Cold case reopened in Alburquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.Sunbury Press has released Dennis Herrick’s murder mystery novel A Brother’s Cold Case. The book had been previously self-published by the author.

abcc_fcAbout the Book:
When the murder of Andy Cornell’s brother is still unsolved after two and a half years, Andy enters Albuquerque’s hidden worlds of cartel violence, street people,  and Pueblo secrets to find justice.

He and Rick were inseparable as boys. So Andy is determined as a newspaper’s police reporter to help the cold-case unit find a breakthrough on the murder of his detective brother.

Andy’s ex-wife, a cold-case detective he once loved, a Pueblo tribal policeman, a college history professor, and a homeless drug informant seem unlikely allies. But they help Andy untangle conflicting details about his brother’s cold case.

To solve Rick’s murder, Andy must prove his own innocence when he becomes the suspect in the homicides of another man and a long-time reporter friend.

What Others Are Saying:
A Brother’s Cold Case is timely and compelling. This story of a reporter’s search to connect a series of unexplained deaths before he becomes the next victim could have been ripped from newspaper headlines. Complete with a harrowing Sandia Mountain ambush, a life-threatening fire, and a long-surviving Pueblo Indian community with closely held secrets, this mystery will keep you up at night. Dennis Herrick’s new book is a good tale well told.” —Anne Hillerman, author of Spider Woman’s Daughter and Rock With Wings

Excerpt:
Taking another swig caused him to look up. That’s when he realized the man had turned to walk toward him.

“Beat it,” he ordered the man.

The man continued walking toward him. Rick slid off the picnic table bench and rose to his feet. He didn’t want to be sitting if it came to fighting for his booze.

The man stopped on the other side of the table. He wore dark clothes and stared at Rick from under the bill of a baseball cap pulled low over his eyes. His right arm extended toward Rick.

“What the hell you want?” Rick shook his doubled-up fists as a warning. “I told you to go away, you sonuvabitch. I mean it.”

The man seemed to smile as he stepped into a pool of light. Or was it a sneer? “Hello, Rick.”

Rick blinked. Another former cop? Not familiar. Who is this guy, Rick thought, and how does he know my name?

Rick grabbed his bottle and backed up a step. Now illumination from a park lamp glimmered on the steel pistol in the man’s right hand. A long sound suppressor extended from the barrel. With the table separating them, Rick couldn’t try to move closer and grab the gun as he’d been trained at the police academy years ago. Under the best of circumstances, that was hard to pull off anyway. Still, Rick thought, with the bourbon reassuring his brain of all things possible, maybe he could do it.

He moved sideways around the table to get closer. “Put the gun down,” he said as he took a step toward the man. He almost lost his balance, stepping sideways like that. “Put it away and just leave. We’ll pretend this never happened.”

Rick could see the man’s teeth gleam in the indirect light.

A rush, Rick thought. I’ll throw the bottle at him and rush him.

Rick was a split second from jumping at the man when his world ended.

herrickAbout the Author:
Dennis Herrick writes mostly about the American Southwest, focusing on the Pueblo natives for his short stories, magazine articles, and his historical novel, Winter of the Metal People.

A Michigan native, he worked for and around newspapers all of his adult life as a daily newspaper reporter, a chief of staff handling press relations for a congressman, a weekly newspaper publisher and editor, a newspaper broker, and finally a full-time lecturer on journalism at the University of New Mexico.

He is a winner of the Tony Hillerman Mystery Contest and the Society of Southwestern Authors Contest.

