Local author pens novel of romance, mystery, suspense

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Germany, 1943. An airplane leading a wave of bombers encounters mechanical problems and the pilot, Karl Schellenberg, is forced to eject. But his parachute fails to deploy correctly, and he crashes to the ground, alive but badly injured. A farm girl, Katarina Keitel, finds him and nurses him back to health.

Inevitably, the pair fall in love. But this is no ordinary romance. The young lovers will soon be caught up in a suspenseful web of espionage, revenge and murder.

To learn more, readers will have to get a copy of “Spinnaker: An Endearing Romance Novel Entwined With Suspense and Espionage,” the first novel by local resident David Nardon, writing as Sabato diVincenti. Released by Archway Publishing, it is available in hardcover and softcover and as an E-book.

“This compelling and thrilling romance novel has it all, adoring and passionate love that weaves fiction and fact in an adventurous intriguing mystery full of action and deception supported by a cast of very different characters,” said Nardon, who promises that the ending will leave readers in “utter astonishment and disbelief.”

A World War II buff, Nardon had long thought about the idea for his book and in the autumn of 2017 decided to commit it to paper.

“I sat down, and I wrote the first chapter, and I wrote the last chapter,” he said. “And those two chapters never changed. Then, four and a half years later, I finished filling in the remaining chapters.”

As an executive in heavy civil construction, Nardon could not maintain the daily regimen of writing that other novelists do.

“When I had time — mostly weekends and evenings — I just sat down and wrote,” he said. “Sometimes, I wrote two chapters and went back and made some edits. Sometimes, I wrote part of a chapter.”

He also kept a pencil and paper at bedside so that, should he awake with an idea, he could jot it down.

While the characters and their story are the work of Nardon’s imagination, all but one of the battles in his book were actual events.

“A lot of research went into that, to get the battles and to get the dates right,” he said.

The title refers to the lead sail on a sailboat, a metaphorical reference to Karl’s role as the lead scout for his bombing mission. A stone barn in the cover photo depicts the place where Katarina finds the young pilot.

When selecting a nom de plume, Nardon reworked his grandfather’s first and middle names — Sabato and Vincent.

Nardon and his wife, both originally from Altoona, Pennsylvania, live in Ponte Vedra Beach. They have a daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren.

The 346-page book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books and Archway Publishing.

Nardon is working on a sequel.

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