Joan West’s detective thriller “Dying for Vengeance” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for January

Joan West’s detective thriller “Dying for Vengeance” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for January

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. —  Sunbury Press has released the bestsellers list for January for its Milford House Press fiction imprint. Joan West’s Dying for Vengeance a detective thriller based in the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, area took the top spot. Joan also took 5th with Had a Dying Fall, 7th with Courting Doubt and Darkness, and 8th with Darkness at First Light. Marie Sontag’s historical young adult novel The Bronze Dagger was second. Jess Steven Hughes took the third spot with his historical novel set in Ancient Rome, The Sign of the Eagle. Mark Mitten took 6th and 9th with his two Western novels, Hard to Quit and Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave. Dennis Herrick took two spots with his two novels the historical Winter of the Metal People and the murder mystery  A Brother’s Cold Case.  The humorous Miss Feesenschneezen Is Ill by David Parmalee, a young adult novel about unusual substitute teachers, was 10th. J. Geoffrey Barber’s romantic Three Rogues at Gettysburg, a historical novel set after the battle, was 11th.  Wade Fowler’s The Compass Island Incident, a thriller that incorporates the JFK assassination, dropped from the top spot to 12th. Patchtown by Jolene (Busher) Fay and Blood Moon by S J Vermillion rounded out the top 15.

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for January 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 Dying for Vengeance Joan West Detective Thriller
2 2 The Bronze Dagger Marie Sontag Historical YA
3 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Steven Hughes Historical
4 11 Hard to Quit Mark Mitten Western
5 Had a Dying Fall Joan West Detective Thriller
6 8 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
7 Courting Doubt and Darkness Joan West Detective Thriller
8 Darkness at First Light Joan West Detective Thriller
9 6 Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave Mark Mitten Western
10 5 Miss Feezenschneezen Is Ill David Parmalee Humorous YA
11 10 Three Rogues in Gettysburg J Geoffrey Barber Historical
12 1 The Compass Island Incident Wade Fowler Detective Thriller
13 A Brother’s Cold Case Dennis Herrick Detective Thriller
14 Patchtown Jolene Fay Historical
15 Blood Moon S J Vermillion Detective Thriller

West’s four books were greatly helped by author events. Sontag’s books continue to sell well to secondary schools. Hughes’ books continue to sell well through bookstore events in the Pacific Northwest. Mitten’s books have been selling well online. Herrick continues to hold author events to maintain his sales. The others were helped by publisher publicity and/or Kindle sales.

“Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam” three-peats as Sunbury Press bestseller for May

“Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam” three-peats as Sunbury Press bestseller for May

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. —  Sunbury Press has released the bestsellers list for May. Doug Beed’s Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam: My Year as a Black Scarf took the top spot for the third month in a row. The Bronze Dagger by Marie Sontag was runner up.

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for May, 2017 (by Revenue)
Rank Last Month Title Author Category
1 1 Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam Doug Beed Military Memoir
2 The Bronze Dagger Marie Sontag YA Historical Fiction
3 3 Dead of Spring Sherry Knowlton Thriller Fiction
4 6 American Berserk Bill Morris Memoir
5 4 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
6 17 Embattled Freedom Jim Remsen History
7 From Blue Ground Joe Harvey Historical Fiction
8 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
9 27 Seinsoth Steven k Wagner Sports Biography
10 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical Fiction
11 In the Field Joanne Risso Children’s Fiction
12 My Mom Is an Alien Joanne Risso Children’s Fiction
13 Over the Sea Joanne Risso Children’s Fiction
14 2 Living in the Afterlife Michele Livingston Spirituality
15 Patchtown Jolene Busher Historical Fiction
16 24 The Wolf of Britannia Part I Jess Steven Hughes Historical Fiction
17 37 Jesus the Phoenician Karim El Koussa History
18 14 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical Fiction
19 23 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
20 28 Miss Feesenschneezen Is Ill David Parmalee Middle Grade Fiction
21 Indian Villages and Place Names in PA James Donehoo History
22 22 Planet Jesus #1: Flesh & Blood Doug & Shaun Brode Supernatural Fiction
23 Hatched Robert Barsky Literary Fiction
24 50 Lost in the Shadow of Fame William Lemanski History
25 Raising Monarchs Sue Fox McGovern Nature
26 15 Wonder Boy: The Story of Carl Scheib Lawrence Knorr Biography
27 20 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Steven Hughes Historical Fiction
28 Murder in Tuxedo Park William Lemanski Thriller Fiction
29 Adventures in Distant and Remote Places William Lemanski Travel Memoir
30 The Bookseller’s Secret Catherine Jordan Thriller Fiction
31 25 That Night at Surigao Ernie Marshall History
32 36 Tories, Terror, and Tea John L Moore History
33 26 Tigers by the River Wylie McLallen Sports History
34 34 Dead of Summer Sherry Knowlton Thriller Fiction
35 19 Prohibition’s Prince Guy Graybill Local History
36 Hidden Dangers Robert Stout Current Events
37 18 Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Thriller Fiction
38 The Segregated Georgia School for the Deaf Ron Knorr and Clemmie Whatley History
39 31 Keystone Corruption Continues Brad Bumsted History
40 32 Messages from Beyond Michele Livingston Spirituality
41 40 Bows, Bullets, and Bears John L Moore History
42 The Ripper’s Haunts Michael Hawley True Crime
43 Seeking Samiel Catherine Jordan Thriller Fiction
44 Prince and the Paupers Guy Graybill History
45 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical Fiction
46 Beagle Tales Bob Ford Pets / Humor
47 Rivers, Raiders, and Renegades John L Moore History
48 Cast Iron Signs of Pennsylvania Towns and Other Landmarks Clair Clawser History
49 General John Fulton Reynolds: His Biography, Words and Relations Lawrence Knorr, et al Biography
50 48 A Second Revolution C James Gilbert Historical Fiction

