Monthly Archives: September 2015

Young Romanian woman escapes Communism, reunites with husband

Pennsylvanus Book Blog

LEBANON, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Ionica: A Romanian Immigration Story, Catalina Petcov’s memoir of life under Communism and her escape from it as a young woman.

This touching memoir tracks the life of Catalina Petcov, called Ionica by her family, as she experienced the difficulties of being a young girl in rural Romania, though her escape to Italy and ultimately the United States.

i_fcEXCERPT:
In 1952, Catalina was born in Bozovici, Romania to parents whose work ethic was absolute. Her mother and father worked her like a farmhand—save the fact that they would’ve treated a farmhand better.

From a very young age, she already was involved in work that typically was reserved for adults. She tended to cows in the fields and looked after pigs and chickens in the backyard; she pulled weeds and helped plow when it was time to plant new crops; she even prepared…

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USA’s most interesting misanthropes detailed in Bressi’s “Hairy Men in Caves”

HMIC_fcMECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Hairy Men in Caves: True Stories of America’s Most Colorful Hermits, Marlin Bressi’s biographical compilation of 80 hermits who lived in all corners of our country.

Hairy Men in Caves: True Stories of America’s Most Colorful Hermits profiles the lives of over 80 of the most eccentric hermits from the 18th century to the 20th century. It is the largest compendium of historical American hermits ever assembled.

CONTENTS:
Part I: Hermits of the Northeast
Old Shep (New York)
The Prodigal Father (New York)
The Hermit of West 16th Street (New York)
The Hermit of Broadway (New York)
Amos Wilson (Pennsylvania) 17
“She Was Too Cruel” (Pennsylvania)

Old Shep

Old Shep

The Hermit of Buckingham Mountain (Pennsylvania)
The Hermit of Blue Hill (Pennsylvania)
Arthur Carey (Massachusetts)
The Hermit of Melrose (Massachusetts)
Old Gold Toes (Vermont)
The Hermit of Hoot Owl Pond (Vermont)
Jeff Bryant (Vermont)
The Hermit of Avalon (New Jersey)
The Tramp of West Hoboken (New Jersey)
Kneeling Francis (New Jersey)
The Killer Mosquitoes of the Hackensack (New Jersey)
The Highwire Hermit (Connecticut)
English Jack (New Hampshire)
Edward Young: The Socialist Hermit (Maine)

Part II: Hermits of the South
Wild Man of the Chattahoochee (Georgia)
An Inventive Hermit (Georgia)
Mason Evans (Tennessee)
The Tree Dweller (Tennessee)
From the White House to the Wilderness (Tennessee)
Mum the Meat-Eater (Kentucky)
Thirteen Years in Darkness (Kentucky)
Pig Jack (Kentucky)
Polly of the Pines (Kentucky)
Basil Hayden (Kentucky)
The Hunchback of Chulafinnee Mountain (Alabama)
A Lesson in Karma (North Carolina)
Robert Harrill (North Carolina)
The Coward of Blacksburg (South Carolina)
Cole Carrington (West Virginia)
Miss Jennie Senkhart (Mississippi)
The Storm King (Florida)
Silas Dent (Florida)
From Riches to Rags (District of Columbia)
Aunt Nancy (District of Columbia)

Part III: Hermits of the Midwest
Hugh Cameron (Kansas)
Rudolph Myers (Kansas)
Fred Kupler (Kansas)
The Strange Funeral of Otto Shaffer (Kansas)
The Hermit of Swan Lake (Minnesota)
William Knight (Iowa)
Captain Stubbs (Iowa)
The Nun and the One-Eyed Hermit (Iowa)
The Hardshell Harpers (Indiana)
Diana of the Dunes (Indiana)
The Heroic Henry Malone (Michigan)
The Man Who Turned Pebbles to Gold (Michigan)
The Robinson Crusoe of Lake Huron (Michigan)
Edgar Donne (Michigan)
The Man Who Lived in a Cage (Missouri)
Patrick Welsh (South Dakota)
The Angry Englishman (Wisconsin)
The Treetop Hermit (Ohio)
Charles Allenton Comes Home (Ohio)
Gottlieb Leitsof (Illinois)

