Marcus A. Nannini

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Book to FILM Manuscripts at the Ready

World War II sagas and a Mystery/Thiller Series in the vein of The Hunt For Red October and The Eagle Has Landed. MarcusNannini@aol.com

Mr. Nannini’s Latest Award-Winning World War II Book Left for Dead at Nijmegen (Casemate Publishers, Oxford, U.K. & Philadelphia, PA) won 2019 Nonfiction Book of the Year, was entered into the United States National Archives in July 2019, and earned plaudits from Germany, Holland, The United Kingdom, Canada, and the USA.

FILM TITLE:  DINNER WITH HIMMLER

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Newly minted paratrooper Gene Metcalfe.

Full Synopsis
When Gene Metcalfe boarded the C-47 which would drop him at Groesbeek Heights, just outside of Nijmegen, Holland, he was handed a box of twelve dozen condoms by an overconfident British lieutenant. He was to be among the first to jump into what should have been a picture-book meadow, free of German troops. Instead, it was defended by three German antiaircraft cannon emplacements.

As he jumped into a hail of bullets and exploding shells he watched his plane roll over and plummet into the ground. It was at that moment he realized the condoms had either been a bad joke or the planners of Operation Market Garden had seriously underestimated German resistance. Gene was listed as KIA and left for dead by his patrol, who presumed the worst when they saw his injuries from a shell explosion. He was dragged to an ancient castle where he was interrogated by the most notorious of all the Nazis, Heinrich Himmler.

The rest of his story is equally gripping, as he became a POW held outside Munich, being moved between various camps ridden with disease and a severely undernourished population. In one of many intense scenes Metcalfe faces-off against several “SS” soldiers while saving the life of a severely wounded fellow paratrooper. Eventually, after making an escape attempt and being captured within sight of the snow-capped Swiss mountains.

His prison camp was liberated by American troops in April 1945, setting Gene loose to explore Paris as the guest of a French medical doctor he met when the two men were confined in a Munich jail cell.

The battle scenes are described by Nannini with sufficient detail to put the reader on the edge of their seat without being outright gruesome. Metcalfe witnesses murder on both an individual scale and by the hundreds-at-a-time.  Nannini paints the landscape and allows the readers to put their imaginations to work.

Sample Reviews

“Some savvy screenplay writer will inevitably snag the rights to this one. The comic relief is already built into the suspense filled plot. The story is just the right size for a movie in an industry struggling to break-away from comic book heroes into the genuine article.” Casey Quyn for Manhattan Book Review

“Told in the matter-of-fact tone of a college essay, the book is a page turner, full of coincidence, narrow escapes, and tension worthy of a Hollywood film.” Reedsy Discovery.

“Gene Metcalfe’s detailed recollections are supplemented with photographs. This is an important biography worthy of inclusion in World War II themed collections. The book portrays military sacrifices and the reality of the struggle of POW as reported by a survivor.” AuthorsReading.com 5 star review.

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4 More Exciting Sagas Ready For the Big Screen

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FILM TITLE: MIDNIGHT FLIGHT TO NUREMBERG

The Secret Mission to Snatch the Man who put Adolph Hitler into Power.

Nannini’s second WW II nonfiction masterpiece, Midnight Flight to Nuremberg, is presently in professionally edited manuscript form. (74,000 words with 80 photos, maps, and documents.)

In the opening scene 1st Lieutenant Harry Watson flies through rain and fog, seeking to resupply a desperate platoon of Patton’s tanks that ran out of fuel. Upon landing, he finds himself within hailing distance of an armored regiment of the Wehrmacht desperate to break-out and return to their lines. Following a close encounter with German tanks, Harry manages to escape to his base in England after successfully resupplying the tanks.

Chapter Two finds 10-year-old Harry being pushed through a tight opening in an abandoned coal mine by his mother so he might gather enough coal to take the family through the pending 1932 Christmas Holiday. The flashback continues as the story tracks his life through flight training, during which he becomes the youngest flight instructor on the base and into the European Theater of Operations, but not before he turns down a nomination to West Point.

