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July 1, 2019

Hey there,

There’s a bit of mayhem afoot in my neck of the woods, and I’m so busy trying to fix the issues I haven’t had much time to devote to all of you. However, I did want to get out a quick letter to let you all know about the great ebook giveaway I’ve got Piece on Earth in. You can find it in the freebie area down below.

It looks like I’ll be looking for a new place to live, but hopefully it won’t slow down my writing of Beach, since I really, really want to launch it near my birthday (July 29th) if not sooner. Some of you guys got the first couple chapters from me, and just below I’m about to include the third chapter for you. If you don’t have the first two of them, just let me know you need them since, as before, I’ve had no time to create a website post…hopefully that is understandable??? Thanks

Beach, Chapter Three


Since I could pretty much do whatever I wanted to, and had no particular timeline to follow, I decided to stop off for some dinner before I headed to the bar. As a result, I didn’t get to Smitty’s until practically eight.

The usual crowd of rowdy Navy guys were seated in one corner of the bar, and I was surprised to find Jasper seated among them since he rarely showed up until nine or ten. Sitting next to him was a very muscular, extremely handsome man I had never seen before.

“Hey, Jasper, who’s your friend?” I asked him as I came over to give him a hug. “And speaking of friends, what ever happened to that commander of yours? I was pretty sure the guy would have given me a call by now.”

“Oh, sorry, I did let him know, but Beach has always got such a busy schedule,” Jasper apologized. “Anyway, this guy’s my cousin Joe.”

“You Navy too, Joe?” I asked the tall, buff blond with a little smirk. “You’re definitely sporting the hairdo.”

Joe shrugged. “Old habits die hard, I guess. Both my parents served, and I also did a stint or two. Now, though? I’m just followin’ the surf. Malibu was gettin’ lame, so I’m visitin’ my cousin for a few days.”

“Jasper, you never told me you had a cousin,” I said, smiling. “And you sure never said anything about having relatives who would look pretty hot in a wetsuit.”

He laughed. “Are you kidding me? I’ve been trying to get you to notice my wetsuit for months. Why would I want to distract you by telling you about somebody else?”

Joe chuckled. “What can I say? Blonds have more fun. So, this is the hot babe you keep talkin’ about? Well, I can definitely see the appeal. But what kind of a name is Aph, though?”

Laughing, I explained myself. “Most people don’t call me by my full given name. And I can’t blame them, either, since it’s such a mouthful.”

“What is it?”

“Aphrodite Graeme. Which is really kind of cool, considering my profession has to do with the ocean, and that goddess does too.”

“Yeah, that is—unusual,” Joe agreed. “Makes me wonder if you picked the profession because of your name, or if both the name and the profession somehow picked you.”

I snorted derisively. “Oh, what, now you’re going to wax metaphysical? What are you, a big kahuna?”

“I was actually born and raised in Hawaii,” he admitted as he cast me a big grin. “Learned to surf from a native who really believed in all that spiritual stuff, and he taught a lot of it to me, so yeah, I do actually consider myself a bit of a kahuna.”

I laughed, but the truth was I found the man fascinating as well as hotter than sin, and I marveled at the novelty of it. Normally, I might find a guy hot but lacking in substance, or I might find him average looking, but fun to talk to. Joe, on the other hand, I found exciting on so many levels I couldn’t begin to count them all.

If I’d stopped long enough to take a breath, I might remind myself that every guy has a flaw. But for once, I wasn’t willing to go there. If he had a flaw, I’d find out about it sooner or later, but right then I simply didn’t want to know.

Instead, I wanted to know a whole lot more. I knew, at some level, that wanting this guy was a bad idea. He was only there for a few days to visit, and he was some kind of a spiritual surfer dude just following the tides, but there was something about him, way down deep, that I couldn’t seem to resist.

I was intrigued, and that feeling was something I rarely felt. That, alone, was a good enough reason in my book to start flirting a little. I asked him, “So, do you play pool?”

Joe shrugged. “Sometimes, but it gets boring after a while when you win all the time. I would love it if somebody would offer me some worthy competition. Jasper did say you were good, but I don’t know. I mean, you are just a girl.”

I laughed at the sparkle in his sea-blue eyes, in sharp contrast to the stoic expression he was going for. Tugging him to his feet, I led him over to one of the tables. “Rack ‘em up; let’s see what you got. Maybe you could use some of that kahuna magic of yours to sink a ball or two before I show you just what a girl can do.”

