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Monday, April 13, 2020

Sea Child

At Last!
Sea Child Releases 4/23/2020

and now available for Pre-Order

Sea Child is the 4th and final book in the Children of the Waves Series. It took a bit but I hope it was worth the wait. Here's an excerpt for your reading pleasure.

“Help! Help!”
Cyrus heard the frantic cries while he was out on his boat. The call came from the direction of the shore, but he figured the person in need of help had to be in the water. He shaded his eyes from the sun’s midday glare and scanned the area between his boat and the water’s edge. He glimpsed a woman frantically pacing and pointing toward an area to the port side of where he was anchored. He couldn’t see anyone in obvious distress, but they could have gone under.
Not waiting a moment longer, he dove in anyway. He had much better than average vision underwater. In fact, he was half of the sea, he could survive in the ocean. His father was a freaking god no less. The head sea god himself, Poseidon, and his half brother Xavior, was now king of all the waters of the planet. Not much in the water could harm Cyrus, being the youngest of Poseidon’s offspring—that they knew of. But Poseidon was no longer around to ask, he’d vanished from the depths ages ago. It had been thought he’d gone to the nether depths to die but now, they knew at least a hundred years ago, he’d walked the land.
Cyrus noticed a few dolphins swimming in the area, while he couldn’t communicate with dolphins the way Xavior could he knew they were intelligent. More importantly, they knew what he was and by the way they chirped in his mind and swam around, they were trying to get his attention, and he’d damn well pay attention. Cyrus headed in the direction they seemed to want him to go. It would be no surprise that they knew exactly where the person had gone under.
He dove well over a hundred feet or so and finally spotted movement of a human. The long hair and slender body told him it was probably a young girl, and she appeared to be swimming in circles. Definitely, not the actions of a drowning victim in distress.  How the hell she managed to get this deep without equipment and function he didn’t know, but she was obviously buzzed, experiencing nitrogen narcosis. She probably didn’t even know which way was up. He came up behind her and she spun around, her eyes seemed to dance in amusement upon spying him and she smiled. Not at all the reactions of someone panicked or afraid as he’d expected.
Smiling back at her, he gestured up with his thumb. She shook her head, but he took her hand, swimming upward pulling her along. Thankfully, she didn’t struggle. As soon as they broke water, a lifeguard was there with a board to help him with her. They got her on the beach and she fell onto the sand. The woman who’d been crying for help raced toward them, as well as a few other people surrounded them.
Knowing she’d be all right, Cyrus thought it best to disappear. He tried not to bring too much attention to himself on land, not much in the sea either. He moved away from the crowd and the ambulance making its way toward the people on the beach. When he was far enough, he walked into the ocean and swam back to his boat.