Upon his arrival in England, he immediately displays his keen navigational skills along with his penchant for taking chances, a trait that will earn him several hair-raising missions. A midnight flight behind enemy lines falls to Harry, the only pilot his Squadron Commander believes can do the job. There’s nothing to prevent you from negotiating an option today.

Mystery/Thriller Series

Nannini models his Mystery/Thriller series after Jack Higgin’s wildly successful Sean Dillon saga. The first novel is a well-researched piece of creative nonfiction, similar to Jack Higgins’s The Eagle Has Landed and thoroughly blurs the line between reality and fantasy.

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Book One

BOOK TITLE: NINE MEN DOWN, the Silent Invasion of Oahu.

A retired Japanese businessman on Oahu fears for his life after the discovery of a gravesite linking him to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The opening scene in Nine Men Down is set within the hot, damp confines of a Japanese midget submarine sitting on the floor of Pearl Harbor, the morning of December 7, 1941. As the crew prepares to fire its torpedoes at the battleships West Virginia and Oklahoma, the action moves to the aft steering compartment of the Oklahoma.

            At their battle stations, deep in the bowels of the battleship, several sailors nervously discuss their options as their ship lists further to port, and water rises above their ankles. Immediately after experiencing a particularly loud explosion, the mighty battleship begins to roll over, and the trapped men soon find themselves standing on the ceiling.

            The Captain of the midget sub raises his periscope and observes scores of sailors jumping for their lives as the Oklahoma rolls over. The atmosphere in the sub immediately evolves from exuberance to grim contemplation.

            Many decades later, in Kailua, Oahu, the excavation of a private pool yields the surprise unearthing of a mysterious skeleton. To the chagrin of Admiral Roman Reardon, stationed at nearby Pearl Harbor, the skeleton proves to be a crew member of the Japanese Midget sub from the opening scene.

            The U. S. Navy investigative Team anchoring the mystery/thriller series undertakes the task of solving the mystery of the skeleton. The first storyline, though commencing with the dramatic underwater attack at Pearl Harbor, relates back to 1930s Japan, WW II battle scenes, the Korean Conflict, and carries through to the present time.

            A second storyline follows a brilliant but flawed female reporter who does her best to disrupt the navy Team. Her character will continue throughout the series.

            A third storyline follows the progress of the Navy Team as they methodically solve the mystery of the skeleton.

            Eventually, all three storylines converge, yielding unpredictable results along with the introduction of the Team’s future adversaries.

            Nine Men Down is 109,000 words with 25 well-placed photos and maps. As with all of Nannini’s works, this book is written for conversion to the Big Screen.

There’s no better time to negotiate an Option than during pre-publication.

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Book Two

FILM TITLE: GEOGRAPHIC TREACHERY, The Shah’s Revenge.

GEOGRAPHIC TREACHERY-THE SHAH’S REVENGE

During December 7, 1941, memorial ceremonies at Pearl Harbor, a pair of heavily armed attack helicopters sweep in, hell-bent on wreaking havoc.

Amidst the splendor of a Kona coffee farm situated alongside the crater of a dormant volcano, four men plot the murder of an NSA agent. Years earlier, two of them had a chance meeting with Admiral Roman Reardon, setting off Reardon’s personal alarm, a twitching right eye.

Reardon soon dispatches his hand-picked investigative Team, led by Commander Christopher Pastwa and Lt. Commander Ania Yamura, to the Big Island. Initially tasked with investigating irregularities in the U.S. Customs office, they would be distracted by the discovery of not one, but a series of particularly cruel murders.

Asuka Fuchida, the Hawaii County Coroner, becomes involved when one of the victims proves to be a life-long friend. Fuchida’s deductive reasoning skills and personal charm convince Pastwa to bring her into the investigation.

