Bill Morris recalls some strange stories from the 1970s while a reporter in Chambersburg, PA

Chambersburg, PA — Sunbury Press has released American Berserk: A Cub Reporter, a Small-Town Daily, the Schizo ‘70s, Bill Morris’s compilation of odd-ball stories from his days as a reporter in Chamberburg.

About the Book:

After publishing his third novel, Motor City Burning (Pegasus Books, 2014), Bill Morris turned his attention to researching, remembering and reliving some of the spectacularly lurid stories he covered in Chambersburg nearly forty years ago.  These included arson, rape, murder, kidnapping, attempted suicide, the paranormal, prison breaks – all of it leavened by the more prosaic aspects of life in a picturesque small town in central Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley.  He has now collected his memories – along with explorations into the slippery nature of memory – in a non-fiction book he’s called American Berserk: A Cub Reporter, a Small-Town Daily, the Schizo ‘70s.

Praise for Bill Morris:

Motor City Burning

“Rich and thrilling.”  – Kirkus Reviews

“A crackling pace.”  – The New York Times

“Outstanding.”  – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

All Souls’ Day

“Bill Morris is an exceptionally gifted and savvy writer.  The comparison to Graham Greene is fully merited.” — Nelson DeMille

Motor City

“A wonderful job…a comprehensive portrait of American life in the ‘50s.” – Michico Kakutani, The New York Times

“A vivid and entertaining expedition.” – Loren D. Estleman, The Washington Post

“A hipper, sharper Ragtime.”  – Details

American Berserk
Authored by Bill Morris

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc. (March 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620068230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620068236
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/American-Berserk-9781620068236.htm

 

Attorney investigates death of woman who was uncovering sex trafficking

DoS_fcCARLISLE, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Dead of Summer, Sherry Knowlton’s second Alexa Williams novel. The first book, Dead of Autumn, was released last year.

In a tale of suspense that travels from Southcentral Pennsylvania to Africa to the iconic Woodstock Festival of 1969, Dead of Summerembroils Alexa Williams in the dangerous world of sex trafficking.

With help from friends, family, and her yoga practice, Alexa Williams is finally starting to recover from last autumn’s trauma of finding a dead body and the violence that ensued. The young attorney can’t believe that her summer has begun with the discovery of another body. This time, the dead woman was famous for her worldwide campaign against sex trafficking. The murder hits close to home: the late activist was a friend and mentor to Alexa’s best friend, Melissa.

While the town mourns, Alexa stumbles into a burglary at Melissa’s home, barely escaping serious harm. A client asks for help in convincing the police that her foster child is not a runaway, and Alexa learns that other local girls have gone missing. Drawn into the fight to save lost and exploited children, Alexa discovers a community of child activists. A local philanthropist wants Alexa to join his foster care empire. A sexy social worker and a hip college professor want a more personal connection with Alexa, but she is also drawn to the police detective leading the murder investigation.

Searching for answers, Alexa becomes entangled in a web of deception and danger that puts both her heart and her life at risk. By the time she discovers that the key to the present lies in the halcyon days of peace and music, it may be too late.

sherryABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sherry Knowlton is the author of the successful Alexa Williams suspense novels, DEAD of AUTUMNand DEAD of SUMMER. Sherry was born and raised in Chambersburg, PA (nee Sherry Rothenberger)where she developed a lifelong passion for books. She was that kid who would sneak a flashlight to bed at night so she could read beneath the covers. All the local librarians knew her by name.

Sherry spent much of her early career in state government, working primarily with social and human services programs, including services for abused children, rape crisis, domestic violence, and family planning. In the 1990s, she served as the Deputy Secretary for Medical Assistance in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The latter part of Sherry’s career has focused on the field of Medicaid managed care. Now retired from executive positions in the health insurance industry, Sherry runs her own health care consulting business.

Sherry has a B.A. in English and psychology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.

Sherry and her husband, Mike, began their journey together in the days of peace and music when they traversed the country in a hippie van. Running out of money several months into the trip, Sherry waitressed the night shift at a cowboy hangout in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Mike washed dishes in a bakery. Undeterred, they embraced the travel experience and continue to explore far-flung places around the globe. Sherry and Mike have one son, Josh, a craft brewer.

Sherry lives in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania, only a short distance from the Babes in the Woods memorial, which figures prominently in DEAD of AUTUMN.

EXCERPT:
Melissa abruptly stopped shouting and knocking. “Alexa, something is wrong. I’m going to check.”

Alexa let out a deep sigh and tilted her head to the left, then to the right, trying to dispel the tension building between her shoulder blades. Melissa was pushing her to the limit today. With reluctance, she gave in.

“We’ll both go. Does she have an alarm system?”

“I doubt it. Cecily rarely even locks the door.” Melissa reached for the doorknob, which turned easily in her hand, and the two women slipped into a mudroom area.

“Cecily?” Melissa called again in a hushed voice.

Alexa grabbed Melissa’s hand as they crept into the big kitchen. Following the scent of cinnamon, she noticed an uncovered plate of muffins next to the stove. The sight of a black pocketbook sitting undisturbed on the wide counter sent her pounding heart into overdrive.

“There’s a living room and an office through that door,” Melissa gestured, her steps slowing.

“Maybe we should go outside and call the police.”

“But what if Cecily has been hurt? Let’s at least check out the downstairs.” Melissa squared her shoulders and marched into the hall. Alexa scanned ahead and behind, on high alert, as she followed her friend.

“I’ll check in here. You look in there.” Melissa disappeared through the door on the right, and Alexa turned into the room that Melissa indicated on the left. Clearly, this was the office. She could make out the shape of an old roll-top desk in the near corner.

The stormy twilight that filtered through the tall casement windows steeped the room in shadows. This whole thing was creeping Alexa out. She ran her hand along the wall next to the entry, searching for a light switch. Finding none, she took a deep breath and strode toward the silhouette of a floor lamp on the far side of the room. She flipped the switch and sighed with relief as light flooded the office.

That relief vanished when Alexa took in the roll-top desk to her right. The desk was a mess. It looked like someone had pulled papers out of the little cubbies in the back of the desk and dumped them in the center. The big drawers all stood open, and more paper littered the floor beside the desk. The computer monitor hung by a cord, facedown, perched over some files. When Alexa took a step toward the desk, the monitor shifted, hitting the table with a thump. Startled, she backed away.

A coppery smell, like new pennies baking in the sun, hung in the still air. In the silence, Alexa noticed a faint buzzing noise coming from outside the house. Beyond the reflection of lamplight, she could see hundreds of flies crawling over the wavy glass panes of the antique windows.

With dread, Alexa turned left to survey the rest of the room. She moaned and swayed when she spied a pool of blood on the floor at her feet. “Not again. This can’t be happening again,” she protested under her breath.

As she looked in revulsion at the blood, a thin crescent of red inched toward her like a scarlet claw. She jerked her foot away in horror before she realized that it was a lone, blood-drenched fly, staggering out of the crimson pool in a drunken stupor.

Dead of Summer
Authored by Sherry Knowlton
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
276 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065938
ISBN-10: 1620065932
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths

Also available on Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Dead-of-Summer-978162006…

Susquehanna Valley volume of Keystone Tombstones now available

kstssv_fcHARRISBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Keystone Tombstones Susquehanna Valley by Joe Farrell and Joe Farley.

About the Book:
Biographies of famous people buried in the Susquehanna Valley are the focus of this localized edition of the Keystone Tombstones. Farrell and Farley have combed Central Pennsylvania to bring you the most entertaining tales about interesting people buried in Pennsylvania. Included in this volume:

Adams County

  • John Burns
  • Gettysburg National Cemetery
  • Amos Humiston
  • Eddie Plank
  • Ginnie Wade

Berks County

  • Joe Toye
  • John Updike

Cumberland County

  • Babes in the Woods
  • Lincoln Colored Cemetery
  • Molly Pitcher

Centre County

  • Andrew Gregg Curtin
  • Joe Paterno

Dauphin County

  • Simon Cameron
  • John White Geary
  • Milton Hershey
  • Vance Criswell McCormick

Franklin County

  • Nellie Fox

Lancaster County

  • James Buchanan
  • Robert Hess
  • Thomas Mifflin
  • John Fulton Reynolds
  • Thaddeus Stevens
  • General John Sutter
  • Dick Winters
  • Zion Hill Cemetery

Lycoming County

  • Carl Stotz

Perry County

  • Billie Cox

Union County

  • Christy Mathewson

York County

  • William Franklin
  • Philip Livingston

Keystone Tombstones Susquehanna Valley: Biographies of Famous People Buried in Pennsylvania
Authored by Joe Farrell, Authored by Joe Farley, Authored by Lawrence Knorr
List Price: $16.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
202 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065556
ISBN-10: 162006555X
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Rich & Famous

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Keystone-Tombstones-Susq…

Cumberland Valley attorney stumbles upon a murder with eerie ties to the past

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Sherry Knowlton’s first novel  Dead of Autumn, a murder mystery set in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania.

DOA-FCAbout the Book:
Alexa Williams is a successful lawyer, volunteers weekly at a women’s clinic, and has a sexy weekend boyfriend—not to mention an endearing best friend in her giant English mastiff, Scout. But one autumn day, when Scout takes off into the Pennsylvania woods, Alexa discovers a nightmare she’d never imagined. From that fateful day, Alexa becomes entangled in a murder mystery—one that she tries to unravel by linking it to experiences and symbols in her own life.

