“Fortune’s Lament” by John Cressler wins the Sunny Award for Milford House Press Bestseller in 2018

“Fortune’s Lament” by John Cressler wins the Sunny Award for Milford House Press Bestseller in 2018

John Cressler’s historical novel was the 2018 bestseller for Milford House Press, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

About the Book:

Much of modern Spain was under Muslim control for nearly 800 years (from 711 to 1492 C.E.). Medieval Islamic Spain was deeply influential in world history, for a multitude of reasons, including the rediscovery, translation, and dissemination of the lost works of medicine, science, and philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The Muslim Umayyads (with roots tracing back to Syria), were lovers of books and learning, and helped launch a cultural revolution in Córdoba which transformed the western world. An exceptional 200+ year period of peaceful coexistence occurred between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam under Muslim Umayyad rule, providing a powerful lesson in the practice of multiculturalism for our 21st-century world.

Fortune’s Lament is the third release in the Anthems of al-Andalus series, which break open this largely forgotten and fascinating history for modern readers. All three historical novels are love stories set at pivotal moments in the history of medieval Islamic Spain. Fortune’s Lament is set in Granada’s Alhambra Palace, 120 years after Emeralds of the Alhambra, and tells the story of Danah, a young Muslim woman who aspires to be the first female physician in the city. Love unexpectedly blossoms between Danah and Yusef, a valiant prince of court from a rival clan, during the bloody final conquest of Granada by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Christian Spain. As the light of Islamic Spain dims, the Inquisition looms large on the horizon, as does the coming voyage of Columbus to discover the Americas.

Watch the video trailer …

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

Fortune’s Lament . . . soars to new heights as a compelling tale that leaves nothing wanting: provocative prose that delights the imagination, intrigue on multiple levels, vivid scenes both tender and terrifying, and Great Love that spans generations.” ―Catherine Crosby, co-founder of the Neshama Interfaith Center, Atlanta

“Extensively researched and beautifully written, Cressler’s novel leads us into an exotic world of love, ghosts, intrigue, and betrayal. A must-read for all lovers of historical fiction.” —Joan Fallon, author of the Al-Andalus series, Málaga, Spain

“Wrapped up in yet another a deliciously satisfying love story, Fortune’s Lament provides readers with an intimate view of the complex geopolitical panorama surrounding the fall of the last Muslim stronghold in Iberia and the rise of Catholic Spain on the world stage.” ―Julia Baumgardt, Marian University, Indianapolis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John D. Cressler is the Schlumberger Chair Professor and the Ken Byers Teaching Fellow in Science and Religion at Georgia Tech. He is the author of five nonfiction books (two for general audiences), as well as the historical novels Emeralds of the Alhambra and Shadows in the Shining CityFortune’s Lament is the third release in the Anthems of al-Andalus series. Visit the author at http://johndcressler.com and https://www.facebook.com/BooksByJohnDCressler/

by John D. Cressler
MILFORD HOUSE PRESS
Trade Paperback – 6 x 9 x 1.4
9781620063729
602 Pages with maps and photographs
FICTION / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Romance / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Religious

