Sneak Peek: “The Shoreline”

My newest novel, “The Shoreline”, has taken to eBook websites and will soon be sold in paperback by a large number of online distributors. I am so excited for my readers and new readers to be introduced to my newest characters, Alexis and Jason. I am so proud of this new release that after the jump you will find a sneak peek into “The Shoreline”. I hope you enjoy!

Prologue

 Sea breeze on her face, sun caressing her skin, Alexis couldn’t help but feel at peace. The beach was her sanctuary. She dug her feet into the warm white sand and leaned back a little further into her cloth lounge chair, hoping to absorb some warm rays.

The hot sun shimmered off the bright blue ocean surface sending a flash of light across her closed eyelids. She opened her eyes to see the next wave crash down onto the beach, sea foam licked at the shore, but she realized that wasn’t what had caught her attention.

Standing ten yards in front of her was a guy made of all muscle. His back to her, she could make out broad shoulders and toned arms and legs. The guy had to be over six feet tall. His shaggy blond hair glinted in the bright light, being blown by the wind like dune grass. Alexis watched as he picked up a long surf board, looked out at the ocean in front of him and sprinted forward.

She could not take her eyes off of him
as he ran through the shallow waves crashing on shore. He slid onto the board,
belly first, and started to paddle easily over the smaller waves, further into
the surf.

A bigger wave began to break in front of him, and he dived under the swell with the board still beneath him. Alexis couldn’t help but hold her breath, too, until she saw him again on the surface.

She continued to watch the tall, lean guy wade in the water, waiting for the perfect wave. He scrutinized every oncoming swell, carefully deciding which to claim.

Alexis felt her pulse quicken as an oncoming wave built momentum towards the guy.

A spark of excitement crossed his face as he saw the surging wall of water, and he began to paddle hard, almost beating the water, towards shore.

Alexis’ heart was beating through her rib cage as the guy’s board lifted off the smooth ocean onto a mountain of water, cascading towards the sky. He popped to his feet, positioning himself on the middle of the board and glided effortlessly on the ocean mountain.

She caught a glimpse of confidence and exhilaration as he masterfully rode the wave then disappeared into the barrel. She waited for him to reappear through the mountain or on the backside of it, her breath coming in uneven takes. She sat up straighter in her chair, gripping chunks of sand in her toes, counting the seconds that he was within the wave.

After what seemed like the longest minute in her life, he reappeared on the front side of the wave, still gliding on the barrel. He did a hop over the lesser part of the swell and flew off his board, going a completely different direction than the board had.

Alexis strained her neck to see if he had surfaced on the other side, just to see if he was OK, she told herself.

After several more painful minutes, a silhouette jogged up the beach a few yards away and dropped a board, which was broken in half, onto the sand. He stood over it with his hands on his hips, clearly upset.

Alexis felt the urge to go over and ask if he was OK, but thought better of it.

She stood from her chair and began collecting her belongings. She stuffed her towel into her bag and threw it over her shoulder, folded up the chair and nestled it under her arm. With her things together, she started to walk to the beach access ramp that would lead her to her summer home.

She tried to stop herself from looking back at the surfer, but had to take one more look.

She glanced over her shoulder at him, still standing over the broken board.

Her gaze started at the broken board, then his feet that were covered in the white sand, to his lean and muscled legs, his ripped torso, and finally to his face.

He stared back at her, scrutinizing her just as he had the waves.

Normally, Alexis would have been put off by such a blatant gesture, but his eyes, his bright, soft blue eyes, had her melting. It was any wonder how a wave could withstand such a look from eyes like that and continue to build towards him.

His eyes were her ocean in those brief seconds. She felt herself swimming within them, trying to answer the questions they held while finding answers to her own.

She found herself again, out of his ocean eyes, when a ghost crab ran across her foot.

She squealed and dropped her chair from under her arm as the crab ran towards the dunes.

Alexis gathered her composure enough to pick up her chair, tuck it back under her arm and force herself to walk forward without looking back again.

On her walk back to the beach house, she could not get the surfers eyes out of her head. She could not stop her pulse from quickening when she ran the whole wave riding session over and over through her mind. The way the surfer watched each incoming wave. The way he waited for the perfect moment to start paddling and to jump to his feet. The way his body moved with the wave, muscles flexing and then relaxing. And the expression on his face, the pure happiness that she saw as he and his board became one with the ocean mountain, made her envious, wondering if she would ever be able to feel that way about one thing.

