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Berks County Resident Authors Novel Set in Coal Region

Berks County Resident Authors Novel Set in Coal Region

A Berks County author has published his third book and first novel. The book, Disturbed, is a paranormal thriller set in the Coal Region of Northeast Pennsylvania that explores the legacy of the anthracite industry and the Molly Maguires. The book is scheduled to be released on May 17.

Joseph J. Swope, a resident of Jefferson Township, is best known for Pleasant Valley Lost, a 2015 book that focused on the loss of his family’s farm to the Blue Marsh Dam. That book was updated in 2017 and now includes 22 historic photographs.

Disturbed is set in the fictional town of Clayburn and focuses on a young man with a history of mental illness who, unknown to him, moves into a home haunted by its former resident. He soon finds his life intertwined with the history of the Molly Maguires, a 19th Century Irish organization who fought for workers’ rights in the dangerous and low-paying coal mines. Accused of a string of murders and other violence, a number of Molly Maguires were eventually executed in a series of trials still controversial to this day.

The book is published by Black Rose Writing, an independent book publisher located in Texas.

Disturbed will be available at the Barnes & Noble store in Wyomissing and at major booksellers online at:

Amazon at and Noble at Rose Writing at Readers can use the promotional code PREORDER2018 for a 10 percent discount.

In addition to Pleasant Valley Lost and Disturbed, Swope has published The Gift, an illustrated children’s book focused on diabetes awareness.

Swope has served in the communications department of UGI Utilities, Inc., a natural gas and electric utility, for 25 years. He is currently the manager of media relations and special project. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the Communications department at Alvernia University.

Additional information about Disturbed and author Joseph Swope is available at, as well as Swope’s author Facebook page at