The Peacekeeper – Historical Fiction’s Latest Addition

It’s hard to imagine what life might have been like way back when around 50 AD or so, but if we were to try, it might look a little something like Marcellus’s life in The Peacekeeper, the latest novel by author Jess Steven Hughes. Though his life would have been on the more dramatic side, for sure, Hughes’s latest addition to his Brittania Romanus series showcases ancient Romans in a dramatic and captivating way.

Rome during the extremely early years of around 40 AD – 70 AD, Rome is being ruled by a vast array of emperors who were known for their vicious governing styles. The empire had a large army, the Roman army that was one of the largest and most effective killing machines at the time. Deeply organized, trained, and properly equipped, no other military stood any sort of chance against the Romans.

This is where our protagonist, Marcellus, comes into play. He is hidden away in the thick of the Roman army as a Spanish centurion. His thrilling adventures against his main nemesis, Anicius Pedius Gallus, only add to the story. Marcellus even falls in love with Eleyne, a British/Celtic princess. His tales do not end there, however, as Marcellus’s story is truly only just beginning. This story contains everything needed for a riveting adventure, but set in Ancient Rome so as to add a bit of historical education to the mix as well.

Historical fiction is so intriguing because it shows its readers that drama, mystery, and even other daily, relatable events can happen at any point in time, to anyone. People can get so caught up in their own lives and get the idea that history is simply in the past and irrelevant. However, books such as The Peacekeeper, as well as other historical fiction works, remind us that life hit people just as fast back during the days of the Roman Empire just as much as it hits us now. It connects us to a time that is thought of as long gone and insignificant. True readers, though, know that this is not true, of course. We are all human and all connected, no matter where in the world or what time period you live in.

Ketih Rommel Opens Up on His Thanatology

I had a chance to talk with the author of the “Thanatology” series and learned some interesting background about his books. The series came about because of Keith’s fixation with death. I would venture to say that most of us have questions about death we would like answered as well as fear. Many of us might even try to forget about our inevitable fate and refuse to acknowledge it as often as possible. For someone like Keith, who has experienced multiple brushes with death, the ideas of death and dying have become enigmas. He regards his feelings as an ebb and flow of curiosity spattered by fear. On occasion, he asks the question “how bad could it be” not in a suicidal way, but seeking more knowledge. Because it is impossible to know for sure what death is like, he imagines it instead. His novels create a window into what the other side of life could be. Much of the “Thanatology” is surprisingly based on real events and people. The main character in “The Lurking Man,” Cailean, is based on his own alcoholic grandparents and the theme of an abused child mimics his mother’s unfortunate life growing up.

Each of his books is a challenging read, but Keith knows his audience isn’t a bunch of dummies. Readers will figure it out if they pay attention, though these are not the sort of books one can daydream through. You have to stand on your toes or you’ll wind up confused. Keith describes it as “thinking man’s fiction.” The purpose of each book is for readers to stop and reflect on their own lives so that they ultimately lead better lives than the characters.

Finally, the beauty of the series is that the first three books can be read in any order. This allows for flexibility for potential readers to choose which book sounds most intriguing to them so that they can become better immersed in the fictional world. The fourth book in the “Thanatology” pulls pieces from the first three, so it is easier to understand if those ones are read first.

Check out Keith’s books at:


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A Modern Hester Prynne for ‘The Year of the Woman’


Rachel Sims, an indomitable spirit in an intolerant religious community, is rumored to have left her husband for a man driving an expensive car from another state. Like Hester Prynne in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, she becomes the symbol of sin and adultery. Years later, another young woman becomes convinced that the true story of what happened to Rachel Sims is trapped in her own early life memories.

Book overview:

Rachel Sims, a young Midwestern farm wife, disappears in 1952 under mysterious circumstances while apparently on her way to a clandestine meeting with a man who is not her husband. Some people in a nearby small town claim they saw her leaving the area “with a well-dressed gentleman driving a car with Iowa license plates.” Others assign various nefarious motives to her disappearance. Only Charlie Flanigan, a cemetery caretaker known to the locals as “Crazy Charlie,” refuses to accept the ugly gossip about Rachel Sims. He insists he still sees her walking the riverbanks on Hodges Island on dark spring evenings when the lilacs are in bloom. After the death of her mother twenty-two years later, Laura Fielding, a graduate student with a bonding disorder and a history of broken relationships, discovers that her family may have been living under stolen identities. She also has vague memories and dreams that are unconnected to anything she remembers from her early childhood experiences. With the help of psychiatrist Ned Finley, an eccentric researcher who studies human memories, she attempts to solve the mystery of her lineage by bringing her early life memories to the surface through regressive hypnosis. They are assisted by Finley’s friend Aurther Schlepler, a retired psychic who once helped police departments solve difficult homicide cases, but who has taken up permanent residence in the Farmington State Mental Hospital. Laura eventually visits Point Tyson, where she learns that her mysterious past may be connected to the disappearance of the young farm wife, who reportedly left the area with a wealthy man. Although the townspeople believe Rachel Sims was an immoral woman who abandoned her husband for a better life, Laura suspects the real reasons for the young farm wife’s disappearance might be found in her own early life memories.

