A Shot Heard 'Round the Town -- New book tells of brothers' shooting practice controversy that ends in dramatic courtroom scene

Bloomington, Indiana, UNITED STATES


KENNESAW, Ga., August 28, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The sagas that circulate in small, thriving, rural towns are generally shameless. This is especially true in the 1960s small town which serves as the setting for the new book A Shot Heard 'Round (now available through 1stBooks). Authored by Kevin M. Prochaska, the book presents a humorous look at two brothers who frazzle the stuffy town residents and shoot their guns as they please, causing animosity among the town's residents and eventually the law.

Deke and Durham Petler, two 40-something brothers who live in dilapidated buildings on the outskirts of town, are expert marksmen. Their skills help them win shooting matches to earn a living. However, their late night shooting practices irritate the residents of Apology---a quaint, Iowa town of 500 residents---and make the boisterous, but likeable brothers the main targets of town gossip. Sheriff Everett Hiram is sole friend and ally to the brothers and later even acts as mediator between them and those who wish to banish them.

When surveyors discover that the Petler property is actually within the city limits, the Mayor pounces, seeing his opportunity to impose a gun ban and quiet the brothers once and for all. Durham accidentally injures the mayor and trouble explodes. However, when a rival town offers to sponsor the brothers for a shooting match, Apology's residents have a change of heart and recruit Hiram to win back the brothers. Just as he does, the fickle town again turns against the men and events culminate in a dramatic yet quirky courtroom fiasco. Will the Petler brothers win their right to shoot within the small town?

With vivid imagery, Prochaska draws readers into this farming community to meet its eccentric townspeople -- the near-blind grocer, the inept deputy, the resident leader of the rumor mill, and the weak-eyed fisherman -- and cleverly brings his storyline to a climatic finale.

Prochaska, a native of Iowa and one of 13 children in his family, draws on his life experiences in his writing. He is the graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and Western Michigan University. He worked as a petroleum geologist in the oil fields of south Texas and later worked in the environmental industry throughout the United States and Europe. A Shot Heard 'Round is his first novel.

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