Sunacumen Books and Consulting
No Way to Win – by Marjorie Pinkerton Miller. Published by Sunacumen Press (2017)
Her mother said this was how to get ahead. Sandra had intended to prove her wrong. A romance for smart girls, this sequel to One Way to Succeed continues the story of the loves and lives of the people at the Casa de Buen Dia. When Buen Dia’s hotel management arm announces it needs a new manager, it offers Sandra the perfect opportunity to get her career back on track. But when she interviews for the job, Sandra senses that Brian, the man in charge of hiring, is interested in more than her credentials. Meanwhile, Brian’s brother Nathan, who was left out of their mother’s will, comes back to ask for a favor that Brian feels he can’t refuse: interviewing Nathan’s girlfriend for the job. Will Brian finally accept that she is the best candidate, despite his attraction to her?
Hacienda: A South American Romance – by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2014)
Monica has spent two years in therapy to rid herself of the guilt she feels over how she responded to her husband’s sudden death. When she receives an offer to buy a troubled Colonial hacienda in Bolivia, her friends decide to join her in renovating the old estancia into a bed and breakfast. Not knowing what to expect, the women are first shocked at the horrible condition of the hacienda and then face harrowing challenges-both political and physical. A scion of a brutal tin-baron family threatens to assert his right to the hacienda, although his motives are inscrutable. A series of murders inch closer and closer to the hacienda and people involved with it. And when a jaundiced policeman and an enigmatic bureaucracy put the entire project on hold, they face the possibility of running out of money and time before they finish.
Professional Lies – by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2015)
Nothing attracts donors like headlines … as long as they don’t include the letters FBI.
Sidney Stapleton had won five LPGA tournaments, and as a tall, graceful beauty, she was the Tour cameramen’s favorite, even when she wasn’t winning. A car accident ends her professional golf career, she marries a Seattle millionaire and starts a charity for young women. But Sidney craves her lost celebrity, and as her marriage falters and her charity doesn’t attract donations, sports agent Peter hires her as a high-end escort, bringing in thousands of dollars for her cause. Now the risks and costs of her illicit activities are piling up, and Sidney stands to lose both her credibility as a philanthropist and the first true love of her life.
One Way to Succeed – by Marjorie Pinkerton Miller. Published by Sunacumen Press (2016)
She wanted a career. He wanted her. Could they both succeed?
Amy’s career aspirations have been put on hold by her TV-anchor boyfriend who has been moving from town to town, up the network ladder. In Palm Springs, they finally break up, and he leaves for Los Angeles. Now she is intent on leaving waitressing jobs behind and finding a job she can be proud of that will finally set her on a career path. Meanwhile, Rick needs a new administrative assistant and a chief operating officer at his real estate development company, Casa de Buen Dia, which creates little boutique hotels in this trendy desert city.
Thwack! – by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2015)
Astrophysicist Cetacea Whitholm looks the very picture of success with a best-selling textbook on the origins of the moon, a handsome young philosophy professor for a husband, and a nice Tudor home on Prof Hill. Recognizing that she is at the probable end of a sometimes illustrious, sometimes mediocre career, Cetacea is tortured by the unrealized ambitions of her youth that spoil any chance of enjoying an easy semi-retirement as an emeritus professor. When her second husband is murdered in their basement, she is the prime suspect, and she realizes she is running out of time to resolve her life's issues. Could she have committed the heinous crime, or was she framed by the moon goddess Basina, the odd, yet brilliant mathematician in the astrology department?
Putt for Show – by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2013) (OUT OF PRINT)
Lena Bettencourt, stuck in mid-management at one of America's most mediocre companies, jettisons her job and devotes more than a year of her life to competitive golf.
Drive for Dough – by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2014)
Just when she is finally establishing her credibility as a CEO in the Internet world, Lena Bettencourt faces the worst kind of crisis for an online-company executive: a hacker who threatens her customers’ credit card information.
John Nickoli: An emigrant's return to the Land of the Midnight Sun - a memoir by John Jacobson - Published by Sunmemoir Press (2017)
Limited release "Family and Friends" publication. Not for sale. 48-pages, full color cover, b&w interior, limited print-run.
Bluewater Gold Rush - by Tom Kendrick. Originally published by Azalea Press, 2007, reformated and republished for print-on-demand in 2018 by Tom Kendrick and Sunacumen Press
The Odyssey of a California Sea Urchin Diver
A beautifully written memoir about the lifestyle and characters in the sea urchin diving communities of Santa Barbara and Santa Rosa, California, in the mid 1980s to mid-1990s. Sunacumen reformatted and edited the interior for print-on-demand so this lovely story can continue to be enjoyed by generations to come--generations that will never have the opportunity to experience this lifestyle and enterprise. Cover by original publisher.
