Pet crow bonds with fatherless boy in inspirational novel by Paul Argentini

VENICE, Fla.Sunbury Press has released Charlie Caw, Paul Argentini’s latest novel, for middle grade and young adults.

cc_fcAbout the Book:
A crow that picks wildflowers and delivers them to show affection, and a fatherless boy who teaches the bird how to fly create a heartwarming story of these two disparate beings going and growing with one another. Their deep and abiding companionship keeps them close, yet they remain free to maintain all their relationships. Each protects the other in awkward situations, but they respect one another to allow the freedom to make individual choices. They confront humorous and dangerous situations with daring spirit learning a bit more of the other’s world with each confrontation. CHARLIE CAW is such a likeable story one can only believe it is true. It will find a niche in your memory for a long, long time.

Excerpt:
Charlie Partridge caught at his breath with the firing squad’s volley. His body tensed. He expected the bullets to tear through his clothes and into his flesh. He felt as if they already had.

It was the nightmare. Again.

The panorama of the cemetery flashed into his mind. There was the October mackerel sky and the flag-draped casket suspended over the blackness. Standing were dozens of people wearing mask-like faces. As he had never seen her, there was his mother sitting under the canopy: her face white and drawn, her eyes glowing briquettes, her lips held tight to a slash. There was the bass-drum monotone of the minister uttering profundities. There was the cadre of officers and the honor guard who had escorted the fallen decorated hero to this country gravesite with its majesty of flowers. There was the formal precision of the military funeral. These ceremonies were for his father, Lt. James Partridge, but he hoped they had made a mistake and it really was someone else.

More volleys followed.

Charlie wondered if such a barrage had also resounded before the hero had died. He wondered if he, too, had smelled the acrid smoke from burning gunpowder.

Charlie watched the haze settle softly among the blades of dew-damp grass. Then, closing his eyes, he saw himself start to fall as if into an abyss of reverie: it was dawn. His father whistled, as usual, as he slipped into his bedroom to wake him. As they had done so many times before, father, mother, and son grabbed a quick breakfast and the fishing gear, then the three of them were off. Shortly thereafter, he stood shivering in the gurgle and splash of the spring-fed brook where the bespeckled trout hid.

Charlie opened his eyes. A stern-faced officer bowed before Charlie’s mother. He offered her the triangularly-folded American flag. With yet another rush of tears, she took it and clutched it to her breast. Without straightening, the officer turned to Charlie seated beside her, and their eyes locked. As if taking part in a conspiracy, he signaled Charlie with a slight nod.

He watched the officer perform an agonizingly slow salute to his mother and to the flag. Charlie felt the wet at the small of his back turn cold. Then, the officer beckoned with his fingers and nodded, indicating Charlie was to follow him. Charlie stood. They walked to the far end of the headstone-studded field.

“We need to talk,” the officer said to Charlie.

Charlie stared at his medals, then at the man’s chest. “Your shirt is stained, sir,” Charlie said.

“I apologize if it troubles you,” he said pointing, “but this is a blood stain from the wound that earned me the Silver Star Medal and took my life. That’s what happened to your father,” the officer responded. “Only those who have been wounded in battle may have the honor of participating in the ceremonies for a fallen comrade. It is my privilege and honor to be here.” The officer turned toward the knot of people surrounding the open grave, then asked, “Were you and your dad close, Charlie?”

Charlie raised his eyebrows and looked up at the man, nodding his head for several seconds, then said, “Sir, I must go home. Now.”

“Sorry, son,” he said. “To leave this cemetery, you need to be brave; you need to be courageous and you need to be strong. You must allow yourself to cry. You must accept what has happened. This funeral will go on until you accept the fact that your dad is not coming back. When you acknowledge that, then this funeral will end.”

“Everything was so sudden,” Charlie said.

The officer put his hand on Charlie’s shoulder and said, “You can only deny this for so long.” The soldier’s face grew even more somber as he folded his arms and continued, “Time is another problem. When is your next birthday?”

“June sixteenth. I’ll be fourteen.”

“Fourteen! Is that so? You seem older. The fact is, your next birthday, that’s your deadline.”

“Deadline?” Charlie flexed his eyebrows. “Why a deadline?”

The officer shrugged. “Son, many brave men and women fall in battle. Each one deserves to be commemorated, such as we are doing now for your dad. But, we only have so much time for each funeral, or we’d fall way behind. We want to serve everyone their full measure of respect. Once you acknowledge that it is your father’s funeral, you will be through with the formalities, the grieving, and with us here at the cemetery. It will allow us to move on with our work, and you can get on with your life.”