He and his wife, Beatrice, have been married since 1967. They live along the west bank of the Rio Grande between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

A Brother’s Cold Case
Authored by Dennis Herrick
List Price: $16.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
258 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064795
ISBN-10: 1620064790
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural

Also available on Kindle
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/A-Brothers-Cold-Case-978…

Keith Rommel’s “You Killed My Brother” acquired by Sunbury Press

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.Sunbury Press has released Keith Rommel’s thriller novel You Killed My Brother, the first book of the Cultures Collide series. Sunbury Press acquired the title from GMTA Publishing (Enigma Press imprint) in August.

ykmb_fcAbout the Book:
Rainer is a successful doctor and father of two. He’s a celebrated member of the community for his exceptional care and charity work. Brick is a local street thug that can’t keep his nose clean. When fate brings the two together through tragedy, the life of Rainer is changed dramatically. Glenn is a seasoned cop and Rainer’s younger brother. Trusting the justice system, he keeps his desire for revenge in check as Brick is brought to trial. But when the jury hands Brick a lean sentence, Glenn sets out to avenge his family’s suffering. But what he forgets in his rage is that for every action, there is a reaction.

Excerpt:
If murder were legal, there would be dozens of bodies left in Jennifer’s wake.

“Damn it,” she whispered, and heaved a sigh. She stared at the caravan of cars that inched forward and squeezed the steering wheel. They went on as far as the eye could see, hardly moving. She rested her elbow on the armrest and pushed taut fingers through her hair.

“Mom?”

Jennifer looked into the rearview mirror and both Emily and Hannah stared back.

“Yes?” Jennifer said with the most patient voice she could muster.

“You shouldn’t say words like that mommy,” Emily said.

“You’re right, I shouldn’t. I’m sorry.”

“Do you think we’re going to be late, is that why you’re mad?” Emily said.

The clock on the car radio read 4:00.

“I hope not,” Jennifer said, but deep down inside she didn’t think their tardiness was avoidable. She clamped her eyes shut and tried to ignore a deep pain that pulsed and hid tactfully behind her eyes.

“Are you not feeling well, mommy?” Hannah said.

“Mommy’s fine,” she said. “I am just worried that we are going to be late and that will make me and your daddy late for the event.”

“It’s okay,” Hannah said and looked out the side window. “You shouldn’t worry so much. Daddy is the star and they can’t do anything without him.”

Jennifer laughed. “I suppose you’re right.” She watched as a car rode the shoulder all the way to the next exit.

“Mommy, you should follow him,” Emily said, and pointed at the car that Jennifer watched. “He’s going fast!”

“I…” Jennifer thought to protest the suggestion, but knew it was the only way. The risk of getting a ticket was worth the time she could save. She cut the wheel hard right and stepped on the gas. The powerful car raced up the shoulder and approached another long line of cars that led to a blinking traffic light. She pressed the brake pedal hard and stopped the car just short of the vehicle in front of her. The force of the abrupt halt pushed everyone forward in their seats and snapped them back.

“I’m sorry,” Jennifer said. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

“You don’t think daddy will leave without you, do you?” Hannah said, her eyes wide with the question.

“No, I don’t suppose he would.”

The vehicles ahead of her managed to merge their way into traffic quicker than she anticipated.

“He loves you too much to do that,” Hannah said. “He tells you that all the time.”

“You are very smart.” Jennifer smiled.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel authored the critically acclaimed dark suspense Thanatology Series which includes The Cursed Man (book 1), The Lurking Man (book 2) and The Sinful Man (book 3). Keith has dabbled in psychological crime with the fast-paced You Killed My Brother and his new supernatural release where angels and demons face off in Among The People. His next release will be The Silent Woman (book 4) Keith is the co-screenplay writer for The Cursed Man movie being filmed in Los Angeles, California as a major motion picture under the same title.

You Killed My Brother
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
196 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065082
ISBN-10: 1620065088
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers / Crime

Also available on Kindle & Nook
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/You-Killed-My-Brother-97…

Pastor finds meaning in his beloved old oak chair

BEULAH, Colo.Sunbury Press has released Rev. James A. Campbell’s visionary memoir The Chair. Road trip photographs were provided by Vernon J. LaBau.

tc_fcAbout the Book:
Sometimes, one needs a special mentor to find life and its wonder. Sometimes, that mentor is a chair.