Book review:

"Excellent story line which was gripping from start to finish. Great Characters. I would highly recommend this book"

~ Net Gallery

About the author:

Dennis M. Clausen was born and raised in a Minnesota small town near the South Dakota border. His early years on the prairie provided the inspiration for his novels and other literary works that chronicle the struggles of these small towns to survive in modern America. In addition to writing and publishing since the early 1980s, he has been a professor of American literature and screenwriting at the University of San Diego for forty-six years. Currently, he is working with Sunbury Press on several literary projects. The Search for Judd McCarthy and The Sins of Rachel Sims, novels that feature the fictional character Ned Finley’s research into early-life and other human memories, are scheduled for publication in early summer of 2018. The Accountant’s Apprentice, a novel set in San Diego at a time when the homeless population was increasing dramatically, is scheduled for publication in October of 2018. My Christmas Attic, the story of a young boy struggling with dyslexia and the loss of his father in the Korean War, will be published in late November of 2018.

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Dennis Clausen

by Dennis Clausen


Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .7


222 Pages

FICTION / Literary

FICTION / Psychological

FICTION / Small Town & Rural


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Coast to Coast Newspaper talks of “R.E.M.F. – Vietnam’s Other GIs”

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Coast to Coast Newspaper publishes a compelling review of R.E.M.F. - Vietnam's Other GIs, written by John VanDevanter Carter.

Roberta Deen, from Coast to Coast Newspaper, recently published her review of John VanDevanter Carter's book, R.E.M.F. - Vietnam's Other GIs. This is a nonfiction, historical novel about the Vietnam war.

She names R.E.M.F. - Vietnam's Other GIs as a "page-turner" after finishing the book herself.

Be sure to check out her review-

CC Newspaper - Review

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The American West Portrayed in Atonement

An American era that has continually existed as a time full of mystery and intrigue is the time period following the Civil War, particularly in the Western frontier. During this time, many Americans did not appreciate large industries taking over the eastern part of the country. As a result, many sought after the land west of the Mississippi River for expansive areas to mine, farm, and ranch. However, as well as being prosperous, the West also became a rather dangerous place. The nineteenth-century American West carries a reputation for being corrupt and violent. This premise is the set-up for Kyle Alexander Romine’s latest release, Atonement.

            In this thrilling historical fiction novel, the protagonist, Christian, is a loner who wanders into the small town of Caster, Wyoming and discovers that it has been overtaken by a dangerous gang. The community can do nothing except live under the disastrous conditions. Christian initially wants to simply get some supplies and then be on his way; however, he cannot help but get pulled into the conflicts of this town. Christian also has a mysterious past that he seems keen on running away from, but that cannot be avoided forever. Staying and fighting off these outlaws will force him to confront the problems he has been trying hard to repress.

This novel is not only a historical fiction tale from the American West, but it is also a captivating thriller as well. This time period is extremely useful for writing a suspenseful horror story. Especially in the years following the Civil War, America was a disheveled nation. Trying to rebuild the country after it had been torn to shreds by its own people is not an easy thing to bounce back from. It is no wonder why the years during Reconstruction were difficult and many struggled during this time. Atonement plays off of this period in history to weave together a compelling story about the chaos and disorder of the West. Kyle Alexander Romines takes this historical period to the next level by using his thorough character descriptions and thrilling story to paint a picture of the American West like it has never been seen before.

Hawley thinks he has proven Dr. Tumblety was Jack the Ripper

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Jack the Ripper, the (unfortunately) famous serial killer of the Whitechapel area, gets a new name in Michael Hawley's evidence-packed book, Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety.

