Winter of the Metal People reviewed at the Historical Novel Society

Winter of the Metal People

By   (from the review by John Kachuba http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/winter-of-the-metal-people/)

Despite the fact that so many public buildings, parks, and monuments throughout what is today America’s Southwest bear the name “Coronado,” Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s 1540 expedition into that area was anything but successful. Searching for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold as far east as modern-day Kansas, Coronado’s expedition of Spanish conquistadores and their Aztec allies ran into the Puebloan tribes. Although the Spanish government had policies demanding the humane treatment of Indians throughout New Spain, Coronado’s foundering expedition treated the Puebloans ruthlessly in order to obtain food, clothing, and shelter. As a result, Coronado’s men became embroiled in a two-year-long war that eventually ended with the Spanish withdrawal back into Mexico; it would be almost fifty years before they returned.

Herrick fully enters the minds of his historical Spanish and Puebloan characters, showing the cultural and religious differences between the two cultures that would inevitably lead to the first Indian war. There is a saying that history belongs to the victors, so while much of the Spanish story is based upon historical written documents, the author had to imagine the Puebloans’ story. But his research is well founded, and what results is a balanced novel that expresses the worldviews of both sides and relates it in an exciting and interesting manner. This novel is highly recommended for those interested in the history of the American southwest and its native peoples.

Details

Publisher

Published

Period

Century

Price
(US) $16.95

ISBN
(US) 9781620062371

Format
Paperback

Pages
252

Review

Appeared in

Reviewed by

Joe Fair produces a soldier’s memoir of the Black Scarves, of the Big Red One in Vietnam

csd_fcMECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Joe Fair’s Vietnam memoir Call Sign Dracula: My Tour with the Black Scarves April 1969 to March 1970.

About the Book:

Call Sign Dracula provides an outstanding, valuable and worthy in-depth look into the life of a US Army Infantry soldier serving with the famed 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) in Vietnam.  It is a genuine, firsthand account of a one-year tour that shows how a soldier grew and matured from an awkward, bewildered, inexperienced, eighteen year-old country “bumpkin” from Kentucky, to a tough, battle hardened, fighting soldier.

You will laugh, cry and stand in awe at the true life experiences shared in this memoir.  The awfulness of battle, fear beyond description, the sorrow and anguish of losing friends, extreme weariness, the dealing with the scalding sun, torrential rain, cold, heat, humidity, insects and the daily effort just to maintain sanity were struggles faced virtually every day.  And yet, there were the good times. There was the coming together to laugh, joke, and share stories from home. There was the warmth and compassion shown by men to each other in such an unreal environment.   You will see where color, race or where you were from had no bearing on the tight-knit group of young men that was formed from the necessity to survive.  What a “bunch” they were!

… then the return to home and all the adjustments and struggles to once again fit into a world that was now strange and uncomfortable.

????????Call Sign Dracula is an excellent and genuine memoir of an infantry soldier in the Vietnam War.

About the Author:

Joseph (Joe) Edmon Fair Jr. was born on September 4, 1950 in Greenwood, Indiana.  His parents had moved from a farming area of South Central Kentucky to the Indianapolis area looking for work.  At nine months old the family moved to Louisville, KY.  Joe attended Brandeis Elementary School and Parkland Junior High School.

At age 12 the family moved back to Adair County, KY where his father once again farmed.  He graduated from Adair County High School in May 1968 and entered the US Army in September 1968.  Joe served a tour of duty in Vietnam from April 1969 to March 1970 and returned to the US at Fort Meade, Maryland.  He married Regnia Gabehart on July 18, 1970.  He left the US Army in June 1971.

Joe joined the Ingersoll Rand Company in September 1971 and remained with the company until May 2011.  He was the Human Resources Manager his last 16 years.  He had two careers going simultaneously as he joined the Kentucky Army National Guard in October 1974 serving with Bravo Battery and the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery and 1319470530278remained with the guard until he retired as a First Sergeant E-8 in May 1997.  He served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War from December 1990 to April 1991 with the guard unit.

Joe and Regnia have three children and seven grandchildren.  His retirement time is spent enjoying his family (chasing grandchildren), researching and writing about his time in Vietnam, contacting fellow Vietnam soldiers and staying in contact with soldiers he served with in the Kentucky Army National Guard.  He also enjoys playing rhythm guitar and singing in a music group called “Ruff-Cut.”

