Monthly Archives: July 2014

An immigrant girl is separated from her mother in this YA historical novel by Anne Marie Drew

ANNAPOLIS, Md.Sunbury Press has released Anne Marie Drew’s first novel “The Piano Bed,” a historical young adult novel about an immigrant girl separated from her mother.

tpb_fcAbout the Book:
Caeli survives an earthquake, her father’s death, and an abrupt voyage from Italy to the United States. Now, she faces steely-eyed Nona Rosie who forces her to sleep in a piano and classmates who make her feel like an outcast. Worst of all, everyone believes her mother is dead. 10-year-old Caeli Farina refuses to give up hope. She knows her beloved Mama is alive and sets out to find her.

Excerpt:
With a cloth, Nona Rosie briskly dusted off the piano. Caeli coughed and waved the dust from her face. She had no idea what Nona was doing. If Caeli was supposed to sleep in this room, Nona better make a bed appear real quick, or at least get more pillows so the floor wouldn’t be so hard.

Nona pulled the bench out from under the piano.

“How I detest this thing. Sheer nonsense.”

Nona could even be mad at a piano?

“Utter foolery,” Nona snapped. “Angelina wanted this thing.”

She watched as Nona unfolded the piano. She pulled down the entire front of the piano, easing it onto the floor, like one of those beds that unfolds from a wall. Metallic sounds came from the strings.

Nona pulled a thin mattress from a closet and flung it on top of the open platform. Even more dust. More metallic sounds. She put white sheets on the now-bed, slipped the pillow into its case, and then covered everything with a white quilt.

“There,” Nona said. “This will be your bed.

About the author:
Anne Marie Drew is an English Professor at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where she teaches writing and Shakespeare. She’s served as Department Chair, Faculty Senate President, and Director of Masqueraders, the theatre troupe. She writes about everything from Shakespeare to spaghetti sauce. Mother to three children and nona to three granddaughters, she lives in Annapolis. And she has a puppy named Zucca.

The Piano Bed

Authored by Anne Marie Drew

List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
132 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064573
ISBN-10: 162006457X
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / Europe

Also available on Kindle and Nook

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Piano-Bed-9781620064…

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“Shadows in the Shining City” is John Cressler’s prequel to “Emeralds of the Alhambra”

ATLANTA — Sunbury Press has released John D. Cressler’s latest novel “Shadows in the Shining City,” the 2nd book in the Anthems of El-Andalus Series.

About the Book:

sitsc_fcThe Golden Age of Moorish Spain was during the 10th century, a time when the benevolent Syrian Arab Caliphs ruled Iberia from Córdoba, the site of the iconic Great Mosque and home to the Royal Library, one of the largest collections of ancient books ever assembled. 10th century Córdoba was the richest, most populous, and most cultured city in the western world. Under the tolerant Muslim Caliphs, the pinnacle of convivencia was attained, that unique period of Spanish history when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together in relative harmony and peace. Multicultural Córdoba was an enlightened city that treasured its books, celebrated art and literature, advanced science and medicine, and its myriad accomplishments were envied by both the west and the east alike.

Shadows in the Shining City is a prequel to Emeralds of the Alhambra, and the second book in the Anthems of al-Andalus SeriesShadowstells the story of the forbidden love between Rayhana Abi Amir, a Muslim princess of the Royal Court, and Zafir Saffar, a freed slave. Young love blossoms in 10th century Madinat al-Zahra, the Shining City, the Caliph’s magnificent Royal Palace located just outside of Córdoba. Their love story is set against the backdrop of the epic rise to power of Rayhana’s ruthless father, a man history will come to both celebrate and revile for the role he plays in dooming the bright future of Moorish Spain.

Praise for John D. Cressler’s

Shadows of the Shining City

An inspiring and deeply moving novel on both the nature of love and the many beautiful possibilities brought to life when religions learn to coexist.”

Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

 

A mesmerizing love story … filled with vivid historical descriptions of treachery and strategies in politics, religion, power, and love during the Golden Age of Moorish Spain.”

Valerie Jackson, In Conversation (Between the Lines),

National Public Radio

 

This is the second novel in Cressler’s Anthems of al-Andalus Series, where the legacy of the Arab/Islamic civilization in medieval Spain, with its refinements, its enduring tolerance, and its esthetic dynamism is celebrated. A novel about love, political strife, and cultural conflicts, it is written in a rich and shimmering style carrying an implicit message on the value of recognizing the achievements of the “other,” and asserting the fact that there is no fixed center for human creativity and progress.”

Salma Khadra Jayyusi, poet, writer, and literary historian.

Founder and Director of EAST-WEST NEXUS/PROTA for the

Dissemination in English of Arabic cultural achievements

An enthralling narrative to a shocking history. In this novel of 10th century Spain during the critical transition in the Muslim world from a progressive leader to a cruel megalomaniac, the author brings the reader straight into the landscape, the majesty and the struggles for power which cast the shadows upon al-Zahra, the Shining City. Cressler brilliantly weaves together fact and fiction, passion and intrigue, the throes of love, and the violence of war. With great attention to detail, he artfully unfolds the drama of a young and forbidden love, exquisitely keeping us rapt in the story, wondering in each moment, what will happen next?”

Rabbi Rachael M. Bregman, Temple Beth Tefilloh

 

Another tour de force! Cressler submerges us in a luxurious narrative evoking the loves, lives, intrigue, and history of 10th century Córdoba, a time of religious and political amity among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Our master storyteller provides a cautionary tale of how human desire can corrupt the power of love through the love of power. We cheer for Rayhana and Zafir while we witness the horror of books burning on the pyre of one man’s insane desire to stem the love of knowledge. We rejoice in the many triumphs of al-Andalus, yet despair at lessons not yet learned about how human beings may live and love together. Shadows in the Shining City is a lovely, moving, and inspiring story of how it might have been. We believe!”

Professor Susan Abraham, Loyola Marymount University

Cressler is a master of meticulously researched detail. His intricately woven characters plumb the depths of love and fear, cunning treachery and wisdom, immersing the reader into the heart of 10th century al-Andalus as it balances on the edge of a cosmic shift, with repercussions that continue to reverberate today. What better way to learn history than through the eyes of lovers both young and seasoned: lovers of books and scientific discovery, of beauty and of harmony among diverse peoples, and ultimately, human love that defies all obstacles to proclaim,

I believe’!”

Cathy Devlin Crosby,Cofounder of Neshama Interfaith Center

 

Cressler is a master of rich description, pulling the reader into each scene. An incredible love story supported and sustained by the remarkable coexistence of religions that characterized that magical era. (We) are left yearning for a return to convivencia.”

Father Bruce Maivelett, S.J., Jesuit Superior,

Ignatius House Retreat Center

 

Cressler’s suspenseful novel, set at a decisive moment in Spain’s pre-modern history, challenges our all too comfortable prejudices about medieval culture as the eternal dark “other,” an allegedly primitive and less cultured period we have long left behind. Under the deceptive garment of an engaging love story, Cressler reveals the human continuities between the medieval past and the modern present, confronts twenty-first century religious intolerance with the decline of a relatively peaceful convivencia among tenth-century Spanish Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and celebrates the powerful role of learning and intellectual curiosity for interfaith dialogue.”

Professor Richard Utz, Chair, School of Literature, Media and Communication, Georgia Tech, and President,

International Society for the Study of Medievalism

Cressler has done it again! He has woven an intricate and fascinating web in 10th century Córdoba from the threads of court intrigue, war, lust for power, passion, and most of all, love. The author reminds us that the most powerful force available has always been, and will always be, love; and that people from different cultures and religions can not only live together in peace, but also thrive and flourish even more profoundly in diversity. Cressler helps us all to believe that these highest values are still attainable and worth fighting for. A great read with a heartfelt message for today’s world!” 

Marian Monahan,Cofounder of Neshama Interfaith Center

Cressler is a vivid writer who creates a breathtaking adventure that is both intensely entertaining and informative. The reader is immersed in the cultural, religious, and scientific currents of one of the most remarkable periods of Spanish history. I look forward to the next one!”