Mike Clarke, Pastwa’s donut loving aide, Lt. Stephanie Ferguson, and Master Gunnery Sergeant Mike Wolf round-out the Navy Team. Their investigation takes them to a midnight full moon celebration at a nude beach, the Rainforest Zoo, where an 800-pound white tiger makes a late-night dinner of an NSA agent, a firefight on an abandoned road with the roaring Pacific as a backdrop, into upscale restaurants and sleazy bars.

Almost too late, they discover their adversaries are more sophisticated than previously perceived when they learn three fully armed attack helicopters have been hijacked from a Big Island military base. To their horror, their objective is the supercarrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, her flight deck full of 1,000s of sailors and dignitaries partaking in the annual December 7, 1941, memorial ceremonies.

The Team was unaware one of the helicopters was not destined for Pearl Harbor; its target being the sole power plant serving the entire island of Oahu. While Navy and Air Force fighters hunt down the first two choppers, one of which uses the towering Waikiki Beach hotels for cover, the third chopper has a clear path to the power plant.

The Navy Team barely manages to prevent an outright catastrophe, partially due to blind luck. However, they find themselves facing a handful of unanswered questions, among them the fact they can’t account for all of the attackers, nor ascertain the identity of most of them. The loose-ends remain open until the next book.

Geographic Treachery is 104,000 words with five photos. There’s no better time to negotiate an Option than during pre-publication.

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Book Three

FILM TITLE: VIGOROUS BRUTALITY

An International incident on the Big Island leads a Navy investigation team in the wrong direction as plans to sink a passenger liner proceed full speed ahead.

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The American Revolutionary War was raging when Captain Cook’s little flotilla visited the Big Island of Hawaii. The circumstances of his unfortunate death set the stage for an international incident at the site of Captain Cook’s Monument in present-day Hawaii.

The Aussie, a vigorously brutal enforcer first introduced in Nine Men Down, dominates the opening scene. Two murders, in quick succession, broadcast to the Navy Team an old adversary has returned and serves as an invitation to come after him. One of the victims is an officer in the Royal Australian Navy, which draws a crusty Australian Admiral into the scene and lends further insight into the Aussie’s background.

Though the body of the Australian officer is discovered on the Big Island, it’s on land considered to be the sovereign soil of the United Kingdom. The Australian Navy refuses to grant the Hawaii County police access to the scene, nor can the Australians remove the body because local police have brought in several patrol boats to block them. Neither side will budge, until the arrival of Admiral Reardon, a long time friend of the Australian Admiral and Dr. ASUKA Fuchida, the local Coroner. 

Eventually, the Navy Team, with some fresh additions, joins with Dr. Fuchida and the Australian Admiral in a multi-island search for the Aussie. Unbeknownst to them, the Aussie is merely a diversion; the subversives from Geographic Treachery are as dangerous as ever and they’ve hatched a plot to torpedo a passenger liner when she’s still many hours from her destination, Hilo.

          Ensign Milani Parisi rejoins the Team after recuperating from injuries sustained in Geographic Treachery; she’s a traitor continuing to elude detection. Parisi cleverly steers Reardon to what he believes is a rendezvous with an informant, only to discover he’s been set up. The wounds Parisi suffers in the ensuing gunfight in which Reardon is killed, continue to shield her from discovery.

 Commander Pastwa and his Team investigate each murder, hunting down the perpetrators, most of whom don’t go down without a fight. But the Aussie proves elusive; where could he have disappeared?

A series of surprise twists lead to the discovery of the plot to sink the passenger liner, though not necessarily in time. With the Team’s attention diverted to the imperiled passenger liner, the Aussie slips away and finds Clarke and Fuchida in the telescopic sight of his sniper rifle.

Vigorous Brutality is projected to be 105,000 words and is presently about six months from completion.

There’s no better time to negotiate an Option than during pre-publication.

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Book Four (4) in the series is not yet titled.