Kameleona – by Judith Fabris. Published by Valdesol Press (2017)
Running from a life of crime, Jack Metzger flees Singapore. Landing on the small Hawaiian island of Molokai, he steals a dead doppleganger’s identity to hide from those chasing him. After tossing the body of minister Paul Kanga into the ocean to the sharks, he adapts to his new role as pastor of the Good News Church. Over the years, he improves the lives of his congregation. The people of Molokai come to him with their problems. He is befriended by the stalwart residents of Molokai he came to the island to help destroy, Malia and Mike Palani. Jack’s personal demons and vivid dreams of the past plague him. Meanwhile, he must keep his old navy buddy, a mean town drunk, from harming the Palanis. In the end, will the community that has trusted and embraced the new Paul forgive his deceit? Will he find redemption, or has Jack succeeded only in constructing a tower of lies that will eventually prove to be the scaffolding of his own reckoning? (Sunacumen cover, interior, copyedit.)
despite his benevolent and successful new life, Jack’s personal demons and vivid dreams of the pas
My Mother is Losing Her Memory and I Am Losing My Mind - by Kathleen Bjork, Published by Birch Tree Publications (2017).
A memoir of caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. Sunacumen reformated and re-edited the book for distribribution on Print-On-Demand platforms.
The Claire Stories – by Rose Baldwin (2016)
These vivid, connected short stories invite you into the always surprising, slightly twisted mind of a woman who faces her dotage with uncommon sense and humor. Paperback.
The Johnson Station Novels
Gracie’s Revolution – by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2016)
Tiny Johnson Station, Iowa, is dying, but Gracie Jensen, the town librarian, sees its potential for revitalization, even if the local established leaders don't seem to care enough to try. Meanwhile, one of the old guard--ambitious politician Gregory Thungaard--fights to turn back the clock and buck the town's growing diversity. As Gracie loses hope in her battle to save Johnson Station, she discovers a secret that could kill Gregory's political career, but revealing it would betray the teenager she's taken under her wing. Setting a heartwarming example of resilience, Gracie starts a revolution that will change the town and the people in it.
Jackie's Campaign -- by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2017)
The Sequel to Gracie’s Revolution: The battle for the soul of Johnson Station, Iowa, is far from over. The old guard thought that Gracie’s departure from the library meant their power over the town was once again secure. But then Jackie joins the revolution Gracie started when she signs on as campaign manager an old flame, Armand, in his race for mayor. She now has a chance to help forge a brighter future for the town, but it will mean postponing the inevitable end to her marriage, keeping her sons’ troubles out of the public eye, hiding her identity as the town blogger, and tamping down her attraction Armand until the election is over. Can she prove she is the brave person she was once declared to be?
If Not for Music - by Brooks Coleman with Marj Charlier, Published by Sunmemoir Press (2018)
There was a time when Brooks Coleman's expectations were like that of every other kid in his Southern California neighborhood - get out of school, get a job as good as his dad's and spent the rest of his life pushing a broom or manning a shovel. But from the time he started playing violin, his destiny was altered by his aptitude and love for music, and Brooks' story became the quintessential American tale of a poor kid raising in a large family who, without encouragement or planning, goes to the Air Force, continues on to college, starts a family, earns a doctorate degree and ultimately enjoys a successful career in education. Eventually, though, he comes back to the one thing that made all this possible - his music.
Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist - by Carl Ellenberger, M.D. Published by Sunacumen Press (2018)
A fascinating glimpse into the mysterious workings of music on the human brain: Part neuroscience, part memoir, Dr. Ellenberger makes the latest evidence about how we process music in our mind accessible to every reader. Through his own experiences, the author, a musician and neuroscientist, shows how he came to understand the importance of music in his life - in all of our lives - revealing a number of surprises that will fascinate physicians, musicians, and the music-loving public alike. Music, Dr. Ellenberger tells us, is an affirmative medium that stimulates us to imagine and embrace our fullest human potential. Available in softcover, ebook and hardover.
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Marcia's Revenge - by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2018)
The sweetest revenge is the one you never see coming. Since she was a young girl, Marcia knew she couldn't stay in tiny Johnson Station, Iowa, and have a great career. Now, unjustly fired from the town's only bank, she yearns for a job - somewhere - that will cap off her professional life with the patina of success. Waylaid by her friend's need for help in turning around the town's economic stagnation, she is torn between contributing to its revitalization and accepting a job offer in Seattle. A financial disaster weights in on the side of the job in Seattle, but a personal tragedy postpones her decision. As she grows to understand her stake in her hometown's survival, Marcia discovers bringing people together can be the best revenge against those who aim to tear them apart.
Better Than Fiction -- by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2019)
The workbook that accompanies the Better Than Fiction memoir workshops presented by the author in Southern California's Inland Empire and in the Midwest, this volume provides short lessons and exercises designed to help the novice memoir writer jump-start the story they've always wanted to write. Starting with a discussion about "what is memoir," the workbook provides practical advice on how to choose the theme for memoir, the importance of transformation in a story from a life, and provides tips on the craft of writing. Not just for workshop attendees, the workbook can be used for self-study by anyone who wants to investigate the possibility of leaving a legacy of stories for friends and family. Available for sale through Lulu.com only and at Better Than Fiction workshops. Spiral bound.
