Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Appointment with ISIL: An Anthony Provati Thriller by Joe Giordano

Synopsis - 
This time, Anthony's libido threatens his life. He flirts with Russian mob boss, Gorgon Malakhov's mistress. The Russian deals in death. ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant, wants the product. Russian Intelligence supplies the means, and an art theft funds the scheme. ISIL's targets are chilling. The chase across the Mediterranean is on. Can Anthony thwart ISIL? Will he survive?

Reviews - 

Appointment with ISIL has an unusual story line. While ISIL is featured at the very beginning and returns towards the end, Most of the story is set in North America and focuses on Anthony and his problems with the mob. It all began when he flirted with a mob boss' mistress and his troubles grew to epic proportions when she decided he was the one that would help her get away from this vile monster.

Anthony falls in the anti-hero category for me, but just over the line. He's not a bad guy, just a flawed one who makes a lot of not so great choices.  But his heart is in the right place and he steps it up when it becomes clear the mob is going to supply ISIL with a devastating resource.  His key to getting information he can pass on to the government is the very same mistress, putting her life in serious jeopardy.

As we follow the quickly moving story line, we are offered art theft, international travel, life-threatening moments and an unexpected twist towards the end that will definitely surprise you. I can't say more as I don't want to spoil it. 

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble  Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author -
Fab Author Interview HERE!
Joe Giordano was born in Brooklyn. He and his wife, Jane, have lived in Greece, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. They now live in Texas.

Joe's stories have appeared in more than ninety magazines including The Monarch Review, The Saturday Evening Post, decomP, The Summerset Review, and Shenandoah. His novel, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, was published by Harvard Square Editions October 2015. His second novel, Appointment with ISIL, an Anthony Provati Thriller will be published by HSE in June 2017.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview With Joe Giordano, Author of Appointment with ISIL: An Anthony Provati Thriller

Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming a writer/published author?

 One of the positions I held before I became a writer, was to run a business in Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa out of Athens. I developed a deep sense of history and the desire to write an historical fiction about the Ancient Greek-Persian Wars. Thirteen years ago, I tackled the task. My prose was terrible, I needed to learn how to write. I attended classes at the University of Texas and began writing short stories. 

Years later, after a landfill's worth of rejections, my work started to be accepted by small, online magazines. Eventually, I developed enough confidence to write another novel, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, published by Harvard Square Editions in October 2015. My experience doing readings and with book clubs was so enjoyable that I felt encouraged to write a second novel, Appointment with ISIL, An Anthony Provati Thriller, which Harvard Square Editions released June 15, 2017. I continue to write short stories and have been published in such magazines as The Monarch Review, The Saturday Evening Post, decomP, The Summerset Review, and Shenandoah.

What skills did you develop writing short stories that prepared you to write your first book?

As I mentioned above, my first historical novel about the Greek-Persian Wars was terrible. Nonetheless, the task took quite some time to complete. To develop a literary style and to shorten the cycle time for failure and feedback, I tackled short stories. To improve my craft, I analytically read great writers. I took classes, but concluded that creative writing is misplaced in the English Department. Certainly, language is the medium, but you don't learn artistic painting from a Sherman Williams store. I picked up tools, but instructors can't teach you to write well. Whatever success I've had is a triumph of hard work over modest talent. To paraphrase Edison, my writing improved 1% by inspiration and 99% by perspiration.

Review HERE!
Where did you find the inspiration for your storyline in Appointment With ISIL? For the main characters you created in this book?

Ben Fountain, author of the best-selling Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and a writing mentor of mine, told me that the literary thriller was the "holy grail." I took on his challenge. The genesis of the novel was my experience in the Middle East, an Islamic History course I'd taken from the University of Texas in Austin, and a short story, "The Unkindest Cut," published, by decomP Magazine.

I believe Norman Mailer said that every character he created included at least five percent of himself. As Mailer wrote about both Jesus and the Devil, that's quite a range. Fiction, unlike real life, must be believable. To create a sense of verisimilitude, I draw from my experiences and observations, including people I've met, but all the characters in Appointment with ISIL are fictional.
One note of interest for me was the title. While ISIL is a part of the book's plot, in truth, a much larger part of the story takes place in the US and deals with the mob.  Because of that, I'm curious why you chose Appointment with ISIL as the title?

I suppose that a less catchy but accurate title would've been, The Adventures of Anthony. In the novel, an Egyptian character tells Anthony that, "He has an appointment with ISIL." Much of what comes before Anthony's confrontation with Al-Nasir leads to the terrorist group's plots of mayhem.