Father Thomas Kenny, S.J., Chaplain and Teacher,

Atlanta Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

 

 

Reader Reviews

Cressler has done it again! Against a tapestry of historical grandeur and religious conflict in 10th century Spain, he has woven a compelling tale of political intrigue, cultural turmoil, and forbidden love. Page turning was never so easy, or so unstoppable! Can’t wait for the third installment of this memorable trilogy!”

Roger A. Meyer, M.D.

A medieval masterpiece filled with love, intrigue, betrayal, and passion … (that) leaves the reader thirsting for more!”

Dennis Day

A superbly written novel (that allows readers) to glimpse the complex events that shaped Spain … (and) become living witnesses to a slice of the history of al-Andalus, which Cressler brings to life with such love and care.”

Acar Nazli

Takes you into the intrigue of a sophisticated civilization in medieval Córdoba. Full of ambitious plots, secrets, and true love. It kept me on the edge of my seat!”

Trish Byers

A love story inspiring to those lucky enough to have been loved unconditionally, and to those who hope for such a blessing someday. This riveting story kept me on edge throughout.”

Preston Bennett

A fast-paced, fun read that makes medieval Spain come alive. Characters of differing cultures and faiths come to life in a way that shows the goodness that is possible when we are tolerant.”

Patty Smith

A love story (that) will make you see that times change but mankind remains the same; capable of great love and awful treachery. Take a trip back to 10th century Spain and see people of faith—Muslim, Christian, and Jew—live with and love one another. There is hope for us all and it begins with love.”

Bud Treanor

I have undergone an education about a period of time of which I knew little, and best of all is that in becoming educated, I was thoroughly entertained!”

Bob Wilhelm

 

You will be awestruck (and) your breath will be taken away over and over again as you read the beautiful love story of two young people … whose unwavering love outshines the powerful, intriguing political forces set against their union.”

Denise Black

(Cressler is) a first-rate storyteller. Wonderful three-dimensional characters, dramatic situations, and fascinating historical and cultural details.”

Tom Nadar, Ph.D.

Exhilarating! A beautifully told story of love that finds a way to triumph. Historically compelling, with characters that make the time come alive.”

Tom Jablonski

Weaves fiction and fact into a suspenseful, intriguing, passionate saga. A compelling story exploring themes of love, religion, and the thirst for power. A must read!”

Barbara Nalbone

 

Shadows in the Shining City: Book Two of the Anthems of al-Andalus Series

Authored by John D. Cressler

List Price: $24.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
606 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063453
ISBN-10: 162006345X
BISAC: Fiction / Historical

Coming soon on Kindle and Nook

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Shadows-in-the-Shining-C…

 

 

 

Great Lakes: The Saga of the Inland Seas is a Michener-like multi-generational tale

DULUTH, Minn. — Sunbury Press has released “Great Lakes: The Saga of the Inland Seas” by Lilly Kirckof and Daniel Allen Butler.

About the Book:

CompassGreat Lakes, the novel is a tale as wide and deep as the lakes themselves; a rare combination of history, romance and, “what just might of have been,” rolled into a read so fascinating it is literally impossible to put down.

From the earliest days of the old “wind wagons” to the steel behemoths of today, Great Lakes, sails into the drama, mystery and outright treachery of the dark side of navigating the lakes. Screaming “nor’easter’s” and back-stabbing corporate boardrooms all form part of the novel’s captivating saga of the sweetwater seas.

As an historian reading “historical novels” has always been like scraping fingernails down chalkboards for me. The plot may have been believable but the scope of the times was so misunderstood and characters mere poorly constructed carboard cutouts, the book invariably collapsed of it’s own ponderous ineptness.

By contrast Great Lakes, is everything a historical novel should be; rich in history with an overarching story line balancing nicely between fact and fiction, believable characters, a narrative rarely told; all set against a backdrop that while we think we understand it, surprises keep emerging from the shadows.

Great Lakes, the novel is certain to become a classic for the Inland Seas.

… Fred Stonehouse

Great Lakes: The Saga of the Inland Seas

Authored by Lilly Kirckof, Authored by Daniel Allen Butler

List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
476 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064269
ISBN-10: 162006426X
BISAC: Fiction / Sea Stories

Also available on Kindle and Nook

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Great-Lakes-978162006426…