“The engaging writing style and the shifts in point of view mean the book flows swiftly along.”
Kirkus Reviews August 2012
Colored Floodlights is available in Kindle and all
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My last novel, A DREAM AWAY, is now available in Paperback, Kindle, Nook, and Ipad. For a preview or to purchase for Kindle, please click below:
Dobs and Nikki, reunited through Facebook after being apart for thirty years, are living happily in Laguna Beach, California with Nikki’s two adopted teenage daughters, Allison and Jamie. Suddenly, fifteen year old Allison’s birth mother appears at their front door and demands to have her daughter back. She had given her up for adoption fifteen years earlier. But now, ravaged with severe bipolar disorder, she wants her back at any cost. She attempts to have Nikki killed, thinking it would then be easier to get her back. She then takes Allison on a harrowing trip up to Washington State to meet her real birth father, now a science fiction writer and devout nudist. Finally, through much struggle, Allison is back with her adoptive parents and foster sister after having experienced the strange world of her birth parents. Now she knows why they gave her up in the first place.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Thereader will not welcome real life interruptions!"A Dream Away by Frank Drury is about many things but is ultimately the story of four people on a metaphorical and literal journey to become a real family and what they must endure to complete that journey. Interspersed throughout the narrative is a character who works against them and provides the suspense that keeps the reader in a state of uncertain anxiety about the family's safety and the strength of the ties that bind its members. Finally, the narrative clips along at such a lively pace that the reader will not welcome real life interruptions. It is a very good read.
December 26, 2011This Barnes and Noble reader review by "Anonymous Eng Lit Phd" is for A DREAM AWAY
4 stars - Reviewed by Lisa M. for Readers Favorite
A Dream Away by Frank Drury is a fictional romance novel. Dobs and Nikki are reunited after thirty years. They are living in California with her two adoptive daughters. Life makes a drastic change when one of the girl’s biological mother decides she wants her daughter back after giving up all rights fifteen years ago. The mentally ill woman is determined to reclaim her daughter. She takes her daughter on a harrowing journey to meet her biological father. Eventually the girl is reunited with her adoptive family.
Frank Drury offers readers a glimpse into the mind of a person with Bipolar Disorder. I liked reading this story because of the path it chose to take on the perception of mental illness. I have many years of experience in assessing mental illness behaviors, and could relate to how important it is for available treatment. This plot successfully shines much needed light upon a subject few understand. He accomplished without sacrificing entertainment, suspense and romance. Drury brings together several subplots that are very important in today’s society: the struggles of a parent of an adopted child, the struggles of the child to come to terms with being given up for adoption, the emotional stress of the birth parents and most importantly the nightmare of dealing with a person suffering from bi-polar disorder. Until you have dealt with a person suffering from this debilitating disorder you cannot fully understand the pain of loving someone with this condition. This book is appropriate for young adults and adults.
The latest review from Midwest Book Reviews - February 2012
At fifteen, it is no age to have a past plaguing the self. "A Dream Away" is a novel following teenage Allison as she finds an adopted life with a positive outlook. But her birth mother, plagued by mental illness all through her life, begins to stalk her and her new family. Learning the value of family and what it all means, "A Dream Away" is a fine pick for community library general fiction collections.
Read reviews of my first novel, AN EMPTY SKY, below:
Cecil Clemenzi grew up in a Cleveland suburb where he was taunted and bullied from early childhood into adolescence. By the time he graduated from NYU and landed his first job as a runner at the New York Commodity Exchange, he was on his way to becoming an emotionally fragile yet surprisingly determined floor trader. One morning, following a freeze in Florida that sends the price of Orange Juice futures sharply higher, he loses everything in just one trade. Cecil blames a more successful floor trader, Kevin Kepler, for his loss and is determined to inflict as much retribution as possible on him. First, through one of his 'connected' relatives, Cecil tries to have Kepler's daughter killed in a boating accident the following summer, just as a Category 5 Hurricane is approaching the East Coast. Ocean City, Maryland is evacuated as the storm threatens to head inland up the Chesapeake Bay towards Annapolis and Baltimore. Cecil then goes after Kepler's closest family friends. Finally, consumed with paranoia once he realizes that Kepler, a former mercenary and arms dealer, is now ruthlessly seeking his own revenge, Cecil embarks on a desperate yet somewhat comical road trip that takes him to Laramie, Wyoming, where he unsuccessfully tries to start a new life. Alone, confused, and very afraid, he decides to go back home and meet his fate.