Making It Up -- by Marj Charlier. Published by Sunacumen Press (2019)
The workbook that accompanies the Making It Up fiction-writing workshops presented by the author in Southern California's Inland Empire and in the Midwest, this volume provides short lessons and exercises designed to help the novice novelist writer jump-start the story they've always wanted to write. Starting with a discussions about genre and approaches to writing, the workbook provides practical advice on how to choose the theme, the importance of transformation in a story from a life, and provides tips on the craft of writing. Not just for workshop attendees, the workbook can be used for self-study by anyone who wants to investigate the possibility of writing a compelling novel either for self- or traditional publishing. Available for sale through Lulu.com only and at Making It Up workshops. Spiral bound.
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Forced Adventure – by Chuck Nunes (2019)
An innocent story of a 12-year-old's kidnapping and adventure into the ranch country of the post-war West. Paperback.
Alive - by Lois Howard. Published by Sunacumen Press, (2019)
Lois Batchelor Howard is a much published award-winning author. Here is another captivating collection of her poetry, showing her usual masterful feeling for humor, nostalgia, and the human condition. She amuses, inspires, and touches deeply. Her imagination is unbounded. Lois puts in words the beauty of the simplest things we enjoy in life. If you ever wonder if you like poetry, when you read Lois’ poems, you’ll know you do! Paperback.
Memoirs of A Kenyan Yogi - by Cheloti Kennedy Wamalwa Kundu. Published by Sunacumen Press (2020)
By the age of 11, Cheloti was living on his grandmother’s farm, milking cows in the morning and evening, and walking back and forth to school in between. On weekends, he led the cows up into the forest to graze, hauling his schoolbooks with him to study. As a young man, he struggled to find and hold jobs in the shaky Kenyan economy, often crashing wedding parties for a meal.t was through a chance audition for a dance troupe, which morphed into an acrobatic ensemble and finally into teaching yoga, that Cheloti was able to give up the “lie” he had always told himself: that he was a victim of circumstances, and there was nothing he could do to improve his lot. Shedding his “blueprint for scarcity,” hasn’t made life easy, but he learned to persevere by gaining balance and equanimity. Part confessional, part yoga philosophy, part African anthropology, Cheloti’s story is told in a charming stream-of-consciousness style with an irresistible momentum. Change is inevitable; negative or positive, it is bound to happen, but we can choose the direction, he tells us. Paperback and ebook.
70 things on my mind; Poems by Zene Gurley. Published by Sunacumen Press (2020)
70 poems written between 1980 and 2020, published for friends and family. Not available for sale.
Between City and Country - by Chuck Nunes. Published by Banjango Enterprises (2020)
Paul McCurdy is anxious to return to the ranching life he enjoyed as a young man. Recently divorced at 50, he is finally free to buy an acreage close enough to the city that he can continue to work as an engineer and live where he wants. A long and tiring daily commute and a pesky trespasser make his transition to a life split between the city and the country difficult, but Paul builds his home on the ranch and starts to settle in. Then, the long-lost love of his life comes back into the picture, and Paul wonPaul ders if he can give up his day job to return to Colorado, or if he can convince the woman he adores to join him in his new home. Will a trip back to the ranching neighborhood of his youth provide the answer? Sunacumen Press designed the cover and formatted the interior, but the editing and publishing were the purview of the publisher.
Gathering Years - by Robert Nicholson. Published by Sunacumen Press (2020)
The Civil War has ended, but Ellen Slater Reed now has to confront not only the loss of her husband in battle and the challenges of aging but also vast and disturbing changes in the country: the bitter struggle over Reconstruction, including the impeachment of the president; the rise of corporate megaliths; and, most upsetting, the corruption that seems to be seeping into every aspect of American life. In a voice at times reminiscent of Emily Dickinson’s, she records in her journal her attempts to overcome the harsh new realities through deep reflection and fostering the many sources of joy and meaning in her life, from quiet moments of beauty and revelation to a relationship that she forms with a younger officer in her husband’s regiment. In the end she finds reason to hope that more moral and humane values will ultimately prevail. Paperback.
The Time Travelers - by Steve and Susie Swatt and Jeff Raimundo. Published by Sunacumen Press (2020) in conjunction with Friends of California Archives - Illustrated by Sandy Bradley
Students in Mrs. Johnson’s class travel via a time machine into the past to meet California women who fought for the right to vote, to own property, to serve in politics and to practice law. In groups of three, they research the women’s stories and arrive back in time to interview politicians, businesswomen, and activists, some famous and some they hope will be. They meet with former slaves, Asian- and Hispanic-Americans who made money in real estate, ran businesses, fought discrimination, and funded schools and churches to help black children and the poor. They learn about the women who fought for the right to practice law and attend law school. Many of these women from all races fought for women’s right to vote, worker’s rights, and successful elections to state and federal offices. Middle-grade historical fiction with 70 illustrations, photos and cartoons. Paperback.
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COMING SOON! Sarah, Blake and Salt - by Yvonne Werttemberger. Published by Sunacumen Press (2020)
Come along on an adventure!
What started as a normal spring break turned mysterious when two siblings find themselves in the California desert, hundreds of miles from home with no way back. Sarah, Blake, and Salt are thrown into a race against time to save the world. Join these courageous kids and their dog as they match wits with sinister criminals and find their way home. Juvenile fiction-Action and Adventure. Paperback