Book overview:

Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety highlights the most recent groundbreaking discoveries concerning one of Scotland Yard’s top Jack the Ripper suspects in the 1888 Whitechapel Murders Investigation, Dr. Francis Tumblety. Among the discoveries is over 700 pages of never-seen-before sworn testimonies revealing not only a picture of an antisocial narcissist with a single-minded lifelong drive for exploitation but also damning evidence that he may indeed have been the Whitechapel fiend.

Book review:

"...Michael Hawley has outdone himself...this is not just a reprinting of his last book with an extra chapter this is a whole new book with a virtual mountain of newly discovered material (including the discovery of over 700 pages of testimony regarding Dr. Tumblety after his death!!). It paints a much clearer picture of the mind of this unusual but fascinating "man."

Michael gives us an almost complete account of the whereabouts of Tumblety during and after the autumn of terror and paints a compelling argument that it is possible that Dr. Tumblety and Jack the Ripper may be one in the same.


It can be difficult to read about such an un-likeable figure, but Hawley keeps the reader fascinated by not only the style in which he writes (academic yet enthralling) but by the sheer amount of information, so much of it new to even the staunchest ‘Ripperologist’ or true crime enthusiast. This will be a book researchers will keep at their side for years to come....a perfect example of allowing the FACTS and EVIDENCE to tell the story..not the writers personal views...hats off to Michael for that.

This may be the best ‘Ripper’ book in a decade...and that is saying a lot considering the amazing work done by such fantastic writers and historians like A.J Griffith and Tom Wescott..5 stars doesn't seem like enough."

~ Brian Young, five star review on Amazon


About the author:

Michael Hawley has published over a dozen research articles in journals dedicated to the Whitechapel murders/Jack the Ripper mystery, namely Ripperologist, Whitechapel Society Journal, Casebook Examiner, and The Dagger, and published online articles for numerous websites. He was awarded Article of the Year for 2016 for the most popular Jack the Ripper website, which is based out of London, England. He was honored to lecture at the Jack the Ripper Conference (RipperCon) in Baltimore, Maryland, in April 2016, and the Jack the Ripper Conference in Liverpool, England, in September 2017. Hawley is the author of The Ripper’s Haunts (Nonfiction, 2016) with the top book reviewer and author, Paul Begg, stating, “Hawley’s Magnum Opus” is “head and shoulders above the new Ripper offerings in 2016,” and “for that matter, 2015.” He was honored to be interviewed in two separate podcasts for Rippercast. He is also the author of The Watchmaker Revelations, a mystery/thriller fiction trilogy: The Ripper’s Hellbroth, Jack’s Lantern, and Curse of the Bayou Beast. He is also the author of Searching for Truth with a Broken Flashlight (Nonfiction, 2010), which was awarded June 2011 Book of the Month for the mega-website,, and was the subject of an article in the Buffalo Spree, June 2011. Hawley holds a Master’s degree in science (invertebrate paleontology) and secondary science education at State University of New York, College of Buffalo, and a Bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics at Michigan State University. He was a commander and naval aviator in the U.S. Navy (retired), and is currently enjoying a career as a secondary earth science and chemistry teacher. He resides with his wife and six children in Greater Buffalo, New York.


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by Michael Hawley


Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x 1


296 pages

TRUE CRIME / Murder / Serial Killers

HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Victorian Era

HISTORY / United States / 19th Century


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Journey to the Gotham Graves

What better time to visit New York City’s historical side than this July? The perfect tour to pay your respects to three notable figures from the Big Apple fits in perfectly with the anniversaries of their deaths. You’ll want to bring a copy of “Gotham Graves: Famous Graves Found Around New York City” with you for reference. At each stop, you’ll be about to enjoy the stories of three incredible men. Start on July 11 in Westchester County, where the first stop is George Gershwin, resting in Westchester Hills Cemetery.

Next, on July 12, honor and remember founding father, Alexander Hamilton at his resting place in Trinity Church Cemetery. A few blocks away is Hamilton Grange National Memorial where he used to reside. The war hero commissioned an architect to build the home on his 32 acre estate. Unfortunately, the mansion was completed only two years before Hamilton’s passing, so he was not able to enjoy it for long.

The final stop, on July 13, is the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Though a Tennessee native, Grantland Rice left his mark on New York City as a sportswriter and poet. Sixty-four years after his death, it is time to reminisce on this beloved, upstanding citizen. He is buried beside his wife, Katherine.

The collection of biographies gathered by Joe Farley and Joe Farrell is available in two volumes. Each story is informative and entertaining. These two books are the perfect “travel guides” for New York City. So take off on a trip to NYC and spend some time for an inside look at famous lives. This is a journey that you won’t soon forget.