Doug Beed’s Vietnam memoir Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam, was #1 due to brisk sales, especially on the Kindle platform. It has been in the top four on Amazon in its category. Marie Sontag’s The Bonze Dagger took #2 due to a large sale to public schools in California. Sherry Knowlton’s Dead of Spring repeated at #3 thanks to strong bookstore sales following her promotional activities. American Berserk by Bill Morris grabbed #4 due to strong bookstore sales. Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last continues to sell steadily, coming it at #5.

The company released two new titles in May:

SUNBURY PRESS – New Releases for May, 2017
Had a Dying Fall J. M. West Thriller Fiction
Auto Travel in the 1920s William Cook History

"Keystone Tombstones" not resting in peace… Sunbury's bestellers for April

kt3_fcKeystone Tombstones Volume 3, Joe Farrell and Joe Farley’s biographical compilation of noteworthy people buried in Pennsylvania, ranked #1 due to author activities and advance sales. The Joes will be at the Sunbury Press store in Mechanicsburg this Saturday, May 10, from 2 to 6, as part of the annual Wine Walk event..

About Keystone Tombstones Volume 3:

Joe Farrell and Joe Farley explore the cemeteries (and pubs) of Pennsylvania in search of interesting graves and stories about the interred.

Included in this volume:

Nick ADAMS “Johnny Yuma Was a Rebel”
Marian ANDERSON “A Voice Heard Once in a Hundred Years”
“Babes in the Woods”
John BARRYMORE “The Great Profile”
Robert CASEY “The Three Time Loss from Holy Cross”
Jimmy DORSEY “A Fabulous Dorsey”
backcoverimageFLIGHT 93 Crash Site “40 Heroes”
“Four Founders”
“Fox and Cox”
Joe William FRAZIER “Smokin’ Joe”
Dave GARROWAY “The Communicator”
Harry GREB “The Human Windmill”
John Frederick HARTRANFT “Old Johnny”
Robert (Bob) HESS “More than Just a Scientist”
“The Kelayres Massacre”
John MCDERMOTT “Golf’s Unknown Champion”
Mary Pinchot MEYER “The Mysterious Case of Mary Pinchot Meyer”
Teddy PENDERGRASS “Life Is a Song Worth Singing”
Molly PITCHER “From Molly Pitcher to Black Hawk Down”
Art ROONEY “The Chief”
Lillian RUSSELL “The Great American Beauty”
Arlen SPECTER “The Single Bullet Theory Senator”
”Titanic Victims and Survivors”
Willie THROWER “Football’s Jackie Robinson”
“Pirates’ Pride”
John UPDIKE “One of America’s Best”
Grover WASHINGTON, Jr. “The Smooth Jazzman”
Anthony WAYNE “Mad Anthony”
Unusual Tombstones

tbd_fcMarie Sontag’s YA novel The Bronze Dagger jumped to #2, thanks to author activities and events in the San Jose, California area.

Joe Fair’s Vietnam memoir, Call Sign Dracula, slipped to #3.

Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last held at #4 thanks to strong sales across the globe.

Ricky Bruce’s middle grade novella, Stink Bomb, grabbed #5 thanks to author activities and events in the San Jose, California area.

Alan Mindell’s baseball love story, The Closer, slipped to #6.

Keith Rommel’s The Cursed Man, being made into a movie, continued to sell well in southern Florida, and took #7.

Jesus the Phoenician, the ground-breaking book about the origins of Jesus Christ by Karim El Koussa, returned to the rankings at #8 thanks to strong international sales.

Robin Donaruma’s visionary fiction YA novel The Undecided debuted at #9.

Jesus Runs Away, the Catholic school memoir by Joe Farrell, debuted at #10 thanks to author activity.

Following are the top overall print sellers by category:
History / Memoir – Keystone Tombstones 3 by the Joes
Fiction  – The Bronze Dagger by Marie Sontag
Horror/Mystery – The Cursed Man by Keith Rommel
Children/YA – The Bronze Dagger by Marie Sontag
The Arts – Contemporary Photo Impressionists by T K McCoy
Self-Help – What to Do about Mama? by Barbs Matthew & Blank
Metaphysical/Spiritual – Jesus the Phoenician by Karim El Koussa
Reference – Education Behind Bars by Christopher Zoukis

fmag_fcThe company released four new titles during the month of April:
Freemasons at Gettysburg by Sheldon Munn, The Undecided by Robin Donaruma, Nobody Dies in Kansas by April Knight and Keystone Tombstones Volume 3 by Joe Farrell and Joe Farley.