The Chair is Pastor James Campbell’s spiritual odyssey that leads us through the night of emptiness and then emerges into the light of compassion, intervention, and redemption.  Through his renovation of a simple chair, reverence for worn out sewing needles in the Japanese celebration of Hari-Kuyo, and reflection upon how stress to the Diamond Willows of Alaska produces works of art, this parable describes Campbell’s own epiphanies during the course of his life travels ministering to the forgotten and broken.

“For members of the helping profession, caregivers, or those looking for meaning in meaningless times, Campbell is a valuable read.   He will guide you, literally and figuratively, out of the ruins of the great dust bowl to a peaceful Colorado valley.  And he will show you how all these things remain part of your soul.” — Steve Schoenmakers, M.S., Superintendent, Retired, Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

With warmth and wit, James Campbell explores one of life’s mysteries:  the way ordinary objects acquire meaning in our lives.  In literal and symbolic journeys with him across the country and through the years, his old oak chair becomes a catalyst for new discoveries, comic revelations, daydreams, and finally, of blessing.   He shares his wisdom, borne of rich experience, and leads us to think about what the things we treasure and what they might mean to us. — Margaret M. Barber, Ph.D.  Professor Emeritus of English, Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The Chair is a metaphor, at first puzzling, then intriguing and then a reference to “life.” The book hooked me into experiences of my own life. This was enjoyable, enlightening. I ended the book wanting to know more, unwilling to have to say, “the end.” — Taylor McConnell, Professor Emeritus,  Garrett-Evangelical Seminary

Vernon J. LaBau (left) and Rev. James A. Campbell (right).

Vernon J. LaBau (left) and Rev. James A. Campbell (right).

Excerpt:
A life by that one thing.

How many funerals through the years were planned around that thought? Show me something that is your father, his spirit, distilled into that one thing: a coffee cup, a favorite chair, a fishing rod, a photograph.

Life in that one thing.

For me, that one thing is the old oak chair and that one thing is this story. I wish I had one picture, just one, of when it all began. I doubt the chair, a captain’s chair, would be the center of any photo. Most likely the chair would be in the picture’s corner, out of focus, perhaps cut off in partial disclosure. Still, hopefully, there would be enough of the chair in the photo to witness to its original humbled condition and its overlooked place in the backyard. Overlooked is a good word for forgotten. That is what the old chair was, forgotten in plain sight, overlooked. Its once caned seat was missing the caning and the seat was now a piece of makeshift plywood. Its weathered layers of green, beige, orange, and turquoise paint were peeling like diseased skin.

In fairness, the chair had some utility. The family cat claimed it as a lounge. By knotting the garden hose around its arm, the chair could be posed to point the hose nozzle across the lawn or garden. Looking back, I wish I had had the wisdom to capture such mundane moments with a camera. Photography was my one art. I earned money selling photos of my valley. I knew what was appealing. Yet, I missed what would become a centerpiece of my life.
When that revelation came, it was not a dramatic epiphany, but rather quiet bemusement. It was a joke. Joke can be another word for “dismissed”, as “dismissed” is another word for forgotten.

A joke was how I remember first seeing it through the kitchen window, really seeing it. Even then it was a subtle joke… not a funny grab-the-camera joke, only a reason to pause as pause turns to passing wonder and passing wonder to “what if?” Wouldn’t it be something if, under all that paint, there was still enough integrity of wood to both bear a luster and, if reinforced, to even serve its purpose as a chair?

Christmas was two months off. With no money for gifts, I wondered if, with considerable effort, I might give the old chair a new face, well, as much a new face as the chair would allow. Certainly, I had no idea that the joke of that old chair before me was sacred, as ironic humor sometimes is. That chair was the essence of my calling, my door to the kingdom of God. It was to be the parable of hope with which I would relate and come to bless others. Eventually, the chair became a mentor, as it inspired taking the camera into the sacredness of forgotten places. If only I had thought to take just one picture through the kitchen window.

