Living.

“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.

If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.” Gautama Buddha

Midwest Book Review, 2017 Book Excellence Award category winner and Publisher’s Weekly Review.

I am pretty happy these days. 

A week ago Midwest Book Review gave me their top “Very Highly Recommended” Review. 

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/sbw/sep_17.htm#fiction

Yesterday I took first place in the “Military” category at the 2017 Book Excellence Awards and am now competing for the over-all prize. 

Today, October 2, 2017, Publisher’s Weekly reviewed me and they only review a handful of the “hundreds” of books they receive each month.

Chameleons: An Untold World War II Story

Marcus A. Nannini. Black Rose Writing, $19.95 trade paper (261p) ISBN 978-1-61296-889-6

Save Twenty Percent (20%) when you purchase directly from the publisher and, for a limited time, use the Discount Code:   PRINT  http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons?rq=chameleons

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Publisher’s Weekly Review:

A shocking present-day discovery on Oahu sparks an investigation into the aftermath of the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Nannini’s well-researched thriller. As two workers excavate earth for a backyard pool, they call in the police after coming across a skeleton gripping a pistol. Further digging reveals a small metal box bearing the insignia of the Imperial Japanese Navy. That evidence leads the local authorities to pass the matter along to the U.S. Navy, which assigns Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Pastwa and Lt. Karen Yamura to identify the remains and the circumstances of their burial. The pair focus on the box’s contents, a logbook purported to have been written by someone who manned a Japanese midget submarine that torpedoed the battleship Oklahoma and, later on Dec. 7, 1941, made his way onshore. Pastwa and Yamura prove able detectives as they follow the very cold trail to a satisfying resolution of the mystery. WWII buffs will find much to like. (BookLife)

DETAILS

Reviewed on: 10/02/2017 Release date: 06/01/2017

Paperback – 296 pages – 978-0-692-81435-2

https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-61296-889-6

“Very Highly Recommended”

The prestigious Midwest Book Review has given my WW II book, Chameleons, An Untold World War II Story, the coveted “Very Highly Recommended” review.

Critique: An original and inherently engaging novel from beginning to end, “Chameleons: An Untold World War II Story” is a truly extraordinary and deftly written entertainment that reveals author Marcus A. Nannini’s genuine flair for taking an actual historical incident and crafting it into a detailed and compelling narrative. While very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists that “Chameleons: An Untold World War II Story” is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Small Press Bookwatch: September 2017 James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review 278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/sbw/sep_17.htm#fiction

The Fiction Shelf

Chameleons: An Untold World War II Story

Marcus A. Nannini Black Rose Writing PO Box 1540, Castroville, TX 78009 http://www.blackrosewriting.com 9781612968896, $17.95, PB, 266pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: “Chameleons: An Untold World War II Story” by Marcus A. Nannini begins in1941 with the Japanese midget submarine I-16-tou lurking unseen in the depths of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. When the shock waves of the commencing Japanese aerial attack on December 7, 1941 wake its crew, they rouse the machine from its silent slumber and begin an attack that will take down a U.S. battleship. 

More than one American sailor swore revenge for his comrades that day. But the submarine crew of the I-16-tou, however, was never found. 

Then in present-day Hawaii U.S. Navy investigators Lieutenant Commander Christopher Pastwa and Lieutenant Karen Yamura puzzle over a mysterious skeleton unearthed in Kailua. When it is confirmed to be one of the submarine’s lost crew, Pastwa and Yamura begin to unravel a dark secret lurking at the heart of their beautiful island. This member of the crew might be confirmed dead, but what happened to his shipmate?

He may be a chameleon, hiding in plain sight.

 

CHAMELEONS, A never-before-told saga.

The opening scene takes place within the cramped, steam room-like conditions of a two man Japanese midget submarine lying on the muddy bottom of Pearl Harbor as if it were an animal waiting to pounce upon an unsuspecting prey. The date is Sunday, December 7, 1941. The time is just before eight in the morning and as the reverberations from aerial torpedo and bomb explosions rock the little submarine the two men jump to their controls and the midget sub comes to life.

