NOVEL RELEASE DATE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Available October 14, 2022
Chapter 1 Sneak Peek:
…Beep! Beep! The sound of the bus interrupts my train of thought and I look over the sandy shore to the parking lot where our departure beckons.
“It’s time to go, Lilly!” Jenna reminds me.
“I can’t go yet! My angel is close, Jenna.” The sun is still high above the ocean, dazzling bright where the angels shine and I won’t leave until I’ve seen my witnessed my divine collision.
I wrap my sun-kissed arms around my chest, look into the sunlight, and lie back into the sand that molds my body like a soft cradle of violets. I outstretch my arms to feel the blanket of the shore’s sand. Nestled on the sandy beach of Waimea Bay, I hear the melody of ocean waves rolling in like a gentle violin. They carol like a sonnet, and I want more of the poetic synesthesia.
“Angel?” Jenna asks with curiosity.
“Yes. Angel,” I say with expectation and eyes facing upward.
My gaze scans the outline of the few clouds scattered across the bright blue sky as I lie on the body-forming sand and look up at the sky hosting Heaven. Light dazzles in every shade like a kaleidoscope of luminescence from this point of view. I look over at her from the 90-degree angle as the ocean slants into a view of a river without gravity. I like to see the world from every angle. Like Heaven sees us. All of us.
“I want to see my angel, Jenna!”
“You’re looking at one, my love,” Jenna says. Then she bats me a wink with her luscious eyelashes as she wraps her floral pink towel around her red bikini.
“I must confess I knew you were one of Charlie’s angels,” I say.
“Did you now? My secret is out!” Jenna retorts with playfulness. I stay parallel with the sand and watch as she folds a white tank top into the pineapple-patterned beach bag. Particles of sand mix in with the packing of books and garments. It’s like that by the sea. You leave but you take a part of it with you every time. Like the sand and hibiscus flower petals nestled in the crevices of beach bags and ponytails. The ocean stays with you. I want the ocean to stay with me. To behold it. To belong to it.
“And I must confess, my Lilly… you are far too worthy to belong to anybody,” she says. Then she bends down and presses her lips to my forehead. I can feel the imprint of her rum punch gloss on my skin. She looks at me with her maternal look. Her loving look. My green eyes look back with gratitude for the nurturing.
“I’m glad we’re friends, Jenna.” Her sultry comedy and inappropriate Would You Rather games may challenge my patience at times, but she’s loyal.
“Remember, Lilly! Our pact. No boys. Only men,” she asserts with confidence. She rises and places her sunglasses atop her head, shakes out her ocean-kissed locks, and unveils her bombshell eyes of toffee caramel. “Men like to be smitten. Boys only want to be bitten in order to want you. No time for that game.”
I’ve never played that game.
Her boyfriends would comprise a compelling list of Forbes “Top 20 Men to Sleep With.”
He’s looking at you, she’ll tell me when I don’t want to notice. Flirtation is your forte. Your eyes are your lovemaking. Steer him where you want him to go. No! I tell her. I mean… sorry, I just… I don’t want to. I tell her. I’m not you, Jenna. I don’t want to seduce him. It’s the truth. I know, my love. She tells me. That’s why you’re my Rose of Sharon.
Rose of Sharon she calls me.
I like it when she calls me that.
My only aversion to the epithet is when she uses it to enlighten me on the art of attaining a “man of stature” as she calls it. I’d rather bury my eyes in my poetry books and imagine the fairy tales playing out in 10,000 leagues under the sea. That brings me back to my angel sighting. Focus, Lilly. The angel could appear any moment now in the light of its glorious Viennese Waltz of ocean grandeur. I shift my gaze to the horizon where angels dance at sea.
Jenna tosses the pineapple-patterned beach bag over her shoulder at the sound of the departure signal.
“I’m gonna head out! You coming?” I lean in to listen to the sound of rolling waves toss into the seashore.
Tide is rising. I can feel it and I know my angel is waiting for me. I can’t go yet…
Read THE COLONEL, available October 14, 2022.
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