As Alexis walked up the long driveway to the beach house, she replayed the scene one more time and tried to push it out of her head.

“Enough excitement for one day, Alexis,” she told herself with a huff as she pushed the old wooden door open to the beach house.

Chapter 1

A few days later..

Alexis laid across her bed, deeply into her latest novel.

It only took Alexis a day to read a five-hundred page book. Fiction stories took her to another world where she could lose herself for a while in someone else’s life.

Its funny how things like loans to pay back, a broken home and family, and a future to worry about meant nothing to characters who only had to worry about things like boys, beaches and fun.

Alexis sometimes wished life could be like that. Who was she kidding, she always wished that.

Her life was far from perfect, but she never showed it to anyone. Why worry other people with her own drama?

Bills piled high over Alexis’ head, all bills pertaining to her student loans. She had no idea how she was going to pay them back by only holding one part time job at a used book store owned by her friend’s parents. She had never been a silver spoon baby, but she thought at least she would have had some parental support to help her get above the high tide of monthly payments since she was their only child, for crying out loud.

A whole other issue in itself. Her parents had been together for twenty eight years, and one day, while at college her sophomore year, she received an email from her mother saying that she could no longer be with her father.

After a week of Alexis arguing with her mother to see reason, the woman up and left her father. Her father was now a broken hearted, middle age, mid life crisis man. All he did now was work, seven days a week. All her mother did now was take vacations with her wealthy, older than dirt boyfriend that she found shortly after leaving her father. She was lucky to talk to either of her parents once a month.

And here is the real kicker. Alexis went to school to be an English teacher, to teach high school kids how to appreciate and even love books. She thought that if literature could be her escape from the world then certainly a young adult could appreciate them also with some guidance to the right books.

Now that her four year degree had been earned, she had no idea where to even start looking for a career. She knew how to apply for jobs, but where and how do you really find a teaching job that paid well enough to keep her out of the poor house?

It was all so confusing and frustrating. She didn’t feel ready for whatever lied ahead waiting for her.

“Alexis!”

She was thrown back into reality from her novel by her best friend Lori screaming her name from the bottom of the stairs, and Jordan making the “shh” sound from somewhere deeper in the house.

Alexis debated on ignoring Lori, but knew the screaming would only get louder until she had Lori in her ear yelling her name, waiting for her to answer.

“So much for a peaceful vacation,” Alexis said to herself as she walked down the hall, passing the other two girls bedrooms, to the stairs that lead to the kitchen and family room on the first floor.

The two story beach house which was nestled in the Outer Banks of North Carolina was owned by Jordan’s parents. The green siding surrounded by the white balcony and widows peak on the roof looked so beautiful sitting on the block facing the ocean. The house was big enough for a family of six which left a lot of room for just three young women.

Jordan’s parents also owned the used bookstore Alexis worked at part time back home. The pay was nothing to brag about, but it had kept her a float so far. What really drew her to the job was the opportunity to work with nothing but books. Surrounding herself in books was her second sanctuary, first belonging to the beach. She couldn’t have been more thankful to Jordan or her parents for the job she had or the vacation she was on.

Jordan’s parents had been great to let the three girls use the beach house for their last summer vacation. If it had been Lori’s way, they would have gone to Florida, but there would have been no way for Alexis to afford the trip. Jordan was the one to throw out the idea of going to her parent’s beach house, all expenses paid except for gas and entertainment. It was hard for even Lori to say no to that.

Lori had always been the loud and outspoken one. She could always get what she wanted. The little five foot nothing girl looked small and innocent with big green eyes and long blonde hair, but if you were in her way, watch out!

As Alexis strolled into the kitchen, Lori was rummaging through all the drawers looking for something furiously. Jordan sat on the kitchen counter, watching Lori rummage around.

Before Alexis said anything to catch Lori’s attention, she pointed to Lori’s back and silently asked Jordan with a quirk of an eyebrow if she should interrupt Lori’s raid.

Jordan was the sensible one, quiet and collected. The dark hair, pixie cut girl was the planner and organizer of their little group, but she still knew how to have a good time. Alexis could always count on Jordan for anything. Jordan was going to be the most successful out of the three, Alexis knew, because she could plan anything right down to the minute and cent.

The three girls had been friends throughout college, graduated together, rented an apartment together, and wanted to spend their last summer together before having to start their careers.

Or lack thereof, Alexis thought.

Jordan shrugged, hugging her knees to her tiny body, and turned back to frown at the frantic quest Lori had set for herself.