Part IV: Hermits of the West
John Stink (Oklahoma)
Pierre the Prophet (Oklahoma)
The Mysterious Adolph Hauserhufen (Oklahoma)
A Sad Story of What Might Have Been (Oklahoma)
The Tragic Fate of William Hamley (Idaho)
An Ogre’s Ship Comes In (Idaho)
Anton Glasmann (Colorado)
The Ballad of Beatrice and John (Colorado)
Old Man Reavis (Arizona)
Lord Neville of the Garbage Dump (Arizona)
The Green River Hermit (Wyoming)
Upside-Down Mullen (Wyoming)
The Skunk Whisperer (Washington)
Ike Powell (Oregon)
Sailor Jack Seeks a Bride (Oregon)
The Frontier Pharmacist (Texas)
The Hermit Priest of Old Baldy (New Mexico)
Billy Pester Goes Hollywood (California)
The Hermitess of Santa Anita Canyon (California)
Roscoe Overhardt (Montana)

Hairy Men in Caves: True Stories of America’s Most Colorful Hermits
Authored by Marlin Bressi
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
262 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066300
ISBN-10: 1620066300
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Hairy-Men-in-Caves-97816…

John Timmerman’s latest novel is a classic Western

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released High Passes, John Timmerman’s latest novel, set in the American West.

Ben McCallister returns to the peaceful valley where he grew up, only to find it torn apart in a range war. With lies and deceit on every side, who can he trust?

hp_fcEXCERPT:
Snow swirled through the mountain passes, pushed by every contrary wind. At first a heavy wet thing, it hung between snow and rain—the kind of snow that holds to the jacket like a wet hand and drips from the hat brim in sad gray drops.

The drops hardened to ice, and the leather jacket stiffened and snapped with the horse’s gait. The wind rose and howled across rocky passages, drifting snow quickly on the leeward side of rocks.

The sky closed, white sheeting out peak, forest, and valley. By the time the snow rose hock high on the horse, gathering well over an inch an hour, cold settled in like a pick axe’s bite.

Ben McAllister felt that bite deep between his shoulder blades. He also felt his chances of making the ranch sink to near zero. After a week straight of hard pushing, it was tragic to quit this close. That’s the only word he could think of: tragic. The snow was tragic. He had once sworn he would never return. Now maybe he wouldn’t. Not without shelter soon. He and the stallion he rode would be one more icy sculpture against the cold rock of the high passes.

The wind-packed snow an inch deep across his broad back. The traditional rounded and peaked cowboy hat, wonderful for shedding rain, now lay nearly caved in under the weight of ice. From the crown of that hat, over the high, up-turned sheepskin coat collar, and down to the long, muscular tapering of his back, man and animal seemed one desolate being tossed in nature’s grip.

For a time Ben had not named the black stallion. He’d just never thought of a name fitting for the magnificent animal. Then one day, out of the blue as it were, Ben named him Treasure. Mostly, though, they communicated by a series of whistles, finger snaps, and other sounds. Right now Ben let the stallion have its way, hooves skittering on icy rock as it slowly found a trail. Ben scanned the sides: up, down, right, left. Any spot out of the howling wind. He felt the stallion’s muscles tremble anxiously under his thighs, its breath heaving in white, wet clouds that immediately became one with the air.

He felt the horse veer to the right, pause at some tumbled rocks, then slowly pick its way through and Ben had no idea why the animal had gone off the trail. He let it go. Suddenly they stepped into the lee of an enormous rock outcropping, rimmed around by a stand of stunted jack pine. Ben lowered himself and led the stallion well into the shelter of the rocks.

He expected to feel exhilaration to get out of the blasting storm. He didn’t feel that. He felt exhausted. He barely had strength to wrestle the saddle off, his arms trembling with tension and weariness. Well, he told himself, it’s heavy. But it was just the usual: the tooled saddle, the scabbard with Oliver F. Winchester’s finest 30-30, the emptying panniers, and his bedroll. There were things still to be done. He hunted among the jack pine for some firewood. He found small branches he could break over his knee, but they’d do for tonight. He didn’t see any larger ones.

With the hot eye of fire watching, Ben removed the horse’s halter and let him forage. The horse hooved aside the icy snow that had drifted into the clearing and grazed on sparse tufts of grass. From one of the nearly empty panniers Ben scooped a handful of oats. The horse licked his palms clean like a dishrag and then went back to foraging. He deserves much more than that, Ben thought. He made promises of what he would do if they ever got out.

