1913 Calumet copper mining strike backdrop for Timmerman's young adult novel

CALUMET, Mich. — Sunbury Press has released My Brother’s Mountain, John Timmerman’s historical young adult novel about life in Calumet, Michigan in 1913 during tense economic times.

My Brother's MountainAbout the Book:
Davey O’Brien and his friends are just trying to get through seventh grade at the Calumet & Hecla school for miners’ children.  But trouble won’t leave them alone.  Conflict with the “townies”, sons and daughters of mine bosses and store owners, is one thing.  But then the miners go on strike, food becomes scarce during awful winter storms, and life itself grows uncertain as the miners square off against the owners’ vigilante thugs.

Excerpt:
September 24, 1912

I had put my life in the hands of a madman.

He stood beside me, carrot-colored hair tangled up in curls like a nest of snakes. His shoulders stretched the shirt and sweater to the point of bursting. “And remember. Not a word of this to anyone. Ever,” he said.

His name was Robert O’Brien, and he’s my brother. I can’t deny it. Even though I have dark hair and dark blue eyes instead of green. I was skinny as a birch sapling, and about half as strong. I couldn’t see worth anything either. Right now I felt positively weak and half blind.

“Ready, Davey?” Robert asked. “It’s not going to be daylight forever.”

Rough caskets for victims of the Italian Hall disaster

Rough caskets for victims of the Italian Hall disaster

“I’m coming,” I said.

I was on my knees getting a drink at the creek. All around me were footprints of animals that had crept down the forest trail during the night. The deer prints were the deepest—the big does more cautious, the small fawn prints dotted all around like dizzy sailors.

I felt like one of those fawns, spindly-legged and trembly.

My mistake was the way I leaned down to get a quick drink from the creek before I followed Robert the rest of the way up the trail. I saw Mount Baldy perfectly reflected in the water, ready for me to climb.

I didn’t want to do it. But Robert stood beside me like an oak tree with curly orange leaves daring me to go back down the trail.

“Come on. Don’t sit there guzzling water or you’ll never make it up.”

I wasn’t guzzling. I was staring at the upside-down reflection of Mount Baldy and was thinking that I really, really didn’t need to be a King of the Mountain.

At least not yet. That thing was a monster.

But, this would be my only chance this year. Snow could start any day. I mean heavy snow. And it wouldn’t be gone until May. By then Robert would have turned eighteen, left school, and gone to work in the mines.

I stood up. “Okay,” I said.

He looked at me. “This first part is easy,” he said. “Just an uphill walk. But you have to learn the trail. That’s your job.”

“All right. I hear you.” I hate it when a big brother sounds like a big brother.

“And remember,” he said, “I show you once. If you can’t remember, you don’t deserve to be a King of the Mountain. Brother or not.”

This was the thing. There was only one way to learn the trail. Someone had to lead you, showing all the weird markings used to point the way. If you failed, you were cast out of The Kings forever. You had one chance.

I had known that sooner or later Robert would take me. I was just hoping it would be later. Much later. Like four or five years later when maybe I’d have more than two pounds of muscle in my body and a set of glasses good enough to keep me from bumping into trees and tripping over acorns.

So here we were—working our way along the forest trail to the ledge. The trail started heading up more sharply. My feet kept slipping, and I kept grabbing onto tree trunks to keep my balance. At one point my feet just slid out from under me on a patch of leaves and loose stones. Splat! Right on my face and a wicked little cut on the palm of one hand. Where the trees began to thin out, the wind slanted in from Lake Superior and drove things like icicles right down my throat into my stomach. My fingers were turning blue-white. Big old Robert just kept stalking along ahead of me, as if the whole world wasn’t about to turn to ice. I wish he would fall or something, just to prove he’s not such a big shot.

Fall only about four or five feet, of course. He still had to get me back down. I kept climbing as fast as I could just to stay warm.

I felt like I had been climbing for three days straight. I was sucking at the cold wind to catch my breath. I looked up to see how far I had to go. A long shelf of rock hung out above us.

“Are we at the top?” I asked.

About the Author:
John Timmerman is a former college professor and the author of many books and short stories.  He lives with his wife in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

My Brother’s Mountain
Authored by John Timmerman
List Price: $9.99
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
160 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067093
ISBN-10: 1620067099
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / 20th Century

Also available on Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/My-Brothers-Mountain-978…

John Timmerman's latest novel is a classic Western

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released High Passes, John Timmerman’s latest novel, set in the American West.

Ben McCallister returns to the peaceful valley where he grew up, only to find it torn apart in a range war. With lies and deceit on every side, who can he trust?

hp_fcEXCERPT:
Snow swirled through the mountain passes, pushed by every contrary wind. At first a heavy wet thing, it hung between snow and rain—the kind of snow that holds to the jacket like a wet hand and drips from the hat brim in sad gray drops.