Alexis was about to ask Lori if she could help her find something when Lori turned in the direction of Alexis’ room, with her eyes closed, and screamed, “Alexis!”

When Lori opened her eyes, Alexis was standing not but three feet away from her, her ears now ringing.

“Oh, sorry,” Lori said.

“What in the world do you want?” Alexis said, a little louder than she intended. Church bells were still ringing in her ears.

“Have you seen any brochures in these drawers? I could have sworn I saw a few for local attractions,” Lori said, still searching every nook and cranny of the three bedroom beach house.

“Um, no. The only thing I have seen was a visitor’s guide next to the T.V.,” Alexis said, pointing to the living room.

Lori checked one more drawer and rushed to the living room.

“What’s she up to?” Alexis asked Jordan in a hushed voice.

“Nothing good, knowing her. She’s been ranting and raving for the past thirty minutes about wanting to go out,” Jordan said, rolling her eyes at the end of her statement.

 “Found it,” Lori sang from the living room making her way back to the kitchen.

“What did you want that for?” Jordan asked, eyeing the book in Lori’s hands.

“We have been here since Wednesday and have yet to go out on the scene. We are going out tonight, so I wanted to consult the book of attractions before we wondered around aimlessly,” Lori said, holding the book open and skimming a few pages delicately like it were a sacred book.

“What kind of ‘going out tonight’ are you referring to?” Jordan narrowed her eyes at Lori. Alexis and Jordan both knew what Lori was looking for. Lori’s biggest quest in life was to find Mr. Right Now, not to be confused with Mr. Right.

“I was thinking of hitting the bar scene, just to see what the locals and other tourist are up to. Maybe even find a couple of hot guys,” Lori said, wiggling her eyebrows at the girls.

“Should’ve seen that coming,” Alexis said under her breath to Jordan as she jumped up on the kitchen counter next to her.

“Say what you want, but we are here for only one more week. That’s it. I want to have a good vacation before I have to go back home and start my ‘big girl job’,” Lori said, nose deep into the visitor’s guide, but still making the air quotations around her words.

“Yes, because working as a store manager for Forever 21 is a ‘big girl job’,” Jordan teased, making the same air quotations as Lori.

When the vacation ended, Lori and Jordan would be starting at their “big girl jobs”. Lori would be starting her store manager job, Jordan would be starting a job with an accounting firm, and Alexis would still be at the book store, searching for hers.

Alexis was happy for her friends and that their careers would be underway the minute they were home, but under the happiness for her friends, she also held a touch of envy. She wished she could have had something lined up that would help her pay back those loans, but, for now, it was still a wish.

“Well, excuse me. In five years, I plan to move up within that company and make it a ‘woman’s job’, so bite me,” Lori said, actually biting the air in Jordan’s direction.

“Anyways, does the book say anything?” Alexis asked, thinking it might actually be a good idea to go out and have a good time. Maybe it would take her mind away from the stress of all the things she left back home.

Lori searched through the pages of the guide for another minute, and just when Alexis was going to jump off the counter and head back to her room to finish her novel while the other girls decided what to do, Lori screeched.

“Ah, ha! I knew this place had to have a bar where you could dance. Perfect!” Lori exclaimed.

Alexis’ ears began to ring again. “Can you keep it down a bit? My ears are going to start bleeding if you keep screaming like that.”

“What’s it called, and where is it?” Jordan asked, ready to take notes on a piece of paper from the counter, pen in hand.

“It’s called The Pit, and it is on mile marker nine off the ‘big road’? What the heck does that mean?” Lori said staring at the book like it was in a different language.

“I know where it’s at,” Jordan said, writing it all down on her scrap piece of paper. “What’s today?”

“Saturday, I think,” Alexis answered. The beach had a funny way of making you forget time and date.

“OK, good. They usually have teen nights on Friday, so tonight would be a good night to go.”

Jordan and her parents had been going to the Outer Banks, or OBX, for years, apparently. She was to be their guide this trip.

“So you knew about this place all along, and you weren’t going to say anything?” Lori asked Jordan half exasperated.

“I wasn’t sure what we wanted to do this trip. The Pit is a nice place, good food,” Jordan said.

“You are so obtuse,” Lori said to her, her lower lip pouting.

“What kind of attire are we looking at here?” Alexis asked, ready to get the night started since it was already eight-thirty.

“Casual, it’s known for its surf shop and live music,” Jordan answered, still jotting away at her paper.

