I just want to take a moment to thank Jaye Frances for coming by to share her book, The Beach, with us. Take it away, Jaye.
Thank you, Sherry, for featuring me today with my sci-fi supernatural tale, The Beach. In the following excerpt, the main character, Alan, is at home in his beachside bungalow, examining an unusual oddity that he found on the shore. Little does he know that he is about to have one of those fateful encounters in the form of a stranger who offers to turn Alan’s deepest desire into reality.
Alan picked it up carefully and brought it close to one eye, peering into the elaborate maze of cavities and compartments.
“There is nothing inside.” The voice was deep and sure and it came from behind.
Surprised, Alan twisted around on one foot, dropping the honeycombed remains of his juju bottle. It bounced off the floor and flipped up on one end, apparently able to right itself under its own power.
“There was, though not any longer,” the intruder added. “What was once there is now here, standing before you.”
Alan’s first thought was that he’d caught one of the kids from the beach slipping into the house, probably trying to steal something. But this was no kid. And while he knew most of the local panhandlers, this guy didn’t resemble any of them.
“What are you doing in my house?” Alan barked. “You can’t just come in here and sneak up on me like that.”
The stranger’s mouth broadened into a wide smile. “Oh, I beg to differ. I can do exactly that. Actually, there is very little I cannot do.”
His accent was dripping with a British lilt. Maybe Australian. His clothes—neatly-pressed khakis, a pale blue button-down shirt, and brown calfskin loafers—were yuppie-casual yet tailored to precisely fit his six-foot frame. His grooming was impeccable, with neatly trimmed sandy-blonde hair, a clean shave, and movie star teeth. Alan estimated the man to be about thirty-five.
“You need to get out of here before I call the cops. You hear me?”
“Why certainly I hear you. Although it’s a wonder I can still hear anything with all that racket going on. I assumed I was being summoned to a situation of utmost urgency, so I came as quickly as the ether would allow.”
Alan shrugged his shoulders, his rising irritation pushing him closer to picking up the phone and calling the sheriff.
“The ether seals,” the intruder said. “The inscribed stonework that allows my coming and going. The helix is always in motion, sometimes offering the risk and reward of opportunity, other times simply foretelling an unchangeable future.”
Alan knew that some of the “artistic” types occasionally wandered up from as far south as Key West, and a few of them could be eccentric as hell. He decided his best approach was to stay calm and try to get this guy out of his house before he could do any real damage.
“You’re not from around here, are you?”
“Oh, contraire,” the stranger answered. “I am from here . . . and there. In fact, I cannot think of a single place I haven’t been. Places on and off this little sphere on which you live.” He paused, his expression frozen in a flash of blank absence, as if in that fleeting instant he was somewhere else, distracted by another conversation. Then in a moment too short to measure, his attention returned, his features fully animated. “And I suppose you still call this part of your planet, oh, let me see, what was that word?” He pronounced it phonetically, in broken syllables. “Ah . . . mare . . . eee . . . ka.”
“America,” Alan repeated. “We say, America.”
“Yes, yes, that’s it!”
Alan nodded slightly in placation. “So what do you want?” It sounded demanding, and Alan immediately changed his tone, concerned the strange man might be harboring violent tendencies. “I mean, how can I help you?”
“I don’t think you can. That is, I’ve never received help from anyone before. Never needed it. I appreciate the offer. Certainly do. I’m going to take note of it. Make sure you get full credit during the . . . negotiations.”
Here’s a brief synopsis:
Alan loves the beach. More than a weekend respite, it is his home, his refuge, his sanctuary. And for most of the year, he strolls the sand in blissful solitude, letting nature—and no one else—touch him. But spring has given way to summer, and soon, the annual invasion of vacationers and tourists will subdivide the beach with blankets, umbrellas, and chairs, depriving Alan of his privacy and seclusion—the fundamental touchstones of his life.
Resigned to endure another seasonal onslaught of beach-goers, Alan believes there is nothing he can do but prepare for the worst.
But fate has other plans.
Delivered to him on the crest of a rogue wave, the strange object appears to have no purpose, no practical use—until Alan accidentally discovers what waits inside. Now he must attempt to unravel an ageless mystery, unaware that the final outcome will change his life, and the beach, forever.
In the companion novella Short Time, you’ll meet a respectable but bored middle-class executive, who exchanges his future for six months of excess and extravagance, only to find out the price he must pay for his hedonistic indulgence is beyond anything he could have imagined.
Alan loved the beach (his beach), but when summer came, the tourists came with it. He thought the beach belonged to him and hated having to share it.
As he walked, he turned to look back at his bungalow. He had worked hard to be able to buy this slice of Heaven. He preferred his own company and talked to the ocean as if it was a trusted friend.
He had reached the granite rock outcrop, which continually amazed him. He would walk the beach until he reached the rock, then look over his domain. A storm was approaching and he didn’t have time to make it back to the bungalow, so he hid behind his the rock, seeking protection from the wind.
When the water swirled around his feet, something bumped his leg. He held the object and asked the air around him, “How much longer is this going to last?”, and the storm abated. He thought nothing of it.
As he examined the object, he thought it was a prism, because of the beautiful lights reflecting from it. He couldn’t see how to open it, so he grabbed a hammer and nail and struck it. He was stunned with the result.
A man spoke from behind him. He dropped the “bottle” and turned.
Alan’s adventure began.
4 STARS – Would Highly Recommend To Others
The moral of the story, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
I was first drawn to the book because of the gorgeous cover. I love the beach, sand and water, so I will stop and browse whenever I see a cover with them on it.
The writing makes this an easy read, with the story flowing smoothly as the plot unravels.
I felt for the guy, because I love the beach and hate sharing it too. But, who died and made him God?
The ending was so creepy, it sent chills running up and down my spine and the hairs on the back of my neck tingling, but I smiled too. lol When you read it, you will know, that in itself could be considered creepy.
Could you imagine wading on the oceans edge and looking down, only to see……………
There is a bonus novella at the end of the book. What price are you willing to pay, in exchange for having all your heart desires right now?
I received this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jaye Frances is the author of The Kure, a paranormal-occult romance novel, The Possibilities of Amy, a coming-of-age romance, The Cruise-All That Glitters, a humorous adult satire on romance about a bachelor taking his first cruise vacation, The Beach, a sci-fi fantasy about a man who is given the opportunity to receive his ultimate wish and lives to regret it, and Love Travels Forever, a collection of poignant short stories and essays. She is also a featured columnist for the NUSA SUN magazine. Born in the Midwest, Jaye readily admits that her life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent. When she’s not consumed by her writing, Jaye enjoys cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which find their way to her website. Jaye lives on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing her home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes. For more information, visit her website at http://www.jayefrances.com, Jaye’s Blog at http://blog.jayefrances.com and her fan page at http://www.facebook.com/jayefrancesau…
Jaye is offering 1 (one) ebook for the Giveaway. International. Easy entry as always. Just leave your email address and answer the question:
I love covers. Sometimes I’ll pick up the book just because of the cover. What do you think of the cover of The Beach?
Closed. Winner is Holly Letson. Congratulations Holly.
Giveaway will run from 1/10 – 1/24/2013.
To grab a copy of The Beach or any of Jaye Frances’ books, simply click on the cover
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