Marianne Sciucco – Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story

Title: Blue Hydrangeas, an AlzKindle-Cover-3-27-14heimer’s love story

Author: Marianne Sciucco

ISBN or ASIN: B00CHU571S

Page count: 234

Genre: Literary, Medical

Price (Print and Ebook): Print: 10.47, Ebook: 2.99 now on sale 0.99), audio 1.99 (Amazon) 19.99 (Audible)

 

Author Bio:

I’m not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, I studied the craft of writing as an English major at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and briefly worked as a newspaper reporter in New England. To avoid poverty, I later became a nurse. In 2002, I began writing about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and Marianne-Sciucco-Author-Photofamily issues. I’m a native Bostonian who loves Cape Cod but I make my home in upstate New York. When I’m not writing, I work as a campus nurse at a community college. To see what I’m up to visit MarianneSciucco.blogspot.com or find me on facebook, Twitter, and goodreads. You may also drop me a line at mariannesciucco@gmail.com.

 

Tell us about your book:

What if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn’t remember your name? A nursing facility is everyone’s solution for what to do about Sara, but her husband, Jack, can’t bear to live without her. He is committed to saving his marriage, his wife, and their life together from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. He and Sara retired years ago to the house of their dreams, and operated it as a Cape Cod bed and breakfast named Blue Hydrangeas. Jack has made an impossible promise: He and Sara will stay together in their beautiful home no matter what the disease brings. However, after nine years of selfless caregiving, complicated by her progressing Alzheimer’s and his own failing heart, he finally admits he can no longer care for her at home. With reluctance, he arranges to admit her to an assisted living facility. But, on the day of admission, Sara is having one of her few good days, and he is unable to follow through. Instead, he takes them on an impulsive journey to confront their past and reclaim their future. In the end, he realizes that staying together at any cost is what truly matters.

 

Share any thoughts you’d like the readers to know about you and/or your book:

I hope you enjoy “Blue Hydrangeas.”  It is my first novel and a story I wrote from the heart after witnessing the pain and heartbreak of many couples and families struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.  The characters of Jack and Sara are loosely based on one couple I met in my work as a registered nurse.  Their experiences are a composite of the many families I assisted with decision making and navigating the health care system to ensure their loved ones were taken care of in ways that preserved their dignity and well-being.  This is a tough, demanding disease, and many people seek comfort in knowing they are not alone in their struggle.  “Blue Hydrangeas” is my attempt to bring consolation and understanding to all who encounter Alzheimer’s.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Hydrangeas-Marianne-Sciucco-ebook/dp/B00CHU571S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389745973&sr=8-2&keywords=sciucco

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Hydrangeas-Marianne-Sciucco-ebook/dp/B00CHU571S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391619550&sr=8-1&keywords=sciucco

Audible

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Blue-Hydrangeas-Audiobook/B00J5RELT0/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1398778584&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-hydrangeas-marianne-sciucco/1117247346?ean=9780989559201&itm=1&usri=9780989559201

Create Space

https://www.createspace.com/4356347

iBooks

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blue-hydrangeas/id731472206?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/blue-hydrangeas-1

Nook URL

http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=sciucco

Scribd

http://www.scribd.com/doc/192830675/Blue-Hydrangeas-An-Alzheimer-s-Love-Story

Sony Reader

https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/marianne-sciucco/blue-hydrangeas/_/R-400000000000001184940

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Blog

http://mariannesciucco.blogspot.com/ An Interview with  Author Marianne Sciucco

http://youtu.be/W4UvTVY4en4

Pinterest

http://www.pinterest.com/mariannesciucco/

Google+

https://plus.google.com/+MarianneSciucco/posts

Twitter URL

https://twitter.com/MarianneSciucco

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/marianne.sciucco.1

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18002405-blue-hydrangeas?from_search=true

 

Excerpt from book:

Sara, an amateur photographer, had chronicled her children’s lives with an old 35-mm camera she’d picked up at a flea market. In the photos, David and Lisa were young teenagers, gangly, smiling, and full of life. Sara sorted through pictures of them playing on the beach, building sandcastles, flying kites. She rummaged aimlessly through the stacks of photos, but one in particular captivated her and she studied it for some time.