The commander lines up the mighty battleships West Virginia and Oklahoma and launches two torpedoes, one at each ship. Disappointed the warhead striking the West Virginia proves to be a dud, they experience temporary elation when the second underwater missile rips apart the Oklahoma, causing her to capsize. The sight of white-clad sailors scampering over the side of the dying ship proves very sobering to the Commander and his engineer as elation is replaced with sadness and respect as the opening scene fades to black.

The second scene takes place at an ocean-front residential setting in present-day Kailua, Oahu.  A pair of laid-back Hawaiian excavators are installing a pool for a popular woman known by all in the neighborhood as “Auntie Lee.” When they discover a corpse clutching a strange looking pistol the work comes to a halt, causing “Auntie Lee” a great deal of consternation for she plans to host a party for the high school graduation of her favorite grandson the following month.

A US Navy investigative team is called upon to determine the identity of the skeleton and soon discover they are looking at the engineer of the Japanese midget submarine, I-16-tou, the very submarine responsible for sinking the Oklahoma, presenting them with a significant mystery: What happened to the midget submarine’s commander? Word of the mysterious skeleton is leaked to a local newspaper which sends their most aggressive reporter, Lani Gale, to investigate.

The Commander, still alive and living in retirement on Oahu, reads the newspaper story and realizes there is a race between the Navy and Gale to find him. Convinced he will be located and his world shattered, he makes a decision to relate his life story to his Annapolis-bound grandson rather than have him read about his arrest in the paper. The telling of his true history, beginning in pre-war Japan, through internment in Honolulu and California, the Korean Conflict and into the present-day is interspersed with the progress of the Navy and Gale as they hunt him down.

The concluding scenes comprise a dizzying sequence of events which tie up all the loose ends and sets up the sequels.

Save Twenty Percent (20%) when you purchase directly from the publisher and, for a limited time, use the Discount Code:   PRINT

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons?rq=chameleons

 

Chameleons: Morality, Spirituality and Duty to Country Clash in World War II.

CHAMELEONS, An Untold World War II Story…

After the Japanese midget submarine I-16-tou torpedoed and sunk the battleship Oklahoma the midget sub’s commander maneuvered his damaged vessel in the quiet backwaters of West Loch. Unable to effect repairs the commander and his engineer scuttled the little submarine, swam ashore and used their list of safe houses to meld into the population, never to be heard from again. Until now.

Chameleons follows their lives prior to, during and after the attack on Pearl Harbor. A female reviewer wrote:

“This book, from a Japanese viewpoint, from Hawai’i to Korea and back to Hawai’i, was riveting. Some of the war scenes were enough to keep my fingers gripping my seat, literally. You will not see the ending coming, it is a total surprise. In a nutshell, if you like historical war fiction, this is definitely for you. The fact that it is definitely based on true events is proven by the pictures in the back of the book. There is enough here to make you wonder what exactly is fiction and what is not.”

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1974967234?book_show_action=true

https://chameleonsthebook.com/chapter-one/

Chapter One is a scene unlike any other before written as Nannini places the reader inside the steam room-like confines of the Japanese midget submarine I-16-tou as she sits on the muddy bottom of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. When the reverberations of the first aerial bomb and torpedo strikes of the Japanese surprise attack wake the crew from their sleep they quickly launch their twin, one thousand pound torpedoes.  One torpedo proves to be a dud, but the second torpedo explodes with catastrophic results. The chapter closes with the image of white-clad sailors scrambling along the sides of the capsizing Oklahoma when the author whisks the reader forward into the present-day and presents an unsettling mystery.

Another reviewer states:

The cornerstone of an excellent historical fiction novel is research and it is extremely evident that Marcus A. Nannini has spent countless hours researching his subject. He has gone to painstaking depths to make as many elements of his story as real as possible and has done an amazing job. His descriptions of the training undergone by the submarine commanders, the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the landscapes of Hawaii, and the conflicts later on in the book are nothing short of exemplary.