One October day, 1971, with no one watching, I removed the old chair to the garage of Hugh Reed down in the village. In the two months of the chair’s renovation, not one mention was made in the family that the old chair was gone from the backyard, a true test of the meaning of forgotten.

jcampbellAbout the Author:
Rev. James A. Campbell, D. Min. is a retired clergy living in Beulah Valley, Colorado.  His writings and paintings culminate thirty-nine years of ministry in Iowa and Alaska. Much of the emphasis of his work in Alaska was as Director of Humanitarian Aid to the Russian Far East during the desperate years from 1995-2003. Rev. Campbell is the author of seven books. He spends these years discovering multiple ways of knowing, the wonder unto beauty of each venue of discovery, and the doors that then open to the sacred.

The Chair
Authored by James A. Campbell, Photographs by Vernon J. LaBau
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Full Color on White paper
82 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064955
ISBN-10: 1620064952
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Religious

Coming soon on Kindle
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Chair-9781620064955.htm

Seen In Ink: The New Writer-Reader Relationship

by Emma Thomas

From oral to literary cultures, from the manuscripts of the past to the e-books of today, the view of writers and poets has gone through dramatic changes. What’s the difference between a writer and an author? How do people now view both literary creations and their creators? In her song ‘Creation’, singer-songwriter Emmy the Great outlines the way in which stories become something more – “you dry the riverbed, and so he builds a well” – but the act of writing remains something mysterious for many people, so that writers and authors become mythological creatures in and of themselves, complete with all the urban legends and beliefs which are requisite for a myth. By examining this myth, or these myths – for as the publishing industry changes, so do the ways in which we view authors – is it possible to articulate what the public is reaching for when they reach for a book?

Burning Down the Castles

As the internet reaches into our lives, we respond by filling it with words. Sometimes it seems as though every other person has a blog of their own, and those who don’t still have Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook to fill the gaps. Instead of calling a friend, we text or email them; the written word replaces speech, and more and more people become inspired to write something real. This is reflected in the rise of e-books, which bypass much of the red tape which previously kept the literary industry as an echo chamber, and in the common view of writers as neighbors and friends. Authors famous, infamous, and little-known all keep websites and blogs where they interact with their fans, and crowdfunding projects allow for alternative approaches to the creative process. For loyal fans this kind of immersion only intensifies their fandom, while also providing entry points for potential readers who may not have otherwise read or even heard about an author, book, or series. Writers and readers can now make good use of this change in tactics, with the caveat that it’s as easy to get lost in the author blogosphere as it is to be lost in the remainder bin; it remains critical to find, create, and keep both a voice and a vision.

Blurring Reality and Fiction

The complicated public relationship between a writer and their work is not a modern artifact – one only has to consider Byron, as well as the Romantic writers, whose work was often seen as a supplement to the art form that was their life. Alcohol and drug use was a staple of this artistic lifestyle, and – as the popularity and subsequent shaming of James Frey illustrates – stories of addiction remain in demand, so long as the reader can rest assured that the writer is coming from a place of deep personal truth. Even writers who classify their fiction properly are expected to somehow reflect their work, or have their work reflect them, and this sense of confusion around the creator and the creation has only intensified with the influence of the internet and blogging. By documenting the minutiae of their lives, writers invite the kind of psychological analysis that belongs by nature in university literature classes, and it comes easier than ever for readers to conflate the opinions and actions of characters with those of their writers. While this can be helpful for writers establishing personal brands, it changes the relationship readers have with stories, and is something to think on when writing both stories and tweets.

The Desire for Diversity

One glory of the modern age is that it has, in many ways, thrown open the gates of admittance which for so long dictated who an author must be in order to be taken seriously, and what styles of writing were to be classified as serious or frivolous. This has not happened; it is happening, slowly but surely, carried along by the ranks of people eager to see authors and characters who reflect the diversity they see in themselves and in their own lives. Younger readers, in their teens and twenties, are particularly interested in these changes, and have created the sense that an audience is waiting for almost any story – the challenge is only to find them and inform them.