The Nook is dead

Long-time readers of this newsletter know we’ve been concerned about the viability of Barnes and Noble as other big box retailers meet their demise and Amazon gobbles up their customers.
Barnes has also struggled with their executive leadership and appear (to us) to be mostly disorganized and rudderless. While we greatly value them as a means to get to our customers — they are the largest brick and mortar book retailer after all — we have realized we need to part ways in a couple of key ways:
1) We had taken advantage of Barnes & Nobles direct distribution model which permitted them to print books for us for their online customers and, in theory, provide a direct means to print and distribute to their stores. You might recall some of the early problems with them rejecting our content for being labeled “Made in the USA” and for them clamping down too hard on intellectual property — in effect locking up dozens of our titles for no valid reason. After these issues were resolved, we gave them another chance, but three times now they have held book signings with our authors who had books in their direct supply chain. Three times they called us directly to place an order. In other words, their store managers have no idea they had a print and distribution option internally and that the books they were calling about were set up. “Oh, that’s corporate” or “Oh, that’s the e-Commerce department” were typical excuses. Realizing this was not likely to be corrected any time soon, we moved all of this business over to Ingram. While we pay more per book, at least we know the stores are looking here for them. Ingram was more than happy to oblige and set up a slick automated way to move them over. We are now working on this. You should know the metadata about your books at B&N is only about 20% of what is available at Ingram. And here is what else we learned — corporate was only giving a 35% discount to their stores! Ingram gives them a better deal — no wonder they were ignoring it!
2) Sales on the NOOK platform have been sliding for many months. During December we sold only one NOOK eBook despite having many dozens listed on the platform. This was the end of the rope for us. Being on the NOOK platform prevented us from getting full access to Amazon Kindle promotions and opportunities. While I firmly believe this is monopoly-like behavior on Amazon’s part and should be looked at by the FTC, we are now able to switch on all of our eBooks on Amazon without limitations. What does this mean? We can now run promotions and giveaways for you on Amazon. We also will receive funds for Kindle Unlimited. Bear in mind, they are paying (gross) about four tenths of a cent per page. This means we are receiving about $1 for a 250 page book — the typical size of most books. In other words, Amazon, by default, is paying us like every book is on sale for 99 cents. Again — another monopoly-like example that needs to be looked at. But we were not fully participating in this in the past. When we did, we just lumped the pennies on to your ebook sales rather than listing it separately. Now, we will be listing it separately on royalty reports so you can see the impact. We think you will see a modest increase in the coming months.
How will that look on your royalty reports? We will be reporting to you in 1000 page units. So if you “sold” 1542 pages, your quantity would be 1.542. The price is then normalized to 1000 page units. So the price of .00446 per page will be expressed as $4.46 per 1000 page units. This is closer to the typical full price paid for an ebook.
Joe Regenbogen’s  “The Boys of Brookdale” reigns as the Sunbury Press bestseller for September

Joe Regenbogen’s “The Boys of Brookdale” reigns as the Sunbury Press bestseller for September