Focus on imprints

One of the most important changes we implemented in the last two years was the introduction of additional imprints (beyond Sunbury Press) to address the variety of categories. This came about for several reasons:
1) Some authors of serious (academic) history books were complaining they were on the same label as children’s books. This would be an issue when peer-reviewed.
2) Nasty scary horror thrillers were branded with a positive upbeat rising (yep — not setting) sun.
3) Customers were confused about fiction books actually being nonfiction due to the Sunbury Press label.
It was clear that Sunbury Press as a brand had become associated with history and biography — especially about Pennsylvania. We felt our other categories were likely suffering due to the lack of identity.
We are committed to continuing to publish in a variety of categories and created a number of imprints to address this. We have been publishing new titles under these imprints since then and have been refurbishing our back list as we are able. This will continue over the next couple years until all of our active titles are properly branded.
Now, while that is going on, we need to bring more attention to these brands and categories. To that end, I am suggesting we start quarterly brand meetings involving the authors under that label and the marketing staff. The goal will be to come up with brand-specific activities, opportunities, or collaborations that we can work together on.
For instance,
1) Imprint-specific contests
2) Imprint-specific conferences or conventions
3) Group advertising / marketing opportunities
4) Reviewing each other’s books
5) Imprint-specific show(s) on the BookSpeak Network
… and many more.
As a reminder, here are our imprints. Become familiar with which imprint your book(s) are published under. Some of you deal with multiple imprints.
Ars Metaphysica — paranormal, psychic, metaphysical, spirituality, Eastern philosophy F & NF
Brown Posey Press — literary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, politically left F & NF
Catamount Press — this is our new imprint for the Northern Appalachian region F & NF — more on this in upcoming newsletters (it has not launched yet)
Hellbender Books — horror / thriller / fantasy F only
Milford House Press — mystery/detective police procedural comedies romance YA this is our main Fiction imprint
Speckled Egg Press — currently coming out of hibernation — children’s F & NF
Verboten Books — edgy humor — rated R+ F only
Sunbury Press — our primary NF imprint — history / biography / memoir / religion / science / economics / politics non-partisan
Schedule:
Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct – Sunbury Press / Hellbender (& Verboten) Books
Feb/May/Aug/Nov – Ars Metaphysica / Milford House Press
Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec – Brown Posey Press / Speckled Egg
Look for invites coming your way soon! These will be conference calls.
Donald Dewey’s detective mystery “Green Triangles” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for November

Donald Dewey’s detective mystery “Green Triangles” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for November

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for November 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 Green Triangles Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
2 Three Rogues in Gettysburg J Geoffrey Barber Historical
3 2 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical
4 The Ghosts of Laurelford Margaret Meacham YA Thriller
5 3 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
6 All the Aliens in the Neighborhood Donald Dewey Short Stories
7 8 Death Knell of the Caliphate Scot McCauley Spy Thriller
8 6 Moon Games Shelly Frome Detective Thriller
9 7 Fortune’s Lament John Cressler Historical
10 Plus and Minus Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
11 Wake Up and Smell the Bees Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
12 1 Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
13 15 The Bartered Body J R Lindermuth Murder Mystery
14 Who’s Killing the Brooklyn Dodgers? Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
15 14 A Lenape Legacy Doris Wilbur Historical
Bridget Smith’s Civil War-era murder mystery “Where Elephants Fought” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for July

Bridget Smith’s Civil War-era murder mystery “Where Elephants Fought” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for July

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for July 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 2 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical
2 1 Atonement Kyle Alexander Romines Western
3 NEW The Peacekeeper Jess Steven Hughes Historical
4 NEW A Lenape Legacy Doris Wilbur Historical
5 14 Fortune’s Lament John Cressler Historical
6 16 The Wolf of Britannia II Jess Steven Hughes Historical
7 19 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical
8 6 The B Team Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
9 12 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
10 8 The Broken Lance Jess Steven Hughes Historical
11 17 Shadows in the Shining City John Cressler Historical
12 7 The Wolf of Britannia I Jess Steven Hughes Historical
13 A Brother’s Cold Case Dennis Herrick Murder Mystery
14 5 The Titan Strain Virginia Soenksen Dystopian Thriller
15 Had a Dying Fall Joan West Murder Mystery
16 4 The Closer Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
17 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Steven Hughes Historical
18 Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
19 Green Triangles Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
20 3 The Sea Is a Thief David Parmalee Historical
Kyle Romines’ debut western “Atonement” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for June

Kyle Romines’ debut western “Atonement” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for June

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for June 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 NEW Atonement Kyle Alexander Romines Western
2 18 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical
3 The Sea Is a Thief David Parmalee Historical
4 The Closer Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
5 1 The Titan Strain Virginia Soenksen Dystopian Thriller
6 The B Team Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
7 The Wolf of Britannia I Jess Steven Hughes Historical
8 The Broken Lance Jess Steven Hughes Historical
9 NEW The Man Who Hated History Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
10 NEW Plus and Minus Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
11 10 Who’s Killing the Brooklyn Dodgers? Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
12 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
13 8 The Fantasy League Murders Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
14 9 Fortune’s Lament John Cressler Historical
15 5 Wake Up and Smell the Bees Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
16 The Wolf of Britannia II Jess Steven Hughes Historical
17 Shadows in the Shining City John Cressler Historical
18 Murder Run Shelly Frome Murder Mystery
19 6 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical
20 Three Rogues at Gettysburg J Geoffrey Barber Historical