“Ladies first,” he replied.

Joe’s laugh when I’d said that skittered its way down my spine. The sound was electric, and it settled somewhere between my thighs. If I had been doubting it in any way by then, that reaction would have surely clarified exactly what was going on. And I sure as hell hoped the attraction wasn’t just one way this time. I’d been burned by my libido before, and it was hell trying to get over it, that was for sure!

I racked the balls up and stepped aside, allowing Joe to break. The balls thundered, and about five of them sunk down into holes before we ever started. He picked stripes, and easily pocketed two more before a near miss made it my turn.

With a sly smirk, I downed every last solid until I had only to sink the eight ball. With each success, Joe’s slight smile became more and more impressed, but now he frowned.

“Aren’t you gonna give me another turn, sweetheart?”

I snorted. “Do I look like some kind of a push-over?”

He chuckled. “No way. You are one impressive young woman. Go ahead, put it down. Game over.”

I did so. Jasper came over and said, “That was cruel, Aph. Why don’t you do two out of three to soften the blow?”

I grinned. “Do you want another go, Joe? Maybe you just needed to warm up a bit first. I’ll bet if I break, I might leave a few more balls to start.”

“You’re a competitive little thing,” Joe commented dryly. “Sure, I’m game. Let’s do it. You may be good for a start, but let’s see if you’ve got enough stamina to hold out for more.”

“I could go all night, Joe,” I told him. I was shocked at myself, both for the implication that had nothing to do with the current game, and the fact that I’d had the kahunas to say anything like that at all. Normally I was such a good girl; my outrageous behavior around this guy was unbelievable.

The sly smirk Joe wore afterwards easily told me he’d read me loud and clear. And that was either very good, or very bad, because I hadn’t made up my mind about seducing him, and I’d just issued what he must think was an open invitation. If he tried anything with me after that, and I said no—well, talk about mixed signals.

So maybe I shouldn’t say no? I mean, it wasn’t like I was a total virgin or anything. I’d had a few interesting events here and there, and knew my way around a bedroom. At least, I knew the lay of the land well enough not to embarrass myself. Even though I’d never bothered with a long-term relationship. I just hadn’t found anything better than Mr. Possible.

We played three more games, but now, since we’d each won two of them, we needed to play one more. I was stoked, ready to show Kahuna Joe here who was the boss.

“One more?” I asked him, already rubbing the blue chalk onto the tip of my stick, and I have to admit the action seemed somewhat suggestive even to me, because of the way I was gripping it.

“No, I don’t think so,” Joe said with a slight smile. “What about if we get out of here, and go for a moonlit stroll?”

“You’d seriously abandon this competition when we’re still on equal footing?” I scoffed.

“I’d seriously rather not take you down, and I don’t want to let you win either,” he admitted. “I think we’d better call it good. Otherwise, we may not want anything to do with each other afterwards.”

I chuckled. “Joe, I totally doubt that, you know? I’m enjoying your company too much for that to be possible.”

“That’s good to know,” he said, smiling as he held out a hand. “So let’s go.”

I rolled my eyes, but I still dropped the stick on the table and took his hand, allowing him to lead me out the door. Jasper and the four other men at his table all made catcalls and hooted as they watched us depart.

Smitty’s was adjacent to the beach, and very close to my home, so it was a small matter of about twenty steps across the asphalt before we were on the sand. Another twenty steps brought us out along the shoreline.

The moon was full and cast a blueish glow on the two of us as we began to stroll, side by side, but not touching now. I missed the warmth of Joe’s hand, but I wasn’t about to reach for it on my own.

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worldbuilding workbook

Use this low-content book to create characters, settings, internal or external factors that might affect the outcome of your fiction.
Fill the 200 8.5x11in pages with details, or even just doodle in there if you want...
This is your creativity catch-all. Gather up all your story ideas and put them in here. $6.95 plus shipping in the US amazon store.

worldbuilding workbook companion

Written as a companion guide for the Worldbuilding Workbook, you can grab this as an ebook, or better yet purchase the paperbacks together for a more hands-on experience. This companion book is meant to be a sort of instruction manual on how you use your workbook, but also contains suggestions on how to use a three ring binder and create a workbook of your own instead.