I loved how this book mixed elements from both the past and the present. Either of the storylines could have made an excellent book on their own, but together they add another dimension entirely. The mix of different characters in the present day timeline is also fantastic. There is a refreshing mix of hard-working naval officers, sleazy reporters, traitorous informants, and even a pudgy Petty Officer who lends a smidge of humor (not to mention a few donuts) to the plot.

http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=42284

https://chameleonsthebook.com/chameleons-reviews/

A second Japanese midget submarine was later discovered, abandoned, in only sixty feet of water and within a short swim to an Oahu beach. The hatch was in the open position and was impossible to open if submerged. There was no evidence of the crew to be found representing two additional members of the Imperial Japanese Navy who may have melded into the local population as if Chameleons.

Save Twenty Percent (20%) when you purchase directly from the publisher and use the Discount Code:   PRINT

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons?rq=chameleons

Visit the Website:

https://chameleonsthebook.com/about/

Bidding for International Publication and Film Rights Ends at Midnight, PST, Monday, July 31, 2017.

A little background about Chameleons, An Untold World War II Story.

I had long been fixated on a photograph taken by a Japanese aviator during the attack on Pearl Harbor. In my opinion it clearly focused on a black object from which two torpedo tracks were racing towards the West Virginia and Oklahoma. There were three distinct splashes behind the black object and I didn’t know what they were. I was confused and extremely curious.

During Thanksgiving Dinner in November, 2009, I conceived the idea for Chameleons. I explained the story line to everyone present and received a rousing endorsement to pursue the project. So I did.

My idea was to write a screenplay.

I immediately began my research and acquired every book on the subject including a little orange colored, hard-bound book titled: I attacked Pearl Harbor by Kazuo Sakamaki, a/k/a Prisoner of War Number One. It cost me a bundle.

I didn’t just read the books, I made hand-written outlines and began formulating the guts of the screenplay. You see, I already knew the beginning and the ending, but I would need to accomplish a great deal of research to re-create the past, especially the portions in Japan. I also expended a great deal of time researching on the web and accumulated an incredible amount of information.

I had so much information I found it necessary to de-content the draft manuscript for fear of over-kill. However, let me say this right away: I intended from the beginning for the I-16-tou to be damaged and seek shelter in West Loch.

I wrote the screenplay in three long days, March, 2010. I registered the screenplay which serves as evidence I placed the I-16-tou in West Loch years before the Navy discovered it had, indeed, been scuttled in West Loch. I was already thinking like Lieutenant (jg) Masaharu Yokoyama!

I encountered all manner of obstacles including variations in Yokoyama’s and Kamita’s names. Eventually I settled on the versions I most often came across and stayed with them. I could not find a consensus on the depth of the channel leading into Pearl Harbor. There were all sorts of conflicting statements on that key element. As you read the book you will discover Yokoyama had to deal with the same dilemma. Obviously, he managed ok.

There was the issue of the twin torpedo tracks, one directed at the West Virginia and one at the Oklahoma. Eventually I found a report by Admiral Chester Nimitz stating they had discovered an unexploded 1,000 pound torpedo next to the West Virginia. Mystery solved.

I read numerous accounts of the survivors from the Oklahoma, but one account is what convinced me my theory was correct:

 All the battlewagons were ready for inspection on December 7, the result being all the water-tight doors on the ships were OPEN. West Virginia, Oklahoma and California were all listing to port as the result of torpedo strikes, but they were slowly settling onto the bottom of the harbor.  Only the Oklahoma rolled over, but why? Because a one thousand pound torpedo tore a hole clear through her torpedo belt and opened about a thirty-eight foot wide hole below the waterline. Thousands of gallons of water rushed in and overwhelmed the doomed ship.

One account in particular caught my attention to support my theory. One of the sailors rescued over the next few days had been in the engine room. He heard the “bangs” from numerous aerial torpedo hits, but then heard a remarkably “loud explosion from up forward.” The ship immediately began to roll over. His account also matched a photo taken by an aviator. The photo depicts a tall, narrow geyser coming from the West Virginia and a low, thick geyser coming from the Oklahoma. (Reference the photos at the back of my book.)

The tall, narrow geyser was typical of a five hundred pound aerial torpedo. The low, thick geyser contained so much water it could not shoot straight up. It was the visual evidence of a one thousand pound torpedo hitting the ship.

