Welcome to the new Cafe and Bookstore New Series 2020 – Share an Extract with an opportunity to show one of your earlier books some love and attention by sharing an extract.. Check out the above link for all the details.
Today I am joined by Sharon Marchisello who is sharing an extract from her medical thriller Going Home.
About the book
Michelle DePalma expected to jet into Two Wells, Texas, check on her elderly mother, and hurry back to her orderly life in Atlanta, where she has a happy marriage and satisfying career. Instead, she finds her mother, Lola Hanson, hovered over the bludgeoned body of her caregiver, Brittany Landers.
Since the events of 9/11, one month earlier, Lola’s memory loss has amplified, and the family suspects Alzheimer’s. Now Lola can’t tell anyone what happened to Brittany.
The agency that provides home care for Lola promptly withdraws its services. Michelle is stuck in her home town longer than planned as she cares for a mother with whom she has never been close and tries to prove her innocence. The police officers who investigate the crime are old antagonists from grade school. A secret thought to be long buried–that Michelle bore a son out of wedlock and gave him up for adoption–surfaces when a surprise daughter-in-law and granddaughter show up, distracting Michelle from her quest to solve the murder. And then she stumbles upon a motive which makes Lola look even more guilty.
Going Home was inspired by the author’s mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and explores the challenge of solving a murder mystery when a potential witness cannot rely on her memory. Written from the perspective of a baby boomer forced to reverse roles with her parents, it crosses into the mainstream genre of women’s fiction and touches increasingly common issues such as elder abuse and end-of-life decisions.
An extract from the book
Chapter One – Going Home
My mother never left the front door wide open—no way would she “heat the whole neighborhood.”
I jumped out of my rental car and hurried up the walkway. This was my first visit in over a month—since before the awful events of September 11—and although I had spoken to my elderly mother over the phone several times a week, I was not sure what to expect.
A smile illuminated my mother’s face as if someone had twisted a dimmer switch. “Michelle! It’s so nice to see you!” She took a step toward me, right through the puddle of blood.
On the tile floor a young woman was sprawled, her blond hair caked with blood. I knelt at her side. No pulse. No breath. Blue-gray pallor. It had been years since I’d been proficient in CPR, and it wasn’t coming back to me. How many compressions? “Have you called 9-1-1?” My voice shook as I uttered those numbers.
“What’s wrong with Brittany?” My mother squatted beside me as if we were playing a game.
“Mom, what happened?” I cried. What if this woman–Brittany–was dead? Ants gathered at a stream of coagulated blood from her nostrils. “Did you call 9-1-1?”
Mom’s blank stare confirmed she had not. Unlike most of my friends, I had no cell phone, so I dashed to the black wall phone in the kitchen.
“What is your emergency?” The female voice was pleasant but businesslike, with an East Texas twang.
I gave my name and our address. “My mother’s caregiver is unconscious, maybe even dead. I just got here, so I can’t say for sure what happened, but it looks like a blow to the head.”
“I’ll send paramedics right away.” She confirmed the address I had given her. “Is the victim breathing?”
“Is there a pulse?”
“I couldn’t find one.” My own heart pounded.
“Has anyone started CPR?”
“Not yet. I called you first.” Had I made a fatal mistake?
“Is anyone else in danger?”
“In danger? What do you mean?”
“Is the person who did this still there? Is he trying to hurt anyone else?”
“No…I mean, I don’t think so. I didn’t see what happened.”
“Are you alone?”
“My mother’s here. But she’s 77 years old and…”
“The emergency crew should arrive momentarily. I’ll stay on the line until they get there, so leave the phone off the hook. Do you know CPR?”
“I was a flight attendant for ten years. We reviewed CPR every spring in recurrent training, but I never used it for real. And it’s been nine years since I left In-Flight…”
The woman politely cut off my blathering with brief instructions to refresh my memory and told me to start CPR.
“Lord!” The voice of Karen Jackson, another of my mother’s caregivers, boomed from the entryway.
“Don’t do this, Britt!” Karen was bent over Brittany’s body when I returned from making the call. Mouth wide open, eyes popping like peeled grapes, Karen looked up as I approached.
I knelt beside her and began chest compressions as Karen tried to blow air into Brittany’s lungs.
One of the recent reviews for Going Home
I enjoyed reading Sharon Marchisello’s contemporary story of returning to her small hometown of origin in Texas and finding her aging mother in crisis. Not only is the mother disoriented and confused, the dead body of her caregiver is lying on the floor. Thus opens Marchisello’s murder mystery, with includes lots of real-life emotions, dilemmas, and situations. The main characters have histories that go back to their childhoods, with the inherent difficulties of forgiving, forgetting, and letting go.
An unexpected guest at the mother’s front door, with her ten-year-old daughter in tow, generate both interest and concern as the guest finesses herself into the family. Law enforcement considers various murder suspects among the motley crew of caregivers who had had access to the protagonist’s increasingly vulnerable mother, each with believable motives and many opportunities.
The prime suspect becomes the elderly mother herself, who is unable to offer a coherent account of what happened. Tension increases when the identity of the unexpected guest becomes apparent, and the protagonist must reveal a deep secret to her husband. The twists, turns, and unexpected ending will keep mystery lovers turning pages until the end.
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
Other books by Sharon Marchisello
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
and: Amazon UK
Read other reviews and follow Sharon: Goodreads
About Sharon Marchisello
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.
She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.
She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.
Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.
Connect to Sharon
Thanks to Sharon for sharing this gripping start to her novel Going Home and I hope you will add to your TBRs.. thanks for dropping by.. Sally.