*Newly edited version now available*
When four strangers move into Blackpool Cove the same week a tragic shipwreck befalls its shores, Trixie Muldoon waves it off as coincidence. Even the arrival of the appealing, young investigator, David Durham, does not convince her otherwise.
But when a girl disappears, it's obvious something sinister has gripped the quiet, coastal town, and it all leads back to the town's newest inhabitants, including the mysterious Beck Ryker.
Everything about Beck Ryker, his scarred face, his hypnotic gaze, his seemingly tortured past, says heartbreak and regret. Yet Trixie finds herself drawn to him.
But when the tangle of secrets surrounding Beck unravels, Trixie finds herself caught between terror and passion.
Blood Tide is a young adult paranormal romance set in the fictional town of Blackpool Cove in the year 1880. It is approximately 70,000 words.
Frigid, cloudy mornings and hazy afternoon sunshine were typical early June weather. I pulled my scarf up over my head and lowered my face to avoid the cold. My hungry pelican trotted enthusiastically ahead to the beach. I had not been on the sand since the shipwreck. The relentless sea breeze had washed away the indentations left behind by the victims. Mami, Grandpa, and I had not mentioned that night. It had been one of those moments in life better left in the silent world of our memories.
A cluster of gulls hovered above some point of interest in the sand. Finley bounced toward the dark mass. I followed. As we approached, the gulls lifted higher in the air, but they didn't take their eyes off the prize below. It appeared to have been a small seal although from the state it was in, it was hard to tell. It was tangled in a mass of seaweed, and the birds had already picked much of it clean.
Suddenly Finley clacked his beak loudly as he spotted something in the water. The waves were nearly as dark as the sky, but I could see a black mass floating just beneath the surface. The water parted and the figure emerged. I took a step back. It was the boy from the wagon. He wore only trousers. Sea water dripped off his black hair which clung to the top of his broad shoulders. He looked as surprised to see me as I was to see him. He dragged his long, thick legs slowly through the rolling tide and stopped when he reached shore. His well-muscled chest heaved with deep breaths.
Finley waddled closer to greet him. The boy bent over, dug his large hand into the ground, and let the wet sand sift away between his fingers leaving behind a bewildered crab. He tossed it into Finley's waiting pouch. He washed his hand in the water lapping at the shore, combed his wet hair back with his fingers, and walked over to the rock where I now noticed his shirt and boots. A blush heated my cheeks as I realized I was staring.
My bird, now enamored with the human who could pull crabs from the sand with his hand, followed closely behind him.
"I believe you just stole my pelican's heart," I called to him as he pulled on the thin white shirt. It clung tightly to the wet skin of his chest.
He picked up his boots and walked toward me. His dark eyes still held the same somber expression I'd seen in Grafton's shop but his lips seemed more relaxed as if they were close to a smile. The scar that trailed down one side of his face did not take away from his appearance. In fact, if possible, it even enhanced it. "Then your bird is easily swayed. It usually takes a great deal more than one crab to steal a heart."
"Drop a fish in his beak and he'll probably leave me without looking back."
He stared at me for a long moment. I should have been nervous by the way his eyes drifted over my face but I was not. I found it hard not to stare back, but unlike with Mr. Mason, this time it was voluntary.
"I doubt it would be that easy to leave you."