Lisa sat on the beach, her long auburn hair floating in the breeze, her bright eyes and glowing skin forever sixteen. She wore a flowered bikini. Her lanky legs were lean and tanned. Sara rifled through the pile of pictures but kept returning to this one. She laid it down and picked it up again several times, struggling to find the right words to express her thoughts. Her facial expressions changed rapidly, showing a spark of recognition, replaced by bewilderment, and then the thread was lost. She held the picture up to the light and spoke with trepidation.

“Do I know this girl?”

“Of course you know her –” Jack started to explain, but stopped, tripping over his words. He took the picture from her and cradled it in his palm, gazing at the girl who was once his greatest joy. He glanced up at the mantel over the fireplace where pictures of Lisa blended in with the family photos. Choked with emotion, he turned away to catch his breath and pondered how to respond. Had Sara forgotten this girl was their daughter? Had her illness robbed her of even this most treasured memory? It was unthinkable, unbearable. He debated telling her the truth, but, uncertain of her reaction, simply said, “She’s a girl we used to know.”

“At Corn Hill?” Sara asked, still staring at the picture.

“At Corn Hill,” he replied. “We have lots of pictures of her, see?” He pointed to the photographs scattered across the table.

She gave no sign of recognition. A moment passed, and she yawned. “Put all this away.” She rose from the sofa and stretched her arms high over her head. “I want to go to bed.”

Jack left the photographs where they lay and escorted her upstairs to their bedroom. After tucking her in, he headed back down and gathered the pictures into neat piles, storing them in their boxes. His hands shook as the boxes filled.

He went to the mantel and removed the pictures of Lisa, hiding them away in a cabinet. Better to keep them out of sight in case Sara noticed them and started asking more questions, or, even worse, stumbled on the truth. A sudden revelation might be devastating, and he was determined to spare her any angst.

He turned out the light in the living room and made for the stairs, but overcome with emotion, he dropped into an armchair and let out a strangled sob. The clock struck midnight as he mourned their daughter in isolation, crying in the dark for Lisa, his wife, and himself. Gone was any possibility they might speak of her, recalling the good times and special memories, or comfort one another as they grieved. It was as if she had never existed.

Jack sat up deep into the night, and wondered how much time remained before Sara forgot him as well.

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ROBERT JAMES DELLAMANO – PARSEN HOLT – SLINGER

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Title: PARSEN HOLT – SLINGER

Author: ROBERT JAMES DELLAMANO

ISBN or ASIN: ASIN# B00S802H3I, BN ID: 2940149976157, ISBN  9781622878185

Page count: 38

Genre: WESTERN/ FICTION

Price (Print and Ebook): $2.99

 

1005141714Author Bio:

The author is a graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law who currently resides in southern Illinois. He is an avid nature lover, and a fan of both blues music and the St. Louis Blues NHL hockey team.  His childhood dream was to be a cowboy, and his adult dream is to ride off into the sunset with his best girl. The author urges everyone to spend time/money at their local animal shelter, and to visit the following websites on a daily basis:

freerice.com and freekibble.com

 

Tell us about your book:

Parsen Holt is an experienced gunslinger just passing through town.  When his horse comes up lame, he’s forced to stay longer than he wants. And longer than the town wants, as well.

Little did he realize circumstances would turn violent in a way that could cost him his life!

Will he make it out alive?

Read it to find out!

Parsen Holt – Slinger, is a gripping story of the old west, as told by the up-and-coming new author, Robert James Dellamano.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

Kindle, Nook, Google Play, etc.

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
http://www.amazon.com/Parsen-Holt-Robert-James-Dellamano-ebook/dp/B00S8O2H3I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1421813664&sr=1-1&keywords=parsen+holt

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parsen-holt-slinger-robert-james-dellamano/1121066937?ean=2940149976157

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Robert_James_Dellamano_Parsen_Holt_Slinger?id=-psqBgAAQBAJ

 

Excerpt from book:

Now Parsen knew what Jasper meant when he said Parsen was worth something. A reward, maybe? Dead or alive, maybe? Parsen figured there might be a wall or two holding up his likeness somewhere. The old familiar rush hit Parsen full force and he breathed deeply, relishing the feeling. Adrenaline coursed through his veins and heightened his senses. The anticipation of violence, and possible death, was Parsen’s emotional bread and butter and he feasted on it. He devoured it every time as a starving man devours the meal that saves his life. Along with the rush always came the eerie and uncanny calmness that allowed Parsen to operate with absolute confidence and efficiency in situations like this. It gave him a clarity of thought and purpose of movement that was unnatural.