The drops hardened to ice, and the leather jacket stiffened and snapped with the horse’s gait. The wind rose and howled across rocky passages, drifting snow quickly on the leeward side of rocks.

The sky closed, white sheeting out peak, forest, and valley. By the time the snow rose hock high on the horse, gathering well over an inch an hour, cold settled in like a pick axe’s bite.

Ben McAllister felt that bite deep between his shoulder blades. He also felt his chances of making the ranch sink to near zero. After a week straight of hard pushing, it was tragic to quit this close. That’s the only word he could think of: tragic. The snow was tragic. He had once sworn he would never return. Now maybe he wouldn’t. Not without shelter soon. He and the stallion he rode would be one more icy sculpture against the cold rock of the high passes.

The wind-packed snow an inch deep across his broad back. The traditional rounded and peaked cowboy hat, wonderful for shedding rain, now lay nearly caved in under the weight of ice. From the crown of that hat, over the high, up-turned sheepskin coat collar, and down to the long, muscular tapering of his back, man and animal seemed one desolate being tossed in nature’s grip.

For a time Ben had not named the black stallion. He’d just never thought of a name fitting for the magnificent animal. Then one day, out of the blue as it were, Ben named him Treasure. Mostly, though, they communicated by a series of whistles, finger snaps, and other sounds. Right now Ben let the stallion have its way, hooves skittering on icy rock as it slowly found a trail. Ben scanned the sides: up, down, right, left. Any spot out of the howling wind. He felt the stallion’s muscles tremble anxiously under his thighs, its breath heaving in white, wet clouds that immediately became one with the air.

He felt the horse veer to the right, pause at some tumbled rocks, then slowly pick its way through and Ben had no idea why the animal had gone off the trail. He let it go. Suddenly they stepped into the lee of an enormous rock outcropping, rimmed around by a stand of stunted jack pine. Ben lowered himself and led the stallion well into the shelter of the rocks.

He expected to feel exhilaration to get out of the blasting storm. He didn’t feel that. He felt exhausted. He barely had strength to wrestle the saddle off, his arms trembling with tension and weariness. Well, he told himself, it’s heavy. But it was just the usual: the tooled saddle, the scabbard with Oliver F. Winchester’s finest 30-30, the emptying panniers, and his bedroll. There were things still to be done. He hunted among the jack pine for some firewood. He found small branches he could break over his knee, but they’d do for tonight. He didn’t see any larger ones.

With the hot eye of fire watching, Ben removed the horse’s halter and let him forage. The horse hooved aside the icy snow that had drifted into the clearing and grazed on sparse tufts of grass. From one of the nearly empty panniers Ben scooped a handful of oats. The horse licked his palms clean like a dishrag and then went back to foraging. He deserves much more than that, Ben thought. He made promises of what he would do if they ever got out.

High Passes
Authored by John Timmerman
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
158 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066140
ISBN-10: 1620066149
BISAC: Fiction / Westerns / General

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/High-Passes-978162006614…

Afghan vet helps eradicate crime on Michigan's upper peninsula in John Timmerman novel

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Sunbury Press has released John Timmerman’s contemporary crime thriller “Lowlife” set in Michigan’s upper peninsula.

ll_fcAbout the Book:
Having recovered from wounds received in Afghanistan, Joe Little Deer returns to the pristine woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  His aims are simple—to live at peace and work at the timber business he inherited from his father.  Peace is short-lived when FBI Agent Mary Shannon enlists his aid against highly complex criminal enterprise in the north woods.

Agent Shannon is from Chicago, and she seeks Joe’s help  based only on his heroic military record as a sniper.  In fact, when she first meets him she is disappointed.  A tad under six feet, long hair as black as crow feathers, wearing a battered leather jacket, Joe Little Deer seems like just one more north woods lowlife, hardly up to the challenges Mary Shannon foresees.  He’d surely never make the FBI.

Surrounded by an oddball cast of characters, Shannon and Little Deer discover the heart of evil, and try to eradicate it.

About the Author:
John Timmerman is a Vietnam veteran, decorated with the Bronze Star medal.  His jobs have included college teaching, house painting, and work as a Teamster.  He has  previously published four fantasy novels and over 20 books of nonfiction.  From his home in Michigan, he is currently working on a second Joe Little Deer and Mary Shannon book.

Lowlife

Authored by John Timmerman

List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
264 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063583
ISBN-10: 1620063581
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural

Also available on Nook and Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Lowlife-9781620063583.htm