Doc investigates late WWII vet’s deathbed confessions

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Check out Deseret News coverage of  Dr. Scott Zuckerman's work:

Deseret News

"Dreams of my Comrades is, blessedly, not just another misty-eyed WWII war story valorizing the flawless heroism of a soldier. Nor is it a cynical exposé of the horrors of war. It is, instead, a compelling humanist encounter between generations — the telling of the same story by one who was there and one who was not."

~ Brandi Chase

Book overview:

The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs

When a ninety-five-year-old World War II veteran from Utah agrees to reveal the untold details of his wartime experiences to a pediatrician from Brooklyn, an intense bond is formed between the two men, each of whom is taken on an unexpected journey in search of the truth.

Dreams of My Comrades chronicles the life of Murray Jacobs, a former Navy Seabee, who served in the Pacific Theater and was treated for PTSD until his death at the age of ninety-eight. He agreed to a series of interviews, under the strict conditions that his real name could not be used, and the details of the conversations could not be disclosed to anyone until after he was dead.


Murray’s story is not one of heroism, nor does he portray himself as heroic in his narrative. In the course of his dialogue with the author, Murray confesses to wartime atrocities the likes of which have never before been heard. Despite his advanced age, his recollections are entirely lucid, and he describes the events of his life in vivid detail. As the conversations progress, however, the author comes to recognize the challenges involved in trying to depict history based on the account of a single elderly man. Discrepancies lead to doubts, doubts lead to disbelief, disbelief leads to investigation, and after exhausting all possible avenues of research, unanswered questions linger and tantalize. This is a unique story, one that will not only appeal to connoisseurs of history but to anyone interested in the psychology of the human condition. It is unlike any narrative ever told about a veteran of the Second World War.

Book review:

"Outstanding book. Not just for people who enjoy biographies or stories about World War II...

This book is an excellent book for people who are interested in the stories of our World War II veterans that are slowly being lost to time, but it turns out that the book is so much more than the simple telling of one man's story of his service to our country. The book evolves into a complex journey of two men, the author and the subject, challenging the concepts of truth. In one man's story, it turns out there are many people's story, including the author. It is told in a warm, engaging manner that respects the subject matter, yet challenges it at the same time. The author takes on his own personal journey, sometimes funny and sometimes painful, of this intriguing and ever-evolving subject."

        ~ Michael Lucas, 5-star review on Amazon

About the author:

Dr. Scott Zuckerman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan. His high school English teacher, Frank McCourt—who would later win a Pulitzer Prize for his memoir, Angela’s Ashes—inscribed in his yearbook, “You have displayed the writer’s gift. Cultivate it.” Forty years later, after a successful career as a physician, Zuckerman has heeded McCourt’s advice. Dreams of My Comrades was awarded first place in the nonfiction category of the 2015 Utah Original Writing Competition.


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by Scott Zuckerman, MD


Trade paperback - 6 x 9 x .7


296 Pages

PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

HISTORY / Military / World War II



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A dark, heart-pounding glimpse into the possible future of genetic engineering


After learning about Dystopian literature's newest addition, re-immerse yourself in the world of the Titan Strain and learn where to get your copy, today.

In a post-World War III London, humans have developed black-market genetic modification that allows them to take on animalistic strength and speed.

“Genetic engineering is part of our everyday life and has been since humans first began to raise crops and domesticated animals. I think it’s in our nature to want to perfect the world around us, including our own genetic structure. It helps us do incredible things, cure countless diseases. Every day scientists are learning more and more about how to manipulate the genetic structure of humankind. In the true spirit of science-fiction, I wanted to explore what might happen if this desire to change the human genetic code went very, very wrong.”

~ Virginia Soenksen, author

Book overview:

The city of London is beginning to rebuild from the ashes of the Third World War. Ruled by the fascist Libertas Party, the city is a desolate landscape of crime, corruption, and illegal genetic modification that turn humans into animalistic mods. Ineffectually policed, mods blend into normal society by day and rule the ruins beyond the city limits at night. People frequently go missing in this world, and those who want to survive must close their eyes to the crimes committed on their streets.


