Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully
Official Blurb for Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully
Jake Turner, a scarred veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill, has been a lone drifter through
much of the settling of the west. Opportunity was growing out of the newly turned sod of the
North Dakota prairie in 1904 when he stopped to take a part time job as a Deputy Sheriff,
expecting to move on again when the dark parts of his past catch up to him.
An investigation into a murder of a man hated by everyone has threads that lead to his best
friend, Isaac. Jake is ambushed and almost killed, but is nursed back to health by Isaac. While
Jake follows the clues into a labyrinth of hatred, sordid crimes and missing money he becomes
attached to an eight year old orphaned boy named Andy and falls in love with Isaac’s sister,
Alice. After being alone for so long with no hope or care for what tomorrow might bring, Jake
finds it difficult to accept these new emotional attachments.
Jake believes in Justice, but before he had only his own life on the line. When Andy is
kidnapped and almost killed, Jake knows the killers will do anything to stop him. In order to
protect Alice and Andy, he must break their hearts and leave them and North Dakota behind.
Jake knows he’ll be back. So do the killers. Trap and counter trap are laid. Jake knows there
will be graves. He just doesn’t know who will be in them.
My review of Resurrection Garden:
Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully
As most good mysteries do, this one begins with a dead body. The big difference is this tale is set in 1904 and starts in North Central North Dakota, making it an historical western mystery. Before I tell much more, I have to say I loved everything about this story. Deputy Jake Turner is a reluctant hero, a single man who knows something is missing in his life despite his faithful horse, dog and cat.
The historical details are perfect and enhance the action—of which there is plenty. Deputy Turner is wounded more than once while tracking down the clues to find the identity of the murderer and all the other complications and revelations that develop. The relationship between Jake and an orphan boy, Andrew, is realistic and heart-wrenching, as is Jake’s friendship with a dying man.
Before the book is over, a romance develops—one that doesn’t seem to have a happy ending in sight, but you’ll have to read it to find out what happens.
Author Scully has done a fantastic job in creating this very realistic mystery in a by-gone era. I loved this book and I highly recommend it to all mystery lovers and those who enjoy a good Western.
Official Frank Scully Bio:
I also had the pleasure of interviewing Frank.
Marilyn: Please tell me something about your background.
Frank: I was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota. Without giving away my birth date, I will say that I remember when radio was the primary source of entertainment. Jack Benny, Amos and Andy and The Shadow. Then Eisenhower became president and black and white TV came along. Jack Benny made the transition. The Ed Sullivan show ruled Sunday night. The Cold War was real and scary. We practiced hiding under our desk in the event of a nuclear attack. Not that it would have done us any good but it made the teachers feel better. In the 60’s I went to college during the Age of Aquarius. After I got my law degree I went off to Vietnam as a U.S. Army Officer. There ducking for cover did come in handy. After I got out of the service in the 70’s I got an MBA and started a career. I’ve worked as an executive for large aerospace companies and owned my own small business. I’ve been well off and broke and learned how to survive both. I am married to a wonderful and understanding wife who gave me twin sons, both of whom have gone on to become lawyers and businessmen.
Marilyn: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Frank: I think I always wanted to be a writer from the first time I started reading books for pure enjoyment. That happened the summer when I was ten years old and came down with Rheumatic Fever and had to stay in bed for ten weeks. Books not only saved me from terminal boredom but also opened my mind to a greater world. Later when I was in college I had a professor who encouraged me to write since he felt I had some talent. But life and work and responsibilities came along and I put it aside the writing for a long time. But not the reading. Finally, my wife got tired of me saying I would do it “someday” or that I could write a story better. She challenged me to do it and not put it off any more. I sat down and started. It took me almost twenty years to get published but it was worth it.
Marilyn: What gave you the idea for this book?
Frank: I got the basic idea for the plot of this story while I was driving through a particularly nasty North Dakota blizzard. From there I started doing my research and developed the background and setting. I always wanted to do a story set in North Dakota during the early part of the 20th century and was looking for the right story to tell. From somewhere in the blizzard a special scene came to me and from that I put the rest of the story together.
Marilyn: How close do you identify with the hero?
Frank: Any similarity between me and my hero is wishful thinking on my part. I try to understand them as much as I can while writing. While I am writing a scene it is almost as if I am watching it like a movie or a witness to a real event and I am trying to get it down. The characters take on a life of their own and sometimes go in directions I didn’t plan but I soon find they know better. They have to be true to the character rather than follow any script.
Marilyn: What was your path to publication?
Frank: It was a long and bumpy road with flat tires, washed out bridges, detours, bandits, and just about every possible mishap possible. I started writing at a time when computers weren’t on every desk. I had a dedicated word processor that I used. At the time it was considered state of the art. Now even the cheapest laptop is better. When I had my first manuscript and I went about seeking publication, I soon realized that this was going to be more difficult than expected.
I got rejection after rejection. A few were encouraging and I managed to avoid the worst traps and scams. I continued and wrote another book. More rejections followed. Then I had an agent but no luck with getting a publisher. I moved on to another with the same lack of success. Another manuscript and more rejections.
Then an acceptance with publication due shortly only to be orphaned and left on the street again. I don’t know why I never got discouraged through all the rejections and disappointments along the way. Incorrigibly stubborn or incredibly stupid are both possible and not mutually exclusive explanations. I do know if I sell as many books as I got rejections I will be on the top of the best seller list for a long time. I learned along the way that a lot of very good writers have shared the same journey.
Through the grapevine I heard about Lea Schizas starting her own publishing company called MuseItUp. I sent her an email to congratulate her and query whether she would be interested in my book. She asked to see it and soon after offered me a contract. Now I have five books under contract with her and am very happy to be with MuseItUp and Lea.
Marilyn: Is there anything else you’d like my blog readers to know?
Frank: I would like everyone to know that I am writing a series I call the Decade Mystery Series. The five books under contract to MuseItUp are all a part of that series. I am writing at least one novel set in each decade from the beginning of the 20th century to the current time set in different locales with both continuing and new characters in each one. There is something unique in each decade that marks it as separate from what went before or what follows. I shall explore aspects of what is unique as it is expressed in the locale chosen and how it affects the culture, characters and the tenor of the times and yet also see the common humanity that never changes. Resurrection Garden is unique among the books in the series in that it is set where my grandparents settled.
My website and blog are at: www.frankjscully.com
It’s a work in progress but I welcome all to come and visit.
I want to thank you, Marilyn, for inviting me on your blog. It’s been a pleasure.
Marilyn: I thank you for coming today. I think we're probably around the same age and I too had rheumatic fever when I was a kid, 11 years old, and had to stay in bed.
Frank Scully was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota and received a Bachelor’s
degree in History with Phi Beta Kappa Honors and a Juris Doctor degree in Law from the
University of North Dakota. He then served more than five years as a Judge Advocate General
Corps Officer in the U. S. Army in the U. S., Vietnam, and Thailand. After that he attended the
prestigious Thunderbird School and received a Masters in Business Administration with honors.
In his professional career he has worked as an executive with large aerospace and defence
manufacturers and also owned his own small business.
Depending on the vagaries of the universe he has been well off at times and broke, but never
broken, at other times. Blessed with an understanding wife who gave him twin sons, he has
remained through it all a dreamer whose passion is writing stories that will entertain readers.
Resurrection Garden is available for purchase at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HO6A90/ and http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=31&category_id=64&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1