Tag Archives: biography

Book Review & Giveaway: More Than a Soldier by D.M Annechino

12 Jun

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
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: April 2017
Tour dates: May 29 to June 16 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (A few four-letter words and violence associated with war)

 

Description

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.

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read several books by DM Annechino, all murder mysteries, all very good. Since I already knew that I like his writing and I like historical fiction, I was looking forward to reading More Than a Soldier.

This story is about Angelo J. DiMarco, an actual soldier in World War II who started out working behind a desk but he didn’t feel like he was contributing to his country as much as he could so he became an Army Ranger. So he went from behind desk to the front lines voluntarily. Talk about a patriot!

More Than a Soldier was difficult to put down. Angelo faced so much in just a couple years, it proves that truth is stranger than fiction. Not only did he have to face the Germans on the front lines but he had malaria, was captured by the Germans, escaped and survived behind enemy lines for several months. He went through so much and still when he came home, all he wanted was a word from his father that he was proud of him. How sad is it that it took a war and near death for Angelo to finally hear the words he craved?

“You enter the Army with honor and a strong feeling of patriotism. You’re an indestructible force and nothing and nobody can stop you. But then you learn just how naive you are, that war is much more than a word that defines a conflict between nations. It’s a living, breathing predator, and its only goal is to devour your mind, body, and spirit.”

I definitely recommend More Than a Soldier. It’s full of war, death, heartbreak, survival, and history. 

 

Buy the Book: 




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

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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

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BOOK REVIEW TOUR:

May 29 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / giveaway
May 30 – Gabriel’s Wharf – review
May 30 – Books, Dreams, Life – review / giveaway
May 31 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
June 1   – Il Mio Tesoro – review
June 2   – NorthernMsw – review
June 5   – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
June 6   – Man of la Book – review / giveaway
June 6   – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / giveaway
June 7   – What Cathy Read Next – review / giveaway
June 8   – Puddletown Reviews – review / giveaway
June 9   – Olio by Marilyn – review / giveaway
June 12 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway
June 13 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
June 14 – Leels Loves Books – review
June 15 – Nighttime Reading Center – review / giveaway
June 16 – The World As I See It – review / giveaway

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Enter the Giveaway!

 Ends June 24

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The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review & Giveaway: Assata Shakur by Barbara Casey

24 Apr

In May 1973, Assata Olugbala Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and assaulting Trooper James Harper. This resulted in her indictment of first-degree murder of Foerster and seven other felonies related to the shootout. A member of the Black Panther Party, she became a prime target of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Counterintelligence Program. When she joined the Black Liberation Army and went into hiding, between 1973 and 1977, she was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for three bank robberies, the kidnapping and murder of two drug dealers, and the attempted murder of two New Jersey police officers.

In March 1977 Assata Shakur was convicted of murdering state trooper Werner Forrester and was imprisoned. Two years later she broke out of the maximum-security wing of Clinton Correctional Facility in New Jersey, pistol in hand, as she and three cohorts sped out of the prison grounds. In 1984 she was granted political asylum in Cuba where she has lived ever since. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List, the first woman to be listed. Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave is the story of Assata Shakur, before she became a fugitive and since. 

Buy the book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~ Books-A-Million

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read several of Barbara Casey’s books including the nonfiction book Kathryn Kelly, so I was happy to read this book. It definitely wasn’t “pleasure reading” but it was interesting and informative. The beginning was a detailed history, a little too detailed for my liking, but that’s just me.

It was obvious that Barbara Casey did a lot of research on Assata Shakur and I was impressed that she just reported the facts and remained neutral throughout the book.

I was a teen in the ’70s and although I had heard of the Black Liberation Army and the Black Panthers, I had never heard of Assata Shakur, which surprised me. Even though I lived through those times, I learned a lot.

Whether she belonged in prison or not, I was shocked at her treatment while in prison. There’s no justification for continued solitary confinement and this is the first time I’ve heard of a woman being kept in a men’s prison. That’s just crazy.

Assata Shakur is an interesting read about a current fugitive who has political asylum in Cuba. I wonder if that will last given our improved relations with Cuba? Barbara Casey did mention that Assata Shakur used to be more out in the open than she is now.

