Brother and sister flee with mysterious blue stone from coal mine — authorities in pursuit

POTTSVILLE, Pa.  — Sunbury Press has released From Blue Ground, Joe Harvey’s historical YA novel about a brother and sister trying to solve the mystery of their late father’s murder.

fbg_fcSet in 1876 in the coal hills of Pennsylvania, the story follows two unwitting orphans, Patrick and Sissy Hughes, who are propelled on a desperate journey after witnessing the murder of their father. They carry with them a wooden box retrieved from a secret compartment beneath their father’s bed. His dying words to them: “keep it safe, keep it hidden.” Powerful men are looking for what’s inside the box and they will do anything they can to get it.

One hundred miles to the South, large crowds have gathered at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Patrick and Sissy’s father had promised to take them there for the Fourth of July celebration. Instead, they are running for their lives. Alone and on the run, they are pursued by their father’s murderer, James McKenna, a Pinkerton Security Agent who is working undercover investigating the Molly Maguires for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. Patrick and Sissy’s only hope is to unlock the mystery of the contents of the box: a diary, a translucent blue stone and a bag of blue ground. That hope lies in Philadelphia with Henry Carvill Lewis, a professor of mineralogy at the Academy of Natural Sciences. As they make their way to Philadelphia, their pursuers grow in numbers and Patrick and Sissy must fight against time and the odds to stay together.

EXCERPT:
Years later, when the ghosts of his childhood had long since faded, Patrick would remember the wooden box as clearly as the night he and his sister had found it. He remembered every detail: the pieces of scrap wood it was made of, the broken hinge that didn’t quite hold the lid, the frayed twine that was wrapped around it. It seemed strange that he would remember such an ordinary thing because, like every box, the box itself was not important. It was what was inside the box that mattered. The same was true of this box. Its contents sent Patrick and his sister off on an unexpected—and unwelcome—adventure.

It began with a warning in the small hours after midnight on July 3, 1876. Patrick nudged his sister across the bed. “Sissy, are you awake? Sissy?”

Sissy was fourteen, just two years older than Patrick, yet she had been a continued source of comfort to him since their mother died, when he wanted her to be, that is.

“What is it Patrick?” Sissy asked, still half asleep.

“I heard something.”

“What?”

“I don’t know . . . a noise.”

“What kind of a noise?”

“I don’t know . . . . Did you hear the whippoorwill?”

“The whippoorwill? That’s just a dumb bird.”

Patrick didn’t think so. The Native Lenape believed that the bird’s call was a bad omen, a warning that it intended to capture someone’s soul to carry it to the spirit world.

“Well, I heard something,” Patrick said.

Sissy propped herself up on her elbows and listened. She heard only the sounds of the sleeping mountain: crickets, an owl, a distant loon. “I don’t hear anything, Patrick.”

Patrick sighed. Bothered, Sissy listened again. Still silence. “It’s nothing Patrick—probably that ol’ black bear down from the mountain to scratch at the smokehouse again. Papa will scare it off. Now go back to sleep.”

I wont be able to go back to sleep, Patrick thought. Im sure I heard something—maybe it was a banshee. He pulled the blanket close to his nose, his eyes widened. Papa’s room lay just beneath their bedroom loft. If there was something outside, surely Papa would have heard it, he thought.

A cool mountain breeze moved the curtains and cleansed the cabin of the thick summer air. Their family’s cabin lay deep in the folds of Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Mountains, in the heart of the eastern coal region. Patrick and Sissy’s grandfather named the wooded hill where they lived “Shannon’s Hill” after the river in Ireland where he had made his living before coming to America during the Potato Famine of the 1840’s.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joe Harvey is currently a fourth grade teacher at Saucon Valley Elementary School in Hellertown, PA. He began his career teaching music. Joe received his bachelor’s degree in education from Millersville University and his Elementary K-6 certificate from DeSales University. He holds a Master of Arts from West Chester University and has conducted historical research in the field of musicology, identifying a lost symphony by the mid-nineteenth century American composer William Henry Fry. He is six credits shy of a Master of Education from DeSales University. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kara. They have two children. Outside of teaching, Joe loves to read, write, play the guitar, watch the Iron Pigs and root for the Phillies.