Announcing our new imprints …

I’ve made a career of implementing change in the IT world. For years, I’ve been the guy who comes in and leads large implementations to transform organizations. I’ve been the guy a lot of people groan about because I have been a harbinger of change — often difficult. Ideally, these changes work out and organizations become more efficient. I suppose I would not have survived for 35 years in IT if that were not the case.
Then comes Sunbury Press. While I am the owner, I was dreading changing anything. Everything seemed to be working well enough. Why should I disrupt what we are doing? Maybe it will screw things up!  Maybe I should just ride it out a little longer … funny how I, too, am nervous about change over my own domain — not so much when it is someone else’s!
After a lot of thought, and listening to advice from many quarters, including reviewing what other publishers in the industry have done, I have decided to go ahead and launch our new line of imprints. These will serve to better target our reader communities and hopefully develop loyalty in more of our offerings.
This decision was not easy.  We are not a large publisher from a financial perspective, and creating five additional brands could be cumbersome.  But, it is also necessary to achieve the level of success we are collectively seeking.
First, before I unveil them, know that we are still Sunbury Press, Inc. The corporate name is not changing. We are only changing the imprint or brand under which we register our books for sale. This means, depending on your category, your books will begin to have this new targeted branding. Nothing changes regarding our contracts, or from a legal perspective with the book trade.
So, here we go:
Sunbury Press — remains as our primary nonfiction imprint. Our history, self-help, science, political, biography/memoir titles will continue to be published under our traditional brand. This makes a lot of sense since it has been very successful with these categories. In fact, many bookstore buyers think of Sunbury Press as a history-oriented press.
Milford House Press — is our new general fiction line, including mysteries, historical, sports, westerns, and young adult titles. Several years ago, I was on my way to Boston and stayed over in Milford. There was a lovely classic revival mansion in the town which had been converted to the library. At the time, I thought of Milford House Press as a potential brand and had the logo in my head until just the other week, when I designed it. Some of you are already holding books with this new logo.
Hellbender Books — is our new imprint for our horror, thriller, fantasy, and science fiction titles. It has been clear for some time that segmenting these titles into a more appropriate brand would eliminate confusion. Usually, in my experience, a rising sun, as in the Sunbury Press logo, is the bane of the nasty things that dwell in the night. So, why would we want such a positive enlightened logo on our more disturbing material? I know Tom Malafarina and Keith Rommel are happier now. Hellbender came from the large salamanders found in streams in the northeast. While not creepy themselves, the name was cool. And, the logo has kind of a horned “H” thing going on. Anyway, I think it works.
Brown Posey Press — is our new imprint for our literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and arts-oriented titles. For these books, we wanted a more boutique feel — something more niche sounding. Tammi and I were watching a movie some time ago, and the actor mentioned brown posies. I actually reserved the URL that evening and have held it for quite awhile. Now it’s being put to use.  The logo includes a wood carving from the Middle Ages overlaid with two shade of brown.
Ars Metaphysica — permits us to segment our spiritual and metaphysical fiction and nonfiction. It will also be home for our paranormal titles. This imprint was cooked up last year, while talking to Susan Kiskis about a potential blog under this name. I pulled a mystical design from ancient times.
Speckled Egg Press — has been resurrected to be used for our childrens (juvenile) titles. While we had taken a hiatus from publishing them, we are looking at reintroducing a line of paperbacks under this brand. Tammi designed the logo several years ago, and it had been used on a limited number of books.
So, how will this work?  New books will be assigned to their appropriate imprint. As we release your new books, we may take that opportunity to rebrand your other titles, especially if they are in the same series. This takes time, and money, and will likely require many months to accomplish.  The goal is to complete the rebranding effort of active titles over the next 12 months.