A Genuine Pageturner
From Start To Finish,
With Inventive Narrative Flair.
A Superb Read As Saunders adds
an enlightening footnote to the
annals of history.
Restless in small-town North Carolina, Dante Rose breathes rock and roll. Has done so since the early days. Since forming his garage band in high school. The band now broken and apart. The one he fights to put back together.
His devoted wife Penny, supporting every career move, hopes Dante can make something big happen for them. Something real. But she harbors a secret. The sacrifice she made when they were young. The choice almost nobody knew about. Not even Dante.
Lead guitarist Joe Mars knew. And now he’s the only thing standing in Dante’s way.
A step change from his previous releases Raised On Rock is Drago at his very best delivering an elemental story simply and superbly written. Rock stars come ago and so do their stories but Drago’s fourth novel is a winner from every possible angle. A grounded and thoroughly enthralling exploration of what happens when a former headliner becomes a wannabe headliner, what Drago gives us is not a comeback story but something much rarer: a rounded, original portrait of a good but flawed man and the choices he has made. Drago’s writing style is simple and spare whilst his ear for dialogue once again proves exceptional. Here he succeeds equally in his evocation of Dante’s glory days with the band he formed with his boyhood friends and his love for Penny whilst delivering a message about what’s really important. On one hand, Dante is solid, dependable, torn, on the other, there’s his easy charm, the anxious modesty, the never-distant hint of frustration, and the other virtues of a deserving winner.
A corker of a novel with all the hallmarks of a best seller, Raised On Rock proves an exceptional read and is recommended without reservation.
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We Must Never Forget
"His baby breath hung milky white.
Soft downy hair within my sight.
But as I bent to kiss his head.
Behind my eyes the horror spread.
The acrid smoke of bullets past.
The stench of blood, gut wrenching blast.
The begging eyes, and smell of fear.
Hands clutching hope on coming near.
His soapy skin, flushed pink and new.
Eyes clear and bright with mother’s hue.
Softest skin and gurgling smile.
Now overspread by all things vile.
With shaking hands and eyes shut tight.
Memories of each haunting sight.
My comrades brave with babes and wives.
Torn to shreds before my eyes.
As tears spill out to soak his head.
I gently lay him down to bed.
Watch softly as he sucks his thumb.
And pray for all the orphaned young."
From The Fallen - Poem by Pixie Woodstock
Thomas Drago is the author of Crow Creek and Queensboro. He teaches drama and English in North Carolina. He attended Northern Arizona University. He has published poems, song lyrics, and short stories, appearing most recently in The Explorer, a local literary magazine. Family legends trace his ancestry to Vlad Dracula. Maybe. His favorite number is 29.