 

 

Author’s Bio

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her previous nonfiction true crime work, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant for independent publishers and writers, and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, established in 1995, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Fitz, a miniature dachshund; and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.

Connect with the author:  Website

 

 

 

Giveaway

Win a $25 Amazon gift card (open int’l – 2 winners)

Ends May 6

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

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Before I Die

25 May

Before-I-die

Book Review: Fleeing the Hijab by Sima Goel

17 Dec

Fleeing the HijabBook Description

A true account of Sima Goel, the Iranian teenager who crossed the most dangerous desert in the world rather than accept the restrictions of life in Iran of the early 1980s. Her quest for freedom is a thrilling, timely inspiration for people longing to create a life of meaning. It was the last straw!

The Ayatollah Khomeini had decreed that all women in Iran must wear the hijab, whether they were Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or Baha’i. Thirteen-year-old Sima had gone out into the streets of Shiraz to demonstrate for freedom under the Shah’s oppressive rule, and now that he had fled the country, this was the result: a new regime, and a much more repressive rule. The changes Khomeini’s regime forced on the population were totally incompatible with Sima’s ambitions and sense of personal freedom. Blacklisted by her school, unable to continue her studies, mourning the murders of innocent family members and friends, and forced to wear the hijab, she realized she had to leave her beloved birthplace and find a country where she could be free to follow her dreams.

Fleeing the Hijab is a vivid portrait of a dangerous journey made by two teenaged girls through the Iranian desert to Pakistan, where, as homeless refugees, they struggled desperately to find some way to escape to the West. It is a story that needs to be heard and remembered.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading Sima Goel’s story. Not only was it one of heartbreak, suffering, and endless struggle, but the fact that she and her sister were able to finally escape was amazing. 

The first half of the book was interesting and I learned a lot. I was a teenager in the 70’s so I knew a little about what was happening in the Middle East but I had no idea so many people were suffering like they were. And I liked learning about the rituals their family had practiced for generations. It’s sad to think that so much of that has been lost over the past few years.

I admire Sima and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read her book. I definitely recommend this book.

 

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble  Chapters/Indigo

 

Author’s Bio

Dr Sima GoelIranian-born Sima Goel has always had compassion for those who suffer. Her instinctive need to speak out against oppression ultimately resulted in unwanted attention from the authorities, which led her to flee her beloved Shiraz and eventually to Montreal.

Sima Goel is a self-made woman. Her journey to freedom, recounted in her memoir, Fleeing the Hijab, A Jewish Woman’s Escape from Iran, reflects her belief that, without freedom of choice, life is worthless. She is a strong advocate for the disenfranchised and the rights of all, specifically the rights of women. With the publication of her book, Sima has fulfilled the promise she once made to herself: to speak out and share her truth that freedom is the most precious commodity of all.

Wellness chiropractor, health advocate, inspiring author and an in-demand speaker, Dr. Goel considers her most important role to be that of mother to her two teenage boys, and wife to her beloved husband.

 

Connect with the author:   Website ~  Twitter ~  Facebook

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Book Review & Giveaway: A Life of the Twentieth Century by Irene Even

4 Mar

A Life of the Twentieth Century3 (220x340)Title: A Life of the Twentieth Century

Author: Irene Even

Genre: Biography

Publication Date: September 11, 2014

 

Synopsis

A Life of the Twentieth Century is the story of Aya, who lived through the loss of her parents before the age of 3. At the age of twelve she was sent to a boarding school in Budapest, that closed after one year, because the Nazi army marched into the city.

Aya was left totally alone to face the Nazi occupation, and to experience all the horrors of the war. She faced many life threatening situations, such as prison, bombardment or even the possibility of being executed on the spot, without really comprehending the gravity of it all.

The end of the war was supposed to mean liberation, the return of hope and freedom for most people, however it didn’t happen for Aya, who was part of a youth group on her way to Palestine. The destination of this youth group was to reach Italy and the Jewish Brigade. They crossed the Alps on foot from Austria to reach Italy.