“Thank you, Sir”, Charlie said. “All I know is that something important has changed in my life. It’s so confusing, and I don’t understand any of it.”

“I regret to say understanding will come with time. Meanwhile, it’s like getting measles, you just have to work through it,” the officer said. “The apparitions and demons must be worse.”

Charlie felt the muscles in his face tighten. “Yes, they’re just awful. They’re frightening.” He pulled his shoulders back and said, “Mother’s alone. I must go.” He turned and marched with the officer back to the ceremony.

The brittle, dredging notes of the bugler’s taps consumed the air as if to suffocate Charlie.

He found his arms tight around his mother with his face buried in the folded flag, her spasms pulsating through and shaking his body for an endless moment. Then, taking his mother’s lead, he tried to place the rose he found in his hand on the imposing coffin. He could not let go of the stem – it stuck to his fingers! Shake as hard as he could, the flower still clung to him, and he felt it draw him into the void beneath the casket.

Charlie Caw
Authored by Paul Argentini
List Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 154 pages
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc. (April 23, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620065851
ISBN-13: 978-1620065853
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
BISAC: Fiction / Young Adult / Relationships

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Charlie-Caw-978162006585…

An immigrant girl is separated from her mother in this YA historical novel by Anne Marie Drew

ANNAPOLIS, Md.Sunbury Press has released Anne Marie Drew’s first novel “The Piano Bed,” a historical young adult novel about an immigrant girl separated from her mother.

tpb_fcAbout the Book:
Caeli survives an earthquake, her father’s death, and an abrupt voyage from Italy to the United States. Now, she faces steely-eyed Nona Rosie who forces her to sleep in a piano and classmates who make her feel like an outcast. Worst of all, everyone believes her mother is dead. 10-year-old Caeli Farina refuses to give up hope. She knows her beloved Mama is alive and sets out to find her.

Excerpt:
With a cloth, Nona Rosie briskly dusted off the piano. Caeli coughed and waved the dust from her face. She had no idea what Nona was doing. If Caeli was supposed to sleep in this room, Nona better make a bed appear real quick, or at least get more pillows so the floor wouldn’t be so hard.

Nona pulled the bench out from under the piano.

“How I detest this thing. Sheer nonsense.”

Nona could even be mad at a piano?

“Utter foolery,” Nona snapped. “Angelina wanted this thing.”

She watched as Nona unfolded the piano. She pulled down the entire front of the piano, easing it onto the floor, like one of those beds that unfolds from a wall. Metallic sounds came from the strings.

Nona pulled a thin mattress from a closet and flung it on top of the open platform. Even more dust. More metallic sounds. She put white sheets on the now-bed, slipped the pillow into its case, and then covered everything with a white quilt.

“There,” Nona said. “This will be your bed.

About the author:
Anne Marie Drew is an English Professor at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where she teaches writing and Shakespeare. She’s served as Department Chair, Faculty Senate President, and Director of Masqueraders, the theatre troupe. She writes about everything from Shakespeare to spaghetti sauce. Mother to three children and nona to three granddaughters, she lives in Annapolis. And she has a puppy named Zucca.

The Piano Bed

Authored by Anne Marie Drew

List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
132 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064573
ISBN-10: 162006457X
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Historical / Europe

Also available on Kindle and Nook

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Piano-Bed-9781620064…

"The Oxygen Factory" is a YA dystopian action adventure by Renée des Lauriers

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Renée des Lauriers’ debut novel The Oxygen Factory, a YA dystopian action adventure.

About the book:

tof_fc

Breathe the air and die. Or worse, breathe and survive as one of the infected—blind, scarred, mangled, and stripped of everything but the hunger. Every day that Stella survives, scavenging through the buildings left standing, is another chance for the infected to kill her. If they can hear her, they know exactly where she is. If she stands still they can sniff her out. Fifteen years after the spread of the toxins, Stella was raised watching the infected hunt humans down. She told herself that it wasn’t ever going to happen to her.

Until one day, Stella finds a man washed up on the shore, from the Oxygen factory; the factory that ships out pills, which work its way into the lungs and pump oxygen throughout the body. He is part of the only organization working to keep humanity alive. Stella knows that to save him, will put her straight into danger. She’ll have to fight off more than just the infected to keep his secrets and keep him safe.

About the Author:
Renée des Lauriers was raised in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in America. There amidst the crowds and traffic, she pictured what would happen if the zombie apocalypse broke out. She now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and chinchillas.

The Oxygen Factory

Authored by Renée des Lauriers

List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
160 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064108
ISBN-10: 1620064103
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Dystopian

Also available on Kindle and Nook

For more information about the book, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Oxygen-Factory-97816…