And what about the three water spouts behind the black object? I laughed at a documentary where they spent a great deal of money constructing a midget version of the real sub and concluded the spouts must have been from an aerial torpedo. I wish they would have donated the money they spent on the homeless as they were just silly in their assumptions, and wrong in their conclusion.

First, if the three sprouts were from a torpedo strike, then where was the plane? The planes had to slow to under one hundred miles per hour before releasing their torpedo and with three fresh sprouts in the water, where was the plane? It should have been in the photograph.

Second, how could they know the ballast arrangement Yokoyama was using, as well as his speed when they built their mini version? They couldn’t know.

Third, why would the Japanese aviator have taken the photo? He was focused, not on battleship row, but on the midget submarine. Admiral Reardon mentions the fact in Chameleons.

I just realized I’m getting a little long-winded here and need to end this soon.

I noticed most everyone mentions the ending. Let me make a couple of things clear.

  1. I wrote the ending precisely as I envisioned it at Thanksgiving Dinner.
  2. You, the reader, experience the same feelings the Kida family experience.

Most of you figured out I added a couple of characters when I finally got around to introducing Colonel Nat. Go back and re-read the description of the Aussie as you will be encountering a great deal of him as the Commander Pastwa series continues.

If there is something you would like me to discuss, drop me a note at ChameleonsNovel@aol.com.

Thanks for reading!

Marcus

https://chameleonsthebook.com/

Final days of Pre-Publication Pricing.

CHAMELEONS Pre-Release Sale ends June 15th.

Enjoy an additional ten percent reduction from the pre-release sale price.

Use this code:

PREORDER2017

“Mr. Nannini’s blend of real life events, a compelling modern day mystery, and vibrant characters has resulted in a first-class novel which could easily become a lasting gem in its genre.” OnLineBookClub.org Review 

Pre-Release Sale Site: 

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons 

“Based on a true story, CHAMELEONS is a superb recounting of what happened to a surviving crew member of a Japanese midget sub after it attacked Pearl Harbor, complete with details about their preparation, as well as present day American investigators probing his secret identity years later.” Lisa Edelman, Indie Reader.com 

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons

 “This book, from a Japanese viewpoint, from Hawai’i to Korea and back to Hawai’i, was riveting. Some of the war scenes were enough to keep my fingers gripping my seat, literally. You will not see the ending coming, it is a total surprise.  In a nutshell, if you like historical war fiction, this is definitely for you. The fact that it is definitely based on true events is proven by the pictures in the back of the book. There is enough here to make you wonder what exactly is fiction and what is not.”

Goodreads.com/review

Read more Great Reviews at:

https://chameleonsthebook.com/chameleons-reviews/

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons

ISBN: 9781612968896

PRE-RELEASE SALE INFORMATION

CHAMELEONS pre-release sale is under way.

Take an additional ten percent off with this code:

PREORDER2017

“Mr. Nannini’s blend of real life events, a compelling modern day mystery, and vibrant characters has resulted in a first-class novel which could easily become a lasting gem  in its genre.” OnLineBookClub.org Review

 Reserve your copy at Black Rose now!

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons

 

Read more Great Reviews at:

https://chameleonsthebook.com/chameleons-reviews/

 

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/historical-fiction/chameleons

Chameleons, not just another war story.

chameleons-demi-gods

The I-16-tou, a Japanese midget submarine, successfully penetrated Pearl Harbor early on the morning of December 7, 1941. It launched 2 torpedoes, one of which turtled the mighty U.S.S. Oklahoma. Eventually the 2 man Crew abandoned their badly damaged little submarine in West Loch. They swam ashore, connected with pre-arranged contacts and melded into the population as if human Chameleons. This is their story.          EBook:   http://www.books2read.com/MarcusNannini

Buy it at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chameleons-marcus-a-nannini/1125696093?ean=9780692814352

Buy it at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Chameleons-Actual-Events-Commander-Pastwa/dp/0692814353/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487024612&sr=1-1&keywords=chameleons+by+marcus+nannini

cropped-chameleons-cover-draft.jpg.

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chameleons-oklahoma-sunk-2-better

The U.S.S. Oklahoma, sunk by I-16-tou.