Parsen looked Jasper in the eyes and Jasper swallowed hard. Everyone in the Spur had stopped moving and talking and were looking at Parsen and Jasper. Without taking his eyes from Jasper’s, Parsen slowly and deliberately moved his right hand toward the pistol belted on his hip. He grasped the butt and drew the gun from its holster, and just as slowly and deliberately raised it to a level with Jasper’s, side by side to it, and pointed at Jasper’s chest. Parsen stopped for a split second, then moved his thumb to the hammer. The clicking of the mechanism as he slowly cocked the gun was deafening in the utter silence of the room. A bead of sweat rolled down Jasper’s right temple. Parsen’s eyes sparkled now and one side of his mouth pulled back a bit in a bemused smile, such as he might give to a slightly amusing child.

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Nora Quick – The Violin Case

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Title: The Violin Case

Author: Nora Quick

ISBN or ASIN: B00ANW5W6W

Page count: 241

Genre: Mystery

Price (Print and Ebook): $3.99 eBook

 

Author Bio:

Nora Quick lives in Chicago, IL with her faithful companion Nikolai Tesla Quick, a Siberian Husky who is, in her opinion, the best dog that has ever lived. She wrote her first novel at age 12, a crime drama set in her hometown of Detroit, MI and is a self-admitted graphomaniac who compulsively writes daily. She has worked a wide variety of jobs sampling much of life from high finance to short order cooking and is related to half the CPD. She writes crime, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and erotica. You can find some of her writing on Literotica.com where she writes as madam_noe or at eRedSage.com where her erotic romances are published.  She is hard at work on her next book. You can connect with Nora at noraquick.yolasite.com where you will find links to her Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

 

Tell us about your book:

The Coldest Case Come to Chicago’s Hottest P.I. in the Second Marly Jackson Mystery.

Marly Jackson is the toughest P.I. around. Tasked by her ex-lover Finn with finding a rare violin, the case explodes.  From back-alley deals in the slums to the halls of academia, it seems everyone wants a piece of the violin, and everyone is willing to kill to get it.

Doomed from the beginning Marly walks alone. A rich boy, a fence, a pimp, an arms dealer, a host of grifters, and a crazed West Coast P.I. are all involved in the theft which threatens to bring war between the strongest crime family in town and another with a price on her head. When a sniper begins cleaning up loose ends, it’s a race against time.

As the mystery stretches back further and further into the past Marly must find not only the violin, but its secrets. But when dead bodies begin piling up and the players go to ground it’s down to the wire. When revenge, passion, greed, and cold-blooded betrayal dance deadly around her, can Marly stay alive long enough to get to the truth and discover what is real and what is smoke and mirrors in The Violin Case?

 

Share any thoughts you’d like the readers to know about you and/or your book:

I sincerely hope fans enjoy the second installment of the series. It’s a bit longer and more complex than 2011’s Case of the Missing Millionaire but you do not need to read the first to enjoy The Violin Case.

I write with love for the greats of hardboiled detective stories, film noir, and Joss Whedon girls. I’m enjoying the development of Marly Jackson into a femme fatale and the beleaguered detective in one, and if you love complexity, high action, dark passion, and intrigue you’ll delight in this story too.

Once you step into the dark alleys of Chicago where crooked cops, snitches, and mobsters roam, and when the rich and powerful take a walk on the wild side and Marly Jackson is all that stands between them and doom, you’ll be hooked.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

http://www.amazon.com/The-Violin-Case-Jackson-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00P9ZF53S

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/492276

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
http://noraquick.yolasite.com/

https://twitter.com/NoraQuickAuthor

https://www.facebook.com/noramquick

https://plus.google.com/108025145147061966040

 

Excerpt from book:

James “Jim” Jeffries was like every other North Shore kid. Gramps lived in a giant house along Lake Michigan in Kenilworth, mom and dad had slightly smaller house in Winnetka just next door. Jim had a premium dorm at the University of Chicago, and from my research I knew it was gramps’ name on a building that got him in, not grades.

