Joan West’s detective thriller “Dying for Vengeance” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for January

Joan West’s detective thriller “Dying for Vengeance” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for January

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. —  Sunbury Press has released the bestsellers list for January for its Milford House Press fiction imprint. Joan West’s Dying for Vengeance a detective thriller based in the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, area took the top spot. Joan also took 5th with Had a Dying Fall, 7th with Courting Doubt and Darkness, and 8th with Darkness at First Light. Marie Sontag’s historical young adult novel The Bronze Dagger was second. Jess Steven Hughes took the third spot with his historical novel set in Ancient Rome, The Sign of the Eagle. Mark Mitten took 6th and 9th with his two Western novels, Hard to Quit and Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave. Dennis Herrick took two spots with his two novels the historical Winter of the Metal People and the murder mystery  A Brother’s Cold Case.  The humorous Miss Feesenschneezen Is Ill by David Parmalee, a young adult novel about unusual substitute teachers, was 10th. J. Geoffrey Barber’s romantic Three Rogues at Gettysburg, a historical novel set after the battle, was 11th.  Wade Fowler’s The Compass Island Incident, a thriller that incorporates the JFK assassination, dropped from the top spot to 12th. Patchtown by Jolene (Busher) Fay and Blood Moon by S J Vermillion rounded out the top 15.

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for January 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 Dying for Vengeance Joan West Detective Thriller
2 2 The Bronze Dagger Marie Sontag Historical YA
3 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Steven Hughes Historical
4 11 Hard to Quit Mark Mitten Western
5 Had a Dying Fall Joan West Detective Thriller
6 8 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
7 Courting Doubt and Darkness Joan West Detective Thriller
8 Darkness at First Light Joan West Detective Thriller
9 6 Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave Mark Mitten Western
10 5 Miss Feezenschneezen Is Ill David Parmalee Humorous YA
11 10 Three Rogues in Gettysburg J Geoffrey Barber Historical
12 1 The Compass Island Incident Wade Fowler Detective Thriller
13 A Brother’s Cold Case Dennis Herrick Detective Thriller
14 Patchtown Jolene Fay Historical
15 Blood Moon S J Vermillion Detective Thriller

West’s four books were greatly helped by author events. Sontag’s books continue to sell well to secondary schools. Hughes’ books continue to sell well through bookstore events in the Pacific Northwest. Mitten’s books have been selling well online. Herrick continues to hold author events to maintain his sales. The others were helped by publisher publicity and/or Kindle sales.

Jess Steven Hughes’ latest novel, “The Broken Lance,” draws high praise

Jess Steven Hughes’ latest novel, “The Broken Lance,” draws high praise

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Sunbury Press has released the Jess Steven Hughes’ The Broken Lance, his fourth Roman historical novel.

About the Book:

In Rome, when shaking hands with a stranger, you’d best count your fingers to see if they are still attached.

In 44 AD ancient Britannia is wild, unpredictable, and merciless. The dusty streets of Rome are chaotic and dangerous, home to incredible opulence, deplorable poverty, and a political web that catches anyone who dares to question the empire. Both places call to young Roman cavalry sergeant Marcellus Reburrus, who must survive a world of political treachery, in which one’s life can be taken in an instant—by friend or enemy.

After enduring a ravaging storm, Marcellus’s boots hit the shore of Britannia under the orders of Roman Emperor Claudius only to face deplorable conditions and a commander who would rather see Marcellus dead than reporting for duty. Despite the circumstances, Marcellus quickly makes a name for himself, earning awards for bravery, promotion to centurion, and further alienating himself from the evil commander.

Marcellus’s arrival in Rome brings a whole new set of problems, the least of which are dodging assassination attempts, unraveling conspiracies, and falling in love. From the underground caves of beggars beneath the city to the magnificent homes of the Roman elite, Marcellus uncovers an elaborate plot of betrayal―one that can bring down the entire city. Can he find the conspirators before they find him . . . and destroy everything he holds dear?

This beautifully descriptive novel brings to life the remarkable worlds of ancient Britannia and Rome—while following the brilliant Marcellus, whose entire life is turned upside down as he must solve a complex mystery . . . and stay alive amongst backstabbing senators, murderous traitors, and an extraordinary city whose legacy is both inspiring and duplicitous.

About the Author:

Jess Steven Hughes brought his lifetime’s fascination with ancient Roman history into his debut novel, THE SIGN OF THE EAGLE. Jess is a retired a police detective sergeant, Long Beach Police Dept, Long Beach, CA. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Southern California in Public Administration with a minor (my first academic love) in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations. He also served four years United States Marine Corps (1962/66). As a retired person, Jess believes in keeping very busy. You must stay active mentally, physically and socially. These are a few of the keys to a long and healthy retirement. Writing novels has contribute greatly to my quality of life. He lives with his wife, Liz, on a four acre mini-farm in Eastern Washington. His hobby is outdoor model railroading. He has an outdoor model railroad that was featured in the June/July, 2010 issue of the regional magazine PRIME NORTHWEST ( Check their website for the article.

Jess is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA), the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) and is active in two writers groups in the Spokane, WA area (Spokane Novelists and Spokane Valley Writers).

Praise for Jess Steven Hughes:

Brilliant Celtic Britain historical novel

By Janet Morris

This review is from: The Broken Lance (Kindle Edition)

I read this novel as an Arc. On the last page of the Broken Lance by Jess Steven Hughes, the legend reads: To Be Continued. When you reach that point, you’ll be thrilled to know another volume is coming. Hughes’ Celtic Britain historicals have all a reader craves: love, hate, revenge, betrayal, and pathos. This book is staggeringly good. You fall asleep holding it; you awake thinking about it. Your normal life fades to a pale shadow of the world Hughes creates. If you’ve read “The Sign of the Eagle,” or the two-volume “Wolf of Britannia,” I needn’t say more. If you haven’t yet read Hughes, start here, and have your faith in the novel restored. It grabs you by the throat, with women as compelling as the men. He brings politics at their worst to life, and teaches you why things were the way they were then. If you are searching adventure and a better understanding of human nature, The Broken Lance is your book. Once you’ve read it, you’ll go looking for the previous volumes in this series.Hughes is an American Ecco, writing for his time. His background as a Marine, a horseman, a police detective, all enhance his stories.

