Welcome, Coastal Romance blog-hoppers. Annie Seaton, who also runs the Coastal Romance Facebook page, has organized this incredible blog hop. You have a chance to win the Grand Prize consisting of a $100 Amazon gift voucher plus 26 great ebooks. To be eligible to win, click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link at the bottom of this post! On top of that fabulous prize, I’m offering a bonus prize of a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter!
As my contribution, I’m writing about three ways the famous Jersey Shore location impacts the characters in FUR BALL FEVER, a romantic crime mystery that tickles the funny bone.
1) Oceans Have a Nasty Way of Coughing up Corpses
A sweetish reek assaulted her nostrils. With shaking hands, she tugged sodden fabric away. Staring back, if an eyeless corpse could stare, was a greenish face attached to a bloated torso. Sea creatures had done a number on the lips and nose.
Swallowing hard, she backed away. “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” she squeaked. Slow steps, one after another, took her into the frigid water until waves foamed around her knees.
Bone-numbing chill shook her from the horrified trance. Splashing back to shore, she forced herself to study the body. The corpse was naked except for a leather harness and a bondage collar embossed with delicate flowers. Three days of submersion hadn’t improved the woman’s appearance, but there was no doubt about the deceased’s identity.
Grace’s enemy had ridden her last bronco.
2) A Leisurely Beach Stroll Bonds Brothers
The following afternoon, Nick found himself pounding along the beach, shoulder-to-shoulder with his brother, who looked decidedly rough around the edges. Sweat poured down Sam’s tortured face. The fancy surfer-boy hairdo whipped in the wind, mousse-free for once. Yeah, this would be fun.
Nick pumped his legs harder, until houses backing the beach became a multicolored blur. A sideways glance confirmed his running partner’s misery. Sam was about to experience the effects of a slothful lifestyle on manly endurance. Ten-to-one his macho pride wouldn’t let him back out, while his bone-deep laziness would ensure an entertaining athletic performance.
Sam’s face was turning an interesting shade of purple. Between puffs, he gasped, “You’re a cold-blooded sadist, dragging me out of a nice comfy bed.” After another ten steps, he wheezed, “If you see an angry man waving a gun, I’d surely appreciate some advance notice so’s I can take evasive action. That way, I can cheer him on as he slaughters you the way you so richly deserve.”
3) A Moonlight Sail Puts the ‘R’ in Romance
The yacht put-putted away from the dock. All hope of outside help died in an acrid cloud of diesel fumes. A chewed-up leg was the least of Grace’s problems. Her ankle throbbed in tandem with a chafed wrist, wrenched shoulder, aching jaw, and bruised stomach. She sat still to avoid reminding their captors of her free hand, an oversight they would surely rectify.
Several feet away, Nick sprawled on the deck. His hands were cuffed, the chain looped over the railing above his head. He hadn’t spoken or moved since she’d unpeeled the duct tape over his mouth and given him an abridged version of her evening under the cover of the engine’s roar.
A surreptitious glance assessed his anger level. He radiated so much fury, she half-expected her skin to blister. Not that it mattered, because they were about to die.
He must have noticed her scrutiny, because he said, “We don’t have much time, and we need to get out of these cuffs.”
“Sure thing. I’ll start gnawing my hand off.” She got snared on his implacable glare. “Right. You’re angry. I get it. Okay, so I screwed up tonight. A teensy bit.”
“Sweet baby Jesus.” He closed his eyes briefly, as if in pain.
A guilty chill chased down her spine. “I’m so sorry. It was the dumbest move of my life.”
For your chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, simply leave a comment below telling me how a large body of water, whether ocean, lake, or river, has affected your life, and I’ll pick one lucky winner on December 24.
And click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.
In closing, my wish for you is that you have a blessed holiday season, filled with love, peace, and joy.