{Excerpt} The Undergarden #tidalwhispers

Holy cow!  Tidal Whispers will be released in little over a month!  Saweet!

Today I get to share a sneak peak of my story in the anthology, The Undergarden.  This is a quirky little piece that kind of fell out of nowhere when an ocean themed anthology presented itself last year.  It isn’t my typical dark and steamy bit, more of a bitter sweet story about love and the hardships that it can face.  Here’s the blurb:

Tidal Whispers

Publication date:  June 4, 2012

J. Taylor Publishing

Heart’s Desire by Julie Reece

After a terrible accident, Tessa returns to her family beach house to heal. She doesn’t expect to see her first summer crush from seven years before. Cameron, though, reappears and ignites a relationship that’s far more intense than ever before. The only problem? Summer is once again coming to an end, and this time, Tessa will have to decide whether to choose life with Cameron or to never see him again.

The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian

Under Poseidon’s rule, Circe is the most destructive siren in the Pacific ocean, her songs luring ships and their crew to their watery graves. Not Otis, the best halibut fisherman in the Alaskan waters. His ship, the Calypso, has avoided disaster each time Circe set her sights on him.

Given one last chance to deliver Otis to Davy Jones’ locker, Circe takes to land to waylay the handsome captain. Instead, it may be Otis himself who hooks the Siren.

Pearl of Pau’maa by Kelly Said

Should Miki choose to wed the local wealthy boy she doesn’t love, her stomach will stop grumbling. Her soul, however, will suffocate. With one last opportunity before she must concede, she sneaks off for a final dive to her hidden crate at the bottom of the seabed. What waits for her is more than a captured lobster. It’s a treasure she cannot claim without great sacrifice or true love.

The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams

Nixie, a water sprite, lives a solitary existence as she struggles to understand the strange world beyond her waters.  When she meets one of the pink ones, a curious boy named Wyatt, their friendship blooms into a love that can exist only upon the sands that divide his solid ground from her underwater paradise. Some love, though, once born, cannot be undone, even in the face of death.

~~~~

Excerpt from The Undergarden

Nixie burst through the surface of the water with a great splash and drew in a gulp of salted sea air. As she swam to her favorite spot in the secluded bay, she took in the tangerine sky. The glowing orb dropped toward the edge of the world and set the clouds aflame. Soon, hundreds of square yellow eyes would blink to life beyond the trees.

With a grunt, she heaved her spindly body onto a flat stone, worn smooth on top by the tide’s constant indecision of in and out. Pale birds gave shrill cries overhead as they circled, searching for their next meal or some shiny treasure to pluck for their collections. She flexed her webbed fingers and toes against the warm breeze. The long, silvery strands covering her head itched where they lay along her back, so she bunched them in her hand and twisted to wring out the water.

A tiny sound drew her gaze to the sandy place where liquid met solid. A row of palm trees silhouetted against the sun sent long strips of shadow along the ground. Within the dark and light patches, a pink creature wrapped in blue cloth sat in the sand, hugging its knees to its chest.

She’d never seen a pink one up close. Curiosity urged her back into the surf, her stare locked onto the light threads covering the creature’s head. What was such a young one doing there by itself? Had its guardians abandoned it?

Submersed so only her forehead and eyes peeked above the surface, Nixie propelled herself closer until the sand brushed her chest. Only a few feet from the being, she surveyed the liquid dripping out of its eyes.

She opened her mind and searched for the intricate mental patterns that often accompanied the pink ones. Few others, who lived on the hard place, though of anything more than food and procreation, but she found a complex mind in the one before her. Sadness, mostly, and loneliness. The male referred to himself as Wyatt.

Unable to stop herself, she injected her thoughts into his. Why do your eyes leak?”

A fair-skinned face snapped up, blue eyes scanning the rolling waves. “Wh—who said that?” Wyatt stuck a scrawny finger into his ear and wiggled it.

Nixie popped her head and shoulders out of the surf. Why do you do that? Has something crawled in there?”

His eyes opened wide as they landed on her. Wiping crystal drops from his face, he jumped to his feet, stabbing a finger in her direction. “I’m not afraid of you!”

She cocked her head, and a frilly leaf of sea grass fell from her shoulder into the water. Why would you be afraid of me?”

Wyatt’s gaze fell to the ground before rising to peer through his silky fringe. “My sister calls me a ‘fraidy-cat’, but I’m not.”

Nixie grinned. You’re funny, Wyatt. Why does your heart beat so fast?”

~~~~

So, what did you think?  Would you like to read the rest, along with the other amazing stories in this collection?  Yeah?  I knew you would!  Stay tuned for more information and fun stuff in the next few weeks leading up to its release.  There might even be some publisher giveaways!

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