From Blue Ground
Authored by Joe Harvey
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
150 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066546
ISBN-10: 1620066548
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / 19th Century

Coming Soon on Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/From-Blue-Ground-9781620…

Anthracite Region volume of Keystone Tombstones now available

kstsan_fcPOTTSVILLE, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Keystone Tombstones Anthracite Region by Joe Farrell and Joe Farley.

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

Carbon County

  • Jim Thorpe

Columbia County

  • Nick Adams

Lackawanna County

  • James Crowley – Half the Horsemen
  • Robert Casey

Luzerne County

  • Congressman Dan Flood
  • Mary Jo Kopechne
  • The Lattimer Massacre

Monroe County

  • Fred Waring

Northampton County

  • Jayne Mansfield
  • George Taylor

Pike County

  • Zane Grey
  • Mary Pinchot Meyer
  • Gifford Pinchot
  • Charles Henry Van Wyck

Schuylkill County

  • Jack Daubert
  • Jimmy Dorsey
  • Black Jack Kehoe – The Molly Maguires
  • The Kelayres Massacre
  • Henry C. Pleasants

Keystone Tombstones Anthracite Region: 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
144 pages
Sunbury Press, INc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065549
ISBN-10: 1620065541
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Rich & Famous

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

Tarone's 41 tales are sure to entertain – "A Pale Horse and 40 Other Tales"

POTTSVILLE, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Joe Tarone’s short story collection “A Pale Horse and 40 Other Tales.”

aph_fcAbout the Book:
Two boys trapped in a collapsing coal mine, embraced only by pitch-black darkness and the sickening squeal of timber being slowly crushed–how could anyone find humor in such a situation? Well, “George’s Priority”, the first little story in “A Pale Horse and 40 Other Tales,” does.

And how could a sprout from an old sassafras stump give a life lesson from father to son? Again, a little story—titled “Sassafras”—just might do it.

What of the statuesque woman whose siren-like scream of “DON’T TOUCH ME,” stopped a wedding reception cold? Even the orchestra, shocked by the scream, stopped! What was her problem? What became of her? Perhaps “Don’t Touch Me” might answer those questions.

“To Kill A Friend” is a story of how beauty often attracts the ugliest of acts. It is one of the few stories in “A Pale Horse and 40 Other Tales” that is not a happy story. Most of the others stand a good chance of making you smile.

Excerpt:

When I went to elementary school, I had to walk only three or four hundred feet to get to school—that’s how close the school was to my home. Consequently, I was able to go home for lunch. It was a part of the day that I shared alone with my mother because my dad and my Uncle Tony (who lived with us) were working, and my sister was in high school. The high school was located in a different town. Mother always had a nice lunch prepared for me. Sometimes, particularly if it was a cold day, she made potato soup. That was my favorite.

On this particular day, I was surprised to find my dad and my uncle were at home at lunchtime. “What’s wrong,” I asked. “Why are you home?”

“The mine is squeezing,” my dad said. “We got out fast. So fast that I left my lunch can in the mine.”

My dad and my uncle operated a little mine. It was not a “bootleg hole.” Those were illegal mines on somebody’s property without the permission of the landowner. My dad and my uncle had leased the land and paid the landowner—the Girard Estate—a royalty on every ton that they mined. Their operation was completely legal. I was too young to realize how serious the mine’s squeezing was, both from a danger standpoint and from the effect it might have on our family’s income.

After school that day, I told my friend George about my dad and uncle having to run out of their mine so fast that my dad left his lunch can behind. Becoming excited, George asked, “So the lunch is still in the mine?” George was always hungry and he could be very persuasive. It wasn’t very long until he had me convinced that we should retrieve the lunch can. We sneaked some candles and matches from one of our homes and off we went, down to the mine.