ANOTHER NONFICTION WW II STORY, specifically
FOR TV
.

RUNNING FROM THE GESTAPO

Trapped by the German Blitzkrieg of Holland, 15 year old Martin van Dyke begins 5 years of life on the run from the Gestapo.

Brief Synopsis

            Martin van Dyke was 15 years old the day Germany, without warning, invaded Holland.  He’d been living a rather idyllic life on a farm near the small and somewhat remote village of Dronrijp, helping his father raise beets and turnips, and tending to their goats.

He was plowing the fields when a neighbor ran up and exclaimed, “The Germans have invaded!” Martin’s droll response stating it was impossible was met by another exclamation, “Hitler can do whatever he wants!”

            The German blitzkrieg conquered Holland in a week, but when France fell, much to the dismay of the Dutch people, the conquerors didn’t leave their country. One day in July 1940, Martin and his father were in town to purchase supplies. An elderly man who’d been minding his own business found himself surrounded by SS who were mocking the Dutch people in general and calling them “weak.” The man, growing increasingly agitated, called the soldiers “swine,” which was all the excuse they needed. One of the SS pushed the old man into the street and shot him through the head. Shocked, Martin and his dad ran, nonstop, to the farm. The incident was a forbearer of far worse things to come.

Soon after that, notices were posted requiring every person, adult and child alike, to register with the Germans. Consequently, the Germans knew each person’s background, religious affiliation, and had taken their photos. Being caught without the new German ID could result in immediate arrest and transport to a slave labor camp. It wasn’t long before night terrors would grip the community.

Undercover of a stifling curfew and black-out restrictions, Jewish friends and neighbors began to disappear. One day Martin’s older brother Johannes was pulled from his classroom and shipped to a labor camp in Germany. It would prove to be a death sentence.

In the middle of the night, several members of the Dutch “no names” underground appeared at Martin’s home. Through a patriot they’d placed in the local Gestapo Headquarters, it was discovered the Gestapo was coming for Martin. They whisked him to a farm 30 miles to the north only to learn the farmer they’d chosen to hide Martin had no intention of helping them. After some persuasion, it was decided Martin would stay on the farm and work alongside the farmer’s son, beginning an extended period of tending to the farm while the farmer served as their lookout.

Months later, the boys were plowing fields when one of their yoked cows cried out and dropped to the ground, dead. They were immediately surrounded by what sounded like buzzing bees. Small clouds of dirt were erupting all around them. Martin looked skyward for an answer and discovered an aerial chess game between German fighter planes and American bombers was transpiring. Martin realized it was raining bullets, and they ran for cover. It would prove to be the first of many close calls.

Over time Martin noticed the Germans treated the farmer much more fairly than they did others, and he theorized he might be a collaborator. After all, Martin reasoned, he had to protect his son and may have entered into an agreement with the invaders.

One night the “no names” appeared and told Martin to get out of there immediately. They suggested he travel back to his home where the Germans weren’t likely to look for him. Martin would return to his host after the war, seeking to thank him, but the farmhouse and barn were burned to the ground. None of the townsfolk would offer an explanation.

He spent the balance of the war where he was when it began, on his family farm. His younger brother Jan joined him in what became a routine of running into hiding places while working the farm by day to avoid all contact, to huddling in a coffinlike retreat by night.

Following the Market Garden fiasco for the Allies, the Germans ruthlessly created starvation conditions throughout Holland. Martin’s mom proved ingenious in providing meals for her family, but the end of the war did not bring relief, at least not in time for many.

With the war declared over and no Allies in sight, the remaining Germans ran rampant. One day when Martin and his father were scrounging in town, looking for food, they witnessed the execution of 14 of their friends by a group of Germans, right in the center of town. By the time the Canadians arrived, many neighbors had died from starvation and German atrocities.

This true story, supplemented with five photographs, concludes with Martin’s post-war experiences, marriage, and relocation to the United States.

Copyright 2020 Marcus A. Nannini


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