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for September 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 34 The Boys of Brookdale Joe Regenbogen Biography
2 NEW Jonathan’s Rainbow E J Benner Medical Memoir
3 NEW Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History Diane McCormick History
4 1 Dead Center Jason Altmire Politics
5 NEW A Super Steelers Journey Merrill Shaffer Football
6 19 The Marines’ Lost Squadron: The Odyssey of VMF-422 Mark Carlson Aviation History
7 2 Gettysburg Eddie Lawrence Knorr Baseball
8 3 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
9 Embattled Freedom James Remsen History
10 5 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
11 12 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
12 7 The Most Hated Man in America: Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgment Mark Pendergrast Legal History
13 16 Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam Doug Beed Military Memoir
14 4 Fifty Years in a Foxhole Charles Kniffen Military Memoir
15 Letters in a Shoebox James Dohren History
16 32 Chicken Bone Beach Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks History
17 14 The Descendants of Johann Peter Klinger and Catharina Steinbruch Max Klinger Genealogy
18 Keystone Tombstones Gettysburg Farrell, Farley, & Knorr Biography
19 Lost in the Shadow of Fame William Lemansky Biography
20 Keystone Tombstones Civil War Farrell, Farley, & Knorr Biography
21 NEW Captain Hooter’s Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops Captain Hooter Travel
22 31 Dreams of My Comrades: The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs Scott Zuckerman Military Memoir
23 6 A Short Season Jake Gronsky & David Bohner Sports Memoir
24 22 Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania George Donehoo History
25 Murders, Massacres, and Mayhem in the Mid-Atlantic Farrell, Farley, & Knorr Biography
26 Dear Ma John Hoptak History
27 German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke Jeffrey Geiger History
28 24 Prince and the Paupers Guy Graybill Biography
29 Digging Dusky Diamonds John Lindermuth History
30 Geology of the Mahanoy, Mahantongo, and Lykens Valleys Steve Troutman Natural History
31 17 Prohibition’s Prince Guy Graybill Biography
32 The Descendants of Hans Peter Knorr Lawrence Knorr Genealogy
33 Look, I Shrunk Grandma Karen Severson Psychology
34 Tulpehocken Trail Traces Steve Troutman History
35 Fireproof Moth Milo Thornberry History
36 Hairy Men in Caves Marlin Bressi History
37 Pit Bulls Anthony Julian History
38 33 Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety Michael Hawley True Crime
39 Touring America by Automobile in the 1920s William Cook History
40 39 The Hidden Legacy of World War II Carol Vento Biography

The Effect of the Supernatural in Joanie K. Findle’s Latest Release

Have you ever thought about what lurks behind closed doors, under your bed, or in the creepy attic? Every child has panicked about what could be hiding in these dark corners because the supernatural poses a threat that is so frightening because it is so unknown. In her latest release, Joanie K. Findle further explores these classic frights in her book of short, supernatural stories, Out of This World.

Geared toward a younger audience, stories about the mysterious walls of an ancient house, disappearing scarecrows in a field, and the strange old man next door (among many others) provide young readers with a mysterious and spooky reading experience without being too horrific. The stories are completely original and do their job to be sufficiently creepy.

The supernatural continues to be a topic in literature, especially current young adult literature, that is popping up everywhere. Whether it’s supernatural mysteries, horror stories, or even romance, this is constantly a genre that is proving itself to being increasingly popular with readers. One reason for this could be the fact that it is so foreign. Supernatural characteristics of a story are so completely out of the ordinary that this is what makes them fascinating to read and be immersed in.

As well as this, because supernatural is fantastical in its nature, there are endless possibilities that can be written about supernatural characters or situations. There is no limit to the fantasy that can occur in a book with this genre, unlike the general limits of a realistic fiction novel. Whether or not the supernatural exists in some capacity within the real world or not, anything goes in the world of fantasy.

Joanie K Findle explores this and more in Out of This World, the second book of short supernatural stories in her Nothing is as it Seemsseries. Young readers everywhere will be thoroughly pleased – and creeped out – by the books’ end.

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:


or find them on Amazon!

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.

To purchase:

Sunbury Press Store


Barnes & Noble


Check out the author's website for more exclusive information:

Dennis Clausen

by Dennis Clausen


Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .7


222 Pages

FICTION / Literary

FICTION / Psychological

FICTION / Small Town & Rural


For publicity information, contact:

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.

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.

The Titan Strain: Dystopian literature’s newest addition

Why has the dystopian genre for young adults seem to have blown up in recent years? While this genre has been around for decades, it certainly seems to have blown up and taken the world by storm throughout the past ten years or so. It seems as if there are new additions to this genre rising up every single day. But what is it about this genre that has its readers fascinated and entangled in these foreign worlds? Maybe it’s because the world these novels paint aren’t so foreign after all.

In many dystopian novels, they showcase the protagonist fighting against a corrupt government or other societal power. Skipping over all the details that vary from book to book, this is general overview of dystopian literature. Any society anywhere in the world at any point in time can relate to corruption and disagreements with general authoritarian power. Despite dystopian literature being sometimes fantastical in nature, the basics are always something that readers can have a relation with.

The Titan Strain by Virginia Soenksen is a prime example of the Science Fiction/Dystopian literature that has taken over the young adult genre. The book’s the protagonist, Liane, is a young woman who has been trained by the government to be a genetically trained assassin. She is the perfect secret agent to help carry out the oppressive laws created by the government. However, when she saves the life of and forms an unexpected friendship with a police officer, Seth, they join forces to investigate the dark, underground organizations in their society. The closer they get to uncovering the dark truth about their world, they increasingly become closer to incredible danger.

Perhaps the most prevalent characteristic of dystopian young adult literature is the pervasive concept of young people rising up against authoritarian evil. This is so uplifting and brings hope to many of its readers, who are young people themselves. This type of literature gives its readers strong examples of what people can really do when they are up against problematic forces of control.

Another tremendous aspect of this novel is that the protagonist happens to be a female, which is so uplifting for young female readers. Girls and the heroic roles they play in many dystopian novels are so important because they teach young women that they can change the world too. Strong female protagonists such as Katniss in The Hunger Games series, Tris in the Divergent series, and now Liane in The Titan Strain (part one in the Genetics Chronicles series) are all examples of young women who take power into their own hands and strive for more out of their lives. Dystopian literature is so popular and so important in the young adult genre because it promotes the youth of society standing up for what they believe in and knowing that the power to make positive changes in the world is in their hands.

Virginia Soenksen’s first novel, The Titan Strain, is such an accomplishment and a beautiful accompaniment in the realm of dystopian young adult literature. Any fans of this genre will greatly appreciate this novel on their bookshelf as another addition to this intriguing and inspiring genre.

Jack the Ripper suspect discussed in Hawley’s latest release

Jack the Ripper has been an object of fascination for well over a century. The legacy of this premier serial killer has inspired many works of fiction, art, and media coverage. The murders he committed in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888 were unlike no other. While the exact number of murders are unknown, there were a series of five women (“the canonical five”) who are said to be linked, as their deaths have compelling similarities. These murders are characterized by deep throat and abdominal lacerations with their internal organs taken out, leading officials to believe that Jack the Ripper must have had some experience with anatomy and/or the practice of surgery.

As a result of this, many Jack the Ripper suspects are doctors. Going back to the canonical five, all the victims were attacked at night, around the end of a week, and also around the end of a month or the very beginning of the next month, which also links the murders together. Again, while they very well may have been other murders done by the Ripper, these five women are the most similar, making them the most widely-accepted and known victims. Whoever the identity of the Ripper was, it was clear he had a strong prejudice against women.

The real terror of the infamous Jack the Ripper is that he got away with every murder and his identity remains a mystery to this day. While there have been hundreds of suspects for who supposedly carried the true identity of the Ripper, none have ever been confirmed. An American doctor, Dr. Francis Tumblety is an extremely likely suspect for the Ripper, though he was not a true medical doctor; he was a fraud who claimed to have expertise in medicine and anatomy, selling his patients herbal-based medications and performing surgical techniques. Tumblety was quite the man of criminality in many aspects of his life, being arrested for pick-pocketing at one time and even thought to have been an accomplice in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

There are many suspicions that connect Tumblety to the Ripper murders. For one, he had a strong misogyny against women based off of a failed marriage to a prostitute. He was also traveling Europe and staying in a boarding house in the Whitechapel district during the time of the Ripper murders. Tumblety was arrested for an unrelated crime in November 1888 and this was the first time police officials considered him as a real suspect for the Ripper murders. However, Tumblety was able to escape to France and then back to the United States in avoidance of these accusations. Other evidence for Tumblety’s relation to the Whitechapel murders is extensive, intricate, and can be found in Mr. Michael Hawley’s book, Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety.

In his latest release, Jack the Ripper author and enthusiast, Michael Hawley, discusses one of the most prominent suspects for the identity of the heinous murderer. Hawley is considered a “ripperologist”, an informal term used to describe those who intensely study and analyze the Ripper murders and possibly identities. While the identity of the infamous Ripper may never be truly known, the prominent and pervasive legacy he left behind will never be forgotten, especially not by authors such as Michael Hawley who have dedicated an exuberant amount of time and research into spreading this historical awareness.