Each week we travel to different author’s blogs to catch a glimpse into one of their stories. The theme this week is unusual professions. I have lots of teachers, ranchers and other outdoorsy professions in my books, but Joshua is probably the most unusual so far.
from Tidal Wave.
Forces of Nature, Book 1
From her first kiss to her first sight of dolphins dancing on the waves, Alexia Colten has always held a special place in her heart for Jaffrey’s Cove. Now that she’s back to help her grandmother settle into a home, she discovers this place has lost none of its remembered magic. In fact, it seems more magical than before—and more erotic.
After she’s gifted with a beautiful, dolphin-etched medallion, she finds herself surrounded by the golden boys of summers past. Her body is filled with longings she can’t explain and dreams of blue lights that turn into lovers.
Joshua Marley and his cousin Anthony are merfolk, a people capable of living beneath the waves as either dolphin or human. Alexia holds the medallion that marks her as the next in line to lead their people—if she can prove she can transform. Working in tandem, they’re sure they can arouse her passion and protect her from those who would use her simply to gain power.
But their strength alone may not be enough to help her face the challenge of her new position…
Warning: This title contains a conniving granny, naked men in the surf and shifters who take fun in the water to new depths. Snorkels not required.
Joshua glanced up from his workbench to see a group of his brothers marching rapidly down the boardwalk, heads close together as if they shared some great secret. He fought the impulse to call out and instead waited to see if they planned to include him. A flash of pain shot through him as they passed the window with barely a nod and a wave in acknowledgement.
Why it had become okay to ignore him, Joshua never understood. The “when” had started the first summer he’d been sent away, but as to the “why”, there was no rhyme or reason he could see. As the youngest he had a lot in common with the mob, even though he had chosen a more artistic line of work.
He wiped his fingers on his apron, removing a trace of the glue that clung from his latest project. The mirror surrounded by an intricate mosaic made of shell fragments was nearly ready for shipping, and he admired it once more before being distracted by passersby.
Joshua puzzled over what he saw. There were more people than usual headed to the Beachshore Inn this evening. More of his relatives. The male relatives.
He wiped his hands carefully and removed his work apron. He ran upstairs and as quickly as possible showered and changed into a clean shirt and jeans. He deliberated whether he should place his hair in its usual ponytail but decided to let it swing loose over his shoulders, like Alexia had seen him most recently. The memory brought a smile to his lips and an ache to his body. It was past time for this to all shake down.
The music of a band playing at the inn carried over the water toward him as he approached. So. There was dancing to be had tonight. Joshua was never sure when the social events were taking place, preferring to spend his time creating his art.
He wasn’t lonely.
He already knew he would share his life with Alexia. Last night had confirmed it. He just needed her to claim him publicly and the rest of the family to acknowledge it.
Entering the building, Joshua stuck to the shadows and let his eyes adjust to the dim lighting. Alexia sat perched on a tall stool surrounded by a crowd of his siblings. Michael leaned on the bar counter beside her, his hand casually draped over her shoulder, and Joshua fought the urge to slam his fist into his oldest brother’s face.
“I’m glad you’re here, Joshua.” Anthony spoke quietly in his ear, his nearest cousin in age and his closest friend of the bunch. “Although I didn’t expect to see you. I thought you were banned from any event that included the new Keeper.”
Anthony was the only one of the family who had ever made him feel welcome and Joshua was glad of his company now. He let his gaze wander the room as he counted relatives. Damn, he was the last of the boys to arrive. Anger flared as he thought of how they tried to cut him out. Any remorse he might have felt at blocking the call and making love alone with Alexia washed away.
“Never been officially banned that I’ve been informed.” Joshua leaned closer and asked quietly, “Has she shown any favorites? Michael looks like he’s trying to make some kind of point already.”
Anthony snorted. “You know Mike. Dashing and in charge. He spotted the medallion and immediately made his move. Thinks he can influence her decision since he was the one who brought her out tonight.”
His cousin looked flushed and Joshua laughed softly. “You excited about the thought of the call? Looking forward to trying to convince Alexia you should be one of her lovers?”
Anthony shook his head violently. “It was one thing to be involved in group activities when we were teens, but it’s another altogether to become a consort to the matriarch of the pod. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy her company. She’s got a mischievous sense of humor, and a wicked temper when she thinks someone’s being mistreated. Making love with her would be amazing, but she’s going to be leading the people for the next fifty some years. I’m not cut out for leadership, or to support leadership. I’m content to teach in the winters and take part of my summer holidays to play in the Mediterranean Sea.”
Joshua smiled and clasped a loose arm around Anthony’s shoulders. It was good to know there was one less obstacle in his quest for Alexia.
Loud laughter broke across the room, and he saw Alexia shrug off Michael’s hand and take to the dance floor with the oldest of the cousins. Braden held her a tad too close for a moment, and Joshua readied to defend her when he realized there was no need. She spoke firmly and the space between the dancers opened to a polite hand’s span.
Joshua grinned and bought Anthony a beer. It was going to be a great show tonight, watching Alexia in action. He expected nothing less of the new Keeper, the soon-to-be-leader of their merfolk pod.
His life partner. Even if she didn’t know it yet.
Tidal Wave available from Samhain Publishing
Other snippets to check out–follow the trail:
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