As they reached their destination Aya met a soldier from the Jewish Brigade, who was supposed to be her Hero, her Saviour, but turned out to be the devil incarnate. From day one, this soldier of the Jewish brigade took control of Aya’s life when she was only 15 years old.

After divorce, destitute and once again alone, she had no direction and almost no hope, when from deep inside her a small voice said; go back to school. It took all her courage to apply to university, where she was accepted and after 5 year was granted a B.A. and a Diploma of Teaching. She spent the rest of her life teaching, and as she contemplated her life she said to herself that if she had had all the choices in the world, she would have chosen teaching.

Where to buy the book

BookLocker
Amazon

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

Although A Life in the Twentieth Century is written like fiction and uses fictional names, it is actually the memoir of the author. Aya’s life started out difficult and it seemed that it would stay that way. From being an outcast as a child, to hiding from the Nazis, to an abusive husband, she endured more than one person should have to in one lifetime.

I admire Aya’s strength and perseverance. She was able to deal with whatever came her way. I can’t believe that she was able to endure life with her husband, Mort, for so many years.

I think it’s great that Aya followed her dream and that she was able to eventually do what she loved for her career. Her relationship with her children, though, breaks my heart. All she did for them and all the love she has for them…I hope they read her memoir and that it opens their eyes.

Irene’s writing flows well but there were times that the story got slow. Some things were also repeated one or more times. Although the book was a little longer than it needed to be, I still think this is a good read, especially for anyone who likes autobiographies.

 

About the Author

Irene EvenIrene Even was born in Hungary. As a child she lived through the Second World War, using false papers to survive. After the war, she immigrated to Palestine, lived in a Kibbutz, then later married and immigrated to Canada with her family. She returned to Israel to teach English and remained there for twenty-two years. Having written her memoir, A Life of the Twentieth Century, she now lives in retirement in Montreal.

Giveaway

​Prize: ​One of 10 ebook copies of  A Life of the Twentieth Century or a $10 Amazon gift card

Open internationally.

Ends March 21.

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Blog Tour Book Review: Wonderfully Dysfunctional: it must be genetic by Buffi Neal

16 Nov

Giveaway

The true story of… A woman who laughs at funerals. A gypsy mother who refuses to wear a bra and a father who refuses to leave his first wife. A brother who sleeps under the coffee table and a sister who was kidnapped. A cheating minister, a missing uncle and a feisty, red-headed grandmother who was longing to leave it all.Buffi always knew her family was unusual, but she was lucky enough to escape that gene. Or was she? Joined by her siblings at the bedside of their dying grandmother, Buffi begins on a journey of self discovery as they recall stories of their youth including juicy family secrets, inappropriate practical jokes, abuse and betrayal. She is on a quest to find Normal but finds herself instead.
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It Must be Genetic is about an American family of no particular importance, descendants of the once wealthy and revered Perry clan, but stripped of their family wealth during the Great Depression. It’s full of quirky characters like grandmother Mopsie; a sexy divorced mother of two in the 1950’s who would turn the heads of her conservative neighbors when hosting the best poker parties in town, but who can now be found sleeping her days away in the bed of a nursing home. The story climaxes when Mopsie accidentally reveals a secret that sends her family frantically searching through old documents to find the son she gave up for adoption half a century ago.
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It Must be Genetic is about acceptance, forgiveness and the great capacity to love. The story is written from the perspective of a third generation divorced mother, Buffi, who realizes that the very traits that make her family dysfunctional may be the same traits that make it so wonderful. At 64,000 words, it’s paced for a quick-and-easy read.
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Review:
Reading Wonderfully Dysfunctional is like sitting and listening to Buffi Neal tell her story. She’s a good storyteller with a great sense of humor. Her stories are heartwarming and funny. She also has good insight into life and her family.
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I think most of us think our families aren’t normal but after reading about Buffi’s family I feel like my family is a little closer to normal than I thought. But what an interesting and resilient family she has!
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I usually read fiction but this book reads as well as a good novel. I definitely recommend Wonderfully Dysfunctional. It will make you cry one minute and laugh the next.
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Buy the book from…..Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com Barnes and Noble
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