SO, if you love historical adventure, heroes of both sexes, and a story to make you think differently about modern life, here it is. Grab it and run — and get it autographed if you can.

Review by Michael Connery, The Written Word, July 23, 2017

By Michael Connery

This review is from: The Broken Lance (Kindle Edition)

Jess Steven Hughes’s The Broken Lance is a fascinating glimpse into the Roman military, politics, and culture of the mid-first century. From the wilderness and outposts of Britannia to the dangerous streets of Rome, Hughes’s latest venture into the ancient world is a gripping read.

The tale centers around a young Iberian cavalry sergeant, Marcellus Reburrus, who is swiftly rising through the ranks. In turns battle-hardened and compassionate, clever and foolish, Marcellus is dedicated to the men he leads and the empire he serves, even as he faces racial prejudices and a commanding officer with a family vendetta. Marcellas is an engaging protagonist, swift-thinking, relentless in battle, and driven to uphold his family’s honor. Fallible and passionate, he is a hero who is fully human, and all the more so relatable for it.

The amount of thorough research Hughes undertook for the story is evident on the page as the reader is drawn into the ancient world. The streets of Rome are as dangerous as the wilds of Britannia, and the culture of the era and the varying people groups are described in vivid detail. Hughes excels at creating memorable, rounded characters and at lacing the pages with subtle humor. While there are some anachronisms, the author manages to convey a sense of the era while still making it accessible to a modern audience.

Filled with murder, politics, and danger, the tale is a gripping, compelling read that breathes new life into an intriguing era. The Broken Lance is a tale of adventure and intrigue with an end that will leave the reader anticipating the next installment in Marcellus’s story.

The Broken Lance
Written by Jess Steven Hughes

List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm) 
Black & White on Cream paper
292 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067192
ISBN-10: 1620067196
BISAC: Fiction / Historical / General

Also available on Kindle

For more information, please see:

New book on the origin of Jesus debuts on top of the Sunbury Press bestseller list for October

jtp_fcMECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Jesus the Phoenician, Karim El Koussa’s well-researched alternative Christian history, was #1, upon its debut, thanks to author events related to his US book release tour.  Susan Dahlgren Daigneault’s In the Shadow of a Mountain, a memoir about her war hero father, Ed Dahlgren, and his PTSD, ranked #2 due to events and promotions in her home state of Maine.

Sunbury Press’s year-to-date sales for 2013 are up 25% over 2012. EBook sales are up only 9% over the year-to-date prior, significantly lagging the growth in print sales. Sales for the month of October were up 54% compared to October 2012. Regarding the monthly performance, it was the 2nd best month of the year and 2nd best October ever.

Bob Ford’s Beagle Tales 4, the latest edition of his folksy humorous series about rural living, debuted at #3, thanks to author events in the State College area.

Jess Steven Hughes’ The Sign of the Eagle, historical fiction set in Roman times, ranked #4 due to the author’s aggressive appearance schedule at bookstores in the Pacific Northwest.

Dennis Herrick’s Winter of the Metal People, a novel about the Tiguex War between the Spanish and the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico, ranked #5 due to regional sales in New Mexico.
That Night at Surigao, Ernie Marshall’s well-researched history of the last clash between battleships in World War 2, nabbed the 6th position thanks to recent author events.

The Joe’s — Farrell and Farley — reclaimed the 7th spot withKeystone Tombstones Volume 1 thanks to continued interest in the series and their media appearances.

Robert Miller’s The Cogan Legend, a novel about a murder mystery in pre-Civil War upstate Pennsylvania, slotted at #8 thanks to author activities.

Alan Mindell’s The Closer, a baseball love story, joined the list at #9 thanks to seasonal interest in the sport.

Guy Graybill’s Prohibition’s Prince returned to the rankings, taking #10 on the list, due to sales at Williamsport area bookstores and author activities.

Following are the top overall print sellers by category:

History / Memoir – Jesus the Phoenician by Karim El Koussa
ul_fcFiction  – The Sign of the Eagle by Jess Steven Hughes
Horror/Mystery – Undead Living edited by Thomas Malafarina
Children/YA – Colors in the Garden by Wendy Latty
The Arts – Contemporary Photo Impressionists by T K McCoy
Self-Help – Raising Monarchs by Sue Fox McGovern
Metaphysical/Spiritual – Messages from Beyond by Michele Livingston
Reference – Linnea’s Kitchen: Yummy Ayurvedic Recipes and Life Lessons by Linnea Jepson

The company released eleven new titles during the month of October:
Beagle Tales 4 by Bob Ford
Jesus the Phoenician by Karim El Koussa
Dinorific Poetry Volume 3 by Mike & Ethan Sgrignoli
Colors in the Garden by Wendy Latty
Colors in the Garden the Creator Made by Wendy Latty
Undead Living edited by Thomas Malafarina
Normal Comix Volume 1 by Sean Madden
519+ToMmPfL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Crossers #1: The Man in the Mountain by Terry Ray
The Crossers #2: The Circle by Terry Ray
The Crossers #3: Crossing the Valley by Terry Ray
The Crossers #4: Path to Armageddon by Terry Ray

For a list of Sunbury’s all-time best-sellers, please see the Sunbury Press web site:

For a complete list of recent and upcoming releases, please see: