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Book Hooks - Another Side of Perfect - #HFRWHooks, MFRWAuthor

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current WIP or previously published book by possibly new to you authors.
 This is Book 3 in the Seaside Boulevard Series!

Richie and Francine’s marriage takes another hit when his dad dies of a massive heart attack. Angelina, Richie’s mom is distraught, not leaving her house. When Francine finds herself pregnant, everyone is ecstatic, especially Angelina. However, their excitement turns into worry when Francine falls putting her pregnancy in high risk, restricting her to bed rest. Gary Thompson gets traded to another team on the west coast. Toni needs to make the decision to go with him, or stay home and end their relationship. Amy and Jason’s wedding invitations are sent out. The question is will their families accept their wedding? A surprise guest the eve of the wedding will put the spin on the next day’s festivities.


Carefully Amy walked up the path. She stopped in her tracks when she saw Francine lying on the floor at the bottom of the steps, her head on the grass and her body on the pavers. The bags fell from her hands and she let out a shrill cry.

            “Francine,” she nudged her, “what’s wrong?” No answer, no movement. “Oh my God.” Reaching into her back pocket, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed 911. “I need help,” she cried into the phone.

            “Calm down. I need to know what the problem is.” “My friend is down on the floor outside unconscious.

            She’s pregnant, oh my God, her baby. Please help me. Francine, talk to me.”

Her eyes barely opened. She mumbled something, which Amy couldn’t understand before closing her eyes again.

            Amy gave the woman on the other end of the phone Francine’s address. The woman told her not to move her and an ambulance was on its way. Amy got up, ran to her car and took out the beach blanket in the trunk, returning to cover her.

            “Please, Francine, wake up. How did this happen? Don’t worry, I’m here for you. I’m not leaving your side. Everything is going to be all right. Please stay with me.”

            Out of the corner of her eye she saw an open book and a bag with what looked like clothes. She reached over for the book and it turned out to be Sally’s sketchbook. Why would Francine have Sally’s sketchbook? Francine hadn’t said anything about Sally coming over when they spoke this morning.

            In the distance, Amy heard the ambulance approaching. She took hold of Francine’s hand and started to talk to her about all their antics they pulled throughout their friendship. She didn’t know what else to do. At least if she kept talking to her maybe she would open her eyes or respond by squeezing her hand.

            The ambulance arrived. The EMTs started taking Francine’s vital signs, shielding Amy from seeing what they were doing.

            “Let’s get her on oxygen,” one of the men commanded. “Oh my. Is she okay? Is she all right?” Amy cried. “She’s fine. After doing a quick assessment, it seems

that she slipped and fell down the stairs. It’s possible she has a concussion. We won’t know anything until we get her to the hospital for additional testing.”

            “What about the baby?”

            “She’s pregnant?”            

            “Yes. Please don’t let anything happen to the baby.”

            Ignoring her, he said to the other EMT, “Let’s get her on a stretcher.”

            “I think something else happened here. These items,” Amy pointed, “do not belong to her. It might be possible someone pushed her down the stairs.”

            “That isn’t our department. You’ll have to wait for the police to come to file a report.”

            “I’m not leaving my best friend alone. I’ll call the police on the way to the hospital.”

            The EMT strapped Francine down to the stretcher and put her seat belt on. Amy followed the stretcher onto the ambulance. She sat on the bench next to her. As the ambulance raced down Father Capadanno Boulevard, Amy called Jason and then 911 again. By the time the ambulance arrived at the hospital, the police had arrived as well as Jason.

            Amy followed behind Francine. Along the way she grabbed Jason’s hand, leading him into the emergency room.

            The first thing the nurse did was check all Francine’s vitals. Next, the doctor came in and ordered a CAT scan of her head, along with an ultrasound of the baby. Amy told them Doctor Taylor was her obstetrician. When the transporter came to bring Francine up for her scan, the doctor told Amy she couldn’t go into the room with her and she had to stay in the waiting room. They would come get her when they were done.

            When they wheeled Francine into the elevator, she turned and fell into Jason’s arms. Amy cried for the longest time. Her thoughts kept going to Francine. If anything happened to her baby, Francine would never recover. What worried her even more had been why she had been unconscious for so long. She was no medical doctor, but she knew this wasn’t a very good sign.

            “Ms. Mills?” a deep voice said. Amy turned around to face Officer Miller.


            “You placed a call to us.”

            Amy took a deep breath before sliding into the leather waiting room chair. “I did because I suspect that Francine wasn’t alone when she fell down the stairs. I found her friend’s sketchbook and shopping bag with clothes at the bottom of the stairs. If I was to make a calculated guess, I would say Sally Britts was at the house.”

            “Who is Sally Britts?” Miller asked. “She is a friend of Francine.” “What would cause you to believe she had something to do with the fall if she was her friend?” he asked, resting his hand on his gun.

            Amy gave him Francine’s address. “Just a feeling I have.”

            Miller scribbled something on his pad before flipping it closed and placing it back into his pant’s pocket. “I will be in touch with you.”

            When Miller was out of ears reach, Amy said, “He’s so full of shit. He thought I was a nut job. I bet he doesn’t follow up on this.”

            “Babe.” Jason turned her around to face him.

            “Let it go. What’s important here is Francine.


            Amy walked into Francine’s room. When she saw that Francine was still not conscious, she called Angelina.

            “Hello,” she yelled into the phone.

            “Angelina, this is Amy, Francine’s friend.”

            “Of course. How are you?”

            “Not too good. I’m at the hospital with Francine.”            

            “What? Why is Francine in the hospital? Is it my Richie?”

            “No. It’s Francine. She’s had an accident.”            

            “What kind of accident?” Her voice raised two octaves.            

“I’m not sure. I think she fell down the front stairs. I found her on the floor.” “Where are you?” “In the emergency room.”

“I’m on my way.”

The phone went dead. Amy slid her phone into her back pocket and crossed her arms tightly against her chest, staring out the glass window at the flock of turkeys walking across the street, holding up traffic. This day had turned into a complete disaster. The one question, which kept going through her mind was why Sally’s things were on the floor near Francine. She needed to talk to Francine to get answers. “Oh my God. Where’s my daughter-in-law?” Amy heard Angelina’s voice echo down the hallway about a half hour later. Within seconds, Angelina walked into Francine’s room

hugging her. Amy felt Angelina’s hot tears fall against her neck. She held onto Amy tightly, rocking back and forth in Amy’s arms.

            “It’s okay, Angelina. Francine should be returning any minute. The doctor took her upstairs to do a CAT scan.”


            “Because she’s unconscious.”

            “Oh dear God.” Angelina covered her mouth. “What about the baby?”


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