Carl Franke, a resident of Abington Township, composer and Indie fiction author, published his second novel this summer, and has another on the way in 2024.
Check out each book’s description below:
This is a suspense novel released in the summer of 2023. It is the sequel to Be Home By Dinner and follows protagonist Garvey Nolan through a harrowing journey during the historical Blizzard of 1996. The story is set in Kutztown, PA and many surrounding towns in Berks County in January 1996. Although Be Home By Dinner took place over 15 years, this takes story takes place over just 15 days.
Two distracted college seniors, Garvey and Wyatt, take a road trip to the Poconos to enliven their dull winter break at Kutztown.
After crashing into a ditch during a whiteout, the boys take refuge at a charming boutique hotel, hang at the bar and make fast friends.
A hip truck driver, Tully, suggests the boys head on a dual mission to New England where Garvey’s rockstar girlfriend, Malee, is missing and where Tully’s estranged family is in danger.
Meanwhile, a duo of stranded bridesmaids comfort the boys and reveal their struggles with an overindulgent cop and a nefarious cult leader.
When an unspeakable event occurs at the hotel, bonds tighten.
The boys must decide whether to hitchhike home and fend for themselves…or intervene. They may not have a choice.
With two weeks until classes resume, will both the snow and their ordeals thaw?
The story revolves around different types of entrapment amongst strangers. The serendipitous moments they experienced together makes them realize they need each other to conquer their unique issues. The blizzard itself is the Earthly physical entrapment that brought them together. But they are bound by unique entrapments with local law, religion, disease, and their own minds.
BE HOME BY DINNER
This is a coming-of-age American portrait, loaded with fun sentimental nostalgia. But it’s equally a splintered suspense story detailing the fallout of a madman.
Released in 2019, this novel is set in Oreland, PA and the surrounding neighborhoods from 1978 through 1993.
Schoolboy, Garvey Nolan, is haunted by an omnipresent man that takes Polaroids of him from afar. For local parents, the man is Kratz Kova, an esteemed philanthropist and golf pro. For Garvey, the man’s a lunatic that stalks him in an Alfa Romeo.
Threatened by Kova, Garvey remains quiet. He takes refuge in the brotherhood of friends. But when they escalate from town pranksters to vandals, mischief blurs into malice. Reluctant to partake, Garvey confides in his tomboy crush, Emma O’Sullivan. Grown older, the crew sneak out of their homes at night. A nearby golf course becomes the ultimate playground and rendezvous hideout, a hundred-acre stage for destruction.
As Garvey works as a caddie, he becomes privy to Kova’s criminal mind. Blackmailed, Garvey strives to end his own delinquent ways, risking his cherished friendships. He craves an escape from tainted Oreland for a simple life with Emma. And he wonders what one last gag could make Kova’s dominance vanish…forever.
Both novels also have a heavy romantic backdrop that propels the story forward.
Be Home By Dinner questions whether misbehavior (and the mischief of mankind) is a perpetual need that can’t be severed after childhood. It also wonders what constitutes it going too far. It explores a last generation of kids to grow up without ubiquitous internet access. Void of smart phones and surveillance cameras, they roamed free. No app tracked their footsteps. Communicative technology was a pay phone and the monsters of mankind lingered — difficult to prove.
Franke’s next book, a collection of poetry and lyrics, will be released in 2024. To purchase copies and for more of his work, including links to his self-composed music, you can visit his website here.
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