Welcome to the book blitz for Shining Sea, a young adult science fiction/dystopian romance by Mimi Cross. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with their mother, Arion and their father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, songwriting is Arion’s only solace, her solid ground.
Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?
“Ready for this?” Mary asks. Of course, she’s the first one here.
“Not really.” I stroke one of the hot-pink petals on the one last flower that clings to a Rugosa rosebush at the back of the lighthouse. Late-afternoon light edges the petal with gold.
“Don’t worry. I told you. You won’t have to do anything. The guys will dig the fire pit, my Kevin’s bringing food, and Pete said—”
“He’ll bring beer.”
“How did you guess? And your contribution?” Mary holds up a bag of marshmallows.
So far, though I’ve been invited to a bunch of parties, I’ve only been to two, both at Mary’s house. Each time I ended up wedged between a couple of Kevins. But today is different. Today the party is here.
“We really should’ve waited until tomorrow night,” I say.
“True,” Mary agrees. “It’s not like this is going to help anyone’s test scores.”
For students concentrating on marine sciences, school will have a slightly later than usual start tomorrow. Not so we can sleep late “’cause we’re gonna be partying half the night,” like Pete claims, but to give us time to make it over to Seal Cove, a public beach on the west side of the peninsula. The longest and supposedly prettiest beach on the Hook, it’s also the site for the infamous rules-and-regulations exam. Listing a bunch of rules and filling in blanks won’t be a problem. It’s the hands-on part I’m worried about. Tomorrow at nine a.m., I’ll be on a boat, in the water. As much as I want to embrace the beach, want to walk at the ocean’s edge, the idea of actually being on a boat, of actually being in the water, terrifies me.
“You’re still stressed, aren’t you?” Mary says. “But not about the party.” I nod, and she gives me a sympathetic look. “You’ll be fine tomorrow; it’ll be like riding a bike.”
“Yeah . . . if you saw the hills in my old neighborhood, you might not think that was such a good comparison.” But tomorrow’s test isn’t the only thing bugging me. Earlier this week I asked Mary about Summers Cove and told her how Dad had said not to go there. I was going to ask her about Bo too, but she got this weird look on her face. Then she said she had to go and hurried off to PE. Maybe now is a better time.
“Mary, when I asked you about Summers Cove—”
“Here comes Alyssa,” Mary interrupts. A 1960s yellow Mustang convertible skids to a stop in front of us, spraying stones.
“And Pete and Bobby,” we both say at the same time.
“Jinx.” I start to laugh, then stop, a second late in hearing the weight Mary’s given the word. Her eyes hold a warning. She really doesn’t want to talk about Summers Cove.
Would it make a difference if I told her what happened to me over there?
Wet lashes catching light, water dripping from his skin onto mine—
“I didn’t ‘catch’ you. I dragged you. Out of a tide pool.”
Lies, all lies.
But even so, I can’t possibly tell Mary. Not about any of it. “Niiice,” Pete says, climbing out of Alyssa’s car. Bobby gives a low whistle.
“It’ll be awesome when this place opens for real next summer; it’s so much closer than Seal Cove.” Alyssa points to the lighthouse. “Can we go up?”
“Um, yeah, sure.” It had to happen sooner or later, might as well get it over with.
By the time we come down from the tower, Alyssa is my best friend. “Hey, I’m driving the mantrap to Portland pretty soon. I need new winter clothes. You guys want to go?”
“It could happen,” Mary says. “You in, Ari?”
“Maybe.” I’m betting Alyssa approaches shopping like an extreme sport, but I wouldn’t mind checking out some clubs.
A van drives up, and some kids I recognize from school pile out with blankets and coolers. As the crowd heads toward the steps, Logan’s white pickup rolls in. He takes his time walking over to where I stand waiting at the top of the stairs.
“Who invited them?” He jerks a thumb toward the group on the beach below.
I roll my eyes. “Come on, before Pete drinks all the beer. He brought Shipyard, and Geary’s. Not that I care, but you might.”
“Damn right I do.” We make our way down the steps. “But promise me something?”
“Sure,” I say, not really paying attention, “anything you want.” We walk across the sand.
“Wait, what am I promising?”
“Too late. But don’t worry, I won’t ask you for anything you don’t want to give.” Logan’s light eyes glint in the sun, and I notice, not for the first time, that he has ridiculously long eyelashes. “And I’ll start with something easy, like a beach walk.”
I’m off the hook for a reply—Dad arrives carrying two platters laden with lobster rolls. He puts the trays down on one of the coolers, and he and Logan shake hands.
“Young Mr. Delaine. Pleasure. How are your folks?” I’d forgotten Dad knows the Delaines, but it makes sense since he knows everyone on the peninsula.
“Doing well. They want you to come over and cook for them this weekend.” Dad’s face lights up, and Logan shoots me a wide grin that says, See? I’m totally charming.
“This weekend ought to be fine.”
“I’ll tell them.” Logan takes my hand. “I’d love to continue talking to you, Captain Rush, but I promised Arion I’d go for a walk with her.”
I start to object, but Dad runs right over me. “Great idea. Going to be a fine sunset. I’m going inside myself, Classic Regatta’s on. I’ll leave you kids to your walk and your bonfire business.” He eyes our clasped hands, and leaves.
“Oh, you promised me, huh?” I laugh and yank my hand out of Logan’s.
“What? A promise is a promise. I make it to you, you make it to me, same difference.”
“Okay . . .” I look at him sideways, feeling like I’m missing some- thing. “Guess a walk is a good deal. I mean, you could have asked me to write your Existentialism papers.”
“That comes later.” We start walking, and he slips one hand beneath my hair, his warm fingertips finding the back of my neck. I shiver under his touch and pull away, landing a punch on his arm. Swiftly he catches my hand, murmurs, “Resistance is futile. You know that, right?”
“I’ll keep it in mind.” I laugh, but my cheeks are hot. “Move over, will you?” I reclaim my hand as we change places, so he’s walking next to the water instead of me.
Washed in shades of pink and streaked with purple, the sky curves above us like the inside of a seashell. After about fifteen minutes, we sit down on the sand at the end of the beach.
A few weeks of friendship with Logan feels like so much longer. He’s always seemed familiar, and we’ve gotten tight, fast. But the closer we’ve gotten to the jetty separating Crescent Beach from Summers Cove, the quieter he’s become. This silent side of him is new to me.
One afternoon, when we’d hung out on the front steps of the school, Lilah’s story had slipped from my lips. Not her story, really, no one knows that, but her condition. Logan listened without interrup- tion, as if he knew it wasn’t easy for me to talk about her. It probably wasn’t easy to hear about her either, but he’d been there for me. I need to step up.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I ask. “Talk about what?”
“The thing that makes us alike.”
A beat goes by. Then he turns to me. The sinking sun shines directly into his light-gray eyes, illuminating them. “I do,” he says. “Because it’s you.” We gaze at each other for a long moment. “You know about my brother, right?”
“Some. I’m sorry, Logan. So sorry.”
He shakes his head. “Nick and me—” Grief and anger vie for con- trol of his voice. Anger wins, and he begins to spit the words out. “We were best friends. We were, like, glued together when we were little. We had our own rooms, but at night, one of us would sneak—or get this, sleepwalk—into the other’s room. Sometimes I’d wake up on the floor in his room, or when I’d get up in the morning, he’d be at the end of my bed. Nothing could keep us apart.
“I remember one night, I was about eight, and I got out of bed to get a drink. The room was dark and I stepped right on him. He was on the floor next to my bed. He didn’t even wake up. The next day, though, when I told him about it, he was mad. That was the first time he punched me. He did way worse when we were older. And then, everything became about him.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean he went to that private school on the mainland, the one that’s close to the west side. Where the peninsula connects. Blaine. You’ve seen it.”
“Sure. Pretty place. Prestigious too, right?” “Pretentious is more like it.”
“All right . . .”
“Not all right. I blame that place for everything.” Logan’s tone turns sarcastic. “‘Nick Delaine the brain,’ ‘the brain at Blaine.’ Nothing would have changed if he hadn’t gone there. He wouldn’t have started acting like he was better than everyone. Better than me. He became someone else, some big-deal preppie boy. As if we’d come from that kind of family.”
Logan’s lips compress into a frown, making his wide smile hard to imagine. Behind him, crimson streaks cut the sky.
“The last couple years we drifted apart,” he continues. “We fought all the time. He fought—loved to fight—about everything. We became . . . enemies.”
“That’s harsh.” I lay a tentative hand on his back.
“Yeah, it was bad.” His voice grows quiet. “And . . . there was Beth.” “Who’s Beth?” I move my hand in slow circles.
“His girlfriend.” He shakes his head. “Supposedly. Beth was so into him going to Blaine. Her family couldn’t afford it. Then she got a schol- arship, like Nick. Still, she didn’t go.”
Logan’s pale gaze seems to search my face for a moment, then he turns away. “She wanted to stay at Rock Hook High.”
But I’d caught the hesitation. Sliding my hand off his back, I study Logan’s profile. I hadn’t heard anything about Nick’s girlfriend. She must have graduated, because—
Suddenly Logan scowls toward the jetty. “What?” I ask. But then I follow his gaze— My stomach dips.
Bo Summers is climbing—more like flowing—down over the rocks.
He walks toward us now, the rays of the setting sun at his back, glorious in the glowing light.
About the Author
Mimi Cross was born in Toronto, Canada. She received a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in music from Ithaca College. She has been a performer, a music educator, and a yoga instructor. During the course of her musical career, she’s shared the bill with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sting. She resides in New Jersey..
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