Monthly Archives: February 2015

Five stones with demonic powers sought in an epic quest pitting good vs. evil

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released The Devil’s Grasp, Chris Pisano’s and Brian Koscienski’s high fantasy novel.

About the Book:
tdg_fcA thousand years ago, a mad wizard ensorcelled five gemstones, giving them the power to call forth and control the demons that haunt Hell itself. After a blood-filled battle with the mercenaries who helped him in his bid for this power, the wizard was defeated and the stones were spread across the continent, hidden from all but legend and bard’s tale. Now, the kingdom of Tsinel threatens the tenuous peace with Albathia. King Theomann, ruler of Albathia, sets his oldest son upon a quest with his Elite Troop of warriors to find the stones. As they soon discover they’re not the only ones searching for the stones. Unbeknownst to everyone, King Theomann’s  youngest son, Daedalus, has designs for power, aligning himself with the blood-thirsty leader of The Horde, a band of vile fiends razing town after town in the kingdom.

A band of ne’er-do-well  thieves. A pack of insidious trolls. A group of wizards with dubious intent. All searching for the stones for their own purpose, none prepared for the power that the stones possess.

The power to control Hell will be held by one hand. Whose will it be?

Excerpt:
Finding the mad wizard proved no challenge. He stood at the base of the precipice from where he began the battle, scraping at two oozing, crimson lines with the bottom of his staff. From the cliff where he started the war, over fifty feet above him, to the ground where he stood, two lines of blood, arcing away from each other, streaked down the mountain side. The two lines crossed at the top, but remained uncompleted at the bottom.

Watching the wizard’s frenzied scraping, the mercenaries deduced the staff held the power over the demons and must be broken. However, a wall of these very demons stood between them and Wyren.

Wyren howled commands.

Four of the mercenaries formed a square, swords and axes spiked the perimeter while the archer stood firm in the middle. Arrows spewed into the air, a fountain of steel-tipped wood, piercing the marrow beyond the meat of the winged demons. A hurricane of bloody, shredded skin and broken bodies, ranging from massive to minuscule, rained from the sky. The other four warriors pitched throwing knives, daggers, and any makeshift projectile they had at their disposal to ward of the advancing monsters.

Once the archer’s quiver emptied, the mercenaries relied upon hand-held weapons as they charged into the melee. Within the flurry of teeth and steel, claws and swords, they witnessed the completion of Wyren’s mammoth blood circle.

The ground quaked, throbbed as if hell itself was expanding beyond its limits. Like a stone plunging into a lake, the mountainside rippled, changing hue from slate gray to fecal brown to apocalyptic black. All conflict ceased, eyes upon the gaping hole, even the demons stood awed.

The blackness rippled again and parted, as fingers emerged, each longer than any man in the valley. Bile green and covered with coarse hairs, the rest of the hand, larger than most houses, appeared.

The mercenary leader possessed the instinct to take advantage of the situation and snapped his attention back to the battlefield. Lopping the heads off the few demons in front of him, he rushed forth and drove his shoulder into Wyren’s back, knocking the staff from his grasp.

Wyren shrieked.

The mercenary crawled toward the staff fighting off the mad wizard’s desperate attacks, biting and scratching worse than the demons. Upon grabbing the staff, the mercenary rolled on his back and folded his leg to his chest, snapping the staff in half against his knee.

Wyren screamed; his shrill voice echoing throughout the valley. The agony reflected both the destruction of his power and the revenge enacted against him as the hand from the mountain reached down and grabbed him. Wyren continued his scream as the hand retreated with the wizard in its grasp into the fading hole on the mountainside.

The five mercenaries turned to examine the battlefield. Any demon left alive had fled. Bodies of monsters and soldiers blanketed the valley, scarred and charred from the fires of war.

Nudging the staff with his foot, one of the mercenaries saw the cause of such mayhem. The staff’s crest, once a fist, now an open hand; the Devil’s grasp released five accursed gems: the Sun Stone, the Self Stone, the Spirit Stone, the Shadow Stone, and the Satan Stone. He tried to crush them beneath his boot, then split them with his sword, but to no avail. Not uttering a single word, each of the five mercenaries scooped up a gem. With nary a backwards glance, the mercenaries were no longer, now paladins as they walked in five opposite directions, making it their quest to vanquish the stones. …

About the Authors:
Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano skulk the realms of south, central Pennsylvania. Brian developed a love of writing from countless hours of reading comic books and losing himself in the worlds and adventures found within their colorful pages. In tenth grade, Chris was discouraged by his English teacher from reading H.P. Lovecraft, and being a naturally disobedient youth he has been a fan ever since. They have logged many hours writing novels, stories, articles, comic books, reviews, and on occasion a bawdy haiku. During their tenure as a writing duo, they even started their own micro-press publishing company, Fortress Publishing, Inc.

