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A Gift from the Sea: Former Naval Officer's New Book Chronicles a True 'American Dream'

In a heart wrenching yet uplifting new book, ‘White Sails Became Me: Memoirs of a Seafaring Heritage’, former Naval Officer and international executive, Nicholas F. Starace II, takes readers on the journey of a lifetime. Beginning with a terrorist bomb and ending with a message of hope, the book is a rollicking adventure through ninety countries and an inspiring ode to Starace’s own resilience.


Short Hills, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/11/2013 -- “It is said that some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I was born with an anchor in mine.” Perfectly capturing the core of Nicholas Starace’s life, this quote also describes his book – ‘White Sails Became Me: Memoirs of a Seafaring Life’ – for Starace, it always comes back to the ocean.

The book is a stirring account of Starace’s life; from surviving the terrorist-bombing of Pan American flight 830 and traveling to ninety countries in his career, to his divorce after 34 years of marriage and, most heart-breaking, the death of his son at only 26-years-old. Readers will be inspired by Starace’s irrepressible spirit and his staunch belief in the reality of the ‘American Dream’.


In White Sails Became Me, a modern-day Renaissance man takes you on a worldwide journey living more adventure than most people dare dream. Having lived in Europe and Asia for 11 years, and traveled to ninety countries, the book paints a fascinating self-portrait of a life filled with extraordinary highs and lows.

It is a gripping adventure of a life spent around ships, boats and the sea. Yet make no mistake--while the central theme is nautical, it truly has something for everyone. There are the cultural treasures of living in England, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore. Portions of the book are devoted to naval and merchant marine service, Normandy 50th anniversary, Iwo Jima 60th anniversary, Vietnam and dedicated VA hospital volunteer work. There are sub-themes of terrorism, survival, family tragedies, fascinating safari exploits and exhilarating travel.

Even if you have little or no interest in seafaring, you owe it to yourself to read this book--you will almost certainly find it enthralling. As one reader said, ''I couldn't put the book down.'' Neither will you!

As the author explains, writing the book made him assess his own life, achievements and discover how much more he had to give.

“I asked myself if I had really achieved my goals. Had I satisfied my philosophy of life? Had my life made a positive difference in anyone else's life? Had I earned the right to be an American, and to deserve the fruits of the American dream? I can truthfully say that without exception I achieved everything I set out to do. But my philosophy of life is that we are put here to salvage our souls, and that ultimately the road to that salvation will be measured not by how much we do for ourselves, but how much we do for others. I'm still working at it and will continue to do so,” he says.

Continuing, “Sometimes I think my life reads like a soap opera—son's suicide, divorce, cancer survivor, two children involved in near-death car accidents, loss of my daughter-in-law, several near-death experiences, earthquake survivor, numerous surgeries, military death in the family, survivor of terrorism, hurricanes in the North Atlantic, typhoons in the Pacific Ocean, and even the pleasant ‘trauma’ of retirement. However, I'm certainly not ready to abandon the ship of life.”

Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. For example, Thomas Michaels commented, “The author's experiences are a kaleidoscope of ever-changing locales and adventures. A delicious cornucopia of stories well told. Some bringing laughter, some bringing tears. Others bringing all emotions in between. Here's an author who is truly a great story-teller. For most of us those stories will bring back wonderful memories.”

White Sails Became Me: Memoirs of a Seafaring Life is available for purchase on Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/White-Sails-Became-Me-Seafaring/dp/1935098489

The book can also be purchased from Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/white-sails-became-me-nicholas-f-starace-ii/1113684907?ean=2940013933248

Author Quotations:

Life’s greatest gift is to give.
When my grandfathers, as boy sailors, looked to the sky they saw white sails—I saw what I would become. In the sports area, true greatness is as much about behavior and achievements off the field as it is on the field. Perfectionists satisfy everyone except themselves.
—Nicholas F Starace II

About Nicholas F. Starace II
A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with a master's degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, Nicholas F. Starace II is a former naval officer, international executive, and VA hospital volunteer worker. A world traveler, his diverse career and lifestyle took him to the four corners of the earth. A freelance writer, he published numerous articles for maritime magazines and journals. An authority on ship modeling, this ''Best-of-Show'' craftsman has received numerous awards. A frequent public speaker, Starace has given a wide variety of talks on maritime and ship modeling subjects. Those activities have been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and include being interviewed by National Geographic.

Currently, as a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain he fills his time yachting. He also enjoys part-time acting and modeling. He now lives in Short Hills, New Jersey.