For a list of Sunbury’s all-time best-sellers, please see the Sunbury Press web site:

For a complete list of recent and upcoming releases, please see:

Ancient Elements series begins with "The Bronze Dagger" by Marie Sontag

tbd_fcSAN JOSE, Calif. — Sunbury Press has released Marie Sontag’s middle-grade historical novel The Bronze Dagger, the first volume in the Ancient Elements series.

About the Book:

Samsaluna, a physically handicapped boy on the verge of adolescence, leaves his broken and abusive home in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains in an attempt to find his uncle in the city of Susa, near ancient Babylon. Befriending a young baker’s son and an asu’s daughter, Sam soon finds himself on a journey to the lively city of Babylon. By becoming a healer’s apprentice, Sam not only learns a valued and respected skill—increasing his prospects and status—but also endears himself to the great asu, earning himself a second chance at being part of a family. But when Sam’s past won’t stay behind him and his well-intentioned lies come to light, he risks losing it all. Brokenhearted that he has brought about his own downfall and has been abandoned by his new friends, Sam is forced to come to terms with his deceptions. His newfound understanding of justice, according to the code set forth by the great ruler Hammurabi, and the unyielding compassion shown to him by the asu must come into play before Sam can defeat the demons of his past, right his wrongs, and establish himself as the worthy apprentice and son he always hoped to be. Surrounded by the changing times in ancient Mesopotamia, Sam learns to cope with the past and thrive in the present in this coming-of-age middle grade story.

About the Author:

map_mesopotamiaMarie Sontag holds a PhD in Education, an MA in Instructional Technology, and a BA in Social Science. Having taught adults, high school and middle school students for over 15 years, Dr. Sontag knows how to capture and hold her students’ and readers’ attention.

“Bringing the Past to Life” epitomizes the writing career of Dr. Dr. Sontag. Ancient Elements is her first fiction book series, starting with Book One, The Bronze Dagger. This middle grade fiction novel tells the story of 12-year-old Samsuluna (Sam), a young boy in Mesopotamia during the reign of Hammurabi in 1780 BC. The lies that Sam spins about the stolen jewels and the death of his father threaten to catch up with him. Will he ever learn how to trust his new friends, overcome his quest for revenge, or solve the mystery of the stolen jewels?

The Bronze Dagger is an especially good read for 6th graders who study Ancient Civilizations, including Ancient Mesopotamia. Dr. Sontag shares in classrooms and assemblies about The Bronze Dagger accompanied by her authenticated artifact, a 3,000 year-old dagger that came from Sam’s home area, the Zagros Mountains in present-day Iran. For more information, check her webpage at or
Dr. Sontag’s second historical fiction series, Warsaw’s Hope, will soon release Book One of that series,A Rising Hope, also published by Sunbury Press. This young adult novel tells the story of six teens who, through loss, find hope as they fight against the Germans when their Scout troops join forces with the Underground Army during the 1944 Warsaw Rising.

Although not an historical fiction novel, Dr. Sontag’s first book, When Love Is Not Perfect, still fits under the umbrella of her tagline, “Bringing the Past to Life”. When Love Is Not Perfect is a nonfiction book written to help those suffering from the wounds of abuse. Through narratives of interviews with abuse survivors, psychiatrists and psychologists, and research on abuse recovery, the book helps readers discover a reparenting process that can help them heal from the damaging effects of abuse as they gain an understanding of the the loving nature of God. Written from a survivor’s viewpoint, this book covers the emotional, social, and psychological aspects of recovery, as well as the spiritual dimension. Although now out of print, it is still available through For a short time, all 12 chapters will be available for free in audio form. Donations gladly accepted. To listen or download the audio files, register at Podiobooks. (free site at

What Others Are Saying:

Dr. Sontag captures the Ancient Mesopotamia culture in a captivating tale of a young boy’s survival. Armed with his lucky dagger, Sam sets out on an adventure where he encounters numerous challenges and foibles leading him to a lesson in forgiveness. A great read! — Dr. Donna Lewis, Educator: Assistant Superintendent

A terrific book for kids who like adventure, and for parents who’d love their kids to learn a bit about history. Well-written, a lively main character who struggles with his failures and searches for hope.Here is a hero who is flawed but resourceful, and who can lead readers on an adventure involving bad guys, jewels, new friends, and making choices. A real winner! — Karen Llewellyn., home-schooling mom

The book pulls you into history through well-written narrative. By the end of the tale you come away with not only an interest in the characters and storyline, but more knowledge about the time of the Babylonians. — Rick Crawford, former principal and author of Stink Bomb, and Ricky Robinson Braveheart

More information and teacher resources available at

The Bronze Dagger

Authored by Marie Sontag

List Price: $9.99
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
106 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063491
ISBN-10: 1620063492
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / Ancient Civilizations

Also available on Nook & Kindle.

For more information, please see:…