Italian American Press
Founded in 2001           Italian and Italian American Authors                                          Italian and Italian American Books
Italian American Press ©2011-2019   Janice Therese Mancuso
Royanna: An Extraterrestrial Affair by Raphael Ferraro Mystery, adventure, and a touch of romance in this science fiction tale about an encounter between a human and an alien.
Con Amore  by Janice Therese Mancuso A modern day romance combining a bit of suspense, interwoven with the history of Italy, the foods of each region, maps of Italy, and recipes.
Featured Books 
Share the IAP through social media!
Mystery, adventure, and a touch of romance in this science fiction tale about an encounter between a human and an alien. From the Gateway of the Sun – an ancient archaeological stone site in Tiahuanaco, Bolivia – to Cumorah Hill, in upstate New York near Lake Ontario – where Mormon prophet Joseph Smith saw the angel Maroni – this science fiction adventure blends the past, present, and future through ancient religions and future prophecy.
Royanna: An Extraterrestrial Affair
What inspired you to write your book? Some   years   ago,   on   a   pilgrimage   to   Medjugorje   [in   Bosnia-Herzegovina]   to   pay   homage   to   the   Blessed   Mother,   I   had a   moving   religious   experience;   and   later   an   inspiring   dream   resulted   in   my   writing   a   book   about   a   child’s   spiritual journey   through   mystical   messages   and   unique   visions.   I   wanted   the   book   to   reach   a   wider   audience,   not   just   those interested in religious themes. For   many   years,   I've   been   fascinated   by   UFOs   and   ETI   (extraterrestrial   intelligence).   It   all   began   with   comic   books. As   a   teenager,   I   sent   newspaper   clippings   about   UFOs   to   an   agency   in   Washington   DC.   I   went   to   lectures   and   joined local   groups   that   discussed   UFOs   and   ETI.   I   gave   talks   on   these   subjects   to   high   school   students,   conducted   a summer   workshop   on   the   subjects   for   gifted   children,   interviewed   for   radio   and   television,   conducted   lectures   and workshops   in   local   colleges.   Over   the   years,   I   have   collected   an   impressive   library   of   materials   and   books   on   the subjects of UFOs and alien encounters. With   my   interest   in   science   fiction   and   knowledge   of   both   mythology   and   extraterrestrial   phenomena   –   or   as   some use the term “extraterrestrial hypothesis” – the plot of Royanna  was created. What is the most important attribute of your book? Royanna   was   written   before   the   current   public   backlash   to   the   treatment   of   suppressing   women   in   many   aspects   of their   lives.   Exploring   the   concept   of   the   divine   feminine   –   a   combination   of   cooperation,   intuition,   kindness, understanding, and creativity – is the most important attribute of my novella. Why should someone read it? Readers   interested   in   learning   more   about   the   influence   of   women   in   past   civilizations,   a   Mother   God,   and   wanting   to experience an out-of-this world adventure about a human and an alien from another star system will enjoy my book. To   quote   Royanna,   “The   Great   Mother   has   many   faces.   She   is   known   by   many   names   in   the   various   cultures   on   this planet   and   on   other   worlds   throughout   the   universe.   On   this   planet,   man   suppressed   the   teachings   of   the   Great Mother,   but   knowledge   about   her   will   be   restored.   Signs   of   it   are   everywhere   –   the   increased   visions   of   the   Blessed Mother,   ecclesiastical   pronouncements   exalting   the   role   of   Mary,   recent   theological   explorations   of   a   creatrix,   and   the expanding   role   of   women   in   positions   of   leadership   and   power   throughout   the   world.   The   present   demeaning treatment   and   disrespect   for   women   on   your   planet   is   deplorable.   Should   it   continue   into   the   future,   the   human   race may   strive   or   destroy   itself,   but   it   will   never   evolve   into   a   kinder,   compassionate,   and   more   loving   species   until humans incorporate and practice the qualities inherent in the divine feminine.”
Author Interview: Raphael Ferraro
The incredible story of Luigi Del Bianco, the chief carver of Mount Rushmore, told by his namesake and grandson, Lou Del Bianco. Filled with historic documents and photographs, and family memorabilia, the book chronicles three stories – the carving of Mount Rushmore, the life of Luigi Del Bianco, and Lou’s quest to have his grandfather recognized as the chief carver of Mount Rushmore.
