Young Romanian woman escapes Communism, reunites with husband

LEBANON, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Ionica: A Romanian Immigration Story, Catalina Petcov’s memoir of life under Communism and her escape from it as a young woman.

This touching memoir tracks the life of Catalina Petcov, called Ionica by her family, as she experienced the difficulties of being a young girl in rural Romania, though her escape to Italy and ultimately the United States.

i_fcEXCERPT:
In 1952, Catalina was born in Bozovici, Romania to parents whose work ethic was absolute. Her mother and father worked her like a farmhand—save the fact that they would’ve treated a farmhand better.

From a very young age, she already was involved in work that typically was reserved for adults. She tended to cows in the fields and looked after pigs and chickens in the backyard; she pulled weeds and helped plow when it was time to plant new crops; she even prepared her own breakfasts, because her parents didn’t provide any for her. Having an older sister was little help; Catalina was the one who had to do the bulk of the work.

She started growing up in rural Romania just thirteen years before the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu came into power. And while her life certainly was affected by his dictates, she was first and foremostly affected by the dictates of Floarea, her mother.

* * *

Floarea was born on August 30, 1928. And, when she still was an infant, her mother, Pelagia, abandoned her. Perhaps this tragedy occurred because Pelagia was not married to Floarea’s father and the custom at that time was to give up a baby that was born out of wedlock. At any rate, as a consequence, Floarea’s paternal uncle Pavel and his wife Mila raised her. And, although Pelagia lived only several miles away, she never visited her daughter.

Catalina's parents and extended family in Romania.

Catalina’s parents and extended family in Romania.

Floarea’s father, Tomas, raised sheep in the nearby mountains and rarely came home. If he ever was married to Pelagia, these extended absences of his must have led to the end of that presumably loveless arrangement.

Years later, Pelagia got married to a man who already had children, and she was delighted that those step-children gave her step-grandchildren to love and cherish. As fate would have it, those step-grandchildren lived down the street from Floarea’s house. Thus, Pelagia had to go past her daughter’s house on her way to visit the only family she seemed to care about. Even on the occasions when Floarea and she locked eyes for an instant, neither of them said a thing.

In 1945, 17-year-old Floarea married 28-year-old Nicolae. He was born on July 5, 1920, and he was a very bright man. In fact, his mother was proud of him for being the only boy in their town to finish seventh grade. He had much more smarts than he did money, though, and because he was poor, his mother (and he, too, probably) feared that he wouldn’t be able to do much with his life.

This may be one of the reasons why he decided to marry Floarea. Her father was one of four siblings, and he was the only one who had a child. Because of this, Floarea’s two aunts and one uncle left their homes and their land to her. Floarea sold two of the homes but retained all of the land, leaving her with a good amount of money and property—and making her an excellent prospective bride. The home she kept was in the village of Bozovici, where Nicolae and she later raised their family.

Mr. & Mrs. Petcov, reunited

Mr. & Mrs. Petcov, reunited

Two years after they were married, in 1947, the couple brought their first child into the world. Her name was Florica, and they absolutely adored her. Being their first child—and their only one for a number of years—Florica lavished in their love and admiration. They made or bought her everything that a growing child needed, and they spent quality time with her.

However, when Floarea became pregnant again, both her husband and she wanted the baby to be a boy. Only boys carried on the family name, so a family without a baby boy had to watch its name fade and then disappear entirely. After months of hoping for a baby boy, though, Floarea (Momma) discovered to her dismay that she had been carrying another baby girl.

Catalina came into the world five years after her sister, in 1952, but instead of being met with rejoicing and excitement, she was met with dissatisfaction. Nicolae’s (Poppa’s) mother, her paternal grandmother, was especially upset that Catalina wouldn’t carry on her last name. So the family made a bitter resolution. While they named the new baby Catalina, they never called her by that name. They always referred to her as Ionica: the female version of Ion, Poppa’s brother’s name. If they couldn’t have a boy, they resolved that they at least would treat their second daughter as though she was one.

Therefore, because everyone in Catalina’s town knew her as Ionica, she will be referred to as such throughout the remainder of the book.