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This book is available through Amazon.com and as a Kindle ebook. Also available through BarnesandNoble.com, Booksamillion.com, Powells.com, or it may be ordered through your local bookstore.
Amazon review excerpts:
Vengeance only inspires more vengeance. "An Empty Sky" tells the story of neurotic trader Cecil Clemenzi as he digs his own hole of paranoia when he has a rival trader's daughter killed and soon finds himself on the opposite end of the revenge game. Fleeing and starting over are not things easily done, and makes "An Empty Sky" a fascinating and thought-provoking read.
I really love reading mystery novels but having spent some time in Annapolis, Maryland and having experienced a few hurricanes along the East Coast, I decided to give this book a try. It is one of those books that grabs you right away as a Category 5 storm is moving towards Ocean City, Maryland. In a very compelling story, we follow Cecil Clemenzi from boyhood to a somewhat mentally unstable middle aged man. He decides to take revenge against the wrong person when he is financially ruined as a young man by a fellow trader on the trading floor in New York. This fellow trader, Kevin Kepler, is a former mercenary and arms dealer and way out of Cecil's league. Once Kepler realizes that Cecil is the one who hired people to go after his family, he turns things around and goes after him. Cecil then takes off by himself, leaving his family behind, and ends up in Laramie, Wyoming to start a new life. Cecil's short time in Laramie comes to an abrupt halt when he decides to return home, where he is ultimately pursued and captured by Kepler. I really liked the characters in this book, even the minor ones like Kepler's daughter Virginia and her rescuer and therapist, Mike Chandler. Although it is not really a mystery novel, it moves very quickly and is full of suspense and action. I would love to see this book made into a movie as it would be really exciting to see this story on the big screen.
5.0 out of 5 stars Meeting One's Fate: The Shadow that Finally Defuses,
Frank Drury's premier novel about an apparent boating accident off Ocean City, Maryland during 1985's Hurricane David suggests the insidious effects of greed on a society that pursues the almighty dollar to devastating consequences. Drury implies that although there are many conscientious people whose goals are wholly different than their ruthlessly ambitious counterparts, nevertheless those of marginal conscience imperil the world in such small ways as causing an innocent person's death in a boating accident to selling armaments worldwide and thereby contributing to global conflict. The rippling effect of greed is catastrophic. However, as dangerous to individual and world peace as one's selfish or vengeful actions truly are, Drury suggests that it is never too late for one to alter their invidious effects. In fact, it is never too late to atone for the moral lapses of a lifetime.
A group of men on a fishing outing discover a survivor of a boating disaster clinging to a piece of wreckage. Mike Chandler, a psychologist, rescues seventeen-year-old Virginia Kepler from certain death after her catamaran has been destroyed. At the same time, the girl's father, Kevin, in Fenwick Island, Delaware, is following the Coast Guard search reports, attempting to discover what has happened to his daughter and her fiancé. As it turns out, the calamity may have not been an accident; just as important, the survivor, Virginia, is traumatized, not only by the experience, but by the circumstances which follow and reveal to her a side of her father of which she had previously been unaware. Having lived a privileged life on a horse ranch in Virginia with the patrician comforts of a maid, cook, governess, ranch foreman, and the like, she has known security as well as love despite the fact that her mother died in a plane crash ten years ago. Thus, when her father begins to act strangely and her fiancé has vanished from her life, she experiences suspicions toward her father as well as a sense of vulnerability. The man who rescued her from the accident is called in to help her overcome her depression and ease her through the psychological trauma.
Chandler is unable to dismiss his infatuation for the girl although he has a girlfriend. Juxtaposed with the threat of the hurricane are two experiences in helicopters flying in the turbulent atmosphere as well as the disturbing memory on Virginia's father's part of his daughter's particularly bloody injury as a child and his own lingering fears for her safety. Since Virginia's mother died, she and her father have been particularly close. Thus it is significant that Kepler does everything he can to ameliorate his daughter's suffering, and it is believable that Virginia worries about her father's involvement in the aftermath of the incident.
Because Virginia's father carries a gun, it is apparent that there is something questionable about his lifestyle. Behind his charm and good looks a mysterious past slowly becomes evident. As it turns out, Kevin was involved in the world of high finance, a participant in the commodities market, particularly cotton shares, until he decided to employ the use of contacts made during his Viet Nam experience as a major. He then becomes an arms dealer, selling weapons to mostly mid-eastern countries. As a result, he becomes wealthy and is able to retire. However, it is the vengeance of a former Wall Street associate that threatens his complacent life in rural Virginia.
