Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First Novel, Oxygen Was Great...Gemini is Brilliant! Have you read Carol Cassella??? Added to 2014 Favorites!

He walked over and lay down next to her. When she still didn't move he pulled one of the earbuds to his own ear and listened: Joan Osborne's "St. Teresa," the one she always listened to when some pent-up emotional wave was about to break. When the song, he rolled above her with one hane beside each shoulder and studied her face looking for a clue. "Hey in there. You Okay?" Charlotte nodded, calm enough for him to assume their quite perfect day on the quite perfect Puget Soung had merited Joan. "Jim wants to talk about marketing. Good sign. I told him I'd stop by his hotel before he goes to the airport. Want to come? Or, I can get a  cab."
Charlotte took out the other earbud and looked into Eric's lovely blue eyes, one of the first things she'd noticed about him years ago. She saw his face as freshly as she had seen the Seattle skyline from the boat this morning. It was handsome to her, even when he reminded herself to focus on the flaws that had disappeared with familiarity--the lean slightly crooked nose, the hollowed shadows that made him look too serious unless he was smiling...
"My period is late," she told him...

By Carol Cassella

Cover of I was lucky to read Carol's first novel, Oxygen and have her visit as a spotlighted author here at BRH.  Do  check out my review and search on her name to catch the full week she was here! Welcome back Carol! I understand that it took 3 years to do the research and write Gemini. No wonder! Although it ended wonderfully, I had no idea where this novel was going. There are so many paths my mind meandered down, wondering what was going to happen. What did, caused me to add this to my top Favorite Books for 2014... I didn't want it to end...I wanted to actually read the rest of the time with the characters as each moved on to the next part of their lives! Of course that's not possible but it does emphasize that the characters in this novel have been wonderfully drawn and the emotional impact readers receive makes for a fantastic story!

Charlotte translated a summary for Anne. "Hit
and run. A truck driver spotted her in a ditch
beside the highway and called 911. Femur fracture,
shattered lower leg. Broken elbow. It looks like
she was conscious when she got to the OR to fix
her leg. And somewhere in there things really
went to hell."
...I bet she threw a fat embolus when they put the
rod into her femur. Has to be. That's what hit her
"Was her oxygen level low enough to turn her
into this?"
"Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe some of the emboli
got into her brain..."
"Damn. Can't fix that one, Jane. Have to get the
rest of you well and see if your brain still works."
Charlotte was one of those doctors who cares... Now that's not a criticism for most of us, but it is if you spent so much emotional energy on a patient that it is disruptive to your life. We wouldn't want it any other way, if somebody we loved was her patient...

But Jane Doe had come in with nothing that could help them identify who she was. There was so much that had become damaged that each problem had to be prioritized and handled, until they had to put her into an induced coma in order to continue to work on her but give her brain time to begin to heal. They had no idea if she had experienced brain damage and would not even be able to start testing for it...

A picture of her was run in the news and the police were continuing to try to identify her as well as determine who and how this had been done to Jane...

And Charlotte soon determined that what caused her brain issues was her being attended at a previous hospital!

Fortunately for readers, we are provided with a concurrent story of the early life of Raney Remington (Jane Doe). I, for one, fell in love with this young girl, as she faced the life that was handed to her. Parents killed. Lived with her Grandfather with little money... Bullied and tease in school...

But then Bo came to town... He was so thin, she wondered what was wrong with him, still she knew to take control of the relationship. After all, she'd learned he was rich, while she was poor. He was there to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle and they grew to be good friends, even though none of the relatives were thrilled with the relationship. Time went on and finally Bo indicated that he was being sent away to school. Another time, he had a seizure while they were together and he was taken away into a hospital...

But neither of them forgot their childhood friend and as they would meet from time to time, they were now old enough to recognize how their feelings for each other was changing, though they always got caught before anything happening... Bo, though, would tell Raney he'd be back and then wouldn't come...nor would he ever explain what was happening during that time. Indeed, this is one of the mysteries for readers as well...

But finally, when his aunt and uncle were killed, she knew he would come back for the funeral. She wasn't sure what she would do because in the interim, she'd become involved with a man who would later become her husband... But first love prevailed and she had willingly been with  Bo who then once again went away without explaining...

Trying to figure out how to treat Jane Doe to help her the most wasn't the only issue she faced at work. Because nobody had come to claim her, it soon became apparent to hospital administration that they might never be paid for all that they were doing to save her... They did appoint a legal guardian to help when decisions were to be made, but Charlotte was already committed by that time and just kept on doing whatever was necessary to keep her alive.

At the same time, caring for Jane was pulling her away from her live-in lover. Eric was a writer so worked odd and long hours but had tried to be available for Charlotte. She, on the other hand, had begun to feel the relationship was stagnant and she was feeling her age required something to happen if she ever hoped to have children... That was another thing, Eric seemed to always change the subject whenever she brought up having a family... But he did open up a little when she one night discovered the wound on his head that was covered by his hair...

Cassella keeps winding the suspense tighter and tighter as Charlotte takes off, trying to find answers about Jane Doe... Oh, but wait, that was after she had been identified by a very old friend...

I loved it...and medically, I learned more than I've ever learned in other medical thrillers... But can't tell you! Only one clue

"For sure in animals. Marmosets. Tortoiseshell cats--that's how I know about it. Calicoes and tortoiseshells are almost always female, but one in a few thousand is a male, like Effie..."

Take a bit of puppylove, add romantic suspense, add various levels of adult love and wrap it all around within medical mysteries that are exotic and little known, stir the pot with details as a Jane Doe is brought back from near death, the hunt for the hit and run criminal and you have Cassella's latest medical drama that is filled with raw and deep emotions and the characters' strength to confront life's dangerous pitfalls and move forward... Lovers of Medical Thrillers - this is a must-read, in my opinion...


Carol lives on Bainbridge Island, WA with her husband Steve and their four children. She enjoys hiking and cross country skiing in the North Cascades, and has just completed her third novel GEMINI which was published on March 4, 2014. 

Please visit Carol at her website: www.carolcassella.com

Become a fan of Carol at: www.facebook.com/CarolCassellaAuthor

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