Samuel Castellino was born in northeastern Pennsylvania and has lived most of his life in Wilkes-Barre with the exception of six years spent working in Monterey, California.
His first career in life was as a writer of computer code. Upon retiring from that profession, he became a writer of romance novels, including historical romance. What a change! He loves his second career—both the research involved and the actual writing of the romance. As an author, he proclaims his online thesaurus to be his new best friend and admits to enjoying the editing process, which always results in new gems in the form of better word choice, sentence flow, and storytelling. He has written two romance novels to-date: Into the Far Country (an inter-dimensional romance) and The Education of Sabina (a romance in late Roman antiquity).
As a self-published author, he has found marketing his books to be his biggest challenge—even with a website, Facebook page, and Twitter handle. He takes his hat off and bows to others who have successfully mastered the book-marketing challenge.
He is a member of Romance Writers of America®, the organization that advocates on behalf of romance writers and promotes awareness of the romance genre.
His second writing interest involves theological anthropology—the study of the human being as she or he relates to God. His non-fiction book The Prodigal Son Revisited explores the interplay between the Christian Trinity, angels, and human beings.
The Education of Sabina
The year is A.D. 394 and times are dire for the Roman Empire, besieged by barbarians from the north and racked by treacheries from within. A good marriage for Princess Sabina of Milan would solidify the safety of her people. To ensure this, her parents send her to Athens then Constantinople to get the best education and exposure possible. One potential husband who is completely unacceptable to Sabina is Prince Lucius.
After each stay abroad, Sabina returns home, and she and bad boy Marcus pick up where they left off. They’ve known each other since they were both twelve. Her years overseas have educated her in rhetoric, languages, and politics. Marcus has been educating her in something else.
In time, their secret romance comes to an end. Marcus is shipped off to Germania as a soldier in the Roman legion, and Sabina is assigned to Ctesiphon, the capital of the Persian Empire. They are now three thousand miles apart and there is no way they can be together. Or is there? The Education of Sabina tells the tale of how Sabina encounters both Lucius and Marcus again in a confrontation near Milan in A.D. 402.
Into The Far Country
At seventeen, Marine Sergeant Klarissa is emotionally dead. Years of fighting at the front have taken their toll. But the war has ended, and her people have found a new world: Earth. They decide to send a scout, and select her.
Into the Far Country is about Klarissa’s journey to feel again. She travels to earth under the guise of a foreign exchange student from Portugal. In preparation she studies American pop culture, and the music and films stir emotions and longing within her. Her journey accelerates when she arrives in America and meets Sophia, Emma, and Issy. She quickly bonds with them and feels the happiness that comes with having true friends.
But there is more to come. She meets Ethan. He goes from rescuing her from a bully on her first day of school—not that she needed rescuing—to becoming the love of her life, her “first time,” the one she abandons herself to completely.
Throughout it all, Klarissa has an ongoing sense of foreboding. She knows there’s no stopping the coming invasion from her own people. Earthlings were doomed the first day they were discovered. There is nothing she can do. Or is there?
The Prodigal Son Revisited
The biblical parable, the Prodigal Son, is about a father and his two sons. The younger son arrives home after a walkabout. The elder son confronts his father about the celebration to follow, and is told by his father that he’s to inherit everything his father has. “Don’t you know? Everything I have is yours.” The Prodigal Son Revisited is a cosmic view of the original story that proposes the elder son, younger son, and their father can be seen as stand-ins for angels, humans, and the Trinity, and who, like the younger son in the Prodigal Son, go through their own exit and return and achieve their own inheritance as a consequence. What’s their exit and return? What’s their inheritance? What’s the relationship among the three to make all this happen? That’s the subject matter of the book.
The book revolves around the theology of Gregory of Nyssa (d. 390) and Virgil Michel (d. 1938). The romance in the book is a set-up piece to the academic research. It’s a fictionalized account on how we can see the theology of Gregory of Nyssa and Virgil Michel in action in the modern world.