Chapter 1

Shawnah hung up the phone. Another dead end.
As an adopted child, she’d always wanted to know who her birth parents were. Her adopted parents knew very little but helped as much as they could. When she’d been no more than a few hours old, she’d been left in the care of a priest at a church on Pine Island Florida. The priest who’d found her couldn’t tell her much when she finally found him, other than she’d been given to him by a young girl he’d never seen before or since. He told her he suspected she wasn’t from around there. Since the parish was so small, it made sense. The young teen only told him the baby’s name and asked him to find a good family to raise her. She placed the baby in his arms and ran off in the direction of the beach.
After that one lead, the rest of Shawna’s own investigations had always come up empty. No teenager had been away from any of the schools on the island for an unexplained amount of time or had appeared pregnant during the nine month period from when she’d been abandoned. It was as if the sea had birthed her or had taken the secret of her birth into its deep embrace. Perhaps that’s why she’d become a private investigator much to the chagrin of her adoptive family. They wanted her to go into the medical field or something safer. Her mom was a physical therapist and her father was an optometrist. Shawnah specialized in finding lost people, she had a knack for it. For some reason, this latest failure made her feel even more frustrated.
The other difficult case that had turned out to be almost as mysterious as her own birth and background, was the Oceanus case. She’d been asked to find a missing girl, well young woman now, but had just been told by her client to cease her efforts. And she’d been so close. It had become pretty clear that the person she was looking for had gone into one of the witness protection programs, along with her family some ten years ago. Even if she didn’t ultimately find her, at least she could close one case. Sorta.
Until she found herself being hunted by obvious mobsters, she wasn’t as surprised as she should have been. It had to have something to do with the Oceanus case. As her thoughts returned to her, she remembered running from some men who’d broken into her office, only to be caught outside and shoved into a car. She opened her eyes and grabbed her left arm, it hurt. Yes, she’d been forced into the back seat of a car, then they stuck a needle in her arm. Drugged. She didn’t think she was in a car any more, whatever she lay on was too soft, a bed, yes and whatever she was on swayed a bit.
They’d taken her computer, she remembered that much. Thank God, she used an encryption for all her files. No way would who ever took her be able to learn anything from her computer or written notes. Even those were in a code she’d created. The bed swayed a bit more, getting her attention. A boat—she was on a boat. She could smell the sea and the continuous soft sway of the bed told her she was no longer on land. She smiled. Those fools had taken her to her element, a place where she excelled. All she had to do was get into the water. But something had woken her up. A faint cry in the distance, she was sure she’d be able to hear it better if she were out side. The noise was just a tad out of her reach to be able to identify what it was a cry of or from, but it was there.
Sitting up, she glanced around the room or cabin, it had a small window, and she could see blue sky, so it was day. When she’d run out of her office it had been late at night. At least they didn’t tie her up but they probably assumed she had nowhere to go. Little did they know, if she made it over the side, she could stay underwater for a very long time and at depths without equipment. She’d discovered that the first time she’d gone in the ocean around 5 years of age. She dove right into the water but had never been taught how to swim, it had come naturally to her. And she’d been fascinated with the world down there. Scared the crap out of her adoptive parents the first time she’d stayed down for ten minutes. Since then she’d been careful not to do that in front of others, well most times.
She hadn’t understood it herself and in some ways, it had scared her to know there was something very different about her. Something she hid from everyone. Shawnah had never tested how long she could stay underwater without gear but she had become a certified diver. The water was just like being on land to her and at times, the world under the sea felt more like home then on land.
Shawnah glanced around for her purse, she didn’t even bother to look for her gun. As a private investigator, she had a license to carry one. She knew they’d taken that but could see nothing belonging to her in the room. Standing up, she moved over to one of the two portholes but she’d have to stand on something to be able to look through it. They were both too small anyway for her to try to crawl through and she already knew she was on a boat. Closing her eyes, she tilted her head straining to hear the cry just a tad beyond her hearing again. She still couldn’t quite hear it other than to know it was coming from the water. Something in the water. Opening her eyes, she blinked, maybe she was just hearing things as a result of whatever drug they’d given her, but some sixth sense told her otherwise.
Next, she went to the door and tried to open it but it was locked from the outside. However, she could hear footsteps coming in her direction so she quickly moved back to stand by the porthole. Under no circumstances did she want to face whoever was on the other side while lying on a bed. Definitely, didn’t want to give them an impression of helpless damsel. She might not have her gun and hopefully it wouldn’t be four against one. One or even two she might be able to fight off. Glancing around quickly, she looked for something to use as a weapon but she didn’t find anything that hadn’t been bolted down. She did carry a set of knives in the soles of her wedge shoes. She pulled them off and disengaged the blades, dropping the shoes and hiding the knives behind her back just as the doorknob turned.
“Be right there.”
She heard the deep voice of a man by the door say just before he pushed it open. A tall man, dressed in a short-sleeved shirt and Bermuda shorts with white deck shoes. His tanned skin and bleached hair told her he spent a lot of time on a boat or in the sun. Under different circumstances, she might have considered him attractive but given she’d been drugged and held hostage on this boat, not so much.
He smiled when he noticed her by the window. “Good morning, I see you’re awake.” He had the quintessential Italian accent but a more cultured one. Less mob more Conte. He hadn’t been one of the four men who’d grabbed her.
She got right to the point, “Why have you kidnapped me?”
He shrugged. “Kidnap is such an ugly, misunderstood word. We only want to have a little conversation with you. And then you’ll be free to go.”
Shawnah stared at him while using all of her senses. She had an uncanny ability to read people to tell if they were lying. While he had a handsome visage and a smile on his face his cold brown eyes told her who he really was. She would never leave the boat alive.
“My name is Ennio Costa, you are a guest on my yacht. You’re probably hungry, it’s early but you didn’t have time to eat last night. I’d like you to join my father and me on deck and we can have a bite to eat while we talk.” Movement came from behind him, out in that passageway, so he wasn’t alone.
Taking him out wouldn’t get her far, especially if the other person there had a gun. She needed to bide her time, wait for her moment. All she’d need was one. “I just need to put my shoes on.”
He glanced at her bare feet as she’d hoped he would and she wiggled her toes. While she pressed the buttons on the hilt of her blades that would cause them to retract back into the handle and stuck them in her pockets. She had no choice but to go with him.
Ennio held the door open for her to exit ahead of him.
 A man stood in the hallway.
 “Follow him,” Ennio said.
As soon as she saw him she recognized the scar across his left eye, he was the bastard who’d put the gun to her temple.
The man grinned at her and walked away.
Having no choice she followed. The passageway was wide enough to walk single file but if anyone needed to get by, they could press against the wall and let them pass. There were windows along the outside wall and she could see the sea beyond about three feet off the deck. That told her this was no small boat, but she’d gotten a sense of this already given the size of the cabin she’d woken up in. Growing up near the sea, she’d spent time on many boats and yachts. She could even sail, though it had only been a means to an end. A way to get out into the ocean, far away from prying eyes while she played in the depths.
They passed a few closed doors before they came to a set of stairs. Shawnah followed the other man, a guard she assumed, up the stairs unto the deck. They were headed aft on the yacht. They emerged into bright sunlight, so she blinked and held her hand up to cover her eyes from the harsh glare.
“Mike, give her your shades,” Ennio said.
Without a word or turning around, Mike took off his shades and passed them over his shoulder to her.
 Shawnah took them without complaint. The sun was damn bright and she needed to be able to see if she hoped to escape. “Thanks,” she said wiping them off on her blouse before putting them on.
An older man stood near a table set with plates and glasses.
 Mike took up a position just behind and to the side of him.
She would not be alone with Ennio after all. The only good thing was at least she could see the ocean, even if she couldn’t see any land. She noticed a couple of dolphins off in the distance but she didn’t see a pod. First chance she got, she’d go over the side and head in their direction. She’d run into dolphins whenever she’d been in the ocean. They’d always seemed drawn to her and she to them, like if she just listened hard enough she would be able to understand their chirps and clicking language. She never had, not really. Funny how she could hear their cries louder now on the slight breeze. It had been what had woken her up in the first place. But now, she could swear they were telling her she was in danger. No big surprise there. But they had been talking to her.

If you missed one, you can also pick up the individual books in the series here!

If you are in Kindle Unlimited you can read the box set containing the first 3 books. Or right now until release of Sea Child, the box set is on sale for 99 cents.

Thank you! And please stay healthy and safe during these strange times in our lives!