Saturday, March 26, 2016

"What the Sea Wants" by Karin Cox

Karin Cox - What the Sea Wants - Virtual Book Tour

New Adult Contemporary Romance (with paranormal elements)
Date Published: January 29, 2016

Juliette Brewer can’t face the truth.
Ash Gordon can’t bear another lie.
A passion for surfing brings them together,
but will the sea, with all its sorrows, tear them apart?

“There’s something about me you need to know—something I’m not sure I can tell you.”

Juliette Brewer has always been different. From the age of four, she’s endured frequent premonitions of tragedy, but the one thing she never saw coming was the thing that would send her under. When she catches the ocean-coloured eyes of surf-lifesaving heartthrob Ash Gordon, Juliette’s life changes for the better … until a tragic accident destroys their dreams. Everyone else has given up, moved on, and put Ash's loss behind them, but Juliette can’t—and perhaps she shouldn’t. Not all who are missing are lost, but if she refuses to accept reality, will the sea claim her sanity as well as her lover’s life?

First chapter of What the Sea Wants 

“There’s something about me you need to know, something I’m not sure I can tell you.” I let a handful of sand trickle between my fingers and closed my eyes, doing my best to stop the flickering show reel in my head, each image a vivid reminder I shouldn’t even be having this conversation. Was I really going to share this with him? And if I did, how could I be sure that if something happened between us, something to end this wonderful dream, Ash Gordon wouldn’t turn around and spill? If he did—maybe even when he did—I knew what it would mean. 

I’d seen the looks on people’s faces before. The crinkling, narrowed eyes, the quirked eyebrows, the faux smiles. Long ago, back before I closed up shop and stopped letting people know I was different, back when I still made an effort to make friends and explain, I’d seen those expressions. But this was now, and even now I knew what most people would think. The same thing sceptics always thought about people like me: another one for the funny farm. 

Ash reached across and took my hand, pressing my sandy palm to his lips. “Babe, nothing you say can change how I feel about you.” 

“Nothing?” Doubt made my voice quaver, or was it the intensity of his eyes—multi-faceted, brilliant, gleaming with the inner depth that was the wellspring his songs burst forth from.
I turned away, focussing on the horizon, on the sun drowning in the sea. 

“Nothing!” he promised, tousled blond-brown hair bouncing around his face as he shook his head. “I’d love you even if you were born a dude.” 

I laughed, but I couldn’t stop myself readjusting my bikini top, momentarily self-conscious of my lack of curves. He’d been joking, of course, but I still worried. Worrying was my thing, after all. “Really?”
He shrugged and winked. “Hey, a cute arse is a cute arse, I always say.”
I wrinkled my nose at him, and he revealed that perfect, crookedly confident smile that had me hooked from the get-go. 

“Next on the list.” He checked off another finger. “I’ll love you even if you’re a reptilian alien masquerading as a human.”
“Like Trump?” I joked.
“Nah, like Bieber.” 

“Ha. Nice! But I’m not an alien.” At least I didn’t think so. Sometimes I did feel like I came from another planet, though. Planet Fucked Up. My secret, the secret I was struggling to tell Ash, made me wary. It kept me silent. It made me wonder what was real and what wasn’t. But most of all, it made me anxious. It kept me up at night. I chewed my fingernails, scrolled news websites for hours, or withdrew from the world for days. It made me afraid to dream. And right now, it made me wonder how to tell Ash. 

“Right. Next guess.” He folded down another finger. “I’ve long suspected you’re actually an angel.”
I rolled my eyes. “Nice line, Romeo. I’m no angel.”
Ash gave a disbelieving pffft. “That’s bad news. Means you’re a demon.” He reached over and gave my bikini strap a tweak. “An angel in the streets and a
demon in the sheets…?” He waggled his dark eyebrows hopefully. “I gotta say I’m kinda wishin’ for that.” 

“Perv.” I slapped his hand away. “I’m not a demon.”
But maybe it was a kind of possession. I’d often wondered where it came from, from what dark place. Wherever it was, I’d spent most of my life wishing it would go back there. For sixteen years, Yiayia had made the sign of the cross every time I stepped over the threshold of my grandparents’ house in Melbourne, but her efforts had done nothing to ward off whatever darkness had latched onto me.
Ash caught my arm and pulled me down on top of him, kissing the tip of my nose. “I’m just messin’ with you. Spill it, babe. No more secrets.” His eyes darkened and his tone, while not dismissive, was guarded, despite his reassurances. “I’m sure I’ve heard worse. How bad can it be?”
The last time he’d said that, I remembered, it had been bad. 

Droplets of water from my surf-wet hair trickled onto his shoulders as I wriggled off him and sat up, resuming my slow funnelling of sand. I was afraid to look at him, anticipating his disbelief.
“No secrets,” I repeated softly. Then I did it. Said it. “Ash, I … I see things sometimes—terrible things.” 

His brow furrowed. “That’s it?” He sounded half-disappointed. “Like what? Hallucinations? Is it some kind of ... condition or something? ”
I shook my head. “No. More kind of ... Sixth Sense.”
“You see dead people?” He jolted upright.
“No.” I swivelled the beaded bracelet on my wrist, the one Yiayia had given me believing it be some kind of lucky charm. “I see people die.”

Karin Cox is the author of an Amazon #1 bestselling paranormal romance and dark fantasy series (DARK GUARDIANS), among other titles, and officially has too many words in her brain, usually all swimming around in wine. Often they come out in dribs and drabs, sometimes in poetic explosions, but mostly she has to coax them out one at a time and manually wrangle them into line.
She lives in sunny Queensland, Australia, where she occasionally hits the beach in an effort to avoid a vitamin D deficiency from shutting herself in a dark room to converse with fictional people. She comes with all the usual accessories: cat, dog, kid, full-grown man-child, several outfit changes, and shoes she can't seem to walk in (so swaps for thongs/flip-flops). She would also like a "dream house," a hot pink camper with a waterslide, and an unrealistically proportioned waist, but Barbie beat her to it.
She enjoys camping, bellydancing, folk music, poetry, writing, wine and Facebook. 

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