Book Title: More Than a Soldier: One Army Ranger’s Daring Escape From the Nazis
Author: D.M. Annechino
Category: Adult Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Historical Biography, WWII
Release date: April 2017
Tour dates: April 24 to May 19, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (A few four-letter words and violence associated with war)
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.
More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful story of survival, resilience and courage.
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Praise for More Than a Soldier:
Annechino colorfully draws the actions scenes, and richly brings the supporting cast of characters to life. A moving tale of survival in war-torn Europe.
– Kirkus Reviews
Nuanced and eloquently written, More Than a Soldier adds to the body of WWII literature an extraordinary story of survival and a deeply affecting portrait of a soldier’s coming-of-age.
– The iRead Review
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.
How did you do research for your book?
Unlike my prior 5 novels, More Than a Soldier is based on a true story. Set during WWII in Italy, the book did require plenty of historical research. However, the story is about my Uncle Angelo DiMarco’s experiences as a P.O.W. Therefore much of the historical events came directly from my uncle’s testimony as an Army Ranger captured by the Germans.
What is the last great book you’ve read?
I hate to say this because it goes against the grain of everything you’ve ever heard about a writer’s veracious appetite to read, but I really don’t read very much. Why? Because I can no longer read as a “reader”; I read as a “writer”, which means instead of kicking back and enjoying the read, I scrutinize every sentence, every plot twist, the dialogue, narrative, etc. I just can’t turn it off. So, I try, I really try to get into reading but I hold the world’s record for having read more half books than anyone on the planet.
Your book is set in Italy. Have you ever been there?
Yes. My wife and I visited Italy a few years ago. We absolutely loved it! We started in Lake Como in Northern Italy and from there worked our way south to Milan, Assisi, Pompeii, Venice, Florence, Rome and many other cities. But the highlight of the trip was going to the picturesque town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast. It has to be one of the most romantic places on Earth!
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I have a small office in my apartment in a cozy corner near a window where I can look outside and see palm trees leaning away from the warm ocean breezes of the Pacific. Except for birds chirping and singing outside my window, I need total quiet for me to write. Any outside noise, music, people chatting in the courtyard near my apartment, totally distracts me. There are times when I think about finding a log cabin in a remote area and writing a book there from beginning to end. As appealing as it sounds, I don’t think my wife would warm up to the idea.
What advice would you give budding writers?
I think one of the most important lessons I learned is that rarely does a writer become an overnight success. It’s a long hard road. If you’re writing for fame and fortune, you might want to rethink your career path. Remember: Everyone is a critic. So you really need to have thick skin. The best advice I can offer any aspiring author is to accept the reality that rejection is the prerequisite to success. Even some of the most successful writers in history endured years of rejection long before they were recognized for their craft.
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