Dewilla Noakes, a child of the Depression, has recently lost her mother. Her father, packs up the girls—and their attractive cousin, Winnie—and hits the road to look for a job on the east coast. Along the way, money becomes tighter, food becomes scarcer, and relationships become strained. Dewilla’s father fears he’s failing his daughters. Running out of options, he begins to consider the unthinkable to end the misery he’s brought upon his family …

Horrific scene of the "Babes in the Woods" referred to in "Dead of Autumn."

Horrific scene of the “Babes in the Woods” referred to in “Dead of Autumn.”

Alexa soon finds herself amidst violence aimed at the clinic where she volunteers, brought on by pro-life extremists. In a bizarre turn of events, she’s almost raped, ambushed by religious zealots who wish to convert her, then taken by surprise as another romance enters her life. Plus, she seems to be seeing quite a lot of the local law enforcement these days.

No matter what else happens in her life, Alexa can’t shake feeling some sort of connection to the mysterious murder victim. She thinks back to the stories she heard as a child, about the Babes in the Woods, who were murdered close to where the victim’s body was found, wondering if that might be why she draws the connection. But when the murderer strikes again, Alexa must rely on her knowledge of local history and terrain in order to save her own life.

DEAD of AUTUMN ties together the struggles faced by females, young and old, past and present, and the degrees of power they embrace to combat their situations.

Excerpt:
“Last one, Scout,” Alexa warned as she arced the ball high into the air, but her throw went astray. The ball clipped a low-hanging branch, plummeted to the ground, and disappeared over a small hill. The mastiff chased after the ball as it hit the dirt and rolled down the far slope.

For a few seconds, Alexa lost sight of both Scout and the ball. She rushed in their direction, calling out to the dog. She stopped dead in her tracks then sprinted when she heard Scout barking furiously. When the pitch of his bark rose to a high keen, an icy tremor fluttered down Alexa’s spine.

Frantic thoughts of bears, porcupines, and animal traps flew through Alexa’s mind as she reached the top of the rise. She slowed as she caught sight of Scout about twenty yards away. Still yelping, the red ball forgotten at his feet, the mastiff seemed riveted by a bushy area near the small stream.

The dog didn’t appear to be hurt, but she still worried that some wild animal was involved. This state forest saw several cases of rabies every year, and she didn’t want to confront a rabid fox or other animal. She picked up a fallen branch.

Despite repeated calls, Scout would not come to her. Alexa continued to edge nearer, her heart thumping. She glimpsed a bright flash of pink at the far base of the mountain laurel and wondered why Scout would flip out over a pile of trash. Tensed to flee, Alexa tiptoed still closer to Scout and whatever had him behaving so strangely.

A slight, blonde girl lay completely still beneath the mountain laurel, a patch of her torn fuchsia blouse lifting on the breeze. Her legs, clad in trendy blue jeans, skewed at an impossible angle to her waist. Her back rested on a pile of scarlet leaves, right arm flung above her head; blue eyes staring sightless at the sky.

Alexa gasped and let the branch slip from her fingers. She reached out to grip Scout’s collar, and the dog immediately stopped his keening. An abrupt silence fell over the forest. The sudden quiet unnerved Alexa. The small slope blocked any sounds of traffic from the road. She could hear nothing except the muted burble of the creek and the dry rustle of autumn leaves.

The murmur of the dying leaves seemed to whisper a warning. Alexa scanned the surrounding area, but she and Scout were alone.

Alone with a dead body.

sherryAbout the Author:
Sherry Knowlton (nee Rothenberger) was born and raised in Chambersburg, PA, where she developed a lifelong passion for books. She was that kid who would sneak a flashlight to bed at night so she could read beneath the covers. All the local librarians knew her by name.

Sherry launched her writing career with a mimeographed elementary school newsletter and went on to write and edit for her high school and college newspapers. Since then, Sherry’s creative and technical writing has run the gamut from poetry, essays, and short stories to environmental newsletters, policy papers, regulations, and grant proposals. Dead of Autumn is her first novel.

Sherry spent much of her early career in state government, working primarily with social and human services programs, including services for abused children, rape crisis, domestic violence, and family planning. In the 1990s, she served as the Deputy Secretary for Medical Assistance in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The latter part of Sherry’s career has focused on the field of Medicaid managed care. Now retired from executive positions in the health insurance industry, Sherry runs her own health care consulting business.

Sherry has a B.A. in English and psychology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.

Sherry and her husband, Mike, began their journey together in the days of peace and music when they traversed the country in a hippie van. Running out of money several months into the trip, Sherry waitressed the night shift at a cowboy hangout in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Mike washed dishes in a bakery. Undeterred, they embraced the travel experience and continue to explore far-flung places around the globe. Sherry and Mike have one son, Josh, a craft brewer in upstate New York.

Sherry lives in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania, only a short distance from the Babes in the Woods memorial.

Dead of Autumn
Authored by Sherry Knowlton
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
286 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064764
ISBN-10: 1620064766
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers / Crime

Also available on Kindle
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Dead-of-Autumn-978162006…