What Others Are Saying:

“As editor, you must make your own decision, of course.  As a professional novelist and non-fiction writer for over thirty years (Doubleday, St. Martin’s Press, et. al.) I found a straightforward clarity and heart in Joe Fair’s account of his war that hooked me and kept me reading straight through to the end.  If I were writing a war novel and wanted to include excerpts from a soldier’s diary, I would hope to write it exactly as Joe wrote this memoir.  It has the authentic ring of truth—something no amount of polished “professional” writing could hope to improve on.” — Steven Spruill

“Joe Fair’s narrative about his year in Vietnam is well written. He tells it as it was with no embellishments.  In reading it I could picture myself back in signVietnam and what some of my own experiences were. I served with headquarters company of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry which is the sister battalion to the one Joe writes about.  It is only the second book written that shares a personal experience serving with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam.  As the historian for the 2nd Infantry Association, I can attest that Joe’s narrative is a wonderful addition to the long and glorious history of the 2nd Infantry Regiment and is well worth reading. He scored a winner with his story!” — Lawrence R. Grzywinski, Historian, 2nd Infantry Regiment Association, HHC 2/2, RVN 66-67

“Joe Fair’s memoir of his service as an infantryman in Vietnam with the Big Red One is a compelling, authentic, straight forward and gritty account of a year (1969) of that war. Only 18 when he arrived and joined the “Black Scarves” of Company A, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry, Joe recounts his evolution from a scared newbie to a seasoned soldier and squad leader. The many contacts and casualties are grim reminders that 1969 (well after the Tet Offensive of January, 1968, and the shift to pacification and Vietnamization) was America’s deadliest year of the war. Three things stand out in this frank and balanced account – Joe’s high regard for the men with whom he served; their tremendous competence and dedication to soldiering; and the deep loss they felt as buddies left the battlefield among the dead and wounded. Joe Fair was a modest but excellent soldier, one of thousands who served in Vietnam, and this is an excellent read.” — Paul H. Herbert, Ph.D., Colonel, US Army (Retired), Executive Director, First Division Museum at Cantigny

Call Sign Dracula: My Tour with the Black Scarves April 1969 to March 1970

Authored by Joe Fair

List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
220 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063880
ISBN-10: 1620063883
BISAC: History / Military / Vietnam War

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Call-Sign-Dracula-978162…

Meet Sunbury Press’ Owner Lawrence Knorr! by Tammy Burke

http://glvwgwritersconference.blogspot.com/2014/03/meet-sunbury-press-owner-lawrence-knorr.html

LvK by Tammi KnorrHow delightful having you back at the “Write Stuff” conference again! And wow! Is it coming up fast. Anything new and exciting you can share regarding you and/or the Sunbury Press?  
 
Lawrence Knorr: Yes!  It is an honor to be asked back. It is hard to believe two years have passed since the last time! Sunbury Press just completed its best year ever from a sales perspective. We continue to grow and succeed in a very tough, competitive environment. We are celebrating our tenth year in business in 2014 — but I can tell you it feels like 100 years! We’ve transformed ourselves twice in that span — caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly — what’s next? Most recently, we have seen ebooks peak, their growth rate slowing, while independent bookstore sales have picked up. While our Amazon business has continued to grow, other channels are growing faster. We have dubbed 2014 our “Year of Collaboration” focusing on ways our 120+ authors can experience better results by helping each other and by working together in teams. So far, there has been a lot of positive energy. We also opened, February 1, our first company bookstore in Mechanicsburg, PA, where our headquarters is located. Our goal was to provide a storefront for all of our books — and a venue for our authors to meet the public. We really want to be an important part of the local community for our local and regional authors — and provide another option to our more far flung partners. It’s a great place to meet prospective authors and to talk about books with the general public.
Based on your webpage, I understand the your company holds a “Continue the Enlightenment” mentality from the 18th 3609278century and the “Age of Reason.” Could you expand more what that means to you and to the Sunbury Press?
 