He drove a Mazda Miata, probably an attempt to not appear as rich as he was, and he drove like a maniac. My ancient Cutlass could barely keep up with him as he left his evening pre-law class.

I expected to tail him to some apartment, motel, or one of the gay clubs on the north side, but he drove past them into Wicker Park, past the major intersection with all the bars and clubs into the residential area.

I had to hang back and nearly lost him, but as he circled for parking I knew he was going into Danny’s. The bar wasn’t in any way hostile to homosexuals, but it was blue collar, a working man’s bar, where the old residents went to avoid the clubs growing more popular with the suburban refugees. I hadn’t been there but once it had been an ex-boyfriend’s old haunt and from what I knew I didn’t think Jim Jeffries would fit in.

I found parking where it wasn’t legal, knowing I still had enough connections from my days as a cop to beat any ticket. Danny’s was small but I wasn’t worried about being spotted. Jim didn’t know me from Adam, and until he figured out I was following him getting close was safe.

The bar was on a corner and as I approached I saw Jim, a fairly good looking boy of average height, slim and full of smarmy promise, standing next to a stout, gruff looking man thirty years his senior, with dark hair and a small scar beneath his eye. The brunette smoked his cigarette down to the filter and tossed it, and then they headed inside.

I hung back so as not to be too obvious, lighting my own cigarette. One hazard of my profession was being a solid judge of character, and instinct told me the brunette was no lover. Not a blackmailer either, that brand of scum liked to keep their distance and work remotely. But why was a rich kid at a dive bar with what appeared to be a Teamster?

The door swung open and out stepped a mountain.

Once upon a time, Max Trenton had been a heavyweight prize fighter, an up and comer destined to take the title from Tyson. He’d been a brawler for the Crips, a small arms dealer, pulled into a better life by a pimp named Alabaster we both had history with. But Trenton had killed too many men in the ring and nearly killed too many women in bed.

Gone was the big house, the contracts, the flashy life, and he was back to dealing in small arms and beating up Alabaster’s whores. If you wanted a gun, didn’t have a gang connection, and didn’t want to buy legal, crazy Max Trenton was your only avenue, and the vacant-eyed brawler was the road less traveled.

“Jackson,” he said, giving me his unnerving stare. Some fight had blinded him in one eye and he refused to wear sunglasses or an eye patch, so one milky white orb stared blankly out, matched by a disturbingly pretty green eye, courtesy a white mother who’d lost the war in skin pigmentation.

“Hey, Trenton. I’m not here to hassle you. I’m here for somebody else.”

“Bullshit. This here my turf. I don’t want no cops sniffin’ around.”

Shit. Way Alabaster told it Max didn’t have that many IQ points before he lost the remaining ones in the ring. I put my hands up in a surrender motion. “I’m no cop. Fact, I hate them too. You know how the force fucked up my life.”

“You were. Once. You here for me? Who you been talkin’ to? Alabaster?” He came down the steps and I backed away in equal measure.

There were ghosts in that head flinging their fists at his face. People now napping in the dirt forgot that and got close enough that when Trenton swung back, a new ghost joined the collective howling.

“I haven’t seen Alabaster in months. I didn’t even know you were working out of Danny’s.”

That green eye sharpened for a moment. “That fence always on about you, Finn?”

I laughed. Figured people in our world thought Finn and I were an item, but I was indifferent at best, and waiting to blow his brains out at worst. “Hell no. Look, I’m just tailing a cheating spouse.”

He sniffed the air, that eye searching the darkening sky. “Somethin’ in the wind, dick. Big Bad coming down the pipe. Dicks should stay in their pants.”

“Amen to that,” I grumbled. Shit, he knew something about the business Marcus was on about, and if I pressed I was stupid, but if I didn’t I might be dead. “I got a line on something big. Just a warning. Wise guys getting involved. I want no piece of it. I just want to know if anybody’s gunning for me.”

He stared at me for so long I began to feel like he was calculating which punch would kill me the fastest.