Within the city lives Liane, a girl trained since childhood to be an unfeeling, unthinking killing machine known as an Agent. Beautiful and deadly, Liane exists in a world of constant surveillance and brutality, living only to carry out the orders of the all-powerful Agency. This secret government organization enforces the laws of Libertas, killing anyone who threatens the tenuous peace within the country. Liane’s only human contact comes in the form of her Handler, Damian, who demands perfect obedience from her and desires for them to be far more than Agent and Handler. Chafing under the rules of the Agency, Liane secretly longs for a normal life and steals away to the ruins to spend time with the mods.


But when mods begin to turn up murdered and mutilated around the city, Liane finds herself wanting to help protect the people who have been her only friends. Working alongside Seth, a young police officer on the Genetic Modification Task Force, Liane defies her Handler in an effort to find the killers. Together, Liane and Seth weave their way through the dark world of cyberpunk London, following whispers of the next genetic advancement known as the Titan Strain.

Book review:

"I was able to preview an advanced copy of this book. AMAZING BOOK! Not my normal genre, but I was extremely engrossed and invested in the outcome. Lianne and Seth are my favorite characters and I could not make myself stop reading, I had to know more! This book did not disappoint, and I eagerly/anxiously await the sequel!!"

~ Sydney, five-star rating

About the author:

Virginia Soenksen is an art historian, and also writes about Japanese textiles. Having lived and worked all over the world, she now resides in the Shenandoah Valley where she is an associate director of a museum. This is her first novel.

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by Virginia Soeknsen


Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .5


194 Pages

FICTION / Science Fiction / Genetic Engineering

FICTION / Science Fiction / Cyberpunk

FICTION / Dystopian



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Sunbury Press Releases “German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, California,” by Jeffrey E. Geiger

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Sunbury Press is proud to announce the release of German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, California. It comes on the 75th anniversary of the first large wave of German POWs to arrive in America in 1943.

About the Book: Hitler’s soldier’s came to America not as goose-stepping conquering heroes, but as prisoners of war. By the time World War II ended in 1945, more than six hundred POW camps had sprung up across America holding a total of 371,683 German POWs. One of these camps was established at the U.S. Army’s training installation Camp Cooke on June 16, 1944.

The POW base camp at Cooke operated sixteen branch camps in six of California’s fifty-eight counties and is today the site of Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. Compared to other prisoner of war camps in California, Camp Cooke generally held the largest number of German POWs and operated the most branch camps in the state.

A large number of the prisoners were from Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps, as well as from other military formations. Under the terms of the Geneva Convention, the prisoners received comfortable quarters and excellent care. They filled massive wartime labor shortages inside the main Army post at Cooke and in the private sector, mostly performing agricultural work for which they were paid. On weekends and evenings, they enjoyed many recreational entertainment and educational opportunities available to them in the camp. For many POWs, the American experience helped reshape their worldview and gave them a profound appreciation of American democracy.

This book is the compelling story of fourteen German soldiers who were captured during the campaigns in North Africa and Europe, and then waited out the remainder of the war as POWs in California. It is a firsthand account of life as a POW at Camp Cooke and the lasting impression it had on the prisoners.

Book review:

"This is one of the best books that you will ever read about the German POW experience in America.I purchased my copy at the author's book discussion. Mr. Geiger gives his interviews full reign to discuss their experiences as soldiers in the Third Reich and their recollections as prisoners of war, while gently asking probing questions that elicit fascinating morsels of information. For instance, the terrible food supply in the German army, Nazi propaganda that claimed the Luftwaffe had bombed America; and hardcore Nazis intimidating fellow prisoners. Then there are instances of humanity between "enemies" such as when prisoners returned the rifles to the guard who has forgotten them while watching the POWs harvest crops; and the guards who handed his rifle to one of the prisoners when he had to relieve himself behind a bush. These are just a few of the anecdotes that make this book so fascinating. As I read each man's account, I began to feel as if I knew him personally. The excellent collection of illustrations adds to the feeling of being in the camp. The last chapter of this book should be read and studied by anyone who thinks that war is fun. These old warriors, who experienced the tragedies of war, share their views on how senseless it all was. This book review is for the expanded second edition of the book, published in 2018."

~ Joan Pirtle, five star Amazon review

Softcover 6 x 9

280 pages with more than 50 vintage photos

ISBN: 9781620067505 (softcover). Suggested retail price $19.95

ISBN: 978-1-62006-751-2 (eBook)


About the Author

Jeffrey E. Geiger is a retired professional historian. He is the author of Camp Cooke and Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1941-1966, and has published articles in magazines and newspapers.


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Toll-Free Phone: (855) 338-8359


The book is also available from all booksellers as well as autographed copies directly from the author at: