Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

first page

First Page: It Takes Two – Romantic Adventure/Paranormal

First Page: It Takes Two – Romantic Adventure/Paranormal

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


Chapter One
“Come unto these yellow sands, . . .”

The stars spun madly, as if the galaxy had become a blender switched to frappe. For a brief, fractured moment Sharon wondered if it was the end of the world or just her sanity.

She hit the warm Caribbean Sea back first, hard, knocking the wind out of her. She lay for that brief moment, painfully suspended on the surface, unable to comprehend what had happened. Then the sea embraced her.

And tried to drown her.

Floundering, coughing, sputtering, thinking words that no proper lady would ever allow to pass her lips, she broke the surface of the calm Caribbean, gasping for air. Her thousand-dollar Luna evening gown quickly became several yards of waterlogged virgin tourmaline silk. The dress slipped off quite easily and sank listlessly into the briny depths.

Wiping the salty Caribbean sea from her stinging eyes, she searched for the Cruise ship, Celtic Myst. Minutes before she had been relaxing in a deck chair, watching the stars from the fan tail, waiting for her head to clear from too much champagne.

A scattering of twinkling white, red and green lights shown from the Celtic Myst. Moving away.

“Drat,” she said, watching the lights disappear. A cold knot tightened around her throat, tears blurred her sight.

‘The ocean’s already wet enough, dear.’ Aunt Miranda’s voice whispered in the salty silence.

“You’re right. No sense in getting all worked up just because I’m stuck in the middle of the ocean.” She

swallowed her fear and looked around.

The moon, in its last quarter, was high in the star studded sky. She pulled the few remaining pins from her hair and rolled to her back. “Need to conserve energy,” she mumbled, absent-mindedly.

She looked at her pale body as she floated, the oceans natural phosphorescence aiding the stars glimmering twinkle. Just how many 25 year-old virgins were floating in the Caribbean, clad only in Victoria’s Secret scanty’s? Before she knew it, a sailor would be along— he would be tall, his muscular body tan from life at sea, his hair would be dark with a bit of unruly curl to it. his eyes would be deep blue and when he spoke, the merest trace of an accent, would send the shivers ricocheting around her insides.

Smiling, she opened her eyes, her fantasy chasing the panic away. ‘Where I am? Why Was I thrown off? I paid full price for this trip, it’s not like I was a stowaway.’

“I must speak to my travel agent about this.”

This trip had been her first chance at rest and sunshine for over a year. Well, tomorrow she would get plenty of sun, if she made it through the night.

###

The sun hammered heat and light past her closed eyes into a brain that felt deep-fried. Shading her eyes, she looked around, praying for the sight of something, anything. She closed her eyes.

Water slapped her face. Choking, she opened her eyes. ‘Clouds. Monstrously Big, black clouds. Where did they come from?’’

Rain struck. Life-giving fresh water. Tons of it.

Daylight vanished as the black, wet curtain engulfed her. She was swept upwards on the crest of a wave as lightening ripped through the blackness. Again and again, lightening exploded.

She saw an outline that was neither sea nor sky nor boat.

An island.

With each thunderous blast of light, the island was closer. She could make out the dark silhouette’s of trees.

And rocks. Tall rocks. Cliffs.

Sharon watched, mesmerized as the waves shattered into white, phosphorescent explosions of unbelievable beauty against the cliffs. Cliffs that grew closer with each heartbeat.

Carried on the crest of a twenty-foot wave, she was hurtling into them with the force and acceleration of a freight train bound for hell.

She had neither the strength nor time to scream.

First Page: Unpublished Manuscript – Paranormal/urban fantasy

First Page: Unpublished Manuscript – Paranormal/urban fantasy

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


“Pink hair, Randy? Did it have to be pink?” I’m annoyed, but I keep my voice down. I don’t want to wake Zoe. A thump in the hall tells me I’m too late. Then again, I should know better than to expect her to be asleep, anyway. Not tonight. She always knows when it’s a drop night, even when nobody’s told her anything; it’s like a sixth sense. “Could you think of anything more conspicuous?”

“Well, I was going to get a neon sign with a big flashing arrow pointing at my head, but I didn’t really want to carry it around.” Randy doesn’t meet my eyes; he’s too busy picking at a loose thread on the cuff of his sleeve. He’s dressed like I am: long-sleeve black shirt, black pants, black boots. He looks strange, diminished somehow, like he’s been swallowed up by the dark. His pale skin contrasts sharply against the black turtleneck. “Seriously, Davin. It’s fine. I’ll have the mask on. Nobody’s going to notice.”

“What’s going on?” Zoe appears from the hallway, faking a huge yawn so I won’t notice that she hasn’t been sleeping. She’s wearing her pajamas, but her hair is still tied back and her eyes are sharp and awake behind her black-framed glasses.

“Go back to sleep.”

“Yeah, right.” Zoe crosses her arms over her chest, giving me a well-practiced look of defiance. She’s had sixteen years to work on her pouting skills, so she’s very good at it. Unfortunately for her, I’ve been her brother the whole time, so I’m pretty much immune. “What’s happening? Are you two going out? Is it for The Underground? Can I come?”

“Zoe, you already know the answer to that,” I say, checking the time. 10:30. The drop’s scheduled for 11:00. We’ll be cutting it close, and that’s if everything goes smooth, which I’m not counting on. “We’d better get going. You’re going to lock the door behind us and shut off all the lights. You can watch TV if you don’t want to go to bed, but keep the volume down. We’ll be back in a couple of hours, tops.” I glance at Randy. “You ready?”

“Waiting on you,” he says, pulling a ski mask from his pocket and looking at it disdainfully.

“Zoe – I mean it. If anything happens, you call me, okay? It shouldn’t be too long.”

She looks like she’s about to say something, but meets my eyes and backs down. “Okay.”

I heave the duffel bag over my shoulder and Randy follows me out the door, pulling the ski mask over his face. The deadbolt clicks behind me and I know Zoe’s standing on the other side, listening to us leave. Randy and I don’t say anything to each other. There’s no point. He hesitates for a moment beside his car, a cherry-red Mercedes that crouches in my driveway, ready for action. But we can’t take it. Like Randy’s hair – like everything about him – it’s too flashy, too obvious. If anybody sees it, they’ll remember it, and they’ll know who we are.

So we leave the car and start walking. I have an easy time of it, but he lags behind a little. He’s at least a foot shorter than me and compact. He has to take two steps to keep up with each of my long strides, and I’m walking fast.

“Can I ditch the mask?” Randy asks. He’s tugging at the edge of his ski mask, running his finger around the gap between it and his neck. “It itches like hell and there’s nobody around to see us.”