The mine sloped downward at a very slight angle. It was open. It seemed OK. It seemed perfectly safe to us. We went in about forty feet. George was intrigued with the sound of our voices and the echo they produced bouncing off the face of the coal. He gave a loud, Tarzan-like yell. That was a mistake! The vibration that it caused was enough to make the ceiling—the top rock—fall! Darkness. Complete blackness. Total darkness. Dust that I couldn’t see, but that I felt rushing over me—clinging to me, coating me. The rush of dust-filled air had blown our candles out. It had, in fact, ripped the candle right out of my hand. Breathing was very difficult. The silence was awful. The dark and the silence—it was a living nightmare. Occasionally I heard a rock rolling from the top of the pile of fallen rock that now blocked our exit from the mine. I coughed. “Are you OK?” I asked, needing desperately to know that George was OK; that he was conscious; that I was not alone.

“Can’t breathe,” I heard his weak and frightened voice say.

About the author:

Joe was graduated from Penn State with a degree in Finance.  He lived in Philadelphia and eventually moved to Chester County to work for a small scientific instrument manufacturer which, shortly after his employment there,   was acquired by Hewlett Packard.  After several years in finance with HP, Joe made a major career change and became a Personnel Administrator.

His first book, Some Stones Shine, depicts a decade in his father’s life in the early 20th century.  In it, Tarone has succeeded in describing what life was like in a Coal Region family almost one hundred years ago.

His second book, The Mega-Bite Murders, although obviously a work of fiction, inhabits an environment built upon Joe’s background in the computer and human resource areas.

Caught Up In It, his third book, is a sequel to The Mega-Bite Murders. In it, two supernatural beings set out to eliminate greed in the world.  Sometimes humorous, mostly serious,  Caught Up In It, in it’s closing pages reveals something that could be a surprise to readers of The Mega-Bite Murders.

Upon his retirement from HP, Joe returned to Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill County where he continues to write.  He has served as an auditor in West Mahanoy Township, and as president of the Shenandoah Valley School Board.  He now lives in Raven Run, the anthracite mining village in which he grew up.

A Pale Horse and 40 Other Tales

Authored by Joe Tarone

List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
148 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064603
ISBN-10: 162006460X
BISAC: Fiction / Short Stories

Also available on Kindle and Nook

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/A-Pale-Horse-and-40-Othe…

Joe Farley's verses are "Song Poems in Search of Music"

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Joe Farley’s poetry collection “Song Poems in Search of Music.”

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About the book:
Joe Farley is best known as one of “The Joes” who have written the “Keystone Tombstone” series of biography books, about famous or noteworthy people buried in Pennsylvania. He and his partner, Joe Farrell, have appeared on numerous television and radio interviews and programs, as well as dozens of news columns and magazines regarding this work. The two have traveled the Commonwealth in search of interesting tales to tell, interesting tombstones to honor, and interesting taverns in which to discuss their findings.

Joe Farley’s poetry spans his adult life, from the 1970s to the present, lamenting opportunities lost in the Anthracite Region of his birth, as well as his conquests and travels as he settled in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. Farley is a fan of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Wordsworth, Poe and William Butler Yeats, but his lyric style calls to mind his Irish roots. Regardless, these are verses in search of music. Hopefully a few musicians will do them justice. In the meantime, enjoy these lines by Joe Farley, an Irish bard at heart.

Song Poems in Search of Music

Authored by Joe Farley

List Price: $9.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
64 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064191
ISBN-10: 1620064197
BISAC: Poetry / American / General

For more information about the book, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Song-Poems-in-Search-of-…

Pennsylvania Coal Region subject of new history by John R. Lindermuth

POTTSVILLE, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released John R. Lindermuth’s history “Digging Dusky Diamonds” recounting life in Pennsylvania’s Coal Region.

About the book:
ddd_fcBased on contemporary newspaper accounts and genealogical records, Digging Dusky Diamonds tells the story of the people who made the anthracite coal mining industry a major economic force in Pennsylvania in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

How the miners and their families lived and worked, loved and died is recorded in old newspapers and reveals their daily concerns, their diversions, social attitudes and prejudices. The accounts reveal what was different about those people and what has remained constant in us, their descendants.