“No way are you dressing yourself, Alexis. I don’t care if it is casual, you are not wearing any type of denim or gray colored anything,” Lori lectured, already heading back upstairs.

Forever 21 didn’t know what they were in for, Alexis thought.

Chapter 2

“You don’t think this is a bit much, Lori?” Alexis asked as her friend applied more makeup to her face.

“Not at all. If we want to bring home a few cute guys then we have to look like we are too good for them all. Then they will want us even more,” Lori said, ever the voice of wisdom.

Alexis rolled her mascara and eye shadowed eyes at the girl. What Lori refused to understand was that Alexis was not looking for a guy. She had enough drama in her life to deal with without adding someone new into the mix. Besides, those things never lasted, just look at her parents.

“Trust me, chicky. The boys will be falling at our feet tonight,” Lori exclaimed. Lori definitely lived for finding her next fling.

Alexis dared a peek in the long mirror along the bathroom door. Lori had made her wear a long black dress that was rouched at the top. The dress started out as a tube top then flowed down to her feet, making her look longer than she already was at five foot seven. At her hip, the black dress had a splash of pink and red in the shape of a flower. The dress was pretty, but for a casual outing, it looked a bit much.

Lori had done her wavy auburn hair up in a half twisted bun, letting strands hang here and there. Her slight tan from her days spent on the beach was starting to show, making her green eyes pop against her skin, not to mention the makeup Lori had done.

When Alexis looked at herself, she realized it didn’t look like she had a lot on. Actually, it looked like she hardly had any on, except around her eyes. Whose eyelids were really pink and brown?

“Last touch,” Lori said, and applied nude lip gloss to Alexis’ lips. Lori stepped back and took in her masterpiece. “You are so pretty, Alexis! I would kill for your body and cheek bones!”

“You’re prettier than I am, Lori,” Alexis said, trying to revert the attention from herself. Alexis knew she was not ugly, but compliments made her feel uncomfortable, especially by someone as pretty as Lori.

“Nonsense, I surround myself with beautiful, intelligent people that match my own attributes. Consider you lucky,” Lori teased, poking Alexis in the rib. “Alright, Jordan. You ready to see the Mona Lisa of transformations?”

“Bow, chica, wow wow,” Jordan sang from the bedroom that attached to the bathroom they were using.

Lori opened the door so Jordan could see into the bathroom. Alexis stepped out, and Jordan started making cat calls.

“Looking good, lady,” Jordan said after a minute or so.

“Thanks. How come you two aren’t all dolled up?” Alexis asked, looking from Lori, who was wearing a frilly blue tank top and a tight black skirt, to Jordan, who was wearing a V-neck brown t-shirt and cut off shorts.

“I do believe I am, thank you very much, but you know there was no way Jordan would let me get my hands on her,” Lori answered, eyeing Jordan’s choice in clothing.

“It’s a surf shop, casual. Besides, I am on vacation. I’ll have to dress up enough when I get home and go to work,” Jordan explained.

“Well, let’s get out of here,” Lori said, rolling her eyes and turning for the door.

After a few minutes of arguing about what shoes Lori wanted Alexis to wear, Alexis finally convinced her friend that she was already in a dress, so she wanted to at least wear her flip flops. Lori gave in, and they drove towards Kill Devil Hills from their house in Nags Head.

“Wow, it’s been a while since I have been here. It’s gotten bigger,” Jordan said, hopping out of the car and leading the way in the direction of the music playing in the night air.

“Seems like the hot spot, tonight,” Lori said excitedly, following after Jordan.

Alexis had started to follow the girls towards the entrance of the building, but stopped when she looked up to the second story balcony. Standing in one corner was the guy from the beach, the surfer.

He was standing in a group of people, three other guys and two girls. They were all talking and laughing with drinks in their hands. One of the girls reached over to the surfer and hugged him, kissing his neck. The surfer did not even seem to notice. He just put his arm around her shoulders and kept talking to his buddies.

Alexis couldn’t help but stare at the surfer. His eyes from that day still stuck with her, how deep blue they were, how she thought they were her ocean. Staring up at him now was no different, his eyes were beautiful, and he was still gorgeous.

“Alexis, are you coming?” Lori yelled at her from the door, holding it open and waiting.

“Yeah,” Alexis said, pulling herself out of the trance and walking into the bar.


If you have enjoyed this preview, please visit my Written Works page on this blog for a direct link to whichever distributor you prefer to use for your reading pleasure. Part two in this series is in the works, so be sure to visit for updates!

Thank you for your continued support!

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