Kevin Kepler has had time to regret some of his actions on Wall Street. Yet he is a survivor as well as the protector of his daughter. He realizes he has initiated actions that will forever haunt him even if they do fall short of murder, for example, or torture. His involvement in futures trading and arms sales have compromised his character, and he is reminded of that when he thinks about his future and his legacy. Never a man of peace, he will have to change if he is to avoid the fate his present wife fears, as she rushes to pray, submerging herself deeper and deeper in her Christian faith in an effort to survive psychologically. Ironically, her goals are achieved even though Kevin is dubious about religion in general and there is no indication that Virginia harbors a religious inclination. In fact, Mike Chandler, the psychologist, admits he has suffered at the hands of religious zealots and has little faith in institutional religion.
Nevertheless, the lessons learned by Kepler as a result of realizing his daughter's vulnerability as a result of his professional life, lead him to an unexpected atonement for which there is no easy explanation except for the fact that he is a man that wishes to do the right thing. Moreover, Kevin has often regretted his own success in the futures business in that he had been so successful "simply because he had been better at the game." Kevin regarded his former profession as a "game" he played better than his hapless opponent, who as it turns out, has devoted his life to avenging his own professional failure at Kevin's expense. In fact, as can be expected, when the stakes are high and one plays ruthless, competitive games, he will gain enemies, as Kevin has. This is all part of the fallout of a career in high stakes futures. "The thing that bothered him most was that he had no control over it. With all of his wealth, power and contacts, he was still no more than an easy target for some twisted mind, and as he gazed again towards the southeast, he was aware of the deceptive tranquility looming in the eye of this storm." Thus, material achievement in a competitive society is short-lived and tenuous, as Kevin realizes even though he has sought refuge in the relative obscurity of rural Virginia. More significantly, in such a coldblooded milieu as Wall Street, one doesn't even know who his enemies are, as Kevin doesn't initially realize who is behind the threats now posed to his idyllic life. This vulnerability his enemy does realize, however, hiding behind his shield of anonymity for the time being.
Drury depicts the kind of people a society that is wrapped up in its own selfish goals epitomizes. He describes a patient of Chandler's who drove a man to suicide and then subsequently married the widow only to leave her for a younger female companion. Most of Drury's characters are driven by the need for self-gratification and thus it seems implausible that any of them will grow beyond their own preoccupations - from Mike Chandler who loves a girl young enough to be his daughter, to two friends of Kepler's who are ruffians and heavy drinkers, to a religious fanatic who is Kepler's second wife, and a thug family member who attempts to kill the girl, and the former futures trader who seeks out prostitutes and sleazy women with no sense of remorse. These are the embattled characters of "An Empty Sky," perhaps losers, perhaps ordinary men, but not stellar citizens and certainly not tranquil people unless their lives change somehow and set them on track.
Well, that is the question, isn't it? What ultimately defines the book is that these characters living their lives beneath "an empty sky" do seek to compensate for their jaded pasts of dubious accomplishments and "empty" choices by doing the right thing. In the end, they manage to reveal the purpose of what man is meant to achieve below the vast, blue sky of his beginnings...
One could argue the book is ultimately about redemption - that sincere attempt to reclaim ones higher self, which although submerged during the pursuit of worldly wealth, in the end asserts itself for the betterment of others and in the process inspires those who view that transformation to follow suit.
Drury's story is about vengeance tamed, about the big lessons learned in life, about finding truth where one least expects it, and finally about man's obligations to make the world a better place, not just to thrive on the rewards of accumulated wealth. Life is about family and those close to you as well as letting the difficult and conflicted past go, like so much water under the bridge.
Drury's style is economical and direct. The characters are interesting and remain with you after finishing the book. The plot moves quickly and surely to a definitive conclusion. I'm looking forward to his next novel.
Author of "Bread of Shame"
About Frank Drury
Frank Drury is the author of AN EMPTY SKY, published in 2010. Midwest Book Review called it "a fascinating and thought provoking read". He spent the early years of his career as a struggling screenwriter in California before moving to the East Coast and finding success in the high risk world of futures trading, which is where he gained the inspiration for AN EMPTY SKY. He currently lives in Jacksonville FL with his wife and daughters and continues to write fiction. A DREAM AWAY, his second novel, is available in paperback or as an ebook. His latest novel, COLORED FLOOD LIGHTS, was published in June of 2012. All of his books are available through Kindle, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Booksamillion.com, Powell's Books, Tattered Cover, and Boulder Bookstore. They may also be purchased through your local independent book store. You may contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at frankdrury.com
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