The Devil’s Grasp
Authored by Chris Pisano, Authored by Brian Koscienski
List Price: $19.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
340 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065662
ISBN-10: 1620065665
BISAC: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Devils-Grasp-9781620…

Advertisements

Hex Murder: Pow-Wow Witchcraft in York County, Pennsylvania

By on February 19, 2015

Witchcraft, hexes and murder in 20th century Pennsylvania? The strange case of folk ritual magic gone wrong in York County’s not-too-distant past.
The Nelson Rehmeyer hex murder house in York County, Pennsylvania
The Nelson Rehmeyer hex murder house in York County, Pennsylvania

It is difficult to imagine witchcraft trials in the 20th century. In the 1920s, however, York County, Pennsylvania was still steeped in old Dutch mysticism, a superstition that lead to a brutal murder which still haunts the area. The house pictured above, located in what is known locally as Hex Hollow, is now considered one of the most haunted houses in Pennsylvania.

In 1928 it was the home of Nelson Rehmeyer, the place where he would be killed.

Related: Family finds remains of Pow-wow ritual in walls

Pow-wowing was a form of ritual folk magic practiced by the Pennsylvania Dutch. It was rooted in a book published in 1820 by German author John George Hohman. The Long Lost Friend was a “collection of mysterious arts and remedies for man as well as animals.” It contained spells, remedies, recipes and talismans to cure ailments and domestic troubles. It became entwined with folk traditions in Pennsylvania when it was translated to English and renamed Pow-Wows.

When Rehmeyer’s neighbor John Blymire began to suspect he was cursed after years of illness and bad luck, he followed the advice of local witch Nellie Noll, known as the River Witch of Marietta. She instructed him to find and burn Rehmeyer’s copy of Pow-Wows, the source of his spells, and bury a lock of the man’s hair.

Powwowing: The Long Lost Friend by John George Hohman

Long Lost Friend or Pow-Wows by John George Hohman
J. Ross McGinnis, author of “Trials of Hex,” reportedly owns Rehmeyer’s copy of Pow-Wows, as well as the lock of hair Blymire took to bury. via York Town Square

When Blymire, along with young accomplices John Curry (14) and Wilbert Hess (18), broke into Rehmeyer’s home, they were unable to find the book. Rather, they bludgeoned Rehmeyer, bound him to a chair and set him on fire in a desperate attempt to lift the curse. Interestingly, Rehmeyer’s body did not completely burn despite being doused in kerosene. According to McGinnis, a pervading theory at the time was that the hounds of Hell returned to claim one of their own.

Today the house is owned and maintained by Rehmeyer’s great grandson. You can tour the house and see artifacts that belonged to Rehmeyer, including his clock which apparently stopped at 12:01am, the time of death determined by the coroner.

The place where Nelson Rehmeyer was killed in the Pennsylvania hex murder house
A window in the floor of the hex murder house reveals burn marks remaining from Nelson Rehmeyer’s death.

Reproduced from the German original —-

Der Lange Verborgene Freund (The Long Lost Friend)

by John George Hohman

3440633Der Lange Verborgene Freund: The Original German Version of the Long Lost Friend (German Edition)

Sunbury Press has digitally restored Johann Georg Hohman’s 1828 Ephrata edition of Der Lange Verborgene Freund. The original German text is presented in its original typeface, including any inscriptions, tables or pictures in their original context.
About the Author
Johann Georg Hohman (English spelling: John George Hohman) was a Pennsylvania German printer and book seller, compiling collections of herbal remedies, magical healings, and charms. He immigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany in 1802, settling near Reading, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, where he printed and sold publications and practiced and instructed in the arts of folk magic and folk religion which later became known as pow-wow. Hohman’s best known work is the collection of prayers and recipes for folk-healing titled the Long Lost Friend, published in German in 1820 as Der Lange Verborgene Freund.
Der Lange Verborgene Freund: The Original German Version of the Long Lost Friend

Authored by Johann Georg Hohman
List Price: $12.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
96 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451554618 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1451554613
BISAC: Body, Mind & Spirit / Magick Studies

Family Finds Animal Carcasses Stuffed in Walls of New Home

By on February 16, 2015

A Pennsylvania family’s dream home became a nightmare when they discovered the horrifying remains of a Dutch magic ritual inside the walls.
Pennsylvania family finds evidence of Dutch magic ritual inside the walls of their home

The Bretzius family had no idea what horrors lurked behind the walls of their Auburn, Pennsylvania dream home when they moved in. It wasn’t until 2012, when they began pulling down some of the walls to add insulation, that they discovered something completely bizarre and unexpected.

The walls, they found, were packed full of dead animal carcasses wrapped in newspapers dating to the 1930s and 40s, along with spices and other random objects. An expert told the family the objects were mostly likely used for Pow-wowing, ritual folk magic once practiced by the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Pow-wowing and the York County Hex Murder

The practice of Pow-wowing has it’s origins in a German book called The Long Lost Friend by John George Hohman, published in 1820. Later editions renamed it Pow-Wows after the Algonquian word for a gathering of medicine men. It is a collection of folk remedies, recipes, spells and talismans to cure domestic ailments and rural troubles.

The book gained notoriety in 1928 when it was found in the possession of murderer John Blymire. Thanks to a local witch named Nellie Noll, Blymire became convince that he had been cursed by his neighbor Nelson Rehmeyer. He and some accomplices broke into Rehmeyer’s home to find his spell book, but found Rehmeyer, instead. The group killed and mutilated the man in hopes of lifting the curse.

The Rehmeyer hex murder house in York County, Pennsylvania
The Rehmeyer hex murder house in York County, Pennsylvania

Though they do not know who filled the walls of the house with animal carcasses or why it was done, the Bretzius family is still struggling with their own curse. They have run out of finances to remove all of the carcasses from the walls. Also, the mold made them sick, and the smell won’t go away.

They are hoping to raise funds to finish the renovation through their Go Fund Me account right here.

via Conservative Tribune

Reproduced from the German original —-

Der Lange Verborgene Freund (The Long Lost Friend)

by John George Hohman

3440633Der Lange Verborgene Freund: The Original German Version of the Long Lost Friend (German Edition)

Sunbury Press has digitally restored Johann Georg Hohman’s 1828 Ephrata edition of Der Lange Verborgene Freund. The original German text is presented in its original typeface, including any inscriptions, tables or pictures in their original context.
About the Author
Johann Georg Hohman (English spelling: John George Hohman) was a Pennsylvania German printer and book seller, compiling collections of herbal remedies, magical healings, and charms. He immigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany in 1802, settling near Reading, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, where he printed and sold publications and practiced and instructed in the arts of folk magic and folk religion which later became known as pow-wow. Hohman’s best known work is the collection of prayers and recipes for folk-healing titled the Long Lost Friend, published in German in 1820 as Der Lange Verborgene Freund.
Der Lange Verborgene Freund: The Original German Version of the Long Lost Friend

Authored by Johann Georg Hohman
List Price: $12.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
96 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451554618 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1451554613
BISAC: Body, Mind & Spirit / Magick Studies

OneWay is a supernatural spiritual adventure

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released OneWay: The Message,a supernatural thriller and spiritual adventure by Robin McClellan and his wife Deborah Mark.

About the Book:
ow_fcFor Angela Roberts, it is a tragedy that touches off her journey into the mysterious legend of her grandmother, Iana Hamilton. Grief-stricken and confused, Angela strives to learn more about her past, and soon she finds that Iana’s cryptic illustrations from years gone by can lead her closer to the truth.

Angela’s world quickly begins to spiral out of control as she has her own mysterious experiences, similar to those her grandmother had gone through. She seeks help in the safety of her friendships and her marriage, but not before her journey takes her into the sphere of terrorism, time travel, electromagnetic energy and sometimes even what some refer to as the paranormal.

Excerpt:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 1902

Reginald and Margaret Hamilton were recognized within the business community and societal circles of Philadelphia as successful and abounding in God’s blessings for their lives. Reginald had climbed the ladder of success, achieving his fortune through hard work, perseverance and a steadfast belief in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.The couple had an unwavering devotion and a deep, abiding faith in God, dutifully placing God first and then believing all else would fall into place. Now in their early forties, their station in life reflected this belief. Their deep spirituality and honorable work ethic was a testimony to the Bible verse Ephesians 3:20: He who is able to do exceedinglyabundantlyabove all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. They had been blessed far beyond their wildest dreams, except in one area of their lives.

Margaret Hamilton’s heart longed for the day when God would bless them with a child. Year after year, she had seen the best physicians Philadelphia and New York had to offer, each time being reassured and encouraged that physically she was capable of becoming pregnant and delivering a healthy baby. But as one year moved into the next, it seemed that this was not God’s plan for them, at least not in the customary way. The couple had discussed adoption from time to time, which now was looking to be their only option of ensuring their hearts’ desire of bringing a child into their family. Night after night, instead of praying for God to bless Margaret with a pregnancy, now their prayers were for God to lead them to the child that He had chosen for them—a child not only in need of a loving family, but one who was in need of help due to life’s trials and tribulations.

On the first of the New Year, Margaret scheduled a meeting with the Head Master at the prestigious Greenwich Adoption Agency in Philadelphia. And within a few days, the Hamiltons were approved and raring to go on their search for either a son or a daughter to complete their family.

By the end of the first week of meetings, Margaret and Reginald were introduced to a young girl from Egypt. She immediately captured their attention and soon would capture their hearts as well. Even though the Head Master found her to be well-behaved and quite pleasant, he strongly urged against adopting her due to her vague past and lack of family and medical history. At best, she was most likely the bastard child of a poor, uneducated woman who lived in a small, remote village near Cairo. And in his opinion, she wouldn’t be the ideal fit for an affluent couple such as themselves.

He went on to further explain that a few years earlier, during an excavation trip to Egypt, a group of archaeologists from the American Institute of Archaeology in Philadelphia found her among the ancient ruins of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. It had been reported to the Egyptian government officials that on that day, a bright fireball with a vapor trail possibly hundreds of kilometers long streaked across the sky at noon. Within seconds of seeing the first flash of light, the archaeologists watched as a second fireball streaked across the sky and exploded somewhere behind the smaller pyramid in the group. A shockwave resulted, launching sand and rubble (or meteorite fragments) through the air. Fearful for their lives, and thinking that the world was coming to an end or that the earth was about to open up and devour them, the archaeologists turned to run. Then, suddenly, amidst the flying debris and chaos, a small child emerged from behind the pyramid where they’d seen the second flash of light. No one in the group spoke a word as the men watched this small, delicate child take one unsure step after another until she emerged from the dust to stand directly in front of them. This solemn-faced child appeared exhausted and only a day—or even hours—away from dehydration and starvation. Her lifeless and tired eyes indicated to the group that she was possibly suffering from a past traumatic event. Her skin was dry, sun-scorched and cracked; her clothing was torn and filthy. In short, it was undeniable this small child had been alone in the desert for some time. However, with the village deserted, there was no way to confirm or deny their suspicions, and there was no way to track down her identity.

About the Authors:
Robin McClellan was born and raised in a small town outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Growing up in the world of science fiction and spirituality, at a young age he studied the Bible, meditation, lucid dreaming, self-hypnosis and time travel. As Robin got older, he turned his attention to the world of quantum physics, specifically sub-atomic particles and how they seem to co-exist with spirituality. Robin is a self-made musician, inventor and an IT professional of over 30 years. Robin is a father, a son, a brother and a lover of life.

OneWay is the second novel for Deborah Mark McClellan. Deborah is also the author of A Season of Dying, published in May, 2012. This novel portrays a compelling testimony on the power of faith, prayer, love and service. Commissioned as a Stephen Minister in May, 2011 along with drawing from her life’s journey, Deborah continues to offer spiritual and emotional support to men and women confronted with their own life’s trials and tribulations. She lives with her four children and ten grandchildren in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

OneWay: The Message
Authored by Robin L. McClellan, Authored by Deborah K. Mark
List Price: $16.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
264 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065518
ISBN-10: 1620065517
BISAC: Fiction / Visionary & Metaphysical

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/OneWay-9781620065518.htm

Children’s Trifecta — Solomon Screech Owl and Flying Pants take off — Sunbury Press bestsellers

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released the bestsellers list for January, 2015. The late Beth Lancione’s Solomon Screen Owl Goes to the Galapagos was #1, followed by  Solomon Screech Owl’s First Flight. Lola James claimed the third spot with Flying Pants. All were childrens books benefitting from Children’s Day at the Sunbury Press Store.

ssogttg_fcAbout Solomon Screech Owl Goes to the Galapagos:
In the second of Solomon Screech Owl’s stories, Sollie travels, with help from some whales, to the Galapagos Islands, where he meets birds that seem very different from himself. As he gets to know them better, he comes to understand that they all have more in common than he first thought.

About the author & illustrator:
Beth and Kathy, with their husbands Mel Lancione and Gary Haney, visited the Galapagos Islands in 2005 and saw, at very close range, all of the fascinating creatures that Sollie encounters in this book.

Beth said, “A fellow traveler once told me, ‘If you go only one place in your life, go to Galapagos.’ I agree. I’ve been to many other places, but Galapagos is my favorite. I definitely wanted to show Sollie, and all of our readers, the wonders of these special, unique islands.”

