A Modern Hester Prynne for ‘The Year of the Woman’

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Rachel Sims, an indomitable spirit in an intolerant religious community, is rumored to have left her husband for a man driving an expensive car from another state. Like Hester Prynne in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, she becomes the symbol of sin and adultery. Years later, another young woman becomes convinced that the true story of what happened to Rachel Sims is trapped in her own early life memories.

Book overview:

Rachel Sims, a young Midwestern farm wife, disappears in 1952 under mysterious circumstances while apparently on her way to a clandestine meeting with a man who is not her husband. Some people in a nearby small town claim they saw her leaving the area “with a well-dressed gentleman driving a car with Iowa license plates.” Others assign various nefarious motives to her disappearance. Only Charlie Flanigan, a cemetery caretaker known to the locals as “Crazy Charlie,” refuses to accept the ugly gossip about Rachel Sims. He insists he still sees her walking the riverbanks on Hodges Island on dark spring evenings when the lilacs are in bloom. After the death of her mother twenty-two years later, Laura Fielding, a graduate student with a bonding disorder and a history of broken relationships, discovers that her family may have been living under stolen identities. She also has vague memories and dreams that are unconnected to anything she remembers from her early childhood experiences. With the help of psychiatrist Ned Finley, an eccentric researcher who studies human memories, she attempts to solve the mystery of her lineage by bringing her early life memories to the surface through regressive hypnosis. They are assisted by Finley’s friend Aurther Schlepler, a retired psychic who once helped police departments solve difficult homicide cases, but who has taken up permanent residence in the Farmington State Mental Hospital. Laura eventually visits Point Tyson, where she learns that her mysterious past may be connected to the disappearance of the young farm wife, who reportedly left the area with a wealthy man. Although the townspeople believe Rachel Sims was an immoral woman who abandoned her husband for a better life, Laura suspects the real reasons for the young farm wife’s disappearance might be found in her own early life memories.

Book review:

"Excellent story line which was gripping from start to finish. Great Characters. I would highly recommend this book"

~ Net Gallery

About the author:

Dennis M. Clausen was born and raised in a Minnesota small town near the South Dakota border. His early years on the prairie provided the inspiration for his novels and other literary works that chronicle the struggles of these small towns to survive in modern America. In addition to writing and publishing since the early 1980s, he has been a professor of American literature and screenwriting at the University of San Diego for forty-six years. Currently, he is working with Sunbury Press on several literary projects. The Search for Judd McCarthy and The Sins of Rachel Sims, novels that feature the fictional character Ned Finley’s research into early-life and other human memories, are scheduled for publication in early summer of 2018. The Accountant’s Apprentice, a novel set in San Diego at a time when the homeless population was increasing dramatically, is scheduled for publication in October of 2018. My Christmas Attic, the story of a young boy struggling with dyslexia and the loss of his father in the Korean War, will be published in late November of 2018.

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Dennis Clausen

by Dennis Clausen

BROWN POSEY PRESS

Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .7

9781620062074

222 Pages

FICTION / Literary

FICTION / Psychological

FICTION / Small Town & Rural

 

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publicity@sunburypress.com

Doc investigates late WWII vet’s deathbed confessions

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Check out Deseret News coverage of  Dr. Scott Zuckerman's work:

Deseret News

"Dreams of my Comrades is, blessedly, not just another misty-eyed WWII war story valorizing the flawless heroism of a soldier. Nor is it a cynical exposé of the horrors of war. It is, instead, a compelling humanist encounter between generations — the telling of the same story by one who was there and one who was not."

~ Brandi Chase

Book overview:

The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs

When a ninety-five-year-old World War II veteran from Utah agrees to reveal the untold details of his wartime experiences to a pediatrician from Brooklyn, an intense bond is formed between the two men, each of whom is taken on an unexpected journey in search of the truth.

