Trenton: New Novel Combines an Epic Revolutionary War Story With an Explosive Contemporary Drama

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Powerful Tale of New Jersey’s Capital City Is From the Small Regional Press Behind Boardwalk Empire—the New York Times Bestseller That Inspired HBO’s Hit Series

“Calu and Hart have brought a vital piece of our national memory back and combined it with a modern, uplifting tale in this exciting novel,” said award-winning playwright William Mastrosimone (Extremities). “Bravo!”

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Plexus Publishing, Inc., whose Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City is the basis for a major HBO series from Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter, announced the publication of Trenton, a new novel by authors John P. Calu and David A. Hart.

Told in two parts, the novel’s action begins in 1774 as the revolution brewing in the American colonies is set to erupt in violent conflict. In Hopewell, New Jersey, near Trenton, the nearly lifeless body of an orphan girl is pulled from the Delaware River by the son of John Hart, an unheralded New Jersey signer of the Declaration of Independence whose “rabblerousing” has brought down the wrath of the British Crown and its many local sympathizers.

As the Harts become pivotal players in the rebellion, fighting alongside George Washington, Ben Franklin, and other patriots from throughout the colonies, John Hart becomes a hunted man. Young Edward Hart—inspired by the writings of Thomas Paine—falls in love, enlists in Washington’s ragtag army, and suffers tragic losses on and off the battlefield before victory at Trenton changes his life and alters the course of history.

In the explosive second part, modern day Trenton comes into vivid focus as Luis Alma—son of Cuban immigrants, hero, and reluctant candidate for mayor—struggles to hold his family together. Against a backdrop of crime, corruption, and murder, a mystery unfolds linking the Alma family to the Harts of Hopewell, and a young man from the wrong side of the tracks discovers that the key to Trenton’s future may lie in a secret from its past.

“Calu and Hart have brought a vital piece of our national memory back and combined it with a modern, uplifting tale in this exciting novel,” said award-winning playwright William Mastrosimone (Extremities). “Bravo!”

John B. Bryans, Calu and Hart's editor at Plexus who also acquired and edited Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire, said, “In many ways, Trenton is the novel that HBO fans came looking for when they propelled Boardwalk Empire onto the New York Times bestseller list. With its exciting blend of crime, corruption, romance, sex, and intrigue—set against an opulent historical backdrop—Calu and Hart’s novel has the potential to inspire Trentonians just as Boardwalk Empire has done for the people of Atlantic City.”

John P. Calu and David A. Hart have enjoyed a productive collaboration as novelists since 2003. Long-time Trenton, New Jersey, residents, their published work includes a 5-volume adventure series featuring enigmatic Garden State sites, obscure local legends, and everyday mysteries along the Jersey Shore and in the Pine Barrens. Trenton is their most ambitious work to date.

Trenton: A Novel (320 pp/hardcover/$24.95/ISBN 978-0-937548-66-0) is represented to the book trade by Parson Weems Publisher Services. It is available in bookstores and by contacting the publisher at 609/654-6500, by email to info(at)plexuspublishing(dot)com, or on the web at

About Plexus Publishing
Incorporated in 1977, Plexus Publishing, Inc. was located in Louisville, Kentucky, before moving in 1978 to its current location in Medford, New Jersey. In addition to being a regional publisher, Plexus also publishes titles in the field of biology and ecology. Our flagship publication, Biology Digest, is now in its 34th year of providing current, readable information in the life sciences to over 3,000 schools, colleges, and libraries. Our book list extends from technical-scientific works to histories, folklore, and novels.

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