Ionica: A Romanian Immigration Story
Authored by Catalina Petcov
List Price: $14.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
152 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066249
ISBN-10: 1620066246
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Women

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Ionica-9781620066249.htm

Mexico is a ticking bomb on the underbelly of the USA

LAREDO, TexasSunbury Press has released Robert Joe Stout’s latest book Hidden Dangers: Mexico on the Brink of Disaster.

hd_fcAbout the Book:
Mexico is undergoing economic and political changes that lie like landmines ready to explode beneath Uncle Sam’s footsteps.

By the close of the first decade of the twenty-first century Mexico-United States relations had begun to shred. The leaders of the two countries shared a master-servant façade of cooperation and commitment but faced eroding control of the economy, the flourishing drug trade and human rights issues. Despite the propaganda to the contrary every year millions of Mexicans sank into poverty, their lands expropriated and the prices of basic necessities soaring. ICE agents swept through factories, farms and construction sites from Maine to California herding handcuffed “illegals” into detention facilities. Both countries ignored human rights violations and corruption in order to maintain control over Mexico’s pro-neoliberal administration. Violence associated with the “War on Drugs” took over 70,000 lives without materially diminished the U.S. market for cocaine, marijuana and designer drugs. Brutal repression of citizen protest provoked ongoing international criticism and alienated millions of Mexican citizens. The country’s dependence on oil exports to finance social programs pressured the state-controlled monopoly to cut corners, creating pipeline leaks and other environmental disasters.

Hidden Dangers focuses on the period 2000-2010 and pinpoints five major “landmines” that seriously threaten both countries social and political structures. It includes first-hand observations of devaluations, political repressions and border conflicts and commentaries and analyses from officials and academics on both sides of the frontier. The five principal sections investigate migration and its effects on both Mexico and the United States, the drug trade’s influence on the economies and politics of both countries, popular uprisings that challenge U.S. influence and neo-liberal politics, how Mexico’s deeply rooted “politics of corruption” binds the entrepreneurial and banking systems to government processes and environmental disasters, both real and in the making, created by the oil, lumber and cattle industries, toxic waste, floods and poisoned waterways.

Excerpt:
Former New York Times Mexico bureau chief, Alan Riding, entitled his 1985 best seller Our Distant Neighbors. Nearly a generation has passed since that writing, and the two countries remain as close—and as distant—as they were then. Mexico and the United States share a border that stretches for nearly 2,000 miles between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Deeply ingrained ethnic, economic, and political differences have escalated to the point that armed military forces have been deployed along the border by the leaders of both nations, some to combat a common enemy—the drug corporations—others to restrict immigration, smuggling, and money laundering.

Distant or not, Mexico is undergoing economic and political changes that lie like landmines ready to explode beneath the troubled and often discordant impulses of the two countries to satisfy their divergent social and political needs. These landmines include:

Migration, legal and illegal, exacerbated by profound differences in earnings in the two countries and economic crises in both, a rapidly expanding labor pool and more aggressive deportation procedures on the part of U.S. Homeland Security;

Intrusion by drug organizations into economic and political activities that include assassinations, payoffs, and escalating drug use in Mexico itself;

Grass roots political movements opposed to globalization, centralized government, and unequal distribution of wealth that are being repressed, often violently, by Mexican political forces;

Government and entrepreneurial corruption, including the failure to invest oil profits in infrastructure, debilitating the industry and putting most of the country’s wealth in the hands of a few politically connected individuals;

Environmental disasters and the collapse of self-sustaining agriculture that have created wastelands, polluted major waterways, and triggered rural-to-urban migrations.

About the Author:
As a journalist working in areas with large Spanish-speaking populations, Bob Stout has written about Mexico and its problems and accomplishments. These reports and observations have appeared inAmerica, Commonweal,Notre Dame Magazine and The Christian Science Monitor, among many other publications, and in The Blood of the Serpent: Mexican Lives which was published in 2003 and in Why Immigrants Come to America: Braceros, Indocumentados and the Migra published in 2008.

A graduate of the Universidad de las Americas and long-time newspaper and magazine journalist Stout has lived and worked in California, Texas, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. and in Mexico, Europe and Central America. His books include two novels, a recently published volume of poetry and dozens of literary and commercial magazine shortstories. He currently lives in Oaxaca in southern Mexico.

Hidden Dangers: Mexico on the Brink of Disaster
Authored by Robert Joe Stout
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
216 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064887
ISBN-10: 162006488X
BISAC: Political Science / World / Caribbean & Latin American

Coming soon on Kindle
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Hidden-Dangers-978162006…

My mom is an alien — no, really!

