One of the top destinations on my bucket list has always been the Galapagos Islands. Located approximately 1000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, this volcanic archipelago is not the easiest place to reach. Although several of the islands are inhabited by humans, approximately 97% of the territory is a national park, protecting hundreds of unique species of plant and animal life.
My husband and I were fortunate to visit the Galapagos in 2014. We marveled at the iconic blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, marine and land iguanas, giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, and lots of other spectacular wildlife. But I never figured I’d write a novel that is set there. If the story had been planned when we booked our cruise, I would have had a great tax write-off.
About six months after our trip, I was driving home from a conference with a fellow mystery author, and we passed the time cooking up potential plots. I recounted an incident from my Galapagos voyage that might make an intriguing opening scene.
While snorkeling, my husband and I got separated from the group and almost left behind. I can still remember that panicked, isolated feeling of watching the Zodiac boats heading back to the cruise ship without us.
Fortunately, I was able to get a guide’s attention and the boat circled back to pick us up. But what if they really left someone? And what if it wasn’t accidental? Soon after talking through possibilities with my author friend, the first chapter of Secrets of the Galapagos emerged, and then I kept going.
I had such a great time writing this book. Perusing my notes, maps, and photos, I was able to relive our trip several times over. And I had to do quite a bit of research online to fill in the gaps between my memory and imagination. Beta readers have told me I’ve created a great sense of place for the story. Secrets of the Galapagos is now available on the publisher’s (Sunbury Press) website and on Amazon if you’d like to find out for yourself.
About the Author
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press: Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She has also written travel articles, short stories, corporate training manuals, screenplays, book reviews, a nonfiction book (Live Well, Grow Wealth) and a personal finance blog (Countdown to Financial Fitness). She earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is an active member of Sisters in Crime. Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she now lives in Georgia and does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society.
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Secrets of the Galapagos
Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.
At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.
While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.
When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.
Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.
“A compelling mystery filled with intrigue, vivid scenery, and a kaleidoscope of quirky characters, as their cruise ship wends its way through troubled waters. I was on board from the first page to the last. Marchisello is a master storyteller!” — Susan Crawford, Bestselling author of The Pocket Wife and The Other Widow
For other books by Sharon Marchisello visit her Amazon Author Page
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