High Passes
Authored by John Timmerman
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
158 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066140
ISBN-10: 1620066149
BISAC: Fiction / Westerns / General

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/High-Passes-978162006614…

El Koussa’s books reign in advance of his upcoming US Tour — Sunbury Press bestsellers for August

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released the bestsellers list for August, 2015. Karim El Koussa took the top two spots with Jesus the Phoenician and Pythagoras in anticipation of his upcoming US Tour. Ron Knorr and Clemmie Whatley’s The Segregated Georgia School for the Deaf moved up to 3rd, while Chris Papst’s Capital Murder, the prior top bestseller, slipped to 4th.

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for August, 2015 (by Revenue)
Rank Last Month Title Author Category
1 Jesus the Phoenician Karim El Koussa Religious History
2 Pythagoras Karim El Koussa Historical Fiction
3 8 The Segregated Georgia School for the Deaf Ron Knorr & Clemmie Whatley History
4 1 Capital Murder Chris Papst Investigation
5 7 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical Fiction
6 3 The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation John E Wade II Memoir
7 6 The B Team Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
8 16 Pink Crucifix Johnny Strife Supernatural Fiction
9 10 The Closer Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
10 5 Dead of Summer Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
11 27 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair War Memoir
12 24 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical Fiction
13 Rising Hope Marie Sontag YA Fiction
14 14 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last Mike Campbell History
15 11 The Bronze Dagger Marie Sontag YA Fiction
16 Fireproof Moth Milo Thornberry History
17 17 For Better, For Worse Carolyn Perry Disaster Memoir
18 30 Pit Bulls Anthony Julian History
19 Raising Monarchs Sue Fox McGovern Nature
20 15 Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks John L. Moore History
21 The Bookseller’s Secret Catherine Jordan Thriller Fiction
22 Rising Sun Descending Wade Fowler Historical Fiction
23 Digging Dusky Diamonds John Lindermuth History
24 Seeking Samiel Catherine Jordan Thriller Fiction
25 Pit Bulls II Anthony Julian History
26 That Night at Surigao Ernie Marshall History
27 NEW Something So Divine John Lindermuth Historical Thriller
28 20 Bows, Bullets, and Bears John L. Moore History
29 Of Guilt and Innocence John Scanlan Thriller Fiction
30 28 Cannons, Cattle, and Campfires John L. Moore History

jtp_fcWhile August is usually the peak of the “dog days” in the book trade, Sunbury Press posted a hot August, narrowly missing August 2014’s best-of-all-time numbers. YTD Sales are nearly double last year. EBooks posted their best month of the year, but remain only 3% of overall sales.

Karim El Koussa’s upcoming US tour includes stops in Colorado, California, New Jersey, and New York. Advance sales to the venues fueled his sudden return to the top of the charts. Not all orders are in, so a strong September is also expected for his controversial religious history Jesus the Phoenician and his nonfiction novel Pythagoras. The Segregated Georgia School for he Deaf, by professors Ron Knorr and Clemmie Whatley of Mercer University, moved up to #3 thanks to author activity.Chris Papst’s Capital Murder slipped to #4 due to a lull in news about the Harrisburg mayoral scandal. Bridget Smith’s historical novel Where Elephants Fought moved up to #5 thanks to author appearances in Mississippi. John E Wade II’s memoir, The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation, slipped a bit to #6, but held its ranking due to author appearances in New Orleans. Alan Mindell’s sports novels The B Team (#7) and The Closer (#9) held serve thanks to continued interest in the author’s new website and blog and his appearance schedule. Johnny Strife’s Pink Crucifix crept up the list to #8 thanks to his recent activities. Sherry Knowlton’s Dead of Summer stayed in the top 10 at #10, thanks to author activities. Call Sign Dracula, the Vietnam memoir by Joe Fair, moved up the chart to #11 thanks to steady sales in bookstores. Dennis Herrick lifted to at #12 with his Winter of the Metal People. The book is popular in New Mexico. Marie Sontag’s Rising Hope (#13) and The Bronze Dagger (#15) sold well in advance of her new release The Alabaster Jar, which came out September 5. Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, held at #14, thanks to ongoing interest in the lost aviatrix. Milo

