cooperate, though a handful eventually join Ray to put the pieces of the crime puzzle together.
Refusing to look at Ray’s new and damning evidence, the Penn County Sheriff’s Department continues to point an accusing finger at an Englishman who Ray discovers was out of the country at the time of the murder. The Department quickly informs retired officers not to talk to the writer. With that, the cold case murder of Trudie Brice is left back in the writer’s hands.
Sorting through interviews, public information files, and newspaper stories filled with details of the day of the crime, and listening to rumors upon rumors, Ray eventually narrows his list to several suspects and finally to one key suspect — a man who still lives amongst them, a man whose family has been in the community for at least three generations. Was it chance, serendipity, or Divine intervention that led Ray to him?
Determined to push forward in the investigation on his own, Ray contacts the man he believes to be the girl’s killer. Can Ray convince the killer to step forward and confess?
Inspired by true events, The Passerby has all the twists and turns of a cold case murder investigation, but with an entirely unique and powerful ending.
Penn County, Indiana, like all rural areas in the early 1900’s, is in the process of changing forever. The horse and buggy days are fading away, as are the mores of the Victorian era. With WWI on the winds of the American landscape, the children of the one room schoolhouse begin to drift apart.
Four generations of the Krouse family, like many families, have seen their share of hard times as pioneers of the Midwest, working vast amounts of land. However, Will Krouse, a dairy farmer, has everything he’s ever dreamed of – until now. Confronted with a seriously ill wife, and four children too young to be of help with the family farm, he’s on the verge of mental breakdown.
Doctor Earl Slayer Jr. is the son of the late Doctor Earl Sr., a kindly man who accepted pigs, chickens, and eggs as payment for his house calls. Doc Jr. is looking for wealth at any cost, and sees Will as a pawn to accomplish his goals, with Will’s wife, Rebecca, as his prize.
Will and Doc are destined for a place called Long Pointe – an asylum for the insane, a Victorian building hiding secrets inside the bowels of its inner sanctum. Doc has a scheme, and Will, unfortunately, gets entangled in its web.
Two of Will’s childhood friends, twins who “flat-back” in the rooms upstairs at Honey Boy’s Tavern, are his only outside confidants. Sheriff Wendell Gates, a lifelong friend of both Will and Doc, is torn between good and evil as Penn County’s lawman.
Scattered Harvest is about men and women at their best and worst. It’s a story about faith and hope, with a labyrinth of trials and tribulations sometimes devoid of any or all human kindness. A superb work of storytelling, Scattered Harvest touches the heart, the mind, and the soul from cover to cover.
A lifelong Hoosier, Thomas Ray Crowel has published two commercial books: Simple Selling: Common Sense That Guarantees Your Success, and Dirty Little Tricks: How Salespeople Are Robbing You Blind. At the request of a Hollywood movie producer, he has written a screenplay based on Scattered Harvest. Thomas says he was blessed being born and raised in Indiana at a time in history that stories from the early 1900’s were still fresh in the minds of many old-timers. As a young boy, all he had to do was sit a spell and listen to the rich tales being handed down.
Cry Uncle, Sumbody
David’s diary—Sunday, November 20, 1864:
“... give a man all the comforts in the world and deprive him of his liberty & what is he?— a poor miserable being ...”
Ohio Valley 1861 to 1865:
Americans killing Americans. Washington politicians and generals believe that the Civil War will end in one hundred days.
David Longacher enlists. Once he arrives at camp, he is already longing for home. Only the mail keeps him in touch with his beloved family and dear friends. His odyssey will be long and perilous. He carries with him a diary, which will become his shield and sword.
After training, he and his company march off to the Wilderness in Virginia, the same battleground his cousin, Charles Allen, is fighting in but on the Confederacy’s side.
David is wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness. His company, on the orders of General Grant, marches on to Monocacy Junction to ward off the Rebs who are attempting to capture the White House.
David is wounded a second time. General Early’s Confederate Army retreats from Monocacy Junction drawing the Union Army further south. Part of General Grant’s Army of the Potomac surrenders. David and his comrades are captured. At Danville Prison, David discovers that more soldiers die from smallpox and dysentery than in battle. He helplessly witnesses men reach their highest levels of depredation.
The prisoners survive on fouled rations. The prison lacks heat. The crowded conditions force them to step over one another. Without latrine privileges, the floor where they sleep is covered with their own bodily waste. David’s diary entries become his will to live.
Part One of this novel is “The Story.” Part Two is “The Diary.” Many books on the Civil War are from the writings of Generals, politicians, and historians. Cry Uncle, Sumbody is from the writings of a common foot soldier.
About the Book. There are no "secrets" to success! Tom Crowel’s book explains five common sense principles that will guarantee your success and guide you through a very successful career. Everyone sells... everything you can imagine is sold. Simple Selling offers you a simple and fast-action blueprint for success in both buying and selling. We’ve all heard these questions... "Is there such a thing as a gift of gab?" "Why can’t I seem to stay motivated?" "What if the customer says no?" "How do I find prospects?" You’ll find the answers to these questions and more. Simple Selling is quick, to the point and takes you step by step through what has to be done in order to be your best. You are invited to realize your dreams while climbing to the top!
The Power Behind "No!" — A Different Take on Rejection. Failure is just another step toward success. Failure is no more permanent than success. In fact, that’s what they have in common—neither one is constant. In order for a child to learn to walk, he must fall.
Motivation: The Inside Story. To stay motivated is difficult. You must focus on the end result at all times. For example, if you want to keep in good physical condition, you must have a healthy regime such as jogging, lifting weights, or another activity that requires regular exercise. To stay motivated, focus on the goals you have set. Keep both short and long term goals attainable. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Visualize success and imagine yourself in the picture.
Power Prospecting. Suspects are basic to the sales process. First they must be found, then converted into prospects and then, hopefully, they will become sales. The best way to find out if a suspect can become a prospect is to ask. Prospecting is an ongoing process. Don’t waste time getting started. Organize your prospect list. Remember there are three important factors to consider—they are the prospect’s needs, desire and ability to pay.
The Simple Selling Close—Getting to that "YES!" Everyone needs to realize the close is exactly what it says—the end of the selling process—when the sale is final. You may know these different ways to close by other names, but to paraphrase Shakespeare, "a rose is a rose..." Ways to close a sale: the assumptive close, the if/then close, the when close, the close as a method to discover hidden objections, and the close to discover buying authority. The book illustrates specific examples of each of these closes.
Disappearing Services...How a Simple "Thank You" Can Give You The Edge. In our fast-paced world, an act of kindness or even common courtesy throws people off guard. Your mother’s admonition to "mind your manners" is especially relevant in today’s business environment. With the advent of the global marketplace, sales protocol not only crosses geographic boundaries, but also cultural ones. Simple Selling shares with the reader how to present our best self not only to our colleagues, neighbors and friends, but also to the world. Remember, the customer never really had the choice of more or less service. It was just taken away.