Lawrence Knorr: “Continue the Enlightenment” is a motto that represents our mission statement. Simply put, we are a publisher of diverse categories, but we are always seeking to bring new perspectives and voices to the marketplace. The Enlightenment was about a new order of things — not unlike what is happening in publishing today. The old order governed by a strong center of control is being challenged by more democratic ideals. This is what the independent publishing movement is all about — whether doing it yourself or with an independent publisher. We are experiencing an era of rapid democratization of the publishing industry. If only Hugh Fox had lived a little longer! I’ll never forget the day he called me – Hugh Fox – one of the founders of the Pushcart Prize. He revealed he was dying of cancer and offered me the opportunity to publish his remaining works. He said Sunbury Press was exactly the kind of publisher he was looking for. I was very grateful for his offer, and encouraged him to spread the dozen or so works around to other presses, keeping two of them for ourselves. Hugh liked the motto, and we think it is very appropriate at this time.
What was the motivation to start the Sunbury Press? What makes it different than other publishing companies?
 
Lawrence Knorr: I started the company in 2004 because I wanted to publish some family histories. I didn’t want to pay someone else to do it, so I Ambit_Island_Series.inddembarked on figuring out how. While this was only ten years ago, it was when vanity presses were a cottage industry and print on demand and ebooks were in their infancy. I just wanted to sell some books at cost to family members. But, I really enjoyed it and realized I could publish other books — not just my own. Two hundred and twenty titles and one hundred and twenty authors later, we have really grown thanks to our business model and our philosophy. We are different for several reasons:
1) We are very tech-savvy. My wife and I both have long careers in IT and understand the Age of Content and the importance of search engines, ecommerce and mobile commerce.
2) We do NOT charge for services. Many publishers are experimenting with vanity, hybrid or subsidy models. We refuse to go in this direction, instead making our money by selling books.
3) We have editors working for us as employees of our company. We take quality very seriously.
4) My wife and I are also photographers and digital artists, able to design book covers, marketing materials, graphic designs, web content, etc.
5) We are “generalist opportunists” — working in a broad number of categories. We understand the advantages of breadth and scale to the economic sustainability of an enterprise.
6) We love what we do. I really enjoy working with authors to bring their work to the marketplace. It tickles the soul.
 
tsarr_pubI was wondering…Is there anything in particular you are looking for in an author and his or her manuscript?
 
Lawrence Knorr: Quality Manuscript + Motivated Author + Publisher = Success
We are always looking for high quality manuscripts — in a variety of fiction and nonfiction categories. Quality is more than just well-written / grammatically correct. Quality is about fresh ideas, new found truths and entertainment. We like material that brings value to our readers.
We like to gauge an author’s motivations. Gone are the days of sitting at a typewriter, mailing a box of paper to a publisher and then waiting by the door for the checks to arrive. Authors need to be involved in their success. While we provide editing, design, formatting, ebook creation, printing, distribution, marketing, etc., we do best when authors are out and about advocating their work and promoting themselves. We are an ideal option for authors whose work is good enough not to have to pay to publish — who want to be writers and not start their own publishing businesses. Most writers are not business savvy. We bring the business expertise to the mix.
 
Anything you’d like to see more of? Anything you’d like to see less of?
 
ktcw_pubLawrence Knorr: Thankfully, the vampire craze has past. There’s probably a metaphor somewhere in that regarding the publishing industry! We are always looking for more history and historical fiction — more clever YA and more entertaining police procedurals and mysteries. We like good literary fiction too! We’ve had a lot of inquiries about poetry — something we rarely publish.
 
Do you work with authors to help them increase sales? Or do you allow them to do that for themselves?
 
Lawrence Knorr: We generate our revenue exclusively from selling books. So, we are ALWAYS looking for ways to sell more books — whether a new channel to open, a new retailer to call upon, a new country to access, or an author’s activities. As I stated in the opening, we have dubbed 2014 the “Year of Collaboration” and are seeking new ways to collectively leverage our scale. There are opportunities for Sunbury Press authors to go beyond our activities and their individual efforts — to work together within a category or region.
 
I understand you have authored eight books on regional history. Could you tell us more about them? What were their inspiration.  
 