Kathy said, “The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the earth’s unique birds and animals. There are few places in the world where you can have an upclose and personal interaction with wild creatures.

The Blue-Footed Boobies captured our imaginations, along with the iguanas, tortoises, and many other birds. We want to share our love of Galapagos with you.”

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for January, 2015 (by Revenue)
Rank Last Month Title Author Category
1 Solomon Screech Owl Goes to the Galapagos Beth Lancione Childrens
2 Solomon Screech Owl’s First Flight Beth Lancione Childrens
3 Flying Pants Lola James Childrens
4 4 As the Paint Dries Carrie Wissler-Thomas Art History
5 Jesus the Phoenician Karim El Koussa Relgious History
6 Shadows in the Shining City John Cressler Historical Fiction
7 2 Geology of the Mahanoy, Mahantongo and Lykens Valleys Steve Troutman Earth History
8 9 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair War Memoir
9 11 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last Mike Campbell History
10 NEW Beagle Tales 5 Bob Ford Pet Humor
11 Petrified Tanya Reimer YA Fiction
12 1 Pit Bulls Anthony Julian History
13 Going Home Sharon Marchisello Thriller Fiction
14 18 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical Fiction
15 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler HIstorical Fiction
16 3 Visions of Teaoga Jim Remsen YA Fiction
17 The Trevorton, Mahanoy and Susquehanna Railroad Steve Troutman History
18 Tulpehocken Trail Traces Steve Troutman History
19 The Phoenician Code Karim El Koussa Action Adventure
20 Whimsy and Wry Guy Graybill Literary Fiction

fp_fcSunbury Press had its best January ever, up nearly 3x from last January, and 4.5% from December. It was the first time in 5 years that January sales topped December. Hardcover books grabbed the top 4 spots in the bestseller rankings, dominated by the Children’s category. Trade paperback sales were double hardcover sales, and remain the most popular format. EBooks have slipped to third, amounting to only 5% of all sales. Hardcover sales were over 6x the eBook sales. EBook sales were up over last month, however, by nearly 20% thanks to price increases implemented after Christmas.

The three children’s books were helped by the standing-room only Children’s Day event at the Sunbury Press Store — more successful than the 10th Anniversary Party with Keith Rommel, Brahm Gallagher, and Bang. Ten Percent of all sales from that day were donated to help the Lanciones following the death of Beth, the author of the Solomon Screech Owl series, and her husband Mel. As the Paint Dries, Carrie Wissler-Thomas’s history of the Art Association of Harrisburg, co-authored by Michael Barton, held at #4 due to demand at the Art Association. Karim El Koussa’s Jesus the Phoenician(#5) and The Phoenician Code (#19) took two spots on the list due to export orders to Lebanon. John Cressler’s due, Shadows in the Shining City and Emeralds of the Alhambra grabbed #6 and #15 due to author events. Steve Troutman’s Geology of the Mahanoy, Mahantongo and Lykens Valleysheld at #7 thanks to author activities. Troutman also charted at #17 with The Trevorton, Mahanoy, and Mahantongo Railroad and #18 with Tulpehocken Trail Traces. Joe Fair’s Vietnam memoir Call Sign Dracula climbed the rankings to #8 thanks to author appearances. Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last inched up to #9 due to continued national media attention for the search for the aviatrix’s plane. Beagle Tales 5 debuted at #10 thanks to Bob Ford’s following. Petrified, the YA novel by Canadian Tanya Reimer, returned to the chart at #11 thanks to sales north of the border. Tony Julian’s Pit Bulls, available in both trade paperback and hardcover, slipped to #12 following a strong Christmas showing. Sharon Marchisello’s Going Home grabbed lucky #13 thanks to sales in the Southland in advance of her events. Winter of the Metal People, by Dennis Herrick, moved up to #14 thanks to author activities. Jim Remsen’s Visions of Teaga slipped to #16. Guy Graybill’s Whimsy and Wry rounded out the list, thanks to author activities.

The company released five new titles during the month of January

BT5_fc

SUNBURY PRESS – New Releases for January, 2015
Malaformed Realities Volume 1 Thomas Malafarina Thriller Fiction
Beagle Tales 5 Bob Ford Pet Humor
Courting Doubt and Darkness J. M. West Thriller Fiction
The Bookseller’s Secret Catherine Jordan Thriller Fiction
How to Achieve Peace of Mind Dorsman & Davis Mindfulness

For a list of Sunbury’s best-sellers, please see the Sunbury Press web site:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/BESTSELLERS_c3.htm
For a complete list of recent and upcoming releases, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/COMING-SOON_c47.htm