When I was a little girl, my grandma used to tell me a story about two friends, an Italian Jew and an Italian boy in 1940, who got divided by the war. Despite everything played out for putting them one against the other, their friendship never wavered until the unavoidable end. It was a sad tale she said was from a book. Such book, though, was never found in her house despite she collected them feverishly and as the years went by, I started questioning its source. I ended up thinking it was a lot more about her life and friends she had and she lost, and a lot less about a book. Well, the book I have here today reminded me a lot of that tale. Different wars, different times. Same heartbreaks.
Stefan’s Promise by Sam Rennick released in September in the Literary Fiction genre.
It’s 1968. America is rocked by assassinations, war protests and political upheaval. Alan Young, 21, is brooding over having been dumped by his girlfriend. This won’t last long. His draft notice is in the mail. Stefan Kopinski isn’t about to let the war get in his way. He spends his days at the mercy of his reckless ambition. When fate steps in, will he finally understand what has been right in front of him for 30 years? “Stefan’s Promise” is the story of Alan and Stefan. Circumstances part them and sharply diverging temperaments further erode their bond. Yet, Alan and Stefan are wrong in supposing their friendship has ended. It’s just getting started.
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Sam Rennick began writing Stefan’s Promise forty years ago, but it wasn’t until fairly recently, when he retired from his law practice that he was able to take his manuscript from its drawer and finish it. He admits he wishes he could say he planned this all along, since the two books comprising the novel, though written many years apart, combine perfectly into a compelling narrative.
While many authors have influenced him, he singles out Somerset Maugham as his muse, observing that Maugham always starts with a good story, but often finds a way to insert that “something extra” separating merely a nice tale from literature. Sam’s interest in books is only exceeded by his love for baseball, which began when he was nine years old.
by Sam Rennick
What is my favorite dessert? Chocolate sundae. This is not, perhaps, a terribly original choice, which I think says something. Desserts, of course, come in all shapes and sizes. There are the esoteric ones, like Baked Alaska and Crepes Suzette. These lack the versatility of a chocolate sundae. You can get a sundae at an expensive restaurant or the dingy little coffee shop around the corner, but try ordering your Baked Alaska there. Then we have the more common fare, malts, ice cream sodas, pies and cakes. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no objection to a strawberry malt or a slice of apple pie. Cake, on the other hand, frequently is dry, which doesn’t really matter when you’re blowing out ten candles. There are desserts like bread pudding and peaches and cream, baklava and cheesecake. These carry for me the hazard of heartburn later, a fact which never has been sufficient for me to pass on them. By the way, that chocolate sundae can be embellished with whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on top, and the chocolate can be heated, so you have a hot fudge sundae. All unnecessary. A generous scoop of vanilla ice cream lathered in chocolate syrup is just as good, every time. Of what else in life may this be said?
- $25 Amazon Gift Card or
- one of three ebooks of STEFAN’S PROMISE (4 winners) (open internationally)
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