JFR_fcLawrence Knorr: Where did I ever find the time? My early books: “The Descendants of Hans Peter Knorr,” “The Relations of Milton Snavely Hershey,” “The Relations of Isaac F Stiehly,” “General John Fulton Reynolds,” “The Relations of Dwight D Eisenhower” and “The Hackman Story” were family history / genealogy focused. I wanted to write about my relations — a very deep and rich history linked to important people and events in Pennsylvania and the nation. While researching at the Lancaster County Historical Society, I also stumbled upon the journal and letters of my great uncle David Bear Hackman, describing his adventure to California for the Gold Rush. I edited and contextualized this treasure into the book “A Pennsylvania Mennonite and the California Gold Rush.” My more recent works have been collaborations:  “Keystone Tombstones Civil War” with Joe Farrell and Joe Farley — about famous people buried in Pennsylvania who played a part in the Civil War and “There is Something About Rough and Ready” about the village in the heart of the Mahantongo Valley at the center of that region’s Pennsylvania Dutch culture. I have several other projects under way for release in the coming years: “The Visiting Physician of Red Cross” – about the career of Dr. Reuben Muth of Red Cross, PA (I have his collection of visiting doctor records from 1850 to 1890), “Palmetto Tombstones” — about famous people buried in South Carolina, “Scheib of Shibe Park” — a biography of the former Philadelphia A’s pitcher — and youngest American Leaguer ever — Carl Scheib of Gratz, PA.
 
Being born and raised in the Susquehanna Valley myself I was wondering if you’ve done anything regarding Sunbury, particularly the Hotel Edison or Lewisburg?
 
Lawrence Knorr: We borrowed the name Sunbury from the town in Pennsylvania because it was near the Mahantongo Valley — and I liked the name. But, that’s about as far as it goes. We have yet to publish anything about Sunbury, the town in Pennsylvania or nearby Lewisburg. However, our book “Digging Dusky Diamonds” by John Lindermuth is about Shamokin, PA and the nearby coal regions. Our best-selling “Prohibition’s Prince” is about the famous moonshiner Prince Farrington from Williamsport, PA.  Our “Keystone Tombstones” series spans the entire state and often touches on historical figures from the Susquehanna Valley.
 
Do you have favorite time period and place regarding history?
 
Lawrence Knorr: I teach Comparative Economic and Political Systems at Wilson College once a year. I really enjoy teaching this class because it allows me to span economic history from classical times to present. My favorite time periods / places are the Roman Empire in the first few centuries AD and 19th and early 20th century America. I am intrigued by our industrialization in the early 1800s — and the entrepreneurship and personal responsibility that was present. Most of the people living today would feel very insecure without their comforts, insurances and government safety nets. I long for that time when individual hard work and creativity could amount to something tangible — and when we relied on ourselves, our families, our religious institutions and our communities.
 
What did you like best about holding the office of president for MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA)?
 
Lawrence Knorr: I was honored to be elected the President of MBPA for one year. I met a lot of great people, including my predecessor Mary Shafer. My goal was to make sure our organization survived the struggles it was going through and could become sustainable. The new team that formed was very motivated to do so, and they continue on without me. Unfortunately, the demands of my growing business prevent me from volunteering at this time.
Your digital photography is quite beautiful. I particularly enjoy your vibrant use of color. How long have you been practicing this art and I’m curious…how many book covers have you designed?
 
Lawrence Knorr: Thank you! I’ve been a photographer since I was 12 years old. I began showing my work in 2006, after a local gallery liked my attempts at “Photo Impressionism.” I was one of the pioneer artists who was trying to make photographs look like paintings. My work has been shown around the country and has won awards — and is in collections and even a museum or two. While I have not been as active at showing my work, I have designed over 100 book covers over the last three years. My wife says they are getting better!  I really enjoy doing it, and most of the authors are very pleased with the results.
 
What are your thoughts on selling internationally? Do you find that foreign bookstores cater to the same reading choices as here in our area?
 
Lawrence Knorr: We sell our books in at least a dozen other countries — UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia, India, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Taiwan … even Lebanon! We’re developing expertise in foreign rights as well as foreign distribution. We have found the rest of the world lags the US in eBook adoption — and still have a very strong book retailers. We’ve had the most success in the UK, for obvious reasons – but have also broken through where our titles touch on target markets.
 
I want to thank you for taking time out for this interview, Lawrence. We look forward to seeing you soon!
————————————————-
Lawrence Knorr has been involved with book publishing for fourteen years. His  company, Sunbury Press, Inc., headquartered in Mechanicsburg, PA, is a publisher of trade paperback and digital books featuring established and emerging authors  in many fiction and nonfiction categories. Sunbury’s books are printed in the USA and sold through leading booksellers worldwide. Sunbury currently has over  120 authors and 200 titles under management.
Lawrence has taught business and project management courses for ten years, and is the author of eight books. He is also an award-winning digital artist, and has designed dozens of book covers . Lawrence is the former President of the MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA)
Most interested in U.S. & World history and other nonfiction (sports,
professional, hobbies) — also historical fiction, mystery/thriller.

