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Neil Maresca


My Life



I'm a “Jersey Guy.” I was born and raised in Jersey City, and have lived and worked most of my life in the “The Garden State.”

My paternal grandparents, Frank and Angelina Maresca, emigrated from Italy in the late 1800's, married in NYC in the mid-1890's,and moved to Jersey City Heights sometime around 1900 where grandpa opened a fruit and vegetable store that stood on Central Avenue until the early 1950's. 

My father, Tom Maresca, who was the 8th of 16 children (13 boys and 3 girls), was a prominent figure in the Heights, serving as Councilman for more than 17 years.

My maternal great-grandparents, Charles and Lena Knodel, emigrated from Germany in the 1860's and settled in the Heights (then known as Hudson City) where he established a successful freight business. His third child, Freda, gave birth to my mother, Constance Veronica Knodel, in 1916.

Mom and Dad married in 1936. My brother Tom was born in 1938, and I entered the world on October 23, 1940. I have searched the Web for interesting facts about this date, and there are none. I find this tremendously amusing.

I went to St. Paul of the Cross grammar school in Jersey City and St. Michael's high school in Union City. I'm a graduate of Rutgers University and hold a Master’s Degree in British literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University. I held teaching and administrative positions in several New Jersey public and private school districts before leaving education to work with leading New York City-based public relations firms, eventually leaving them to establish my own advertising and public relations firm in New Jersey. After closing my business, I resumed my teaching career, working as an adjunct instructor of English at numerous New Jersey colleges and universities. At age 73, I retired from teaching and started writing.

I married Judith Elizabeth Finn on August 13, 1966. We have four children (Karen, Pam, Christopher, and Jean),  nine grandchildren, and one amazing great grandchild. 

My Books

My first book,  An Italian Journey, a light, humorous, and uplifting story about Nick and Laura Lobono and their fellow tourists, draws upon my personal experience and love of all things Italian.


Appointment in Berlin takes readers back into the cold war era of the mid-1950’s and introduces a unique American hero (and Rutgers alum) Lucas Hamilton. It is the first in the series of Lucas Hamilton spy thrillers.


Freedom's Dawn, is the second in the series of Lucas Hamilton spy thrillers. This book takes Lucas, as a newly-minted CIA agent, to South Africa in 1957, where he must fight double-agents, soviet operatives, and both native Africans and Afrikaan extremists to prevent the country from falling into chaos and bloodshed.


Angel, a noire novella, is set in Jersey City in the 1950s, and introduces a kind-hearted tough guy named Ox Moran, his sidekick, the dwarf Stumpy, and a string of bad guys and beautiful women. Angel is the first in a series of 'Barbary Coast' novels.  ​


The Stolen Princess is the second book in the Barbary Coast Series. In this book, Ox and Stumpy become embroiled in a battle for control of the Gracchi mob family, while trying to help the dying capo, Uncle Frank, find his lost 16-year-old daughter. 


Prospero is a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's, The Tempest. Set in rural Montana in the early 1960's, the book presents Shakespeare's Prospero, Miranda, Caliban, et al. in a new and different light. 

The Sword of Fire is my first foray in the world of fantasy. However, this novel began long before any of my other books. About 20 years ago, my granddaughter Cassandra asked me to tell her a bedtime story, and from then until now I have been wrestling with Well, in which a young girl (Cassandra) must place her goodness and innocence against the powerful, evil Queen Morgana in order to save her family and all of Well.

MY Novels

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