How do you organize your time when working on a new book? Research? Writing/editing? Pre-marketing? Was this process any easier the second time around?

Once you've had a novel published, you know what's required, how long it takes, and the sequence of events you'll follow. My time is spent roughly 10% on research, 60% writing/editing, and 30% on marketing. I invest a large chunk of research time at the onset of a project, then specific details and events are investigated along the way. I want to "know" my ending before I begin. Although many advise not to edit as you go, I reread my work to spot missed opportunities for expanding characterization. I create two files: a "scratch" file where research and drafted chapters reside before I'm satisfied to move them to the "book" file.

As an author - what do you enjoy most about the writing process? What feels most like a chore?

The creative process is most enjoyable. Self-expression is fun. A writer can't help but reveal himself in his work. Analogously, readers take a sort of Rorschach Test; their interpretations are idiosyncratic and often surprising.

My concept of chore is rising at an uncomfortable hour, needing to make a forecast, being constantly jet-lagged by steady overseas travel, and putting up with a nitwit boss. Writing doesn't require any of these things, so it's never a chore.

Any advice for young authors wanting to write books in this genre?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Criticism comes in droves. Don't be deterred. Use rejection to incentivize improvement. Remember that most writers take an unintended vow of poverty, you'll spend a lot of time isolated reading and writing, and you'll pray that your work is appreciated and accepted. These descriptors can also be found under the definitions of cloistered nun and monk. Be careful what you become good at, because that's what you'll do.

What comes next? Do you have any new story ideas in development?

My next novel will be another Anthony Provati thriller with the working title, Drone Strike, and will include some of the characters introduced in Appointment with ISIL, but each novel can be read independently. Drone Strike includes a victim whose family was "collateral damage." Where can he turn for justice? Without a higher authority to arbitrate, is the desire for revenge understandable?

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest

Friday, June 9, 2017

More Than A Soldier: One Army Ranger's Daring Escape From the Nazis by D.M. Annechino

"More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful 
story of survival, resilience and courage."

Synopsis - 

Feeling a patriotic duty to defend his country after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, seventeen year old, Angelo J. DiMarco, enlists in the U.S. Army. Severely short of frontline fighters, the Army rushes Angelo through Ranger training and sends him to Italy as part of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Their objective: stop the German invasion.

Fighting on the front lines in Italy, the German’s teach Angelo a sobering lesson on life when they capture him during the bloody battle of Cisterna. Against insurmountable odds, Angelo miraculously escapes in a way that stretches the imagination. He survives behind enemy lines for over five months, hiding from the Germans and trying to outmaneuver them. He begs for food, sleeps in barns and suffers from many ailments, including dehydration, malnutrition, malaria and exposure to the elements.

Review - 

I don't even know where to begin this review other than to say bravo to author D. M Annechino.  He is someone I've had the pleasure of reviewing several times, but for books in quite a different genre.  
They Never Die Quietly, Resuscitation & A Piece of You are mystery/thriller/suspense works of fiction with an edge - they feature disturbing serial killers.

I believe More Than A Soldier is his first true life story - a military biography/memoir.  It is his uncle's memoir of his time as a soldier. I cannot find where I read this, but I believe his uncle refused to talk about these experiences until his final days. It was only then he chose to share his memories of his time as a soldier with his son.  His son then asked his cousin (D.M. Annechino) to turn the many notes he took into a book. It was a wise choice as Annechino nailed it. In fact I think this is hands down this author's best work yet.

Angelo J. DeMarco's story begins when the young patriot answered his country's call to service. He first joined the army, but wanted more. The story moves on to explore his time training as a Ranger and through numerous difficult wartimes memories where many of his fellow soldiers died in combat. From there we live through the dreadful time of his troop's capture, his daring escape behind enemy lines with three fellow Rangers and his ordeal surviving many months behind enemy line until Allied troops arrived.  

Annechino captures these events with a personal eye, letting each unfold as if his uncle is setting across the table from the reader with a cup of coffee in hand, sharing his vivid memories. I honestly couldn't put the book down.  And the way Annechino crafted this story had my mind creating pictures of the events as I read along. Months later I can still "see" many of these moments in the book in my mind's eye.

Again, bravo to the author. I hope to see him offer new titles in this genre in the future.  The storytelling talents so evident in his works of fiction are perfect for helping a true-life story come to life. 

Buy the Book:  ​Amazon  -  Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author -

Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. He has written and published five novels—all thrillers. But his latest work, More Than a Soldier, is a Historical Biography set in Italy during WWII.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.

Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway