Born, raised and educated in East New York, Brooklyn, Jack Bilello, a former Fulbright Scholar and Chairman of History at the Lindenhurst, New York Public School System, lives in Massapequa Park, Long Island.
He has served as an adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College and as a field supervisor at Dowling College on Long Island.
He is the author of four novel as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles and reviews.
He has appeared on radio and TV programs and has been a lecturer and guest speaker at various venues, including Molloy College, Farmingdale University and Long Island University.
Heart of a Lion
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a scholar who became a great warrior, is the hero of this vivid story.
We first meet him as a boy, still haunted by his family's dark secret. We see him overcome his own challenges not least of which is a debilitating stutter. His hard work and determination lead him to Bowdoin College first as a student then as a teacher. As the Civil War approaches, Joshua, against all advice, joins the Union Army to protect and defend his nation from the evils of slavery.
He heroically leads his troops in twenty ferocious battles, one of which is the battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the war. For this, he was awarded the nation's highest honor - the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was the last Civil War veteran to die from his battle wounds at the age of eighty-five.
Published 2010 by XLIBRIS.
I Still Love Joni James
Chris, Bilello's main character, goes back in time to the old Italian neighborhood in East New York, Brooklyn, where he grew up.
The novel vividly portrays the strong values of a working class Italian American family and the interaction of family and friends.
We meet his parents, Rosie and Joe, his grandparents, Jennie and Peppino, and an assortment of oddball and goofy, neighborhood characters, and a gaggle of relatives that will make you laugh and cry.
It's Brooklyn, of course, and what's Brooklyn without the Brooklyn Dodgers, Ebbets Field, and sandlot baseball. We get woozy on the Cyclone ride at Coney Island and "doozy" at the confraternity at Our Lady of Loreto RC Church.
Published 2005 by XLIBRIS.
Chris Mercuri comes of age in a place where honor, patriotism and service are revered: The United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut. There he forms an unbreakable bond of friendship with other officer cadets.
After enduring the Spartan rigors of academy life, Chris, a newly commissioned ensign, goes off to fight the war against America's most dangerous enemy - Colombian cocaine. In doing so he learns that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Published 2001 by Temple Publishing Group.
Bonds of War
Jesse Van Twelves kept his "rendezvous with destiny" during the savage, furious, sea battle for Guadalcanal in November, 1942.
Still plagued by the demons of his war, Jesse is tormented by the knowledge that out of seven hundred men aboard his ship, the USS Juneau, he is one of ten to have survived the instantaneous destruction of his ship and the most brutal, intense suffering imaginable. Consequently, he has failed his only son, Donnie, himself hounded by the dark shadows of the Vietnam conflict.
Father and son, in conflict, can't escape their feelings of defeat, failure and guilt.