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Joanne Risso’s latest childrens book “My Mom Is an Alien,” dealing with immigration in a stimulating way. Dylan Matukaitis provided the illustrations.

mmiaa_fcAbout the Book:
My mom says she is an alien, but I am not so sure. She does sound funny when she speaks, and she eats weird food. Sometimes I think I see antennae sticking out the top of her head. She does not drive a spaceship, though, just a minivan. How can I really tell if she is an alien or not? You be the judge!

My Mom Is an Alien humorously explores the concept of immigration to the USA from the perspective from an Australian woman.

About the Author

Joanne L.S. Risso was born and raised in Gippsland, Australia.  She never had a pet platypus, but she did have a pet kangaroo named Fred when she was a girl. Joanne was classed as having ‘alien status’ by the U.S. government when she first immigrated to the U.S.A. She lives with her husband and four children in Central Pennsylvania. Please visit www.joannerisso.com to learn more about the author, who does not really have green skin or own a spaceship, though she does sound funny when she speaks.

About the Illustrator

Dylan Matukaitis is currently a student at Arcadia University, Pennsylvania, where he is studying Graphic Design. He loves reading and drawing, and considers himself a professional at lip-syncing to songs on the radio or his iPod. His favorite color is blue and his biggest celebrity crush is Beyoncé. This is his first published work as a children’s book artist.

My Mom Is an Alien

Authored by Joanne L. S. Risso, Illustrated by Dylan Matukaitis

List Price: $9.99
7″ x 10″
Color on White paper
32 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064290
BISAC: Childrens / Family / Immigration

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/My-Mom-Is-an-Alien-97816…

Nirmal Joshi's new book honors womanhood & the undying power of humility, selflessness & sacrifice

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Dr. Nirmal Joshi’s personal memoir “Five Drops of Estrogen: A man’s tribute to womanhood and the undying power of humility, selflessness and sacrifice.”

fdoe_fcAbout the Book:
“Five Drops of Estrogen” describes the lives of five extraordinary women across three generations, cultures and continents. When remarkable accomplishments of women are described in contemporary times, the stories are often set in the workplace; perhaps how women have become CEOs of companies or acquired power and fame, how they have made it in a “man’s world” against heavy odds, or how they may have done extraordinary things in general. All these accomplishments are commendable. However, the five women described in this book are different. Two of them never even set foot in the workplace, one primarily spent time as a homemaker, and the remaining two straddled the workplace and home and excelled in both. All of them took on the challenges of large families and the inherently “dirty” and often tangled complexities that come with it—and excelled. They were humble and gave unconditionally. Their selfless lives inspired. In two instances they had a profound influence on the generation after them; in the others, they will likely do the same. Above all, these women purposely lost “small fights” only to win much bigger ones.

The men in their lives were independently special human beings, yet in the powerful presence of these women seemed to be innocent bystanders as they watched their partners positively transform their lives and those of their families. It is for this reason that this book describes the lives of these five women as “drops”—analogous to a drop of rich ink that colors large volumes of water the same. Drops of estrogen refers to women excelling in uniquely feminine qualities, sometimes regarded as docile or even negative in today’s society. These women found power and influence in submission and giving, not in aggression and snatching. They were free to do what they wanted to, yet many times they chose to yield to the wishes of others. In this process, they took such a remarkable flight that it took them to dizzying heights, arguably higher than their more assertive peers. Like the triumph of non-violence over violence, they repeatedly demonstrated that historically feminine traits and behaviors have the power to influence generations.

About the Author:
Dr. Nirmal Joshi lives with his wife and children in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he is Chief Medical Officer of Pinnacle Health System. He grew up in India, but his family has called Central Pennsylvania their home where he has practiced Medicine and served in health care leadership roles for over twenty years.  He has published extensively on health care topics in leading medical journals. He has made two digital feature films, Mere Apne in Hindi and Hippocratic Oath in English.  He writes poetry in both Hindi and English and has won numerous community service awards.

Five Drops of Estrogen
Authored by Nirmal Joshi, MD
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
142 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620062531
ISBN-10: 1620062531
BISAC:  Biographies & Memoirs/Specific Groups/Women
Parenting & Relationships/Family Relationships/Motherhood
Politics & Social Sciences/Social Sciences/Emigration & Immigration

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Five-Drops-of-Estrogen-9…

Soon to be available on Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader & Kobo