Though the focus is mainly on Northumberland and Schuylkill counties, similar conditions prevailed across the anthracite mining region.

About the author:
A native of Shamokin, Northumberland  County, Pennsylvania, J. R. Lindermuth worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for nearly 40 years. Since retiring, he has served as librarian of the Northumberland County Historical Society where he assists patrons with genealogy and research.

He is the author of 12 novels and his short stories and articles have been published in a variety of magazines. He is a member of International Thriller Writers, EPIC and the Short Mystery Society.

He is the father of two grown children and has four grandsons. To learn more about the author, visit his website at http://www.jrlindermuth.net

Digging Dusky Diamonds: A History of the Pennsylvania Coal Region
Authored by John R. Lindermuth
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
160 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620062685
ISBN-10: 1620062682
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Digging-Dusky-Diamonds-9…

Horror novel Ninety-Nine Souls by Thomas Malafarina now for sale

CAMP HILL, Pa.Camp Hill, PA – Sunbury Press has released Thomas Malafarina’s horror novel Ninety-Nine Souls. It is available from the publisher and from Amazon.com and other online booksellers.
This is Malafarina’s first novel and is the first of three books contracted by Sunbury Press.

About the book:

99 Souls FrontThomas Malafarina’s first novel is set in 1965 in his native Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

A young boy is savagely disemboweled in the presence of his friends at an abandoned coal mine by an unidentified creature. During the investigation, which follows, a Philadelphia television reporter learns from an eccentric old codger a terrible legend about the disastrous history of the mine – a tale about a mine disaster many years ago in which three coal miners were trapped a mile below the surface. Out of desparation, one of the miners sold his soul to Satan in order to get revenge for the disaster. In return, Satan transformed this man into an immortal soul-feeding demon that must remain trapped in the mine until he gathers ninety-nine souls.

How do you kill what can’t be killed? How do you stop the unstoppable? Welcome to a place where terror reigns, where unspeakable horror and demonic savagery is the norm; where lost souls writhe and struggle for a freedom that may never come.

Welcome to Coogan’s mine; the home of Devil Dan.

Publication Date: Jul 12 2010
ISBN/EAN13: 1453653716 / 9781453653715
Page Count: 160
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Fiction / Horror

About Thomas Malafarina:

Thomas M. Malafarina was born July 23, 1955 in the town of Ashland, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the hard coal region. He was raised in a small, wood-framed row house along with his parents, his younger brother and two older sisters. Growing up in this blue-collar community Thomas learned the importance of hard work and dedication to family. These values instilled by his parents guided him through to his adult life.

Thomas has enjoyed a life-long love of writing, music and art and has been intrigued by the world of horror since before elementary school. While other kids were assembling model airplanes and cars, Thomas preferred to build Aurora Universal Studios Monster models of Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man, Dracula and others. While others were drawing pictures of flowers and trees, he was drawing horrible monsters.

Thomas continued his love of all things horror by amassing an extensive collection of horror movies and books. Every year Thomas uses his artistic skills to create and donate a truckload or more of disturbing horror art sculptures and scenery to the Womelsdorf JC’s annual non-profit “Barn of Terror” Halloween Haunt.

For many years while working as a manufacturing engineer, technical trainer and technical writer, Thomas dreamed of finding some extra time write a horror novel. Ninety-Nine Souls is Thomas’s first book and is the culmination of that dream but signifies much more. It symbolizes a rekindled love Thomas has for writing and an enjoyment of creating horror stories that had burned deep within him unfulfilled for far too many years. Now with the flame relit, Thomas plans to produce many more works of horror fiction for the horror loving public’s enjoyment.

Thomas lives in South Heidelberg Township, just outside of Wernersville, PA with his wife JoAnne. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.

Available on Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Ninety-Nine-Souls-Thomas-M-Malafari…