Dreams of My Comrades chronicles the life of Murray Jacobs, a former Navy Seabee, who served in the Pacific Theater and was treated for PTSD until his death at the age of ninety-eight. He agreed to a series of interviews, under the strict conditions that his real name could not be used, and the details of the conversations could not be disclosed to anyone until after he was dead.

 

Murray’s story is not one of heroism, nor does he portray himself as heroic in his narrative. In the course of his dialogue with the author, Murray confesses to wartime atrocities the likes of which have never before been heard. Despite his advanced age, his recollections are entirely lucid, and he describes the events of his life in vivid detail. As the conversations progress, however, the author comes to recognize the challenges involved in trying to depict history based on the account of a single elderly man. Discrepancies lead to doubts, doubts lead to disbelief, disbelief leads to investigation, and after exhausting all possible avenues of research, unanswered questions linger and tantalize. This is a unique story, one that will not only appeal to connoisseurs of history but to anyone interested in the psychology of the human condition. It is unlike any narrative ever told about a veteran of the Second World War.

Book review:

"Outstanding book. Not just for people who enjoy biographies or stories about World War II...

This book is an excellent book for people who are interested in the stories of our World War II veterans that are slowly being lost to time, but it turns out that the book is so much more than the simple telling of one man's story of his service to our country. The book evolves into a complex journey of two men, the author and the subject, challenging the concepts of truth. In one man's story, it turns out there are many people's story, including the author. It is told in a warm, engaging manner that respects the subject matter, yet challenges it at the same time. The author takes on his own personal journey, sometimes funny and sometimes painful, of this intriguing and ever-evolving subject."

        ~ Michael Lucas, 5-star review on Amazon

About the author:

Dr. Scott Zuckerman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan. His high school English teacher, Frank McCourt—who would later win a Pulitzer Prize for his memoir, Angela’s Ashes—inscribed in his yearbook, “You have displayed the writer’s gift. Cultivate it.” Forty years later, after a successful career as a physician, Zuckerman has heeded McCourt’s advice. Dreams of My Comrades was awarded first place in the nonfiction category of the 2015 Utah Original Writing Competition.

 

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by Scott Zuckerman, MD

SUNBURY PRESS

Trade paperback - 6 x 9 x .7

9781620067451

296 Pages

PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

HISTORY / Military / World War II

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

 

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publicity@sunburypress.com

Psychological services in nursing homes

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"If I can stop just a small part of their suffering by helping others to understand the illness from my viewpoint, then all my efforts will not be in vain." ~ Karen Severson, M.D.

Karen Severson, M.D., gives us invaluable insight into dementia with her psychology background as well as her desire to care for families. This book intertwines mental health, nursing homes, and family coping to provide support and understanding of dementia care. She appropriately utilizes humor, so the novel is not emotionally taunting. She also provides stories of her own personal life and experiences to relate to her readers. Severson cares tremendously about her patients and the families, as everyone suffers. Her book finally creates a conversation about grandparents, dementia, how to help, and how to cope.

Book overview:

Karen Severson, M.D., has spent the last twenty years as a Geriatric Psychiatrist wandering the halls of those dreaded destinations called nursing homes. She became mentally exhausted from watching people with Alzheimer's disease decline and suffer. She wrote about the unnecessary suffering caused by doctors, nurses, and families who are on totally different pages regarding end-of-life issues. She realized doctors tend to avoid these conversations and families can remain in extended denial of dementia.

This book is intended to help families understand dementia and its associated behaviors in a down to earth manner. Dr. Severson uses a great deal of humor as not to scare people from the subject. She also discusses several other important issues, but mainly how we can better allow families to learn to let go of those with end-stage illness. Dr. Severson hopes to prevent unnecessary and potentially harmful medical interventions as well as allow more geriatric patients to die in peace.

Book review:

"I know, I know, a 5 star rating looks fake. I can assure you I really recommend this book. I wish it had been available to me when I was the primary caregiver for my mother. It's like Karen Severson has read my mind or diary, she touches on so many of the concerns and questions I encountered during my tenure. She writes from years of clinical and professional experience, but it's conversational rather than lecture. I could see this book as a reference right alongside The 36-Hour Day. If your Alzheimer's Organization has a book discussion group, or a reading list, I would definitely include Look, I shrank Grandma as a selection. This reference is practical, relatable, hopeful and empowering. I will definitely advocate for this book as I appreciate the care and clarity with which it is delivered. I think that what I appreciated most was that she didn't sugarcoat the expectations and the progression of the disease. Her section on end-of-life decisions is sooooo necessary to so many families."

~ Janet, five-star customer review on Amazon

 

About the author:

 

Karen Severson, M.D., is a geriatric psychiatrist with a passion for the elderly. After spending 20 years in nursing homes, she felt the need to write about what she saw in hopes of helping others. Severson used humor to survive the experience and felt her book needed to include that same humor as well. If she did not learn to laugh, then she would have cried. Severson tries to create a conversation between caregivers and nursing home staff; the goal is to improve dementia care for everyone. This book is the catalyst to start this overdue conversation between both sides.

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by Karen Severson, M.D.

SUNBURY PRESS

Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .5

9781620067529

144 Pages

PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adulthood & Aging

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Eldercare

 

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publicity@sunburypress.com

Life on the front lines in Vietnam — 50 years ago

"What you read in these pages is what I remember-- every day."

~ Charles Kniffen, author

 

Charles Kniffen's true story reveals the lasting hardships and struggles of combat, even fifty years later. Seven months of combat in Vietnam transformed to hurtful, unforgettable effects for Kniffen and his loved ones. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, can rule Kniffen's life. Now, he reveals this unfair ruling through Fifty Years in a Foxhole.

Book overview:

Fifty Years in a Foxhole is an episodic account of the author's seven months in combat in Vietnam. He and his platoon were in several major engagements including the Battle of the Hills and Operation Utah. The main focus of these operations are the lives of the marines and attrition through action and "friendly fire" as they endure these pointless dangers.

Each chapter contains two parts, and the second part is about the author's fifty years of living with undiagnosed PTSD. He struggled to find a way to live in the thrall of the existential elan he developed in combat while insisting that this edgy verve could be enjoyed without the constant threat of fear, violence, and death. It explores PTSD from a new perspective, more as a shared betrayal with many other people in our society.

Book review:

"Charles Kniffen is a natural writer - the words just flow. Intense, to be sure, but also compelling. He tells the story of his time in Vietnam, and what followed that time. They say "war is hell" but just because the war ends does not mean the warriors can ever come home, at least not as the same person. If I say any more I'll say too much, and not as well as Kniffen does."

~ John D. Rule, Amazon Customer

 

About the author:

Charles Kniffen is a combat wounded veteran of the Vietnam war. He obtained a GED while serving in the Marine Corps and earned a Master's Degree in Philosophy from Uconn. Previous to his college education, Charles worked as a truck driver, a milkman, and a herdsman on a New England dairy farm. He was employed as a Mental Health Worker, a Licensed Social Worker, and a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Albuquerque, NM. The uncontested high point in his job-hopping, entry-level career was working with autistic children to write, develop, and produce a series of puppet plays.

Charles attends a Combat Veteran's group in Machias, ME and has been an all-season solo kayaker for two decades, plying the North Atlantic from Spring Point to the Bay of Fundy. He and his wife, Rhonda Welcome are the co-owners of Turtle Dance Totems, a sea-junk assemblage art studio and they are leading a community project to recover and re-articulate the skeleton of a 55' finback whale buried in the mud flats of Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine.

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by Charles Kniffen

SUNBURY PRESS

Trade paperback - 6 x 9 x .8

9781620061602

265 Pages

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

HISTORY / Military / Vietnam War

HISTORY / United States / 20th Century

For publicity information, contact:
publicity@sunburypress.com