“Ain’t no hits on you, dick,” he said at last. “Nobody cares about you. Nobody will, as long as you stay off my turf. You hear me? Right here and now I’m the Big Bad.” He took a step towards me with a glare that ricocheted off the brick wall.

I backed up further. “Yes, sir.” It was only half an answer but all I could expect to get.

In all likelihood Jim was there to buy a gun. Most people being blackmailed looked for forms of protection, but last thing I wanted to know was the shitheel kid had a gun from the lowest and worst dealer in town.

If Jim wanted to pack heat the blackmail had turned dangerous. I backed up until Trenton finally turned around and went back in, but I had to stay close. If he was buying a gun something bad could go down, and I couldn’t afford to lose Jim, not with eight grand coming my way.

I retreated around the block away from my car in case Trenton shadowed me, but he didn’t. Probably had a bag of Uzis in the bar, some stupid buyer coming up, and was afraid I’d blab. Being a P.I. meant walking in the shadow of cops, dipping into the underworld. I knew enough about Trenton to know he’d get his ticket punched someday, and frankly it couldn’t be soon enough.

Back in my car I moved it so I had a line of sight on Jim’s and pulled out my cellphone, flipping it open. Alabaster was a preset number. The pimp had once been a classmate in high school, never a friend but an associate, hell; we’d even worked a summer job together as kids. I went on to graduate, and he went from selling the heroin that gave him his nickname to hustling broads.

He was smart and dealt in information as much as women. Alabaster had a protégé named Jonesie who was the facilitator who knew everyone and everything. Jonesie had the line on the gangs and Eddie Harwood, a north side club owner, knew what was going down with the mob. If I wanted answers Eddie was the better choice but with Trenton’s cryptic warning I was betting Jonesie knew the score, but to get to Jonesie you had to go through Alabaster.

He was far from the worst pimp, not close to the best, and he owed me. I got his voicemail and told him to call me. If he knew what this phantom job was, I’d consider it even.

I sang through two Zeppelin songs before Jim emerged, alone. There was no tell-tale gun  bump under his black short-sleeve t-shirt, but his baggy shorts could probably hide an assault rifle. Kids, today, I grumbled and turned over my engine.

This time he drove maniacally towards Boystown, the gay district. I cursed, merely because parking there was only for the criminally determined and the congenitally insane.

I really hoped he wasn’t going to one of the clubs like Berlin. I’d traded my ugly glasses for the contacts my uncle nagged me into wearing, but I still favored hiking boots. Granted, with my old, worn green tank and khaki shorts I looked like a rumpled Lara Croft, or so I assured myself. I’d seen the movie when it came out last June and enjoyed it. Still, rumpled was the operative word. I’d fit in at a NRA meeting, but not in the gay clubs with all the flash.

To my relief he turned onto School Street and went a few blocks east. He slowed at one three story walk-up but had to circle for parking. I slid in front of a hydrant and waited.

Fifteen minutes later he jogged back to the front door, fished keys from his giant shorts, and let himself in. Hopping out, I made my way up onto the sidewalk to get a better view of the windows. It wasn’t terribly late, just half past ten, but the first floor was dark, the second floor lit up, and the top floor just had one light on. I waited a house down, craning my neck over the fence. Another light popped on the third floor. Bingo.

The yard was gated but the front walk was not. I jogged up to the buzzer and saw the first two floors had names, both couples, but the top floor buzzer was blank. New tenant.

I pulled out my steno pad from one of my pockets and wrote down the address and the management information from the tiny plaque on the fence.

Surprise, surprise, rich boy wasn’t smart. Cruising would be better, but this made it appear he had a boyfriend, and a steady boy toy was like an engraved invitation to an enterprising blackmailer. The lights went out and he was probably in for the night.

Snapping my pad shut I walked back to my car, lit another cigarette and waited but nothing changed. I’d soon have the lover’s name for Mrs. Jeffries; all that was left was the blackmailer.

And if this were a movie, they’d be one in the same. Knowing my luck they weren’t, and the blackmailer was Max Trenton. And no amount of money behind me could run him out of town.

Hell, maybe I should let Jim get that gun and kill Trenton. That would solve a lot of problems for a lot of people. Disturbingly, I thought I could sleep like a baby if that happened.

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