Karim El Koussa

Karim El Koussa

Thornberry’s real-life Taiwan “spy” thriller Fireproof Moth returned to the chart at #16 due to academic orders. Carolyn Perry’s Katrina memoir, For Better, For Worse, retained #17 through the 10th anniversary of the hurricane. Anthony Julian’s ever-present Pit Bulls (I & II) charted again at #18 & #25 respectively because of ongoing interest in the subject matter. Raising Monarchs, Sue Fox McGovern’s instructions on saving these disappearing butterlies, flitted to #19.  Three of John L. Moore’s Frontier Pennsylvania Series appeared on the list (20, 28, & 30). Interest remains strong from local bookstores, historical parks, and retailers. Thriller writer Catherine Jordan returned to the list with both of her creepy titles – The Bookseller’s Secret at #21, and Seeking Samiel at #24, as she heads up a writing workshop. Wade Fowler’s Rising Sun Descending returned to #22 thanks to author activities. Both of John Lindermuth’s books grabbed spots, as he released his new novel, Something So Divine (#27). Digging Dusky Diamonds, an anthracite region history, was #23. Ernie Marshall’s account of the last conflict between battleships, That Night at Surigao, was #26, thanks to author activity. John Scanlan’s police procedural, Of Guilt and Innocence, charted at #29.

The company released four new titles during the month of August.

SUNBURY PRESS – New Releases for August, 2015
Murder Run Shelly Frome Murder Mystery
Something So Divine John Lindermuth Historical Thriller
White River Monster II Keith Rommel Thriller Fiction
White River Monster III Keith Rommel Thriller Fiction

For a list of Sunbury’s best-sellers, please see the Sunbury Press web site:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/BESTSELLERS_c3.htm
For a complete list of recent and upcoming releases, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/COMING-SOON_c47.htm

Sontag’s latest in Ancient Elements series based in Egypt

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Sunbury Press has released The Alabaster Jar, Marie Sontag’s second installment in the Ancient Elements series, set in ancient Egypt.

TAJ_fcSam held up the lamp and studied the room’s walls.  Hieroglyphs of prayers, painted pictures of the gods, and elaborate stone torch sconces adorned the area. There has to be more to this tomb. But what?  Why were men sneaking in and out of it?

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:
“Readers who have waited for Samsuluna’s next escapade will not be disappointed in The Alabaster Jar. In this fast-paced adventure, Sam, Balashi and Amata witness political plotting, and question the sincerity of their new friends. A newly discovered tomb, the bustling Nile River trade, secret passages and the alabaster jar all await you!” — Mary Pat Vargas, 6th Grade Teacher, CA

“A skillfull interweaving of intrigue and deception. Each character has different secrets and issues, but they all become intertwined. A great read for early adolescents!” — Roberta Hendricks, Reading Intervention Specialist, TX

“One of the best books I’ve ever read! This book will have you on the edge of your seat no matter how hard your heart is.” — Ian, age 12, TX

“The Alabaster Jar is a mesmerizing journey of good versus evil in one of history’s greatest ancient cultures.” — Nick Gervase, Santa Clara Unified School District Superintendent, Retired, CA

EXCERPT:
When fourteen-year-old Samsuluna saw the scrawny scribe grab the priest’s robed arm, Sam stepped back into the shadow of a limestone column.

“We just uncovered the entrance to an undiscovered tomb near Giza,” the administrative scribe told Nakthor, the lector priest.

Sam saw Nakthor cup his hand on the side of his mouth. “Does anyone know about this yet?”

The short scribe shook his baldhead. “Only our two workers.”

Even in the dim light of Memphis’ setting sun, Sam saw Nakthor’s bottom lip curl into a half-smile. “Draw me a map and start our usual process tomorrow.” Nakthor then gripped the scribe’s shoulder. “But make sure no one sees you. This must remain a secret.”

Sam stepped further into the column’s shadow and waited for the two men to leave the compound of the House of Scrolls. He never liked Nakthor. Every morning Sam endured Nakthor’s high-pitched voice as the priest recited prayers and incantations for the day. And whenever Sam and his adoptive father, Balashi, left with the Egyptian Chief Physician to visit patients in the city of Memphis, they first had to get permission from the priest. Nakthor always granted it, but he never failed to make condescending remarks about Sam and Balashi’s Babylonian citizenship. More than once, Sam heard Nakthor refer to them as unwelcomed foreigners.

The Alabaster Jar
Authored by Marie Sontag
List Price: $9.99
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
124 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066218
ISBN-10: 1620066211
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / Ancient Civilizations

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Alabaster-Jar-978162…