Will consider YA fiction, contemporary and historical romance, horror (no
vampires), literary fiction.

Not looking for children’s picture books and poetry at this time.

————————————————-
Tammy Burke, GLVWG member, 2011 conference chair and past president, has published around 400 newspaper and regional magazine articles. She has interviewed state and local government officials, business and community leaders, everyday folk and celebrities, in addition to helping write scripts for over a dozen television commercials and writing various business communications. Currently, she is in the revision stage for her first YA fantasy adventure book, the first in an intended series. When not writing, she works in the social service field and is a fencing marshal in the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA).

“The Sign of the Eagle” is at the head of the legion… Sunbury’s bestellers for February

16651_657981604262029_893335259_nMECHANICSBURG, Pa. — The Sign of the Eagle, Jess Steven Hughes’ Roman historical fiction novel, ranked #1 due to author activities in the Pacific Northwest. Jess has been diligent at making appearances at book stores in his region, preferring the Hastings chain over Barnes and Noble.

About The Sign of the Eagle:

This breathtaking historical novel of action and suspense is set in the year 71 A.D. amid the exotic and vibrant streets of Ancient Rome. Macha, the strong-willed daughter of a legendary Celtic British king and wife of the Roman tribune, Titus, is the only one who can prove her husband innocent of treason, solve the murders of two slaves who possessed information that could have exonerated Titus, and ultimately save the life of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.
sote_pub
Vivacious and iron-willed, Macha undertakes a dangerous journey and fight for her life to evade assassins through the city’s treacherous back alleys, notorious bath houses, and the awe-inspiring palaces of the Roman elite. With time running out to save her husband and the emperor from certain death, Macha can count on only two allies, the esteemed Senator Bassus-a family friend-and her faithful slave, a resolute and clever Moorish woman, Shafer.

Arrayed against Macha and Titus are the wealthy and wicked Pollia, once scorned as a bride by Titus, and Falco, a military tribune and womanizer, who offers to be Macha’s protector once Titus is condemned and executed.

Join Macha in her quest to exonerate her husband…and discover the real threat against the Emperor…

Though still impacted by weather, Sunbury Press sales recovered from January, posting a 48% gain month to month. However, the February number was still down from February 2013, and even with February 2012.

Karim El Koussa’s Jesus the Phoenician moved up on the list, taking #2, thanks to export sales to Lebanon.

Alan Mindell’s baseball love story, The Closer, last month’s #1, slipped to #3.

Keith Rommel’s The Cursed Man, the 2010 psycho-thriller now being made into a Hollywoood movie, finally broke through the top 10, thanks to regional sales in southern Florida and increasing interest worldwide.

Judi Markowitz’s The View from Four Foot Two, a medical memoir about her daughter, held strong at #5, thanks to media attention.

John Scanlan’s new release, Victims of Circumstance, debuted at #6 thanks to author activities and regional interest in Florida.

Amanda Brown’s Max’s Clips led the childrens category, cutting in at #7 thanks to author and illustrator activities.

Star Power, Jim Whelan and Doug Brode’s self-help book, applying Hollywood techniques to your day-today life, ranked #8 thanks to author activities.

Tony Julian’s Pit Bulls, containing vintage photographs of pit bulls, remained in the rankings, taking #9 on the list, due to sales to dog enthusiasts.

Dennis Herrick’s Winter of the Metal People, about the Tiguex War in New Mexico between the Spanish conqustadors and Pueblo Indians, slid to #10.

Following are the top overall print sellers by category:
History / Memoir – Jesus the Phoenician by Karim El Koussa
Fiction  – The Sign of the Eagle by Jess Steven Hughes
Horror/Mystery – The Cursed Man  by Keith Rommel
Children/YA – Max’s Clips by Amanda Brown
The Arts – Contemporary Photo Impressionists by T K McCoy
Self-Help – Star Power by Jim Whelan and Doug Brode
Metaphysical/Spiritual – Jesus the Phoenician by Karim El Koussa
Reference – Education Behind Bars by Christopher Zoukis

The company released three new titles during the month of January:
Victims of Circumstance by John Scanlan, The Death of Obsession by Ray Fashona and Fatal Snowby Robert Walton.

For a list of Sunbury’s all-time 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