Out of Rushmore’s Shadow - The Luigi Del Bianco Story
What inspired you to write your book? One   of   the   two   historians,   Tim   Good,   told   me   I   “have   to   write   a   book   to   set   the   record   straight.”   He   said   "this story   has   never   been   told   before   and   needs   to   be   told,”   using   the   primary   source   documents   as   a   vital   thread. That   is   when   I   realized,   as   a   storyteller,   this   was   the   story   I   was   meant   to   tell.   This   is   where   my   30   year   career has led me: telling my grandpa’s story. What is the most important attribute of your book?   That   history   does   not   always   tell   you   the   full   story.   Sometimes   you   have   to   do   the   work   and   find   the   truth yourself.   When   you   are   able   to   change   the   historical   record   for   a   loved   one,   it   is   that   much   more   special!   Also,   I hope   it   is   not   lost   on   the   reader   that   I   am   very   proud   of   my   Italian   heritage   and   that   I   see   my   grandfather   as   a very positive role model for our community. Forget the Sopranos. It’s time for Luigi! Why should someone read it? If you love an underdog story with a happy ending, you’ll love this book If   you   want   to   read   about   the   roller   coaster   ride   dealing   with   government   bureaucracy,   you’ll   feel   like   you are reading a political thriller. If you want to be touched by a grandson’s love for his ancestor and his legacy, buy a copy. If you want to learn a new story in our American History, this book is for you! What were some of the obstacles you encountered? Were you ever discouraged?   The   staff   at   Mount   Rushmore   was   the   major   obstacle.   Their   narrative   that   400   workers   be   credited   as   a   group was   threatened   by   my   grandfather’s   singular   role.   As   a   result,   they   chose   to   ignore   irrefutable   evidence   of   his importance from the library of Congress. I was discouraged many times. What prompted you to continue working for your grandfather’s legacy? The   fact   that   I   had   the   truth   on   my   side   kept   me   going!   I   am   also   very   proud   of   my   Italian   heritage   and   always saw my grandfather as a very positive and uplifting representative for our community. The   National   Park   Service   acknowledged   your   grandfather’s   work   and   honored   him   with   a   plaque. How long did the entire process take, from first starting your research to the plaque ceremony?   My   uncle   and   I   started   our   research   in   1987.   The   plaque   was   finally   awarded   in   2017.   That   amounts   to   30   years. Wow.
Author Interview: Lou Del Bianco
Book Review Out of Rushmore’s Shadow - The Luigi Del Bianco Story The faces on Mount Rushmore, an American icon, were brought to life by the hands of an Italian immigrant. Luigi Del Bianco, a native of the northeastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, was the “chief carver” and “granite expert” for the massive monument. Out of Rushmore’s Shadow written by Luigi Del Bianco’s grandson Lou Del Bianco, chronicles Luigi’s life and work, presents a behind-the-scenes look at the carving of Mount Rushmore, and gives an account of the path Lou followed to have his grandfather recognized as the chief carver of Mount Rushmore. When Lou was a child, he found a brochure about Mount Rushmore and learned that his grandfather had been the chief carver of the memorial. He gives a class presentation, but cannot find a mention or picture of his grandfather in the brochure. Fifteen years later, “the most definite book on Mount Rushmore was published,” but Luigi is not mentioned. Luigi’s son Caesar is upset, Lou’s curiosity is “reawakened;” and together they vow “to find Luigi once and for all.” Through the years, Caesar had collected several books and had documents noting that Luigi was the chief carver, hired by Gutzon Borglum – the sculptor who designed Mount Rushmore. The information Lou and Caesar had was limited, but enough for them to start their “own investigative research.” It begins with a visit to Mount Rushmore where Lou learns about The Borglum Papers housed at the Library of Congress. Subsequent visits with Caesar to Washington D.C. produced numerous memos, letters, and work logs that document Luigi’s importance in the carving of Mount Rushmore. Luigi Del Bianco was introduced to Gutzon Borglum in 1920. He worked with Borglum on the Wars of America sculpture in Newark, New Jersey and briefly on the bas-relief sculpture on Stone Mountain, Georgia. Borglum left the Stone Mountain project before it was completed and later began work on Mount Rushmore. During this time, Luigi settled in Port Chester, New York and established a memorial stone-carving business. In 1933, Borglum had a letter sent to Luigi asking him to travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota to work on the faces of the Mount Rushmore monument. Luigi drove the 1,800 miles and lived in Keystone, the town closest to the monument. His job was “Chief Carver, in charge of all Close Drilling and Carving.” After two years in Keystone, Luigi sent for his wife and three sons. They stayed one year, and Lou provides numerous recollections from his father about living in the Black Hills. Lou also includes a primer on carving the “giant faces,” detailing the five-step process of pointing, blasting, drilling, honeycombing, and finishing. He writes “it took 14 years to complete Mount Rushmore … the money problems, working around bad granite, the lack of trained men and supposed political corruption all must have contributed to the dragging out of the project.” In February of 1941, Gutzon Borglum died, leaving the supervision of Mount Rushmore to his son, Lincoln. “Difficulties with pegmatite stone, World War II, and certainly the passing of Gutzon Borglum contributed to a major slowdown of the work. On October 31, 1941, the last scaffold was removed and the last drill put away. Mount Rushmore was considered officially finished.” Luigi went back to carving on a smaller scale. Lou writes about the telephone calls, meetings, letters, and other correspondence with the National Park Service – 30 years of communications in his goal to have his grandfather recognized for his work as Chief Carver. On September 16, 2017, he attended the ceremony at Mount Rushmore National Park honoring Luigi Del Bianco with a plaque. The Park Service’s website notes, “As Chief Carver, Luigi Del Bianco was trusted by Gutzon Borglum to oversee some of the most challenging and expressive aspects of the sculpture, such as Jefferson's lips and Lincoln's eyes.” Out of Rushmore’s Shadow is a fascinating look into an Italian immigrant’s life, the history of an American monument, and how they intertwined. The book includes copies of documents from the Library of Congress and many historic photos from the Del Bianco Family Collection.